Zero Logs

Forum for the U.S.S. Hooke, running every Thursday at 2000 UTC. Talk about your missions and your crewmates here, or feel free to post your logs for everyone to read.
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Zero Logs

Postby Andrew James » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:49 am

Post any introductions to your Hooke assigned characters in here!

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CO Cmdr Kesh Suder - Zero Log

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:52 am

NOW:

Six rounds... she thought, panting, reminding herself what this exertion was all in aid of. Six rounds, that's nothing. You've seen worse...
She licked her lips, tasting the salt of her own sweat, and took a moment to re-strap her knuckles. "Computer-" she croaked, but was held from finishing her order by the sound of the holodeck door humming wide.

"Commander Suder?" the young blue-skinned Ensign asked as she took sight of the cave complex, the burning torches, the dank atmosphere and the blonde woman within. The Bolian stood in the hall outside the holodeck and clutched a PADD to her chest warily. Suder couldn't help but smirk at the younger woman's body language. "I don't bite, c'mon in", she replied, raising a hand to accept the PADD.

The Ensign took a small step inwards, then another. Realising this might take all day, Suder advanced, accepting the PADD with a small nod. She could hardly blame her, really. Kesh Suder was betazoid. That alone was usually enough to make non-telepathic races feel under scrutiny, but in addition, the Commander was currently dressed in black combat gear, worn, battered, beaten combat gear. Combat gear that had clearly seen her through more than just six rounds of hand-to-hand on the holodeck. Plus, as the Bolian's eyes couldn't fail to spot, she had a split lip and a battered, old mek'leth strapped to her thigh.

Suder glanced up from the PADD's contents and blinked. "Does he need a response right now?"
"No ma'am. He said you had 5 minutes to decide."
Suder laughed sharply. Typical of the Admiral. A choice without it being much of a choice.
"Tell him 'Yes', then. But I get to pick my XO."
"He er..."
Kesh groaned inwardly and leaned back on a boulder. "Go on..."
"He said you'll like who he's chosen as your next in command."
"Right. Fine. Thank you Ensign er..."
"Maden, sir, ma'am..."
"Dismissed."

Maden left Suder alone in the holodeck facility of Spacedock once more. She remained where she was leaning. "I will like my XO, eh?" She found herself shaking her head wryly. "Was that a promise, or an order, Admiral...?" she chuckled to herself.

Suder stood, twisted her shoulder, allowing her neck to crack and relieve the tension that was building up. She placed the PADD carefully on the boulder and stepped forward, clenched her fists, preparing for the next round...

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Re: Zero Logs

Postby C. J. Short » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:56 am

He'd awoken with a start, his heart pounding, his body covered in sweat. He looked around the empty bedroom, trying to get his bearings. It all trickled back to him soon enough; he'd had another one of those dreams. He was good for one or two a month. He assumed it was just luck that he'd had one that day.

Henry sat up on the edge of his bed, closing his eyes as his pulse slowly calmed, wiping what he assumed was perspiration out of his eyes. This had become a thing with him; it had been nearly a year, and it was becoming apparent that this would be part of him forever. He had come to accept that, at least somewhat. True acceptance took time, but he'd made himself cognitively comfortable with the idea. Sort of.

He stumbled his way to the sink, splashing a bit of cold water on his face, as one usually did when they needed to wake up. Acceptance or no, he wanted to distance himself from that dream as quickly as possible.
---

It was a new program of his: a mile-round track of randomly changing landscapes and obstacles. He'd enjoyed his old skyline workouts, but they'd become a bit too predictable. This one lacked the finish of the old ones, but it was never boring, especially on the occasions Benson decided to join him.

"Oh shi-!" exclaimed the stockier man, as he toppled over a large cube that had just sprung up in front of him.

"Gotta pay attention, Thomas," Henry mocked with a laugh. "Over or around the ground obstacles."

"I hate you!" was the only reply. They finished the three-lap run soon after. For all his difficulties, Benson had kept up admirably, and was starting to look a lot more fit than he had been. He'd taken the Kraken's loss hard, and had let himself go a bit in grief.

"Computer, bench," Henry called, and the two sat and huffed, slowly starting to cool down and catch their breath.

"So, today's the day, huh?" Benson asked.

