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  1. OOC: I really enjoyed this insight into one of our newer members. Good job @Kammus Corelli! (USS Nashira, Main Engineering, Deck 6) Kammus stood in the chief engineers’ office, as music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOoe8K1yj50 played, and filled the air with a somber reminder of the mission. 27 PADDs were stacked in different piles on the desk, and Kammus watched the damage control teams, system engineers, and repair personnel work diligently on the problems caused by pushing the Nashira beyond all limits. Finn popped his head in, leaning more than walking, as if to signify he was busy, but wanted a quick word. Finn: What is that noise…? Corelli: Es Ist Vollbracht. It is finished. Bach. Finn: I’m more of an Orion Thrash Punk kind of guy. Corelli: Something I can help you with? Finn: Just to report, console repairs have been completed, Paket is having issues with some of the plasma conduits on deck 2. We’ll get it soon enough. Corelli: Copy, carry on. After a time of thinking, he moved to the turbolift, and traveled down to Deck 8 surveying the repair of the antimatter containment systems. From a nearby window, he saw Starbase 375 grow ever larger, as the ship dropped out of warp, and align for docking. Jadin Wills approached; she had been placed in charge of the final antimatter systems adjustments. Wills: All under control here, sir. Secondary antimatter containment pod will need replaced, scheduled for 4 days maintenance. We’ll be on dock power so it’s a good thing we’ve got shore leave coming up! Right? We do have leave? Corelli: Yes, you have leave. I will remain on board. Wills: You’re not taking leave? Surely you want to get off this oversized shuttle? Corelli: (Raising eyebrows) Let us not speak ill of our assignments. Wills: Sorry sir, I’ll get back to work. Kammus returned to his quarters just as the ship docked with the station. The room lights dimmed as internal power was switched to external support and the docking gangway tunnels extended. He unzipped his uniform top, took a deep breath, and relaxed for a moment. Presently his desk display chimed and he ran over, pushed the button, only to see Aiya’s face, bright and cheerful. Corelli: You're not dirty? Did you skip work? Aiya: Hey, Parrises Squares, 10 minutes, we entered a tournament! Corelli: We you, or we me? Aiya: You can come watch and cheer me on! Corelli: Cheer? Kammus contorted his body, raising one hand above his head, and placing the other on his hips, mocking. Aiya: I hate you. You don’t have any other friends! What are you gonna do? Sulk by the warp core? Corelli: The warp core doesn’t try to take my clothes off just because I’m Deltan every moment of the day. Aiya: Oh… (beat), probably best if you don’t go into a room full of a hundred strangers. Corelli: Might turn into another type of tournament! ::They both laugh:: I will be fine, plenty of work here to do, and someone has to supervise the repairs. Aiya: You’re not the chief engineer. Corelli: They don’t have a chief engineer! Aiya: Fine. BYEeeeee! The channel closed, and Kammus was once again left alone with his thoughts. He mashed the button on the display. //Personal Log, Stardate 239809.2 The Nashira performed well. We pushed these systems well beyond their specified design limit. I will have to re-write some of them. The crew is an interesting group, I will have to be less technical around some of them, which is a shame. We have put in at Starbase 375 for repairs, and since the ship currently has no chief engineer, I have elected to remain on board and supervise, in whatever capacity I can. I am certain Starfleet Command will assign a more senior engineer to oversee the repair work. I dread venturing onto the station, all those people, they can’t help but be affected by my biology, which I cannot turn off. Perhaps it would be better to be an android… I hope the crew enjoy their leave. I for one await reassignment, as this ship, while I enjoy it very much, will likely not be a permanent home. I wonder if an ensign can request to have NCO’s assigned… I sure would like to have Aiya with me, whatever the next adventure is. //end log He returned to the window and awaited the arrival of refit teams from the station. _____________________________________________ Ensign Kammus Corelli Engineering Officer USS Nashira Writer ID: T239807KC3
  2. OOC: @Geoffrey Teller must be loosing it. He's naming plasma eddies. 😄 ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Thor - Two Hours and Nine Minutes Later)) Hunching forward in the Captain's seat Geoff Teller's eye was twitching again. He'd been staring at the viewscreen for so long now he'd practically named every random band of colorful energy currently encircling the ship as he tried to tease detail from the images the vastly more sophisticated and accurate sensors somehow missed. Harold, a large shimmering column of plasma and radiation, was currently gyrating just slightly off the port bow and Fernando, that small pink rascal, was drifting diagonally across his field of view. At several points Geoff had been reasonably convinced they were mocking him, intentionally shielding the Nashira from their view in a form of subspace pettiness known only to an unfortunate few. With a hand that was vibrating slightly from either too little or too much caffeine, Geoff Teller tapped at the controls and resumed recording an overdue ships log. //Ships Log, Supplemental, Stardate 239808.19, Cmdr. Geoffrey Teller reporting. ...The Thor has been effectively navigating the storms edge for the last several hours and while the ride has by no means been comfortable, our shields have held strong and we are in position to spring our little trap on the Nashira. As this exercise was intended to evaluate crew performance in non-ideal conditions, I must take a moment to offer commendations for Lt. Jg. Reid and Lt. Jg. Richards, both of whom have performed their duties with the professionalism and creativity of officers with far more experience. I'm also quickly coming to respect the abilities of our new Engineering officer Ensign Rocheford. While I'm certain the next few hours will be a test for ship and crew I'm extremely confident in both. I'm certain we'll honor the Thor's proud legacy. And I'm going to get that damn lawn dart if it's the last thing I god da....wait is this still transcribing.... //End Log The ship jolted slightly as another plasma front shifted and grazed their shields. Teller shook his head in mock frustration at Gertrude, who was being pushy yet again. A few minor warning indicators appeared on the status display to his left and Geoff decided to break the heavy silence. Teller: Status report? How're the shields holding up, Lt. Richards? Richards: Response Geoff smiled and turned in his chair. Teller: Excellent, let me know if it becomes a problem. Lt. Reid, how's the storm? Dissipating along your projected curve? Richards/Reid: Response Both officers had been largely unknown to him prior to this last mission and now Geoff was confident they were both capable and reliable colleagues, more than fit for the task at hand. It renewed his confidence in their plan of action and their hopes for success. Teller: Understood, update the helm if you think we need to move to a new position but keep an eye on those sensors. The minute we can get a peak outside the storm I want to know. Reid: Response Teller: Very well. Ensign Rocheford, what's the status of the EPS grid and the impulse engines? If we detect the Nashira has taken the bait I want to move in as quickly as possible. Rocheford: Response Teller: That's correct. Our hope is that the Nashira mistakes our disguised fighter for the weapons platform they've been trying to make off with. If they grab the fighter in a tractor beam that'll be our signal to pop out and hit them with everything we've got. If they're disabled they can't make it out of the system, and we win. Rocheford: Responses Geoff found himself regarding the young engineer with something like sentimental fondness. He'd been in that young mans position once, tossed into a dynamic situation and forced to push himself far beyond what he thought was capable. He hoped Mr. Rocheford enjoyed the experience as much. Teller: Don't worry Mr. Rocheford, the weapon hits are simulated but the computer will make the damage 'seem' real, down to the overloading eps conduits and the disabled systems. With any luck we'll get their engines in our opening salvo and it'll be over in the first few seconds. Rocheford: Response Geoff smiled and turned his attention back to the viewscreen. Several of his new friends, like Lloyd, Fredrick and Harriet, were beginning to dissipate visibly and Teller could swear he saw faint snatches of clear space beyond. Their moment was rapidly approaching. Teller: Lt. Reid, is that what I think it is? Rocheford/Richards/Reid: Response Tags/TBC! =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
  3. OOC: I was posting specific quotes and I just kept laughing, so decided to post the whole thing. IC: ((Holosuite, Deck 5, USS Thor)) Katsim: What is this? Fred: It’s our base. Come on, move. Richards: I do like what you guys have done with the place! Ted: Until we can verify who you are, you really need to keep moving…. Sir? The man gave Peri a little prod, not painful, but enough to indicate that he wasn’t kidding and so the woman continued marching forward. Under the watchful gaze of their captors, she and Richards were herded toward one of the buildings and inside. More soldiers were there, most in armour, a few people out of armour, but in clothing of the same hue and with the same insignia as the armour. Around a large table, a mixed group stood, talking, though it stopped as soon as one soldier looked up and saw the prisoners, and he brought them to the attention of the rest of the group. The tallest of them, his head shaven, turned and glared down at the newcomers. Frank: Did you two boneheads ever come to think that when I said “Don’t let anyone into the base”, that bringing two people into the base might be a bad idea? Commander Frank looked his two guards up and down, as well as Anton and Peri. Fred: We thought so, but… Ted: Sir… he said. Anton could see these poor guys were struggling, and after the whole guns to the head and pokes to the back, Anton wasn’t going to let this end just quite yet. So he waited a half dozen long seconds, While Ted and Fred scrambled for words. Just when he was pretty sure Fred was going to pass out, Anton stepped in. Richards: Commander Sir. We have never met formally. Captain Cool Guy, Sir. Saviour of the galaxy and what have you. We don’t really have time for formalities here. Something bad has happened. I was on my mission from Admiral Peacebringer Sir, when… Just then, Commander Frank shushed Anton. Peri glanced nervously over at Richards, then at the commander, who continued to peer down at them, his eyes narrowing. Anton held his ground firmly, in this universe, Anton believed he outranked Commander Frank. Frank: And who was this that you’ve brought with you. Anton looked up towards Katsim, he knew what she was going to say. He preemptively let out a sigh. Katsim: Peri. Richards: Commander... what Ms. Peri means to say is, “Supreme Commander Peri Protector of Good Things”. I gave her a field promotion when she was forced to play a crucial role in negotiations with a Splurge Commander. Ted: You see Sir? We didn’t know what to do. Frank: I see… ::glancing at Ted and Fred:: and where did you pick up, our supposed leaders of peace? Fred: We just found them in the forest, wandering around. Another glance was cast toward Richards, but Peri dared to speak up. Katsim: We were trying to keep away from Commander...Splurge. Richards: You really should tighten up your defenses here, I have reason to believe there could be more of them around here. Ted: You see Sir? And then he says stuff like this, which makes me n’ Fred wonder. That’s why we brought him back. Sir. Frank: I’m quite surprised that you would make such an accurate observation Captain, considering we are on the Splurge homeworld. I’d imagine you are correct! He looked over Anton and Peri suspiciously once more. Splurge homeworld? Anton thought to himself. That’s when he remembered what his friend had told him when suggesting the program. “Anton Man, Trust Me! Once you see the Splurge City over the horizon. You’ll understand why this is such a great program! Just as Anton looked towards Peri, a voice cut through his thoughts like a knife, bringing him back into reality. Captain Versa: Commander! What’s going on here? The tension suddenly grew amongst the group, Commander Frank, Ted, and Fred were all standing at attention. Anton turned to see a tall woman, tanned skin offset by sharp, hazel eyes. Her hair was pulled back into a severe bun, and like the others, she wore armour, her helmet tucked into her arm. She was gorgeous, Anton thought, and just before the entire situation became a story about how Anton fell in love with a holodeck character. Her voice cut through Anton’s thoughts again. The three stood and saluted attentively. Captain Versa: At ease! Frank: Ma’am. We have a situation. Versa eyed the group up and down before her eyes, locked in on Anton. Her hazel eyes were glistening through… wait… are those tears? Then they were gone, and a strong firm look proceeded over the three. Captain Versa: Commander, you are dismissed. Be sure to debrief your men, as you know this is classified at Peace Saviour Level 5. Frank: But Ma’am. I think you should know that they… Versa cut Frank off, this was good, because Anton wasn’t sure how he was going to explain himself. Captain Versa: Now! Frank/Ted/Fred: ::Comically in unison:: Yes. Ma’am! Captain Versa: Come with me. She nodded towards Anton. She turned and began walking into the direction of what appeared to be a large modular command centre located at the back most portion of the base. As Peri and Anton proceeded to follow, she stopped once more and turned around. Now what Anton was perceiving in her eyes, was not sadness, or anything that would result in tears. What Anton saw was… Blatant jealousy. She looked towards Peri sharply. Captain Versa: And who might this tag along be? She glanced at Peri. Anton was a bit confused. He hadn’t progressed in the program enough to know who Versa was, but Anton knew that he was definitely supposed to know. Katsim/Versa: Response? Richards: She has been crucial in my survival and in the mission against the Splurge. Katsim/Versa: Response [[Tags! & TBC]] __________ Ensign Anton Richards Security Officer USS Thor T239802AR1
  4. OOC: This made me chuckle. IC: ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, Deck 10, USS Thor)) Hoping to save some of his precious time, Wes stood in front of Lieutenant Alieth’s desk, hoping against hope that she would help him out. Greaves: Hey Doc, hope you're not busy. I was looking for a favor. The woman's face remained expressionless, but somehow acquired a more relaxed air. Alieth: No, in fact, it is a remarkably quiet day. How can I be of service? Wes slid a padd out of his uniform pocket and slid it across Alieth's desk. Greaves: I won't lie, I'm not here for a social call. I'm swamped with work and I need my annual medical signed off. Can you hook me up and clear me for duty? The Marine watched as Alieth glanced at the padd, then at the marine, then back at the padd, and once again at her friend. Her brow furrowed anew, dangerously so. Largely because there was a taunting glint behind the sullen expression. Alieth: Absolutely not a chance. You are going to get the mandatory physical. Point. By. Point. oO Ah, so we’re doing it the hard way Oo Wes dropped into a chair in front of the woman’s desk and frowned at her. Greaves: Alieth, come on. I’m swamped with work, I don’t have time. Besides, you basically just did an exam after my shuttle… incident. Tell you what, we can work something out. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. The Vulcan folded her arms across her chest and radiated an energy that would make most men taller than her cringe. Alieth: I will not accept bribes this time Wesley, you have skipped so much Vulcan scolding lately, Come on, take off your jacket. For a moment Wes considered arguing, but he knew his friend. This was a lost battle, and it wasn’t a hill he needed to die on. If anything, cooperation would speed things along. Then again, a little begruding acceptance wouldn’t hurt. Greaves: Fine, fine, but let’s make this quick. Just wave a tricorder over me or something and call it good. Alieth: Come on Wesley, stop being so shy, I have stirred the inner part of your ribcage, I think few people can say the same. With an exaggerated huff more characteristic of an angry 12 year old, Wes stood and began unbuttoning his uniform top with extreme prejudice. Greaves: Alright doc, have it your way, but I’m going to remember this next time you need a favor from us. Just know, if you ask me to pee in a cup, I’m spilling it. Now what do you want me to do? Alieth: Response He tossed his uniform jacket onto the desk, nearly causing one of the two small towers of padds to wobble. For a second it looked like it might topple, but eventually the wobbling settled and Wes shot his friend a mischievous glance. Greaves: Well you should know my medical history better than I do by now. I basically don’t remember the last time I was here… you know, head trauma and all that. Aleith: Response Greaves: I mean, I’ve got all the usuals. My back aches, my ears ring, my knees hurt, I seem to roll my ankle at least once a week… You know, normal stuff. Is there something in particular you’re asking about? Alieth: Response TAG/TBC ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander Chief of Security & Tactical USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 =========================
  5. @Alex Brodie has a way of really deepening his character and also giving more depth to a situation. Here we see a blast from the past and a relation to something that involves the planet the Thor is now taking shore leave on - Cardassia. I can't wait to see what happens next. I love this look into Brodie's past! IC: ((Applied Psychology Division, Elysium Research Institute, Mars)) ((Year: 2375)) Alexander Brodie sat watching the feed come in from the Federation News Service; he wasn’t channel hopping for fun though, this was work. FNS Reporter: I’m here with Anders De Brunn, Chief Financial Officer of Teldaris Resources. Mr De Brunn, can you comment on news reports from Ferenginar that Teldaris are being investigated by the Ferengi Commerce Authority over irregularities in commissions paid to agents to operate in the Irtok system? The man raised his mouth to his chin and rubbed his face unconsciously, covering his mouth. De Brunn: I’m glad you asked me that question… Brodie: ::Muttering:: No you’re not… De Brunn: …I can honestly say that there is absolutely no truth in these reports regarding an investigation from the Ferengi Commerce Authority. There were some undisclosed advanced payments to secure the contracts… It was all there. The repeating of the question, the raised shoulder, the change in cadence and lowering of the voice. Alex smiled while shaking his head and made a few notes. Brodie: ::Muttering:: …bribery… De Brunn: We’ve discussed this with the FCA and we’re satisfied that the matter is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. He turned his wrist slightly, almost pointing at the interviewer to try and make the point and cover the lie again. FNS Reporter: Anders De Brunn, thank you. Now back to our main story, Federation relief efforts cont… The sound went off and Brodie turned around in his chair to see Tommy Morgan leaning near the control console for the audio-visual suite. Morgan was, to all intents and purposes, the business manager for the institute. While they primarily focused on research, they had a commercial arm that could be hired to examine corporate matters and, on occasion, support the court system. His presence meant there’d been a request but, to his credit, he went for small-talk first. Morgan: ::Nodding at the screen:: What do you think? Brodie: I think the Commerce Authority are raiding their offices as we speak. Morgan: Not a surprise really. He’s a business executive, they all lie. Brodie: True…but he is extremely bad at it. Tommy pointed to the screen. Images of the destruction on the Cardassian homeworld from the culmination of the Dominion War had dominated the news for the last two weeks since the peace treaty had been signed Morgan: Hell of a thing, isn’t it? Brodie leaned back in his chair. Brodie: I’m just glad it’s done and the threat is gone…or at least diminished. I still can’t quite shake those images of San Fransico…I’m just glad they left Mars alone. Morgan: For sure…actually…it’s on a similar subject that I’m here actually. There’s a request come in for a project – of world…out of the system actually. That was a cagier and more circumspect than he’d expected from Morgan. Alex regarded him more closely. Brodie: ::Suspiciously:: Why are you sweating? Morgan: It’s warm. Mars is hot…right? It wasn’t, and Tommy knew that. Brodie: ::Still suspicious:: Compared to Breen maybe…tell me, Tommy, exactly how far-slash-long is this trip you had in mind? Morgan: Er…::pointing at the screen::..Cardassia… Brodie: Cardassia! Morgan: …for three months. Broide: Three months! Morgan: Now, Alex, calm down. You see why I was sweating. ::Pause:: Look, the civilian government wants independent observers to make sure that those giving aid aren’t establishing any kind of political foothold…there’s a lot of players in the game. I know we’re Federation citizens but we’re not Starfleet. Broide: Thankfully…three months is a long time to be away though. You know we’re trying to start a family, right? Morgan: Yeah but, Ros isn’t pregnant yet, is she? Brodie glowered at the man. Brodie: Not that it’s any of your business but no – and that’s unlikely to change if I’m not here. Morgan: It’s just a few months… Brodie: On Cardassia! Which was a war zone until about two weeks ago!::Pause:: Why me? Morgan: You know why. You’ve made no secret you’re thinking of moving on when your grant runs out – and I’m not blaming you, far from it. You’re looking to start a family and you’re not tenured so I completely understand the desire for more security. Alex leaned forward, clasping his hands and resting his elbows on his knees. Brodie: But? Morgan: ::Sighing:: But the old man in the wheelchair doesn’t want to see you go – he knows you might but he wants you to know that, if you go without doing this then you’ll not get the reference you need. Brodie took a deep breath through his nose. He shouldn’t shoot the messenger, and he could now see why Tommy was sweating, but he would have his displeasure noted. Brodie: ::Icily:: So it’s blackmail now? Morgan: It’s…a mutually beneficial arrangement. We secure the best services for the job and you secure your future… Brodie: ::Standing:: What was it you were saying about business executives Tommy? Morgan: That’s a little harsh…I wouldn’t lie to you, Alex. Brodie looked the man right in the eye. Brodie: True…but then you know I’d know. He turned and looked at the feed, still playing out in silence… Brodie: I do not care for this, Tommy. Fine…send me the details. ::Grabbing his jacket and leaving the room:: I’m taking an early lunch…possibly a liquid one. TBC ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  6. @Alex Brodie writes up a lovely summary of our most recent mission but couples it with some thoughts about the Prime Directive. I love how he refers to precedents to make a case for what the Thor did. I found it a nice wrap up to our mission! IC: ((Intelligence Watch Centre, Deck Three, USS Thor)) Broide had occupied the main office in the Intelligence suite. Jehe was on leave so he was taking his rotation although there was less in the way of intelligence briefings and a lot more legal documentation scattered over the desk. This was likely to be a bit of a problematic report for the ship and, while his reports were mostly kept to the medical archives he wanted to make sure he had everything locked in place. He pulled up the draft. --- THR-AWB-COU-MIS-0010 TO: Starfleet Medical Central Records CC: USS Thor Central Records Following a period of shoreleave on Vulcan the USS Thor was initially assigned to conduct a survey of an unusual stellar phenomenon: a pair of hypervelocity stars on nearly identical trajectories. Enroute to the system in question, however, the Thor detected a distress call from a cluster of nearby planetoids. This identification code associated with the signal identified it as being the USS Excalibur. Records show that this vessel was officially listed as lost during the Federation-Klingon War in the mid twenty-third century – well over one-hundred years ago. Under the guidance of Commander Geoffrey Teller this officer, along with Ensign Peri Katsim and Ensign Dar Elandra began reviewing available information regarding the vessel, including its likely course and possible locations. Consideration was also given to General Order One (Prime Directive) regarding potential indigenous populations and the effect that either the Excalibur crew, or their descendants, may have had on their natural evolution. The same also applies to the potential transfer of technology – which seemed likely, given the source of the signal. Given the lack of information available in the records, and the age of the information that was. A decision was made to beam down to the surface as a group, under cultural camouflage protocols and investigate further as well as take scientific samples for further study. Upon arrival on the planets surface, in the margins of a volcanic plateau, samples were collected and some tectonic readings were taken indicating an increase in volcanic activity in the region. Shortly after arrival, however, a series of life signs were detected and the group moved to cover with overwatch being provided by Ensign Dar. The lifeforms in question appeared to be Klingon in origin. These riders were led by an individual known as Betlak and appeared to be a ‘scout party’. This officer conversed with Betlak as the universal translator seemed unable to process the dialect they were using. The situation deteriorated as Betlak was not receptive to diplomatic channels – taking Ensign Per Katsim hostage. This conflict was short lived, however, as a group of mounted troops arrived to disperse the Klingons. These troops, more accurately knights, were from the local city of Calabrum and were led by their Queen – Arta Du Pendragon. This city, it became clear, had been established by the original crew of the Excalibur and maintained by their descendants. This officer, in addition to Commander Teller, Doctor and Quen and Ensign Dar was granted an audience with her Highness. It became clear that it was the queen herself who had made the distress call and that she was being advised by the court ‘wizard’ a man named Velik. It also became clear that the decedents of the Klingons – known locally as ‘Klings’ had been at war with the city of Calabrum for the majority of the previous century. In recent times these Klings had become more organized under the leadership of an individual known only as Modrawt. It was resolved that Ensign Dar and Commander Teller would remain and work with the Knights Calbrum and myself and doctor Quen would accompany the Queen to the local settlement of upto see how the conflict had affected the local population in the nearby settlement of Upton. On arrival it became clear that the local water supply had become contaminated, possibly deliberately, form the volcano leading to chemical burns. A parasitic infection, however, could not be ruled out. Following the realisation that a larger raiding party was headed for Calabrum to place the city under siege a meeting was called between Fleet Captain Aron Kells and Queen Du Pendragon where a plan was put in place to remove the descendants of the Excalibur, at their request. Further, the increased tectonic activity of the volcano now threatened an eruption. While this could not be prevented under General Order One it would provide appropriate cover for the evacuation attempt. This officer was assigned, along with Lieutenant Commander Lia Rouiancet to provide a level of control to the volcanic eruption. This involved the use of a binary explosive mixture that would be detonated in order to collapse a section of the magma chamber. This allowed a portion of the magma to be drained to adjacent chambers to limit the exposure to Calabrum. The detonation was conducted without incident once the explosives had been placed by hand. During this time, the remaining senior staff performed the evacuation. [[Classified: Command Level Only]] Consideration must be given to the Prime Directive. The actions undertaken by the USS Thor during this mission do constitute a violation of the prime directive. In mitigation, however, I submit the below reasonings along with appropriate precedents: The distress call was directed by Velik. Further review of the original crew manifest