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21
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Cross laughed at Winters’ pun, “Not a savory thought, that. Direct injection indeed.” His fingers remained on his temple as the Kzin continued, listing a number of remedies for a headache. Cross, of course, focused on one in particular and smiled. “The getting off option sounds like, but sadly, my girlfriend is on another mission. I could take care of it myself, but with how this is feeling right now,” he pointed to his head, “I doubt I’d even get a hard one.”

Dropping his hands to his sides, Cross frowned as he contemplated his diet and hydration of the day. It’d not been great, of course, but it hadn’t been the worst either. He had noticed some of the foods he’d used to really enjoy before the Savi “corrected” him no longer seemed to sit right on his stomach. Likely it was the changes in his genes continuing to fuck up his life. He recalled how the sugary drinks with Blue and Hathev had also had a stronger impact on his system than before the correction.

“Fuck.” He growled. “The gift that keeps on giving. It probably does have a lot to do with diet and such. I’ve just not had the time or inclination to remain focused during every meal since the correction to figure out what seems to sit well and what wants to rebel. There are also days I just don’t have time to eat a proper meal either.” Catching the Kzin’s eyes, Cross sighed. “I should probably hit the showers, a cold one, and head down to the Arboretum lounge for dinner. If you’ve not been down there yet, they’ve got good food, and typically, the entertainment is solid.”

He gestured to the mat and the surrounding gym, “Thanks for the sparring match, Winters. I’d like to do this again, not weeks or months down the road either. I think it’d do us both good to have something like this on the regular.” He smiled. “And you’re welcome to join me for dinner or any other meals as well. If I manage to sit my ass down to eat a proper meal, I try to change it up so it's not always the mess hall.” Cross jutted his chin toward Winters' tail. "I'm serious about trying to figure out some sort of counter to that, an edge I can incorporate even if I wasn't born with one of those beauties."
22
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 5 S [ D02 | 0600 hrs.] Old Friends Die Hard
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[ General Terrh Jeiai | Internal Security Division Offices | Citadel Val’Theldun  | Romulus ] @rae @Pierce

The day had started well enough for Terrh. They’d managed to track down some dissidents daring to speak against Tal’Aura and were in the process of discovering where their allies were, and they’d also arrested a few fools who’d openly spoken of the archaic notion of reunification with Remus; they would be interrogated later. Though successful, it didn’t feel like today would be any more or less special than the days before it.

But then he’d gotten the report, and now it seemed this day was looking like it would be quite eventful. Pressing a button on his console, Terrh gave himself a genuine smile of predatory delight while waiting for his aide. The smile retreated to the interior once his aide arrived.

“Ready a task force to deploy to Avral Tel. It seems an old family…friend has decided to return to Romulus and with some new friends in tow.” Piercing the aide with a firm look, Terrh lowered his voice to a menacing level as he handed over the data chip with the pertinent encrypting information. “We will capture anyone associated with this man and return them to the Citadel for questioning. It would be best to keep as many of them alive as possible as they will have much to share with us, but if a few die in the process, so be it.”

“Understood, general.” The aide left after a curt salute.

Standing up from his desk, Terrh moved to his viewing window and looked out at the other levels of the Citadel, the smile returning.

“I wonder why you decided to return. The wayward son of Romulus.” Terrh’s lips pulled upward in a deeper smile. “And I wonder if your parents know you’re here. I’m sure they’ll enjoy a reunion.”

With his thoughts curving around his history with the tr’Ethien’s and tr’Aimne’s, Terrh found delight in visualizing the inevitable encounter he would soon have with the living “unfinished business” of his past. Given the type of company that the clan tended to keep and the audacious ideas they held regarding the Tal Shiar Terrh, I was assured that whoever was traveling with the younger tr'Aimne was of a similar traitorous mindset as Hirek. Meaning a trip to the Citadel was assuredly in order.


NOTE: This Romulan ass-hate is the one who found out about Hirek's uncle's work with Starfleet Intelligence and managed to get him executed at the same time that Enyd's mother and later father died partially because of his single-minded desire to destroy anyone who opposed the Tal Shiar, especially those from the fairly libertarian Uuluma Islands. Just wanted to pull on some old ties to up the stakes of our meeting with the contact and to bring us closer to the other story prompt, where everything falls apart at the Citadel. So yeah, we've got Tal Shiar agents after us, thanks to hunky Hirek. What a dweeb...
23
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 4 : Knock Knock! [Day 1 | 1800+]
Last post by Ellen Fitz -
[ Master Chief Petty Officer Kala Mariko | Habitation Hull Common Area | Aft Recreational District | Erudite ] ATTN: @Brutus @TWilkins @RyeTanker   @ob2lander961 @Tae  @Eden  @Sqweloookle  @Griff  @Eirual

“You know you really shouldn’t wrinkle your nose when you’re about to make a decision,” Kala didn’t bother looking up at Sarah’s comment from across the table and instead kept her focus on the cards in her hand, “it’s a dead giveaway on what kind of hand you have.”

