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Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: An Assassin in Agra Fort
Last post by Dree -
Ens. Sashenka Kreshkova | Holodeck 02 | Deck 08| Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz  @RyeTanker @Dumedion  @anyone

Sasch sat between her ‘parents’ on a square cushion behind a low table.  A servant brought her a large chalice filled with a smoking burgundy liquid.  Because it was smoking, she thought that it would warm her, but it was an incredibly refreshing drink.  ‘Maybe it works on a similar principle as dry ice - without being dangerous to ingest,’ she thought.  She watched the vapors as they ascended and dissipated into nothingness.  The way the steam gamboled around was almost hypnotizing. 

Her father clapped once again, and servants scrambled out of many different entrances with platters of food.  The royal family was served first.  Her ‘father’ then her ‘mother’ then the woman who Sasch guessed was the second wife.  But only seconds later, a large plate of sumptuous meats, cheeses, nuts, fruits, and cooked vegetables was set in front of her.  The smells were tantalizing.  How the holodeck was able to make all of the different elements not only look and feel real, but smell and taste real as well still boggled the Wolf’s mind. 

She indulged in the meal, despite the fact that she knew it wasn’t real.  Like everyone else, she used her fingers whether she was eating the meats, cheeses or cooked vegetables.  The flavors and sumptuous juice of the means or fruits burst into her mouth and filled it with textures and flavors and spices and scents.  When she dropped, a small reddish potato into her mouth the juice from the sauce that covered it, dripped down her fingers.  

She quickly grabbed her napkin and wiped away the liquid.  But after she cleaned away the mess, her eyes swept across the room and alighted on a scantily-clad buxom Andorian.  She quirked her head as she tried to decide if she had seen her on the Theurgy in passing.  The Zhen looked slightly familiar, but she couldn’t quite place her.  ‘Besides,’ she told herself, ‘I have to figure out to she had to kill my father in a way that would go unnoticed.’ 

This time she returned to the refreshing drink while her eyes flitted here and there across the room for something or someone she might be able to use in her quest. 

It was then that a pompous, burly man strutted in with an entourage of people and even creatures.  It was the stallions that especially caught her attention.  They were such majestic creatures and high stepped into the room in sync.  It was all that Sasch could do to keep her seat instead of heading down to pet the steeds.

But as she popped another piece of cheese into her mouth, the man announced, “Thank you for allowing me to grace your presence. I have come from very far on behalf of my Emir to offer these humble gifts as a token of your esteem.

To which her father replied, “Come.  Sit and enjoy the show….We just had a wonderful demonstration from the girl of a most entertaining dance.  We must have another performance.  Perhaps something with more life in it.” 

Sasch wanted to stick her tongue out at her ‘father.’  ‘I know, so mature,’ she thought.  With a sigh, she extricated herself from her seat as the man-bearing gifts ousted her from her seat.  At least she had already eaten, but she took her cup and a few apple slices with her and made a face at both men behind their backs as she walked away. 

But as she did, a thought struck her.  She was just a character in this program.  ‘Maybe my character would know about horses and how to work with them and dance with them.'   She tossed back the rest of her drink and deposited it on a tray for that purpose.  Sasch jogged over to one of the horses.  She approached it slowly.  The horse pawed at the ground and shook its mane.  With hand extended and holding one of the apple slices in her fingers, she inched her way closer and closer.  The horse lowered its nose to smell the apple slide.  Sasch offered it to him.  He took it and chomped on it.  Sasch fed him three more slices before she tried to pet him.  He did whinny, but as she ran her hand down his mane, he whinnied contentedly. 

Sasch held onto his bridle and led him back out into the middle of the room.   She faced her ‘father’ and holding the bridle out, she waited for him to nod that she may begin.  Once he nodded, she looked over at the musicians and they started their music.  She started by leading the horse in a circle around the middle of the room.  After which she mounted and rode the horse around twice in a circle.  Holding onto the saddle horn, she swung herself over one side of the horse so that her feet were just out of reach of the floor.  Then she lowered herself so that she could run for several more steps before using the saddle horn and a jump to help her swing over the other side of the steed.