"Supposed to be."

"Gonna be weird."

"A little." Henry looked over at Thomas and patted him lightly on the shoulder. "We're gonna be fine," he said.

"If you say so. I suppose you have inside information?" Benson asked.

"Maybe a little."
---

"Gentleman, your assignments," said an elderly, dark-skinned Admiral, handing PADDs to both Henry and Thomas. Henry scrolled through the boring bits, and brought up some information on the ship.

"Thank you, sir," said Thomas.

"The Hooke," Henry said, not overly familiar with the ship.

"You too?" asked Benson.

"That was the inside information," Henry clarified. "Let's see. Captained by one..." Henry shook his head lightly, looking up at the admiral with a bemused smirk. Thomas looked over Henry's shoulder.

"Well. This'll be fun."
Last edited by C. J. Short on Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zero Logs

Postby Jack Lucas » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:17 pm

D'MERA - Orion TAC - USS Hooke - 11402.07


She knelt over farther, tapping away at the PADD in front of her. Beeps and buzzes emitted from the large oval transporter pad in front of her. The glow of the pad lit up her green eyes and her green skin. She had sharp features, and her eyes gave away nothing.

D'Mera felt humiliated, but she didn't let her face betray her. She remained stoic, bent over the pad like an animal, his eyes fixed on her.

The Ensign at the console was a pig, but he was her superior. Manually degaussing transporter pads with a micro-resonator was an old Academy trick used by upperclassmen or faculty to punish wayward cadets. D'Mera didn't feel like a wayward cadet. She didn't act like one either. This Ensign was simply abusing his power to get a better look at her bottom. So she gave it to him.

Two hours earlier, she'd assumed he'd be bored by the view before she was finished. Instead, he'd invited as many passerby in for a chat as he could.

Humiliating. But her face was stern.

The transporter pad banged with a loud buzz that shook her PADD off its perch. She retreived her tools and returned them to their stow, in the panel next to the transporter pad. She stood, without a gripe, and turned to the Ensign.

"Anything else, sir?"

He's a burly man, hairy at the neck and filling every inch of his extra large uniform. He looks her up and down, satisfied, mostly with himself. "That will be all, Cadet." He turns back to his console with a sly grin.

She steps forward, pursing her lips. "You know, Ensign..." She steps between him and his console, "This is my last week at the Academy, before I leave for Spacedock."

She leans her arms back on the console behind her and slips her leg out in front of her along the floor. The Ensign's eyes goggle from his head as he stammers for words.

"I was hoping you'd called me down here to say goodbye." Her tongue lingers on the edge of her teeth. She adopts a cooing voice, "But I spent all... that... time... bent over the transporter pad, that now I've got to go take a sonic shower... Pity you're still on duty."

She pinches his chin with her fingers as she slides out from in front of him and walks toward the doorway.

It slides open with a whoosh, as she leans into the doorjam, she turns her head back and mimes a kiss face.

The burly man tries to muster some words, and may have even said "I could..." but it didn't matter...

D'Mera stepped out into the corridor. "Enjoy the rest of your shift, dirtbag" she says to herself as she drops the smile and regains her rigid, disappointed look.

She could have just "beamed" back to her room from the transporter room, the Ensign would have surely obliged her... But the long walk back to her dormitory would give her time to reflect. She had become unfortunately comfortable with the way some of her peers treated her. It was by far a very small minority, but there were, nonetheless, those who thought less of her because of the way she looked. Orion Females, though the heads of their society, were treated as objects in the Federation, it seemed. By no fault of her own, D'Mera was cursed with a shapely body and a pretty face. Weapons or tools for an Orion Slavemaster, but for her, just a way to be minimalized by her colleagues and superiors.

The rumors of "Orion Slave Girls" and their charms were rampant still, despite the almost common knowledge that these "slaves" were the ones in charge, using their biological advantages to burgle, steal and kill. On her own, she must seem so vulnerable to these people.

A starship could solve all this. The crew of a starship would be far less demeaning and critical of her. They wouldn't force her to wear a pheremone inhibiting device, which D'Mera had begrudgingly worn, as required by her teachers at the Academy. She wouldn't be ogled. No more lingering eyes or errant hands finding a pinch of fabric. On a starship, she'd be respected as a Starfleet Officer.