From her left, Nara chuckled, “How can you tell she’s wrinkling her nose?”

Far from being offended at the teasing allusion to her Bajoran nose features, Kala chuckled alongside the scientist. “And how do you know I’m not doing it intentionally to give you a false sense of security?”

“False sense of security or not, I’d appreciate it if you’d just play your hand.” Scruffy dryly commented, voice marginally muffled as he cupped his chin in his hand, elbows braced on his knees.

“Fine.” Kala decided and slapped the card down on the growing pile, eliciting a round of moans and sighs from her fellows.

Now that the focus was on Scruffy, Kala leaned back in her chair and allowed a studious glance around the common area of the habitation hull the Savi had begrudgingly granted them use of for the duration of their travels. The “hospitality” their for-now allies offered was far more accommodating than what Kala had expected, but, as she reminded herself, the Theurgy and its crew were a means to an end for the Savi. It was always best to keep the pet monkey fed and watered if you wanted them to perform.

Rolling her eyes at the thought, her gaze wandered over her fellow card players. In truth, an eclectic group had been sent on this mission. That was no surprise considering the wide-spanning parameters of what the Savi wanted and what the Theurgy hoped to accomplish by this mission. For herself, Kala held no love for the Savi even if she understood not all were complete assholes. Being on the battle bridge when the captain was kidnapped hadn’t won the Savi any favors, regardless of which “side” they happened to be on in their internal fight. Sitting across from her was Sarah, from Intelligence, a woman who seemed to operate best on her own and yet was being forced to do teamwork. Beside her was Nara from Science and a force to contend with as well, not so unlike Sarah in her preference to work alone, and yet she was tasked with sharing her own research and expertise far beyond what she was comfortable doing. And rounding out their little group was Scruffy from Engineering; at one point in time, he’d been part of Task Force Acheron and had even been nearly killed alongside many of his crewmen in the battle in the Azure Nebula.

“Scruffy,” Sarah’s singsong chanting of the man’s name interrupted both Scruffy’s concentration and Kala’s musings, “let’s go! Scruffy!”

“It’s no wonder you’re on this mission,” Scruffy fired back at her as he made his decision, dropping his cards on the pile, “they wanted some peace and quiet in the department.”

Sarah snorted, “Ha! That’s a laugh. I’m not even the most annoying one.”

As the banter continued, Kala smiled, allowing her focus to wander once more, studying the various other crew members as they mingled at the other small tables throughout the common area as well as those passing through, either on their way back to their temporary quarters or taking a sanctioned walkabout in the open areas they’d been escorted through by their Savi handler. It wouldn’t be long before they got an update, of that Kala was sure. They’d been underway long enough that no doubt they’d be crossing into the area of operations soon, and there was no telling what other “side quests” the Savi may ask of them even before they got to Hobus Station.

Spotting a few other crewmates standing in the "in-between" of tables and not exactly going hither or thither, Kala motioned to them, indicating the empty seats at their table. With how things were going, this round would end soon anyway, and others could easily join in. Before any of the newcomers could arrive, however, an announcement came over the PA they'd been instructed to use for this portion of the ship. It was Leavitt, their mission lead. True enough, they'd crossed into the area of operations, and just as Kala suspected, based on who Leavitt called to meet with him, there were already some "side quests" the Savi were hoping they'd investigate.

Catching Sarah's gaze, Kala gave a nonchalant shrug. "Well, deal another round if tonight is our last night before chaos. I'm feeling lucky."


NOTE: This thread occurs BEFORE all the story prompts (including the one already ongoing). It can be assumed that crew members will hear of the aforementioned area of operations update, along with the approximation that those not embarking on those side-quest (story prompt) missions should be ready for "go" time early the next morning. Chapter members may post their responses to the information update, later launch sequences, and the night before the battle in their replies here. After enough replies from folks are cataloged, the interactions may continue in one-on-one threads while @Brutus leads the thread into the early hours of the next day, when the battle may begin.
24
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 4: S [D01 |1830] Second Station from the right and straight on till its over
Last post by ob2lander961 -
[ Ens. Via "DixeBee" Wix |Wolf-16| Hobus System] Attn: @Eden  @ RyeTanker @Tae
[Show/Hide]

Via didn't regret much in her life. Growing up she had made a lot of bad choices, many of which if she hadn't had her "guardian angel" sister around would've caught up with her at some point. There was a pretty good chance she would've wound up dead like her brothers or worse end up like her mother, but in the end, she didn't regret her life circumstances. However in her small instance of reflection, as she piloted her fighter to attack a highly advanced alien facility defended with technology centuries ahead of anything the Federation or even other galactic powers could field, attacking with only a few others and a shuttle as backup, she had one regret.

