Wednesday, June 30, 2010

[USS Charon] SD:241006.30 || Joint Back Log || XO, CSEC - Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax & Cmdr Dylan Marcus "Tribble with Klingons"



[USS Charon, Deck Ten]







Swiftly stepping out of the way of three Klingons thundering down the corridor, the dark haired Vulcan scanned for the little creature which had apparently caused all this havoc. Colorful incentives aside, the words 'tribble' and 'kill it' had been clear enough to explain Kulg'Rek's agitation - though the Bat'leth in a female warrior's hand seemed a touch … excessive.


Well then, her visit to the crew quarters set up for their newest passengers would have to wait until 'Kahless' could be located or else the counselor might lose his beloved pet to a rather enthusiastic bunch of hunters.

That left the interesting question of how the tribble had managed to get loose again and why it had ended up here instead of Miss Betty's kitchen like the last two times.


No fur in sight, nor purring or shrill protest within range of Vulcanoid hearing. Other than his namesake, 'Kahless' seemed to know the value of laying low.

Sakarra rounded an abandoned barrel of bloodwine standing forlorn in the middle of the corridor – if this was not claimed soon, a passing marine might just decide to remove this safety hazard by rolling it towards the barracks and the Vulcan made a mental note to keep track of this vintage's whereabouts – when a tall, familiar shape exited a turbolift.


"Commander Marcus." Giving a courteous nod of greeting, the Vulcan noted the part amused, part harried expression on the human's face and concluded he was here either to retrieve the lost pet or use his influence with the Klingons to stop them from harming it. Perhaps both.


Dylan walked up and nodded to Sakarra. "There is no sign of this fur ball in any of the habitable sections of the ship. I would say it found a nice little place to hide, perhaps the cargo bays?" he smirked.


Kulg'Rek looked at the Human. "Those creatures are a menace!" he shouted.


"That may be, but running around the corridors with bat'leths in hand doesn't strike me as sporting." He shot back at the taller Klingon. "After all it takes a group of heavily armed klingons to hunt down one tiny little patch of fur?"


Sakarra could not help but silently agree, though she was aware said patches of fur were considered mortal enemies of the Klingon Empire.

"A logical conclusion, Commander." Canting her head thoughtfully, the dark haired Vulcan did her best to stop her nose from wrinkling in the Klingon's presence. While not entirely unpleasant, the scent was rather … intense.

"Considering the tribble's unfailing ability to discover edible substances at surprising distance, I would recommend limiting our search to the cargo bays that contain food items."


"I've already gotten my men on that." he said.


"You Federation types talk too much, This is a time for action; or else these vermin will make you regret your hospitality!" the Klingon barked.


Plural? Well, …

"It was my understanding 'Kahless' had been neutered, yes?"

The Vulcan realized immediately that Kulg'Rek had been unaware of the tribble's … unconventional name. Klingons hardly ever made an effort to hide their feelings, and their body language was of the kind that not only waved a colorful array of signaling flags and shouted into your ears, but grabbed you by the collar and shook you – if you weren't simply and quite effectively run over.


For a species as keyed to subtle, delicate cues as Sakarra's, seeing Kulg'Rek change from annoyed to … very much more than annoyed … was equivalent to being hit by a freight train.



"Well at least that means there is only one to deal with." Dylan smirked as he looked at the Klingon. "You know, if you and your warriors helped, this would go much quicker. besides, it would be a shame to kill something with such an honored name; wouldn't it?" he asked with a wide grin, clearly enjoying this.

The tall grey haired Klingon opened his mouth to say something, then closed it a few seconds later. All that could be heard, was a barely audible curse in klingonese.


Oh, what language. Though it was certainly … colorful.

Pointedly ignoring the massive Klingon's words, Sakarra tilted her head upwards - if she looked rather like a tsh'in trapped between two Sehlat, she certainly was not going to reinforce that impression by backing off as much as a millimeter – and quirked a brow at the Commander's grin.

'Only one' also meant that they were searching for something very small on a rather large ship, but it did not seem to dampen the human's spirits.


Before the Vulcan could comment however – or bid the security officer good hunting, some more Klingon curses could be heard from the vicinity of cargo bay eight. And the unmistakable shrill sound of a tribble disturbed in its lunch by people it did not like in the first place.

If ever Vulcans would allow themselves a sigh, this would have been a good time.

Truly, all that was missing now was Nohtho jumping into the fray, looking for a playmate.


Two arguing warriors came thundering down the hallway, nearly bumping into the tall security officer but stopping just in time. Wisely so.

"pIch vIghajbe'!"

A frowning female seemed unconvinced, but chose not to hit the other warrior after all "Oh? Then how did the thing escape?"

"I believe the logical question would be …" Sakarra found herself stared at by four people, each at least one head taller than the little Vulcan "... not how, but where to, yes?"


I already have men covering all access points to all cargo bays than contain food stuffs as well as replicator stores." Dylan said. "How hard can one ball of fur be to find?" he asked with a wink.


"It's in the Jeff'reeH tubes." The female Klingon growled. "Because this PetaQ was too slow. Now you tell me how easy it'll be to find in there."

"Considering the tribble's speed and the fact our internal sensors are still affected by external circumstances, I estimate a seventy eight point …"

"Vulqangan! Estimate!" the warrior snarled, waving a Bat'leth before the curiously unperturbed tiny woman's eyes "You should use those ears to find it, not your computer brain to estimate!"


Dylan shook his head. This was going nowhere. He tapped his com badge. "Daniels, will you meet with commander Tyrax," he said. "I think I will go with our friendly Klingons, keep them from killing the ship looking for our pet." he smirked.


"A most prudent course of action." Sakarra was about to give the Commander a friendly nod and see about assigning some crewmen to clear up the mess a few enthusiastic Klingons had left in their wake, when her own comm badge chirped and Miss Betty's voice emerged "Ah, hello, commander? I don't want to bother you but would you mind sending someone to the kitchen? The Captain's puppy has already gotten into the prawns and, well, the little furry one fell right into the petit fours. Not that I don't like the two sweet things, but I really need to get dinner ready …"

"Acknowledged, Miss Betty."

If ever there was a Vulcan expressing both suppressed laughter and exasperation in one eloquently raised brow, it was the one standing surrounded by Klingons and a tall human.



Commander Dylan Marcus
Chief Security Officer
USS Charon


Lt.Commander Sakarra Tyrax

Executive Officer

USS Charon



Klingon Security Div.



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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241006.29 || Duty Log || XO, LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax

[USS Charon, Shuttle bay]


Ironically, even though the flightsuit was a rather snug fit compared to Starfleet's standard uniforms, Sakarra seemed to breathe just a bit more free, more easy. And if there was a contrast between the almost ceremonial way she pulled on the gloves and the tiny glint in night black eyes that to some people who had seen it before might be just a bit unsettling … it was safe to assume none of the crew in the vicinity would notice.


She had resigned herself to remaining in the center chair, to watch as the shuttle and her escorts went out to learn about the creature dubbed 'Dragon' by the crew. Mostly with a slightly nervous timbre, but to the Vulcan's sharp ears there had been undertones of awe, even excitement.

However, she should have known that short of a point blank disruptor hit, nothing would keep Shiarrael t`Rehu in sickbay one second longer than absolutely necessary. And so when the CO had stormed the bridge in her usual no-nonsense manner, the Vulcan had been just a tad less surprised than everyone else.

What had been equally as surprising as gratifying was that her request to lead the fighter escorts had not only been answered in the affirmative, but with much less of a frown than anticipated. In fact, the Captain had been smirking.

Quite astonishing.


Sakarra watched the Tellarite pilot board the shuttle and even Mr Athalla seemed to have weathered his recent encounter with newly manufactured liquor without too much difficulty – oh, he was hung over alright. 'Faced', even. But if there was one person on board who knew precisely how much a combat pilot was able to imbibe and still be sharp as a knife once the cockpit lights began to glow, it was the dark eyed woman climbing the ladder to the Valkyrie's open canopy.

She would certainly not admit to such a thing or even be caught showing any outright favor. But after the helmet's opaque visor was closed, there was a tiny expression flickering over calm features – one that could almost be described as … amused. Even affectionate.