Respect was something D'Mera found in short supply. That's not to say that she didn't have any, she was an Academy Police Cadet, and well respected for her hand to hand combat prowess. But to those outside of her classes, it was just the green skin and the curves.

She walked to her dormitory door and it whizzed open on its own. Her roommate, a young Bajoran second year, looked up from her PADD.

"What was it this time?" the roommate asked.

"The jerk made me degauss the transporter pad on my hands and knees." D'Mera unzipped the front of her cadet jacket.

"What a Targ. You should report him." she shot back.

"It's not worth it. I'm leaving all this behind in a week anyway." D'Mera quipped, suddenly realizing she'd just fired a barb right at her roommate... "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. I am going to miss you."

The Bajoran tilted her frown to a shy smile, "It's ok. I'm excited for you. Have you gotten an assignment yet?"

"No. But I'm hopeful. Anything but an Earth post." She crosses her fingers and holds them up.

The Bajoran roommate smiled and turned back to her PADD. D'Mera removed her Cadet uniform jacket to reveal a black turtleneck shirt below. She hung the jacket from a peg in wall as she crossed their suite into the bedroom. The door brushed open and shut behind her.

She looked at the long mirror at the foot of the bunk bed, and sized herself up. She sharpened her eyes and pressed her palms together. She quickly broke and entered a combat stance, floating her arms in front of her like claws.

"batlh, jagh HoH jIH!" She said to the mirror as she began to sweep fluidly across the floor, almost dancing. It was Mok'bara, from which she garnered an inner piece. She grunted each time she swung her arm through the air, slowly and sharply.

DOO beep.

The door chime. She had barely worked up a sweat. She stepped back towards the door to the suite, it slipped open.

"Come?" she says, noting her roommate still at her desk. Her eyes fixated on the main doorway.

The door remained closed, but a bright light was blinking on the console near the door. D'Mera stepped forward and pressed the LCARS console. Her eyes opened widely.

"The USS Hooke!"
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Re: Zero Logs

Postby Andrew James » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:46 pm

I'm enjoying these, keep it up!

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Re: Zero Logs

Postby Einar S » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:54 pm

Eight months ago...

"Damnit Mackenzie, I don't care if you have to hold either end of that coupling, I want that power rerouted!" he shouted over the noise in Engineering as he ran from console to console, averting one disaster after another. Mac just nodded gravely, her eyes wet as she ran off and grabbed Crewman Geoff. "Come on, we have work to do kid!"

Tony watched her go, realizing that he had probably sent them to their death and for a moment wanted to run after her, tell her she was his best friend and that he would send someone else, that everything would be okay....but that wasn't his job. Right now he needed to do his job, that meant turning off empathy, feeling..."LOOK ALIVE PEOPLE!" he yelled as he strode through the mist and coolant gas towards the main core controls. "Cap'n, I don't know what you're doing up there, but I'd like you to stop, please"

"Unlikely, Commander"

Tony glanced over at Reed, then looked down as he felt her grab his hand. "We lost Parish.."

Tony took a deep breath and squeezed her hand back. "Back to work"

Reed nodded and ran off, heading for the shield emitter controls while Tony returned his attention to the core as the ship rocked once more. "Shields down to 15% Chief!"

"Switching to tertiary starboard emitters! I need time to recharge!" Xhasa yelled over the noise, his bruised and bloodied face still showing signs of his tumble from the second story. "You have it...." Tony growled as he diverted power to the defense systems.

The ship rocked again. "What the HELL is happening up there? I need comms!" he turned around and spotted a system technician standing by idle "Go to the Bridge, find out what's going on then report back....GO GO GO!"

The core hummed back to life as power was restored "Yeee-haaa" he screamed and patted the dilithium chamber. "There we go!"

"She did it...." he glanced up at the second story, waiting for some sign of Mac stepping through that door......"Come on Mac..."

"Comms are up!" Xhasa yelled and gave a high five to a passing crewmen as he ran to the next assignment.

"Tony, if I don't make it out of here alive... ::pauses:: I dunno, make up something and tell everyone I said it. Nothing too romantic."

Tony stumbled as Niamh's message came over his badge, probably time delayed....she was leading the away team..."Not you too..."

