communications relay login

Interlude

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WelshAvenger, Sat 02 Jan, 2021 7:33 PM
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    #1
     –  Last edited by Caymen Greener; 3 Weeks Ago.
    USS Black
    Deck 3 – Captain's Quarters


    The chime sounded next to her bed and Mariella ignored it, thinking it was just a horrible dream. When it sounded again, she sat up, eyes closed and slammed a hand onto the keypad, "Yeah?" she whispered hoarsely.

    =/\= Captain, this is Ensign Youd, sorry to wake you but you have an incoming message. =/\=

    "Ensign, it's three in the morning, unless it's the chief of starfleet operations take a message." Mariella flopped back onto the bed, she was not a morning person.

    =/\= Ummm.. =/\=

    "Spit it out Carl, I'm in no mood right now for shyness." The Ensign had only been assigned to the Steamrunner class vessel for six months and he hadn't yet developed a tonne of self-confidence around senior officers.

    =/\= It's the chief of starfleet operations on the line for you. =/\=

    Mariella facepalmed, "Put him through, Ensign, audio only please."

    The display on the wall of Mariella's bedroom lit up with the Starfleet logo and a deep voice cut through the room, =/\=Something wrong with your viewscreen, Captain?=/\=

    "Not at all, Admiral, I'm just not ready for you to see me in my night clothes yet."

    =/\= HA! I'm sorry to wake to you Mariella but considering your ship's coordinates, I couldn't wait until morning.=/\=

    Mariella perched on the end of the bed and wrapped a dressing gown around her shoulders, "What's up?"

    =/\= What do you know of Captain Teriir and the Ares?=/\=

    "Of the man, almost nothing outside of his reputation during the war. Our ships never crossed paths. Of the Ares, she's a Sovereign class just like the one that Picard parked inside a Reman battleship." Mariella deadpanned.

    =/\= They've been assisting the colonists on Dorvan V, It's been a tough mission for them. Their original Captain was casevac'd after an injury during the early stages of the mission and Teriir was commissioned in situ. Now, Starfleet needs his expertise to spearhead a task group near the Orion border.=/\=

    Mariella nodded, "Do you need us to go pick him up?"

    The Admiral chuckled, =/\= No, Captain, the Ares is on her way to DS9 as we speak, I need you to change course, rendezvous with Ares at DS9 and take command.=/\=

    Mariella blinked, "You want me to take command?'

    =/\= Yes.=/\=

    "Of a Sovereign class ship?"

    =/\= The USS Ares, yes. =/\=

    "Excuse me for this John, but ... ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?"

    Five Minutes Later...

    Mariella straightened her uniform jacket and stepped out onto the bridge of her beloved Steamrunner ship, "Ensign Youd, set course for Deep Space Nine, Warp six."

    Ensign Youd at the helm worked his console and, once happy with the course, replied, "Course set, Captain."

    Settling into her seat, Mariella waved her hand, "Let's go then."

    OOC: Hi everyone, so a new captain is on her way to meet the Ares at DS9, so now is a good time to start letting us know what your characters have been doing. - WelshAvenger
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  1. Ares Commanding Officer

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    #2
    USS Ares
    Deck 4 - Urquhart Family quarters
    One day after wedding


    Time: 0625Hrs

    Sam started to stir in his bed. He got up & looked out the port window to see stars zooming by. By observation, he assumed the ship was going at a leisurely warp five. His stepdad.....Stepdad, he thought, that's a wild thought. Sam went to the replicator and made himself a coffee, alongside some toast. The wedding day was such a blur. He had been given the rank of Ambassador at large after the ritual. He was never honored in this way before. A'ral must've pulled a lot of strings to make this happen.

    He took his toast & coffee, then headed to the desk to skim through some correspondents. Most of them were congratulatory of the marriage or the promotion. He made a note in his work schedule to transmit a note of thanks to these dignitaries, once he got back at it. He noticed Akyv stirring a bit. He said, "Mornin' wifey." She looked up and said, "Mornin' hubbo." Akyv quickly got up, bounded to the desk and passionately kissed him. "First day of married life!" she said. Sam flashed a trademark, charming grin and said, "And I couldn't have picked anyone better." He gave her a tight hug and said, "Love ya, my blue angel." Akyv giggled and said, "Love you too, my Poyo."

    "You're calling me....Kirby?" Sam laughed. Akyv smiled and said, "Well, you're as pink & cute as him." Sam let out a loud laughed and said, "God, you're funny." He gave her another kiss and said, "We're steaming back to DS9. Good chance to pick up a few things for the quarters." Akyv thought for a moment and said, "That sounds like a plan." She got up from his lap and said, "I have a shift in Sickbay at 0800. Wannna grab lunch at twelve?" Sam nodded and said, "Sounds like a plan." Akyv bounced from the office to the sonic shower while Sam worked on a few small items for the State Department. After today, he would be considered off duty for a week, provided nothing comes up that was major.

    Sam continued on with going through his mail. The first message reads:

    - Much salutations to you, Ambassador Urquhart! I am sending you this message to give congratulations for your marriage on the behalf of the Depaca Council. Should you need to reach out, you know what my subspace mailbox code is.
    Cordially,
    Ambassador for the Cardassian Union.


    "Computer, file this in folder named 'Thank you replies needed' and make a filter for congratulatory wedding messages & place those message in that folder. Flag any messages of importance or that need immediate attention." He said.

    WORKING, the computer beeped. Sam finished off his toast, got dressed, then sat back down. The screen flashed with an URGENT MESSAGE graphic. Sam opened the message. A garbled video played:

    - Sam, this is Chief Negotiator Wilson.STATIC with the Krak'ul have broken down HORRIBL- Message jumps ahead 12 seconds - WE NEED EVAC IMMEDIATELY!!! Three of my team and seven Starfleet officers have been killed. WE NEED OUT OF- Message cuts off.

    "Computer," Sam began to ask, "is there a no go order for the Krak'ul system?"

    TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS the computer beeped, HAVE BEEN APPLIED 73.5 HOURS AGO. NO CIVILIAN TRANSPORT CAN TRANSVERSE THAT SYSTEM.

    "Has a starfleet vessel been dispatched to rescue the Diplomatic team?" Sam asked, worryingly.

    THE USS PAXTON HAS BEEN DISPATCHED. IT WAS RECORDED TO HAVE BEEN IN A SKIRIMISH IN THE SECTOR. LAST CONTACT WITH VESSEL WAS AT-

    "Stop." Sam said, "So, their dead, most likely."

    Akyv came out dressed in scrubs and said, "Welp, I'm off. See you at twelve?" Sam nodded morosely. She left the quarters with a confused look on her face.

    Sam started the process of calling around to find out what happened to the team.

    END
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    #3
    DS9
    Promenade


    This was more like it - the noise of people, the hum of starbase systems, the echo of intercom announcements, the chirps of the computer, and the sip of a hot beverage. The crunch of a biscuit was long past, and was now accompanied by the smooth, real-roasted and -percolated coffee.

    The Andorian blended in, for the most part, wearing his uniform and not his normal off-duty workout garb and cloak. He sat, people watching, taking in the sounds and sights. He was back from his jaunt helping in the Academy, and had his orders. He had read up on the Ares specifications, although he still wanted to view her mission logs a bit more.

    He was being stationed at Helm, which was good - he'd done a lot of training in operations and helm. He had flown a small supply shuttle to DS9 from his last posting, so he was fresh off the controls, so to say. It was part way through this thought that he was interrupted.

    "Sir," said the young woman, coming to strict attention.

    Valoru almost forgot he was in full uniform. He stood and came to attention. "At ease, chief."

    "Lieutenant Valoru, sir?" She extended a hand with a datapad.

    Valoru nodded and accepted the pad. He pressed his thumb and typed in a code to unlock it. The screen showed his transfer orders, which he had already received. But it also displayed updated security clearance and codes on it.

    "Sir?"

    The Andorian laughed at himself. It was only a few seconds, but the warrant officer was a very persistent and obedient officer. "Apologies. Yes, thank you. That is all." She nodded curtly and began to turn around. "Oh, what docking berth?"

    She half-smiled. "Below the date and signature of the Admiral, sir."

    Valoru sighed. "Of course." Sure enough... "Thank you."

    The woman left and Valoru sat back down to finish his coffee. While he was well-prepared, there was much to prepare for. It would seem there would be a CO change and the new captain was incoming. The ship seemed to be in decent condition, but things had been rough for the crew. He definitely had some reading to do.

