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Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf-11 | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Argyros  @Brutus @stardust   

When Donna had found the island, she had considered going there alone to take in its beauty all by herself. But that seemed greedy and so she had put out a call for those interested in exploring the coral reefs that were rebounding after so long, not knowing who or how many would respond. She had been pleasantly surprised when the other occupants of the rented skimmer at contacted her, expressing their willingness. So, she had obtained rebreathers and other swimming and diving paraphernalia, along with a rented hydro-skimmer and jetted off that morning towards the island that was just now, appearing on the horizon.

“There it is,” Donna announced as she adjusted her course slightly. Calling their destination an island could be considered a misnomer considering that it was a dormant volcano. Donna had checked and found it to be geologically stable and unlikely to erupt in the next few hundred years. Plenty of time for them to check out and admire the clear waters and blooming coral reefs that had sprung up around it.

“Volcano S-147. So remote, it doesn’t even have a name,” Donna described as the slopes of the mountain drew closer. “Dormant, stable, and with a teeming ecological biosphere surrounding it. What do you think ma’am, guys? Is this going to be great or what?”

OOC: Here we go. Lets have some fun. Everyone think they can post within 7 days of now? No order.

Donna's Outfit (Sans Bikini Top)


Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Argyros @Brutus

At this point, there was no telling how long the Theurgy would remain docked in Aldean orbit. And even now, eight days after her arrival, it was the first day Samantha had actually managed to pry herself away from work and go to the surface. It had been long overdue. The message on the ship’s bulletin board with all the beautiful pictures of the ocean and the reefs had enchanted her. She was a lover of the water. So, she took a chance, even though she didn’t know anyone of the two people that had signed up by then, and put her name to it.

Now, a few days later, they were zipping across the endless azure plane, glimmering in the midday sun, holding on to one of the support beams of the superstructure. Feeling the wind in her hair, the salt on her skin and the sun in her face, Samantha closed her eyes for a moment taking the smell of the sea in. The scent of water, invigorating as if she was some kind of aquatic life-form, returning to her natural habitat. Which, ironically so, pretty much described the latest addition to complete the team of four. Turning her head back towards Sarresh, blonde hair now flying around her pate like a golden corona, she smiled gently, pulling away a strand of follicle that got stuck to her lips, in a moment that stretched on …

The two of them had met days prior at the public bath upon the Theurgy and had bonded instantly over his mysteriousness and penchant for water. It had made so much sense for the two of them to end up on this trip, yet the result was entirely coincidental – she thought. But incredibly welcome. Then, as her blue eyes kept wandering, there was the handsome chief pilot of the ship, a Trill upon superficial investigation. An obvious hot shot with great visor and endless humour who brought an entirely different energy to the group.

And last but not least, at the helm of their boat (much to the dismay and result of a long argument with Derik no doubt) Donna, a member of the fighter wing. Who had actually organized this whole trip. A beautiful woman with a lot of self-control and an air of reservation that only slowly melted away in the midday sun, as they all bonded over the premise of this outing. Turning her head back into the wind, the officer adjusted her stance to look at their destination. A beautiful mound of greenery in a turquoise lagoon of coral reefs. It took her a moment to regain her speech at the sight of this beauty.

"Let's disperse with the ranks ... there's no pips on this suit." Mimicking the other woman’s energy, Samantha nodded with a wide smile, eyes slightly squinted at the reflections of light. “How about we circle around to this side, so we don’t end up in the shadow of the mountain when the sun moves on.” She suggested, pointing towards the left of the lagoon.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #2
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Argyros @Stegro88 @stardust 

The past two weeks continued to be very, very odd for Sarresh Morali. Here he was, sitting in the back of a skimmer, breezing across the open Aldean Ocean. Before he had allowed V-Nine to convince him to undergo surgery, he'd been holed up in his quarters, save for one very unpleasant mission to the Aldean surface, where he met clandestinely with a representative of the Savi. This time there were none of the pale gray aliens in view, and no pesky half irradiated desert either. There were just miles of water, and the towering Island they were swiftly approaching, as well as two human women, and a Trill man sharing the boat with him. One of which he had recently met, and was the only reason he felt comfortable enough actually being here. Not that he wished to admit this to her. He barely wished to admit it to himself; being well adapted at lying to himself, he'd almost managed not to.


Sarresh did not know either the star fighter pilot nor the more traditional ship's pilot. The introductions at the dock were short and sweet. Name, Rank (all but one were junior lieutenants), position. No one had voted to throw him off the boat so he took that as a good sign. They had each responded to the original posting on the message board and he had been able to see just who had agreed to go ahead of time, but he had not really done any research. He had seen one name he knew, and decided that might be enough to keep the whole trip from being unbearably awkward. Just mostly so. The last time Sarresh had tried to 'take some personal time' on a planet it had ended...very, very badly.

And now here he was heading toward a volcano and asking himself if he had gone insane. He caught movement to the side of him and turned a bit, looking at Samantha from over the top of his sunglasses. Damned if he didn't smile back at her, flashing her a short, toothy grin. Perhaps only moderately insane, the former Ash'reem decided. The smell of the ocean, combined with the presence of Samantha was enough to make him worry less about going to a volcano for shore leave.

Sarresh leaned on the opposite side of the small skimmer from the Diplomat (that had been an eye opener) and somewhat close to the Trill pilot. He had a decent view of the whole boating party though, including the one he thought was called Dana. Or was it Donna? He'd learn it eventually.

Reaching up, he pushed the sunglasses back into place on his nose. He'd replicated the eye wear shortly before beaming down, unsure if the bright Aldean sun would be too much for his eyes. Before the Phoenix Program had rebuilt him, the answer would have been unequivocally yes. But the last time he had been on Aldea he had needed to wear protective goggles to shield his eyes from a sandstorm. This was...not that bad. Tucking his hands into the pockets of his broad shorts, the topless scientist found himself silently watching Samantha again as she suggested a minor course correction. He turned and raised a hand over his eyes, looking out in the direction she indicated.

"Water seems relatively calm that way," he noted, leaning forward while still holding onto one of the support bars and looking at a small sensor read out, showing a topography of the ocean beneath them. He traced a finger over it, then nodded. "As long as we're careful, we won't scrape up against any of the reefs." He caught looks of surprise from the others as he leaned back into the spot he'd claimed for himself and it took a moment to understand why. Other then the brief introductions and a small (if surprisingly warm) exchange with Samantha when they'd initially set off, this was the first that Sarresh had spoken during the whole trip. He let out a little harrumph and crossed his arms over his chest. Its not that big a deal, he thought.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #3
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Stegro88 @stardust @Brutus
Derik leaned back in his seat on the skimmer, hands fiddling with his rebreather. The ocean was absolutely stunning, beautiful waves crashing gently across the surface, a gentle breeze at the docks, which was now quite the breeze given the speed at which Donna was taking them, and a smell that just couldn’t be beat. When the fighter pilot had asked if he wanted to come with on this little expedition, the Trill had jumped at the chance. Anything to do with water always had his attention.  He’d opted to wear a high visibility yellow mesh muscle shirt and speedo with red trim for the outing. Even underwater, he wanted to be visible, just in case.

He had playfully argued with Petterson when they picked up the skimmer as to who was going to drive, but had eventually let her win after she “put her foot down” per say. He’d known her long enough to know when he wasn’t going to win. He was pleasantly surprised when two others showed up, their new Chief Diplomatic Officer Samantha Rutherford and Temporal Affairs Officer Sarresh Morali. He’d met Rutherford at the cocktail party a few days before, but he supposed this was a good of a way as any to really start getting to know either one of them. 

“Having a land marker wont hurt.” He chimed in when Donna asked what they thought. ”Makes it easier to find the boat!” A short laugh following.

As ‘Chance’ brought them around the side of the volcano, Derik was suddenly glad he’d affixed a small holo-imager to the front of the skimmer. He had wanted to record the scenery, not only so he could watch it again later, but also because he figured some of it would be good for art later. He’d even brought a spare one for the dive itself so he could record the reefs.

Derik's outfit:

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf-11 | Hydro-skimmer | Lagoon near Volcano S-147 | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Brutus @stardust @Argyros

“Good thinking,” Donna said, acknowledging Lieu... Samantha’s suggestion to move around the island to where the sun would shine longer. They were staying within the lagoon so the water was shallower there than the sudden drop off that occurred beyond it so they would be safe still. The diplomat had arrived with the majority of recent replacement crew for the Theurgy and had quickly turned a few heads with the looks and demeanour; Donna’s included. So, her choosing to accompany them today was a bonus in her book. 

