These Remnants

Taylor-Kane Orbital Support Station

It could have been said that the USS Hawking slouched into its dock at Sky Harbor, the two week milk run they’d been assigned having slipped into a chaotic nightmare of sabotage and revenge so twisted it was no small miracle the vessel had survived to make port.

The ship, which had left SS Megiddo fully refitted and newly staffed arrived at Jericho-Samaria just over three weeks later, limping along at warp two, her numbers diminished, her structural integrity compromised and as to her crew’s morale, well…

Originally Posted by 1-14-2008 by Harry Finn


USS Hawking
Dedicated Lab 1138 - Deck 6

::This post takes place as Admiral Khouri Kaz, Captain Kaz and Special Agent Terence Wolfe are arriving on Hawking::
(See "Awakenings: Anthropos apteros")

Alex Gorsky stood at his terminal and stared at the Finn-shaped space which had so recently been vacated.

“You okay?” the question had sounded stupid, but Harry hadn’t laughed at it, he’d just sort of… flinched.

“I was gonna ask you the same thing,” the older man admitted after an uncomfortable pause. “You… it’s…”

Alex realized Finn was staring at the space on the deck where Dana had… “I’ll get by,” he said, “I’m getting by. Still got a lot of repairs… the, ah, code, that Hawthorn…”

“Janus,” the interruption was harsh, desperate.

“Right… Janus’ code messed up the ship’s AI… nothing’s communicating quite the way… it…”

Blue eyes shot up to meet brown, “Yeah.”

“Anyway…”

“I’m going after him,” Harry jumped in. “as soon as I’m cleared…” As soon as the transmissions were received and reports read and…

“You… alone?”

“The only way… I should have gone this route from the start… if I had, maybe…”

Now both of them were looking at that spot on the floor. “No way to know,” Alex began.

“We know,” Harry interrupted, "Just like we know I can’t make any of this… better. But I can keep it from happening again. Mostly by just not being here.”

“I know,” the young scientist said, accepting, “I’m trying to not hate you,” he added suddenly, eyes going wide at the truth he’d hidden even from himself.

Harry merely nodded his own acceptance, “So…”

“Yeah.” Gorsky turned to his terminal, pretended there was something of vital importance on the screen but then, “What about Kerrin?”

But Harry was already gone.

And now Alex was standing in the too-quiet lab and staring at where his… friend… had been and realizing that Finn had been dressed in civilian clothes. He could probably count on one hand the number of times he’d seen Finn out of uniform… which was only slightly less often than he’d ever seen his former bunkmate sleep. But then, he thought, turning back to the unattended data on his screen, sleep probably came hard for a man who pretty much lived in Death's dream kingdom.

Post featuring NPC-
GorskySig.png

Originally Posted by 1-16-2008 by Harry Finn


USS Hawking
Chief Engineers Quarters

Dear Sir,

In accordance with the wishes of my client (Creighton Chase) we formally request your presence 03-17-2384 at the hour of 3pm at the offices of Sevigny and Marcel, Attorneys at Law, Salyilden Plaza, Jericho - Samaria, to attend to matters relating to the estate of Lia Costala. Any further questions may be addressed at that time.

William Sevigny
Sevigny & Marcel, P.C.

Javier perused the letter once more and came to the conclusion that it was both straight-forward and politely vague. Matters relating to the estate of Lia Costala…the trust that Cat's new husband wants to create I suppose. He replied to the request quickly, stating the time of their estimated arrival and his desire to meet with the lawyer. The engineer sent the message off then turned back to the bed. He sighed then stood up and walked over to where he could look down at the garment that lay upon the covers. It was a dress uniform. Not the usual blue, gold and white he had worn before but the white and gold of a Starfleet officer.

Funerals, weddings and fancy parties, he thought as he plucked at one of the sleeves of the uniform, that's the only time we ever wear these. Javier turned his attention to a small number of items that sat on the table near the console. It was all that was left from Ajani's quarters. When the ship had undergone decompression, the engineer's belongings had been sucked out into the vacuum of space after the bulkhead adjoining his quarters had collapsed. The small hide bag had caught on a piece of metal and was saved from the depths of space even though everything else had been lost. Javier placed his hand over the pouch, not touching the object because of what had happened the last time he had held it.

He wanted to see his friend, but not as a spirit. Javier wanted to see Ajani in Engineering, to have his buddy back, working at his side. He removed his hand slowly, his eyes going back to the dress uniform. Both the pouch and the uniform represented the same thing..that Ajani would not be coming back. The room seemed to shrink in on the engineer so he turned and exited it, leaving both symbols inside, to be dealt with at a later time. In the common room, T'Shaini was meditating and so Javier sat down across from her, waiting until she achieved a balance.

Dancing on the periphery of her awareness was Javier, she had spent the better part of the first day out of sickbay in meditation and much of the beginning of the second. Already attired for the services she sought some way, even if only outwardly, she could appear as she once was. As a counselor she could not afford to lose the ability to distance herself, you needed objectivity to help and at this moment that simple thing felt as far as the Alpha quadrant. T'Shaini knew she needed to be there today, and knew she needed to maintain her composure, the well being of her living patients demanded no less. If I cannot find a mid ground there will be no possible way for me to counsel. Inhaling deeply, she lifted her gaze, noting the signs of grief traced across Javier's features. It has been difficult for all…my concerns must not take precedence. Reaching out she slid her hand in his and held on tightly.

"I don't want to go. I don't want to wear that uniform," he said.

T'Shaini's chest constricted at his words, refusing to let her newfound lack of control rule her…at least as much as possible, she nodded. "Odd how the uniform becomes tainted with the fact that we are only required to wear it in situations we do not wish to be in." Her voice sounded tighter than she had wanted it to, swallowing past the lump in her throat, she continued. "However, the aspect of community in these functions serve a very real purpose in coming to terms with the passing of a loved on and the lessening of grief by sharing it." Ahh, that almost sounded like me. Taking his hand in both of hers she held it to her heart. "And there are many who will wish to share their love of Ajani and grief in his passing with you, who knew and loved him so well. Part duty, part ritual, part release. They are never easy but the mere fact that they still exist over so many centuries and so many species tells us they serve a real purpose."

"I know," Javier replied, "it's just that he was the best friend I have ever had…" He looked down at the deck. "I don't like funerals. I didn't like them before I had any friends..now I really don't like them." He shook his head. Put it out of your mind. suddenly flashed through his thoughts, Focus on something else. It was what the Corps had told him. Concentrate on another problem.

"I have to go to the Outpost and meet with a lawyer," Javier blurted out, "Caterina's new husband wants to establish a trust in Lia's honor. I received a message from him earlier.." He paused, the Outpost was new territory, he had never been there before. "Maybe you would like to go with me? It would be like shore leave..without the camping..and the bears."

An uncontrolled rush of joy at his oh so Javierlike wording of the invitation brought a flush to her cheeks. This is getting ridiculous, do other species vacillate between emotions this quickly all the time? "Of course, I would be honored to accompany you."

Is she blushing? Javier wondered as he watched T'Shaini closely, It's cuter than hell…welcome back emotions. "I also want us to.." he paused then leaned forward and whispered in her ear before pulling back to see if she would blush again.

Oh my. She waved her hand in front of her face in the hopes it would tone down the heat she felt rushing to her face.

"Green looks good on you," Javier teased as he pushed her hand aside and kissed her blushing cheeks before his mouth found T'Shaini's. He gently sucked on her bottom lip as his hand cupped her face, pulling her mouth closer. "So does white," Javier said, his voice suddenly hoarse after pulling back, as he looked down at her uniform. "You know where this would look really good?" he asked as he rubbed her uniform sleeve.

