Featuring NPCs:

abigail-breslin.jpg - Maddie Hudson

Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/01-28-2009 12:35:01 AM

Main Computer Core

=/\= Have the power fluctuations ceased? =/\=

Cam Atwood's voice grated over the comm. with a his usual tell-tale signs that suggested annoyance.

Matt nodded despite Atwood not being present to see. "Yes, I must say that last fallout nearly had us worried. Did you find out the cause?" Matt looked over at Simba as he waited for Atwood's response, both grinning silent when the grumpy Boatswain swore a light oath on the other side of the channel.

=/\= Some cadet over in the science labs decided that it would be more efficient to run a series of maintenance scans on the sensor systems ahead of schedule despite there being strict instructions on the time frame =/\= He growled in response.

"Jenkins!" They both laughed when the connection to Atwood had been cut.

Simba studied the holodeck systems display intently as Matt finished up with the cantankerous Atwood. Whoever had tampered with the holodeck program had done a thorough job… it was going to take time to find a way to safely shut down the system. But how much time did they have to pull it off? With the internal sensor feeds disabled, there was no way to know what was going on in the out-of-control simulation that now trapped four of the Hawking's senior officers. The more he thought over their options, they all seemed equally unappealing or unfeasible. The whole situation was starting to give him a headache. He frowned at the open panel and looked over at his fellow cadet with angst. "Matt, this is going to take time. I mean… maybe a lot of time."

Matt rubbed his forehead, trying to ease out the tension. He wasn't a genius when it came to programing and coding holodeck programs, but knew that whoever had achieved this was no amateur. "My gut tells me time isn't something we have a lot of to toss around." He replied, looking up at both Belle and Simba. "The re-arranging of the isolinear chips will take time, but we have both agreed that at least getting the safeties back on is one of the best options thus far. But-" he continued, moving back over to the consol. "…you are right in saying that we need more options. Is there any way we can manipulate aspects of the program, work around the rogue code and not set it off?"

"Maybe. But our first priority has to be the safeties. Matt, we can't just start manipulating the program without checking all the possible outcomes first… we almost killed them the last time we tried that. We need to buy ourselves some time. At least if the safeties are on, the immediate danger is minimized." Simba put his foot against the console and pushed himself across the floor to another access panel. "The active code is designed to turn the safeties off… maybe we can bypass the program's restrictions and still get the safeties online."

"What do you have in mind?" Matt asked.

"Well, the holodeck's default programming has the safety protocols online automatically. You can only turn them off with a command override. The holodeck default parameters run at a much lower level in the computer's memory than the active program… if we could somehow purge the base system memory, we might be able to force the computer to reinstate the safety protocols without disrupting the pirate simulation." Simba pulled the access panel off the wall and squinted at yet another bank of isolinear chips that it revealed.

Belle opened the tricorder she had been clutching too and set it to scan the holodeck and connect with the system, making sure that they kept an eye on the code. Her eyes never wavered from the screen as Cadet Wekesa took an instructional PADD from Cadet Hudson as he moved closer to isolinear chips and studied their arrangement. "Turning the safeties back on is a good thing right?"

Matt looked up and frowned. "We hope so."

"Oh, this is the easy part," Simba replied with a grin as he glanced back and forth between the PADD and the chips he was carefully re-arranging. "That… should… about… do it," he added, slowly, as he double-checked his work. "I've bypassed the active memory buffer, we should be able to reinitialize the base programming now."

Matt nodded as he punched in the parameters on his PADD. "Looks good… we have access, it doesn't look like the rogue programming has infiltrated the core holodeck memory." He looked over at Belle. "Care to triple-check?"

The non-com looked a little apprehensive as she took the PADD. "Yes… it looks like it will work. I hope…"

"Well, here goes nothing." Matt turned around and entered a few quick commands into the console behind him. "Initiating base memory purge." He paused as the display updated. "Memory dump complete, the computer is loading default parameters for holodeck operation now." Cadet Hudson looked back at Simba and Belle with a smile. "I think we did it!"

"Computer, what is the status of the safety protocols on holodeck two?" Simba questioned.

=/\= Safety protocols are engaged and functioning within normal parameters. =/\=

The engineer jumped up and pumped his fist in the air as Matt clapped his hands together with a satisfied grin. Even Belle looked noticeably relieved, for the first time since starting this venture. Victory!

"Good work," Matt said, putting his hand on Simba's back as the engineer joined him at the console to look over the new data from the holodeck.

"You too… I half expected the thing to be booby-trapped and trigger a warp core breach or something," Wekesa replied wryly.

"Can that happen?" Belle asked, only half-joking.

"Not too likely," Matt replied with a wink. "So there's all that time you keep saying you need, Simba… now let's start figuring out how to shut this thing down."

Simba nodded. The adrenaline rush had subsided as the immediate danger to their shipmates passed, and he suddenly found himself remembering how tired he was. "Definitely… but first, I need some more coffee." He handed his PADD over to Matt and started to move off down the catwalk to find a replicator.

"Alright." Cadet Hudson leaned back against the console and skimmed over the PADD, trying to decide the best approach to shutting down the program. His thoughts were interrupted as the console beeped and flashed a new set of data on the screen. "What the…" he muttered as he read the display. "Simba! You need to see this!" His voice echoed through the cavernous chamber surrounding the computer core.

"What's going on?" Belle asked nervously as Cadet Wekesa quickly made his way back to the other two officers.

"Here." Matt pointed at the screen with a look of disgust. "The rogue code in the holodeck program inserted a new set of parameters to override the defaults that we just reinstated."

"Oh God," Simba replied, his heart sinking into the pit of his stomach as their premature victory celebration gave way to a renewed sense of urgency. "Computer, verify status of safety protocols on holodeck two."

=/\= Safety protocols are offline and cannot be engaged due to command override. =/\=

Belle stared at the display for a moment and pointed to another piece of data. "What does this mean… is this what I think it is?"

"Yeah, it is." Simba shook his head in disbelief at the pure evil genius of whoever had tampered with the holodeck. "Not only did we end up not turning the safeties back on… the program has increased its difficulty level by ten percent. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse."

Another valiant effort by Matt, Simba, and Belle thwarted by the evil holodeck

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/01-28-2009 09:33:26 AM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Holodeck 2 – The Big Blue Sea ::

“Back… Back you mutinous dogs,” cried Captain Torrik from the ship’s helm. He defended the wheel that guided the rudder with his life. Regardless of what his crew believed, the Chimera was still his ship and he was honor bound to protect or destroy her.

“You’ve lost your wits, Captain,” said a very familiar voice from behind him. “And now your madness has wreaked madness upon your ship!”

“I’m not mad Hellersby!” Nils crossed to his once friend and gripped him by the shoulder. “How many years have we sailed together? How many of the Brethren of the Coast have we brought low?”

“Yes,” nodded Hellersby, his tone dire. “And it pains me to see you so far gone… That is why I must do this…” In one swift motion, the First Mate brought his hand up from his side and thrust a dagger into his Commander’s belly. With a twist he attempted to bind up the man’s innards and bring about a quicker death.

Captain Torrik’s eyes went wide and anger flared at the betrayal as he watched the blade disappear inside of him. He knew by sight that the wound was fatal and his face twisted in anguish at the knowledge.

But there was no pain. And no blood poured from the gash…that didn’t exist.

“The safety protocols are reinitiated,” said the Captain as a smile spread across his face.

“Demon,” whispered Hellersby in cold terror, his own countenance twisted with fear.

Nils punched hard at the man’s chin and shoved him back against the upper deck’s railing. “Betrayer! I am your Captain and friend! And you want me dead? But the protocols won’t allow it,” he yelled apparently lost to madness.

“What manner of demon are the protocols,” asked Hellersby shrinking away with fright.

The sea Captain paused briefly as he tried to place the concept. Then he was lost in momentary confusion. “Oh no…” said Nils coming back to himself. He released his grip on Hellersby and turned back to the lower levels of the ship’s top deck looking for his ‘real’ crew. He found T’Shaini, fighting alongside… “Harry?” Then he spied Javier, fighting, but losing ground.

“Computer! End program,” he yelled angrily.

A thud and sharp pain to his head brought him to his knees. He rolled quickly and barely avoided the tip of a sword to his neck. But the sword…was glowing with fiery energy. As he rubbed his head Nils thought, Clearly the safeties have failed again. Then his gaze slid up the boots and torso of the man holding the brilliant flaming sword. Hellersby had transformed and become…big. And…green. “The Protocols can’t protect you from me!” He towered over the fallen Captain. “HELLERSBY SMASH!!!”

Nils skittered across the deck and pressed his back against the opposite railing. The monstrous Hellersby advanced with a roar. The Bajoran, fully restored to his actual persona, muttered, “Ah damn…”

With NPC 'The Incredible Hellersby'

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/01-28-2009 10:24:24 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Holodeck 2 - Ship of the Damned::

The good news is, the guy in the crows nest has to reload, Harry was telling himself as he clung to the ratlines. The bad news was there were three more hostiles just a few meters below, climbing the selfsame lines to get to their target… aka, Harry. Time, then, to get tactical. Without thinking, 'cause thinking only slowed you down, he pushed himself slightly away from the rope ladder upon which he was suspended and, taking one quick look for targeting, dropped…

… to land directly atop the centermost sailor. Harry's body displaced the unfortunate who, as Finn latched onto the ratlines again, fell to his holographic death. A rabbit punch to the left-hand climber's ribs gave the XO space to claw at the right-hand sailors eyes. As he, too, began to fall, Harry snagged a dagger from blinded man's belt and, turning, slit the throat of the third, gasping man. Another shot rang from above, indicating the foretold reloading had taken place.

