The Switch Marked Go

This Section of the Mission features the following NPCs:
GUI001.png - Lady Minerva Cutsforth

.: U.S.S. Constitution | Observation Lounge:.

"Oh yes dear why, when I was a girl, a few years younger than you are now, my father served on a vessel just like this one." Lady Cutsforth explained, holding her hands clasped in front of her, entirely formal. "And so it's with quite a lot of sentiment I must say that I've taken to looking after the Constitution here you see… reminds me of him."

The elderly woman indicated the ship with a sweeping gesture. "Which is why Miss T'Shaini. I must express to you my concerns about this race… about the nature of your vessel's senior staff. They're very…" She paused momentarily. "…young." She finished quietly.

T'Shaini gripped her hands folded in her lap a little tighter, still working her way back from the trauma in the previous mission keeping her voice even was a bit of a struggle. "Ah, but age and experience do not necessarily go together. Young they might be, but they have had to cope with events while maintaining the safety of this crew that many a senior Starfleet Captain has not encountered." Why are we saying 'they' when she means 'Nathan'?

Lady Cutsforth nodded curtly, sparing the counselor a small glance as she gazed out into the void. "Oh I don't mean to discount their experience you see, but my concerns lie in the fact that young people have a tendency to be reckless. And as this event is an exhibition… I fear it might be forgotten that we are flying a piece of history." The curator turned back toward the counselor, picking up her tea cup as she retook her seat.

To tell the truth, Lady Cutsforth had been wary at best every since she saw the Hawking's young captain on the viewer in her quarters. His face simply glowed with that youthful exuberance. He was… smiling in his military picture. His hair was untidy and he looked like a schoolboy playing dress up in his father's uniform. To say that the old Brittan was not impressed would be an understatement. And reading his logs was even worse. How would it look in the annals of history to have a new species described as "way out" or "wicked interesting." It wouldn't. It was preposterous and to think of it made her cringe. However, there were protocols. "You do understand I'm sure counselor that human adolescents can sometimes throw caution to the wind in times where it would be more suitable to use discretion."

"Ordinary human adolescents…yes, regardless of his age Nathan is a Starfleet Captain with all the respect for duty, protocol and standards that that rank implies. I assure you the life of his crew far outweighs any pubescent recklessness." Breathe, do not allow her narrow point of view to alter your tone. T'Shaini smiled gently and she refilled Lady Cutsforth's tea cup. "I can understand your misgivings, but I am certain that once you meet him all your reticence will disappear…"

No sooner than the words had escaped her mouth a jet of water whizzed past the counselor's head, falling just short of Lady Cutsforth's dress. A dark stain on the otherwise pristine carpet began spreading as she gazed down at it in horror. And as if that weren't enough, a smallish, boy sized blur followed closely behind, taking up residence behind the very chair that the old vessel's caretaker now found herself hostage in. The barrel of his water rifle inched out from behind the chair as the two women came to terms with the events unfolding around them. Cutsforth was absolutely astonished… horrified.. many words would describe how the old girl felt at that moment.. and happy was far form the list. As she opened her mouth to lodge protest, it was filled by yet another jet of water. Spitting, gagging, and attempting to rise from her seat all at the same time wasn't something that she was up to these days and promptly fell on her rear end back into the cushiony confines of the high backed chair.

"Where'd you go you little animal!?" Nathan cried from the rec lounge doorway, his rifle at the ready, another shot a trigger squeeze away. "You can't hide in here I told you… there's pe…." that's when he saw her. "Shit!" the teen swore under his breath. Lady Cutsforth's face was as red as his uniform used to be. Her front was wet, and she certainly didn't look the unflappable old Brit that she had mere moments ago. "Lady Cutsforth… I'm sorry." He offered, closing the distance between the two of them. "I uhh.. I don't know what to say… "

"Say goodbye Benji!" Nathaniel yelped as he brought his rifle to bear on his teenage caregiver. "I've got you!"

"Nathaniel! It was rare that T'Shaini raised her voice, but the shambles of the meeting would have driven even a Vulcan who had gone through Kholinar over the edge. "Cease fire!"

Sensing something wrong with the situation, judging by the way Benji was looing, and by T'Shaini's sudden outburst, the little doppleganger lowered the weapon and peered up at the two adults.. He'd never encountered someone as old as Lady Cutsforth before, nor did he understand why she was so upset. It was after all, only water.

"Young Man!" Lady Cutsforth's shrill voice cut through the air around them. "This is a Museum! NOT a playground!" She was positively shaking now. "You see counselor!?" She snatched up the handbag beside her chair. "This behavior is exactly what I was referring to… exactly!"

"I'm sorry Lady Cutsfor…."

"And I expect you ought to be sir… gallivanting around the corridors with.. with… water toys like a pair of wild children!"

"I am a child." Nathaniel cut in matter of factly.

"Nathaniel!" Nathan hissed. But Lady Cutsforth had just received the final straw…

"Well! You certainly are young man… and rude as well. A testament no doubt to your upbringing. Counselor… Captain" she spat the last as though the words were vile things to say. "I shall be in my quarters.. preparing for the beginning of the race. Good Day!" Leaving no time for any more attempts at reconciliation, the Lady strode off stiffly across the deck and through the doors, leaving T'Shaini, Nathaniel and Nathan standing beside the view port. A few moments passed before anyone dared speak, lest they be smacked across the knuckles by the British Curator's spector.

"So uhh… " Nathan ventured, a grin slowly spreading across his face as he shouldered his rifle. "I guess that gives you some work to do huh?" He quipped, glancing over at T'Shaini.

Her horror induced stasis broken by Nathan's casual retort the Vuclan raised one eyebrow. Fearing anything that left her mouth would be unbecoming a counselor she left that as her reply and hurried after Lady Cutsforth.

Featuring Lady Cutsforth
Originally posted on 4/16/08 by Nathan Benjamin with Miss T'Shaini

Takes place previous to the T'Shaini/Javier post found under 'On Your Mark'

“Computer, locate Mrs. Cutsforth.”

T’Shaini was almost sprinting down the corridor in her panic at the shambles of a first meeting.

“Computer, locate Mrs. Cutsforth.” If it was not bad enough that she had lost all control of the situation the computer was sluggish in response.

“Computer, locate Mrs. Cutsffff….auuuuggghhhh!”

Of course it was not responding, it was a museum piece…to have it respond to every vocal command would have been a recipe for disaster, the function was no doubt removed or disabled. Regardless of the logic of her conclusion the counselor felt the shreds of her composure unravel.

“Stupid computer, stupid ship, stupid emotions…stupid. stupid uniforms.”

T’Shaini only became aware that she was jumping up and down and shouting when a voice penetrated the haze of frustration.

“Counselor?” In stark contrast to the frazzled Vulcan, the bland features of Lt. Tenanji expressed nothing but perhaps a slight concern.

“Ah, yes…erm…” She hurriedly ran her fingers through her hair and tucked it behind her ears. “would you know of the location of the Museum Curator?”

Impassive, he gestured to the corridor to his left. “She was last seen entering her quarters, three doors down.” As the counselor started in the direction indicated Usher put out his hand in warning. “She did not look happy, and one of the words that was used in a derogatory fashion was ‘Vulcan’. I think it only fair to warn you.”

Pursing her lips as she acknowledged his words, T’Shaini squeezed out a tight ‘thank you’ and proceeded to the entrance to Mrs. Cutsforth’s quarters.

After several attempts of the chime brought no result the counselor tried to reason with the doorway in the hopes that she would be heard. How much more ridiculous could I possibly look? She extolled the merits of the command crew, the advances from Nathan’s Borg knowledge, the stoicism of their new Bajoran XO, the brilliance of the engineering department and the joy they were no doubt going to take in being privileged enough to work on this ‘jewel of the fleet’…all to no avail.

Weary from her fruitless efforts, T’Shaini leaned her forehead against the cool doorway. Sighing heavily, she pulled herself back and shrugged her uniform into place.

I need a drink.

Not that she drank, but if she did…now would be the time. Knowing Javier had planned to bring Nils down to the party on the Station, she headed toward the transporter room…perhaps tonight Javier will have to be the designated transporter.

with a brief cameo by Usher Tenanji!
Originally posted 4/17/08 by T'Shaini

~ Later ~

:: USS Constitution ::
:: Crew Mess ::

Black Terran coffee. There was no known substance in all the known worlds that compared to the medicinal and curative effects of this bean brewed nectar. Hot and fragrant, it works magic as it drips into the body like a lifeline to consciousness. Focus follows the fluid. It was the focus that was eating Nils up…

With both hands wrapped about a steaming mug, he gazed into the dark liquid. Doubt and frustration swirled in his head as the black beverage battled the effects of the ‘other’ beverages he’d imbibed earlier in the evening. Despite the lateness of hour, the Bajoran was wide-awake and utterly miserable.

“Jillian,” he mumbled to himself setting the cup down. He rested his head in his hands and continued grumbling.

“Sir, the science department is set for launch,” a female said over his head. “I took the initiative to set up a reporting schedule and organized refresher courses for equipment operation as well.”

Jada O’Keefe. She was abrupt and to the point. Dutiful to a fault and completely averse to getting personal, Nils found her presence comfortable. The boundaries he’d set up collided with the boundaries she’d erected and the two remained distant colleagues. Her abrasiveness sent most running. But for Nils it was a reminder that she and the rest of the crew were not here to be his friends. They were in space to do a job.

Not play house with the Chief of Medical, the sullen Bajoran thought before answering his new Planetary Scientist. “Thank you, Lieutenant.” His tone was stern and his posture immediately stout and resolute. “The race gets underway at 0800 and I’d like Science to set the bar for everyone else on board. Leadership at every level… Make that a priority.”

