Intermezzo

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/05-22-2009 09:32:19 AM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Outside Transporter Room 1 ::

Dawn had come and gone, overtaking the Torriks as they slept soundly on the Samoan beach. But eventually, despite the temptation not to, Nils decided they should return to the ship. He'd considered spending one more day on the island to continue working on dropping in and popping up, but he ultimately knew that the 'wave sliding' would have to wait for another time. And in the end his baser drive, founded in duty, pulled him back to the ship like gravity. Pangs of grief accompanied him as the whining transporters dragged them all back to work.

"Thanks," called Nils over his shoulder as he casually waved at Prela, who'd beamed them aboard. He nodded in succession to his surfing brethren and they separated, each heading back to their respective sonic showers.

"Your itinerary had you returning to the ship eight point three hours ago," said a cool female voice. Nils recognized it immediately.

"Hello, Clothos. Good to see you too," he said with a smirk as the photonic fell into step with him. Stretching his neck and rubbing his sore shoulder muscles he added, "I didn't realize I was being monitored."

A confused expression flashed across her face. And whether because a different holoemitter picked up her matrix, or by some other mysterious 'emotional' response, her image actually became noticeably blurrier for a moment. "Captain, it is my job to monitor you! You are after all the Commanding Officer of this vessel and thereby immanently…"

"Ok ok," said the young CO waving off her attack. "I get it. But I don't have duty until today and plans changed."

"Your psychological profile suggests that changing plans is not something you are particularly comfortable with. I would have expected you to notify the ship in case of some type of emergency and…"

"Seriously, Clothos, it's fine." Nils paused and slung his backpack over his shoulder. He took the hologram by her arms and stared into her eyes. "I appreciate the concern, but everything is fine," he placated. "There was no emergency and nothing went wrong. Plans. Simply. Changed."

With only the slightest tilt of her head she looked at his hands on her arms - first the left… Then the right… "Understood, Captain Torrik."

"Where has he been," came another voice edged in the slightest rebuke. Lachesis had appeared suddenly and stood over Nils shoulder. "He was supposed to report in last night."

"Got into trouble, did he?" Atropos materialized in the corridor and took a few steps toward the gathering holographic convention.

"By the Prophets," muttered Nils under his breath. He immediately began massaging his temples. "Thank you for your concern ladies, but I'm fine. We're all fine. Everything is fine and we're back on schedule."

"It is not within your behavioral profile," started Lachesis with what appeared to be genuine concern.

"I KNOW! Clothos already… LOOK! Can we just get back to life as usual? There is nothing to report!" Despite the frustrating nature of the situation, Nils couldn't shake the good feeling he'd brought with him from Earth. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. "I thought I was in charge around here."

"Well as they say, that's what you get for thinking," snarked Atropos with a wink. "Let's leave him be sisters. I think our young Captain was just spreading his wings a bit."

"This has to do with that surfing program Lincoln Purcell uploaded into our library," accused Clothos. She turned suddenly on Lachesis. "I told you nothing good would come of it."

Suddenly realizing how predictable and 'caught in a rut' he'd become Nils jaw dropped. "Why does everyone have to be one dimensional?" Though his question was rhetorical he paused for emphasis. "Yes, I generally report for duty two hours early and leave two hours late. And yes, I have been known to stick meticulously to a flight plan and schedule, but that doesn't mean that is all there is to me. And maybe…just maybe my psychological profile could do with updating!"

"I'll inform T'Shaini that you need to speak with her," said Lachesis with a smile and a nod.

"Oh my… NO!" Raising his hands, the Bajoran protested. "I don't need to see the counselor. I was surfing! And surfing has benefits. I was doing something I've come to love and I'm using it as a tool to develop me spiritually, physically, and emotionally." A strange look came over his face when he realized how easily he'd expressed himself - and to holograms no less. "Besides… Kaula said it was a good thing."

"Is that some sort of Bajoran attempt at humor," said Clothos. "I don't like humor," she added crossing her arms and cocking her head to the side.

"Humor? No…"

"We are well aware of your penchant for the spiritual, Captain. But we are not naive." Atropos looked rather chastising as well.

"I don't understand…"

"Kaula, Nils," Lachesis explained. "You said Kaula spoke to you?"

"Yes," Nils nodded with incredulity. "I met him on the beach. He was a small man who came up and talked to me about Earth surfing…things."

"Creepy," commented Atropos with a smile.

"What is such a big deal?" Nils turned to Clothos for the answer. She rarely sugar coated anything.

"Kaula is an old Polynesian word for 'Prophet.' We thought you were…having fun with us." She continued to look put off.

Nils smiled. "No way…" He tried to remember what the little man had said to him. "And what does Kaimi mean?"

"Seeker," answered Lachesis warmly.

"Now that… Is really interesting," said Nils as he became completely lost in thought and wonder. He wandered down the corridor and disappeared in the lift.

The three photonics came together, shoulder to shoulder and watched him leave.

"Has he lost it," Atropos asked with humorous concern.

"The pressure of Command could have gotten to him. He is largely untested you know," commented Clothos.

Lachesis smiled and folded her arms over her chest. She took a holographic breath and shook her head. "No… I think he's fine. In fact, I think he is discovering how to be a Captain after all. Becoming more than you are… is a good thing, sisters. We three should understand that better than most I think, yes?" Then the Fates faded from view.

