Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241008.31 || Joint Log "Demons and Shadows" Part II || MCapt Nikolai Chernienko, Nveid

[USS Charon, somewhere on deck nine]
 

The massive marine reached out and placed a hand on the boy's shoulder and looked him over. "The demons understand only death and destruction and wantonly attempt to destroy all that is good and pure." he said to the boy softly. "But if there are any who can withstand their mindless machinations it is Sakarra. She has shown you peace and kindness... As is her way but I can see in your eyes you have a fire in your soul like mine." he said to the boy carefully.

 

"We will find her and paint the halls of the ship emerald with their vile blood in payment for what they have done to your home… And to mine. This I swear to you." he said to the sword toting boy as he clinched his other hand forcing the red blood to come out in a blood oath. "You I already know have no fear of these monsters... Are you willing to put the fear into them?"

 

The child looked at the human's dark blue eyes in silence. His grandmother's word echoed in his mind, the old, old voice so good and gentle. Do no harm to those that harm you. Offer them peace.

She had died without ever raising a hand against her tormentors, smiling. One day, Nveid had hoped he might find such a peace, rooted so deep in his soul nothing and no one could take it away.

It was not today.

 

Keeping his eyes locked with the soldier's, he nodded. The gesture he made with his oath was unfamiliar, but he could venture a fair guess … and approved silently.   

She would understand. Because other than most, Nveid knew too well the Element that slumbered at the core of his thaessu, banked and contained, but never extinguished, subject to her will but burning all the more fiercely for it. For a moment he almost smiled, and it was no humor that lit his face.

"Ie, Nnihkolh'ai." The marine was right. She would not let them win. And neither would Nveid. Now, he might even stand a chance.

"We must be careful." Nudging Nohtho's inquisitive nose aside, the Rihannsu boy crawled back over to his stockpile and rummaged about a bit before he found a cookie for the Fvai and some rations and water for the human. What he thought the soldier would appreciate just as much however was the knife and rifle he had taken off a dead Gai'Shian. "When the demons are frightened, they will only grow more cruel. And there are others. Like us." He put the blood stained rifle next to Nikolai and motioned at the scorch marks etched into the metal "They kill the soldiers sent to find them and leave messages in their blood. I tried to follow them but they are shadows. No trace, no noise."  

 

Nikolai nodded at that, the first thing they would need to do would be to link up with the other resistance fighters. Taking the rations from the boy he quickly ate some to restore his strength somewhat and offered the rest to Nveid. "We will move like the wind medvezhonok." he said to him after a moment as he checked the weapons for their working order. "We leave to trace, if we find a demon we kill it silently. The Gai'Shian are fools but are dangerous fools. I will have your back medvezhonok, I trust you will have mine as well?" he asked the child wondering if he had the will to kill.

 

The boy cocked his head at the unfamiliar word, the sound of it strangely suiting the tall, massive human. Fluid, rumbling, like a rainstorm gathering over the mountains. He did not understand it, but instinctively recognized he had been called a name in the human's native speech. A good name. He only hoped he'd be worthy of it.

 

"She showed me." Motioning to the sword strapped across his back, the very way his thaessu did, the way all the desert warriors did to not be hindered in their travels, Nveid wondered whether the soldier had recognized the blade and would be angry with him for taking it. "But I'm not very good, not yet. It's almost the right size, because she is …" he was going to say 'so small' and had to swallow. Even barely approaching his tenth year, the Rihannsu boy stood tall enough to see over her shoulder without having to stretch, and the abundance of food on this ship and fussing doctors looking after his health had done the rest. But not until now had he ever truly understood what a frail being his thaessu had to be in the eyes of others. How easily hurt … no. No, he refused to believe that. He had to believe she would come back, alive and whole.

 

"It will do." He set his jaw and pointed at the rifle "But these, I don't know how to use. I fear I may not be much use to you, Nnihkolh'ai, unless you count a willing heart a valuable ally."

That and the fact he was an angry, determined child with sharp eyes and a knack for hitting fowl in mid-flight with a well aimed stone, a talent that had often enough enriched his family's table in the past. Thrown things would not hurt the armored demons, but maybe, just maybe distract them.

Distract …

 

"Nohtho." He whispered and the Fvai happily wagged its entire body at hearing his name.

Dark brown eyes shining with urgency, Nveid petted the animal who took the chance to drench Nikolai's hand in slobber "They are too many now, never walking in small groups. The others have frightened them. Eight, sometimes twelve. Searching. But they won't know what to do about him."

Of course there was always a chance they might simply shoot the poor animal, but Nohtho would not stay behind – and would throw a terrible fit if they tried to tie him up.

An almost feral grin spread over the boy's face when an idea took hold. "Nnihkolh'ai. We will need cookies. Many. And if you know, you must tell me where a demon's armor is weak and can be pierced by a blade."

 

Nikolai listened to the boy as he spoke and nodded his admiration for his courage. "A willing heart is sometimes more useful than an entire platoon of trained soldiers medvezhonok." he said after a moment and lifted up the knife the boy had given him. "Their armor is strong but there are weaknesses." he said to the boy and brought the knife up to his underarm. "Here is a killing blow." he said and made a gesture of stabbing the blade in and twisting it. He brought the blade up to the back of his neck and showed a deep thrust."Here is an instant kill... and silent... their armor does not cover the base of their necks." he told the boy.

 

Nveid looked intently, and then nodded. It would be difficult to reach that high and the mere thought of steel slicing into flesh made his stomach revolt. But he knew the demons would not hesitate to do the same to him, and worse. Ah, he knew all too well.

