Skip to main content
Topic: Day 01 [1700 hrs.] Loose Gears (Read 5025 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Day 01 [1700 hrs.] Loose Gears

Day 01 [1700 hrs.] Loose Gears

[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 11 | Corridor outside of Main Sickbay ]  ATTN:  Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan

In the aftermath of the battle at Starbase 84 and the evacuation of the starship Resolve, a number of chairs and divans were set against the walls of the corridor outside the Main Sickbay on Deck Eleven to accommodate the new arrivals who were waiting to be processed.  Orderlies and nurses would assess their injuries if any and assign their priority, either sending them to one of the battle sickbays on Decks Seven or Fifteen or bring them into the Main Sickbay nurses and physicians became available.  It would be a tedious wait in any circumstance but thanks to the abundance of the seriously wounded, the odds were that the people waiting here would be waiting until they were summoned to the Fighter Assault Bay on Deck Sixteen for their orientation. 

William Robert “Bily Bob” O’Connell had a lot of people to visit in sickbay.  Most of them were members of this department who were injured during the battle at Starbase 84.  A few of them were injured during the battle in Starbase 84.  Members of his boarding team had been shot while trying to hold the reactor room.  They had been protected by a clever device of his own invention he had named the Subspace Armor Field Tactical Integration gear, or SAFTI gear for short,  devices used for personal protection that utilized subspace harmonics to generate a personal force field.  The problem was that all they did was convince the people shooting at the folks who were wearing them to take their weapons off ‘stun’.  While all of his team had been beamed back, nearly all of them had been hit and he could only hope that his creations protected them enough to keep their injuries from being fatal. 

As soon as he left the turbolift, William O’Connell realized that he had come a mite early to visit anyone.  Sickbay was swamped, and even with all of the bumps and dings he had taken at Starbase 84, like all of the folks waiting out in the hall he’d have to take a number.  There was no one seriously injured or lying on a stretcher at this time, but the dirty uniforms and haggard faces let the master chief know that these people had been through Hell.  The exhaustion and despair of their countenances were familiar sights by now, but strangely enough their actual facial features weren’t.

Billy Bob was surprised to see all the new faces.   Normally he kept up with scuttlebutt but ever since he got back aboard he had been engaged.  He had been so busy making after action damage assessments and supervising repairs that he had somehow been completely left out of the loop when it came to the fate of the Resolve.  Nevertheless, there was something about this sight; it reminded him of the aftermath of the mutiny when the brainwashed members of the crew and new meat from the Harbinger were lined up out here under the watchful gaze of the Security department.

That wasn’t the case now.  As a matter of fact most of these people were armed, and not just with the tiny palm sized type I phaser nicknamed ‘the cricket’ either.  They wore bandoleers that featured a holster for the sleek type II pistol sized phaser that became popular during the Dominion War.  They were prepared to repel boarders, but just who were they?  

Billy didn’t recognize a single one of them, except a lonely Efrosian sitting dejectedly next to his fellow refugees.  The young fella was so short he could have been a child and with his head tilted towards the deck long white hair fell over his face nearly obscuring the V shaped crainial plate his people shared with the Romulans.  There was no way this could be who Billy thought it was.  Lieutenant (junior grade) Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan had disappeared with everyone else aboard the Resolve over three years ago.  Rumors of the ship’s fate included being lost in the Delta Quadrant, but Billy Bob had convinced himself that the Resolve had been destroyed by the alien parasites that had taken over Starfleet.  There was no way this could be…   Did Billy’s eyes deceive him?  The young lieutenant clutched an inhaler in his hand!  It wasn’t possible, but it really was allergenic hypochondriac he had both taught and trained with back the Academy back on Earth after all.

“Suq?”  Billy Bob asked in disbelief.  “Suq-Reylin-Efreya Xan?  Is that you son?”  When the Efrosian blinked himself awake and gazed up at O’Connell with his green eyes, Billy Bob knew for sure.  “Well Ah’ll be hanged!   It is you!  Tarnation, son!  Where’ve yuh bin?  Ah thought yew wuz dead!”

OOC:  Go ahead and post a response, and then we'll work on our joint posts.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ Lt. Jg. Suq | Deck 11 | Corridor outside of Main Sickbay ] ATTN:  Billy Bob

If he had known just how crowded sickbay was, he would've fucked right off into some Jeffries tube somewhere to wait until the crowd thinned out. All these people made him nervous, Theurgy mingled with Resolve. He kept tabs of the faces he could recognize. When their number was called and they went to get their checkup, he made little mental snapshots of their faces. He wasn't sure if they'd come back out the same.

Just a short while ago, he'd been introduced to a new reality. One where the most popular, most well-developed conspiracy theory he's ever stumbled across wound up being true. He knew some people believed that members of Starfleets brightest and finest were 'bugged', as it were. He knew that the theory went back for ages, and that all those personal testimonies he read on forums, in articles, on blogs, and in reports could have easily been works of fiction by a variety of creative, passionate writers, both Federation members and otherwise. As far as he knew, it was an entertaining story. A variety of tales told by people with a few gears loose.

Now he was the one with a few gears loose.

He realized that he had stopped watching his shipmates vanish into sickbay and instead began to watch the flooring below. Familiar, Starfleet, also makes excellent insulation in a pinch. He could accept the existence of parasites, however hesitatingly, but he could not accept that the Theurgy was just here to help. How could he trust that his friends and his crew were not being infected with their own parasites in there? What sort of things were being injected into their bodies to alter their functioning? What if they were being forced into complacency with a cocktail of drugs? Cattle, he thought, just like the parasite in the recording spoke about. Cattle, stupidly awaiting slaughter.

He rolled the inhaler in his hands. He could feel his chest tighten, but he did not take a puff. He'd had too many already today, and he'd rather not waste this thing. He couldn't trust that, when he ran out of medication in this one, that the Theurgy would offer him a clean, untainted replacement.