of the USS Excalibur at the time of its loss would indicate that this is likely to be a Vulcan who was serving as a junior science officer at the time. This would classify as a request for aid from a fellow Starfleet officer and the need to conduct a rescue mission [Precedent: Zeta Gelis Star Cluster, 2366]. In addition, any request for aid [Precedent: Drema VI, 2365] may be considered exemption criteria and the level of aid rendered by the crew of the USS Thor was conducted in such a way that it is believed it would not have impacted the pre-contamination development of the indigenous society [Precedent: Barkon IV, 2370]. This also allowed the correction of alterations to the natural evolution caused by the Klingons [Precedent; Neural, 2268]. It is my understanding that any indigenous people who were caught up in the evacuation are being transferred to Deep Space Thirty-Two for repatriation. The Same is true of the Klingon descendants who have been repatriated to the Klingon Empire already. The descendants of the Excalibur are to be relocated once a suitable world has been identified for them. It is recommended that observation teams are dispatched to both the original extraction planet to monitor any possible disruption. [[End Classified]] [[Personal Notes]] The nature of this mission, regrettably, is somewhat of a pyrrhic victory. While there was the aversion of a significant loss of life, we cannot ignore the fact that a culture has been uprooted from their home world and will take some time to adjust. Further, this culture, through no fault of their own, has been locked in a conflict with the remnants of the Klingon Empire for over a century. I wonder what the Klingons will make of their new wards? I would hope they would welcome them back as fellows but where they may fit into Klingon society after one-hundred years…it will be a difficult adjustment but I hope the Klingons hold true and honour their ancestors. Following the events of this mission several crew changes have occurred including the leave of Doctor Quen Deena and Junior Lieutenant Jeha Saja. I’m pleased to report, however, that Lieutenant Commander Ben Garcia will be re-joining the USS Thor on our arrival at Cardassia Prime. Signed Lt. Cmdr. Alexander W. Brodie; Psy.D, Ph.D. Chief Counsellor, USS --- Alex re-read the citations on the legal side of things, just to make sure he had his dates right and then submitted the report. He leaned back in the chair and picked up a PADD - Cardassia Prime....how long had it been? FIN ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  7. OOC: Beautiful. And heartbreaking. ((Vulcan Forge, Xial, Vulcan)) The wind was blowing in the desert, still cool in the early morning. It brought the fragrance of morning dew, of desert succulents and fresh spring. High above, a bright silver kestrel hailed the rising sun and, far, far away, among the hills, another bird answered its call. Alieth sat on the rock and for a few minutes just admired the bird's evolutions in the air, as the desert sands swirled at her feet. Finally, she sighed and placed the ark she had been cradling in her arms on her left. Her fingers moved over the surface to the appropriate spots and, to her mind's eye and only to her, a figure became visible on the other side of the rock. Alieth: It has been a long time, my friend. Sern perched himself on the rock, crossing one leg over the other and lacing his fingers over the top knee. Sern: Has it? I seem to recall speaking with you just the other day… The features around Alieth's eyes relaxed slightly before she spoke again. Alieth: That was weeks ago, my dear friend. Sern: Then it has been a long time, indeed. Is this-? She gave a little nod. Alieth: Where we used to meet, when you were obsessed with hover car racing. She stretched out an arm towards a watercourse a little further down, half hidden from view by a dense mass of thorny, shrubby vegetation. Alieth: You used to hide your vehicle there, so the matriarch would not send it to the junkyard. I still hide mine there. The ghost of an all-too-human smirk brightened his eyes. Sern: Ah. An apt choice. Alieth: Indeed. I have fond memories of this place. Slowly, he scanned the horizon, eyes eventually settling on a cluster of rocks off in the distance. Sern: And some not so fond... She let out a small sigh. Alieth: Effectively that happened here as well… There was no need to point out "that" event. It was in his mind as well as hers. Like so many others. Like so many memories. Thereafter, a comfortable silence settled between the Vulcans, each lost in their own recollections- some clearer than others. Either seconds or hours passed before Alieth spoke: Alieth: Are you sure you want to do this? Sern: If my choice is between this and ::he opened his hand in the direction of the device, in a manner not unlike a certain human:: that - I would say the choice is obvious. A genuine smile danced in her dark Alieth: I have no objection, everything Geoffrey John gets his hands on ends up looking like a mayhem ball affixed with way too much duct tape. Two beings of any other species would likely have laughed. It would not be a laugh of mirth, but one of two old friends diffusing the growing tension of anticipated conversation. A conversation both parties were perfectly content to leave unspoken, until they were forced to form the words by both time and circumstance... In the end, it was he who spoke, his countenance more sober than it had been so far, if that was even possible. Sern: It is time. You have brought me further than I could have hoped. But it is time. She looked at him and, for a brief second, bit the inside of her lip. She had to have one last try. Alieth: I just want to persuade you to remain here. We still have so much to experience, so much to learn, so much to live... perhaps we could... Sern shook his head. Sern: No - not 'we'... you. For a moment, he wasn't entirely sure he would win the staring contest. Alieth: :with a sight: You are right, of course… Silence settled between them once more, thickening as the minutes passed, and only the wind filled it faintly, along with the cries of the birds of the sands. At last, Alieth turned to his friend's shade, took a deep breath and spoke again. Softly, barely over the whisper of the wind. Alieth: I loved you, you know... In some way I still do. No amount of emotional discipline could hide the look of surprise that shifted across his features. A greenish flush crept into his cheeks. Sern: I - uh…. I - I loved you, too. She nodded silently, opened her mouth to say a word but ultimately chose not to. At another time, in another life, perhaps the blush would have crept up her cheeks too, but not then. Sern: Yeh- ::he cleared his throat, trying to force the flush away:: uh, yes, well… Alieth: I know. ::Sigh:: Perfect timing. She looked down at the crystal encapsulated in a mechanical device that was humming on the rock beside her. She ran her fingers over it. Not a word, he would know what was in her mind. Alieth: And speaking of time, the moment has come Sern: Now or never. She nodded faintly and took the device in her hands. Sern crossed over to a scrubby-looking bush and tried to grasp a branch. His hand passed right through it. He moved back to where Alieth stood, the ark device cradled in her hands. Sern: Could you-? Alieth: I have already did so. In her hands, the device had ceased its humming. The crystal still twinkled dimly, the energy that animated it slowly fading, with an increasingly slow pulse. There was another bit of a pause before the fade started. Much like the image of the Veritas, the edges went first, limbs and core gradually shifting away to reveal the unbroken landscape behind him. Shifting into nothingness. Once the will of her friend, of the person who had most marked her early and many of her later years, had been fulfilled, Alieth remained there for a long time. Until the sun rose at its zenith and the shadowless noon of the desert forced her to seek shelter. When she did so, there was red dust staining the hem of her robe and wetness in her eyes. But there was also peace in her spirit, a peace she had not felt for a long time. Goodbye, my dear friend, and farewell… [End] ================================= Alieth daughter of Saros Mourning USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director & Sern of Vulcan Deceased E239602QD0 =================================
  8. OOC: I jumped the gun (okay, fine, I miscounted the number of parts they said the jp contained before I posted it) when I posted the other sections, but honestly, perhaps this was as it should be. While this may be the finale, it deserves its own entry. From laughter to tears, this part of the JP moved me both ways. Well done @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] ((Twenty Minutes Later)) In the holodeck’s version of the Temple at Mount Selaya, the trio stood. Saveron didn’t need the atmospheric location, but perhaps the others did. There was a lot to be said for how ambiance could affect an individual’s thoughts. Reaching out, he placed his long fingers on one side of Commander Teller’s face, slowly shifting his fingertips until he found the strongest synaptic nodes. Satisfied, he repeated the movements on Alieth’s face, until he could feel both of their minds hovering just within reach. Next, she placed her hand on Teller's temple, the fingertips where his synaptic centres were strongest. The other side of his face was occupied by Saveron's slender fingers. Alieth's other hand rested on the vibrating crystal placed on the electronic device. An asymmetrical circle. An origin, a bridge, a guide and a destination. And a soul to be coerced to go around the circuit. Alieth took a deep breath and looked at the two men beside her. Then, she closed her eyes briefly. She lowered her mental barriers and opened herself to mental contact. The other Vulcan's mind resonated in hers as a clarion call. Saveron shone bright and strong. Clear as the first light of morning. Like the birth of a star. Alieth: ~~ Osu ~~ Saveron: ~~ Orensu ~~ He would not normally condescend to call Alieth his student, but in this alone he was the only one with any experience. Their walls came down, hers first, then his, and their minds touched, as intimately as if they were lovers. It seemed as though he saw Alieth clearly for the first time, without the barriers of the physical world. She was a flame; burning bright and slightly angry. Anger could be a powerful driver. Saveron: ~~Ready?~~ She nodded minimally. It was more an intention than a movement in itself. Her dark eyes turned to Teller's green ones. Her fingers flexed lightly at his temper. In the holographic reconstruction of the temple, far away, out of the shady recesses under the columns, there rang a chime. And the shriek of a kestrel. Alieth: Ready Geoff? Teller: ~~I CAN HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS IN MY EYES~~ Alieth: ~~Just the answer I was waiting for~~ She pushed lightly, and the tenuous walls to enter his mind cracked open wide, to that cacophony of an orchestra tuning up before a great fanfare that was the human mind. A confusion of brass and wind and string noises and for some strange reason, a duck. The mind wove strange stories in this dreamscape. Saveron was there to guide Sern’s katra and keep the situation from becoming confused. It was easy to forget one’s goal when memory crowded so close. Alieth: ~~No trips down memory lane this time, we just look for Sern, okay?~~ Teller: ~~That’s fine by me, I still feel like I have sand in my boots from the last time~~ One corner of her mouth, both inside and outside the meld, curled into a tiny smirk. Saveron: ~~Bring to mind, if you can Commander, the sensation you experience when you ‘hear’ Sern’s thoughts.~~ Geoff concentrated, turning his mind's eye to the place where he and Sern would meet. It had always been just out of focus when Geoff had gone there but now the details were clear and sharp, the meld helping to enhance his recall. He could see the sand on the arena floor, stained with dark green blood. This is where Sern had hidden himself away, residing forever in the last moments of his mortal life. As if beginning a journey, Geoff felt himself drawn from one memory to next, and every time they felt a step closer. There was a spark. Something long extinguished coming to life one last time, a flame burning the dregs of its remaining energy in one last bright, ephemeral blaze. The moment that they found Sern he became apparent to Saveron, the only one who did not yet know him. Around them for a moment a combat arena resolved, dust in the air and blood on the sand. What a place to linger; it was as though he didn’t know where else to go. This was why he was here. Silently, Saveron’s mental avatar, clad in a deep desert suit and robes as he tended to appear in the dreamscape, reached out a hand and beckoned Sern to follow him. Outside the meld, Teller’s contraption sprang into life, beginning to detect and analyze a living Vulcan neural pattern entwined with a human’s. Components whirred and hummed, dissecting subquantum data states and rapidly forming a transcription matrix. A few components sparked and shook under the strain. Over and over it spun, burning out whatever existence it had left on an never-ending trail until a summon from Saveron showed it the way, and a gentle nudge led it to the bridge. And Sern crossed him. It was only then that she could feel him. The warm familiarity. The long summers in the shade of the trees of his clan house. Hundreds of anodyne study afternoons, with hardly any words, just each other's company as they each focused on their subjects. The first hovercar race. Her first accident. HIS first crash. An escape to Vulcana Regar with a bet, three Orions, a Nausicaan and four broken ribs. Sern's, of course, not hers. Then, the day he confirmed her the news of his engagement. Her own wedding, not so long after it. And that last goodbye of her fingers on his. These were scenes that were familiar to both, he could see, and re-lived far more times than they had actually been lived. A comfortable place, a clinging to what had been. Gently, Saveron nudged at the pair, politely pushing Sern towards the path he must walk. He couldn’t stay here, not again, not without losing himself. But the pair deserved a certain amount of respect. Saveron knew what it was to hide the pain of a love lost. Before what followed, before the bitter end, and the thievery and the escape and the hidden years, she let him go. And just as quickly as he had moved through her mind, he left it. The last trail, the last faint echo of the familiar psyche swirled over the fingers that touched the crystal. There was a moment of stillness. Alieth pulled her fingers away from the crystal and only three were left behind. Three minds and three bodies, connected as closely as they could be, but not intermingled as Sern had been with them, each their own being, in their own flesh. Beep She opened her eyes and looked at them, her heart trembling for a loss she had foreseen but not overcome, for what she had regained only to be lost again. Beep, Beep There were no words, but there was a sense of warning, a sense of urgency transmitted quickly through shared neural pathways. Beep, Beep, Beep Somewhere between consciousness and whatever the mind meld was, Geoff could perceive a sound on the very edge of his hearing. A bad sound. A sound that meant they had to run. The machine started whirring. Fingers were quickly removed from the other's temples. The whirring grew to an agonised whine, the sound of a dying beast. The sparks became a living fire, the radiation sizzled on their skin, leaving livid greenish-black marks behind. As one person, the remnants of their shared consciousness still fraying between their minds, they all ran.. No sooner had the door closed than the ensuing explosion shook the corridor and lobby, filled them with smoke and, more than likely, left a cracked hatch connecting the holodeck to the adjoining decks. Geoff sagged against the corridor wall as the alert klaxons rang, the throbbing behind his eyes competing with some plasma fire burns on his hands. He’d made one desperate half-blind grab towards the workbench as they’d escaped and he’d paid for it with blisters and reddened skin. Alieth: Are you...? Geoff rubbed his throbbing head and looked within, but found himself properly alone for the first time in months. He certainly felt like himself, for whatever that was worth. Teller: ….ungh...no more...mind melds…. Saveron: That would be advisable. He’d felt, in that moment before the beeping that Teller had forewarned them about, Geoffrey’s mind settled into it’s full and whole space, no longer having to make room for another, even a mild lodger like Sern. He would recover. Her gaze darted around Alieth: Is he…? Geoff extended his burnt hand and gingerly opened his cracked fingers. It may have been a little scorched but he’d managed to get his hand around the ark, and it appeared intact. His palm had been seared with the impressions of several Vulcan characters, but that seemed to be the limit of his injuries. He reverently passed it to Alieth with his remaining strength. Instead of responding, he took his hand and, in her palm, placed the crystal. Faint, subtle, Sern's essence reacted to the touch of her fingertips. Alieth took the container that held her best friend and cuddled him against her chest, then she rested her back against the wall and let herself slide down to the floor plates. Saveron looked away, politely pretending not to notice Alieth’s emotional indulgence. He had felt the strength of her attachment to Sern, in that place behind her emotional shields. She had carried him for years, and they all knew that this would be goodbye. The heavy footfalls of the approaching damage control team could be heard up the corridor, but Geoff found he had little strength and happily accepted their assistance when it was offered. To their questioning glances he simply shrugged. He’d explain this some other time. He was alive. They all were. And they were fine. [[END]] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  9. OOC: There's a play by play of the most humourous parts over on the Thor quotations thread. However, once you've read the gems out of context, I thought it was only fair to allow people to read them in context. @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller have done a superb job of invoking humour and solemnity. Excellent arc with excellent writing. IC: ((Temple of Gol, Mount Selaya, ShirKahr Region, Vulcan)) Their slippers sounded ever so softly on the stone floors, polished smooth by millennia of footsteps, as the two Vulcans walked in a stately, measured manner, side by side, through the Hall of Ancient Thought. Stone faces, far larger than life, were carved to represent the katras that they housed; High Priests and Priestesses of the order of Kolinahru since long before Surak had walked their world, and the name of the order implied something very different. How might those slumbering thoughts view their modern world now? No one asked them. Some ways of the past were best left behind. If only everyone could see that. T’Rel: You stated that you had a request of the Temple? Her voice was even, smooth, completely devoid of emotion. She had purged it from her mind. Once, in a different life, there had been emotion there, even love, for him, and he had held the same for her. But they had parted many years ago now. And both of them had changed. Saveron: Affirmative. I would ask that a Senior Priestess accompany me to the USS Thor to retrieve a katra from a non-Vulcan crewmember. She paused, turned to look at him for a moment, before continuing her sedate walk. T’Rel: Why not bring the crewmember here, to the temple? ::She asked.:: It was the most logical and simple solution. Saveron: Because of the clan Matriarch, T’Sai T’Mihn, whose logic appears to be impaired on the subject of her grandson. ::He said quietly. It was no light accusation.:: She has suppressed her grief, and I know the damage that failing to process such can cause. He glanced across at her. Oh, to have known fourteen years ago what he knew now what he had only learned by undertaking Counsellor training through the multi-species entity that was Starfleet. If he’d understood her grief then, that she’d hidden so well, they might never have parted. But then he would never have left Vulcan. Now she was kolinahru, incapable of grief. She was content, and he must therefore be so also. But there were times when it was challenging. T’Rel: You anticipate that T’Sai T’Mihn would obstruct the process? He nodded curtly. Saveron: If Commander Teller were to set foot on Vulcan, I anticipate that she may instigate a legal claim of ma maat katra. And when I spoke with her, she expressed no regard for his wellbeing. Humans, he had learned, had a pre-Federation legal concept called Habeus Corpus, whereby one might challenge an individual’s imprisonment and obtain their freedom by proving that their incarceration was invalid. There were some parallels with the ancient Vulcan right of a Clan to demand the katra of one of their members from the individual currently holding it. T’Rel: So you would seek to circumvent our legal system by having the Fal-tor-pan performed off-world. ::She observed.:: The Commander’s thin lips pressed together into a thinner line. Saveron: The claim of ma maat katra predates Federation and does not take into account a non-Vulcan bearer of the katra. It assumes the ability of the bearer to relinquish the katra they carry. ::Which a non-telepath couldn’t do without assistance.:: In Commander Teller’s case, it would force him to undergo the Fal-tor-pan against his will. That itself contravenes Federation law. Which made the situation very complex. T’Rel: There are those who hold that traditional Vulcan law stands above Federation law on our homeworld. Saveron: T’Sai T’Mihn is one of them. But then for what purpose did we federate? I say to you as I said to her; the needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead. There is no logic in destroying this man’s mind for the katra of one already deceased. His people hadn’t always thought that way, and some still didn’t. Vulcan had a long and tumultuous history and the complex culture that went with it. In the days before Surak wars had been fought and people tortured and killed over just such matters, as their literature still detailed. But he was a true adherent of logic, if not the best disciple of mental discipline. He returned the look that his erstwhile bond-mate gave him. She knew his view on traditions that lacked logic in his eyes, but he was less certain of hers. Especially now that she was steeped in Vulcan tradition. T’Rel steepled her fingers and kept walking, but she changed their direction, heading for a small antechamber T’Rel: Regrettably, your understanding of the legal implications is not complete. If T’Sai T’Mihn has already made a legal claim for ownership of the katra, then no registered telepathic practitioner may intervene until that claim is resolved. Saveron considered her words as they passed through the doorway and T’Rel headed for a niche that proved to contain a discrete but very modern computer terminal. The Temple was not as unchanging as many thought. Saveron: That process could occupy cycles, years. Humans have not proven durable to containing a Vulcan katra for so long. T’Rel nodded slowly, dark gaze following a rapid scroll of Vulcan script on the screen, before turning back to him. T’Rel: The legal claim has already been made. Its trajectory is longer if it must be made through Federation channels, and seizure of the individual less likely. But whilst it is unresolved, my colleagues and I cannot assist. Saveron: Then Commander Teller’s welfare is in jeopardy, whether he comes to Vulcan or not. A touch from T’Rel closed the console down again, and it blended in with the more antique decor. T’Rel: Unless one goes to him who is not bound by such law. It applies only to those of us who have trained through the traditional pathways. Again that piercing, dark look. He knew what she referred to. Saveron: They are the only pathways to guaranteed proficiency. ::He objected.:: The situation on the Constitution was made urgent due to synaptic degradation, and we were days from Vulcan even with slipstream. I had no alternative. She knew, because he’d called her; logically, serenely desperate for a way to save two Ensigns who’d placed themselves in a most untenable situation. T’Rel: But you succeeded, where most would not dare to try. Did that make him revolutionary, or foolish? His old research supervisor Professor Ramsey Bakewell had once remarked ‘they said it couldn’t be done, but the damn fool didn’t know it and went ahead and did it anyway’. Far too apt. Saveron: Not entirely. The Human retained a significant influence on his personality, likely permanent, from the Vulcan participant. ::He admitted.:: He… had welcomed her influence, I believe that he envied her confidence. She shrugged eloquently. T’Rel: Then the fault is not yours. He considered her words. Saveron: Having one untrained perform the rite when the ship is in orbit around Vulcan, home to the majority of our telepathic practitioners, appears to lack logic. T’Rel: Yet, as you have observed, you have no alternative. [[Transporter Room 2, Deck 4, USS Thor, On orbit over Vulcan]] There were few occasions when Alieth was strictly punctual. But there were even fewer occasions when the petite Vulcan was early for an appointment. This was one of those infrequent occasions, since the event merited it. After weeks of research, work, plead and rummaging through what seemed like half of Vulcan and a quarter of the Fleet, finally the time that she had been waiting for had arrived. Also, the time she had dreaded. The time to remove Sern from his temporary residence aboard Geoff's brain. Given how long the two had been together and the confusing mix they were in, it was a delicate situation per se. But she, too, had perhaps made it a little more complicated. A few days ago, when her mentor had left for Gol, he had left her one of the crystals that could be used in the ritual. And she had given it to Teller. She bit the inside of her lip slightly and straightened her posture even more, enough to clasp her wrists tighter behind her back. It had seemed like a good idea. The crystals were intended for use with Vulcan minds and given the important part a human was going to play in all this, it made sense that a human (more so! A brilliant engineer trained at Starfleet Academy) could come up with some kind of enhancement, some kind of catalyst to facilitate the ritual. Then, when it was just too late, she had realized that she had given it to Geoffrey John "Good Job Guarantee" Teller. The whole thing could end in disaster. However, she had no time to further torture herself with this, as, at that moment, a form began to materialize in the centre of the transporter. Alieth: Osu Saveron Saveron acknowledged his protégée with a slight bow before he stepped down from the transporter and glancing around, but the only other person in the room was the engineer behind the control panel. Saveron: Alieth. I trust that Commander Teller will be joining us? She offered a small nod. Alieth: I have sent him a message to join us on the holodeck 3. It was a fitting location, as they would be able to recreate the conditions and location that would be best suited to ease the process. Alieth: I expect he has read it and is already there. Saveron: Then he is prepared for the ritual and understands what is involved? Alieth:... Perhaps... She would have preferred to provide a more accurate answer but, given who was involved, it was better than a lie. He gave her a long look from grey eyes, noting her hesitation. But the facts were the same; what would be, would be. Saveron: Then lead on. Without further ado, they both left the room and walked down the many corridors of the Thor in search of uncertainty. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] Geoff was uncharacteristically nervous as he headed down towards the holosuite, his grav-sled of equipment humming along merrily while taking up most of the hallway. He’d spent the last several days cooped up in one of the ships engineering labs, emerging only for parts and the occasional “nearly fatal” dose of coffee from the new shop. He’d been working himself ragged ever since Alieth had passed him the rare Vulcan crystal that was somehow part of the upcoming procedure to disentangle Sern from his mind. Likewise, he’d spent days pouring over the tiny bit of information he could find about katras and katrics arcs and the general handling and operation there of, but there simply wasn’t much to work with. For all their intellect and deep adherence to scientific rigor, the Vulcans were still steeped in a kind of mysticism surrounding many aspects of their telepathic gifts. Empirical information was almost nonexistent and most of what he had found was guesswork and worryingly incomplete translations from ancient texts. There was simply no other way to say it. They were winging it. Hard. Geoff smirked in spite of everything, having too often been the source of unconventional ideas and improvised problem solving to shy in the face of it now. That folks were taking that approach to his brain was equal parts unsettling and reassuring. Geoff resumed whistling a tune Alex had sung brilliantly on the holodeck a few days earlier while he considered what little his research had turned up. Everything he had found said what had happened to him shouldn’t have been possible, or that it should’ve killed him within days. The one fairly well documented account he had found was in the fleet archives, surrounding a ships human surgeon who had unexpectedly become a receptacle for the ships Vulcan XO. Over the course of a few weeks the surgeon's personality was slowly overwhelmed as his body broke down, the strain of carrying two people in one brain acting like a deadly poison. In the end, it had been a near thing, and it had required the direct participation of the most revered high priest on Vulcan. Geoff’s resources were somewhat less...robust. He had a troublemaking Doctor, a Commander he’d never met and a medium sized shuttles worth of hastily assembled parts. Geoff wasn’t sure how prepared that actually made him for whatever ordeal lay ahead but was satisfied he was going into harms way as well armed as possible. He was fairly certain he’d been in worse situations than this one but at the moment no graver set of circumstances sprang to mind. As the double doors slid aside and Geoff pushed his sled of rattling equipment to one side, he waved merrily to the two stone faced Vulcan’s staring back at him. He didn’t think he was egregiously late but the deep scowls, identical on both officers faces, said otherwise. Geoff looked down at himself and considered a different possibility. Teller: What, are these the wrong robes? They were in the replicator database. The long flapping Vulcan robes, with a number of glyphs down the front explaining the lineage of Teller’s ‘clan’ and how great logic must be, or so Geoff imagined. The petite doctor used a few precious seconds to stare her executive officer up and down, and then, she frowned even more deeply. Not for the first time in the course of all that trouble, Alieth wondered if it was really worth all the effort to try to save Commander Teller. While certainly Sern would be lost in the process, maybe the galaxy would be better and more organized without him. Pausing for a moment, she glanced sideways at the other Vulcan, more than curious about his reaction. Saveron had never met Teller previously, and he couldn’t resist raising an eyebrow slightly at the man’s attire, and the mound of equipment he’d brought with him. Saveron: Commander Geoffrey Teller, I presume. ::He greeted him.:: I am Commander Saveron, as I do not doubt you can intuit. He’d been told by Alieth that Teller’s mind had seemed remarkably stable for a Human carrying a Vulcan katra. Taking in the man’s attire and accompanying collection of… stuff, Saveron was forced to ponder either Alieth’s perception of him, or his nature before acquiring Sern as a mental companion. Alieth: Commander, I presume you are aware that you are wearing a priestess's regalia. While not unprecedented, it is... rather unorthodox. The words were calm and measured, but the glint in her eyes belied these facts. Teller: Priestess...robes? Phew….now I’m really glad I didn’t wear the hat. Before she could be drawn into a long, convoluted and (admittedly) instructive lecture, the other Vulcan wrapped up the matter tersely. Saveron: Your choice of attire is irrelevant. ::Said the man wearing his standard Starfleet uniform.:: What is the purpose of this equipment? The Fal-tor-pan was traditionally performed using telepathic abilities only. Whilst he would advocate the use of the Thor’s Sickbay, the purpose of this accumulation of engineering parts he could not begin to fathom. Alieth: Given that the commander's telepathic abilities are nil, I considered that some external assistance might be in order. Of course, she refrained from pointing out her own lapse in not taking into account his tendency to get overzealous with mechanical gadgets. Reminding himself that he was dealing with a Human - visits to Vulcan always tended to shift him back towards an earlier, less alien-centric frame of mind - Saveron decided to reserve judgement for now. Teller: Well I can tell you about this thing, or you can tell me what the plan is. Actually, while we’re doing that can you help me unpack this stuff? Geoff nodded to the grav sled. There were a half dozen equipment cases, spools of ODN conduit, several tool boxes and at least one small supply of self sealing stem bolts. Saveron: The 'plan' is to perform the Fal-tor-pan. ::He said, opting for the first option.:: This is the ritual whereby the katra of a deceased individual is removed from the mind of the one carrying it, and placed in a suitable vessel. This can be the mind of another, in rare instances a new body, or a katric ark. The intention is to return Sern’s katra to Alieth who will then take him to his ancestral katric ark, or if necessary utilise a small, temporary ark to house him for his return to Vulcan. As he said the last he glanced at Alieth, silently requesting the crystal ark that he’d entrusted to her. It was a small one, only intended to house a single katra temporarily, for transport home. Saveron normally kept it with him in case of disaster. The woman, who up to that point had been discharging part of the bizarre stack of objects off the sled, halted mid-motion, with what seemed like three kilometres of cable struggling to snake out of her arms. Alieth: Commander Teller has been working with the crystal which is why an educated guess is that it must be here ::pointing with her chin towards the sled:: … Somewhere. Had ever one managed to compose an expression of apology and sheepishness by not moving a single muscle on his face, then Alieth achieved that feat at that moment, as she gazed up at her mentor. On the other side of the sledge, the only human in attendance appeared utterly oblivious to the exchange. Teller: Computer, give me a standard engineers workbench, height 70 cm, with a type nine EPS power feed and a standard ODN interface. Tie the whole thing into the ships power grid and data networks. The holodeck shimmered as Geoff began grabbing equipment cases and shifting them to the floor. The visiting Commander watched, perhaps a little bemused, as Teller began to assemble the… contraption. Was this a nervous displacement activity? Saveron: Commander Teller, the Fal-tor-pan is an ancient rite which does not require additional equipment. What is the purpose of… this? He asked again, gesturing to the pile and beginning to doubt Alieth’s assessment of the man’s mental state. Perhaps she couldn’t see the desert for the sandstorm. Alieth: Osu may be a bit non-standard, but I am sure the idea fits, considering Sern's reluctance to leave Geoffrey John. The older Vulcan turned to look at his mentee. Saveron: Is Sern’s reluctance to leave Commander Teller, or to return to yourself? ::He asked, pointedly.:: Alieth: Both. ::The faintest hint of an expression crossed her face briefly before she specified:: Yet mostly the latter. At the same time, Geoff huffed as he shifted another heavy crate off the sled and onto the workbench. He went to grab another but realized he owed their guest an introduction and an explanation. Teller: Commander Saveron... I’m sorry to come off a bit frantic. I’ve probably had enough coffee in the last two days to keep this ship moving for a week. Geoff Teller. ::Geoff offered his hand:: I really appreciate your assistance in this, and I’d be happy to explain what I’ve cooked up here. Normally Saveron didn’t shake hands except with very special friends, being an active touch telepath. But since he was about to be delving into the man’s mind, he decided that the gesture might help to instill a little confidence, so briefly clasped the other man’s hand. It also gave him a momentary impression of the frenetic activity going on in the other man’s head. Saveron: I would appreciate your explanation. ::He said evenly.:: Teller: Ok, so the crystalline structure of these katric arcs is, frankly, pretty amazing. The refractive lattice allows for the creation of a self-sustaining energy matrix...the katra...and it functions great as a durable long term storage medium. But they’re not perfect. The Katra itself has to be in pretty good shape to begin with to be stable in there, and we know that’s not the case with Sern. So think of this as an...upgrade. Saveron listened with a mixture of interest and mild horror. The traditional Vulcan in him held to the sacred ideal of mental discipline and telepathic primacy, whilst the doctor and scientist in him knew that for something to be real and true in this universe it must be detectable and understandable. All else was religious dogma. He did not hold with religious dogma, but that did not mean that this dissection of his people’s most sacred practices did not make him uncomfortable. It would be something to meditate on later. Geoff took the last of the components off the sled and pushed it to the far corner with a foot. Laying spools of cable out for easy access, he cross connected a subspace field emitter he’d pulled from one of their class five probes to a tunnelling quantum resonator he hoped the science lab wouldn’t miss for a few days. The devices began humming and beeping as he slotted in power connections and began self-diagnostics, still connecting more components to a growing pile. The young Vulcan woman nodded as the human in the room work. Likewise, she stepped away from the device that seemed to grow in size and complexity in the middle of the holodeck, just to avoid disturbing or tampering with whatever it was that was being connected. Alieth: ::Slowly:: So this is a kind of ICU for a katra? A system to keep it stabilized and prevent the degradation of one that is in a compromised state? It was certainly a revolutionary solution. Saveron: Fascinating. Teller: I decided to look at the problem like I would with a computer core - Sern’s a subroutine I want to save, but there’s a lot of data corruption, right? This…::Geoff nodded over::...is a katric data recovery system. As you guide Sern into the ark, it’ll be scanning through my brain, finding all the little bits of him that have gotten tangled up and making sure they get transcribed over to the ark. If it works right, he’ll be back to his old self and better than ever. Saveron didn’t think anyone had looked at the problem in quite this way. Mind you, usually there wasn’t this problem in the first place. One of the components sparked and started smoldering. Geoff swatted at it with the hem of his robe. Teller: That’s fine, just...warming up. Speaking of, there is just a...tiny bit of radiation. Not enough to get worried about, but we should probably get some hyronalin shots later...today. The young woman's eyebrows furrowed slightly and, for a moment, she paused in her efforts to untangle a pile of wire from a shiny thing she could not define as anything other than a "thing" from another.... "thing" that had begun to hum faintly. At least it wasn't on fire. If it wasn't supposed to be. Alieth: would not be preferable to do it… before? Saveron: Logical, certainly. Humans; what would they think of next? Teller: Well the thing is I already turned it on….and the half life of some of these isotopes is pretty short. ::Geoff nodded towards a humming cylinder on the floor:: Just try not to stand too close to that glowing part over there. She didn't feel reassured at all, but she couldn't oppose it either. Alieth: I will accept that, then we radiate ourselves and then...? Teller: Anyway, the ark itself slots into that cradle on the workbench. This’ll all run automatically, but if you hear anything start beep/beep/beep’ing three times we should probably get out of the room. ::Geoff coughed awkwardly:: Quickly. Certainly, all that process made sense in a wacky way. In a way that was bordering on lunacy, yet Alieth had learned, over the course of the last year, that unconventional solutions were sometimes not just the only possible option, but the most logical one, no matter how much she vehemently protested against them. On the other hand, Saveron resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose, and reminded himself that Commander Teller was understandably extremely nervous, and possibly being pushed by the katra they were trying to retrieve. Saveron: Commander Teller, I appreciate that you are understandably nervous about the procedure, and trusting your mind to an ancient Vulcan rite which, not being a telepath, you cannot fully understand. By the same token, I am sure you would appreciate that I am reluctant to trust my mind to an untested piece of equipment. He gestured to the pile of… stuff. Which was humming, in a slightly worrying way. It was the kind of hum that indicated pent-up energy, just before something exploded. Saveron: However, I appreciate your interest and active participation in this endeavour. The petite doctor glanced first at the tall, pale-eyed Vulcan and then at the not-so-tall ginger human. Somehow a kind of tacit and respectful agreement seemed to have been established between them. Alieth: ::Nodding to herself.::So we have ::she did some quick mental calculations::: ...twelve percent higher success rate. She tilted her head to a side, her expression still mostly controlled, but there was a slight relax in the muscles of her face, a not-at-all-expression somehow more casual. Alieth: It is an improvement... Geoff shrugged and crossed his robe covered arms. Teller: Look, I know how serious this is. This doesn’t work, the odds of me waking up are pretty low, and even if I do…::Geoff shuddered:: I might not be the same person. It’s not something I’ve enjoyed dwelling on. If there’s anything I can do to help, you can bet your ear points I’ll do it. Then, the older Vulcan sighed, ever so slightly. Saveron: Computer, chair. He sat down, bringing himself closer to Geoffrey and Alieth’s heights. Saveron: I understand that much of the recent discussions have been around Sern and his katra, and how to retrieve it. I do not doubt that the importance placed on that by his Clan has had an impact. But, Commander Teller, I want you to understand that that is not why I am here. He spoke, aware that what he was about to say may not go over so well with his mentee. The chair had been created by the holodeck and should’ve been perfectly comfortable, but somehow it was already digging into his back. Teller: You’ve got my undivided attention, Commander. And seeing as how you’ll be wandering around in my brain, I think you can call me Geoff. Saveron: I am here for you. Sern is dead, and as you have observed, his katra partially degraded, likely long before he came into your care. If I can retrieve him then I will, but my focus is the preservation of your mind and mental faculties, and if I have to discard Sern’s katra to preserve your mind, then I will do so. Alieth clenched her jaw but said no word. It was something that she understood could be required, and yet she didn't relish the prospect. For his behalf, Geoff looked to Saveron in surprise and considered raising a protest, but it died on his lips. Teller: I regret to admit I see the logic in your position, Commander. ::Geoff sighed:: It’s what Sern wanted too, and I can’t ignore his wishes in all of this. He never wanted to take me down with him. Still, I want to give the guy a fighting chance. Is there anything else I can do? The woman swallowed her breath and finally found her voice to speak again. Alieth: I would prefer that both could be preserved intact. ::She lowered her head to stare at her hands before continuing:: But in case that is not possible... Geoffrey John's life has priority. Those words stung like salt on an open wound. The need behind them, even more so. Saveron: The only other reassurance that I can offer is this; the Fal-tor-pan is rarely needed on Vulcan, and one High Priestess in a generation might only perform it once in her lifetime. ::When it was utilised for Captain Spock, it had not been used in living memory.:: I have already performed it once, successfully, so am in the unique position of having prior experience. ::Because he hung around with aliens too much.:: What you can do, is trust me. Geoff considered the impassive features of a man he hadn’t met before today, then looked to Alieth, who had brought them all together. Four minds, 3 bodies and an odd collection of technology, drawn from different worlds and vastly different cultures. It was slapdash and desperate and crazy. It was also reassuring, somehow. Teller: I can do that, Commander Saveron. Doc, you got any last minute advice? She took a deep breath and stared at Teller for a while, a moment that thickened rather quickly. When she finally answered, her reply was remarkably specific. Alieth: Give up coffee. Or at least reduce it to less than 250 millilitres a day. Teller: Oh come on, Doc, you can’t be serious. How will that help? A little spark flashed in her eyes. It was a very brief thing, hardly a second, a little more herself there, just as was before all this had happened, before the danger and Sern's silence. Alieth: It will improve your digestion. You may recover part of the parietal cells.::She tilted a head to the side, the glint again in her gaze:: You may even get the amount of sleep stipulated for your age and species. Saveron: She does appear to have your wellbeing in mind… this time. ::He said dryly.:: OK, two on one - and two Vulcan at that - probably wasn’t fair. Geoff smirked and turned his attention to Commander Saveron. Teller: You happen to need a medical officer over there on the Conny? ::Geoff scowled in Alieth’s general troublemaking direction::I think I’ve got one available. Alieth: ::raising an eyebrow:: Really, Geoff... Saveron: In fact our CMO recently went on leave, so we do have a vacancy. She quickly spun around to look at her mentor, the surprise and shock, while not reflected in her features, plain in her attitude. Geoff’s barked out a laugh. For all their claims otherwise, Vulcan’s could have a great sense of humor. Teller: Fine, but I’m putting a pin in this conversation till after we’re done. Alright Doc, Commander. Let's get started. [TBC] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  10. OOC: Sweet, funny, and well done. IC: ((Vulcan, Kyr, Alem-kov restaurant)) It was an elegant place, the sound of Vulcan lyres filled the atmosphere. The space was softly illuminated with skylights and some candles, giving the place a warm aspect, a place for meditation. Even the diners at the different tables were following this order and seclusion, the forks could hardly be heard impacting with the ceramic of the plates and the conversations formed a very low murmur, almost monastic. Sirok was the first to arrive, he had chosen the venue as per Wes' request, a fancy and elegant place for his new position. He had to use his family name to get a table, and it was one of the few times in his life that he had done so. The Vulcan had dressed appropriately for such a place and wore a light colored tunic with fine, elaborate embroidery. When the next diner arrived, he was greeted by the maître and, without hardly speaking, accompanied to the table right in the middle of one of the skylights. He walked noiselessly, and moved smoothly, never breaking the atmosphere. Sirok: Welcome. :: Sirok said without raising his voice, accompanying the atmosphere of the place. :: Sirok had out done himself Wes thought. The restaurant was certainly a nice place. He’d initially thought of wearing his dress uniform, but now that he was here, the Marine was very happy he hadn’t. You couldn’t escape the warmth of the planet, and the tight fitting uniform would have been stifling. Even the button up shirt, tie, and slacks he wore didn’t provide much help against the heat. Greaves: (Quietly) Sirok, this place is exceptional. I didn’t realize Vulcans appreciated a fine dining experience. I thought you were all grim stoics. (winking) Sirok: We appreciate art in a multitude of forms. Even more so if it can be achieved with a healthy diet. The sound of Vulcan music filled the atmosphere. Greaves: I’d expect nothing less from you… (pause) And I’d expect nothing less than fashionable lateness from our other compatriot. Where the heck is Alieth? Sirok: Her attention to schedules has never been great. And perhaps she wants to honor your culture by making us wait. The Marine laughed and shook his head in mock offense. Greaves: I resent your implication that my people are always late. I mean… we are waiting on a Vulcan right now? He continued to laugh and shake his head as the moment passed and they both watched the patrons of the restaurant. Sirok: Is this your first visit to Vulcan? Greaves: This shore leave is, yeah. Alieth showed us how to sand board a little bit ago, but that’s it. I’ve got to say, it’s everything I was expecting, but still surprising. Before he could answer, the door opened again and, this time, ushered in the petite CMO (and, as of recently, CSO) of the USS Thor. Like her fellow countryman, she was dressed in the traditional clothing of the planet, although the cut was slightly different. More angular, with bolder patterns, mostly in shades of ochre and red. The fabric was sturdier and heavier, made to withstand long wear and still remain comfortable. Although it didn't clash with the luxurious surroundings of the restaurant, it had a slightly disharmonious undertone in it, a slightly peasant, shabby, low-brow feel about it. Alieth: Gentlemen Greaves: Good to see you Alieth. Sirok: Doctor. :: He said it with a small nod of his head. :: She nodded faintly and almost in unison the three of them sat down at the table. A second later in front of them were placed glasses of water, as well as a small tray with a desert flower on it, a token of peace. Alieth: Remember almost a year ago, when we sat down for lunch at the Til'han Embassy? It was almost a day like this, with the sea in the background. ::She pointed to the only human at the table:: You ordered nachos. Sirok: If you want to order some, they may only be able to make replicated ones. Greaves: I recall a certain someone trying exceptionally hard to eat said nachos with chopsticks. Trying and failing pretty miserably if I remember right. A smile almost (almost) curved faintly at one corner of the Vulcan woman's mouth, but it would not, not there, not in that place. Nevertheless, the smile reached her eyes and ignited them with a lively glint. Alieth: :softly: A lot has changed since then... but I appreciate that the three of us are still together. Greaves: Agreed. I don’t know about you two, but I never would have expected us to be where we are now together. Sirok: It was certainly quite improbable. Greaves: The three of us at this table represent every major department on one of starfleet’s finest vessels. That is quite the feat. I’m not usually one for praise, but, to hell with it, we’ve earned it. He lifted his glass of water in a small toast and tipped it slightly toward his friends in salute. The Vulcan woman offered a short nod. They certainly were a motley crew: the nobleman, hidden from public attention for most of his life. The maverick outcast from a small rural town. And, of course, the human who was, well, very humanly human. None of them would have bet on them as a group on their first day, but there they were and, somewhat, time and their differences had shaped a strong bond of friendship between them, rooted in trust in each other and a mixture of teasing and respect. Sirok: At certain moments it has been exhausting, no doubt. But very instructive. Alieth raised her glass as well, so that the glass and the contents caught the dim light of the room, refracting it into a thousand tiny sparks of colour. Alieth: For the lessons of the past, the goals for the future and the road that links one to the other. And for travelling that journey by your side, gentlemen. The memories of the last year came back to Wes one by one. Rescuing Doctor MacKenzie, the lost colony, the slipstream incident, New Bajor, Zet. Each mission had carried with it new experiences. New highs, and new lows. The thing that had failed to change however were the two here with him. In each crisis Wes could be certain these two would be there along for the ride, and pulling more than their own weight. Greaves: It’s been too long since we’ve been able to just sit back and reflect on what we’ve achieved… well it’s been too long for me at least. Sirok: I tend to focus more on what I have yet to learn and do. She took a small sip of her glass. Alieth: Certainly work and personal circumstances have kept us all busy. ::Glancing at the Marine.:: Wesley, I would welcome it if you would stop trying to die, you can drop by the sick bay for a cup of coffee or tea, for instance, there is no need to come in with an open wound every time. Greaves: Excuse me, doctor. I go through great pains to ensure I am only gravely injured when gallantry demands it. The doctor raised an eyebrow, a comment on how she regarded Greaves' statement, as she set the glass down on the table. Alieth: You better be. Despite the words a smile danced in her eyes. One that remained, more subdued out of respect for their shared tradition as she turned to the other occupant of the table. Sirok: And maybe now that we are officially and undoubtedly senior officers, we can prevent half a ship from ending up destroyed at the end of each mission. Alieth: This would be the most appropriate scenario, but given the unexplored areas in which the ship normally operates, I have reasonable doubts about it. Back to the topic at hand, even you have changed osu, from a simple country boy to a reunification champion. Sirok: Perhaps it is too bold to assume that a wedding is the only needed to make me a champion of reunification. It only indicates that at some point I will have to leave Starfleet to make further efforts towards that end. Although I will learn more to achieve that end every day.. It wasn't something Sirok had planned until few days ago, but it was something he thought would be good for a lot of people. Even if it meant giving up part of what he had worked for over the last few years. It was no longer an end in itself but another stage of learning. Greaves: I don’t know about you two, but I knew that Sirok would be the first to settle down. (Smiling) I’ve never met anyone with his charm… (breaking into a snicker) Alieth: I actually thought it might be you, Wesley, given the rumours around the ship. The nonchalant delivery of the statement caught Wes by surprise. Rumors… he was pretty sure that he’d put that issue to bed, but if the CMO had heard mutterings, then he had obviously failed. Still, he tried to play it off. Greaves: Oh? What juicy gossip is going around? Who am I supposedly settling down with? She took another sip of her water, which coincided with the arrival of the food. Like everything else at that meeting, it had been meticulously prepared and what appeared in front of each of them was something within the parameters of their favoured foods. As it should be. Alieth: Oh no, I neither pay special attention to these rumours nor do I expressly seek them out, but nurses speak. ::She made a tiny gesture of exasperation, barely a few minute movements around her slanted brows.:: A lot. And I acquire personal information about my patients despite my best efforts not to do so. Greaves: My, my, doctor, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you’re downright excited about all the juicy info you must get. Sirok: I think I have heard the same rumors. Engineering is everywhere and they hear a lot of things. Apparently they also like to share them. Obviously this kind of information has to be taken with care. But from your reaction it seems that some of them are not entirely inaccurate. Greaves: Well, I can’t verify the accuracy of any rumors when I haven’t heard them myself. What’re people whispering about me? Ensign Cui from Ops is pretty cute and I’m pretty sure she winked at me last week on Deck 8, but I can assure everyone we are not paramours. The Vulcan woman took a tiny bite of food before speaking, peering down at the human at the table. Alieth: I have heard something about this, but it is said in the sickbay that you are more comfortable with grey than with blue… Sirok: I have heard something about strenuous copulatory sessions that even hurt those involved. Although it was my understanding that this happened more with Klingons than Cardassians, so it is an indication that one should be wary of rumors. The burning sensation of water nearly shooting out of his nose was quite unpleasant as Wes did his best to stifle his surprised laugh. Greaves: See Alieth, Sirok has it right. Don’t put too much stock into every little whisper you hear. For the next few minutes, the small group focused on their meal and conversation was kept at a pause, given the local custom of not talking (or talking sparingly) while consuming nourishment. When that first