After The Fall

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Pericles

**

SS Niminian
en route to the Bajoran Wormhole

On the good freighter Niminian the newest member of the crew growled his way into sick bay.

“Ah, Dukath, isn’t it?” Kellis, the medic greeted the large Klingon. “What seems to be the problem?”

Dukath, who’d recently joined the vessel when life in the Habitat of Jericho-Samaria had become (due to one failure too many) running for his life in the Habitat, just pointed to his limp right arm, which had seen the wrong edge of a falling crate.

As Kellis pronounced the limb well and truly broken, Dukath let out a very un-Klingon-like sigh: he couldn’t understand how this had happened; he’d been nowhere near a woman, this time.

**

USS Hawking

Xer wiped an obligatory towel over the pristine bar and offered up a shy smile to the approaching crewmember, “Ah, Mr. Kowalski,” the engineer was one of the regulars, “off-shift, finally? What’ll it be tonight?”

As the engineer offered up his request for an old Earth standard of ale, the ex-privateer glanced across the room to where Dalluk was keeping a casual eye on his trainee… Xer had, at Dr. Kerrin’s suggestion, applied for the position of bar-back and third shift ‘tender and, against all odds, gotten the position.

“There you go,” he laid the beer down on the pad he’d placed before Kal-El, who seemed to be a bit tense. “Tough day?”

“What? Oh,” Kowalski realized his drink had arrived, “You don’t know the half of it,” he began and Xer relaxed into the role of everyone’s confidant as he continued to wipe the bar, dry the odd glass or take a new order to the background of Mr. Kowalski sharing the trials and tribulations of trying to perform his exceedingly taxing job while surrounded by lesser minds and being hounded by an amorous security drone.

Xer, who’d spent the better part of his life on half-condemned cruisers or in bitter firefights over meaningless trinkets until he’d run into Harry and afoul of the Outpost’s crime syndicates nodded, smiled and agreed that it, “sounds rough.”

**

Jericho-Samaria
Red 13 Alpha
Celestial Latitudes

Haq Kly Haq ‘toned down’ his olfactory aura before entering Szeeraal Lev’s establishment. Generally, he had no qualms about filling all available spaces with his defense mechanism but he and the Caitian were old… acquaintances… and he had a certain amount of respect for what she’d do to him if he contaminated her store.

“You came,” the low-throated greeting drifted from the small table to the left, where Szeeraal was, of course, laying out a reading… Elasian runes, this time.

The mass of outerwear shrugged, “No where else to be.” The streets had been quiet, since just before the bomb scares. “What do you have for me?”

“Just this,” a velvety hand drew a small piece of paper from the scarlet draping she wore while playing the shopkeeper. “Mr. Finn wanted me to get this to you.”

Haq, curious, accepted the exceedlingly grubby note and unfolded it… heh, not a very secure method of communication. But when he read the words, he realized that it didn’t matter who else read it, only he, Haq, would understand what it meant.

I told you I’d make it stop.

Post featuring NPC's Dukath, Xer, Haq Kly Haq and Szeeraal Lev
Originally Posted 7-31-2008 by Harry Finn


USS Hawking
Dedicated Lab 1138- Deck 6

Kerrin stared blindly at the screen from over Jason's shoulder. "They are shutting down the dig? Why? How? What are you going to do?"

"Not exactly the reaction I was looking for." Jason said swinging around to face her.

Kerrin started to pace the room. "What reaction were you looking for. 'Gosh Jason, what a great idea, the line of inquiry I was working on…eh who cares, who needs to know what that culture was anyways.'" She spun around and threw her hands up in frustration. "What? What are you smiling at?"

"You." Who are so oblivious. Jason shook his head. "What I was looking for, reaction wise, was you to flutter your eyelashes at me…'ohhh Jason, seeing how you are out of a job and now I am short staffed because Baya has moved to teaching…" He paused in disbelief, how could anyone do that, "it would be wonderful if you considered staying on."

"My voice is not that high."

"No, but the sentiment is there."