    END

    OOC: Not so eventful, but it gets Valoru to the ship. I'll check in on my next post.
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  3. Ares Executive Officer

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    #4
    Deep Space 9
    Lower docking pylon 3


    The trip from the Sol system to Deep Space 9 had taken the small freighter almost 2 full weeks. Being the only 2 passengers, humans amongst an all Nausican crew Schrit and Danre had mostly kept to themselves. Most people would’ve at least experienced boredom, or tension between each other, in the tiny room for so long.

    But not the van Hulftoids!

    They had enjoyed the time together, and had taken the opportunity to study the available information on their new home.

    Being avid lovers of history and specifically fascinated with the Dominion war they had also re-read and watched the documentaries and reports that they could get about the events that centered around the famous space station at the mouth of the wormhole to the Gamma quadrant.

    It was almost with a sense of surprise that they had arrived already they had gathered their things, had the bulk of it beamed aboard the Ares and proceeded to walk onto Deep Space 9 with excited and awed expressions beaming off their faces.

    Now one would think the childish like behavior of excitement and awe would be most vibrant and visible on the 11 year old kid but that would be incorrect. Schrit could barely maintain his composure and keep himself from running in excitement to all the places he wanted to see and snap holo-selfies at. During the trip they had composed a list together with all the famous spots they were going to visit.

    “Can you believe it Danre? We’re actually here! This is where it all happened! And we are HERE!!” Schrit almost shouted. The joyous happiness that beamed off the face of his son did little to curb his emotions even a little.

    “LOOK DAD! “ Danre shouted as they walked onto the Promenade from the turbolift they had taken from Upper pylon 3 where they had docked.

    Danre was pointing at the replimat that was across the promenade from them. “That’s where Doctor Bashir met Garek and they had their breakfists so many times!” Schrit replied, then pointed to his left. “Let’s go get a Jumja stick! I’ve always wanted to get one there myself! You take the selfie holo?”

    As if to answer the question a small little sphere buzzed up to Schrit and hovered in front of his face. “Got you covered dad. I put this together on the way here when you were busy with duty stuff, or in the refresher. “ Danre told Schrit. “It’s got the holo cam and it’s programmed to keep the target I designate in view all the time. I’ve just designated you” the kid added with more than a little pride.

    “Really? I’m impressed! I didn’t know you were a tech nerd like this!” Schrit told his son, clearly taken aback by the level of skill Danre had in building things. The dronecam had beeped three times in acknowledgement of identifying the subject it was ordered to follow and had then moved to take position about 40 centimeters behind and to the left of Schrit and up a little, preventing it from becoming an annoyance.

    The praise Danre received from his dad warmed the kid on the inside like a fusion reactor and his cheeks turned red in shy modesty.

    Two hours later the two supertourists had been almost everywhere they knew on the station had been the location of something thad happened during the war except for two spots. One of them, obviously, was Quarks Bar,casino, holosuite arcade and Ferengi Embassy which they had agreed to visit last and the other… Well, it was one they were both pretty confident of that they wouldn’t be able to get into even if they hadn’t been drawing an extraordinary amount of attention to themselves from the Station’s denizens with their loud voices and fanboys behaviour all over the station for the past few hours.

    So when they ended up in the small, hidden away, passage that had functioned as a sort of back door into the commanding officer’s officer, “Sisko’s Office”, they were somewhat surprised to find it looked like it had been neglected and unused for quite a while. It had clearly not been included in the sanitation droid’s default cleaning rituals and two of the three lighting panels were inopreative. They exchanged smiling glances at each other not believing they had come as close as they now were and in the back of their minds fleetingly wondered why they had been able to get there, let alone without being spotted or picked up on by sensors or something.

    Schrit decided he’d go with the flow, throw caution in the wind and risk getting caught tresspassing. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, and he was sharing the moment with his Son creating charisht fathe/son memories that would be with them for the rest of their lives. What would be the hurt in being caught and get yelled at for a while by a senior officer. What could go wrong?

    ~The look on Danre’s face alone is worth it~ Schrit thought to himself as he saw Danre’s face explode in shocked surprise when he reached for the door’s chime and access panel. “What are you doing?” Danre asked incredulously. “Well, we got this far, I want to see if our luck’s gonna hold” Schrit said in a conpiratory way. He grinned and added “If no one answers when I chime then we leave, if someone does we’ll say we are lost and ask directions back to the promenade or something:”

    It was now Schrit’s turn to express shock and surprise as Danre grinned back, took a step towards the keybad on the doorchime and tapped in a code. “In one of her logs Commander Ezri Dax mentions the code she used to get into the office when she wanted to avoid Ops, Iwe might as well try it right?” Danre said. Oddly enough the doorchime beeped happily once and then the dood opened obediently before them. The dumbstruck amazed shokking awe they both felt at that moment was indescribable. They stepped through the open door as if they were taking Humanities first steps onto a surface of another world like Neil Armstrong did in 1969.

    The door slid shut behind them with a sigh and locked out all the noise that had been coming through the diorway. There it was, the desk Sisko had sat at for seven years and which had been Dukat's desk for years before that. They both looked at it as if it were some religious icon and they were devout monks on a pelgimage or something.

    Then a voice spoke up from behind them. "How in the Prophet's name did you get in here and who the hexx are you two?"

    [O.O.C] Sorry for making this a 2 parter, i'm almost loosing the fight against sleep, and realize that i've got nowhere to store this quickly. Part 2 will be up here tomorrow.,[/O.O.C]
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    #5
    USS Black
    Bridge


    "Approaching Deep Space Nine, Captain." Ensign Youd announced.

    Captain Mariella Jones settled back into her chair for the last time, "Thank you Ensign, open hailing frequencies." She waited as the Ops chief gave her a nod, "Deep Space Nine this is the USS Black, request permission to dock."

    =/\= Permission granted Black, lower pylon 2 is available, welcome to the Bajor sector. =/\=

    'Thank you DS9, see you soon." Mariella waited until the channel was confirmed closed. "Helm, begin docking procedures. Commander, you have the conn. Take care of her Jeff, she's all yours now."

    Commander Jeff Tyson stood and shook her hand, "Trust me Captain, it's been a pleasure."

    Never one for mawkish sentimentality, Mariella made her way to the transporter room. "Evening Chief, do me one last favour and transport me over to the Ops pad will you?"

    Transporter Chief Davidson, nodded and gestured for his Captain to stand on one of the transporter discs, "Ready when you are ma'am."

    "Take care of yourself, Kenny, and give my regards to your wife." Mariella smiled. "Energize"

    Deep Space Nine
    Deck 1 - Ops


    Mariella materialised and immediately noticed the stark architecture of the former Cardassian station. Too many angles and ovals for her taste. A young woman glanced up from a display and looked confused, "Can I help you, Captain?"

    Mariella smiled, "You sure can, Ensign, I'm here to take command of the USS Ares and I was wondering what the status of her repair and resupply was?"

    The Ensign worked her controls trying to find the information for the Captain. It never ceased to amaze Mariella that Starfleet Officers could adapt to work control systems that were so different from the standard LCARS operating system. "Captain, the Ares is located at Upper Pylon 1. Repair are going according to schedule and Lieutenant Nog has left a note that the mark twelve sensor palettes will be ready for installation first thing next week when they arrive from Utopia Planetia. Resupply is ongoing and they're waiting for a few items which are due to arrive over the next few days."

    Mariella blinked, "We're getting upgraded sensors? Wow. Thank you Ensign."

    Mariella made her way to the upper pylon and admired the USS Ares from an observation window. She could see the discolouration on the surface where she had been damaged. Nausican weapons left nasty dark streaks across the once pristine pale grey of the hull. Already she could see that some hull sections had been replaced and were in the process of being repainted. In the privacy of her own mind, she admitted that the size of the vessel was daunting. The Ares was much bigger than a Steamrunner class. In fact, the Ares gave the impression of moving at speed even though she was docked. An impression that was no doubt part of the design engineer's plan. Unable to delay any longer, Mariella walked up to the access hatch and handed a PADD to the station security officer on duty.

    "Captain Mariella Jones, I've been ordered to take command of the Ares." she explained.

    The officer glanced at the PADD before replying, "Go right in Captain, congratulations on your new command."

    "Thank you. So, are there many people still on board?" she asked.

    The security officer smiled, "Prophets, no! There's a skeleton crew on board helping with the repairs but most of the crew are taking shore leave on the station or Bajor."

    Mariella smiled at the man and made her way to her quarters. When the doors opened, she could see that Transporter Chief Davidson had already delivered her things. The next thing she saw was the amount of space she had. A large living room with dining area, an enormous bedroom, a bathroom plus a spare room for anything else she needed. In all, her quarters were bigger than the bridge of the USS Black.

    'Well', she thought, 'there's only one thing to do before unpacking.'

