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#1 Guest_Dr Thomas Grayson (Adm-Ret)_*

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Posted Star Date 21209.05 @ 22:09 (10:09 PM)

== For posts on Earth ==

#2 Lt Kamiro Tosamien Deklos {Kotho}

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Posted Star Date 21209.17 @ 07:20 (07:20 AM)

Kamiro had to focus through the pains of her body and that of the damaged telepathic inhibitor device…but Al’s mention of ‘elements’ was quite interesting and was worth remembering for later.

She actually was concerned for the man’s health…

…but I think he’ll be okay…just superficial injuries…

Once Al brought the craft to a semi-secluded landing site in area provincially called ‘The North Bay’. It was then that Al looked over her injuries; once completed Al said:

"Ekman will be able to remove that, and you'll live."

“Good to know.” Kamiro answered with a small smile.

Al exhaled heavily and then after a new breath he added:

"Well... I hate to leave a lady stranded, but I don't think it will take your people long to pick you up."

“Indeed.” Kamiro agreed; picking up some actual concern from the man, his hint of smile seemed authentic.

Al continued with:

"Perhaps I can sway things with Soter - whatever happened back there. He doesn't need to know I willingly let you go."

“Agreed.”

Next, Al decloaked the ship and opened the hatch; the bright sun added some additional short-term discomfort, but Deklos’ eyes adapted quickly.

"By the way, that was nice work back there...” Al stated:

“…what you did with the injured... you might well have have knocked me out instead."

“It was the only help I could offer…”

And Kamiro knew she had paid a price for it; but that would be for a doctor to determine fully. Her telepathic glands had likely suffered some ‘to-be-determined’ damage from the inhibitor’s malfunction and Kamiro’s forceful telepathic override…

...I’d do it again…

“…and as for you…never crossed my mind…and we’d both be dead or worse if I had knocked you out.”

Kamiro accepted Al’s help up and out of the seat without comment; and Kamiro hooked her arm around Al, as he held on to her at her waist; and side-by-side, they exited the craft.

Al pointed to a spot and Kamiro nodded in agreement; it would be suitable place to sit and/or lie down until she was extracted. Once at the spot, Kamiro resisted being set down as she looked at blood stained face:

“You saved my life…” Kamiro began:

And then on shear impulse, Kamiro placed her lips on his and then she withdrew; all in all, the contact was maybe for one and half seconds.

“…thank you.”
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#3 Guest_Ens Steven Jal Fischer_*

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Posted Star Date 21209.22 @ 18:15 (06:15 PM)

== Amalienborg Palace Courtyard, Copenhagen, Denmark ==

Steven smiled. He had always loved seeing the changing of the Royal Guards at the palace, ever since he wasn't able to stand himself, and instead had sat on his father's shoulders. The Guards had been ceremonious only, their projectile rifles not loaded, ever since the formation of the United Earth government centuries ago, but whenever Steven saw them, he always felt as if he was thrown back to an earlier era; their 19th century uniforms harkening back to a time Steven did not want back, even in his worst of times, but there was still this...feeling running through him, that he could not explain.

As Steven stood there, lost in his thoughts after the ceremony ended, his sister, ever curious and out-spoken (which was one of the many things he loved about her) suddenly blurted out:

"So....how's it like being on a real starship?"

He couldn't help but chuckle a little

"You've been on dad's ship many times, haven't you?"

She rolled her eyes.

"Well, yeah, but that's different. I mean...we've never stayed there, remember? I mean...living on a ship must be...wow!"

He smiled

"Well, the Sheridan is a fine ship", he begun his answer, not relaying all of the difficulties and disciplinary problems that they'd gone through. For one, he wasn't sure he was at liberty to say anything. But most importantly: It would tear a little bit of her impression of Starfleet, which she only knew through their father: Honest, dutiful, brave. And he did not want to ruin that picture, so he finished his answer:

"but I'd rather not talk about work while I'm on vacation", he said, smiling at her, and noticing out of the corner of his eye, that his mother nodded with approval.

"I think that's a great idea", she said, and continued: "Well....ceremony's over. Why don't we head back to the Estate and see if grandma and grandpa have finished lunch, hm?"

Both Steven and Sabrina smiled and nodded, and the small family made their way through the crowd towards the shuttle station, past the Ferengi merchant yelling "Real hair from Christian IV! Very limited supply! Buy NOW!".
If there was one thing that Steven found nostalgic, it was lunch at his grandparents' estate....

Edited by Ens Steven Jal Fischer, Star Date 21209.22 @ 18:16 (06:16 PM).


#4 Capt Imina Sevala {Adaran}

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Posted Star Date 21209.27 @ 17:22 (05:22 PM)

>> Continued from the old board >>

== Las Vegas ==

Imina listened to Derrick's words, though she didn't react immediately. She kept a slight smile on her face, mostly as a mask for her true emotions, which she wasn't yet ready to express. Though she'd relaxed her habits considerably since coming to live in the Federation, she was still essentially Romulan, and she never showed her hand during negotiations until she ready, and this was a negotiation. She wanted to hear what he had to say before revealing her own feelings.

The interruption though caused her to react. She raised an eyebrow as he broke off from her and answered the call, and she sighed in mild annoyance as she heard the subject matter. Things hadn't changed. They probably never would. Derrick would always be involved in something or other, no matter where he was or what he was doing. She'd gotten used to it though, while they'd been together. A year away from him, however, made her realize just how disrupting it was to their life.

When he finally came back to her, he announced two major things. The first was that he'd been appointed ambassador to the Cardassian Union, and the second was that an alternate universe version of him had appeared. The latter she'd known about for a while. SOCOM had fully briefed her on that and had given her full access to Star Fleet records on the matter. Thankfully, Derrick didn't want to go into that at the moment though. She wasn't ready to deal with it yet either.

She listened to his further words about their situation, and then she shook her head in response.

"Derrick, you don't have to prove anything," she told him. "You're here. That's enough. It's been rough this past year though. The things I went through just to help you while you were underground, they weren't easy. It's not bad enough that I'm Romulan, but I suddenly became the wife of a traitor too. I pretty much lost everything. I knew I would, and I'd prepared myself for that, but it still didn't make it any easier."

She sighed. "I still love you. You should know that. I wouldn't have gone through what I did if I hadn't. And I've missed you as well. I've been dreaming what it would be like once we were able to be together again, and in all those dreams I'd never once said no to being your wife again. I realize that life with you is always interesting though. You're involved in so much. That won't change, as the call you just received was evidence. I accept that. It's not an easy life with you, but you're so different from everyone else. That's probably why I love you so much. I never know what to expect, and I'm never bored. You make me feel alive."

Her smile warmed a bit as she spoke, but then it disappeared from her face. She looked at the floor and then back up at him.

"Cardassia?" she asked, and then she shook her head. "That's a long way from Star Base Bravo. That's where I'm stationed. I work for Special Operations Command now. I can't tell you what I do there though other than that I'm an adviser on Romulan affairs. It's a good position, and it keeps me close to my roots. And Dhiov is on Vulcan finally, a year late in starting at the Engineering Academy. She was stuck on the James Madison after you went on your operation. SOCOM helped me get her off though. And now she's back to her studies. Vulcan isn't far from Bravo, so I see her during breaks."

She smiled again, this time a bit apologetically. "Vulcan is a long way from Cardassia too though."
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#5 Guest_Derrick Grant_*

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Posted Star Date 21209.27 @ 21:43 (09:43 PM)

Derrick listened to Imina’s words, and tried to read her expression. Even with his innate ability it was hard. She had always been very good at playing things close, when she wanted or needed to, and now she must have felt she needed to with him. It was somewhat disheartening, and he knew he slumped ever so slightly in his posture.

“I’m not asking you to come to Cardassia with me,” he said. “But I’ll be honest that I wouldn’t be at all upset if you would.” He smiled, looked into her eyes. The smile was halfway sad. “But you and Dhiov have your own lives now, and to be honest I couldn’t be happier for both of you. Do you have a holo of her? And maybe her comm address, so I can contact her? I’d like to just check in… assuming you think that wouldn’t disrupt her life too much.”

He paused a few moments. “If it were up to me I wouldn’t have taken this Cardassia thing, Imina. If it were completely up to me I’d have retired and stayed here on Earth. But it’s what Dhiov’s teachers would call the ‘logical choice’. It’ll recover a lot of lost ground, restore my reputation. I’ve been given a path, where I can do some good, but without having to run around taking all of these risks, and in a year or two I’ll have a ‘normal’ life again.