She continued the spectacle for almost five minutes before she dismounted and she and the horse walked forward together.  Both bowed to her ‘father’ before standing back up to another rousing round of applause.  She patted the horse’s neck and led it over to the side of the room before she grabbed another of the smoking drinks and began sipping on it.  She found a quiet corner to hole herself up, drink the liquid in her cup, and consider how to assassinate her 'father'.
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Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: Theurgy: What If...? Below Decks Lounge
Last post by Dree -
Lt Reika Sh’laan | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy| attn: @RyeTanker @AbsintheDeux  @Dumedion @Juzzie

Azure eyes noticed the shift in emotions and thoughts that flashed across Zark’s face, as the lanky Andorian gently touched the Medico’s face.  And the way that she drew her ponytail over her shoulder - there was something provocative in it.
And then the story of this movie and how it played into Zark’s own style of fighting.  Reika tried to picture this manner of fighting - just as much of a dance as it was a fight.  It certainly would be enjoyable and intriguing to get a chance to see the buxom Andorian fight using that technique.

Would I like to stop by and see?”  Reika’s laugh was light.  “Of course, I’d love to get a chance to watch.”  The Shen pulled her plaited hair over her shoulder. It fell to just above her bust and stood out starkly against her blue skin and her red top.  Sh’laan stepped away from the bar that she had been reclining against and took a slight step closer to the Zhen as she continued, “but I want to see that movie first so I have something to compare your method to it.  I’d love to see the woman who gave Ida a run for her money and dealt out as much as she took.  So are you in tactical on Theurgy?” 

You learned fighting because of your Zhavey.  Interestingly enough, so did I.  But for me, I grew up an angry kid.  A lot of the reason was because there was a lot of turmoil in our home growing up.  My parents weren’t always on the same page when I was younger.”  Reika half laughed half scoffed.  “I was kicked out three schools for fighting by the time I was 14.  But my Zhavey - an incredibly intuitive zhen - realized what was causing my frustration.  So she got me into Xi’fo’ral - so I would learn to defend myself without hurting the person attacking me.  But it also taught me self-discipline and how to calm myself down.  But interestingly it was that training that got me ready to become a tactical officer.”  Reika picked up her mug of ale once again and took another pull of the blue liquid.

Before Xenia could bring the Ale, the shen offered her mug to the Zhen.  “Need to quench your thirst?  I’m happy to help.”  Her mouth split into a wide grin and her tongue added to the smile as it pressed against her top teeth.

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Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1533 hrs] Il Dolce Suono mi Colpì di Sua Voce
Last post by joshs1000 -
[CPO Avandar Lok | Maintenance Bay 2 | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Krajin
[Show/Hide]

The places that Atlas mentioned, Lok was not familiar with, well he knew about the pilots’ lounge area, but kind of figured that was off limits to the knuckle draggers like him. The offer to possibly even come to the other Kzin’s quarters did perk Lok’s interest, not to mention his own nervousness, but considering the hour that was mentioned, he was unsure if any of these places would work out for the evening. It just all depended on how tired Lok was he guessed.

“Alright well I’ll uh…I’ll see what I can do”, he said kind of quietly with a bashful smile.

With a pat on his shoulder and a couple of parting words, some filled with a bit too much innuendo, Atlas left to attend to his own duties. Lok smiled to himself, mulling over the possibility of what could be in store for him later. Excitement at the prospect of perhaps some sort of intimacy but nervous as well because of who that could possibly be with. Luckily he had his work to keep him occupied until such time.