"Some help would be appreciated…"

Harry looked to the source of the call and, yes… Wendy looked like she could use some backup. A quick scan had Harry jumping closer to the mast where a bowline was swinging, untended in the mayhem. "Sure hope this works like it did in the holovids," he muttered, before aiming himself where he was most needed.

Unfortunately there was only so far T'Shaini could retreat, about 4 more steps would have her at the edge of the upper deck and even though it was probably under ten meters, falling was not an option gauging the tumult of action that was swirling beneath her. That must be Javier. She thought with an inward smile. She flicked the knife at her nearest opponent, if she had found a sword she could have kept them further away…but then again, she had never quite mastered sword work, she was as likely to hurt herself or a friend as she was to disable an enemy. But it would keep them further away…

"Yeeeeee haaaaahhh!" a shout and blur of motion swept past the Vulcan, knocking two of the approaching attackers violently to the deck. "Here, hold this," a hand tossed a rope T'Shaini-ward and then the blur continued, sweeping a short blade at the opponent still standing. "Oh, cool… a sword…" Harry ducked beneath the cutting arc of the sailor's blade to pick up one of his cohort's fallen weapons.

T'Shaini stood open mouthed…knife in one hand and rope in the other. "Harry?" It could not be Harry…

"You know me?" An upward slice, groin to crown, did for the last man standing. "That's… how?" He ran the purloined cutlass through the hearts of the two stunned sailors before acquiring a newly made corpse's pistol and holding it out to T'Shiani.

"How?" Ah, they must have found out about the programming. "I do not know, Nils came in and he told me who I was and it was touch and go for a while, but then Javier told me to look for a key on his …what is going on?"

"Ahh," distracted by the fact that the dead marines were starting to move again zombie pirates?, Harry turned to look towards the lower deck… Costala was holding his own, barely, and this spot was becoming less defensible. "Sabotage to the program… we think aimed at one of you two. Engineering is working on it and Gorsky set me up with a temporary shield thingee… if I start to refer to you as a saucy wench, assume it's wearing off. Look," he drove the sword through his belt then pulled her close, "Costala needs backup and we're not going to run out of hostiles…" he put his other hand on the rope, "How about I give you a lift and we provide him some cover…" He considered the struggles of the chief, fighting in the altogether, "and maybe some covers?"


"Oh gods…" T'Shaini looked in the direction of the shout. "Harry…it is Nils." She looked down, Javier was surrounded…and naked, up behind them Nils was clearly in trouble. "Can you take me to Javier then go back to Nils?"

Tearing his gaze from the green (green?) sailor menacing the Captain, Harry nodded and tightened his grip on the both the rope and the wench… shit… woman. Together, they leaped off the deck as a revivified sailor, with actual burning eyes, stumbled to grab at T'Shaini, "So," he shouted as they arced towards Costala's position, "how you liking your vacation so far?"

JP between Errol Finn and the Saucy Vulcan

Originally Posted by Matt Hudson /01-29-2009 10:21:23 PM

Main Computer Core

"Dammit!" Simba Wekesa brought his fist down on the console as anger replaced disappointment at the latest news from the holodeck. "I wish we knew what the hell was going on in there… at least then we could come up with some kind of strategy to help them out." He looked up as another engineering team came through the door and set about further analyzing the altered programming impacting the holodeck.

"Maybe I can help with that," Matt replied optimistically as he tapped a series of commands into the console. "Whoever tampered with this program is good, but I think I just found someplace where they got sloppy." He gestured to the newest readouts on the screen. "The program turned off internal sensors in theholodeck, but that system isn't locked out or restricted like the safeties or the power grid. I think we can turn them back on."

"I don't think that's a good idea," Belle interjected nervously. "The last two times you guys thought you found a loophole you almost killed them all. Why would this time be any different?"

Simba shrugged without taking his focus off the display. "Maybe they got cocky… I mean, if they were confident that there was no way to shut down the program and no way to turn the safeties on, why would they care if the rest of us could watch our superiors suffer or not?" He frowned as he considered the options. "I don't think we have a choice… do you think you can do it Matt?"

Matt shrugged. "I can definitely take a stab at it."

Belle shuddered nervously, not liking the look on Cadet Hudson's face. He didn't look particularly confident. Buck up, Belle! She told herself sternly, knowing that she was letting her imagination get away from itself. She was not a risk taker, especially when other peoples lives were at stake, but then, they were at stake no matter what they did. Better to attempt a rescue than not to try at all.

"Relax." Matt smiled over at his nervous crewman, almost feeling her tension radiate from her solar plexus. "Let's just take a look and see whats happening in there ok?"

"You've got it already?" Simba asked, surprised, as he pulled his head out of the access panel he was working in and looked at the screen. Matt nodded and tapped in another command to pull up the image. The screen changed from its familiar display of holodeck data to display the internal visual from holodeck two. The scene was definitely not looking good for the Hawking officers, huddled together defensively on the deck of a sailing ship, surrounded by a large green man and what appeared to be the fighting corpses of British marines. "Shit…"

"Are they….?" Belle whispered mortified. "Do I see…?"

Matt nodded. "Yup. Dead people!"

"I think I prefer less…. imaginative holo-programs." Belle responded, Not understanding this particular draw card.

"I don't think this is how the program began." He responded, smiling gently.

"I hope not…" Simba mused. "This is worse than we thought, there is no way they are going to be able to hold off… all of that." He gestured to the screen. Unless they found some way to help them out, it was apparent to everyone that the senior officers didn't stand a chance against the bizarre army that surged around them.

After a moment of silence, Belle spoke up. "I- I think I might have an idea." The two cadets turned to look at her, curious at what had sparked her sudden creativity. "I remember reading about something like this once on another ship. The engineers accessed the non-protected portions of the program and were able to make small changes to the program, like changing personality traits or adding objects."

Simba grinned. "That's fantastic. Actually, that might be just what we need. If we can at least give them a fighting chance…" He looked nervously back at the scene unfolding on the warship. "We need to figure out what parts of the program we might be able to alter, then we can see what we can do."

"Weapons?" Matt wondered aloud, then had a thought. "Lets at least keep an eye on the code to make sure that our re-writes don't make matters worse for them."

"Good idea." Simba slid into a chair and began typing furiously on the console. "Let's see if we can't give them something with a little more… kick. Phasers anyone?"

Belle nodded enthusiastically as she watched Cadet Wekesa add in the commands that would hopefully help out the situation. "Maybe some sort of back up?" She asked nervously, not quite sure if rewriting personality subroutines would trigger the rogue code or not.

Matt glanced over the original program parameters and noticed something. "What about them?" He asked, looking over at Simba.

Simba chuckled to himself as he looked at the image. He nodded, glancing over at Matt. "Yeah, I think that will do quite nicely."

"What will do nicely?" Belle looked confused.

"Well, we've got undead redcoats re-animating to try to kill our people over and over. What say we give them some undead pirates to contend with." He grinned, letting his sadistic streak show through. "That should even the score a bit, eh?"

Matt laughed. "I reckon so."

Belle smiled, glad that it had been her thought in the first place. Looking down at the tricorder she followed the code without pause. "It doesn't seem to have triggered any response." She replied grinning.

"Alright, then, let's implement it…" Simba tapped the controls and watched with satisfaction as the corpses of Black Javier's pirate crew stirred to life and, grabbing the weapons that they had inserted into the program, began to close in on the unsuspecting marines. "Two undying forces locked in perpetual combat… that should keep them busy for a while."

"Do you think it will work?" Belle looked shocked as the first marines fell to the deck as the pirates descended upon them and the bulk of the crew shifted their attention from the four Starfleet officers.

"We're no worse off now than we were before… keep monitoring the situation and let us know if we need to make any more changes to the program. Matt, any ideas on how we can shut this thing down now?"

The continuous battle of man against mach- I mean code, starring Matt, Simba and Belle.

Originally Posted by Tatiana Thorne/01-29-2009 10:42:10 PM

USS Hawking
Deck 5, Sickbay

Tatiana was standing at her station when Sickbay opened to reveal Petty Officer Gary Lembright. She hadn’t noticed him on his arrival, but at the sound of his distinctive low voice as he asked for a doctor, alerted her to his presence. Lembright was a borderline hypochondriac who visited Sickbay on a regular basis.

“Hey, Thorne,” he called out when he spotted her. “I need you take a look at something.” His hand was resting over the lymph nodes located in his neck, and he looked worried as he walked towards her. “They feel swollen, that happens when there’s an infection right?”

She tried her hardest to keep her demeanor as bright as she could, but the current personal issues plaguing her coupled with the exasperation that came from Lembright’s weekly assertion that he was dying or sick from some disease that happened to manifest in the plasma manifolds of the Hawking was threatening any hope she had of making through the rest of her shift without problems. “Yes, that happens,” she responded and motioned to the biobed. “Have a seat.”

“You’re not gonna scan me?” Lembright asked when he noticed that she wasn’t holding a tricorder in her hand.

“Yes, of course, afterwards.” She raised her hands again, “Now keep still. Let’s see what we have here,” she said softly as she brought her hands up and gently felt the space just under Gary’s jaw.

He continued, "You know I thought everything was fine until I was shaving and happened to feel them. I figured I should come in here pretty quick just in case something was wrong."

“Hmm,” she said, picked up the tricorder and pulled out the deployable scanner. “Everything looks fine,” she confirmed and held up the results for him to read. “See? There's nothing."