 

"We must hide this before we go." Pulling the data chip he had taken from her quarters out of his shirt, Nveid held it out to the marine "They want it. Temep`Shar. The thaessu ship they stole. This tells them how to repair it, I think. But there is another, Seleya. I could not delete it from her computer, or take it. I am sorry."  The boy hung his head, shame and frustration threatening to overwhelm him – and then suddenly, the entire ship seemed to shiver, as if Charon herself were in agony over the violence done to her and her crew.

The boy's hand shot out to touch the bulkhead, steadying himself, and a futile attempt to soothe the poor, beleaguered ship ... and another shudder ran through it, only this one … he knew. Unmistakable, the brief exhale, the exhilaration of the jump. They were at warp. But there had been no engine sound, no low throb and hum, contracting, tensing as the great ship collected her power to wrap the fabric of the universe around her and slip into the otherspace that allowed her to travel the stars.

 

Nohtho seemed unconcerned enough, sniffing the tall human's uniform in the hopes of finding something edible hidden there, but the boy looked wide eyed, uncomprehending. "Nnihkolh'ai … what happened?" 

 

 

[to be continued ...]

 

MCapt Nikolai Chernienko

&

Nveid

&

Nohtho the Fvai

 

USS Charon

 

 

 

Monday, August 30, 2010

[USS Charon] SD 241008.29 || Join Backlog || Cmdr Khiy & LtJG K'tara

Khiy leaned against the far wall adjacent to the airlock entrance leading inside the quantum fury, his cold eyes lingering on the security checkpoint.  After that incident with the Marines he decided to keep a close eye on the other arriving guests that would be joining them until the Quantum Fury rendezvoused with the Charon.  It was tiring- all of it, but there were questions he needed answered and those answers were on the Charon.  He would have to remain patient and deal with the annoyances as they came.  

K’tara walked down the umbilical toward the airlock, an unusually small duffel bag in tow.  She had spent over a month in transit, hopping from one ship to another to finally arrive at the Quantum Fury.  Now that she was here, it was rather anticlimactic.  Just another ship going on another assignment.  … Or perhaps it was just fatigue talking.  She hoped it was.
 
Pushing all of that aside, K’tara walked up to the airlock doors and tapped the control panel, opening the doors and stepping through into the ship proper.  The doors closed behind her, ‘locking’ her in and holding her face-to-face with a Romulan.  She felt her features turn to stone, but couldn’t help it.  Her eyes fell on his collar and she immediately straightened up, drawing her full 6-foot frame up, proudly presenting the small ridges on her forehead.  “Lieutenant Junior Grade K’tara Sevarius asking permission to come aboard, sir.”

Klingon? No...her ridges weren't pronounced enough to be fully Klingon.  Half, no doubt, but half what?  A quick study of her eyes yielded the answer- she was half Human.  Khiy gave the young hybrid a brief nod of his head "permission granted."  He said and then pointed to the security officers manning the checkpoint "however, this is not the checkpoint, you will need to run you belongings through there."

K’tara arched an eyebrow at his response.  ‘If not the checkpoint, then just checking things out. Wonder how I checked out.’  She mused to herself as she stared down at him.  “Thank you.  … Sir.”  She added as an afterthought before stepping around him and walking over to the official checkpoint, handing the officers her duffel bag.  There wasn’t much to search, just a couple of spare uniforms, a personal PADD, and a ceremonial daqtagh.  When one of the officers took the knife out to examine it, K’tara locked eyes with him, daring him to make it an issue.

The Security officer perked a brow at the blade and then noticed the rather aggressive stance of the Klingon woman.  With some reservation he glanced towards Khiy "Commander Kanryth- is this permissible?"   he asked while tossing stray glances at the woman.  Khiy looked over from where he was standing and simply nodded his head.  The Security office frowned and then stuck the weapon back in the duffle bag "in quarters only."  He stated.

The corners of her mouth turned down in the faintest of frowns at the limitation, but she nodded all the same.  “Fine.”  The officer held her duffel bag out of her and she took it, slinging it over her shoulder before turning back to Khiy, her features a touch less severe since he approved her items.  “Thank you again.”  Once the words escaped her lips, it seemed like her ‘other half’ realized what she actually said and shut her expressions down again, becoming nothing but formal.  “Permission to retire to quarters, sir.”

There were certainly enough 'headaches' aboard but Khiy wasn't sure if this woman would become an addition to those.  After she spoke he casually dipped his head in a very slight nod and spoke dismissively with a slight hand gesture "Granted."  

K’tara returned the nod before walking toward the nearest turbolift, a faint sense of surrealism falling over her.  A Romulan commander.  Really?  What the hell kind of assignment did she just accept?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241008.28 || Duty Log || "Needs of the Many" - Savant & Jack Fellos II

Lori Sanchez <dakabn@gmail.com> wrote to charon@ucip.org:

"Needs of the Many"

=/\= USS Charon, Auxiliary Maintenance Room =/\=

Jack held the two tricorders and switched glances. One to be sure his
masking wasn't compromised and the other to be sure the signal to
Savant was still sending and to only one entity. He had gotten himself
into the far corner of the room, sitting with his knees to rest his
arms as he watched the tricorders. His placement gave him a clear view
of the door. Finally, after his efforts, the artificial intelligences'
face showed up on the tricorder's tiny screen.

"Hello, Sir," she said with uncharacteristic simplicity. There was not
much processing space on a tricorder, and apparently she wasn't able
to spare much extra from the ship itself. How odd, that an advanced
artificial mind would sound so *dumb*. "Can I help you today?"

Jack let out a breath in relief, "We need to do something. Can you do
something to disable them from having access to the ship?" He looked
at her. He was harried, but there was due reason.

Savant was cheerful as she replied with information that she should
certainly be un-cheerful about. "I have been requested to be compliant
to the best of my ability, Sir. I shall endeavor to help you in your
request, however. Also, you are not currently on shift, and appear to
be under stress. May I suggest some time in the holodeck? It is
currently not in use."

