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(Alieth) Cadet Ico Ena - Still Unbroken


Jo Marshall

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Really enjoyed this sim from @Alieth! Her reactions to the presented ideas made me chuckle, and it's a good representation of an MSNPC. Pushing the plot forward, involving her fellow cadets, conveying her personality with every interaction. 

--

((Outskirts of an unknown city underground, Darime IV))

The small group of cadets had awakened, headache notwithstanding, in an unknown place, in the pitch black darkness that could only belong to a cave or the emptiness of deep space. Due to the damp, mossy ground beneath their feet, space had been ruled out ipso facto, but they still had no idea where they were, how they had got there, .... or how long it had been since that breakfast that was the last memory they all shared.

However, things had gone a little south when, mere minutes after they woke up, a beam of light had appeared and a city of towering spires and vertiginous towers had unfolded before them, prompting a tense debate between the two human cadets with some comic insertions from the Kelpian, which perhaps had only served to fuel their growingly heated tempers.

Following a quick and unproductive exchange of words, the young Bajoran mustered enough courage to raise her voice.

Ico: GUYS! That doesn’t matter if we don’t get out of here. We are all friends and classmates after all... r-right?

Her voice lost strength and volume as she spoke. A flush rose to her cheeks, soon turning them deep crimson.

Ryan broke out in a wide grin, and with his hand held close to his gut, gave her a surreptitious thumbs up which only increased the blush on Ico's cheeks. She had always thought Isaacs had a good-looking smile, anyway.

Ressan: Yeah. You're right, Ena. We're Starfleet, we can handle this. ::He grinned.:: Or all get turned into puppets.

Ena raised her gaze for a brief second to flash a grateful, minute smile to Jack. Not at the allusion to her more-than-unlikely transformation into puppets (though she had read something about such a weapon in the FedNet's "I want to believe" almanac, a publication to which she could only give marginal credibility) but rather for the supportive intent and the attempt to lighten the mood. Everyone could always rely on Jack, even when his ganglia were extended, as they were at that moment, and he was possibly struggling as much (or more) than she was.

Isaacs: All right then. ::He dropped his hands to his hips, fingers still curled around the tricorder.:: What do we want to do, and where do we want to start?

Gilbert: Response

The Bajoran gave a small nod at Solomon's words, breathed in for a second to gather her courage and spoke. This time almost (almost) without hesitation in her voice.

Ico: I don't know, but we have to remember our training: determine dangers, get as much information as possible, try to get out of here or look for help.

Ressan: That's right. Isaacs was right before, as well; we should try and get a signal going. Even if these walls are messing with our combadge signals, there might be a way once we sit and think for a bit.

Gilbert: Response

She clutched her pack tighter and glanced down somewhere between the boots of her Kelpian teammate. One, two, three, a hard squeeze to the backpack and tell her mind once more.

Ico: Maybe, maybe they are already looking for us actually, we just need to stay safe and don't do anything crazy.

Ressan: It's a good survival rule. "Stay put". We don't know how we got here, we don't know where we are. We could be just down the road from our quarters, or we could be on the other side of the galaxy. 

The Bajoran cringed slightly at that response, considering the comment a criticism of her idea. Her fingers dipped into the torn fabric of the backpack. Well, maybe it wasn't exactly the brightest idea, but... she doubted they were anywhere near the Base. ....

Ressan: Could be a The Traveller situation, could be a Q, we could have gone full Voy' and be in the Delta quadrant—could be there's something in the air and we are all tripping the most balls ever as your people say with disturbing regularity. Until we know more, we should examine our immediate surroundings first.

As the Kelpian droned on, Ena felt more and more the urge to cry, all those prospects were horrifying, far from home, left to their own fate with no chance of rescue. She squeezed her eyelids shut and bit her lower lip. No, she couldn't think like that, there was always a solution to every problem, or almost always. She just had to focus, learn what means they had and everything they knew about their environment and look for solutions. Her mother's voice, as she planned the next year's crops, echoed in her mind, clear as the day she heard it: "Remember, my child, that all problems seem huge if you look at them from a distance, but if you look at them from up close everything seems more manageable. Don't think of the spring harvest, only of ploughing the field, of sowing the seeds. The small steps. Little by little, step by step a trail becomes a road, Ena."

Then, she always told him that the Prophets also cared for Bajor and its people, and that no matter how much trouble they put in her path, there was always a plan in place. That she should trust them.

Surely they wouldn't let her get lost forever in a dark and isolated place away from everything she knew, would they?

It was a comforting thought, one that allowed her to raise her eyes a little, to her companions' chest height, almost to their shoulders as she turned her attention back to the conversation.

Isaacs: Okay. If they aren’t looking for us already, they will be once we miss our scheduled check-in—if we haven’t already. So first things first. Safety checks: ::he held a finger for each item he rattled off,:: are we being exposed to anything dangerous, are there any immediate threats, is there enough water and food to wait out a rescue, you know the drill.

Ena nodded quickly, and one of her hands dropped from her backpack to grab the tricorder. One small step, one at a time.  Ryan had made it clear what they had to do, so she was going to work on it. She wasn't a security specialist, but maybe she could answer some of the other questions.