Kerrin sat down with a thunk and rubbed her face with her hands. "Well, you are right, I could use the help. We still need to classify findings from the last missions, and there are the things I uploaded from your lab, and I never did identify the…." She peeped up through her fingers at the very handsome, very smart, very smug man in front of her. "Alright fine. FINE. I need the help and you are the perfect person for the job, if for no other reason than you are already here. Just let me get clearance from O'Keefe…who is a woman, maybe you should come along."

Leaning one hip on her desk he looked down at her frustrated face and saluted. "Yes boss lady." At her grunt of disgust Jason couldn't help but smile. Nothing quite as enticing as a challenge, is there…

Featuring NPCs Jason Hallows and Kerrin Schaeffer
Originally Posted 7-31-2008 by Harry Finn


Outpost Jericho-Samaria
Red Alert - Outpost

In the comfortable darkness of The Red Alert, in the main Outpost, she skimmed the crowd and, once her eyes locked onto her goal, she had to wonder how she hadn’t noticed him immediately.

Crossing the floor, casually approaching the main bar, she focused on the man, tasting his general mood. Interestingly, it was rather… sad?

But then he seemed to sense something and turned from the bar and when his dark eyes met hers she actually faltered, almost tripping. Automatically the man reached out to steady her elbow.

“Are you okay?” he asked in a voice that was deep and gentle, both.

“Quite,” she replied, “I’m sorry, I am not generally so… clumsy.”

He smiled, and she realized that, around him, women often became… clumsy. “No worries,” he said, glancing about the bar. “Were you joining someone?”

A spark of interest, curiosity, the libido coming to attention but under control.

She smiled her own quiet smile, “I wasn’t but,” a shy look up through the lashes, “Perhaps I am, now?”

“Would you allow me to buy you a drink?” Not generally one for bar pickups, he couldn’t say why this particular woman spoke to him… out of all the women in the room…

“I would be… pleased.” Taking a seat next to the admittedly impressive Human, she angled herself that her knee just barely brushed his thigh, “My name is Jessyn,” she told him, offering her hand in the Terran fashion, “Jessyn Beeshandra.”

“A pleasure, Jessyn,” he had to take a moment, calm the frisson of attraction… too much, too soon never turned out well, “Lieutenant Darren Hillman, SFMC,” he responded formally, taking her hand.

I know. And as the lieutenant ordered her a drink and the two engaged in the first dance of gentle flirtation, the memory of Sims hovered, ghost-like, in the shadows of her memory. Jessyn had had her moment and it had ended.

Now there was only the duty.

Post featuring NPC's Jessyn Beeshandra and 1st Lt. Darren Hillman, SFMC
Originally Posted 8-1-2008 by Harry Finn


ELLOW Sector
Yellow 24 Delta
“Terra Nova Suites”
15th Floor
Early Afternoon

TALK OF THE TOWN
by Gary Cowling
It seems impossible to believe but, once again, tragedy has struck down one of Jericho-Samaria’s best and brightest. In an incident which has yet to be fully explained but hints strongly of foul play, Chancellor Charles Champe Stearns and six members of his staff have been killed…

No, let us call a spade a spade: they were murdered, in cold blood and, in the case of Mr. Stearns himself, with extreme malice.

According to my sources, in the early evening of February 7, 2384…on or about 5:50 p.m., the maitre’d of Ankh went to check on a private function being hosted by Mr. Stearns, recently created Chancellor of Offworld and Political Affairs. What he found, upon entering the suspiciously open doors, was the aftermath of what looked to be a major battle. Bodies lay across the lapis floor, upon the maintenance walks above the Aqueous Room’s famed waterfall and, most notably, in the case of Chancellor Stearns, impaled upon one of the crystals which make up the private dining area’s centerpiece.

How could such a crime be committed in the midst of a thriving restaurant? How could the perpetrator(s) escape unnoticed? Where was Security when they were so desperately needed?

Questions which have yet to be answered and which lead to further speculations, such as: who would benefit from this atrocity? Was it the work of narcotics dealers, looking to prevent the promised delivery of a cure to the vile plague of Mist? Could it have been a political assassination, prompted by the Chancellor’s non-Federation leanings? Or was it something more… personal? Some long-buried enmity against our beloved representative come home to roost on Kendrassa Prime, robbing us of a voice of reason when reason is needed most?

