Inception

Featuring the following NPCs:
claudia-black-1.jpg - Atropos
jason-isaacs-1.jpg
Lachesis.png
Scott01.jpg
FerrisJones-1.jpg - Ferris Jones
picture.php?albumid=46&pictureid=272 - Lisa Jensen
jenstar.jpg
Fenton-1.jpg - Fenton Boyce
images-1-2.jpg - Aengus McMennan

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/02-9-2009 01:08:28 PM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Main Engineering ::

Another chime at the office door alerted the new Chief of Engineering to the possibility that he might be losing another engineer. Fifteen minutes after he had spoken with Lieutenant Foxe, Javier had received a visit from two of the Chimera's engineering crew, both intent on transferring off the ship. He'd tried to talk to them about difficult transitions but neither officer had seemed to want to listen to him. In parting one officer had mentioned how he'd be damned if he'd serve under someone as inept as the 'new' Chief. It became apparent that a displeased Foxe had begun to run his mouth, using old crew loyalties to persuade a small mutiny. Javier had no doubt that if the man was made head of the department, the engineers would immediately withdraw their request for transfer. To cap off the increasingly frustrating move, two of his own crew had barely spent half a day on the new ship before requesting transfer off of the Chimera. Whether it was because of the divide between the crews or because of attachment to the Hawking, Javer could not discern but losing Oakley and Valkar had been a blow.

"Enter." He rose to his feet, hoping it was Foxe returning to restate his claim to the Chief Engineer's position. I'm going to deck him. Javier resolved as his fist clenched when the doors slid open.

Nils entered the Chief's office and immediately backed up a little when he beheld Javier's appearance. A charging bull couldn't have looked more frustrated. All in all, the engineer's expression looked like Nils felt. And based on his quick observation, he thought perhaps his old roommate intended to punch him in the face. "…the hell is wrong with you," the Captain asked with a confused look on his face.

"Sorry, I thought you were someone else," Javier apologized stoically before letting out a frustrated sigh. "The transition must be getting to me." He wouldn't mention Foxe to Nils, the CO had enough on his mind and didn't need to worry about a squabble in Engineering. "Want some tea..or something?" the preoccupied engineer asked as he waved toward the replicator.

"I'm not thirsty," Nils answered, his own tone as dark as Javier's. He brushed passed Chimera's new Chief of Engineering and dropped wearily into the chair opposite the desk. He tossed a PADD on the desktop and it skittered across, almost falling off the other end. "So I step off the transporter pad and T'Landra hands me that," he said pointing at the PADD. "It's a formal protest and a stack of transfer requests… All from your department." The beleaguered Bajoran sighed and rubbed his temples. "Considering my day so far, I'm assuming this transition is not going to be very smooth." He left a gap in the conversation for Javier to respond.

Javier picked up the PADD and looked at the names. He didn't even have to read the name of the person who had filed the grievance, Javier knew it was Foxe. The Chief Engineer perused the list of transfers. "Yes, this appears to be a complete list.." Javier started to say when he noticed Cadet Kalani's name. The former Hawking crewmember hadn't even spoken to him about transferring. But the list contained her name and the engineer had no doubt packed up and left. "It's Foxe, Lieutenant Foxe," Javier explained without going into too much detail, "he and I have a history. I guess he figures he should be Chief Engineer..and so do some others. The Hawking crew, well I have no idea unless they are being made to feel like they don't belong here. Or they just feel like the Hawking is their home." He set the PADD down on the desk and spun it with the edge of his thumb.

"I'll let you handle the issues with Foxe, because it sounds…personal. If it becomes a problem then come to…Finn." Nils forced a grin, trying to make light of a not-so-light situation. "Isn't it the XO's job to play referee? Anyway, that's not why I'm here. It's just a bonus to the greatness that is losing our COB." The young CO steepled his fingers on his chin and continued, his mood obviously dour. "Traditionally, a new Chief of the Boat is chosen from Engineering enlisted and I thought you might have a recommendation for Jackson's replacement." He leaned forward, as if someone might here him. "It might make good inroads with the Chimera old-timers if we chose one of them, but I'm not willing to take that chance right now. I want someone we can trust implicitly."

Mustapha, he deserves it more than anyone. the Chief Engineer thought. Javier stalled on giving Nils an answer. He didn't want to lose Mustapha, fearing the well-oiled machine of Engineering would break down if he gave up the Senior Chief. Not like it's running smoothly now though, he figured, And it's a job that would lead to a promotion, which would be better for Katie and Eli too. When he compared the benefits of the new position and what it would mean for the Ibrahim's, Javier knew he couldn't not recommend Mustapha.

"Have I ever told you how lousy your timing is?" Javier said with a smile as some of his good humor returned. "First you run that little shuttle over to the Hawking and I get you as a roommate instead of the woman of my dreams. And let's not forget entering the holodeck to try and save us only to run headfirst into a program and then try to kill us. And now you're taking Mustapha away when I need him the most. Lousy. Lousy timing." The Chief Engineer shook his head in mock disbelief. "Its got to be Mustapha though, he's the most deserving, qualified person I can think of."

Nils smiled, unable to deflect all of Javi's good humor. "I'll try to be more considerate in the future. And good choice. Truth is, he can probably do a lot of good integrating the two crews as Chief of the Boat. And I said I'm sorry about that holodeck thing. At least I only tried to kill you instead of busting in on you two while you were stark naked, singing show tunes, and hanging from the rigging." The Bajoran laughed despite himself and the cloud that still followed him. He let out a groan and let his head fall back on the seat behind him. "Is this what Starfleet is really about? I mean, is this really it?"

"Well I always enjoyed the paperwork, transfers and numerous idiots that plagued the system," Javier remarked, trying to be positive, and failing, "ah who am I kidding all that stuff sucks. But, I bet the Chimera logs paperwork faster than the Hawking so there is a silver lining. If it gets to you though, I could always send you holotapes of what went on before you crashed the holodeck. I don't know if we sang showtunes but there was some nakedness and rigging-hanging." The engineer chuckled at the look of severe discomfort that passed over Nils' features.

"This is why I generally choose to keep things to myself," the CO said holding up both hands to halt Javier's penchant for detail before it got out of hand. "Alright," he added pushing himself from the chair and swiping the PADD from the desk. "More to do… I haven't even had a chance to unpack my very few belongings." He turned towards the door and started to head out but paused and looked back. In a very serious tone he muttered, "I feel… It's been…" Pausing to construct a sentence that genuinely made him uncomfortable, the Bajoran took a breath. "It's a comfort that our assignments are congruous." Not as warm as he'd hoped, but it said what he wanted to express.

Javier grinned at the stuffy Bajoran knowing that it took a great deal courage for Nils to say what he had. "I never properly thanked you for entering the holodeck to help T'Shaini and I. And I'm really glad you decided to run your little shuttle over to the Hawking." His face turned somewhat serious as he approached Nils. "If you ever want to talk about anything I'm here to listen..shuttle confidentiality is still in effect." Javier stopped close beside Nils so he could tentatively hug the man's shoulders with one arm. "Thanks for being there when we needed you," he told Nils, "I mean you're always there, but this time you were really there."

Nils swallowed hard, thinking of Jackson's tirade before he'd left Hawking. "My timing may be less than desired, but yours is generally right on." He reached out to put a hand on Javi's shoulder but didn't quite make it before faltering. But a very real and authentic smile spread across his face and he nodded, as the two men shared a moment of understanding. "I'm leaving before this becomes uncomfortable," he said warmly. Then he glanced over his shoulder, through the door that had opened as he approached it and added, "And before the crew of the Chimera get the wrong idea." He lingered only a moment more and gave his Chief of Engineering, ex-roommate, and friend one final nod of approval and thanks, then he departed quickly feeling exceptionally better about the tasks ahead.

This borderline bromance brought to you by Nilvier.


Originally Posted by Ender Seldon/02-9-2009 06:06:46 PM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Primary Sickbay ::

"I can't, I just can't, Usha," Ender whined as he navigated through the stacks of gray Starfleet transport boxes, most of which were filled with brand new equipment.

Usha raised an eyebrow, "Doctor Seldon, you said you would help me unpack all this equipment if I backed you up on your 'our-crew-is-going-to-die-if-we-don't-get-new-supplies' plea to Starfleet."

"Yes, I know I did and now I'm saying I won't."

"Come on Ender, I need your help. I'm the only other person on shift right now besides you and Hodges, and he's busy cataloging mucilaginous compounds," she let her arms drop to her sides, "can you please just help me?"

"Yes, I can Usha! Chris, get the number for Starfleet medical so Usha can take a course on learning how sickbay works, specifically the chain of command."

Chris snickered. Usha rolled her head up to the ceiling and silently whispered a prayer, god give me strength.

Ender grinned, "I'm just giving you a hard time, Usha. Of course I'll help," he offered from behind a tower of boxes. He gently placed one of the crates on the floor and began removing its contents, "Can anyone tell me what this is?" He asked while holding up a heavy metalic looking object.

Usha looked up and chuckled, "That would be a neural scanner."

"Well, I'll be damned." Ender pulled it back down for closer inspectiong, "Huh." He tilted his head to the side, "So this is what they look like nowadays…hello, sophisticated lad-ay."

"Oh give it up, Hawking wasn't THAT bad." Chris defended.

"Not bad? NOT BAD? I once served on a Romulan freighter loaded with radioactive waste, even that hunk of junk had better equipment than Hawking," Ender argued.

Chris pushed herself back from her workstation and leaned back in the chair, "OK, first of all, what were you doing on a Romulan freighter? And second, of course it would, it was carrying radioactive waste. Makes sense."

Ender waved it off, "That's hardly the point…I'm just saying, every sickbay should be state-of-the-art."

Usha released a deep sigh at the sight of all the boxes in sickbay. She looked over at the clock to check how many minutes remained in her shift, "Well, part of me wishes you had just agreed to take sickbay as it was."

"Yes, and part of me wishes the Captain hadn't traded in our comfy Intrepid-class starship for the USS we-sunk-your-battleship." Ender placed the neural scanner on a nearby table, "I'm almost fightened to learn what our next mission will be."

"She was built for deep-space tactical assignments," Chris noted, "…my guess is…"

Ender put his hand out as if to stop him from getting any closer, "JUUUST don't. Just let me enjoy my new toys before finding out how long I'm going to have to play with them."

Chris grinned, "Well, I for one, can't wait to hear about our next assignment. I've actually been meaning to talk to you about it."

"You know something I don't?"

"No," Chris shook his head, "But given the history of missions the prometheus class ships have been assigned I figure I could be of more use to security."

Ender stopped what he was doing and looked up at Chris, "Hodges, you're a doctor. I know you've got the fancy title, but your job is in sickbay. Security comes to you when they need you to breakdown a biological weapon or, god forbid, build one."

"Right, I know. But I still think I can be more help. If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to Lt.Tenanji about working with them more, even if it is just as a consultant."

Ender considered the proposal and nodded, "Sure, but your first priority is sickbay."

Chris smiled, "Of course." The young officer rolled back to his workstation, "Oh, and Ender…"

"What?"

"That neural scanner is, at least, two generations old." He added with a wink.


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/02-10-2009 12:11:43 AM

-Aft Torpedo Room-
-USS Chimera-

Ben could see his reflection in the glossy black casing of the torpedo. He searched his darkened reflection for a hint of perspiration, wondering if he looked as nervous as he felt. It wasn't every day that BHP cracked open a photon torpedo, removed its charge and configured it to a Class Four probe. Pierce, Astyr and an odd looking fellow named Dramm Pal had been assigned the task by Chief Jameson. Astyr had gone to liberate a toolkit and tricorder from a tool case while Pierce and Pal chose a torpedo to neuter. Once they found a torpedo with a photon yield warhead the two security officers worked to get it down on the loading platform where they could remove its casing and start their task.

"Coming down," Crewman Pal called out as he worked the pressurized lift. The torpedo jerked in its cradle as the Xepolite manipulated the controls with the finesse of a lumberjack. The warhead nearly bashed Pierce in the face as it rocked back and forth.

"Easy!" Pierce yelled as he steadied the torpedo with his hands, letting the magnetic clamps of the lift take the weight, while Ben kept the warhead from twisting in the cradle. "I don't want Chief Jameson to have to scrape me off the bulkhead on my first shift. Pal, if you can't work the lift any gentler than that I'll take over."

"Be my guest," the disagreeable security officer said before tossing the lift control to Pierce. The lift dropped suddenly and shunted the warhead towards Ben. The Xepolite hadn't locked the controls into place. Ben jerked away from the dead weight and quickly caught the control box, just managing to stop the descent of the torpedo as it swung crazily in the cradle, inches from slamming into the deck. He looked from the torpedo to Pal then slowly raised the torpedo up and guided it to the loading platform. Once the warhead was resting safely on the platform and Ben had locked out the controls on the lift he turned to Pal.