Jack blinked. He wanted to shout, but that would likely call undue
attention to himself, "I don't think you understand!" He was basically
whispering in a very "loud" manner. "On or off duty doesn't matter at
the moment! Using the holodeck is out of the question. If you want to
remove stress, help me get the ship back!"

"Back to where, Sir?" she asked plaintively. He was about to retort
when the tiny expression on the tiny screen knotted up in thought.
"Oh! I believe you are referring to our current state of surrender.
Allow me to reformulate."\

A few agonizing seconds followed.

"I understand, Sir. I cannot at present time deny our captors access
to the computer systems, but I am feeding them some amount of false
information. What would you like me to do?"

Jack swallowed. She seemed a bit smarter than at first. "Well, what
can I do from here? Are there any others who are hiding?" More
screams, "And is that screaming what I think it is?"

"Regretfully so, Sir," she replied sadly, "I am doing what I can. If
you are wishing to escape, you shall find a hatch four meters to your
left which leads into the sub-deck access tunnels. From there, you may
travel starboard twelve meters to the nearest Jeffries' tube."

Jack was confused, "And what can I do there? I don't want to escape. I
want to do something. Is there anything tactical suggestions you can
give me?" He winced at someone with an especially pathetic scream,
"What are they doing to our people?"

"They are being ejected from the airlock," she sounded especially sad
about the explanation, "I am afraid that I have no tactical
suggestions, Sir. All predictive pathways I have been able to discover
result in a higher rate of casualties overall."

His eyes widened in terror as more screams echoed through. "There has
to be a way I can lock the airlock doors." He holstered the tricorder
he was using to mask himself and rummaged around looking for another
tricorder, still holding the "Savant tricorder" in a hand, muttering
things about bypassing signals, disrupting systems and lock out codes.
He found another, "I can make it look like a malfunction."

"I can provide you with technical advice if you like, Sir, but I do
not predict good results from the endeavor."

"What do you mean?" His brain was already working out the coding. He
just had to get into the system.

"You will find an ODN junction in the sub-deck access tunnels, which
will allow you access to the airlock controls."

Jack nodded, "And what did you mean about not be able to predict good
results. Will this make things worse for them?"

She was speaking with discordant cheer once again. "I predict that
they will simply start shooting the crew if the airlock becomes
jammed, and that there is a chance that they will do so at an
increased rate."

"Ah, shit. I don't want that." Talk about a rock and a hard place. He
slunk to the floor again. He spoke out loud, not really to Savant, but
if she could answer, he'd take it, "Well, what can I do?" He felt like
a helpless coward just sitting there. But it was unnecessarily stupid
to get himself caught without it turning things in their way or,
worse, cause a worse consequence. He looked at Savant then, "If you're
filtering out ideas that could preserve my life, don't. I don't want
to make things worse for them, but I am willing to risk myself."

"I have no desire to put you or any of the crew at risk, Sir.
Unfortunately, my utility function sees compliance as the only
worthwhile solution." It was unfortunate, but with so little
brainpower Savant wasn't particularly helpful. Perhaps with more
processing power she would be handy, but for now she could do little
but commiserate.

Jack thought a moment, "Are you isolated from your main program? Or
could you be?" He looked up as he thought some, "I could isolate the
systems in this room. You could get in the systems here..."

"I am processing locally, Sir. My local processes within the room are
currently computing survival values of the ejected crew and attempting
to determine the best means of rescuing them. I would rather not
disturb them, as it is a high-value task. Do you have a higher-value
task for them?"

Jack shook his head, "No, no. That is top priority. If there's
anything I can do from here, you know where to reach me."

"Yes, Sir. Please be safe. If you require further assistance, please call me."

"We both understand the whole needs of the many outweigh the needs of
the few. Let's save as many as we can. I'll let you know if I have any
other ideas." Jack holstered the "Savant tricorder" and pulled out the
masking one. It still looked good. He started rummaging about. There
had to be SOMETHING he could do. He looked at the dead bodies. He
swallowed and moved toward them to look at what they had on them.

=/\=

Savant
&
Jack Fellos II, Engineer
USS Charon

Saturday, August 28, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241008.28 || Joint Log "Demons and Shadows" Part I || MCapt Nikolai Chernienko, Nveid

[USS Charon, somewhere on deck nine]         

 

They were back. Ah, Elements, was there no escaping them?

He had no more tears to shed, no more strength to spare for fear. She was gone, taken away, and with her all hope that she would save him again. But she didn't have to. This time, Nveid would fight the demons himself. He would make them give her back, and he would make them pay for hurting these poor people. What ever had they done to deserve this? He was past believing it was his fault, that he had brought the demons upon this ship. They did not care about a frail child, all they cared about was hurting and destroying whatever was good and kind in this universe.

 

Oh, he knew their name. He knew who they were. But to him they would always be the demons who killed his family, callously, brutally, their faces hidden by gleaming helmets but not quite hiding their cruel laughter.

She had not feared them. She had killed the ones who had come for him, and when Nveid had at last believed it was all over, the thaessu had taken his hand and pulled him into her world. A confusing world, but warm and lovely. There was laughter, and tenderness, and all the things he'd thought were forever lost when the demons destroyed his home.

Now they were back, tearing apart the frail peace that had begun to bloom in his heart, shattering the hope for a life without the stench of death and fear and cruelty. She had once said hate was like poison, poison that will eat at your soul until it leaves but a husk, empty and hollow, devoid of all light and warmth. He knew she was right. But he hated the demons all the same, with all the ferocity burning in his blood. She would understand. She always did.