    "Computer." she said. "Initiate voice authorisation, Jones, Mariella, Captain."

    =/\= Voice pattern recognised, authorisation initiated. =/\=

    Mariela took a breath, "Transfer USS Ares command codes to my authorisation and initiate a new ship's log."

    =/\= Please stand by. =/\=

    For a moment Mariella held her breath, wondering if something had gone wrong.

    =/\= Command Codes transferred to Captain Mariella Jones, officer commanding USS Ares. Previous ship's log files closed. New log created. =/\=

    Mariella breathed a sigh of relief. As she looked around her quarters, she noticed an envelope on the sofa in the living room addressed to her. She opened it up and found a letter from Captain Teriir.

    Captain, I apologise for not being at a formal transfer of the Ares but my orders and shuttle didn't leave much time. I hope that you'll be able to spend more time with the Ares and her crew more than I did. She's a good ship, graceful but tough. She doesn't have the best record for keeping captains very long but I hope that you'll be able to break that particular chain. Your crew are very capable and I've left some files in your ready room explaining some ongoing situations so that you're not blindsided.

    I've left a small surprise for you. Just ask the computer to initate program Teriir 137 and enjoy.

    Regards, Dyrell Teriir.
    Mariella wasted no time, "Computer, initiate program Teriir 137."

    The computer chimed and a glass of champagne appeared on the replicator.

    Raising the glass, Mariella smiled at her thoughtful predecessor, "Thank you, Captain Teriir. Clear skies."
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  4. Ares Commanding Officer

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    #6
    USS Ares
    Deck 10 - Diplomatic complex
    One hour after docking


    Sam had finally got some answers on what happened on Krag'ul. Apparently one of the advisors on the team unknowingly made an obscene gesture & ended up getting them arrested, but shortly after were released when LEOs realized these diplomats weren't told about what gestures....however innocuous....to avoid. It just so happened that an opposing force chose that time to attack the capital, causing the urgent distress call that was received too late. The Primark confirmed their deaths and greatly apologized for the loss of life. The USS Paxton reported in after 4 days when their comms went down & stated that the sector was not safe for travel after extracting the two surviving guards assigned to the team.

    Sam breathed a sigh of relief. He laid the PADD down and got a coffee from the replicator.

    Three days after docking
    Over the past three days, Sam & Akyv did a little bit of shopping, then spent a few hours at Quark's. Sam looked refreshed & wanted to put work out of his mind. Something...or someone...would bring the past screeching back to the forefront of his mind. He noticed a rather familiar face stride through the promenade. A face he thought he'd never see again. "Sam," Akyv nudged, "you okay?" He half nodded and said, "I don't know. I think I've seen a ghost of my past." She laughed a bit, saying, "Must've been an old girlfriend." Sam grinned, saying, "Yeah, you could say that. I'll see you back on the ship." Sam downed his whiskey & strode after the familiar. Akyv said, "See you." She looked confused for a moment, then took her handbag and headed to the Dabo wheel.

    Back on the Ares
    When Sam boarded, he noticed the ship was pretty empty. He felt uncomfortable doing this. He decided to look up the new captain's file. Sam's face fell when he saw the name, 'Mariella Jones'.

    Sam cursed a bit loudly, then went to a replicator to get a bottle of Kentucky whiskey, then headed to the captain's quarters to 'face his past'.

    END

    OOC: I want to do the next part over PM & post it here as a single post.
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    #7
     –  Last edited by deuZige; Wed 13 Jan, 2021 2:38 AM.
    Deep Space 9
    Ops, commanding officer’s office



    Instinctively Schrit took a step to his left while at the same time raising his hands. If the voice belonged to whom he suspected it belonged it wouldn’t be out of character for him and his son to be looking at a phaser aimed at them when they turned around. Slowly, with his body now in front of his son, he turned around. He found his suspicions to be spot on, both on the identity of the voice’s owner as on the phaser being pointed at them. “Please, let me explain. There’s no need for the phaser ma’am.” he said.

    An awkward silence filled the room and for a moment Schrit feared the Colonel was going to are on the side of caution and fire the phaser.
    ~Why am I thrilled and excited looking down the barrel of a phaser aimed at me? BECAUSE IT IS IN THE HANDS OF KIRA NERYS!!!! Omg. Get a grip on yourself idiot! Before she pulls the trigger!!!~ Schrit thought to himself. Behind him he could hear his son whispering in a starstruck voice; “Dad, it’s her, it’s her, it’s Colonel Kira!”

    As another awkward moment passed without anyone being phasered Schrit decided to speak up.

    “Please Colonel. Lower your phaser. There’s nothing more going on than two fans over enthusiastically going too far in their adoration. We’re unarmed and we had no other intentions than to see “the desk:” with our own eyes. We hadn’t even expected to be able to get in here. My name is Schrit van Hulftoids, and behind me is my son, Danre van Hulftoids”

    Leaning to the left in order to have a better look at the person standing behind the Lieutenant Junior grade that spoke to her Colonel Kira saw that it was indeed a child. Being used to children, other than Bajoran ones, being frightened by weapons being pointed at them or their parents she expected the kid to be afraid.

    Surprisingly enough she noticed that the kid was looking at her with starstruck eyes instead, devoid of any fear despite her phaser still being pointed at them. Looking back at the adult’s expression she found that it held no fear, mere concern mixed in with the starstruck expression she had seen so many times since the end of the Dominion war. She sighed with exasperation as she lowered her phaser. Though she thoroughly hated being the object of hero-worshiping, or veneration of any kind, she knew that the FNS was to blame, exaggerating the role she and the other DS9 residents had played during the war.

    “Alright Lt. I’ll give you the opportunity to explain yourselves, before I have you arrested for trespassing.” the Bajorran woman said, walking past the duo and sitting down in the chair behind the desk.

    Slowly Schrit lowered his hands and put one arm around his son’s shoulders. The sound of a holo cam snapping a shot made him cringe, and look down at his son with a look that sais “really?”

    Danre returned the look with an innocent expression and shrugged. “We’re sorry Ma’am Colonel, we didn’t mean to scare you, or trespass anywhere off limits. We didn’t see any signs on our way here that said we were someplace we were not supposed to be.” Danre said, putting on his most innocent face. Schrit picked up on that, adding; “We were doing a tour of the station and found ourselves in this corridor that looked like no one had been there in a while, wondering where it would lead. When we got to a door with a key pad my son, who’s just as much of a Dominion War aficionado as I am, followed up on a hunch he had before he discussed it with me and well…”

    The Colonel had so far listened to the duo’s explanation with increasing interest. The way they both seemed to continue their explanation from where the other had left off lent credence to their story, though she suspected some details to be exaggerated or omitted to their benefit. “Go on” she prompted, keeping her voice and expression stern despite being amused by the duo and starting to like them instinctively.

    “Having almost completely memorized DS9’s layout from the schematics that are publicly available I guessed that we had to be on the Operations level when we went through that small passage behind that door” Danre said, pointing at the side door they had entered the office through. “That got me thinking and then I remembered……” Danre continued, then looking at his father for a moment. As his father nodded to him approvingly he went on. “I have watched all holo’s and vid’s from the war, as well as the logs and articles I could get access to Ma’am, and I remembered one of them, I think it was from Mss. Dax, mentioning a code she used when she didn’t want to go through Ops. Or something and I tried it.”

    Schrit picked up again where his son trailed off. “I his youthful enthusiasm he acted as soon as his mind came up with the idea of the code and punched the code in before I could react to it. We were both surprised to find the code worked and the door opened.” he said. He looked from the Colonel to his son and then back with a shrug saying; “We couldn’t resist stepping through the door and then we were to awestruck to find ourselves in the actual place where the greatest hero of them all, the emissary of the Prophets, Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko had worked all that time.” consciously emphasizing their admiration for Captain Sisko, guessing that Colonel Kira was less than enthusiastic about being admired in any way for the part she played during the war.

    Danre noted that the Colonel had been quiet during their explanation and that her expression had softened quite a bit since they’d come face to face with her and before his father could hold him back he stepped towards the desk, holding up the controller for the holocam-droid that was still softly buzzing behind them. “We are very sorry Ma’am if we scared you, and for breaking any rules. If it will help you can have my holocam wiped so no one will know we were here.” Danre said, offering the controller to the Colonel.

