Face Cards

The following segement features the following NPCs:
snordin.jpg- Stephanie Nordin
TagsMatt_Czuchry.jpg- Chris Hodges
220px-Deidrehall.jpg- Brandi Lewis

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Sickbay ::

Jillian was still shaking her head as she crouched over a broken stasis unit, picking up the remnants of her last attempt at playing mechanic, when she heard a voice behind her, "Would you like a hand?"

She recognized the accent immediately and may have even felt her heart melt a little as he smiled down at her.

"I'm beginning to think I need an entire engineering team in sickbay," she replied with a little laugh.

"Come on, Munro," he said, extending a hand, "Why don't you let me take a look?"

"Oh, that's all —" Jillian was suddenly interrupted by the ship's comm.

=/\=This is Anthony Miller to anyone… I’m in the TE maintenance chute… I… I’m okay but Jimmy’s out cold and… and… it’s Tyson… Tyson’s hurt bad… he’s… oh, oh God… someone help him… please come help him….=/\=

Jillian looked up at Matt. The horror on her face anticipating the worst. Shaking off the feeling, she tapped her COMM badge.

=/\= Anthony, this is Doctor Jillian…I'm on my way. =/\=

::USS Hawking::
::Tractor Beam Subsystems - Deck 14::

“Once the crisis on Girijan passed, it was necessary to take the tractor emitters offline. Re-calibrating took a full eighteen hours because, in order to cobble together the ‘upgrade’ as quickly as we did, it was necessary to break the system.” Bayal Paven looked around at the assembled students, most of whom seemed to be with him… certainly Edded Baya, the secondary instructor, looked interested, if tired. The exhaustion would be a side effect of her pregnancy, he was sure. The first new life in the Hawking family…

“But now,” he brought himself back to the lecture, “everything is back where it belongs and in just five minutes, Chief Petty MeegoFera will power the system up and we’ll be back in the towing business,” he smiled broadly, “That is, if we ever had something to tow. Of course, for safety’s sake, we will ask the class to wait in the corridor during the power-up, and you’ll be allowed to return to the shielded area as soon as stable functions are confirmed. Does anyone have any questions?”

Feeya raised her hand and, before her mother/teacher could say her nay burst out with, “Did you get to meet yourself when he was on board?”

Paven’s smiled, “No, I didn’t. I was fixing the tractor emitter, remember?”

While the Petty Officer got the discussion back on track, Jimmy Cho nudged Tyson Brahms, who nudged Anthony Miller who rolled his eyes. At sixteen, Jimmy had no patience with the speechifying so with a jerk of his chin at the younger boys, he faded into the shadows of the room. Fortunately, teach was too into the lecture to notice the kids pulling a runner.

“You know what’d be cool?” Cho whispered as the three achieved the safety of the beam emitter’s maintenance hatch.

“An all expense paid trip to Disney Planet?” Tyson joked. He’d actually been interested in the talk but, at sixteen, Jimmy was the alpha of the class and when he broke from the pack, Tyson and Anthony pretty much had to follow.

“Smartass,” Jimmy ducked down and yanked the hatch cover free, “What’d be cool is going in there and watching the systems light up when they bring the emitter back online.”

“You NUTS?” Anthony hissed.

“Shhh…” both Tyson and Jimmy hushed the youngest in the crowd.

“Just look,” Jimmy said, “not touch anything.” He made a face, “We’re living on a freaking starship… don’t you think it’d be smart if we knew how it worked?”

Tyson didn’t know why Miller even bothered arguing… all three of them knew that, if Cho suggested something, they’d end up doing it. They always did. Hells, usually it was Anthony pushing the envelope, anyway. He was just sour lately ‘cause he’d gotten grounded big time over that food fight a few weeks back. Bowing to the inevitable, Ty ducked under the teenager’s arm and started the slantways climb downwards to the circuit junction which would, presumably, light up in about three and a half minutes.

“See?” Jimmy grinned and dove in after.

Anthony counted to ten before he, too, caved. He’d made it maybe eight meters in when MeegoFera got the nod from the bridge. With the hustle of engineers and scientists running about and Baya giving Feeya an earful on personal questions during school tours, no one noticed the boys were missing as the class was shuffled into the safe zone for the initialization.

Upon activation, it took only twenty-three point zero-eight seconds for the graviton generator to respond to the subspace rift’s ionic proton recurring fluctuations. In twenty-three point six-two seconds, it blew. At two minutes, forty-six point twelve seconds, the room had been vacated and just thirteen seconds after that, they heard the distress call…

:: 2 Minutes Later ::

Jillian swung her medkit over her shoulder while tightening her grip on the ladder rail, each step brought her closer to the whimpering of a little voice, "Anthony!!" she called down the narrow shaft, "Anthony, this is Doctor Munro, can you hear me?"

"Yes!" said a scratchy, tired sounding voice. Anthony stared at the direction of where her voice was coming from, "I can't get Tyson out…I tried pulling him…"

Oh god, Jillian murmured to herself, "Anthony, I'm almost there, sweetie." She stepped off the last rung, kneeled down and began crawling through the tight corridor towards the boys. Almost immediately she was welcomed by a major temperature and visibility change. She shook off her lab jacket and began pushing her way through the rubble.

"Doctor Munro…"

"It's me, Anthony. What happened?" She asked as she reached into her medkit for a medical tricorder.

He shook his head, "It happened so fast…Jimmy hasn't woken up and Tyson…Tyson, he…" he waved the smoke away from his face and pointed to a boy laying on his back.

She didn't have to look long to know this was bad. Real bad.

She tapped her comm badge, "Munro to Lewis".

The ship's pediatrician responded immediately, =/\= We're right behind you, Jillian. =/\=

"Get down here, fast."

This post brought to you by the rebels without a cause (puppeteered by Harry Finn) & Jillian Munro.
Originally Posted 11/7/08 by Jillian Munro

IAS Hawking
Target Range - Deck 14

“Not bad, Ensign” Arras Crayn told the visitor as he tallied up their scores, “even without the benefit of feedback.”

“Yeah,” Darvin Brennek slid a glance towards the miniaturized agonizers which were, during IAS marksmanship training, uplinked to the officer’s program. Miss your target and get a jolt. “Thanks…”

Crewman Arras finished shutting down the program and then turned to his charge, “Now what?”

The USS officer shrugged but before he could suggest some innocuous yet ‘diplomatic’ endeavor (like, say, coffee) the doors to the training room slid open and another pair of IAS officers entered, a Cardassian and Klingon, respectively, deep in conversation.

Deep enough they didn’t notice that one of the Bajorans in the room wasn’t wearing an Alliance uniform.

“The High Priest is out of control,” the Klingon was saying, “and his Nameless Ones scuttle about the ship like hungry arachnids seeking blood for their master.”

The Cardassian grunted a reply as he drew his sidearm and checked the charge, “Haven’t heard much from him… or the priestlings… for some time, though. They must be having a field day with Finn’s double… an XO, no… less…” the sentence died away as he realized there was an audience and, more to the point, who that audience was. “Oops,” he said with a cold grin.

Brennek had always been quick on the uptake, and was already reaching for his transporter recall but there was no way his hand could outpace the beams of the three energy weapons unleashed, point blank, in his direction.

One searing moment later, the three Alliance Enforcers stared down at what remained of Darvin Brennek. “The Captain is going to go spare,” Arras said matter-of-factly.

“Not as… spare… as if this meat had had the chance to talk,” Bratyk, the Cardassian, pointed out.

“True enough,” Koll prodded the body with a toe, “So… who is going to report this?”

In the end it fell the Arras… both Bajoran and lowest in rank, to make the call to Captain Bayal, informing him that one of the USS Hawking crew had received an unfortunate, and fatal, overdose of information.

Originally Posted 11/7/08 by Harry Finn

Go tell the Captain…right. Kerrin snorted to herself. There was no way she was going to go to Captain Torrik with this unsubstantiated cock and bull story and have him believe it. But she needed to tell someone. Feh. Letting her walk take her where it would, Kerrin's mind scrambled to think of who she would have the slightest chance at being believed by. No one. Alright, that avenue led no where, who would be the logical person to tell. Security. The shudder at the thought of going to Lt Tenanji made Kerrin's walk look a little wobbly. Waving off the offered arm of the passerby that thought she was about to wipe out, the archaeologist took a deep breath, unclenched her fists and headed for security.

Fehr looked up as the door to Main Security slid open… he was bored with desk duty and any company would be welcome at this point, "Ahhh," he rose to meet the visitor with admittedly mixed feelings, "Dr. Schaeffer," he greeted the woman carefully. They hadn't spoken since his injury on Girijan… though he had reason to believe he may have, at that time, said far too much. "How can I help you?"

"Uhhh…" She wasn't expecting Fehr. Kerrin had gotten herself all prepped for The Iceman and ended up with…well, ice is never going to be something that any woman was going to associate with Fehr. "I am not sure you can…is Lt. Tenanji around?"

"He has the bridge shift at the moment," the lieutenant replied, curious, "but if there is an issue of security, I can contact him…"

"Oh, well no, I don't want to bother him if he is on the bridge…" Kerrin stumbled over the words. But what if you are right? How much does Harry have access to? "But, yes…there may be an issue of security…" The conflicted archaeologist broke off in confusion.

Fehr came around the desk and led Kerrin to a chair, "'May' generally means, 'is'," he pointed out, gently. "I think it best if you tell me what has you so," pale, "worried." As she sat, her sleeve slid up and he saw the bruising braceleting her wrist. "Who did this?" the demand was sharper than he'd intended but…

Automatically Kerrin slid her sleeve down to cover the rapidly appearing bruises. crap, I didn't even notice that. "Well…that is kind of why I am here, or an effect of what makes me concerned…" She knew she was blithering and there didn't seem to be anything she could do about it. "it's Harry." Kerrin shot the security officer an accusing glare. "Don't jump to any conclusions, this isn't a personal thing, well it is in the sense that I sense it personally," Did I just say sense twice in a row? "Something is…off."

