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[Round 3] A Million Miles Away


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Four Seasons Hotel - San Francisco))

::With so many from the Challenger looking for rooms, Toni had been lucky to find a place for her and Heath to stay the night. Exhausted from the ordeal of the mission, they both had fallen asleep no sooner than they had laid down.::

::Toni had awakened early, knowing that in a few hours she faced a long reconstructive surgery on some of the damage done by the burns Talon had suffered. She had wanted to be able to tell the young woman that all would be exactly as it had been, but she could only promise to do her best, and hope that it would be well enough.::

::As she laid snuggled close in Heath's arms, she went over every step she would take to rebuild the cartilage in Talon's nose. It was going to be difficult, but she felt she could sheer off enough from the back of her ears to be successful.::

::Heath groaned in his sleep, making her keenly aware of him. Duty had put him in harm's way during the mission and she had hated to be the one to give the order putting him in that position, but her confidence in him made him the most logical choice to get the job done, and he had not, in the least, let her down.::

::The question in her mind was had she let him down? The crew of the USS Thunder had been lost, save one, and they were men and women Heath had served with while assigned to the Thunder, many were his long time friends, and she questioned whether she could have acted to save them. She replayed the circumstances. If she could have saved them, she would have, but they were too far away to defend them from the enemy's fire and with transporter problems, they had been fortunate to lock on the few who had made it onto the Warbird's Bridge. It was a disastrous loss to the Fleet and a horrific personal loss to Heath, and not one he would soon get over.::

::She held him close in her heart, wanting to take the pain away and bear it for him. She would do anything to spare him, if only she could, but she knew all she could do was be there with him to support and comfort him. ::

::As she gazed at him, tears dripped from her eyes . . . some from anguish that ripped into her emotions, and some caused by the only thing she knew was real and lasting . . . her love for him was absolute.::

::She was so full of love for Heath, her mind stumbled over the words to express the affirmation from the depths of her soul. The echos of her emotions held the answers . . . many would love him, but she would always love him more. These were confessions straight from her heart and she couldn't deny any of them. This man would dwell infinitely within her, and that realization was pleasing to her as there would never be anyone who could touch the place in her existence where he reigned.::

:: Toni was still awake, but had her eyes closed when Heath had slipped out of bed. It was obvious that he was trying not to wake her, so using that as her guide. she had not followed him to the balcony. If he needed time alone to deal with the loss of his crew mates, she would give him that. She lay quietly watching him gaze out over the city, helpless to take his pain away.

The balcony was perhaps the one place where the young Diplomat could see what was San Francisco without venturing from the hotel. It looked like any other city in any other place, apart from the whacking big bridge in the background that offset the design of the buildings. In the distance, there was Starfleet Academy, recognizable by the shuttle flying around above it, wobbly, driven by a student obviously. Or someone really past their piloting age.::

:: A sudden urge to pick up a guitar filtered into his brain. How long ago was it since he'd done that? A year, maybe more? He was useless. And he had to tell Dade yet. Hnaev, what a mind job... Heath rolled his hand over his face. Utterly useless. The sun was streaming down through the open French windows into their room, lighting up the one area of the carpet. Needed someone. Toni. Asleep on the bed.::

:: What was he so afraid of? It was all going to work out. He knew it would. It had to. There was a pain in his chest when he inhaled that wasn't there before. He'd cried. Oh, he'd cried. His friends, what he'd known as his family for the best part of five years now gone. The Thunder, eradicated. Rico... Heath looked up into the bright sunshine and felt the warmth. So many dead. So many.::

:: His mind was all over the place and in the same place at once. Was it going to be simple? Simple enough to get over, just to keep walking on by like he'd done it all his life. Keep walking, Heath; just keep clocking up those air miles on your shoes. He smiled. Rare nowadays. A new beginning of sorts. Wherever those lads and lasses were, they were flying with the birds and fitting the good fight in the good place.::

:: Turning around slowly, Heath walked back into the bedroom, feeling the slight breeze coming from the open windows. The figure of Toni's sprawled out on the bed, arms that'd been wrapped around him all night long and the mind that was so tired, but still kept going and going and going... He moved quietly to her and kissed her forehead, hearing her soft breath move past her slightly parted lips. Then slipped out of the door silently.::

::Fresh tears dropped onto Toni's pillow. Heath was hurting and she could not take his pain away. Easing her legs out from under the covers, she slid them off the side of the bed and sat up. Miss Dalomar would be coming soon to pick Vee up for a day at the zoo, and she had to get her up and dressed, then get her own self ready to go to Starfleet Medical to do Talon's surgery. But still, Heath was foremost on her mind. Nothing could change that, and although they were so close in mind and spirit, she knew that until he found peace, that it would be like he was a million miles away.::

MC Heath West

Diplomatic Corps

USS Challangener


LtCmdr Toni Turner

Chief of Operations

USS Challenger

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A very solid sim. I love the way both of you took the simple task of waking up in the morning to deeply explore your characters and the way they processed both the mission they had just been through and the days ahead. You both do that well and do that honestly in this sim, and I might've given five stars to this if not for the fact that, for the third time in a row, Toni has submitted a sim written, at least in part, by herself. According to the Top Sims Contest website, "the Top Sims contest allows members of our fleet to be recognized by their peers for superior writing ability." I believe this sim had the potential to fit that description, because it certainly was very well written, but Toni and Heath's crewmembers weren't given that chance. But, on the other hand, I was truly touched by Heath's rememberance of his lost crewmates and Toni's desire to help him grieve. Well done, but next time let your crewmembers pat you on the back before you pat yourself. I promise you, it'll mean more to you in the long run.

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I might've given five stars to this if not for the fact that, for the third time in a row, Toni has submitted a sim written, at least in part, by herself. According to the Top Sims Contest website, "the Top Sims contest allows members of our fleet to be recognized by their peers for superior writing ability."

This isn't the first time someone has mentioned this, but in fairness, the rules DO state:

- Anyone can submit anyone else's sim. You do not need permission to submit a sim, nor do you need to submit your own sim.

- You are welcome to submit your own sim.

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It's okay Admiral, I won't submit anymore of our sims. People prefer to believe that since the crew of the Challenger produces a good many sims, we can not produce quailty sims. Mr. Kolk and others have made it very clear that my sims are not welcome in the Top Sims contest, no matter who submits them.

Toni - I'd love to see the Challenger's quality SIMs. I honestly believe that you guys have a lot of really great SIMs. Both Jack and Jay simply said that they'd prefer it if SIMs were submitted by someone other than the author being judged in the contest as a way of "pretesting" the quality of the SIM. Neither of them said that your SIMs weren't welcome. My only comment on any of your SIMs so far was that the one SIM in Round 1 was good, but in my opinion not the best (ie not THE Top SIM).

As for this SIM, I haven't had time to fully mull it over to come up with any comments (although I'm not entirely sure that any comments I make would be welcome, regardless of their nature), but an overall rating of 4 is nothing to sniff at. Nor is it in any way saying that this SIM is not a quality SIM.

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