"Thou Shalt Not Feel..."
by Ens. Elisa Dickerson
Elisa was still sitting in the same spot she had been in for four hours now. Her back was still against the tree, her legs stretched out in front of her. Her sketch pad was to the side, her bag lay on the other side.
The conveyance she had brought was parked in the not-so-distant distance. If she wanted to look, she could see. She supposed in was time to take it back; after all, she hadn't rented it for the whole night.
But for now, she was content to simply...sit.
She watched the sun set, and dusk slowly fall. The stars came out, one by one, and she could see them staring down at her through the leaves of the trees. The wind blow softly, and it carried with the subversive smell that was strictly nature. The leaves rustled in the breeze, lightly. Nocturnal bugs came out, their noises resounding in the night. Birds lay down for the night, tucking themselves into sleep, to return when the sun was out again.
Elisa still sat there, wondering where she should go from here. The logical thing would be to return to the ship. She had her shift soon, and she didn't need any bad marks on her record, like not showing up for her shift because she was too busy communing with nature on a planet.
She wasn't quite ready to go yet, though. The natural sounds seemed to soothe her, much more then the normal noises of a starship below her could.
As she sat there, letting her mind clear, she heard the strains coming on the wind of an old, old, song, one that her roommate in the Academy had insisted on listening to when she was in a melancholy mood. Elisa didn't know where she had gotten ahold of it, or even how she had heard it in the first place. It was a song from the 1980's, back on Earth, some sort of vampire movie.
The tone filtered through her head, but the only lines she remembered were some children singing "Thou shalt not feel..." At least, that is what she thought is was. Elisa really wished she could remember what they were saying.
The strains of the music put her deeper and deeper into a reverie. Her eyes dropped lower and lower, lulled by the music and the night.
Before she knew it, she was asleep.
"Come Out, Come Out Rigellians, Wherever You Are"
Lt. Brian Elessidil
with references to "Gardens of Stone", "House of Payne" and "Party Like a Rock Star"
[OOC: Occurs at the same time as the above-mentioned posts, in the evening of Day 1 of the conference on Lanjep.]
The shimmering blue haze of the transporter lingered briefly then dissipated, after which its now molecularly-intact 'passenger' took a look around to get his bearings.
Twilight had descended heavily on Lanjep as Brian gazed up at the entrance to the great hall. Earlier, it had been the scene of pomp and ceremony, speeches and debates, and polite, well-dressed dignitaries from around the quadrant.
Now, several hours later, it was clear from the loud screeching of Klingon 'party' music and the steady stream of unsteady guests departing in random groups -- mostly pairs -- that an entirely different 'ambience' had taken hold.
Given the whole new feel of the place, Brian felt all the more comfortable in the black pants and tunic into which he had changed after returning to the ship; the gleaming gold combadge he wore was the only thing identifying him as a Federation delegate. The tall Betazoid strode up the steps to the hall's main entrance, casually passing the half-drunk Klingon security guards who, upon seeing the Star Fleet symbol, allowed him to enter without question.
Following a multi-sensory trail of smoke, sound, thought, and the 'aroma' of the mix of many species packed into one space, the counselor wandered through a series of dark passageways leading away from the main arena. Jostled by at least two pairs of staggering Klingons oblivious to anyone in the vicinity but themselves as they raised their voices in tribute to fallen comrades and the glory of an honorable death, Brian arrived finally at the source of the drunken revelry.
He entered, easily folding into the mix of Klingons, Ferengi, Breen, Romulans, and others. Moving toward the center of the room, he carefully stepped over a Pakled who had had the misfortune of passing out near one of the Ferengi, who hastily searched the fallen delegate while making it look like he was helping his victim up from the floor. Under normal circumstances, Brian would have interfered with the unscrupulous thief's actions but this time thought better of it -- bringing attention to himself as some kind of 'do-gooder' in this setting would not serve him well right now.
Shoving through to the bar, which had attracted clusters of delegates on all sides like a magnet, he tried to play it as casual and confident as he could, even though this was one of the most intimidating settings the counselor had ever found himself in.
"Andorian whiskey," he shouted over the music to a scowling Klingon barmaid, making his request sound more like a command. How he would have preferred a nice merlot or even Saurian brandy, but in keeping with the surroundings, he thought a 'tougher' libation was more appropriate. As he waited for his drink to be brought to him, Brian scanned the room for any sign of the Rigellian delegates. The haze was making it difficult to see as much as he would have preferred and even though his vision was quite good, it was hard to distinguish the more humanoid races from one another.
"Andorian whiskey!!" the barmaid shouted, as she slammed the glass down on the bar, almost causing Brian to jump in surprise. Attempting to cover up any hint of being startled, Brian seized the glass, and looking the Klingon woman in the eye, gave his best, "K'plah!", then belted it down in one gulp. His widened eyes instantly filled with tears as the liquid burned its way directly to his stomach.
"Another?" the barmaid growled with amused contempt. "Of course," Brian wheezed, praying that he wouldn't pass out on the spot. This time, to make sure she wouldn't startle him again, and to keep from getting sick with alcohol-induced dizziness, Brian kept his eyes fixed on the barmaid until she returned with his second drink. Fortunately, she was immediately called away by a rather obnoxious Naussican demanding service, saving the already less-than-perfectly-steady Betazoid from having to repeat another instant downing of the acid-like liquor.
Clutching his glass as if it would somehow steady him, Brian carefully moved away from the bar to see if he could find the Rigellians. He thought spotting the green Orion woman would be easy, providing him with a direct path to the rest of her 'colleagues'. But as he continued to gaze around the room, all he saw were more Klingons, Ferengi, Breen . . . . out of the corner of his eye, he spied a young Star Fleet marine quickly pass by on his way toward an open-air balcony on the far left.
Suddenly, Brian's visual search was interrupted as he sensed the thoughts of a most unpleasantly familiar mind: Iglom, the foul letter-bearer whose thoughts the Betazoid had encountered earlier this afternoon, was only a few meters away, talking to one of the Breen. 'This is better than nothing,' Brian thought to himself, taking a sip -- a carefully measured one -- of his whiskey and starting toward where the Yridian was standing.
He only made it about two steps when two burly Klingons seemingly appeared out of nowhere, only a few feet in front of him.
"Come, we will go to 'Payne do JuH'. There we can get away from the Duy'a' here and enjoy the company of real Klingon women with ngech. Maybe one will give you a hughI'!" one shouted with a laugh.
"Anything to leave this place. Let's go," the other agreed.
As they hastily departed from their table, the second Klingon slammed into the unsuspecting counselor, nearly knocking the glass of Andorian whiskey from his hand.
"Watch where you are going!" the already grumpy warrior snarled.
"I could say the same to you," Brian unwisely replied, perhaps due to the influence of the alcohol or the annoyance of having his path to Iglom suddenly cut off.
Approaching menacingly until he was nearly nose-to-nose with the Betazoid, the Klingon growled, his eyes narrowed with suppressed anger, "Were this not a 'diplomatic' gathering, I would kill you where you stand . . . ," his all-too readable thoughts clearly indicating that he meant every syllable.
"Kreng! Come!" his friend demanded, stopping and looking at the stiff Federation delegate whose breathing had nearly ceased in anticipation of violence. "Be careful who you cross here, Betazoid," he warned, as he led the Klingon who had threatened Brian away.
Watching the two finally leave the room, Brian was surprised that the Klingon knew he was a Betazoid; he could just as easily have been a Terran or some other Federation humanoid with dark brown eyes. A chill ran down his spine as he wondered just how much these 'gracious' Klingon hosts knew about their 'guests'. Downing the last of his whiskey, he decided to try and calm himself and not think about it.
About to decide to give up for the evening and return to the ship, Brian caught sight of a familiar face: it was the odd little Rigellian whose thoughts had been so distracting during Chancellor Martok's introductory remarks. Although he had been more intent on finding the apparent leader of the trio, or even the Orion woman, this one would do. He was talking with a Klingon -- one Brian instantly sensed was having lustfully romantic thoughts about some recently-departed man. 'A gay Klingon?' Brian thought to himself in bewilderment.
With renewed determination, the counselor began moving toward his new lead, when the man suddenly swept up a pie from the table next to him and shouted, "FOODFIGHT!"
Before he fully realized what had happened, Brian reflexively ducked out of the way of the on-coming airborne dessert. Turning to see who the unlucky target was going to be, he watched the pie end its trajectory with a 'splat' against an unsuspecting Pakled only about three feet behind him. It took only a few milliseconds for pandemonium to break out as various galactic delicacies began to fly across the room from all sides.
Clearly amused with what he had instigated, the Rigellian stealthily made his way toward a dark hallway that stood behind him.
Dodging ballistic buns and soaring salads, Brian quickly followed the Rigellian out of the room. As he telepathically locked in on the man, he lamented to himself that this was not at all the way this encounter was supposed to go.
He didn't know exactly what he was going to say to the Rigellian once he caught up with him, but Brian wasn't going to let him get away if he could help it.
lieutenant commander Navarre Shinta
assistant chief counsellor
Shinta was readying herself to go down to the planet again. She found it very hard to act as if nothing had happened. Outside of the small diplomatic group and the assigned security officers, nobody was to know that the captain was missing. So she had had to lie to friends, and to her children.
It surprised her, that the news of his kidnapping had hit her this hard. She hardly knew the man, had not spoken much to him. It must have been the time served under Bhrode that opened her eyes. She hadn't had something against Bhrode, aside from the fact that he didn't think her good enough to be chief counsellor. She didn't think he had been a bad captain, like some members of the crew. But the episode had made her understand how much Price did value her. He had taken the chance to promote her rapidly, and afirm Karyn's assesment of her as assistant chief. She now realized that not every captain would have done that, and she was grateful for it.
While she was packing a bag, she again looked at her knives with longing. How much she wanted to have them with her, especially now she knew that there were kidnappers down there. But she had seen the Klingon Security, and she realized that she would never be able to get anything past them. No, she would have to rely on her wit and her reflexes down there, if she got herself into danger.
Shinta left her room, wondering when she would be back. If things started to get really hectic, she wanted to stay down on the planet. But for now her first priority was to seek out the Tholian ambassador, and find out how trustworthy they were. She had scanned the computer for basic knowledge on that race, and hoped it would be enough. Not for the first time she cursed the fact that the federation hadn't sent a real diplomatic team down here.
Lt. Commander Shinta Navarre,
Assistant Chief Counsellor
Lt. Commander James Mitchell,
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Ardra MacGrath
Shinta had been overwhelmed by the vastness of the Klingon diplomatic chamber. She listened to all the speeches, with various interest. And she was happy when they finally had a break.
She mingled a little bit with the other diplomats. And finally spotted James, with a smile she walked toward him. "Are you still glad that you wanted to come? I really don't know what you are doing here as a scientist." She didn't mention the Cardassians, Shinta still felt on edge about them.
"I'm not really here as a scientist, Shinta." He kept a close eye on Three of Four as it was quite obvious that she was an unwelcome visitor at the proceedings. The Borg Ambassador had questioned him all through the ceremonies and speeches expressing consternation at the lack of cohesiveness between all the cultures. It hadn't taken her long, as he was counting the minutes, until she mentioned assimilation and harmony of the collective proving more efficient.
He wanted to get away, and was able to pawn her off on one of the security officers who accompanied them down, promising that he'd be back shortly. Any time away from the cyborg was welcome. He'd be sure to stretch those moments out as long as he could. Plus, it was fun watching how the other diplomats dealt with her.
"I asked to come down as a civilian, but offered my services as an Exobiologist if needed. I'm not here on official business, but the opportunity to share the same space with so many cultures was something I could hardly turn down. Have you been told what your official duties are yet?"
"Not yet. I think Karyn is still deciding whom to send down when our
turn comes." From the corner of her eye, she noticed a small group of Cardassians standing not too far away. The woman whom she had seen on the picture was there, and her heart missed a beat. Could it be? "I am sorry, I got distracted for a minute. What is it like looking after the Borg?"
James chuckled when asked this. For all the threats they'd been receiving, Three still retained the pompous Borg attitude of superiority. They'd had many a conversation over this as he explained the concept behind the trade summit to her. Explaining the thought processes of so many individuals working together as a collaborative unit only served to solidify her belief in the Collective, and that the Borg would've shared out the resources to each other without argument.
"Individuality is inefficient." That was all she had to say on the subject, and a lot of people were threatened by it.
"It's like.... babysitting, Shinta. I can't leave her alone anywhere lest she get herself in trouble. I have the feeling that she wants to get up on the podium and state her case as well. That's all we'd need. Total discredibility of the Federation delegates would result, I think." He shook his head.
"I've seen your reaction with the Cardassians." He spoke this softly to her. "You keep looking over at them. Is there anything wrong?"
Ardra had been quiet throughout this conversation and smiled in response.
"Cardassians are most dangerious when forced into a corner... Remembering they have fallen from the list of Major powers and they are desperate to get their once former glory!" She smiled. "Most Bajorans have bad experiences with Cardassians....."
"You don't need to remind me of that, Ardra." James gave her a hard stare. "I've had my share of experiences that I'd just as soon forget myself." He touched the earpiece dangling from his lobe. "See this? It's the only mark I have of my family heritage, and because of these monsters, I have no idea who or what I am!" His tone of voice was about to break acceptable levels when he felt a touch on his arm. He looked down to see Shinta's hand gripping it. From his peripheral view, a Cardassian was approaching them from across the room.
The Cardassian face appeared. It was Cenna, the Cardassian scientist. She looked to the Federation ambassadors. "Greetings... I don't think we have met yet? My name is Cenna, I am the Cardassian goverments scientific advisor at these talks."
That voice. Shinta went numb. It couldn't be... and yet... and yet it was.
She felt very naked without any weapons, and not completely sure that she wouldn't have used them at this moment. For a few seconds she was back in the past, with this... animal. This person that had done unspeakable things to her.
"I know who you are, and you are not welcome here." She hoped the others would back her up, before she lost the temper.
Ardra looked to her fellow ambassadors and then looked to Cenna. "Aye... My friend here has been having bad dreams as of late. She's a good counsellor, just not good at recognising individual faces." She turned to Shinta and walked with her to a quiet area out of ear shot. "What do you mean she is not welcome, she is... that's the whole idea!"
There was fury on her face. "The hell I am not! That person is a war criminal." She was shaking. "I am not making this up, there is nothing wrong with my memory."
James was left alone with the Cardassian as the two women left to their
own aims. Cenna was at a loss for words at the exchange, or so she appeared to be. She appeared aged, as there were extra creases around her deepset eyes. The other two Cardies she'd arrived with were busily chatting up with their once Breen allies-turned devastators. The Breen had lain waste to much of Cardassia at the end of the Dominion War in 2373 as a result of the Cardassians switching sides to bring an end to the War.
800 million dead. Cardassia had been utterly destroyed in those last moments. Cenna had most likely lost family in that onslaught; the creases may have come from personal tragedy. Cardies also valued their arts and culture very highly, and most if not all traces of their existence were wiped out as well. It was a bitter pill to swallow for some, but a lot of people felt they deserved it.
At least Bajor retained much of their heritage throughout the Occupation and subsequent liberation. Only their style of government had changed as well as turned their backs on the ancient system of D'jarra castes.
He felt the hatred tempered with pity for this creature standing before him brim up to the fore, but with great effort, he was able to gulp it down.
"Cardassia's scientific advisor, you say? My name's James Mitchell, the Federation delegation's Xenobiology consultant. What is your area of expertise?" He uncoupled his hands from under his armpits, and reached one out in a show of greeting, palm upraised in the traditional Cardassian manner.
Cenna smiled. "My expertise is varied, I have been known to be a radiation expert and an expert in sub space field dynamics. But apart from that... I have spent the last few years of my life working out new ways of re-building Cardassia. We were left almost completely destroyed, lost millions of lives and prehaps... Some may say... It was justified for all the wrong doings we have done. But we need to grow and move on, and Cardassia needs to evolve."
Shinta came closer again. "For all I care Cardassia can disappear forever. You should rot in hell for what you did." The normally so cool counsellor was literally quaking with anger.
The Bajoran glanced quizzically to the Counsellor, who had since reproached from her 'discussion' with Ardra. He also harboured a hatred for the Cardassians, but Shinta's reaction was more than that. They all had a responsibility to treat the delegates with equanimity, but her response to Cenna's presence seemed more... personal. Not that every Bajoran's experiences during the occupation weren't personal, but that hatred was directed to all Cardassians, regardless of individuality.
Shinta's hatred was more directed at Cenna, it would appear. He gave her an indirect look to remind her of her duties, but she only stared hard at Cenna, ignoring him.
Cenna looked at Ardra, who at the moment was the only one out of the group who seemed to even wish to talk sensibly to her. "I apologize if my behavior is out of place, I am not a diplomat." She looked to Ardra and then to the male counsellor. "Ardra, I had a chance to look over the Galaxy's bios. It seems you are an Investigator... Which is why I am curious about you being a Counsellor?"
Ardra smiled, she knew that they had looked over their bios. Like Ardra had looked over theirs and the little the Cardassian government had given her was indication that Cenna was a clever woman. "Aye I am... I am actually a profiler which is an extension." Her comm badge beeped and she looked stepping away.
James felt like he was caught between an unknowing conflict. Cenna had a strange look to her, as if she were trying to put on a show of aired innocence, but actually enjoying the reaction she was pulling out of the two females.
"I'd like to apologize for my companion's behaviours, Cenna. There's been a lot of history between us-" He was cut off by Cenna, who'd raised her hand to him as she watched Ardra talking to the air. Her jaw dropped and she moved to a more secluded corner to resume the conversation.
"Something has happened, Mr. Mitchell." Her tone was calm and precise, all-knowing. "Your investigator has received news of a pained sort, I would gather."
The scientist squinted at Cenna and raised an eyebrow. Her visage betrayed no sense of purpose, only a stoic expression. Shinta had been momentarily distracted by Ardra's urgent departure from the conversation and rushed to her. Always a counsellor, always working.
"What makes you think that, Cenna?" He watched her carefully for any change in her expression, but she regretfully did not give him the expected. She instead smiled and turned her glittery ebon eyes back to him.
"Let's just say I am a profiler of sorts myself." She saw the Bajoran's querying expression and bowed her head slightly. "It is among the varied expertises I have attained, as I alluded to earlier."
Curious. He wondered just how many 'varied expertises' she'd accumulated. He was about to question her further on her other hidden skills, but was cut short.
Ardra returned. "Excuse me, Shinta and myself are required... I am so sorry Cenna, perhaps we can continue our discussion later!"
As Ardra and Shinta had given the Cardassian the news of their departure from the conversation, James' commbadge chirped.
['Commander, your presence is required on the Galaxy. Prepare for transport.]
"My apologies, Cenna. I must take my leave as well. I would like to continue our conversation upon my return, if you don't mind." He bowed in respect to the delegate, even though he hated it. He kept an eye on her, though. He'll never trust a Cardie again.
"We'll see, Mr. Mitchell. We'll see..." And with that, the transporter beam materialized around him, even as he was puzzled at her response. The last image he got was her sipping Kanar, smiling as she fizzed away in a swath of colour.
When they were alone again, Shinta turned on Ardra. "How could you let her get away with that! She is a war criminal, if you are such a great criminal investigator, how about doing something about her!" In anger she punshed her first into the nearest wall. "The arrogance of the woman. She has read my file, she knows exactly who I am."
Ardra turned "And you will do nothing until evidence is present to the Federation and something can be done about it!" she looked visably on the verge of wanting to just drop this conversation "I don't care if she is death herself... You say she is a war criminal, I look upon her as being cautious and very exact... BUT I will not accuse her of something that I have no knowledge of!"
"You have the skills. Will you at least help me find that evidence?" Shinta asked.
Ardra nodded, and then left as well.
Shinta followed feeling very confused. She needed to talk about this later with Ardra and certainly with james. But it could wait, duty called.
By Chief Medical Officer Quevvenson
& Commander Kent Peterson
Autumn sat in her chair behind her desk with a soft groan. There was a heap of things she had to do and with a sigh she noticed that at the top of the list was the physicals for all the new crew as well as the Physicals for the senior staff. Some like Captain Price were due for their annual physicals. The list was long, Price, Peterson, Dallas, Corgan. Gustavson, Jii, T’Zaq, Mitchell, Van Der Puls-Hawksley, *Ugh and they say Quevvenson is hard to spell* as well as most of their Second in commmands, It would be a battle to get them into medbay for the REQUIRED annual physical. With the captain, Commander Dallas on the surface, She'd start with the XO. She'd give Lance and Riald and the others something to do... the others. She hit her comm badge.
"Lieutenant Quevvenson to Commander Peterson." She said in a firm but gentle voice.
["Go ahead, Doctor,"] the first officer said from the Bridge, having only just finished his briefing with Lieutenant Commander Elaithin and Counselor Dallas.
"Sir, it has come to my attention that your annual physical is due." She said quickly. "I know that it is not the favorite thing for most offiicers, but I will not take up much of your time." She waited for his response.
["I'll be honest, Doctor, now really isn't the time."]
"Actually now is the perfect time, Commander," Autumn responded. "There are no emergencies, no crises, no Borg trying to rip us apart, no blood suckers trying to remove vital fluids ... even the Captain is taking time to relax. I'm sure Lieutenant Commander van der Puls-Hawksley or one of the other senior staff members can hold the fort while you're down here."
Kent took a moment to respond. Nothing was the matter - that would be the bottom line to this situation. Their commanding officer was kidnapped, but as far as everyone else was allowed to know, everything was going fine. ["I'll see to it that I get down to Sickbay in a few days, Doctor Quevvenson. I promise."]
The Galaxy's chief medical officer tapped the surface of her desk gingerly a s she tried to think of a tactful way to get Peterson down in to her Sickbay. "Starfleet protocol, sir. The chief medical officer has requested your presence for the annual physical. No physical, no active duty. Those are the procedures," she explained. "Besides, at present you are the senior-most ranking officer. It would mean a lot to me if you would set a good example."
["Very well,"] the first officer conceeded. ["I will be down momentarily.]
["Excellent. Quevvenson out."]
The doors to the primary medical facility opened and the Galaxy's executive officer walked through them. The expression on his face showed some tension, but Autumn easily put that down to her basically ordering him down for his medical examination.
"Starfleet regulations," Kent muttered. "I know. So where did you wish to begin?"
She gave him a slight smile. "Can you act like you are not going to a torture chamber commander? This will only take a small amount of your time."
~Men Big babies when it comes to medical~ she added mentally.
"We can start with normal observation of reflexes and reactions, then getting lung volume and efficiency, vision and audial sensitivity. After the passive observations, came to more gruelling endurance test, running on a treadmill, plus testing of muscle strength. It should only take 30 minuets of your time." She bit her lip. She hated pulling rank over senior officers, but rules were rules. She looked towards the vacent bio bed. "Sit down over there, Commander and we shall get started ok?"
Peterson walked over and sat down on the biobed Doctor Quevvenson had guestured towards. As he sat down his thoughts turned to Lee for a moment - the man probably got himself 'kidnapped' so he would not have to get a physical. It was a fleeting nonsense thought, one that did not last more than a moment.
"I'm eating right, exercising," Kent spoke up. "There shouldn't be anything the matter."
"Well then this should be quick and painless, Commander," Autumn said, as she pulled open her medical tricorder and the diognostic probe to began her scans. She gave him a reasurring smile. "Do not look so worried Commander. Medical officers do not bite you know. We are quiet harmless." She said keeping the atmosphere light.
"Then you never met Doctor McCray from the Nobel," Kent remarked.
"Hold still," she said, going over his shoulder, referring to the three prior injuries listed in his Starfleet medical profile. "Have you been over exerting yourself of late?"
Commander Peterson shook his head. "Not that I am aware of."
"According to the ship's computers you have been engaging in strenuous physical activities in the Holodeck. Instead of your usual two times a week you've increased it to five times a week since returning to the Galaxy."
Kent's brow furrowed. "You're point being?"
Autumn moved the medical probe from his right shoulder and began to scan his chest area. "I was wondering if there was something you'd be interested in sharing. Like why the first officer has increase his fitness regime?"
"Boredom," Kent responded.
"Boredom?" Doctor Quevvenson remarked. "That is ... a new one, Commander. Still, you know whatever you discuss with your physician is kept strictly confidential."
"I will keep that in mind," the first officer responded. While he had nothing but respect for the chief medical officer's opinion on medical matters, his personal life, or his feelings for Counselor Dallas were a private affair. He planned to keep it that way.
Auutmn continued with the exam. "Well you seem to be in fine shape Commander." She checked the readouts. "All that extra training in helping but really don't you think you are overdoing it? I mean not even Jii and Sanchez do that much." ~Not that Sanchez needs it.~
The first officer thought about it. Perhaps he had been overcompensating a little with his Holodeck time - he never realized that it had been that obvious. "Perhaps you are right. For the time being, with the Captain gone ... fishing ... I won't have as much time as I had hoped."
Autumn nodded. "Then now could be the time to start cutting back," she reponded. "So what is it you actually do in there? If you don't mind me asking."
Kent smiled. "Not at all. Ice Hockey. The faster game around."
"I thought that was anbo-jitsu?" the chief medical officer added.
"I've never really taken to martial arts ... although there is a hitting element I don't mind," he said with a smile. "Now if we are done?"
"Indeed," Quevvenson remarked. "I'm sure I can rely on your support to get the other members of the senior staff down here."
Commander Peterson nodded. "Of course ... though I would like the away team left until last. With the summit below ... I want their attentions on that, not wondering how to make excuses how to get out of an annual physical examination."
The medical chief nodded.
"Cravings, Study and problems with Medical Files"
By Lieutenant Autumn Quevvenson, CMO
Ensign Sara McPherson, medical Officer
Autumn sat in her office at the beginning of Beta shift quietly eating a sandwich, of chicken, lettuce, avocado and mayonnaise. Wilhem was planet side, said he and Rashid were going Weapon hunting. In front of her was the command test reading material. She was slowly absorbing all the information that was required. She was halfway through a document on the Picard Manoeuvre when her office door opened. She looked up to find Sara standing there. Her sister’s ex lover. “Hello Sara.” Autumn said. “What can I do for you?”
Sara held up a PADD. “I need you to look over this. There seems to be a couple of discrepancies in the files concerning Leslie Marchand and Cali Souchard. Both their b/dates seem to be out for the age the computer says their cells are at.”
Autumn took the PADD. “What ages should they be?”
“Cali should be 30 and Leslie should be 34. But the cell tests say they are both about 26 years of age.”
“Hmm” Autumn began to read the personnel files and shook her head. “Damn.. if we were allowed to contact Starfleet I could ask them for information on the subject..” She sighed. ”I am sure there is a logical explanation. I want all the equipment tested and if they aren’t up to Starfleet standard… I want explanations as to why there were allowed to slip out of alignment. Pass the word. I want this explained. And the first thing is to test our own equipment.”
“Aye Ma’am” Sara said and stepped out of the Office and headed for main med bay to being the tests.
Autumn sighed after she had gone. She placed the PADD Down and stood up and headed for the replicator. Once there she satisfied her craving. “Computer one triple chocolate, choc chip banana split please.” She knew she should really cut back on them, but so far two a day seemed to be keeping her children happy. She took the sundae back to her desk and as she picked up the PADD Detailing the Picard manoeuvre she began to eat.
It was almost three hours later when She had finished reading up on the latest tactical documentation on the Battle of Wolf 359 and the newest addition to the tactics used as demonstrated by Commander Von Ernst. ~She did what?!?~ Had been one of her thoughts at the very un starfleet tactics the young woman had displayed. Sure it had been a simulation, but Admiral Hoth was holding her up as a marker for all to reach.
“Yeah right” she muttered as she picked up the next PADD detailing the tactics of the battle of DS9 in the Dominion war. She remember those days. Even though she had been still a cadet she had worked at Starfleet medical durring her small amount of time off and saw a lot of war victims that had been transported to Earth from battle ships because of the overflow in the Ship’s medical facilities. Those days of war had given her, her first taste of death and of war in general. It hadn’t been pretty. Lysander’s words came back to haunt her often durring those days,
~"Don't you get it? The Fleet's not ready for another war. We lost so many officers back in '66 during the Borg War that it'll be years before the fleet has enough people to man existing ships, let alone the new stuff. Look at our classes, they're pushing us out the door too fast. I'm not ready to work aboard a Runabout let alone a ship of the line, do you feel ready to treat combat casualties under fire?"~
Her response to his words had stopped him dead in his tracks.
~"I understand what it means, Lysander. Why do you think I joined.. to help people and o help protect this planet. I know the cost and I know what’s happening. The reason I am on a fast track is the same reason they will push Hixx's class out fast. I might not seem serious all the time but I understand that right now the federation can't be choosers about who they are putting where. They are going to have to fight this war and a number more as the enemies of the Federation see the weakness that the federation has right now. You and People like us.. we are the next generation and quiet frankly the chiefs don't care how confident we feel.. they want us there and they want us there ASAP!"~
That was then.. now days they still had the same problem. The Acadmey was pushing people out at a rate that made cadet’s heads spin. All in the name of Starfleet and Protecting the federation. With a slight smile she pushed her chair back and relaxed for a moment. How young and naive they had been at the Academy. How sure of themselves and yet still worried about what the future may bring.
The Dominion war had changed them all in ways none of them could explain. Riana had become a Marquis, Lysander had graduated as a lieutenant jg, and Autumn had gone to the Reliant full of ideals to make that ship a better place. Hixx? Who knew. She had never asked Lysander about him in ages.
She smiled as she remembered what her lecturer on the Cardassians had said to her. ~“The young think they are invincible.. and war gives harsh lessons. Those who do not make it remind us that we are mortal and that in its self makes us more cautious.”~
And she knew now how true that was. She picked up the PADD again. Time for reminiscing was over. Back to study.
"Late Night Thoughts."
By Commander Kent Peterson
Kent walked through the doors of his quarters feeling a little absentminded. His thoughts turned to the letter that Counselor Dallas and Lieutenant Commander Elaithin had brought to him in the Observation Lounge. If he had not read it, then quite possibly he would never have believed it in the first place. Someone had kidnapped Captain Price.
The first officer sat down in one of the comfortable chairs in the 'living room' section of his quarters. Without realizing it his eyes were starring out on to the orbital view of lanjep, perhaps subconsciously trying to think where they may be keeping the Galaxy's starship commander. But those were not his thoughts. He was trying to think of ways in which the ship could assist the away team.
Aside from a passive sensor scan of the planet they were not able to lead to any more clues. Anything more from the main sensor array of the Galaxy-class starship - such as an active scan - could be interpreted by Lee's captors as an alert that the ship and Starfleet had been made away. This was certainly going to take more than phasers blasting or threats of retaliation.
Deep down the Starfleet commander felt that the negotiations would be the best source of information. As he had said during the briefing in the Observation Lounge, they might start acting differently as a result. The Captain was taken presumably for leverage - why else would they wait until a summit within Klingon space? If it were the Klingons they were after influencing them perhaps this was a way of embarrassing them, but it was Starfleet personnel the message was sent to. As Jii had suggested, the Klingons should not be underestimates - they could have been behind this. There were any dozen of Starfleet captain's that they might have chosen, so why Captain Lee Price of the Galaxy?
"Computer, begin recording first officer's log. Recorded under security lockout Peterson-One-One-Kappa-Charlie," Commander Peterson began. "With the return of the away team to the Galaxy is was shocked to learn that Captain Price had been kidnapped and a letter sent to the away team. While I have briefed the attending officers, Elaithin Jii and Karyn Dallas, I find myself with my hands tied firmly behind my back. At present our best course of action is to allow the away team enough time to investigate, hopefulling finding Price in the meantime. Until then I will explore what we can do to help them, without placing the Captain's life in further danger. Until then I have elected to keep his matter 'need to know'. End log."
The computer whaled and beeped as it stored the executive officer's protected log recording safetly in the ship's library access and retrieval system.
Peterson reached across his chest and tapped it. It was very early in the morning, but he doubted that Karyn or Jii could sleep, "Peterson to Elaithin and Dallas. Could you please report to my quarters."
["Be write there. Elaithin out,"] the Bajoran security chief remarked.
["You can't sleep either,"] Karyn said, her voice more than emphasizing that she had not gone to sleep or she had been lying in her bed, wide awake.
"You could say that," Kent responded. "I'll see you shortly.
["Okay. Dallas out."]
Kent stood up and walked in to the bedroom. Although he had not been sleeping, he felt the need to change the uniform he had spent the last twenty hours wearing. Perhaps they had heard more on the letter - or possibly even who might have handled the Captain's communicator - both of which the away team had been sent.
Commander Karyn Dallas, RN Chief Counselor/Second Officer Lt. Commander Elaithin Jii Chief Security Officer USS Galaxy
***Karyn's quarters, USS Galaxy***
"Well, that was fast." remarked Karyn, upon seeing Jii standing just outside her door less than five minutes after their meeting with Kent.
"You expected anything else?" the Bajoran quipped in reply. Being true to form, he was trying to make the situation seem much lighter than it actually was. In truth, he was eager to get to the bottom of this matter. Those on the Diplomatic Team would be responsible for getting the Captain back, and they had to figure out a plan of action, pretty damn quick. In the face of his job, thoughts of the budding...well, whatever there was between him and Kit Jordan...had clearly taken a back seat.
"No, I don't suppose I did." she replied.
Karyn, with help, had changed rather quickly herself into more comfortable clothes so that she could return to lanjep to 'observe' the nightlife. She wasn't at all certain she could relax and gather information, knowing that Lee had been kidnapped by any of those attending the peace conference. What motive could anyone possibly have for using one man to change the way of life for the Klingon Empire and the Federation itself?
Karyn and Lee had talked many times about the enemies he had made in Starfleet Command because of his unorthodox solutions to problems that as far as the higher ups were concerned had only one solution, but was she really ready to believe that they had conspired with another delegation to force their hands?
Gods, they even had to suspect the Klingons, who Karyn knew shared a history with Lee of honor and friendship. Were the Romulans responsible? Was this retaliation for their covert operation months ago? Nothing was adding up, and information was coming too slowly for anyone's liking.
One only needed to see the look on Jii's face to get a clear picture of what was going through all of their minds in that particular moment. Of course, he was trying to remain calm and focused, but he was the Chief of Security on board, and she knew there was a part of him that felt responsible for the captain's abduction.
Hell, truth to be told, it wasn't even a small part. To say that he felt personally responsible, and wanted nothing more than to throw the abductors out the nearest airlock would be dead-on accurate.
Jii, like Karyn, had struggled emotionally following their covert mission to Romulus. It was understandable given the torture he'd endured in the Romulan prison, although it wasn't something he'd been too forthcoming about since their return. Karyn felt guilty about not following up with him about it, though admittedly she hadn't been in the best shape to deal with anything related to that assignment, and even now, there were things she struggled with. It was hard not being able to talk about it with people, and although part of her always knew she could have broached the subject with Lee, Kent or Jii, she supposed she assumed they didn't want to bring any of it out again. There was also a part of her that didn't want to play 'counselor' to their needs when she was still dealing with her own.
She realized now how selfish that was, and knew that if Jii didn't deal with all that had happened, he was going to suffer more. No matter how she felt, she could not allow another person to suffer as long as she was capable of stopping it. Maybe Elaithin was overcompensating for what happened to him on Romulus, or maybe he really was ok and just doing his job, but the point was, as his friend and as his counselor, she had to know. She cared for and respected him too much not to ask.
She regarded him quietly. "It wasn't your fault, you know." He looked as though he were about to dismiss her, but she pushed forward. "I know what you said in the ready room, but I also know what the look on your face said. You feel guilty about not being there to protect Lee, but there's more to it than that, isn't there?"
A small smile crossed the Bajoran officer's lips. So far, they were still the only two in her quarters. The others would not doubt arrive soon. "It's..." he laughed. "You know, Karyn, these days even I'm not sure what's going on in my head."
Karyn offered a half smile. "Ah, now there's a position I can empathize with. But I also know that's a copout I take when I don't like what it is I'm feeling, even if I know why I'm feeling that way." He was evading her, but he was trying to make it look as though he wasn't trying to.
"Perhaps I should. And while it's not really my fault - I know that, the fault lies with the people that did the deed - to a degree, it is my fault. Still, like I told Kent....shoulda, coulda woulda." he said with a sigh, shaking his head.
"You're saying all the right things, Jii, but how come I get the feeling you're snowing me? If this is about Romulus, then perhaps you should..."
"Romulus?" he asked, puzzled for a moment. "I don't really see how.."
Karyn, however, would not be deterred.
"What happened to you...the torture you endured at the prison...that wasn't your fault either, and no amount of pushing yourself or beating yourself up now is going to change what happened. " she firmly stated.
This time, it was a few minutes before Elaithin responded. "I don't know if I really want to talk about that. After all, we, like always, have work to do." Jii stated. He'd briefly spoken on the matter with Kent.
"The torture not withstanding, I did not have some of my finer moments there." In his mind, he heard himself telling the Romulan torturer that he would kill him, flat out. He also remembered the disappointment he'd felt - and the surprise at his own reaction - when he'd not had the opportunity to fulfill his promise to the Romulan.
Karyn paused, choosing her words carefully, but delivering them with a forcefulness that surprised the Bajoran. "You don't owe us a damn thing, Jii, you didn't fail, you survived to fight another day, and sometimes, that's all we can ask of ourselves. You need to deal with this, you'll drive yourself crazy trying to make up for something you're not prepared to let yourself off the hook for."
Another pause. "Perhaps." was all he was able to admit at the moment.
Karyn looked down then. "I know I wasn't in the best shape to help you then, but I'm here now." Looking up, she stared him straight in the eye. "Don't make this a macho thing, because there's no such thing. This is a people thing that I happen to be pretty good at most of the time. You know the drill." she prompted, "Tell me how you are, and I mean really."
Then, he made the conscious choice. He was not going to allow inner demons to rule over him anymore. He wasn't going to allow the ghosts of his past to dictate how he lived his life now.
And he damn sure wasn't going to allow some pissant little alien with a chip on their shoulder against the Klingons to get away with kidnapping the Captain.
Jii did, however, recognize that he was going to have to be at his best over the coming days, and that meant putting his demons to rest. All of them.
Then someone beeped at Karyn's door. Likely, it was one of the Diplomatic team members. "This isn't over, Jii." Karyn said softly, before calling out for whoever it was to enter.
Somehow, he didn't doubt that in the slightest.
Gul Tarak, Military Attaché
Glinn Cenna, Scientific Advisor
Enabran Frezal, Cardassian Ambassador
Cenna smiled innocently as she watched the science officer shimmer away in a swath of light. She raised her crystal glass of Kanar in a salute, and her black eyes glittered.
As she bid her adieu's to the Federation scientist, she was approached from behind by another.
"Cenna, you are enjoying this too much." The deep resonanting voice echoed humour in the underlying tones its owner.
"But it is so FUN to make these Bajorans squirm, Takar. Don't you remember the games we used to play with them?" She turned to face the Gul. His ridges had darkened with age, and his hair was streaked with grey, but his features still displayed prominence and dignity. Gul Takar was well-respected among his Cardassian peers for his part in the Cardassian Occupation. Their economy had flourished under his tenure as a Glinn. His standards set the bar for when it came to mining the materials for the cause.
"Now, Cenna, we mustn't draw attention to ourselves. The whole point of our being here is to carry out the orders of the Council. Do not disrespect that." His tone became serious and hardened as he grasped Glinn Cenna's shoulder. "I do not like to look the beggar either, Cenna, but if we are to accomplish our goals here, we have to play our parts."
His voice dropped to a whisper as he led her back to the third member of their party. "I do remember the games, and I did enjoy them very much, but letting these Federation-types know this would bring the attention onto us. Now, I'm sure Enabran Frezal is missing our company, Cenna." He took her by the arm and smiled as they strolled back to the Cardassian Ambassador, looking the worse for wear and nervous while speaking with the Breen Ambassador, who himself was flanked by his guards.
"Gul Takar, Glinn Cenna! Welcome back!" The Ambassador, well-fed from his stints over the past year in rebuilding relations with the outlying worlds that could possibly threaten the repentant Union, virtually bubbled with joy in the return of his military escorts. It made the Gul sick that the Cardassian Union was reduced to begging for handouts, and now here he was, begging from the hands of those that would sooner poison them. The Enabran had no idea what was going on in the wings.
Gul Takar put on his best smile as he raised his palm in a gesture of welcome. The Breen nodded in return and raised his palm, but did not touch the Cardassian. The ambient temperature would've been uncomfortable for both, but the Breen had the advantage in being the refrigeration suits could keep their bloodless bodies at the proper temperature. The Cardassians on the other hand, were on the chilly side, hence the continuous drinking of the Klingon supplied Kanar.
The Cardassian alcoholic drink, in closest comparison to Terran Brandy for its warming effect on the body, was an embarassing clone of the original, but the effect gave them what was required. Warmth, and lack of side-effects - in other words, the inability to become inebriated. Synthahol had some advantages.
It was a rare event that the Breen came out for a political event, and this made the Cardassians cautious, save for the Ambassador, his cheeky jowls ust flubbering in his flamboyant determination to kiss and make up with the silent Breen, who looked for the most part in not wanting to be there, either.
But they all had to put on a show. Every race here had something to hide, and no one wanted to be spotlighted, lest their secrets be revealed.
Takar wanted to know the secrets behind the Breen so that he could act upon them, as they had single-handedly destroyed his home planet, tearing down their history and sweeping it away like dust in the wind, never to be retrieved. Vengeance would be exacted on these Breen nemeses, he'd be sure of that. Events had already been set in motion to determine exactly what their justice would be.
Until then, he just smiled and nodded, Cenna at his side, sharing in the reverie of the moment. Everything was moving along as it should be, just as the Council had planned.
Soon, all will be as it should be.
Lt. Commander James Mitchell
Chief Science Officer
Lt jg Seth Zonhieb
What looked like a puffy white cloud eclipsed the light. This cloud also looked like it was partially in a forest as the top and bottom showed trunks of green.
The starfleet dress uniform was designed for homosapiens. On thier bodies the bold colour looked clean, crisp and subdued. On the Gorn body it made Seth look like a cloud.
The bulges of the reptillian muscles puffed the unifom out in every direction. There was alot of material used to try and cover that frame. To make the effect even worse this uniform had almost no decorations. Admirals and captains earned the privilage of hiding part of the stanch.
Another thing that made the illusion almost complet was that Seth moved so slowly he looked like he was floating. Yet his movement had a purpose as he entered the ambassadors temperary quarters.
"You look rediculous." The ambassador would have burst our laughing if he hadn't used up his quota for the century. "You expect me to take your challenge seriously?"
"I expect you to die." the federation officer said through his dagger like teeth.
Stay tuned Seth fans...
next Gorn vs. Gorn
Lt Cmdr Michael O'Grady
After getting his orders Mike got a copy of the paper letter. It had been a while since he saw paper, he had saved a bit to write a letter to Rayna the one time they were apart.
It was one reason he wasn not going to be working on gettign promoted any more because most ships wouldn't move a family any more.
This letter didn't contain what he wrote to her, that took more then one page, and some of it he still smiled when he remebered it. Their anniversary was tomorrow, and the plan he had on Lanjep was now shot to hell. Second wedding anniversary.
Now this letter, what did it say about the kidnappers. Now where was Lt Mcgrath.
"NIGHT ON THE TOWN"
The Third Epic of James L. Corgan
Lieutenant James Lionel Corgan
Chief of Operations, USS Galaxy
Sub Ambassador Mika
Commander K'temmery of the Klingon Honor Guard Ketor and the Sons of Romak Guide Karm
And many more...
"Night on the Town"
Nighttime on the USS Galaxy.
A time of rest and relaxation. The corridors and hallways of the behemoth ship dimmed their lights. The lights left behind a haunted maze, unused and abandoned during the Delta shift.
If a person was on the graveyard shift, or if they were untiring insomniacs, they would navigate the darkened corridors. The sounds of the ship were more alive than any other time of the day. Without the impedance of human footsteps and chattering voices, the low thrums of the ODN relays, the near silent buzz of power distribution lines and fluorescent lights, the pulsing waves of plasma nodes were free to dominate the ear and rule the night.
The occasional noise broke through the eerily calm night symphony. Most times it was the occasional escaped pet. Cats were known to roam the halls at night. Security still had trouble keeping the creatures indoors. Sometimes, it was a dog. Once it howled it was rushed back to its owners quarters to be chastised and sent to bed without dinner. Rarer still was the plethora of alien creatures whom inhabited the hallways of the ship. There were rumors of tribbles, panthers, miniature dragons and targs coming out to play when the humans were asleep, but they were just rumors. If that were true, the ship's internal sensors would have picked them up.
A yowl and screech cut through the pulsating noises of the hallway. The creature, who sounded like a Terran cat, protested by the sudden pain inflicted on its tail. After hissing at its antagonist, the cat darted around the corner, bolting at top speed through the hall, mewling and hissing along the way. By this time, the internal sensors picked up the sighting of Buttons, a Himalayan cat owned by Operation's Lieutenant jg. Ricci. It detected that its tail was bruised and pointed out that the cat was reported missing an hour ago. Security was already mobilizing to catch the four-legged creature.
Then, a foot step. Then two, joined by another set of plodding feet that were lighter than the last pair.
"Stupid furry beast. I am curious Mika... Don't these Starfleet warp jockeys know now to contain their pests?" Complained the first voice.
The two figures stepped out of the shadows. The first trait on the male of the twosome that anyone would point out is that he is... fat. Very fat. Guess over three hundred pounds fat. He was an older gentleman (if he could be called that), with streaky gray and white hair. His wrinkled face couldn't conceal the three chins on his neck and his flabby cheeks. Most of his bulk was thankfully hidden under an intricately woven, kimono like robe topped with a poncho like leather covering.
"Ambassador Ordos, that is not a pest." Said the second voice informatively, and submissively as if afraid of speaking up, "That is the Terran cat. Humans keep them as pets."
The second figure was much different. She was thinner. Hard to believe she was over a hundred pounds. She was a slim figure and graceful in the poorly lit light, the beautiful outlines of her face shone under a red light of an instrument panel. She had on a long orange kimono like silken robe, decorated on the back with fluttering tropical birds. Most would mistake her as someone important.
Close. She was the subordinate of Ambassador Ordos, the daughter of the Quadraketracele King and all around half decent diplomat Mika Somora. If she had the chance, she would be something. If. Emphasis on the if.
For now she was Ordos's assistant.
The two traits they shared in common were as obvious as the skin on their bodies and the antennae on their head. They were both Andorians. Blue skinned aliens with bug like antenna that moved and twitched with each emotion. White haired and emotional beings they were, though Somora was better at containing her emotions and greeds. They were also under the employment of the Federation Diplomatic Corp and the Andorian Royal Court. Under orders by the Queen of Andor to attend the Lanjep Conference, they came, they listened, and they saw. And as representatives of two influential parties at the conference, they worked hard.
Some more than others. Mika was still fatigued from the Targgoth ride hours ago. She curiously guessed how Ordos, despite his fat frame and his wanton gluttony, still had the energy to walk around at all hours of the night? The naps he took while the Breen occupied the first day of the conference were no doubt a factor in his nocturnal activities. He was rested and ready for another few hours of hedonism.
"Sir, are you sure this is wise? Lieutenant Corgan will not like this." Mika pleaded. She wanted to go back and sleep. Her hopes were on Ordos listening to reason, taking out a bottle of his favorite Andorian Spring Wine, and drinking himself to sleep over a pile of Egg Rolls.
But as she had learned over the past few years, Ordos was not a man of conventional thinking, or of reason. He responded snappishly, "Lieutenant Corgan? Pish, Mika. He is a Lieutenant... of Starfleet... and a Chief of Operations no doubt. What is he compared to us? A gnat in a swarm of bugs. I am an Ambassador of the Queen's Court. What can he do against me that I cannot turn against him and cause him to lose his job? If he has any complaints about this, I will take that insubordinate cur and tan his hide with my Lirpa!"
"But sir... he will be in trouble with his superiors if something happens to us. We're putting his career in danger as is..." Mika pleaded.
She was cut off by Ordos. He raised his hand in the air and testily grumbled, "Tut, tut, Mika. You are an Ambassador's assistant. You will be an ambassador soon. I suggest you act subordinate now and be used to wielding power later. Use people as your amusement because as an Ambassador you must balance out the lack of enjoyment one gets at a conference. Take, for example, that charming soldier Lieutenant Corgan. On our Targgoth ride, I enjoyed watching him squirm. But seeing him and that... scar on his face is a mood killer at a strip joint.... And so what about him? Corgan is beneath us and so are his lackeys assigned to us? I do with him as I please. As an Ambassador, we outrank him, we outrank them all. If we want to ignore those henpeckers, then we will."