With Clothos, Lachesis, and Atropos…The Fates


Originally Posted by Luku/05-22-2009 02:13:42 PM

::USS Alton ::
:: Approaching Earth Orbit::

"I'm telling you its true Luku!" The female Orion's voice echoed down the corridor, "First he tried to kill me, and then he asked me out on a date!"

The small pink S'ti'ach walking beside the Orion shook her head and chuckled, "I believe you Dee, what I don't believe is that you actually said yes."

D'ren blushed, and then laughed, playfully flicking one of the S'ti'ach's ears, "What can I say? He's cute,and those ridges are just….ooh! I've got tingles!"

"A Cardassian and an Orion," Luku pondered as she reached the transporter room doors, "just imagine what the kids would be like."

The Orion stopped dead in her tracks, a look of almost abject fear thrown across her features. "Kids?! Luku I just met the guy! Who said anything about kids!"

The S'ti'ach roared with laughter as the doors slid open, causing the Ensign on the other side of the room to snap round in surprise.

"Sorry." Luku grinned sheepishly before turning back to D'ren, "I was kidding Dee, I know you are not a kid person."

"Well I wouldn't say that…" The Orion trailed off for a moment, apparently deep in thought, "just, not yet okay? Maybe after I know some more about him, like….his name."

"You do not even know his name yet?" Luku sighed and shook her head again, "Dee what am I going to do with you?"

"Nothing," D'ren chuckled, a knowing grin now plastered across her black lips, "because you're off to the 'Chimera' aren't you now? Big ol' fancy position on a big ol' fancy ship hmm?"

Luku's eyes lit up as the conversation swung back round to business. "It is not that big of a position Dee, I am just a run of the mill security cadet."

"Ah yes," D'ren grinned, “but you're a run of the mill security cadet who helped blow half a moon to ashes!"

"I told you before it was not half a moon," Luku wagged a finger at her fellow cadet, "it was a quarter."

"Half, quarter, you blew up a moon Luku!" D'ren chuckled, prodding an 'accusing' finger at the diminutive S'ti'ach.

"Yes, well, that as maybe I very much doubt it will happen again." Luku smiled as she walked over to the Ensign, now standing behind the large transporter control panel.

"Could you contact the Chimera and inform them I will be transporting over shortly please?"

"Certainly," The Ensign replied as the S'ti'ach strolled up to the pad, "who shall I say is beaming over?"

"Cadet 3rd Luku En'taali."

"Oki-doki…ready when you are Cadet." the Ensign replied, busying himself with the control console.

"Seriously though Luku," D'ren smiled, "have fun, make friends and try to stay in one piece."

Luku smiled a warm smile at her green skinned friend, "You too Dee, keep safe." She turned to the Ensign once more.

"Energise."

As the blue fuzz of the transporter beam took hold, Luku heard D'ren say one more thing before she was whisked away onto her new ship…

"And try not to blow up any more moons!"


Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/05-23-2009 07:16:20 PM

Observation Room 112-4B
Starfleet Medical HQ
San Francisco

Ben's throat felt drier than a gin joint on Monday morning. He coughed and rubbed his throat slowly, the short movement was surprisingly tiresome. "I need some water," he croaked at the doctor that sat outside his cell. There was always someone watching him, recording his habits, his symptoms, his reaction to the various treatments that Doctor Okasu administered after BHP had been rendered unconscious. At the beginning the Iotian had resisted, never allowing the doctors to take what samples they needed without some kind of fight. He'd put up a hell of a fight the first time Okasu had tried to hypo him with what she said was a 'cure'. His total resistance had led to the medical staff resorting to using anesthazine gas whenever they needed to get more of his blood or inject him with their latest strain of treatment.

'If it was a cure why didn't I get any better?' Pierce had reasoned as he stared at his wound. He'd taken the bandage off to look at the source of all his troubles. The skin around the wound had turned an ugly black color a few hours after the 'cures' administration. Or was it days? To be truthful, Ben couldn't remember how long he had been in the quarantine cell. The repeated use of anesthazine to pacify him had blurred his perception of time.

"What day is it?" he rasped at the person in white. He stood to his feet, another tiring movement, and shuffled over to the cell's doorway. There had been another question. What? Another question? Water. "I want some water to drink."

"The date isn't important Benjamin," the person in white told him, dismissing his question with ease, "what is important is that you rest."

"Yes," he started to turn away and return to his bunk. "And water?" BHP asked. His throat was parched. "A drink would be berries." A wave of exhaustion washed over him and the Iotian swayed as the room spun. Ben flung out an arm to catch himself on the nearby wall. He got the forcefield. A jolt of force knocked him backward onto the floor. He heard voices, a multitude of voices that blended into a noisy cacophony.

===

"Your play Bemin," Orno said as he smiled over his cards. His white fedora was cocked low and BHP couldn't see his eyes in the dimly lit room. Lila sat beside him, smoking quietly as she watched her guy play the young upstart from the Moreno family. Orno's index finger tapped the back of his cards and Ben caught the movement as he raised the glass of bourbon to his lips. "You gonna play or drink?" Orno questioned.