The second surprise to join was Sarresh Morali. As she understood it, the man was a former Ash’reem and was currently assigned as the ship’s Temporal Affairs Officer. That was an unusual posting for a starship but since the ship’s encounter with the Calamity and the continued presence of several pieces of future tech, it was an understandable one. There was a story there, to be sure, but she didn’t know it was wasn’t sure that she wanted to. Rumour had it he was a time traveller and time travel theory gave her headaches. Added to the mystery of the man was that he was a being of few words, having said practically nothing since introducing himself.

Lastly, there was Derik. Donna had known him from her second time in the Academy and while they had not kept in touch as much, they had quickly become reacquainted during the Theurgy’s stay at Aldea. Inviting him along had been an easy choice but by the stars did he have to wear that! She understood the practicalities of the outfit, but she had never seen anyone look good wearing that much yellow. It was just unnatural. 

“I’ll set us down then,” Donna remarked as she brought their craft down to just above water as they entered the lagoon. Checking the sensors, she found a nice open area where they could land and anchor the skimmer without it being in danger of hitting any of the rocks or reefs in the area. Gently settling into the water, Donna cut power to the engines and deployed the integrated anchor before shutting everything but the com system down. Their rebreathers could link to it and through it, to the ship if necessary. 

“Alright, we’re here,” Donna announced, climbing to her feet and heading to the rear of the craft. The skimmer was about the same size as a Type-9 shuttle without the nacelles with seating up front and an open deck at the back, complete with storage and a replicator; everything you needed for a day out. “Now, before I go and embarrass anyone,” Donna said as she began opening compartments and pulling out rebreather packs and fins. “Does anyone object to me taking my top off? No pressure on anyone else to join me but if there are no objections, well, it will be just like back home.”

OOC: Once again, 7 Days for all replies. Swimming fins are swimming fins and please find below an image of the re-breathers. They can be worn as a belt, or slung over the shoulder/s as a backpack or satchel. Basically however your character would like.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Argyros @Brutus

The skiff came to a halt on the sunny side of the volcano, slowly settling into the gentle waves as Donna turned all non-essential systems off and lowered the anchor, finally giving them a true sense of connection with the elements as the deck started to gently sway with the motion. Closing her eyes Samantha allowed herself to focus on the warm sizzle of the sun on her exposed skin. So comforting and peaceful. Opening her eyes once more, letting pale blue irises dilate, to adjust to the change in lighting, her view fell onto Sarresh, as he huffed like a little boy. It was very cute and made the blonde’s narrowed gaze focus on him maybe a little bit too long. Ultimately it was Petterson’s enthusiastic affirmation that pulled her out of it. “Awesome.” The diplomat replied, getting up from where she’d sat down on the edge of the craft just a moment ago.

Derik launched some sort of marker, that would help them better find back to the boat, and Donna made her way to the aft, where Sarresh was sitting. Running both hands through her hair the blonde tied those unruly blonde curls, fluffed up from the wind, into a tight bun. Underwater it could get really annoying, otherwise. Focusing her attention on the other woman, as she spoke, the officer stalled for a moment. “No objections.” She chuckled slightly, with a shrug, before bending down to get her fins from under the bench. She figured she'd be the only one anyways who could potentially have any. “I mean, I already know Sarresh wouldn’t mind going in the nude …” Thinking to herself how surprised and amused she actually was that this was happening. Probably something quite easily recognizable on her pate by anyone else who was looking. She also hoped she hadn’t put the man too much on the spot. Erecting back up, however, the diplomat frowned slightly at the mention of a rebreather.

“Oh, I thought we were free diving.” Samantha said, sounding slightly disappointed. Only reinforced by the way her bottom lip curved upward ever so slightly. “You know, get one with nature, enjoy the quiet of everyone holding their breaths, instead of us sounding like an intensive care ward.” she ultimately chuckled, feeling like she made a compelling argument. “I mean, Sarresh doesn’t need a rebreather, I can hold my breath for 5 minutes straight, what about you guys?” she took an expectant look around, ultimately focusing on Derik’s neon colored attire. “And what are the chances of you not acting as another signal buoy?” And by that she meant if he was going to follow the common sentiment of diving in the nude (or seminude) as well, instead of these alarming knickers that – anyways – didn’t leave much to the imagination. She could already tell he was circumcised, from where she was standing, without even focusing … was her point.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #6
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Argyros @Stegro88 @stardust 


The skimmer sped its way toward the center of the lagoon, cutting around the side of the island. Raising his hand to his forehead to shade the glare of the sun, Sarresh had to admit that the volcano was impressive. He let out a soft, low whistle as they rode a few waves closer in, cresting up and then dropping back down. Though considerably brighter than it would have been on Ash'kara, with its pale, dim sun and intense cloud cover, the island still reminded Sarresh of some of the land masses that dotted the ocean world he'd grown up on. The colors were far more vibrant than home, but there was a certain, undeniable similarity to some of the ancient mating grounds. Probably not the analogy you want to draw today, eh?

A wry grin passed across Sarresh's face. Being on the open water - even if it was alien water - was doing wonders for his generally dour disposition. Added to that was a realization he had about halfway from the main coast to their destination: not a single person on the skimmer with him had been on the Theurgy when he had originally come aboard. None of them had witnessed his unwanted transformation. They hadn't been around when he'd saved the day against the Calamity. There was considerably less of that built up pressure he felt from the older crew members, that had been around for...well, everything. None of those pitying looks that said they, perhaps better than him, remembered what he'd looked like.

That didn't seem to stop some staring. Sarresh could feel eyes on him, and he let his gaze dart to the side in time to catch the Chief Diplomat giving him a long look. As soon as he saw her though, her eyes darted away. Now how to take that? Sarresh had no real answer, but their previous encounter had been, well, great, so he decided it probably wasn't a bad thing. Scratching at the hair on his chin, he turned and watched Derik and Donna - that was her name - as the skimmer came to a halt and settled into the water proper. The hum of the repulsor-lifts died off, and Sarresh could make out the 'clink-clink-clink' as the anchor deployed from the bottom of the vessel. They sat for a moment, bobbing up and down on the waves, and the former amphibian shut his eyes, savoring the motion that flet so much like home.

Why did I put this off for so long?
Lost as he was in the moment, he missed the run down of equipment, and only focused back in as he heard Donna talking about taking off her top. His head turned and tilted to the side, tracking the sound of the other woman as she moved to the rear of the boat, his eyes opening again to stare at her quizzically. He didn't mind - far from it - but he was still surprised. He wasn't going to say anything of course, but then Samantha had to out him as a cultural nudist.

Huffing again - because they were all starring at him once more, Sarresh scowled slightly. "What? Nudity taboo's went out of fashion back in the 26th century." He delivered it with such deadpanned seriousness that he thought the others might actually believe him. Never mind that the 26th century hadn't happened yet (and he was fairly certain the taboo in question went out of fashion in the twenty seventh century, though it came back into style in the late 28th for a large portion of human population and just how did he remember that anyway?) But he could only keep a straight face for so long, especially considering that the ships chief diplomat knew the truth.

"Pass me a set of the fins, would you?" He asked, as both women were closer into the gear than he was. Taking the pair from whomever handed it over, he dropped them to the deck and let out a soft sigh. "Samantha is right though. I can breathe underwater so I won't be needing a re-breather, and I couldn't care less if all of us stripped off and dove in or not. Back home, that's how I swam. That's how everyone swam unless we had good reason not to." On Ash'kara, the only time he remembered really wearing clothes was when he was on land, to help keep moisture in against his skin, and one particularly cold trip to the arctic...arctic something. Dammit. You let me remember nudity taboos in future history but you won't let me remember the name of the ice water range on my home planet?

Setting aside the darker implications of that train of thought, Sarresh stretched a bit and then stood, with his thumbs hooked into the waistband of his swim shorts. He had no issue padding around in the nude, and preferred to swim unencumbered. But he wanted to be sure the others were actually on board with the notion of skinny skin diving, apparently in every sense of the words. "Are you all right with this?" He asked the Trill pilot. He had no idea what the Trill in general, or this one in particular, felt about being in the buff around others. He didn't watch Derik for long though - he found his gaze back on Samantha, and he quietly cocked up an eyebrow, as if to silently double check that she too was fine with the idea.

Ash'reem did not have a nudity taboo; the time traveler was a typical representation of his former species in that regard. That did not, strictly speaking, mean that the man lacked an admiration for the nude form. As he found the females of most humanoid species attractive, and - were he to be uncomfortably honest with himself - the ships chief diplomat in particular...the prospect held a certain promise beyond simply enjoying the feel of water coursing unimpeded over his body. This wasn't to say that he didn't appreciate the aesthetically pleasing forms that either Donna or Derik brought to the table, exactly. Just that he found himself ...intrigued by where this might all be going in regards to the one person on the ship he'd already established a promising acquaintance and prospective friendship with.