    For a few seconds the Colonel considered the duo’s story and looked at the controller that the kid was holding up to her. She then got up and walked over to the backdoor to her office which was still opened. Sticking her head through the doorway she punched in some commands into the panel beside the doorway and shook her head in annoyance. She couldn’t believe no one, herself included, had ever given any thought to that door or the access code that opened it. She looked down the small passageway that lead to the door, and noted it’s dusty and unmaintained state. She then stepped back into the office and turned to face the duo who were watching her curiously. “Alright. I believe you.:” she told them, while walking back to her chair behind the desk. The Colonel then keyed in some commands on her computer console looking from its display to the Lieutenant Junior grade and back. “Lieutenant Junior Grade Schrit van Hulftoids, recently transferred from Utopia Planetia Research and Development to the USS Ares.” she read, looking Schrit in the eye with as stern an expression as she could muster.

    Schrit steeled himself seeing the Colonel’s expression after she’d read off the summary from his Personnel file, standing to attention. He expected to be reprimanded and receive some disciplinary penalty of some sort, at the very least. “Yes Ma’am. I have yet to report to the Ares for duty though. I had some time before I had to report for duty and….” he began, stammering a bit in expectation of being chewed out.

    The Colonel interrupted him mid-sentence with a wry smile. “Relax Lieutenant. This is your lucky day. I am not going to contact your commanding officer, nor will I make any mention of your trespassing in any official record. Don’t get me wrong, you did trespass, and in any other circumstance I would have thrown the book at you without hesitation. But I have to acknowledge that the side entrance to this office has been neglected, and that you have exposed what could have been a serious security risk that we can now eliminate. Because I am in a good mood today, I’ll consider that to square each other out.” the Colonel said. She then looked at Danre. “I will let you keep the holocam device and the holo’s you have on it, if you promise to keep the ones of this office private. If I ever see any holo-pics of my office on the net I will be very very angry. And I’ll know who to vent my anger upon when that happens, do you understand?”

    Danre put the controller for the holocam droid in his pocket and nodded. “Yes Ma’am, thank you. I promise to keep this very secret. No one will ever know. Thank you.” Danre said, stepping back from the desk and standing next to his father.

    “Thank you Colonel. We’re grateful for your understanding. We’ll leave you to your duties now.” Schrit said, then saluted. He then turned on his heels and stepped out of the office through it’s main doorway, his son in tow. Ignoring the odd and surprised expressions on the officers on duty in ops., pulling his son along to prevent him from gawking and/or snapping any more holo-pics, he stepped onto the turbolift. “Promenade” he ordered as soon as he, his son and the holocam droid were beside him, not turning around until the turbolift had descended enough to take them out of anyone in Ops’s view.

    Danre and Schrit then looked at each other, both let out an audible sigh of relief before bursting into laughter and high fives. This would be an adventure neither of them would ever forget. A father and son memory forged and cherished forever.

    Now it was time for the two to get to their new home and for Schrit to report for duty on the USS Ares.

    [OOC] Ready to report for duty! Who shall i report to, and how shall we set up the post?[/OOC]
    DeuZige
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    #8
    U.S.S. ARES – Present Day
    Deck 8 – Enlisted Quarters

    Jei looked in the mirror at herself, trying to control her anxiety and fear. This side effect was a product of not her PTSD from the war, but a product from a strict upbringing under imperious parents. Some counselors had tried to convince Jei that it was abusive, but Jei never liked that word as it made her feel like a victim.

    She looked at the bottle of pills, antidepressants, on the counter. She had not used them for the past few months, trying to keep her mind and body clear. Her intensive accelerated medical training and studies with the EMH and Christopher had helped immensely with Jei learning to live and deal with her anxiety and depression. In fact, during this time, Jei even began to enjoy the small things in life.

    Things like meals with her close friends and shipmates. As schedules allowed, she would share her meals with Christopher who was not only her closest friend and confident, but her mentor. He was the older brother she wished she had. Besides Christopher, her close bond and friendship with Hayes, Martin, and Eddie became stronger. They were Jei’s support group, in a loose sense, with helping her deal with her PTSD, as all of them not only understood what Jei was going through, they were also dealing with their own.

    Nonetheless, Jei felt she couldn’t turn to them for this new curveball that had been thrown at her. It was a short and concise message she had just received. “Pack-up your belongings, I’m taking you home.”

    * * * * * *
    Seoul, Korean Peninsula, Earth – Over a Decade earlier
    Library - Han Family Estate

    Jei, in her drenched middle school uniform, shivered as she knelt on her knees before a middle-aged man in a disciplinary fashion. Her father had just snatched and thrown the contents of a flower vase at her.

    “I am beginning to wonder if you are *EVEN* biologically related to me. You not only *FAILED* again at being ranked 1st in your grade… you even managed to *DROP* a position to 3rd in your grade. That means you are a *FAILURE* not only to me but this family,” he admonished as he continued to pace angrily before Jei. He stopped at the broken vase and mess of flowers that it once held.

    He looked at it with contempt, as seeing his daughter ‘playing’ with flowers instead of studying made his blood boil. Ripping it from her hands and throwing it in her face didn’t do anything to quell his anger at her continued academic failures and other shortcomings that made him embarrassed to even regard her as his offspring.

    Jei felt the silence meant he wanted her to acknowledge and reply. Fighting back her tears, as she knew it made him angrier, she found her voice. “I’m sorry, Father. I’ll try to…”

    WHACK!!!

    Jei didn’t finish her words as the force of her father’s sudden back hand knocked her to the ground.

    Seeing that his daughter was even too feeble to remain upright after a half-hearted disciplinary strike brought a long audible displeased sigh from his lips. “How many times have I told you. To *TRY* is to fail. You may as well go to the roof and jump off, if *ALL* you are going to do is… *TRY*…now get up and answer me,” rebuked her father.

    Jei again collected her strength and got back into her kneeling position, doing her best to ignore the sting of her check and bitter taste of blood from her lip. “I will endeavor follow your wisdom and example, like my older siblings, to bring you and the family honor,” answered Jei.

    Byung Hin stopped his pacing directly in front of his youngest child, and looked down upon her. His gaze was piecing, as if he was gauging the value and worth of her response. He suddenly shifted his weight and brought his hand up, testing his daughter. Yet, she didn't flinch. This pleased him and instead of a strike, he casually stroked his trimmed and manicured goatee in a thoughtful manner.

    “Good. Now, go clean yourself up, and return to your studies. I will quiz you on your xeno microbiology and fluid dynamics after dinner…” instructed her father. “And... I better not be disappointed,” he added in a warning tone.

    * * * * *
    U.S.S. ARES – Present Day
    Deck 8 – Enlisted Quarters

    Jei took a breathe. “Computer, connect me to Chief Nakamura, private channel.”

    *"Acknowledged. Chief Nakamura is currently on duty at the main docking port. Connecting…"*

    =^= “Hey Jei, what’s up?” =^=

    “Eddie, can you do me a favor? A personal one…”

    =^= “Sure. You don’t have to ask permission, you know. What do you need?” =^=

    “Please enter a ‘No Access – No Boarding’ flag for anyone identifying themselves as Byung Jin Han or Dr. Byung Jin Han or anyone asking to see me. If they attempt to do so, let them know I will meet them on the station,” requested Jei.

    =^= “Ok. Um… Jei, is there a pro…” =^=

    “Thanks, Eddie. I… I just don’t want him or anyone to cause trouble here… on the ship. If I have to deal with him or anyone, I rather it be on neutral ground,” explained Jei.

    =^= “Jei, what’s going on? Is this your husba…” =^=

    “It’s my father. He must have tracked me down, but I’ll handle it. Thanks again, Eddie,” replied Jei as she cut the comm.

    Jei looked at herself in the mirror again. “You can do this. You’re not a school girl anymore.”
    Silynn
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    #9
    U.S.S. ARES – Present Day
    DS9 Docking Port – Main Entry to the USS ARES

    Jei meandered down the ship’s corridor leading to the docking port to DS9. The corridor was filled with the abundant foot traffic of the ARES crew leaving or returning from some enjoyable time on DS9.

    Before exiting into the docking port, Jei paused and momentarily closed her eyes. Her stomach was in knots and her heartrate was quite elevated as she fought her anxiety. She took a deep breathe, trying to settle her nerves, before going the last few meters to the entry point. She knew she had to put on a strong face to those who were waiting there.

    As Jei emerged from the ARES docking port and entered the modest sized bay of DS9’s upper docking pylon, she saw immediately two men in expensive civilian traveling attire waiting just beyond the security checkpoint. One was a man of distinguished looks, trim athletic build, and an air of importance. The only visible imperfection was that his grey hair betrayed his sixty plus years. The other man, in his forties, was of similar stature and appearance, but was obviously obedient to his senior lacking the same charisma and confidence. The younger man, with an unsettling smirk, noticed Jei first and politely alerted his elder companion.

