Decrescendo

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/05-9-2009 12:44:56 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Tertiary Bridge - Deck 9::

=/\=Commander Finn, you have an incoming Priority One communication…=/\=

At the sound of Jezera’s voice Harry turned from his contemplation of the gem of Earth, hovering in the small bridge’s viewscreen. There was nothing in the quiescent rotation of the planet to indicate it had been so many times shredded by the very beings who inhabited it.

It certainly bore no obvious marks of his own, unkind cuts, made upon the flesh of others, over four hundred years ago.

=/\=Jezera to Commander Finn,=/\= the smooth Denobulan voice came again.

Harry lowered his head, driving down the memories of the long, long dead. “Copy that, Ensign. Channel it to the Gamma Bridge.”

=/\=Aye, sir. Jezera out.=/\=

Raising his eyes to the viewscreen, Finn was not a little surprised to see the face of Fleet Admiral Nechayev burst into life before him.

“Lt. Commander Finn,” she greeted placidly. So placidly you’d never guess that her last contact with Harry Finn had been to put a kill notice out on him.

“Admiral," Harry replied. And there was no mistaking from his tone that he remembered all too well the ‘kill or cure’ edict.

At his chill response, Alynna’s mouth twitched ever so slightly, “I believe this would be an appropriate time for you to remember that word you used to utter so very frequently… ‘bygones’ I believe it was?”


“Due respect, Admiral, I'm not sure that applies to people who tried to have me killed.”

“Pish,” she said, casually waving his anger aside, “there was little chance of anyone accomplishing your death… as we can see by the fact that you’re still breathing. Breathing and the XO of Chimera, no less.”

“That DoJ spook seemed more than willing to give it a shot,” he commented before, as she’d suggested, calling it bygones and relaxing. “But, again, due respect,” he met her eye with his own suspicious gaze, “you didn’t just call to say you’re sorry… especially since you’re not saying you’re sorry…”

“There’s a job I need done,” she cut him off… as was her habit. “A sensitive issue… one that I can’t trust within the department so I’m putting together a team from the fleet to deal with it.”

Harry felt his stomach sink. He’d made plans… Kerrin, his family… privacy. “Admir..” But this time it wasn’t her words that cut him off… it was the numbing tingle of a transporter.

“… al,” the word arrived with the rest of Harry who, once he could see again, found himself in a ubiquitous conference room, complete with carafes of coffee on the sideboard. In the room were a couple of non-coms he didn’t recognize but, standing near the coffee was Lt. Fehr, looking resigned and seated at the table, to the Admiral’s left was…

“Ah, shit….”

“Belay the language, Commander.”

“Commander Finn,” Crewman Jenny Anderson, only a touch more pale than was her norm, greeted him carefully.

Nechayev glanced briefly at Anderson, who’d served as her yeoman for a year, before enlisting and shipping out to the Gamma Quadrant. “Very well,” she nodded towards the room, indicating everyone should sit. When Finn didn’t move, she pinned him with her trademark glare and, though he’d come many lightyears from the shadow of an officer she’d first sent out in search of Shaun Acker, he was still outranked and, in the Admiral’s case, out-’tuded.

He sat.

The Admiral didn’t indicate her win in any way. Instead, she rose and offered Finn what might well have been a grateful nod, “For those of you who haven’t met, this is Lt. Commander Finn. He’ll be the mission lead…”


Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/05-9-2009 07:11:28 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Holodeck::

"Lights."

The area around Ben came alive as it went from utter darkness to a dazzling flash of light in a second. He was momentarily blinded by the brilliant white light. In the background he could hear a dull thumping, like a bass drum being pounded over and over again. Someone shoved him, propelling the security officer into a mass of bodies, they gave way then snapped back sending him hurling to the left. BHP had trouble orientating himself and finding his balance, slipping sideways even as one hand rubbed at his eyes, while he tried to steady himself with the other. The lighting in the room kept changing even as the dull backbeat continued to pound, matching the rhythm of his heart as it thundered in Ben's chest. People still moved all around him, he felt them brush against him but there was no pushing, no violent shoves just the gentle collision of the dancers.

'Dancers?' the Iotian thought as his eyes began to focus. The thumping of the bass began to be interwoven by some sort of synth music. Ben remembered that Cadet Kalani had listened to something similar when she was pulling the graveyard shift. 'I'm in some sort of club?'

"That's him, the Starfleeter, get him!" Pierce heard someone yell and turned towards the assailant. The speaker was a tall, heavyset man and he appeared to be yelling to others. A strong set of arms wrapped around BHP, pining his arms to his side, as the heavyset man cocked his fist, ready to pound the security officer in the face as his buddy held Pierce. The large man was quick, swinging his fist before Ben had time to break free. Pierce moved his head to the right, dodging the blow. He heard it connect with the man's face who was holding him. There was a curse then BHP was free. He buried his right fist in the big man's side, then punched with a hammer blow of a left above the man's kidney. The man grunted and fell sideways. The second man grabbed Ben in a headlock from behind. Using his elbow to pound the second man in the ribs and side, Pierce managed to break free then turned to block a right then plow his left into the man's face. The assailant went down as the music continued to throb, the dancers only now realizing the danger and starting to shove each other to get away from the fight.

"Hey Starfleet!"

BHP turned toward the big man, drawing the M23 phaser pistol in a smooth motion as he sighted on the criminal. The man held a hostage in front of him. His large hand squeezed the hostage's neck as the man peeked around Jenny Anderson's red-gold tresses. In his fist he held a disruptor pistol and its barrel was pointed at Jenny's temple.

"Drop it or she.."

Ben took the shot. The phaser pulse slammed into the criminal's head and he slumped to the floor. BHP turned and swept the room with his pistol. No assailants presented themselves and he turned and approached Jenny. "Good thing I didn't get the Nervous Nellies, we practice those shots but.."

"Freeze program," Petty Officer Djinn stated as he stepped away from the bar along the club's left wall.

Jenny Anderson froze in place. Ben frowned and turned to Djinn, "Did you really have to use Jenny as part of this scenario?"

"It is an amazing likeness, is it not?" Djinn replied as he looked down at the smiling Crewman, now frozen in time until the program was restarted. "As close to the real person as I can make her." The instructor looked at his student. "There was very little hesitation on your part, and you went for the kill-shot," Djinn commented as he looked down at the holo assailant who had been shot in the head. No matter what weapon one used, a head-shot was never pretty. "You could have shot his arm."

"And the nerves in his hand might have triggered his weapon," BHP replied, "thanks but no thanks, I took the shot that would put that palooka down and get his meathooks off my girl." Pierce made a move to reholster his weapon and then noticed the blood that was soaking his left sleeve. "Aw Applesauce, I just got it stitched up..damn it!"

"Report to sickbay," Petty Officer Djinn ordered, "we can resume your training once they figure out how to patch up that wound."

"Yeah," Ben acquiesced as he headed towards the doors. "Hey, does the holodeck have a likeness of me stored in its program files?" the Iotian asked as he reached the threshold of the exit.

"Yes, I believe Rahk and Kol take turns hitting it to alleviate stress," Djinn answered with a smile.

"Klingons. Well just as long as no one uses me for other things I guess that's okay," Ben said. "Sickbay, here I come."


Originally Posted by Emily Star/05-10-2009 06:21:31 AM

Emily sat on the edge of her bed and flopped backwards on her bed. A sense of happiness and relief washed over her as she felt the familiar fabric and softness of her bed. Her bed, her room. Something she'd always taken for granted but at this moment was so grateful for.

He'd died. she thought quietly as she lay there. She'd watched him die, his body torn by the old bullets. The blood soaking into the old flooring and the wooden walls. A reminder to the owners and one she was sure they'd get over long before she would. She'd seen people die before but never in such a vivid way. Phasers did so little damage considering.

And she hadn't gotten to meet Virginia. She'd left the house long before the woman had arrived. The older couple had said they'd bring his body into town to give a proper burial, something she wasn't sure he deserved but she hadn't argued. History had been saved though, apparently even though she hadn't been as suave and as to plan as she had wanted to be, she'd done it right. She'd stopped him from handing Virginia over to the Germans in return for his town. That town. Emily had looked it up in the history files and found it had been recongized, the people in it remembered for their deeds. Something she was sure made their relatives proud and healed the pain from the losses they suffered. Such sacrifices made.

It made Emily wonder though. He was so angry at his father for not being there, so angry at him for putting others first but he loved him. His father had saved so many lives, done so much to be proud of that one could hardly blame him for putting his son in the background. He would have wanted to protect him.

Her own father was the exact opposite. Her father had put her in the background to hide her. He truly was someone to loathe and hate but she was having a hard time justifying her sister. The more she thought of what David was willing to do for his family it only made her wonder what she was willing to do for hers. What would they remember her for. Her fathers memory was already destroyed but was she holding onto it for venom to use on her sister.

But Jennifer was cold…

Yes but how was Emily to her? If Emily tried would it change anything? She had to try. She had to at least give it a chance.

The computer chimed as her alarm sounded. It was time for her shift. She groaned as she sat up and straightened her uniform. It was time to get some work done. Some real work. With a final strech she was out there door and ready to and ready for whatever came her way.


Originally Posted by T'Shaini/05-11-2009 11:40:29 PM

-Main Engineering-
-Chief Engineer's Office-

"I see you re-instated two of the engineers I dismissed. Would you like to try and explain why you allowed these officers to return to my department?" The Chief Engineer spun around in his chair so he could face Lt. Foxe. The man fidgeted slightly in the smaller, less spacious chair. A few days earlier Foxe had been lounging comfortably in the exact same chair that Javier now occupied; when Crewman Dawkins had bounded in to tell him the Chief Engineer had returned and Foxe's 'Reign of Terror' had ended.

After putting Dawkins on restricted duty, something which Costala had revoked, Foxe had sent a communique to Commander S'Van. The officer had told him in no uncertain terms that he was only the temporary Chief Engineer for a provisional period and now that period had ended. Foxe had protested and then been promptly cut off. Now he could only sit and wonder how things had gone so wrong. The Chief Engineer's job had been all his and then it had been jerked away because Costala had survived the mission.

"I thought as Chief Engineer I should have people I trust.."