But once he was sure that everyone aboard was quite serious and no one had any issue with the idea purposed by Donna (admittedly for herself originally), the lanky Temporal Affairs Officer wasted little time in shucking the shorts and stepping into the fins to help propel him along in the water. As he lacked proper webbing on his feet or hands, he welcomed the addition of aquatic footwear.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #7
 Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Stegro88 @stardust @Brutus
As the skiff powered down and settled upon the relatively calm waves, Derik picked up a safety beacon and tossed it in the water. As the device hit the surface, it unfolded, beginning to pulse a red light down into the water. The device would help them locate the skiff, even if the surface of the water was hard to see through from refracting sunlight.

When Donna asked shortly thereafter if anyone would be bothered if she removed her top, Derik chuckled to himself softly. Watch. Everyone is going to end up naked now that she’s opening the door. Derik wasn’t shy by any means, but getting naked in front of two people he barely knew did make him hesitate a little. Donna was one thing. They’d been naked around each other plenty of times. Neither had anything to hide from each other.  Rutherford was beautiful, but he was just getting to know her. Sarresh though….Sarresh would be the issue. Last thing he needed was his own body doing things he didn’t want. He banished the thought from his head as fast as it appeared.

Lost in his own musings, he only paid about half attention to the conversation that ensued. It seemed like no one had an issue with some skin. Even their Chief Diplomatic Officer was asking if Morali would be getting naked as well. It didnt sound like he was objecting.

“Are you alright with this?” the only other male onboard asked.

Derik looked up upon realizing the question was directed at him, his hands crossed in front of his stomach lifting the edges of his shirt when the question came.  He shrugged and pulled the garment off, draping it across the back of his neck and hooking his thumbs in the edges of his speedo for a moment. “I’m fine, as long as you don’t mind me looking as well. No offense to the lovely ladies here, but you’re more my type than they are.” He spoke without hesitation. He wasn’t exactly hitting on Sarresh, but he supposed it could have been interpreted that way. ”Most people that I work with art wise are male anyway.” It was a poor deflection.

Pulling the shirt off his shoulders to throw on his seat, the Trill pulled the rebreather on like a backpack but didn’t put the mask on, instead making sure it was secured to the pack. Veradin could hold his breath for a decent period, so bringing the pack was more for if he wanted to stay down amongst the reefs for long periods of time or if there was an emergency. He hooked his small holo-camera to the left strap and set it to record.

Satisfied with the answer apparently, he watched, while trying not to watch, as the former Ash’reem tossed his swimwear aside and put on the fins. Called it. He still had his speedo on, and waited to see what might happen before he considered taking it off as well.

What Derik looks like in this post:

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf-11 | Hydro-skimmer | Lagoon near Volcano S-147 | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Brutus @Argyros @stardust

“There is a story there too,” Donna thought to herself as she listened to Samantha declare Sarresh’s preferences without stating her own. Well, time would tell on that matter. Her comments though on the free diving surprised Donna though. While prepared for it, the pilot hadn’t been expecting anyone to choose it over the convenience of a rebreather. Before she could respond to the diplomat though, she burst out laughing when Samantha announced her opinion of Derik’s choice of swimwear.

Recovering, she was just in time to watch Morali strip off casually. She had caught the comment about the 26th century and its lack of nudity taboo’s. Delivered with complete seriousness like one who had lived it. It was just another piece of the puzzle that was the Temporal Affairs Officer. Still, his intentions had been declared and Donna passed him a set of fins before eyeing the Trill. Derik knew her best of all so she didn’t doubt that he wouldn’t care either way. If anything, getting to check out Morali was a bonus for him. 

“Called it,” she said to herself as the Trill explained his preferences before removing his top. Donna left him to it before turning back to Samantha. “I’m cool with snorkelling. I just brought the rebreathers in case anyone wanted to use them, either for convenience or necessity. Not everyone takes like a fish to water,” she said, glancing at Derik as he put one of the devices on. “I didn’t know that Sarresh could breathe underwater. Sounds handy,” she commented as she casually pulled her top over her head to expose her upper body. Tossing it to the side, she quickly shucked her bottoms to before reaching for her own fins, mask and snorkel along with a diver’s knife. She’d been told the water was safe, but Donna believed in better safe than sorry. Aldea had reminded her of that.

“So, will you be joining us in Rome?” Donna asked before plodding up to the back of the skimmer. Pulling the mask on, she didn’t wait for an answer before dropping into the water below.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Argyros @Brutus

Sarresh was naturally rather quick to justify himself on her statement. Samantha had not only expected, but counted on it, and drew extra pleasure from the subtle defiance, ringing in his husky voice. At the time stamp she had to chuckle, shaking her head lightly in humorous disbelieve. “Not making the point you think you’re making.” she teased good-manneredly. Picking up a pair of fins from under the bench next to her the blonde handed them over to her previous diving companion. Knowing he was going to be down there with her somehow made the entire endeavor seem much safer and more comfortable … even the developing scarcity of swimwear. Even back in the public bath on the Theurgy she had gotten the idea that those fitting speedos had only been a measure to appease external modesty for the man, not his own. 

Getting herself ready in terms of mental preparation, slowing down her thoughts and metabolism, the diplomat listened to the ensuing conversations on board with pleasure. She felt happy for Sarresh socializing so seemingly effortless within a group of people he barely knew. He either wasn’t as much of a recluse as he had let on or he was truly coming out of his shell. She somehow suspected the latter to be true – or maybe she wanted it to be. Those two concepts, in reality, were sadly very closely related. Even more so curious was it that Sarresh was only concerned about Derik’s sensitivities and not those of the women. It made her laugh to herself. He could NOT have known she wouldn’t mind two more sea serpents in the ocean if it would make the two men feel more one with nature. The revelation of the CONN officer however made sense and was duly noted with a pleasant nod. It was especially funny though that it would then ultimately be between the two of them to compete for skin.

Donna’s final comment before she dove naked into the azure blue, that rivaled Samantha’s eyes in beauty, felt like an encouragement to do as the Romans did. Giving Sarresh newly exposed skin a notable side-glance the blonde let out a breath of expired air, that made her nostrils flare with relief, as she brought one hand to the puller of her neoprene top and the other to the flap of her neckline, holding it in place as the zipper came undone. White and petrol colors split apart to reveal slightly tanned skin. Ultimately the fitted vest slid off the officer’s slender shoulders, revealing two voluptuous mounds of silken peach, before being discarded onto the bench behind her. Giving Derik a challenging perk of the head they were now even. But she wasn’t done. Slipping her thumbs into the waistband of her tiny black panties the woman bent over with arms stretched out to bring the fabric to her ankles in one swift move, erecting herself again with the grandeur of a figure skater, ultimately stepping out of the tangled mess.

“Your turn.” she smiled at Derik, tossing the swimwear up with one foot, catching it skillfully in the nude, Samantha settled it down beside the vest, folded once. Adding a rebreather to the liberating feeling of wind – and soon water – against every inch of her skin, would’ve taken her out of the moment. Turning towards Sarresh, curves shifting from profile into a head-on view, she slowly walked past him, keeping her eyes hitched to his with an almost daring smile. "I'll see you." she whispered ambiguously and with a wink. Approaching the aft of the boat Samantha accelerated on the last two steps, ultimately pushing herself off as her body dipped forward. Arms dashing upward she swan dived into the wet cold. Letting the water brush past her skin, following in every contour of her form perfectly, the blonde took a few strokes before gently floating back to the surface by the buoyancy of her filled lungs alone. Breaking through the glimmering plane next to Donna, hair sleeked back, she gazed upon the two men on the boat, vision blurred with sparkly droplets caught in her long lashes. She’d have a great view now.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #10
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Stegro88 @stardust @Brutus
Things initally progressed about as the Trill expected. Donna made a quick show of checking if everyone was alright before discarding what little clothing she had, gathering her things, and throwing herself into the crystal blue surface. Samantha though was more of a wild card than expected. She teased the poor former Ash’reem before, what the Trill could only summarize as some sort of strip challenge, taking off her own garments. The way she let the neopreme top split apart and fall off her form, how she purposefully bent her body as she relinquished the black bottoms, and ultimately kicking it up just so she could catch it. It was all very grand. She even made it to a point to tease Mr. Morali before disembarking.