His eyes were hard as they lifted from the damaged wrist to her eyes, "Clearly." Taking a deep breath, he leaned against the desk, facing her, "This is probably one of those cases where it is best to begin at the beginning?"

"Mmm." As succinctly as she could, seeing how she was sure she sounded nuts, Kerrin related as much as she thought she could without getting Jenny involved. Don't ask where I got the tricorders. The weirdness of the meetings, the small differences in his manner, all the things that she could think of that were setting her teeth on edge. "And well you know…the vibe you get with some people that you…" She could feel the flush beginning to creep up her face. "that you..get along with, that wasn't there suddenly." Her eyes popped open with the remembrance. "And he called me Wendy. Wendy is T'Shaini. From the Peter Pan stories…" Kerrin waved her hands around trying to erase the look she could imagine was creeping across his face. "No, not in that 'say my name' way, it a 'I don't think this is Harry' way….I think it might be that Pah Wraith that took over Javier." There, she said it.

If she'd been looking at his face, Kerrin would have seen he certainly did know about the 'vibe' to which she'd referred. She'd also have seen a look of complete confusion regarding Wendy and Peter Pan stories… people often forgot he was not Terran but, at the mention of the Pah Wraith, he was on his feet, once more. "If that is true, it is beyond 'may' be a security issue," he said, "I will notify Lt. Tenanji and I believe it imperative we arrange to have him examined but, at the same time, I feel I must remind you of… of what I said, on the planet," he held her gaze, "about what he… experienced, on Kendrassa. That… often, such an experience can alter a man's behaviors, and seldom for the better. The trauma may not be noticed for, many weeks, sometimes not for years…" he broke off, unwilling to reveal more. She might wonder why he knew so much about such a subject. "He may be right… in some cases, people truly do change."

Kerrin's face tightened against his words. "It isn't that…I know it isn't that. It isn't that I am holding on to an ideal of Harry it is that I have seen a dramatic change in under a week. The Harry that left for the Devanagari mission is not the Harry that did this." Then her face crumpled. "It sounds crazy, I sound crazy…I understand that, it was why I was so hesitant to come…"

Please don't let her cry.. Though Fehr's aversion had more to do with the ingrained fear of what the tears of an Elasian woman could do to a man. "I don't doubt your instincts in this are strong, I only want to prepare you for the possibility…" he shook his head, "For the moment, let us at least proceed on the possibility that all is not well. Computer," he called out, "what is the current location of Lieutenant Finn?"

"Lieutenant Finn is located in the First Officer's office."

"Too bad he is not in his quarters," the Elasian said, "we could make use of the tricorders you planted… which, by the way, I never heard about."

A wan smile lifted the corners of Kerrin's mouth. "What tricorders?"

His own smile flashed bright for a moment, "Exactly. But perhaps, if you have no other pressing matters, you might continue to monitor the link? Meanwhile I will report this directly to Mr. Tenanji… it wouldn't be wise to send this type of information over the coms. If he feels it appropriate, we will take further action from that point… most likely some medical input will be required, but…"

"But until then there is nothing that I can really do but mind the tricorders." Kerrin grimaced. "I hate waiting." She reached up and grabbed Fehr's shoulders for a quick squeeze. "Thank you, that was easier than I thought…and I feel much better after having said something."

Well, he thought, after seeing the grateful woman out the door, at least one of them felt better, for her having shared such… unsettling… news. =/\=Fehr to Quincy… I need you to cover the office for a time. =/\= Perhaps, after sharing said unsettling news with the Chief, he, too, would feel better.

JP featuring NPCs Kerrin Schaeffer and Lt. jg. Fehr (written by Harry Finn)
Originally Posted 11/8/08 by T'Shaini

:: Deck 7 ::
:: Botany Lab ::

Ajani Obatu… Nils hadn't known the man at all - other than by reputation. His death had stung the crew, though. And his friend Javier Costala had taken it particularly hard, the Bajoran knew. This Obatu lived, however. And judging from the looks on the stricken faces standing awkwardly around the lab, he was the subject of the ship's latest drama. He wanted to…defect? Could it be called defection to cross dimensions? In any case, he wished to gain asylum aboard the USS Hawking, a circumstance that would surely cause waves between the mirror ships.

Nils was unsure if he even had a right to grant asylum to someone from another reality… And if he did, he wasn't sure if he would.

"I'm Commander Torrik," he said, holding out his hand to the somber looking newcomer on their vessel. "Are you… Is it your desire to make an official request for," the Bajoran shook his head unable to define the moment. "You want to stay on our ship?"

There had been a moment of confusion for Ajani when Torrik Nils had entered the room. Everyone on the IAS Hawking knew of the high priest and his attitude towards 'lesser beings' but he realized this was a different Torrik. Obatu handed the plant he had been studying to Leonard Brahms, hesitated, then took Commander Torrik's hand, shaking it gently then applying more pressure as he realized it was a form of greeting. "I do not wish to return to the IAS Hawking, the place where I am a slave," Ajani quietly informed the Bajoran man before he released his hand. "I wish to stay aboard your ship."

The officer looked flustered and Ajani knew that he would have to explain himself. "Please be seated," he said, offering the chair beside him to Torrik. "Your ship has a wonderful botany lab, so many new plants," Ajani speculated, "You seem to cherish life, all life, so much more than the Alliance. It is refreshing." He chose a familiar plant and presented it to the officer to inspect. "Bajoran lilacs, we have them in our universe too. I like that its fragrance is not as pungent as Earth lilac. Or so I am told, I have never been to Earth."

Nils sighed. Slaves… Evidently the Alliance was not so accepting of other life forms as they'd all been led to believe. There was no guarantee that this Obatu was telling the truth, however. And until he had more to work with, he committed to NOT making a decision. Settling into the chair he'd been offered, Nils said, "I spent time there while I was in the Academy. But botany was never really my subject… Please, continue," he urged with a strained look in his eye.

"Ah, I suppose flowers are not for everyone," Ajani admitted as he tenderly placed the small plant in its place and wondered if the officer was more of a cactus-type individual. "There is not much to tell Commander Torrik. I was born into bondage. I lived on a Cardassian estate and served the family who had bought my mother and father. This family now serves the Alliance on the IAS Hawking. I have never known freedom and until a short time ago I wore a neural device that ensured my thoughts and actions were appropriate for a slave." Ajani paused and took a deep breath. I will not tell him of my purpose for being here. Nothing good will come of it and I have chosen not to follow my Mistress' orders.

"My father was not born a slave. He is the reason why I love plants but most importantly he is the one who taught me never to convince myself that I am a slave. When the opportunity for freedom arose, I chose to take it," the young African male explained. "Your Federation ideals, as I read them in your LCARS, proclaim that a caste system is illegal, is this true?"

"That is very much the case. Planets that maintain a caste system or slavery in any form are not eligible for membership in the United Federation of Planets," answered Nils plainly. The conflicted Captain paused for a moment and took a deep breath. "Look," he started, giving Obatu his full attention. "As a former slave myself, I'm deeply compelled to grant your request for asylum. My own sensibilities require it, even. But understand this is a rather irregular situation. I will not send you back, but I need you to help me understand some things. Captain Bayal has presented himself and his ship as…something more than slavers. There are Humans and Vulcans aboard that operate in capacities that seem to suggest they are on par with the other races. Can you tell me, categorically, that the crew of the IAS Hawking has presented a false pretense to us from the outset?" The answer to that question would dictate how next he would proceed…with everything.

"I do not know Captain Bayal's intentions but I can assure you that on his ship there is a caste system," Ajani spoke slowly, thinking how he could convince the officer beyond verbal affirmation. "Humans and Vulcans serve on the ship but they are not part of the crew. The crew consists primarily of Cardassians and Bajorans who are loyal to the Alliance. Humans, Vulcans are slaves and collaborators on the Hawking.." He sat in silence for a few moments before speaking. "Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish which group you are a part of..I have killed Cardassians at the behest of my Mistress who is also a Cardassian." The warmth in Ajani's eyes bled away as he studied Torrik's face. "I..I hate them." I will show him why..

Ajani stood to his feet and raised his tunic, turning so the officer could see the lattice-work of scars from the numerous beatings he had received at the hands of his owner. There was a gasp of horror from the female security officer then Ajani dropped his shirt and returned to his seat. "I do not seek pity. I have survived where others have not, but I do not wish to return to Captain Bayal's ship."

Nils nodded and stood up slowly, his expression grim. On any ship, serving in any fleet, in any universe scars like that indicated the worst that people had to offer - whatever race those people were. If the IAS could condone, or even turn a blind eye to slavery and beatings of sentient beings then his cautious status would need to be upgraded to something more. He considered placing his hand on Ajani's shoulder and wondered where that came from. Considering his own past and his own lack of comfort with physical touch he passed on the idea. Instead he offered the man a smile and said, "You'll be safe on board our ship, Mister Obatu. You're of course free to stay… You're free period." Consequences be damned he would not send a man back to slavery. "For now, I'd like to keep our security contingent with you for your own safety." And the safety of anyone else in case this is not on the up and up. "We'll make the necessary…"

=/\= Captain, we have an emergency situation on deck 14 in Tractor Subsystems section, =/\= cut in T'Preen's voice, the essence in Vulcan calm. =/\= The graviton generator malfunctioned and there was an explosion. There are injured and Doctor Munro is already on the scene. =/\=

"I'm on my way," Nils answered curtly, his own tone edged in concern. He cut the comchannel and said, "Welcome aboard Mister Obatu." With that he left the lab at double time.

A Joint effort between Ajani Obatu voiced by Javier Costala & Torrik Nils
Originally Posted 11/8/08 by Torrik Nils

::USS Hawking::
::Tractor Beam Subsystems - Deck 14::

Jillian hated the word triage. Regardless of how much sense it made (especially in times like this), she despised prioritizing patients based on the severity of their condition, it seemed like such a cold concept, especially when children were involved. Doctor Lewis had arrived shortly after Jillian found the boys. She was thankful that aside from a few scratches, Anthony Miller was fine. Jimmy Cho suffered a blow to the head, but there was no major damage, he would recover in a few days (physically, at least).
Tyson Brahms was not so lucky. At first it looked like he had been knocked down unconscious, just like Jimmy. The surrounding smoke and debris did an excellent job at masking the tube-like object that had shot through the floor of the tiny corridor and straight through the middle of young Tyson's body.