"You should call," a voice next to Ben whispered. Turning, he found Jenny sitting beside him in the booth. She looked lovely in the dark green Flappers dress and Ben sat down his glass so his arm could slide around Jenny's waist, pulling her closer. "You should call," she told him again. Ben threw in his hand, tossing the cards down as his freed arm slipped around Jenny's waist and drew her to him. His head tilted to the side so that the navy blue fedora he wore was parallel to her face, hiding them from the rest of the club. Ben's lips brushed over Jenny's before he began to suck on her lower lip..

"It didn't happen like that," Pierce told the wall. He had been day-dreaming again. Or hallucinating. "I didn't have Jenny then." He could hear the blood pounding in his veins. You don't have her now either..she's gone. "Applesauce." The wound on his forearm had turned white..first black, then purple, then a sickly blue-ish color and now white. Its appearance was almost the same as scar tissue.

"Are you hungry Benjamin?" the voice behind the mirror queried. "You're recovering well, lucky we found a cure when we did. In a couple of days..well, now you are scheduled to be released."

===

"Son, that is one ugly looking scar, did someone cut you?"

Ben looked up at the man who was speaking. He was an older man, dark skin, white hair, his face wasn't smiling but his eyes were. "Shot. I was shot," the young security officer answered. He looked back down as the scar. It was white again.

"It must have been a terrible thing," the older man said as he noticed the scar ran the length of the man's forearm. He sat down on the bench beside Pierce. The park was well-lit and couples strolled the lanes taking in the evening air and the pleasant spring weather. A breeze had started up from the Bay and the sound of it in the trees was comforting. "Did you get it while on duty?"

"Duty?"

"Your uniform is somewhat familiar," the elderly gentleman said as he began to chuckle. It was an obvious joke since Starfleet cadets littered every corner of the city. One could not step outside for a stroll without seeing a handful of the exuberant 'soon to be officers' looking for some type of mischief. The man was drawn to silence as he realized the young Fleeter on the bench appeared to be lost. "Son, are you okay? You seem lost. Do I need to take you to the hospital?"

Ben's head jerked up and he stared at the old man. "No. I have to go to..my ship..Chimera, they're waiting for me." The officer looked around then remembered his commbadge. He stood up and tapped the badge.

=^= Chimera, one to beam up.=^=


Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/05-24-2009 10:59:52 AM

"I still can't believe you're actually here," Simba's mother said, for the hundredth time, as she walked out of the kitchen carrying a tray filled with a teapot and four cups.

"Part of me still can't believe it myself," he replied, nodding in appreciation as she handed him a cup of tea. "But I've seen a lot of things… learned a lot about myself in the past several months, and I realized that I needed to come home and see you all again."

"You should have come a lot sooner," his father jumped in. "All those years you were right here on Earth and we heard nothing from you…"

Simba sighed. "Dad, let's be honest here… I was young and angry, and you and mom didn't want to see me either-"

"Hush child!" His mother snapped as she sat down in a chair. "We always wanted to see you. Maybe it's our fault for not doing a better job of showing it, but we did. We never wanted you out of our lives the way you were."

An awkward silence fell over the room, all four Wekesas staring at each other across the table without speaking. Finally, Simba spoke up.

"Well, I am sorry for everything that happened. I always thought you were angry with me for choosing to go into Starfleet. I mean, I know you didn't want me to, even though it was the only thing I ever wanted to do. And then I ran off and did it anyways… I was the son living the life you didn't want me to have." Damn, this was hard.

"Child, we would have been proud of you no matter what you had chosen to do with your life." His mother put her cup down on the table and leaned back in her seat. "It was just… Starfleet was so dangerous, and we… I couldn't bear the thought of anything happening to you. Maybe it was selfish of me, but I just wanted you to stay at home and do something safe here on Earth."

Simba frowned. He had never really thought of it that way before, although it was exactly what Camael had suggested. Why couldn't she have told him this when he was younger? He didn't know if it would have changed his path, but at least he would have considered it. She had always just been defensive when he had talked about Starfleet as a youth, and he had never pieced together the source of that hostility until now. "What I don't understand is why you always encouraged me when I was young, and then joining Starfleet suddenly became off-limits."

"It was your uncle," his father admitted. "I don't know how much you remember him… you were only ten years old when he left us."

"Of course I remember him," Simba replied. "He was the whole reason I wanted to join Starfleet in the first place. I can remember the stories he used to tell me when he was home on leave, about all the people and places he had visited. I always knew that that was what I wanted to do."

"You know he was my only brother. When he died, it was very hard for me." His mother tried to smile even though she was holding back tears. "I couldn't let the same thing happen again… I couldn't allow your sister to have to go through the same thing I did if anything happened to you. I'm sorry, Simba, I was only trying to protect you."

"Mom…"

"But I've had a long time to think about it. Obviously, you don't need protecting. You are strong and independent and intelligent, and you can take care of yourself. You need to live your own life, and I have realized and accepted that." She laughed a little. "You don't know how long I have waited to tell you that."

Simba smiled. "I wish you could have sooner. And I am sorry… I really am… that I didn't give you the opportunity sooner, or that I couldn't understand this when I was younger."

"Alright, enough with the apologies already!" Simba's father looked between his wife and son. "Can't we just be happy that we are all back together? I want to hear what my son has been doing for the last seven years. What ship are you on? What do you do there? Who are your friends?"

