Author Topic: Lewis' Bond  (Read 10432 times)

Offline John Reynolds

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Lewis' Bond
« on: September 26, 2014, 06:22:06 pm »
|EOA Home Office, Deck 10
|0937 HRS, MD 1

As Henry McAllister looked around at the faces of the various Representatives he wondered whether they were all as bored with Lieutenant Philpot's mundane and monotonous report as he himself was.  There were only so many times he could hear pretty much the exact same report week after week before it grew tiresome.  But he supposed no one worked in Operations for the excitement.  His eyes settled on the stoic visage of the newest member, T'Sura, and he decided that at least one of them wasn't.  Or could Vulcans still get bored?  Maybe he would ask her one day if they ever had a conversation that lasted long enough to move beyond the mere basics.

=/\= And of course as my esteemed colleague, Ensign Robertson will no doubt cover in her own report, =/\= the Lieutenant continued in his somewhat nasally voice, =/\= the implementation of these new, third generation, bio-neural gel packs has seen a vast improvement to computing power across the board. Were it not for my contacts within the S.C.E. though I would hate to think how long we might have been forced to rely on outdated neural fibre relays. =/\=

"Yes, yes," Henry finally interjected, "thank you, Ulysses.  Your work, as always, is an inspiration to us all."

=/\= Thank you, Lieutenant Commander. =/\=  Ulysses beamed from ear to ear.

The squirrelly man on the viewscreen didn't seem to detect the faint hint of sarcasm in his tone, which was all the better because it was poor form for a diplomat.  Henry didn't know how he was going to cope in a month when the Yeager-Class, U.S.S. Erebus would finished her assigned exploration duties and Captain Roulston Coutes would bring the man back to the Home Office.  Be thankful for the time you have, he reminded himself, T'Sura could have seen fit to recall him sooner.

Sha Shan tried to suppress a frown.  She had been dealing with S.C.E. practically non-stop since taking her position as the Engineering Corps. Representative on the Oversight Advisory and yet she had to fight tooth and nail for the basic supplies they needed to keep the station, and some of the older vessels in the Task Force, afloat.

"Before we move on to the latest Engineering report," Henry continued, hoping to forestall yet another drawn-out and repetitive report.  "Do we have any new items which require our attention?"

T'Sura inclined her head.  "Indeed.  First, while I, too, commend Lieutenant Philpot's attention to detail, I would wonder if his reports might be better delivered in writing so he could continue his work uninterrupted."

Henry wished he had thought of that and nodded in acknowledgement of the suggestion.  "A prudent suggestion."

"Second, it has come to my attention that we have cadets preparing for graduation," T'Sura continued.  "As such, now would be an appropriate time to commence with their final training cruise to meet their requirements, if arrangements can be made without stressing station equipment and supplies."

"Ah yes," Henry couldn't recall which of the assorted Cadets assigned to the station were due to graduate but he knew at least one of them was delayed due to the station's hop through time sixteen months ago.  "What fortuitous timing that Lieutenant Takagi should return to the fold," he offered the Betazoid what could be considered an almost friendly greeting before continuing, "as the welfare of the Cadets development, and training needs, has been under her purview until more recently, it is only fitting that she be involved now.  I also believe that a more familiar face will test their professionalism."  Something he had been personally aiding Kiriakis in improving.

Doctor Takagi remained non-responsive, staring at the briefing reports on her datapadd as though she was sinking into them. At mention of her name she glanced at McCallister then feigned attention to the conversation.

"Perhaps we can enlist the services of the Endeavour?"  Sha Shan suggested.

"That would prove beneficial," Henry agreed.  "I believe there are a number of Cadets there who could bolster the ranks required for a practical examination, whatever the scenario we set forth for them ends up being."  Before the Vulcan could respond the bald-headed Human added, "Also, despite recent events in her life, Doctor Yale has achieved the requirements to gain her commission, so I would also like her to be included.  She may bring a level of maturity that one or two of the Cadets still lack."

"Dr. Yale is an excellent suggestion. As the supervising officer for the cadets, I should also accompany them," T'Sura added. "I have no objection to Lieutenant Takagi joining the expedition. As the previous cadet coordinator, her insights would be most welcome."

"There are several scenarios I had prepared for the U.S.S. Harbinger, which I understand has  now been properly repaired," Doctor Takagi stated softly once it was clear everyone was waiting for her to object to being set aside. "Cadet Paean and Doctor Yale are both set to graduate, so an operational mission with a scientific purpose would be the better test of their command abilities as well as their academic preparedness."

Henry was surprised that Maya wanted anywhere near the tiny Wallace-Class after what happened last time.  It was a moot point however as they needed to focus on more than just the Cadets assigned to the station and therefore the Harbinger might be too small for their needs.  "Perhaps if we approach Doctor Carter, the station's Chief Science Officer," he added, perhaps to annoy T'Sura by implying she wouldn't know who that was, "she will have something that would suit our purposes."  Turning to Ivan, Henry asked: "Unless you have a suggestion, Lieutenant?"

"Oh," Ivan hadn't really been paying attention, having instead been reading the latest articles to come out of Daystrom.  "N-no," he answered with a quick, nervous smile.  "Andrea is a g-good choice."  His smile deepened, making it clear he was biased when it came to the Chief Science Officer.

Henry resisted the urge to roll his eyes.  "Any objections?"

"While Dr. Carter's input should certainly be sought, as she is not a Starfleet officer, she will not be entirely cognizant of the requirements of a cadet training cruise," T'Sura said, tilting her head in thought.  "I would suggest that Lieutenants Tillman and Lor review Lieutenant Takagi's plans and submit a revised course addressing the specialized needs of the cadets in question."

Although Henry agreed with T'Sura in principle, Carter was the Chief and as such should at least be consulted.  But he nodded in agreement.  "Of course.  Our ultimate concern is whether or not they will be capable officers," he reminded them, "so the final scenario we put them through needs to address as many factors of life in Starfleet as possible."

Doctor Takagi didn't think he wanted to address matters of Starfleet life as general as mess hall duty rosters and filing proper paperwork. She could not be certain as such, but she gave him the benefit of the doubt.

"Sir, if Commander T'Sura and I are incapable of devising a proper cadet training cruise without the consultation of a committee of scientists, then I think you may wish to revisit our effectiveness to serve on this advisory board or as Starfleet officers altogether " the Doctor told McCallister directly, although she spoke slowly and softly. Her attention shifted to T'Sura. "If you can spare a few hours of the afternoon we can have a worthwhile plan to submit to Commander McCallister for approval by the end of the day."

Since when had she started calling him 'sir'?  Henry tried to hide his surprise, deciding that perhaps Maya was simply taking her probation seriously.  It would certainly be easier for her if that were the case.  She had enough to deal with after having her telepathic senses dulled without giving T'Sura and her ilk additional reason to breathe down her neck.

"Logic dictates to use each to their own advantage," T'Sura said, raising an eyebrow. "My specialty is not science. Yours is medical science, which puts Cadet Paean at a disadvantage.  Lieutenant Tillman, please consult with Lieutenant Lor and Doctor Carter this afternoon and report to Doctor Takagi and I tomorrow morning with the revised scenarios," she said, her tone indicating that the discussion was, as far as she was concerned, finished.

"Y-yes, ma'am."  Ivan replied meekly.

Henry shook his head slightly in dismay at the man before glancing down at the brief plan he had prepared for the meeting.  Thanks to Philpot they were slightly behind schedule but that was nothing he hadn't accounted for.  "Very well," he said, once again glancing Maya's direction.  "I will leave that matter in your capable hands, Lieutenant."  Grudgingly he looked towards T'Surea and added, "Commander."

Ivan didn't envy the Cadets with both women assigned to coming up with their examination.

"Now that we've got the pups sorted," Anthony Franklin interjected, "I want to address Security concerns."  The aging Lieutenant Commander didn't wait for confirmation from anyone before continuing, "recent events have continued to highlight the lack of readiness on the behalf of Reynolds and his people.  The fact one of his own Department were following orders supposedly from higher up the CoC without feeling a need to check with him proves that.  However," Anthony drummed his fist on the table for emphasis, "this lack does not stop on Kepler Station.  We must prepare the entire Task Force for what could be around the next corner.  I will not have the Federation surprised by another Dominion simply because these people are slacking."

Henry slumped back in his chair somewhat.  It was going to be a long day...

"It's not 'another Dominion' we have to worry about.  It's the Breen," Iari corrected from her quiet seat.  "Their activity levels have picked up."  The security department often reacted off of the Intel department, and she took Franklin's scolding of Kepler's security team to heart.  If she had been on the station, she was certain she would have caught onto the McCully transmissions a lot sooner.  The resulting play out of Maya's court marshal could have been a lot different.  "I would like to devote more resources to monitoring their activity right now."

Given what happened the last time he hadn't taken Iari's concerns seriously, Henry wasn't keen to make a similar mistake again.  And he had noticed a slow incline in the reports of Breen activity as of late.  Especially with trade vessels venturing too close to blackmarket worlds such as Egul II.  Leaning forward again the Lieutenant Commander steepled his fingers and looked at the Intelligence and Security pair thoughtfully.  "A wise precaution, Lieutenant.  Reassigning one of the science vessels for long-range sensor duty seems like the first logical step."  If there was a basis to Iari's concerns then he might be able to push Starfleet Command for the resources to build a monitoring station as well as the new communication relay system they were planning on constructing in the coming months.

"Might I suggest either the Erebus or the Sagan, Commander McAllister?"  Ivan interjected.  "Although the Christopher Pike admittedly has the more advanced sensors," he added once the other man had given permission via a nod, "their current duties should take precedence."

"Precedence over the security of this Task Force?"  Anthony snapped, making it clear what he thought of that.

"N-n-no," Ivan stammered.  "B-but right now they are attending to a matter of great import.  Both to the future of scientific development within the Federation and to our security."  Withering a little under the bearded man's gaze, Ivan pushed forward nonetheless.  "With the Sassobaun establishing the new Consociation in the Rho Geminorum system the Federation is on the cusp of a new scientific age.  Not since Zefram Cochrane broke the barrier of faster-than-light travel and drew the attention of the Vulcan people have we had such an opportunity to leapfrog our limits of knowledge."

"If my memory of history class serves me," Franklin replied drolly, "Humans were rewarded with at least one hundred years of Vulcan oppression for that 'leap'."  Although he had to admit the wimp had a point; the Sassobaun possessed a level of technology which was usually only discovered by archaeologists digging through ruins of long forgotten empires.  "No offence, Commander."  He offered T'Sura a respectful nod of his head.

"Vulcans are incapable of taking offense," T'Sura said calmly.  "Though I would be willing to give you a history lesson on that period in Vulcan history to correct your misunderstanding, Commander."

Ulysses shook his head and helpfully added, =/\= I would hardly call it oppression, sir. =/\=

"Enough," Henry rubbed at his temple.  "Right now Lieutenant Tillman is quite correct; the Christopher Pike needs to remain where it is.  Regardless of what we might learn from the Sassobaun it's vital that they be able to proceed with their colonisation without interference."  Although his concerns were based less on humanitarian ideals and more on a desire to ensure such advanced technology remained out of the hands of foreign powers.  "Now can we please get back to business?  We have a number of matters to attend to this morning."

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Offline Maya Takagi

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 02:07:32 pm »
| Counselor's Office, Interim Medbay, Deck 8
| 1513 HRS, MD -2

"... and given my position as head of all medical operations in the Task Force, it did not seem practical to be the patient of my direct subordinate, Doctor Luna," Doctor Maya Takagi concluded the explanation for her presence in Doctor Alanna Tann's office.

They sat across from one another with a pot of tea between them. While the younger Doctor Takagi detailed her mandated appointments to asses stress and trauma resulting from her recent, near-death encounter, the elder Doctor Tann's passive probing of Maya's thoughts immediately revealed no surface thoughts at all. All she could read was a cold wall of silence. It was as if conversing with a Ferengi, or a corpse.

Doctor Maya Takagi was no Ferengi, and still some ways from being a corpse. As a Betazoid, her mind should have been either openly receptive to Doctor Tann's own telepathic senses, or actively defending against them. Instead, Doctor Tann was confronted with the complete absence of mental activity.

"I am not a difficult patient, but as a mental health practitioner I am relatively self-managing. I will be forthright in our conversations, and in return I would like to avoid rote psychoanalysis and discussion of matters unrelated to my mandated care," Doctor Takagi concluded. While her tone was measured, perhaps intentionally softened, Doctor Tann didn't need telepathy to recognize a hint of fear in the younger woman's eyes.

Alana nodded, holding eye contact with Doctor Takagi as her Betazoid contemporary explained the situation. Had she not been made aware of Maya's recent medical traumas, Alana would be quite ill at ease given her inability to read the other woman. As it was she felt a deep sympathy towards the younger woman; Alana could not imagine having to cope with her abilities suddenly ceasing to exist.

She put on a reassuring smile before replying to Maya, "Forthrightness will certainly be a welcome change of pace considering the ridiculous level of stubborn evasiveness I have faced thus far amongst my other patients."  How Hideyoshi managed not to strangle some of the more difficult ones was beyond her understanding.

"This is the only environment where your patients feel entitled to be passive-aggressive," Doctor Takagi explained. "However, I am not here to discuss methodologies for dealing with such behavior."

"Indeed you're not," Alana's eyes twinkled slightly as she leaned forward to pour a cup of tea for the two of them.  She waited until Maya accepted her offered cup before picking up her own and sipping slightly, her lips twisting into a satisfied smile.  "My favorite blend of muktok from back home," she explained.

Doctor Takagi took a sip out of politeness and then put the cup on the table. She was more than content with idle chit chat, but had nothing meaningful to say on the topic. "I am not nostalgic."

"A shame," Alana nearly sighed as she placed her steaming mug back upon the table between the two women. She had hoped to glean some sort of reaction from her fellow Betazoid, but should have known better.

"I realize you wish to forego the typical back and forth between doctor and patient, but I do have to ask; how are you? You have suffered a rather traumatic experience and if I'm going to assess your mental status I at least need this one question answered honestly."

"I have some anxiety related to my abduction. Specifically concerning the possibility that there might be other assailants out there. Captain Bakyr has assigned me a roommate, which has been helpful. I sleep a normal seven hours with the assistance of a mild sleep aide, prescribed by my physician," Doctor Takagi explained. "I don't believe this will impact my ability to perform my duties."

"I would tend to agree," Alana nodded, studying Maya's face as she spoke. The cold, mental, wall she came up against matched the impassive expression she possessed. "Anxiety is easily managed and I trust you know how to do so, so I won't bother going over that with you. The only problem I foresee is if your concern about other abductors becomes a form of paranoia."

"What would you define as the transition point between concern and paranoia?" Doctor Takagi asked.

"One might say you've already crossed that threshold based on your previous statement regarding others out there looking to abduct you," Alana pointed out. "However, given the irregular amount of horrible incidents Kepler has encountered I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you find yourself more isolated and unable to trust those around you  - if you're unable to maintain interpersonal relationships - then there would be room for concern on my part."

"In my most pragmatic assessment, I understand that the man who abducted me was provided with classified information from my record. Whoever has access to these records would now know that I lack the skillset of the person whom they wanted to abduct. Therefore the threat may be minimal," the former telepath revealed. "I have no way of knowing."