With a crack of  his knuckles, Lok returned to the group of mechanics, busily refurbishing the warp core for the Kzin Lieutenant’s spacecraft. His mind going through its mental checklist as his eyes scanned over the disassembled components lying about on work benches and pallets. His eye was drawn to the magnetic constrictors that ran the length of the injection channels, quite small to what one would see on a ship but functioned the same; he noted several appeared to be a little warped and discolored. Hm, must be getting overheated, he mentally inferred. The damage was relatively small, but had implications elsewhere.

“Hey guys”, he said to c a couple of mechanics disassembling the final components from the reaction chamber so it could be resurfaced, “can one of you grab the diagnostic kit and put all the components for the coolant system on a free pallet, I have a feeling it’s not dissipating the heat properly.” He started to walk away then added, “oh and get somebody to pull the heat exchangers from the fighter.”

With that he got back to work, the thoughts of what might come later dancing around at the back of his mind.

FIN
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Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: An Assassin in Agra Fort
Last post by RyeTanker -
[Lieutenant JG XamotZark zh’Ptrell | Holodeck 02 | Deck 08| Vector 02 | USS Theurgy] @Ellen Fitz @Dree

The ethereal blue beauty walked in, eyes twinkling, and the translucent veil that covered her mouth barely did much to prevent anyone from seeing the grin that was plastered onto her face.  If she had actually lived in such a setting and been a member of the domestic staff, she might have felt differently.  At the moment though, Zark was 'playing' a domestic, and it was just that, so she could gawk at the rich imagination that had come up with the simulation. Not that she really did gawk since that would have been out of character. She carried the tray of finger foods and rose tea around, she gracefully bent down next to a cushioned onlooker as they watched the cute green haired woman dance to the beat. The hair was an immediate give away that she was another participant, much like her blue skin and antenna were.  It was all part of the fun, part of the act, and she revelled in it.  A programmed courtier cast an appreciative gaze over the female figure in front of him that brought some finger foods.  What wasn't to appreciate though, and privatley, the outfit thrilled Zark.  It was meant to show her off, and she like it.  Everything from the golden bra and panties, to the sheer skirt, veil and head dress; it screamed a superficial attempt to cover up someone without really trying.

She was nothing more than mere furniture in this play and it gave her a chance to watch the crowd. Passing behind several others, blue hands gently waved a fan at the food and someone would turn and raise a hand to signal they wanted something.  Some times, it took a little longer to get their request right, but that was becuase the woman in the middle was doing a very good job of distracting everyone, and Zark had to admit, to herself, doing an amazing job of making herself the centre of attention.

Blue green eyes looked around once more and someone on one of the guests stood out and she slowed her pace as she stared at the man for a moment, then her grin got wider and pulled to display a couple of teeth. "Well, well, well Mr. Cross, that are you doing here? I sense mischief about with our intrepid Commander and the girl who's hair stands out."  She whispered to herself as she made her way around. When she got to him, Zark smiled brilliantly and bent over so he could take full advantage of viewing her figure. The Andorian demurely turned her attention back to quietly laying out tea and food.  The wife gazed over in her direction and motioned for the servant to come over and Zark got onto her feet and practiaclly glided her way over as the woman with green hair was summoned over and shown where to sit.  Maybe the Sultan wanted the pleasure of her company, maybe he wanted to spite his wife by having the attractive dancer near him. Only the various lines of code running the program knew what was going on.  Zark quickly and gracefully knelt in front of the wife on the steps below the dias and poured the rose tea before placing several food items on a plate for the wife to eat.

She stopped what she was doing when horns suddenly blared out a greeting march and the grand doors opened letting in a white and green clothed chamberlain. "Your royal highness, Ambassador Quarim, Lord of the Horse, High Holder of the Sacred Chalice, Commander of the Palm Order...."  Zark was prepared to go cross eyed as the number of titles the new visitor had went on for a solid three minutes before it ended with "... from the Emirate of Qumran seeks and audience to pay homage and tribute to your Greatness."

The Sultan nodded and waved the visitor and his party in.  Another triumphal march began and the Andorian's eyes lit up in utter amusement as a tall burly bearded man wearing gaily coloured pantaloons, vest, ornate turban, and a comically large sword walked in.