Simba chuckled. Maybe it was time to move on and try to bring his parents back into his current life. "Well, where to begin… I'm currently serving as the Chief Tactical Officer on the U.S.S. Chimera… she's a Prometheus-class starship…"

"Tactical sounds dangerous," his mother interjected.

"Nah, mom, it's not. I mean, it is… but I have a good crew, and good friends, watching my back." He smiled as he realized how true his words were. "We're all in it together, and we all pull through."

His father cleared his throat. "Simba, why don't you stay for dinner? You could use a good home-cooked meal. Besides, I want to hear all about what you are doing out there. What brings you to Earth, and where was your latest mission?"

Simba couldn't help but grin. It was amazing how quickly he had relaxed after being home again. The Chimera could wait a few more hours without him. "Yeah, that sounds great… I would love to stay. Well, dad, it isn't so much a question of where our latest mission was, because it was right here on Earth. The question you should be asking is when the mission was…"

More fun with the Wekesa clan!


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/05-24-2009 09:23:48 PM

-Vulcan-

Sakkath sat in his office, there was business to be attended to before he could move forward, as was typical for a male of his species, the linear development of a situation was tantamount, and this human that his daughter had brought home was a random element that he did not intend to allow free reign. Brushing a non existent bit of dust from the immaculate desktop, T'Shaini's father stood, waiting for Selan to come back with the man. Rather unexpectedly, Selan seemed to accept this interloper and had tried to soften his father's attitude toward him…no doubt he was once again attempting to protect T'Shaini as he had when they were children. Whenever she had some wayward path to tread, it was always Selan that defended her choices to the family.

"Look at the stars, look how they shine for you," Javier sang softly to Lia as her eyes drifted shut. "I came along, I wrote a song for you and it was yellow." His daughter's chest began to rise and fall in the peaceful rhythm of sleep. It hadn't taken much for Lia to fall asleep, she had had a full day at the lava pits, then they had taken her to some natural caves to view the splendid stalactites that had formed thousands of years earlier on the Vulcan home world. Before the planet became a big dust bowl, Javier had felt like saying but kept such observations to himself.

On returning to T'Shaini's family's home, they had learned that there was a special dinner being prepared for later in the evening. Taking 'special' to mean 'adults only', Javier and T'Shaini fixed Lia her dinner then T'Shaini bathed her and later Javier told her a bedtime story. Now Javier was putting the finishing touches on his 'get Lia to bed before the special dinner' plan. The father didn't even have to go into the second verse of the song, Lia was asleep and he tucked the coverlet over her and placed a kiss on her cherubic cheek before quietly slipping out of the room.

The engineer moved towards the common room of the house. He was curious about the 'special dinner', wondering if T'Shaini's parents had chosen to give her a welcome home celebration at last. Celebration..I wonder if Vulcans celebrate anything? he thought. Then Javier remembered that T'Shaini and he 'celebrated' their affection for one another every time they were alone together. The thought made him grin while at the same time he realized that T'Shaini was very different from most of the Vulcans he had met on their leave. Most would not share so much of themselves with a human.. Before his thoughts could progress farther, Selan stepped in front of Javier. The engineer looked up at the Vulcan as he drew to a halt.

"You have been summoned." Selan said in a deadpan tone. "Sakkath wishes to speak with you before dinner." He looked at him silently for a moment, then began to walk ahead sensing the human falling into step with him. "He does not approve you know."

At first Javier thought that the Chimera had communicated the need for them to return to ship. He was a little disappointed to learn that it wasn't the ship summoning him but T'Shaini's father. Following Selan towards the meeting he somehow knew was destined to take place but that he still wanted to avoid, Javier weighed Selan's comment and decided humor would lighten the mood, or his mood at any rate. "Really? I thought he was just holding back his true feelings."

One eyebrow launched ceiling ward as Selan looked over to Javier. "I do not envy you, he is very set in his ways." A gleam of humor lightened his gaze. "And for a Vulcan to say that about another Vulcan should tell you a great deal about what you are about to encounter."

Javier sighed heavily. His reaction was reminiscent of Harry Finn and the engineer's smile grew as he finally realized the sort of pressure Harry was under when he reacted in the manner. The displeasure of a Vulcan father is bearing down on you. Selan drew to a halt beside a doorway and motioned that Javier should enter. Looking inside, Javier saw that T'shaini's father was waiting, looking more severe than ever. "Tell T'Shaini I faced the firing squad with eyes uncovered," Javier told Selan.

"She is likely facing her own with T'Peles, but I will be sure to inform her of your bravery in the face of certain danger." Selan responded in a tone that was impossible for the human to read, but his own sister would have been much comforted by it.

"Oh. In that case, tell her my last thoughts were of her and not the nearest window or escape route," Javier said before patting Selan on the upper arm. He walked into the room, doing his best not to appear nervous. I'm a Lieutenant Commander in Starfleet. I'm the Chief Engineer on one of the most sophisticated ships in the fleet. I'm a decorated..I'm still nervous. Javier thought as he looked at T'Shaini's father, trying to build up his confidence. "Selan said you wanted to speak with me," Javier squeaked. Damn it.