He wished his number would be called faster. He already knew that he'd refuse any medication offered and would fight if forced, and he knew his escape plan by now. The only thing left for his mind to do is worry, and so far, worrying has been extremely exhausting. He brought his hand to his cheek to lean on, and just...rested his eyes, yes, that's what he was doing. Resting his eyes. It would only take fifteen minutes tops to fall asleep. Already, he felt the beginning of dreams tease at the edge of his mind. Happier times, bright sunlight, familiar voices...

"Suq? Suq-Reylin-Efreya Xan? Is that you son?"

Suq could recognize the timbre and quality anywhere. He often dreamed about this particular voice, but he knew this was the real thing. It startled him right out of his drowsiness. He slowly lifted his head and opened his eyes, pushed his shock white hair out of his face to see better; and by the spirits, it was him. William O'Connel. Billy Bob. Perhaps the only person he could trust in a time like this.

”I....I thought I'd never see you again. Holy shit.”, He blurted out, without an ounce of shame too. Perhaps just this once, profanity was acceptable. He started to stand, a little wobbly on his feet, and stumbled forward with his arms out to hold his shoulders, touch his face. ”Are you real? Are you...” He removed his hands, now that the thought hit him, and took a step back just in case, ”Are you actually Billy Bob? Not some...thing, using his body?” He didn't honestly believe asking a parasite if it was a parasite would help, but if this was his Billy Bob, master of conspiracy and paranoia, a man Suq thought worthy of admiration, then Suq would know by his response. Probably a hearty “I told you so”, and he'd probably deserve it too.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #2
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 11 | Corridor outside of Main Sickbay ]  A Joint post between Doc M. and FollowTommorrow

“Ah could ask you th’ same thing!” Billy Bob laughed as pulled the lieutenant out of his chair and embraced him before pushing him away and eyeing him suspiciously. The sudden touch causing Suq to flinch out of reflex. “No really, Ah could ask you th’ same thing,” he repeated dryly.  “Where’d you been all this time?  Th’ Resolve’s bin missin’ nigh on three years an’ suddenly Ah find yuh here all hale n’ hearty!  Where’d y’ run off to?  Yuh gotta admit, it’s mighty unsettlin’.  How do we know we kin trust all you…”

His voice trailed off when he noticed the murderous glares Suq’s shipmates were giving him. Billy’s eyes went from their angry faces to the phasers they all wore. 

Billy coughed into his fist.  “Excuse me, this is uh private conversation,” he protested.  “Do Ah git involved when you’re talkin’?  Jest ketchin’ up thet’s all!  Come on Suq, let’s go someplace where you kin wet yore whistle an’ tell me whut you’ve bin up to all this time.  Whut do y’ say?

[ Suq-Reylin-Efreya Xan | Deck 11 | Corridor outside of Main Sickbay ]  A Joint post between Doc M. and FollowTommorrow

He'd say it sounded just like Billy Bob. Maybe not much tact, but he asked all the right questions. Thoughts started flying around Suq's head, none of them very pleasant. He was grateful for Billy Bob's call for privacy.

"Y-yeah. I could use a drink. Many drinks, probably...Uh, lead the way?" He stammered, suddenly feeling odd to be the only one standing. Perhaps his crewmates thought him suspicious for having a Theurgy friend. What if he was bugged and he didn't know it? What if he was a traitor long before the Resolve's final battle ever started?  His chest felt tight again. His eyes fell on Billy Bob, almost pleading him to please remove him from the public.

[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ]  A Joint post between Doc M. and FollowTommorrow

The Spearhead Lounge was located at the forward tip of the Theurgy.  Informally known as “/xteen Forward” the Spearhead Lounge had been popular with officers and visitors before the Theurgy fled Starfleet.  The Lone Wolves fighter squadron had preferred the enlisted lounge down on Deck Twenty-eight because they wanted to spend their free time with the legendary Sten “Poppa Bear” Covington and his deck crew.    That had made the enlisted lounge known as “Below Decks” the official watering hole for the entire ship.  You could meet anyone on the ship, officer or enlisted down there.  That didn’t mean that the Spearhead Lounge or any of the other ship’s lounges were officially abandoned of course.  Billy Bob chose to take Suq to the Spearhead Lounge because it was marginally closer to the turbolift than Below Decks.  That and he had never ordered a drink in the officer’s lounge before.  Of course, he had never been a department head before either.

The Spearhead Lounge had windows that gave an excellent view of the stars.  Currently they were lines stretching against the darkness as the ship soared through the black at speeds that defied the conventional science of earlier eras.  The lounge wasn’t completely empty; some of Suq’s shipmates were here, no doubt cooling their heels one of the designated emergency environmental support shelters the ship’s lounges doubled as.   Even so, there were plenty of spare booths and tables where one could speak with a smidge of privacy.

“Sit yourself down and order a drink son,” Billy Bob purred in a fatherly fashion as they chose a booth against the portside wall.  “No need to order thet synthahol stuff neither, you’re not on duty ‘r anything lahk thet.”  He raised a hand for the holographic waitress to serve them.  “I’ll have a Scotch whiskey if it ain’t too much trouble,” he told her.  “And whut will yew have son?”

"Fireball. Or something like that."

As the waitress left to fill their order, Billy Bob gave Suq a thoughtful look.  “So Lieutenant, tell me:  Whut happened to the Resolve son?   Ah reckon it must be quite a tale.”

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #3
[ Suq-Reylin-Efreya Xan | Deck 14  | Spearhead Lounge ]

He figured someone would ask the question eventually, but for as much as he thought about it, he couldn't come up with an answer. It was so long ago, and truthfully, he wished he could erase it all from his mind altogether. He spent a solid minute staring blankly at his former mentor, trying to summon up the words. The only thing he could summon up were images, the same ones that his brain used to fuel his nightmares every time he slept.