[Lieutenant Commander Frank Arnold ]

He'd stopped fidgeting as soon as the door opened and his face was stern as he walked in. He'd been more nervous when he'd learned of the absurd number of titles his character had, and how much responsibility it was supposed to entail.  Still, it was all on the holodeck and just for fun, so he had a confident strut as he approached and his eyes twinkle as he saw the blue skinned hellion kneeling next to the wife in a manner more subservient than he though she was capable of, but dressed as expected in next to nothing that left damn little to the imagination.

Stopping at a pre-arranged spot, the music ceased and he and bowed deeply. "Your highness.." Frank's deep voice intoned. "Thank you for allowing me to grace your presence.
I have come from very far on behalf of my Emir to offer you these humble gifts as a token of your esteem."
  Frank stepped aside and indicated towards the door as music took on a calmer tone to accompany the various servents bringing in trays of fruits, delicacies, wines, art, a pair of black stallions, and even a jaguar. The Sultan nodded in gratitude and invited Frank to sit next to him, incidentally bumping the dancer from her spot. "Come sit, and enjoy the show.  Fetch this man drink and food so he may enjoy the show."  As Frank moved to sit himself on the lavish cushions, he nodded to the dancer and gave her a friendly grin before turning his attention back to th Sultan. "We just had a wonderful demonstration from the girl of a most entertaining dance." The Sultan then looked at Ensign Kreshkova.  "We must have another performance, perhaps something with more life in it." He told her in a politely toned order.
5
Interregnum 01-02 S2 / Re: Day 6 [ 1710hrs. ] If He Only Had a Brain
Last post by Juzzie -
{Rhys Williams | Counselling Offices| Deck 09 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Ellen Fitz

Rhys had sat and listened to the older man speak. There was a lot he revealed in those moments together. It seemed to the young Welshman that at various times Hirek forgot himself and his previous reserve. He gave straight forward answers about his wants and desires from the basics about drinking, sex, problem serving to the broader desires for his people. It occurred to Rhys that Hirek had come to realise it in himself. While the Romulan remained friendly, and jovial the drawbridge had gone up. His demeanour radically changed.

It had begun with his mention of Tal Shiar and Rhys wondered if the upcoming trials and tribulations were the reason for that. As he moved towards the door and Hirek thanked him for their time together, Rhys felt it. Dread. At first a feeling like looking over a cliff edge his stomach seeming to drop, then the sensation of hot pressure behind his eyes and cold air over his skin.

The thought echoing in his head was. “Again, alone again.” Then the inevitable came, the polite almost casual suggestion that he decompress on his own. He knew it was absurd, he knew that he barely knew and probably ought not to trust this guy. He knew that this was the result of something in Hirek rather than something in himself, but that didn’t change the pain of that feeling. It was as if the Romulan had stamped his forehead with the word ‘rejected’.

There was anger to. Many people struggled to imagine Rhys getting angry but that was because it was nearly always directed inwards. It flooded him drenching the Valleys of his mind it fuelled the part of him that hated himself and inspired its exquisite tortures. Some of it was directed at Hirek but that subsided quickly and wormed back into his mind. Rhys simply remained where he had been left looking up at Hirek like the most pathetic kicked puppy in the world.

“I suppose you are right.” He said his voice keeping unnaturally steady. “Well... Welcome aboard.” He said with a formal stiffness and a smile that did not reach his eyes.

He waited for Hirek to leave. He began to count softly to himself. Once he had reached the appropriate number his fist collided with a bulkhead. His hand made a sickening crunch and physical pain blunted the anger a little. “So pathetic.” He growled.


-FIN-
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Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan
Last post by Krajin -
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN:

Dominic couldn’t help but laugh at the comparison between a prissy Romulan and a standard-issue Vulcan being called hobgoblins. “Well I have a sure-fire way to tell the difference. See where the Reman is lurking.” Which, to be fair to Dominic, the Remans did look more like Hobgoblins and Nosferatu in some form or another. Though were supposedly great for a lay.