That Doctor Takagi made no comment regarding the latter half of Alana's statement did not go unnoticed by the counselor, but she elected to let it pass for now. "That you are cognizant of the possibility of a decreased threat is a good sign. Is it safe to assume your superiors here on Kepler are aware of these records, and of those who may have access to them, and are looking into the matter?"

"Looking into the matter is what we bureaucrats say when we're not expecting any results," Doctor Takagi replied, seemingly serious. "I am similarly not expecting results."

"Were you always so optimistic or is that a recent development?" Alana grinned faintly to soften the sarcasm.

"I am merely aware that uncovering conspiracies and plots is a skill that few possess," Doctor Takagi answered. "I do not expect resolution on this matter, and I believe that accepting this reality is a far more productive path."

"Potential reality," Alana corrected her. "One should never give up on hope; perhaps your jaded views on the matter will be wrong."

"Perhaps there is a purpose to your condescending and judgmental statements," Doctor Takagi responded in an even tone. "Perhaps you're attempting to win an argument based on conjecture. Perhaps you're utilizing methodology I'm unfamiliar with. As I cannot sense your intent, perhaps I will never know. Regardless, I am not interested in either your judgements nor your speculation about matters concerning my predicament."

"My goal is to accept my present situation and be effective in my duties," she reminded Doctor Tann. "I think that working toward that goal will be an efficient use of our time."

In an almost Vulcan-like fashion Doctor Tann raised one perfectly sculpted eyebrow in response to Maya. Inwardly she allowed herself a victory celebration; clearly she had struck some form of nerve in the other Betazoid.

"Challenging one's negative thought processes is one of the most basic tenets of those in our profession," Alana reminded Maya after taking a moment to collect her own thoughts. "Perhaps you thought this would be some form of social hour. Perhaps you thought your clout as an EOA representative would allow you some leniency. Perhaps, even, you hoped that rumor and hearsay surrounding your person would somehow intimidate me into bending to your every whim."

Here Alana leaned forward to stress her point, "I can assure you that none of those will come to fruition. Now, if you would like to continue let's do so, otherwise you know where the door is."

"Indeed," Doctor Takagi stood up and departed without another word.

Offline Riley Keegan

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 02:17:53 pm »

|U.S.S. Heinrich Mann
|1300 HRS, -MD 2

As he glanced out of the transparasteel windows of the Danube-Class Runabout's starboard side to take a look at their new posting, it was the debris which Lestru Shule noticed first.  Of course, like many in the Fleet, he had heard the various rumours about this rather cursed station but it was different seeing the extent of that curse with his own eyes.  Even his sister's letters hadn't prepared him for the sight of the remaining damage; mostly because he had written off her more colourful phrasing as the typical exaggeration Lera gave everything she deemed worth of including in her reports back to the family since joining the Academy.  Perhaps, this time at least, he had been somewhat unfair in his judgement of her melodramatic tendencies.

"Talk about your fixer-upper!"  Li Zhōu observed as he and the much older Derek Sullivan entered on the heels of the officer's conversation and spotted the debris field out the cockpit window.

At the rather blunt, however no less apt, observation from the Petty Officer the Thallonian male failed to suppress the frown which creased his red-hued forehead.  Slowly he directed his gaze towards their superior officer who occupied the co-pilot's seat at the front of the compartment.  "And here I was worried that the Lieutenant Commander had shipped us off somewhere nice."  He commented with a slightly sardonic smile.

Casting a brief glance over her shoulder at him, Riley rolled her eye at the obvious sarcasm. "You wouldn't know how to act if it were nice." She commented dryly to him. Granted the Britannia had been a nice ship, it wasn't top of the line and Kepler was... Well if the visual they currently had, was any indicator--this was a down grade. "Besides, we serve the Federation, not the other way around." She added in her normal brisk manner. "Has everyone read the info I sent you on the station? Deck layouts, crew rosters?" She questioned her team as the pilot began docking procedures.

"Aye," the three men answered simultaneously as the newest arrivals settled into their seats.  Given the subspace eddies surrounding the station the Runabout needed to make its final approach under impulse power which meant they still had a fifteen minute trip remaining before docking.

"Pretty sure Sully is hiding the answers under that 'stache of his."  Li smirked.

Ignoring the youngest member of their team's continual attempts to bait the elder man, Lestru kept his attention on their Chief and began to recite the list from memory.  "Ranking, Executive and Second Officers: Nikolas Gren Bakyr, Captain; Isis Rae, recently promoted to Commander; John Eugene Reynolds, Lieutenant.  The latter is also Chief of Security and Tactical on the station."  He continued without pause, "Chief and Assistant Chief Medical Officers: Sarah Anne Martain, Lieutenant; Cassiopeia Regan Yale, pending commendation to Junior Grade.  Chief and Assistant Chief Science Officers: Andrea Jane Carter, civilian; Kesari Lor, Lieutenant Junior Grade.  Chief Flight Control Officer: Greta Keo, Lieutenant Junior Grade."

Finally pausing for a moment the Thallonian hesitated before recalling the unusual factoid in their briefing material.  "Chief and Assistant Chief Engineers: Non-assigned with Holographic Augmented Logistics and Operations program being implemented in their stead.  Assistant Chief of Operations: Vilgi Morr, Petty Officer Second Class."

Li leaned back in his seat and rolled his eyes.  "Teacher's pet."  Before any of them could tell him off for not taking their new posting seriously he pointed out, "With all due respect, naming the senior staff isn't going to aid our duties all that much.  We should be much more concerned with the numerous weak points in station security as a result of the damage to the superstructure.  They've already had incursions before those weak points even cropped up."

"Li is correct-- there are way too many instances on record, and no one knows how many off the record that have occurred." Riley stated as she flipped through a few of the 'highlighted' ones. "This last one, well more like the last three... scream incompetence." First the slow evac times, the kidnapping of the acting chief of medical,  the sloppy way things were handled with the Court Marshall--it was enough to make the blonde's head ache. "That said, it looks like Commander Franklin has cleaned house save for a few, its our job to go in and show them how to run things more...efficiently." she hesitated over her last word slightly, as she had been raised to give department heads the benefit of the doubt, to a degree. However this Reynolds had burned that rope bridge from what she could tell.

No one could be this...lax and still be in charge of a space station security department, even if it was in the frontier.

Hazel eyes turned to the oldest of the group, Sullivan. "Anything or section you believe we should tackle first, Sullivan?" She asked, genuinely wanting his input on the matter.

Looking at the Lieutenant thoughtfully, the greying Human tapped his chin with his index finger as he answered.  "I don't believe we should rush to judgement.  Regardless of why we have been assigned to this post, we need to work with these people and coming in phasers blasting will hardly ingratiate ourselves to them.  Obviously life has been difficult out here and I advise we consider this a scouting mission; keep our eyes sharp and our ears open."

"Ever the diplomat," Li nudged the older man's shoulder playfully.

"Someone has to be with you on the team." Sullivan's mustache quirked up on one corner, showing his grin to soften his words.

Riley shook her head as she gazed at each of her fellows. This is why she had been thankful Uncle Tony had somehow wrangled it where they came with her, they were more than work comrades--they were family. "Good points--the one's relating to Kepler that is." She stated as she pulled up a list. "I have a meeting with Lieutenant Reynolds once we dock, looks like we're bunking on deck...five." she said as she read over her itinerary.  "You three should check in with medical, get your physicals or any immunizations we might need out here--after my meeting I'll do the same and we can do some exploring."

She snapped her fingers suddenly. "Oh almost forgot,  there are cadets on this station, none in security. According to Franklin they've been given the moniker 'wolves' -- I've read their jackets and I'm impressed-- I think our department hasn't gotten along with them in the past, so let's change that, agreed?"

"Shouldn't be hard," Lestru replied sarcastically, "we put up with Zhōu all the time."

"Oh har-dee-har!"  Li resisted the urge to poke his tongue out.  "Hey, Red, ain't your sister a Cadet?"  He asked with a grin, recalling the picture he had seen of Lestru's little sister once during a mission where they had been cramped on a shuttlecraft together for a week.

"Lera."  The male Thallonian answered grudgingly.  "But she's assigned to the Endeavour so I don't expect to see her often."

"Too bad," Li lamented.  She was hot.

"I am pleased to see that even in the frontiers they put an emphasis on education."  Sullivan offered before Lestru took the bait and another argument erupted.  One who was not familiar with the pair would be hard pressed to realise they were such good friends based on their behaviour.

"I agree Sully." Riley replied with a smile, choosing to ignore Li and Lestru for now. "Any questions? Ones that I can answer right now anyways?" She asked them all.

With a broad grin Li leaned forward slightly and asked, "How do you get such great Body and Bounce to your hair?"  He was rewarded with a smack upside the head by Lestru for his troubles.

Introducing the Four Musketeers:



Offline Andrea Jane Carter

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 02:51:56 am »
(Continued from this post)
|U.S.S. Tokyo
|Transporter Room 2, Deck 2
|2220 HRS, MD -6

The cheerful sound of whistling was the only indication to anyone who might enter the secondary Transporter Room that Lieutenant Fernando Smith was currently working away underneath the transporter pad.  Or more specifically, inside the transporter pad; he had been fine tuning the power flow to the energizing coil for the past fifteen minutes.  Although there had been a micro variance within the ACB, or Annular Confinement Beam, it was mostly to give him something to do rather than an actual need to be fine tuned.

Yes, his life had gotten to the point where he was spending his nights looking for any excuse to be somewhere other than his empty Quarters.  Cramped as they were on such a small ship, they served as a constant reminder that his recent decisions had alienated him from his crew and left him feeling even more isolated than he had been.

Snapped from his reverie by the chirp of his comm. badge, Fernando wriggled out from under the console and floundered his hand around on the deck until it made contact with the device which was still affixed to his discarded uniform jacket.  "Smith."

=/\= Bridge to Transporter Room 2, =/\= The young woman currently on Bridge duty was all business as she reported: =/\= Lieutenant McDonald is waiting to transport over from the U.S.S. Endeavour. =/\=

McDonald, eh?  One of the few members of Tokyo's crew who had about as many friends as he did however in her case that seemed far more of a preferred choice.  She hadn't been around much lately because of the one friend he was aware the scientist had; the Betazoid Rep on the EOA.  Thanks to being a senior staff member he had been informed of the woman's condition after the events leading to a mistrial.  Takagi was still in an induced coma aboard the Task Force's flag ship which was where McDonald had spent most of the last fortnight.

She was a tough nut to crack... One minute she was an isolationist and the next a supportive friend who barely left the hospital room.  Fernando sighed softly and quickly reached back into the inner workings of the transporter and reattached the components he had been calibrating.  "Understood.  Please tell the Lieutenant I will be able to beam her over presently."

=/\= Acknowledged, Bridge out. =/\=

Extracting himself from the transporter once again, Fernando got up and reached for the Tricorder at his hip.  Personally he wasn't a fan of the TR-600 series.  He much preferred the retro style of the flip-top 500 series.  But progress was progress.  The diagnostic began performing as he climbed to his feet and flipped his jacket over his shoulder and had finished by the time he stood behind the transporter control panel across the narrow room.  Tapping into the ship-to-ship communication system he said, "Tokyo to Endeavour, we are ready to receive Lieutenant McDonald."

The voice on the other end of the connection had barely spoken when the shimmering effect of the active transport bathed the room in a soft blue light.

Materialising on the transporter pad, Lieutenant McDonald realised it had been a long time since she had last set foot on the Tokyo.  One thing or another had kept her away which had, admittedly, been fine with her. Completely exhausted, it took her a moment to realise the ship's Chief Engineer was standing behind the controls.  Hardly what you would expect to find at this time of night.  And then she realised she had no idea what time it actually was.

"No offense," she began as she stepped off the transporter platform, the heels of her boots ringing out around the room, "but seeing you here at this time of night makes me think a shuttle might have been safer.  Problems?"

Fernando tried taking the assumption on the chin but it still stung somewhat.  "No, no," he assured her.  "I was just performing a routine recalibration, that's all.  Nothing to worry about."  Flashing her a charming, albeit forced, smile he asked, "you haven't been back in a while... Can I take that as a sign your friend's condition has improved?"  He wondered for a moment if his current luck made it more likely the Betazoid had died and he had just stumbled into a plasma minefield.

"Yeah, you could say that," Alex replied absently, "she's awake but not herself..."

"Progress is still progress," Fernando smiled reassuringly, hoping to cheer the brunette up somewhat.  He shut the system down and then stepped around from behind the console.  "If you ever need someone to talk to..." Looking a little nervous the Engineer's smile became a little more bashful as he offered: "Well, I'm usually around here somewhere.  I'm a pretty good listener when I actually shut up."

Biting back on her immediate reply, which would have been to tell the ship's Chief Engineer to throw himself out of an airlock, Alex forced herself to smile.  "Just keep on talking Chief," she told him, "because believe me, you don't want to listen to what's in this head of mine."

"Nevertheless the offer stands," Fernando reiterated.

"Why are you being nice to me?" Alex asked, sounding genuinely confused but exasperated at the same time.  She knew it was tiredness that was making her say this out loud but once she started, the words just wouldn't stop.  "Since I came on board people have tolerated me.  At best.  I get it, everybody knows I'm damaged goods.  Heaven forbid it be contagious.  That I know.  I'm so used to it.  But trying to chat to me... that I don't know so well."

Fernando frowned slightly at Alex's assessment of her standing with the crew.  "I'm pretty sure that 'damaged goods' is a term which applies to most of us out here, Lieutenant.  Do you think being the man responsible for the asteroids diverting to the station endeared me to people?"  There was no bitterness in his tone, simply acceptance.  "Suffering is suffering and no one should have to do that alone if they can help it..."

"See, that is where you are wrong on both counts.  Because suffering alone is pretty much the only way I have... and secondly, because I was in that meeting and you were not the one beating your chest like a caveman wanting to blow the asteroid to bits," Alex corrected him, her voice almost a growl as she recalled the torture of that briefing.  "So you are not responsible.  The people who signed off on that whole damned mission were.  If anyone says you are, just punch them in the face."

The conviction in her voice startled Fernando somewhat and he found himself unable to reply for a moment.  "I... I guess you have a point there."  He finally said, sounding a little lame.  "But I can't exactly punch myself in the face, can I?"  Fernando asked with a slightly forced laugh.  "The decision to attempt diverting the course of the asteroids was mine.  And it was that decision which cut the evacuation time from weeks to barely anything."  Rationally he knew that Commander Rae had the same thoughts about herself, but that didn't change his guilt.

"Break some mirrors," Alex suggested, "it is oddly therapeutic.  Or break open a bottle of Single Malt whisky.  Equally therapeutic."

Her last words came out more of a blur, slurred from tiredness.  She reached out a hand to use the wall for support as she blinked a few times to make the world stop spinning for a second.  She needed sleep. And food.  In any order whatsoever.  Which made her in even less than a mood to deal with an engineer drowning in irrational self guilt.  How did Maya do the job she did?  She wouldn't last two seconds without slapping someone.

"When was the last time you ate?"  Fernando asked in concern as he quickly sidled over to the Transporter pad and offered a supportive arm for the scientist to lean on.  "Single Malt whisky doesn't count," he pointed out with a soft smile.

