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EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Prologue]

EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Prologue]

[The USS Theurgy, Main Bridge, 2200 hrs]

"This is your Captain speaking," said Jien Ives, the deep voice of his male Chosen Form unmistakable to the harried crew. "May I have your full attention, please."

His voice echoed down the flickering corridors of the severely damaged ship, and the crew raised their hollow eyes to listen. They could hear the undercurrents of emotion in the pause that Jien made, and it gave them pause as well. Pause, ironically so, given what they all had been through the last couple of months - hunted across the galaxy by their own. Jien waited for almost half a minute, thinking over what words his First Officer had suggested he might say to boost morale. Good advice, in the worst of times.

"We have been betrayed," the Chameloid began and while his blood ran hot, he did not pace the floor of the bridge. He stood perfectly still in front of his chair. "...outlawed and alienated by Starfleet Command. Yet in times of war and uncertainty, there is a special breed of warriors ready to answer the urgent call for truth, justice and freedom."

Another pause, and while the statement was hollow, a shallow phrase in their bitter aftermath, the next four words were cast in iron.

"We are that crew."

Now, when force gradually built in the Commanding Officer's statement, he began to pace the Bridge, locking eyes with his Senior Officers while he spoke. "Our ship is a symbol of honour and heritage... bestowed upon us by the Federation before the unknown enemy began to replace and impersonate our leaders, and she embodies the trust of those we are sworn to protect. By serving her, we accept the responsibility of our chosen profession... and it is a privilege that we must earn every day."

Jien's dark eyes were haggard, yet his sense of duty stronger than his spirit had been the last weeks. He placed his hand over his chest as he continued. "It is a trial for the heart - to be alone," he said, because that was what they were, "...yet only until we have accomplished what we mean to do: To expose the true nature of Starfleet Command by whatever means necessary. For our loyalty to Starfleet and Federation is beyond reproach. We will always stand ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. We do not advertise the nature of our work or seek recognition for our actions. We voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of our profession, placing the welfare and security of others before our own."

He came to a stop, and all that was heard were the cries of their damaged ship, the hiss of broken monitors and the groan of the hull. "We serve with honour... on and off the battlefield."

Silence again, while Jien let those words linger in the hearts of his crew. Honour was a word that at least he had forgotten in the midst of all that had happened. "We will never quit," he said, almost a whisper. "We persevere and thrive on adversity, exemplified but not limited to our ignorant sisters and brethren in Starfleet. Brave men and women of all species known to the Federation have fought and died building the proud fleet we once belonged to, and we will be damned if it was all for naught, and they died in vain!"

The Captain took a deep breath, and soon, when the echo had faded, finished his statement with his chin held high. "In the worst of conditions, the legacy of our predecessors steadies our resolve... and silently guides our every deed."

He turned his head to his XO, as if in contemplation of what else there might remain to to be said at this worst hour of their voyage. In the end, he delivered the Dedication upon their plaque, because no other day had it been a better day to voice those old words. "Courage is fear, when it has said its prayers."

Then, he spoke no more, and retreated to his Ready Room - the XO giving the Bridge to the Second Officer before following.

Throughout the ship, activity gradually picked up again - a long night ahead of them all.

OOC: This thread is open for everyone to post whatever they may in reaction to their new mission statement - a chance for you all to introduce your different characters before the the plot begins. The Theurgy have yet to reach the M-Class planet, heavy repairs are underway, Sickbay is full of patients, yet the ship is in the clear - finally underneath the Federations radar (so to speak).

Feel free to foreshadow the discovery of the planet which they will soon come to orbit around! It might be spotted by their semi-functioning sensors during the night.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #1
Amatras glanced up briefly from her console as she heard the captain begin to speak.  As soon as he began to speak though she glanced back to the console and continued her simulations.  On the screen thousands of variables flew by almost to fast her for eyes to register them all.  Each time she adjusted the system slightly more either to make up for new data or to try to tweak consumption levels.  However as her husband read off reports over her comm link the system kept getting more and more strained.  Things didn't appear good yet, but she knew she had to keep positive.  She'd even broken her own regulation alittle for the sake of the crew's moral, having all Ash'reem lift their protective harnesses slightly higher then normal, so that the other species pheromones could be spread through the ship's damaged life support systems.  Had the crew been completely comprised of Ash'reem she'd have asked the captain to turn off primary and secondary lightning systems leaving emergency lightning on only.  She dreaded telling the captain but primary deuterium storage tanks had taken a direct hit.  For the last few thousand light years they'd been leaking deuterium giving a trail to follow.  Thankfully, those tanks now were dry, which likely had helped their final escape from Federation space.  She hated to think about it but with the multiple hull breaches on decks 3, 4, 6, and 8 there likely was going to be contamination of the drinking water and air systems from waste management.  Both Battle bridges were in fact in hard vacuum now. 

As she listened to the speech she focused on the words and the positive implications of them.  Allowing them to stimulate her pheromone glands and slowly fill the air around her with a series slight euphoric pheromone.  There  were insufficient Ash'reem onboard to have this effect the entire ship but atleast she knew medbay and the bridge would be in good moral. As the speech finished she glanced at Jien and gave a hopeful smile. "Captain Ives, may I speak with you in private away from the crew I'm ready to give my report."

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #2
Just about to enter his Ready Room together with his Executive Officer, Jien paused and turned half his face towards his new Chief Science Officer.

He gave the half-klingon woman at his heels a glance before replying the Ash'reem - the woman he had yet to truly know beyond her distinguished life-span, achievements and recent efforts in her Department. "If you are merely to deliver the report from the Science Department, then you will not mind if my First Officer also attends while you do so, Lieutenant. She as much as I need to hear what you have to say."

Thus, Jien led the way inside the Ready Room and sat down in his chair. And in that movement, he changed into... her female form. She had felt a need to change since she disliked having to lie to her crew - albeit how she arguably only had given them false hope through poor rhetoric. In any case, she felt some minor relief to simply change, and tell herself that what that other man with her pips had said was the truth. Oh, she knew the ramifications of such thoughts, and imagined that their late Counsellor would have liked to discuss such notions.

Jien simply did not care at that point, bitter and furious as she currently was - an austere frown upon her forehead that was the same as her male form just had worn. From her seat, she watched her First Officer enter followed by Amatras Neotin. Jien did feel the effects - the alleviating feeling that simply could not surmount the sense of responsibility that burdened her conscience - but in as much capacity she could muster, she was pleased at the relief. For Jien still knew that the feeling she felt was treacherous; did not keep her thoughts on the harsh reality they were in. She knew the source, and while pleasant, she grit her teeth and looked the Lieutenant dead in the eye - her own brown meeting the lensed kaleidoscopic irises.

"Go ahead," she said quietly, and just like Jien suspected that her XO would do from her position in the background, she gave Amatras her full attention.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #3
Amatras nodded at his comment and then stood following them hesitantly at first and then with more confidence.  Her stride only wavering slightly at her knees as she walked which was difficult to control for her species outside of water.  As Jien met her gaze Amatras gave a silent sight of relief that she wore her goggles well on duty.  It made it difficult for others to read her emotions due to the heavy tinting that her species required to see in normal lightning conditions.  Giving a quick salute to both superiors she moved to place her hands behind her back clasping each in the other tightly as she began.

"Initial damage assessments were optimistic at best, delusional at worst ma'am.  You know about the damage on deck three, six and eight to our propulsion systems.  However these are the least of our concerns, decks three, four, six and eight took the worst hits, with all decks suffering minor damage.  Both battle bridges have been rendered uninhabitable, and may take as long as a week to bring back online.  The Deuterium storage tanks on deck three have been completely compromised, and are currently empty well deck eight's storage tanks have multiple leaks, most of which are currently being sealed.  We estimate deck eight's deuterium supply to be at thirty percent capacity, but the matter is trivial as deck eight's dueterium injector cores have been destroyed, and most of our reactor needs are being met by deck ten's fuel storage tanks.  The impulse engines on deck six, have been damaged, but repairs should allow them to be back online within sixty eight hours hopefully. 

"Our real concern though is our food and drinking water supplies.  Damage to decks three and four have compromised our waste management systems and Life support systems.  Initial results aren't conclusive yet but there is a ninety six percent chance our sewage is leaking into our drinking water supplies.  Furthermore the damage to deck six has caused problems in power distribution systems, its hard to be certain right now but we were hit by some manner of torpedo near the power distribution hub there.  Most of the damage on decks three and four was caused by a direct hit to deck three's forward torpedo bays, which acted as a catalysis causing all of our forward torpedo storage bays to explode.  Docking hatches on the upper decks are currently damaged beyond repair, we're working on a potential jury-rig system that can support it until we can find the necessary repair parts though. Cargo bay seven has a atmospheric leak and we've cut life support to it, we suspect most of our supplies have leaked from the bay though. 

