Threshold

This portion of the story features the following NPC's
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Engineers: Kal-El Kowalski and Delano Mills
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Security Officers Kyle Ellison, Hamish Drummond and Esperanza Fuentes
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and:
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USS Hawking
Bridge

“Sir, the submersible is prepped and ready for launch.” T’Preen announced from Ops.

Harry looked up from his current reading, this time his own frugal personal logs, “And the aerowing?” he asked.

“Pre-flight has been completed and their coms tested out successfully with the satellite,” O’Keefe replied.

“You’ve got the message in place?”

Her icy gaze stayed steady. “Yes.”

Finn nodded, setting aside the PADD before he rose and turned towards Tactical, “What’s the story on the Atar’a’kor?”

“They’ve pulled back to the fifth planet and are maintaining a standard orbit,” Quincy reported, “There’s been a lot of subspace traffic but no other activity.”

“Keep an eye on them,” Harry told him. Turning back to Ops, “Deploy the submersible and inform Stryfe he is a go for launch.” While the orders were relayed he found himself staring at the viewscreen and, as the communication’s buoy made speed towards the Girijan ocean his thoughts sped also, towards the woman he’d never see again if this last-ditch, cockamamy, eleventh-hour plan failed.

More from Harry and the NPC's.
Originally Posted 9/8/08 by Harry Finn


.:: USS Hawking : Sick Bay ::.

Vince looked down at the PADD in his hand. It was displaying the current readout for the Aerowing, and giving him to the second reports on how repairs were going on the parts of the hull that had been hit during their skirmish with the scout vessel, along with the lightning from the storm. Scott was incharge of the repairs, but Vince would be taking the shuttle backdown to the planet, to become a relay for the ship to the ground crews. First on his list of things to do was get cleared by medical so he could take off again.

He slipped the PADD into the satchel he had slung around his shoulder, and stepped through the doorway, into Medical. Things inside appeared to be dead, so the likelyhood of an in and out ordeal was looking good. He walked over to one of the doctors, but they walked off, acting like they hadn't seen him, he got a weird look on his face then looked around for his sister. She wasn't anywhere in sight, and his quick in and out scenario looked bleak. Just as he had decided to become a nuisence to get attention, he felt someone walk up behind him.

"Follow me. I'll do your examination and you can go," Tatiana as she tapped his shoulder. "I set up over there." She pointed behind her and walked away.

Vince stood in his spot for a moment, watching, doing what guys do best, "So… yea, no problem." Vince followed her and leaned against the biobed," You know you don't need to be gentle, I can take it."

She grinned and tapped the space of biobed to his side, "Sit." Once he did, she picked up the medical tricorder from the top of the cart. "I doubt that," she responded to his earlier comment. With the deployable scanner in hand, she placed it an inch away from his body. She then traced a line across his forehand and down past his chest.

"Well, you could try and see if I can, I'd surprise you with my abilities," He grinned at her and winked, "And don't I get a treat for being so obedient, and sitting down without a fuss?"

"It's true, I do reward all my pets," she said as she read the results. She placed the scanner back in the tricorder and closed it. The doctor picked up the hypospray from the top of the cart, and sat it down by Vince's side. She went through the drawers on the cart to find the medication she was looking for. Once she found it, she inserted it into the hypospray, "I'm giving you something to offset the cold you're going to have."

Vince tilted his head to the side, "Well insert away, and who are you callin' a pet here…I broke my leash years ago."

Tatiana brought the hypospray to his carotid and administered the medicine. After sitting it back on the cart, she shrugged, "That's what you think."

Vince cocked an eyebrow, looking at Tatiana sitting next to him, "Well now, aren't we quite sure about ourselves," Vince slid off the bed, stepping in front of her, "I guess I'll just have to give up on trying to stay off the leash a bit then, huh? But it might be quite difficult for me, I may need a little incentive…"

She smirked, "You've had your incentive. If you didn't get the message any of the other times, than there is no hope for you."

"Oh, I got the message, it's just everytime I try to jump, the ship needs me for something…I'm just needed by so many, but can help so few. If only I had the time," Vince put his hands on either side of her, and leaned slightly towards her.

The woman gave a small laugh and shook her head, "Not while I'm working."

Just before Vince could respond, his comm badge went off, =/\= Lt. Stryfe, Scott here. The shuttle is ready to go, and Finn has given you the go, as well as requesting you do it as soon as possible=/\=

Vince shook his head, "I copy, Scott, I'll be down there momentarily," He looked up at Tatiana, "Well, I was just gonna give you a little peck, something to look forward to, but I guess you don't need that, I guess I'll be going now." Vince started to turn slowly around, headed towards the door.

"Men are worse than women sometimes," she muttered and pulled him back towards her. She lifted her feet off the ground before rolling her eyes and standing at her normal height. "Bend down or something. Geez, not everyone was blessed with being freakishly tall."

Vince leaned down a bit, looking her in the eyes, "Well, like most men I have short term memory, and now I just can't seem to remember what it was I was going to do now." He leaned his head closer to her, "You may need to re…"

Tatiana moved closer and quickly pecked him on the lips, "You'e an ass, and I'm working so that's all you're getting."

Vince heard a whistle from across the room, and saw his sister looking at the two of them, "No, she's an ass, and I gotta go, so I'll see you when I get back."

"Alright," she said and moved away, "Good luck on…whatever you're doing."

Vince smiled then started towards the door, but to his sister's dismay he darted over to her, and gave her a big brother kiss as she tried pushing him away. He waved at her as she wiped the spit off her cheek, and he was out of the door.

.:: 15 minutes Later…. ::.

Vince walked into the access room for the Aerowing, and stopped as everyone in the room looked up at him. Scott walked out of the Aerowing, looking up at Vince.

" Ok everything is a go, we have clearance to leave whenever, no need to contact the bridge. All of the coordinates and information that we need is onboard, and loaded into the computers." Scott handed Vince a PADD.

Vince took the PADD and scanned trough it, not looking up but speaking," Good, but you're not going with me."

Scott stared at Vince," What the hell do you mean I'm not going with you?"

Vince looked up at his friend," At the present time we have two excellent pilots onboard this vessel, you and me. There may be a situation up here that requires a skilled pilot, and you are the one because I'm going to be doing something of equal in difficulty. I'm the one for the shuttle job though, I'm taking that pilot there as my co-pilot, and those three security guys."

" Wha… bu…." Scott walked past Vince to the door," Fine, but you had better make it back here in one piece, I don't want to have to lose a friend."

Vince smirked," I'll be fine…. It's me."

Scott cleared the frown fromhis face, replacing it with a smile then nodded to Vince, as he headed towards the bridge.

Vince and the four crew that he selected stepped onto the Aerowing, and found their seats. Vince punched a few commands then looked at his team," Well, let's go be a comm relay….."

Medbay portion was a collaboration with Tatiana…… but she had to be workin'…….
Originally Posted 9/10/08 by Vince Stryfe


Girijan
The Caves

Kerrin ran her hand over the edge of the opening. "Looks man made, actually looks like it was made with a pha…favorite tool." She clunked her head against the rock, real smooth cover.

A smile crossed Jason's face for the first time since they began the (what was for him) painful decent back into the caverns. His leg was beginning to throb from the pounding it had taken in the rockslide and the makeshift first aid hadn't done much beyond making sure he couldn't move it. "Oh yeah, you are good." He whispered to the mortified archeologist.

Sallin was creeping closer, despite his sense of trespass… no one should come to these caves unless they were setting others on the final path, or seeking their own in the first spirit quest… this tunnel was unlike those he'd seen in those times. "It must be quite old," he frowned, "Perhaps the land quakes which have been wracking the caverns revealed it. I wonder, could this lead to…" he swallowed, "to the place we witnessed Tchiva's…"

"Only one way to find out." Kerrin bent down and began to crawl into the opening.

"Kerrin…" Jason tried to reason with her, then as the view of her ass began to disappear, took a quick look over his shoulder at the rest of the group as if to say 'women', then followed her, wincing as he had to half drag his injured leg behind him.

"By the…" Fehr, who had been assessing the interesting burn patterns in the far wall, dove for the other man but despite the injury Hallows was fast. "You," he spun on the others… "STAY." He made sure that the other 'shadow-walkers' understood… and took appropriate defensive positions in the damaged cavern before himself diving into the stupidly tiny tunnel after the stupidly suicidal scientists.

I am getting claustrophobic… Kerrin sang in her head to the tune of 'yankee doodle dandy', after minutes of relatively silent travel…well, only broken by the muttered swearing coming from male voices behind her, she looked left and saw an opening…and a body. "Oh god." Scrambling so fast she scraped her hands in her rush, Kerrin tumbled out into the larger cavern. Her eyes pricked with tears of relief when she saw that it was not Harry, or anyone else that she knew…or knew well. I am a terrible person, death is death. "Tchiva."

Torn between worry at Kerrin's obvious distress and the urge to kick the shit out of the guy who kept poking him in the ass, Jason dropped into the cavern. "Tchiva?"

The moment Hallows cleared the way, Fehr slithered out and rose, carefully drawing his zuut and the phaser. "Hold your positions," he ordered the two who now hovered over what was clearly a former Devanagari… and why can we see this? His eyes quartered the space and found blood sign, tacky, beneath the tunnel opening and, his boot scuffed some broken rock aside, a wrist lamp… one of the Hawkings' inventory. Dropped in the struggle? "One of ours has been this way," he said, turning towards the others. "And let me be quite clear, you will, neither of you, ever go racing into unknown territory on my watch again."

Jason rolled his eyes at the soldierly tone and Kerrin snapped off an ironic salute. "Well then, what would you like to do next mon capitain?" Kerrin asked.