"I swear your bitch ass is goin' to be suckin' vac in the next second if you don't shut up!" Via said with a restrained rage back towards her temporary RIO replacement for Charles who had been tapping his finger against the dashboard and muttering worries to himself from pure anxiety the entire flight.

"What if it's a trap?!" the young Bajoran RIO cried out. "Prophets, I heard the Savi don't destroy you. They abduct you strip you naked and...probe you... I don't want to be a science experiment!!"

Via rolled her eyes. Her regret was she took Charles and his "Blonde ass" for granted. At least he wasn't this much of a whiney crybaby...just naggy.

"I'll probe you with my foot up your ass if you don't stop being a whiney ass bitch and watch the sensors." Via exasperated.

The threat didn't do much to change the RIO's deamor and the woman started praying to herself which only made the young pilot sigh in annoyance. Wanting to focus on something else before she actually did reach back there and strangle the Bajoran Via opened a channel to the entire flight and spoke.

"My ass wants a new RIO, my first kill is bout to be her." she paused for a response if there was any. "Ain't we supposed to go over the game plan or somethin'? Once that slow-ass shuttle starts boostin' to that landin' zone how are we going to wreck shit up until it's time to get outta there? Tryin' to blow some dumbasses." Via said innocently with her eccentric enthusiasm somewhat returning.

Once the station came into view the young pilot immediately switched on keeping her flighter in league with whatever maneuver the flight lead ordered out. Her RIO however still was in her own mind worrying about the battle to come which prompted Via to shift her attention once more back to the Bajoran.

"Wake your ass up do your job dumbass! Get spottin'!" Via yelled back and the RIO frantically got to work.

"Sorry ma'am! Sorry!"
25
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Ch 3 : The Meeting of Heroes (or Villains) [ Day 1 | 1500+]
Last post by Nesota Kynnovan -
[[color=Ensign Jaya Thorne[/color] | Bridge Crew Mess Hall | Deck 01 | Vector 01]
Attn: @Ellen Fitz, @Brutus, @Stegro88, @Dumedion, @P.C. Haring, @JacenSoloDjo, @Juzzie, @GroundPetrel, @Eirual

To say that Ensign Jaya Thorne wasn’t overly fond of diplomatic gatherings would be an understatement. Having only been promoted to the rank of Ensign mere weeks ago, she hadn’t even bothered to replicate herself a dress uniform appropriate of her new rank. In fact, she had worn her old NCO dress uniform just once on an occasion which she couldn’t even remember. She was pretty sure that the grease stain from that particular event’s afterparty was still in it though.

Regardless, Jaya had actually planned to take a rain check on this particular event and, in doing so, perform a feat which she had perfected into an absolute form of art over the years; dodging her responsibilities. Her plans for the evening involved changing into something much more comfortable and taking her sweet time painting the scale model of that Nova-class Light Research Cruiser which she finished building a couple of days earlier.  She had almost gotten away with it too if she hadn’t encountered a group of fellow junior officers on Deck 10. Jaya noticed that everyone in the small group was dressed up in their own dress uniforms and clearly on their way to the diplomatic event. Unfortunately for the brunette Assistant Chief CONN Officer, they also noticed her before she could slip into her quarters and her quickened pace was promptly mistaken for a rushed attempt at getting ready for the party, as opposed to the attempt to sneak into her quarters without drawing unwanted attention onto herself which it had really been. To make matters even worse, Jaya vaguely knew some of them from the hours she’d spent playing cards in the Whetstone Lounge and the entire group promptly offered to wait outside her quarters for her to get ready so they could go to the bridge crew mess hall as a group.

As such, having failed to dissuade her fellow junior officers, Ensign Jaya Thorne now found herself standing in the bridge crew mess hall in a freshly replicated dress uniform. The pressed collar of the tunic was itching the back of her neck, the skirt kept riding up ever so slightly when she walked and, given that her newly replicated knee-high boots weren’t properly walked in yet, she could feel a blister forming on the ball of her left foot. Despite all that, Jaya’s face was adorned by the signature smirk which she seemed to wear 24/7 while she made a brave attempt to mingle. It was easier said than done though because of the very reason why she held such a distaste for these particular events; there were just too many sycophants, brown-nosers and yes-people looking for an easy way up. While Jaya always considered herself to be relatively easy-going, she simply never managed to connect to those kinds of people because an easy way up (or any way up for that matter) had never been a thing she aspired to. All it would lead to, after all, were additional responsibilities which Jaya knew she could do without.