"As you know we lost the upper science labs, and torpedo control room.  Several rooms on deck six are experiencing atmospheric leaks, and we're not sure how many actually were damaged in the crew quarters there.  Transporter rooms five and six are no longer accounted for, we have a gaping hole in the hull there, that runs from cargo bay seven to the lower engineering support labs.  We suspect this hole has resulted in secondary damage to the docking latches on the lower part of the ship's deck six section but this has yet to be confirmed.  I've wrote several proposed energy management and resource conservation solutions to get us by for the time being but, at best we're lasting three months, at worst two weeks till we run out of resources.  Our biggest concern is our deuterium supply, we need to find a Class M planet with a large ocean and soon.  Some of my suggestions may seem barbaric and even I'm squeamish about them, but given our supply issues, they needed to be mentioned in case the situation deteriorates further."

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #4
(OOC: The XO will interact as soon as it's been approved ;))

Down in 'Below Decks', Bill looked up as the Captain came over the comm and began to talk. He listened for a little while then went back to cleaning the bar. Typical generic "We shall fight them in the starbases, we fill fight them in the stars" jingo crap that he couldn't care less about. Sure, he'd prefer the ship to be staffed by people who were motivated and not liable to start thinking suicidal thoughts, but he himself didn't need motivation, he needed to get off this ship and onto a big pile of credits and/or women.

Still, it had it's advantages. He glanced up at Felicity, who was singing to herself as she tided up the bar. She was dressed in her usual attire, of a see-through white dress and thong-cut panties, her perminently hardened nipples just visable through the soft material. Whenever the door to the bar opened, she would glance up, and if she saw the captain in either form, she would blink and suddenly have a bra on and her panties would be a more traditional cut, and the material might, if the captain seemed in a bad mood, be less see-through.

But right now, she was in her usual attire since it was just her and Bill, and she saw singing as she danced around. She was singing a late 20th century 'love' song, about how much she loved a certain someone.

"I don't want anybody else
When I think about you
I touch myself
I don't want anybody else
Oh no, oh no, oh no"

Despite the original singer being what... Irish? Canadian? Bill couldn't remember, but Felicty's greek accent somehow made it exotic, and still very hot. As the captain finished his address, Bill called over. "Hey Felicty!" She turned, flicking a blonde curl over her ear. "Yes my loyal worshipper? What can your goddess do for you today?" she asked, smiling with godly patience at him. Bill smiled. "You can run Bill-742 for me. Password- Locked door."

Felicity paused for a moment, then her hands flew to her dress, pulling it up and then yanking down her panties, flashing Bill her digital sex, while pulling down the top of her dress to show off her beautiful artifical breasts. After a few seconds she shook her head and then quickly replaced the clothing, and then went back to cleaning as if nothing had happened.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #5
As Lt. Neotin reported the combined results no-doubt gathered from both Engineering and Ops together with her own calculated estimation for how long they would manage without gathering supplies and finding means to replenish their energy sources, Jien Ives stood up from her chair and made the wall panel display the deck layout. While the Ash'reem spoke, Jien followed along with her account of their losses whilst her eyes darted between the different segments of the ship. The panel flickered, to and fro, while she took in the news.

Ironic, how she had just told the crew that their ship was their icon - the embodiment of their duty and the last shred of their honour.

Their ship was a gutted fish, throw out into the backwaters of the Alpha Quadrant.

"Priorities..." she said, as if to herself, and turned her eye back to the C-Sci. "Would you relay these measures to their affected departments, Lt: Our first priority is - and this because Starfleet might just pick up our trail of leaking deuterium any given hour - that our propulsion systems are restored. Please have your husband tell the Chief Engineer to allocate manpower enough so that we are not left as sitting ducks out here. Moreover, we need full propulsion in order to reach said M-Class planet. That is, if the COps can find one for us out there outside the door on his sensors, or your department can somehow reach either Stellar Cartography on Deck 04 or the Astrometrics Lab on Deck 06 and find the shortest route possible to such a planet."

Jien turned fully towards Amatras and forestalled any comment. "I hear you in regard to Life Support and the very likely contamination of our drinking water. I also realise that we do not have the energy to spare for replicating an abundance of water supply. In the end, our hopes lies upon finding somewhere to hide and lick our wounds. Hence, propulsion and impulse engines are the top priority."

Walking away from the wall panel, the Captain folded her arms beneath her breasts, thinking while the CSO jotted down the instructions on the PADD. "Unless you have already taken it into consideration, I want you to run a new calculus on the energy we might spare - along with how much longer time we gain - if we resort to order replicator usage to be rationed in order to conserve power for other key systems. We cannot make repairs without energy, and the crew will wish to replicate all of their water since -news will spread about the contamination. The only replicators that will not require Department Senior Officer permission - until we manufacture replicator rations for more accessible usage - will be those in Engineering and Sickbay."

Looking down upon the deck below their feet with a frown, Jien soon continued. "Second priority is," she said and threw a glance towards Nerina, "and I know you might argue with me about it: ....the Docking Latches. I deem it essential that we safeguard our ship's great advantage in battle situations and try to restore our MVAM-capacity as soon as possible. Nearly a third of the ship's weaponry only becomes available during Multi-Vector Assault Mode, and as you just said, our forward torpedo storages have been vaporised. Moreover, the purely tactical advantages are even larger - our rate of survival that much higher - if we can split her up when the heat comes on. I say 'when', and not 'if', since the fleet will sooner or later pick up our trail."

Hard decisions, leaving her crew thirsty and hungry until further notice, yet Jien saw few other alternatives. "Third priority is Life Support... Computer! Will you join us, please?"

There was a shimmering light, and Theurgy - or Thea - materialised in the Ready Room. Evidently, her holomatrix seemed to be affected by the energy crisis on board, since her image was flickering around the edges. "Yes, Captain Ives?"

"Do you deem Lt. Neotin's assessment of the ship accurate?" asked Jien without preamble, knowing that Thea would have overheard the conversation - just like any other conversation on board.

"Yes, Captain," said Thea and turned her head to the Ash'reem, giving her a small smile. She was "dressed" in her usual red suit, arms folded behind her back. she pursed her lips to add, "Her analysis is very astute, like always. Congratulations on your promotion, Lieutenant." The hologram frequently assisted the Science Department given her direct affinity with the ship. She was also a direct support to Ops and Engineering. At such points she would, of course, wear those respective department colours on her body-fitted suit.

Jien did not leave much room for pleasantries, however. This was certainly not the time for it. "The Lt. reported that damage to Deck 06 has caused problems in our power distribution systems, and she says its hard to determine the nature of the damage. Could you tell us more, Thea?"

"Yes, while I do not have the clearance to re-allocate my energy or re-program myself, the Operations Department ought to be advised that the damage has cut power to the these circuit bays in the Middle Computer Core, Engineering, and the Impulse Reactors: Alpha-672, Gamma-954, Epsilon-56-"

"We do not need their designations, Engineering does, so take the information there," said Jien quietly, cutting the AI's narration short, "If the distribution network is rerouted, reserve any additional power for Life Support, but make reparations the priority. Dismissed, Thea."

"Yes, Captain," said the hologram without comment, merely inclining her head dutifully and vanishing.

After the Ship AI Projection vanished, Jien thought a moment, and turned to his new First Officer - this protégée of Starfleet Academy with a soaring track record from her time at Deep Space 4. Jien thought her to be young, but she had not disputed the commission to the USS Theurgy much since she had been told that she would get a new commission of her own. Nerina was never supposed to have been his to begin with, yet events had dictated otherwise. "I would welcome a second opinion, Commander."

Jien leaned against the edge of her desk, her eyes now upon the Half-Klingon instead of the present Ash'reem.

OOC: Kitty, you are welcome to reply once Ascorn has posted next! :) It will be interesting to hear what Amatras has to say about the priorities, and also, thank you for a great and detailed post!

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #6
Nerina had been focused on her own PADD from the moment their new CSO had begun speaking, bringing up the data, running her own analysis, working out her own conclusions, using her own methods, her own values and equations, taught to her by her father and mother. Her mother had always told her that people would accept a lot of negatives now if you could promise them a big positive tomorrow, and showed them steps to get there. Thus her thinking was more of what was the most they could repair, ignoring the consequences to the crew, then working backwards, bringing it back to a point when the crew would accept it and/or not die because of it.

However, as she began to work out her priorities, as soon as her stylus began to slide and drag them into place, the Captain began to speak, and she paused to listen to his, sorry, now her statements, Nerina jotting them down with taps of the stylus on her PADD. Nerina's brow creased more as the captain went down the list, before finally she looked at the XO and asked for her opinion.