"Sir..." Mika bowed, "Forgive me for asking, but shouldn't we tell someone where we're going?"
"No. The Klingon Honor Guard will just follow us around and ruin our good time. Starfleet will henpeck us to death, and I want to be attended to when I want to be attended to, not when I'm trying to watch a Klingon Death Metal band perform! Both will fret for our safety. But if we leave... you can fill the rest in my dear Mika. Think like an Ambassador for a change..." He stared intensely at his assistant. His bad breath and stern stare made Mika want to recoil.
She held her ground and answered, "We will save them the trouble of worrying for us?"
"That is... correct! HAH! I'll make an ambassador out of you just yet! Now come... we must reach the transporter room."
"I never doubted it, Ambassador..." She said sarcastically. Turning her back to roll her eyes. Being caught showing insubordination was a bad idea when working with Ambassador Ordos. She worried for his safety as well. She had to. Losing Ambassador Ordos to whatever disaster awaited would lose her chance to work at a real embassy. She was in enough troubling situations to know. Ordos's uncaring for others and his blatant disregard for the hostilities that brewed around him always caused some trouble to arise.
Like the time they were at Quo'nos's most premiere bloodwine hall. The Ambassador became so drunk, he started to call out warriors to challenge him in a game of Andorian thumb wrestling. When that didn't work, he resorted to insults and cruel barbs, and then threats to pull their ranks because HE was an Ambassador.
She hoped an incident like that would never happen again. Thanks to her, the Ambassador and the Assistant barely escaped with their antennae attached.
Ordos didn't notice the tone of voice she took to him. He was a stickler for protocol, and Assistants didn't talk down to their bosses. Luckily, he did not notice. He was humming a tune, obviously excited at the prospect of sneaking out. He loved rebellious behavior. Or maybe he loved to show the universe that he could get away with it. It didn't matter much to Mika. She was duty bound to follow the Ambassador, no matter how many shady dealings and close calls they found themselves into.
Like the time that a certain Bajoran terrorist lobby group was...
FIND OUT IN THE FEDERATION DISPATCH! (coming on stardate 59999.99, for all you time travelers).
This was going to be like any other night, except he was in a good mood.
And this time he called for the use of a transporter! "Sir, you're using the transporter tonight? I thought you hated it?"
"Ahhhhh... that's right. Those fools at Shuttle Ops think the Firefly should be grounded. Something about a broken deuterium fuel line. They didn't realize I needed that shuttle tonight! How am I supposed to impress the women without a decent shuttle? I couldn't even borrow one of the Galaxy's old clunkers, or even a runabout! Treat me like I'm a common colonial governor they do.... But... I am in a fine enough mood to take the transporter. I don't want to alert Ops, and that insipid Lieutenant Corgan. But enough about this..."
"Sir... the guide. What about him?" She halted her master.
Ordos replied indignantly, "What about the guide? We are going to a Lanjepi bar. We will be gone for a few hours. We don't need him now. We can do the city tour tomorrow. Now, fun awaits! I must get my share of drink and an eyeful of tantalizing skin. Let us go!"
"I can't wait..." Mika groaned, not bothering to contain the minute amount of excitement she held.
"I'm SCHEDULED?!?" Lieutenant Corgan hollered.
The clerk on night duty at the counselor's office replied, "Yes. You are scheduled for an appointment with this group every Tuesday. I believe it is... Lieutenant Elessidil, Commander Hawksley, Officer Diepan and Leo Streely... and yourself of course."
His worse nightmare was confirmed. Doubting the response the clerk gave, James argued, "But... they're nuts!"
"Aren't we all..." She smacked her lips, inattentively turning her gaze to a scheduling PADD.
James interrupted her work by saying, "But... I'm not nuts. I suffer from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. I have nightmares. But not once have I been labeled clinically insane! They stuck me with a Jedi Knight and a man with a sick hologram fetish! And I don't know why that woman with the germ-phobia is with us. I didn't know washing your hands was considered insane."
"Look mister, I don't care who you are or what's going on. It says here you're booked and it's staying booked!" She whined incessantly. Her accent reminded James of his ex-girlfriend Lita. How he hated that woman.
"No... you look. I want out of that group. If my counselor finds out about this, she's going to sh*t a brick, you understand me? She doesn't know about this yet and she's rather touchy about our appointments. She won't be thrilled when she finds out that I was called to an unauthorized counseling session!"
"And unless that is Counselor Dallas, I don't care. Talk to her about getting you out of the looney bin. Until then, go away. I have work to do."
"Fine...." He mumbled, "*Jerkoff.*"
"Ummmm..." he thought fast for a witty answer, "Rock on!"
"Whatever..." She mumbled, "Ya smartass..."
He exited the counselor's office feeling more angry and confrontational than before. It was hard enough to run on a day full of stressors such as Ambassador Ordos, a Targgoth ride, a full duty shift, saddle sores, Jedi Leo and Lieutenant Commander Hawksley. He ran full force through his day, without proper sleep, with barely a bite to eat between his shift and his duties with the Ambassador who dragged him along for every trip.
He wasn't in the mood to word wrestle with an administrator. He decided to break off their banter. In the current mood he was in, James would have chewed the woman out, reminded her of his rank and position, and then chewed her out some more. Instances like this, he would forgo his promise not to abuse his new status, but he knew it was because of the foul mood he was in, so he let it slide.
The hallways were deserted, which suited the agitated Lieutenant quite well. His mood didn't accommodate for other people to jump in and ask what was wrong. He didn't want to, and didn't need to, have people barge in and ask about his feelings. It was as obvious because it was his nature to put his heart in his sleeve when he thought he was hiding emotions. He was pissed off. Enough said.
And it was about to get worse, as he heard familiar voices off in the distance. He inched closer, hiding behind the corner as he tried to listen in.
"I don't want to alert Ops, and that insipid Lieutenant Corgan. But enough about this..."
The voice was a clear as day. It was Ambassador Ordos! ~"I thought he went to sleep."~ James thought as he kept listening, ~"What is he doing out of bed?"~
A part of him counted his blessings. Ordos didn't want to disturb James, though he was insulted by that cutting 'insipid' remark. Then again, if Ordos didn't want James disturbed, it meant trouble, and lots of it.
"Sir... the guide. What about him?" Questioned the soft, flutelike voice of Mika, who nagged enough to raise Ordos's ire. James didn't need to catch the whole sentence. The key word 'guide' was enough for him to raise an eyebrow in worry.
"What about the guide" Ordos confidently boasted with an air of arrogance, "We are going to a Lanjepi bar. We will be gone for a few hours. We don't need him now. We can do the city tour tomorrow. Now, fun awaits! I must get my share of drink and an eyeful of tantalizing skin. Let us go!"
"I can't wait..." Groaned Mika.
James red alert button was being tapped faster than a first year cadet in his first starship tactical combat simulation. The ambassador was a handful, but never once did the ambassador try to go out on his own without anyone knowing his whereabouts. There were some dangerous implications for Lieutenant Corgan and anyone else involved.
To put it in perspective, James Corgan was in charge of the Ambassador's care while he was on board the starship. The Ambassador was leaving the ship, onto a planet full of Klingons. To make matters worse, the Andorian Ambassador wanted to visit an authentic Klingon strip joint. A Klingon strip bar was everything that writers described in the holonovels and more. All the seedy characters, the darkness, the hordes of half naked and hyperactive Klingon women, the fights, the contests, the near lethal amounts of alcohol in Bloodwine... a Klingon bar was a safe of place in the universe as an ancient Terran Turkish Prison or the cities of Betazed during the Dominion War.
And if James, the person responsible for Ordos' safety, wasn't watching out for the Ambassador while he was on the ship, thereby resulting in the Ambassador going to the planet and getting himself perished, then it would be, ultimately, James Corgan's fault.
He didn't want to be part of the problem. The alternatives were slipping faster than sand through his fingertips. He had to stop Ordos' insane quest, and quickly.
While Ordos and Mika debated about the merits of going down to the Klingon colony for a night on the town, they found James Corgan, leaning up against the corridor's bulkheads, staring at Ordos with a serious and very stern look on his face. One leg was raised up and contacting the wall. His arms were crossed, his head pointed down and nodding in shame. He scowled hard enough to make Lieutenant Darkstar proud.
Lieutenant Corgan asked, with an air of authority, "Sir, where do you think you're going?"
Ordos's eyes went wide with fright. His lips sputtered, finding not enough fuel to fire up his excuse creating engine. He was a wounded animal caught in a surprise hunting tractor beam, grappling the prey into Corgan's frozen eyes. Mika, relieved to see the Lieutenant come in time to stop Ordos' insane lust for action, shrugged her shoulders.
Ordos, like the proverbial child he was, was caught with his hands in the cookie jar.
"What do you think I'm doing Lieutenant? I'm going out, and there is nothing you can do to stop me. If you try to stop me..." Ordos waved his chubby fingers at Corgan's face.
Being in no mood to be scolded, James replied hostily, "And you'll do what? Punish me? Sir, in case you haven't noticed, I'm in charge of your safety on board this ship. I have to know when you're going out and make sure the authorities know about it. If I don't, all your threats will be nothing compared to the court martial I could receive."
"I don't care much for your attitude Lieutenant!" Ordos snapped, drawing his finger back to his ample belly, "I'm allowed to have some liberties. Are you saying you're going to stop me?"
"If I have to... unless..." James sighed warningly, "I have to call the honor guard."
Mika interjected, "Sir, our safety would be assured..."
"Pipe down you insolent wretch!" Ordos screamed, raising his hand upwards in a backhanded position. Mika stepped back, shocked and appauled at his actions. She was clearly afraid, "I didn't ask you! I'm going to a local bar. I don't want the Honor Guard looking over my shoulder. Now you'll do as I ask, Lieutenant."
James had enough of Ordos. Threatening his assistant with a slap roused something in his mind, long suppressed since after Earth.
He had to protect her. Somehow, some way, at the risk of his own safety, he had to stop the tyrant from using a threat of force. Even if it meant his career. His mind debated at the worth of his actions, and why he should help out a person who didn't need his help in some ways and possibly wouldn't appreciate it. Nonetheless, he hated bullying. It overrode his instincts to let everything sort itself out.
"I'm coming with you." He found himself blurting out.
Not the most intelligent decision in his career. His eyelids and fatigued mind screamed in protest, but it had to be done. Mika seemed to admire his bravery. She flashed a smile of relief. It was warm... and strangely satisfying.
And if that didn't work, it at least caught Ordos' attention. He lowered his arm, spun around, and came face to face with the danger flirting Lieutenant.
"I didn't invite you." The Ambassador indignantly responded.
"You did now, sir." James curled his R to illustrate his rebellious point, "You don't want the Honor Guard to interrupt your good time? Fine. We'll compromise. I don't call the Klingon Honor Guard to watch you jack off in the private strip booths, and in exchange I come along. And trust me... privacy will be assured. Nobody short of a stripper will watch you unzip your fly. Deal?"
Ordos, despite all the annoyance sketched into his features, was a man of reason. Reason was telling him to listen to the Lieutenant's not so kind offer. On the other hand, reason also noted that Ordos was blatantly insulted by a low ranking senior officer. Reason in the latter was failing. Ordos saw that James was not going to compromise on his position. The Ambassador was also unnerved by James Corgan's steely glance, and at the way he stared at Ordos' hand after he threatened to give Mika a good rap on the head. It was a look of a man with killer instincts. The look of a man who wouldn't hesitate to break his arms in a half dozen places while whistling a happy jig.
There was something that Ordos feared in the man. Though he had the power to bump him down to a rank so lot that Petty Crewman would seem like a posting in the admiralty, he held back in case the officer didn't have much else to lose by hurting Ambassador Ordos.
The Ambassador answered begrudgingly, expertly hiding his fear, "Fine... come along. The House of Payne awaits. I already took the liberty of contacting our city guide. We will be transporting down in a few minutes."
"Good." James said in a cold and unforgiving voice, filled with sadism and irony, "I'm glad... that we're in agreement... heh heh hehhhhh..."
"Yes...." Ordos said with a chill, "I'm glad..."
Over in Mika's corner, she gave a sigh of relief ~"Finally, I won't have to put up with him for an entire night alone."~ While she said, "Sir, shall we be going?"
"Yes... let us go..."
"Right this way, Sir." She pointed towards the transporter room, leading the shaken and very miffed Ambassador. They walked to the transporter room without paying heed to Lieutenant Corgan straying away.
Stealthly, his hand went up to his comm.badge. He cupped his hands over the device to muffle out the signature chirp. He tapped the badge, covering the noise within, and called a name into its small audio receiver.
"Lieutenant Corgan to Commander K'temmery..."
Meanwhile at Honor Guard Command, Lanjepi Consulate
The night shift was boring at K'temmery's small office in the middle of the Lanjepi Consulate. The nights consisted of either shameless drinking binges, or endless hours of tedious work and dreary boredom. Some days, there was nothing short of a disaster that could break through the lull of activity.
Except for this night. K'temmery's communication device vibrated in his sidepack. He pulled out the old fashioned remote device, flipping it open and activating the device. The audio speaker crackled out a human voice primitively. Interfacing Federation and Klingon communications devices was tricky. K'temmery often wondered how the Bajorans did it.
=/\="Lieutenant Corgan to Commander K'temmery..."=/\=
His mind recalled dimly through the haze of weirdroot smoke. Ahhhh yes, the Lieutenant from Starfleet who warned about Ambassador Ordos of the Andorian delegation. The Lieutenant who insisted he wasn't trying to tell them how to do their job. The Lieutenant who obviously had his hands full.
This was going to be sweet. K'temmery enjoyed proving he was better than the silly humans.
"K'temmery here. What do you need, Lieutenant Corgan?" He growled.
If the Lieutenant was intimidated, he didn't show any sign, =/\="I'm afraid it happened. We're going to be visiting. We're going to visit the House of Payne."=/\=
K'temmery raised his eyebrow and chuckled. The House of Payne was for locals only... unofficially. Outsiders were going to need his help, and perhaps the help of a half dozen trained guards. It was an excuse to go out. The report would read 'protecting an ambassador'. Coincidencially, it would be at a Klingon titty bar.
Being one who wouldn't turn down a night of entertainment at a stakeout location, K'temmery replied, "Understood. K'temmery out."
"An Ambassador, A Sub-Ambassador, a Guide, and A Starfleet Officer walk into a Bar..."
The nightlife on Lanjep was like no other in the universe. It had a distinct Klingon flavor, but with the glamour and glitz of a latinum plated, phallic shaped Ferengi pleasure cruiser on it's way to Risa.
Lanjep was an unspoiled landscape, full of mountains, animals (unpredatory ones that vexed the Klingons), and streaming rivers and oceans full of fish. Besides one shining jewel of a city on the equator of the central continent, Lanjep was not heavily populated, much like other resort planets in the Federation and Ferengi Alliance. In the night sky, the shining stars lit up the sky, and brighter stars from Vor'cha's, Birds of Prey, K'Tinga's and the famous space station boh'Yagh cruised gently by.
The Lanjepi consulate was the centerpiece of the Klingon pleasure planet Part Camp David, part Club Med, and with the most important people in the Galaxy meeting head on to discuss the new trade route. After a hard day's work arguing with your former mortal enemies, nothing beat a relaxing dip in the pool, or a tour of the Klingon buffet. The Targgoth rides were a relaxing and fun way to tour the Lanjepi countryside. And for overnight stays, the five star hotel was the place to be, complete with games of chance and live acts.
That's where the tourists go. Of course, for a more authentic Klingon tour, you had to go into the steamy underbelly of the city. It surrounded the consulate like a tangle of roots, stretching out its branches across the city. Classical Klingon architecture, the brooding towers, the overhanging ledges, the sprawling slumlike dwellings and the eye burning neon red lights were dominent here.
This was the real Klingon Empire, in all its citizen back breaking glory (it was a well known fact that the standards of living in the Klingon Empire was sacrificed in exchange for a stronger military).
So, who in their right of mind would want to tour a real Klingon city for an authentic Klingon sh*thole of a bar?
Look no further than Ambassador Ordos.
"THIS WAY!" Karm yelled over the din of the milling citizens at the middle of the local bazaar. The Federation group weaved their way through the crowd, who seemed to grow during the night. They were of all ages and genders, with one similarity. They were all of the lower class, wearing shabby armor, worn down weapons, and downtrodden faces. Here, merchants hocked fresh gagh, targs, and vegetables while others shoved their ways to the front of the line.
Underneath the neon red lights, James Corgan was sweltering under the heat. Klingons loved the heat, hence why they had so many red neon lights. Ambassador Ordos was like a child on his first excursion alone, so wide eyed and amazed that it was hard to tell if he was nervous at all. Lieutenant Corgan and Ordos assistant, Mika, were nervous enough for everyone. Mika orbited closely to Corgan's side
, taking comfort in how cool he appeared to be.
~"It's the atmosphere. Don't be intimidated James."~ James watched his back, keeping his hands in his pocket and firmly wrapped around a roll of latinum chips. The eerie, Klingon meets Victorian architecture, the steam and the night sky were signs of danger. ~"What's with that damn smog?"~ He wondered to himself. He hated clouds. Being a spacer, James was used to seeing the stars out of his porthole. Without stars, the sky seemed so bare, and frightening.
And the locals weren't enough. Unknowingly, a Klingon shoved him aside. He let it slide, not being in the mood to challenge a Klingon warrior to a duel to the death.
Karm was a different Klingon. The former deserter of the battle of Chin'toka guided their way through the crowd with expert ease. The well groomed, well educated Klingon was a street ninja in his own sense. He knew the territory. He kept to himself, which brought some agitated growls from the larger warriors, but they later ignored the doctor as they knew his face.
There was trouble everywhere. The only Federation civilians inside the city... in an area where being a foreigner was a bad trait.
Karm was confident. He knew his way around. The foreigners wouldn't be hurt.
"Here we are... The House of Payne." He growled. The bouncer at the front of a battered down door stopped him in his tracks. Weighing in at three hundred pounds and reeking of bad Bloodwine and rotten gagh, the bouncer was an imposing sight.
Karm handled him expertly. He flashed out a small card, which the Bouncer inspected. Grunting satisfactorily, the huge Klingon opened the gate doors
Ordos' group was finally in Lanjep's most notorious hideout.
The House of Payne. Hideout for intergalactic scum. The slummiest of the slum bloodwine banks. Home of the sleaziest sexual acts and the dirtiest strippers in the game. The setting for millions of blood bathed holo-novels.
"What... the hell... are we doing here?" Corgan said, surprised.
"I know what you mean." Mika's heart sank.
The House of Payne's reputation was well warranted. Under the bright red and glowing white lights of the lengthy winehall, burly, musky Klingon warriors bumped, clashed, drank and fought together in a din of noise and heavy Klingon Rock Opera. The furnishing, all made of alien woods fitted into cast iron frames, banged and thumped from repeated raps of warrior fists to the beat of the latest hit from the K'tok Reaver Squad. The bartender, a wide lobed and snaggle toothed Ferengi, ordered around other Ferengi barkeeps as they served drinks around the bartender's table. There, Klingon warriors not interested in revelry drank alone, staring down their mugs and watching the reflection of their sorrows in blood red drinks. The walls were decorated with war trophies. Jagged weapons, exotic beam rifles, compact pistols, and ancient artifacts and war banners showed the history of Klingon warfare and glorified their presence with lights focusing on the items. On wooden staged and inside iron cages, leather and latex wearing Klingon strippers danced seductively, cracking their whips and painsticks in lewd and demeaning fashions while playfully snapping affectionate bites within inches from the patron's cheeks.
Ordos was as overjoyed as a small child in a very erotic candy store. He was giving some of the Klingon women a lecherous eye, and they responded with winks and growls. Over in the distance, he heard snippets of conversation, and since his ears were tuned in on 'fun', he heard small bits of information about a Targ Fight.
This was his kind of place. James watched as Ordos parlayed with the nearest stripper. Mika uneasily glancing at the occasional warrior who found the dimunitive assistant attractive.
"This way!" Karm pointed towards an empty table.
"WHERE?" Ordos asked, his hand cupping his ears.
"OVER THERE!" Karm repeated.
They all seated in a table tucked into a lonely corner of the bar, away from the rowdy locals who for the most part were too blitzed to notice one traitorous doctor and three aliens. A Ferengi waiter approached. Ordos, cheek bitten and flustered with lust, boomed out in his magnificent, authoritative voice, "Four BLOODWINES FOR US!"
And a chill filled the room.
It was more of a silence. Not a mug clinked or a voice groaned. The crackling speakers of the strip bar faded out their music, as the strippers stood in stunned silence. Ordos unwittingly broke rule number one in the House of Payne. Foreigners never make the demands.
K'temmery was the first to notice the shift in atmosphere at the House of Payne. It came that way every time a foreigner came into a Klingon drinking hall without a good reason. His criminal reports always told him the full story, and he was already planning the exact sentences he would use in their missing persons reports.
Actually, he already had them written out. The same sentences he used every time.
Lieutenant James Lionel Corgan. Dead
Sub-Ambassador Mika Somora. Dead
Ambassador Ordos Rotan. Gutted like a targ and left for dead.
He chuckled privately, elbowing his silent partner K'lonk. K'lonk also chuckled at their private joke.
"He demands like a general and behaves like a recruit." K'lonk joked.
"Yes, he does. A shame. We are not enough to stop an entire bar full of drunken warriors." K'temmery answered back.
The joke wasn't so private anymore. Trouble was passing through the doors. The stumbled as if pushed onto his ass, then bowed down in homage for the new arrivals.
Tomak. Welf. Runakar, K'tagga and Ketor. K'temmery was well aquainted with the Sons of Romak. All were snaggle toothed and wild haired ruffians; common hooligans in the Lanjepi slums. But all were fierce warriors and veterans of the Dominion War. Without a war to fight, they came back to what they knew best. Busting heads.
And they loved to pick on foreigners. So much for K'temmery's night.
K'lonk nudged his commander, "Should we help the offworlder P'tak?"
K'temmery surveyed the gang of Klingon warriors who arrived. He calmly slugged back a mouthful of Bloodwine from a goblet, then set it down. "No... let us wait. We'll see how the arrogant blue bastard handles this..."
"This should be amusing."
"Yes... it should..."
~"Just my lucky day..."~ James saw the gang of Klingons enter the bar, and upon seeing the silently stunned faces of every patron inside, he reasoned that this wasn't a good sign, "I take it we're the ones that have to suffer, right Karm."
"Correct, Lieutenant." Karm worriedly replied.
"Karm... go get our drinks please."
"Yes, that would be most prudent."
"Whatever. Just leave..."
"KARM!" Ordos cut their conversation short, negligently ignoring the gang of Klingons heading their way, "I just heard the most excellent rumor. It appears that under this bar... there is something called a Targ fight. See if you can get us in there. HUP TO IT!"
"Ambassador... shut up...." James warned with utter urgency. The gang of Klingons looked increasingly pissed off. They started to notice the foreigners. A Ferengi waiter was describing to the gang leader about a 'pompous blue blowhard coming in and demanding drinks', and from the growl in his voice and the nearness of his hand to his dagger, he looked livid.
"Shut up yourself you insolent fool, before I have you demoted."
"Sir.... Stop talking..."
"I will not stop until I damn well feel like it!"
"SIR! We have company!" Mika forcefully turned Ordos' head in the direction of the Sons of Romak.
The table was stared down by the Sons of Romak, all five of them. Even the smallest of the brothers was over six feet tall, and built like a Mechloidian War Walker. They all wore rough armor decorated with symbols and trophies. In the center was the supposed ring leader. He set himself apart from his identical siblings with an eyepatch over the right eye that partially covered a thin scar crossing the eye socket.
The leader looked at James Corgan's identical scar. He was looking at him like a bully at a weak child, contemplating how he would toy with him like a wounded tribble.
"You there..." He glared meanly at Corgan, "Are you the P'tak who demanded service?"
"Ummm..." James contemplated throwing Ordos out into the open and watching the gang of brutes beat up on him until his blue skin was purple, but decided it wouldn't be advantageous for him in the long run, "Yes. It was us. We merely wanted a drink. I hope you don't mind."
"WE DO MIND!" The smallest (and possibly) the youngest of the group snarled.
"SILENCE!" The ringleader turned to his posse. They all stepped back. The leader was fearsome enough to make Corgan think twice about speaking up. The leader turned back to Corgan, saying, "You don't understand what you are dealing with, do you?"
"AND PERHAPS YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH!" Ordos thundered in with all the pompt and audacity of a dictator among the oppressed, "I am Ordos, the Andorian Representative in your empire. We are here to enjoy your hospitality, which Chancellor Martok assured would be given. So leave us you shaggy haired ruffians! You are interrupting our view!"
James slapped his hand on his forehead, "Oyyyyyy... Ambassador, please shut up."
Ordos's words brought mirth in the entire gang. Their laughter rose mockingly, bidding other patrons to do the same. After a moment of sheer glee, the leader cut off the noise with a wave of his hand, and the whole bar was silent again, "Perhaps YOU don't understand, representative..." The leader of the gang leaned up against their table, "This is a bar for the locals only. We don't like your... kind coming along here and telling us what to do. We are... protective of our... areas. I suggest you go back to that frilly resort and take in a little sun. Hmmmh hmh hmhhhh..."
Ordos didn't back down. He said, "Why don't you try to make us leave?" James felt an elbow nudge him in the shoulder. It was Ordos, and he was nudging harder and more urgently.
~"Son of a b*tch....'~ James sighed. The elbow was now jabbing into his ribs harder and harder. He looked at Mika. She nodded towards the Klingons.
"What? You're not expecting me to..."
Before James could finish, the gang leader was nose to nose with him. His fetid breath offended his olfactory nerves. "You're their... bodyguard, are you not?"
"Yes. Now what the hell do you want?"
"I'm Ketor, son of Romak. I'm here to say you're not wanted here... and you're in our table." The Klingon snorted. His hamlike hands snatched one of the wine goblets out of Karm's panic stricken hands. The leader used incredible strength to squeeze the life out of the poor chalace. The metal mug bent under his fingers until a lump of metal was all that remained. Bloodwine dribbled from his fingers, and he licked the liquor clean off. "I also don't like how you look. You don't look..." His finger pointed at Corgan's scar, "...like you're worthy of a mark such as that."
"Don't like me? Don't like what we're doing here? Then deal with it." James growled. He raised his fist at Ketor's eye level, locked his gray eye's with Ketor's sandstone gaze, and then... pointed the middle finger upwards. "Please, can you go away? I'm tired. I'm cranky, and I have better things to do. Please don't make me do something about you."
"Oh... you hear this everyone!" Ketor goaded the crowds to cheer for him, "Did you hear that?" A collective 'YEAH' followed his question, "This P'tak wants to fight me!"
"I didn't say that... f**king twit." James stuttered.
"Clean your eardrums, scum! We want you to leave." Ordos agitatively snarled at Ketor. The rest of the bar picked up on what Ordos conveniently shut out. The gang, Ketor included, was red in the face and fighting off their Klingon bloodlust. James mind told him that now wasn't the best of times to piss a Klingon warrior off. What was the dead ringer that gave him the answer? The masses of patrons clearing out through the main door.
Ketor answered, "I will leave... as long as you challenge me to an arm wrestle."
Ketor's massive elbow slammed onto the Federation table. Mika, Ordos and Karm could feel the vibration of the elbow's impact. His arm positioned itself on the middle of the table, the hand outstretched to accept James's hand in a smothering embrace.
"Meet me in battle... if you dare..." He licked his lips in anticipation.
"Awwww... f**k. Why me?" James shugged his shoulders, "I'm not playing your game. We'll leave. The Ambassador's safety is more important than your game of chance. Good day to you."
"WE ARE NOT LEAVING! I'm just starting my wonderful night, and I'm not going to have some primate ruin it for us!"
Everybody turned back to Ordos with a look of astonishment. Leave it to him to be the man who threatened dynamite with a match.
"Sir, this is foolish!" James interjected.
"And Lieutenant, you will answer this man's challenge!" Ordos ordered. His hand slapped on the bar table, "Lieutenant Corgan is a Starfleet Officer and a veteran of the Dominion Wars. I read his profile. Did you know he slew Borg, Cardassian, Jem'Hadar, Breen and Hirogen? He's twice the warrior you are. He would beat you faster than I could tear off your girlfriend's garments."
~"Oh gee... I'm flattered..."~ James heart sunk to his testicles. Mika shot a look of sympathy and helplessness. Corgan could forgive her for being scared, though he noted that she handled the pressure better than he thought. But James was alone, and Ordos was arranging a challenge him. "Sir..."
"You'll do it, Lieutenant, if you value your career."
The warning alone was enough to bring out a cheery smile from Corgan's face, "When do we start... Ambassador Ordos..." And he said under his breath, "You f**king dolt."
"RIGHT NOW! I GROW IMPATIENT!" Ketor bellowed, "You win and keep your table. I win, and we get our table and leave you to rot while we take the female."
Mika squeaked, backing as far away as her chair would allow. Corgan's fire rose up, consuming his spirit in righteous anger, "I loathe people who hurt women. Try it and you're dead."
"You won't live long enough to know..."
"Bring it on!"
The two arms interlocked. Klingon pythons bulged and pulsed like a showoff, and compared to Corgan's wiry arms, he was puny and insignificant.
"I give you until the count of ten to pin my arm. If you don't... I will start fighting back." Ketor confidently stated.
James didn't wait for the Klingons to call the start of the game. He gathered every ounce of his strength into his arm, calling upon the internal fire in his soul to go beyond pain and normal strength to beat the Klingon. He fought larger opponents before. K'ringe... Beta Letag... the Borg. What made him more different? He was another opponent to fall before the might of James Corgan.
But alas, might and determination were not enough. Arm wrestling didn't care about a person's heart. All it cared about was strength.
And James was pouring all the strength he had, without moving Ketor's arm a single muscle.
"HA HA HA!!!!!!!!! Is that all you have? Ten seconds and I crush this worm!" Boomed Ketor.
~"Awww.... Crap! What did I get myself into?"~ James eyebrow stitched and strained. His armed quivered, but the Klingon's muscles were as immovable as stone. And he wasn't even trying.
"Nine....eight...seven... Do you need the other arm?" Ketor mocked James as he struggled with the immovable arm.
A bright idea came upon James. He didn't know he was allowed to use both arms, but with one he couldn't move Ketor's impressively muscled biceps and triceps. Both arms wouldn't have much luck either.
There was a way to beat him, but the answer wasn't coming so clearly. But then, James spied Ketor's bulging vein on his wrist... and a plan was formulating.
A smile broke over Corgan's face, "As a matter of fact... I might have to use that other arm. Thank you... now prepare to lose!"
He fooled Ketor into thinking his other arm was going to aid him in the struggle against the immovable arm, but it wasn't going for the intertwined fists. It instead went fo
r the wrist. Lashing out like the two fangs of a serpent, James pointed two fingers at a vulnerable point in the Klingon's wrist.
The thumb went around and grappled the wrist, while the fingers pushed its way onto the warrior's vulnerable arm nerves. Ketor's arm went limp. He only took one second to realize that he was in a lot of pain.
Unknown to all but a few, Klingons were still vulnerable to pressure points. Ketor screamed out as James squeezed the pressure point with all his might. The gang leader resisted as his brothers stood over, ready to help, but he waved them off. His arm was quivering and his face turned red. He was reaching the boiling point of his threshold.
And finally, the arm gave way and slammed once, twice, and then a third time into the table. James withdrew his hand, satisfied to slam the offending arm into the table thrice.
"I win..." James laughed.
Ketor's face was beet red. The rage was suppressed. His burning arm, still sore from the pressure point attack, was protectively held to his chest. He backed away from the table with an equal measure of fear and anger. James won the challenge, and his ego was as hurt as the pressure point on his wrist.
"Know this... Starfleet dog! I will find you, and I will regain my honor... with your blood. See you outside..." Ketor vowed with his defeated breath.
"Please, can we call it even?" James asked, "I don't want to fight you. Lets not make this worse for the both of us, ok?"
"Yeah, run off you cowards! Lieutenant Corgan will wipe the floor with you!" Ordos yelled at the retreating gang. Triumphant and braggadocious, the Ambassador was pleased to see his protector come through.
"Why thank you... sir..." James sarcastically commented. He wearily held his tired arm, the one that struggled with Ketor's superior strength, ~"He nearly had us all killed! What the hell is he thinking?"~
As soon as the Sons of Romak exited the door, the music stated playing through the crackling speakers. Drinking mugs started to clink from contact with other drinking mugs. The joyous boasts of warriors were again back in the air, and the strippers disrobed and danced seductively for the men. Bloodwine freely flowed from the barrels. It was as if nothing happened.
"Ambassador, I'm through with being scared out of my wits tonight. Can we please go back to the ship?" James asked.
But Ordos was dancing to the music, bellowing along with the opera singer on the track. He was trying to impress a stripper in a skinright vinyl catsuit, pulled down to waist level to reveal her semi naked bodice. Her painstick waved left and right. Ambassador Ordos' eyes followed the painstick as it provocatively ran up and down between her heaving bosoms. She and Ordos were enjoying the sex act a little too much.
"Well..." James pointed to the stripper who titty f**ked a painstick, "I see he's busy."
"Expect this for along time." Mika spoke to James loudly over the noise, "And pray we don't run into anymore trouble. But don't worry. I've done this before. We'll be ok."
"Easy for you to say." He replied, "You're used to protecting the Ambassador. How can you stand this thankless job?"
She answered truthfully, "I don't know..."
"Looking for Action in all the Wrong Places"
It was a half hour since Ambassador Ordos and his group of reluctant travelers set foot in the House of Payne, and already the drunken locals were giving them a wide berth. Some muttered under their breaths about gre'kor and what awaited the foreigners. Others gave them reverence for standing up to the Sons of Romak. And then there were a few who took pity on them, for the Sons of Romak were merciless in their punishment.
Ordos was slipping back into his fun filled party world. While Corgan and Mika looked down on the sawdust floor in shame, Ordos danced jovially beside a beautiful stripper on the right hand stage. Her low powered painstick rubbed along Ordos' backside. He squealed in delight as she nipped his cheek.
"Why me...." James moaned, "In all the universe... why me?"
"I ask myself the same question, Lieutenant." Mika's antennae drooped to pathetic new levels, "He's always like this. Parties at night with all sorts of women, leaves me to protect him, and we always get in trouble. If I wasn't due for a promotion in six months... I would leave him alone in one of these bars. That will teach him some humility."
"So... that's why you put up with his abuse." James then asked, "Because you want a promotion."
"Yeah..." She sighed dreamily, imaging what the future held, "I want to be an ambassador someday. I get to do all that I'm doing today, except I won't have to be ordered. No more threats, no more abuse. No more yelling... I can't wait. Two years... it will finally pay off."
He felt sympathy for the dimunitive Andorian female. He was aware of the look she gave James, like a person who was finally being listened to and given attention. There was something warm and affectionate in her eyes that he wanted to avoid thinking about, "Two years? That's an aweful long time to put up with him."
"It is, but I fared better than his previous assistants. I was the only one that could arrange things for him. I knew what to do for him that would make him feel better. I could anticipate what he wanted before he wanted it. I was his perfect assistant. He kept me because I did a good job, though he puts me down plenty of times. That... and perhaps because of this...." She ran her hand down her side to show off her hourglass frame and shrugged. "He loves a pretty face."
And as James watched Ordos dance and chuckle along side his favorite stripper to avert his stare from Mika's body, he answered, "That is appearant..."
Karm walked his way to the lonely table in the corner of the House of Payne. He looked at Ordos once, and clucked in disgust, then took a seat. He held in his hands three goblets of Bloodwine. "Do you all want a drink?" He asked.
"No thanks... I'm good." James refused. Alcohol and James L. Corgan didn't mix... unless you were with a troupe of Orion strippers... a story best saved for another time.
Mika greedily snatched up her cup, and took a long quaff of the vile red liquid. After draining the first cup, James gave her the second, in which she quickly drank it down.
"Thirsty?" James asked. Karm watched in amazement.
She answered, "It helps to forget Ordos' more... embarrassing moments. Are you going to drink that?" She slammed her cup down and took Karm's drink. Karm didn't have time to object.
"Ummm... Mika... it might not be wise to drink so much. We have a hard enough time with Ordos." Lieutenant Corgan.
"Don't care." She talked over a mouthful of alcohol.
"Fine... suit yourself." James shrugged, against his saner wish to keep the Andorians sober. But he already failed. Ordos was on his third mug of bloodwine, and he was a jovial drunk. It was already too late to stop the madness.
And the madness was only beginning. Karm urgently tapped a sober James Corgan on the shoulder. "What?" He growled back at the Klingon guide.
Karm was quick to prepare a response for an agitated Starfleet protector. He drew from his pocket a slip; a card made of plastic. It was a plain, round cornered rectangle with a few choice words in the Klingon language scrawled in a blood red ink. It read, 'The Basement Brawlroom.'
"You got us in?" He confirmed.
"Yes. The proprietor was thankful for you dealing with the Sons of Romak. To repay us, he gave us a ticket to the establishment's basement. I must warn you, the basement is not the safest place to be. If the Honor Guard catches us, we could be charged." Karm warned.
"Don't worry about it. K'temmery's promised to give us a wide berth. Lead on." James trumpeted, "You're the guide. Guide us there."
Karm took the lead, showing the path to the House of Payne's basement area. On route, Corgan helped Mika up to her feet. She was holding her goblet like a champion drinker, toasting and stumbling her way from one foot to the other. She was clearly drunk. The group passed by Ordos, who was watching the Klingon stripper slowly slip her suit down one cheek and then the other. She was in the middle of kicking off her dominatrix suit into Ordos' waiting arms, until James grabbed him by the collar and dragged him out.
"Let's go, Ambassador." He caught the latex suit in midair and tossed it lightly back at the stripper, "Targ fight. Remember?"
"Oh... that's right." Ordos happily let himself be dragged off by his escort. He waved goodbye to his love before disappearing into the dark chasm of the bar's rear door.
K'temmery watched the Federation group depart from their table, after casually sipping his bloodwine for the last half hour. He was content so far. The Starfleet Lieutenant handled himself well against the Sons of Romak, quite possibly the toughest gang in the Lanjepi old quarter. Through a little trickery that would make a real warrior frown, he persevered. That was what he liked about humans. They were full of interesting tricks.
He chucked as he drank. Lieutenant Corgan was dragging Ambassador Ordos away from one of the strippers and leading him towards the end of the bar, towards the basement door.
~"No doubt they found out about the targ fights..."~ He placed his bloodwine goblet down, ~"There have been rumors of the place. I best be silent, or honor will be brought down on me. Ambassadors have the right of way... after all."~
"SIR! SIR!" K'lonk barged his way to the table. He waved in his arms a Klingon equivalent of a PADD, and by the rate of his arm waving in the air, it held some important news. What was more surprising was K'lonk's impatient yelling. He rarely yelled, even when he was injured. This didn't bode well.
"What is it!?! I'm trying to enjoy my.... Mission. Be quick about this!" K'temmery spoke to his cohort disapprovingly.
"Sir, you must see this. This is urgent. This could ruin everything!" He thrust the PADD into K'temmery's face. The Klingon Honor Guard commander snatched it up and scanned through the information.
His eyes went wide in realization, and his mouth went as dry as the Quo'nos wastelands.
"You are right..." He said with a curl in his tongue, "This does ruin everything..."
He slowly rose from his seat. The crimson in his face crept out from a rosy red to a bright red flush. His muscles quivered and his fist balled up and shook. K'lonk backed away. K'temmery came under these moods whenever things didn't go to plan.
The commander's mood came to a head when his fist slammed into the table, breaking off a large chunk of wood in the process.
=/\="DAMMIT!"=/\= He cursed in Klingon, " I will slay those fools! Come, we must stop this before it begins!" He led K'lonk out of the House of Payne. The commander of the guard was fuming mad. He shoved the bouncer aside and ran off into the street, urgent to stop what was already starting.
"Ladies and Gentlemen..." A portly, armor wearing, elderly Klingon ring announcer announced through a crackling microphone, over the noise of the audience, "The first fight of the evening will begin!"
The crowds cheered and rattled their seats. They were all excited, hooting and hollering for their favorite fighting beast. All were Klingon, save for two Andorians and a grim but scared Lieutenant.
"This place is dangerous..." James muttered, his words lost in the symphony of chaotic cheering.
The basement of the House of Payne was worse for wear after years of use, dust, mildew and noise. It was hard to believe that, under meters of foundation, that the basement's noise didn't interfere with the patrons at the bar above. It was dark and poorly lit by Klingon standards. The single light in the room was a huge saucer like lantern in the middle of the cage area. The cage itself was a tall mesh wall surrounded by a shimmering red forcefield, with metal columns and barbed spikes all around. Other than that, the room was dark. It was hard to see the faces of everyone else, but it was well lit enough to see the ring. Probably for the best. The room was set up to nominally hide the faces of the patrons who didn't want to be seen in the public eye while watching an illegal (but socially acceptable) form of entertainment.
Karm, Ordos, Mika and Corgan found their seats in the third row without muscling in on other Klingons. Mika and Ordos greatfully settled in their seats. They found their steps to be uneasy, to compliment their cheery moods.
"Friggin' hell... they're blitzed. Karm... we'll stay here for awhile, then go home. I hope the Ambassador will be too drunk to notice." James announced his plans.
"Good, because you don't want to be caught here." Karm replied.
"Funny, I thought the same was true for the House of Payne..."
The announcer drown out everyone's voices, "Ladies and gentlemen, to start off the first glorious battle of the night, I present to you the toughest beast from the Kar'toka mountains of Quo'nos. A Bren'taka Targ, weighing in at three hundred and fifty pounds. She is the one in the gray and beige scales. She is mean tempered and she killed a full-grown warrior with her tusks! She is... THUNDERSNOUT!"
The massively large, piglike animal charged into the cage. It snapped shut and the forcefield came down on the porthole and the center of the ring, dividing it into two fields. Thundershout charged into the forcefield and bounced off it, much to the delight of the crowd.
James thought of how barbaric it was to send an animal into a cage, and then send another to fight a battle to the death against each other, just to satiate the bloodlust of a battle hungry crowd. But that was how the Klingons were. They loved to see the fights. Man or beast, it made no difference as long as it was violent, bloody, and in its own way honorable. Their society was different than the spacer's home environment. There was nothing he could do about it except watch in sickening fascination and socially bias objectiveness.
Ordos didn't share his qualms about the fight. He chanted 'Thundersnout'! With everyone else. Mika was smiling and giggling, and looking at the Lieutenant strangely.
He shut Mika out of his mind. Surely she couldn't be that drunk!
The announcer spoke through the microphone, "And in the other corner, weighing in at three hundred and forty eight pounds. He was raised in the pens of Lanjep's famous Gre'kor Canyon's Fight Farms. He is the local hero, the greatest of the great, set to be transferred to Quo'nos for the ultimate championships. His name... is GORETUSK!!!!!!"
"This is exciting, Lieutenant! Your men were able to keep up with your promise to bring the best guide available. Thank you! Because of you...." Ordos drunkenly slurred, "I have had the most entertaining night of my life."
"I'm glad you approve sir." James flatly stated.
Goretusk charged full hilt into his forcefield. He bounced off, but recovered much quicker than Thundersnout. His body careened off the wall's forcefields, bouncing around like an enraged killer pinball with an infinite flipper behind its ass. He shook his shaggy mane and squealed like a murderer in a bloodrage. Thundersnout was on the other side of the field, and seeing Goretusk being so enraged, she blew up in a blood frenzy, frantically pawing and clawing at the forcefield separating her from Goretusk.
The crowds, Ordos included, cheered for blood. The name Goretusk was chanted more loudly than Thundersnout. He was the crowd favorite.
And James was swiftly becoming ill. Seeing two animals maim each other for sport disgusted him. And yet he could do nothing. He found himself cheering for Goretusk, swept in by the mob mentality. A deep inner urge bade him to see the match to the conclusion, no matter how repulsive.
"lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.... LETS GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TODAY..." The announcer chanted along with the crowd, "IS.... A... GOOD DAY TOOOOO.............. DIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The forcefields inside the cage deactivated, the crimson nim
bus shroud dissipating, leaving the targs to freely roam the ring. Once Thundersnout and Goretusk found out the forcefields were deactivated, they charge into each other like angered Boars. Tusk clashed into tusk. Thundersnout and Goretusk were trapped in a deadly embrace, a struggle for life and death in the gladiatorial ring.
"THIS IS THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE! GORETUSK! GORETUSK!" Ordos cheered. Lieutenant Corgan snapped out of his curiousity of the fight and looked at Ordos objectively. He lauded his commanding delegate for being so wrapped up in the bloodsport, than scolded himself for being caught under its violent spell.
Karm looked at the fight uneasily, while Mika fell violently ill behind the stands. They were missing Thundersnout and Goretusk charge in and out, rolling around the cage like fighting cats, interlocked in a fight for survival. Goretusk was starting to gain the upper hand. He slashed Thundersnout along her flanks, spraying the dirty arena floor with animal blood. The crowds cheered for more, and James was nearly sick from the sight.
"How... sick! Ordos, I want to leave now!" He demanded.
"No... not yet! We haven't seen the winner! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" Ordos yelled and turned back to the fight, hooting as Goretusk bit into Thundersnout's ear.
"Fine..." James screamed as the crowed cheered. Thundersnout landed a blow, chipping Goretusk's armored face plating, "I'm going to get some fresh air. Karm, watch over them!"
"Yes, Lieutenant." Karm nodded.
Lieutenant Corgan stepped away from the fighting area. He felt a small trickle land on his forehead. Upon dabbing his finger on the wet drop and inspecting it, he found that it was targ blood, splattered from Goretusk tearing off Thundersnout's left rear leg. The poor wounded animal howled in pain and fought vainly.
At that point, James did not watch the rest of the fight. He found the cheering crowds and the brutal animals a sickening sight. He walked upstairs towards the basement door, and opened it up. He was back at the bar, hovering an inch away from the exit.
He cleared his head with the night air, ~"Oh god, what am I doing here? I didn't agree to do all this? What am I doing with an Ambassador at a bloodsport? That's it... we've gone too far. We have to leave."
But something was terribly wrong. He didn't remember seeing a dozen armored figures surrounding the bar and asking questions. One of the armored figured, his face obscured by a riot shield, a painstick, and a protective blast helmet, was talking to one of the waiters. The cowardly Ferengi barkeep pointed at the basement door.
His mind dimly wondered what was going on. The smoky air and the noise disrupted his thinking processes. What was a pack of armored figured doing at the bar anyways? What were they doing rounding up the people in the bar and asking questions?
What was one of them doing heading to the basement door while fiddling with his painstick? The weapon glowed brighter as it set to a higher pain setting. The nearest guard waved to the others to follow him to the basement.
On the center of his riot shield, it read 'Lanjep Colonial Arbitor'.
~"Oh... sh*t! Karm said something about this being... DAMMIT! That's the cops!"~
As fast as his feet could take him, James skipped steps and bolted to the stands. The only thing that stood between the Ambassador and a messy intergalactic diplomatic incident was him, and if he didn't hurry, the Lanjepi riot police would complicate his life in more ways than one. Being arrested with an Ambassador at a Targ fight was not good for anyone.
He fought the throngs of crowds who were chanting victoriously the name of Thundersnout. Despite her early disadvantage, the female Targ fought off the pain of her dismembered hind leg and tore Goretusk to gooey pieces. The male targ's brown and red, gory remains sprayed all over the arena.
There was no time to enjoy the victory. The Ambassador was in danger. He found the Ambassador double fisting goblets of bloodwine while trying to chant Thundersnout's name, succeeding in sputtering bloodwine all over his robes
"We have to get out of here! Now! We must go!" James tugged at his soiled robes.
Ordos replied in his intoxicated manner, "No! I'm starting to enjoy the local targ fights! That Thundersnout had a lot of heart! I can't wait to see her leg replaced so that she can fight again, don't you... agree?"
"The cops are coming."
"The cops are... WHAT?!?"
"That is right." James confirmed, "The cops are coming to raid this place. We must leave right away. Karm, what's the nearest exit... what the hell?"
Before James finished his sentence, he found Karm to be meters away. Overhearing the word 'cops' and finding it as a slang for 'police', Karm decided that now was a good time to run away and leave the pitiful foreigners to their own devices.
James started to fight the crowd like a salmon struggling upstream, but Karm was too far ahead to catch up. The chase was further impeded when the basement door was promptly kicked open. A silver sphere dropped down, spewing acrid smoke inside the room. Light flooded from the door into the arena, catching the arena goers almost unaware.