Derik raised an eyebrow at Samantha’s little “show”. It was perhaps a little over the top. She hardly even waited afterword to see the guy’s reactions before jumping into the ocean herself. After stealing a few side glances at Sarresh, the Trill noted. She was beautiful though, the pilot admitted to himself. If he was straight, he might have actually thought about pursuing her. I wonder if she’d model like Donna? For that matter, what about Sarresh? That side train of thought, while exceedingly enticing, was going to land the Trill in hot water. Maybe he’d broach the subject after the trip, depending how it went.

Slightly closer to the rear of the skimmer than Mr. Morali was, Derik turned his back to the two women treading water behind him. “Alone” with Sarresh, Derik finally started taking off his speedo. In playful revenge, he began pulling down the back until it was under the tight hemispheres of his rear. He let it sit there for a minute, shifting his weight from one foot to another just to show off. Two can play this game. Finally he pushed the front down as well, over his manhood, and let the garment slide down his legs aided only by gravity. It pooled around his ankles, which the Trill stepped out of carefully, keeping his back to the women still.

Upon pulling his shirt off his shoulders so he could fold and set it aside, the Trill noticed something unexpected. Sarresh was, curiously, looking at his groin. Peering down at himself, Derik couldn’t see anything particularly wrong. He kept himself shaved and the area just above neatly trimmed short.
”Something the matter? This can’t be your first time seeing another male’s genitals.” He asked politely , genuinely curious. The Trill had always been something between a “show-er” and a “grow-er”, and despite the small amount of increased blood flow to below the belt at being “examined” so closely, it wasn’t as if it had changed size in response.

”I didn’t know Trill spots could go down there too.” The Temporal Officer replied.

”Yea?” Derik responded with a laugh, looking down at himself. The spots trailing off the two main lines were somewhat lighter than the rest, traveling down the V’s of hips and about two-thirds of the way down his member. ”It’s a genetic mutation that happens in about 5% of the Trill population. It’s not something we flaunt for obvious reasons but I guess I’m one of the lucky ones!” Veradin finished folding his shirt and throwing it on the seat. After, he carefully bent, still keeping his front concealed from the ladies so he could fold and throw his speedo onto this seat as well. In an oddly cathartic way, it was nice to just stand around with another male nude absent the possibility of sex. The Trill knew Sarresh was strictly heterosexual, and that was by all means fine. Plus, it didn’t hurt that they were teasing the women back.

”What about you? Any interesting mutations with the Ash’reem body?” He was suddenly curious now that they were standing on equal footing per say. He casually looked the other man up and down, this time not concealing his interest. From what he could see, Sarresh look pretty much human.

In response, Derik watched as one of Sarresh’s eyebrows raised rather high before peering down at his own form. The man began pulling his manhood from side to side, rather unbashful and very unexpectedly. "Nope, nothing mutated down there. Fully functional as far as I can tell. Mind you, breathing underwater probably counts as a mutation among humans. Not so much around the species I used to be." Then he let go of himself, shoulders raising and falling in a shrug.

Derik did his best to keep a big grin under control. The way Sarresh examined such an intimate part of himself without regard to who was watching was both refreshing and rather playful. Thankfully neither on of them seemed to be getting aroused, which would have certainly made the experience even more…interesting.

Just for you Stardust

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #11
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos Systema ] Attn: @Argyros @Stegro88 @stardust 


Sarresh had not actually known before hand about  the Trill's sexual preferences, given that he hardly knew the Trill at all. For that matter he didn't know for sure about either of the women on the boat. Eyebrows did shoot up high on his forehead for a long moment as he processed the statement, and he tilted his head to one side, as if acknowledging the other lieutenant's words about art. Just what kind of art do you do? he wondered to himself, not quite willing to ask the question aloud.

He knew that while the male nude form did not bother him in the slightest, it also did nothing for him on a sexual level. That Derik might find his appearance attractive had come as a momentary surprise, but that was it. His shoulders rolled up, they sagged down again, and he quirked his lips into a small smile. "No offense taken."

It seemed like the best way to not actually cause offense the other way around, and Sarresh was, perhaps to his surprise, looking forward to the swim.

Nudity appeared to carry the day, at least on that little skimmer floating in the secluded Aldean lagoon, with its towering volcanic Island reaching up into the crystal clear sky above. Or at least that's how it seemed to Sarresh Morali. He'd barely stripped himself to his proverbial birthday suit before the fighter pilot joined him. As he fastened the fins he'd been handed onto his feet, he watched with something slightly more than mere clinical interest as she shed her swimsuit and geared up in an impressively nonchalant fashion. In principle he approved of her choices, though he felt his eyebrows ride up slightly at the diving knife. He hadn't read anything in the invitation about needing to come armed to a dive. 

Undeniable was the fact that Petterson was easy on the eyes, as the Terran saying went. Aesthetically speaking, she as quite attractive, well fit, and at ease with herself. Sarresh did let his gaze follow her as she lept up and over the aft rail of the boat, deciding not to answer her comment about breathing under water. What more needed to be said? It was rather handy. Between that and everything else that V-Nine had managed to restore to him after his correction at the hands of the Savi, Sarresh was feeling as close to himself as he could manage. 

With Donna now in the water, his gaze naturally fell upon Samantha, and he watched with a curious arch of the eyebrow. Perhaps he should have made an effort to cover his eyes or avert his gaze, but he did no such thing. They'd all agreed to get naked so that meant that clearly there was no issue with anyone looking. Just a hint of a smile gracing his lips for a moment, there and gone in a flash. Did she see it? He couldn't tell. He had to admit that he liked what he was seeing, and a discreet glance to the side showed that Derik was mostly watching as well, despite his stated sexual preference. Sarresh had seen Samantha previously in a bathing suite that was technically less revealing than the one she wore now. Today however, he was getting a rare treat, to see the whole unwrapped package as it were.

He couldn't help the chuckle that slipped out when she caught the bottoms in her hand, and brought his own hands up in a soft, slow clap. She turned face on and - he stared, just long enough to be noted before flicking his eyes back up to hers, and holding her gaze as she strode past him. He felt his brows rise up again at her little whisper and inclined his head in a nod. She dove off the side of the boat and he muttered, "Well, that happened."

As he tried to wrap his head around what her words migh have implied, and the look she had given him that had done things for him he wasn't entirely comfortable with contemplating with others about, he noticed Derik stripping off. As he had with Donna and Samantha, Sarresh watched. That was only polite, he assumed (perhaps incorrectly), while the Trill removed his attire, clearly putting on a small show to the women in the water.  He started to let out a smirk, and then stopped, letting his head tilt to one side as the trail of spots caught his attention. He'd not seen a Trill nude before - or at least, he could not remember seeing a Trill in the nude before, and he was momentarily distracted by where the pattern went. 

"Something the matter? This can't be your first time seeing another male's genitals." The words forced Sarresh's multicolored gaze up to meet Deriks face. There was no real embarrassment in his face as he replied casually, "I didn't know Trill spots could go down there too."  This was, of course, blocked from the view of the two in the water, what with the pilot faicing Sarresh, and not the water. What followed was a lesson in Trill anatomy and physiology that Sarresh had not planned on receiving that day. Always room to learn something new and pointless, Sarresh allowed, his arms crossed over his chest as he listened, the breeze rolling off the water and whipping around his bare form in a delightful fashion that he'd realized he'd grown to miss. 

When asked about mutations of his own, the former Ash'reem cocked an eyebrow up high on his forehead then looked down, carefully pulling his member from one side to the other. "Nope, nothing mutated down there. Fully functional as far as I can tell." He wasn't entirely sure where it fell in relation to other human men, size wise but there had been no complaints. "Mind you, breathing underwater probably counts as  mutation among humans. Not so much around the species I used to be." He let go of himself and shrugged, well aware that the two in the water would have had a perfectly clear view.

A moment of amused guile settled onto Sarresh, as he reminded himself that no one there remembered or even knew what he had once looked like. Making a small production of the act, Sarresh looked over his shoulder and glanced back at his bare - and slightly pale - ass. His face slackened a bit as if remembering something long gone and let out a small, sad little sigh. "I have to say I do miss the tail quite a bit though. It was useful." A small wiggle of the hips accompanied the words as he shrugged and smiled back at the Trill pilot. 

Ash'reem, of course, did not have tails at all what so ever. But no one else there knew that. 

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Argyros @Brutus

As Samantha treaded water, the comfortable cool engulfing her body like a fitted cocoon, the blonde closed her eyes for a moment to focus on the feelings that emanated from every contour of her body. The back and forth of gentle friction within the liquid as she moved, every inch of her skin beneath the surface easily adjusting to the temperature. While at the thin edge of the water, where it submerged and released her soft skin with every bobbing of her slender figure, the chilling sensation as far more prominent. Even more so in the stark contrast between the warming midday sun. Yet it was exactly this competition between opposing forces that gave her such an extremely comfortable feeling. It was why she enjoyed the wet, especially when it was paired with the dazzling rays of sunlight.