Nerina took in a deep breath, then began. "I agree with you on those being our main priorities, but I would suggest that life support needs to be higher, the docking hatches should be third, not second. Yes the ship, in battle, requires those hatches operational, but the crew's well-being and health right now should be of a higher priority than their possible health and safety in a battle. I understand, Captain, that this seems like a somewhat meaningless argument, but the crew has been through a lot, and the measures that we will have to enact will not be popular. We need to make them see that the problems are temporary, that we are working on the problem as a major priority, and that it will be solved soon." she said, holding her PADD in front of her like a shield.

"But-" she said quickly, not wanting to let the Captain get a word in before she finished. "But I do take your point, Captain, that we may need to split up, if only so that we have a chance to have some section of the crew avoid capture so that the truth can be spread. And to that end, even if we do keep the priority list as you have laid out, two suggestions, one, we focus the crew on the life support repairs, we tell them it's the secondary priority unless they are directly involved in repairs, so that they are thinking about how the ship's focus is on their safety here and now, and secondary, we examine setting up a water filtration system in the mess hall and in..." Nerina looked at her ship schematic for a moment. "Below Decks. We should have some emergency system in the cargo hold, or perhaps replicate one instead. It will not solve the water problem, by any means, but it will be a clear sign that we are working on the problem." she finished, glancing at Ash'reem as she spoke, not ignoring her, trying to gauge both of their reactions to her suggestions. She did broadly agree with the captain, she merely was focusing on the morale of the crew slightly more than she felt the captain was.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #7
Standing there, leaning against her desk, Jien listened to her XO with eyes utterly unblinking - her features like a cliff-face in the apex of deepest winter.

Yet when she spoke, at last, it was in acquiescence with her First Officer's suggestion. "Agreed," she said, and a small weary smile accompanied the inclination of her dark-haired head, "This needs to be on a strict need-to-know basis for it to work, so make sure only the Department Heads are made aware and they - in turn - inform the people they can trust to not misspeak. Even if certain repairs are made, those that are doing them does not always have to know what kind of priority their work has, given how these circumstances we are in dictate how all repairs and tasks are high priorities. We need to call a Senior Staff meeting as soon as Dr. Nicander in Sickbay deems he has the situation under control."

Jien then turned back to Amatras and folded her hands behind her back.

"So, Lieutenant," she said to summarise, "does the recommendations in your hand entail a water-filtering system as well as replicator rations? Thea will be addressing the Power Distribution issue with Engineering and Ops, so let her handle that, but the rest of the issues needs to be attended to. So, please, do you have any supplementary ideas to handle the situation?"

Somewhere, in the back of Jien's plagued mind, she knew she was being overly militaristic in the use of titles and strict orders. Hell, she had been a Counsellor earlier in her life. However, she still deemed it was quite necessary to handle the crisis; making each and everyone rather well aware about the importance of this coming night they faced - how their actions and inactions would be the triumph or downfall of their enterprise. If they made it through the night, and found a source of supplies and Deuterium, they would be able to regroup...

...and set the records straight.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #8
"In all honesty, filtering the water would be less effective then sterilizing it.  Also filtering the water would be to expensive in the long run, we simply do not have sufficient water filters to maintain such a system past a week at most.  These filters would be better used locally in the systems that require clean for operating purposes to spread them out until we have enough energy to attempt replication of more.  

"I'd recommend two options for our solution.  The first would be to create a bypass at valve seven, linking our water system up to run near the warp core coolant lines, they should be giving off enough heat that it will cause the water to boil.  Afterwards we run it by the exposed section of the hull, this would cool it again, at that point we can pump it back in near where we had previously made the bypass and we'd be releasing only sanitized water into the system.  This bypass would require roughly two hundred cubic meters of extension tubing to be drawn out of storage one, and take roughly twelve hours to install.  It would however ensure that clean water was available throughout the ship with minimal hassle to the crew as a whole.  Its expensive and time consuming but would make the crew as a whole unaware of the problem only that we had to shut the system down for a few hours to do the repair.  Furthermore after set up it'd be rather easy to undo the bypass we set up once the systems were repaired.  The second option would make the crew completely aware of what was occurring, we'd issue a ship wide order that all water must be boiled before consumption. 

"This has several risks, besides the obvious effects to moral, it also runs the risk of starting a plague on board the vessel, not everyone will be patient enough to wait the full ten minutes it may take to sterilize water, also contamination will remain in utilitarian water, such as showers, and food preparation.  This also runs the problem of with so many individuals boiling their water the energy network will be strained further then it needs to be." She sighed and glanced between the two women before her and then looked down.

"Furthermore, we have the urgent matter of repair parts, under normal circumstances the standard procedure would be to take the Theurgy into space dock for extensive repair, no normal vessel carries a sufficient stock of repair parts to undergo all of the repairs we need.  As this is not an option we're left with three major solutions.  First, we'd need to salvage parts from the vessels we damaged during our escape. not a very pleasant solution, and the one the Federation is most likely to suspect we'll use.  Second, we could try to search the civilian markets for the parts we need, but this would require that we not be detected, and that we have sufficient currency and time to purchase these parts.  The third option is what I'd recommend we do, once we find a class M planet, and replenish our fuel stores, we replicate what parts we can and the tools to make the parts we can't.  This process could take several months, but it'd be months that we could spend mobile avoiding the Federation forces tracking us.  Any questions?"

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #9
Nerina listened to the Chief Science Officer, well aware that as a woman in her mid 20's, she was here, listing to a subordinate that had lived for nearly twenty times her own lifespan. It did stir some emotions, worry that she wasn't worthy of her position, but she quickly put them aside, like she always did. She was the Executive Officer of the USS Theurgy, and she had earned that position, she belonged here. Even if here was not a place she would choose to.

However, as the CSO began detailing options, discussing how to obtain spare parts, Nerina caught the eye of the captain and shook her head. Once the CSO asked for questions, Nerina spoke up.

"Well, I do like the purification system concept, and would strongly advise that we go that route Captain, although we should still ration water somewhat until we know the system is working fully.

But for spare parts... Option 1 I don't think is possible, since by the time we would have disabled a Federation ship, boarded, located the parts we needed and transported them, they would have alerted all other ships in the area. Unless you suggest that we start actively hunting Federation ships, which is not the way to prove our innocence in my view. Option 2 would be best, since we do have someone on board who knows the criminal world but as I understand it he needs something to trade. We cannot replicate Latinum, and up until now what trading he has done as relied on replicated goods which we cannot make right now. So we are left with Option 3, at least until such time as the replicators are back in near full working condition, then we can transition to Option 2." Nerina advised, clutching her PADD tight as she gave her opinion on their situation. She looked to the captain, and awaited her decision.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #10
Whilst the two Officers spoke, Jien had begun to slowly pace the room - listening to the wise counsel of people less disheartened. Less cynical in the aftermath of what they had been through. It would have been easy to just write them off as air-headed idealists cheering all the way down into whatever hell might apply for them all, but Jien knew she was far out on the wrong limb there - knew her own error in doing so. It was not justified by any means. Any words or even thoughts in that direction utterly uncalled for. They were presenting solutions, she had to remind herself, qualified assumptions and a factual analysis of what they all might do next to survive. It was not her place as a Captain to voice such petty emotions, regardless of what she thought about the situation. She reminded herself that every individual on-board were in this mess together, and the only way to handle the mess was if they shovelled it up together.

Who was she to think she had all the answers? Oh, she knew it was a common reaction in a time such as this, and even more dangerous given her role on board. She could not afford to be disheartened, especially when some of the crew might sense her lack of faith - see past her two-fold complexion.

"I think Lt. Neotin was referring to going back and scavenge the ships we have left in pieces along our path," she said and shook her head a bit mournfully, "like we have not committed enough atrocities in the eyes of the fleet we consider ourselves somehow still belonging to. I refuse to to make hyenas of ourselves, when we already are kinslayers. In one way, what we have done has stained us in the eyes of the Federation, so a little more dirt under our nails would do little difference - the floating graves out there being an option for spreading the truth we hold. However..."

She rounded on the two, her brown eyes uncompromising. "I will not hear another word about it. We leave the dead to rest in peace, and pray that we somehow - some day - will be forgiven by their families for what we have done. It is by a long-shot that we will even escape being court-marshalled - every single one of us - despite the greater good we think we serve by presenting our evidence. In all likelihood, the medals we get will be the white patches we wear before a firing squad - our last prayers merely giving us the courage to not soil ourselves."

She held their eyes for a few moments, each in turn, before sighing and returning to her desk. "I am in accord with Commander Nerina about this. Please, make it happen, Lieutenant," she said and cast her eye to the Ash'reem... somehow wishing that her affect upon morale would have extended to her own sorry self a bit more potently. Alas, the sorrow, regret, and fury was all too bitter, dark and fiery. "Dismissed."