When first he had met the temporary Ex Oh, Suder's replacement while she was on her 'leave', he hadn't liked her....he felt scrutinized at the time, but the woman had kept prodding him, getting him to open up, to talk. Eventually they had jumped on each other....starting their, whatever it was...to early to label, too late not to. But he cared for her, deeply and he could not lose her too.

He tapped his badge, hoping his message would reach her "I promised you Italian tonight....I tend to honor that"

-------------------------------

Tony gasped for air as he woke up and almost fell out of his hammock. He glanced around at his surrounding, almost expecting to see the engine room of the Kraken filled with fire and smoke..but that would never happen again. He sighed and rubbed his eyes.

The room was dark, only one console was active, showing a diagram of the ship....Tony jumped down and stretched his legs. He had put up the hammock after another late night on the Hooke, getting the ship ready....so he had arrived a few weeks earlier than the crew.

He arched his back and cracked his spine as he walked over to the main controls, the air was crisp and fresh..nothing like his dream. His last day on the Kraken. "Computer, time"

"Local time, 04:53 and 12 seconds"

"Great, time to get up I guess....what's on the itinerary today?"

"Warp core simulations, targeting system diagnostics, meeting with the Captain at 1300 hours, docking port malfunction, operation system upgrade.."


"Halt. Is the Captain here?"

"Affirmative. Captain Suder requested a briefing at 1300 hours"


Tony smiled, he hadn't seen Kesh in almost a year now. When he heard that she would take command of their new ship he had jumped on the chance to be her Chief Engineer. "Computer, Raktajino, double strength...we have a lot of work ahead of us"
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CO Suder and CEO Adalberto Joint log

Postby Einar S » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:20 am

Kesh paced slowly, trying to get a feel for the room. It was smaller than she'd expected, but, she figured, the size of the room didn't much matter. What mattered was who was in it. And this room was hers. And it did have a very nice, large window to one side.
She stopped her pacing for a moment and turned to look at the desk, a few PADDs already piled to one side, her monitor at an angle on the other, and sighed. "And so it begins...", she said to no-one. Tugging at her uniform jacket, she settled her red undershirt, checking, as if it actually mattered, that all three shiny gold pips were present. Adalberto was due any minute now, followed by their first meeting after a good 8 months.

She was not looking forward to seeing him. He'd been too close to her mirror universe double, she felt. And had kept tentatively in contact with her since. This lead her to believe he'd be more difficult to handle than she'd have liked for a first command.
She was knocked out of her reverie by the chime of her door. "Enter!" she said, more forcefully than intended and Tony smiled as he realised that she sounded much like A'an did.
Tony stepped into the room, carrying a PADD under his arm and a grin on his features. "Reporting for duty, Captain"
Kesh nodded a little, looking vaguely uncomfortable with the newness of that title. "Commander. Welcome aboard", she replied stiffly. Clearing her throat, and remembering herself a little, she inquired, "How have you been?"
Tony grabbed the PADD from under his arm and held it out for her to take. "Well rested, ma'am. Looking forward to getting to know this ship. And yourself?"
"Fine, fine..." she said absent-mindedly, and waved a hand for him to take a seat as she eased back into her own, the PADD all but forgotten. "I'm glad to have you aboard, Commander..." she began, hoping to take the sting out of what was to follow.

He sat down and rested the PADD on top of her desk. "Been here almost two weeks myself, getting to know her ins and outs. But thank you ma'am. Ship readiness reports are available on there."
She nodded once, reached a slender hand across the table, picked up the PADD and added it to the pile, under two or three others. Then she turned back to her CEO. "How's Taemin...?"
Tony failed to hide his shock at her question "She's... she is Taemin. Honestly, I think she's doing fine...."
Kesh humphed and held her eyes on him. "Taemin..." she sighed, shaking her head gently. "You and her grew close," she added pointedly, "I think that's fair to say... Is this going to be a problem?"
"Ma'am... me and Taemin are close. However, she needs a friend in this universe, coincidentally that's me. Frankly speaking, I don't see why that is a problem."