“...We...We were just scanning this anomaly. I was just keeping an eye on ship integrity. Nobody really thought the radiation would, you know, bother the ship much. But you know, regulations, I had to be there to watch her. We were this really well-built ship, you know? So nothing should have happened. And the next thing, the next thing I knew, we were all the way on the other side of Romulan space, and navigation couldn't recognize any landmarks, we were just so lost, and we had to get home, but every time we found something or someone it tried to kill us. Everything wanted to kill us.” He realized that there were encounters that did not end in violence, but to Suq, they felt like dreams. Something not really part of this reality. But his mouth kept running anyways. Now that he had gotten started, he found it hard to stop.

“I saw so much of our crew...well...I saw one of the engineers—I didn't know her too well, but I knew her—she, she just...there was some kind of virus on board, and..I'm sorry, I don't remember what happened to her. I just...remember a lot of crying. She didn't want to die. She had it kind of easy. Before that—I think it was before that-- m-my superior officer, he....I watched him burn. We had boarders, they shot an EPS conduit, he just was in the wrong sp-spot, and you..and he, and...and his skin kinda fell off first, before he... It got atomized...  So I took his job and started running the place...every time the ship got hurt, I patched her up. Every time we destroyed an enemy ship, we went out and took some stuff from them to keep us togethr There were so many fires and atmospheric leaks, so many stupid little pinholes that were a pain in the ass to find...Every time something got patched, something else was about to explode, like the sonovabitch was a cursed ship, trying to kill us all before we got home...”

He finds his hands running through his hair, and he stops himself before he starts to pull on his own hair again. A bad habit he was trying to stop before it started. He realized he was just rambling, not giving him any real information. It was like telling him what he dreampt about last night. He asked what happened to the Resolve, not his nightmares.

“I-I'm sorry, Billy. I don't really remember specifics. We were in one place, doing our job and all, and then we were light years from home. I...I've been trying not to remember anything, so I made myself forget, kind of.” He sat up a little straighter, looking around for his fireball so he could get started. When it didn't come, he slumped a little on the table, and again turned to stare at Billy, like he's trying to see through him.

“What....what exactly happened with you guys? I mean, I saw the hologram. The one with the...the bugged lady.” He shuddered, remembering her broken finger and how it didn't bother her one single bit. “Did you get bugged too? I-I guess I'll know if you are, eventually, but it'd be a lot easier if you know, told me now. Get the formalities out of the way and all." He folded his hands in front of him, on the table. He realized no matter what the answer was to the question, he'd probably disbelieve his former mentor, but on some level he wished he was okay, that someone here was normal and not absolutely batshit.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ] 

“Bugged lady?” O’Connell snorted, glad for something to distract him from the shellshock he saw in Lieutenant Xan.  “You mean that possessed piece of calico they brought back from the Harbinger?  Sonja Whutzername?   No Ah ain’t bugged.  Yuh need t’ watch whom yer askin’ Suq, ‘cause them’s fightin’ words.   As yew kin imagine, we’re all a mite sensitive when comes t’ thet question.  Th’ bugged folks are th’ enemy.  If there was any aboard an’ loose they woulda overloaded one of the warp cores and ended our little trip toot sweet.”

“Ah cain’t rightly blame yuh fur askin’ though,” Billy admitted contritely as he looked away.  “It seems like ever since this year started we’ve bin gettin’ hypnotized an’ taken over left raight an’ center.  Not by whatever’s taken over Starfleet mind yuh, but taken over none th’ less.  So far it ain’t nothin’ folks cain’t come back from, but Ah reckon it’s only a matter o’ time, then blammo.  Whutever y’ dew, try not to mention th’ Niga incident when some alien pollen took us over and forced us t’ rape each other, or th’ way thet Vulcan first officer o’ the Harbinger put the whammy on everyone’s minds t’ git ‘em t’ abandon the mission and flee all ‘a known space t’ try t’…  Yuh know, Ah don’t raightly know jest whut she wuz fixin’ t’ dew once she got us all outta Dodge.  Somethin’ about breedin’ the superior master race Ah think.  All Ah know is thet she caused a lotta good folks t’ kill each other afore it was over.  Thet reminds me:  I don’t calculate that Captain Ives is fixin’ t’ let y’all newcomers come packin’ heat while you’re servin’ with us.  The last fellers we let onboard went loco and tried to brainwash us an’ make off with both our starship an’ our women.”

“Here you go gentlemen,” the holographic waitress chirped as she served the duo their beverages.  “Scotch whisky for the master chief, and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky for the lieutenant,” she said airily. 

“Thank you Felicity, much obliged,” O’Connell nodded as he took his drink off her little serving tray.

After her programmer, the late William Regal was killed, the holographic hostess known as “Felicity” dressed much more conservatively.  Although her demeanor was no longer airheaded and full of innuendos, there were still remnants of her bright and affectionate personality, perfectly appropriate for customer service.

“So,” Billy Bob said tentatively before taking a swig of his drink.  “Ah’m guessin’ thet the rest of these new faces hail from the Resolve too, don’t they?  Ah calculate thet the Resolve’s story don’t have a happy endin’.”

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #5
[ Suq-Reylin-Efreya Xan | Deck 14  | Spearhead Lounge ]

For a moment, the shorter man squirmed in his seat, worried that he may have deeply offended his buddy before they even got to catch up. But no, he had similar horror stories to tell, and his eyes settled on Billy Bob's as he spoke. His suffering was...a little bit different than Suq's, to say it kindly. If he didn't know better, he'd think the man was pulling his leg.

But then he mentions the crew's weaponry, and out of instinct his hand goes to his side, where his phaser used to be.  Typically most of the tools he carried in his tool belt during work were more dangerous than his phaser, but he didn't have those right now either. He didn't expect that, when they docked with the starbase, they would be attacked, and he left himself lightly armed. He would have felt naked, if it weren't for his trusty coil spanner, engraved with his initials.

