The Taste Of Tragedy

Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes the Chopper to chop off your head
- Old Children's rhyme -

-USS Hawking-
-Main Bridge-
-0055 hours-

The Charlie shift was always the one filled with Ensigns, NCOs and crewmen if there were none of the former available. On the Hawking, the shift was scheduled much the same way, except for the fact that crewmen and NCOs were the norm, and not an exception. There were only three officers on the Charlie shift bridge crew. The Shift commander, Lieutenant Cole Enneking, the assistant chief of security, and Ensign

Drelan, the Ferengi Helm officer. Ops was currently occupied by Ensign Areala Mooran, from Pacifica. The Science station was manned by a crewman named Samar Regan, one of the very few Cardassians in Starfleet.The Security/Tactical station was currently empty, as Cole had routed all pertinent security and weapons systems into the command console.

“Hey guys.. Let’s get ready to go.” the security officer said as he rose form the center seat. Skipper said he wanted to rock and roll at 0100.”

“Sir” Crewman Regan spoke up from the science console off to the left of the Lieutenant’s chair. “I’m not sure I understand… “Rock and.. Roll?” What does that mean exactly.. From my research I understood that Rock an…”

“It means Croo-mon.. that the Captain wishes to leave at 0100 hours” Drelan tossed over his shouder. “Hew-mons like to use a lot of metaphors and euphemisms to say things."

Regan shrugged, and flashed a smile. “ Well then… let us commence rocking and rolling.”

“Let’s” Cole said, pushing himself out of the Captain’s seat. “All hands Ensign Mooran.”

“All hands aye sir.” Mooran replied, her nimble slate singers dancing over her console. “You’re on sir.”

Cole cleared his throat. “All hand this is the bridge. Make ready for departure, Engineering bring Warp engines on line, all stations status reports. “

“All Stations report green to green Sir… Engineering reports Warp drive at your command.” The Pacifican informed Enneking in her slightly gurgled toungue.

Nodding in her direction, the time displaced young Officer took a few steps forward and stood in the middle of the command pit. For a junior officer, a security officer, like Cole, Bridge command shifts were few and far between. But Hawking, and truly all of Megiddo was an exception to that rule. Out here in the Gamma Quadrant, there weren’t an abundance of senior officers. In addition, there was no surplus of officers in general, which meant that sometimes Cadets, or even Senior NCOs had to fill that void. The rate of Enlisted to commissioned transfers was higher out here than anywhere else, and fully ¾ of Megiddo Fleet’s commanding Officers had obtained their commissions without ever setting foot on, much less graduating the academy. Hawking’s young Commander included. So oft times, Lieutenants, and even Ensigns were running bridge shifts.

“ Ok Mister Drelan, take us out… Lay in a course, two-zero four- by One three Two. Half Impulse until we reach the edge of the system, and then punch it up to warp seven. “ Cole ordered, returing to the center set.

“Aye.. Course laid in Lieutenant.” the Ferengi pilot said to his console, but loud enough to be heard.

“Engage.” Came the order, to which Drelan moves his diminutive hands over the shiny black touch screen controls, easing the Intrepid class starship away from the friendly tug of Kendrassa’s orbit, and out into the void. For the next few moments, the bridge was comfortably quiet as Drelan maneuvered the vessel out of the Kendrassi system and into open space. Soon after Hawking flew past the system’s final planet, Drelan turned a b it to face Enneking.

“Sir, we’re out of the system, going to warp seven.”

“Ok.” Cole said, rising from his chair. “I’ll be in the Skipper’s office if you need me.”

Originally posted by Nathan Benjamin, 1/29/07


Camenze Taray walked out of T'Shain cabin smiling. She liked the Vulcan and hoped their friendship would continue. Maybe she should invite T'Shain to a picnic on the Holodeck once Sickbay thawed out her dog. That would be nice. She looked up and down the hall, wondering what to do next. She glanced down at the bowl in her hands which had now cooled and was radiating a new, slightly more horrible, smell.