Delivering a quick jab as he finalized the first of the cycle that they had started, Dominic added. “So I am curious then why you say Honour and Respect have no place in the battlefield. Yet you should not switch off the mind or the morals. Wherein many species and cultures build their Honour codes and morals around each other.” He adjusted his stance slightly and began the drill a touch quicker, roughly twenty percent quicker to test how Cross’ own reflexes were. Jab, cross-jab, arm trap, then knee with a pivot followed by the elbow.

“Klingons have a code of honour and their morals are built around it.” Jab, Cross, catch, and trap the arm. “Even Kzint have a code of honour of a sort, even if they only apply it to themselves. Which I don’t quite understand. Racial superiority? Or is it religious?”

“Sometimes we need to decide what we are willing to sacrifice for the mission, for the ship, for the many. Those choices can suck and we can moralize them after the fact when we have more information than we did in the moment. So, where do you really stand?” Dominic finished with the elbow to the pad.

Stepping back to give Cross a moment to recover while Dom stretched a bit and demonstrated his next set. The Jab, cross, elbow, tail-sweep, knee, pivot and push. Adding his own into the mix as he is a fair bit taller to make a headbutt from him practical.

“Risa is a lark to go and visit for some R&R. Unless you’re not keen on a place where swimsuits and light casual wear is borderline mandatory and the hedonism rampant and thankfully, Ferengi free!” He laughed. “Some people can be very much obsessed with the tail like some are with the pointy ears. They like to touch the pointy ears and see if stroking the tips makes you squirm or shudder?” Dominic asked between strikes. The tail-sweep getting employed in alternate directions to make it less predictable.

“Being a Kzint who isn’t a dick to people you get attention on Risa. They want to sit, pet the tail, and stroke it.” He laughed which threw off his rhythm a bit. He took a moment to right himself and then started up again. “I got a lot of attention which did result in a few public adventures. Word to the wise, don’t try doing it on sand. It likes to boldly go.” He chuckled some more. “Was a real thing when I visited Japan and hit the onsens in various cities. Some people liked the uh.. Giant beast man vibe I put out. Mixed Gender ones were the most amusing for that.” Dominic added.

“I deduce you can focus on the soldiers rather than the ladies. Vulcans have that whole, do the deed every seven years or else they go feral thing going for them. Maybe for you its the hormones distracting you, the raging surge through the body. Inexperience or maybe.. Just being a male.” He teased lightly.
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Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1435 hrs] When Trolls Dance, Vulcans Growl
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Sickbay | D. 21 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @EnigmaTales

“If you find the author of the madness we’ve all been living in, do us all a favor and give him or her a good left hook.” Cross pushed off the biobed, presuming he was cleared to do so. “And yeah, I do think it’s unofficially SOP to meet a counselor at least once post-stasis. But beyond that, if you are leery of meeting any of the old acquaintances, we’ve had a lot of transfers in, and even defectors and refugees come aboard during your sleepy time. If you don’t want to restart then maybe a fresh start? I’m no guru on fresh starts, and I’m a far cry from a counselor in any sense of the word, but I’ll make myself free if you need some downtime. I do know a thing or two about feeling alone and a bit anchorless.”

Cross gave a non-committal shrug before following the action with a full round of shoulder shrugs and neck rolls. The last vestiges of the headache was gone, and he felt himself again.

