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11
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 2: S [D01 | 1642hrs] The Spare Tire
Last post by Dumedion -
[Ens. Talia “Shadow” Al-Ibrahim | Cockpit | Wolf-4 | Space, near Conclave Convoy] Attn: @rae @Havenborn 
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Shadow ran.

There was no hesitation; no time to think - no time for anything but action. All the self-doubt and fear, evaporated from her mind in an instant. She flew by rote, by muscle memory blended into desperate instinct; faster than she ever dreamed – body and ship pushed beyond anything she ever dared – because death was literally on her six, trying to bludgeon its way through her shields and rip her ship to shreds. Whatever the bogey was, it wasn’t wasting time with energy weapons or missiles. Sparks flew from an overloaded relay over her shoulder as the shields screeched under the kinetic impact of the things armored tentacles, drowning out Anahi’s monotonous warning: “Shields falling to 29 percent – failure imminent.”

“Four, evading!” Shadow cried out, unsure if anyone could even read her; only distorted, static filled noise filled her helm. “Somebody get this fucking thing off me!”

Talia clenched her entire body, breath pitched into strained grunts under the G’s while she rolled under, around, and over transport after transport in a blur – trying to clear the convoy. Several ships had warped off to who-knew-where; Shadow didn’t care – she just had to get clear, to gain some space to fight and fire – away from so much collateral damage. After the hull of one of the largest ships fell away, she flipped the fighter over on its side and yanked the stick back to her chest, aiming the Valkyrie’s nose to open space.

But then everything shook so hard Shadow had to grip the stick with both hands.It hammered into her again, and again – each strike somehow more powerful than the last in a devastating series of impacts. While Talia struggled to outrun it, power fluctuations rippled through the cockpit, consoles flickered out of time, then synced and stabilized.

In her helm, all Shadow could hear was her own heart pounding in between ragged breaths. She weaved in and out of turns, bank after bank, roll after roll, trying everything and anything to lose it. Dark eyes narrowed in absolute focus, fingers raced across a console dominated by yellow and red warnings; power relays were engaged, flows altered to force new life flowed into her shields taken from auxiliary and secondary systems. Both hands flew to the stick an instant later, and Talia rolled again, harder, into a looped corkscrew – while flares exploded into life in her wake, hoping the distraction would shake the chrome bogie off. While the void spun around her, a glance behind forced a hissed curse out of her gritted teeth: it was still right there – dozens of metaled claws spread to shred into her ship – like something out of a deep-sea nightmare.

But she had cleared the convoy.

While the last transports streaked off into warp, a pulsed stream of phaser fire lit up the void behind bogey like flares in darkness – Talia couldn’t tell who was shooting, but the fact that they had opened fire was all she needed to know.

“Four, re-engaging,” Shadow called out again. “Rear phasers,” the pilot groaned and banked away, “lock and fire!” Lances of orange-colored fire streamed out, the energy beams painting her canopy in flashes of flame.

Shadow didn’t wait to see if they hit – she banked again, cut thrust, then spun her ship around like a top. Two hundred meters. It might as well have been right on top of her: Talia’s finger squeezed the trigger the instant the HUD’s targeting reticle touched it's outstretched tentacles, firing everything.

But nothing happened.

A silver-metallic blur raced past her canopy through a haze of blue-white energy as her shields absorbed even more punishment.

Talia hissed a stream of curses, throttled up and rolled to pursue. “Weapons to manual,” she growled, disengaging audible control; something she should have done the instant she had engaged – but hadn’t. There wasn’t time to stop and bitch herself out about it: a flare of white-hot light forced a wince as someone scored a torp hit, which caused the thing to tumble off askew; Talia pitched up and around, trying to gain a lock. She watched it recover an instant later, trailing a few limp and broken tentacles. Soon as her HUD flickered red, Shadow opened up, adding more streaks of fire into the void.

Off her port wing, she saw another Valkyrie align with her in a blur of motion; diving into firing position. Talia fired again, an attempt to drive the metallic bastard into their firing arc: pulses of fire-orange energy struck home then flew wide as the bogie rolled into the angle of attack, impossible for anything biological to live through. Out of the corner of her eye, Shadow watched as the Valkyrie boosted ahead rolled up and over her, mid-turn, through her fire; an impossible, perfectly timed and executed maneuver – but also the craziest shit she had ever seen. Despite the fact that it was indeed a mk. III, and she’d seen the smoking wreck of Javert’s bird seconds before – the IFF ident on her HUD erased all doubt about who the pilot was.

Fuck me, old man can fly!

“You're lead, Janus,” Talia breathed out, cut her thrust and rolled onto his wing; a scissor maneuver that mimicked his earlier stunt, without the crazy added in for flavor. Static answered her in a distorted wash, but Shadow could just make out his voice; the EM flash must have screwed up her transmitter somehow. There was nothing for it though – coms would have to wait, which left Shadow flying her heart out just trying to keep up with him; Janus would open up with his pulse phasers to box the bandit in, which allowed Shadow to hammer it with a salvo of micro-torps – then the pair would switch positions on the fly.

Tracking it was hell – it kept shifting in and out of target lock – it’s metallic hull phased in and out of visual, like a fluctuating cloaking device. Sparks of energy arced from it with every hit, but it wasn’t showing any signs of actual damage. Worse, the coiled tendrils that trailed behind it seemed to be absorbing everything they threw at it.

“Four, in the blind,” Talia’s voice strained while she maneuvered, hoping Janus and the rest could hear her. “If anyone has any ideas how to kill this thing, now would be a great time!” Of course as soon as she said that, the damn thing flipped itself over and decided to launch itself directly at them, covered in blue-white lightning that danced across its chromed hull as it surged forward in a menacing blur of mechanical threat. Talia banked hard to port and lost sight of Janus as it rolled between them and vanished.