“Well, I’ll get another, I guess it’s better hot?,” she thought as she headed back to her cabin. “I wonder if my room mate has met ‘me’ yet?” she laughed to herself. Yes, holo emitters were fun, she’s have to make more. Having a holo-self to leave around was very convenient at times. She walked down the corridor and started into her cabin. As she walked though the door she noticed people rushing down another corridor that connected to hers. She started walking in that direction, then she started running.

She turned the corner to see Star Fleet personal rushing about. She quickly realized that this was the entrance to Sickbay. All of her Academy training came rushing back to her. She was Star Fleet trained, she wanted to help. She stepped into Sickbay and quickly flattened herself against the wall as people rushed by her. She saw someone lying on a bed with severe burns which to her looked possibly caused by plasma. She couldn’t see who else was hurt but she could tell there were more.

Plasma? Engineering, maybe an experiment gone wrong? Was the ship in trouble? Her mind reeled. Even if she could help, no one knew she was here. She had left a message for her commanding officer but had not yet been asked to report in. She felt very small and useless standing there, in a corner, just trying to not be in the way.

Some movement caught her attention and she looked at the officers walking quickly toward her. They stood out in the sea of green uniforms and blue lab coats. Command red, three pips: Command red, two and a half pips: Security yellow, two pips: and a Medical green, one bar. They seemed to be talking about something very important, probably the situation at hand. The Security officer veered off, heading out the far door of Sickbay while the others kept walking closer. She willed herself to be invisible, as if she could blend into the wall behind her. This was no time to check in; a cadet fourth class could only be in the way.

They had just passed her without a glance and she had just breathed a sigh of relief when she heard one of them say, “What is that horrible SMELL!?!”

“Poi, oh, poi.” She thought to herself.

Originally posted by Camenze Taray 1/29/07


3

Meanwhile, across the galaxy…
.: Borg Sphere :.

…run decryption program epsilon-nine-one-theta and establish transwarp navigation protocol…

The task was nearly completed, the round vessel surging with power as its massive engines were at last completed, an objective that had been made slightly more difficult by an underlying lack of organization. They had started on the navigational sensors and then begun work on reinforcing the hull plating halfway through, and then worked on the shielding before completing either of the first jobs. But, the work had been done. Lessons had been learned and efficiency would be improved when repairs were necessary again. For now, the ship was ready to resume faster than light travel. It merely needed direction.

…assimilation of Species 10067 revealed the location of a prewarp humanoid society in grid six-four-eight…

Connected to the central spire which comprised the sphere's nexus, the small human drone existed beyond his body. Outside the flesh. A ghost in the machine, haunting every aspect of the rotund starship. A lesser culture. Uncorrupted by high science. Impressed upon by fairy tales and myths. Stories of demons in the dark. Assimilating such an imaginative people would doubtless assist in the perfection of fun.

It was just a thought.

But in the Collective a single thought had more power than any voice, for the thought was the voice. The thought was the will of the Hive. The sphere spun in space for a single, fleeting moment as that thought was put into action. And then it was gone.

.: Planet Yatolle (Creator's Child) :.

Screams and smoke filled the air, the village burning as all around them, the people's defense crumbled before the advancing column of devils that had descended like fallen angels to unleash the judgement of the Creator upon a people who, up til now, had taken for granted the notion that they were the Beloved. As knight and horse were cast aside, the frightened populace became more and more demoralized before this perplexing plague of people which swept across their lands, devouring their young and turning their own against them. If was as though the last bastions of all sanity had been let slipped and madness was upon them all. It was not to be believed. It could not be endured. And they were starting to realize that this was an enemy that they would not win victory over.

A trio of younglings huddled in the shadow of an idol to the Watchful Eye of the Creator, their frightened mumblings each a prayer for the divine to do something to protect them. Tears offered as wet sacrifices at the feet of the altar which lay at the head of the small chapel in which the three children had taken refuge in the shadow of their world crumbling around them, as though hopeful that such hallow ground would prove impassable for the creeping evil that had rained down from above.

