The Readiness Is All

Featuring the Following NPCs:
FerrisJones-1.jpg - Jones
JonathanFoxe-1.jpg - Foxe
kalelkowal-1.jpg - Kowalski
09EPISODEONE_500x316.jpg - Kerrin Shaeffer

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/03-20-2009 11:34:51 AM

-Corridor outside Holodeck 2-

Ben strolled down the corridor in his uniform. Not his Starfleet uniform, but his circa 1944 U.S. Army paratrooper's dress uniform replete with polished wingtips, dress slacks and his uniform jacket sporting a pair of parachute wings. His hands were shoved in his pockets and the Iotian had a swagger to his step. His cover, which reminded him of the cap that a soda jerk wore, was stuffed in one of his belt loops and he did a quick side-step routine to avoid two officers that were approaching him head on. Both men stared at Pierce as he gave them a friendly wave and continued on until he reached the doors to the holodeck. Standing outside the doors was Aengus McMennan, the cadet was dressed in a similar fashion to Ben except that BHP had Sergeant chevrons while McMennan sported the single chevron of a PFC.

"Sarge." McMennan greeted him with a nod. They were supposed to remain in character at all times during the little exercise and even acknowledge rank.

"Curahee Private!" Ben told Aengus.

"Curahee!" McMennan replied with the 101st Airborne's battle cry. He fell into step with Pierce and entered the holodeck with BHP.

The room looked like some sort of hall. But there were chairs along the outer walls and on the stage a band was playing. A makeshift bar had been opened on one side of the room. Ben left his eyes drift over the room, looking for..

"Buy you a drink Sarge?" Aengus said the same instant Ben found who he was looking for.

"Maybe later, I got a date with a pretty young French dame, said she'd dance with me all night," BHP replied. He slipped around a few people to reach the young woman. Holographic characters? he wondered. "Hey, it's me, Wade Devlin, you said I could have a dance earlier..when we met in the village?" BHP winked at Jenny. "I guess I'm calling you on it," the paratrooper said as he offered the young woman his hand.

Tightening the soft shawl over her light cotton dress, Jenny, who'd been watching the others participating in the 'party' and praying that she could get through the exercise without any major blunders, smiled at the welcome voice and familiar hand which appeared to draw her from the inward misery. Looking up, she almost lost track of her character as she took in Ben's appearance. There was just something about that uniform… "Monsieur Devlin," she managed at last, feeling almost as if she really were meeting this man for the first time, "you wish to call but… I have not the téléphone.."

"S'okay we ain't allowed to make any personal calls," Ben told Jenny. "I didn't catch your name Mam'oiselle," he inquired, struggling with French pronunciation the way the archives had indicated all American soldiers had. Or at least ones from Chicago, Illinois did. "And that dress you're wearing is the cat's meow."

"Lissete… de Rouen," she said, after the appropriate pause to decipher what the young man was saying. Which, truth to tell, half the time, when Ben went on a verbal tear she really didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Jenny smiled and reached up to lay a hand over the updated crucifix she'd just received from Fenton, thinking maybe it'd be fun to turn that around for a change, "I am happy to see the Americans have sent such a handsome young man to liberate France,"* she said, wondering what he'd make of the French.

"American?" It was the only word he'd understood out of the whole amount of babble that had come from Jenny's mouth. "Yeah, I'm a Yank," BHP said in a loud tone as he nodded his head emphatically. I bet I look like some Dumb Dora. "I don't parley the vous very well." Pierce looked around then lowered his voice and said, "Are you going to dance with me or leave me in denial?"

"I will," she said simply, taking the offered hand, before adding, "I've waited forever to dance with you."

"Right, I think I need to get a French dictionary," BHP commented as he led Jenny out onto the dance floor or the area that had been designated as the dance floor. He pulled her close as his hands bypassed her side and slid around Jenny's waist. "Don't mean to be forward Mam'oiselle but it seems to me we've met I figured we could dance a little closer." The band was playing a slow jazz number which suited Ben just fine. "Lissete is a pretty name..what does, what do you do?"

"Merci," moving with the man and the soothing rhythm, Jenny looked down, "I am… my Papa and I have a, ah, ferme… farm…" It figures, I finally get to put on a dress and go out with Ben and I can't even be myself with him. "But you, monsieur… coming to fight so far from home," Jenny brought her gaze back up to his as they shifted past another couple, "you are very brave."

"Brave, I guess.." He wanted to talk to Jenny, to tell her about his training and how the powers that be had sent Aengus along because they feared if his wound flared up on the mission it wouldn't go as planned. He wanted to tell her he missed her and missed not being with her more often. And most of all he wanted.. "Ah to hell with this!" Pierce stated as he tilted his head to the side and kissed Jenny on her lips, his arms tightening around her waist as he pulled her closer.

"Sergeant Devlin!"

"Sergeant DEVLIN!!"

Ben remembered that that was his name and 'came up for air'. CPO Ferris Jones was approaching he and Jenny. The noncom was dressed as a British officer, an army captain of the period. "Ere that ain't no way t' treat a French lady!"

"I told her I might be killed tomorrow so we agreed it was a good idea to skip the formalities," Pierce shot back, using a soldier's excuse that had long stood the test of time.

"Vive les Americains," Jenny added somewhat breathlessly.

"We can't 'ave you treatin' the locals like that," Jones protested, "Next thing you know there's a whole new family of Pierce's in 1944."

That's a bit of a stretch. Ben thought as he glared at Jones. His arms were still wrapped around Jenny aka Lisette but where as before his hands had pressed against her back in passion, now they held her in a protective embrace. "Permission to speak freely?"


"Go soak your head you Limey bastard..Sir."

*Blue text indicates spoken French.

As they say, it's only fun 'til the first punch is thrown… then it's a party!

Originally Posted by Vince Stryfe/03-20-2009 01:01:36 PM

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

Vince stepped inside the holodeck, wearing his circa 1944 flight gear, a smile strewn across his face. As he started towards the P-51, dressed up like the one he'd be flying down on the planet, he was stopped by a voice from his back.

" So, you're going to run some simple simulations today?" S'Van looked on at Vince, his eyebrow raised.

" I was planning on doing some runs against some Luftwaffe, maybe bring the safties down a bit, get my adrenaline running." Vince said as he swung around to face his father's old friend," Wanna come?"

S'Van let out a small laugh, walking towards Vince. When he was next to the man, he put a hand on his shoulder," Not likly, Vince, if you have spoken to your father about me, you'd know that I don't have any inclination to get in one of those ancient scraps of metal."

" Dad told me that you like a good challenge, and I could set up one helluva challenging senerio. We could be in a mess of ME-109's, near death, our fighters barely holding on……" Vince stopped as S'Van laughed again.

" I like my challenges to be where my feet are on a deck plate. You and your father like to risk your lives for just a small amount of fun," S'Van walked a slight bit away, then turned back to Vince," Your stint on Halcyon showed your wreckless adventuring side, while I would have opted to stay on the ship, do things from there."

Vince smiled," Well that was a good time, but I'll have to say that Zepplins are a pain in the rear to fly."

" I wouldn't know, and frankly don't really care," S'Van motioned towards the Mustang, still looking at Vince," You realize that you are going to have to do things to the book on this mission, no showboating, just do the job and get out."

Vince crossed his arms, his smile dissappearing," Yea, I know. I have no problem doing my job, and when I do my job I do it well. There's no need to try and question whether or not I can do it, or know what I need to do to complete it."

" I understand that Vince, but this isn't you're normal type of flying, and not your normal mission. You can't improvise anything, for sake of changing history in a wrong way. You have to memorize ever twist and turn, every gun shot, and every bomb that you drop. This part of the mission depends solely on you, and I can't have you getting 'cocky', then end up blowing your end." S'Van became stern for the first time with the young pilot, watching his facial expression change.

" Look, I know what I'm doing here. I programmed this session to duplicate exactly what that plane did, and if I mess something up it resets and I do it again," Vince stepped towards S'Van," When it comes to my job, I take it seriously when I have to, and I'd appreciate it if you'd give up on the doubt, Commander."

" Good, I'm happy to hear that you are confident of what you'll be doing, but," S'Van brought his thumb and index finger to his chin," You can be unpredictable at times, and I feel that this might be one of those times. I just want to make sure that you stick to your orders."

Vince could feel himself becoming irritated at S'Van's comments, the man doubting him," You know what? I think I just decided on a private session," He gestured to the door," I think it's time that you left."

S'Van grinned as he made his way towards the door. He listened as the door shut, then turned to face it," So predictable Vince, so predictable……. I trust that you'll be the same in your mission……"

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/03-20-2009 02:45:26 PM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Bridge ::

The Bajoran Captain shuffled PADDs around on a makeshift desk he’d asked T’Landra to set up next to his chair. They displayed a wide variety of historical data and mission pertinent information. However, the one he currently reviewed was fully twenty fourth century tech. Gorsky’s plan to reintegrate the abducted humans looked solid so he approved it without much hesitation. After all, they didn’t have much of a choice and it was their best option.

“Shift change,” Tenanji said quietly comfortably distant from the center seat.

“I’ll take the next shift as well,” Nils said absently.

“Sir, if I may…”

“I’m fine, Lieutenant,” answered Nils coolly.

“As you wish, sir,” said Usher before he vanished from the Bridge.

“Don’t tell me… You’re staying on duty…” Lincoln said appearing as if from nowhere.

“I have some things to do,” the Bajoran said indicating his stack of PADDs. He did not look up.

“Well there’s a party if you want to go.”

“I do not,” answered Nils still obsessed with his reading. “But you go.”

“I am,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “I’ll give Koz your regards. He’ll be disappointed.”

“Mmmm,” muttered the CO absently.

Lincoln didn’t leave immediately, but he didn’t say anything else either. He only regarded his friend and former colleague seriously for a long time. Then he too disappeared like Tenanji. Nils wasn’t even sure when he’d gone. But much time passed, and the young Captain remained engrossed in his assignment and research.

=/\= Jachin to Nils, =/\= was the next thing that pulled him back into reality.

“Go ahead,” Nils answered lowering his reading material.

=/\= Are you getting off duty soon? I thought we could watch an old vid I located called ‘The Great Escape.’ Considering the subject matter I assumed you could consider it research. It’s about these World War IIs you and the crew seem to be… =/\=

“Sorry, Jachin, but I’m staying on the bridge for a while. There’s a lot to do,” answered Nils resuming his own work.