“No joy, no joy,” Shadow called out as her eyes searched the void, then re-oriented and leveled out off Janus’ port wing. Taking advantage of the lull, still panting and dripping cold sweat, she released the death grip off the throttle to begin emergency repairs – but felt her entire body trembling. “Keep it together,” she breathed out, then started working to restore her coms.

[Lilioqoan, Director of the Oaarian Arkship]

“Data received; analyzing,” it’s machine voiced rasped as the Conclave ships leapt off into warp. The Oaarian Arkship drifted along sedately, too preoccupied with the mysterious attacker, and determined to aid in its destruction if necessary. “Chronometric particles detected; confirmed. Processing.”

The giant jelly-fish-like bulk of its form was clouded with trillions of sub-dermal pinpricks of multi-colored light while it processed the incoming data streamed from the Conclave’s new-found allies. If it were possible for such a creature to appear anxious – with no discernable face, or expressive features at all – it certainly would be. Tendrils thrashed and coiled around it, manipulating the bio-electric interface of it’s fluid-filled globe in a frenzy. Data fed conclusions, yet those conclusions violated rationality; Oaarians were the scientific backbone of the Conclave – utterly logical, unable to comprehend anything beyond the cold rationality of their reality – and yet, the data led to only one definitive outcome:

A drone, highly advanced beyond anything they had ever imagined, had gone rogue; severed from the collective consciousness – operating of its own will.

Impossible, it’s translucent skin flashed with bright red and orange flares of discord – unable to reconcile the evidence of its own logical process. Such a thing cannot be. But it was, and their allies needed to know what they were facing. Lilioqoan re-opened the coms channel as it began to feed power into the launch matrix of hundreds of loyal combat drones.

“Alert: analysis concluded – subject design and alloy composition verified. Base structure, behavior, and aggressive attack methodology confirmed. Subject comparison estimated at 78.789 percent; advise extreme caution – data suggests subject is Oaarian drone of unknown temporal displacement, most likely some centuries or millennia in the future. Aggressive behavior suggests it is intent on disruptive action against current time-line.” While it ‘spoke’, Lilioqoan simultaneously began to upload its vast accumulation of scientific knowledge to its sister Arks – the entirety of its species wisdom and genius – for preservation and service to the Conclave, should the worst consequences come to pass.

We will not suffer this abomination to exist, it decided. The fluid of Lilioqoan's artificial womb turned blood-crimson as it activated the Ark’s defensive systems, built in secret against the stipulations of its fellow Conclave directors.

“We stand ready to assist,” Lilioqoan’s machine voice droned, as the void around its vast Ark filled with hundreds of vastly smaller craft like a swarm of flies; each drone was barely two meters long, silver-hulled, and armed with a single cutting beam and proximity charge. The mass of them flowed around the Ark’s hull in a nauseating blur of synchronization – bound to Lilioqoan’s control.

[The Drone]

It registered damage and initiated repairs; mission parameters had altered in the wake of the unknown and unanticipated arrival of additional hostiles. These had proven more difficult to eliminate and threatened its primary directive – which was unacceptable. Success/failure ratios were calculated; threat assessments concluded. The desired outcome of mission completion overruled all other priorities; It would prosecute its primary directive immediately: The Creator must be eradicated.

Cloaked in a bubble of dark energy, It sent out a sub-space screech of scrap-code that severed the Creator’s will from its distant kin, enslaving the primitive reflections of itself. These It willed out in all directions to deal with the remaining defenders – each tendril several dozens strong, more than enough to eliminate their threat. With the Creator's ship rendered completely vulnerable, It shed the bubble of void energy like a cocoon, which cracked apart like a crystal orb of dark glass, and leapt onto the hull of the Oaarian Ark – every clawed tendril splayed wide – to tear it apart.


OOC: Our number of targets has increased a bit. Each ship (3 Valks, 1 Runabout) now has ~40 or so little drones to worry about, not to mention Chromie is now really pissed off, and taking it out on big papa squiddy. Cheers, have fun :)
12
Interregnum 01-02 S2 / Re: Day 6 [ 1300hrs. ] Let's Get Physical
Last post by Sqweloookle -
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Hirek's Quarters | Deck 17 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz I think a fade to black situation would be a great end this thread ;)

Elro laughed at the implication that the wine would be the cause of any debauchery that suddenly happened between them. Like either of them wouldn't embrace the effects wholeheartedly. He smirked at Hirek a few times the two made eye contact during their eating. Mostly during swallowing and not the actual eating which Elro was glad for, the mix of food and pleasure is not something he knew how to merge with any degree of sensuality.

Though a few times tongue swirling and lip licking had been swapped between the two men at times when using the cutlery, Elro seemed to be getting better at the flirting side of things. Soon things got quiet then Hirek asked why Elro had become a healer, it was pretty much his entire life since his parents were healers and so felt like an obligation. Or maybe it was that he found the medical subjects interesting enough as a few did plug into Sciences. He'd probably be into Sciences if not Medical. It was hard to see his life in other directions then it was now.

He mulled over the question and truly many Betazoids do go into psychology since empathy and or telepathy are a great asset for such a career. Perhaps that did play a somewhat unconscious factor in his family going into medical fields. He couldn't say for sure. "I'm glad to hear your parents didn't force any direction on you, I don't think I was able to be anything else but a Healer. My parents are healers and so I've always been exposed to all things Medical my whole life. My extrasensory abilities were one of those highly observed cases and so I guess I wanted to learn all about everything biological." Elro spoke as he stared at his plate, not really focusing on the plate but off in memory.

After a moment he looked up, he smiled. "I had a talent for it and so after the Dominion War and losses I threw myself into the career more to help me deal with the pain. I'm proud of what I have accomplished and glad I could save those I did." Elro frowned but it disappeared as he stared at Hirek. "Perhaps when all things are done and said I might look into doing something else." He laughed and smiled again. "Afterall you did just that, you're a bioengineer now from a spy, well officially I guess which is like your dream profession right? So anything is possible. I may just have to borrow you for a few chemistry projects in the future."