"It's a problem because she is me, Tony, I am her, but for the luck of the draw... That... woman... kidnapped me, held me against my will for weeks while she impersonated me, and almost got our whole crew killed. She showed no remorse, no understanding of why any of this was wrong. She..." Kesh tried to collect herself, half-succeeding "... she is a master of manipulation... and she has my face. Your casual... friendship... with her is a point of concern."
"She has shown remorse, but perhaps not as much as hoped... and don't you worry about me, ma'am. I'm not controlled so easily."
Suder could sense his growing ire. She did nothing to allay it. "That is yet to be seen."
Tony gritted his teeth and stood up, resting his palms on her desk. "Get over it"
Suder glanced up at him, the sharp prickles of his anger playing across her mind. "Is this how you always speak to your Captains?" she inquired, her voice calm and dangerous. She rose, too. "Is this what I can come to expect from you?"
"No, but I'm off duty. I am not assigned to you for another two weeks... this, was a courtesy... and right now, you're not acting like a Captain. You're acting like a spoiled brat." He rose up and adjusted his uniform. "I've always followed your orders, Captain. Now more so since you're just inherited the center seat. However, my personal life is that. Personal."
"Fair enough..." she rasped. "Just remember your training when we're out there. My orders are to be followed without question. I'm not having the same issue with you that A'an did."
"Then make sure your orders make sense more often than not", he added flatly with a hint of ire in his voice.
"This..." she said, raising a hand to indicate the mood of the room. "...stays private. Out there, I expect nothing but professionalism from you. If you have a problem, it will be aired in private, understood? Do that, I will listen, and we will be fine. But the first sign of a public objection, Tony, and so help me..."

"You'll aim a phaser at my head? I doubt we'll have issues, Kesh..." he shook his head in regret. "I don't know what happened on your leave, but I would complain to the travel agency. You, are not rested". He moved to leave, then turned back towards her. "You know, my feelings for Taemin aside, we were friends... are we still?"
She pondered that question for a moment, her eyes taking in the sight of him standing in her Ready Room.
"I have a ship and a crew now..." she said, skirting the question, but her eyes said it all. She didn't know. She hoped so, but the fact that he was so willing to brush aside those weeks of captivity her alternate self had orchestrated; the fact that he was able to look at Taemin with anything but revulsion; the fact that he had proved himself difficult to handle in the past, all added up to him being a fine and talented Engineer, but a positively loose cannon. "Dismissed" she rasped.
"Yes, Captain" he said curtly and nodded before stepping out into the hall. "Well Tony....that went great. Let's see what else we can screw up today"
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Re: Zero Logs

Postby C. J. Short » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:52 am

"You are 31 years old," Benson mock-scolded Henry. The latter was spinning himself around in his chair on the Hooke's bridge, wearing the dumbest grin he could muster.

"Shut up; you're gonna do the exact same thing once I'm out of sight," Henry replied, stopping himself and holding out his hands as the world seemed to keep turning. Benson took a quick glance around at the mostly-empty bridge and did his best to stifle his laughter.

"I recall hating the Nebula's bridge layout when I first saw it, but this chair makes up for everything," Henry explained. He quickly checked the ship's time. "Meeting time," he said, getting up and making his way towards the ready room. "Try not to have too much fun." Benson rolled his eyes and sat in the chair, looking over the console and unable to keep himself from twisting the seat a little from side to side. Henry smirked, and signaled the chime on the Captain's door.

"Yes," called the familiar voice from within. "Come in, Sumner!" Henry half-smiled, no longer surprised by Suder's telepathic gifts. He entered the small Ready Room and searched for her briefly. Noting the tall pile of PADDs to one side, and the shorter pile on the desk's corner, he surmised that she was already battling back the paperwork

"Grab yourself a drink if you like," she said without looking up. "I'll just be a second..." Suder tapped her comm badge "Suder to Quartermaster Lenn..."

"Lenn here, sir."

"Is there a reason we need so many empty cargo containers?"

"Yes sir." Kesh looked at Sumner ruefully as no explanation was forthcoming.

"Ok," she said. "I'll have Jameson contact you about your list entire, you can go through it with her. Suder out."

Henry replicated himself a stout, and sat opposite Kesh, looking again to the stack of PADDs. He couldn't imagine dealing with that much paperwork; filling out duty assignments and shift rotations for Tactical was enough of a chore. He decided to forgo his usual smartassery.