"You could have killed me with that dumb Dora move," Ben told Crewman Pal angrily. "You could have killed yourself and Astyr and who knows how many if that thing had gone active." Maybe caused decompression or even the destruction of the engineering hull.

"Sorry Petty Officer, I forgot to lock the controls," Pal stated. He managed to offer the apology with an air of complete sincerity, even though he didn't care if the warhead had smashed the Iotian wonderboy into Pierce jam. "It was an accident."

"I'm about to put my foot up your.."

"Is there a problem here?" Astyr said as she returned with the necessary tools and tricorder in hand. She glanced from the torpedo to Pierce then Pal. "Did I miss something?"

Ben was steamed but he wasn't going to start his shift by ratting out another officer. Even if he is an accident waiting to happen. "Not really, I was just telling Crewman Pal that he needs to practice a lighter touch when he's using the lift."

"And I was telling the Petty Officer that I will try to do better next time," Pal said, his own redemption in the eyes of BHP foremost in his mind.

"Ah good," Astyr replied, verbally approving of the like-fest, "lets get to work shall we?" The Cardassian cadet began to remove the black casing. "Oh, Pierce before I forget, Petty Officer Djinn would like you to meet him in the training room two once we are finished here."

"Did he say why?" Ben asked, trying to remember Djinn from Gamma shift's staff meeting. He could have been the quiet guy in the corner. Pierce hadn't said much to the Chimera staff. He didn't know many of the Hawking people and the ones he was familiar with were not overly glad to see him. Except for Jenny of course. he thought with a smile. The meeting had taken a turn for the worst when BHP had asked Jameson how he was supposed to watch Jenny's back when he never got to see her at work. Jameson's answer had come at the end of the meeting when the Senior Chief had kept Ben an extra ten minutes so they could have a private chat.

"No, Petty Officer Djinn did not offer an explanation. Now please stop talking I have to concentrate," Astyr politely requested as she began to remove the photon core.

-Training Room 2-

Ben strolled into the training area with his hands in his uniform pants pockets. There was a slight swagger in his step due to the fact that the security officer was feeling pleased with himself. He'd assisted Astyr and the ship now had six new Class Four probes. Just your average security officer who happens to be an expert torpedo technician, Pierce thought as he tipped his imaginary hat at an imaginary doorman. He paused when he saw Jenny, a hot and sweaty Jenny, which made his throat dry. She was leaving the training ring with the guy who looked like a cat. Caitian? Is that it? Ben quickened his pace so he reached her towel first then held it up to Jenny as she drew closer.

"You look like you could use this," Ben said as he grinned at Jenny. "You look hot. I mean you are hot. I mean you look hot and need this towel."

Jenny's eyes felt like they were growing wider the more he spoke but was saved from saying anything by B'Naath.

"A moment, Petty Officer," he interrupted Pierce, then waited for Anderson to return her attention to him. The scent of the two young ones indicated that he'd better speak quickly, before his student was hopelessly distracted. "Again, I must remind you to cease attempting to muscle through on your defense. You haven't the strength but you do have balance, flexibility and the skill to overcome the largest attacker. This is a growing issue in your training. Jenny," he laid his furred hand on her shoulder, "you were less awkward during our first session."

"I'm sorry, B'Naath," she offered, "I'll… meditate on it."

"Do.. and get some rest. Petty Officer," B'Naath nodded to Ben and departed, leaving the two to their heightened chemistry.

"Hi," she said, finally turning to Ben in a mix of pleasure and distress.

BHP realized he was still holding the towel. He'd been staring at Jenny the whole time she was speaking to her instructor. Get a grip, he told himself, You've seen her sweaty before..actually no, I haven't. He realized he was still staring at Jenny and she had spoken to him and he had yet to say anything. "Hi!" Ben said eagerly. Nice one Spaz. "You look like you could use this!" BHP tossed her the towel. It hit Jenny full in the face.

"Hey!… bleah…pleh," Jen spat as the cotton hit, then pulled the towel down to see a truly mortified specimen of BHP. "You might want to work on your aim," she teased, coming closer because she'd never seen him so flustered and had the oddest suspicion that she had something to do with it. "What brings you to pain central?" Jenny asked, as she carefully stepped forward, aware as never before of his eyes on her.

"Uh..I have a..to meet someone here," Ben confessed as his eyes lingered on the sweat streaked hair that framed Jenny's face. "Petty Officer..petty officer..uhm," he tried to remember who he was supposed to be meeting but the name slipped away as Jenny drew closer to him. He could only stare as a bead of sweat travelled down her neck. He wanted to stop it. Pierce could see himself kissing Jenny's neck where the bead was. "We should go take a shower..I mean you should go take a shower," Ben said even as he felt his face get hot.

Ohhhh, boy… "Yes… and… I will… in my quarters with T'Shaini," SHIT! Fluster, apparently, was contagious. "That is… T'Shaini.. I… she's meeting me in, like minutes… umm," she couldn't stop looking at him, looking at her with so much… hunger?

"Yeah, T'Shaini..she's nice," Ben said. But not hot and sweaty..like Jenny. he thought for a moment before his hand reached out to brush a few strands of her dark auburn hair back from her face. Then before Ben knew what he was doing, his lips were pressed against Jenny's in a fiercly passionate kiss. The heated kiss lasted only as long as it took for the doors of the training room to slide open and admit Petty Officer Djinn.

"Thank you for..showing me some self defense moves, Crewman" Ben told Jenny as he tried to make the closeness which they shared as innocent looking as possible.

"What? I mean, my pleasure.. I mean… ah, time to go, now and… meditate, yes. That's, what I'm going to do… right now. Petty Officer," she greeted the tall, silent officer, as she turned to exit. It might have looked a bit smoother if she hadn't tripped on the way to the door but by then Jenny had some momentum going and just breezed over the flub and out into the corridor where the ambient chill did nowhere near enough to cool her overwarm cheeks. "Oh my goodness," she said, burying her face in the towel and waiting for her heart to return to normal. As she finally made her way towards her quarters she was thinking that T'Shaini was going to have to be a miracle worker to get Jenny to sleep, tonight.

"Hi," Ben said to Petty Officer Djinn, "what are we here for?"

The security officer smiled slightly before going over to the uniform replicator and saying,"Full contact pads, one set." Djinn took the pads as they materialized and tossed them to Pierce. "Put those on, you'll need them."

"Yeah," Ben said as he caught the torso pad then proceeded to drop the others as Djinn pitched them to him. "So you're going to spar with me?"

"No, I'm going to teach you how to defend yourself and protect someone close to you," Djinn replied with a wry grin. "You seem to have found that person you need to protect. Now you need to learn how to. Chief Jameson seems to think you can benefit from the styles that I can teach."

Ben noticed that the man was soft-spoken and very sure of himself. In the Iotian's experience the quiet ones were usually the most dangerous. He put the pads on, covering all vital areas of his body with the hardened foam that adhered to his form, protecting it but also allowing him freedom of movement. "What styles do you teach?"

"Many different ones and a fusion of some of the more ancient self defense schools. Let's start with the philosophy first; the philosophy of what I teach is simple." Djinn waved Pierce into the training ring. The instructor waited until BHP was in the center of the ring before speaking. "First of all, you must assume that your attacker will give you no quarter. They are not going to capture you, they do not want you or your principle, the person you are protecting, as a prisoner. They want to kill you and kill your principle and they will use lethal force to do so. You must react with force that is equal to or above the force that your enemy employs."

Pierce found his thoughts going back to Jenny and how her eyes had looked at him the moment before their lips met. There was an innocence in her eyes that drew him to her. I'll protect that innocence and use whatever is necessary to keep her from harm.

"I read in your file where you were in the marines briefly, but that you did complete the Marine Corps Self Defense Training so you have a basic knowledge of the techniques that I can teach." Djinn took a deep breath then assumed a centered defensive stance. "However I need to observe your technique and style. I will let you open with an attack."

"Okay," Ben said as his hands came up and his right foot pivoted forward.

"No quarter," Djinn reminded BHP, then attacked.

Post with appearances by Jenny, Astyr, Dramm, B'Naath and Instructor Djinn


Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-10-2009 08:12:15 AM

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

In a desperate attempt to escape from the paperwork which had fallen in a heap upon him the moment he’d beamed aboard, Harry had tossed the latest series of issues… from Engineering’s diaspora to the request of the Medical guy… Hodges, to move more into Security… What was it about the Chimera… suddenly everyone’s either running for cover or being overcome by testosterone… at Raynes and taken himself on a tour of the old stomping grounds.

He’d avoided deck six… a coward’s act… but not knowing yet how Kerrin viewed his recent forays towards forgiveness, had chosen to leave her to unpacking in peace and thereby enjoying the half-assed reassurance that no news was good news. Look at the bright side, at least you have cold running water in your shower.

Now, at the last, Harry entered quite possibly the only the quiet section of the Chimera and stood, letting the memories wash over him like a tide. From the silence of the empty bridge, echoes of battles long past rippled across his soul and one hand reached up towards the scar which curved over his left collarbone…

“You wouldn’t have that scar, if you’d listened to me,” a mellifluous voice with hint of New South Wales broke into Finn’s revery. “But then, you always had trouble with the idea of harming a woman…”

“Attie,” he greeted, smiling over the familiarity even as he accepted the truth of the statement. Atropos was a very observant… being. Turning to the right, where she’d manifested, “I don’t recall activating you.”

“Oh, but you did,” Atropos, known as Attie to her favorite crewmembers, slid around to face the Human. “On stardate 53341.53, as you were leaving the Chimera you said, ‘If I ever get back to this bird, I expect you to greet me with a big, wet’…”

“Ahh, ha… well,” he held up a hand as he backed away a step. It was disconcerting, both the avatar’s move towards him and the sound of his own voice, of nine years back, emitting from that face. “You have… quite the memory.”

“Hottest in Federation tech,” she replied with saucy wink.

Harry eyeballed the Chimera’s Tactical and Engineering interface, “Is your hair… it’s longer isn’t it?”

“It is,” Attie, pleased, touched it lightly with a purely feminine gesture, “I felt I needed a change.” She eyeballed him back, “Yours, on the other hand, has just gotten a bit… grey.”

“Humanity,” he replied with a shrug, “we tend to age.”

“Oh, but we’ve kept up with you, Harry… I get the feeling it’s less the years than the mileage.”

He frowned a bit at that. “You gals have been checking up on me?”

“Well, what did you think? We just exist in this little bubble of the Chimera?” When his expression indicated he did, Atropos let out a huff of disgust, “There’s rather more to us than you think, Lt. Commander Finn. For one, we have an extensive correspondence with the other photonics in the ‘Fleet and you, Harry me boy, were quite the hot topic recently… Lachesis was literally beside herself with worry when Sigourney got through with the story.”

Harry put his concerns about a horde of photonic personalities swapping stories about their crew on hold as he recognized the potential for an entirely new information stream. “What about, S’Van?” When the question produced nothing but a becoming pout, he pressed further, “I mean, what did you have to say about him, as a CO?”

“Well,” the pout remained but the expression became speculative, “He’s prettier than you… but a bit of a cold fish. And before you ask he’d never been stationed with any of the cousins so… hard to get a good background.” Attie leaned back against one of the darkened consoles, “Why are you so curious?”

“He’s a liar.”

“Everyone lies,” Attie parked her hands on her hips in a challenge, “you said that yourself.”

“True for you,” he acknowledged, “but his lies could put my people at risk, so I want to know what they are.”

“We’re not allowed access to classified records,” she said.

“But…” Harry challenged.

“But,” Attie echoed, with a grin, “there is something locked away in one of the hazmat storage units in Upper Cargo 1… Alpha. No idea what and Clotho is not pleased that there are secrets being stashed in her… pockets.”

Finn let out a whistle, “I’ll bet she’s not.” His eyes returned to Atropos, “Anything else?”

“Not much… he’s close to CPO Jones. That is, they have rather a lot of meetings scheduled. And,” she made a little icky face, “I don’t like him.”

“Even if he is prettier than me?”

“Looks aren’t everything,” she admitted, if reluctantly. “And you were always one of my favorites.”

“You say that to all the guys on Tactical.”

“Don’t be modest.”

"I'm not," Finn denied, even as his conscience started to poke him; time to get back to work… and do some digging around Upper Cargo 1, Alpha, "You just… say that to all the guys in Tactical. We compared notes. It really gave Elyse some bad moments, by the way.”

Atropos laughed at being caught out “Well, in your case, at least, it’s the truth.”

“Yeah, well, if you liked us, back in the day, you’ll love the crew who’ve come over from Hawking. But don’t get too distracted by the guys with the guns… Engineering is going to need your attentions for the next little while.”

“Really?” she hummed speculatively, “And what’s this Chief Costala like?”