Yet something else crashed in on her already overloaded system, awash in a dizzying array of emotional response T'Shaini could only shake her head 'no'.

"Standing next to me while I'm wearing my 'whites' because then we would match!" he said excitedly. "No oranges, blues, red or any other rainbow colors, just everyone looking the same..like in the marines. Ooh-rah. I'm going to get dressed." Javier got up, jumped over their couch, hit his leg and fell over the side. "I'm okay," he said from the floor before crawling to his feet and limping into the bedroom.

Laughter, such as she had never experienced, bubbled up from deep within. The convergence of a myriad emotions caused the tears to flow once again…but this time they felt different. Healing. Rising to stand, T'Shaini took that small seed of hope with her as they prepared to say goodbye.

JP SP and CB
Originally Posted by 1-16-2008 by T'Shaini


:: USS Hawking ::
:: Crew Lounge ::

“I find that bartending aboard a starship that has a food replicator at every turn is beyond relaxing,” Dalluk said, adjusting the vast array of glasses on the shelves behind the bar. The addition of many shapes and sizes of glasses had been his idea.

“I didn’t even know you could tend bar,” Nils commented wryly before taking another sip of melon juice.

“Neither did I,” the Yaderan agreed with a smile. “Turns out its not so hard. Maybe it goes back to that replicator thing, though.” He slid a martini glass into place and then adjusted it a few millimeters so that his display was perfected. “I will have to say that I don’t see near as much of you since I retired. Seems you spend a lot more time at the barber than the bar.” The elder man turned back to face his patron and skimmed his hand over the Science Officer’s freshly shorn scalp. “I guess that makes for good character though.”

“I’m not much of a drinker. Can’t hold my alcohol. Or synthahol for that matter.” Nils finger traced the edge of his glass as he spoke.

“So what brings you here now, son? I’m guessing you have something on your mind…”

Nils shrugged and grimaced a little. Dalluk had been his first friend on board Sentinel and never failed to provide accurate and honest feedback. Despite his original annoyance, Nils had come to depend on the man when things went badly. Their time together in the relief effort on Megiddo IV had forged a bond that the young Bajoran couldn’t ignore.

“I hate it when you sulk,” the elder man said turning back to his glasses. “Makes me work all the harder to milk you for information. I hate to tell you this, son, but I’m retired. I don’t work so hard anymore.”

Nils chuckled and began speaking. “It’s Jillian…”

Dalluk made a hissing sound as he chuckled through is teeth. “Always is…”

“Well it’s not just her,” the Bajoran continued. “She just came to mind first. It’s also… It’s…” Nils shook his head unable to articulate his most recent inner turmoil.

“I’ve said this before, but you think too much,” the bartender scolded as he turned back to face Nils. “Sometimes things just are. Sometimes things just happen…”

“So you don’t believe in fate. In destiny,” Nils asked grasping at the man’s last words. Here lay the crux of his strife.

Dalluk pursed his lips and stared at the young man before him. “Belief is a strange thing. Because what I believe has little influence on what you believe. And what you believe has little relationship to the truth… Yet what each of us believes defines how we interact with the people and the world around us. Defines us more than the truth sometimes.”

“So you don’t believe in fate,” Nils clarified.

“Didn’t say that… Nor will I answer the question. Because it’s the wrong question. Ask yourself the question for some real resolution. And even more if you can answer it…” The Yaderan paused and leaned over the bar getting in close with his friend. “Sorry about Dana,” he said seriously. “She was a real jewel.”

Nils nodded. He’d already performed his own personal funerary rites for her in private and the duranja lamp he’d lit in her honor still burned in his quarters. “We all sign up for the Fleet knowing that death is a very real possibility. But…” He shook his head sadly. “I guess you always think that it will have meaning. Dana’s death seems so… meaningless.”

“I hear tell you had a brush with the great beyond, also,” Dalluk probed as he began wiping the bar top.

“I did… In a way that experience has prompted all of this thought… To be honest, it has me questioning a lot of my choices. Thus the questions about destiny…”

“Here,” Dalluk said, placing a small vial of brown liquid before the somber Bajoran. “I know you said you’re not much of a drinker but… I don’t know. There is a long tradition of having a drink in honor of fallen comrades.”

Nils sipped the alcohol and almost spat it out. “This is horrible,” he said, his face all screwed up in disgust.

“No no,” Dalluk said sliding the small vial back across the bar. “It’s a shot, Nils. Drink it fast, that way it’s medicinal.” He poured himself a drink and set it on the bar.

“To Dana,” Dalluk chimed seriously, as he downed his shot.

“To Dana,” Nils echoed. He turned the shot glass up over his mouth and swallowed the burning liquid quickly. He wheezed and coughed a little afterwards.

The two men dwelled in a quiet moment together. “Everything will get better, son,” Dalluk said finally returning to work.

The doors to the lounge slid open and Jillian entered. She crossed quickly to a table and sat down. Nils watched her sadly, wondering when and how things had gone wrong.

“Maybe not everything,” Nils lamented before nodding to the Yaderan and making his way quietly from the room.

Featuring NPC:
Dalluk
dalluk.jpg

Originally Posted by 1-17-2008 by Torrik Nils


Seeking at least an outward return to normalcy T'Shaini initiated her morning ritual…rose early, practiced, ate oatmeal and walked to her office to review cases while she was enjoying her coffee. Not that there would be any appointments today, as she had to modify her practice commiserate with her healing body, it was only fair to her patients that she modify her practice in accordance with her healing emotional state. Looking forward to her first sip of coffee she was taken by surprise when the door of her office slid open to reveal a metal box sitting rather ceremoniously on the dreaded comfy chair.

Coffee forgotten T'Shaini picked up the container. Rather heavy, and it rattles around to much to contain any sort of explosive. With rather less caution than the recent past should have imbued her with she sprung the latch. Ohhh… She reached in to brush her fingers over the wooden yo-yo who's presence made the identity of the owner of the box clear. Harry. Drawing things out one by one…a battered fedora, a letter addressed to Rosa Finn, a small clay figure clearly made by a child…she rolled it over in her hands to identify it…ahhh, signed by Scout, it seemed to be an animal…long ears, and a pouch with a smaller version within. Interesting, I will have to research. The more personal the items seemed to be the more a sinking sensation grew in her stomach. The PADD revealed nothing but an address on Earth, then there was a book…Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Beneath that was a small folded piece of paper, with shaking hands she opened it and read.

Wendy,

I should probably apologize for avoiding your calls since… well… but once I knew you were recovering I didn’t want to remind you… I thought you’d prefer the space. So I guess I’m not apologizing but I am sorry.

Sorry. A sad little word with no real access to what I should be able to tell you… I should be able to tell you it’s not your fault and you did nothing wrong and more importantly in the end you saved her in the only way left… and you’d believe what I was saying.

But we both know it wouldn’t work.

So I stayed away.

I’ll continue to stay away… far enough that you’ll never have to worry about a repeat of these events. It’s best for everyone, including me, even though you won’t believe that, either. But even in leaving I have one last favor and I know I have no right to ask for your help but the truth is, there's no one else I trust to see this through.

Starfleet mails are more reliable than civilian and, for certain reasons, it would be best if nothing from me were to arrive in Pennsylvania. That said, there are some items in this box that… it would mean a great deal to me and to my family if they were shipped back to Earth. The address is entered on the enclosed PADD.