Such fantasies were shattered as slow, methodical footsteps could be heard, echoed off the stone slab floor. A red light, like the devil's own eye, peering through the darkness as the semblance of a young, fair haired demon emerged from out of the shadows. He might have been a boy lose to their age, except he hardly seemed real. Part of him made of shiny metal. "Can we play a game," the demon asked, his voice a hauntingly human sound which sent the trio into a sobbing cry for salvation from the devil. Pausing, the twisted youth seemed to contemplate the prostrated children and the icon they worshipped.

"Does that really work?" the boy inquired, as though curious as he raised his hands of metal and flesh up to mimic the manner in which the three children prayed. "Your Creator is deficient," the boy decided finally, reaching out with a hand to push the statue over. The three youngling's faith hit the ground with the dull clang of broken marble. The gods weren't coming. And the devil was drawing near. The three children scraping their heels along the floor as they tried to scoot back away from the advancing demon.

"Fear is irrelevant," the young devil stated as he strode toward the hapless trio. Those unhappy three whose individual lives were so quickly coming to their end. "I will show you how to run and play among the stars," he added, almost excitedly as he stretched out a hand and bent down toward them, as though waiting expectantly for one or all of them to reach out and take it.

And then the hand sprang forward, as black tubes shot from out of his hand…

Originally posted by Three of Seven 1/29/07


:~: U.S.S. Hawking :: Crew Lounge :~:

His head felt like someone had set off a miniature thermonuclear explosion just behind and to the right of his nose and then said someone was working on what was left of his brain with a sledge-hammer. Slowly.

Clang.

A wave of nausea swept over him.

Clang.

Another dull wave of pain radiated from his face around his skull, down through his spine.

Clang.

Nausea again. He held his hand over his mouth and took a slow deep breath. After a few moments, he settled his forehead back onto his fists, which were propped on the top of the bar. He was hunched forward, perched on a barstool.

Clang.

The sound was driving him insane, but to prevent an argument and to keep from having Dahrk's high-pitched voice grate on his already frayed nerves, he remained silent.

Clang.

He'd had enough. "What in the bloody blue hells of Antaries IV are you doing, Dirk?"

Clang.

"This titanium shelving unit is too heavy for me to move, hew-mon, so I have to knock it into place…"

Clang.

Xander winced.

"…with this piece of a crate that I found." He held it up to show Xander, wearing a toothy grin. Of needle sharp teeth. He then swung at the shelf again.

Clang.

"Damnit, you little weasel, you know what happened to me last night. You know I'm recovering from a fight that I didn't even want to become involved in. You know the doctor wouldn't give me any pain reliever for the hangover," he began to raise his voice, "and you know THAT THE NOISE YOU ARE MAKING IS KILLING MY HEAD, AND YOU AREN'T EVEN ACTUALLY MOVING THE SHELF!" He finished his rant and felt faint, the pain in his head from both the hangover and the Kendrassi fists that had collided with his face (not to mention the barstool that may or may not have been broken over his head) almost causing him to black out.

Dahrk looked back at his shelf. After a moment, he shrugged and turned back. "So it isn't . Huh. I guess I'll have to go get that antigrav sled from the cargo bay."

With that, he dropped the piece of crate he'd been using as a makeshift hammer, allowing it to clatter loudly to the floor, and headed toward the exit of the lounge. As he exited, he called back over his shoulder. "It's Dahrk, hew-mon. I don't know why you can't grasp that…"

This means war, Xander thought. Just as soon as stop the bull raging around the china cabinet of my brain…

The doors slid shut behind Dahrk and finally, mercifully, it fell silent.

He crossed his arms in front of him and laid his head down on the pillow he'd created.

Moment's later, the doors whisked open again. "Damnit, I thought I was free of you for at least a few minutes." He sat up and looked around toward the door, immediately regretting his words.