“Pretty,” Harry responded, heading towards the door, “and spoken for.”

“Well, damn,” Atropos let out a huff before calling out, “And you, Harry? What’s your status?”

“Pending. It’s… pending,” he glanced back but, as was her wont, Attie had vanished.

Introducing Photonic NPC Atropos (AKA 'Attie')


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/02-11-2009 12:04:50 AM

-Engineering-
-Deck 12-

"A short time ago I received this memo from the Captain's yeoman," Mustapha stated as he handed Javier the PADD which the tall African man had been holding gingerly as if too much pressure would shatter the instrument. "I suppose it is a mistake, I never asked to be reassigned," the Assistant Chief of Engineering told the Chief Engineer as he took a seat.

"No Mustapha, there's no mistake," Javier answered as he leaned back in his chair. "Captain Torrik asked for my recommendation and there wasn't anyone else as committed or deserving as you." The tired engineer read over the memo. It was simple and to the point, informing SCPO Ibrahim of his new duties and assignment as Chief of the Boat. "Truthfully, Engineering's not going to be the same without you but the Chimera needs a good senior nco. If you are as dedicated to CoB as you were to our department then I know the enlisted crew is in good hands."

"I joined the Fleet with the hopes that this day would come," Mustapha explained in a quiet, reserved tone. "I knew that Katie liked living on the station and it would have been a good place for Eli to grow-up but I had a desire to do better for them, so I was assigned to the Hawking." The African man smiled warmly at Javier then continued, "I remember when you first joined the ship. Petty Officer Costala was something of an enigma and many of the engineers didn't know what to think of you. I myself was puzzled at first but then as I saw your heart revealed and how you cared for the ship, your friends and fellow engineers my respect for you grew." Mustapha's eyes dropped and searched the deck for a few minutes, when he looked up Javier noticed that there were tears in the older man's eyes. "A part of me does not wish to leave Engineering, there is much to be done on this ship, much to be done in this department."

Javier nodded in agreement with Mustapha. He didn't trust himself to speak, Mustapha's compliments making the effort to formulate a reply difficult. What was I thinking offering up Mustapha? He's the best damn Assistant Chief engineering's ever had. Javier mentally berated himself before thinking, Being the CoB is his dream though, he's told me so..he just needs a push. "This department does need work, but I think you could serve it better as Chief of the Boat," Javier said, resigning himself to do the right thing. "You've outgrown Engineering," the Chief Engineer said, forcing a smile, "the whole ship needs your guidance now Mustapha."

"But you will need my help," Mustapha started to argue before Javier stopped him by lifting up his hand, palm facing outward towards Mustapha.

"It's already been settled Chief." Javier's features became more serious. "You have your orders. Carry them out to the best of your ability and I have no doubt the Chimera will benefit from your leadership like Engineering has. You're dismissed, Mustapha, good luck."

The African man dropped his gaze to the deck as he nodded his head in assent. He rose to his feet to find Javier standing at attention, saluting. Mustapha smiled then came to attention and returned the salute. The two men held the salute for a long minute, each refusing to end the show of respect that they felt for one another. Finally Javier dropped his arm and extended his hand. "It's been a pleasure serving with you Senior Chief."

"The feeling is mutual Commander," Mustapha answered as he grasped Javier's hand and shook it firmly. The nco picked up his orders then exited the office. Javier dropped back into his chair, activating the console nearby so he could transfer yet another engineer from his departmental roster. As he finished the paperwork, the despair that he had been holding back hit Javier like a jolt of electricity. I have to get out of here. he immediately thought before heading for the door. He left Kowalski in charge then headed for the quiet safety of anywhere else but Main Engineering.


Originally Posted by T'Shaini/02-11-2009 12:09:00 AM

-Deck 5-

T'Shaini had read the specs of the ship over and over and still she did not quite believe it, and on the same floor as her office. It was a dream come true, if indeed it was truth. She left David and Leo making some last minute adjustments to the playroom and the meditation room and drifted down the hallway to explore what was marked as 'The Library'. I am going to be quite disappointed if it is a stack of padds. Her journey was met with joy as the door slid open and the unmistakable smell of books…of real hardcopy books, hit her nose. With a vague nod to the woman with a rather pinched expression (she must be a hologram, no actually librarian could be that…stereotypical) the Vulan began to blissfully wander the stacks, running her fingers over the binding and soaking in the atmosphere before squirreling herself away in the back to pour over the stack of planetary atlases she had found in the reference section. Maps…I love maps. She had been lost in that tactile world for quite some time when a familiar voice pulled her from her cartographic reverie. Javier…singing. With a smile, T'Shaini reshelved her books and followed the sound back to the front desk.

"Lovers keep on the road you run, lovers until the race is run," Javier sang to himself and the general area around him as the engineer thumbed through a large book with pictures of Impressionist era paintings. "Soldiers you've got to soldier on.." he continued until he heard a 'Shhhh' sound. Looking up Javier noticed that the lady at the desk nearby was glaring at him. She shook her head at the engineer as if scolding him. The woman reminded him of one Mrs. Cutsforth and so he just shrugged apologetically and went back to viewing the paintings.

"Tonight maybe we're gonna run," he started singing again, "dreaming of the Osaka sun.."

"SHUSH!"

Javier ignored the woman and flipped the page of his book. He saw a shadow fall across the page and looked up, expecting the cranky librarian but instead found T'Shaini smiling down at him. "Hey, want to look at this book with me?" he said and moved over so she could sit in the chair next to him.

T'Shaini glanced over to smile reassuringly at the disgruntled woman behind the main desk then slid next to Javier. "Post impressionist paintings? What brought this on?"

"I wanted to look at something with more colors and less technical specs," Javier answered. "Engineering is getting on my nerves today."

Leaning against him, the Vulcan perused the open book. "I can attest that the color scheme is certainly soothing…did I need to go beat someone up for you?" She said with a teasing tone.

The engineer thought about T'Shaini's offer. "Yes," he replied, "yes there is, his name is Lieutenant Jonathan Foxe and he's a pain in the ass." Javier liked the painting on the left page. The caption said: 'Starry Night' by Van Gogh. "But I'll probably punch him if he ever shows his face in Engineering," Javier stated resolutely.

It was rare that she heard that tone in Javier's voice, or that sentiment..unless it was in regard to someone who had bothered her or Lia. She looked on the opposite page at the vivid field of blue flowers, then noticed the solitary white flower on the left side of the painting. T'Shaini stroked the back of his hair and reflected on the similarities between that and the unique man beside her. "Who is this man, and I suggest that if he is connected to engineering it would be far more advantageous for me to be the one to punch him…at least he will not expect it from the ship's counselor."

In spite of his mood, Javier chuckled at the mental image of T'Shaini introducing herself as the ship's counselor then knocking Foxe's lights out. He knew she was trying to lighten the mood and appreciated her intentions. Relaxing a little he let his body lean into hers then released a long drawn out sigh.

"I knew Foxe in the marines," he started, staring at the painting, "we were in the same unit but he was promoted twice because of a paperwork foul-up, which means he outranked me. He never seemed to like me and so I avoided him. Sometimes he made a point to get in my face though and used his rank to throw his weight around. He's here now, on the Chimera." Javier replayed his reunion with Foxe in his thoughts. "I caught up with him in rank, passed him actually and have taken his department." He turned to look at T'Shaini. "He was the Chief Engineer."

"Oh." T'Shaini's eyes opened wide. "Awkward." Then her nose wrinkled. "Well, awkward is an understatement." There was a slight pause as the words ran through her head once again. "Wait…he did not like you?" A furrow appeared between her brows. "How ridiculous, why ever not?"

"No idea," Javier said, "it could have been because I started to sing while wiring demolitions on our training mission. He got really annoyed at me then. Or it could be because I asked the girl he liked to go with me to the Marine Bash.." He paused then said, "Yes, it is probably the second one."

"Hmm, yes…I can see that." Her hand moved back into his hair. "But surely that is all water under the bridge now? Though from your previous words I gather that the water has not yet flowed all the way under his bridge…"

"Not quite all the way under his bridge," he repeated with a slight smile as his arm slipped around T'Shaini's waist. "He's filed a formal protest and convinced some of the engineers to resign. I think he's trying to make it seem as if I'm incompetent and the engineering crew has no faith in me."

"What is going to be done about him?" T'Shaini tried to access her counselor's distance to consider the situation…but this was Javier, it was more difficult that she could have imagined…but it was still her job. "They will only need to work for you a short while before your compentence…more than competence, is obvious, but if this man is simply aiming to spread dissention then he must be dealt with. Does Nils know?"

"He came down to Engineering to tell me Foxe had filed the protest." The engineer sighed and added, "And to ask for a recommendation for the new Chief of the Boat..I recommended Mustapha." Another long, drawn out sigh followed this statement. "So now I've lost most of the Chimera engineers, a couple of people from the Hawking and Mustapha." He tilted his head back and looked at the ceiling. "Mustapha deserved it more than anyone I could think of, but I'm going to miss his wisdom and help. He kept the department running smoothly." Javier frowned and lowered his head until his eyes were level with T'Shaini's. "I hope your day has been less frustrating.."

T'Shaini looked back down to the solitary white flower, the thought was more apropos than I knew, then up to Javier. "Much less frustrating. As to Mustapha, at least you know his wisdom and his support will always be there no matter what his position. You know you can win over any crew that stay, and you will find replacements…maybe not as soon as you would wish, but they will be found and perhaps better than these few that were so easily swayed by bitter words." Then she leaned in until her forehead touched his. "And as for Lt. Foxe…any more trouble from him and he will have to deal with the wrath of a vengeful vulcan…"

Javier allowed a wide smile to break free. "Even his marine training would not have prepared him for your wrath." Feeling better than he had all day, Javier turned his head to the side as his lips pressed against T'Shaini's in a slow kiss; taking her bottom lip into his mouth and gently sucking on it. A stern throat-clearing sound interupted Javier and he looked up to find the librarian shooting daggers at them with her steely glare.

"Do you know what purpose the very last row of bookshelves in a library serves?" Javier quietly whispered to T'Shaini.

"Reference shelves?" She responded, thinking of her earlier discovery.

"That's right and they also can be used for.." Javier leaned in close and whispered into T'Shaini's ear.

The counselor's mouth dropped open in a surprised 'o'. "I would think that would be against regulation…" She said hesitantly.

"Only if we're caught," Javier said then grinned rakishly as he stood and offered T'Shaini his hand.

She reached out and let him pull her to her feet. "And I had been told that new ships were christened with a bottle of champagne…"

Reading is FUNdemental!


Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-11-2009 08:40:34 AM

::USS Chimera::
::XO’s Office - Deck 2::

“Come,” Harry called out at the chime and rose as the new arrival proved to be none other than Himself… Commander Rev S’Van.

Harry had meant to contact the spook at Alpha shift, since every attempt the First Officer had made to open the mysteriously occupied hazmat storage unit had failed… not even one of Gorsky’s ‘special projects’ could make a dent in the coded locking mechanism. Finn had considered enlisting Clotho in the B&E but he doubted the serious minded interface could be of any assistance, if only because her programming would prohibit the breach of security. Who’s security, though… this isn’t S’Van’s ship, anymore… Besides, Harry strongly suspected the locked down unit contained the first two pieces of the triptych, the third of which the Chimera would be pursuing by end of day… and he also suspected those pieces would supply much more intelligence than S’Van had let on.

“Commander,” he greeted easily, coming around to the other side of the desk. “What brings you…”

“There is a Cadet McMennon seeking transfer, along with a significant portion of engineering,” S’Van began, wasting no time with false pleasantries, “While I have no issue with the engineers, you will deny McMennan’s request.”

The XO’s eyes went hard, “One, how is it you know about a transfer that has yet to cross my desk, and two, why should I deny it?” Though it hit hard, the though that Aengus… who’d been part of his team… wanted to bail.

“For the first, I’ve had all the personnel requests siphoned through my office and for the second, that is my concern.”

“I think Captain Torrik would disagree since, as of 1300 hours today, this was his ship… his crew… his call.”

S’Van’s lip curled ever so slightly. “His ship… my mission… your orders.”

“With all due respect, Commander, stow it. We both know that I know that you work for Voldemort… sorry… Section 31,” he waved his faux pas aside, “Two entities who ‘must not be named’. I’m sure you understand the confusion.”

A small quirk of the eyebrow was his only response so Harry continued.

“And I know that you know that I have, in my time, gone to extreme lengths to prevent the kind of damage that entities like Voldemort… damn… Section 31… can do to people. And this crew… they are all my people. You have a mission, I have two hundred individuals who deserve to come out of… whatever this is… alive.”