course was cleared from the table, it was the chief engineer who took the lead in the chat. Sirok: Have you already thought about what you want your future in Starfleet to be? Your own ship, a research center, the academy? Alieth pondered the question for a second. At the time, when she had joined the academy, her only goal was to help, as a physician. Now, with more perspective, she was aware that there was a wider array of positions from which she could help, not only in situations where someone was injured, but in the day-to-day life of the ship's officers. She suppressed a grimace. Besides, given that she now had no Clan to return to and how difficult this situation would be for her family, the time had come to focus on her future and stop looking to the past. Her path took her further away from her home planet than she had ever anticipated when she left that very planet six years ago. Alieth: Given recent events, I have been considering pursuing the command track, first to aspire to a position as an executive officer. If I prove myself capable of it, perhaps commanding a scientific exploration vessel in the future. Wes frowned. It was a tough topic. He’d had the goal of finishing the Academy for so long that once he had finally made it to a ship as an officer, he’d never really set any new goals. There hadn’t been time for it. Now the thought struck him. What next? Greaves: I think I’m getting a little long in the tooth to some day take over a Marine battalion. You can only hike, run, and jump for so long before the old knees just won’t have it anymore, ya know? Alieth: I have scans of your knees, I am well aware. Greaves: A while back I’m not sure I could ever have taken off the green. Now that the skipper has put me in charge of security and tactical, well, my horizons have broadened a little. Still, that’s a ways off and I’m enjoying where we are now. Here. Together. On one of the finest ships in Starfleet. (Raising his glass) To the Thor! She rummaged in her brain until she found the toast she had heard repeated a thousand times in the Great Hall. Alieth: Sköl! The engineer raised his glass without saying a word. Trying not to disturb the atmosphere of seclusion of the place. Greaves: What about you Sirok? You gonna follow in your grandpa’s footsteps? Should I be looking forward to serving with Captain Sirok someday? Sirok: The life of my people is long, I can not say for sure in the long term. :: Although he knew that possibly his would not be as long. :: But for the time being I will continue to learn as chief engineer, I believe that from here I can learn what I need to help later in the unification. But I know that for a while, I will have to stay away from Starfleet. There was no sorrow in his voice, no joy. The same monochord tone. Perhaps someone who knew him very well could discern determination. Alieth: Interesting Greaves: Well, who knows where we’ll all be in another year. Things change, plans diverge, but I hope we’ll all still be around together. The Vulcan took a brief sip from her glass of water, masking a minute smile. Through the window, the sky darkened over Vulcan, a moonless night ablaze with stars. One of them, brighter than the rest, was the USS Thor, the place that had forged them, as officers and as friends. The place that mismatched group of friends had learned to call home. [[END]] OOC: Alem-kov → Halite, a colorless or white mineral found in dried lakebeds in arid climates mined or gathered for use as table salt; rock salt osu → sir, used as a form of polite address for a man As simmed by: ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  11. @Alieth and @Alex Brodie are such great writers, and here we get to see a Vulcan who finds herself in need of counseling. A rare insight into the Vulcan mind, and Brodie's masterful handling of the situation. [[Hammer’s Bowling Alley, Deck Five, USS Thor]] It was a quiet night, Alex stepped up to the doors and typed in the key-code. Darren had been good enough to loan him the access codes and the facility for the night. He stepped through the doors and activated the lights. They thrummed into life and he moved behind the small hospitality area and switched on the replicator. Brodie: Coffee, milk, no sugar. The cup materialised in the small alcove and he removed it, taking a long gulp. He wandered towards the lanes and took a ball from the rack. He stepped back, lined up his body and sent the ball flying down the lacquered surface. It crashed straight through the middle of the pack and left the seven and ten pins standing. An impossible split. He moved to pick a second ball but turned as the door hissed open behind him - his appointment had arrived. He’d suggested the venue for a couple of reasons. They were familiar with the medical deck, it was a work environment, difficult to relax. This was out of the way, especially at this time of night. It also had couches. Brodie: Ah, Doctor, please come in. The young Vulcan woman lingered for a moment in the doorway, surveying the unfamiliar place. She was aware of the existence of the site, of course, as she had had to treat more than one sprained ankle or finger produced there and. As a result, she had read about this peculiar Earth pastime. Like so many of the other leisure activities humans enjoyed, it was just a basic geometry application. As it lacked the additional challenge of an adversary's aleatory influence over the activity (as did, for example, other forms of entertainment such as billiards), she had immediately shelved it as a toddler's activity. So, after that brief inspection, she beelined to where the counsellor was standing. Alieth: You have chosen a rather... interesting place for this particular appointment, Doctor Brodie.... Brodie: A little unconventional perhaps, but we won’t be disturbed. Should people see us in conference on deck ten they might think it’s a conversation they can interrupt. Can I get you a refreshment? Alieth: Vulcan Tea, Saros of Chi-Ree Blend, number 10004 The beverage quickly appeared in the replicator's niche, housed in an antique earthenware cup, glazed in an uneven graphite grey. The moment it appeared, the subtle, bittersweet aroma of his father's latest project filled her nostrils, bringing back memories of their farewell. In spite of herself, her heart shrank slightly in the lower part of her ribcage. Nevertheless she took the cup, cradled it in her hands for a moment and took a small sip. Precisely the flavour she remembered. Predictably, Saros was exceptionally meticulous when it came to translating his creations into replicator code. And he had supplied her with the work of the last six years, which she had, of course, diligently integrated into the Thor's computer memory. Alieth: As we discussed, I have set up this meeting in accordance with regulation twenty-nine point 3 stroke C which dictates that all personnel are required to undergo at least one psychological check-up annually during their service aboard a starship on an active mission. Alex took a seat on the couch opposite the Vulcan physician and leaned back. Brodie: Perfectly correct. That said, we could have done this at any time - rather than eat into shore leave on your home world. Alieth: Indeed, the visit to the Home Planet has had some influence on this decision. Brodie: I see...this would be your first time back on Vulcan since the academy? Brodie wasn’t sure when Alieth had last been on her homeworld but certainly not since she had come aboard the Thor. In that time she had been promoted to rank of lieutenant and the position of chief medical officer. That didn’t include the contents of the missions she’d been part of - including the contact with Kalib and the entities in quantum space. Whoever had left Vulcan to join Starfleet it was fair to say that, no matter how stoic they were, these things changed you. She nodded slightly, as she let the tea warm her hands. Alieth: This is the first time I have made a visit to the homeworld since over six years ago, indeed. Brodie: And how has that made you feel, being back home? The response was immediate and direct. Alieth: The suggestion that a return to my native planet elicits an emotional response is arrogant and fallacious :: raising an slanted eyebrow:: and most decidedly human. It was a human suggestion...he took a moment to rephrase. Brodie: Perhaps not an emotional response but a lot can change in that time. It would be understandable if you’d needed a little time to readjust. She took some time to answer this re-elaboration of the query. Just long enough that the tea lost some of its temperature and as she took a sip, the flavour of the mixture would have changed marginally, as the herbal blend shifted the more intense flavours in favour of more subtle ones. Alieth: Saros of Chi-ree used to say that nothing changes too much on Vulcan. While there is truth in those words, I have nevertheless found that it does not quite fit reality. She made a brief pause and tooe another tiny ship of her tea:: Such a dichotomy between invariability and change has been an interesting thing to witness. Brodie: There was a philosopher in ancient Greece, Hera[...]us, who proffered that "The only thing that is constant is change”. I’ve always rather agreed with that. I can’t say I am familiar with Saros, is he widely known on Vulcan? Alieth: Saros is indeed not a widely recognised philosopher, but he is certainly a wise man. And a master of tea making. Brodie: It sounds like you’ve studied his teachings in person. Alieth: Indeed, he is my father after all. There it was. “In accordance with regulation twenty-nine point 3 stroke C”, ”the visit to the Home Planet has had some influence on this decision” and “a return to my native planet elicits an emotional response is arrogant and fallacious”. He did wonder if perhaps the doctor did protest too much? Vulcan’s were, in some ways, quite emotional about emotion. Perhaps it was an unfamiliarity...perhaps even a fear of slipping back into a more aggressive primal society. He’d seen examples of pre-Surak at the museum - was every Vulcan doing their part to avoid a return? Still, the only Vulcan that mattered right now was the one sitting one the couch opposite - focusing on her tea. Brodie: I...get the feeling we’re in the general area of why you wanted to see me. She suppressed a tiny sigh, her diversion from the first question had been just too short-lived. Alieth: Roughly. He knew he was unlikely to have an emotional breakthrough...and he wasn’t sure what the outcome might be. He decided to try a more practical...more logical and direct...a more Vulcan approach. He leaned forwards slightly. Brodie: Do you know what the role of counsellor is, Alieth? She didn't have to rack her brain too much to find the textbook definition she considered most relevant. Alieth: Check and verify the stability of the crew to ensure that they are able to continue with the activities to which they are dedicated on board the vessel and to prevent conflicts or unresolved situations from escalating in a way that could be deemed hazardous to the personnel concerned. Brodie: All true. Ultimately, however, the job is to help people resolve things. Sometimes that is spiritual aid, sometimes psychological care...other times...more practical solutions. So...tell me...what is it that you are struggling to resolve? Alieth: Due to certain decisions in my past and by heritage, I am widely regarded as a maverick among my clan and my own bloodline. Nevertheless, due to a series of recent events, the assistance of the clan and a number of other acquaintances on Vulcan is not only necessary, but also vital, not for me, but to people I have in high regard. She tilted her head slightly, and rolled the steaming mug between her hands. A stray thought told her she should have replicated coffee instead of tea, but she dismissed it as soon as it appeared. Alieth: However, all prospects suggest that I will face a number of conflicting situations that may hinder the process, which is... not desirable. Alex regarded the Vulcan...he’d never really considered her a ‘maverick.’ Perhaps slightly more outgoing by Vulcan standards but stoicism was a spectrum. What did occur to him, however, was that she may also consider herself to be a maverick...which was a very different style. Once more, he opted for the direct approach. He became aware that he was rubbing his shoulder slightly...his own scars of reckless behaviour in the eyes of some. Brodie: Do you consider yourself a ‘maverick’? The young Vulcan blinked a couple of times in a conspicuous fashion as she sipped her tea. Immediately after, she placed her cup on the table and made a particularly controlled answer. Alieth: I deem the answer is obvious, Counselor. I am She tilted her head and folded her hands in her lap. Alieth: Is it relevant, Commander? Brodie: It’s not my place to judge...although I do seem to recall you were awarded a Silver Star for gallantry - some could argue that is a form of maverick behavior? Alex watched her reaction closely. The Vulcan's brows furrowed and she tilted her head slightly to a side. She remembered why she had been bestowed that award, it had been during what had come to be called "The Hammerfall Event". She had been involved in rescuing Kalib, which had allowed her to discover the creatures that were threatening the ship. However, she hadn't acted impulsively, but had been driven by her inclination to help others. That was, after all, why she had chosen to pursue a career in medicine. Of course, she kept much of that reflection to herself. Alieth: I disagree, sir. I was only fulfilling my duty. The corners of Alieth's lips tightened slightly as she answered. If she had come out of the whole event alive (or sane) it was only because Geoffrey John had broken her meld with Kalib, ignoring the one and only warning she had given him: that he should not inoculate her with Leroxin, a chemical that affected those who carried an extra katra. The results had led to the situation she was currently handling between the starship and the surface, while she awaited the arrival of her mentor. The memory of this and the more than likely prospect that both the Commander and Sern would get lost if she failed to take appropriate action made her eyes darken in concern. On her lap, her fingers twitched briefly as Brodie kept talking. Brodie: You also helped save a young boy and the crew of this ship through your actions. But…::He placed his cup down::...to circle back to your earlier comment. You’re facing a situation that you feel is vital to people you hold in high regard? She nodded slightly and then picked up her own cup to take a small sip in order to gather her thoughts. The tea had turned lukewarm and sour. Alieth: I have let a misguided situation linger on for too long, and now the lives of an officer and the existence of my most cherished friend are in jeopardy. That didn’t sound like Alieth...the woman he knew was decisive, logical, focused. This woman was emotional - and he wondered if that scared her more than anything? Brodie: It sounds like you already have a course of action in mind? She swirled the bitter liquid in her cup, but did not drink it, as the shallow tension reappeared on the sides of her mouth and on her brow. Alieth: On the other hand, the actions I need to take :: She reworded the statement to fit more closely to reality :: The actions I already have taken may put my personal status on Vulcan in a precarious situation, which could render me as an outcast in my birthplace and could affect my parents and siblings negatively. That sounded more like her...thinking of others, not herself. The twitches in her face, the fear - perhaps even a little anger. They were all accentuated by the light from the bowling lanes and the warm spot-lights above them. Sometimes less clinical was more effective. Brodie: And this situation is... Alieth: The situation concerns the katra of the Sern of S'th'gee Clan... and with the First Officer of this vessel. And there it was, Teller had said as much himself when he had been aboard the John Paul Jones: “there’s just too much in here”. Brodie didn’t know much about Vulcan spirituality but he had touched on them during his studies at the academy. Katra’s were the essence of the Vulcan mind and, perhaps more than that, were - to all intents and purposes - the soul of a Vulcan. That’s what Alieth was also facing, as far as he could see, a struggle with her very essence as a Vulcan. He’d kept a respectable distance from both Alieth and Geoff regarding the matter...so far...but now both needed some professional...problem solving. Brodie: The precarious nature of this situation…regarding your family...is that related to the fact the transfer occurred….or, to use your words, the steps you have already taken in, I assume, trying to rectify the situation? This time, she took more time to answer. Time she spent drinking the bitter, tepid tea from her cup to the dregs. Alieth: It concerns the original situation that led to this whole affair, in my time before Starfleet, as well as my refusal to comply with certain conditions that have been imposed upon me in order to resolve this problem in accordance with the requirements of the Clan. Brodie: And what have they entailed? She looked him straight in the eye, her face carefully stern and devoid of emotion. Alieth: Split the Commander's mind in such a devastating way that the chance that he would either be killed or rendered mentally impaired is above 72.6%. Alex’s eyes widened. That was not a comforting number in any way, shape, or form. The extreme risk only had one silver lining - if they could formulate an alternate plan it was unlikely to have any more detrimental effect. It was not a happy thought. Brodie: Yeah...no. We’re not doing that. Have you brought these numbers to Geoff’s attention? Alieth: Of course not. Brodie: Good. It’s probably best to keep it that way. She said nothing on the matter and just spun the empty cup in her hands idly. Brodie: I wonder - if it’s an avenue we could explore with some others with expertise in this area? Trill has a lot of experience with consciousness transfer. Betazed may also be worth looking into. I’m not making any promises but it would allow us to explore options without highlighting anything to those on Vulcan Alieth: It is an alternative. Nevertheless, while to the telepathically null individuals telepathy may seem like a unified phenomenon, it has evolved in very different ways in different species and differs greatly from one species to another. ::She looked at the counsellor with a tilted head.:: And even among different Vulcanoids. Brodie: Although given what you’ve just told me, and the non-typical method of the transfer, I think it’s worth keeping an open mind. That said, with regards to the Katra I would imagine that there would be little expertise outside of Vulcan. Finally, she put the cup on the table and stood up. Alieth: This is, as I expected, a Vulcan issue, which must be resolved in a Vulcan way, sir. ‘Must’ was a strong word. He wasn’t sure if it was a sense of duty, a sense of guilt or a sense of pride that prompted the response - but it was definitely a sign of the stress the situation was placing on the ships chief medical officer. Brodie: I’ll look to see if there’s any research onto this, or similar, outside the typical archives…::raising a hand against protest::...just in case. Obviously if it’s unavoidable you should act to protect Geoff but, otherwise, I’d ask that you don’t take any steps without letting me know first. Brodie had a duty to protect the mental well-being of the crew and any process with a one-in-four chance of mentally impairing the first officer would entail a considerable amount of paperwork before it could be sanctioned...and that approval would need to come from him with Alieth having a clear conflict of interest in this. Brodie: I think we’ve covered a lot of ground today, perhaps we should break and recovenene at a later date. Alieth: Thank you for your time. And the tea. The counsellor pushed himself out of his chair. Brodie: You’re very welcome, Alieth. We’ll talk more soon - and, as always, my door is open whenever you might need me. The young doctor made her way towards the door but, before she left, something on the lanes caught her attention. Two separate pins at far and opposite ends of it. Seven and ten. The Vulcan did a quick calculation and nodded to herself. Grabbing one of the heavier balls resting next to the lane, she stepped to the left and with a measured and precise movement, threw the ball. It swung towards the seven pin with a swift roll and hit the inside of it, apparently barely brushing it. The target knocked and hit the side wall, bounced back to the lane and struck the second pin, knocking it down. Alieth nodded one more time and, without a word, left the bowling alley. Alex watched her go and looked back down the lane. The full array of pins now reset after the impossible split was removed - that chances of which were less than one percent. It could be done with the right curvature but that was always more by luck than judgement. You needed, as Alieth had done, to use not only the ball and the pin but also the side or rear wall to ricochet off. You needed more than just the two players in the game to make the split work. Brodie: ::To himself:: See….nothing is impossible with a little help. [[END]] ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  12. OOC: @Alieth and @Geoffrey Teller both have a way with words. Alieth has a particular skill for infusing the ability to connect to a person that is supposed to have tight rein on her emotion - and yet she's so emotive. I just adore this pair. IC: ((CMO's Office, Main Sickbay, deck 10, USS Thor)) Teller: We're in trouble, aren't we? ::Geoff tapped his temple:: Both of us. Their gazes met, and he folded his arms across his chest. The young Vulcan kept her features carefully in check as she regarded him, but eventually she let out a soft sigh and provided him with as much of a response as she could. Alieth: I cannot answer that, Geoff, not now, but whatever it takes, I will sort it out, he can count on me :: She gazed into his eyes earnestly, her concern well hidden behind her impassive mask :: And so will you. He took a moment to speak again, as if lost in his own thoughts. She could not blame him, he was, in the end, human, and until a moment ago that alien, shambolic brain of his had housed not only his own being, but two others...and...whatever it was they had found in there. Either a disruption, a commingling, a melding, a folding, or simply the strong memory of someone who had left a mark on Teller's innermost being as much as his skin. Geoff finally blinked and seemed to focus on reality once more. The Vulcan doctor could only tilt her head to the side. Teller: I'm not sure how many sets of memories I have in my head at this point, but all of them tell me to trust you Alieth. ::Geoff forced a grin, if for himself if nothing else:: We'll sort this out, together. Sern's kinda like family to me at this point, and I'd hate...well, you two have been through enough. So, now what? ::Geoff held his hands up defensively:: If you say another mind meld I'm getting a phaser. And a helmet. The prospect made a smile dance in her eyes, even more so now that she had a vague idea of how this endeavour might end. Alieth: We shall see, but for the time being I think you should have some rest. And in the next few weeks just... make sure you stay out of trouble. And for once play it safe, troublemaker. Geoff snorted, which prompted her to allow a tiny curl of one of the sides of her lips, barely a hint of a expression, just an early draft of one. Geoff looked back to Alieth's desk, at the small package and had been lying there, forgotten all that time. Teller: That reminds me....you should really open that. She furrowed her nose faintly in feigned frustration, barely concealing the curiosity she felt as mild vexation. Alieth: You know that there is no jubilee, no human or Vulcan festive observance that would mandate a... :: waving a hand gently to flag the package:: ...a gift. That smug smile of someone overly confident about himself (and in the sheer GENIUS of all and every one of his disastrous ideas) appeared again on his face, this time, at least, without the extra of his former crooked nose. Teller: Well, you can call it whatever you want, I mostly consider this a warning for others. Alieth: Be careful what you are up to Geoffrey John, or else…. She didn't finish the sentence and, instead, took the present and deftly unwrapped it with a couple of concise movements. When she pulled the paper aside, it revealed a piece of duranium that she instantly recognized, largely thanks to the traces of yellow on one of its jagged edges and the lingering smell of bog which not even months and a thorough scrubbing had managed to wipe away. She ran one of her thumbs over the polished surface, over the sixteen words in two languages that the piece encased. Despite all her effort, a faint green blush tinged the tips of her ears and even dared to reach her cheeks, a sign of how the human's emotionality still lingered in her. Chief Medical Officer Alieth Professional Troublemaker USS Thor She took her eyes off the plate and shot him a stare that she had long nursed to terrify patients and health professionals alike away from HER sickbay. Of course the Thor's First Officer was not affected in the slightest. Teller: I figure you can leave that on the desk, at least give your patients a heads up. She clutched the piece of metal tightly in her hands Alieth: this is fallacious, outrageous and utterly inane... And dishonest. Her voice was blunt and dry, yet a glint in her eyes and a slight relaxation around her mouth hinted the truth. As did the fact that he never let go of the plaque. Teller: If that was a thank you, you're welcome. ::Geoff rose, finally confident he could make it to the turbolift without hitting the ground:: I think I'm going to head back to my quarters and sleep for a week. You need anything else from me? Alieth looked at him for a moment and at last tilted her head, to inquire about something that had disconcerted her at the very end of the meld. Alieth: What is a ‘ Silas’ ? Teller: I'm not sure what worries me more...that you know to ask that question, or that you're not even sure about the answer. I'll try to explain...Silas...another time. Alieth: ::With a light tone:: All right, keep your secrets Geoff. ::softening her expression a bit:: And rest well. Geoff smiled weakly and beat a hasty retreat out of sickbay. She followed him out with her gaze and, as the door closed behind him, she indulged herself in a tiny smile, prior to clearing a place of honour on her overcrowded desk to display the cautionary plaque. As he surveyed it and her eyes trailed the complicated spirals of her name in her native tongue, that secret smile melted from her face and morphed into a gesture of concern, as the realization of the danger in which the author of the nameplate and the katra of her most cherished friend found themselves, dawned upon her. She scowled and made her way to the replicator in the office in order to grab a soothing cup of tea before she made any decisions about what to do next. For some reason, the contents of the cup she replicated were not what she expected.... but rather black, steaming hot, bitter coffee. [[END?]