    The elder gentleman turned and his penetrating gaze was like a knife straight into Jei’s gut. It took all of her inner strength to not falter as she approached the pair. Jei logged her disembarking with the ARES security detail and approached the two waiting men in the open area beyond.

    * * * * *
    Seoul, Korean Peninsula, Earth – Eight Years Ago
    Patriarch Study - Han Family Estate

    Jei stood with obedient poise, feet together and hands clasped precisely in front of her. Before her was an ornate marble desk in the opulent private study. The study, her father’s inner and private sanctum, was filled with variety of priceless art work, volumes of old text, and a display of medical items from modern time all the way to the era of the early Chinese dynasties.

    Jei had stood in silence for what seemed like half an hour, as her father drank his tea and continued to read from a padd, intentionally ignoring her. He knew she had finished packing and was set to leave for the Starfleet Medical Academy in San Francisco, yet his desire for total control over everything had him ignoring his youngest child before him.

    Jei knew this was his way of punishing her audacity to not follow in his and the family’s footsteps by attending the National University there in Seoul. That she was the only one of his children who openly sought admission, against his wishes, into Starfleet’s Medical Academy. In reality, Jei knew the real reason. That he and her brothers had all failed in gaining admission into the vaunted Starfleet Medical program. The fact that she, a constant failure in her father’s eyes and called ‘Last Place’ by her brothers became ironic. As she was able to do something which they all failed to achieve.

    A chill overcame Jei as someone entered the study. The breeze and change of air tickled her nose and caused her to sneeze. Her father looked up with annoyed eyes and slammed his padd down on his desk. Jin, her older brother quickly moved beside Jei and bowed to their father.

    “Father, a Starfleet officer is downstairs and here to take Last Place here to San Francisco,” informed Jin.

    The Han Patriarch stood and went to the window and look outside in the courtyard below. Jin, seeing their fathers back turned, used this opportunity to elbow Jei in the ribs. His nearly forty plus centimeters and fifty kilos over in height and mass, caused his baby sister to fall to the ground from the hard contact. Even though he was a man in his 30s, being fourteen years older than Jei, he was very immature and often mean spirited toward his kid sister, when he could get away with it.

    “Jin! Act your age…” warned their father as he turned around and walked around to stand before them.

    Jei just looked up which seemed to annoy her father. He reached down, grabbing her arm and yanked her up. As Jei found her feet, he seized her chin and jaw with his free hand, forcing her to stand on her tip toes. Jei heard a snicker from Jin as he saw the unfolding scene amusing.

    “GET OUT! NOW!” ordered their father as he momentarily turn his ire and glare towards his eldest son.

    Jin’s eyes went wide at the admonishment. He bowed and quickly left, closing the door without even making a further sound. It was now Jei’s turn to grin, even if she was in a compromised position herself. She always saw her eldest brother as their father’s lapdog. Seeing him run out of the room with his tail between his legs always felt like a small measure of justice for her. Jei knew that her brother wouldn’t have finished, let alone graduate, at the top of his primary and secondary schools, or even college without their father’s special aid and influence with the administrators of those institutions. It was a deeply guarded family secret that he lacked the most. Yet, in a patriarch dominated family, the first-born son was always the reflection of the family, and the father.

    ~ “He could never be allowed to fail… when it mattered… all for father’s pride…” ~mused Jei.

    Jei suddenly was thrown to the ground again. She looked up and saw her father glowering down at her. “Do you find this amusing?” he questioned with a raised eyebrow, hoping for an excuse to stop Jei from leaving.

    Jei immediately went to her knees and looked at the floor demurely. “No, Father.” Jei hoped her dangling hair framing her face aptly covered her small smirk.

    “You will call home once a week, Sunday, after morning mass… which I better not hear you skipping. You are representing me and our family at Starfleet Medical, and I do not have to lecture you about failing, yes?”

    Jei obediently bowed her head in acknowledgement. “Yes, father. I only endeavor to bring you and our family honor.”

    Satisfied, he held out a hand to Jei. She modestly took it and her father gently helped her up. He gazed at her, and for the first time, Jei did not feel the contemptuous glare. After what seemed like an eternity, he pulled Jei into an embrace and warmly kissed her forehead as it rested against his chest.

    “If only you were born a son,” muttered her father.
    Silynn
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    #10
    Joint post by Josh A. Broughm & Welchavenger
    USS Ares
    Captain's Quarters

    Mariella sat in her ready room and was reviewing the crew notes that Teriir left for her. Interesting situation going on in Medical, some really brave actions by security staff during their last mission, fighter pilots did well during their engagement with the Nausicans and the ship's diplomat got married. Mariella froze when she saw the groom's name. Sam Urquhart. 'Well, this should be fairly fun.' she thought sarcastically.

    Thinking of how best to handle it, Mariella thought, 'Just rip the damn band aid off.' "Computer, inform Diplomatic Aide Urquhart that he has a meeting with the Captain of the Ares in one hour."

    =/\= Message sent. =/\=

    Mariella busied herself around the ready room, placing photos and ornaments from her quarters to give the place a lived in feel. When the door chimed, she ordered a cup of chai from the replicator and sat behind her desk. "Enter." She looked at the man from her past and the look on his face and decided that this was going to actually be fun. "Quit standing there looking like a worried sheep Mr Urquhart. I couldn't believe it when I saw your name as the ship's diplomatic officer."

    Sam grimaced and said, "I said the same thing when I saw that you were assigned command about....five minutes ago." He offered the bottle of whiskey and said, "How's life been treating you?"

    Mariella frowned at the bottle, "About as well as can be expected, given the circumstances I found myself in." She took the bottle and placed it on the desk. "Well Mr Urquhart, congratulations on your wedding. To one of our nurses I believe? Does she know?" Mariella sipped her tea and gave Sam a piercing look.

    "Not yet," Sam said, "but I'd expect her to show up at some point." He looked at the whiskey bottle and said, "I thought you liked Kentucky Whiskey?"

    "Past tense, Sam. A lot has changed since you last saw me." Mariella said

    "Ah." Sam said, timidly. He sat down and said, "How long has it been? Twenty years?"

    Mariella sighed, "Sam, what's going on here? You turn up with a bottle of Bourbon and want to catch up? If I hadn't been given command of the Ares, would have even given me a second thought? Actually, don't answer that, it wouldn't be fair to your wife."

    Sam drew a large breath & began, "If my leaving Starfleet academy hurt you in any way, please know I didn't mean to hurt you. I NEVER meant to hurt you in any way, shape or form...EVER. You saw how extremely stressed I was in there, right?" Sam was starting to fight back tears, remembering those nights of trying to complete those very detailed papers that were assigned. "It was HORRIBLE and you knew it. You tried to comfort me, but you had your own academy classes to worry about, so, I decided to quietly inform the Dean that I was dropping out. I thought it'd be easier to just leave without letting you know."

    "Do you know that I ran around for almost three days trying to convince the staff to start dragging the bay area for your body? With the state you were in, I was convinced I'd pushed you too far trying to convince you to stay. The Dean wouldn't tell me anything other than you weren't dead. I got married before I stopped feeling guilty." Mariella explained.

    "This isn't your fault," Sam said, "This is all on me. I should've let you know. I'm happy that you found someone better than I was. I wanted to make sure that anything between us is chucked in a supernova if we're to be working together. The whiskey is a peace offering...of sorts."

    "I'll take the peace offering in the spirit it was meant because I stopped hating you years ago." Mariella said with a sigh. "You appear to have grown up a bit and put some miles on your soul. You look good, Sam."

    Just then, the door chime rang. Sam looked at the clock & said, "Well, that didn't take long."

    Mariella looked at Sam, confused, "Come in!"

    The door opened to reveal Akyv, in a leather jacket, satin blue skirt and thigh-high boots. "So," she said, "this is the ghost of your past, eh Sammie?" Sam just put his head in his hand, saying, "Here comes the heartburn."

    Mariella sat back in her seat with a huge grin on her face, "The ghost of your past? Oh dear, Sam, you were doing so well! Perhaps you'd better go explain our academy days to your lovely new wife so that she doesn't get the wrong idea about me."

    "Well," Sam said, "you were a kind ghost." Akyv took Sam by the arm as he got up & said, "Yeah, you need to spill the beans, Sammie. I'd LOOOOVE to hear it!" Sam looked at Akyv and said, "Might as well. Captain, I'll see you later."

    Mariella watched the couple leave and as they were about to step through the door, she called out, "And Sam, you might want to leave out the story about those three weeks at the Amalfi coast."