Whispers abound of a mysterious stranger haunting the Red Sector, delving into the Chancellor’s business, sniffing about the Cygnian and Orion Embassies… note the recent and as-yet unexplained murders of Neishi Fabria and Sims Al-Kar each, respectively, a member of the aforementioned embassies and, following hard upon their deaths, the disappearance of Gavin Booth, also attached to the Orion staff.

What, dear readers, is becoming of our peaceful home amidst the distant stars? Where is the promised protection of the much-vaunted Starfleet? Who, now that Chancellor Stearns is lost, will speak for the needs of the people of Kendrassa Prime?

I have no answers for you. At present, I have only sorrow for our loss and the burning question: “Why?”

“Why? Gimme a break,” Slater snorted softly and kicked off the covers as he swung his legs out of bed, sitting up to place the newspadd on the nightstand beside him. “How about…because he was a soulless, ruthless, two-faced, dope-peddling, scum-sucking animal?”

“Should I be offended?” The rich, smoky female voice was preceded by a gently caressing hand, sliding upward from the center of his back. Daka’s now fiery red-haired, emerald-eyed features met his backward glance…a decidedly lopsided smile, holding facets of warmth, mischievousness, and confusion which bespoke her inexperience in…several areas.

“Not you…That,” He tapped the newspadd. “You should read that… .crap. That two-legged sphincter Cowling makes Stearns sound like the advance man for the Second Coming.”

“I’ll read it later. And that is not what I meant, Slater,” Daka slid closer pushing up to rest her cheek in one cupped hand. Slater shifted so that he could fully face her, knowing too well what was coming.

“Did I…Was it…Was it what it…what I should have been?” She paused a moment, continuing when no response was forthcoming. “I have been…with many males before…of many different races…for varying purposes; generally business…survival. So…it never mattered if the act…if everything was physically, anatomically… .”

“You were fine,” Slater interjected with an amused grin.

Daka continued as though she hadn’t heard. “We Chameloids…have no real gender…sex. Reproductive organs, yes…that can go either way for…”

"Daka…” Slater swooped down to silence her with a quick kiss. “For the sake of the situation”…and my state of mind, he wanted to say but didn’t… “I think that’s as deep into the explanation proportion of your show as we need to go. And take my word for it, you got everything bull’s eye perfect. You were great.”

And she was. And he shouldn’t hadn’t oughta…Another one of his “Oopsies’. And he’d known that it would only be a matter of time…the moment he walked into the Wizard of Ahs and came face-to-face with the cunning and capable Chameloid in her, then, latest form…a Redhead. His nerves and emotions were already stretched so tight—-from the pressure put on him by Doyle because of Harry Finn and his dog and cat, rabbits in rut season, roller coaster relationship with Cataleen Kellan—-he knew it would only take the slightest slip in his will power…the right opportunity…a weak moment, and WHAM!

He’d known (or at least had a strong sense) since that night at the Moons of Shalamara that Daka was developing a crush on him…Crush hell. The full-blown HOTS. It had been fairly easy at first to keep her (and himself) at arm’s length. An as-needed session of mental self-talk, reminders that (a) they were colleagues…professionals in a very dangerous game and couldn't afford the distraction; (b) he was already more or less committed to someone else—-as shaky as that often got; (c) and there was the cross-species thing: He Human; She Chameloid. Could they even…were they even compatible in that way? And then came the night they’d picked up street rumblings that the Organization…Stearns had finally bagged Finn; and he’d gone to make contact with Daka…Snap!…And laid eyes on that red hair (that seemed to get redder each time he saw her), those big green eyes, that… .dress…

…Crackle!…And before they’d gotten out the door of Ahs, all hell had broken loose at the Ankh, Stearns was dead, and he should’ve followed his first thought, going back to his office at the Red Alert to send a report to Doyle rather than be talked into doing it from Daka’s place…POP!

“I know you didn’t want this…because of our working relationship,” She nailed him with those lethal green pupils, reaching to caress his arm. “Do you…regret it?”