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  13. I really enjoyed the sarcasm and banter in this JP between @Anton Richards, @Kellan Glass, and @Wes Greaves. A fun read, y'all! IC: ((Main Corridor, Deck 6, USS Thor)) Wes Greaves strolled down the corridor, a towel tossed over his shoulder and his face red from exertion. Small beads of sweat rolled past his eyes and with a single motion he wiped them away with the towel. It’d been a good run. Despite the ship looking generally the same, Wes had wanted to get away from the beaten path of Deck 9 and run somewhere else. Running circles on Deck 6 looked generally the same, but felt a little different. More importantly, it reminded the crew that there were Marines aboard. To Wes, it contributed to the friendly rivalry between the Marines and their sister departments. A way to say We’re here, and we’re getting ready for the next crisis. Are you? Another bead of sweat and another flick of the towel put an end to it. Wes could feel his heart rate starting to return to normal as he made his way to a turbolift. He didn’t recognize many of the faces he saw in the corridors on this deck, which made the face nearby jump out at him. A dozen meters to Wes’s front and walking in the opposite direction, he spotted someone that he thought he recognized from somewhere. The man was familiar, but Wes was having trouble placing the name. After a second, it finally came to him. Ensign Richards. One of the new joins that checked in when Wes was in command of the Thor. Security if he remembered correctly. As the two closed the distance on each other, Wes plastered his signature smile on his face. Greaves: Ensign Richards. I see you’re starting to get settled in. Anton, who was deeply engrossed in his padd, jumped a bit at Greaves’s greeting. Richards: I… Yes Sir! It’s been quite the experience. Talk about getting dropped right into the action! Although I feel that as soon as I got on the ship I was already leaving. I’m looking forward to returning to duty. Greaves: Good to hear. I’d like to say checking into a new ship isn’t always like that, but I had a similar experience a while back. Richards: Oh really? Well I’d love to hear about it sometime Sir. Greaves: I just finished up with a workout, but I’m starving. Care to join me for breakfast? I could tell you all about it. It took almost every muscle in Anton’s body to stop the smirk of accomplished that attempted to protrude from Anton’s skull upon getting invited to breakfast with the Chief Security Officer. Some things really did just fall into Anton’s lap. Having just ate Anton makes the only obvious judgment call. Richards: Absolutely Sir! I’m starving. After you. ::gestures forward:: Kel was wandering, wandering and thinking were two things that he tried to make time for. Vulcans had their meditating, but Kel prefered to move and think. With Kel’s Tactical role onboard being one where you had to think quickly and work on your wits, he had to make sure that he allowed time for contemplating and taking his time with decisions in almost every other aspect of his life. A ship as huge as the Thor was a great place to wander, its arching corridors seemingly stretching on for miles as they ran their course around the ship. Kel was contemplating what the ship’s doctor had dropped on him and his mind was racing. As he reached a junction, he let his feet do the deciding as he pondered on exactly what could have warranted a memory reconstruction. On autopilot Kel turned the corner and ran straight into two officers coming the other way. Glass: Ouufff...Sorry::Looking at the two officers:: Sir’s….::Then noticing that the two were the most familiar members of the crew he had met so far:: Ahh Anton! ::Nodding at Ensign Richards, then straightening up a little more:: Captain! Wes laughed softly and shook his head back and forth a bit seeing the Ensign. Memories of his first meeting with Fleet Captain Kells flooded his mind, although that encounter had been slightly less sweaty…. Or had it? Looking the Ensign over, there was now plainly a wet spot on the man’s chest where Wes’s sweat had rubbed off on the man’s uniform. With a final shake of his head, and a smiler still on his face, the Marine tossed the towel from over his shoulder into Glass’s hands. Greaves: Ensign Glass. Good to see you again. Might want to wipe yourself off. Sorry, I just finished up a run. Anton looks at the startled Ensign Glass and smiles. Richards: ::pretending to tap his COM badge:: Security we have an intruder alert. Some type of walking zombie Ensign. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kell wiped the stubborn stain, that really wasn’t going to go anywhere until his top was washed….gave up and tossed the towel back at Richards. Glass: Well I guess Zombies like eating brains...so your safe Anton! ::Flashing him a smile:: Greaves: Jokes aside, we’re on our way to breakfast if you’d like to join us. I figured we could grab something outa the replicators at the lounge. I’ll probably get fewer dirty looks being in workout gear there. Glass: Yeah sounds good, I was on my way there anyhow! Richards: ::Nods:: With a nod Wes led on toward the nearest turbolift. Greaves: You’ll both enjoy the Valhalla Lounge. Its got a great view out the forward windows, little stage off in the corner for small events, and good ambiance. Half the time they keep the lights dim so you can just relax, although at this time of day its probably fully lit. Richards: Ah yes. I’ve heard of the Valhalla Lounge before I believe. Glass: Does the ship have entertainment nights? With a whoosh, the doors to the lift slid open to reveal an empty turbolift and Wes continued in. Greaves: (Lifting his head) Deck 5. (Turning to the others) Honestly, I can’t remember any. The former Chief of Security did a little rock show in the lounge once. ((Turbolift, Below Deck 6, USS Thor)) Richards: ::Chuckles:: So you're saying that you have a show coming up soon then? Glass: My father was obsessed with the Beatles, he even went as far as collecting vinyl records of the band. He swore they sounded better than the recordings on the ship, but it all sounded scratchy and terrible to me. As the Marine opened his mouth to reply, the faint hum of the lift changed in tone ever so slightly, and suddenly the floor dropped out from under him. For several seconds the trio experienced near weightlessness as the safeties failed and the turbolift fell. Finally, the emergency brakes engaged and with the sound of grinding metal, the lift slammed to a stop, throwing Wes hard to the ground. Kell’s stomach, although thankfully not full, lurched and he felt nausea building up but the pain of hitting the carpeted floor of the turbolift distracted him from actually vomiting! Anton fell backwards into a corner of the turbolift. He managed to stand up quickly. But shortly afterwards bent over placing his hands over his knees and rubbing them. Richards: Yup. I’m sure I will be feeling this one for a bit. Anton stands up straight and then began looking around the turbolift, seeing if there was some type of furthering safety threat. Glass: What the hell was that!::Pushing himself back up to standing:: Kell looked at the control panel, devoid of lights, the glassy surface just reflected his own image back at him. Glass: Great...trapped in a lift with Anton, it isn’t bad enough I have to share quarters with him… Kell looked around at the two other officers Anton shrugged Glass’s comment off with a quick grin, He was used to them bickering back and forth from the Academy. Wes brushed himself off and retrieved the towel from the ground where it had been thrown. His knee was bleeding ever so slightly from being thrown to the ground forcefully, and he was sure there would be a sizable bruise on his left thigh as well. Otherwise the worst seemed to be over. Glass: Are you two ok? Greaves: I’m alright, seemed the lift is dead though. Richards, you good? Richards: Besides a jolt to my knees. I think I’m good. Glass: It should be a quick fix::Tapping his communicator:: Glass to transporter room, we are stuck in turbolift 2a and need transporting out please? There was a static sound, but no voice replied to the call. The Marine frowned and retrieved his own comm badge from the gym shorts he wore. The device beeped a warning when he tapped it. Greaves: Looks like whatever happened to the lift also disconnected it from the internal communications grid. Either of you a whiz with electrical wiring? Richards: Not particularly Sir. Anton looks towards the panel on the side of the wall, and then to Glass. Richards: Do you think we should take a look Sir? Expert or not. There isn’t much sense being trapped here. He glances quickly at Glass. Kell, sensed a change in his demeanor, all of a sudden the perfectly adequate internal space of the lift started to look just a little bit smaller, more confined and even though he knew it was just him imagination, he felt the need to breath a deeper gulp of air, almost as if the air was no longer enough in the turbolift. Glass: Whatever we do, I think I’d prefer it to be on this side of today rather than tomorrow::Kell tried to flash a confident smile, but his apprehension was evident to all:: Greaves: Agreed. (Motioning to the blank interface) Let’s pop that panel off and see if we can’t get us talking to the outside world again. I’m sure we can figure it out. Richards: ::nodding and standing behind Glass overlooking the procedure as if he had a clue what was going on:: Kell moved to the panel and grasped the top edge before yanking it rather too firmly off the wall. Looking inside at the myriad of circuits and bio gel packs, he turned and gave the look most non engineers give when looking at the inner workings of a ship! Glass: Where the bloody hell do you start? Wes frowned. It was a fair question. Greaves: Worst case scenario, we crack the emergency hatch on the ceiling and climb up to the next deck above us. He paused for a second and looked over the faces of the two officers. In all honesty, he kind of hoped for that route. Sounded like fun. Greaves: Any luck with the panel? Kell tried to remember anything he had been taught in the academy that might help, but the more he looked at the hopeless mess of components the more he felt a tightening of panic rising in him. Richards: Do you think maybe that red flashing thing, connects over to this other red flashing thing? ::giving an unconfident and weak smile:: Glass: It’s hopeless...I haven’t the foggiest what half of this does...we move the wrong thing and we could plummet to our ends. Greaves: Well, climbing we go then. Ensign Richards, I’ll give you a boost. See if you can’t get that hatch open up there. Wes knelt down and offered a hand and his raised knee as a foot hold. His other knee, still bleeding slightly, dug into the carpet and the Marine gritted his teeth in a momentary wince of pain. Anton stepped up on Wes’s knee and reached up towards the shaft at the top of the turbolift. He could feel how insecure the turbolift felt. Richards: ::Continuing to attempt to reach the top of the lift:: You know? We really gotta start making it a habit to bring an engineer along for our adventures. Kell watched as the two men struggled to hoist Richards up to the ceiling hatch. Just as it seemed that they were about to get up there, there was a sudden metallic wrenching sound..the lift fell slightly, maybe only a foot or so, but the sudden movement was enough to give serious thought to the assembled men. Glass: Jeez...that sounded a lot like the emergency brakes failing to me! Kell watched as the two men struggled to hoist Richards up to the ceiling hatch. Just as it seemed that they were about to get up there, there was a sudden metallic wrenching sound..the lift fell slightly, maybe only a foot or so, but the sudden movement was enough to give serious thought to the assembled men. Glass: Jeez...that sounded a lot like the emergency brakes failing to me! It took nearly all of his effort to prevent Richards from falling and crushing him. As the lift steadied from the short fall, and metal whined in agony, Wes held Richards’ legs tightly to keep him from losing his balance. Greaves: Alright, time’s up. Let's get out of this death trap. Up you go Ensign Richards. Bracing himself against the wall for balance and leverage, Wes stood in a one legged squat, creating a rising platform Richards stood on. With a grimace of effort on his face and a final huff, the man was through the small hatch above. It was a small effort to repeat the process for Glass. Finally Wes was alone in the lift, the two others offering their hands through the hatch above him. He could feel the blood trickling down his leg from the cut in his knee and as he took in the next challenge he winced slightly from a cramping muscle. Greaves: oO Would’ve gone easier for my workout had I know I’d be doing this afterwards… Oo Taking a breath and crouching to ready himself, Wes prepared for the jump. Leaping up and catching the Ensigns outstretched hands, he was pulled roughly onto the roof of the lift and into the turbolift shaft. Glass: We’ve got you sir! Richards: Up you come now, Sir! Greaves: (Rolling onto the roof of the turbolift and panting a little) Nothing to it (grin). Wes looked around at the walls for a second, his eyes adjusting to the relative darkness. The lift shaft had only sparsely spaced dim lights. After a second he recognized the metal rungs of the ladder embedded in the wall and the Marine pointed in their direction. Greaves: This lift ain’t gonna wait on us forever. Start climbing. It's just a few meters up to the next deck. Richards, Glass, you two first, but hurry. I don’t feel like riding this thing down to engineering while you two take your time on the ladder. Kell looked up at the seemingly never ending tunnel and ladder as it snaked its way to wherever these things went. Glass: That’s a long way up! Kell hoisted himself up, the exertion of pushing himself up to the first rung sending whining noises from the turbolift compartment. Eager not to be the solo survivor, he hurried his pace and called down. Anton was quick behind Glass as he also didn’t feel like seeing exactly how long the lift would hold for. Glass: Come on quick, I don’t know how long the emergency brakes will hold! Richards: I’m hurrying! It’s my damn knee Anton was moving slower now and beginning to grimace as the shock of the fall had worn off, and he was starting to feel the bruise on his knee begin to swell. Greaves: Nope, no time. I don’t want to hear it. Get on that ladder. Anton nodded once again and gritted his teeth through the climb. Kell began climbing upwards, eager to see the bright lights of any deck over the tight confines of the turbolift innards! Glass: I see a door! Richards: That’s good news! How much farther? Anton wasn’t sure if was going to make the climb, just as he sensed that Glass was about to answer him, Anton lost his footing, causing his left foot to slip backwards on the ladder brushing very close to hitting Greaves in the forehead. Anton twirled around to the edge of the ladder, briefly looking down the turbolift and seeing the fall. Looking up at Glass’s call, Wes saw Richard’s foot slip just in time to let himself drop down a rung and narrowly dodge what would have been a swift kick to the face. With a scowl on his face, the man watched Richards twirl to the side of the ladder, but the concerned look on the security officer’s face halted what was about to be a harsh response. Greaves: (Growling voice) Richards, for the love of god, get back on that ladder and quit looking down. We’re almost there. Anton steadied himself and began climbing, faster than before. The sight of the drop “inspired” him. Glass: Come on Spiderman! Wes smiled at the comment. Kell looked back at the door, with the absence of an actual turbolift the door stood firmly closed. Glass: Without the turbolift here, it's not going to open easily! Greaves: I have confidence you can figure it out! Emergency release should be on the right side. Richards: Yeah Glass! Any day now! It was part sarcasm and part anger due to the frustrating pain he was experiencing as Anton held his one knee up off the ladder to avoid putting pressure on it. He was hoping this wasn’t going to result in a trip to sick bay. Kell reached over and grasped the red handle to the side of the door and began turning it anticlockwise….slowly the door inched it way open. Glass: Its opening now, hold on. With a hiss, the turbolift doors to deck 13 slid open revealing the carpeted corridor beyond. One by one the three climbed up and scrambled to the safety of a solid floor. Bringing up the rear, Wes took the offered hands of the Ensigns to pull him the last bit of the way, and at last they were clear of the danger. Another hiss and the doors slid shut once more. Wes took stock of the three. They’d all accumulated a bit of grease and dirt on their uniforms from the climb, and Wes’s workout clothes were still plenty soiled from earlier in the day. Doing his best to brush himself off, Wes stood and gave a stern look to a passing crewman which looked bewildered at their sudden appearance. Greaves: Congratulations Ensigns, you’ve just survived turbolift seven. Anton rubbing his aching knee, brushes himself off and stands up straight. Still out of breath Anton looks down the shaft and then up at Greaves. Richards: Perhaps I will have a t-shirt made. Kell felt a sudden wave of panic, the room started to spin every so slightly, causing him to grab hold of the wall and steady himself, closing his eyes he counted to ten. He’d never personally experienced a panic attack, but knew the symptoms well enough from his mothers teaching. Glass: Ok….is….is everyone in one piece? Greaves: (Gesturing to his bleeding knee) All things considered, I think I’ll have to raincheck on that breakfast. Engineering and Ops need to know about this lift, and I need to get cleaned up. Anton nods at Greaves Richards: Yeah. I believe I have lost my appetite. Glass: Yeah, I’m going to walk back to my room and have a bit of a lay down! Greaves paused and looked the two over once more. They hid it well, but there was something in Glass’s look that worried him. A slight hesitation. A lingering look at the doors. Greaves: Are you both going to be alright? Anton extends his arms outright from either side of him, eyeing them back and forth to make sure that he had not in fact plummeted to his death in the turbolift. Richards: ::Nodding:: I think I’ll be fine. Just another day at StarFleet I presume. Kell shot the pair a luke warm smile. Glass: Yeah...I’ll….I’ll be ok, just gotta leave off taking one of these again for a while!...see you back in our room later buddy…::then looking back at Captain Greaves:: Thanks for the cool head sir! Kell tapped Anton on the shoulder, smiled and walked off. The Marine nodded at the comment but didn’t speak. Instead he watched as the pair walked off deeper into the deck, likely in search of another turbolift. After a moment they were lost to sight in the busy corridor and Wes turned in the other direction. The two Ensigns both were quick on their feet, at least in the simple adventure they’d all shared. With any luck, Wes would be inheriting two promising officers. END ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Ensign Anton Richards Security Officer USS Thor T239802AR1 & Ensign Kellan Glass Tactical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding T239802KG1 =========================
  14. @Alieth has introduced this lovely character arc involving her deceased lover (don't even try to deny it, Alieth) who was killed and his katra placed in @Geoffrey Teller in order to preserve it. Here, we see that Vulcans are not devoid of emotion, and though the display isn't as overt as perhaps one might see in a human, I can't help but connect emotionally to Sern and Alieth. ((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Veritas)) Sern: I do not choose the places. They never last long. Days - sometimes hours. It was fortunate I came across this one. The bridge jolted around them. On the screen, the nose of the Veritas pitched towards the planet, its rings and moons taking up more and more of the screen. Alieth: Then choose a location, hold on to it. This bouncing from one memory to another is putting Geoff in danger. Her voice came softly, stating the glaringly obvious. He’d figured that out weeks ago - back on the holodeck. When he first began to withdraw. His reply was quick and curt. Sern: I am aware that Geoffrey John is in danger, and I am telling you that my actions are not the cause. She straightened up and blinked several times.There was another long pause, as he considered putting his hypothesis forward. Sern: I … I believe it may be my presence. It made sense. Carrying the katra of another, the essence and full memories of another Vulcan required a toll. A Vulcan could adapt - given enough time and mental discipline. A Human could not. The Human brain was simply not constructed to bear the weight of the katra. And they both knew it. She held out her hand. A smile etched softly across her face. It was a gesture that comforted and alarmed him in equal measure. Alieth: Then come back to me. Just as it used to be. You and me. Sern looked from her hand to the surprisingly eager expression on her face and back again. Could it be done? Could he return? Such transfers had happened - but in a matter of days, not weeks. And certainly not months… The damage he was wreaking on his Human host was obvious, more than obvious. Was it the same for a Vulcan? Were they just better at hiding it? Yet, more importantly - what would be the consequences of returning now? Sern: No. ::he paused, the word coming through a little too harshly:: I cannot - we cannot. She took a step back. The starship shook around them. Panels fell from the ceiling, a cascade of sparks burst from the viewscreen before a rift split it in half, extinguishing the view of space. With a pop and a flash, everything forward of the helm snapped out of existence, the blur closing in. A crack spread out between the two Vulcans, narrow, but tearing them apart. Alieth: I do not understand. Why? Why not? The rift deepened, spreading across the bridge to the point where the illusion ended, and curving around to split the ceiling above. Sern: This place is unraveling - come with me! Jump! She tried to reach for him, arms outstretched in front of her. The crevice broadened suddenly under her feet and she was forced to stop at the edge of the abyss, her goal forgotten in a vain attempt to keep her balance on the edge. He took a half-step closer, held back by a familiarity with the calamity the Edge could hold. At the other end lay another memory - some good, some bad. With an unraveling as violent as this: almost certainly bad. Alieth: Sern!?!?!?! His hand snapped out in one final effort to catch hers. Sern: He must be pulling you back - I shouldn’t - I knew this couldn’t last… JUMP!! Despite his words, despite her efforts, she fell. The blur around the edges deepened - the line between existence and darkness rapidly disintegrating until- Nothing. ((The Brew Continuum, Deck 4, USS Veritas)) ((Not Blowing Up)) The silence was deafening after the sound-and-fury departure of the last world. Slowly, the space filled with a soft backdrop of white noise: the clatter of cups, the occasional hiss of steam from the equipment, the blended chatter of voices. No conversation could clearly be distinguished. After all, neither the Vulcan nor the Human knew what had been said. The room itself began to take shape - a close, tight arrangement of tables and beings. Some, Sern knew from his last trip here, belonged. Others, not so much. Good. He’d stumbled onto a haven. Slowly, a table began to take shape in front of him. Sern found himself sitting before he could fully recall the place, a mug appearing in his hand. From the depths of the vessel rose a distinct aroma, borne on the tendrils of steam that snaked their way up to his nostrils. The Vulcan hated to admit it. He was beginning to grow fond of that vile, brown liquid… [End Scene?] __________ Sern of Vulcan Katra Reluctant Coffee Drinker E239602QD0
  15. I'm really excited to read more of this plot arc @Alieth and @Sirok are writing. I'm already in love with Rekika. She's just how I imagined her to be! ((Vulcan - Kyr Province - Sobok family House)) T'Lil had prepared the wedding from multiple functions. On the one hand a show of unification between Vulcans and Romulans. On the other hand an attempt to continue the family saga if all went well. And as an introduction to the Vulcan society for Sirok himself. The Vulcan matriarch, if in private she had disparaged Sirok's Starfleet career, opted to picked out every positive trait in public, everything of what her son could learn and do for Vulcan and Kyr as a Starfleet officer. And she highlighted his rapid rise through the ranks despite his relatively young age. The event itself had perfectly fulfilled all the precepts of a very traditional Vulcan wedding, implementing old elements of Romulan weddings, which had quite a few things in common with Vulcan’s. In itself the act was meant to exemplify unification. While for some the Vulcans and Romulans present it was just the most fitting way to carry it, for others it was just too soon for something like that, or even something that should never have happened. Some inhabitants of Vulcan, old and new, thought that Romulan presence was only temporary, until they could once again claim a planet as their own. For Sirok the situation had resulted to be a test. In the days before the ceremony, he had tried to memorize the names and faces of each of the attendees. And that was just a quite long list. Although T'Lil had conveniently overlooked to invite any of the Thor's crew, not even the captain. Her excuse, of course, was only logical: those uniforms made some of the bride's family skittish. And she had had just enough to do with dealing with her son's feelings to add other’s to the mix. The young engineer was not used to such social events. He most time tried to avoid them, even though he understood the usefulness of such rituals. He endeavored to behave like a Starfleet officer in a diplomatic situation and follow the instructions that his parents have give him. As soon as he saw an opportunity Sirok decided to retreat and took refuge in the secondary house. A building erected by his great-grandfather for S'Vec and T'Lil to live in, while he still occupied the main house, while Sobok remained on the USS Elcano and his wife preferred to live near the Academy of Sciences. It has remained uninhabited since Sirok's great-grandfather passed away, as Sopeg lived with his wife in the capital. Even there, at that distance, he could still hear the faint chimes of vulcan lutes, as much as the barely audible murmur of multiple conversations. So, he entered the house and without even close the door, he looked for a dark place, a hidden spot where he could shut his eyes and tried to control his breathing. He repeated in his head principles of logic, endeavouring to free his mind and take hold of his feelings. If he weren’t wearing for the ceremonial robes, he would attempt to practice suus mahna. When he had barely managed to regain some degree of mental equilibrium, his efforts were interrupted by the sound of light footsteps behind him. Rekika: So this is where you have chosen to escape… The words were left hanging in the air, sharp, with no trace of sympathy in them. She followed shortly after, abandoning the shadows she had inhabited. She strode across the narrow chamber to his position, her gait confident and steadfast, the tap of her heels ricocheting firmly against the polished floor, as if she were part on a martial march. Only when she was just a few centimetres away from the young Vulcan did she halt, her gaze at almost the same level as his. She held his gaze as the minutes thickened, cold and tense amid the desert heat. At some point, the Romulan woman determined that she had had enough and examined him from top to bottom, scrutinizing him in unabashed detail. Rekika: Since my family moved here I have had ample time to learn your language, son of S'vec. So tell me, Sirok, are you so outside of hope as your name implies? Sirok stood staring at her for a brief moment, the situation was strange. Legally he was linked to that woman and it was a logical link for many reasons. But given the speed of the whole new situation the young man, who followed strong routines to help his memory, was not quite used to it. Sirok: I thought they told you about my condition. A smile crept across her features, whether there was mirth or disdain in her was somewhat difficult to pinpoint. Rekika: They did, but humour me with your version of the facts. Sirok: We should go somewhere else, now it is also your home, and you should be familiar with it. She gave a slight shrug and the smile etched in her face became somewhat more skewed, albeit no less ambiguous. A motion of her chin suggested that he should lead the way. Without waiting for a more elaborated answer, he turned on the light and escorted her into the living room. As every chamber in the Sobok’s property, it was tidy and spotless. Nevertheless, the design was somewhat old-fashioned, yet every little detail was strictly functional and every piece was made of the finest materials. Sirok: Sometimes I came here to meditate and study when my brother's Sehlat did not allow me to enter the main house. Have a seat. Rekika: Lovely, even the little kitten despised my groom. She sat down just before kept talking, at ease and leisurely, as if she owned the room. In some ways she did, or would do so in the future. Sirok: the reason why he did not accept me is related in part to my condition. :: he said as he sat down. :: Rekika: Is that the answer to my question? Sirok: As you should know now, I was born with brain damage. It mainly affects my telepathic abilities, which are practically non-existent. Also, my memory is worse than it should be. Although unlike telepathy I have applied techniques developed by some of the best Vulcan masters to alleviate its effects, making it practically unnoticeable for the time being. Sirok said it with his usual dreary tone. Only someone who knew him very well would know that he was showing some nervousness. Rekika: … for the time being :: She echoed, her tone much more nuanced, if as contradictory as her expression.:: And what about the future? Will I find myself married to a chunk of worthless meat soon? She tipped her head fractionally and indulged herself in a momentary display of compunction. Something she studiously made an effort to prove that she did not feel. At all. Rekika: No offence to your brother's condition. Sirok: I am a follower of Surak. I am not offended by such comments. But as you said, yes, I have a higher probability of having neural afflictions of different nature. Rekika: When. The word was delivered both as a query and a demand. Sirok: I cannot know. It should not happen for quite a few years, I am still young, so maybe plenty. Or perhaps it will never happen. Only if everyone has some chance of that kind of disease, mine is higher. This probability will increase with age. The Vulcan was direct, no secrets, no half-measures. Rekika: So you are like a ticking bomb scheduled to explode. We just don't know when or if you'll do it. Sirok: This is quite accurate. She chuckled openly, a clear, musical laugh from one who had never had to suppress it in her life. She laughed not at him, though, nor at the response to her remarks, but merely because of the brutal sincerity and endless candour of her groom. It was, somehow, refreshing. Rekika: I can live with it, or with the lie underneath it. Sirok: I recommend that you accept it for what it is. It is simply the truth. He did not know what Rekika thought about Surak's teachings, but Sirok thought that following them was the best thing to do, more so for his situation. Rekika: Perhaps, but my version is more fun. The smile widened dangerously on her lips. Sirok: But it is a long-term danger. The lack of telepathic ability disrupts certain biological functions of my species. For example in the ceremony, when we have joined together and our fingers touched, a certain bond should have been created. I only felt your skin and you felt mine. He maintained his monotone. But he had used all his concentration to suppress the fear he felt in that situation. One of the moments he dreaded most in his life. Rekika: That's what happened for you? She left the question lingering in the air, as if her experience had been different, but her face retained the same derisive expression that had accompanied her for much of the conversation. Still, her mind buzzed with ideas: she had trained herself to engage a vulcan, to have a spy inside her own mind. She had woven lies within her lies, hidden behind shadows of half-truths. But her new husband? He was something else. Something quite different. Oh, and convenient. She allowed herself to lean forward, amidst a ruffle of the fabric of her betrothal gown. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. Rekika: As for the contract your mother reached with my family, what are you going to do about it? Sirok remained still in his seat, like a talking piece of furniture. And imperceptibly he was relaxing with the situation, accepting it little by little. Sirok:I do not know all the details, I just asked to be allowed to continue my work in Starfleet. I think I can learn and do a lot as an officer. She leaned back and raised an elegant hand in front of her. Rekika: My family and the people associated with it will continue to have the rights to occupy a portion of your family lands to formalize a Romulan settlement. You will be provided with assistance in carrying out this endeavour without interference. Alongside this, my family's trading enterprise will be sustained, by helping to smooth out any friction that may arise with the Vulcan government. She fell back for a moment and watched him carefully before resuming her speech. Rekika: The other details are less important, but that is the heart of the matter. Your role, naturally, will be as caretaker of it if your family decides to break the agreement. Sirok:My family has always supported Unification, even before the Hobus disaster. So as long as there are no criminal acts we will continue to do our best to keep Unification moving forward. Another musical laugh echoed through the stark Vulcan chamber. Rekika:::In a playful tone:: No promises, my dear The Vulcan raised an eyebrow slightly. Sirok: I expect that it is a joke that I do not understand. The smile stretched across the Romulan's face once more. Rekika: Don't worry my dear, you'll figure it out... over time. Whether she meant the joke or the allegation of the illegality of her family's deeds was left unsaid. Sirok remained silent for a moment. Sirok: I understand then that there is no problem for me to return to the Thor to do my job. Rekika: And meanwhile I'll wait here, as a faithful bride longing for her gallant officer, while i help in the family business. Sirok: Everything has been so sudden that I have not been able to know what is your business. She then made a faint smacking sound with her lips and leaned back in feigned annoyance. Rekika: There's nothing to drink here? So much chatter makes me thirsty The young engineer got up in the direction of the kitchen. Sirok: It has been years since I have been in this house, but there was a good selection of juices. At the wedding alcoholic beverages were served in courtesy to our guests, but it is not something we consume. He spent a moment searching without success. So he fired up the replicator and replicated a pair of vulcan mocha. The replicator had not been checked for some time and did not work as the young man would have liked, he would check it when he had time. When he brought the cup towards her she took it in turn and managed to ensure that their fingers touched. Her hands remained there for a time and, as she did so, she glanced up at his face in search of a reaction, or lack thereof. What she saw on Sirok's countenance brought a mirthful gleam to her eye. Sirok: I expect you like it. Thereupon, she settled back against the back of the couch and drank the cup almost dry in a single gulp. Next, she slipped her right hand onto the armrest, the nearly drained cup held loosely between her fingers. Rekika: Excellent and adequate. As expected. Sirok nodded. Despite Rekika's positive response, he would check the replicator. The young man returned to his seat with his own cup in his hands. Sirok: You were going to tell me what you do for a living. Rekika: Oh well, we're mere traders. My people need commodities that can't be obtained on the planet, and we provide. Sirok: I know that the population increase is being a problem for a reasonable use of Vulcan's resources. She looked into his eyes and held his gaze for a moment. Rekika: :slowly: I think that given our shared situation it’s better to start calling it Ni'Var. The Vulcan took a long sip of the mocha. He hadn't realized his mouth was dry until he had felt the liquid. Sirok: A designation to exemplify the unification. It is appropriate. Rekika: You'll learn soon enough that I don't speak in vain, sweetheart. Sirok: as it should be. Without further ado she laid the cup indifferently on the arm of the couch and rose to her feet, with an almost feline elegance. In a vaguely coquettish manner, she arranged the slight misalignments in her attire before she resumed speaking. Rekika: Well, enough of the chitchat, we should get back to the party. She held out a hand waiting for him to take it, as was expected of a married couple. Sirok stood up, leaving the cup on a nearby table. Placing his hands with her in the traditional way, feeling her skin again. Rekika: ::Casually::. By the way, will you please be sure to inform your captain that I'll be joining you on that Starfleet vessel of yours? The Vulcan raised an eyebrow, not expecting such a proposition. Sirok: I think I can reason with Captain Kells. But I do not think my mother will allow both of us to be off planet given my brother's situation. Rekika: Don't worry about that, I'll make T'Lil see the logic in my decision to join you. A musical laugh followed them as they crossed the lintel of the secondary house and flickered in the air for a moment before the Romulan whispered her follow-up remark. Rekika: And in case I fail... my father will persuade her… She was certain that he would see as much merit as she herself did in her returning to cross the stars aboard a starship. Even more so in one so different from the Birds of Prey in which she had served a decade ago… ========================= As simmed by Rekika of Romulus Former Romulan Star Navy Lieutenant Romulan Colony of Ni’Var E239702A10 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  16. I really enjoyed this collaboration between @Sirok and @Geoffrey Teller. I especially enjoyed seeing more of Sirok, one of our resident and most emotional Vulcan. ((Vulcan - Kir province - Sobok family mainhouse)) Sobok and Sirok materialized in front of a . It was of straight lines and its glass exteriors, orderly, designed for a simple use of the interior space. A classic Vulcan construction of the 23rd century. It was built on a small promontory surrounded by several trees with reddish leaves that gave warmth to both the exterior and interior of the house. Sobok knew the coordinates well and was able to give them accurately enough to save him having to climb the small hill that led up to the house. He had also arranged for his and Sirok's luggage to wait for them in their respective rooms, not wanting to leave the young man to carry both . Feeling the increased Vulcan gravity indicated to the chief engineer that the transporter cycle had ended and Sirok looked around for a moment. It was the first time he had been back since being admitted to Starfleet Academy and he looked for any changes the house might have undergone. As he expected there were none. The trees were so carefully trimmed that they seemed frozen in time.There was no noticeable stain or scuff on the glass surface of the house. The grass around the house grew to the desired height, never beyond. The distant sound of the drones that controlled the plantations indicated like a calendar what time of the year it was and what was the state of the crops. He had left his uniform and rank on the ship and like his grandfather wore a simple light colored robe. That robe was one of the few belongings he had taken with him when he left and was part of the few belongings he brought back. They approached the front door and it opened, revealing the figure of a slender Vulcan woman. Her bearing was elegant, regal. She kept her hands behind her back and looked inquisitively at the two newcomers. Sobok: Good morning, T'Lil. Sobok stopped, leaning on his cane and staring at T'Lil. Sirok stood behind him. Sirok: Mother. :: It was his brief greeting. :: T’Lil considered the sight before her the way some would review a shipping manifest. Her son, home for the first time in many years, was here in the company of his grandfather. She noticed the tiny imperfections age had left upon her sons features, along with his disagreeably emotional greeting. She noticed everything, but made no comment beyond a simple reply. T’Lil: Son. Sirok: What is the status of Sopeg? T’Lil: Unchanged. His biological functions are being sustained efficiently. His injuries have been evaluated by the Vulcan Medial Institutes Dean of Neurosurgery. What can be done has been done. Your arrival here is another matter entirely. T’Lil arched an eyebrow, her gaze landing on her son with the weight of Mount Seleya, a sliver of genuine concern flashing through her mind. Her son had been among emotional species for far too long. Sobok: I know there is a lot to catch up on. But my physical condition is not adequate to do it at the entrance, standing up... Can we enter? A long moment passed before T’Lil replied. Even the wind was still and silent. T’Lil: You may enter. Sobok: Where is S’Vec? Where is my son? T’Lil: S’Vec is where he is expected to be, running the organization this family has maintained for generations. Her emphasis on the word generations was subtle but the jab was sharp. Sobok’s irresponsibility had disrupted the work of centuries and led to her son's needless dalliance with Starfleet. As T'Lil spoke Sobok slowly walked to a wide couch, where he slowly sat down. And he did not respond until he had made that slow heavy movement. Sirok kept an eye on his grandfather in case he needed help, since he had arrived at the Thor he had clearly noticed how he was finding it more difficult to walk. Sobok: And he has done a great job. Despite making risky bets. :: Sobok glanced at Sirok for a moment before turning his gaze back to T'Lil, remarking on the situation they were now in. :: Sirok raised an eyebrow slightly, not quite understanding what bet Sobok was referring to. The young engineer had long since removed himself from any discussion of family and its activities. He had focused all his efforts on his Starfleet career. T’Lil: His time is in exceedingly short supply, as is mine. I will inform him of your presence…::she took a long look at Sirok, and then at Sobok:: You may wait. Sobok kept his gaze on T'Lil. And remained silent for a moment, letting the sound of some bird and the distant drones fill the room. Sobok: Well, we will wait, when you reach a certain age it becomes an habit. But at other ages time is exceedingly short, so let's take advantage of it. For example I can tell you that your second son achieved the rank of Lieutenant and Chief Engineer of one of the most modern ships in the Fleet in a single year of service. A much faster promotion than I had at the time. Sirok fell thinking that he would not be given importance he saw no point in informing his parents of his progress in Starfleet, or even what ship he was serving on. But Sobok did not make that comment gratuitously, the defective son now held a position of importance in a respected organization.He was not just the son of S'Vec anymore. Sirok: It has been a matter of circumstances, although rebuilding a ship almost from scratch has been an experience from which I have been able to learn significantly. Sirok did not try to be modest, it was what he thought of his rapid rise as he believed he still had a lot to learn. If T’Lil was proud, or impressed, or even the smallest bit respectful of her son's achievements, none of it showed on her face. If anything registered, it was a slight deepening of her scowl at the thought of her son risking himself needlessly, and in a pursuit as foolish as Starfleet. T’Lil: I am gratified to learn the son of S’Vec is now a skilled mechanic. It is certain to reflect highly on our esteemed family. Her tone implied the opposite. Sirok: Is the Romulan refugee colony progressing properly? His entire family had always been strong supporters of the Unification between Romulus and Vulcan. When Hobus went supernova and Romulus was destroyed, they offered several of their lands to create settlements for refugees. Not just to take in temporary refugees, but to make them permanent residents on Vulcan. Sirok held his family's efforts in that direction in high respect and believed that this was the future for his planet and his people. A minute sigh escaped T’Lil’s lips. T’Lil: It is progressing. I believe it is premature to determine if it is doing so properly. Reintegration after millennia of distrust is a complex endeavor. One in which you could assist, son. Sirok raised an eyebrow slightly. As Sobok kept his eyes on T'Lil he foresaw what he was going to say. Sirok: I have participated in some first contacts, but my diplomatic skills are not very good, at least with beings who are driven by their emotions. :: To logical beings, the young engineer performed as expected even by his family. :: T’Lil: I have made what arrangements seemed logical to me so that our family can achieve its goals, efficiently. I do not see why either of you would object. Sirok: I will try to help if possible, mother. Sobok looked at his grandson. As a good follower of Surak he felt no pride in his relative, but his grandson though naive, seemed praiseworthy to him. Sobok: I have never meddled in your handling of these matters. But if you saw it necessary I would consider interfering. T’Lil: Sopeg’s injury leaves our family in a challenging position, one to which we must adapt. So we shall. Your wedding is scheduled two days hence. ::T’Lil glanced at the Starfleet uniform in dissatisfaction.:: You will dress in something more befitting our people. Sirok watched his mother for a moment. Sirok: the Starfleet uniform is perfectly suitable for such a ceremony, as it is in a multitude of other options. Although that is a trivial detail. So far you have not sought out a wife for me, and the difference in doing so now as opposed to when it was due is that I have a duty to perform. Sobok said nothing, on the one hand his grandson was right. But biologically speaking he needed a mate. Due to Vulcan physiology his life would be in danger when the time came if he didn't have someone to share it with. T’Lil: Your logic is flawed, son. I have sought out a wife for you and all the arrangements have been made. There is only the ceremony remaining, and that requires your presence. Sirok: May I know with whom you intend to marry me? T’Lil: Her name is Rekika, and she has completed all the necessary arrangements to my satisfaction. Sobok raised an eyebrow slightly, it was not the response he expected. Sirok in appearance remained unchanged. Though his family, who knew him well knew that he struggled to keep his feelings contained and in control, with relative success. So it was Sobok who kept asking questions, trying to make the young man maintain as much dignity as possible. Sobok: Do they know Sirok's condition? It is a very difficult situation for the chosen one. :: Part of the reason why such an agreement had not really been sought until now. :: T’Lil: In this instance, his deficiency will not be a detriment to the union. Your intended is one of our long separated Romulan cousins and her expectations are already quite low. Sobok: Be that as it may, the agreement should not affect Sirok's Starfleet career. T’Lil’s expression hardened and a room normally exposed to desert breezes became suddenly colder. T’Lil: I do not recall seeking your council or input on the matter, Sobok. T’Lil glanced back to her son, the lowly starfleet engineer. A small part of a small system, one of questionable value and enormous personal risk. T’Lil could see the logic in the pursuit for others, but not for her family, and certainly not her son. Sobok: It is one thing to adapt to the situation and another to ruin his career, which is being successful. Besides, you are already used to having an absent family member. Another one is not going to change the situation. :: Sobok had known T'Lil for many years and at all times avoided reacting to any comment. Although it was well known that the old Vulcan was more protective of Sirok than any other member of his family. :: T’Lil: Sirok has an obligation to fulfill for this family, and the needs of the many should always outweigh the needs of the one. He will come to appreciate this in time. Sirok kept quiet. Until that moment, observing the not-so-veiled dialectical conflict between his elders. Sirok: I will do as I am asked, if she accepts me. :: He barely managed not to say "and my condition". :: But as Sobok has expressed, I will maintain my Starfleet career for the time being. Consider it my training for the position you want me to take if Sopeg does not recover. T’Lil’s lips, which had never been especially emotive, pressed into a line so thin they seemed to disappear entirely. She disapproved and would work to make the arrangement ultimately untenable, but for the present her goal had been achieved. Her son would wed, and their bond with the emerging Romulan families would grow stronger, and their own family would grow in influence and respect. T’Lil stood and prepared to leave. T’Lil: It is gratifying to discover you have not entirely lost your discipline, son. Your responsibilities to the family are paramount. So long as those are dispensed properly, you other conduct is your business and ::T’Lil glared daggers at Sobok:: no one else's. I will take my leave of you now. T’Lil offered her hand in the ta’al, but turned and exited before either man had even gotten out of their chair. Sobok watched as T'Lil left and then looked at his grandson. Sobok: Are you sure of your decision? Sirok: I am the emotional one of this family. It is normal for me to make an illogical decision. Yet I cannot find a better one. Sobok: Neither do I, for the moment. The old Vulcan looked out the window. The landscape he saw was different from the one he remembered from his childhood. Now it was a sumptuous place, even the trees looked strong and lush. The irrigation system and the care of the land were being used with meticulous precision. When he was a child the crops, although sufficient, seemed rickety compared to what he saw now. The house they had was being expanded and renovated from the ruin his grandfather had. A person who practically lived in hiding because he belonged to the Syrranite movement. That house was demolished by his son to build the current one. It was much more modern and served as a control center for all his operations. Sobok stood up with great effort, leaning heavily on the cane. Sobok: Sirok, help me get to my room. It has been a long trip, I need to rest. Then I will let you free, I am sure you have a lot to do. He doubted that the family chosen by his son and daughter-in-law had the disaffection for politics that Sirok had. Sirok: Yes grandfather. :: he said showing her his arm for support. :: At a very slow pace and with short steps they both headed for the room they had prepared for the old vulcan on the first floor. =============================== T’Lil of Vulcan Matron of House Sobok V239509GT0 & Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  17. OOC: I just love Cheesecake. The dog...and the dessert. But I especially love how this sim ended. [[ U.S.S Thor, Deck 6, Senior Enlisted Mess Hall. ]] The biped held the delicious thing in front of her for a moment but then, to Cheesecake's despair, he pushed it away. Even worse, he said the forbidden word. "No." Not only that but he repeated it several times. This was, no doubt, a definitive verdict that condemned her to an eternity of not being able to taste whatever it was that the biped didn't want her to have, which was, to begin with, tragic, and to follow, unfair. As every dog, Cheesecake was aware that rules were more like guidelines and so, they could be pushed a little in the right direction, namely, in the direction that would get her what she wanted, if she was a really good girl, and she pulled her ears back, put her snout down, and gave him THE LOOK. Of course, Cheesecake had had to up the level THE LOOK since her handler was a pointy-eared biped and she had learned the hard way that pointy-eared bipeds required a LOT MORE coaxing. But she had certainly picked up the lesson very well, so the other biped who used to live with her handler always, ALWAYS fell under the spell of THE LOOK. Of course, she proved victorious in the staring contest. Kerr: Access favorite replicator options for Crewman First Class Watanabe. Wantanabe: Boorf Boorf! Computer: Crewman First Class Watanabe's list of food preferences, Cheesecake contains 1348 items, listed chronologically as: Canine kibble number 33, socks, Vulcan meditation candle oil type e49b, miscellaneous bone remnants, cheese (non descripted), tofu, batbird soup Hasoor VII variety, medium quality paper, standard mid-sized padd, electronic components for medical tricorder parts 458 to 567, kibble number 45, cat kibble number 2, standard mattress stuffing.... Kerr: Computer, proceed with top recommendation. Computer =/\= Unable to comply. Replicators offline. =/\= The biped shook his head and Cheesecake tilted it. She took her job as a therapy dog to heart and she knew exactly when someone was down, so she was more than willing to help. Kerr: Alright. Let me get this filter swapped out, and then we’ll get some lunch. Then her new best friend left the thing away from her, with all the gestures that indicated that he really wasn't going to pass it along because he wanted it just for him, and utter display that indicated that he didn't like to share. Cheesecake pouted ruefully. She loved to share, sharing was caring. Especially if other people shared with her. Kerr: We’re going to leave that there. (Slowly backing away.) Jussssst theeeereeee. That’s where it’s staying. It’s not going to be touched. Agreed? Wantanabe: soft whining Then, the biped climbed on one of those things that bipeds used to reach places and... disappeared. More or less. But he kept talking anyway, so Cheesecake remained there, wagging her tail cheerfully every time the biped uttered a word. Kerr: (Head deep in the filter unit of replicator two) Just got to align the cartridge. There was a loud snap and click, and a tail wagged for a few seconds. Kerr: (Leaning further into the filter unit) Then twist and lock to connect the sensors. Got to use the hexkey to secure it and ... Wantanabe: (In earnest) Woof Woof A hand came out from a box with something that looked suspiciously like a stick and, for an moment, Cheesecake stood on all four paws, awestruck (and flattered) by the sudden session of FETCH. Kerr: Gross! No fetch. Disappointed whimper, rear on floor. The scene played out over and over again for a few minutes until, finally, Cheesecake stretched out on the floor, rested her head between her forepaws and... she snoozed, the purpose of her mission forgotten, except for the fact that the biped somehow needed her support. Only later, when the speakers in all the corridors blew an annoying honk and the lights changed in two different degrees of colours that, of course, a dog could not fully differentiate, Cheesecake woke up. It was then, and only then, that the big mastiff remembered a number of things: That she had made a new friend, that really needed to have someone listen to him, so she was going to have to visit him more often. That this noise meant work and that therefore she should head to a sickbay. That she should remember to not get in the way. For real. And that she had to help. So, without dawdling for too long, Cheesecake barked a farewell and, just as she had entered, she left the mess hall. Her surprise was complete when she found one of her favourite two-legged friends in her workplace, sprawled out on one of those things that moved bipeds around. And as one would do with good friends, she booped his hand to tell him that she was there and that, despite everything, he was not alone. [[END]] ================================= Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director =================================
