TAC Lieutenant JG Soule Douglas

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Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Andrew Rice » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:00 pm

Soule was training with Vitro in the holodeck, using dual rattan's to practice coordination. They mirrored each other's attack patterns, constantly striking and blocking in quick succession; the clash of the sticks sounding an irregular beat.

"So the Orion women is in possession of the Captain?" Vitro asked politely.
"Lets not talk about that Vee..."
"People are anxious, Soule."
"I know."
"Is it not customary and prudent to discuss emotions, in order to dampen their effects?"
"It is... but it also forces you to focus on them."
"Is that so bad?"
"There is a time and a place... and that is not now..."
"Why?"
"Because emotions cloud judgement..."
"You are afraid the Captain will die."

"What! No... maybe... I dunno..." Soule paused. "I'm not his biggest fan... but I dont want him to die."
"So you are here to forget your anxiety."
"If you insist on calling it that..."

There was a sudden crack to the back of Soule's head, as Vitro had relocated behind him for an easy strike. "Ow... the hell was that for?"
"You are right... emotions cloud judgement. Perhaps I struck the housing for your anxiety..."
Last edited by Andrew Rice on Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

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Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Einar S » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:19 pm

hahaha, fantastic :)
Captain Jonathan Rome
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USS Hyperion

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Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Andrew Rice » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:39 pm

Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

Lieutenant
Pezzley Snipes

Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:49 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Stardate 11601.18

Postby Andrew Rice » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:49 pm

Soule was in his workshop; it was empty in comparison to when it was his quarters, there was still a mound of scrap metal in one corner, but besides that, only a desk with three monitors on remained. He was working frantically, trying to come up with a method of getting Danann back. Before him were literally thousands of files; one monitor was displayed the latest Adria intel, another was running simulations attempting to find improvements to Hyperion's tactical systems, but the center monitor was filled with schematics and limited test information on all the gadgets he had ever designed. He slammed his fist on the desk. "There has to be SOMETHING!" He sighed sadly. "Anything...."

Soule tapped his commbadge. "Soule to Vitro. Could you come to my workshop please."
In a brief moment, Vitro materialised on the opposite side of the desk. "How may I assist you Soule?"

"I can process visual information faster than most people, did y'know that?" Soule said cryptically.
"That is because you possess optical implants, as well as a fully cybernetic eye."
"Yes... but I'm still not fast enough." He turned the center monitor around so Vitro could see. "There are hundreds of gadgets and pieces of tech in my personal database, that I have designed... but I've never been able to test any of them, and I can't keep track of them all..."
"So you need me to find something of relevance?"
Soule nodded. " There has to be. I write down every idea that pops into my head... even if it's a doodle with some annotations... there has to be something that we can directly utilise right now..."

"May I say... you were not like this when the Captain was taken."
"We're aren't having this discussion right now..." Soule barked.
"But you seem far more emotionally invested in recovering Lieutenant Commander Danann."
"You're god damn right I am! That Orion has taken another one of our people... one of our friends... a part of our family! And unlike Jon, Adria will kill Niamh."
"If I may recall our discussion on emotions..."
"I don't have romantic feelings towards Danann if that's what your aiming at, Vee."
"Then why so...?"
"I don't know. There's something about her... maybe it's because she used to call me Blondie, or maybe I respect her and her morals and principles infinitely more so than I do Rome's.... the reason is not important... the fact of the matter is, she is in danger and we need to get her back!"

Soule slumped back in his chair. "When she was last taken, I promised I would keep her safe if anyone tried it again... my job is to keep everyone on this ship safe, Vitro... and I've failed." His head slowly sunk. "I've already lost two families this lifetime, buried more friends than I care to think about... I can't do that again... I wont. I wont let Adria rip this ship apart for her own amusement."

While listening intently, Vitro noticed a file name that piqued his interest. "Soule... what's a Ramraid torpedo?"
"There's no such thing as a Ramraid torpe.... wait..." Soule turned the monitor back around to look at the file. "You're a fucking legend Vitro... I'm sorry the senior staff give you a hard time..." He copied the file to a PADD, gave Vitro a comical kiss on the top his giant head and sprinted out of the room, poking his head back through the door moments later. "You coming or what?"
Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

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Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Andrew James » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:55 pm

Very nice log, I enjoyed that one.

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Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Einar S » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:38 pm

just got caught up :) nice log!
Captain Jonathan Rome
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USS Hyperion

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Part 1: Questions

Postby Andrew Rice » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:33 pm

Sasha was bored. To relieve this boredom she had decided to go be herself; by interrogating and pestering a particular someone she hadn't really given the time of day to yet. So she barged passed numerous people as she went on the hunt, not really caring about their presence, as she crisscrossed the corridors following her senses. She came to a stop at a junction, and grinned as her eagle eyes spied her target up ahead in the distance. Fleet footed as a cat she moved up the corridor, before dropping pace in line as she caught up.

"Hi there.... Isabelle." She said in her signature creepy tone.

Isabelle was at that moment on her way to the lounge after her shift, and was very much in her own thoughts as she walked down the corridor. Her heart was heavy after the day’s events. Adria had been captured, and Danann had been rescued, but her baby had been lost in the process. She jumped in surprise as Sasha crept up behind her and spoke, letting out a yelp. “Oh!” She turned and recognized Soule’s younger sister. “Um, Hi Sasha.. how are you?”

