Colliding Fates

This portion of the story includes the following NPCs:
thimages-2-1.jpg - Fehr

The Cavern

No matter how hard she tried to convince herself that they had taken the correct course, (and she knew that they had) the pit in her stomach that formed as they abandoned Harry would not dissipate, and the look of horror on Delano's face as it turned in the direction of the cry only underscored that feeling.

Jason sighed heavily as the other two ground to a halt, not that he felt nothing at Harry's predicament, but he had left him for dead before and it hadn't taken, so he doubted it was going to take this time either. "I am betting that is the other guy, come on, we have to keep heading uphill."

"Of course." T'Shaini splashed ahead, fighting the drag of water as the tide surged and receded. Of course Jason was right, it was Harry and Harry had certainly proven that he could take care of himself. She just sent a prayer up that given the events of late he had not used the last of his catlike nine lives. Absorbed in her line of thought, the turn of the tunnel that opened up into a larger cavern heading back toward the cliffs almost went unnoticed.

"T-t-tricorder functioning counselor." Delano put his hand out to stop her, but couldn't quite make himself touch her.

"T'Shaini." Jason had no such problems. What is it with this guy and women? "Call Nils, we are clear."

Scrubbing her face with one hand to clear her vision, T'Shaini acknowledged their directions with a nod, then tapped her concealed commbadge.

=^=T'Shaini to Captain Torrik.=^=

=/\= Go ahead. =/\= Nils voice cut through the comm channel like a razor sharp knife through twine.

=^=We have found what Bedie is looking for…and Nils, Jason thinks it is a lost Orb.=^=

The quiet of no response stretched out longer than it should have. =/\= Can you confirm that, counselor? He is sure? =/\=

T'Shaini looked to Jason who stepped in. =/\=As sure as I can be, ark imbedded in a cave wall covered in archaic bajoran, glowing from within…if you have any other theories I would be glad to entertain them.=/\=

More unnerving quiet rained down from the ship, high in orbit. Finally another response came. =/\= Javier and I are on our way. We're already en route to medical for flash facial reconstruction, but we'll be there soon. T'Shaini…=/\= A new edge laced his tone as he continued. =/\= I know this is probably obvious, but it's important that Bedie does not get that…artifact. The Orb. =/\=

Delano had busied himself with taking random scans, pleased that the tech was functioning again, then registering another branch of the cavern they were occupying he walked over to scan that as well, hoping it would lead upward to the surface. "Uh oh." Panic beginning to close up his throat he just sprinted back to the other and held up the tricorder in front of their faces.

=/\=Of course Captain Torrik,=/\= Something in his tone had prompted her to use his rank in her response, then T'Shaini broke off her thought at Del's abrupt return. Looking down her breath caught. =/\=the sooner the better Captain, we have incoming…and it looks to be Bedie.=/\=

Me the NPCs and a little bit of Nils…

Originally posted by T'Shaini on 8/22/08

USS Hawking

“Where is it?”

A tricorder was tossed a few inches away from the cabinet that Tatiana kneeling in front off. She had spent minutes looking through it. Following the tricorder, came an empty hypospray and dermal regenerator. “Where is it,” she asked again and dug deeper.

“What are you looking for?” a voice rang out behind her. She wasn’t expecting it and banged her head against the top of the cabinet when she jumped. “Ouch,” she whined and turned to look at who had spoken to her, “Getty.”

“Need some help there, little lady?” She looked at Luke oddly as he indicated the small mess she was making, it was the first time he had spoken to her since he arrived on board.

“No…umm, er, sir. What I’m looking for is in here, I know it,” she answered and continued her search. She moved more items off of the shelf they rested on and found what she was looking for, “Ah ha!” she yelled triumphantly and sat the Osteo-Regenerator down on her right.

She gathered the carelessly tossed items in her arms and dumped them in front of her before putting them back where she had found them. Tatiana began stand and winced as her knees cracked when she came to her full height “Getting old, you know,” she joked and frowned when Luke didn’t return her smile. “Okay,” she muttered to herself, “Not a joker.”

Tatiana returned to the biobed where one of the Engineers sat, holding her arm. “I found it,” she said with a wave of the object and set about her work.

“What took you so long? My arm is killing me.”

“Your arm doesn’t hurt, I gave you enough drugs to take away any pain you may have. Anyway, I had to get the right one. This one has all the good juju.”

“Ah,” the Engineer responded in mock understanding, and watched as Tatiana repaired her arm with the Osteo-Regenerator.

“Alright,” she began, “Getty’s going to finish up here. If you have any other problems with your arm, let me know.”

She returned the regenerator back to the cabinet and stopped to talk to Nurse Amos, “Have you seen Doctor Lewis?”

“The Spawn Doctor?”

“Yes, the pediatrician. Someone said she wanted to ask about the kids or something.”

“She should be back in about twenty minutes.”

“Good, good,” Tatiana said, “Hey, do you know who keeps rearranging all the stuff?”

Amos shook her head, “I don’t know, but I couldn’t find my lucky hypospray.”

Tatiana grinned, “How rude.”

“Very,” Nurse Amos agreed.

A post featuring the NPC, Luke Getty, and one random chick I came up with while eating Famous Amos cookies.
Originally Posted by Tatiana Thorne on 8/22/08

Skirti the Kitiran Keshii

“W can’t stay out in this much longer!” Kyle’s deep voice just barely topped the howling wind which had swept in from the east. The rain which had fallen for so long was one thing but this storm, which had begun just prior to sunset, was a killer. The lightning alone would have been bad enough for the three crossing a relatively treeless plain… Kyle was deeply conscious of every piece of metal currently draped on our about his body right now… but the wind was also battering the trio about like so much tumbleweed… or whatever might pass for tumbleweed on this planet.

“Open to suggestions!” Jillian, one arm wrapped protectively around their foundling Devanagari, shouted back.

Frey was looking about her while the other two tried to converse. These lands were vaguely familiar. There had been games, trials between the Azuchi and their neighbors, the Kitiran, only last autumn, just before the migration… she was sure of it.

“There may be some shelter…” she began, then realized her voice was being ripped asunder by the wretched wind… “SOME SHELTER!” the girl bellowed, in the voice most often reserved for stubborn juvaal. Pointing past a small pile of stones… what had been the rounding place during the juvaal race, Frey hoped and prayed to her entire fore line that the dre’kesh… meeting house… still stood in some form. It was of a stouter make than the sh’keshii, as it had been used in the games every turning for more migrations than Frey possessed.

No one argued with the local. El’san just nodded and turned leftwards to follow Frey’s direction and the two women lurched after. A particularly harsh gust threw them both to the ground, however and moments later, the two felt themselves hauled up by the collar and, remaining in that firm grip, propelled (their feet barely touched the ground, in fact) down the small slope to the stone cairn and past that to… thank the spirits… the meeting dre’kesh of the Kitiran and Azuchi.

Kyle made speed for the bulk of the shelter the kid had pointed out and practically tossed the two petite women into the door…

Tripping to a halt, Jillian threw a dirty look back at the rangy security officer but his by-now pronounced limp kept her from commenting. She did, however, take the moment to throw a brief and heartfelt curse skywards, to the incommunicado Hawking and her equally silent Captain. Did I actually volunteer for this mission? Once, just once, she'd like to beam down to a tropical island where the most trying task was deciding which tree frond to use for a fan…

A rush of warmth followed by the flickering of a more than welcome fire interrupted the doctor's frustrated musings. Jillian turned to where Kyle, bless him, had lit the pre-laid tinder some thoughtful local had left in the center of this… not quite tent…

"J'lian…" Frey's horrified voice cut through the flame-licked shadows, "your face…"

Kyle looked up sharply at the girl's shocked exclamation as Jillian's hand covered the ragged tears the d'rag had left in her dermatirailian plasticsine 'skin'. Sure enough, the hood which had been covering the very superficial injury had been blown back in the storm and frankly, her real face had been too numb to register the change. "It is not… not as bad as it looks," Jillian tossed out quickly as she pulled the hood back up. "It… the cold has stopped the bleeding… I can hardly feel it…"

Her words faltered as she caught Ellison's… El'san's expression. Their cover was as good as blown…

JP with Jillian featuring NPC's Kyle Ellison and Frey
Originally Posted by Harry Finn on 8/22/08

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Bridge ::

The Chief Engineer finished fastening up his jacket a few seconds before the lift doors opened onto the bridge. He had been in the process of building the prototype motorcycle engine, code named Emmy, when the shuttlebay had suddenly erupted into a frenzy of activity. Pilots sprinted towards their shuttles while crew chiefs bellowed orders and operations personnel prepped the craft for what looked like a rescue operation. Fearing the worst, Javier had grabbed his uniform jacket and rushed toward the nearest turbolift, pushing through the stream of activity as he sped towards the bridge. Pulling down on the jacket as he stepped onto the bridge, the engineer found that the bridge was an apex of activity as the shuttle pilots reported their status to the CONN officer.

"What happened? Is there a problem on the planet? The away teams..?" he asked Nils. Is T'Shaini safe? is what Javier was thinking.

After snapping his neck around to get his eyes on the eruption that was Javier bursting onto the bridge, Nils nodded and waved the engineer over. Motioning for him to sit in the XO's seat, the Bajoran said, "They're ok… There's a storm that's ionized the region around the landing zone and we can't use our transporters. We're preparing for a shuttle based extraction should things take a turn for the worse." That turn would have to be pretty severe for Nils to send a mini-fleet of shuttles down to a pre-warp planet, risking utter contamination. "But Harry sounded like they were getting close to something. If all goes well, they'll send a mission accomplished message about the time the storm dissipates and we can pull them up…" It was wishful thinking and he knew it. But in this helpless situation of 'hurry up and wait' any negativity could be disastrous to the psyche.

Javier took a seat next to the captain and studied the console adjacent to the XO's chair, watching the readings that were pouring in from Science. His fear that some calamity had befallen the away teams had not been completely eased and the uncharacteristic weather patterns on the planet's surface heightened his state of concern. "Is it possible that whatever that something is, it's influencing the weather on the planet? From these readings it looks as if the storm has just continued to grow..the energy keeps building," the engineer stated. "What if it doesn't dissipate? We have to do something to stop Kamaal from causing damage to the planet or the Devangari."