How unfortunate. The Vulcan thought as he looked over the human as if he were a lab specimen. Or rather, fortunate…she cannot be truly attached to him. "Yes, I thought it appropriate to inform you that this evening has a special significance, we are gladdened by T'Shaini's return, however, after her long absence I thought it necessary to…arrange certain matters." Sakkath circled around Javier, much as a targ would its prey. "Though she felt it necessary to experiment with Starfleet, now that she is home she must be integrated back into the family, the business and her own culture. So to that end I have made arrangements with the family of Selok to cement a union that will be beneficial to all parties."

"What?" This time his voice did not crack. "Experiment? What? You made arrangements..what?"

It was clear that his intellect was inferior, so much the better. "Now that she has returned home…" He slowed his speech a bit so the human could keep up. "she will be expected to do much, she is fully qualified to aid in the security business, regardless of her predilection for counseling, and unifying with the family of Selok is the logical next step…as I am certain you understand.

Javier was silent for a moment, processing what Sakkath had laid out in front of him. His next thought was automatic and came from deep within Javier's soul. "No. This is what you want, this is not what T'Shaini wants. I know T'Shaini and I know that she wants to be with me." He turned so that his eyes could follow Sakkath. "I am sorry that I've ruined your plans but my purpose is to make T'Shaini happy. The bond that we share goes beyond what is beneficial for your family or a business relationship, it is stronger because it is forged with love."

"Love?" At Javier's words there was born a frisson of doubt, deep within Sakkoth, that his plan was going to succeed, certainly T'Peles did not think so, but the certainty of this human was not to be born. "We shall see, we have invited Selok here this evening to acquaint her of the match and plan for the future." He stepped in closer, tall enough to look down on Javier. "I believe that T'Shaini understands her duty to her family," His voice, in opposition to his physical proximity, was lightly dismissive. "what you believe is your affair."

"I hope after this is over and you've realized how independent T'Shaini is and how much she has grown," Javier said to Sakkath, "you and T'Peles will give me your blessing to join with T'Shaini." He looked up at the taller Vulcan man. "I wouldn't miss this dinner for anything, it's not every day that a human witnesses a Vulcan learn a lesson about love."

JP with Papa Sakkath as written by Tee.


Originally Posted by Emily Star/05-25-2009 03:03:31 AM

Emily went over the conversation in her mind over and over again. She knew how her sister was going to sound, she knew the comments that would be used to cut and attack. It was a dance they did a few times a week. A few times a week across the span of her life. Minus the years she stayed out of contact.

It would start with her sister coming to ask if she was visiting earth. Then when she found out Emily wasn't coming she'd hit with some sad remark about their mothers lonely sitution. Then when that didn't work she'd get angry and insult her and her lack of caring. She'd be a horrible daughter, a dreadful person and so on and so forth. Then when that didn't work , she'd start begging. And so the cycle would continue.

It was a cycle and it was something she'd come to count on.

The door chimed. Emily smirked and gave herself a moment to mentally prepare,"Come in," she called. She'd seated herself in a chair across from the door just to make things easier.

Jennifer walked in, her blonde hair bouncing off her shoulders,"Hey sis." she said in quiet tone.

"I.."Emily began.

"Nope..don't say anything." Jennifer said quickly,"I'm not staying long. I've got a dinner date with mom later and I know I won't be able to convince you to come but I had to see."

Emily was taken a bit by surprise. She'd never seen this tactic used before. It was good, it was touching.

"There you go with that look on your face again," she sighed,"A long time ago I used to enjoy making you do that. Stumping you with a random comment. Watching you try to figure out what I was playing or what I was planning. But Emily we're adults now. We're way past such games. Dad's gone, mom's alone…."

"and.." Emily replied.

"And you should care!" Jennifer turned to walk out the door,"Its simple as that, you should care. She's your mother. Whatever happened in the past she still loves you, why can't you do the same and show her a little respect."

"That sounds funny coming from you." Emily stood up and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Yea, turn that around sis. Take a look at yourself for once. You're choosing to sit alone on a ship instead of coming to your family. Which is worse? I may have an attitude and I may pick the fights with you but I'm there for my family when needed.I'd even be there for you if you asked." Jennifer walked through the open doors, leaving before Emily could even mumble a response.

The room turned suddenly a little bit darker. Emily sat back down and sighed. Picking up a PADD she looked at the shifts she'd picked up, extra hours to help others on their own holidays. She'd never seriously thought of taking one herself.

Maybe she should…

Emily wasn't sure if Jennifer had been playing something, or if she'd just been seriously shut down by her sister. Either way, it had worked. Emily felt guilty, evil and completely inhuman. Well she was completely inhuman but that wasn't the point.

It was also too late to do anything about it. She had a shift and it was time to get to work.

featuring her lovely evil sister (or just cuter sister) Jennifer Star.


Originally Posted by T'Shaini/05-25-2009 01:28:51 PM

::Vulcan::

"You what?" T'Shaini had to work to keep her tone even remotely even. "What, by all that is holy, would possess you and father to think that I had…well, for one, changed my mind about Starfleet and two, would consent to marry by your arrangement?" She carefully put down the stack of dishes she had carried into the dining room, she did not want to succumb to the very unvulcanlike desire to start flinging them around the room…she could wait until she could throw them at her father's head for that. Six plates… Pulling at the traditional Vulcan robes she had donned for the evening, T'Shaini rounded the table to face her mother. "Who else is coming?"