“Aye, sir,” she answered sharply and turned to leave.

The first officer deflated and sank back into his coffee. It had all been lip service, but a lot of the time that was all duty turned out to be – getting the job done when you just f***ing didn’t feel like it. Another deep draught of scalding liquid pulled him further back into stark reality.

“Pardon me,” another, yet different, female voice said sharply. Nils looked up to see an elderly woman standing over him looking down her nose in his direction. “I couldn’t help but overhear your…exchange with the young lady officer,” she continued. “Would you mind terribly if I joined you for a cup of tea?”

Nils didn’t know who she was but he didn’t have the grapes for a confrontation. He shrugged absently and gestured to the seat across from him.

“What type of tea are you drinking,” she asked stoically. Her sharp features were gravely overshadowed by her even sharper eyes. This one was a hawk.

“It’s coffee,” he grumbled. Generally he was a tea drinker, however. One of his very few hobbies had been sampling teas from all over the galaxy and in fact that past time gave him a simple pleasure. “You’re drinking Assam,” he quizzed. The bronze color and strong aroma was a dead give away.

“Yes,” she answered appearing slightly delighted – but only slightly. “I find it to be just what the proverbial doctor ordered on the more… stressful evenings.” Nils detected a sour note to her last comment, but left it. “Do you favor Assam,” she asked in return.

“Borengajulie,” he said, nodding. “Stronger than the regular variety…”

“Indeed,” she said in a near swoon. “Did you know the climate in India, where that variety of Assam is grown, is what gives it the more pungent flavoring.”

“I didn’t,” Nils answered coolly.

“I’m Minerva Cutsforth,” she said regally. She did not offer her hand. “I’m the curator aboard this museum.”

“Lieutenant Torrik Nils,” the Bajoran said stoically. “First Officer aboard the USS Hawking.” A slight pause and a glance about the room reminded him of his current assignment. “Currently serving aboard… the museum.” He didn’t offer his hand either.

“Ah, the first officer,” she said sounding relieved. “I’d hoped you wouldn’t be a…” a marked break in the flow of her words indicated a change of word choice. “Wouldn’t be inexperienced,” she finished looking pleased with herself.

“Mmm,” shrugged Nils. He didn’t know what she was talking about and he didn’t care.

“Your exchange with the young woman… It was efficient.” She stated the obvious as if it were a revelation to her. “In fact, it is the first time since we began this journey that I felt at all… at all at home.”

Nils green eyes slowly slid up under his dark brow and he regarded her cautiously. “Mmm,” he repeated. “Efficiency is vital aboard a starship, ma’am. Regulations exist for a reason.”

Minerva practically squealed. “You don’t know how glad I am to hear you say as much,” she said through her first smile of the conversation. “If I may… Being that you are the first officer… Would it be too much for me to ask you to impress on your crew the care with which they must use when handling the museum,” her tone bordered on desperate. “Your Cap… Other officers on board seem to forget where they are.”

“I assure you, ma’am,” Nils started sincerely. “That we will do our duty to the fullest extent. There are strict guidelines on treatment of Federation property…” He considered her for a moment before continuing. “But there’s no harm in reminding the crew. I’ll have my yeoman post a memo to the senior staff.”

“Thank you,” she said kindly. Her lips pursed in a tight smile, she nodded gratefully. After a sip of tea, she took a deep breath apparently relieved.

He wasn’t sure what he’d done to appease the old woman and he didn’t care. Essentially she’d told him to do his duty, which he had fully intended to do regardless of her reminder. His inadvertent reassurance seemed to quell some unspoken anxiety so he let it go. Quite frankly, her issues were none of his concern.

“I’ve got to get to the bridge, ma’am. There is a lot to do before morning…”

“Aren’t you going to sleep,” she asked incredulously.

“I don’t sleep much when there are things that need doing,” he seethed sharply. With a nod he left her looking overly pleased. His long sigh indicated his own irritation.

“What a nice young man,” Minerva said into her hot cup of Assam. “Simply charming.”

Featuring NPC Lady Cutsforth
Originally posted 4/17/08 by Torrik Nils

USS Constitution
Auxiliary Tactical Station - Deck 7
23:45 Hours

Jenny Anderson looked up from reviewing the internal sensor controls as the doors slid open. Shift change was coming up so this should be… huh. “So, what do you want to do tonight, Pinky?” she asked, misquoting one of her mother’s favorite old-time toons.

“Huh? What?” Ensign Darby ‘Darbs’ Saunders halted, looked confused, then looked down at her decidedly fuchsia version of the red mini-dress which the female contingent of Security were forced to wear, “This? This isn’t pink… it’s just… like, the replicator on Hawking must have run out of red, or… something… it’s faded, that’s all.”

Jen bit her lip, “Darbs, I’ve seen faded and that ain’t faded, that is down and out f**k me…Sir!”

First Lieutenant Darren Hilllman ignored the epithet but nodded acknowledgement of the greeting as he strode into the tactical facility where two young women in Security red had come to attention. He glanced over the taller of the two; okay, mostly red. “Lieutenant Darren Hillman,” he introduced himself quietly. “Official race observer for the Constitution.”

Darby, as the senior officer, should have responded but when Jenny glanced over she saw her roommate’s mouth hanging open in shock… or maybe awe. No blame to her, Anderson thought, as the lieutenant, a member of the Marine Corps, was certainly the sum of awe.

“Sir,” Jenny stepped up, trying to maintain what dignity one could when dressed like a dancer in a strip club on Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet. “Crewman Anderson and this,” she gave Darbs an elbow to the spine, “Is Ensign Saunders, Hawking Security.”

“A pleasure,” the Marine looked over the small room… it hadn’t seemed so small before he’d walked in but the man took up some serious space. But in a good way. “So,” the dark eyes turned back to the security officers and Jen had to lock her own jaw shut to keep from drooling, “how are you finding the Constitution?”

That brought Darby out of her trance, “It wasn’t that hard at all, sir, we just went to the transporter on the station and then…”

“Very… educational,” Jenny jumped in before her charming but occasionally not-all-there friend could sink the Hawking’s combined IQ to irretrievable depths. “The sensors of the Constitution are nothing like what we’re used to,” she began, not really knowing what she was saying but now he was staring at her and she really didn’t want to look bad in front of this man, “and both type I and II phaser’s extra weight require an adjustment in targeting and the limits on the shields are, well, they’re kind of horrifying… makes me much more aware of how good we have it, nowadays.” She was babbling, she realized, “So, yes, umm, very educational.”

Fortunately, Hillman was, aside from being just, wow, was also polite. His mouth quirked in a hint of a smile that sent both women weak at the knees, “And what do you think of the vessel’s chances… in the race?”

“I leave that to the helm and engineers, Sir,” Jenny responded, “our job is to see the Constitution and her crew safely to the finish line… first, last or also-ran… though it would be kind of cool to make it first,” she blurted.

This time the smile flashed full force and, like flowers responding to burst of sunshine from behind a cloud, the two leaned just that much closer to the striking officer. “Well said,” he commented before glancing over the room once more, “I have to confess, I thought I might find Chief Jameson, here. We know each other from way back. Is he still on duty?”

“Oh, for sure!” Darbs, starting back to life, “he’s just, like, in the office, down the hall to your left and then three doors…”

“I’ll show you!” Jenny offered brightly. Nate, Nate who? “I mean, I’m just off-shift, so, it’s no trouble, or anything, Sir.” She started to leave the room…

Hillman and Saunders waited for Jenny to pick herself up off the floor.

“I’ll just, you know, be sure to use the door, this time,” she said, wearing a blush the same f**k me fuchsia as Darby’s uniform. “Yeah, umm, this way?”

It took everything he had but, to his everlasting credit, Hillman maintained a straight face as he followed Jenny’s lead.

Featuring Jenny Anderson and Darren Hillman and Darby Sanders
Originally Posted 4/17/08 by Harry Finn

.:: USS Constitution :: Bridge ::.

The bridge of the Constitution was just as thought to be, a shining example of what anyone in Starfleet now see as a nightmare. The opportunity to fly a historic vessel was beyond compare, but figuring out how to fly the thing, or use the weapons, or communications would be a complicating experience. Vince and Scott were no exception to that thought. Before they arrived, they had run several simulations trying to get the controls down, but they realized they were still in the dark on the controls. Vince sat down at the helm and stared down at the panel, the switches and knobs seeming to be laughing at them. Scott stood next to him, staring at the panel with him, shaking his head…

“ We’re doomed, Vince, this isn’t going to work out.” Scott walked over and sat in the Captain’s chair.

Vince spun around halfway, propping his feet up on a nearby blank panel,” Look Scott, this is merely a small bump. I think everything will work out. This system is just quite a bit simpler than what we are used to, but that’s the key, we can’t over think it.”

Scott leaned back, getting comfortable,” Well, that’s a good way to start, but how are were not going to over thing it, we are used to really high tech panels, and control systems. Hell the Wraith is more advanced that 90% of this damn thing. So tell me how we’re going to keep from over thinking?”

“ Well, this thing right here. “ Vince pulled a PADD from under his shirt.

“ I thought we weren’t supposed to use anything from our time to accomplish this mission.” Scott adjusted himself in the chair again.

Vince started tapping on the PADD, looking up at Scott,” This thing has every procedure that we’ll need to know to fly this thing, and we’re going to have to have it. If they want us to fly it, they’ll have to let us use the PADD.”

“ Well I feel a bit better about it all now, so why don’t we get started on learning about this thing.” Scott sat up in the seat.

Vince looked over at him, “ Eh, we’ll be aight a bit, let’s just relax.”