  18. There are no gigantic explosions, no great heroic deeds, no mighty efforts. This is a simple but well written sim that gives insight into the character and help sets up the situation that character is about step into. I appreciate @Alex Brodie's ability to make me care and connect with his character. ((Brodie’s Quarters, Deck Five, USS Thor)) Brodie tossed his scribe onto the desk and leaned back. Two hours he’d been poring over legal texts and treaties and directives and it was giving him a headache. He knew the battle…and it was a battle…against Anroc wasn’t going to be easy and he needed to make sure that everything fell into place in the right way. As he’d said to Kells, there couldn’t be any missteps with their people down there. Firstly, there was Starfleet General Order One and its many, many, sub-orders. He’d dearly love to tear the entire subjugation culture of the Zet down, but it was their societal norm – it would amount to destabilising an established government. Their mere presence had already violated it in part - the Zet were not warp capable. That said it could be argued that, while not a warp capable culture, they had travelled beyond their own world using technology at their disposal. Providing technology was also frowned upon…as well as taking actions which supported one faction of society over another…he closed his eyes and saw the impact of the young Zet’s head on the wall…he clenched and unclenched his fists. The Federation Charter also made caste systems illegal and, while that did not technically extend to the Zet, it would add an additional layer of complexity to matters when negotiating the release of technology. The whole notion was really a non-starter…although Anroc didn’t need to know that. He’d also looked over the documentation that had been provided ahead of the ‘negotiations’, he used the word advisedly, and he honestly hadn’t seen much in his years that had terrified him more. Eternal life through some form of cloning process. He wondered if this was related technology to how the Vorta were created…extended…by the Dominion? They were in the Gamma Quadrant after all. Had this been one of Anroc’s acquisitions? He’d need to speak to Ivy about that but getting in-touch wouldn’t be possible out here. But Eternal life? Who wanted that? Truly wanted it? He’d seen on Solace how it had led to a never-ending cycle – the prospect of living forever had meant the Nol-Ennis and the Ennis had never moved on from their civil war until Sulan had joined them. Why live forever if you don’t grow? Then there was the issue of the haves and the have not – would everyone benefit? Or would you get a caste system like the Zet appeared to have. Free to those who could afford it and very expensive to those who couldn’t? And finally, there would be those who would abuse it…because someone always did. Taking a peaceful ideal of, for example, eradicating disease and twisting it into a weapon of war or a tool of dominance. He found he was pacing…he needed change anyway. He opened one of the storage closets and pulled out his dress uniform – running his hand along the edge of the fabric. Anroc needed to see they were taking him seriously. They needed him to be comfortable, and feel like he was in control, but they also needed to project an illusion of authority so he would be prepared to treat them as more than mere ephemerals. This would help set them apart. He also hoped that, in their full regalia, Aron Kells might find some sense of his own identity as a Fleet Captain again. To play the part one had to look the part. But then again…it might come across as a being braggish? Anroc would probably laugh at their pitiful attempt at bravado…and maybe Aron Kells would be reminded of darker times past? As he pushed the jacket back into the locker his hand brushed against the sword that was hanging in its sheath. He still needed to arrange that fencing lesson with Teller – perhaps once this was over – he had some ideas. He took the blade from its hook and slid it free – the silver edge of the rapier glinting in the light. He moved through a few positions around his quarters – stepping one way then the other – like the upcoming confrontation with Anroc the footwork would be key to success. He sheathed the weapon and hung it back up. Words, not weapons, were going to win the day here. He hoped. ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  19. You're killing me, @Geoffrey Teller, you're killing me! IC: ((Employee Productivity Recovery Center - Endless Golden Penetrator)) Alieth: In addition, your knowledge about the biology of your species will help us to stabilize the injured. The more patients we can send to the Thor, the more optimal our performance will be. Shaggee was aghast and his head bobbed from side to side, his neck rigid with indignation. Rod'gurs: Help you treat the injured? I'm not certified for that. It would be a violation of my contract! Jehe: You are contractually forbidden from rendering aid to others in an emergency? Trying to be patient with these increasingly bizarre outsiders, Shaggee spread his hands and spoke as he would to an intern. Rod'gurs: 'Employees of the Saldanian Corporation are contractually forbidden from performing any duties for which they are not explicitly trained and certified via SalCorp Employee Enrichment & Productivity Improvement centers. Violation of this policy is grounds for employment and employee termination under subarticle....' Shaggee rattled off the book, chapter, section, subsection & codicil number from memory. HIs childhood nursery had the words 'Do only what you're told and nothing else' painted on the wall. It had been drilled into him before he even began his internship and it had served him well his whole career. Alieth: I am sure you want to reassess your priorities in this matter. Jehe: Consider it this way - the more of them you help us treat, the more...resources can be returned to service and placed back in um....back into the workforce. It could be...initiative! That's it. You'd be showing initiative. Best interests of your employer and all that. For the first time since they had appeared, the aliens seemed to be making sense to Shaggee. He forced his head to stop bobbing. Alieth: Think of it as safeguarding corporate property: while your contract does not precisely include this function, your superiors will certainly reward the safeguarding of the company's assets and your involvement in it. Alieth: It is the only logical course of action. For a moment, Shaggee seriously reconsidered taking his break. The tiny aliens made an interesting proposal and it was the kind of thing his favorite interactive hero, 'Refuse Recycler Ron'a,' would do to help her corp. She'd file the appropriate forms later, but in the moment she'd seize the opportunity to improve the fiscal footing of the corp, whatever it took. Shaggee swelled with pride as he imagined him standing alongside her, the Recyclers anthem ringing in his tympanic canals. In his excitement, he even shouted out her catchphrase. Rod'gurs: PROFITS OVER PEOPLE! Lets get fiscal! Shaggee bounded forward with his confidence significantly outsteping his competence. They came to an injured secondary technical supervisor he'd met once during a seminar on why ethics were improper in the workplace. Alieth: Any ideas about what could happen with them? Shaggee looked over the man and, based on an popular medical series he'd seen a half an episode of, made a diagnosis. Rod'gurs: Ah, yes, ruptured flosfus. Worst case I've seen since the MedicAcademic. He's a goner. Alieth: ...His...flosflus…. : She took a pause, longer than usual, before she kept speaking:: And you consider it a substantial impairment? Shaggee curled his fingers dramatically. Rod'gurs: Yes, he'd need a massive loan to get that treated and it's way outside his compensation band. His productivity is compromised...we've done all we can. Alieth: ...I see… The alien slipped a credit tab on the injured mans uniform then moved on. Shaggee was feeling even more confident, now grasping the intricacies of the aliens ingenious credit assessment system. They moved on from one injured person to the next, the aliens occasionally asking questions and Shaggee guessing at the answers. They seemed satisfied and Shaggee wondered for the first time in his career if he'd been misallocated as a child. Shaggee shook off the unsettling thought and realized an unscheduled employee conference had been called, with many of the remaining semi-productive crew attending. The aliens seemed concerned. Jehe: (Whispering to Alieth) Doc, might want to make a general announcement about covering costs. Everyone seems hesitant to accept help. Alieth: I suppose you are correct.:: Gazing from the intelligence officer to Rod'gurs and back to the former:: I am open to suggestions Rod'gurs: Well, these employees aren't as flexible and resourceful as I am. It's why I'm a vice associate director. I scored at least 3 points higher on the competency exam than any of them. I should write up a memo. Or maybe a presentation. Do you think we could access one of the training auditoriums? I could have slides together in a few clicks. Jehe: Response. She pondered the ideas for a while. Alieth: ::nodding:: That sounds about right. Let us proceed. Rod'gurs: Oh a spontaneous announcement? Well, I haven't had the opportunity to have the verbage reviewed by the departments litigation advisor. ::Shaggee gestured angrily:: He's on the floor over there, not working. ::Shaggee shrugged.:: Fine, I'll get the emergency motivator. Jehe: Response. Shaggee headed for the sealed compartment on the far wall and opened it with a irises scan. His account was invoiced for the equipment rental charges and a hefty deposit. The emergency motivator wasn't terribly powerful, but it would be enough to fill the room with Anroc's majestic voice. He returned to the aliens and inclined his head, prepared. Rod'gurs: Wrap your hands around this handle and your words will fill this room, but your voice will carry all the authority and timber of Shipmaster Anroc himself. You should feel honored, these are normally only used for mass terminations. You should inform them that their credit accounts are being assessed and they will all be invoiced before the end of the next salary period. That's all completely routine. Alieth: Indeed, they will have this offer at their service in exchange for keeping the assigned tags at all times as they will be traded for… Rod'gurs: Advise them that under the circumstances, a one time non-transferrable hardship stipend will be applied to their accounts if, and only if, they accept our terms and conditions. Feel free to add in any clauses or addenda your back office requires. Jehe: Response. Alieth: Once they have been transported to our starship the... Starfleet Corporation will request a series of biometric data that will constitute payment for the services provided. I repeat, you will only be asked for only data, and you may refuse to share what you consider to be inappropriate. The tiny alien was doing surprisingly well. Shaggee wondered how many motivation seminars she had run in her career, and suspected the number was quite high. Alieth: For more information, listen to the instructions of the Ensign Sehe and the Vice Associate Director Rod'gurs who will instruct you on the evacuation process. Shaggee took back the emergency motivator and spoke into it with fervor. Rod'gurs: Remember to ask yourselves 'what have I done for the corp today?' Today, fellow employees, your answer can be 'not dying,' so you can continue being productive associates. Ok, lets get moving, a transcript of this meeting will be available as soon as we find a living member of the stenographic staff. Jehe: Response Employees began moving out of the compartment and towards lifts that would take them back up towards the command deck. Those that couldn't move were carried and Shaggee noted with pride that each and every one wore their new credit assessment tags visibly and proudly. Rod'gurs: So, do you think I can take my break now? Jehe/Alieth: Response Rod'gurs: Oh, well. Do you think we should go with them? Jehe/Alieth: Response Tags/TBC ============== Shaggee Rod'gurs Vice Associate Director Of Crew Fulfillment & Disposal Endless Golden Penetrator V239509GT0
  20. @Alex Brodie has really been kicking out quality sims lately. Another great one, and I just love the symbolism. ((Arboretum, Deck Five, USS Thor)) Alex wiped his brow, smearing dirt across it as he did so. There were dozens - probably dozens of dozens - of trees already in the Arboretum but this was something a little more special. He had been hoping that it would have arrived during the repairs and refit of the vessel at Deep Space Nine but that was not to be. Now the next supply chain had caught up with them he was finally able to make this small gesture. When people said the word Thor they were instantly greeted with mental images of the ancient Norse god of thunder, storms and all-round hammer enthusiast. There was, however, a deeper meaning. The ship's dedication plaque read: “Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.” This was a quotation attributed to Thor Heyerdahl – an explorer from Norway who was alive in the twentieth century. Not only was he an explorer but he also had a background in zoology, botany and geography and his most notable expedition was to show that ancient peoples could have made long sea voyages across the earth creating contacts between different societies. He had also searched, on four separate occasions it should be noted, for the civilization he believed Odin had been part of – although this was never validated. In short, it was possibly the most apt name for the Vesta class multi-mission explorer. The similarities didn’t stop there, however, as both of the ships long range Arrow class runabouts were also named after reed boats that Heyerdahl had constructed as part of his adventures – the Ra and the Tigris. Brodie wanted to honour these two worlds in some small way after the Hammerfall Incident and, while exploration, zoology and geography were all worthy causes, he had chosen to focus on botany. The pushed, with some assistance from the operations team, the large root cluster of the tree over the edge of the hole and into the soil that filled the arboretum. It always amazed him just how much weight the ship could take…when he thought about runabouts and fighters and cargo he was surprised the ship didn’t fall out of orbit. The team he’d been working with picked their shovels back up and began to refill the area around the roots of the Ash tree. It wasn’t mighty just yet – nor was he sure it would ever be so in these artificial surroundings – but it was a gesture that he felt was required. The ‘Vikings’ of the USS Thor, of which Brodie being of Scottish ancestry was probably the closest actual Viking they had, were a tight knit crew who had been through a lot. Key high/low-lights had included kidnappings, attempted assassinations, political intrigues, discovery of new species and the near destruction of their home but they had come through it all – life had found a way. That's what this ‘mighty’ ash tree was – Yggdrasil…at least symbolically. Sometimes called the Tree of Life he actually thought the names translated as ‘Odin’s Horse’ but more in the sense of a gallows or a frame to support everything around it. Odin’s actual horse being an eight-legged beast called Sleipnir. Alex shuddered at the thought of trying to break a creature like that – but if you were a god… That, however, was beside the point. The crew of the USS Thor were not only the worlds, but they were also the gallows. They individuals who supported and protected each other – at this ash tree would stand as a symbol of that. He pushed the small brass plaque into the sod at the foot of the tree: may the crew of the Thor find comfort in it’s shade and strength in its branches. FIN ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  21. A JP between one of our newer members @Brutus and a well established member @Sirok that I thoroughly enjoyed. ((USS Ra - Leaving DS9)) The orders for Ensign Jehe were not the most usual. Picking up a civilian from DS9 to take him to New Bajor. Her passenger was an old Vulcan. The man even used a cane, denoting that despite all the Federation's medical advances time reaches everyone, even the long-lived Vulcans. He wore a simple tunic, but the fabric and the small embroidery he wore with words in Vulcan denoted a great quality in his craftsmanship. He presented himself simply as Sobok and his speech, though monotone, was not as uncomfortable and flat as that of other Vulcans. Jehe Saja had encountered a few Vulcans during her time at the Academy, and had found the species, as a whole, to be somewhat the opposite of her own. Bajorans were often known for fiery tempers and Vulcans kept a close reign on their emotions, tighter than any other species she had met to date. But at the same time, she’d seen glimpses of Vulcan spiritualism, that allowed her to believe that perhaps, they weren’t so different as she might like. Thus, when facing the elder Vulcan who would accompany her to her new posting, she greeted the opportunity as just that: an opportunity. She had kept her own introductions just as brief,as she’d resisted the urge to adjust the black collar of her uniform, denoting her position within the auspices of Starfleet Intelligence. He asked Jehe to take his things inside the Runaboat, so that he could walk more easily. Once they started the trip the Vulcan did not go to the living area, but chose the co-pilot's seat. He left his cane on the chair and relaxed his arms on the armrests. He didn't say anything, his gaze reminded him of a Starfleet flight instructor. Every time Jehe introduced a command into the console the man seemed to judge every little decision, or it was simply the severe look of a Vulcan, even though he had no eyebrows. Sobok: I know that on the new maneuver thrusters it is less necessary but if you adjust the ... :: He brought one of his hands close to the panel and quickly introduced several adjustments to the maneuvering drive, but without executing them. :: But you are the pilot today. Jehe: oO Well, looks like I am learning something today Oo Jehe: Thank you, sir. ::She reached forward, re-entering the commands herself, so that she would be familiar with them, and punched the execution:: While I have shuttle pilot training, it’s not my primary vocation. Sobok: You can always learn more. And in Starfleet, getting as much knowledge as possible will help you better accomplish your mission. Even if you think it is not your specialty. Many officers are pigeonholed in their department rather than trying to be more complete. The man looked again into the blackness of space, trying to find with his eyes the place where the wormhole should open. Jehe: You sound like you speak from experience. Even as she spoke, Saja readjusted the approach of the runabout. She’d not been told anything about her passenger really, other than that he was seeking transport to New Bajor, and as she was going to her own assignment in orbit of that planet, she was tagged to escort him. She hardly minded, and in truth was working harder to repress her own near giddiness at getting to enter the Celestial Temple. After a small lapse of time the ship crossed the space that separated the station from the wormhole. Illuminating everything with a blue light. Sobok:Ensign, do you believe that prophets are gods? The question, though abrupt, was asked in the same instructive tone he had had moments before. For a long moment, the Bajoran did not respond, as the ship made its way closer to the aperture, to be guided into the swirling light. Saja forced herself to breathe and nodded her head, though she did not allow herself to look away. Jehe: I do, yes. At least, they meet most definitions of ‘gods’ that I have heard, and have been demonstrably active in the history of my people. ::She tilted her head and chuckled softly:: And my father is a Prylar. I’d be a rather poor daughter if I did not believe in the Prophets. Sobok: Interesting. :: He simply said, without trying to change the Bajoran's mind. The bushy haired intelligence officer nodded, and drew her attention back to her console as the runabout gave a shudder. They were approaching the event horizon of the wormhole, and Saja had to make some minor adjustments. Jehe: Compensating for spatial drift. I’m told the ride will be a bit bumpy. She didn’t outright say ‘maybe you should strap in’ but she thought it pretty hard. Sobok:Try to give some more energy to the inertial dampers, there has to be a configuration for the wormhole. ((USS Ra - Entering Bajoran Wormhole)) And then, they were inside the Celestial Temple, and it was all that Saja could do not to gape like a fish. As Sobok switched his gaze between the view from the front window and the instrument panels. Sobok:Is this the first time you travel through the wormhole? ::Sobok did not know if the runoboat came from the Thor, or if it came directly from DS9.:: Jehe: Yessir. Though I grew up on Freehaven, one of the Bajoran colonies, I’ve never had the chance to experience this before. ::She had made the adjustments suggested and the flight evened out, as her head slowly turned side to side, taking in the truly alien vista before them:: And you? Sobok: No, although I had a first officer. Rashur Sul, who often insisted that we try to get closer. But Bajor and the Wormhole was far from our area of operation. It is certainly an interesting experience. The Vulcan was slightly incorporated and carefully observed the data on the console. Alternating with the immensity of blue before them. Sobok: Soon after, the war with the Klingons began and immediately after with the Dominion. She was no longer my first officer after that. Jehe: I didn’t realize you served. I apologize. They didn’t really brief me on my passenger. ::She frowned for a moment.:: I was born during the conflict. I can’t say that I remember much of it at all, just stories from my family. The ship finished its transit through the wormhole. The interior of the ship was once again illuminated only by its own light. In the pilot’s seat, Saja began a series of system checks to confirm that there had been no issues with the runabout. Her pulse was still racing from the trip through the Temple. It had been magnificent - even if only only looked at it from a purely secular viewpoint. Sobok: It was interesting. The old vulcan took his cane and with the help of it and the armrest he stood up. Sobok: Do you need help for the rest of the trip? Otherwise I will try to rest a little. I have a lot to do in the New Bajor. Jehe: I should be fine sir. Please, take all the rest you need. I’ll notify you when we’re on our final approach. The old Vulcan nodded in what might have seemed like gratitude. But to nod was to show a feeling, he had simply nodded to imply that he understood what the ensign had said. True, the old Vulcan knew that some people confused the two facts. And that begins guided by their feelings felt better in the presence of such emotional displays. So the old Vulcan did not take them out of their error. The ship traveled for a few hours in warp until it reached New Bajor. Following standard procedure it went to impulse as it approached the system. From space, it could still see some ravages caused by the blight. Although some improvement was already visible since the arrival of Thor. The Ra continued to approach the planet's orbit, but on its trajectory it passed near its mother ship, the Thor. Illuminated by the planet, it shone with its characteristic blue color of its hull and its slender form. Sobok observed it from one of the windows when they passed near it. The Vulcan returned to the command module. Sobok: I have loaded the coordinates of my meeting point on the transporter, Ensign. Your mission is over. Jehe: Very well, sir. ::She rose to accompany him to the transporter pad.:: If you’ll step up here. Sobok: Live long and prosper, Jehe Saja. :: He said by raising his hand and making the characteristic greeting of his culture. :: Energize. Jehe: ::Carefully approximating the gestures:: Peace and Long Life, Sobok. Lowering her hands, she activated the transporter sequence and watched as the eldarly Vulcan whom ahd been her passenger for the duration of the trip vanished in the familiar swirl of blue white motes, leaving behind an empty pad. Jehe: oO I hope he finds what he was looking for. Oo With that, she returned to the conn and adjusted her course to take the runabout to it - and her - new home. ========================================= Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S1 & Ens. Jehe Saja Intelligence Officer USS Thor T239712JS0
  22. I'm blown away by the amount of talented writers we have in this community, and I considered myself blessed that I have the opportunity to write on not one, but TWO ships where I get to read these wonderful stories by these fantastic writers. This is the beginning of the Thor's next mission. What a way to introduce it! ((Management & Oversight Center - Endless Golden Penetrator)) Lounging imperiously upon a shimmering technological throne, Shipmaster Pitorian Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc, Owner of the Endless Golden Penetrator, was in a fit of pique. It was now a foregone conclusion he was going to die. He huffed in mild annoyance at what a terribly embarrassing inconvenience this would be for him and his entire organization. Running a hand along his exquisitely crafted suit of clothes, Anroc experienced a brief sartorial joy at the feel of the luxurious silken garments, but it was fleeting. With six eyes, he took in the meticulously appointed command deck, built to his exacting specifications and ostentatious personal tastes. Priceless objet d'art and sumptuous glowmarble inlay had cost millions of credits, and the ship had cost hundreds of billions more. All for another humiliating public failure that was likely to impact their net worth substantially when the annual fiscal picture was reviewed. The fact that eleven hundred and sixty three crewmen and women would die alongside him trapped aboard a crippled ship, stranded at the Edge with no hope of rescue, hadn’t crossed his mind. They were only ephemerals, afterall. Sooner or later, they always died. The larger nuisance would be the staffing issues following this loss of “biological capital,” but the possibility had been considered prior to their mission and the corporation would begin acting on those contingencies soon. From a meticulously handcrafted songwood side table, Anroc lifted a livecrystal goblet that hummed soothingly in response to the warmth of his strong, 3 fingered hand. Filling it with a dram of liquor that would cost the average worker their life savings to acquire, Anroc paused and then, feeling entirely sorry for himself, he poured two more drams. He was going to die today, after all. He tisked to himself as the throne continued its work. Such a nuisance. One of the senior crew ephemerals, Nenni Nokzu, moved towards the dais of the Shipmaster with a bowed head and short, hesitant steps. When Anroc’s drink was agreeably warming his pallet a few minutes later, he turned his head ever so slightly and gave the faintest sign of contemptuous acknowledgement. Nokzu: Shipmaster, if it pleases you... Anroc snapped back at the woman with a combination of boredom and venom. He didn’t bother making eye contact with someone so far beneath him. Anroc: It most certainly does not. If I must suffer this annoyance, you could at least address me using my proper title. ::Anroc was immediately disgusted, his mood souring further:: You do know my full and proper title, of course? Nokzu kept her pale head bowed low and racked her brain. The journey had taken six years just to get where they were at now, and in that whole time serving as the first officer, she’d always stumbled over the long string of namesakes. Speaking slowly to give herself more time, Nokzu worked through it out loud. Nokzu: Owner and Guildmaster Extraordinary, First Eternal, President for Life of the Saldanian Corporate Hegemony, Beloved & Benevolent, Everlasting… She was pretty sure she’d missed a word in there somewhere. This man was their doom and she couldn’t even appease him at the most basic level. When he didn’t immediately chastise her however, Nokzu decided to press on. aswq Nokzu: … The matter displacement array is completely destroyed. Two of the crew were killed trying to effect the repairs, but it’s a lost cause. With her head low, she winced at the thought to the pair of engineers who had been killed. The chitinous plates on her back shifted slightly like a cat twitching it’s fur. They’d been good men. Friends. Nokkzu: The same impact that destroyed it also damaged the fuel storage. We’re losing fuel and we’ll have no way to decelerate when we reach the Edge. The mission is doomed, shipmaster. Anroc took in this catastrophic declaration with the air of a man who had lost his third favorite hat. Anroc: Ah, so no hope at all then? Such a waste. ::Anroc refilled his glass, this time to capacity. Gesturing towards the half empty crystal decanter, Anroc tried to speak slowly, annunciating each word so even the dimmest ephemeral could understand:: This bottle alone is worth more than a hundred of you, and I have a case in my suites - a splendid gift from my ninth mistress. What am I to tell him? That I simply abandoned his lovely token? A sour taste filled Nokzu’s mouth. Outrage swelled in her chest. She had two children back home. After the briefest moment however, her outrage dissipated. It was a skill she’d honed over decades of serving the deathless, and one of the reasons she’d been hand selected for this mission. Nokzu: There is a small planetoid a week away. We could land on it before the fuel runs out. From there, if we radio the homeworld for assistance, in a decade or two we might be rescu... Anroc rose to his full three meter height in instant fury. Anroc: A distress signal?! Do you have any idea how humiliating it would be for the corporation to have the media rebroadcasting a pathetic cry for help from what was supposed to be our shining triumph? You’ve already failed to take this ship beyond the Edge, don’t compound your mistake with another, or I’ll see to it you’ll never be employed again! That was it. Her last hope. Even traveling at the speed of light it’d take their message nearly five years to reach home, and then six more for another ship to reach theirs. That all hinged on the Shipmaster’s willingness to send the message though. Now, that hope was gone, as was her chance of ever seeing her children again. Employment be damned, Nokzu welled up with anger again, but this time she failed to push it back down. In defiance she rose to her two and half meter height, Anroc still towering over her. Nokzu: (Raising her slender head and locking all six eyes on Anroc) I’ll never be employed again as it is Shipmaster! This ship will be my tomb! Anroc could see the flair of defiance behind the ephemerals eyes and moved to snuff it out instantly. This one had clearly forgotten themselves, and Anroc suspected being away from home for so long had eroded its weak, simple mind. Anroc: Don’t use that insolent tone with me you loathsome chattel! If you’re dead, I’ll make certain no one in your family ever works, no matter what barren airless asteroid farm they run to. Your children will be eating vermin by the end of the year...if they’re fortunate! Fire flashed in her eyes. Indignation, outrage, and fury roiled within Nokzu’s chest. For a time she maintained eye contact until she finally acknowledged the truth behind his words. Her life may be lost, but Nokzu could still help the future of her children. Nokzu: I apologize for my… insolence Shipmaster. You know how us… ephemerals can be. What are your orders for the ship? The moment passed but Anroc could still smell a grotesque, lingering musk of pheromones - not only from Nokzu, but now from some of the other ephemerals on the bridge. The bitter scents of desperation and rage muddled up with the awful pungent aroma of insolence. Around him, the throne had begun to glow a shimmering green and a faint twinkling hum was filling the command deck. It was nearly time. Anroc finished the last of his drink, some small pleasure salvaged from the otherwise disappointing day. Anroc: I don’t particularly care what you do at this point, but if you send that distress call and the corporation hears of it, I promise that death is the least terrible thing you have to worry about. With that, Shipmaster Pitorian Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc stabbed at a jewel encrusted control on the throne's arm. The glow within the throne intensified until it was nearly blinding, then snapped out all at once. Anroc’s body, still rigid and imperious upon the throne, was vacant and dead. The light behind all six of his eyes had been extinguished. His exquisite clothing and priceless jewelry were now macabre ornaments on a rapidly cooling corpse. Nokzu: (Mumbling) Good riddance you skel’echt. Nokzu shoved the body of the ageless corpse off the mantle and pushed it to the side. She’d deal with it later. Taking a seat in the throne herself, the woman massaged the small horns on the back of her head as she contemplated what to do. The sound of a door opening made her look up as a colleague entered the command deck. The woman’s clothes were stained and had some small tears. Exhaustion could be seen on her face. Saulan: The breach on deck 23 is getting worse. They are trying to reinforce it but they don't know how much it will hold. Nokzu: Anroc is gone. Everything on this ship has already been written off as a loss for the corp. We’re on our own now. She leaned back in the massive and ornamented chair, the weight of her decisions now bearing down on her. Nokzu’s eyes flicked over the room as the rest of the command crew watched her. They all had families back home. She’d met many of them before they left so many years ago. Nokzu counted in her head and the numbers came easily to her as the welfare of each member of the crew was her responsibility. 