And… there’s a book enclosed as well. That’s for you. It’s… hopefully it will explain…

I have to go, now. Thank you for trying… though in the end, I don't know… it might have been better if you'd been less good at your job.
Harry

The box slid to the floor with a clatter as she felt the wracking sobs take over her body. Clutching the book like a stuffed toy it became obvious that she had been pushing the darkness away instead of meeting it headlong and working through it. She cried for the herself and the pain she still felt so vividly, she cried for Harry, who she had tried to help and only succeeded at making him more vulnerable to attack, she cried for Dana, Ajani, Hyvoth and the ones they left behind…but most of all she cried for Vanona, loyal, brave, steadfast Vanona who had lost herself in the most abhorrent way imaginable.

When she came back to herself T'Shaini lifted herself up off the floor where she had fallen in the torrent, shakily pulled herself to her feet and left the room to wash her face. Returning to the seating area she carefully packed up and prepared the container for shipping. There was little she could do for anyone in her current state, she could at least do this for Harry. Package ready she took her book back to the sofa and curled up and began to read.

"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this."

At that opening line one more tear slipped over her lashes and slid quietly down her cheek.

JP Wendy and the Lost boy

Originally Posted by 1-17-2008 by T'Shaini


"..then Boyce took off, using the grapple to get away," Javier explained, stretching his hands out to the fire in front of them. The place held a chill in the air and the heat from the wood fire was warming. How can that be? This place is a place of spirits..there shouldn't be any 'warmth' coming from this fire. He moved his hands closer and felt the increase in the heat emanating from the flames.

"We always knew he only cared about himself," Ajani replied as he watched Javier test the reality of the fire in front of him. "Careful, you can burn yourself."

"Can I?" Javier shot back. "This place shouldn't exist for me. I can understand it exists for you because it's part of who you are..or were.." The engineer stood up and walked around inside the corona of light that the fire projected. "What's out there?" he asked, pointing into the darkness.

"Different places," Ajani replied.

"Can I go there?"

"No, you can only come here. This is the gathering place," Ajani explained, "this is the link between what is and what was." The young African man picked up a stick and stirred the flames. The light increased but didn't reveal anything outside the periphery of the corona. "One day you will be able to go there, but not yet."

"You mean when I'm dead?" Javier stared out into the darkness. Then a glimmer of hope arose in his mind, something to clutch on to. "Is Lia out there?" He spun around to face Ajani. "Can you see her? I mean..could I talk to her? Can you bring her here?" The Acker troubles had passed and after the service for their fallen crew Javier found himself back where he had started, trying to come to terms with Lia's passing.

"I cannot," Ajani said sadly. "This place has always been a gathering place for my family and our ancestors."

"Then why can I come here?" Javier retorted his tone increasing as he became more upset. "I don't even believe in an after-life..or that there are spirits or ghosts or gathering places!"

Ajani started to speak but Javier interupted him, "Just forget it!!" the engineer muttered with increasing hositility as he stamped the fire out with his boots. The temperature dropped dramatically, growing frigid as the fire was killed. The Hawking came back into focus, he was in his room, packing for the trip to the Outpost. The same place he had been when he had first picked up Obatu's small bag. He stuffed the small pouch in his bag, angry at the lack of answers, Ajani's vagueness and the idea that his friend existed and yet didn't.

F**k this!! the engineer surmised as he realized he was packed and ready. He slung the duffel over his shoulder and stalked out of the quarters, taking some small pleasure in the fact that he had short-sheeted Nils' bed an hour before. I hope it gets them both while they're doing it. Javier thought, imagining Torrik and Munro thrashing around in a tangle of torn bedding. Ha-ha.

=^=Costala to T'Shaini, I'll meet you at transporter room two, Javier out.=^= he said gruffly. The two of them had discussed a working departure time and the counselor had packed prior to leaving that morning. Now to meet with this lawyer and put an end to this.

Originally Posted by 1-17-2008 by Javier Costala


USS Hawking
Crew Lounge

“Scotch, neat.”

Dalluk looked up briefly at the order, then back again as he recognized, “Finn?” Not that the two had ever had the chance to get up close and personal, but you hear things. Dalluk heard more things than most. “You sure about that, Ensign?”

“Not Ensign and yes, I’m sure.” Harry propped one hip on the stool, back to the room and hunched over the bar as if that could shelter him from the dozen or so looks being cast like spears in his direction. On the stool next to him was a worn Starfleet-issue duffel; that and his combadge were the only items he carried which bore any relation to the 'Fleet.

Placing the drink in front of the man, Dalluk noted a distinct lack of eye contact but nothing put off unburdening faster than questions so the Yaderan merely returned to the esoteric, slightly hidden tasks that every bartender in the galaxy practiced while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Ten deathly silent minutes later he glanced over to see Finn still in the same position, staring at the as-yet untouched Scotch.

But Harry didn’t see the whiskey. What he saw were memories, trapped in amber.

………….

He sat at the desk, now quite clean. He hadn’t had to empty the drawers since there’d been no chance to fill them with anything. Three and a half weeks… might be a new peace-time record for the position.

He’d just transmitted the recommendations for posthumous recognition of valor for Cadet Hyvoth and Vanona. It would be easy for Hyvoth, who had refused to leave the shuttlebay without clearing it and thereby saved Briggs’ life, at the cost of her own.

His last words to the Benzite cadet had been a threat… he’d planned to charge her with negligence in the matter of Obatu's death.

As to Hawthorn… was she any the less deserving? Through no fault of her own the officer’s mind and body had been taken from her while she’d remained trapped within, unable to control her own actions. Her record up to that moment had been exemplary, putting herself on the line for her ship and her crew innumerable times. Did the manner of her death negate all her years of service?

Not that her family would ever know how she'd died. ‘Killed in Action, victim of espionage’. No names, no history, no… truth. Nechayev’s reach was long… it even went beyond the grave.

Which brought to mind the other transmission, sent under separate cover to Captain Benjamin and Torrik, who would, eventually, have to copy it to the admiral.

………………

Harry lifted the glass, raised it to the light and looked into the golden lantern it became.

………………

”You could do worse than Hawking,” Harry was telling Usher Tenanji, who had just returned to duty.

“I am not disputing that fact, it is only… we now know I was assigned to Hawking as a way to disturb your universe which, forgive my saying, does not make for an overly comfortable work environment. Also,” he raised a hand to interrupt Finn’s obvious objection, “I find the crew to be, in many ways, rather eccentric.”

Harry had found a suggestion of a smile at that, “They grow on you.”

“So does lichen,” Tenanji pointed out.

“Give them a chance, is all I’m asking,” Harry started wandering but stopped after only three steps. It didn’t feel right… nothing did… “They already lost Enneking to the Alpha quadrant and now, with Hawthorn…” he found himself unable to continue that line of reasoning so he dropped back to, “Just, give them some time, a few months.”

Tenanji didn’t answer but his silence was agreeable.

………………

Bringing the glass closer, Harry inhaled the drifting tendrils of the single malt, accepted the taunting of its scent.

………………

”I’m… sorry,” towering over the child, Harry still understood what it meant to feel small as Scout’s accusing gaze cut him off at the knees, “I was scared and when grown ups get scared…”

“They act mean?” Autumn sniffed but not with anger; as much as she wanted to stay mad at Harry he just looked so… so broken. Jereen had explained a lot, while they’d waited for the lounge doors to open again and, even without that, she wasn’t sure she could yell at Harry now.

“Sometimes… when they’re tired or worried or… kind of stupid,” he admitted.