After some searching, Jaya eventually found someone else who appeared to be all by herself as well. While she had never seen the other woman, which was an accomplishment all in itself given how the Zaroodian towered over her by almost two full feet, she seemed friendly enough and, maybe more importantly, just as out of place as she was herself. ”Hello there!” As she held her pace right next to Kelestina, Jaya actually had to look up just so she could look the other woman in the eyes. ”I saw you were standing here by yourself so I thought I’d say hi. I’m Jaya!” While she spoke, Jaya’s initial annoyance over being forced to attend the diplomatic gathering was completely replaced by a genuinely friendly smirk which was only further accentuated by the friendly tone of her voice while she held out her hand in a friendly handshake. ”I don’t think I’ve seen you around before, it’s nice to meet you!”
26
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]
Last post by Nesota Kynnovan -
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space]
Attn: @Stegro88, @Number6, @Ellen Fitz, @RyeTanker, @P.C. Haring, @Hans Applegate, @BipSpoon

Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby briefly held her pace and knelt down behind a hoverjack which someone had left in the maintenance corridor. She had heard the announcements over the COMM system and, if those hadn’t been scary enough as they were, the eerie silence that followed made it even worse. It felt like anything could come at them at any time and, knowing (or rather not knowing) the Tal Shiar, there was a high chance that something would come at them indeed. From behind the relative safety of the crate which was loaded onto the hoverjack, the blonde-haired Martian closed her blue eyes and took a couple of deep breaths in an attempt to calm down and get her breathing back under control.

While she did so, Amanda reminded herself that she’d come here to do a job. Out of everyone aboard Theurgy, someone had considered her to be amongst the best people for this assignment and she wasn’t about to let anyone down. If she wouldn’t do her job because she was too busy cowering over nothing, someone else had to pull her weight as an additional burden.

With a final deep breath, Amanda steeled herself and opened her blue eyes once more. Not willing to be a burden upon anyone, the Martian Lieutenant Junior Grade now had her breathing (and her nerves) firmly under control again. She lowered her rifle and pulled up her tricorder with her right hand before scanning the crate on the hoverjack. A soft sigh escaped her lips upon discovering that she hadn’t been taking cover behind the one crate which they were looking for, and a relieved smile began to adorn her face.

The smile wouldn’t last though because, mere moments later, Amanda could hear a loud crashing noise followed by the voice of Ensign Cameron Henshaw booming over their internal communications. Contact. For a brief moment Amanda could feel the adrenalin coursing down her spine to give her that overly familiar cold shiver, but upon hearing the sound of phaser fire, she quickly put her tricorder back onto her utility belt and raised her rifle.

At first she hadn’t even registered that Tyreke Okafor had gone down, instead focusing on covering the Starfleet Officer who was running right in front of her. She could clearly see the mech standing there, trapped by an arc of energy, and for the briefest of moments she could see the body of a Starfleet Officer laying on the ground right before it. Before she could see who it was however, the Starfleet Officer in front of her began to fire at the mech and Amanda followed suit; aiming her own rifle and calmly pulling the trigger as Valyn Amarik had taught her. Strangely enough, the kind words of the woman now had a very soothing effect on her.

Don’t squeeze the trigger, gently pull it.

It wasn’t until the Starfleet Officer in front of her ran towards Cameron Henshaw and spoke up when Amanda managed to identify her as her friend; Lieutenant Amelya Rez. For the briefest of moments she turned her attention to the woman, given how the mech was stuck in the arc of energy and relatively harmless at the moment. When she saw how Amelya got elbowed in the chin, Amanda’s first instinct was to help her but upon seeing that Amelya began to drag Cameron from the room while firing her phaser at the mech, Amanda followed her example and opened fire once more, only pausing briefly to allow Amelya and Cameron to pass.

”I’ve got you covered!” Amanda wasn’t sure if Amelya had heard her response to the shout for more guns but, while her blonde-haired Trill friend began to treat Cameron behind her, Amanda kept shooting at the mech. It remained stuck in the arc of energy, at least for now, and parts of its damaged chassis now began to glow a hot shade of red from the sustained phaser fire. She was so focused that she didn’t even knew if anyone else was firing at that moment, but all she knew was that the mech was a threat that needed to be taken out. With that in mind, Amanda briefly looked over her shoulder, if only for a second, to shout”I need more firepower in here!”.
27
Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos
Last post by RyeTanker -
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark didn't have the sense to not protest when her wife broke the kiss, and this escaped her lips in something between a mewl and a groan.  It had been a long time since she had this particular body in any sort of intimate contact.  It was even keener reminder now that the body in question was straddling her waist and in case of not so sound judgement, she began to wriggle under her wife.  To the casual observer, it looked like she was trying to get out from under the body on top of her.  It was more of an attempt to get back at her wife by trying to make her uncomfortable.  The Zhen grinned slightly when she saw her antennae on top of her wife's head begin to writhe very slowly.  She was quite good though as she talked to everyone in a level voice and Zark's smile hid her biting her lower lip as she raised her hip slightly, then gripped the Shen's hips as if to push her off.  Except she squeezed a little harder than necessary and she could see the other woman's nostrils flare.  She practically also see the gears in her head start to stream smoke as Ryzit seriously considered taking up Enyd on her offer for the two to get re-acquainted.  The only issue was an even like that was going to take a day at least.