The yeoman on duty stood forlorn on the flight deck, clutching a padd and a terran flute, watching the exec settle in the pilot's seat as if she were at home and getting comfortable on her favorite couch. Not that is was unusual for the Vulcan to have a serene, almost cheerful presence about her as if she were in on some sort of universal joke that no one else was getting. It was just that ever since the Andorian had delivered this … thing … there had been a distinct impression of – well one could hardly say humor, after all she was a pointy ear of the unemotional sort. But after the first puzzled look at the flute and then at the Andorian lady who seemed to be waiting for a thunderstorm of epic proportions, the commander had merely said a very polite thank you and looked like someone who was trying very, very hard not to chuckle. Or give someone a smack upside the head. Maybe both.


The fighters rose off the deck like leaves picked up by a gentle breeze, their impulse engines humming with constrained power. By all rights they should barrel out through the forcefield in a shower of rainbow sparks, plunge into the void with all the reckless speed their sleek forms seemed to crave. Instead, they waltzed out through the large unfurled bay doors, lazy cougars who couldn't be bothered to run … yet. Might change in a hurry, though.

By comparison, the shuttle made a graceful, unceremonious exit.

Shrugging at the deck crew who apparently had nothing better to do than place bets on whether their fighter jocks would behave or not, the Argelian decided it was time for coffee. Maybe she could even watch the proceedings from Eris Deck – if half the crew wasn't already glued to the windows there.



"Catch up George Three, you're sucked."

The Vulcan had long ago ceased to even try and unravel the basic rules by which fighter pilots chose names for their flights – nor was she going to debate any such choices. If a legendary dragon fighting figure of human mythology was what the grinning pilots had decided to be fitting – George Leader had not found it necessary to overrule their suggestion. Though it certainly helped that Vulcans by and large were above feeling silly.


The straggling fighter made a minute leap and Mr Athalla's comment was answered by a rather wry suggestion to stick certain items into dark places, but this, too, elicited barely more than an unseen brow climbing in recognition of a rowdy phrase.

Instead, Sakarra confirmed with the shuttle pilot that from here on out the Hurst should dictate their approach and kept her level gaze focused on the massive shape looming before them.

No reaction to their presence, at least none they could detect or interpret.


And thus began the phase every fighter jock loves to hate – not only 'babysitting' as it were but doing so at zero speed. Interestingly enough there was little impatience in the three other pilots' voices, even though after the first thirty minutes they were already speculating how one would go about performing a bounce with a space dragon and whether they should have brought more cumshaw. In fact, the Vulcan's ears picked up a distinctive munching sound over the channel, indicating that at least one of the pilots had already begun to dive into the stash that always seemed to fit into even the tightest flight suits.

Seeing no point in either joining the conversation, thus reminding the others that 'Leader' was listening, nor interfering with activities that for combat pilots could be called outright mellow, Sakarra settled in for a wait.


Sharp eyes that by their very nature always seemed to seek a distant horizon, searching for the movement on the ground or in the air that said death or successful hunt, a silent Le-Matya waiting or only the nightly breeze making the sands dance, picked up the shapes separating from the still unmoving serpent not long after the shuttle had once more begun to move. And a mere second later there was the oh so subtle but distinct sound of three breathing patterns changing, the rapid switch from bored pilots to very interested ones, playful kittens waking from a nap to find ... prey? Toy? Cranky Rottweiler? Either way, it was going to be exciting and therefore … fun.


"Whoa look at them babies fly."

"Bah, my grandma's got more speed. Belay that, my grandma's old beagle is faster."

"When you shove him down the stairs?"

"Ha. Ahaha. Well, with them ears, …"


There was little use in any kind of tactical maneuver, since the creatures dubbed 'tadpoles' by the shuttle crew seemed to lack even the concept of organized flight. Even putting themselves in between the shuttle and the approaching little snakes that were not quite so small upon closer view only resulted in the fighters being surrounded.

"Cut off from the Hurst, George Leader. Targets acquired. Do we have a go?"

The voice was all business now, not quite tense but getting there. And the Vulcan … watched.

"Negative, George Four. Hold fire."

The glittering shapes could have simply run them over. Overwhelmed them by numbers alone. Yet all the creatures did was zip back and forth, around them, almost as if …


"Speaking of beagles. You think they wanna play?"

"Dunno. Toss them a chewtoy and let's see what happens."

"Free cruise, advance on the Hurst." Not that Sakarra disagreed with the tactical assessment, but there was a rather more important matter. Unfortunately, the 'tadpoles' interpreted the fighters moving through their gaggle as a favorable response to their antics and seemed inclined to … play chase. Oh dear.


She saw the two inquisitive ones break off and make for the shuttle, but even shoving the engines into overdrive would not be enough, not by … "Hurst, hold position. Do not evade."

The message never arrived, or if it did it was too late. The creatures had taken the evasive maneuver as a sign the other stranger was going to play after all. Only they had not counted on it being much less agile than they were.

The collision caught the little dragon as much by surprise as it very likely shocked the shuttle crew, and if a space faring snake could be said to have any expression at all, the one in this one's eyes could have safely been described as 'Ooops.'



[End Log]


LtCmdr Sakarra

Executive Officer

USS Charon




Monday, June 28, 2010

[USS Charon] SD 241006.28 || Personal Duty Log || CTAC t'Jaihen

Aerv nursed her cup of tev'lyo in both hands. Her eyes roved over the hemisphere of data displays she had projected above her console. Engineering had routed the power to the shields that she had demanded. The science staff in the Sensor Pod were complaining about it. She was ignoring them. A power reserve waited formal permission to be routed to weapons. Ever cautious, as a Tactical Officer should be, Aerv had been trickling some of this to this to the phaser banks since going to Yellow Alert. Technically, this was not 'protocol', practically, a little 'pre-warming' would allow the phasers to respond more quickly when called for. Aerv had no doubt that they would be called for, even if they were not fired. She was learning this lloann'na behaviour: Seem peaceful, tell others you are peaceful, tell yourselves you are peaceful, but be armed. So, Yellow Alert. Shields, but no weapons. Until weapons might be needed, then weapons at once.

In this light she took other measures too, Bio-Sciences were eager but - to her mind - unfocussed: "You may install such specialised modules on subsequent probes, if you have time to design them, and if we have time to deploy them. For now, I require you to equip modified class 2 casings with a full range of standard bio-sensors. Use as many as you need, but I must have all possible data on this entity as soon as possible. Report to the forward torpedo bay at once." she switched comms:

"CTAC to Forward torpedo bay, Bio-Sciences will be with you soon, please give them all co-operation consistent with a launch time for the customised probes within thirty minutes. I will also require six photon torpedo casing stripped and ready to receive custom loads in addition to the probes...Yes I know Chief."

"CTAC to Sick Bay. Please advise on the extent of your stocks of bio-mimetic gel and programmable nano-probes. I may require large quantities of both at short notice... I am aware of that Doctor."

Her attention moved to another display:

The mission shall be conducted in three parts.
I. Operator Insertion - Successful insertion of combat forces aboard C. Megalastridae.
II. Attainment of Control - Successfully seize control of C. Megalastridae control mechanisms.
III. Containment - Successful containment of all hostiles aboard C. Megalastridae.

No doubt the Marines were delighted with that prospect. Aerv would attempt to provide alternatives to such a mission if at all possible. Sitting back on her stool, she sipped her tea.

Aerv listened in discreetly to the conversation around the Big Chair. Scanning the Unknown, Chrysopelea Megalastridae, or whatever one wished to call it was revealing only so much. She was personnalyy inclined to try firing the next instrument packages into the beast inside some of the stripped out torpedo casings she had had prepared, but his had not been called for and might, she considered, be regarded as a hostile act by the Unknown. Instead a shuttle and fighters were being sent. Aerv was mildly surprised. this was the method most likely to reveal more detailed information, but it also put lives at risk. Lloann'na were notoriously averse to that. In any case, she had other uses for the stripped torpedo casings.

"CTAC to forward torpedo bay. Chief, I want those stripped casings fitted with two anti-matter chambers each. I say again two anti-matter containers, no conventional matter component, just some conventional explosive to rupture the casing upon impact."

If the beast proved hostile, she had no intention of relying on energy weapons to fight a creature which ate novae. No, Charon would provide half the components of the reaction. Let the creatures own body contribute the rest.

"CTAC to Sick Bay. Doctor, if the forthcoming shuttle mission provides us with sufficient data, please stand by to give me an estimate on how long it will take to design nano-probe or biogenic weapons effective against the Chrysopelea Megalastridae."

