Islands In The Stream

Featuring the following NPCs:
StephanieHall.jpg - Stephanie Hall
180px-Bynars.jpg - 100110 & 100111

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/01-4-2009 10:07:46 AM

~En route to DS-9~

::USS Hawking::
::Training room - Deck 14::

“… You put the line in the aperture and seal the case up… put the line in the aperture to make a big boom…” Jenny’s mantra, with a definite island rhythm, kept her hands steady as she assembled the pressure-sensitive mine as part of her new training rotation. Demolitions would take up a significant amount of her time and energy both on and off shift, all under the watchful and unforgiving eye of Senior Chief Petty Jameson. As far as anyone could tell, the promotion had not softened his personality a whit. “I say… Bardonnn… time to arm the sensor…”

On cue, the Bolian apprentice entered the arming code from the remote device he’d been programming while Jenny prepped the load. Once he’d completed the code he held his finger over the ‘enter’ command and looked at his partner, nerves dancing across his friendly features. The last time he’d made the attempt, he’d gotten one of the commands wrong and theoretically blown himself and Anderson to kingdom come.

“Go for it,” she assured him. Since her first three attempts at building the mine had been fairly spectacular failures, it was hard to be judgmental about the bad code Bardon had written on the last round.

Closing his eyes, he pressed the remote.

Nothing happened.

“Hey,” he opened his eyes.

“So far, so good,” Jenny said. “Now for the real test. Computer, activate training scenario Anderson/Bardon, section five-alpha.” As the simple grid-pattern of the training deck was subsumed by a rocky clearing, the two trainees dashed for cover behind a scrubby copse of windblown trees, settling down just in time for a cadre of Jem’Hadar to approach the space, quick marching across the rugged terrain in which the mine had been ‘planted’.

Fifteen satisfyingly loud seconds later, the two crewmen were jumping up and down with glee. “We did it, we did it, we did it!” Jenny was exulting. She might have time to see BHP, after all… wonder how it's going in Engineering?

“High five!” Bardon called out for the Terran salute.

“Down low,” Jen brought her palm down for the next slap.

“Bump!” Bardon and Jenny brought their knuckles together.

“Ouch,” Jen commented, shaking off the sting of Bardon’s ebullient fist.

“Done celebrating?”

Both apprentices turned immediately to face the source of that cool question.

“Yes, Chief…”
“Yes, Senior Chief.” The affirmations overlapped.

“Good. Cause now you get to build the mine again,” he informed them with grim satisfaction, “In the dark. And, Anderson?”


“In a covert op, it’s usually best not to sing to your explosives.”

“Right, Chief.” As the room reset itself to a new environment… a pitch-black night in the middle of hostile territory… Jenny ruminated that today was obviously a good day to die… over and over and over…

Featuring NPC's Crewman Apprentice Bardon and SCPO William Jameson

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/01-4-2009 10:57:29 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Holodeck 1 - Deck 5::

“I am Hans….”

“Und I am Franz…”

“… And togezer, ve are going to,” the twinned giants clapped their hands at the same time, “PUMP you UP!” Four fingers pointed a the narrow-eyed subject of their enthusiasm.

That subject slid his quietly appalled gaze to Bramley, who was suffering silent convulsions, “You have got to be kidding…”

Joe tried to shake it off but the laughter got the better of him. “New PT program,” he got out between the guffaws. “Ender got hold of Gorsky…”

“Of course he did.” Seeing no good way out but through, Harry turned to face his prescribed physical therapists. “Well, fellas, let the pumping commence… wait, that sounded,” Behind him, Bramley let out another coughing exclamation of glee, “Aw, never mind. Let’s just get this over with.”

Ninety minutes later, a sweating, shaky Finn walked out of the holodeck, followed by the ever attentive Bramley.

“You probably shouldn’t have taken that last round on the free weights…” the nurse was saying.

“Maybe someone should program Franz to be less snarky, then,” Harry replied, walking slowly down the corridor. He idly wondered if he could make it to his quarters before his muscles melted and he was nothing more than a puddle of overworked goo. “No male in the galaxy is going to quit when they’re accused of being a ‘girrly mann’…”

“I guess the idea was to make sure people didn’t skimp on their physical therapy.” Joe made an internal note to have Gorsky dial down the sarcasm on the program.

“Worked,” was all Harry said. They’d reached the entrance to sick bay but Harry kept walking.

“Sir, we need to run your stats…”

“Really? I mean… really?”

“If you want to remain cleared for duty…”

Harry concentrated hard, just managing to change course to port and into the dreaded realm of sickbay. “Someday,” he muttered, passing the sympathetically amused nurse, “someday, Ender and I are gonna have a real long… chat…”

“I’m sure you will,” and when they did, Joseph planned to open a pool on which officer came out alive. It would be, the medical officer figured, a showdown to match the legendary face off between James Kirk and Khan Noonian Singh, “I’m sure you will but, for now, let’s just check your blood pressure…”

Post featuring NPC PO1 Joseph Bramley and 'Hans und Franz'

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/01-4-2009 10:21:26 PM

-Main Engineering AKA Party Central-

The music was loud and the drinks were plenty. The engineers had a lot to celebrate in the way of promotions and medals; but more importantly one of their own had come back from the beyond. Then there was the fact that the ship was in one piece (for a change) and they were heading back to the Alpha Quadrant. It meant that most of the department was going home or the closest to home they had been since their posting to the Gamma Quadrant. No one could say that the engineers didn't know how to have a good time. CPO Kowalski was doing his best to put the younger engineers to shame as he danced in the open space in front of the core. Javier had to keep drinking so he wouldn't laugh and offend Kal-El's pride. The Systems Chief looked like he was doing the chicken dance while having a seizure. His partner, Christine Wallfram was doing her best to keep up with the engineer's antics.

"I am told that this particular song was played on the first warp flight by Zeffram Cochrane," Mustapha stated as he tasted his drink. He looked from the glass to the bartender then back to his glass. "These are not bad for virgin drinks, Benjamin," the Assistant Chief commented after swallowing.

"Who said they were virgin Chief?" BHP answered with a grin as he mixed a drink for Tehamia. The Iotian had converted the Master Systems Display into a makeshift bar. Javier had to admit that the engineer was adept at mixing and pouring drinks, Pierce had even made some kind of drink for Valkar that was on fire.

"No wonder they taste so good," Javier yelled at Mustapha. Wow that was loud. the officer thought to himself. "How many of these have I had?" he asked as he looked at his large margarita tumbler.

"That's only your second Sir," Ben answered, "I can start making virgin drinks if you like.." He handed Tehamia her fruity concoction and pointed her toward Fenton Boyce, who was standing in a corner, no doubt hiding from Cadet Kalani who had a lower alcohol tolerance than Commander Costala.

Mustapha glanced at Javier with concern on his features. "I think that might be prudent. The Chief has to meet Commander T'Shaini in an hour so they can begin their leave." He watched the Chief Engineer take a big drink of the margarita. "What was it Javier, a sailboat program on the holodeck?"

"Kowalski?" Javier called out over the music to the man. "Yes," he replied to Mustapha using the same volume even though Chief Ibrahim was standing right next to him. He took a big gulp of the icy margarita. Mmmmmmh. his brain said.

"Yes Chief?" the engineer said even as he continued to shake uncontrollably.

"Is that what they call dancing where you're from?" Javier said as he set his cup on the bar (which Pierce promptly grabbed) and shimmied over to the designated 'you got served' zone. Costala began to groove even as the strains of Magic Carpet Ride faded. "Where's the music?" he complained and glared at DJ Delano Mills.

"Coming Chief..g-g-got it right here," the engineer consoled the officer as he spun the new track.

"We've come a long, long way together through the hard times and the good. I have to celebrate you baby, I have to praise you like I should," the speakers boomed as Javier began to kick it old school. Really old school. The thing was, no one cared, none of them were professional dancers, they were engineers. But no one could resist the insanity that was Fat Boy Slim. Well some did, but they were immediately pulled into the throng.

"Wekesa, get out on the floor," Javier said as he spied the cadet. The man was making no effort to hide his mirth at Costala's rendition of Running Man. "That's an order Cadet! I order you to have fun!"

"Where's my margarita?"

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/01-5-2009 02:57:30 PM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Deck 11 ::

Traditionally, lower decks aboard a starship are quieter than other parts of the ship. Certainly the thrum of the warp engine is more pronounced, but ultimately the hypnotic rhythm works to soothe and lull passers by into a daze of deep thought. Nils had taken to strolling the lower deck when he was still Chief of Science aboard the Sentinel. The steady pulse of engines vibrating deck plating had allowed him on more than one occasion to decipher conflicting sensor readouts or calculate particularly confounding astrophysical equations.

This day, however, decks eleven through thirteen were outright noisy! Strains of classical Terran music echoed from Main Engineering and assaulted the Bajoran’s ears. Despite his distaste for what ancient humans considered ‘music’ he couldn’t hold back a crooked and amused smile. Leave it to Javi to throw a party… Looking over his prospective shifts in the Chief staff positions, the young CO considered passing Main Engineering by. Some of the changes he was considering could use a little more thought. But something about the thought of a cheerful get together appealed to him at that moment. That realization in and of itself gave him pause. But he shrugged it off and entered the engineering bay, anyway.

When the doors opened, the yowling tune erupted into the corridor and Nils winced at the onslaught. Technologically altered vocals shredded any semblance of melody and wild synthetic instruments careened against one another in the background. The Bajoran shook his head in disbelief.

“What is this tune you’re playing,” asked Nils after casually ‘sneaking up’ on the DJ.

“P-praise you,” answered Mills trying to be heard over the din. “C-c-captain,” he added after looking up. “Should I t-t-turn it down?”

“Oh no,” said Nils, his crooked smile still intact. The engineering crew seemed to be enjoying themselves. “Is this a well known Earth musician?” Humans never ceased to amaze him.

“Fat B-b-boy Slim,” called Delano with wide eyes and a grin to match. “Maybe not as well known as the sh-should be.”

“Fat boy slim? Ironic.” He nodded at the crewman as he departed and made his way to a face that had returned much cheer to the crew in general. “Pierce,” he called and held out his hand. “It’s good to have you back. Gave us quite a scare.”

“What,” the acting bartender called, apparently trying to shuffle his bottles.

“We’re glad your back,” said Nils raising his voice a little.

“I’m sorry?” The PO held a hand to his ear, but Nils smirked and waved him off as he continued making his rounds. Some of the crew was…dancing…if that word still applied. The Captain decided not to comment. Instead he settled against a console and watched the festivities. Moments such as this were few and far between aboard this ship, and he needed to remind himself whom he served with. If nothing else the party served to impress upon him the sheer and stark reality that life does indeed go on. And it can be good.

“Quite a spectacle,” commented a familiar voice. Bayal Paven slid up next to the Captain and assumed a similar ‘lean’ on the supportive console.

“Is your department always so…chipper?” Nils glanced about at the smiling faces and felt refreshed.

“Probably as often as the rest of the ship,” Paven answered honestly. “But today we have reason to celebrate.”

“Having one return from the dead is…” The Captain couldn’t finish his sentiment. Truly the relief that life had finally won out over death in the life of one of their crew had been welcome news.

“A blessing,” finished Bayal.

At that point, Kowalski tripped over his own feet and almost went over the railing into the warp core area. “Should I be worried about the ship?”

“Always,” answered the engineer with a grin. “But all systems are well within safe limitations and even at this high warp, we’re not close to red lining. Ironically there is less to do for our department when we’re at cruising speed than any other time. Incidentally, how long until we reach DS9?”

“Stryfe reports four more days at our current speed,” Nils said casually. “I have to admit, it’s nice to just…cruise for once.”