Jien folded her her arms underneath her breasts and looked to the deck until she was alone with her First Officer.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #11
Commander Nerina nodded to the Lieutenant as she turned and headed out the door, trying to convey with a simple head nod that she appreciated her input and hard work, hoping she was able to convey her feelings in the brief second before the Ash'reem went back onto the bridge. The half-Klingon turned as the door closed, then sighed. She took a moment to put her PADD down on the captain's desk, then moved the chair opposite the desk so that she was directly facing her commander, Nerina putting her hands together on the desk, then took a second to think before she spoke.

"In the Paq'batlh, the holy books of the Klingon Empire, there is a story, in the fifth tome of Kovkos. It is about Marna, daughter of Molor and one of his many slaves. As a child of Molor, she should have been put to death by Kahless and Lukara when they defeated Molar and formed the Klingon Empire. But Lukara either took pity on the child, or felt that she was not worthy of death, there is argument about that passage, the scroll is damaged. Regardless, she was allowed to live and continue working in the palace as a slave. Despite being the daughter of Molor and despite not having any honor, she served the new empire, and after many years of servitude and abuse she actually threw herself on a poisoned blade meant for the sleeping Kahless. As she died, Kahless issued a threat to Fek'lhr, telling him to not take her, for she had earned her place in Sto-vo-kor." Nerina said, her voice low and soft. As she finished the tale, she shook her head.

"It probably has some basis in fact, most Klingon fables do, but it's implications are hotly debated by wise men and women, the idea that honor can be earned by even the lowest, most dishonarble... Some do not like the fable. But I always viewed it more as a story telling you that if you work hard at the job in front of you, no matter how hard, no matter how badly those above you are treated, you will, eventually, find honor and peace." she said, looking at the changling. "Right here and now, we are that young woman, abused by those above us. But we must do the job in front of us, which is to survive until we can expose the true traitors." she said, her voice calm as she spoke. She knew that she was younger than most of the other officers on board, and that the captain and her were never meant to be a team, but here and now, she could sense that the Captain was... Not thinking positivly, and Nerina had to do what she could to fix that.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #12
The intercom chimes in and a calm voice is heard over the static, “Chief Engineer Nolak Kalmil, reporting sir.  I just got the intercom system in engineering operational; the situation here is a mess sir as you probably guessed that.”  There’s a pause.  “Warp core is at approximate 68% capacity while we work around the clock to repair the damage from the last battle. Life support now about 62% of the ship and this should be improved to full recovery in all the core areas in a couple hours, however most of the heavy damaged such as deck 3 and the internal explosion from the storage bay on deck 8 are nearly inaccessible until we reach some sort of space dock before these can be of any use to us."

'As for the other hull breach areas Amaras mentioned, these shouldn’t be nearly as impossible to repair.  Estimate time for optimum power will be between two to six days depending on how much can be salvaged from the damage sites.  Without assistance from any starbase or spaceports full recovery is impossible. So if at all possible avoid any engagement that may involve space combat. I can hold her together now but anymore undue stress and our baby Theurgy will twist apart, however because that option might not be available I’ll have her at lease combat ready by the end of today with several of our phaser banks. My computer is shot so much of my damage read out is being handed to me by carrier pigeons, I.E. ensigns running about with their wings flapping.’’ 

There’s sounds of crew members working with heavy gear in the background.  “However, in a pinch we should be able to spike our combat efficiently to approximately 89% or more for a short period of time if we do encounter anything while in route to our current destination. One bit of good news, most of our shield emitters are still reading in working condition; however it’s a matter of rerouting the power flow through the damage area that’s causing the most problems.” His voice trails off as he speaks away from the comlink, “Hey, ensign don’t do that, put those power converters by the turbo compressors and shut that valve off.  (back into the comlink), It’s a mess down here sir but trust me I’ll keep our baby alive and in tip top shape sir. Chief out”  The link goes dead, he then presses a few buttons and sends the captain a full damage report, it’s bad but manageable.

Chief Kalmil, steps away from the console and whips his brow with a rag before scanning the engineering room.  At one time the engine room was a place of peace and order before the sudden attack from Federation ships, the now battered engine room has wires dangling and blown out panels everywhere.  A few small pressure valves have ruptured and jets of steam shoots into the noisy air as crewmembers works diligently to repair the core systems.  Nolak himself having been up since the battle feeling weary from sleep deprivation, slides under the control panel he made his call from and continues to repair the many connections that needs replacing after the panel suffered from a energy spike.  An Ensign Hulark, approaches the chief and lighty taps at his feet, “Sir, here’s the report from the aft section of the ship.” The ensign leans down and hands over a datapad. 

“Thank you, Ensign,” Kalmil says as he slides from beneath the panel and takes the report. Quickly he reads the information and smiles, “More power outages and rubble and this is going to require a good deal of time to find and repair.”  He slides from under the panel and adjust his soot blasted uniform.  “I’ll start perform these repairs myself, some of them require a delicate hand and a lot of jimmy-rigging, glad we are kind of renegades because I’m going to have to break a few Federation protocols just to get his bucket of bolts in working order. Ensign, see what you can do about repairing the communication connection in this control panel, looks like a few of the fused and needs some minor repairs.”  The Ensign nods and proceeds to get to work on the repairs.

 Chief then looks over at a Junior Lieutenant  Arcorn Neotin,  “Lieutenant Neotin, hold the fort while I go make some repairs, call me If you need anything. Make sure that the warp core reading stay well within the safety parameters, and inform me immediately if anything out of the normal happens. You know the drill and keep the young kids repairing anything thing that needs fixing, I’ll be back as soon as I can.” 

He turns and reaches into a locker and takes out a environmental suit and a pair of grav-boots. “The teleporters are somehow operational, however I would advise not using them as of yet until we can perform some tests on them, anyways engineering com is yours, page me if you need me, oh and crew your all doing an outstanding job so keep busy and we’ll nurse baby back healthy and strong.”  After this Chief Kalmil turns and exits engineering heading towards the turbolift.  He takes out a small vial and dabs some of the liquid contents upon his pheromone glands knowing his body has been over stressed as of late and hasn’t taken a shower in god knows when. 

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #13
Seated in her chair, Jien listened to Nerina's story from the Paq'bathl - her brown eyes staring upon nothing at all. Yet when her First Officer made her point, her gaze returned to her. She saw the merits in Nerina's ambition to put their fates into a different light, to raise her spirits, yet the Captain was not easily swayed. She did smile to Nerina now, having been granted an opportunity to see just how resourceful she might be besides her great efforts since they left Earth. It was a rueful smile, however.

"Did you not say Marna died, while our greatest obligation right now is to live?" she said quietly, but she raised her hand to forestall the obvious retort. "Pardon, you are right, of course. I could not help myself. I find it hard to be optimistic about the situation at hand given how I am - strictly speaking - chief responsible for ordering the death of countless comrades in the fleet."

And on that note, the smidgen of mirth fell into the vast pool of their desolation. "They were innocent, Commander," she said, "Ignorant... Beguiled by their very chain of command, by the traditions and principles we aim to uphold. I gave the orders, I raised my hand and I pointed, and I called 'Fire'. Just like I was meant to do, and what - perchance - others than me might in our situation."

Jien got up from her chair, and she walked with her arms folded behind her back. "Now, widows all over the galaxy will curse our names as they weep themselves to sleep. Fathers will die desolate, knowing that their bloodline is extinct. Children will..." she trailed off, her point obvious. She turned her eye to Nerina. "The Theurgy has carved its mark into the Federation, and while we did, thousands were crying out for want of our mercy. We knew this. I knew this quite well. How could one be a an Officer and not know the cost? We knew the possible numbers of lives our phasers and torpedoes claimed each time they were discharged. And I raised my hand, and I called 'Fire'."

She lowered her head a little, thoughtful. "Those numbers all add up. They are, in the end, the very sum of our survival - with only a fraction of a chance that they will ever become justified. Unless we succeed, we are nothing but an atrocity in the annals of history. I find it, in this hour, the very definition of what our old Fleet would name 'The cost of duty'. So, the question is, was the price too high? The answer is as plain as the goals of our enemy - or even their nature - impossible to tell."

Right then, the voice of Chief Petty Officer Kalmil broke the silence with the message from Engineering. Jien did not even look up as the status was relayed.

Subconsciously, as Nolak addessed Jien as 'sir', she changed... into his male form. His stance remained the same, and while his heart was elsewhere, he did listen carefully to what the Chief Engineer had to say. It was a rather cheerful - hopeful - report, given the circumstances, which only served Jien to shake his head a bit. As harried as the Chief was in his dire undertaking, despite how well he seemed to handle it, Jien was not granted the opportunity to answer him - somehow thank him. Somewhere, far below the guilt and the righteous fury in Jien's mind, he was pleased that the Deltan had survived the last couple of months, and not been lost like so many others of his old crew.