“I could never live on Bravo. Star Fleet is my past, and to be honest I’m not even thrilled having to have their security detail, or taking one of their ships to Cardassia.” He chuckled to himself. “It’s quite a change… from Vice Admiral to not even wanting to be near the uniform. I guess the scandal—even though it was staged—soured me on a lot of it.”

He took her hand, intertwined fingers.

#6 Capt Imina Sevala {Adaran}

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Posted Star Date 21209.28 @ 19:37 (07:37 PM)

Imina smiled as Derrick took her hand. He seemed not to be too resistant of her desire to focus on her career, which made things easier for her. She hadn't been sure what he'd wanted of her, and she had decided during the journey to Earth that she wasn't going to leave SOCOM. It was a place where she could put her skills and experience to use and feel like she was making a vital contribution to relations between the Federation and her own people.

"I can't go to Cardassia," she said. "My work with SOCOM is important, especially now. The situation along the border isn't the best, and it's deteriorating. I need to be there."

She sighed. "I really wish I could go with you. It would be nice to have some time together again, but I know that even if I did go, you'd be busy, and I'd rarely see you, and I'd be bored sitting at home alone all the time. No, I need my position on Bravo. It gives me purpose."

She reached out with her other hand and placed it on the back of his neck. "As long as you're willing to accept that, I'll still be here for you when we can find time together," she told him, "and maybe once things calm down for both of us, we can make a home with each other again."

She smiled. "And we can be in contact all you want," she said. "Daily calls if you'd like, even all three of us, if I'm not in the field. I'm sure Dhiov would be very happy to hear from you, though you may get a slight chewing out for leaving her stuck on the James Madison. You know how she can be."

She had to chuckle at the mental image of the young woman berating Derrick.
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#7 Guest_Lt Derrick Boorman_*

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Posted Star Date 21209.28 @ 20:16 (08:16 PM)

>> From the Transporter Rooms, USS Sheridan >>

== Pietermaritzburg, South Africa ==

Despite the advancing months the sun still beat down on the road ferociously and the trees that lined the street cast tall, spidery shadows that danced and swayed in the gentle breeze. As Derrick Boorman rematerialised he immediately brought his hands up to block out the brightness and cursed himself for not checking the weather before he beamed down. He had gotten so used to being cooped up on the Sheridan with its climate controls and computer-monitored environment that he had almost forgotten that Earth had actual weather. The doctor pulled off his jacket and tied it around his waist as he looked around him at an scene he last laid eyes on when he was a much younger man. Although this wasn't the street he grew up in, the smell, the look, the feel of the place was bringing back memories that he didn't know he still remembered. Boorman stroked his beard wistfully and exhaled slowly as a wave of nostalgia picked him up and carried him away. He couldn't help but wonder if he'd made the right choice in staying away for as long as he had.

I'd better get moving, if I still remember the way...

When they moved back to Earth his parents had bought a decent sized patch of land and helped build the house that they now occupied. Trouble was, it was a few neighborhoods along from where he had grown up and he only had vague memories and a map he had found on the Sheridan's computers to go by. Nevertheless he shouldered his carrycase and took a few tentative steps in what he hoped was the right direction.

After about five minutes of walking Derrick saw a dirt path up ahead that came off the main road at a right angle and disappeared behind some bushes. He quickened his pace and soon reached the corner of the junction where the view opened out a little. The dirt path continued behind the row of bushes and, as he stepped onto the path, appeared to snake its way up to a house in the distance. He saw the line of baobab trees that his father had told him he planted a few years back and couldn't help but smile. Despite everything it was good to be back home.

As he got going down the path to the house he looked about and wondered what kind of reception he would get. He could remember the last time he was here; he had been a mere cadet at the time. He had chosen to stay on campus rather than make the commute while he was studying and like now, he didn't go back home very often. Every now and again though he would get a break and would make the journey back although the wounds he had opened by choosing a career in Starfleet over a career in the family business was still a bit raw. He had more bad memories of fights and arguments than good memories and as Academy lectures gave way to off world internships the visits had tailed off. Since his graduation he hadn't been back despite keeping in touch via subspace and despite the Sheridan being in orbit between missions before.

He was getting closer now and could see in much greater detail the house that he hadn't laid eyes on for years. It was a square, two storey, red brick building with a white wooden veranda on the upper floor that looked as though it was newly painted. A simple set of steps led up to the front door and another line of trees and bushes curved round to the back of the house and the garden. Derrick took the steps two at a time and soon found himself standing in front of the main entrance. Fear of the unknown caused him to hang back momentarily, but after a few seconds he knocked on the door a few times and stood back a little.

From the inside of the house he heard snatches of a conversation between familiar voices.

"...I've no idea...don't worry I'll get it..."

Footsteps approached from the other side and eventually the door was flung open, inwards, by a woman in her mid sixties who froze as she recognised the figure on her doorstep.

"Derrick! Oh my god..."

She rushed forwards and flung her arms around the doctor who dropped his carrycase and embraced her.

"We were starting to wonder if you'd ever come back to visit."

"I guess it has been a while."

Mother and son remained embraced for a few minutes before parting.

Derrick, who had inherited his stoicism from his father, had to stop himself from becoming too emotional as he was welcomed over the threshold into the hallway.

"Hendrijk, come and greet our visitor!"

From the end of the hallway a face appeared which blanched slightly at the sight of the now Chief Medical Officer. This was the part of the trip that Derrick had had the most reservations about. The older man moved slowly down the hallway, looking up and down at the doc, his face not giving away anything about his feelings at all. As he drew level with his son his features softened slightly and he reached out to place his hand on Derricks shoulder.

"Welcome home son."

Derrick could feel the emotion welling up inside him as he struggled to think of something to say. His voice cracked as he opened his mouth.

"Dad.."

But his father cut him off with a shake of his head.

"Look at us Derrick. We're both getting too old for this. You're still my son dammit..."

The two Boorman men then shook hands firmly but warmly as the older man continued.

"Its water under the bridge now."

Hendrijk shot a look at his wife that said 'Happy now?' and she smiled at them both.

"Give him hug for heaven's sake..."

"Don't push your luck Kim."

Both men cleared their throats and there was a brief silence as they looked at each other nervously. Eventually Derrick's mother took his bag and his father lead the way into the living room down the hall. As Derrick followed him his mother took his hand and held him back briefly, speaking in a hushed tone.

"I knew this day would come eventually and I've been nagging him for years to put aside his pigheadedness. I've been nagging you both."

Derrick looked at his shoes.

"I know."

His mum smiled.

"That was hard for him y'know. Part of him still resents the choice you made. But, that was almost twenty years ago and... well. We're both very proud of what you've become."

She squeezed his hand and they carried on down the hallway.

"We've all got a lot of catching up to do Derrick....a lot of catching up."

== To be continued... ==

#8 Guest_Derrick Grant_*

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Posted Star Date 21209.28 @ 22:19 (10:19 PM)

== Vegas! ==

“Maybe I’ll send her a written message the first time, then,” Derrick replied with a grin. “But I’m glad… so very glad… we get some time together. And we’ll find ways to make time… with the new holonet being expanded we might even be able to have real-time transmission soon. The invasion slowed that progress down some, and took out several relay stations, but I hear it’s being rerouted.”

He decided he’d spoken enough. It was time for something more… personal. So he leaned in, planted his lips softly on Imina’s, and let his hands begin to caress her, to touch her, to tug at her clothing gently. He needed his wife, probably more than he had ever needed her, and as memories of their first coupling took hold in his mind he briefly wondered how the hotel handled charges for damages to the room…

He decided a few moments later that he really didn’t care, and grabbed Imina and dove into her neck…

#9 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.01 @ 06:23 (06:23 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken awoke with a groan to the sound of pots and pans clanging in the kitchen downstairs. The first restful night's sleep he had had since he had caught a rather persistent strain of Tarkalean flu had come to an abrupt end – courtesy of the racket coming from below.

“Damn it,” he muttered to himself as he rolled over to check the time on the retro looking digital alarm clock on his nightstand. It was 835 AM and he hadn't planned on getting up for another hour or so.

“Frack,” he again muttered as he pulled the covers over his head and tried to go back to sleep. Before long, however, his other senses were joining in with his sense of hearing in making sure that there would be no more rest for the weary star ship captain. There was an odor wafting through the air and into his nostrils.

Sausage? he thought to himself. No, it's bacon.