"I'm pretty good. Bored." She sighed. "Why is everyone so miserable around here?" She asked, inappropriately scanning Izzy's emotions, and making a note of the general malaise about the ship. "Only cheery ones around here are holograms... and a couple of cute Cadets." She grinned.

"So what's up, Doc? Soule not floatin' your boat anymore?"

“What? No.. That is.. I mean, we’re getting along just fine. Really well, in fact.” She was taken aback a little, but not completely surprised by the lack of tact in Sasha’s question. She had yet to develop that skill.. which she hopefully would as she got older. “You noticed the mood around here huh?” The young part-betazoid didn’t seem to miss much. “I’m just sad because of what’s happened with one of our senior officers. She’s going through a difficult time right now. Plus we’ve all been under a lot of stress lately.”

"Yeah... we noticed. Mordecai and I. He's sensitive to feelings of anger and distrust, I pick up on sadness and grief. There seems to be alot of it going around." She didn't seem to bat an eyelid to what she had said, as if she could detach herself from those feelings.

"Is that why you're off to the lounge? Get a stiff drink? Drown out the sadness of the day? Sounds like a marvellous plan, mind if I tag?" She batted her eyelashes to Izzy.

“Yeah, I’d say all of those feelings are going around the ship right now. I think we could all use a good shore leave..” The thought of a shore leave on Risa with Soule entered her mind briefly, before she focused back on Sasha. She gave a friendly smile to the younger girl. “Sure, you can come with me. I wouldn’t mind the company.”

Sasha raised her eybrow for a moment, making a slightly sickened groan, and decided not to read Izzy's mind for a while. "Swish. There's only so much time you can spend with two brother's and an automaton."

"So how do you people cope around here? How do you not go insane? You people need a holiday, get drunk more... and some people probably seriously need to get laid." She skipped along humming to herself innocently.

Isabelle just grinned at that. “You’re right..everyone has their own ways of dealing with it.” The doors to the lounge slid open as they entered. Several other officers were dotted around the room, enjoying their off duty time as a waiter threaded his way between them. “So,” she said brightly, changing the subject as they found a table and sat down, “What would you like? Tea? Chocolate? Something to eat?”

"I suppose... I'll have a cup of tea, since this place wont serve me alcohol; wont even serve me that synthahol crap." She plonked herself down and stared around the lounge. "I wish I knew how Soule supplied himself with unlimited booze, like he seems to."

Unlimited booze? Isabelle quirked an eyebrow, making a mental note to ask him about that sometime … “Oh really? I have no idea...”

"Have you never noticed? Glass of wine here, a bottle of Romulan Ale there... he always has plonk." She smirked. "You should totally probe him for answers; I'm sure he'll tell you anything..."

"Well, yeah, he's brought me a bottle of wine a few times. Never really thought about it actually.." As if on cue, a server came by and asked for their drink order just then. She held back the rest of her response as the waiter requested their order. "We'll have one english breakfast tea, and one tisane tilleul menthe." She grinned at Sasha as the server scurried off to the replicators to fill their orders. "So.. a secret bar in his quarters, huh?" Or maybe she didn't want to know.. Well, ok, maybe a little. "He'll probably tell me eventually, if I ask him..." The server returned with their drinks, placing the hot tea in front of them.

Sasha smiled at the waiter, and took a long sip of her tea. "I dunno. Big brother loves tryna be all mysterious and auteur all the time. I'm not sure whether he doesn't notice or just doesn't care, but it makes him seem like an arrogant asshole."

"But I look forward to hearing what you can pull from him. You can probably read him better than we can."

“He’s not. I don’t see him that way. He’s a good man. He might want to try to impress people sometimes, but it doesn’t mean he’s arrogant.”
She took the mug in her hands, breathing in the aroma of the linden and mint herbal tea. "So.. How have you and Mordecai been getting along here? Finding enough to do?”

A sly smirk crossed Sasha's lips; she had touched a nerve, and Izzy had changed the subject. "We're doing alright. Mordy and the holgram have started spending time together, which leaves me plenty of time for mischief. Like I said there are some cute cadets onboard; they're a bit dim, but they're pretty to look at."

"So what do you see in my brother? What draws you to him?" She leant in, eagerly waiting to see how many more nerves she could pull.

“He makes me laugh,” she said, after a sip of her tisane, borrowing Soule’s method for gathering thoughts. “And he makes me feel safe. I can’t say that about some men I’ve known. And there’s something about the way his eyes crinkle up when he smiles.. yes, both of them. He’s got a certain vulnerability, a certain gentleness that he tries to mask around other people; but I can see it,” she thought back to the time he’d come into sickbay just wanting to be able to sleep.. and how he’d held her hand as he drifted off; her face softened at the memory. “He’s not the just the tough guy that everyone makes him out to be, there’s more to him than that. I’m sure you know that too, being his sister. Plus, he’s always been kind to me.” She finished, hoping her answer satisfied Sasha for the moment.

Sasha's eye crinkled with glee as she was slightly taken aback, she wasn't expecting Izzy to push back quite like that. "I've just decide that I like you Isabelle." She sipped her tea innocently.

"I don't know him so well as you'd think; he went away somewhere for a long time, so we didn't see him growing up. And it's quite difficult to read his conscious mind, especially if he doesn't want you to. I'll tell you a secret..." She leant in even further and started whispering, before her voice faded and started to echo in Izzy's head. «Mordy and me used to read his dreams.» She began cackling slightly.