"I guess I'll just have to come back later," Rodriguez said as she began to turn around.

"No, no, no. I thought you might have been that Ferengi coming back. Please, stay." He stood quickly and staggered for a moment.

"Is everything ok? You don't look so hot, Xander."

"Aside from the fact that my brain feels like it's melting, I'm fine."

"Sickbay could take care of that for you…"

He shook his head slowly, regretting the motion as he did. "They were unsympathetic. They treated my wounds from the fight…"

"Fight?!" she quickly asked. "You were in a fight? With who?"

"Pev and I were planetside at a bar. I guess the locals aren't too friendly with alien types, and a bunch of them busted in and started throwing fists at the non-human 'fleeters in the room. We tried to avoid the fight but sort of got sucked in."

"You and Pev?" she asked incredulously.

"Yeah. He's a good guy in a fight. Feisty little bugger. Goes all tooth and claw. And there are a lot of teeth and claws packed into that little frame. We won the fight with a little help from a guy named Frost."

"You and Pev won a barfight…"

"Yep. Anyway, doc wasn't too happy with us when we got back. We were patched up…" he flexed his right fist." I had a couple of broken bones in my hand. And a concussion."

She stepped forward and unconsciously took his hand, massaging it.

"Doc wouldn't do anything for my hangover, though. Said it served me right. Said that people don't go around getting themselves into bar fights any more…"

"They don't," she interjected.

He shrugged. "It was a pretty common occurrence back in my day. Especially on frontier planets that accommodated both Klingons and Starfleet. I'd you know how hard a Klingon face is?" he asked, looking down at his hand. "If I had a strip of latinum for every time I've broken my hand on a Klingon face…"

"Xander!" she cut him off sharply, "they are our allies now. Hell, some Klingons serve on Starfleet vessels."

"It doesn't mean I have to like it. I was bred to hate them. I'm still trying to adjust."

She nodded. "I know, I know. Just be careful how you go around telling stories about the 'old days' to. Some people are a little more sensitive about violent topics. They abhor the Federation's violent past."

"Even as we continue to live a violent present? The Borg? The Dominion?"

She shrugged. "People of all races have always tried to blind themselves to current events. They delude themselves into thinking things are better than they really are…"

"…rose colored glasses…" Xander mused.

"What? Glasses? Roses?"

He shook his head and softly smiled. "It's an archaic metaphor meaning what you just said. If you want more, go talk to Mr. Enneking. He's full of 'em."

She looked up at him. "I'd rather just hear them from you." She smiled slyly. "Why don't we go back to my quarters and see what we can do about getting over that hangover of yours?"

He arched an eyebrow. "What did you have in mind?"

She turned and headed toward the door. "I have some… techniques…"

Originally posted by Alexander Williams 1/31/07


Pev rose from his bed and took a quick inventory. Three of his four arms were sore, he had bruised his hip, he had a small laceration on his forehead that he hadn't seen fit to have repaired by the doctor, and he was still picking someone's hair out of his teeth.

He felt great.

He wanted to ask Xander when they could go out drinking again, but he had to go on duty. Stepping into the 'fresher, the Chief Engineer cleaned up gingerly, being mindful of his abrasions, and stepped back into his living area to replicate himself some breakfast.

This coff-ee, which did not involve an involuntary throat spasm sometimes resulting in the expulsion of phlegm, was a wonderful invention, he thought. As if he needed anything else to make him feel better about the day. Yes, the doctor has been ill-tempered towards the two of them, but Pev chalked that up to the Vulcan being a Vulcan.

The ship was well underway as the Chief Engineer made his way to his section, and he greeted all of his fellow crew members as he entered.

"Morning, Lieutenant," said Mustapha Ibrahim. "Whoa, what happened to you?"

Pev fought the urge to grin and relate the entire story.

"A little trouble on the Outpost, crewman."