Hearing the men exchange words, muffled through the meditative sense of calm, and obscured by the sound of the gentle waves lapping against Donna, her and the boat, she let icy blue eyes cast their spell across the reflective plane once more. Slightly squinting the diplomat watched the two officers still aboard, check each other chunk out and quite literally swinging it around. Now, this was a peculiar sight, if there ever had been one. And they seemed to be quite engaged in their little ‘child’s play’. “Guys, when you’re finished comparing your little friends, how about you either get a room or in here?!” she demanded loudly, half chuckling into the remark. It was a hard situation to take seriously.

Turning a bit in her upright floating motion Samantha looked over at Donna who was not far off. The other female officer looked beautiful against the natural backdrop split into two contrasting hues of blue. One peppered with milky clouds, the other with the reflections of the same. “It’s such a beautiful place …” she chimed reverently at the planet’s beauty. “… and such a great idea to spend some time planet side before we move on.” The past few days had been all about getting settled on the Theurgy and getting her department up to snuff. For the most part the woman had even forgotten they were orbiting this beautiful world. Only realizing every time she came back to her quarters and collapsed onto the bed under this hemispheres warm hue.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #13
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf-11 | Lagoon near Volcano S-147 | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @stardust @Argyros @Brutus

Donna had to admit, Samantha’s unveiling and entrance into the water was much better than her own. Of course, she told herself that she wasn’t trying to raise the local temperature either, but she wasn’t one to complain too loudly either if she enjoyed it as much as the next person. One of the benefits about being bisexual, she could find pleasure practically anywhere. Like right here, in the water next to the ship’s new Chief Diplomat. It was only visual pleasure, but she was still enjoying how the cooler water affected the senior officer. She was a very beautiful woman, much more so than herself, and she seemed quite at home in the water.

She was just about to make a witty remark about boys comparing their toys when Samantha beat her to it and Donna found herself laughing at the ultimatum that had been given. Treading water, buck ass naked on a planet that at until recently had been considered a myth while their ship, the most wanted ship in two quadrants orbiting above them and they were waiting on two guys to stop comparing their rods. Things never change.

“If my life has taught me anything Samantha, you have to take the good when you can get it,” Donna observed with a smile. “And if those two don’t decide quick, I’m starting without them. Care to join me?”

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #14
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Stegro88 @stardust @Brutus
Just when the Trill thought they would be done comparing body parts, Sarresh twisted to look over his shoulder and made a comment about “missing his tail” with a little jiggle. Derik had to do a double take. ”A tail? Ash’reem have tails?” The Trill wasn’t sure if Sarresh was joking or not. He twisted himself to look at his own rear. Yep. No tail there. Why is that such a relief? It was a nice butt though. He hadn’t gotten any complaints so far at least.

Despite their monologue, and what was probably a rather funny scene to be watching from the sidelines, Samantha was apparently getting impatient. She had made some offhand comment about comparing the size of their assets and getting a room together. Honestly the Trill wasn’t opposed to such an idea. Sarresh was good looking and would no doubt lead to a very satisfactory evening. Some things were not meant to be however.

Undeterred though, the Trill merely let the comment roll off. He was having entirely too much fun, and they hadn’t even gotten into the water yet. Figuring that the two of them needed to get in the water eventually, Derik grabbed his fins, stepped close to the Ash’reem and draped his arm over the man’s shoulder. Together they walked the few remaining steps to the edge of the boat. Instead of simply slipping into the ocean, an awful, evil, wonderful idea came to mind. How does one get under another’s skin? By doing something either really mean, or really unexpected.

”Hey Samantha!” He called out, pulling her attention back to the two of them. Meeting her eyes, a huge grin took shape upon his face. ”Eat your heart out.” Before she or anyone else could respond, Derik stepped in front of Sarresh and kissed him, right at the corner of his mouth, but to the girls it would have looked like he kissed him right on the lips. Leaning back, a very confused and somewhat surprised Morali was looking right at him eye to eye. Derik winked at the man, just so he would know the Trill wasn’t trying to seduce him or anything, turned and jumped off the boat at last.

The cool water was silky across his nude form as it enveloped his body. He stayed submerged for a few seconds, pulling on the fins he had been holding so he could tread water more easily. When he broke the surface again, he shook his head really quick, dispelling some of the water. He was only a few feet away from the ladies. It felt so good to be in the water again, and given the scenery, there was hardly anything to complain about.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #15
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos Systema ] Attn: @stardust @Stegro88 @Argyros 


Snorting out a small burst of laughter, Sarresh said softly, "No, not really. We didn't have prehensile tails." Glancing back at the two in the water, and trying very hard not to get distracted by what he saw there. Which was not an easy feat. Dry and clothed, Donna and Samantha were easy on the eyes. Naked and floating in the water...well. Sarresh drew in a slow breath through his nose, ignoring all the scents he faintly picked up, and let it out again, before he added a bit louder. "It was the tongues that were prehensile. Pretty long too. Wouldn't really work with this kind of mouth structure though."

Pleased that he resisted the urge to lick his lips, the former Ash'reem grinned at the Trill for a moment, before Samantha needled them to hurry up ,in a somewhat caustic fashion. Mouthing 'little?' to Derik, the time traveler responded aloud with, "Why would I want a room?"

Sarresh was not quite that naive, but he'd be happy to let them think he was. He did understand the implications from the diplomat. For someone whose job involved being, well, diplomatic, she had an impatient streak. Maybe she doesn't enjoy the view as much as I thought? Donna seemed to have no issue. However, if he watched them for too long, well - that might be embarrassing. He turned his attention full on back to the Trill pilot still on the skimmer with him. Derik looked pretty good for a man, but appreciating that fact wouldn't lead to any embarrassing salutes from the once and future amphibian.

A comradery from the pilot wasn't exactly something that Sarresh had expected, or was terribly used to aboard the Theurgy. He'd opened up a time or three, and it usually bit him in the ass (or the person he'd let in). Still, he'd let in Samantha not terribly long ago. And it seemed for the moment that the others on the boat had no issues with him. Still, he was surprised when the nude Trill threw an arm over his shoulders and walked toward the edge of the boat. The awkward smile on Sarresh's face was evident as the - well, as the sun in the sky. There was a line of tension that ran down his spine from the sudden weight on his shoulders and a trace of shock in his eyes. 

Which...was nothing compared to the shock when the Trill taunted Samantha and then promptly popped a kiss right on him. Albeit to the side of the mouth, that still did very little to stop his eyebrows from shooting up impossibly high on his forehead and rocking him back on his heels. At first he was unsure as to what was running through Deriks' mind. Had he not made it clear that he had no interest in men? It was the wink that allowed his brain to catch up with reality, as the Trill backed away, twisted and dove, leaving Sarresh  - the first one of the lot actually stripped down to dive in - the last on the boat.

Well, damn, he thought rather loudly as he worked his scruff covered jaw from one side to the other between finger and thumb. His lips split apart and a soft rush of air blew past them. Shrugging his shoulders, the Temporal Affairs Officer padded forward in a rolling sort of gait to the edge of the skimmer and simply dropped right off. Feet angled down, arms at his side, he plunged into the water. Down and down he went, fully submerged. Bubbles rose up to the surface in his wake, popping here and there, ripples rocking back toward the anchored skimmer. 

For the moment he did not breathe in. That would have allowed him to start circulating the water though his lungs instead of air. The first transition was always rough, but easy to over come. His eyes were open, and searching the water, seeing the legs of the others above him, their bodies silhouetted by the sun high above. Holding his breath, the scientist kicked and drifted under the others, letting his fingers trace along the underside of Sam's foot, and pushed past. With another twist Sarresh launched himsef upward, breaching the water and tossing his head from side to side, turning to face the others. Treading water came naturally to him, with no effort at all. No matter the surgeries and transformations, Sarresh was a creature of the water and the Aldean Ocean was just as inviting to him as the one of his former homeworld. 

Gods above and below, it really does feel like home. The words ripped across his mind as a bright, almost goofy smile flashed across his face. "So, are we doing this, or what?"

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #16
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Argyros @Brutus

Honestly, Samantha hadn’t intended for her ‘unveiling’ to appear as ceremonial as it had turned out to be. Hell, she hadn’t planned to get naked in the first place. Now, that she was floating in the crystal-clear blue like a cork, she felt like it had been the best decision since signing up for this trip. Not lastly because her nude curves were now starkly obscured by the refraction of the light. But all in all, it gave her a comforting sense of commonality among the four of them. Many cultures actually attached a sense of disarmament and vulnerability to the sentiment and thus saw in it the ultimate offering of good will and peace. If that didn’t apply here, in a way, then she didn’t know.