Elro leaned back in his chair after a few more mouthfuls of his meal and he sighed, contently filled. Well only for now that is, soon a new hunger will probably be back in full force, aided by the wine of course.
13
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Chapter 1: The (hopefully) Great Romulan Smash and Grab [Day 1 | 1800hrs ]
Last post by Sqweloookle -
[ Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston | Romulan Secret Disease and Weapons Research Space Station #2, ha not good enough to be #1 clearly since we found it | 24lyrs from Romulus ] attn: @BipSpoon @Ellen Fitz @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate @RyeTanker @Stegro88 @Dree sorry if I missed anyone.

Before the Red team could even get inside the massive station, those that had made contact with its hull felt the impact of the Mary Baldwin reverberating along the plating. He was surprised that he wasn't shaken loose. It made Adam hold on tighter to the convenient handle like protrusions near him as he was making his way to Amarik, the rest of Red team and their entry point.

He decided to put himself fully against the plating as he looked around. He witnessed just as the piece of debris sliced through the torso of Lieutenant Asra Tek. It was quick and one part of the body was spinning out of control away from the station, Adam found Amarik holding onto the other part of Asra. He could see her pained scream as he slowly made his way over, grabbing parts of the external hull that he could hold onto.

Walking on the hull was a bad idea with all the debris and asteroids floating around that could kill him instantly. He didn't know Asra at all or much he realised and regretted not making the effort to do so, perhaps when they returned to the Theurgy he'd look into getting to know more of his fellow anti-Parasite crusaders. Though that did mean he'd possibly lose them in the future. It all started to spiral in his head before he suddenly recalled what Amarik told him back on the Apache.

Quote from: Lieutenant Valyn Amarik
“Blow the bitch to high hell if you can, but if not just get yourselves out. I’ll leave the specifics of the fireworks to you.” She gave Kingston a nod, “speaking of improvisation, don’t be afraid to do so if you need to. If someone’s coming at you, and your phaser ain’t workin’ for whatever reason, use whatever you have to. Disruptor. Knife. We’re in for a fight and I don’t wanna sugarcoat it, we need to stay quiet for as long as we can because when they find us, and eventually they will, they’ll throw everything they have at us to protect their secrets, hell they may blow the place themselves, so just…be careful.”

Adam watched Amarik prep herself for an angry insertion into the station then her voice came over the intercom.

Quote from: Lieutenant Valyn Amarik
“Tether to the station, or to each other! Tek is dead. Breach that fucking door!”

He knew that perhaps continuing radio silence wasn't productive as they already had so much disadvantage. They lost Asra Tek, disadvantaged because of the crash putting the Romulans on full alert, Patterson’s propulsion unit malfunctioning and probably out of commission, and the possibility that they might not even complete the mission. He placed a hand on Amarik, this was to help him move past her so he was in a good position, since she was the team leader, he shoved her back and placed his grav boots on the door.

Adam extracted a charge from his pack and placed it on the door's edge. He glared at Amarik. "Unless you want to die, move!" Adam said and gestured for them to get out of the way, though the charge shouldn't spray any debris at them but outward because of the escaping atmosphere of the station. "Let's avenge our fallen!" He encouraged once they were a metre or so away. He triggered the charge and a much smaller rumble went through the hull but the hatch was blown away into space along with the debris.

A pair of Romulan guards were floating away as well, Adam saw them and grinned. "It has begun," he proclaimed and began walking to the breach rifle drawn and aimed as he got closer. Once inside he noticed no one, well the area did just get decompressed so of course no one would be there. He entered quickly and hoped that Amarik followed along with Lt.J.G. Vince Kennedy. He wasn't sure of Petty Officer Second Class Riley Patterson's fate but prayed she made it to fight with them.
14
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Chapter 2: DIS Engage [ Day 1 | 1259 ]
Last post by RyeTanker -
[ Lieutenant Commander Frank Arnold | Main Engineering | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]
@Dumedion @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Number6 @Nero @Nolan @Havenborn @tongieboi @chXinya @Pierce @joshs1000

The power numbers continued to fluctuate wildly as the rogue subspace particles changed the laws of physics within the warp core and caused the fine calculations to be thrown out of wack. This was causing problems with keeping the warp field stable, and the ship's velocity began to change at random intervals, some times slowing down, other times speeding up.  It wasn't too noticeable unless you saw the numbers, but a change of 0.001 in the warp speed was heading in the direction of a variance of 0.005.  Thankfully, there was reserve capacity in the inertial dampeners, so the crew hadn't been turned into berry jam...yet.

As Lieutenant Ryn and Morali tried to sort out the odd particle generation from different ends, Frank noticed his vision was beginning to go a bit blurry.  Leaning on the master terminal, he ignored the feeling and began working on a possibly desperate plan to clear the core of the particles.  He heard the call from several teams indicating they were in position, but hadn't seen any issues yet.  Hitting his combadge, he had to remind himself that several of the people helping him now weren't engineering personnel and may now know what he had in mind. "Stand by, begin reinforcing the conduits with the polarizers and forcefields. I'm going to pass along instruction shortly for adjustments to the forcefield generators."

He shook his head for a moment to clear the beginnings of nausea and set about making the calculations for the plan to clear out the core.  He considered using the transporters, but subspace particles were unpredictable, and they would be too much in flux for him to be sure they'd be stable for the entire cycle with nothing to keep them stable except a computer buffer and confinement beam.  Never mind what would happen if they couldn't be reassembled properly, plus the amount of data storage would be preposterous.

