Skip to main content
Topic: PROLOGUE: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [Part II] (Read 14860 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #25
[Declan Vasser - Harbinger XO Ready Room]

It was a painful possibility that Declan hadn't wanted to accept, but T'Rena was right to bring it up.  There might not have been any allies left out there who could have been helpful to them, not a race in the Alpha Quadrant that might not have been infiltrated.  It meant that, until such a time that they were able to identify the compromised with some sort of scan, everyone had to be kept at arm's reach, a weapon in hand to protect themselves against someone who might turn on them as soon as their guard went down.

"I need to hold on to some faith that Ensign Acerth might still prove useful to us in helping identify others of her kind," he said to T'Rena, knowing that faith was illogical, something that had no place in a conversation with a Vulcan.  As she spoke in her realist manner, holding back no words and pulling no punches, he had to accept her facts.  Her analysis came with options, advise that she could provide, though she had already singled out the one that she thought best.

"You are correct that you have been by my side for a long time, Commander, as my Security Chief and my First officer.  With the rapport we've established after all this time, I think you should know well enough what to do."  If she was going to suggest something he would strongly disagree with, then she had best open with her alternatives, and make him understand why those would not work.  She had to leave no other option but the one he would hate to accept.  She'd done it so many times in the past that he even had a name for the strategy.  The T'Rena Quagmire; defeat all other alternatives with cold, dispassionate logic, until only the least favorable option is left viable.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #26
[USS Theurgy | Deck 15 Fighter Assault Bay]

Commander Rez' words were ringing in Carrigan's ears. Granted, part of him could understand these suspicions. After all, the Theurgy and her consort were chronically short on friends yet had an overabundance of enemies. And when these enemies were led by entities that could subvert Starfleet's senior leadership, then they could effectively be anyone.

However, to Trent, the Trill's words had a strange ring, particularly coming from someone who, until recently, had been a plant on this very ship, very likely even put in this position by one of the compromised senior members of Starfleet Intelligence. However, the hypocritical nature of the accusations were not voiced by the human. And while there were serious holes in her arguments, these too he let lie.

Carrigan Trent was not in a position of strength and he knew it. In fact, he was half-expecting to be killed right then and there. "Ma'am, I'm an analyst with some dirty tricks up his sleeve. The only training I have in covert ops is the introduction given during the basic intelligence officer training, and I barely passed that. In fact, I'd bet someone fudged my evaluation results because they were more interested in my other skills. And let's face it, within Intelligence, actual spies are a dime a dozen. Analysts maybe a nickel dozen. People with my skills? I think I am a rather unique resource. Not something our enemy would risk throwing away like this.  Not when the numbers of crews and ships figuring out something is wrong will only go up. And seeing how I couldn't find any hard evidence of something different with Sankolov or anyone else, all I have to support I am who I claim I am are my actions so far and the data I am bringing here."

"Commander, I did everything in my power to avoid harming anyone on these twenty-four ships, but still good people died when I deployed my weapon. I know some casualties were going to happen, but still, I killed innocent people today who whose only crime was following orders in good faith. They never suspected anything was wrong beyond two starships' mutiny, until they were sucked out into space."

This was when the last shreds of Trent's composure broke. No more calm, professional face but instead that of a man who knows full well he has done something terrible despite its necessity and unavoidable nature. "Starfleet personnel died so I could be here, to give you all the information I had and to be able to do something against our enemy. Do what you need to do. But please, don't make these men and women's death be in vain."

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #27
[ USS Harbinger | Executive Officer Ready Room | Deck 01 ]

T'Rena made no comment about her Captain's anticipation to derive advantages over the enemy with the continued examinations of the individual that once had been Ensign Sonja Acreth. The strategy she would suggest did not negate these prospects, but T'Rena suspected that Vasser meant this in wanton hope that they had a chance to use that knowledge in an ill-timed crusade. She was, however, confident she would make him see reason. It was fortunate that she could speak with him before Captain Ives and he did something that would take them even further down the the spiral that would lead to their pointless demise.

"I do, sir," she said in reply, and she raised her hands to unzip her uniform jacket.

While she did so, she continued speaking as if she was doing nothing out of the ordinary - her words even and precise. "With the established nature of our tactical situation, it is clear that we cannot go against the whole might of the Federation, or any other factions in the known Galaxy. Even if we would, the enemy can counter-act us by defending their interests through the destruction of our current time-line - using means like the Calamity to attack us through their ability to exploit the timestream. The Harbinger is even more inferior to the task than the Theurgy is, which is something that I have observed you have already come to terms with, Captain."

Remaining where she stood, her face still impassive, T'Rena let the jacket fall to the floor behind her. "You have already transferred the major part of our crew to a superior starship, and it stands to reason that the Harbinger will not survive for long. Which would lead to the inevitable situation where you and Captain Ives would be two Commanding Officers upon one starship. This, provided that you survive. Something that is quite crucial."

It was a mere hint to what she knew. She unzipped her undershirt as well whilst her words continued. "So, a single ship going against the whole of Starfleet, and our word of truth tainted by the accusations of our alleged crimes. The odds that a sufficient number of people in the right positions to aid us would believe our claim, regardless of what proof we say we have, is also below one percent. Even less with each new person of influence that is joined by the enemy. At best, the truth would survive as a mere rumour after our inevitable destruction somewhere along the voyage back to the Sol System. Rumours that can be denied on all political levels that the enemy have reached. Rumours would die out, leaving but a mere footnote in the annals of history... if there would be any such notice at all before the enemy brought ruin to all known galactic civilizations like they would do with the Niga virus."

The undershirt joined the jacket upon the floor, and the flickering candlelight caressed T'Rena's bared skin. As per her preference, she wore no undergarments. She continued in order to prevent argument against her actions - her voice like a living thing in the Ready Room. "In short, we are already too late, Captain. If we mean to prevail, we must completely change our prospects, to realise that this war is already lost. Even if invasive examinations upon Ensign Acreth may yield a method to scan for their kind, our attempts to spread the word will be quenched before we succeed. We need too many influential people to perform such scans across the whole Galaxy, and I need not tell you how likely it would be that the very authorities that can perform these kind of scans on global scales are the very same authorities already compromised. Yes, this war is lost, regardless which path or which tactic we use in opposing the enemy now. The sooner you come to terms with this, Captain, the greater the hope is for the Galaxy to be restored in a second war... fought at a more opportune time."

She had stepped out of her shoes, and opened her uniform trousers - her small thicket of hair caught by the firelight in that opening. Still, she remained where she stood. "The second war would be on your terms, Captain, when we are more wise. When we know the enemy. When we have travelled far away from this part of space that has already been conquered, and we have settled somewhere that the enemy has no interest to pursue us to. If there is no such space, we will remain on our ships. Yet space is infinite, and the possibilities endless. If we want to reclaim our worlds, we will, because of you. For in your blood, I know.... that you have the power to do so."

She knew, and she had known for some time, and she had now finally told him. T'Rena let her uniform trousers fall, and she took a step closer to her Captain, her face still impassive - her words still spoken as utter truth. Logic be her companion, this was the only recourse for them all. "Any wars you wish to wage from that point on, when we have established the foundation of your salvation... would be fought by your followers," she said, her large eyes unblinking as she stared into the uniquely gifted man's eyes. Almost casually, she raised a hand to run her fingertips down her flat abdomen, trailing down to the entrance of her womb. "It would be fought by your children. For consider, my Captain, how all children by all women that follow us into the unknown could be born with your abilities. Only then... could we eventually fight back in earnest with any hope for victory, returning to the ruins that will remain of this part of space."