He startles when Felicty appears, seemingly out of nowhere. Or maybe he wasn't paying attention. He nods his thanks and stares at his drink, wondering what to say. Billy Bob had asked a question, but his mind was caught up.

“Nobody's giving up their arms.” He blurts out, a little louder than he meant to. He lowered his voice and sounded a little less firm the next time he opened his mouth,

“I mean to say, we shouldn't be. We have no home, and...and I know it sounds pretty bad, but I don't see most of us trusting you guys right away, even after seeing the hologram. Because we didn't have a happy ending, or beginning, or middle, you know? And...” He stammers some, his voice fading off as he loses his confidence. Good thing he has cinnamon-flavored liquid courage right in front of him, he thinks, as he takes a larger gulp than he really should.

“And disarming us is exactly what our enemies would want, Billy Bob.” His hands shook, but he made himself meet his mentor's eyes with his own. His was filled with fear, but he had a duty to the survivors.

“I hope you understand. But it just won't happen. You can't tell us that invisible extra-dimensional worms are going around possessing Starfleet members and then also tell us we're not allowed to have something to give us the extra edge. And well...No offense, really, it sounds a little like the Theurgy had it about as bad as we did...If your ship is jinxed too, we're all fucked.”

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #6
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ] 

“Yeah we’re purdy much all fucked all raight,” O’Connell nodded as he frowned and looked his forefinger tapping a steady rhythm on the tabletop.  “Up th’ creek without a paddle that is.  Jinxed jest might be a bit of an understatement.  Ah kin tell you truthfully thet a lot of folks aboard aren’t th’ same ez th’ ones we left Earth with.   Our purty lil’ counselor came from the USS Harbinger afore it wuz destroyed an’ we’ve lost five chief engineers in th’ last two months.   Y’know, seein’ as we’re experiencin’ whut you’d call wartime conditions Ah reckon it’d make sense thet everyone servin’ aboard should be armed.  Don’t know when we’re a gonna need t’ repel boarders.  Th’ trick is gonna be findin’ enough folks who kin pass their psych tests so we kin trust ‘em with a phaser.   An’ Ah’m not jest talkin’ about yew newcomers, Ah say, you newcomers either.  Ez yew kin imagine, there’s a lotta folks thets  bin aboard this here ship since th’ beginnin’ Ah don’t feel raight about armin’, don’t trust with a gun, that is.  Nerves are bein’ stretched mighty thin.  Folks aboard are as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  It’s a gonna be up to yew ossifers t’ set an example fur yer th’ folks servin’ under yew if y’all gonna serve ‘board th’ Theurgy.”

“But if you’re here, Ah reckon thet Doc Kendrick is aboard too,” Billy Bob drawled as he pulled himself out of his melancholy mood to look for the silver lining in their dark cloud.  “Ah heard tell they made him captain of the Resolve after the war.  Tell me, how’s he takin’ the destruction of his ship?  Both of us served aboard her durin’ th’ Battle o' Ricktor Prime…”

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #7
[ Lt. Jg. Suq | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge ]

It was a relief to hear that he was not the only one who believed what he did. If BB could admit that the Resolve's survivors deserved an ounce or two of protection, how could he be bugged? If he was, then he'd be armig his enemies. It firmed his perception that Billy Bob couldn't be bugged. He could at least cling onto that, despite everything else.
But war. That's what this really was, wasn't it?  He heard the words out of his conversation partner's mouth. Essentially, this was wartime.

He felt cold, his eyes left Billy Bob's again. He was almost thankful when the topic changed.

Kendrick's name made his spine prick, his hair stand up on end like he felt a spirit around him. Slowly, he lifted his paled face and locked his gaze on Billy's. There was no accusation there, Suq couldn't blame him for trying to find something to hold onto. But his face said everything.
"He's...uh...he's taking it...well he's not really taking anything. He's doing dead. I mean, he is dead. He died. I...I think my warp core..."

He felt something coming in, something he didn't feel like dealing with right now. He glanced down at his drink, and on seeing he had plenty left, he proceeded to drown the feeling in alcohol.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #8
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ] 

“Tarnation!  Doc Kendrick’s dead?  How’d it happen?”  Suddenly Billy Bob pulled his head out of his poop chute long enough to put two and two together.  There was no way the Theurgy could escape as intact as she did without some help.  Suq’s presence indicated that the Resolve had not only fought alongside Thea, but had taken one for the team.  That meant the Resolve’s destruction, and most likely Tristan Kendrick’s death had happened merely hours ago.  Suq hadn’t even got the chance to grieve when O’Connell started giving him the third degree.  It was time to stop pressuring the Efrosian and provide some kind of distraction so Suq wouldn’t have to focus on the source of his pain.

“Ah served with Doc Kendrick aboard th’Resolve,” O’Connell blathered.  “O’ course Ah tol’ yew that, but Ah jest thought Ah’d remind yuh.  He wuz jest th’ chief medical ossifer ‘til the Battle of Ricktor Prime.  Thet wuz the first time Ah served ez actin’ chief engineer.  Ah’d only bin servin’ ‘board th’ Resolve fur a few months an’ only knew Doc Kendrick as m’ doctor, mah personal physician that is.  So yew kin imagine mah surprise when Ah wuz summoned to th’ emergency bridge and found Doc Kendrick callin’ th’ shots.”