"I would murder for some of that right now," Alex confessed with a rueful smile.  In answer to his question she added, "and I honestly couldn't say.  Know any good replicators?"

Fernando resisted the urge to joke about picking up women by waiting for them to collapse in his arms.  He doubted McDonald would find it amusing and she didn't need added aggravation right now.  "I know a place," he answered.  "At this time of night it should be pretty easy to get a table too."  They continued along the corridor towards the Mess Hall in relative silence.  As predicted, there were only a couple of people there given the fact handover for Delta Shift wasn't for another hour and a half.  Guiding the scientist towards a vacant seat, the Engineer offered, "what do you feel like?  I'll go get it for you."

Alex hesitated for only a fraction of a second.  She knew he was trying to be helpful, that he didn't know what he was doing was the kind of thing she would normally find suffocating.  And that alone was why she had allowed this to go on so long.  And she was too tired to be defensive.  It took more work than most people realised.

"Pasta... tomato and chilli pasta," Alex decided after a moment.  It was something she knew would let her feel full enough to sleep for a long while.  And then she remembered to tag on a quick,  "thanks."

"Coming right up," Fernando replied with a gentle smile before departing.

Stepping up to the replicator, the Engineer entered his personal code and began to override the standard command which would include his personal vitamin and nutrient requirements in the molecular pattern.  The system complained so he accessed the command subroutines and turned them off temporarily under the assumption he was performing a routine test.  Sometimes it was useful to be the Chief Engineer.

As the meal began to materialise Fernando glanced back at the obviously exhausted woman curiously.  Her reputation almost seemed like a joke looking at her right now... But, he supposed, if his best friend were in such a bad way he might not look himself either.  Although he really wasn't sure he had a best friend.  There was Ethan, but he really didn't know if they were actually friends or the younger man just tolerated him.  "Maybe that is friendship," he mused with a sardonic smile.

Picking up the tray, he carried the food items back to the table and then set them, one by one, down in front of Alex.  "Since I doubted you'd appreciate synthehol I forewent the single malt and got you a chocolate sundae."  Fernando offered a cheesy grin and added, "with sprinkles."

For a moment she was speechless.  Which, in all truth, was something of a first.  Of course there were plenty of times when she had bit her tongue to silence some inappropriate comment or another, but those comments had always been there.  Bursting to get out.  Perhaps because she was contemplating if she should eat the sundae, or make him wear it for presuming she wanted it in the first place.

Play nice, Alex, she told herself.

"You didn't have to do that, the pasta is fine," she finally managed, taking a bite of her late dinner.  "But thank you for the thought.  If you're hungry, you could maybe have some of the sundae?  Fixing transporters has to be enough to give you an appetite..."

Fernando settled into the chair across from Alex and reached for the dessert.  "I suppose it is," he replied simply before adding, "and even if it isn't, my father always used to say it was a sin to allow an attractive woman to eat alone."  A playful smile crossed his lips for a moment, "that could be why he was a rather large man... And why my mother left him when I was twelve."  He laughed, "sorry, that was probably a few too many childhood issues to lay down over a simple sundae."  The Engineer tried not to make it obvious he was checking to see if his routine was lightening the mood.

"Possibly," she agreed lightly as she took another bite.  God, she wished he had brought some form of alcohol...  then again, probably better that he hadn't.  She wasn't sure why he was telling her this but she guessed part of it was perhaps in his nature.  And attractive? Easily said when he hadn't seen the multiple scars on her body.  She doubted attractive would be the word he would use.  "And as sin goes, I don't remember ever hearing of that one.  Except in some really cheesy chat up lines."

She said it deadpan, neither her tone or her facial expression betraying anything.  He would either take it as some friendly teasing or be offended and storm off.  She wasn't sure which nor did she mind.

"No doubt that's where he got the saying from," Fernando chuckled.  Her expression was awfully difficult to read but at least he was certain that she was starting to feel better.  He scooped up a layer of soft, creamy sundae and then closed his eyes as he slipped the spoon into his mouth.  The rich texture was even better than he had anticipated and he was grateful to Alex for rejecting it so that he could enjoy it.  "Try as she might, I'm afraid that my mother never managed to fully expunge his influence on my young, impressionable mind."

"Impressionable, huh?" Alex teased.  "And exactly what did he teach you about?"

"Aside from pretty much everything he knew about women--which took all of about ten minutes--" Fernando practically snorted at his attempt at humour, "it was actually my father who taught me about working on machines.  He spent his life working maintenance on the environmental systems that kept Tycho City habitable."  With a slight shrug Fernando added, "he wasn't particularly gifted or anything but he worked hard."

"At least machines are easier to understand than people," Alex commented as she finished her meal and pushed the plate to the side.  "Far less complicated, logical... My own father wasn't exactly the model parent either.  But he is one of the best in his field.  So he's probably the stereotypical arrogant scientist."

"Is that what made you want to become a scientist?"  Fernando asked curiously before realising how that might have sounded.  "I meant following in your father's footsteps," he assured her, "I wasn't trying to suggest that you're arrogant."  Rolling his eyes at his own stupidity he shovelled another spoonful of sundae into his mouth to stop anything else falling out.

Raising an eyebrow, Alex had to bite her lip to stop from laughing.  Clearly, his mouth often engaged before his brain could stop it. 

"Runs in the family and it was one of those things where I was just naturally good at it.  But joining Starfleet, that was just to piss him off," Alex confided with a shrug.  "And it worked really well.  Until I get kicked out.  Which, to be honest, is bound to happen sooner or later.  I'm surprised I've survived this long."

"You got kicked out?"  Fernando's tone implied he was somewhat impressed by that feat.  That made some of her earlier comments make a little more sense; obviously Alex was used to people knowing some of her service record and holding it against her.

"Almost," Alex corrected.  "I ended up assigned to the Renaissance instead... You think you've made mistakes, Lieutenant, I can promise you things could be a whole lot worse. I believe I am now on my official last, last, last, last, last warning."

"Well don't worry," he chuckled, "you'll get kicked out eventually.  Besides, everyone loves a trier, right?"  In a more serious tone Fernando tried to put the scientist's mind at ease.  "Whatever rumours you think are floating around the ship about you, I've not heard them.  And while I may be a social pariah now I like to think I at least kept up with the gossip prior to that."

Smothering a yawn Alex shrugged, "never been one to listen to gossip, let alone care about it."

"Well good," Fernando nodded with a smile.  "You shouldn't."  He scooped up the last of the chocolate and then checked to make sure he had licked the spoon clean.  "This is going to sound like a second rate line no matter how I word it," the Engineer warned with a grin, "so I'll just ask it; are you all right to get yourself back to your Quarters?  I don't mind accompanying you but I figure you've done your community service by tolerating me this long."

Alex's eyes narrowed, offended at the idea.  "I think I'll manage," she assured him, climbing to her feet and offering a mischievous smile as she started walking towards the exit, "besides, if you walked me that far, you'd end up joining me for breakfast."

For once Fernando didn't know what to say.

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« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 05:22:45 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Isis Rae

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 02:57:27 am »
|Yale Residence, Deck 5
|1520 HRS, MD 2

Cassi ditched her shoes by the door when she returned to her quarters, walking in an unintentional circle when the left shoe didn’t automatically free itself from her foot.  Then she continued in a second circle as she tried to remember how she had decided to tell Eugene her news.  In a way, it was a blessing, this cadet cruise that she was assigned to; in another, a curse.  Free from her commitment of an awkward social situation, but breaking promises to friends and more-than-friends.

When she caught Eugene looking at her, Cassi kicked her shoes closer to the wall and smiled quickly.  Nope, not walking in circles, all the shoes’ fault.  “Hey,” she addressed him.

“Hey,” Eugene grinned as he hopped up from the couch and crossed over to where Cassiopeia stood.  “You’re back early,” he noted before slipping his arms around her and kissing her on the lips.  As he leaned back slightly a mischievous smile crossed his lips.  “Are you playing hooky?”

Cassi scrunched up her nose, “No…”

“Well that’s probably for the best,” he lamented, the smile remaining.  “I don’t really want my free time taken up by visiting you in the Brig for going AWOL.  Even if you would look good in those grey jumpsuits.”

“Hmm,” she answered with a tight-lipped amusement.  “Well, I’ve got worse news for you then that, actually.  And I tried to think of a clever way to bring it up while walking back here.  But, alas, I’ve got nothing.  So… do you want it straight forward, or shall I pansy around for a while?”

“Straight forward?  But I find bad news usually goes better with nudity,” Eugene joked, trying not to show how nervous he was; Cassiopeia hadn’t been herself since the incident with Christopher, and then his subsequent and rather sudden death, barely two weeks ago and he was finding it difficult to help her.  Being the supportive boyfriend was pretty new to him after all.  “Just for future reference.”

“Strip down then,” she dared with an amused smirk.

“You’re stalling,” Eugene laughed.  He ushered Cassiopeia over to the couch and sat down, patting the cushion beside him.  “Come on, out with it already.”

She sat with a sigh, “I have to go… uh, leave on a mission.  And… I’m going to miss the wedding because of it.”  She seemed a bit smaller than normal as she shrunk into the couch.

“Ah,” Eugene nodded thoughtfully.  While he was disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to spend the time with Cassiopeia, there really wasn’t much either of them could do about it.  He had served long enough to know the downside to obligation.  “I understand… Orders are orders.”  He shuffled closer and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek.  “You weren’t completely keen to go anyway, but I appreciate the fact you would have gone.”

“Understanding isn’t a real reaction,” she objected.  “You should look upset… or happy, or something.”

“Well I’m not happy about missing the chance to take you out on the town,” Eugene assured her with a soft smile, “but you’re not the one who decided on the timeframe for the mission.”  His smile became teasing again as he asked, “are you?”

Cassi chortled, “No, but it is a bit convenient.  Maybe we can do something tonight instead?”

Eugene traced his fingers lightly down her arm and then took her hand.  “I’d like that,” he answered.  “Is there anything happening on the station tonight?”  Aside from the karaoke evening that had been hosted by one of the establishments on the Promenade, there hadn’t really been much in the way of social events on the station.  It seemed like a missed opportunity for boosting morale but also made for a lack of dating options.

“What did you want to do most at the reception?  Dance?” Cassi asked.  If this was a substitute date for the wedding, it seemed like a logical question.

“I dance about as well as I sing,” Eugene grinned wryly.  He was sure that his serenading her at the karaoke night had been embarrassing enough to discourage an attempt at dancing with him in public.  “But I have to admit I was looking forward to it… Especially seeing you in a fancy dress.”  The truth was there wasn’t one particular aspect of the night he had been looking forward to, it was the chance to spend time with Cassiopeia and what amounted to his family now.  And a small part of him had wanted her support when he finally met this reality’s Samantha… He wasn’t sure what John’s sister might make of him.

“I could put on my dress and we could sit on the couch and eat popcorn? Watch a movie or something?”  She loathed dressing up, especially if it meant heels and bare arms.  But, for Eugene, she could face the challenge.

“Really?”  He leaned back a little to fix her with a questioning look.  “How much is that gonna cost me?  You’re not exactly a fan of dresses.”

She rolled her eyes, “I already have the dress; I might as well wear it.”  And, if she didn’t have to wear it in public, win-win for everyone.  “And that’s not entirely accurate because I wear dresses all the time,” Cassi corrected.

“Okay,” he nodded, “you have a point there.”  As Eugene sat up he pulled Cassiopeia with him and then slipped his arms around her.  “What movie should we watch?  Got any favourites?”  It would be just his luck and all the movies he had loved growing up were never made here.

“Um… I can’t immediately think of a favorite,” she slipped away from his hold.  “But you should pick something and I’ll go change,” Cassi suggested.

Hopping off the couch after paying particular attention to the departing doctor’s butt, Eugene crossed to the computer to bring up the list of publicly available movie titles.  “How about a horror?”  He called out, trying to keep the smile from his voice.  It was a bit of a dating cliché.  “There’s one about a hotel on Risa which is haunted by the ghost of an old Klingon blademaster seeking revenge on the descendants of the warrior who killed him dishonourably…”

“Why would a Klingon go to Risa?  Shouldn’t he haunt someplace on Kronos?” Cassi called back from the next room.

“If you’re going to poke holes in the logic of a horror movie plot we might need to clear your schedule.”  Eugene laughed.  He scrolled through the list, excluding the various ones marked as twenty-first century.  “What about a science fiction movie where the hero goes back in time and has to avert the disaster which creates his timeline in the first place?”  He frowned.  “Actually, lets avoid science fiction…”

“Find something animated then,” she couldn’t think of anything other than the movie she had watched with Rexus six or seven months ago, and she wasn’t going to watch that again.

“Okay.”  Bringing up the appropriate subcategory, Eugene perused the list of animated movies for a moment before settling on one that he figured Cassiopeia would like.  “Got one.”  He tapped on the file and transferred it to the viewscreen for them to play once they were ready.  By the time she reemerged from the bedroom Eugene was seated on the couch with both the popcorn and two glasses of watermelon flavoured juice waiting on the coffee table.

Eugene smiled warmly as he looked toward the door where she stood.  The long, flowing pink dress complimented the contours of her body and even managed to make Cassiopeia look taller.  Not that she needed it.  “You look beautiful,” he complimented with a sharp intake of breath.

“Ah,” she sighed, “I was going for cute.”  But her smile said she both appreciated the compliment and that she was joking about “cute.”  “You look comfortable.”  Cassi joined him on the couch and adjusted her position so she could snuggle under his arm.  “Should we dim the lights?”

Leaning forward for a moment, Eugene grabbed the popcorn and then settled back in.  “Only if you promise not to take advantage of me,” he answered, offering her the popcorn with a grin.  It was reassuring to see Cassiopeia getting more comfortable with accepting his compliments without trying to downplay or completely dismiss them.

“I’m not making any promises.”

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Lieutenant Commander Isis Rae
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Kepler Station

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 02:56:17 pm »
|Captain's Quarters, Deck 3
|1019 HRS, -MD 3

"There are more fun ways to be spending a Saturday morning," the redheaded hologram pointed out as she followed Nikolas out of his bedroom with Maya's belongings all packed up for her.  Her image shifted for an almost imperceptible amount of time as the imaging duties switched from the original emitters Eva Blake had installed within the bedroom to those inside the somewhat spacious living area.  Much more obvious was the sudden change in attire that accompanied the transition; now the photonic woman was dressed in a much more casual outfit which played to her previous comment all the more.

Nikolas smiled softly as he swung his hover-chair around to face her.  "You're the one who offered to help, Holly."  He pointed out.

"Well somebody has to help keep all the women out of your bedroom."  She teased.  Considering it had been her prior limitation to the bedroom which had resulted in the Trill's original run of nights on the couch Holly thought the joke was well chosen.  "Besides you said that Maya might be interested in having some help while she's recovering so I thought maybe I could show her how useful I am."

"So eager to see the back of me?" Maya inquired as she stepped through the front door to find the Captain's pet hologram holding her small duffel bag. Her tone carried the same suspicion that Nikolas had grown used to over the past month.

"Nonsense," Nikolas answered dismissively as he looked back towards the doorway.  "I just thought that you would prefer to get settled in now rather than having to move again so soon."  She had finally been given the all-clear by Doctors Radek and Martin to return to Kepler Station and, per her request some weeks ago, Nikolas had arranged for her to be assigned new Quarters.