Finally, Ken gave up and pulled the covers back. He sat up and swung his feet over the side of the bed. He felt cold as he transitioned from the warmth of his bed to the ambient temperature of the master bedroom. Whether it was him or that the house was actually cold was hard to say – the flu had him all messed up in that regard. He then rose to his feet unsteadily, pausing for a moment as his pulse quickened slightly and he was overcome with a brief dizzy spell, and walked over to the chair in the far corner of the room to retrieve some sweats and a pair of slippers. Taking them back to the bed, he sat back down and slowly dressed himself.

When he was done, he went downstairs to investigate the racket in the kitchen and the delicious smells emanating therein. What he found was Caro Brewer, longtime friend of his and Kathy's, cooking breakfast.

“Good...” Ken began before he was interrupted by a fit of coughing. “...morning, Caro,” he concluded as the coughing died down enough to get out the rest of the greeting.

“Good morning, Ken,” she replied as she deftly went about turning the sizzling bacon with a pair of tongs. “I see that you're still insisting on fighting me.”

Ken knew what she was getting at and chose to ignore it for now.

“Where's Bojay?” he asked changing the subject.

“He's gone already. He had an early meeting this morning at Utopia Planetia. I don't have to be into work until around lunchtime so I thought I'd cook a real breakfast for a change. Are you hungry?”

“I could eat,” he replied in a non-committal way as he made his way over to the cabinet for a glass and then the refrigerator for some orange juice.

“You're up to something,” Caro said casually – taking note of Ken's not so subtle evasiveness. “You're not planning on heading up to Starbase Alpha are you?”

“Only for a few hours. I need to put on my Captain's hat and take care of some ship's business. I'm also taking Nigel with me to start getting him acclimated to his new home.”

Then as if on cue, the sound of nails scraping across the hardwood floor announced the arrival of the party being spoken of. With his tail wagging and his tongue panting, the great sheepdog appeared at his master's side and looked up seeking approval.

“Well look who decided to butt in on our conversation,” Ken said with a smile as he leaned over slightly to give the lumbering giant of a dog a scratch behind the ears. “Are you ready for your first visit to my ship?”

Caro's expression changed to one of concern – one brought about by her combined training as a nurse and then counselor.

“I've been meaning to talk to you about that. I'm not sure that you're well enough yet to return to duty. In spite of treatment, you've been pretty much bedridden since you returned from your last mission.”

“I'm on shore leave and I need the rest after my crew and I had to fight off the Inquisitors in the Gamma Quadrant. I'm fine. It's time for me to...” Ken started in with another coughing fit. When it had abated some, he took a sip of his orange juice and continued, “...time for me to get back to work.”

“I think you've made my point for me,” she replied stubbornly. “Listen to you – you sound like hell. You look like hell as well.”

“I'll manage, Besides it's only for a few hours – I'll be home before dinner.”

“I'm not going to win this argument am I?”

“Not this time I'm afraid.”

“At least let me add a cough suppressant to your meds. That way you'll be rid of that cough and will be able to maintain the image of a strong captain to your crew while you deal with them today.”

“I think I can live with that,” Ken answered as he walked over to the stove and took out a piece of bacon to nibble on. “Is breakfast ready yet? I'm starving...”

>>Next Post - Ready Room, USS Gettysburg >>

#10 Guest_Lt Derrick Boorman_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.01 @ 21:17 (09:17 PM)

== Pietermaritzburg, South Africa ==

As the evening drew in on a day of firsts the doctor found himself alone on the back porch in a reflective mood. Since coming home he had put his things in a spare room before he and his parents had passed the hours making small talk on matters that ranged from how his sister was coming along to what they'd all been filling their days with since they last spoke. It was rather superficial and non-committal in many ways, both sides were still getting used to the others presence and no-one had yet made the plunge into more serious waters. Derrick knew that this would take time but it was nagging at him a little, the real reason he had come back was not for the pleasantries but to heal. The last mission had got to him and had caused him to seek out that which he had avoided for so long, a closer relationship with those that he cared about the most.

His father had already retired for the evening, and Derrick had bid him goodnight. The doctor was looking forward to a trip he had been promised at some point over the next few days; a trip back to the home that he had grown up in. His mother had wanted to come along too but she sensed that the relationship between the two men had to be allowed to mend privately so she bowed out. She knew that neither father nor son were comfortable opening up around other people and that both Derrick and Hendrijk Boorman were more alike than either would admit. So rather than allow them to avoid the issue until Derrick was recalled the stage had been set for a rekindling of the bond that had been broken almost two decades previously. Or at least that was the plan, only time would tell.

For the mean time though, both men had at least agreed to come to the negotiating table and the elephant in the room dissolved into thin air as tensions eased.

As he stood on the porch Derrick looked out into the fading light and sighed as he felt the weight of the world lift ever so slightly from his aching shoulders. The stresses and worries of a life in uniform seemed so far away as he closed his eyes and listened to the sound of the myriad small creatures somewhere out in the darkness. A hand brushed his back and a glass was pressed against his hand.

"Hope you don't mind the disturbance.....root beer..you used to love it when you were younger..."

Derrick smiled and nodded without saying anything as he took the drink. He turned to the side as his mother joined him in gazing out at the setting sun.

"You're still holding something back aren't you? I know you like to keep yourself to yourself but... I'm here if you want to talk. I always have been."

Derrick squirmed slightly as his mother spoke, resting her hand on his arm as she did so. She had always been more comfortable with emotions and feelings than him and likewise with his sister, the contrast between the men of the house and the women of the house could not be more pronounced. The doctor shifted his feet about for a few seconds, wanting to say something but not really knowing what.

"I don't know,....its the job I guess. The last mission was kinda heavy.. The sights, the sounds....y'know.."

His mother shook her head.

"No I don't Derrick."

He rolled his eyes, he knew that she could tell he was trying to skirt around the issue. Subconciously avoiding the real nub of the matter while making it seem like he was bearing his soul. He sighed again and took a sip of the cool beer trying to force the lump in his throat back down again.

"The whole side of the ship was just shorn clean off during a fight, one minute there was a corridor there, the next..nothing but stars and ships. Someone was lying on the deck, they'd seen their friend just swept out into space. What am I supposed to say to someone like that? Limbs torn off and bones snapped, people coming in with beams and consoles inbedded in them, horrible burns that are still bubbling as they lie there on the beds just screaming and looking at you. Pleading. The nurses look terrified, the staff are as traumatised by it all as the patients and all the time everyone is looking at you going 'What now Doctor Boorman?' as though I'm somehow immune to it. I don't know, it just got to me this time round. I couldn't deal with it all, felt like I was going mad, and like a little boy with tears streaming down his face all I could think of was going home."

His mother didn't reply straight away, she could feel that this was only the tip of the iceberg and that her son was still holding back.

"I'm so used to bottling it all up and keeping it hidden away. The sarcastic and aloof doctor who keeps himself to himself, nothing ever bothers him. Trouble is that now I'm overflowing and I don't know how to handle it. I feel like if I open up the floodgates the whole world will be washed away."

Kimberly Boorman bit her lip and gave her son a hug. It was hard for any parent to see their children upset.

"Don't tell him I said this but your father has said the same to me too. I know, I know. It doesn't deal with your issues, but its important that you know that you won't be washed away. You're a human being Derrick just like everyone else with feelings and all the rest, you're not a machine or a Vulcan. Getting it out in the open once in a while is healthy, its normal. Its not a sign of weakness or a fault to be fixed."

Derrick nodded wearily.

"You've been saying that for years, you'd have thought I'd have learned by now."

"What about your shipmates? Do you ever speak to them?"

The doctor shook his head.

"No its not like that, I prefer to get on with my job and keep everything else at arms reach."

As his mother replied he mocked her stance and her speech, he knew exactly what she was going to say and how.

"Well there's your problem then! You know that your family will always do what they can to help you but you can't keep bottling it up and burning out when you reach breaking point every few years."

"C'mon mum, I didn't come here to be taught how to suck eggs."

"Yes you did."

Derrick nodded and buried his head in his hands rubbing his eyes slowly. Deep down he knew what the problem was; that was the stupidest thing about it all. He drained his glass and turned around, leaning against the wooden fencing.

"I'm tired. I'm going to turn in....thanks for putting up with me..."

"You don't need to thank me but its ok anyway. A good nights sleep and you'll be right as rain. How long can we expect to be graced by your presence?"

Derrick shrugged.

"I hadn't planned that far ahead. A few days, a week. I don't know when we'll be recalled so until I feel better."

The doctor smiled and walked back into the house.

"Maybe not that long."

At the top of the stairs mother and son gave each other a hug.

"I'm not used to all this hugging business. If someone did that to me on the Sheridan I'd knock their teeth in."