Jien walked to his glass cabinet, and on top of it rested his dai-katana on its stand. Without loking at Nerina, Jien lifted it down and held it by his side - his thumb resting upon the hand-guard. "Has not the Federation suffered enough war already, I ask myself, now that we hopefully soon stand before a domestic conflict - a persecution of the enemy within our ranks. It seems more true than ever, that peace is that brief glorious moment in time when everyone is mobilizing. Our disposition will never change that, regardless whether we hold true to the lesson that Marna taught us in the Paq'batlh or not."

With his sheathed sword by his side, Jien looked back to Nerina. She needed to know. It was the right thing to say at this point. The least thing he could do for his young accomplice in murder.

"I have preached for diplomacy and counselled innumerable species in my years, and what I have gained, is but a firm disbelief in the concept of lasting peace." A pause, filled with the droning agony of their ship. The cold dead centres of the Chameloid's eyes were unmoving. "Yes, I question what the Federation stand for, and before we ended up here, I was on the verge of tendering my resignation. What drives me now, Commander, is but my bitter need of vengeance upon the enemy that made us what we are."


Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #14
Nerina listened with growing concern as the Captain spoke, and was glad on on level for the Chief Engineer's report. She quickly made notes on her PADD as he spoke, then put the styuls down as the Deltan signed off. As Jien went and picked up the dai-katana, Nerina stood, and had to hold back from charging and wrestling the weapon from him. She mentally regressed to the day when she walked in on the Ambassador, jamming the D'k tahg again and again into the young aide's chest. But she forced down her Klingon blood, she pushed it aside, as she could tell, with her human mind, that the Captain was not a threat, was not holding the sword in an aggressive stance. So when the Captain turned back around, she was standing, but in a relaxed, calm stance. She listened to his words, and as he finished, she crossed her arms.

She stood there for a moment, silent, before she lowered her arms again.

"I make no pretence that you and I, and quite possibly several of those officers below us will probably end up in New Zealand, or worse. I'm sure my Mother, right now, is, despite her age, clearing jungle to vent her anger and frustration at my 'betrayal' of the Federation. Our Starfleet careers are over, yes. And in defending ourselves, we have killed people. I could quote you regulations saying that we were justified, Regulation 3, General Order 8... But while we have only served together briefly and under trying conditions, I won't bother trying to convince you that we're legally right.

I will say this, however, Captain. I, along with every other crewmember on board, is here. Is still doing his, her, or their duty, to take care of this ship. Every single one of them believes in you Captain, believes in this ship, believes in the truth. No-one has attempted to retake the ship, no-one has demanded to leave, the crew believes in you Captain. We did not order those other ships to attack us, the moral guilt lies on the imposters in Starfleet who gave the orders. But if you give up on the crew, if you give up on the ship, if you give up on this mission, Jien, then and only then are you truly murdering anyone!" she said loudly, a flash of passion spilling out of her, a marked change from her usual measured, calm tones. She stood there, breathing heavily, before she shook her head. "I'm sorry Captain, that was out of line..." she said, calming herself down, flicking hair back over her head.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #15
At first, Jien had expected that which she said she would not opt to do; check off the paper-weight paragraphs and protocolls that gave them the right in this matter. It was what he would have expected from her given what he had come to know about her during their harsh trial together. Thus, Jien had suffered the moment placidly before he might point out that there was a right and wrong besides what Federation Law might say on the matter. The moral righteousness compared to rules and standards was far heavier. Thicker, as blood would soak and part papers in far lesser amounts than they had shed.

Yet when Nerina completely changed course, and nailed - syllable by syllable - the implications of what might have happened into his heart, he was left speechless. He was about to interrupt her and say that he was certainly not deserving of praise in this given moment and time, but she overrode him like a harsh slap in the face, and he remained silent for a great while after her outburst.

"Would you, in my..." he began, but discarded the idea of trying to make her see things from his own weary stand-point. This crew surely did not need another one that had lost faith, and he realised he might just be doing a terrible error by trying to crumble the wall that Nerina had climbed up upon - shouting the truth across the high picket fence that he had raised around his own heart. In the end, he had to sigh and break his gaze away from her. He had to confess, however grudgingly that she had a point, and that he had no measures to dispute it. She had stated facts that he could not deny, however much he mistrusted the right he had to illicit such kind of faith from his crew given the situation.

"There is no need to apologise," he said at last in a low voice, looking at the deck below his feet, "a Captain needs to be reminded, and especially an old one, that there is more to this than their own petty convictions - their beliefs or disbeliefs. Vengeance by all means, fury, aye. Yet I am here, as I am supposed to be, for the crew of this ship, and to bring each and every one of you all home, and to stand tall with my chin raised, and say that you all have served with a sense of duty and honour that has made their Captain feel inadequate, and undeserving. For only then, when faced with your unwavering faith, do I earn the right to feel these things."

Jien looked up, and a small smile - still weary but now touching his eyes - had found itself into his haggard mien.

"Thank you, Number One."

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #16
Commander Nerina picked up her PADD and stylus, slowly. That was the first time he had called her Number One, and she hadn't realised until he said it how much it meant. "You are very welcome, Captain." she said in responce, before turning on her heel and heading to the door. She paused, however, just outside the range of the door's opening mechanism and turned back around. "By the way, when the holodecks are back up and running, we must do some sparring together." she said, indicating the sword still in his hands. "I'm sure you could teach me a few things, and perhaps even I might show you something." she said, trying to inject some sort of humor or good will back into the room before she went back onto the bridge. She sat down in the captain's chair, taking control while he was still in his ready room, Nerina checking over some figures as the ship slowly tried to repair itself.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #17
Standing alone in the lift he puts on the the environmental suit  checks to make sure all the seals are secure on his suit before saying to the computer, “Computer, follow these instruction , take me to Deck 8, but don’t open the doors” It zooms to level 8 and remain close. The computer chimes in, "affirmative"

“Ok computer, what’s the status outside the turbolift.” The voice answers,”There has been several hull breach on this level, no life support, no active gravity wells.”  

“Damnit,  ok Computer I want you to depressurize the turbolift and siphon the air to a storage unit.”  The computer complies and a hissing sound begins as the ducts suck out the air of the lift.  His body becomes much lighter as the pressure dissipates .  “Now computer, once I exit the turbolift I want you to depressurize and return to normal operational status, also, seal off Deck 8 from all other personal unless they have the right clearance code, Alpha Tango Kalmil 318. Understood?”…  “Yes”  … “Ok computer, open the doors.”

The doors open up to and the rest of the air rushes out from the turbolift making one last hissing sound before complete silence.  He steps through the door and the turbolift closes behind him.  Looking down the hallway into a tangle of debris and floating objects.  The living quarters for some of the commanding officers are located on this deck.  As he walks by each living quarters he scans the room through the door hoping to find some sign of life.

Frozen water droplets hang in the air like diamonds and clings to the walls and doors giving the appearance that someone started gluing glitter and sparkles all over everything. Silently Nolak walks down the hallways being careful avoiding loose free floating wires.  The lights everywhere flicker and sometimes live wires cross sending out an amazing display of fireworks of sparks.  With his tricoder out he checks each room as he passes hoping for any signs of life. This is a dangerous place to walk, he thinks to himself as he continues his scans. 

His goal is to reach the storage bay to find out if there are any of the crucial supplies he needs left within it. He finally stops before a paired of sealed doors of the supply room.  Scanning what lies behind it seeing that the air pressure is the same in there as it is in the hallway decides to open it up. It fails to open automatically forcing him to   manually bypass the doors.

It suddenly opens fast and he’s staring into a pair of human eyes. He jumps back startled and losses his magnetic connection to the floor. Tumbling in a weightlessness before regaining his footing a little ways down the hallway.  After he regains his composure he looks at the human who’s skin is now a bluish tint and devoid of life. 

He suddenly realize it’s a man he used to tell jokes with in the galley, First Lieutenant Arron Linn.  Sadness sweeps over Nolak like a wave smashing against a seawall as tears start to swell within his eyes.  Blankly he gaze into the lifeless eyes for a what seemed like hours lost in thought thinking about all the things Arron could of done with his life, thinking about the Borg invasion onboard the Excalibur, thinking about what’s in stored for the rest of the crew.  Shaking his head a bit he reawakes from his daze saying to himself, “I’m sorry Arron, you should still be alive, everybody should still be alive… why.. can’t they all still be alive.” tears slowly travel down his cheeks . He takes a deep breath and forces his gaze beyond the body. 

Behind the corpse is a cluster of chaos of tangle metal, wires and even worst, the destroyed supply crates and equipment. A huge gapping hole in the side of the ship with the vacuum of space and shining gems called stars twinkling innocently against a black backdrop.  Large chunks of frozen water float suspended in cold silence.

Entering the storage area he quickly scavenges for anything that may be useful. Taking an empty container he fills it with gear that’s floating about the room.  Next he walks along the edge of the room shutting off every valve within the room closing off water mains, and power circuits, air vents, gas lines whatever. 