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241006.27 || Joint Log || Captain t'Rehu & CTAC erie'Arrain t'Jaihen

athougho <> wrote to

[USS Charon, Holodeck]

A gentle breeze brushed by causing Shiarrael's short raven hair to
flutter as she stared at the scenery. The air tasted and smelled wrong-
but the visual was stunning and realistic. For a short moment she
almost forgot she was standing in the middle of the holodeck. With a
shake of her head she twisted around and made her way to the center of
the parade ground. Several tall buildings lined the stone pavilion-
banners fluttered on lines that circled the area. Soldiers ran drills
in the opposite corner and Shiarrael sighed. Even if it wasn't real she
couldn't help but feel a bit nostalgic.

The sound of the holodeck arch opening caught her attention and she
redirected her gaze at the young Romulan woman now entering. "Farien,
come here." Shiarrael said and then asked "do you recognize this

Aerv recognized the place all too well. Like every Galae cadet she had
spent many a long a weary hour here, the last of them not so very long
ago. It had been a very long time since even the most die-hard
traditionalist in the Empire had tried to make a case for drill being
useful in itself, but, depending upon the militarism of the regime, a
fondness for parades might flare up. Though not actually - or at least
officially - at war, such a fondness was now in effect.

"I recall it vividly Rekkhai," she replied, "especially in my feet. May
I ask its purpose here?"

Shiarrael looked at the clear sky and inhaled deeply- she wanted to
believe but the stale holodeck air kept the realism from overtaking
her. It was a disappointment but even this amazing technology had its
limits "you have performed well since you came aboard this ship. I'm
certain it must not be easy for you to work among hevam and thaessu" she
looked at Aerv and cracked a smile. "This is within my rights- even if
we do not wear the same uniform." Shiarrael held up a small granite
container and then tossed it to Aerv "serve the empire well Aerv. Even
if it requires you to kill me one day. Perhaps then you can live with
fewer regrets then I."

Scooping the container from the air without taking her eyes from the
Captain, Aerv kept her face entirely still. "My service with the Kiith
Mrevhoqq'ghi has accustomed me to the company of many species Rekkhai",
she said, buying a little time to think. "As for uniforms, I am assigned
here in the Emperor's name, you are my Captain. I see no conflict. It is
mnhei'sahe. Holding to that, I regret nothing." She held up the
container. "Shall I open this, or simply keep it Rekkhai?"

"Keep it?" Shiarrael studied the woman. 'What an interesting
question' she thought. "It is yours to do with as you please." Her
eyes refocused on the young holographic soldiers running their drills.
She smiled briefly and then nodded at Aerv. "Jolan'tru erie'Arrain."
Turning around she called for the arch and left.

Aerv looked around the huge parade ground again. the Captain must be
homesick indeed if she nostalgic for this place. She glanced down at the
object in her hand and shook it gently, listening to the the little
objects within jingle, then stowed it in a belt pouch. Erie'Arrain
indeed! Aerv gave brief thought to asking the computer if it could
conjure up some holographic Galae`Enriov to formalise the matter. '"Then
may your new rank bring great deeds and glory to yourself and to the
Empire,"' she recited aloud and laughed, but the Captain's method was
better suited to the circumstances.

"End programme," she called, and watched with satisfaction as the
illusion shimmered into nothingness. 'Time for breakfast,' she decided,
'a special breakfast under the circumstances'. Strolling to the Mess
Hall she hoped to meet a Vulcan crew-member so she could favour them
with the smile she bestowed on everyone else.

[USS Charon] SD241006.26 || Personal Log || "The Kevratas Run - Part Three" - Lt. Andraste

Syed <> wrote to

"The Kevratas Run – Part Three"
by Lieutenant Nimue Andraste
and Ambassador Aerv Laehval tr'Ahalaen

= Three Years Ago =
= Akhiy Aevr =

Aerv tr'Ahalaen had always considered himself a man of the world. He
had walked upon more worlds than most Rihan had heard of. The complex
circles of national politics were known to him and, in his time, he
had dealt with the occasional smuggler or two in order to acquire a
less than legitimately obtained piece of art that had caught his eye.
All this, he had assumed, would prepare him for whatever lay in store
at Akhiy Aevr. That belief, however, did not last long under the
oppressive weight of the reality that was the Black Sight.

The smell of old sweat, blood and vomit filled the entire makeshift
station that had been thrown together here by Orion raiders. Filthy
specimens from a variety of less than reputable species were packed
into the small structure, which meant that was difficult to move
without gagging on the scent of an unwashed Nausicaan or bumping into
a Ferengi scratching his ears. Everyone was armed and their weapons
were openly displayed. A few had even been discharged, lending the
smell of burnt flesh to the already laden air.

Sharien and Ael huddled beside him, trying to take up as little space
as possible. Unfortunately, they and tr'Ahalaen himself stood out
like a clothed Ferengi female in this place in their fine clothes. He
had not thought to dress down for this occasion, though Aerv doubted
he had it in him to dress down enough to blend in with this bunch.

Struggling to ignore a scarred Orion who was giving Sharien repeated
unwholesome looks, Aerv tried to focus on the sleek, bright red lines
of the Hateful Chastity. Nimue's racer was obviously a Federation
design, though one Aerv was not familiar with. Probably a heavily
customized vechile. Obviously, Nimue had spoken true when she had
said that latinum was not a concern.

The small craft was a sliver of a thing, its powerful but compact
nacelles little more than two brilliant blue exhaust ports placed
underneath the slim craft in order to keep it compact. It had the
body of a small bird but reeked with the power of a Condor.

What had surprised Aerv, though he wondered why he still felt surprise
when it came to Andraste, was that the people at the event appeared to
recognize the Hateful Chastity. Nimue was not favored to win by the
odd makers. However, she was no dark horse either. Obviously, these
kinds of illegal races were something Nimue was familiar with. Aerv
had, of course, entered a token bet on his human guest as a gesture.

The runaway favorite, however, was a silver, modified Klingon fighter,
Khaiya. A hush had fallen in the large chamber as the pilot, a large
Vulcan by the name of Surmal, had walked through on his way to the
talon shaped, vicious ship.

Surmal of Vulcan was one of the largest individuals Aerv had ever
seen. He had several deep scars running across the front of his face
and was missing a ear. His bald head was covered with a variety of
tattoos, one of which appeared to be a cross running over the IDIC
symbol. The trademark slanting eyebrows of his people had also been
shaved, giving him the appearance of being completely hairless. The
idea of a slender, sylph of a thing like Nimue facing that monster in
any contest, even a race like this one, seemed preposterous.

It was several minutes until Nimue appeared. She waved to them
immediately but was accosted by several groups before she could make
her way towards them. Aerv, for his part, was quite content to have a
chance to simply watch her.

She was dressed in a baby pink, polka dot halter top over black pants.
Her wavy, chestnut hair was done up into a tight braid using a black
leather coil. The usual mischievous glint in her pretty eyes was
shining bright tonight with excitement. Her smile was a little
quicker than usual, her mannerisms even more animated. Unlike his
sisters, she seemed perfectly at ease being ogled by the unsavory men
walking past. She even nodded to acknowledge a few of the ones she

Finally, she was able to extract herself from her "friends" and made
her way over to them, shaking her head in amusement. "I can't believe
you guys came."

"I can't believe it either," little Ael chirped, peeking at her friend
from behind Sharien's skirt where she had been trying to hide.

"It is all rather…primal," Sharien agreed, looking around nervously.

"I know," Nimue exclaimed, "Isn't it great?"

"Yes," Sharien drawled, "Great."

"You guys look super uncomfortable. Just relax. Did you get a chance
to meet Surmal?"

"He seemed like he did not want to be bothered," tr'Ahalaen remarked dryly.

"Nah. I'll introduce you later. He's a sweetheart. Anyway, listen,
I gotta go strap in. It is a straight sprint, so no laps. The screen
will go blank for a while and then they'll slow the action down so
your eyes can actually keep up. You'll even get to see us when we are
in the asteroids, they've got it all set up. Enjoy the show." With a
smile, she added, "And don't worry too much. Remember, anything bad
you are afraid is going to happen has probably already happened. You
just haven't seen it yet."

"Thanks, Nimue, that is very comforting."

"I have that effect on people," Andraste replied airily, "For a while
there, I was going to be a counselor, you know. I'm not really sure
what happened."

Aerv raised an eyebrow at her, "It is probably for the best."

"Yeah. All righty guys, have fun. Toodles."