Maya pushed an errant lock of her newly regenerated hair back behind her ear. "Makes sense." Her black eyes narrowed. "Are you certain that there are no more conspirators out there?"

The question caught the Trill somewhat off guard and he looked down at the deck for a moment before shaking his head softly.  "I'm afraid I would be lying if I said I was certain of that..." He admitted.  Although she may no longer posses her telepathic abilities, Nikolas doubted that Maya would believe him even if he did try to claim otherwise.  "However I am confident that the measures we have put in place to make their lives difficult are going to do just that."  He offered what he hoped was a reassuring smile.  "Your new Quarters are just next door which means you will have very little in the way of privacy."  Which translated to a lack of isolation.  In the unlikely event that another attempt was made on her life it would be exceptionally difficult to remain undiscovered.  A small comfort, perhaps, but a marked improvement.

"We're neighbors. That's good." The thought of him hovering over to her aide was more amusing than comforting, but it had the same effect. A sly smile crossed her lips as she regarded the hologram. "You have him all to yourself now."

"I don't mind sharing," Holly grinned.

Nikolas resisted the urge to roll his eyes, a trait he had picked up after his years of teaching Cadets.  "Although you will no doubt find this question annoying," his smile deepened, "how are you feeling this morning?"  Although Maya had only regained consciousness a couple of days ago she seemed to believe that the progress she was making was far from adequate.  He tried to remind himself that the loss of her telepathy was likely to be even more traumatic than his own injuries and that it would take time to adjust.  If in fact Maya ever fully adjusted to such a significant loss.

"I'm cleared for duty and I have a luxurious head of a hair. Which means that for all reasonable intents and purposes I am functional," Maya answered. Of course she knew that he wanted a real answer, so she started pacing as she considered what to tell him.

"I feel extremely bitter about the events of the past months. I have no intention of drowning in self-pity. I am aware that I am... unlikeable." She considered her word choice very carefully. "While I did not expect any of the people who I've aided to support me, I am nonetheless disappointed that none of them did."

"Support comes in many forms," Nikolas pointed out, a little unsure what it was exactly that Maya had expected of them.  As it was there had been a fairly steady flow of people coming to check on her condition and hoping for the best.

"Captain, don't ask me how I'm feeling if you're only going to respond with meaningless platitudes," Maya stated calmly. "Forget I said anything."

Before committing herself to sulking, she laughed and turned to Holly. "I don't suppose you were programmed with daddy issues, were you?"

"What I mean," Nikolas interjected before Holly could provide the answer he really didn't want to hear, "is that perhaps people are uncertain how to offer you their support without giving the impression that you can't take care of yourself.  You are a very... headstrong... woman and it's understandable that you might see the offer of aid as a criticism."  Trying to offer an insight into his own struggles the Trill added, "after the asteroid strike left me bound to this chair I found it rather difficult to accept help because it felt like I was no longer capable of being the Officer I was.  If memory serves, you were one of the people who wouldn't allow me to continue with that misconception."

"So people didn't want to help me because they were afraid of offending me," Maya concluded with a laugh. "I am particularly offended by that. At the same time, I suppose I must now sleep in the bed that I've made for myself."

Given the loss of her telepathic abilities, it would require too much effort to vindicate herself. So she let it drop. Nonetheless, Nikolas could see the fear and discomfort she projected with each cautious catlike movement as she paced around the room.

"And I would rather prefer that said bed had someone else in it," she confessed, "Because I am uncomfortable with the idea of being alone."

Holly pursed her lips thoughtfully as she looked from Maya to Nikolas and then back again.  She hadn't really spent much time with the Betazoid during her stay, having chosen to make herself scarce instead, but the change in her demeanour was obvious even to the hologram.  "Well I'm not sure that I'm the sort of company you had in mind," Holly smiled wryly, "but I would be more than happy to provide you with a distracting annoyance if you're agreeable."

"Does this offer come with terms?" Maya asked suspiciously. She had no interest in sleeping with a piece of software, but she certainly would not turn down a virtual roommate.

An amused smile spread across her ruby-hued photonic lips.  "Something along the lines of 'satisfaction guaranteed or your latinum back'?"  Holly didn't wait for an answer before adding, "how about agreeing to be seen in public with me?  I know some people aren't fond of holograms... Especially around this station."  Even though she had been a big part of shutting down the rouge program some of the residents who had been terrorised by zombie soldiers still chose to snub her.  It had made her couple of part time jobs on the Promenade difficult and ultimately led to the owners asking her to leave.

"People aren't too fond of mind invading telepaths either," Maya reminded Holly. "I'd gladly go for a daily stroll with you." It was pathetic but she needed to start somewhere. "Now the Captain will have this place all to himself, and can invite his ladyfriend over whenever he wants."

Holly had never understood the aversion to telepathy but then, with no physical mind to read, it was hardly a concern for her.  There was also the fact that her memories could be accessed through her data core should someone gain access.  With the mention of Nikolas' friend T'Sai, the hologram shifted her focus to the Trill and grinned.  "You old dog, you."  She teased.

"You two are worse than my daughter," Nikolas bemoaned with a shake of his head.  "Captain T'Sai and I are friends and colleagues who have a mutual respect for fine literature."  The defence didn't sound any more convincing to the Trill than it did to the two women.

"Then you wouldn't object if I made a pass at her?" Maya asked, seemingly serious.

Nikolas didn't quite know how to answer that question.  "You are both consenting adults..." The Trill answered finally, aware that you probably didn't need to be a telepath to read his thoughts right now.  Clearing his throat, and changing the subject, he asked, "have you spoken to Lieutenant Commander McAllister about getting back to your duties?  I'm sure he's eager for your return."  Despite their differences, Nikolas had been impressed with Henry McAllister's willingness to put himself on the line for those under his command.  It had been an unexpected gesture which quite possibly left the Admiral with no choice but to 'play ball', as the Human saying went.

"Given that the Doctors have forbidden me from drinking, it made no sense to continue this vacation," Maya stated. "I will resume my work in two days hence."

"What about the Medical side of things?"  Nikolas asked curiously.  "Will you be working in Sickbay when needed?"  He didn't know whether all the craziness of the past few weeks had dulled the conflict between she and Sarah Martin or simply been a distraction from it.

"Although that harpy can no longer block my access, for the time being, I've declined to work in medical," Maya explained. She sighed and started to pace again. "My assigned duty is to be a bureacrat, not to be an intelligence gatherer or surgeon. That is something I am capable of."

"I suppose that answers all your questions," she stated, although she wasn't certain. She had spoken enough about herself for a few months. "Is there time for one of mine?"

Knowing that this could be a dangerous precedent to set, the Trill nodded.  "Of course."

"Why didn't you tell me that you'd spoken to my father?" she asked

Nikolas was caught off guard by the question and didn't quite know how to respond.  At the time of Darius Ram's call, Nikolas had been concerned that his request for Maya to be sent back to Betazoid for treatment would only have added to her troubles.  Now his concerns were magnified because there was no telling how she might react.  Finally he decided that she had a right to know the truth.  "Perhaps I should have," he agreed, "although, you had enough to deal with at the time so I felt it best to keep his call to myself.  I apologise for making that choice on your behalf however I stand by the decision; the Senator was convinced that returning to Betazoid was the best outcome for you and I disagreed.  As a matter of fact, I still do."

"Why is that?" Maya inquired. There appeared to be quite a lot of opinions about what to do with her.

Holly used this opportunity to slink away, setting the bag down quietly and then literally vanishing from the room.  This time without the theatrics that she had become known for adding to her entrances and exits.

"To begin with," Nikolas said in a careful tone so as not to make this any more difficult than it needed to be.  "I do not believe that Senator Ram was genuinely concerned with your well being.  While I would never want to put words into your father's mouth, I believe it was himself, and how a public trial would affect him, that he was focusing on. Your well being may have come a close second, but that wasn't close enough for me... I felt that you needed someone who genuinely wanted to do right by you without an agenda of their own."  He supposed that wasn't entirely true though, he did have an agenda of sorts; keeping Maya from sabotaging her own career and seeing to it that she had the chance to make better decisions in the future.

As Maya watched him speak, her eyes seemed to gaze through him. The Captain was familiar with this look, which accompanied her telepathic probing.
Perhaps she had in fact regained her abilities, or perhaps she was simply trying to see if any figment of her sixth sense remained.

"I kept nothing from you, Captain," she stated, which for once in her life was truthful. "Your professed altruism hides a selfish purpose not so different from my father. You failed as a father to your own wife and child. You wish to redeem yourself by being a father figure to others, by nurturing and protecting them from harm. Your heart would soar if I was to tell you that you're more a father to me than the Senator."

She wasn't sure why she had said those words. Maya knew they would be hurtful, but she also knew them to be true. In their time together, she delved deep into his mind, into his greatest hopes, fears and anxieties.

He was familiar with the petulant and impulsive parts of her personality, which she took great efforts to conceal. Over the past weeks this maliciousness emerged with more frequency, commesurate with her desire to give up. The Captain could therefore be certain that, despite her bitterness, some core part of Maya Takagi was still a child seeking a caregiver, a provider, a nurturer.

"I am thankful for the lengths you went to defend me, with all means at your disposal," she added, earnestly so as to soften the blow. "I think perhaps you are my only true friend on this station. But you're no father... I do not want or need that from you, and do not presume that you can be."

Nikolas weathered the criticism without any outward reaction and then finally said, "No matter what you believe my motivations for helping you were, Maya, I am not trying to be your father.  My shortcomings in that department notwithstanding, I have a daughter.  However, I also consider you a friend and, as such, only want the best for you.  Should you decide that returning to Betazed and undergoing treatment at your father's behest to be just that, then I will support that decision."

"Well," Maya smiled, either at the phyrric victory over her would-be paternal figure or the irony of the proposition. "I certainly don't see any reason for treatment at the present moment."

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Offline Maya Takagi

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 03:41:25 pm »
|Arboretum, VIP Quarters, Deck 3
|1900HRS, MD -3

The crewmen deposited Doctor Maya Takagi's boxes in her new living quarters and departed with a "Good afternoon, Doctor."

The entirety of her possessions was held in two boxes. She owned a few pieces of jewelry, five printed books, and some fine quality cookware. The biggest thing she'd carried with her was a beautiful and violent painting which now needed a bare wall to be hung upon, a difficult task when 75% of the walls were windows.

Doctor Takagi move for the first time without her wine collection. What hadn't been destroyed by the asteroid impact was either consumed during her suspension or shattered when Crewman McCully threw her against the racks and brought them toppling down.

Maya dropped the shades and made the windows opaque. She neither wished to be seen or to see anything. Turning, she found Alex McDonald was already looking through her boxes like an inquisitive cat.

"If you find anything you want, take it," Maya stated. She slumped into a chair and looked up at the roof. "Explain to me why it's safer for me to be living in a completely public area?"

Like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar, Alex offered a suitably abashed smile as she studied the books in her friend's limited collection.  She was a naturally curious person, and one who travelled light.  Were she to move quarters, she wouldn't need one box let alone all of these... 

In truth she didn't know the answer to Maya's question.  Nor had she been privy to whatever discussion had taken place before someone had decided to relocate Maya here.  Perhaps it was to preserve the captain's collection of wine and spirits? Who knew. 

"Maybe it is reverse psychology, in a twisted security kind of way," the scientist offered finally as she carefully set down one of the books back in the box.  "You know, since if there is someone out there watching you they will probably think there is no way you would be here without some serious security arrangements in place?  I might be wrong.  If you'd prefer, you could come stay on the Tokyo?  Your closet is probably bigger than most of the quarters though."

Alex moved towards her bag that was still in a chair by the door, rummaging inside for a moment before retrieving a gift bag and heading towards the chair where Maya was still staring up at the ceiling.  "A housewarming gift," she declared, holding out the bag before adding, "and a peace offering. Since you need to rebuild your wine collection and all."

Maya opened the gift, although she found the experience of being surprised unfamiliar and off putting. "Thank you." She contemplated opening the bottle. "Now that I'm back on duty I'll have to start stockpiling... until the next court martial that is."

"Do you suppose they'll let me keep weapons in here?" she asked after a moment.

"Are you planning on needing any?" Alex teased as she sat on the opposite chair.  "And weapons is such a subjective term.  They may not approve of phasers and the like but then, so many things can be used as weapons - if you put your mind to it.  Even our own two hands."

Ignoring the comment about putting ones mind to it, given that her mind had literally been her most potent weapon, Maya clarified her needs. 

"Rae taught me how to shoot. I'm not strong enough to fight with my hands. Perhaps I can convince you to train me."

Alex hesitated for only a second.  Briefly contemplating uttering some sort of reassurance that it wasn't something that was really necessary but she dismissed it.  She had been in this place herself.  Many times.

"Consider it done," she said with a nod.  "Though I hope you never have to use anything I could teach you.  And if you want, I could crash on your couch tonight if it would help you get some sleep?"

"If you want to help me sleep, the bed is preferable to the couch," Maya stated candidly, a playful smile crossing her lips. She highly doubted that anyone would be interested in shagging her to bed. "That said - I'm no longer sure when someone is coming on to me." It used to be so easy.

"But, if we did that, there would not be much sleep involved," Alex grinned as she leaned back in her chair.  "And I never come on to people when they are feeling... vulnerable.  With the exception of drunk.  That is allowed.  But only because I'm usually drunk myself at the time."

"I am not vulnerable," Maya stated definitively. "I'm proactively preparing for future attempts against me. And I thought you stopped drinking... what gives?"

"Sobriety was a moment of temporary insanity," Alex concluded.  "Which had to end to preserve said sanity.  And there is currently this hideously beautiful engagement ring sitting in a box on my bed right now.  Since I have no intentions of saying yes it's yours.  If, you know, you wanted some extra jewelry?"

In truth she had worn it.  She had tried to imagine herself wearing it every day for god knows how long.  She had promised that she would.  That she would think about it.  Not rush anything.  But somehow it felt wrong.  Alex Freeman... no, no, no.  Too much.  Way, way too much.

"Come on, lets get some of these things unpacked," she decided climbing to her feet and holding out a hand towards her friend.  "Or you could give me the grand tour?"

"You can't drop that little engagement tidbit without expecting an interrogation," Maya stated as she was hoisted to her feet. "Fortunately, you know I'm only interested in talking about it if you are."

"And that's why I love you," Alex declared as she moved to the nearest box and began to unpack.  "And no interrogation needed since you already know him... Besides, a girl needs to be mysterious.  Plus, you already probably know me better than I know myself."

"Be wary of anyone who crawls out of the woodwork and says they can't live without you," Maya stated, although truthfully she had sometimes hoped for the same. "If that was true, they never would have left."

She took the five books from Alex and placed them on a small shelf above the desk. Reconsidering, Maya removed one large book - the Odyssey - from the shelf and returned it to Alex.

"A gift that I no longer need," Maya explained. "What is one to do with unwanted things?"

Taking the book, surprised by the sheer weight of it, Alex turned it over in her hands.  "I tend to not gather things for them to even have the chance of becoming unwanted," the scientist mused before looking up at her friend, "thank you."