Scott started to agree, then the unexpected happened. The curator of the ship cam walking onto the bridge, Vince completely oblivious to her presence.

“ What are you doing?!? Disgracing this fine ship, sitting there with your feet on the equipment!!!” She walked over, knocking Vince’s feet down,” I guess you’ll be needing a crash course on how to treat this ship.”

Vince lowered his head as she began the lecture, looking up at the now laughing silently Scott, sitting behind the scowling curator………
Originally Posted 4/18/08 by Vince Stryfe

T'Shaini materialized on the transporter pad with her arms outstretched, Javier was still unsteady enough on his feet that she wanted to be prepare for any eventuality, better to look foolish than to have him faceplant on the transporter pad. However, despite a wobble or two he seemed to be well able to hold himself erect. Smiling down at Lottz, who was standing behind the bulk of the control panel of the Constitution transporters, T'Shaini tucked her arm through Javier's and guided him toward the door. I would much rather explore this situation in private.

"Hi there!" 'Torrik' said to the man behind the desk. "I'm Torrik Niiiii.." He started to introduce himself before T'Shaini pulled him from the transporter room.

Once they were safely enclosed in the lift she turned to face him. "So, what exactly have you had to drink this evening?" Perhaps it was just the alcohol.

"Uhm..this is a funny little room isn't it?" he mused while studying the interior of the turbolift. "To drink?" He thought for a moment then said, "I had a little glass of something Javier Costala gave me. He got it from a Klingon..the Klingon was looking for it..the Klingon hit me after I drank it!" He looked at T'Shaini in disbelief. "Then..well." He shrugged.

Well, either the Klingon alcohol or a blow to the head could explain this behavior, and a combination of the two…it would be almost unheard of to escape unscathed. T'Shaini now had the means, she needed to find the motive. "You went to the party with Javier Costala?"

"Yes, he and I were there," he said with a nod. He thought for a moment then moved in closer to T'Shaini. Pulling her into an embrace so he could whisper in her ear. "You're Costala's woman..I remember that, but I also have memories of us being together..and since Javier is my friend or at least I think he is, why are we..why do we..?" 'Torrik' felt a desire to be closer to the woman. "I know I want you..I want to be close to you."

Feeling the turbolift cruise to a halt, T'Shaini signaled the door closed. Perhaps a bit unorthodox, but it is certainly worth trying. "You are not wrong in your memories, any of them…" T'Shaini leaned against Javier to press him back into the wall as she brushed her lips across his. "I am indeed involved with Javier Costala." She paused to kiss him lightly. "And yes, we have been together." Her hand slid up his arms to pull his mouth down to hers. Moments passed before the counselor could ask. "In your heart do you believe that either of us are capable of what you are inferring?"

He swallowed and shook his head, unable to speak as the desire to be with her tore at him. "I don't understand," he said as he turned his body, reaching down to lift her up while he pressed T'Shaini into the wall. Once T'Shaini's mouth was just above his own, his lips pressed against hers, until a thought came to him. "Unless..I'm Javier..Costala?" he said slowly. That sounds right..yes, I am Javier Costala.

"I certainly hope so, because if you are not, I am in quite a compromising position…morally as well as literally." She smiled as she watched the trickles of realization seep into his consciousness. T'Shaini leaned in conspiratorially. "And it just so happens that I am sharing quarters with an Ensign Costala on this very floor, handy if you happen to be he."

"Yes it would be," he replied as his hand moved along her thigh, his fingers pressing against the sheer material that covered T'Shaini's legs. "or we could just stay here for.." His hand kept moving upward until his fingers hooked around the top of the material.

The doors opened and they both heard a horrified gasp. "This is a museum not a cathouse!" an irritated voice that Javier did not recognize extolled.

"Hey, watch who you're calling a cat!" Javier replied, incorrectly translating the referrence, as turned his head and added, "And close the door, Nosey."

JP with T'Shaini and 'Not' Torrik Nils…with an unwelcome appearance by Mrs. Cutsforth
Originally Posted on 4/18/08 by T'Shaini

USS Constitution
Lady Cutsforth's Private Quarters

Minerva stormed into the room, fury pulsating off her skin like the flares of a sun about to go nova.

“Nosy, indeed!” She hadn’t been this consistently discommoded since, since, since the Cambridge Incident and that was more than a half-century past! Dark the day when she and Erin Blatty had first crossed paths…

Just remembering the flighty little bit was enough to set Lady Cutsforth to growling. Turning to the mirror hung over the small desk the room afforded, she began to set her sagging bun to rights. Stabbing pins viciously into her hair, as if the gray tresses were the offending Blatty herself or that horrid man in the turbolift or his Vulcan chippy….

Tragic, that the entering of the Constitution in this regatta should bring back such unwholesome memories but, there you had it! These fly-by-night children, so openly disrespectful, so pretentiously ill-bred, were no less dangerous than that Blatty hussy from so long ago.

Then she recalled the quite charming lieutenant (pronounced ‘leftenant’, by the by) from the mess. Recalling his perfectly stern demeanor she had to admit that the entire case of apples had not gone quite bad. “And really,” she said to herself as she settled the last pin, “At least we are far, far away from that woman,” for she absolutely refused to say Mrs. Blatty’s name aloud, for fear it would bring the woman to her doorstep.

At least, she told herself, turning away from the mirror, things could not possibly get any worse.

Insert that music from The Wizard of Oz, here.
Originally Posted 4/18/08 by Harry Finn

::USS Constitution::

“And Tatiana has returned!” she announced as she entered Sickbay. She had walked around the ship to work out her leg pain, and on her journey she ran into an older woman that she didn’t recognize. She found herself in shock when the woman promptly informed her that the length of her uniform made her look like a “bloody sket” and her traipsing around in it was an insult to the ship.

Tatiana had stopped what she was doing to stare after the woman as she walked away. Before the woman spoke, she could tell that she was annoyed, and for that one moment among many like it Tatiana didn’t get upset. She knew what she looked like, but the word “sket” had thrown her off. She stood there, trying to scan her memory for any idea of what the word could mean, but after drawing a blank she continued her activities.

“We’ll throw a party later,” Nordin said absent-mindedly breaking Tatiana’s thoughts as she tended to a patient.

“Eh, you guys know you missed me. But, I am happy to report that my pain is gone and I can get back to doctoring my fellow raceteers,” she responded and stood by the patient. “What ails you?” she asked as Stephanie ran a dermal regenerator over his hand.

“Cut myself while I was down in Engineering. I had to look at the systems,” he answered and smiled in thanks to Nordin when she finished. The Engineer slid off the biobed and left Sickbay.

Stephanie gathered up her supplies and dropped them on the cart. Tatiana looked at the pile with a concerned face, “Are you going to clean that up?”

“Yeah,” she nodded and picked up a PADD that had previously been lying under the supplies. Tatiana sighed and went to the cart, “If you don’t do it now, it’s going to drive me crazy.” She began organizing the tools by order of how Nordin used them before scrambling them and placing them in their correct drawers. If anyone needed them they would have to pull them out themselves.

“You’re strange,” Nordin said, “I was going to get around to it.”

“I’m sure, but I really hate a mess. This is mild compared to what I’m use to. I was much worse before,” she informed them, “4 of the 8 LAW FIRMS.”

“Really?” Bramley asked, finally interested in the conversation, “I didn’t notice.”

“You probably weren’t paying attention. But, drugs baby, it’s all the drugs,” she teased.

“I don’t understand why you’re so comfortable with discussing this,” Stephanie commented.

“I’m not ashamed of it. It gets me laid, men fall for it every time. Something about a wild and crazy woman…” Tatiana joked and suddenly the grin left her face, “Seriously.”

Bramley and Nordin looked at her as if she had grown a second head.

“I’m kidding,” she said, “But, I really don’t care. I’m done with it, so I have no problem with talking about it. I’m trying to move on from all the shit that has held me back. This was the second, and I have a few more to go,” she paused, and looked at Joseph and Stephanie curiously, “I ran into this old broad earlier who called me something. Do you know what a sket is?”
Originally Posted 4/19/08 by Tatiana Thorne

-Chief Engineer's/Counselor's Quarters-
-USS Constitution-

A yellow ceiling, he was looking at a yellow ceiling. No, not quite yellow, more of a puke gold. He was also warm. Warm was good. And the source of the warmth was even better, as he found T'Shaini snoozing peacefully on his right shoulder. The engineer lifted his head a few inches, trying to familiarize himself with their surroundings. A sharp pain in his head caused Javier to wince and let his head fall back on the pillow. His arm pulled T'shaini closer, hoping that the warmth her body was generating would make the pain in his head ebb away. Through squinted eyes Javier looked at the clock..not chronometer on this ship..and read the numbers. 0800!

"T'Shaini, wake up," Javier said gently. He should have known that wouldn't work, the Vulcan was a sound sleeper. Javier patted her backside. "T'Shaini! Pancakes!"

"Mmph….mmmmMMM." Her mumbling during her struggle to wake slowly coalesced into language. "Bun wound too tight…" The Vulcan's eyes flickered open. "Pancakes?"

"Do you think this piece of junk has some?" He winced again. "And something for a hangover."

T'Shaini ran her fingers lightly across his forehead. "I am certain the messhall is fully functional, and perhaps we could stop by sickbay on the way." She smiled up at him. "At least it is simply a hangover you are looking to cure and not a case of amnesia."