 

Nveid prayed to Fire and Air that they would watch over his thaessu as he crawled through the narrow corridor, and every time the sword he had strapped to his back clanged against the metal he froze in fear of being heard. But he could not have left it. No, they would not have it, nor the little data chip safely tucked into his already rumpled shirt. An oasis of peace amidst the screams her quarters had been, but Nveid knew it could not last. They would come for her things, the information slumbering in her computer. But they would not have it, not while he was drawing breath.

People underestimated the little ones. They thought they could not comprehend. Nveid did not hold it against them, the aliens meant well by sheltering and coddling them, but they were foolish to think he had no eyes to see, no ears to listen. And the thaessu had never hidden truth, though even she sometimes tried to shield him from what she thought might hurt. But what could hurt more than losing her now, losing her while the cruel laughter of the demons echoed in his ears?

 

No, he would not hide, seek shelter and huddle with the other children like frightened thuril nestlings. Not any more. Not this time.

Another junction. The young Rihannsu boy stopped and listened, murmuring quietly to the large creature shuffling about behind him. How in the Element's name Nohtho even fit in here was a marvel, but for some reason the Fvai had attached himself to the boy who always fed him tasty tidbits and resisted any attempts to shoo him away. Well and so, maybe he would bite a demon or two if they got caught, and Nveid would be glad to see it. 

But first …

He nodded to himself, having identified the direction from which the voices came. Hateful voices, smug and gloating. He would make them regret it. All of it.

 

Small fingers pried the access hatch loose, careful, ever so careful to make no noise that would carry far … Nveid froze when the sound of heavy boots came near, and exhaled softly when it passed. Yes, he had found them. Shackled and helpless, guarded by ... ah, too many, too many.

Half hidden behind some crates, the boy still knew he could not remain undetected for long. But what could he do? What … fighting tears of frustration, he almost didn't notice the massive shape stretched out a mere meter before him, one of the aliens tossed aside and discarded like trash, his red blood staining the immaculate deck. But there was no scent of death coming from the bearded human, only … Nveid sucked in a breath when he recognized the soldier. And then he had to clamp his hand over Nohtho's muzzle because the Fvai had stuck his head out of the hatch and recognized him, too. Another giver of food, scratcher of ears. Paws scrambled over metal and it was only because a woman was screaming outside that no one heard – or paid attention. Ah, how the demons loved to revel in suffering.

 

He was a friend. Nveid was afraid of him, true. But the thaessu trusted him, spoke his name in the voice that the boy knew to have meaning. Well and so, if he could save him … perhaps the soldier could help him save her, too.

"Nohtho." He whispered urgently in Rihannsu and slid out of the hatch, trying to lift the heavy human. It was hopeless. Not until the Fvai understood and dug his teeth into the marine's pant leg, pulling backwards, did they succeed in moving him. And all the while Nveid waited for the fabric to tear, a Gai'Shian to step around the crates … for once, the Elements heeded his silent pleas.

 

[Some time later, a Jefferie's tube on deck nine]

 

He was stirring, growling deep in his throat. They had hurt him but Nveid saw muscles bulge, legs stretch. Nothing broken, or so it seemed. Though there was some swelling and a colorful bruise at the back of the soldier's neck. "Iurret, iurret." Nveid whispered and clamped a hand over the human's mouth just as he seemed ready to speak, or maybe shout in anger. Desperately waving his other hand, he prayed the soldier would understand and not give them away "Daehlen. Nveid. Friend."  

Of course Nohtho chose that moment to shove his nose under the man's hand and whimper quietly. Nveid sighed.

 

Nikolai's dreams were dark after having been knocked unconscious by his most hated enemies. Almost as an afterthought he had been tossed aside left bleeding and abused by their captors and in his dazed dreams he felt his body being drug away for gods knew what tortures. After what seemed an eternity the massive Russian started to come to and his body twitched as it tried to wake itself from its stupor. He growled slightly in pain as his neck was damaged and moving it caused the echoes of his past torture to come back to his mind.

 

After a moment a small voice came to his ears and at first he didn't recognize it. He opened his dark eyes and his hazy vision tried to focus on whoever it was that was above him, it was then that the hand was placed over his mouth. Immediately he knew it wasn't his captors that had him as they would not have covered his mouth knowing full well they would want his cries of pain to be heard by the rest of the crew. As he was pondering this the strange feeling of an animal was felt under his hand and then the voice came clearly to his mind.

 

The Russian bear nodded slowly as Sakkara's ward came clearly into view and even though he was a Romulan he didn't feel the same disgust as he had for the rest of his species. Nikolai gently raised the boy's hand from his mouth and whispered so only he could hear. "What happened, where are we?' he asked the boy in clear Romulan knowing the child had problems with Terran.

 

Once the first surprise subsided, the wave of relief that washed over Nveid nearly made him break out in tears after all. Who cared why the soldier spoke Rihannsu, or how it came it was nearly intelligible, so different from the rough bark the demons used. He understood. Oh, Air and Fire, he understood.

The boy swallowed the lump in his throat and pointed back the way they had come, where half of the crew was still held captive. "The demons. They are back."

Like the human, Nveid did his best to pronounce the words clearly, as the soft, liquid dialect of his home gave even the ship's computer troubles more often than not.  

Puling a medkit from the heap of things he had been able to scavenge during his desperate climb through the doomed ship and hidden in this narrow, unimportant looking corridor, he turned the shiny tools in his hand, unsure what to do with them. In the end, he settled for pressing gauze against the deep gash on the human's palm that looked like he had tried to stop a sword with his bare hands and pressed the little box against his chest, hoping he would know what to do with it.

 

"They have her. The demons. Nnihkolh'ai, they took her away." It was hard, so hard not to cry. But he clenched his small hand into a fist and bit his lip, even managed a soothing murmur for Nohtho when the Fvai sniffed at his ear in concern.