"A tout à l'heure," tr'Ahalaen replied as best he could. "That is, of
course, the original, unabbreviated, French source of your favored

"Of course," Nimue agreed, rolling her eyes at his sisters and she
began to drift away from them.

Ael sighed softly, "I hate watching her walk away."

"Oh, I do not now, e'lev," tr'Ahalaen answered, watching the sashaying
hips of the Starfleet cadet, "Watching her walk away has its own

= Later =

Aerv tr'Ahalaen found he had lost the ability to sit.

The racers sped across the obstacle course at speeds that, even
slowed, appeared too fast for the mortal mind to properly comprehend.
No one seemed surprised that Surmal and the Khaiya had jumped out to
an early lead, probably assisted by the Vulcan's quick reflexes.
Hateful Chastity was in fifth place, behind a raptor like ship called
the Variable Ending.

Aerv could see what Nimue had meant about this being Art. It was
incredible the grace and agility with which the pilots wove around
drifting asteroids, ducking death by inches, as they rushed towards an
uncertain fate.

The Chastity was pressing the Ending now, the nose of the red race
nearly touching the craft in front of her as they plunged into the
heart of a large asteroid. In the darkness, illuminated by the
running lights of the racers, he could see that the Ending was
drifting around dangerously in the tunnel, attempting to block the
attempted advance by Nimue.

In first of them, the Andorian Aener's Gaze clipped the side of the
asteroid exit, spinning out of control, and free falling towards the
entrance of the next large rock. Distracted by Nimue's pursuit, the
Ending did not react in time and collided with the Gaze, sending both
flyers up in a huge explosion.

Aerv heard a gasp from Sharien beside him. Nimue was only a split
second behind the Gaze. There was no way….

There wasn't even enough time for the thought to form in Aerv's mind
when he saw the Chastity bank up and then down hard, sending the rear
of the craft up and the slender nose through the small area clear of
debris between the two exploding ships, before completing a three
sixty flip, the aft side of the red ship barely grazing by the
entrance to the second asteroid, sending sparks up as Nimue gently
pulled her speeder away from the rock wall.

The crowd was screaming at the top of their lungs, applauding the
move. Ael was shaking next to him, whispering repeatedly, "Did you
see that? Did you see that?"

The viewscreen divided up to show a replay but Aerv ignored it. He
dared not take his eyes off the actual race. The second racer was
attempting to overtake the favored Khaiya. The silver ship, however,
responded by braking ferociously, causing the second place craft to
veer off course and collide with an asteroid. A malicious maneuver
had the crowed cheering even as the unfortunate victim of Surmal

It did give the Chastity a chance to close the lead, rushing forward
like a banshee out of hell as the two racers neared the finish mark
neck and neck. Like twin angels, they plunged into the final large
asteroid, the sides of both ships screeching desperately against the
tunnel walls, leaving a trail of sparks and smoke and heat for the
rest of the field to deal with.

Finding himself underneath the Chastity, Surmal thrust his own ship
upward, causing Nimue's vessel to bang even harder against the
asteroid wall. Aerv's own curses were lost in the roar of the craft
as they emerged into open space again. Chastity, however, was smoking
badly now and had lost more speed in the asteroid than the Khaiya. By
the time Nimue made it across the finish line, Surmal of Vulcan had
already begun his victory lap.

= Later =

As Andraste pulled off her black helmet, Aerv was surprised to see
that she was smiling happily. Ael rushed up the Starfleet pilot to
wrap her up in a fierce hug, causing Andraste to stumble back and
laugh. Sharien followed quickly behind, gushing condolences and
insults that were shocking from her usually innocent tongue for

"You aren't disappointed?"

Nimue looked at him and shrugged easily, "A little. That was awesome
though, so who cares." At the strangled protest in Ael's throat,
Andraste shook her head. Unzipping the dark jacket she had donned,
she explained, "The race is about winning. But it is also about
living. And fun. And two out of three isn't all bad."

Kneeling down to look the Rihansu girl in the eye, Nimue said
seriously, "You remember that. The way something ends isn't a measure
of its worth. Its just the way it ended."

Ael shook her head. "I don't understand."

Andraste leaned forward and kissed the girl's lightly ridged forehead.
"You will."

"Are you coming back to Kevratas with us?"

Nimue shook her head, "Nah. Oopdink and I need to get back to Astate.
We're running a little late." With a snake eating grin, she added,
"No worries though. I make pretty good time."

Aerv waited for his sisters to say their goodbyes and then walked up
to the young human woman. "It was…unusual meeting you, Nimue."

"I get that a lot."

tr'Ahalaen laughed, "I would bet that you do. Perhaps someday we
shall meet again."

"If you're lucky," Nimue answered, raising a pert eyebrow at him,
"Anyway, listen…second place isn't as glorious as first, but I still
get a brick of latinum. I'll have it sent to you. For bail."

Aerv chuckled. "For your bread thief?"

"You didn't think I would really cave on that fight, did you?"

"I did," Aerv admitted, "But I should have known better. You know, a
brick is going to be a lot more than he needs for that."

"He needs other things too," Nimue retorted, "And he deserves a break.
He's a good kid."

"And you had time to determine this, did you, while hanging upside
down from a tree and assaulting law enforcement personnel?"

"Yeah. I did. You'll take care of it?"

"My word is my bond."

"And his bond," Nimue joked. "Well…."

"Yes, Nimue Andraste. Jolan Tru."

She stepped forward then and placed both her hands lightly on his
chest. For a moment, she looked away from him, to the side, and
smiled. Then she stood on her tiptoes and kissed him gently. "Bye,"
Nimue whispered.

Aerv stepped back and watched her walk away one more time, smiling at
the softness of her lips still burning on his own.

= End Log =

Saturday, June 26, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241006.26 || Personal Log || "The Kevratas Run - Part Two" - Lt. Andraste

Syed <> wrote to

"The Kevratas Run – Part Two"
by Lieutenant Nimue Andraste
and Ambassador Aerv Laehval tr'Ahalaen

= Three Years Ago =

= Kevratas Colony =

Aerv was beginning to learn that even the best laid plans went awry
when they involved Nimue Andraste.  It was almost as if the girl had
some kind of anti-logic emitter built somewhere into her lithe frame.
Around her probability seemed to have no meaning – unlikely events
unfolded rapidly and with alarming frequency, throwing years of
familiarity and security into absolute chaos.  If she ever went to
Vulcan, Aerv had no doubt the whole planet would unravel.  It

He had initially intended to put the cadet on the first transport back
to Federation space. Nimue, however, had demanded - and with that
petulant, pouting lower lip of hers the request was impossible to deny
- first a shower, then food and then a tour of the grounds of the new
Ahalaen estate on Kevratas.

On said tour, they had run across Aerv's father: Tal.  A former
member of the Tal Shiar, Tal Vriha tr'Ahalaen had always liked silence
and solitude.  After his retirement and the deaths of his two eldest
sons, his recent fall from grace in Senate politics, that preference
had become Tal's way of life.  It was said that you could have Gorn
mating in the gardens - if the Gorn did indeed mate in
the traditional
sense of the word - and the head of this particular family would walk
by without blinking, as if nothing were out of the ordinary, so that
he could return to his private study. However, not only did Tal speak
with Nimue, he actually *liked* her - which was an honor no alien, to
Aerv's knowledge, had yet been able to claim – and had invited her to

In the short time tr'Ahalaen had been away, assuring Xanthe Andraste
her daughter was safe, the Ahalaen women had gotten their hands on
Nimue and whisked her away to Elements knew where.  For the first time
since being relocated to this godforsaken world, dohhae Ahalaen was
alive.  Watching his family dote on the girl was a little irritating.
The only person who was supposed to get that kind of attention around
here, after all, was him.  Aerv had never thought he would be upstaged
by a mere girl.

As he stood in the door way of the main dining hall, watching Nimue
teach Ael some strange human game that involved the patting of
invisible cakes, tr'Ahalaen had to admit that it was impossible not to
fall in love with this particular mongrel, even if just a little.
However, that was also not part of the plan.  This was a road he had
gone down ended in an ugly place.


That was when Aerv noticed that Sharien was standing next to him.
He smiled at his sister, "Problem?"

"Are all humans like her?"

"No.  Not at all."  He replied with a chuckle, silently thanking the

"Good," Sharien laughed, "Otherwise, it would be quite impossible to
adequately despise them."

"They are our allies, e'lev."