“The sound therapy sounds worth a shot. Just give me some options for times, and we can see where our schedules overlap in the coming days. Can’t really guarantee much in the immediate future given our present mission.” When she added the note about keeping a diary, Cross couldn’t help but give a little snort of amusement. “’Dear Diary, today I wanted to punch my fist through a console because an ensign was chewing too loudly at a table nearby. Perhaps I should go visit the doc again.’ That sort of thing? Or more of a taking note of details surrounding the onset of another headache?”
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Interregnum 01-02 S2 / Re: Day 16 [2200hrs] A shore for shore leave
Last post by Nolan -
[ PO2 Kythalie Benmual | Holodeck | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Brutus

"I do count it as a plus to not worry about sunburns. Holodecks do serve their purpose once in a while." she answered him with a slight smirk. Sarresh in the meantime was able to see all of Kythalie as she had continued to strip herself of any excess clothing for the holodeck program she intended to run. When her panties were slipped off, Sarresh could notice a neatly trimmed private area, the dark patch of stubble betraying where she shaved regularly it seemed. The petty officer in the meantime produced a spray and began to treat the various bruises that were on Sarresh. She did so in silence, not asking him where or what he did to get them. There was no point in asking since it was classified most likely. The treatment however did offer Kythalie the chance to peek what Sarresh was built like. A light smile tugged at her lips every now and then before the spray was recycled along with her uniform and underwear.

After that, the relaxation could truly begin. The program started up and the scenery changed. Kythalie did look over her shoulder to Sarresh to see what his first impressions would be. She had to smile a little wider when he complimented her home and in turn gave her an impression of how Ash'reem oceans would look like. Kythalie was curious about it for certain and she turned to face him. Her caramel skin bathing in the sunlight and soaking up the warmth. "That sounds quite unique to behold. What about the atmosphere? Is it humid or warm like here?"

 
Sarresh suggested to her to take the lead to what to do. Kythalie looked into the artificial eyes of the man and nodded towards the water of the ocean next to them. The sound of the small sized waves crashing onto the beach were quite enticing and invitingly. "I always take a dip and just enjoy the feeling of water around me. I usually take a small swim and just float around while I soak up some warmth. After that, I usually head to the cabin not too far from here, make myself a decent meal and enjoy the scenery. On other occasions, I'd go for a hike or do some climbing, though this is hardly the right attire for that." she chuckled and shrugged as she slowly brought up her hand and used her index finger to tap him in the center of his chest playfully. "What about you? You're my guest so I can at least offer you the freedom to explore whatever you like." she asked him, curious about what he'd suggest next.
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Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Mador Base | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

“Can you handle the climb on your own?” Javec asked immediately after getting her hooked up. Enyd nodded before pushing him towards Zark. It seemed they’d had an unspoken agreement that he would keep an eye on the more heavily injured Andorian, at least as much as the medic allowed.

The climb up was less than easy, especially given the pain still riding like feral cats through her nervous system, and Enyd was panting and covered in a sheen of sweat by the time she reached the top. She didn’t protest when a rough grip hauled her over the edge and all but tossed her aside to make room for the others still coming. Her hands shook, and her grip was slick as Enyd worked to unhook herself.

[ Kurar to Madsen. ]

Enyd groaned. On the one hand, it was a relief that her CDO had gotten the message she’d left, including a personal comms frequency, but given the SNAFU they were still dealing with, the Trill could’ve picked a better time. Continuing her backward bum slide until she was propped against the wall facing where the others continued to crawl up, Enyd responded.

[ Madsen here. Situation is complex. Have Luske Ontatt in custody and have suspicion that our present situation is on account of Ono and Jassarc. ]

There was a pause during which the last of their group made it up the ledge and it was time to haul her ass back up. She gratefully accepted the hand, patting Zark’s shoulder gently as they rapidly filed into the corridor system.

[ Do you have any other witnesses or data to corroborate your theories, or is everything getting blown to bits? ] To his credit, her CDO seemed more interested in dealing with the chaos card he’d been handed and would wait until they made it back to base before he dealt out punishment and reprimand.

