Repair And Renewal

Entering the gym, Jenny noted that, no, it wasn't as deserted as she'd thought it might be at this hour. Despite the random comments she'd picked up about Harry's haunting the place during the wee hours of Gamma shift because it was generally empty, there was a lone occupant, wreaking havoc on the heavy bag in the corner of the sparring room.

Well, trying to wreak havoc. Anderson winced as Dr. Munro began to throw a very muscular punch at the target, with her wrist bent at a bone-breaking angle, "Wait!" she yelled before the physician was required to heal herself.

Her knuckles had barely scrapped the surface of the bag when she suddenly jumped back, startled by the voice from across the room, she looked over and saw that it was Jenny. Letting out a sigh of relief, Jillian leaned forward, resting her hands on her knees as she caught her breath, "Jenny…you scared me."

"Likewise," the young woman exhaled before joining the doctor at the bag, "I'm so sorry but I was afraid you'd break your wrist with that punch.. you have to keep the fist in line with your forearm or else," she demonstrated the 'wrong way' in slo mo, allowing the bending that would occur, "see? You'd be hurting pretty bad if that was at full impact…"

Rubbing her right wrist with her left hand, she smiled, "You're right. I could have easily have damaged my radius or ulna bone…" She sat down on a chest-press bench and began to take off her gloves, "So, what bring you to the gym at this hour?"

Running a hand down the length of the bag, Jen shrugged, "Couldn't sleep," she offered a half smile, "you?"

She fell silent, lost in thought. It had been a week since she last spoke to Nils, and every reminder of him was becoming more and more painful to deal with, "…I just have a lot on my mind." Deciding to change the subject, Jillian turned her attention back Jen, hoping to purge Nils from her thoughts, "Are you waking up in the middle of the night? Or you just can't get to sleep at all?"

Right, this was a doctor she was talking to. Tossing a solid right cross at the bag, Jenny huffed out a breath, "Can't get to sleep," she admitted. "But it's not like, it's not a bad not sleep… I mean… I… ah…" the blush the blush the blush… could she just trade in her skin tone for something less unsubtle? "I've been distracted by…" she bit her lip and followed up with a left roundhouse, "I've been thinking of someone?"

Jillian looked up at the young woman, her casual punches at the bag, perfect form and relaxed - she wondered how to respond. She could see where this was going…it was about a boy. But not just any boy. Obviously, Jillian knew that Jenny was talking about the Captain, but she chose to feign ignorance. "Well, I know what that's like," she smiled warmly, "This someone must be pretty terrific to distract a girl of your focus." What a stupid thing to say, she thought to herself. Jillian reminded herself that she was a medical doctor, not a counselor. She would have given anything to have T'Shaini in the room.

"Well he's damn smart," reflecting on Nate's quick work in shutting down the murderous code Hawthorn… no, Janus… had set loose on the Hawking. Unfortunately, as always, that reminded her of Hawthorn's body, there in the room, and T'Shaini, bloody and broken and Harry…

Harry who'd left the ship pretty much the second they'd arrived in the Kendrassi system. Which in a way made things easier on the whole, seeing the captain front. Of course, everyone had been so busy over the past week that she hadn't once actually seen him, or had the chance to revisit the proposition she'd made in the aftermath of that horrible day. And in that time she was starting to have second thoughts. Then third thoughts… and fourth ones, come to that.

"Crap," she kicked the bag once, hard, before joining Dr. Munro on the nearby bench. "I don't suppose you remember… I mean, I'm sure you do remember but, do you… the first guy who was that… terrific… was it… how…"

Jillian chuckled, she slapped her towel across her left shoulder and looked up at the ceiling, "Well…let's see." A smile flashed across the doctor's face as she began to reminisce, "His name was Scott, and I met him at the academy. He was a…." her voice lowered, "…science student. He was brilliant and absolutely beautiful!" Suddenly wondering why she was telling someone, who could be considered an acquaintance, about her first time, she paused, "…wait…why do you ask?"

Oh, no reason, she thought, "I've never…" she let the sentence hang, noose like as the realization dawned on the doctor'sf face. Then, "And you know, I fell off this big ass boulder back home, in Boulder, heh, when I was 14 and broke my leg… and that hurt a lot. And then, hey, just got poisoned last week and that was pretty intense but, somehow, this is worse. It's something I want but I'm really, I don't know if it's right but I think he's right but even then…" stop, breathe, continue, "I'm sorry. You're off duty, too. I probably should leave you to beat up the bag some more," she finished, starting to rise.

Jillian rested a hand on the girls shoulder and pulled her back down on the bench, "No…please…stay." Having grown up with no family, Jillian knew what it was like to want to talk to someone. Someone older. Someone who would really take the time to listen. Suddenly she wanted to be that person for this girl, "This is important. It's a big deal…do you want to talk about it?" She asked as softly as she could.

"It is?" Jen, who spent so many hours in the mindset of a security officer, sometimes had trouble recognizing the legitimacy of her feelings, "I mean… yes… it is." Looking more closely at the woman next to her she saw not just polite kindness but real, honest caring. "Yes, please," she affirmed, "but I don't even know what to say," she felt a small grin tugging at her cheeks, "obviously."

Jillian turned to face Jen, straddling the bench, "So, I'm going to be completely honest with you, okay?"

Jenny nodded.

"The thing is, Jen. If you over analyze it, you're never really going to know if it's the "right" time. Your thoughts will become too clinical. Trust me on this…I must have been the most anal retentive medical student at the academy," she said while rolling her eyes, "The more questions you ask yourself, the more confusion you're going to feel."

Jen's blush made an encore performance as she realized she'd been mentally rehashing the 'mechanics' ad nauseum in her head for days. "If I were any more confused I'd be walking backwards," she confessed. "But, okay, if there's not a right time, do you think I'd know if this were the wrong one?"

Jillian smiled, "I think that you're the only one that can answer that. I think it really comes down to your relationship with be-n….Men! With men. The stronger your relationship is, the better things will be in bed." Jillian knew she wasn't talking like a counselor, but she wasn't going to try either, "And we're not just talking lust here. If you're affectionate, can talk to each other, are able to confide hopes and dreams, then things will go better in bed. This isn't just a romantic ideal - it's a practicality. The more you know each other, the more comfortable you'll be."

Which brought the second, third and fourth thoughts back to mind. Jenny stared down at the bench and realized that, at the moment she'd made this desperate overture to Nate, she'd been running from all the death they'd brushed against that day. "Okay," she said, aloud, "I think… I think what all this means is… more time might be better." She looked back up, "If I don't go critical, anyway," she admitted with a grimace. "After all, there's only so much energy one can expend on beating up gym equipment."

"And Jenny…" Jillian added.


"When and if you decide you're ready….please remember to use protection." She said with a wink.

The blush went defcon 1.

A joint-post by Jenny and Jills

Originally Posted 3-21-2008 by Jillian Munro

USS Hawking
Main Security Office

On the desk the dagger lay: an innocuous thing, not over-large, not over-decorated, simple and worn and…

“I don’t know if I can keep it…” PO3 Edded Towak sat, staring at the object to which so much grief had been ascribed. So much death. Death that might not…

“Do not believe it is the knife which is at fault,” Lieutenant Usher Tenanji told the sorrowful Bajoran. “If your dagger had not been present to be stolen, Janus would have found another way. She had no choice in the matter, her programming forced her to kill…”

“Maybe,” Towak looked across the desk to the security officer, “maybe not, or not so many, or not in… the same way.” He looked back at the knife. It was, in truth, the only part of his father remaining to him. Edded Varis had been a good man trying to keep his family safe in a hard place. He’d used the blade in violence, true but only once, in the most extreme circumstances and to protect his family.

Varis had passed the weapon to his son in a time of war, as he lay dying and Towak had since kept it close, kept it secret, until one stupidly drunken moment, after surviving the horrors of another reality he’d brought it forth in anger and Harry Finn had taken it from him.

And then Janus had taken it from Harry Finn.

And Dana Grissom had died. Lieutenant Tenanji and Counselor T’Shaini had come close to dying and then, then Janus had died by the same blade she'd wielded and thereby Lieutenant Hawthorn had also died…

“I don’t know…” he said again, “I don’t want to lose what it meant, those memories of my father but, after all this…”

“Keep the object,” a deep voice from the doorway pulled both men’s attention from the desk to see PO1 Govan of Cardassia V watching them with his dark, dark eyes. “Keep the object but change it’s nature,” he said. “The blade is metal, it can be smelted down, re-formed… you shouldn’t lose the memories… any of them…but you can give your father’s gift a new life.” Looking past the startled Bajoran, he addressed Tenanji, “Sir, a full diagnostic revealed the interruption in the upper strip's cycling is still occurring. Ensign’s T’Preen and Gorsky have been made aware of the problem and, with your permission, I can take an extra shift to work through the issue with them.

“Granted,” Tenanji said, though we was also watching Mr. Edded’s reaction to the Cardassian’s suggestion.

“Forgive me,” Towak was rising as Govan turned to leave, “But you sound as if you have experience with… ahh…”

Govan faced the Bajoran and withdrew a small pendant from beneath his uniform, “This was once part of… something else,” he explained, “which belonged to my father.”

“And you wish to remember him…”

“In a way,” Zal Govan responded as he moved back towards the door, “I keep this to remind myself of what he was, and what I choose not to be.”