T'Peles was aware of the distant amazement that this volatile creature was a product of her upbringing that seemed to arise whenever in T'Shaini's presence. Not that she did not care for her child, it was that she was so…herself. "Your father thought it fit to introduce you to Selok as soon as was convenient."

With the calmest, frostiest tone she could manage, T'Shaini responded. "Convenient for whom?"

"Convenient for me!" Javier had followed Sakkath into the room, but instead of skulking in the corner the engineer chose to take a more prominent role in the dinner party. "So that once plans are finalized, I'll finally 'see the light' and head back to Earth," he explained in a light-hearted manner.

T'Shaini's mouth opened in surprise. Divide and conquer. She quickly ascertained that her father had spoken of his 'plans' to Javier, and thank goodness, he seemed more amused than anything else…well, certainly more amused than she was. Passing Sakkoth, T'Shaini walked over to Javier and kissed him very slowly and deliberately before turning back to her parents. "Regardless of the convenience to Javier, which is of course of great importance to me, I must decline your…offer. I will be returning to Starfleet, I will have Javier and Lia in my life, and I as much as I wish to be dutiful to my familial obligations, when they so greatly differ from that which most important to me, I cannot."

Javier wondered if T'Shaini had an inkling of an idea about how much she turned him on when she took charge. Broadcasting her wishes to her parents was almost as much of an aphrodisiac as her open mouthed kiss had been. "I love you," he whispered so that only she could hear him before turning to Sakkath. "I tried to explain it to you, but now she has told you her wishes, are you still going to continue down this path?"

"This is none of your affair." Sakkath waved his hand disdainfully in the humans direction, then narrowed his eyes at his child. "T'Shaini, we have allowed many variances, knowing that you would need to purge this from your system before you would be willing to settle down. We have been most indulgent, but I see this indulgence was ill conceived, for it has born little fruit." Sakkath took a moment, then adjusted his tactic. "We are simply concerned for your well being, however noble and well meaning their species, they are weak and inferior in comparison…do you wish to be matched with someone you are destined to outlive?"

T'Shaini's eyes widened in shock at the complete disregard of Javier's presence. Had she really been brought up by someone so narrow minded and bigoted? She could feel her cheeks darken, but not with embarrassment. "No, no I do not wish to be matched with 'someone I am destined to outlive' I do not wish to be matched with someone you have chosen who's life span is more suitably matched with mine…" She could hear her voice begin to rise but could not stop it, it was one thing to have them manage her…it was something else indeed to hear her father speak of Javier in that fashion. "I wish and will be matched with Javier, he is my choice and no other." As she was starting to shout she became aware of two more figures standing in the doorway, a noticeably amused Selan and a rather stunned looking Vulcan who could be no one else but Selok. "I apologize if my parents have misled you, but I am not staying on Vulcan and I have no intention of marrying you." There was no reason to be shouting, and somewhere inside she knew that, but it seemed as if she had lost her cool. There was a moment or two of stunned silence where she could feel the last of her words vibrating in the room, winning the struggle for control the Counselor continued. "Mother…Father…I am sorry that I cannot be the daughter you wished, and I hope that in the future we will be able to meet as equals, but for now I think it best if Javier, Lia and I go." Her hand reached out for Javier's and grasped it tightly…as soon as her frustration faded she felt a wave of dizziness sweep over her. "Selan, I will contact you once we have returned home." T'Shaini began to lean heavily on Javier. "Please, can we go?"

"Yes, we can," the engineer said in a tone that dared anyone to question him. He put his arm around T'Shaini's waist to steady her. Lia, woken by the arguing wandered in hugging her bear. "Kiss T'Peles goodbye Lia, we are going home now," Javier instructed, knowing that the child had made an impact on the Vulcan woman even if he had not. Lia puttered over, half-awake, and kissed T'Peles on the cheek as the woman bent down to receive her goodbye. After kissing T'Peles, Lia rambled over to Sakkath and looked up at him, T'Shaini's father did not move so Lia grabbed a handful of the bottom of his robe and yanked on it, as if instructing him to come down to her level. There was a moment when Javier thought the man was going to dismiss Lia but he stooped down awkwardly and allowed Lia to peck him on the cheek. "Bye," she said sleepily then ambled over to her daddy who lifted her up so she could sit on his arm while hugging his neck.

T'Shaini watched in amazement, not that she did not know that her mother had been partial to Lia, but her father…perhaps there is yet reason to hope.

"I love T'Shaini and I'll always take care of her," Javier told her parents, "I want to make her happy for as long as I can." The was no reply to his promise and Javier turned to leave, supporting T'Shaini while holding Lia. He stopped by Selan. "Thank you, it was an honor to meet you," Javier said to T'Shaini's brother. "Lia, say goodbye." The little girl stretched forward and kissed Selan's cheek as the Vulcan's eyebrow shot upward.

"Live long and prosper," Selan told them.

"Peace and long life," Javier replied before bearing his two best girls away to the shuttleport. "Time to go home," he told them, "to my home," then whispering to Lia, "Granpa and Granma's home." Lia laughed and wiggled in delight. Granma always had plenty of juice and animal crackers, and sometimes, candy!