Once he's done collecting the gear he turns off the main power grid for this section of the ship.  The lights within the room go out and the only light now is coming from the hallway and the lights from the helmet of his spacesuit.  As he leaves the storage room he seals the door shut, and with his scanner he checks the door for it’s strength integrity.

With a mighty shove he sends the crates with useful supplies free floating down the hallway watching them bounce off the walls till they disappear around a bend.  Holding Arron Linn and as if handling a baby he takes the corpse with him walks back down the hallway planning to give the young man a proper burial.  As he passes one of the open rooms he enters inside and takes some blankets free floating, and following an ancient custom wraps the body, says a few words of remembrance, and then returns to the turbolift with the body and crates.

Standing in front of the turbolift with his gathered supplies and the body he then says, “Computer, Alpha Tango Kelmil 318, open the door.  After a few moments the door opens and he quickly throws everything inside and enters before too much wasted energy is used up. Once inside he slumps to the floor tired and exhausted he makes an attempt to get up but find that he just doesn’t have the energy to move anymore within moments he drifts asleep still in his environmental suit with the wrapped up body in his arms and a few crates stacked to the side.

*ooc*  Yeay,  no more eye bleed >.< 

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #18
After the tubolift's door closed, and the Chief Engineer sank to the floor amongst the supplies and spare parts he has collected, the lift waits there for a supplementary command. Seconds pass, and with the lack of further instructions, most Starship turbolifts would simply go where a new passenger needed it.

Instead, however, the turbolift suddenly had another visitor - photons projecting into the figure of a woman and forcefields making out her "physical" mass. Her body-fitted suit materialised in teal department colours given the situation, and she immediately crouched down next to the two bodies. One human she could not help, but the other was breathing. She would not have appeared "in person" if the Transport routines were not compromised with the power shortage. Instead, her appearance was a minor drain on power, so the situation demanded a somewhat more unorthodox approach. Brave organics, rushing in with miscalculated degrrees of hope...

Her interaction was the turbolift was seamless. Thea, as she preferred to be called, was the Theurgy's AI's sentient interaction hologram, and she certainly did not need to tell the turbolift to head to Sickbay and to return the oxygen she had just compartmentalised. It just happened, while she deftly removed the environmental suit.

The reason for the woman's alacrity was that she had actually just spoken with CPO Kalmil before he took a walk around the de-pressurised Deck 08 and could therefore - through sub-routines installed for emergency situations - activate herself without delay. Indeed, she was the computer-voice whom the whole crew interacted with daily.  Her freedom to roam the ship, while granted all days and nights, was limited due to Starfleet safety regulations, and there were many areas and operations that she was hard-wired to not be able to interact with of affect by her own choice. More than a third of her programming consisted of scenario descriptions and varying degrees of authority levels, degrees of security clearances addressing the ability to relay what members of the crew might have said or done at some point on board, not to mention the overlapping layers of filters set in place for her in other critical ways...

...yet this kind of situation was one that she was programmed to always address.

She did not need a comm-badge, but spoke right out into the air - her voice reaching the person she had in mind. "SAH (Ship AI Hologram) to Sickbay, one unconscious man incoming in 13,798 seconds. One deceased crew member extracted from Deck 08, in need to immediately be taken to the morgue. The body will lie outside turbolift 2. Out," she said and there was barely any pause until she delivered the next transmission.

"SAH to Engineering, your Chief has collected vital spare parts and supplies from Deck 08. I cannot transport them to you because of the energy crisis I am suffering," she said, as she often denominated herself thus - meaning the ship, "yet you may collect them from turbolift 2 in 23,564 seconds. I will hold it in Engineering for you until you have extracted the material. Moreover, your Chief will be in Sickbay because of his ordeal until further notice."

The turbolift doors opened and Thea had finished removing the environmental suit. She dragged the sheet-covered body out into the corridor before she picked up the Chief effortlessly in her arms and ran into Sickbay - mere meters away. She found the Head Nurse named Jovela and shouted to her over the din in the over-crowded Sickbay - asking for the Chief to be scanned with a medical tricorder. "I am unaware of his condition, Nurse, but he was extracting supplies from the farthest are of my hull-breack on Deck 08."

Thea set the Chief down on a bio-bed and stepped back, her subconscious noticing how Engineering had opened the turbolift doors.

"Will he manage?" she asked the nurse with a concern that had gradually manifested itself inside her after she was programmed to develop and learn - to be rendered 'sentient' by her programmers i Starfleet.

OOC: Enter stage left, Jovela! Enter stage right, the Chief when he comes to...

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #19
Jovela was in the middle of checking over reports when the Ship, or rather it's AI, ran in. With so many people injured and having to be in sickbay for constant treatment, it was hard to deal with them one on one, so she was having to rely on reports, letting the computer keep track of things and then issuing treatments or reporting to the doctor as the needs presented themselves. But an emergency set her into action. She grabbed a tricorder and then made her way over to the patient.

It should be impossible to run, focusing soley on delivering care to a patient, and somehow make it seem like an erotic act. But the young woman somehow managed it, her breasts bouncing in an effortlessly pleasing way, her legs moving her form across the floor in a graceful way, every step highlighting her curves. And all this was without thinking, without planning. She was, instead, solely focused on the patient, as she flipped open the tricorder.

She waited for a few seconds after the Ship asked the question, focusing on the readings of the tricorder. "Yes, it's nothing serious." she said. Like with the walk over, those few words shouldn't be erotic in any way. But her voice was full, rich and breathless, and had the unmistakable Risan accent, one that screamed erotic pleasure to anyone who had ever visited the Federation's Playground as the Risans would often describe themselves as.

"He's just over-worked himself, he'll be fine in a few moments and some pick me up." Jovela said, smiling at the hologram as she pulled out a hypo, and began to prepare a suitable mix of mild drugs to wake him up. She then leant over, showing that her uniform was perhaps slightly smaller than it should be, as her form was very clearly outlined against the fabric, with no line indicating where underclothes should be, just the swell of her buttocks outlined lewdly against the thin uniform. She injected the patient with the pick me up, and then focused on him, leaning over him. "Chief? Can you hear me? It's Head Nurse Jovela, you're in Sickbay, everything's fine..." she said, rubbing his shoulders, unaware or perhaps uncaring that her large, full breasts were dangling over him, and would probably be the first thing he saw when he woke up.

OOC: I didn't see any injury in the post, so...

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #20
His bright grey eyes open up unfocused and in a slight daze.  He blinks a few times first at the light and then into the doctors eyes. Quicky he looks around himself, seeing and feeling everyone emotions suddenly his body tense up as he quickly tries to rise to his feet, pushing the doctor suddenly aside pressing against her breast which dangle over him.  In a somewhat delusional state he cries out as his eyes begin to swell up, looking at the doctor and the ships AI Thea, well more like looking through them he pushes her aside and stands to his feet shouting, “Computer, status on the borg position on the ship, we haven’t much time before they breach into main engineering!”

His pheromones easily now overpowering the solution he applied earlier begins to cause many of the other patients to become aware of his presents as many of their pains and uneasy feelings begins to fade away into a calm blissful mood quieting the room. Both the computer and doctor try to subdue him as he tries to push forward out of the room, “Damnit, let me go, If they take the engine room the ships lost and I WILL NOT let that happen,” he continues to shout.  His mind is very unsettled due to prolong sleep depredation and a somthing else tricorder pickup but was overlooked (a small amount of illegal drug substance) as he continues to relive a moment of his past. 

It’s because of his telepathic nature of his race and the overwhelming sweet smelling aromas from his glands the sexual mood of the room begins to increase on some of the more sensitive of members within sickbay.  This includes Dr. Jovela who subconsciously releases him because of her direct contact with the man.  However this has no effect on Thea, the ships AI who continues to hold him firmly in place.

“Don’t you understand, I’ve got to get back there, I MUST GET BACK THERE, I shall not be assimilated today or any other day, release me now that’s an order!” This display of rage and emotions has never been witnessed before from the ever calm and pleasant Chief, yet today his eyes are lost in thought and imagination.  Thea, looks at the doctor and understanding the situation calculates a course and take the hypo from the infatuated doctor and places it against his neck.  He tries to struggle but soon slumps in her arms relaxed and calm again his arms wrap around her waist before he falls unconscious. 

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #21
        Amakris hesitates for a few moments, her nostrils flaring at the sudden introduction of a foreign pheromone.  Her mind and body racing, analyzing its nature, determining its function and then just under her arm pits, a slight swelling occurs.  Her eyes dilate ever so slightly, as her pulse begins to rise steadily her breathing becoming swifter steadily as she turns toward Nolak and tries to move like the others into his path.  She focused her thoughts, and lightly moved one lip over the other on her mouth, pressing them together in a biting like motion as she resisted the effects of the pheromone.   Her parents had long ago taught her self restraint, an important attribute and an almost essential one for Ash'reem serving in the military.  After a few moments she begins to calm her mind although her body continues to react to the pheromone she chooses to ignore the desires swelling inside her reproductive organs. 