Gilbert: Response

She took the floor then, her voice still a bit shaky and small. 

Ico: I have a regular tricorder, not a medical, so I can' t get detailed readings of our organism, but I could try… Maybe I find n- nothing, or… I don’t know, I’m a astronomer, not a doctor. 

Then she made a brief pause. Her voice had become too hesitant and unsure by the end. She wanted to help the better she can, surely the others knew it. As she thought about it, her gaze looked for the canteen she had passed to the other cadets, and then pulled out the half-sandwich out of her backpack.

Ico: As for food, I have this half sandwich... turkey and apple, I think. The water I've found is what's left in the canteen, if there's any. Finding supplies... sa-safe supplies, I mean, is paramount. ...especially water.

It was then that Jack spoke.

Ressan: I'm just saying. Let's look around before we run off. ::To Gilbert,:: You too. If a Q did this, I promise you can try and seduce them. ::He fought down a wave of nervous laughter.:: Not that you ever needed my permission to try the Solomon Manoeuvre in literally every single possible situation ever.

Ena bit her lips at that phrase, still uncomfortable when boys talked about boy stuff. The blush threatened to rise to her cheeks again and she struggled futilely to control it, remembering all too well some of the other girls' comments regarding Solomon's... 'skills'.

Gilbert: Response

Isaacs: Gil, you’re the guy to check if there’s any immediate threats. Ico, can you figure out if we’re being exposed to anything dangerous: radiation, airborne contaminants, that kind of thing? 

Ryan paused for a second, and the young Bajoran was quick to nod eagerly. However, the human's mind was elsewhere, on Jack who, in turn, seemed to be absorbed in staring at the buildings that had appeared out of nowhere a moment ago. Somehow the Kelpian's violet eyes seemed to be squinting, giving him really goofy look almost as if he were performing one of his usual tomfooleries. She struggled to refrain a chuckle.

Ressan: The walls are reflective in a wide range of bands; a good chunk of the visual spectrum, especially in the ultraviolet—and thermals, too, so... presumably that's what's scrambling our comm frequencies.. We might be able to talk to each other with a bit of rejigging, but we're not getting a signal out here if that material treats comm signals like it does everything else. But that'll take time.

Isaacs: If the walls are acting like mirrors higher and lower in the spectrum, they’ll mess with a lot of our scans, too. We’ll have to watch out for sensor echoes and repeats.
The Bajoran's urge to laugh vanished quickly, as her companion with heightened senses described the scenario: the environment itself was working against them, rendering even more challenging the task of getting out of there.

Isaacs: Can you see if there’s any way for us to get a signal out? Or at least an idea of whether it’s worth trying. 

Ico: Or a less reflective area, a blind spot that we can use to our advantage?

Ressan/Gilbert: Response

Isaacs: Okay, so— 

Before he finished the sentence, a mechanical growl reverberated over and over in the walls of the massive cavern, gravel against stone, the sort of thing that augured an avalanche or other cataclysm. Another rumble and the next thing that rang out was the sound of water. A distant section of a wall retracted up and frothing water crashed through the opening, pouring into what looked like an empty canal.Ico thoughtlessly embraced her backpack once more. Why seemed as if they had stepped into a beast's den just as it was awakening?

Isaacs: So, uh... let’s keep an eye on that while we see what we can find out?

Ena attempted to find the positive in all that.

Ico: At least we won't go thirsty... we might as well check it first.

Ressan/Gilbert: Response

Ena nodded slightly and slung her rucksack over her back, taking care that the tear did not cause her to lose even more of its meagre contents. With that taken care of, she picked up the tricorder and began configuring it for a medical scan. The device wasn't specialised in it, but a few tweaks here and there could do the trick.

Once she had done so, she followed her companions sheepishly, her nose almost immersed in the small screen of her device.

Ico: The atmosphere seems to be mostly harmless, there are quite a few spores and some complex hydrogen compounds, methane and other hydrocarbons, but nothing that could pose an immediate danger.

Ressan/Gilbert/Isaacs: Response

The Bajoran nodded absently, focused on work, which usually changed her attitude a great deal. So intent was she that she stumbled over a rock covered in blue moss and rolled to the ground.

Ico: Ich!

Ressan/Gilbert/Isaacs: Response

The young Bajoran shook her head and patted around for her missing tricorder. She sucked in her breath between clenched teeth before answering.

Ico: Yes, yeah, I'm fine, it's just a scratch.

Ressan/Gilbert/Isaacs: Response

Ena accepted the offered help to get back to an upright position, without letting go of the bruised tricorder. No sooner was she back on her feet than the scanner started beeping rapidly. Ico glanced at the screen and then at the young man who had helped her, a wrinkle of concern growing on her forehead.

Ico: Are you feeling alright? The tricorder took some strange readings when it had picked you up in the scanner beam...

Ressan/Gilbert/Isaacs: Response

 

--
Cadet Ico Ena
4th Year Cadet
Starfleet Academy

simmed by
Lt. Alieth
Chief Science Officer
USS Gorkon NCC-82293
E239702A10  
Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director

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