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[Round 3] Bright Skies


FltCapt. Sidney Riley
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(( Main Engineering - USS Independence-A ))

:: Lily watched as everyone went about their tasks. The alien's

presence seemed to have given everyone a bit of a second wind, and

there were no signs of unwarranted procedures or rash actions. Indeed,

Lily felt a bit like a fifth wheel, and so she stepped over towards

Hayden, who was still squatting and scanning the visitor. ::

H. Reynolds: ::on Lily's approach:: It's amazing, Lily, really. Its

biology is completely unique. I mean, there's nothing like it anywhere

in the databases. This data ::showing the tricorder's screen for a

moment:: could keep Starfleet biologists happy for ten years, easy.

:: Lily smiled down at him. She'd rarely seen him glow like this, and

in the company of the alien, it was an almost-tangible aura that

surrounded him. She was reminded in a moment why she loved him and,

not for the first time, longed for a future where all of this was

finished. She caught herself, though: All of what? This danger? This

mission? She sighed, but low, so Hayden didn't hear. The fear, the

worry, the risks.... Some days, muddling through was all she could do. ::

Ventu: At least our friend's a little more amenable now.

H. Reynolds: It certainly is.

:: Lily gave him an pat on the shoulder, then felt a little awkward -

what was he, her pet? He grinned up at her, though, which she took as

"no harm done." Her comm badge beeped a moment later, and she stepped

away to answer it. ::

Somers: =/\= Tactical to Commander Ventu =/\=

Ventu: =/\= Ventu. Go ahead, Ensign. =/\=

Somers: =/\= What is the current status of the Alien?

Ventu: =/\= No change. We're preparing to try and ... er, feed it, but

it seems passive enough for now. ::curiously:: Why do you ask? =/\=

Somers: =/\= I am asking as Commander Riley wants to know and because

we are receiving a Communications of sorts from Admiral Anassasi back

at the Colony=/\=

Ventu: =/\= ::surprised:: From Wheeler? =/\=

Somers: =/\= Yes, it seems that with our ship fully fixed, we may be

getting home sooner than expected =/\= ::She replied::

Ventu: =/\= That *is* good news. Keep me posted, Ensign, especially if

anything happens that might disrupt our visitor. =/\=

Somers: =/\= Affirmative Commander, Tactical out =/\=

:: She tapped the channel closed and turned back to Hayden and the

alien, only to find Quinn waiting for her. ::

Reynolds: We can go on your mark.

:: In her fingers, Lily felt a thrill that was quite unrelated to any

of the specifics of the situation. There was no way to know for

certain what would happen when they plugged the alien with energy - it

could work out wonderfully, in which case she'd've made the right

decision, but it could also go bad, ending with the destruction of the

ship. Everyone's lives could be in her tingling hands. She took a deep

breath. What else could be done? What else could she say? ::

Ventu: Let's do it.

:: Quinn, however, seemed to appreciate the magnitude of the

situation. She understood the minutiae, certainly, better than Lily

did, and could come up with more plausible scenarios of how things

could misfire. ::

Reynolds: Lily... If this goes wrong, ejecting the core will prevent

catastrophic damage to the Independence. ::She paused, a faint frown

on her

brow as she continued, her voice much quieter.:: I don't... I don't know

what effect that could have on the alien. It might be able to survive in a

vacuum, but...

Ventu: Can't we just ... disconnect it? If things go wrong?

:: Quinn shrugged awkwardly. ::

Reynolds: I can't say what effect abruptly ending the procedure would

have on

it.

Ventu: Ah.

:: More variables in their ever-growing equation. Still, they'd come

this far, and there were always variables. Always. ::

Reynolds: I'm ready if you're ready.

Ventu: I am.

Reynolds: Alright then.

:: Lily went back to Hayden, even though it meant the resurgence of

the headaches. She tapped his back. ::

Ventu: Quinn's ready to start. Let's back up.

H. Reynolds: Just a moment.

Ventu: ::annoyed:: Now, Hayden.