"Amnesia? Well I wouldn't have to worry about getting this junker running," Javier replied as he turned towards T"Shaini and tugged their blanket up to her shoulders, "I could stay here, with you and avoid the contraption in Main Engineering that's masquerading as a warp core." For the next few minutes he lost himself in massaging T'Shaini's lips with his own. It wasn't that he completely hated the Constitution but the engineer didn't think of the old bird as his baby. The Hawking on the other hand, that ship was all his..well except when it belonged to Captain Benjamin. Another stab of pain lanced through his head. "I must have had one too many last night, or five or six too many."

Pulling back slightly as she realized she had never heard the full story, T'Shaini asked. "What exactly did occur last night?"

"Last night?" Javier thought for a moment. "Oh. I told Nils that the admiral had called a meeting, and that all the senior staff was supposed to attend, but it was really just a ruse to get him to the station regatta party. He needs to relax more and with he and Jillian being at odds, well I wanted him to have some fun. I think he did..from what I remember he did. He seemed less intense? less frowny? His face didn't get all scrunched up like it usually does when he's annoyed."

T'Shaini suppressed a smile as a very clear picture of the furrowed brow of the Bajoran popped into her mind. "Was he drinking as well? And what made you use his name?"

"I doubt he would've made a Torrik sandwich while dancing with those two women if he wasn't drinking," Javier said with a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. The image in his thoughts was so different from how the deadly serious Torrik Nils usually purported himself that Javier had to chuckle. "As to using his name, it started as a joke. He was saying something to me when..Kyrie? the blond, asked him his name so she thought it was Costala. So he became Costala and I was Torrik." The engineer laughed. "You should have heard the toasts we came up with.."

Laughing lightly along with him, T'Shaini leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. "I am glad that you are still striving to maintain a connection with Nils, I am certain he has few contacts that are not duty related." She paused a moment…she had meant to find time to speak with the new executive officer but had not yet done so…she vowed to do so today. "Did you enjoy yourselves?"

"Yes. I think so. I mean," Javier looked around their quarters then said, "I guess I did..I don't remember how I got here." He thought about the night before, replaying what he remembered in his head. "That Klingon hit me!"

Oh… She had not quite realized that his memory of the previous night was still a bit spotty. "Yes, or so you told me when I arrived. There was a lovely young woman who contacted me concerning you…well Torrik Nils…who was you."

"Torrik Nils?" Javier asked with a puzzled expression on his face. "Ohhh, I still thought I was him after I was smashed?" The thought made Javier burst out laughing. He stopped suddenly. "I didn't do anything embarassing did I? Baca and the towel incident..nothing like that I hope."

"Well no one mentioned anything to me…" Her cheeks darkened as the disapproving voice of Mrs. Cutsforth rang in her ears once again. Burying her face into his shoulder T'Shaini's muttered. "And it was not as if she was ever likely to approve of me in any case."

"Who..what did I do?" he asked with another wince, half from embarrassment but mostly because his head was throbbing again.

"You did not do anything…" She peeked up from her hiding place. "Do you not recall the turbolift?"

He shook his head.

If possible the Vulcan's cheeks got even darker. "Well…umm, in an effort to have you recall that you were Javier Costala and not Torrik Nils I…erm, well you knew who I was when you kissed me at the party so I decided that that could be an effective tool, so when we were alone in the turbolift I employed that as a tactic and it had admirable results." The flush in her cheeks was now reflecting more than just embarrassment. "However, we perchance got a bit carried away and the lift door opened to reveal our…experiment…to Mrs. Cutsforth." T'Shaini bit her lip. "She was less than pleased."

"Cutsforth," the name seemed familiar, Javier wracked his brain, there was something about her in the briefing. "the museum lady? She saw us..having a session in the turbolift?" He snickered for a second then sobered up. "Maybe she wasn't as annoyed as she appeared to be, someone her age doesn't get to see a hot couple go at it on a mode of transportation every day."

"AH." T'Shaini's hands flew up to cover her face, hearing his take on the situation. "To make matters worse, earlier she had been caught in the crossfire of a water fight between Nathan and Nathaniel." She breathed a long sigh. "She does not think we are responsible enough to fly on her museum."

Javier placed his hands over T'Shaini's and gently pried her hands away from her face so he could look into her eyes. "Well if she's going to base her assumption on how we play then she might as well know the truth. We work hard and then we play hard too. Has she seen us on a mission? Was she at Halcyon? Has she read the logs from the Sentinel mission?" Javier purposefully avoided the subject of Acker. "No," he quietly replied to his own question, "so who cares what the librarian thinks?"

Tears pricked the corners of her eyes at his words, moved by his automatic defense. "Yes, you are quite right." Huffing quietly she looked up at Javier, frustration warring with amusement. "Though I doubt she will see it that way."

"Then we'll let that be her problem," he replied before kissing T'Shaini lightly on the mouth. "Now let's go get some pancakes!"

JP by Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth
Originally Posted 4/19/08 by Javier Costala

USS Constitution
Main Security Office - Deck 7
01:03 Hours

(This takes place some hours before the call to Pancakes)

It was a silent and blessedly short trip to the main office and Jenny thought she understood the concept of looming better than ever before. Hillman, the Marine who was assigned as the Race Representative to the Constitution and, thereby to the Hawking’s crew, could outloom even, “Chief Jameson,” Jenny greeted her superior as the door to the office whooshed open. “I have a visitor…”

“You,” William Jameson rose from behind the pittance of a desk afforded to a Constellation Class security officer, “I’d heard you were on this boat but I didn’t think you’d dare show your face…”

Hillman’s smile went a bit feral as he locked eyes with the ‘Fleeter, “Well, when I heard you were on board I just had to come and see for myself… I mean, I’d have thought you’d quit the service and gone to join the interstellar circus after that debacle on Ghetti Delta…” he took a step closer to Jameson, who started around the desk…

Jenny’s eyes widened and she started to reach for her communicator, thinking she might need to call for help, if the two decided to go at it… like maybe a stun grenade or an elephant tranq…

“Leatherneck…” Jameson’s face split into a grin. Jenny blinked. She’d known the Chief for months and she was sure she’d never seen him smile.

“Red shirt…”

“Hey, don’t diss the threads,” and to Anderson’s profound relief the two men slapped their hands together in a shake that probably would have broken her fingers.

“So,” Jameson eyed the Marine, “maybe you can shed some light on the real reasons for this race, being all official and shit.”

“Ahhh,” Darren Hillman slid his own glance back towards where Jenny stood at relative ease. “Public relations, is what I hear,” he said casually, “look at the Gamma quadrant, safe enough to have a race, see our esprit de corps, same old same old…”

William took the hint, “Anderson, you should catch some z’s… staff meeting’s still at 0700.”

Darn, just when it was getting interesting. “Chief,” she nodded her acceptance of the dismissal, “Lieutenant Hillman,” she bid farewell to the Marine and spun on her heel.

“You okay there, Anderson?” the Chief asked as Jenny peeled herself from the wall.

“I’m fine,” she managed before dashing out the actual door this time.

Jameson looked at Hillman, “I don’t get it… everywhere you go, it’s the same thing.”

“It’s a gift,” Darren replied calmly.

In the hall, Jen fought away the recurrent blush by thinking on Jameson’s last question and Hillman’s apparent reluctance to answer it in public, beyond spouting the party line. Well, they all knew the party line. Then there was the other side of that coin, the ‘let’s see how bad the ‘Fleet can be made to look,” conspiracy theory which, given some of the news coverage, wasn’t maybe so out there.

But there was a third reason. That neither Jenny nor anyone she’d talked with knew what that third reason might be didn’t mean that it wasn’t there. Things worked in threes, she’d often found and, more to the point, some things were always hidden. Like the reason and entire fleet of starships would be pulled off exploration and/or defense and set to race one another in a very very public show.

Who benefits?

It was the question her Dad would always ask, staring at a case.

Jenny realized she’d stopped walking. Shaking her head, she started towards the ‘lift again. No telling, from way out here, who in Command, or in the upper echelon’s of the Federation would stand to gain anything from this spectacle but, sure as shit, someone, somewhere, was getting something out of it. Who and what, she had no idea.

She wondered if Nate had any thoughts on the matter? She wondered if…

“Hey, J.A.!”

She turned towards the enthusiastic hail, “Hey, B.H.P.!” she called back as Benjamin Hyde Pierce joined her at the turbolift. “Wazzup?”

“Going bowling,” he announced, proudly. “There’s a bowling alley on this bird so we’re all gonna go knock over some needles…”

“Pins,” Jenny corrected with a grin.

“Eh, needles, pins… something gets hit, so it’s all good. Wanna come along? Kowalski’s going…”

“Wow, hard to turn down that visual but,” Jen shrugged, “got an 0700 staff meeting…”

“Aw, c’mon, one round…”


“One game… it’ll be fun… just us guys.”

Jenny cocked her head as the door to the turbolift parted to allow them entrance, “I get to be one of the guys?” she asked, pleased.

“Deck six… sure,” Pierce grinned as he turned to stand next to her, “if a guy can have a pair of gams that go all the way to the Mutara Nebula.”

“This guy is armed,” she pointed out pleasantly.

“Duly noted,” he responded as he stepped out of the lift, “So, you gonna come play?”

She followed, “One round.”

He grinned. “Game.”

“Whatever,” Jenny grinned back and filed thoughts on the race and hidden reasons and Nate for later examination.

Post featuring NPC’s CPO William Jameson, Jenny Anderson, Darren Hillman, and Benjamin Hyde Pierce
Originally Posted 4/20/08 by Harry Finn

:: USS Constitution ::

:: Corridor Deck 5 ::

Tendrils of weariness crept up the back of Nils neck giving him a terrible crick in his neck. Rubbing his shoulders he rounded the corner that lead to the mess hall. With only a short time until the race began, he wanted to grab something to boost his energy. Fading on the bridge at the outset of their journey would be bad form.