"Seriously though; Melly knows him best... I reckon she'll like you. She's the normal one out of us, minus how unbelievably saccharine she is. You wouldn't imagine she was one of us." She sighed. "But she never let us forget what Soule gave up for us to be here."

Sasha’s use of telepathy was disorienting, the words continuing to echo in her mind even as Sasha went on with the rest of her sentence, speaking normally. “Um.. dreams? Hm, he said he doesn’t have strong telepathic abilities.. but I can see how he was able to learn how to block it when he wants to.” She gave Sasha a look, as if to say that she shouldn’t be in other peoples’ minds without permission. She wasn’t sure how much she should tell his sister about where he went he left Betazed. She felt that maybe that would be a conversation best left between them.. From what she understood, his years spent with the Klingons had been difficult for him, yet some of the most formative ones of his life.

“He hasn’t talked much about Melly.. maybe just in passing. I’d love to meet her sometime.” She tipped her head in curiosity at the last sentence. “Gave up something? What did he give up?”

"You must be special." She ran her finger around the rim of the cup, as she thought to herself. "He doesn't usually talk about that stuff, and the nightmares he used to have...gave us nightmares; that's why we stopped."

She herself wasn't sure what Izzy knew about him, she suddenly became cautious. "He lost his hand and his eye... obviously... but he lost some part of him, deep down inside as well; so he ran off with a race of savages, in the hopes of finding it. I don't know if he found it, and if he did I can only guess he lost it again." She shrugged. "Which is why he's here I suppose. Starfleet is something to look up to I guess.... But..."

“His nightmares might explain why he was having trouble sleeping..” Something she’d been curious about before. He’d never fully talked about it, but it made sense. And how he was able to go into Mordecai’s mind to find him when he was injured.. that’s how his telepathic abilities manifested. Not in the waking world, but in the dream world..

“A home.” Isabelle said suddenly, with a flash of insight. “He’s been looking for somewhere to call home.. ”

"That makes sense I guess. Can't really call living with Djinni home... and we've all had nightmares because of her."

“Djinni? Your grandmother? He’s mentioned her, but I don’t know much about her, except that she’s betazoid..”

"It's actually a rule he has; we don't ever speak of her." She shifted in her seat uncomfortable, before nodding. "But yeah, full-blooded."

Isabelle nodded, noticing how she didn’t like talking about her grandmother. “It’s ok, he really hasn’t said much at all about her. I’ve gathered that it’s a painful subject, so I haven’t asked him much about it.”

"She's a bat-winged shark-lizard." She barked, finishing off her tea. "She was always horrible to all of us; a spiteful, vindictive old witch. But according to Melly, me and Mordy got off easy because we're telepaths, and Melly herself is an empath. Soule's neither, and he's the oldest, and he embodies the hatred Djinni had of our dad; because he was human. And she's a staunch Betazoid purist, believes in the old ways of the classes and castes and noble families..."

Her nose crinkled in disgust. "She calls Soule a mongrel, and a mudblood, and all sorts of other things. She used to have this thing call 'The Box'...." She trailed off a bit, eventually snapping herself back. "So yeah... pretty painful."

“Bat-winged..?” Isabelle wasn’t sure if Sasha was just exaggerating details.. or maybe it’s how she looked in the nightmares? “I.. um, I can see how Soule wouldn’t want to talk about her. And why he didn’t want to stay there.. That explains alot.”

"Constant fun in the family Douglas." She rolled her eyes. "So... would you and Soule ever get married? Are you willing to be part of the lunacy?"

“I.. uh..” Isabelle blushed. “That’s a big question, Sasha. Maybe something we should talk about between the two of us first..” She wasn’t quite ready to discuss that one with Soule’s sister, and especially not before she and Soule had talked. She got a glint in her eye as she thought about it, and everything it entailed..

"Sorry, I'm curious." She grinned. "Have you thought about it before?"

“I.. um, suppose I have..” She was still blushing. “I wasn’t sure if Soule was ready to think about that yet.. but maybe, when the time is right…” She still felt awkward talking about it with his sister, but she had a feeling Sasha was going to know eventually.

"Well... you'll have to ask him." She chuckled. "He is always full of surprises."

The doors to the lounge swished open, with Soule stepping through; quite calm and lackadaisically at first until his eyes locked on Izzy and Sash sat in the corner. A slight panic struck him, his mind running away with him at the possibilities of all the things Sasha could have said to Izzy. With a gulp and caution in his step, he moved towards the table.

Isabelle was about to reply, when she looked up and saw the familiar figure heading towards them. “I see.. speaking of…”
“Hey, Soule..” She stood up and greeted him, kissing him on the cheek.

Sasha turned away for a moment with a sly grin. She didn't need to be a telepath to know that Soule would suspect her of something, and that fact delighted her as she turned back; not dropping the grin and making eye contact.

Soule gave Izzy a peck on the cheek before Sasha's gaze caught him; his eyebrows furrowed, his heart rate climbed, and his jaw quivered slightly. "What... uh... what are you ladies doing? Not making mischief are you Sash." He squeezed Izzy's hand, giving her a nervous look.

“We’re just having tea, getting to know each other a little better. I ran into her on the way to the lounge.. well, she ran into me..”

"Oh... well... it's nice to see you two getting along." He forced a gleeful smile, still glaring at Sasha out of the corner of his eye.