Lembright looked ready to speak before deciding against it and leaned forward to read the information that was being held up for him to see. "I don't know what that means," he said finally.

“Gary,” she said with a sigh, “There’s nothing wrong, the size of your lymph nodes are within normal levels. There’s no sign of infection, no sign of anything actually. I hate to use this cliché, but you’re as healthy as a horse, congrats.”

Lembright smiled, content in the knowledge that there was nothing wrong with him. “Great, thanks, Thorne.” He slid off the biobed. “See ya around,” he said and headed towards the exit.

“Yeah, see you next week,” she muttered as the doors closed behind him.

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/01-30-2009 12:38:58 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Auxiliary Tactical - Deck 14::

“Fuentas and Bardon reporting for duty.”

Jenny let out a huff of relief as the Gamma shift team entered the room. Her eyes were getting gritty and, beyond that, she wanted more than anything to get closer to the holodeck… even if she couldn’t go in, being near would be better than staring at the mass of non activity that was the rest of the ship's scans.

“The watch is yours,” Fehr replied, “I will remain, however, to see if there’s any hope of breaking through the barriers on the compromised holodeck.”

“Lieutenant,” Esperanza offered her superior a short nod and took her place next to him as Bardon, with a small smile, took over for Jenny.

Jenny managed a small smile back, watching how her fellow apprentice avoided looking at Ensign Fuentas. No blame to him, there; Jenny herself was a bit in awe of the young woman, who’s tactical prowess had been proven while still in the Academy when a series of single to multiple ship maneuvers she’d modeled were instituted into standard tactical training.

Bardon was more than in awe… many of the ships’ male contingent were, but, as far as anyone could tell, Esperanza Fuentas had eyes for none of her crewmates. Some thought her cold but Jenny was of the opinion that still waters ran deep, and a lot could hide in deep water.

Passing Esperanza with a shy nod, Jenny had just reached the doors before she heard, “Anderson?”

Turning back to Fehr, “Sir?”

The Elasian was looking at her, “It would be prudent to get some rest,” he began and she tensed, fearing that he was going to try and order her to bed.

What, am I twelve?

“But you would never sleep, for wondering,” he acknowledged the reality. “Give them my regards when they come out.”

Then Fehr turned back to his personal battle with the sensor blockade and Jenny fled.

Less than five minutes later, Fehr’s patience was rewarded though, he knew, not by any of his own efforts. The besieged senior staff came to life on three screens.

“Dio,” Fuentas murmured as the mayhem unfolded before the trio of security officers.

“Indeed,” Fehr replied.

“Should I call Jenny back?” Bardon asked, horrified.

“No,” Fehr responded, “she would only feel the more helpless. Let her enjoy some small peace of mind, for as long as she is able…”

In the turbolift, the young woman under discussion was wondering if it were too late to contact Ben. Waiting was hard enough… she’d had years of it with her father and Harry on various assignments, not to mention Harry’s latest, deeply classified, activities on Kendrassa Prime… it would be good to not have to wait alone.

Jenny and the NPC’s brought to you by the cough that will not die.

Originally Posted by Emily Star/01-30-2009 07:40:30 AM

Emily munched a carrot and quietly sipped some tea. Too quietly. In her opinion carrots shouldn't be quiet, they should be crisp and noisy and rude to eat. She loved it! However somehow Starfleet had destroyed the carrot but then again in her opinion replicators never got everything right.

Sighing, she picked up the PADD she'd carried from her quarters and opened the last chapter she'd been working on. The silence of space and the not so silent adventures they endured in space had given her little options for hobbies. She'd needed something completely off the beaten path so, as she had been told not to do by her father, she'd began to write.

Holonovels that was.

She enjoyed them, they were fun and if she ever tried to get one published she was sure it would help aid her pocket change. The only problem was that there were some things she could never get right. They always seemed forced or far too dramatic to even be believable.

With a groan she continued on, dictating quietly to her PADD sitting in the corner.

"Chapter Seven," she paused, "Set holo perameters according to chapter three but take out the fountain and butterflies. Change room color to an off teal, fade the wallpaper in the corners, worn at the tips and add a couple coffee stains onto the light brown carpets. Set scene. Angie, the mother and Sofia, the daughter are sitting having their afternoon lunch. "

Emily paused and thought. She liked to add the other characters in before going back and making room for whichever character the user is playing. It was a little confusing since the user didn't always react as she'd wanted but it made it more challenging.

"Begin conversation, level three response for mother and four for daughter." she smirked, had to give the kid a chance. She'd spent hours in their personality coding to give them the chance to argue, get along or whatever the user wished. She thought a novel was best enjoy when it wasn't a rigid scene, "The mother is upset, angry almost. Her daughter is eating toast, flustered at her mothers response and the father is …"

And this was where she had problems. WRiting a mother and daughter is easy, but a father which was something she knew nothing of in the normal sense was difficult. Sometimes she had him too proper, sitting in a chair, smoking a pipe or patting his daughter on the head for getting pregnant. Other times he was a raging bull, punching the neighbor or grasping his wife by the hair as he made rough…..

"seconds?" a voice asked interrupting.

"Oh, yes please." she replied, offering her cup. Closing the PADD she took a sip of her drink and stared out the view screen.

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/01-30-2009 10:44:10 PM

Why am I fighting all these people? I'll never defeat them with two allies. Javier thought as the impugned character of Black Javier began to slip back into place. Now is the time for trickery, not bravery. the pirate reasoned. He swiped at the man to his right with the knife. The sailor dodged the knife and jumped forward into Javier's kick.

"Sorry mate," Black Javier, said to the man as the kick took the sailor right in 'the block and tackle' and caused him to keel over on the deck. Javier's next assailant was none other than the marine officer who had treated him with such contempt below decks. The man threw a right that would have stunned a horse, had it connected. The pirate ducked the punch, lowered his shoulder and charged into the attacker's midriff. The two of them flew down the fo'c'sle stairs and out of sight of the others. The sound of a fierce fight ensued then nothing was heard except the rustling of cloth, followed by the marine officer stumbling up the stairs bent-double and looking winded.

"The pirate-dog is below," the royal marine said, "truss him up and.." The last bit of his report was lost in the general rush of sailors down the stairs to get at Black Javier. The officer staggered towards the side of the boat. He stopped beside a disheveled marine and said, "Button that collar you scurvy knave or I'll run you through.." All eyes were suddenly on the marine officer.

Why did I feel compelled to say that? Black Javier thought, Ahhh what the hell. The pirate in royal marine officer disguise smashed the improperly dressed marine in the face. "That's for dishonoring the uniform," he said without another thought as if it were reason enough.

Now they were closing in on him again, then Lady Shaini and some other..pirate? swung down a rope to his aid. "Welcome Duchess, ahoy there matey, let's give these hounds the sword point!" he shouted in welcome as he drew the marine officer's sword from its scabbard. "If we survive this fight I'll make you my First Mate..Harry? What the..?"

(OOC: All I want is to be clothed and bee warm. :) )

Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/01-30-2009 10:49:20 PM

Main Computer Core

"There has to be some way to shut this program down. There is no possible way that whoever did this could have accounted for every possible contingency."

"I agree," Matt stated. "But everything we have tried so far has come up against some sort of booby trap in the programming."

"That's true. Maybe we just haven't dug deep enough. I mean, if the saboteur was able to find this many loopholes in the holodeck systems, we have to be able to find one of our own. So let's look back to our original plan to shut down the program… that's ultimately our goal and we still need to do that. Our zombie pirates aren't going to distract them forever. Speaking of which, how are they doing?" He looked over at Belle, who was staring intently at the holodeck display.

"They're holding their own, but I wouldn't bet on that being the case for too long," she replied apprehensively.

Matt stood and began to pace. This is why he never joined Starfleet as an engineer, he just wasn't cut out for all this mumbo-jumbo. It was almost another language to him. It's not like everyone aboard this ship didn't have the basic engineering skills, but the best he could do was pull apart his replicator, and why would he want to do that? For the first time in a long while he actually wished it was legal to carry unregistered alcohol aboard a Starfleet vessel.

"I did not even realize the holodeck had this many loopholes." He responded, shaking his head clear. "It must have taken a lot of effort to code so many feedback responses."

Simba nodded. "I guess all it takes is a lot of dedication and a little homicidal insanity…" His voice trailed off as he thought back over their options. That damned headache was coming back. I definitely should not have drank so much at that engineering party. Suddenly he snapped his fingers and looked directly at Matt. "That's it! That's what we need to do… think more like them and use the loopholes to our advantage instead of theirs!"

Matt frowned. "I don't know about you, but I'm a little rusty on my 'homicidal insanity'."

"Heh… coming from my roommate, I should probably take that as a good sign." Simba bit his lower lip as he tried to figure out how to explain it to Matt. "Alright, so our first idea was to simply shut down the holodeck. But we couldn't do that because the program was designed to trigger an overload in the holo-emitters which would have killed our people. Now, whoever programmed this thing is good… really good, but they are still restricted by the extent of what the holodeck program can control. So they can control the outcome of the program, but the program can't directly respond to changes we make outside of the holodeck."

"Right, but how does that help us?"

"Well, what if we can get the program to fall into its own trap? We could reverse the polarity of the holo-emitters and then issue the shutdown command to the program. The program would respond by attempting to trigger the overload and discharge the energy into the holodeck… but with the polarity reversed, the overload would be fed right back into the emitters and cause a power surge instead. If we do it right, we'd burn out the whole hologrid and shut down the simulation without causing any serious injury to our people. And the program shouldn't have any idea we've done anything since we aren't directly interacting with it. It's a long shot, but I think it just might do what we need."