"Arbitors!!!!" The announcer panicked and ran off. His announcement set off a chain reaction of running, yelling and panic. Suited riot police spilled into the room, throwing foul smelling smoke bombs and clubbing random people with their billy clubs, stunning them at the first hit. Everywhere people ran, frantically searching for an exit.
"KARM!" James yelled, and still no answer, "F**K!" He cursed, and found an exit through the rising haze of the stinging smoke. Mika and Ordos held their silken sleeves over their throats and coughed. "THIS WAY!"
Corgan, Mika and Ordos followed the line of people filtering out of the bar. The Klingon Riot police were efficiently clubbing patrons like helpless pups in a Saskatchewan seal hunt. Bargoers were starting to fight back. In the smog, a full-blown riot was starting. Arbitors fought against drunken warriors. They clubbed and punched each other, howling out battle cries and vows of vengeance.
Ordos and Corgan grew swiftly apart from each other. He tried to keep his sights on the Ambassador, but found that he was being separated by the panicking crowd. Soo, Ordos' fat, antennae pointed body was nowhere to be seen. He tried to stop to find the Ambassador, but was being pushed outside. Mika was still at his side, confused and disordered. Being drunk didn't help matters.
"Where's Ordos?" She slurred.
"I don't know..." James turned around and searched frantically, "I don't know! We'll find him soon! Come on, we must get going!" He said, grabbing Mika by the arm. They followed the waves of people pouring out of the basement escape and into the fetid alley, all while looking for the Ambassador.
"Lost and Confused"
"A most excellent raid, sir!" Praised a lower officer of the Lanjepi Arbitor force.
"A most honorable raid indeed, officerKalla." She replied to her subordinate. The officer, clad from toe to head in riot armor and wielding the standard painstick/reflective shield combination, the Arbitor saluted back and then ran to the increasing line of captured prisoners. "A most... satisfying raid..."
Her tongue flickered between her jagged teeth. Arbitor/Lieutenant Tem'stra was proud of what she accomplished. The House of Payne was the most disgusting drinking hall on Lanjep. The strippers dishonored the very name of women, and sent their dishonor tainted ancestors to gre'kor for their indecent acts. The House of Payne would not be missed. So what if they were only going to shut down the unauthorized Targ fighting arena in the basement? First the targ arena, next the whole bar.
It was a most honorable task, worthy of an Arbitor of her repute.
If Commander K'temmery was aware of her reputation and her triumph, he wasn't showing any signs of acknowledgement. He was stomping up to the woman with a crazy, half mad look in his eyes. Arbitor/Lieutenant Tem'stra didn't know it yet, but she was about to be accosted by the elite of the Klingon Imperial Forces. Her assumption was that he was the filthy scum that owned the House of Payne. If he tried anything, she would revel in gore of her adversary.
"You... what do you want?" She asked mockingly. Jesting with her defeated foes was fun.
Only he wasn't having any of her insults. K'temmery wasted no time in getting face to face with Arbitor Tem'stra, and bringing her to ground level with a less than sexy open handed slap. It was at that moment that Tem'stra saw the badge of the honor guard on his armor, before the stars in her eyes blinded her vision.
"What are you doing?" She rasped through a mouthful of dust and blood. Arbiters surrounded the Commander, their painsticks charged to maximum and their force fields activated on their riot shields. They didn't attack. One sweep of K'temmery's Honor Guard badge was enough to keep the other Arbiters at bay.
"You... are you the one that authorized this raid?" Honor Guard K'temmery asked, his voice enough to make anyone believe he had a forked tongue.
"Yes," Tem'stra replied honestly, her hand at her Arbiter stun pistol, "We are here to cleanse this establishment of this dishonorable filth. You have no part of it, Honor Guard."
"I do have a part of it if you endanger my charge. Where are the prisoners?"
She pointed to the long line of bargoers, chained together and trudging depressingly towards a hovering, brown plated paddy wagon. Impatiently, K'temmery inspected the prisoners, but all were Klingon, except for the bartender and his waiters (all Ferengi). None looked like the Terran Corgan and the Andorians Mika and Ordos.
"Pray I find my charges ok, or you will have to answer for your dishonor..." K'temmery growled loud enough to raise the hairs on her head. Though she didn't know what charges the Honor Guard talked about, the feeling was that it was important. And she knew full well not to get in the way of an Honor Guard.
=/\="F**K!=/\= She swore.
(translated from Klingon)
"What's going on out there?" A drunken voice emanated from the inside of an abandoned boxlike structure.
"How the f**k should I know? Stop asking me that. And stop smacking me with your arm!" The next voice complained.
"That's not my arm...."
"Oh... sorry about that." The box shifted.
A momentary silence overtook the alleyway, the safe haven of two of the House Of Payne's escapees. Mika and James, desperate to escape the Arbiter squads, turned a waste storage unit into their new, temporary home. It wasn't easy restraining Mika from the urge to vomit her countless liters of bloodwine. James' gag reflexes were taxed to the limits inside shelter. Discarded gagh, foul water and something that looked like the remains of Thundersnout's leg was heaped in a garbage pile outside and keeping the two escapees company.
The shifting stopped. Mika said, "When can we get out of here."
"How the f**k should I know?" James swore under duress, a bad habit he acquired from his life as a space boomer. He fought the urge to vomit himself. The gravity of the planet and the stench of the gagh were overwhelmingly nauseating.
"I think the police are gone now."
"I don't think so. And on this planet, they're called Arbiters."
"Does that matter? I want out. I think... I'm going to be sick...."
"Hold it." The shelter rattled around, then a clang on the lid, "OWWW! F**K! Can't see in here!"
"Careful.... That's my foot."
"Oh sorry I... what the hell?"
"That's my chest."
"Holy crap! Geez! I'm terribly sorry about that. Please, it won't happen again."
"It's ok.... Heh heh... that tickled. I didn't know you're the flirtatious type..."
The next voice was Corgan's, and very deadpanned, "That wasn't me."
The silence was almost deafening. Then a squeak killed the silence and brought on the noise. And it was a lot of noise. A lot. The boxlike structure moved and thumped around like an animated toon vehicle. Mika screamed shrilly. "GET IT OFF!" She shrieked. Corgan threw off the disposal unit's lid; while Mika popped her mussed up head out. Her arm soon followed, throwing a fist sized rat thing clear into the streets.
Mika panted, her head swaying and spinning from panic and excess alcohol. She labored for breath, as both garbage divers sucked in mouthfuls of less fetid alley air that smelled like the scent of Judarian wildflowers compared to the unidentified animal feces someone stepped in.
Mika took a look around. "Looks like they're gone... we better look for Ordos..."
"Ummmm Mika... you're supposed to look this way..." He illustrated his point by turning to the directions of the alleyway's path, "...or that way. Not at the wall."
"Oh!" She chirped perkily, "Thank's Corgan? Can I call you that?" She looked at both exits of the alleyway, "No Ordos! Arbiters must have got them. Maybe we should go to the jail. It's not the first time I had to bail him out!"
"Mika... we're two garbage covered aliens, and you're very drunk. We don't have our guide to tell us where the Arbiter station is. And even if we knew, we might be arrested on the spot if they caught our images from the House of Payne. Tell me, how far do you think we'll go?"
"Ummm... I dunno... heh heh! Dunno... you humans have the silliest words!"
"Would you please be quiet for a minute!" James silenced his drunken friend, "We have to get out of here. If we're lucky, we can find a sonic shower somewhere and get ourselves cleaned up. If we're luckier, we'll find Ordos, which I remind you we could have found if you didn't call the Arbitors for help! Would have saved us a lot of running..."
"But they're supposed to be helpful..." She sighed despairingly, "I'm sorry. I'm glad you got me away from the police. You're my... I need a human term for this... my k-nigit in shining armor."
Her drunkenness was too much for James to stand. He blushed embarrassingly. "Mika, it's Knight. As in night with a silent K... oh what the hell are we doing here standing in filth. Come on! We have to find the ambassador. And if we have time, we'll take turns playing Klingon Kickball with Karm's crotch."
James hoisted himself from the garbage dumpster. Mika pulled herself from the hole in the dumpster and wobbled her way to the garbage can lid. She stepped uncertainly, finding no stable ground on the trash lid. She wimpered for help. James had no choice but to pity the intoxicated Andorian woman. He jumped onto the hard ground, then grabbed onto her waist and lowered her down. It was rather awkward for the good intentioned and noble human. Her body was pressed to his, raising provocative thoughts of what that slim, tightly packed body could do. She was drunk, she seemed nice enough and she was encouraging him with her happy, adoring eyes. Drunkeness brought out joy and mirth that hid under a sober wall of submissiveness and servitude, which James found attractive. She was a small person, but her body was attractive enough raise a few ennoble (and extremely dirty) thoughts. And why not? She was drunk, she seemed to not mind. She was HITTING on him. Her hand was slowly going towards his ass...
James stopped himself. He shoved the thoughts aside, showing a blush of pure embarrassment. This was no way to think, no matter what ailed his comatose girlfriend back on Earth. What would Lexa think? Getting personal with a Sub-Ambassador? She would come out of that coma and give him a merciless and slow torture (death was too merciful).
"You've got the ass of a terran STALLION!" She slapped his butt. At that point, James shoved her back. "Heh heh... what's the matter? Scared of me? I don't bite like the Klingon women. I prefer... to wrestle!"
"You're drunk." Came James' voice of reason, "And I have a girlfriend, so would you please stop that?"
"You? A girlfriend?" She laughed in chuckling disbelief, "I didn't think you were the 'I like people' type of person."
"I used to be. I think..." He groaned, "I'm going to go back to that. Now stop! We have to get serious."
The seriousness of his words struck Mika's heart. The lechery stopped, making way for a tidal wave of drunken depression. Her smiling face and the lusty look in her eye vanished, curling the lips downward and the eyes into watery pits. She was on the edge of an emotional crash, heading to Corgan's direction.
"Fine..." She sobbed, "We'll look for that stupid fat f**k Ordos, and when we bail him out we'll go our separate ways and never speak to each other again. Then I'll live my life miserably while you enjoy yours with your girlfriend! Thanks a lot, CORGAN! I thought you were something special ever since I saw you the first time on that ship! Now I know you're an @$$hole like everyone else!"
"What? I'm sorry but you're f**king nuts if you think I'd drop everything for you!" James argued back, his face flushed red, this time from anger, "I told you I have a girlfriend. I love her and I'm not going to drop her because you think we make a cute couple. I love her too much to change things."
"So what?" She swung her arm and nearly stumbled into a pile of rotting garbage, "All I have is Ordos for a companion... and I see someone else that treats me like a decent person... and I can't help myself! I want to be treated with dignity for a change, and you won't give me that! I want you because of the way you treat me. I want someone like that every day......." Her sobs were turning into nerve wracking tears that streamed down her face and streaked the dirty stains on her cheeks. Her antennae drooped down to her eyebrows. She was crashing hard.
~"Hell... I don't need this..."~ James selfishly thought. His usual response was to console the person, give them a bit of advice on what he did, and then make everything ok with an apology. But that wasn't what he thought he had to do. Mika needed more than a bumbling fool who couldn't shut up when he wanted to repent. He learned the hard way that people didn't want someone to make everything better. That only drove away his friends, the few people he cared greatly for in the universe.
And Mika reminded James of Rebecca Von Ernst beyond the pity level. He once thought that Rebecca was cute, and realized that a single thought like 'cute' was virulent enough to spread in his brain and turn 'cute' into affection. He quashed it before, though was unsuccessful with Lieutenant Reece.
Mika was trying a pity trip. He would have none of it. The want to help others was the bait in the trap he found with Rebecca. A repeat would hurt that much more. So, he decided not to go near the trap.
"Mika... I can't help you. Either you help me out with Ordos, or bugger off." He flatly, and more coldly than usual, stated.
She was hurt, but she held back the tears. She looked at Corgan, unafraid of the ice in his eyes, and looked at him with a look of dead seriousness. She said, "What do I do?"
"Stop asking me." He replied, "I don't know how to help anyone anymore. I can't help anyone without f**king it up, so I can't help you. You want your damn heart broken worse? Then stop asking me to help you." His frustration mounted. Why did so many people try to assault him with questions when he didn't want to have any of it? And why was it that he tried to help and nobody wanted his aid? His mind was set in not helping Mika with her hang ups. ~"Let the stupid f**kwads flounder. They didn't want my help before. Now that they want it, I'll make them suffer. F**k 'em. F**k 'em all!"~
"HOW TOUCHING." Boomed the new voice in the alley.
James and Mika spun around to see who came to surprise them.
Two Klingons, all armed with various sharp, bladed and pointy weapons, stared down the alien couple with a look of unadulterated homicide. They were all hulkishly huge brutes who looked suspiciously familiar.
"The Sons of Romak..." The eldest brother, Ketor, stepped forward, "... have come for our revenge."
~"Why me?"~ James thought, crestfallen. He spied the other three Sons of Romak at the opposite end of the alley. One of the brothers drew out his bat'leth and licked the edge of the blade. The others were slowly and confidently drawing out their blades, waiting in a combat stance. ~"What did I do to deserve this?"~
"Come... fight me in honorable combat." Ketor nursed his sore hand, "Or can't you fight without cheating."
"P'tak!" One of the brothers spit.
His options were severely limited. The last time he dueled a Klingon, he had his ass kicked from one end of the holodeck to the other... literally. Klingons were the most brutal savages alive, and he was in the company of brutal (by Klingon standards) street thugs. He had to think of a way out fast.
"Arbitor!" James pointed behind Ketor. The Klingon was gullible to look and see that there was no intrusion in the alley. He was rewarded properly for his stupidity. He felt his crotch impact with a polished Federation boot. As if pole axed between the legs. Ketor fell down to his knees, covering his hands over his aching privates.
The brother right beside Ketor was slow to react. He looked down on his older brother, then watched stupidly as James grabbed Mika by the hand and shot out of the alley faster the Sons of Romak could help their fallen sibling.
Ordos wandered alone in the Lanjepi streets. The sights and sounds were all intriguing for the blue skinned, portly diplomat. Klingon nightlife was an interesting topic. It sure beat the Bajoran's idea of a great time. Play boring music. Pray to the prophets. See a temple. See the wormhole. Discuss baseball with Benjamin Sisko. Oogle Kira Nerys. Bajor was boring. It was nights like this that Ordos thanked the Queen of Andor for transferring him to Quo'nos. The Klingon Empire was loads of fun.
Take, for example, the firebreather in the corner of the Lanjepi bazaar. The skull plated pseudo mystic spit out gouts of searing flame and manipulated the flickering fingertips into shapes of animals and mythical Klingon warriors. It delighted the drunken warriors who were on their own social excursions. And delighted drunk Ordos too.
There was also the vendors. For Klingons, they were downright friendly. The purplish fruit Ordos bought and consumed cost no more than half of the latinum slips in his pocket, but it was worth it. He was hungry and the fruit tasted pretty good, once he got past the squishy, darkened, partially rotted part. There were more vendors, selling anything from fresh Lanjepi Flame Crickets to fine Andorian silks. They didn't cost much either, just the rest of his change.
~"Strange,"~ He thought, ~"I thought the bloodwine cost me a few credits. How did a piece of fruit, a silk scarf and a bag of edible crickets cost me all this?" He shrugged, sucking down a deliciously spicy cricket. He was having fun. No use worrying about money. He had plenty of it... or used to. But he could get more if he had to.
Lanjep was the planet for him. He decided in his usual drunken foolishness to settle on the planet, find himself another wife, marry her, and then find a mistress to keep him company. He thought of bringing the Andorian Embassy to Lanjep. It was much nicer than bleak, depressing Quo'nos, no matter how good the parties were.
It was settled. He was moving to Lanjep! The nice people, the great food, the best little strip joint in the Empire, or so it looked after a few glasses of bloodwine, and Targgoths. The perfect place. A shame they had to cut their party at the House of Payne short, but people were shoving and pushing out of the way for no conceivable reason (or so he saw). He had to follow the group. In the process he was separated from Lieutenant Corgan, his assistant and his guide, but what did it matter? He was having more fun than he could remember.
Then he saw a sight that dazzled him more than Pykro the fire breather. There she was, standing peacefully in the middle of the bazaar, a Klingon angel among the filthy and unwashed of Lanjep's slum section. Her hair frizzled out and downwards, curling up along her broad and armored shoulders. Her rotund waist shaped her figure into a stout, solid barrel. Her forehead was as pitted and sharp as the surface of a Praxis asteroid, marking her as a warrior among warriors. She wore the finest mesh metal Klingon opera dress, slit down the leg to show a thick, brown leg wrapped in fine black mesh. Her bountifully huge bosoms heaved with each erotic breath. Her lips shone like firerubies.
She said in a deep, hungry voice, "You think you are enough of a warrior to face me in the bedchambers."
She licked her tongue over her sparkling white, sharp teeth, then gave a playful snap of the jaw.
At this point, Ordos was incredibly turned on. This woman was perfect in every way. Solidly built. Deep voice. Beautiful. A nymphomaniac. There weren't many women like this in the universe!
'You're place or mine?" He slurred, his best attempted at seduction going way off the mark.
It didn't deter the Klingon woman much. She replied seductively, "I have a place. Come with me... and I'll honor you with my skills."
He couldn't wait to see what skills she was talking about. She led Ordos out of the Bazaar and towards a building on the same block. In neon red letters, it read, in crude Klingon scribbles followed by a lewd picture of a Klingon woman straddling a humanoid, "The Mating Nest. All major credits accepted.".
Seconds later, the bazaar came across a very disruptive surprise. A human ran rapidly through throngs of people, holding the wrist of an Andorian and leading her through fast enough for her to stumble as she ran with him. They both looked afraid for their lives as they weaved their way through bazaar stalls and people.
Hot on their heels like sniffer targs on a dying Quo'nosian forest creeper, the Sons of Romak crashed through people like the uncaring brutes they were. Stalls and shoppers were between them and the aliens that offended them. They easily cleared the path with their own bare hands, throwing women and children out of the way and overturning selling tables, scattering merchant wares. That left the crowds to storm over and take whatever the merchants couldn't snatch back up. Pandemonium ensued, catching like a grassfire, spreading through the bazaar.
Corgan saw a half dozen exits out of the Bazaar. Most went back into darker and more dangerous alleys. One was behind them; that was the street that led to the spaceport. Needless to say with the Sons of Romak behind them, the spaceport was inaccessible. There were plenty of tents in the bazaar to hide in, but it wouldn't take long for the Sons of Romak to check each and everyone, drag the Lieutenant and his drunken sidekick out, and gut them in the middle of the street.
He rounded the Gagh stand, catching the closest Son of Romak off guard. The young Klingon thug thought the human would he a perfect kill worthy of a warrior, and perhaps he would gain more honor than his pain striken brother. A human kicking a Klingon warrior in the vulnerables. There was no act more dishonorable.
Except maybe being caught off guard by an open Andorian palm slamming into his face. Bone snapped and blood filled his mouth. He held his wounded nose and cried out in pain.
"You stopped me for THAT?" James tugged her arm, "Come on! Lets go!"
"I just wanted to help... HEY!" She sulked. James jerked her away, much to her chagrin
Ketor saw his adversary dart away with his blue female, and saw that his brother was spitting blood while kneeled on the ground. "Unworthy of a warrior..." He scolded, and ran forwards after allowing his loyal brothers to pass, leaving his injured brother alone to deal with an enraged merchant.
Two Sons of Romak were within arms reach of Mika. Her head was too woozy to count, so she saw six other warriors coming head long towards her. Her foot kicked out, catching one Son of Romak in the stomach. She grinned happily. Aiming at the middle image always worked.
Her move also slowed down Corgan's brisk run. She felt her arm tug as hard as a tractor beam. She kept running, through the ill feeling in her stomach. She snatched a tentpole from a merchant's shack. It let loose the fabric that constructed the roof. As she dragged the tent pole, it carried the rest of the cloth with it, dismantling the tent and carrying with it a billowing carpet. The other Son of Romak was shrouded by the tent. Mika let go, giving the tent cloth to the flailing street tough.
That left two Sons of Romak giving chase, and they were getting closer.
"Let go! We can take them!" Mika demanded.
"You're drunk and they're wise to your tricks. We have to lose them!" James looked for a place to hide. The bazaar tents were not enough for them to hide. He navigated his way through the increasing thickness of crowds and merchant stands, while the two Sons of Romak swathed through people like wheat.
The last hope was at the end of the bazaar. Without enough time to read the signs, James selected the closest door he could find, and ran right through it with Mika in tow. The door gave way to his adrenaline fueled arms, and he swung it open...
Then slammed it close with all his might, catching Ketor's injured wrist and busting up his craggy nose!
"Go upstairs!" He commanded Mika, whom she staggered, and then crawled her way upwards. Corgan pried apart the door's console and randomly plucked apart the isolinear chips attached to the door's main controls. The door was lobotomized, then it died. Sparks showered from the inner workings. The door stayed sealed.
Outside, James heard the furious knockings of the Sons of Romak. The door, made of layered steel and titanium that was inches thick, did not budge but made knocking sounds.
"Save at last..." Corgan looked around with a sigh... then a look of absolute astonishment.
Mika was trying to scale the steps of a spiraling staircase, which lead up to an open and visible second floor, which held a upper deck that lead to a half dozen different rooms, each one numbered from one to twelve in Klingon. The lower deck was filled with cheaply dressed and questionably attractive Klingon women lounging in tacky lounge chairs and couches. Some of the women flirted with male warriors, while others discussed among themselves and waited for clients to drop in and take them as their companions for the night. Music of the erotic type drifted in the smoke filled air. The lights were bright pink and red, reflecting the color of the furniture and run down decorum. The centerpiece of the building was a round desk like area where an elderly Klingon woman, dressed in the same gaudy and whorish fashion as the women, administered to calls on her complex communications system.
The madam of the Mating Nest gave Corgan a second of her time. "Welcome to the Mating Nest." She spoke briefly, then answered a call on her communicator.
It was then that James found out he was in a Klingon whore house. Not just any whore house, but the most beat up and scummy sl*t shack in the middle of the Lanjepi slums, hiding from street thugs while keeping watch on a drunken Andorian woman who happened to have a crush on him (but was now nursing a bruised heart).
He looked for the only bright side to their predicament. "Hey Mika, you think Ordos would have ended up here?"
She took her first look around, "Ohhhhhh... yeah. He loves the women. He likes me you know.... Are you gay? I bet that's why you don't want me is it?"
"No, and for the last time it's because I have a girlfriend!" He snapped back.
"It's ok... it's the twenty fourth and a three quarter's century. It's ok to be gay..."
"Look. You're great looking. You're an awesome person to be with. I'd use you if I could, but I have a girlfriend. Hell, if I was a bad person, I would put a flag over your head, pretend you're Lexa, and f**k you for the Federation, but I'm not that rude. But if it makes you happy... you're nice looking and... I think you're hot. But that's as far as it goes. Happy now?"
"Fine.... That was all I wanted to hear..." She sniffed, "Madam... madam! Heh heh! That rhymes. Anyways Madam..."
"Komra. What is it?" The Madam of the bordello rasped.
Mika was hard to take seriously when she was drunk. He was surprised at how she bounced ba
ck from being rejected. And it was all so quick. It was too hard to make sense of it all. He decided to watch Mika and see if she could get some information from the Madam.
The Madam gave Mika a dirty look. "I'm looking for an... Andarrriannnn... he's big. He's fat... and he's stuuupid! His name is Ordos. Have you seen him?"
"Room Twelve." She answered, and was back to fielding calls, directing a head of Starship Design to the whorehouse in the middle of Lanjep.
It didn't take long for James to head up the stairs. He was off, the look in his eye of obvious for all to see. He was on the hunt for Ambassador Ordos, and there was going to be some major trouble for the Andorian diplomat.
He was at the doorstep of room twelve. He heard growling, intense growling from the other side. There was bashing, thumping, and the screams of the mortally wounded and battle cries as loud as photon explosions. The noises were hard to distinguish. They were all so loud and chaotic. Hard to tell what was going on.
Foresight was ringing off the hook. James mind told him he was going to do something foolish if he charged in to see what was going on with Ambassador Ordos. His mind also reminded him that if he didn't, the Ambassador would most likely be in a heap of trouble.
Deciding finally, and hoping he was not landing in anymore trouble, James barged into the door. He was so fast that he caught Ordos completely unaware. He was sprawled on a bed, covered by a dirty white cloth, and handcuffed to the bedposts with metal restraints. His happy grin was gone and a scandalized, wide eyed look of astonishment.
Somebody to James' right wailed, and then grunted in pain. He whirled around to see one of the most shocking sights in his career. A Klingon woman, grotesquely fat and severly whacked by every ugly branch on the tree, and more naked than James could stand, was caught off guard and in a compromising moment. She was having a hard time finding her footing. Her hand was between her two sagging , bulky breasts as she seemed to struggle with a pain in her insides. The eyes went glassy, and she screamed a final note of terror. And suddenly, the three hundred some pound woman hit the floor in an ear busting slam.
James ran over to check her pulse, but it was too late. Her eyes were staring wide open out the roof window. She was clearly, and clinically, dead.
"People Don't Kill People... Sort of..."
The group was at a loss of what to do.
They were all huddled over a motionless body of a dead Klingon woman. Rotund and as bulky as an opera diva, she laid on the floor half naked and very much dead. The flies were buzzing around her open mouth, looking for the nooks and crannies in which to lay their eggs.
The group was inside a Klingon bordello, deep in the heart of the Lanjepi slums. Outside their door was the woman's pimp, waiting for his payment of gold pressed latinum. Even further outside was a waiting gang of thugs who wanted to see the whole group dead. Inside the room with the broken down bed, the soiled sheets, the rotted peeling walls and the awful stench of previous lovemaking, the two Andorian diplomats and their Federation protector was at a loss of what to do. They were trapped inside a room, with a dead body. And if that wasn't enough, Ordos was slightly drunk and angry, while Mika was wasted to the point where she could barely stand.
The rotund hooker was dead for a half hour, and still the group did not know what to do with her.
The blame was squarely put on James Corgan's sagging shoulders, according to Ambassador Ordos. He was unfortunate enough to see Ordos and the hooker in the throes of heated ecstasy. His barging in scared the hooker, and her overburdened, cholesterol loaded heart could not take the strain. In reflection, James thought it was his fault. Though the death was indirect and unintentional, avoiding the bordello would have saved her life.
~"Indulging in less fatty foods would have saved her life too, but what can I do?"~ James asked his conscience.
~"You can do nothing. Her time has come. In the afterlife, she will learn the hard way about her mistakes."~ Death replied, cheery to see the first dead body he had seen in months.
Transporter beams appeared out of nowhere near Ambassador Ordos, Sub-Ambassador Mika and Lieutenant Corgan. They brought out the forms of Lieutenant Sendi Lastarr, Lieutenant Black and Ensign Sendi Soleri. Corgan's distress signal worked. The re-enforcements arrived.
"Thank god you're here..." James said.
"Hey, Lieutenant, what's going............FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!" Black damned near lost his head when he materialized, holding a medkit and wearing a short brown leather jacket.
"Ummm? Lieutenant Corgan?" Sendi Soleri said as she walked over and tried to help a more than inebriated Mika to her feet.
"That's........ That's just wrong." Lastarr deadpanned.
"Oh that..." He gestured to the bedsheet covered hooker, "She's dead."
"YOU KILLED HER!" Ordos fumed, his drunken tears splattering on the dead hooker's corpse. He wanted to run up and smack James, but Mika restrained him. He fought her off, "If you didn't charge into the room like some Commander Nick Nova..."
"Sir... she was already dead. I mean... look at her. She's freaking huge! She was bound to have her heart explode out of her chest. Not my fault I scared her." Lieutenant Corgan retored.
"He's right you know." Black said as he started to scan the hooker with his tricorder.
"Well, you know what they say about Klingon hookers........" Sendi Lastarr began, hoping to lighten the mood but was silenced by a glare from Lieutenant Black.
"It is your fault! She was the only woman I could truly love." Ordos said.
"Oh god, don't put this image in my head..." James sighed.
~Really.~ Black thought as some particularly nasty images formed in his head.
"I loved her more than anything!" The Ambassador lamented.
"You meet her a half hour ago!"
"SO?!?! The heart speaks more than words, and it was telling me that she's the one!"
"You're cracked, you know that? She's a f**king hooker! She wanted your latinum! Hookers don't love, they f**k!"
"This one does, and now she's dead thanks to you! I'm going to rend you...."
~That one poor, sad, delusional man.~ Sendi Soleri thought to herself.
~This is not happening.~ Sendi Lastarr groaned.
~Ordos killed a bloody prostitute.~ Black thought, stunned.
Mika's superior strength kept the enraged Andorian diplomat inches away from Corgan's face. His antenna criss crossed and twirled like whips. "I'll see to it that you're career is as dead as my love!"
"Easy, Ambassador. It's going to be all right. She is bloody well dead, we have to move on. Understand?" Black said, grabbing hold of the fat Andorian's shoulders.
"NO!" Ordos swatted Black's arm off his shoulders.
"Look, she's dead ok? We have to do something about her. Now... what do we do? Suggestions?" James turned the subject away from his blame.
"We could put her through a trash compacter." Sendi Lastarr said, hoping someone had a better idea.
"No... that would be messy. Anything else?"
"We could beam out and pray nobody notices that we were here."
"Not bad, but we can do better. What else?"
"Well, I guess we could level the whole block with a phaser barrage." Black said, not really serious.
"F**k no! We'll be in deep sh*t if we do that! Does anyone have a SANE answer to this?"
Mika raised her hand in the air, "I have an idea... we could take her to the hospital and let the authorities take care of it."
"No! That would bring too much attention." Ordos snapped, "You're the ideas person. Think of something better."
"I don't know... throw her into the river and let the piranhas consume her?"
"Now that's a plan!"
"Really, we can't do that." Black said, trying hard not to laugh. This situation was excessively strange to take seriously.
"I agree with Lieutenant Black. We're not throwing a three hundred pound hooker into a river. That's a bit more suspicious than I would like to do." Corgan, the only voice of reason so far, said.
Ordos was the first to argue, "But we can't let them know! If the Honor Guard catches word of this, then my career is at stake! Oh, if you didn't kill my love..."
"Whoa... whoa! EVERYONE!" James screamed at the top of his lungs. His command silenced the room. He waited a minute for everyone to listen, then he spoke, "I didn't kill her! She had a freaking heart attack! And we could have saved her if I had a communicator. I had to walk to the next block and communicate there... ok? Everyone agree? I didn't kill the hooker?"
Mika spoke, woozy from too much bloodwine, "James is right..." She said through Ordos' hostile glance, "I saw... I saw it all. She kept her eyes open the whole time............ what a tough broad!" Her drunken grin spread from cheek to cheek.
"I still say you're indirectly involved." Ordos grumbled.
"Ambassador, shut up!" Lastarr yelled.
"Easy, cousin." Sendi said.
"Good grief." Black moaned.
"Look, lets just forget about who did it for a second, ok?" James yelled to the group, "We have a dead hooker in this room. Outside, we have the Sons of Romak roaming around looking for us. Our guide ditched us after the police raid."
"Is there a bright side here?" Mika piped up drunkenly.
"Umm... no. There's more." The Lieutenant calmly stated, "We don't know what happened to the guards that were supposed to watch over us..."
"Wait, you called the Honor Guards?" Ordos asked.
"Yes... but let's continue..."
"No... you called the Honor Guards? I specifically ordered that they do not come! I'll have you brought on charges of insubordination you.........." Ordos struggled under the restraint of a drunken Mika, his arms outstretched and ready to strangle the life out of Corgan.
"Prophets, this isn't happening." Sendi Lastarr muttered and then joined Mika, Donovan and her cousin in holding back the blubbering Ambassador Ordos.
"WILL YOU LISTEN YOU STUPID F**K?" James waited once more for silence, "We're in a sh*tload of trouble here. We have to stop this insanity right now! Mika, Ordos, by my authorization as the Chief of Operations, you're going back to the ship as soon as we get rid of the body!"
"I will do nothing of the sort!" Ordos squirmed in the embrace of a dozen arms.
"In case you haven't noticed, your little tour has gotten a bit too hot to handle. We have to start damage control and get the f**k out of here! Black, Soleri... Lastarr, I want you all to find that miserable son of a b*tch Karm! He broke our deal, so you know what to do about it! Mika, as soon as you're treated of your drunkenness, you're helping me take the hooker to the nearest hospital. They'll know what to do with her after that. I'll call K'temmery to assist us on the way in case the Sons of Romak decide to jump us. And as for Ordos, you're staying here until we're all done. Got it?"
"Um.....Lieutenant...." Black tried to say something before Ordos had another outburst.
~We really shouldn't leave this bloody raving lunatic alone here.~ he finished in his mind.
"I will not! Lieutenant, I will not watch as you ruin this night for me!" Ordos flustered, "I'm the Ambassador to Quo'nos. I'm a representative of the Queen's court. I will not be ordered around like an ensign. That's my job! I'll only go back to the ship if we do it my way! Nobody needs to know about all this, so we're going to all keep it silent. Leave the hooker here. Forget the Sons of Romak. Don't call K'temmery. The less people that know, the better!"
"Ordos, you're a stupid... stupid man, did you know that? We're in too deep. It is time to get out of here and come clean. If we don't, we'll have worse things to worry about than your career... such as OUR LIVES!"
Ordos was losing the battle of opinion. Mika was already coming over to the Starfleet side of the argument. Her head was clearing up as she injected herself with an anti-alcohol drug from the med-kit. Her head pounded like an accelerated jackhammer. Ordos voice was irritating her hung over condition worse.
She had enough. Two years of mental abuse, hard work, and nothing to show for it but a few praises and a Sub-Ambassadorship.
Her antenna stopped drooping. They were now full up and twitching in anger. "I HAD ENOUGH! Ordos, these Starfleet officers know what they are doing! If they say its too dangerous, we have to listen and leave!"
Her statement was enough to stun Ordos to the core of his indignant being. Sass was not in the Sub-Ambassador job description. "You, young lady, don't know when to shut up! I have put up with enough of your rebellious tongue. These Starfleet fools have gotten to you, haven't they? Well, that's enough from you woman! Everyone do as I say, and I won't have you make a case out of it!"
The whole group was looking at Ordos. Robe stained from spilled bloodwine, flushed red in the face, drunk and very angry, Ordos was in a terrible mood, and his powers as an Ambassador were as dangerous to wield as any gun. But did James want to flirt with such danger? Not anymore. He seriously considered Ordos' proposal, ethically wrong as it seemed.
Mika, now sober and passionately angry, was the one to stand up to her master. "Sir... I'm sick of you. In the words of James Corgan, f**k you. Lieutenant... can you please help me with the..."
Quick for a drunken fat man, Ordos hand swiped across Mika's unanticipated cheek. She was knocked back into the wall. She hit the wall hard with a resounding crash. She pressed a hand on her purplish blue welt. A tear streaked down her face, part anger, part sadness as if betrayed.
"THAT WILL BE QUITE ENOUGH!" Black yelled over the din of everyone shouting. He grabbed Ordos by the antenna and yanked......hard. The fat, whimpering bastard yelped with pan and shut up for a moment. Lastarr and Soleri dashed over to help Mika. "Nobody hit's a defenceless woman in my prescence. That goes for ambassadors too." Black said firmly.
"Whoa whoa whoa... STOP!" James froze Ordos and Black in a freeze frame. He said, "Let go of the antenna..."
Slowly, Lieutenant Black complied. Ordos slinked back and rubbed his bruised appendages.
"You're getting greedy. Save a piece for me!!" James charged madly at the Ambassador. He was restrained by the Soleri cousins.
For Corgan, Ordos reached his breaking point. The Ambassador could drag him around a dangerous town, throw him into the darkest pit of hell, endanger his life with a group of thugs and shorten his life expectancy though moments of panic inducing urgency. But hitting women? He had gone past James personal boundaries. It was justification enough to beat the fat bastard within an inch of his life.
And sadly, he could get away with it too, if it wasn't for the Soleri cousins. Everyone shot disapproving stares at Ordos.
"What?" Ordos hollered, "She was insolent! So are the rest of you!"
The cousins let go of Lieutenant Corgan. James strided closer. He cracked his knuckled and chuckled sadistically. "You just hit her, didn't?" He asked accusingly. Black followed him.
"Yes... what about it?" Ordos stuttered, his breath reeking of strong bloodwine.
James smiled evilly, "Good. I won't feel so bad about this..."
"What are you doing?" Ordos stepped back, whimpering like a frightened animal, stumbling over his dead lover because of his alcohol driven steps, "No... stop this... YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS...."
FIVE MINUTES LATER
"Ok," James doled out the assignments to the away team, "You know what to do. Lastarr, Soleri, Black... you have to find Karm. He broke our deal, and the deal is we arrest his ass. Call the Honor Guard for help if you have to. As for Mika and I, we'll meet K'temmery at Lanjepi General Hospital."
"Ok. I'm ready...." Mika dragged the hooker's body, wrapped in her own bedsheets.
"Aye sir." Black said, sobered by what he had just done. Both Soleri and Lastarr stood quietly in obedient silence.
"Are we all clear on this?" James asked to make sure.
"Yes..." Said Mika.
"Aye sir." Black repeated.
"Good. We have a lot of work to do and not much time to do it. After you're all done, beam back to the Galaxy and get some sleep. I've had enough of this night, and I assume you guys have had enough as well. Are there any questions before we all leave?" He asked, checking the look on everyone's faces.
Black grinned, "What do we do with our buddy over there?"
"Oh him..." James looked at the drunken Ambassador. It was a shame what he had to do to the curtain, but it was the only material that worked on the Andorian's fat wrists. Ordos was bound and gagged, in every conceivable way, on a bolted down metal chair in the far corner of the hooker's bedroom. His mouth wasn't gagged in case he had to vomit. His antennae were bound together. His hands were tied to the back of the chair and his legs were secured to the chair's legs. He was trussed up like a thanksgiving day turkey, complete with a cute red bowtie on his left antenna. "...Security will take care of him."
"I'll have your commission and your head on a silver platter!" Ordos screamed at the officers, "Mika, you're in a lot of trouble!"
"Don't worry about him. Judging by how much he drank at the bar, he won't remember everything in the morning." Mika assured the group as she hefted the dead body onto her shoulders, "Oooffff! She's as heavy as Ordos!"
"So, ah...... What will we tell them?" Lastarr wondered aloud.
"Tell them the truth." James sighed, "Tell them the ambassador got a little too drunk and he assaulted his assistant after his lover had a heart attack. We had to stop him, and since nobody had a phaser, we had to make due with some improvised restraints. That is our story."
"And our careers?" Sendi Soleri hoped for the best, despite the fact that she was the only one who couldn't be busted back to ensign.
"Don't worry. We have witnesses. We have an alibi. The Klingons will scan the hooker and see she had a heart attack. Our security will scan Ordos and find that his blood alcohol content could poison a Denevian Ox. And once they find Mika's bruised cheek... we'll be in the right. We did what we had to do. Look at it this way. We've done some pretty rotten stuff that I'm sure we're all not proud of. I'm taking the body back to the hospital and we're going to catch Karm. That will make things right."
"Not really. Won't Ordos be a smidge unhappy 'bout all this?" Black asked.
"Don't worry. We'll be fine. I'll take the heat for all this. Now let's get moving! Karm won't find himself!"
"Oh by the way, Lieutenant, I've wanted to beat the bloody hell out of him for the longest time. Thank you for making it possible." Black said, then nodded to Mika. "Mika." he said, acknowledging her as he left. The spindly young Andorian had had more of a backbone than he'd thought she would. And more muscle too. She hefted the hooker's body with strength that shamed the Lieutenant's.
"Too bad he's intoxicated. He forgets when he drinks." Mika confirmed.
"See? Ordos will barely remember the night, and if he does... we have the goods to nail his balls to the walls. Time is of the essence!" James yelled, "Let's move!"
And with that, the whole group cleared out of the room. Corgan and Mika lugged around the shrouded body of the dead hooker, while the Andorian cousins and Lieutenant Black headed an opposite direction. They were all out to do their tasks... except for one that James nearly forgot to do.
"Corgan to the Transporter room..." He tapped his badge and gave the order, "One to beam up...."
The room was now empty. In subspace, Ordos screamed words of drunken vengeance.
"Nothing to do"
by Lt. j/g Curtis Geluf, Engineering
'Boy, what a mission' Curtis thought to himself. The Galaxy had been at this conference for what seemed like forever, and Curtis was starting to get a little restless. Sure, he had been able to spend a lot of time with Kiora, and he enjoyed that. But going to his shift every day had started to become rather boring. Nothing was happening, he didn't even really need to be there, but for the sake of routine he did it anyway.
He couldn't complain though, he had also had the time to work on his music, and had begun writting again. Between that and work and dates with Kiora, he had a full scheadule. Still, he hoped the diplomatic mission would end soon so they could get back to exploring. In the meantime, Curtis got back to his composition. He had been working on something for Kiora, an instrumental suite of sorts. Curtis had been working at it for over two weeks and it was getting close to completion.
Suddenly, his door chime rang, breaking his concentration and shattering his train of thought. He looked at his clock, '17:00' he thought, 'I almost forgot about that date'.
He got up, opened the door to greet Kiora and the two started off down the hall.
by Lt. JG Curtis Geluf, Engineering
and Lt. Autumn Quewenson, CMO
Curtis made his way from his quarters down to sick bay, all the while thinking of different ways he could get out of it. It was physical time on the Galaxy, signs of the season could be seen and heard all over the ship, as the crew seemed to release one loud and long collective groan. Curtis had needed to go to sick bay anyway, he needed to ask about the possibility of getting a sound dampening device for his ears so engineering didn't seem so loud. Being Kerelian and all, it got unbearable sometimes.
As he walked into sickbay, it occured to Curtis that he had never actually been in it. He hadn't been sick at all nor needed any medical attention since he came on board all those months ago. Taking a deep breath, he headed for the docs office and the door a ring.
Fawn Balaklawa, a nurse opened the main doors and admitted the young Lieutenant jg into medical. "Can I help you?" She asked in her soft british accent.
"Well, I'm really here for some help with my ears. But I suppose I should go ahead and get my physical." said Curtis.
"Dr.Quevvenson is free." She pointed to the young woman who was talking to another doctor with a PADD in her hand.
"Oh, well, great then." said Curtis. 'Hmm' he thought to himself, 'all the guys in the med department and I come when a woman is on duty. How ironic.'
"Doctor?" Curtis said.
Autumn turned and said in softly Australian accented Standard."Yes Lieutenant? What can I do for you today?"
"Well, doctor, I've been meaning to come down for awhile about my ears. I'm Kerelian you know, so sounds are a lot louder to me than everyone else and I hear things in engineering that no one else is even aware of. So as you can imagine, it gets REALLY loud down there for me and very distracting. Now, I don't want to shut out the sound, but is there something I can use while working that would make it all, less-loud? Oh....and I'm due for a physical..." Curtis rattled off, hoping perhaps that last part wasn't heard.
Unfortunatly for the lieutenant jg, Dr.Quevvenson had very good hearing. "For your hearing, may I suggest ear muffs or ear plugs. And I know that you are due for a physical. Everyone is due for it. So if you'd like we can get it out of the way now..."
Curtis sighed, "I suppose so, if a have to."
"Good. Have a seat on the bio bed and lets get started ok?" she said in a calm voice that she hoped soothed his nerves.
Curtis jumped up on the bed. "Alright Doc, lets get this over with."
Autumn picked up her medical Tricorder and began the tests. "Relax Lieutenant, this is not going to hurt."
Curtis relaxed himself a bit.
"So have you been exercising a lot lieutenant?"
"Oh, I don't have a regular routine or anything but I do get out and excercise often. Although, as you are probably well aware, I don't have any problem with weight loss due to my Kerelian metabolism. That reminds me, in case you need to know, my cardiovascular system is backwards. You know, Arteries where veins should be and visa versa." said Curtis.
Autumn nodded. "That is standard for your race Lieutenant." she gave a smile. "Well you seem fine so far, your refelexes are normal. Muscel tone is fine. Looks like you survived Bhrode better then most."
Curtis couldn't help but laugh. "Well, I DID have a nasty incident during the Hirogen occupation. I wasn't able to eat for almost 30 hours, and I'm sure you're well aware of what that can mean for a Kerelian. Passed out, flat on the floor."
"Yes I am aware. You are very lucky you didn't die Lieutenant" she said." but you seem ok now."
"Well, I should hope so anyway." said Curtis. "I'll tell you, being the only Kerelian on the ship is definately a strange feeling. On Kera, my planet, it's just taken for granted that we can hear so well, but on a starship...well, a lot of people wouldn't appreciate the fact that I can often hear their conversations, whispered or not. Even through the walls many times, it takes 40 inches of solid rock to even reduce a normal-volumed shout to a dull whisper. And the walls on this ship are hardly solid rock. Walking into someplace like 10-Forward is like being slammed in the face. So many voices all at once. I try not to pay attention, I respect people's privacy, but many times I just can help it, its involuntary."
Curtis was a bit surprised. He didn't tell that to many people, mostly because he was afraid it would make them uncomfortable to know that at any given point, he may be able to hear them. 'Guess I'm really trying hard to get my mind off this' he thought.
"Well there isn't much I can recomend for that.. may be ear pluggs would work.. wearing muffs would look silly. The pluggs would block out the volume and most of the content unless they were a certain distance from you. Like say you and that bio bed." she pointed to the next bio bed over.
Curtis looked in the direction she was pointing and nodded. "Maybe so. You know, usually people get all nervous or upset when I tell them about my hearing. I guess they're afraid I'm going to hear something personal that I shouldn't."
Autumn shrugged. "Half my family are betazoids. There is no such thing as privacy in my family, so I guess I really have no problem with it." She checked the readouts. "Well you are fit and fine Lieutenant. We should all be so fit."
"Well, thats good." Curtis said. "Is there anything else then doctor?"
"Nope. You should be right until next year or your next assignment.. which ever comes first." She said shutting the tricorder and putting it and other equipment away. "Have a good say Lieutenant. Here." she handed him the ear plugs. "These should help."
Curtis took the plugs. "Thanks." he said, and walked out the door.
"What's a Nice Federation Officer Like You Doing in a Place Like This?"
a JP, (count us BOTH please!!!) multi-post saga featuring:
Lt. Brian Elessidil
The Rigellian Colonial Consortium
(written by that guy who writes Lt. Cmdr. Lysander "Fill in the rest for bonus Audit Points")
[OOC: Occurs immediately after "Come Out, Come Out Rigellians, Wherever You Are."]
As he continued through the maze of passageways leading from the reception, Brian could hear the sounds from the foodfight that had erupted there continue unabated. 'Amazing how some alcohol and the instigation of one peculiar little man can turn a roomful of 'respectable' diplomats into a crowd of adolescents,' he mused to himself as he quickly but stealthily made his way through the dimly-lit corridors. His quarry, the ruddy little Rigellian he had seen earlier at the conference, had slipped away and was continuing further ahead. Reaching out with telepathic 'radar', the Betazoid pursuer tried to keep the man from eluding him entirely; it was obvious that the Rigellian was aware that he was being followed.
Somehow, he managed to 'lose' Brian in one of the marble paved and echoing corridors.
Abruptly, Brian stopped in front of one of the delegate suites -- one that he knew now contained the object of his pursuit somewhere within.
The Klingon Honor Guard was hulking in front of the door in the long marbled hallway that led to the Delegate Suites. It was worth noticing that this was the only Suite with a guard physically ON the door. The rest of the Klingon Security detachment was limited to the occasional stonefaced and unmoving guards lining strategic spots in the actual Conference Halls, random parties wandering the lanjep Diplomatic Center eyeing everyone they passed, and hovering robot sentry pods tied into the surveiallance nets and cameras. No doubt, unseen sensors searched for unwanted persons, weapons, explosives, drugs, and a plethora of other 'no-no's' from their Klingon hosts.
Except this guy, parked outside the massive Jpol'Se wood door in the marble-lined hallway. He fingered several weapons as he eyed Brian's approach, clearly torn as how to respond to the interloper. A semi-nude Bolian was hustled out of the door across the hall by the two Yiridian aides, breaking everyone's concentration for a moment.
"Hold. None shall pass. The Federation suite set aside for you is three halls over to your left." The Klingon said, giving that painful looking and frankly forced 'smile' that all the Security Staff wore around this conference. Obviously, they needed a BIT more practice with it.
The Klingon guard was a good four or five inches taller than the counselor. Summoning all the courage he could, Brian straightened himself to project every bit of authority his six-foot-one frame had to give.
"I am Lieutenant Brian Elessidil, delegate to this conference from the United Federation of Planets. I need to speak with the man who went in- . . .."