She shrugged.  "For now...."

tr'Ahalaen sighed.  This was true.  However, it was also quite sad.
Would it always be so for the Romulans?  Always thinking about the
next war.... 
Where were the thoughts of peace, the thoughts of
beautiful things? They had lost so much over the last few
decades...why were his people never content to just build and paint
and be free?

It had to do, he suspected, with this whole business of being 'the
Declared.' The Rihan were convinced of their destiny: Romulus would
prevail, they believed.

Yet at what price had the Rihan bought this certainty?  The beauty of
the Old Ways had begun to fade.  The lessons of the Old Home were
forgotten.  Honor had become a rare thing. There were rebellions,
corrupt rulers, weak leaders...and none of them realized how much
their constant fighting was damaging the Empire.
Like termites eating the inside of a home, these fools did not realize
that they were destroying the very thing that sustained them, that
defined them, that made them who they were.  Immortality and Destiny
were dangerous things...especially when a people began to think that,
no matter what their actions, they had already had these things.  Then
every soul became a viper, every face a snake....


"She is beautiful, isn't she?"

Sharien smiled and back looked at Nimue, who - along with Ael – was
caught within a fit of giggles.

"Yes, Dianvm.  There is something gorgeous about I have
never quite seen before."

"She's uncertain, Sharien."  Aerv whispered, as if revealing a great
truth that had just dawned upon him, "She knows very little.  She
makes no plans.  She lives, she breathes, she if every
moment all of this could be taken from her.  There is no great destiny
 her...and even if there were, she wouldn't care.  We all
dote on her, Sharien, like adults in a room, captivated by the
innocence of a single child...because she still has what we have
forever lost.  The ability to not hate because of what we fear will
come...the ability to trust, despite the knowledge that there will, at
some point, be disappointments and betrayal.  This single human is
better than the sum of us."

He laughed softly at the shocked look on his sister's face.  "Do not
fear, Sharien.  Your precious Empire will prevail...all the well made
plans will succeed.  Yet despite all that, I think, years and years
hence, we will look back and realize that this one crazy girl outlived
us all."

= Later =

The Ahalaen home was sprawling mansion that had been crafted using the
finest black marble. Lavished with expensive rugs and plush carpets,
rare paintings and beautifully detailed sculptures, scented candles
and blooming flowers of all kinds, it was indeed a beautiful place in
which to live. It was completely Romulan.

Except for the rooms of Aerv tr'Ahalaen.

A man of eclectic tastes, Aev had put together a stunning collage of
luxury for himself. Carpets from the Orion slave city of Plundar,
stunning abstract sculptures from Risa's artistic Urbaynia, rare
Andorian texts of ritual and mating bound with soft human leather,
bladed weapons from every imaginable place in the world - a rare delta
quadrant Hirogen blade, a human katana, a Klingon bat'leth embedded
with a black diamond from Cardassia, a dagger fashioned out of a rare,
now extinct El-Aurian metal, a Jem'Hadar sword from a fallen First
and, of course, several Romulan weapons along with a few replicas of
the famed S'harien swords of Vulcan, knives with hilts embedded with
Endari glass beads.

And there were books - actual paper books of every description brought
on a trip to the vast information center of the greatest of all
Yridian cities. Volumes upon volumes on tactics written by Zakdornian
generals, texts detailing the sexual secrets of the Deltans and
Orions, literature from across the universe including Earth, Vulcan
and Trill. Detailed readings about religion, philosophy and painting -
covering everything from the alchemists of Earth to the Passions
Priests of Andor. Ferengi texts on commerce, rare Gorn discussions of
aesthetics, Naussican drawings of combat techniques….

And there were
rare wines and spirits, colognes and fragrances, Romulan clothing made
from materials of different planets - all things difficult and
expensive to acquire, sometimes even purchased off the black market.

Nimue Andraste strode into the midst of all this splendor in a simple,
short, white cotton summer dress, looked around once and declared,
"Pretty." Then, apparently losing interest, she drifted towards the
balcony leaning out from the room to look at the stars from Kevratas.
Aerv followed and stood in silence, watching her, until she turned to
him with a quick smile and said, "What?"

"I believe it is time you told me what, exactly, you are doing on Kevratas."

Nimue grinned. "I came with a manual on espionage. Once I'm doing
reading it, I'm going to go all superspy on your ass."

tr'Ahalaen gave a dry look. "Thrilling."

"I'm a pilot," she said with an easy shrug of her slender shoulders,
"I came for the Kevratas Run, of course."

"I will admit I have been…slow to embrace the traditions of this
planet," Aerv noted carefully, leaving out the reasons for his
reluctance in establishing a connection with his world, which was the
site of disgrace for his family, "However, if there were some kind of
event being organized…."

Nimue rolled her eyes at him, "It isn't an event. Well, it is an
event, I guess. It just isn't an official one. Happens every year
though. Lots of people come into the system for it. Most of them
don't stop on Kevratas though, no surprise. Ten bricks of gold
pressed latinum for the pilot who gets through the asteroid belt

Aerv frowned. There were no asteroid belts around Kevratas itself
that were hazardous enough for an illegal race to be interesting at
all. The nearest such belt would be beyond the sixth planet of the
system and that was….

"The Akhiy Aevr?" tr'Ahalaen asked, his frown deepening, "That is
ridiculous. There is no one insane enough to race the Black Flight."

"Hey. I'm Nimue. Nice to meet you."

Aerv shook his head. The Black Flight was a series of closely packed
asteroids that were considered nearly impossible to navigate. In
order to fly through the Akhiy Aevr, you actually had to fly through
the bodies of the larger asteroids, while avoiding the smaller, ever
shifting ones. Worse, the metallic composition of the asteroids made
sensors ornery, so picking up other ships or debris was a challenge.
It had made the belt a hub for criminal activity and the Galae was
aware of the same, though they did not care enough about this region
of space to actively do anything about it.

To race through those rocks though….

"Do you need the latinum?"

Andraste laughed, "I don't care about the prize. I'd make the run for
free. It's going to be great. Did you know they call it the Black
Flight? You can't even see those rocks coming without a visual. How
awesome is that?"

"Awesome is not how most pilots would put it."

"Yeah," she insisted, "It is. You are thinking of drivers. Cabbies.
Chauffeurs. Those guys wouldn't call it awesome. But any pilot
would. I mean, come on, Aerv, you've got all this fancy pants crap
lined up here. All these paintings…pretty as they are, they are all
dead and stale. When I'm out there flying, I'm like totally alive and
my art is alive with me. It isn't permanent, but is exciting."

"The same thing could be said about one's life."

"Not if you don't make the Kevratas Run," Nimue joked. Then with more
concern, she asked, "You aren't going to try and stop me, are you? I
mean, you know I am just going to come back next year and do it
anyway, even if you ship me back to Starfleet."

"I assumed as much, yes. No, far be it from me to deprive an artist
of her canvas. For your sake though, Nimue, I hope you are a genius
at what you do."

"I'm a mad genius."

"Indeed. It would be impossible for you to be any other kind…."

= End Log =

[USS Charon] SD241006.26 - Back Log "Survival Hell" Part 5 - Ensign Nitka Zar

[Planet Hadallion, Bifra Team]

It was a dream- or was it a dream?  Nitka felt herself floating in a white abyss.  She could hear voices- several, calling out to her but their words were distant whispers close enough to be heard but too far away to be understood.  A gentle breeze brushed across her skin and the scent of perfume enveloped her nostrils.  She felt two cold arms wrap around her waist and squeeze gently.  "Who are you?"  Nitka asked confused.

"Zar."  Was the response in the Captain's voice.  Nitka pulled away and twisted around to find herself staring at a bare form of the Captain.  Her mouth opened but the Captain spoke instead "you are wondering if we have died?"  She smiled and shook her head at Nitka "no- we are not dead.  We are now  one."  Her hand reached over and touched Nitka's stomach "I am now here and those voices you here are the memories of a dozen lives calling out to you."

It finally dawned on Nitka that she wasn't speaking to the Captain specifically but rather the symbiont "does this mean that Captain Zar is gone?"  She felt a ripple of grief tremble through the abyss and Zar closed her eyes lowering head away from Nitka.  But she already knew the answer- if Zar was now part of her then the Captain was either dead or would soon be.

Suddenly Zar looked up at her and wrapped her arms around Nitka "do not feel sad.  As long as we are joined Elaris will live on here" she touched Nitka's temple and then reached down and touched her stomach "and here.  Now wake up and are Nitka Zar."