Post featuring NPC's PO3 Edded Towak, Lieutenant Usher Tenanji and PO1 Zal Govan

Originally Posted 3-23-2008 by Harry Finn

"We have been assigned to a ship of the dead," Rok'h muttered not quite quietly as he and his twin, Koll, settled to a table, plates heaped with fresh-made gagh (with banana cream pie for dessert).

"Now everyone, we talked about touching things during the field trip." Since Katie was disinclined to bring her students down to the Outpost without more supervision (and everyone who could had bolted off the ship…no wonder) she had decided a pseudo trip to the kitchens might be fun. DeMarcus Green had promised to bake cookies with them…it was likely to be messy and uncontrollable, but they deserved a break.

"You have heard the reports on recent events," Koll spread out his meal, accidentally jostling a Human, "Sorry. But it is true… this ship has the feel of an ak'voh." He dug into his gagh and, over a mouthful, "What this crew needs is a good battle… to put some fire in their bellies!"

"May your words reach Kahless," Rak'h agreed, waving his fork about with enough vigor to send a gob of gagh flying over his brother's head.

"…and when Mr. Green says…aaaaaaahhhhhhh." Mid explanation of the rules Katie felt something wet and gluey thwak and slide down her cheek. Simultaneously she wiped the offending goo from her cheek, searched for the perpetrator, and attempted to calm down her charges who had dropped to the floor in paroxysms of laughter. Great, out of control before we even start.

"HEY!" Joseph Bramley rose from where he'd been sitting, directly under the arc of the offending gagh. "Watch where you sling your food, newbie!"

Rok'h, halfway up in his own seat with an apology on his lips, sneered at the Human, "Who are you calling 'newbie'?" he asked.

Koll turned to see the angry medic turning an interesting shade of red, "I think the pretty Human did," he burped, loudly.

Oh nooooo… Not able to step away, Katie raised her voice and put in that 'mommy tone'. "Gentlemen, please lets all behave ourselves and set a good example…" Unfortunately she put the hand she had used to wipe her cheek on Samuel Cho's head to illustrate her point.

"UUUUGGGHHH, ugh, ugh, UGH!" Sam began to writhe and fall to the floor. "ITS POISON."

"Who are you calling pretty?" Joe moved closer to the now-bristling Klingon's, completely oblivious to either Katie's pleas or Sam's 'death throe's'. "Wait a minute, I am pretty.. but that's not the point…" he got right up into Tweedledee's face while Tweedledum leaned forward over the table, "You need to be more careful with that crap you call food…"

"No," Koll, nearest to Bramley contradicted and jerking at thumb over his shoulder at his brother, "HE needs to be more careful… and YOU need to learn some respect…" he turned away from the Human to give his brother a nod and lift his own plate of the 'crap' he called food.

"Mommy, is Sam dying?"

"No honey Sam is not dying…" Katie turned from her son to the boy on the floor…who was clearly enjoying himself and hissed through her teeth. "but he will be soon if he does not get up and behave."

While Katie was messing around with the younger kids, Anthony had leaned against a table watching the chaos…better than a stupid fieldtrip anyways. Glancing down he saw a bowl…with something green it in…that was either melting or something some freak would eat. With a nasty little smile tugging the corners of his mouth he slid his fingers underneath and flipped it in the air…just to see how far it would fly.

It was the stuff of legends. As Koll was turning to once again face the offending Human, gagh in hand, a glop of green goo hit the young Klingon crewman square in the kisser.

The entire room inhaled.

Originally Posted 3-23-2008 by T'Shaini

Eli scooped a stray glob of the slimy substance off his mother's cheek. It was slippery and had a funny smell. He showed it to Kadence and they giggled at the way it wobbled and slid around in his hand.

"It's icky," Eli proclaimed.

He tried to pass the gloop to Kadence but she shook her head, at first refusing the slime, then gave in to curiosity and allowed Eli to smear it on her hand. They shared another giggle before a roar caused them to jump and look towards the one that had made the frightful sound..

"Who dares to dishonor a warrior by flinging food in his face?" a large man with sharp teeth and a lot of small wings on his gloop covered head demanded. The huge person, possibly a Cling-on, scanned the room until his eyes came to rest on Eli and Kadence, both of whom had the slime of guilt on their hands. Eli shook his head, then found his voice.

"We didn't do it, Mister Cling-on." He felt Kadence take his hand and their fingers squelched together with a noise that made him giggle again. Then he stopped, remembering what his mother had told him: it wasn't polite to giggle when someone was trying to tell you something.

"So young humans are taught no respect for their.." the Cling-on started to say when a hamburger bounced off the side of his head. The burger was followed by french fries and then someone yelled 'Food fight!' and the Cling-ons got the message. All sorts of food went flying through the air. Suddenly the Cling-on ducked a bowl of custard that slopped its contents on Eli and Kadence as it flew by. Kadence giggled as Eli reached up and began to smear the custard into his hair.

Originally Posted 3-25-2008 by Javier Costala

  • This Post takes place before Admiral Khouri's last post.*

.: U.S.S. Hawking | Captain's Ready Room :.

… gave his life in the defense of his shipmates, and the performance of his duties. Ajani's ever present smile and helpful nature will leave a lasting legacy with those he served with in engineering and with the Hawking's entire crew. He was an outstanding officer and maybe more importantly, a great man. I can't say or do anything that will take away your sorrow, or bring back your son. I don't have any words to relate to you the great pride I feel at having being Ajani's commanding officer. Thank you for sharing your son with us for the short time that we had the honor of knowing him.

Respectfully and sincerely yours,
Nathan R. Benjamin, Captain, USS Hawking

That was the last one.

Nathan had put off writing the families of the Hawking's fallen until the ship was in dock at Jericho Samaria. He'd spent most of the day shut up in his ready room writing what amounted to hollow praises to sons and daughters who's families had been suddenly deprived of the very person that he was building up. But it was tradition for the captain of the ship to write those letters. Since wooden sailing ships, commanding officers in all walks of military life had been telling grieving families what a hero their lost loved on was. But it was over now. And that meant that a whole nother stack of padds required his attention. Casting aside the completed letter, Nathan picked up another padd.

The heading on the front was benign enough.

Personnel Report.

Pressing onward, the Padd grew malignant.

U.S.S. Hawking NCC-30938
Crew Departures

Commander Caius Echelon - Reassigned
Lieutenant J.G. Hano Nevin - Reassigned
Ensign T'Maekh Khev - Reassigned

He didn't bother reading the additions. There were quite a few of those thankfully, which would alleviate the strain on engineering and security, and give the medical department some flexibility when making their schedules. But losing two people from the senior staff would be a big hit. Nathan would need an XO now, as well as a chief of operations. During the year that he'd commanded the Hawking, she'd gone through three XOs. Only one of whom had left for his own command. And it wasn't as though good XOs grew on trees around here either. Megiddo's enlistments, as well as the influx of new officers had slowed to a trickle int he past few months. And even though it was Nathan's custom to choose from within, that still meant finind another officer to replace the person promoted to XO. It was a grueling process. As the young commander tossed the offensive padd aside and reached for another, his com badge chirped from the desk beside him. He reached over absently and tapped it.

=/\= Benjamin =/\= He said; his eyes affixed to the next pad entitled, [[Ship Repairs]].

=/\= Sir, I've got two exchange officers down here in Transporter room one that say they're supposed to meet you… I think. =/\=

=/\= Exchange officers? =/\= Nathan responded, castuing the ship repairs padd aside and rummaging through several others to find the offensive padd that he'd been reading moments ago. =/\= Fine.. uhh…Have someone bring them up here. Benjamin out. =/\=

The line went dead as Nathan's warm grey eyes devoured the contents of the discarded padd. Apparantly, in addition to getting a score of new people, they'd also be getting exchange officers from all over the Alpha quadrant. Bynauras, Qo'Nos, and several other powers had allocated officers and enlisted men alike. Of course, having been out of contact and behind on admin work, this had slipped his radar.

*Ten minutes later*

Crewman Jenny Anderson stood in the turbolift, wishing there were someplace to look as her two charges, just arrived, 'chatted' amongst themselves. That their chat consisted of a kind of high-pitched whine that made the back of her neck shrink only made the trip to the bridge seem that much longer.

When there was a sudden break in the conversation, Jenny jumped a bit and looked down at the pair. "Forgive my asking, Sub-lieutenant's" she said before she could think, "but, are you always addressed by your full number, or… do you allow folks to just use your last… digits?" Oh, God, what did I just say?

Identical blinks told her about all she needed to know on that front but, thank all the gods and prophets, the doors opened on the bridge. "Sirs, this way, please," she said, gathering her shredded dignity and escorting to the two newest members of the Hawking to the captain's ready room as if she actually knew what she was doing.

As they approached the ready room doors, she responded to the greeting from Ensign Peress and hit the door's chime with a bit too much energy. She had also just realized it had been a very long time since she'd seen her captain as anything other than a blur in the corridors. Eeeep.

"S'Open" Came the muffled reply from inside the ready room as the doors hissed open. Nathan stood from his desk and walked around it, reaching out to shake hands with the Bynars.

"Welcome to the Hawking." He said formally, stealing a glance at Jenny. The Binars shook his hand in turn and before he could say anything to Jenny, began their own introductions at breakneck speed.