"I am sure," Fehr said quietly, "that this is quite amusing to you both but do you know who killed that man? Did it not occur that the killer could have been waiting here for more victims? Or that he or she could, this instant, be homing in on the sounds of our voices…" he broke off as a slithering of rock from above and to his right indicated that perhaps his lecture was a touch too close to reality.

"Dum dum dummmm" Jason couldn't help but sing quietly as the group froze at the noise.

"Move… back to the tunnel," Fehr shifted to face the area where the rock was falling… maybe it was another slide… the cliffs were unstable, yes? As he closed in he made sure the phaser was set to heavy stun. If it was one of their crew… he would just have to apologize later.

Sliding down through the narrow chasm, Shirka, wounded and furious and seeking prey, focused on the sounds of the warm-blooded ones. These would do… and there were enough, from the sounds, to erase the shame of her recent failures. With an almost boneless facility, she reversed her position so that, when the Beradi warrior arrived at the entrance to the cavern where the kills awaited, she dropped feet first and pounced at the one who waited.

Fehr took aim and fired the moment the shadow began to fall from the cavern's ceiling but there was no joy in the action. Dropping the useless tech he had only just begun to swing his sword to guard when a mass of clicking, ravenous death landed on his chest…

"Oh god oh god oh god." Kerrin had made the mistake at looking backward at the sounds. "Jason…"

"Please don't make me fight you, my leg hurts, just keep going."

Praying under her breath Kerrin nodded and continued the trek back to the rest of the crew.

Rolling backwards with the weight of his attacker, the Elasian used his legs to continue the creature's propulsion, sending the Beradi over his head and into the wall. Spinning as he rose, he sliced at the mercenary but missed by centimeters, the blade raising sparks from the rock as the armored warrior ducked and kicked out at his legs, again bringing the fight to the ground until Fehr could roll his way to standing once more.

What followed was a quiet battle, interrupted only by the gasps of narrowly escaped death or the unholy screech of metal on stone. It didn't take long to find that the Beradi was wounded… it… she, Fehr discovered after a very close engagement… was favoring her right side and he exploited that, pressing his attack to the vulnerable spot. The warrior took that ill enough and, during a quick feint caught his zuut between her armor-plated forearms and snapped it in two. But Fehr didn't back off, only kept moving forward, sliding his broken blade beneath her defense and thence up, beneath the mandibles and into the soft flesh of her throat, accepting the cold cascade of her life's ending as his due.

Jason held the squirming woman, I could enjoy this more if it didn't hurt so much, who, once back with the others had changed her mind and wanted to go back and help Fehr. "What are you going to do Kerrin? Do a running commentary analyzing the fight styles?" The faint echoes they had heard coming up through the opening had faded out and were replaced by a stealthy movement. "Someone is coming."

That announcement brought Esperanza closer, arrow notched to her bow, pointing towards the tunnel and Sallin, who had dared say nothing earlier, now reached out for the en'Hentari woman, "Who may be coming?" he asked her, "Is it… did you find Tchiva?"

"Yes." She stopped struggling against Jason and looked up Sallin. "I am so sorry, he is dead." Her eyes were warm with sympathy. "I don't know what killed him, but right now Fehr might. Something was coming toward us and he sent us back up while he…" She broke off, not knowing how to finish that thought without crying…and she was so sick of crying.

"Someone should explain to the d'rag that these are sacred caverns," a dry voice filtered from the small opening. "Ahh, a hand, if you would?" Fehr reached the opening and accepted Esperanza's aid as Kerrin's explanation, thankfully, petered out. He had no hope of explaining the presence of the Beradi to the young Hentari and, right now, he had other issues.

As he'd neared the larger cavern, his combadge had begun to vibrate but he'd been unable to retrieve the message… whatever had nullified his phaser was affecting the coms as well. Perhaps… perhaps closer to the cliff opening they'd inspected earlier? Rising to his full height, another 'issue' presented itself. "Ahh, well," he pressed a hand to his ribs, which had been well and truly scored by the Beradi's wicked talons. He felt somewhat dizzy but then, loss of blood could do that. But he needed… "I need… air…" he managed, looking blankly at Dr. Schaeffer. "Now… in fact…"

Kerrin, taking her cue (at least she thought it was a cue) hopped over Jason and grabbed her pack that had some first aid supplies, then tucked her shoulder under his arm in one somewhat fluid movement. "Why don't we get you some fresh air, and maybe some of the water on your face would help." She looked at Jason. "You guys stay here, who knows what might come out of the hole next." Waiting for Jason's nod, she then looked up at Fehr. "Want to take a walk?"

"More than I can say," his auto-flirt operating at only about 40 percent. Leaning heavily on the woman, and not just for show, he moved his lips in close to add, "Someone is trying to reach us… combadge… may function closer to the surface…"

"Ah, okay." Picking her way carefully through the debris, this place looks like a war zone, Kerrin got them close enough to the opening of the cave that the spray from the storm was harsh against their faces. Kerrin's stomach clenched as she looked up at Fehr. "Are you alright?"

"All the better for your company," he said, though it took genuine effort to remain standing, by now. Pressing his hidden combadge he tried to reach out to whomever had tagged him. =/\=This is Fehr, responding…=/\=

=/\=…dissipate excess atmospheric static from your location. Repeat: seek means to dissipate excess atmospheric static from your…=/\=

The automatic message repeated two more times before Fehr closed the channel and looked down at Kerrin. "I think," he said, "we might need Mr. Kowalski…"

And then he passed out.

Finn and T'Shaini as the NPC menage a trois of Fehr, Hallows and Schaeffer
Originally Posted 9/10/08 by Harry Finn


Girijan
The Caves

Fehr wondered if this was how a man of his homeworld might feel when denying the pull of an Elasian woman's tears. He’d seen others fight it with no success and they had looked much as he felt now… shaking with a heat so extreme it felt colder than the spitting rain which ricocheted about the cavern’s opening. From the depths of this unnatural chill he tried to maintain order. “Has Kal-El begun to research…”

“Shhh,” a new but familiar voice broke through the fog, “he’s doing what he can but you have to rest…”

“I cannot. Doctor Munro… is Ellison…?”

“Ellison is fine, he’s here, too. Jillian,” Kerrin’s worried tones and gentle hands overrode his attempt to rise, “this fever… it came on very quickly and,” he felt someone lifting away the ruined clothing over his ribs, “the gouges are not that deep but… look.”

“Poison,” the hissed response dropped down. He didn’t really catch much of what was said after. Kal-El was said to be working and Jillian and Ellison were safe and right now he was seeing such interesting things… colors and sounds blending to one looming mass which hovered over him, wetly promising an ending, soon. After a queasy time staring at this tentacled fever dream there came a surge of white-hot pain across his side… a series of bright slashes followed by a hot gushing and in the wake of that new agony the slurping image above receded to become only the jagged cavern walls and then his back arched beneath yet another burning which scored his flesh as surely as had the claws of the Beradi mercenary.

“Hold still, hold still,” the muttered order barely registered and now there came a sudden weight over his heart. Blinking into the dim light of the storm he saw Kerrin who, laying across his chest to hold him still, looked so sad.

“Yours is a fatal beauty,” he whispered, remembering as he looked into her eyes the tale he'd been told in secret, the vid he'd been shown before Vail disappeared the evidence… the story of Lt. Finn and Dr. Schaeffer and a certain cell on Kendrassa Prime. “Zal and the others… they said… they say he near to died for it… again and again…”

Her body froze over his, he near to died for it…Harry? Shaking off the words as just fever induced ramblings Kerrin pressed her hands into his shoulders to keep him still. "Don't worry, Jillian is here…" The assurance might well have been for her as much as it was for Fehr, the archeologist had no idea what Jillian could do with the limited medical supplies available, but she had to believe she could do something.

"Beradi females secrete a toxin," Jillian was saying as she heated the blade she'd drawn over the charcoal fire Hamish had built for her in Amma's brazier. "Easy to deal with on Hawking but here?" Looking to Hamish and Kerrin, she raised the glowing knife, "Hold him down…"

"Jesus Christ!" Kerrin voice rose in panic. "What are you going to do with that?"

"Cauterize the wounds," Jillian grimaced as she approached her patient. It had worked on the damn zombie bite, and she'd already lanced these gashes sooo… "I'm sorry," she said to the delirious lieutenant, "this is going to hurt." And then she pressed the flat of the blade into the first wound.

"Whoa…" Hamish had to lay on Fehr's legs as the odor of seared flesh filled the cave's entrance.

"Is this what you do?" Fehr hissed, thrashing against Kerrin's grip… "You smile and then the man with the knives comes… skinning… this Ren… he skinned him alive.. HA!"

"Skinned who alive?" Her stomach sank. "Fehr…" Kerrin did not want to know, but could not stop the words leaving her mouth. There was only so much she could chalk up to delirium. "Are you telling me that Harry was …?" Please god let it be delirium.

"Skinned… burned… cut," Fehr's eyes began to glaze, "all in color… like now… like now," his eyes went sharp all of a sudden, focusing on the face so close to his, "all for a womanneeaaaahhh!" Jillian had brought the blade back, reheated and ready for the next gouge.

Kerrin rode out the bucking that accompanied the latest assault against the poison, then felt Fehr's body go limp as his body surrendered to unconsciousness. Her head stayed low, afraid that it wasn't just delirium, afraid that his words would have meant as much to the people around as they had to her, and afraid that they would be looking at her with the same revulsion she now felt for herself.