=/\= Well… =/\= Then the comm went quiet.

The silence pulled Nils attention suddenly. “Jachin?”

=/\= I’m here… I just… Nevermind. I thought we might… Before you had to… Nevermind… Sorry to interrupt, =/\= the young man said before the connection was terminated.

Nils sighed. He recognized the shielded disappointment. But there was little he could do to remedy the situation. There were things to do… He was busy.

Torrik Nils 03-21-2009 05:14:55 PM
:: USS Chimera ::
:: Bridge ::

“One hour from Sol Sector, sir,” said Warof, sitting vigilant at the Helm.

“One hour then,” muttered Nils reviewing his ‘history lesson’ in the Captain’s chair. The hours spent training and becoming familiar with ancient Terran equipment had paid off very little to the young Bajoran’s reckoning. Combat in any era simply seemed out of his grasp. And essentially being assigned as a body guard for some Old Earth soldier baffled him. Evidently, he’d already done it, but he wondered why he hadn’t done something else so he could do something else. He idly wondered about switching jobs at the last moment. Perhaps then when the wheel of time spun again he’d have already set himself up with a job more in line with his strengths. Of course all of his mental rambling fell apart when weighed next to actual temporal theory, but it still made him smile darkly.

Turning to Jezera, Nils resumed his Command duties and dropped the idle flow of consciousness. “Alert the away teams to move to the Tertiary section. Set condition blue and begin preparation for MVA Mode.” Everyone knew their assignments so he needed to do little more than set the events in motion.

“The party in holodeck two is running long, sir,” Jezera said as a point of order.

For a moment, Nils looked at her with complete and utter confusion. Does she think we should hold off our arrival until the revelers have had their fill? “They’ll get the idea when we set condition blue,” he said, his tone bordering on condescension. “I hate parties,” he muttered very quietly to no one.

“You always did,” said an idle but familiar voice. “Heading to the Gamma section?”

Gathering his PADDs and a collection of relic weaponry, Nils stood and nodded to Lincoln Purcell. Evidently the man snuck up on him while he was unawares. “I am. We’re coming into 001 hot and heavy.”

“Sounds like a party.” Lincoln said, then he cocked his head to the side and asked, “No offense meant, of course.” Nils sighed in exasperation at Purcell’s attempt a humor. “Mind if I join you?”

“Suit yourself,” Nils answered. “But I’m afraid you’re not welcome in Earth’s past, so you’ll have to stay on board when I beam off.” Then he added, “Fortunate for you,” under his breath.

“I’ll count myself lucky then.” Falling into step with the Captain, the two men began the journey into Chimera’s depths. “How are you holding up?”

“As well as can be expected,” the Bajoran added stoically.

“Very noncommittal of you to say so… I’m serious. You’ve been on edge for days. Weeks even.” Lincoln knew Nils as well as anyone and knew when and how to push the limits. However, he seemed to be treading lightly.

“On edge?” Nils chuckled, but there was no humor in the laughter. “Deck 14,” he said to the turbolift before it started to descend. “Maybe a little. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.”

“All respect, Captain, I’m concerned. Lot been going on. And with Jillian’s… Well, I’m just concerned.” He left it there.

“Captain? Since when did you start calling me Captain?” His furling brows served as warning to his friend.

“Since you became one, actually…” A long and pregnant pause indicated there was more to his statement. But the human/Vulcan hybrid left it there.

The silence continued before Nils finally broke through. “Something you want to say, Linc?”

Purcell shrugged and gave the other man shake of his head. “Just that perhaps you’ve lost something of yourself along this journey.”

“Oh is that all?” Clearly Nils was irritated. “Well if that’s all then we won’t worry over it.”

“Are you sure Command is the best place for you?” Purcell offered softly. “Not that you are doing a poor job. In fact, I’ve been impressed at every turn.” He smiled a little and amended his last phrase to, “Well…at most of the turns. But this ‘command you’ is nothing like the young ‘scientist you’ I met on the Sentinel. You’re so…serious.”

“That’s right,” said the Bajoran sarcastically. “I was a barrel off laughs back on Sentinel. I’ll try to get that fun loving side back when I return from World War II.”

“Fine… Be snarky,” Lincoln said, appearing to end the conversation.

The turbolift stopped and the doors opened. Nils made his way to the staging area Tenanji had set up for the away teams next to the transporter room. He expected Lincoln to peel off and go his own way, but the stubborn man did no such thing. And after they walked in silence through the corridors for a while, the young CO stopped and faced his quiet adversary.

“Alright, Lincoln. What’s your point? I’m not Captain material? I know that,” said Nils in surrender. He looked up and down the halls to make sure no one was around. And since the coast was clear he continued. “I’ve been wrestling with it since D’Rinax made the assignment, and it’s only become more and more cumbersome. But what do you want me to do? I didn’t join the ‘Fleet just so I could quit the moment my ‘best laid’ plans went awry. I’m doing my job.”

“And that’s all you’re doing… That’s my point.” Getting a little wound up, Purcell stepped in close and continued quietly “You’ve been no one but ‘Captain Torrik’ since Jillian died. That brother of yours follows you around like a puppy dog trying to glean one ounce of approval from you and you shut him out just like you do everyone else. I haven’t seen you in the lounge since I don’t know when and you seem as lost as you ever did. Sure, you can make a good call and let your principles guide your professional choices, but there is more to life and you’re missing it.”

“OH here we go,” said Nils in exasperation and he resumed his trek down the corridor.

“Nils you’re not going to…”

“I’m not in the mood for a lecture, Lincoln. I’m just fine,” he tossed over his shoulder.

“I’ll let it go for now,” Purcell said with a smile. “But Dalluk and I have reserved the holodeck for your return. We’ll pick this conversation up then.”

The Captain paused and turned slowly. With empty resolve he said, “I don’t like the holodeck.”

“I know… But we’re going surfing.” The hybrid beamed.

“I don’t know how to surf… And…”

“And nothing,” Lincoln said raising a finger to point at the much younger man. “I can make this an order. I’ve already spoken to Seldon and he’s in full agreement. It’s a done deal. Besides, surfing is just science wrapped up in recreation. You’ll love it.”

Nils sighed and decided he’d find a way out of it later. “Fine…” He stalked off to the staging area.

Lincoln called after him as he went, “Gnarly, dude! You’ll see, bro,” the man added, donning some strange accent. “Hangin' ten in some bazza will be boss! Cowabunga, bord!”

With a heavy scowl and through a pained sigh Nils responded, “I don’t know what any of those words mean…”

With Lincoln Purcell

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/03-21-2009 06:29:10 PM

-Three Hours Prior to Blue Alert-

"How come I've never seen this weapon before?" Javier asked Kowalski as he turned the phaser pistol over in his hands, examining the deadly looking sidearm. "I was in the marines but I never saw anything like this there." The pistol was very similar in shape to the one that marine officers had carried but it had some noticeable differences too. The weapon was almost all black in appearance which gave it a covert look. And instead of firing projectiles it fired phaser bursts, which could be set to high or low stun or kill.

"It was most likely in R&D while you were in the marines," Kal-El answered as he browsed the armory storage manifest list. "It says here that the M23's were added to the armory a week before the Chimera left Deep Space Nine." The engineer glanced at the bottom of the page. "Nineteen more of them in the armory..should be enough for the teams."

The Chief Engineer sighted down the pistol's barrel. "I think they will work perfectly." He reached into the storage case that the M23 had come from and pulled out a few of the weapon's power cells. "Put them on the list for training and distribution, send a memo to Security and the XO, I'm going to test this…" He looked up just as T'Shaini entered the room. "Hello Counselor," Javier said, acting professional since Kowalski was in the room, "here for a little target practice?"

"Right, that's my cue to leave. Have a good practice session, Commander," Kal-El told T'Shaini before exiting the room.

"Oh…Javier…" T'Shaini was pleasantly surprised, they had seen little enough of each other the last few days. "Oh no, Kal-El no need…ah well." She said to the door that had slid shut behind him. "I did not know he could move that fast." The counselor said with a gentle smile. "And yes, I am here for more practice, every little bit helps." That gnawing undercurrent of fear was still with her.

"I'm about to test this new sidearm," he said as he showed her the M23. "I'm suggesting everybody on the away teams carry one. Do you want to help me put it through its paces?"

"I would love to." She looked down at the small sleek weapon. "I am unfamiliar with it, is this a Kal-El creation?"

"Not really, I'm sure he'd like to take credit for it, but it came to the ship from Marine Research and Development." Javier inserted the power cell in the bottom of the pistol's handle, loading the weapon in the same manner he would have loaded a projectile weapon. He charged the pistol by pulling back the end of the barrel.

"Oh how marvelous, the tech is disguised in the mechanics of the 20th century." T'Shaini reached out and laid her hand on Javier's arm to peer over at the weapon. "Oh…excuse me." Her cheeks darkened slightly as she withdrew her hand.

Javier smiled then he caught her hand and pulled T'Shaini toward the firing range. Pointing her towards the end of the range, Javier held the pistol in front of them, his arms on either side of T'Shaini's body. "Take it in your hand," he told her, his mouth inches from her right ear, "then cup your hand with the other."

Even though unfamiliar with this particular weapon, it was not so far different than a sniper rifle that she could not have made assessment of its virtues on her own (as well he knew)…but this was far more intriguing. "Should I put my hands…like this?"

"Hold it firmly," he replied as his hands clasped over hers, moving the fingers of her hand until they held the pistol properly. "Now squeeze it gently, not too hard but firm enough so it won't move out of place when it fires.." His fingertips traced circles along her hands. "I have missed you this past days," Javier told T'Shaini. They were standing so close that all he had to do was slip his arms around her waist and pull her back against him. The thought was entirely too tempting but he stepped forward instead of having her move back. "I especially missed being close to you."

The Counselor sighed as their bodies fit together. "Mmm, and I you." T'Shaini acknowledged that it was only going to get worse as the mission progressed and relished the closeness while she had him here. "Squeeze it gently, you said?"

"Yes, more of a caress than a squeeze though," Javier instructed. "If you yank it too hard it might misfire, and nobody wants that to happen." He placed his hands on T'Shaini's hips to steady her.