“You’re not stupid,” Autumn reached up and patted his hand reassuringly, almost ready to start crying again, but this time because he looked sososo sad. “I’m not mad anymore,” she told him, “I promise. I mean… if you’re not…?”

Dropping down to her level, Harry stared deep into the child’s eyes, “I was never mad at you, Scout… never. Remember that, okay? Later, when… just remember.”

………………

Bringing the glass closer, almost but not quite touching his lips he felt a wave of nausea as the liquor tried to remind him of his last meeting with Jenny…

………………

"A memo?" she'd waved at the terminal in his quarters where she'd tree'd him, "You were going to say good-bye with a memo? Forgive me saying so, sir…"

"You don't have to call me 'sir'," he'd told the small pile of clothing he'd been packing.

"… it's a lame-ass way to leave."

He didn't bother to answer. It was pretty lame.

Crossing her arms over her chest, as she did when trying to hold something in, "Where do you go from here, anyway?"

"Dunno," the lie came easily. "Maybe… maybe I'll try out Risa, for once. Maybe I'll ship out on a merchant freighter, they always need security…"

"You're going to look for him."

Harry threw a ragged t-shirt into the bag, "Of course I am," he turned to face her, finally, "What else is there… what else is left?"

She didn't dispute it but, "I could…"

"No, no you couldn't."

"But…"

"No."

………………

“You planning on drinking that?” Dalluk, judging that the time was right, meandered over to where the human had propped himself.

“I’m undecided,” Harry said, his voice distant as he gently placed the shot back on the burnished wood of the bar.

A hand snaked in and slid the glass in front of the next barstool. "Bring him a coffee, I will give this the attention it deserves." Kerrin hopped up next to Harry and tried a small smile. "Long time no see…"

Post featuring NPC's Dalluk, Usher Tenanji, Autumn 'Scout' Quincy, Jenny Anderson and cameo by Kerrin Schaeffer

Originally Posted by 1-17-2008 by Harry Finn


"Long time no see…"

Pulling the glass back, though not lifting it, "I said I was undecided." The internal admission that it was never going to be an easy exit roiled through his gut and it kept his eyes down, drowning in his chosen poison.

Ahh, not in my imagination… "Fine, be that way…Dalluk you can leave Mr Crankypants with his scotch and bring me a coffee." She waited until the drink had been deposited and the bartender had moved away knowingly to turn back to Harry. "Bandaids."

It was hard to say, but there may have been a twitch at the lips… not a smile, but rather the indication that smiles had, once upon a time, visited. "Tests," he replied still, still not looking up.

Kerrin blinked, train of thought derailed. "Tests?"

"It's like walking by a… a slide," he said, his voice coming from somewhere far off, "a slide that you know will take you away from…" from things too too sharp to put into words, "Away. But you also know it's a one way trip so you have to want it… want it enough to never come back."

Ouch. Kerrin's hands clenched as she fought to not reach out to him, as much as she ached to hold him she knew that was exactly the way to make him pull further away. "I prefer the monkeybars myself." She made a face at how stupid that sounded. "As I was saying…bandaids, how do you take them off? Do you pull slowly or just rip it off."

His brows narrowed over the realization that they'd been talking about two completely different things, then they raised as he tried to recall the last time he'd had a bandaid… tape on the ribs… Halcyon… ahhh, "Mostly, I find that other people take them off while I'm unconscious," was the truthful reply. He couldn't see how she took it because he was still staring at the slide-filled glass in front of him. "But I get your drift." And because he did and because he thought he knew how she took her bandaids off, "There's a shuttle leaving for the Outpost as soon as it's cleared for departure. I'm going to be on it," and now he did, finally, turn to look at her because why should it be easy? "I won't be coming back."

It felt as if she had been punched in the stomach. Pushing her lips together and giving a vague approximation of a sage nod, partially because she did expect something like this, and partially to keep her lips from trembling, I will not cry, I will not cry… Kerrin nodded like an idiot until she felt able to speak. "Never?" She swallowed hard as she felt her voice threatening to break. "And just what will you be doing to occupy your time on the station?"

"Nothing worth talking about," he forced himself to hold Kerrin's eyes as his words, meant to wound, meant to cut any last lingering ties, set to work. He'd earned that pain, she hadn't. If he could have ended this without hurting her…

Just because she knew there was far more to this than a trip to the station, and she knew that somehow this was being done because he thought it was right didn't seem to make it any less painful. Kerrin searched for something to say that would change what she was afraid he was heading to do, but she knew far too well that nothing she could say would change his mind. "What do you think would have happened if we had met in a world without Acker?"

Too many ironies in that question… had there been no Acker, would they even have met? Would he have come to the Gamma Quadrant… would he have met Sara who had died to save him even as she betrayed him? It was, in the end, Acker who had brought him to these women, these woman who, each in their own way, had left their marks on his soul. "I can't answer that," he admitted, "I can't even imagine a world without him in it." He almost, almost reached out to her but stopped in time, "I do know," he said, even as he pulled himself further away, "that you were my last hour of happiness."

"I guess that will have to be enough." As good as she was trying to be, Kerrin wasn't good enough to keep a trace of bitterness from sliding into her voice.

Almost all the way gone he felt his head give the slightest hitch, "It's better than seeing you become another Dana," or Wendy. His words were cool, now, as the barriers which had crumbled to ruins on Halcyon reformed. "I should have walked away," he continued, burning the last crumbling span of the bridge, "I should have walked away and never looked back. I didn't do it then, but I can, now. I can deny him any more chances…"

=/\=Main shuttlebay to Harry Finn, transport is prepped and we are cleared for landing at Jericho-Samaria. =/\=

Harry tapped his badge, the last remnant of the Hawking, soon to be discarded, like everything else, =/\=Copy that… on my way.=/\= Rising, he gave one last look at the pristine Scotch before grabbing his duffel. "Dalluk," he called to the bartender, "you're a credit to your profession."

"Finn," the simple farewell.

"I'm sorry," he told her, again slapped by the sheer inadequacy of the phrase, "I… right." And without another word he strode towards the entrance of the bar, only a slight shudder in his step indicating he heard the parting 'Good riddance' from some unseen patron as he passed.

Kerrin watched him leave, sorry, my ass…then grabbed the abandoned scotch and tossed it back. It was either have an extremely humiliating cry in public or get mad. Mad it is. "Do I pick the ones like that on purpose?" She quickly held up her hand. "Don't answer that."

"Wouldn't dream of it," Dalluk responded, giving the bar a quick, unnecessary swipe.

Kerrin and Harry: We'll always have the ferris wheel…
Originally Posted by 1-17-2008 by Harry Finn


"As for Peter, he saw Wendy once again before he flew away. He did not exactly come to the window, but he brushed against it in passing, so that she could open it if she liked and call to him. That was what she did.
‘Hullo, Wendy, good-bye,’ he said.
‘Oh dear, are you going away?’
‘Yes.’"

Closing the book, T'Shaini bent her head low and let go of the last of her tears…for the moment. Acknowledging that the road ahead was likely to be a hard one she stood and checked the chronometer. Time to meet Javier. She realized she had not even inquired where they were going or how long it was to be, simply nodded and thrown some things in a bag. Retrieving said bag from the corner of her office, T'Shaini packed away her book and headed for Transporter room 2.

Arriving before T'Shaini, Javier had struck up a conversation with the TC. The officer had informed the engineer of the newly instituted protocol he and T'Shaini would have to follow. "What the hell are you talking about?" Javier said irritably. "We're going to be transported over to Taylor-Kane, then get poked and prodded, before we can even go down to Jericho-Samaria? What do I look like some sort of dangerous terrorist? Acker's little scheme nearly killed me..and T'Shaini, after almost beating her to death…Christ!"