"I said none shall pass, and none have. You have business with these. . . beings? The Conference shall continue in the morning. I. . .suggest most forcefully that you go. Now." The Klingon leaned in closer to Brian, obviously trying to go for the cheap intimidation of invading his personal space.
Although Brian was used to dealing with patients who attempted to use intimidation as a way to try to get a counselor to 'back off', he was -not- used to those patients being six-foot-five Klingon warriors. But he had come this far and had a mission. Although it went against every instinct he had, he wasn't going to back down just yet.
"I need you to see this from a diplomatic angle," Brian insisted. "Not all our work is conducted at the sessions in the main hall. Do we not have full access to the other delegates?"
"I -am- being. . . diplomatic. I have not killed or maimed you. Yet. It is not the job of a Klingon Warrior to schedule the social appointments of these. . . diplomats. I said none shall pass." the Klingon spat out the words like they were foul on his tongue.
At this, Brian sensed that there was something significant in what the guard was -not- saying.
"Seems to me we're on similar missions," the counselor added in a somewhat conspiratorial tone, his dark eyes slightly narrowed with suspicion. "Why the 'special' security here," he asked suggestively, casually glancing around to the other unguarded doorways, "and why do you appear more interested in who or what comes -out- of this door rather than who or what goes -in-?"
"You severely test my patience, with your dishonorable and annoying questions. I see you wear the badge of Federation Starfleet officer, if not the uniform. Perhaps they stripped it from your body as a mark of shame? That is the only way an Officer of the Imperial Navy would appear without his uniform." the Klingon sneered, clearly trying to change the subject, as he studied Brian through slitted eyes. The emotions he was giving off were primal and rough, to say the least. With an undertone of. . . suspicion? And something else. . .something furtive.
"Never mind what I'm wearing," Brian sternly retorted, his eyes firmly fixed on the Klingon's. He was a little more confident now that he realized he was equally justified to be here as this 'guard'. "Now I will again request that you allow me to conduct my government's business without interference."
"I follow my orders. Maybe you come to join these raiders? Like so many of your fellow Federation thieves did? The whole of the Wyn and Echo Clusters are full of the scum of the Alpha Quadrant, flying around in those ships commanded by these. . . Orion Pirates and raiding anything in the Outlands they can get away with." the Klingon spat out.
"Rigellian Colonial Consortium, not 'Orion Pirates' if you please. We represent three races spread over ten star systems, not just the inhabitants of Rigel six, or 'Orion' as our visitor's Federation calls it. And, while our Trade Cartels may occasionally issue a 'Letter of Marque and Reprisial' against enemy-held shipping we're hardly as bloodthirsty as the rif-raff in the Wyn and Echo Starclusters." a cool voice said behind the Klingon Guard, correcting his slip.
The woman who slid out of the door was barely wearing a bejeweled bikini and diaphinous scarves draped over her long and greenskinned limbed form. With a shake of her jet black hair, she turned a gaze on the Klingon Honor Guard that made him almost drop his Bat'Leth in sheer lust.
"Kronk, let the Federation Officer in, he's my most honoured guest. And Captain-General O'key seems to be . . . missing again. Please go and fetch him back, legate Juvok and I wish to speak with him. Oh, and no hitting him in the face? He complained for hours after you recovered him from that fiasco of a reception." she called after the Guard, as he stomped off in haste to do her bidding (and try to impress her by his restraint in not killing O'key for sneaking off again.)
"Our Captain-General has a . . . history with the Klingons, and they go out of their way to keep an eye on him while we're here. Luckily, his role in the actual conference is minimal, being only transport andbodyguard. I am Drita Sinishtaj, attache to Senior Trade Legate Juvok of Rigellia. And you are. . .?" she asked, extending her hand out to Brian as she arched one dainty black eyebrow that he hadn't fallen overhimself to kiss her hand already.
Brian had carefully observed the woman's exchange with the Klingon and was quite clear on how she was used to operating around men. Her understated air of authority was based solely on her ability to manipulate the opposite sex with the psychology of her 'feminine wiles' and the physiology of some pretty potent pheremones.
It was almost amusing to the counselor that the woman didn't realize she was dealing with a homosexual Betazoid.
"Lieutenant Brian Elessidil of the Federation delegation," he announced, his response nuanced with seductive overtones as he played along and lightly kissed her soft green hand.
"Charmed. What brings such a fine looking Federation Officer to our humble suite in the late hours of the night?" she asked, her eyes hinting at flirtatious fires as she sashayed in front of Brian, leading him into the marbled and sybariatic splendor of the interior.
"I'm afraid I've almost forgotten," he coyly lied, continuing to play the role of helplessly enchanted male. "But I'm sure the opportunity for 'diplomatic outreach' won't be a wasted one." Never one for mind games or oblique communication, inside, the counselor detested having to keep up this charade; but outside, he skillfully maintained the facade he knew was neccessary if this woman was going to be of any help to him.
"Oh, I'm sure we can. . . jog your memory. It was dreadful getting the Klingons to re-decorate this place. I had to replicate all the pillows myself with patterns from our ship. Do you like it?" she asked, one hand waving at the airy and oddly furnitureless interior. Long low tables were surrounded by mounds of fluffy and inviting embroidered pillows and cushions. Soft music played, a Dinerian orchestral piece, as musky incenses smouldered in candle-powered basins.
The entire room was a hedonists' dream.
"What's not to like?" Brian double-entendred, his eyes fixed on the woman's shapely figure. "I don't believe Klingons have developed the same appreciation of the 'finer things' life has to offer. Their aspect is almost exlusively utilitarian -- which I'm sure is ultimately the only reason they've bothered to ask us all here to discuss their trade route. 'Be in harmony with your neighbors and you stand to gain all the more', don't you agree?"
"Oh, I try and not deal with the Klingons. They're so. . . rough. Though I think Martok is sincere in his views on peace, I'm afraid that his populace isn't quite so forward-thinking. I'm sure your Federation has the same. . . concerns. What exactly do you do on your delegation team?" she replied, somehow making the ambient lighting in the room dim.
"Drita, I thought I heard someone during my meditations. . . Ah! A visitor? And a Federation one at that. Fascinating," a voice said over Brian's shoulder. Turning, he observed a Vulcanoid, although with a darker caste of skin that Vulcans or Romulans showed. Clearly 'Grey Orion' Rigellian.
"Lieutenant Brian Ellesidil, Federation delegate, please meet Senior Trade Legate Juvok, of the Rigellian Colonial Consortium of Cartels, Halls of Trade." Drita intoned, eyeing Brian up and down over the lip of her wineglass.
"Yes, the Federation. One of the many client-bases we have that border the Outlands. And a Betazoid? Fascinating. And you serve in Starfleet, not the Diplomatic Corps?" the ambassador pressed on, his eyes glazed over with a sheen that was odd, accompanied by a emotional state that was. . . distorted to Brian's senses.
Brian wasn't sure how Juvok knew he was from the Federation, since he wasn't in uniform and his combadge would only have been visible if the Legate had been standing in front of him. Nor was he sure how the Rigellian knew that he was a Betazoid. It was the second time this evening that someone knew -- or maybe just luckily guessed? -- his race. He would have preferred that his telepathic advantage remain a secret.
"Fascinating that the Federation sends a military presence to deal with the Klingon-Breen problems here. I'd have expected it from the Cardassians or Gorn. You simply have no idea the nonsense we go through, trading into those regions." the Grey mused, waving off his attaches' offer of wine.
"Legate Juvok," the counselor began in a tone exuding significant, if only partially sincere, respect, "I'm sure you are aware that Starfleet is not merely a 'military presence.' I'm one of several crew members of the USS Galaxy sent to this conference to officially represent the Federation."
"Hurmmmm. . . yes. But why not a Federation Ambassador? I understand they have one as close as the Breen Homeworld." The Legate mused, as Drita sipped her wine and glared at the Legate for intruding.
The men were distracted when the door opened and the third member of the delegation was forcibly shoved into the room, to the hooting laughter of Klingons before the outer door slammed shut again.
'There you are,' Brian thought to himself.
Captain-General Deth O'key straightened his black leather jacket and eyed the six pairs of eyes staring at his entrance.
"Who's the Feddie geek?" Deth asked, crossing over to pour himself some wine.
"Lieutenant Brian Elessidil of Starfleet, meet Captain-General Deth O'key of the Falcon Trading Cartel." Drita sang out.
The six foot, ruddy skinned 'Orion' eyed Brian's form, before delivering a 'sniff' on the whole subject and returning to Miss Drita.
"What's he doing here this time of night? And why'd he try and follow me back from that reception? I don't like Starfleet types, following me around. Makes my trigger finger all itchy."
'I don't want to be a detective anymore,' Brian whined to himself.
Next Post: Brian digs for answers!
"I told you I didn't want to do this. . . "
By Lt. Autumn Quevvenson CMO.
Lt.Cmdr. Lysander "Steal this Subplot" VanderPuls-Hawksley
* * * * *
Lysander was staggering out of the mudpit where Rihkard, daughter of Symmonz was taunting him, daring him to try to kick her in the head again. When the tingly sensation of the transporter enveloped him.
It was a question of who was more surprised, Lysander or Autumn when the mud and ichor begored semi-nude figure waving the Mek'leth knive shimmered into view in the Main sickbay. Everyone else in the place stopped what they were doing to stare. And Snicker. Or gape in shock.
Lysander eyed the stunned technicians and medics for a moment, before snatching the exam gown from the stiff fingers of Sabah, the male Vulcan warrent officer and trying to use it to help the precariously tied Klingon towle around his hips, hide more bits of him from view.
"Bloody SMEG! I was in this spa... err. on lanjep." he began, flushing crimson under the mud.
"Yes We noticed." Autumn said with her hand over her mouth to hide a smirk.
"Oh. Well. . .What took you people so bloody long? Those women. . .Smegging Smith and Drakely, they signed me up for the Kligon Spa Treatment. Bloody horrible! And every time I passed out, from bloodloss or whatnot they ran me through their on-site medical clinic and tossed me back." Lysander shuddered at the memory.
"Oh quit your winging Lysander.. you were enjoying it."
"Not smeggin' true! And they sat there, getting mud-packs and drinking fruity drinks with smeggin' umbrellas, as I wrestled bloody stinking Targoths and got flogged with something called a Razor Tree before being dipped in some exfoliating acid and then worked up a sweat chasing some dippy little birds around with this forky-looking whazzit, as smeggin Klingon toddlers potted low power infrared gunshots all over the place. . ." Lysander ranted on, oblivious to the fact that the Klingon towel his battered combadge was pinned to, - and- the Exam robe; both left his rear end flapping in the breeze.
"Errr...why'd you pull me up? Aren't I on leave? I should bloody well be on leave. I worked double shifts yesterday, and probally have to do so again later today.. or tomorrow...whatever bloody day it is. Anyway, you probaly saved my life. Although it took you long enough. What took you so long? Why'd you do it and why didn't you beam me up sooner?" he asked Autumn
"Annual Physical, Commander. Lysander your name got drawn out of the hat. And its your turn. Besides, someone else has to be certified as 'fit for duty' after Peterson, and Commander Dallas is on duty. Tag, you're it. Or the next highest ranking Department Chief." Autumn said brightly, shuddering at the thought of 'Lysander in Command.'
"Medical Exam? Smeg! Smeggity smeggin' smeg! Beam me back, I'll take my chances with the Tarrgoths. And Smith and Drakely." he declared
"No Phsyical, no duty" She stated. "I'll ground your cute ass"
"Grounded? -Me-??? I'm bloody well Lysander Hercule Savignion . . ." he began in outraged style, ruining the list of his names by trying to close the back of his robe with the hand he wasn't gesticulating wildly with.
She smirked and shook her head, cutting off his tirade. "Be that who you are but in this case Mr. Chief Tactical Weenie. . . I mean 'officer'; I, Autumn Maeribeth Jamieson-Quevvenson OUT rank you. So quit your whining Lysander or I'll have Security hold your naked body down while I do the tests." She gave him a grin. "And believe me I could find a lot of willing women to help them."
"Errr... really? Lots? Any of them red-heads?" he asked, momentarily distracted, before plowing on. "As long as it's not that damn Sanchez, or your smegging backup hologram. Do you know what it said to Corgan? It bloody well told him that. . . errr... what's that?" he asked, watching Autumn with a piece of equipment he'd swear he saw down in the Klingon clinic just minutes before.
She shot him, what could only termed as an evil grin. "Oh this? Its just an transphasic anal probe emittor." She said blandly as if discussing the weather.
There was a brief altercation, as the Vulcan Medical Technician had to physically restrain Lysander from exiting the sickbay. After several moments of muttered cursing, he resumed his 'half-on half-off' stance on the exam bed, ready to make another 'break for it' if the situation demanded it. (or anyone took their eyes off him long enough)
"The more I think about it, the more I think I want The Grinch. Or that nice Klingon woman from the spa. HEY! Can't I just get the Klingon docs to give you a note or something? I just had a physical from them. Really. Two or three at least." He asked, watching the medical tricorder worriedly.
"Look Lysander, I do not care if you have had the chief of starfleet medical give you a physical in the past 5 hours. This is my sickbay and you are bloody well going to sit down shut up and act like a man your age.. not a 8 year old friend of Samantha Widdlestein! Who, by the way, is overdue for HER checkup in Paedatrics, by the way.!"
"Bloody cheek. She's nine now, by the way. Where's your hubby, why isn't he keeping you in line?" Lysander asked, exceedingly conscious of exactly how close Autumn was to him at the moment, as she used some scanner to peer at his head.
~~Pretty eyes. Sort of like Rebecca's, but not brown~~ he mused to himself.
"He is on the planet.. shore leave" She said. "And my husband does not own me and therefore can not keep me in line so to speak." she said, fiddling with some equipment and making a 'hmmmmmmmm' noise to herself, just to annoy Lysander. ( ed note. Where do you think Rebecca learnt the trick, back on the Lyran Cruiser? She had a physical when she got promoted!)
" Whaddya mean 'hmmm?' is that bad? Is it something bad? Must be nice, having a vacation. I seem to get every Senior Staff's job to do since Bhrode left. Double shift yesterday, looks like triples tomorrow. It beats me how Rebecca kept a lid on this place." he grumped, doing 'The Math' of the probability of getting out of here without the dreaded 'Counseling Incident' coming up, and being severly disappointed at the results.
"At least you get a bridge shift." she muttered as she continued her tests, poking at him with a bit of unecessary (to his eyes) roughness.
" OW! Bloody well watch my... whatever that it. I'll trade in a minute. Sit down here, have some coffee, get women to undress right and left. What's that?" he demanded, pointing at a piece of equipment at random, hoping to get Autumn off the trail, before she asked about the 'Hologram Incident.' No such luck.
"That device is used in cases of extreme injury or illness when the physician hopes to improve vital signs through neural stimulation. The device delivers a phased micro-joule low intensity voltage beam directly into the nerve endings in the brain cortex. It is called a Synaptic Stimulator, and is delicate. Please put it down and stop shaking it." responded the Vulan technician from his guard spot as Autumn ran yet another diagnostic wand over Lysander, 'Hmmmmmmm'ing over the various results.
"Oh. It looks like a stereo system remote control. Why'd you make that noise? Is it bad? OW! Yes, that's a half-healed scratch, yes the Klingons did it and were about to fix it, and no, I don't want you to use the. . . OW! Dermal regenerator on it. Are you -sure- nothing else is going to hurt? I seem to have used up my allowable pain threshold for today, back there at the spa." he mused, still plotting to try and get out of replying directly to any questions she asked him.
She sighed and looked him in the eye and said."Lysander... For hells sake ... one would think you were scared of being in medical. I mean we are not cruel you know." She paused, puzzled at the sarcastic "Ha!" he uttered while pointing at the 'EMH-Mk.IIbackup' call button. "Come on Lysander... I have known you for years I am not going to hurt you."
"Funny, Murph said the same thing back in the Academy barn, right before she took a riding crop and. . . HEY! Where's he going with that?" Lysander asked, watching the Vulcan whisk the isolinear chip away, with some of his data on it.
"He is taking that to download the data on it and to put it through the computer to see if it can tell us anything."
"There's a lot I could tell you about this stupid exam. . ." Lysander muttered under his breath.
"Pardon?" asked Autumn, as she pushed him back onto the table.
"I said...err...'Oh. Does he have to be so. . . Vulcan about it?'" lied Lysander.
"Lysander... he is a Vulcan. Now what was that about a Spa?" She asked trying to get his mind off the exam.
"Yeah well, it 's Klingon spa. The parts of the spa the girls are in look rather nice, as I run past screaming with my hair on fire from the parts. Do you know how Klingons 'ex- foliate' their faces for beautry treatments? First they take these knives. . ." he nattered on, unaware that Autumn was ignoring him.
"Hmmmmm" she said with a half smirk, knowing it annoyed him to no end.
". . . and as you scream, they start to. . . What? Is that Good Hmmm or bad Hmmm?" Lysander asked, looking terrified again.
Sabah, the technician had returned with the neural scans and got Autumn's full attention.
"Doctor. This is the result from the computer. There is an . . . anomaly." the Vulcan intoned.
"That sounds bad." Lysander interrupted his convoluted story, to observe.
The scan Sabah showed her was the results of the first Neural battery. Even for a Hi-Gee race like the Centaurians, Lysander's hand-eye and spatial recognition skills were towards the high end of the norm.
It was there, in his cortical and higher brain functions. An area of the cerebral cortex that hadn't responded to the neural scans.
"You sure?" she asked out of reflex. She stopped checking all his newly reknitted bones and scars, no doubt courtesy of the lanjep Spa and Resort.
"Yes Doctor. It is almost as if a large segment of his brain had been severed from the rest. Fascinating. I have already checked his medical file. The anomaly has been noted every yearly checkup since 2376." the Vulcan mused.
"Is that bad?" Lysander queried from the exam bed.
"Depends on your point of view." she said with a smile that covered her concern at the readings. She waved the vulcan away and turned to Lysander.
"OK explaination time. Care to explain the severed part of your brain? Though it might explain for you attitude." she added with a smile.
Lysanders' shrug was eloquent.
"First I ever heard of it. What was I doing in 2376? Oh yeah. Chasing Borg and Jem'Hadar al over Gor'Vosh Station.No... that was before. . . I dunno. It's all in my records."
Lysander's usually laughing eyes dulled a bit.
"Let's see. . I graduated in 2374. . . went to Oxford and then they shot me out to Gor'Vosh.. . and then. . . then. . ."
Lysander's eyes rolled up back inside his head, and he started convulsing. His head whipped from side to side,and his heels drummed a statacco beat against the table.
Autumn meanwhile had grabbed his shoulders. "Lysander..." she shook him gently.. "This is not funny Lysander. Lysander come back to here and Now. Please?" she had no idea what she had triggered but it didn't seem good.
Lysander only gurgled and rolled his eyes some more.
by Lt. Commander Elaithin Jii, Chief of Security OOC note: Brackets signifies songs being played
For the forty-seventh time, Elaithin Jii rolled over in his bed after returning from Peterson's quarters to speak with the XO and Karyn Dallas. Mere moments later, when that seemed to make no difference, the Bajoran sighed in disgust, sat up, and instructed the computer to turn on the lights.
Rubbing his eyes, he cleared his throat before speaking. Sleep certainly wasn't coming anytime soon. "Computer, access my personal music library, random selection."
"Acknowledged," the computer responded in the same tone that it always did, and began to play a track from his personal library, music consisting largely of the recent Bajoran Industrialist trend, and 20th and 21st century Earth rock. Most others couldn't stand the music, so he was polite enough to generally only listen to it in his office or quarters.
[So close no matter how far couldn't be much more from the heart forever trusting who we are and nothing else mat-]
"No, computer." he said, and the track immediately paused. "Something else."
"I don't care! Something else! A song about how nothing matters is *not* what I need right now!" the Bajoran exclaimed with a heavy note of exasperation in his voice. The computer merely beeped a response, and began playing another song.
[I am so high. I can hear heaven. I am so high. I can hear heaven. No heaven, no heaven don't hear me.]
Leaning his head on his forearm, Jii looked below at the orbiting world of lanjep. Somewhere, down there, was the Captain. Or at the least, someone who knew where he'd been taken. With the full resources of the Galaxy at their disposal, it wouldn't take long to quickly resolve the situation.
[And they say that a hero can save us. I'm not gonna stand here and wait. I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles. Watch as they all fly away.]
Which was not an option they had. Instead, they were trying to conduct an investigation while being virtually deaf and blind. They couldn't overtly make the announcement - hell, they couldn't even tell the rest of the crew for fear of the Captain being killed. Right now, the kidnappers had Starfleet's proverbial nuts in a bag, and there didn't seem to be a damn thing anyone could do about it.
[Someone told me love will all save us. But how can that be, look what love gave us. A world full of killing, and blood-spilling That world never came.]
Give it a rest, Jii, the Bajoran chided himself mentally. You're not going to find the answers when you're dead-tired after a stressful day. You need sleep, and a fresh perspective. Perhaps tomorrow, examining the letter and the commbadge some more will help. Hopefully. Then his thoughts turned to another preoccupation of late: Kit Jordan.
[And they say that a hero can save us. I'm not gonna stand here and wait. I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles. Watch as they all fly away.]
And the thing with her was....what, exactly? She'd looked stunning earlier that day when they'd beamed down. And doubtless she was practically frothing at the mouth the with the story she had on her hands. But surely she wouldn't put the Captain's life at risk that way? Surely, she understood.......
[Now that the world isn't ending, its love that I'm sending to you. It isn't the love of a hero, and that's why I fear it wont do.]
....didn't she? If she didn't, Jii supposed, then she wasn't half the woman he thought she was.
[And they say that a hero can save us. I'm not gonna stand here and wait. I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles. Watch as they all fly away.]
And then, there was what had happened to him on Romulus. Quevvenson wanted him to report for a physical. How would he hide the few remaining scars from that mission? Was the Doctor supposed to believe that they had happened at the "Conference" that had been the Away Team's cover story?
[And they're watching us (Watching Us) As they all fly away.]
Speaking of scars, Karyn seemed to feel the need to pick at the emotional scars that mission had also left behind. Truth to tell, the Bajoran needed to talk to someone about it, and he knew that. He simply.... wasn't ready to.
The song ended, Elaithin laid down, and tried to sleep once more.
Sleep did not come easy that night, but nor had he expected it to.
"The one with the Call"
by Kit Jordan
She doodled. It was all she could resort to. Here she was. A big story on her hands. No, bigger than big. Huge even. Huger than huge! (ooc: look at the adjectives I've dwindled to! School is bad, it's very very bad). She placed the pen between her teeth and sat on her hands. Literally. She stared into space. She brought her hands back up, took the pen, hit it against the table several times rapidly before someone shot her the death glare and she set it down, resorting to moving her mother's ring from her right ring finger to each of her fingers in turn, twisting it once, taking it off, and so on, down the line until it came to rest on her left ring finger. She twisting it several times, then rotated it back to where it began.
She covered her face with her hands, long fingers arching. She desperately needed a drink but she had to interview a handful of delegates. Interviews for information she couldn't use until the story was already old news. When did she all of a sudden develop a conscience?
There was something about Price she liked. His openness. His casualness. The fact that he wasn't about to pull a Hoth or an any number of high and mighty... he wasn't about to sell out.
And damned if she didn't like the crew.
Yeah, most of them were stuff shirt, get away with all sort of shit, cast you out on the nearest asteroid if you didn't meet their expectations, but there were some.
Okay, there was one in particular.
She wondered what he was doing. He better be as disturbed as she was. She wondered what he was thinking. He was back on the ship, likely, going over some sort of scenario or trying to sleep, or trying to solve the greater mystery.
She had to solve the mystery. Flat out absolutely had to solve the mystery. It was her job. This was what she was good at. Like that damn clue game her parents loved and they would play over and over and over... Mr. Spock in the Mess Hall with the tricorder... how one killed another with a tricorder she had no idea... or how Scotty once killed someone on the bridge with the Vulcan Death Grip... that was another odd one. Her father had quite a laugh. She hadn't understood what was so funny.
Ah yes, parents. Fathers in particular. Daddy. Daddy would give her anything she wanted... she loved her father dearly.
She had a feeling Jii had never known his. He had that sort of devastated look to him, the type you only got if you lost your father at a very young age. They'd never really talked about it, she supposed they weren't at that stage, it took such a long time, something more than a dinner or two and a half-screamed conversation in her quarters when she was upside down... well, screamed was a strong word. There was something about him that made her want to... she wasn't even sure what. Kick, scream, cry, throw a tantrum, hide in a hole, melt... throw things. Ah yes... she was in trouble.
A shit load of trouble.
And if she was back home, or anywhere other than where she was, she would be calling him this very moment. But she was at an overly ritzy Klingon bar, if there was such a thing, likely put together for the sole purpose of this conference. It reminded her sort of one of those little hotel places back on earth, except for the Klingon crap music playing... She wanted to pull of her ears.
Jordan twisted a curl around her finger. It was time to do something with the hair. She would probably straighten it again. Memo to self: straighten hair. She scribbled it on her pad of paper in her psychotic handwriting.
She should stick to one language.
Or at least, one alphabet.
She looked at the comm badge sitting on the table in front of her, picked it up, traced a manicured thumb over it. The Woman in Charge of her "mission" gave it to her. To keep tabs on her more than anything, Jordan imagined. She glanced at the silver plated Tiffany's watch strapped to her wrist: a gift from... God, what was his name... She'd think of it...
She had about an hour before she had to find the Yiridian ambassador. She folded an arm over the table top and rested her head against it, sighing deeply, inhaling the scent of her own perfume. She was probably going to regret this, but what the hell...
She tapped the comm badge, heard the open channel. It was... empowering. She hadn't had one of these things in years...
"Jordan to Jii..." she said, pulling the badge closer to her, hoping he could hear her over the noise of the bar. But this was the top of Starfleet communication technology... she was sure... She hoped she didn't wake him up.
by Lt. Commander Elaithin Jii & Kit Jordan
A grunt came over the comm as the only reply to Kit Jordan's hail.
"Jii?" her voice came over the speakers. "Is that... is that you? I don't know how to use this damn thing..." "Jordan?" he asked, blinking. He'd finally fallen asleep.... "What time is it?"
"I don't know... I was wondering what you wah doing. I'm... I'm bah'd, Jii... I don't know what I'm doing."
That got his attention. "What do you mean?"he asked, rubbing his face as he sat up. "What's up?"
"I'm holding the stah'ry of my lifetime, Jii, and I've no ider why. I wish... I wish I could say..." She was silent a moment. He could picture her biting her bottom lip. Thoughtful. "What ah you doing? Any... life altahring realizations?"
"Heh." he replied with a small smile. "Pick one."
"Want to talk about it? Please... Jii... I'll do anything, just keep me company."
Sure, he thought. Who needs sleep. "Sure thing. Where the hell are you anyways, Kit?"
She frowned and looked around, shook her head. "damned if I know. Somewhah on the planet. In the main hotel... type... place... what is that man doing?... sah'ry, it's some saht of lounge bah type establishment in the main... lodging place...? What would Klingons call this? It's too fedahration to have a real wahd fah it..."
"You know, I really don't know. A Hotel, I presume. I'm not sure what the Klingons would call it. They still don't even have a word for peace." the Security Chief replied, now walking over to the replicator to get something to drink. "Didn't feel like staying on the ship?"
"I'm not supposed to... something about best face fahwahd and scoping things out and trying to solve the glah'rious mystahry. Also trying to put off finding the Yiridian Ambassahdah as long as possible... ah... ah you getting something to drink? Come down heah, seh'riously... don't stay up thah in yah comfahtable little room... I bet you wah comfahtable, wahn't you?"
"Jordan," Jii said, "slow down. Relax. Breathe, it won't hurt you.I was sleeping, as a matter of fact. Give me a few minutes, and I'll be down there. I think I know where it is that you're staying. It's in the computer." he replied as he began looking for a clean uniform.
"Sleeping? Mmm... waste of pah'fectly good time. Lucky I thought of you. Yah not putting on a unifahm, ah you?"
"Jordan, you're not part Betazoid, are you?" he asked tentatively. "As a matter of fact...I was. What else would I wear?"
"No, about as human as they come, for good ah bad. I don't know, anything else... unlike most women my age I do not find a man in unifahm especially appealing... definitely more the all black casual type of look..." She laughed softly under her breath. "I definitely feel like I'm twelve again. Anything yah comfahtable in, Jii, honestly..."
Jii smiled. Inadvertently, Jordan had just fully clued him in to the fact that she felt the exact same as he did. "Consider it a date then, Miss Jordan." he said teasingly. "I'll be down momentarily."
The link closed and she brushed a hand over the area above her eyes, massaging softly. Momentarily... she glanced at the watch and sighed, ordered up a ginger ale. The Klingon bar tender gave her a funny look. She just thought the idea of a Klingon bartender was outrageously funny.
As promised, within five minutes the Bajoran had beamed down in front of the "resort's" hotel, where most of the diplomatic guests were staying. Even in the middle of the night, there was a number of people around. Jii had dressed in seldom-worn civilian clothing - boots, comforta
ble durapants, a shirt, and a black jacket made of coltu leather that he'd gotten back in the resistance. It was too big for him as a teen, but he found that it fit perfectly now. Entering the Bar area where Jordan had said she was, he began scanning the crowd for her.
And then he found her at the bar.....
.....being harrassed by Leo Streely.
She had one of those expressions that only a woman in compelte emotional distress could have, and she wasn't trying very hard to disguise it.
She was giving all the signs of a woman waiting to be rescued: playing with her hair, staring into her drink, breaking only to ward off small, greasy little hands.
"So, what do you say you, me, and the girls go have another little party?" the little man asked just as the Bajoran came into range. How in the world had Leo gotten down here?
Jordan looked up, saw Jii aproaching, and her face lit into a grin. "Jii! Look who... found me!" she exclaimed, swallowing as she tried to think of the appropriate word, having the settle on found. She took his arm tightly as he came to them, as though holding on for dear life, as though terrified at the prospect of being left alone again with the little man. She could handle anything but large doses of Leo Streely. She was sure she'd kill herself or him if the time ticked by any further...
With a highly annoyed sigh, Jii tapped on the little man's shoulder. "Leo, I suggest you leave her alone."
"Hey hey, big guy!" Leo said, seeming genuinely happy to see the Bajoran. It was an attitude that Jii hoped to discourage. "Hey, any word on that deputy thing?"
Jordan surpressed a giggle, hidding her face in her hand. In Bajoran she murmured, "Oh, Love, he's all yours."
"No, Leo, for the last time, you will not be made a deputy." He then sized up Jordan's reactions to the little man. "And I would suggest, strongly, that you leave Jordan alone."
"Hey, I was just looking to have another party with the girls -" he began, before being cut off. What had cut him off was the fact that Elaithin had picked him by the back of the shirt, and was now carrying him towards the front door - much to the amusement of the other patrons, particularly the Klingons. It seemed that Mr. Streeley was as liked by them as he was by everyone else.
: Unceremoniously, he dumped a loudly complaining Leo into the dirt, and went back inside.
We he returned, Jordan used the bottom rungs of the stool as a lift, brushing her arms over Jii's shoulders and bringing him to her, kissing him softly. It seemed so natural; she didn't even think twice about it.
In shock, at first, Elaithin just sort of stood there. Then, realizing he'd have to be some sort of world-class moron to be doing so, he likewise took her in his arms and kissed her back.
"So, yeah," he said. "I'd call that a life-altering realization." he said, looking deep into her eyes as he smiled.
She was silent for a moment or two afterward, scrambling for something to say, probably for the first time in her life. His arms were wrapped around her, his hands at the small of her back. She smiled slightly with his words, glad he spoke first before she let herself break into a grin. "So it was worth getting out of bed for?" she questioned, her voice softer and lower than she'd intended.
Shinta decided to visit rose. She hoped her former patient was doing well, but she fully trusted Karyn to look after that. And she liked it that rose and she could now be just friends.
"Hello, how have you been. did you take a holiday?" Shinta asked when she met her friend. She then looked at rose's belly. "I was going to ask you for that horse riding lesson, but looking at you I don't know if that is such a good idea. Or can you teach me without riding yourself?"
"Oh I be fine come on!" she told her with alittle smile as both of then walk towards the holodecks.
When they got there, Shinta was a little bit apprehensive. Here she was, a warrior, not afraid of any enemy, but as she looked at the big animals, her heart started beating faster. But she was not going to admit that she was afraid of this Stupid animal.
"Right, how do I get on again?"
Rose though for an second then spoke, "Just watch me and do like I do ok."
The young Betazoid just threw her fat body over onto the stadle.
Shinta tried to do the same, and to her amazement she landed on the other side of the horse. She cursed. "Stupid animal,you are not going to win!" She tried again, and this time she was able to stay on, just. "OK, what next?"
"Ok lets start riding at an slow pace just watch me and your horse will follow old Midnight here." she told her friend with an smile while the Betaziod with the black horse started riding slowly as they started riding on an trail with an bunch of beauiful roses bushes.
That sounded like a plan. And indeed the animal began to move. Shinta leaned forward to keep her balance, this was akward. somehow the horse didn't like that, and it shook its neck. Shinta crept their hair on its neck, maybe that would give her a better grip then those rains. But the stupid animal liked that even less, and seconds later
Shinta found herself on the ground, staring up and questioning what she had done wrong.
"Uhm, rose, could you wait a moment, something has gone wrong."
"Oh damn, Shinta are you ok?" Rose said racing towards her helping her up then smiles, "Don't worry I did the same thing when I first started riding."
"I am fine." Shinta said through clenched teeth. "I am going to teach that stupid beast a lesson. He will not get the better of me". and again she mounted the horse, vowing to stay on this time. Yet this time the animal wouldn't move a muscle. "Rose, how do I get it to move again?"
"Just tap him alittle with the little rope that hanging around his neck." she told her friend as the young woman got back on her horse and started riding slowing again.
"are you really sure you should be doing that, rose? Autumn is going to kill me if you fall off that beast." Now that the horsepower for her moved, Shinta's animal was moving as well again, but the counsellor didn't feel like she had much control over it.
"Don't worry the women in my family been doing this for hundreds of years, I'm not scared."
"No, but I'm scared!" Shinta said. "Not for myself of course." She hastily added.
Rose smiles then stoped her horse at an near by tree,
"Ok we can stop for now Shinta." with a little difficulty Shinta got off the horse. She was very glad that she could sit down for a moment. "This is better. So tell me how has your life been for the last month, did anything fun?"
"Not really just been relaxing plus one of the goddaughters got into an fight at school with an Trill girl after calling the Trills one of the most boring race in the galaxy." she told the young Bajoran as Rose sat down on an big rock near by the peaceful river that was flowing.
Shinta Laughed. "Kids will be kids. You don't want to know all things Gavin gets up to. Yet he's a good kid. I took them to Britain on holiday, because Gavin wanted that so very much. I didn't like it, it reminded me of the two men who left me." She pulled herself together. "But I shouldn't be boring you with that. have you had a chance to talk to Karyn yet?"
"Oh I love Britain, I had an summer house there that you could have used if you told me, as for Karyn..no we haven't talk she been too busy to see me."
Shinta made a mental note, that that did not sound good, it did not sound like Karyn, who was never too busy for a patient.
"Make an appointment, I'm sure she will make time for you. It took Karyn a little time to sort through all the paperwork when she started work again." It was the truth, just not the whole truth. "And how did you get a summer house there? It's a dreadful place."
Rose laughed alittle as she saw the river flowing down the riverbank, "My great grandfather was from Scotland so we have alittle palace down there, my father and I along with his crew took shoreleaves there after long missions. As for Karyn I just haven't had time to see her I been busy with this new mission and to prove to the new CSO that I'm up for the Asst Chief job."
"Bruce is Scottish, so you can understand I'm not really in the mood for it. It is not really the country's fault." She admitted. "Rose, please make time to see Karyn. I know you are doing fine right now, but it is important that you continue therapy for awhile. I am sure that the Chief science officer has no problems with that." She couldn't tell her that that person was one of her most challenging patients
"I know but the way my life have been going for the past months I need alot of therapy. But an good news is that my mother leaving after this mission I so happy."
"you and her still have not made up?" Shinta asked. "You still have time, we will be here for awhile."
She shook her head no as Rose looked up into the sky, "She called my daughter an She-Devil, she told me I'm cures to be an old-maid for the rest of my life."
Shinta moved closer to her, and gently laid an arm around her shoulders. "And you are going to show her how wrong she is. Your child is going to be beautiful." She smiled. "With all her godparents, she better be! And one day, you are going to find the perfect man. I am sure of that."
Rose layed on the young Bajoran's shoulders for an while..trying to smile alittle.
Shinta just held her. She felt that that was what rose needed most, a bit of comfort from a friend.
The young Betazoid yawn alittle, she felt happy been with an friend who understands her and what she going though.
The counsellor Let her friend lay there. She was no hurry to get back on the animal, and Rose needed her rest.
"I got an letter from Starfleet Acdemy, the want me to teach there in the Archeology Department there..if I take it I be away from the Galaxy for six to an year. I still thinking about taking it." Shinta kept her face neutral. She was losing so many friends. So many of them have left over the last couple of months. Yet she did not want to influence her friends decision, because that would be bad. "Think carefully before you make a decision. And then do what your heart tells you to do. I would understand if you would rather raise a child on a planet, instead of a ship. Sometimes I wonder if I should do that, but for me this is my home."
"It not that my friend it just some people would be glad to see me off this ship...even some close friends."
"I don't think so, rose. Any ways, times like that will show you Who your true friends are. If I am honest, I would hate to see you leave. But I will not influence your decision. I mean that." She smiled.
She smiled back at the young Bajoran woman, "You know your like an sister to me, another one that is."
"Thanks. I love hearing that, my life is rather difficult at the moment." Now Rose was not a patient anymore, it was easier to talk about her private life. "I too need all the friends I have." She admitted.
"If you don't mind me saying I never liked your husband and what he did to you and your children makes me ashamed that I have some Scottish blood running though me."
Shinta was surprised. "I didn't even know you knew him. He was in a different department. Bruce Is basically a good guy, he's just troubled right now and he doesn't want to admit that. Yet I don't think he and I will ever make up. Too much has happened. But I wish him well."
Rose looked at her with tired eyes, "I just heared of him that all..but I wish you true love in the future."
"Don't we all." Shinta said. "Rose, what is it like working with James Mitchell?" She asked. She wasn't sure if rose knew that he was a patient of hers. She certainly didn't know what strange feelings Shinta was having towards that man.
"An man I think hates me because he thinks I'm mad at him for getting the CSO job after I been past up again. I don't hate him but I hate Peterson more for thinking I'm not an good officer to be an Chief or Asst Chief I guess...I be trying to get an hold of him but, I can't."
"Why don't you tell James that you are not angry at him. You guys have to work together pretty closely. And he made you assistant chief, didn't he? That means he believes in you. Don't hate the executive officer, he doesn't know you well. And he knows that James has been chief before."
Rose looked at Shinta with an shock and alittle hurt look, "What can I do, I'm not even an Asst. Chief?"
"I thought Mitchell had made you assistant chief?" She asked.
"No he hasn't!"
"Then who is the assistant chief at the moment?" Shinta was now totally confused.
Rose got up while in alittle bit of pain, this getting angry and upset over this is making her hurt alittle plus the baby was kicking. She hides her pain from Shinta.
"Nobody right now."
"That is an awkward situation." Shinta said. She was thinking, she knew how busy Karyn was right now, so maybe it wasn't such a bad idea if she kept a close eye on rose through little while longer. And one of the tasks of counsellors aboard ship where to help if there were problems within departments. Maybe she could help here.
" Would you like me to talk to commander Mitchell? Or would you like the three of us to get together and talk about this? I can do that as a counsellor." She suggested.
She hide her inner pain more, "That up to you Shina."
Shinta took her hand in hers. "No rose. It doesn't work that way between friends I want you to tell me what you really want me to do. What would make you happy." She smiled encouragingly.
The young woman looked into the other woman eyes, "I want to be friends with him very much but as you know I getting wary with friends, and I have to see who is faithful to my friendship or not. You along with an very few people I can trust."
"For now, first try to build a good working relationship with him. Friendship is something that has to grow. You need to get to know each other, learn to depend on each other at work. It's really important that you do that, rose." Shinta said.
The young woman sighed, Shinta was right about friendship and she really wants more friends. Rose was started thinking as she walked around alittle, the baby was kicking at full speed also she was getting an bit tired.
"I going to make some changes of the list of godparents and the baby's middle name, how does Karyn Shinta sound?"
"It sounds good. But don't shut out your other friends, rose. Being pregnant does a lot to your body, it makes you more volatile, more easily hurt." She said Gently.
"But who are my friends...really?"
"People that stick by you, even when the going gets rough. You might not always realize that at first. Sometimes you might think that they are abandoning you, but time will tell. Don't give up on them to easily." Her friend said
"I can't wait for this baby to come out of me..it won't be long."
"I know. And that will make everything better. Believe me, I have been pregnant twice."
"Hey my goddaughters will be having their birthday party in the holodeck, can you help me with it after this mission is over?"
"If I live through this." She said with a smile. " sure I will."
"Let me see that Thong..."
The Medical Department's annual physical post featuring Lt. Raven Darkstar (Security) and Dr. Paycee Oakley (An NPC Ensign I lifted off the manifest because I was too damn lazy to craft another stereotypically outrageous NPC myself.)
*Note: I don't recall seeing this character written about before, so I winged it. If this happens to be somebody's creation and I butchered them I apologize in advance.)*
Time: After the Captain's apparent abduction (personally I think he's just shacked up in a Klingon brothel.) and after my latest Yiridian post. (Shame on you if you didn't at least give it a cursory glance.)
Location: The Holodecks. (YES, the holodecks. After appearing in nearly two hundred posts in one form or another, Raven Darkstar finally saunters into the holodeck for all to see. As much as I loathe posting about the 'decks, I figured: What the heck! )
Ensign Paycee Oakley whistled merrily, peeling off a pair of rubber gloves as he bounced down the catacomb-like hallways of the USS Galaxy. (He was whistling 'Unskinny Bop' by Poison for those interested.)
When Dr. Quewenson the ship's presiding Chief of the Medical Department had informed her staff that the annual physicals would be given, most of the physicians had groaned at the thought of dealing with the ornery officers who always out did themselves each year when it came to conjuring up hair brained excuses to avoid the exams
Oakley was a bit different.
He loved 'Grope Week' as some had taken to labeling the event. It was a chance to see, very much up close, one of the things he appreciated most in life -- women in thongs.
Sure he would inevitably have to deal with the occasional 500 pound leviathan, and more then his fair share of men, but the payoff of admiring (in that trained Doctor's professional manner that makes us THINK they aren't fantasizing) a statuesque female clad in nothing but a tiny string - a string that at some point in the exam would eventually join the rest of her uniform in a pile on the table leaving its host gloriously nude -- was more than fair.
So when he was assigned 'house call patrol', Oakley tackled his duty with a spirited zest. His first two stops had been text book ogling sessions. A science Lieutenant and her lesbian lover -- who sat around nude during the entire exam cracking jokes and trying to get the lanky doctor to undress as well, started his day followed by a petite brunette from engineering who insisted upon a demonstration in proper genital shaving techniques to avoid razor rash.
He scanned his padd for the next name on his appointment list -- a term used loosely as he was actually dropping by folks who had 'neglected' to schedule an appointment.
Raven Darkstar, Lt. - Security
A dreamy look rolled across the young Doctor's face like gentle waves on the coast line back home in Texas. He imagined a tall, lean Amazonian beauty with hair as black as the midnight sky and flawless olive skin pulled over her sleek muscular frame.
~ A woman as exotic and gorgeous as the fair Raven undoubtedly is probably doesn't even bother to wear underwear, much less a thong. ~ he mused, calling out to the computer for Darkstar's location.
[Lt. Darkstar is in holodeck 4]
With a spring in his step, Paycee sauntered to the turbolift and made his way to the appropriate holodeck, stopping before the closed doors. Visions of Indian maidens still dancing in his head, he ran his fingers through his hair using the holodeck's exterior control panel's reflective surface as a make shift mirror, then smoothed his uniform.
"I love this job." he said to no one in particular, a broad smile upon his face as he entered the holodeck.
Approximately 3.4 seconds later. Dr. Oakley literally flew from the holodeck, his arms and legs flailing wildly as they tried to carry him to safety. He sprawled on the floor, trembling slightly with eyes a wide as silver dollars looking as though he had just tumbled though hell's large intestine.
"GOOD CHRIST!!!" he exclaimed, trying to calm himself. He stood up, making sure he had all his arms and legs still attached, then reminded himself that what he had just walked into was a hologram..nothing more.
"It's not real." he chanted to himself as if it were a personal mantra, then took a deep breath - focusing on the beauty that was awaiting him on the holodeck amidst all the apocalyptic chaos -- and reentered the holodeck.
The thick almost choking smell of sulfur and brimstone filled the air of the nightmarish landscape. Great crackles of lightning ripped through the black sky followed by rumbles of thunder of biblical proportions.
Oakley took a few timid steps away from the arch and it disappeared replaced by the trembling ground and jagged rocks that resulted from the planet's upper most level being torn asunder. Baseball sized chunks of meteorites fell burning from the sky like rain crashing into the nearby forests, igniting them like tinder sending the animals who called them home scurrying for their lives.
Gale force winds battered against the doctor relentlessly as he struggled to regain his bearings. He screamed out for Lt. Darkstar, but his voice was lost in the angry swirlings of this world.
He thought for a moment that he saw a silouhette of long black hair but before he could study it further, a deafening clap of thunder announced a meteorite the size of a shuttle craft crashed violently unto the ground, it's powerful after shocks sending Paycee flying into nearby bushes.
Rain drove heavily down onto the poor Doctors face as he struggled to pull himself upright. A brilliant crash of lightning lit up the sky and revealed the shadow not more than 2 feet away from him to be a hulking Indian wearing a loincloth and a scowl.
Paycee screamed as the heavily scarred monster moved towards him, somewhat oblivious to the rain and rock that pelted his bare skin. A large hand shot out and grabbed the Ensign's tunic and hauled him effortlessly to his feet...and then eye level with the Indian's fearsome visage.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I..I...I'm Dr. O..Oakley!" the man replied, his feet dangling off the ground.
"Sandsky?!" the Indian said with a savage glint in his eye.
Paycee shook his head, sending drops of rain flying from his head then fought to push his voice through the symphony of devastation being played out around him. "DR....OAKLEY!!!" he shouted.
The Indian seemed to tilt his head, as if contemplating this for a moment then asked "Why do you interrupt me?"
"I..I'm looking..for Raven!!" the still dangling doctor shouted as more thunder crashed. Off in the distance he saw a tornado begin to form, then another just to the left of the first.
"And what do you want from me?"
Stunned at hearing that Raven was not a buxom beauty worthy of a Joe Ammo strip club excursion, Oakley stammered out: "Y..You a..are Raven?!?!"
"Do I look like Ethan Suder? Or Savat maybe? Of coarse I am Raven." the behemoth growled then pulled Paycee closer to him. "Now what do you want?"
Keeping an eye on the twin tornadoes now only 100 yards from them - and closing, the nervous doctor began to flail his legs. "You are scheduled for a physical!!"
Raven's scowl deepened. "Have I talked to Jesus lately? You come to me to ask that?"
"A PHYSICAL!!! A PHYSICAL!! YOU NEED A PHYSICAL!!!" Dr. Oakley screamed in near panic as the swirling winds of the tornadoes -- now only 50 yards away threatened to tear him from the Indian's grip and send him sailing through the air.
Darkstar released him unceremoniously and pointed. "There are caves twenty meters from here. You better hurry before the tornadoes hit you." he said then shot off in a full sprint to the caves.
Paycee streaked off himself, fueled by adrenaline and self preservation, all thoughts of the chaos being 'not real' momentarily forgotten. He reached the torchlit caves and breathed a sigh of relief.
"What the hell is this place?" he asked the looming Indian.
"Ursid. Commander Odin recorded it and sold me a copy." Darkstar said matter of factly.
"Why would you want it?" Paycee asked in amazement. taking another glance at the horror raging just outside the mouth of the cave.
"I find it relaxing." he said then watched the Ensign's jaw fall open. "You may examine me."
Oakley blinked at the Indian. "In here?"
"Unless you would rather do this out there." he said nodding to the storm outside.
Paycee shook his head at the man in the loincloth. "No..I suppose..here is fine." he said for once glad that his subject wasn't wearing a thong.
"Better hurry." Darkstar warned. "These are the caves in which the cannibals lived in."
The doctor snapped into action and withdrew a medical tricorder and a pair of rubber gloves.
~ I hate this job! ~ he thought.
~Wrench in the Works~
"Data taking complete. Beginning programmed analysis."