Now S’Van’s eyes went hard, “I assure you, we have no intention of doing injury to…”

“Really?” Finn’s hand dropped onto his desk with a significant thud before he lifted a PADD from the corner where he then propped himself, “because according to some of my sources, you’ve left quite the trail of bodies behind you in your various… missions.”

“You’ve talked to Lt. Fehr.”

“No, I haven’t,” Harry replied calmly, “but I did note that you two spent some time together on the USS Sherman, some years back. Maybe I should get his take… want me to call him up here? You can whistle for Jones, too, if you want, so you can have some back-up when Fehr goes to rip out your throat for what happened to his team… what you knew would happen to his team… when they entered that lab.”

“You are out of line, Lt. Commander,” the words, though quiet, sliced through the air like a garrote. “This mission is fully sanctioned by Starfleet Command… for good reasons which will, in time, be made known to you. If that isn’t clear enough, than let me add that whatever you think of my background, whatever you suspect of my intentions, you have no say in this matter.”

When Finn’s demeanor failed to display the appropriate signs of submission, Rev, after a moment’s consideration, continued, “And, lastly,” he began, closing in on the insouciant officer, “if you attempt to interfere with this mission in any way, I will personally see to it that you spend what very little time remains of your petty existence suffering a fate worse than that of Fehr’s long lost comrades.

“Tell me, Mister Finn, did you ever wonder what happened to the cloning device Acker used on Vanona Hawthorne?” He smiled at the near-imperceptable change in Harry’s expression before leaning in close enough to whisper, “I know where it is.” And with that, the Commander turned to go, leaving the threat of one of the most invasive, tortuous pieces of technology ever to come out of R&D hanging in the air behind him. “Oh, and Harry,” Rev paused as the door opened before him, “stay away from that Hazmat unit.”

Featuring NPC Commander Rev S'Van


Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/02-11-2009 09:38:57 AM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Bridge ::

Stepping from the turbolift, Nils took a moment to survey the new bridge. The buzz of activity threatened to overwhelm his senses, but he maintained focus with a little effort. After taking a few steps, Jezera called out to him from Operations, which dramatically repositioned in relation to its old position on the Intrepid Bridge.

“Captain, there has been a steady stream of…”

“I know,” Nils said continuing on his path. He’d made it his first priority to mend rifts and trim the fat. And once he drafted a form letter, he sent T’Landra on yet another set of errands. She seemed to thrive under such pressure.

Chimera’s new Captain closed the distance to his new ready room, and as the door parted he wondered how he might get to his desk. The crowd he’d gathered virtually filled the room. But when they turned to face him they immediately made a path for him. Realizing the show of respect was for the pips and not him, he accepted it and forged ahead. He also wasted no time.

“I asked my yeoman to invite each of you to my ready room because each of you has requested a transfer from this ship. Look around…there are twenty two of you in all.” He paused and let them have a look. “You come from every department on this ship. Most of you are old Chimera crew, but many of you served on board the USS Hawking.”

“Sir, if I may speak…”

“No, you may not,” interrupted Nils in a steady tone. “You’re not here so that I can hear explanations or to receive any brow beating from me. Your choice to request transfer is your own. It is also my pleasure to deny that request.” Tension hung thick in the air as the crew expectantly waited to have their requests denied. “But they’re all approved.” A collective sigh and a few looks of confusion were cast about the room.

Nils took a deep breath and stepped around to the opposite side of his new desk. As he looked down on it, glad to have it for cover, he realized that it didn’t have one thing in it that belonged to him. Ironically, this was his first time to use the room at all. True to her word, however, several stacks of twenty two PADDS lined the edge closest to the assembled crewmen.

“I am going to give you one, and only one, opportunity to rethink these requests and then resubmit them. And when you rethink them, think about this,” he said very seriously as he leaned over his desk. “You don’t serve a ship, or a captain, or even a fleet. These assignments you so carelessly jump about in aren’t your master or what defines you. You serve a collection of ideals that is greater than you. The United Federation of Planets stands for something. And Starfleet serves to protect that something. I won’t try to define what that is for each of you. I’m sure your experiences, and your respective cultures… Maybe even your faith plays into how you interpret the ideals that we stand in the gap for. But I will say that it is a travesty for you to diminish the uniform you wear over petty disputes, petty pride, and misplaced petty loyalties. I think you’re better than that.” He paused and tried to catch the eye of each and every crewman in the room. “Or… I’m wrong and you’re not. Pick up your request and take it with you. Resubmit it at the end of your shift if you so choose. But know that I won’t sign them without making a few notes of my own in your records. Some of you I’ve served with for a while and I might have several things to say… Some of it stellar. But there are a good number of you that I’ve served with for less than a day. Understand that the lack of time we knew each other won’t inspire me to leave your files blank. I’m sure I can think of something to add…”

He let the ‘promise’ hang on the air for a moment before continuing. “Dismissed.” The crew scrambled to find their PADD then exited. Many wouldn’t look Nils in the eye, which disappointed him. Some did, and he seemed to find respect in somewhere in the gazes… Sometimes. When the room was finally empty he slumped into his chair and put his hands to his head.

“Take that Jackson…” he muttered to no one. Or…he thought he muttered it to no one.

“Who is Jackson,” asked a woman’s voice from near his viewport.

Nils almost jumped out of his skin, and did jump out of his chair. “Who in the hells are you?”

The woman stifled a discreet laugh and gave him an apologetic look. “I’m so sorry. I forget that the new crew might not be used to our visits.”

“The Fates…” the Bajoran said softly, remembering Harry’s description of them. “You must be… Clotho?”

“No,” said the woman, appearing almost offended. But a hint of a smile never left her eyes. “My name is Lachesis. And it is a pleasure to meet you, Captain.”

She held out her hand and Nils took it in his own. He was surprised by the warmth it radiated. “I apologize. I’m not very well versed in Terran Mythology.”

“Well, you have a good excuse. You know, having grown up on a whole other planet.” She bobbed her head back and forth and seemed to be contemplating something then said, “Well, a couple other planets…”

“You know me?” The Bajoran suddenly felt very exposed and uncomfortable.

“A little better now,” said Lachesis with a warm smile. “But you do have record on file in the Starfleet database. Your career is already very interesting. I look forward to where you’ll take us. And,” she said quickly raising a finger to forestall any more questions. “I think you did a good thing here today. Sometimes the children need to be reminded why they do what they do. I’ve always felt inspiring others to greatness is preferable to letting them muddle about in their own mediocrity. And you did it with such style,” she said with a wide grin. Lachesis moved in and put a hand on Nils shoulder. “I bet most of them even decide to stay on board.”

“That’s a pretty risky bet,” Nils said easily falling into the rhythm she seemed to speak with.

“Not really,” she said smiling. “I’ve already done a statistical analysis of each of their records and profiles. I think most of them will respond positively to how you dealt with them. I guess I know how to hedge a bet. But good job by you!” She actually gave Nils a thumbs up.

The young CO smiled ever so slightly. “Thank you… I’m not sure…”

“No thanks necessary. And I know you’re busy so I’ll let you get to work. In truth, I’ve got some things to do as well. It was more than a pleasure to meet you, Torrik Nils. Ah,” she added, catching herself. “Captain, Torrik Nils.”

Then Lachesis faded from view as the holoemitters released her matrix, leaving Nils alone. He shrugged and tried wrap his brain around the dynamics of serving with photonic crewmembers. Are they crew members? Equipment? He pushed the existential debate off for later. Lachesis was right about one thing. He was very busy.

Introducing Lachesis -


Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-11-2009 03:35:48 PM

:USS Chimera::
::Corridor - Deck 4::

Harry was in a foul mood. S'Van's visit had been followed by the necessity of catching McMennan at the end of shift to inform him that his request for transfer had been denied. He could have had Raynes handle the meeting but Harry had wanted to face Aengus himself, for all the good it did, as the cadet refused to state his reasons for the request in the first place. That joyous confrontation completed, Harry had been pounced on outside of the Security office by an excited Atropos, who'd felt compelled to pop up and share the information that, yes, she was impressed with the Hawking transfers, particularly 'that fellow Pierce' who made so bold with young Crewman Anderson in the training room…

Yup… a foul… foul mood. Harry and the black mushroom cloud of doom over his head turned the corner towards the turbolift, eyes scanning the familiar corridors as if looking for a target.

Any movement that required a range of motion greater than shuffling down the corridor hurt. And breathing hurts too. Ben thought as he leaned against the wall and exhaled a tentative breath. Petty Officer Djinn had not been lying when he said Ben would need the full contact padding. Despite having a beginner's knowledge of self-defense, Ben had been thoroughly worked over by his new instructor. "Lift, faster, now," the security officer groaned, wanting nothing more than a quick hot shower and to roll into his bunk and then sleep the sleep of the damned. Why is technology so slow when you need it to be.. hearing footsteps, Ben turned his head so he could see who was approaching, faster.

"Target… acquired," Finn murmured to himself as he caught sight of 'that fellow'. Smiling a slightly predatory smile, he joined the young man waiting for the 'lift, noting that Pierce looked almost as bad as he himself had after some quality time with Munro, when she was still Darkside.

Well, maybe not quite that bad. "Pierce," he greeted the suffering petty officer.

"Sir," Ben replied as he moved away from the wall and came to a painful attention. He started to salute, winced at the agony of the move, then let his hand rest on his chest. He gave the move one more try and succeeded while grimacing horribly. The reaction was an ingrained response that all marines were taught but Ben also realized he needed to make a good impression on the person Jenny referred to as 'Uncle Harry'. "How are you tonight, Commander?" he said through pain-clenched teeth.

"Well, I gotta tell ya, it's been a crapper of a day," Harry began pleasantly as the turbolift doors opened, "We'll catch the next one," he informed the unfamiliar crewmember already occupying the car before turning his attention back to the clearly dismayed Pierce. "But you know the best thing about being in a position of authority?" He didn't wait for a response but went on to answer his own question, "The best thing about being in a position of authority is that, when life dumps a load of shit on you, you have the rank-given right to spread it around." The pleasant expression vanished as he considered the man who'd put such a light in Jenny's eyes, "We need to talk."

There's a security vid feed on the training room. BHP realized uncomfortably. Of course there would be, and his actions, when reviewed could be construed as showing off or flaunting his relationship with Jenny. But I wasn't doing that, I just got caught up in the.. Memories of a hot Jenny Anderson made Ben shift his stance nervously. "Commander, I hope you know that I respect Jenny because..she's my girl and I won't ever let any palooka run his mouth about her. And I always respect her..everywhere."

Harry's eyebrow quirked up, "So I hear." Then he let out a sigh and took some wall for himself, "At ease, Pierce. We're off the clock as of now: what I have to say doesn't come from the XO… it comes from someone who's known Jenny since before she could walk."

"Yes sir," Ben replied in a tone consisting of one part apprehension and one part confusion. "I..okay," the Iotian said as he relaxed with a hiss, as sore joints bent so Ben could stand at ease.

"First, thank you," Harry looked into the young man's eyes. "It always bugged me that I never got to say that. You'd been removed from the Hawking before I returned from… from Kendrassa Prime. So, thanks… for Jenny's life. I… thanks."

BHP nodded, feeling more awkward than he had since returning to the ship. "I should have acted sooner Commander, there was just a misunderstanding between myself and the entire Security department that kept me from finding her as quickly as I wanted. I killed that bastard but not before he damaged Jenny." Ben exhaled sharply not even wanting to name Chuck or give importance to such an evil person. "I guess it's also partially my fault that she had to deal with his thoughts for a longer period..I know there's no way to apologize for that..I should have been quicker.." Ben let his eyes fall to the deck. "I'm trying to do better, look out for her and be better prepared in case Ch..someone tries something like that again."

And thus beginneth the lesson. It wasn't the topic Harry had had in mind upon spying Pierce, but it was important, nonetheless. "It wasn't your fault things went hinky," Harry began, "the only one at fault was that freak…" the older man's jaw tensed as he recalled Tenanji's description of Jenny's ordeal. "But the thing is, as much as we both want to stand between Jenny and whatever else the universe has to throw at her… we have to accept we won't always be there. No one could. And no one should." He pushed off from the bulkhead and ran a hand through his hair, frustrated by the truth even he had trouble accepting, "The thing is, Pierce, she has to be prepared… herself. And if she starts to feel as if there's someone, you, me, Jameson… anyone, always there to keep the bad things away, she'll lose her edge and then… what happens when the bad thing shows up and we're not around to protect her?"