Matt tilted his head to the side while he considered Simba's plan. It seemed straightforward enough, but then so had the other plans that they had attempted. What if it didn't work, would the result be blowing up the Holodeck and the crew inside? "And the risk?"

"I think the risk is minimal and that we should do it right away."

Shocked, Matt and Simba both look over at Belle. Her face showed a large degree of certainty that they were not used to seeing, after all it was her that had always been afraid of the risks. "I mean like, right now!" She stated as she pointed to the data that was swirling across her screen, showing the immediate danger the crew already faced as their contingency plan was begining to fail.

Matt moved swiftly to the console on the opposite side, with Simba swiftly at his heals. "Pull that panel away." He motioned. "Belle can you bring the engineering toolkit over here?" He tapped quickly, his hands sliding over the screen as he brought up the parameters he was looking for. Simba pulled away the access panel and tapped in a few keys that hovered over the gel packs, before moving to the next panel to reveal another block of isolinear chips.

"Man, I am starting to really hate the sight of these." He mumbled under his breath.

"You and me both!"

Matt picked up the PADD, and swiftly glanced through the data before tapping a few more commands.

"Alright, this part should be fairly simple…" Simba paused for a moment as he studied the chips and planned his attack. "This should reverse the polarity of the EPS power taps near the holodeck… isolate the surrounding systems so the power surge doesn't damage anything else…" he muttered to himself as he quickly shuffled the isolinear chips in and out of the numerous slots. After a few moments, he ducked out from under the console. "Matt, can you double-check this for me quick?" He tapped his commbadge as Hudson took his place under the console and inspected the system. "Wekesa to security team… we are about to shut down the grid, stand by to enter the holodeck."

"Looks good," Matt confirmed as he slid back into the chair. "Let's do it."

Simba nodded and moved to another console a few meters down the catwalk. "Alright… here goes nothing…" he remarked as he tapped in the final sequence to the console, signaling the computer to initiate the shutdown sequence. There was a moment of apprehensive silence as the engineers waited for some sort of feedback on their plan. Suddenly, the computer sounded an alarm indicating the power overload, then silenced as the holo-emitters either blew out or discharged into the holodeck.

"We've done it!" Matt almost shouted. "The hologrid has been disabled!" He looked over at Belle. "The crew?"

She beamed up at him. "They are fine, the security team is getting them out of the holodeck now."

Matt nodded and threw a grin over at Simba. "See I knew it was a good idea to call you." Matt turned back to the console and double checked the data. "It looks like it is going to be a big clean up, but nothing you engineers can't handle." He smirked before frowning. "But-"

"But?" Simba asked moving over towards Matt thinking to look at the data himself.

"Matt!" Belle yelled a warning, looking up from her beeping tricorder. "Get back."

Matt's eyes widened as he realized a moment too late. Within seconds a power surge exploded from the console and shot up his hands and into his body. Both Simba and Belle rushed towards Matt but were pushed back by the blast as Matt was thrown backwards, smashing into the computer bank directly behind him before slumping to the ground. Simba grabbed for one of the safety extinguishers, while Belle rushed to Matt's side.

"Cadet Hudson? Can you hear me?" She yelled, checking his pulse. "He's alive!" She threw over her shoulder as Simba moved over to them and tapped his commbadge.

"Medical emergency in the main Computer Core."

Matt could feel pain slowly ease from his body as he tried to open his eyes, but the more he tried the darker the surrounding space around him felt. "Matt? MATT? Mathias?" Matt heard his name being whispered as if from a distance. It sounded like Simba, but the almost complete darkness pushed him further and further away from the voices. He tried to push back, tried to respond, but he couldn't move. Could not feel anything. At least there is no pain. He thought absently to himself as he let the darkness win, beginning now to drift as it enveloped him completely. That was a good thing, right?

Once again, brought to you by Simba, Matt, and Belle. Now try to keep those pants on, Javier!

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-1-2009 02:53:54 PM

::USS Hawking::

“… Harry? What the…?”

“Long story,” he flashed a quick, if feral, grin, taking it as encouraging that one, Javier had found some clothes, two, he’d dropped the swashbuckle-speak upon seeing Finn, and, three, the Marines, breathing and zombie alike, were being distracted by a boarding party of living-dead pirates (so… would those be the good undead guys?).

Harry released Wendy to go to the pirate's… dammit… Costala’s side, noting how, as she did, there was an almost visceral sensation of something clicking into place. Shaking off the whimsical thought, he got back to business, “Crew’s working on breaking through this program and those undead pirates who just joined the party make me think they’re getting somewhere… still,” he indicated the ship’s wheel, where Torrik Nils was engaged by a green behemoth with a flaming sword, fire… on a wooden ship… bad on sooo many levels, “the Captain looks like he could use a hand so if you guys can just… keep each other in one piece, I’ll head yonder.”

Without waiting for a response, he wrapped the endlessly useful bowline about his wrist a couple times, hopped up onto the ship’s rail and aimed himself towards the beleaguered Bajoran. He even almost made it, but just past the arc’s nadir, a clever move by Torrik disarmed the green guy, sending the beast’s burning weapon slicing through the air and directly across the bowline by which Harry had been traversing the deck.

Falling, Harry didn’t notice where the sword landed and, once he’d hit the deck he found things a mite too hectic to have time to worry about whether the ship were about to catch fire. He’d landed smack in the midst of a face-off between a handful of marines to starboard and an equal number of their piratical opposites to port. From the looks in both party’s burning eyes, Harry’s sudden presence made for one un-undead too many.

Rolling to his feet, Harry barely noticed that, somewhere deep within, past the faltering shields of Gorsky’s nanites, something dark was also rising. Drawing the usurped cutlass, the Starfleet officer’s face slid into an expression of iron satisfaction as, finally, he was let loose to do what he did so well: unfettered by doubts; unhindered by morality; unleashed at last by the subliminal harmonics, Finn the Bloody swept into battle and woe betide any who got between him and his mark.

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/02-1-2009 07:26:06 PM

-HMS Chimera-

His arm was there, catching T'Shaini and pulling her close to his side even as Harry let her down. The XO barely had time to explain his being on the ship before he moved to aid Nils. Javier watched as Harry swung away on the rope. He could only look for a second because he was immediately set upon by a marine..zombie?

The creature stabbed at him with the bayonet that was fixed to the end of the musket it carried. Javier parried with his sword (his back burned like fire as he executed the move) and struck the weapon aside even as the zombie pulled the musket's trigger. A bright flash and a thunderous roar then a choking cloud of smoke wreathed the area around them. For a moment he and the counselor were lost in the black powder smoke. Javier's hand clasped T'Shaini's as he pulled towards the side then over the front of the ship!

Riding on the angle of the bowsprit, Javier held T'Shaini on the space that was no bigger than a seaman's chest. There was a feeling that there was something that he..he wanted to say..

"How does the Duchess like these quarters?" he suddenly said.

Unfamiliar with the architecture of sailing vessels, T'Shaini felt a shiver of panic as they went over the side, then landing on the small…very small, platform she held on to Javier and looked up wide-eyed at the question. "I find, sir that they are a mite confining." Was she truly joking with this…this…pirate? "We were looking for a way to stall your execution, however, I find death by drowning an unsavory option."

"You'll not drown my Lady," the pirate promised, "I swore an oath no harm would come to you, and I aim to keep my promise." His hold on Shaini's waist tightened but the shape of her dress kept them apart. "This dress must be against our union. It acts like a chaperone, ever set in keeping me at a distance from your comely shape."

Despite the precarious perch the Duchess felt a smile pull at her lips. "And it is well done, I have never in my existence felt the need for a chaperone before now."

"I wish for there to be no chaperone needed when we are together," Black Javier told the Duchess, his tone becoming quite serious. "I..I wish to be your husband, my Lady. I will have no other and the past hours with you are equal with any event of happiness that I have had in my life." The waves slapped against the hull beneath their perch. "You are the greatest prize I have ever taken..I wish to be yours also."

"Oh.." She, who was never at a loss for words, found herself speechless. There were a myriad of arguments she should voice, but none would come. The pull she had felt in his presence from the moment they met swelled within and without thought she allowed herself to sink into that intangible connection. Reaching up, her fingers twined in his hair. "I fear that the Governor will be incensed when he discovers that not only has his fiance been held captive, but she has refused to be rescued."

"A pirate's life for you, Duchess?" he asked as his face moved closer to hers. He wanted to taste her lips again, but this time he would savor them slowly.

"I think perhaps that is quite the perfect remedy for my heretofore incurable case of wanderlust." Shaini said musingly.

"Wanderlust," Black Javier repeated. "I await your explanation of the word's meaning with stilled breath." He moved in to give her a brief, soft kiss. "Then again, perhaps you can explain the definition through action," the pirate surmised before pressing his lips against Shaini's again.

Her arms slid around his neck to pull him closer to her, falling into his warmth…."Javier?" T'Shaini pulled away from him as she could feel the sway of the prow coalesce into solid ground.

The bouquet of Shaini's perfume mixed with sweat, gunpowder and the ever present sea-salt was suddenly stolen from Javier's nostrils. Gone too was the movement of the Chimera as it rode the ocean currents. He was (Javier looked up as he felt T'Shaini's lips leave his own) in the holodeck. Javier turned his head to see Harry and Nils on the otherside of the room. Nils was looking relieved while Harry seemed to be taking out his frustrations on the shadows, cutting at the air with the fury of a berserker.