"I'm not willing to rule anything out at this point… But I agree with your assessment." Glancing back and forth from his own data relay and the forward viewscreen, which still held the image of the Scout ship lying in wait, the weary Bajoran sighed in frustration. "This situation keeps getting more and more…tense…"

"Captain," Bayal's voice called from the turbolift the moment it opened. "Captain I need to speak with you!"

Nils gave Javier a look then turned to the computer technician rushing from the upper level into the command pit. Bayal looked stricken as he bumbled with a few PADDs. "Chief," he said in brief greeting to Costala. "Captain, I've reviewed the Zocal's prophecy in light of some old interpretations. It seems there was a sect a couple centuries ago who had some pretty progressive theories about the Prophets and their interaction with our universe… So I cross referenced the old texts with the sacred texts in addition to…"

"Bayal," Nils snapped, cutting the man off. "The point?"

"I think the lost eyes of the Prophets are referring to the Orbs of the Prophets…" Bayal shook his head. His speech disintigrated into a hushed chastisement of his own blindness at not seeing it before.

For a moment, the young Captain almost dismissed Bayal's announcement out of hand. There was no chance any of the Orbs could be here on Girijan. But then he caught himself. He'd only just said to Javier that he wasn't willing to rule anything out. "That's… Isn't that somewhat unlikely?"

"The texts I've reviewed indicate a marginal belief that the Prophets had 'other followers' in 'other lands.' If that's the case then this wouldn't even have to be a lost Orb of Bajor. This could be an Orb completely unknown to us…" The man's eyes were wide with the possibility. "There really isn't another plausible interpretation. And since the Circle seems so determined to get their hands on…"

Some puzzle pieces snapped into place. "They would instantly be elevated to a status of influence and…"

"Don't those orbs release a large magnitude of energy when removed from their vessels?" Javier asked, interjecting a scientific question into the religious conversation. "The storm seems to be feeding off of a power source." He thought for a second then added: "And as far as lost orbs go, didn't Bajorans always believe that there were only nine? Then the Orb of the Emmisary was discovered, making it ten. So maybe there's eleven now?" The engineer noticed that he suddenly had both men's full attention. "I read up on it after our discussion," he told Nils, "it was more interesting than learning Vulcan meditation chants." I hope that never gets back to T'Shaini. Javier thought as he reprimanded himself.

=^=T'Shaini to Captain Torrik.=^= The announcement made the engineer jump!

"Go ahead," Nils replied tersely.

=^=We have found what Bedie is looking for…and Nils, Jason thinks it is a lost Orb.=^=

The three men exchanged stupefied looks, one to another. The CO felt as if the wretched calm before the storm belched a hurricane of misery on them within the last twelve seconds on the bridge. Bayal nodded at Nils, nudging him on. There's actually another one..and we found it?! Javier thought in disbelief. What are the odds? The subtle tones in T'Shaini's voice were difficult to hear with the amount of static that filled the channel but Javier could tell she was stressed. He started to ask about the team's status but held back, thinking Nils would.

"Can you confirm that, counselor? He is sure?" Despite the facts coming together from both Bayal's study and the away team, he still had to ask the obvious question.

It was Jason Hallows, a recent addition to the crew, who responded. =/\=As sure as I can be, ark imbedded in a cave wall covered in archaic bajoran, glowing from within…if you have any other theories I would be glad to entertain them.=/\=

With a wave to the Bynars the connection was muted. "Javier you're with me. Torrik to sickbay, prep for two male Devanagari facial reconstructions… We're on our way down," he said motioning to both Bayal and Costala. "Tenanji you have the bridge… We're taking the aeroshuttle to the surface, so find a way past that Scout ship." With that the turbolift doors closed and the three men descended to the lower decks. With a tap to his badge he reinitiated the comlink to the team on the ground. =/\= Javier and I are on our way. We're already en route to medical for flash facial reconstruction, but we'll be there soon. T'Shaini…=/\= A new edge laced his tone as he continued. =/\= I know this is probably obvious, but it's important that Bedie does not get that…artifact. The Orb. =/\=

=/\=Of course Captain Torrik,=/\= She suddenly broke off and an audible intake of breath hissed over the com. =/\=The sooner the better Captain, we have incoming…and it looks to be Bedie.=/\=

The connection was terminated.

"Forget flash facial reconstruction," Javier stated, "we need to go now." Everyone knew that fanatics didn't travel alone, Kamaal would have a group of her Circle friends with her, and they would be well-armed. I'm guessing they have better weapons than a Type I. the engineer figured, wincing at the thought of T'Shaini, Harry and Del fighting off mercenaries with the puniest phaser Starfleet issued. "I'm going to modify some of the Type II's and III's that are in the aerowing," he said, thinking aloud.

"Aerowing," Nils spat at the turbolift, indicating his agreement with Javier's assessment. The sooner they got down there the better. He stabbed his badge again as he drew a sharp breath. "Torrik to sickbay. Belay my last… Prep for a surgery on the fly. Get someone to the Aeroshuttle berth. We launch in ten minutes." The doors slid open and without a word, the three men sprinted full speed down the corridor, ready for a wild flight to the surface.

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils 8/23/08

USS Hawking

“So you see, out of the nine children, two are going to give you problems. I think Jimmy told Sam and Feeya that during checkups we’re going to try and kidnap them,” Tatiana informed Doctor Lewis, “There was something about the doctors eating soup made from kids. The Halloween celebration didn’t do much to help our standing with them.”

Doctor Lewis looked at Tatiana curiously, “Halloween?”

“Don’t worry about it,” she said with an unconcerned wave of her hand, “To get them to actually sit down and be scanned, threaten to tell their parents and they’ll do whatever you ask.”

The older woman nodded in understanding, “I’ve had a few like that. I’ll be fine.”

“Great. And now, their files, I have-”

=/\=Torrik to sickbay, prep for two male Devanagari facial reconstructions… We're on our way down.=/\=

Tatiana stopped mid-sentence and took a deep breath, “Excuse me, I have to take this. We’ll finish up later.”

She moved over to the biobed where Amos and Getty were quickly moving all the supplies to the rollaway, “Got everything?”

“Yes, we-”

=/\=Torrik to sickbay. Belay my last… Prep for a surgery on the fly. Get someone to the Aeroshuttle berth. We launch in ten minutes.=/\=

Getty walked away and returned with a medkit in his hand, “It has everything you need to do the surgery.” He handed it to her, and she brought it down to rest against her thigh.

“Thanks…I’m so glad I was elected to take on this great responsibility to do reconstructive surgery on a shuttle,” she said through clenched teeth. Tatiana looked down at the reconstructive surgery medkit and lifted it, “When did we get these?”

Amos shrugged, “Don’t know.”

She paused, “Okay then. Wish me luck.” Tatiana exited Sickbay holding the kit tightly in her hand, “I’m going to need it.”

Originally posted by Tatiana Thorne 8/23/08

Sallin's Sh'kesha'a

Having sent the guard and Kerrin's shadow-walkers (who departed with great reluctance) to one of the central sh'kesha'a to take a meal, Sallin went through the motions of serving the enokitake… he had no intention of walking the spirit world this night… nor did he expect Kerrin to do so either but they must at least look as if they were leaving the dubious safety of the sh'kesh… and who was he to say? Perhaps, once they had… discussed matters… one or both may wish to take the brew from the neri and delve deeper into the mystery of the Ekurran woman's quest.

Kerrin watched the younger man's movements, noted the strain on his face and wondered how long he had been a Hentari. "Someone of your migrations is rare to see as Hentari to a yassryn as venerable as the Azuchi." She left the phrase hanging in the air in the hopes that it would trigger some discussion.

"I have walked the twelve paths," he replied, somewhat defensively before sighing and setting the neri aside… no need to brew the tea as yet. He joined Kerrin at the larger brazier, where she was sitting as close as possible without setting fire to her clothing, "but it is true," he admitted. "Rylla took her final path far sooner than expected. It has been… it has been a difficult turning, since the last migration."

"I am sorry." Poor thing, she could see how tough it had been on him. Her heart tugged when his body sagged at the last admission. And Kerrin hated herself for having to push further. "In the last turning…" She winced when she saw Sallin's shoulders tighten almost imperceptibly. "has it been more than the loss of Rylla?"

What was it Rylla used to say? You cannot hunt the zaar and leave it ungutted. "Her loss was… it was sudden… a fall from her juvaal during a hunt. Then, the weather… it was too dry in the mid-plains… you will have seen this," he nodded towards the warm-eyed stranger, "and the zaar were forced to their summer grazing sooner than is wise. We had no choice but to follow… and since we have been here…"

"The path is more unsettled?" Kerrin put her hand on his shoulder. "We have encountered many disturbing things on our travels, and yet there is something here that is…" Well, she wasn't lying, just not telling him where her travels were.

"… growing," he completed her sentence for her. "And I fear it as I have never feared anything… not even the twelfth path." Scooting closer to Kerrin, he followed his instincts, your heart will point the way… it is for you mind to see the path even though she was no longer here, Rylla's words served as a guide, "Shortly after we set Rylla in the favored resting place… when one of the ante-chambers collapsed beneath Tchiva and he… returned from the lowest, most ancient caves…"

Oh god. Kerrin's breath caught, what did he find? What was Bedie looking for, had the huntsman stumbled across it? She had watched enough horror vids to know what was next. "And when he came back, he was…changed?"

"Not to see, no but he brought with him knowledge… he said," the young man swallowed and looked about though, with the storm raging as it did no one could possibly hear their words, "he said the roaring of the sea in the caves had given him a thought as to the smelting of metal… he changed the order of how each element was added… and rebuilt the fire-cairn as well. Our zuuts and arrowheads… they are much lighter… stronger than before and edge holds better. And that was only the first." Sallin was racing the wind now… he'd held in his doubts for so long but he doubted an entire juvayni storming into the sh'kesh could stop him, now. "Tchiva began to take walks by the sea… not too often at first, only at the tri-moon… I followed him, one time… and from there he would descend by bhandi-line for many hours and many times, when he came back… there would be something new he had 'thought of'.