The first step involved adjusting the properties of the warp field to act as a subspace microfibre cloth, but only do so within the confines of the ship.  His fingers tapped over the keys to make the calculations and the Chief frowned as he realized he'd also have to shut down subspace communications so the array wouldn't try to tear the fabric of the under universe at the same time.  Next came the modifications to the force field generators where they would not only have to act as a particle accelerator, but also keep the affected EPS systems from coming apart at seams.  Frank was coming up with the program on the fly and he needed a little help. "Thea, check programming on magnetic coil principles to eject subspace radiation.  Simulate for max continuous ejection while keeping EPS integrity at 150 then 200 max integrity tolerances." There was a slight pause as Chief Arnold had unlocked the full potential of the AI to the problem. "Yes Chief.  Working. Power output, pulse rate set.  We're going to need more power."  Frank thought about this for a moment and his fingers flew over the master control table. "Listen up, you too Thea! On my mark, begin emergency deceleration and reduce the fuel feeds to hot standby levels in the main core.  When that happens, reroute power from the impulse engines and auxiliary fusion generators to the subspace field as well as structural integrity.  Vector 2 Engineering, as soon as the matter stream begins to abate, bring the aux core to active and keep the deceleration constant.  "

Frank couldn't see everyone else, but he looked around the Engineering deck to see that everyone was with him. "As soon as the aux core is active, begin venting the main core out the nacelles and reroute all fusion power the the SIF on the nacelles." Frank knew what they were going to attempt would place a huge amount of wear on the nacelles, he had no idea how much, but it could be an order of magnitude more then normal operations.  Someone got up and ran to the head and a wretching sound could be heard as the variations IDF calculations were becoming more difficult as the power instability got worse.  "When we drop below warp 1, invert the warp field and fire an inverse tachyon pulse into the core.  Frank fired off the specifications then inhaled to steel himself then looked at the master control panel and hit the ship wide intercom button. "All hand, this Engineering. Beginning deceleration 10...9...8..."  At 0, the ship went eerily quiet for a moment, then began to thrum madly as secondary systems struggled to take up the load the main warp core had been forced to abandon, and as the metal of the ship was being tested, so was the mettle of the crew as people struggled to hold on to their lunches, and cleaning services went into over drive as some showed they had less constitution than others.

Outside the ship, a green cloud emerged from the nacelles, laced with bright flakes as bits of radiation coalesced, forming sparkling beacons in void.  Unlike the gas that carried them out, these sparkles did not dissipate easily.  Subspace was not entirely well understood, even by the brightest minds in the Federation, but under a certain mass, the universe insisted these aberrations in the cosmic under fabric could not be allowed to exist and the radiation annihilated itself, leaving behind significant pulses of energy that existed for just a moment, then disappeared from wherever they came from.

PO3 Cirus Bodega's head was cradled in his hands as he sat at his console on the main bridge near the tactical section. He'd been through some space turbulence, but that was something else.  Inhaling, he could hear someone gagging. "Computers, set ventilation to maximum." someone ordered and the smell of vomit began to dissipate.  He considered himself one of the lucky ones and shook his head to clear the nausea.  Looking up at the screen, he could see the trail of subspace disturbances behind them and he turned his head slightly to address Commander Cross. "Sir, we're leaving a subspace wake that's going to have a high detection threshold.  Someone is going to know we're here."  The petty officer punched a sequence to run a detection model and looked around the stellar neighbourhood.  The Chief's voice came over the intercom. "Engineering to bridge. We're surveying the damage, but we're going to need some time to re align the primary warp core, so somewhere to hide would be much appreciated.  I'll have more information in about 20 minutes on what the state of the various systems are, all I know right now is that communications and warp drive are offline."

It didn't take the Petty Officer long to come up with some information that could be useful. "Sir, there's a class M system bearing 295 mark 286.  It looks like a failed system.  Lots of asteroid belts and some gas clouds, not much in the way of planetary bodies."

[Bridge of the Imperial Romulan Carrier Okhala Thrai]

Sub-Commander Choreeno kept his face carefully neutral.  One did not let underlings know that they were livid.  That was a sign of weakness or treachery in the perpetually paranoid Romulan Fleet; especially now that there were various factions tearing the Empire apart.  Starting with the arch-traitor Donatra.  Thankfully, he'd had plenty of practice, or he would not have reached his current rank and station.  This mission really wasn't what his ship was designed for though.  Wiping out a rebellious space station could have been handled by a single warbird, but the traditional beam navy was still in charge and the new carrier navy was subordinate to them.  There were times he wished he'd been born of a higher station, then he'd be able to use influence to steer resources away from such wasteful vanity projects such as the old D'deridex-class.  A big show was all they were as the Dominion War had demonstrated.

At leas the Valdore was a bit of an improvement, but it still lacked the prestige and flexibility his carrier had.  The most he let anyone see of the sigh was a slight flaring of his nostrils as he continued his rumination when a beeping at the sensor station caught his attention.  The Sub-Commander waited.  If the Major in charge of the section didn't come back with information soon, perhaps a tongue lashing would be in order.  There was no such luck as the beeping stopped and the rapid beeps of buttons being pressed could be heard.

"Sub-Commander" Major Ukeel began and the ship's captain turned his chair on its command dias to look at the sensor officer. "We've detected a string of sub space disturbances just on our side of the neutral zone.  Given its trajectory, it was set to intercept us, but seems to have become more dense and intense."  The sub-commander nodded, but his hunter instencts had now been roused.  Something was coming for them, but who?

"Will this anomaly affect our ability to stay at warp?" Sub-Commander Choreeno asked.

"No sir.  It appears to be dissipating." 

"Are there any other ships that can investigate this anomaly?"

Major Ukeel shook his head. "We're the only ship nearby." 

Typical.  The Sub-Commander thought to himself as he turned towards the viewscreen. That space station can't escape and it seems the Federation has sent a quarry after us.  This has just become more interesting.  He allowed himself a brief smile. "Conn, plot an intercept course.  How long till we rendezvous with the disturbance?" 

"We should arrive in approximately 15.5 hours sir."  The CONN officer replied.

"Very well, adjust course. We have hunting to do." Sub-Commander Choreeno ordered as a he flashed teeth at his target.