"How are you holding up, Captain?" he asked.

"You know, every time I hear that word, I wanna look about to see where the Captain is." She threw him another pointed look. "Soon as Jameson gets here, all of this is moving to her desk", she added with conviction. "Until then, I am stuck saving the universe, one..." she picked up the next PADD and read "... request for additional space, for pet Bolian subterranean mollusk habitat... at a time..."

"Is that the thing with the two-meter-long tongue?" asked Henry. Kesh gave a non-caring shrug, and tossed the PADD back on the pile.

"You know, that's probably the kind of thing you can just leave for Jameson. I mean, you're the Captain, you don't have to waste your time with these, er... cosmetic requests," he offered. The two sat in silence for a moment.

"You don't have to save the universe alone, you know," he started. "I know that's how Captain A'an liked to do things sometimes, but... well, that's what your crew is for, right? I figure 'leading' doesn't mean doing everything yourself."

"True," she conceded. "But I gotta know this ship inside and out before I hand things over." She leant back in her seat and examined Henry. The last year had seen their attitude towards each other spin 180 degrees. They used to be at each other constantly, one always goading the other. But things had changed, entirely for the better. They had found common ground where they least expected to, and now Kesh considered him if not a fast friend, then at the very least a dependable ally.

"What do you think of the ship?" she asked, knowing his answer before he spoke. He nodded some.

"The Nebula is a powerful class. The modular design was really a stroke of genius; she can serve any purpose, and serve it well. Granted, she's not the most graceful in a fight, but she makes up for it by being tough." He smiled somewhat, his eyes peering into hers, and he spoke as if he were talking about more than just the ship. "She'll do whatever you ask of her, Captain, provided you let her know."

Kesh sat in silence, his words hitting home. She was not one to criticise her superiors - no, scrap that, she most certainly was one to criticise - but having seen previous Captains fail to communicate at critical moments, she knew that way lead to definite failure. She nodded slowly to Sumner. She had always had some difficulty being articulate out loud, resorting often to telepathy as a more subtle, nuanced form of communication, but that would not be possible any more. Even now, in the privacy of her own Ready Room, with a sympathetic ear, requesting that he help her with that was almost impossible. She spoke only in definites, or she said nothing at all. That had to change, and change immediately. She fished for the right words, time passing as she rejected any number of angles.

"Help me do that", she said eventually.

Now it was Henry's turn to sit and think. This seemed more like something Jameson should be doing; he knew, in the back of his mind, that he had a problem with wanting to think he was more important than he was. If he wasn't careful, this request might go to his head, and cause a worse problem than they'd had on the Kraken. Still, he understood the seriousness of it. Kesh was slow to trust, for various reasons, and that she would even ask this of him was a sign of how much things between them had improved, and how much progress she had made.

"I don't want to step on Jameson's toes," he said slowly, "but, I'll do what I can. If I'm on the bridge and I feel like a piece of information is missing, I'll ask about it." He reflected on his time under Captain A'an, and the failures of the bridge crew in general to understand each other. There might be times where Suder wasn't sharing everything she was thinking, but the senior officers needed to trust her.

"I failed Captain A'an," he said, only now truly appreciating how bad he'd been at his job in those critical moments. He looked up, his eyes focused on hers. "I won't fail you, as well." Suder released a tense breath she had barely known she was holding.

"Good" she answered with a slight nod. It was all she felt she could say.

The past was the past.
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Departure Pt. 1

Postby Robert Wright » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:54 pm

A'an stood alone in the darkened hanger, his patience slowly melting as time silently ticked away. He'd waited almost 10 minutes before the hum of a transporter and bright flickering light announced the source of his impatience. The older man straightened as if stretching after a long trip, then turned to face A'an. He gave A'an a slight smile and spoke pleasantly, his voice filed with the confidence he obviously had in himself.

"Selzah."

A'an bristled slightly as the cavalier use of his given name, knowing the Admiral knew full well the faux paux he'd done. He scowled slightly then nodded, deciding to return the informality.

"Richard."

Bolitho smirked again, succeeding in making A'an scowl again. The man knew how to push buttons, that could never be denied. Almost as quickly, he was all business. "I'll get right to it...I need your help." A'an 's brow furrowed as Bolitho handed him a padd. "I think you recognize this woman?"