The party continued around them and the two men individually and mutually enjoyed the environment. For Nils, it was…nice. He let his duties take a momentary back seat and just ‘took in’ the joviality. Paven seemed to do the same thing. As if on cue, however, both men turned to one another and said, “I don’t like human music.”


Originally Posted by Matt Hudson/01-5-2009 07:03:24 PM

Operations | USS Hawking

Cadet Matthias Hudson stared blankly at the terminal in front of him. He had spent the last half an hour tapping away commands to complete the job he had assigned to himself while the skeleton crew in Operations chatted animatedly amongst themselves. It had been a strange run of events over the past mission, each of them excited to tell the other what had happened on their end. The conversations swirled around him like untold fairy tales, each touching the life of the crewman it visited.

"…then this huge beast appeared and began to snap at me like I was an hors d'oeuvre! Boy can I tell you was I messing myself at that moment…"

"…do you know Santa Claus really exists? I swear I saw the guy…"

"…it was so nice to see Nanna again. She touched my life when my folks passed away, and I've been hurting ever since she left."

Matt sighed internally. Once again trying to block out the aimless chatter, he focused on the screen and retyped the same commands in once again. He did not want to discuss what had happened before, did not want to let it seep back in like it was trying to do. They all talked about it like it was the best thing to have ever happened, meeting this Camael , this traveler. As if they were all cured of some horrible disease, like the past had never happened…like life was perfect once more.

Perfect? HA!

Bringing up the past was not always the best cure. Not matter what the counselors said…all it did was bring back painful memories that were best left forgotten. Matt didn't need to remember, he had done a fine enough job of drowning in his own misery without some old coot coming along to make the misery worse.

"Coming down to engineering?"

Matt looked up to see Indi Corin smiling down at him. "Engineering?"

"They are throwing a bit of a party I hear. I was thinking of sneaking down and joining in. Wanna come?"

Matt gave a practiced smile. "Thanks for the offer, but I have so much to do. I was just about to head down to the tractor subsystems and finish up on the diagnostic we were doing before…"

Indi gave a kind smile and nodded in understanding. "Have fun!"

Matt stood and moved quickly away. If he had been in a different frame of mind, he probably would have found it amusing at the irony of the situation.Indi Corin going off to socialize, while he stayed back and focused on work. It would have been amusing. But amusement was not on his agenda right now, all that was important was surviving.

Surviving? That one word pushed him back to the one moment he had been trying to avoid.

He didn't need strength to survive. He didn't deserve to survive.

Matt stood up violently and tried to put as much distant as he could between Camael and his daughter. He would have left his quarters altogether, but it was obvious he was slowly going insane, he hardly wanted the rest of the crew to see it. He almost laughed at the expression on Simba's face only hours before. No wonder the cadet had looked at him like he was going crazy. He obviously was!

"Why don't you think you deserve to survive?"

Camael's innocent question was said gently with kindness, but it brought forth such a rage from Matt as he turned around to face the old man.

"I KILLED THEM!" He roared. His hands clenched into fists at his side as the rage clutch at every fibre of his body.

"SHE…" He hissed, referring to Maddison but refusing to look at her. "…IS DEAD! SHE IS DEAD BECAUSE I KILLED HER! SHE DIED-" His last word crumbled to a sob as he once again collapsed to the floor.

"She died…" He whispered, his voice crackling with emotion. "…cause of my actions."

Matt looked up at Camael, his eyes pleading for understanding while his heart knew he deserved none. "It should have been me." He cried out, his voice barely above a whisper.

His head dropped in dejection, closing his eyes tight, trying to block out the memories. Silence engulfed the room for what seemed like an eternity.

"I can still hear her screams." He finally whispered, raising his head to look at them both. His delusions. "It was already too late for her mother. They had-" His voice cracked. "…gotten to her, there was nothing to be done." Matt looked over at Maddison finally. "I had her in my arms. She was screaming…screaming for her mother…but…her mother was already lost, I had to get her to safety."

He broke for a moment, a silent sob wrenching at his gut.

"She kicked and screamed for me to go back…but I couldn't. I held her so tightly, couldn't let go…had to ignore her plea's for her mother, for me to save her." Despite the pain, Matt's voice became clearer as he continued his tale, more focused as he remembered. "I didn't even put her down when I set the transporter controls, just put in the commands and rushed towards the platform. They were not far behind us, the ship's self-destruct had already been set, in only a few moments I knew they would go off. The doors of the transporter room opened just before we beamed out. She struggled in my grasp…it happened so fast."

Matt's voice returned to a whisper.

"I couldn't hold onto her…she struggled so hard, screaming to be released…to go back to her mother. She slipped out of my grasp-" Matt sobbed. "I had her, held tightly to my chest…but she got free and ran just before I beamed out to the safety of the shuttle, I could hear her screams of pain, knowing they had gotten to her as the ship faded away."

He stopped. Trying to gain his composure, to finish the events that had damned him to hell.

"I stood helpless as I…" He finally whispered, drained, void of emotion. "…watched the ship explode from my safe vantage point."


Originally Posted by Tatiana Thorne/01-6-2009 02:42:22 AM

USS Hawking

“Proving you’re a man is the reason why you almost got yourself killed today?” she asked in disbelief. “Why? Why risk death just to prove yourself to someone?”

The boy coughed, and his hand immediately fell to his aching side. “There’s nothing greater than being a warrior.”

“A warrior that steals is a man? And if it gets you killed?”

“Then I will die as a warrior.”

“You’re not partying with the Engineers? I’m shocked.”

“No,” Tatiana answered without turning around and attempted to reread the sentence. The words on the one in her hand had blurred, as she stared without reading a word. She was sitting on the floor of her quarters, reading random padds she had stashed away. Stephanie had stopped by randomly, “Don’t really feel like it. I’ve had way too much action recently, you know with a fictional media character nearly taking my head off the first time we met, watching the Hawking disappear and spring ancient Greece up in its place, and performing a Nephrectomy on who I know was a figment of my imagination, things like that.”

Stephanie grinned, “So you too then?” She gingerly sat down on the floor, quietly picking at the fabric around her. “You know, my dad was there.” She announced suddenly.

“Oh?” Tatiana said surprised, before sitting the object down and turning to look at her friend, “And what was the moral of your story?”

Hall’s eyes didn’t leave the floor. “I’ve come to realize,” she began, “that it’s time for me to grow up. Being with my father while he showed me some of my worst moments was…” she didn’t finish the sentence, but instead cleared her throat, looked away, and finally brought her gaze back to Tatiana. The woman suddenly smiled, “Anyway, what lesson were you forced to learn?”

“And so once you get out of prison, you’ll go right back to it right?” she asked as she fiddled with the stray straw she picked up from the ground.

He nodded.

“Well,” she said and threw her hands in the air. “I gave you a second chance at life, and that’s what you choose?”

“My life,” he rasped. “My choice.”

She nodded, “True, that’s true. Then why are you so against choosing to do something besides terrorizing people? A man, a true warrior doesn’t need to pillage and steal from what I understand.”

“I don’t know.”

“Some of these people didn’t want me to help you,” she continued, “but I did because I could and it would be wrong to deny you that.” She took a deep breath and repeated, “I did what I thought was right, and now it’s up to you to do what you think is right. My part is over.”

Stephanie was talking to her.

“What?” she asked. “I’m sorry I didn’t catch that.”

“I said that the old man was a nice touch.”

Thorne nodded, “He was. Camael was sweet…I just can’t believe he orchestrated all of this.”

The sensor technician stretched, “Same here, but it was very-”

“Enlightening,” Tatiana finished. She leaned back, until she was horizontal. “For me it was a bit cool, I must admit. If I was still nine, that would have been the greatest day of my life.”

“I can imagine. So you were in ancient Greece?”

“Yeah, and you’re not going to believe who I was with.”

Featuring: Stephanie Hall

Originally Posted by Matt Hudson/01-6-2009 03:09:10 AM

Cadet Hudson's Quarters | USS Hawking | Flashback

Matt felt drained and devoid of all emotion as he stared back at the delusions that his mind must have created to torture him further. After all, now that it was out, even if only to himself through his delusions, isn't that what he deserved? Didn't he deserve to be tortured for the rest of his pathetic existence for the death of his wife and child. He had not been able to save them, even though it was his responsibility, had been his fault they were in the situation in the first place. He had killed them, and here he was getting a second chance at life. The second chance they had not been afforded.

"You can't control everything."

Matt looked up at his little girl as she smiled down at him. Her big brown eyes and minute nose ridges so perfect in every way.

"It's not your fault daddy."

A strangled cry escaped from his lips as he tried to reply. "You are not real!" He whispered.

"I am in a way." She responded, gracefully sitting before him as she took one of his hands and clasped it between her two tiny palms.

The cadet stared down at their joint hands and marveled at the size difference, her small hands dwarfed by his single large one. His coarse and rough, while hers was delicate and smooth. She was a cute button of a thing, he had to admit, even now, staring at her cute little face brought him so much pain, but even he couldn't deny that she also brought joy. Maybe the insanity was a blessing…he lived in pain every day, maybe at least now if he embraced the insanity he could feel joy as well.

Was it worth it?

Camael chuckled, as if he were aware of what Matt had been thinking.

"You have not lost your mind." He responded with a slight twinkle in his eye. "This is merely a message of what has been and what could be."

Matt gave a bitter laugh. It was harsh and full of doubt. "What could there possibly be?" His hand tightened on that of his daughters as he continued. "She is dead!"

"Is she?"

Matt yanked his hand away from the child and stood up, once again moving violently away from the duo. "Oh course she is!" He turned to face the old gentleman. "Why are you doing this?" His voiced begged in pain.

"I just think maybe you should question all that you know." He responded kindly.

"I am not blind!" He yelled back. "I saw it all with my own eyes."

"But sometimes our eyes deceive us…" Camael nodded gently, smiling kindly. "Who were they?" He asked. "Those that boarded the ship and took your wife?"

"The Borg." Matt spat bitterly. "They got to Amelia first, assimilated her right before Maddie's eyes." The later coming out more gently as he looked over at the representation of his small daughter. "But I couldn't save her. When they boarded our vessel, we had both set the self-destruct on the ship, intent on beaming aboard the shuttle and escaping, leaving them to die in the explosion. But they found us…got to Amelia. I couldn't save them both so I grabbed Maddison and left Amelia behind with them."

"It was then that your daughter managed to run free from you?"

Matt nodded in defeat. "Just before we were to beam out, the transporter room doors opened to reveal the Borg drones…and her mother. She slip-" Matt paused before continuing on. "…slipped from my grasp and ran straight for them. Before I knew it, I was on the shuttle, with the explosion sending shock waves through the area." Matt looked back at Camael, his words tainted with bitterness. "So what message could you possibly bring? If you are here to merely remind me of the past, then I'd say you've wasted your time. I remind myself every single day, I can't escape the torture…this hell. Every day I can hear her pleas to save her mother, every day I can hear her screams. Believe me, no message could torture me any more than I already torture myself."


Matt refused to look at the child that now stood before him. Maybe hell was worse than he thought.

"She brings a message of hope." Camael spoke up gently. "Surely you want to hear it?"

Matt gave a bitter laugh, but turned to look down at her.

"Daddy." She spoke once again, taking his hand once more in hers. "I need you to find me!" She told him, the plea only a gently whisper from her lips.

"Find you?" He whispered in response, his voice cracking in emotion.

"I need you to find me and bring me back. I need you to save me!"

Matt felt his body weaken as he dropped to his knees before her. "How can I find you Honey Bear, you're dead?" He asked softly, his voice near on impossible to hear.

"But I'm not."

"Eyes can be deceiving…" Camael spoke once more.

"But it's imposs-"

"Nothing is impossible."

Matt's eyes moved wildly from one figure to the next, not sure he could comprehend what they were telling him. "B-but how?" He asked, almost shattered by the revelation.