“It all went t’ Hell when we tried to rescue th’ folks aboard th’ USS Grissom,” he continued.  “Ah know yew prob’ly heard tell thet th’ Grissom wuz lost with all hands, but that ain’t right, Ah say, ain’t rightly so.  We managed to git six offa th’ Grissom afore we lost her.  The Jem’Hadar hit us with everything but th’ kitchen sink an’ we hid out in an asteroid field full a’ dense metals t’ make repairs.  Ah wuz pulled off a team workin’ on th’ port EPS conduit fur bridge duty.  It seemed thet the main bridge had bin hit earlier an’ we’d lost jest about every important ossifer on the whole durned ship,” Billy Bob continued in his easy going drawl.  “It turned out thet th’ only senior ossifer left was Doc Kendrick!  Th’ emergency bridge wuz filled with a bunch o’ green behind th’ balls ensigns and I wuz told to take th’ engineering substation.  Somehow, when we got back into the fight, we managed to not only regroup with the rest of the task force but managed to rescue a ship that was evacuating refugees from Ricktor Prime’s surface.  Ah would never have expected anyone from medical to pull us out lahk thet, but Ah forgot thet y’ cain’t become full commander without first bein’ trained to be a CO.”

When Billy Bob was finished running his mouth, his demeanor softened and his voice actually fell below a loud roar.  In a tone that was actually gentle and quiet he actually apologized.  “Ah’m sorry Suq.  Ah outta all people aught t’ know thet th’ only thing worse furr a chief engineer than losin’ his captain is losin’ his ship, and from your face I’d cal’culate thet y’ lost ‘em both in one big boom.  Ah reckon mah damn fool questions kin wait a spell, an’ thet you must have a pack o’ damn fool questions t’ ask me.  Go ahead Suq.  I’ll do mah best, but Ah gotta warn yuh, Ah haven’t bin chief engineer fur much more than a week!  Th’ top brass didn’t exactly take me into their confidence.”

OOC:  If Suq doesn’t have a lot to say, send me a PM and we can work on a joint post.  On the other hand, if the muse inspires you, feel free to post a solo reply as normal.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #9
[ Lt. Jg. Suq | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge ]

The burning sensation all down his mouth and throat settled in his stomach and worked well to fill up the hole that had opened up there. At the very least, it covered it up a little, so that when BB pressed on about Kendrick, he could stomach it. He didn't like it, but he could bear it for now. When he stopped, Suq relished the silence. He could stare at the table in peace.

Billy began to speak again, and it wasn't about what happened anymore. Suq closed his eyes to hear his old friend speak. Living images played in front of his eyes, of Kendrick and how he walked about and spoke. No, he never really seemed like someone you'd expect to be captain, but he was, and he was an excellent captain. He made sure to pay close attention to Billy's words, his voice as it rolled over each syllable and chopped off a few endings here and there. Just like at the academy, Suq will find it hard to forget a word Billy says. He'd rather remember this than how Kendrick died.

As he softened, Suq picked his head up to look over at Billy Bob, soothed a little by the change in topic. He offered him a smile.

“Don' know, don't feel bad. I think we all expected better, and...” There he goes, saying the wrong things again.
“I'm sorry, it's been...well, I wanted to know, how's the Theurgy?.” He supposes that he doesn't have a choice but to stay here, now that he was, essentially, a traitor. He had these questions on the brain earlier, since he figured this is his new assignment.
“I mean, specifically, how're the people, the brass and all...?”

OOC: I think this is long enough? Please let me know if I didn't give you enough to work with too, we can do a joint post!

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #10
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ] 

“Hm, th’ brass, th’ brass,” Billy Bob mused as he stroked his chin before finishing off his whiskey and setting his glass down on the table with a loud ‘thunk.’  “Th’ brass… now thet’s a good question.  We’ve had so many replacements in the last few weeks that Ah furget jest who th’ top brass is!  Lemme see…” he muttered as he gave the Efrosian’s question his complete attention.  “Cap’n  Jien Ives hez bin th’ skipper since this before this li’l venture got started.  He’s bin the commandin’ ossifer ever since th’ Theurgy wuz commissioned over three years ago.  He’s some kind o’ shapeshifter, Ah don’t know which but Ah reckon he… er… she… She lahks t’ mix it up a mite, Ah reckon she wuz the Founder thet wuz on our side during the Dominion War.  Whether r’ not she is Ah cain’t rightly say, it’s not lahk Ah ever asked her y’know.”

“Speakin’ o’ shapeshifters, Lieutenant Commander Miles Renard  hez bin our squadron commander since we lost Jaru Rel two months back.  Ah shore hope he made it back from this one to, ‘cause he’s bin the only one holdin’ the Lone Wolves t’gether as of late.  Th’ reason Ah called him a shapeshifter is ‘cause he’s a Vulpinian.  Vulpinians, thems th’ folks that turn inta a big furry canine critter thet walks on two legs an’ has thumbs.  Or are they big furry guys that turn inta humans?  Whatever.  It ain’t lahk Ah ever witnessed him change first hand.”

“As for the XO, well, we’re on our third first officer, we’ve had three that is,” O’Connell continued.  “Our current XO is Commander Carrigan Trent, he’s the quiet fella with the mechanical hand.  He’s as Terran as I am despite his biosynthetic limbs, maybe more so.  He wuz Admiral Sankolov’s intelligence ossifer, from whut Ah kin gather, an’ apparently he had too much intelligence ‘cause he put some kinda computer virus inta Task Force Archeron’s computer network an’ got the heck outta dodge toot sweet!  He wuz instrumental in takin’ the ship back when T’Rena took over everyone’s minds an’ made ‘em mutiny, so afterwards Ives appointed him first officer.  Ah ain’t had time t’ find out, cause th’ data on ‘im’s above mah pay grade, but Ah’ll bet a hundred bars o’ gold pressed latinum thet Trent’s commanded a starship at one point ‘r another.  T’mah way o’ thinkin’ Cap’n Ives is fixin’ t’ have Trent replace her if anythin’ happens to her.”’’

Doctor Lucan cin Nicander is our chief medical officer an’ he’s been here since the ship was launched.  Ah know he looks mighty young t’ be chief medical officer but he’s a Câroon , an’ Ah don’t know how quickly he ages compared t’ Terrans, Efrosians, and other normal folks.  He’s not as warm and fuzzy as Trstan Kendrick was, and always seemed kinda superior, but thet’s whut yew git from a genius who’s younger than you, well younger than me anyways.  Hell fer all Ah know he could be a hundred.”