"Greetings Captain Benjamin We're…"

"…Happy to be members of the Hawking's crew. I am One Zero Zero One One Zero and this is…"

"One Zero Zero One One One." the Slightly shorter of the two finished. "We are very interested in your…."

"… Bio Neural Gel technology."

"Oh.. Right well, you'll be able to study it as much as you want." Nathan informed the eager little pair, leaning back against the big oak topped desk. "I've just been told that our ops guy is reassigned, so I thought you two could take his spot."

"We do not comprehend…"

"…your speech patterns."

His hand found a much shorter mane to run through as he rubbed the back of his head in a very familiar gesture to the crimson haired girl in front of him. "Umm.. Hawking's Operations Chief has been re-assigned. So… I'm giving his job to you."

"That is…"

"…most agreeable to us."

"Thank you Captain." the shorter of the two, the apparant closer, nodded dutifully. "We will…"

"…execute that programming according to your design."

Nathan grinned crookedly as he stole another look over at Jenny, who by this time was battling a laugh. "Awesome. I think." He shrugged.

"Your vernacular…"

"… is unique, if we may say…"

"Captain. And, Crewman…

Jenny came to quick attention as One Zero Zero One One One… or was it Zero? turned towards her.

"… we may be addressed by our final three digits, in the interests of…"

"…saving time." Four dark eyes returned to the Captain, "Captain Benjamin, may we…"

"… make use of the Hawkings LCARS…"

"… to familiarize ourselves…"

"… with our new…"

"… duties?"

Jen didn't know about Nate, but she was getting dizzy.

"Oh Yeah. If you need anything, just use your com badge and call me up. Or just ask around. Everyone's real helpful." They were about to leave. He remained stationary as the two spoke amongst themselves for the time it took him to blink, and were gone. As the doors closed behind the diminutive Operations officers, Nathan met Jenny's eyes.

"So what's up Crewman Hotness?" He said, unable to keep the goofy grin away. "How's life?"

"Don't call me that," she told him, her smile genuine but her words direct, "Unless you really want the term 'Captain Awesome' to start making the rounds below decks?" She placed a hand on her hip, contemplating the teen, whom, last time she'd seen him, had been grubby, depressed and much, much shaggier. "You cut your hair," she observed.

"Ahh.. Yeah.." He mussed his hair. when it stayed pretty much in place, the young officer shrugged. "So it doesn't get all messed up all the time. I'm supposed to look "Captainy" or something."

"It looks good," she eased from one foot to the other, "I mean, kind of older but… good… look…" she jumped topics like a grasshopper… "about that.. thing we were talking about? Right after… ah…."

YES! Elation lasted all of about a second and a half. Until awkwardness came, whooped it's ass and started running the show; like it always did in situations like this. "Umm.. Yeah.?" He ventured warily. " I was thinking about that too. I know the situation was all messed up and we were both coming off some pretty intense stuff so.. I mean.. I understand it you're having second thoughts and stuff." Stupid

"Oh, thank God," Jen's hand settled over her racing heart… "I mean, not… you know that I don't like, ever but, since then, well… there was all the getting the ship kind of back to normal and then Harry left and somehow, when he left… like I know he was a major pain about… umm… us but without the roadblock I started to think and what I ended up thinking was… I'd like to know your favorite color…" Ramble much? She wondered if she'd just ruined any chance the two of them had to be… well, anything…

Sweet! "Blue." He said simply. "….and I want to know if you like baseball."

"I don't know," she responded, her heart doing a funny little thing, "but I was good at catch, when I was a kid… switch pitcher. Favorite band?"

"Tough one." Nathan replied, sitting back onto his desk. "There's so many… Klingon Pacifist Movement.. off the top of my head. That's who I'm listening to now anyway." He was about to ask something else entirely when her words finally registered.

"Wait." He perked up. "Where did Harry go?"

Jenny had been about to bust into raptures over Krelax, KPM's lead guitar when Nate's question threw her. "I… he… I mean… you didn't… he…" stop, breathe, continue "He resigned… I mean, I think… I know he's left the ship already and… oh boy."

"He huh?" Nathan sputtered.. "Resigned? I never got a freakin padd. He never told ME that shit!" The teen, moments removed from the bliss of socializing was ripped back into captain mode. "he reached back and slammed his hand down on that little delta lying next to his terminal.

=/\= Benjamin to Tenanji and T'Shiani. Come to my ready room. =/\= He sat back up, looking at Jenny. "He went to find Acker didn't he?"

"What do you think?" she asked, suddenly defensive of her godfather. "God, Nate, what else could he do? If he stayed, all this," she gestured to include the entire, broken down Hawking, "It could happen again. Someone has to stop this guy. Hell, if he'd have let me, I would have gone, too…"

"So.. you'd have just packed up and left like Harry? No goodbye? No.. "Oh hey Nate.. I'm off to get the bad guy with Uncle Harry." Cause I have to tell you, that's bullshit. And if that's the way things are then… " He was shocked. Not hurt really, just taken aback. Here was Harry, whom Nathan at best thought dependable. It turns out he wasn't. And now Jenny defended him? Even said she'd have gone too? And what about them.

"I… just… what?" This was going so far south they were headed north, "I would have said goodbye… I would have asked for an extended leave! And he DID say something, okay, maybe not in person but I know he sent a formal resignation in, he told me he did… and what the hell else did you expect from him? He thinks he as good as killed four people, just by being here. He didn't, but he thinks that way and so, what, you think we should all just go on like nothing ever happened? Like it's okay for this targ turd on the butt of the universe to do what he did to Hawthorn and get away with it? 'Cause I didn't think you'd be…"

"I didn't say that!" Nathan shot back, coming off the desk. "But he didn't need to go out by himself. What if he gets himself killed? That's another good person dead. And for what? Nothing! He could have used some help. There's loads of people on this ship that could help him. Just like with Vanona. But Harry didn't learn anything from that did he?"

"OH!" Later on she'd be horrified at the girly sound that escaped from her lips but for now, "That is so not true. He had tons of help… he had Lieutenant Torrik helping him and then Torrik almost got killed for it, and then, if Lieutenant Grissom hadn't been helping Ensign Gorsky who was helping Harry, she wouldn't have been in that lab… see? See? People help him and they die…" forgetting that two seconds ago she'd been on the 'Help Harry' bandwagon.

Nathan rolled his eyes. "I know people were helping him. And that's what I meant. People helped him. and yeah.. people died. but it wasn't his fault. He didn't kill them. But a few people die and he gets all crazy and goes off on this solo save the world campaign. I'm saying, he could have come to me. He could have let us help him catch Acker. but he didn't. I'ts like. "Thanks guys… now screw off, I don't need you anymore." Nathan's frustration was at it's peak. "But you know what. Whatever. If that's how it is, then he can have it. We'll just pick up someone else and move on with it if he's gotta do it by himself." [i]And there was yet another position to fill. The day just kept improving. Come to think of it.. Cay hadn't said anything to him either. Nathan wondered if he was still even aboard."

"Well, Sir, I guess that's how it is," Jenny shut down hard on the pain. She'd just gotten used to the loss of Harry, and now… "Permission to return to my station?" Cause, really, what else was left to say? "He only wanted to keep us all safe. " That. There was that left to say.

Ohh.. the old rank ploy… well played miss. "Yeah… Fine." Nathan countered as he turned to go back to his desk. "I'll just be in here all freakin day looking for a new chief of security… and a new XO… and whoever else decides to leave the god damned ship if it pleases them!"

But Jenny had already begun to leave, storming out before he finished, terrified that, if she remained one more second, she'd be guilty of assaulting a superior officer.

It was a good thing that Jenny had made her way out the door and they shut quickly behind her. Had the doors been a hair slower, the personnel padd would have cracked the back of her skull on the way out.

In the "blue" corner… Captain Awesome, and in the "Red" corner… a fiesty Vixen named Crewman Hotness.
Originally Posted 3-26-2008 by Nathan Benjamin

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Holodeck 1 ::

Ancient ruins spread out far to the east and west. Fallen pillars and cracked walkways decorated the landscape directly ahead. Forgotten Bajoran pictographs adorned all of the walls.

Nils delicately picked his way through the ruins of B’halla taking it in for the very first time. A sense of awe and reverence overcame him as he surveyed the long buried holy place of Bajor. Having shunned his religion for most of his life, he’d never made a pilgrimage to the site on his home world. He felt a sense of grief that his first time visiting the city was only a holographic copy.

The grinding moan of the holodeck doors screeched around the dusty ruins. Nils shook himself from his reverie and turned to meet the person entering the holodeck. He hadn’t scheduled this session and felt sure he was infringing on someone else’s time.

“Hello,” called a voice from behind one of the intact pillars. “Who’s in here?”

“I am,” called Torrik making his way to the exit. “I’ll get out of your way…”

A Bajoran man Nils had never met emerged from the ruins and approached the Chief of Science with a smile. “Lieutenant! I didn’t know you were interested in B’halla!”

“Yes,” replied Nils, feeling slightly embarrassed. “But this isn’t my program. I found it when I was processing some data retrieval we lost during the sabotage. ‘B’halla Ruins’ was too fascinating a title for me not to have a look.” He tried to smile, but he knew it looked more like a grimace.

“I noticed it was running,” the Bajoran man said kindly. “Bayal Paven,” he said reaching out his hand.