With a swoosh and hiss the doors opened revealing a crowded room. Evidently a large percentage of the crew had the same idea as he had. The lack of a place to sit, however, didn't phase him in the least. Grabbing a couple pieces of fruit and heading back to the bridge suited him perfectly. Spying some ripe and colorful spheres from some unknown world, he quickly sidestepped through the line and grabbed a couple. He bit into the crisp and tart meat of the fruit and turned back to the door.

T'Shaini had remained behind to enjoy the rest of her coffee when Javier had sprinted off to engineering, catching a glimpse of Nils moving through the mess hall she shoved the mug to the side and and almost stumbled in her attempt to catch him before he exited. Why can they not just walk?

"Nils." Her long legs allowed her to reach the doorway just before he did. "I was hoping for a chance to speak with you."

Feeling suddenly like a trapped animal or a rodent scurrying in underbrush as a bird of prey descended from on high, the Bajoran slowly continued chewing the juicy fibers of fruit. "Mmmhmm," he acknowledged, freezing in his steps. He suspected he knew where this was going and he had no one to blame but himself. Visiting the counselor in nothing but a sickbay linen following his "death" had been a mistake.

Swallowing hard to suppress the very unprofessional desire to chuckle at the flash of panic her appearance engendered, T'Shaini clasped her hands behind her back. "We had mentioned the possibility of furthering our discussions…I would very much like if we could find a time for that."

"Yes," Nils offered, non-committal. "I do recall that having been discussed…" Frantic his eyes scanned the room for a way out. "I think most of my concerns have worked themselves out though. So please don't feel… At all… Don't feel beholden to that commitment. I was out of sorts, if you remember."

"I would not regard that sort of thing as a commitment, more of a pleasure. It is rare I am allowed to explore the philosophies you and I discussed and I find it fascinating. I realize your new duties occupy much of your time, but I would very much like to have a chance to delve further into these concepts." Pressure without pressure.

"I see," the First Officer replied with a forced smile. "Well then perhaps once we're back on board Hawking. I know the facilities on board the Constitution leave you as pressed for space as the rest of us…" He nodded trying to look friendly as he slowly sidestepped the Counselor. If he could just get to the door his escape would be complete.

T'Shaini shifted her weight just enough to block his pathway. "I would appreciate any time you could spare," Her glance shifted downward. "recent events have caused some changes within me as well and I believe that this exploration could be fruitful for the both of us."

Nils sighed deeply and glanced about the room again. His intuition which usually warned him off of such conversations remained unusually silent and he realized his reticence was motivated strictly from habit. Meeting with the counselor had been his idea and there had been a reason for it originally. Time had a way of soothing one's histrionic drive, but he knew he needed to talk to…someone.

"I'm sure we could find… You know… Someplace for a discussion or two…" It had been harder to say than he anticipated. Realizing he was firing off one hell of a scowl in her direction Nils quickly tried to appear pleased at his proclamation. "To fruitful exploration," he added finally, toasting T'Shaini with his fruit.

T'Shaini smiled at the gesture. "It just so happens that I have taken the liberty of reserving the recreation room for sessions, it is free at the moment if you wish…or we could schedule for a later time."

"I'm due on the bridge for the start of the race… But it isn't technically my duty shift. We could meet… After lunch?" By that time he knew his back would need a break from bending over the antiquated scanners anyway.

"Perfect, I will see you then." Then, before he could change his mind, T'Shaini spun on her heel and came perilously close to running from the mess hall.

JP T'Shaini and the Recalcitrant Nils
Originally Posted 4/21/08 by T'Shaini

-Main Engineering-
-USS Constitution-

"What am I looking at again?" Fenton asked Kowalski as he looked through a metal grill at a long, orange-tinged corridor.

"Power Conduits?"

"Why did they put them here?" Cadet Boyce asked, his tone filled with just enough sarcasm to let anyone within hearing distance know he thought the conduit's placement was idiotic. He flicked the grill just so he could hear the metal make the sperang noise. Junk metal…junk ship, figures.

"In those days son," a voice said from behind them, causing Kal-El and Fenton to turn to face the speaker, who was someone's grandpa, "they were just getting started, space travel was the new horizon, so consider this a test model. After the refit most of the problems were ironed out but this old girl is a legacy." The elderly man reached out a hand and patted some apparatus with which neither of the engineers were familiar.

"If you're looking for an old girl, you'll find her roaming the corridors in search of crewmembers she can scold," Boyce replied, "and don't call me 'son'. Passengers aren't allowed down here so I'm afraid you'll have to leave now." He didn't like the old man's casual friendliness anymore than he liked the Constitution's main engineering.

"Well Sunny-Jim that's where you're mistaken," the older man replied gruffly, "Starfleet re-activated me, I am the Chief's new systems tech."

Fenton looked at Kowalski before they both burst out laughing. "Sure you are grandpa," the cadet said as he shook off the feeling of mirth, "you look old enough to have served of one of these flying pieces of shhhiiyow." Boyce's words were lost in gibberish as he watched a woman And what a woman she was. enter engineering in the company of Tehamia.

"I see you've met our civilian systems tech," Tehamia said to Boyce and Kowalski. While onboard the Constitution, Tehamia served as the assistant chief of engineering. Boyce nodded as words failed him. His attention was completely held by the woman with Tehamia. "This is Evangeline Kennedy, she's come from the Academy where she's a researcher/historian.."

"Just call me Eve," the historian stated as she smiled at Boyce. "I see you've arrived Burke," she added with a quick grin at the older man.

"You look well Eve. I was just having some trouble explaining my credentials to these two officers," Mulholland Burke replied, frowning at Boyce and Kowalski. Kal-El sighed and shrugged, mumbling an apology as he leaned against the bulkhead. Boyce was still staring at Evangeline Kennedy, wondering when the fog had rolled into his brain.

"Both Commander Burke and Ms. Kennedy have complete access, they are here to advise and instruct us on the Constitution's antiquated systems," Tehamia informed the two officers.

"Just Burke now Ensign," Mulholland said with a smile, "I am retired afterall."

"I took one of your classes," Fenton suddenly said to Kennedy, "last year."

"I thought you looked familiar," Eve replied. "Your name is Boyce isn't it?"

Fenton nodded rapidly.

"Well Mister Boyce, if I remember correctly you were interested in computers, unfortunately there aren't many on the older Constitution but if you'll come with me I'll show you the ones it does have and how to get them functioning at peak levels," Eve said as she led the cadet down among the core components. Fenton followed her like a lost puppy.

"Burke if you wouldn't mind, could you give us some pointers before we start the core?" Tehamia suggested.

"Certainly, lets start with the dilithium chamber, can either of you tell me where it is?" he asked, testing the two young engineers.

Silence ensued.

Featuring: Mulholland Burke & Eve Kennedy

Originally Posted 4/21/08 by Javier Costala

:: USS Constitution::
:: Rec Room ::

Not quite as inviting (in her opinion) as her office on the Hawking, but it would have to do. T'Shaini ordinarily would have added softening touches to warm up the space in order to create an environment more conducive to relaxation…but the potential wrath of Cutsforth held her back. Ah well, we will be home soon enough. One last pass around the room with some incense and she seated herself to await Nils arrival.

He slipped in casually trying to appear at ease. But the way he chewed his right bottom lip revealed his true discomfort. Something about the way the room smelled was different from the rest of the ship. The warm earthy aroma deeply contrasted the sterile scrubbed air elsewhere around the vessel. It was admittedly more pleasant.

"Should I just sit here," he asked awkwardly motioning towards the seat across from the counselor.

"Anywhere you wish…it is far more important that you are comfortable than anything else." A sad smile crossed her face. "I have had sessions where sitting down has been an anathema."

"Right," Nils hissed, then he took a long slow breath. Plopping down onto a rec couch he tried to appear overly comfortable. Any discomfort and they pick up on it…then they hone in. "So where to begin…" This woman had saved his life and he didn't forget it. Showing her any amount of disrespect was out of the question.

"Well, we have been on opposite spectrums of life changing incidents, you experiencing a rebirth, whereas I…" Her eyes darkened a moment, and then she lifted one shoulder in shrug. "Let us just say 'rebirth' is not the word I would use." T'Shaini tipped her head to the side as she considered the issue. "Perhaps you can tell me if you have initiated any new pathways,” She referred back to their earlier discussion. "And how it has effected you in day to day situations."

"Day to day situations," he repeated soberly. "I guess you mean Jil… Commander Munro." Nils sat up and put his elbows on his knees making himself more able to emote. Or seethe, which was more his method. "We've broken up. I… Prophets, I don't know where to even start in on that. After I died…er… After my Pagh'tem'far, everything's been different. Something just slightly different. Like a new perspective on an old subject… But other things… It's like a radical shift in the way I view the world around me. And it's not just that… I think other people see something different too," he spat in an almost defensive manner. "Jillian said the moment I woke up that I needed space and she withdrew from me. I didn't get it… Not until…" Sighing the Bajoran dropped back into the soft cushions of the rec couch again and threw up his hands slightly. "Not until I got it."

"What was it that made you 'get it'?"

"Trying to be together," Nils offered sadly. "After she made the space I was so focused on being apart that the 'correctness' of her decision was lost to me. When we finally started to… Well when we became more intimate again I knew immediately it was… Off… Or wrong. I can't explain it, other than to say my Pagh was impressed by the Prophets to reestablish the space she had made. To reaffirm her decision." The Bajoran appeared distant and lost in memory for a moment then he shook his head miserably.