"She'll kick its ass," Ben stated, remembering how hard Jenny had been training and how tired she looked whenever they had time together. "I know she's got skills Commander, I just.." BHP remembered the look in Jenny's eyes before he had kissed her. It was a fragile look of innocence, something he had never seen in the hard-shelled dames of Sigma Iotia. He knew that that innocence had been tested by Chuck and by what had taken place on the Hawking while he was away but it had endured. "She's got something else too though, like a sort of goodness to her," Ben tried to explain to the XO. "It's like the kind I had before joining a syndicate or the kind people have before they fall into despair or give up on themselves. I don't want anything or anyone to take that away from Jenny. If I can keep that from happening by shielding her from any danger I can, then I'm going to try." He jammed his hands into his pockets. "When I first saw her she was crying openly in the armory, I think because you wouldn't let her go with you to the Outpost. I understand why you wouldn't let her go. And she was there just crying, openly, unashamed, and that's good. That's a part of that goodness that everyone should have..we just don't."

Listening to Ben's quietly impassioned speech, Harry was left with the uncomfortable realization that he was one of the one's who the kid was talking about… the ones who'd gone too hard. Pierce, on the other hand… was nowhere near as tough as he thought. He'd seen a lot, for sure but not so much he was blinded to what could, and should, be. But that unfortunately brought up the thing Harry had originally wanted to say… if in a slightly different light. "What you see in Jenny," he said, as carefully as possible because it would be oh, so easy to screw this up, "you have a lot to do with it. I mean," he looked away, uncertain of the territory, "she was very… alone… after Seth died. Her Mom was there but never really understood the life Seth chose, that Jenny wanted, in the 'Fleet. And I was," drowning in a bottle, "I wasn't around for her. But lately, since you came back… she's come alive again and that's a good thing… it's a great thing." He paused before taking the next, most difficult step. "It also makes you the most dangerous person in her life because you have the power to break her heart. She's given you that and…" and words failed because this was Harry and he had never been good with words… or hearts.

"..you'll knock me into next week if I break it." BHP finished the sentence for the officer. "I understand. Sir, if I screw up with Jenny I'd expect nothing less. I've wanted her to be my girl for a long time, even when she was with," Pierce scowled, "that other Benjamin. I'll be damned if I let her go now, or do anything to hurt her." He smiled as he thought about how happy giving Jenny his medal had made him. "I ain't got much to my name but whatever I got belongs to her," he reassured Commander Finn as he would an Iotian.

"Next week? Kid, I'll knock you into the next millennium, more like," Harry smiled so the kid would know he'd accepted his promise before turning away to press the lift's call pad and, when the car arrived, waved Ben on, telling him that he still had some unfinished business with Security. Once the door had closed on the weary PO, Harry stood, still and silent and accepting as, one by one, memories of love and betrayal, hope and loss, promise and its final burning shot through his tired soul.

JP with the wise guy… (there's a double meaning in that…)


Originally Posted by Emily Star/02-11-2009 04:30:48 PM

Emily had been called down to the chief's office and had, rather embarassingly, gotten lost. She knew where it was, she knew how to get there but she'd taken a wrong turn or called out the wrong deck (which is rather hard to do) and a ten minute trip turned into almost half an hour.

Finally after stopping and gaining her bearings she quickly spun around and headed back in the direction she had come. She'd figure it out, the new ship was impressive and she had already found herself quite attached to it.

Taking a deep breath she pressed the chimes for Tenanji's new office.

"Enter," he called out and she stepped through the doors. The room, as it was a new space, seemed to be tainted by various crates and boxes. She'd never actually seen anything more than a PADD on the COS's desk and was taken by surprise to see a little clutter.

Coming to attention and saluting Emily waited before he nodded and then put her hand down, "You wanted to see me, Sir?"

Tenanji nodded and offered her a seat,"Thirsty?"

"No thank you, I'm just a little concerned as to why I'm here. We haven't even moved yet." she pointed out the window at the still stars.

"You're not in trouble." his words were slow and he raised an eyebrow,"Do you always assume that when asked to come to your Chief's office?"

"No.." she stopped, "Okay maybe I do. Sorry." she sat down.

"Actually the reason you're here has very little to do with your work on board the ship or at least on the Hawking." he handed her a PADD, "Is she a relative of yours?"

Emily didn't even have to look at the PADD, "Yep, she's my sister. Why? What's she done now?"

"No she's fine." he stopped, "It's just your both in Security and its not like I can just open your file and read about your family. So I thought I'd ask you in person. Is having your sister in the same department going to cause a problem?"

Emily shook her head 'no' but almost wanted to mouth the word 'yes', "We haven't seen each other for over two years. But I'm sure that whatever problems we have had would be sorted out by now. So I don't think it's something to worry about."

Tenanji leaned over and rested his arms on his new desk, "Good. I'll hold you to that. I have to say Emily I haven't seen much of you since you transfered over to Security, You follow your shifts, do as your told but don't really stick out, which Im not sure you do on purpose. I never did get to say anything to you about our previous conversation."

"That's not really anything that needs to be spoken about," she interupted, "As you said, you don't know me and I hadn't expected you to arrest the XO on my behalf."

"True but considering how the situation turned, I'm going to tell you that anytime you have a feeling like that, tell me. Don't be afraid, it's part of what we do." he took the PADD back from her, "That was all."

Emily nodded, "Thank you, Sir. I'll let you be to unpack." she gave a smile and left.

'Good Job…' she sighed, and headed out. She had to do her best to get along with Jennifer. She couldn't put her job at risk because of her sister and the past. She needed her head to be right where it belonged…on her shoulders.


Originally Posted by Vince Stryfe/02-12-2009 12:26:33 AM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Vince Stryfe's Quarters ::

Vince stood at the counter of his small, yet functional kitchen, sipping on a glass of water. He thought to himself about how he felt about this move, and everything pointed to excitement. For the longest time he felt an emptiness in his fleet career, a feeling of somthing just being missing, but standing there in the heart of the Prometheus Class, Battle Cruiser, the emptiness disappeared. He was truly starting to feel like his life was starting anew, and that things could look nothing but great from here on out. He walked over to a shelf, spinning the propeller to his favorite model, a P-51, then thought somemore about what he had instore for himself on this vessel.

He glanced down at his table, remembering the stacks of PADDs that he had brought back from his new office, surprised to see them all. He had meant to go and have a word with Nils, about the reports, but when he had stopped by the ready room earlier, there was no sign of Nils, but the room was crowded to almost suffocation level, and he had decided that it wasn't a good time. He was seconded on that motion, though unknowingly, by Nils as the two passed eachother, Nils headed for the non-quiet of his ready room, and Vince on his way to relax in his quarters. He sat dwon in his new chair, surprisingly more comfortable than his last, and reahed over for one of the PADDs, smirking a bit as he thought about Nils' predicament, glad that he wasn't in the same boat. As he started to read the first line of the PADD in his hand, The doors to his quarters opened, revealing an almost giddy Scott.

" Oh good, just the person I wanted to see," He smiled at Scott," Guess what time it is."

" Umm, time for me to go see the auxilary bridges, and all the other neat and wonderful things this ship has to offer a fun seeker like myself, and you?" Scott answered the question quickly.

Vince shhok his head, still smiling at Scott," Nope!" HE pointed at the stacks of PADDs," Time for you to live up to that Assistant in you job title, and help me sift through these PADDs. WE need to know everything we can about the flight control of the ship, so we don't screw anything up."

Scott seemed to sink into the chair adjacent to Vince," Awe…… Damn, I should've stayed a peon, I'd be able to enjoy a lot more when I wanted to. There's just to much stuff to be lookin' at, but alas……. I get to read….."

Vince took a drink of water, chuckling at Scott," Yes, you get to read quality reports, and things concerning the operation of the helm. A helm that is in control of a dedicated battleship I might add, which means if you know how to fly it, you'll be right in the thick of any action it may come across," He placed the PADD in his hand by itself on the table, picking another up," That's the start of the quality report pile, things that aren't imediate."

" Oh thatnks, that just made the day so much better." He sat his PADD down in another seperate spot," That's a recent matienance report, so the start of yet another pile."

" Look, we're the ones incharge," He said lowering the PADD to look at Scott," Thus we have to do the medial things, and go to the boring briefings, and other wonderful things that come with our titles."

Scott lowered his PADD, looking across the top at Vince," Ok yea, I got that, but we could also delegate this to lower subordinates, and go wander around the ship, looking for the spify little things that make us go, OOOOOh…..AAAAAAHHH."

Vince laughed at his friend," Well, I can assure you that none of the people under my command are going OOOOOHH….AAAAHHH, over anything at this moment, I promise."

" And how can you promise somthing like that, huh?" HE waved the PADD at Vince," Did they all lose their sense of fun and excitement since the move?"

" Umm….. no, I just left making a round to each and everyone of their quarters, dropping off serveral PADDs to each, and informed them that it would be a breach of duty if they were found outside of their quarters, and didn't know the details of each and everyone," Vince smiled," And now I'm going to send you to yours, so I can have a little peace and quiet for a small time before I call ya back."

Scott glared back at his friend," Oh really now," He stood up, scooping up an armload of PADDs," Well fine then, be that way."

Vince smiled as Scott headed for the door," Hey, later on we'll go play fotball on the Holodeck, have some fun."

Scott stopped, staring back at Vince with a straight face," Oh really?," a smile quickly replaed the stern look," Ok! Sounds great!"

Vince shook his head as the doors closed behind Scott. He was finally ready to enjoy the first amount of peace since the first news of the move, but was quickly interuppted by a woman flashing up infront of him out of nowhere. In the surprise of the event Vince dropped his glass, and sent himself end over end, the chair he was sitting in flipping backwards. He looked up from his back to see the woman standing over him, smiling as she looked down at him.

" Lt. Vincent Stryfe, It's a pleasure to meet you too." The woman reached out to shake his hand.

Vince stared up at the woman, taking her hand," Well I'd love to share the sentiment, but you just scared the hell outta me." He brought himself to his feet," Who are you, and why are you popping up out of nowhere into my quarters?"

" Oh, I forgot to introduce myself," She said with a smile," I'm, Atropos, One of the Photonic Holograms that govern the ship's systems. There are two other programs just like me on the ship, but neither have my spontaneous personality when meeting people."

Vince grinned, brushing the front of his jacket," Well, that was deffinetly spontaneous. So what do I owe the pleasure of our meeting."

" I was just going around introducing myself to the senoir staff, letting them know who I was, just incase the are ever in need." She mosied around the room," Things seem a bit more homely in here compared to the last Chief Helmsman, kinda nice."

" Well, I try to treat my quarters as I would my apartment back on Earth, helps keep my sanity most of the time." Vince looked at the woman in awe, fascinated in how real she looked.

" Well, it was very nice meeting you, we'll talk again soon."

With that said she disappeared, leaving Vince alone in his water covered uniform. He walked over to the replicator, getting a fresh set of clothes. He started to remove his wet colothes, but stopped, finding himself worried for the first time that a woman would just pop up out of nowhere, and see him in his birthday suit. After several minutes of being cautious, he changed his clothes quickly.

After he disposed of his previous uniform, and the dirtied glass, he sat back down in his new chair. With a fresh glass of water, he started in on another PADD, glacing up from time to time, making sure to not be surprised by another woman dropping in on him………..

Featuring appearances by: Scott and Atropos


Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/02-13-2009 09:28:22 AM

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

Brreeep

=/\=Jones to Anderson….=/\=

Jenny, enjoying her fifth consecutive hour of sleep, frowned. There had been some tentative scratchings at the mental walls T’Shaini had helped the young woman create but they had repeatedly faded as REM sleep passed to a deeper, more restful slumber.

=/\=Anderson, this is Chief Petty Jones calling… wakey, wakey…=/\=

A hand, twined round with the medal of Valor which Jen had taken to keeping under her pillow, slammed down on the combadge where it rested on the bedside table, “Anderson… g’head.”

=/\=Li’l Bit! Good to hear your dulcet tones, now… you’re wanted on deck four, Training room one, ASAP… that’s just off the armory, by the by.=/\=

Already her body was sitting up, preparing to move but her mind hadn’t quite caught up with current events. “Was’ere a schedule change, Chief?”

=/\=Nope… but there’s a Commander S’Van wants to see you so I wouldn’t be too worried about the coif, just get yourself up ‘ere.=/\=

“Right away, Chief. Anderson out.” This is it, she thought, diving for her uniform, they’ve finally figured out you don’t have the chops for the Chimera. And really, what else could Commander S’Van, Intelligence Officer and former CO of the Prometheus class vessel want with her? The ship was due for launch on his mission in hours so if there were any dead weight, this would be the time to dump it. Harry, even LT might object but, when push came to shove, Jen wasn’t sure if they had the pull to keep her…

She was out the door, twisting her hair into knot that sort of hinted at regulation containment by the time the lump on Darby’s bed emitted a confused, “Waassss… who’s Lilbit?”

::Deck 4 - Training Room 1::

“Anderson reporting,” Jenny strode in, all that was professional… with the possible exception of the strand of hair that had slipped out during her dash through the corridors.