Jillian pulled the spine board belt tight across Jimmy Cho's waist and jerked her head upwards, "Get him to sickbay, and contact all of their parents." She rested her hand on Anthony Miller's small face, "You go with them, Anthony."

He pursed his lips together in an attempt to stop the tears from welling in his eyes, "What about Tyson?" He stammered.

"I'm going to get Tyson out of here, but right now you've got to go with Doctor Lewis, OK?" she said slowly. The young boy nodded and followed Brandi Lewis and her team up the ladder.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Nordin was preparing a 2cc dose of morphenolog to (hopefully) numb the pain that was shooting through Tyson's body, "You're going to be OK Tyson, you're such a brave little boy." Tyson's only response was a quick pulse of short breaths; the boy was in a severe state of shock.

Jillian shook her head as she scanned the readings on her medical tricorder, "Renal hemorrhaging. His renal artery branch has been severed in multiple locations."

"Field treatment?" Stephanie asked, "We can't use the transporters from in here there's still too much interference."

"I don't know of any field treatment…yet," Jillian added.

"Renal arteries… " Stephanie said while trying to jog her memory.

"The renal arteries carry a large portion of total blood flow to the kidneys. Up to a third of total cardiac output can pass through the renal arteries to be filtered by the kidneys," she explained and then paused, "We don't have much time."

"Can we remove the foreign object?"

"No…" Jillian said carefully, "It's the only thing providing hemostasis at this time."

"There must be another way to stop the bleeding or at least buy as some time so that we can remove the tube from his body."

Jillian shifted her weight onto her other knee and looked down at Tyson. There was another way, but it was risky, "Stephanie, prepare the gelfoam for embolization. Once we get the foreign object out of his body I'm going to need you to apply the gelfoam immediately."

"Will that be enough?" She asked.

"It's going to have to be. Either way it still brings us back to our original problem, loss of blood to the kidney." Jillian loaded a hypospray, "I'm going to thicken his blood which should slow down the flow," she looked up at Stephanie, "OK, one more time…I'm going to remove the object, you apply gelfoam, and we get out of here. As soon as we're in transporter range we beam straight to sickbay. You ready?"


"On three. One - two - three."

Originally Posted 11/8/08 by Jillian Munro

Vincent walked down the corridor, staring down at a PADD. He was still thinking about the incedent in his office earlier, trying to figure out how to cover the whole thing up if any questions were asked. He looked up as he approached an intersection in the hallway, turning to the left he looked back down to his work. The PADD had a layout of certain key locations on the ship, that he and Fain would have to utilize to have a chance at achieving their goal. Just as he started to walk up on the firing range, he saw two officers walk inside, a Klingon and a Cardassian, talking about somthing that caught his ear.

“The High Priest is out of control,” the Klingon was saying, “and his Nameless Ones scuttle about the ship like hungry arachnids seeking blood for their master.”

Vincent stopped himself just out of sight outside the door. He leaned in a bit, still listening to them talk.

“Haven’t heard much from him… or the priestlings… for some time, though. They must be having a field day with Finn’s double… an XO, no… less…” the sentence died away as he realized there was an audience and, more to the point, who that audience was. “Oops,” he said with a cold grin.

A smile drew across Vincent's face," Something interesting to be used if need be, but what caused them to stop?" Vince leaned forward catching a glance of the USS crewman standing in the room. He watched as the three IAS Officers fired their phasers, killing the man. He continued to stand near the doorway, awestruck at the event that had just taken place, not paying attention to the fact that he was within eyesight now.

The three had been talking, still but, as the Bajoran crewman made use of his com to contact Captain Bayal, the Klingon, Koll, turned his attentions to the door and the lurking Human. "Was there something we could help you with… Commander," the title fell off his tongue like overripe gagh.

"Perhaps," Bratyk responded before Vincent could speak, "he needs assistance with the faulty sensor in the main lab?"

Koll grinned, his teeth yellow and predatory, "But we sent 'assistance' already… who was it, again?"

By now Crayn had completed his call and, somewhat pale turned his eyes to the fresh corpse at their feet, "I think it was Brennek," he told the other two, "Lt. Darvin…"

The three looked at the dead USS Hawking's Ensign Darvin, then back at Stryfe, "Perhaps it's been a bad day for Darvin, all around," Bratyk suggested.

All three became silent, their stares unfriendly they awaited a response from the science officer.

Vincent stepped up, leaning against the door," Well, it was actually the sensor in my office, but I don't recall anyone coming to assist in repairing it." Vincent could tell what they were insinuating, and was kicking himself at his responce. All it would take is an investigation into the Security Officer's dissappearence, and he would be found out," I'm sorry if the young man has gone missing, anything I can do to assist?"

There was a short space in the air as the Enforcers carefully did not look at one another. Finally, Bratyk, who held the highest rank, spoke for the group, "Doubtless, in time, we may find some use to put you to but, for now, it's best you offer an explanation for your presence here… and tell us how much you heard and do not," he added, quietly, "think of prevaricating. The ship's security is at risk and, as you can imagine, we take such things very, very seriously."

Vincent thought for a moment, trying to decide if he should try and dodge the question somehow, realizing he couldn't," I had only just arrived as you extinguished that young man's life, I heard someone say somthing about Finn, and then a solid oops. I stopped at that, just enough time to see the young man die." Vincent rubbed his thumb against his index and middle finger, hoping they agreed with his explanation.

Bratyk smiled, sort of. "Very good… now listen carefully: you are to forget that you heard the name Finn, and absolutely forget that you saw Brennek… this Brennek… die. There are still breathing members of the USS crew on the Hawking and if they hear a breath of anything…" the rest of the threat was left to the Human's imagination.

Vincent broke a smile himself," I fully understand the extent of what has accured here. I truly have no recollection of what transpired here, I was to engrossed in my science logs, didn't see or hear a thing. I'm sorry for any inconvienence that I may have caused, we should all just carry about our buisness." He began to back up a bit with the last comment, hoping now to get away from the three men as soon as he could, not wanting to answer anymore questions.

"What is your hurry?" Koll, the massive Klingon stepped forward, looming with a kind of professional coolness, "Was there someplace you needed to be? If so, please allow me to accompany you."

" No… No…," Vincent fought to find an excuse to be able to leave on his own," I'mjust heading back to my quarters, I need to spend some quality time with my son and Wife. No need for an escort, but I do appreciate the gesture." By now he had steadily moved himself into the doorway of the room, ready to run if he had to.

"Ahh, family," now the Cardassian had shifted, moving like an oil slick to cut off any hope of escape, "it's important to appreciate your loved ones… what you have… what you could so easily lose." He jerked his chin towards Koll, "The lieutenant will see you safely home," he said in a tone that brooked no denial. "And once you are safely home, we will have a detail assigned to you and your wife and son, the better to assure your… continued safety." And prevent the commander from spilling any unfortunate secrets. Bratyk was not a monster… he preferred to keep the fatal accidents to a minimum, when possible.

The displeasure of what had just happened showed on Vincent's face as he looked at Bratyk," Well…… I suppose if you feel that such treatment is required, than I will except it, but I don't believe that is necessary. I have one of your security officers staying with me, Fain. He is very capable of esuring my families safty." Vincent looked over to the Klingon, then back at Bratyk, hoping Fain's pressence would be enough for them.

"Fain… your… step-brother." Koll looked at Bratyk, who gave an almost imperceptable dip of his head. "Very well… we will leave you to your sibling's care." No wonder Human's were at the bottom of the food chain, if they were all so transparent. "But if one syllable of this… incident comes back to our ears, there will be a price."

"I understand Dr. Munro is completely bereft of test subjects," Crayn, who in fact handled the disposition of lab rats, commented helpfully.

" Well, no word from my lips, I promise," Vincent knew of what took place in Munro's lab, having taken a fancy to the craft himself, dipping his hand into the process on more than a few occasions," There will be no need for Munro to ever see me."

"Good to know," Bratyk stepped aside, allowing Stryfe to pass. Once the Human was out of earshot, he turned back to the others, "I want a quiet watch on him, his brother and his wife at all times. He's lying about something… I don't care what it is… this is a bad time for ripples in the void. And get another detail looking for our Darvin. He's Bajoran… unlikely to be taken for the labs and less likely to the temple." Mentally he was counting heads… there were only thirty elite on the Hawking and the boarding of the other vessel could happen at any moment. "Malkat is counting on this attack to be seamless… let us make certain that Mr. Stryfe presents no unfortunate bumps, yes?"

.:: Vincent's Quarters ::.

Vincent stormed into his quarters, passing by his wife and Fain, headed towards his study. He walked into the room, then waited for the door to close bihind him, throwing the PADD in his hand against the wall, cursing the three men he had just ran into, and himself for getting into that situation. He sat down in his chair, folding his hands, and thought to himself. The door to the study opened again, but he didn't look up, knowing Fain was the one walking in.

" What's wrong brother?" Fain leaned on the desk, looking down at the shattered PADD.

Vincent looked up, tears on his face from his anger at himself," We're in trouble brother, I messed up. We'll be put under some type of discrete surveilence, and they'll find out what we we planning, as well as the demise of the security officer. We'll be found out, and then we'll be killed." Vincent stood up, and walked over to the window.

" Then we should just give up now, there will be nothing for them to find, we could walk away from this with our lives." Fain stepped over to stand next to his brother," Think of your family, Vincent, they do mean somthing to you, right?"

Vincent ran his hand down his goatee, then looked at his brother," No…. We move along with my plan. If they kill Charlotte, Father with find another mate for me," He paused for a moment, looking out the window," Adn if they kill my son…., it'll just give me more reason to destroy them…… We move on with the plan, brother, we kill Paven, we kill Nils, and then anyone else who gets in our way. Nothing will stop me from realizing Father's goals… Nothing."