«Why the long face brother?» Sasha echoed in his head.
«You damn well better not have upset her, or threatened her or insulted her in any way!» He 'yelled'.
«I was playing nice... You should totally marry this girl. I thought she was just some pretty doctor; turns out I quite like her.»
«It's none of your buisness... and I dont really think that's on her mind right now.»
«Oh really? You think?» She said sarcastically.

"Whats that supposed to mean!?" He exclaimed aloud.
«Oh, nothing...» She replied, again inside his head, whilst smiling innocently at Izzy, feigning shock at his outburst.

Isabelle glanced between the two of them as they glared at each other and had their telepathic argument. Not knowing what they were saying made it difficult to know how to respond, except to try to defuse the tension between the siblings. “Settle down you two.. Soule, it’s ok.”

Sasha polished the imaginary halo on top of her head. "Yeah, Soule. I'm just a sweet and innocent little girl... and I would never intentionally upset your beloved Imzadi."

"Mmmhm. Sure." He didn't know what it was, but that girl had an agenda. "Just remember... I know where all your baby pictures are."

"You wouldn't dare..." Her eyes sharpened like daggers. "Well, I know where all your's are! Isabelle.... wanna see pictures of a baby Soule?"

She giggled at Sasha. “I’ll let Soule show me his own baby pictures.. if he wants to.” She reached her arms around his waist in a hug, and nuzzled him on the shoulder. “I bet they’re cute.

"And on that sickeningly lovey-dovey note... I am outta here." Sasha stood up. "It's been nice talking to you Isabelle. See you later. Dont do anything I wouldn't Soule..."

"Hey... that's my line!" He called to her as she walked towards the door.

"Well I just co-opted it, player!" She shouted back over her shoulder, giving him the finger, as she strutted off and out of the lounge.

“Your sister actually did behave herself.” Isabelle said as she watched Sasha exit the lounge. “Well… mostly. We had an interesting chat. But she does ask a lot of questions..”

"What kind of questions?" His eye widened with concern. "She wasn't inappropriate was she?"

“Yeah.. mostly the inappropriate kind. She can be very persistent. I didn’t tell her anything I didn’t feel comfortable with though.. and nothing bad.”

He held Izzy's hands and swung them side to side, an enraptured look upon his face, sighing blissfully. "That's my girl."

"Although I'm certain she has some kind of agenda... it's great to see you two getting along. She gave you her seal approval, which makes her less difficult."

She beamed a smile at Soule. “Did she? So, I’ve passed her test then? That’s good to know.” She sighed happily and gazed up at Soule, still holding his hands. “So… are you hungry? How about dinner?”

"I can do dinner." He smiled. "So what exactly did she say that got you blushing? Your cheeks are still red..."

It was true.. her cheeks were still flushed from earlier. She looked around the lounge at the other officers scattered throughout the room, suddenly desiring more privacy. “Let’s talk about that over dinner…my quarters?”

He was a bit confused, but was not going to complain about spending time with Izzy. "Après vous, ma chère." He interlocked his fingers in her's and smiled.

She smiled back up at him, and leaned her head on his arm as they left the lounge, her cheeks still glowing...
Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

Lieutenant
Pezzley Snipes

Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:49 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Andrew Rice » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:56 pm

Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

Lieutenant
Pezzley Snipes

Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:49 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Re: TAC Lieutenant Junior Grade Soule Douglas

Postby Andrew Rice » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:24 pm

Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

Lieutenant
Pezzley Snipes

Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:49 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Meeting The Parents: Part 2

Postby Andrew Rice » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:26 pm

The train slipped northwest from Paris, past ancient stone-built villages and fields, canals, and the occasional herd of cattle. Outside the window, the English Channel approached as the tracks turned towards Calais. The train’s soothing rhythm had lulled Isabelle to sleep, her head resting comfortably against Soule’s chest.

Soule had with his fingers interlocked in her's, stroking her hand with his thumb. He had a smile on his face, Izzy was snoring lightly; it was cute. As the tunnel got closer and closer, it felt a shame to wake her, so he simply kissed her atop her head and settled in. "Just another hour or so."

“Hmm..?” She shifted and stirred, feeling the touch of his lips on her hair.
“I didn’t even know I’d fallen asleep.. where are we?”

"Calais. We're about a mile from the tunnel." He replied, still stroking her hand. "You must have enjoyed the nap... you were snoring. I can wake you when we're just outside London if you want." He smiled.

She giggled. “I was snoring? Well, I was having a good dream.. you were in it.” She grinned lazily up at him and pecked him on the nose. “I’ll stay awake though, I don’t want to miss the rest of the ride.”

"Oh really?" He smirked. "You'll have to share it with me later." He planted a wake up kiss on her lips.
“Later..” she winked.

The train sped through the last mile, then dipped into the tunnel, the clear light of Normandy giving way to artificial lights. The tunnel’s tube continued underground then emerged from the bottom of the channel with glass arching over the silver train, deep blue and green water swirling around them.

"Oh, wow." He gazed out, craning his neck up. "To think, this wasn't here when it was first built... they were missing out on something in the 20th Century..."

“I’m glad we’re not missing out.” She watched a school of silver fish shimmering in the water above them. “This is almost as good as exploring in a deep sea vessel.”

"You know what? That gives me an idea for new project, or something I can work into an old one." He grinned; like he didn't have a thousand unfinished projects already. "We've got to end up somewhere with an ocean that needs exploring, right?"