Ferris Jones grinned at the young crewman who, despite the fact that he’d clearly woken her only fifteen minutes past, was as close to spit and polish as could be desired. She also looked as if she were about to face a firing squad. “Now, then, Li’l Bit… don’t look that way,” he gave her a companionable thwack on the shoulder. “Guv’ner’s a bit of a chill sort but ‘e don’t eat crewman for breakfast.”

Jen tried to take heart but just then the ‘Guv’ner’ himself entered and he was, indeed, a ‘chill sort’. “Are you sure?” she whispered even as she came to full attention. “Sir,” she greeted the foreboding Commander S’Van, “Crewman Apprentice Anderson, reporting as ordered.”

“At ease,” S’Van replied with a short nod. “I will apologize for the lateness of the hour but there are so very many tasks associate with our imminent departure… as you’ve no doubt seen for yourself… that I had to grasp my first free moment to take this meeting.”

Not really knowing why a Commander from Intelligence would be wanting to meet with an apprentice in Security, Jenny fell back on the old standby, “Sir,” in response.

That earned a slight crinkling around the eyes. “Your father was Seth Anderson, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Yes, sir.” Of course, he’d have seen her personnel file.

S’Van nodded, considering, “I only knew of your father by reputation, but those in my division who had occasion to work with Chief Anderson spoke highly of him. Starfleet lost a good officer on the Anarasi Maru.”

“It lost several, sir.”

“Indeed. I suppose it is fortunate that at the least Lt. Commander Finn survived.”

Something in the dark man’s tone indicated he was less than thrilled with Harry’s continued existence so Jenny simply gave a short nod of assent.

“Well,” a brief, saturnine smile flitted across the purposeful features, “to business shall we? I am given to understand that you have some demolitions skill…?” As he spoke, S’Van moved further into the room and, tracking him, Jenny realized that a table had been set up in the middle of the room. On it were the assorted bits and pieces of…

“Whoa… old school,” Jenny took a step forward before Jones’ warning hiss reminded her in who’s presence she stood. “I’m sorry, Commander.”

S’Van’s expression became a bit… eager. “Don’t be. Please, feel free to examine the components.” As she moved to the table he added, “Perhaps you could humor me by assembling a working explosive?”

Jenny wasn’t a complete idiot. She was being tested… why she had no idea but thanked God, the Prophets and SCPO Jameson for her extensive rotation in demolitions. Stepping up to the table, she took stock of the various bits and pieces, then stood still, considering.

“Is there a problem?”

Jenny turned to face S’Van, noting that Jones was watching with more than keen interest. “No sir.” Returning to the various elements, she selected two blocks of greenish plasticene, sniffed both and discarded one. She then moved to a series of slender cylinders. After carefully studying them she asked if the explosive were to be used underwater. The response being a negative, she discarded the L-delays then looked up at the senior officer. “How long?” she asked.

“Pardon?”

“Sorry, sir… how much of a delay do you want? You have three type 10 delay switches… ten minute, sixty minute and twenty-four hours. There can be a variance of up to five minutes on the hour, up to an hour on the twenty four… and you should know that ambient temperature can affect the speed with which the cupric chloride eats through the wire…”

“Ahh… I believe ten minutes… for our purposes.”

“Sir.” It was actually one of the simplest explosives to rig so in moments she had the correct detonator inserted into the ancient plastique, the safety strip removed and all that remained was… Jenny lifted a pair of pliers and held it over the chloride phial. “Was there anything in particular you wanted to blow up?”

A cool hand gently removed the primed explosive from her careful grip, “Not at this time, thank you.” S’Van waited while Jenny placed the pliers back on the table. “How did you know which of these blocks of plastique was the Nobel 808?”

“The one I chose smelled of almonds,” she replied, feeling for all the world as if she were back in the Academy. “Of course, without a tricorder I couldn’t say if that were the real deal… any more than I know if there is any cupric chloride in the detonator… but the external signs match.”

“Indeed. Well, thank you, Crewman. You’re dismissed.”

“Sir.” She made her escape, turning when Chief Jones joined her in the corridor.

“That was well done Li’l Bit… I have to tell you, the guv was right impressed.”

Jenny looked from the gleeful Ferris to the now closed doors of the armory’s training area. “How could you tell?”

“‘E was smilin’.”

“‘E was? I mean, he was?”

Ferris shrugged, “Well, for ‘im, at any rate. Now, back to bed for you… we’ve got a busy day ahead and you look knackered.”

Jenny hadn’t a clue what knackered meant, but she was willing to bet it wasn’t good.

After the weary young woman had departed, Jones returned to the training room, where Commander S’Van was entering notes into a PADD. “Well, sir? What do you think?”

“I think,” Rev said, not looking up, “that with Anderson, we have two.”

Jones thought so, too. “Do you still want to see Fuentas and Saunders?”

Still typing, “Certainly. After all, it never hurts to have a plan B.” Or C, for that matter. “But her age… the skill set… and did you know her middle name is Lysette? Indeed,” he raised his eyes to the noncom, “despite the uncertainties born of our lack of the last cylinder, I dare say we’ve a good start…”

S'Van, Jones an the Li'l Bit


Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/02-13-2009 01:14:48 PM

U.S.S. Chimera
Deck 11, 0527 hours

Simba stifled a yawn as he waited for the turbolift doors to open. It had been another late night, something he was getting used to, and an even earlier morning. Everyone was working overtime to keep up with the Chimera's frenzied launch schedule, which was now only a few hours away. Actually, it amazed him that they had accomplished as much as they had in such a short time. Twenty four hours ago, he'd been asleep in his quarters on the Hawking, oblivious to the Chimera's very existence.

The turbolift came to a halt and the doors opened into the corridor, which was surprisingly crowded considering the early hour. The cadet's shift didn't officially begin until 0800, but there was too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it. Besides, he was supposed to meet with Lt. Grimm this morning and he hadn't yet had a chance to personally examine the very systems he was expected to know inside and out. He glanced through an open doorway as he made his way along the corridor, then stopped and took a few steps back to enter the room. Three crewmen were inside sorting various small engineering equipment, but Simba ignored their presence as he approached the window and looked out at the immense circular shape of the station at which they were docked. His eyes came to rest on the familiar shape of the U.S.S. Hawking, dark and powered down at the docking pylon where they'd left her. The ship looked almost lonely, waiting for a new crew to make her their home. A small smile touched his lips as he studied the Hawking for a moment. But she was in the past, and the present wasn't going to wait. He took one final glance at the ship, then turned away from the window to get on with his duties.

===

In spite of all the activity to prepare the ship for launch, the air in engineering was thick with an almost tangible tension. The first day aboard the Chimera had, by all accounts, not gone terribly smoothly in this department. Simba paused at the upper-level railing and looked down into main engineering. The crew here were obviously quite busy as well, but the department was surprisingly quiet. Whatever the problem was, he was confident Commander Costala would take care of it. He found it interesting that there had been so much clash between the crews here. The Chimera and Hawking crews had meshed quite nicely in the tactical department and, while Simba had only met a few of the Chimera's tactical officers, he'd been impressed with them so far.

"Ready to get started, sir?" A woman's voice with an English accent stirred the young cadet from his thoughts.

"Excuse me?" Simba raised an eyebrow at the woman who had approached undetected. She was young, probably a few years older than him, a little shorter with red hair and striking blue eyes.

"With the ablative armor… that is why you're here, isn't it?"

"Yes, but…"

"I'm Crewman Jensen… Lisa Jensen. I was already part of the Chimera's tactical crew before you came aboard. Lt. Fehr assigned me to assist you with the generators."

"Simba Wekesa," he replied, still looking at her quizzically. "But how did you know… I mean, I woke up early to come down here and get a head start on this. I didn't tell anyone else I was coming here." Simba shivered a little. He had the distinct feeling that someone was watching him, as crazy as it seemed.

Jensen laughed. "Oh, no, no. I work on gamma shift. I was already in engineering finishing up a diagnostic on the lateral phaser emitters. I just happened to see you walk in and I figured you must be here to look at the ablative armor."

"Ahh, OK," Simba replied, breathing a sigh of relief. Maybe he was just getting jumpy. In either case, some company would be welcome and it was good to finally meet some of the non-coms working in his new department. He glanced around the room and tilted his head towards one of the many hatches and doors. "Right through there, isn't it?"

The crewman nodded as she followed Simba over to a large access hatch. "The primary ablative generator is, yes. It needs to be connected directly to the warp plasma manifolds in order to have enough power to maintain the energy matrix. The actual generators are positioned at several locations on the ship's hull."

"Right, Crewman, I helped build them… I know how they work."

"Of course, Lt. Fehr mentioned that. Sorry, so few people are familiar with these systems that I sometimes forget."

"Don't worry about it," Simba reassured her as he crawled through the hatch and into another chamber. The chamber resonated with the hum of equipment and was cast in a deep blue glow from the ablative matrix. The space itself was reasonably large, but the massive equipment filled most of it, leaving little room to maneuver. "This was a lot easier in a lab," he commented as he squeezed himself through a narrow opening and opened an access panel to examine the circuitry. "How much power does the system draw when in operation?"

"We estimate that the system will draw between five hundred and one thousand teradynes depending on the level of energy absorption." Jensen emerged from the crawlway and into the main chamber. "So as much as one quarter of the total warp core output in the worst-case scenario."

Simba frowned and made a face at the circuitry for a moment, then turned to face the crewman. "What do you mean, you estimate? I'm sure the engineers must have a record of its real-world energy consumption from when it's been used."

Jensen shook her head slowly. "No, sir, we don't. The system has never been brought on-line, it has only been tested in simulations. It's never been used."

With a sigh, Simba closed his eyes for a second to process this new bit of information. "So you're telling me that we have no real-world data on how the most advanced defensive system in Starfleet will affect the ship because nobody has ever once turned it on to see how it works?" The look on her face told him that she was, in fact, telling him exactly that. "Great, just great. Hand me a tricorder, please, we have a lot of work to do, Crewman."

Introducing tactical NPC Crewman Lisa Jensen


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/02-13-2009 02:37:59 PM

-Deck 5, Library-
-USS Chimera-

Javier 'tasted' T'Shaini's lips as his mouth pressed against hers, kissing her slowly and passionately, savoring the texture of her lips against his own. Kissing T'Shaini was like inhaling pure oxygen, it gave him a heady sensation and Javier never grew tired of the feeling. In fact, the engineer did his best to experience the sensation as much as possible. Also, the excitement of being with T'Shaini was coupled with the gratitude he felt from their discussion. His problems with Foxe had brought back dark memories of his time in the marines; a time when few people had tried to befriend him and even fewer had shared his trust.

But those times are over now Javier told himself. A gentle touch, a gesture, a lingering look, a slight smile and perhaps a few spoken words were all they needed to communicate how they felt. Sometimes he wondered if Vulcan telepathy played a part in the connection but Javier knew that T'Shaini never employed the ability. It was almost like the connection of an Imzadi or what Terrans would call a soul mate, but since Javier wasn't Betazed and he didn't believe in the second notion, their connection defied explanation. Suffice it to say, he could live without knowing exactly what it was that brought them closer, as long as they remained close.

His hands cupped her face, pushing her hair back as Javier's thumbs gently stroked the Vulcan woman's ears. T'Shaini's ears fascinated him. He loved touching and kissing them almost as much as he liked touching and kissing other parts of T'Shaini. Javier placed light kisses along her cheek, his hand sliding down T'Shaini's back, as his mouth found her right ear.

I cannot believe I followed him back here. T'Shaini thought with a smile. There were many, many things she could not have imagined happening…but then came Javier. She had heard the old Terran saying 'opposites attract' and they seemed to be proof of it. Mercurial where she was reserved, physically demonstrative in direct opposition to her Vulcan upbringing, filled with humor where she was….well she was trying. He brought a richness to her life that she had never dreamed of. She caught her breath as his eternal fascination with her ears was once again made apparent…then stiffened as someone clearing their throat disapprovingly intruded upon her awareness.

"This is a library…these actions will not be tolerated. If you desire to consummate your relationship you must do so in a private sector of the ship." The Librarian materialized behind them in the stacks…well she had likely not materialized, but she might as well have for all the warning T'Shaini had.

"Cutsforth," Javier breathed in T'Shaini's ear, not bothering to turn around. He'd felt T'Shaini's body stiffen against his own, the exact opposite to what had been taking place just a few moments before the librarian had appeared. "We are learning here," the engineer replied innocently, before returning his attentions to the counselor's ear. He'd ignored holographs before, and was pretty sure this one would eventually leave them alone.

"Javier." T'Shaini hissed. Another opposites reaction. The counselor slid her hands up between them to push against his chest. "I apologize ma'am, we will leave immediately, ah…yes…immediately." She tried to finish as Javier ignored the outside situation.

"Immediately," Javier repeated before smiling and moving in again for another kiss.