Cutter sighed and leaned back in his chair and continued grooming his plumage. This was the third calibration run of his experiment. After the first day of the peace conference down on Lanjep, many of the requests for planet side shore leave had sharply been turned down with out much explanation. It caused a couple of rumors to start flying around the ship, saying a variety of absurd things: the ambassador team had recieved a mysterious threatening letter, the captain was missing, etc., etc.
He didn't believe any of the rumors, but his request for leave had been turned down for no reason as well, forcing Cutter to at least wonder. However, since he had to stay aboard ship, Cutter figured he'd spend time on his experiment. Things weren't going well, though.
His experiment was a simple (well, as simple as subspace particle physics gets, at any rate) collision experiment between tachyons and another more exotic particle, which had to be created in a second quark-quark collision. This second collision experiment was what was causing him grief, however. The massive top quarks he was using kept losing energy somewhere in his experimental apparatus, and Cutter couldn't quite figure out where. Although, if he kept trying, he would find out eventually where the problem was. However, each test run, to check whether or not the collision was calibrated correctly, took two and a half hours!
Cutter looked up at the large machine that took of most of the space in the physics lab, "Results? Population of Feynons?"
"Negligable Feynon particle population," the computer responded.
Cutter buried his face in his hands. What was wrong? He almost felt like crying. "What was detected?"
"Significant gamma radiation. Count percentages: W particles - 15%, Bottom quarks - 22%, Muon particles - 18%, Neutrinos - 38%, Rodden Baryions - 5% and trace amounts of Kirkon, Sulon and G-Coon particles.
"All right, computer. Let's increase the magnetic acceleration by another 5%, depolarize the acceleration chambers again, and this time double the reflection coefficient of the photon stimulators," Cutter ordered. He was grasping at straws now. All his previous ideas failed, now he was stumped as to how to get the experiment up and running. "Begin experiment again. Time to completion?"
A low hum began to fill the room as the experiment started once more, "Time to completion: 2 hours, 38 minutes."
Cutter stood from his chair and moved towards the lab door. "Computer, lock lab." He would check back again in two and half hours.
Ens. Cutter Kara'nin
“OH NO I have reduced the Chief of tactical to a gibbering idiot!”
By Lieutenant Autumn Quevvenson
Chief Medical Officer
With Unauthorised usage of
Commander Kent Peterson,
Lt. Commander Lysander Van der Puls-Hawksley, Chief Tactical officer,
Warrant officer Sabah, (NPC)
Autumn and Sabah struggled to get Lysander calm. ~ Aw Fuck~ she thought as Lysander fell into unconsciousness and didn’t respond to anyone’s shakes or calls. ~Aw Shit. Price is gonna have my head!~ . She grabbed a hypo spray and pressed it to the side of Lysander’s neck. She then grabbed her tricorder and began to scan him. “His brain waves were static but they are calmed down. He is in a coma.” ~Great!~ she mentally cursed herself. She sighed and turned to Sabah. “Clean him up and make him comfortable then run mental and physical tests I want to know what put him in this state. I’ll inform Commander Peterson.” ~Before I resign~
Autumn sighed and hit her commbadge. “Quevvenson to Peterson.”
[Peterson here, Go ahead Doctor]
“Commander I regret to inform you that until further notice Lieutenant Commander Lysander Van der Puls-Hawksley is in a coma and… we have yet to find out the cause.”
“I will have a full report on his situation for you in a couple of hours Commander.”
[See that you do lieutenant.]
“Aye Commander. Medical out.”
Autumn winced at the tone of the Commander. She was dead when he found out that it had happened durring Lysander’s Physical. She was so dead meat. She turned to Sabah. “Get Mace Delancey up here. Tell him I need him urgently to help with this problem”
Sabah nodded. “Aye ma’am.”
She walked over to a near by terminal. She looked back at the ‘Commander. ~Ah shit Lysander I am so sorry!~
**a few minuets later**
“Doctor?” Sabah said at her side.
Autumn jumped and spun around. “Yes?”
Sabah held up a read out and she took it. “He has a large chunk of his memory 'blocked' off by actual cutting of the neurons and by 'mental' conditioning. It's like his 'personality' has been locked away for a while, and I have never seen or heard of anything like it. All life signs normal, except a flat lined Electro-Encephalogram”
Autumn sighed. “There must be something that we missed. I am going to my office and I am going to begin a full check on the Commander’s file. Keep him under watch and make sure he stays alive. Hopefully I should be able to find something to help us out.”
Autumn walked into her office and brought up Lysander’s medical files. With a sigh she imputed her security clearance and began to dig.
“Night On The Town - Part 8”
Lieutenant (JG) Donovan Cassius Black, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy NCC-70637
Lieutenant Sendi Lastarr, Assistant Chief Of Operations, USS Fearless NCC-14598 Lieutenant (JG) Slisik, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy NCC-70637 Ensign Sendi Soleri, Science Officer, USS Galaxy NCC-70637 Lieutenant Tem’stra, Head Arbiter, Ianjep CIty Ex-Ensign Karm, Klingon Guide
-A slum in Ianjep City-
On a street in the middle of the Ianjepi slums, three Starfleet officers stood and surveyed the area. Two Andorians and a human, they were searching for a person whom they knew. All of them regretted it. Most especially Donovan Cassius Black, though Sendi Soleri and Sendi Lastarr (the irrepressible Sendi cousins) regretted it as well. It had been a tough decision in the first place.
Donovan was finished with all this craziness. There simply was one loose end to tie up. Karm. Donovan was currently more than a little curious why he broke his end of the deal and ran away. He had everything to gain, yet he abandoned the ambassador. At the very least, he should have stayed and helped Corgan to clean up.
Donovan sighed. ~I really liked that man.~ He found himself trying to find excuses for the Klingon doctor and was forced to remind himself that it was now his duty to bring Karm in. Black looked around for any obvious leads and noticed the old, half-blind Algolian that he had met earlier. He decided to walk over and ask if he had seen anything. The Sendi cousins followed him
As he walked over, the old man brightened. “Well hello there! Lieutenant Black, was it? How’s Riagan?” the Algolian asked. Donovan smiled and helped him out of his squatting position.
“Riagan has been behaving himself like a little gentleman.” Black said in as cheerful a voice as he could manage. He had found during his time as an adjutant to Admiral Nechayev that people responded better to cheerful people. “I was wondering, by any chance, have you seen a well dressed Klingon named Karm?”
“The doctor? Oh yeah, of course. Saw him headed for his place just a little while ago. Muttering something about ‘can’t let them catch me’ and ‘lose my license’. I don’t know where he went.” the Algolian said. Donovan smiled and reached into his medkit. Drawing out a few small pieces of Latinum, he dropped them in the old man’s cup.
“Thank you.......... What did you say your name was again?” Sendi asked.
“Oh, my name..... My name’s Eleazar Tiernan.” the old man said, “I may not be able to see with one eye, but the other one is 20/20.” he said cheerily, then went back to his begging as the three Starfleet officers departed, thanking him for his help.
Turning to his companions, Donovan gave out assignments. “All right, I think he’s headed for his clinic. Let’s go capture Karm and turn him over to the authorities. Remember, since we have no weapons, we’re going to be need to be extremely cautious. I have no idea what Karm’s motivations are, so expect anything. Sendi L., you have the left side of the street. Sendi S., you have the right side. I’ll go right down the center. Any questions? Any suggestions?”
Sendi Lastarr thought for a moment. “Well. We might be able to locate him better if we have Lieutenant Slisik and the Arbiter's case the block around his clinic.”
“Right. I almost forgot about Slisik. Thank you, sir.” Black said. The communicator pin on his chest was quickly tapped.
“Black to Slisik.”
“Have the Arbiters look around the block where Karm’s clinic is located. We need to find him and get him off the streets as soon as possible.”
[Yes sir, Slisik out.]
As they started down the street, Sendi Soleri turned to Donovan.
“What are you going to do with him?” she asked, her antennae passive.
“I’m not really sure. the honor guard would probably kill him, and where would that leave the people in the slums. No doctor. If I hand him over to James, he’ll get carted back to Earth and locked up for years. No. That’s not what I’ll do. I’m going to hand him over to Tem’stra. She’ll punish him for his crimes, but let him continue his practice in relative short order. That way I’ll be within the agreement and the people of the slums won’t have to live without a doctor.” Donovan said. Sendi nodded and the two parted company, making their way through the crowded streets.
Karm was panicking. He had lost the foreigners. When Tem’stra’s arbiters had raided the “House Of Payne” he’d lost his senses and abandoned them. ~Maybe if I get back quickly enough, they won’t take my license.~
He ran fast toward the “House Of Payne”, praying to god that he could save his license. Then his eyes caught sight of a familiar human in the crowd.
~The Scottish Lieutenant!~ Karm elated, ~He’ll help me!~
“Lieutenant Black!” he called. The tall human turned his head and looked straight at him, scowling. Karm was chilled by the way the Lieutenant’s prosthetic eye fixed on him. An icy blue, the prosthetic seemed to intimidate people by being mismatched with the other, softer blue of his real eye. Not his original intention, but it had it’s uses.
~Or maybe not.~
“Hold it right there, Karm.” Black called out. The Klingon froze in his tracks. Taking their cue, the Sendi cousins converged in the hapless doctor, quickly relieving him of his d’k tahg and pulling his arms behind his back with their superior Andorian strength. He was held fast.
~I’m sure glad I’ve got those two, because I would have had a much harder time without them.~
“What is the meaning of this?” the well groomed Klingon asked. Donovan noted that it wasn’t a demand, but rather it was more of a question. Still, he buried his feelings and did his duty.
“Karm. By the terms of our agreement, I am authorized to apprehend you and turn you over to the proper authorities. Therefore it it MY decision that you be given to the arbiters for your dishonor at abandoning and endangering your charges as well as well as fleeing the Battle of Chin’toka Prime. I expect punishment will be harsh, but less so that what you would experience at the hands of the Honor Gaurds.” Black said grimly. He tapped his communicator.
“Black to Slisik”
“Inform Tem’stra that we have something for her. Meet us in front of the Arbiter's Headquarters.”
[Understood. Slisik out.]
With that, Black turned to the others. None looked particularly happy. Poor Karm was sullen, cowed by the Lieutenant’s stern pronouncement. The Sendi cousins’ antennae pointed straight up in a show of alertness. Sendi Soleri gave him a brief smile though. She could be so relaxing in her mannerisms sometimes.
“All right. Let’s go.” Donovan said as he pulled Karm by the shoulder toward the Arbiter's office. He went quietly, never speaking a word, even as Donovan handed him over to Lieutenant Tem’stra. He looked.........
Life could be quite depressing sometimes.
"You're the weakest link. Farewell!" (part 2) by
Acting ACMO (and your not-so-friendly Russian host), Lt. Vladimir Malgin.
Medical Officer Lt. Lancelot Grogan
Security Officer Lt. JG Arel Smith
Engineering Officer Lt. JG Curtis Geluf Tactical Officer Lt. JG Donovan Black
Lt. Magdalena Forsberg, Operations
Time: Before the mission
"...So we're back on THE WEAKEST LINK. Glad to see you all yet alive after those deadly long minutes of advertising..." Vladimir turned to players "So, you've cleared one more spot on the set. Are you happy? I am unsure of that. But whether you're in good mood or not, we start 4th round..."
~Well.....First three rounds..... Not too bloody bad. I'm still here if that's any indication of how well I'm doing.~ Black thought to himself. She smiled at Sendi, who was seated quietly in the middle of the holographic crowd. She smiled demurely and waved back.
"Time has just started. Magdalena. The captain of USS Galaxy is..."
Magdalena smiled and replied "Captain Robert Edward Lee Price. Simple question!"
"All what I say that you're right. Donovan. Geography. The smallest country on the earth in 21st century was..."
"The smallest Terran country in the 21st Century was the Vatican City, with V=0.44 km2." Black stated precisely, smiling happily at the question he had managed, again only because it had to do with Italy and Rome.
"Yes, Holy See AKA Vatican city. You're Going good unfortunately for me. Lancelot. Archimede was Greek or Roman scientist?"
Smiling weakly since he actually new that answer, Lancelot replied, "Greek"
"Sure thing, man. He was Greek. First contact of Humans. With what race?"
"That would be the Vulcans." said Curtis
"Damn it! You're right. Arel, Chemistry. Formula of butane. Is it C2H5 or C4H10?
Arel winced. She knew she should have paid more attention in chemistry class but damn if it hadn't bored the hell out of her. "C2H5" she guessed.
"Guess what? You've broken the link! It is incorrect. C2H5 is ethane. So C4H10 is right..."
-= About a minute later =-
"So, the fourth round is over and all what you managed to catch was miserable sum of 3 thousand dollars of 50 possible. Whose departure will not be noticed? Who is digging a hole under the team? Who is 'nowhere man', staying here - not 'in his nowhere land'? Who is THE WEAKEST LINK?"
Arel hoped that the other players would forgive her mistake and wrote down Magdalena.
This was a hard one. Arel seemed nice enough, and being the big softy that he was, Black wrote down Magdalena, who was somewhat icy when it came to disposition. Besides, even though Arel had missed that early Chem question, Maggie had missed several others throughout the round, breaking the link many times.
Magdalena wrote down Lancelot. God knows why.
Curtis thought hard about who to vote away and finally decided that Magdalena had to go faaar away.
Lancelot wrote down Magdalena. He hadn't liked the looks he had received and felt that..well, better get that one a wee bit away.
-= Music here again, lights back to full, players show their choices =-
"Well, well... Seems that Magdalena is unneeded by the team. Arel, you wrote Magdalena. Why? You think that she was playing worse than you?" Arel raised an eyebrow. "Yes, I did."
Vladimir smiled coldly "I have to disappoint you - YOU were the weakest link of this round by the statistics. However statistics are not your field - you know phasers and martial arts, nothing more." Vladimir turned to Curtis "Curtis, you also wrote down Magdalena. Why?"
"She was just VERY weak, I think!"
"That's your point of view." Vladimit turned to Magdalena "You were not the weakest link in this round, but USS Team doesn't need Operations department in here. They prefer to shove you out of the team without anything. Sad to say, but you are the weakest link. Farewell!"
-= Lights dim and Magdalena leaves the set, light come back =-
"Minus one team member again. Now there are four of you and next round is again 10 seconds shorter. We will start from the strongest link by results of previous round it was Curtis. We're playing the WEAKEST LINK. Time has just started. Curtis. How much letters there are in English alphabet?"
"Ah! 26!" said Curtis.
"True like diagnosis. 26. Arel. In what year the Romulan Neutral zone was estabilished? In 2250 ir in 2160?"
"2160." She replied.
"That's correct. One year later Federation was founded. Lancelot. Mathematics. sin90. 1 or 0?"
"1, I guess"
"Wow, doctor knows mathematics... Yes, 1. Donovan. USA dclaration of independence was signed on..."
Donovan frowned for a moment as he dug for it. Being Scottish, he really didn't know his American history that well. "Bank.......... July 4, 1776" he guessed, banking the significant sum so he wouldn't loose it all.
-= Round ends some time later =-
"The time is up, the answer is incorrect. You have 32 thousand dollars in this round. So, whose Benefit performance has failed without even having begun? Who will leave the set without a trace? Who is that idiot that can't even answer the simplest questions? Who is already shot down? Who is THE WEAKEST LINK?"
~Smeg..... I like Curtis. He seems nice enough to me. Lance has never given me trouble. The whole Klingon thing worries me with Arel, though. I really hate to do this.~ Black thought as he wrote down Arel's name. Arel was also unsure of who to vote for. She did a quick game of eeney meeny miny moe and picked Lance.
Curtis hated this part, they had all performed so well. He drew a breath and randomly wrote down Arel's name.
Arel was also unsure of who to vote for. She did a quick game of eeney meeny miny moe and picked Lance.
Lancelot also wrote Arel.
-= Music here again, players show their choices. =- "I will not ask questions this round. I will just say few things. Arel was NOT the weakest link - in this round SHE was the strongest link. Team has apparently gone out of their minds... Or is it theri tactics to remove strong players? Hmm.. God knows. Arel, security doesn't make a lot of knowledge settle in your brain as team decided. In any case, you are the weakest link. Bye-bye!.. Oh, sorry! Farewell!"
Arel stomped off in irritation, throwing death glares at the other opponents and left the set.
-= Music =-
"Since you have disposed of the strongest link, we will start with player, whose name is first by alphabet. In next round we will double the sum you will earn, but only two of you will reach that round and final. Now I advise you to prepare what's left of your brains and start playing THE WEAKEST LINK!......... Curtis. The surname of leader of Russian Socialist Revolution of 1917 was..." Curtis smiled, "That would have to be Vladimir Ilyich Lenin." said Curtis, who was now thanking his lucky stars for that Earth History course.
Vladimir's jaw fallen down "How it came you know that?! Yes, Lenin! Donovan, Who was the first man to reach the south pole?" "Amundsen" Black said. He wasm't sure how he'd picked that one up, but he was sure that was the answer.
"Yep, man. Without a questions - Amundsen. Lancelot. Mickey Mouse was created by..."
"Walt Disney," said Lancelot rather quickly.
-= Some time later =-
"Correct, but you haven't out money into bank. Overall money of this round is 17 thousand dollars. Not so bad, but it is not 50 thousant, is it? WHO is sucking blood of the team? Who is stealing money from the team bank? Damn it, WHO IS THE WEAKEST LINK?"
Lancelot frowned slightly. He liked both of the others and saw no real reason why to write down anything. He took Donovan, the reason unknown even to himself. Rather annoying that you can't vote youself out of a game. He had been lucky to come this far at all...
Curtis REALLY hated this part of the game. He liked both of them, but he had to vote for somebody. But who? They were both pretty smart, but Curtis had noticed that Donovan had been the strongest link more times than Lancelot. It made tactical sense, therefor, to vote of Donovan, it would give Curtis a better chance. Reluctantly, he wrote down Donovan's name, hoping the liuetenant wouldn't take it personally.
Donovan realized that perhaps he might not have wanted to answer quite so many questions correctly. From a tactical point of view, he had done better than both of the others, and as a result was probably about to go. ~Oh well, too late now.~ he thought as he wrote down Lance.
-= Music, results =-
"Poor, poor Donovan. The team ate you like a couple of sharks. However, they ate just another shark, so it doesn't really matter. You see, this team is quite dumb, so they again remove the strongest link. Before you leave I will tell you - you were smart, but now you are THE WEAKEST LINK. RIP!.. I meant Farewell!"
Donovan smiled easily at his friends who would now be forced to go head to head as he jogged off the set into the waiting arms of Sendi Soleri, his Andorian love.
"Good enough, Donovan. In my eyes, you'll always be the strongest link." she said.
-= Music, lights back to full =-
"Relax, guys. You have managed this far, so now you two will have decide who is the winner. In this round we'll double the sum you earn. It means that in this round you can get 100000 dollars. That is not a mistake - one hundred thousands. Care to start, Curtis?"
"Not a problem, mister host"
"OK, time is 1 minute 30 seconds. Here we start! Curtis. Telephone was invented by Popov or Bell?"
"It was the famous American - Bell"
"Unbelievably right - it was Bell. Lancelot. "Star Wars-5". What was its name - 'war of clones' or 'Empire strikes back'?" "Empire strikes back," replied the Brit, who had spent too much of his childhood watching Star Wars.
"Righta, man! Curtis, what CPU is more powerful Intel-8088 or Intel-8086?" "Intel-8086"
"Was it a wild guess, or you knew it? It is surely Intel-8086! Lancelot, what is UEFA?"
"Union of European Football Associations," Lancelots said, sure as hell.
-= Once again, some time later (little time, I must say) =- "Time is up here. The right answer was CDROM. You two put in bank 25 thousand dollars. Well, we'll double this sum. All in all, you will battle for the prize of 210000 dollars. Now, you'll fight face-to-face, one against another. Forget that you were team - team is no more... Curtis, you were the strongest link, so you will start. The laws are simple - you will answer five pairs of questions. If after them we have a draw, we'll continue to first incorrect answer. Everything is clear in your dumb heads? So we can start FINAL of THE WEAKEST LINK show!"
~I am dead...there is no way I can survive~ Lance thought as he looked at Curtis. He smiled weakly. ~Oh well...it was fun while it lasted~
"Curtis. First question for you. Who invented radio first? Popov or Markoni?"
This is a trick question Curtis thought. It was Popov in 1895. Marconi didn't do it until a year later.
"Righta thing, man. Lancelot. Who by statistics was the most famous Sega games character in '80s and '90s of 20th century?"
Lancelot was unsure that he should even reply, but finally said, "Blue"
"I am in a very good mood today, so I will count it as right - Sonic the Hedgehog. Curtis. Your next question. In which century Roman Empire was divided into Western and Eastern Roman Empires?"
That would be the 4th century. The year was 395 A.D. said Curtis.
"Histiry is your strong side - this is right. Lancelot. 1998 Soccer World cup finalist, but not winner."
"You seem to forget that national teams are playing in World cup, so the right answer is Brazil. Curtis. What was NSDAP in Nazi Germany?"
In the standard German, it means National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei or, if you literally translate it, national socialist German reform party.
"Amazing knowledge! That is right. Lancelot. Who offered the first space system in which Sun was the center of universe?"
Lancelot got a thoughtful expression. "Copernicus"
"This is right. Curtis. What is LCD display?"
Liquid Crystal Display said Curtis.
"True like by the Bible. Lancelot. What class Enterprise NCC-1701 belonged to?"
"The USS Enterprise NCC-1701 was a Starship Constitution Class starship"
"This is true. Curtis. The leader of what group was Freddie Mercury?"
"That would be the musical group Queen " said Curtis.
"This is right. Lancelot. What nation was led by Admiral Horti in the time of Second World War?"
Vladimir gave him a smirk "Lancelot, you'd better study history AND geography! Budapest is CAPITAL of that country and country itself is Hungary. You have lost, man."
"Curtis, you're the strongest link today and you gain the sum of 210000 virtual dollars. However, by the laws of today's game even this virtual money will be transferred to the virtual charity fund. Thank you..." Vladimir turned over on his podium to face the main camera "This was only a game. Take care!"
“It’s in the Eyes”
By Lieutenant Mike Pailaka
OCC: Alrighty, first log after a long absence. We’ll start small and pick up the pace as the week continues.
Far below, on the planet Lanjep, intrigue cascaded through the diplomatic halls as representatives from the major powers of the Alpha and Beta quadrants jockeyed for position, striking deals, making and breaking promises, dealing in veiled threats and outright declarations. Not far from the center of this political maelstrom, the overstressed, overworked and oversexed mingled in the streets, parting with their latinum by the handful in exchange for the satisfaction of their many and varied hedonistic urges.
All of which was completely lost on Lieutenant Mike Pailaka, third string helmsman of the USS Galaxy.
He had done his best to stay interested and involved. He told himself that the mission was a welcome rest after the terror and suffering he and the rest of the crew went through in the Mako Neblua. But that didn’t make it any easier to stay awake at his post during Gamma shift on the bridge. The Galaxy was parked in a nice, neat pre-ordained orbit around Lanjep and was, for the most part, flying itself. His duties consisted of watching out for unidentified craft or stellar objects getting too close to their orbital path and monitoring the power for the shields and structural integrity fields, and reaction control thrusters. Neither task was particularly daunting. The Klingons made certain every ship was in its proper place under threat of destruction and without much else to do but maintain orbit, there was power to spare for every system under his watch.
And were something to happen, a surprise attack, a rescue operation, or some other crisis that would require the Galaxy to do more than rotate peacefully around a Class M planet, Ragnald would likely take the helm, or, in the unlikely event that he was indisposed, Heather would. At best, he’d be on standby in the shuttle bay or watching from the battle bridge.
So he did what he could to stay busy and to keep his mind off of things he didn’t really want to think about. He’d been through every flight training simulation in the department’s roster multiple times, training against every type of threat ship in the area around Lanjep, just in case. He’d increased his workouts from two to three a day, something that had helped him recover the lost muscle mass and definition from his injury downtime.
It was all well and good, and helped to fill the empty spaces between his shifts, but try as he might to put the past in the past, it kept rearing its ugly head.
It was in their eyes, Mike realized, as he made his way back to his quarters, his tank top drenched in the sweat of another power lifting session. Most of the officers he passed in the corridor went about their business or graced him with a friendly nod or smile. But there were some, more than he wanted to admit, who looked at him differently. Their eyes reflected nervous caution, or respect laced with revulsion. The massive helmsman was very conscious of how they moved ever so further away from him as they passed.
These were the ones, Mike knew, who had seen him at the end of the Mako conflict, when the friendly light hearted officer had been replaced by a raving savage.
Pushed beyond the brink after being beaten nearly to death, only to be revived and beaten again, Mike had given himself over to his rage, to the brutal arts of Lua that he had trained in as a youth but was always loathe to use. He had stalked the enemy without mercy, set traps and ambushes, shown no quarter. He had crawled under bulkhead plates, listening the pleading cries of those about to be executed, unable to save more than a fraction of the victims. He had painted his face and body in the blood of his victims, become a hunter of hunters, leaving behind grisly totems to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
When it had ended, when Brohde had beamed the last of the Hirogen off of the ship, Mike had made his way back to his quarters, covered in blood and gore, a shark tooth studded Lei-O-Mano in one hand and a gnarled Newa in the other, looking every inch the image of a 17th century Koa warrior. His memory of the next 72 hours was foggy at best. He remembered showering, sleeping for nearly two days, getting treated in sickbay and eventually returning to duty. It was only later, long after the dust had settled and Brohde had moved on, that it all began to sink in.
“I am not that person.” He repeated to himself on a daily basis like a mantra. He had told himself the same thing twelve years earlier, when he killed to save his sister’s life. Then later, when he struggled in desperate combat against mirror universe pirates on board the Galaxy. And again, on a different ship altogether, as he faced swords and musket balls on the high seas in a fighting frenzy that would have won the respect of Edward Teach and Henry Morgan. Then there was his nearly two years in prison, where his efforts to keep a low profile had been for naught and he fought alongside a few select friends in the Bloc A Irregulars against some of the most despicable characters the Federation criminal justice system had managed to incarcerate. And recently, the Hirogen, who had treated the crew as prey and Mike in particular as a practice dummy. In all those cases, somehow, he had managed to prevail, but the cost of each victory was slowly eroding away his beliefs in who he was as a person.
Each time, after the blood was washed away and the wounds sealed, he reminded himself that the savagery that seemed to come to him so naturally when pushed to the edge was an aberration. It had nothing to do with who he really was. And more importantly, it was completely under his control. And every time another incident occurred, and the ferocity of his response became more pronounced, he believed himself less and less.
He should talk to a counselor, he realized. He had done so twice before on the Galaxy. The first had been Amy Green, who had shown understanding and interest, but he had never really been truthful with her and never would. She had been one of the countless casualties of the Hirogen. Then there had been his session with Dallas, with whom he had been forthcoming, only to see the same racing heart and glint of fear. For a moment, she had gone from being a professional counselor to a woman afraid she was trapped in a room with a killer. He had never forgotten that incident and was now seeing it reflected in the faces of his fellow survivors.
He could not allow himself to think that they were right, that they were seeing the real Mike Pailaka, and that the easy going gentle giant who spent his free time lifting weights, jumping off cliffs and barbecuing was just a façade.
Because if they were right, then he had no place in Starfleet, or anywhere amongst civilized people.
Lieutenant Mikala Pailaka
Helmsman, USS Galaxy
“A Little Time Found…”
Lieutenant Adrian An’quinsos
Zerhi An’quinsos (NPC)
Wife and Bartender Extraordinaire
Captain of the Klingon Honor Guard
They had given him the Ferengi. Some would have believed that he got the short end of the stick. He didn’t mind though. They were a touch meddlesome, but overall, pleasant in some respects, particularly if it involved profit. Fortunately, his massive reserve of patience had been gained in an exponential rate since the conference adjourned.
After the meeting had finished, Adrian entered hid office, locked the door, sat down, and placed his head down on his desk, all the while activating his computer to check various massages he had received while down on the planet’s surface. There were seven, and all but the last dealt with appointment dates and psych evaluations. The seventh one was a medical call, which caused him to nearly jolt out of his chair when he heard the word ‘physical.’
“Kruskia! Mentarillesti shinava imsha, rikas vuloruum hina…” Along with a host of other words fell from his lips in a polyglottal, swarm of chaos.
Frantically turning off the computer, he then was then followed it up by an ancient El-Aurian that was meant to ward off either the greatest of impending dooms or the most unspeakable of evils. He would have to come up with an excuse, or dodge the bullet as it were.
The El-Aurian let those thoughts pass, after all, it would be best to deal with later. His thoughts lay on the whereabouts of the Captain. Unlike those who were shocked and dismayed, Adrian kept his calm. It was only right. Somehow, he felt that things would right themselves, though, not very soon. Perhaps his extra-temporal abilities combined synchronically combined with his or maybe Brian’s telepathic abilities could give some type of trace or maybe even…
He stopped in mid-thought as an idea flew into his mind faster than a Tran warp vessel could move. He has saved the Andromeda several times with it. A telepathic mind wasn’t really needed. All it would take…
Unlocking the door, he exited the room in a brisk pace to the Turbolift.
“Deck Ten.” He ordered, and waited patiently as the ship complied.
In robes of scarlet and a long braid, Zerhi and staff were busy cleaning up the Lounge in preparation for that evening. They were nearly done when a whirlwind of blue clothes and blonde hair stormed the gates to the Lounge. Almost as quickly as it arrived so did it stop. Zerhi stopped and looked over at the remnants of the mini-tornado and teased.
“Well, nice to see you’re back so soon, I didn’t realize you missed that much!”
“Missed you, yes. May I by chance speak to you in private?”
“Uh… sure, Rhyxsana, could you take over for me while I have a chat with my husband?”
“Sure.” The Orion female replied.
Zerhi led her ‘strange’ husband through the back, and into the office. It was more spacious than he had remembered it Since Leo was down doing Gods know what, she had cleaned, polished, straightened, and re-organized every file he had, completing the job in six and a half hours. Turning around, he closed the door and locked it. Speaking softly in Federation Common for a few seconds, they stopped and changed to Hrynaain, the oldest and rarest El-Aurian dialect that existed.
[“Okay,”] She began. [“What’s this all about?”]
He took a deep breath before he spoke, searching for the right words to say. [“We are not allowed to transmit messages to Federation space, and I need your help.”]
Her left eyebrow rose with interest as a look of curiosity enveloped her face. [“Oh? Well, I’ll do my best to help you in any way I can. What had you in mind?”]
[“Nothing THAT sneaky!”] He grinned. [“I was wondering if you might still have that old medallion, the one that glowed particular colors when in the presence of a specific emotion.”]
[The Stone of Truth? Yes, it’s on the dresser. Why?”]
[Oh, no reason, I was just asking…”]
He eyes narrowed in a suspicious expression. [“Right Aud’rian, anything you say!’]
[“No, really!”] He lied, gently closing his mind to her. If she noticed she noticed it, no indication was given. In El-Aurian society, lying to a spouse was extremely difficult, due to the fact of the strong mental bond they possessed. Hopefully, he had convinced her. [“I was just curios as to where it was at, I wanted to borrow it to test its’ effectiveness.”]
[“Right”] She replied. [“Now, care to tell me what’s REALLY wrong? Those Ambassadors aren’t giving you trouble are they? From what I understand, the Breen could bore an El-Aurian to tears when they don’t shut up.”]
The El-Aurian male gave his wife a knowing look. [“My love, you don’t know the half of it!”]
Good, he turned her attention away. His expression changed to that of genuine exasperation. [“The entire time, I was praying that somehow, Ambassador Palus’s ability for speech might be rendered fully inoperative! Unfortunately, my prayers went unheard, and I nearly died of boredom just listening to his monotony, before he stopped… six and a half hours later! You should have seen the looks on everyone’s faces, I thought we were going to have a massive celebration right in the middle of the great hall!”]
Zerhi was laughing throughout the entire conversation, and was soon joined was her husband. After several minutes of conversation involving how her day had been, he gently kissed her, and left Ten-forward with a satisfied smile on his face.
“Deck 3” He spoke.
Exiting form the Turbolift, Adrian went to his quarters, changed into something more comfortable, and left his room, put on the medallion, and re-entered the Turbolift not more than five minutes later.
An amalgam of azure lights and white sparks appeared, lighting up the ground below it in its’ ethereal display. Seconds later, it disappeared, with a specter in its’ place. He was tall, blonde-haired humanoid in a pair of khakis, a long-sleeved, thin, dark-blue shirt, with an ornate El-Aurian symbol embroidered richly in platinum on his left shirt pocket. All of this was held neatly in check by a thin black belt. On his right shirt pocket was pinned his gold communications badge.
Two Klingon Soldiers stood guard outside the Great Hall when the humanoid male approached them. Looking at one another, they displayed a dark grin. At best, he looked seventeen, maybe a maximum of twenty at best. Still way too young to enter.
Before him lay the great hall, and within, sounds of merriment were heard in great array. Heading towards the door, two Klingons appeared before him. As they were about to drive him away, the badge responded in kind by a bright gleam, reflecting the light form within. With nothing else said, he entered.
[“These proceedings have begun rather well have they not Captain.”] Valderis said to the Captain who nodded.
The Captain, a Klingon male in his late thirties looked around at the drunken festivities. He was quite happy K'temmery had the night shift; it meant he would have to deal with this mess. However, he wasn’t looking forward to the next day. All of those reports pilled up on his desk for him to read, it was annoying to say the least!
[“Indeed they…”] The other Klingon stopped in mid-sentence as he saw a figure, child by the looks of it enter the room and heading for the bar. “What is a child doing in here?”
[“I don’t know, perhaps you should go and find out?”] He suggested with a grin. [“Just don’t hurt it him too much, Najh’tok, or his ‘mommy’ might get on to you!”]
They both laughed.
[“And that’s Captain to you!”] He laughed before stalking off. Valderis raised his glass to the Captain in a salute, and downed it…
[“A glass of your finest Bloodwine.”] He repeated in their language, as if he were born to speak it. The syllables rolled form his tongue as easily as they did when he spoke his own ancient tongue.
The Bartender complied, a bit confused, but when he saw the comm. badge, he complied. She returned with his drink, set it down before him, and left, keeping an eye on him though. As the Klingon drew closer, he stopped in interest. The ‘boy’ he saw before him picked up the glass, breathed in the aroma, and then proceeded to down it nearly as fast as any other Klingon.
Putting the glass down he smiled in memory, of his last time to taste it. Putting the glass on the counter, began putting his theory to the test. The room was loud and full of life, and Adrian could feel the merriment all around him. He knew it was stupid to try this out in here, and should wait until he got back to his room, but it was worth a shot. Putting the glass down, he stared straight ahead, and opened his mind to time. His mind shut out the sounds and sensations around him, until he could hear nothing. His eyes, rich in color and intensity, began to recede in color and became as light as the pattern on his shirt. Within that moment, he found the time he needed…
*FLASH* [Klingon Male. Warrior. Leaving his seat. Approaching. Stopping. Watching. Moving towards…] *FLASH*
It lasted all but a two seconds, but it was enough. Color returned to his eyes as he prepared for the person. The images were somewhat cloudy, but that was to be expected, especially for the first time.
The color returned as he prepared for the individual. The images weren’t very vivid, somewhat cloudy, but it was his first time. He felt as someone grabbed his shoulder, as if to drag him off the seat. [“Whomever you are, I suggest you let go, before something rather nasty happens.”]
Najh’tok removed his hand, wry amusement still covered his face, as he watched this kid turn around. Instead of the fearful look, he was expecting, an expectant smile, and small as it was, shown through.
[“Name, Rank, and your House if don’t mind?”] The boy said.
The Klingon was a little surprised, if not a little exuberant to find someone who spoke the language as naturally as one might walk. He was going to lift him out of the chair when he saw the communication’s badge on his chest. And then he remembered, this was one of the individuals he had seen during the conference.
[“A Federation petaQ I see,”] A toothy grin followed. He had thoroughly studied the information from about each delegate that was sent. [“I am Najh’tok, Captain of the guard, of the House of Be’thor.”]
The El-Aurian gave him a passive look-over. He was indeed tall and stocky, with all the obvious makings of a Klingon in his prime. A dark grin followed this. [“Lieutenant Adrian An’quinsos, my sister is Sonia An’quinsos…”]
The toothy grin was replaced by a slightly bigger one. The realization of whom he was speaking to only took a second to hit him [“Daughter of the House of Be’thor!”] He announced with every word full of pride. [“She is a highly honored and decorated warrior of our House!”] He said, as if including Adrian as part of it. And then it dawned on him what race it was as his eyes grew big. [“You and your sister are El-Aurian. You saved my grandfather on a hunting expedition from being mauled. We owe you a debt that that has yet to be paid.”]
[“Ah… well…”] He stuttered. [“No debts are necessary, just helping a friend with a little spot of trouble!”] He jumped off the stool and looked up at the warrior. It was more than obvious who was taller. [“And I’m sure you know the rest anyways.”]
[“Yes, yes I do.”] They began to walk around the area inside. [“So, what brings you to Lanjep, other than a Diplomatic mission?”]
[“Curiosity mostly,”] He replied in a relax-full stride. [“Just checking upon everything down here. Besides, I needed the fresh… if not at times overwhelming air. I’ve missed those days.”]
[“Ah I see.”]
Their destination, wherever it was, took them down a dark, gray, and musty hall within the complex. Various Klingons passed them as they proceeded. The sounds of celebration and festivities that filled the air were now beginning to wane the farther they walked. Stopping, Najh’tok and Adrian entered a door, and found themselves inside an office. The Klingon took a seat at the desk, and Adrian sat opposite of him, in a very uncomfortable chair.
Looking at the desk, he saw various files stacked neatly in one pile, and on top of that…
[“I didn’t know QuonoS produced those sort of hats.”] He smiled curiously.
[“It’s not.”] He said. [“A scouting party patrolling the lake happened to come by it. They brought it back to me, figuring it would look good on my head. I figured aboard your ship might have lost it.”]
[“Do you mind if I take a look at it?”]
[Be my guest, in fact, you can keep it!”] He exclaimed.
Adrian picked up the hat and examined it. It was a goofy looking hat, obviously of Terran design. It looked rather goofy looking, with various fishing-type ornaments decorating its’ surface…
*FLASH* [A Human male. Small fishing trip. Enjoyment. Relaxation. And then…”] *FLASH*
Adrian looked up as the color once again receded and returned to his eyes. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me? What are the chances that this could be…?
Najh’tok eyed him curiously as he took a deep breath.
[“Sorry about that.”] He replied with a smile. [“I must have been caught up in the moment.”]
[“What?”] He said, befuddled by the statement.
[“Uh… nothing. Just a memory, that’s all.”] He looked down at the hat again. [“This is I’m not mistaken is a Terran fishing hat, that was probably lost when they were in the middle of catching the ‘big one.’ Are the fish very big on Lanjep Captain?”]
[“What do I look like? The Klingon guide to all things Lanjep?”] He laughed, and then returned to the question. [“The lake is predominately filled with fish of medium size, however, there are predatory fish, one such is the Co’huH JhaT. One could swallow a Klingon whole. However, we’ve had no report of such things. They are a relatively harmless fish, with a taste for smaller fish. I doubt he could have been swallowed.”]
[“Ai, with his luck, he may have been beamed for the torture- I mean physical test.”] He laughed. [“I’ll give it to the Security, perhaps they can find the owner.”]
[“Do what you like with it.”] He responded, and then replied with a crafty smile. [“As for the fishing pole?”]
[“Keep it with you for now. I’m sure I could pick it up later.”]
=Sir, we have a situation in here, a food fight has broken out! =
The El-Aurian’s eyes grew big as he heard it. Najh’tok looked very unamused as he arose from his chair and made his way to the main room. Adrian carefully tucked the hat into one of his larger pockets near the knees. Entering, they found a food fight had begun, and were almost hit with a Blood-berry pie. Adrian reached up, was able to get a small sample of the frosting on his forefinger, and tasted it.
[“Very nice! It’s a pity it’s gone to such waist!”] He yelled in Klingon over the noise.
The Captain wasn’t very amused, and called in several soldiers to help put some order to chaos. Walking to the middle of the merrimentated hysteria, he was nearly creamed several times with succulent desserts, and nearly hit in the face with a piece of Hroth’NoT casserole. When he finally got to the Bar, he began to question him, while quickly ducking an assault of Bloodwine that landed upon the now angered Bartender.
Meanwhile Adrian staid where he was at, and watched the events unfolding, ducking every morsel of food that came his way.
“THAT IS ENOUGH!” A voiced boomed in a rich bass, bringing a chill to even Adrian’s spine. It reverberated throughout the room, silencing everyone there, and settling the unsavory furor. “You are all SUPPOSE to be Ambassadors, the finest representatives of your territory, not children! And as Ambassadors, I expect you to behave with that thought in mind, no exceptions!” He thundered. “Now, I don’t care if you continue partying until the you’re so drunk, that you can hardly stand, but at least try and act a little civilized people!”
No one said a word. They looked worried that they might incur his already fumed temper
He dropped down form the bar, and turned to a Romulan “Who started this immature debauchery?”
The Romulan looked at him with undaunting arrogance. “I believe you’ll find the culprit over there,” He began, as the crowd cleared up, pointing to a peculiar little man hiding under a table. Najh’tok stalked toward him as the guards finally entered the room, trying to help restore order to chaos.
“You, get out from under there right now, or I’ll have you dragged out by your ears!”
“Alright! Alright! I’m coming out, just don’t shoot me please!” He begged.
The little man came out and proceeded to explain what had happened. His explanation didn’t sit well with him or the other delegates in the room who heard it.
“Ardek,” He said, as one of the guards came closer. “Take this petaQ into custody. Put him in the cell for the remainder of the night, and see that he’s released first thing in the morning.”
Adrian gave a nod toward the Klingon who was busy, but not to busy to notice the El-Aurian, whom he nodded to as well. Spotting the Ferengi delegates, who were draped in food, and a little bit of wine, he made his way to the other side of the room, to see if he could speak with them.
"The rest of you, return to your fun!" He announced.
Seconds later, everyone returned to what they were doing as if nothing happened.
Lieutenant (JG) Donovan Cassius Black, Tactical Officer
-Personal Log, Lieutenant Donovan Black, Stardate 50204.3-
Begin Log, Lieutenant Donovan Black recording. In the past few days I’ve noticed that I’ve made some decisions that I now regret. Foremost among those was my hiring Karm as a guide. That was an irresponsible choice that put people in danger. We cannot afford to have me slipping up like that at crucial moments. I think it may be time to re-familiarize myself with Starfleet Rules & Regulations. I suppose that these things happen when you’re a twenty year veteran of the fleet.
On a brighter note, Karm will be able to practice his medicine from his jail cell, though he did wind up undergoing a painstick “treatment” as part of his punishment. Maybe a few months of hard labor will straighten him out. I just hope he never gets mixed up with us again, because I know James would probably beat the bloody stuffing out of him if he ever showed his face again.
One more thing. I think when I go get my physical with Doctor Malgin, I’m going to ask him if there’s anything that he can do for the Algolian, Eleazar Tiernan. This is twice that I’ve interacted with Eleazar, and I can’t help but feel for him. We are both half-blind, he and I, yet I get a prosthetic and he begs on the streets of the Lanjep slums. I can’t help but think that in another reality that could just as easily be me. Maybe Vladimir can help him. After all Vladimir is the best surgeon on the ship.
I’m tired, computer. It’s been a long night on the town. End Log.
"Little Lost Pakled"
by Lt. Brightspot to-Srallansre
and Conumdrum (Bratty Little Pakled Girl - NPC)
Walking down the corridor, Brightspot ignored the Klingon guard stationed openly to discourage any trouble.
Just as she was about to entering a small lounge area that had been designated as for Federation staff, she felt a soft tug on her tail. Pain shot through along her spine and she yelped. Turning, she couldn't see anyone behind her but her tail was still being held. A cough from below caught her attention and she looked downwards to see a little Pakled girl holding her tail.
"Please let go of my tail."
The pakled gulped and did so.
"What is your name and why are you here?"
The girl frowned, "Conumdrum, and me lost. Big place. Need help."
Brightspot nodded and looked towards the Klingons. However, from the scowls on their faces, they were not very happy to overhear that a Pakled was loose in their facility.
Kneeling, she picked up Conumdrum and smiled to her, "I will take you back to the Pakled delegation so that the Klingons don't overreact."
The little girl nodded as Brightspot headed off towards where she expected the pakleds to be.
It wasn't too long before Brightspot came to the entrance to the section where the Pakleds were staying. At this entrance, the Honour Guard had beefed up security upon request from nearly ever other race, which amused Brightspot.
Walking upto them, she spoke, "Lt Brightspot to-Srallansre to see the Pakled Ambassadors. I am here to return their child, if they ask why."
One of the Klingons scowled at Conumdrum, who poked her toungue out at them, "You can leave her here with us."
Brightspot shook her head, "Not a chance. As an official member of the Federation Delegation, I am strongly reccommending that you let me through. Please go and check with the Pakleds."
After a few moments, one of the Klingons grudgingly went away and came back shortly. He nodded to the leader, who let Brightspot and Conumdrum through.
Inside, she was met by a short Pakled, who spoke fairly slowly,
"Me... Amm... bassa...dor.. Frux... Chi... ef.. Neg...ogi..ator.."
"Lt Brightspot to-Srallansre, Security for Federation Delegation. I came across this lost Pakled girl in the corridors, and wanted to return her personally rather then let the Klingons do it."
"Thaa.. nnk.. You."
From behind, another Pakled rushed forward and took Conumdrum from Brightspot. He hugged her tightly before putting her down, turning to Brightspot,
"Me Captain Grebnedlog.. Thank you for returning my daughter. She has caused quite a lot of mischief today."
"Hmm.. Now I remeber! The candy incident in the meetings."
Grebnedlog nodded, "Can we do anything as a reward?"
"Nothing is needed. I was just doing my job> I have to go back now, but it was nice to meet you."
Brightspot made her way back to the Fed lounge after that.
"Rutian Military Training and Corrections Program"
Lieutenant JG Vailen Daitaal
Vailen had been relieved for the timing of this conference, it came at a time when he needed some time on his own to work and straighten things out in his head. It was when he turned to Ensigns Jay and Silent Bob, that's when he realized something was wrong with himself. Doctor Quevvenson had given him orders to see a councillor to help work things out, but Vailen had discovered the department was far to busy at the moment with the mission. He decided not to bother anyone else with his problem and left the councillors to themselves.
A few days of deep meditation and concentration followed by heavy training. That was the ticket to mental salv
ation. He had turned his quarters into an uninviting workplace, cluttered with excersize equiptment to take his mind away from here. Aside from the equiptment, the room was as clean as the Medical Labs, the mess Vailen had made in the weeks before was gone and forgotten. The distress of the dissapointment from his failure with the Photon Torpedo modifications was shoved far down in his mind as he did chinups in a corner. The alcohol had been driven from his system over the days as he fell to a simple diet that he had when he was in the Rutian Military....Bread, Water, Cheese and Beans. The grease of the Military's wheels.
Vailen had set his sights on his work ahead of him. Doctor Quevvenson was doing Physical exams for the whole crew, and Vailen was determined not to fail. In the military failing a physical resulted in expulsion from active duty. He was keeping that mindset. Maybe he'd get lucky.
His biceps rippled as he finished his set and dropped to his feet. He slowly walked over to the mirror and took a look. His shoulders were nearly twice the size and his barrel chest heaved with exhaustion from a full days workout. He turned his left arm towards the mirror and looked at his biceps. His military tattoo hadn't stretched with his exertion luckily. It was a simple tattoo. Just a number.
Every marine wore a number like it on his homeworld. The number had been genetically encoded for identification purposes in case of the inevitable. Whle the encoding was useless while he was in Starfleet, he would never get rid of it. It was part of who he was. ~Who I Am~ he reminded himself. He smiled at his new physique in the mirror.
"Starfleet wants an officer, They got one." he said to himself as he turned back to his equiptment for his next set. He began his chinups again and began to recite.
"We the intelligent life-forms of the United Federation of Planets determined :
To save succeeding generations from the scourge of intra-galactic war which has brought untold horror and suffering to our planetary social systems, and To reaffirm faith in the fundamental intelligent life-form rights, in the dignity and worth of the intelligent life-form person, to the equal rights of male and female and of planetary social systems large and small, and To establish conditions under which justice and mutual respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of interplanetary law can be maintained, and To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
And to these ends to practice benevolent tolerance and live together in peace with one another as Good Neighbours....."
“What to do next.”
By Lt. Heather Grant-Wellington
USS Galaxy NCC-70637
With unauthorised references to Gustavson and Pailaka.