"Speaking of rings," Maya opened the small case with her medical information coded to its screen. It held the remains of her wedding ring, which had to be cut off when the vacuum pressure caused her body to swell. "You think you can weld this thing back together in your lab?"

Carefully picking up the two fragments, brow furrowed as she studied the damage, Alex gently placed them back in the box.  "Not really something we get asked to do but sure it could be arranged," she offered, before grinning, "since its you."

As Maya went to close the box Alex added, "do you ever regret it?  Getting married I mean.  You don't have to tell me, just tell me to shut up if you want."

"I don't regret it at all," Maya replied with certitude. "It was an arrangement of convenience in the best sense of the word. Romantic ideals were not part of the equation."

Alex nodded, digesting this little insight into Maya's private life.  She did not discuss her past often so it was a rare event. 

"I think I would regret it," she mused, removing more items from the box.  "For one, long distance isn't really working for either of us as it is.  A wedding ring wouldn't fix that.  And it sounds so... grown up."

"Convention is so very boring," Maya agreed as they unloaded the cookware into the kitchen. It was unlikely that Maya would get a gas stove in this place, so she'd have to make do with what was currently available. "I suggest that you sleep with me. Then you won't have to worry about any engagement."

"Why are you so determined to get me in your bed?" Alex asked with a grin, emptying the last contents of the box and moved into the kitchen.  "Did you hit your head harder than I thought?"

Maya looked at the bottle of wine she couldn't drink, the spice bottle containing something other than spice, and the plain old replicator on the kitchen wall. There was no chance for concocting stimulants that wouldn't show up on her medical tests.

"Because I'm bored, Alex." The Doctor let out a long sigh. She had no real desire to corrupt a rather functional friendship by rolling around in bed together. "And idle hands are the devil's playthings."

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« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 04:00:45 pm by John Reynolds »

Offline Vilgi Morr

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 12:43:57 am »
MD1, 2117
Infirmary, USS Tokyo

Stubbing into the Tokyo small medical bay head forward and pinching the bridge of his nose, muttering under his breath. "Idiotic female, blinded by bloody social niceties, no wonder these people have so many flaming problems." The darkness and the lack of anyone attending did nothing to improve his mood. "Computer lights, I'm bleeding here, wakey, wakey."

The lights flicked one Saffa moved to a bio bed, most of the blood flow from his nose had now stoped but still he kept one hand there incase, shifting to get on he brought a hand down to just under his ribs, another tender spot, which also transfered some of the blood from his hand to uniform "I haven't got all night." He spat frustratedly into a still empty room.

The internal sensors keyed in at this point, cross referenced with crew rosters and determined the infirmary systems determine the need to activate the ships EMH.

Niscar materialised in her usual spot next to the small patient list console. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency." glancing straight in the direction of her one and only patient as he called out. "I'm bleading and brused, is that acceptable or to minor for you."

"I will treat whoever and with whatever injury. " She stated picking up a tricorder as she strode over to the Zalden male. "Now hold still while I conduct an initial exam. You were in a fight?"

"No i was not." He said pointedly. "Some engineering crew female, slammed her hand into my face and chest."

"Broken Nose and bruseing around the Solar Plexus. The nose I can fix, the bruseing I can help along, but that's all." The photonic medic stated, pacing to an instruments tray and pulling it with in arms reach of Izan. Placing the tricorder on it and selecting a bone knitter. " Remove you hand please." She instructed, when he complied added. "This will hurt." Before using one hand to properly a just the nose and then bringing the instrument into play to finish the task, using the now free hand to bat away the cadets attempts to bring his hand to his face.

"Oww, Flaming, Fraking, Starships."

"I said it would hurt now why did the crewman see the need to strike you." Niscar stated honestly.

"She had half the conduit out of an access panel and across the deck plate. I suggested that this was not good practice. She said she had been assigned this by her chief and that at this hour on that deck not many persons were about. I responded that I was about and this was on my foot patrol and she should be more considerate. She stood at this point and said that crewman don't answer to know it all security especially a cadet. I reminded her that I would be an officer and superior to her soon enough. She responded if you live that long with that attitude and hit me twice." He recounted angrily while his photonic medic worked on his nose as she listened."I will speak with her division officer, clearly she has a temper problem. You didn't happen to get a name?"

Izan shook his head.

"You were to busy pointing out you were superior. While rank wise you maybe some day, you are not now. Also that sort of elevation of one department over another is in fact not productive to a cohesive crew. If you continue with that attitude you find yourself as an officer that nobody wants, because of the headache you cause to morale." She advised, her councilling subroutines kicking in. But also the care and concern emotions that Fernando had been tweeking the past few months. "Think on that. You may go Cadet, return to you duties."

Izan slid off the bio bead and stalked out of the room, nose still red and slightly swollen at this point.

Once he'd gone Niscar crossed to the general display and called up the roster, concerned with the lack of someone on duty, wanting to know why. A quick glance showed that the for the next few days the Tokyos medics had been folded into the Kepler roster to cover the short fall created by the absence of three, two on a training cruse the other on leave. It was a slight puzzle that the both seniors would be absent at the same time. Also that the update had not uploaded to her database, oddly that troubled her more, that a change in staff and setup had occurred and she had not been informed.

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Offline John Reynolds

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2014, 01:22:24 am »
|Conference Room 1, Deck 6
|1001 HRS, MD 2

Nikolas looked out at the various Cadets assembled before him and couldn't help but feel as if he were back teaching at the Academy.  Of course, the lack of feeling in his lower limbs was a quick reminder that he was on Kepler Station.  In fact, he wasn't here in capacity as a teacher, but rather a ranking Officer prepared to usher those Cadets nearing their graduation towards their future.

There was one face which was noticeably absent however; Cadet Rexus Spokar had been called back to Angosia III to spend time with his mother while she recovered from the crash which befell the ship she had been travelling on.  Nevertheless; Aayn of the Endeavour, and Phoebe Paean and Cassiopeia Yale of Kepler Station were all nearing the end of their training and would soon don their pips as fully-fledged Officers of Starfleet.

At the right hand side of the room, on the seat closest to the wall, the young Andorian zhen named Ortallenth zh'Rothria looked expectantly at the Trill Captain.  Her slender antennae were quivering with excitement.  Orta had heard a number of thrilling stories about the teaching style employed by the Officers of this notorious station and was really looking forward to some sort of adventure rather than simply doing the same old theoretical assignments or performing mundane duties.

Zach glanced sidelong at Cassiopeia and wondered whether she was nervous to be going on a Cadet Cruise again after what happened on the U.S.S. Harbinger last July.  It was hard to believe that was almost an entire year ago... Especially given how much they had all been through since then.  But still, that mission had almost resulted in the death of both Cassiopeia and Lieutenant Reynolds--and the near-destruction of the vessel as a result of the Romulan satellite network.  "I wonder what they'll be making us do this time..." The Medical Cadet whispered.

"I'm certain I don't want to speculate," the young doctor replied.

The fresh-faced young man in Security gold stood silently midst the other Cadets, attention focused on the Trill Captain strapped into the strange hovering contraption.  Cadet Ronan Tann was not quiet by nature but by circumstance. He had only arrived in the sector a few days ago and was still unfamiliar with the others assigned to this mission.  Ronan flicked a long strand of hair out of his face as he glanced sidelong at the dark-skinned human whispering beside him. 

Slipping into the designated conference room, Rory gave those gathered a slight smile as she sat down in one of the empty chairs. The Command cadet had been busy during her shift in Ops. A small issue with a visiting freighter had resulted in a late hand-off of duties, which in turn was the cause of her tardy arrival.

"Quiet please," Nikolas said in a soft, yet commanding, tone which quickly saw most of the Cadets stopping their chit-chat.  The last stragglers soon followed suit.  "Thank you."  The male Trill smiled at the group.  "Some of you are soon to be starting your final year as Cadets, while a select few will be making that next step towards their chosen careers.  I would like to address the former for a moment but, really, this applies to all of us as much as it does you soon-to-be Officers.  As members continuing the fine traditions of Starfleet set forth for more than two hundred years, we have an obligation to perform to our utmost ability and set an example-- not simply for our fellow officers or enlisted personnel--but for those citizens of the United Federation of Planets and her allies whom we have sworn to protect.

"You may believe that your role within Starfleet will be unworthy of the history holonovels or that you don't bring anything more special to Starfleet than the countless beings who have come before you.  However, each and every one of you bring an individuality and uniqueness which, when applied toward a common goal, make us a stronger unit.  No two people are the same and these differences are what makes Starfleet and, of course, the Federation so resilient when faced with new, difficult, challenges or seemingly insurmountable odds.  To choose a well known example from the Federation's history: Zefram Cochrane never once thought of the personal accolades or rewards that his maiden Warp flight would bring him; it was the potential of furthering the development of his people and trying to improve their lives which drove him forward.  Now, we can't all be Zefram Cochrane."  Nikolas smiled at the couple of soft laughs he got, pleased to know that at least a few of the Cadets were paying attention, "however he could not have achieved that seemingly impossible feat without the hard work of many other people.

"The point I am trying to make," the Trill concluded, "is that although you are being assessed and graded as individuals during this period of assessment you must always remember to work as a unit.  I can not stress that enough.  One day each of you will find yourself as part of a crew, perhaps a different crew, with different individuals, and you will value the lessons you learned about teamwork and call upon them to help make that crew a cohesive unit."  Offering the Cadets a smile Nikolas added, "but let's dispense with the clichés and rhetoric and get down to business, shall we?  I'm going to ask Doctor Andrea Carter to come up and explain to you what you will be doing over the next six days."  Turning towards the Chief of Science his smile deepened, "Doctor?"

Phoebe shifted her weight, grateful that the first speech was done.  Listening to rhetoric always left her with bored tears in her eyes.  She had almost drifted away to the cosmos with that last one.  Now, she wiped her eyes and checked to see that she hadn't also caused an eyeliner smear.  Then, crossing her fingers, she said a silent prayer that the science officer would be mercifully brief in her portion of this meeting.

Taking a deep breath, Andrea vacated her chair and moved to the front of the room with an air of quiet confidence.  In this room of officers and cadets, she stood out a mile in her civilian clothes.  Standing in front of them she paused for a moment, her eyes sweeping the room as she touched the screen on her padd to call up a visual on the monitor.

"Thank you," she began, raising her voice just enough to carry to the back of the room. "One of the underlying goals of Starfleet, and the wider scientific community, is one of exploration.  And no matter your chosen field - be it science, medical, operations, engineering, security or command - at some time or another you will come across the unknown.

"Which brings us to Beta Herculis," she added as the image shifted, revealing an overview of the planet in question.  "This unexplored planet will be your home away from home while you complete a full planetary survey.  A neighbouring planet has proven to be a significant find, with herbs that have demonstrated significant healing properties so we hope this planet will have some of its own treasures.

"But make no assumptions - this will not be an easy task.  You will need to prepare, work as a team and focus on your objectives.  In the briefing pack there are links to the appropriate Starfleet protocols and guidelines.  Even if you don't consider yourself a science geek, read them.  There is also the initial sensor data gathered by the USS Intrepid, use it to help plan.  Any questions?"

Cadet Aayn smiled in anticipation of getting to play with all the toys needed for such a mission.  Unlike many of her fellow Cadets, the Gamelan female enjoyed the duties involved in a regular shift in the Engineering Department.  She ran a muddy-red index finger over the PADD to bring up the relevant information to see whether or not any of the equipment was newer than what she had previously used.  Looking up at the Doctor, she raised her hand and asked, "excuse me, ma'am.  Has their been a mineralogical survey of the planet or will we also be performing that as part of our mission?"

Andrea offered a rueful smile, deciding she liked this cadet.  "Page 29 of your briefing pack," she answered confidently.  Having read it over earlier today, she could easily recite it word for word.  That, however, tended to annoy rather than help people.

"While part of your assignment is to complete a full survey, there has been a provisional assessment.  Samples from the planet surface have revealed traces of topaline, hematite and zenite to name but a few.  The analysis of the samples is in Appendix III."

"Thank you, ma'am."  Aayn replied sheepishly; she had let her eagerness get ahead of her reading.  However at least the Doctor had been amicable about it.  And the presence of topaline on the planet might have just made this an even more important mission; because it was such a vital component in modern life support systems and currently the Federation's main supply was found on the pre-industrial world of Capella IV.

Rory's stomach dropped out when the objective of this cruise was given. Granted it made sense due to the fact that at least two, if not all, those graduating soon were in Science fields, but still. Sciencey things were not her strong suit. At all. Flipping through the briefing packet as if it were a lifeline, 'cause let's face it, to her it was, she kept quiet and read.

Cadet Siv Geist offered Rory a sympathetic smile. Although a scientist, rocks and minerals were not his area of expertise. He raised his hand in query.

"How many days is this survey supposed to last?" Siv inquired. "A general scan from orbit can provide significant data, but thoroughly sampling every geographic region of the planet's surface will take months." Tracing only the sources of medical minerals for future exploitation seemed irresponsible without full awareness of the environmental impact of their work.

"You're right, of course."  Nikolas interjected.  He manoeuvred his hover-chair into a spot at the front of the room near the Doctor so that they could both field questions.  "This is only a preliminary expedition; you will spend a week establishing camp and doing as much as possible during your stay.  Another team will be assigned to pick up where you leave off."

Ronan scanned through the briefing packet while the scientists spoke with each other and the Trill Captain.  While he wasn't interested in what they had to say, he was more so in reading up on any potential threats to be found on Beta Herculis.  After all, he was going to be the one in charge of protecting the survey mission.  So far the only thing to worry about appeared to be some wolf-like quadrupeds a team had come upon in one of the forests, but no harm had come from the encounter.

"Sir, I would suggest that each team member be armed," Ronan spoke up next.  "Hopefully these wolves mentioned in the briefing are the only potentially violent life form we encounter, but I would prefer to be prepared for any eventuality all the same."

"Every precaution will be made to ensure your safety."  Nikolas assured them.  "Specific security arrangements will be a matter to be determined by yourself, Cadets Shule and Izan," the Trill gestured towards the young Thallonian and Zaldan respectively, "and Chief Petty Officer Matthews, who will be overseeing your mission from the Endeavour for the duration of your stay on Beta Herculis.  Should the need arise he will intercede, but until that time you two will be responsible for ensuring that security protocols and safety regulations are adhered to."

"Excellent," Ronan replied before glancing over at the red-hued Thallonian and offering her a polite smile.

Lera's dark red lips curled into a smile at the young Human and she waved nervously with the fingers on one hand before returning her attention to the front of the room.  Performing the duties of a Security Officer was one thing but actually deciding on rotations and placements was a whole other matter so needless to say she was a little nervous.

Looked around at each of the young faces in turn to see if anyone else had a question, Nikolas said: "As for the command structure of this mission; the additional responsibilities will be placed upon Cadets Aayn and Paean and Doctor Yale, who are soon to graduate, along with Cadet Kiriakis.  Between the three of them, they will have functional command as to the day-to-day running of the mission however, where applicable, you will all concede to the judgement of the various supervisors who will be accompanying you to Beta Herculis."

Orta suppressed a gasp at the mention of Doctor Yale's name and her antennae angled backwards somewhat.  She tried not to be obvious about it as she looked around at the Humans to discover which one Yale was.