T'Shaini found herself tapping her finger against her lips as she processed. "Could it be that you simply need time to establish who you are and what you are becoming at this moment? The fact that you are undergoing a transformation means that no state is permanent, including your relationship with Jillian. I think that to lock down any decision or situation is to do a disservice to what you are attempting to undertake." The counselor leaned forward to catch his eye. "A chrysalis…perhaps even one of many…who knows how your metamorphosis may manifest?"

"Only the Prophets," he groaned under his breath. He contemplated her words for a moment silently. "You're right, of course," he finally conceded. "And I guess I knew that on some level, which is what motivated my choice to end the relationship. But it still hurts. Worse - it hurts Jillian." Feeling suddenly very raw and vulnerable an automatic defense kicked in and Nils diverted, "if you wouldn't use 'rebirth', what word would you use?" Realizing he'd gone too far right Nils corrected with clarification. "I mean before when you said what you had experienced wouldn't be characterized by rebirth… What did you mean by that?"

The change of focus to herself rocked the Vulcan back physically as well as emotionally. Tucking her legs beneath her, T'Shaini looked at the floor for a moment before answering. "I…well, I do not know how much you know of what happened with Vanona Hawthorne…"

"I've read the reports and I think I have a cursory understanding of the device used to graft over her own personality… I know that you… I know that she was killed in action according to the records," Nils said in a hushed tone. Being unaccustomed to broaching sensitive topics he let quit talking. Evidently, the reports had left out the more candid details.

Observation told him those details were the ones the Counselor seemed to be struggling with.

Her fingers twisted in her lap. So different than telling Javier, or speaking with Harry who was there…perhaps I should just avoid speaking of this. Unworthy of her, disrespectful to him. "'Killed in action', yes." Swallowing hard T'Shaini continued. "By me….and not just because the situation demanded it, I know it did…but because in my rage I had lost all control." She forced herself to meet his eyes. "I had never felt even anger before, the rage that consumed me altered something…I lost all control…" She echoed. "and I cannot regain it."

The withdrawn Bajoran suddenly felt completely ill at ease. His eyes widened and he attempted to speak, but faltered. The realization that she was opening up to him caused him to fidget nervously. "Lost…control…" he reflected awkwardly with an uncomfortable nod.

Like her emotions, once the dam was broken the words continued to flow. "I had never gone through the Vulcan ritual of Kolinahr, I believed that only by a blending of logic and emotion could I assist others, which, believing to hamper our chances of survival on Halcyon I walled up." A bitter smile stretched across her face. "I found that bothersome until fear and rage subsumed all and as if floodwaters had burst through, all control was blasted away in its path." She held her hand up as if to halt an argument. "I understand completely if you feel uncomfortable with the situation. There is a counselor on the Outpost that I can arrange for you to see once we return if you would prefer."

Nils snapped his jaw shut. Eyes wide he said, "I'm fine."

Tears of relief pricked the corners of her eyes, tucking her hair behind her ears in the hopes that the movement would distract him from noticing her reaction she then resettled herself to ask. "What is next? Did you have something specific in mind as your next step in the journey?"

"Ummm." Unable to move on so quickly and somewhat intimidated by the emotions the Vulcan put off, Nils needed a moment to collect himself and he suspected the Counselor may need a moment as well. "I don't…" he finally said quietly. "I had considered attending Temple. There are some Bajorans who hold weekly Temple services and I haven't been since I was a child… So…"

"That sounds like a lovely idea. Spiritually grounding and has the potential to ignite other pathways, wise in several respects." T'Shaini rose to walk him to the door, whether it was truly her space or not she could behave as if it were. She paused at the doorway as a flash of uncertainly washed over her. "Again, I wish to extend the offer to find a replacement if you are in the least bit reticent…there may even be a Bajoran that we could contact for comm sessions."

Nils considered the idea of a Bajoran counselor. It made him smile. Considering his past stance on the 'wormhole aliens' and the route by which he'd come to 'spiritual enlightenment' he thought better of that notion. "If it's alright," he started shyly. "I'd rather just continue with you." In addition to saving his life, she'd just exhibited a real trust in him. Her trust begat the same from him. Besides if she was as screwed up as he was she couldn't be as judgmental as most counselors he had sessions with. That fact appealed to him.

"Thank you, I would like that very much." One down, the gods knew how many more to go, but the future looked brighter than she had anticipated. "Shall we wait for the race to commence before scheduling our next session?"

Nils stood and sidestepped to the door. "That sounds acceptable," he answered honestly. "And thank you for your time." Not wanting to drag out the moment he quickly walked out of the rec room. He wasn't sure any more 'sessions' with the good counselor would help, but he pretty much knew they couldn't make things worse.

This head shrinker brought to you by T'ShaiNils
Originally Posted 4/22/08 by Torrik Nils

-Main Engineering-

"Might be easier if we built a furnace and a boiler, replicated some coal then powered this ship on steam," BHP remarked to the Chief Engineer as they checked the dilithium chamber readings one last time. The old crystal matrix had a way of failing at the most inoppertune times, and Javier didn't want to be the one to contact the Bridge to tell the captain 'they just couldn't do it'. Whatever 'it' happened to be.

"Where would we get coal? I doubt we could replicate it in large amounts," Javier asked the crewman.

"We could always use what the ship's cook tries to pass off as biscuits," Pierce remarked, "Have you tried those things Sir? They seem to be more carbon than anything else.."

"I'm sure this old girl will carry us as far as we need to go," Javier said as he patted the dull grey mixture chamber with his palm while hoping that good luck would go with them. On the exterior he had faithfully stood by the old workhorse of the Fleet, encouraging his staff by complimenting the Constitution and its abilities. The Chief tried to convey the idea that he was happy with their assignment. Internally he was far from pleased, Javier had people whose safety and well-being he was responsible for, and the Constitution did not afford them the levels of protection he felt were a necessity.

I wish Harry was here. Javier found himself thinking. One of the things Javier had admired the most about Finn was that he would go to any lengths to do what was necessary to protect the Hawking's crew. And then he left us..but maybe it was his way of protecting us, getting us out of harm's way. the engineer surmised.

"Yes I wish Harry was here," Javier said to himself quietly.

"Harry Finn? Me too Chief," Benjamin Hyde Pierce stated.

Costala looked at BHP curiously, the engineer hadn't been with the Hawking crew long so he doubted the crewman had ever met Harry Finn. "Why is that Pierce?"

" to meet him..and ask him something," BHP answered, the young man acted nervous, fidgetting with the old fashioned tricorder that he held.


"Uhhh..about Jenny.."

"Oh. I think she's …" The term 'spoken for' sounds so lame. "found someone??" the Chief said. "And it might be in your best interests just to put the idea of something more than friendship aside, considering who the someone she found is."

"The captain..yeah, he's not around much is he?"

"Pierce," Costala started to further warn the engineer then changed his mind. It's his choice, bad or otherwise, it's ultimately up to him. But I can limit the amount of time he'll have to make a decision he might regret.. "Go scrub the power conduits until the race starts. When you're not eating and sleeping I want you in Main Engineering. You're going to be my new systems tech in training, except we're taking off your training wheels." That will keep him out of trouble…maybe.
Originally Posted 4/22/08 by Javier Costala

USS Constitution

"… it appears, given the race parameters, that the main issue is less the facility of the Constitution's warp drive than her maneuverability in any, ah, unique situations," Lieutenant Hillman was saying as he and the XO of the Hawking's crew left the bridge. "Well, that and Lieutenant Tenanji's obvious concerns regarding the defensibility." Not that the Marine blamed the man: if it were to come down to a firefight with any modern vessels, not to put too fine a point on it, her weaponry was nothing near as lethal as any that a contemporary Jem'Hadar or merc cruiser could bring to bear.

"Hmmm," responded Nils politely. He'd been unaware that marines were so…chatty. "It's my sincere hope that 'defensibility' won't be an issue." If it became an issue they were in dire straights indeed. Nils cleared his throat and stared at the turbolift doors as was customary. The marine however seemed to be staring. Nils could feel his eyes boring into the side of his head. One more time the Bajoran cleared his throat uncomfortably. Eye contact, evidently, was a priority for this marine.

"Of course," Darren wondered what, if anything, the Bajoran officer might know of the political ramifications of this race. If the other lieutenant had any thoughts on the matter, he was keeping them well hidden. "Now that we're underway, however, I should warn you that I may be more visible than during the initial preparation period. It wouldn't do for the race representative to not be a presence during the race…" he left that hanging, hoping for some input, any input, from the reticent man beside him.

Still with the staring… "That sounds… appropriate," answered Nils sensing a lull he was supposed to fill. He cut his eyes away from the door and towards the man who's presence seemed to be encroaching on his space, though the distance between them was comfortable. He pulled up half his lip in a false and crooked smile. "Appropriate," he repeated with a nod.

As the lift descended, the two men heard raised voices echoing up the shaft. They exchanged a confused look. The two women who owned the voices sounded none too pleased.

Awkward moment brought you courtesy of Torrik Nils and NPC Darren Hillman

Originally Posted 4/22/08 by Harry Finn

"…and how do we know that infernal smoke you scattered about so heedlessly will not stain the walls…or permeate the furniture. What if you have completely altered the landscape of this museum!"

"I..I…it was merely some incense…I find that the soothing…" If T'Shaini had pressed herself any further into the corner she would have been behind it. When will that lift come… She had been standing oh so innocently waiting for the turbolift when ambushed by the rabid curator.

"Soothing? Do I look like I have been soothed by it?"

The pitch of Cutsforth's voice was escalating to where only Targ's could hear…which would be a blessing. The Vulcan had to bite the inside of her cheek as the panic of being cornered threatened to escalate into hilarity.