"I'm just following orders Ensign," the transporter officer replied. "Everyone has to be cleared before they can visit the Outpost."

"Well it's bullshit!" Javier glanced at his chronometer, wondering how long the scanning would cut into their timetable. "Yeah that's me, Javier the Terrorist, here to destroy the Outpost because I just hate places I've never been before.."

Pausing with her hand raised to the keyplate T'Shaini heard a familiar voice, speaking with a very unfamiliar tone. Oh no, what has happened? She quickly entered the room, overhearing the very last bit of the conversation, she placed a conciliatory hand on Javier's shoulder. "I am certain they do not suspect either of us of anything specifically, correct?" She tipped her head toward Chief Lottz, hoping the tears she had shed all afternoon were not visible on her features. "But if there has been an order he cannot make exceptions." Glancing back at the overtly agitated Javier she added. "We are, however, under extremely tight time constraints, so any assistance in expediting the process would be greatly appreciated."

"Right, expedite this bullshit," Javier said, his tone somewhat calmer, but less soothed than he normally would have felt with T'Shaini nearby. "Thank you Harry," he said under his breath before turning to look at T'Shaini. His hand reached out and took her bag, hefting it onto his shoulder then he looked at her face. Her eyes were blurrier than usual. "Is something wrong?"

T'Shaini managed a somewhat watery smile. "Other than recent events?" She shook her head. "Just a difficult day" Leaning in she kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you for asking."

His irritation dissapated for the most part and Javier gingerly slipped his arm around T'Shaini's back, keeping the Vulcan woman close. "It has been for me too. I'm sorry if I've made it worse," he told her in a low tone. "This is hard for me…Lia's passing, I wish I could just let it go. But this trust situation keeps it current…it's been on my mind a lot." His palm rubbed her back. "I'm glad you're going with me."

T'Shaini's smile brightened. "Quite the pair we are, you would think we would at least have the good sense to break at different times so that one could aid the other." Her face sobered. "Which is actually a good point, I have doubts that I will be much of an asset in my current state of mind, are you quite certain you wish for me to accompany you? I will understand if you do not."

"You don't want to go with me?" Javier asked.

Little butterflies of panic fluttered in her stomach at his question. "Not at all…I mean, of course I do, I just do not want my potential inability to conduct myself in the manner you are accustomed to interfere with this extremely important meeting." Breathe, do not over react. "I understand how much Lia meant to you and I wish for this to go as smoothly as possible." One hand rose to cup his cheek. "I wish to support you in all things, I also want to do what is best for you."

She doesn't trust herself because of the loss of control. he realized. His hand covered hers and held it to his face. "I'm stronger when you're with me. If you want what's best for me..come with me."

Unwilling for the tremor within to be voiced, T'Shaini simply nodded. Over Javier's shoulder she saw Chief Lottz signal that all was prepared for their transport. Hearing the whine of transmission engage T'Shaini smiled at Javier, grateful for his acceptance of her struggle. As the shimmer of transportation began to envelope them, she raised one eyebrow. "Consider yourself duly warned."

JP with Snookypookums showing Cakeybuns how it's done.
Originally Posted by 1-17-2008 by Javier Costala


****

CommBadgegif1.gif
Kendrassa Prime
Orbital Support Station Taylor-Kane
Pier 2 – Drydock Module

“Sirs…” The transporter tech greeted them as Admiral Khouri-Kaz and her husband/First Officer made their way toward the control console. “…and M’am,” the technician—-a rather portly Bolian Lieutenant junior grade—-gauged the look leveled at him by the Admiral and immediately amended his address. “I am receiving a transmission from the Outpost.. .Transporter Station JS Prime. A Special Agent Terence Wolfe is requesting to beam up and accompany yourself and Captain Kaz… .M’am.”

Wonder what this is all about? It's not like Terry to just whimsically ask to be brought on board." Elva slid over to Toryn.

"You are correct in that observation, so I am on your side, in that is definitely for a good reason. And we are about to find out." Toryn added to as the Bolian took over the transport of Terry Wolfe.

Following a quick exchange of confused glances, Khouri met the tech’s gaze and nodded. The Bolian reciprocated while his thick gray fingers manipulated his console’s controls. An instant later the familiar form of the Justice Department’s chief branch agent solidified in the transporter beam, took a bracing breath, and stepped down from the platform.

“I will assume that the reason for this is a mutually beneficial one, Terry,” Elva said as Wolfe joined them. “Inasmuch as you do not actually need authorization from either the Captain or myself to be allowed aboard a Federation starship… .”

“Yes, M’am, it is,” Terry threw a cautious look toward the transporter tech, making it clear to all that his business was of an exclusive and sensitive one. Toryn nodded acknowledgment and turned to face the Bolian.

“Can you pinpoint Captain Benjamin’s exact location, Lieutenant… .?”

“Toman, sir. Aye…As a matter of fact, Commander Griffin contacted this station just prior to your arrival. He requested special components be sent to Captain Benjamin aboard the Hawking…in Main Engineering.”

“Can you access the ship’s crew manifest, Lieutenant Toman?” Terry quickly asked.

Throwing a look to the Admiral…who nodded her assent…Toman tapped a panel on his console and moved aside to allow the FDJ chief to move in and inspect it’s small rectangular viewing screen. After a moment or so, Terry seemed to find what he’d been searching for and stepped back.

“Bear with me, if you would,” He made eye contact with both Elva and Toryn. “I would like to suggest that, if Captain Benjamin hasn’t already done so, the ship be placed under Security Protocol Priority One Beta-One, Admiral.”

“High priority lockdown…security screening and filters of all incoming comm transmissions and personnel,” Elva said. “Correct me if I am wrong, but that is primarily set in place during wartime scenarios…”

“Or a high threat of enemy infiltration or possibility of sabotage,” Toryn added.

Terry nodded. “Exactly. Believe me, I have my reasons,” He made a jerking gesture with his head in the direction of the corner of the room furthest from the transporter console and led the way as the group moved toward it. When they arrived, he took a small PADD from his jacket’s inside pocket and offered it to Elva.

“A few days back I received this from a member of the Hawking’s crew,” he began. “He and I have spoken before concerning a situation that, as a matter of fact, is connected to the Outpost’s Mist problem…among others.”

Toryn slid in to stand beside his wife and read with her.
There is every reason to suspect that the ECD has been used to compromise a member of the Hawking crew and that the victim has begun to take direct action to avoid discovery. Two days prior to this message, Hawking’s Chief Science Officer almost died, due to tampering with the sonics in his shower. The perpetrator covered his or her tracks by use of Thalaron radiation, so I am sure you’ll appreciate the lengths to which this individual will go to remain unidentified.

Meanwhile our CMO had begun a screening process, using EEG histories in comparison with current scans. She’d gotten through about a quarter of the crew (list attached) when a worm was introduced to the neurocortical monitor, which then entered and decimated the medical records, crippling our attempts to uncover the perpetrator.

While the past two days have been quiet, and my teams are working OT on patrols and scanning the sensor records, I can’t say we’re any closer to making an ID. Should Hawking arrive at Jericho-Samaria without having made an arrest, it is imperative that your Security not allow any uncleared crew to disembark from the vessel.

You have, by all accounts, one Acker to deal with. Two would be more than any one planet could handle.

Be careful out there and, with luck, I’ll be calling in four days.