"So..." He oh-so subtly changed the subject, as they were progressing down the tunnel. "How are you feeling about meeting mum?"

“I admit I’m still feeling a little nervous, her being an Admiral. But I’m excited to meet her too. And she probably has lots of stories from when you were little..”

"Oh, yes. She has stories about me and the kids, my parents; she even has a few about Professor Hamlet and Captain Ilaihr." He smiled reassuringly. "She gonna love you. I've showed her a couple of pictures, so she already knows that you're the most beautiful girl this side of reality..."

She smiled, blushing a little at Soule. “I can’t wait to hear them. I really am looking forward to meeting her.” The train’s left the tunnel behind, shooting out into the daylight on the English side of the channel.

The train went through Folkestone in the blink of an eye, speeding up as it travelled through Kent on it's way to London. Even in this day in age, the English countryside was plentiful and green; rolling fields, interspersed by small and numerous wooded patches, with the odd village in between.

"It's good to be home." Soule smiled.

Isabelle wrapped her arms around his waist. “Which part of London are we going to?”

"We'll be getting off at King's Cross, which is pretty much the centre of the city." He thought about how large London actually was, and that it was quite a walk from the station; but he had a plan. "Babs lives in Kensington which is a fair distance, we could take the underground ... or... a nice long walk through the streets of London; swing by Selfridges and go through Hyde park?"

“Let’s walk. More time to enjoy the fresh air, feel the Earth beneath our feet. And shopping.. I won’t say no to that..”

"I thought you'd like that idea." He pecked her on the nose.

A jingle came over the intercom, followed by a dulcet woman's voice. "We will be arriving at King's Cross station in fifteen minutes. We hope you have enjoyed your journey, and have a wonderful day."

Fourteen and a half minutes later, Isabelle stood and stretched as the train pulled to a stop. She reached up and opened the overhead. “Let’s see what London has to offer.”

"It would be my pleasure." Soule jumped up, taking the bags Izzy passed to him, and slung them over his shoulder. "Although, I do already have everything I could ever need." He winked at her. "Except flowers... need to get some chrysanthemums."

“For your mum?” She stepped onto the busy platform, holding the doors open for Soule.

"Yeah. Even has it in the name." He chuckled at his own bad joke, and stepped out behind her. "They're her favourite... or she's been humouring me all the times I've gotten them for her." He shrugged with a smile.
He locked his arm around Izzy's. "Let's go shopping, shall we?" Those were words he never thought he'd say.

She laughed. “Mums.. perfect choice,” she replied, grinning. “Lead on..”

As they left the station, it was clear they were in an enormous city. There were dozens of train stations in London, yet there was still thousands of people in and around King's Cross. There were gigantic galaxyscrapers clearly visible in the sky, that were themselves miles away. And the architecture of the buildings was a mix of the very old to the very new, from the Stuart period to the latest designs.

"So, what are we shopping for?" Isabelle asked as they entered the enormous doors of Selfridges, a dizzying array of choices before them.

"Whatever those diamonds in your eyes are drawn to. I mean, this place still takes currency on certain things... but that is not a problem." He smiled. "So splurge... whatever beckons you."

“Hm..” she said, looking around, reading a sign. “Formalwear…" She looked towards a pair of holographic models in a display; the woman clad in a beautiful long dress, and the man wearing a tuxedo.

Soule arched his eyebrow at the clothes Izzy had eyed up, imagining he and Izzy in them in place of the holomodels. "They are very much in the vein of the nineteen thirties...." He said, examining them from different angles, and noticing the actual price tag; one strip and fifteen slips of latinum for the tuxedo, and ten strips for the dress. "What do you think? Do you want the dress?"

She stood for a few moments taking in all of the details of the dress; the bias cut made it drape spectacularly, shimmering over every curve. “It is very beautiful. And you would look amazing in that tuxedo, especially with a blue silk handkerchief.” She smiled at him. “Let’s get them. For our wedding..”

He gently took her hands in his, swinging them side to side. "Ok." He stared into those shimmering crystal blue eyes of her and smiled. "I dont need anymore convincing... well, maybe one more bit." He smirked.

She stood up on her tiptoes and draped her arms around his shoulders. “I see… like this?” She kissed him on the lips, ignoring the stares from the other shoppers..

"Mmmm... definitely convinced now." He lifted her off of her feet, savouring the moment and the kiss. "We best go pay for these then." He patted his bag as he slowly let her down.

After paying for the dress and tuxedo, they passed by a flower stall and picked up some chrysanthemums, before continuing on their way to Kensington. Soule hailed down a horse drawn carriage as they entered Hyde park, it seemed like a nice way to travel.

Luggage and wedding garments stowed, flowers bought, and feet rested, Isabelle relaxed, thoroughly enjoying the carriage ride. The sleek horses trotted along in a jingling rhythm driven by top-hatted driver. Ancient trees rose up on either side of the path and old landmarks mixed with new. Kensington palace was still the same as it ever was, its sprawling wings and gardens marking the edge of the park.

The carriage came to a gentle halt, the horses nickering and shaking themselves off pridefully. Soule slipped the driver a strip of latinum, and held his hand out as Izzy came down the carriage steps.

"That was really lovely, thank you." She kissed his cheek, then took his hand as they walked away from the park into Kensington.

" So,” she asked the question that had been burning in her mind.. “when do you think we should get married?"