As Jillian turned to heat the dreaded dagger once again, Hamish, still cautiously keeping a hold of Fehr's legs, cleared his throat, "He doesn't blame you," the security officer said, "No one does. I'm sure it's the poison talking…"

Not trusting her voice, Kerrin just nodded weakly at Hamish. No one has to lay blame on me, I know that I am the one who left him…

Then, just as Jillian sealed the last open wound on Fehr's exposed torso. "Those orders from on high are going to be damned hard to follow if I can't get hold of a better power source," Kal-El's rant cut into the moment, "What?" he asked, looking from Kerrin to Hamish to Jillian and back. "What?"

JP featuring Jils and NPC's a go go voiced by Harry Finn and occasionally Tee
Originally Posted 9/11/08 by T'Shaini


-Girijan-
-The Orb Cavern-

Keep them from getting the Orb, resonated in Javier's thoughts as he stuck his leg out, intent on tripping up the newcomer then subduing the interloper. There was a jolt as the individual collided with his outstretched leg and then flew forward, passing by the cavern's entrance and rolling down towards the inner chamber. It took Javier a second to realize that he had just tripped Nils. The engineer could only watch in horror as his friend tumbled past him and stopped when Torrik's head collided with one of the rocks strewn about the floor. An inner sense of smug satisfaction came over the engineer even as he rushed forward to check on Nils. "Nils, I didn't know.." was as far as Javier communicated before he collided with a Beradi warrior that came hurtling out of the tunnel.

The alien struck him with bone-jarring force and took Javier down to the floor. Luckily the force of the collision also caused the warrior to lose his grip on the knife that he had been brandishing, but Javier found himself in a life and death struggle with a furious Beradi. His training kicked in as the warrior tried to get his bony 'hands' around Costala's throat and throttle him. Javier punched the warrior in the face. A howl of pain issued from the engineer's mouth as his fist connected with the Beradi's toughened exo-skeleton. New tactic. Javier thought as he swiftly raised his leg. Unfortunately the Beradi's genitals were not in the same place as most species and the kick was a lesson in futility.

Worry for Nils quickly replaced by a spur of panic at the Beradi's attack, T'Shaini threw a quick "Check on Nils." over her shoulder to Del before chasing after the tangle of limbs on the floor. The cry of pain from Javier had an answering sound emitting from her mouth, though a far more feral sound than the counselor would have been comfortable hearing. Coming up from behind T'Shaini managed to get a grip on the warriors wrist and planting her foot on it's shoulder, wrenched the arm back until she heard the sickening pop that accompanies a joint dislocation. Swallowing back nausea, she let go of the arm and grabbed for the knife the Beradi had dropped in the impact.

With a blood-curdling shriek the Beradi turned his attention on T'Shaini, dazed by the lack of air, Javier's fingers sluggishly searched for his sidearm. He found it and jammed the phaser into the Beradi's midriff as he pressed the firing mechanism. Nothing happened. Faulty powercell. Javier concluded as he swung the phaser at the warrior, receiving a small bit of satisfaction when it collided with the alien's head. The Beradi punched him with its good arm and Javier was slammed back against the cavern floor.

The Vulcan's fingers had barely closed around the hilt when she saw Javier hit the ground with enough force to knock all the wind out of him. Launching herself from her crouch, T'Shaini landed with a thud against the warrior's back and drove the knife into the joining of the armour at it's neck. Jamming in the opening, she had to grab with her other hand and force the blade further in as the Beradi clawed at her.

Get up, get up, get up you worthless.. a voice, possibly his own conscience, told Javier as he struggled to his feet. He cast his eyes about the cavern until he found what he was searching for. The engineer picked up the rock and staggered over to the Beradi, who was clawing at T'Shaini. He lifted the rock above his head with both hands, nearly falling backwards causing the Beradi to turn his attention back to Javier in time to see the rock that crushed his skull. The Beradi uttered a grunt, swayed and fell to the side. Exhausted, and feeling somewhat battered, Javier dropped the stone and collapsed to the cavern floor, looking at T'Shaini, gathering up enough energy to crawl over to her and collapse by the Vulcan's side. "Thanks," Javier said breathlessly, "we make a good team."

Leaning slightly to rest her head on top of his, T'Shaini sighed. "We do…I do wish, however, that we might find a more tranquil way of proving it."

"Tranquil just isn't our style I guess," Javier replied as he caught his breath. His hand idly patted her hip before glancing back towards Del who was staring at the two of them with wide eyes.

The smile that had glimmered at Javier's rejoinder disappeared again when she followed his gaze. "Del, how is Nils?"

"H..h..he's fine, j..j..just knocked out," the crewman replied before a beep from his tricorder alerted the engineer to the fact that the instrument had started to work again. Del gaped at the tricorder then began to take readings almost immediately. "It's Kal-El!!" he proclaimed in the next instant. "I m..m..mean Ch..ch..chief Kowalski," Mills stated as he corrected himself. "He s..s..says we should s..s..siphon off the excess energy?" Del told the Chief Engineer, a look of bewilderment on the younger man's face.

"Did Kowalski say how?" Javier inquired. Mills shook his head. "Then I suggest you start slapping the captain about the face," Javier told the engineer.

"S..s..sir?" Del replied in puzzled horror.

"He's the only one who's going to know how to go about siphoning energy off the orb," the Chief Engineer replied, "so you had better wake him up."

"He is kidding, Del." T'Shaini said soothingly as she moved to kneel by Nils, gently elevating his head and shoulders hoping it would bring him around. "At least about the slapping…"

JP by Wonder Woman and the Green Latern with small appearances by as yet unnamed
superheroes
Originally Posted 9/12/08 by Javier Costala


Girijan
The Caves

Fehr's mad cries of pain had finally ceased but those within the cave proper remained tense as a well-strung bow. “He may yet be well,” Sallin offered generally from where he crouched with Amma.

Frey nodded, anxious to lift the pall over their party. “J’lian is skilled,” she said, glancing shyly towards El’san, “The Ekkurans send their strongest with the en’Hentari.”

“And their en’yassryn as well?” Laerta glanced to where Jerad… or Jason… was stretched out, close enough to the cliff entrance for J’lian to check on his leg once Fehr had been seen to.

Jason was his true name, he had explained; Jerad being his name in exile, taken when he had thrown in with Harad. Now, whichever name he wore, the en’yassryn was even more alone, bereft of his makeshift clan. T’Shaini, Harad and, Laerta’s heart dropped at the thought, Delan… all gone missing in the cave’s collapse. “So how do we continue where T’Shaini failed?” she asked, turning her attention to the Hentarii. “The storm grows, the Hentuu are becoming unstable… something is not right here.”

“I would not say they have failed, as yet,” Amma replied for herself and Sallin. “That she is not here does not signify… they may well be closer to the source of darkness than we.”

Kyle listened carefully to the Devanagari as they spoke. From what he’d gathered from Kowalski, they were supposed to siphon off the storm’s excess static but no one knew why and right now it didn’t look as if Kowalski knew how, either and even if he did, what was to be done with the locals who were sitting smack in the middle of all the action? How would they respond to some high-strung shadow walker calling down the lightning… he didn’t even have a kite, for f**k's sake.

Moving towards the rapidly crowding entrance, Kyle spared a glance for the pale and unconscious lieutenant before addressing Kowalski, “Whatever you’re going to do, it’s going to have to be fast…”

“Working,” the engineer spat, bent over his tricorder, “Del responded, we may have some joy from the captain… or the Orb… or something.” He realized that Ellison was still hovering and had been joined by Hamish, relieved of ‘stasis unit’ duty on Fehr, “Why don’t you action hero types find a way to get rid of the local color?” he snapped, “Since we probably aren’t gonna get any commendations for contaminating a primitive culture with the hoodoo we’re about to do do.”

“Yeah… and what kind of tactic do you suggest for that, Kowalski,” Ellison snapped in his turn. “I don’t feature them just taking a hike back to the surface in all this,” he pointed to the ongoing unrest of the storm, “and since these are their caves it’s not likely they’ll be keen on leaving us behind to…”

Suddenly all eyes were on the rangy grunt as he considered.

“Uh oh,” was Hamish’s comment on the silence.

“Uh oh?” Jillian asked.

“It’s never good when he gets that look,” Drummond’s voice was despairing, “that’s the ‘idea’ look and… it’s never good.”

“No,” Ellison agreed, “it’s not good. In fact, it’s pretty gods damned dangerous but,” he grinned into the teeth of the storm, “it’s also perfect.” He clapped a hand on Kowalski’s shoulder, “Got time to collapse another tunnel?”

Twenty minutes later, Frey, Sallin, Amma, Laerta and El’san were making their careful way back to the ravine entrance. J’lian needed a larger fire, to ease the wounded Fehr’s shock but the only wood near enough came from the pria trees, scattered across the ravine by the storm. They planned to use bhandi line and send two up, secured, while another two remained below, in case the storm became too wild for the searchers to find their way back. El’san would stand as guard, lest any more mad d’rag or… or worse… should interrupt.

They had come within two juvaal lengths of the opening when there was a skittering sound, coming from behind.

“Go on,” El’san ordered, drawing his zuut and turning to investigate, torch held high as he moved.

“But,” Frey began to protest.

“This is what I do,” he told her quietly, offering one long look before his eyes sought Sallin who understood and took the girl by the hand. “It has been an honor,” he added, before turning back to seek out the source of the noise. He had just taken the turn towards the Ahmadyya when a sudden rumbling shook the feet from under them and all four Devanagari watched, horror struck, as the porous walls of the cavern disintegrated in a tumultuous explosion… as if someone had let loose a cannon in this sacred place. Even as they stumbled, coughing, to safety, the sound continued and, though the quakes eased quickly the echoes of falling rock were such that they knew none could possibly have survived the collapse.