With half the crew on down on lanjep and the Galaxy in orbit, the ship appeared to be deserted. Even Ten-Forward was quieter than usual. Sitting in front of the forward windows, Heather stared out beyond the hull, wondering as to what she should do with the extra spare time she had on her hands. She originally planned to spend some time with her department, but no one had responded to her messages of requests for a gathering. Indiana had gone down to lenjep for a period of time and was yet to return, which left her wishing she had taken him up on his offering. Finishing her mango smoothie, she departed Ten Forward for the second time in the past several hours. On her mind, she had a nagging series of thoughts that she wanted to air with someone, who would understand her but not in a counsellor sense.
It had been a few months since she last visited sickbay and the only time she was on deck 12, was when she visited the gym during alpha shift. As she walked the corridors from the turbolift, she felt a sense of eeriness that she could not put her finger on and could not stop feeling threatening by. What every it was, she could not wait until was she free from its grasp. Walking into the Main Sickbay, she scanned the room with her eyes in search of the Chief of Medical Officer. Usually, Heather did not like interrupting Autumn while she was on duty, but there was little activity going on and she did not know when would be a more appropiate time.
As she stood there, a nurse came passed her and stopped to offer assistance. “Doctor Quevvenson is presently with a patient. Would you like me to let her know you are here?” “No thanks. I’ll come back later. Can you please let her know that I was here and I would like to speak to her, when she has a moment.” “I’ll inform her. And you are?” “Lieutenant Grant-Wellington. It’s nothing important. Just a friendly chat.” She smiled. The nurse assured Heather that she would pass the message on. Heather smiled and thanked the nurse, before departing sickbay. Sighing, she considered what else she could do.
In light of the lack of responses from her superior officer to her messages and the concern she had in regards to the helm crew’s state of mind, Heather finally decided she needed to approach Gustavson and see how he was coping following the Hirogen encounter. The previous mission had placed considerable strain on the helm crew, as they banded together to rid the Galaxy of the Hirogen. They had lost one junior crewman and sent the rest of them into a sort of withdrawal. She was yet to check in on Pailaka, but when she saw him last, he seemed be coping much better than Gustavson. The only problem was, she was not sure if Gustavson was going to listen to her or not, especially if she brought up the subject regarding his relationship with Rose.
As she stepped into the tubolift, she tapped her badge. [Computer, where’s Lieutenant-Commander Gustavson?] “Lieutenant-Commander Gustavson is no longer on board.” Heather sighed with frustration and disappointment. “Is there anyone on this ship who needs me other than Rose?” she growled.
[Please restate question]
Heather rolled her eyes. “Deck 3.” She snapped and leant against the back of the lift, cursing the lack of activity and cooperation from her department.
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
The night was a long one for Captain Price. Left alone, hands bound and a dark hood covering his head, Lee had spent the night in the cell on board some alien vessel. For the first few hours the Captain had struggled with his bonds, trying to see if the shackles would give or at least give him room to maneuver them from behind his back to the front, but it was no use. The Captain had finally given up, laying down on the bunk in the cell and making himself as comfortable as he could. That wasn't easy either. All his struggling with his bonds had caused the General to perspire under the hood that covered his head and face. He smelled quite ripe under the hot hood and wished that if nothing else, they'd remove it for something more humane.
Lee had lost track of time, finally drifting off to a light sleep. The General had settled on a sort of fetal position, lying on his side. It must of worked, because the last thing he remembered was struggling with his own stench before the sounds of the force field deactivating had awoken him some number of hours later.
"Who is there?" Lee called out from the bunk. Still bound and blinded by the hood, he had no idea who had entered the cell. He could hear footsteps that sounded like just one person, but he couldn't be sure. Instinctively, he got up and sat on the edge of the bunk. Somehow he felt less vulnerable with his feet on the ground rather then lying on the bunk, even if he couldn't see a thing under the hood.
"Stay where you are. You will not be harmed."
The voice was softer and high pitched. Lee recognized it and was pretty certain it was that of a woman rather then a child. Because of his own body odor under the hood, he couldn't really smell anything to give him a hint of perfume or anything. But when he forgot himself and tried anyway, Lee's face soured under the hood. What he wouldn't give for a nice hot shower right now. Listening, he could hear what sounded like something metallic being placed down on the floor. He thought he felt a slight vibration through the soles of his boots as well.
"Who are you? Why are you doing this to me?" Lee asked quickly.
"Save your questions human." The female voice responded. "I've brought you some food and water. You are probably hungry by now."
Lee straightened a bit and realized that he was starving. With the abduction and everything it had been over 12 hours since he'd last eaten. "Well I appreciate that 'mate. I think it would be wonderful just to get this bloody hood off. I'm roasting under here having wore it all night."
There was a pause after the Captain had stated that. Lee wasn't sure if his captor had simply left while he was chattering on, or if she was still there in the cell. Listening, his ears told him that the force field was still down, so he decided she was still there, possibly thinking about what he'd just said. Then the thought struck the Captain that the person might be confused by his comments, especially if they were depending on a universal translator of some sort. Lee's Ausy accent could sometimes throw translation devices for a loop.
"Move to the end of the bunk human. Face away from my voice." The woman ordered.
Lee carefully complied, shifting his legs around and turning his back to his captor, hoping he wasn't about to get executed with a shot to the head...
*** The diplomatic vaS rol, lanjep ***
The second day of the peace conference opened to a glorious sunrise over the blue planet lanjep. Like the day before the weather was picture perfect. Many of the visiting dignitaries from around the quadrant had started to arrive as early as 08:00 for the second day of talks.
Princess DevnoH looked out over the balcony of the Klingon delegation as the various ambassadors began filing in and taking their places at the assigned balcony boxes. They had already heard from the Breen Ambassador, Palus, with his long list of 162 complaints over the opening of the mIch nItlhral trade route. It was expected that the Breen would oppose the opening of Klingon Space to outsiders, so Ambassador Palus' objections, though detailed and unnecessarily long, came as no surprise. DevnoH looked forward to addressing some of the Breen's concerns. Chancellor Martok had explained to the Princess that both the Breen and Romulans would likely oppose the trade route, but that the Federation and most of the other governments in the quadrant would most likely be for it. So now DevnoH plotted to decide whom she should call next to take the podium floor.
Ambassador Sostik, the Romulan delegate, and his party of negotiators entered the hall and were soon taking their seats at the designated balcony. Princess DevnoH gave the Romulan a nod of respect, which Sostik returned stiffly.
Looking, the Princess could see that the Ferengi had arrived, loudly as usual. The capitalistic natured race could be counted on to be fore the trade route, there was little question of that, since free trade opened the way for the big eared race to earn extra profits in the Klingon Empire. Other delegations had begun to shuffle in as well. Judari, Pakleds, Yridians, Nausicans were just some of the delegates the Princes recognized as they made their way to their assigned balconies.
By 09:00, mostly everyone had arrived, less a few ambassadors that no doubt enjoyed the hospitality of the Klingon Empire a little too much last night. Everyone knew the Klingons to be a warrior race, but few realized that they were also very hospitable, intense partiers too. Years of living on the edge had make Klingons such passionate people. There was no half way for Klingons. When it was time to fight, they fought. When it was time to die, they died. When it was time to relax and have a good time, Klingons did that too, because tomorrow they might be dead. Such extreme views and attitudes had created a culture that was very much into living for the moment in everything that they did.
A brisk pounding from the Klingon overseer's booth signaled that the second day's proceedings had officially begun.
Princess DevnoH checked the time and then took to the podium floor.
"Welcome back distinguished ambassadors from around the quadrant. For those of you that have made it to the second day of these talks and are not too weak from last nights festivities, the Klingon Empire thanks you for being our guests." The Princess looked around the auditorium at the different delegates. Turning towards the Breen balcony, she continued. "Yesterday we heard from the Breen Ambassador, Palus. He read a quite extensive, well-prepared list of objections to the opening of the mIch nItlhral trade route. I will be addressing these concerns of the Breen Ambassador, but before I do I think it would be better if we heard from a few more delegates attending these talks. This may help avoid repetition as each of you gets a chance to express your concerns or state your reasons for wanting to see the mIch nItlhral opened up to free trade."
Princess DevnoH circled around as she spoke. For a moment her eyes fell on Counselor Dallas in the Federation booth. Karyn lowered her eyes, hoping that the Princess would not call on the Federation to speak next. With Captain Price being held captive as a strong arm tactic to get the Federation to voice it's opposition against the trade route, the Commander needed to stall as long as possible to give them time to figure out who was behind this, and try to save the Captain's life. Fortunately, the Princess turned away this time.
Looking up at the Romulans, DevnoH smiled. "If there are no objections, perhaps the Romulan delegation would like to take the floor and voice their opinion over the mIch nItlhral? Since both the Breen and Romulans are the closest neighbors affected by this opening of Klingon space to free trade, it seems only appropriate that they should be the first to speak."
The Romulan Ambassador, Sostik, stood up and gave the Princess a bow of his head. His arms were in their traditional place, stuffed inside the bulky sleeves of his Romulan uniform. "It would be our pleasure Princess DevnoH."
DevnoH smiled. "Excellent. Then please, prepare whatever notes you have and see the honor guard at the exit to your booth. They will show you the way onto the floor Ambassador."
The assembly of ambassadors from around the quadrant waited for the Romulans to take the podium floor and speak their piece over the opening of the mIch nItlhral.
NRPG: There are four parts to this joint post storyline between Mieke and myself. This is Part One. It takes place the night before we beam down to lanjep. We've also taken some liberty with the holodeck timewise later on, but only for character development.
Lt. Commander Shinta Navarre,
Assistant Chief Counselor
Lt. Commander James Mitchell,
Chief Science Officer
The next evening Shinta was ready on time. Vicki was looking after the children, the little ones were already in bed, and Gavin was finishing his homework.
She was sitting in the living room, reading a magazine. Shinta felt nervous, and didn't really understand why. This would be a social call, they were not going to fight tonight. He was being nice, it would be OK.
A few decks and several sections away, James fought with his hair. It had grown longer over the weeks, too long to be dealt with properly. He didn't like the high maintenance his hair was costing him, and it irritated him to no end. He smoothed out the waves with a touch of styling mousse (of which I'm sure still exists in the 24th century!) and patted it out with the fine-tipped comb he kept with him more often than usual.
The bruises on his arms and torso had pretty much faded, but the dull ache still remained of the experiences of being thrashed about by the forces of Drewl and nature as the tide of the current had smashed him up against the crags hidden under the surface of the pool he'd been found in. Four of his ribs had been snapped, his skull fractured, and ankle shattered. He'll forever walk with a slight limp when the environment was damp.
He ran his calloused fingers over the darker pink regions where his bruises had once been located, and eyed the scars his life had brought him. Flashes of the past came back to haunt him; glaring and fleeting. Yet he did not feel any anger towards it, and he was going to meet the one person who had caused it, albeit indirectly.
Shinta Maxwell-Navarre, the consort of the beasts of terror, who'd stopped him on his attempt to assassinate the Gul through a suicide bomb was whom he was going to meet tonight, and he felt no animosity towards her. Strange he should feel that way, he thought. He trimmed his goatee as he dwelt on his inner thoughts.
He actually felt a touch of excitement at the prospect, and peaceful, if not mildly nervous. He wondered how she'd react to him after the last time they were together, but since then, he had a lot to tell her. Not in a counselling sense, either. He felt a kinship towards her from their broken and tormented pasts.
He replaced his straight razor in the place-holder just off to the side of his counter. He found it was a closer shave than the sonic follicle removers going around technology circles these days. After spending a good part of his teenage years foraging with primitive tools just to survive, he felt laziness came with convenience.
He felt a pressure in his bladder and reached around to do his business.
After sleeping for 10 hours straight, it came quickly and without mercy. Rushing to the urinal, he released his business to a fantastic moan. He leaned forward and placed a hand against the wall as he relieved himself. He groaned prominently as the heat left him.
Later, after dressing in casual dress, consisting of a light Terran pullover top and leather Bajoran breeches, he took one last look around his quarters shortly before leaving. As he passed over his dresser, a glint caught his eye and held his gaze. He thought about the object on the bureau and whether he should wear it, and almost as if by instinct, he felt a strange desire to do so.
He walked with purpose towards the object and covered it with his palm for a short moment before sweeping it off the sheer surface into the cup of his hand. He walked the mirror, and with determined hands, he clipped the earpiece on his right lobe.
He stared for a moment at the face looking back at him, and nodded. His family heirloom, whoever they may be, looked quite at home on him. With one last check, he exited the apartment.
USS Galaxy "Investigation"
Written by Lt. Ardra MacGrath
Counsellor, USS Galaxy
Ardra had sat in the lower science room for what seemed hours, in fact it had been just on twelve hours and a number of cups of coffee. She was close, the feeling of getting into someones mind was completely unmistakeable.
She continued to look at the letter, her fingers, raised above the writting, slowly moved over it's dark imprint. Her mind was wondering as she waited for Elithan Ji to arrive.... She looked to the clock and realised that it was going to be atleast a few hours before that was going to happen.
She sighed and pulled her bag up, she pulled out her crystal and took a hold of it in her right hand. Her eyes closed as she started to focus on her breathing, her body was indeed relaxed as she felt herself slip away to a world she knew.
Ardra, standing in her white dress walked through the dark green forest. The birds were singing, and the ground was soft under her feet as she walked barefoot through the forest on a path she knew all to well.
Ardra ran into a spider web, it's stickness forcing her into a slight panic and then suddenly she awoke from the world. Standing inside the room, stood Elithan 'oh my' she thought to herself.
Lt. Commander Shinta Navarre,
Assistant Chief Counsellor
Lt. Commander James Mitchell,
Chief Science Officer
Shinta flung down the magazine, she just couldn't concentrate on reading anything at the moment. She walked back to the bathroom to check her make up. She usually didn't use it, only for special occasions. And Shinta still didn't understand why she had put it up tonight. She was going out with a patient, and one of whom she was not entirely sure if he liked her at all.
She wore a new dress, one she had bought during the holiday in England. And a matching new necklace. Her ears were bare. Since she left Bajor, she never wore an earring. Because the people there didn't want her anymore, she didn't think she had the right. Just like she didn't pray any more. At moments like this that hurt, it did feel like part of her was missing.
She walked back into the living room. After 2 months nothing of her husband remained. She had it all put it away in boxes, and started using only her own name again. He hardly contacted her, and if he did it was only about the children. She didn't know how she could have been so wrong. was there no man in the entire universe she could trust.
Enough about that, tonight she wanted to have fun. So she waited in patiently for James to arrive.
*** Deck 5 ***
He maneuvered his way through the corridors, as they were throbbing with activity during this time of diplomacy. Outside, the ships of the convoy were gathering.
He stopped by the arboretum, and currying a favour from one of the botanists tending to the gardens, was able to acquire a subtle bouquet of flora. A multi-coloured mixture of Terran tulips and orchids. He'd tried to use his charm on one of the younger female botanists to gather a variety of Bajoran venda leaves to accentuate the bouquet, but she simply would not part from them. Something about them being of a rare variety and difficult to bloom. James thought it had more to do with the fact the flowers were for someone else and she knew it.
Now, he was crammed in a turbolift full of crewmen and emissaries alike. The subtle odor of sweat hung in the air as the Tellarite in the back was causing a stir from some of the folk beside him, creating an air of nervousness.
He exited the turbolift at the Shinta's quarters deck, and could swear he smelt the first trace of rotten flatulence as he left the turbolift. He glanced back in and saw the the rosy cheeks of one Leo Streely, whistling and glancing about in supposed innocence. James grinned and laughed at the El Magnifico, and wondered if he's ever gotten laid. From the lack of sound accompanying the gaseous release, he supposed Leo had had some form of sex, just not necessarily with a woman or living creature for that matter....
Someone was going to lay him alright, though. Just not the way Leo would want it. The look on the Tellarite's face as it breathed the rancid odor....
He came to the door to Shinta's quarters, and with a deep and bated breath, keyed the buzzer.
Lt. Commander Shinta Navarre,
Assistant Chief Counselor
Lt. Commander James Mitchell,
Chief Science Officer
Shinta's heart beat faster when she heard the buzzer. Yet she waited a few seconds before opening it, not wanting to seem to eager.
"Hello James," she said. He looked good, not in uniform, and it suited him. And it also helped that this time he was not shouting at her, he wasn't even looking angry. She noticed the flowers, they couldn't possibly be for her. "Do you want to come in?" Suddenly the counsellor was for once at a loss of words.
They both stood there for what seemed like a very long time. Two people, so used to seeing each other in uniform now gazed at each other in informal setting. James couldn't believe what his eyes were parlaying to him. Here was his counsellor, dressed in a rather un-counsellor fashion. He felt somewhat underdressed and altogether shy, which was new to him.
She wore a beautiful green sheer gown which clung to her body in a rather sultry manner. The dress bore her bodice, accentuated her emerald necklace which glittered in the dimmed corridor lights. A slit appeared at the base of her left leg, daring him to hang his gaze a bit longer in the hopes of seeing more than he should...
He felt like a teenager all of sudden. He thought back to his first date on Mars when he was 14; just before he left for Bajor in defence of its heritage and driving out their oppressors.
Jamie Thomas. It'd taken him weeks to get up the nerve to ask her out, and they'd actually ended up dating until he left. They'd fought hard that day, and she ended up leaving him. She was married to his best friend back then, now. Has three kids. Marisa would probably do the same. He now did not have best friends anymore. Only acquaintances.
He found it had not been the same for him since Jamie. The feelings he had for his first love couldn't compare to what he experienced later in life, and that was understandable. Marisa had been a different type of love, and he loved her all the same.
Yet, here he was. Standing in front of the woman with whom he'd had so much anger and resentment for, and he was feeling angst all over again. He was concerned how he appeared to her; if he shaved cleanly, and he was actually *nervous*!
He gathered what he could of his thoughts, surprised as he was by the adrenaline pumping through him. ~It isn't a date!~ He tried to convince himself. This was a friendship call. One to cleanse his soul a start life anew. To forgive and move out of the past into a brighter future.
Shinta had helped him see that, unbeknownst to her, and he was here to thank her. He's take her out for a light supper, maybe a walk through the arboretum. They'd complete the evening with some quiet time on the observation deck. Apparently they were going to be passing near the Draco Crab Nebula on their way to the summit.
"Ummm....yes!" She moved aside to let him enter. She had a beautiful apartment and a great view of the ships nacelles as they streaked through the stars. Several dozen ships followed behind. A pair of them jauntered back and forth, vying for a lead position between the two.
Shinta was quiet behind in as he himself entered in uncomfortable silence. Neither one of them knew what to expect of the evening.
James smelled the flowers he brought with him and peered up at her over the tips of the flora.
"These are for you, Counsellor. I just wanted to show my appreciation for what you've done with me." He held them out for her.
He looked so.... different. Outside of his uniform, and was even nice, a little shy. And not at all ugly. That startled her, because she had given up on men. They were not to be trusted, and she was never going to fall in love again. And certainly not with a patient.
That was all he was to her, a patient. Maybe a friend, that might be possible, tonight at least he didn't seem to want to kill her, that was an improvement. Why was he so nice, after all the things he had said to her. And why did he look so handsome standing there with those beautiful flowers?
She looked into his eyes, when he handed her the flowers. He had beautiful eyes. "For me..." she stammered and then flushed. "But... but... you hate me." Shinta wished she could take those words back, because suddenly she wanted him to think well of her. It seemed the most important thing in the world all of a sudden. Her heart beat like mad, and she knew her face was red.
That took him aback, but he deserved it. He did say a lot of things in the past to demean her, make her hurt for what she did, and he was vicious about it. Yet here she was, flushed and awkward at his unlikely restitution towards her. He raised a hand and brushed it lightly against her cheek. She didn't flinch. This made him smile. She was trusting him.
"I don't hate you, Shinta..." He whispered as he traced the back of his hand down her scar, curled trails of dark hair strategically placed to distract from it laying against the palm of his hand. It was so soft.... her skin so supple...
"On the contrary, I actually care very much about you. You did more for me than you'll ever know, and for that I can never repay you enough, and I want to make reparations. I can only begin by letting *me* help *you* this time. To take your mind off of things." He was subtly referring to the unfortunate business of Bruce up and leaving her.
"You aren't afraid of that, are you?" She was so close to him.... why was he tingling?
She was confused, and unable to think straight. Especially when he touched her cheek. As first she thought that he was playing a game, to torture her even more. Yet that was not what she saw in his eyes. Then maybe he was seriously ill mentally. But why did it feel so good... his body almost touched hers, she knew that she should pull away, but all she wanted was to move closer.
"I am fine..." she began to lie, yet found she couldn't do that anymore. "I'm not. I feel awful. And I shouldn't be telling you this, you are my patient." She tried to pull herself together. "I feel so betrayed by men." Still she didn't push away, Shinta just stood there, feeling absolutely helpless.
"I think I can relate to that." He still smiled as he pulled his hand away. She seemed uncomfortable at his touch, and he didn't want to encourage discomfort. He wanted this night to be eventful and unforgettable, yes, but he also wanted atonement for the pain he had caused her; he wanted to her to feel good about herself as a person and let her know she was still needed.
"Are you ready to go? Or do you need some more time....?" He lingered at the end of the sentence to assure her he was in no hurry. He'd wait for her, as this night was hers. He owed her a lot, and then some. He'd never repay the debt, but he was sure as heck gonna try.
She actually didn't like it when he pulled back. It had felt strangely safe when he touched her. It confused and surprised her, how much she suddenly liked being with him.
"No, I am fine. I don't need more time." She followed him out the door, and allowed him to lead her through the ship, to whatever destination he had in mind.
"Bajor by moonlight"
Lt. Commander Shinta Navarre,
Assistant Chief Counselor
Lt. Commander James Mitchell,
Chief Science Officer
This was nice. It felt almost like a blind date. She had read about those. Except for the two men that had fathered her children, Shinta had never been romanticly involved with any men. Sex had been her job, and she had hated it.
She watched James. He seemed so calm and collected, so cured. Could it really be that she had helped him? Shinta knew that she had tried, she had tried everything, even going past what she knew was professionally right.
She had endangered her own sanity in helping him. Because Shinta knew very well that part of her current troubles came from helping James. But if he was really cured, it was all worth it. This is what made the job so wonderful. But she had to make sure.
Shinta stopped in a hallway. "Before we go on, James, I need to know. Is this real? You are not giving me false hope and torturing me are you? The last time we met, you were so angry at me. I know you came close to killing me. I know how much you hated me. Every therapy I tried with you,... I... at this moment I couldn't take it if you are toying with me." She felt so vulnerable right now, and she wished that he would comfort her. But she couldn't ask, it would be wrong, he was a patient.
When he felt her stop behind him, he at first thought she was rethinking this night and was to return to her quarters, but the look in her eyes, pained as they were, tol
d him there was more.
The lack of personnel on this deck was a blessing. To have personal issues broadcast in public only to encourage gossip was the last thing each of them needed.
She leaned into the flowers to inhale their aroma. Their scent carried their way to him, powerful on the senses. Amazing how aromatic scents can make one relaxed; inhibitions melted with the right mix. There was a lot of tension between them, and unsureties of their loyalties to each other.
Sure, they shared a Bajoran kinship, but it was more a matter of violence rather than enjoyable child-like memories. They couldn't draw on that to bind them if they were to share a peaceful co-existence with each other.
So James thought it was time to create new ones.
"I'm through with torturing, Shinta." He didn't touch her. He wasn't a counsellor, but he knew a male's touch was probably the last thing she wanted right now. Betrayed by her culture, betrayed by her family. He wanted to show her he was moving forward and starting a new phase of renewal of the soul. She'd opened the door for him, unknowingly, and kicked him in the rear end through it. Deep down he knew he had to face his inner demons, and teetering on the edge of death gave him the retribution and atonement he needed to forgive himself and move on.
Now it was time for him to help others.
"I'm not a patient anymore, counsellor. I've been places, seen things unimaginable while on leave, and have realized that there are more things in life to be thankful for than feeling sorry for myself. You made me see a part of myself that I'd refused to do, and forced me to deal with it." She remained quiet, listening, moisture coming to her eyes as he drew closer to
her, yet still did not touch her.
"I owe you much more than I can repay to you, and for that, I'm thankful. I am dreadfully sorry for whatever pains I put you through, and I hope you can forgive me someday." He finally reached out and put a single finger under her chin and drew her up to look at him. He smiled.
"Now, chin up, young lady. I don't expect anything from you tonight, let alone forgiveness. Just enjoy yourself. We're almost there."
It was almost too good to be true. Yet in his eyes she saw that he meant it. She had actually cured him. Shinta cried with joy.
"I can't say how happy I am James. I do want to see you a couple of times, just to make sure. I know you have fooled counsellors before, but I believe you." She smiled, through the tears. "I am going to miss seeing you."
"No, you aren't." He chuckled softy as he took her arm and led her to their destination.
"You aren't going to miss me because I don't plan on seeing you at the office, but outside it. On less rigid terms. No regulations, no rules. Just pure friendship. Our first destination is where I plan to start that friendship." They walked on in awkward silence as the concept of seeing each other in non-official business created unsureties in responses to each other.
"Here we are." He said a little later, and led her into the holodeck. The familiar image of the Mousilla province was there before her. She recognized some kind of ancient home, a lovely building. James led her outside to a small stone balcony. There a table was set for dinner, with candles burning, and traditional music playing softly in the background. Next to the balcony was the slow trickle of a waterfall. It was the perfect romantic spot.
At that moment Shinta realized how much she missed Bajor. And her heart bled, she could never go back. For the things she had done to James, and the things the others blamed her for. For doing her duty, she was still regarded as a collaborating whore, and not wanted on her own planet. She began to cry.
"I miss it so much. Could you please hold me?"
He felt peculiar at this, but when he saw the pain and moisture in her eyes, he thought he had made a mistake bringing her here. This was one of his favourite spots on Bajor, one that he hopes to visit in reality one day when the opportunity came to him. Maybe take up residence there when he retired from spacefaring duty.
The breeze was slight, flickering the candles on the table surface.
Twilight had set, and Bajor's moons rose in the starlit sky. The soft lull of the rushing water running below them was relaxing. He didn't know how to react to her request to hold her, but something else beckoned him on. He took her in his arms and pulled her close.
It felt good, it felt safe. And that startled her. Two months ago she had said that she would never trust another man again, and now she was standing so close to James. And him being a patient as well. This couldn't be right, could it?
Finally she took a little bit of distance. "Thank you, James. I needed that." She looked at him. "Yet I do not think we should do that again. I liked it too much." She flushed. "It's very confusing to me. And I hope you wont hate me for it. Maybe it is just being here. You do know that I am not well come on Bajor any more. I can never go back. But you understand that." She whispered.
A soft breeze blew against his cheek, carrying the scent of Feloran Bromeliads and Lilacs on its cusp. He gazed at her a moment, then moved closer to her. She tensed up to his approach, yet he did not touch her. He passed around her and to the table, to pull her chair out. It grated lightly against the marbled concrete underneath.
"If there is any hatred left in me, Counselor, it is in my own self-pity I wallowed in over these last few years. As to being unwelcome on Bajor...." He guided her to the cushioned seat he'd pulled out. "This is my Bajor, and you are always welcome to it. I would have no one else share it."
She smiled at him, feeling so funny inside. Her reason told her that this was wrong, yet her emotions said that she wanted to be close to this man, as close as possible. Was it the fact that he was half Bajoran? That he reminded her of home, the home she could not have any more. She wasn't sure, and that unnerved her a little bit. Yet this night she felt so happy, so at peace.
"It is wonderful, James. It feels so real. So like home." She sat down at the table.
"While on leave, I took some time to explore myself, and took our therapy session one step further. I booked passage to Bajor and faced those same fears you express in yourself. I had thought I would be unwelcome myself, seeing as I am only half-Bajoran and unreligious. An outcast, if you will."
He pulled out his own chair to take a seat. A servant appeared unbidden from the shadows. She poured Jumja Tea as they spoke.
"Bajor has changed, Shinta. They are more open-minded and forgiving than we once thought. They've moved on to more important ventures than chasing down collaborators. The Provisional government is still struggling for establishment." He sipped his tea and smiled as he leaned back in his chair.
"I purchased this land you see around us. This is an exact duplicate of my home on Bajor. I hope to be transferred there to assist in rebuilding and teaching at the Bajoran Center for Science one day." Another servant arrived, carrying a basket of Cava Rolls and Moba, followed by another serving the main dish - Retamba Stew. He inhaled the sweet aroma of the green stew as he closed his eyes. Its steam swirled up over his ridges and into the night air.
"You are *always* welcome in my home, Shinta."
"I am so proud of you." She said. "I too would love to go back one day. Yet I am afraid. You might be un religious. I am un religious and in their eyes a collaborator. I have no immediate family left. My parents and brothers and sisters were all killed. So there is nobody to speak out for me." She looked around her at the beauty of her home country.
"I am grateful that you allow me to be here. It almost seems real, and with you here." Those strange emotions again. "You are very special, do you realize that?"
"Thank you, Shinta." He blushed for the first time. It was embarrassing, so he turned away. "It's been a long time since anyone has said that to me."
"Then it is about time." She gently took his arm, and turned him back to her. They were standing very close now, touching. "Because you deserve it. Tonight I've seen a side of you that is so beautiful. You are free now, free of the past. Enjoy life, take chances, live!" Her eyes were full of fire, as she stood there against the balcony, in the moonlight.
His eyes glimmered at her sudden change in demeanour. Successfully, he'd brought her out of the sadness that had been haunting her since he'd brought her onto the holodeck. For once, other than forcing her to endure the feelings of guilt and rage that had turmoiled within him, she now glorified in his presence.
For a single long moment, there was nothing around them, just a a sphere of seclusion that only included the two of them. He felt a closeness to her - an attraction that to him felt like a strand, undulating in the breeze that blew around them. It held the two of them in sway.
He snapped his fingers suddenly, and the soft lilts of a Bajoran melody filled the air. He stood back and raised Shinta's hand, bowing as he did so.
"May I have this dance, m'lady?"
"Gladly, my lord." Her eyes found his, and she was lost in them. They started to dance, and it seemed so normal to put her head on his shoulder. It felt so safe. She let the familiar music guide her, and felt happier than she had in a longtime.
They danced, they dined, and they drank deeply the myrrth delivered them by the pseudo-servants. They laughed like old friends throughout the time they had been given until it their time was up. Laughing hard at a joke Shinta had told him, James glanced at his chronometer, and in the process, spilled the drink he was holding onto himself.
"Damn.. oh! Hahahaha!" He stumbled merrily into the table while trying to wipe up the liquid soaking his legs. Shinta hopped up herself to stagger over to help him stand up. It was rather difficult. Both of them were a tad tipsy, disoriented, and laughing too hard. They both tumbled to the ground in laughter, and Shinta landed astride him.
The laughter trickled away as did their inhibitions from the alcohol James had brought from his quarters earlier. His heart started beating hard as he felt her hot breath in his face...
Suddenly nothing mattered anymore. He was so close, and so handsome. He was just perfect. And before she knew what she was doing, Shinta kissed him full on the lips, and she felt very happy when he responded.
Her lips touched his as he looked deep into her eyes. He felt fearful, excited, daring, and guilty all at the same time. The alcohol dulled his vision, and he only felt fire as their lips and tongues groped for each other. He wrapped his arms around her small frame and puller her closer as his hands reached for her hair. He ran his fingers through her lovely strands....
“Avoiding the Slings and Crutches”
By Lieutenant James Lionel Corgan
Chief of Operations, USS Galaxy
Location: Main Bridge, beginning of Alpha Shift
Soundtrack: “Rockstar Poser” by N.E.R.D. (If it’s rap that I like, then you know that it’s pretty damn GOOD! I suggest you all listen to this song.)
Dead tired and ready to hit the self destruct button on the ship for some sh*ts and giggles (though not literally, no matter how much his mind toyed with the idea), Lieutenant Corgan slogged through his duty shift drearily. He was dragged down by a night full of fatigue, running, heavy partying, and life threatening circumstances. He was chased, threatened, and pulled through situations he though were not possible in the normal realm of science, man or the universe. Sheer coincidences… being stuck with a lovestruck woman, running into a tough gang leader thrice, and hurting the Klingon warrior badly in all three encounters, and then inadvertently causing the death of a hooker, not to mention running into a riot and then accidentally causing a misfire incident with a Klingon Arbitor/Lieutenant and an Honor Guard was bad enough. But all of these in one night? It was mind boggling.
Who would have thought escorting an Ambassador of the Andorian Court to be so challenging? Or so tiring? He was still tired from the trip, and three hours of sleep didn’t help as much as he liked.
It mattered little what happened afterwards. He received word that Lieutenant Black caught up with Karm, and the cowardly Klingon doctor/deserter/thinker/guide was receiving his just dessert. It reconfirmed Corgan’s long standing belief that there was justice in the universe, and that eventually everyone had to pay for their actions. Though most times he was proven wrong, this wasn’t one of them.
He was looking down at the planet Lanjep, through the view of the main bridge’s monitor screen. It was late afternoon on the third continent. He saw the encroaching veil of the dark side of the planet slowly consume the continent turning late day into early dusk. Over on the first continent, it was already morning as the Galaxy made its orbit. Overhead he could see with his left eye the tiny speck of civilization on the Klingon paradise planet. It was Lanjep City, and further in was vas’Rol. Focus even closer, and the diplomats were starting to gather.
He thanked the stars that he didn’t have to go down there. At some point, he envied the security personnel and was tempted to transfer back, just to take part in the security duties. What fun it would be to rub shoulders with the powerful. Get to know former enemies and friends, see history unfold before him! He was part of some minor points in the Federation calendar (such as the second Borg invasion and the Dominion War), but to see diplomacy take place? That was an honor reserved for the most powerful.
Envy was replaced by common sense soon afterwards. ~”What am I thinking?”~ James thought. Security duty meant he had to protect Ambassador Ordos. Then it meant that he had to put up with the overweight tyrant for longer than he could tolerate. He would have to watch the Ambassador eat, speak, and move while putting up with his verbal abuse. Then he would have to see more Ambassadors. Much more. With different odious habits that infuriated all the same. And he had to do all that, while holding a phaser that could end their ceaseless blithering, and while being entrusted with their lives.
On second thought, he didn’t envy the security officers and the Klingon Honor Guard for what they had to do. They were the ones on the diplomatic front lines. They were the casualties of the war. ~”Poor bastards…”~ James shook his head while he checked out the communications array, ~”I’m lucky to be here. They’re not. I can get peace and quiet on the bridge. What do they have? Ambassadors. I don’t envy them too much.”~
The communications array checked out ok. Its maintenance had to be scaled down due to inactive use. The communications block out in Klingon space was a vexing problem for the ship. Ops had to deal with the complaints crewmen fielded to them about not being able to contact their relatives for a chat or a good game of Kataskat. Few people appreciated the Klingon’s wisdom in shutting down communications, especially when gossip that had to escape into subspace and onto a relative’s LCARS console was being held back. Some people were too impatient, petty, and selfish to realize the radio silence was necessary. Not because of orders, but for secrecy sakes.
It came to the point where he just deleted the complaint letters and gave everyone who answered the generic ‘Because the Klingons said so’ letter. Let them chew on that for awhile.
A communiqué came to James. His comm’badge chirped to warn him of the incoming message. ~”First time they sent a complaint by comm’ signal. Lets see what they have…”~ James wearily looked at his badge, half expecting it to be a complaint (the other half was open to anything else).
=/\=”Ensign Torsag to Lieutenant Corgan.”=/\= Spoke the resident Klingon field medic from Sickbay. Little to the Ensign’s realization, he was the brunt of many ‘Klingon field medic’ jokes that involved pain, torture, and hap hazardous care. In reality, he was a competent doctor, and he could spay and neuter a Tribble in less than five minutes. Torsag never spoke to Corgan after he fixed his pet tribbles Snowball and Mudball. James was curious as to what prompted the doctor to call him now?
“Corgan here. What do you need?” James slapped his badge.
“Sir… you are required to report to sickbay, as per the orders of the Chief Medical Officer. You are to undergo a full physical examination, as per the stipulations of oath to Starfleet…”
James shut off his communicator with a quick slap. His arms froze onto the mouldings of the leather.
They found him! The horror of it all!
His comm’badge chirped again, like the rusty dragging of a murderer’s axe squealing on wooden walls. The doctors were on the hunt, and he was their next victim.
The comm’badge chirped louder to remind James of his current avoidance to answer the call. The voice came through as soon as he re-activated the golden pinlike device, =/\=”Ensign Torsag to Lieutenant Corgan. I hope these interruptions are due to a flaw in your communicator.”=/\=
~”Great… I’m stuck with a Klingon field medic…” He couldn’t help but think of the stereotype. He answered back, “What do you need?“
=/\=”We need you to report to Sickbay immediately. And do hurry. You are holding up our other appointments.”=/\= Torsag growled menacingly.
And James replied, “Look. I’m on duty right now. It’s bloody inconvenient to call me when I’m on duty.”
=/\=”It matters not, Lieutenant. We have authorization to do as we please to your body, including taking it where we need it to be. Report to Sickbay, or I’ll have my Commanding Officer reprimand you.”=/\=
“Alright… alright. I’m coming. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. I’ll be right there. Corgan out. “James cut off the communications line, his voice of reluctance replaced by a look of dread.
They summoned him to the lair. The place of infinite horrors. The storage house for sadistic surgeons, harmful holograms, and nasty instruments that please the giver and hurt the givee. There was no place in the universe that was so universally feared by all the races. Klingons, Breen, Cardassian, even the Borg, who were deactivated and salvaged whenever they fell ill, feared Sickbay.
And they were coming for James like twisted demons of the night.
“Ensign Brisbane, you have the Con.” Lieutenant Corgan gestured for Ensign Brisbane to move into his seat. The command staff looked to see Lieutenant Corgan leave. They were all giving him looks of pity, showing as clearly as transparent aluminum that they didn’t want to be in Corgan’s shoes. He didn’t blame them. He was going into the lair of the beasts, and he was going to come out with stories to scare others… to warn them to stay away lest ye flirt with your life.
Ok, it was greatly exaggerated, but who wanted to have their body inspected by those cold, clammy hands?
He entered the turbolift. “Deck 12.” Corgan requested. The turbolift kicked off at lightening speed, cruising through the decks faster than James preferred. He started thinking of an excuse… any excuse, to drag the trip to sickbay longer. He added, “Via deck thirty nine.” The turbolift shifted and shot sideways, towards the turbolift shaft that would take it downwards into the lower decks.
Those prying objects… the cruel, unfazed faces of the medical staff and their smarmy wisecracks about his tattoos. The uncomfortable feelings he had whenever a nurse had to inspect his private parts (and through dumb luck, it was mostly a male). And that was just the pulmonary examination at a Starfleet Medical class. He would be damned if he had to go through that again!
Minutes later, he received another summons, =/\=”Ensign Torsag to Lieutenant Corgan!”=/\= The Klingon medical ensign bellowed over the communicator, =/\=”Lieutenant Corgan! Are you reporting to sickbay or not?!?!”=/\=
By this time, Corgan was touching down at deck thirty nine, and the turbolift was charging up its electro-magnetic thrusters to make the long ascent to deck twelve. And still, there was no plan inside his head that would help him out of his dilemma. He needed to stall for more time. “Ensign Torsag! A pleasure to meet you! How can I help you?”
=/\=”Perhaps you did not hear me the first time around, Lieutenant.”=/\= Ensign Torsag sounded like he didn’t appreciate being jerked around by the Lieutenant, “I said you were supposed to report to sickbay. A trip from the bridge to deck twelve doesn’t take this long, even in Jeffries tubes! Where are you?”=/\=
“Where do you expect me to be when I’m going to sickbay?” James Corgan stalled for time as the turbolift rocketed up.
=/\=”Do not be deceitful with me, Lieutenant. I know where you are, and what you are planning. You are passing deck thirty six and heading towards deck twelve. It seems you had to take the long route. Explain why.”=/\=
He was at a loss as to how the Doctor was able to track him down without calling unwanted attention from the communicator. He threw an excuse to the doctor, “An engineer had to go down there. He had priority because… he had to replace a burned out power relay.”
=/\=”Is that so?”=/\=
“Yes… ‘That is so’. I’m coming. Hold tight, Ensign. Corgan freakin’ out.” The turbolift stopped abruptly, accepting another person into the capsule. He was a golden shirted officer, and an engineer no doubt. He carried his toolkit in one arm, and a power relay in the other.
“Excuse me. I gotta take priority.” The young officer spoke in a peculiar Canadian accent, “Power relay burned out on deck thirty nine. I gotta replace it. Deck thirty nine. Stat!”
~”F**k…”~ Corgan muttered. He spent another couple of minutes going back to deck thirty eight, where the ensign promptly ran full tilt outwards to replace the equipment. ~”Oh well. I get to stall my physical for another five minutes…”~
His thoughts were interrupted by Ensign Torsag’s impatient growling, =/\=”Lieutenant Corgan. Why is your turbolift back on deck thirty eight?”=/\=
~”Hoooo boy. This isn’t looking too good for me.”~ James rolled his eyes and slapped his comm’badge, hopefully for the last time, “Another engineer too priority. I guess the first one didn’t succeed.”
=/\=”YOU LIE! I’ve heard better excuses from a freshly slaughtered TARG! Prepare for sight to sight transport!”=/\=
“HEY! You can’t do that! I was delayed! If you transport me, I’ll have you…”
=/\=”YOU will be examined whether you like it or not! Torsag out!”=/\=
There wasn’t much time to act. On average, it took the medical department approximately five second to initiate a sight to sight transport request to the transporter department. He knew. Corgan’s ops department was privy to all sorts of administrative junk that would one day prove useful in a survey or an informational seminar. And this time, this little tidbit of information was going to save his skin from the physical examination.
But what could he do in five seconds? He had to think fast. He looked around for something, anything, that would give him some inspiration. If only he was lucky enough to be an engineer. They could pull off a feat worthy of Montgomery Scott to avoid the physical exam.
The turblift activated and moved upwards.
Then an idea so obvious sprung up in his head that he thought it was impossible not to think of it sooner. His comm’badge held his personal signal, and that was how the transporter room locked on and beamed people in and out of sights. They didn’t have bioscanners sensitive enough to pick out individuals and identify them. That was science fiction!
He took off his communicator badge, and like a gold pressed latinum chip, he balled his fist, placed the communicator badge on his thumb, and flicked it into the air. It disappeared in a cloud of beautiful sparkles, and never hit the floor of the turbolift, which stopped at Deck Twelve at that moment.
“HAH! Outfoxed the medical department.” James wallowed in self triumph, “Now it’s a matter of walking… very slowly… to sickbay…. The long way…”
And that was when the turbolift door opened automatically. Though he was on the other side of the deck that sickbay was placed, there was already a medical officer waiting for him as his escort.
It was Ensign Torsag, dressed in his uniform and a white lab coat. His arms were crossed and he didn’t look impressed with Lieutenant Corgan. His fist was flipping a communicator badge. Not just any badge; Lieutenant Corgan’s!
“I believe it is time for your examination, Lieutenant.” Torsag’s face split in a sharp toothed grin.
Corgan’s triumph deflated into a tragedy. His great victory against the medical department was no more.
“Lead the way…” He hung his head in defeat and followed the Klingon medic.
"Girls Day Out?"
Lt.j/g Arel Smith, Security Officer
Lt.j/g Alia Drakely, Security Officer
Ms. Samantha Widdlestein (Aged 9) NPC Civilian
and pest Lt.Cmdr Lysander VanderPuls-Hawksley, Chief Tactical Officer and Token Male (as compared to a Tolkien male, who'd be named Bilbo or Frodo or Harpo or soemthing of that ilk.)
* * * * *
The waiting room of the lanjep City Spa and Hunting Resort owned by the d'Lbertz Clan felt like the furnaces of Hell.
Hot. H-O-T. Hot.
Sweat glistened, shinned, beaded or poured off of the spa goers as they waited for admittance into the actual spa. They all sighed as the door opened and another person entered, for one brief beautiful moment the fetid stinking air of the streets outside lightly cooled their tortured bodies and then instantly died as the door slammed shut.
The line of clothed Klingons stretched from the street door to the Changing room, and then continued in skimpy towels from that room to the Reception/Sign In/ Complimentary "Punch in the Mouth' Desk. It is worth noting here that the Three Terrans and One Centaurian are the sole non-Klingons in the place.
"Errr.... are you two -sure- that we're in a spa? Why's it so hot? It's like being in a...err..spa, isn't it?" Lysander asked, wiping sweat from his brow and trying to hold his spa- isued Scratchy Towel-ette up. He scratched his asscrack and waited for the others to respond.
Arel, busy bundling Samantha's hair on top of her head, gave an annoyed look at the reception desk behind Lysander. "It's either a test to see who's worthy of admittandce or they're trying to get more money out of us. As bad as Ferrengi" she muttered. " They've got about two more minutes before Kang over there gets irritated."
They all looked over at the young Klingon male warrior in- training who was practically sharpening his knives as they spoke. He'd come in right on their heels, and had instantly taken a dislike to the 'tourists' in general and Lysander in particular. The Klingon at the reception desk gulped, as immineient mayhem loomed. Klingons everywhere in the room cracked knuckles in hopes of an arguement or oldfashioned riot.
Samantha glanced up at her, her face almost pinker than her bathing suit under her 'Off World Diplomat Special Fluffy Bathrobe' issued by the Spa, and frowned. "This had better be worth it. I'm hot and want something to drink. You don't look good either. In fact you and Alia look really peekish. Mummy always says that women who're caring a few extra pounds should avoid looking over-exerted, because no one likes fat sweaty red-faced girls. And Lysanders sweating like a pig. His hair doesn't look look good when its plastered to his head like that..."
"Does that child ever shut up, or must I rip its' tongue out and flog these lazy attendants with the bleeding stump to get some service? Typical, they invite these weak off-worlders down here, and then turn them loose. It'd be a . . . shame if any were killed accidentialy." Krang observed, in Klingon.
"Err.. what'd he say, Smith?" Lysander asked, trying not to oogle Smith and Drakely intheir swimsuits too obviously.
"He wondered why you were the only one who didn't bring a bathing suit." Smith deadpanned.
"And he likes your legs" Sam added, getting her eyefull of the bare appendages in question herself.
"And I -still- don't like your face, what are you going to do about it?" Kang demanded of the 'tourists' in front of him, contining a theme converstaion he'd started with Lysander in the changing room, only switching to Standard.
"Err.. buy a new one. The suit, not the face... I still think that cabbie took us to the wrong place." Lysander fretted.
"Federation, party of three for the 'Diplomatic Special?' Right this way." a strikingly beautiful Klingon woman announced to the waiting room.
"Errr... doesn't Sam get in for half-price?" Lysander asked, indicating the diminutive child.
"No discounts on the 'Special' PAckage. . . and You'll have to take the 'Traditional' package sir. Only three ordered, one-two-three. Right there. No Robe, no Special. Int he otehr line." The receptionist barred Lysander's way with a large and knurled arm.
"Errr... look ... I want my clothes back. I knew this would be bad when they got the smegging robes and you handed my this towel-thingey.. ." Lysander was nattering, as the heavy door closed between the girls and himself.
"Hey Little-Legs, do you come here often? Didn't I see you at the Conference, with that hunky guy with the painted face? What's his name? Isn't he just divine?" asked the Klingon behind Krang, eyeing Lysander and Krang's rear ends as they peeked smooth and pink (Lys) and wrinkled and taupe (Krang) out of their respective towels.
"Errr.. you must be thinking of someone else." Lysander replied, trying to close the towel over his backside.
"Why do I have to wait behind this P'taQ and in front of the gayest Klingon ever? These bottom lickers are No 'Friends of Krang's' is he?" demanded Krang in a thundering voice.
"I am noooooootttt...Fran'kis is much gayer than me. . ." whined the Gayest Klingon Ever, humming showtunes from Earth under his breath.
"NEXT FOUR IN LINE, MOVE MOVE MOVE! YOU FESTERING PILES OF TARG CRAP, MOVE IT OR LOSE IT!" Screamed an attendant from another door, as the receptionist broke out the pain- stick and started moving bodies around the lobby.
"It's the service I come here for. Do you think the Big Guy in Makeup would like it her, would he meet me if I asked, in the STeam Rooms?? Could you pass a message to him?" whispered the Klingon 'Friend of Krang's'behind Krang, as they started trotting at the doubletime, as attendants snapped whips at the slower moving ones and screamed Klingon Marching Chanties like Sanchez during morning PT.
Lysander debated running for his life, but ended up deciding it was too hot. Mistake No. 7 on his "All-time Greatest Blunders' Parade.