Camael chuckled softly. "I don't have all the answers, some of them you need to find on your own."

Matt looked once again at the small figure before him before looking up back at the old man, with comprehension dawning on him. "You're leaving aren't you."

Both nodded.

"Please don't-"

Maddison leaped into his arms and hugged him fiercely. "Find me daddy, please find me." She whispered in his ear before letting go and moving over to stand beside Camael. Matt watched them disappeared as he stood up from the ground. "I will Honey Bear…" He whispered.

He didn't know how long he stood there, contemplating what had just happened before Simba walked in, all he knew was that there was a slow feeling developing from deep within.


Hope! Bah.

Sometimes hope was worse than misery, Matt thought as he continued along the corridor. It made you believe impossible dreams. It made you ask impossible questions.

Maybe she was alive. Maybe I could get her back. But hope always came hand in hand with despair. The despair you felt when that hope did not ring true, that it ended up being nothing more that endless impossible wishing.

Matt stopped. Thoughts of the past events once again raced through his mind, every little aspect of it. The joy he had felt at her presence, the agony her had felt once she had departed. Maybe it was better to feel joy and live in an endless cycle of wishing, than it was to constantly torture yourself with never knowing.

Maybe hope was a good thing.

A slight smile touched his lips. Nothing was impossible…

Originally Posted by Vince Stryfe/01-6-2009 02:21:00 PM

.:: USS Hawking : Vince Stryfe's Quarters ::.

The room was well lit, PADD's stacked neatly on a desk to the side. Everything looked nicely put together, except the bed. The covers were messed up, and dragged over to the other side. A corner of the covers layed clutched in the arm of the ship's Chief Helmsman, a bottle of Jameson's nudged nicely in the other. He rolled over a bit, the bottle leaving his hand, hitting the floor, making just enough noise to stir Vince from his sleep. He sat up from the floor, rubbing his eyes, and picked up the bottle.

As he stood up, still holding the bottle, he shook his head as he tossed it into the recycler, then walked over towards the bathroom. He stared into the mirror, thinking about the reason for the bottle, and the reason he'd been locked up in his quarters for a good two weeks, Charlotte…….

Eight years had passed, and like the two years before he had joined Starfleet, he woke up with a hangover, and nothing to show for it. Eight years since she had died, or so he still believed, and he still felt the same way, everytime that date passed. He walked back out into his room, grabbing another of his bottles, still halfway full, and poured himself another glass. As he lifted it towards his mouth another thought crossed his mind, and the glass found it's way to the table next to him. He grinned as he looked down at the picture laying under the photo, pulling it out from under it.

Thepicture was of him and Charlotte, standing infront of a P-51, inside the Smithsonian, their first trip together, one of many. He started to tear up, his eys beginning to fill with water.

" I'm sorry……. I'm sooo sorry," He wiped tears from his face, still staring at the picture," There wasn't anything I could do, and I regret that everyday. If I'd have been in the room with you, my fate would have been the same, and the order to self destruct may have never been given. For the past eight years I've done this to myself, drank til I passed out, then when I wake up, do it all over again. This isn't what you would have wanted me to do, you'd give me a swift kick, right where it matters for doing this to myself. I'm finally where I belong, incharge of the Helm of a starship, doing what I love," He stood up walking to the observation window," We both loves to fly, no matter what it was, and I'm still doing that, but……"

He wiped his eyes again, but this time they stayed dry," I know now what I need to do, what I've needed to do for quite sometime now, I'm going to let you go. I need to, and I'm sure you'd want me to. I have part of my life in order, but as long as I dwell on the past, on you, I'm going to be stuck at a dead end."

He walked over to his desk, opening the top drawer," I'll keep you close, but I think someone else finally needs to be closer."

He slid the drawer shut, then threw on his jacket, making his way for the door. The tears and sorrow all but gone from his face, replaced by a smile, and a look of determination. He bumped into people, giving a quick sorry, continuing to move forward. He stopped just short of a door, gaining some composure, then stepped up to it.The door slid open, revealing Stephanie, and Tatiana.

He looked at Stephanie, then over at Tatiana, a bigger grin crossing his face. He stepped another step into the room, still looking at her," Boy am I glad to see you, I've had a rough couple of weeks, and……" He paused, not looking away," And, I'm thinking that I've finally gotten over somthing, with you being the reason why………"

He stood just inside the door, waiting for her to say somthing, waiting for the start of his forgeting the past, and beginning his future……………..

Originally Posted by Jillian Munro/01-6-2009 04:28:24 PM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Main Engineering ::

"…and so I spent the rest of the time meditating in B'hala's central temple complex. It was quiet uplifting," Bayal finished, still trying to speak above the party noise. "And what about you? Did you have a similar vision before the nebula so curiously departed?"

"I did," answered Nils as he pushed himself off the console. "But I'll have to tell you about it another time. I'm technically on duty. I should get somewhere that I can get something done."

"Of course, Captain," Paven said with a nod. "It was good of you to stop in."

"My pleasure," Nils responded sincerely. He moved toward the main bay doors, but caught Javier's eye as he made his exit. With a nod and a knowing smile he lifted his glass of spiced tea (which Pierce had begrudgingly agreed to make) to the ship's Chief Engineer. Then he departed.

Now to find somewhere actually quiet to work… Inside the turbolift, the loud music still vibrated through the walls. "Upper decks it is," the Bajoran conceded. "Deck one." And the lift ascended.

She had been walking for what seemed like hours. Each corridor was a long abandoned trail; she had overheard a couple of the crew talking about some sort of get together that was taking place on the lower decks and judging from the lack of activity around the rest of the ship, she could only assume that the party was in full swing. She hadn't been officially invited and that was fine by her. She missed the solitude of her lab back on the IAS Hawking. The USS Hawking lab, as state of the art as it was, never had less that three people scurrying about, one of them always being Chris Hodges. He'd be great to work with, if only he'd shut up.Jill chuckled to herself as she turned to naturally follow the curve of the corridor. She stood in front of the turbolift and waited for the doors to open.

The moment the doors opened Nils felt ill. Since she'd boarded the ship he'd been both fortunate and deliberate about giving Jill Munro a wide berth. When she'd requested asylum and finally the chance to stay on board he couldn't think of a reason to say no - at least not one that didn't make him look petty. And though he'd made his own kind of peace with Jillian's passing, this other person in her skin did nothing to make him feel at ease. Plus…the impression she gave off lead him to believe she was a cold hearted bitch.

Nils slid to the side of the lift and tried to make plenty of room for the civilian while at the same time avoided eye contact.

She felt her entire back stiffen at the sight of him. Torrik Nils. The holy terror of the universe. Well…her universe anyway. She gave a curt nod, indicating (not-so-subtly) her displeasure - it was too late to turn around and, strangely enough, she didn't want to be rude. Taking a short step inside, she turned her back to him and stared ahead. "Deck 4". As fast as the turbolift was, this was already beginning to feel like the longest ride of her life. The awkwardness tickled up her spine - she could feel his eyes burning into the back of her neck.

The nape of her neck. In every discernible way it was identical to the one he'd kissed and nuzzled over and over. And it didn't belong on this woman. That was Jillian's neck and Nils felt personally offended that this faulty representation of her was allowed to bear it. The anguish he thought would surface never did. Instead he felt angry. But still, he couldn't tear his eyes away from the perfectly formed curve of back, neck, spine, and shoulder that mocked him from literal inches away. Who does she think she is…

"No matter where I go on this ship, I'm never quite alone am I?" Jill asked softly as she turned to look at ship's CO. Sure enough, he was staring right at her.

Nils looked stricken and tried to pull his eyes away in time but knew it hadn't worked. "I'm assessing the ship's…interior…panels," he blurted awkwardly. "And Intrepid class vessels aren't known for their size. It's hard to find a place where you are really alone."

Jill casually looked around the tiny room, "Do the interior panels not meet your standards?" She asked with a slight hint of sarcasm.

"They are…acceptable," he answered trying to appear very interested in the turbolift walls. "Are things shaping up for you… I mean on board?" He was desperate to change the subject from nonexistent panels.

"Well…" She let out a breath and looked up at the ceiling, "Let's see…I don't have a dark overlord breathing down my neck, asking me, with a twinkle in his eye, how many pathetic human beings I've tortured today - so overall I'd say my life is swell. Then again, I've been here a little less than a month and people still seem to either tolerate me or, more conveniently, ignore me. If I'm on duty, Doctor Seldon won't let me out of Tatiana Thorne's sight, and I'm pretty sure your XO wants to kill me." Her eyes shot down at the last part,shit, shit, shit, "Oh god, I'm sorry." Her first conversation with the Captain and already she was screwing it up, "…I didn't…I meant…I just…I…"

"I know you didn't," Nils said sharply, cutting her off to end both of their respective miseries. He sighed deeply and swallowed hard and let his eyes float slowly back to the turbolift doors. "I'm sure it's an adjustment," he added coldly. The lift finally slowed and stopped and the doors spread open to reveal deck 2. "I believe this is your stop…"

She looked out towards the open corridor but couldn't bring herself to leave without asking, "So which one is it?"

"I'm sorry? Which…panel? I'm not sure what you…" His tone evidenced his confusion.

"Are you tolerating me or ignoring me?" It was a question she really didn't want answered, "Look, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you letting me stay here. In fact, I'm surprised you didn't drop me off at DS9 for good," she smiled nervously, "and I know it must be hard considering I look just like your gir—- doctor. To be honest, I feel the same way…you look just like him, and he was not someone I enjoyed spending time with."

"Then you don't feel the same way," Nils hissed, his brows falling low. "Because you look like someone I enjoyed spending time with very much. Someone who I loved with every centimeter of who I am. And while I'm sure it can't be comforting to look at the image of someone you hated as much his 'his holiness', it can't feel like what I'm feeling. You are a reminder of something that I can never have again…" He'd moved in close to her and regretted how threatening he'd made himself.

His anger was comforting. This tone was the Torrik Nils she knew and understood, which made it all the more easier to react, "Are you done feeling sorry for yourself? I wasn't trying to compare my pain with yours, you jackass! I just meant I know what a f**ked up feeling it is to look at someone, thinking you know them, only to be reminded that they are NOTHING like the person you know. But maybe that's not all together true…you and Torrik Nils have one thing in common, you're both ragging narcissists."

Nils continued backing off as this hell spawn bearing the visage of Jillian spouted barbs. The more the spoke the more distinct this woman became from her doppleganger, however. And he took great comfort in that fact. "Tolerating," he answered belatedly with a harsh countenance. "You've made it plain that you won't be ignored." Then he pointed at the corridor beyond and said, "Deck… Four…"

Jill stopped between the turbolift doors, her back to the Captain, "I am sorry for your loss, Torrik. I only knew her for a few days…but despite all of our differences, I think we knew each other better than we would have liked to have admitted." She stepped forward and heard the doors shut behind her.

A joint post by Torrik Nils & Evviiill Jill

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/01-7-2009 08:34:33 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Deck 11::

"Do you hear music?" Jenny tilted her head and gave her ear a couple of taps before realizing she was still wearing the earplugs she and Bardon had worn. No wonder Darby had seemed so quiet. She'd collected Jenny at the end of her training session and at first the crewman had thought it was the incessant working with the boomers that had made it hard to hear. Taking out the protectors, she was assaulted by an unbelievably loud tune of the old Earth variety.

"Fer sure," Darbs, replied. "There's a totally schway shindig in engineering…"

"Shindig? You mean…" but what Darby meant became abundantly clear as the two young women reached the entrance to Main Engineering where they were slapped in the face by the aforementioned shindig. "Holy sh…"

"HEY!" Darby's cry cut off Jen's startled exclamation, "he never dances with me!"