    Sam stopped dead in his tracks. Akyv smiled Mischievously, saying, "Want to grab drinks later?" Sam grabbed her shoulders and pushed her out the door

    Mariella barely managed to wait until the doors closed before laughing out loud.
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    #11
     –  Last edited by LogicalLeopard; Sun 17 Jan, 2021 2:26 AM.
    Deep Space 9
    Quark's Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade


    "You're a coward, Bix..."

    Biiqs looked up from his plate, startled, fork hanging in the air. "Excuse me?"

    The sound of the distant surf filled the long seconds before Chief Warrant Officer Fatima Khaira responded. Her eyes were fixed upon him, seemingly penetrating to his soul. The
    warm glow of fading sunlight and quiet indignation draped her form like a cloak. A salt tinged breeze gently lifted loose strands of her hair, arranging them into new configurations Biiqs found enthralling. She was wearing a stunning, deep crimson dress, cut in the Orion classic style that had recently come back into fashion. It occured to him then that he had never seen her wear anything other than a uniform.

    She took a sip of Madeira before continuing. "I've seen you fight armed Jem Hadar bare handed. I've seen you work a tactical station with hands burned and bleeding from power surges and shrapnel. I've seen you plunge into live fire to save fellow officers. I've been one of those officers. And Bix, you are a coward."

    Now she had his full attention. The fork and cooling hunk of shellfish returned to his plate, and he sat erect in his chair. But he said nothing, waiting for her to continue.

    "Why am I here?" she asked. "Why did you invite me here?"

    "Well, technically, you wrote the program and...."

    "After the war. Why did you make me agree to come here?"

    Biiqs looked around the simulation he understood to be Port Mahon, Menorca, Earth. Ancient dwellings and a grand set of stairs climbed up from the azure sea to the top of the island. The sky at dusk contained colors that somehow seemed richer than the ones he remembered on Earth as a youth, but he wasn't sure if it was clever editing of the holoprogram or too many years of bulkheads dulling his memory. Everywhere, warm amber light bathed the fronts of the brightly colored edifices and streets.

    Biiqs contemplated a pair of young lovers walking by the restaurant patio before he remembered to answer. "Captain Patrick. He said it was his favorite place on Earth. We were going to all come back and celebrate his promotion after the war...."

    "To drown his pip in Madeira, his expression was," continued Khaira. "To celebrate those who died by living life to the fullest. To help him court the fair Esme, who he last knew to be a waitron at this establishment..."

    "To turn out every mayor, reverend, and ship captain on the island to marry them in front of the Pigtail Steps," Biiqs finished, with a chuckle. "He always had a flair for the dramatic."

    "He wasn't the only one," replied Khaira coolly, taking a drink.

    Silence flowed in like a cold damp breeze, uncomfortable and darkly portentous.


    Biiqs opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by an outburst from a rowdy group passing the restaurant patio.

    "The night is still young, and our credits are heavy! Whatever shall we do to pass the time," one said?

    "Why, DABO, of course! Quark's Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade only has the finest, and most honest games of skill and chance," another responded.

    "Well then, let's GO!" The whole group continued down the street at a hurried pace, laughing and singing as they went.

    "Bix..." said Chief Khaira slowly, "You booked the holosuite time. Did you not think that spending extra to get the option without ads was worth it?"

    "I....I don't know, I mean, I didnt....i was preoccupied, i didn't read the contract well enough. Since when did they start making holosuites with advertisements?"

    A scream the nearest table cut him off. A woman wearing a fine Tholian silk dress had accidentally spilled a goblet of red wine all over herself. The waitron looked at her, and shook his head, tut tutting softly. "That stain will never come out, ma'am. Best to find yourself something new at Garak's Clothiers, located on the Pro--"

    "Computer, freeze program!" Biiqs barked. "Update to adless premium option, expenditure of excess credits authorized!"

    Expediture authorized. Changes made to holographic program. Thank you for visiting Quark's Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade.

    "Resume program," Biiqs grumbled.

    The revelers, waiter, and woman with the soiled dress disappeared. Khaira could barely stifle her laughter. Biiqs found it impossible to be annoyed when she was happy. "Where were we?" Biiqs asked quietly.

    "We were talking about how dramatic you were." Leaning across the table, she asked seriously, " Why did you never follow through on Captain Patrick's plan?"

    "Because Captain Patrick died."

    "Liar. You said you still wanted to celebrate in his honor. You told me to meet you here. Tell the truth."

    The memories washed over him, cold and merciless as the sea. In a voice that didn't seem his own, he croaked, "I...wanted to ask you to marry me."

    Chief Khaira sat back in her chair, arms folded across her chest, staring at him. Her face showed no indication of what she was thinking. After more moments than he felt his heart could take, she spoke.

    "There. Doesnt that make you feel better? The truth always does. Bix, you are a brilliant and courageous man, but an absolute coward and idiot when it comes to matters of the heart. You loved me. That's true. I loved you. That's true. But we were stationed in a war zone. Thats no way to build a true relationship, much less a marriage."

    She sighed and continued, her tone shifting from chastisement to a sort of sad resignation. "I would have said no. Without a doubt. But I would have asked for more time, time in....a sane environment. Taken slowly. Maybe we could have built something together, something special. But instead, you robbed me of that opportunity because you were too much of a coward to even show up.

    The reality of her words were less like a slap or punch, but hurt more like the deep ache of old wounds. The balm of truth helped blunt the pain, but only a little.

    "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I'm sorry," he repeated, voice overburdened with emotion, not knowing what else to say.

    "I know you are," Khaira said gently, reaching her smooth, warm brown fingers across the table to clasp his rough cerulean hand gently. "You can't help being an idiot or a coward in the presence of my impressive intellect, beauty, and wisdom. You were also overly infatuated to my hair, like the weird individual you are. In my deep benevolence, I still like you. Yet, not enough to marry you. I won't ever do that hastily again. I'd like to remain your friend, though."

    Biiqs laughed. The woman was a roller coaster. One minute he was fearful, then at the edge of tears, then full of joy. "Nothing would make me happier than to remain your friend. I....wait. You won't ever do that hastily again?"

    A dreamy smile painted Chief Khaira's face. "Like I said, I came here anyway. He was a musician. An Aurelian. With dreamy eyes, lush plumage, and the most elegantly sculpted beak, very reminiscent of our own Lt. Brok-Un of the Ares. You remember him from the talent show?"

    Biiqs opened and closed his mouth, then opened it again. "You....you got..."

    "Kidding. I didn't show up and marry someone from Port Mahon. It was a year later. Lasted 11 days, before it was annulled. I still wasn't ready. The war was hard."

    Biiqs nodded, turning his hand to grasp her fingers. "And its over now. Here's to new beginnings," he said, lifting his glass of Madeira.

    Khaira lifted her glass. "To well deserved promotions, to absent friends, to life lived to the fullest, to the heart of fair Esme, to new beginnings."

    Their glasses clicked, and the weight of years shifted from Biiqs' conscience.

    "Speaking of new beginnings...can you fix me up with Lt. Brok-Un? He is an excellent tenor, unlike you, and I feel I could lose myself in those black eyes forever...."

    "You're a cruel woman, Fatima Khaira. No wonder we won the war, with you on our side..."
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    #12
    U.S.S. ARES – Present Day
    DS9 Docking Port – Main Entry to the USS ARES

    Jei walked up to the two waiting men. Stopping before them, reflex and instinct took over. Jei correctly bowed deeply, feet together and hands demurely clasped just below her belly-button, in respect to her father and eldest brother. As she bowed, she greeted them in their native Korean tongue with high honorifics. “Father, it is an honor to…”

    WHAAAACK!

    Before Jei could finish or even come upright, the elder man raised his hand and back handed her fiercely. Jei not only remained on her feet, but fought the urge to cover her stinging and throbbing from the right side of her face. Instead as an act of boldness, she resumed her bow before up righting herself. The adrenaline had begun surging within Jei’s body. Instead of a doe-eyed frightened little girl, eyes full of prevailing defiance and fury now glared back upon the perpetrator of the blow to her face.

    All activity and movement in the docking bay stopped as all eyes were now focused on this commotion.

    The elder man was caught off-guard by the passive-aggressive rebelliousness of his daughter. He also realized that he had caused a public spectacle. “I would not be here if you were not such a… failure,” the elder Han stated in a contemptuous tone in an attempt to protect his own pride.

    Jei remained silent as she glared dagger eyes at her father. Jei knew she was daring, even coaxing him to hit her again with her disobedience and refusal to prostrate herself before him. It was pure irony that he did not realize that he was the one who had made her resilient. Jei’s enduring of his harsh and abusive rearing imparted her the tools to fight and survive. Instead of turning into a marshmallow and being frozen with fear, Jei found a way to overcome. At this moment, Jei was emboldened as she had already ‘won’ this psychological battle. It was her father who lost face and his pride by not controlling his anger in public.