Slowly, she raised her arms to lay her hands behind Captain Vasser's neck, and she let the hint of a smile touch upon her lips. "Personally, I would see it as a privilege to bear your first child in the name of your future empire."

Because he needed someone to guide him every step of the way. She learned long ago to use her body to her benefit. Now, she would help everyone.

[ USS Theurgy |  Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 ]

The silence lingered after the Lieutenant Commander pleaded for understanding. For recognition of the cost of what he had done. It was the cost of duty which Captain Ives and everyone present were all familiar with since the enemy had been exposed - persecuted as they had been for two months and driven into the far end of the borderlands. In this regard, they were already the same - murderers of the innocent. Because they had no choice. Because the nature of the threat forced their hand.

Jien had remained silent while Edena explained the situation from their perspective. The man acted as anyone might when staring down the muzzles of a veritable firing squad; ending up tense and ill at ease. Edena was correct in that they had to consider these new passengers a threat, and even if she was quite civil about it compared to the line of questioning that Jona Rez might have used, the situation was not in favour for this Carrigan Trent to accept the situation without concerned argumentation. Perhaps he feared that the aide he wanted to lend them on their mission would be neglected because of their paranoia... or he feared that the scans he would be subjected to would show something.

Yet... having once been a Counsellor and a Diplomatic Officer - which admittedly felt like hundreds of years ago - Jien was inclined to believe the man's word when he explained how he had managed to create the virus that crippled Task Force Archeron, as well as to why there had been a delay in doing so. Therefore, Jien Ives eventually broke the silence to repeat what his First Officer had said - to try and pierce the man's apprehension.

"I think there is iron in your claim, Lieutenant Commander. If nothing else, based on what you did and could have done instead," he said quietly, though his words carried nonetheless, "Still, we cannot take any chances. The Harbinger was infiltrated with one of their kind, and we have her in custody in our Brig." Jien paused and turned his head to include the other man before the shuttle - this revenant from the past.

"The both of you will also be confined into holding cells in the Brig. We will go through the information that you have brought us, and you will undergo medical examinations. Deputy zh'Wann will lead the interrogations, and depending on the collective findings, I will order your release. I can merely apologise for what the circumstances forces us to do... How we must treat even our saviours this way."

Then, not allowing time for argument, Jien turned his oaken eyes fully upon Wenn Cinn. Slowly, he walked over to this Bajoran man that he used to know. He had already told them both what awaited them after coming aboard their ship, and in truth, Jien was far less concerned with the Lieutenant Commander and his story than he was with the Bajoran that stood at his side. After everything that had happened that morning, with Theta Eridani and the shut-down of Sankolov's entire fleet, the fact that a dead man now stood upon their deck once more remained - arguably - the most improbable.

"Prove to me your fortitude, Cinn," said Jien as he looked into those familiar eyes, not flinching for a second from the imposing physical figure that the man held, "and tell me how it is that you stand among us living again."

OOC: I edited the ending of my last post with Jien Ives to leave room for the dialogue between Rez and Trent, and now moved the bit of how Jien turned to speak with Wenn Cinn here instead.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #28
Sickbay | USS Theurgy

Hayden O'Connor was proud to be known as a bleeding heart.  When other people would refer to her as such - sometimes good-naturedly, but more often than not with barely concealed pity and disapproval - Hayden would smile sweetly and say thank you.  Not only did she enjoy watching people's faces fall as they realized their insults had missed their mark, but she genuinely saw the value of not just caring about other people, but having the ability to imagine what another being might be feeling.  Medical school, charitably speaking, is meant to refine this personality trait.  More accurately, in Hayden's opinion, was that medical school was designed to crush this trait until only the tiniest spark remained.  Too much empathy could cloud a doctor's judgement.  A doctor had to be able to make accurate and efficient decisions that had less to do with what felt good, and more to do with what science demanded.

In fact, even in the more enlightened age of the Federation, Hayden imagined she had received more lectures about how to keep emotion out of patient care than how to use it to promote better health for her patients.  Bedside manner, in Hayden's eyes, was often valued only in the sense that it led to more honesty and in turn, fewer mistakes by the physician.  Crying was forgiven, if only because it was an opportunity for a more senior physician to explain how this short-term pain was going to make one a more determined physician.  Emotion, empathy, social connection - these were never labelled as outrightly negative factors for the enlightened Federation doctor - but rather, they were treated as things to be guarded against, or rationed.

Even during her busy trauma rotations, which brought to mind the moans, screams and general cacaphony that she was also experiencing now aboard the Theurgy in the midst of battle, Hayden had never been able to stop feeling things.  So she sought additional training in mental health, training that still sought to refine the bleeding heart nature of people like her, but at least sought to use that nature to fuller advantage. 

Now, aboard the Theurgy, she was a woman of both worlds, but she felt completely numb.

Cir'Cie's words still ringing in her ears, she realized intellectually, all her efforts to embrace her bleeding heart nature were for nought. 

Bleeding hearts didn't let people die, and even if she could imagine a universe in which they might, she couldn't fathom a universe in which they could still afford to feel as intensely again. 

Cir'Cie believed Hayden had saved the two of them out of some twisted sense of logical arrogance.

Can a bleeding heart die, and  if so, is the pain of such a death diminished no one believed it existed to begin with?

Shouting pulled Hayden from her reverie, from her going through the motions effort.

Watching the exchange between Nicander and Ives, she learned Amikris was dead and the last of her kind was as good as dead.  Her knees threatened to buckle and then...

And then Jien demanded a solution.  S/he demanded action.  Not emotion.

Maybe medical school had gotten it right.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #29
"Not exactly the welcome I thought I'd be getting," Cinn smirked, glancing around at all the weapons aimed at him and deciding it would be a better option to keep the hands raised for now.  Jien's phrase was familiar, something he had heard him use before but never thought it would have been used on him.

In truth he hadn't expected to return at all and this welcome was actually more promising than he'd feared.  Now his feet were back on the deck of the ship he had called home, before everything had gone wrong, he felt relieved.  Cinn truly believed in what they were doing and would back up his CO to the end... and beyond it seemed.

"It's not as easy as me saying I am who I say I am.  Not anymore," he began, acknowledging the difficulty of the situation.  His eyes scanned the room again and caught sight of Ida, the one who had been with him when he had been pulled out to his death, "Lieutenant zh'Wann was there and saw me pulled into space.  I heard her shouting.  Luckily for me it turns out that my faith in the Prophets, despite your ribbing, had its advantages."

"Some new faces.  You been picking up strays, Jien?  Looks like I'm not the only one to have returned from the dead either, eh flyboy?"  His eyes had picked out the once-presumed-dead pilot who seemed to also be alive and well. 

His eyes continued around the room, "Where is Thenaljpar?  Thought this would be the kind of party he would be invited to at least although I'd guess you left Nerina on the bridge with all this chaos?  Having been in the middle of it I can vouch for him by the way."  With the last statement he nodded in the direction of Trent.

His eyes briefly held over the woman in command red and narrowed.  This one he had met before he'd been spaced.  This one had been a spy and a liar.  Why was she out of the brig?  Not only that but how in the name of the Prophets had she managed to get herself into a command position?  How bad were things that such a woman could be released and promoted into such a position of responsibility?  He bit his tongue, now wasn't the time to go on the offensive.  That could come later, when this stand-off had been resolved and they were proven to be who they said they were.

Having sized up the room in such an automatic way that he hadn't even realised he was doing it the former-CSec's eyes returned to the Captain, his tone lowering and going from the jovial to the serious, "Captain, I am Wenn Cinn.  The Prophets brought me back for a reason they didn't reveal, just that they weren't happy that I'd died when I did.  I understand the need to send us to the brig, you know you'll get no fight from me."  He paused before his eyes flicked back to the spy, "The sooner this is resolved the better."