Nils took Bayal’s hand and shook it vigorously. “This is your program? I apologize for the intrusion. I was…”

“No need to apologize, Lieutenant! I’m glad someone else on board is interested. Have you seen the ruins in person?” Bayal couldn’t have been more friendly.

“Ummm…no! I never had the chance.” Nils consciously eased towards the exit, ready to end the discussion. Despite his newfound “enlightenment,” he still had no need for meaningless personal chatter.

“These photons and force fields don’t do it justice,” Bayal said gesturing to the room around them. “The actual site is overwhelming. You can sense the presence of the Prophets like no other place on Bajor…”

“I’ll make sure to visit when we’re back through the Celestial Temple,” Nils said still inching his way to the door.

Bayal turned suddenly with a curious expression. “The Celestial Temple? I was lead to believe you were not a follower of the Prophets. I mean, rumor below decks is that…” He cut himself off with a smile. “That’s what I get for listening to rumors, huh?”

“Well,” Nils shrugged with a noncommittal air. This conversation was going in a direction he was not comfortable with.

“A few of the Bajorans on board get together weekly for services,” he said stepping towards the scientist. “You should join us!”

“I might just,” Nils said finally at a place where he felt it appropriate to turn and flee. “My duties keep me pretty busy, though, so we’ll have to see….” At that point he waved to the man and turned to leave.

“I understand,” called Bayal. “I’m sure it’s difficult to be a section chief and regular service attendee. But no one says you can’t be both.”

Nils froze midstep. “What did you just say?”

Bayal smiled innocently. “I said you can be both.”

Be both… The Emissary’s words echoed through Nils’ head. Slowly he turned to face the man he’d just met. His eyes narrowed suspiciously and he took a small step forward.

“When do you hold service?”

“Well there is no temple on board, of course, but we meet in the crew lounge the first day of the duty week. I’ll send you a communiqué if you’re interested.” Bayal clearly had no idea his words had impacted Nils at all.

Nils nodded. “We’ll see…” He eyed the man warily and backed out of the holodeck. “Thanks for letting me have a look at your program.” And with that, he gave the man one final wave and departed.

Featuring NPC: Bayal Paven

Orginally Posted 3-26-2008 by Torrik Nils

Meanwhile, back in the Mess….

Bramley, no stranger to the battle of victuals, had managed to duck under the table before the young Klingon had turned around, which was good, ‘cause the poor schmuck had ended up with a face full of, it looked like, J.J. Mayweather's burger which had probably been meant for Bramley because J.J. had lost BAD to Joseph during their last poker night.

There was some to do about 'respect' followed by high-pitched giggles but by then Joe was three tables away, listening to a round of 'This is the best field trip ever,' and surfacing long enough to see Mil Zen, in all his blue glory, jumping to the top of a table and shouting "FREEEEDOM!!!" as a plate full of newly replicated spaghetti dribbled down his front.

"Good one," Bramley admitted before dodging some hastily tossed salad and diving back to his original route. He needed to get to the replicators…

Within moments Katie was covered head to toe in a multitude of schmutz, the children running wild with fistfuls of some gelatinous substance, and no hope of help in sight. I thought they needed some sort of release… Overwhelmed, Katie finally shrugged to herself. "If you can't beat em, JOIN EM!" With that as her battle cry she scooped up Eli and stood him on a table so he had a better view and grabbed a handful of whatever it was that was covering her shoe and flung it…not at anyone, that would be mean, but just OUT.

"Make a hole!" Bramley dove for the nearest replicator, where there was a crowd jostling for the best foodstuffs… "Make a freakin' hole, already," he shoved, elbowed and grinned his way to the front, "There's only one requisite item in any legitimate food fight," he explained to the complaining horde, "Computer, we need…" he did a quick local head-count, "thirteen coconut creme pies… extra merangue…"

"Fourteen!" Drelan had, as always, somehow escaped notice.

As pies started to appear, hands grabbed and Team Bramley began to diperse, looking for likely, as yet un-gunked targets. Joe, handing out ammo, got a nudge from his spidey sense and dove behind the bulk of Warof, who growled and stepped away, but not before being slapped with what may well have been the original gagh. "Heh, sorry," Joe handed Warof a pie with a chagrined grin, "instinct."

Warof accepted the pie, grinned back and (of course) gave it right back to Joe… in the face. "Sorry," the massive Klingon pilot said, taking another pie from the whirring replicator, "instinct."

Temporarily blinded, Anthony scraped the crap that was gluing his eyes shut off. Once he could pry his eyes open, they opened even further to see the dumbfounded expression on his assailants face. "DAMN Miss Katie…you got an arm like Lipinksi."

I fought the food and the food won…
Originally Posted 3-27-2008 by Harry Finn

Anthony hated the transporter beam, it buzzed, sizzled, most of the things he didn't enjoy. The mind boggling thought of him splitting into a quantum package passed his mind, and then, he arrived.

Standing on the transporter pad he gave a deep sigh, stretching his limbs, he strolled from the pad, wondered down the corridor to the open spaces of Jericho -Samaria.
Anthony Tran you are to report to the hawking ASAP Rang the words of the desk accountant, Starfleet had a way of being over zealous. His time off ended at 0 Hundred hours, he reported in to Starfleet command 5 minutes late, and they threw a tantrum over him. Although everyone was fine with him being "five minutes late", that if he was, five minutes couldn't have been much.

Anthony mingled his way through the crowd, stopping a a replicator and ordering a box of KFC wings, something he hadn't done in a long, long time.

Strolling casually aboared the Hawking he preceded to go find the Captain, or Harry atleast to notify that he had arrived, whether he was on the ship or not was not up to him to know.
Originally Posted 3-28-2008 by Anthony Trann

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Stellar Cartography ::


Nils jogged into the Cartography Lab only to be stopped dead in his tracks by the sight before him. Lincoln and Alex Gorsky sat, reclined legs up on the console, smoking cigars. He stood stock still with a pained and confused expression on his face trying to sort through the image.

“Heya, Nilsyboy,” Lincoln said somberly. He waved his section chief over saying, “Come on in and pull up a chair. Roboboy and I are taking a break.”

Alex choked and a puff of dark smoke swirled from his lips. “My first time,” he croaked sporting an expression that looked like he’d licked the bottom of a Targ’s paw.

The Chief of Science stepped cautiously forward. To his knowledge, the two men despised each other. In fact, at last report Lincoln had attacked Alex in a grief driven rage. Both of the men had loved Dana Grissom.

“Be careful,” Nils commented, putting his hand on the Gorsky’s shoulder. “Mr. Purcell’s cigars should not be smoke without due caution. I feel relatively certain their illegal in Federation space.”

“They should be…” Gorsky struggled to get out.

“Nah,” Lincoln called out, clapping Gorsky hard on his other shoulder. “He can take it.” A long pause belied the anguish beneath his cheer. “We deserve it,” he finished quietly.

Understanding worked its way through to Nils. He was after all, no counselor. Perhaps T’Shaini could have diagnosed the men’s behavior upon entering. But the Bajoran was no examiner of motivation.

But finally he did understand. The two scientists, after recovering from the shock of Dana’s death, had found some sort of camaraderie in their shared loss. Despite the competition and malice that marked their relationship prior, they’d found common ground in grief. Only the other could truly understand the pain they were experiencing respectively, and that understanding had somehow bonded them.

“I feel left out,” Nils joked uncharacteristically. Something about the moment seemed sacred and he felt it deserved more than his usual stoicism. “This is usually Lincoln and my custom.”

“On by all means, Chief,” Gorsky started trying to hand over his cigar.

“Don’t call me…” Nils caught himself and smiled. “I mean…” He eased Alex back into his seat. “Enjoy it. You’re welcome to our club.” The men shared a few moments of silence, understanding it was all for a lost crewmember, friend, and in some cases…more than that.

“I actually came in to review repair progress,” the Science Chief said quietly, returning to duty. “The sensor grid is still a mess and word is repairs all over the ship are slower than anticipated.”

“Sorry,” Alex said. “Huey did quite a number where I set him loose. We were just getting astrometrics back on line before we… Well, it should be up today. I think routing it back through the main grid is going to be tricky though. Systems are fried…”

“We’ll get it fixed,” Lincoln said somberly, still staring into space.

Nils nodded and took a step closer to his friend. “Keep me apprised.” He put a hand on Lincoln’s arm and nudged him a little. Lincoln finally broke his apparent catatonics and looked up. “Keep me apprised,” Nils repeated more kindly and with a new meaning. Lincoln’s pain was fully apparent.

Lincoln inclined his head gently in affirmation and put out his cigar on the heel of his boot. “C’mon kid, let’s get this up and running. Ship’s not going to repair itself.”

“Sure,” Alex coughed in relief, tossing his cigar away enthusiastically.

Nils watched a moment as the two scientists began work in earnest - commiserating in duty together. Then he carried on to his next task…

Post Featuring NPC's:
Originally Posted 3-28-2008 by Torrik Nils

.: U.S.S. Hawking | Gymnasium :.

"And then… THEN, she totally just.. stormed out of there."

Nathan leaned over the control bar on the treadmill, reaching for his towel as his workout came to an end. Four point five miles later, and the teen captain was still in a foul mood. Usually running or working out made him too tired to be angry. Not today however. Today he was still in the same mood he'd been in when the doors to his ready room had whisked shut behind Jenny Anderson.