897 widows, 142 orphans. That was the fallout of this ship not returning. Finally she turned back toward the engineer, a renewed strength filling her. Nokzu: Helm, set a course for planetoid Sigma 438, full burn. (Turning to the other side of the room) Operations, start calculating the fuel cost for our deceleration burn and landing on that rock. I need to know that we’ve got enough to make it. Turning back to the engineer, Nokzu blinked, not wanting to say what she had to. Nokzu: Saulan, if we lose too much fuel we’ll die for sure. We must seal that breach at all costs. At all costs. Do you understand? Saulan: They do their best. But I will try... to encourage them. :: His voice was tired and became more sinister at the end of the sentence. :: Nokzu: One more thing, old friend. It would take years for a message to get back to the homeworld. I know you’ve been working with radios your whole life. Is there anything you can do to get that signal out faster? Saulan: There is a theory, that by focusing a signal at a certain frequency in line with the Edge emissions can be accelerated. Although we do not fully understand how. The problem is that it would have to be focused on, and hopefully bounce back to the home planet. Nokzu: We’ve got nothing else to lose. Try. It’s our only hope we have to see our families again. Saulan: I will configure the emitter. Give me a moment. Before the disaster Saulan would be excited to try something like this. If it worked, her name could be on the patent, and she could find a comfortable position in the organization's colleges. Now it was a simple act of desperation. Saulan sat at the communications console and was reconfiguring the emitter matrix to do what they wanted. He had to stop a couple of times to talk to the executive section chief of rapid maintenance, so that they could repair the breach. Nokzu watched the man work for a moment before turning back toward the rest of the bridge crew. They’d heard the exchange with Anroc. They all understood the cost of calling out for help. Nokzu turned the decision over in her mind several times and for a couple of minutes they all worked in silence. A silence she finally broke. Nokzu: As soon as you’re ready, Saulan, send the distress call. Saulan: Ready. Sending the signal. There, trapped by the manyfold intersecting layers of nebular gasses and exotic subspace fields, The Endless Golden Penetrator shouted past the Edge of known space. No one knew what lay beyond the Edge, and all expeditions to penetrate it over the millennia had come to the same inglorious end. As the Penetrator sent out its desperate call for an unlikely rescue, the fields of the nebula briefly attenuated and massively amplified the signal. Distorted but intact, the message tumbled through subspace, echoing far beyond the Edge and outward, into a region of space that Federation astronomers would call ‘The Gamma Quadrant.’ [Fin] ========================== Shipmaster Pitorian Sal’Lat’Ut’Kel’Tras Anroc Owner & Guildmaster Extraordinary, First Eternal, President for Life of the Saldanian Corporate Hegemony, Beloved & Benevolent, Everlasting & Magnificent V239509GT0 & Nenni Chu’To’Lem’Ri Nokzu Acting Shipmaster Endless Golden Penetrator E239702WG0 & Saulan Ket’han Deputy Director of Daily Operations Endless Golden Penetrator E239702S10 =========================
  23. Where we get to see a bit more of Sobok as well as our beloved Chief Engineer, @Sirok. The title itself just conveys a lot, and I love it. ((USS Thor, Main Engineering)) Several crew members performed their usual tasks of inspection and maintenance of the different systems. They were illuminated by the blue light of the bending engine that emitted its characteristic hum, which reached the whole ship. The chief engineer worked on the holographic table, visualizing the data from the ship's systems. Checking for any irregularities. For some it would be a tedious job, for Sirok it was an opportunity to be methodical, to sort out his own thoughts while taking care of the ship's own systems. His concentration was interrupted by the sound of the communicator. Larell: =/\=Lieutenant, a civilian has arrived from New Bajor, he says he wants to see you. He says his name is Sobok. =/\= Sirok looked away from the holographic table , just before turning it off. Sirok: =/\=On my way. =/\= Larell: =/\=Understood. =/\= ((USS Thor, Transporter room 1)) Sirok entered the transporter room. And he found Larell talking to a very old Vulcan. His complexion was dark and hairless, even in his eyebrows. His back was already slightly crooked and he was wearing a traditional light-colored robe that was very well made. He supported part of his weight on a simple black cane. Larell: With this type of coils we improve the stability of the transporter buffer. ::She happily explained to the hieratic Vulcan, who listened to her carefully. :: Sirok: Live long and prosper, Sobok :: He said it in standard in deference to Larell. :: The old Vulcan turned around, excusing himself with his hand to Larell because he could no longer hear his explanation. Sobok: Live long and prosper... :: Sobok looked at the engineer's neck. :: Liutenant Sirok. Sirok: I was not expecting his visit, although he is welcome. Miss Larell, do you know if he has any assigned quarters? :: Since Teller decided to call him Chief Sirok, he avoided using ranks with his NCOs to avoid confusion, not out of disrespect. :: Larell: Ehm, yes sir. ::The young Boslic woman approached her console. :: One of the quarters on deck 13. We have already sent his luggage there, would you like someone to call to accompany him? Sirok: No Miss Larell, I will do it. ::He looked her straight in the eye. ::Good job. Larell: Thank you, sir. :: He responded with a slightly disconcerting tone. :: Sobok attended the conversation without saying anything, calmly observing how the two Thor crew members behaved. Sirok: I will show you your quarters, come with me. Sobok nodded and started to walk towards the door, stopping for a moment in front of the transporter chief. Sobok: That was a great explanation, Larell. I expect we will meet again. :: In spite of the monochordic tone of voice, it seemed to have a certain warmth. :: After his farewell, he walked leaning on his cane in the direction of the door, following the engineer. Sirok was waiting for him in his usual hieratic posture, when Sobok arrived where he was, he began the march towards the turbolift. Sobok: I see you trying to use my advice to deal with beings driven by their feelings. Sirok: I try to do it but it is not always successful. Larell is an example, I have been told that they must get used to my leadership style. Sobok: This is partly true, but we cannot impose logic on them. For many of them their minds are not able to function as they should. They are attached to their feelings. So to function well, as officers we must adapt. Satisfy them to their feelings so that they give the best of themselves. Sirok: It is not like lying? Sobok: Acting, not lying. It is part of your job as an officer. If you were a technician and only dealt with the machine or enjoyed a crew that entirely followed logic, it would not be necessary, but part of your job is to make them work well, as a team. Authority helps, but it is not the only way. They both walked through the corridors, occasionally crossing with some crew member, surprised to see an old Vulcan walking with the robotic chief engineer. Sobok: You have been promoting very fast, more than I have in my day. So you will have to adapt faster than I did. But if you have made it this far at this speed, you can do it. I have heard about your Captain, he is a reputable man, many officers who have served under him have had brilliant careers. You can trust his judgment. Sirok nodded as they entered the turbolift, Sobok had been a Captain for many, many years, making him a reliable source. Sirok: Deck 13. May I ask what you do in the Gamma Quadrant? Sobok: I try to help your father establish new business deals to get more resources for the Romulan colonies in Vulcan. They said there were opportunities on New Bajor, but as you know, there are not. Sirok: Unfortunately, they are a clear example of why Surak's teachings are so important. :: He knew that their experience might not be a sufficient sample of all of New Bajor, but given the problems they had had it did not seem very misguided. ::But that does not explain why you have boarded the Thor. Sobok: I know its new direction and it is close to where I have to go. In addition I can update my knowledge and of course, know your status first hand. Sirok: That last was not necessary. The turbolift doors opened, revealing the corridor on deck 13. Sobok: On the contrary. Wisely, you ask for my advice because of my experience, but to give accurate advice I must know the context, which variables affect a situation. No matter how much you try to describe it, it is not the same as experiencing it, the same reason we explore space in person, we do not just send a probe. Sirok could not argue with Sobok's logic. They continued to walk to the rhythm of old Vulcan. Sirok: The head doctor is Vulcan, Doctor Alieth, maybe she can do something for your hip. Sobok: It is already more mechanical than biological, but you still cannot fight time. But it is true that every doctor believes he has the ultimate solution to a particular problem, if she wants to see me I will not stop her. They arrived at the quarters' door, which opened when they detected Sobok's bio-signal, for which it had already been configured. Sobok stood at the door and watched. Sobok: I would almost have preferred a smaller quarters, this is almost three times the size of the Captain's cabin in an Excelsior class. Excessive for my needs. Sirok: Is a standard guest cabin in a Vesta class. And it is unoccupied, if necessary for some personality surely the Captain would appreciate your willingness to change to another quarter. Sobok nodded, agreeing with the young engineer and went into the room. The quarters were mainly illuminated by the light of the star bouncing off the surface of New Bajor. It was a large room, with a small living room, a work table and not visible from the entrance was the bedroom and bathroom. Sobok: I am tired, I have had many meetings in New Bajor. But during the trip we must resume some conversation. Sirok: I am learning to meditate better and better, it will not be necessary. Sobok: Your life depends on it. And you begin to be a respected Starfleet officer. Something can be done. In any case, we will not discuss it today. Let me rest. See you tomorrow, Sirok. Sirok: See you tomorrow, grandfather. ((End Scene for Sirok)) -- ==================== Lieutenant Sirok Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  24. I've been waiting eagerly for the final installment of this series of sims by the Thor's own @Alex Brodie, and he did not disappoint. He really knows how to engage the reader and I can really relate not only to his main character, Brodie, but to all the others he writes into the story. Well done! IC: ((USS Loki, Approaching Moon ‘Solace’)) Alex woke as the sensors chimed denoting his arrival at a safe distance – he hoped the situation on the ground would be better than what he was looking at on the monitor. He stretched from his seat and walked back to the replicator – keying in a few commands. Brodie: White coffee, Sumatran blend. It was strange. The horrific scenes in the slipstream had shown the very best in people, the political intrigues on New Bajor had shown the very worst. Everything seemed a little upside-down. The mug materialised in the opening and the smell filled the air. It had been a few day’s journey but now he was on this side of the wormhole it was simply a chance he couldn’t not take, although it might be the last chance he took. It had taken a while to get the appropriate permissions and authorisations but here he was...the console cut through the silence as he sipped his drink. LCARS: Warning. Target lock acquired. He hopped forwards and opened a comm. channel to the satellite that had targeted the Loki. His fingers skittered across the console as he input the authorization codes for the system. Only a handful of people had them and, as soon as they were transmitted, he erased them from the ship’s logs. Some things were just too risky to let out. The shuttle slipped between the gap in the orbital net and began its descent to the surface. He wondered what he would find there? He’d read the reports but a lot can change in nearly two decades…although in some ways a great many things would have stayed the same. The first thing that struck him, as the cloud cover broke, was the landing pad – so far, a good sign. He had rather expected a flattened piece to rough ground but it seemed there were elements of infrastructure. He didn’t think that there would have been many visitors to this area. The Loki touched down as gently as he could manage – having not landed a shuttle since the academy…and even then, only a handful of times. He opened the munitions locker and took one of the protective vests from inside and slipped it around his chest, pulling the straps tight. He didn’t like them but this was certainly a place where it was better to be safe than sorry. He pulled his field jacket over his shoulders and opened the door, lowering the exit ramp. It was a bright but cold day and the sun was low. He could just make out the figure walking towards him – unassuming, relaxed, like they had all the time in the world – which they did. Alex allowed himself some butterflies at the thought of what to say – it was a refreshing feeling - before deciding to keep it formal. He bowed slightly in greeting. Brodie: Eminence. ((Zone Of Mediation, Solace)) Alex awoke early as the sun blinkered through the window, dappled by the trees. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected from a prison – but it wasn’t this. The door wasn’t locked and, after having dressed, he walked down the corridor towards a communal room that had been set aside. As he walked in some heads turned…but not many and, as he saw the faces, there were more expressions of confusion and…was that a little fear. He smiled, though not openly, from what he’d heard about the Ennis and Nol-Ennis but he hadn’t expected them to appear so…alike. It reminded him of an old song ‘One Tin Soldier’ the mountain and the valley people fighting over a supposed treasure – and all the pain that brought. He wondered if the two factions even recalled what they were even fighting over? He took some fruit and a bowl of what tasted like sugared oats and took a seat at the rear of the room – not deliberately watching but making sure he had everyone in his field of vision. This place was still a prison and if anything happened to him here then…well…he’d be stuck there. He wouldn’t mind so much but Garcia would certainly want to get the Loki back. It was a testament to the work that had been going on here that they were able to mix so freely and without incident, although he was led to believe that not everyone shared or appreciated the attempt at a more peaceful philosophy. That said, it was still standing nearly two decades later…but then what would they do…kill them? He wondered about this place, a planetary prison – a prison without bars; although it did have a sophisticated satellite defence system. He certainly appreciated the intention towards punishment but this was akin to torture. The violence was playing out, and perhaps – at first, there was a revelry on each side flying into an eternal battle with no sense of one’s own mortality. It seemed oddly Klingon – perhaps similar to Sto-vo-kor; he was unlikely to ever find out. There was a further fleeting thought, he wondered how Hannibal was getting on in his quest for the next battle? Back to the problem at hand, that was all well and good – teaching them that conflict was futile, a cycle doomed to repeat itself over and over until the end of time. And that was the issue, it never ended. How could there be any justice in this? There was no final punishment nor was there any chance at rehabilitation – the two peoples pushed aside as an inconvenience. Their people couldn’t reconcile them so they were shut away in this endless purgatory. Out of sight and out of mind…but it didn’t solve the problem. All that changed when she arrived though. It was odd that yet another death might be the start of something more progressive – they couldn’t leave, but perhaps they could grow. Perhaps they could find some sort of redemption…or maybe that was all wishful thinking? A bell tolled and the hall began to empty, their day had begun. He sat alone for a moment and then looked across the room to where Her Eminence now occupied the doorway, her eyes more alive than his – he hadn’t been able to find anything remotely resembling coffee. He stood in greeting. Sulan: Commander, good morning. Brodie: Good morning, Eminence Sulan: Please…there’s no need for formalities. Come, walk with me. It wasn’t a command, but strangely he didn’t feel anyone would ever refuse. It was simply a statement of how things were. The planet was still barren in the most part. The two walked along one of the paths that overlooked what had once been a battlefield but now was showing the literal green shoots of recovery as farmland – not that food was required but it gave structure and allowed cultivation of a less war-torn scenery. A group approached and nodded in greeting at his companion – standing little taller as they passed. Sulan: I’m not a leader, you know? Brodie: I think some of these people would beg to differ. Sulan: I brought a new perspective to this place…that was all…an alternative path. I can’t make anyone walk it, but I will assist any who wish to, or those who choose another. I’ve already seen enough violence to last a lifetime; even one as extended as mine. He'd thought about that already. He had read some of the reports but they were scant on detail – all he knew was they couldn’t leave. Brodie: Have you considered those who may wish to leave. You say it is no longer a prison but the satellite grid I came through would beg to differ. What of those who choose to end their lives by leaving - the Federation may be able to assist with that. The woman regarded him slowly, her expression slightly confused but still cheerful. Sulan: Would that not be a violation of the culture of this world though, Commander? She was right of course; the world had been designed to be a prison - by another culture. While they were aware of the galaxy out with their borders they were not, themselves, warp capable – at least not any more…the Prime Directive applied…at least at his level of authority. Brodie: I appreciate your point, Eminence, although I would say that does not sit well with my desire to provide care and ease suffering. Sulan: Who says anyone is suffering? Perhaps once, and perhaps some still, but when you have all the time then is anything truly a constant state? Brodie: I would not have been surprised if Sulan: Life is what you make of it, Commander…and when you have all the time in the world you can make of it whatever you want. Suddenly Brodie realised the point the woman was making. It wasn’t that time was never ending – it was the realisation that time simply did not apply. Time was still linear for the inhabitants of this world but without the restriction of being finite it didn’t matter – and that brought a freedom that he had a hard time comprehending. Brodie: So…you’re saying being bound here has made them free? Psychologically speaking I mean. Sulan: They always were, Commander, they just had to realise it. Now some have also realised they are not bound to keep fighting a futile war – they don’t have to be confined by their past. He thought on his own years…how true that was. Brodie: In that case I’d say they’re lucky to have you…not leading them on this path. She smiled. ((Landing Site, Solace, Gamma Quadrant)) All good things had to come to an end and, while this had been a short visit to this world it had felt longer than it was. He wondered if that was just a feeling he had or if it was another factor of the prison’s original design – which would have been especially cruel. Alex dropped his kit bag into the shuttle and returned to where his host was standing. Brodie: Thank you, Eminence, for your hospitality. This isn’t strictly allowed but I will ask, do you have any messages I can pass on to anyone. He had worried that thinking of a life past Sulan: No Commander, my son is gone, and I have no other blood family…looking back I wonder if I was already past my time. There was one thing I wanted to ask you, you mentioned there is a Bajoran colony on this side of the Celestial Temple? Brodie: That’s right, New Bajor. It would have been established not long after your arrival here. The Dominion destroyed it’s first incarnation, but it’s been re-established now. Sulan: So many now feel the touch of the Prophets in the Celestial Temple as I did? Brodie: Some, although perhaps not all appreciate the significance in the same way you did. Sulan: And the colony is well? Alex hesitated…he wondered if she’d been reading his draft mission report behind his back. He opted for something that was true…from a certain point of view. Brodie: It is – Governor Velos is an excellent administrator who cares deeply for her people. You’d be very proud. She reached up slightly and cupped his ear - checking his Pah. He allowed it, he was fairly sure after his time here he wasn’t in any danger in her company. Sulan: Your Pah is strong but…::unsure::…there is a darkness there, Commander… She was correct of course…there were more than a few shadows lurking in his past. Like those here, however, he’d been able to change his destiny – to some extent. Brodie: They’re a defence mechanism – of sorts. One must always guard against the darker side of one’s self, and that means you must acknowledge your own. Sulan: Just take caution not to become it…I have seen the damage a corrupted Pah can bring first-hand. Alex thought of Samara and her past, there were true horrors in the occupation – and beyond. Though he’d seen plenty of his own, both professionally and personally, he still heeded the caution in her words. Brodie: I believe there’s more good than bad in the universe, Eminence, besides the light shines brighter in the darkness. The sound of the comm sounding alerted him that the start-up routine on the shuttle was complete. It was time to go. Brodie: Farewell eminence, I would say stay safe but I’m not sure that applies here. ::He bowed slightly:: Prophets be with you and the blessings of Bajor be with you. Sulan: And also with you, Commander. He returned to the shuttle and began his accent…it all felt like some surreal dream until he encountered the perimeter in the low orbit. Keying in a few strokes, he set a course for the rendezvous with the Thor. FIN ------------------------------------ Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie Chief Counselor USS Thor NCC-82607 dualitygamer@gmail.com Writer ID.: A239005BM0
  25. Joke about Teller all you want, he really is an excellent XO. This conversation really resonated with me. ((XO's office, Deck 1, USS Thor)) Teller: And how do you see that sequence of events playing out if you get stabbed to death in a bar fight? Alieth: Inherently, you cannot be stabbed to death in a fistfight. Geoff's eyes narrowed slightly and his tone cooled a fraction. Teller: Hypothetically, Lieutenant. Say one of your playmates brought a knife along. Or both. You know how Klingons like their sharp objects. Geoff watched closely as she mulled it over, the small noises in the room amplified by the tension in the air. Alieth: In that case... poorly. For an instant, Teller heard the faintly musical laughter of his former CO. Geoff was entirely certain that Captain Rahman would've deeply enjoyed being a fly on the wall for this conversation. Teller: Lieutenant...the uniform that you're wearing...that we're all wearing. It means more than just a job or a career. It's a symbol, with a pedigree that goes back centuries, and it stands for values like compassion and tolerance. It stands for patience, and for empathy. In all four quadrants of this galaxy, these colors are synonymous with peaceful collaboration. And that's the uniform you were wearing while brawling in public. ::Geoff shook his head:: Is that how you want to demonstrate your respect for the uniform? Geoff leveled his gaze, from which Alieth quickly looked away. He took no pleasure in raking her over the coals, but this was an important part of his duties as sure as anything he'd done since coming aboard. Alieth shifted uncomfortably before replying. Alieth: I am uncertain about that, sir. Geoff scowled deeply. Teller: Well you had better get certain, Lieutenant, and soon, or you'll find your career options in Starfleet exceptionally limited. Alieth: It is not the first time that I have not lived up to expectations, neither in my time in Starfleet nor... outside it. Although I strive to overcome this circumstance, I may simply not be able to achieve the perfection that has been expected of me. What is, is. And maybe my ambition has blinded me from this very fact. :: She paused briefly:: As my mother often insists, I am inherently inadequate. Geoff blinked, caught flat by the unexpected insight into Alieth's mind. Even Sern, who had agreed to stay out of the matter, registered a deep shock at Alieth's words. Teller's posture finally relaxed and he slumped back in his chair as his anger mostly evaporated. Teller: Alieth...You couldn't be more wrong. This isn't about expectations, and it most certainly isn't about perfection. Long time ago, a very smart woman told me we all make mistakes. The trick was to learn from them. She felt I was someone who could. ::Geoff's attention had wandered as he reminisced but his eyes turned back towards Alieth, stern but sympathetic.:: And I feel the same way about you. Alieth: Response Teller: Now, your mistake wasn't getting into a drunken fistfight. That was A mistake, certainly, but it wasn't The Mistake. Any theories on what your mistake actually was? Geoff let the question hang in the air, allowing time for Alieth to ruminate. Alieth: Response Teller: Your mistake was listening to your mother and not to yourself. Geoff gave that a moment to settle before going on. Teller: Not a single being aboard this ship is perfect, Alieth, and I may as well be the President of that club. That doesn't make any of them inadequate any more than it makes you inadequate. Alieth: Response Teller: There's a saying some of our Marine colleagues like, and I'll admit it caught my ear - I think you could learn something from it. 'Perfect is the enemy of good.' It's a way of saying that chasing perfection can blind you to other options, other ways of succeeding. I think you're trapped in that thinking right now, Lieutenant...maybe you have been for a long time. That to be worthwhile at all, you have to be perfect. That's your mistake, Alieth. Alieth: Response Tags/TBC =============================== Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0
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