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[Round 7] Ensign Nickels: Stoppeth


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OOC: A bit of background... During the timeline of this post, Discovery is facing a group of Remans that have vampiric qualities. Many of the ship's crew have been slaughtered or turned, including some PCs and/or their loved ones. Emotions are running high, and many of the senior officers have lost sight of their objectivity. Nickels stands out as one of the few who aren't jonesing for retribution. 'Rogg's suns', 'artificial suns', and 'unforgiving light' are references to an array of reflective mirrors placed by the Discovery crew in orbit above the dark half of the Reman's adopted planet, nicknamed 'Long Night'. For a related post that this post references, see the Round 6 Top Sims contribution by Nickels and Captain Waltas.

(( The Dreaming, Planet of The Long Night ))

:: The world burned. Whatever blood the Remans had didn't last long in the glaring artificial sunlight, boiling away into a thick fog that hung over what could charitably be called a battlefield. Here he saw a man in Hazard armor wrenching the fangs from the severed head of one of the aliens as it lay in a twisty heap of gray ash that had once been a towering dark-flowering vine. Here a twisted ear was being sawed off by a vibro-blade and threaded onto a necklace. There a Reman hand was severed at the wrist and held up like a monkey's paw suitable for twisted wishes. Sotted with blood, drunk with it, the crew lived out their dire dreams of vengeance in the bright and unforgiving light of science. Nickels Luciano watched with dark dim eyes and spoke dry words, tumbling from his lips like sand. ::

NICKELS: I looked ta heaven, an' tried ta pray;

But `fore ever a prayer had gushed,

A wicked whisp'a came an' made

My heart as dry as friggin' dust.

:: His eyes drifted closed, and he drew his gleaming .45 Colt, a lovingly restored antique of great religious value, and let it fall with a slithering crunch to the ash. When his eyes flickered open, the crew was gone, beamed away, and the mirrors were falling from the sky like dying stars, the artificial suns crashing into the fire and dust they had created. ::

NICKELS: I closed my peepers an' kept `em closed;

An' da balls like pulses beat;

For the sky an' the sea an' the sea and the sky

Lay like a load'a jack on my friggin' eye,

An' the dead was at my feet.

:: The darkness fell around him as Rogg's suns crashed in clattering cacophony to the ashen dark side of the world, and he was alone with the dead. ::

NICKELS: A bratty orphan's curse would drag ta hell

A stupid spirit from on high,

But geez, more horrible than `at

Is da curse inna dead man's eye!

Seven days, seven nights I saw that curse,

An' yet I couldn't die.

:: He blinked. ::

TRANSPORTER CREWMAN: Are you all right, Ensign?

:: He was standing in the quiet hum of the transporter room, surrounded by the volunteer army of Captain Waltas' away team. His black bag was in one hand, a scuffed and well-loved old sawbones bag that he'd brought with him on many a safecracking and legbreaking job back home, and it was full of largely non-lethal and possibly non-anything specialized ammo for the TR-116 sniper rifle which was lovingly packed into a violin case slung over his shoulder. He'd let his mind wander. ::

NICKELS: Yeah, I'm fine. Too much Coleridge at night. Never let an opium sot be th' last thing ya read before bed, my sainted Ma always tol' me.

TRANSPORTER CREWMAN: ::carefully:: I see, sir.

:: There was a sudden disturbance as the transporter glowed with the unexpected arrival of Sister Cruella and the missing Ops crewman, Mina Murray. Nickels brought his .45 up even as the Captain and the Away team levelled their bows and arrows like furious Apaches in a John Wayne picture. Nickels lowered his gun almost immediately, although the Captain, belying his earlier contrite demeanor, kept the skewering arrow centered on Sister Cruella's narrow chest. ::

oO I see it's gonna be a long road ta open-mindedness f'r the fearless leader. Oo

:: The Iotian's dark eyes met Sister Cruella's for just a moment, and he felt the strange tingle in his backbrain just as he had back on the shuttle from the Talvath, even though her glamour was gone and she was a lot more like her fellow Remans, like a big-mouthed bat that had been dragged over five miles of bad road. Even still, there was something about the calm, knowing possession in her pained gaze, and he let his lucky nickel tumble across his knuckles as she was escorted away by Security personnel. He felt like an opportunity had been lost, and watched the door she was escorted through long after it closed, as Mina and the Captain held a lively debate, which ended as most debates with the Captain seemed to end. ::

WALTAS: This isn't open for discussion. Let's get moving people!

:: Nickels stood with the rest on the PADD, and beamed down to the mysterious world of long nights below them. When reality resolved around them, the transporter swirls fading, he hissed through his teeth, his hand clutching the grip of his pistol so tight that the silver eagle in the handle was embossed into his palm. The world was smoldering ash, heavy with wrack and ruin, just as it had been in the odd waking nightmare he'd wandered through back on the Discovery. As Captains Waltas and McCall spread out with Security, Hazard Team and Intel operatives, Nickels shifted under the weight of the gun slung around his neck, and murmured to himself. ::

NICKELS: Quoth he, "Da man hath penance done,

An' penance more will do."

Ensign Nicholas "Nickels" Luciano

Security Officer

USS Discovery-B

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