"And in that aspect you would be correct," Javier said, surprising Foxe by agreeing with him, "you have to work with people you trust." The Lieutenant Commander reached over and picked up a PADD off of his desk. "This is a requisition request made by me. It says I have three engineers whom I do not trust and in whose skills I place very little faith. All three of these engineers are being reassigned to other ships. Your name is at the top of the list, Lieutenant. Can you guess who the other two are?"

Before Foxe could answer Javier's commbadge chirped. The engineer dismissed Foxe with a wave of his hand and Abernathy Darwin Dawkins implemented a 'man to man' defense that cleared the officer from the room.

=/\=Javier=/\= T'Shaini's voice was a tense whisper.

=/\=Hey Sugar, are you feeling better? Want me to order you some real food from the Officer's Mess? Having trouble sleeping? Want me to come rub your feet again?=/\= Javier asked in a concern filled voice.

=/\=Get me out of here…=/\= Javier could hear, past her whisper, the familiar voice of Bramley asking if she was talking to someone. =/\=No, no…just…myself.=/\= Came the false sounding rejoinder, the Counselor winced…there were drawbacks to never being able to lie. She cupped her hand over the commbadge and hissed. =/\=Please, please, pleaaasse, I want to go home.=/\=

The engineer struggled with the idea of bringing T'Shaini home, to their quarters, fighting against what the doctors would say what was best for T'Shaini and his need to have her close. =/\=Did Dr. Seldon give you permission to leave?=/\=

=/\=Ermm, not exactly.=/\= T'Shaini ran her fingers through her hair. =/\=But rest assured, I feel quite up to being released and if I have to wait for Ender to come back on duty I will come to far more harm than good by the delay.=/\= Especially if they took one more test or ran one more tricoder across her after she had finally fallen asleep.

=/\=As part of the medical staff you could write your own release..=/\= Javier suggested as he started to grin. =/\=Okay, I'm coming to get you, but you have to promise to spring me the next time I get stuck in there for a few days. Be there soon, love you, Javi out.=/\= The engineer stood to his feet and stretched then exited the office.

-Deck 5-
-Senior Officer's Quarters-

T'Shaini sat down on the bed, truth to be told she was not fully recovered and easily tired out…but she was never going to improve in that sterile, cold environment. She reached out to clasp Javier's hand, then brought it to her mouth to kiss. "Thank you." She warily eyed the bags on the floor, when she had just surfaced, visiting her parents to reconnect and appraise them of her new life had seemed the ideal way to spend their R&R…but now, finally back home in their quarters, reservations began to arise. "I want to stay home." Her voice sounded disconcertingly childish to her own ears, yet it was what she felt.

He sat down on the bed beside T'Shaini. "We don't have to go anywhere you don't want to," Javier promised as he squeezed her hand reassuringly, "but you did tell them you would visit them. And we won't return to this quadrant for a long time.." Javier moved in and kissed T'Shaini's soft lips. "Lia and I will be with you. Vulcan will never be the same."

Her lips curved against his mouth. "Of that I have no doubt." T'Shaini frowned as she tried to recall the conversation with her mother, had she actually told them of Javier and Lia? They had been by her side for so much of the recovery, and on this ship their company was such a given that she was unsure of whether she had voiced it. No matter, they would accompany her no matter what. "I am eager to see what Lia will make of the Vulcan culture."

"I wonder what the Vulcan children will think of her, she's very outspoken..compared to people who are taught to be quiet..or contemplative from an early age." Javier told T'Shaini.

"But they are taught to prize intelligence as well as logic…and in that she can stand on her own." He had a point however, she had been frequently chided growing up for simply voicing an dissenting opinion to a current discussion, and certainly they had done nothing but support the girl's thought process and encouraged her to voice whatever was on her mind. "Hmmm…yes, it could be interesting."

"She loves you very much though," Javier commented, carefully hugging T'Shaini, "and you are a good ambassador for Vulcans, as far as Lia's perception of them is concerned." He made sure not to squeeze her too tightly, afraid that he would somehow irritate her wounds. "Hopefully she and I will be as successful at showing Vulcans that Humans can be quiet and contemplative." Javier thought about what he'd just said then laughed aloud and added, "Or maybe we should try for being contemplative and leave quiet to someone else?"

T'Shaini laughed softly, as exemplary as the work Dr. Seldon had done, she was still weak and in some pain. She reached up to cup his face with her hand and brushed her lips across his. "I am certain there is nothing you could do that would not bring me joy, and what brings me joy will certainly content my family." She hoped. There had been a time where convincing them that her happiness was not in any way connected with their expectations had been quite a chore…but surely that was past.

JP Javi and the Jailbird


Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/05-12-2009 06:07:42 PM

T'Shaini had sat quietly, holding on to Javier's hand, no matter her brazen exit, she needed to wait for Dr. Seldon to clear her to leave before they took the runabout to Vulcan. Her head on his shoulder, the Counselor's mind began to drift back to the mission. Should I have shot him when I had the chance? She knew what Vegal-Djinn would say if she asked him, that it was a foolhardy move to let him live and she deserved exactly what she got. Which…she could not argue with, and if it had been Javier or Nils that had been shot she would likely be far more conflicted about the situation than she currently was. Intriguing

After a prolonged discussion with Javier about her motives and the advisability of her venturing out anywhere on her own (which was charming, however unnecessary) T'Shaini was on her way to the brig…with a rather large, glowering shadow behind her. Signalling the door to open, she kissed Javier on the cheek before stepping into the brig, glad to have him at her side, especially considering her last trip here had been to see him.

"Alejandro." The Vulcan nodded at the young security officer she had so recently met.

"Counselor, Chief." Ramirez now knew that as mild as she seemed, the Vulcan rarely stopped until she got her way, and had the rank, and the backup to make it stick. "What could I do for you?" His eyes widened as she explained the reason for her visit, and with a small shrug the security officer led her down the hallway to the cell where the Terra Prime agent was being kept before transport to Earth.

In the cell, Jeffrey April huddled on one side of his bunk with his back to the corner walls. As far as the frustrated human was concerned his failure warranted whatever fate Starfleet and the Federation could come up with. He welcomed it. Political prisoners made for a good news vid and a good news vid meant more people would hear the about the cause.

"And there she is," he said quietly with a cold scowl. "The green blooded b*tch who got took down a peg." His dark features twisted into a smile. "Not quite as much green blood on you as the last time I saw you, love. I suppose I can surmise you survived…for now."

Even with the pain of her injury still fresh, T'Shaini was taken aback at the vitriol that spewed forth from the unkempt youth. "For now…" Her tone was gentle. "I would like to speak with you, if you would not mind." She could feel the anger vibrating off of Javier who had stationed himself at her back, she prayed that no matter the provocation he would remain impassive…well, as impassive as possible.

"It's not like I'm goin' anywhere…" Jeffrey's eyes cast downward and away from the energy field separating them. "You can talk to your heart's bloody content. Just don't weep yourself away if I don't talk back. Oh that's right…" The young man's tone went instantly sarcastic. "You cold blooded Vulcan types don't cry or feel like real folks, do you? Well then, don't get all tied up in a logical conundrum over it."

A brief smile turned the corners of her mouth. "While we try not to let emotions rule us, we do feel them, at least those of us who have chosen to forsake the ritual of kohlinar." She stepped a little closer to the energy field. "And I may have phrased it incorrectly, though I am certainly willing to speak 'to my heart's bloody content' it is from you that I wish to hear." Her voice was low and warm, though the Counselor had little hope of soothing him the instinct was too ingrained for her not to try.

"Oh bloody Zeus on the throne… Of all the ship's in the damned 'Fleet, I get holed up on the one with a bleeding heart Vulcan!" Jeffrey shook his head and laughed to himself. "Typical…" Pulling himself off the bunk, he rushed the energy field and stopped just short of it. His eyes bore into the counselor's and he practically snarled. "What would you like to know, love?"

T'Shaini suppressed the urge to step away, the unbanked rage was disconcerting to say the least. "A simple question…why?" She held up her hand as he began to growl. "Not why me? Why Terra Prime, how did you get involved and what do you seek to gain?"

The question perplexed the young man and his face showed it. "Get involved with it? It ain't like the bloody 'Fleet, love. We don't have a recruitment station on every world. I was born in it. By pure blood humans on a pure blood human world where we don't take your kind to f*ck things up!" His tone was fevered and furious. "Sure we get an occasional addition here and there. My granddad was an addition seventy years ago. His dad was a 'Fleeter Cap'n! Got blown up by a ship full of alien scum who kill humans and think of us like animals." He inched closer to the energy field. "I got news for you, Vulcan… We ain't animals."

"Neither are we." She glanced back toward Javier, bristling with his own rage, and shook her head lightly. "I can agree with you that there are some that would denigrate the existence of anything alien or foreign, be it Human or Vulcan or Bajoran. But those are anomalies." She frowned slightly. "Or I wish they were, but that is less to the point than the fact that those exist in ever culture, in every race." She was truly trying to understand something completely beyond her ken. "Why not seek out the good?"

"Ain't that a beaut! Vulcan's a susie sunshine to boot!" Shaking his head, Jeffrey turned back to his bed and wilted therein. "You'd think by now you Starfleet fanatics woulda worn out that route of talk. Sure, you got this nice big Federation to brag about, but it ain't nothin but a method to control the chaos out there. I mean, look at your own f*cking history! First romps into space go all shades of yellow when the Xindi come back to Earth and kill millions! Klingons declare war… Romulans declare war! Tholians kick our asses in every sector. We head further out and what do we find? The Borg who try to annihilate us at every turn. We open up a doorway to another corner of the galaxy and who's out there? More sh*t aliens looking to conquer. The Dominion declares war and pushes us back to the brink! Things ain't getting better, sweets. They're getting worse! I hear all kinds of horror lives out in Gamma." He smiled darkly. "But you'd know all about that wouldn't you…"

T'Shaini fought off a bout of dizziness, her entire world closed to a tunnel around the virulence in his eyes. "And your solution is to eradicate all but a relative handful of humans? Do you not consider that at least a bit quixotic?"