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #30
[Thomas Ravon | Fighter assault bay]

As they walked further the flickering lights indicated that their cloak had been dropped for some reason. Thomas looked up and wondered why, they wouldn't be out of fighting range yet he presumed and his suspicion got confirmed as a security detail started to make way through the fighter bay. They got the advise to arm up and after grabbing an assault rifle, Thomas made his way to where the rest of his squad and security detail formed up. Completely unaware what was going on he could see the shuttle approach slowly and dock.

Without really realising he had positioned himself next to Carver as he raised his rifle, lining up his shot at the shuttle doors as they opened up. As the half bionic man stepped forth, Thomas diverted his aim to him now and placed his finger on the trigger. 'Don't be the happy triggerman...' A voice echoed through his mind and he kept his focus up while the second man appeared into the lights of the bay. What happened next was just jaw dropping. How could Wenn still be alive? How the hell did one man manage to take out an entire fleet. Thomas kept his weapon raised, yet he couldn't believe what the top brass was discussing with these guys.

[Simon Tovarek | USS Theurgy Bridge]

When Jien Ives gave the order to Simon to decloak he complied immediately. His eyes glaring that the floating carcasses of ships, his mind racing to give possibilities to what had happened. Did his mix of radiation manage to knock out their systems? No else Theurgy and Harbinger would have been affected as well... An EMP from Calamity while the smoke screen was up? A rush of sleeper agents to incriminate them even more?  Or perhaps a cosmic coincidence?
Nothing made any real sense to Tovarek as all he got where possibilities and he had no real proof.

The so called smokescreen had performed perfectly in Simon his eyes yet he was cursing at himself since they could not see what had happened to the Acheron task force while they went into cloaking and into the field. Tovarek was even more surprised when a hail came in from a small runabout shuttle. He narrowed his eyes and looked like the rest of the crew at the viewscreen as the man made his introduction. Simon had a certain feeling about this guy and got the feeling that he'd be quite interesting to get to know better.

As Fedd got the order to scan for what went on, Simon took the liberty to peek along and adjust certain scanners to lifesigns and structural integrity. Yet his attention was drawn away as he got a new order to work with Marlowe. He opened up a comm channel with Tatiana now and reported in "Lieutenant Marlowe, Simon Tovarek here, is there anything I can do to help you with damage control?" he asked and waited for a reply while he checked the ship for any major damage. His eyes looked up for a moment as he saw the captain and the commander walk towards the turbo lifts and when Lieutenant commander Stark had the bridge, his eyes went over her as she seemed to be a bit dazed by the sudden control she had been given. Yet she adapted quickly and Simon couldn't help but grin a bit while he continued to ran scans on the Theurgy for the most up to date damage reports.

[Amelya Duv | Battle sickbay]

While Amelya had her hands full with injured crewmembers of the Theta Eredina aftermath, more people seemed to be coming in that had gotten other injuries. The power fluctuations had made her life not much easier even though they got fixed in no time. She did what she could to most of her patients by stabilising them before moving on to another. She gave the  nurses advice on how to follow up their patients and if anything went wrong they could always call her back to help. Her hands were starting to feel a bit numb and she wondered how much more burn wounds she would be able to treat before the anti burn agent they were using was going to run out. The smell of charred meat had nestled in her nose and it would probably be one of those scents that she'd never forget.

She suddenly spotted a familiar face in the crowd of patients, a face she had seen not so long ago. "Rennan?" She murmured and made her way to him while she asked for a short briefing of the medical staff around him. They were busy trying to resuscitate him with everything they had. Yet after a new scan with her tricorder she realised it had no use. "I'm calling it guys... We need to focus on the people we can save." After encouraging her fellow medical staff to work she kneeled next to cooped and closed his eyes while she sighed and gave herself a moment to breathe. She couldn't save him, despite the efforts and restrictions she had given him on Theta. He was a subborn man and his so hard earned promotion didn't serve him much good now. She formed a fist and sighed deeply before standing up.

"Fedd to sickbay. Can I get an update on Mr. Cooper's condition?"

"Doctor Duv to Fedd, I'm afraid that lieutenant Cooper didn't make it. We did our best yet he couldn't be saved. I'm sorry lieutenant. Duv out." She replied with a bit of a broken voice. She tried to keep her voice strong and solid, yet her feelings betrayed her.  Yet there was no time to crash down herself as a new burn victim got beamed in on a biobed, screaming in agony and struggling to stay down...

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #31
USS Harbinger: Bridge

"Officer S'Iti, you have the bridge,"

The Cardassian nodded as she got up and spoke to the computer, "Reroute all tactical and Conn controls to the captain's chair," as she walked over to the chair.  It was the first time she had ben placed in this position of responsibility in Starfleet though the central seat was something that was far from alien to her.  For years she had been a different kind of captain in a far different fleet.  Hell the ship she captained wasn't too different from this one. Sure it was smaller but the controls hadn't changed that much.  Why would they, after all the maquis raiders were really just outdated Federation escorts.  Really nothing was different in terms of the layout sure the ships acted differently different weight to them engines completely different. Still though when she took the seat the feeling was all too familiar.  "Just like riding a bike."  she said to herself.  "you never completely forget."

About that time a chime came in to the bridge from the engine room.  "Bridge here, Captain's stepped out to discuss something with the XO she said sort of humorously feeling more like an answering service knowing there wasn't much she really would be able to do in their situation. "Leave your message after the tone."  she added.

Selena stifled a audible laugh over the comm, "Wow, a noncom in the Captain's chair never thought I would live to see that one.   well just wanted to let ya up there know that the power fluctuations have stabilized.  Looks like I can give us a definite hour of cloak if we stay still and if we cranked up the warp engines I would estimate a full minute at warp 5.  Any faster and I can't promise the cloak won't collapse on us or worse."

S'iti listened. "good to know I'll make sure the captain gets updated asap."

Back in the engine room Aisha made a few minor power calibrations and walked over to the next senior-most engineer.  "Keep an eye on the cloak and the power systems.  Tell me if anything goes goes outside the standard deviations.  I've going to the computer core Seems to be a communications error between the device and the ship.  if I correct it I should be able to get us able to stay in warp a lot longer when cloaked.

USS Theurgy: Fighter Bay

Miles watched and listened calmly  Everything seemed to be going as smoothly as it possibly could. 

"Looks like I'm not the only one to have returned from the dead either, eh flyboy?"

Miles nodded and spoke up for a second, "That's Senior Flyboy to you."  he said with a smirk not lowering the weapon though my his smile clearly showing no aggression towards the returned person.  He was suspicious and ready to fire if he had to but the level of candor in Cinn's voice put him at a bit more ease.  I'm sure they'll everything to you in the debriefing.  Sorry it's gotta be done in the brig but we gotta be careful.

The bajoran went on describing what he could and miles listened intently.  There were things he had trouble believing but given his encounter with the Ishtar entity Miles couldn't help but feel there was a bit of credibility in the excuse that the entities that lived in the Bajoran wormhole had facilitated his return.  They had moved in less subtle ways before after all so this kind of action wasn't unheard of for "The Prophets" as the Bajorans called them.  He would remain skeptical but he had to admit the prospect of "The Prophets" moving through Cinn wasn't the weirdest of things they had done.  "Wolves, fingers off the triggers but keep'em raised and ready."  He said to his fellow pilots knowing the tension was bound to be getting to everyone and knew that in all this tension the last thing they needed was one bad twitch to cause a tragedy.