"Did she pull rank?" Dylan asked, his machine also coming to a halt. the Ebony skinned crewman stepped off the machine and instead of reaching for his towel, leaned up against the rails, eager to hear the rest of his commander's tale. "Try and use it against you and all?"

Nathan nodded. "Of course." He spat through the towel so that it came out muffled. Dylan understood.

"Figures." He nodded. "They do that man. 'Specially if you got a higher spot than they do. They all quick to ignore it when things are going good… but when they can use it against you…."

"Yeah. I know." agreed Nathan. "Permission to return to my post." He said in his best Jenny impression. "Like you even had to have it right? Like oh yeah.. All the sudden rank matters or something?"

Dylan shrugged. "Women are crazy bro.. what can I tell you."

"Something I don't already know?" Nathan grinned, attempting to shrug off the Jenny sized cloud handing over his demeanor.

"Alright… Hows'is?" Dylan offered. "There's a huge space race coming up. That hot old read haired admiral sent up a notice today."

"A what?" Nathan asked, genuinely confused. "A race? Like.. Starship race?"

"Yeah. All the ships in Megiddo are in it.. in theory." Dylan informed him as he moved toward a bench. "But will we be repaired by next week? That's the start date."

"Pfft." Nathan snorted derisively. "Dude… we won't even have ASRV's installed before then. And that's not even the most pressing issue. We still need another warp core, which is a good two weeks away."

"Well, can't we do it with one warp core?" Dyan shrugged. "I mean… How many times can you lose the thing?"

"Never know." Nathan answered plainly. "But I don't want to get stuck out there without warp drive."

"Yeah.. I can see that.. That would be the craps."

Nathan checked his chrono and noticed that the time was getting away from him. He was due to pick up Three from Baya's quarters in almost twenty minutes. "Oh. Hey man I gotta go but tell Torrik to come by my quarters later. And tommorow… can you look up everyone on board with Operations experience? We need to find someone to take Khev's spot."

"Yeah. I'll tell him." Dylan replied, throwing his towel into the standard issue starfleet gym bag beside him. "you want him to come by tonight?"


The yeoman nodded. "Cool. I'll let him know."

"Thanks man." Nathan picked up his own bag and made for the door. If he was quick, he'd be able to get a shower and get down to pick up Three on time today. Nathaniel He chided himself. the boy wanted to be called Nathaniel. that would take some getting used to.

=/\= Tennaji to Benjamin. =/\=

Natha sighed as he tapped the smallish device affixed to the front of his Sweatshirt. More good news? He wondered.

=/\= Yeah? =/\= He answered.

=/\= Sir… I think you might want to come down to the mess hall and see this. =/\=

=/\= What is it? =/\= Nathan asked, visions of many things gone wrong spinning wildly in his head.

=/\= It's the two new Klingon Security people sir.. the exchange crewman. And uh… several others. =/\=

=/\= Right… On my way. =/\= Nathan answered glumly. Looked like Thr… Nathaniel would be staying late at Baya's once again.
Originally Posted 3-28-2008 by Nathan Benjamin

USS Hawking
Tactical training room - Deck 14

Off-duty at last, Jen had immediately gone to her locker and dragged out the old standbys, the fan and daggers of her earliest training. The nature of Yin Dagger and Tai Chi Fan was such that, if she held onto any of the tension the fight (fight, HA, more like one-sided-obfuscated-tongue-lashing and what did he know about the situation, anyway? Maybe if he kept up with his paperwork…) with Nate, then she would fail in the forms and likely not survive any conflict in which she attempted to use them.

Deeeeep breath… She started with Fan, which began slowly, the movements long and reaching until, frrrrrripp! the first explosion of chi, falling immediately back into the water-like flow of the exercise. It continued so, swooping to low attacks and whipping quickly into vicious slashes with the steel-tipped object of beauty. When the final bow came, she was, if still furious, at least more focused.

Once she retired the fan, Jenny picked up one of the twinned ring daggers. After the initial bow there was no stopping. Nothing in Yin Dagger moved slowly. It was fast, it was filled with sudden changes bordering on the nonsensical and, best of all, it was sneaky; filled with reversals and stealthy cuts which were confounding to many fighters she’d come against in training bouts.

The form complete, she paused briefly for a drink than requested the computer to supply an opponent, selected at random. When the Enolian appeared, smirking and armed with what looked to be a short sword, Jen grinned and retrieved the fan, once more.

::Auxiliary Tactical - Main Security Office::

“Does anyone know how long this Crewman Anderson plans to make use of the training room?” Lieutenant j.g. Fehr, one of the latest to join the Hawking, asked Cadet McMennan as he entered the room, “I was hoping to get my arms testing out of the…” he paused, staring over the youth’s shoulder at the currently running scan of Anderson’s training session, “…way?” Crossing his arms over his chest, he watched the young human quite coolly slice at her attacker’s mid-section with quite possibly the most lethal fan he’d ever seen. “I wonder who she is so angry with?” And does this mean she’s available?

“I don’t know,” Crewman Bardon replied from the other side of Aengus, “But if I were him, I think I’d consider a transfer."

McMennan said nothing as the scan moved onto the next area of the ship, but not before Jenny had taken the Enolian’s own blade from him and… well… assured that his line ended, here. As the virtual bloodbath was replaced by a scene almost equally disturbing in the mess, he did allow himself to think that, just maybe, Nate might wish to consider offering Anderson a hothouse worth of flowers… or an extended leave.

Post featuring NPC Jenny Anderson
Originally Posted 3-28-2008 by Harry Finn

:: Outpost Jericho-Samaria ::
:: Admiral Khouri-Kaz' Office ::

Elva sat at her desk with the console flipped open, looking at the blank forum that would promote Torrik Nils to the first officer position. Caius Echelon had been given a temporary position and the Hawking would need a capable and competent officer to be at Benji's side. Benji, now there was a mouthful. Elva had had him in the beginning, when he was green. Green, Benji made and Earth forest pale in comparison. Benji had turned out to be a good catch.

She turned her attention back to her console to deliver what she hoped would be good news. "Computer. Begin recording." Elva waited for the computer to ready itself for what she was to dictate.

=^=Greetings Lieutenant Nils. I guess you are wondering why you would be receiving a message from your Admiral. Well there is a simple explanation for this. I am here to give you a promotion. Yes, you heard right. You are being promoted to first officer of the Hawking. I have already sent a more professional message to your Captain, but I wanted something a bit more personal for you. I have gone through your file and well, to put it mildly, I felt an instant connection. But let's get back to business.

I will be handing your position to Lieutenant Junior Grade Jada O'Keefe. Captain Benjamin had contacted me about this and we agreed she was best suited in the absence Dana Grissom. I know that was a terrible loss to you all on the Hawking, but I am confident that Lieutenant O'Keefe can fill her shoes.

I have also gone through O’Keefe’s file and she is definitely a diamond in the rough. She will need someone to be her mentor, and guide her through this transitional period. She may need some hand holding. I know what you are going to say, she is the last person who would want her hand held. But remember this. Most people don't know what they need, and have to told delicately what it is they do need.

I believe that I have said enough for one promotion. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call upon me for any reason. And enjoy your new found position. Admiral Khouri-Kaz out=^=

Elva closed the computer screen and hoped she did good. The more she thought about it, she knew she had done a good job with her casual approach to Lieutenant Nils.

~ Later ~

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Main Science ::

=/\= Nils, I’m not getting anything down here. Are we sure all our relays are up and running between here and there? There should be some type of integration. =/\=

Frustrated, Nils' hands glided over the console he’d been trying to calibrate. He knew Lincoln and Alex were sharing his own woes in Cartography. Nothing they’d done in the last two hours seemed to have any affect whatsoever.

“I don’t have any idea,” the Bajoran conceded. “Engineering has crews all over the ship manually checking and repairing ODN relays as well as the gelpacks that may or may not be fried…” He drew in a long sigh and sagged in defeat. “Let’s try shutting down astrometrics and restarting from scratch. I’ll…

“Lieutenant Torrik,” an unfamiliar voice said from behind him. Nils turned and found himself face to face with a striking officer in science blues. He nodded curtly.

“Jada O’Keefe, ell tee jay gee reporting for duty,” she spat officially. Her demeanor was intimidating and brusque. In her outstretched hand she held a pair of PADDs. “Reporting from the Outpost to head up Planetary Sciences as well as provide administrative support following your transition.”

Nils reluctantly took the PADDs. He realized his jaw was hanging slightly open and pulled it shut. “I’ll get back to you Lincoln,” he said.

=/\= What the hell was all that…=/\= Nils cut off the cosmologist’s query by stabbing his badge.

“I’m sorry, Lt. O’Keefe. I was unaware of your arrival. I’d also not requested a replacement for Dana…”

“My condolences on your loss,” she started flatly, “but a request isn’t necessary from a department head when such a position is vacated. It’s standard procedure, of course.”

“Of course,” Nils echoed, only just beginning to review the PADDs in his hand. One confirmed O’Keefe’s orders. The other carried an audio message from Admiral Khouri-Kaz on the Outpost far below them. A sinking feeling settled in the Bajoran’s gut. “If you’ll excuse me…” Nils seethed.

“Not a problem, Lieutenant. I’ll pick up where you left off,” the abrupt woman said, slipping easily into Nils' seat at his console. She deftly maneuvered her fingers across its shiny black surface and had full diagnostics running within seconds. Nils didn’t object. He carried on into the corridor and played the message.