"Goodnight Derrick."

"Goodnight."

== To be continued... ==

#11 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.02 @ 03:36 (03:36 AM)

==Lake Placid, New York==
==Ken Fitchel Residence==

It was weird walking through the woods into the familiar territory to Kathy’s old home. It was so familiar yet she knew that she had never visited the home before. Going to the old homestead was going to be awkward no matter how they diced it up but her friend Caro wanted to meet there, so she was going to go there.

Alice walked up to the log cabin trying not to over think things. She wanted it to be a normal meeting but knowing Caro, she had something up her sleeve. Before ringing the bell, Alice took in a calming breathing trying to steady herself.

This is the hardest part. It’s just a house. Just meeting an old friend with a chance to meet my new boss. And……former lover.

The door opened up and Caro greeted her inside. The smell of bacon still hung in the air. Alice just immediately hugged the old friend. It was strange. She both remembered how Caro was in the background to her mentoring sessions with Kathy and she also remembered how Caro took care of Kathy as she was rejecting the symbiont.

“Hey….How are you?” Caro immediately hugged back. Before Caro could have a chance to answer, Alice fired off the next question. “So are you still caring for the patient or just claiming this is as your home now?”

Edited by Lt Alice Dega, Star Date 21210.02 @ 03:36 (03:36 AM).


#12 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.03 @ 03:52 (03:52 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

== LCdr Caro Brewer – Counselor, Star Fleet Medical

Caro was finishing washing up the breakfast dishes when she heard the doorbell ring.

I wonder who that could be. She thought to herself as she rinsed off the plate she was working on and set it in the dish rack to dry. She then dried off her hands with the dish towel hanging over the sink and went to answer the door.

When she opened the door, she immediately recognized the person standing outside as being Alice Dega. It was a bit of a shock to see the Dega symbiont's new host once again, but she played it off in such a way as to appear unaffected.

“Come in,” Caro said in her warm southern drawl. “It's good to see you again.”

Alice stepped inside and immediately hugged her.

“Hey...How are you?” she asked. Immediately thereafter, she followed up with, “So are you still caring for the patient or just claiming this is as your home now?”

The hug was unexpected, but Caro reciprocated with a hug of her own.

“I'm fine,” she said answering the first question. “And no, I haven't taken up permanent residence. Bojay and I are just house sitting and taking care of Nigel while Ken is away on missions. Though that's likely to change since Ken has decided that he wants Nigel aboard the Gettysburg with him.”

There was a great deal left unsaid in Caro's words like what was Ken's mental state since Kathy's death and why had Alice shown up on his door step knowing that Trill custom was for new hosts not to renew the relationships of their previous hosts. These were things that the counselor needed to find out.

“I was just finishing cleaning up from breakfast, she began. “I have a pretty flexible schedule today. I was supposed to report into work this afternoon, but I have no appointments so I think that I can make that up later in the week. Please stay for awhile – we have a lot of catching up to do...”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#13 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.03 @ 11:44 (11:44 AM)

==Lake Placid, New York-Earth==

Alice could tell that Caro was a little bit surprised by her appearance especially when she claimed to have no appointments for the day. There was that sinking feeling that something was amiss in translation.

“Curious, your office set up at least one appointment for today. Although they did send me here for it.” She shook her head some, “I just assumed they told you about it all since they went to the back and it seemed like they verified everything with you before sending me here to this house. I definitely wouldn’t have picked coming here on my own.”

There was so much unsaid by the words about Ken’s state of mind. Everyone seemed to dance around the topic when she was near but that was to be expected. All that she knew for sure was that he took Kathy’s lost hard and it was going to be an interesting couple weeks until they get full reacquainted.

It was definitely strange being in the house again. Although it was easier with Caro around. There were a lot of reminders of the family that was starting to be put together. It appeared that there was little in the ways of redecorating. Main thing she noticed was how Nigel was leaving his mark some with either some nail marks on the floor.

Alice found herself going to the replicator and asking for a cinnamon dolce latte. The replicator momentarily rejected the order until she put in her ID. It was something that seemed so natural and yet also a reminder that it wasn’t hers anymore. She then turned to the counselor and asked, “Would you like anything to drink?” With her drink in her hand, she took a sip of it.

“So I guess I should explain why I wanted to see you. I’ve been posted to the Gettysburg. I haven’t reported in yet so I have no idea how awkward it will be. I was hoping to talk to you to make sure it as smooth as possible since it won’t exactly be easy for either Ken or me. Can’t hide from that past yet I also don’t want to flaunt anything to him either. I was posted with his younger sister on the Yeager, so I know he took things hard and I know it was easy to set up new boundaries with her. Yet that relationship was so different- she was Kenny’s little sister where now I see her as a great asset to my team and good officer. I’m supposed to be his strategic operations officer which means I will be working with him a lot. I want him to trust me and yet I don’t want him to feel any responsibility over my well being just because of our past. Basically I want him to treat me just like any other member of his senior staff.”

Alice paused knowing that she was talking a lot. She just took a sip of her coffee as way to stop the stream of consciousness. “So any sage advice?”

#14 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.06 @ 03:58 (03:58 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

== LCdr Caro Brewer – Counselor, Star Fleet Medical ==

Caro and Alice entered the house. The Trill split off and went into the kitchen while she continued on into the living room.

“Curious, your office set up at least one appointment for today. Although they did send me here for it,” Alice said shaking her head some. “I just assumed they told you about it all since they went to the back and it seemed like they verified everything with you before sending me here to this house. I definitely wouldn’t have picked coming here on my own.”

“I wouldn't worry about it too much – I don't check my appointment schedule as often as I should. Usually when this happens, they call me in and we just end up bumping things back or rescheduling for another time. Doing an appointment out of the office is unusual, but they're aware of who you are and our relationship so they must have figured it was alright...”

Her voice trailed off as she watched Alice struggle at first with the replicator – a subtle reminder that she still considered herself a part of his household. Finally, the young Tactical officer was able to obtain the beverage of her choice.

“Would you like anything to drink?” she asked taking a sip.

“No thank you,” Caro replied. “You didn't have to replicate coffee. I could have made some fresh -even a raktajino if you like...”

The counselor dangled that last bit out there like a piece of bait wondering if the Trill would take the bite. Alice, however, was not falling for it.

“So I guess I should explain why I wanted to see you. I’ve been posted to the Gettysburg. I haven’t reported in yet so I have no idea how awkward it will be. I was hoping to talk to you to make sure it as smooth as possible since it won’t exactly be easy for either Ken or me. Can’t hide from that past yet I also don’t want to flaunt anything to him either. I was posted with his younger sister on the Yeager, so I know he took things hard and I know it was easy to set up new boundaries with her. Yet that relationship was so different - she was Kenny’s little sister where now I see her as a great asset to my team and good officer. I’m supposed to be his Strategic Operations Officer which means I will be working with him a lot. I want him to trust me and yet I don’t want him to feel any responsibility over my well being just because of our past. Basically, I want him to treat me just like any other member of his senior staff.”

The young Trill paused to take a sip of her coffee and then concluded, “So any sage advice?”

“I don't know what to say except that I'm lacking any any kind of real world experience when it comes to these matters. From what I've read in journals, when these things happen, it's important to establish your new identity early on in the relationship. You're Alice now, not Kathy – Ken will know that instinctively, but will need a firm reminder of that up front and possibly from time to time in the future. Once that occurs, I expect things will be smooth for the most part. He's already aware of your existence through Em so there's no shock there. Also, I doubt he'll feel the need to question you professionally. You're the second host of Dega that's been in Star Fleet so you have the knowledge and experience of someone twice your age. If I'm remembering correctly, there are other joined Trills aboard the Gettysburg so you'll be among others with similar circumstances to you...”

Caro paused and took a deep breath before going on.

“...Here comes the hard part...the part I really don't want to bring up but feel I need to,” she sighed. “After Kathy passed away and Ken returned from his mission to the Barzan system, he was devastated. He didn't come home – instead he spent his whole shore leave holed up in the senior officer temporary quarters. I heard a few rumors, but nothing I could confirm. I tried asking him about it, but you know how closed mouth he can be at times...When he doesn't want to talk, it's usually not a good idea to to press him about things. Maybe, he'll open up to you about it – love has a way of opening doors...”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#15 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.06 @ 14:48 (02:48 PM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

The words from Caro was pretty much what she expected. It was about creating boundaries and not overthinking it too much. Always easier said then done. While it was good to hear that she might not be the only joined Trill on the ship, she was sure she was the only one who knew what it was like to be the Captain’s former lover.