"Well..." He actually looked stumped. "Before I asked you, I had this plan in my head. Get the ring, find time to whisk you away, meet your parents, ask them for their blessing, and then wait for the perfect moment." He smiled, as they turned down a number of streets and passed St Mary Abbot's church. "In all of that I never thought that far ahead."

"We don't have decide right away, but I was just thinking.. if we can get back here to Earth, maybe in the springtime?”

"I would marry you anytime, anywhere; as long as you were there." He pulled her closer, wrapping his arm around. "Springtime it is." He smiled gleefully. "Now the question is where?"

Over looking the garden of the church, amongst a row of houses called Draston Mews, was Barbara's flat. It was unsuspecting and surprisingly modest looking compared to the rest of the area, it looked well lived in and much older than the other buildings. "Here we are."

She smiled. “Good, I’m glad the When is settled. As for the Where.. Hm.. we’ll have some time to think about that..“ She leaned her head on his arm as they walked, feeling blissful. “And we’ve got something to wear now too..”
She looked up at the flat as they approached, suddenly getting butterflies, attempting to comb her windblown hair with her fingers.

"Are you ready?" He asked reassuringly. "You'll do fine."
She took a deep breath, patting her hair back into place and gave him a smile. “I’m ready.”

They walked up the few stone steps, Soule reached out and grabbed the knocker, and was barely able to tap once before the door swung open. The pair were met by the soft and warm eyes of the admiral.

"Soule!" She said joyfully, her arms held out high as she pulled him into a hug. "Its good to see you, sweetheart."
"Hey mum." He replied cheerfully.

They exchanged a kiss on the cheek, before she quickly put him to one side; her eyes fixating on Izzy. "And you must be Isabelle." She almost squeaked with excitement, but managed to maintain her grace and composure. She took Izzy's hands pulling her closer, in order to inspect her. There was a tense few seconds of silence as Barbara looked her over, before her smile widened. "You're just as beautiful as he described."

"I showed you pictures!" Soule exclaimed in an unusually high voice.

"I was judging her character, dear." She off-handedly patted him on the chest, still looking at Izzy. "And, you are also very pretty; which his pictures simply do not do justice. Now..." She let Izzy go and clapped her hands together. "In you both come, before we get stuck here chatting forever. And, I have another guest waiting upstairs. So come, come."

“Thank you, Ma’am. It’s a great pleasure to meet you.” She smiled at Barbara, feeling much more at ease. Soule’s mum was just as kind and warm as he had described. She looked around the flat as they stepped over the threshold and up the stairs. “You have a lovely home.”

"There's no need to call me ma'am, or admiral; call me Babs. And thank you, I've put some work into restoring some of it's original Victorian features; it had not been treated well over the years before I got it."

She ushered the pair of them upstairs and into the living room, where there sat a pretty young woman with long golden hair and familiar piercing blue eyes.

She’d been much younger in the photo of their family, but her features still looked very much the same, with a striking resemblance to Soule. “You must be Melly. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Isabelle extended her hand with a tone of recognition in her voice. “I’m Isabelle.”

Melly shook Izzy's hand, very happy to meet her, but she was displeased at Soule; a fact she did not hide. "It's so good to meet you. I would say he's told me so much about you, but I was told of you by Mordecai... because someone hasn't spoken to me in over a year." Her smile at Izzy turned to a glare at Soule.

"You were...always...busy?" He shrugged, getting exponentially less confident with each word.

"Excuse me Isabelle. Please do not take what is about to happen, as a reflection of my opinion of you, or about what Mordy said." She then stood up passed Izzy, swiftly closed the gap between her and Soule, cushion in hand, and began severely beating him with it.

"Ow... ow..." He groaned, the cushion continuously hitting him in the face.

"YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!!!" She screamed at him, as he slowly sunk to the ground. "And you didnt even tell me you'd met someone!"

Barbara just stood in the corner watching the exchange, her cheeks red with hysterical laughter. "They'll be at this for while Isabelle, would you like a cup of tea?"

Isabelle stood in shocked silence for a few seconds, eventually standing there with her hand over her mouth also red-cheeked and her eyes glinting with amusement, trying not to let Soule see that she too was bursting out into laughter as he got pillow-thwacked by his sister. She gratefully accepted the invitation. "I.. " she couldn't stop giggling.."um, brought you.." more giggling.."something for tea." She held up a cardboard box that she'd been carefully guarding throughout the journey from France, wrapped in a bow. "An assortment from the patisserie in my hometown." She had a wide grin on her face as she looked towards the fighting pair in the living room. "when they're done, I'm sure they'd like some too.."

Barbara's eye beamed wide at the box, her tongue moved around visibly inside her closed mouth. "Goodies! I do like my food. These will go nicely with a properly brewed pot of tea. Thank you, my dear."

"Your lucky I don't go all Vulcan combat training on your ass, bitch!" Melly shouted at Soule, interrupting Babs' train of thought.
"Please... stop... hitting me... its really... inconvenient...." Sounded Soule's muffled voice, dampened heavily by the continuous whoosh of the cushion.

"They're just like their mother." Babs smiled although an instance of sadness briefly sparked in her eyes. "Pack it in now you two." She barked playfully at them.

"Ok Babs." Replied Melly, stopping immediately. "I'm done with this punk anyway." Getting in just one more massive thwack, before plodding back to her seat.

"Just like their mother?" Isabelle grinned. "You must mean feisty.." She grinned at the fighting pair of siblings, scooching over so that Soule could sit beside her.