"I didn't say nothing about eradicating nobody…" If the young man could look hurt, he did. "Sure we gotta kill a few but we ain't talkin genocide here. We were fixin' things! Makin' things right! Like they shoulda been!" Jeffrey lowered his head and put it in his hands. "That Hitler fellow had it all right. And he'd have made humanity strong and made our culture able to withstand all that bright-eyed optimism that's gonna be the end of our race! You all are so busy wishin' and hopin' we'll all get along that you don't see the destruction coming up on your backs. The smell of death is on humanity. It's only a matter of time till we're all gone. Some alien freak is gonna shoot some superweapon at Earth and she'll be gone!" Tears threatened the corner of his eyes. "Who'll be left? Terra Prime, that's who. And we'll start again… And we'll get another time ship and we'll fix things right."

"Hitler was right…" The words came out in a whisper. What was she thinking? What was to be gained by this exchange? T'Shaini pressed her hand lightly against her chest as she felt Javier come up behind to steady her. Taking his hand, she nodded, then turned back toward the cell. "I am sorry, I am sorry that you cannot seek the good, and I am sorry that it is unlikely you will ever return home…" And she was, no matter what his crime that was a painful thing. "One thing this has brought me, and one thing I am not sorry for…I am not sorry for sparing your life in our first encounter." She tightened her grip around Javier's hand. "For as 'susie sunshine' as it may make me, I am grateful that I and those I love will continue to believe that we can unite the most disparate of cultures and viewpoints, and I truly believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" She smiled up at Javier, the best and brightest example of what she spoke, then continued. "…and yes, I know how I sound, but to not believe in the good is, for me at least, not to live."

"News for you, love… That kind of good doesn't exist." His young face went wrong again with a hateful grin. "I guess that means you won't be livin'?" The grin faded and he said quietly, "I'm sorry too… I'm sorry I didn't kill you." He put his back to the energy field and the two Starfleet Officers. He was finished.

Javier felt T'Shaini's grip weaken and slipped an arm around her waist to keep her up, pulling her closer to himself. "It must hurt to know you lost to a group of aliens," Javier suddenly said, "that feeling that's making you sick with anger and disgust is called defeat. The Nazis felt it too. You're going to have a long time to work your way through it. Maybe after a few years of staring at blank walls you'll get over it, I really don't give a damn either way." The engineer turned his back on the terrorist, helping T'Shaini walk down the corridor. Once they turned the corner by the security desk, Javier picked up T'Shaini in his arms. "I got you baby," he told her softly, "let's go home."

With T'Shaini, Javi, and yours truly as Jeffrey April


Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/05-12-2009 11:09:19 PM

Forward Torpedo Bay
Deck 7, Primary

"I thought Commander Finn told you to take a day off." Ensign Chang put her hands on her hips and leaned over her console, looking down at the officer seated on the floor.

Simba pulled his head out of the open access panel. "No time for that… I can sleep later." As if anyone ever got the chance to actually sleep on this ship. Closing his tricorder, he stood up and cautiously stepped over the scattered array of isolinear chips laid out on the floor. "Besides, your targeting scanners are out of alignment."

"Mmmhmm…" she mumbled, looking over the multitude of components spread over the floor. "And clearly, you've made it all better."

"One of the chips is damaged." He grinned sheepishly and held up the singed isolinear chip. "It needs to be replaced before we put the system back together."

"You could have waited for engineering to take care of it. Or T'Rena… targeting systems are her responsibility, after all." Former engineers were always the biggest pain to work with. They always had to go and take everything apart.

Lt. Wekesa shrugged nonchalantly, wincing a little as he suddenly was reminded of his shoulder wound. The doctors had done a great job patching it up, and he was glad it was a bullet rather than a disruptor, but it was still going to be sore for a day or two. "T'Rena is busy re-calibrating the primary phaser array today. Besides, I am… was an engineer, remember? With Lt. Grimm's injury during the battle and Lt. Fehr on assignment, we need everyone we've got to get the ship repaired and ready for action again."

Chang laughed. "We're in Earth orbit, sir, not exactly a hotbed of hostile activity." She took a step forward and plucked the chip out of his hand. "I'll take care of this, and clean up your mess too. Seriously, go take some time off. After the last few days, you've earned it. Trust me, there will be plenty of work waiting tomorrow or the next day."

Simba frowned slightly, then acquiesced and handed her his tricorder. "Alright, you win, Ensign. Have fun putting the targeting scanner back together… there's a lot of chips there." He gave her a mischievous smile, then quickly descended the ladder to the main level of the torpedo bay before she could change her mind. He nodded in greeting to a Chief Petty Officer… Hastings, he thought it was, as he exited the torpedo bay and made his way out into the crowded corridor.

Truthfully, Simba didn't care much for having time off at the moment. There was nothing to do but sit around his quarters. Ever since Matt had transferred to the station, he really didn't have any friends left on the ship. Ironically, the person he felt he knew best now was Commander Finn, but friend wasn't a word he'd use to describe him, and the ship's first officer wasn't exactly available to cure a young junior officer's boredom. As he walked along the corridor, he pondered how to spend his down time. It was nice, really, that they were in the Terran system for leave. He hadn't been on Earth… well, 24th century Earth, in months. And it had been years since he had actually gone home. Granted, it had been years since he had any desire to go home, but after his experiences with Camael, he felt the urge to see his family and start to set things right.

=/\= Torrik to Wekesa, =/\= prompted the primary comm system. =/\= Please, report to my quarters. =/\=

Simba frowned. What could the captain possibly want to see him about? His mind flashed back momentarily to the lecture Finn had given him about trusting the wrong people back in Montauban and letting his guard down towards the real Terra Prime agent. He hoped that the first officer hadn't included that in his report. "On my way, sir," he replied with a quick tap of the commbadge, turning back towards the nearest turbolift.

In his quarters, Nils tugged at the overly tight suit of rubbery material that Lincoln Purcell had replicated for him. The almost painfully binding bit of 'engineering' had him struggling to get comfortable. Had he not dreaded the thought of peeling it off, he'd have changed before any type of official meeting. But the work of 'Captaining' did not wait for excursions in the holodeck. There were details to work through and transfers to approve. With Stryfe's new assignment the helm department needed almost a complete overhaul. Nils moved Ven from astrometrics to head of the section since he already had experience, and there were new crew arriving from Earth daily. There were new faces and changes in several departments already. Which brought him to Wekesa's summons.

Lt. Wekesa took a deep breath as he stood outside the captain's door. Senior officers still made him nervous, although they never had when he was in the academy for some reason. He didn't make mistakes too often, but if there was any time that he was going to make one, he was confident that it would be in their presence. After staring at the door for a few seconds, he reached out and pressed his thumb against the door chime.

"Come in," called Nils trying to pull the collar of the 'wetsuit' away from his neck. He suddenly regretted not changing into a proper uniform. The door swished open to reveal Lt. Wekesa and the Bajoran nodded and gestured him to enter. "Pardon the lack of uniform, Lieutenant. I'm technically not on duty, but this… This is taking my leisure time a bit too far." He gestured at the table and chairs near the viewport. "Have a seat… Make yourself comfortable. Can I get you something?"

"No, sir, thank you… I'm alright." Simba smiled politely as he sat in one of the chairs indicated, looking over the captain's curious attire. It suddenly occurred to him that, in the months he had spent aboard the Hawking and Chimera, he hadn't actually ever talked to Captain Torrik before this moment.

Looking at the Lieutenant, Nils suddenly realized how uneasy the young man seemed. The image brought to mind his first days aboard the USS Sentinel and an equally unnerving meeting with his then Captain, Lien Marc. The boy CO had toys scattered about his quarters and had asked Nils to 'play.' Looking down at his ridiculous attire, the Barjoran wondered how Wekesa would remember this meeting if one day he too found himself commanding his own ship. Shaking off the strange line of thought, the Captain took a seat. "Good work on the last mission," he said trying to appear official. "The reports are all being siphoned off to deep classification but I read most of them before they were put under. I think we did quite a job…" He let his voice trail off and gave Wekesa a chance to respond.

Simba nodded. "Thank you, captain. It was…" He smiled a bit, thinking back over the adventure they'd all just been through. Death and destruction aside, it had been a fairly incredible experience. "It was exciting. I guess that's why I joined Starfleet in the first place. As cliché as it sounds… to make a difference, and be a part of something bigger. But yes, I would agree. The future was here waiting for us, so we must have done something right."

"So far so good," Nils quipped his expression light. "As long as we keep doing more things right than wrong, then I try not to call too much into question." The young CO paused and wondered when in his career track he'd learned the art of small talk. The most alarming changes in his character were the ones he didn't notice until they were done. "The reason I've asked you here is because of the nature of our new assignment… The Chimera I mean. She's not the Hawking and in order to crew her more effectively we can't do things like we did on an Intrepid class. That said we're making the split of the security and tactical departments official. Tenanji is keeping security, mostly because I can't imagine him anywhere else," Nils said as an aside. "But tactical needs a chief."

"Agreed, sir. Tactical is basically a full time department on this ship." The Prometheus class was interesting in that it was one of very few Starfleet ships that had combat as its primary function. And, as Simba had quickly learned, it took a special department of skilled people to keep a warship with these capabilities ready for action. "I know he's not 'one of ours,' but I have to say that Lt. Grimm knows this ship inside and out. When Commander Finn ordered me to transfer from engineering, I'll admit I had my doubts. But between him and Lt. Fehr, there is an incredible amount of tactical and combat knowledge. The tactical department is really impressively efficient, sir."

"Yes indeed," agreed Torrik, leaning back in his chair. "Grimm however is out of action for some time. He'll be recovering from his injuries he acquired in the battle against the Anomaly. And Fehr was would be an acceptable choice…if he were around." Irritation wore on the edge of the captain's tone as he continued. "I can't get any kind of answer on when to expect Finn, Anderson, and Fehr back our way, however." Why should I know? I'm just the captain of the ship, afterall. "In any case, your intimate knowledge of one of our most advanced and unique tactical systems takes you to the top of the list of candidates. Your work on the reverse engineering and application of the ablative shielding actually makes you more knowledgeable about Chimera than most of us on board. I think you are the best choice for the job."

Simba blinked a few times. That was not where he was expecting this to go, but he was quickly learning that his superiors seemed to enjoy surprising him on a regular basis. "Well… sir… I had assumed that I would be returning to engineering." But then, part of him had always assumed that they would go back to the Hawking after this mission, and it seemed less and less likely that that was the case. He thought for a moment. "I accept, and I'm honored that you think I can handle it. But to be completely honest, Captain, I may have a good handle of the technical side of things… but there is a lot that I don't know about tactical."