The newly transferred command trainee's head snapped up at the mention of her name grouped with the two she had assumed would be in charge of the whole thing. Curious brown eyes looked down the lengthy oblong table into older, wiser ones of the Trill Captains as Rory straightened up more in her seat, now more than ever, commited to reading every inch of the briefing pack before they arrived at their destination.

"Those supervisors," Nikolas continued, "include Doctor Carter, Lieutenant Kesari Lor, her Assistant Chief," he gestured towards the other Trill in the room and then to the rather reclusive Betazoid, "and Doctor Maya Takagi of the EOA."

Kesari looked up when she heard her name. The margins of her PADD were filled with doodles of comets and stars. It wasn't that she had tuned out completely from the briefing but she was familiar with the mission proposal. Oddly, she had been required to sign-off on it for Starfleet approval--a bureaucratic stipulation that created an awkward tension with her non-fleet chief. But she probably only imagined that.

Leaning against the bulkhead at the back of the conference room, Izan listened to the briefing carefully, fighting the frustration at it being twice as long as it need to be with those in charge feeling the need to use more words than necessary. The main bright spot he was clinging to was at least he was going to spend time off ship, guard post duties and foot patrols of a ship as small as the Tokyo had become repetitive to say the least, the second being he had the company of three other cadets of the same branch, although that could very well be a double edged sword.

"Your performance will be judged on a variety of factors," T'Sura spoke up.  "Completeness of your tasks, adherence to Starfleet regulations, adaptability to a foreign environment, professionalism, and your ability to think creatively are among them."

Aayn nodded thoughtfully in response to the Commander's instructions, taking note of each area for future reference.  She had not expected to be part of the command structure however adaptation was always part of a good Engineer.

"Any more questions?" Doctor Carter prompted, hoping the answer was no.  Not that she didn't want to answer them, or to help the cadets.  It was more that this room and whole situation had drawn a stark line under the difference it made being the only civilian in this operation.  It made her uncomfortable and she didn't like that. Not one bit.

"Escorts and guard duty while scientists and engineers dig up rocks and scan them, added with a bit of camping on an alien world. No questions spring to mind ma'am." Izan stated with bluntness and more than a little cocky note to his statement, "It should be fun, one can hope."

Upon recalling the last-minute inclusion of the Zaldan Cadet, and that species' particular belief system regarding deception of any kind, Nikolas couldn't help but feel somewhat sorry for the other Cadets.  Nevertheless, learning to embrace their differences was, as he had said earlier, what Starfleet was all about.  Addressing the Cadets once again, this time in a tone which made it obvious proceedings were drawing to a close, the male Trill said: "Preparations are underway for departure on the U.S.S. Endeavour at... 1900?" He glanced towards T'Sura for confirmation and then nodded his thanks, "1900 Hours.  So, you may return to your regular duty rotation for the remainder of Alpha shift.  Those of you assigned duties for Beta will find replacements have been arranged to relieve you with enough time to pack."  Offering them all a friendly smile, the Trill added: "Dismissed."

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« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 03:21:20 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Kesari Lor

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2014, 08:53:42 am »
|Maya Takagi’s New Quarters, Deck 3
|1525 hours, MD -1

With a plate of freshly cooled brownies in hand, Kesari Lor hummed a tone-deaf tune as she navigated her way to Doctor Takagi’s new quarters. She hadn’t realized how much time had passed since they had last met. The scientist was used to missing out on life outside her lab but this time—between the trial and the hospitalization—was especially dire. The situation called for baked goods. Specifically, it called for her avino’s brownies, which were a staple of exam weeks and thesis blocks. Over the years, Kesari had experimented and tweaked the recipe—even adding a few chemically fascinating ingredients—to find the optimal mix. She was particularly proud of this batch, which were moist and mellow.

She pressed the door chime, realizing that she hadn’t checked to see if the doctor was home. Would it be safe the leave the brownies in the corridor? No, these can’t be left unattended...

"Hello," Doctor Takagi peeked her head out of the window cautiously. The door opened a few seconds later, revealing the Doctor in loose fitting civilian attire. The former telepath was not used to ignorance of her visitors' intent. She eyed Doctor Lor warily, before noting the baked goods. "Are those pity cakes?"

"More like feel better cakes." The plate held six small, brown squares with yellow frosted stars on top. "My grandmother would make these for me when I was having a bad week. Well, a version of these. The recipe has been through the lab a few times. But I can just leave them if you want... Or if you don't want them... I mean, how are you?"

"What are the rumors about how I am?" Doctor Takagi inquired, as she took the plate from Kesari and perched on the arm of the sofa.

"Rumors rarely make it as far as the science lab," Kesari replied. She didn't want to presume that the doctor's taking of the brownies was an invitation to enter but having a conversation from the corridor didn't seem correct. Stepping inside the doorway, she said, "But Doctor Tillman did say that you're recovering quite quickly for someone who was exposed to the vacuum for as long as you were."

"I believe that's an accurate assessment" Doctor Takagi affirmed. "Have a seat." As her guest sat down, the Doctor put the plate on the end table and swiveled around on her perch to face Kesari.

"Considering that assessment, I think I am relatively functional," the Doctor offered a brownie to Kesari before taking a tentative, skeptical bite. "I missed chocolate."

Kesari nibbled from her brownie. "It's a bit modified from the traditional recipe, so I don't recommend having much more than one in a sitting." She caught a few flaky bits that crumbled from her lips. "The cocoa is from the Dorabi subcontinent on Trill," she explained. "My experiments have shown that, so far, it bonds the best with the fats in butter to create a rich, fudgy compound." Kesari caught herself before continuing on a tangent about the chemistry of baked goods.

"The scientific nature of baking is why I enjoy it," Doctor Takagi affirmed. She would've been content to listen to the complex chains which composed the delicious treat. In fact, as she pondered it, little images started dancing in front of her eyes. "Doctor Lor, I believe this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me."


"Ev-er," Doctor Takagi replied, stretching out the syllables. Others had given her sweets before, but they'd always had ulterior motives usually involving other sorts of sugar. "And we barely know each other."

"Well, I kept meaning to drop by but I got so caught up in the Doctor Scott project." Kesari broke off another corner of the brownie and popped it in her mouth. "Ethel, that is," she clarified, almost as if to remind herself which Scott is her priority. "Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It's... it's... so neat!"

"Given that you were focused on your work, your absence is excused," Doctor Takagi teased. "I'm not allowed to drink anymore, Doctor's orders... and my usual narcotics are off limits due to my injuries. So I am rather enjoying this."

"What do you think of this place?" the Doctor asked, "Not this place as in my house, but the station as a whole in terms of work and life....?"

Crinkling her forehead, Kesari considered how to express an objective opinion in a concise manner. "Nice people. Dangerous infrastructure. Okay coffee." She suppressed the growing urge to giggle and said, "But this place is very nice. Much more modern than what we have on Deck 4. The walls are practically coming down."

"The perks of being a very important person," Doctor Takagi laughed, since she decidedly was not that. "Hot water showers."

The scientist shuddered. "You don't prefer a nice sonic? Less messy; more efficient. Cleaner."

"There are some pleasant indulgences in which efficiency has no place," Doctor Takagi replied. "If you've ever tried to have sex in a sonic shower, you'd understand that it is quite a horrid experience."

"Why would you—?" Kesari blinked and tilted her head, as if trying to visualize the logistics of such an act. "Either way, that does not sound like an idea location for intercourse." A giggle escaped as she said the word "intercourse" and she tried to cover it was another brownie bite. "Too vertical."

"Oh ye of limited imagination," Doctor Takagi smiled knowingly. "Shall I enlighten you?" Of course she no longer could with a simple thought.

As her guest's jaw dropped slightly, Doctor Takagi laughed. "Don't feel obligated or offended. I can be extremely... generous toward my friends."

The feeling was more "puzzled." "Well, me, too," Kesari said with a tentative laugh. "I make brownies and tear holes through time and space for them."

"Well then, Doctor Lor, I'm very honored by this gesture of friendship, and I would not refuse further such gestures."" Doctor Takagi finished her treat and licked her fingers. She stretched her arms outward like a cat and then regarded Kesari with a coquettish smile. "Nonetheless, I suggest you leave unless you're willing to be seduced."

Kesari swallowed her last bite and said, "You've already won me over but I'll go if you'd like to be by yourself." She smiled as she stood, her balance wavering as she brushed a few small crumbs from her uniform. "Oh, hey, wait! I've been meaning to ask you something and I can't remember what it is. I was supposed to check with you weeks ago. Shit." Her hand clamped over her mouth and her eyes widened when she realized that her words translated as a curse. "Oops," she said, voice muffled through fingers.

"If only you'd asked me a few weeks ago." Even if forgotten, the Doctor would have been able to pluck the thought from the scientist's mind. If tugging at memories was out of the question, Doctor Takagi instead reached for Kesari's arm and redirected her to sit down again. "Attempt a guess?"

"For getting Ethel back home," she said, her bottom bouncing on the cushion next to Doctor Takagi. Kesari tapped the tip of her nose with her finger as she tried to remember the specifics of the increasingly hazy request. "Transporters... Secret transporters. Not their secret transporters—our secret transporters."

"I wish I had a secret transporter," Doctor Takagi stated wistfully. "The places we could go..."

The Doctor reached for another treat. Given that it was her last day of freedom, she intended to make it a decadent one.

"Maybe wait before having another," Kesari warned, reaching for the Doctor's hand. "The concentration of ingredients may give you a headache if you consume too much." Her tongue stumbled over multisyllabic words—she was pretty sure she said "consternation" and "ningredents."

Doctor Takagi laughed heartily and snatched the brownie away before Kesari could stop her. "You should learn to live dangerously."

Kesari shook her head. "Too dangerous. And you've been through enough of that lately."

"High Times" with


Offline Hideyoshi Shimura

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2014, 01:51:39 pm »
Arboretum, VIP Quarters, Deck 3,
1630, MD 1

It was almost surreal for Lieutenant Hideyoshi Shimura to be walking about Kepler Station so soon after his abrupt departure. Almost two months had passed and he hadn't really expected to return from his covert mission this early, if at all.  It took some time to convince those not in the know that he and Tanis had met on a Risian Rendezvous, fallen madly in love, and decided to shack up together back at Hide's posting. Now that that was taken care of, he had a personal visit to make.

The counselor shifted the parcel to his left hand and pressed the door chime to Maya Takagi's new quarters, located within the calm of the arboretum. The two had a lot of catching up to do from what he had heard upon returning to the station.

Doctor Takagi opened the door after a few minutes, her damp hair indicating the reason for her delay. "Oh. It's you," she stated as if his presence was common place. "Welcome back."

She invited him inside with a wave of her hand.

He stepped inside with a warm smile and offered Maya the package, "A gift for you."

Through the wrappings escaped a fresh, flowery scent.  "Gyokuro tea leaves," Hide explained.  "I received a shipment from my mother on Hokkaido during my absence and thought you might appreciate their taste."

"Everyone seems to be on a nostalgic tea kick," she commented, before offering her best estimation of a sincere smile. "Thank you."

"I suspect you have some long report for me about your activities," Doctor Takagi stated. "You should instead deliver it to Commander McAllister and Lieutenant Iolical."

"No," Hide said slowly, stretching out the last syllable.  "I have already spoken with the Commander and Lieutenant Eolical; I am here as your friend."  Hide smiled, almost chuckling at the notion.  He knew Maya was, for all intents and purposes, a sociopath and was incapable of having true bonds of friendship.  Every so often, however, she went against the established ideology of a true sociopath.

"I had heard you went through something rather traumatic recently.  As one who has had his fair share of near death experiences, I thought perhaps you would appreciate a friendly ear."

"Sit," she offered, folding her legs beneath her after flopping onto the sofa. Running a hand through her damp hair, Doctor Takagi considered what to say. "What exactly have you heard and from whom?"

Hide took a seat at the other end of the sofa and studied Maya for a moment before answering.  "I asked Commander McAllister why you were not present during my debriefing," he explained, "he informed me that he and Lieutenant Eolical would be handling matters from here on as there was an incident during my absence and that you spent some time in Sickbay; I am unaware of the details."

Doctor Takagi nodded in affirmation. "I was briefly exposed to the vacuum of space when an airlock collapsed. It was a minor inconvenience." She stood and recovered a teapot from a shelf, and a carafe of hot water from the replicator. She carefully pre-heated the teapot and cups before beginning to brew the tea.

"I am aware that my explanation is vague. My opinion is that talking about such things serves only to illicit pity and sympathy... I'm not sure what the purpose is otherwise," she continued after she no longer had a reason to appear distracted. She handed him a teacup.

"Domo arigato gozaimas," Hide said, accepting the cup of tea with a bow of his head.  He took a moment to inhale the sweet scent of this particular blend before taking a sip, a smile playing on his lips afterwards.  "I offer you neither sympathy nor pity, I merely wished to make sure you were fine.  I am glad that you are and that this minor inconvenience, as you have put it, has not dampened your charming personality," he chuckled a bit before taking another sip of tea.

"Is there anything you wish to know about my experience on Dreon or are you no longer of proper clearance?  McAllister was rather vague on the matter, as I have said."

Normally Doctor Takagi would pluck the necessary information from his surface thoughts. She considered feigning as if she already had. Instead tears formed in the corner of her eyes.

"My clearance remains the same," she explained, "I don't wish to hear anything which you are not interested in sharing. The matter is no longer under my operational purview."

"I do apologize, however, for the failures to communicate. Circumstances related to the asteroid impact prevented my operatives from traveling to Dreon." She sipped her tea. "Thankfully you're alive... and appear to be unscathed."

It took Hide a moment to respond as he had focused intently on Maya's glistening eyes. Clearly something was troubling her as this was the most genuine emotional response he had ever witnessed from the Betazoid. Deciding not to pry, as he believed she would share what was on her mind if and when she was ready, he waved her apology away with his free hand.

"Apologies are unnecessary, I made it through relatively unharmed and that's all that matters."  He took another sip of tea, trying to decide how much to share with her. Of course, she probably already got all of the information she wanted from his mind before he'd walked through the door.

"The OU are stepping up their operations," he explained. "I am not privy to their entire plan, but there are at least three agents present on Kepler at this very moment. I can only speculate that something important to their overall mission will occur here in the very near future."

"I did not ask," Doctor Takagi reminded him. It did sound serious, but she could only leave the matter to the hands of her colleagues in intelligence. "You seem unchanged by the experience."

"You did not," Hide grinned, "but it seemed worth mentioning." He did not, however, indicate that he was one of the three Occultae Umbrae members. McAllister and Eolical made it clear his double agent status should remain between the three of them.

"As for myself, any damage I suffered was strictly psychological. Par for the course, I suppose. Thankfully I have found a libidinous Trill to distract myself with."

"Libidinous Trill are grossly overrated," Doctor Takagi stated, "I do not recommend taking a regular lover if given the sensitive nature of your work. It is simply another vector by which they can control you."

Hide shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I think after everything I have been through I should be allowed this one indulgence. I will be careful, if that helps ease your concern."

"What does 'I'll be careful' mean?" she inquired with utter seriousness.

"I will not let my feelings, or lack thereof, interfere with my duties to Starfleet and whatever undercover work I may be involved in in the future," Hide answered.  "Besides, if they try to come after Tanis he is more than capable of handling himself."