Then Caro indicated what Alice always feared, that Ken was taking it really hard and would be closed off to everyone. Alice wasn’t sure what Caro was getting at.

“So what would you like me to do? Are you saying that I should act like a counselor to him or just be understanding that it will be difficult for him? I know he was even shutting out his own little sister during that time. But I’m not sure if I can break down his barriers anymore. Sure when I was Kathy I could get him to open up but I’m not actually her. I have all her old memories and I know how to get him to open up but there is that part when he has to let me in. I’m a different person as much as I’m the same person. It’s like the coffee: I actually hate raktajino and prefer a sweeter latte. I drink as much coffee as Kathy, just in a different form.”

Alice actually leaned against the wall and took a big sip of coffee as she steadied her thoughts. “What I fear most, is that by my mere presence he will be shut down mode all the time. It will be that itch that you can’t scratch. Plus being his strategic operations officer, I will be one of his right hand men to figure out plans of attack and how to negotiate things. We have to work together. It’s not like I can hide in the bowels of the ship to make both our lives easier.”

Moving back in the living room so they could sit down, reminded her of something, they were still in Ken’s house. There was a clear separation in her mind about that. His house, not hers. It was once hers but she knew she didn’t actually belong there anymore.

“Wait a minute. The Getty is on shoreleave, where is Ken? Is he expected to return anytime soon? Is there the potential for me to report to him at his home? That could be awkward.”

#16 Lt Isabella Ekman {Fields}

Lt Isabella Ekman {Fields}

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Posted Star Date 21210.06 @ 15:38 (03:38 PM)

== North Bay area, San Francisco ==
== From Deklos' post ==

Al looked surprised as the Ullian pressed her lips briefly against his and pulled away. There was a softening of his face, and the corners of his lips upturned very slightly.

“Well...” He looked into her brown eyes, perhaps even longingly, for several seconds. “Don't thank me yet...”

He paused and then turned his head from side to side now, giving the surrounding area a quick inspection.

“There might be bears.”

Setting down the Ullian woman on the ground gently, he straightened up and checked his wrist chronometer once before looking back at her again.

“I'll be going now. Take care of yourself Kamiro... Call me... some time.” He grinned, and with a wink turned back towards the shuttle.

Their location couldn't really have been that far from Star Fleet Headquarters at Fort Baker. The prototype SHADe shuttlecraft was clearly not detectable on sensors, it had slipped in undetected and would steal out again in the same way. The design was like nothing Kamiro had seen previously. The sleek hull of the craft had a copper-colour and was textured with millions of tiny indentations.

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#17 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.08 @ 02:32 (02:32 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

== LCdr Caro Brewer – Counselor, Star Fleet Medical ==

“So what would you like me to do?” Alice asked sounding as if the advice she had just been given had confused her more than it had helped. “Are you saying that I should act like a counselor to him or just be understanding that it will be difficult for him? I know he was even shutting out his own little sister during that time. But I’m not sure if I can break down his barriers anymore. Sure when I was Kathy I could get him to open up but I’m not actually her. I have all her old memories and I know how to get him to open up but there is that part when he has to let me in. I’m a different person as much as I’m the same person. It’s like the coffee: I actually hate raktajino and prefer a sweeter latte. I drink as much coffee as Kathy, just in a different form.”

“I didn't say it would be easy. There are case histories where the new symbiont host has ended up serving with people who were colleagues or friends of the previous host. However, with regards to you and Ken, his and Kathy's romance makes this reunion an untraveled path in terms of how it will turn out,” Caro replied – briefly interjecting before letting Alice continue.

The Trill continued on.

“What I fear most, is that by my mere presence he will be in shut down mode all the time. It will be that itch that you can’t scratch. Plus being his Strategic Operations Officer, I will be one of his right hand men to figure out plans of attack and how to negotiate things. We have to work together. It’s not like I can hide in the bowels of the ship to make both our lives easier.”

Caro chewed on that last thought silently – withholding any sort of immediate response. She knew that Ken was the consummate professional as a Star Fleet officer even if he wasn't always orthodox in his approach to his duties as a Commanding Officer. He was flexible in that regard and the counselor knew that was something the young Trill could use to his advantage.

“As I said earlier,” she began finally. “The skill and experience you bring to the post of Strategic Operations Officer should trump all other considerations. Star Fleet wouldn't have transferred you to the Gettysburg if someone somewhere didn't think you could handle it. Besides, if the pressure of working so closely with Ken gets to you, there are other options. I'll let you in on a secret...Ken has been complaining about the lack of experienced crew in his Engineering department literally since the day he took command. You could always request a transfer to Engineering then you could get your wish to just hide in the bowels of the ship...”

The counselor smiled wryly. She was throwing down the gauntlet, but it was a glove of velvet, not iron. It remained to be seen how the young Trill would react. Alice moved from the kitchen to the living room and took a seat on the couch. Caro followed suite and sat down next to her.

“Wait a minute,” Alice said as she suddenly realized something. The Getty is on shore leave, where is Ken? Is he expected to return anytime soon? Is there the potential for me to report to him at his home? That could be awkward.” There was a sense of panic in her eyes.

Caro smiled. She took the mug with the latte and set it down on the coffee table. She then took hold of Alice's hands and said, “Don't worry sweetie, he's up on Starbase Alpha taking care of some ship's business. He won't be home for a couple more hours at least...”

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#18 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.08 @ 05:10 (05:10 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==


There was a bit of a gauntlet thrown down by Caro before they went into the room. One that had Alice’s mind contemplating. Then Caro grabbing her hand and said, “Don’t worry sweetie, he’s up on Starbase Alpha taking care of some ship’s business. He won’t be home for a couple more hours at least….”

In so many instances fate would have had Ken walking in the door at that moment. Or at the very least, Nigel barking at something suspicious. But fortunately fate was being kind today.

“Well that’s good. Fate always has a funny way of letting things or people show up at that moment when you least want them. But then again in a way, it would be good. Have a sit down with a with all parties before a counselor.”

Her mind was still shocked that Caro would insinuate that Alice should joined the engineering team on the Getty. It was oddly not appealing to her. She was really excited at the prospect of being a strategic operations officer. Especially since that role would create so many interesting experiences that could assist in a goal to become a diplomat, a captain or any other leadership role.

“Just so you know. I don’t want to hide in the bowels and do engineering full time. While I would be happy to assist and I was so so close to switching into the field while first assigned to the Yeager, I’m a tactician and a strategist at heart. Hence wanting to get a good idea of what I’m walking into before reporting in. I rather have a grasp of what I’m walking into then going in blind and hoping for the best. I’m sure there will be days where I will be pulled into a couple different directions and I don’t care. I want to assist where I’m needed and my expertise could be of use. But I’m excited about the prospect of working in the strategic operations office. Yeah I know it sounds like I’m fearing things between Ken and I but it’s more trying to gauge things and getting a control now rather then letting things get a wee bit crazy later. ”

Edited by Lt Alice Dega, Star Date 21210.08 @ 05:11 (05:11 AM).


#19 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.09 @ 07:58 (07:58 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

== LCdr Caro Brewer – Counselor, Star Fleet Medical ==

“Well that’s good,” Alice began. “Fate always has a funny way of letting things or people show up at that moment when you least want them. But then again in a way, it would be good. Have a sit down with a with all parties before a counselor.”

Caro smiled – she had suspected that Alice had shown up for the express purpose of confronting what she thought might be a problem with being assigned to Ken's ship and now that thought was confirmed. Should would be playing the role of referee between the two of them – a role which was sure to strain the boundaries between friend and counselor.

The Trill continued, “Just so you know. I don’t want to hide in the bowels and do engineering full time. While I would be happy to assist and I was so so close to switching into the field while first assigned to the Yeager, I’m a tactician and a strategist at heart. Hence wanting to get a good idea of what I’m walking into before reporting in. I'd rather have a grasp of what I’m walking into then going in blind and hoping for the best. I’m sure there will be days where I will be pulled into a couple different directions and I don’t care. I want to assist where I’m needed and my expertise could be of use. But I’m excited about the prospect of working in the Strategic Operations office. Yeah I know it sounds like I’m fearing things between Ken and I but it’s more trying to gauge things and getting a control now rather then letting things get a wee bit crazy later.”

“I'm glad to hear that you are following your own path and not merely retracing the footsteps of Dega's past hosts. There's always the danger of falling into old habits and allowing your personality to be overwhelmed by others. Tell me, have you been through the ceremony of Zhian'tara yet?”