"And of late, since the rains have settled over our keshii… he has gone every day.. I'll wager he is there, now."

Confirmation, something was down there, but what? Was Bedie giving him new tech hoping it would win him to her? But for what purpose? To help find what she was looking for? "Now? In this storm?" Kerrin's eyes grew wide. "Do you think the storm stems from whatever he is doing down there?"

Sallin cast a guilty glance at the neri, ready to brew the enokitake, "I know of only one way to find out," he said before looking back at Kerrin, the question clear in his eyes, "though I would not undertake the journey lightly… there is something in this night that speaks of the darkness…"

"And to seek it may be foolhardy." And she would be lying if she didn't admit that she was dying to participate in a native ritual. With a glint in her eye Kerrin smiled at the oh so serious young Hentari. "But who is to say that the foolhardy path is not the quickest way to the truth?"

"So think I, and more," Sallin exhaled a frustrated gust, "I have not been serving my yassryn as I should, and I never will if I start at these shadows in my first season as Hentari." Rising, he went to the neri pot and carefully poured out two portions before returning to the bold Kerrin. "I will do this, either way but I would be honored to take this journey in your company."

"And I am honored that you choose to walk this path with me."

Sallin had in truth expected no less. Handing her the small cup, he held up his own, "Then let us drink, and seek the truth, together."

As she brought the cup to her lips it was all Kerrin could do to not squirm in glee.

Jason is going to be so jealous!

Featuring Tee as Kerrin and Harry as Sallin

Posted by T'Shaini on 8/23/08

:: USS Hawking ::
:: Aeroshuttle Berth ::
The sleek and aerodynamic shuttle clung tightly to the underside of Hawking's saucer section. Since she was recessed into the hull of the larger starship, the small vessel wasn't easy to make out. But on order from the pilot within, the winged ship dropped suddenly from the ship and her impulse engines slammed her forward around the small moon. The streak of gray disappeared behind the satellites terminus within seconds on her way to face off against the mercs own auxiliary vessel. The Bajoran scoutship moved as soon as the aeroshuttle did. And moments after the launch arcs of blue energy crackled against the shields of the small Starfleet ship.
Inside the ship Nils clung precariously to his seat. How they were going to perform facial reconstruction under these conditions did not add up. As the ship lurched starboard, the CO reached out and grabbed the safety straps. "I think it's going to be a bumpy ride…"

Javier felt himself slide to the right then was jarred back against the seat as energy swept over the craft. "That was a good shot," the engineer stated from the Ops console, "Our shields just dropped to eighty-six percent. They must have one hell of a pilot in that scout ship." He adjusted the shield frequencies then shrugged off Thorne, who seemed set on doing his facial reconstruction in the middle of the fight. "Not now," the engineer said.

"Yes now," she retorted, "Keep still. This takes time, I'm going to need all I can get."

"Well start with the captain..ow," Javier exclaimed as another phaser shot from the scout ship shook the craft and caused the instrument that Thorne was using to jab him in the cheek. "Shields to seventy-eight percent," he called out to the helm officer, who was wrestling with the shuttle's controls. "I think now is the time to launch our secret weapon."

"Indeed," Nils groaned. The shuttle shook and before he could tap his badge he was forced to grab his chair again. In a moment of relative calm the Bajoran finally got his hand up to his chest. "Torrik to Stryfe… Launch the Wraith." Another burst of powerful energy careened off of their shields and caused such sick feeling in Nils stomach that he checked to make sure the inertial dampers were still online. "Vince the sooner the better…"

Vince sat up in the seat of the Wraith, and tapped the button on the collar, raising the helmet around his face, "Copy that Captain," Vince leaned out of the open cockpit, "Umm…. I think you all may need to clear the shuttle bay entirely, this thing leaves quite a trail of heat. I'd hate to be responsible for barbecuing anyone."

The people in the bay cleared out, and Vince began a quick ignition sequence. The Wraith had been ready for some time already, and it couldn't have been a better call by Usher. He and Vince had decided that the Wraith was the quickest, and quietest way to get rid of the scout ship if need be, and the excitable pilot was more than willing to do his duty. The engines of the ancient fighter kicked on, and the Wraith sliced through the bay, and outside the ship. In the distance Vince could see the phasers of the scout ship rocking the areowing, no doubt dropping the shields quite substantially with every blow.

"Scott, this is Stryfe. Get ready to make a sharp turn to your left, and tell everyone in there to hold on." Vince grabbed hold of each control arm on either side of him.

Scott looked back at the others, a grin creeping across his face, "Ok, Thorne, put the pointy thing down for a second, I'd hate for our Cappy to get a hole in his cheek, and everyone hold on to something." Before they others could fully react the ship sharply turned to the left.

Vince watched the ship make it's move, before he was completely ready, but he had no choice but to act. He squeezed the triggers for the pulse phasers, and sent six blasts towards the scout ship, four of which connected, stopping the scout in it's tracks, turning it's attention towards him. From behind the mask Vince grinned, this is what he lived for most in life, and he was ready to have some well deserved fun.

Tatiana stumbled forward when the shuttle took another hit. The diagram that she was using as her guide fell to the ground along with the kit she was using. She glared at the back of Scott's head in frustration, "For the love of…Scott! Can you please do a better job avoiding the hits?" He didn't answer her, and she bent down to pick up the items. Once she had the instructions held firmly in her right hand, her left brought the hypospray of Dermatiraelian Plasticine to the Captain's neck. She read through the instructions and took a deep breath, "Here goes nothing."

With the dermal stimulator in her hand, she took to creating the visage of Devanagari. The process was interrupted multiple times by the small battle occurring, but in the end she managed to create a passable recreation. "There," she said, "The feeling should come back any second."

"I hope so," the Captain commented sourly, as he ran his hands along his new brow ridges. "How do I look?"

Checking the shields one last time before they entered the planet's upper atmosphere, Javier turned to look at Nils. "I suggest you lose the earring and have the doctor do something about your nose ridges, or you could just pass yourself off as a Devanagari transvestite." He turned back to the console, avoiding the scowl he knew was on the horizon. The long range scanners fed his console information about the dogfight between the Wraith and the scout ship. "Shit, brace for fire, that scout ship is coming back for another pass. Scott, now would be a very good time to get us on that planet."

Tatiana examined her work and rolled her eyes, "I would have fixed the nose ridges." She smirked as she wielded the dermal stimulator again, "But then again, every society needs a transvestite. Who am I to deprive them of one?" At the Captain's expression she threw her hands up in innocence, "I'm just saying." She began to work on his nose ridges, her face set in concentration. She shut the instrument off and looked at the Captain, "Not bad."

Nils snatched his earring from his ear and scowled. "Probably not good either… Lt. Marshell get us down there before…" He was cut off as the ship hit atmosphere and twisted beneath them. "Let's hope Mister Stryfe can keep that scout busy enough to leave us alone the rest of the way down… Javier, I'll take Ops if you'll get your make-up on," he commented wryly.

"Right," the engineer acquiesced with frown as he and Nils switched seats. "Hurry if you could Doc, I still have to modify the phasers we'll be using on the planet." Javier strapped himself into the chair, the remnants of Thorne's first effort still hanging from his forehead. He tried to relax and think happy thoughts but none came to mind. We're coming T'Shaini..just hang in there. the engineer thought as the nose of the craft dropped and they began their descent.

"I tried to hurry before," she reminded him and pushed the faux skin back on his forehead, "Let's hope you don't come out looking more feminine than masculine. This is only the second one I've done, I'm bound to screw up again." The dermal stimulator was fired up again as she set it to work on Javier's face. She looked at the diagram again, somehow hoping that an easier method of creating a Devanagari face would come to her. It didn't. She knew that Costala's new face wouldn't be any better than the Captain's.

"I tried," she said and sat the dermal stimulator in the kit, "It doesn't look so terrible."

Glancing over his shoulder, Nils made a sour face. "You look like a Klingon who got smacked by a durasteel girder…" An alert drew his eye back to the console. "Shields holding at sixty four percent. And it looks like Stryfe has the scout tangled up for a while. Marshell, put her down somewhere inconspicuous… An outcropping of rock, or something below the horizon. And you and Thorne make sure no one gets near the shuttle. At the first sign of Devanagari take off and get back to Hawking. You can't let them see this ship."

As soon as Thorne had finished her work, the engineer moved to the back of the shuttle and opened the weapon's locker. Javier retrieved two Type II hand phasers and two Type III phaser rifles and set to work modifying them in the same manner he had the away team's weapons, so if one fell into the wrongs hands it would be rendered inert. He passed Nils a phaser and a rifle. Javier was aware of how his CO felt about being what might have been construed as 'armed to the teeth.' "The others may need some extra firepower," he reasoned aloud before grabbing a tricorder.

The ship almost bucked as a bolt of lightning crashed into the shields of the ship. Scott just smiled as he continued to maneuver through what seemed to be an almost endless amount of clouds, but he could finally see what he thought to be a break in the coverage. As the shuttle moved closer, he started to ease up a bit, becoming less tense, knowing that a landing was all that was left, and that shouldn't cause to much of a problem for him. The shuttle finally flew below the clouds and the pilot could finally begin his landing approach to the planet.

Scott, moved his hands across the control panel, finding the coordinates for the perfect spot to avoid being seen by the natives. The primary location that he had gone over with Vince and Usher appeared to be clear, and he readjusted the approach, hoping for a smooth landing, to keep the masses happy. The rocky terrain that he had mapped out on the outskirts of a large plain, would allow for sufficient camouflage for the aerowing due to it's color, and would also allow for them to spot anyone early enough for then to high tail it. As the came into the landing, he spoke up grinning at the three people standing near the back of the shuttle, "Well, I hope that wasn't to bad, I know I kinda enjoyed it."

"Let's move," Nils said heading toward the rear of the vessel. He wrapped the hide cloak and fur hood around his upper torso and palmed the hatch console. Whipping wind and pelting rain greeted him. Nils had to raise his voice to Javier in order to be heard. "Last telemetry had T'Shaini's group off to the east," he called as they descended the ramp. "It's not too far," he began looking at his unmodified tricorder. "But we should hurry…" The two men disguised as Devanagari began sprinting off onto the plains, and were soon swallowed by the storm.