Following her friend's appalled gaze to take in Kal-El Kowalski's enthusiastic maneuvers, Jenny thought that was probably a good thing but it seemed her roommate couldn't bear the slight and went muscling into the fray (definitely a fray from Jenny's point of view) to lay firm and undeniable claim to her one and only Kallee Wallee. It said something… what Jenny was uncertain… that his previous partner gave up the field with nary a struggle. In fact, the poor woman looked more than a bit relieved.

Still hovering at the entrance, Jen pulled her gaze from the shuttle wreck on the dance floor and began to search the room for the only reason she'd dare step into the heaving mass of life… outside of a direct order, anyway. Then she found him, standing behind the makeshift bar, busy, happy and… alive.

Seeing that, seeing him, her heart gave a peculiar little hiccup as she realized again (and how many times would she have to see him to accept it), that he was here, he was real and not just the echo of a wish in the shape of a steadfast soldier.

Featuring NPC Ensign Darby Saunders

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/01-8-2009 12:57:37 PM


"You coming or going?"

Jenny jumped and half spun to see Aengus right behind her, "Oh, coming… I mean, going, I mean… I'm just… here I go… in…" she backpeddled across the floor for a few steps to make room for the other security officer, bumped into Mister Bayal, "Oh, sorry," then turned again to realize she'd achieved the bar but, sadly, Ben was now serving at the other end and it was so godsawful loud in here. Maybe, she thought, she should just go study the specs on the Nausicaan thermal detonators and talk to Ben some other time…. like, when they could actually hear each other.

"Another if you please *burp* Petty Officer," Ensign Valkar demanded of BHP. "Not quite enough Aldebarian whiskey in that first glass." Ben laughed and busied himself by making the officer another genuine suicide cocktail. "On my homeworld we don't call this a drink, ensign," he told the Acamarian, then added, "we call it lighter fluid." The Iotian stirred four potent alcoholic drinks into one master solution then picked up the phaser he had sitting on the MSD. Looking around he spotted Jenny at the end of the bar, his grin widened and he walked over to her, held out the phaser and said: "You want to do the honors?" pointing to Valkar's drink. "He likes them on fire."

"OH," Jenny accepted the weapon, which she'd been afraid Ben wanted to use on the senior officer (who hadn't looked quite that drunk) and took aim. The second the beam hit the liquid, the beverage erupted in a flume of blue, "Wow." She looked at Ben, "Thanks!"

"Thank you!" Pierce yelled over the music before rushing back to Valkar with the drink. Once the man had accepted his order and walked away, Ben ambled back to where Jenny stood. Christine Wallfram, released from serving as Kal-El's dance partner, made her way to the bar and ordered a margarita. "Bar's closed," Pierce told her. "Replicator works." If anyone deserved a drink it was Wallfram but Ben wanted to talk to Jenny more than make drinks. He returned his attention to Anderson, moving close beside her so she could hear him. "What do you think of my Homecoming Bash?"

"It's very… enthusiastic!"

"It is loud," Ben agreed whole-heartedly. Pierce found that he wanted to talk to Jenny more than anything, but realized they wouldn't be able to hear one another in Main Engineering. "C'mon, lets go find a place where we can hear each other," he said, taking her hand. Her hand is warmer now, not so cold, Ben thought as he led Jenny around what served as a bar and up the walkway/ladder to the scaffolding of Upper Engineering. The speakers were below them and the music was being pushed out, not up, so they could hear each other. Ben looked down over the railing. "Now all we need is some oatmeal," he suggested in a conspiratorial tone. Ben hadn't released Jenny's hand, and as he stepped back from the railing he pulled her closer to him. "I've been thinking about you," he told her quietly.

"Yes. I mean… me too," she quickly glanced down once again, trying to remember how to speak. "I've been thinking about you, too." A small part of her noticed that Aengus and Darbs were the only others present from her own department. It wasn't too surprising, as short-handed as Security was… folks were either working or resting up for the next shift. Which she ought to be doing… that or studying. She had a hand-to-hand session first thing in the morning, followed by seven hours in Auxiliary, followed by more boomers but… "I still keep thinking this is all part of Camael's dream and that I'm going to wake up," she said, "and you won't be here." Jenny then snugged herself still closer to Ben, as if in search of reassurance that this was the one and only BHP.

"I ain't going anywhere if that makes you feel better," Pierce assured her, "I got all I need, right here on the Hawking." He let his hand run through her auburn hair. "When I was stuck in the shuttle after evacuating the Lakota, I had a dream about home, but you were there. We were going out on the town together." He paused and looked towards the warp core. The low thrum of the core echoed the beating of his and Jenny's hearts. "It felt good, even if it was a dream, it felt good to think that you were my girl."

"…you're my've always been my girl…" Every time she heard those simple words, Jenny felt the warmth that had suffused her in the Snow Queen's palace. "It feels way beyond good… being your girl." That last was said softly…

A troubled look replaced the fleeting smile that passed over Ben's face. "That's just it, you're my girl but you ain't got nothing to show for it. If we were home, where I was made, you would have had your own place, whatever fancy rags or rocks you wanted and we could go to the swankiest joints. Here, I ain't got nuthin to offer you..I ain't a big shot officer, I'm one of those drugstore cowboys, standing on the corner without a dime to his name, trying to pick up a dame who deserves better."

Processing… processing.. At first she wondered if it would it help to point out she had a rock collection from when she was nine back home in Boulder but then she started to get the actual gist of Ben's worry. "I can't imagine any… dame… deserving better than the guy who risks everything for her. And not just her," she tapped his new rank insignia, won as the result of his actions aboard the ill-fated Lakota, "You're better than any made guy because you made yourself. And," she made sure he was looking at the truth in her eyes, "this dame thinks you do really good work."

"Yeah but that's the job right?" Pierce replied. He knew he and Jenny had similar philosophies on work and the effort made to be the best in their prospective occupations. "This is different, I mean of course I was going to come find you, I'd be a sucker if I didn't." The Iotian frowned and added, "On my world I'd give you whatever you wanted, to show you how much you mean to me. Here all I got are replicator tokens. I could buy you a bunch of orange juice but that's about it."

Jenny was at a loss. It obviously mattered to Ben that he have… stuff… or, stuff to give her, at the least. It was, after all, part of the world he'd grown up in. And, she reminded herself, during his early years, he'd been pretty damned stuffless. "That, okay, that's how they measure a man where you came from," she tried, "but here… well, with me anyway, a person is measured by their actions. And it may be hard to believe but, I wouldn't enjoy being kept…" in any way, shape or form, she added internally, shuddering at the unfortunate word.

"It ain't like that.." he started to say before the words quit coming. It had been like that on his planet. Still, there was something uncomfortable about Jenny being his girl and having nothing to show for it. An idea suddenly lit up his thoughts and he withdrew from Jenny in the excitement of the idea blossoming. "I got can keep this," Ben said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor. "I kept it like a good luck charm..and I ain't got nowhere to keep something so fancy," he explained as he offered Jenny the medal by its ribbon. "You can keep it."

"Oh," she stuttered back a bit to hit the rail, "oh Ben, but you earned this. It's… it's… you earned it." And he wanted to give it to her? "I don't… what should I do?"

He reached out and caught her, his arm slipping around Jenny's waist to draw her back to him. "I want you to keep it. It can be your good luck now..since you're mine," BHP said, winking at her as he pressed the medal into her hand. Her lips are so full. Ben thought before he kissed Jenny, the move so quick that he surprised himself.

Oh boy, the kiss was quite sudden but it effectively quenched the distress over accepting the medal. She wondered, as the kiss lingered and she relaxed in his arms, if he was always going to be this good at distracting her. Distracting… uh oh. "I have to study," she sighed regretfully against his lips as she recalled her assignment for the evening. "Demolitions… timer… Nausicaan… go boom…"

"I think you have the basics.." Ben replied, unrelenting as he drew her back, closer to the wall, in the depth of the shadows of Upper Engineering. "But there's something else I need to ask you. You know how I'm good with a fancy heater," he pointed out before his lips found hers again, "and how..well how I seem to get out of any..restraints," he added after taking a break to catch his breath.

"And how muleheaded… I mean, persistant, you are," she closed her eyes and leaned her head on his chest, looking for her self-discipline. It appeared, quite vehemently, in the memory of Sr. Chief Jameson. In a state. "I have got to go memorize those specs," she asserted, straightening. "I have to," she added, regretfully, "or I'll end up losing what little off-time I have left…"

"Yeah," he agreed half-heartedly, "I should probably go back down..the party is in my honor after all." He hazarded a glance over the railing, the music had slowed and couples were gliding across the open space in and around the core. "Can we grab a meal later? Maybe talk over some dinner?" BHP asked her.

"That would be nice," which was an understatement but, her hand closed over Ben's medal, there was something very comforting in the phrase. Almost as comforting as hearing she was 'his girl'. She turned to see the couples as they moved languidly to the music and had a brief moment of weakness but the job was calling and she was too much her father's daughter to ignore the summons. It's okay, she reminded herself, turning away from the young man and towards her duty, he ain't going anywhere…

JP featuring the Beat Cop and the Wiseguy

Originally Posted by Ender Seldon/01-8-2009 07:43:52 PM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Sickbay ::

A lot of things drove Ender Seldon crazy. Non-calibrated sonic showers, Borg invasions, itchy socks and lastly, people who skipped out on medical appointments. He had been on the Hawking less than a month and already he had replicated himself a little black book. THREE names already occupied the first page, they would forever be remembered as the jerks who wasted sickbay's time. F-it is gunna hit the sh-an if Harry Finn doesn't have a damn good reason for standing me up, he thought to himself.

Ender checked the time. He's late.

=/\= Computer, locate Harry Finn =/\=

=/\= Commander Harry Finn can be located on deck 5 =/\=

=/\= Be specific =/\=

=/\= Commander Harry Finn can be located on deck 5 in the physical fitness room =/\=

That son-of-a…. Ender bit his bottom lip while letting out an aggravated growl.

:: Deck 5 ::

"HARRY FINN! I'm so glad I got your message in time!" Ender stopped in the doorway, dropped his medkit and swung his arms up high, "You are SO right. This is a much better setting for a medical exam. It's so much more…phalic. Yes…yes very manly." Ender beamed as he continued to gaze around the room.

Harry threw one more punch at the much-abused bag before turning towards the irate physician. "Admit it, Seldon," he said, blinking sweat from his eyes, "you've got a thing for me. It's the only possible reason I can imagine for the five thousand follow up appointments you've got scheduled." Besides, he'd stopped by sickbay… briefly. The place had been standing room only thanks to an unfortunate mishap on a Himalayan climb in Holodeck 1. Rather then hang around for an hour, the XO had decided to make use of the time by working out the kinks from his equally unfortunate session with Hans and Franz.

Ender smacked his forehead, "Oh geez…was I really that obvious? Well, hell! Why don't you just humor me then." Ender picked up his med kit and set it down on one of the work benches, "Now get your cute ass over here, sister - I've got some bones to check."

Why did this guy get to him so badly? Not like other docs hadn't had their fill of Finn's inner workings. Doctor's and interrogators and torturers… oh my… "My bones are fine," he pointed out, "all the boo boos have been fixed. What, I ask you, is left to peer at?" His eyes narrowed, "Unless you left some of junior in here," he tapped the side of his head which had, until recently, housed a fledgling Pah Wraith.

"Well…" Ender let out a breath. He looked down nervously as he opened his kit in search of a tricorder, "I mean, there's always that possibility, but…" He activated the tricorder wand and motioned for Harry to take a seat, "I'm sure it's nothing. The surgery went very well, no doubtly because I am the master of the medical universe and have rarely failed."