== Capt Ken Fitchel ==

Ken and Nigel materialized in a shimmering blue transporter haze at the end of the driveway leading up to the house. It was a relief to be coming home early as he had greatly overestimated how far his recovery from the Tarkalean flu had progressed. Increasingly, he found himself constantly blowing his nose, sneezing and having coughing fits which left him feeling on the verge of throwing up. He began a slow walk down the driveway toward the house – at the moment all he could think about was taking a round of meds and getting some sleep. Nigel, on the other hand, had other ideas and did not share his sense of urgency in going inside.

The sheepdog trotted out about twenty feet ahead of Ken and then veered off the path and into the treeline. He lifted his leg against one of the trees and took a lengthy pee. He then picked up a stick and went to his masters side.

“I'm too tired to play fetch with you now,” Ken said as he left Nigel behind with his tail wagging and the stick in his mouth. “We can go out later after I get some rest. Come on...”

The great beast would have none of that and stubbornly remained in place. Ken thought about it for a moment and then walked back to the overgrown puppy's side.

He'll be living with me on the Gettysburg soon – not much opportunity to run and play there outside of the holodeck...

He smiled weakly and took the stick out of Nigel's mouth. He reared back and threw it toward the house. Nigel tore after it with a lumbering gallop as Ken resumed his slow walk in that direction. Within less than a minute, the sheepdog had retrieved the stick and brought it back expecting another go. However, by that time the two were close to the front door.

“Drop the stick, boy – we're going inside now.”

Nigel complied and the two of them climbed the steps and entered the house. Once inside, he went ahead into the living room while Ken went into the kitchen in search of a glass of water...

== Nigel ==

Nigel entered the living room and found two people sitting on the couch – one familiar and one a stranger. He cautiously approached the stranger and started sniffing around her. She had a familiar smell, but he did not know her. He then backed away and started to whimper loudly – loud enough for Ken to hear him in the kitchen...

== Capt Ken Fitchel ==

Ken was in the midst of getting a glass of water and searching for his flu meds when he heard Nigel from the other room.

I better go see what's wrong...

He left the kitchen and entered the living room. On the couch, he saw two women. One was Caro, the other – someone he recognized from a list of incoming crew transfers, a someone he had hoped to meet under a more controlled set of circumstances.

Not here, not now...

It was not possible for him to be any more pale than he already was, but here he was frail and pale as a ghost standing before a living reminder of the greatest loss of his life – the death of his beloved Kathy. There was no shock involved only sadness. With all the composure he could muster, Ken spoke to the pair.

“Hello, Caro...” He started to cough before he could get out the next greeting. When he was done, he finished. “Hello, Alice...” he said with a weak smile, devoid of any pretense or illusion, on his face.

It's not the way I wanted this to go down, but we have to get this over with eventually. Sooner is better than later...

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#20 Guest_Lt Derrick Boorman_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.09 @ 19:39 (07:39 PM)

== Pietermaritzburg, South Africa ==

Standing on the street corner, down the dirt path from the house, Derrick watched with amusement as his father fiddled with the belt on his trousers. Instead of offering any assistance he preferred to watch, arms crossed, as the spectacle unfolded.

"Dammit....C'mon.....God, who'd have thought it would be so difficult to keep trousers up for heavens sake..."

The CMO didn't need to cast the net very far to figure out where his penchant for cursing like a trooper came from. A day and a half had passed since he had been out on the balcony reminiscing and the time had been spent just strolling around the garden and helping out with things around the house. Although the work was sometimes hard going physically it was refreshing to have something different to do for once, and there was the added bonus of connecting more genuinely with the man he was now sharing this nostalgic journey with. The end result was that there was far less tension and silence in the air than the doctor could have possibly imagined before today.

"So, has it changed much since we moved?"

Derrick knew he would find out when they got there but as they walked down the street he couldn't help but be curious. His father shook his head slightly as he walked alongside.

"Not a great deal, its occupied, don't know who by. You won't have any problems recognising it."

Derrick nodded.

"I can hardly believe that its been nearly 20 years."

His father smiled and they shared a moment of silence as they both tried to figure out where the years had gone. The walk wasn't difficult, they only had to travel a few blocks across, and as they kept walking the streets became more and more familiar. They were nearly there when Derrick suddenly stopped and looked around.

"I remember this street like it was only the other day.."

"You ought to.."

His father replied quickly.

"D'you know August's relatives still live in the same house down there?"

They were stood at a junction, streets laid out in three directions. Hendrijk pointed down one of the road, in the direction of one of the houses at the end of the row. Derrick shook his head in disbelief.

"They must be getting on a bit.."

For that he recieved a jab to the stomach.

"His father is two years younger than me!"

Derrick laughed at the indignant look on his father's face as they resumed their journey.

"I really ought to pop in some time. Come to think of it, I really ought to go back to Benecia and see August. I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people."

They carried on for another ten minutes or so until they stood in front of a small house, crammed into what Derrick used to think was a much bigger space between the adjoining buildings. His father indicated a bench opposite and they ambled over, sitting down almost exactly opposite the house where it all began. They made small talk and discussed how it had changed since they moved out until a deep breath and a cleared throat signalled the start of a slightly weightier topic.

"Y'know your mother has been nagging me for years to sit down with you and clear the air and all that. So. Here we are."

Derrick echoed his father.

"Here we are."

"I'm glad things have worked out for you in Starfleet...if I'm honest it makes me feel better about everything knowing that you've made something of yourself. I'm proud of you Derrick..there, you can quote me on that too."

Derrick smiled. His cynicism was pushed to the back of his mind as he accepted the compliment in the spirit that it was intended.

"It kind of validates all that I've done to hear that. I could get all the medals in the universe for being a doctor and it wouldn't mean as much to me."

Hendrijk nodded and placed his hand on Derrick shoulder.

"It just stuck me one day that it was stupid to be supportive of Catharina's journey and not yours. Well..., it didn't so much strike me as I kept getting reminded of it by a certain woman."

Derrick smiled, his mother was born to play the peacemaker. He turned to his father.

"We don't have to go the whole hog today, we've got the rest of our lives to reconnect. I'm just glad that we could make a start."

Hendrijk nodded. Both men were still uncomfortable with this type of conversation and Derrick realised that a 'one day at a time' approach was perhaps the best option. They had been sat there for twenty minutes now and both were beginning to run out of steam. The journey wasn't so much about seeing his childhood home as much as it was about making 'first contact' with the man he was now sat with and they had done the hard bit.

"Well I don't know about you but I could do with a beer. Do you still drink like a fish?"

Derrick laughed once more, this time at the way the question was phrased.

"Hey, I was taught by the best. Yeah, lets go for a beer."

The two men got up and both immediately puffed their cheeks out at the effort, realising that all this heart-to-heart stuff was not only thirsty work but quite taxing too. They were like two old friends that had gotten back in touch after years apart, in a very literal sense. There was nothing like a trip to the pub to heal old wounds so the pair got up and headed back in the direction from which they had just come.

== To be continued... ==

#21 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.10 @ 01:33 (01:33 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==


“I'm glad to hear that you are following your own path and not merely retracing the footsteps of Dega's past hosts. There's always the danger of falling into old habits and allowing your personality to be overwhelmed by others. Tell me, have you been through the ceremony of Zhian'tara yet?”

Alice shook her head in the negative. There was a slight grimace as she thought about how the Commission was bound to be sending out a guardian to perform the rite soon if she didn’t agree to it on her own.

“Not quite yet. Duty keeps putting it off.”

Alice’s thought was then interrupted when a big dog walked into the room. The Trill immediately recognized the sheepdog as Nigel. She also knew that Ken wouldn’t be too far behind. Nigel never seemed to leave his side for too long.

Nigel started to sniff around her before he started to back away and whimper. Alice knew it could only mean one of two things. He got spooked by recognizing the Dega scent mixed with her body chemistry or could smell The Doctor on her. Crouched towards him and started to rub his side. In a quiet voice, “Hey, don’t be scared. I know you and I have a part of your mom in me. I hear you are going to be on the same ship as my puppy. Can you be a good uncle to him and show him how not to get into trouble?”

Then Ken walked into the living room. He looked ghastly but it wasn’t just from the shock of seeing her. The sadness in his eyes broke her heart. She wanted to go up and hug the man that a part of her knew so intimately and tell him it would be okay. Yet she knew that was impossible. Instead they would have to form a new friendship.

Then he said hello to Caro, had a coughing fit and then called her by name. The security officer in him never changed. He looked up her photo and such as soon as he found out that she had transferred to the ship.