    Though Jei didn’t realize it, this was her method of ‘fighting back’. Those who used their ‘superior’ position or rank against her found out the hard way that Jei wasn’t an easy mark to domineer. Every supervisor, officer, or other entitled person who tried to unfairly lord over her met with the same defiant passive-aggressive demeanor from her. Those who pushed or demeaned her unjustly without cause, often had embarrassing or other scandalous coincidences publicly come to light.

    A pair of ARES security officers quickly approached in a half-trot half-run. The senior one immediately took a position between Jei and the pair of civilians in order to stop any further attacks and protect their shipmate. “Miss Han… is everything alright?” inquired the security officer without taking his eyes off the strangers.

    Jei took a quick breath, shaking off her bubbling inner rage, before making eye contact with the ARES security officer. “Yes… everything is fine, Keith. Thank you,” answered Jei.

    Petty Officer Keith Jiang grew-up with an inherent sense of duty and chivalry. He adopted Chief Nakamura’s motto of ‘Children, Women, and the elderly need to be protected’. It may have been due to being raised by a single mother and sister, but the values were something he lived by. Keith used this moment to study Jei’s face, particularly the area where the blow struck. It was already turning red, and likely would end up as a colorful black-eye. Though she had a calm, if intense look, Keith did notice tears in Jei’s eyes. Keith looked back at the elder man again and had to consciously force himself to unclench his fists before his knuckles turned white.

    “Jei… are you certain? I… need to report this to Chief Nakamura…” stated Keith.

    The Elder Han whispered something to his son and began walking back toward the lifts to the DS9 promenade and habitation rings. The son dutifully bowed to his father before coming forward.

    Keith instinctively turned toward the approaching civilian, effectively shielding Jei, and put an arm out. “Sir, you will maintain your distance, until we…” warned the security officer.

    Jei put a gentle hand on Keith’s shoulder and shook her head. “Keith… please… I’m fine. Don’t log this or tell Eddie. That was my father and this is my eldest brother. I’ll be fine. I’ll manage and resolve this.”

    Jin gave an exasperated and impatient sigh. “Enough of this piss-posh posturing Last Place. We have family business to discuss.”

    Suiting action to words, Jin ignored Keith as he stepped passed and grabbed his baby sister’s upper arm. “Let’s go. Don’t keep Father waiting.” As Jin still considerably towered over and outweighed his kid sister, it took almost no effort for him to tug her along as he began walking away.

    Keith’s blood was boiling at this unfolding scene. It was counter to everything he believed in and he had to act. Part training, part instinct, Keith firmly grabbed Jin’s arm that was gripping Jei’s arm. “Excuse me, SIR… but you will unhan…” interjected Keith.

    Seeing the tension building in Keith, Jei put a heartening hand on his arm and gently urged him to remove it. “It’s ok, Keith. Please… let this go, I’ll be ok. I promise,” sincerely soothed Jei.

    After a few hard seconds, Keith reluctantly nodded and let go of Jin’s arm. As Keith watched Jei being taken away toward the lifts, he saw Jei silently say, “Thank you” as she was all but dragged into the lift.

    The second security officer finally released his grip on the phaser holstered on his belt and quickly approached Keith. “Keith, we should call this in to Chief Nakamura. He would want to know…”

    Keith shook his head. “No. We’re not calling this in. I’ll talk to Chief Nakamura and give him a report in person. This says out of the official log.”

    The junior security officer looked confused. “But he struck her… hard! You can’t… We can’t let that…”

    “YES, I KNOW!” stated Keith harder than he meant to as his own emotions were in turmoil.

    Taking a breath, he walked over and put a reassuring hand on his junior’s shoulder. “And I agree with you… believe me. But if this gets reported, we would be hurting Jei more than helping her. Understand? Trust me on this, I’ll talk to the Chief and he’ll figure something out,” informed Keith. “Go back and help Gosett and Miro at the checkpoint. I need to talk to the Chief.”
    Silynn
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    #13
    U.S.S. ARES
    Deck 8 - Sickbay


    Christopher had taken time during the transit to DS9 to finalise Jei's curriculum. Another couple of weeks of classes in the holodeck and she'd be qualified to run the triage centre. The EMH informed him that Jei's bedside manner was a little lacking but Christopher was confident that it would develop with time and exposure to actual patients. The resupply time was a very quiet time in sickbay with most of the crew enjoying Bajor and the station. Christopher had opted to spend his time on board the ship and enjoy the quiet. He sat in his office and watched the latest blockbuster holos while keeping an eye out for patients coming in. This latest holo was exactly what Christopher needed, it was mindless action with a paper thin plot but it enabled him to relax, leaning back in his chair. Because of this, he didn't see or hear the doors open.

    "Ahem." Mariella coughed politely.

    Christopher looked at his new Captain and stood up. "Can I help you, ma'am?"

    Mariella nodded, "Sure can, I've come for my arrival medical."

    Christopher blinked, "You're the first captain I've ever heard of that actually reports for a medical without being threatened."

    "Even starship Captains learn their lesson... eventually." Mariella smiled.

    Christopher ushered her to a biobed, "Okay, Captain, you'll have to lie down before I can start."

    "Easy there, Doctor, dinner first." Mariella laughed.

    Christopher's mouth dropped open and he could feel a bright red blush infuse his face. His throat clamped down and wouldn't make any noise.

    Mariella saw Christopher's reaction, "Relax, kiddo, I'm just teasing you." She did, however, lie down.

    Breathing a sigh of relief, Christopher activated the bed's scanner and sat down at the bedside console, "Nice to see a captain with a sense of humour."

    "Just trying to set you at ease." Mariella turned her head to face Christopher, "Captain Teriir left me a briefing about the shuttle mission on Dorvan five. I've also read the councillor's report."

    "Captain.." Christopher began.

    "Hush." Mariella said. "That sounds like it was an impossible situation. I'm sorry to hear about Ensign Patel. Did her husband remain on board?"

    "No," Christopher began, his chest tightening with the remembrance of loss, "Vivaan disembarked and decided to go back to spend time with Amita's family."

    "That's probably for the best. Too many reminders on a starship." Mariella said. "How are you coping?"

    "I'm fin.." Christopher stopped himself mid sentence, tears beginning to spill, "No, I'm not fine but I'm dealing with it."

    Mariella reached out and placed a hand over Christopher's, her tone shifting, "The beast isn't easy to live with but it does get easier. Trust me, I know."

    Christopher sniffed and wiped his eyes with a tissue, "Haven't heard anyone else refer to it as the beast, except for Mr Hayes."

    "He's very wise then, I look forward to meeting him." Mariella said, "How's your new recruit?"

    "Jei?" Christopher asked, "She's a natural. Wait did Captain Teriir tell you about her file?"

    "Relax, Doctor, that's still in hand. Starfleet hasn't forgotten about Ensign Han, an investigator is due to deliver a report at any time now." Mariella explained, appreciative that the doctor cared about his staff.

    The scanner chimed and Christopher took a moment to analyse the results. "Perfect health, Captain. You can get up now."

    "Thanks, Doc." Mariella got up and offered her hand.

    Christopher shut down the biobed and shook his Captain's hand, "Did you get everything you came for?" He said with a knowing smile.

    Mariella nodded, "And a little bit more too. See you around, Doctor."

    Christopher watched as the Captain left sickbay, then shook his head. 'Interesting command style.' he thought. With that, Christopher went back to his office to finish watching his holodrama.
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  8. Ares Commanding Officer

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    #14
    U.S.S. ARES
    Urquhart's quarters

    Sam & Akyv were settling in for a movie they found in the database. From what they read of it, it was an artistic modification of the visual logs from the V'ger incident. Sam replicated a rather large bowl of popcorn, loaded with butter. He had real popcorn before while on earth, but this was a fine alternative.

    They sat down. Sam said, "Computer, start movie." The computer beeped & started the movie. Akyv said to him, "The captain seems nice enough." Sam said, "Yeah, she is." She noticed a grin on his face & said, "You two had a great thing going during your Academy days, didn't you?" Sam just nodded, "We started dating about two months before I started in the Academy. She had just started her second year & I couldn't wait to start in the Academy. The first date with her, we went to King of Donairs in Halifax. She enjoyed the hell out of it." Akyv looked at him with a curious look, saying, "That's....where our first date was." Sam nodded, "Yeah, I know. At that point of my life, I was looking for a place to fit in. I had thought Starfleet would be it, but the stress was too much & I had to leave."