USS Harbinger: Main Computer Core

Selena walked towards the softly humming core as she took the wire from the base of her neck.  "Maybe I'll finally have my answers now," she said to herself. yrs she had came down here to do what she said and there was that issue but that could be corrected in a matter of seconds.  the real reason she needed in hre wasnt the acces but the privacy for the work she had to do.  Within moments she was deep within the ships systems.  'so you had to talk in private eh captain?'  lets see what you are talking about.' her mind literially wandered through the coridors till she came upon a barrier or rather a void.  'Odd the ships security systems seem to be gone here.'  she thought to herself noticing the void in ship monitoring systems that existed beyond the door to the XO's ready room.  'You clever green blooded bitch.'  her mind echoed as she backed out of the stems and set about her original task. 

The necessary corrections were made quickly and on the bridge her voice cut through the silence. "S'iti, update on cloaking systems; We should be able to maintain warp with cloak for upwards of 5 minutes on current power.  Ravenholm out."  Selena said through the computer's voice systems before unplugging herself from the computer already making her way out of the core room and back towards engineering.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #32
[Edena Rez - Fighter Assault Bay]

The Captain agreed with her need for precaution, clearly remembering his own time in Starfleet Intelligence.  perhaps that degree of paranoia had been a big reason their ship had lasted this long.  They erred to the side of caution, far better then charging recklessly forward.  Still, she couldn't help but feel a sense of pity for Trent, who came so far only to be treated with distrust.  "That feeling of guilt is mostly coming from you, isn't it Kiya?"

"You feel it too, Eden, but I am probably enhancing it with my own pity for him.  His actions were heroic, yet he is being cast with suspicion."

"A necessary evil," Jona said in her mind, that by-the-book Intelligence Officer training almost legendary from him.

"That might mean something to her if you two were still on speaking terms," Illya added, reminding Jona that his advice had been cast with it's own suspicion ever since Edena learned that the host previous to her had been restraining certain information from her, something only possible due to her flawed blending fracturing her former hosts into individual personalities.  "Just show some compassion, Eden.  It'll make you and Doctor Kiya feel better."

Out of her own head and back to reality, Edena spoke from her stern, professional manner to give an assuring smile to Trent.  "We will still value your input, Lieutenant Commander.  We will just need to show due diligence in confirming it until we know we are safe to trust your word entirely.  Just try to think of it as a temporary measure."

Turning to Cinn, Edena addressed the out-of-date information that the Bajoran currently possessed, in line with when he had left them through what should have been final means.  "Commander Nerina . . . ran into some trouble during one of our missions.  She is currently in medical stasis.  The Captain saw fit to name me as first officer in her place, a role I have sought to fulfill to the best of my ability."

[Declan Vasser - Harbinger XO Ready Room]

As T'rena slowly shed her clothes, revealing caramel colored skin that had been well taken care of over the years, Declan didn't appear all that phased by it.  Sure, there was the expected male reaction to expect when an attractive woman was disrobing, but it was hardly the shock of a man who was seeing it for the first time.  It was like he had seen T'Rena disrobe before, like her body was a familiar, welcome sight to him.  That lack of shock allowed him to take the words she spoke and process them without distraction . . . well, maybe he was distracted by a couple sights, but he was still getting everything she said.

"Harbinger's an old tool in a modern time.  She might have gone through several retrofits in her years, but there is only so many tricks you can teach an old dog," he replied, accepting that their ship, for all the service it had shown, was simply a relic in today's age.  Every year, new technology was coming along, and newer ships were being designed and built to make ones like theirs as relevant today as the old Constellation class was during the time of the Galaxy class, even the Sovereign class.

"When we were face to face with that attack force, I knew this ship wouldn't make it, but Theurgy?  That ship still had a chance.  It wouldn't win in a fight, but it was possible for it to escape and fight another day.  We can't say that about our ship."  So yes, Harbinger was expendable.  That point was obvious, but what T'Rena was implying was something far different.  As her trousers fell, exposing that well groomed patch of hair over her woman, some small part of him couldn't help but be amused with her upkeep.  One would think personal grooming on a Vulcan was illogical, at least until they were in their mating heat, yet she had always been well maintained.  He was sure she could make some logical argument for it, but he liked to think it was vanity, some part of her she wouldn't admit to that wanted to look a certain way, even if she was the only one who saw it.

"So your master plan is . . . what?  have as many children by me as possible, thinking they can reclaim the Federation one day?"  She saw something special in him, something she thought to be incorruptible.  She knew that he wasn't exactly what he claimed to be.  As she neared him, his hands moved to her hips, not as some signal that he was accepting the offer, but simply because she was a tempting sight, and he wanted to feel her, as he had felt her in the past, in times when neither of them spoke of aloud.  "How much infiltration would there be by then?  I can't imagine my bloodline would ever grow large enough to fend off that scale of invasion.  Am I to sire children with every female from here to the Delta Quadrant?"

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #33
As she was heading back out of the shuttle Dyan could feel a wave of nausea swell up from her feet to her head as she leaned forward her hand resting on the side wall of the cabin. Before she had figured it was to do with her head injury. Now with her ears becoming slightly misshape she knew it was more. The internal organs that had been moved around to look human where trying to reset themselves. Closing her eyes she tried to will her body to hold together just a little longer. "Not now, come on not now. Just hold together just a little bit longer," she whispered feeling another stomach turning wave of nausea rushing through her body making her stomach lurch slightly. Slowly though it died away and she knew she had to get back to her ship as soon as possible.

The shuttle was secure and the two discarded phasers had been properly secured. Slowly Dyan stepped out of the shuttle just in time to hear the mans break down. On some small level she could understand his pain about the shedding of innocent blood. Still what needed to be done needed to be done and there was no way of getting around it. The innocent had to die sometimes but that only made victory all that more important. Once more she slowly walked around the outside of the group that had been gathered to deal with their visitors before slowly making her way back to Ida's side before leaning in her voice slurred ever so slightly as her body was still fighting to keep its current form. "Shuttle is secure ma'am. Only thing to report was two discarded phasers," she spoke before bringing her rifle up her finger off the trigger as she tired to focus on what was going on around them. In the back of her mind she was praying to what ever power there was that her body held together long enough to avoid being detected.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #34
USS Theurgy: Fighter Bay

Unfortunately, Dyan didn't go as undetected as she would have liked.  Despite his focus on the two who had stepped onto the bay something caught his attention, well at least his nose's attention.  He was greeted to a new scent that he had not experienced before.  There were certain things that he could discern.  It was the scent of a body. A certain minute body odor, a scent laced with the minute inflections of salt water and pheromones. But the scent was far too unfamiliar of the species here there were none he would find as having an unfamiliar scent.  All the "aliens" here were of species he was familiar with but this scent was truly alien.  It was far from a "bad" scent there was familiarity to it, it was a natural scent, even more natural than a humans, like the difference in breathing the stale air of an office building vs the air when deep in the woods.  This scent was closer to that of the woods on that scale of naturality.  Someone here was not who they appeared to be.

He tracked the source of the scent with his gaze slightly shifting to the side his sense of smell guiding his eyes gaze until they became fixed on an instant on the unfamiliar security officer stained with blood. 'curious' he thought to himself.  'Perhaps the captain and I aren't the only ones with a gift for changing one's skin.'  he would have to find out her particular secret.  He had no intent on revealing her to anyone else unless she was a danger.  given the blood stains he knew she must be the security officer who helped take Acreth into custody so in a certain way her loyalty to their cause had been proven.  Still the fact that she somehow survived and was so instrumental in Acreth's capture made him even more curious. She hid but yet from what he could tell had no reason to.  He knew he would have to find somewhere in private to confront her.  best not risk her loosing her mask to the ones she hid from he would respect that. 