Any examination of what to do was interrupted by another man walking in. "This is quite the sight." Francisco Piera could be heard commenting. "Zark stifled a sigh when she heard him.  He looked at Enyd next and a frown creased his goateed face when he saw her holding the PADD. "I take it you had something to do with this display?" Francisco Piera was the CDO's overbearing Chief of Staff, or as Ensign Zark liked to think of him, the Ambassador's mother hen wanna be chief advisor/assistant.  The ambassador had a secretary, but it was the Chief of Staffs job to act as a gate keeper and handle the day-to-day minutae.  He regarded himself as something of a diplomat extraordinaire, and mainly worked at higher level diplomacy.  This led to a certain haughtiness in his dealing with others since he thought of himself as mover and shaker of important events, and led to a certain friction with the rest of the embassy. While the ambassador may have regarded Enyd's efforts at the grass roots level with a some exasperation, Francisco Piera regarded the junior diplomat as a menace; especially since she was Starfleet instead of the regular diplomatic service, which afforded her some insulation from his influence.  His tendency to treat the Security as hired help didn't endear him to that department either.  He was generally tolerated since he really was very good at his job, and at least recognized his arrogance as a something that wasn't helpful most of the time.  It just slipped out as a natural reaction.

Ryzit could read her wife quite well and she saw the way that the Zhen's antennae pulled back against her head and this set of warning bells in the cop's head. "I'm sure your enjoying the view." She replied sweetly and made a show of getting up by pressing on Zark's breasts to push her self up.  Zark sucked in her breath and tucked in head hide her reaction. The new comer then made her way over to the stiffly offacious diplomat and held out her hand. "Inspector Ashryzit sh’Oshraalrath, Andorian Peacekeepers. A pleasure to meet you...?"  Piera smiled stiffly as he brought up his hand to shake the other Andorian's hand. "Francisco Piera, chief of staff for the ambassador."  As his hand enfolded her gently, he was getting ready to be gracious and bring his hand to her lips to kiss the top in an exaggerated sense of courtesy, ignoring the fact that it just had a handful of tit in it.  That was until the blue hand squeezed his and steadily applied more pressure. 

It was game that two could play though and he smiled a bit too naturally as he squeezed back.  He would eventually win, but the whole test of will was interrupted when the other Andorian picked herself up off the floor and cleared her throat. "Ashryzit, it is good to see you."  She started as she re-arranged her sports bra. "You were saying something about money though?  Something to do with the latinum bust we made recently?" Ashryzit's smiled at the human contained an edge before forcing her hand apart to make him let go.  Andorian's were stronger pound for pound, so it wasn't that hard for her to break the hold. "Indeed, now, Mister Chief of Staff, I'm sure information regarding resources that would be used to destabilize the rebuilding of Cardassian is certainly important, so let's sit down with the ambassador and I can answer all your questions as to what the Federation Security Agency found."

The Chief of Staff looked at her incredulously for a moment. "The ambassador is a busy man, so I'll need to verify that this information does pertain to the situation here."  He looked over at Zark.  "I'm sure you can find a way to distract yourself till then." Ashryzit glared daggers at the insinuation when a new voice broke in. "Do you have a copy of the information that I can take a look at?" Piera frowned as his head turned towards the Bolian who stepped in beside him. Commander Herasin introduced himself and offered his hand which the Andorian cop shook.  Opening up her jacket, she pulled out a PADD and handed it to the security chief. "It's only a summary. I have the rest of the information on me for a more formal presentation, but time is of the essence."  Commander Herasin looked up from the PADD. "Indeed, how come?" he asked lowering the PADD to focus on the cop. "The anniversary of The Riding Hound is coming up and I'm sure a casino is good way to launder some ill gotten latinum."  Commander Herasin had suspected as much, but getting information to do anything about it had been difficult.  The raids that Ensigns Zark and Madsen had participated in had only nabbed some low level Syndicate operators who didn't know much. "And I'd be happy to share it, assuming of course I can meet with someone with the authority to launch a recovery operation." Commander Herasin looked at the PADD once more and skimmed it quickly.  A lot of the data points added up to what he'd found.  "The meeting can be arranged."  He looked at the Chief of Staff who was still scowling. "It's just a matter of whether you help make the time or I interrupt his day. It's up to you."
28
Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative / Re: Chapter 2: DIS Engage [ Day 1 | 1259 ]
Last post by rae -
[ Lt. Azrin Ryn | Engineering | Deck 25-26 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @RyeTanker @Dumedion @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Number6 @Nero @Nolan @Havenborn @tongieboi @chXinya @Pierce @joshs1000
[Show/Hide]

“Azrin can’t come back right now,” she replied in a singsong voice, already halfway to her destination. If she had been thinking straight, or thinking of anything at all beyond the immediate issue with the drive systems, she never would have spoken to Frank like that. Excitable as she normally was, even that couldn’t compare to how thoroughly Starfleet drilled respect for the chain of command. The world seemed to slow down again as she slid down the ladder that connected the two levels of engineering, which was… interesting. She’d have to run a diagnostic on the gravity plating later, but she’d worry about that then.