And it confirmed his worst fears.

“Heya, Nils,” said a voice the Bajoran instantly recognized as the Benjamin’s Yeoman. “Captain wants to see you later on in his quarters. He said come by tonight…”

Nils brushed passed the yeoman, scooting him to the side.

“Yeah, you’re welcome,” Crewman Greene called to the back of Nils head.

“Computer, Locate Captain Benjamin,” Nils said in mild fury.

In response, an access panel erupted in a shower of sparks from the corridor wall. Clearly Hawking’s Main Computer had seen better days.

“I’ll find him myself,” Nils hissed, continuing his march through the cascading sparks.

Introducing NPC:
And special Guest Appearance by:
Originally Posted 3-29-2008 by Torrik Nils

Bramley had just gotten hold of his own pie and begun looking for a likely target when…

“You are all ordered to CEASE and DESIST! Everyone in the room, drop your… dinners at once!” Lieutenant Tenanji’s tone, while as proper as ever, was also quite, quite definite.

“Busted,” Joe sighed, lowering his pie and finding a hopeful Autumn Quincy beaming up at him through slime-covered tresses.

“Are you going to use that?” she asked, sweetly.

“Not anymore, Scout, the Man just spoiled our fun…”

“The ‘Man’ heard that.”

“Shi…ingles on a tent!” Bramley averted the curse just in time as he spun pie raised defensively, to see none other than Lieutenant ‘Buzzkill’ Tenanji, glowering at him.

“Do not even consider it,” the quiet remonstrance had the pie dropping to Scout level, once more and that enterprising young lady took the opportunity, to the background of her sister, Kadence’s giggles, lift the offending pastry from Joseph’s unresisting hand and dive under the nearest table for a well-earned snack.

The unholy glee of ignoring what was proper (which when you taught children you were not allowed to do) that Katie felt turning quickly to horror as 'the man' as Bramley so aptly put it, arrived made her fumble with the handful of chocolate pudding she had been about to throw. She rushed over to apologize while trying to hide the handful of goo behind her back. "Oh my gosh, Lt. Tenanji…I am so sorry, I am afraid I allowed the children to get a little out of haaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAHHHHH." In her fluster to apologize, Katie neglected to watch where she was going and tromped directly onto the remnants of a mashed banana on the floor.

Limbs flinging wildly in an attempt to regain her balance, chocolate pudding flung out in a pattern around like human spin art, finally loosing the battle with gravity her feet whipped out from under her and she slid, like a ballplayer coming home…into the brown spattered base formerly known as Usher Tenanji.

Bad enough he was covered in pudding he despised pudding but to be brought low, literally, by the school teacher? He could hear the internal snickers of the crew, and the external guffaws of the Klingon twins, over whom he must now exert some sort of authority. "Ma'am," he uttered through clenched teeth to the shocked Ms. Ibrahim, upon whom he'd so indecorously landed, "If you would be so kind as to move your knee?"

JP with NPCs a go go (pics of the cutie pies included)

Originally Posted 3-31-2008 by T'Shaini

-Prior to the Arrival of Lt. Killjoy-

Barricades, that was the name of the game, if these humans were too stupid to realize a good shield when they saw one…well he would have to show them. "'Lano grab the edge of the table and flip her on her side." His fellow apprentice, Delano Mills, slowed in mid-throw, which caused his fistful of mashed potatoes and green peas to veer off course and hit some little kid who was standing on a table.

Mills winced, then grabbed the table and flipped it. "Good throw, I have heard that young humans need more vegetables," Dom said, grinning to expose his sharp, pointy Ferengi teeth. He and Mills ducked behind their makeshift barricade, gathered their ammunition and began to hurl it into the messroom.

"Momma said we go together like peas and carrots duhhh." Mills offered as he threw a handful of the veges into the general chaos of the room.

"That is an odd simile..I only met you today and I have never had the pleasure of meeting your maternal figure. Why would she say that we are like two human vegetables?"

"Dude, it's a quote from a movie," Delano replied as he bounced a carrot off the head of some guy in science blue. "We need better ammo..we need pudding or whipped cream.." The engineer crawled off to find some more suitable weapons as Dom sat with his back to their table barricade and waited. Looking around he noticed that people were using the replicators to get more food to throw. They are also using their replicator rations…hmm The Ferengi wondered how many favors he could secure while selling off his rations, then realized he could be thinking while he was making offers. Dom ran over to the replicator and began wheeling and dealing. It was a little sad that he sold 'Lano two replicator tokens but he did give his friend a good bargain.

Dom was having so much fun he did not even realize when the noise of the food fight died down. "Two replicator tokens for four 'small' favors!" he cried.
Originally Posted 3-31-2008 by Javier Costala

:: USS Hawking | Crew Lounge ::

It's always the last place you look, thought Nils finally catching a glimpse of the Captain. In truth, his circuitous trek around the ship had been therapuetic and much of his seething anger had seeped away. The lieutenant made a bee line towards his commanding officer, but took pause when he noticed the scene around him. Officer, enlisted, and children alike were covered in food of every sort and the lounge was a compete wreck. Tables were overturned and the walls were covered in colorful slimes of every texture. Nils surveyed the scene in irritation. Clearly someone's purile idea of a good time had gone entirely too far.

"Captain," the science officer said, closing the gap between them. He was careful to avoid the pile of chocolate pudding, or what he hoped was chocolate pudding, on the floor. "Captain, if I could speak to you for a moment…"

As it turned out, Nathan had arrived on scene to witness the tail end of an Usher Tennaji Meltdown. The Lieutenant's fiery temper just reaching crescendo as his CO walked into the room, and dying shortly after. He was gone now; he'd taken his new Klingon exchange officers away for what was surely to be an ass chewing of near epic proportions. Everyone else had cleared out shortly thereafter, leaving Nathan alone with the aftermath. Hearing his name, the young captain turned to see that it was Torrik calling. "Hey man, you got my message?" He asked neutrally. "What do you think?"

A moment of stunned silence and a confused expression were Nils' initial response. The young Captain was so non-chalant about something that had been personally ground shaking for the Bajoran. "What do I think," he echoed quietly, making sure no one was in earshot. "With respect, Captain I think it's the worst idea I've ever heard. Not counting Reman politicians… I'm a scientist. And I'd like to stay a scientist. So… No," he ended tersly. "No thank you," he added as an afterthought.

Oh. Nathan thought as Torrik dropped off his plan in the brown muck in front of him. "Well.. You know, you can still be a scientist. but I need an XO, and you're the best choice. You know the ship, you're promotable… and you're the most qualified." Nathan shrugged. "It's a perfect fit."

Seeing that he hadn't dented the Bajoran's position in the slightest, Nathan continued. "Plus, I don't know if you knew it, but I used to be a Science officer too. So I'm hoping that the two of us will agree on more than me and the last two XO's I had." He grinned. "But I guess I was wrong seeing as how we don't even agree on this."

Again the stun slapped Nils in the face. The teen truly didn't see any of this is monumental. The Bajoran began to wonder if he were overreacting. Displaying more histrionics than a teenager was not very becoming. He sighed deeply as a means to calm himself.

"I wasn't aware that you had been a science officer, although that does make sense," he said feeling ashamed that he'd never taken an interest in his Captain's history. "I don't disagree with your reasoning, but on a personal level…" Nils shook his head with denial. "There has to be a better choice than me. I've never had aspirations for command. I joined the Fleet explore and discover. My… My interpersonal skills leave something to be desired."

"They always get the ones who don't want to do it." Nathan mused aloud. "When Khouri got me for the Pathfinder, I didn't want to leave the Presidio. I didn't want to be in command either. Not then anyway. " He paused, allowing his eyes to wander about the carnage of the room. "Was that Gagh? And was it still… moving? Nasty" He thought before turning back to his reluctant second in command. Maybe anecdotes weren't the way to go. "Look," He said finally. "You're still going to be the Chief Science Officer. On a ship our size, being XO won't take up all your time. Not even most of it. So you'll still be able to do everything you've been doing." He paused and shrugged, "And your interpersonal skills are perfect. We can't both be easygoing or stuff like this,"He indicated the ruined mess hall around them. "…will happen all the time. Someone needs to be a hardass, and I'm just not cut out for that."

"I'm a hardass," Nils asked rhetorically before catching himself. He shook it off. "I'm flattered by the offer, Captain. But still…I must decline." The Bajoran subconsciously raised both hands in surrender and wafted them back and forth reflecting his words. "I'm content in my position."

"So.. that's it?" Nathan asked.

Despite his age and stature, the young man's presence could be intimidating. Nils cocked his head to the side, locking eyes with the Captain. "Yes," he answered feeling somewhat assured of victory. Relief danced at the periphery of his dammed up angst. Whatever beaurocratic fallout that followed he would deal with as it came. For now, he could return to his labs unbothered. "Yes, sir," he repeated more formally.