Kaleidescope JP with Nils, Javi, Thorne, Vince and Scott (also played by Vince).
Originally Posted by Javier Costala on 8/23/08

.::During the Aerowing's Decent ::.

The scout ship seemed almost seamless as it whipped itself towards it’s attacker. Two quick blasts came from the vessel, bearing down on Vince quickly, but there was enough distance that the blasts were avoided. The two ships now sat in the emptiness of space, on the border of the planet’s atmosphere, and outer space. The quiet stare down was interrupted as Vince’s computer spoke up.

“ Attention, Lt. Stryfe. You are being hailed on the comm. Do you wish for me to bring this on screen? “ The calm smooth tone of the computer’s female voice asked.

“ Yes, I would love to see who this person is.” The pilot reached over, tapping some buttons to his left, then flipping a switch on his right, his helmet recessing into the collar of his flight suit. He looked down at the small view screen, and the image of the other pilot came into focus.

“ I would have to ask you to refrain your attempts to stop my pursuit. You will need to wait until I deal with that larger shuttle, then I’ll dispatch you.” The know identified as Bajoran spoke with a quiet, calmed tone, staring down Vince.

“ I’d have to decline your request, and ask that you leave that ship alone and deal with me now, cause I’m not going to just let you go after them.” Vince leaned in staring back at the Bajoran pilot,” simply saying, Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” Vince flipped the screen off, his helmet coming back over his head, and now heading towards the scout ship, his finger on the trigger, ready to fire.

The Bajoran scout ship fired almost immediately, getting a direct hit on Vince’s shield’s, causing the Wraith to buck a bit, but not knocking him off of his course. He fired another volley from the three mounted pulse phaser cannons, most of which connected with their intended target. The smaller fighter whipped by the scout ship, tightly turning to face towards the scout ship again.

Red lights were flashing inside the cockpit of Vince’s fighter, but with the salvo that the scout ship just received, he knew they were getting the same results. Vince quickly tapped another combination of buttons, and a projected read out of the scout ship flashed across his screen. 60% shields, and some minor system outages . He avoided another blast from the phasers of his adversary, and decided to screw the technical stuff, turning the duel into what he was seeing as an ancient dog fight now.

The scout ship started towards the direction of the aerowing again, but Vince gave chase, firing shot after shot, connecting some, but missing with others as the two ships weaved in and out of each other’s way. Another phaser blast struck the Wraith, causing it to go into a spin, and the scout ship swung around to take advantage of the situation, sending out a spread of torpedos, and phaser fire, most of which struck the tiny fighter, but also allowing Vince to regain control, sending his own torpedo into the rear of the passing scout ship.

Vince was now in front of the scout ship, trying desperatly not to take any direct its to the rear, his shields now at a meager 25%, but he knew the scout ship had to be close to the same, as he watched the flickering of the port engine of his attacker. As he weaved away from blast after blast he tapped control buttons, readying a nifty manuver, then he pulled back on the control arms,sending the agile fighter into an emomen turn, and firing the rail gun into the center of the scout ship, watching as the metal projectile ripped through the hull of the ship.

When he turned back around, another torpedo crashed against the front of the wraith, sending the shields down to 2%. The two ships were now each at the breaking point, but Vince could see the torn piece of the hull from where his antique weapon had pierced the top of the scout ship, and he knew what he had to do. The scout ship was nearly disabled, and could no longer mover at a matching speed to Vince in the wraith, but if it was left alone, it could limp it’s way back to the bigger ship, and then they’d come after the Hawking.

“ Computer, initiate seperation of the cockpit, and cause warp core overload on my mark.” Vince had seen this strategy listed in the Wraith’s files, and knew it to be what had to be done. The scout ship was still armed, and the possibility of it destroying the Wraith, along with Vince was good, but it wasn’t to be.

Vince started towards the bigger scout ship, readying himself,” Lt. The proper protocols have been inputed. Awaiting you mark to initiate seperation of cockpit, and overload of warp core. I will guide the ship to whatever point you would like.”

Vince grinned behind his helmet again,” Take this thing and shove it right up the tail end of that scout ship.”

“ Understood, Goodbye Vince…… ”

The cockpit jolted, and then blasted from it’s base, sailing up, and barely avoiding a phaser shot. The rest of the Wraith sped towards the crippled scout ship, colliding with it, then self destructing, turning the two ships into nothing more than scrap metal, burning up as it fell towards the planet’s surface.

Vince just smiled behind his helmet, knowing that the warp core had caused the two ships to become nothing more than smaller meteorites, falling harmlessly to the surface, not breaking the prime directive. He thought about what he deemed a success, he quickly realized that the cockpit had also become a burning hot mass, and was careening towards the planet. He started to frantically search for the eject switch, but couldn’t find it in his overly ecstatic search.

He looked up and finally found the switch, but as he reached up to hit it, what was left of the cockpit crashed into a body of water, floating softly to the bottom, a mere 12 to 20 foot drop. From inside Vince looked out shaking his head,” Now how am I supposed to duplicate that on the holodeck, cause damn that was pretty cool.”

He hit the switch, releasing the canopy, and allowing the water to rush in. As the water quickly filled the cockpit, Vince noticed a countdown from one min begin, and start to fall. He started to quickly remove the flight suit, then swam towards the top of the water. Just as he broke the surface, the cockpit self destructed, blowing itself into millions of pieces, ridding the chance of discovery by the pre warp civilization, saving him another potential violation of the prime directive. The wave from the explosion washed him up to the shore, and he crawled out, tapping his comm badge.

“ This is Stryfe, I need an exac, and somthin’ stiff to drink. I’m wet as hell, and still a little overly excited over the little battle I just had, so let’s make it quick, chop chop.” Vince put his hands behind his head, just waiting for his buddy Scott to come get him.

Originally Posted by Vince Stryfe 08/24/08

USS Hawking

Usher Tenanji had moved to the center of the bridge as Torrik and Costala departed. At Tactical, Zane Peress moved into position.

Tenanji looked to the Bynars, “I want running telemetry on the progress of the aerowing and the wraith.” Turning to Peress, “and the moment they’ve launched, raise shields.”

“Sir… sir,” the twins responded, four hands moving at speed over their panels and “Raise shields on launch, aye,” was Peress’ response.

“That will require more active scans,” O’Keefe pointed out.

“I am aware of that,” Usher, though quite still, was experiencing the adrenaline rush which presaged any potential conflict. “We must accept that our adversaries know we are here… upon the smaller vessels’ launch, they’re going to know we are also down there. This being the case, I see no point in remaining blind to current events."

Ten minutes later, “Aerowing away,” One ten announced and in another three minutes, from One eleven, “Bajoran scout vessel in pursuit and firing," then, before anyone could respond. “Wraith… has launched,” both Bynars continued. “The wraith has engaged the enemy vessel…”

“Shields raised,” Peress inserted and then the Bynars’ calm duet continued, laying down the progress of the aerowing and the subsequent dogfight between the wraith and its stalker.

In the midst of all this, the ‘lift doors opened to reveal William Jameson, who moved to the back up position on Tactical as well as…

“Commander Vail,” Tenanji greeted the Hawking’s ‘visitor’ as the El Aurian joined him center bridge.

“Lt. Tenanji,” the vaguely amused tone responded. “I understand things are becoming… interesting.”

“That is certainly a point of view,” Usher was almost accustomed to Vail’s gift of understatement, after their little adventure at Jericho-Samaria.

“Sir,” One eleven burst in, “Lt. Stryfe’s vessel… has rammed the Bajoran… but the lieutenant has ejected successfully…”

“And the aerowing?” Social calls from spooks forgotten, Usher moved up behind the pair on Ops.

“We cannot penetrate… the storm’s interference…”

“I’ve boosted our sensors to the max,” O’Keefe replied to the Security officer’s questioning look, “until that storm abates, we won’t have any useful planetside telemetry.

“However… the Beradi vessel has… raised shields…”

“Take us to red alert,” Tenanji ordered.

“Red alert… aye."

The resounding claxons and shift to the red pulsing of the lighting indicated that the Hawking was preparing for the worst. Glancing back, Usher noted that Vail had settled himself in the leftmost chair and was carefully taking in the running status reports from the rest of the ship on the XO’s screens. Realizing he was being watched, but without looking up, Vail offered the comment, “I always enjoy having a front row seat for the action.”

Tenanji said nothing but turned his attention back to the main screen, “I want to know the moment the Beradi vessel moves. Prepare for evasive maneuvers,” he ordered Ven, at the helm. Though with luck, this would prove nothing worse than a mutual staring contest…

“Do you intend to engage?” For a quiet observer, Lt. Commander Vail had a lot to say.

Usher didn’t bother to look back, “I intend to protect this ship,” Usher responded. “And her crew… wherever they may be.” And while Usher had no intention of firing the first shot… if shots were to be fired… he had no qualms whatsoever about firing the last. “I trust that won’t be a problem… to whomever you represent?”

“Not at all, not at all,” Vail said, “After all, 'all sunshine makes a desert'…"

And all intelligence officers speak in riddles, Usher mentally capped the quotation.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn 8/24/08

Aerodynamic Shuttle

“And then there were two,” Scott drawled as the Captain and Costala disappeared into the storm. Tatiana looked at the remnants of fake skin and battle-tossed medical instruments scattered throughout the shuttle, “Great, now I get to clean up this mess.”

She stared at the mess for a few seconds longer and then glanced at the helm officer, “That was a nice bit of flying there. You know, really top notch. You deserve a cookie when we get back.”

He ignored her and she set about cleaning the shuttle. The excess skin that had come with the failings of her first try was sat in a pile, while she gathered all the surgical tools and put them back in the kit. Once everything had been put away and she had disposed of the skin, she paced the length of the shuttle, bored out of her mind. I really need something to do.

=/\=This is Stryfe, I need an exac, and somethin’ stiff to drink. I’m wet as hell, and still a little overly excited over the little battle I just had, so let’s make it quick, chop chop.=/\=

A light went off in her mind. There was her something to do.

Scott sat up in surprise at the sound of his best friend’s voice. “Guess we’re gonna rescue him,” he began and grinned at Tatiana, “I bet that makes you all happy inside.”