“Have to…” Azrin shook her head to clear the space dust. What was with her brain today? She’d injured her shoulder, and she’d refused Arven’s multiple, overkill attempts at sedation. She wasn’t even sleepy anymore. Short as it was, her catnap in sickbay this morning had done wonders, and coffee had dealt with the rest. She had no reason to feel strange. No time for it. At least her fingers still knew their job, logging into another diagnostic console as nimbly as ever, then moving to yank a panel off this section of the slipstream matrix. “Have to see it. Corgin’s fault.” She had explained to Frank over a week ago about the Savi scientist’s reluctance to provide any information on the slipstream drive. The Savi might have given the Theurgy a working slipstream drive, but they refused to explain any deeper knowledge on its workings, fearful that Starfleet would recreate it. Azrin had complained that this restriction would hinder the Theurgy’s engineers in fixing any malfunctions. Corgin had threatened to take the entire system back. And now here they were. Vindication. Somehow, the ‘I told you so’ didn’t feel all that great. “Stupid. Savi. Rulebook.”

“Gravitons!” She explained as she tapped in new diagnostic, starting with a shout meant either for Frank on the other end of the combadge or whoever had followed her down here. Or both. Both sounded good. Her brain jumped back into action like someone had given it a good shove. “Energy and benamite makes graviton particles, we strip them off the crystals, charge them into some kind of quantum state – which Corgin should describe in more detail – then route them through the navigational deflector. Then bam! Slipstream. It’s more complicated than that, but I’m busy. Normally if there were gravitons somewhere there shouldn’t be, internal sensors would be sounding off. But since we don’t know exactly how the gravitons are being altered, maybe our scans aren’t picking them up. Again, Corgin, if you're listening, let me do more intense scans inside this beauty. The conduits speed the gravitons up to shoot them out the deflector, which generates radiation, because gravitons are gravitons, even if they’re special quantum ones. If there’s a crack in one of the graviton conduits, then its feeding charged speedy gravitons back into the system, which would make mini gravitational waves.” Azrin paused, mouth falling open for a second as her brain caught up with her words.

“Then that feeds back into the benamite, excites more gravitons off the crystals, makes a bigger wave that goes down into the EPS system…” Ah, that was really bad wasn’t it? “Boom.”

The drive was in cooldown, which meant that the only gravitons moving through the conduits now would be the leftover stragglers, nowhere near the power pushing through when it was actually active. But clearly that would still be enough. Even though they were all about to die, she was truly impressed yet again by the sheer power of this thing. “If it wasn’t getting a second wind off the crystal…” She mumbled quietly, mulling it over.

“Oh, we have to pull the benamite out.” She said it calmly enough, as though the crystal wasn’t surrounded by a happy cocoon of radiation right now. “Seal the crack, pull the benamite, and whatever little waves left in between shouldn’t be enough to cause any more damage. They can roll right out to sea.” Yeah, that would work. Provided they could do it quickly before the damage to the warp cores became too severe.

“Someone watch this scan,” she pointed to the monitor, “and stick a tricorder in there,” the hand turned to point at the open panel, “and see if you or Thea can find the cracked conduit first. Then take a laser torch to it! We’ll yank it and install a new one later.”

Then Azrin was moving, belatedly following Frank’s order as she scrambled back to upper engineering. She paused on the ladder, almost slipping off as a surge of energy flowed through her, a full body tremble so strong she swore even the symbiont jittered. That was insane. Symbionts didn’t move inside hosts. People just talked like that for dramatic effect. “Head rush,” she breathed, leaning her forehead against the cool metal rung for a moment. “Fallen off enough ladders for today thanks.” Azrin could just see the look on his face if she injured herself in the exact same way twice in one day.

She finished her climb like the little interlude had never happened, popping back to where the others were waiting. There was definitely more leadership quality here, standing in a command post and giving orders. Azrin could never handle that. She needed the physical act of fixing something.

“The radiation levels should decrease dramatically once the benamite is out,” she explained breathlessly, grabbing a portable forcefield and some other anti-rad equipment from zh’Ron, who was helpfully walking by with a pile. “It’s a tricky, precision thing, especially with a forcefield, tongs, gloves in the way, and we have to do it quickly so we don’t flood this room with radiation too. Here’s how we…” Halfway through pulling a radiation glove on, a piece of equipment so thick and bulky that engineers routinely joked that an actual lead glove would be preferable, Azrin stopped, staring at her hand as though it was a foreign object.

Her fingers were shaking.