He twisted back and felt an ungodly amount of pain shoot up his back. There was a slight tearing sound as cloth pulled away from the lashes the whip had left. "Honey, I think I need to go to Sickbay," he hissed at T'Shaini through pain-clenched teeth.

"Of course." She glanced over his shoulder to see Harry slump against the wall, eyes now clear, then looked to Nils as he nodded, understanding her need. "Perhaps next year we can stay in our quarters, last year it was a bear, this year nearly killed at sea…who knows what would happen next…" She said smiling as they limped their way toward the now open door.

JP Next year we are going to Club Med.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-1-2009 09:59:30 PM

::USS Hawking::
::XO’s Office::

“Commander. You wished to see me?”

Finn looked up from the replicator as Lt. Tenanji entered the office. Thanks to the multiple injuries incurred by Javier and Cadet Hudson, the XO had managed to duck out of sickbay sooner than he otherwise could have hoped. Gorsky’s shield had clearly worn off… no more buzzing… and he’d felt no reason to stick around waiting for Seldon to run yet another scan. Instead, he’d seen Jenny off to rest… in the predictable company of Pierce and, once safely on the way to his office, had tagged the Chief of Security for some face time… ASAP.

“I did,” Harry took the first sip of the coffee he’d ordered. “First, please note that Petty Officer Pierce was following my orders when he pulled McMennan and Ellison’s attention from the holodeck entrance,” which was in no way true but it was the least Harry could do to repay the kid for his timely distraction. He’d talk to Pierce about his dopeheaded intention of gaining access to a hostile environment, later.

“Noted.” Tenanji was at subzero.

“Second,” Harry put the coffee down on the desk and straightened to face the other man, “did Peress raise his weapon to me on his own initiative, or yours?”

“Mine,” the response came without a flinch. “That is to say, I ordered him to use whatever means he felt necessary to prevent your entering the holodeck.”

“Fine, then he’ll be spared any serious disciplinary actions.” Harry waited a beat, “Of course that leaves me with the burden of trying to find a reason not to charge you with sedition.”

Tenanji’s eyes narrowed, “SO 104, Section E prohibits the commanding officer from willfully putting him or herself at risk when able Security officers are standing by… which hardly reads as sedition…”

“Yeah, I can see where having your subordinate shoot that CO is a much better alternative. Of course, if Peress had shot me, there’d have been no one able to safely enter the holodeck and Chief Engineer Costala would likely have died, after having the rest of the skin whipped from his back… and we’d potentially have also lost Counselor T’Shaini and the Captain of this ship.”

“But if you had contacted my department before allowing Ensign Gorsky to inject the nanites…”

Harry held up a hand, “You weren’t asked for your opinion,” he said, “not now and not then. Not then because there was no time. Not now because you weren’t present then so you don’t know how many options I had to weigh in the space of thirty seconds…”


“I’m not finished.” The words weren't loud, but they cracked through the air like a whip, “Someday,” Finn continued into the shocked stillness, “you will be in the same position as I was, in that lab. You’ll be the XO or Captain of a starship and faced with a short list of completely f**ked up choices, at which point you’ll have some understanding of just how certain decisions are made.”

Usher blinked, obviously surprised but whether at the First Officer’s tone or his lofty expectations for his Security Chief’s career was uncertain, “I…”

“But that day isn’t here yet so, for now, you will not, ever, attempt to shove your team in the face of my authority. A decision had been made and orders issued… it was on you to follow those orders, not take it upon yourself to interfere with the only viable aid available to the three people trapped in that room.”

“Sir,” the word was an acknowledgment, if not an agreement. “Will that be all?”

Harry considered the man before him, “Not quite, Lieutenant.” Harry came round the front of his desk, so the two men were eye to eye. “I’d like you to take an emotional inventory and figure out if you really were all that concerned about SO 104, Section E… or if, in fact, you’re just pissed at yourself for not recognizing the other Finn for what he was,” referring to Harry’s murderous mirror image, “and are now overreacting to my conduct because of it?”

The slight increase in tension around the eyes indicated a hit. “In that case,” Harry said, as if Usher had actually responded, “I will remind you that there are two counselors on this ship who will be more than willing to aid you in getting past that subjective pothole… before anyone has reason to call your actions into question.” There was, again, no verbal answer. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes sir, I’ll make an appointment right away, sir’.”

“As you say, sir,” the cool words were accompanied by a short nod.

Harry nodded back, “Now you’re dismissed.”

Once the room had emptied of unhappy Usher, Harry picked up the coffee, again, toasting himself at the chance, by ordering Tenanji to counseling, to finally do unto another what everyone else was constantly doing unto him. “And I’d hate to see Wendy get bored…” he added to the quiet office before settling down to reviewing the departmental evaluations which the recent crisis had forestalled.

Featuring NPC:

Originally Posted by Vince Stryfe/02-2-2009 01:04:05 AM

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

Vince sat in his favorite chair, a box full of pictures rested in his lap. He opened the box, shifting through the pictures, smiling as he did. This was all he had left of a past he was ready to be rid of. This box had caused him to almost fall completly for over a year. The same box had been the reason for his countless drunken nights, shifting through the contents, drinking bottle after bottle of whatever he had availible.

Years had passed since that day, the worst day of his life.

.:: USS Normandy : Concorde Class Carrier : 6yrs ago ::.

He was just given the rank of Major, and was in command of a Tactical Wing. He was in the best of moods, his confidence was soaring, and on the next shore leave, just days away, he was going to propose. All of the euphoria he was experiencing was torn away as he watched the Borg cube come into view on the screen, and everything went wrong. He ran through the corridors, dodging Borg, and already assimilated fellow crew members, trying to get to her, trying to save her.

The door opened to their quarters, and his heart fell as he watched in disbelief as Charlotte looked back at him, the tubes injecting her with nodes as the two of them stared at each other. The last words he ever heard her say," Run, save yourself, RUN!!".

Vince started towards the flight deck, his eyes filled with tears. He didn't second guess what he was doing, he knew there was nothing he could do to save her, or was there. He stopped in his tracks, looking back towards his quarters, then back at the direction to the flight deck. He started to doubt himself, maybe he could save her, get her somewhere that the nanites could be removed. He started back to his quarters, but was grabbed from behind by someone. He turned to see his best friend, Scott Marshell, grabbing at him, pulling him towards the flight deck. He fought against him, trying to get back to her, knowing there was somthing he could do. His friend's words faint to him," Let's go, there's nobody alive that way, we hafta go!", but Vince didn't want to leave her.

Moments later the two pilots found themselves standing next to their fighter's, ready to leave.

" Computer, what is the Captain's status," Vince leaned against the wall, still choking from the lump in his throat, and nearly blinded by the tears in his eyes," Computer, what's his damn status?!?!"

" The Captain has been compromised, command of the ship has been transfered to the next level of command present on the ship." The computer sounded off with it's monotoned voice.

" Well, what about the XO then?" Vince waited for another dry responce.

" The entire Senior members of the command and support staff have been compromised, command has been given to the highest ranking officer still uncompromised." The computer was unchanged in it's tone still, uneffected by the current situation.

Vince slammed his fist against the wall," Then who has command of the damn ship?!"

The computer promtly responded," Major Vincent T. Stryfe is the highest ranking officer on the ship. His codes have been activated, and all systems are under his command."

Vince fell back against his fighter, disbelief again crossing his face. He had figured in his head that the self destruct needed to be engaged, and he was willing to accept that, but not if he was the one that had to carry it out. Thousands of people were on this ship, civilians, officers, enlisted, most assimilated, and now their lives would be ended on his command. He looked over at Scott," I can't do it, I just can't."

" You have to, you know that. If these things can get into the ship's database, then hundreds of Starfleet ships and positions will become targets, and they'll be powerless to stop them. You have to sacrifice the ship, and the assimilated crew, you have to think of the countless lives outside of this hull that you can save." Scott had Vince by the jacket collar, yelling in his face. His friend's face never looked like this, but he didn't have time for it," Just ask yourself what your dad would do if he was in the same situation. Ask what Picard would do if he was in this, or even Pike, or Bud Anderson. Just ask yourself."

Vince looked up at Scott, his tears disappearing, his face turning back to his normal demeanor," Computer, initiate Self Destruct."

The computer chimed in again, it's coldness burning into Vince," Self Destruct confirmed, waiting for voice verification."

Vince looked at Scott, watching him nod to Vince, confirming his agreement with what was about to occur," Computer, activate Self Destruct, command Red:10376-2, Major Stryfe, Vincent T. Set destruct sequence for 3 minutes, silent countdown, as soon as I am off the ship.," Vince shook his head," I'm sorry Charlotte, I love you," He looked at Scott again, his face firm," Computer belay that, execute destruct sequence now."

" Self Destruct sequence initiated, 3 minutes until detonation, further warnings will not be given." The computer's tone, still unchanged……

Minutes later Vince watched as the carrier exploded, taking the close by cube with it, and all of his fellow crew, Charlotte being among them…….

.:: Present Time ::.

The last photo Vince found in the box was of him, Scott, and Charlotte standing together, posing infront of the Normandy, not a care in the world. He took one last look at it, then tossed it into the recycler. He held up one picture of Charlotte by herself, a modeling type of picture, framed. It was the picture that sat on his desk, and it would be the only thing he had left of her. He wanted to keep this one picture, to let himself know that a part of his heart was still hers, and would always be, but the rest of it needed to let her go. He needed to move on.