“Oh it does, so very much,” she said in a monotonous tone, “I just can’t get over how excited I truly am.”

He glowered at her. Scott then gazed at where the neat pile of epidermis had been and frowned. “Those were seriously the ugliest facial reconstructions I’ve ever seen,” he commented and brought the shuttle to life. Tatiana plopped down in the seat next to him and glared, “No uglier than your flying. Now let’s go.”

A snarkfest with Tatiana Thorne and the NPC, Scott Marshell

Originally Posted by Tatiana Thorne on 8/24/08

(OOC: Previous to being on Red Alert since..I fel that being in a holodeck wouldn't work during Red Alert)


Emily found her footing and looked down, "Come on Alex, you said you wanted to hang out after our shifts!"

"Yea, when I said that I didn't mean literally hang." Alex Gorsky replied as they reached the top of the cliff they were climbing. His foot slipped a little causing him to let a little squeak out.

"Well then you should learn to explain your intentions in a clearer way. " Emily smirked as she pulled herself over the top, "You're almost to the top and then you can rest."

"Yes, I'll make note of that next time." reaching up he grabbed the final ledge and pulled himself over.

"See that wasn't too bad." Emily said with a smile, "and look, I packed a picnic."

"I think my stomach needs to sit for a moment before food becomes appealing." he said touching his stomach briefly.

"You really don't get out much, do you?" she said as she grabbed an apple. With a wink she threw one at him as well.

"Well, I do have an exhausting job." Alex took a bite of his apple.

"Yes, so exhausting…I'd love to see you handle a day in sickbay." Emily replied with a roll of her eyes, "I could see you crying under a biobed after a few hours."

"Hey! Just because I'm smarter than half this crew doesn't mean I"m delicate. I can handle situations just like anyone else." Alex threw his apple core off the cliff.

"Sure…." Emily looked into the picnic basket.

=/\=Nordin to Star=/\=

Emily tapped her badge and replied, =/\=Star here.=/\=

=/\=I am so sorry to ask but can you cover my shift. =/\=

=/\=Uh..yeah I guess I can.=/\=

=/\=Thanks Em! OH! It starts in fifteen minutes!=/\=

"Fifteen!" Emily leapt to her feet, "Sorry Alex, I have to go."

"No worries, next week I'll make sure I have a clear itinerary."

Emily laughed and nodded in agreement before running out of the holodeck. She loved it when the ship was going crazy, people running left right and centre. It always left her working double time, triple time and when it was over she wanted to sleep for two to three days at a time.

After a quick change in her quarters, Emily left for sickbay.

Posted using NPC Alex Gorsky and NPC Stephanie Nordin.
Originally Posted by Emily Finn on 8/24/08

The Cavern

Snapping the tricorder shut, T'Shaini lifted the shield back in front of the clearly nervous engineer. A quick assessment of the cavern they were in did not lend much encouragement. Cannot go backwards, cannot go forwards… The third branch seemed to continue upward, likely another exit on the cliff face. "Jason, do you have a phaser?"

"Nope." He slid the zuut out just in case…maybe it would deflect something?

"Fall back, there seems to be an outcropping we can use for cover in the left-hand tunnel." Tugging Delano by the arm, Jason sprinted in the direction she indicated. T'Shaini waited for them to stop moving and listened, tiar mira, they are close.

"Jason, follow this out to see if you can scale the cliff…Gods, did I just say that? Delano and I will try to draw them back so they do not reach the orb. Hopefully Nils and Javier will arrive before…" She could not quite finish that sentence, not with Del looking at her.

Jason had nothing to say to that, what could he say? 'Have a good last stand kimosabe?' Yet he knew she was right, christ, maybe it is the whole damn ship…a shipful of martyrs. Resheathing the zuut, he clapped the young engineer on the shoulder. "Take good care of her." Then took off toward the cliff face.

The portly engineer nodded then forcefully ejected the words, "G-g-good luck!" He looked down at the tricorder then back up at the counselor. Think of something..engineers adapt and overcome. There were walls, and a floor and sand and his shield and the tricorder that told him a number of hostile people were rapidly approaching. All I have is this tricorder and this zuut, which is useless.. The blips on the tricorder's screen grew closer. Del scanned the walls of the cave. The readings told him there was no place large enough for them to hide. If only we had a cannon.

Yep, it leads to the cliff face, and yep the storm is still going, and did I really say I would try to scale the cliff? Jason shook his head at the misplaced bravado, but what was he supposed to say to one slim Vulcan counselor and her Abbot-like counterpart who intended to hold off a unit of Beradi mercs with little more than one phaser and a bow and arrow. Grateful that it seem he was a great deal closer to the surface than the opening they rappelled into, he leaned out and felt for his first hand hold. Here goes nothing.

Tucking behind the outcropping with the young engineer, T'Shaini looked over his shoulder at the tricorder readings. So close. "The most important thing is that we keep them away from the orb." A moment of silence stretched between them. "Any ideas?"

"Sh-sh-shoot arrows at them?" Del said in reply. I can block their disruptor beams with my shield! Oh that's a terrible plan. he realized almost immediately after thinking it. He glanced down at the tricorder again. "Oh! I can b-b-blow them up! With th-th-this!" the engineer exclaimed as he brandished his shield-tricorder.

The Vulcan's eyes lit up. "Del that is perfect." Her voice slowed down to let her brain catch up. "As a matter of fact, it is more than perfect." She glanced down to the tricorder…barely enough time. "Can you rig it to collapse the tunnel leading to the orb?"

Delano Mills nodded enthusiastically and began to enter in the string of code that would cause the tricorder to overload. "What about H-H-Harry?" Del inquired, "He'll b-b-be t-t-trapped." He looked up at the Counselor with wide, questioning eyes. A squawk from the tricorder told him the renegades were only a few meters away. "S-s-sorry," Delano apologized to Lt. Finn, wherever he was, and if he was still alive. The engineer ripped the tricorder out of its shield covering and ran over to the beginning of the downward sloped tunnel. He activated the overload option then jammed the instrument in a crack in the tunnel wall. Running back to T'Shaini, he covered them as best as he could with his shield before remembering that propelled rock fragments could easily penetrate the thin metal and animal hide. "Find cover!"

Trying to push the drenched hair from his eyes on his shoulder, Jason moved his bleeding hands further up the cliff face. Yeah, this was a great idea. The explosion he had just heard from inside had shaken the rock enough that he was not sure his blood and rain soaked hands would be able to hold on. Looking up, he took a deep breath. Five more meters, tops. Foot wedging into a crevice that he hoped would be large enough to anchor him, he pressed up another length…and froze. It felt as though someone had given him an encouraging pat, a hand on his face as phantom lips pressed against his cheek…and it was familiar. Okay, now I am really losing my shit. The adrenaline from the surreal experience pushing him forward he covered the last few meters almost easily. Pulling himself up over the edge, he rolled to his back and let the rain beat down on his face. "Kerrin?"

T'Shaini pulled Delano against her as she pressed her back into the wall behind the outcropping as debris from the explosion rained throughout the cavern. It will buy us time, once that route is sealed they will have to go back to the surface and descend from the cliff, and by then… There was no tricorder needed to tell her that Delano had closed the passageway just in time.

"Hold your fire… do not kill.. Kona… hold them back!" A female voice, harsh with dust and fury cut through the aftermath.

NPCs aplenty with Javi, Tee and a guest appearance as Bedie by Harry
Originally Posted by T'Shaini on 8/24/08


Kerrin had once watched a colleague who specialized in rat behaviors run a test where this huge rat had to get through this impossibly small hole in order to get at the food, there were other things in the test, but it was watching the rat siphon its body through the hole that had held her attention. It was explained that the reason it was able to do so was that rats possess a collapsible rib cage enabling them to severely adjust their diameter. That rat flashed through Kerrin's mind as within moments of their first sip of the tea her awareness was siphoned violently out of the sh'kesh and transported to a dark, dank, disturbed environment.

Never before had the enokitake taken him with such violence. Frey was right Sallin's apologetic thoughts trailed behind as the maelstrom ripped his self from its housing. Fearful for Kerrin, the moment he felt himself still, the young Hentari sought for her warmth and found it, hovering to his left in the midst of what he could only think of as a silent scream. That they were in one of the Hentuu he knew but what had filled it, beyond the rising cold of the sea, was beyond his knowing.

Her fear subsiding once the 'solidness' that was Sallin manifested, irony… Kerrin began to take in her surroundings. A light, too blinding to be of this world, suffused the cave with its presence. Within its brightness, too deep to be discerned a figure stretched out its arms while another writhed in agony.

Unaware of any witness, Tchiva reeled back from the eye of the spirits as the light swelled to enfold his enemy… the enemy who’s blood Tchiva had spilled into the cask… than further into the drowning cavern it grew: an ever-more blinding brilliance… the sun had never shone so. But through that brightness there came a following shadow… slick and dark and grasping it slid through the blinding beams and took hold of Tchiva and he, already half frozen in the rising sea, became a man of stone… lifeless but for the tendrils which slid around and about his still frame until they wound up to his face and rearing back, dove into his eyes… into his nose… he ears and, finally, his open and screaming mouth.

In moments, all that was left of Tchiva, hunt master of the Azuchi, was a gibbering, mad thing, left to float away with the tide.

No.. Sallin knew not what had become of the hunt master, nor could he fathom the fate of the other… twisting his sight back towards the source of both the light and the twining darkness he felt a new chill… where had the other man gone? Too much, too deep, he was not prepared for this…

Horrified but enraptured, Kerrin watched, drifting closer until she realized she was being drawn toward the shadow. Flinging herself backwards she felt an odd stretching then a snap as she broke free. Then as if they had seen and done what they were brought here to see and do, she began to move up the passageway, following it up she saw Mills and T'Shaini preparing for…oh no. She tried to stop, watch, help…anything, but her drift to the surface continued inexorably.

Ding ding ding, fourth floor…ladies dresses and shoes. There was a small part of Kerrin that was just amused and riding the ride, so odd was the experience. Then as they moved out to rise up the edge of the cliff face the last bit of amusement drained with the sight of Jason clinging on for dear life, hands bloody, and head drooping. Come on baby, you can do it. With nothing else to offer, she tried to halt her progress by cupping her nonexistent hand around his face and dropping a kiss of encouragement on his cheek.