"Should we have seen the other guy?" asked Ajani Obatu.

"I don't think so, Mr. Obatu. He looks awful."

The rest of the Alpha shift crew, most of whom had already heard about the fight, gave a hearty cheer. Cries of "That's our Chief!" and "One for the Hawking!" and "En-gin-ee-ring!" clap-clap clap-clap-clap greeted the S'ti'ach. Pev's heart swelled at the show of camaraderie, and any guilt he might have harbored because of Dr. Melor vanished.

"All right, everyone. We still need to run some at-speed diagnostics and fine tune our warp nacelles. Let us get back to work. You never know when someone might need a miracle!"

Originally posted by Pev 2/2/07


Camenze leaned against the wall, watching the officers walk away. She felt rattled and slightly lost, not at all in the calm mood she had been in when she had left T'Shain’s cabin. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened then again a Vulcan officer was standing in front of her.

“Cadet, what are you doing?”

“I have no idea, sir.” She said, wishing for some guidance.

“Are you currently on duty?”

“Sir, I don’t believe I am currently even, officially, checked into the ship.”

“Cadet,” he said, standing up strait and looking at her right in the eye, “This is not a hotel or cruise. You do not “check in”. You are a Star Fleet graduate. Go find your commanding officer, report to her, get your assignment and get to work.”

“But, sir, I really don’t…”

“Cadet, you have been giving to tools you need. You have been taught the skill to use them. You are here for a purpose. Go fulfill it. Your work will not find you, you must go find it.”

“Yes, sir, you are correct, thank you sir.” She said, slightly sheepishly. “Permission to go find Chief Science Officer Michele Shelbey, sir.”

“Permission granted. I believe I saw her near Astrometrics, Deck 8”

“Thank you, sir!”

“Good luck, Cadet.” He said as she started off down the hall “And Cadet?”

“Yes sir?”

“You are giving off an odor that most humanoid species would find offensive. Please be aware.”

“Yes, sir, thank you, sir.”

Camenze walked down the hall toward the closest turbo lift. She thought about the bowl in her hands and considered finding the nearest airlock and making it a new spatial anomaly in the Delta Quadrant. No, she thought, though she had now seen him, she had not met the Captain and Chief Pev said that she should bring this…substance, to him. And, she could meet him anytime, best not to be empty handed.

“I hope he likes you,” She said to the bowl as she stepped into the Turbo-lift, “Because you are poi-soning my chances with this crew!” She giggled to herself as the door swished shut.

Originally posted by Camenze Taray 2/2/07


Upon leaving the Office of chief of security and tactical, Tarapik's mood had grown quite better than before. In fact, he was nearly jumping around and screaming. His first independent mission as a cadet! A lot was entrusted on him, the investigation of the incident was pretty important by his standards.

Thank God, the Vulcan managed to restrain himself to just quickening his pace. It took Tarapik just a minute to get to the armoury, where he "armed" himself with a tricoder. As he activated it, the Vulcan slide around himself and checked the readings. Half Vulcan\Half-Human male; aged 23 years, 9 months; elevated levels of excitement. ~Reasonably accurate~ thought Tarapik and placed the tricoder in the case on his belt. Next destination: cargo bay 2.

**

Tarapik instinctively took a defense position as he entered the still crowded cargo bay. There were still a lot of crew members on the scene of investigation. A few officers had bowed down over the remains of the power blown-up coupling and were discussing it in a loud voice. There were also quite a few people stirring around the room and talking – some about the incident, others about regular duties.

The Vulcan first whistled loudly, following his instincts, but quickly realized his mistake and stepped toward one of the wall panels. Once there, Tarapik smiled maliciously and activated the megaphone. “All hear this,” – he shouted and half-closed hi eyes, enjoying the confused expressions on the officers’ faces. “This is cadet fourth class Katarapikorium , placed in charge of the investigation. As you probably know, there has been and incident in this area. Therefore this area is cat off and access for unauthorized personnel is forbidden until further notice. Please, leave now. All witnesses – remain on you places.”