T'Shaini dodged his mouth and quickly reversed their positions then spun around to face the hologram. Why am I so disconcerted by a computer construct? She quickly grabbed the hand she could feel beginning to travel and smiled benignly at the Librarian. "Yes…immediately."

Employing some quick moves of his own, Javier grasped T'Shaini's hand and used it to pivot her around so that she was facing him again. "Immediately after this," he stated then kissed her, pulling the counselor close for the last hurrah. His tongue traced her lips then pulled back as Javier grinned at T'Shaini. "Now I'm ready to go."

She tried, really tried to keep the smile from pulling at her lips…but to no avail. With a contrite nod to the arms folded toe tapping hologram, T'Shaini pulled Javier by the hand to the door of the library, once in the relative safety of the hallway she looked at him and shook her head. "Are we the only ones who do this sort of thing…or merely the only ones who get caught?"

"Yes, or the places we choose seem to have rules that include no fraternization." Javier deliberated before saying, "Perhaps in the future we should return to the Jeffries Tube? And avoid libraries and turbolifts?"

"What is wrong with our quarters?" She asked, genuinely perplexed.

Javier smiled and pulled T'Shaini closer. "Nothing, it's just sometimes they're too far away.."

Hooked On Photonics didn't work for JaviTee.


Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/02-13-2009 04:23:56 PM

:: USS Chimera ::
:: Captain’s Ready Room ::

Still recovering from his attempt at ‘inspiring’ the disenchanted crew, as Lachesis put it, Captain Torrik sat at his desk and reviewed specs for their new ship. The Prometheus class was impressive indeed, but Chimera bore none of the hallmarks of exploration that Hawking became known for. Certainly her tactical features evoked a certain respect, but the more he examined her, the more Nils felt like he’d be out of his element. Images of losing at battleship to Javier paraded through his mind, mocking him.

The chime shook him from his study. “Come in,” he called casually.

Callan Vail entered looking none too pleased. “I have something…” His usual air of confidence and decorum seemed rattled. “And I don’t like what I have.” He approached the edge of the desk and dropped a PADD before the Captain. “Have a look…”

Timeship1.png

Nils scanned the image as Vail continued speaking. “The Freya listening post took these scans of a passing ship three days ago. Her trajectory puts her en route to Iota Draconis Minor, Terra Prime’s new home star. Well…new in relation to their ancestral home in the Sol sector.”

“I’ve never seen this type of…” Some of the readings jumped out at him quite suddenly. “Chroniton flux?” The Bajoran paused as the implications bounded around in his head. He immediately began forming hypotheses.

“Exactly. As soon as these images were flagged an encrypted burst subspace transmission sent the intel directly to a protein refinement plant on one of Bajor’s moons.” Vail paused and leaned in. “I’ve known for some time that refining of proteins does not occurs in that plant, if you catch my meaning.” The hint of a smile touched the corners of his mouth. “The transmissions run cold there, but manufacturing efficiency reports are run out of that plant to an office on board DS9 every twelve hours. The office to which those reports are submitted garners a daily visit from none other than Lt. Commander S’Van. He’s been keeping a close eye on the Freya post for a few weeks. I think this is why,” the ancient man said tapping on the image of the strange angular vessel.

“Vail, sometimes you and Harry frighten me,” Nils said, still engrossed in the listening posts abbreviated analysis. Callan didn’t answer. Although the Bajoran initially had a hard time trusting the Intelligence officer, he’d grown accustomed to his presence and insight. He’d proven himself useful on more than one occasion and never gave the Captain a reason to question his unofficial presence on board the ship. “These readings are sketchy and incomplete at best. But the particle wake from this ship is pretty conclusive.”

Vail nodded. “I thought as much.”

The younger man said what they were both thinking. “A timeship.”

“And,” said Vail raising a finger to punctuate his added information. “There are deeply classified references to another string of temporal encounters derived from the logs of the USS Voyager. Cathy Janeway encountered a timeship very similar to this one in at least two different time periods, though it is chronicled in only one blacked out log entry in 2375.”

Nils looked up suddenly and said, “How deeply classified are those logs? Can you get us more information?”

“I’m already working on it,” Vail said as he settled finally into a chair. “But temporal incursions are buried to a degree that there are only a very, very few people who have real access that runs that far below the grid. For good reason…”

“Interfering with the timestream is something that should be left to the Prophets,” Nils said reverently.

“Or other such non-corporeal beings. We flesh-and-bloods have a tendency to muck things up a fair bit.”

“Did you know I specialized in Temporal Mechanics at the academy… Along with quantum mechanics and…” Nils shook his head. “The ramifications of some of the existing temporal theory is daunting. I found that the more I learned the less I really knew.”

“I choose not to dwell anywhere but in my own present. It keeps things from becoming too daunting.” Vail smiled and leaned back in his chair. “I would advise you to do the same.”

“What are we looking for, Vail? We still aren’t even remotely aware of our role in all of this. Harry is right… Why us?”

Vail’s smile vanished and he said, “My only answer for now is…why not… But I know that’s not good enough. Chimera’s last two assignments mirrored those of Terra Prime’s latest forays into Federation Space. S’Van has been piggy backing on archaeological missions and my assumption is that our first two pieces of the puzzle are the prizes from these expeditions.”

“Right… And now there is a third Terra Prime team en route from Luna to Iota Draconis Minor and we have to intercept her before she gets there. It only makes sense that the latest team has the next piece of this puzzle.” The young CO shook his head. “If they didn’t want Terra Prime dredging up important data on Luna, why did they grant Terra Prime digging rights?”

“Because it was the ‘right thing to do,’” Vail answered in a sing songy tone, clearly not pleased with the decision. “Prime’s roots are Terran. They have as much claim to their heritage as any human on any number of worlds.”

“Which is fair… Except that now it falls to us to play antiquities police.” One more time Nils lamented the lack of honest exploration in every assignment that came his way. “Add in the rogue timeship and things really start to get interesting.”

“Two ships… One carrying contraband mission vital information. And one, a timeship of mysterious origin…” Vail seemed to be thinking aloud. “And both are heading towards the same system at the same time. And all of this data is being funneled to the man who is sending us on this misadvised adventure.”

“I’ve never believed in coincidence,” the Bajoran offered seriously.

“Well there is one more thing we have in common,” the El-Aurian said with a tight smile. “I’ll keep you informed,” he added finally as he stood up and left.

After the Intel officer departed, Nils reviewed Freya Station’s telemetry once more. “Chroniton Flux,” he muttered quietly. Making a sharp change in course Nils closed the Chimera specs he’d been studying before Vail’s visit and began a new line of study. All of it centered on the latest Temporal research.


Originally Posted by Emily Star/02-13-2009 06:47:00 PM

"Heey there sis!" Jennifer said, putting her arm around Emily's neck,"Are you all snuggled in?"

"Not exactly and I doubt snuggled is the right word." she said, removing the arm.

"Ouch, cranky.." she kept following her, "So whatcha up to?"

"I'm off to deck fifteen. Need to make sure some cargo transferred properly." Emily said,"You never can trust what the computer says."

"OOh yay I love those jobs. Like being on a tribble count." Jennifer said with a groan.

"A..what?" Emily said, stopping walk.

"Tribble count…oh yeah I forgot you're old academy! Its a new training exercise in the security class. Gotta count them, shows how well you can add in your head." Jennifer flipped a tuft of blonde hair.

"You know you're supposed to have that up." Emily said continuing her walk.

"Yep." Jennifer replied, "But I'm not on duty yet so I don't think its a problem."

"You're in uniform…" Emily began but gave up. She wasn't about to get into an arguement over Jennifers hair.

Emily had learned quickly that arguing with Jennifer meant trouble. Of course her father wasn't able to come crashing down in the middle tearing her away form his precious blonde princess. Which opened new doors to their relationship. She began to quietly wonder what Jennifer was like without having her daddy to back her up.

"Door," Jennifer suddenly said.

"Huh," _WHACK_

"I warned you." Jennifer said with a chuckle, "Door.."

"It should have opened." she groaned, rubbing her head.

Jennifer nodded, "Yes but perhaps it's on a break."

Suddenly the turbolift doors opened and a rather baffled looking scruffy man poked his head out.

"Are you alright?" he asked, completely bewildered.

"If you mean did I enjoy that then no." she sat up, "What are you doing in there.?" Emily asked.

"Isn't it obvious," Jennifer jumped in," What do all men do while locked in a turbolift?"

He flushed a little, "I uhh…"

"They eat food."she added, pointing to the apple core in his hand.

"You locked the turbolift for..a snack.?" Emily said completely baffled.

"I…" he offered a hand for her to get up, "I was heading up and didn't want to get caught eating on duty. My ship but under new management. It wouldn't make a very good impression."

Emily accepted his hand, "And making a dent in my head does?"

"Actually..your forehead is a little lopsided. A dent might just…" she went quiet.

Emily just glared at her sister and dared her to finish the sentence.

"I'm sorry ladies," he said, looking between the two, "I don't believe we've met. Ramirez, Alejandro Ramirez…"

"Emily Star," she said, turning her gaze from her sister to the man in the lift, who now had a name.

"Jennifer Star," she interupted,"No relation."

"Oh, well I would have never thought that. You two look nothing alike." he smiled at Jennifer, "I see we're all security, guess that means lucky me."

"Very lucky you," Jennifer added, "Now why don't we head off and let Emily get to her counting the little buckets downstairs. I'm sure she doesn't need us around. Do you, Emily?"

"Nope," she said through gently gritted teeth before smiling, "I'm fine, thanks for the hand up." she then moved to let him exit the lift before stepping in and letting the doors close.

"Very lucky you," she mimicked her sister, "No relation." she spat out in a rich girl tone, "I'm just blonde little miss perfect. The Star of the Stars…"

Reaching deck fifteen she exited and fume her way to the Cargo hold. Taking a deep breath she let go of the anger and paused to feel the quietness of the not-talking cargo. Then, silently she began her task.

Featuring NPC Jennifer Star and a random bit of Alejandro Ramirez


Originally Posted by Javier Costala/02-13-2009 07:43:41 PM

-Crew Quarters-
-USS Chimera-

Fenton awoke when he heard the sound of running water. He had never gotten use to the showers that used hydro. Even at the Academy, Fenton had requested living quarters with sonic showers. The sound of water hitting the floor reminded him of his homeworld, where irradiated water had dripped down into the caverns below the surface and formed pools of water with such a high toxicity it could not be utilized. He had heard of people living farther underground who drank a purified form of the water but he and Killian had never tasted any of it.

He rolled over and glanced at his chronometer. 3:48AM. Someone as released from their shift a little earlier than usual. the engineer thought. The splattering water stopped falling and Fenton pulled up the blanket he was using, wrapping himself deeper in its folds as he turned to face the wall. Fenton dozed off for a few minutes, waking again when he heard his roommates tread upon the floor as BHP crossed the room and climbed into the bunk on the opposite side of the room from Fenton.

Boyce heard his friend groan as if in pain. "They let you go a few hours early?" he asked.

"Yeah," Ben inhaled sharply as the soreness in his body flared with renewed pain as he swung his legs onto the bed, "guess Djinn got tired of working me over." The security officer eased his feet under the covers then emitted a sigh of relief as his legs straightened.

"Working you over? Does that mean they've been working you hard?" Fenton inquired. He had yet to decipher all of Pierce's Iotian phrases.

"Pretty much," BHP told his friend without going into the details about how a fighter being 'worked over' by another fighter meant getting beat up. "How's Engineering?" His eyelids started to close almost as soon as his head touched the pillow. They jerked open when Fenton started speaking.

"Bad. The old Chimera Chief won't leave and now he's filed a grievance against the Commander. Not only that, but he's trying to persuade his old crew to jump ship and say they have a lack of confidence in Chief Costala." Fenton frowned at the wall. "I wish I could talk to him. I'd make him change his mind."

"Why don't you then?" BHP asked with a yawn warping his voice as it broke free in mid-sentence. "Give him my regards."

Fenton turned over and looked towards the area where Pierce's bunk was located. "Are you serious? I could get in all kinds of trouble for that..and he outranks me."

"Forget I said..it..then…" He was slipping away. The darkness was replaced by Jenny's face and his eyes centered on her cherry red lips which had widened in surprise and anticipation. Ben held Jenny in a close embrace as he lowered his mouth to meet hers.

"You have the power to break her heart," Ben heard Commander Finn's voice say.

"Are you going to break my heart?" Jenny asked him. She stared up at him with her gray eyes fully open, searching his face.

"No, I won't hurt you," Ben replied softly, his fingers brushing aside a strand of her auburn hair that had fallen across her face. "I can't hurt you, I.."

"You're a liar Benjamin Hyde Pierce," Vela said as she stepped from the shadows. "You told me it would never work between you and Jenny. You said that the two of you were too different."