"Good," Doctor Takagi stated, although she did not seem particularly certain, "Because if you do your job well, you will be putting him at risk."

Hide laughed sharply at that, a bit out of character for the normally stoic counselor. "When is the last time any of us has not been at risk for one reason or another?"

Heartfelt Moments With
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 02:14:20 pm by John Reynolds »

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 11:43:51 pm »
|Promenade, Deck 8
|1615 HRS, MD 1

The doors to the turbolift opened onto the somewhat busy Promenade and the occupants filed out to join the throng of pedestrians making their way about their afternoon shopping.  At the back of the group were two people sporting Starfleet uniforms which identified them as being members of the Operations and Engineering departments; a male Bolian and female Human respectively.  Looking around at their fellow shoppers Sha Shan smiled and slipped her arm through Vilgi's, resting her other hand on his forearm.

"Even though we're still nowhere near having the station back in full working order I'm really glad that things are getting back to normal around here."  She observed.  A number of the establishments around the large, open plan deck were regrettably empty but those who had reopened their doors were apparently reporting positive levels of turnover.

Nodding slowly in agreement, shifting his arm slightly, for both his and her comfort. "This is more like it definitely, the busy, bustling, marketplace type feel. Makes the soul happy." He added as he looked around. "There's something about getting lost in crowd, like getting pulled along by a river's current, no effort needed."

"I'm not sure there are enough people to get lost in," Sha Shan grinned.  "But it's a good start."

As they passed by Music Moon Sha Shan noticed the soft sounds of an acoustic guitar over the general background noise of conversations around them and wondered if the new owner Kyle, whom she and Vilgi had met at the karaoke night a couple of months ago, was giving one of his concerts that the store had been doing recently to promote itself.  She thought that he usually held those outside though so maybe it was just an impromptu performance.

"Since we've for the time," Sha Shan turned her attention back to Vilgi, "I was thinking that we could look for something special for your birthday.  I know it's not until next month, but I want to find something just right so might need the head start!"

"Well I'll have you so the days going to be good no matter what." Vilgi responded with a smile as he added. "But I am slightly concerned of being difficult to shop for." He paused and then jumped in with. "Kidding. I would say don't trouble yourself, but you'll say...."

"It isn't any trouble," Sha Shan supplied with a slight roll of her eyes.

"So I will graciously conceded to being spoilt." He added cracking into his now trademark wide grin.

Sha Shan laughed softly and asked: "What's the point of a birthday otherwise?"

"Too true, too true." He added honestly, it was nice to be the center for a day, nicer knowing that day would end and he could go back to being just another........ That and the Thirtys brought a little trepidation along with the merriment. "So this mean I get first call on which shops we poke around in?" He asked cheerily.

"Nó làm," Sha Shan answered in the affirmative with an amused smile.

"Excellent, well I heard the gadget-type shop reopened the other week, not had a chance for a nosey yet. Shall we? It's a bit further round, but gives a chance for a wander." He offered, it happened to be the first one that popped into his mind, then a few places followed that might be worth a look.

Sha Shan nodded and looked around to see which direction the store was located.  "Sounds like a good place to start."

A grin was Vilgi's only response, despite working with tools and tech and what most would consider gadgets all day, this type of store was still a draw. As they threaded through the small mill of persons, the amount of different species was heartening and made him grin a little wider if that was possible.  Glancing back across and slightly up he asked softly. "So how's things with you darling? What the latest your world's throwing at you; good, bad or indifferent?"

"I really wish that I could say things were improving," Sha Shan confessed with a sigh.  Resources throughout the entire Task Force were being expected to go further than possible it was just that the lack was more prevalent on Kepler Station.  "That pompous windbag Ulysses Philpot used his report to get one up on me again too which certainly doesn't help my mood.  Can you believe that he thinks simply because he weaselled the new gen bio-neural circuitry out of the S.C.E. through an old friend that--" She gave Vilgi a sheepish smile and said, "I'm sorry, cưng*; I really don't want to dump all my woes on you.  Our time together should be positive!"  Leaning forward she kissed him tenderly on the lips and added, "especially in a tinkerer's paradise."

* Vietnamese term of endearment
The goings on of the Advisory never ceased to amaze, so her little vents didn't bother him; if she couldn't vent to him who else? He smiled as their lips met, moving on, "Share and share alike." he said quietly adding "Nothing like a bit of tinkering to take the mind off things." As they approached the store in question, smallish in size with a wide front opening with two small display windows either side showing a number of novelty items, Vilgi spotted one. "'DataPad locater', that's got to be handy."

"Unless you lose the locator," Sha Shan pointed out with a gentle shake of her head.  She looked around at the various commercial items with an eye for purchasing a present.  It was difficult sometimes to find an item that wasn't outdone by the Starfleet issue devices they used while on duty.  Tricorders were a prime example; the various versions available to the public were less advanced than the TR-560 models which were commonplace in the 2360's.  "Although this one," she picked up a display box, "does come with the ability to tune internal sensors to locate the PADD.  That's handy."

Glancing over to the box Sha Shan had picked up, "Now that going to be infinitely more useful." Vilgi said before moving to her side. "If it's tunable it should......yep it can show the locations on a fixed screen. Although if I do get this there goes my excuse for late Ops crew appraisals." He added with a shrug. A glance up and something caught his eye, he grinned and moved over without a word, taking one off the open display items of the shelf holding the Couch Spuddy next to his face with a proud-of-himself grin, until Sha Shan looked in his direction.

Bursting into a fit of giggles, the Vietnamese woman shook her head at the odd little knick-knack.  "What on Earth would someone want that thing for?"  She asked before adding, "Is that one of those 'guy' things which somehow crosses species yet women will never fully understand?"

"Apparently so." He responded while dropping it down to his middle. "but it's great, soft and comfortable, rest your arm on it, put it behind your back or neck." Moving it around himself as he spoke. "These pockets as well, stuff snakes and drinks and things a night cuddling up on the couch would be less interrupted and a tad more comfortable." He added highlight the cleverly built in pockets.

"Sounds like you just want an excuse not to get up to the replicator," she teased.

"Yep pretty much." The Bolian responded with a cheeky grin, swinging the novelty gift back onto the shelf. "Do you blame me, who'd want to spend a moment away from you." Strolling back to Sha Shan looping both arms around her middle and giving her a number of playful pecks on the cheek and lips.

"Good save," Sha Shan laughed between kisses.  "What about this?"  She led Vilgi over to another display and picked up one of the small devices that were designed to slip over one ear and directly stimulate your audio senses and allow you to hear music rather than playing it aloud.  "Could be useful for those shifts stuck in a Jefferies Tube."

Palming the box, he took a closer look at the write up and specs, "interesting." He stated, clearly intrigued. "I like the concept, that will be a useful piece of kit considering there might be a few late finish tidy ups in me near future." He looked up and explained. "Endeavor is taking one of me petty officers and a striking crewman and in return leaving me with two CAs." A frown and a stab of guilt followed. "Sorry, these little work niggles have a habit of slipping out. All finished now."

"You realise I probably approved that," Sha Shan pointed out with a slightly apologetic smile.  While she couldn't specifically remember a transfer of Crewman Apprentices it would be within her usual duties as Engineering Corps. Representative for the EOA.

Vilgi went though about half a dozen different emotions at this point, frustration and annoyance mostly, the later at himself for bringing something like that up now. But instead of backing up he went deeper. "Why....why would you do that? I get there's pressure from above and from other ships Department Heads, don't get me wrong I like training people and things are calm for the moment. But they're never calm for that long......." He pulled himself up and tried to get off that particular topic.

"My duties are not just related to your department," Sha Shan reminded him firmly but gently, not letting herself get unsettled by his frustration.  After all it was perfectly understandable.   "And you're assuming that the transfers out weren't requests from the Crewmen themselves.  Kepler is a stressful assignment and some people can't handle the pace."  She patted his arm sympathetically and added, "Since you brought up training though, part of the reason I approve the transfers to Kepler is because you hardly ever get the chance for so much practical experience outside of a Drydock or S.C.E. assignment so those Apprentices are learning valuable lessons for their future service."

He wouldn't have blamed her for walking off after the pointed reminder that there was a bigger picture. The points she made next gave him food to ponder and a personal point to take note of maybe being more observant or open, "They'll certainly get an education on Kepler that's for sure." He added quickly with a sigh.  "Bad form of me wrong time, wrong place, wrong everything about bringing that up." He looked into her brown eyes. "Sorry, I seem to have forgotten we were having fun and not worrying this afternoon."

"Forget all that," Sha Shan shook her head, sidestepping the brush off.  "If you have concerns you should air them out and not bottle them up."  Looking around at the small shop, she turned back to Vilgi and said, "my parents had a horrible relationship where everything was one-sided.  If you're not happy about anything, even if it's related to me and my work, then I want us to be free to discuss it."

Nodding slowly as it dawned on him just how important a two-way street of communication was to Sha, and a honest check of his habits showed he did hold back on some things. But there was something else as well. "You must trust me a lot to give that much of an open door." He said with a warm smile. "I just hope the feeling's mutual."

"You hope that you trust me a lot too?"  She asked with no small hint of amusement.  Before Vilgi could answer the rhetorical question Sha Shan assured him, "I don't want there to be anything left unsaid that could get between us, Vilgi."

The Bolian broke into a smile at her question which lightened things. "I'm doing well this afternoon." He pointed out with a hint of irony, before taking her hand gently and adding. "I understand where you're coming from and I completely agree, we need that openness." Glancing at his surroundings he suggested. "The Muffin Man's not far is it? It's a better place to talk, I think. Besides I could do with a brew."

"Okay," she nodded and set the music player's box back down.

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Offline Isis Rae

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2014, 03:14:18 pm »
Muffin Man, Deck 8
2007 HRs, MD -3

"Sorry for the wait," Siv apologized as he returned to the table he shared with Pheobe Paean, setting down the tray with their meal. "The owner proclaimed our order was fresh from the oven. I wanted to confirm that there was in fact an oven."

Phoebe snickered, "So, was there?"

"The lady spoke truly," Siv answered. He raised his tea cup to toast. "And thus begins our first non-replicated meal together." To be fair, it was only their fourth meal together, but a milestone nonetheless.

"That's a day to mark down in the books," Phoebe commented and tucked her red hair behind her ear as she reviewed her meal.  Her food allergies made her a picky eater out of necessity, but the spread looked perfect.  "Speaking of books, have you ever read The Dendritic Fairie?  There's a few news topics out about it right now."

"That's the one being turned into a cinematic pentalogy?" Siv mused. "I tried. Couldn't get past the part where they started riding giant seals. Maybe dragons are cliche, but flying water mammals didn't hold my interest.

"Should I reconsider my assessment?" he asked, careful not to be overly judgmental.

"I don't know," Phoebe shrugged.  "I reached chapter five last night... but every time I try reading it, I fall asleep after a paragraph or two.  That normally only happens when I'm trying to get through Intellectual History of the UFP since 2161.  I was hoping it wasn't just me, but all the reviews were saying it was the best thing since The Elm Butcher Exhibit.  I suppose I should have tried reading that first."

"I'm impressed that you have time for leisure reading," Siv stated. "I'd recommend Machinae Ianthinus. A true page turner til the very end, if you're in the mood to escape into a world of swords and giant mechanical critters. Or perhaps a return to the classics... do Earth schools teach much classic literature? La Mort D'Arthur? That sort of thing?

"My teachers usually stayed away from French and English lit.  I read The Odyssey almost every year though.  You've read it?" Phoebe's green eyes flashed with interest.

"There was a library set-up by the Federation in my hometown in Rutia. I think they hoped that the humanities would inspire our warlike people to peace," Siv explained. "I enjoyed the Odyssey. Even his griefs are a joy long after to one that remembers all that he wrought and endured. I'd like to think I'm on something of an Odyssey myself, hopefully with less shipwrecks and seductresses."

"An aversion to shipwrecks, that I can understand, but seductresses?  Maybe you need to see a doctor?" she gave him a concerned look.

"I'm old fashioned. I'd rather have one stable relationship than a bevy of dangerous ladies throwing themselves at me," Siv stated honestly. "I believe that lifestyle leads to a different sort of trip to the doctor."

Phoebe bit her lip, thinking about the sirens and Circe.  But she didn't have a good come back for the point he made.  "Right...  I guess I didn't think that one through."  Again, she found herself wondering if their meal was actually a date.  "You've read Arthurian legends too?" somehow she needed to reign in the conversation again.  Medieval history should be safe, she hoped.

"When I was a wee lad, I imagined that I'd become a knight like Perceval or Galahad, righting wrongs, defeating evildoers, rescuing maidens," Siv told her. "Clearly that didn't come to pass."

"That depends on how you choose to focus your studies in the Sciences.  There are round-about ways to accomplish your dreams still," her expression turned pensive momentarily and was quickly replaced with a large grin.  "Knights work best while in uniform and it's more about attitude than swords, isn't it?  You're earning your uniform and your sword is your brain.  I don't know about the whole 'rescuing maidens' bit... but there's still evildoers out there."

"There are," Siv agreed softly, with a hint of resigned sadness in his speech. "I do aspire to live by a code, and I confess these boyhood fantasies have had great influence on those aspirations. I've never written down any rules... Well, not comprehensively, but I suppose a code cannot be ad hoc."

"Do you have some guiding principals or values?" he inquired, "Nothing from a Starfleet rulebook, but something of your own devising, based on observation and experience."

"I have some life rules," Phoebe admitted.  "But they're nothing concrete that I could list off for you other than a two drink maximum.  A few fears guide avoidance too.  Unfortunately you can be ordered to do something that terrifies you though; in Starfleet, that is."

"Such as?" Siv inquired curiously. He pointed to his plate. "Something like - I order you to eat this non-Vegan muffin?"

"That's not going to happen.  I'm allergic to eggs," she replied and poked at her own plate.  "Stuff like space walks or climbing into a volcano is more along the lines of what I was trying to not think about.  I really like gravity - and stable rock formations.  But, sometimes you've gotta do what the job says you've gotta do."

"You're right about that," Sivran agreed. He expected to see his share of hostile terrain. "Are their hypothetical circumstances where you wouldn't do what you were ordered to do?"

Phoebe shook her head, "I can't think of anything right off the top of my head.  You?" she reflected the question.

"Some of my classmates at the academy were rather rah-rah about Starfleet as a military force," Siv explained. "I didn't join this organization to be a soldier, or to act like one, and I wouldn't necessarily wish to follow the orders of those who think it's a military. Hopefully a situation won't arise when I have to make that choice. Still it's shocking to see the passion for battle in those who have never seen war."

"Even though a minute ago you admitted to wanting to be a knight in shining armor?  Aren't knights warriors?" Phoebe asked with a confused laugh.

"A rather romanticized imagining of warriors, yes," Siv answered. "My rudimentary reading of Earth history revealed that they were more likely to be thugs and marauders than damsel-rescuing men of honor."

"Which is to say, if I hold onto one part of my childhood fantasies, it would be to conduct myself with honor and courtesy, rather than the part about the swords and shields."

"Hmm," Phoebe responded without an opinion either way on the subject.  "So, do you have any tattoos or body piercings?" she asked with a quirky smile.