The two stood staring out the window, both with the same thoughts running through their heads.

A Joint Post of Evilness with the Three Enforcers (Courtesy of Mr. Finn)
Originally Posted 11/8/08 by Vince Stryfe

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Sickbay ::

Tyson Brahms, Stephanie Nordin and Jillian Munro materialized in the center of sickbay and were greeted by pediatrician Brandi Lewis, "Status of the boy?"

Jillian couldn't help but reply with an angry glare, "His name is Tyson, and his status is critical", she knew she was being petty, but she couldn't help but be annoyed with the pediatrician's apathy towards her patients, "Prepare primary biobed and activate sensor cluster." The force of the order was enough to startle any of the staff, let alone the older and more experienced, Doctor Lewis.

"I'll get the anti-grav lift," she stuttered.

"There's no time," Chris Hodges interjected, "Any damage we've done transporting him here has already been done," he motioned for Brandi to give him a hand, "Let's just get him on that bed."

Stephanie kept her hand pressed hard against the gelfoam, "Jillian, there's seepage. It won't hold much longer."

"Vitals?" she questioned.

Brandi looked up at the wall console, "Dropping…"

Jillian nodded, "Get him ready for surgery." She looked around the room until she found the eyes she was searching for, "Chris! I need 1 yard of synthetic blood vessel," she said, with a somewhat curt flip of her hand toward the half Human/Bajoran doctor.

"Polyethylene or siliconized rubber?" He inquired.

"Polyethylene, and increase the attraction for albumin. I dosed him with a blood thickener earlier, so we need to reduce the risk of clot formation."

"Make vessel walls as smooth as a baby's butt. Got it." He said with all seriousness.

"Doctor," Stephanie started, nodding towards the entrance to sickbay, "Tyson's father is here."

Jillian turned towards the man and nodded, "Keep Tyson stable and call me over as soon as Chris is ready for the polyethylene bypass procedure."

"How is he? Where is he… where's my boy?" Brahms was looking over Jillian's shoulder towards the small… so small.. figure on the bed. "What's wrong with him?" he started to push past the doctor…

Jillian reached out and pushed her hand hard against the man's chest, "Leonard…" The father continued full press towards his son, "Leonard, please stop," she said softly, and at the same time grabbed his arm and pulled back.

"He's all I have," the man's voice broke and his entire frame started to shake in Jillian's grip, as if he were being pulled apart. "He's all that's left…"

Not being a parent herself, she knew she couldn't fully appreciate the pain that he was going through but it still broke her heart. She looked into this man's eyes and her mind suddenly rewound to the day her parents and brother were killed. Everything she loved had been taken away from in a single moment. It wasn't fair. She knew exactly what she didn't want for this single father…a future haunted by what ifs…living each day regretting not doing something differently…If only I had fought, instead of hiding like a coward, she thought to herself.

"Leonard, listen to me. Look at me." She waited until his eyes tore away from his son and focused on her, "Leonard, you are not going to lose him. I am going to save your son, but you have to let me do my job…you've got to let me focus." She knew it was a stupid thing to promise, but she couldn't stop herself. It was like that dark day when Nils died on her biobed…he was gone, but something inside told her to keep trying. She squeezed Leonard's hands, "Be patient…I will make him better."

"They said that," he murmured, "about his mother." Stepping away, his posture slumped in a kind of defeat, he kept his eyes on the bed where his only child lay, "You get careless," he said, "because you think, God already took one… He would never take them both, would He?" Leonard turned his eyes to Jillian, "But now, you see…" he swallowed whatever was to come next and shook his head, "I.. please…" It was only one word but it held everything in it.

"Doctor Munro," she felt a hand on her shoulder, "…Doctor Hodges is ready to begin." Jillian looked up at Stephanie and nodded, before she got up her eyes returned to Leonard. There was nothing else she could say. She squeezed his shoulder and returned to the primary biobed.

=/\= Computer, activate forcefield and one-way view. =/\=

As the forcefield materialized, Leonard's watch on his son was gone.

There was nothing left to do but wait.

Featuring NPC's Stephanie Nordin, Chris Hodges and Brandi Lewis
The voice of Leonard brought to you by Harry Finn.
Originally Posted 11/8/08 by Jillian Munro

-Guest's Quarters-
-IAS Hawking-

Heat, dry searing heat…heat so intense it felt as though it could sear the flesh from her bones. T'Shaini reached out for relief, but none came. Looking down at the hand stretched before her it was familiar…but not hers. Harry. Awareness shifted up and back as she suddenly looked down at the broken figure of Harry Finn, wasting in a heat filled hole, being dragged against his will…she could sense the struggle, the fight against…who? Dreamtime swirled and morphed as she watched/felt the tangle of limbs confining him, heard/experienced the shouted orders…the chanting…the chanting.

T'Shaini jolted awake. The dream…was it a dream? had had more the feeling of her spirit quest on Girjian than one of her customary dreams. She drew her knees up beneath her chin as she reviewed the particulars of the dream looking for something to give her assurance one way or another.

It was a tea party and apparently they had assigned seating at the social function. 'That's Mister Bonker's place, Daddy,' Lia rebuked Javier as he sat down at the tiny kid's table. "Okay," Javier said with a sigh and shifted to the next chair. The chair was not unlike the one in his office in Engineering. 'No Daddy, that's Mustapha's place,' Lia cried indignantly. "I'm moving..give me a sec," the engineer said before moving to the next chair which was nothing more than a wooden stump. "How's this?" Lia seemed to be glaring at him as she suddenly began to sprout fur and growl like a bear. She was a bear! The stump on which he sat grew into a tree, a tiny little spruce. Lia bear growled at him angrily.

Javier woke up with a start. He was looking upwards at a different ceiling. "This is not my room," the engineer told himself. There was a moment of confusion then he remembered that he was on the IAS Hawking. Javier turned to find that T'Shaini was awake and huddled up inside the bed. "Hey," he said gently as Javier reached out and placed a hand on T'Shaini's back. He sensed the tension in her frame.

"Bad dream?"

"You could say that." She let out a shuddering breath then turned toward him. "It seemed as if I could see something that I know to be impossible…" The counselor bit her lip and stared off into the distance. "or is it?"

"I don't know. What did you see?" Javier asked while reassuring himself that his daughter would never grow into a bear. That's just stupid. he thought, shaking off the feeling. "Lights twenty percent," he said, giving the room soft illumination.

T'Shaini reached out to entwine her fingers with his. "Almost with the same intensity as I had felt under the influence of the enokitake…I saw Harry, held captive…felt the heat of his place of confinement…heard the chanting echoing through the chamber." With a sigh she leaned her forehead against his. "Perhaps it was just a dream."

Enokitake? "I had a bad dream too..maybe it's just sleeping in a different place..an odd place, this ship has a bad vibe perhaps that is affecting our state of rest?" Javier suggested. Harry couldn't be in trouble. He's safe and sound on the ship. The memory of what had transpired in his last meeting with Finn caused him to frown. "Harry, has he seemed different to you? Do you get the feeling that he's on edge..I mean more than he usually is?"

"Yes." T'Shaini sat up straighter. "There have been several incidents that concerned me, by themselves they mean nothing, but taken together…and with you sensing something awry as I am assuming from your inquiry you do." She frowned to herself. "I think we should ascertain his whereabouts, Nils will likely be indulgent regarding our concern."

"He threw a knife at me. Then laughed about it..it was odd but well, Harry can be odd..at times," Javier spoke as he gave T'Shaini's hand a squeeze and slid from the bed. His lack of clothing did nothing to deter the engineer from walking across the room to gather up his communicator. He tossed the commlink to T'Shaini, then rummaged around, collecting their clothing and bringing it back to the bed. "Call the ship..then we can go look for you-know-who."

Quickly getting dressed, T'Shaini then left a message for Nils to receive when he awoke that hopefully told him enough to put him on guard without revealing anything to anyone that might be monitoring. I can explain more if he feels the need to contact me…hopefully. "On to engineering?"

"Yes, I'm hoping that he works the morning shift too," Javier said as he pulled on his boots, then added, "I look forward to finally meeting the Chief of Engineering.." He didn't really but it was said for the benefit of anyone monitoring their conversation. If the Chief is anything like his wife I'll consider myself fortunate if I don't meet him. Standing to his feet, Javier caught T'Shaini up and gave her a passionate good morning kiss. "For luck," he commented.

"Mmm." T'Shaini blinked. "You have assured that now I will attempt to find more situations where luck will be an asset."

"With all the fine assets you have, I doubt you will need luck," Javier replied before grinning at T'Shaini.

Amazing. Smiling at the automatic darkening of her cheeks that his words brought, T'Shaini turned quickly for the door hoping to hide her reaction. Noting the two security officers stationed outside their temporary quarters, she nodded then addressed them. "We are off to tour engineering, would you like to lead or shall we?" With a quick smile to Javier as they, without argument, headed off toward engineering the counselor once again marveled at the proven value of giving two options which led to the same result to assure that you got your own way…and it felt like someone else's idea.

Originally Posted 11/8/08 by Javier Costala

IAS Hawking

Seth knelt in front of the equipment locker, carefully recalibrating one of the magnetron scanners he'd collected. If worst came to worst, he'd take them down to the anti-deuterium pods and degauss the magnetic fields…

No, no Chief of Engineering today either, Javier thought as he was once more informed that Gul Kalar could not give them the tour. It wasn't so much that he wanted a tour but rather hoped that being with a senior officer would give his security escort a reason to relax. A relaxed guard would make mistakes and perhaps give Javier and T'Shaini a chance to speak with Anderson. Javier could see the man, he was in the back, towards the supply lockers, or what would have been the supply lockers on the USS Hawking. Now how to get to him without causing suspicion.. the engineer thought as he began to stroll around the warp core. One of the guards moved after him, keeping enough space between them but also keeping Javier within his line of sight.