"Indeed." She smiled. "Although, those two in particular are just like their dad aswell." She trotted off, leaving the box on the coffee table, to go put the kettle on the stove in the kitchen. She hummed to herself happily as he went.

Soule in meantime, finally managed to get up from the heap he'd managed to get himself into, brushed himself down and found his seat beside Izzy. "I'm sorry you had to see that... I mean I coulda taken her, but, what do you do against a pillow?"

"So, Mordy tells me..." Melly starting saying to Izzy, but glaring at Soule. "...That you're a Doctor. So how many times have you had to stitch him up?

“Hm..” Isabelle counted on her fingers..”well, let’s see.. one concussion, a broken hand.. and then there was combat training during the war…” She ran out of fingers. “He’s been busy.” She grinned at Soule, tickling his cheek. “Those pillows are vicious..”
“So, Melly, what do you do on Vulcan?”

"He always was. Its a little strange, he always gave me the impression he was afraid of doctors..." She replied, before being cut off.
"I'm not afraid of Doctors..." She then cut him off.

"Silence, man-face!" She barked at him, leaving him frowny and shot down. "Anyway... he's always patched himself up, barring a few major incidents. Get used to prodding him an electric stick and hypospraying him; he always resists the severity of his injuries until it gets bad. Cuz despite his intelligence... he's an idiot."

"Now hang a minute..."

"Women are talking Soule!" She pressed her finger to his lips, before continuing. "But he's a lovable idiot I suppose." She let him go and relaxed again.

"Most recently I've been at the Vulcan Science Academy from Starfleet Academy, studying Quantum-Subspace engineering; which is basically just fancy words for the warp core and energy production, and the QSD and the likes. But... I'm taking a sabbatical and studying Xenobiology and Xenoanthropology at the minute; it's nice to take a break from mathematics."

“Ahh, Vulcan science academy. Excellent.. It’s quite an honour to study there.”

“Believe it or not, your brother is full of surprises...” She winked at Soule, taking his hand. “The first time I saw him was when we were both cadets. His prosthetics had failed on one particularly disastrous away mission, and he was out cold; when he woke up in sickbay, you’d think we were Jem-Hadar by the way he reacted.
“Then later on, our captain ordered him to do some emergency medical training. He’d shown some promise when we had a shipwide power outage and there were no doctors available; I had gone to the bridge and he was in the lounge doing triage. He trained in sickbay every day for about two weeks, and by the end of it.. I think he actually enjoyed being there. That was when we started getting to know each other... He started coming into sickbay on his own after that.”

Melly was nodding and smiling at the story, knowing Soule hadn't changed. She shuddered at the mention of the Jem-Hadar; where Soule had made his peace with them, she wasn't quite there yet.

"In all fairness, I thought it was the Borg." He gave a big toothy smile to calm her down. "I thought I was gonna get one of those Borg arms, that for some reason thought would be cool when I was a kid."

Melly chuckled, feeling more at ease again. "And you thought you could punch your way safe, from the Borg?"

"I would totally fight my way out of a hive. I'll have you know!"

"Does he try to be all macho around you as well?"

“She grinned at Melly. "Yeah, but I can usually tell when he's bluffing.. " She pecked Soule on the cheek.

"I never bluff..." He looked shocked, puffing himself up to look bigger.

"See... lovable idiot. Good luck with him Isabelle, it'll never be dull." Melly laughed.

Isabelle laughed with Melly. “I hope not.“ She could tell they were going get along just fine..

That moment, Barbara came in with a tray full of teacups, a jug of milk and a freshly brewed pot of tea. "Do you take sugar with your tea, dear? I know these two don't."

“I’ll take honey, please.”

"Oooh, someone else who likes a bit of something else in their tea." She chuckled. "The English are sticklers for their tea, and don't deviate from their patterns."

"We like the tea the traditional way." Soule and Melly said in unison.

"I'll go get the honey." Babs smiled, patting Izzy on the shoulder before rushing off again.

“I like your mum very much. She’s really nice. You were right, there was nothing to be nervous about,” she said to Soule whilst Babs was in the kitchen.

"I was in no doubt." He winked at and wrapped his arm around her affectionately, as Babs returned with the honey.

"Oh, you two do make a cute couple." She preceded to put the honey in two of the teas, and two lumps of sugar she pulled from somewhere into the one she declared her own. She took her tea, and plodded over to her large reclining chair. "I can see why you went through all the trouble of getting that ring."

Isabelle looked curiously at Soule as she took one of the honeyed teas. “Oh? How so?” She had been wondering about that herself.

Melly glanced at the ring quickly and smirked. "Thats Coco's ring, she gave it to our dad to give to our mum... he would have had to get that off of Djinni. Coco was her mother."

"And she was not best pleased at him demanding it from her." Babs continued. "Was she Soule?" He just stared at the ceiling, trying to look all innocent, quietly whistling to himself.

"You went to Djinni?" Isabelle was awed, knowing how much courage must have taken.. how difficult it must have been to face her.

Did you consecrate yourself with holy water?" Asked Melly.

"No. I would have cut off one of her heads had I had my sword on me at the time." He laughed. "But in the end, all she gave me was a headache and a nosebleed."

"And then you came to me to get patched up, after she sent some thugs to intercept you." Barbara interjected, shaking her head at him.