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #35
Commander Rez' words caused Trent to raise his head and his grey eyes met her hazel gaze. Joined Trills, they had always been fascinating to Carrigan. Carrying the memories and experiences of past lived within them, to be able to refer to potentially centuries of knowledge and wisdom. And it explained how so many chronologically young Trills often rose up in ranks at a faster rate than other species.  And their measured responses gave these joined individuals an impression of careful deliberation, much like Edena was presenting Trent.

She indeed appeared sincere about his treatment despite his latest actions, even when he knew of the rather cold-blooded officer who had carried the Rez symbiont before she did. Granted, her file was one he hadn't particularly studied but he still had a passable knowledge of this former SI plant. And combined with this latest interaction and her genuinely words, Carrigan Trent felt he could trust her at least this far. "Ma'am, I want to believe you. I really do. But can you guarantee anything resembling fairness in this process? You have been hunted for some time now, I get this and our arrival could look a little convenient. May I request at least two pairs of eyes on every piece of information reviewed, including our... interrogations and their analysis to be done in complete independence?"

While that particular request could come through as onerous, it was part of basic analysis. If a piece of information was reviewed by a number of different perspectives, then the combined findings were more likely to be even more accurate. Hence why Intelligence products always went though a review before being released. "I would consider it a professional courtesy, from an Intelligence officer to another, Ma'am."

Something that Carrigan kept unvoiced, though, was the hope that volunteering for this increased scrutiny would further help in proving his intentions as being in Theurgy's best interests.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #36
[ USS Harbinger | Executive Officer Ready Room | Deck 01 ]

"How much infiltration would there be by then?  I can't imagine my bloodline would ever grow large enough to fend off that scale of invasion.  Am I to sire children with every female from here to the Delta Quadrant?"

These questions that her Captain posed were easily answered. "While I have no doubt in your capacity, Captain, it would be absurd to expect an expedient result with such a crude and ineffective methodolgy," T'Rena said after he laid his hands upon her hips. Judging the timing opportune, she tilted her head to kiss her Captain, gradually pressing her body against his where they stood.

It was adequate for the progress of the conversation that Vasser was aroused by her body, because humans were more easy to convince when thus distracted. Not because there was any fault in her argument, but because the promise of coitus made them lower their guard - readily listening with an open mind to what was being suggested. For suggestion of carnal pleasure was translated to other suggestions, which was something T'Rena had observed and used since she left the Vulcan Defence Ministry and spent the remainder of her career amongst all the less logical humanoid species. To act like she felt and needed things also made them inclined to listen, since she usually did not express any such desires. It meant that she lied, yet if deception was the price she had to pay - this minor sacrifice of a tenet in the teachings of Kolinahr - she would do it for the betterment of the Galaxy's inhabitants and bringing absolute order to chaos.

Parting her lips from Vasser, she regulated her breathing to normal circumstances, and spoke while remaining close to him. "In your blood lies the answer, and its unique features can be subjected unto foetuses whilst still in the womb. You need not personally impregnate all women we gather for the war, but to ensure that your heritage lives on in all children to come. We need to precipitate evolution to gain our advantage, so that we can repopulate when we finally return to this part of space - no doubt desolated by its now imminent destruction. Accepting defeat is the first step in order to fall back and regroup for your second coming."

Not too firmly, T'Rena slid her hands down to her Captain's chest and pushed him closer to the edge of her desk, following him there without breaking contact. "Sadly, I doubt Captain Ives will be understanding," she said, not sounding sad at all - her voice still void of emotion despite her actions. She climbed up upon the edge of the desk - straddling and pinning his pelvis there with the juncture of her thighs. Suggestively, she ran her fine-boned Vulcan hands over his chest and neck while she spoke. "You know the Chameloid. Some Commanding Officers do not accept defeat. The mission is everything to them. They would rather grind their crews through whatever challenges may come at them until there are none left. They would even object to the unconventional means in which we will be able to ensure the children's survival. Ives is such a commander, and I can only foresee a definitive resolution to make your command over both crews absolute."

Laying her hands upon his sides, T'Rena slowly pushed Vasser down, making him lie upon his back. She now straddled the tumescence of his human organ, and it was easy to undulate her hips - slowly grinding her sex along the coarse fabric of his uniform and stroking the fire she had awakened. The light of the meditation lamp rippled over her body as she moved minutely. "I understand that mere words may be insufficient to relay the entire scope of my ruminations; the details of my thorough analysis. Here, Captain, let me show you, and you will understand."

She initiated the mind-meld as she lay her hand against Vasser's face, her fingers posed just so.

Alternatives. All recourses. All futile. No hope. All endings. Death upon death. Numbers. All probabilites. All futile. Current status. All current assets. Insufficient. Sole advantage. Survival. Survival by numbers. Tactical retreat. Genome mapping. Enhanced breeding. Obstacles. Uncompromising survival. Females spared. Breeding. Collecting ships. Building fleet. Growing numbers. Ratio of men. Ratio of women. Genetic engineering. DNA Resequencing. Genetic advantages. Species added. Betterment. Corruption no more. New breed. New chance. Preparation. Absolute order. Dicipline. Unfailing. Return. War. Victory. Resettlement. Rebuilding the ruins. Restoration of civilisation. One government. One Empire.

It occurred to her, as she showed him everything in blinding and rapid clarity, that it would ensure their survival even further if she made her Captain's faith in the future absolute. So, she began to forcefully project her own beliefs unto him through the meld. Her mind a finely tuned weapon through fifty years an Acolyte, she would ensure definitive faith - the feeling of his capacious mind making her lips purse in surprising elation.


[ USS Theurgy |  Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 ]

At the mentioning of Thenaljpar, Captain Ives realised just how much time had passed since they had faced Admiral Sankolov before the present day - in the desperate times before the Niga Incident in the Mahéwa System. The memory of that battle in the Borderlands was all too distant... even though it remained much too clear for Jien all the same. Both Tactical Officer Thenaljpar and Wenn Cinn had fallen that day, leaving T'Less and David Grayson to take their places. Now, even they were gone, just like their successors Rennan Cooper and Ben Vessery, whom had both perished within an hour ago.  As for the Bajoran, the only explanation that Jien got out of Wenn Cinn was that the Prophets had supposedly brought him back, and any other day preceding the Ishtar Incident, Jien would have discarded  the notion that there would be truth in such a claim.

After the shaved mountain of a man promised to cooperate, and stole an unreadable glance towards Edena Rez, Jien's First Officer answered in his stead. He was thankful to Edena for that, because Jien had not the heart to speak of how Nerina had ended up in a stasis unit. The blame lay not upon him, infected as he had been when his former XO had her accident, yet he was responsible for all his crew. To take them home. To clear their names. Not to subject them to rape and horror. To fire and death.

"A lot has happened, Commander Wenn," said Jien after Edena announced herself the new First Officer aboard, realising that if Cinn was who he said to be, he was looking upon Assistant Chief Counsellor Azhani, and thus the same Trill woman he had put in a holding cell days before he was listed as KIA. "Explanations will have to wait. Right now, we need to get out of sensor range from the fleet and take the necessary precautions to establish your true identies. We have many injured to tend to, and a ship running on untested technology."

Yet Commander Trent, standing next to Cinn, had sought to ask Edena for guarantees of fairness in their due process when Jien had spoken with his former CSec, so Jien had to cut this short. It had been a tough morning, to say the least. With the sudden cold temper that flared in Jien's eyes, he switched... into her female form - the sudden anger triggering the change.