    "And you," Akyv said, "just decided to leave this poor woman to worry about you for years. You cruel man." She put a little bite on the those three words. "I'm sorry that it happened like that, but I had no choice." The movie proceeded to the long sequence of the Enterprise in spacedock. "I know you've grown wiser because of it," Akyv stated, "but what you did was a dirt move, Poyo." Sam nodded and said, "I know." She grabbed a handful of popcorn & asked, "What happened at the Amalfi coast?" He plainly said, "You'd have to ask her. I've blocked that....*SIGH*....incident out of my head." Akyv smiled and said, "You wouldn't mind if I-" Sam rolled his eyes, saying, "Go right ahead, but don't throw me in a plasma conduit." Akyv smiled widely and nestled into the couch, Sam put his arm around her and said, "Love ya, blue Angel." She reached up & kissed him softly on the lips, Just as the Enterprise left Spacedock, to confront the unknown threat.
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    #15
    Seoul, Korean Peninsula, Earth – Twenty Years Ago
    Main Garden - Han Family Estate

    Jei sat mesmerized as she watched her elder sister, Jinhee, oil paint the seasonal blooming of the flowers in their family garden. The multitude of flowers were lovingly cultivated and maintained by their mother. Nevertheless, Jei had always idolized her older sister and constantly could be found by her side whenever she came home from the university. It was a small measure of irony in the male dominated Han family, that the only two daughters were the end caps of the children, being the eldest and the youngest children, but showed the most potential in intelligence.

    “Unnie, that is so pretty. I wish I could draw like that,” admired Jei, barely six-years old with her hair in pig-tails.

    Jinhee smiled at her kid sister. “Paint, Jeihee… not Draw,” corrected the older sister. Korean was a difficult language in the sense of the various honorific styles of formal and informal speech. Jinhee knew that their father only wanted to hear perfect Korean from his children, thus as reflex, she corrected her younger sister less she get a harsher correction from their father.

    Jei nodded and smiled. “Ah… Paint,” Jei copied as she tried to earnestly commit the correction to memory.

    Jinhee was visiting for the weekend, a small reprieve from Medical School at Seoul University. Even though Jinhee had been away at school for most of Jei’s life, she adored her kid sister and tried to spend as much time when home with her. “Jeihee, I am sure you will be able to as well… better in fact, by the time you’re my age,” beamed Jinhee.

    “Will I be as pretty too?” asked Jei.

    Jinhee put her brush down and gave her baby sister a studied gaze. The sisters were sixteen years apart. Jinhee was not only intelligent but beautiful. As soon as she completed her initial Bachelor’s degree the previous year, her father began pressuring her to get married. It was the real reason she came home for the weekend. To meet with a few suitors that her father had selected as candidates.

    “Well… that depends, my adorable little sister,” stated Jinhee as she playfully touched her kid sister’s nose.

    Curious and yearning to be just like her older sister. “Oh what? I… I mean, how?”

    Jinhee giggled and suddenly began tickling her sister, “If you don’t turn into a melon after I tickle you!”

    Jei squealed and laughed in delight. The innocent and pure laughter from Jei shook Jinhee. Reflecting on her own experiences of growing up, she worried that the same script will play out for her baby sister. The innocence and carefree joy, ripped away and replaced by obedience and perfection. Old memories of her childhood flooded her mind as she pictured Jei growing up under the same roof as their father. Experiencing the same pain and trauma. Those heartrending thoughts brought tears to Jinhee’s eyes.

    Jinhee stopped her sudden playful tickle attack and brought Jei into a tight embrace. It was then, that Jei noticed her sister’s mood change as she looked up at her older sister’s face. She had tears.

    “Unnie… why are you crying?” carefully inquired Jei as she watched a tear falling down Jinhee’s cheek.

    Jinhee quickly wiped the tears away and put all her effort to smile for her baby sister. “I am just so happy to see you… it is ok to cry when you are happy too.”

    Even though Jei didn’t understand things, she knew enough to understand when people were angry, sad, or happy. Seeing that Jinhee was sad, made Jei sad. Tears began to form in Jei’s eyes now. Kneeling to be at eye level with her younger sister, Jinhee pondered and decided to impart the best words of wisdom she could give her baby sister.

    “Jei… promise me, that when you can… when you are a little older, that you will go as far away as you can. Go off world, go anywhere far away from here. Ok? As soon as you finish secondary school, get away from here. Promise me.”

    Jei looked up at the sky where her sister was pointing and back at her sister. “Up there? In space?” asked Jei, as she was confused.

    “Yes, my darling sister. I want you to be happy. Promise me, as soon as you can, you will go as far away as possible for school and never come back,” urged Jinhee.

    DS9 – Present Day
    Luxury Accommodations – Habitat Ring

    Jei sat on a sofa, opposite her father, whom was sitting on the single plush chair. Jei suppressed the urge to roll her eyes as it was so like her father to pick the one chair similar to a throne. The tea in front of her had long gone cold since she refused to touch it. Even though it was a special tea brought all the way from Earth. Jei refused to accept her father’s attempt to ignore his striking her publicly. By now, she had a full shiner of a black eye.

    Jei’s anger and fury had only grew in magnitude as she was brought here. An ironic reversal, as both her father and brother were somewhat subdued. To Jei’s dismay, her passive-disobedience and anger did not elicit the results she wanted. She wanted them to lose. She wanted them to lose control of their emotions and unleash their anger. Though, Jin had nearly lost his cool several times, he was quickly cowed and tucked his tail between his legs from the quick mention of his name by their father in a harsh tone.

    Jin returned from the adjoining room after retrieving a cold compress from their father’s medical bag. He held it out, still standing, to his kid sister. “Here. Take this Last Place…”

    Jei, her arms folded across her chest, just eyeballed the offered medical remedy and gave her elder brother an icy glare before slapping it away, causing it to fall to the ground.

    “Why? Did you finally grow some smarts and pass an entrance exam to medical school? How many times have you failed it? Such a bully, but you’re the joke. This is why you are only an ‘Administrator’ now… and that only because of father’s influence, not your capability,” seethed Jei, knowing very well she had just gone straight to the nuclear option.

    Jin was an immature bully, yet in the past years had grown more infuriated and jealous. Thus, if there was anything that got him to go blind with rage, it was bringing up his failure and shame of his inability to become a doctor. He was the only one of the great Dr. Byung Jin Han’s children not smart enough to even get into medical school. It was an extremely sore spot and Jei not only punctured it with a hot searing lance, she ripped it wide open.

    Jei saw Jin’s eyes turn red with fury as he grabbed the front of her uniform tunic and yanked her up on her feet. Jei anticipated his fist coming at her, but not nearly fast enough and caught the blow on her mouth instead of her eye as she tried to shift her weight to avoid the strike. Yet the blow was incredibly forceful that it sent Jei crumpling to the ground.

    As she hit the ground, her vision went dark.

    Seoul, Korean Peninsula, Earth – Nine Years Ago
    Gimpo Starport

    “Unnie!” exclaimed Jei as she ran the ten meters between her and her older sister. Upon reaching her, Jei launched herself into a flying tackle hug.

    Jinhee saw what was coming and managed to brace herself for her kid sister’s flying embrace. She held Jei for a long moment before pulling away to look into the smiling face of her seventeen-year-old kid sister. “My, look at you. You have grown into a beautiful young lady,” beamed the elder sister.

    “I did it. I am going to San Francisco. To Starfleet Medical Academy,” informed Jei.

    Jinhee gave her younger sister another embrace. “I knew you could do it. If anyone in this family could, it would be you. I am so very proud of you, you know that, right?”

    Jei never imagined seeing her older sister at the Starport. “What are you doing here? I thought you would be…”

    “I am here to see you silly. You think I can let my precious little sister leave for the biggest and best adventure in her life… and not send her off?” beamed Jinhee.

    Jei bounced on her feet, unable to control her own jubilation as she held onto her older sister.

    “Here, I got you something,” informed Jinhee as she pulled a small box with a simple ribbon on it from her coat pocket.

    Like a child on Christmas morning, Jei open it with animated glee. Inside was a gold necklace. On the necklace were two interlocked stars with a single embedded diamond in each. Jei looked at it and then her sister, eyes beginning to tear up. “It is… beautiful… I…”

    “Here let me put this on for you,” directed Jinhee as she quickly turned her sister around so her back was to her. As her younger sister couldn’t see, she quickly swiped at her own tears.

    Jei held her hair to the side as her sister clasped the necklace. She studied the two interlocked stars. “This is us… you and me, right?”

    “It is… even if we are separated by light-years, I will always be with you,” declared Jinhee.

    Jei embraced her older sister, not having or trusting in words to express herself.
    Silynn
    Silynn Medals