Harry looked at Ender. Ender looked at Harry. Somewhere, a small orchestra was playing the overture to 'My Name is Nobody'. He didn't believe the worried act, not for a second, but… "You're not going to go away, are you?"

"Harry, I strongly believe that it's in everyone's best interest if they just realize, and accept, that a doctor is like a herpes source. I come and go when and where I please."

"I may never sleep again," Finn replied, gauging the competition. "I bet I could outrun you," he added but now there was that whole herpes image… He let out a disgusted sigh and parked it on the bench, "Let's get this over with, already."

Ender slowly waved the wand up and down the lengths of Harry's head. He made an extra effort to add lots of "Hmmm…." and "Huh".

"There's no one here to impress," Harry said, "unless it's your goal to make me so crazy I rip the tricorder out of your hand and smash it."

Ender smiled, "You seem stressed, Harry, what's the matter? Am I playing too rough for you? Meh - you're probably right, I should probably pick on someone my own size."

"Yeah, but Katie won't let the grade schoolers in the boxing ring…"

Ender nodded, "I should have known you'd go there. Kids are small, your small and small people generally think small so I can't totally blame you for that one…"

The over six-foot tall Finn figured it was possible that they were about three sentences away from insulting each other's mothers. Harry glanced at the self-satisfied medical officer… sooo tempting… but, no. He'd save that up for later. "Are you finished wielding your caduceus like a hammer, now?"

Ender closed the tricorder, "You're fine. But I still need you to come in once a week for the next month. Don't take it lightly either. You've just recently had (experimental) surgery, if there are any side-affects, I need to know right away. I mean it. Call me, day or night."

The Finn-in-a-Box popped up off the bench and headed back towards Old Faithful, ie: the bag. "You know," he commented, throwing a seemingly effortless punch which knocked the fifty kilo bag a good meter back, "if you're this worried I'm gonna go darkside, you might want to spend a bit less time checking my brain waves and a bit more on the phaser range." He turned back to Seldon, blocking the bag's backswing with one outstretched arm. "And you'll want to keep the phaser at your side, not in the med kit, where it's hard to reach." His expression was neutral as he continued, "Stands to reason, when a guy sees the worst people can do, that he'd want to be prepared in case it happens again."

"Oh, Finn…Is the joy of seeing me just too much for you angry little heart?" A nervous chuckle escaped Ender's mouth, "That must have been left in there from the last away mission." He mumbled.

Uh, huh. "As long as you're rated to carry the thing, you won't hear any complaints from me… or Tenanji," Harry assured the suddenly nervous doctor. "I don't have any problem with people being prepared for the worst. It saves a lot of grief when the worst pops up," he shrugged and returned his attention to his favorite form of therapy, "and it always does."

Ender tucked the med-kit under his arm, "Well, you seem fine…for the time being. And now I go home to feed my cat cause I realize life is short. And next week we'll do another exam to, once again, re-confirm the death of junior. Listen, be well!" And with that, the doctor swaggered out of the gym with a sheepish wave over the shoulder.

A joint post by Ender Seldon and Harry Finn

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/01-8-2009 10:27:55 PM

USS Hawking
Main Engineering

It had taken the counselor some time to wrap up the days business, she had put off meeting with Leo, she had rather been dreading it to be truthful…but due to the good that had been wrought by Camael's visit, it had become easier to shift through what was doubt and what would be practical given her current workload and the…over familiarity of some of her patients. Time enough to deal with that tomorrow. In true Javier, he had put together some sort of celebration in engineering, she had been promised 'music, drinks, dancing and drinks.' T'Shaini smiled to herself as she neared engineering, it was so raucous within that the doorway was vibrating…which should have prepared her for the wall of sound that almost blew her backwards when the door slid open, but somehow did not. 'Oh my.' She mouthed the words, but it was so loud that even she could not hear them. Stepping somewhat cautiously inside, the Vulcan scanned the room for Javier. Her hand flew to her mouth in amused surprise at the blur of appendages that seemed to be emanating from the one she loved.

"Check it out now..the funk soul brotha.." the music wailed as Javier did a few more Stayin' Alive moves before falling away from the remaining dancers. The younger engineers were clutching their sides with laughter but Javier didn't mind. Everyone needs to cut loose once and a while. the engineer thought as he managed to avoid the flailing arms of Darby Saunders. Dodging around the security officer and her beau, the freshly released from sickbay Kowalski, Javier spotted T'Shaini. From the amused smile on her features he could tell he had been caught in the act of 'breakin' it down'.

"So you've seen me you still want to be my girlfriend?" Javier asked her once he had gotten closer to the counselor.

"Especially after seeing you dance." She wrapped her arms around his neck and rather loudly spoke this sentiment into his ear to assure that he would hear. The sheer joy that he had the ability to produce was astounding. People who barely spoke were together, even the most awkward among them were dancing without self consciousness and crewmembers she knew to avoid crowds were happily mingling. Not that Javier did not have a myriad of gifts, but his ability to bring fun into any situation was the one she prized above all others…well almost all others.

He could not help but laugh. "Such acceptance! Why didn't we meet sooner?" Javier pulled T'Shaini closer, his arms embracing her waist. "I could have been a real success-story with you by my side. Javier Costala, United Federation of Planets presiding officer," he joked with her. "Actually I am a better person because of you," he admitted to her, his tone serious "and for this..I owe you a dance." The engineer pulled back enough to look into T'Shaini's eyes. "Well more than that, but right now all I can give you is a dance." He winked at her then turned and motioned to DJ Delano Mills. The music was mixed down to a slow song. "May I have this dance?" he asked with a grin.

As the strains of another old Terran song filled the air, the Vulcan slid into his arms. "Only if you let me lead." She said with a smile. Swaying in unison she leaned her cheek against his and listened to the words of longing. I hunger for your touch, a long lonely night… T'Shaini hugged him closer, grateful that the 'long lonely night' was not something she had ahead of her.

Javier moved slowly, timing his steps by the music as a few other couples followed the song's progress. It was difficult not to chuckle at the sight of Kowalski and Saunders spinning around, draped over each other like junior high sweethearts at the prom. His concentration turned to T'Shaini and how good she felt in his arms. Javier hugged her tighter. "I have a sailboat and the Caribbean waiting for us in the holosuite," he whispered. "I also decided to wear nothing but boxer-briefs the entire trip."

A quiet laugh bubbled up at his words. "Excellent…hmm, I have not, as of yet, considered what I should bring. The promise of sea and ship and being alone with you was enough to keep my imagination occupied…until now."

"Mine has been occupied by imagining what you will wear," the engineer admitted, "or maybe I should say by what you won't wear.." The thought of the sun, the water and those island breezes kissing T'Shaini's bare skin as they lay entwined on the fore cabin made Javier wish the song was almost over. But it's's a slow one. he thought, cursing Del's choice of music. Good things come to those who wait. he consoled himself. It took all of three seconds before he inquired, "So do you want to go..start our vacation?"

She could feel her cheeks darken, not only at the words, but the intensity behind them. I wonder if I will ever become accustomed to the way he sees me…I rather hope not. It was a wonder, and a wonder it should stay. "If you are certain that you wish to leave…" A glint appeared in her eyes in direct contrast to her cool Vulcan exterior. "you might teach me some of those 'dance moves' in a more secluded environment."

"I consider myself an apt instructor of the horizontal mambo," Javier replied as he hugged T'Shaini then whispered in her ear, "and from what I've seen, you know the dance pretty well yourself. Perhaps we could share our knowledge and teach each other new techniques?"

T'Shaini's mouth opened and closed a couple of times before she could respond. "Well, I have my doubts of any knowledge that I have not already shared…but I am adept at…research."

"Then let's not waste anymore time partying, when we could be researching," the engineer stated as he moved them toward the doors, keeping one arm around T'Shaini as he waved goodbye to Mustapha. The Assistant Chief acknowledged the Chief's departure with a smile and a wave. "I think I have everything in order," Javier commented to the Vulcan woman as they exited Engineering. "And the boat came fully stocked, or at least I had Wallfram program it that way, and there are safeties so we won't get shipwrecked or steer the boat into a reef." The walk to the holosuite was quick, punctuated by a short turbolift ride in which Javier revived the behaviour that he and Tee had started in the lifts aboard the Constitution. This time however, there was no grumpy matron to intrude upon their passionate kissing so when the engineer left the turbolift he felt as if he were in a daze.

"Right, wow, okay," Javier said at the holosuite door. "Wow, yes, we are." He tapped the panel next to the door and started the program. "Ready?" he asked T'Shaini.

"Umm, yes?" It was vaguely incoherent, but it was all she had to offer.

"Then let's go," he replied, taking T'Shaini's hand and leading her into the room as Javier wondered how quickly he could get her clothes off and…

"CAPTAIN!" The voice was loud and right beside his left shoulder.

"What?" Javi replied, his eyes not leaving the beautiful captive that stood before him. He wondered how long it would take to get her dress off. Not long if I cut through all that fabric with my dagger. he warranted.

"They won't pay if she's been..mistreated," the First Mate pointed out.

"I've never mistreated a woman aboard my ship," the pirate captain stated, as much for the woman as his navigator, "put some sail on the masts and weigh anchor, the Governor has the waters patrolled and I'll not risk a necktie party." He made his way across the deck to the woman he had taken prisoner. "And you Miss, what be your name?"

Her eyes darted about the ship looking for some way to escape, she heard his words but little heeded them, what would come would come and if she had anything to do with it she would not remain on board long enough for what she saw behind his eyes to become reality. "It matters not."

"Surely it does, for Black Javier wishes to know the name of the woman who will be sharing his cabin," he answered with a smile.

"Well then perhaps you should find the woman who will be and ask her. The woman replied haughtily. When I return and I find whoever let this ruffian near me, there will be hell to pay.

"I have found her," Javi said, as he grabbed the woman and kissed her mouth. The kiss was rough with desire and the pirate captain found that he wanted more of what this woman had to offer.

Bracing her hands against his chest she shoved as hard as she could to break away from him, panting with outrage and lack of breath her hand moved without forethought and the crack that resonated as her palm crossed his face sent a hush over the rest of the ship.

JP by….who the hell are we?

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/01-9-2009 02:13:25 PM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Bridge ::

“Status?” PADD in hand, Nils exited the turbolift and tried to put his ‘run-in’ with Jill Munro behind him. The less attention he gave to her presence the better he felt.

“On course at Warp Factor 8.2 and holding,” called Ensign Capers from the helm. “We should reach the worm hole in just under four days at present speed.”

“Nothing to report from Science,” Ensign ch'Las said, filling in where Capers left off. “The path between Megiddo space and the worm hole is well traveled and there are no anomalous developments at this time.”

Nils settled into his seat, listening, but still intent on his PADD. “Fehr? Anything,” he asked without turning around.

“Nothing to report, Captain,” the Elasian offered with quiet confidence.

“May we speak…”

“…with you, sir.” The Bynar twins were suddenly standing next to the center seat and almost gave the Bajoran CO a start. Other than normal shipboard operations, Nils had had very little contact with the two exchange officers since they’d come aboard.

“Of course,” Nils said donning a false smile.

“Our matter is of…”

“…a personal nature.” One of them said, completing the other’s sentence.

“Oh,” said Nils a bit awkwardly. “My ready room then?”

“That will be…”

“…perfectly acceptable.” There was no distinguishing between them as far as Nils was concerned, but he didn’t let that bother him too much. He led the small aliens across the bridge and entered the connecting office.

Once inside, Nils took his place behind his desk and took a seat. He pondered sitting on the sofas, but making the situation more ‘comfortable’ would have only made him uncomfortable. “How can I help you, gentle…” Suddenly realizing he had no idea of either being’s gender Nils altered his words with a disjointed rhythm. “…persons.”

“We must prepare…”

“…to depart your crew.”