A huff of laughter popped out before she knew it, turning her head, she dropped a kiss on his warm mouth, then turned back and fired off three successive shots. "Ahhh, interesting…you are correct, the action on it is far more forceful than I am used to…do you have any tips on how to handle that?"

"You might want to lubricate it," Javier suggested as the beginnings of a smile started at the corners of his mouth. "Lubrication always makes it easier to handle and less difficult to fire."

JP with Javi instructing Tee in the finer points of Weapon Maintenance

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/03-21-2009 06:32:43 PM

-Three Hours Prior to Blue Alert-

"Oh dear…" T'Shaini lost any pretense at playing along and laughed softly. "I fear I cannot keep up with you." Then she leaned back a bit and spoke over her shoulder. "At least in that game…"

"Game? I have no idea what you're referring to." Javier placed light kisses on T'Shaini's neck. "I was talking about weapon maintenance Counselor. If you are reading into my instructions maybe there is need for another type of lesson."

"And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Mr. Freud?" She found herself, instead of testing the weapon, tipping her head to the side to allow Javier more access.

"Touche." He reached up, took the weapon and deactivated it, before tossing it on a nearby table. His arms slid around T'Shaini's waist once more. His lips had never left her neck during the entire process. "I think you're adept with the pistol," he commented.

"You do not think I need more practice?" T'Shaini responded, in a rather breathless voice. Truthfully, it was not the weapons that concerned her, but it felt as if it was something she could hold onto, she knew she could handle a rifle…learn a pistol, it was all the other aspects that felt out of control. "I thought practice made perfect?"

"You're right, practice makes perfect," Javier agreed with T'Shaini, reaching to reclaim the pistol from the table. His hand searched blindly while his mouth traced along the bare skin along the collar of her uniform. His arm tightened around her waist, holding T'Shaini's body against his own as he brought the pistol up. "Take it in both hands and pull gently to..cock it.."

"Ahh." T'Shaini took it from his hands. "Like this?" She meant to talk to him about her concerns the next time she saw him, but somehow the thoughts kept getting derailed.

"Yes, just like that." His hands retreated to her hips. Javier's mouth lingered close to T'Shaini's ear but he refrained from kissing her, knowing that it was distracting. Hell, I'm distracted and I'm the one doing all the mouth work. "Remember, hold firmly, squeeze gently."

"I will try to remember…" Remember what? The Vulcan looked down at the pistol in her hands and took aim once again, it took a little longer than it should because it seemed her hands were shaking. She took a deep breath, then at the bottom of the exhale, fired. "Gentle enough?"

"You have wonderful hands," Javier said, complimenting T'Shaini. "Squeeze off a few more so you can get a feel for it."

"If you say so." Five more shots in a tight grouping and the counselor lowered the pistol. "I credit your talent as an instructor."

"You are my favorite student," he replied then placed a kiss on her cheek. "How is the rest of your training progressing?" He withdrew from T'Shaini so they could speak while facing one another.

T'Shaini dropped the weapon on the table, then leaned her hip against it and looked up at Javier. "I am…concerned." She drew small circles on the floor with her toe. "About my abilities and all of our chances in such a volitile situation."

Having experienced more combat situations than most of the crew, Javier could understand where T'Shaini's concerns stemmed from. "There is always a chance we will lose someone maybe even good friends." Like Ajani. "Or perhaps even loved ones." The engineer looked down at the deck so she wouldn't see the look of pain written on his face, his eyes following the patterns her foot created. "What concerns do you have about your abilities?" he asked, not wanting to think about losing T'Shaini on the mission.

"Oh…learning the tech for the ra…" T'Shaini stopped herself, she had been told very specifically that she was not allowed to divulge any information, and therein lay a lot of her distress, she could not speak of it to him, she could not ask for information to allay her fears about his mission…for someone who's life was getting people to talk, this was debilitating, to say the least. "I do not even know what I am allowed to say…" Her eyes were downcast, but her hand searched out his.

"Lia said you were having some trouble," Javier commented as he gave her hand a quick squeeze, "that little girl has engineering genes..told me all about the trouble you had with your comp'o'nets." The engineer swallowed then said, "I have to jump out of a plane..a moving plane."

Her head snapped up at that. "You what?..can you tell me that?" The Vulcan rose to her feet. "Out of a plane? What for…I do not think I can ask that." She pressed the heel of her hands over her eyes. "I wish to know everything, but I do not want to have knowledge in my possession that may endanger you in the future…past…on the mission." A small sigh escaped her. "And therein lies my trouble…more so than any 'comp'o'nets' that Lia can assist me with…" T'Shaini peered up through her fingers. "and yes, she did assist me."

He took her wrists and pulled T'Shaini's hands away from her face, holding her wrists in between them until his hands slipped down to cover her's. "I didn't tell you who I am, what I was doing or where I was going..just that I will be jumping out of a plane and…I have a fear of heights." Javier smiled at T'Shaini. "Someone once told me I could conquer that fear by imagining I was naked but that advice hasn't helped at all."

"Well, it helped me." T'Shaini said with a small smile, the reassuring warmth of his hands on hers did as much as his calm demeanor and rational explanation. "This entire situation is so far flung from anything I have encountered or have prepared for…"

"No one can be completely prepared for a situation like this one," Javier said, "Even the original people were not entirely sure that the mission was going to be a success but they knew they had to try. From what I've read so far, a lot of things went wrong but they struggled through and won in the end." He gave her hands a gentle squeeze. "This mission means more to me than anyone else on the ship..and I didn't really understand why until now. If Terra Prime and Nazi Germany win, then I'm almost certain that a Terran engineer and a Vulcan counselor don't find each other and fall in love in the 24th century of that timeline."

T'Shaini leaned in and brushed her lips across his, moved beyond words at his perspective. It took a long moment before she could respond. "Well, since they did…and they have…" She moved in for a longer kiss. "I can go forward in this mission, regardless of my fears and misgivings, knowing not only the greater good that must be achieved… but to preserve the joy that you bring, which is its own reward."

Weapons Maintenance part the second or Tee learns how to clean Javi's pistol

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/03-21-2009 10:07:02 PM

-Holodeck 2-

"Go soak your head you Limey bastard..Sir."

The faux Captain's eyes narrowed, followed by a wicked grin as other members of the Allied forces, real and holographic, took notice of the trio. "Normally," Jones said, loosening his tie, "that's the sorta' comment would put a fella in the glasshouse, but, seein' as 'ow this is a party…"

Jenny's eyes went wide as all around, British troops squared off with American… even Aengus Aengus? was taking Ben's flank.

"No," she said, suddenly, stamping her foot and pulling away from her 'date'. She tightened the shawl and looked to the other women present, "There will be no heeting," she said vehemently, with a toss of the head and a glare at the assembled, "not a seengle pooonch. If any one of you fight, we," she indicated the small array of dresses around the men, "all go. No more partee… no more dance… no more," she threw a look to 'Sgt. Devlin', "vive les Americains… n'est pas?" She added a silent apology to Ensign Wekesa, who'd no doubt be cringing at the butchered dialect.

Ben unclenched his fists and nodded in agreement. He wanted to spend an evening with Jenny much worse than he wanted to belt Jones. "No punching, got it." He looked away from the 'captain' whom he had targeted for a first class beat down. Surprised, and yet a little pleased, to find Aengus on his side of the room, BHP shook his head at the soldiers that had congregated around him. "You heard the lady, no fighting or we don't get no more…dances." His eyes rested on each of the 'American soldiers' one by one until they began to relax. "Okay Mac," a holographic GI replied then filtered back among the French women intent on dancing at least an hour beyond his liberty. The tension eased on Ben's side of the room. Aengus gave him a slight nod then retreated to the bar.

Jones was waiting for him when he turned and Ben wondered if the man was looking for an apology. He can keep looking.. the Iotian thought as his hand found Lisette's. "Why don't you have a beer on me Captain. You can stand by the bar and wonder how many teeth you nearly lost.." Before Jones could reply Ben pulled Jenny after him as they ducked between the people behind him, weaving in and out to the back of the crowd. He stopped and pulled her into an embrace. "Vive les Americains?"

"Vive les Americains," she agreed then whispered in his ear, "je t'aime…" Holding tight, she tried not to wonder over where he was going or what he'd face when he got there: it was 1944 and there was a war on and the moment was all they had.

The feel of Jenny close to him and the warmth he felt emanating from her body, gave rise to feelings that made Ben realize he would swear off fighting forever if he could remain that close to her. Her whisper in his ear, even though he didn't know what she said, caused him to hold her closer. She's worried for me. But she has a mission of her own. And I don't even know what it is. He wanted to know what she would face in the upcoming days and if she would be safe. But speaking about their missions was taboo, if not directly against Commander S'Van's express orders. I need to dodge them without getting her into trouble..maybe..

"Can I tell you about my girl back home Lisette?" Ben asked Jenny.

"You 'ave only the one?" she teased before nodding her assent and wondering what he had to say about 'his girl'.

"Only the one," Ben said before forging ahead with his plan, "I haven't seen my girl in a long time. I've been training and she's been training..she's in the Women's Auxillary. I miss her an awful lot and I hope she is safe. If anything happened to her, I'd be one sad soldier."

Uncertain quite where he was going, she kept herself in character, "I think she also would feel so inquiété, with you so far away. This girl misses you, I think. Like an empty place…" Jenny put a hand over his heart, "… here."

"If there were danger ahead of her and she could tell me, I'd feel much better knowing.." Ben stopped talking. His idea was good in conception but was becoming more complicated. Pierce paused then changed directions. "Lisette, where are you from in France? I'm from Chicago, Illinois myself and I never thought in all my life that I'd meet such a beautiful French woman."

"My home is in my name," she said carefully, hoping he'd let it go at that. The landing party's had all been ordered to keep their missions from one another and Jenny, who's began on a farm southeast of Rouen, was pushing it by telling him that much.

She's from Lisette? BHP thought with a frown. No, her last name is De Rouen..De Rouen, France? He would have to look up the area on the map S'Van had provided. "I bet it's the cat's pyjama's, especially since someone as charming as yourself lives there. I've found France to be a nice country, although I'm partial to La Fiere myself." He winked at Lisette.