Slowly Nitka's eyes opened.  Blurred vision gave way to the dim blue glow of the cave's rigid ceiling.  She sat up feeling groggy but alert- although her mind ached.  She felt like she had just consumed ten kilos of Orion Whiskey but she also wasn't sure when she ever consumed Orion whiskey.  Shaking her head she looked around and noticed Barstowe rushing over to her from the slumped form of...herself?  No...that was Elaris...

"How are you feeling Nitka?"  Barstowe asked and slid an arm underneath her "you need to take it easy for a moment.  The surgery went okay but we won't know if your body will accept the symbiont or not.  It may take some time for your body to adjust."

Nitka rubbed her forehead still feeling a bit groggy "That was one hell of roofie you slipped me Doc."  She glanced at the other cadets who were hovering around Elaris.  Nitka pushed up against the Doctor's wishes and crawled over to her "damnit.  I look like shit."  They turned and looked at Nitka who stared at Elaris' body "I mean- I died...well Elaris died."  She frowned and slapped the dead Captain "yep- very dead."  Other than Sokan the rest of the cadets looked horrified and were tossing glances at Barstowe wondering what to do.  "Don't look so shocked, death is a part of life.  Do you think you'll look better when you die?"  She shrugged and slid onto her rear "enough about me- well what was me.  We need to do something about the rest of the cadets."  She turned to Barstowe "we have to find them before the Nausicaans do."

Barstowe scowled "what?  You're insane Zar.  You know as well as I do that we don't have the resources to rescue the cadets.  Hell for all we know they could already be in the hands of the Nausicaans.  We should just wait here for the Ticonderoga to get back- and what the hell am I doing arguing with a cadet?  We will wait.  That's an order.  Sadly pips don't transfer over with the worm."

Nitka dug her fingers into the loose rocky soil "no wonder you lived long enough to become a crotchety old man Barstowe."  She gritted her teeth at the doctor "fine you can stay here and do whatever the hell you want."  She turned to the other cadets "I'm going to do something about this mess.  You can either stay here with the good doctor or you can come with me."  She started to stand but found her legs a bit wobbly "ooo...maybe I should just sit still for a little longer..."

"And I suggest you stay there Zar unless you want to get your newest host killed playing hero."  He started to stuff his medical equipment into his backpack "and the rest of you would be wise to stay put too.  It won't do any of you any good if you run out there and get killed.  This isn't a simulation, those are not holograms out there carrying weapons, this is the real deal.  There are no safeties in life kids and I am not a magician.  If they kill you I can't bring you back.  Not here."  He gestured at the Captain's corpse "she was a veteran Starfleet Captain and a joined trill.  If her eleven lives worth of memories couldn't keep her alive.  What will you be able to do?"

"I didn't know you had so little consideration of me Edward."  Nitka said frowning at him "I know you're doing what you think is best but I have a responsibility to those cadets.  They trusted me to protect them.  That is what I'm going to do.  Be damned what you think.  Anyways, I seem to remember you spending most of your time during the dominion war incapacitated next to a crate of Andorian Ale.  Damn shame what you've become since our time aboard the Vesta."  She turned to Sokan "help me up."  The Vulcan stood up and extended his hand which she grabbed.  "Am I the only once with a sense of adventure these days?"  she grinned "let's go show those damn Nausicaans who they messed with."

Barstowe pointed a finger at her "" his hand quivered "hey you!  Listen here.  You don't know what you're talking about.  Your mind is all jumbled.  Captain Elaris Zar's memories are the freshest in your mind and they're pulling through the strongest.  You need to sit down and relax.  I'm not sending you kids off to get shot into swiss cheese by those Nausicaans.  If you don't relax and keep trying to stir trouble" he reached into his bag and pulled out a hypo waving it at Nitka "I'll put you down.  Now sit back down and shut up Cadet before you open your incision and Zar slips out."

"I'm not slipping out."  Nitka glowered at the doctor and then glanced at the cadets who appeared genuinely unsure about the entire situation.  She casually rubbed her hand beneath her shirt and felt the incision mark.  It all felt awkward to say the least.  She definitely wasn't herself.  Her eyes then searched the cavern.  The dark dwelling they had set up temporary shelter in was both drab and cold.  The walls glowed blue as they reflected the lamplight.  She gave it all a second moment of thought and then looked at the doctor "if you can manage it doctor.  Otherwise I'm going to find a solution to this mess."  She looked at the others "you can stay here with the good doctor or you can help me help us."

"All right, I've just about heard enough of your nonsense."  He gripped the hypo in right hand and made his way over to Nitka "now just take a nap.  You just had surgery for pity sake!"  As he moved to press the hypo against her Nitka moved swiftly and kicked.  The doctor grunted and dropped the hypo immediately clutching his groin area.  His face contorted wildly until he appeared like a fish sucking in air.  Nitka shrugged, turned around, and started to make her way out the cavern using the rocky walls as support.

Bifra jumped up and ran over to look at the doctor who was apparently groaning and rolling around on the cave floor.  He frowned and turned to Nitka "do you have an actual plan or are you just spouting off at the mouth?  I don't know what to think of you now- are you Nitka or are you Zar?"

Nitka twisted around "I'm Nitka ZAR- and I do have a plan."

[To be continued...]

Ensign Nitka Zar
Assistant Engineering Officer
USS Charon

[USS Charon] SD241006.26 || Personal Log || "The Kevratas Run - Part One" - Lt. Andraste

Syed <> wrote to

(OOC: This is a background character story for Nimue. I am
anticipating two or three parts. I am not quite sure of the correct
spelling of Councillor, so I went with what they used in 'Articles of
the Federation'. Also, Ardana is the planet featured in TOS: The
Cloud Minders. A Federation member from before the UFP had
humanitarian standards. You can find more details at:

"The Kevratas Run – Part One"
by Lieutenant Nimue Andraste
and Ambassador Aerv Laehval tr'Ahalaen

= Three Years Ago =
= Kevratas Colony =

It had been some time since Aerv tr'Ahalaen had received his last
highly classified, priority one message. It was simply not the kind of
thing that happened to civilians - quite a pity, actually, because the
thrill, anticipation and dread of such a missive was simply a
wonderful sensation...and Aerv did so adore wonderful sensations. So
the newly minted ambassador was quite looking forward to the next
great galactic calamity that would result in him being contacted in
this most urgent and demanding way. A world or two might have to
perish, of course, so that the decadent Rihannsu could experience this
moment – unfortunate but quite exciting.

Imagine his unmitigated glee when – even trapped on as wretched a
world as Kevrastas - tr'Ahalaen was contacted by a member of the
Federation Council itself. Of course, Aerv was aware that the whole
thing would become quite a nuisance by the time that the Tal Shiar got
around to asking their questions about this matter - whatever it
turned out to be. However, there were times when even a tactician and
ambassador was willing to ignore the future consequences of an action
in order to simply enjoy the moment.

The caller was a severe humanoid woman with silver hair and gorgeous
brown eyes. Most individuals would have thought she was human. Aerv,
however, noted the flowing violet gown she wore and identified the
fashion rather quickly. His caller was from Ardana; more
specifically, the famed Cloud City of Stratos. The lines of worry
that had begun to appear on the woman's aging visage, however, were
not typical of the dwellers of that idyllic metropolis. Then
again...politics was an exhausting game, as tr'Ahalaen had himself
learned after retiring from the Galae.

"Ambassador tr'Ahalaen. I am Councillor Xanthe Andraste of Ardana."

"A pleasure, Councillor."

"Under normal circumstances, Ambassador, I am certain it would be.
Right now, however...well, I cannot thank you enough for taking my

"Then do not thank me at all, Councillor," the decadent Rihannsu
replied with a charming smile, "Tell me: how may ch'Rihan help

The woman blushed, obviously flustered with the question and the
weight of the words. " is not an official matter, Ambassador.
I am afraid I require your assistance to deal with a more personal

Aerv sat back in his chair. "Of course...please proceed."

Councillor Andraste managed a small smile, looked away and then shook
her head. "I...don't know quite where to begin. Suffice it to say
that I married a Betazoid despite the wishes of my family and
people…you know how it is with young love...."

tr'Ahalaen smiled. "Everyone knows."

"At any husband turned out to be a most unfortunate person.
He had no use for libraries or books. The whole intellectual force of
Stratos was utterly wasted on him. He was always off adventuring and
- well, doing whatever it is that Betazoids do." Seeing that Aerv was
about to interrupt, Andraste continued quickly, "The point,
Ambassador, is that my union was not entirely without fruit. You see
- I had a daughter, of sorts...."