Nils waited but that was all they gave him. “Ooookay… What seems to be the problem?”

“The problem is that…”

“…we are being recalled to Bynaus.”

“Continued solar activity in our…”

“…primary necessitates the presence of…”

“…the return of all technicians and…”

“…scientists to protect our planetary…”

“…computer core.”

In the recreation lounge, Delano Mills had replicated a table, which served as a sort of miniature court for a quaint game called ‘Ping Pong.’ Having a conversation with the Bynars gave Nils the distinct impression he was watching such a game, complete with the back and forth head movement.

“I see,” answered Nils slowly. Their blank stares began to eat at his cool. “Well, that is… unfortunate,” he added with a stiff smile. “When will you be leaving us? Should I arrange transport or…” He trailed off and waited for a response.

“We will disembark…”

“…at Deep Space Nine.”

The Bajoran nodded and tried to keep smiling. “Well, you’ve been very…” Complimenting a Bynar turned out to be difficult. “Your efficiency has been unmatched,” he settled on. This, however, seemed to be very high praise as the two pale beings looked at one another with obvious excitement.

“Thank you, Captain…”


“…Torrik. Your kind words…”


“…are warming to our…”


“…circulatory organs,”


“…as the humans say.”

Nils chuckled despite himself, remembering a similar semantically induced error he’d made when he picked Jillian up for their first date.

When she answered the door, Nils held a heart-shaped box of chocolates up toward Jillian Munro.

“I brought you an organ filled with sweet things…” the young Cadet Torrik said with a broad smile.

The beautiful Doctor laughed and Nils lost himself in crimson embarrassment. “That’s very sweet,” she said graciously accepting his traditional Terran courtship offering.

The memory dredged up a dark stinging sensation. But surprisingly enough, he also felt something else. Something good accompanied the memory. And despite the loss he felt, Nils wanted to smile as he remembered her. He shook off the whole experience and refocused on the Operations Officers.

“It’s been our pleasure to have you aboard. I’ll be certain to express your efficiency to your superiors.” This seemed to please they Bynars and the nodded in thanks.

“We will return…”

“…to our duties, Captain.”

“Alright. And thank you for informing me.” Nils watched as the two little creatures walked stiffly from his quarters.

With a sigh, Hawking’s captain sank into his chair and let more memories of Jillian wash over him. They stung…immensely. But the sting was good. And despite the tragedy of loss he still felt, he enjoyed allowing her to romp around in his mind. With eyes closed and a small sad smile on his face, Nils lost himself in what could never be again.

Featuring the Bynar Twinkies, 100110 and 100111.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/01-11-2009 10:21:24 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Corridor - Deck 2::

“Okay, can you say it back to me?” Harry, showered, uniformed and ready to get back to work, waited for his operative to confirm the instructions.

“Sure thing, Harry,” Autumn Quincy, or Scout, as Harry had long ago christened five year old, closed her eyes (she’d learned the memory trick from T’Shaini) and began to recite, “During her next pre-baby appointment, I need to ask Miss Baya to tell Chief Joe…”

Harry smiled at the reference to CPO Bramley.

“… to tell Gorsky…”

She’d been spending quality time with Harry, too.

“… to tell Dr. Kerrin…”

And Xer.

“… that Harry really, really, realllly likes her.” Autumn opened her eyes, “Howzat?”

“That… is perfect,” Harry offered a high-five and an approving wink. He was, he knew, risking ridicule… worse than ridicule as far as Gorsky was concerned but if it came up, well… he had ways of dealing with scoffers. Besides, if this didn’t get past the thus far impenetrable anti-Finn barrier the archeologist had constructed, he was well and truly dumped. Not that he could blame Kerrin… apart from one memorable ferris wheel ride, it’s not like he’d shown her much of a good time… unless murders, psychos and doppelgangers were her idea of a good time…

“But Harry,” Scout leaned in conspiratorially and Harry crouched down to better hear, “does this mean Operation Ender Bender is off?”

“Oh, hell no… I mean, not a chance,” the XO assured the child. “Tell the rest of the Irregulars it’s just… being refined.” In fact, Harry thought it best to give the doc an opportunity to regain his equilibrium. Their last bout had obviously left the CMO a bit shaken and Harry wanted to be sure Seldon had achieved maximum causticity before he unleashed the full force of the Deck 6 Irregulars on the guy.

He’d never see it coming.


Sighing, Harry rose to face his albatross… er, yeoman, “One moment,” he told CWO Raynes. Turning back to Scout, “You know the drill, cadet,” he told her with a smile, “now, make it so.”

“Aye aye, sir,” the child tossed an impressively snappy salute and then grinned before skipping away to perform her Cupidean assignment.

Harry let out one long, slow breath before tucking thoughts of the probably hopeless exercise away. “Did you need something?” he asked, beginning to walk towards his office, the long-legged enlisted officer keeping easy pace.

“You’ve received a coded communication, eyes only,” she informed him. “I didn’t feel it appropriate to use the coms to inform you. The call is holding on your office terminal.”

“Good thinking,” they entered the office which was, to him at least, shockingly in order. Harry immediately made for the replicator, “Coffee, hot, black, highly caffeinated.” When the steaming cup had materialized, he took it to the desk and proceeded to randomly shuffle the previously pristine PADDs about. He enjoyed the effort Raynes had to put into not rolling her eyes at him.

A true professional.

“If I may point out, sir,” Raynes, only recently of Starfleet Intelligence, began, “for you to be receiving a coded transmission might be considered…”

“Private,” he interrupted, looking straight into her predictably suspicious eyes. “It’s a private matter.” When she held firm he hunkered down, more firmly, “I get the concern, Chief Raynes,” he admitted, giving no ground, “but the enemy your people are so worried about having… affected me… is gone. They are no longer a part of this universe. There is nothing left for them to gain and…”

“And yet you also only recently had a portion of a Pah Wraith removed from your Anterior Cingulate Cortex…”

“I’m flattered you’ve kept up with my medical histories…”

“… and while under its influence, you may have taken some actions which…”

“Fine, fine, I get it. You think Junior made me do something naughty. Well, ya got me… I am even now in the process of selling Starfleet secrets to the Ferengi Commerce Authority. It also made me order all the extant copies of The Three Stooges vids…”

Raynes’ didn’t even look tempted to roll her eyes. “It’s not a joking matter, Commander Finn. You’re under the eye for more than one reason. You already had a history of working around regulations. That, combined with the… unknown… activities on Kendrassa Prime, followed by your incarceration and interrogation by the IAS hostiles…

“I get it,” Harry repeated, coldly. “You think I’m a high risk. I don’t agree. Even if I did agree, this,” he nodded towards his terminal, which was blinking to indicate a held communication, “is still a private call and that means you’re dismissed.”

“Sir,” she turned to go but, at the door, looked back, “You do understand I’m compelled to report this, or any unusual activity, to my superiors.”

“Knock yourself out,” Finn replied. As soon as the door closed behind his watchdog, Harry entered his authorization to the computer. “Mollin,” he greeted, “glad you got my message.”

“Finn,” the Special Ops officer enthused, “I was surprised to hear from you. Word on the waves was you got yourself dead.”

“The waves were only half right,” Harry replied, remembering the unfortunate vision of his other, quite dead, self. “Long story. Meantime,” he leaned closer to the screen, “did you have any luck with the data I asked for?”*

*Conversation with Mollin TBC on the Holodeck in the side story "In the Name of the Father"

Featuring NPC’s Autumn ‘Scout’ Quincy and CWO Maddie Raynes

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/01-12-2009 10:53:58 PM


Javier grabbed the woman's wrist and laughed. He loved the feisty ones the best! The sting of the smack was on his cheek but there was also a fire inside of him that the captive had ignited. For a moment he had witnessed her passion, and her heaving chest and the breathlessness of the kiss they shared, made him desire her all the more. "Come Duchess, let me show you to your room, my pardon, our room," he said as the pirate dragged the woman back towards the main cabin. She fought him enough, but Black Javier held fast to the lady. Flinging open the door to his richly decorated cabin and hauling her inside, he slammed the heavy door closed, locking the Mate and the others that had brought her luggage outside in the passageway.

"Are my lady's quarters suitable?" Javier inquired, bowing as he doffed his plumed hat in mock respect.

The lady crossed her arms over her chest and drew her body to its full length in a show of disdain. "They would be suitable for a lady alone, if the quarters are intended to be shared then the other occupant had better learn to sleep with his eyes open."

"If I had the pleasure of sharing your bed my Lady," the pirate captain answered with a sly smile, "I doubt my eyes would ever close. I would treasure every moment that my eyes beheld your enchanting form." He moved across to a sideboard and uncorked a bottle, pouring a dark liquid into a glass that Javier then took and presented to the woman. "Some refreshment, my Lady?"

One eyebrow drifted upward. "And am I supposed to be credulous enough to drink anything you hand me?" Her arms drew in a little tighter. "I think not."

Javier shrugged and took a drink of the wine before placing the glass on a small chest that served as a side-table. "You are Lady Shaini, Duchess of the Isles, betrothed to the Governor of Tortuga, are you not?"

"No, I am her ladies maid." Her tone was cool and dry, he clearly knew who she was, and with that knowledge came the realization that she was likely her for one purpose…ransom. "A shame that as such I will not fetch the price you were hoping for."

"Truly? I am surprised. I had no idea that maids dressed in such fine dresses," the pirate answered as he circled the lady, admiring her shape and how well the dress fit her. "I suppose she asked you to disguise yourself as her? What trickery." Javier feigned disgust. "Blue blood runs thinner in the Isles than one would think. Throw off that dress! It stinks of lies and treachery. I have my dagger..I can cut it away," he offered, turning to her with his hand on his dirk.

Shaini took a step back and one hand stretched out automatically. "Thank you, but no." She shook her head. "Interesting that that is the conclusion you jump to, heaven forfend anyone be generous." She stiffened her spine and walked over to grasp the discarded glass and deliberately took a sip. "Games aside, you know who I am, obviously…what do you want?"

"I want your fiance to pay me for your safe passage to Tortuga, my Lady. No less, no more," he answered. Javier thought for a moment then said, "And I want you to scream my Lady, right now, very loud and indignantly, as if I had just taken liberty with your person. We are too quiet for people who are thought to be in the throes of passion."

Without missing a beat a bloodcurdling scream ripped from the woman. Shaini started, it was the loudest sound she had ever made…it had surprised her. Once the echoes reverberating through the cabin died out, she looked up rather sheepishly. "Will that do?"

"Yes," Javier stated, "I can only keep you safe from harm as long as my men respect and fear me. Your reaction on the deck was unfortunate, it caused the others to question my command of the ship. Now they will assume I have broken you and punished you for your outburst." He sat down in one of the richly furnished chairs and indicated that she do the same. "If you want to survive this voyage with your dignity and life intact, I suggest you play along with my ruse." The pirate captain relaxed in the chair, allowing himself some comfort after what had been an exhausting day. "We will share this cabin. You will sleep in my bed while I take the divan there. The crew will think we are together. They will love me because I thumb the Governor of Tortuga by sleeping with his betrothed. You will give the appearance of acquiescing to my demands if ever seen outside of this cabin. I do not want you to leave the cabin, but one never knows what trouble may arise." Javier looked over at the Duchess and said, "In return I give you my promise that I will deliver you to the governor unharmed and unmolested."

"Am I to believe you will keep your word?" She lowered herself gracefully into the indicated chair and folded her hands in her lap. "Not that I see any alternative, mind you…just an honest question."

Black Javier smiled as he sat a little straighter in his chair. His hand went to his dagger and drew the blade out, letting the light play on the blade so the Duchess could see its edge. He clasped his hand over the dagger, sheathing it within his palm then drew it outward. Javier's fist clenched as rivulets of blood ran from the thin lines the blade had cut on his hand. "I swear by my own blood that no harm will come to you."