Natalie Stark has been out chief operations ossifer since Christian Hendricks bought th’ farm,” O’Connell continued.  “She’s a human bean like me, but Ah don’t know if she’s a hundred percent comfortable with all she’s got on her plate these days.  Even other ossifers find her hard t’ git t’ know; she seems a mite awkward around people.  Thet an’ t’ mah way o’ thinkin’ she seems way too young fer…”  Billy let his voice trail off when he realized that he could have been describing Suq.  This wasn’t the time for Billy Bob’s age bias to show itself; he had to keep the Efrosian’s confidence up.

“Erm, movin’ on,” Billy Bob cleared his throat and gestured Felicity for another drink.  “Simon Tovarek, our chief science officer is as social as you please, t’ th’ best o’ mah knowledge.  Ah don’t rightly know how he’s been since Lieutenant Marlowe went t’ maintain thet great big warp core in the sky.  She wuz mah predecessor, straight off th’ Harbinger, and didn’t have th’ job more’na week when she bit it.  Lieutenant Tovarek’s a Terran from the home planet as far as Ah know but Ah couldn’t really rightly tell yuh more then that.”

“Lieutenant Commander Wenn Cinn wuz our chief security officer, at least ‘til he got hisself sucked out a hull breach two months ago.  Now he’s back from th’ dead with no explanation ‘cept some damn fool nonsense about th’ Prophets bringin’ him back.  He’s the great big Bajoran that looks lahk a big cup o’ Raktajino.  If yuh ask me, Ah thinks thet if he ain’t an imposter one o’ them time travelers got a hold of him and did somethin’ to his memory so he won’t know nothin’ ‘bout th’ future.  Yew know they’ve done this before.  Several documented incidences goin’ two centuries all th’ way back t’ Jonathan Archer have bin reported…”

“Are you talking about the miracle of Morali?” A tall slender young man wearing a uniform with a teal collar interrupted in a friendly voice.  The young man appeared to come from the same planet that O’Connell’s ancestors did, but his coffee colored skin indicated that his ancestors had lived closer to Earth’s equator than Billy Bob’s did. 

“Excuse me Crewman, but we’re havin’ a private conversation here,” O’Connell protested.  “Jest who th’ Hell are yuh, what are yuh talkin’ ‘bout anyway?”

“Crewman Luther Ford, Master Chief,” the young man introduced himself, “from the Harbinger.  Were you talking about Wenn Cinn the man who Sarresh Morali brought back from the dead?”

“And jest how did Morali do that then?” asked a skeptical Billy Bob.

“He’s a time traveler, Master Chief,” Crewman Ford gushed with joy.  “He could just go back in time and save him so Commander Cinn could fulfill his role in the divine plan…”

“Oh uh, really?” O’Connell stammered uneasily before breaking into a huge grin.  “Good fur him then!  Ah wuz hopin’ he’d git off his duff an’ do somthin ’ fur a change.  Glad t’ see ‘im steppin up his game!”

“Yes, and we of the Devoted want to give him our full cooperation and support,” Ford continued.  “That’s why we’d like you to ask Captain Ives to make Sarresh Morali the new chief science officer.  He really knows more about science than any of the rest of us do.”

“I’ll be sure t’ mention it th' nex' time Ah see 'im!” O’Connell ginned and waved ‘bye-bye’.

“We of the Devoted are having a prayer meeting here tonight at 0:00 hours,” Ford smiled.  “We’d love you two to come.”

“Ah cain’t promise nothin’ but Ah’ll try t’ make it!” Billy Bob smiled back as he waved ‘bye-bye’ a little more vigorously.  “Take care o’ yerself an’ see you in th' future!”

Crewman Ford smiled back and went to another table to make his pitch.

Once Ford was gone, O’Connell leaned forward and spoke to Suq in a low voice.  “That’s somethin’ y’ gotta watch out fur.  Since we’ve bin on th’ run, folks have bin turnin’ t’ religion, and if they cain’t find one, they make up their own.  Ah heard tell they wuz worshipin’ Commander Cinn last week.  Now they’ve done made some kinda god outta Sarresh Morali.  Th' way Ah figger it, anythin’ thet keeps morale up is a good thing, so Ah jest humor ‘em an give ‘em the raight t’ worship th’ way they please thet they’ve got as Federation citizens.  As long as it don't interfere with th' job, no skin off my butt, but y' never wanna git inta a religious debate.  Faith and reason are two different things an' it ain't always clear which one you should follow.”

OOC:  Don't worry about the length.  If a post is too short, we can just add it to the other player's post and make it a joint post.  Speaking of length, if this post is too long we can always modify it and break it up into bite sized chunks.  Or we could make it longer by adding Suq's prompts.  As long as the thread isn't locked we can always edit this.  (As a matter of fact, there's a lot of times I want to add a short one sentence line to another players post so one of my characters can acknowledge an order without having to write a whole paragraph about it.)

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #11
Suq hushed as he listened to Billy Bob describe everyone, one by one, and develop some beginning opinions about them.
Ives, well—that was frightening, knowing there was a changeling on board. It did not help his deep seated anxiety.
Miles Renard, a Vulpinian? He's never heard of that race. He supposes maybe they joined the Federation while he was floating around in hell-on-a-ship. Or maybe Suq was just ignorant.
Trent sounded pretty cool, qualified at the very least, but Suq still couldn't shake suspicion about this one. Also—who's T'Rena, exactly?
The doctor Lucan. Suq always holds a silent hope that he never has to see a ship's doctor outside of social calls. Lucan was no different.
Natalie Stark sounded a lot like him, maybe uncomfortably so. Suspicion here, too—hell, he was suspicious in general. It couldn't hurt to at least try and meet this one though, could it? If she's just like Suq, then the first thing she'd do if bugged is keel over and die immediately. Suq shook his head to Billy Bob, to signify he was not at all offended.
Simon Tovarek, he'd have to visit this one for sure. He wanted to know that his buddy Viv would have a good bossman.