OOC: The unstable warp field is creating problems keeping a steady velocity, think random brake pumping in a car.  Roll a CON check to see if/how sick you get.
15
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations
Last post by joshs1000 -
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]


The big Kzinti nodded in acknowledgement as Cross described his various hobbies and interests. Most of it was not particularly things Lok liked, as he had stated he didn’t really like guns; the holodeck was not something he typically used except for when he had the urge to race hovercars, granted with the safeties on it didn’t have the same amount of exhilaration as racing a real one. At least they could agree on taking tours of historic places though in Lok’s case that tended to be all sorts of things related to mechanical engineering rather than looking at old buildings and the like. He had a particular fondness of viewing the sea ship museums of various cultures that had them; Earth having probably some of the most he had ever seen.

The topic then shifted back to Cross’s childhood and all the strangeness that came with it. Lok personally didn’t want to pry into it, the whole thing seemed a bit traumatic, at least to him, but Cross seemed more than happy to go into a little more detail. The mention of the Savi and the Commander’s apparent dislike of them, judging by the subtle but audible curse, at least to Lok’s sensitive ears.

Curious Lok asked, “I think I’ve seen one of those Savi on the ship earlier, during the whole issue with the QSD, the gray guys with the big heads and big eyes?” He hadn’t much chance to say hello or anything, the situation in main engineering was an exhilarating hive of activity when he first arrived, though when was engineering not in some sort of crisis. “I don’t think I can recall ever hearing of them before I was put on ice so I guess they are some species you guys met in the past six months or something? Where do they come from?”

After he asked his questions his eyes were drawn to a wall panel behind Cross that was displaying the current time. I should probably leave soon, he thought to himself. He didn’t need to go back on duty or anything but he also hadn’t had a chance to properly unpack his stuff, the issue with the QSD having reminded him of that fact. He also figured he should get some sleep but considering how much was on his mind, having only woken up this morning, he probably wouldn’t be able to. Perhaps he would have a bit of a walk and tour to ship to tire himself out, he preferred to know the ship inside and out rather than using the computer guide all the time; it was this kind of knowledge that helped him in many damage control situations and when one of his old ships, Helios, had her bow blown off during Operation Return. His memory of the ship’s layout allowed him to rescue trapped crew in the remains of her twisted compartments and earned him a Christopher Pike Medal of Valor and many gruesome nightmares for his trouble. This thought made his mind up for him and he endeavored to spend the evening walking the ship after getting his stuff put away.
16
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: PRO S [ Day 1 | 1200hrs ] ALL ABOARD the Crazy Train!
Last post by TWilkins -
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | The Conference Lounge | D.8 | V.2 | USS Theurgy] @Ellen Fitz

Sylvain did his best to keep his face neutral as the Vulcan spoke, nodding somewhat disheartenedly at the Commander’s words. It wasn’t that Sylvain was entirely surprised that the Theurgy’s efforts to spread the truth weren’t having much success, it was just that it might have perhaps been easier for him if he’d remained ignorant as to their attempts; he’d heard an awful lot about the Theurgy's activities when he’d been aboard the Bowman, and not one word of it had been positive. Knowing now that the Theurgy crew had actively been trying to get the truth out, only served to make their mountain appear all the more impassable.

Commander Cross certainly seemed to have a particular knack for curtailing the Ensign’s optimism at every opportunity.

“From my experience Sir, I expect that you’re correct.” Sylvain responded with a somewhat sombre tone. “The Theurgy got mentioned an awful lot in our weekly status updates, and I’m sorry to say that it was all pretty disparaging…” He remembered the disgust he’d felt himself, back when he’d been aboard the Bowman, learning of the Theurgy’s nefarious deeds and self-serving actions; already his perspective had shifted, and he’d only been aboard a few moments… If the ship had been governed by the self-serving lunatics that the FNN were painting them as, he was sure that he’d have received an entirely different welcome.

But, regardless, the Commander was correct; diplomatic efforts with those who would sooner see the galaxy plunged into chaos, were unlikely to progress very far.

“Admiral Anderson gave me the true version of events, but it's certainly the majority who believe the lies; I had myself, before he contacted me…” Sylvain paused, letting a rather full breath of concern flee from his lungs. “The reality of how devious these Parasites are... It's something else entirely.” He admitted, attempting to subdue a rather grim respect for how conniving their strategies actually were. Painting the Theurgy as Romulan defectors, and then forcing them to respond to incidents in Romulan space? From a strategic point of view, the Ensign supposed that such a move was genius; no doubt whatever action he became involved in whilst at the Hobus Star, would be twisted and painted in an unscrupulous light for the rest of Starfleet to see.

Though it hardly mattered now. Sylvain had an assignment, and he’d see it through.

The Commander stood from his position and extended his arm towards the Ensign, hand outstretched in the form of a Terran handshake, a gesture that Sylvain was somewhat familiar with, though not entirely appreciative of; skin-to-skin contact had an unfortunate tendency to aggravate his psionic abilities at the best of times. He’d have preferred a Vulcan salute. Yet, he was nothing if not professional, so he met the Vulcan’s outstretched hand with his own, gripping the older man’s hand firmly and giving it a fairly solid shake, before relinquishing it as quickly as he could manage, without appearing rude. He'd learned that if he didn't dwell on such gestures, it was easier to prevent his mind from overthinking them.

“Thank you Sir.” He replied cordially, conscious that as the Commander had reminded him, he had an inordinate amount of studying to do before he left for the Erudite. “You’ll have to save me a seat in the next Senior Staff meeting; I don't suppose I'll know anybody else…” He finished with a soft, if not awkward, breath of amusement, before he dismissed himself from the room, fetching his bag back up from the floor and slinging it over his shoulder, making a strident pace towards the doorway back into the corridor, before pausing somewhat abruptly in the threshold. He supposed he had a few more things to say...