Grieving, the quartet escaped to the open area beneath the ravine and there Amma and Sallin began to chant the path of the dead, that the Ekkurans, so far from their keshii, might find their way home.

Fifty meters away, behind the carefully created ‘collapse,’ Kowalski grinned at Ellison, “I think I missed my calling,” he said, holding up the tricorder/comm hybrid which had elicited the sounds of a massive quake, “I should have gone into the FX biz…”

“Whatever,” Ellison replied, turning back to where the rest of the Hawking crew waited for news from the captain, or the Hawking, or the end of the world, whichever came first.

“Everyone’s a critic,” Kal-El muttered as he followed.

NPC's R Us
Originally Posted 9/12/08 by Harry Finn


:: Girijan ::
:: The Orb Chamber ::

Despite the fact that his eyes were closed, Nils still gazed at the Ark and the rays of illumination that seeped through the barely open crack. He was aware of a commotion behind him and Delano Mills somewhere close to him. However, everything but the Orb seemed blurry and almost unreal. A deep and resonant hum permeated his bones and warmth radiated from the light – the light that emanated from an unknown Orb of the Prophets. It took his breath away.

Though he couldn’t put his finger on it, he sensed some profound mystery just on the periphery of his perception. Some deep truth, dark and horrible, skittered about in the atmosphere of the cave circling the Orb. Beautiful and ominous, the shining light drew him in.

Then he sensed the other. A presence in the tempted him to look away from the Ark. He wanted to…but he couldn’t. His eyes remained glued to the prize. The devout Bajoran desired to look inside and find the truth the Orb would offer.

“Don’t do that…” said the voice. It was kind and warm. “You better keep that thing closed.”

Finally able to pull his gaze from the glory of the Orb shining through the cracks of the barely opened Ark, the young CO found himself uncomfortably close to the Emissary. Face to face. “You’re going to want to close that thing up… And keep it that way.” His smile was easy and forgiving. Then he said once more… “Don’t open it.”
“C-c-c-captain?” Mills voice cut through the fog. “H-h-h-he’s saying s-s-something.” Someone else was at his side. He strained to open his eyes to escape the dark that had fallen suddenly around him.

“What did he say?” The counselor.

Nils’ eyes shot open. “Don’t open it,” he growled intensely.

It was quiet for a moment before Mills answered, “Yeah… th-th-that’s what he s-s-s-said.”

Originally Posted 9/13/08 by Torrik Nils


-Girijan-
-The Orb Cavern-

Don't open it. Javier thought as he looked at the ark which was fully illuminated by the radiant light that it encapsulated. While the others had flocked toward Nils, the engineer had found himself drawn to the vessel that contained the new orb. Open it. a voice seemed to answer from within his own psyche. No, he said don't open it. Javier replied even as his hands stretched out to grasp the ark. He pulled them back before his fingers could grasp the doors, his fingertips brushing against its surface. He felt a slight jolt, as if static electricity had passed from the ark to himself. Open it! the voice urged him and the engineer felt compelled to do its bidding, reaching for the ark once more.

"Javier…" The counselor had risen from floor at his enraptured expression. "Javier." Who knew what powers this orb possessed? Fearful that somehow, something was controlling his reactions T'Shaini stepped quickly in front of Javier and placed her hand gently on his chest. But before she could open her mouth to speak, the sounds of yet someone else moving toward the small group rang out. "Kamaal Bedie?"

"Weapons?" Nils said, pushing himself off the ground. "What do we have that's not…" Javier's attention to the Orb became distracting and drew Nils' eye. "Javi! Do we have a weapon that's not Federation tech? Anything this close to the artifact is useless."

But before anyone could respond Kamaal rounded a corner in the cavern and stopped dead in her tracks. Her gaze quickly darted from person to person and finally to her downed mercenary. "No…" she moaned quietly. Then she too became enamored by the glowing Ark.

"Don't move," Nils said trying to sound authoritative. Mostly his throbbing head just made him feel weak and tired.

Javier turned to stare at the newcomer. That woman! he thought as the engineer sensed the irritation he had felt at T'Shaini's intervention turn to loathing. "A weapon, yes, I have one," Javier said as he paced across the room and slugged Kamaal with a right cross that knocked her to the ground. "Stay there interloper." Costala heard himself tell the Bajoran woman. He was surprised by his action. It had happened so quickly that the engineer had struck the woman before he knew what he had done.

"Javier what hell are…" Nils started but quivered a little on his feet.

"Easy th-th-there, C-c-captain. Take it e-easy," Mills said catching the Bajoran under the arm to steady him.

Shock at Javier's sudden action stunned the Vulcan into stillness, but only for a moment. Sprinting to the fallen woman, she lifted her up and pinned her arms behind her body. "Del, pull the knife from the Beradi." T'Shaini waited until the young engineer, with much distaste, retrieved the weapon from where it had been plunged into the Beradi warrior. "Can you take her and Nils to the surface? Contact the Hawking once you are in range and transport them out of here." Then turning to Nils. "Captain, we will stay and guard the orb until it is decided what must be done. Does that meet with your approval?"

Nils nodded and rubbed his head. "Yes that's… That works fine." He glanced back at the Orb before proceeding then turned back to both Javier and T'Shaini. "We can't open it," he said fully aware that his proclamation sounded borderline insane. "In fact, I think we need to figure out a way to get the Ark to close completely… I…" That had to be enough. Any more explanation and his insanity would be sure. "We'll send some people down here with tools to cut it out of the rock when we get topside."

"Be quick about it," Javier retorted even before he could stop himself. "I mean..that would be good." Open it. Wait for them to leave then open it. "That would be good Captain." The engineer rubbed his temple and groaned. "That thing's giving me a headache."

The unsettled feeling Javier's words engendered translated to the odd look on T'Shaini's face as she looked back to Nils. "I concur…I believe time is of the essence."

Again the Bajoran CO nodded. The counselor was right and he knew it. Something stirred in the caverns and he could sense it. The draw of circumstances made him feel out of control - as if they were careening towards at break-neck velocity. "Mills do you think you can carry her?" He felt foolish for pawning it off, but he still felt a little dizzy from his head injury.

"I c-c-an do it," Delano said confidently as he stepped towards the Bajoran woman and took her from T'Shaini. After heaving her up and over his shoulder he took a few labored steps. "She's r-r-really not th-that h-heavy." Nils thought his tone said otherwise.

"Then let's go," he said finally with one last departing look at he two senior staff he was leaving behind.

Javier waved goodbye as Nils and Delano disappeared from sight. "We'll be fine, just fine with the orb." Alone with the Orb.

JP in which we all damn near turned to pumpkins. ZZZZZZZ (We being Nils, Tee and Javi)
Originally Posted 9/14/08 by Javier Costala


USS Hawking
Astrometrics Lab - Deck 8

Lincoln Purcell looked up from his sensor readings, then he looked back down. Then he turned and called up a holographic image of the real-time telemetry he’d been studying. Then, with all the appearance of calm, he sent that same data straight up to O’Keefe on the bridge with a HIGH PRIORITY header and, just to be safe, he tagged her via com as well. “Purcell to O’Keefe, I’ve just sent you some readouts on the Omiron system’s sun. There’s a major solar proton event brewing and the star’s proton surges are occurring synchronous to the Girijan storm’s gamma ray flashes which are themselves occurring synchronous to the ionic proton divisions in the planet’s atmosphere.”

=/\=Telemetry received,=/\= his department chief replied, =/\=keep me apprised of any changes, O’Keefe out.=/\=

“Yeah,” Lincoln muttered, turning back to his work, “I’ll be sure and do that.”


Brig - Deck 15

Aengus McMennan hated the brig rotation. Either it was deadly dull because the cells were empty or it was absurdly tense because they were full. Normally he wouldn’t have to stand this watch but they were short-staffed with four on the ground and four more shang-haid by Lt. Stryfe.

The current shift had managed to balance on a knife’s edge between boredom and anxiety as the three Beradi who had been delivered from the planet were all in the throes of some self-induced trance… all three standing quite still, heads thrown back, eyes closed and swaying gently as if their bodies were responding to a fickle breeze.

They had been like that since just before McMennan had taken over from Burgess, who had reported their behavior to Tenanji who had called Medical and Medical had sent Hodges down but all he’d gotten from his scans was that they appeared to be in a highly meditative state and it was best not to mess with them.

But the young cadet was having a hard time not fixating on the three. His hyper-vigilance was rewarded, if one could call it that, when, over an hour after he’d come on shift they started to emit a low-pitched thrumming and then as he watched, fascinated, their throats took to vibrating and their chests, now devoid of armor, set up a counterpointed pulse and then, dear God, each of the three opened their mouths and…


Bridge

=/\=Cadet McMennan requesting IMMEDIATE backup to the Brig… repeat, repeat, requesting Security personnel! I have a situation…=/\=

“This is Finn,” Harry replied, having finally convinced Tenanji that he should take an hour’s down time. He nodded to Quincy who immediately pulled Govan and Darvin from where they were on standby in auxiliary, “what’s your status?”

=/\=Sir, the prisoners… they’re tearing each other apart! They were in a trance thing and then they woke up and… sir, they vomited blood… I think it was blood… all over the place and then they started to go at each other like rabid pit bulls… Should I let down the shields…?=/\=

“Negative that,” eyes flat, Harry registered the wet tearing growls which accompanied McMennan’s report “Just, stay with me…” he joined Quincy at Tactical, “Can we utilized the…” he began then frowned as if he’d lost his train of thought, “I mean, get some anesthizine in there?” he asked.

David immediately began to access the ventilation systems, “I can have Saunders insert the canister into the…”

=/\=Too late,=/\= Aengus’ voice filtered through the coms, =/\=it’s too… they’re gone… they’re… in pieces. Finn, it’s… I… =/\=

The first officer remained still for a moment then, “McMennan?”