A'an took the padd, not taking his eyes off Bolitho, trying to read him. The man had been one of the few he could never get a read on, years of subterfuge and a life in the intelligence community had made him a master of submerging his intentions. A'an looked down at the padd, taking in the image on the padd. It was a cleaned up image taken from a great distance, in what looked like any one of an small cafes on any number of planets. At the center of the image, an attractive woman sat across from a man dressed in a Starfleet uniform with his back to the camera. A'an looked closer at the woman, then nodded and handed the padd back.
"We've met."

Bolitho nodded, "Just after your trial for negligence if I'm not mistaken. I'm still working on the man she contacted, but he's definitely part of the problem." A"an shook his head slightly, "What problem? Who the hell is she, Section 31?" Bolitho thumbed the padd off and look at A'an with deadly seriousness. "Absolutely not....though if I'm honest, I can't say with certainty they don't have eyes and ears in Section 31. In fact, they seem to be just about everywhere." A'an tilted his head slightly, not sure where Bolitho was going. Bolitho held up the padd, " Regardless of what you think of Section 31, I can tell you these people are far, far worse...infinitely so."

A'an stiffened, "That's a hell of a statement, I don't supposed you have anything to support that?" Bolitho shrugged, "Depends on what you mean? Do I have anything I can take to the Federation Council? No. Do I have a mountain of circumstantial evidence and other sources not admissible in court? Yes." Bolitho saw A'an was less than convinced, then nodded to himself. "You want proof, I can respect that, but....." Bolitho turned the padd back on, taking a small chip from his pocket and inserting it into the padd, then handed it to the Bajoran. "....once you read this, you're part of this. There's no going back."

The Admiral took a few paces, then leaned against one of the containers in the cargo bay as A'an began reading the padd. It took him almost an hour before he stopped, looking up at Bolitho his mouth slightly agape in shock. "All of these things...organized crime, assassinations, political upheaval, plagues...Prophets, natural disasters?! All over the galaxy, in a dozen different governments...it's all tied together?! How is that even possible?!"

Bolitho shook his head, suddenly looking far more haggard than he had moments ago. "I don't know. What little I've been able to glean show all the known parties going back decades, whole generations even. All focused on one, colossal endgame." He locked eyes with A'an making sure everything he said was driven home. "They're not just trying to influence the Federation Captain, they're trying to overthrow it....from without and within, and if you don't help me they just might succeed."

A'an sat in silence for a moment, trying to wrap his mind around it all. He swallowed hard, his voice suddenly horse. "What can I do? I'm no spy, hell I can barely keep the crew of my ship in line." He shook his head again, suddenly feeling overwhelmed by what he now knew.

Richard stopped leaning on the crate and took a few steps towards him. "There's never been an incident of this scope to compare this to. It's not a mission A'an, it's a war. These people mean to not only overthrow the Federation, but dismantle it and replace it with some kind of abomination. Millions even billions could perish before it's over, whole worlds unless we find a way to stop it before it starts, and we're woefully outnumbered and outgunned." Bolitho took another step, commanding the room, "That's why I need someone like you, a soldier, a survivor. You've fought the impossible before, hell, you've thumbed your nose at the impossible your whole life! The Cardassians, the Dominion, New Juarez...hell, I personally saw you defy an omnipotent race and enter a dead universe to rescue a single woman...fighting the impossible is practically what you were born for!

"And Kesh? Where does she fit into your plans?"

Richard took a step back and sighed, then nodded. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider pulling her into this, she's always been one of my best assets." A'an scowled at the Admiral, not appreciating Keshir being referred to as an asset. Bolitho raised his hands, smiling in spite of himself at the Bajorans over protective reaction, then became serious again. "Kesh is a scalpel, a precision instrument, but sometimes you don't needs precision. We too far behind in this to play shadow games, we need to put some fear into them and slow them down. What we need is a broadsword and that's you." He opened his hands as if laying out all of his cards. 'In the future, we may need Kesh, and everyone we can possibly pull in, but right now I need a weapon I can deploy anywhere at a moment's notice without drawing attention to myself."