         Her mind stared at Nolak going over a mental checklist.  ~Deltan, male, forty five years of age, exhibiting hallucinations, excretions from the pheromone glands, and slight panic.~  It took her a few moments to place everything in its proper place before she lightly lifted her arms just enough to allow air flow to gain better access to the pheromone glands located there.  A sweet if slightly peculiar scent begins to fill the air around her, as the glands begin to secrete a pheromone similar to the one Nolak is secreting, if a bit more precise in its nature.  Its function merely to bring Nolak and any other Deltan's in the area back to their senses by calming their minds, perhaps even causing a slight buzz of euphoria in those most sensitive to its effects.

      "Jovela what did you give him?  Petty Officer, there are no borg on the ship, please calm down." Amakris said as she tried to block his exit from the medical bay as best she could.  A spot between her legs slowly begins to dampen causing the uniform to darken slightly as she takes position blocking his escape.  Mentally Amakris scolds herself for even allowing herself to register the nature of the pheromone, although she knew full well she had no control over the matter.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #22
Dr. Nicander made his way through Sickbay, leaving a surgical suite.

The heart, he thought as he moved - running his arms through the sleeves of his lab coat. Organ, emotion and abstraction. Sustainer of life, supposed centre of emotions, and a clean slate. Or, an empty stage where life's drama unfold. All Terran beliefs, all equally wrong. How fragile this unjustifiably revered organ was, yet how resilient, though malleable in its vitality. The expert actor had donned his costume yet again; the previous one tossed aside in the spray of a lost crew member's life. It was a heart's aorta that had burst - an open rupture that had flecked him in crimson.

How easily damaged, and how utterly useful in its alleged capacities.

Isn't that why he loved his profession? Idle thought. Well, he amended, that is perhaps one reason, but it is far from my only one. Never let it be said that he did it for purely selfish reasons, since he did it all for Kisane, and his... kin back on Earth. Of course he wanted to help people most of all - did it matter that it was for the sake of appearance? But in helping people, he figuratively also - for a little while - held their hearts in his tattooed hand. A private joke that was best enjoyed privately so. He refrained from smiling. The play begins anew.

It simply cannot be helped, he reminded himself, stamping down the thrill of power. ~ If you are so tempted ~, an oily voice said, ~ who are you to avoid temptation? ~ He ignored it. Shouts and pointing heralded a new patient, and he moved there. And Chief Medical Officer Nicander was handed a medical tricorder from a nurse, and his pale grey eyes could see the extent of the damage - both the external and those... inside the Conn Officer's body below his gaze. An impulse craved that he would light the shredded uniform in flames and make the Biobed a funeral bonfire.

Yet he didn't, no, Lucan let out a whispered oath - unheard in the noise of Sickbay, and this oath not worded for the apparent reasons. No, he had merely hoped to make this helmsman of the Theurgy working on the Bridge... indebted to him by saving his life, but now... he had to weigh if he should distribute his time and effort to other patients instead. He knew, however, that there was still a chance, despite everything the medical tricorder was shouting at him with its glaring display.

He swore as his tattooed hands worked to compensate for the dropping levels of heart-rate and brain activity. He switched to the hypospray and pumped him with 20 ccs of adrenaline in order to keep the heart going. Yet the facts could not be escaped. Even though he managed to animate the brain with artificial dopamine - which was naturally produced in several areas of the brain, including the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area - these added neurotransmitters that activated five types of dopamine receptors could not help him. There just was too much hemorrhaging at the base of his skull.

Vaguely, he was aware of the shift across Sickbay - felt it himself. He thought it might be a slip from Amikris end, even though she had actually been the one to counter a previous burst of phermones. Such untimely notions slipping inside a doctor's mind could have caused further causalities, but Lucan merely threw an irritated glance towards the exit - spotting the AI Hologram amongst others. No time, especially not to look at the Head Nurse's form - much less Amikris.

Where was he? Ah, yes, thrombal generator. It would coagulate the blood before it managed to break down motor and sensory systems. Six ccs of Kelotane for the burns. Lucan had to throw away the instruments he did not need in order to grasp for others. The brain was still going. The heart-rate was declining, but he still had time. He moved to the helmsman's torso, knowing that beneath the third degree plasma burns across his abdomen and chest, besides the diamond sparkle of shrapnel embedded in the flesh, was also a ruptured spleen. The nerves not burned away were in shock, and the brain had not been able to process it, but splenic rupture permitted large amounts of blood to leak into the abdominal cavity.

Yet that was far from all.

The helmsman had pneumothorax; air present in the pleural cavity - caused by a rib-punctured lung. A lung that was already collapsing, which made plenty of space for the gushing hemothorax - bleeding resulted by the thorn serous membrane. Meanwhile, a piece of shrapnel had cut the liver - spilling bile into already leaking veins. First Lieutenant Arron Lynn was, indeed, bleeding to death inside, and Lucan's sub-dermal regenerator simply could not compensate for the chain-effect. He had to cast Starfleet surgical procedures aside and rely upon his Aldean training, utterly determined to not loose this patient, be it for all the morally wrong reasons or not.

"Doctor! New injured are arriving from the Lone Wolves. The Transporters are still not working!" came the call from the other parts of Sickbay.

"You know what to do, and I will be there momentarily!" he answered whilst gritting his teeth - eyes wild as he found more and more hemorrhaging starting to spread inside the Lieutenant. He had begun to turn the tide of the battle, until suddenly a... straight section through the Lieutenant's body gave away much more quickly than he could compensate for. Old scar tissue? he thought, eyes widening as he tried, in vain, to forestall the inevitable. From the point where the hemorrhaging slipped out of his control, and the chemicals in her blood began to weaken the already declining immune system, it was over in moments. Over the screaming of people and the groan of the ship's hull plating, Lucan heard the bio-bed's sensors tell him that it was over.

"Damnation!" he said and threw his handful of medical instruments upon the tray - stepping back with his chest heaving in frustration and bitter anger. He raked his blood-coated tattooed hands through his hair. His mind caught up with the situation - dissecting the turn of events...

The Conn Officer was dead. Ironically, even if Lucan had cared, he could not bring to mind the patients name. Was it Arron? Perhaps. Regardless, his time of passing, 2354 hours. Already? Time did fly when you were having fun. "Dr. Nicander... to the Bridge," he said with enacted remorse. "I regret to announce that our dear helmsman has passed away... Sickbay Out."

Now, what the hell was going on over there with the Chief Engineer?

Dr. Lucan cin Nicander was already heading that way, his new labcoat flaring out in his wake like the wings of a fallen angel - already bloodstained and wrinkled.

"Would you so kindly keep your bloody pheromones in check," he said in his faded Câroon accent to the Medical Assistant in the doorway, unaware that Amikris was not the culprit, "or I will have you assigned to a more fitting area for you to dwell during the days, like a Cargo Bay or some place that does not require the kind of focus we need here in Sickbay. Nurse Jovela, would you please make sure she has something to do, so that she may keep her head out of the gutter. Look around, there is plenty to do here, is it not? The winds have some bloody mercy...."

He caught the eye of the Ship AI, and privately, he thought about the significant role she would come to play in his scheme. He conferred with her in brief words, learned about the non-critical state of the Chief Engineer, and knew that he was obligated to attend more pressing injuries. He only gave her a quick nod in gratitude to the AI, and given the energy crisis, she soon vanished. Next, his eyes moved to the aforementioned new patients.

One in particular he recognised quite well... A certain Lt. Evelyn Rawley.

"Lay her down," he called to the security officers that had carried the stretchers from the Fighter Assault Bay, wind-worn stone eyes taking in the critical state of the Tactical Conn Officer. He yanked his stained smock back from his uniformed shoulders and disposed it in a bin. While the ship groaned, he tried to sterilise his hands as effectively as he could at a spot not far from the Biobed, since the human woman had open wounds. "Begin the scans! Give her 17 ccs of improvoline and 6 ccs of merfadon!"

Unlike the helmsman, this woman was someone that took a bit more priority...

"Lt. Rawley," he called as he stared into her eyes, then repeated himself more loudly. Yet Lucan already knew that all that this lover and fighter pilot of his could detect was his mouth moving, since blast injuries to the auditory system not only caused significant bleeding, but - self-evidently - equal loss of hearing. "Nurse, scan her - immediately. Is it a bleeding from the external canal or TM rupture?" All patients exposed to cockpit explosions were to have an otologic assessment and audiometry, yet that was not the primary concern. The bleeding was much to severe.

Explosions had the capability to cause multi-system, life-threatening injuries - presenting complex triage, diagnostic, and management challenges. Explosions could produce classic injury patterns from blunt and penetrating afflictions to several organ systems, but they could also result in unique injury patterns to specific organs including the lungs and the central nervous system. Understanding these crucial differences was critical to manage these kinds of situations, and Lucan had already lost the First Yeoman int he aftermath of the Theurgy's last skirmish with Starfleet. Thus, he would be damned if he would loose Evelyn Rawley - of all the oblivious people on board.