Aerv blinked. "Of sorts?"

"Yes – Nimue Andraste. Well, Ambassdor tr'Ahalaen, my little girl -
she is still quite young, you know - around one and twenty...or so I
think. I will have to do some calculations. The thing is that she
also up and joined Starfleet and flew around goodness knows where...."

tr'Ahalaen was beginning to wonder if this entire business was really
worth a high priority message.... Still a morbid curiosity compelled
him to ask: "Flew around?"

"Hmm? Oh yes, yes - you see, apparently this child of that horrible
father - she was some kind of prodigy, really - at flying things. She
won all sorts of little awards and things, you know - worthless
garbage, really, I always told her. Who ever heard of an Ardanian
pilot. A ridiculous notion. However, she would not be dissuaded,
Ambassador. I tried all the usual things, you know, banishing her to
her room or threatening to send her to mine zenite with the Troglytes.
It was, after all, inconsiderate of the child to have a talent in
such a field. Painting or literature - now that would have been quite
different.... I could not, of course, approve of her *flying*. It is
simply not a done thing."

"Of course," Aerv murmured, wondering by now how to extract himself
from this conversation.

"So then the stupid girl - one would think she had inhaled too much
zenite from the way she acted - just runs off and joins Starfleet.
The reason I call you, Ambassador, is that recently my daughter left

"Left?" tr'Ahalaen frowned. "No one just leaves a military
organization, Councillor."

" one leaves Stratos either, but she did. Yes...she's always
been trouble, that one. This time, I do believe, she is on leave from
some vile Starfleet breeding facility in the Anarin System…."

"Ah yes…there is a Starfleet Academy Campus there."

"Exactly so. You're a very astute man, Ambassador. I always liked
Romulans. Very astute people. Now, where was I? Ah yes, it has come
to my attention that Nimue may be on Kevratas. Now why anyone would
want to be on Kevratas is beyond me. I mean, I realize you are forced
to be there due to your family's recent political difficulties...."

"Not at all," Aerv cut in sharply, "My father has been given the
important charge of once again making Kevratas a viable colony for the
Declared and we have accepted the same with honor."

"Yes," the woman drawled, disbelief obvious in her voice, "Be that as
it may, it appears that my demon child has run into some difficulty
with the authorities on Kevratas. I was hoping you could look into
the matter for me."

"The authorities!" Aerv exclaimed, trying not to imagine the horrible
complications that would arise should a Starfleet Cadet come to harm
from local law enforcement. "Madam, you should have informed me

"Well, I did," the woman replied with a withering stare, "I'm a very
good mother, you know - I heard about the girl for the first time in
years, and there she is in Romulan space, and I got up from a very
important meeting, you see - something about plants and the like - and
I called you right away. Please do tie her up and mail her back to
Stratos. I will, of course, pay for the shipping and handling."

Aerv rose to his feet. "I will look into this right away, Madam."

"Thank you, Ambassador. Please be careful though...the girl - I'm
afraid she's not...well, she's not what you would call stable."

"Your daughter is...insane?"

"Worse," Xanthe Andraste of Ardana replied, her face grim, "My
daughter is a hippie."

= Later =

Despite being quite well versed with the grand events of human history
and culture - especially by Romulan standards - Aerv tr'Ahalaen had to
do a quick reference learn what the term "hippie" meant. That was the
only term the Ardana Representative to the Federation had used to
describe her own daughter - at least at her present age - and the
Ambassador wanted to know exactly what kind of individual he was going
in to rescue.

It was indeed going to be a rescue. It turned out that the message
from Earth had come at exactly the right time. It turned out that
Nimue Andraste was causing quite a stir on Kevratas. Apparently, the
young woman had taken it upon herself to defend a young thief. The
local authorities were not impressed and were raising quite a
brouhaha, insisting that they be allowed to shoot the "armed and
extremely dangerous human".

When Aerv arrived at the scene, he had to make his way through a
rather dirty crowd. He could not blame the poor though, for
assembling here in this fashion. Surely, more than anything else,
what the poor lacked was good entertainment. Food, Aerv suspected -
though he had never really had a reason to find out - one could
probably do without. A good opera, on the other hand, was nearly

Then he saw Nimue Andraste....


Let us note - in case there is any confusion about the matter – that
she was most certainly not the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
He had seen women with greater charms and women with more grace. And
yet Aerv tr'Ahalaen had no doubt that he would always remember the day
he first saw Nimue Andraste.... It was not simply the fact that she
was dangling, upside down, from a tree outside a small hovel -
probably the home of the young thief she was intent on denying the
authorities - with a large, wooden stick in her hand, which was being
used to smack any peace officer who came close to the house on the
head, with a playful laugh and the slightly crazed admonition: "Bad
Rommie...that's a bad Rommie!" Of course, the stick was not her only
weapon - she also had a Starfleet phaser with her that she used to
stun anyone foolish enough to brave a few whacks to the head. A black
and tan Terran canine pup was lying at the foot of the tree, quite
relaxed and apparently not too surprised the way events were

It was a memorable scene. Years later he would still fondly remember
that mischievous sparkle of her remarkable brown eyes...her shirt had
tumbled down (or up, he was not quite certain of his prepositions just
then) and snagged on her breasts - that seemed determined,
unfortunately, to protect their own modesty - exposing the flat of her
stomach...the waves of her light brown hair, dancing happily on a
gentle breeze...her tapering, athletic legs making the whole acrobatic
- if slightly insane - display look effortless. However, Aerv had the
feeling that he would have remembered her no matter where he saw her -
because she was not like any other sentient creature he had ever seen
- the Elements themselves seem to respond to her. There was something
fey about made one believe that she was connected to
everything around her at some basic level, as if she flowed into the
universe and the universe flowed back into her....

What struck Aerv most, however, was that the girl simply did not care.
He had spent his entire life searching for the perfect phrase in
someone else's book, for that one sublime brush stroke in someone
else's painting, so he was used to dealing with beauty that was
contrived, designed and conscious. He had courted women who had known
they were very pretty indeed - they cared about their image - so none
of them would had the freedom to...well, dangle upside down from a
tree and make an absolute fool of herself in front of an entire city.
This woman – Nimue Andraste - she just didn't care. She just wasn't
aware of herself in that way - and if she had been, he suspected she
would have laughed at herself.

"Ever till now," tr'Ahalaen whispered, understanding finally those
Shakespearian lines that had eluded him his whole life, "When men were
fond, I smiled and wondered how...."


Aerv looked at the rather short, yet sturdy officer who had spoken.
The man was rubbing his head gingerly and was quite green in the face.

tr'Ahalaen grinned, "Problems?"

"Let me kill her, Lhhai," the officer was quite ready beg, it seemed,
"Please. Please just let me take one shot at her...."

"I do not believe it will come to that," Aerv replied, still quite
amused, "She is just one, lost girl."

"Girl! That...that is a hellion, Lhhai, an unholy soul with no...."

"Thank you," the nobleman said, cutting off the officer's sputtering,
indignant triade with a slight wave of his hand. "I will deal with

By now the young woman and seen him. She obviously recognized,
probably by his mode of dress and the deference given to him by the
authorities, that he was the one in command. So she pulled herself
up, somehow twisted around landed on the ground. tr'Ahalaen put on
his most official face. There were too many people here for him to be
too indulgent with the woman.

Even so, he acknowledged by saying, "That is some trick."

Nimue ignored the compliment. "And who might you be?"

"I am Ambassador Aerv Laehval tr'Ahalaen, Blade of the Declared.
Right now, however, I am someone called upon to do a favor for the
Ardanian Councillor to the Federation."


"Yes," tr'Ahalaen declared with a smile, "Indeed. I know exactly who
you are. Cadet, you are a Starfleet Officer and a Federation citizen
on Romulan soil. You are - at best - a guest here. Instead of
treating our customs with the respect they deserve, you have come to
our world and are obstructing justice."

"No. I'm obstructing the law. There's like...a difference."

"That is not for you to decide."

Andraste scowled. "They want to throw a kid into prison for stealing bread."

"Theft is against the law."

"He was hungry. He had no food. There was nothing else...."

tr'Ahalaen shook his head. "That is not relevant. And even if it
were, it is not your have no jurisdiction here."