This is going to be tough. There had to be something he could use to distract the man. If I had any sort of code I could create a systems malfunction.

"Excuse me, what the hell are you doing walking around my engine room?" a familiar voice confronted the security officer who was following Javier. "Engineers have to have this space so we can work freely," Caterina said indignantly. The guard started to bluster but Cat cut him off promptly. "Stand over there by the door. You can keep an eye on them well enough from over there. If I catch you loitering around the core I'll report this to Malkat." Javier smiled slightly as he listened, he liked that this version of Cat had pluck. Once she had finished with his guard Cat set on T'Shaini's. Javier noticed that if he stood to one side of the core and stared vacantly at the mix chamber he would effectively block their guards' line of sight. He looked at T'Shaini then back at Seth Anderson as if to say: 'Go on, I'll stand here for a bit.'

Taking the cue, T'Shaini casually walked back toward Seth Anderson. What am I going to say? Kneeling beside him, ostensibly to view his current work, she spoke softly so as to not be overheard. "Hello…Seth. I have very much wanted to meet you, I am sorry that I missed the chance at the reception."

Jerking away from the sudden intrusion, Seth slid the scanner into his tool kit, "Ma'am," he greeted the other T'Shaini, rising, "I'm sorry… did you know me… I mean, him? The other Seth?" Not that it mattered but it would look bad for him to blow off the visitor and he couldn't afford to look bad, now.

"No, unfortunately, but I have heard much of him that is to be admired. Harry and Jenny speak very highly of him and it is clear that they are still greatly saddened by his loss." T'Shaini reached out and squeezed his arm gently. "I saw you speak with Jenny, it meant a great deal to her."

Seth reached down and retrieved his tool kit before replying, "She seems a good girl… I mean, young woman," he felt his voice start to give out, as his loss again shot a hole through his heart, "I hope," he stopped himself before he said too much, "Thank you for telling me," he took a moment to actually look at the woman before him, then glance at the living breathing Javier, "but… it's really best if you all went back to your ship, now," he added, in a low voice. "You don't belong here."

"Why?" Normally the counselor would not have been so abrupt, but everything seemed to have layered meanings. "Why do you wish for us to leave?"

He shook his head, vigorously, not like it was safe to talk anywhere on this ship but, "It's not safe… it's going to be less safe soon," and with that he turned to walk away but ran straight into…

"Hello Mister Anderson," Javier spoke quietly as the man turned to face him. "It's obvious that there's something wrong about this ship, but we'd like to know what that problem is and I think you could tell us."

"Please." Her voice was soft. "If there is something we can do, some way that we can help…"

"There's only thing you can do for us," Seth insisted, shifting his grip on the tool case and looking to where Catarina was studiously ignoring their conversation, "is to go back to your people and let me do my job."

T'Shaini's reached down wrapped her hand around part of the handle of the tool case he was holding so protectively. "Seth, what job is that?" She looked down with compassion at his stricken face. "Please."

"Taking care of my girl," he said quietly, "just… let me save her, this time."

"She's not your girl," Javier reminded the man, "she's part of our crew and our friend. If you want to help her, you could start by helping us. What do you have to save her from? Is this ship a threat to Jenny's safety?" the engineer asked as he looked from the man's face to the tool case he was holding. Seth was going to do something with the tools inside, what Javier didn't know but he was beginning to get an idea. "How are you going to save her, you're just one person..if you tell us that's three. Better odds huh?"

Mental head slap, "You have his survival instincts," Anderson informed the Starfleet officer, "and we all know what happened to our Costala. But… okay," meeting each gaze briefly, "the IAS is a threat to your Hawking… but it's not the only threat…."

Open-eyed conspiracy with our intrepid investigators and a so sad Seth (as voiced by Harry Finn)
Originally Posted 11/9/08 by T'Shaini

:: Deck 14 ::
:: Corridor ::

Bayal Paven met Nils in the hallway the moment he stepped off the turbolift. "What happened?" The Captain was short and to the point.

"We're still not quite sure, but my guess is the rift caused some kind of failure in the graviton generator," Bayal answered, falling in step with the CO. "I haven't checked in with sciences personally, but MeegoFera spoke with Lincoln Purcell after the incident and there was some discussion about fluctuations in the rifts configuration."

"I'll get with Purcell. How many injured?" The Bajoran was suddenly struck with how uninterested he was in the rift's anomalous behavior. There'd been a time not so long ago when their proximity to such a phenomenon would have had him spinning with glee and stuck to a sensor readout. Funny how things changed when Command became your job. Not funny at all, Nils thought sadly.

"Three…children," Bayal answered seriously. "Two with only minor injuries, but Tyson Brahms…" His voice trailed off sadly.

"Is he…" Nils couldn't bring himself to ask the question. A dead child on his watch would have a deep impact on his pagh. He still bore the physical and emotional scars from many children's deaths years prioron Bajor. His brow fell low and his lips pursed with apprehension.

"He's alive."

"Thank the Prophets," the young CO replied, deeply relieved.

"May they walk with us all," the religious Paven answered reverently. "But he's critically injured. I believe Doctor Munro is performing emergency surgery as we speak."

Their conversation was cut short as they arrived at Tractor Subsystems. Entering the room Nils wished Javier were still on board. There was a deep comfort in knowing a good friend and capable engineer was on the job. He realized his trust in the man had grown exponentially as they served together. The fact made him all the more leary about approving Javi's request for reassignment. Mustapha, a capable engineer in his own right, emerged from the damaged area and dusted off his uniform.

"Is everything under control here, Mister Ibrahim," asked Nils as he surveyed the damage with his own eyes.

"We've locked down the systems but until we know exactly what went wrong, I'd like to hold off on any repairs. It seems our technology has become somewhat unpredictable in this space." The engineer's tone was as serious as Bayal's.

"I agree… After I speak with Purcell and whoever we've got running science in O'Keefe's absence I'll have them get in contact with you to diagnose this problem. We'll put together a task force from operations, science, and engineering to make sure repairs go smoothly and this doesn't happen elsewhere on board." Silently Nils wished he could join the team in unraveling the mystery spewing from that rift off their starboard bow. Instead he had other priorities. Confident that the crew had things well in hand on deck 14, the Captain turned to leave. "I'll be in sickbay. Contact me if there are any changes in the situation…"

With that, Captain Torrik departed to yet another crisis on board the ship. Everything else faded to the back of his mind as he began silently praying for the fate of one of the ship's youngest inhabitants.

Originally Posted 11/9/08 by Torrik Nils

| USS HAWKING | Deck 10 |

Cam Atwood was irritated.

The Boatswain’s Levator Labii muscle was beginning to tick to a uniformed pattern, which to the undiscerning eye would be merely misconstrued as a slight defect of his facial nerve endings. To Petty Officer Indi Corin who had served under Chief Warrant Officer Atwood as Boatswain’s mate for a long period of time, it meant that a storm was brewing.

Chief Warrant Officer Atwood was definitely irritated.

Atwood was always irritated.

Indi left out a soft sigh knowing that there was no side stepping the issue. Once the tick in his left cheek took a less uniformed pattern she knew he was going to be less than pleasant. Not that the fifty-odd year old man actually had a pleasant side, but there were times he at least grumbled to himself than to others.

“What do the stupid donkeys expect?” He exclaimed loudly, his hands flaying through the air as he finished with a growl.

“Is it appropriate to call the commanding officers aboard the ship ‘donkeys’?”

Cam cursed. “When they go poking their dirty little noses in where the powers that be don’t want ‘em too, then yes, donkey is a very adequate term!”

“It’s a chance to explor-”

“BAH!” He replied, almost spitting it out with distaste. “What’s worse is they go an’ invite ‘em them over here, nice as you please…”

Indi didn’t bother responding as there was no point arguing with the Bosun. After thirty years enlisted in the fleet, Cam Atwood was definitely good at what he did, but not a single one of those years had managed to soften his attitude towards his fellow man. Stupid is just plain stupid. He would mutter to himself or anyone that would listen. But despite his personality flaws, Indi was glad to have an opportunity to work under the man. She had only been in Starfleet for just over a year and any experience no matter how tainted with colourful the language that came with it was worth it!

“Stoopid is stoopid.” Cam muttered under his breath as they moved into the Operations office.

“Chief Warrant Officer-”

“Cam Atwood!”

Both the Bosun and his mate came to an abrupt halt as the two Bynars in charge of the Operations department shuffled swiftly into view.

The Levator Labii muscle that had previously ticked at a nice uniform rate before chaotically beat to its own rhythm under Cam Atwood’s cheek. It was obvious that the aging Bosun had no time for his two superior officers.

Surprising. Given they all share a lack of inter-personal skills. Indi thought to herself with a small smile. The Bynar’s inability to interact personally with the crew of the Hawking was more physiological given their intimate connection to each other and their master computer, whereas Atwood simply chose not too.

“There has been a malfunction-”

“-in Engineering. The Captain-”

“-has ordered a task force-”

“-be formed. As Bosun-”

“-it is your task to organise-”

“-and supervise all personnel.”

Atwood cursed.

Petty Officer Corin frowned. “Was anyone hurt?” She asked, her frown deepening as she watched the animated ‘buzz’ of discussion transfer back and forth intimately between the pair.

They both suddenly looked up at her.

“We are unaware-”

“-of those details.”

“You are ordered to compile-”

“-a team to analyse what went wrong.”

Indi followed Warrant Officer Atwood out of the Bynar’s office, while not irritated by their superior officers as Cam was, she still felt a level of discomfort when dealing with them. As a Betazoid most of her sensory information relied on emotions, something which neither the petite duo seemed exude.

“What did I tell you, stupid is just plain stupid.” Cam grumbled as he moved out of Operations.