"Well my patients…"

"Patients? Is that what you are calling them?"

The Counselor's jaw dropped. She could not possibly be inferring what I think she is.. "Yes, my patients. Regardless of what you think of me Lady Cutsforth, I am a counselor and I care very much for the wellbeing of this crew and whatever I can do to aid that wellbeing…"

"Is that what you were doing in the turbolift the other evening? 'Aiding in the wellbeing of the crew.'?"

Face hot with humiliation, all traces of laughter gone, T'Shaini stuttered out a reply. "Personal…personal relationship has nothing to do with…"

"ME?" The Vulcan's eyes went wide as she watched her adversary inflate with rage. "Everything on this museum has to do with me, girl." If Cutsforth bristled anymore T'Shaini thought she might very well explode…oh, oh…hilarity back…bad.

JP Tee and Crankmaster Cutsforth
Originally Posted 4/22/08 by T'Shaini

The lift doors opened just as Lady Cutsforth appeared to go apoplectic. The sight of her almost had Nils call for Medical Emergency. "Counselor. Ma'am," the Bajoran greeted the two women in turn. He had the distinct feeling he'd just jumped from the frying pan into the warp core.

"Lady Cutsforth," Hillman stepped out of the lift and directly between the two sparring females… hells, he'd been dropped into enough hot zones in his career… "I imagine the beginning of the race proper has proven quite exciting," he shifted just enough to offer the flustered Vulcan counselor a quick wink while wondering just what she'd been getting up to on the turbolift to make Cutsforth so… purple, "Seems to me that a celebratory cup of tea might be in order…?"

"And who might you be young man." T'Shaini watched in amazement as Lady Cutsforth extended her right hand to the newcomer and fairly dripped with an old world charm. Her mood had spun so quickly the Vulcan wondered that older woman did not give herself whiplash. Simpering at the admittedly handsome man accompanying Nils, she…no, she did not…yes she did… bat her eyelashes to include Nils. "Tea sounds wonderful, I know Lt. Torrik is quite an aficionado."

This is a trap, thought Nils as he surveyed the situation. The Counselor, a marine, and the Lady Cutsforth - a trap for certain. "I've been known to enjoy tea," he stated quite blandly. "Though none of the milder ones seem to meet my preferences."

Darren glanced again at the other woman who still seemed to be a bit shell-shocked. He noted the British dowager's expression hardened somewhat when her own eyes crossed paths with the Vulcan's so he drew the fire back his way by answering the Lady's question, "Lieutenant Hillman, ma'am," he offered with a brief nod, "Starfleet Marine and official race observer to this fine vessel… well, I assume she's fine," he amended with a grin, "I'm just a simple ground-pounder so I can only judge by what I see and what I see," he leaned in conspiratorially, "is a grand dame and a pride of the 'Fleet…" He could almost feel the warning vibe from behind, pull back pull back it's getting too thick, "but of course you'd know that," he finished, hoping he'd diffused the elderly woman's ire enough to give the admittedly lovely Vulcan some peace.

"I LIKE COFFEE." In her flustered state T'Shaini seemed to not only have lost control of her emotions, but of her volume control. The stunned reaction of the trio compounding her already acute discomfort she spun on her heel, muttering something about finding Javier and slammed into the wall behind her. A muffled ow was heard as, rubbing her nose, the mortified counselor nodded at the small group and took off down the corridor as fast as her long legs could carry her.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk…" Lady Cutsforth shook her head at the Vulcan's undignified exit. "I do hope that indecorous minx stays far from me…the command center.

Nils ears perked up at the insult so carelessly tossed at T'Shaini and he cast a perplexed glance toward the Constitution's aged Lady curator. "The counselor," he quizzed. "You find her…'indecorous'?"

"How could you not?" Her mouth pinched up in a moue of distaste recalling discovering the hussy and her paramour in the turbolift. "I have witnessed her doing unspeakable things."

Hillman, who'd been enjoying the view of the departing Vulcan, even with the faceplant into the wall, was pulled back into the conversation at that last but caught himself before asking the walking ode to prim to please, please describe them, "One thing I've discovered in my years of service, Lady Cutsforth, is there are always two sides to every story… sometimes even three," he offered her his arm, then, "but we were planning on a celebration, weren't we?"

Still confused by the curator's accusation, Nils glossed over the marine's attempt at moving on. "Ma'am, I've always found Counselor T'Shaini to exhibit excellent taste and a considerable amount of propriety. And unless my UT is malfunctioning there is nothing about her behavior that has ever appeared to me the slightest way to be feline." For a moment he considered both her words and his own. Completely baffled by her claim of 'witnessing' something 'unspeakable' he continued, "And having once lived with her, I feel somewhat qualified to offer that evaluation."

Abort, abort… ahhh too late… Some people, Darren realized, did not know when to step out from under the tribble avalanche. Even as he opened his mouth to attempt a diversion…

"You? You have lived with her?" Suddenly her opinion of this 'nice young man' dropped down several notches. "Horrifying."

Nils offered an expression of concession and said, "It wasn't my first choice to be honest… But I wouldn't call it horrifying! Costala has a way about him and I can't tell him no… So after he moved my things into his quarters and then the Counselor moved in…" Like a shot of electricity Nils realized heh was still talking. "Let's just say I would have preferred to stay on Vespucci, but she was nice to live with. Made plenty of … space … for me." Crimson roses lit up his cheeks. Not known for rambling, he was a little surprised at his reaction. Perhaps he felt more beholden to T'Shaini than he realized. "If it weren't for her I would be dead," he finished flatly.

"That may be overstating the case." Clearly the dear boy had no idea what that female was capable of.

Throughout Torrik's rambling explanations, the Marine had gone from mildly amused to internally hysterical to stone cold sober at the final admission. No stranger to the harshness of life on the edge, he knew the Bajoran was telling no more nor less than the truth. "As I pointed out earlier, ma'am," he placed what he hoped and prayed was a calming hand on the old bitty's elbow, "there are many sides to a story. You've seen maybe a page of the counselor's but don't you think, as an educated and openminded woman, it would be best to read at least a chapter before you make a final judgment?"

Outnumbered and out charmed, Lady Cutsforth knew when it was time to execute a strategic retreat. "I will allow you that point sir…" She wagged her finger in his direction. "if you escort me to my quarters, I assure you the selection of teas are far greater there than in the mess hall."

"It would be an honor, ma'am," Hillman replied formally, "Lieutenant?" he addressed the flushed Torrik Nils.

I knew it was a trap. With a false smile and no good excuse coming to mind Nils said, "As long as there is tea…" With a sigh he followed the marine and the curator to what he was sure would be a living nightmare.

A JP with the Curmudgeon and a couple'a NPCs (voice by HarrEEE and TEEEShaini)
Originally Posted 4/22/08 by Torrik Nils

T'Shaini wandered, looking for Javier, not knowing where engineering was located on the Constitution but feeling humiliated enough by her encounter with Cutsforth that she was unwilling to ask. Down, it must be down…right? Never having anyone view her with such unbridled animosity the Vulcan was at a loss of how exactly to deal with it, and somehow, like a small child needing their mother when they are sick, all roads led to Javier. She became aware of an increased vibration in the deck below her feet, I must be getting close.

Indeed, directly after the next turn the doorway to engineering became evident. Quietly stepping into the space, humming with activity, she hovered by the entrance and peeked around the corner and down the small set of stairs, wanting the comfort of Javier's presence but unwilling to disturb him if he were otherwise occupied.

"The ship is at one hundred percent Chief!" Mulholland Burke informed Javier, his excitement unveiled. "She'll make those newer classes work for their supper she will!"

"All systems are a go," Tehamia concurred, "and Ms. Kennedy is pleased with the way the crew has acquainted themselves with the systems."

"Good," the Chief Engineer replied, "we'll test them then. Run some emergency drills. Commander Burke I'd appreciate it if you threw the crew a couple of curveballs..I want them to be at full readiness."

"It would be my pleasure Chief," Burke acquiesced, "and 'Burke' is fine, I'm retired now."

"Chief, you have a guest," Tehamia suddenly said, with a nod of her head she indicated where T'Shaini was standing in the doorway. Javier handed the PADD he had held to Burke and made his way over to see T'Shaini. He was pleased that she had chosen to visit him, now he could show her how tiny and decrepit the Constitution's main engineering really was. "You can come in, visitors are allowed," he said before realizing that her features were troubled. Javier took T'Shaini's hand and pulled her a little closer. "What's wrong?"

Pulling him back into the alcove by the entrance T'Shaini buried her face into his shoulder and held on tight. After a moment or two of letting his solidness seep into her, she murmured into his uniform. "I do not like Lady Cutsforth."

Ahhh. He understood. Javier's arms encircled T'Shaini pulling her into an embrace. "The old bat strikes again. She told Fenton he wasn't a fish..wait, how did he say it..'Cadet, we are not a codfish?' Something like that, I think she derives pleasure from other's pain," Javier stated softly as he gently patted T'Shaini's back. "What did she say to you?"

"A lot of things, none of them complimentary, stemming from my unmitigated gall at daring to scent the area I was using with incense to make it more welcoming." T'Shaini's face crumpled as she remembered her exit. "And was witnessed by Nils and…oh no, the race representative, Lt. Hillman." Her face plopped back onto his shoulder as she prayed that she would just disappear.

"Want me to go hit her in the head with a hyper-spanner?"

Laughter bubbled up through her embarrassment. Of course, this is why I automatically sought him out. Smiling up at him she shook her head. "No…well yes I rather do at the moment, but that would just confirm her opinion of us."