=/\=Govan here,=/\= a new voice came across and Harry’s hand gripped the console with a tension which, after Aengus’ report, Quincy could understand. =/\=McMennan is… indisposed… at the moment. He’ll be fine but…=/\= there was another pause during which the sound of retching came through loud and clear =/\=… this is…. sir, I’ve never seen anything like this.=/\= Which, given Zal’s father, was saying something.

Harry remained quite still for a moment before he responded. “Understood. Lock down the scene, I’ll call a hazmat crew down there ASAP," he made eye contact with T'Preen, who made the necessary com.

=/\=Request permission to get McMennan to sickbay,=/\= the Cardassian’s cool tones came back.

“Denied. Lock it down, have the brig scanned for… anything. They went ape shit for a reason and I want to make sure that reason isn’t the result of some kind of biological weapon.”

Quincy frowned, “Hodges cleared them already,” he said, citing the shift report from Burgess.

“That was before they puked blood all over the cell; let’s not go dancing in their remains until the hazmat team has cleared it,” Finn pointed out. “M… Govan, do you copy that?”

=/\=Yes sir. We are in full lockdown and awaiting medical clearance, Govan out.=/\=

“Damned efficient, aren’t you?’ Harry muttered, nodding tersely to David before returning to the center of the bridge where he stood, contemplating the XO’s chair when…

“Lieutenant,” T’Preen called from Ops, “the Atar’a’kor is breaking orbit of the fifth planet.” Her Vulcan calm was slightly strained, “She is making for Girijan.”

“Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal,” he said calmly, “Any change on planet?” he asked.

“The Omiron sun is building up to a solar proton event, in conjunction with the increasing instability of the planetary ionic protons,” was O’Keefe’s dour respone.

Harry turned and dropped into the chair, “Sound general quarters, charge phasers and ready the tractor emitter,” he ordered, leaning back and staring hard at the planet below, “If the ground crew can’t get rid of the static cling before the Beradi arrive, we’re going to give it our best shot from up here. I don’t,” he staved off O’Keefe’s obvious objection with look, “want to try siphoning off excess polaric energy in the middle of a firefight: even with an inferior opponent, things could get messy… messier. Prep the emitter,” he waited for her acquiescence then turned his attention back to the screen and eyed the malicious storm as the bridge quietly readied for battle. “This day just keeps getting better and better.”

Featuring the many NPC's of the Hawking
Originally Posted 9/15/08 by Harry Finn


:: Girijan ::
:: Ascending through the Cavern ::

Nils second-guessed his decision. He should have been the one to stay with the Orb. But with the confusion of the moment and the disorientation brought on when he hit his head he’d chosen the other option. Somehow all of this was connected… The Orb, the storm, the Prophecy… It all tied together somehow. Even the ramped up frequency of his ‘visions’ fit into the equation in some fashion.

“How you holding up?” Delano Mills had groaned pretty dramatically as he hauled himself over a fallen boulder.

“I’m ok-k-kay, sir. I figure w-w-we’ll be at the top soon anyhow,” Mills said with a forced smile. Beads of sweat trickled down his face.

“I am fully capable of walking,” Kamaal said through a fair bit of agony.

“You can set her down, Mills,” the CO stated flatly. “She’s not going anywhere.”

“Oh thank god,” the engineer said, his stutter momentarily dismissed. He keeled over and set the Bajoran woman on the ground.

Nils took a step toward Kamaal and the two Bajorans faced off. “Come quietly or there will be…trouble.” They briefly took part in a stare off, neither backing down, until Nils turned and continued to forge their way to the surface. “The caverns have shifted from the cave in, but I think we’re on the right track,” he commented as he studied their route.

“The Orb belongs to Bajor…” Kamaal Bedie spoke calmly and without passion.

“The pressure has decreased dramatically since we left the others,” Nils continued, ignoring Kamaal completely. He’d said his peace to her.

“You saw it, Torrik Nils. You saw that it truly was an Orb of the Prophets. Surely that stirs your pagh,” Kamaal said, insisting she be heard.

“My pagh is stirred,” Nils answered coolly. “But not in the way you imagine. In fact, I’m more certain than ever that the Orb belongs here… Untouched by any of us.”

“That is blasphem…”

“Drop it,” Nils spat. There was no use trying to reason with the unreasonable.

They all froze in their tracks at the sound of voices ahead.

“Who d-d-do you think…”

“Shhhh,” Nils snapped raising a hand to silence the young crewman. The voices were familiar. But with his propensity to hear familiar voices in his head he didn’t move to react so quickly. Until he heard her…

“Fehr is stable, but we need to get him back to sickbay as soon as possible.”

Jillian

“Come on,” called Nils as he broke into a sprint. “It’s our people!”

Featuring Kamaal Bedie and Delano Mills.
Originally Posted 9/15/08 by Torrik Nils


-Girijan-
-The Orb Cavern-

The Hawking's Chief Engineer wandered around the cave as if he were lost in thought. He paced back and forth trying to look as nonchalant as possible but was carefully watching the Vulcan counselor, studying her, wondering if there was a pattern of behavior he could exploit to his advantage. Of one thing Kosst was sure, he had tried to force his will upon another with the use of violence and that had led to his previous vessel's demise, so he resolved to be more cautious. The human he inhabited was trying to regain control of his own mind but Kosst had quashed every effort by the fool. Weak, pathetic humanoids. the pah wraith mused to himself. The Prophets are fools to place their faith in these corporeal beings.

As wary as he was, Kosst Amojan knew that his time was short and the Ark must be opened. His body, the engineer's body, suddenly jerked as his arm shot out from his side. Another pathetic attempt to warn your friends. Kosst told the man, If you stop now I won't throw your body over a cilff when I'm finished with you..or hurt her. The resistance he felt faltered and Kosst glared at the Vulcan before approaching the ark once more.
T'Shaini leaned against the cave wall and studied Javier, it was odd for her to observe him as she would a patient, yet his current behavior dictated that she do exactly that. His fascination with the orb seemed to have set in motion a series of odd ticks and behaviors. The Vulcan was almost more familiar with his physical bearing than she was of her own, and this was unfamiliar territory. I feel no such influence from the orb. She looked down in thought, then her gaze snapped back up at the naked hostility she saw reflected in his eyes. Moving quickly to intervene as he came closer to the arc, T'Shaini stepped in front of him. "Javier?" There was a moment of hesistation. "Nils was most emphatic that the orb was not to be disturbed."

"Do you think I care a whit about that fool's wishes?" Kosst answered. His voice was rough and hard and over-shadowed that of the man he possessed. "Move out of my path or I'll cause this one pain," the Pah-wraith ordered. He had been watching the two beings and noticed the bond that they shared. The thoughts that he found within this Costala's memories sickened Kosst but he knew such feelings would be useful to coerce the Vulcan into obeying him.

Not the orb… There was now no doubt in T'Shaini's mind that whatever was speaking to her was not Javier. Could this be a pah wraith? And also no doubt that it intended to open the arc. Without warning, the Vulcan closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around him, pinning his arms to his body in an attempt to incapacitate him. "I cannot allow you to open the ark and I cannot allow you to harm him." As she said this, she pushed him back into the cave wall, hopefully she could hold him long enough for Nils to return with reinforcements.

Kosst laughed. He broke the woman's hold easily enough and sent her spinning away from him with a mere thought. The power of the orb filled him with a heady excitement. His eyes fell on the Vulcan. In another place and time he would have had fun showing her the extent of his power. But the orb and his destiny called to him. He had been chosen for this particular task and it beckoned to him. The doors of the ark reverberated with the hum of energy as he took hold of the shielding and slowly pried the doors open. The energy within the room spiked sharply as a bluish light poured from the orb and wreathed the human's figure in rays of energy. Kosst Amojan felt himself slipping from the human's form and he released the tendrils that he had sewn deep within Costala's mind. The pah-wraith called out with one last victory shout as Kosst was pulled into the Orb. The blueish hue of the orb became clouded as tumultuous waves energy radiated outward. They picked up the engineer's form and slammed him backward against the cavern's far wall.

Picking herself off the floor, she watched Javier's form flung across the cavern like a rag doll just as the light from the orb grew more and more intense. Squinting against the glare T'Shaini scrambled across the cave floor and pulled him to his feet. "We have to move, Nils needs to know what has transpired." Shouting over the wind that seemed to be emitted from the open ark the Vulcan dragged Javier toward the entrance.

Javier nodded in agreement as he tried to speak but his words were drowned out by the wind, energy and a sudden shift in the cavern's foundations. The orb was wreaking havoc on the planet's geological foundations. His legs felt like rubber as he managed to get his feet under him, and with T'Shaini's help, stumble down the corridor that Nils, Mills and Kamaal had taken. Arriving in another chamber, Javier gaped at all the people gathered in the room, the rest of the teams from the Hawking had arrived. Leaning on T'Shaini only as much as he needed to Javier and the counselor made their way over to Nils.

"Nils..I opened the ark, it was a pah-wraith..Kosst something or other that made me do it," Javier explained to the Bajoran captain. "He's inside the orb. He's tainted it."

JP Javi and Tee (where was an exorcist when we needed one)
Originally Posted 9/16/08 by T'Shaini


~ Moments Earlier ~

:: Girijan ::
:: The Caverns ::

“Tell me one more time…exactly what Finn told you.” With the intensity that characterized him, Nils quizzed Fehr, whom the Captain had insisted Jillian wake up.

“Take it easy, Nils,” the Chief Medical Officer said, pressing into his side. Her touch stirred something primal within him and his body reacted. Does she know how distracting she is? “He’s still dealing with a lot of pain.”