He wasn't for sure if it would be Tatiana that he would possibly find what he once had again. But he knew that with him finally letting her go, Charlotte could finally be at rest, and he could find love again………….

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/02-2-2009 09:35:26 AM

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

Fists clenched and fuming, Nils paced the hall outside sickbay. Seldon had ‘ordered’ full examinations following the holodeck incident, but the Captain couldn’t settle his pagh enough to submit quite yet. The injured cadet was his present and primary concern.

Hudson, Nils thought to himself. Cadet Matt Hudson.

The weight of command birthed anew on his shoulders and he shook his head in anguish and disgust. If he had to write a letter to the cadet’s family… He didn’t let himself go there mentally. Instead he purposed in his mind to promote Hudson, choosing to focus on a positive future.

In addition to Hudson’s injuries, his own performance during the ‘conflict’, as well as a general lack of program maintenance aboard his ship had a fair measure of influence in regards to his mood. The haywire programming that had abducted a large percentage of the senior staff had him reeling. And the threat of being ‘removed from duty’ by the CMO added its own sting. But despite all the frustration and angst he currently heaped on himself, none measured up to the general sense of failure he felt for allowing such a thing to occur.

“Captain to Bridge,” he snapped, poking his combadge in frustration.

=/\= Jezera, =/\= came the fast response.

“Purge all holodeck programming. Personal, holonovels, factory programming, and official. I want the damned thing cached and blank when we put in to DS9.”

A brief hesitation preceded, =/\= Sir, it is unadvisable to…=/\=

“I’m not asking for advice,” The Bajoran snapped. “Clean it out Jezera. All of it,” he added tersely then cut the channel.

Not once, but twice since he’d boarded this ship its holodeck had tried to kill him. He seriously considered shutting the things down for good. A new and powerful hatred of holoemitters and the ‘adventures’ they could devise blossomed in his mind. If that phaser hadn’t appeared on deck when it did I may well be… He shook off the thought, unwilling to face the prospects. The monstrous version of Hellersby had almost killed him, and had it not been for the intervention of the crew outside he most certainly would have succeeded.

And now one of the crew who saved us… Again he pushed dark thoughts from his head.

The doors to the sickbay slid open and Bramley poked his head out. “You’re up, sir.”

Brooding and with a cold silence, Nils stalked into sickbay ready for whatever physical exam was required. As he passed the cordoned off section where Seldon tended to Hudson, he subtly stretched his hand towards the biobed. Quietly, and with deep sincerity he offered a prayer of healing to the Prophets, then he moved on for his own pointless examination.

“How do you feel,” Bramley asked as he pulled the wand from his medical tricorder.

The Captain glanced back over his shoulder and watched the activity around Hudson’s bed. “Like Atlas has it made…”

With NPC:

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/02-2-2009 01:24:00 PM

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

When the alarm went off, Jenny tried to bury herself in the blankets. It couldn’t possibly be 0700 yet… she could have sworn she’d just closed her eyes, the hodgepodge of the holodeck’s sabotage, Aengus’ odd looks and Ben’s goodnight kiss swirling her to sleep. But the beeping continued, unchecked by Darby who was… surprise, surprise… not in her bunk, so Jen gave up and rolled out of bed. Slamming the offending chronometer to silence, she yawned her way through a sonic shower and brushing her teeth then, wrapped in the sort of pointless towel, went to the closet to pull out a uniform.

“That’s not right.” Not realizing she’d spoken aloud, the crewman pulled out a short, red… short tunic… of the make she’d worn on the USS Constitution during the fleet race. She’d never liked the thing and, once they’d all returned to the Hawking, had recycled her allotted uniforms with something close to glee.

Confused, she reached into the closet again but the results were the same… she now held two of the despised uniforms.

Eyes narrowed, Jenny considered the garments, pooled in her hands like blood, and what they represented to her and the realization struck, “I’m dreaming.”

“In that case, I hope you never wake up.”

Stiffening, the young woman dropped the uniforms and turned to face the source of the comment, “Hope all you want,” she said, refusing to let him see the fear. “I’ll wake, soon enough… and you’ll still be dead.”

“Not so dead,” Chuck smiled his too-knowing smile, “not so dead I can’t bring you back to me, every time you fall to dreaming.” He came closer, his breath hot on her cheeks and his hands cold on her shoulders and his thoughts like daggers in Jenny’s mind, cutting off all access to her limbs so that she could only stand, a silent mannequin, as those hands tugged away the towel which had shielded her from his eyes.


“What are you doing up?” Darby breezed in, wearing the happy glow of one who’d spent quality time with Kallee Wallee.

“Just finishing this sleeve,” Jen responded, not taking her eyes from the navy blue sweater she’d begun knitting on Ben’s return. “Couldn’t sleep.”

“Yeah, pretty exciting day, wasn’t it? I mean, can you imagine? Being stuck on a pirate ship? And, like… I hear that Commander’s T’Shaini and Costala believed they were really, like… a pirate and a duchess!” Darbs spun herself to her bunk and fwumped down in a puff of pink bedding. “I’d totally give about anything for a chance to see Kal-El in full pirate swag.”

Jenny felt her jaw drop, along with the stitch she was working, at the image. “I bet that’d be… something.”

“Mmmm,” Saunders was already beginning to drift, “Yo ho ho, me hearties.” And then she was out.

Glancing at the chronometer, Jenny sighed and started to pick up the dropped stitch. If she stuck with it, she’d have the sleeve finished by the time the alarm went off…

Featuring the ghost of Chuck and NPC Ensign Darby Saunders

Originally Posted by Matt Hudson/02-2-2009 06:24:24 PM

"Matt? MATT? Mathias?"

Matt watched the episode as though detached, not fully understanding that he was viewing himself. Images flashed before him.

An explosion forcing the body across the room, crashing into the walling. The man looked injured, bodies hovered over him, screaming his name.

"Matt? MATT? Mathias?" They looked worried. Should he be worried? He didn't think so… More arrived, more worried glances.

"Tell me what happened?" Another man asked, pulling out a device and scanning the slumped individual. With a sudden jolt, Matt felt as those he had been punched in the gut as a whirlwind of images moved, nothing he could focus on, flying past him as though he was caught in a storm of memories. Another punch in the gut. The images froze. This time he could see a man slumped once more on the floor, in pain, but not physical pain.

"I can still hear her screams." He finally whispered, raising his head to look at them both. His delusions. "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." Matt watched the man drown in his own sorrow, pain shooting from his eyes as he watched the little girl as though her presence was the only thing keeping his heart beating. Another gut punch…move pushing through images…another stop.

The two cadets laughed as they observed the comings and goings. "Not that we both got assigned to the same vessel!" The other laughed… "Yeah, obviously they took pity on you my friend." …respond with a slap on the back. Gut punch…moving images…stop.

"You don't have to do this." The older man stated through sad familiar eyes. The younger sighed and turned away. "What else would I do?" He moved to stand near the window, looking out on the field just recently plowed. The older man moved and clutch the younger's shoulder. "You can not run, not matter how hard you try." He responded, his voice full of pain. Punch…Matt clutched his head as the images swirled around him, making his head spin quicker and quicker…stop.

The man materialized on the shuttle, his eyes frantic as he pushed forward to tap commands, clumsy. Then the sound and sight of the explosion as the shuttle rocked with the wave…the man fell to his knees. "Noooooooooo." The gut punch twisted his innards once more, leaving his breathless…more moving images…stop.

"Don't even think about telling her a scary story!" The man laughed as he lifted the child up in the air as she giggled. He threw a wink over at the woman. "Wouldn't dream of it." He responded, moving into the next room as he clutched the young girl in his hands. "So a story about Vampires or Zombies?" The woman heard him whisper as they faded away, she just shook her head and smiled.

Matt's entire body shook as the image faded away and once more a tornado of images flew past him, around and around, never stopping. He covered his eyes trying to quell the dizziness as his spiraled journey continued. Images whipped as his clothing as they passed, his face, tugging at his hands, as real as his own body…Stop.

He gently lowered his hands as he felt the dizziness fade away. He was once again back in familiar territory, laying it seemed on a biobed in sickbay. Carefully moving, he pushed up and swung his legs around to the side trying to get his bearings. The normal hubble of activity was void, no familiar voices of conversation discussion patient care, latest techniques or even about the latest Parrises Squares match. In fact, there were no voices at all, no people at all in sickbay, it was eery. Just himself and…

A young girl, probably in her early teens sat opposite him, staring quietly at him through guarded eyes. Her Bajoran nose ridges scrunched in a decidedly familiar way, but Matt couldn't put his finger on what was familiar. Her light brown hair was long and straight, pushing down to her waist which seemed to go unnoticed despite its definite curls and tangle. She tilted her head to the side and smiled in an all too familiar way. It stung at Matt's heart making him gasp almost as if for breath.

"Am I dead?" Realizing how much that made sense, seeing that she was here with him, but the girl continued to smile and shook her head.


She grinned. "Very possible." She responded, her voice almost a lullaby to his ears. She pushed off from her biobed and moved towards him. "You need to be strong." She stated, those words like DeJaVu as they had been said before, by her…but not… she was older…wiser.

"Why?" He asked simply.

She smiled as once again clutched his hands in a all too familiar way. "You need to be strong so that you can save me." She replied, "You need to wake up!"

Gut Punch.