"No more," she said, keeping her features calm but with an urgency to her voice. Over and above the chill of wondering what kind of action he'd face at La Fiere… God, was it on the Cherbourg peninsula?… there was the fact that she should not know… for his own safety, she could not know what he'd be doing. Bad enough they'd shared their names but, if the worst happened and she were taken… 'Everyone breaks,'; it was a mantra that, at one time, she might have doubted… until Harry's return from captivity aboard the IAS Hawking. Jenny looked into Ben's concerned eyes, "Say no more," she repeated, "or I will leave now."

Save the last dance…

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/03-21-2009 10:16:02 PM

-Holodeck 2-

BHP nodded, half aware of why she would threaten to leave and also half confused by her declaration. For some reason Jenny felt it was necessary to remind him how dangerous it was to talk about their assignments. Ben felt slightly annoyed by her warning. Does she think I'm going to spill it to every darb who will listen? Sure, S'Van had threatened BHP just like he had the rest of the teams but this was Jenny he was talking to..they had something that ran deeper than S'Van's threats. Or so Ben had thought.

"I think I can save you the trouble," Pierce told her, his features clearly showing his disappointment as he backed a step away from Jenny, "I need a drink." He started to turn away then turned back to add: "You could have told me to shut my yap without threatening to leave."

"Wait," Jenny began, laying a hand on his arm then, "Monsieur," she pulled back into the character, "think, s'il te plait, of your girl and… and what might happen if, perhaps she… I mean, I… knew of your places, yes? And perhaps a Milice or Gestapo were to… ask, what I knew of the Yank with the rifle… or any Yank… 'ow long could I stay silent?" She felt an idiot, trying to explain through Lissete's words, "Je ne sais pas… no one knows but… not forever. It would hurt her the more… if she lost you because I could not stay silent."

Jenny was right and he knew why she'd said she would leave. To protect me. In his effort to protect her he had not realized the greatest danger..knowing too much. There was the chance that any of them might be captured and he had seen the lengths the Terra Prime had gone to in order to fulfill their mission. And then there's these Gestapo characters. He took her hand in his and pulled her to him, taking her other hand and placing them both around his neck. "You are right, it is better that we don't know too much about each other. I wasn't thinking clearly. How can I make it up to you?"

Behind them the band finished the perky swing number they'd begun after the fight hadn't broken out and slid into something soft and not just a little romantic. As a pretty young woman started crooning the words, 'I don't want to set the world on fire,' Jenny pulled that much closer to Ben, "Danser avec moi," she whispered as he did, once again, start a flame in her heart…

His feet moved in time to the slow rhythm that the snare and bass set, guiding Jenny away from the crowd of people, to a deserted corner of the room. Ben brushed her hair back from her shoulder and whispered "I love you." in Jenny's ear before hugging her. His lips pressed against hers and his mouth opened to Jenny's, kissing her passionately.

She'd thought to tell Ben she loved him too but then there were his hands and his lips and, ohh, and the music and suddenly everything became sensation and thought… and the other party goers… receded to a distant echo. She dove into the moment, into him, into the wonder of what he made her feel. Emboldened by the heat and the music and the knowledge that this could truly be their long goodbye, Jenny let her own hands, her own lips, take the place of words as she explored the wonder of what she could make him feel, too.

The awareness of how close they were to each other and the soft texture of Jenny's bottom lip made Ben hold her tight against his body. But Jones' interruption was fresh in the back of his mind even as the Iotian's hands rubbed up and down Jenny's back. He broke the seal of he and Jenny's lips to breathlessly ask: "Can we go somewhere more private? Just the two of us?"

"If it's us," she replied in her own, unaccented, if unusually husky, voice. She wanted to be just Jenny with him, for as long as she could, "But where?"

Now that was a problem. Both of them shared quarters with other crewmembers, and it was unlikely they would have privacy for very long, if at all. Hanging his tie on the door might do the trick, but the scuttlebutt it would generate might make Jenny's life aboard the Chimera unpleasant, and Ben wasn't having that. Pierce thought about other options and ruled out some of the more obvious ones before remembering he had at one time been an engineer and did know how to lockdown a door. "My quarters..I can lock us in and Fenton's on his shift," he replied, kissing her once he had spoken, because he'd been away from her lips for the time it took to think of a place to go. Too long.

"Mmmmmwhaaa?" She pulled back, eyes wide then grinned… Fenton was solid and, hell, she could always knit him that sweater he wanted to make up for taking over his room for a bit. If she had the chance… "We can't leave together," she said, running a hand down his sleeve, wondering at the thickness over his forearm. Why did he still have a bandage?

He smiled down at Jenny as she grinned at him. "Aengus wanted to buy me a drink.." Ben told her. "I'll go get it then make an excuse so I can leave, then meet you.." There was a second when he thought Jenny might refuse. A shadow passed over her features then was gone in the next second. "Is that okay? If you'd rather go somewhere else we can," Ben said, fearing that the brief look was panic.

"No, no," she shook her head and the remains of the guilt Aengus had stirred up away. "It's perfect… anywhere is perfect, if you're there." She leaned up for one more, too quick, kiss, "I'll see you there," she said against his lips then, with a soft sigh, drew back, her fingers sliding reluctantly away as she began to leave. The room was emptying of bodies… though Jones was still present, his eyes turned her direction even as she caught sight of him. Jenny dropped her gaze, feeling the betraying flush as she slipped quickly from the holodeck. He could make her life miserable if… no… when, she came back. For now, she wanted nothing more than, just for once, to have an hour alone with Ben.

Watching Jenny leave, and waiting the amount of time that would provide them with seperate alibis, was difficult for Ben. He tried to look nonchalant; stuffing his hands in his pocket as he walked over to the bar. "Hey Mac, how about that drink?" BHP called out to Aengus, who was nursing a beer bottle.

Aengus turned around to stare at Pierce then swept the room with his eyes. "Your girl give you the kiss-off?" McMennan shook his head in disgust. Nobody knew that Aengus had a nasty temper when he drank.

"Nothing like that," Ben replied as he signalled the bartender for a drink, "she has to prepare for the mission." BHP took a pull from the bottle he was handed as he sat down beside Aengus. "What's eating you?"

"She's got a history.."

"Hey, don't be running your mouth like that," Ben warned. "How many does that make?" he asked, pointing to the bottle in Aengus' hand.

"Three? Four maybe?"

"Well go sober up, we're on alert status," the Iotian ordered. Pierce wondered if enough time had passed since Jenny had left. "I got better things to do than babysit a spifflicated bell-bottom, sober up Private!" Ben told the man as he stood to his feet and made his way to the doors.

"Okay Sarge," Aengus called out. He waited for Pierce to get out of earshot then said: "Sucker."

Ben ran to the turbolift, got on and headed towards his quarters, as he stepped off the lift the alarm klaxons began to sound. <>Blue Alert!<> the computer's voice called out. Pierce swore loudly and emphatically. He looked down the corridor. Jenny was waiting near his door. He started towards her but a flood of crew choked the corridor as they rushed to their stations. When he finally was able to reach his door, Jenny was no where to be seen.

….Some day these two will finally catch a break..

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/03-22-2009 03:20:17 PM

::USS Chimera::
::First Officer’s Quarters - Deck 2

~Two Hours Prior to the Condition Blue~

“Come,” the First Officer turned towards the doors of his quarters and waited for the one he’d called. “Did you bring your kit?” he asked as she stood in the open doorway.

Jill Munro held up the medical supplies he’d requested for the meeting, “I have it,” she said then let out a sigh and entered the private quarters of the man she’d first met while interrogating him for her former masters on the IAS Hawking. “You know, there are a number of doctors on the ship,” she added as the doors slid closed behind her, “and three sickbays to be seen in.” Though she was curious. Finn had gone out of his way to avoid her for weeks. Why force a confrontation now? And why alone?

“Which is fine, if I’d wanted to be seen. This meeting is off the record: no one else needs to know what went down…”

“Fine,” she raised her hands in surrender then placed the case on his table, “What is going down, anyway?”

“I need some anti-cosmetic surgery,” he told her, nodding towards the medical kit, “some scarring…”

“You don’t think you have enough?”

Harry simply stared, “You didn’t.”

Munro stared back as the silence stretched, thinned…“It was my job.” … and snapped.

“Yeah, well, that’s the other thing I need to talk to you about.” Harry moved to the table, rolling up the sleeves of his mid-twentieth century shirt as he did, “Your old job.” He sat and waited for her to take the chair opposite, “I need a tutorial.”

”It’s not the pain,” Jill was saying sometime later as she applied the undersurface of the scar along his inner arm. “Or, not just the pain. Just pain… even pain and the fear of immediate death… will lead most people to say whatever they think their interrogator…”


“… semantics,” she shrugged before continuing. “Anyway, you apply enough physical distress you’ll get a lot of false confessions.” She checked the hold on the thick layer of dermaplast before moving on to the more realistic ‘skin’ covering. “You need a hook. You find out what matters to the prisoner and you use that. Everyone has something that matters… their lovers, their families… something. You hurt them until they are on the edge of reason and then dig in and twist that something.” Her eyes rose to meet his, unreadable, gaze. “You’ll get the truth.”

Staring back into the strange/familiar eyes, he voiced the question which had been gnawing at him since she entered his rooms. “Why aren’t you afraid to be here, with me?” Watching the brief confusion which danced across her features, “We know what your Finn did to my Jillian. Aren’t you just a little bit worried that history will repeat itself?”

Jill only smiled. “I’m not afraid because I know you, Harry. In fact,” she tapped his arm lightly, enjoying how he couldn't quite control the twitch, “I bet I know you at least as well as your archeologist… or the touchy-feely counselor.”

“Bet you don’t.”

“Do they know you’d never hurt a woman?”

“I was on this ship during the Dominion war… you think no females got aced when I fired a torpedo spread?”

Jill leaned in, challenging, “But you never saw them, Harry. Not up close and personal…”

“Women have died because of me,” he pointed out, quietly.

“But it wasn’t you who pulled the trigger.” Jill shook her head and went back to work on his arm. “I know you won’t do to me what he did to your Jillian because of what I learned, what you shared during those hours in my lab…”

“I didn’t share anything,” he told her. “Everything you got, you stole…”

A small shrug, “Semantics.”

JP with Dr. Jill (still kinda creepy) Munro

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/03-23-2009 09:25:42 PM

USS Chimera
Chief Engineers Quarters

T'Shaini stroked the whisper soft hair as she pointed out another component for the child to put in the radio. "Can I tell you a secret?"