"If you have doubts about being treated fairly aboard my ship, Commander Trent, then I do not only take it as a personal insult, but I'd suggest you try your chances with Admiral Sankolov instead," she snapped at the man, eyes cutting. "The same goes for questioning the word of my First Officer, who has also seen the inside of one of our holding cells prior to this day. The fact that she now stands by my side should be testament enough that you will not be harmed."

Having made this utterly clear, Jien stepped away. "She and I will both go over the intel that you have brought us, while Deputy zh'Wann will lead the interrogations." Passing by the Andorian and an unknown Petty Officer, Jien left her orders mid-stride. "Deputy, Transport them to separate cells, and request whatever personnel you require to ensure that they are who they say they are. Secure the contents of the bag and deliver it safely to my Ready Room."

Behind the Captain, the Deputy lowered her rifle and stepped towards the two alleged saviours. She looked at Wenn for a second, yet without ceremony or comment, she just tapped her combadge. "Thea, Deputy zh'Wann requesting two immediate prisoner Transports to Holding Cells A and B. Energise." Then, when the new passengers vanished from the flight deck, she finally dismissed the security detail, who fell out and moved to return to their posts.

Jien did not pause as she passed by Wing Commander Kilinvoss and his pilots. "Phantom, consider your squadron guests aboard until we rendezvous with the Harbinger and you can return to your base ship," then she turned to their own fighter pilots. "Wolves, show them our hospitality. There will be no patrols while we are cloaked."

As she walked towards the entrance to the Flight Hangar, Jien soon paused and looked towards her Yeoman, who had accompanied them and still remained by hers and Rez's side. Since her First Officer was there too, Jien could not bespeak what had happened the night before... "Thank you for relaying the coordinates to Cadet Amikris down there," she said instead, the image of the Ash'reem body upon the driftwood surfacing as she blinked, "If it weren't for you, I could not have found Sarresh Morali. I wish I had been able to save the Cadet as well, but it was too late. Yet her death lies not upon you, for she was already dying when I found her."

That being said, tough as it was to keep the hurt and the face of Amikris from her mind, there was still more to be done. "We will need your help to take notes as we go through the intel that Carrigan Trent brought, but I will have you rested and ready before then. Get yourself cleaned up and report to my Ready Room in a couple of hours. Dismissed, Yeoman."

Taking a deep breath, Jien resumed her pace towards the double doors together with Rez. "Ours is not a primrose path, Commander... Yet at least we are still alive."

OOC: Further posting here is free for all. The Harbinger scene continues a bit longer, for instance. TheBanshee, I saw that Tovarek has cued Tia. Cathreen DaWinter, I know that Miles Renard will be speaking with Dyan here too before Ida gets to her.

I will be setting up new designated threads for everyone to use as soon as I have time to write them so stay tuned and I will let you all know when they are there!

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #37
She stood by zh'Wann and watched a little surprised to see the caption of the ship change from male to female which surprised her even though she fought back the reaction. She head heard of shape shifters before but this was her first seeing one in person. Her weapon remained raised as the captain walked past leaving an order she felt wouldn't apply too much to her since she was sure she would be returning to her ship at the earliest possible time. As the deputy lowered her rifle Dyan's would stay trained on the two not trusting them tell they where either properly secured or they where out of her sight. It would seem the latter was to happen as their bodies disappeared as they where transported to their respective holding cells. It was only then that Dyan would lower her weapon as the security detail was dismissed. She knew things on this ship had to be hectic so she slowly stepped away from the main group letting zh'Wann work with out her asking the question of what they where going to do with her. In truth she didn't belong here yet. She wasn't an assigned officer to this ship and didn't have a place to report to. All she could do no now was wait tell they needed her or sent her back.

Slowly she found a quite spot against one of the walls as she once more released pressure on her injured leg. How these humans could live with out the ability to regenerate was beyond her. It wasn't the pain that really bothered her but more the inconvenience of it. Slowly her eyes turned watching the shape shifting captain leave before letting out a small breath watching the others.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part II ]

Reply #38
Miles listened intently to the words though at this point his focus was ever so slightly off  He was more than relieved to hear they had time to make some repairs to the fighters while cloaked.  Lowering the weapon then shouldering it he looked around for a moment.  Ya heard the captain wolves, You're on gust detail.  By that I mean escort Phantom and his crew to Below decks.  All of you have earned a bit of a reprieve from the action."  he paused. before turning to Phantom and threw him a small keycard of sorts.  "Behind the bar in below decks Third cubby to the right.  Makes sure the wolves get their fair share too"*

That said he turned his attention to the strange scent he had noticed before turning to the semi injured security officer from the harbinger who was leaning against the wall in the bay.  before turning to her fully where she was fully he spoke up, "Papa Bear, the bay's yours; you know what to do. "

Miles walked towards the security officer and held out his hand smiling, "You mind joining me in my office There's a few things about the prisoner capture I wanted to ask about.  I know I'm not security itself but since my pilots aren't flying I figure half of them will be on security detail till we're back in the air."

*The stored items are several bottles on non-synth alcohol.  Most are from Earth a few from elsewhere nothing too exotic most are just basic run of the mill things like a rather ordinary Irish whiskey a mid tier blended scotch. few bottles of Jack and Jim.   More a less basic stuff but the real stuff.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #39
She stood only picking out bits and pieces of the conversations that where going on around her. Of course those who where louder where heard more then those that where not talking as loud. Her deep green eyes focused on one that seemed to approaching her as she looked over his frame and slowly up to his face as a slender brow rose slightly in a questioning manner. Her eyes slowly looked over the extended hand before her eyes slowly moved back up to him. One could usually tell a lot about person about how they carried themselves and so far he seemed open enough. Shifting the rifle so it hung over her shoulder she gently took his hand shaking it while offering a small but still slightly apprehensive smile. "Dyan Cardamone," She said figuring names would be a good place to start. While having to keep her cover she found it better to avoid social contact so she was still a little uncertain about how to act fully among these peoples.

Hearing him wanting to know about the prisoner capture her smile only grew knowing that would be something she could talk about with no problem. "You may not be security but you still protect your ship and the people in it. So in a lot of ways we do the same job," she said seeing their roles when it came to the ship and crew being close to the same. "You just have a bigger area to work," she said slowly pushing herself off the wall as she looked up at him. "I'll tell you what I can about my part in it if you wouldn't mind providing something to drink," she said waiting for him to lead the way. Something told her that she wouldn't be needed for a while.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #40
He smiled hearing her name, "Miles Renard, and no problem at all, just follow me to my office."  He led the way smiling softly leading her into the room and walking over to a small wall panel near the door opening it up revealing a small safe of sorts. "I trust that since this isn't your ship you won't report me for my unregistered cargo." he said taking a 12 ounce bottle and another medium sized liquor bottle from the 'hole in the wall'  He subtlety pressed a few commands into the door as he walked by it. as he made his way to the replicator and spoke to it. "Ice, sperical."  Two spheres of ice came from the replicator which he picked up and put into each glass the spheres top near even with the  rim of the glass before he poured the amber brown liquid from the alcohol bottle into the glasses. going about a quarter of the way up before opening the glass bottle with his hands the bottle making a soft sound of escaping air  before he poured the contents into each glass letting it go to about 3/4 of the way up cascading smoothly over the ice sphere making a few soft bubbles. "Nice little drink I discovered for myself on Earth when I was test pilot for the Valk 3s my squad has.  He said taking a sip from his glass of the concoction the bartender who introduced it to him had called a 'Rum-and-Coke.'  For years now it was his go to drink for winding down after a particularly stressful combat engagement.  something about the soft drink's fizz combined with the molasses and alcohol in the rum just put him in that perfect state of ease to combat the stresses of knowing how close death had been. 