Matt felt the room spin once more, this time more violently than before as he watched the young girl disappear from before him. "MADDISON!" He yelled, but he was too late, she was already gone, replaced by the swirl of violent images, rushing like the wind past him. He tried to focus on one, but it swept away. Tried to focus on another, but it was also lost. Trying to focus on anything, any image, any memory so that he could stay pinpointed in time, any time. Despite his efforts they continued to swirl around him, tugging at him, dragging him down. Down further, into darkness. Despite the darkness, he could hear whispers, calling his name but he couldn't tell who, couldn't see them.

"Matt, can you hear me?"

Featuring Maddie Hudson…

Originally Posted byT'Shaini/02-2-2009 08:08:37 PM

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Counselor's Office ::

Nils casually strode into the suite of offices designated for the counseling staff. Though still recovering from the stressful incident in the holodeck, there was still business to attend to. With a clean bill of health from sickbay he fully intended to get his mind off the irritation and get things done.

The counseling suite smelled nice. Whatever T'Shaini used for her incense truly inspired tranquility and peace of mind. Instead of fighting off that sensation, Nils decided to give in to it. Clinging to agitation served no purpose, especially in light of his reason for visiting the counselor. He'd decided against making an appointment in favor of a 'walk-in' visit. This was not, after all, a session for shrinking his head, as Dalluk liked to put it. Be it pride or a misplaced sense of leadership, the young Captain felt obligated to keep up appearances and resist counseling. The Intrepid Class's rumor mill stirred enough, without the fear of a grief stricken CO driving the ship into a solar flare.

"Is the Counselor in her office," the Bajoran asked Mister Tattershall, who'd apparently taken point duty in the office.

"Yes, Sir." David did not often have contact with the Captain and he thought it best to present as military a greeting as possible, he rose and snapped off a crisp salute. "She is finishing up some reports, would you like to speak with her?"

"Please," answered Nils with a slight smile and a small nod. Tattershall's rigid response to his presence made him feel slightly ill at ease. Perhaps even a bit more than slightly, if truth be told.

Knowing there would be no need to double check, David smiled broadly. "Please, go right in." Remembering that the counselor always said that making people comfortable was his first duty he belatedly added. "Can I get you something to drink?"

Nils started walking before he answered. "No thank you," he called behind him with a wave over the shoulder. "And…" He tried to think of something 'Captainy' to say to ease the tension he'd somehow caused. "Carry on." He paused and made an involuntary awkward face, then waved off the whole encounter as he entered T'Shaini's office.

"Nils." The Counselor smiled and rose gracefully from behind her desk. "What a welcome surprise." Crossing the room she halted, a few feet from him. "It is always good to see you, what can I do for you?"

"I don't know that I need something all that badly," Nils started warmly, "But Mister Tattershall might need some kind of muscle relaxant. Is he always so uptight?" He closed the distance between them and greeted her with a squeeze to her arm. The move shocked him a little, but he let it go. They'd been through much, and the friendships they'd begun forging were clearly more powerful than his own will for isolation. "Glad to see you back on dry land…"

"Glad to be back on dry land…and secure in who I am." She said lightly. "And as for David, I try to categorize it as 'eagerness'. I have always considered myself almost compulsively organized…until he came along." T'Shaini felt a small smile creep across her face. "He can make a Vulcan look haphazard."

Haphazard. That word always made Nils think of Javier. "I suppose I, of all people, shouldn't be calling anyone uptight, anyway" he said, cutting his eyes in the counselor's direction. "But… To the reason I've interrupted your day… I have a request and what I hope will be good news. Prophets know we always could use more good news around here," he added under his breath. "Do you have a moment?"

"Of course." She said, gesturing to the couch, once seated herself, T'Shaini raised one eyebrow. "What you hope will be good news?"

The Bajoran steepled his fingers over his lips and took a breath as he prepared his words. "I've come to discover a real weakness in my ability to Command this ship. My… personality is lacking a certain… ease when it comes to diplomacy and the more delicate intricacies of communication, whether they be interpersonal or more official. The short of it is this… I need someone on board that I can turn to in First Contact and diplomatic encounters. And I quite honestly can't think of a better person for the job than you."

"I am flattered." T'Shaini fought the urge to fold her legs beneath her, this was clearly a more 'official' visit that she had first imagined. "I would hope that it would be logical to turn to the Counselor in such areas, barring any high ranking ambassador on board." A flicker in his eyes made her pause. "Or is that what you are here to speak about?"

A stealthy grin snuck across his face and he momentarily averted his eyes. "In many cases, a diplomatic liaison is assigned to ships for just what I'm suggesting. They suit the bill when a full blown ambassador is unnecessary. However," he paused and regained eye contact. "In light of our assignment and mission profile, I do think we need a full blown ambassador. I'd like to offer you a promotion to Commander and the role of Ambassador if you are willing to take it. Of course, there will be some bureaucratic red tape somewhere along the line to make it official… And you can maintain some of your counseling client load in times when your services as diplomatic officer are unnecessary… But…" Nils smiled and shrugged. "What do you think?"

The Counselor blinked, it was rare she was taken completely by surprise, but this conversation had certainly done it. "I…well, I am more than willing to do whatever you think is best for the Hawking." She had David to assist, and Leo was more than ready to increase his caseload….but counseling was why she joined the fleet and what she loved. She glanced down at her folded hands as she weighed her sense of duty against the fear that she would be turning her back on all she had fought for in her life…however, he was not suggesting she leave counseling entirely, he was really just offering her a new challenge in her life. "Is there not more than just read tape require to turn a simple counselor into an ambassador?"

"There may be some diplomatic training, which can be done through correspondence. And I imagine you'll eventually have to meet with Federation policy makers in a more official capacity for proper elevation," he admitted seriously. "But ship captain's are given a great deal of autonomy. It comes with being thousands of light-years from the galactic hub of government," he added with a smile. "But if you're willing, I have complete faith in you." His choice in wording was deliberate and he emphasized the important parts.

A slow smile blossomed. "Thank you." The word faith, it had so many reverberations, so much depth and it warmed her to hear him use it so freely. "I embrace the chance to expand my knowledge and aid you, and the ship, in whatever way I can."

"Excellent," Nils said reflecting her smile. "I was hoping that's what you would say."

"It is good to see you smile." T'Shaini rarely said anything thoughtlessly, and the counselor in her was never far away even in conversations where she did not truly belong. She now tucked her feet beneath her and leaned forward. "I understand your desire for privacy, but I cannot help but take this opportunity to say that, I hope when you are ready, you will come and speak with me."

They just can't help it… And thus the reason that Nils avoided anyone in the profession presented itself once again. But this wasn't Olivia Stabler, from SS Megiddo, or some random 'i'll fix you' counselor. This was T'Shaini. And the Bajoran knew her interest was much more than just professional. Her commitment to the mental and emotional well being of the crew was personal to her. His countenance fell in spite of his understanding of her position. "I…" He truly didn't have the words. Sighing deeply, Nils leaned back into the seat he'd taken. "Did you take a 'journey' when Camael was on board?" With his question, he realized how long it had been since they'd actually talked.

Knowing Nils, this was not an idle inquiry or a random deflection. "I did, it was…fulfilling." She let the words hang in the air, not willing to push.

"Exactly," replied the CO, internally embracing her terminology. "My own journey, and the opportunity to take it with Jachin…" Nils shook his head and tried to think of a way to communicate what he was trying to say. "I think I've changed, T'Shaini. I feel different. I don't know if Camael's gift created that change or just gave it an imagery I could more easily process. But even though my life is…darker without…" It still hurt to say her name. Nils chose not to and dropped his gaze. "I just know I'm going to be okay. We're going to be okay…"

T'Shaini felt her chest tighten, he had divulged more in those few sentences than she had ever heard him speak aloud. More to be grateful to Camael for. "I am glad, more glad than I have words to express…as much as I would wish to be the agent of healing, it is the healing that is the important thing and not the means by which you are granted that path."

"I wouldn't say the job is done. I mean, you know me…" Nils shrugged and tried to smile. "There will always be something out of balance, damaged, or just outright wrong."

"I think you give yourself far too little credit, I am overwhelmed at how far you have come." A hint of mischief lit her eyes. "I will tell you mine, if you will tell me yours…"

The false smile he'd tried to present as a shield erupted with authenticity. He leaned forward and his eyes danced like a child's. "Have you ever heard of Batman?"

JP…I got nuthin…Nils and Tee.

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/02-2-2009 10:51:43 PM

::Chief Engineer's Quarters::

Javier brushed off the Royal Marine Officer's jacket and placed it inside the closet, hanging the sword underneath the fabric so it could swing freely beneath the uniform. The pants and shirt had not been in good enough condition to keep but the engineer found that he had attached a certain amount of reverence to the uniform jacket and sword. As he leaned into the closet so he could push the jacket behind his Fleet dress uniform and formal wear Javier felt the newly healed skin on his back stretch. A sharp intake of breath followed the spasm of pain that arched across the muscles. The engineer grunted as he pulled his arm from the depths of the closet, its retraction easing the stress on his muscles and alleviating some of the pain.

The doctor did say to limit my range of motion, Javier reminded himself as he took deep breaths, his hand resting on the closet's door frame. The ship's new CMO had sewn up the cuts the Royal Navy's whip punishment had torn in his back but had cautioned Javier against exerting himself fully. "The outer wounds are repaired but you still need to rest and recuperate," Dr. Seldon had explained, "you may leave Sickbay but I'm placing you on sick leave for a few days."

He'd readily agreed, Sickbay gave him the creeps and Javier wanted to spend as little time in there as possible. Bad memories of an overzealous Dr. Yates and her extremely personal bedside manner kept him from staying too long. Then there was the fact that Jill Munro, Dr. Munro's alternate universe twin, roamed the department was reason enough not to want to be there. It was hard to see her and not think it was Jillian, he knew that Nils must have felt it ten times worse but he had no idea how to approach his friend about the loss of Jillian.