“Hi…” Alice said weakly. She was tempted to say captain or call him by name but neither felt right. One was too personal and the other was too formal. So she left it hang in the air. “I hope I haven’t freaked out Nigel too much.”

Dega continued to fixate on him. His complexion wasn’t changing and the coughing. That had her concerned. Slowly she put two and two together. Turning back towards Caro, she said, “Can’t you stand up to anyone in this family and make them medically unfit for duty? It was bad enough with Dega, but now Ken too? What if he infects the whole ship or an admiral?”

She knew that would get a bit of a protest from the former flame. She turned back him. “And yes, I know you are better then you were or else you would have been stuck in bed. But still, you got to learn to take care of yourself and to listen to medical experts. Not just brush off their concerns or make a compromise of taking extra meds and taking it easy … Especially now.”

Alice didn’t have the heart to say that if he didn’t listen or ignore his health too much he would end up like Kathy.

Edited by Lt Alice Dega, Star Date 21210.10 @ 01:39 (01:39 AM).


#22 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.11 @ 03:49 (03:49 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Hi...” Alice said weakly with a hint of hesitation that suggested that she didn't know what to call her former lover. “I hope I haven't freaked out Nigel too much.”

“He probably got a whiff of Dega's scent and that set him off when it didn't jibe with seeing Kathy,” Ken replied. “He'll be staying with me aboard ship so you'll be seeing a lot of him. Hopefully...” He started coughing again. “...Damn it!” he interjected. “...Damn Tarkalean flu!” he continued with no sense of self censorship. The coughing fit ended and he picked up his train of thought again. “...Anyway, hopefully he'll get used to you.”

At that moment, Nigel plopped down next to the couch at Alice's feet. He gazed up at her briefly and then buried his head between his front legs.

Once more at the feet of his Mistress...

“See...he's already started to accept you.”

Alice didn't answer Ken – it was almost as if it were to painful to look at him and remember. Instead, she turned to Caro and spoke to her.

“Can’t you stand up to anyone in this family and make them medically unfit for duty? It was bad enough with Dega, but now Ken too? What if he infects the whole ship or an admiral?”

Caro was speechless. The anger in the Trill's voice came as a complete shock, but before she could respond, Alice turned her attention to Ken.

“And yes, I know you are better then you were or else you would have been stuck in bed. But still, you got to learn to take care of yourself and to listen to medical experts. Not just brush off their concerns or make a compromise of taking extra meds and taking it easy...Especially now.”

As the words came out, it was clear that the anger was born out of fear – fear that Ken's drive and stubbornness would lead to an early death just like what had happened to Kathy. From a rational point of view, the circumstances were different – Kathy died as a result of medical complications brought about by a near fatal away mission. Ken simply had a tendency not to listen to doctors. However, rationality was not in play at the moment.

Caro sighed and then finally spoke up.

“Ken would disobey the head of Star Fleet Medical if the situation arose so what power does a mere Lieutenant Commander have – especially one not even assigned to his ship,” she said using a bit of humor to defuse the tension that was starting to build. “I gave up trying to get him to take it easy on the Dauntless after he tried to use the bathroom by himself while fresh off of eleven hours of surgery and still drugged almost unconscious...”

“In my defense,” Ken began - interrupting her. “I wouldn't have had to do that if a certain nurse had been doing her job properly...I wasn't about to pee myself...I have my dignity...”

“Of course you do...You're right and I'm wrong as always...” The counselor sighed again and addressed Alice. “You see what I have to put up with don't you?” she asked before answering her own question. “Who am I kidding? You most certainly do.”

“This is a hell of way to introduce yourself to your new Commanding Officer,” Ken said steering the conversation back on course from the tangent they were on. “By showing up at his home and nearly starting a fight...” His voice trailed off and he smiled - a smile that Kathy would have recognized as one of barely suppressed amusement. “...If it were anyone else but a host of Dega, I'd be royally pissed off right now. However, you being who you are automatically gives you a second chance to do this right. Let's start from the beginning Lieutenant...”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#23 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.12 @ 01:39 (01:39 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice wasn’t surprised when Ken and Caro started to go back and forth a little about how he was stubborn when it came to medical care. Too bad there was a little too much pushed aside when it came down to the brunt of the statement that she was trying to say.

Then Ken started to change the subject by getting back to the introductions and her reporting in for duty. If he wasn’t hiding a smile, she would have believed him. But his face gave me away.

For a moment she played the contrite officer by saying, “I apologize Captain. But I will admit it wasn’t my intention to report in at your home. I actually was trying to have an appointment with Caro and her scheduling office sent me here.”

Then that’s when Alice flashed a smile. “Besides, I would believe you more if I couldn’t see the amount of amusement you are having. You really have to try harder to fool me.”

#24 Guest_Derrick Grant_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.12 @ 14:52 (02:52 PM)

== O’Malley’s Pub, Dublin, Texas ==

“But I’m not really qualified,” said Peter, standing behind the bar casually wiping down a mug. “And besides, I know why you want me for this job, and it’s not really a good idea.”

Derrick sighed. If he thinks it’s not a good idea, then he probably knows… after all that is exactly why I want him with me. He’ll make the perfect advisor.

“Peter,” said Derrick. “We’ve known each other a long time. Seven years—“

“From your perspective. From mine it’s been more like about twenty, Derrick,” said Peter with that curious grin he got sometimes. Dealing with a time traveling barkeep/spy/whatever-he-was was sometimes quite infuriating.

"Okay,” replied Derrick. “In either event it’s been a long time. I trust you. And I need a man I trust as chief of staff. I need your advice and guidance should I get myself into hot water, and I inevitably will. You’re as qualified to be my chief of staff as I am to be ambassador.”

O’Malley paused in his glass-wiping, and got a thoughtful look on his face. I’ve got him, thought Derrick. But then he slowly shook his head.

“I can’t, Derrick. I’m sorry. Outside of the paradoxical concerns, I’m stretched too thin right now as it is. I just can’t make that commitment.”

Derrick felt deflated. He pulled out his last line of defense. His last option.

“There are no good pubs on Cardassia Prime… You could open a branch there…”

Peter chuckled, shook his head. “I will, but not yet. Not for another… four or so years. But it was a nice try. Maybe you’ve just planted the idea that will lead to that… who knows?”

“Well,” said Derrick standing up. “Thank you for at least being honest. If you change your mind—“

“—I can’t—“

“—you know where to find me.”

With that, Derrick turned and left the pub, his FOUR man security team—why four this time? Because I’m wandering around ‘unsecured’ areas no doubt—falling in with him. Outside the team lead turned to him.

“Where to now?” he asked.

Derrick thought for a few seconds. “Home. I’ll figure out who I can hit up next.”

A few moments later the transporter took the five of them from Dublin Texas and deposited them at the Grant residence…

#25 Lt Kamiro Tosamien Deklos {Kotho}

Lt Kamiro Tosamien Deklos {Kotho}

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Posted Star Date 21210.12 @ 23:50 (11:50 PM)

== North Bay area, San Francisco ==

“Take care of yourself Kamiro … Call me... some time.” Al grinned; and then with a wink, the SHADe Lieutenant headed off to his advanced cloak capable shuttle.

Kamiro had merely nodded in the affirmative; her eyes focused as much as possible on the shuttle’s look and texture (for debriefing later) and then when the shuttle disappeared from sight, the Challenger officer answered Al:

“Always do Al, and don’t worry…I will call on you.”


== Temp NPCs: Lt Osiris Al-Benihm and Cdt Ivo Idaris, USS Challenger ==

== Shuttle Dynamo ==

“Well…” Idaris offered:

“…the standard sensors will do just fine…see?”

Al-Benihm nodded in agreement; Ullian lifesigns were registering just north of San Francisco…

“Deklos…but what’s that…?”

“Wait a sec…” Idaris looked and quickly began some sensor adjustments:

“Damn…lost it…if I didn’t know any better I’d say there was a cloaked ‘something’ out there…and damn near on top of Deklos’ signature.”

In less than a minute the Dynamo had reached and descended to a green park, wilderness area not far from the shuffling blue and foaming white waves of the Pacific Ocean.

Once landed, Osiris checked his weapon to his side and looked at Idaris:

“Stay with the shuttle, just in case…”

“Understood.” The young Engineering protégé agreed.


== Kamiro ==

Kamiro had spotted the Star Fleet shuttle a handful or two of seconds after Al had departed.