With that said, Tarapik deactivated the megaphone and moved toward the few witnesses, remained there. He opened the tricoder and sighed – some boring work had to be done now. Tarapik activated the recording device and said: “Now, I would ask all of you to tell you names and ranks for the record…”

**

The Vulcan closed the tricoder and summed up the results of the interrogation of the witnesses in his mind. It all came up to the fact that during the logistic work, a power coupling had ruptured - without any apparent reason. Tarapik closed his eyes for a second, then opened them again and, turning toward the witnesses, said: “Thank you for your time and help. You’re relieved.”

Then Tarapik activated the tricoder and kneeled next to the ruptured conduit. He slid the scanner over the debris and checked the results. They were very interesting. There were some micro-fractures on the base, which could have been caused by a low-level detonator. But they also could have not been caused by a detonator.

Tarapik stood up to enter the discoveries into the PADD. If only he could get a closer look at those fractures… An idea suddenly came up to him. He pushed his badge and said: “Tarapik to sickbay, I could use a medical tricoder in cargo bay 2… and a doctor, in fact, plus the most recent medical scan of the victims.”

Originally posted by Tarapik 2/3/07


While looking over her PADD, and trying to get a grasp of situations, out of her hands. It was her first day on this ship, and yet more drama had encompassed her welcome than a "Days of our Lives" episode. "What the hell am I suppose to do with all this?" she thought to herself reading over a report developed on the blown conduit. This sort of thing happens all the time on a ship, why do I have to be the one spreading messages of despair?" she thought to herself while triggering through more spam messages on her PADD.

Then in the monotony of work, she got a message that sounded rather urgent. “Tarapik to sickbay, I could use a medical Tricorder in cargo bay 2… and a doctor, in fact, plus the most recent medical scan of the victims.”

=/\= "Sick bay here," she said with a discontent voice. "I got your message, but as I am unsure of what to do with your situation, I say get yourself to sickbay, or to a counselor. Usually most Vulcan’s I've ran into have been very systematic in their ways, you're in what the old world would call, a field of your own." =/\= She put finality on the conversation and blocked all further communications with the odd Vulcan.

However, in her curiosity, she could not help but researching this odd request. "Another conduit in peril, I think we should probably not even use them on this ship" she thought to herself with a grin, while making her way to the location left last by Tarapik's signal, a heavy thought filled her head. "So I'm suppose to clean up this ships medical needs?" she grimaced glaring at the non-threatening floor following this weak signal.

Arriving at Terrapik's location, she found the Vulcan was nowhere around. "What the hell is going on?" she thought, examining things she had no clue about. "If that goddamn Vulcan thinks I understand what he's saying, he's very far off base." she said in a rather annoyed tone, examining this conduit.

"I'm not trained for this," she finally said resolving herself to the fate of no mechanical knowledge. "Why did this guy call me down here?" she asked the waiting council of the ships walls. However, her investigation proved futile. Investigation further resolved this theory of hers, "He's crazy" she said flatly, not caring if others were in earshot.

Without warning, a shot of steam launched, and suddenly an explosion happened that launched her to her back…Lights seemed bright, all that was around her was foreign, misshapen. "I'm dreaming!" she thought positively before the lights seemed to fade…"I don't…I’m. Not ready…" was all her mind would compute for her…Blood wetted her lips, and a salty taste that was unwelcome seemed to flow through her tasted buds, it assaulted her.

"I am not ready to die…,” she said to the never hearing void which was the ceiling lighting. Her doctor instincts took over, and her fingers went to her pulse, hoping to get an accurate sense of her condition. Nothing helped….it was time..the blood flowed from her neck and chest without stopping…laying there…it was time for her to leave…"NO goddamn it, it's not time…" she screamed at the hateful walls staring at her… Then without warning…they disappeared…

Originally posted by Terrah Yates 2/4/07

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