Her breath caught as she watched the blood drip from his hand. This man went to great lengths to validate his story if he were playing false, but somehow she did not think so. There was a…trustworthiness..have I lost my mind? about him that lent his words credence. Logic ruled her life and logic would dictate that nothing a pirate had to say would be worthy of trust…but somehow, it was. A frown creased her forehead as she contemplated his bloodstained hand, then her gaze lifted to meet his. Her mouth opened, but no words would come, so she simply nodded her acceptance.

"We have an accord," Javier acknowledged as he removed the silk bandanna and began to bind his hand. "Tonight we will dine together at my table." He glanced at the Duchess, the added, "I believe you should dress the part. My men brought your belongings from the ship, and I will have heated water brought in for you to refresh yourself." He stood to his feet and strode across the room to the door which he opened. Three bags and a large chest sat in the corridor and he moved them inside the cabin. "I must go on deck," Javier told Lady Shaini then repeated for her reassurance, "I will let no one harm you." He left the room with an odd feeling. Regret. I wish to remain in her company.

A small huff of breath broke the silence following his exit. "Fascinating." Opening her trunks, Shaini assured herself that the contents remained intact, then a small laugh slipped from her mouth. The pirate had been in the room for all of 2 minutes…I thought he was concerned with what his crew thought of him.

JP by the Duchess and the Pirate…well he's half a pirate.

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/01-13-2009 01:38:24 PM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Deck 5 ::

“In addition, the remainder of the supplies we brought in from the Gamma quadrant will be offloaded to Deep Space Nine upon our arrival.” T’Landra kept pace with Nils as he stalked through the corridors. Her bi-weekly report had become something of a tradition between the two. Her attention to detail and his need to feel informed on everything occurring on the ship made for what some would qualify as a gossip session. Vulcans, however, did not gossip.

“So our bays will be empty once we’ve delivered the last of our cargo?” Often Nils asked questions for no other purpose than to probe how far her details actually could take them.

“Essentially,” she answered. Nils thought he had her, as he’d only just reviewed their cargo manifest less than two hours prior. But before he could gloat over his apparent victory she continued, “However, I do not classify supplies allocated for ship board use as cargo. We will still maintain standard minimum pars on all essential equipment and stores for our current crew capacity.”

Nils chuckled, having been foiled in his plan. “Good. Since the Bynars are leaving the ship I’d like you to put together a list of prospective officers to take their place.”

“The Bynars are exceedingly efficient,” the yeoman said in what amounted to Vulcan awe. “We will have a difficult time finding someone on board capable of maintaining the level of watchfulness that they applied to the position. I’ll review background and training for all officers ensign and higher and put together a…”

“Actually, I think I’d like to limit the options to cadets and junior officers,” Nils interrupted as they rounded a bend in the corridor. Captain Marc had given Nils his first Senior position as Chief of Operations when he’d only been on board Sentinel for a couple of months. Although, he hadn’t wanted or enjoyed the assignment at the outset, it turned out to be the best way to become intimately familiar with the full spectrum of shipboard activity. In many ways, his tenure as Sentinel’s Chief of Operations had been much better preparation for command than his years as Chief of Science both on Sentinel and Hawking. He intended to pass on and build upon that personal tradition.

“Aye, sir,” said T’Landra appearing unsure of the Captain’s reasoning. To her credit (and for once) she did not take counter point to his decision. She committed their conversation to memory and offered a serious nod. She never kept notes and she never seemed to need to.

“Also,” added the young CO as the door to the small gym swooshed open. They paused at the entrance and he continued his instructions. “Could you set up a meeting with Counselor T’Shaini for me?”

“I’ll talk to her department today,” answered T’Landra with a curt nod.

“Thank you,” Nils said as he turned to face his new adversary. Usher Tenanji stood in the gym like a warrior waiting for a challenge. And a challenge this would be. “Alright Lieutenant,” said Nils removing his jacket and pushing up his sleeves. “I’m tired of having the walls wiped with my face on every away mission. Impart your wisdom,” he added with a tight smile.

“It’s about time,” said the serious Security Chief in his cold hard baritone. “Let’s start with the basics…”

And a cameo by:

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/01-14-2009 08:28:57 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Anderson/Saunders Quarters::

Lying in bed, images of properly calibrated thermal detonators (never enable the trigger mech in temps above 38.89º C) faded beneath the remembered pressure of Ben’s lips over hers and the long, slow fall into the warmth of his presence. That warmth suffused her limbs, making them heavy until, finally, Jenny’s eyes closed and sleep well and truly blanketed her thoughts.

In dreams, he came for her, again. Taking her up in his arms he lay down yet more kisses, first over her eyes, then her neck and finally, most lingeringly, over her lips. Velvet-clad moments slipped away, and then so did Ben. His soft caresses and gentle murmurs disappeared, though her limbs remained heavy - too heavy to move. Then the arms which still held her turned rough and jostling and in moments she felt herself dropped, a piece of baggage, into a small, dark space. A hand, moist and overlarge clamped hard over her mouth and nose, stopping her breath. While Jenny’s mind screamed at her body to move, to fight, it remained as still as death and became cold as death, too, when the voice she’d thought gone forever came back to hiss, “Did you think I’d let anyone else touch you?” Chuck made a tsking sound as he leaned over the frozen, desperate girl. “No one else can have you, Jenny,” he said, removing the stifling hand to reach for the crate’s cover. Lowering it, closing her into the small, still dark, the Betazoid, who was dead, whispered, “Remember me…"

::Mess Hall - Deck 2::

“What are you doing here?” Harry and Jen greeted each other, in the quiet of the mid-Gamma shift mess.

“Couldn’t sleep,” the mutual reply bounced off the walls.

“Bad dreams?” the two asked, again, in synch.

Seconds ticked past…

“You owe me a coke,” they overlapped, which was, of course, the final straw.

Nerves and exhaustion gave way to mild hysteria and it was a chortling Harry who held up a hand in mock surrender, “You realize this means we’ve officially known each other too long.”

“If you listen to Mom, we knew each other too long by the time I was eight,” Jenny replied, pushing herself off the wall upon which she’d collapsed, giggling. Heading towards the replicators, the only source of post-midnight comfort, she slid a glance at her godfather, wondering.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” he said, reading her thoughts. “Coffee, hot,” he saw the expression on his goddaughter’s face, “decaffeinated.” Harry took his unleaded and stepped aside.

“Hot cocoa, Dutch, with marshmallows.” Despite her resolution, Jenny had found it too hard to live without her cocoa. If it was poisoned well, shoot, at least she’d be going out having some kind of fun.

The two settled near a port to watch the elongated lights of the stars marking the Hawking’s passage. Jenny wondered if those lights rippled in the wake of warped space. It wasn’t anything she’d ever wondered before. Post-midnight thoughts, she figured, to go along with the cocoa and Harry’s steady presence.

“It was Chuck,” she said, looking up at her second father, “shoving me back in the crate, telling me I wasn’t for anyone… for anyone but him.” She couldn’t prevent the shudder which accompanied the thought but Harry didn’t do anything but nod his understanding. He wasn’t one for coddling. “As much as I know he’s dead,” she admitted, “there are times when, I swear, he’s here, breathing down my neck, waiting for another chance…”

“I get that,” Harry replied. “And I bet Wendy will, too,” because of course Jenny would share this with the counselor. “It’s possible, you know, him being an uber-telepath… maybe he left a kind of, you know… post-hypnotic suggestion?”

Jenny almost choked on the chocolate, “Souvenirs from a psycho? Great… just… great.”

“You’ll handle it,” Harry assured, and meant it. “We’ll handle it.” While his own psyche was ridged with scars, many left deliberately, he dared to hope that Jenny’s spirit would make it through with less trauma. “You gonna tell Pierce?”

“Nope,” Jenny took another drink before setting the cup down and raising her eyes to Harry’s, “It would only hurt Ben and that’s exactly what Chuck would have wanted.”

Harry’s smile grew a couple millimeters at her display of grit, even though he knew that Pierce would probably rather be told… even if it did hurt. Gods knew Harry would prefer to know but… not his call. It was Jenny’s choice. She’d earned it and he refused to take that from her. Instead, “You know, your parents didn’t agree on a lot,” he said, “especially at the end. But there was one thing,” he realized that, finally, he was getting around to following Costala’s advice, “they were always proud of you,” he took refuge from her suddenly too-open expression by staring down into the pointless dregs of decaf, “and so am I.”

Another span of seconds slunk past.

“Thanks,” Jenny finally said, when she was sure they were both steady enough to speak. “But, hey, now it’s your turn. What woke you up?”

“The Staypuff Marshmallow Man.”

“Aww, c’mon, fair’s fair… you said you’d tell…”

“I know,” smiling into his cup, “And you fell for it…”

Jenny’s eyes narrowed. “I bet you’d tell T’Shaini…”

“Maybe… in a few months… or years… ” or never. The one thing Harry had never told anyone was what kind of images kept him up at night. “Besides, don’t you think I give Wendy enough fodder for a Section 8 as it is?”

Jenny let out a small chortle, “Poor T’Shaini… she must be worn out.”

“Ahhh, come on,” Harry leaned back and stretched out his legs, enjoying the moment, “think how bored she’d be, without us. And worse, think how much more neurotic this ship would be if we didn’t have her.”

“Truer words,” this time Jenny raised the toast. “To T’Shaini,” she said.

Clicking his mug to hers, “And her and Costala’s vacation,” he added, “may they come back well-rested.”

Then, again as one, “Cause we sure aren’t!”

Late Night with Harry Finn

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/01-14-2009 05:41:57 PM

Holodeck Tor2ga

Dinner was served on a table that was large enough for four but the captain and his captive were the only diners. The fare was surprisingly good, because Javier had found that keeping his crew well fed with better meals, ensured they fought better and could take larger prizes. There was broiled fish and roast chicken with vegetables brought from their last port of call. There was fine wine and a variety of fruit from the Isles. The meal was served on silver plates that were intricately decorated with Inca art. "Captured from a Spanish galleon of the Treasure Fleet," the pirate captain had remarked to the Duchess after he noticed her studying the crockery.

Javier had dressed for dinner, wearing a clean white, silk shirt with a navy trousers tucked into black calfskin boots. His jacket was also navy but decorated with gold thread and small gold buttons. His hair had been combed and tied back and his beard trimmed. The pirate could have been dining with the King himself, such was his state of dress. "My Lady, if I may be so bold," Javier asked once he had tired of the silence that had fallen over the table, "why did you leave Europe to come to the Isles and marry such a priggish bore like the Governor of Tortuga?"

Shaini brushed her skirts smooth, she had availed herself of the water provided, but there was no real way to change her clothing without assistance, and there was certainly no possible circumstance that she could imagine that would cause her seek assistance from…him. However she found herself vaguely uneasy in his clearly carefully groomed presence. I look as if I had been sleeping under the bed…in my clothes. Shaini thought wiith a nose wrinkle of distaste. Her accoutrement assessment was derailed by the rather impertinent question posed by her captor. "First of all, I do not see as how it is any of your business, but in defense of my betrothed I will tell you that in light of our correspondence, your description does not fit." Her chin tipped up, the better to look down her nose at him. "I have found his letters full of sage wisdom and logic, he is well read and erudite, a credit to his office."

"I see," the pirate captain replied as he stroked his goatee thoughtfully. "So it was an arranged marriage? Or is it merely a marriage of convenience..I can comprehend the need for one such as yourself to live the life you are accustomed to." Javier smiled beneath the cover of his hand as his fingers brushed over his mustache. "It is so very difficult to work," he added, his tone garnished with a hint of sarcasm. "Yes, I think I begin to understand your true reasons for marrying this bore who passes himself off in letters as a credit to his office."