"And why does her opinion matter?" Javier asked T'Shaini. There was a reason she wanted to reconcile herself with Cutsforth but Javier had no idea why it was important. "Why does it matter what this..disappointed, possibly sexually frustrated, museum curator thinks of you?"

"I…well…" Sad, she had to think about it. "I am supposed to be the one soothing situations not creating them." Sighing out the last of the tension in Javier's embrace she thought further. "Also, I have never encountered anyone who disapproved of me on sight. No basis in reality, not even grounded in racial prejudice…she just does not like me."

"There's a reason..she probably doesn't understand you or your methods," Javier explained, reasoning while he spoke, "In her day, her area of expertise, they didn't have counselors on ships. I think she doesn't understand how you fit into 'her ship' and that confusion, coupled with her unfortunate interruption of what we were doing in the turbolift, may cause her to direct some unpleasantness towards you." I sound like a counselor..T'Shaini must have rubbed off on me more than I realize. he thought. "I think I should have a talk with Lady Cutsforth."

"Oh." Gratification warring with a vague trepidation stalled the words in her mouth. "Really?"

"Yes, should I take my hyper-spanner?" he said, grinning at her.

"No." Eyes wide T'Shaini shook her head. "You would not."

"I'm teasing," Javier reassured her, dropping his head so he could place a kiss on her inviting lips. Massaging her warm lips with his own for a few seconds longer before pulling back, he said, "I'll talk to her and we'll reach an understanding, if not, Boyce found an emergency shaft that is about her size.." He winked at T'Shaini in a conspiratorial fashion.

She hugged Javier tighter, enjoying the warmth that the rush of laughter brought to her. "You need not, though I am gratified by your desire, you were right…it need not matter what she thinks." Relishing once again how well they 'fit' and how good he made her feel she added. "And if she continues to be a problem…there is always the emergency shaft."

JP The Dreadful man and his Vulcan Chippie
Originally Posted 4/23/08 by T'Shaini

.: USS Constitution | Observation Lounge :.

The room was quiet, save for a rhythmical tapping of an old style stylus on the polish mahongany table top. It'd been that way for almost the past hour; with his thoughts and several padds battling for Nathan's attention. The Padds lost. Crew rosters, memos and all manner of "official" race documents lay unattended as the teen captain beat out a tune on the tabletop, his eyes scanning the stars just outside the window. It'd been nearly two and a half weeks since he'd spoken to Jenny last. That of course, their blow up on the Hawking concerning Harry Finn's abrupt departure from the ship. He'd wanted to, he ought to have sought her out that day and apologized for being an asshole but anger and a landslide of other things made such a meeting nearly impossible. And now, not only did he not get to see Jenny, not only was she still mega pissed at him no doubt (Women never got less pissed right? Just seethed until something bad happebned.) but that shrink wrapped mothball smelling bitch was constantly letting him just how little she thought of him and his crew.

It was enough to make him tear his hear out. If he hadn't cut it off that was..

Sighing in resignation, Nathan picked up a padd and shoving his disinterest aside began looking it over. It was supposed to be an outline of the week's security schedule. Except that it wasn't. The schedule ended last week. Tennaji or whomever he designated to write the thing hadn't saved it properly. Fishing the ancient communicator off his belt, the teen flipped it open and pressed the stud.

/\ Benjamin to Tennaji /\ He spoke, holding the archaic device a few inches in front of him. He'd been speaking on it for the past week and it still felt foreign to him.

/\ Tennaji. Go ahead sir. /\ Came a clipped reply moments later.

Nathan leaned back in his chair. /\ Yeah, hey something happened with your security schedule.. I got the wrong padd or someone messed it up or something. Can you send someone up to the conference room with an updated one? /
/\ Yes Sir.. I'll send someone up in a few minutes. /
/\ Thanks man. Benjamin out. /\ Nathan stowed the brick back on his side and picked up a different padd. Ohh.. yippeee! More complaints from Mummy Bitch. Supressing the urge to chuck the padd across the room, Nathan leaned back, propping his feet up in defiance as he began reading the padd.

Why me, why me, why me… The internal complaint had been reverberating through Jen's brain from the moment LT had tagged her with a PADD and the terse order to deliver it to the captain. Tenanji had held her gaze while offering the PADD, as if looking for some kind of reaction on her part. Then again, he might have been counting the circles under her eyes since the one bowling game had turned into five and she'd managed only a brief three hours sleep before that morning's staff meeting.

It had been worth it, though, just to watch Kowalski's approach to the lane… Jenny's reminiscence came to an abrupt halt, along with her body, in front of the Observation Room where, yes, there he was, leaning back in a chair, glaring at another PADD.

She felt ill.

Seconds went by yet the girl didn't move. "Ahem.. hem." Darren quietly cleared his throat, standing over Anderson's shoulder. "You going in or standing watch?"

Ill and horrified. "In," she announced, rather breathlessly, only tripping a little as she moved towards the desk, practically throwing the PADD at Nate, "The schedule you requested, um, sir, yes… there it is, so now I'm going, yes…" she turned, ran straight into the bulk of Lieutenant Hillman, stumbled back to the table and froze, a deer in the spotlight of humiliation.

Though he was a leatherneck, jarhead, or one of countless other nicknames that the marines had acquired for themselves over the years implying that they weren't neccesarily the quickest on the draw, Darren Hilton didn't do them justice. And really, it would have been clear to anyone with even half a brain what was going on here as soon as the captain's eyes shot up from the padd.

"Yup." Darren thought, suppressing a grin, something's going on here. "So uhh.." he began with a shrug. "I came to talk to you about the race sir but begging your pardon, I left my notes in my hootch.. I'll just run and get them. Sorry sir. "

Darren was gone before Nathan could even form a reply, leaving him in the position he'd wanted to be in since he got here. All alone with Jenny, and none of the things he'd been rehearsing for this particular moment came out. And he'd planned; in his mind; some pretty good things to say. Nonetheless, against his own wishes, he went with the age old classic…

"Uhh.. Hey." He muttered, fiddling with the padd in his hands as he stood there, wishing he could speak properly. "How's it erhm.. How's it going?" She looks like she's been up all night numbnuts. a cynical little voice informed him. Good call.

Looking down at the table, Jen felt the stupid prick of stupid tears forming at the sound of his voice. It was the first time he'd spoken to her since that day and, even though she'd heard him speak to the crew or over the com systems, it wasn't the same. "Fine," she said to the scattered mess before her, "great, everything's… great." Denial ain't just a river in Egypt but what was she supposed to say? Her eyes wandered over the mound of padd's and reports, spied one that looked like it bore a series of coordinates. "Is that the location for the first beacon?" she asked as her brain latched onto those numbers in a last ditch effort to avoid drowning in unwanted hurt.

"Yeah probably." He answered, keeping his gaze locked squarely on her, lest she run off or disappear. "I haven't read them all yet so.. whoknowsbut… (Screw that padd anyway!) I'm sorry ok? I'm sorry I blew up at you over Harry." Well there. That wasn't so hard. Now it was out there. He'd done just what Javier had told him he ought to. Apologize.. even if you didn't think you're wrong (Which he did.), apologize anyway. Over and over if needs be. (Which he would… if she didn't take the first one.) "I was just in a bad mood and I took it out on you when you told me about Harry So.. I'm sorry." (That was two.) Finally allowing air back into his lungs, the teen shrugged. "It was stupid. I was…"

"Me too," she said, still to the table. It shouldn't be so hard to look at a person, should it? "I was mad at him and then I was mad at you for being mad at him," she swallowed and dragged her eyes up to his and it was like being sucker punched, the contact was so intense, "and it felt like you were deserting me, or thought I was deserting you but that wasn't it, it wasn't but it's just… with Harry and Acker and…" and her Dad, but she couldn't go there, now, "it's complicated. Things are just… they're complicated." Lame, Jen.

And suddenly a thousand old British hags with supertight buns… (in their hair) couldn't ruin things. She was sorry too!? freaking A! "Yeah." He muttered, nodding slightly. "They are but they don't have to be. I mean… " Man did that smile want out. "I like you and when you're not around I'm thinking about you. It sucks. I mean… it doesn't suck but it does because I can't get anything done. I'm just all the time thinking about you and wishing I didn't piss you off so… it's not really complicated to me." What the hell did you just say? the little voice, now thoroughly confused, sspoke up. and truthfully, he didn't know either. An amalgamation of all the things he'd been thinking about or wanting to say should the opportunity arise just sort of summarized themselved and spilled from his mouth. He broke eye contact briefly to look at the wall behind her. "So.. do you have that going on at all? I mean.. you know I do so.. I don't know." It's out there now dude… she'll either be down or think you're a stalker. You sound like one.

"Oh, God, yes," she exhaled the admission, even as she quailed at the thought of the captain unable to think because of her… had Harry been right? No, dammit, no… get out of my head and let me have a life! "Yes," she affirmed, more strongly this time, ignoring the warning voice that sounded suspiciously Finn-like.

Well thank God for that. Nathan thought as the grin finally won out and plastered itself to his face. "So.. Great!" He exclaimed, trying to find something to do with his hands, having put the padd down moments prior. It felt like someone had lifted this entire rust bucket of a starship off his shoulders. "That's awesome!" He reiterated. "Want to stay and hang out here for a while?" Ok.. so it wasn't probably the most suave thing to say.. but it's all he could think of..

"Still on duty," she reminded him, though smiling as well. She looked down to where she' rested her hands on the table and found that they were now covered by his. "I missed you," she said to their interlocked fingers.

"I missed…"

  • A joint effort by Captain Romeo and Crewman Juliet (Played by the elder curmudgen)*

Originally Posted 4/23/08 by Nathan Benjamin

The Megiddo Regatta - Yesteryear

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