A post by two new NPCs

Chief Warrant Officer Cameron Atwood and Petty Officer Indi Corin
Originally Posted 11/9/08 by Matt Hudson

USS Hawking

A sudden, brief pause in the ‘lift's operation gave Gorsky a bad moment. It hadn’t been so long ago that he, Bramley and then Chief of Science Torrik had been trapped in a turbolift as the ship suffered a series of systems failures due to sabotage. This time, however, the pause was fleeting and the conveyance continued on its journey to deck 2 and Finn’s office, where he hoped to chill the nerves Star had rattled regarding Harry’s behavior.

=/\=Purcell to Gorsky=/\=

“Gorsky… what’s up?”

=/\=There was an explosive system failure in the graviton generator,=/\= the half-Vulcan began without preamble. =/\=And it happened at the same time there was protonic activity in the universal rift…=/\=

“Well, given the behaviors of all the tech during the ionic storm on Girijan…”

=/\=That’s not all.=/\=

Linc’s flat tones alerted Alex that something big was coming. “What?”

=/\=The surges in the rift are occurring simultaneous to dips… valleys… in the positronic flow rate… location specific to the IAS Hawking. =/\=

Alex felt the world around him grind to a halt. If the readings were correct, the IAS may, in some way, be responsible for the rift… or at least the rift’s current instabilities. “Does the Captain know?”

=/\=Not yet, Boatswain’s the go-to on this. We need to verify the data, ASAP, and not just because Atwood’s spitting nails.=/\=

When wasn’t Atwood spitting nails? “I’m on my way, Gorsky out.” Redirecting the lift to deck eight, he made a silent apology to Emily… Finn’s state of mind was going to have to wait.

Featuring NPC's Alex Gorsky and Lincoln Purcell
Originally Posted 11/9/08 by Harry Finn

USS Hawking
Deck 3, VIP Quarters

“Wake up,” Luke called as he shook Tatiana’s bare shoulder. He looked around the room curiously and loudly instructed, “Computer, lights to 100 percent.” The bright lights immediately shone, and he winced when his eyes burned to get accustomed to them.

The body he had been shaking pulled away then groused something unintelligible. Luke picked up the various piece of clothing that was scattered around the quarters and balled them up. At the sight of his spouse opening her eyes, Luke chucked the ball in her direction.

There was a sound of something flying in the air before darkness fell in front of her eyes. A hand reached out and snatched the clothes that were thrown, and tossed them to a free spot on the bed. She rolled onto her stomach and pulled the covers over her head. “Ass,” she groaned into the pillow. She turned to lie on her back, and shielded her eyes with her arm. “What do you want?”

“Get dressed,” he ordered. “I need to show you something.”

The woman picked up the clothes that lay at her side, threw the covers back and slid out of the bed. After dressing, she snatched the item that Luke was holding out. Tatiana read the object’s content with deliberate slowness, trying to search her mind for what it could relate to. “What does this mean, be ready?” she asked in confusion. “Be ready for what?”

He sighed, “The Alliance wants this ship. And we’re the ones getting it for them. You knew our coming here wasn’t accidental, obviously there would be something they wanted.”

“Lucas, these people,” she began. “They’re principled; they won’t take this lying down.”

Luke shrugged, “Then they’ll die.”

The engineer was dumbfounded at his nonchalance, “You can’t be okay with this.”

“I’m not, and neither are you, but it always comes down to this simple choice: us or them. We don’t work for people who take disagreements lightly. We may not like what’s going to happen, but we dislike what may happen to us if we don’t participate more.”

She nodded then glanced upwards. “The doctor,” the woman muttered. “Tatiana,” she clarified at Luke’s expression, “and her brother, can you do something for them if the crew decides fight back.”

Luke looked doubtful, “I don’t know. They don’t listen-”

“But you have some pull, not a lot but some.”

Luke frowned, “Both are a problem, I can probably swing one.”

Tatiana turned away, “Help Mikhail. I wasn’t…I wasn’t there for him when it mattered in our world, let me at least try to do it here.”

“Okay, I’ll do my best.”

The two stood in front of the window. Each was quiet, lost in their own thoughts as they observed the stars on the outside of the ship, “You know, this is the longest we’ve managed to get along,” Luke said suddenly.

“I know, strange isn’t it?”

“I don’t think I like it,” Luke announced.

Tatiana sniggered, “I’m so glad you said that, I agree. I’m sure we’ll find something to fight about later.”

“I wouldn’t mind it,” he responded. “I’ve been thinking…”

“Oh?” she asked and glimpsed at Luke, “about what?”

Luke’s expression was thoughtful and he rubbed his chin, “Once all of this is over, the thing with the Alliance, and the thing with Malcet, I want to go away. I done bending over for these people, I’ve spent twenty years of my life doing it. I’m tired.”

“What made you decide this,” Tatiana asked quietly.

He turned his arms outstretched to motion to the room, “This. Look how they live Tatiana! There’s no constant death, no slavery, these people have more to live for than saving their own skin. I want that.”

Tatiana folded her arms over her chest, and regarded her husband quietly before saying, “It’s a nice thing to want, but currently it’s not possible. When we’re done here, it’s right back to life as we know it.”

Luke nodded, “I know, but I-we can have that one day.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “We can.”

Featuring the Gettys
Originally Posted 11/9/08 by Tatiana Thorne

USS Hawking
Corridor - Deck 3

Harry had just reached the guarded door of Gul Malkat’s quarters, nodding to both Crewman Pal and one of the Human Security officers, Finn didn’t know the guy but he must be Redrum’s detail… Malkat had indicated the scientist would be present for their ‘meeting’… when the corridor’s running lights surged, then faded, then steadied.

That’s not good, the thought scrolled across his brain as Malkat’s door opened, before he could even sound the chime. “Here,” Finn said, entering and passing the briefcase he carried to the flutteringly nervous Bajoran Ensign. Ostensibly, it contained PADD’s filled with cultural data. In fact, it held the uniform of a Petty Officer 1st Class of the USS Hawking’s Security department. “The combadge is a dummy,” he explained as the door closed and Malkat joined the two, “it’s one thing to be seen in two places at once… being tagged by a sensor in the wrong place…”

“Understood,” Malkat replied as Finn’s own combadge pinged to life.

=/\=Lieutenant Finn,=/\= the voice of the Captain’s Yeoman, T’Landra came through, chill and clear =/\=There has just been a malfunction during the power-up of the tractor emitter.=/\=

“The cause?” Harry asked, aware of Zal’s intense interest. There had been no sabotage authorized by the IAS leader.

=/\= It is believed related to another surge in subspace activity from the rift. The Captain requests that all the IAS visitors remain sequestered in their quarters until a diagnostic has been completed. =/\=

“On it,” he responded, “Finn out.”

“The timing could not be more fortuitous,” Malkat commented, accepting the uniform from Redrum’s shaking hands. “At ease, Murral,” he told the Bajoran, “conveniently, your quarters are located on Deck 8. We’ll just make a convenient stop by the maintenance tube which leads to the EPS trunk and,” he smiled, “we shall have ourselves a brand new ship by dinner. Of course,” he now turned his eyes towards Finn, “there is the small matter of Redrum’s other guard.” At Finn’s barely visible nod of understanding, the Cardassian made his way to the privacy of his sleeping area, where he began the transformation into Petty Officer Zal Govan.

Meanwhile, Harry walked over to the door. As it opened, both Pal and Burgess turned to greet their XO. “Petty Officer,” Harry addressed the youngish enlisted Human, “I need your help with something, in here,” and, as Scott followed his superior’s gesture, curiously entering the VIP quarters, Finn gave Dramm Pal a look which the Xepolite was sure would haunt his nights for years to come. Swallowing, the traitorous crewman returned his attentions to the bland corridor. He jumped only slightly at the suddenly cut-off cry which filtered through the sealed portal.

Featuring NPC's Gul Zal Malkat, Ensign Redrum, USS Crewmen Dramm Pal… and RIP Scott Burgess
Originally Posted 11/10/08 by Harry Finn

It nagged at her, the feeling that something wasn't right.

'Do something,'

Emily sighed and plopped a pillow onto her head. Life aboard a starship was always busy, something was always happening. It would be impossible for something to not be happening as there are hundreds of people, each one dealing with their own daily challenges, confrontations and successes. To be a betazoid surrounded by so many different emotions could be rather overwhelming at times. Especially when it could seem like you were prying.
Emily had worked very hard to hold back her abilities, she didn't want to make waves and it did creep people out when they knew what breed she was.

But at this moment, when she freed her mind of any walls and just felt the ship and its crew there were some feelings that didn't add into the usual daily mix. They were deeper, darker and serious. But they faded in and out, as if those feelings were unsure of belonging to the master who felt them. It wasn't unusual but it wasn't usual for this ship. She rolled over and took the pillow off, it was best to stay in bed. Less trouble that way, 'Perhaps there's just some new drama onboard that's causing such things. Perhaps someones cheating and just got caught. Someone's lied and been found out. Those darker emotions can occur from nothing serious.'

However if she just sat around it wouldn't be to her benefit. As much as she wanted to blend in, be one of the rest she did have a responsibility.

'Which made me look worse,' she thought. There wasn't a thought in her mind that Gorsky would be a little less friendly and she had no idea what her Chief was thinking. If he thought she was always going to be like this constantly, he'd most likely regret allowing her transfering .

'Shake it off Em. You know yourself! Go prove your right!' Emily
sat up in her bed. That was a fabulous idea! She almost gave herself a pat on the back. Quickly she dressed, straightened her hair and headed out to Finn's office.

She rang the chimes and waited, when suddenly she wondered what she would do if she was right. If Finn was acting strange then she had no idea what he'ddo if he knew she suspected him. Emily's head cocked to the side, perhaps she was being a little too rash.

The door opened, Emily popped her head in, "Oh , sorry for interrupting I was just wondering if Finn was in. "

Originally Posted 11/10/08 by Emily Star

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Sickbay ::

Chris looked up at Jillian, his mouth hidden by a red surgical mask, "The artery is in place, no clots…albumin attraction is positive." He breathed a sigh of relief, "I think he's going to be OK."

Jillian aimed a dermal regenerator at the open incision and activated the beam, "As he grows, he'll have to be refitted," she said carefully, "Please make note in the log, Stephanie."