A'an crossed his arms, "So you want me to go rogue...again. Fight for you, draw all the fire while you sit in the shadows and pull strings?" Richard failed to stop the grin from crossing his face. "When you say it like that, it sounds shady." Richard became completely serious again, "I know what I'm asking, and I truly wish I didn't have to. I pushed for you to get the Kraken, I felt you deserved it for what you did for us. If I had a better option...any option...I would take it, but I don't. It's the survival of everything we know, in the face of that everything else is secondary."

A'an shook his head, not sure what to say. "What you're asking me to do...there's no coming back from this time. Regardless of the final outcome, They'll never let me near another crew or ship again. My crew, my friends...Kesh, your asking me to sacrifice everything."

Bolitho shook his head in disagreement, "No Captain, I'm asking you to save them."

A'an sat in silence for what seemed like forever. The last 2 years flashed through his mind. The good. The bad. The joy and the pain. He saw Kesh, alive, as they burst through the dimensional rift created by Dr. Ko's genius. He saw the Kraken silent and dark before he'd taken command. He saw the dimensional being that resembled the Kraken's namesake as it was reunited with its own kind. He felt his ship shudder under Romulan fire, heard the screams of the dead and dying as Faux-mus invaded his mind. He watched as worker bee's repaired her damaged hull, felt her fight back under the strain as she screamed towards New Juarez. He felt the pressing eyes of the jury as he defended his actions for Jacksons death, felt the anger at Adalbertos ignorant interpretation and betrayal. He felt the relief of having found the one person he loved more than anything in existence and the crushing pain of accepting she needed him to let her go. He relived everything, then set his jaw and let it all fade.

"What's the first move?"

Lieutenant JG

Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:47 am

Departure Pt. 2

Postby Robert Wright » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:56 pm

A'an sat in his small quarters, looking at the blank screen. The recording had been going for several minutes but he hadn't said a word. He sat forward again, looking into the screen trying to envision her face, trying to find the words. After a moment, he tried again.

"Kesh..."

He stopped and took a deep breath, then started again, "I should be doing this face to face, I owe you that much at least....but this will have to do. By now, you've heard that they've taken the Kraken from me, not to mention my commission. Not really a surprise, considering the chaos that's erupted on the ship since I took over. "

He sat back, smiling slightly, "At least they let me have a hand in my successor. To be honest, if anyone can turn the Kraken around, it's you. Congratulations....it's been long overdue in my opinion." He laced his hands together in his lap, thinking about the past for a moment. "There are going to be some things said in the next few weeks...things about me, about the crew. I didn't hold back anything when I was in front of that tribunal and I doubt they appreciated my candor, so expect some blow-back....a final parting gift."

A'an stopped again, fighting back the lump on his throat. This was the moment he had feared...had hoped would never come. "I have to do something now...something I hoped and prayed I never would...but it needs to be said, it needs to be done."

"I told you I would always be there for you, and I truly want to with every fiber in my being. But the last 2 years....I've had to force myself to see things I didn't want to admit. Despite what I feel for you, what we feel for each other....we're toxic." A'an stopped, choking back the lump again and shaking his head in regret. "Prophets I wish it weren't true."

"You and I...we just don't see things the same, we never did. I thought we could learn to live with that, but I don't believe that anymore. You love me, I know you do, but Starfleet is always going to be first for you. That's just who you are and I wouldn't want you any other way. But I'm not like you, I can't put them first."

He sat forward looking directly into the camera. "I love you Keshir, and I would do anything for you but if I stay, it will be the end of you. You said it yourself, you compromise your judgment and your beliefs for me, and as much as I want to say otherwise I do the same. Tony may have been wrong about my decisions when it came to Jackson, but he wasn't wrong when he said I would put you ahead of others. I didn't want to accept that then, but I realize now he was right...and I can't willingly do that to you."

He looked down at the floor, fighting to find the right words. "I'm going to do what I should have a long time ago. I'm going to fight my battles my way, unhampered by Starfleet and their lack of resolve. So you do what you do best, fight the good fight and I'll take care of the monsters."

" Ah ahkayah aka"

A'an thumbed the console and ended the recording. He knew he could find a better way to say what he wanted but he didn't know if he had the resolve left to try again. Silently, he tapped the console and sent the message on its way.

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