Finally, BB got to Cinn. Suq was just thinking that he could go for a “big cup o' Raktajino”, daydreaming about hunky dudes and Billy Bob's time travel, finally settling into a more comfortable state of mind when things got just a little bit weirder.

There was a crewman, Suq's eyes snapped onto him and stared him over like a rabbit, moderately alarmed at all times, constantly assessing threat levels. He kept silent as he listened to Luther speak about how Morali saved Wenn and a divine plan and now he was advertising to make the guy the new science officer, and a prayer meeting too? Suq was reminded of being on Earth, accidentally wandering towards a large building marked JW, and being nearly assaulted by a crowd of middle aged humans handing out pamphlets and magazines, and something about a watchtower. When he finally, finally left, he leaned over the table to listen to BB and whisper back.

“I...That was really weird BB. We've been abandoned too and we didn't start worshipping each other.” Not outside the bedroom, anyway, but he kept that bit in his mind. Not appropriate.
“Are you sure...I mean, how do we know that these people are...stable, I guess? I mean-- what if it turns out Morali's a jerk and I don't like him—am I gonna get keelhauled? Why's he a time traveller anyway--who's Morali?”

OOC: Same with mine, just let me know if you want to go ahead and edit mine! I thought about asking to edit in Suq's responses to yours, but then realized I would've just added a bunch of irrelevant stuff to your post and thought that'd be rude.
Also: I'm sorry about the delay! It's turning out to be kind of a sucky summer so far with the family

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #12
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ] 

“Stability’s kinda in short supply around here,” Billy Bob smirked bitterly.  “Ain’t like none o’ us bin goin’ on liberty.  Sarresh Morali’s a real strange duck; Ah  cain’t say Ah know thet much about him.  Most everything about him wuz over mah pay grade, an’ Ah jest got mahself appointed t’ chief engineer a week ‘r two ago.  Afore thet Ah was maintenance chief assitin’ diagnostics.  Whut Ah [can tell yuh is when thet alien pollen we ketched from Planet Niga, Planet N9GA Majoris that is, infected th’ lot of us a ship claimin’ it wuz from the future made contact with us and made it all go away.  After thet, Ah started hearin’ about a guy they had left behind.  It seems thet he was a feller who wuz born in our century and managed t’ git hisself stranded in the future ‘r some such.  Personally Ah take thet story with a grain o’ salt.  In mah cal’culations, the feller callin’ hisself Sarresh Morali prob’ly came from th’ future in th’ first place and an identity wuz backstopped into th’ records years ago.  Ah’m a guessin’ thet Morali is a shapeshifter like Ives.  Fer the first few weeks he wuz an Ash'reem, but now he looks ‘bout as Terran as Ah do.  ‘Septin’ the ocular implants o’ course.  Yew cain’t tell ‘til yuh look ‘im up close but he’s got these artificial eyes installed in his skull.  He got hisself hurt on Theta Eridani IV real bad an’ they thought he wuz gonna die, an’ Ah heard tell thet they replaced jest about everything on ‘im from his skin to his eyeballs.”

Tessa May Lance felt awful.  She was in the Spearhead Lounge avoiding ‘Below Decks’ because that’s where Christopher would be reuniting with his friends from the Harbinger and she didn’t want to act weird around him until she sorted herself out.   She sat by herself at a table and ignored her ginger ale and tried to ignore the tears coming out of her eyes.

Why was it so painful to see him flirt with two other women?  It wasn’t as if she ever had an exclusive relationship with him and it wasn’t as if he was really flirting either.  With Gunshy dead it was unlikely that Tessa and Chris would ever get physical again so why was she so upset?   Oh yeah, because today the Lone Wolves were wiped out and only four of the original Wolves were still alive that’s all.

As she rubbed the tears out of her topaz yellow eyes a tall coffee colored crewman in a blue collared uniform walked up to her table and spoke to her.  “Excuse me Ma’am, have you heard the word of Sarresh Moralli?”

“Hm?  Sarresh Moralli?  What about him?”

“He’s from the future,” Crewman Ford assured her as he sat down next to her.  “He’s here to save us.  Would you like to hear the plan he has for you?”

“What?  Sure,” she shrugged dejectedly.  “It would be nice to have faith in something.”

OOC:  It’s not rude to me.  I’ve often wanted to have other players add my character’s replies to their previous posts, even if it’s just “Yes sir” (especially if it’s just “Yes sir") and I encourage JPs because of the latitude it gives us to do just that.  Fortunately, with Billy Bob, it’s hard to get a word in edgewise once he gets going making JPs less necessary.  Maya of Vulcan on the other hand, never uses two words when one will do.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #13
From his skin, to his eyeballs. Suq's face reflected his horror, though he tried to reign that in and be a little less rude about it. It's not like the dude can help being massively injured.
"That's uh..." He blinked a few times, trying to find the word inside his head, and he couldn't. He just shook his head and sighed. Then, he finished the last of his whiskey, because spirits know he needs it right now if he's going to accept all this nonsense. "So You're telling me I jumped out the sinking ship into, into ice water, basically, and they ran fresh out of life jackets, so they expect me to swim around with the crazy fishes from the future. Well, I guess it's not so bad if I'm a crazy fish too, but..." His shoulders heaved with a massive sigh, his hand covered his ridged forehead and held his head up while he slumped in his chair. Maybe he drank his glass way too fast, because now he is Tired, with a capital T.