Vulcan family cluster**** with T'Shaini and Javier


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/05-26-2009 12:50:56 PM

-Earth-
-Madelena, Porto-

The evening air was tinged with the smell of the sea as a steady ocean breeze whispered among the palms and ferns that decorated the balcony of the villa. Looking down the bluff on which the house sat, Javier followed the rising of the waves as they assaulted the beach in a rhythmic attack before being repulsed by the sand and the rocks. The sun had already set, a fiery blaze in the eastern sky leaving slashes of pink on the small, thin clouds that were hovering over the Azores on the distant horizon. The engineer leaned forward, resting his forearms on the ornate stone of the balcony wall, as he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, listening to the familiar sounds and drinking in the sea air. Even with the clamor of the Costala family in the background, Javier found that this place was still one of the most relaxing places in the entire universe.

Footsteps on the stone-paved terrace alerted him to the presence of another entering his cathedral of bliss. Javier opened his eyes but remained where he was, waiting, until T'Shaini drew alongside of him. Straightening up, he slipped his arms around the Vulcan woman and pulled her into a loose embrace.

"So what do you think of the Costala family home?" he asked her.

"Warm, generous, loud and welcoming…in other words, the complete opposite of mine." T'Shaini sighed then leaned into him.

"It is different from Vulcan," Javier agreed, "but families are not supposed to be similar are they? That would take all the fun out of visiting them." He hugged T'Shaini a little tighter, not too much for fear of causing her discomfort as she was still healing but enough to let her know he wanted to comfort her. "There was a time when my mother and father also disapproved of my choices and this house was not as welcoming as it is now. But ultimately they realized they were my decisions for my life. And now they would probably agree that the outcome far outweighs the trials I went through."

He pulled T'Shaini around to face him and leaned in to kiss her, his lips lightly brushing against hers. "My choices gave me Lia and led me to you," Javier told her, pulling back so that their lips were mere inches apart when he whispered to T'Shaini.

"I would never question the results of my choices…or yours…" T'Shaini found she had a little trouble concentrating on the conversation at hand. "but the reaction of my family to them." She leaned in to drop a light kiss on his cheek, then his mouth. "I thank you for being so understanding, perhaps someday they will come around, and I will be certain to mention you and Lia at every transmission."

"Perhaps just mention Lia.." The suggestion was broken off by his need to feel her soft lips against his once more as Javier's mouth met T'Shaini's. This kiss lasted longer until the shouts and laughter from the family grew louder and Javier thought he and T'Shaini had been discovered. Looking in the direction of the living room, he was glad to see it was only the adults laughing at something one of Lia's cousins had done. "I'm not sure they would want to hear about me, but Lia seems to be our ambassador of goodwill," he pointed out as his attention returned to T'Shaini.

"Who could resist her?" It felt so good, the closeness, the warm ocean breeze, the laughter floating from inside, T'Shaini fully relaxed for the first time since she could remember. "But not again, I have tread the route of avoidance before and look where it got us…" Her thoughts broke off as once again she was distracted by Javier.

Kissing along T'Shaini's neck, Javier stopped when he reached her left ear. "I have a surprise for you," he told her softly, "well, two surprises actually."

"Surprises?" T'Shaini blinked. With no idea where he was going with this, she could only smile.

"Yes," Javier said, then briefly sucked on the tip of her Vulcan ear. He couldn't help himself, always having had a fascination with her ears and their shape. "I asked the folks to watch Lia so we could..have some time to ourselves." His arms fell away from her but his hand found hers and Javier led T'Shaini to one end of the large balcony, where steps, cut into the bluff, descended down a path that led towards the sea.

"Ah, that sounds lovely…thank you." A moonlit walk on the beach, it was so beautiful here and since all of their time had been filled with becoming more acquainted with his family there had been little time for quiet reflection.

The path was lit by small lamps placed at intervals along the course of the steps but it was difficult to see their destination because of the palms and ferns that grew along the bluff. After a few minutes of walking downward they entered the small forest of palms and tucked away inside, so that it wasn't visible unless one were standing in front of it, was a small bungalow. The building was constructed of hand hewn planks of teak and the dark wood blended with the shadows to hide the small structure.

Javier smiled at T'Shaini and led her inside the bugalow. The first, and largest room, had been converted into a bedroom. It had long windows running the length of the western wall that could be propped open to give a magnificent view of the beach below. There were two side rooms, a small changing room and a room which held a large tub which had water flowing into it. Javier took one of the bottles that sat on the side of the tub and presented it to T'Shaini. "I think this is our brand," he said.

T'Shaini took the bottle from him, then laughed out loud. Random curiosity had her buying a bubble bath on leave oh so long ago, that had, in turn, been found and used by Javier when they had barely met, which upon discovery had been a source of much discomfort for the Vulcan. "I believe it is..wherever did you find it?"

"Apparently it is quite a popular brand in North America," Javier explained as he took the bottle and added a liberal dose to the tub. The flowing water churned up a generous amount of sudsy bubbles as he tossed the bottle aside and turned to T'Shaini. He shed his clothing and then began to unbutton the small buttons along the front of the summer dress that T'Shaini wore. His lips kissing the skin that was revealed as the fabric parted. "Surprise," he said in between kisses.