The Bajoran nodded eagerly. “It’s important, Lieutenant,” urged Nils, leaning over the fallen security officer.

Fehr groaned a little, but ultimately bore his agony well. “The message said to dissipate the excess atmospheric static from our location… It repeated twice, but that was all there was… Not even sure how they got through to us…”

“That’s fine, Fehr. Just rest now,” Nils said gently patting the man’s shoulder. He stood up and paced the cavern a bit. Why, he wondered. The puzzle confused him. But in the end, the puzzle made no difference. If Harry needed the static dissipated, then there was a damned good reason.

“Kowalski,” Nils called, waving at the technician to come closer. The Petty Officer had found a spot near the others to settle, but quickly stood and made his way over to the beckoning Bajoran. “The only way possible to dissipate enough of the ionic charge in the atmosphere is to draw a great deal of the electricity down and ground it to the planet. The current would have to be sustained and constant for… almost a full minute to truly make a dent.”

The systems tech nodded. “We don’t have a generator down here that can maintain a static void that long. I’ve been considering how to create a more significant power source, but…”

Nils held up his hand and interrupted as delicately as he could. “The problem isn’t a lack of power. It’s sustainability. We need to create a plasma channel that won’t lose cohesion the first time a significant bolt of lightning travels its distance.”

“The plasma channel is easy,” Kowalski said. “Tricorders come standard with pulse to pulse laser relays for measuring atmospheric density and EM band emissions.” A sudden dawning lit his features. “So you’re saying that if we can create a constant high powered laser-induced plasma channel it would suck down the lightning in one long burst.”

“Right,” the scientist coaxed. “But as soon as it reaches the tricorder it would destroy it. How do we shield the tricorder from instant annihilation the moment the first bolt strikes?”

Kowalski examined the cavern’s ceiling and snapped his fingers frantically. He sucked on his lower lip and momentarily closed his eyes. They burst open when his brainstorm reached critical mass. “We shield it!” He immediately began looking around the cavern.

“Clearly,” Nils said unamused. “That’s what I asked… How do we shield it?”

“No no… No sir. With a shield! The Beradi armor has some type of energy shield. We splice it on a tricorder and start it up. Toss it out on the plains and we have an instant and sustained light show. Bing bang boom!”

“Can you do that?” The Captain remained unconvinced. Although engineering was not his realm of expertise, he knew melding two foreign pieces of technology remained dicey – even in the 24th century.

“I’d be more surprised if I couldn’t. I just need one of the shield generators,” the Petty Officer said excitedly.

Nils regarded the man for a moment, suddenly taking great pride in the crew he served with. “We need a shield generator,” he called to the group assembled in the cave. “There are fallen Beradi all over these caverns. Someone find this man a piece of armor!”

The crowd began to stir, but a wild vibration rattled the stone walls and dust showered around them. The air grew thick and changed in aroma. The smell was terribly out of place in the dark cavern.

Nils recognized the odor immediately… The fragance of sunshine and wild flowers permeated everything. A twinge of dark soil, earthy plantationsand vast orchards toned down the sweet smell and the final amalgam brought on feelings of home. “It smells like Bajor,” he whispered.

“Go,” the young CO called out once more. Whatever had just happened, it couldn’t be changed and they had a job to do. “Find a unit that’s still operational.”

As members of the team fanned out, Nils took a moment to consider what in the hell had just happened. Unconsciously he made his way to Kamaal who’d been watching him. “The Prophets have come,” she said somberly. “I smell them.” Her grave expression made Nils nervous. “They are not going to be pleased with you.”

“Shut up,” Captain Torrik said quietly, but with great irritation.

Then someone else…two someone elses burst into the chamber. Javier and T’Shaini stood breathless and shaky where they’d entered. Who’s watching the Orb? Nils' concern weighed on his heavy brow. He regarded them seriously as they found him and made their way close.

Nils..I opened the ark, it was a pah-wraith..Kosst something or other that made me do it," Javier explained to the Bajoran captain. "He's inside the orb. He's tainted it."

Nils sighed heavily. “Prophets be with us.”

Featuring NPC Kal-El Kowalski and a cameo by Jillian Munro and Javier Costala.
Originally Posted 9/16/08 by Torrik Nils


USS Hawking
Bridge

Lt. Usher Tenanji exited the turbolift and made straight for the Tactical station. “How close is the Atar’a’kor?” he asked, having been caught up on recent events when Quincy tagged him in his quarters, not ten minutes past.

“They’ve halted their approach and are holding beyond the furthest moon,” Quincy responded, moving aside to allow his chief access to the telemetry. “They appear to be waiting for something, like when…” he paused, realizing he was about to make an idiot of himself.

Hard eyes turned to him, “Yes?”

“Sir. They’re… the ship’s position reminds me of the way my kids start to hover when they’re expecting… a treat…”

“Question is,” Finn joined in from where he stood in conference with Anderson, who’d come back on duty a few minutes past, “what kind of a ‘treat’ gets a Beradi merc excited?”

Usher treated the question as rhetorical and moved on, “And what is the status in the brig?”

David, aware of the unspoken tension between Tenanji and Finn, cleared his throat, “Still waiting clearance from the Hazmat unit. Ensign Hodges and the medical team are running a second scan of the cell and brig and checking McMennan for any signs of contagion.”

Usher nodded, pulling up the roster of available Security crew “And Govan and Darvin?”

“Also still waiting for clearance of biohazard,” David replied.

“Very good.” Usher straightened, “Lt. Quincy, I’d like you to take over at Auxiliary Tactical and send Cadet Melon to secure the school,” which was where the children of Hawking were sent when General Quarters sounded. “Lt. Finn,” he now addressed his superior as David moved toward the turbolift, “Due to various circumstances, Security is currently understaffed. Request permission to re-assign Crewman Anderson to the torpedo bay for the duration? Chief Petty Jameson could use an able hand.”

Jenny, who’d just spent five minutes convincing Harry that she really had slept (she left out the nightmare which had, disturbingly, featured another version of Uncle Harry; a likely leftover from Chuck) and no, she didn’t feel at all sick (unless you counted the nausea over the letter from BHP) and, yes as a matter of fact she really was always this pale (hellooo I live on a Starship!), felt a sudden tingle of excitement at the Security Chief’s request.

“Anderson?” The question seemed to throw Harry and he actually started to pick up the PADD with the crew manifest before he caught up with current events and offered her a small shrug, “You up for it?” he asked, quietly.

“Yes sir!” the young woman replied, almost vibrating with purpose.

“Permission granted,” was Finn’s simple reponse, followed by a quiet, “Be careful.”

“Sir,” Jenny spun on her heel and raced after Quincy, more than ready to, as her Dad would say, ‘do the job’.

Once the two security personnel had departed, Usher looked to his XO, who was staring at the space where Jenny had been standing. “She is a great deal like her father,” he offered in a moment of truce, “I dare say he would be quite proud.”

Harry shook it off and glanced towards Tenanji, “Yeah,” he agreed, shortly, “he would.” But time was wasting and the storm down below was growing uglier by the moment so, “O’Keefe, get ready to do your thing. Assuming the Beradi maintain their distance, I’m willing to wait another fifteen minutes before we give the tractor emitter a go.”

“That’s a completely arbitrary time frame,” O’Keefe protested.

“No, it’s not. If I’d said three months, that would be a completely arbitrary time frame.”

“But sir,” Jada protested, “if we can’t breach the interference, or worse, if we can’t maintain control of the siphoning process, we could devastate the planet…”

“And what,” he interrupted, “will happen if we do nothing?”

“The planet will be destroyed by the increasing instability of subspace,” she admitted, “but the away team…”

“If they’d gotten the message… if they were capable of accomplishing what we need, don’t you think they’d have done it by now?”

“If I may, there is still the first option,” Tenanji tossed into the mix, “We can still destroy the orb from…”

“NO,” Finn’s response sliced Usher’s suggestion in half, “that’s not…”

Suddenly the science station erupted in a series of pings and alarums, “It’s too late for option one,” O’Keefe reported, her voice gone flat. “There’s been a significant and extremely localized boost in the polaric ionization on the planet,” she looked to the security officer, “If we were to fire into that mess now, all we’d do is hasten the destruction of the planet and everyone on it. It also means,” she now locked her eyes onto Finn’s and it was irresistible force meets immovable object but she wouldn’t back down, “we haven’t a hope of maintaining a stable tractor without assistance from the planet. The tractor beam would lose cohesion before it even got past the gamma ray flashes… look,” she pointed to the viewscreen, where a fairy dance of electromagnetic energies reflected the explosion of polaric ions in the lower atmosphere.

“All we can do, now,” she told him, before he could ask, “Is wait for our people on the planet to make a hole… and hope.”

Finn regarded her coldly but even he knew you couldn’t argue with the numbers. Still, “I don’t do hope," was all he said.

“Just as well,” Tenanji said, from his position at Tactical, “as the Atar’a’kor has begun to move… she’s currently at one-quarter impulse and making straight for Girijan.”

The Beradi, it seemed, had found their treat.

Featuring the NPC’s Jenny Anderson, David Quincy, Usher Tenanji and Jada O'Keefe
Originally Posted 9/17/08 by Harry Finn


:: Girijan ::
:: Ascending to the Surface ::

“And so we blew the cave’s ravine entrance to get clear of the Devanagari,” Kal-El called trying to be heard over the whine and wail of the wind. The nearer they came to the secondary exit the louder and wilder the gusts became.