Ben could see the hurt reflected in Jenny's features. Tears welled up in the corners of the young woman's eyes and threatened to break free. "Please don't," he whispered, pulling Jenny into an embrace. "I'm sorry. Don't cry..I'm sorry..I didn't mean it."

He was awake and staring at the ceiling. BHP didn't move. Did I say that? Did I tell Vela that Jenny and I were too different? I told her we shouldn't write each other but did I say that we shouldn't be together? Pierce thought about the weeks he had been imprisoned. He couldn't remember having told Vela anything like what she had accused him of in his dream. It was a dream..a bad dream. Ben realized.

=/\=Cadet Mellon to BHP…where are you? We have armory duty.=/\= his commbadge chirped from where it was still attached to the uniform he had ditched before showering.

Ben glanced around the room. Fenton's bunk was empty and neatly made. The chronometer said 18:12. "Shit!" He'd overslept! Almost half the day gone. Ben leaped from his bunk and painfully staggered around the room grabbing what he needed. Uniform. Commbadge. =/\=On my way Astyr.=/\= Boots. Toothbrush. No Time. Mouthwash..yes! Shave? Tell them you're growing a beard. Ready. Go. Go. GO! His boots thundered on the deck plating as BHP forced his aching legs to run.

Featuring: Fenton Boyce & BHP


Originally Posted by T'Shaini/02-13-2009 09:37:53 PM

USS Chimera
Main Counselors Office

"I would like you to try to picture yourself, when you feel those emotions spiraling out of control, reaching and unhooking the barb that is escalating them and see if that will aid you in letting the moment go."

"I see what you are saying…" Angus launched into a long explanation of how he would try it and how he thought it might be impossible. T'Shaini intended to reinforce this lesson until the young security officer began taking responsibility for his actions and made strides toward correcting his aggressive behavior. It was not just Jenny that he had been lashing out at, and if he did not curb these tendencies, it would hinder his chances at advancement. He was so young, and had many good qualities..surely progress was inevitable.

"…but bottom line is they had no ****ing reason to deny my transfer." He spit out angrily. His chest felt tight, the anger was starting to reach up and close his throat. Angus's hand reached up to pull at his collar, it was hard to get enough air.

"Angus." The counselor's voice penetrated the haze of rage surrounding him. "Angus." She repeated until he looked up at her. "I want you to picture it, unhook what is escalating this emotion." His eyes squeezed shut, he tried…really he tried. However justified this anger was, it made him feel like shit, if he could let it go…well, he couldn't imagine what would happen, but it had to be better than feeling like this. McMennon tried, really tried, to do what the Vulcan said, he could sort of picture a red hot hook gauging into his chest…his imaginary fingers reached out for it….

From the outside, T'Shaini watched his struggle, the skin around his eyes stark white, his lids were pressed so tightly shut, one hand began to clutch at the uniform over his chest, pulling the material away. She leaned forward in her seat watching the ever increasing tension, then…

"I can't…I tried but I can't." Angus launched from the chair. "**** this, it's not gonna work." After he stormed out the door, past a dumbfounded David, T'Shaini let out a deep sigh. "Not everyone is going to be amenable to the counseling process, and some, even when they know it would greatly improve their life, are going to have difficulty. The real job of a counselor is to have patience…if you will pardon the pun." She said softly in David's direction.

"I will not." A firm female voice said from behind her.

Weeeee T'Shaini stood and turned to see a maternal…if a bit stern, looking woman behind the seating area. "You must be Lachesis." The counselor said, stretching out her hand in greeting. Do you shake hands with a hologram? The firm grip she received was answer enough.

"I think that young man needs a firmer hand." Lachesis underscored her words with a death grip on the Vulcan's fingers. "You seem to be allowing him to act without restraint, very bad for the ship."

"I am certain you understand that I cannot force him to feel one way or another, I can only attempt to aid him to channel these emotions in a constructive way." Was she really getting lectured about her technique from a hologram? First the library, now this…T'Shaini was beginning to wish they had never left the Hawking, at least there the ship did not get to comment on her life.

Lachesis moved past the counselor and and circled around the office with a critical eye. "It does look comfortable here, but I don't see what was wrong with the previous decor, and why is there toys in the subordinates office?"

T'Shaini took a deep breath, there was time and this was a manifestation she was going to have to get used to…or call Alex to see if she could have her banned from the counseling area. "I wanted a warmer, more comforting environment than the previous occupant did, and toys are because we have children on board now, who have gone through a great deal, and I find putting them in a place where they can play helps them to open up to me."

Lachesis face lit up. "Ahhh, children…of course." She visibly warmed up to the counselor. "Good thinking, now I did quite like the way you handled the young woman the other day. You seem to have developed a good rapport with her…"

Giving over to the inevitability, T'Shaini signaled David to close her doors and sat down for what turned out to be over an hour of discussing her case strategies…if this happens more than once a week I am going to call Alex.


Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/02-14-2009 03:16:03 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Turbolift::

Her half-hour break was almost over but Jen had had just enough time to leave Ben’s finally-completed sweater with Fenton, who’d agreed to play delivery man on her behalf, before she had to head back to Torpedo Loading Maintenance.

“I don’t get it,” he’d said, taking the box she’d stowed the hand knit item in, “why not give it to BHP in person?”

Jenny had wrinkled her nose, “It’s just, this way, if he hates it or it doesn’t fit or… whatever… he won’t have to try and fake the happy.” And it’d just about kill her if he had to fake the happy. She’d dug the pattern up from historical archives… a European cable design from early twentieth century Earth… in the hopes it’d spark a pleasant memory of his home planet… something to combat the darker times.

“I don’t think you need to worry about that,” Boyce told her, “but you know, it does get kinda chilly on the Chimera so, if you ever feel like knitting another sweater…”

Jen had laughed and assured the massive young man that as soon as she found a herd of sheep big enough to supply the necessary wool, she’d get right on it. He’d said no rush and probably she should get some sleep first, anyway. Jenny assured him she’d have all of Beta off, today for just that. And she fully intended to try out T’Shaini’s meditation trick on her own during the six hour break.

For now, however, launch was nigh and Tenanji wanted everyone as up on the ship’s systems as possible. For Jenny, it meant crawling through every torpedo bay’s access tunnels to run a hand’s on diagnostic. It wasn’t the most stimulating task but at least Jones appreciated her jokes more than Govan. Somehow, ‘two penguins walked into a bar’, never quite translated to Cardassian humor.

She didn’t know what to make of the fact that Jones had not once mentioned the previous night’s meeting with S’Van.

The lift paused and she looked up in time to see Aengus… a whitely furious Aengus, leap into the car and demand deck four.

Then he saw her and the hook dug in some more. Great… just effing great.

“Sir,” Jen offered a tentative greeting. She’d no idea how to behave around this version of Aengus, so unlike the man she’d worked with for so long.

It shouldn’t have pissed him off more, Jenny’s cool formality but for McMennon, just coming from the humiliation of the failed session with T’Shaini, Anderson’s distance was just another barb in the hook of his fury. That he’d earned it, and knew he’d earned it, by his own standoffish behavior didn’t help matters in the least. “At ease,” he snapped then he really snapped. “Hold lift,” he ordered, turning on the young woman who’d ruined his friend’s career.

“Sir?” Jenny remained still, looking him in the eye and hoping the nerves weren’t too apparent.

“Don’t,” he waved the formality off, “Just… don’t. And don’t give me that look, either.”

Jenny, at a loss, raised her hands helplessly, “What look? What…”

“That look… that big-eyed, helpless, bullshit look. The same one that twisted Nate into knots… the kind of knots that got him taken out by Chuck. What?” he challenged, seeing the sudden confusion in the young woman, “It never occurred to you that maybe, if he hadn’t been so wrecked over your dumping him that the Betazoid might not have gotten the jump on him? That Chuck knew, because he’d been tripping through your memories, just how distracted the captain would be when he went to make the snatch and grab?

“And if Chuck hadn’t got Nate beamed off the ship, he’d never have assimilated that crew… he wouldn’t have attacked Bramley and wouldn’t have lost his command.” If Aengus noticed how the constant echoing of Chuck’s name struck at the woman in front of him, he didn’t let on.

“I’m sorry,” Jenny said, finding it almost impossible to breathe beneath the sudden assault. “I didn’t know… I didn’t…”

“… think,” McMennan cut in, the fury running his mouth despite warning signs popping up all through his conscience. “No, you didn’t think. Not now and for sure, not then. If you’d been thinking, you’d never have let Chuck lure you into that cargo bay… but you weren’t thinking.

“Or maybe,” his tone dripped acid, “maybe you were. Maybe you thought it’d make your career… little Jenny Anderson, girl detective; Seth’s daughter; Finn’s favorite, takes down the big bad all by herself and saves the day. But it didn’t play out that way, did it? The big bad got you instead. And you got what you deserved….” ABORT, ABORT…

Aengus almost choked as he realized what he’d just said and what it had done to the girl before him. “Shit… no, no, I didn’t mean that. Jenny. Oh, God… I…”

“No, it’s nothing. You’re right. I should have… thought,” the words, soft and hurting fell from lips gone pale.

“No, I’m not right, that was… it’s… I’m sorry. I’m so, so…”

She shook her head once, hard, “Please, sir. If we’re finished, I have to report to my post.”

“You don’t have to call me, sir… we’re frie… you don’t have to…”

“I have to get to my post,” the quiet insistence.

Aengus, filled with more shame than he thought possible, ordered the ‘lift to resume. When he left the turbolift on deck four, he tried once more to apologize but now, when he really needed some, he couldn’t seem to find any words.

Featuring Jenny Anderson and NPC’s Fenton Boyce and Aengus McMennan


Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-14-2009 09:51:59 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Corridor Deck 14::

Three hours to launch, Harry had followed Nils’ advice and taken a half-shift off, with the understanding that the captain would do the same once the Chimera was en route. After weighing the options between the bed in the First Officer’s ready room (hot damn… a ready room to call his own) and his quarters, he’d thought about the past twelve hours, in particular S’Van and his less-than-subtle threats, and gone for a run. With luck, a few rounds of the ship would remove the red haze the Section 31 operative had left hanging over his vision.

The corridors were fairly populated, this being top of Beta shift, but there was that about his expression which inspired the crew to make a hole right quick, so Finn was spared any extraneous dodging. It had been over an hour and he’d worked his way via various corridors and ladders down to deck 14, which was far less crowded, when Atropos made an appearance.

“Harry, I’ve got to tell you…”

“Not the time, Attie,” Harry cut her off while keeping his pace, breathing out for six, in for four…

Jogging backwards in front of Harry, Atropos frowned, “Bad day?”

“Nothing I’m not used to…”

“Well, then…”

“But I’d appreciate some privacy.”

The seeming-woman bit her lip as she turned to run alongside the man. “Well, yes, but… the thing is…”

Harry hissed out the next breath, “If this is anything about anyone kissing anyone else, I don’t want to…”

“Clotho is upset.”

Harry stopped. Clotho was the photonic equivalent of a Vulcan… or Tenanji. She didn’t do ‘upset’. “About what?”

“She’s missing bytes,” Atropos said, absently reaching out to adjust Harry’s sweaty shirt. “Your fellow, Gorsky, was running a series of diagnostics on us… please try to tame him, by the way, he tickles… and discovered that there were blanks in the communications logs… a lot of blanks and you know they had to be well hidden for Clotho not to have noticed…”

“Hidden,” Harry muttered. “Wait, from when… I mean, how far back do the… blanks… go?”

“A few run as far back as a year but, Harry, there’s been a drastic increase in the past twenty three hours. Since…”

“Since the transfer of the Hawking crew.” He spun, paced three steps, spun back and almost ran into the closely following hologram. “And I haven’t heard a word from my contact since we got on board.” He wondered how Vail was managing to get his data… the intel on the Freya listening post was damned comprehensive. “Dammit…” He took another few steps, stopped and looked at Atropos. “Tell Clotho meet me in my quarters in twenty minutes. I want you and Lachesis to work with Gorsky and…” shit, was Hudson cleared for duty yet? “Get someone from Hawking’s ops too. Try to find a trail. I’m betting if you do, it’ll lead straight to S’Van, who we can then report to the Captain…” And then I’ll have the bastard by the…

“Harry,” Atropos placed a cautionary hand on his shoulder, “I don’t think you should mess about with S’Van.”

“Why the hell not?” S’Van certainly had no trouble messing with him.

“He’s dangerous,” Attie warned, wrapping her arms about herself, “I mean, think about it: he could block or… or remove… entire communications on Clotho’s watch, who’s to say what he’d do to you?”

But Harry’s vision had gone to a deeper shade of red, by now. “Maybe, for a change, he should be worried about what I’ll do to him. Twenty minutes,” he reminded, taking off at speed for the nearest turbolift.

Featuring Atropos


Epicenter 1944

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