„I drink to that.“ The blonde laughed, cupping her fingers in a c-shape, as if to fill a glass with ocean water and then downing it with one fell swoop. Finding the slightly infantile sentiment to be hilariously stupid. Turning her attention back over her shoulder, with eyes slightly squinted at the sparkle, and the sun it produced, the diplomat shrugged her shoulders, causing more ripples to radiate from her body across the surface. “Yeah, they better …” but she didn’t finish her sentence before Derik called out to her, a daring glimmer to his eyes. As he turned his back towards her, perky buttocks stiffening in his stance, he seemingly gave Sarresh a surprising peck.

Pulling up the corner of one mouth, while irking a brow in solemn confusion and skepticism, the commander didn’t quite understand what the motivation of calling her attention to that little display was. The navigator reminded her of Mandy Collins, just then. Sort of a mean girl in high school, that had once made a point of kissing the guy she’d had a crush on, Spencer Carlyle, knowing fairly well that it would irk her. The only difference being that they were much older – and seemingly more matured – since then and she had no real claim on Sarresh but the favor of his sexuality, if any. Shaking her head with an ironic chuckle, the blonde decided to roll with it. “Come on … I kiss my grandfather hotter than that, and he’s a Vulcan.” she shouted a faux truth, that was merely a testament to the ridiculousness of Derik’s action.

Shortly thereafter the man dove in and gave way to the view of a somewhat puzzled, yet not seemingly fazed Ash’reem. He slowly prattled to the edge of the skimmer too and then stepped in like a log, going under with minimal splashing. She could follow his obscure shape below the surface, bubbles rising from his vector to tickle her legs. Growing painfully aware in an instance, that he could see quite clearly, even in water. But then there was a more palpable contact that made her jerk her foot back, letting out a subtle, yet embarrassing squeal. There was still an element of exposedness being in the ocean, as sort of a land animal. This was the realm of other creatures, who were far more adapt to moving and hunting within it. So, despite being a lover of water, there was still an added sense of alertness coming from a deep rooted survival instinct, which couldn’t be turned off.

Turning her head to the side a bit, squinting her eyes as droplets flew through the air from Sarresh breaching the surface, Samantha ran a hand flat over her face in the aftermath. Watching the man for a moment, the water glistening on his skin, his eyes almost one with the greenish-blue rocks and coral beneath them, she slowly smiled.

“And you’ve got some lipstick left on your cheek.” she poked incredulous fun, not only at Sarresh but both men, as she turned to take a few casual crawling strokes towards Donna and the more exposed edge of the reef. She’d hand it to the organizer of the event to find the ideal spot for them to go down first.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #17
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf-11 | Lagoon near Volcano S-147 | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @stardust @Brutus @Argyros

With Sarresh and Derik finished playing with each other and in the water with Samantha and herself, Donna turned about and began to swim away from the hydro skimmer. While she had been waiting on the boys, she had looked at the lagoon floor beneath them and, while it was interesting, she was hoping that there were other places that would be better. Enjoying the freedom of being nude in the water, Donna dove under it and began to swim away from the group, assuming they would see her leave. When she realised that they hadn’t, she surfaced and looked back at them.

“Are we here to swim or talk about the boys’ antics?” Donna called out before diving away again to keep going. She had chosen to head towards the edge of the lagoon where the reefs separated it from the open sea. The current would be stronger there, but it would hopefully be worth the effort.

“This is much better,” Donna commented as she trod water, the swell of the ocean causing her to bob in and out of the water from her shoulders to her hips. They had swum casually for maybe 30 minutes, stopping to take breaks whenever they wanted as they looked at various parts of the reef below them. They had finally reached a deeper section of the lagoon where the seabed had been carved away more and the reef had grown over the top to create little caves and tunnels. Using a snorkel, she couldn’t explore the deeper ones today, but she made a note to come back here again before they left Aldea.

“What do you guys think?” she asked her companions. “Worth it?”

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #18
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Stegro88 @stardust @Brutus
Something about Samantha’s taunts rang false when they reached the Trill’s ears. Was someone getting upset? Perhaps the Chief Diplomatic officer was getting flustered at the sight of the men having fun. Or perhaps it was merely a sense of impatience. Either way it hardly mattered. Derik was having a blast. He’d already gotten to do far more than what he’d expected with the Ash’reem. He thought he’d only get to look from a distance but instead he had been able to get up close and personal. Now that they were in the water though, Veradin knew he’d start seeing the man become more comfortable in his native environment.

As if right on que, Samantha let out a rather hilarious squeal. Apparently Sarresh had brushed up against her legs or something as he had passed underneath. Such an exchange was rather amusing, especially since the woman had not been expecting it. The phrase “turnabout is fair play” was rather appropriate given the teasing she had been using on the two guys. It was a small victory, but a deliciously entertaining one at that. Yet even as Sarresh had gotten under her skin for a moment, she still apparently wanted to tease them, making a remark about lipstick on Morali after he had resurfaced.

”It’s okay to be jealous. I did kiss him first after all. Though I don’t need lipstick to make me kissable. The Trill let the backhanded comment sit in the air for a moment, a mischievous smile upon his face. ”But you really shouldn’t feel very cheated. Not like he’s going to bed me at any point. Entirely sure he prefers lips to poles.”

Instead of waiting to hear whatever quip the woman would no doubt shoot back at him, Derik heard Donna call after them, having started to explore. The Trill dove beneath the surface, following after her rather than responding.  The water was so clear and the reefs below them so close, that Derik almost sank down to them. This is what they had all come here for, despite the figurative icing on the cake. He wanted to go down there, but decided to wait for everyone else and resurfaced.

”Absolutely worth it. I say we get down there and find out just how lovely they are up close!”

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #19
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos Systema ] Attn: @stardust @Stegro88 @Argyros 


There were many things that Sarresh might - or might not - wish to picture in the halls of his imagination. One could even narrow that down a bit further, as say more accurately that there were plenty of possibilities that, perhaps, he would enjoy to speculate on in regards to Samantha specifically, even though he had only met her the other evening, making her almost as new an acquainted as anyone else on this boat to him. But of all those potential imaginary images that he might contemplate, the scene in which she kissed her grandfather with more heat than Derik had pecked Sarresh upon the lips was not one he wished to contemplate, even knowing full well that the blonde diplomat had said the words as a jesting jib at the Trill pilot.  Again, the diplomat's deft tongue showed itself to be double-edged, when she wished to deploy it so. 

That might have been one of the reasons he tickled her foot when he'd swam beneath and past her during his initial dive into the Aldean Ocean.


Arching an eyebrow up high in the fashion similar to her grandfather's species, Sarresh ran his thumb over his lip and the side of his mouth, before looking down at it. No lipstick, which was pretty much what he expected. It would have had to be rather impressively waterproof after his little opening dive, but it cost him nothing to be sure before he let an uncharacteristically wide grin split his face. He looked up, shielding his eyes from the Aldean sun, and scanned the horizon. Save for the towering island behind him, there was nothing but miles and miles of water and reef as far as he could see. The whole sensation was purely invigorating for the man that grew up under the water. 

His head fell back down and his focused returned to the other swimmers. An amused snort bubbled up at the Trill's words, and Sarresh dipped his head a little in acknowledgement. "For what it is worth, I can recall worse kisses," he noted with an amusement that he wasn't wholly comfortable with, even if he were being honest. Despite all the damage to his memory, done in the name of the almighty Temporal Prime Directive, Sarresh was quite sure he'd had worse kisses than that before. Maybe not since he returned to the 24th century, but he felt no need to savage the man's pride. And the pilot was right after all, if crude. Sarresh much more preferred women.

Of course, then there was the implications that Derik laid out about the diplomat being jealous of the kiss, which had Sarresh's mind running in all kinds of curious directions. He wasn't quite sure the other man was implying that Samantha might bed Sarresh at some point, though she did stand a considerably better chance that Derik did, all things being equal. Again, a matter of plumbing and preference he supposed. He just rolled his eyes, and tried not to let his imagination get too far out ahead of him. That path lead to troubled waters.

And never mind that it was a tempting mental exercise to indulge in.

Donna called out a challenge to the others, and Sarresh just shrugged his shoulders and let his eyes move from Derik back to Samantha. He held her gaze for a small moment, and then jerked his head in the direction that Donna had headed off in, before rolling onto his back and floating for a moment, letting the sun warm his body. Calm as he could be he began a lazy, broad back stroke, that had him eating up the distance with relevant ease. Sarresh did not keep it terribly long, just enough to track the others and flash a toothy grin to Sam, before rolling over and vanishing under the surface of the water.