"Uh huh…" Lia, tongue out, snapped the connection into place.

"Do you promise not to tell anyone?"

Lia squrimed around to look up at the Vulcan. "Not even Daddy?"

"Not even Daddy…I am not supposed to tell anyone, but I would like to tell you."

She watched Lia's eyes open wide, not telling Daddy something was beyond her comprehension. Her little face screwed up in concentration, then she solemnly crossed her heart. "I promise, I won't tell anyone…not even Daddy…not even Scotty!"

It was unlikely the dog would pass on any information, but T'Shaini was touched by the confidence Lia had shown in her, she brushed her finger lightly on the tip of the nose then leaned down to whisper. "I have to go on a mission and pretend to be someone else, someone who knows all about these radios, understands how to keep people safe and hide them away, knows all about codes and helps organize people to fight some bad men…and do it in a different language." It was simplistic, but it summed up what she had been struggling to learn. "And I am afraid." T'Shaini reached out and tucked a stray lock of hair behind the child's ear. "Afraid that I will mess up." There was no need to go into the ramifications of 'messing up' to Lia. "I need to ask you a favor." A serious nod followed. "When we are gone, I would like to ask you and Katie to think good thoughts about everyone who has to go away, can you do that?"

Lia crawled up a little higher on the Counselor's lap. "Will it help everyone to do good?"

"I think it will help more than anything else." T'Shaini was almost nose to nose with her, so she felt, rather than saw the little hands press onto either side of her face.

"I can do that…for you, and Daddy and everyone else." She sounded so serious, and so proud to help that T'Shaini felt her chest tighten.

"Thank you very much." She pulled the child in and held her close, T'Shaini could only imagine how difficult it must be to continually have your Daddy have to go away (what somehow the child must perceive) into dangerous situations, and rather than have to sit passively and wait, hopefully if given a job, even one as simple as this, it would be a little easier this time.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/03-24-2009 10:17:29 AM

::USS Chimera::
::Away Team Staging Area: Cargo Bay 2 - Deck 14/Gamma::

The cargo bay on deck fourteen had become a small camp, complete with meeting area, a carefully monitored weapons’ cache and a small work station manned by Kal-El Kowalski, who watched over the magically ordinary bits and pieces which would keep the away teams safely communicating with both the locals and the Chimera once their boots hit the ground. And, though the teams would be inserting over a period of several days and crew quarters had been made available for their use, the boatswain had arranged some partitioned sleeping cubicles within the bay, proper, for those wishing to remain close.

Now, shortly after the tertiary section’s separation, the encampment was bustling with assorted crew in assorted states of dress. There were the Starfleet uniforms supporting the landing parties, various and sundry twentieth century military ensembles and a few civilians. The women going down were receiving the lion’s share of notice, bare legs being a rare sight on your average starship.

Harry, however, wasn’t looking. He’d retreated to a far corner of the busy staging arena to check his gear, his weapons and his character. It didn’t take as long as he might have wanted. The parachute looked like a recently-deployed chute, his weapons, including the M23, were safely stowed, the com check would have to wait and Major George Colthurst was distressingly easy to relate to. Hells, he’d only had to read a few lines into other man’s service record to understand why he, Harry Finn, had been chosen to duplicate him.

Aside from both men being tall, in their forties and left-handed, Colthurst had been, like Harry, familiar with working undercover. Where Harry had gone under for JAG, Starfleet Spec Ops and his own… personal… mission, Colthurst had been a member of the British SOE. He’d functioned as an intelligencer/saboteur behind enemy lines for two years before being given up by a French collaborator. Taken to a makeshift Gestapo prison near Montpelier and tortured for several days, it hadn’t looked good for the Major until another French citizen, this one friendly to the Allies, had slipped him a razor blade. It wasn’t much but it was enough to get Colthurst out of the small holding facility and into the forests where an extraction team waited, led by none other than Lt. Malik Jawara.

With the exception of some drug-induced hallucinations and a killer bonfire, George’s experience in the South of France in 1943 bore some pointed similarities to Harry’s time on the IAS Hawking in 2384.

Turning from the internal compare and contrast, Harry’s eyes scanned the others in the room… all performing their own rituals of preparation but, before anyone could catch his eye, even his ‘new best friend,’ Malik, the XO turned away and strode into a space between the stacks of crates, hoping to find a place to be away from all of them, all the people who saw him as Harry Finn. He needed to be not Harry as much as possible before the landing because if he felt too much like himself, he feared the job would become impossible.


The cultured voice slid past the walls he was constructing between himself and himself. “You can’t make this any better,” he replied, shortly.

“I don’t expect I can,” Callan Vail, current commander of the Gamma section and one of the few on board who knew what each landing party would be facing, leaned against a handy crate. “I can, however, offer this, from experience,” he waited until a pair of eyes going to ice met his, “during your time on Earth… you need to… remove yourself from the equation. It will not be Lt. Commander Harry Finn performing any of these acts. It is Major George Colthurst who’s deeds must be played out.”

“Yes. Thanks. I got it.” Harry took some crate himself, crossing his arms over his chest, “Change one thing… and who knows what the future holds?”

“And you’re not in the least tempted to change the future? Your future?”

At that Finn let out a bark of a laugh, “Is that a worry? You think my life sucks so much I’d screw the mission… and everyone else in the galaxy along with it?” He straightened and brought himself face to face with the other man, who straightened to meet him, “I’d think you’d know me better. When Command gives me a job, I do it.”

“I dare say you do,” Vail responded, softly, considering Finn for a long moment. Once he’d seen what he wanted, Callan gave a short nod, then turned to leave. He paused once and looked over his shoulder but found that, for the first time in a long, long while, he had no words.

Harry waited until the El Aurian had had enough time to clear the room then returned to his gear. He and Wekesa… Jawara… had a tricky insertion and needed to be ready to go when the call came down. S’Van’s original plan had Finn and Wekesa beaming in mid-air, since it was a safe bet that the Anomaly was snatching the real Colthurst and Jawara during their jump. After half a day wasted in fairly disastrous holojumps, Harry had vetoed said plan in favor of beaming in a half-klick north of the signal fires. From there they’d stealth their way to the rendezvous and, if the real Colthurst and Jawara had truly not arrived, make their introductions.

As he ran his fingers over the loose black silk of the parachute, Harry felt something skitter across his nerves and looked up to see, standing uncertainly at the entrance to the room…


Featuring Callan Vail

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/03-25-2009 01:26:12 PM

-Beta Section-

The atmosphere in the room was tense as the the engineers monitored the systems while the tertiary section disengaged from the ship. Foxe and Chief Suko observed the separation via monitor and the Master Systems Display. Lieutenant Foxe breathed a sigh of relief once gamma section had broken away from the rest of the ship. He was one step closer to claiming Engineering for his own. The officer felt no concern for the people in the cargobay of gamma section, they were mostly former Hawking crew and losing them to a delicate, yet dangerous, temporal mission would not bother him in the least. As a matter of fact, Foxe could hardly conceal his elation at seeing the gamma section break away. He began to hum a happy tune as he walked around the small engineering section.

'My department, my engineers,' Foxe thought happily. S'Van had said that Costala would most likely be killed on his foray into war-torn Normandy. The records had been sketchy, but there was information that said Malcolm Branden had been KIA soon after his role in the events of the fateful operation had been completed. 'Einstein moves out and I take over. Simple. Clean. Effective. Of course I will have to pretend to mourn, can't be too cocky since there are still some Hawking people in Engineering. Wouldn't it be fortuitous if they all were killed? One can only hope, it would make the transfer of the other Hawking engineers easier..some might even jump at the chance to transfer.'


Foxe, dragged from his thoughts of the Hawking engineering staff's capitulation, focused his attention on Chief Suko. "Yes Chief?"

"Ensigns Ford and Aypers reported in..they said you transferred them here?" Sumi asked in confusion. "Chief Costala refused their requests to withdraw their transfers and had them both sent to Operations.."

"I know Chief, I find my predecessor's actions to be rash and so I have restored both officers to engineering. They are vital to the ship and their talents are squandered in Operations."

Predecessor? Does Foxe really think he is.. "Sir, Lieutenant Commander Costala is the Chief Engineer, you cannot countermand his orders. Ford and Aypers have no business.." Chief Petty Officer Suko started to say.

"That will be all Chief," Foxe stated, his tone almost bored, as he dismissed Suko. Another entry for the transfer list, the officer thought as his eyes followed the Asian female's retreat, she had so much potential.

"Ensign Ford reporting in as ordered," a tall, ginger-haired man with an Oxford accent stated as he smiled at Foxe.

"Ensign Aypers reporting in," the other man drawled. He flicked off what could have been a salute or a wave.

"Gentlemen as of now I am the Acting Chief Engineer," Foxe stated not doubting that S'Van had entered his new status in the ship's logs, "within a few hours I will be the permanent Chief." Both men grinned at the news. "One of you will be my assistant chief, but the position demands loyalty, utter loyalty and dedication to the ship, the Chimera and the Chimera's crew." The soon-to-be Chief Engineer paused for a moment. "There are those among us whose loyalties lie elsewhere, we need to remove these persons, discreetly show them that the Chimera is not the best place for them. Do you understand me gentlemen?"

"Perfectly," Ensign Nelson Ford answered smoothly. Bryce Aypers nodded his head once in acknowledgment.

"Time is limited so you should both begin immediately. Aypers, report to Alpha Engineering and relieve Master Chief Ibrahim. Ford, report to the bridge and monitor the situation with Gamma Section." Both men turned to leave but Ford found that he was impeded by a hand gripping his arm.

Foxe waited for Aypers to leave then said, "You're my first choice for Assistant Chief, Nelson, don't disappoint me."

"Not to worry Lieutenant, or should I say Chief," Ford replied in a tone rife with flattery.

"I knew I made the correct choice," Jonathan Foxe stated before relinquishing his grip on the officer's arm. He watched Ford leave. Foxe smiled; he had made no such choice but was intrigued by the thought of Ford telling Aypers what he had been told. He knew both men would stab each other in the back to get to the position. So Darwinian and yet so amusing, Foxe thought as he inhaled deeply. Life is good.