Torn between the urge to stay and see more of the thing (or things?) which had tried to engulf Kerrin… and which had surely destroyed Tchiva… and the necessity of following his body's call for his return, Sallin bowed to necessity. Speeding out and up after Kerrin's greeny-gold glow he caught small glimpses of others more strangers but the call to his soul was insistent and he dared not tarry. Now alongside his fellow traveler, the Azuchi fell down and into his flesh. Opening his eyes to the familiar sight of his sh'kesha'a, still battered by wind and water, Sallin turned to Kerrin. He shook his head, uncertain what to say but it mattered not because it seemed that the presence the two traveler's had witnessed had witnessed them in turn… and followed them home.

"Fire… lightning has struck Sallin's sh'kesha'a!"

Fehr, who had been enjoying the dubious (and clearly suspicious) company of Fortin and several other hunters, jumped up and was out of the shelter in seconds… Hamish, Spera and Kal-El following… and saw that the cry of alarm had been warranted: there was the grand tent which had been sheltering Dr. Schaeffer, being swallowed by flames.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn 8/24/08

USS Hawking
Dedicated Lab 1133 - Deck Six

Shortly after Emily had raced off to sickbay, the latest Red Alert had sounded and Alex (still shaky after the medic's idea of a fun afternoon) had taken the order to General Quarters to his newly assigned lab. Yeah, thanks for the re-ass, O'Keefe… He still had unpacking to do and, in case of a firefight or worse, a boarding, a lot of his tech needed to be locked down and a few of the more interesting bits would be set to self-destruct if their containment units were opened without Alex’ operating codes.

As he set to work, he also made sure the phaser he now kept in the lab was fully charged and resting in easy reach. It was, he knew, one more change… a year ago he’d never have a phaser anywhere nearby; ecxept for mandatory testing they were just… not part of his life.

And then Harry had arrived, which was okay but he’d been followed by a vendetta and that vendetta had touched everyone else on the Hawking… fatally in some cases. In one in particular…

“I can’t… I can’t wake her,” Alex was saying from where he sat on the floor, his back to the cabinet and holding the so very quiet body of Dana Grissom close to his heart. “I keep talking to her and calling her name,” he stroked her hair, tacky with blood, tears mixing with the rapidly-browning clots, “but she won’t,” he dropped a kiss to the girl’s temple, “she just won’t wake up…”

And there it was again… the great gaping hole in his gut where something that might have been love had lived. Staring at the phaser, in his new, un-tainted workspace, Alex leaned on the counter and remembered…

”Does it go away?”

Harry, knowing because he’d been there… lived there, didn’t ask what Gorsky meant. “It… gets easier to manage. You learn, in time you learn, how to step around the hole but… the hole stays.”

“Shake it off,” the scientist ordered himself, straightening. The ship was on alert, he had work to do… time to hide the science. Hah, another change. Used to be that Alex Gorsky would have shrugged off the warnings and kept playing with Huey, Mark I or been trying to use the alert to sabotage whichever roommate he’d been saddled with, at that time. “I hope this doesn’t mean I’m becoming responsible,” he said to Huey, Mark IV, as he locked the modified tricorder/nanite host away, "that'd bite… big time."

Nah, not too responsible, anyway. But he had become… more alone. Even Lincoln Purcell, who’d, in a weird way, shared Dana’s loss with Alex, hadn’t been able to pull Gorsky out of the shell. Dalluk, oddly, had helped some… one night at Ten Forward when Alex and Linc had been commiserating over a drink after shift. He’d looked the two over, then, doing that glass polishing thing all bartenders do, even if the glasses get recycled… he’d leaned a hip on the bar and begun to speak… but he wasn’t talking… he was reciting…

”No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall on my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death
and snow,
my feet will want to walk where you are sleeping, but
I shall stay alive
because above all things
you wanted me indomitable…”*

He’d been thinking of that… of Dalluk calmly voicing those words from way back in the day, when Emily had tagged him to ‘hang out’. And he’d gone for it…stepped around the hole to do so… because it was true of Dana. She would have expected more… expected him to do more than just go on breathing.

Alex stashed Huey’s lockbox and moved on to the isolinear chips which held his notes., But next time Star wants to hang… I’ll be much more clear on the itinerary. Though, given his claustrophobia, he should probably be glad she hadn’t suggested spelunking.

*verse from the poem 'La Muerta' by Pablo Neruda
Post featuring NPCs:
Originally Posted by Harry Finn on 8/25/08

USS Hawking

"WHY DO YO BUILD ME UP!!..BUTTERCUP BABY!! " Emily sang while rummaging around a cupboard. She loved the old songs her parents used to play, most songs were far older than her parents. Older than her great great great grandparents but the oldies never die.

Humming aloud and whistling to the music in her head, Emily pretended that the Red Alert was a flashy disco ball and she was simply taking part in a happy dance routine. Of course, the other nurses and staff probably thought she was insane but that was allowed.

"We need someone to do something horrid. It's far too quiet in here." she sighed, "What if I just lay a random trap in the middle of a corridor? Do you think anyone will notice?"

Nobody laughed, no one even said anything. Frustrated and annoyed she returned to humming and waited for something to happen.
Originaly Posted by Emily Star on 8/25/08

:: Girijan ::
:: De'kesh on the Azuchi/Kitiran Mid-plain::

Both Hawking crew members remained still following Jillian's pot-holed explanation. Kyle's hand moved quietly towards the concealed phaser… not that he wanted to harm Frey but it would be much easier for the girl to think she'd been knocked out by a nearby lightning strike and her saviors fled than that she discover the truth…

"You must be stitched," Frey said, matter-of-factly, "before the warmth brings more bleeding." And with that the young girl strode purposefully to the rear wall of the long, low structure and, with a bit of scuffling around, scraped away a layer of concealing soil to reveal a trap door, which she opened to withdraw a series of small, hide-wrapped packets. "We always replenish the stores at the end of the games," she said, turning towards Jillian. "I have only treated juvaal, as yet but…"

Thanking all the gods and prophets for poor lighting, Jillian, from deep within the hood, shook her head, "Oh, no, I can… if there's a way to see, my own hands will serve well enough."

Frey's head tilted and she looked concerned, "Are you quite certain?" The wound had looked… well it had looked quite horrible, what little she had seen of it.

"She is certain," El'san said, gently taking the basket which held the wrapped gut and needles, chisira of liquor, the small cask of numbing ointment and assorted bandaging materials from Frey and handing them to J'lian. "She's… very determined about matters of medicine. You may use my shield," he added, to J'lian, nodding towards where he'd left it by the fire. "The interior should reflect well enough, in the light."

Accepting the materials, J'lian sighed, "It will be quite the scar."

"And well-earned," Frey agreed, almost enviously? "You may wear the mark with pride."

Dudes dig scars? Jillian had to suppress the giggle at the inverted justification Harry had once used regarding the several scars he'd never had cosmetically removed. "Thank you," was all she said, hefting Kyle's shield and sighing at the reflection: this was going to be like performing surgery with a fun house mirror. Good thing dudes dig scars… and that she was repairing only fake skin.

As Jillian went to make herself presentable, Kyle offered what he hoped was a reassuring smile to Frey, "I have some small stores in my pack… are you hungry?"

While the other two retired to the opposite side of the raised, circular fire pit, Jillian angled shield/mirror so that it could get the best light, then, for appearance's sake, slathered some of the cream over her synthetic skin. Whatever it was worked, because the finger she used to apply it and the small amount of dermis revealed by the d'rag's claws went tingly for a moment, then quite numb. Definitely had to take a sample home. That was followed by the stuff in the chisira, which she took for antiseptic. Not knowing if the liquid would act as a solvent and unwilling to melt the already damaged second skin, she merely opened the bottle and poured it over a pad of hide then made appropriate hissing noises, as one would when cleansing a wound.

While J'lian worked on her injuries, Frey nervously shared some dried meat and water with El'san. "This tastes… different… than our zaar," she commented.

"The western grasses are hardier… and we use a unique root in the smoking process." Ellison's reply was easy, though internally he was racing through all the rationalizations Schaeffer, Hallows and Finn had spun through just in case their covers had holes which needed filing.

"It is pleasant. Perhaps," she swallowed nervously, "perhaps I might make petition to join the Ekkura…"

Kyle blinked and from the far side came a small gasp, which was probably just Jillian throwing in appropriate 'ouch' noises to match her task. "You would leave your own yassryn?"

"My yassryn does not… they will not listen!" Frey waved a hand towards the raging storm beyond the stone and hide walls of their shelter, "I saw this coming… and worse… but even Sallin, our Hentari, dismissed the visions as a child's nightmares. I am not a child."

"No, no… of course not." This was not comfortable territory for a security grunt. Sure, he was a comm specialist but to him that meant tech not… people.

"And besides, I have… I have no mate as yet to keep me."

I should hope not, Jillian considered the statement as she pushed the curved and threaded needle through her 'flesh' (has to be bone… but not brittle, and the thread was… well organic was probably the best way to think about it but likely it was made from the innards of whatever had supplied the needle). The girl couldn't be more than fifteen.

"Is J'lian your wife?" Frey continued innocently. They did not act as though they had given a soul's promise to one another, but then, different yassryn could look at mating differently…

"What? No… no not.. ahhh…" crap! "I have no wife."

"At your age?"

Kyle didn't have to imagine what that odd snorting noise from the other side of the fire meant. "I had one, once," he explained quietly, reluctantly adhering to Finn's stricture to stick as close to the truth as possible [i]'too many lies pile up and you'll start tripping over them'. "She… joined the ancestors, over twelve… migrations past." Which, of the Hawking crew, only Gran and Jameson had known… and now, from the telling silence beneath the crackling flames, so did Dr. Munro.

Jillian concentrated on the knot she was tying off… last one, thank goodness. This is what happens on away missions… you get to really know people that you thought you already knew.

"My bond mother went, two migrations ago… there was a stampede…" Frey reached over and laid her hand on Kyle's, "their path is now one of peace… they would not wish us to continue to travel alone."

Ahhhhh shit..