Only the tapping of her nails on the table betrayed her annoyance. "Is it so hard to believe that I would be marrying him out of…interest?" She could not quite say 'love', they had never met, but they were compatible so love could grow. "And really, I believe marrying for love is an overrated virtue." One shoulder raised in a slight shrug. "Why not base it in similar likes and dislikes, it makes far more sense."

"It sounds as if it is more of an arrangement, a business partnership even," Javier commented as he took the bottle of wine and refilled her silver cup then his own. "What will happen if you arrive in Tortuga and find that his letters were false? Perhaps the governor is a wastrel and a whore-monger, or a drunkard and gambling fool who needs a wife, but only as a badge of his office. What then Duchess? You will not have love nor will you have compatible interests." And why do I care? I only seek payment for her return.

"Then I will leave…I am not without my own resources, and if I find that life untenable then I will not live it." How could she tell a perfect stranger that it was the adventure she sought far more than the connection he offered. For someone of her intelligence, a life as a 'Lady' was far too confining in her old world. In the colonies, life was new, people did not know her, she could break new ground, learn new things…things she would never be allowed to 'soil her hands with' under her father's watchful eye. She had avoided marriage far longer, long enough to be considered 'unmarriagable', which suited her fine. Better a spinster who could voice her own mind than forced into the role of simpering idiot to please someone else's expectations.

"Leave? And go where?" he asked suddenly. "The Isles are not a favorable climate to women." Javier raised his cup to his guest then drank deeply from it. He found himself intrigued by the lady's plans. It is almost as if she had planned for her marriage to fail and then go about her own devices. he thought. One of the crew came in and cleared the table, interrupting the conversation, Javier waited silently then once then man had left said, "Please continue," to the Duchess.

"I have intelligence, I have wealth, I know I am a woman, but I am certain that if the Governor and I do not reach an accord there will be something that I can build on my own." A small smile played about her mouth as Shaini contemplated a life without restrictions. "Even if I have to hire someone…someone male, to be the figurehead of whatever venture I chose, it will be well worth it." She shook off the reverie. "But why plan for something that is unlikely to happen, Henri and I have corresponded, his family is well known to mine and all reports are that he is quite admirable."

"Because he's a dog and villain!" Javier proclaimed as he thrust himself away from the table. "He extorts money from the honest and curries favor with the dishonest. I know I am a pirate but he himself could hold the title with ease," the captain thundered. Javier paced the small cabin like a caged tiger. "His family *pah* they know of how he might have been. I have no doubt he is in the good graces of the king and others, because they have no idea what sort of character he is.." His anger boiled up but was only allowed to escape in the form of whispered curses that subsided but left the pirate with a restless look in his eyes.

Shaini leaned back, wineglass in hand, to better enjoy the show. Her life was protected from so much, even from people that expressed themselves, that it was rare that she saw someone so passionate about..anything, really. "My keen intuition tells me that you are not fond of my betrothed, you really should learn to express your opinions, I am concerned that you will make yourself ill if you continue to bottle up your emotions this way."

He stared at the woman for a moment before allowing a smile to break on his features. "You are correct my Lady, I should give my passion free rein or it will be my undoing," Javier said as he approached Shaini. He took her cup and set it aside then in a quick move pulled her up into his arms. Javier pressed his mouth to hers, his lips finding her lovely mouth as he held her body close to his own. The kiss was fierce and passionate and his hands pressed her body even closer as the kiss deepened..

It took her by surprise, his speed landing her in his arms before she was even aware of what he was doing. I should slap him again. The first kiss on the deck was rough and unpleasant, this one was…different. So different that she did not even think to analyze the feelings it stirred within, she simply fell into the sensation. What am I doing? The moment she placed her hands on his chest and pressed away, the kiss was broken. Her breath was ragged as she looked at him. "What do you think you are doing?" It was difficult to summon a haughty tone, but she gave it her best shot.

"Releasing bottled up emotions," Javier answered before placing his hands on her upper arms and pulling Shaini back in, closer to him. This time his kiss was open so that the tip of his tongue could trace her lips.

She felt her head tip back, her lips part beneath his…it was almost as if her mind no longer had control over her body, this from the woman who would not let a prospective suitor place his hand on her back while dancing, was unfathomable. I know him, I trust him, I… "No." No matter how much her body may wish to argue, her mind wrest control of the situation once again. "Or perhaps it is just another liberty taken against the fiance of the Governor." Her voice was shaky, but at least it spoke the words intended.

"Or perhaps it is something that was meant to be," he said, his tone low and rough. Javier still held Lady Shaini and his next kisses were gently placed on her neck and cheeks. In his thoughts there were images of what they could do in his bed. These visions were so real and so appealing that the pirate captain found himself being drawn to the thoughts. His dagger slid into his left hand and he ran the blade beneath the laces of her dress, intent on aiding her in the removal of the corset which lay beneath. The edge of the blade caught one strand and cut it loose. The pop of taunt thread snapping caused him to press the blade higher, popping a second lace and then a third.

"You will cease that immediately. Her hand had snaked around and grasped his wrist. Her eyes, which had been closed to fully experience the sensation that arose, snapped open. Shaini still did not have control over the reactions of her body to this…stranger, but she certainly could pretend that she did.

The passage of his dagger ceased. "As my Lady requests," Javier answered, his hand opening to drop the dagger to the floor. The blade stuck in the wood of the deck, quivering as the tip imbedded itself in the deck planks. Javier's hand closed over Lady Shaini's and pivoted their bodies closer as his lips sought hers out once more. The tip of his tongue slipped into her warm mouth.She only said I should stop cutting open her dress. the pirate thought smuggly.

Dammit. Shaini had never sworn, not even in the privacy of her thoughts but this….this Pirate drove her to things she would not have believed possible, even if told mere minutes before. You could always look at it as yet another exploration… A voice inside her head suggested. Hush. Her free hand pressed against his chest and one quiet word was spoken. "Please."

The word, so softly spoken, penetrated his thoughts and Javier acquiesced. He released her hand and stepped back away from the woman. "I apologize.." Javier started to say, then stopped speaking and took a deep breath. Why does she affect me in this way? She is attractive and it has been a while since I was with a woman. he rationalized, I want her. The pirate retrieved his dagger from the deck, circling behind Lady Shaini so he could pluck the blade up. His eyes fell on the cut strands of her dress. Javier took the laces in his hands and began to re-tie them as best he could.

A frown creased her brow, she had been prepared…she had imagined having to push him away and retrieve the dagger, if she was unsuccessful in that she had planned trying to push the table over while she ran for the door…but this, this she had not prepared for.
"Thank you."

"I did not want you to think my thoughts were only of removing your clothing," Javier said as he finished with the laces.

"SAIL!! SAIL ON THE PORT HORIZON!!" a voice suddenly called out from the deck. The humor drained from Javier's features.

"Stay here," the pirate ordered sternly before leaving the cabin.

Shaini sat down and drank down the last of her wine, she was shaking and she had no idea if it was residual fear…or something else. "Well, you always said that nothing was more terrifying than boredom, God may be challenging that statement."

JP…are we starting to sound like Robin and Marion?

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/01-14-2009 11:27:04 PM

-Supply Bay-

"This is one part of the job that I didn't miss," Ben commented as he started another scan of what was left of the replicator that he and Fenton had disassembled. He tapped the touchscreen and changed the scan to a lower frequency. The engineers' shifts had started with minor repairs to some of the ship's crankier pieces of technology. Their current project was one that Supply used to replicate uniforms for the ship, however the uniforms it produced had begun to look like a drag queen's worst nightmare. After initial scans had failed to indicate a problem, BHP had suggested they break down the machine, removing the working parts to get to the source of the problem. Forty-five minutes and fourteen frequency scans later, the engineers had yet to identify the problem.

Fenton Boyce looked down at the multiple parts that were scattered about on the deck. "Taking it apart was kind of fun," the cadet admitted. "You can't always have a shipwreck, killer robots and an adventure with a hot…" Fenton looked up at BHP, the engineer was waiting for Fenton's next words with an odd look on his face. "Pocket." Boyce had been about to say 'a hot chick from security' but Jenny Anderson was more than some random chick with whom BHP had had a casual encounter. From the way Ben talked about her and the smile that lit up his face when Jenny was mentioned, Fenton knew that referring to her so casually would be a mistake. Then there was the fact that the junior crewmembers, especially those in Engineering and Security, were involved in the same social scene aboard the Hawking. The ties that bound the two groups were forged through various missions but also through friendships that transcended departmental boundaries.

"What's a hot pocket?" BHP asked Fenton before an alert from the tricorder drew his attention away. The tricorder had performed the scan and found nothing wrong with the replicator. Ben groaned and recalculated the scan parameters, punching the coding into the instrument with a couple of deliberate pokes of his index finger. Tricorders annoyed the Iotian, he found them to be too particular and he was more of a 'hands on' engineer than a tech nerd. With a jab of his finger, he started another scan of the skeletal remains of the replicator. "So what's this hot pocket?" he inquired for the second time.

"Those things Darby got Kal-El to know the..oh, that's was when you were back on the station," Fenton realized off-handedly, "It's meat and veggies wrapped up in some kind of pastry. It's disgusting. Tastes like cardboard." He hoped Pierce would be satisfied with the explanation and not press him for additional information. Hot pocket? That was kind of lame for the spur of the moment.

Pierce nodded, wondering what an adventure with a hot pocket meant. Maybe eating it is some kind of adventure? Although if it tastes like cardboard it can't be that great of an adventure, can it? The tricorder beeped. Ben glanced at the scan results. They listed the problem as: 'Unidentifiable.' Frustrated, he gave the replicator a kick. "Broken piece of shit." The machine vibrated violently, coughed and then dispensed a gaudy tie-dyed toboggan.

"Ah man," Fenton stated once he had stopped laughing, "I'm glad you finally got back to the ship."

"Yeah, I missed the Hawking," BHP admitted freely, then sighed and sat down on the deck beside the faulty replicator. For a time he forgot about repairs to the confused piece of tech. "I missed you's good to be back," Pierce stated hesitantly.

Fenton chuckled. "Try not to sound so excited." The tall cadet slid to the floor, sitting across from his friend. Fenton was aware that something had been on BHP's mind. He had noticed the subtle changes in the engineer's attitude. At first the cadet had chalked them up to getting back into the ship's routine, but after a couple of days Pierce was still restless. A nervous energy seemed to course through what had been one of the most cool-headed characters Boyce had known. "What's been eating you?" he asked.

"I'm bored Fen," Pierce explained with a shrug of his shoulders. "The routine..the job is no longer interesting. I began to notice it when I was away. On the Sagittarius they're all engineers, and I felt out of place. Maybe Engineering is not for me.." He leaned his head back against the wall.

"Engineering isn't for you?" Fenton looked at BHP incredulously. "What are you going to do? Transfer to another department? Which one? Science? Security?" He asked in disbelief. He had thrown the ideas out randomly but after he said the last option, BHP had smiled. "Security? Is this because of Jenny?"

"No, I don't think so." The smile had been for the remembrance of how good spending time with Jenny had made him feel. "Sure it would be grand to see her more often. She's been training non-stop and we barely have time to talk because of the shift rotations," Pierce replied. He paused and thought about all the events that had transpired since he had left the Hawking for Taylor-Kane. There was a span of time where neither man said anything. "I've thought about it, I've been thinking about it and I believe I can better serve the ship in the Security Department."

"No one's going to believe that.." Fenton remarked as he stood to his feet.

"Then I'll make them believe it," Ben resolved. "Can't be any harder than eating one of those hot pockets."

"I don't know," Boyce said with a look of digust, "They're pretty awful."

Still Waters

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