"I have a really big stick. That means I have jurisdiction. I'm
pretty sure they taught us that at the Academy."

Aerv laughed softly, "I am sure that the Starfleet will be delighted
to hear their teachings have given fruit."

That seemed to deflate her a little. "You've told Starfleet?"

"I have not. Whether your mother has or not, I cannot say. I doubt
it. She does not seem too fond of tehm. However, that does mean that
I still have the power to tell Starfleet…and I can assure you that is
an option I have not yet ruled out. I am certain they would not
appreciate this…adventure of yours."

"There's no reason for this to be a thing. Just let the kid go."

"No...and please no not make further demands. You are in no position
to negotiate. You are subject to the laws of this land, as is the
individual you are attempting to defend. How did you think this was
going to end?"

"Well…actually, I hadn't thought that far ahead."

"So it would appear."

Nimue - a cute little slyph of a thing - actually managed to snarl at
him. "Stop being such an ass. This sucks. People here have nothing
- hell, they barely have clean water to drink."

"Well then...." tr'Ahalaen replied with a small smile, "Let them drink ale."

"Fuck you."

"You may do that whenever you wish, Cadet, I will remain at your
disposal. you can see, you have no options. Do you
surrender yourself to me?"

She said nothing for a moment, apparently considering her options for
the first time. Obviously, she had been telling the truth when she
claimed she had not thought ahead. That alone was fascinatingly alien
a concept to Aerv, having grown up in a culture where strategy was a
way of life. When nothing happened for a few moments, Andraste's dog
jumped to its feet and gave a short bark. That, for some reason,
seemed to help the young woman make her decision. "Fine." Nimue told
the puppy, "Only because you're hungry though, Oopdink. Not because
we are scared of Rommies." Abruptly, she tossed her weapons at Aerv's
feet. "As for you. You can go to hell. Oh're already

"That is quite enough. Too much truth poisons the masses.
is time for you to go home."

= End Log =

[USS Charon] SD241006.25 || Duty Log || "A Coin For Passage - Part 2" - Lt. Andraste and Lt. Jilani

Syed <> wrote to

(OOC: Clearly, the prior log was Part One of this series. This is
Part Two. Nimue Andraste's bio is up at Go take a
look see! She is now my current PC. Hey, that sorta rhymes.

"A Coin For Passage – Part Two"
by Lieutenants Nimue Andraste
and Waqas Jilani

= Shuttlecraft William Hurst =

Waqas Jilani was bored.

It seemed like an unlikely prospect, being bored during a first
contact. However, the Hurst and her fighter escort had made very slow
progress at the request of Ensign Dodd. As the shuttle had gotten
closer, the sensors had apparently picked up some new data that Dodd
classified as "strange." He wanted to process it before the away team
got any closer, which had meant that they were hanging out in space
now, as they had been doing for the better part of an hour.

There had been some excitement initially. Carefully worded messages
were once again sent out to the serpent-like creature that was so
focused on the supernova. None of those, however, had gotten a
response. It was pretty clear that the creature was either incapable
of responding or unwilling to do so.

Nimue Andraste had changed her reading material, though to what Jilani
did not know. She had also let down her hair, stripped off her
uniform jacket and unzipped her red shirt just enough for Waqas to
spend a bit of time speculating what, if anything, she was wearing
underneath. No one else seemed surprised, so apparently this was not
unusual for the slender woman. Every once in a while, she kicked
Ensign Dodd's chair lightly and was informed that "we aren't there

Resisting the urge to kick Dodd himself, since he doubted that the
ensign would respond to such an action on his part quite as casually,
Jilani sighed and sat back, looking at Andraste. Feeling his dark
gaze, she met his hard black eyes with her own gentle brown ones.


"What are you reading?"

"I'm reading about Kung Fu. And once I'm done, I'm going to kick your
ass for calling me short."

"You should know," Jilani told her helpfully, "You are not as funny as
you think you are."

"Yeah. But I'm cute though, right?"

Waqas chuckled. "Yes."

"So people laugh anyway and I don't have to care." Then louder, she
said, "Oi, Dodd, come on."

"You cannot rush the scientific process, Nimue."

"No, I can't. Bet I could get you to rush it though if I shoved a
test tube up your…."

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Jilani broke in. With a sigh he got to his
feet. "Ensign, what are we waiting for?"

"It is not exactly clear, Sir," Dodd replied, "The sensors picked up
some unusual movement as we began to move closer, so I stopped us.
However, that seems to have ceased the unusual activity as well. We
are having trouble determining what, if anything, was responsible."

Jorge Castas, who as assigned as the security detail, yawned and
finally broke his silence. "We are also having trouble determining
what, if anything, this away team is accomplishing."

The Tellarite pilot, Beyla, made a sound somewhere between a snort and
a chuckle.

"Everyone's a critic," Jilani muttered under his breath. "Anything
from the fighter escort?"

"No," Dodd replied, "They seem to have the patience of grown adults."

Jilani signed. "Are we actually going to find anything by waiting for
you data, Mr. Dodd?"

"That…isn't exactly clear, Sir."

"Fine. Mr. Beyla, take us in." Turning to Andraste, Jilani grinned.
"How great is it that I get to say that."

"I dunno. It always sounded a little pervy to me. For a bridge
command, I mean. It makes me think I'm with two guys and they…."

"Lieutenant. You are doing that thing where you mouth moves again."

"Right. Like that comment makes the image in my head less dirty."

Jilani sighed and turned his attention back to the screen. As they
moved closer, something was definitely happening. For a moment it
looked like appendages were sprouting from the glowing snake, like the
arms on an octopus. Then, suddenly, the arms broke away from the main
body and began rushing towards the shuttle.

"Those look like…."

"Glowing sperm," Nimue provided helpfully, apparently still stuck on
her prior mental image. "Evasive action."

Jilani cleared his throat.

Nimue rolled her eyes. "Fine. Go ahead."

"Evasive action, Mr. Beyla. Science, report?"

"This is the same phenomena we were picking up earlier. The smaller
vessels are…well, they are actually similar to the serpent itself.
Just smaller and less complex. Like…tadpoles."

"Baby snakes?" Beyla asked. "Is that thing multiplying?"


"Or fighters," Ensign Castas noted in rather typical security officer fashion.

"Whatever they are," Jim noted looking up from his science station,
"They are coming right at us."

"Fighters moving to intercept. Commander Sakarra is reminding us to
hold fire until ordered."

Jilani nodded. "Any sign that the…tadpoles are gearing up to fire?"

"No weapon activity, Eltee."

Beside Waqas, Nimue rose to her feet and moved towards the viewscreen,
leaning forward. "Something is wrong."

"We are being attacked by serpent seed? I am aware, Lieutenant."

"No," she insisted, pointing to the screen. "The flight pattern of
the tadpoles. They are all essentially identical in the way they

Dodd looked at her with a frown. "So?"

"The snake's isn't. It wasn't just moving before…it was writhing upon
itself. Like something is wrong. Unless, you know, it had a
different maneuvering system than the tadpoles."

"No." Dodd confirmed. "Looks the same. That is odd."

"Convey that to the Charon," Waqas ordered, "And continue with evasives."

"Tadpoles matching."

"Surprise them." The Counselor ordered.

"You don't say," Beyla snorted, tapping furiously at the controls.
"They are closing in quickly."

Silence descended upon the shuttle as two of the tadpoles rushed
towards them, circling past the fighters that were nearly surrounded
by the glowing worms.

"No, Beyla. It doesn't move in a straight line. Not Pattern Gamma
C." Nimue snapped, jumping to her feet, "Watch out starboard.

Whatever Nimue was yelling now was drowned out as one of the tadpoles
collided with the Hurst, sending the shuttle into an uncontrolled
spin. Sirens blared, warning of an impact entirely too late. For a
moment there was shouting and smoke and explosions and shock. Then
silence once again, except for the screaming klaxon.

Someone was crying out in pain. It took Waqas a long moment to
realize that Beyla lying on the ground next to him, hold his face in
agony. Nimue had taken the helm. He noticed her previously discarded
jacket had floated onto his leg and was scorched. His suddenly slow
mind then understood that he too was on the ground and that it there
was pain and so much pain and in that pain the world was blending into
smoke and darkness and sounds were fading and Dodd and Castas were
kneeling over him and he could feel as Castas checking his pulse and
as the light finally succumbed to darkness, he heard Castas say to the
science officer…..

"He's dead, Jim."

= End Log =