“That was risky,” called Nils. The two had elected themselves to leave the relative safety of the caves to launch their relatively ill conceived plan. After Ellison had located the Beradi shield generator, the combined intellects of Kowalski and Javi had made short work of getting it activated. And instead of actually integrating the two pieces of tech’s respective systems, they simply lashed the generator on one of the actual shields that housed a functional tricorder. In Nils humble estimation, the simpler they made the plan the better. It was already convoluted enough.

“Risky, yes,” Kowalski said with a tight grin. “But it did the trick.”

When the mouth of the cavern came into view, both men were startled at the darkness that greeted them. The storm had reached fever pitch. It seemed to lift the very ground from gravity’s firm grip. Nils put his hand to the shield strapped to his back, reassuring himself that it was still there. One shot was all they were going to get. And things were perhaps going to get worse…

Considering the enigmatic warning he’d received concerning the Orb, the Bajoran had begun putting pieces of a theory together. In light of his study of Zocal’s Prophecy he was certain they’d stumbled upon the end of a world. His dawning belief that destiny guided them also held that if they were here to witness it, then they were here to try to circumvent it.

“Captain,” called the system’s tech still trying to out shout the deafening tempest. “Give me the shield!”

“I need to do this, Kowalski,” answered Nils forcefully. “But thanks for the offer.”

“Hand it over, sir,” Kal-El insisted. “A ship needs her Captain!”

“Get back to the others as soon as this is done,” replied the young CO, refusing to acknowledge him. “Contact the Hawking and let them know we did our part. And listen,” he added, holding up a hand to hold back any more protestations. “With the Orb fully exposed, this will only buy some time. If I’m not here to give the order, have Harry beam up our entire team the moment the interference allows.” With the new surge of polaric energy, communications had been reduced to zero despite whatever mojo Finn had conjured up to cut through the electromagnetic soup. Had he been thinking, he’d have told these orders to Jillian when he kissed her goodbye.

“Don’t talk like that, Captain,” yelled Kowalski. “You can give the order yourself.”

Nils only nodded. He supposed that it was possible. But the moment the tricorder was activated, the filament would reach out and call the mother of all lightning bolts down on his head. With the mission having fallen apart at the seams, he felt it was his obligation to do the dirty work for what amounted to another epic failure on his part. “Make sure this thing fires off, then go! That is an order Petty Officer.”

With that Nils forged ahead. The whipping torrent of soil and debris swarmed around his head lashing his skin and tearing at the false flesh covering his face. He tried to pull his hood around him for protection but he couldn’t get a handle on it. Its shape drew the wind like a sail, pulling the Bajoran along almost like a rag doll.

With great effort, Nils tugged the shield from his back and heaved it around in front of him. The wind threatened to tear it from his grasp. But he held fast. After activating the tricorder and initializing the program Javi and Kowalski had written he started to say a prayer – what he considered his final prayer. But before he could settle into it, another gust tugged at the shield once more, ripping at his hands and his concentration.

Then clarity struck him like the bolt of lightning he was hoping to summon…

Time slowed to a trickle as the events leading to this point came into clear focus. From the most profound and complex truths written in a prophecy centuries before… To the meeting they’d shared in the briefing room when their plan to disguise a tricorder in a shield solidified… Everything had a purpose…

And the aerodynamics of the shield made it perfect for sailing through wild winds. Nils couldn’t help but laugh.

With one final impatient jab he activated the pulse-to-pulse laser system under the shield, and then reared back with all the strength he could muster. Finally he swung his arm, releasing the potential energy stored therein and launching the shield into the wind. A sudden memory of skipping rocks with Jillian emerged from where memories hide and another layer of meaning wrapped itself around the moment.

The modified shield soared straight and true. Then, as if the moon had cast some great spear down from high orbit, a bolt of white light ripped through the sky and illuminated the plains. It lingered, pulsing as it grew in power and intensity. The sound was like a massive waterfall of glass crashing against stone, and the shockwave tossed the Bajoran back as if were nothing.

Light… And sound… Nothing else registered.

Until it was over.

The roar of the wind now seemed like a whisper in comparison with the cacophony that just ended. And Nils pulled his eyes open. He chuckled a little -glad to be alive- before rolling over onto his stomach and pushing himself off of the ground. He hobbled back to the cave where Kal-El still waited.

“How long?” He was certain he’d blacked out and was unsure if they’d achieved the desired duration. Anything less than their target would have a negligible effect on atmospheric conditions.

“Plenty of time…” The human was in awe. “More than we’d planned…” A subtle but stark smile stretched slowly across his face. “You looked like Captain America… And Thor… All wrapped into one…”

Featuring NPC Kal-El Kowalski.
Originally Posted 9/18/08 by Torrik Nils


USS Hawking
Bridge

Things were getting stupidly tight. Harry crossed from Tactical to Science to Ops and then spun around and made the arc again. “New options?” he snapped, as the Atar’a’kor continued to close in and the fireworks below continued to dance and O’Keefe’s scans continued to deliver no…

“They did it!” Excitement briefly transformed Jada’s features from their normal chill stillness, “They gave us an opening.”

“Drop shields,” Harry ordered Tenanji.

“Shields down, aye.”

“GO,” Finn spun back on the science chief but of course she was already…

"Initiating tractor emitter, locking onto coordinates displaying the highest density of polaric activity.”

Harry tapped his thigh trying to focus then the turned to T’Preen, “Away teams… the second we can get a lock….”

“Sir,” T’Preen nodded as she alerted both transporter rooms to prepare for a mass extraction.

“Finn!”

Harry turned to Tenanji, who’s own eyes were locked onto his console.

“Atar’a’kor is within firing range,” the lieutenant announced, “they have weapons charged and are targeting Hawking.”

“Give them something to think about. Photon torpedoes, full spread.” He didn’t call for evasive maneuvers. Hawking could either tractor off the subspace-warping protons or engage in defensive tactics. He wasn’t too worried, though. One small mercenary vessel against an Intrepid class starship…

The first Beradi strike sent a telltale shudder through the bridge. “Hold fast and remember, it could be worse,” Finn muttered.

Warof, at the con and working to maintain a stable geosynchronous orbit under fire shook his head, “How?”

Another shudder rippled across the bridge before the first officer responded, “Could be two of them.”

“Perhaps you should not have said that,” T’Preen announced calmly.

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Usher confirmed the bad news. “Another vessel, Beradi design, has just come out of warp on the outskirts of the Omiron system,” he said, “making speed for Girijan.”

=/\=The away teams are all aboard=/\= Chief Lottz came over the coms, =/\=along with Kamaal Bedie. A security detail is on the way.=/\=

“Copy that,” Finn responded then looked to O’Keefe, “Can we raise shields?”

“Not yet… the process is going to take some time… the buildup of energies is quite severe… and… I still haven’t ascertained how but the ionic flux is affecting the system’s sun… it’s… sir, it’s turning red.”

“Interior decorating not the issue now… contact the aerowing… they’re armed enough to sting… send them after the party crashers… don’t get stupid just try and distract them. I don’t want either of those ships anywhere near that orb.”

As T’Preen communicated Finn’s orders to Stryfe on the aerowing and the Hawking’s photon assault took out two of the Atar’a’kor’s disruptor banks and the Girijan sun deepened to a color reminiscent of Human blood, the Hawking took another hit, Harry wondered just when he was going to hit the bottom of this monumental pile of…

“Captain on the bridge,” T’thianco’s announcement snapped the XO to attention as the rumpled, windblown Devanagari-esque Torrik Nils entered the fray.

Harry and the NPC's bringing the weary travelers home.
Originally Posted 9/19/08 by Harry Finn


-USS Hawking-
-Transporter Room-

A hit to one of the ship's vital areas sent the away team falling about as the tremor from the blast knocked most of the returning team to their knees. Irritated that someone was damaging the vessel which had undergone major repairs less than a month before, the Chief Engineer uttered a curse then said, "Stop shooting holes in my ship!"

Before the group could split away and make for their shipwide action stations a high pitched yell came from the opposite side of the transporter room. Javier thought they might be under attack from a Beradi boarding party and noticed that some of the security contingent felt the same. Hamish tensed and pointed his phaser towards the sound but lowered it when a flying bunch of pink and gold descended on Kal-El.

"KAAAALLLLLEEEE-WAAAALLLLEEE!!!"

Kowalski had barely managed to drag himself from the floor and was in the middle of casting a disparaging remark at the transporter officer when the pink and gold tornado that was Darby Saunders landed on him. "I was soooooo worried for you," the woman said as she wrapped her arms around Kowalski's neck in a fierce choke-hold while planting kisses on the lips of the spluttering engineer.

If they hadn't have been in a ship battle, the scene would have been hilarious, and Javier might have stopped to have a chuckle at Kowalski's expense. But the Beradi weren't going to stop their attack for all the pink and gold clad welcoming committees in the quadrant.

"Kowalski, Mills get to Engineering ASAP!" Javier ordered. Kowalski happily disengaged himself from Darbs. "And you," Javier said as he turned to T'Shaini, his voice softening as Javier took the counselor's hand and gave it a quick squeeze. "Be careful." He leaned in and placed a quick, soft kiss on her lips. "And thank you.." Javier wanted to say more but another direct hit rocked the ship. He nodded at T'Shaini then turned and led his engineers to Main Engineering so they could swat this Beradi fly once and for all.

-Main Engineering-

"Hey Kal-El, nice face-lift.." Cadet Boyce remarked as Javier, Mills and Kowalski jogged into the room. Kal-El would have given the upstart a choice retort but he was out of breath and before he could a shower of sparks from a nearby console silenced Boyce. The cadet ran over to help another engineer, Oakley, lock out the corrupted console.

"Report," Javier ordered as he drew alongside Mustapha.