Lt. Jonathan Foxe

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/03-25-2009 03:22:27 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Away Team Staging Area: Cargo Bay 2 - Deck 14/Gamma::

“… so as you know, your crucifix holds the modified UT. It’s modified in that it is no longer a UT, it’s just an FT, I mean, French translator… because we can’t have the Germans thinking you speak German while the French think you speak French, I mean…”

“I understand,” Jenny tried to smile at Kal-El, who looked as nervous as she was, “no worries.” No worries? Who are you kidding? She was scared spitless. Even Harry looked a wreck or, he had, until he’d disappeared into the bowels of the cargo bay. Not that it wasn’t understandable; Harry and Ensign Wekesa were to insert soonest. Jenny had almost thirty hours to panic… er, prep. I wonder how Ben’s doing?

“Right. Well, then, here,” Kowalski moved on to the shoes, “we created a hollow heel in the right shoe,” he pointed to the scuffed leather, lace-up boot which they hoped would be worn by a young woman working a produce farm. Certainly they bore little resemblance to the shapely dancing shoes which Anderson was still wearing. “It holds a communicator so, once you’ve achieved your objective, or in case of emergency, just twist the heel counterclockwise,” he did, “and voila,” he held up the downscaled communications device, “you can call home and we’ll beam you right up… what?”

Jenny, who’d had to put both hands over her mouth to stop the bubbling laugh, took a deep breath, “I’m sorry, but, you gave me a shoe phone?”

“Well, Lissete wouldn’t have much jewelry and it was unlikely she’d be carrying a… a…ahhh… ” Kal-El frowned, trying to think of the term.

“Hand bag?”

“Right, that! But she has to have shoes. Now, just in case anything happens to the shoe… and nothing had better happen to the shoe,” he intoned, “don’t panic… Seldon’s going to implant a sub-q tracking device. You won’t be able to contact us with it but we will be able to track you so, if we don’t hear from you at the appointed check-in time, we’ll start to work on an extraction.”

Meaning, they’d beam her up if there were no other humans in the vicinity. If, however, she were surrounded by, say, a company of Nazis, the crew would have to start getting creative.

“And then,” clearly uncomfortable with what both he and Jenny were speculating, Kal-El moved on to the careworn basket they’d put together, “the piece de resistance…” he pulled out…

“A loaf of bread?”

“Not the bread,” the engineer rolled his eyes, “it’s not even real bread. Green made some real bread but… anyway… it’s what’s inside the bread that’s important.” And, sure enough, he turned the roundish loaf over in his hands to reveal a small indentation, which he pressed and then the loaf split in two to reveal one of the M23’s each of the landing party’s were to carry. “What do you think?”

“I… I… I’m speechless.” And I’d better keep that particular loaf at the bottom of the basket.

“Yeah, it is pretty impressive. I came up with the idea, myself.”

“Wow, that’s… it’s great. Really.” Jenny found another smile for the engineer then gathered up the assorted kit. “I’ll just, take these to my room and, you know, practice opening the shoe… and the bread…”

“You’ll do great,” the senior officer blurted as she turned to go then, when Jenny’s surprised gaze fell on him, tugged at his collar before adding, “that’s just… we all think you’re going to do fine, down there. Fenton and… Darbs and I… we think you’ll be fine.”

“Thank you, Chief,” she said, formally. “I’ll try not to break your stuff,” she held up the basket and the pair of shoes.

“See that you don’t,” he said and for a moment there was nothing of the usual Kowalski bluster as he added, “You’re expected to come home safe.”

Jenny managed a quick nod and then raced out the door, not even noticing Dr. Schaffer as she chanted to herself, “It’s the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true…”

Featuring CPO Kal-El Kowalski

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/03-26-2009 01:45:21 PM

:: USS Chimera / Gamma ::
:: Deck 14 Cargo Bay ::

Muffled voices penetrated the quiet of the makeshift onboard campsite in the cargo bay. The atmosphere was surprisingly calm and subdued despite the bustle of activity and duty occurring. A steady buzz of quiet talk and busy motion lulled the young CO into a trancelike state. Nils gazed over the temporary living quarters and breathed deeply. Deep dread weighed heavily on his pagh. Not for the mission ahead, but for the sudden dawning realization that his command was split.

Two thirds of the Chimera had darted off in directions unknown and her fate was not in his hands. And while he still inhabited the tertiary section, Vail had already taken the bulk of command responsibilities while the Bajoran prepped for the mission to rescue the past. Instead of feeling as if a burden had lifted, he felt wildly out of control and ‘wrong’ – as if he were in the wrong place doing the wrong thing.

“Sir, if you’d like I can go over the specs for the modified equipment,” offered Kowalski as he passed by. He’d been making his rounds about the cargo bay playing show and tell with his gadgetry.

“I read the proposals,” Nils said quietly with a slight nod.

“All the same, if you’d like to…”

“I think I can figure it out, Kowalski,” Nils said gruffly.

“Yes sir,” said the systems chief as he shuffled away.

Nils shook his head. He’d never been good at ‘faking it’ and he was in no mood to appear pleasant now. His primary concern was to review his mission parameters and then get with the Counselor to discuss their apparently intertwined roles in 1944.

“A bit harsh, wasn’t it?” Vail wandered up and settled on a cot next to the Captain.

“Why do you always ask me to agree with you when your judgments are so apparent already? If you’ve made up your mind then the question is moot,” the Bajoran said as he examined his weapon one more time.

“Habit, I suppose.” Vail let the sentiment linger for a moment before proceeding. “Damned peculiar mission, isn’t it?”

“It is… And one more time with the… I’m sorry,” apologized Nils with a little sigh. “I’m just finding the grunt work to be… limiting.”

“Aahhh… The center seat already has you then. You had me going for a while there,” Callan said with a twinkle in his eye.

“What do you mean,” snapped Nils, his eyes clamping down on the El Aurian’s gaze.

“Well, what with your grim demeanor and heavy heart, I thought perhaps your protestations to Command were sincere. I thought perhaps you may actually find your way back to the science console eventually. It seems I mischaracterized you once again Mister Torrik.” He didn’t wait for a response before adding the cryptic, “Have you spoken to Finn about his mission?”

“No,” answered the CO, averting the much older man’s glare. “And whether or not you think my ‘protestations are sincere’ or not doesn’t matter to me.”

“No offense was meant, Captain Torrik. I simply meant that… Well, just that I think you may have the heart of a true commander after all. Your ship,” he started with a smile. “She becomes much more than just an assignment. The sooner you embrace that the sooner you’ll find contentment.”

Nils couldn’t help but chuckle at the simplicity of the man’s suggestion. “So that’s what’s been missing all these years. Thank you, Vail. I’ll get right on contentment when I get back from Earth.”

“Sarcasm… Such an unattractive form of communication,” Callan said lifting his nose in disgust. “Anyway, I just stopped by to wish you the best of luck and to tell you to walk with the Prophets.” He stood up to leave.

“Thank you, Commander,” Nils said sincerely before the El Aurian could get out of ear shot. “I appreciate it.”

Callan turned to face the CO and smiled, then nodded…and then he wandered off, presumably to the tertiary bridge.

With great effort, Nils heaved his pack and weapon over his shoulder. It was high time he found T’Shaini and discussed finer points of their joint mission…

With: Callan Vail and CPO Kal El Kowalski

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/03-26-2009 10:33:55 PM

-Cargobay, Deck 14-

Javier watched the other participants in the ground mission mill about in the cargobay. From where he sat, perched atop a cargo container, the engineer could see most of the bay. It was interesting to see how each person prepared themselves for what lay ahead. Some chattered away at each other nervously, others chose to be alone, some slept, some read over their briefing information, some chose to act like nothing out of the ordinary was about to take place. He had seen it all before, in a different time and in many different places. The same hawk-like stares, the long, drawn out sighs, the impatiently tapping foot, the nervous laughter, voices filled with emotion, the contemplative look, the feeling of being lost, an overwhelming sense of helplessness, the smile of hope, the nervous shaking hands, a slight stutter in speech, the sad, vacant look..all signs of the inner turmoil that came with the final hours before an operation began.

His eyes dropped to the PADD cradled in his hands. Javier read what he had written then entered his codes, signing off on the document. It was his will. He had left everything to Lia with T'Shaini acting as her guardian until Lia was eighteen. It was an old tradition. Before every major engagement he had participated in when a marine, he had updated the document so it seemed only fitting that he would revise it before being dropped into France in 1944.

"Where are you going, Papa?" Lia asked Javier in Portuguese as he knelt down beside her. He was still taller than her but now she could see his face better.

"To do some training," he answered, settling on an almost lie rather than a fullblown falsehood.

"How long will you be dere?" the little girl asked, reverting to English as she hugged his neck fiercely. He had forgotten how much she hated not being with he or T'Shaini.

"Only a day or two, then we can look for your fish," Javier told Lia, trying to sound positive. The father hugged his daughter and placed a kiss on her cherubic cheek. "I love you Lia," he said. "Always remember I love you very much."

"I love you Papa," Lia said as she squirmed in his embrace until freed so she could kiss his cheek. "I will think good thoughts for you."

The engineer climbed down from his seat and crossed the bay. He stopped to speak to the crew who looked more nervous than usual, reassuring them and spending some time with each. He did not see Harry or Nils about but knew that each would be preparing themselves in their own way. Javier told jokes and listened with a dedicated ear, he offered guidance and listened to concerns, he commended those who were prepared and encouraged the ones who needed a gentle push. The officer emulated the marine officers he had looked up to, and used their methods to help prepare the others for what they might face. And he used the time to prepare himself, helping push down the anxiety by aiding the other crewmembers. When Javier finally made his way to the quarters he and T'Shaini shared he felt more at peace.

'I bet Lia is thinking good thoughts,' the engineer told himself.

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/03-27-2009 06:31:42 PM

Deck 14, Crew Quarters Cabin 145
Gamma Section

His uniform lay on the bed close beside an exact replica of the uniform 1st Lieutenant Malcolm Branden had worn when he parachuted into Normandy on 5th of June 1944. The American paratrooper G.I. uniform replica had been created to mimic every detail of the original design. Even the government issue briefs, that Javier had donned a few minutes before, were exactly what the soldiers had worn. Uncomfortable. I want my 24th century boxer-briefs. the officer thought as he pulled the green t-shirt over his chest and smoothed the wrinkles from the material. Javier stole a glance to the opposite side of the bed where T'Shaini's replicated clothing lay. His eyes moved over her form, admiring her body, until she caught him looking.