He sat her glass on his desk before taking a seat in his own chair on the other side of it before leaning back and kicking his feet up on his desk relaxing as he took another sip closing his eyes as he inhaled the soft scent of the mixture enjoying the pop of the carbonation against his lips and feeling the air bubbles seem to pop against the tip of his nose as he took in the particular aroma almost like some connoisseur of a fine wine taking in its bouquet.

"Go ahead and make yourself at home, we don't have to talk about the incident right this minute.  Since my squad's heading to the lounge and the bay has a lot of fighter repairs to do I doubt anyone will be needing me for a while.  It seems both of us have had a rather hectic day."

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #41
Slowly she fell into step behind Miles  thinking nothing that someone would want to know about the escape and recapture of a dangerous subject. She slowly followed him into the room stopping at the door as she slowly looked around before finally stepping in. Hearing his comment about unregistered cargo an honest smile formed over her lips. "What unregistered cargo? All I see is some bottles. Last I checked we didn't get people in trouble for having bottles," she said shrugging off one rifle resting it against the door by the wall before the second one joined it. "Personally I have never really cared what so of unregistered things people have so long as it doesn't effect their ability to preform their duties," she said as she eyes continued looking over the office before her eyes once more focused on Miles. She could smell the scent of rum and something else filling the room making her smile slightly. She could feel her ears twitching hearing a soft sound escaping into the air as her hand quickly rose cupping her ear softly feeling it hadn't changed appearance anymore. Still this meeting offered a possibility that she hadn't considered at first. "Have you always been interested in being a pilot?" she asked knowing the pure pleasure that came from flying. In her true form it was something she use to do just for the pure feeling of it.

When he took his seat she took the seat on the other side slowly taking the drink as she brought it to her nose smelling the rum and felt the bubbles brush against her nose. It wouldn't take long before she had to bring her hand up rubbing the bottom of her nose to ease the tickling sensation. Hearing the invitation to make herself at home Dyan slowly pulled the confiscated weapons laying them on the desk before she moved carefully resting her head on one side of the chair as her long legs draped over the other arm of the chair being careful not to hit the tender spot on her leg. "I don't think they will be needing me for a while unless somehow I could find a way back to the Harbinger," she said taking a small sip of the drink feeling the bubbles brush over her nose once more. The feeling bringing another smile to her lips. "I hate leaving her like that," Her head rested against the chair as her attention focused on him.

"It's been an......interesting day," she commented taking another small drink before letting the drink and her hands rest on her slightly curled stomach. "But at least we have lived long enough to see it," she said remembering waking among the bodies of her fellow security officers. "Thank you for the drink," she said finally letting her body relax for the first time since she woke. "Since we have some time, tell me Miles what is the life of a fighter pilot like? Well besides fighting and flying,"

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #42
[ USS Theurgy, Deck 15, Fighter Assault Bay, CWO1 Sten "Papa Bear" Covington ]

There were few things that really annoyed the Theurgy's Chief of Flight Deck Operations. And one of them was a three-ring circus in his bay. And that is what he just had, with the rapid landing of two ships' worth of fighters and some random runabout. Not to mention that business with a man who should be dead and some random guy in a red shirt and a black coat.

That last bit was one of the reasons this 40-year Starfleet veteran was glad he wasn't a commissioned officer. Much less bullshit when he was left to his own devices to run his flight deck.

As the order came from Renard to get to work, Sten Covington's gravelly yet booming voice sounded over the noise of dispersing personnel. "Yes Sir, all over it. Wolves, before you go and get tanked, I want your status and ordnance reports. Flight and Tac reports to the SCO as usual. Iron Fox, my consolidated report will be on your desk shortly. Visitors, secure your gear with your birds, last thing we need is a trip hazard on my deck."

It was with a confidence born from decades of service and experience that he spoke such, effectively giving orders to the pilots on the flight deck. But then again, on this ship there was an understanding: unless ordered otherwise  Chief Warrant Officer First Class Sten Michael Covington, Chief of the Deck, callsign Papa Bear and designated as Wolf-Zero, was the voice of God when it came to the operations of the fighter bay.

"Phantom, Sir, if any of your birds have a pressing space worthiness issue, please have your pilots let me know directly and I'll make sure she'll get back to Harbinger under her own power. Otherwise, I'm afraid your post-flight maintenance will have to wait until you're back to your barn."

Having addressed all the concerns he had so far, Sten finally called out to his ground crew. "All right boys and girls, pilots have had their fun, time for the real work. Crack our birds open and get those diagnostics running, we don't have all day. And someone, cold-move that runabout somewhere out of the way, I'll go over it myself. Let's go!"

And so detailed, the Bear Cubs, Theurgy's fighter support staff, went to work.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #43
He smiled softly, "I wanted to be a pilot since I was a kit." he said as he relaxed letting his natural form seemingly grow out as hair slowly seemed to grow and his face seemed to distort and become more canine until what sat in the chair was essentially a large anthropomorphic fox.  I have been a starfighter pilot for years beyond the Federation even knowing of my world.  Really when I joined the Federation it was just a transfer of an already long career as a fighter pilot.  given my years of Experience in a similar squadron when the tac con department was formed I was a natural choice to be added to the star-fighter corps.  Still there is a certain joy.  A freedom in flight that you cant feel any other way.  sometimes you forget where your body ends and your ship begins.  Its amazing really.  AS for the life I dont really know anymore snce I'm the CO now its more paperwork and I am scheduling sims and work orders as much as I am doing patrols.  Still its worth it to be the advocate for the members of my squad."  He smiled as it was his turn now... his turn to ask the question he had tricked her in here to ask.

"So, mind telling me who I'm really looking at he said with a soft smile.  Cause I'm obviously not looking at a human." He said softly still leaning back.  "And don't worry I already turned off Thea's eyes and ears in here.  I have no intention of blowing your cover whatever it is.  If she wants to know why I was being so secretive I'll come up with something.  I'm sure she will understand.  To be honest I'm just curious.  Ever since You came in I noticed your scent was odd. Well, not odd, just Not matching your skin so to speak.  You look human but the scent just don't match."

He said swirling the drink around again trying to be as friendly as possible in revealing what he already could tell.  Obviously she must have had a reason to wear this false skin so he knew it was bound to be a touchy subject.  After all he didn't want her to panic so he had made no additional moves.  Her weapon was closer to her than his was to him.  He had shown his true form to her, he had disadvantaged himself and put himself in a situation where her secret would never leave this room if she were to end his life then and there.  He woudl have to trust that she was the officer she was pretending to be.  It was a gamble but everything about what little he knew about her seemed to say she wasnt the type that would kill an innocent just for discovering her secret.  Or at least that's what he hoped.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #44
She sat letting her body relax as she listened to him talk seeing he seemed to be one that like flight as much as she. The sudden growth of hair caught her attention as she watched him change taking on a more canine appearance. When all was said and done she found herself talking to someone who more resembled a fox then human. Slowly she took a sip from the drink slowly growing accustom to his new appearance. Looking over the freshly grown fur one question entered her mind and at one she mentally chastened herself. She had just raised the glass to her mouth when he spoke again causing her small body to freeze. The soft bubbles of the drink no longer tickling her nose as she mind worked on processing his words. So many thoughts cascaded through her mind.

Run, no idiot where would you run to? Attack? No not that either. Then what? Do nothing? He said he had wasn't going to blow your cover. What if he is lying? Think about it. If he had been lying he would has said something before it was just the two of you.