I suppose it's not my place to say anything.. the Chief Engineer surmised. He looked into the closet and saw the glint of light as it reflected off of polished metal. Buffering himself against the inevitable pain that would come, Javier reached back into the closet and brought forth the source of the reflection. It was the belt buckle of his dress uniform from the Marines. He had kept the entire uniform replete with its white gloves and cover. He walked over to the bed and laid the uniform out. Studying the blue jacket with its gold buttons and red trim brought a smile to his face. The last time he had worn it was…

"The Corps Birthday Bash," Javier said aloud. He had gone with..the restaurant owner..she had returned to the Alpha Quadrant. Marta? He couldn't remember. It seemed like such a long time ago, and yet there was still something about the uniform that drew him to it. His hands began to unfasten clasps and remove the uniform he was wearing.

Javier stared at his reflection in the mirror. The SFMC dress uniform fit him well, although the cover, Marine jargon for hat, was a tight fit. My head grew? the engineer thought before realizing that he wore his hair a lot longer now than he ever had in the marines. The tag should say: 'one size fits all, as long as that one size is high and tight. He tucked his hair back beneath the cover. The uniform felt good. It felt..right. He gave the reflection a hard stare. His Fleet uniform was fine and his dress whites were..well, white, but he never felt the same way wearing them as he did when he wore his Marine uniform. Like I felt on the holodeck when I wore the Royal Marine uniform. I chose that uniform..not the Royal Navy's, and..and I punched a guy for dishonoring the Marine uniform. Javier frowned as he removed his cover and ran his hand through his hair, pushing it away from his forehead.

I am not a marine anymore though, I'm a Fleet officer," he reminded himself as the engineer tossed his cover on the bed. Javier unclasped the belt and then unbuttoned the jacket and shrugged out of it. In a few minutes he was back in his Fleet uniform wearing the gold, black and gray of the Engineering department. The process taking longer because of his injuries but ending with a sigh of satisfaction when the uniform was returned to its place in the back of the closet.

"I need a haircut," Javier told himself as he examined the Fleet uniform. "Maybe something short..high up and short."

Once a marine, always a marine…

Originally Posted by Emily Star/02-3-2009 06:30:43 AM

"Now for the fun bit." she said, standing up and leaving the watery tea behind. She'd finished the chapter, figured out how she had wanted to lead into the next and now she had to test it out. She still had loads of time before her next shift which presented a rare opportunity and she was going to make the most of it.

Heading towards the holodeck Emily tinkered with her PADD before transfering the data to the holodeck.

'Transfer Denied' flasked across the screen.

"What?" she said outloud, her feet stopping dead and the motion of stopping so suddenly propelling her a little off balance. Curiously she tried again to send the information.

'Transfer Denied' it returned again.

"Do you hate me too?" she growled at the PADD. Quickly she continued her journey to the holodeck. The coridoor was silent, with a slight tingling sensation her fingers touched the buttons on the holodeck panel.

"Access Denied," the voice spoke, causing her to jump a foot back.

She decided to speak this time, "Computer, begin program Emily dash seven eight four."

"Unable to comply with request." it responded.

"Computer. why," are you being such an annoying piece of machinery!!!! she stopped at the 'why and waited for the answer.

"All holodeck programs are currently being removed a.."

"What!!" she shrieked, "Computer who authorized that?"

"Captain Nils." it responded.

Emily stoppped freaking out. If the Captain had authorized it? then there must have been a good reason. She hadn't served much time with him but the time she had served she'd learned he was a man who wouldn't do such a thing for no reason. He took his crew seriously and she trusted that.

Taking a step away from the holodeck she glanced down at her PADD, "Well…I should have saved a backup but..I can always start on a different project." with a sigh she headed back towards her quarters. She needed another shower, and perhaps sleep. She now had a craving to get to her next shift.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/02-3-2009 09:02:11 AM

::USS Hawking::
::Main Security Office - Deck 14::

Harry, standing in the old digs, probably should have felt ill at ease or out of place… he’d been promoted out of the trenches, after all… but to him, in a way, this was and always would be… home.

He’d already spoken to Tenanji and Jameson so, when Crewman Anderson entered, fresh from being trounced by B’Naath and whomever else the Caitian had pulled into the apprentice’s training, he had PADDs and a desktop computer prepped and ready for her viewing pleasure.

“Har… sir?”

“I have an assignment for you,” he told the young woman, noting that, despite the full shift and a half off, she’d yet to look rested. “I hear you’re the one to go to for research…”

“Oh,” Jenny looked down, recalling how much trouble she’d caused by looking into the background of the Regatta without sanction.

“At ease, Crewman,” he used the formal words but the voice was old Uncle Harry… Seth’s best friend and Jenny’s godfather. “This is an authorized search, and from what I’ve heard, you connected a lot of dots on that Regatta business, which couldn’t have been easy.”

“Oh,” again, this time a bit surprised.

“Now, I need you to go over the visitation logs from our layover at DS9. I want to know who was on this ship, what their stated purpose was and to whom they report. If there were any civilians, find out as much as you can about their business affiliations. Nothing is too small. And,” he added as Jen rounded the desk to take a seat before the computer, “if you run into any hitches, firewalls, classified files, contact me ASAP. We need to find out who breached our security to reset that holoprogram so, for now, this desk will be your duty station.” And I won’t have to worry about you climbing around the torpedo tubes half-asleep.


“And, Jenny?”

“Sir?” All business.

“Call T’Shaini.”

“Yes, sir.”

With Crewman Apprentice Jenny Anderson

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/02-4-2009 10:58:32 AM

-USS Hawking-

"So this room was completely covered in snow?" Cadet Mellon inquired as she returned the clean sniper rifle to its case and then placed the TR-116 in a nearby weapons locker. She moved down to the next shelf in the locker and pulled out a second case, flipping the locks on the case after entering her security code on the case's keypad, Astyr proceeded to pass Ben the rifle.

The new addition to the security department did not immediately receive the weapon. The smile on BHP's face betrayed his true thoughts. Brushing her hair back as Ben pulled Jenny closer, his mouth met hers..warm and full, and a hint of moisture just beyond the fullness of those soft lips..

"Ben?" Astyr prompted the daydreamer from his thoughts, still holding the sniper rifle out towards him.

Will there ever be more time to 'warm-up' Jenny? Ben wondered, for the moment ignoring Astyr. The bump of the rifle against his arm alerted BHP that Mellon was tired of holding the TR-116. "Not entirely, some of it was woods and there was a mountain but everything was covered in snow and ice," Pierce told the security officer who had once been his guard. Ironically, he felt more at ease around Astyr than any of the other security folks on his shift. Maybe because we hung out before the whole Chuck thing. "Hey! Who told ya about the Ice Twerp?" Pierce demanded, "I'm pretty sure Jenny and I haven't told that story to many people."

"Darbs" was all Mellon had to say before Ben reached out and grabbed the weapon. There was no telling what Saunders had told the others. Darby had a way of embellishing events to the point of them becoming ridiculous. "So did you really slay an ice dragon to save Jenny?" Astyr half-teased, half-questioned.

"No," Ben retorted, then smiled and said, "It was two ice dragons." He left the image unfinished and began to break down the TR-116. He'd clean the pieces individually then reassemble the weapon. The task was a borderline reprimand, having come on the heels of his disagreement with Cadet McMennon which served as the distraction the First Officer had needed to slip into the holodeck. Senior Chief Jameson had given him the task of cleaning rifles while providing some guidance on working with people you didn't necessarily get along with.

"We're a team Pierce," Jameson had started, "on the job we're all the others have when the shit hits the fan. Don't bring drama to your shift and when someone pushes you, act professionally and remain cool-headed. Instead of defusing the situation you chose to elevate the tension between yourself and Cadet McMennon. It created a distraction that left the team vulnerable and someone took advantage of that weakness."

Ben could only listen in silent embarrassment. Jameson was right, he had responded without thinking, going on the offensive and pulling the team away from their post. "I'm sorry Chief, it won't happen again," BHP had apologized.

"I suspect not," Jameson said, leaving the Ben with the impression that if it did, he probably wouldn't be working in security much longer.

"So Astyr..what's the deal with McMennon? He got a problem with noncoms?" Ben asked as he took a small, fine-hair cleaning brush and dusted around the trigger mechanism of the sniper rifle.

"Not so much noncoms as people who are with what was once his best friend's romantic interest," Mellon explained in a simple yet emotionally detached manner. "He and Captain Benjamin shared some of the same interests and were friends..they 'hung out' a lot as Aengus puts it. He might consider your interest in Jenny as part of the reason Benjamin was forced to leave."

"That's baloney," BHP replied with a shake of his head. "Jenny and I had nothing to do with him leaving the Hawking." He couldn't even bring himself to say the CO's name, just 'him'. It was impersonal and that's all the recognition Pierce believed 'he' deserved. Where was he when the ship was under attack? Where was he when Jenny was taken by that psycho Chuck? Probably recharging his Borg batteries. "McMennon needs to get a clue."

"Yes," Astyr agreed, "but I doubt he will so readily give up his way of thinking. And you still will have to tolerate him and his ideas, he works on Gamma shift."

"Great, maybe some day we'll all be on the same reaction team," BHP said, his lack of enthusiasm all too apparent. And then I'll tell him how the chips are stacked…without creating a distraction. the Iotian resolved.


Still Waters

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