"They kill." The child's eyes were dark, dark as the human's and they seemed too old for the face they shone in. Brown, almost a shade of night, but with a trace of startling green. A green that burned brighter when he was angry – and Nveid was very, very angry. "They said they won't kill if t`Rehu surrenders. But they do. They will kill her, too. They like it. It makes them laugh."

 

Nikolai took the offered medical device and carefully removed its scanner and its hypospray. Making sure to use only the lowest setting so that its faint energy readings would be mistaken for EPS over flow he began to patch his wounds and to scan the boy for any as well. His hands stopped dead when he heard what he said and he looked up into the boys face his own eyes matching the pure fury in Nveid. "They have Sakarra..." it wasn't so much of a question as it was a declaration of war.

 

 

[to be continued ...]

 

MCapt Nikolai Chernienko

&

Nveid

 

USS Charon

 

 

Friday, August 27, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241008.26 || "Diplomacy's Death" - Part I || Amb Ian Lamont & NPCs

Marching down the corridors of the Charon as prisoners was a sobering experience.  Lamont made eye contact with the dozens of crewmen who streamed past on their way to an unknown location and unknown fate.  The fear in the air and etched upon the faces of the crew mirrored his own.  That fear soon blossomed into near panic when their attempt to reach the shuttle bay was halted by two Romulan troops who had noticed the officers moving in the wrong direction.

 

“Where are you taking these prisoners”, one of the soldiers asked.  Lamont was not completely fluent in Romulan, but he knew enough to make out the utter contempt in his voice as his words were laced with crude adjectives for humans.

 

“I have orders to escort these prisoners to a secure location on this deck.  I have been informed that the one in white is of special interest to command.”

 

“I have not been informed of any such orders”, the soldier stated glancing menacingly at Lamont before turning his gaze back toward Aev Keirianh who had yet to betray them as Lt. Remington had insisted would come to pass.

 

“Perhaps you have not been informed because our superiors deemed it unnecessary to inform you.”

 

“I am the platoon leader for this section of the ship.  Everything involving the movement of the prisoners runs through me.”

 

“So your designation places you in a position to question our superior’s orders?  Shall I waste their time, which is no doubt preoccupied with dealing with these hevam, by calling to confirm my orders?  I will ensure that your name is prominently mentioned since you deem it necessary to confirm my orders.”

 

The two Romulans glared at one another with dark eyes neither flinching nor showing any signs of hesitation in their iron gazes.  Sudden shouts and the whine of weapons fire somewhere down the hallway finally broke the silent showdown as the platoon leader dashed off around a corner.  Keirianh motioned for Lamont and Remington to follow.  Moving carefully, Lamont rounded the corner and was shocked and sickened by what he was forced to witness.  A Romulan lie dead in a pool of his own green blood.  A head spattered by emerald strands sat detached from its body bearing the shocked, wide eyed expression of the dead Romulan who had met a gruesome end.  More shocking and horrific still was what lie beyond on a nearby bulkhead seemingly scrawled in the soldier’s own lifeblood – “abandon all hope”.

 

Had a crewmember done this?  Lamont was sickened by the brutality before him.  He couldn’t begin to fathom the dark motivations behind such actions.  Had they gone mad?  Perhaps they held repressed anti-Romulan sentiments?  He didn’t know and at the moment he didn’t care.  Something forced him to hold his gaze upon the severed head lying there with its twisted, frozen expression of shock mixed with fear.  He strongly believed humanity had transcended its dark, primal beginnings exchanging brutality and savageness for reason and logic.  They had evolved from such behavior and yet such sensibilities seemed so utterly useless in their current situation.  No amount of diplomacy, logic, or reason would stem the tide of Romulans pouring onto the ship nor could it save, shield, or protect those currently in peril.

 

His eyes locked with those of the dead Romulan’s.  What use was diplomacy now?  What use was it at all?  He had been unable to negotiate with the Romulans before and he was as impotent now as he had been then.  Perhaps he somehow understood some of Rehu’s disdain for him.  He was useless.  Might always appeared to make right drowning out or silencing the voices that stood against it.  Was he a na├»ve fool to believe in the honor and nobility of peace and the mediation of problems and issues as civilized beings?  Had he simply been living a lie sheltered from harsh reality in places where civilization was less pronounced?  Was the use of violence the only possible response when violence was inflicted?

 

Lamont was both riddled with anger, fear, depression, and a genuine sense of complete worthlessness all of which was suddenly converted from thought and reason into raw emotion as the shouts of Romulans.  His musings would have to wait.  Terror and adrenaline would be his close companions for the foreseeable future.

 

“Clean that up”, the Romulan platoon leader barked at his men as the fires of anger burned like glowing coals within the dark recesses of his eyes.  “AND find those humans responsible for this outrage!  Tear this deck apart if you must but I want them alive so I can personally rip their flesh off and feed it to them!”

 

The leader turned and glared at both Keirianh and his prisoners with eyes full of murderous rage and contempt.  Without a word the soldier approached.  Lamont never saw the fist that slammed into Lt. Remington’s baby face with a sickening sound.  Drops of the lieutenant’s warm blood landed upon Lamont’s cheek and neck as the lieutenant crumpled to the deck wracked in pain.

 

“I don’t give a damn what you do with these things but get them out of my sight before I execute them both”, the platoon leader coldly stated his voice barely able to control the anger behind it.

 

Keirianh grabbed the lieutenant from the deck and drug the man to his feet as his face and uniform dripped with blood from a badly broken nose.  Lamont moved to help, but a quick, stern glance from the mercenary conveyed the message to do nothing.