"You'll learn," rebutted Nils sharply. "I've been thrust into equally challenging positions throughout my career in the 'Fleet and always the training came on the job." When did I become this person? "The important thing is that there is a good foundation to build on. You deliver on every assignment, and Finn thinks very highly of you. At least, I think he does. As I'm sure you're aware the man is painfully hard to read." The young CO forced a smile at his own lame attempt at humor. "The point for now is… The position is yours if you accept it. I'm not going to push it on you. You know better than anyone if this is for you." Nils felt it only fair to give the Lieutenant an option that Admiral D'Rinax never offered him.

"No, no… I accept it." Simba grinned. "To be honest, I wouldn't have guessed that Commander Finn had anything good to say after that mission. He's certainly a hard critic… but I guess it's kept him alive through a lot." Finn's watching his every move had made him nervous through the mission, but it was starting to become clear that his intentions had been better than the younger man had assumed.

"Good," said Nils with an official smile. He hauled himself out of the chair, which was no easy feat considering the binding wetsuit. Reaching his hand out toward Wekesa, he said, "Congratulations, Lieutenant. Your new duties will begin on your next shift!"

"Thank you, Captain," Wekesa replied, taking the Bajoran's hand and resisting the urge to smile too big. "I'll try not to disappoint you, sir."

"I'm sure you won't," answered Nils. "I've got complete faith in your abilities. But for now," Nils sighed deeply, "Believe it or not… I am off to go surfing" The Bajoran rolled his eyes and shook his head before leading Wekesa to the door.

Ahh, surfing… the wetsuit makes more sense then. "Good luck, sir… and thank you again." Simba smiled slightly as he left the room, then broke out grinning as soon as the doors had shut behind him and he took off down the corridor. "Alright, torpedo bay crew," he muttered to himself. "You're not getting rid of me that easily after all!"

Joint post with Captain Torrik Nils


Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/05-13-2009 10:25:05 PM

-Primary Sickbay-

Ben sat on a biobed waiting for the doctor to finish suturing the phaser wound which had a bad habit of opening when he least expected it. He didn't much care for having to return to sickbay. As relaxing as the ivory and taupe colors of the walls seemed to most people and as plush as the biobeds were, BHP didn't enjoy hanging around in the hospital. He was a firm believer in the theory that if you stayed around doctors long enough, they would find something wrong with you. "Doc, can we speed this burner? I got a dish that I've been waiting all shift to see."

"Petty Officer, I think you should try not to do anything strenuous for a few days and we'll see if the treatment will take and the sutures will set," the daisy-boy physician told him after taking a few minutes to wonder why the petty officer was so interested in crockery. "The complications seem to arise whenever you overexert yourself."

"Sir, I'm a security officer," Ben pointed out, "I ain't in the habit of standing around beating my gums all day, if ya know what I mean."

The doctor looked puzzled then said, "Not really, could you repeat that?"

"My training and my job is to be a Bruno," Ben said earnestly. The doctor still looked confused. "I'm hard-boiled? Got to take down derricks and palookas all day in training." The blond haired doctor still didn't get it. "Tough. It's a tough job."

"Right," Chris said, at last able to comprehend what the Iotian had been saying. "I'm going to suggest to your department head that you are put on light duty." He continued before BHP could protest. "And since we're close to Starfleet Medical, I'm going to recommend that you see a specialist. The sutures may not be our only problem.."

"Starfleet Medical? On Earth? What's the grift Doc?" Ben shook his head. He didn't want to go to a bigger hospital. The Hospital of hospitals.

"Grift?"

"The deal?" Still nothing. "The reason?" Geez. C'mon. Jenny usually gets it by the second time. Pierce thought to himself.

"Your wound isn't healing properly Petty Officer. The treatment for the anti-coagulants, that the Jem Hadar employ in their weapon systems, only seems to be partially successful. Starfleet Medical may know something we do not, they may have a specialized treatment. I strongly urge you to consider my suggestion. Or we could just let it keep opening, maybe one night in your sleep, then you would bleed to death.." the doctor stated.

That was plain enough for Ben. He didn't want Jenny to wake up one morning and find that he'd bled out while sleeping with her. "Got it. Get Starfleet Medical on the blower and tell them I'm on the next meat wagon."

Chris Hodges had understood 'Starfleet Medical' and that was enough for him to deduce that Pierce had agreed to see one of the specialists. "I'll send a message to one of the biomedical department heads. How does tomorrow sound for an appointment?"

"Quick, but I'll do it," Ben agreed. "I ain't holding any of the good cards am I?"

"Uhm..no?"

Christ.


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/05-15-2009 02:53:40 PM

::Vulcan::

T'Shaini held Lia's hand as they stepped off the shuttle and monster stomped into the hanger. "The gravity here is going to be greater than that which we experience on the Chimera, notice that it is more difficult to lift your foot…" She held it in the air until Lia, giggling, began to balance on one foot as well. "sooo heavy." She let it thunk back to the ground. Leading her over to a view port she pointed out to the skyline. "This is ShiKar, I grew up here, then left when I chose to go to the academy instead of staying here and studying to be a security officer like the rest of my family." She leaned down to whisper conspiratorially into the child's ear. "They were not too happy about my decision." At Lia's concerned frown T'Shaini brushed her finger against the tip of her nose. "But that was a long time ago, I am happy with my life and how I chose to lead it and they are happy for me."

After powering down the shuttle's impulse engines, Javier ran the last few checks on the type 9's systems as Lia and T'Shaini left via the hatch. The journey to Vulcan had not taken long but Lia had quickly grown tired of the cramped space. The child can only nap for so long. T'Shaini had reminded him as the craft landed in the shuttle port. He wondered who was more anxious to leave the shuttle, Lia, or T'Shaini. The counselor had not visited her home since..well, he didn't know when the last time had been but figured it had been a long time. Gathering up Lia's toys, then taking their luggage, the engineer staggered out of the shuttle's hatch. The difference between Earth's gravity and Vulcan's gravity was immediately apparent as the bag's weight almost doubled. "I better get a huge tip for this," Javier joked.

Smiling, T'Shaini walked Lia back to Javier and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Indeed sir, I will make certain you are well compensated for your efforts." She whispered into his ear. She took a small bag with toys and handed it to Lia, then one of her own bags and kissed him again.

As quickly as she took her bag, Javier reclaimed it and said, "You're still in the process of healing, so you don't get to carry any bags just yet." Leaning closer to her he whispered, "And I expect full compensation, but only after you've fully recovered." The engineer looked up to find a group of Vulcans approaching them. From the severe look on the elder male Vulcan's face, Javier was committing a grievous offense by leaning to close to T'Shaini. Her father, nice way to make a first impression. Javier thought as he straighted up.

T'Shaini bit back a smile at Javier's obvious discomfiture, then seeing the blank looks on her families face, froze. Ah, I did not inform them of Javier and Lia's attendance. Feeling her spine stiffen as if she were still a child, the counselor…the adult counselor, crossed the shuttle bay, extending the traditional salute as she drew near. "Father, Mother…" Her face softened a bit as she looked at her brother, she had not forgotten the pain of loss she had felt when Q had rearranged their past. "Selan." She could detect an answering warmth…if you could call it that, from Selan, so reached out and gripped his upper arm. Knowing how much her parents disapproved of her propensity toward physical engagement, she released him quickly. "I would like to present Javier Costala and his daughter Lia."

"Hello," Javier stated, feeling as if someone had suddenly turned on a glaring spotlight and centered it on he and Lia. The engineer remembered the Vulcan greeting, at the same time remembering he couldn't do it with just one hand, and so Javier pried open the fingers of his right hand using his left hand, then offered up the greeting. "Live Long and Prosper." It was the only Vulcan greeting he knew and he hoped it wasn't only used in farewells.

Watching her Daddy hold out his palm to the new Vulcan people, Lia followed suit except she confused the meaning of the greeting and held her fingers out, spread apart in greeting. "I'm five," she said proudly.

T'Peles knelt down before the young human. "I congratulate you for your experience in years, however, if I may, I will show you an old Vulcan tradition." Her hand rose before Lia's face and she spread her fingers in a wide V. "If every time I greeted someone new I had to raise the amount of fingers corresponding to my age, we would never discuss anything else."

"High five!" Lia said and smacked her palm lightly against the Vulcan woman's as she giggled. "Low five?" she stated holding her palm out for the return smack.

The only outward sign of her confusion was the hint of a crease between her brows as T'Peles stared at the small human hand before her, then tapped her hand against the child's which made her emit an ear piercing squeal of joy. Rising to her feet she looked at T'Shaini. "And this is why cultural exchange is best left to the diplomats."

"I think you did very well," Javier complimented T'Shaini's mother as he deposited one of the bags so he could reach down and pick up Lia. "It is an honor to meet T'Shaini's family. She is very special to Lia and I.." Lia chose that moment to transfer herself from Javier to T'Shaini's arms. "I know I have all of you to thank for T'Shaini being so open and able to share her love so easily. She is a favored edition to the Chimera and she holds a special place in my own heart also." The impassive stares that met his words made the engineer feel somewhat nervous. "But I'm sure she's told you all about us."

The slight widening of her mother's eyes and the icy stillness of her father was all she needed to see. As hard to read as a Vulcan might seem to a human, to another Vulcan…

"Selan, can you help Javier with the bags?" T'Shaini jumped in, feeling her cheeks darken. She lowered Lia to the ground, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. "I am sorry love, I have not yet regained my strength." Reaching down she held the child's hand tightly in hers. I am an adult, a adult with the rank of Commander in Starfleet, recently been named Ambassador…I can resist reverting to pre adolescence around my parents. All her resolve began to disintegrate as her father, who had been all too silent, fell into step beside her.

"It seems there has been much detail left out of your reports, T'Shaini."

"It would seem so, father."

"Fascinating, there will be much to discuss when we get home."

"Yes, father."

Why, oh why, had they not chosen to visit his parents?

JP with T'Shaini, she's a Commander you know.


Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/05-15-2009 07:41:29 PM

-USS Chimera-
-Anderson/Saunders Quarters-

"Jenny didn't tell me where she was going, she only said it was 'very important' that she leave as soon as possible," Darby explained to BHP. "I thought she would have told you or at least sent you a message." She flopped down on a chair and propped her pink bunny slippers up on the table in front of the chair.

"She did," Ben answered as he looked over Jenny's side of the room, "she didn't say much about what the rush was and I was hoping she came clean with you."

"Came clean? Jenny's always been very hygienic," Darbs started to say until she caught the look of exasperation on Pierce's face. "Oh, it's a figure of speech! You think she told me where she went?"

"Yeah, that's what I thought." The Iotian carefully opened the drawers of Jenny's clothing. He managed to get her underwear drawer on the first try and looked away quickly, a red flush creeping onto his cheeks as Ben pushed the drawer closed. "I was thinking she might have left some clue to where she was going by the clothes she took with her," he told Darby. Nothing was out of place though and BHP had no desire to go rifling through Jenny's possessions. She deserves her privacy more than anyone. It was easy to see Ben was concerned about Jenny. The security officer had barely had time to heal before being called away..for something. The message she had left him was brief, it gave no specifics as to her whereabouts, and even Chief Jameson could not provide Ben with any details regarding Jenny's sudden disappearance.

"She needed some time off, so she took leave," Jameson had said. It was almost the exact same message Jenny had sent to him before she had left the ship. To Ben, it didn't feel right. He had tried to tell Chief Jameson but his shift leader had brushed aside his concerns. Feeling an impending sense of worry asail his instincts, Ben had tried to see the Executive Officer and inform Commander Finn of the situation. He'd been told by CPO Raynes that the XO was unavailable. So BHP had decided to investigate on his own.

"Did she take..? I wonder.." Ben suddenly said as he crossed the room and knelt beside Jenny's bed. Reaching his arm under her pillow, he searched for the good luck charm she often kept there. It was gone. His Christopher Pike Medal for Valor, which he'd given to Jenny, was missing.

"She took it," Darby Saunders said. "She said she would need as much good luck as she could get."

Ben felt a momentary burst of excitement. He started to speak but was interrupted by his combadge chirping. =/\=Pierce here.=/\= he said after tapping the badge.

=/\=Petty Officer, this is Lieutenant Tenanji, you are cleared to leave the ship for treatment at Starfleet Medical. It was my understanding that you will only require a one day absence?=/\=

=/\=Yes sir, but I've found some very interesting information concerning Crewman Anderson's disappearance and I think..=/\= Ben started to say before Lt. Tenanji cut him off.

=/\=Petty Officer, Crewman Anderson's whereabouts are not your concern. You will not begin or proceed with any unauthorized investigations, do I make myself clear?=/\=

=/\=Yes Lieutenant…=/\= BHP replied as he started to protest but then stopped. He would continue to snoop around after Tenanji dismissed him. He can't keep up with me the entire shoreleave. Ben reasoned.

=/\=In order to process your doctor's request I've taken the liberty of expediting this matter. Transporter Chief, energize at your leisure.=/\= Tenanji stated.

Ben saw the shimmering light of the transporter beam wrap his form up in the embrace of its energy tendrils. When the energy dissipated he found himself standing in front of a monolithic building with a gigantic medical symbol decorating one side of the huge structure.

"Awww Applesauce!" the Iotian cursed.


Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/05-16-2009 12:14:32 AM

Simba sighed, staring at the outside of the transporter room doors. He must have been there for five minutes already, pacing back and forth and trying to decide whether to enter or not.

It wasn't that he didn't want to go down to Earth. He did. If there was one thing the last few missions had taught him, it was that life could be, potentially, very short and that there was no time to waste. And, more to the point, that he had ignored a big part of himself for far too long.

On the other hand, he didn't quite know what he was going to say to them. He hadn't seen them in seven years… hadn't even so much as talked to them, with the occasional exception of his younger sister. But even that was rare. Simba had been at odds with them for so long that, honestly, he couldn't even remember exactly how it all started anymore. Maybe it didn't matter… however it started, all that mattered was that he make it end.

He laughed to himself slightly, wondering how he had managed to end up here. Sure, he had planned to go down to Earth… eventually… but on some level, he knew that he probably would have put it off until the Chimera was ready to break orbit. He'd been on his way to the lounge for a drink, running into Counselor T'Shaini in the corridor by pure chance, and somehow he'd found his way to the transporter room instead.

T'Shaini had been following the cold trail of Ender Seldon in vain, wherever the computer said he was, he was not once she arrived. And the longer she took to find him, the longer it would be before they left for Vulcan. "Ah, Simba…it is good to see you again." She had been far too active for her convelescence and took hold of his shoulder as she felt a wave of weakness begin to buckle her knees. She looked closely at his face, he had been down on Earth as well, but luckily seemed none he worse for wear, at least to the outward eye. "How are you?" There were layers to the seemingly casual phrase that only a counselor could manage.

"Good…" he replied, shifting his weight slightly to support the Vulcan. Admittedly, part of him was surprised that she remembered his name… but then again, she was a counselor. "I'd heard that you had a run-in with one of those Terra Prime lunatics… how are you feeling?"

"Well enough…certainly well enough to leave, if I could find Dr. Seldon."

Simba smiled politely. "Good, I'm glad to hear it. I wish I could help you find him, but I haven't seen the Doc. Where are you off to for leave?"

"Vulcan…" A wistful smile lifted the corners of her mouth. "when faced with the possibility of not being able to say the things that you always thought you would have time to say…you make the time to say them as soon as possible."

The Lieutenant grunted. Amazing how the counselor's thoughts paralleled his own. "Yeah, that's what I have been thinking too. Between Camael and the close brush we all had over the past few days…" He'd given up trying to keep his tenses and timeframes straight when it came to time travel. "I mean, we don't get back to Earth too often. Maybe once the repairs are done and we finish the tactical upgrades…" his voice trailed off, not really sure why he was making excuses.

"Or maybe now…" T'Shaini could see that all he needed was a little nudge. "there are others who can make the repairs, and if not…they will still be here when you return."

He smiled again. "That's what my officers keep telling me… though secretly I think they just want me out of their hair." He sighed. "Maybe you're right. I'm off-duty until tomorrow, plenty of time for a quick trip home. Thank you, Counselor."

"Wonderful…please tell your parents I said hello." She smiled gently. "It may confuse them, not knowing me…but tell them anyways."

"I'm sure they'll be confused enough just to see me," he replied with a slight laugh. "But I'll tell them. Thanks… and I hope you have a good trip home yourself. I'll send the Doc your way if I happen to see him."

"Damn, she's good," Simba muttered to himself as the transporter room doors opened and he stepped inside. Funny how just a few minutes in the corridor had completely changed his plans for leave. But maybe it would be a good thing… T'Shaini certainly seemed to think so.

"Can I help you with something, sir?" the transporter chief asked, looking at the young officer standing in the doorway.

"One to beam down to the surface," Simba replied as he walked over to the operator's console. "I'll give you the coordinates…"

Time to go home… with a brief nudge from T'Shaini


Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/05-16-2009 09:10:57 AM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Holodeck 1 ::

As the sound of the cranking and grinding holodeck doors faded, the gentle hiss of surf and wind took its place. The image of a white hot sun burned down on golden sands and the foamy surf danced and spun just off the coast. Four members of Chimera’s crew stood clad in rubber suits and clutched surfboards to their side.

“I don’t know how I let you talk me into this,” Nils said with a smirk. “I have plenty I could be doing.”

“That’s the point, Nils,” Lincoln said as he surveyed the holographic beauty that was the ocean. “This is an outlet for that anxiety and stress of Command. And an inlet for nature… Satisfaction…”

“It seems peculiar to call a holodeck program ‘nature.’ It is after all just an illusion.” Jachin too watched as the sea waters churned and surged before them.

“Oh shut up, kid,” said Dalluk in his usual surly tone. “This is just practice. As soon as you boys get your surf legs we’re beaming down to Earth for the real deal.”

Nils sighed deeply and surrendered with a shrug. “Let’s try it then…” He led the way and began padding across the sand into the water. The others followed. “I did some research on the subject last night,” he continued. “Since the principle of ‘surfing’ is little more than understanding basic hydrodynamics, I thought a little study might prepare me well. I also created a mathematic model for producing three dimensional graphic images to predict and track swell movement…”

“No Nils, you’re f*cking it all up,” Dalluk said in usual orneriness. “It’s not about crap math or exponential whatsits. It’s about a connection between you and the ocean. The board is like a conductor of the soul…”

“What,” Jachin asked incredulously. He was unable to mask his emotions as his anxiety was much apparent. He’d never seen an ocean before and it unnerved him.

The four men laid face down on their boards and paddled out on the smooth waters. Lincoln continued, “Dalluk’s right. And I think you need this, Nils. You're doing a bang up job as Captain, but you've been losing part of yourself since you took command of Hawking. And since Jillian…" The Vulcan hybrid's voice trailed off and the sound of stirring surf replaced all conversation as the men paddled.

The mention of her name still brought an emotional response. And though it still hurt, Nils could find other feelings mingled within that response. There were hints of joy when memories surfaced and sparks of gratitude for every moment they'd been permitted to share. The Bajoran smiled a little. "And since Jillian died I've been a dour and bland emotional black hole," he finished with wry wit. He caught Lincoln's eye and nodded. "To be fair though I was pretty much a black hole before she died too."

“Touché,” conceded Dalluk quietly with a crooked smirk.

From his surf board, Jachin chuckled. The younger Torrik felt an intense relief and happiness that his brother had found some sort of peace with his lover's death. "I don't think anyone's arguing with that," he chimed in.

"You've always been a sulky son of a bitch, Nils. Always," Dalluk said. Though Lincoln was truly the eldest of them all, his Vulcan heritage hid that fact. Yederan's aging process paralleled that of humanity, so his 72 years were much more evident. But in spite of the thinning grey hair and the wrinkles on his face, Dalluk paddled more vigorously than all of them. "First time I cut your hair on Sentinel I knew you were gonna be a whiney little sh*t."

"Dalluk," exclaimed Nils through stifled laughter. Somehow the man's harsh words always came wrapped in his dark humor and felt… endearing. But this day, he was in rare form.