The next half hour passed amicably enough for Sarresh. After he'd rolled over, he stayed below the water for the enire swim, flushing the oxygen out of his body and breathing in the water in turn, filtering it though his modified lungs. It was cool and sweet and soon he was wriggling like a fish, weaving his way around the other three. He kept his hands to himself this time, as he darted beside Donna, and behind Derik, rolling to look up at them as he passed around the trio, skimming close to Samantha, but keeping out of the way. He trailed his fingers along the bottom until the surface broke away, and nothing but reef remained.

Lingering there for a moment. the former Ash'reem noticed the others treading whatever above. He sucked in a breath of the sea, and then forced it all out of his lungs as he kicked up to the surface. Water streamed out of his nose as he shook his head, and his next breath was a ragged draw of oxygen. He coughed once, drew more air into his nose again, and then bobbed along tisde the others, arms swaying back and forth just below the waters surface. Blinking his eyes a few times, the sea color orbs flashed from one to the other, and he favored them with a crooked grin. 

"You really should swim down there. There coral structure is massive. Reminds me of the Bintarin basin back home." Only after he said the words did their import and meaning really hit him, and he fell silent, eyes wide. He glanced at Samantha, wondering if she could catch the shock of memory he was feeling or not. She seemed impressively intuitive when it came to his thoughts and emotions, and have been like that since their first encounter in the ships public baths. He swallowed down on the curiosity, and the deep longing he felt well up for a world now alien to his form, and took another steadying breath. 

"Diving deeper is worth it," he finally agreed.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #20
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Brutus @Argyros

Donna raised a valuable point, one that served Samantha’s narrative well. Obviously, the other woman either had her back, or was just really adept in zeroing in on what to say, to disarm a situation and steer it into a different direction. Potential diplomat maybe? At any rate, there was surely something like loyalty among gender companions, and if the setting was reversed, the blonde would’ve also had the pilot’s back, against potential poachers. So, shrugging at Veradin’s continuation of the high school play, the diplomat just shrugged it off with a casual, yet playful eye-roll and tuned into a crawl, following the woman who had organised this whole trip. Surely, she knew where the best spot was, to go down. No pun intended.

But not before shooting Sarresh a ‘not helping’ kind of intense glare. If he was trying to diffuse the situation too, he was doing a far worse job than Donna, in his coy attempt of not ruffling any feathers. Sometimes you had to pick a side, and preferably the right one. Sure, there was the implication of jealousy, fueling the woman’s annoyance with the child’s play. But then there was also the ridiculousness and superfluousness of the whole charade, in her opinion. Probably, she was blowing things way out of proportion, due to some kind of personal attachment, she had developed to the Ashreem … though admittedly, not an exclusive agreement, by any measure.

Arriving at the designated dive site, finally, Samantha could put her mind to more pressing matters, like regulating her oxygen and her movements, while under, as they all investigated their submerged surroundings, for the first time. The cool liquid brushing past her every contour, chilling areas that normally were moderately covered by thin layers of Lycra, she had to admit that this was an entirely new sensation. Coming up for air, a couple of times, as she slowly acclimated herself to the long neglected art of holding her breath for extended amounts of times, the blonde eventually managed to stay under for a good 6 minutes, yet still not trusting her skills enough to attempt a deeper exploration, towards the cavernous outcroppings and little tunnels in the deeper reef. All the while seeing Sarresh zip around in the depth below her like a human fish.

Coming up for sustenance one more time, fresh air filling her burning lungs, the diplomat shook some water from her ears, that still turned every sound muffled and distorted. Donna and Derik were bopping nearby, but she was genuinely surprised as Sarresh broke the surface, probably seeing all of them up at the same time. Both men ultimately agreed that a closer inspection of the rugged, perforated scenery below, was the reason they had come all this way for, and the blonde had to agree. Although she believed for some the fact that people would be naked was also a good motivator.

“Let’s do this then!” Samantha conceded cheerfully, drawing some sense of enthusiasm from a reciprocation of Sarresh’s feelings, that seemed to radiate through the water towards her, like the echo of a comfortable sound. Taking a few deep breaths, widening her lungs like a balloon, every time a little bit more, the blonde ultimately performed a quick roll, going under, until her beating fins splashed out of the water for a moment, propelling her slender physique down into the blue depth.


Strong kicks, only succumbing to the occasional stop to equalise the pressure in her ears, the diplomat intended to make her way down to the lower banks of the reef as quickly as possible, so to be able to spend more time in the crevices and small tunnels, teaming with the more interesting aquatic life. Not that the view of the nude humanoid bodies, skillfully snaking through the waters, was not a sight to behold as well.

Ultimately arriving at the reef floor, at a depth where everything dipped into a hue of blues and greens, with the other colours of the spectrum filtered out by the water above, Samantha held on to a rock pinnacle, counteracting her buoyancy, to get a bearing. There was a small canyon, leading away from where they were exploring, lined with stray rocks and tunnels, posing as a submarine highway, with plenty of fauna, commuting to and from their feeding grounds. Detaching herself from the rock, the blonde pointed it out to Donna, by her side, and dove a little bit deeper into the midst of the unimpressed aquatic life. Swimming among them, for a good while, lacing through holes in the rocks, swimming pirouettes around submerged spires, touching one or the other large species gently. Gleefully sending an angry, but harmless, pufferfish-like creature, Derik’s way. Almost forgetting time and space, finally feeling as if she was not the odd one out, in this truly alien environment.

But rather sooner than later, she had to conceded to her human nature and her inability to filter oxygen from water, feeling the pressure on her lungs and the urge to breathe increasing. Moving out from underneath one of the rocky roofs, just past Sarresh, exploring the depth of the tunnels. Looking up to the surface, it was still such a long climb, sure she would’ve made it, but it was a little bit of a bummer, not being able to just stay a little bit longer. Detaching her hand from the edge of the submerged rock, she was about ready to kick off and ascend, cheeks puffed with the spent air, wanting to escape.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #21
[ Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf-11 | Lagoon near Volcano S-147 | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Argyros @stardust @Brutus

"Damn that woman has a set of lungs on her,” Donna thought to herself once Samantha finally surfaced. She had reached her limit and begun to ascend as the diplomat was throwing a fish of some sort at Derik. Smiling as she blew bubbles, she kicked her way to the surface, breeching it in a shower of droplets as she flicked her head back to keep her hair from her face. Bobbing in the water, looked round for moment, catching her breath and enjoying the rolling motion of the water on her body.

Taking a deep breath again, Donna threw herself over and dove beneath the surface again, kicking her feet and pumping her arms to submerge as quickly as she could manage; the better to have more time at the bottom. She saw the other divers in varying positions but figured she would catch up with them the next time she was at the surface as she finally touched the reef, reaching out to grasp a rocky outcrop to pull herself over the lip to aid her continued descent.

As she did so, a shadow in the water passed over her. She wasn’t sure what it was but something, instinct or memory she’d never know, caused her to roll onto her side to discover the obstruction in the water. And what she saw almost made her panic and lose her lungs.


Swimming through the water, as clear as day in the crystal water, was an Oceanic Whitetip Shark. And beyond the nervousness that filled her from seeing it so close, were the inherent questions on why a predator native to Earth, was here in the waters of Aldea.

As the shark swam past her and moved off around the reef and out of sight, Donna reversed her descent and instead made for the surface in as calm a fashion as she could manage, signalling to the others as she did to meet her at the top. Breaching the water and sucking in air she didn’t know she needed, she looked at her companions bobbing around her.

“We have problem.”

OOC: Apologies for the delay folks. Hope you enjoy the development.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #22
[ [ Lt JG Derik Veradin | Lagoon near Volcano S-147 | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System ] Attn: @Stegro88 @stardust @Brutus
Beneath the waves, amongst the shimmering columns of sunlight, the rainbow of colors from the reefs beneath him, Derik found a sense of home. He reached out, gingerly, timidly, and slowly placed a hand on the coral’s surface. It was rough underneath, solid. On top there were tiny polyps, new growth, like soft shoe leather, bursting with colors from all over the spectrum. Reds, oranges, and yellows twisted together with hints of blues, greens, and purples. Their vibrancy was so real, so varied, that it could be nothing but an organic construction. It was true, machines could make some complicated patterns. But nature always found such beautiful combinations.