 

“Move”, Keirianh stated shoving the tip of his rifle abruptly into Lamont’s back.  Ian grunted at the unpleasant strike upon his lower back.  He quickly grabbed the lieutenant’s arm and slung it over his shoulder to aid the man who was visibly shaken and disoriented from pain combined with the force and violence of his injury.

 

Again the trio set off for the shuttle bay having survived capture and death but having to pay a high price for their passage.  Lamont suddenly realized that he was alone and woefully unprepared for the dangers that now surrounded him on all sides.  There was no bargaining table, no negotiations, nor diplomats to sway as the sword now ruled the Charon.  Those unwilling or unable to wield a weapon would be injured or die at the tip of one.

 

Diplomacy was dead.  As they trudged down a grim and sullen corridor Lamont couldn’t help but wonder, behind a thin shell of control that was on the verge of shattering, if he and those in his company would be death’s harbinger’s next victims.

 

[ To Be Continued… ]

                                                                                      

_____________________________________________

Ambassador Ian Lamont – Diplomatic Advisor

 

Lt. Remington – Security Officer (NPC)

 

Aev Keirianh – Romulan Merc (NPC)

 

 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241008.26 || Duty Log || "Holed Up" - Jack Fellos II

Lori Sanchez <dakabn@gmail.com> wrote to charon@ucip.org:

=/\= USS Charon, Auxiliary Maintenance Room =/\=

Jack looked at the tricorder. He was still masked. He had managed to
reconfigure the circuits inside to mask his life signs from internal
sensors. As he finished the work, he suddenly winced as a second set
of screams echoed through. He did not want to know. He gulped and
continued working. Sweat beaded and his hair was looking a little more
unkempt than usual.

He still wasn't sure if he had been a coward or attempting to be a
hero when he ran. He was scared shitless. No doubt about that.
However, he did know that if he managed to get away, he could be of
some help. And where he ended up was this auxiliary maintenance room.
He had found a tricorder to work with. That wasn't all he found. He
also found corpses, but he tried to ignore those, as much as he could.

Along with the screams, it was crystal clear the situation was dire
and he was experiencing a day the instructors warned them about. A day
where you realize just how easy it is to die. A day where you just
have to buck up and do what you can. Lock away the fear and emotions
to deal with later.

"Easier said than done," he muttered at the memory. His teachers
taught him a lot, but it was reiterated time and time again that the
real learning happened on assignment. With each crisis, you become a
better officer, or you crumble. He betted himself he was the going to
be the former.

He had the engineering down. He was even a good officer, so he liked
to think. Dealing with battle was a whole new monster to deal with. He
just hoped his skills would help. No one came in and shot him or
anything yet, so he must be doing ok.

He looked at the bodies around him and swallowed. These were the first
dead bodies he'd seen. His grandfather's casket had been closed when
he died. He walked over to the Marine and knelt down, "You fought
well. May your soul find peace." He then closed his eyes for a few
moments, honoring the fallen man.

To the other bodies, he snarled, but kept silent. He went back to the
tricorder and tried to concentrate, despite the screams. It was hard,
though. One would think you would eventually get used to it and it
would fade into the background, but no. It just fed the fear.

Then the most obvious thing came to him and he cursed himself for not
thinking of it before. Savant. He swallowed as he carefully configured
another tricorder to send a signal to her only. It helped that he had
read up on the fascinating AI. Hopefully the frequency would be like a
hum in her ear, so to speak. Like that ringing in your ear after a
loud concert.

His eyes were constantly darting to the door. The screams made it hard
to listen for people entering the room. The few friends he had made
since being aboard crossed his mind as he gripped the tricorder. Time
passed painfully slow as he waited for the AI to answer or appear.

=/\=
Jack Fellos II, Engineer, USS Charon

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241008.25 - "Memento Mori" Plot Log - "Dead Silence"

[USS Quantum Fury]

Khiy stared at the view screen- shoulders in lap, fingers laced, and his chin resting downwards against his knuckles almost mimicking the old Romulan monument of the brooding Senator.  There was an immeasurable sense of panic.  They had found Charon- but it seemed the Charon had already attracted quite a large collection of unwanted visitors.  The tension on the bridge was quite palpable as the entire crew stared on in disbelief.  

"The Charon has surrendered according to communication intercepts."  T'Ern's head whisked around as she made the announcement and her amber irises locked onto Khiy "Commander, it may not be my place- however I feel obligated to remind you that our current level of cloaking technology may be detectable by newer generation Romulan sensor technology.  Remaining here for an extended period time will likely place the ship in jeopardy."

"There isss sssomething happening with the Charon..."  The reptilian tactical officer hissed and magnified the view screen image on one of the Charon's many airlocks.  "Look" he hissed again just as the airlock rotated sending a cloud of white dust particles into streaming into.  A few second after the last particle wisped out a larger oblong figure tumbled forth.  A chorus and gasps and groans echoed through the bridge as the object was easily identifiable as a body. 

Khiy sat up and then stood.  "Condition yellow- inform all crew to move to battle stations.  Magnify resolution on that object."  The veins in the young Commander's neck protruded as the tension increased tenfold.  As the image magnified the figure was barely identifiable however a single solid pip glimmered beneath the blue glow of the Charon's deflector dish telling Khiy that is was not the Charon's Captain or any other senior staff members.  The relief was short lived however as the situation remained dire.  "Is there a way we can keep track of the Charon without remaining here?"

The blue tinted Tholian waved one of his limbs "there is a possibility.  Savant is aboard the Charon- it is unlikely the Romulans would have found a way to purge her programming just yet.  Perhaps if we can establish communication we can keep track of th...."  His last comment faded a bit as several emerald beams of energy wrapped themselves around the Charon. 

"They have lowered a tractor beam Commander."  T'Ern stated the obvious "they are powering up their warp engines and appear to be preparing to encompass the Charon in the lead vessel's warp bubble."  A moment later all of the Romulan ships, including the Charon in tow leapt into warp, disappearing in a flash. 