"What?" He didn't look back and continued to paddle. "You were a pain in the ass, kid!" A dawning smile creased the wrinkles around the man's eyes. "But I couldn't help but like you. And if it makes you feel better, I always knew you'd make Captain." He turned and winked at the young CO then added, "Just didn't know it'd be so damned quick. Admiralty's lost their mind in that regards. Children and teenagers captaining starships around the galaxy like a bunch of g#d d@mned nursery school…" His quiet rant faded into obscurity.

"He's your friend," asked Jachin quietly as he paddled up next to Nils.

The Bajoran chuckled. "One of my best," he admitted sorely. "Believe it or not."

"Alright, gentlemen," began Lincoln as he pushed up and straddled his surf board. "This is far enough. Let us begin the lesson… The white water will approach! First things first, turn the nose of the board back to shore and remember how I showed you to stand up… Computer activate wave patter Purcell Alpha oh one," he called into the false atmosphere. "There going to come slow at first so we can just practice getting to our feet.

And Nils learned to surf… As the hours progressed, the thoughts of hydrodynamics and wave forms faded away. He stopped mentally calculating break points and estimating the underwater topography of the holographic sea bed. Eventually, something in his pagh began stirring. And though he didn't master the techniques or perfect wave riding, he began to feel that perfection out before him. It called to him, drawing him out of himself. Time faded to a memory and the angst that he wore like a burial shawl vanished entirely. Something of his childhood reawakened. An innocence and wonder that had been destroyed in the labor camps found resurrection in those moments.

"That's enough," called Dalluk angrily as he spewed water from his mouth. "We need a break, Purcell!"

"Alright, alright," Lincoln conceded. "Let's paddle back to shore. Captain Torrik, thank you for indulging us with your presence. I hope you can find the time sometime in the next month to…"

"When do we leave for Earth," asked Nils as eager as a schoolboy. "I can have T'Landra work up the new scheduling rosters and Rayne is covering Finn's load." He turned to Lincoln with a bright smile and said, "Let's go tomorrow!"

"Aye aye, Cap'n," answered Linc with a mock salute and a knowing smile. "Aye aye…"

With some NPCs:


Originally Posted by T'Shaini/05-18-2009 11:07:42 AM

::Vulcan::

"And then, against all probability, I heard a voice from the Jeffries tube…" T'Shaini kept her voice level and her hands calmly folded in her lap, for all the nerves that were jumping inside her. If she wanted her family (ie her father) to accept this union, she must be able to present its existence with complete Vulcan dispassion…though dispassion and her relationship with Javier were two states that were diametrically opposed. She continued to narrate things she had experienced with him to her family, all seated around the family conference table. She had spend much of her youth at this table, her and Selan, absorbing the teachings of their parents…but this time it was T'Shaini that was doing all the talking.

"Even in an alternate reality we were somehow drawn to each other." She would have given anything for a twitch, a blink, something to illuminate the workings of her father's mind. But no. Her mother as well, she showed no sign of…well anything. Of course that was to be expected. She snuck a glance at Selan, who inclined his head slightly in her direction. While not an overt approval, it was at least something for her to take hold of.

It seemed to go on forever, this unveiling…why had she not told them any of this before? Well, because they did not want to know, and it was far easier to let them go on not knowing than to force the issue…any issue, with her parents. Physician, heal thyself. The small part of her brain that felt like it was looking down observing this unholy mess noted, with amusement, that her toes were tucked back over the bottom rung of her chair, just as she had done as a child.

"So when I came home to reconnect with my family after coming so close to losing that luxury, they are so a part of my life that it would not even occur to me that they should not come along."

*cricket cricket*

"Facinating." Sakkath rose to his feet, and with a look that made his daughter feel as if she were a bug beneath his foot, left the room. Her mother rose to her feet as well.

"T'Shaini, though we have long been made aware that no matter what our will, you would go your own way, your father expected that once this notion of exploration had been purged..and we assumed that your latest mission would have shown you that your way was in no way the logical path, you would return. Return and take your place with your family as you ought to have years ago." One finger pressed onto the top of the table, as clear an expression of displeasure as she could have shown. "In anticipation of this, your father had begun to lay the groundwork for your readmittance into Vulcan society." Her lips pressed together. "Selok's family will not be pleased." As her mother strode from the room, T'Shaini's head landed with a thunk on the conference table.

"That went well." Her voice was muffled by the proximity of the tabletop.

She felt her brother rise and stand next to her, his hand tentative brushing past her shoulders in an awkward attempt at consolation. "Father was so certain that your visit was a signal that you had 'come to your senses' that he had made a place for you, not only at his chosen post, but…" He paused, knowing that this news would be most unwelcome. "he contacted the family of Selok and arranged for your union." A long low groan met his words, even though always astounded by her shows of emotion, the groan elicited an answering amusement deep within the Vulcan male.

"If nothing else, I can always count on you to make me appear as an offspring without flaw."


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/05-18-2009 11:48:17 AM

In a Vulcan rock garden…

"Daddy, that man over there has clothing like.." Javier had been sitting on a bench in what passed for a park on Vulcan, snoozing in the mid-morning sun when Lia's voice had awoken him. His 4AM wake-up call had come early. Unbeknown to Javier, guests in a Vulcan home were expected to rise early and fix the traditional morning meal. The plomeek soup had been incredibly bland, but fortunately for him, Vulcans seemed to prefer their soup unseasoned. He suddenly felt a thumb jab into his side and lunged up. "I'm awake!" he started. Lia jerked back her hand and giggled. Javier smiled at her then glanced up apologetically at a group of Vulcans that were staring at him. "Sorry..sorry for the emotional outburst," he told them. The Vulcans looked away, except for one who slightly inclined his head in Javier's direction. "Now what were you saying?" he asked as he turned to Lia and gently poked her, "And why were you tickling me?" The little girl laughed and pointed at the group of Vulcan monks. "They have clothes like Mister Bayel."

Javier turned to look where Lia's finger was pointing while placing his hand over her's and gathering up her fingers in his hand. "It's not polite to point, Honey," he said softly. "I think they are Vulcan monks."

"Monks." Lia repeated the word.

"Yes, they're kind of like Mister Bayel," Javier explained, "except he's a.."

"Vedek," Lia said then smiled.

"Right, very good," Javier complimented as he gave Lia a hug. "Who told you that?"

"Miss Katie, we had Mister Bayel come to our class and talk about his paw," she said in a matter of fact tone.

Javier started to correct Lia then decided to let her say the word however she wanted. I don't think I pronounced it correctly until Nils and I were roommates. "These are monks who probably focus on some aspect of Surak's teachings. On Earth they had monks that worshipped various gods and dedicated their lives to serving those gods. I don't think Vulcans have a religion though." He watched the Vulcan men sit down and begin some sort of mantra. The chant was slow and steady with hardly any emotion at all. 'Very Vulcan.' Javier thought to himself. His thoughts turned to T'Shaini and wondered how someone so vibrant could have originated on a world where the people were so outwardly cold. Despite the frugal nature of the monks and the somber chant, Javier found his foot tapping in rhythm to the mantra. Lia stood up on the bench and hugged Javier as they watched the monks. "I want to see T'Shaini," she told her daddy. "Me too," the engineer agreed, turning to kiss Lia's cheeks, "but she's visiting with her family so we'll give her some more time.."

"I see you have found enjoyment in our mantra."

Both Javier and Lia looked up to find one of the monks standing in front of them. It was one of the younger monks, the one who had inclined his head in greeting. 'I didn't even hear him approach us.' Javier thought. "Yes, it is good to hear music.." he replied, ..even if it seems like a funeral dirge.

"My name is Sedal," the monk said, introducing himself. The Vulcan monk did something that surprised Javier, he held out his hand in greeting. Javier took Sedal's hand and they shook. To his surprise, the monk did not show any of the signs of distaste that most Vulcans would have upon touching a human. "I have been to Earth on a diplomatic assignment," the Vulcan explained, "so I am familiar with some Human customs. Through careful study I found that humans that enjoyed music would tap their feet, clap their hands or take part in flamboyant displays of limberness."

"Sorry..flamboyant displays of..?"

"I believe humans call it dancing," Sedal said.

"Oh, right," Javier said in realization, then added, "yes, I did enjoy your chant. On Earth we have something similar..I mean we have our own chants. But we have spirituals too."

"Spirituals. I am not familiar with this type of chant," Sedal admitted. "Could you provide an example?"

'Does he want me to sing?' Javier thought. He grinned and said: "This one is called The River of Dreams.."


Originally Posted by T'Shaini/05-19-2009 11:25:15 AM

::Vulcan::

Selan stood beside the entrance as Lia rushed past him and crawled up onto the divan on which the counselor sat. "Daddy and I saw some monks today," the five year old proclaimed, breaking the silence of the Vulcan abode. Javier paused at the door. T'Shaini's brother made him uneasy, he had carefully avoided the man in the hangar upon arriving on Vulcan and Javier had done his utmost to act nonplussed in Selan's presence, but now he found himself face to face with him. It was not the first time he had met Selan even though T'Shaini's brother would not recognize him. In an alternate reality created by Q, Javier had been a Section 31 agent that had orchestrated the murder of Selan, who had worked for the Vulcan High Command in that timeline. It was extremely awkward to see Selan and also to retain memories of having killed the Vulcan. 'I wonder why I didn't think of this before?' Javier wondered as he continued to stare at Selan.

T'Shaini noticed the intent look and her heart moved toward her throat. Please do not bring up Q, please do not bring up Q… It had been a rough enough morning, she did not want to alienate her one ally. Wrapping one arm around the child for the warmth and comfort her presence always brought, T'Shaini reached out with her other hand for Javier to join them. "I thought perhaps we might take Lia out to the fire plains…" She tipped the child's head up. "big volcanoes, rivers of lava…it is very noisy, very smelly and very dangerous…sound like fun?"

"Danger?" Her small face lit up. "YES!" Lia's arms shot straight up into the air in excitement. With a smile, T'Shaini hugged her tighter, then looked up to see the puzzled expression on Selan's face. He might as well witness the joy she brings, it may help him understand.

"Rocks that are on fire. How could that not be fun?" Javier smiled at T'Shaini's brother in spite of himself.