"You were speaking of a dream," Jillian, freshly sewn up, came around to join the pair and, judging from the expression on Kyle's face, not a moment too soon. "Of some bringers of the light…?" She crouched down and gestured to El'san to take off his boot, which still bore the teeth marks of the d'rag which had snagged him. "Did your dreams… visions… show you much of these?"

Distracted by her yassyrn's plight, Frey shook her head solemnly, "I was only… the spirits have never before spoken to me," she confessed, "Nor did my spirit quest show me the path of the Hentari but…" she looked briefly into the fire El'san had lit and it was as if, for a moment, she was again lost in the world of the ancestors; a place free of the touch and taste and smells she knew but filled with sensations nonetheless. And these sensations…"there was an oily, unseemly blackness, sliding towards my people… it came from the sea… or the Hentuu… and already it had touched one of ours." She looked back at the others, "I did not see but I felt this one to be Tchiva," the girl shuddered once at the name, "his eyes are no longer his. But from the north I felt… warmth and light… and there were shapes behind it," she bit her lip in a universal sign of uncertainty, "but there were no clear images. I do not know who, or from where, that light may come.

"And now I fear I am too late to be of use to my people…"

Jillian turned the girl's story over in her head while she turned Ellison's ankle back and forth in her hand. She had little personal experience with the intensely spiritual world Frey described.. but she knew someone who had. Again… wishing Nils were here… but for different reasons, anyway. At Kyle's soft hiss of pain, she gently felt the tendons which had born the brunt of the d'rag's teeth… bruising was heavy but luckly the skin hadn't been broken. Fighting an infection here, without any equipment, was an experiment the doctor would prefer to avoid.

"I do not believe we are your… light bearers," El'san was telling Frey. "We have no… we are not Hentari… merely shadow walkers to one who shall be." He looked to the ceiling as J'lian's hands assessed the damage to his ankle, "There is another yassryn close?"

"The Kitiran, yes. This dre'kesh is our mutual meeting place… for the games and… when there are disputes." Though of late, the disputes had been of Azuchi incursions and those of a more violent nature than in the past.

Jillian processed this. "It may be that we are meant to see you to their sh'kesh… perhaps the Hentari of the Kitiran can offer insight?" The slight groan at that probably had little to do with her ministrations to Kyle's leg. "After all, she continued, shrugging off his obvious disapproval, "none of us should stay on the plains alone if the weather continues so wild."

"Perhaps there is another course," Kyle broke in before Jillian committed them to babysitting for the foreseeable future, "After all, our own party is south, seeking the Azuchi…"

"I must not go back," her fear surged immediately and Frey jumped up, lest they try to take her back on the instant, "He will know… Tchiva will know I have seen…"

Kyle got the message. Frey wasn't going back to her clan and if they were to leave Frey alone while they rejoined the rest of the Hawking crew, who knew what would happen to her, alone on the plains with only a dagger for a weapon? "So be it," he sighed as Jillian produced some very soft wrappings… another hide of some sort… to wind around his swollen ankle. "We will escort you to the Kitiran yassryn but no farther. Our… serronayni will be looking for us."

Frey exhaled a sigh of relief and she again joined the Ekkuran pair on the floor. Jillian didn't want to alarm Kyle any more but the girl's eyes, which had been so openly terrified of returning to her clan, went a bit warm when they rested on Ellison's weary face. Can you say 'crush'?

Channeled by Jillian
Written by Harry
Originally Posted by Jillian Munro on 8/26/08


Traversing the small valley in which the Aerowing had landed, Javier took point and moved with his phaser rifle at ready, his eyes scanning the terrain in front and to the left and right of he and Nils. The natural daylight had been strangled by the mass of clouds overhead, which made travelling quickly more difficult but numerous lightning strikes, some perilously close to the two officers, helped illuminate their way through unfamiliar territory. The engineer fell back on his marine training as he scouted ahead while receiving directional coordinates from Nils, who was using his tricorder to triangulate the position of T'Shaini and the others in the away team. Keeping away from the high ground, to avoid getting struck by lightning or viewed against the sky-line, Javier set a quick, tactical pace.

"There's someone ahead," Nils warned him, "thirty meters, north-north-west.."

"Eleven o'clock," Javier replied as he switched his attention to the area his captain had indicated.

"What? I don't understand how time..ah," the CO stated then realized the engineer was referring to a directional point and using an ancient Earth chronometer as his guide. "Yes, eleven o'clock."

Javier crept forward until he came within sight of 'Charlie Tango'. The creature was wearing a type of armor that Javier had never seen before and he held his position while Nils scanned the individual. "He's Beradi, mostly likely one of the ones that Kamaal has in her employ. His armor is unique, the scans indicate that it can defend against most ordinary phasers.."

The mercenary suddenly lifted his head and glanced in their direction, his hand going up to what Javier perceived as his 'mouth'. The engineer brought his phaser rifle up and squeezed the trigger, three phaser pulses fired at high stun connected with the merc. The first alarmed the merc and knocked him backward, the second overloaded his armor's shields and the third pulse knocked the Beradi unconscious. The commlink he had been using flew from his hand. "When I modified our weapons on the shuttle..I gave us a little more punch," Javier told Nils before they moved forward. The merc had been guarding an entry point into the ground. Beside the hole was a pile of coiled rope, indicating that someone had ventured down into the caves. "Our path takes us downward," Nils commented after a quick glance at his tricorder.

«»Dako, what did you say? Report your status. Dako?«» the stunned mercenary's commlink spluttered. In the background Javier could hear weapon's fire and against his better judgement Javier slung his phaser rifle over his shoulder and picked up the commlink. "Everything's under control. Situation normal," the engineer replied.

«»What happened?«» Kona demanded.

"Uh..we had a slight weapons malfunction," Javier replied, looking at Nils who was busy tying off the rope, "but uh…everything's perfectly alright now. We're fine. We're all fine. How are you?" The engineer grimaced and shook his head. Nils tossed the rope down the cave and began to prepare to repel downward.

«»I'm sending a squad up.«»

"Negative,'s very dangerous. Lightning strikes..and..uh a radiation leak from the weapon.." The engineer began to prepare to repel down into the cave, taking the rope Nils gave him and securing it around his waist.

«»Who is this?«»

Javier tossed the commlink on the ground and vaporized it with a shot from his phaser. "That conversation was boring anyway." Taking out his hand phaser, Javier nodded to his CO then took a fast zip line entry to the bottom of the cave. He hit the sandy floor bounced and rolled then came up with his weapon ready. In the tunnel ahead he could just make out flashes of light as phaser beams and disruptor fire lanced across the small area.

Originally Posted on 8/27/08 by Javier Costala

::Aerowing Shuttle::

They'd been quiet on the ride, both electing to turn their thoughts inward rather than converse.

"We have about two kilometers to go," Scott announced, his hands at a standstill on the console.

Tatiana stood, "Let me get a medkit. I may need it."

"Well aren't you just eager to make sure that Vince doesn't have any boo-boos." Scott looked back towards Tatiana," Make sure you've got those band-aids with the cartoons on them, he loves those."

She scowled at Scott before sticking her tongue out at him, "If you get hurt, somehow I'll forget that I'm a trained doctor. I think it's from this condition called Pissedmeoffitis." Tatiana walked turned away to get the medkit and sing-songed, "I hope it's treatable." She produced the medkit from its location and cracked it open. Everything she needed was inside. She reclaimed her seat and observed the terrain below them.

Scott glanced down at the control panel, then back up through the window,"Well, we're almost to Vince's location, and If I remember correctly, he does know the cure for that certain little problem. So when we get to him, I'll just have to let him take care of, now won't I." He looked over at Tatiana, a grin from ear to ear on his face.

Tatiana didn't look away from the ground below, contemplating the effect of that "cure", "Life would be so much easier if sex were the cure for major diseases. I would spend my all adult life free of sickness. So would others." She looked at Scott and shrugged, "Then again, I'd be out of a job, so that may not be a good thing. Then there's the sick kids…so er, never mind."

Scott raised an eyebrow, looking back at her, "Hey, you gotta get it at the source, so you're good to go," He glanced down and saw that Vince's location was just a few hundred meters away, "Oh, and looky, Vince is right over there."

"My heart is racing in my chest," she deadpanned as Scott brought the shuttle down. The shuttle hatchway was opened to reveal Vince. While Scott waved to his friend, she opened the medkit so the tricorder could be taken out quickly.

Vince looked in and saw Tatiana holding a medkit, and reaching for her tricorder. He stepped on the ramp and was immediately attacked with the tricorder, "Hey, hey, hey. I'm not dying here, I'm just a little wet, nothing to get all excited about, but I would have to say I've a bruise here on my arm if you wanna take care of that." Vince pointed down at his forearm, "I have a couple more bruises too, but they'll have to wait until we get off this planet, we don't need to be seen."

"Right-o, we need to be going. I took it upon myself to load you a change of uniform, it's in the locker on the left," Scott looked back at Vince, the ramp closed behind him, "Oh you should've seen the worry on ol' Thorne's face Vince, she could barely contain herself…"

Vince looked at Tatiana, "So, unable to contain yourself huh?, that sounds pretty awful."

"You suck so much Scott!" she groaned with a punch to his arm, "Anyway, we can't leave the planet. We're supposed to wait at the dropoff point unless Devanagari show up." While she still shot Scott dirty looks she continued, "Go change, and come back so I can get rid of the bruises."

Vince looked at Scott, "Ok, well don't you be trying to kype a looksie back here," He looked up at Tatiana, "You on the other hand, it would've been better for you to have been able to give me a thorough look over, I may have an injury I don't know about."

"Hey there ain't nothin there I haven't seen before, we were in gym class together, remember." Scott voiced as he lifted the shuttle off the ground, heading for the drop-off point.

Tatiana shook her head, "I don't like to feed the idiots, so I'll have to decline. When you come out, I'll examine you." When he left to change, she narrowed her eyes at Scott, "You're an ass."

As Vince walked off into the back of the shuttle, he laughed looking at Scott just shrug his shoulders to what she had just said to him. Things now looked like they could be quite boring to say the least, just waiting for the Captain and Javier to get back to the shuttle, but Vince was sure that the three of them could figure out something to keep them occupied, but nothing could match the adrenaline rush he was still experiencing from his fight earlier.