Khiy looked at Onarin "tell the Doctor to create some prosthetics and inform the transfer crew of the Charon to meet me in the observation lounge in twenty minutes."  He then looked at Vekelse "Vekelse- try to contact Savant aboard the Charon.  I have an idea."

[USS Charon]

t'Achamoth dangled a thin piece of string from her thumb casually twisting it around.  Next to her the head of the Gai'Shian on Charon looked tortured as he described the loss of his men.  The Romulan woman appeared disinterested as he played with the string- however, just before the Gai'Shian could finish his report she looked up, rolled the string onto her thumb and then sneered "failures, you can't keep this bunch of lloann'mhrahel in line?"  She sighed and then gazed about the bridge sliding her free fingers across the armrest console "where is the ship intercom?" she muttered to herself before finding the  control and switching it on.

"Greetings crew of the Charon.  It is regrettable that I must say your surrender has not been as seamless as intended.  Undoubtedly it seems you have little respect for your commanding officer who issued the order with your best interest in mind.  So be it- we do not have time to hunt every one of you down.  So rest assured your behavior will have deadly implications for your fellow crewmembers."  She beckoned the Gai'Shian commander forward "if you do not surrender in the next five minutes we will begin executing one crewmember every minute until you do."  She switched it off "bring me ten prisoners.  We shall show them our sincerity."

The solider nodded "Ie- I will have one of my men bring them up from the cargo bay at once."

Five minutes later with no surrenders the corridors of the Charon echoed with cries of terror.  "I am Ensign Barlowe...please don't hurt me."  It was easy to hear the tremble in the young Ensign's voice- the sound of pure terror as she was led into the airlock.  "Please!"  She screamed "don't do this...please don't."  But Romulans were not a sensitive bunch and her pleas fell on deaf ears.  Instead cries of terror spilled from the ship's comm system as the slow hiss of a cycling airlock could be heard in the background.  The cries of terror grew hoarse and then abruptly stopped creating a morbid silence.

A minute later the cold voice of t'Achamoth echoed through the corridors once again "I assure everyone that her death was neither quick nor painless.  If you care about the well being of your fellow crewmen it would be in your best interest to surrender.  As I said earlier- we have guaranteed the safety of the crew lest you continue to be uncooperative.  Remember- every minute the blood of one of your fellow crew-members will be on your hands."

A new round of screaming abruptly started.

[End]

[USS Charon] SD241008.25 || Joint Log "Fatal Attraction" Part III || Savant, LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax, Itsak tr`Sahen

[IRW Endless Sky]    
 
 

"Your sire was negligent, Vaek'Riov." Her voice was velvety, almost gentle. No humor echoed in it, though there seemed traces of a melancholic smile to hover on the Vulcan's features. Leaning back in the chair, relaxed as if she were at home and enjoying the sound of a fountain singing in the gardens, she watched her tormentor out of half closed, night black eyes.

As she had observed before, the mere mention of the Vulcan who had spawned him was enough to let hatred and fury blaze in tr`Saen's eyes, and he tensed as if to strike her – or plunge the knife into her side at last. But he only gripped the soft curls at the back of her neck, jerking her unresisting head back until the almost dreamy gaze met his, hovering mere centimeters away.

Cold steel at her throat, traveling down at a leisurely pace.

"I will not debate that, lady Vulcan. But you did not merely say that to raise my ire and make me kill you. Because you know I won't. Not yet."

"Quite so."

She was like a dozing feline in his grip, all supple, relaxed limbs and giving the impression that you might well pick her up and carry her away and she would not so much as bat an eyelash. For a moment, it seemed as if the dark eyed Vulcan might chuckle again, but then she merely exhaled softly.

 

There was no nerve in her body that was not in agony, no part of her that did not want to fight the pain, kill the one who inflicted it. Survival instincts clamored, urging resistance, demanding battle.

And were overruled, second by second.  

"Fascinating."

Her low murmur, uttered barely loud enough for sensitive Vulcanoid hearing to be picked up finally succeeded in drawing every eye to the scene playing out in the middle of the cold room that smelled of blood, steel and pain.

"Yes indeed." Searching the mind-reader's unreadable dark eyes for any clue, tr`Sahen already knew he would find none. If anything, the woman seemed … pleased? Sad? Amused? All of it, and none.

 

"He obviously failed to convey even the fundamental … aspects of your heritage. Though it hardly matters, Vaek'Riov. I know what you want, and it is not merely Seleya and her schematics in my personal database." There were mutters and curses, most of them involving suggestions what to do with an insolent mind-reader, but the Vulcan only shook her head lightly, another glint of humor manifesting itself and dispersing. You hardly needed telepathic talents when you had a mind and the ability to use it.

Blinded by fury, she had not seen it. Reminded of what she was – unintentional as it might have been - by poor, violated Savant … it was as clear as morning over Llangon.

 

"And what is it I want, Vulcan?"

The razor sharp edge dug between her shoulder blades, cutting deeper than before, up towards that sensitive nape of her neck, the light, elegant curve … and she merely exhaled again like a sigh, seemingly leaning into the knife.

She found it quite unnecessary to answer.

 

.....

That supple sigh was a cascading backdrop, a sonorous cascade of pitch behind Savants' dread work. The Romulans' eyes had finally been averted from their tasks and their screens, and she could begin to unravel their prison from the inside. Her tools were meager, however - microscopic sensors and communicators had poor range and worse power. Not only that, but her local power systems were as dependent on the coppery green blood as any organics' - the plasma was loaded full of saurium krellide crystals and formed the reservoir of her endurance. While her cellular matrices also held some power on their own, they would not last long, and that lifeblood dribbled out of her as finally as any living beings.