The head nurse nodded, "Any follow up medication?" she asked.

"Administer 2cc of metorapan, once a day."

"He's allergic."

Jillian rested her hand on the boy's forehead, "Give him 2cc of bicaridine, two times a day, as an alternative." As she made the last "stitch", she set the device aside and nodded at her team, "I think we're done".

=/\= Computer, deactivate force field. =/\=

Before she could say a word, Leonard leaped up from his seat and rushed to the side of his son. Stephanie began to explain the outcome of the procedure and the post-op care that was required.

As the opacity changed on the field surrounding the surgical biobed, Nils caught his first glance of Jillian and her patient. He followed Mister Brahms, but made space for the father to be with his son. Instead, the CO moved in close to Jillian and put his arms on her shoulders from behind. With his mouth close to her ear he whispered, "Is he ok?"

All the tension in her body was suddenly released. It was the most comforting feeling. His touch. His words. It was home. She smiled without turning around, "He's going to make a full recovery. He will be visiting sickbay more than he'd like, I'm sure…but he's going to be OK."

Turning her around, Nils tugged at Jillian's waist and moved her off the surgical dais and into an unoccupied corner. "And how are you? Are you ok?"

She felt her chest tighten. There was so much she wanted to say, so much she wanted to tell him, but all she could muster up was, "I miss you," she let her hands fall into his, and squeezed, "I miss you, a lot."

Allowing a tight smile to tug at the corners of his mouth, the young CO replied, "I miss you too." Pausing a moment to take in the rare moment they'd suddenly been allowed, he pulled her close and hugged her. "The kids were lucky you got there when you did. I'm always amazed by your skill." Nils released her and looked about the room, still abuzz with the waning adrenaline of emergency surgery. "Is the patient stable enough for you to take a moment? I mean… I've been doing some thinking and I there are some things I need… Some things I want to say."

She felt her throat drop to the pit of her stomach. She had heard this before and it was never good news, oh god, he wants me to leave the ship, was all she could think to herself.
She couldn't find the words to respond. She nodded and pulled him in to her office.

"Look," the CO started, trying to sound calmer than he felt. "I know we always have a hard time defining…us. And we've definitely had our fair share of ups and downs…" Nils let a breath gush from his chest and his hand went to his head. "I'm messing this up…"

Jillian tilted her head in confusion, "Nils, I thought we already decided — I mean — what is there to define?"

"That's the problem… We never get to a point where we can define it," he answered sincerely. "And I know it's usually my fault. I'm consistently conflicted about one thing or another, and I have a knack for getting lost in my own past or my own feelings and…" Nils took a breath and took both of Jillian's hands in his own. "I have a lot of dark moments to look back on. When I think back on my life and remember where I come from and what's made me who I am today, most of it is ugly… And harsh… But there was a very clear moment where everything changed. There is a line that splits my history in two. And right there," he paused and smiled, squeezing her hands tightly. "Right there in the moment where things started to get better…is you. When we met on Space Station Megiddo everything changed. I know everything is upended here and now, but it doesn't have to be." In what appeared to be an abrupt change in subject, Nils said, "Did you know I met my brother?"

She melted. More than anyone, Jillian knew what it would mean to be reunited with family. She had been without a single relative since she was 9 year old and could only dream of seeing her parents and brother again, "Oh, Nils… I had no idea. When?" She squeezed his hand, "I can't even begin to imagine what was like…I mean, I've dreamed of seeing my brother again but…" She smiled, "Tell me…what was it like? How is he?"

The Bajoran shook his head. "He's… Well, he's not my brother. But the prospect of seeing this alternate version of him allowed me realize something. The past only has the power we give it. And sometimes we give it so much power that things that happened so long ago can reach out and grab our future… And keep it firmly out of reach." Letting go of her hands and crossing quickly to the replicator in Jillian's office, Nils quickly programmed a schematic from LCARS into the matrix. He snatched the freshly materialized object from the replicator and returned to the woman he loved more than life. "I want to take back some of that power. I want to break that destiny I've consigned myself to." Lifting Jillian's hand, Nils slid a ring on her finger. The ring was simple and unremarkable, but shone brightly on her hand. "I want you to be my future…"

She watched as he slid the ring on her finger and she knew what was happening but at the same time she couldn't process if this was real or not. Was he asking her to marry him? Was this a promise ring?, "Nils…I…" She could feel her throat closing up. The last thing she wanted was to ruin the moment with a parade of sobs…but…"What does this mean?" Was all she could get out.

The color drained from his face and his expression grew uneasy. "Ah damn…" With wide eyes he continued, "I really thought it was the Terran custom to place a ring on the finger for engagement. I admit I didn't have time to research the cultural disparities on the planet, but I could have sworn…" His eyes brightened a little and he smiled. "My intention, Jillian is to ask you… Will you marry me?" Regardless of the customary actions he wanted his message to be perfectly clear. Lowering himself to one knee he added, "I'm pretty sure this is the correct posture for proposal."

Tears. Her only response were the tears that escaped her eyes without restraint. She let herself drop down to her knees where her face could be level with his, "It's perfect…" she said gently, "…and yes, of course I will marry you."

Torrik Nils face bloomed in a rare and fully formed expression of exuberance. On bended knee, he pulled her into his embrace and pressed his lips into hers. He traced the line of the nape of her neck and then her back with his hand and squeezed her tightly. "I love you, Jillian Munro," he said when their lips finally parted.

She kissed him once more, "I love you, Torrik Nils." She smiled, "I love you so much," and she kissed him again.

=/\= Captain, Lincoln Purcell has requested you join him in Main Science, =/\= chimed the disembodied voice of T'Landra from his combadge.

"Duty calls," Nils said quietly to Jillian. "Are you free later? I'd like to…" His grin turned suddenly wicked and his eyebrows danced with dirty thoughts. "…celebrate."

She felt ridiculous thinking of such things in her dorky red surgical attire, but she couldn't but laugh, "I'm free. I'll be waiting for you," she leaned forward and kissed him, "Now go to your Captain stuff…"

"And stuff there is in plenty… I'm on my way," the CO answered stabbing his badge. He rose to his feet and pulled Jillian up to greet her with one more lingering kiss. There arms mingled and migrated around each other's bodies and they chuckling to one another while wrapped in their awkward, playful hug. Taking a slow step back, Nils broke their embrace. His hand traced a line down her arm to her hand as the space between them grew. He clung to her index finger with his own until finally the distance was too great and the touching ended. He smiled one more time, genuinely and deeply, and held her in his gaze. "So this is what happy feels like…" Then Torrik Nils turned away from Jillian Munro and departed for the duty that awaited him.

Nils and Jils…
Originally Posted 11/10/08 by Torrik Nils

:: Deck 3 ::
:: Corridor ::

The First Acolyte palmed the door control once more, though no one had answered the first two times. At this point he was just stalling. Doubt had him dragging his feet on the task he knew must be done. This was not the first time he'd ever experience doubt in the High Priest, but it was the first time the doubt had ever been so dire and far reaching. The people on this ship seemed…good. They were good in a way that no one on his ship or in his faith system had ever been good. They smiled…a lot. And they seemed to genuinely care for one another. None of them seemed exceptionally isolated.

"It would seem the Captain is out," B'naath said from over the Nameless One's shoulder. "I can have him located for you, if you would like."

His escort was of a peculiar race he'd never encountered in his own universe. Feline in appearance, their kind had probably been wiped out in the Terran Empire. Xenophobia was a hallmark of that era. "That would be very helpful," the young acolyte answered in an even tone.

Harry rounded the curve, headed towards the turbolift and, more to the point, away from Gul Malkat's quarters. It was best for all concerned that the First Officer be seen nowhere near his opposite number's designated location. Seeing the pair lurking outside of the Captain's quarters, he slowed up. "You look lost," he told the young man, with a nod to the Security officer… B'Naath… this one's B'Naath.

"I'm looking for the Captain," the acolyte said in a rush of irritation. The Alliance Fleeters always had a tendency to interrupt Temple business. And Harry Finn had never been particularly different. With a dark expression the young man almost said as much before catching himself. His escort may find any familiarity to be peculiar, so the Nameless turned back toward the door control and pressed it again.

"He came aboard a few minutes ago, sir," B'naath replied as he sniffed at the air. "I was about to locate Captain Torrik for him."

"The Captain's preoccupied at the moment," Finn explained, neutrally, "there was a malfunction that's thought due to activity from the rift," he caught the acolyte's eye on that, "but if there's anything I can do to assist you, while he pursues the issue…?"

"I…" The First faltered. His eyes slowly rebounded from the security guard to Finn. Enlisting Finn in his task would probably take him on a course he currently didn't desire to tread. The man had a…reputation. And in stark contrast to the people on board this Hawking, he was most definitely not good. The acolyte's resolve, forged from years of religious service, kicked in at that moment. Forcing away any reservations that threatened to compromise his purpose he said, "Perhaps there is a matter that you could help sort out for me. I'm here on a religious errand…" His eyes bore into Finn's as he tried to convey a hidden message.

Finn allowed his eyes to widen slightly before turning his attention to the Caitian, "Tell you what, I'll take custody of our guest… I've often heard I should pay more attention to non-secular issues… and you can head to Main Security. I'll call if we need another escort."

B'Naath's whiskers twitched at that but, taking in the youth's nervous scent, doubted that Finn would allow any foolhardiness from that quarter. "Sir," he nodded and accepted the dismissal. He wondered, though, at the underlying tension he could sense from the XO.

Once they were alone in the corridor, Finn used his override to open the door and gestured the kid into Torrik's quarters. Once inside, he waited for the door to close before, "Your timing sucks."

"My timing is ordained by the Ascended," the First fired back, not missing a beat. Instead of wasting time in preamble (and in an effort to keep from second guessing his purpose) the acolyte kept talking. "The High Priest has ordered me to retrieve the Captain of this ship. I'm to deliver him to his Holiness as soon as I can."