“I’ll do a good job, don’t worry.” He added, stopping his exit and glancing backwards towards the Commander, taking the moment to offer the man a loose smile, delivering a somewhat astute nod in his direction. He was conscious that he hadn’t made the strongest first impression, so he at least wanted the opportunity to provide the Commander with an ending to their conversation, that might go a little further in instilling him with some confidence in Sylvain's abilities.

“My piloting abilities are inversely proportional to my interpersonal skills, so needless to say, I’m pretty damn good behind a helm.” Sylvain’s tone offered a more genuine levity this time, and he offered the man a somewhat more natural smile than he had previously. “Good luck to you too Sir." He paused once more, considering the rather dour reality of their circumstances, and decided on one final comment before he departed.

"See you on the other side.”


17
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH2: S [Day1|1900hrs] Show us what you got!
Last post by Dumedion -
[Ens. Talia “Shadow” Al-Ibrahim | Training Simulation | Holodeck 3 | Deck 21 | Vector 3 | The Ranger] Attn: @Krajin @Pierce 
[Show/Hide]
Atlas didn’t see or hear her snort of amusement, brief as it was, before Talia’s face returned to its mask of carefully controlled neutrality. As she watched him and Tessa pull away, a gentle push on the throttle lit her own thrusters to take up the rear, and executed a smooth roll to take up position below and aft on Atlas’ starboard wing. Talia made sure to give him a decent envelope of 500 meters to maneuver, then felt a brief nudge as her body pressed back into the cushions when she opened the throttle up to full. A quick tap of her fingers on the ops console adjusted the inertial dampener setting; a tricky balance that never felt quite right. Too much, and she couldn’t feel the ship move – too little, and the G's would crush the blood from her head, regardless of training or equipment.

A quick glance at the nav display showed her the route Tessa plotted as they weaved through the field; Talia’s eyes were never still all the while – a multitude of data scrolled across her HUD as she watched her wingmen fly, arcing in, out, and around the largest of the stately drifting rocks like hummingbirds through an orchard. The rocks themselves were little more than blurs of slate-grey bedazzled with glittering patches of diamond that varied in size from the average human fist to cities, a horizon of stellar debris that seemed infinite.

Tessa’s piratical warning coaxed another flash of a smile from her lips as Talia rolled her fighter with Atlas to stay on his wing; which brought the third moon into focus as well – a dead, wounded rock, the victim of some stellar catastrophe that had given birth to the field they were navigating through. A sizeable chunk of it was missing, down to the very core, which still glowed with fiery lifeblood.

Don’t see that every day, Shadow arched a brow at the planetoid, then her eyes flicked to her sensor display and back to Atlas. For his first ride, Talia had to admit he was doing far better than she did, which helped her to relax a bit. After the Convoy sortie and Javert, it finally clicked why Janus had so strongly advised her into tagging along; somehow, he knew she would brood, and doubt herself, and replay everything in her mind until she beat herself bloody over everything she could control – but mostly over things she couldn’t. Shadow felt herself nod as his stock rose in her books. He’d obviously done his homework, which Talia had not.That would be rectified, soon as she was able, for all the Wolves; she’d spent all her time learning how they flew and how to fly with them, but barely gotten to know them for who they were. Javert was gone, and she hadn't known him at all. Who else would they lose?

Lesson learned. Well played, old man, Talia smirked. I guess I might as well go all in then, she decided, and opened a channel to Atlas. Even though she still felt the claws of time irritating her impatience with the knowledge of all the procedures and operating standards he needed to cover, he seemed a natural stick in the 409 – so far, at least. His movements were a little jerky, in comparison, but...

Stop comparing yourself to everyone. Stop assuming the worst in everyone you meet, Talia hesitated to chide herself with a inward growl of annoyance.

“Looks like you’ve done this before big guy. How’s she feel?” She watched him manuver up and around another asteroid that was larger than the Theurgy. Talia pitched her nose up vertical to the plane of the belt, the belly of her bird to the rock, and rolled sedately. “Here’s another upgrade; see the glowy blue button just under your thumb on the throttle – this is what it does,” Shadow explained, then boosted past both of them in a streaked blur as she micro-warped up and out of the field, pitched the fighter’s nose up and around, then popped right back into formation on the other side of the asteroid. “Mind the cool-down, though; it’s faster than the 307s, but still limited.”

Handy in a fight, too, Talia frowned briefly, then shook her head to refocus. She didn’t know Tessa well, but she knew enough of the eccentric blonde to know it was only a matter of time before the crazy hit, and Atlas was staying right on her six without a clue.

“I’d give Goldie a wider envelope if I were you,” Talia warned Atlas with a chuckle, then opened the shared channel for the flight once more. “Getting bored back here Goldeneye – when are we going to shoot something,” she asked through a smirk, as the broken moon slowly grew ever larger in her canopy.
18
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 4 : Knock Knock! [Day 1 | 1800+]
Last post by TWilkins -
[ Ensign Sylvain Llewellyn-Kth | Habitation Hull Common Area | Aft Recreational District | Erudite ] @Brutus @RyeTanker @ob2lander961 @Tae @Eden @Sqweloookle @Griff @Eirual

Graviton beams, kinetic shielding, kkrek alloy hull coatings… Sylvain’s head was already beginning to feel somewhat pulpy under the weight of the information he was attempting to process, and the considerable increase in the liveliness of the Common Area hadn’t much helped his efforts to maintain concentration. The liveliness wasn’t anything he begrudged, however. Whilst it was true that some of the louder voices filling the room were perhaps a little distracting, the animated conversations of nearby tables had offered the room an ambiance that the Ensign hadn’t been expecting, and it was serving as something of a salve to his worries. The briefing he’d shared with Commander Cross had been playing on his mind since he’d come aboard the Erudite, and it had certainly given him reason to be apprehensive as to how accommodating the Savi would be... Thankfully, however, it seemed that his concern had been unwarranted.

