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[ROUND 10] Ensign Rawls - What We Did Already


Kali Nicholotti
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((Security Office - Starbase 118))

::A blink. That's all it takes and Rowls isn't sure where he is for just

that fraction of a second. A blink and he's compromising the safety of

other members of his team. The involuntary act lasts exactly one hundred

milliseconds. Rowls doesn't know that of course but if he were to ask the

computer that's about how much time it would indicate.::

::In the marines any sergeant catching him doing that would have given him a

drilling from hell. Blinking so deliberately? No marine would ever do

that! And no Marine would ever qualify to join Starfleet proper. But he

did. He won, became what he'd always dreampt of becoming. The battle is

over and he can go home.

What is home? At home Mom and Dad were so proud when he became a marine.

He wasn't.::

::He blinks.::

::Time passes more slowly when his eyelids lower for that tiny instant, and

Rowls descends to who knows where.::

::It's always the same. He's standing somewhere in a deserted city. The

air is stagnant. But the rat tat tat of metal in the distance tells him

something's moving somewhere. It's a staccato clanging mixed with a forlorn

howl that seeps its way into every pore of the sensory experience,

saturating Rowls with an unfamiliar acquaintance. Something's about to

happen.::

::94.3 milliseconds pass. His eyelids rise again. It's all it takes and

Rowls isn't sure where he is, who he is. He's Rowls. It returns to him, a

familiar acquaintance with the present.::

::The computer chirps.::

Computer: =^= Ensign Rowls. Your duty shift ends now.

::He nods, bowing a little in the empty room. The doors part before him as

he leaves. He almost expects something other than the corridors to appear

before him. Stepping out into reality, into the hall, he walks a little

cautiously, blinks a bit nervously. He rounds the corner and stops.

Gasps.::

::Seated at the edge of the wall is a brown cat. It stares deeply into his

eyes. Rowls takes a step toward it and it rises, trotting away. He blinks

and the animal is gone. Shaking his head, Rowls looks up at the ceiling,

seeing the reassuring path of light leading down the corridor.::

::He walks forward again. In another life he might have thanked the

engineers for constructing such a simple arrangement. You go forward or you

go backward. And the light never fades but remains there, fixed, above. On

track..::

Ens. Rowls

Security Officer

Starbase 118 Ops

as simmed by

Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman

Chief Engineer

USS Victory

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