He had been facing away from the group, taking in the scenery, when a little voice in his head told him he needed to turn around. Perhaps it was instincts, or just his imagination, but he still spun. Donna was signaling for everyone to surface, and she was being rather insistent about it. So the Trill did, wondering what could be so desperately important. Breached, “Chance” announced that there was a problem. Her voice was more than serious.

Concerned, Derik briefly dipped below the surface again, scanning for what could be bothering a Valkyrie pilot so much. At first his eyes didn’t see anything. The fish were swimming like normal, as if nothing had changed. Then out of the corner of his eye he saw something larger and faster mostly hidden by the coral. Grey skin, white tips along the fins, angular head. Oh. He popped his head back above water.

”Shark. Yea that would be a problem. What the fuck is one of those doing here?!?”

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #23
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Hydro-skimmer | Open Ocean | Aldea | Epsilon Minos Systema ] Attn: @stardust @Stegro88 @Argyros 

While it did not happen as often as he might like, there was something nice about having one's advice being taken seriously, and acted upon. In this case it was the simple advice to dive deeper, to go full out and explore the coral formations that made up the underwater reef, echoing the sentiments of others. Nothing critical like, oh, "No, don't shoot the useful scientist!" which had been promptly ignored. Not that Sarresh was still bitter about such a trivial transgression. Not hardly. But as the four swimmers pushed down beyond the surface of the water, bare bodies skimming along the impressive formations, Sarresh could not help but take a bit of pride in the moment.

It was their exuberance. Not just Samantha's, but all of them. The eager desire to go explore under the surface. The lack of judgment about him. Of preconceived notions getting in the way of the moment. As he darted around under the surface again, body undulating and propelling itself forward with an alien grace, he came to that realization. He put the breaks on, near one of the outcroppings, and looked around, taking in the Trill off to his left. From there to the fighter pilot, and farther around, to Samantha, hair billowing out as she inspected something he couldn't quite make out. All three of them, were simply enjoying themselves, and perfectly content to have him there as well.

The shock of it showed on his face for a moment, before he tamped down and let himself just smile. A school of small fish blew past, in formation, and he turned to follow them, making a slow circle under the water. Sarresh had to admit, if only to himself, that under the alien ocean was far from the worse place to have realizations about oneself. Especially when one didn't need to worry about running out of breath. As if the thought triggered the action, he 'breathed' deep, letting the cool water flow into him, fill his lungs, and then spurt back out his nose, sans the oxygen they gave. It had taken a day or so to get used to, practicing in the deep tub in the old Ash'reem quarters he still inhabited. He had to think about things at first, to keep from just blasting air right back out, until old habits clicked in. But now he was fine, slowly spinning around, watching the others as much as the sea around him.

Out from one of the larger coral archs darted the ships diplomat, breezing past Sarresh as she made her way toward the surface. His gaze followed Sam easily enough, and after a moment, he shifted his position and gave a kick against some of the coral, feet to find purchase, and sent himself in a lazy arch along with the blonde. He was able to keep a pace with her, their bodies cutting through the ocean. He smelled the others in the water, picking up their scents through the implant in his nasal cavity, courtesy of V-Nine's careful attentions, allowed him to pick them out in the oceans waves. They were all moving, though Sarresh kept pace with Samantha, until they breached the surface a short while later. Sarresh paused long enough to void the water from his lungs in a sharp exhale beneath the surface, then calmly rose up, and drew in a breath of crystal clean air as water streamed down his face. He barely made a noise as he bobbed in the water, less than an arms length from Samantha.

"This place is pretty amazing, isn't it?" He asked her in a hushed tone, the words not travling terribly far among the ocean waves, as he saw Donna dart back under the water for a moment. Licked at his lips, getting ready to ask another question, but the pilot was suddenly back, and so to was their last remaining companion, Derik, with a look of confusion on his face. Sarresh swallowed his question and instead turned to face the fighter pilot, concern flickering among his features before he schooled them into a neutral expression. There was a chill running down his spine that had very little to deal with the breeze wafting over the waves. Rather than wasting breath on asking Donna what the problem was, the former Ash'reem readied himself to take a look, but Derik was faster, and sunk down for a moment, bobbing up with a considerably more worried expression on his face. So he stuck his own head under the water and did a double take. It really wasn't hard to spot the issue, circling down below them, slightly off to the east.

Sarresh felt his eyes narrow at that, and he gently maneuvered himself closer still to Samantha and the others, huddling up as if proximity to the group would some how offer them protection. Old, old instincts were surfacing, something base, primitive, from the species he had once been. "Unless I am horribly mistaken, there are no large sea fairing predators in this stretch of the Aldean ocean. And there are certainly not any sharks native to Earth." Had there been some sort of weird temporal breach? No, he was sure he would have felt any sort of disruption to the time stream. He got headaches enough from those that occurred around the Theurgy, and what he detected in his lab. This wasn't temporal in nature, but that did not preclude some other sort of strange, nefarious act. Looking from one naked swimmer to the next, he carefully asked, "Did anyone bring something nastier than a diving knife along?" though in truth, he already knew the answer.

Re: Day 36 [1100 hrs.] The Reef

Reply #24
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Coral Reef | Remote Volcano | Aldea | Epsilon Minos System] attn: @Stegro88 @Argyros @Brutus

It was incredible, how in tune the four officers were in their native element, since all life on earth actually also originated in the ocean. In a way, it was like homecoming, even though these were alien seas, and they were not exactly overly adept to living submerged anymore, after millennia of evolution. Well, all but one of them, Sarresh, and then there was the Trill, Derik, who, despite being alien too (at least to humans) possessed a similar history on his own home world. At least what the symbiont part was concerned, which actually lived in subterranean pools of water. What they connected, however, was the love for the depth, the chill and the endless blue, of their levitation medium. It was the closest you could get to weightlessness, without a spacesuit, or some sort of free-fall towards a planet’s surface.

Utilizing the notion to its fullest potential, as she had done many times before, Samantha gracefully wended through the translucent liquid, that only manifested in azure blue, because it was the last wavelength of light that remained, when all the other luminous colors were stripped away. Brushing past unimpressed sea life, that accepted her as one of their own, the blonde surely gave the optical illusion, by her movements and streamlined physique, that indeed she could’ve been one of them, a creature of the mystical deep. A mermaid, perhaps, from ancient earth tales, though her poetic journey was quite the opposite one, as she was a creature of the surface, dreaming of a life below the sea, which she’d trade her soul for, rather than the other way around.

Eventually, that fairy tale, of course, had to come to an end, as all of them did, while the expired air started to constrict her chest with the added pressure of her subdued breathing reflex. Filling her cheeks with the spent air that fought to escape, like a terrestrial pufferfish, the commander began to ascend slowly to the surface, as to not strain her blood gas composition too much. Brushing past Sarresh, with an almost daring curl to her figure, as if dancing around him halfway, the diplomat soon found herself a personal pilot fish, of sorts, as the natural diver tagged along her delayed ascend. A graceful smile on her plump lips, blue irises like mere mirrors to the ocean’s beauty, bubbles slowly trickled from her nostrils, during the long exhale to the surface. A sentiment that the man’s water filled lungs probably couldn’t reproduce. Which didn’t diminish their fascination.

Breaking through the glistening layer of ever-changing reflections, feeling oddly unprepared for the dry warmth and the chilling wind against her face, Samantha blinked residual sea-waterdrops from her long lashes and out of her eyes. Before gently smoothing her wet hair back against the defined curvature of her skull. Turning to face the man that had just surfaced with her, she shot him a joyful, toothy smile, that remained as her answer to his question. This was not only pretty amazing, it was full on damn incredible.

But their enthusiasm was short-lived as Donna announced a problem, which Derik then readily quantified. Furrowing her brows, the diplomat was admittedly skeptical. Maybe what they thought to be Aldea’s equivalent to a shark. Sarresh missed no beat in putting her reservations into words. “Don’t be ridiculous.” The woman chuckled, obviously being the last one to be alerted to the reality of their situation. Ultimately deciding to take a look under the surface too, just to shut them all up, from what surely was merely some sort of alien seal or even just one of their shadows. Oh shit, no it wasn’t.

“Jupp, there’s a shark down there.” Sam coughed lightly, pulling her head back out of the water. Though she didn’t really mirror the mutual concern given, yet. Didn’t all of them have history with diving, of some sort? “Guys, we don’t need to stab the shark … if you feel uncomfortable, you should slowly swim back to the skimmer. But I would suggest we go back down and take a closer look.” Which didn’t justify the looks she was getting for proposing it. “If this is really an earth shark, or an equivalent, they would preferably hunt objects on the surface, if we dive back down, it will likely just consider us one of its own. Don’t you want to know why it is here?”

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