"Ok," Nathan sighed. "I didn't want to do it but you're not really giving me much choice dude. I really need an XO. If I don't pick one, then the Admirals will give me one." He paused, recalling his very first XO, forced upon him by the Admiralty. "and even though I'm sure they'd pick someone great, I don't want to take a chance. Because either way you cut it, if that happens I don't really get a choice." See why I want you so much for this job? Because I chose you. and even if you turned out to be the worst XO in the history of XOdom… I still chose you. But if Corrigan hires some clown with a stick stuck up his butt, then that just makes things a lot harder. Chances are that the guy he picks would be outstanding. But then I'm not the same type of person as Corrigan, so my criteria are way different." the teen paused once more, taking a deep breath. Torrik wasn't going to like it, but come hell or high water he'd be the Hawking's number two guy when he left the room. "So that's why I've picked you. You have everything I'm looking for. AND you can still head up science. Which is a huge plus because I don't want to have a whole heap of turnover. Harry Finn already left to do God knows what." Jenny ran through his mind at that moment, storming out his ready room door. "So… basically it's not really an option." He finished. "I know that's not the best way to do it, and you probably don't like me very much right now… but I need you, and so does the ship." He stopped short of saying outright that it was an order. But for all intents and purposes, it was. And he'd made it quite clear that it had come to that.

Nils' eyes narrowed in examination of his commanding officer. He'd heard the implicit meaning behind the words and he knew better than to argue. Being childish would get neither of them anywhere. "I'm sorry to hear that, sir," he said with emphasis on the sir. "I'll do my duty to the best of my ability." He couldn't help but feel like he was being set up to fail. Nothing he'd intended to happen since leaving the Alpha quadrant had worked out like he thought it would. Every survey mission turned into a fight to survive. Every potential new discovery turned into a disaster to avoid. Even his personal life was in shambles. Resigning himself to his fate he bowed his head and sighed again. "Thank you for your time, Captain. I'll get back to my repairs now if you don't mind." His tone was neither malicious nor snide, but he desperately wanted to be somewhere else.

"I'm sorry." Nathan said simply. "But give it a few months and if you still hate it, I will try to find someone else." Now wasn't the right time to say it, but he hoped Nils would grow into the job the same as he'd done. Of course he'd also hoped that the Bajoran would be happy to take the job, unlike him but he could tell that Torrik honestly had no desire to command. And of course that made him that much more perfect for the job. "You'll need to speak with Petty Officer T'Landra. She's your Yeoman. She'll tell you everything you need to know man."

Nils nodded with yet one more characteristic sigh. "I'll find her before shift's end." Slowly Nils backed away and then turned. Before departing he cast one final comment over his shoulder. "I do appreciate that you considered me able for the job, sir. That…" He faltered momentarily. "That's significant," he said trying to dry up the sentiment a bit. And with that he sidestepped more goo and left the lounge.

Watching him go, Nathan couldn't help feeling a bit sympathetic. The last thing he wanted to do was put the man in a position that he didn't want to be in. But he had to think of the ship first. and in his mind, the ship needed Torrik in the XO spot. He was almost the exact opposite to Nathan, and yet there were several qualities the two shared. They were both scientists, explorers, and had both cut their teeth as science officer out here in the gamma quadrant. Torrik was bright, and a natural leader. Nathan honestly couldn't think of a better choice. The real challenge would be getting Torrik to see what Nathan saw. If he could do that sooner rather than later, they'd make a great team.

JP by Captain B and Number 1 Torrik
Originally Posted 4-1-2008 by Nathan Benjamin

Eli was a mess. And it was so wonderful! He had mashed potatoes on his face, custard in his hair and whipped cream on his clothes. And he and Kadence were busy shovelling coconut cream pie into their mouths. The little boy had slid off the tabletop and joined Kadence beneath the table after seeing her 'lift' the pie. Then some man and his mommy had started to wrestle on the floor but the man didn't seem to like wrestling with Katie and didn't laugh like his daddy did when Mustapha wrestled with Katie.

Looking back to the pie plate Eli realized that Kadence had been eating while he had been looking. He dug in with a gusto and the beautiful pie was soon all gone.

He and Kadence crawled out from under the table and puttered around the messhall, looking for more pie. Eli noticed that the grown-ups had stopped throwing stuff and the wrestler was using his 'angry' voice with the two Cling-ons. He looked to his left and saw something that made him chuckle. Eli ambled up to the man, looking up at the flashy piece of jewelry that caught his eye.

"Hey Mistah, why are you wearing an earring? I thought only girls wore those?" he asked the tall Bajoran in science blue.

"Ooooh pwetty," Kadance remarked.
Originally Posted 4-1-2008 by Javier Costala

Nils looked down at the accusing eyes of a child. He frowned and absently brushed the earring he'd only just recently grown accustomed to wearing. It wasn't that he didn't like children, but other than Nolan he didn't have much use for them. Of course Nolan was much more than just an average child and his ability to reconfigure a deflector array to act as a parabolic quantum field generator may have had something to do with that.

"They don't teach cultural awareness on board a Federation Starship," the Bajoran asked sarcastically. A blank expression returned. "On my planet everybody gets to wear earrings," he added giving in to the innocent face. "Boys, girls…anyone."

"Oh…" and more blank expression still beamed up at him.

A sudden realization hit Nils square in the face. He staggered back on his heal almost imperceptibly in response. The notion almost spun his over-active brain up into a panic stricken wad of muck. "Children have no place on a starship," he said sourly, casting angry eyes from one small face to the other. "And you have pie on your face…"

Nils wandered off in dire lament knowing something he hadn't known before. He bore more responsibility for that child's life now than he did two minutes before. And not just that child… All the children on board. Images of Jachin's pale lifeless eyes rocked him to the core. It had been his responsibility to protect the lives other children, before… In another time.

Feeling ill, the troubled Bajoran changed heading and made his way to the shuttlebay. A dose of solitude aboard the Vespucci offered him the best chance for a moment of sanity. Then he surprised himself…

A fleeting wish that T'Shaini were on board crossed his mind, leaving a wake of woeful shock. He didn't know if longing for a session with the ship's counselor was a sign of personal progress, or a sign of how terrible things had suddenly become…

Originally Posted 4-1-2008 by Torrik Nils

USS Hawking
Edded Quarters - Deck 4

Edded Baya heard the door chime as she watched Feeya (finally cleaned up from her 'field trip') light the final candle, “Come,” she ordered and smiled at the clearly nervous Petty Officer Govan who stood in the doorframe. “Mr. Govan, come in and welcome. Towak was just…”

“Just here,” the man of the house came in from the master bedroom, holding a small box and offering his own, somewhat nervous smile to the Cardassian security officer. “I appreciate your making time for this,” he said.

Zal, towering uncomfortably over the family, nodded uncertainly, “It was not a difficulty,” he admitted, not entirely sure what ‘this’ entailed. Still relatively new to the Hawking, he’d not yet developed any strong social connections. Mostly he worked, rested, exercised, worked some more… Lieutenant Tenanji was likely to start vetoing the OT Govan continued to request to fill the empty hours.

“Nonetheless,” Baya walked over and placed a gentle hand on his arm, guiding him towards the low table, filled with candles and waiting Bateet leaves, “you made a space in your life to join us, a new pattern for you,” she looked over at her husband, who had, she was grateful to see, finally begun to move past the long-coveted anger of his youth, “and for us, as well. Please,” the Hawking’s senior archeologist offered the awkward man a small piece of paper and a stylus, “as part of our own, somewhat early Gratitude Festival, feel free to write any troubles or sorrows you have,” she held up her own scroll and her eyes welled up with memories of those lost over the past months, since Hawking had first seen action against the Avaaru to her most recent troubles, “as the paper burns to ash, perhaps our difficulties will also… change their nature.”

At her words, Zal finally began to understand. He looked at Towak who gave a small nod towards the box he held.

Keep the object but change it’s nature, he’d said to the engineer, regarding his father’s dagger… the dagger which had murdered one crew member and come close to taking two others before ending the life of the killer, herself. It had been nothing more than a tool, used by one driven quite mad but Edded had been unable to face keeping this last part of his father until, Govan supposed the Bajoran had taken his suggestion and made it into something new.

He realized he was staring and looked down to the paper, “Thank you,” he told the small scroll, “I… yes… thank you.” Saying no more he scribbled rapidly, the Cardassian script as jerky as when his teacher’s had berated him in childhood. Rolling the scrap up, he straightened and gave it into Baya’s waiting hand. She laid it and her own scroll next to the two already waiting on the table.

Towak cleared his throat, “Before we begin the ceremony,” he placed the box on the table and opened it, “I would like to thank you, Zal,” he tendered the other officer’s given name cautiously, treating it like verbal glass. When nothing cracked beyond a slight smile on the Cardassian’s face, he continued, “Thank you for helping me see… things… in a new light. Taking your suggestion to heart, I have reworked the blade of my father into something completely new, yet still his.”

When he withdrew the bracelet from its container, Zal’s eyes widened in surprise. The workmanship was impressive… a small cuff, feminine in nature and leaving no doubt that the item had been formed by hand. Yet there was grace in the gentle curve and the dull silver of the blade’s alloy had been inscribed with what may have been copper lettering.

Baya found that she couldn’t hold back the tears any more and, giving in, let them flow quietly while Feeya held her hand, leaning against her mother who seemed to be crying more than the nine-year old remembered, lately.

“What does it say?” Govan looked back up at his host.

Towak answered, but his eyes were for his wife, “The Prophets gather our tears and hold them in trust that our souls may never run dry.”

Baya nodded, and then patted her daughter on the shoulder. Taking her own cue and feeling very grown-up, indeed, Feeya took a handful of the Bateet leaves and held them over the coals which shimmered in the incense bowl. Looking up, she saw her father nod, so she continued, dropping the leaves, one by one, and, smiling, she looked up at their guest as she said the words she’d been running through her head all day, “In memory of the many lost, in the hope of what new joys and friends, we may find.”