Harry Finn

“Harry Finn and Acker.. .” Elva passed the PADD back. “I recall seeing both those names in one of your past reports, Terry.”

“It’s all part of a very long story, Admiral. ..Starting back on Earth…at Starfleet Headquarters, the Federation Bureau of Information, ten years ago, and ending, after a fashion, in 2380 aboard a ship called the Anarasi Maru…Which I…and Harry Finn will fill you in on in more detail soon… . .If, that is, Finn is still alive.”

“Excuse me? If he……” Toryn interjected.

“As I stated earlier, Finn and I have spoken previously,” Terry cut in. “I had Sigourney set up a special subspace channel specifically to track and await transmissions from Finn. After the message you just read, the tracker lost the Hawking’s signal and they couldn’t be reach through standard communications…until they arrived, that is.

“The person mentioned in his message…Shaun Ryan Acker…arrived at the Outpost some months back and currently resides in the Jericho-Beta Habitat, surgically altered and under the alias Charles Champe Stearns. He has been observed by our undercover in the Habitat, associating with a number of people responsible for the Mist trade on Kendrassa Prime and the Outpost…

“I’m not sure…we’ll find out soon enough…but whatever took place on the Hawking during their journey here was most probably orchestrated by Acker to ring about Finn’s death. If he didn’t succeed he may try again.”

Elva wanted to pace, but chose not to. She did not like the sound of what could be unfolding on her Outpost. She felt like a Mother Hen to the people she chose to represent here on the Outpost. Her track record thus far was a bit blemished, but to date they had not kicked her out or taken back her nice Admiral pips. So she drew in her breath and decided to make her way over to the Hawking, with Toryn and Terry in tow.

"Lieutenant, inform the Hawking that they need to expect three visitors." Toman, met the Admiral's gaze and communicated just that to the Hawking.

=^=Please tell the Admiral and her party that we are expecting her, when she is ready=^=

Elva nodded to Toman, signifying that she had heard the message. "Well boys, shall we go and pay Captain Benji a visit?" Terry looked to Toryn with a quizzical look on his face.

"Don't ask it's a long story. Suffice it to say that it is a pet reference of the Admiral's for Captain Benjamin."

"And I will leave it at that." Terry came back with. Toryn nodded, signifying to Terry that he would explain at another time.