"Yanno, I think...I think back when we first met, I wouldn't have really believed you. When you say you think he's from the future and his stuff got made up, I mean. I would've thought you were telling the truth, but..." He twirled his wrist around his head, a gesture he knows Terrans use to indicate craziness. "...but now I think I really believe everything you're saying now. And everything you've said in the past. And I wanna...I want to apologize, you know, if I...alienated you or, or made you upset or something, because I didn't believe you back then. It's just...You have to quit being always right." He smiled a little, finally. A real smile, even if it's pockmarked by the dark bags of exhaustion under his eyes.

OOC: I'll be sure to hit you up next time then! It makes the flow of conversation feel more natural to do that. I think There's plenty of chances to interrupt Suq if you ever feel like it, he pauses and stutters a lot.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #14
[ William Robert O’Connell | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge  ] 

Billy Bob had to congratulate himself on the way he was hiding his concern about Suq’s mental state.  It probably shone in his eyes for twenty seconds or so, but thankfully Suq was too busy reeling from the revelations to notice.  He stopped himself before launching into one of his classic ‘O’Connell tirades.’  Part of this exercise was meant to let the Efrosian relax by listening to the master chief as if Billy Bob was a hologram commentator that one would have playing in the background.  The other part was to impart information and get Suq acclimated to his new home and who was who and what was what before the next disaster struck. 

Billy had made the mistake of thinking that Suq was still the awkward easy going cadet he knew back at the Academy but he wasn’t.  He was a seasoned officer.  Seasoned, Hell.  Suq-Reylin-Efreya Xan was over seasoned and perhaps over cooked as well.  He and his shipmates had been through Hell and were expecting relief when they got back to Federation space only to discover that their ordeal was only beginning, not ending.  When Bill Bob considered the psychological condition of the Theurgy’s crew after being on the run for mere months he didn’t want to know what shape the folks from the Resolve were after being put through the wringer for three years.  There was no way any of them could be considered fit for active duty, but no doubt the Theurgy’s counselling department would push them through to fill up the empty seats.  It was a disaster waiting to happen, no bones about it.  Perhaps it was time to stop the game of one-upmanship and stop brining up all of the horrible things that had happened since  the Theurgy left Earth and just admit that Suq had it worse.

On the outside O’Connell managed to maintain an easygoing façade, and slapped his Suq’s back like they were at a bar on shore leave.  “Hey now… don’t you worry yerself none there Suq,” he lazily drawled.  “You know you kin trust the ol’ master chief!  Iffin’ you would'a cleaned yer ears out, you would’ve noticed thet Ah didn’t say thet Moralli feller wuz from the future, Ah merely said thet folks aboard be sayin’ he’s from th’ future.  It’s not lahk he’s walked up t’ me an’ said ‘Ah’m from th’ future.’  Now don’t git me wrong.  Odds are he probably is.  But that don’t mean y’ ain’t entitled t’ a li’l healthy skepticism now an’ then.  As fur m’self, Ah believe it, but Ah don’t believe-believe  y’ get me?    There’s still a part o’ me thet feels thet the proof o’ th’ puddin’s in th’ eatin’, an’ Ah cain’t raightly say thet Ah done any eatin’ yet.”

OOC:  When you’re ready to end the thread I’ve got an ending in mind.  Basically we notice another Resolve crewmember exhibit symptoms of the disease.  Auctor Lucan has been wanting us to add foreshadowing to our day one threads and this looks like an easy way to do it.

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #15
There was a hand on his back, it was big and strong and it nearly made his heart stop to feel it. But that was the split second before he connected the dots. That was O'Connell's hand, he was safe here. He had no reason to be afraid. He forced himself to relax under his touch. It's alright, it's no biggie. Everything that could happen on this ship, he's faced before on the Resolve, with less people and less resources. He can do this.

BB was talking, and Suq loved to hear him talk on. He just loved that accent. It's like it hadn't changed much since they first met, and it brought him back. He paid careful attention to every word, just like he'd always done.
"Honestly...I think he probably is. I mean, why not, you know? It's not like that's the weirdest thing happening here. Now, the real question is, do you think he can just fling us into the future so we don't have to deal with this crap anymore? Like, just skip this whole warring with the Federation and being chased and get right to the part where the good guys win and we all go to retire on Risa?" He smiled, no, grinned. "I'd like that. We should ask him."

I'm not trying to rush, but I guess I am ready! I don't have anything more for Suq to say, unless you just wanted them to catch up some more lol! and is it really supposed to be a Resolve member? I thought the Resolve crew was immune and the Theurgy wasn't?

Re: Prologue 08: Loose Gears | Day 01 [1700 hrs.]

Reply #16
[ Tessa May Lance | Deck 14 | Spearhead Lounge ] 

At another table, Tessa Lance tried to clear her thoughts and concentrate on what Crewman Luther Ford was saying.

"We of the Devoted are having a prayer meeting here tonight at 0:00 hours," Ford smiled. “We’d love you to come.”

“That’s pretty late but I’ll try to make it,” Tessa nodded.  “I haven’t… been sleeping well lately anyways…”

Crewman Ford started coughing and covered his mouth with his hand. 

“Are you alright?” Tessa asked as she leaned away from him.

“No I’m fine,” Ford assured her.  “I must’ve strained something during the battle.  My joints have been aching for the last hour,” he added before having another coughing fit.

“What about the cough?”  Tessa asked him.

“The (cough) what?”

“Your cough,” Tessa reiterated as she rose from her chair.  “You must have inhaled something bad from a cracked seal or something.  You better go to sickbay.”

“That’s a good idea,” Ford gulped as he gestured for the holographic waitress to bring him a glass of water.  “I can find out if anyone in medical wants to…”  He stopped talking as he suffered a massive coughing fit.

Tessa tapped her combage.  “Tessa to sickbay.”

[Sickbay here,} the masculine voice of Nurse Maal replied.

“I think we have a medical situation in the Spearhead Lounge,” Tessa explained as she rose from her chair to assist Ford.  “Crewman Ford is having respiratory promblems and needs an escort to sickbay.”

[Understood.  We’ll send someone immediately.]


Simple Audio Video Embedder