Her eyes slowly traveled to her phasers resting in easy reach should she choice to attack. Still that was not her. She had been responsible for killing innocent people before and she had swore she would never do it again. Closing her eyes she let a small sigh escape her lips before she took a small drink before she leaned back forcing her body to relax. "I do have to offer my complements. I know T'Rena suspected something wasn't right but you are the first to know it," she said looking into his eyes. She had been caught and there was no denying it. "The Federation and your people don't have a name for my kind yet as we have not made first contact yet," she said slowly rotating the glass in her hand. "I can tell you my kind is not the ones responsible for the current infection going on," she said figuring it would be a good place to start. "And you are right this skin is not right. Nothing more then an end result of genetic treatments and surgical procedures," she said shifting slightly in her chair a slight smile crossing her lips. In someways it was a relief having the charade partly over. "That genetic part is slipping slight hence the change in scent. If I had managed to get back to my ship you probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference," she said shrugging her shoulders softly.

"I can not nor will I explain why I am here and why I hide my true form. My mission is too important and there are too many that are counting on its success. The success of these ships and her crews. All I can do is assure you that me and my people mean no harm," She slowly took a small sip as she got around to a question that had been forming in her mind. "So tell me, Why keep this secret? I figured as soon as someone found out it would made public. I was not expecting a quite personal questioning," she said as a faint pink coloring touched her cheeks as she decided to ask another question that formed in her mind when he had changed forms. "And since we are satisfying curiosity. Would I touched your fur...before I left?" she asked wondering if it would be an odd question to be asking. "Sorry I am just curious as to its texture,"

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #45
There was a chirp from Dyan Cardamone's blood-stained combadge after she spoke, and the voice of Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann was heard in the office. Her tone was not terse, but broke no argument.

[zh'Wann to Cardamone. Report to Corridor A in front of the turbolifts. zh'Wann out.]

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #46
Miles smiled softly hearing her explanation and for the most part his curiosity was sated satisfied in his detective work so to speak.  Before he could reply though he was interrupted by the familiar chirp of a com badge and taped his own in response. "Renard to zh'Wann, she's in my office; we are on our way."  he said as he popped back up into his chair properly and quickly popped off his shoes, the only part of his uniform that tended to be uncomfortable in this form as his legs tended to change so drastically from the human like to his true form. 

He smiled at her softly as got out of his chair and downed his drink before offering her a hand helping her get up aware of the injury to her leg.  once she was up he bent his head down and gently rested it on her shoulder. "Of course you can touch it." he said semi flirtatiously.  His forehead gently grazed her neck as he invited her to pet his head so to speak.    He then added, " before we were interrupted I was going to ask if you could please describe to me what your true appearance is though.  I imagine the hair and eyes must be from it. The hair is not a "normal" human shade especially for your apparent age, and the eyes, well rarely do human eyes radiate in that way.  Whatever you are from those few hints it must be beautiful." he added hoping flattery would get him somewhere in this case, and knowing their time for conversation had been cut short and a brief explanation was all he would be able to manage at the most.  Ida, after all, was not known for her patience.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #47
[ USS Theurgy | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 ]

As the promise of heading to Below Decks had already been spoken, the notion to hand in their reports was to many - including Nightmare - a source of great frustration. Yet Papa Bear had spoken, and there was little choice to the matter. Hannah filed in with the rest of the wolves, all of them picking up their knee PADDs and tapping in the required information. A couple of them had to climb up into their cockpits to get the info they needed from their HUDs, others did a visual inventory of their hard points and checked the external indicator on their micro torpedo launchers. Rawley walked up to Chief Covington ahead of Nightmare, and the shaven pilot tossed her PADD to the man before nodding towards the damaged Reaver further down the hangar.

"You have my Valk report, but I have no fucking idea what to say on that one," she said with a grin, hand phaser held loose at her side, "but I'd love to fly it again sometime. Hope you can make heads or tails out of its systems. Oh, and I will be keeping this flight suit until tomorrow, because I will have you know... that I have not a thread of clothing underneath it. Hope you can respect a lady's wishes, Papa."

After Rawley winked and walked away, Nightmare handed over her own PADD. "I have a ton of ash and debris in those engines, but I am far from alone in that regard. I hope your guys like cleaning duty..." she smiled and raked back some hair from her lips with her gloved fingers, her rifle on her shoulder, "Oh, and I suspect the Shuttle Bay is filled with both Theurgy and Harbinger shuttles with all possible levels of damage, Chief. You might want to pull some people from.... somewhere... to get that sorted. At least we made sure they came aboard... Sorry about the mess though."

Hannah walked away, and as she looked over her shoulder to check out the Chief's fine posterior, her eyes were drawn to the less appealing sight of Phantom's countenance as he stepped up to the Chief of the Deck. "I have no ETA as to where we meet up with my base ship," he rasped in his damaged voice, both his mismatched eyes unblinking - even the lidded one, "yet we will fly them ourselves there in due time. If you can spare someone to clear our engines, I would appreciate it..."

Then the Wing Commander - who three months ago had held command over forty fighters - handed over a PADD to the Chief with the collective reports on the eight Valkyrie II:s that remained of his Wing. He walked away without looking back, his seven hardened pilots following in his wake like a band of rough brigands from feudal times.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #48
Her eyes continued watching him as she explained what she could with out giving away too much information about her mission here. There where so many things she couldn't say to anyone, let alone someone she had just met a few moments ago. Though before anything else could be said the all to familiar chirp of a com badge and zh'Wann's words pretty much ended the conversation going past this point. She remained quite as he said 'they' where on their way her brow would raise slightly in curiosity. She downed the rest of her drink shivering slightly as it went down. When she looked back up she saw him standing there offering his hand to help her up which she willing accepted thankful for the help.

When his head lowered and she felt the soft pressure on her shoulder her small body tensed out of instinct more then anything else. Even before she left her people she hadn't had much if any real physical contact with others. It had always been something she had refrained from for her own reasons.  It would be more then apparent that all the blood on her uniform wasn't hers as it seemed all the blood had found its way to her cheeks. Slowly her hand rose small fingers brushing over his muzzle before slowly moving along to the deeper fur around his cheek. Her touch was light and soft but enough she could get a feel for what his fur felt like. When her fingers moved to the deeper part of his fur she pressed her fingers in slightly feeling some of it brush over the top of her hand. Slowly her hand moved up to his ear as a soft smile formed over her lips. Slowly her body started relaxing as her hand slowly moved from his ears down to his neck.

She had heard the semi flirtatious tone in his voice and it made her smile along with blushing a little deeper. Her head turned slightly as she felt his forehead gently grazing her neck. It had been a very long time since she last been this close to another. A couple hundred years as best she could remember. "The hair is my natural hair color," she found herself whispering probably due to their closeness. "As for my true form pointed ears, horns, a scaled tail and slightly claw like fingers," she spoke feeling a little shy as he spoke that her true form must be beautiful. "I am sure from the way things seem to be going I will probably be back in it sooner or later. Maybe after that we could share another drink and we could see what you think about it," she whispered as her hand slowly lowered down to his arm. "But before we go out tell me do you talk to all the women like this?" All she needed was a small answer before they would leave and she would find where they where placing her now.

Re: Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [ Part II ]

Reply #49
He nodded, "Only the ones that I want to share another drink with, and peerhaps one day I will see the true form or maybe you will never have to reveal it." he said raising his head.  "Besides I was going to make my way down that corridor anyways so may as well say both of us."  he said walking over to the door pressing a few buttons as the door opened, he looked over to the near computer console and sighed, "sorry for having to put my hands over your ears Thea.  Just a private conversation's all."

he grabbed a few things before heading over to where Sten was.  "Sorry bout the mess in your bay Chief. he said handing the man his own Knee PADD.  I think I'm going to join up with my pilots for a moment before heading back here."  With that he headed out the door with Dyan headed towards the corridor where the security officer waited.

Simple Audio Video Embedder