Itchy. That was the predominant assessment. Wool stockings are itchy. She glanced up, feeling, rather than seeing him look at her and winced at the ungainly apparatus that was the basis of her clothing. Odd…he did not seem to have the same perception of it as she did. Noting the little thrill that that observation brought she reached for the stiff button down shirt and began to fasten it. "Did no one care for comfort?"

"Maybe they spent more time out of their clothing than with it on?" Javier suggested as he involuntarily readjusted the irritatingly close cut of the briefs. Walking around the bed, his fingers gently brushed T'Shaini's aside as he began to button up her shirt. It was the exact opposite of what he usually did and the irony of his actions made him chuckle.

T'Shaini was unsure of the source of amusement, but grateful to him for lightening the mood. The struggle with the archaic fasteners was underscoring how alien so much of the mission was to her. She watched as his nimble fingers quickly closed her shirt, then dropped a kiss on his mouth. "Thank you, sir."

"That's 'Lieutenant' to you." Javier winked and gave her thinly covered behind a playful, yet gentle, smack. He retreated to his side of the bed and pulled on the trousers that came with his uniform. Before fastening the pants, which also seemed scratchy, he pulled on the shirt replete with insignia of the time period.

Skirt hanging from her hand, the counselor watched as Javier dressed, then crossed over to smile at him. "Turning around is fair play." She said as she lay the skirt on the bed and started to fasten the buttons up the front of his shirt.

"No, reaching around is fair play," Javier corrected promptly. He stopped to think about what he'd said then amended the statement. "Turning about? Turn about. Turn about is fair play."

"Ah…thank you." The Vulcan, while making strides, still had to work at making her language more casual and inviting in the office. She looked curiously down at the top of his uniform pants. "Interesting, they use the same fastenings as the shirts." She reached down to work at the much larger buttons.

"I can..uh..I'll do them." He nudged her hands away and began to struggle with the button fly while blushing furiously. "Just have to get the..there, all done."

"Oh." T'Shaini felt her hands creep up to cover her face. It had not occurred to her…she smiled into her hands, his sudden embarrassment was so…charming. "You look very handsome." Or that was what she meant to say, it was rather muffled, pulling her hands away from her face she tried again. "You look very handsome."

Javier smiled, the red still on his cheeks and giving them vibrant color. He motioned to her skirt. "Should I help or can you manage?"

"I think I can…" She stepped into it and began to button..then realized that due to the shape of the skirt it was illogical to fasten it in the front, she stepped out of it confusedly, then back in again with the button on the back…but now had trouble closing the fastener. "or perhaps not."

He moved in, sliding his arms around her waist so he could reach around her body and take the fastener in his hands. Javier hugged T'Shaini close to him, looking over her shoulder and down her back. As he became aware of how close they were and how much he liked it, Javier commented: "It would seem we've been missing some of the fun of being together. Dressing you is almost as fun as undressing you." He placed a kiss on her cheek.

She wrapped her arms around him to keep him close. "Well, we will just have to remember that once we have returned from this mission." And they would return, both of them…T'Shaini had no clear idea of how she was going to ensure this, but she was determined to try.

The garment's fastener was a simple affair and did not take long to secure, but Javier did not relinquish holding T'Shaini, preferring to hug her. "If..if I don't return..I've left everything to Lia and named you as her guardian," he told the Vulcan woman. "Just..please remind her how much I love her..if I.." For a moment he buried his face in T'Shaini's neck, hugging her tightly without speaking.

Boy this mission is gonna be rough on everyone…

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/03-27-2009 06:37:45 PM

Deck 14
Temporary Quarters

T'Shaini had never heard him speak this way, if anything, Javier had been through so much as a marine, he was confident in his ability to adapt to any situation. I am not alone in my concerns…the entire ship seems uneasy. Tamping down an uncounselor like desire to brush his fears under a rug and blindly reassure him, the Vulcan ran her hand soothingly down his back. "In the event that you do not return, rest assured that I will ensure that Lia knows how much you loved her, and that she will remember you." She had to swallow a lump that was forming in her throat. "But know that I believe that no matter what you face in the upcoming mission," She stroked his hair until he looked up, meeting her serious gaze. "you have the strength, ability, experience and intelligence to overcome it." T'Shaini tried to smile, it was unsuccessful, but she tried. "Also know, that if something does go wrong I will likely lose my position on the Chimera…it is unlikely they will want a Counselor that was responsible for the death of Commander S'Van." Though it was an attempt to lighten the situation, if truth were told, she was only half kidding.

He looked at her for a long moment, unsmiling yet accepting what she told him. Javier's hand cupped the left side of T'Shaini's face and his thumb massaged her cheek. "I should have married you a long time ago," the engineer admitted to her. "I've loved you since our first kiss." He leaned forward to place a gentle kiss on T'Shaini's lips. "I was afraid..there was so much pain in my first union," Javier explained. He searched T'Shaini's eyes. "You've made my life so much better, and complete."

She stood silent, moved and stunned in equal parts, finally words came. "I cannot express what you bring to my life, I should be able to, but what you have brought to me is beyond words." T'Shaini shook her head in wonder. "I have difficulty even recalling the person I was before I met you, my perceptions of the world around me have changed so much." She leaned in and brushed her lips lightly across his. "When we return…" There may have been a deeper emphasis on 'we' than was strictly necessary, but it was what she meant. "we can take further steps, if you wish."

"I was thinking that before we went we could jump a few steps..the captain is onboard the tertiary section after all." Javier initiated another kiss, allowing his lips to linger on T'Shaini's longer than the previous time.

"Mmm." T'Shaini leaned back. "I am certain Nils is occupied at the moment, he must be overwhelmed at the amount of preparation…" A slight crease appeared between her brows. "Would you not rather wait until we can truly relax and enjoy the experience, instead of rushing through it hurriedly?"

"More I would rather leave the ship knowing that I chose to honor you, and the love I feel for you, before facing what could be an impossible task," Javier answered. "I believe what we have is ours alone and I don't wish to share it with anyone besides you." He thought about what he had asked then added, "And two witnesses."

"I fear if you feel as if all loose ends have been neatly tied there will be somewhere deep inside that may not…not that you would not try to come back to me, to us, but if it is alright somehow that you do not…" There, she said it…well not completely, but she felt at least she had begun to voice her fears.

"Loose ends? If that's what you think," Javier said slowly, as he awkwardly disengaged himself from T'Shaini, "then perhaps it would be better to wait. You do not seem to know me as well as you once did.."

"Oh." T'Shaini reached out to take his hands in hers. "No, I have expressed myself badly…or not thought it through enough." She took a deep breath before continuing. "I have found myself consumed by fears these last few days, no matter what I do, how I prepare, what I learn, I am haunted by a nagging fear…not for myself, but that I may lose you." She tried to catch his eye, but he would not look at her. "In my effort to control outcomes to suit my own desires, I have clumsily misread your intentions. I apologize."

He nodded his head in acknowledgment. "Like any human, I don't have any power to cheat death. This is one certainty with which I am all too familiar." Javier raised his eyes so they met T'Shaini's. "But I will never give up fighting as long as even the slightest chance of returning to you remains." The engineer recognized the fear of losing him also coincided with T'Shaini's own fear of not returning from the mission. "I also expect you to do everything in your power to return to me." He took her in his arms again. "I do not want to lose you, future Missus Costala."

T'Shaini relaxed into his embrace. Fascinating how the fear of losing someone can cause you to behave in a manner that pushes them away. Not that T'Shaini the Counselor did not understand that, but it seemed that T'Shaini the partner had a more difficult time with the concept. "I will do my best."

The waiting is the hardest part..

Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/03-29-2009 11:02:47 PM

Simba leaned back on his bunk in the makeshift camp in the cargo bay, flipping slowly through the pages of a replicated 1940s American magazine to pass the time. Absent-mindedly, he pulled a cigarette from the pack in his shirt pocket and tucked it between his lips. Without looking up from the page, he flipped open a lighter and ignited the tobacco. Simba cringed at the taste, not understanding how anyone could find pleasure in these disgusting little sticks. With practice, he'd gotten pretty good at blowing out the smoke without actually inhaling any of it. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a common vice amongst the soldiers of this period and, as Finn had pointed out during their training, their ability to accurately capture details was critical to the success of the upcoming mission.

As he waited patiently for the cigarette to burn down so he could throw it away, he flipped the page and skimmed through the next article. It was all about something called a Victory Garden, encouraging readers to grow their own vegetables on whatever unused land they had available. The idea, apparently, was to free up food reserves for the troops and reduce the need to waste fuel transporting food domestically. Simba smiled to himself, remembering his own mother's reliance on local produce when he was a child.

Sighing, he closed the magazine and tossed it onto a stack of PADDs filled with the various training materials he had spent the last few days drilling into his head. The cargo bay was surprisingly calm and quiet considering the number of people in the room, all focused on preparing for the mission ahead. He was nervous… but also strangely excited. Without a doubt, it was the most dangerous and important mission he'd ever participated in. But it was also an opportunity to do something that really mattered and, in a strangely romantic sense, to become a part of history that had already been written.

He hadn't spoken to Commander Finn all day, though he knew the Commander was also in the bay. Truthfully, he still wasn't sure how he felt about working with Finn on the mission. It wasn't that Simba had anything against the first officer or any reason not to trust him… it just made him nervous. Finn had been through a lot, definitely knew what he was doing, and would no doubt be watching the young man like a hawk through the whole mission. Not that Simba doubted for a minute his own ability to get past his nerves and do his job, but he was still a junior officer - and much greener than he generally cared to admit to himself. And Harry Finn definitely didn't have a reputation as the warm, nurturing type.

Almost go time… Simba thought as he swung his legs over the side of the bunk and put his bare feet onto the cold cargo bay floor. He put out the remaining butt of the cigarette and crossed his small space. As he bent down to pick up his boots, he caught a glance of himself reflected in the glass of a console. He was already dressed in period clothing. At least I don't have to wear anything uncomfortable, he thought, remembering the stiff military uniforms he'd seen several of his shipmates wearing around the cargo bay. The nature of Lt. Jawara's mission necessitated something a little less conspicuous, and so he'd been provided with a comfortable set of lightweight black fatigues for their initial "drop" into 1944. Simba studied his reflection for a moment as he pulled on some socks and laced up the black leather combat boots before moving on to check, for the hundredth time, the contents of his backpack and the assorted weapons he'd be taking to the surface.