"There are also 50 meter tall statues of renowned Vulcan warriors." T'Shaini's brother added. "Perhaps you could share some culture as well." His voice was flat, but there was a glint of humor in his eye. "T'Shaini used to revel in getting as close to the flowing lava as our father would permit…often closer."

"Sounds like a challenge," Javier replied, looking from Selan to T'Shaini. "I once retrieved a beacon that was so close to a sun, that my EVA suit melted and scorched off some of my body hair." The engineer looked toward T'Shaini. "Remember how fun that was..afterwards." Javi remembered that T'Shaini had slapped his face because he had worried her so much with his haphazard behaviour, but he also remembered how he had made it up to her inside the battered shuttle, much to the chagrin of the Constitution's historian.

T'Shaini's cheeks darkened and she fought the urge to cover Lia's ears, not that she would have the slightest idea what Javier was referring to, but that did not stifle the urge. And clearly, from Selan's raised eyebrow he had expostulated, if not the exact truth, something akin to it. "Shall we go?"

"Yes," the engineer replied quickly. He'd forgotten how speculative Vulcans could be, and knew from Selan's response, that he had all but told T'Shaini's brother that he enjoyed doing the hibiddy-dibitty with T'Shaini after a dangerous assignment. "Let's go see some lava now."

The Counselor stretched out her long legs and let Lia slide down them to the floor, then stood and took her hand. "Wonderful idea." She caught her brother's eye before leaving. "Selan, you will be here this evening?" The plea in her voice was unmistakable.

"Of course, nothing more intriguing than family." He responded, then let her pass him toward the door.

"Live long and prosper," Javi said as he gave the Vulcan salute then caught up Lia's other hand in his and walked along with his two best girls. Once they were a good distance away out of Selan's hearing, Javier looked at T'Shaini and said, "Somehow I get the feeling they did not expect us, and by us I mean Lia and I."

JP-Sad when lava fields are less volatile than your personal life…and you are a Vulcan.


Originally Posted by Lisbet Ulrika/05-19-2009 03:41:28 PM

USS Chimera, Sickbay

Bet had to remind herself that she was now posted on an active Prometheus class ship, this sickbay would not be as extensively equipped as the hospital she did her residency in. She no sooner had that thought that she heard Nick accuse her of being a snob. She laughed to herself and continued to the CMO’s office, ignoring the odd look the duty nurse gave her. The door to the office was open and Bet saw seated at the desk a man, about 40 years old she guessed. “Excuse me Sir. I’m Cadet 3rd Class Ulrika, reporting for duty.”

He stood and motioned her to enter. He proffered his hand as she approached the desk. “Lt. Ayre, Acting CMO. Welcome aboard the Chimera.” He had a pleasant manner to him, amiable but not a pushover. She did get the vibe he was out of his depth however; seeming a little overwhelmed, she felt certain there was a story there.

“I’m happy to be here Sir. What would you like me to do to help?”

“You can jump in with these medical release files for departing crew. No need to see each one, but review the files in case there is anything unresolved and then follow through on those. While we are in dry-dock I’m afraid there won’t be anything over-glamorous to deal with.”

“This will give me a chance to ease into the rhythm of shipboard life.” She took the PADDs he offered and looked out into the area outside the office. She saw a console table adjacent to the biobeds along the far wall and set to working through the pile.

Four hours and many signed releases later Lt. Ayre tapped her on the shoulder, “If you are done you can head out. We are on light duty right now and you’ll make me look bad if you are here when I’m not.”

“If it is all the same, I would rather review current SoP, every duty station is different. I should get a feel for how Chimera does things.”

“Fair enough. Please call if you have any questions.” He turned and left Bet alone.


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/05-19-2009 09:34:43 PM

::Vulcan::

"You are correct." T'Shaini held his gaze and felt shame sweep over her, in her avoidance she had not considered how it would reflect on he and Lia.

"And I sort of get the feeling they don't know much about us at all," Javier stated. He looked down at Lia. "Honey, do you want to get a drink before we go? It's going to be very hot near the lava fields." Lia thought about the question for a second and nodded a yes. "Okay, let's go get you something," Javier said as he led the five year old and attached Vulcan into what served as the family's dining area. After getting Lia some animal crackers and juice, and setting her up at the table so the floor wouldn't suffer the multitude of crumbs, Javier turned to T'Shaini. "I think I understand..no, actually I don't understand at all. Could you explain to me how, or why, your family has no knowledge of Lia and I? Or me?"

T'Shaini moved toward the doorway, far enough so that Lia would no be party to this possibly volatile discussion. Ordinarily she would have taken Javier's hand and led him along with her, but the expression on his face precluded any such action. Once ascertaining that he had followed her, she struggled for the correct words. "My correspondence with my family is…utilitarian. This is not to say that I do not value them, or know that they value me…" She dragged her fingers uncomfortably through her hair. "but I know that they do not quite understand my choices, even though I have made them accept them…to a certain extent." She found that she could not quite meet his eyes. "When it…we began, I did not speak of it because I knew they would not wish to hear, then when it became so much a part of my life I did not speak of it because I did not wish to hear what they would say, I suppose." T'Shaini forced herself to look up. "To be honest, I so far pushed it to the back of my mind that I did not even realize fully its absence until we arrived."

"My parents do not understand my decisions concerning you and how I choose to raise Lia," Javier replied, keeping his tone even, "but I still told them I love you and that you have been as good a mother to Lia as anyone." It was difficult for Javier not to take T'Shaini in his arms and hold her. He could plainly tell that she was embarrassed, but Javier also wondered if T'Shaini was somehow ashamed of him, and so that was the reason he had not been mentioned to her parents. "Is it because I'm not Vulcan or not logical enough? And are you embarrassed to tell them about me because I'm not?"

"No, no…" She began to reach out to lay her hand on his chest, then unsure of how it would be received, tucked her hands behind her. "never that." How could she explain something she barely understood herself. "Have you ever seen me speak, by communications console, to them?" He shook his head no. "That is because I do not do it. I notify them before and after missions, of my safety and one or two things that perhaps might interest them, but personal business is never discussed." She bit her lip and nodded as another realization of her lapse in judgment was illuminated. "Something of this importance should have been brought up, and it is merely my avoidance that is at fault." T'Shaini could feel that knot in her chest that only appeared under great duress…usually when emotions she still had little experience with threatened to break free. "It feels now, as if I were hiding you away, not wanting anything to mar the joy that I found with you." Her hand began to rub against the knot she could feel growing. "I am attempting to decipher my motives as we speak, I am shamed to admit I have not done so heretofore.

There was a surge of tension in her frame that seemed to emanate between them. T'Shaini's discomfort was almost tangible and it was steeped in regret. Javier suddenly realized that she was struggling against the reasons that made T'Shaini who she was and why he loved her. He took her hand and held it, ceasing the rubbing motion. "Your wound will not heal if you continue to worry it like that," Javier stated as he opened her palm and brought it to his lips. "I should know by now that you are not ashamed of me." He pulled her hand down and past him so T'Shaini was drawn close to him. "I suppose that my fears are partly because I often wonder how I was lucky enough to find you," Javier told T'Shaini as he held her.

She let out a sigh, partially of relief, partially because it felt so right as his arms pulled her in. "And I you." Unconsciously echoing the connection felt when she was so close to death she let her head rest on his shoulder for a brief moment, straightening up when she felt a small body wiggle in between theirs. Looking down she saw Lia's face, filled with mischief. "Lava fields now?" the cookie encrusted mouth spoke.

"Yes, Lava fields now."

One awkward moment down, several more to go…


Originally Posted by Asmita Madri/05-20-2009 01:53:22 PM

=Gamma Quadrant - Megiddo Station - Dormitories=

Asmita reclined against her bed and gazed into the blue glow of a PADD. On the screen, a tiny model of the USS Chimera was flickering through an endless cycle of slow rotations. The J’naii tapped the screen, and a cutaway revealed the basic layout of the ship’s sixteen decks. She sighed, “I’m going to get lost.”

“You’ll be fine,” chimed the PADD. “Remember how frightened you were when you left for the academy? But you found your way.”

“I missed half my classes the first week because I was utterly lost, Kiren.” Asmita tapped the screen again, and the diagram of the USS Chimera dissolved into the smiling face of an older J’naii.

“Well, you still came out on top,” Kiren replied in a tone somewhere between compliment and insult. “Anyway, Johala and I are going. And get a haircut, child. You’re starting to look like a throwback.”

Asmita said nothing as the screen flashed back to the Chimera, indicating the connection to her parents had closed. Frowning, she ran her fingers through her hair. It was almost down to her shoulders, much longer than would have been acceptable back on J’naii. She rather liked it, and her parent’s negative reaction only solidified this. “I think I’ll grow it out a bit longer,” she thought, her frown spreading into a grin.

With a sigh, she returned to her scrutiny of the ship’s layout on her PADD. She had been studying the details of her assignment for hours now, memorizing locations and technical specifications. She had never been aboard a Prometheus class starship, not even in simulation, but she wanted to be ready.


Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/05-20-2009 07:58:33 PM

The hot afternoon sun beat down from the cloudless sky, baking the dry earth along the narrow road out of the city. Simba Wekesa walked along the side of the road, ignoring the heat and the red dust which covered his boots and the black pants of his Starfleet uniform as he tried to stick to the limited shade afforded by the trees on either side of the pavement. He glanced back over his shoulder at the Accra skyline behind him, then looked ahead to where the road curved and disappeared amongst the foliage. He was beginning to regret his decision to walk from town- it would have been much easier to take a shuttle, or to have had the transporter chief beam him someplace closer. But at the very least, the walk gave him time to think about what he was doing here and what he was going to say when he finally got to the door.

It was amazing, really, how little things had changed. Simba had walked this road many times in his youth, and after all these years he still knew it like the back of his hand. He wondered momentarily if he could have made the walk from town with his eyes closed. Everything still felt familiar… from the scent of the air, to the sounds of the insects, to the warmth of the equatorial sun on his back. Even though he had never thought he'd be back here, it still felt like home.