:: He didn't acknowledge her verbally this time, but she could see the

frown on his face as he duck-walked back a few steps. She joined him

as the plasma flow began. She wasn't sure what she was seeing in terms

of its technicality, but she banked on Quinn and the others knowing

what they were doing, and the alien's receptiveness to their gift. She

wasn't disappointed: Within a few seconds, the alien began to glow

brighter. Gravity seemed to have given up on it, too, as the alien

lefts its fallen state and began to ascend. It glowed even brighter -

healthier, if she was any judge of the theoretics - and then brighter

still. Lily remembered being on a star-survey mission and staring at a

blue dwarf on the viewscreen. Even that couldn't compare to the light

show she was seeing now, though - it was as though the entirety of

Earth's sky had been compressed into the bright being hovering a few

feet away. As it continued to glow, though, she felt the wave of pain

beginning to grow back, too. The alien sparkled brighter, and she had

to put a hand to her temple to reassure herself that there wasn't, in

fact, anything lodged in there. ::

H. Reynolds: -ha- -s --?

:: She could barely hear him, though he was right next to her. The

whole of Engineering had been filled with a howling that she was sure

no one else could hear. The alien grew brighter still, sparkling like

a diamond on fire, and, though eyes that were already tearing again,

she realized that the blue was expanding. Then, with a soundless

explosion, the blue blew out from the alien and through the room,

through the people, through the ship. ::

Ventu: Stop. Stop. Stop!

:: She couldn't stand. She heard nothing but the howling, couldn't

see, couldn't think of anything but the pain. She felt her knees hit

the deck, and then....

Then....

It stopped. The pain was gone, and she was floating. Floating? Yes,

she realized, as she felt her senses restored after their floods of

information and pain. She was in space, alone, looking down on three

ships, all Federation, as well as several smaller ones. She could see

the armada, too, but it was to the Federation ships that she looked. A

blue pulse rammed its way out and through the Independence to

encompass all the other vessels, turning the vacuum into an ocean of

light. In that moment, she was caught up in it, too, and she felt her

basics: Scalp-[...]ling happiness. A full-body wash of joy. And the

heart-growing sense of love. She smelled the fields of her childhood

home again, and felt the tang and sweetness of an nonexistent

strawberry in her mouth. More than anything, though, she watched. She

didn't try and understand, didn't try to judge. She watched.

And in that moment of watching, of opening, she heard a voice: ::

oO Thank you, Federation. You have given my people a chance

for love, peace, and independence. May joy and peace always be with

you...a gift to you....Home. ..Oo

:: The light grew brighter still, folding in around the vessels below

her and warping them, doubling and tripling into them. It grew too

bright to look, and in the last moment, she closed her eyes.

The moment they were closed, she felt something beneath her. She

opened them again, and stared at the deckplate she was resting on. She

felt ... fine? Yes, she did. She pushed herself up, and looked around.

She was back in Main Engineering (but had she ever left?). Around her,

nearly everyone else was on the floor. Some were stirring and some

weren't. There was no sign of the alien. ::

Ventu: Is everyone all right?

RESPONSES

Ventu: Hayden?

:: Luckily, he was getting up, too, though he looked about like she

felt. ::

Ventu: Can you make sure everyone's all right?

:: He nodded, and she tapped her badge. ::

Ventu: =/\= Ventu to bridge. =/\=

Riley: =/\=Riley here Ventu, go ahead.=/\=

Ventu: =/\= What ... what happened? Where are we? =/\=

Riley: =/\= It appears we have gone back through the wormhole

and are near our original location. What is the status of the alien?

=/\=

Ventu: =/\= The alien's gone. =/\=

Riley: =/\=Understood. What about the status of the crew?=/\=

Ventu: =/\= We were a little harder hit down here. I think ... ::she

took a breath:: I think we're all all right. =/\=

Riley: =/\=Keep me informed Commander. Riley out.=/\=

Tags! and TBC!

Lieutenant Commander Lily Ventu

Counselor / AFO

USS Independence-A

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Another great post. It's reading stuff like this that's kept me simming :biggrin2:

Very well written, great descriptions and moved the plot along brilliantly. Also managed to get some interesting snippets of background for Lily.

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