The sooner they got their boots on the ground, the sooner they could all come back to the Chimera and, with any luck, to the same future they'd left behind.

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/03-30-2009 11:35:18 AM

::USS Chimera::
::Away Team Staging Area: Cargo Bay 2 - Deck 14/Gamma::


He had seen her…there was no backing out now. Kerrin could feel her heart pound as she closed the distance between them, no smooth, sexy walk for her…hell no, she could feel her knees wobble which likely meant…I look drunk…great. Nerves and way too much emotion made her stammer slightly. "I…I got the message, I didn't know…I guess I still don't know…if it was from you or it was Gorksy being a smartass…so I waited." She ran her fingers nervously through her hair. "I am so used to you doing all the work that I just waited…" Kerrin couldn't even look at him she was so panicky. "I waited…and then I heard about…" Her hands cupped her face as the story that she had been told filled her with horror once again, "and I didn't know what to do or say…so I waited some more…" She tried, she really tried to pull her gaze up to meet his eyes, unfortunately it only made it as high as his chin. "and I am sorry, and it is probably too late now…but I didn't want you to leave without me finding you." Her gaze did meet his eyes and a hint of mischief began to light them. "Even if I am bullshit that no one thought to take the anthropologist along…"

So, there about a gazillion reasons why it'd be bad to do the thing you want to do, right now, the voice of reason was saying as she came close and blurted out her explanation for staying so distant. Typical, each of them giving the other space neither one wanted. Reasons like, you're not supposed to be thinking like Harry; you're supposed to be thinking like George and George can't afford to be distracted… But then her eyes, green and full of humor with a touch of sin, hit his and, Screw George…"… and screw the voice of reason," he growled, yanking her in and adding, as she let out a small yelp of surprise, "The anthropologist better be waiting right here when I get back."

"Oh." Her hands gripped his shoulders as a rather satisfied smile spread across her face. "I guess Gorsky wasn't being a smartass after all."

"Not this time." Then, before she could respond, he dove; hands clenched in her hair, her sweater, all but devouring her right then and there in the cargo bay to the enthusiastic applause of the assembled crew.

"Wow." Kerrin laughed breathlessly, once they had come up for air. "Why didn't I come by sooner?"

"Yes, why didn't you come by sooner?" Kal-El muttered as he crossed to his makeshift workspace, then gave his fingers a snap, "Oh, I know, because if you had, then the XO would have been in a good mood and that would have made everyone's life way too easy."

"I heard that, Kowalski," Finn sent over his shoulder, then all his attention was again on Kerrin. "When we get back, I want a date." He laid a kiss on her nose. "A real date. You and me and no internal organs on display," grimacing over the memory of their last day off, he tucked her hair aside and kissed the spot just below her left ear, "Someplace… private," he whispered, before moving back to her lips, where he lingered, shoving away the dread of his mission as he enjoyed the reality of the woman in his arms.

"I…uhhh…jesus…" Kerrin struggled to form a coherent sentence, he had drawn back just enough for her to see the uncanny blue of his eyes. "yes?" She managed to get out, then a tiny chuckle bubbled up out of nowhere. "I have to say…this is not exactly what I expected."

"It's been weeks since we've been… seen each other," he replied, the intensity of his gaze belying the casual delivery.

"Mmmm…" Keep your mouth shut, there will be time to talk when he comes back. Her fingers ran over his close cropped hair, then down the front of the leather jacket. "I have to say, I like this look."

"I'll be sure to add some retro to the wardrobe," he said, drinking in her scent. Maybe it would all be okay, he thought; maybe he could get through the assignment, knowing he had this to come home to.

"You will hear no arguments from me." Her hands slid back up the leather to wrap around his neck, just for now, she could pretend there were no complications, nothing to get in their way.

Taking her embrace for an invitation, Harry's hand cradled the back of her neck while he bent down to brush his lips over hers, trying to take as much of her being as possible before…

"I never took you for an exhibitionist, Harry," a cold voice slithered between the two.

"Are you trying to get slugged again?" Finn asked, shifting so that he was between Kerrin and S'Van, noting that the rest of the occupants of the cargo bay were suddenly quite busy.

Kerrin felt all the energy between them drain out at the intrusion…this must be that S'Van guy…Gorsky was right. "Exhibitionism would dictate that we were in the middle of the room…we are not, therefore it must just be your dirty mind," she said, peeking over Harry's shoulder.

"Ah, Dr. Schaeffer," the serpentine gaze met hers, briefly, "as charming as your reputation makes you out, I see." Then, before Harry, already as tense as an over-wound spring, could, said, "It's time. You are to report to the starboard transporter room. Ensign Wekesa is already on his way." Then, with a quick glance at his wrist chrono, added, "The drop is in t-minus twelve minutes. I expect to see you there in five." With that and one last, dismissive look to Kerrin, the Commander turned and stalked out of the cargo bay.

Kerrin bit back the urge to yell something snarky after him and looked up to Harry, who's face was tight with tension once again. Cupping his face in her hands she leaned up on her tiptoes and dropped a light kiss on his mouth. "I expect you back here in no time at all…don't **** up…"

"Words to live by," he said lightly, before bending down to retrieve his gear. Straightening, with the half-bundled chute over one shoulder and a small pack in his hand he leaned down for one last, rushed meeting of lips before he strode away. Reaching the exit Harry turned and looked over those within the bay, hoping he could face them as openly when this was all over. At last, his eyes landed once more on Kerrin and he offered up a grin and a quick salute, adding, "I shall return," before making a sharp left and disappearing from view.

Kerrin leaned back against the wall and blew her bangs out of her eyes. Crossing her arms over her chest she tried to quiet her zinging nerves…no wonder she kept coming back, it was like a drug. "Or a force of nature." Scrubbing her hands over her face, she pushed off the wall and started back toward her lab…where Gorsky, having sent her in this direction would be waiting to pounce, and no doubt making sure the conversation would be well within Jason's earshot…men.

JP featuring NPC Kerrin Schaeffer

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/03-30-2009 01:37:18 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Anderson/Saunders Quarters - Deck 9/Gamma::

“Come in,” Jenny called. The door’s chime should have interrupted her rest but she’d found sleep even more elusive than usual. Pushing aside the familiar echoes of Chuck’s abuse was the new weight of the rapidly approaching mission. Jenny’s first away mission, which was also her first solo mission and, hey, her first trip through time… though at least that part was a first for everyone on board.

Anyway, whomever waited beyond the door, it couldn’t be as bad as the endlessly repeating dance of doubt as she contemplated the mission objectives, the unknown obstacles and the fate of the real Lissete. Where was she, now? Still on Earth or already taken? Which, Jen wondered, would be worse? To be stolen from a world which, though rent by war, was the only one Lissete de Rouen knew? Or to be sent into that war-torn world; as alien to Jenny Anderson as the decks of the Anomaly would be to the French farm girl?

And then there were all the others to worry over: Harry and T’Shaini and Mister Costala and the Captain himself and… her thoughts veered from whatever Ben might be facing. She’d privately resolved it would be best to stay out of his and… and Aengus’, way. The only thing she should be thinking about was the upcoming task…

Then the door slid aside to reveal her visitor and Jenny snapped to attention, “Sir!”

“As you were, Crewman,” Lt. Commander Vail offered kindly. “I rather thought you might be here,” he added, stepping casually into the young woman’s quarters.


“Twenty-three hours to your first deployment,” the El-Aurian said, as if that explained everything. “No doubt you’ve rehearsed several dozen possible outcomes, imagined at least an hundred ways the mission could go wrong and seen yourself fail as many times as you’ve allowed yourself to succeed.” Kind eyes, older than any she’d ever met, watched the truth resonate in the youngest participant in this most complex mission.

“How did you know?”

Callan gave a slight shrug, “A passing familiarity with your key influences.” He wandered over to Anderson’s desk to pick up one of the loaves of bread — actual bread, this time — which DeMarcus Green had baked for Jenny’s cover on the ground. Lissete might well have taken such bread to a nearby village with plans to trade for other, rationed, foodstuffs.

“Speaking of those influences,” he returned the bread to the basket, “I don’t imagine Harry said goodbye?” Finn and Wekesa had been gone for five hours and the last Vail had heard from the team was ‘insertion successful’.

“No,” Jenny found herself surprisingly relaxed in the commander’s company. “But he never does. He leaves notes,” she admitted with a sigh. Sparse, uncommunicative missives with a minimum of sentiment in a barely legible scrawl. “He’s always left notes.”

“How very unsurprising,” a smile flashed across Callan’s features, “He means well, of course.”

“Oh, I know. He just sucks at goodbyes… sir.”

“But I think, perhaps, he forgot to mention something rather important.”


Callan looked into the young woman’s grave gray eyes, “I dare say he forgot to tell you that, before an engagement as difficult as this, it’s best not to be alone.” Probably because Harry would never ascribe to such a concept but Callan knew that for most and, certainly for young Anderson, it was one of the deeper truths.

“I’m not sure I…”

“It is in these times, Jenny… may I call you Jenny?… it is in these times when it becomes important to have something to hold on to; something which has great meaning to yourself.

“It is important because there may well come a moment in your upcoming endeavor which will prove quite as dark as your direst imaginings, if not darker. And, if such an occasion should arise, you will need a full and immediate connection to something… or someone, worth fighting for.”

“Sir, yes sir,” she replied, so soft as to be almost inaudible.

The quiet acceptance, and the understanding beneath it, briefly submerged Callan in the tides of his own, long, memory. How many young people had he seen off to various battles over the centuries? And how few had returned?

“I understand that the Aft Lounge is open,” he told her, back in the present. “and Mister Dalluk’s establishment is just the place to find the sort of companionship one needs, at such a time as this.” And so saying, Vail lifted up the spiderweb of a shawl which Jenny had worn to the dance, draping it over the somber, threadbare dress she’d donned in preparation for her insertion. “Go: be with them,” he told her, “Be with your crew, your friends… be with your reason. I would imagine,” he continued, gently, “that he needs something to hold on to, as well.”

Featuring Henry V… er, Callan Vail… making the rounds…

Epicenter 1944

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