He looked around at the three women, and sipped his tea resolutely. "It was fine..."

Isabelle looked confused, glancing between them and processing what was just said. "Holy water? Heads? thugs?..patched up?" This was beginning to sound like a greek myth - defeat the evil monster and get the ring.. "Well.. in spite of how wise it may or may not have been to fight her, and.. never mind that I'm still trying to work out how a betazoid woman can have more than one head and bat wings - you really will have to explain that one to me sometime..; it was very brave, and sweet.. and I love you for it.” She leaned over and kissed him full on the lips.

Melly looked away awkwardly at the sight of her brother kissing someone, whereas Babs smiled at how happy the pair were. Soule just smiled away, mesmerised by his beloved. "And I love you."

Barbara sipped her tea, and decided to ease the young woman's mind. "Djinni Mazikeen is no different from any other Betazoid. They just like to describe her in colourful ways, to explain her legendarily rotten personality." She smiled, again sipping her tea.

“Ah, ok, that makes sense.” Isabelle chuckled, nodding at Babs. “It is certainly a colourful metaphor.” She took a sip of her own tea, then opened the pastry box and passed it around to each of them. ”So, on the subject of things that are now in the past.. “ and because she didn’t want to darken the day with more talk about Djinni.

“I’ve been wondering, do you have any of Soule’s baby pictures..?”

"Oooh! I have waited for this day... Mellissa, go get the photograph book from the credenza!" She squeaked excitedly.
"Yes ma'am...!" Melly replied, dashing off mischievously to.

Soule quietly ate a pastry, trying desperately not to blush a scarlet red, slinking slowly into his seat.

Isabelle looked up eagerly as Melissa brought over the book and set it on the table.

"Look Isabelle. He's already going red." Melly chuckled and pointed at him, as she opened the book to the first page, showing Izzy. It was a picture of Kimberly, their mother, holding a newborn Soule. "Wasn't he tiny?!"

“Awwwww.“ In the photo, His mother was holding him across her chest, her eyes looking down at him. Hours old, eyes barely open in a sleepy newborn face; he had the barest wisps of fine white blond hair, chubby cheeks, a button nose, and teeny tiny fingers curled around his mother’s thumb. “Incredibly cute..”

Barbara came over and started helping the girls flick through the book, smiling all the while. "He was a little tyke; his mum and dad always came to staff meetings looking exhausted, because he kept them up all night."

"Awwww!" Melly squeaked. "Look at his dinky feet, and his little shoes!"

Soule just hid in the corner of that chair, zoning out into the distance; the Pandora's box that had been opened, haunting him.

"What the hell is that thing he's cuddled up to?" Melly chirped loudly as she turned the page, looking at what was essentially a grey sabre-toothed bear.

"Ooooh, that's a Vulcan Sehlat. What was it’s name?” Isabelle asked Soule, trying to draw him back into the conversation. In the photo, little Soule was happily curled up next to the creature; the sehlat was about three times his size.

"Ummm." He leant over Izzy's shoulder to look at the picture. "That's Sethekk." He said cheerfully. "I remember him... I don’t know where he came from..."

"An uninformed cadet found him as a pup, brought him aboard, and didn't know how big he was going to become; that's not even him fully grown yet." Babs chuckled. "I had to take him... although he spent more time in your parents' quarters, cuddled up to you."

“He was certainly adorable.. I can see why.” She twined her fingers in Soule’s, cuddling up next to him. “Having a little one on the ship must have made life interesting, with him pressing all of the buttons.”

"I was never a fan of having children aboard starships; I always thought it was reckless and the like. But once you have them, it's never the same without them." She had another brief, sad look in her eye, before shaking it off by flicking through the album. "And he always pushed the buttons, just like his Dad... and explored the four corners of the ship, just like his mum. It was even more eventful when Mellissa came along."

“Especially how unpredictable life on a starship can be..” Isabelle said softly, thinking of the devastating outcome of their last mission; and catching Barbara’s sad look, thinking of another devastating outcome many years before. “But it’s true.. it never is the same without them.”

"They're worth the trouble." She bit her lip, given the subject, she restrained herself from asking the pair the question on her mind. "You find in our line of work, they help you answer burning questions; their questions and answers seem so simple, yet can end up so profound and meaningful."

Isabelle nodded, mulling over Barbara’s words. “They are worth it…” she said simply, looking up at Soule. “Definitely worth it.”

Melly started laughing in hysterics; overhearing what Babs and Izzy were saying, looking over at a bemused Soule. "Can you imagine the things that would explode if Soule was a dad?! I can picture little ninja attack babies on flying holographic teddy bears!"

Soule raised his finger, as if to counter her, before slowly lowering it and glaring at her; unable to refute the possibility.

"Ohh.. " Isabelle looked at Melly, bemused. "Not as far as I…” she trailed off, glancing at Soule.

"I was just wondering, by the way you were talking..." She was cut off by a cushion straight to the face.

"Quiet time, Melly. Too personal." He informed her, with added eyebrow expressions. "Besides, what makes you think they'd be teddy bears... why wouldn't it be dinosaurs? Have you met me?"
Vincit Omnia Veritas - The truth conquers all things.

TAC - LtJG. Soule Douglas - USS Hyperion NCC-77989 / S.T.A.R. ECS
ENG - Lt. Ilaihr - USS Atlantis NCC-1021-D
CSO - LtJG. Hamlet - USS Sentinel NCC-79088

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