Oh, the CMO did not give one whit about her personally beyond the warmth between her legs, yet she was a crucial asset to him.

She was his last remaining contact amongst the Lone Wolves - the Theurgy's Federation Fighter squadron. Without her, he had no unofficial insight there.

"MTBI, Doctor," called Maal, an uncharacteristically Klingon male nurse, meaning mild traumatic brain injury, "yet added with perforated eardrums from the tympanic membrane rupture. That's not all, Doctor. The primary blast before she punched out affected all air-filled compartments - lungs, ears, and the gastrointestinal tract. Doctor, it may be too late..."

"Give me the hypospray!" said Lucan and began to charge it with anaesthetics. Evelyn's multiple injuries were caused by the direct blast overpressure and by the added circumstance of an enclosed-space explosion-signature - this without adding the trauma of punching out afterwards. Already, Lucan could tell by the presence of the bleeding TM rupture that a high-pressure wave of at least 40 kPa had struck her - which suggested more dangerous organ injury. This was in fact quite certain, since the nosebleed told him that an overpressure of 100 kPa had been present - causing the lung injuries. "Quickly!"

Yet the nurse just stood there, at a loss in seeing the injuries. An image flashed before Lucan's eyes, where he switched on the nearest thrombic modulator and rammed it into the irritable Klingon's eye-socket - making the blood around the brain turn into paste while he writhed upon the antiseptic floor. The urge to act on those impulses were ever present, yet as always, Lucan mastered himself - ignored the screaming voices within.

"Ensign!" shouted Lucan to his Nurse and finally received his hypospray. He leaned over Evelyn and pressed the cold muzzle to her neck - dealing her the hiss of oblivion. her eyes fell shut, and the last thing she might see was him - her deceiver. "What kind of pulmonary barotrauma does she have?" They were the most common of the fatal blast injuries, including pulmonary contusion, systemic air embolism, and free radical-associated injuries such as thrombosis, lipoxygenation, and DIC - disseminated intravascular coagulation. His patient might also have drawn a direct lung injury from other body injuries - most likely a broken rib. "Answer me!"

"I'm sorry, Doctor," said Maal, on the verge of breaking, "I can't tell from the readings..."

Jaws clenched and ripping the medical tricorder from Maal, Lucan checked the readings. Vaguely the notion of the Klingon being affected by the earlier pheromone burst came to him, yet he ignored it.

It was all plain - ticking off like clockwork. The immediate cardiovascular response to pulmonary blast injury was a decrease in heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac index. Blood pressure fell gradually. "It is A.G.E," he grated and quickly began to compensate for the dropping rates - his free tattooed hand punching at the control panel to the Biobed. Acute gas embolism  - A.G.E - was also a form of pulmonary barotrauma. It required excruciating special attention. Air emboli most commonly occluded blood in the brain and the spinal cord. This, resulting in neurologic symptoms that had to be differentiated from the direct trauma of the explosion. This occurrence was responsible for the majority of casualties in any explosions - cockpit or not.

Lucan was working against time to save Lt. Rawley, furiously trying to stabilise the primary systems in her spine. "Abdominal haemorrhage," he shouted to the Ensign when it blossomed below her spleen, "stall it with the sub-dermal regenerator! Her external wounds can be grossly contaminated, so consider delayed primary closure and assess tetanus status. Get a grip, Nurse! Now!"

Maal began to fumble with the instruments, and Lucan had had enough. "Nurse Jovela, anyone, can I please have this imbecile removed from my sight and get some help in saving this life? She needs to be stabilised, but we don't have the time for the operation right now. Someone please prepare a surgical suite, if we can spare one..."

He needed this Lt. Rawley to love him, in case she survived.

First things must come first
, he reminded himself, resisting his dormant desire to go straight for the core. Tension had to build before the climax came, after all. The half-Bajoran's heart had to be prepared, wooed, before it could be taken. It was not such a burden to delay satisfaction enough to assure that it came at all, and he would be the first to admit that there was pleasure to be found in the means as well as the end. Outside influences stripped away, damaged and hurting, he could begin to put this fighter pilot under his thrall.

He would grasp Evelyn's heart and lift it out of its cage, making it his captive - wounded, hurting, and wholly dependent on him. Under the stage lights, he would make a speech of comfort, of understanding, of healing, and thus enticed, the heart would yield to him, accept him, welcome him without reservations. Deftly, he would hook catheters into the arteries - his words and warmth siphoning blood away and isolating that powerful yet weak organ.

The amount of good he could do was equalled only by the amount of harm, and he was in the negative space between the two. He felt drunk, getting more visions, actually seeing the woman's heart in his hand. Drunk on this giddy dichotomy, Lucan was intoxicated with this heady concoction of power and potential.

This was the moment he was now waiting for, and he was intent on its arrival. In a glimpse, he heeded the fragmented shard of a half-dream or a half-imagination. He saw it - the breaking point. The show-stopper. The scene he'd been waiting for in breathless anticipation to play: the decisive moment. Light glinted off the raised exoscalpel, poised like some bird of prey, hovering above and waiting for the instant when its prey was utterly defenceless and unaware.

It plunged in his mind, a perfect extension of his arm. In reality... he waited seemingly impatiently for a new nurse by his side.

What next? Images flashed like lightning before his dark grey eyes. How could he possibly resist taking a bite of the succulent apple, savouring its rich, dark sweetness, succumbing for a heartbeat to its seduction? Or, would the heart remain whole in his hands, a pagan sacrifice to appease an angry god? Though what good, and for what purpose, he would not venture a guess - not with his insidious half-thoughts coiling in the back of his mind.

He was oddly tempted to laugh.

Blinking, Dr. Nicander clenched his jaws together - focusing on the display before him. It was a component of the script he was to play. He thought that his hands had to be shaking...

...yet when he lifted one, he found that it was not.

OOC: Damn... Got on a roll, and this Prologue being for character introductions, I did not shorten it any... I promise not to make the same kind of posts in the Episode unless it is for setting a new scene, if only then.

Update: I noticed that in switching places with the two patients he treated, the pronouns got tangled up. I made some corrections and I hope it reads better now.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #23
Amikris Neotin gave a silent glare at Dr Nicander as he accused her of not keeping herself in check.  For a moment she was glad she had to wear goggles in the med bay for her eyes surely would have given away to anger building inside her. "If you feel you must dismiss me, then do so, but it won't solve your pheromone problem doctor."  She asks with a hint of disgust in her voice as she helps Nolak to a bed and lays him down.  Once done, she secures some restraints on his wrists and ankles to ensure he doesn't hurt himself should he stir well in his delusional state, then goes to prepare Lucan's surgical suite. 

She uses her tricorder to scan the room carefully making note of any contaminants she finds and applying the appropriate countermeasures for such contamination should it exist.  Once done she applies a universal coat of antimicrobials to all the needed surgical tools and waits the five minutes for them to air dry.  It would be difficult to be certain that it would be a hundred percent successful but it should prevent bacterial or fungal infection in most patients.

She watches her hands nervously watching the subtle tremor that began in the thumbs and slowly was moving along her hand.  A silent very low pitch groan escaped her lips as she reached into her pocket removing a small package and breaking the seal.   She removes the small pale cream pills inside and extends her tongue wrapping them firmly around the pills and pulling them back into her mouth.  Within moments they slide down her throat and she waits.  The tremor begins to subside within minutes.

Re: PROLOGUE: Aftermath & General Character Introductions

Reply #24
It’s around midnight when the door to the Captains waiting room chimes.  “Enter,” Captain Jien Ives says in his/her female form. The young helmsman replacement Ensign Lawrence Orrlan Lance, enters the room and stands at attention before the Captain and salutes.  “Ensign Lawrence Lance, reporting as directed sir.”  His eyes can't help but wander at the captain beautifully tone body as he waits for further orders.

On top of a pile of data-pads sits the his service record on the Captains desk. The information reads: Ensign Lawrence Orrlan Lance, from outside Willington, New Zealand. He is fresh recruit straight from the academy on his first voyage with a total service time outside under a month. His academy records show that he was among top of his class in several of the courses such as astrophysics, navigation and flight wing command, especially when piloting small vessels. However in some of this other courses utterly failed in such as galactic history. All of his personal records are marred with red tape, *classified sections*, and blanked out reports, all this questionable data it was like reading swiss cheese thrown in a blender. Even more questions; the battle started during the night shift; One minor incident within the holodeck mountain climbing with safety off; and although he navigated the ship beautifully during combat, he did make some rather unusual maneuvers not specified within Starfleet regulations. The report ends with some statistics regarding of his academic performance.

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