* * * * *
"Let me get this straight. They wrap me in some sheet and dip me in a puddle of hot mud?" asked Lysander, looking nervous for some reason.
Rihkard, daughter of Symmonz bared her teeth in a Klingon grin. "Yes. Do not be afraid. We know you are not a Klingon Warrior, and have exploded several grenades, to lower the temperature of the mud."
"Erm.. sorry for asking, but how does dropping grenades in the mudpool lower the temperature?" Lys burbled, trying to wrap the towel tighter around himself.
"It lets the air circulate, cooling the mud to a point where it won't boil your brain inside your head. And it's traditional." Rikard replied.
"And they all exploded?" Lys asked nervously, eyeing the pool.
"Perhaps. They usually all do. Why? Today is a good day to die." The Klingon Spa Attendant replied, pushing him into the mud, which steamed and 'squelched' in a markedly goopy and theurapeutic way. Somehow, she managed to keep his scratchy towel when she did it.
"How come -they- got fuzzy bathrobes and slippers and all I got was that scratchy smegging towel sheet thing, that lets me bum hang out?" Lysander grumped, up to his neck in the mud. HOT mud.
"You're a male Warrior. They're just women. Quit your bitching, they're getting the 'OffWorlders' Diplomat Special' and you're getting the 'Traditional Klingon Spa' treatment." Rihkard, daughter of Symmonz told him.
"Well, smack my ass and call me Aunt Mabel!" Lysander exclaimed, looking over to an adjoining mudpit, where the towel clad girls were stretched out, floating in their mudbaths, as attendents catered to their every whim. Sipping fruity drinks (Arel and Alia's have booze!!!) from long straws held by barelyclad, attentive and oiled Klingon 'Pretty-Boys', the girls looked relaxed and seemed to be chit- chatting as to how much they'd 'needed' this.
"So first we all soak in the mud pits, have some drinkie- poos, and then. . . ??" Lysander asked.
"No. -They- soak. -You- wrestle the To'doh gra'K worms. Watch out for their suckers. Some of the adult ones re-grow their poison sacks. LET THE WORMS LOOSE!" His Klingon attendant shouted, as the mud surface of Lysanders' pit erupted in a boiling mess of writhing tentacles and flashing fangs and spumes of hot mud shot high into the air by unimaginable forces.
"urp" he said, before being dragged under the surface.
"Don't forget your complimentary mek'leth!" the attendant shouted after him, tossing the dagger into the proximity of where he'd gone down, where it sank with a sloppy sounding bubble.
Meanwhile. . . .
"Now there's something you don't get to see everyday..." Alia said as she stifled a laugh with a hand across her mouth before floating over to be nearer Samantha's location. "Now...Samantha...this is one of the moments that you'll be wanting to treasure forever...."
"Hmmm?" asked a distracted Samantha, leafing through a "Commander Nick Nova" comic holobook.
The sounds of a thrashing about Lysander disturbed their little girl-talk. "Er...Arel?! Alia?! Anyone!?" His almost desperate voice called out in appeal against the girl called Samantha, sounding vfaint over the squelching of his mud-pool.
"YES! We see you! HAVE FUN! Honestly, what a baby! He has to be the center of attention -all- the time! See Arel! I told you this would be better than the other package!" cooed Samantha.
"We just sit here, and get pampered? And we're expected to enjoy it?" demanded Arel, watching Lysander in the mud- wrestling pits with a trace of longing.
"Yes. Loosen up Smith" replied Alia
Arel pulled some more of the sweet-fruity drink up through her straw and went back to mentally promising herself that the first person to -hint- they thought she'd enjoyed this would get their Peanut Butter and Fried Bananana Sammich- Engorged butt kicked up around their ears. She -kew- it'd be Pressley, with any luck.
"Loosen up?" she asked, a touch too innocently.
"Oh, don't be such a fuddy-duddy! If you two can drink, my Mummy said that I can have a sip! Phuuuuuuuuuuuuu- leeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzeeeeeeeee????????" Samantha replied, her face covered with a Targ-gut Cleansing and Wrinkling mask.
"No." said Arel, still dreaming of fights to come.
"Fine! Keep it then! Fuddy duddy!" Samantha declared. "Kronk! you worthless p'tak! More scented oil!" Samantha demanded of one of the attendants, who smiled and flexed his chest muscles, as she'd orderd ten minutes ago when he responded to her whims.
You're already covered in mud, Dearie. . ." Alia observed
"No! Not on -us-! On -him-! Rub it all over your chest Kronk. Are you -sure- you didn't do this a -lot- on Quo'nos Arel?" Sam demanded, lifting a targ eyeball off her own to peer at her 'best friend.'
"Positive. How come -he- got a dagger? Where's my dagger? If Lysander gets a dagger, I want more than some bathrobe and a facial kit." Arel asked, almost hysterical with the thought that this -did- sort of ...relax her.
"Well, I don't see why not. This is -fun-!!" entheused Samantha.
* * * * *
(One hour later)
The girls were laying down, their umm... heinies (Yuk it up, YOU try writing this semi-porn stuff! I dunno how Jill, Bill and Kelly -do- it all day long!) covered by yet more pristine towels. Their attentive Klingon 'Pretty Boys' were giving them 'deep' rubdowns, when they weren't holding their drinks for them, or filling them in on the latest happenings to the cast of 'As the Universe Turns' holo-soap.
"Lovely. . . listen to that music" Alia observed, drifitng on luxurious fogs upon her warmed marble slab, as strong hands did wonderful things to her spine.
"Hey Kronk, that's not my back. Try that again and you'll be 'Armless Kronk' the Begger." murmered Arel, -almost- relaxing.
"Fuddy Duddy." murmured Sam, wisely under her breath.
Into this scene of cool marble columns, attentive service and sybartic luxury, staggered a mud-covered mound, dragging the remains of a towel and several severed tentacles dripping purple ichor. The mess came staggering into the room and collapsed on an empty table.
"Smegging amazing how fast some species can re-grow tentacles. . ." mused Lysander from his ball of mud and ichor.
Rihkard, daughter of Symmonz appeared and began using a - very- sharp mek'leth to scrape the mud off Lysander.
"It is much easier to do this for you Humans. A true Klingon Warrior's head ridges would force me to use the tip." was all she remarked, to his frankly whiny tirade that she'd scraped one of his nipples off.
"I'm pretty sure they were there for some reason! What's next?" he grumped, mostly to himself, watching her use the Complimentary Medical Kit on his chest.
"The Diplomats will go to the spa gym, if they wish." Rihkard sneered, watching the three 'girls' be ushered off their tables and out of the room.
"Err... sounds nice. What're you heating all that oil up for." Ventured Lysander.
"YOU will wrestle a oiled Targgoth and saddle it. Then you will ride it to the gym for the "Disruptor-aerobics" class. And then. . " his attendant mused, as she used a joint lock to manuever the Centaurian around his slippery table, prior to pouring the -hot- oil over him.
"OUCH! My smeggin' arm! Err.. how is shooting a Disruptor aerobic?" he asked, trying to stall for time.
"It isn't. It's the running from -other- people shooting them at you that's aerobic. Silly!" she replied with a slap to his uncovered tushie. "LET THE TARGGOTH LOOSE!" she shouted, stepping neatly back as a wave of -hot- oil engulfed the recumbant Lysander, and the half-sized smelly, Targgoth shambled out of an archway and promptly defecated while skidding on the marble floor.
His screams echoed off the marble walls, to where the girls' entourage was.
* * * *
"YES! WE HEAR YOU! Honestly! He is the most -clingy- person! Just -has- to have everyone looking at him at all times!" Samantha said, wishing her Bathrobe-towel curved like the other two's did. In Front at least.
"Typical man." replied Alia.
"Why do we need our own Personal Chef at this Resturaunt? Wht's wrong with the regular ones?" asked Arel.
"Here at d'Lbertz Spa and Hunting Lodge, on beautiful sometimes sunny lanjep, we have one motto. . ." began the Receptionist.
"Today is a Better Day to Die, If your Corpse is as Pretty as d'Lbertz' Spa Can Make It. At Least You're Dieing in Battle With a Satiated Corpse!" bthe staff memebrs paused, to chorus in unison.
"Creepy motto" muttered sam to Alia, who nodded.
Arel's eyes lit up.
"NOW I get it! This place is -great-" she excalimed with entheasism.
Samamntha all but dragged the other two after her, through the doors leading deeper into the Spa complex.
As the door closed behind them, another marked 'Medical Clinic" in Klingonash swung open, and Krang and the 'Gayest Klingon Ever, the Friend of Krang' dragged a familiar barely towel clad form from the clinic by one heel.
"The doctors say this worthless idiot's pelvis was NOT shattered, merely cracked. He is almost as good as new..." Krrang said, dropping the heel with a 'thud'
"If slightly hooped up on painkillers. They also say that even for a human, it's EEG reading are odd." The Gayest Klingon ever declared, taking one last peek up the towel before dropping his heel with another 'thud.'
Rihkard, daughter of Simmonz sighed a very weary klingonish sigh.
"Look, I'm not paying good Imperial Credits to drag some whiny Human or Centaurian or whatever around, to the clinic every three minutes. Now can we go hunt some grak-worms for lunch?" Krang demanded.
"I dunno, he knows that Big Guy with the Makeup. . .maybe he likes showtunes?" mused the Gayest Klingon Ever.
"If you start singing 'Grease' or Ethel Merman songs, I'm shooting everyone in sight." Lysander said from the floor.
"See? d'Lbertz Spa can make a sort of true Warrior even out of a Federation Weenie!" Crowed the Receptionist.
"Pffft. Tell it not to bleed all over my towel next time." declared Krang, stomping off to lunch.
"Tell it to talk to the Big One in Makeup, and call me? Wait for your Friend, Krang!" said The Gayest Klingion Ever.
Lysander staggered to his feet and asked the Receptionist "What's next"
"For you?" The j'Kira Jelly wrestling. Although your teammates have moved on to lunch.. . . and your. . . diplomat.. . . friends have moved on as well."
"Who or what do I wrestle, and does the clinic have my bloodtype on file?" Lysander asked.
"Me. Get out of that towel." replied the Klingon Receptionist, stripping down to her armoured thong and revealing a body so chiseled that she mabe Sanchez look like a man. (Pressley or Leo spring to mind on the comapresion)
"Wrestle a -girl? In some sort of jelly-jello stuff? I'll just lay here on the floor and smell the colours, thanks to your drugs, thanks ever so smegging. . . .ARRRRRRGGGH!!!!" Lysnder screamed, while flying through the air and trying to 'snap' her with his towel in one fell swoop of a move.
It sure was not a swell 'foop' of a move.
(ten minutes later)
"Get UP and just TRY kicking me in the head again!" screamed teh topless Klingon Valkryie.
"Does that mean I have a choice? Because I'd rather just lay here and try an wriggle these six teeth loose some more, if it's all the same to you." Lysander replied
Funny, but the actual sensation of dying, or slipping into a coma, or whatever was happening to him right now, felt sort of like. . . a transporter beam. . .
"WE KNOW WHERE YOU WORK! YOU OWE US FOR THREE SPECIALS AND A REGULAR! WE WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND FEAST ON YOUR INNARDS, WHEN WE COLLECT THE CREDITS YOU OWE US YOU WOTHLESS FEDERATION DOG!" the klingon woman was screaming, as Lys slipped off into that long, dark sleep.
"Play the Game."
Shinta finally had a quiet moment. but she didn't want to be alone right now. She decided to see Alia again, it was such a long time since they had talked. Ever since the end of leave, it looked like her friend had somehow been avoiding her, and maybe she had done the same to. So much was going on in her life then.
She walked over to Alia's quarters, and rang the chime. "Hello." She said as the door opened. "Are you in for some company?"
Alia gave Shinta a smile, one that was perhaps edged with a little guilt. "Of course." She said with a smile, showing her in. "Can I get you something?" She asked politely. "I have a good bottle of red if you'd like?"
"That would be great. It has been a very tiring day." Shinta sat down. "Alia, how have you been? We have seen so little of each other lately. And with both Bruce and Eric leaving, neither of us had a very easy time."
"Oh I'm fine." Alia assured with a smile, completely disregarding the issue of Jarl as she went and fetched the bottle in question, pouring them both a glass. "It's you I'm worried about." She said gently to her friend.
"Why would you be worried about me?" Shinta said with a laugh. "I am very busy at the moment. Work is fine. My private life is getting better again, and you are avoiding talking about yourself. Did you and Brian make up?"
Alia gave her wine a rather guilty look before taking a large mouthful of the delicate red that by all rights should be sipped. "No..." She said quietly. What with running into Jarl, she had wanted to see him...more than she liked in fact...but hadn't dared. "I've been a little preoccupied." She gave Shinta a smile before drinking more wine. "So how come your private life's getting better again?"
"Avoiding the subject again?" Shinta teased her. "It is still early days, but I might have feelings for another man. That confuses me, so I don't know if I will act on them yet. "Are you afraid to go and see Brian?" She would not let go that easily.
"I am not afraid." Alia stated firmly before taking a drink. "...okay I *am* afraid...I don't like the thought of having blown it with Brian...I considered him a friend." Alia found herself topping up her glass again. "He won't trust me. He won't *want* to trust me. I have no wish to burden him. Besides...I'm...I'm fine now. My life's good. Just fine."
"You don't sound fine." She said. "You sound like you are avoiding things. And about Brian, he is a counsellor. He will trust you, it's his job. And you wont feel fine until you talk to him. He is a wonderful counsellor, I am seeing him myself. And he is helping me a great deal." It was hard for her to admit that.
"Yeah? Well, things are different now." Alia said as she drew her knees up to her, resting her chin on them, her hand clutching her wine glass almost protectively in her hand. "I've had a change of view on life. I realise I was being ridiculous with my whining before. I am fine."
Shinta cursed inwardly, a month ago they had been beyond this stage. Alia opened up to her, and talked more easy. All that seemed gone, and to her that was a bad sign. So she looked her friend straight in the eye. "You can't fool me, you know that. We have been friends too long, I told you so much about myself, I thought you trusted me. Your body language tells me that everything is not fine." she lay a hand on her friends shoulder. "Please."
Alia took a moment, drinking a good half of her wine. "Okay..." She said slowly. "I had a run in with an old acquaintance. He reminded me that things haven't really changed at all. I'm still the same...and things could so easily be how they were again..." She looked over at Shinta. "So I refuse to be getting my hopes up anymore, that I'm different and have a new life."
"Oh Alia." Shinta said, and embraced her. "Why didn't you come to me sooner? That must of been so horrible for you. And it is not true, you have changed. You have a new life here, you are an officer. They can't touch you any more. We are over that. We have overcome our past. Don't hide, be proud of who you are."
"What? Be proud of someone who freezes up with fear at the mere sight of a person?" Alia asked, finishing off her wine. "No...I did not come and see you because I acted shamefully. And I had no wish to share such a story. He can still get to me. I shall not believe that I am separated from that life. I did not want you to know how weak I was...the same reason I will not go to Brian either."
Shinta held her close. "Can you tell me exactly what happened?" She asked softly.
"Simple really..." Alia said, moving to pour the rest of the wine in her glass. "I ran into Jarl...he set me straight on a few things...I made him angry, and not surprisingly he shut me up." Alia shrugged and took a drink of the wine, wishing it were something stronger.
Her friend noticed that she drank a lot. "Did he rape you?" Shinta went on.
"No...not that." Alia replied fixing her eyes straight ahead as she took another drink. "Never that...."
"Then he did not win, did he?" Shinta said. "It was not just like before. And I think you should stop drinking now, that is not the solution."
"It calms me...even back then it was the only thing that calmed for an hour or two." Alia replied with another shrug, her mask of indifference still on as she took another mouthful. "See why I can't see Brian now?"
"This is all the more reason to talk to Brian. He is a counsellor, you think he hasn't seen somebody in despair before? I have already gone through his whole box of tissues. do you think that's easy for me, I am technically his superior, and
there I sit telling him my innermost secrets." Shinta now took Alia's glass and put it down. "It's not the solution." She wished Eric had not left just now, leaving Alia without a lover to confide in. "Are you lonely?"
Alia actually smiled then. "Not any more...I've met someone." Her smile warmed as she thought about him and just how much company he actually was to her.
"That is very good news." A few days ago she would have said it was too soon, but who was she to talk when she was falling in love again herself. "May I ask who it is? if you do, then I will tell you a little secret." She smiled.
Alia smiled at her. "Seems fair..." She automatically took her glass back up and took a sip. "Lancelot Grogan...he's just...wonderful...makes me feel like I never thought I could...and I feel I can be myself with him, and that's a complete first for me with a man."
Where had she heard that name before? Then it came to her, and Shinta just managed to keep her face completely neutral. "That's really nice for you." She smiled. "Want to hear my secret?" She wanted nothing better than to change this subject.
"Of course." Alia said as she drew her legs up under her and turned to face Shinta full on, smiling.
"I think I might be falling in love again too." Shinta said. "I am not sure yet, and I do not know if it is right. But I have feelings for somebody."
"Shinta...that's wonderful news!" Alia said with a laugh and throwing her arms around the woman to hug. "And of course it is right...if it's love, then it's right...Am I allowed to know who the lucky man is?"
"It's James, James Mitchell." She blushed. "I really don't know how it happened."
"Oh that doesn't matter, Shinta..." Alia said with a chuckle. "What's important is that it *has* happened...I'm really happy for you Shinta...you deserve this."
"Yes, maybe I do. But I'm still afraid, afraid to trust a man again. James hated me when he was my patient. I can't tell you anything about it, but it was pretty intense. I'm just wondering if this is ethical, Brian says it is. Bruce used to be my patient too." She fell silent.
Alia looked at Shinta for a moment, her eyes roaming her features. "You know...sometimes things are better if you just trust them rather than analyse them to death." She said gently.
"Two years suggest that that is what I do?" She said seriously, but her eyes were laughing. Then she turned serious again. "It's just that I have been betrayed too often. And also the rules in my profession are pretty strict. I need to be sure that I'm not breaking them."
Alia slipped her arms back around Shinta and held her close. "If it really is love...don't let anyone take it away from you, for any reason." She said softly as her head rested against Shinta's.
"I won't." Shinta was happy, sitting there with Alia. Normally she would have pushed her friend to go and see Brian, but under the circumstances, she wanted to talk to this Lance before Alia and Brian met again.
“Balls of Stone”
By Lieutenant Mike Pailaka
And Featuring Lt Cdr Heather Sanchez
Heather let loose with a scream of pain as her legs began to buckle under her. She staggered forward another two steps, every muscle on her rock hard frame protesting under the strain. In her career, she had been shot by Cardassians, throttled by the Borg and blown to bits by the pride of the English Navy. She would have gladly traded such tender minstrations for the suffering she was undergoing now.
“Chingalo!” She cursed through clenched teeth. Her arms, covered with chalk and wrapped around a stone sphere the size of a beach ball, were starting to buckle.
“Don’t you quit on me, Commander!” A stern voice chided her.
Heather shifted her weight, balancing the heavy stone on her right shoulder. She managed to lock her knees before they gave out from under her and straightened her back. Slowly, she began to start forward again. “I’m going to beat this hijo de punta if it’s the last thing I do!”
“That’s it! Show me what you’ve got!” The voice urged.
Foot by foot, the buff security officer shuffled forward, carrying the three hundred pound weight. Finally, she made it to the wall. Now the real agony would begin. She was carrying the fifth and final stone and as the weight had increased, so had the height of the wall. The pedestal for the final stone was higher than her shoulder. Somehow, she would need to lift the stone into it, when all her body really wanted to do was drop it and be done. She urged her arms to lift, but they refused.
“Damn it! I’ve got nothing left!” She protested as the salt from her sweat began to sting her eyes.
“Don’t give me that crap, Sanchez!” The voice taunted. “Put your god damn back into it!”
“Don’t make me come over there and kick your ass, Lieutenant!” Heather snarled, her muscles straining.
“You’re going to kick my ass, softie? You can’t even lift that little rock!”
“Vaya al Diablo!” She muttered through labored breaths. Her spine creaked as she forced her body to stretch, pushing upwards until she was balanced on the balls of her feet. The stone was now leaning half on her shoulder, half against the wall, just an inch or two away from the upper edge and the concave slot designed to hold it.
With a final shout, she forced her arms to move, pushing the stone up and over the edge. She staggered backwards as the pressure on her body was suddenly released, then sank down to her knees, breathing heavily and massaging her sore shoulder. Her eyes were fixated on the wall, where five stone spheres sat in a neat row, each slightly heavier and higher off the ground then the other. “Damn straight!” She uttered in satisfaction.
A massive arm reached out and offered her a hand up. She ignored it, preferring to get back to her feet on her own. She stared her tormenter in the eye, her hands on her hips.
“Softie?” She said incredulously. “Do you have a death wish, Pailaka?”
Mike smiled broadly. He, like Heather was dressed in shorts and a tank top and was drenched in sweat. “Consider it a motivational speech.” He said. “From what I hear from the Tac department, you’re familiar with the technique.”
Heather allowed herself a hint of a smile. “Well, it worked. I doubt very many others on this ship would have the guts to give me that kind of shit.”
Mike grinned. “Whatever works, eh?” He grabbed a thick towel and tossed one to Heather. “So, what do you think of the atlas stones? Not your garden variety weight training session.”
“Not bad.” She admitted. “Not sure I’d want to subject myself to that every day, but it got me out of the gym, which is overrun with pale skinned wallflowers doing their yoga and aerobics and fencing.” She rubbed the towel vigorously through her hair and tossed it aside. “And how often do you hit the stones, Mike?”
“Oh, maybe once a week.” He said, as he peeled off his tank top and rummaged around in his gym bag for a fresh one. “It’s only one of a series of unconventional tortures in this program. I can introduce you to some of the others next time, like the power stairs or the wheel of pain.”
“Next time, Mijo?” She replied sardonically. “I think you just want another chance to browbeat a superior officer without getting your ass kicked.”
Mike smirked. “Nah, just helping you test your limits.”
“Speaking of ass kickings.” Heather interjected. “I read the after action reports from the Hirogen encounter. Apparently you tore into them something fierce.”
Mike shrugged. “I survived.” He stated, trying to avoid the subject.
“You did more than that, Mijo.” She said. “So how come I’ve never seen you fight? You don’t use the ship’s dojo. You’ve never entered any of the informal tournaments that are always springing up. Hell, I don’t even know what style you practice.”
“You’ve never heard of it, trust me.” Mike replied.
Heather looked at him and coked her head. “Now you’re being evasive. What’s the big deal?”
“It’s called Lua.” Mike replied. “It was practiced widely in the Hawaiian islands back in the 17th and 18th centuries before being banned by the local government. It went underground then and eventually died off over the centuries. The only place you’ll find it these days is around the Mokupuni colony on Pacifica, part of the Polynesian revivalist movement there.”
“Thanks for the history lesson.” Heather said as she tied back her hair. “But that doesn’t explain why you won’t talk about it. Come on, I’m not asking you to brag. Just show me a little of the style. I’m always looking to swap and compare techniques.” She shook her head in exasperation as the large helmsman grew more uncomfortable with the questions.
“Maybe.” Mike said.
“Do you at least have a training program I can look at in the database?”
Mike nodded. “I do but it’s not something you want to simply jump into without…”
“Computer!” Heather interrupted. “Run Lieutenant Pailaka’s most recent Lua simulation.”
“No, Sanchez! That’s not a good…”
The holodeck wavered. Gone was the quiet serenity of the stone wall and spheres. Heather found her senses under intense assault. A wave of heat washed over her and a caterwauling of voices flooded her head, forcing her to clamp her hands over her ears. She fought off the disorientation and looked around.
She was on a tropical beach, surrounded by bronze skinned natives, covered in war paint and ritual scars. Most wore little more than a sock tied around their privates, and many skipped even that level of modesty. Their weapons were recognizable to anyone who had seen the inside of Mike’s quarters, a select group of which Heather was not a member. Their war cries filled the air as they flowed around Mike and Heather, advancing up the beach.
There was a buzzing sound in the air. A young warrior next to Heather fell backwards, clutching a face that was a ruined mass of blood. Her eyes followed the direction the warriors were headed and she quickly spotted the opposing force of painted savages heading in their direction.
“Caray! Mike what the hell?”
“Welcome to the battle of Nu’uanu.” Mike said, bending to pick up the spear and club of a fallen warrior. “It’s 1795. We’ve just landed on the beach and Waikiki to engage the forces of Kalanikupule. You are now a proud Ali’I fighting to help Kamehameha I unite the islands of Hawaii.”
“This is a training workout?” Heather shouted over the din. She pushed her way through the advancing troops to Mike’s side.
“Lua wasn’t designed for kata’s and sparring matches, Commander. It was designed for war.” Already Mike seemed to be undergoing a transformation. Gone was the lopsided grin and slouching shoulders. He seemed to be standing taller, his eyes sharper as he watched the combat unfold around him. “You want I should end the program?”
Heather regarded him for a moment, then stooped to grab a weapon of her own. “What’s this called?”
“Excellent choice.” He said with a feral smile. “That’s a Pahoa Ko’oko’o. You use the forked end to trap limbs and weapons and the bladed side for thrusting and slashing.” He looked over the muscle clad security officer with a discerning eye. “You sure you want to do this?”
“If you’re suggesting I don’t have the stones to handle this, then we can settle this right here and now, Mijo.”
Mike laughed. “Alright then, Commander. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
To be continued…
Lieutenant Mikala Pailaka
Helmsman, USS Galaxy
By Autumn and Wilhem Quevvenson
*****The Quevvenson’s Quarters******
Autumn stood in front of her wardrobe with a look of intense concentration on her face. Her eyes fell on her swimming togs and sarongs and sighed. With that she backed up to the bed and fell backwards onto it. ~Wil… Are you sure you want to go to the beach?~ she sent with a slight pleading in her mental voice as she shut her eyes. She had, had a rough day and Lysander’s accident had been the icing on the cake.
Wilhem came into the bedroom, "Yes, my love. Why are you so worried?" He looked concerned, because he could sense that she was upset about something.
She opened her eyes and looked at him. “I do not know… if I could wear my swim suit… You know.”
He smiled and shook his head. ~Come on beautiful. Get dressed and lets hit the beach for a midnight swim.~ He pulled her off the bed where she was starting to crawl away from him. He stood her in front of the wardrobe. ~Chose and hurry Love.~
She sighed and pulled out her dark green Sarong and her matching Green bikini. She also grabbed her black almost see-through button up shirt. ~Ok, ok~ she said as she stripped off her uniform and got dressed. Once she was dressed in her bikini she tied the sarong around her waist and pulled on the shirt.She pulled the pins out of her hair and let it fall down her back. She knew that when they got home it would be full of knots but it was worth it to have it down and free. She turned to him. “Do I pass?” she asked with a small smile thinking the outfit way to risqué for his tastes.
He smiled and kissed her cheek and handed her a towel. He was dressed in his swim suit under his shorts and a shirt. “Lets go” he said. “You look fine.”
She sighed and let him drag her from their quarters on deck 12 to deck 6. Once in the transporter room she stepped onto the Pad beside him and they both beamed down to the nice SECULEDED beach Wil had chosen for their evening stroll.
Autumn was glad she hadn’t worn shoes and she wriggled her toes in the sand as the warm sea brezze washed over them.
Wilhem turned to his wife and said. “Glad we did this now?”
“Yes” She said with a smile and linked her arm through his.
“Good” he said as they began to walk along the beach. The waves crashed on the beach and the breeze flowed about them. Autumn rested her head on his shoulder as they stopped and looked out over the moon lit water. Wil wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against him gently.
~What are you thinking?~ He asked via their mind link.
~I screwed up. Lysander is in medical in a coma because I didn’t leave well enough alone.~ She sent as she shut her eyes and leant against him.
~You did what you had to do. I am sure he understands that Kender.~
She opened her eyes and turned in his arms and pushed back and said. “Swim?”
He nodded. She stripped off her outer clothing and waded into the water.
“Argh…… its cold!” she shivered.
He laughed and waded out and picked her up and said. “Ready to go under?”
Her arms went around his neck. “I go you go” was all she said.
He smiled and waded out a bit further and then when he was in water past his waist he knelt, dunking them both.
Later on back on the Galaxy.
The Quevvensons, semi dry from their dip and walk, entered their quarters. Autumn kissed her husband and said. “I vote for a warm shower and then bed. No use in getting a cold from that water.”
Wilhem nodded in agreement and took her hand and dragged her into the shower
They stood in the shower and let the water poor over them, exchanging kisses and caresses as they took turns washing each other. Wilhem sent softy, ~Come. Let us enjoy each other's bodies.~ To stimulate her, his left hand moved off her bottom, and rested itself between her legs, before one of his fingers inserted into her and rubbed.
Autumn pressed closer to him and gently let her fingers roam his body.
Wilhem smiled, ~Your turn to be in control. Do what you will with me.~
Autumn smiled and kissed his lips softly before kissing his neck and chest and her hands roamed over his stomach and lower. Slowly she kissed lower on his chest and her hands traced along his length.
Groaning he smiled, ~Continue to do what you want to. I will be waiting to make you mine.~
Autumn continued on her way kissing down his chest. She knelt in front of him and kissed his length lightly.
Wilhem groaned in a lower and much more desire-laden way. He put his hands on her head, and ran them through her wet hair. He wanted her to know that he was enjoying this. And to let her guide him through her own planned moves.
She drew him into her mouth and swirled her tongue along him as she teased him.
Wilhem groaned louder. He wanted her. And he wanted her now. But he knew that she was not yet done with her ministrations, so he held off asking her to give herself to him. Besides he wanted her to have her fun.
Autumn kept going and sucked gently on him while running her fingertips along his thighs. ~Like that?~ she asked as she flicked her tongue along him.
Wilhem groaned, and sent, ~Yes I like it. But I wish you would put the other end of your body around it. Then I wouldn't fear exploding in your mouth so much.~
Autumn gently stood up and kissed him lightly. ~Take what you want love,~ she sent as her hand traced along him.
Wilhem picked her up with one movement of his shoulders, and placed her on his organ. He let her slide true, then moved backwards until his back was against the wall. And then he slid down so that she was on top of him. ~You are in control. You move as fast as you want to, and I'll try to keep pace.~
Autumn moved slowly at first drawing it out. And slowly the pace moved a bit quicker. She kissed his lips as they moved and trailed kisses down his jaw and neck.
Wil moved with her in time. Trying to give her as much pleasure as he possibly could. He leaned upwards and kissed each of her nipples twice, not doing anything else but kissing. He did not want to overdo it.
Autumn kissed his chest as they moved and then ran her hands down his torso. She moaned softly as the heat built up inside of her.
Wilhem groaned as the feelings began to get too much. He was enjoying every minute of this. He put his hands on her wet breasts and rubbed them vigorously. He wanted to make her feel good.
Autumn slowed down again as the tensions in both of them began to rise to unbearable levels.
Wilhem groaned as the feelings almost overwhelmed him. Thinking of other things, to avoid going off too soon, Wilhem waited for Autumn to build up the speed again. He could hardly wait.
Autumn could feel his restraint and slowly began to build the speed up again as she leant over and kissed his lips and nipped at his bottom lip.
Wilhem kissed her lips and nipped her upper lip as she nipped his bottom lip. He was nearly swooning in the feelings of pleasure generated by her movements. He knew that he was not going to be able to hold off too much longer.
Autumn knew that both of them wouldn't last much longer as she continued moving with Wil. Her hands ran down his body and her lips meet his as the wave began to break over them simultainiously.
Wilhem kissed her hard as the wave broke over them, and he bucked hard into her nether regions hard. He kept the kiss going until well after the wave had passed. Then he broke it, and sent, ~Thank you Love.~
Autumn smiled and kissed him lightly. ~No Problem Love.~ she thought as they slowly sat up in the shower and eventually made their way to the bedroom.
Autumn sat on the edge of the bed naked and ran her comb through her hair.
Wil walked up and sat beside her. After she had finished combing her hair he took the comb and placed it asid and pushed her backwards onto the bed. ~My turn~ he sent with a devilish grin at her.
~Aw~ she mock whined with a smile.
"A talk with an old friend "
by Lt j/g Arel Smith
*Timeline- early day two, I guess.
Arel Smith casually stolled down the street, stopping once and awhile to 'admire' the view as she played her part of the Federation tourist, just another girl taking pictures with a holo camera.
In her youth she probably would have spit on the human who had the nerve to invade the private sector and stroll around like it was their own private little Klingon amusement park.
Hell, she probably would have spit on them now at the wiser age of twenty-five.
For the most part, she was left alone, with only a few glares thrown in her direction, a couple of dirty words slung her way, and one or two lewd suggestions, which she casually shrug off. No one remembered the little human girl who once lived among them and Arel had counted on that. After all, one human was just the same as another here. She was slightly dissapointed in their rather subdued response to her presence but it might have been harder to play innocent while fighting off the locals.
But then again, this was Qo'nos. Some things were expected.
The street had not changed much in the years she had been away. It still looked like it had been paved by Klingons drunk on bloodwine and smelled faintly of Klingons having relieved themselves after drinking said bloodwine.
The last time she had been here had been, what, nearly two years ago? For the burial, she remembered. It was hard to believe it had been that long ago and yet not so difficult. Time moved on, even if you didn't want it to.
Arel allowed herself a hint of a smile. If there were such a personification of time, like the ancient man with the hour glass in terran legends, she would surely be the one to try to hold him back, possibly by stealing the hour glass and clubbing him over the head with it.
Kor's house had not changed either in the past two years. It still looked like it was on the verge of colapse with a low sunken roof and slightly warped walls, mostly buried beneath overgrown weeds. The old warrior within had been more concerned with honor and glory in his youth and with contemplation of honor and glory in his retirement. Honor and glory did not extend to patching a leaking roof or fixing cracked walls.
It was amazing anything ever got done on Qo'nos.
She walked up the uneven stone path vegetation with its sprawling vegetation and ducked under the low brances of an old tree with twisted mossy limbs. Arel had swung on its branches often as a child or had at least attempted to.
The heavy wooden door lay ajar. Arel leaned on its frame and peeked inside. Three Klingons sat inside playing a dice game. Arel quietly observed the game before she spoke. It was her experience that most Klingon dice games, the Eyes of Kahless in particular, usually ended in a brawl. She had been the victim of these impromptu fights more often than not in her youth. Her eye twitched involuntarily at the memory of the black eye she had sported for nearly a month because she had not been paying attention.
The men were an interesting grouping, a handsome youth boasting of his winnings, a middle aged Klingon who sat scowling, and an old gray haired warrior who sat with his back to the door. Her spirits lifted at the sight of the ancient one. It had been too long.
She tapped lightly on the door. The two Klingns looked towards her, the middle aged man's eyes widening slightly in surprise. Kor did not look up from his drink or dice.
"This is not a shop, human." The young klingon sneered. His good looks faded by ten degrees with that face.
"I should hope not." Arel replied. "I would be terribly dissapointed if it had."
The old man looked up suddenly at her words and turned around. Kor had often boasted of the many years of glory that he had lived through and today he looked it. This was Grandfather Time, Arel thought to herself. But the light that sprang to his tired eyes breathed new life into him and the sudden emotions she saw upon his face, surprise, happiness, possibly...love, was nothing short of amazing. They were almost too difficult to look at. And then again, not so difficult. She felt her own eyes growing misty. She had missed the old Targ, damn him.
Kor's mouth set in a determined frown, framed in place by lines and wrinkles. "Couldn't have written me, eh?" Kor said gruffly, his eyes sweeping briefly to the other two as if daring them to comment.
"I could say the same of you, uncle." Arel retorted, her arms crossing.
"Uncle?" the boy asked incredously. He rose from his chair and moved to stand before her. The other man also rose. "This...woman is that Ariel girl you spoke of?"
"Arel" She corrected with a frown.
The youth looked her up and down. "I thought you'd be taller."
Arel, knowing that she stood a good two inches taller than the boy, also looked him up and down. "I'm tall enough." she said pointedly.
The boy frowned and took a few steps forward. The other man put out an arm to block him, trying his best to hide his grin. He lead the young man outside, the younger Klingon glaring at her as he exited. Arel had the sudden childish urge to stick her tongue out at him but refrained. She crossed the room instead to grip arms with Kor.
"It is good to see you" she said warmly. "It has been too long."
"It has." Kor agreed, gesturing for her to sit. "Run away from Starfleet, have you?" the old man said dryly as he looked at her civilian clothes and camera. Kor had always detested cameras.
Her uncle was full aware of the promise she had made her father and would probably have sent her back to Starfleet if she had truly run away. Arel had lived in his house for years so she supposed that technically included Kor in the group of people she would dishonor if she ever broke her word.
"Not yet" Arel replied calmly, taking the cup, make that mug of beer that he offered her. She took a sip and forced herself not to wrinkle up her nose in distaste.
"So why have you come back now?" Kor asked bluntly.
"It's my day off." she said with an innocent smile.
"Riiight" Kor drawled. "And I'm your so-called denture fairy."
"That's tooth fairy, uncle" Arel corrected. "I have...concerns about the conference."
"Ah" he replied sourly. "So you've come see if I've heard any gossip."
"Something like that." Arel admitted, taking another sip.
Kor pointed a finger at her and swore lightly. "Just because I'm old doesn't mean I've become an old woman." His lower lip almost stuck out in a pout.
"I never said you had" she said. "I just want to see what you thought about certain parties involved. I value your opinion."
"As you should." Kor scowled. The old man took a large gulp of his drink and seemed to ponder the question. "Well, of course they all are not to be trusted."
"Of course." she replied, pushing away the drink.
"Especially the Ferengi and the Breen."
Arel snorted. "Of course."
"But other than that I have heard no... rumors to indicate that anything is underway." Kor finished his drink before he continued. "But I will...inquire around. If you come back tommorow for dinner, I might even let you know what I've found." He grinned and eyed the boy outside. "I'm sure M'rosh will like that."
Arel raised her eyebrow again. "I'm sure he will. We'll see about tommorow, ancient one. I actually should be going. I need to get back to the office, as it were."
"And what of...him." Kor said, gesturing out back.
Arel's eyes barely glanced there. "Later." she told him. She needed to focus now to help find Captain Price and keep the conference from going to hell. Her father would have to wait.
"Until tommorow, if I can." Arel told him with a smile, turning for the door.
"Rel" Kor called after her."I would not single out one group entirely as your enemy."
Arel turned and looked him squarely in the face. "Why?"
"Do you remember your Klingon history?"
Arel nodded. "You mean the assasination of that chancelor...gorkan was it?"
"There were many species who conspired together to kill him, girl. Including Klingons."
Arel was doubtful. "You think we should worry about a Klingon working with, say, a Breen?."
Kor shrugged. "K'mpec was poisoned."
It was a popular Klingon idiom. If a Klingon could sink as low to kill with poison, then anything was possible.
"I'll consider it." she told him. "Save me a seat for dinner.
Lt. Brian Elessidil
Lt. Cmdr. Navarre Shinta
Asst. Chief Counselor
[OOC: Occurs immediately after "Strategy".]
After the disastrous meeting with the Cardassian Delegate, Shinta did not have a lot of time to gather her thoughts. Because almost straight after, the word of the Captain's abduction got out. And she had other things to occupy her mind. But she couldn't set Cenna from her mind, and she knew that it might hinder her performance. So she had to seek Brian out.
After the meeting she went to him, and took him aside.
"Brian, I know we are both busy, but I need ten minutes of your time. It is really important that I talk to you before I do anything else." She made no attempt to hide her feelings, so it would be very easy for him to see that her need was great and urgent.
He looked directly into her eyes, knowing immediately this was serious. "You deserve more than ten minutes, Shinta," he said solemnly, "whatever it takes." The group of 'brevet' detectives having just received their orders, he watched as the last of them filed out of Shinta's office.
Placing his hand on her elbow, Brian gently led his friend, colleague and patient to a comfortable chair. As he seated himself across from her, his concern and desire to help clearly shone in his dark eyes. Many people had remarked to the Betazoid throughout his life that those eyes displayed a range of emotions unlike anyone else's. Shinta noticed too.
"Talk to me," the man now in the counselor role encouraged, taking her hand in his in an almost unconscious show of support.
Shinta winced. He had taken the hand that she had injured was she banged it into a wall. The hand by now was swollen, and she knew that she would have to see a doctor before beaming down.
"It's, it's the Cardassians. I stood talking to one with James and Ardra. And I recognized her. Ardra thinks I am over reacting, I don't think she believes me. I could see it in her face. But I did, I did recognize her.
And wanted to do was to kill her, for what she did. I could keep myself on the control, just." She looked at her hand. Memories flooding her brain again.
Brian couldn't help but feel her pain -- physical and emotional. Letting go of her hand, he continued. "My God, Shinta. I can see how difficult that was for you. If you can, could you tell me more about her? Who is she? Why do you think she's the person you remember?"
"I could never forget her. She has altered her face, but not her voice." Her eyes stared at one of her favourite pictures without seeing it. "I thought she was nice. I thought I was lucky that night. I didn't have to go with one of the Cardassian males. She took pity on me, said I was such a little thing, not old enough to be a play thing for men. She took me to her room. At first..." she choked. "It's her Brian, I am certain of it. I will never forget her." She was fighting for control.
"Go on, Shinta. What happened?" he gently pushed. He knew this was hard on her, but if Shinta was right about who this woman really was, she would have to find a way to defuse the powerful emotions the Cardassian's presence was evoking. "It's terrible that this has been brought back to life for you, but you're going to have to face it if you don't want it to control you."
Shinta took a deep breath. "She took me to her room, and she gave me sweets, and she was nice to me. But... but then she made me undress. My mind was foggy, I think she drugged me. She tied me to the bed, and then she did experiments on me. It hurt." She looked at the floor. "Finally she raped me. I had been raped many times by Cardassian males, but somehow this was worse. I hope I am not insulting you, but to me personally having sex with somebody of my own sex is disgusting." She was silent for a few seconds. "She kept me there for 48 hours. And then dumped me out in the wilderness. I don't know how I survived, I was badly hurt. Brian, I will never forget that voice. It is her, and I want to kill her."
Even after his years of service in Starfleet, the other victims of torture and crimes that he counseled, and even hearing reports of atrocities on his own home planet during the Dominion occupation, Brian never got used to the sense of horror he felt when hearing what some people could do others.
"I'm not insulted, Shinta. The point is you were forcibly used and violated by someone against your will. The fact that you didn't have a natural attraction to your rapists' gender may add to the unpleasantness of the experience, but it still pales in comparison to the experience itself."
"And you know that it's completely normal that you would want some kind of retribution, to hurt her for what she did to you. Suffering violence at the hands of someone else brings out some pretty powerful violent reflexes in ourselves." Brian looked at his Bajoran friend with great compassion, wishing he could say something that would 'magically' relieve her of this memory and its resulting pain. "But -you're- not a violent person, Shinta. Harming or killing that Cardassian woman might sound good -- it might even feel good a first -- but ultimately, it would go against everything you are as a mother, a counselor, and as a person. The work here isn't for you not to have that desire for revenge, the work will be to not allow it to overtake you. If you let that happen, if you let that desire drive you to do something that is not true to who you are, then you'll still be a victim and she will have violated you again."
She stared at him. "What ever gave you the idea that I am not a violent person, Brian. After everything I have told you about my past, you should know better. And you don't know about Cardassians." Shinta was getting angry. "She is getting away with this, she will do it again to others, to other little girls, is that what you want?"
"No, Shinta," he replied calmly but firmly, "I do not accept that you are a violent person. You've had a violent past, you've done some violent things, but that does not automatically make you a violent person. If you -were- a violent person you would have accepted and embraced that -- you would not have joined Starfleet, you would not be a counselor, and you would not be sitting here with me right now. You would have simply gone out and executed this woman without giving it a second thought." As he said this, Brian realized that this was a central theme with Shinta -- that she would have to eventually accept and understand that her -true- nature was not a violent one.
"And no, of course I don't wish to see this woman do what she did to you -- and who knows how many others -- ever again, but there are other ways to prevent that. If you're certain she is who you believe her to be, then you need to pursue that through other avenues. Turning yourself into her executioner might rid the galaxy of one criminal, but only at the cost of creating another," he warned, staring her directly in the eyes.
"But what can I do?" She was getting a headache on top of everything else now. "Do you at least believe what I am saying? or do you think I am crazy." She was very defensive. "Hell, I don't know who I am. I should never have agreed to therapy all those those years ago. I can't even kill people anymore. What's left of me? I didn't even really enjoyed killing the Hirogen." at this moment she didn't need all this confusion. "Who am I?"
Shinta's confusion and frustration were very clear to her empathic counselor, and he wanted nothing more than to help alleviate it as much as possible.
"Who do you want to be?" he responded quietly. "Do you want to be someone who kills without remorse? Would you prefer getting a rush from killing Hirogen or Cardassians or whomever? Those are important questions, Shinta, ones that take serious thought, but honestly, I think you've been answering them repeatedly in the way you've lived your life for the past several years. Of course I believe that you're convinced this is the Cardassian woman you knew from that horrible experience so many years ago. As an empath, I would know if you were lying to me. And as an empath, I also know you're engaged in an intense internal stuggle right now between two very strong sets of emotions and values over this."
"And perhaps even more importantly," he continued "we've articulated what it all really comes down to: 'Who are you?' and 'Who do you want to be?' That choice is still yours to make right now, as it has been and will continue to be for the rest of your life. It's not always an easy one. All I'm asking is that you make that choice consciously and deliberately, not in haste, no matter how strongly you feel."
Reaching over and gently wiping a tear from the Bajoran's cheek, Brian offered the only support that was really his to give, "I know you're strong enough to do this, Shinta. I believe in you, in your goodness, and I'll be here to help you in every way I can."
She heard his words. He didn't believe her either, that much was clear. She had enough experience to know that he was humoring a distraught patient. Make her feel that her concern was real, and she would calm down eventually.
"I have to go." Shinta said, "she could not dea with this right now, not from Brian. I have to see a doctor for my hand." She raced for the door before he could stop her.
"Shinta?!" the perplexed counselor called after her. But she was gone, virtually running blind, guided mostly by anger and frustration. Brian sensed her thoughts -- she was convinced he didn't believe her, but why? He had tried to make it clear that he -did- believe her and that it was her choice as to how to react.
Well, she reacted. But it wasn't in a way that Brian would have preferred.
Concerned for where her irrational reaction might take the angry Bajoran, Brian quickly got to his feet and went after her.
"Probing for More Than Just Answers"
By Lieutenant Vladimir Malgin, Acting Assistant Chief Medical Officer, USS Galaxy
And Lieutenant James Lionel Corgan, Chief of Operations, USS Galaxy
Like a wounded targ being caught by Klingon trappers, or more appropriately, a fox caught by foxhounds, James Corgan was captured, cohered and taken to the Galaxy-s sickbay. He was led into the antiseptic world of the medical doctor. Fed through a network of biobeds, medical trays and diagnostic equipment, Corgan was literally in the belly of the beast while it did it-s horrific digesting.
"It's that time of the year again, isn't it?" James asked his silent captor. To that, the Klingon field medic nodded in recognition.
It was confirmed. It was time for the annual Physical Examination. The bane of all Starfleet Officer's existences. The very word struck fear into the minds of the most stalwart souls, turning fresh faced, cocky recruits and brave, pragmatic Dominion War veterans alike (whom Corgan belongs to the latter) into quivering masses of frightened protoplasm, void of any backbone whatsoever. The doctors loved and hated this day equally, for they too had to endure the probes and the scans that raised the hairs on people-s necks and violated them to the core of their being. Then again, it was also the time of year that the doctors could do whatever they wanted to the officers they hated.
If one was lucky, they could walk away from the physical with nothing more than a quick tricorder scan and a deep resonating holographic image of their body taken, where it would be closely inspected by the doctor for any physical defects (It was a new procedure brought in by the darling of the medical community, the EMH). If one flaw was found in the person, they would have to get physical in the third stage, using all sorts of orifice probing, dildo shaped metal objects that scared Corgan just thinking about them. He was kinky on his good days, but even he had his limits. But for now, it was to check the body passively and inspect dental and eye health.
That was the second stage. The third was much, much worse. The probing didn-t start until after the joints were beaten with a small rubber hammer. The patients were forced to strip naked and were told to love each and every moment of it. The doctors took perverse pleasure in their art as they poked and prodded, or so it seemed from the patient-s point of view. Scans that hurt the ears (even with the human-s poor range) rippled through their body. They were subjected to hot and cold. It was as humiliating as being strapped into a Romulan torture chamber and being mind sifted while Pakled sodomized the victim.
And that was his modus aprendi for avoiding the physical, up until now. The Klingon left him on a biobed, where Dr. Malgin came in to inspect the patient.