That wasn’t to say that the Savi were being particularly cordial in their reception of the Starfleet crew, of course, but Sylvain was hardly one to criticise their isolationist approach; Lieutenant Leavitt had made it clear during his earlier announcement that contact with the Savi was to be minimised, and that as visitors, the Theurgy personnel were instructed to keep to their assigned areas of the vessel. And sure enough, there was a distinct scarceness of the aliens in the sections of the vessel that were assigned for Starfleet use. Evidently, the Savi were under similar instruction. That, or the Savi didn't possess the same levels of curiosity when it came to interacting with ‘lesser’ life forms.

Sylvain had read as much in the tactical data that Commander Cross had provided him.

But for better or for worse, Sylvain had only actually laid eyes on one of the aliens during his time aboard, the one that had led them to the Common Area, Bar-something; he’d been pretty far away from Lieutenant Leavitt during the introductions… Regardless, whilst certainly atypical compared to most Federation humanoids, aside from their height, the Savi didn’t appear overly threatening on the surface; he’d take one over a Gorn anyday, at least. Still, he hadn’t been able to shake the feeling of unease that had clung to him since he’d stepped aboard their vessel… He was aware that such a feeling may have been a precognitive event, but he’d chosen to attribute it instead to preconceptions brought on by Commander Cross’ data. Second guessing his psionic abilities was a stress he did not need to add to his growing list of concerns.

Regardless, despite a somewhat chilly reception, by Federation standards at least, it seemed that all parties were aware that the relationship between them was one of necessity, and such knowledge appeared to be working well enough to keep everyone focussed on their objective, as far as Sylvain could tell. Of course, Sylvain had barely looked up from his PADD since coming aboard, so his perspective on such matters was limited at best... But seeing as nobody appeared to have had their genetics tampered with just yet, as far as Sylvain was concerned, everything was going according to plan.  Not that he entirely understood what the specifics of their plan actually were...

Glancing up from his PADD, Sylvain carefully scanned his eyes across the space around him. There were probably less than two-dozen officers sharing the room with him, some sat alone like himself, staring listfully into PADDs, whilst others were sat in pairs or small groups, engaging in conversation or idle activities to pass the time. There were a couple of faces that Sylvain recognised from their brief onboarding in the Aerodrome, but beyond that, they were all strangers to him. He found his focus lingering briefly on a table of officers not far from him, a group of four who were engaging in some sort of card game, their animated behaviour causing the Ensign to wonder somewhat pensively, as to how it must have felt to have been able to relax in the face of such perilous circumstances… How pleasant it must be, not to be riddled with anxiety…

Or perhaps the Theurgy veterans were just so used to mortal peril, that such circumstances were just another day for them.

A frightening thought…

Because there weren’t enough of those to go around…

Running a hand up through his hair, pushing a few coppery strands from his vision, Sylvain forced his eyes to return to the PADD in front of him, his momentary distraction already weighing on the concentration that he’d been fostering for the past few hours. Truthfully, he still wasn’t entirely sure of what his assignment would be, and what information might best suit his needs, so he'd elected to attempt to analyse as much of the database as he was physically able to, given their time constraints. As Humans sometimes said, failing to prepare was preparing to fail... And equally, occupying his mind with research was helping to stave off some of the ever-present reminders of the mortal peril they were about to be facing, a welcome distraction for the Ensign.

Though, whilst it was a helpful distraction, it was nowhere near enough to prevent Sylvain from being aware of how he truly felt…

He was terrified.

Even as his eyes took in information regarding manoeuvring thrusters, and his mind tried to contemplate parabolic vertices, Sylvain couldn’t forget about the tightness that surrounded his chest, the way something dug slightly into his thigh if he tried to cross his legs, the weight that clung to his hips, all of which served as irrefutable reminders of the danger they were preparing to encounter... And how was he supposed to forget about such danger? He was wearing a tactical vest for crying out loud, and despite the favours it was doing for his pecs, its tightness was a brutal reminder that they were anticipating combat. Close combat at that... And if that wasn’t enough, he was used to having a phaser stored under his workstation, out of sight and out of mind, not strapped to his utility belt alongside a combat knife...

Already the situation was spiralling well beyond the confines of anything that Sylvain was even remotely comfortable with.

He’d completed combat training at the Academy of course, and he'd been certified in Type-II phasers since then; he'd never had too much trouble hitting a target in a holodeck simulation. The trouble was, he'd never actually fired one, not at a living thing, and somehow, he imagined that having to try and stun an aggressor in a live combat scenario, would be vastly different to the holodeck... Not to mention that Sylvain had absolutely no idea what on earth he was expected to do with a combat knife; the most aggressive action he’d ever taken with a blade had been back aboard the Bowman, when a replicator malfunction had left him with an especially crusty baguette...

The thought of having to physically kill something, was making him a little queasy.

A soft noise of complaint fleeing his lips, Sylvain had to fight off the urge to collapse himself onto the table and bury his head in his arms; the last thing anybody needed to see was their new Chief of CONN hunched over on a table… Despite the knowledge that most of the other officers aboard the Erudite probably weren't even aware that he was their new Chief of CONN, since he'd only been appointed about forty-five minutes before they'd departed the Theurgy, Sylvain was still conscious that as a senior officer, he had an example to set. So in lieu of collapsing into a heap, he instead took the opportunity to scan the room once again, his soft stare sweeping across the space until he found himself once again on the card-players table, watching one of the women dramatically slap a card down, eliciting groans of complaint from her companions that demonstrated a camaraderie that he distinctively lacked...

Suddenly he felt an urge to collapse into his arms again…

Watching people cheer and mock each other, bantering with a playful familiarity that Sylvain didn’t think he’d ever shared with someone else, only reminded him that he was a stranger to these people, and that they were strangers to him... Mostly his own fault, he supposed, as he promptly shifted his eyes back down to his PADD, ensuring that he wouldn’t establish some sort of stray eye contact that would result in him being invited to their game; he really didn’t have the capacity for games right now… Besides, nobody wanted to play games with someone who could ‘see the future’, and having to have a conversation about his precognitive capabilities was the absolute last thing he wanted to put himself through at that moment. 