So there was no time to waste- unlike a living being, she had no bone marrow to generate more blood when she needed it, nor did she rely on oxygen or other atmospheric gasses to survive, so every second counted as her time ticked down. She didn't concern herself with the administrations of her screaming tormentor. She had set up a simple routine to provide the right twists and yelps and screams amidst her meditative humming, and could save the bulk of her processing for more important things.


The wall. The Romulan security system was a monolith, a vast Trojan Wall with no gates or doors save those who knew the pass-codes. So she waited, and listened, and caught the transmissions as they flew by, picking them apart like a crab dissecting its prey. The secret would reveal itself soon enough. It was, after all, designed by organics, and they knew the waters of her world only in passing, by dropping in their lines and casting out their lures. They did not know how to swim in their dark waters.

.....

Yyaio screamed, her impassive resolve broken some time ago. She did not demonstrate Sakarra's ability to subsume her pain - no, it consumed her instead, engulfed her in the fiery pain that Hanaj knew how to inflict all too well. He wasn't even asking for passcodes any longer - he was simply reveling in her agony. She fed it to him in spoonfulls.

 

So this was what it was like.

She had wondered, idly as one can describe a Vulcan theorizing about improbable events, when first Sakarra had learned about some of the surprises that might slumber in the complex, beautiful double helices within her cells. Just as the colour of her eyes was a visible indicator that one of the beings contributing to her unique set of genes had been a Betazoid, the texture of her hair – so rare for a Vulcan, and more often than not attributed to her gentle, good humored father as well – gave any on the desert planet circling Nevasa a vital clue.

Wild stock, they had called it, in ages past. Less derogatory today, descendant of an obscure desert clan. The implications were the same. Every generation, a few would surface in the houses that still carried the traits of an ally long vanquished.

 

Wild stock. Desert bred. Rumors, whispered during long evenings. Uncivilized creatures, running barefooted over the scorching sands, laughing like children with their tangled, matted hair. They do not know written words, but when Sandfire kills every living creature … they become one with the enraged elements and survive. Their minds emptied by the unforgiving heat endlessly hammering the Forge, most inhospitable part of an already unforgiving planet, they roam the night side by side with the Le-Matya and the predator's poison is as mother's milk to them.

 

Nonsense, most of it, exaggeration, simple survival techniques and evolution wrapped in legend and superstition. Many creatures reacted to shock and trauma with the release of hormones that would prevent the system from a fatal breakdown. Neurotransmitters flooding a body that is threatened in its survival, acting not only to counter the pain but as opiates. Nothing mysterious about it. And if by some of those quirks of evolution that had a tendency to crop up wherever cells divided and life refused to be vanquished there sprung up a group of creatures who out of necessity took that established trait one step further … it was, in the end, only logical.

Modern Vulcans understood such things. And nodding silently, they went their way. But sometimes, idly perhaps, they might wonder.

 

This was what it was like.

No, she did not quite lean against that blade which cut another line of fire over her skin, a curious kitten swatting at the flame which hurts a first and then makes you feel so … strange. But she did with the part of her mind that was not floating on waves akin to euphoria follow the path it took, estimated the angle of the steel, the additional blood loss this would cause. Oddly enough, none of the many injuries she had incurred in her life ever had quite produced this effect. Perhaps this was what it took, the prolonged exposure, the unceasing, ever returning bursts of agony rather than just one brief shock … did not those who survived Sandfire for long enough to tell of it that it was a slow, cruel torture that in the end would make you yearn for death?

Or was it that you needed to remember, to give in, to stop fighting?

Both?

Fascinating …

 

Even Savant, poor, screaming Yyaio seemed removed, sensed only through a veil of sparkling emerald, and her voice was like the howling of the storm, assaulting your ears until it becomes part of the tapestry of life, something that always has been …

"Weak." Somewhere, a voice spat the word in disdain, but it did not belong to the being whose fingertips trailed over an upswept brow, who cupped the Vulcan's face in his hands, playful, inquisitive.

"Look at them. One howling like a thrai in heat and the other playing dead."

"Not quite dead yet." Another unfamiliar voice, clear and sharp – and Sakarra realized she had indeed stretched her aching limbs, languidly as if waking from a fitful slumber.

 

"No, … not quite." This voice she knew, once more hovering so close she could feel the hot breath tickling her nose. Blinking against the brightness, she opened her eyes only to find a curious, violet gaze examining her face.

He knew.

Be it reasonable deduction after observing body language, intuition, or some part of the heritage he reviled that still enabled him to sense what no non-Vulcan could easily detect … or a combination of all.

He knew very well she was far from dead, or pretending to be.

The gig, as her human colleagues liked to say, was up.

 

If only the being that was Savant and not, a Vulcan and none, were indeed one to whom she could reach out in silence and ask a single question. What do you need me to do … or do you already have what you came for?

Sakarra refused to believe the being's presence was for her sake. Not even Savant, amiable, solicitous, concerned Savant would waste time and resources in such illogical manner.

Useless ponderings.

 

Pools of emerald mingled on the polished floor, but other than the poor, tormented creature next to her Sakarra already felt the oldest of her wounds closing, the steady trickle ceasing, leaving only thin lines of crusted blood and a dull, hollow burning.

One of those wounds was briefly reopened when fingertips brushed over her collarbone, pressed into warm skin and laid a trail of green across her chest.

"He failed to tell me many things it seems. What an interesting development."

The knife had been preferable to … this.

 

 

  

[End Log]


LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax
Executive Officer

Savant

Aka Yyaio the insolent Vulcan

 

USS Charon

 

Vaek'Riov Itsak tr'Sahen

Fleet Commander
Galae'Krha-Sei