"I swear I'm going to kill somebody before everyone gets back," she muttered and continually flipped the tricorder open and closed. She leaned back to look up at the ceiling and closed her eyes. God, why have you forsaken me?

These snarkfest are becoming too common right? This is a post by Tatiana Thorne, Vince Stryfe and the ass/npc, Scott Marshell.

Originally Posted by Tatiana Thorne 8/28/08


"I know you do not belong here," the woman's voice, still rough with the aftermath of the explosion, filtered through the now-unstable cavern. "I also know that, whoever you are, you stand little chance of survival against these Beradi… they have no qualms about killing… I may not be able to keep them from bloodshed for long…" there was a telling pause, "unless you can offer something of value."

T'Shaini raised one eyebrow back at Del, the only thing of value was the one thing they were trying to protect. So that left….nothing. "Unfortunately we have nothing to offer, we would rather not die here, but if you cannot control your Beradi I suppose there is nothing left to do…" Not a very good stalling technique. If she could buy time for Javier and Nils to arrive then they all might have a chance. I hope Jason made it to the surface.

"You are a fool and a liar," there was a slight pause and the faintest whirring of technology, "which is uncommon indeed in a Vulcan." The woman, who had to be Kamaal Bedie, continued in a less harried tone, "Very well, you have nothing to offer… and yet you and your accomplice felt compelled to destroy a tunnel…"

"It just dropped!" Del blurted out. "I dropped the tricorder and it exploded." His face flushed at the lame excuse and he dropped his forehead on the Counselor's shoulder.

"Good, anything to keep them talking and not shooting is good." T'Shaini whispered.

"It seems Federation technology is not as well-designed as they would have the rest of the galaxy believe…"

"Enough!" Another voice… somehow warped, as if the universal translater had difficulty in processing the original language, broke through. "They are declared our enemy… let us take our due in their blood…"

"I said no," there was another pause… long and stretched far too thin… before the woman's voice resumed, "As you can hear, your chances of survival become more slim by the moment. Truly, I do not wish for your death…"

"Interesting that your choice in companions does not reflect that, I witnessed the aftermath of your encounter with a local tribe. Surely there were other options than wiping out an entire group of indigenous peoples." T'Shaini's tone was flat and cold, visions of the ravaged Devanagari still lingering in her head.

"Those were… regrettable sacrifices to a greater good," Bedie said, though in truth her knees buckled beneath the weight of the other woman's accusation. The Prophets would not have allowed me to come this close if they did not understand… approve… And believing this, she nodded to Kona, who then clicked quietly into his own comm to his mate and second in command, Shirka. She, even now clung to the cliff face outside of the opening Bedie's scanner had noted… directly behind their adversaries, and only waited the order to attack.

"I believe that is a common argument to justify unconscionable acts…are you familiar with the phrase 'cognitive dissonance'?" T'Shaini was unsure whether she was try to anger her, or provoke a crisis of conscience…I suppose it does not matter as long as it extends the conversation.

Whatever answer Bedie might have made was lost in the ululating wail which erupted from the jagged cliff opening behind Del and T'Shaini, followed by the lithe and vicious assault of the Beradi female who had unleashed the call to battle, leaping unerringly at the Vulcan and, in doing so, knocking away the one phaser the defending pair had between them.

Momentarily pinned beneath the Beradi, Tee brought her knee up…with little success. Either different anatomy or a woman. Throwing her weight to the side she managed to roll them enough that she could free her arms. Out of the corner of her eye the Vulcan could see Del scrambling for the discarded phaser as she fumbled to free an arrow from her quiver.

Jason told me to take care of her…the chief would want me to take care of her… His inner monologue driving the fear from the moment Del grabbed the phaser that had been knocked out of T'Shaini's hands. Standing he pointed the weapon down at the rolling pair and just as it looked as if the Beradi was going to force the arrow from the Counselor's hand Del heard a voice, oddly like his own, shout. "Get away from her you b-b-b…"

That small moment of distraction allowed T'Shaini to grasp an arrow and with all her force drive it in the joint in the armor where the arm met the shoulder, the scream and the emission of purpleish liquid that she assumed to be Beradi blood telling her she had succeeded in contacting flesh.

Del sagged with relief, which lasted for about 1.459 seconds before the thump of incoming and the whine of charging weapons drew his attention and the shaking phaser to his left. Thankfully, as the first gleam of armor apppeared, T'Shaini appeared at his side, winded but whole and took control of the weapon.

And so the two remaining members of the en'yassryin now hunkered down between the literal definition of a rock and a hard place as weapons fire erupted, echoing throughout the caverns.

JP with Harry being BAAD

Originally posted by T'Shaini on 8/28/08

Azuchi Sh'kesh

Heat…flames flickering, licking, closing in, oppressive heat. Kerrin's eyes peeled open and she thought she saw Harry, it had to be Harry, bending down over a prone figure blood dripping from his hands. Dana. She heard the crack of a neck snapping and then he was there, above her…reaching down, bloody fingers wrapping around her neck. Kerrin grabbed his wrists and began to struggle against him, throat closing she rasped out one word.


"Kerrin, stop, you have to… dammit!" Fehr, who'd just sliced through the side of the burning tent to get to the doctor, swore as the woman, who had been difficult enough to find in the conflagration, now fought his attempt at a rescue with every fiber of her being. Leaning close, taking the blows rather than trying to fight them off he put his lips to her ear, "Dr. Schaeffer, it is only Fehr… this place is not safe… Doctor… Kerrin… Kerrin… come with me if you want to live…" the pounding eased somewhat and he noted that Hamish and Fortin were having similar difficulties with the Hentari, Sallin. This could not be just the fire, making them so…

"Rylla!" the young shaman was calling piteously, "do not… do not… I did not mean to do it… I would never profane the Spirits…"

No, Fehr thought, lifting the still-struggling woman in his arms, not just the fire.

"Harry, please no…." She knew if she did not fight him off he would kill her. He is a murderer. An insidious voice whispered into her ear.

"Ouch," Fehr stumbled over a stray pillow and almost fell into a curtain of burning fabric which would be bad but not as bad as the Azuchi hearing the archeologist's rantings. Diving out into the weather he limped to where Esperanza and Kowalski were waiting and dropped to his knees, still holding the delirious woman close… "I do not know what afflicts her," he shouted over the wind, "but the others must not hear… she is… seeing things…" A small cold hand slipped out of his grasp and caught him across the cheek, "I am quite sure I did not deserve that…" and he doubted Finn did. Did he?

Kal-El frowned, clearly the delusional ravings of the woman could not be allowed to jeopardize the mission. "Dr. Schaeffer." His sharp tone cut through the rantings of the hallucinatory pair. "Dr. Schaeffer, I have analyzed the data and it is clear your research is faulty, the traditions of Devanagari and the role of the Hentari are far from what you led us to expect, clearly sloppy work on your part."

"Was NOT" Kerrin bolted upright. Was not what? Cradling her oddly stinging hand Kerrin looked around bewildered for a moment at the amused surprise on the face of Fehr and the smug satisfaction that was Kowalski. "Oh shit! Sallin…" She spun to see the still enraptured figure fighting what she now knew to be an illusion. "We have to get him out."

"Out of what, precisely," Fehr rose to follow the now lucid and highly motivated woman, "what were you…"

"Spirit journey, we saw something in the caves…the Hentuu." Kneeling by the young Hentari, Kerrin took one of his hands in hers. "Sallin." Listening to the direction of his ravings Kerrin decided to take a shot. "En'hentari Sallin, Rylla insists that you rid yourself of these unwelcome visitants, they ravage your mind and desecrate your spirit."

"They are angry," his eyes saw two faces… that of Rylla, twisted in a kind of anger he'd never seen and, within that, the concerned eyes of Kerrin… Kerrin… who had arrived this day… Rylla is already gone to the ancestors…, "They are angry," Sallin repeated, but his voice was steadier as his vision began to clear, "but who are they and what," he swallowed, then coughed as his smoke-irritated throat rebelled, "what did they do to Tchiva?"

Kerrin let out a sigh of relief, then shook her head. "I have no idea, but it sure looked like it hurt." Kerrin looked up at the ring of familiar faces surrounding them. "We 'traveled' to the Hentuu, and saw the huntmaster…consumed…by what I can only label as 'evil spirits'. I don't know about you guys, but I would love to go and see what was going on down there in person."

"That cannot be so," Fortin, Tchiva's friend denied. "I am sorry, Sallin but… but this cannot have been a true seeking. Tchiva is strong and the ancestors protect him… they would never allow…"

"Would the ancestors allow this endless night of rain, if they could prevent it?" Sallin rose, shaky but tall to face the hunter. "I have seen, and so, I believe, has Frey, your bond sister also seen… there is a darkness in our own Hentuu and it means to devour us as sure as it devoured Tchiva… this I saw and it was a true seeing." He looked around, at Kerrin's small party and beyond, to those of his own yassryn who stood uncertain in the storm, "What has come must be faced… on the morrow, whether this storm abates or not, I shall return in my own body to see what seeks to destroy us. Whomever will join me is welcome."

Kerrin was on her feet in an instant. "I will go."

"En'hentari, with respect," Fehr addressed Kerrin, "you are our yassryn's future," Finn was not far off in his suppositions… Dr. Schaeffer seems inclined to throw herself into danger without a thought, "is it not for your shadow walkers to face such demons?"

Kerrin's mouth twisted in a wry grin. "I was rather hoping you would say that, journey I must…" She grabbed his hand and squeezed. "but I would rather not make this journey alone."

Fehr offered a small smile in return, but inside cursed his luck that the good doctor's affections were already given… "Nor would I allow it," he replied, quietly, "and not only because… Harad… would call me to the honor duel should any harm come to you." He turned to the others of their party, "So be it. Tomorrow we seek the source of this darkness." And tonight he would attempt to contact Ellison and Munro… they needed to know what madness had possessed their teammates.

JP with T'Shaini featuring a plethora (yes plethora) of NPCs but especially Fehr
Originally Posted by Harry Finn on 8/28/08

Unhelpful Tears

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