He paused as he came around the corner and the modest house came into view, peeking over the tops of the trees and bushes that surrounded the yard. It too looked the same as he remembered it. Simba momentarily cursed T'Shaini for convincing him this was a good idea, but deep down he knew she was right. Sighing, he crossed the street and entered the yard. He suddenly felt like a small child coming home to be scolded after disobeying his parents. Simba glanced at the swingset from his childhood, rusting away off to the side, and it brought him back to reality. He wasn't a child, he was an adult. And he needed to live with the consequences of his decisions.

In a moment, he found himself standing on the doorstep and knocked. He didn't know what to expect when the door opened, but he was sure it wasn't going to be pleasant. Certainly his parents wouldn't be too thrilled to see him again, and truthfully he wasn't sure how he was going to feel to see them. Maybe it would be better to just leave… to beam back to the Chimera and check on the tactical upgrades. Simba was just about to knock again when the door suddenly swung open.

"Simba? Oh my… what are you doing here?" His younger sister, Ashanti, the one relative he had talked to since he'd left for the Academy, stood in the doorway with a look of shock and disbelief on her face.

Simba smiled awkwardly. "Hey sis… sorry to drop in unannounced, but we were in the neighborhood, and I thought I should come home."

"After all these years… do mom and dad know you're here?"

"No. You know I haven't talked to them in years." He frowned. "I don't know that they'll be too glad to see me."

Ashanti laughed as she stepped forward and gave her brother a hug. "Don't be ridiculous. You might be stubborn as hell, but they're much more reasonable. Come inside… how have you been? I haven't talked to you since you left Earth for that what's-it-called place in the Gamma quadrant."

Simba followed her into the foyer and, looking around, realized that the inside of the house also looked exactly as he remembered it. "It's called Megiddo… and I am doing fine. But what are you doing here, shouldn't you be in school? I thought you were at university in London."

"It's summer recess, Simba, I just got home last week." She scowled at him as she flopped down comfortably on a couch and put her feet up on the coffee table. "You've been home two minutes and you already sound like papa. You look so… old."

"That's because I was twenty-one the last time you saw me face to face, kiddo." He smiled to himself, thinking back on the time when Ashanti had skipped out of school and caught a transport to San Francisco to drop in on him at the Academy. "Look… I'm sorry I haven't been around more. Where are mom and dad, are they alright? You never talk about them when you write."

"That's because you don't want to hear about them," she shot back. "And they're doing fine. They went into town to get lunch a couple of hours ago, so they should be back soon. Why do you care all the sudden?"

Simba sighed. "It's a long story, sis. Let's just say that I am not the same person I was when I ran away from here. I've seen a lot, learned a lot, and realized a lot of things about my life. And one of them is that I need you… all of you… back in it. It doesn't make sense to run from my past, because that is part of who I am now."

Ashanti nodded slowly as she considered his words. "That's cute. And good… because mom has been asking about you a lot. I think she knows that you and I still talk and she is always hinting around for anything I might know about you. I know you thought she hated you when you left, but she misses you more than she says."

"I never thought she hated me. I just thought she was being selfish… I hated her. She was trying to make me be what she wanted me to be, and she didn't care what I wanted!" He exhaled slowly, trying not to be emotional. "Or at least, that's what I thought then. Maybe she was just trying to protect me."

"I don't know, but I am not getting in the middle of your fight." Ashanti shrugged as she glanced out the front window. "You should ask her yourself… that's the only way you are ever going to settle this stupid thing."

"Yeah, I know, you're right. But I don't know what to say. I mean, it's-" Simba was interrupted by the sound of the front door opening and half-turned to face the doorway.

Khamisi Wekesa walked into the house, laughing as she looked back over her shoulder. She looked older than Simba remembered… older, and perhaps more tired. He supposed that he was at least partially to blame for that. His father appeared behind her, smiling at something amusing he had obviously just said, as he closed the door behind them. She turned towards the living room and froze, the laughter draining out of her face as though she had just seen a ghost. Ayo turned to see what she was looking at and his jaw dropped open slightly, unable to fully contain the surprise.

"Hi mom… hi dad," Simba said softly, shifting his weight awkwardly as he stood at the edge of the foyer. "I'm home."


Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/05-21-2009 10:29:46 AM

:: Falea’puna ::
:: Samoan Islands archipelago ::
:: South Pacific Ocean, Earth ::

The Terran sun dipped into the ocean and painted the sky unlikely shakes of orangey blue. Nils imagined he could hear the star sizzling as it sank into the crystal blue waters of the Pacific and that vain imagining brought a simple smile to his face. Shirtless and wearing some green and white ‘trunks’ Lincoln had offered him as a gift for their trip, the Bajoran leaned back and rested his hands in the sand. His skin itched from the seas salty residue and a slight burn Sol had inflicted throughout the day. With aching muscles and tired eyes he let time slip easily by and he sighed deeply with great satisfaction.

As the darkening atmosphere followed the veil of light over the horizon, beach fires sprung up in isolated pockets up and down the sandy coast. The light and warmth drew people out of the darkness and small instant communities formed around welcoming flames. Dalluk and Lincoln had wandered off before sunset and Jachin had stretched out on the warm sands and fallen asleep next to his brother.

“It is good,” said an unfamiliar voice.

“I’m sorry,” Nils answered. He turned to greet the newcomer, an elderly man of apparent Polynesian descent.

“The day… it is good.”

“It is good,” agreed the young CO with a smile. Jachin began stirring and groaned a little as the voices disturbed his slumber. “It’s been really good.”

“I watch you ride our waves,” the man said as he settled onto the beach. He crossed his legs and ignored the shifting sands. His comfort and ease lead Nils to believe he’d been here his whole life. “New for you?”

Captain Torrik smiled as understanding dawned. “Yes, new for me,” he repeated. “I only just learned to surf this week.”

“Ah,” said the small man with a nod and broad smile. “You are Chief?”

“Chief,” echoed Nils in confusion. “I don’t understand.”

You walk like the Chief. And you ride like the Chief,” said the man pointing out at the dark waves.

Still a little bewildered the Bajoran just shook his head.

“I am Kaula.”

“Torrik Nils,” answered the CO as he leaned over to shake Kaula’s hand.

“I can see you, Kaimi,” said the small man apparently amused at some unknown jest. “You are finding what you seek today. In our old days, the Chief of our villages would be the most skilled wave rider. His prowess on the ocean would give him prestige among our people. His skill got big and the gods blessed his village.” A bright smile followed his teaching.

“Interesting,” answered Nils with yet another nod.

“We called it he’e nalu… Wave sliding. And it is art! Kaimi makes good art,” added Kaula.

“I am Kaimi,” asked Chimera’s Commander trying to play along in good humor. “Then I’ll take that as a compliment…”

“Yes!” Kaula feel into a virtual fit of laughter. “Congratulations Kaimi! You will love he’e nalu and it will help you. The gods will bless your village and your heart.” As he stood and continued to laugh Kaulu pat Nils’ shoulder vigorously over and over again. “Good Kaimi! It is good!” He wandered off then, into the darkness his laughter fading into the night.

“That was weird,” Jachin said as he stretched.

“I agree,” said Nils.

“Should we beam back to the ship?” The younger Torrik sat up and made to gather their things.

The surging surf, invisible but for an occasion white cap reflecting the firelight, hissed and roared its night song, keeping silence at bay. Swift warm winds flowed in from the South Pacific and blew drying sand from both of the Torriks sun drenched skin. Nils relaxed a little more, leaned back into the sand and put his arms behind his head. He looked up into the velvety black sky and millions of points of light looked back at him. He idly wondered how many of them he’d orbited.

“Let’s don’t…” he said, finally answering the question with a mischievous grin. Jachin shrugged and lay down next to his brother, mirroring his posture. Both men arms behind their heads and legs crossed gazed into the deep dark expanse of space, firmly grounded on planet Earth. “First one to find Chimera wins,” said Nils suddenly.

Jachin answered without hesitation. “You’re on.”


Benjamin Hyde Pierce/05-21-2009 01:29:06 PM

Observation Room 112-4B
Starfleet Medical HQ
San Francisco

"Doc, this isn't very reassuring," BHP commented as he glared through the clear walls of the level three containment field. "I thought you said you were going to 'supervise my condition', not lock me up in a hospital cooler."

"I'm sorry Benjamin, you have to stay here, you've been infected with an entirely new type of anti-coagulant the likes of which we've never seen or studied and you'll need to remain here until we've finished our research," Dr. Okasu apologized. The sad look on her face almost made Pierce feel like she meant it. "It has unique properties which must be supervised in a sterile environment. The lead physician on the Chimera will be contacted and your treatment history will be reviewed, then we will take a few more samples, create and sythesize a new treatment and then you will be free to leave." The doctor glanced down at the PADD she was carrying, which held Pierce's chart, it was almost time for them to extract a few more samples from his wound.

"How long is this con going to take?" Ben demanded. He was still angry at how he'd been duped into agreeing to what Doctor Okasu had described as a few random tests. The Iotian had let Christine Okasu smooth talk her way into 'taking some samples', a medical procedure which she assured him would be expedient. The Iotian security officer had agreed and allowed the doctor to anesthetize him in preparation for the procedure. When he had awoken, Ben found himself encapsulated in a quarantine cell not unlike those used in the Chimera's brig.

"That depends entirely on how co-operative you are," Christine replied. "Normally I would say this type of research would take three to five days, maybe even a week, but if you are.."

"A week?" Ben interrupted. "Horseradish! I can't stay in this dive a week, let alone three days! I'm gonna drop a dime to my Chief and he'll get me out of this dump.." Ben reached up to tap his commbadge only to poke himself in the chest. It only took a second for the Iotian to realize that the medical personnel had stripped him of his commlink. He spun around and thumped against the forcefield with his shoulder, receiving a mild shock as the field sparked and repulsed his efforts to break free. "Let me outta here! You can't keep me here against my will.."

"When the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few we can," the doctor explained pertly as two medical orderlies and another doctor entered the room. "We need to take some more samples now, please be co-operative Benjamin."

Recognizing the set-up for what it was, BHP paced along the border of the forcefield. "When you let down this field, the needs of the many are going to get a punch right in the kisser from the needs of the few."

A hiss of compressed air, indicative of the anesthazine gas that had been released in the cell, caused Ben to look up and curse. "This ain't over Doc, no one slips me a Mickey and gets aw.." The furious Iotian folded up like a deck of cards and slid insensate to the floor.


Pastorale

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