Also, he didn't know the rules.

Regardless, who was he to try and socialise with these people? He didn't know what they'd been through; he couldn't even guess... He wasn’t some veteran of the Dominion War, he hadn't fought Borg, he couldn’t pretend to be some confident and suave hotshot pilot who would swoop in and save the day… He was an Ensign. A department head, but still an Ensign, two years out of the Academy and two months out of having his entire life turned upside down… His combat experience was limited to Talarian separatists and some mild posturing with a Tholian vessel, and he was about to be cast into a situation more dangerous than anything he had endured in his entire life... And perhaps worst of all, if he died tonight, he’d do so surrounded by strangers and aliens, people who probably hadn’t even heard of his species before…

People who certainly didn't know him like they knew each other...

Thankfully, such untoward wonderings were cut short by the sudden emergence of Lieutenant Leavitt’s voice over the comm system, the man’s announcement casting a cold rush of reality through Sylvain’s system, a visceral reminder that now wasn’t the time for feeling sorry for himself.... They’d arrived at the area of operations.

He felt himself be drawn to his feet, listening keenly to the Lieutenant’s words whilst gently running his hands down his uniform, to ensure that any creases were pushed out. It didn’t need to matter that he didn’t know anybody aboard the Erudite, and that he still wasn’t aware of what use he could be to their mission; he was a senior officer, a department head, the freshly appointed Chief of CONN aboard the most advanced ship in the Federation… If nothing else, he was supposed to set an example for the junior officers, and if that meant having to stand for the rest of the day, he’d certainly do so. It was the least he could do. They were all far more experienced than himself, he could at least pretend to look the part; for their sake.

Besides, if he was going to die tonight, he’d might as well take the opportunity to show off how good his chest looked in a tactical harness… Though as soon as the thought had crossed his mind, the Ensign found himself moving immediately to cross his arms tightly across said chest, fighting off the beginnings of a rather ferocious blush that was threatening to skirt across his face.

On second thought, Sylvain would be perfectly comfortable if nobody saw how good his chest looked in a tactical harness…
20
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 3 : The Meeting of Heroes (or Villains) [ Day 1 | 1500+]
Last post by Brutus -
[ Lt. Cmdr. Kai Akoni | Turbo Lift | Deck 7 | “The Helmet” USS Theurgy ] ATTN: @Eirual  @Nesota Kynnovan  @AbsintheDeux  @Ellen Fitz  @Stegro88  @GroundPetrel  @P.C. Haring  @Nolan  @Juzzie  @JacenSoloDjo 

If he’d been bothered to be asked about this little party, he’d have said no, he didn’t think it was a good idea. But he hadn’t been asked, he’d been told. It seemed they were throwing security out the airlock for the sake of diplomacy. Certainly, his team had been allowed to follow standard protocols for both the Klingons and the Romulans who’d been transported aboard for the fancy dress ball from hell (his preferred mental description), but Kai didn’t feel like that was enough. Especially when they already had some whisperings of internal divisions on both sides of the street among the Romulans and Klingons. That was the perfect opportunity for madness to ensue and also, in his opinion, the perfect reason to NOT have a soiree with hors’d'oeuvres. The turbolift doors opened, revealing the blue-tinted face of Ensign Vojona. Kai nodded to the head nurse, shifting sideways to accommodate. “Are you on your way to the mess hall for the gathering?” Vojona asked after a moment of silence passed. Kai inwardly groaned but outwardly nodded, “I had to make a few arrangements in Security before making an appearance. I may not stay long, though.”

“I’m intrigued how things are progressing,” Vojona commented, “I wonder if anyone has made a comment about living out a pivotal moment in history.” Kai snorted, snarky words poised on the tip of his tongue when the tubolift doors opened again around Desk 4. Vojona was the first to respond, letting out a cry of alarm as he held out his arms to catch the bleeding mass that’d been leaning against the lift doors. Kai quickly looked from the woman cradled in Vojona’s arms, recognizing Ensign Tos after a moment, back into the corridor where she’d been standing. His eyes widened when he saw another bloodied body, female, her blonde head turned away, obscuring her features from recognition. “Theeey’re,” Tos’s feeble voice interrupted Kai’s movements to withdraw his phaser, readying himself to investigate, “still…” her eyes rolled back, body slack. Frowning, Kai tapped his badge, ready to alert his team. Nothing happened. With growing misgivings, he went for the communication on the turbolift, nothing. And now, the turbolift itself didn’t seem to want to respond. “There must be some kind of disruptive field set up on this deck. Ensign,” Kai shifted closer to the open turbolift doors, whispering over his shoulder, “keep working on this console and see if you can get the turbolift moving again or if you can contact anyone outside this deck. I’m going to see who ‘they’ are.”

“Yessir.” Vojona stuttered as he gently laid Tos’s limp head on the turbolift floor and moved to take Kai’s place by the turbolift console. A few steps outside the turbolift, Kai stopped his advance, looking back to Vojona. “Do you have a phaser?” The nurse shook his blue head, and Kai sighed. “Try not to attract any attention then.” Vojona nodded, leaving Kai to continue his investigation. Making it to the woman without incident, Kai turned her head and swore. It was Marika from Engineering. A clean break of the neck. Whoever was fucking around on this deck didn’t want anyone to find out what they were doing. Filled with righteous fury that someone dared to invade his ship and kill crewmates on his watch, Kai advanced further. Little did he know that he and Vojona would soon meet the same fate as Tos and Marika, struck down by the heavy reality of what happens to the monkey in the middle of a divided house.


OOC: The plot thickens. Credit to @Ellen Fitz for adding more blood in the waters
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