~"Awww f**k."~ He looked at Malgin with a sense of irony, ~"God hates me, and he took the form of Malgin."~
~... GEEZ! GOD EXISTS AND HE LOVES ME! See who is here as my victim - greatest at Operations, smart chieftain, god of ship James Corgan himself! One and Only! Nothing more than a victim in my hands! Autumn is not here so martial law is just what awaits him in here.~ was something that exploded in Vladimir's mind when he saw a person, who sat on the the biobed, waiting for doctor. He constructed what he called 'duty smile #4 - Evil form' on his face and came to the biobed. "So, it is mister Corgan, you have finally decided to accept medical personnel hospitality... Long time not seen. Hope you're alright? In case if not, I will just shove you out of this ship by medical reasons... Well, all this was a preamble for just a word 'Hello!'"
"Yeah, Hi." James groaned balefully. Just his luck. Last year, he was stuckwith Dr. Qwevenson, and she had a bone to pick with him after the Decilian Incident.
He still didn't know why she was bothered by him, and he didn't care until her anal probed wraith drove the point home. And now he was stuck with Dr. Malgin, a doctor who was confirmed to have hated him and gave a reason as to why. Ever since the whole Hirogen Incident, Corgan avoided Malgin all but once, where he argued with him during a game of chess over his leadership abilities. "You still pissed at me, for that Hirogen incident?"
Vladimir frowned "Listen man, I am NOT pissed at ANYONE! You don't know the PISSED Vladimir Vladimirovich Malgin yet and pray not to know him ever in your life. I am kind as angel. So now you shut your mouth and prepare to be assimi... tested. NOW!"
James looked at his doctor, red faced and shocked at what he said. Vladimir was a touch bit tactless when it came to people, and the Borg was one of James' most sensitive topics, "Assimilate? ASSIMILATE?!?!?! Are you talking to me about assimilation? My god! you have balls to say that. You think you can get pissed? Try bringing down the curses of all the gods in the galaxies on me to make my life worse than any alien hellhole, and the vengeance you deserve therein will be a fraction of what you'll experience if you joke about the Borg in front of my face. You'll know what true anger is all about that day. Say anything about those murdering sons of b*tches again and I'll..."
Vladimir exploded not in usual fire style. His voice gained temperature of 0 degrees on Kelvin. "YOU. NOW. CLOSE. MOUTH. IF. NOT. CLOSED. NO. POSITIVE. MEDICAL. RESULT. Understood?"
James looked down on the floor sorrowfully, his hand closed in a ghost white fist, shaking uncontrollably in confined rage. He wished they would get the humiliation over with, ?I-m sorry. Been a tough couple of days. Prod away, Doctor.
Vladimir coughed and said in a serious tone "Now stand up and stand still while a do a first wave of checks and tests. This will not hurt if you don't move or say anything. I hope I won't have to impose terror, dictatorship and do harsh repressions? Will you keep quiet and calm in your interests?"
Lieutenant Corgan nodded his head, understanding the request to the point where he didn-t speak, but had to give a response. He stood still enough for a marine to call him -uptight-.
With a nod Vladimir started checking. In process he was mumbling to himself something like this "Good... Plain graphic... healthy as lion... stomach's alive... Skin is clean... you lack sleep, no?"
"I haven't been getting much sleep for the past few days. Ambassador Ordos has kept me busy. I mean, last night I had to take him to Lanjep and he nearly had us all killed in the process." James confessed over the hum of the tricorder scans.
"OK, ok. I understand everything. I can offer one best medical in whole world - get some rest - lay on the bed and sleep, sleep, sleep. The fatigue turns your face into something from horror movie."
"But what about my shift?" Corgan objected, but was cut off by another one of Vladimir's tirades.
"Mister Corgan. I am a medical doctor. I know what is good to you, you don't know. I say what you have to do and you obey. Is that clear - I say, YOU obey! Count it a doctors orders. If you won't carry out this order, you'd possibly die." seeing Corgan wanting to interrupt him Vladimir continued hurriedly "That's all on this subject. (he lowered tricorder) Any unease feelings? In stomach, in head, in muscles, wherever?"
"Let's see- my stomach acts up every time I'm under another planet's gravity. I guess I'm too used to the artificial kind. Is there anything you can do for that?"
"Like a friendly advice - probably it is time to tie up with starfleet?.. Just joking. I can't do anything with this. Anything more?"
James remembered one final detail, one he wished he didn-t have to bring up. His eye, the left eye that was damaged in the fight with hunter Letag, was not at peak performance. The scar constantly itched, and the eye was beginning to lose some of it-s sharp focus. It was during the time he meet Ieyasu that he started to worry about his sight, and in the last couple of days it was becoming more of a problem. "Oh, and another thing, could you check out my eye? I think I'm having trouble with it. And, my scar itches! nothing that a few scratches can't handle, but I thought you could give me some insight on it." ~ What the hell, use him for all he-s worth. He-s going to give me a biological overhaul whether he likes it or not! ~
"Itches?! ITCHES?!! I will see it later. You see I have the list, so it is the program." ~Heh! What to ask next?.. AHA!~ An idea blazed Vladimir's mind "I believe you don't want your asshole checked? I mean it could hurt a lo... a bit."
"Hey, despite what people say on the ship, I-m not into all that kinky doctor and patient fantasy bullsh*t. I hope you'll respectfully put away the cold metal objects." James tried to lighten the mood by jesting harmlessly.
Smile touched Vladimir's lips "Excellent, you owe me now! We mark that off from the list."
"Since when did I owe you anything?" James peeped.
Vladimir ignored the Chief of Operations, "What comes next? Care to guess? I have to ask you to sit and wait till I check your reflexes. In old-old-old style - by rubber hammer. So sit still and try not to kick me when I test your knee joint, OK?"
As Dr. Malgin tested every joint in his body, James mind was testing a theory of his own, ~Tongue depressors shoved in the ears. Hyposprays shoved up the nose. One of those anal probe thingies up his ass... no make it three, and a surgical camera droid in his urethra. Then, I jam a cortical stimulator in his mouth, hang him with a stethoscope, and beat him like a piñata with a crutch. And if I run out of holes... make a few new ones. Gawd he annoys me! please let me hurt him...~ His eyes followed the tiny rubber hammer, ~He's enjoying this! Ever since we argued, he keeps trying to get me back for some crime I didn't commit. Maybe I should put him away for good. I should humble him, which he needs more than anything.~
Vladimir put the tricorder on the table. "TA-DA! That's all. Everything complete and everything is OK." ~... Except probably brains...~
"Thanks, doc. Now, about my eyes?" James asked.
Vladimir sighed, then with a nod took him to eye scanner. Then he looked at the results. ~Ahem... What can I say... You right eye is really undergoing some unease things... Loss of vision to twenty twenty." he looked into Corgan's eyes "It will deteriorate unless the eye is replaced. The process can be stopped, but not reversed. That's all what I can say."
The implication of the eye injury sunk deep. As a marksman, James was intent on one day returning to the sport. He was a good shot, and he enjoyed the activity, but for years he didn't qualify due to the medication he was on to treat his emotions. It was only recently that he could attempt to qualify again. There was the other eye, but James always shot using his right eye, and without it shooting felt strangely alien.
What was he without his eye? To answer that, what was a farmer without his hands, or a philosopher without his brain? He would be nothing, quite simply a nobody who-s usefulness was at an end. He was impotent as a fighter, and as if he wasn't disconcerted enough about his lack of command skills. If the eye were gone, he wouldn't have anything left to fall back on, except his dead music career. And could he go back to that? No, not after going so far in Starfleet. He invested too much of his time on this ship, and his attachment was starting to grow roots inside the Galaxy-s winding structure. He loved where he was, and he didn-t want to go yet. But still, he was facing a problem that could end his career.
He wasn't much of an Ops officer in his own mind, and a terrible leader according to Lysander and Vladimir. Without the only skill he had that could top everyone on the ship, he was nothing.
Just a useless waste of flesh.
It was enough to cripple his confidence.
"F**k" Corgan swore, "What can be done about this?"
"Lemme think... Bionic eye replacement will go good. replicating an eye won't be an option, 'cause optic nerves are in far beyond repair. Even my talent as surgeon won't help here."
"I can-t take a bionic replacement. I-m trying to get back into marksmanship again. If I take a fake eye, I won-t be able to qualify. Is there anything else?" He asked in a state of controlled fear. He was going to be useless. The prospect of losing his best ability, the ability to shoot well, was as scary as it was dangerous for his career.
~No good, no good...~ thought Vladimir and with innocent smile said one word "Glasses"
James asked politely, out of ignorance, "Forgive me... but what are glasses?"
Vladimir's eyes widen like two plates. "You don't know what is Glasses?! My, my, my! However not everyone seem to have a nostalgie on 20th century...~ he thought then said "Well, in basic it is just two lenses in the rim, which holds 'em in front of your eyes. Lenses focus light beams on your retina with needed angle... Ask guys from our science department for more information."
"So, you think this is my only choice?" James innocently asked.
"What you've heard. G-L-A-S-S-E-S! Let me explain. You have three paths of choose. First - to take this problem as it is. Second - to use bionic replacement. Third - Glasses. There is no fourth. See that?!.." He sighed "Since everything other is good, I will give a positive medical conclusion, but now go to your quarters and take a good sleep. GOOD sleep. VERY GOOD sleep. And think about glasses. That's all, now you're free as a bird."
"Well, I could try to use my good eye... it'll take some practice... But I could qualify for the marksmanship competitions again."
"Good! Go! Sleep! Now!"
"Alright, alright. I'm leaving." ~You f**king tyrant. ~ James muttered as he left through the door.
Vladimir looked in the back of Ops chief. ~I guess that only grave will repair this man...~
Autumn looked at the wall clock with a sigh. Curtis relaxed himself a bit. Alia was late. Almost an hour late. "Computer. Locate Lieutenant Drakely"
"Lieutenant Drakely is in the arboretum."
With a sigh Autumn shrugged and walked out of medical with her med kit over her shoulder. ~Oh gee can't people just go to medical without sending me on a wild goose hunt?~
Alia was sat in the comfort of the arboretum, eyes closed and hands neatly clasped in her lap as her mouth moved, reciting Hamlet, something she liked to do every so often with all her old studies just to check she still could, and there was no where more peaceful to do it than the arboretum...
Autumn stepped into the Arboretum. She smiled and said. "Alas Horatio I knew him well." she paused. "And I know that you are skipping a medical appointment Alia."
When in doubt, feign stupidity... "Really? Er...I had no idea...so sorry and all that...may as well reschedule now I suppose, hm?" She said, standing and readying to bolt.
Autumn held up her hand. "Nope. Orders are orders Alia. Med bay. Now. or I call your pals and they help me." Acting Dumb didn't work on the doctor. "No rescheduling. It isn't going to take much time up and it is painless."
"Painless..." Alia repeated, trying to fight down her anxiousness, Sickbays and medical equipment being her true fear. "...Yeah...of course...I know that..." Alia gave a nervous laugh but made no move to leave.
Autumn moved to her side. "We could do it here." she said noticing her friends fear.
Alia looked at her with surprise. "Really?" She asked, looking around and finding the place empty except for them. "That would be great...if you don't mind?" She asked hesitantly.
Autumn shook her head. "It is a relatively quick exam. So have a seat and we'll do the exam here. Ok?"
Alia obeyed wordlessly, letting out what was supposed to be a calming breath if for the fact it wasn't shaking so much, and closed her eyes tight and her shoulders hunched up.
Autumn knelt beside her and opened the med kit and brought out the medical Tricorder. "Just a quick scan ok?"
Alia nodded without opening her eyes, she didn't trust herself not to run if she saw the thing.
Autumn began the scans and said. "So Hamlet huh? Ever read Henry 5th by Shakespeare?" She was trying to keep Alia's mind off things.
"Yes..." Alia replied, licking dry, nervous lips. "I read most when I was a child. He was truly a genius...even today he still has so much relevance." She realised she was babbling, but it kept her busy.
Autumn nodded. "I like his works, Henry 5th and the Tempest as well as midsummer nights dream" She checked the scans discreetly as She spoke. "But my fave is Henry V it is such a good story and the characters seem so real."
"I've always liked Richard III...it's so over the top that I'm certain it was written as a mockery or a comedy in his mind even if he had to write it reflecting badly on him to the Tudors..." She replied, her hands deciding to start twisting around each other. "But Hamlet's my favourite...such an in depth character...so much to analyse..."
Autumn smiled. "My mother loved Macbeth. She use to read it all the time." she paused. "There you go. That wasn't so bad now was it?" She asked putting the tricorder away. "Normally I'd do a bit more.. but I think you pass today."
Alia gave a very audible sigh of relief. "Thanks...I appreciate that." she said, finally opening her eyes again and looking up to Autumn with a smile.
"No problem. Just don't make me chase you up again ok? I will not be able to move so quickly for much longer." She pushed herself to her feet. "Now I shall let you go back to your relaxation. Have fun" she smiled and picked up her med kit and walked towards the door.
"Autumn...?" Alia stood up and looked over to her. "When you're off duty sometime...would you like to go for a drink or something?" She asked with a slight smile.
Autumn turned and smiled. "Sure. If you name the time and place."
"I'll have to let you know later, I'll need to check with someone first." Alia replied, a warm smile at that thought appearing on her features. "But it'll be soon, a couple days time I expect."
"Ok." Said Autumn. "Shall speak to you then." She waved and vanished out the doors.
Alia let out another long breath of relief before blowing a piece of long, dark hair out of her eyes. Now that her breathing had returned to a half decent rate, she settled back into a cross-legged position, eyes closed, and starting up her incessant murmuring of Hamlet.
Lt. Lancelot Grogan
Lt. Alia Drakely.
"Ow!" Alia gasped with breathless laughter from where she looked up at him, her cheeks a little red and her eyes wide with amusement. "You're holding me too tight, Lancelot!" She said with another laugh.
He smiled to her and arched a brow. "No, you balance your weight wrong," he countered, brushing a dark lock from his eyes.
"Rubbish!" Alia replied with a chuckle. "My balance is perfect...it's your positioning that's wrong." She said, even as she shifted a little in his hands to fix her balance.
He smiled and eased his grip on her. "Better?" he asked, now that it was easier for him to hold.
"Much." She said with an agreeable nod, even as her head was pretty much swooped down near the floor. "Er...Lancelot...I should like to be pulled up before my face goes completely red..." She said with a chuckle.
He pulled her up and close to his body, looking into her eyes. "No problem," he said with a huge grin.
Her grin matched his as she pressed her body against his for a moment before pushing away from him with a delicate spin and then moving around to the back of him, running her hands down his sides as they both moved in time with the music. "You're really good at this, you know that?"
"Thanks. I was told I was a natural," he said as he took her hand and spun her around so that she was facing him. He pressed her against him as they moved together. "That or I had watched Dirty Dancing one time too many"
"Is it possible to watch that too often?" She asked with a look of mock confusion as her leg went up to wrap around his waist, forcing her to lean against him. "You drop me...I shan't be a happy woman..." She joked with a smile.
He chuckled as he bent his knees slightly before moving up again, his eyes locked with hers. "I never drop anyone while dancing," he said and smiled.
She slipped her leg down his and twisted so that her back now laid balanced across his arm as she looked up at him. "I am glad to hear that...you know it's nerve wracking to have to depend on someone else to keep you up..." Where his head was bent over her, she leant up a little to swiftly kiss him. "But I trust you." She said with a wink and a grin.
He bent his head down, kissing her throat before helping her up again. He smiled. "Remember the ending of Dirty Dancing, when Baby gets the jump right? I think that one might work with us," he said in a low voice.
"You think...?" Alia replied, meeting his eyes, her own holding laughter as she raised an eyebrow at him.
He looked at her and nodded. "Okay, so you are slightly taller than me...an inch. But I know I can hold you up," he said with confidence. A smile crept over his features. "Unless you are afraid, of course"
Alia gave him one of her quirky smirks which said she was right...although this time it was to give the impression that this was no problem when she in fact knew she would mess it up. "Me? Afraid? Hah! Oh please...you *must* be joking...telling Arel that she's having a bad hair day, now that's scary...or waking up to find Lysander brushing crumbs from the most unlikely places, that's terrifying...or finding yourself sitting in Leo's lap, that's petrifying...but this? A doddle...a piece of ca...actually, let's completely forget that expression..." She was fully aware she was babbling, but at least it was stalling.
"Okay," he said and kissed her on the lips. "Less babbling, more dancing, luv"
"You'll drop me if we try it." She said simply with a raised eyebrow.
"My body is stronger than it looks," he whispered as he moved his hands down the sides of her body. "I bet I could hold you up..but we should do as they did in the movie and practice in water first"
"That sounds like a *very* good idea to me!" Alia said with a laugh as she pressed a little closer to him.
He smiled as he took her hands and spun her around so her back faced him. He kissed her neck. "Good, luv"
She smiled as her hands ran down his arms, still in time with the music. "It would be worth it just to see you fall in..." She said with a laugh.
He laughed as his hands went to her waist. "Oh really? Anything for see a bloke wet, huh?" he asked.
"Naturally!" Alia replied with a laugh as she picked up her foot and used it to stroke down his leg with. "I can already imagine just how good you'll look..." She said with a grin.
"Not any better than you. I'd walk over dead bodies to see you in a bikini..." he whispered as he stroked her leg and foot.
"Well, you'd have to...because *no one* sees me in a bikini." She replied with a playful smile. "They never have...and it would take a lot to persuade me for now or the future." She spun back so she was facing him and moved so she had one leg either side of his right thigh.
His hands moved to her buttocks, pressing her against him. "I think you'd look good. And it would just be the two of us..I have seen you in less," he smiled and kissed her cheek.
She started to ease her upper body back, pulling him with and over her so his face was barely a couple of inches from her neck. "Now that may be true...but it's the principle of thing." She said with a chuckle.
He kissed her neck, gracefully keeping his and hers balance. "What? Afraid to show me scars?" he teased gently.
"Oh I think you've seen pretty much everything I have to show or even hide." She laughed gently as he pulled her back up, his grip on her enabling her to wrap one of her legs around him again.
"As you have with me," he replied, looking into her eyes.
"And I treasure each and every moment you allow that to me." She said softly, kissing him gently.
He kissed her back, his arms wrapped tightly around her. The music seemed dim now and he strained to hear it, only to realise that the song was finished. As the kiss broke, he smiled, "Maybe we should go on stage with our dancing"
She gave a thoughtful smile. "You think...?" She asked, making no bid to move from their position. "What did you have in mind?"
"Well, we both have to admit there is a very good adrenaline kick with doing this in front of people. And I am sure Leo wouldn't...object," he touched her face. "And it would make a less dangerous hobby for me at least"
Alia couldn't deny the last point. "You really think encouraging Leo is a good idea..." she said with a raised eyebrow.
"Not really. But at least it would shut him up *and* get us free drinks," he said with a wide grin.
"Ah..." Alia said with a grin. "I am beginning to see the charm to this idea of yours. So...you sure you wanna talk to Leo about dancing in Ten-forward...I presume that's where you were thinking of...?"
"That was the plan," he said with a nod. "I am sure Leo will approve"
She gave a laugh. "Oh yeah...I bet he will..." She said with a shake of her head.
He kissed her again and looked at her. "So...will we go dancing?"
She looked back at him, smiling. "If that is what you wish, then it shall be done...yes, we will go dancing."
He laughed and lifted her up as far as he could without straining himself or dropping her. "Thank you, Alia," he said, looking up at her.
Alia laughed. "Okay, I believe you can hold me up...now put me down." She said with a grin.
He placed her down again and gave her a boyish smile, no doubt proud that he had convinced her.
She gave a chuckle at that look and brushed his lips with her fingertips. "Right Mr. Strongman...you ready to try out this jump?"
"Ah, but we should do it in water first. One thing is to pick you up like this..another is when you come running towards me. We have to keep our balance..or more, *I* have to keep our balance," he chuckled and placed his fingertip on her nose.
She waved a hand in dismissively. "I trust you." You she said with a shrug, looking to him with a quirk of an eyebrow and a challenging smile.
"But I am a doctor...and if I drop you, you're gonna need one," he said with a slightly concerned look over his features. "Besides..I want to see you in a bikini"
She gave a laugh. "See? That's all you're concerned about!"
"Hey, you put the idea in my head," he defended himself with a smile. "You'd look terrific. As you always do"
Alia smiled fondly at the compliment. "If you promise not to tell anyone...*anyone*...and that includes Leo..." She added, knowing already the way his mind would be going, "...than I shall wear one. Just for this though, mind you."
"I won't tell a soul," he promised and smiled. "As long as you don't tell anyone as well. I'm not a good swimmer..."
"In that case, you sure it's such a good idea?" She asked with a slight frown of concern.
He laughed and kissed her. "I might not have gone swimming since I was a teenager, but I think I must remember something. I won't drown," he said and pulled her closer. "My chief concern is that I'll look like an idiot," he winked.
"Now *that* just isn't possible." Alia said with a smile, her hand going up to gently tease a longer piece of his hair.
He smiled to her, a beaming smile. "So, what shall we do now? I am exhausted after the dancing, we have been doing it for two hours"
"We can do anything you wish, Fidelis. Your wish is my command." She said with a smile and mock regal nod of the head.
He laughed and kissed her again. "Then what about some food?" he asked and stepped away from her, a rather seductive smile on his lips. "Like whipped cream..."
"I hope you're thinking about that in terms of on top of cake..." Oh dear - bad thought, Alia thought as she quickly ridded her mind of memories. "...or strawberries young man." She gave him a mock stern look.
"Strawberries sound good as well," he said and turned to look at her. "But I'd rather eat it off your body," he winked as he walked out of the room.
"A Curious Meeting"
by Lt. Commander James Mitchell,
Chief Science Officer
Three of Four, Borg Ambassador
Gul Tarak, Cardassian Military Escort
Three of Four had beamed to the planet surface with a Starfleet escort. Again, she was scanned for weapons, and with a scornful look, was admitted passage to the Klingon resort of lanjep.
She clunked about the Ambassadorial delegatory banquet hall, analyzing everything around her. The hall was a wing of the auditorium, where at this time, the Breen Ambassador was launched into his long-winded grievances on the fruitlessness of the proposed trade route.
"An inefficient waste of production." The Borg recorded all that happened in her presence and was transmitting it to the hive. It would prove to be of great strategic value when the time came for the shaky truce between the Borg and the population of the Alpha quadrant.
"I agree." Three of Four cocked her head to the left in response to the voice behind her. Several other member delegations passed around her peripheral vision, keeping their distance from the cyborg. Several of them sneered at her in disdain, speculating on why the Borg would want anything to do with the trade route. Others, like the Andorians, saw her for what she was. A cold, calculating strategist. Formulating equations and calculations on future tactics. All here knew about the agreement made in the name of the Federation to the Borg to cease hostilities for ten years, but not all the races present were members of the Alpha Quadrant, or even members of the Federation.
"Species 5673. Cardassian. Your species can no longer be considered independent. You must rely on others to assist your planet in recovering. Why do you disagree? Explain!" Three turned to face the Cardassian. A male, 2.1 meters in height, approximately 109 Kilos. The raven-haired spoonhead pursed his lips as the smile was wiped away at the reminder of the plight of their race. The dreary grey of his creased skin accentuated the random streaks in his hair.
He quickly tipped his head in greeting and raised his Kanar as he regained his composure, fleeting as the change was. The Starfleet security officers snickered at his unintended demeanment by the unfeeling cyborg.
"Do you have a name, Borg?" The Cardassian ignored the chuckles of the passing delegates upon hearing the insulting nature of the Borg's query. He would get the last laugh in the end, that he knew. The Obsidian Order may have been destroyed in military might and numbers, but their libraries remained, and to that extent, knowledge was power. Their resources were still in place, and this Cardassian knew how to use them.
"Our designation is Three of Four, Quaternary Adjunct to Unimatrix Three-Three-Zero. You have not answered our question. Explain your reasons for denying the trade route!" Three of Four was not in the mood for games, as to be expected. She is an uncaring slab of metal and gears now. The Cardassian wondered if the Yridians had tried to take her to their harems yet. Afte Iglom's ill-fated attempt to recruit Cenna, having a mechanical sexbot might be the only venue left for the sufferable creature.
"In due time, Three of Four. In the meantime..." He raised his glass to air and saluted the meandering Breen Ambassador whining his way through the agonizing speech. "My name is Gul Tarak, and I wish to welcome you to these proceedings. Do you plan to speak on behalf of the Borg?"
"We have not decided as yet. The Federation has requested us not to do so, but they have given no valid reasons. These proceedings are illogical and irrational." Three cocked her head, as she often does when in contact with the Borg.
"You were assigned to Bajor during the Occupation. You were a Glinn on Terok Nor. You killed and tortured many Bajorans. Did you enjoy this?" This caught the Cardassian off guard. He was not expecting his past to be brought up in a simple conversation. And to be asked if he enjoyed it? He looked around to make sure no one was listening in. There were many Bajorans taking part in these proceedings, and he did not want to bring attention to himself over it. He edged in closer to the Borg, unafraid as she did not have her assimilation probes, and whispered in what he hoped was her ear sensor.
"Where did you get this information? It is not common knowledge, and please keep your voice down." He leaned back and took a sip of his Kanar. The Breen was on grievance number 147. His raspy voice echoed through the halls through amplifiers.
"We have been given access to all library resources on the Federation Starship Galaxy, designation number NCC-70637. They have access to the data libraries on Deep Space Nine in the Bajoran system. We simply accessed those files and cross-referenced them against the memories of species 5673 in the Collective." Three did not lower her voice. "Why do you not comply?"
"Comply with what, Three of Four?" Tarak took another sip of his Kanar and signalled a hover-servant for another.
"Explain why you do not support the trade route, Gul Tarak." The Cardassian nodded as the waiter delivered another long-stemmed concoction of the Cardassian drink, synthesized of course.
"I never said I did not support the trade route, Three, only that I agree with your assessment that this summit is a waste of time and energies. My own thoughts on the route itself are mine and mine alone. That is why we have an Ambassador here. I am only here as an escort." He sneered at the thought of his tiny vessel and crew defending itself. There were so many enemies old and new alike here, he couldn't fend a fly off a steaming hunk of terd without being stabbed in the back by someone else.
That isn't the real truth as to why the Gul and his assistant were here, though, but this Borg did not need to know that. Not yet, anyways.
The Breen had ended his list and the princess was about to call upon another. The Cardassian raised a toast to the Breen and laughed at the sanctity of it all, as Three of Four looked on at him, curious as to why a ineffective military escort would be on lanjep, and why they weren't protecting the Ambassador.
Now they were to wait and see who would be next on the podium.
"Old pals part I"
by Lcdr Ragnald Gustavson, chief helmsman
OOC: Not inteded to interfere with the main storyline:
Bureau for foreign affairs, diplomatic complex, Lanjep
His feet on the heavy wooden desk, G'eliH scrolled through the crew list displayed by his padd. What did those special intelligence agency clerks think? Did they really expect one of the foreign ambassadors' vessels to be manned by searched criminals? Even the Rigelian vessel seemed to be manned by honorable members of the society - no trace of Orion pirates. At least as far as somebody dares to call an Orion honorable at all. Their personnel reports were without any gap and if they were faked, it was done by a real artist. G'eliH closed the Rigelian vessels file and opened the next.
NCC 7* USS Galaxy Crew list
G'eliH shook his head. "1200 lifeforms? What have I done to deserve this? Why does the Federation send one of their largest vessels to deliver just one ambassador.? Why do they take at least two civilians with them for every crewman the tremendous starship is manned with? Probably a kind of cloaked special forces?"
Reading through the personnel files, the young diplomatic aide wondered if the Orion pirates really were the group to care about. Half of the Galaxy's officers visited brig at least once. And obviously most of the senior officers used to insubordinate their captain. Their chief helmsman even was reported to have started a rebellion few weeks ago?
This vessels crew was far away from the impression he had about Starfleet vessels leadership style. This vessels crew rather looked like a bunch of buccaneers.
G'eliH stopped reading. Something was strange with this rebellious helmsman. What was his name? The young Klingon scrolled back through the list. Gustavson ... Ragnald Gustavson. The Ragnald Gustavson who shared a room with him during his time at the boarding school? His friend Ragnald?
G'eilH hit his communicator.
"There is somebody on board the Starfleet vessel I want to have a closer look at. I will be out of office for the rest of the day."
by Lt j/g Arel Smith
"mevyap!" Arel yelled at the Klingon before her.
He, of course, ignored her and kept advancing, knife in hand.
Not that she could really blame him, she supposed. She had insinuated that his mother had, in effect, shacked up with a Ferrangi. No self-respecting Klingon could have let that slide.
How do I get myself into these situations, Arel asked herself.
The morning had started off promising. She had gotten permission to visit Qo'nos to get information and then had returned to lanjep for the conference. No problems there.
After that things had slowly deteriorated. There was still no real lead on Price, the food tasted awful, she had to break up a squabble between two of the minor delegates, one of which sure smelt of alcohol, and the two men had had the gall to smack her on the ass. Luckily for the second one, Shinta had stepped in and suggested that she take her "lunch break" back on Galaxy. Arel had cracked her knuckles but agreed.
She had decided, however, to make a quick check of the perimeter before she left, just in case. It was then that she had come upon "Ferrengi face" and a couple of his friends who, of course, didn't like humans. Didn't like the way they looked, didn't like the way they spoke, didn't... Arel had skipped over the traditional insults and had struck right at the core, insulting his mother, commenting on his pathetic tool of procreation, and questioning his prowess in battle.
He hadn't liked that.
More to the point, she thought as she quickly sidestepped the charging Klingon, why do I pick fights when I know I'm unarmed, Arel thought.
"QI'yaH" a voice muttered from one of the smaller rooms. Shinta looked up from where she sat and felt her eyes widen as she saw Arel standing in the doorway, covered head to toe in mud.
Shinta told the others she'd be right back, quietly left the room, drawing little attention to her exit and crossed over to Arel, who was flicking great globs of goo off of her.
"What happened?" Shinta asked, suddenly overcome with the need to laugh.
Arel scowled, which made mud slide off of her face. "I suddenly felt the urge to go swimming."
Shinta gave a soft chuckle and Arel scowled deeper. More mud fell to the floor.
"Mind if I extend my break by a few minutes?"
"What Now, Nancy Drew?"
Commander Karyn Dallas, RN
Chief Counselor/Second Officer
***Karyn's quarters, two hours prior to beaming down for Day 2 of the summit, USS Galaxy***
Trying desperately to rub the sleep out of her eyes, Karyn forced herself to take a few deep breaths as she scrolled through the haphazard notes from her fellow diplomats turned hunters. They were most definitely on a hunt to save a man's life, and yet progress was agonizingly slow due in part to the diplomatic charade they had to perpetuate despite the graveness of the situation.
She hadn't slept in two days now, and she wasn't likely going to be able to sleep until Lee was safely back among them. She felt so damn helpless and scared all at once. She'd had a lot of time to think in between receiving what little news she could, and always her thoughts turned to Lee and what might be happening to him while they were forced to play verbal fencing games with the very people who were using her Captain as a pawn.
Slamming her palm against her desk, she realized belatedly that she could not risk drawing attention to herself with overly emotional displays. Her assistant Julia was already suspicious of her mood, but thankfully she had chalked up Karyn's moodiness to the drivel that was diplomacy. Inwardly, Julia had expected as much from Karyn, knowing that the young woman was happiest when she could cut through the sugar-coating and get to the grit and the true work her job entailed.
All ready to beam down two hours ahead of schedule, Karyn was fighting the urge to hit the pavement herself and start turning over rocks, but as Kent reminded her last night during their meeting with Jii, she was the head of her delegation, and if any of her party was being watched, it was most definitely her. She sighed harshly. As painfully slow as the investigation was going, she had to trust her people to do the work she'd asked of them. SOMEONE had to continue to act in the best interest of the Federation by giving the summit their full attention, and as luck would have it, that responsibility had fallen to her.
In a weak moment, she had even suggested jokingly to Jii and Kent that she cozy up to Iglom and that Rigellian Brian had mentioned fancied her, but the expression on Kent's face was enough to remind her where she was and with whom she was speaking to. The awful thing was that he'd looked at her as though he wasn't sure she had been kidding, and even worse, she wasn't sure she had been either. At that moment, she would have done anything to know more information faster.
She had to smile as she read Brian's progress reports, sent to her through her secure comchannel normally reserved for session notes. He had been as thorough with his whereabouts as he could be with the little time he had to give her updates, but in part, Karyn suspected he was trying to keep her from worrying. He was making the rounds and doing his best to report beyond his own speculation, even if it was all the had at the moment. The jury was still out on a number of their esteemed delegates, but Brian was always quick to assure her that Adrian, Shinta, Kit, and James were working the room.
Shinta was down there too, which normally would have assuaged all her worry were it not for the fact that she was quite uncomfortable with interfacing with a Cardassian scientist attending the summit. Karyn didn't exactly know all the details, and perhaps insensitively hadn't really taken it into account. Right now they needed answers, and no one could afford to burn bridges or let their emotions rule their behavior right now.
Turning her attention once again to the forensics report she'd received from Mitchell and his top shelf science team, she'd long since gotten over her disappointment over its findings. After all, she couldn't fault James for providing her with the information she sought no matter how inconclusive it was.
The letter had provided no obvious insights. Her fingerprints were all over it as were the entire Away Teams' and that was after a detailed analysis by James and Three of Four. Karyn had hoped the Borg Ambassador would be able to offer more assistance, but like James, she could not pull evidence from thin air. The writer was left-handed, the paper of fine quality, but other than that, it might as well have come from a phantom. Karyn found the wax sealant a most peculiar detail, but even that could be explained away into anonymity. Bolarus IX offered the paper and wax to tourists around the quandrant. The only clue had come from the ink itself, possibly of Breen origin. Karyn knew it couldn't be that obvious, but at this point every lead had to be followed.
"What the hell is taking so bloody long?" Karyn couldn't keep the edge of frustration from her voice. She had been forced to do all her ruminating in her head rather than outloud like usual lest she be overhead by someone outside of the Away Team, and not being able to think outloud was killing her. She had spent all of fifteen minutes trying to work in her locked bathroom before deciding being able to talk outloud was not worth giving up access to her comm terminal.
Where the hell was that psych profile? Where was the security report? Surely Jii and Rayna had finished combing Lee's last known location for evidence by now? Somebody had to have seen something?
Karyn didn't know a damn thing about what it took to get in the mind of a psychotic, but by gods, the letter hadn't been that long. If Ardra or Mike knew something, why weren't they letting her know?
She was testy and she knew it, but she wasn't sure she was going to get much of a chance to break away once the summit got underway this morning. Realizing she wasn't going to feel any better until she knew how things were progressing, she decided to make her way to Main Security. Every second counted, and there was no way she was going to make it through another session not knowing...
Commander Karyn Dallas, RN
Chief Counselor/Second Officer
"Early Morning Research "
by Lt. Commander Elaithin Jii, Chief of Security
Lt. Commander Mike O'Grady, Counselor
and Lieutenant Ardra McGrath, Counselor
0600. After a night of very little sleep, (though compounded with some very interested developments with the lovely Kit Jordan) and the quickest sonic shower one could possibly take, Lieutenant Commander Elaithin Jii slipped into his uniform as quickly as time would allow.
It had been approximately eighteen hours since the away team had received the mystery letter that was contained in a small evidence pouch at his side. Also in that pouch was the Captain's commbadge, which he'd had some ideas regarding. Much of the diplomatic team was preparing for the second day of the conference.
Moments later, he was closing on Science Lab 17, a rarely used xenobiology lab that also had the full resources of the Ship's Computer for Counselors McGrath and O'Grady to use, as well as what he needed to test the commbadge. It short, it was well equipped, out of the way, and rarely used. Perfect for them to do what they needed undiscovered.
He arrived to find the Ardra McGrath and Mike O'Grady already there. "Good morning, Counselors." he stated, laying the pouch down on the nearest table. The fact that it was six in the morning, the Captain was missing, and yet Jii was smiling immediately tipped Mike off that something had changed.
Mike raised an eyebrow, Jii was normally not this cheerful in the morning, "Well at least one of us is quite cheerful." Somehow the letter he had been working on disappeared from his station and he spent most of the night searching for it, missing his evening anniversary celebration with Rayna. So basically he was in a bad mood this morning.
"Let's just say that, despite everything else....I had a very good night." the Bajoran responded, thinking of the kiss in the lobby of the Klingon hotel.
Ardra turned as the Security Officer entered the room, she was almost half scared out of her wit. The surprise of the door opening and because she was already focusing and studying the letter she was.... well scared when the door pulled her out of that focus.
She looked and took a deep breath "Aye... and a good morning to you.... I need your help to analyze this letter. I have already got some ideas in my head about who wrote it, but I dunno how to use these blasted machines!"
The Bajoran chuckled. "Fair enough, Counselor. I was thinking we'd start with some DNA trace scans on the commbadge and the letter - see if we can find anything."
Mike O'Grady perked up. "I should have thought of that."
Activating two small devices, and placing both the commbadge and the letter on each of them, the pair watched as they were bathed in a light blue glow.
The letter, he had found out later that some security crewmember locked it up after he went to get a cup of coffee, causing him to spend most of the night searching, before finding this and going home to find that his wife had fallen asleep and their second anniversary so far had not been celebrated.
After the scan completed, Elaithin took the Captain's commbadge and placed it back in the pouch, and then returned the letter over to the two Counselors. "All yours, folks. I'll be heading with Rayna down to the Captain's last known location, while we're waiting for the computer to compile the DNA scan results. Computer, estimated time until scan results are finished?"
[Three hours, twenty-seven minutes and fourteen seconds until completion."] the computer responded helpfully.
"Prophets." Jii muttered under his breath.
"What ever you drank this morning, if you can get that cheerful I could use some of it." Mike remarked.
Jii laughed. "Tell you about it later, Mike." he said, and headed for the transporter room to meet Rayna O'Grady
"Going Fishing "
By Lt. Commander Elaithin Jii, Chief of Security and
Lt. Cmdr. Rayna Lamar O'Grady, ASecO
Heading immediately from the science lab, Jii was surprised to see Rayna O'Grady walking immediately ahead of him. Widening his stride as to catch up, he called out to her. "Rayna! Wait up!"
Rayna stopped in her tracks, turned and waited for him, her arms crossed. Rayna kept her eye on him as he approached her, "What?"
Elaithin smiled. It didn't surprise him that Rayna wasn't in the greatest mood. In his experience, she rarely was. She was typically confrontation, nearly his exact opposite. Perhaps that was why they were such a good team. "Feel like doing a little fishing, 'Commander?" he asked.
"Well, it's about time. I was starting to think that I was going to be left behind on this one." Her tone seemed to lighten along with her demeanor.
"The thought never crossed my mind, Rayna" he stated as they came upon transporter room one. They entered to find, not surprisingly, Chief Jensen on duty. "Morning, 'Commanders," the Chief replied. "Down to the Diplomatic Hall?"
"Fraid not, Chief. We're going to do some fishing. If you wouldn't mind sending us down to the Captain's beam-down point?" the Chief of Security requested.
"Sure thing, Commander. Ready when you are."
"Energize," he stated as he and O'Grady stepped on the transporter pads.
No sooner that they rematerialized, Rayna was already eyeing the place, getting her bearings and planning where the best place to start was. She didn't like wasting any time. Unfortunately, he was her superior so she waited to see where he wanted to begin.
"Nice place." Elaithin muttered, pulling two tricorders from his pouch, and tossing one to Rayna. "Not the sort of place you'd expect a kidnapping, is it?"
"I don't think there is anywhere that you expect to be kidnapped." She took the tricorder and walked around. She never really counted on them. Visually searching inch by inch is what she preferred.
"Presumably, they used something to incapacitate the Captain before taking him. I doubt he'd have gone willingly. I'm not picking up any resonance traces that would signal weapons fire, however." Jii noted, scanning along the stream.
"There is no sign of a struggle so he must have not seen them coming. If I was going to nab someone, I'd drug the poor sap." She kept looking, walking in a pattern, checking in every nook and cranny.
"I doubt they'd leave a hypospray behind..."
She shook her head, "No, they'd have to get too close to him..." She tried to imagine where Price was positioned and then where the enemy would hide. She worked it out in her mind. If a phaser on stun was used, the tricorder would have definitely picked that up. But what if something else was used? Something like a...she checked the parameter. "...but a tranquilizer gun would do the trick."
"Like a dart?" Elaithin was beginning to get frustrated, when a noise came from O'Grady's direction. "You find something?"
"Elementary my dear Watson, elementary." She picked it up, "I doubt if they tossed it though taking in account where I found it. Sloppy job if you ask me."
The Bajoran walked over to examine the small dart she'd found. Hand an evidence case to Rayna, who promptly sealed it inside the protective force field, he replied. "Maybe, but I'd say this is just what we were looking for. Come on, let's get back to the ship."
Smiling at their success, "Yeah and then I can brag about the big one I caught." She actually cracked a joke.
"Lost on Dagoba Gagh!"
or "El Auditio Post Numero Dos" for Jose Weber.
Featuring the Jedi Master himself, Leo 'Qui Gon' Streely. Also including the voices of NPC ensigns Jay and Silent Bob and introducing the enigmatic Yo Dagh!!!
Previously: In a stunning personal revelation, Leo Streely - humble bartender - now believes himself to be a Jedi Knight. Determined to save Alderann (Ianjep) from destruction at the hands of the Deathstar (Klingon orbiting defense station.). Our hero set out to book passage to the planet below. Perhaps he should have chosen a bit more wisely.....
* Including blatant dialogue rip off from Empire Strikes Back.
Location: The escape pod of the Captain's yacht...
"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!" Leo Streely screamed, abandoning all self professed Jedi calm and decorum as the escape pod hurtled towards the planets surface.
Over the pod's radio unit, Jay and Silent Bob's voices could be heard as the duo piloted the Captain's Yacht as best they could.
[Oh shit, lunchbox. Anakin Streely there is screamin like a little bitch! Probably pissin his pants right now too. God Damn! I ain't never heard Luke scream that badly - even when Vader up and lopped off his hand and shit.]
No reply from Bob could only mean he concurred with the statement.
Leo didn't care. In fact he didn't even register the comments. He was too busy screaming and watching the ground hurtle closer and closer to him.
[Sorry about that my saber swingin little homie. Minnestoa Fats over there pressed the wrong button. Like they would have a microwave in this thing. Friggin munchies and shit. You keep both hands on your boys and we'll round up the cavalry and come back here and pinch this shit off Jay and Silent Bob style. Noochies little man!]
"AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Leo replied as the Captain's yacht swooped off towards the mothership leaving the tiny escape pod spiraling down through the planet's atmosphere and smack dab into a deep, festering marsh.
With a sound reminiscent of a Klingon's bowels after blot clot taco night at K'Ragul's Place, the tiny pod belched to the surface and floated to the shore line of the swamp and stopped sinking deeply into the marsh.
Leo kicked open the pod's door and slinked out falling face first into the muck. Behind him, the mangled droid unit beeped and whistled. (keen readers will recognize the droid as Liam's other droid..the one Corgan tore apart.)
"Keep it up you friggin sardine can! I'll come over there and unwrap a fresh one across your chops, OK?" Leo asked wiping his brow and flicking the mud off his hands.
Again the unit started chirping, faster than before.
"All right you little bastard! Your ass is aluminum grass!" Streely said, hopping to his feet. He was about to lunge when a small rustling behind him caught his attention. With a practiced ease, he reached down and grabbed the bright pink and ribbed device (formally of the Deltan's toybox) that served as a make shift lightsaber and whirled around to see the most stangest Klingon he had ever seen.
Unlike the rest of the usually hulking race, this particular Klingon was barely 2 feet tall with skin so brown that it looked green. Leo took a step back and gazed at the creatures giant distorted forehead ridges which stretched out like long pointy ears.
"Vibrate me to death you will. Away with your weapon. I mean you no harm. I am wondering why you are here." the tiny creature said, his gnarled hands curling over the top of a twisted wooden cane.
"Look you little colon crawler, count your lucky stars that I'm not a freakin Dark Jedi! Sneakin up on me like that! What's the matter with you?" Leo said, holstering his weapon and straightening his flight suit.
The creature snorted. "Help you I can, yes. Yodagh has taught many great warriors."
"I don't think so, pal. I ain't looking for a great warrior. You got a phone number for Riggs and Murtock tow truck service somewhere and I'm your man, OK. Tell 'em I'm Triple A too!" Leo said turning back to his pod, sinking ever slowly deeper into the muck.
Again the creature snorted. "Refuse training he does. Arrogant he is. Destined for failure. Wallowing in the dung pits of hell he will."
"Listen pal, we didn't mean to land in that puddle and if we could get our ship out we would. I got better things to do than sit around listening to Elder Smallpants tell me about my eternal soul." Streely said then getting a grip on the pod hefted with all of his might.
The pod didn't budge.
Yodagh began to cackle loudly.
"Aaaa! Cannot get your ship out!"
"I need to get out of this slimy mudhole, OK!" Leo said growing more annoyed than his vaunted force training could mask.
"Mud hole? Slime? My home this is." Yodagh said in defense of his sprawling chateau in the swamp.
"Yeah. Hell of a pad you got here. Now move along little fella I have a lot of work to do. This world needs saving and I'm the only one who can do it."
"Noo noonno! Stay and help you I will. Warriors seeking adventure we are!" Yodagh said leaping upon Leo's back. The little human began to spin about trying to pry the creature off him. Lysander's droid chirped merrily.
"Adventure...excitement. a Jedi craves not these things..but he does crave you to..get the hell off my back!" Leo yelled. The creature suddenly released his grip on Leo's tunic landing gracefully on the ground.
The Galaxy bar tender however, toppled backwards into the side of his escape pod. The pod creaked then rolled on it's side, nearly completely submerged now.
"Now look what you did! We'll never get it out now! Your gonna have to pay for that! Price is gonna be pissed, OK? We're talking wrath of Brhode pissed!" Leo said, his arms on his hips. "And I have no way to warn the people of this planet of the impending doom coming their way."
"So certain are you." Yodagh said.
"Of coarse I'm certain! What are you blind? Now I have to try walking to the city." Streely said, looking to his compass to gain his bearings.
"No. Do or do not, there is no try." the tiny creature said.
"Maybe you didn't hear me, muppet. We..are ..all..going..to die. You killed my only means of transportation and now I have to walk. Mean time, this big, giant , huge Deathstar..."
"Size matters not." Yodagh uttered then looked in the direction of the sinking pod. "Help you transport maybe I can. Save the planet you will."
"Size doesn't...are you talking about my mother?"Leo asked, his hackles raised and his hand reaching for his Jedi weapon. "I don't believe it! Little swamp turd is talking about my mother! I don't believe it!"
"That is why you will fail." Yodagh said calmly, then outstreatched his arm towards the sunken pod and closed his eyes.
Leo watched in awe as the pod began to shake under the slime it was lodged in. Bubbles began to work to the surface and then...the Pod began to rise. Slowly and steadily the vehicle seemed to be pulled out of the slime until it was held aloof by nothing but air.
The bartender turned Jedi was amazed. "You...It..You...somehow..You..used the force! You are ..a Jedi!?!"
Yodagh waved his hand. "Garage door opener I used." he said showing Leo the remote in his hand. "On my roof your pod was."
He pressed a button and under the pod, camouflaged doors opened to reveal the inside of a dusty garage. As the doors swung, the pod came loose, rolled off the roof and crashed into the swamp behind it, this time totally submerging.
Leo bolted to the garage and watched the pod sink with dread. "Now what am I going to...hey! What is that?!?!' he asked pointing to the vehicle in the corner of Yodagh's garage.
"Speeder bike it is."
"Sweet!" Leo yelled as he grabbed the white helmet and strapped it on his head. He straddled the bike, much to the chagrin of Yodagh.
"Doing what are you?"
"I'm going to save the universe. What else do I do?" Leo said with a grin, securing goggles over his eyes and kick starting the motor. The speeder bike roared to life."
" Wait! Its not complete..." Yodagh started as Leo helped the droid lock itself on the hitch on the back of the bike.
Leo revved the engine. "Sounds completely operational to me. Sit tight there Master Yodagh. I'll return this after I defeat the dark side. You have my word! Oh and one more thing.....you ain't a woman are you? I just need to figure out if I should be aroused or not."
Yodagh charged Leo with his cane swinging in the air.
With a scream the little man stomped the accelerator pad and the bike streaked out into the swamp leaving everything behind him, including Master Yodagh, covered in swamp slime.
"Not complete!" Yodagh yelled to the man, now only a speck on the horizon as he streaked towards the Ambassadorial Complex.
"Brakes not work!"
- Joe (Who next Leo post will take the poor guy into the clutches of Iglom the Hutt!)