"You should consider applying to Starfleet intelligence. You're quite the interrogator." He chuckled, flipping his left ear outward to reveal the piercing on his upper lobe, although there was no earring. "A reminder of my rebellious teenage years. What about you? Or is that an indiscreet question?"

"It's fair play," she conceded and her laugh was naughty.  "My skin is virgin."

"No scars either then?" Siv replied with a straight face, although there was a slight twinkle in his eye. Over the course of their three previous meals, Siv observed Phoebe's shifts from inquisitive to coy to flirtatious, all the while avoiding any definitive statements about her hopes, dreams or desires. "Are you uncomfortable?"

"Uncomfortable?" Phoebe poked at her food, then managed eye contact again.  "Why would I be uncomfortable?"

"The 'why' I can't answer. I wasn't sure if your playfulness is rooted in discomfort or something else," he explained, meeting her with a gentle smile. "Which is to say, if you're scheming to brand me with some embarrassing tattoo that's one thing, I'd want to know that too, but I most honestly would never wish to make you feel uncomfortable."

"That sounds like something a person wanting to be a shrink would say.  I can't be curious for the sake of being curious?  I thought I was being friendly."  She gave him a momentary frown.  "I'm not uncomfortable.  Are we friends?"

"Of course," Siv replied, without quantifying the statement upon their recent acquaintance. "What's a shrink?"

"It's a synonym for a psychologist," she answered his question first then prodded further.  "Is it just friends, or is there another reason we have been having dinner/breakfast?"

"I asked you to dinner the first time because I thought you might have some friendly insights on how I could survive my tour here," he explained, his head tilting slightly as he watched her. Siv chose his words carefully so as not to be vague. "The second, and third, and fourth times are because I find you intriguing, and not because I want to be a psychologist. I know that you take your studies and your career quite seriously, but I hope that you haven't been obliging me out of politeness."

"What are my other options for being obligatory?"

"Boredom? Hunger? Doctor Lor is threatening to fail you unless you make friends with the new kid?"

Phoebe gave him a guilty look, "And if the reason is that I was being polite?"

"I'd compliment you, and whoever raised you, on your excellent manners."

"Honestly, my motivations are to be friendly.  Schoolwork comes first, but a girl's gotta eat.  And you're nice," Phoebe added.  She thought back in their conversation, trying to pick out what initially caused this line of question.  "Anyways... I'm not uncomfortable," she reiterated.

"Good." Siv considered that a successful topic of discussion. "We are, however, half-way through this station's eating establishments."

"There's no law saying we can't repeat, is there?  Otherwise... I guess it will be replicators in crew quarters.  But when it's down to the XO and Captain's quarters, you're going to have to explain the rules to them."  Phoebe warned.

"We can roll a die to determine which venue we'll attend on any given day," Siv suggested. He would have offered to create an algorithm, but that seemed excessively nerdy. "That introduces an element of chance to the proceedings. Will we eat freshly baked goods straight from the oven, replicated Japanese food, or sample the Captain's personal cuisine?"

That had Phoebe laughing, "I guess I'll need to dig out my dice then."

Lieutenant Commander Isis Rae
Executive Officer
Kepler Station

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2014, 03:31:15 pm »
|EOA Home Office, Deck 11
|0931 HRS, -MD 3

If there was one thing that no one had ever said about Henry McAllister it was that he was good with kids.  So to be sitting across from two tiny, gurgling little infants seated on their parent’s laps was a rather unusual experience for the Lieutenant Commander.  He did find himself having to admit they were rather cute though.  Probably a good sign for the first of a new species since cute things had a tendency to last longer.  But even so, it was going to take the efforts of a number of people to see that Andromeda and Thanleros Roessler were protected from the machinations of those hoping to use them for personal or political gain.

Glancing down at the manifesto sitting on his desk, he looked back up at the parents and tried to sound reassuring.  Something that wasn’t made easy by the constantly intimidating glare from Maxwell Roessler.  “I’ve been in contact with the Bureau of Interplanetary Affairs and the Assistant Secretary of State assures me that, once these documents have been reviewed by her office and signed by the appropriate people, they will be immediately submitted to the Federation Council."  Looking towards Nilari Shendehor he continued, “Once they've voted to approve it, both of your children will be granted every legal right and protection provided to citizens of the United Federation of Planets.  That protection will include immunity from any charges their second generation genetic alterations might have incurred once they reached legal age.”

At the last assurance Nilari’s entire body noticeably relaxed and her cobalt blue lips turned up in a smile.  “Thank you, sir.”  She directed the smile down at her son who was happily tugging on the material of her gold-trimmed uniform and then looked to her fiancé.  “As you can imagine, that was one of our concerns about going public with this…”

Henry nodded his understanding.  Eugenics was not a subject to be taken lightly amongst most Federation worlds, especially Earth, so worrying that your children might be branded criminals simply for being born was bound to keep you up at night.  “Do you have any questions before we continue?”

“How many more signatures does this need until our children are safe?” Bruiser asked.  He looked at the forms, but the excess of words had developed an even deeper scowl.

“Captain Bakyr has already extended the protection of this installation and its personnel to the welfare of your children, Mister Roessler.”  Henry reminded him, “And I wish to reaffirm that declaration.  We will not hold your childrens’ safety for ransom or use them as bargaining chips.”  Sadly those very things had been done many times over in the past few centuries but that was a promise which he would personally see through.  “To answer your question though, we need eight in total and there are only two signatures remaining.

“As the attending physicians during both the pregnancy and delivery, Lieutenant Martin and Doctors Galian Shendehor, Cassiopeia Yale and Mota Ekira have signed to certify that the attached medical records are correct and to approve any personal testimony they may have included.  Myself and Lieutenant Eolical have both signed, as the required sponsors.”  Henry concluded, “Then lastly, as their parents and guardians both of you need to sign to make it official.“

That seemed to appease Bruisers concerns, but he still had another question.  “And this will keep the Andorian Government away from our children?  What sort of guarantee do we have of that?”

“Andoria is a founding Federation world,” Henry pointed out, “and as such they are held to Federation law just like any other member.”  Those responsible for hiring the Romulan tr’Rot to abduct Doctor Yale did so circumventing the law but it didn’t take someone with years of service in the Diplomatic Corps to know that the cold hard truth would not be beneficial right now.  So, instead, Henry stuck to the more optimistic version of events.  “Should elements within the Andorian opposition, or anywhere in fact, make another attempt on these children they will not only have Starfleet to contend with; but their own government, if for no reason other than ensuring Andoria is not seen as condoning unlawful behaviour from its citizenry.”

Bruiser let out a breath that might have been a dissatisfied growl if he wasn’t trying to be polite.  “Does this sound reasonable to you?” he asked Nilari.

The shen nodded thoughtfully.  “I think so.  I mean, there really doesn’t seem much else we can do,” Nilari reminded him.  Short of boarding the Dacoit and living a nomadic life, constantly on the run from anyone who might be out to exploit their children, this seemed like the only means of ensuring any sort of protection.  Even if it was only protection from the system being used against them.  “Iari was right about us needing to make this public… We have to trust that the people of the Federation wouldn’t let anything to happen to Leros and Andromeda simply because they were born different.”

“Then let’s sign this,” Bruiser agreed and rearranged Andromeda so he could press his thumb to the reader.

Once Nilari had done the same Henry leaned forward and took the PADD back.  “Excellent, I will get those transmitted via secure channels to the DPA right away.”  He said as he tapped a command to copy the data to the main computer and then set the device on his desk.  “I sincerely hope that this can be a fresh start for your family,” Henry told them both with a polite smile, looking first from the blue-skinned female to the dark-skinned male.  “Should you have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to contact me.”

Nilari nodded, “Thank you, sir.”

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« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 07:52:01 pm by John Reynolds »

Offline Vilgi Morr

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Re: Lewis' Bond
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2014, 12:04:33 pm »
MD2 1841
Deck 9,  Cadet Squad Room
U.S.S. Endeavour

It was a refreshingly pleasant experience to travel more than several meters on a ship and not see the same bulkheads with the corners, and the same rooms with the same people going about their daily tasks. This thought was all that was going through the Zalden cadet's mind, that and a bit of how this review was going to work; guard duty, foot patrols, escorting some of the sciencey cadets as they faffed around making a big deal of some rocks, maybe a scouting detail, if he was lucky. Of course there was the chance to show his excellent ability to 'read' people that he prided himself so much on, that should open some tents and maybe a bed or two of the female cadets.

Izan strode confidently into the area designated as the cadets squad room. Hand placed across his front, about mid-chest on this occasion, loosely grasping the strap of the bag slung over his shoulder. A habit, bag or not, as it kept his webbed hands on display and helped some of his less observant classmates and crew mates identity his race and act accordingly. He strode over to a table with the pair of his fellow security cadets. "Evening." He stated flatly.

Cadet Ronan Tann looked up from his conversation with the red skinned female across from him and smiled warmly at the other Cadet's approach. "Good evening," he replied, hoping to ease some of anxiety he could sense coming off of the other man.

"That remains to be seen." Izan replied bluntly. "Although these surroundings are more agreeable." Dropping his bag to the floor and taking a seat, Izan folded both arms and placed them flat on the table. "Have you been aboard long?" He asked simply with a flick of his eyes between the pale and red skinned persons.

Eyeing the Zaldan curiously for a moment, Lera Shule wondered if he was simply being difficult or whether that was his species attempt at humour.  She made a note to research them on the ship's database so that they didn't have too many cultural disagreements.  "A couple of months," the female Thallonian answered, brushing her dark hair back from her bare shoulder.  She had discarded her jacket and tunic and was wearing the regulation sleeveless undershirt.

"I was really looking forward to it but all we've done is hang around the station..." She lamented.  While she understood that it was the Flagship's duty to make its presence known and offer morale support to the people on Kepler Station, Lera had only actually set foot there for the first time today so didn't understand the extent of the damage suffered in the asteroid collision.

"I've only just arrived a few days ago," Ronan responded next.  He hoped they would be doing more than just hanging around, as Lera seemed quite bored of the situation.  From what he'd heard from others, including his mother, there was usually no end to excitement of some sort in the sector.

"You want boredom; I was shipped aboard the Normandie-B when it arrived to assist after the asteroid strike and was expecting the Station but I got the Toyko. Try foot patrol of a Defiant-Class."  Izan snorted, but with a half smile. The pair were not hiding the fact they wanted things a little more lively and a little adventure, that was one thing at least. "Oh the occasional cover of the docking lounge on Kepler and weapons drills were about the highlights." He added leaning back in his chair.

"I wouldn't mind working customs," Lera smiled wistfully.  "Getting to meet all sorts of people and funny looking aliens.  I saw a picture of those Sassohbeans in a report once--they're freaky!"  Her dark red lips curled into a smirk for a fraction of a second before Lera sighed.  "Endeavour doesn't assign Cadets to those sorts of duties; we get light duties during Beta or Delta Shifts.  The closest we come to anything more is when Chief Matthews runs simulated battle situations on the holodeck.  They aren't so bad," she smiled again, "the Chief is creative.  This one time we had to deal with telepathically controlled crewmembers who were following the orders of a squid."  Laughing nervously she apologised, "I'm rambling, aren't I?  My brother says the subroutines which should control my brain to mouth filter were never installed before I came off the assembly line..."

"I salute your brother's honesty but believe him to be entirely wrong. Assuming he said those things and you have not exaggerated them to use as an excuse, which would be distasteful. Especially after you've expressed an honest opinion and assessment and related useful background information." Izan responded quickly and pointedly. "As I said, custom duty was a highlight, a little frustrating as some of the freight lugging master, I use the term loosely, seem far too interest in making a good impression so it takes forever to get to the useful information." He commented with an exasperated sigh. "None of which will be needed on this review. I trust you both like or can cope with a bit of camping?"

Lera looked dumbfound as she looked to Ronan for any insight into how to respond to that jumble of backhanded insults.  Finally she pointed out, "Using a colloquialism isn't the same as non-factual information."  Pushing her chair back, the red-hued Cadet stood up and crossed towards the replicator where she ordered up a bubble juice.

Ronan returned Lera's expression and offered a shrug before she got to her feet and headed to the replicator. He looked over to Izan hoping to get a better read on him. Unfortunately, he was never as good of a telepath as his mother. He could pick up on emotions fairly easily, but trying to sense the thoughts of non telepaths was always a bit problematic. "I don't mind a bit of camping," the young Cadet offered in an attempt to ease the tension.

Watching as Lera walked away, clearly unsure of or unable to handle his manner of expression. Not an uncommon reaction which he had come to expect. Turning his head when Ronan finally offered an opinion, which was frustratingly middle of the road. "You seem to be meaning you haven't done much. Is that true?" He pressed.

"That's not what he said," Lera argued as she returned to the table nursing the glass of Trixian bubble juice.  "Anyway aren't we here for a reason?"  As she sat back down she hoped that this week wasn't going to drag on like this the entire time.  "Like working out a security plan to run by the command team."

"I umm," Ronan was dumbfounded by his fellow Cadet's antagonizing line of questioning.  Thankfully Lera chose just that moment to return to the table, and his defense, allowing Ronan to collect his thoughts.  As far as he knew he hadn't met Izan before, so there shouldn't have been reason for him to be so rude.  Perhaps it was a cultural thing?

"Oh!" Ronan said suddenly, jumping to his feet.  "Is this like the Humans used to do?  Measuring one's cock to exert male dominance, yes?  Well, she doesn't have one - at least I don't think so!" he gave Lera an apologetic grin before turning his attention back to Izan, one eyebrow arched and both hands poised to unzip his trousers.  "Shall we?"

Izan's expression changed, first to mild approval then a wide smile at Ronan's display. Throwing his arms in the air he declared, "Finally I know what you're thinking and what you want to do." He pushed himself from the chair,  stepping away from the table. "I asked those questions so we could understand something about each other." Fixing his eyes on Ronan he admitted. "I do not know this custom. Yet I salute its purpose and honesty. We shall." With that he unzipped casually.

"By the Goddess!"  Lera threw her hands up to cover her eyes.  She wasn't a prude but the idea of being subjected to this macho display didn't exactly appeal.  Abandoning both the bubble juice and the pair of crazy men the female Thallonian rose from her chair and blindly headed for the exit.

Throwing a glance at Lera, Izan said, "I am not familiar with your anatomy either but if you want to join in, feel free. How much more honest can you get?"

"When you're ready to be Security personnel and not idiots," she spat back over her shoulder without looking backwards, "then call me.  But otherwise I'll see you both--wearing your pants--when we have to beam down to the planet!"

Oh!  Ronan hadn't meant things to escalate that quickly - he was mostly bluffing after all!  He half wanted to follow Lera and apologize, but he couldn't back down now.  With a glance downwards at the other Cadet's exposed genitalia he gave an appreciative nod of his head before unzipping his own pants.

"At least we know she thinks this is unnecessary." Izan stated as he pulled his attention away from Lera storming out to Ronan's now exposed genitalia. He likewise nodded appreciatively before zipping up again. "My culture finds anything other than total honesty not just annoying but offensive. My questions were not judgemental, simply an attempt to gather facts so we might better understand one another." He explained, now in a much more calmer, verging on jovial, mood. Izan sat down, adding. "Lera had a very good point however, we do need to have a plan in place before we get there. We should seek her out again."

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