Arguably, there was nothing weird about that. She ingested enough caffeine every day to give anyone else a serious case of the jitters. Some people shook even without a stimulant. But Azrin was an engineer. She did precision work through wars, explosions, and intense sleep deprivation. Even barely conscious, her fingers knew how to rewire a system without hesitation, rock steady. They had never, ever failed her. Yet here she was, flushed, heart racing, and trembling. Just like what had started on the ladder, and apparently hadn’t stopped.

“I don’t feel right,” she said quietly. And how the fuck was she supposed to pull the benamite crystal out now?


OOC: Arven fucked her up.

To recap, two things need to be done:

  • Crawl through the innards of the slipstream drive and seal a crack on a graviton conduit
  • Pull the benamite crystal out of the drive *hint hint @Nolan, because Sarresh specifically mentioned Kythalie's steady hands

@RyeTanker will go next, and Frank will give his orders, which will presumably involve venting some nasty radiation out of the nacelles, but its up to him.

We've dropped out of warp just after crossing into the Romulan Neutral Zone. Everyone looking at the calendar knows that the Romulans themselves haven't come to play yet, but your characters will not! Stay on the lookout, bridge people and fighters.

If you fix the ship in this round, we can go fight Romulans, just so you're aware. Totally unsubtle hint here. :)
29
Director's Cut / Re: [2366] USS Augusta: Kath's Horrible Terrible No Good Very Bad Day
Last post by JacenSoloDjo -
Earth | 2366 | Starfleet Hospital; California

"Once I get used to this thing, I am so kicking your ass for saying that!" Sandra said, her arms shaking as she walked in between the parallel bars, slowly learning to put more and more weight on the prosthesis for her physical therapy.

Kath laughed, reaching out to help pull Sandra's hair into a ponytail.

"I think you'd look cute with a Vulcan bowl cut!" Kath repeated. Sandra hooked one arm around one bar and used her other to take a swing at the other woman. Kath easily dodged and barked laughter.

"No one will notice the leg, you gotta appear a little bit physically changed!" Kath defended. And yet, it nagged in the back of her mind. Should she really be saying these things? Even if Sandra encouraged it?

"Mi socia, my curls will never allow such a cut. It will frizz out all over. Not cute!" Sandra huffed, returning her hand to the bar and continuing her slow trek along.

"Even better!" Kath teased.

Sandra rolled her eyes. Once she got to the other end of the bars, Kath half carried Sandra to a chair nearby. Slowly Sandra lowered into it.

"I should be able to at least stand at Althan's funeral," Sandra said. Kath felt an oppressively uncomfortable blanket of awkwardness cover them.

"Y-yeah. I think so, too. And I'm one of the pallbearers," Kath agreed quickly. She really did hope so. She did not know why she had been asked to help carry the casket, after all wasn't it her fault he was dead?

"I bet you don't need any help. You've bulked up since we got back to Earth," Sandra said, her voice turning gentle as if speaking to an easily spooked animal.

"Well, I mean... if I had just been... faster. Bulkier..." Kath muttered, looking away from her friend.

"Hey. No. Kath, did you see a therapist like I suggested yet?" Sandra said, frowning at the other woman.

Biting her lip, her only 'tell', Kath kept her gaze turned from Sandra. Reaching out, Sandra turned Kath's face back.

"Please. You were hurt, too. And we all lost Althan. It isn't healthy to just bottle that all up."

"I'm fine!" Kath snapped, pulling away. But they both knew that small sentence alone proved she wasn't. The guilt of the survivor. Or, more succinctly: survivor's guilt.

What did she care? She had only known Althan a couple months. Only knew them all a couple months. What kind of friendship can form in just a couple months? Ignoring of course, how close she was to Sandra.

"I have to go see Brent. See if his doctors say he can help me with Althan," Kath said, standing up abruptly.

"Kath--" Sandra tried but her friend, the eternal soldier, left the room without another word.

Earth | 2366 | Starfleet Veteran Assisted Living; California

"I-I dunno, Kath. I really want to but the doctors say I could reverse all the work I've been putting in," Brent said softly, too ashamed to look his friend in the eye. Out of Sandra, Brent, and Jacob, Brent seemed to be taking it as well as Kath was. Kath did not know if that was good or bad, yet. But at least she felt a little better when she was around him.

"Sure, Brent. No problem! Your recovery is way more important," Kath said. But they both heard the edge to her voice. They only had a funeral for Althan once. Brent couldn't ask for a do-over later if he started feeling guilty about carrying the casket -- or not, in this case.

"If you can't, I'll ask Jacob if that's okay with you. His rehab is going quicker than Sandra's and he only needs one arm to do the thing," Kath said after a long silence where all that happened was Brent investigating the glass of juice he had leftover from breakfast.

Althan's parents had insisted his crewmates be the pallbearers. Not any of his family, a family filled with physically stronger Vulcans. Kath did not know why she was organizing the whole thing. But in her guilt, her desire for everything to go right had swum to the surface.