The three of them stepped onto the transporter pad and stood waiting for the blue stream to take them away. "Energize." Elva commanded to Toman. the blue stream appeared on front of all three of their faces and in an instant, they were gone.

~~~Transporter Room USS Hawking~~~

Once the three got their bearings, they stepped off the pads and onto the main floor of the transporter room, when a Lieutenant entered the room. "Admiral. I am Lieutenant Eads. I will take you to the Captain. So if you will follow me." Elva let the lieutenant lead the way, then Elva followed, then Toryn and Terry trailed her. The four of them entered a turbolift. "Main Engineering." Eads dictated to the computer. The hum of the lift took over and delivered them within a few moments, to Main Engineering. they disembarked and made their way into the engineering department. Eads went right to one of the officers, and queried as to where the Captain was. The officer pointed where he had last seen Captain Benjamin. Eads took the newly arrived threesome to the spot where the Captain was, or was said to be. There were a pair of legs sticking out from under a console. "Captain."

"Yeah what is it, I'm a little busy, or can't you see that?"

"You have visitors." The lieutenant said with all the professionalism he could muster.

"Tell them to get ahold of my receptionist, and I will get back with them as soon as I can." Elva heard Benji say as she heard tools getting shuffled around.

"That's going to be kind of tough since I have an Outpost to run." Elva and the rest of the bystanders her the thunk of Benji hit his head on the underside of the console.

"Damnit!" Was all they heard, then the sliding of Nathan out from under the console. He stood, brushed off his hands onto his pants and extended his hand to the Elva. "Admiral, if I had known…" Elva held up her hand to stop Benji from digging a deeper hole than he was already in.

"I think we get it. But I also think we may need to have a talk…don't you?"

"Agreed."

JPost with contributions by –

harryfinn.jpg
AND
TorynSig1AAA.jpg

Originally Posted by 1-18-2008 by Khouri-Kaz Elva


USS Hawking
Armory - Deck 14

Gran and Ellison sat together on the floor, quietly working their way through the inventory of Type II’s… checking firing mechanisms, charges, looking for any wear and tear…not that there’d been much in the way of firefights lately, beyond the showdown in the holodeck.

Thinking on that, Gran shot a glance towards the rear of the locker, where Anderson was field-stripping the Type III’s with, perhaps, more enthusiasm than the task required.

Ellison saw where his old friend’s attention had wandered, “She’s taking it hard.”

A grunt was the Tellarite’s comment on that. It was hard but it was also the life. You chose Starfleet, in particular Starfleet Security and you chose to walk with Death. Though her godfather wasn’t dead… yet. Gran had seen Finn’s expression that day on the holodeck. He wasn’t dead, but he was chasing Death and, from what Gran had heard of Finn’s past, whatever he looked for, he found.

It was hard but it was best that Jenny… that Anderson… learn this quickly. He turned back to his work. “She’ll do,” he muttered as the young woman slammed a beam control assembly back in place.

“Dodging VIP’s?” William Jameson, referring to the Admiral’s sudden appearance, joined the rest pack from Sentinel’s security force in the mess of components. His eyes grazed over Anderson, still buried in her own thoughts.

“Isn’t that what you’re doing?” Ellison asked around the unlit cigar he liked to chew on while working.

“Off-shift,” grabbing a phaser from the ‘to do’ pile, the PO settled in with his two oldest friends. “Heard some news from LT,” he mentioned.

No one asked which LT. Only the one left, now.

No one pushed for details either. After a moment’s silence William huffed out a breath, “Getting new hands… including eight security who were supposed to go to Sentinel but got to SS Megiddo… oh look, no Sentinel… so they’re shipping ‘em here and slapping ‘em onto Hawking.”

Adjusting the fit of the crystal in the chamber, Ellison jerked his chin in acknowledgment. “Could use more. Shit, if the milk runs take two of us down…”

Again a moment of silence, broken only by the sounds of components being slid off of another rifle in Anderson’s corner.

“Anyway,” Jameson continued, “Fehr is on the gains list.”

At the sound of that name, Gran dropped his phaser and Ellison almost swallowed the cigar. “Fehr, here? On the same ship? Again?” he managed around the hacking coughs.

“Oh yeah,” perversely pleased to have earned a reaction, the massive demolitions expert leaned back against the wall as he broke down the weapon, “Tenanji says they’ll be here within the week.”

“Well, it’s been a good life,” Gran commented, mourning the loss of whatever years the flashy Elasian would be costing him.

Ellison returned the abused cigar to its place of honor in the left corner of his mouth, “Any bets on who the first conquest will be?”

A snicking-in-place of a laser sight had three pairs of eyes shooting towards a down-turned strawberry blond head.

“Nah,” Jameson asserted after a moment of horrified silence, “I mean… shit, he’s twenty years older, at least…”

“Kentare, Epsilon Indii..” Gran interrupted.

“DS-5…” Ellison added.

“DS-5…” Gran’s voice growled the echo… “That was…”

“Crap,” Jameson looked back to where Jenny continued to take out her frustrations on the Hawking’s weaponry.

“Won’t be an issue,” Gran rumbled, returning to his labors.

“Oh, come on,” Jameson scoffed, “We’ve seen him in action…”

The CPO glanced back up at his friend, “It won’t be an issue,” he repeated before sweeping Kyle Ellison with his gaze. “Right?”

A rare grin slid across Ellison’s features, “Right.”

“Right,” Jameson agreed.

Ten meters distant, Jenny Anderson worked, oblivious of her three new self-appointed guardians or the wolf they meant to shield her from. All she saw was Harry, leaving. Leaving to go hunt Acker and not letting her come with. Leaving and, even though he’d never said it, not meaning to ever come back. Not to Hawking, not to… anything.

The pre-fire chamber wavered before her as the tears again threatened to spill out. Blinking hard she slipped the holdings and withdrew the component before running the tricorder over it.

Harry wasn’t the only person who could lose himself in the job.

Post featuring Security NPC's Kyle Ellison; Gran; William Jameson and Jenny Anderson
Originally Posted by 1-18-2008 by Harry Finn


::USS Hawking::
::Chief Engineer's Office::

"Senior Chief..I protest, I wasn't on duty and we thought that Finn was the..surely you can understand the need for some payback, especially after what happened to Obatu and the others." Toldar glowered at Mustapha, who sat behind the desk in Costala's office.

"You are welcome to file a formal protest," Mustapha replied in a level tone, "but this decision came from the Chief and he has my full support on the matter." He stood to his feet and walked around the desk where he could stand at an even height with the Benzite engineer. "When the ship is at full alert every engineer is on duty." Toldar started to protest but was cut short by Mustapha's gesture. "Our senior ncos are held to a higher standard on the Hawking, the Chief, and myself, feel that you acted in a manner contrary to how a leader should. For that reason Ensign Costala, with myself in agreement, have relieved you of the 'burden' of leadership, hence your demotion to Petty Officer First Class."

"Finn deserved it. He had it coming for what happened to Ajani," PO Toldar replied, "The whole Acker debacle was his fault..his past coming back to clusterf**k us all. If you had known Ajani as well as.."

"I knew Ajani Obatu better than you," Mustapha's voice lashed out at the engineer as his seldom witnessed temper struck with the quickness and intensity of a thunderbolt. "He was an excellent engineer but above all he knew his duty and performed it flawlessly. You wouldn't have found him participating in a vendetta when the ship was in danger! You dishonor his memory by the very act of using him to legitimize your actions." The senior chief's fist clenched in anger and he realized the signs of what could possibly be a violent outburst. Calm yourself Mustapha, remove the source of your frustration. "You're dismissed Petty Officer."

Toldar turned and stalked out of the office. Mustapha took a few calming breaths, as his temperament returned to normal, the senior nco seated himself behind the desk once more and began to review the 'paperwork' for their replacements.

Two transfers from the Outpost, a Denobulan, what fun, and an environmental engineer. The USS Khartoum is bringing two more officers and a handful of crewmen..one is a Ferengi..I'll have to keep my eye on him. They should arrive in a couple of days. The SS Cape Town, a civilian/Federation colony ship has been ordered to dock at Taylor-Kane and provide us with two persons from their engineering crew, Lydia Mangwane and Benjamin Hyde Pierce. That's strange..but it says both have attended Technical Academy…ah they were under contract. Two cadets who were supposed to have started their tour with the Sentinel, a Cadet Kalani and a..Cadet Boyce…Fenton Boyce.. the progress of Mustapha's eyes across the PADD were halted by that name. His fingers keyed up the console and entered in the Cadet's name then scrolled down to find..Siblings, [1], Crewman Killian Boyce, Engineer, USS Hawking.

What was even more troubling than the revelation that Killian Boyce's younger brother had been assigned to the Hawking, was the fact that the records had yet to be updated to include Killian's KIA status. Fenton believes he is coming here to serve with his brother..not to find out his brother is dead.
T'Shaini
03-19-2008, 02:01:14 PM
So hearing through the grapevine that you were assigned to the Hawking, and that the Hawking would be here for a while I took the liberty of clearing a place for you on the team if you were willing to spend some time here. There is no one I would rather have working on this…who knows pictographs better than you baby (yes I still flatter to get my way) so just say yes.

Jason

Kerrin's face scrunched up as she read the communication for the millionth time. On one hand, a new challenge in her field…if she cracked a whole new language she could write her own ticket for whatever and wherever she wanted to work. On the other hand…Harry was there, granted the Outpost was a big place, but she was familiar with her own luck. On the other hand, Jason always put together the best organized, financed, talent filled digs EVER. What most had to fight for he could just charm out of people…men, women, Cardassian, Breen…he could probably even charm that grumpy Bajoran who she called boss. On the other hand, she had no idea how long the Hawking was going to be in port, did she really want to start something like this and get yanked away before she was done. Research of this magnitude took years. On the other hand…..how many hands do I have now…she could always record everything and take it with her when they left….

Her head fell to a thunk on her desk. ow Suddenly laughter started to shake her body.

"F**k it."

Why not? Why not have something to work on, she was being put up in a facility provided for by the dig, shuttled back and forth to the site, every whim would be catered to and MOST importantly….it would be a distraction. Lord knows she needed one. Rubbing the red mark on her forehead she sent back two words.

"I'm IN."

Post featuring NPC Kerrin Schaeffer
Originally Posted by 1-18-2008 by Javier Costala