"The core has some minor fluctuations but is otherwise stable," Senior Chief Ibrahim told Lt. Costala. "We're re-routing power to give our phasers a little more punch and other than the odd overload we're fairing well. No major damage and.." Mustapha tapped the Master Systems Display, "there's something odd going on."

"How so?" Javier asked, concerned that one of the systems might have been faulty or incorrectly aligned.

"Paven was on the bridge in his..advisory role but he also helped to modify the tractor from the bridge engineering console. He says that the new Executive Officer is acting very..," Mustapha said, trying to voice Bayal's concerns without sounding mutinous. "PO Bayal said Lt. Finn seems nervous..while at other times he's.." The two men grabbed at the MSD to steady themselves as another hit shook the Hawking.

Costala glanced at the systems display then tapped his commbadge, =^=Costala to Bridge, we've rerouted non-essential power to the shields and phaser banks. Far be it from me to complain about being rattled around like a pair of dice but maybe we could go on the offensive now?=^=

Originally Posted 9/20/08 by Javier Costala


USS Hawking
Deck 15 Starboard/Aft Launcher

Jenny slid down the aft starboard launch tube’s access tunnel, eyes on the tricorder she held in her left hand while she kept her right on the ladder’s rail to guide and/or slow her descent as necessary. When the readings spiked she dug her toes into the ladder, yanked the tool kit to her front and started to remove the panel indicated and there, sure as shit, was the jammed torpedo. The firing tube had been blocked when a lucky hit from the mercenaries had dislodged a portion of the ODN trunk which had, in turn, dislocated a portion of the launcher just as the torpedo had been released and her warhead had armed itself upon collision… a collision which had also, in the way of most cascade failures, damaged the automatic disarm so now it was necessary to hit the kill switch manually before the detonation chamber blew and allowed the antimatter out and it was good-bye Hawking.

She was deeply aware of PO Govan’s presence at the top of the tunnel, ready to come to her aid if she needed or to sound an evac if she couldn’t get the weapon disarmed in time. He’d been released from his temporary quarantine just in time to accompany Jen and had been his usual silent self the entire time.

“So a guy walks into a bar with a metal box under one arm and a duck under another,” Jen began as she activated the plasma torch and started to cut through the torpedo’s casing. She’d have to do some serious torquing once she opened it up but better her than Koll or Jameson, both of whom had to squeeze just to get into the tunnel. Cutting away she continued telling herself the joke, in the age-old technique of stress relief, “if you give me a free bottle of beer I’ll show you my…”

=/\=… dancing duck=/\= came across the coms at the top of the access tunnel. Zal Govan kept his eyes on the launcher’s status and ears open for anything that hinted at detonation while Security’s most junior crewmember told jokes to an armed photon torpedo. =/\=So the guy puts the metal box… on the bar…=/\=

“How is it going, Anderson?” Govan asked, the pauses making him nervous.

=/\=Going good, just… trying to work my way to the disarming… control… crap, where was I?=/\=

Zal sighed, “The man put the box on the bar,” he informed Jenny calmly.

=/\=Right, thanks… the guy puts the metal box on the bar and stands the duck on top of it and a few seconds later the duck starts to… dance around like… like…=/\= A series of low curses filtered through, =/\=like he’s doing an Irish jig… almost, almost…=/\=

From the coms another sound, a kind of sparking hiss came through and the Hawking swung wildly as she took another hit. “Anderson?”

=/\=So the barman offers the guy 50 credits for the damn duck and the box… it’s okay, you can hold position, I just got a little singed… hit a circuit…=/\= he heard the soft hiss of pain before =/\=so the guy takes the cash and… leaves the bar. A few days later, the same guy comes back and the duck is still… dancinnng…=/\=

The com went quiet and the Cardassian contemplated sounding an evac… not that a detonating Mark 6 torpedo would leave that much time…

=/\=Got it… it’s off… she’s off…=/\= Anderson’s voice, a bit breathless, allowed him to set free the lungful of oxygen he’d been holding back. =/\= There’s just one problem.=/\=

“What, what problem, are you injured?” Zal started to climb into the tunnel himself, ready to haul the girl out by her foot if necessary.

=/\=I’m fine… I just can’t remember the punchline.=/\=

The normally dour petty officer grinned. “The bartender asks how to make the duck stop dancing on top of the box,” he told her, “and the man tells him it is quite easy… all he has to do is take the hot coals out.”

Featuring NPC's Jenny Anderson and Zal Govan
Originally Posted 9/20/08 by Harry Finn


-USS Hawking-
-Transporter Room-

There was a stunned silence following the exodus to engineering.

Leaning in closer to the counselor, Kerrin muttered out of the side of her mouth. "Red alert, schmed alert…after witnessing that I could die happy."

Keeping her face impassive for fear of being witnessed by the stricken Darby, T'Shaini merely nodded her agreement while Jason muffled a laugh behind her. "We should get Jason down to sickbay, he needs his leg attended to." And it would get the duo that was rapidly threatening to dissolve into laughter far away from the scene of the crime.

"Right, and I would like to check on Fehr…"

Jason, who had been about to make a comment about the beauty of his escort, frowned to himself before accepting the aid of T'Shaini and began to limp towards the door.

Tucking herself under his other arm, Kerrin threw her arm casually around Jason's waist as they made their way carefully down the hallway, the women trying to buffer the wounded archeologist from the rocking that occurred with each blow that buffeted the vessel.

T'Shaini felt her stomach clench with worry. "Once we have safely arrived at sickbay, if I am not needed there, I may go to the bridge…"

A grunt was the only acknowledgment that she received.

Suddenly, as the replay tape in her head flashed the phrase 'KAAAALLLLLEEEE-WAAAALLLLEEE!!!', Kerrin began to chuckle to herself again. When Jason looked down at her, she smiled up at him and sang. "Schadenfreude"

Grin spreading across his face, he finished "F**k you lady, that's what stairs are for."

Shaking her head at the pair dissolved into helpless laughter, T'Shaini kept moving.

They have known each other for far too long.

Featuring NPCs Jason Hallows and Kerrin Shaeffer…who are apparently well versed in 21st century musicals such as Avenue Q
Originally Posted 9/21/08 by T'Shaini


.:: Aerowing Shuttle : Above Storm ::.

Vince sat in the pilot's seat, behind him were the other four that he had brought along with him on the shuttle, to be a relay for the Hawking, and it's attempt to get the away teams off the planet, and back onto the ship. He adjusted himself in the seat, getting himself comfortable, about to partake in the same activity as his fellow crew on the shuttle, and catch some well deserved Z's.

He ran through a couple of quick scans, ensuring that everything would be working properly so that they could continue with the plan, then adjusted the seat to be more comfy.

The shuttle was quiet, save for the occasional hit of lightning from the storm, but the sheilds were holding up fine, so there were no worries from that. Vince layed his head back on the seat, and started to doze off. For the first time in over a day, he was going to get some sleep, but then the comm went off, and Vince rose up, shaking his head.

=/\= Lt. Stryfe, this is the Hawking. =/\=

Vince rubbed his eyes, then tapped the comm button on the console," This is Stryfe, and this better be good."

=/\= We have retrieved the ground crew, but we have a situation. There's another merc vessel heading our way.=/\=

" Ok, good to hear the crew's back onboard, I'll ready the shuttle and return to the Hawking…" Vince started to tap the console, but the comm was still open.

=/\= Well, Vince, we need you to intercept the other ship, and hold it up til we can deal with the first one, can you handle that? =/\=

A smile crept over Vince's face," Does a Star Ship float in space? Ofcourse I can, I'm on my way, Stryfe out!"

Vince closed the comm, then glanced over the readout of the second ship's location, then plotted his course. He turned around to wake up the other four, but decided that the speed at which he was about to take off, would do the job quite nicely. He turned and grinned as the shuttle eased it's way around, facing the direction of the second merc vessel, and launced the shuttle towards his target, throwing the other four to the floor, rudely waking them, but Vince didn't care.

The course they were on would have them intercepting the second vessel in under an hour, with hopes of keeping it out of the quarrel of the Hawking and the other merc ship…….

Originally Posted 9/21/08 by Vince Stryfe


USS Hawking
Bridge

Javier is in engineering, Kerrin and Jason are safely in sickbay…and Nils and Harry are on the bridge. It had been welcome news to the counselor that Harry, who Jason had been quite right about, had not only survived, but returned to the Hawking before they had. She certainly could not offer any assistance in engineering, nor was her aid required in sickbay…not that she would be needed on the bridge but at least there was an outside chance the Vulcan would have something to offer there.

Stepping onto the bridge T'Shaini movement was arrested by the sight on the viewscreen. The star at the center of the Devanagari system had blossomed to a virulent red. Time seemed to slow as she stared at the pulsating sun. Orders were shouted, the ship was still buffeted by the blows of the Beradi, she could feel the whirlwind of activity on the bridge, but all was superseded by the ominous view before her.

The Beradi.

The Beradi were a warrior race who's bloodshed was dedicated to their god. T'Shaini wondered if the offensive from the alien vessel was was in conjunction with the solar event, or it had preceded it. Absorbing the controlled chaos of the bridge in a red alert status, the counselor realized it was unlikely her question would be one of great importance at the moment. The Captain and the XO had been in close conference when she entered, but at some unseen signal they nodded curtly and turned away, Harry swinging around in her direction. A smile of relief that had spread across her face froze and her stomach lurched at the intensity of the gaze she received from him. Looking down to compose herself, T'Shaini looked back up to see nothing out of the ordinary in his looks. Perhaps it was my imagination. Shaking off the unsettled feeling T'Shaini walked over to him and grasped his hand in both of hers. "I am relieved that you are whole and well. Is there anything I can do?"

Originally Posted 9/22/08 by T'Shaini


Unhelpful Tears

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