"And if anything goes wrong I can just say it wasn't me, it was the one-armed man," the poor taste joke left her before she even knew she was thinking it. Kath and Brent just stared at each other for a few heartbeats before laughter left them both, helpless to do otherwise.

"That was... terrible," Brent stated when they finally calmed down.

"Si si si, I know," Kath said, another lone chuckle escaping. But she noticed Brent wasn't as morose as he had been. And that, after all, had been her goal.


Earth | 2366 | Starfleet Cemetery; Enlisted Plots

Jacob and Kath walked at the front, holding up Althan's casket with relative ease. One of Althan's other friends from a different ship took the back along with a younger cousin.

Slowly, carefully, they lowered it onto the stand next to his memorial picture. A tent had been erected to keep the worst of the California sun off the visitors.

"You alright? All things considered?" Kath asked Jacob in a low voice as they went to sit in their assigned spots close to the front.

"Yeah. Shoulder hurts from carrying... him," Jacob replied quietly. His gaze lowered to the ground. The grass looked good. Everything looked nice -- for a funeral. Jacob had used his organic arm for most of the carrying, Kath having arranged it that way on purpose despite his assurance he was actually getting along well with his rehab. Sandra sat in the row behind them and reached over to put a hand on Kath's shoulder. Kath looked over then nodded to her friend. Sandra smiled slightly then gripped Jacob's good shoulder. He just barely smiled. Brent sat next to her and nodded to Kath and Jacob. Kath had noticed how he sat very straight, which was new.

Kath, not exactly knowing how a Vulcan and human mixed funeral went, found herself giving rapt attention to the whole event. She listened as his Vulcan side of the family honored his intelligence and logic while his human side remarked on his ability to make those around him feel at ease and how often he smiled in a way you couldn't help but smile back.

When it was his Augusta crewmates' turn, Kath was glad she had written out what she had wanted to say-- in bullet points but still. She had gotten prepared. She had never expected needing to prepare for a friend's funeral so soon, however.

"I did not know him long, but I know I liked him. During our tour on the Augusta, he explained how he used his emotions in battle to keep himself grounded and the worst experiences at bay. Anger can move mountains." She paused for a moment. Wondered briefly how the Vulcan side appreciated that last part. "I also know he hated the war and just wanted to go home. I'm sorry it had to happen like this."

Althan, like them all, had written out his will. Instead of being buried on Vulcan, in their Starfleet cemetery, he had chosen Earth to go with being far more Human in temperament and having more Human blood in him.

"I wish I could have saved him, and all the others we lost. I know he did not believe in an afterlife, so I won't contradict that belief. His memory will live on in all of us and that is enough."

Nodding mainly to herself, Kath walked off from the podium.

Later, after everyone had their say, the retinue retired to the gathering space for the after service. Tables were set up with food and drink and the walls held various pictures of Althan.

After getting some wine she wasn't familiar with, Kath wandered to join her friends.

"You did really good, mi socia," Sandra said with a gentle smile. She was sitting in a chair with her cane propped up next to her.

"Thanks. I just hope the Vulcan side of the family was okay with it," Kath replied with a slight smile in return.

"I think they knew Althan followed his Human side more," Sandra assured her.

Nodding, Kath looked around the room. Everyone seemed to be mingling more than she had hoped.

Althan wasn't the only casualty from the Augusta, but he was the closest to Kath and her friends. On the trip back home, the ship had had a combined memorial for everyone who had died on the greenery and mud ball.

It was only a short while later that the war ended. If Kath had entered Starfleet Academy any later, she would have missed it. A hell of a way to start your Starfleet career.
30
Parallel Universes - "What if?" / Re: USS Theurgy: What if - The Public Baths
Last post by Krajin -
[ Dominic Winters | Public Baths | Vector 1 | Deck 12 | ATTN: @tongieboi @AbsintheDeux

Dominic looked between them as he considered the coming propositions and how they may enact their threesome. He was by far the largest of the three and young Joe seemed fairly inexperienced of how this might go down. To be fair, Dominic had been in one or two threesomes and other group activities before and had thoroughly enjoyed them. However, it did take a little work to get from point A to C.

He could already feel something stirring deep down at the idea of these three, the beautiful plant-like woman whose hues were evenly matched and young Joe who seemed quite keen to engage with them and did not at all seem intimidated. Unlike pure-blooded male Kzinti, Dominic didn’t need any sort of scent-based stimulants to get the engine warmed. His other half made it allot easier to do so and scents just acted as a stronger aphrodisiac to him.

His ears twitched and he shuffled over on his seat and pat the bench. “Well, first things first I guess. How about we all get acquainted with one another physically in looks and feel yeah? Learn a little about each other. Come, have a seat in no particular order and lets get into some exploration.” Foreplay for those of a smaller stature to take a guy his size is pretty important.
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