.:: USS Hawking : Shuttle Bay ::.

The shuttle bay was quiet, nothing was moving, or even making a sound. The areas that had been cluttered with spare parts were now clean, and the Wraith stood quiet in it’s place near the back of the bay. The once rusty, eye sore, was now a shiny, painted piece of beauty. The paint scheme looked much like the P-51’s of WWII, but had Starfleet markings. Under the cockpit , LT. J.G. Vince Stryfe could clearly be read. The weapons were in full operating capacity, and the now fully operational engines were ready and able to fly. The ship could exceed warp 5, which was more than any other righter of it’s same variable size. Standing below, looking up at what was now a fully operational fighter, was the man that put it all together. It was a feat that he could pride himself on, due to the ship being in total disarray while he worked on it.

Vince stared up at the fighter, a thing of utter beauty to him. He was finally going to fly it, and he could barley contain himself. With the help of he best friend, Scott, he had put this junker back into working order. Of course there were some other things he was planning on doing, the ship was ready to take it inaugural flight as part of the Federation.

Some of the systems that were initially thought of to put in the fighter had been scrapped, to make it more maneuverable, the biggest of them was the onboard Life Support system. While they tried to convert the fighter to have one, Vince had discovered a flight suit inside the ship. The suit seemed to be integrated into the flight systems, and had a life support system of it’s own. With a few modifications, the suit was fitted to Vince, and it became the life support for the fighter. He stood just below the fighter, wearing the slick looking flight suit, ready for the ride of his life.

He stepped onto the nearby lift, and was lifted to the cockpit of the Wraith. As he climbed in he fastened the face mask of the suit, and jumped into the seat. He flipped a couple of switches and the lights inside the cockpit flickered on. The canopy lowered and locked down, with a hissing noise the inside of the cockpit was decompressed. The flight suit was now Vince’s only means of oxygen, but 6 hrs worth of the life sustaining gas was attached to the back of the seat, with another two hours contained within a unit on the front of the suit. After a few minor adjustments, and a full flight check, Vince opened his comm.

“ Bridge, this is Wraith 1, requesting permission to leave Shuttle Bay.” Vince continued minor checks, waiting for approval.

=/\= Wraith 1, this is the Bridge, you are clear for launch. Just make sure you come back in one piece, I’d hate to have to move into your, much bigger than mine, quarters. =/\=

Vince shook his head,” Scott, you better not start packin’, I’ll only be an hour or so.”

=/\= Well you never know what will happen…. Have fun out there buddy. =/\=

“ Will Do, just make sure to forward the Wraith’s signature to the outpost, I don’t want them to think I’m a hostile….. You will remember to do that right?”

=/\= Of course, I’m working on that right now. So get your ass out there, and enjoy yourself, you’ve earned it. =/\=

“ I’m on my way out now….. Checking shuttle bay for personal, and sending you my flight plan.”

On that note, Vince fired up the engines of the Wraith. A calm blue flame emanated from the two engine ports, and the stabilizers kicked on. The Wraith floated towards the shielded opening, separating the shuttle bay from open space. As the fighter passed through the shield and into open space, Vince felt a surge of excitement pass over him. As he continued cruising speed away from the ship he turned the nimble fighter slightly and passed by the bridge. He gave a short salute then, kicked the engines up to warp .5. The fighter moved with ease, and Vince started doing minor maneuvers, trying to get the feel for the craft.

After a short time, his almost natural abilities with most aircraft kicked in, and he began to feel more comfortable, and moved the speed up to warp 2. He started to do more complex maneuvers, and was astonished with how well it was executing them, even at a higher speed. He plotted in a short course, and sped the Wraith up to it’s maximum warp speed.

At Warp 5 the ship seemed to still be as maneuverable, and nimble as ever, and Vince could hardly contain himself. The ship dropped out of Warp 5, and Vince found himself in a small asteroid field, just where he wanted to be to test the weapons systems of the Wraith.

After about forty-five minutes of simple target practice, he slowed the Wraith to a stop. He went trough a small systems check, noticing nothing had changed he locked in the Hawking’s position, and turned the Wraith back up to Warp 5.

As he made the short trip back to the Outpost, he found himself hoping the Wraith’s signal had been received by the Outpost. With the small amount of time they had when they had been working on it, and materials. Vince had decided to leave the signal the way it was, not converting it to a Starfleet signal. This usually wouldn’t be a problem, but with the Outpost not really having knowledge of the Wraith, they may not respond to nicely when it pops up in sensor range……….
Originally Posted by 1-19-2008 by Vince Stryfe


::Corridor, Deck 14::

This is the most advanced ship I've ever served on…the others were rust buckets in comparison. Ben observed. The crewman could have been angry or upset about his re-assignment to the Hawking, but in all honesty his previous duty-station had been about as exciting as scrubbing the plasma conduits. The Intrepid classed vessel he had been re-assigned to had a reputation for excitement. The Fleet officers on the Taylor-Kane had told him that there had even been a serious crisis during the Hawking's voyage from Megiddo Station.

"Computer, locate Armory," the newly assigned engineer requested. He had looked at a deck layout plan before leaving his assigned quarters but that got lost in all the other information about the Hawking.

<>The Armory is on Deck 14. Third door to the left from your current position.<>

"Okay," he counted off the door spaces and chose the correct one. The doors opened easily as he stepped into the room. There was no one at the desk but he could hear voices issuing from what he supposed was the weapons locker. He looked into the room and saw that the security officers were field-stripping and cleaning a pile of weapons.

"Hey, fellas need some help…" it was then that Ben noticed one of the officers was female, Oh..it's a dame…, "I mean, do you officers need some help?"

Ben didn't wait for them to reply before launching into his next sentence. "Because I know how to strip down a phaser rifle and clean it. My name is Benjamin Hyde Pierce. I have a weapon I need to check. I'm an engineer. New transfer actually." He finally wound down then just nodded his head before saying, "Yep, new transfer..the Hawking is a nice ship." He exhaled, then looked at the big guy sitting on the floor. "You're doing that wrong. You should clean the emitter matrix last and then set it and test then completely close and seal the casing."

Featuring:

Benjamin Hyde Pierce
Hyde.jpg
Originally Posted by 1-20-2008 by Javier Costala


USS Hawking
Armory - Deck 14

"You're doing that wrong. You should clean the emitter matrix last and then set it and test then completely close and seal the casing."

Rising to his full height, PO1 Jameson eyeballed the newbie in a way that left absolutely no doubt in the recipient’s mind that an eyeballing was occurring and further, that should the recipient not respond appropriately to the aforementioned eyeballing, there was a damn good chance that ball-breaking would soon follow.

“Advice from a newbie,” he told the kid, “is about as welcome as a plate of Orion wing-slugs as the family picnic. Here in Security, where we like to live to see an actual engagement, the matrix goes in before the crystal so there’s no chance of the matrix misfiring during install…”

William maintained his stony expression as he felt the rising tide of Gran and Ellison behind him, though the goggling response of the engineer made it damn hard to keep straight face.

“And while the offer of assistance is not in the least welcome, this room is Restricted Access,” he told the wide-eyed kid, “So you can check your weapon,” he, pushed forward the armory desk PADD, “but no go on the maintenance.”

From her corner of solitude, Anderson’s attention was drawn from the last reassembled rifle. She’d heard someone rattling on about something to do with checks but her ears had still been buzzing with Harry’s resounding refusal to let her in on the search for Acker. Not like he was responsible for Dad’s dying or anything… She slid the rifle back to its spot on the rack and collected her equipment, joining her teammates just as Jameson was shoving a PADD at someone she’d never seen.

New guy. Hm. Probably, he was nice enough (Jameson and his cohorts would have been tough on anyone traipsing up the armory) and normally she’d maybe even step in on his behalf because, well, total underdog, here but right now she just didn’t have the energy. Shift was almost up and she planned to crash and crash hard. Letting out a breath she turned to where there were still a couple Type II’s to finish and left the poor sap to his surly fate.

If he could survive five minutes of these grumpy grunts then, well, his place on Hawking would be made.

Post featuring NPC's William Jameson and Jenny Anderson, witnessed by Gran, Kyle Ellison and the newbie, Benjamin Hyde Pierce (one of the three-named people)
Originally Posted by 1-20-2008 by Harry Finn


Ben could only gape as the big guy, who looked like he was cut from a slab of granite then wrapped in a Starfleet uniform stood to his feet and said, “Advice from a newbie is about as welcome as a plate of Orion wing-slugs at the family picnic." The speaker had not looked so massive while sitting on the ground. Correction, he had not looked so threatening while sitting but now that he was standing and talking, Ben was dwarfed by the man's robust stature. Not only that, but two other officers had risen to flank him and his position was looking about as hopeless as Seagal's on Valentine's Day.

"Here in Security, where we like to live to see an actual engagement, the matrix goes in before the crystal so there’s no chance of the matrix misfiring during install…”

And that's why you use an empty powercell while you're cleaning it, Ben thought but did not voice his 'Orion wing-slugs'.

“And while the offer of assistance is not in the least welcome, this room is Restricted Access,” PO Granite Slab continued, "So you can check your weapon, but no go on the maintenance.”

"I'm just kidding with you Big Six," Ben said good-naturedly, as he took the PADD, then tapped the man on his muscular arm. The word 'iron band' came to mind. "I know you guys probably know all the tricks. I doubt I could show you three..excuse me..four, anything new." He looked at the PADD, browsing over the regulations regarding the securing of his weapon.

"Aces," Ben stated as he entered the correct info on the PADD, comfortable with the fact that all eyes were on him. "One Colt .45, Model 1911, projectile weapon. Zero slugs." He opened the case so the security officers could look at the ancient weapon. "Go on, it's the Real McCoy..check it out," Ben encouraged as he saw the gleam in the officer's eyes.

Featuring: Benjamin Hyde Pierce.
Originally Posted by 1-20-2008 by Javier Costala


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