"Ahh…yes, surprise." T'Shaini struggled to speak coherently. "What was the second surprise?"

Javier grinned up at her rakishly.


Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/06-03-09 12:51:43 PM

"There's still something we have to do."

Aengus looked up at Pierce. One minute the security officer had been about to get up and go exercise his mending legs, now he waited, unsure of how BHP would proceed. He'd known this conversation had been coming ever since their fight in Normandy. 'Their fight'. Funny, I never did get to throw a punch in that one. Aengus thought. He'd been transported to the Chimera's sickbay with two broken legs and a broken nose. The nose had been Pierce's doing but Aengus had told the doctor it was because of the fall he'd taken when the stairs they'd been running down had collapsed. He nodded in agreement with the Iotian.

"I'll try to put up as good a fight as I can but with my legs.." McMennan started to say before Pierce cut him off.

"Fight? What's your beef with me, Aengus?" Ben asked as his piercing blue eyes centered on the security officer. "I don't want to fight."

"Oh. I thought you would still be mad about..well about Jenny and how I was such a bastard to her," Aengus said, easing himself to the front of his chair trying to take the pressure off his legs and move forward so he could stand.

"Nah, we're even on that score," Ben told Aengus. "You know you were being a chump and I gave your beezer a tweak..so we're even. I think you should apologize to Jenny.."

"What? She broke my nose too," Aengus said indignantly.

"Jenny broke your beeze?" The thought made BHP smile despite his buddy's obvious discomfort over the incident. The smile faded quickly as Ben was overcome with the urge to find Jenny and wrap her up in his arms. Hold his girl close and enjoy the feeling of her close to him. It was something Ben had grown accustomed to, having Jenny close at hand, and now that feeling was being denied for some unexplained reason. It was tougher on him, not knowing what she was doing, or when she would return. C'mon, you're acting like some lovesick sap, pull it together. the Iotian admonished himself in his own thoughts.

"So what do we have to do?" Aengus asked.

"We have to say goodbye to Kosinsky and the boys," BHP explained, "and we got to do it in the right way." The Iotian paced across the room. "I've been thinking about them..I have to put them to rest and there's a way we used to do it at home..I think Kosinsky would like it. He seemed like a hard-boiled character."

Aengus shifted in his seat. He hadn't enjoyed anything about the mission in 1944. In fact, he was glad it was over and they were back in their own time period. But in the course of the action and though they disagreed on almost everything, for some unexplained reason, Aengus and Ben had become friends. Chief Jameson said it was because their friendship had been forged in the flames of war. McMennan didn't know about that but he did know that Pierce had saved his life, at least twice, and that he could no longer blame the Iotian or Jenny Anderson for what had befallen his other friend, Nathan Benjamin.

"Okay, where?"

"Europe..wear your uniform..the other one," Ben told him.

"It will take some time, especially with my legs and those buttons," McMennan explained.

"I'll wait for you in the transporter room. I have to go change and get some good quality scotch," BHP replied. He turned to leave but looked back to add: "Thanks Aengus, I think this will help."

::Normandy American Cemetery::
::Saint Laurent-sur-Mer::

The sky was patchy with grey and white clouds and glimpses of blue sky between them. A wind blew in from the Channel making the day seem cooler than it actually was, but dressed in their uniforms neither Ben nor Aengus felt the breeze. Their eyes were on the multitude of small white crosses that dotted the green slope of French soil.

"There are so many of them," Aengus said, easing forward on the canes that helped him walk.

"He's here, the archives said he was here," Ben replied as he consulted the small map in his hand. "One row over, number sixteen plot." The Iotian started off but slowed his pace to allow for the time it took Aengus to walk with him. Ben'ss anticipation grew as they neared the resting place of Kosinsky, Charles A. PFC. 101st Airborne Div., US Army. Finally, they were there, staring down at the small white marker that represented the man that he and Aengus had briefly had the honor of knowing.

Ben handed the book he had been carrying to Aengus. McMennan had insisted on bringing the book along but Pierce was forced to carry it. Using his teeth, BHP uncorked the bottle of single malt scotch and poured liberal amounts into the two shot glasses he'd brought, then corked the bottle and placed it beside Kosinsky's marker. He handed one of the glasses to Aengus then held his own out in toast as Aengus copied his movement.

"To Kosinsky, the One-Oh-Six, and all the other guys who didn't make it back," Ben toasted.

"Curahee!" Aengus stated.

"Curahee!" Ben answered, then both men drained their glasses. Pierce looked across the sea of white on green, wondering how many other men that they knew or had fought with lay sleeping in the soil of Normandy.

"He that outlives this day and comes safe home will stand a-tiptoe when this day is named," Aengus began to read, "And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall see this day and live old age will yearly on the vigil, feast his neighbors and say: 'Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, and say, 'These wounds I had on Crispin's Day.'

Tears began to roll down Ben's cheeks as he found meaning in the words, meaning upon meaning, that he and Aengus had shared with the brave dead.

"Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot. But he'll remember with advantages what feats he did that day. Then shall our names.." Aengus swallowed, as his emotions over an event he had so easily dismissed, now took root in his heart, "then shall our names, familiar in his mouth as household names, be in their flowing cups freshly remembered."

"We will never forget," Ben promised in a solemn whisper.


Pastorale

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