"Well, jeez, let me just put the brakes on the in-motion plan to take over this ship so the two Torrik's can have tea together," Finn hissed.

"It's not your job to question the motives of the Ascended, human," the acolyte responded coldly. "My instructions are clear and since you so generously offered your aid, I'm taking you up on that offer." The Nameless swallowed hard. He knew how to speak to humans and those outside of the Temple, but he also knew what this man could do to him if he chose to. Trying to be brave, the young acolyte added, "If you aren't up for the task I can certainly try to enlist Malkat… And then I'll let the High Priest know of your…unwillingness."

"The same High Priest who sent me through the trans-dimensional tunnel, hurrah?" Finn was less than impressed but then, he'd spent how many months in Munro's lab? "Malkat is… busy," he added, "but what the hell, I could use an alibi about now… what do you need?"

Featuring NPC Torrik Jachin (by Torrik Nils)
Originally Posted 11/11/08 by Harry Finn

From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.*

:: IAS Hawking ::
:: The Temple ::

Looking down, through the wreaths of smoke, two men, alike in suffering, walked the paths of fire.

Almost alike. One, after all, was a willing participant while the other… chained to the floor like a rabid dog… had proven the most reluctant of supplicants. It was, to the Lonely Ones who watched, who waited, a tantalizing disparity. But as the Blood Bond began forming between the two men, the disparity between them began to fade. And the boundaries that maintain isolated sentience seeped away in shared suffering.

Torrik Nils stopped experiencing the room, and the ship around the room, and the space around the ship from the perspective of a finite and living being. He sensed his body only as a fading memory. The solidity of floor and ceiling… Weight and matter… They all began to whither away to vapor. And the vapor took form. Ghostly faces from the past solidified and passed him by. Am I moving or are they? The High Priest reached out to touch the face of his long dead mother. Her visage snarled and lashed out at him. 'Because of you…' her phantom voice said as the face lost shape and returned to vapor.

'Because of you…' the sad-eyed woman whispered, as she had so often when they'd been alone, hidden in the night but now the words were filled with hate, with blame and hadn't he earned it? As Sara faded into nothingness, smoke in the void, another face blossomed before him… Dana's face, innocent and cold… 'How many have died, because of you…'

'Because of your ambition,' said the aged High Priest from above Torrik. Blood dripped from a wound on the old man's temple and fell into Torrik's hands. The Bajoran remembered inflicting that wound when he was still the First Acolyte. But before he could grab hold of the memory the face shifted. And his father said, 'Why…'

'… couldn't you just let it go?' his father asked, throat gaping wide and turning his one eye on his son. 'All those years, all those deaths, so much suffering because of one tragic mo…'

'…ment.' From every corner of nowhere came a flood of accusation. Angry, blaming faces emerged from darkness, their eyes rimmed in flame. Victims and innocent bystanders alike pointed their fingers from the grave at the man who'd caused their end. 'The blood you spill…is your own…'

Four acolytes watched as the two men on the floor writhed, their eyes open but sightless. In unison the two supplicants spoke the words that moved the acolytes into action. "The blood you spill, is your own…" At that, the young men took their places at the each man's side. As one, they took hold their respective subject's hands, and then, each plunged their daggers into the prison'd palms making deep wounds from which to draw the life giving liquid which would soon, as it was caught up in the four chalices, give life to the visions their High Priest so desperately sought.

Feeling the sickly pricking in his palms, what remained of Harry called out to the accusing masses who walked all through the shared nightmare, "I was looking for justice…."

As Harry's words ended, Torrik's began almost in echo. "I was looking for…redemption…"

The poignant cries gave the acolyte's only a moment's pause… His Holiness had warned of this… that the supplicants would not be in their right wits. Following the rote they had so long practiced but never performed, the four blended the elixir of life with a series of herbs and, when all was done, divided the draft by three… one for each man and one for the Orb which would open the soul of the unbeliever.

As tenderly as any mother with her child, two of the acolytes raised the heads of the blind men and slowly began pouring the thick crimson flow into the waiting mouths of the helpless participants of the ritual. With their mouths near the ears of the two elder men they whispered, "The life of one is shared by the other and by blood two are bound…"

"By blood, the Wraiths of fire hold sway," picked up another acolyte as he approached the Orb of Violation. The young acolyte lifted the chalice and cast its contents into the glowing Bajoran artifact. Heat and light swelled and sent a shockwave through the room. Then a chasm of dark ripped through the light and plunged them all into darkness…

When the High Priest opened his eyes, he stood before a single flame that flickered and danced as if it were in the wind. But Torrik's robes hung to the floor with no stirring. Harry Finn stood on the other side of the flame, his angry gaze staring forward. "I've been waiting," said Kosst Amojan from the flame as it grew and its silhouette became that of a man.

More from the Twilight Zone featuring Harry Finn and High Priest Torrik Nils
Originally Posted 11/11/08 by Torrik Nils

USS Hawking
XO’s Office - Deck 2

After Harry had departed for parts unknown… well, slightly known… he was delivering downloaded data to the visiting IAS crew, Jenny rose from the desk and started pacing the room. While her Dad had been more of a ‘hunker down and glare at the problem’ type, it had long been her godfather’s habit to think on his feet and she saw no reason not to give it a shot. The files could copy just fine without her staring at them.

Three laps around the room and she was still no closer to a solution. Of all the oddities of the past day, one kept pounding at her: Harry Finn, recovering alcoholic, had slugged down a Skagaran whiskey. Harry had never gone for that brand of poison, before, she knew. He’d been a beer man, with the very occasional Scotch, prior to the deaths of his team… which had included Jenny’s father.

After that, it had been whiskey… Terran… as often as he could get it. Synthehol wasn’t on the menu but then, if a man is trying to drink himself to death, it’s faster with the real deal.

And then it had been nothing. He’d stopped drinking because, and even Jenny, at seventeen, had sensed this, he had a better chance of dying in pursuit of Shaun Ryan Acker. But he hadn’t died. A lot of other people had died, thanks to Acker. Eventually even Shaun had died, at Harry’s hands and Harry had returned to the Hawking… with a few more hidden scars, perhaps… but still alive.

And now…

She stopped walking, realized she was back at the desk and quickly checked the computer’s run. It was still working the selected millenium but the dates indicated it was nearly done. She’d have to bring up the next in a few moments. She remained standing while she waited, one hand reaching for the cocoa Harry had provided before he’d left. It had gone cold but it went against her nature to leave chocolate undrunk. Lifting it, staring absently at the scrolling reduction of hundreds of years of the strife and backstabbing for which the Romulan Empire was famed, she returned to wondering if, perhaps, the only problem with Harry was that he’d never expected to survive.

What if, deep down, he hadn’t wanted to?

No. The denial shot forcefully through her thoughts. No matter what he might be going through, Harry Finn would never treat a woman the way he’d treated Kerrin. He’d never turn his back on a friend the way he had Mister Costala and he’d never, never, ever treat Jenny like she was nothing more than damaged goods.

”…with your friend dying and seeing your Dad… shit, now I’m doing it… seeing Seth… and all that so stupid soon after the thing with Chuck…”

The computer pinged the completion of the current file and Jenny leaned over to tap in the request for the next, raising the cup to her lips. As she did, the door chimed, then, before she could say anything, opened to reveal one of the newer Security officers, looking more than a bit nervous.

"Oh , sorry for interrupting I was just wondering if Finn was in."

And she’s a poet, Jenny thought, lowering the mug. “Not at the moment,” In more ways than one. “Is there something I can I help you with?” she offered, “I’m filling in as Lt. Finn’s yeoman, Crewman Recruit Anderson…”

At the sound of that name, Star’s eyes clouded, as if she were trying to recall something.

Jenny tensed at the other woman’s expression. “Or not?”

Featuring Jenny Anderson with a flyby by Emily Star
Originally Posted 11/11/08 by Harry Finn

| USS Hawking | Deck 14 |

“You don’t need to snap my head off sonny boy!”

Chief Warrant Officer Cameron Atwood had served in Starfleet over thirty years. Thirty years giving his service, his skill and the best part of his life to the Federation. In his book, that deserved a little bit of respect, which was something these officer types just couldn’t get their noggins’ around.

Officers. Bah! They were all alike. Didn’t matter what planet they called home – Earth… Vulcan… Bajor… They all had the same smartass blood running through their veins! The pips pinned to their collars hanging a superiority complex around their necks. All thinking they were better somehow because they diddled their time away at that little prissy academy of theirs, thinking that four years in that clink gave them more experience than the thirty years Atwood had dedicated to this outfit.

The ensign standing in front of him was no different.

“I was coordinating damage control situations and fixing starships while you were still struggling with pleenoks!” Cam growled at the operations ensign. “So don’t you take that tone with me!”

The Vulcan before him raised an eyebrow. “I assure you, no disrespect was intended. Logic dictates that more engineering staff would be… useful, in the current circumstances.”

“Bah. Don’t you start with that Vulcan mumbo-jumbo either.” Cam muttered. “The Captain needs this data ASAP, so don’t go wasting my time when all I am doing is following orders.”


Atwood turned towards his assistant and grunted at her questioning gaze. “Too many engineers in this pokey little space would just be interference.” He responded, knowing exactly what she was going to ask. “All those ‘I know better’ types running around here… anyways Capt’n wants this group to figure things out. Couple of engineering analysts, a few scientists and some good operations officers is what we need. When the little buggers need to be a’fixin, then they can all rush in here… when I ain’t around.”

“Ensign Gorsky should be arriving shortly.”

Cam turned around to see Senior Chief Petty Officer Mustapha Ibrahim standing patiently behind him. He allowed himself a small mutter. Cam didn’t have nothing against the assistant chief engineer, but his constantly serene attitude certainly gave him the ‘willies’.

At that precise moment, Gorsky stepped into view, data padds piled in his hands.

“Oh great… the cavalry has arrived…”

Featuring the ever lovable Cam Atwood…
Originally Posted 11/12/08 by Matt Hudson

Smoke & Mirrors

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