Did he? “No. . “ Slater dipped to nuzzle her cheek, flashing a sudden smirk. “But if Doyle ever finds out…I’ll tell him you got me drunk and took advantage of me.”

The resulting (though pretty) pout which marred her betwitching post-sex glow actually yanked at his heartstrings. “Daka…Baby…that was a joke,” he scooped her up into a tender, apologetic embrace, peppering her face, neck, and throat with kisses.

“In fact, I was thinking…we don’t really have anything pressing… .”

“Shouldn’t we be checking out what the Organization is doing, since their front man is dead?” Daka asked.

Slater tossed a quick glance at the newspadd. “The Organization’s already been busy beavers since last night. A few hours longer won’t make much difference.”

Featuring NPC's Ray Don Slater and Daka, FDoJ Undercover
Originally Posted 8-1-2008 by Toryn Kaz


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Callan Vail, Temporary Quarters ::

"I'm sorry Commander Vail," Admiral Reid said leaning toward the screen. "Could you repeat that?"

"I'd like to recommend a promotion for Harry Finn," he stated quite simply one more time.

"That is uhhhh… Completely irregular, Vail. The reports I'm looking at have him classified as having gone rogue. In fact, Nechayev has some pretty severe orders here in regards to…"

"Admiral," Vail said, cutting him off midsentence. Although he felt it completely unnecessary, the El Aurian continued to make his case. "D'Rinax has seen fit to put a green officer in Command of the Hawking. She would benefit from the posting of a First Officer with Finn's experience. And I've made a full report regarding Finn's mission and the political and tactical ramifications in this quadrant."

"His mission?" The Admiral was incredulous. "His mission was not sanctioned by Starfleet. That's why we called him rogue."

"Clearly you haven't read my report…"

"I don't see a report filed by you…"

"That's right… You don't," Vail said, his eyes getting narrow. "I don't think your clearance is high enough. I've classified the files and issued a directive of my own." The usually cheerful Intelligence officer suddenly seemed very threatening. "I've had to make my case to a great number of Admirals over the course of my career…sir… That career spans about twice your lifetime, I believe. You won't find many of those Admirals with all of their pips anymore."

"Was that a threat?" The greying man looked livid.

"Not at all, sir," Vail replied. Once again he was all smiles and the perfect gentleman. "I'm simply submitting a recommendation." He flashed one more smile for good measure before continuing. "I believe, you'll find I'm now listed as CO of one USS Yemen, as well. I believe I'll keep her docked on Hawking…until I complete the necessary repairs, of course…"

The two men competed in an old fashioned stare down. Neither budging until…

"I'll submit your recommendation," Admiral Reid stated angrily.

"Thank you, sir," Callan said, smiling broadly. "Vail…out."

By NPC Callan Vail
Originally Posted 8-1-2008 by Torrik Nils


USS Hawking

(Shortly after Harry’s meeting with Lt. Commander Vail)

When the door opened, Harry was sitting, elbows on his knees and contemplating his hands, one of which was still wrapped in a temporary cast until the last of the surgeries could be completed.

“There’s a lot I want to tell you,” he said to his hands as she stood, frozen, in the doorway, “but I can’t. I mean, we thought I was classified, before, well, now it’s like double dog dare classified.”

As she stepped into the room, the door slid closed, the sound making his shoulders twitch but still he didn’t look up. “There’s even more I don’t want to tell you,” he admitted, “but… I will. Someday, anyway.” A sort of helpless laugh sighed out as he felt her coming nearer. “I was supposed to go to my quarters,” he said, by way of explanation, “but then, I realized, I don’t have any quarters, anymore and it was too late to bug anyone so, I just started to walk around and then I just… ended up… here. I didn’t think, I just… you never lock your door,” the accusation was half-hearted. “I hope… I mean, I hope it’s okay, that I’m here.”

Finally, as she came closer, Harry looked up and looking he found himself standing and standing he felt himself staring into her eyes and staring into her eyes, he felt himself, finally, finally coming home. “Hello, Wendy.”

**

Originally Posted 8-1-2008 by Harry Finn

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