[ One witness aside from Ontatt, uncertain on potential intel gathered by the Cardassian infiltration team. Ensign Zark and I were temporarily compromised. ]

She heard the man sigh before he replied. [ We have your signatures. Get to the designated safe house and get what information you can from your ‘witness’ and Ontatt. I will directly discuss the matter with the Castellan to ascertain what we can do regarding Jassarc and Ono. Keep me informed of any changes. Herasin is sending a team of plainclothes commandos to rendezvous with you, ETA three hours. ]

[ Acknowledged. Madsen out. ]

Again, to his credit, Kurar wasn’t wasting time or breath in lecturing or reprimanding her. He knew well enough that would be useless at this point; something better done in person if they survived.

Ghin Torlan held up an arm, signaling the group to halt. Enyd leaned against the wall, catching her breath, and took the brief pause to catch Zark up on her communication with her CDO.

“You’ll want to let Torlan know these details,” Javec leaned forward to comment once she finished and they resumed their trek back to the surface. “Otherwise, you’ll end up with dead security personnel and an even worse diplomatic incident on your hands than this.”
10
Director's Cut / Re: (2381) USS Theurgy: Got My Mind Set on You
Last post by Juzzie -
[Lt. Rhys Williams | Counseling Offices | Deck 13 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

It had had been a quiet day. Rhys was always surprised when one of those came along. The Crew of the Theurgy was in a deeply stressful situation from the beginning, often made worse by other events. The Counsellors had busy schedules. There was always something or someone on the verge of crisis.

On this day however Rhys had seen at most three people. In some ways it could be good, he could catch up with paperwork, but it also put him on edge. The less confident side of himself wondered if he was being avoided, if the crew wanted to see the other counsellors and the shy weird guy. He knew it was nonsense of course he got just as many patients as everyone else. Sometimes, he got more because he tended to overwork himself. However, the feeling was always there.

He knew he had one more this afternoon, a Chief petty officer. Once he had seen the man he would head back to his quarters and try and relax, fail and end up doing more work. He knew the appointment was a Kzinti which was immediately interesting to him. The young Welshman knew very little about the Psychology of the Kziniti except from books. However, he was eager to learn and had spent the last few hours reading up on it. He’d even gotten some works for some before bed reading.

Rhys wasn’t sure of the specifics of why Lok was coming to see him, but that was often better. It was better sometimes to get the information direct from the horses… or in this case cat’s mouth. He however did see he had seen a few councillors in his time on board. There could be any number of reasons for that, personality clashes, if Lok found counselling a particularly galling process which some did maybe even something else entirely.

Eventually his assistant let him know that his patient had arrived. He informed her to tell him to come in, and he positioned himself standing in front of his desk.

It wasn’t often that Rhys felt small. Rhys was over six feet tall. He was well built with a body built for swimming and honed by his love of Rugby. However, before Lok, he felt like shuttle caught in the pull of a star. Rhys naturally shy, tended to stoop in a subconscious attempt to deflect attention however he found himself trying to straighten up. Not that it made much difference.

Rhys recovered quickly and offered Lok a small smile. “Hi, nice to meet you. Would you like to take a Seat?” He indicated a large comfy armchair… well large for a human probably still a little cramped for Lok. “My name is Rhys.” He was careful to avoid mentioning rank. Rhys had never been much for that kind of thing. He was counsellor first and foremost and mostly still saw himself as a civilian. As far as he was concerned his rank was just there in case something catastrophic happened to all the people above him and the people who had defeated them wanted someone to negotiate surrender terms with.

He immediately picked up on the tentative way Lok moved. It diffused a lot of the shock of how big and muscular he was. He was just another person who needed his help. He noted the casual appearance of the Kzinti. He was glad of that, he often wished more of his patients came to see him in more casual dress. Staying in uniform could subconsciously create a lot of tension in his experience.

“Can I get you anything to drink?” He said motioning towards his replicator. A small part of him was also noting there was something pleasing in the way Lok’s muscles moved. Regardless of Lok’s response Rhys moved to get himself a cup of tea and said in his soft sing-song Welsh accent. “How can I help you?”
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