“In memory and hope,” her parents echoed proudly.

“In memory… and hope,” Zal Govan intoned, a bit slower but still willing to follow this new and quite unexpected pattern.

Post featuring NPC's Edded Towak, Baya and Feeya and PO1 Zal Govan.

Originally Posted 4-3-2008 by Harry Finn

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Chief Engineer’s Suite ::

Nils threw his belongings into his duffle in a frustrated tantrum. After sulking on Vespucci for several hours he’d made up his mind that he was moving out. The one perk of becoming a First Officer was the First Officer’s Suite. And he’d be damned before he missed a prime opportunity for real solitude. He made a mental note to schedule transport of his duranja lamp he’d replicated for Dana. It was too big to fit in a bag. Other than that his belongings consisted of nothing but clothes. Janus had seen to it that his one item of sentiment disintegrated to its subatomic parts.

The door chime sounded.

With great irritation, Nils tossed his bag to the floor and went to the door. “Come in,” he called using his body to barricade entrance to the room. Letting people know he didn’t want guests became an art form to the solitary man. The door slid open to reveal the most severe looking Vulcan woman he’d ever seen.

“Lieutenant…” she said, her face frozen in non-emotion.

Nils waited for her to continue but she didn’t. “What?” His tone was less than polite.

“I was lead to believe you’d been instructed to seek me out. I am T’Landra, your yeoman.” If she’d been capable of pride it couldn’t have been more blatant.

“Okay…” the irritated Bajoran snapped.

There was a terrible but silent battle of wills as the two faced off, one waiting for the other to make the next move.

“You and the Captain have received communiqué’s from Starfleet Command,” she finally said, probably giving into some logical urging to get the ball rolling. Nils was glad his own stoicism was birthed from sincere passion. It made him more devoted to the cause.

“I’ll get it in here,” Nils said curtly and he turned his back on her.

“Is there anything…”

“NO,” the scientist called angrily as he stalked off. The door slid shut.

Nils spun his desk console around and entered his access code. Hawking’s computer didn’t take his codes at first. Then the screen reluctantly flickered to life.

“Ship’s falling apart,” Nils muttered under his breath.

“Gentlemen,” said an aged Admiral from the screen. “Gather your best and brightest and make haste to Megiddo Station. You and whatever crew you elect to take along will be temporarily reassigned and entered into the Megiddo Regatta.”

Nils’ jaw dropped. The man seemed so pleased. Something felt terribly ironic and surreal about the whole moment.

“I’ve included a dossier with more information on the race, but I wanted to give you the best news personally. Since the Hawking is out of commission for the time being you’ll be manning the USS Constitution. This will be an exhibition mission and we’re doing it up to the nines.” The Admiral’s grin got ridiculous. Nils' mood got foul. “You’ll be wearing classic Starfleet Uniforms and …”

With that pronouncement the Bajoran had had enough. He smashed his finger into the terminate control and fell back into his seat. With both palms pressed deeply into his eye sockets he let out a long overdue groan.

An hour passed before he could find the will to move. Then reluctantly he collapsed into himself, and duty took over. His new position would take time to become accustomed to, but that time could not be wasted. Duty wore on him. And true duty is identified by action. Opening up the dossier included in the communiqué, he resigned himself to his fate.

“Torrik to T’Landra,” he said gently touching his badge. “Prioritize a list of non-essentials on board Hawking. Have Ensign Saito start recalling the crew from the Outpost. And arrange transport for about fifty crew members to Megiddo Station.”

=/\=Acknowledged,=/\= the Vulcan responded immediately.

“Oh,” he called out rising from his chair. “Get me some information on…” A long defeated pause accompanied by a crushing sigh involuntarily broke in. “On classic Fleet uniform. Circa 2260s.”

Even the composed Vulcan paused before answering. =/\= Acknowledged, =/\= she repeated with no need for explanation.

Nils went back to his packing. This had to rate as one of the worst days of his career.

Introducing NPC:

Originally Posted 4-3-2008 by Torrik Nils

:: USS Hawking :: Sickbay ::

Jillian couldn't help but chuckle. Yeoman T’Landra had just informed the Hawking’s Chief Medical Officer that First Officer Torrik had entered 50 of the Hawking crew into the Megiddo Regatta. To top it off, they were required to wear old-school fleet uniforms. Jillian knew Nils well enough to know that this couldn’t have been his idea, still, it made her smile to think of him ordering everyone to play dress-up.

T’Landra had also given Jillian the Constitution’s medical manifest.

“Thorne, L’mek, Stryfe, Nordin…” her eyes stopped short when she saw a name she didn’t recognize, “Matthew Ayre?”

T’Landra had little information to offer. All she knew was that Doctor Glorm had taken leave and Doctor Ayre would be his replacement for the time being. Eager to meet this new Doctor, Jillian set off for Samaria's sickbay.

:: Jericho-Samaria Sickbay ::

Jillian tucked the manifest PADD in her jacket pocket and straightened up. A handsome man was sitting at a desk, bent over a series of dusty looking devices. He was wearing a classic blue medical uniform and beside him was an ancient looking medical tricorder. He stood up as she drew near.

“Guid mornin, Doctar Munro! Nice tae meit ye!” he called, “A was told ye mayt be stopping bie.”

In a matter of seconds, Jillian’s demeanor went from Chief to shy school girl. This was not expected. Matthew Ayre was tall, sturdy and solid. He was in his early forties. His face: gentle blues eyes, framed by rough & tough edges. He had lived most of his life in Scotland and thus spoke in an accent so gooey and thick, it made you want to cut into it and take a bite.

“Nice to meet you Doctor Ayre.” She managed to say, “ I just received word that you were transferred to the Constitution. I’m sorry it took me so long to get down here,” Boy, was she ever sorry.

“Not to worry. Want some coffee?” He pointed to the steaming coffee pot beside his desk, “It’s Klingon coffee. With a little jolt, if you know what I mean.”

She smiled, “Maybe in a minute.” She walked over to the setup on his desk and ran her hand over the old medical device, “Is this what I think it is?”

“It is,” he said, “Try it out.”

She activated the scanner. Nothing happened.

“Oh! Sometimes you just have to give it a little smack on the side, some of the these instruments have sticky parts.”

“Sticky?” she laughed, “Fantastic. I’m really looking forward to stocking my sickbay with sticky instruments.”

Matthew took a sip from his coffee mug and set it down, “Personally, I can‘t wait. These old uniforms…” he tugged at the bottom of the shirt, “…the equipment…the ship! This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.”

His energy was different. Colors seemed to pour out of his mouth as he spoke. Jillian was in awe.

“I wish I could say the same. Frankly, I‘ve never been much of a history buff”

"No?" He raised an eyebrow, "So, what kind of buff are you?"

Jillian looked around the room, it was difficult to maintain eye contact with him; he made her nervous. The only other person that ever made her feel that way was Nils, but it was different this time. Nils' eyes were piercing, as if he could see right into her soul. Matthew's eyes were on fire, as if he were simply undressing her, "Oh…well I suppose you could call me a robotics buff…artificial intelligence, that kind of stuff."

"Interesting. And naturally that led to you becoming Chief on the Hawking?" He added with a hint of sarcasm.

Jillian laughed, "You're a nosey one, aren't you."

He shrugged playfully, "I like to know who I'm working for, that's all."

"Well, I suppose it was a lucky break. Or…well technically it was an unlucky break. See, I was originally on Megiddo station, then I asked to be transfered to the Sentinel because Nils," she looked up nervously, "….well….he's another story…, " Matthew's eyes perked up at the mention of Hawking's Chief science officer, "…anyway, I went on an away mission and got lost in a worm hole, ended up stranded, had a piece of metal in my chest, nearly died…."

Matthew continued to nod, his eyes widening with each passing second.

She continued, "…we were found by the Hawking crew….we hadn't been on the Hawking for two weeks when BAAM we're being chased by fracking zombies, our ship nearly blows up, we arrive at the station, transfer to Hawking officially, nearly die again when some bastard infiltrates the ship….and now….I'm here."

"Alright…so it's safe to say you've seen your share of emergencies."

"I know my way around a sickbay, if that's what you mean."

Matthew leaned back against a desk and crossed his arms, "And this regatta? Are you excited about it? I mean, it won't involve zombies, worm holes or sharp pieces of metal, that's gotta be an incentive to participate, no?"

"I suppose." She looked the doctor's classic uniform up and down, "If only we didn't have to dress up."

Matthew grinned. He reached out and linked her arm through his, “Well that just wont do Miss Munro. Follow me.”

“Wha…Where?” Jillian was taken aback by his sudden forwardness.

“To get you out of these clothes.”

“I beg your pardon…Did you just say…”

“I did. Now keep up. We can‘t keep the 23rd century waiting”.

"Oh, boy. The least you could do is get me drunk first."

"I always keep a gigantic bottle of vodka in MY sickbay - the largest bottle of vodka known to man."

"But what will you drink?"

The Scottish doctor couldn't help put let our a roaring laughter, "Hah!…You and me, Doctor Munro…we're going to get along just fine."

Special appearance by NPC:
Originally Posted 4-3-2008 by Jillian Munro

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