...nice tech, I doubt the shuttle even noticed it.…

And the Dynamo touched down virtually where Al’s ship had been. A single figure exited the craft, sporting Security colors; the deep, olive-skinned man looked around warily and then decided to holster his phaser.

Kamiro gave a thumb’s up sign as the man approached:

“Lieutenant Deklos…” the Officer stated in greetings:

“…I’m…”

“Lieutenant Osiris Al-Benihm…” Deklos interrupted:

“…and while we’ve never met…I am Acting Chief of Security.”

“So you are ma’am…” Al-Benihm smiled, but his face turned serious seeing the white-haired woman’s injuries:

“…you’re injured.”

“My leg mostly…” Kamiro agreed with a small smile of her own:

“…compound fracture…”

Osiris’ eyes went to the device on her temple…

“…ah that…” Kamiro responded:

“…well that’s something Doctor Ekman will need to remove.”

“Well ma’am, your leg will need to be set; you need a Sickbay.”

“Very well, but if it’s all the same to you…as much as I love Earth, take me to SBA, I can get patched up there before we head off to Challenger.”

“Sounds like a plan Lieutenant.”

And then Kamiro insisted on Al-Benihm to support her injured side and she hobble on her good leg to the Dynamo.

“Glad to have you back sir…” Kiron’s protégé said to Deklos:

“…Commander Hunter will be very pleased to hear that we have you.”

One didn’t have to be a telepath for Kamiro to register visual cues that both Idaris and Al-Benihm were concerned with her visible maladies and what she might, or must have endured during her absence. Each man was as curious as hell as to what had most recently happened to Kamiro…each thinking that she looked as if she had been caught in an explosion of some kind. Fortunately, the pair kept their thoughts un-voiced.

“Head to SBA…” Osiris stated to the Cadet:

“…I’ll send a subspace message to Challenger on our status.”

“Aye sir.” Idaris complied.

>> SBA Sickbay >>
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#26 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.13 @ 03:48 (03:48 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“I apologize Captain,” the Trill began – apparently contrite about her earlier behavior. “But I will admit it wasn’t my intention to report in at your home. I actually was trying to have an appointment with Caro and her scheduling office sent me here.”

Ken looked over at Caro with an incredulous expression on his face. Alice's story may have been on the up and up, but it all seemed TOO coincidental.

“Is this true?” he asked. “Have you been seeing your patients here while I'm not around?” He was becoming mildly irritated at the thought of people with psychological problems having access to his home.

“Yes and no,” the counselor replied paradoxically. “My assistant always sets my appointments so that I'm seeing patients in my office. However, in this case, she thought that since Alice and I are friends that an exception could be made. It was a surprise to me when she showed.”

Ken was too tired to be angry so he let Caro's explanation stand. Alice continued on.

“Besides,” she said flashing a smile. “I would believe you more if I couldn’t see the amount of amusement you are having. You really have to try harder to fool me.”

“I never could fool you could I...” Ken began. In his fevered and weakened state, he had forgotten the person he was addressing. Unconsciously, he had bypassed Alice and was speaking directly to Kathy. His eyes blurred and when they came back into focus, he saw Kathy, not Alice, standing before him. He fell silent and all he could do was stare.

No...This isn't real...You're not really standing before me...

“Are you alright?” Caro asked.

There was no immediate reply. A few seconds later, Ken had another one of his coughing fits. In the midst of the coughing fit, he blinked and closed eyes. When he opened them again, Kathy was gone.

“Sit down,” Caro ordered. “I'm going to get you something to drink.”

As she got up and left the room, Ken feebly complied. Finding himself face to face with Alice, he spoke to her once again.

“I'm sorry. I never could hide the truth from Kathy and now it appears that I'll never be able to hide the truth from you either. That could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing – the choice is up to the both of us. I know I'll make the effort to see that this new relationship finds its balance and succeeds. What about you?”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#27 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.15 @ 01:11 (01:11 AM)

“I never could fool you could I...” Ken began. He was just staring at her. To the point where it was making Dega feel a little uncomfortable. She wasn’t sure what was happening. If she had some sort of spot or if maybe Ken was trying to see somebody who wasn’t there in a flu haze. She just hope it wasn’t him trying to see her former host.

“Are you alright?” Caro asked.

There was no immediate reply. A few seconds later, Ken had another one of his coughing fits. In the midst of the coughing fit, he blinked and closed eyes. Alice was starting to get the impression that he was getting too worn out and that she should be leaving soon.

“Sit down,” Caro ordered. “I'm going to get you something to drink.”

“I'm sorry. I never could hide the truth from Kathy and now it appears that I'll never be able to hide the truth from you either. That could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing – the choice is up to the both of us. I know I'll make the effort to see that this new relationship finds its balance and succeeds. What about you?”

Alice knew there was a lot to touch on in such a statement. The had to set up their working situation. The last thing they all needed was to have a lot of awkwardness on the ship.

“I’m all for working together and finding balance. Besides, me being able to read you is a good thing. It’s less training for you and will allow me to be a better officer. Of course, you still have to learn about me since I’m not just like Kathy. Similar in many ways but very different as well. Definitely a lot better of a marksmen and a pilot then she ever was.”

“I know you read the file. If you didn’t you wouldn’t have known what I looked like. But you know this is my first time as an strategic operations officer. So there may be some things that I don’t know the best way to do it. I will give it my all and will do what I can. Hopefully together we can forge a better way to fight the Shard or if we are lucky, find a way to create a peace with them."

Leaning down, she petted Nigel some. He looked up at her and then looked over to Ken as if he was trying to figure out everything.

#28 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.16 @ 03:27 (03:27 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice did not hesitate in giving her answer.

“I’m all for working together and finding balance,” she began. Besides, me being able to read you is a good thing. It’s less training for you and will allow me to be a better officer. Of course, you still have to learn about me since I’m not just like Kathy. Similar in many ways but very different as well. Definitely a lot better of a marksmen and a pilot then she ever was.”

Ken couldn't help but chuckle at the understated brashness of her words – especially the part about not needing as much training since they had somewhat of a synergy already via his relationship with Kathy.

Imagine that! Me needing to be trained! I forget – who's the senior officer here again?!?

“I know you read the file. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have known what I looked like. But you know this is my first time as a Strategic Operations Officer. So there may be some things that I don’t know the best way to do it. I will give it my all and will do what I can. Hopefully together we can forge a better way to fight the Shard or if we are lucky, find a way to create a peace with them.”

After Alice finished, she leaned down and petted Nigel some. The sheepdog responded by lifting his head and wagging his tail some. The toothy grin on his face showed how much he was loving the attention.

Ken didn't say anything right away. His brain was working slowly due to the flu so he chose to enjoy the scene while he came up with what he wanted to say next. Before he could talk though, Caro returned from the kitchen.

“Here,” she said handing Ken a large glass of water and a handful of pills. “Take these.”

Ken did as he was told and swallowed the pills. When he was done, he gulped down the last of the water and placed the empty glass on the coffee table. Somewhat refreshed, he looked over at Alice and spoke.

“This will be a learning experience for both of us. Having a Strategic Operations department on the Gettysburg is a new thing for me. I did when I was First Officer of the Pulsar, but that was a much larger ship. My thoughts at this point are that you'll have a team consisting of one junior officer and three or four enlisted under your direction. Obviously, you'll be in charge of planning for operations involving multiple ships, but since our primary mission profile is to work independently, you'll probably end up spending a fair amount of time coordinating with Tactical and Engineering in the day to day running of the ship.”

Ken paused and then sighed – the next thing he had to say would be difficult.

“I think we have a good start in place as far as our relationship goes, but I think we should have some boundaries in place. When we're not around other members of the crew or off-duty, you are perfectly welcome to call me Ken. Otherwise, Captain or Sir is expected. And one more thing, I expect a great deal from you – you come highly recommended by certain junior lieutenant whom we both know...”

He then smiled because he couldn't help but do so and awaited her reply.

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#29 Guest_Lt Derrick Boorman_*

Guest_Lt Derrick Boorman_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.16 @ 15:04 (03:04 PM)

== Pietermaritzburg, South Africa ==

A few days had passed since Derrick had wandered over to his childhood house and they had been spent doing very little indeed; the CMO had even started to unwind a bit. Helping out around the house here, sleeping late and the odd mid-afternoon breakfast there meant that the time flew by. When he first arrived he only invisaged staying a few days but a week after he had first beamed down Derrick Boorman was not pleased to hear that the Sheridan's crew was being recalled. Tapping the commbadge which was his only reminder of the 'real world' to close the channel he took a few moments before heading downstairs to break the news to his parents.

"I've just heard from the Sheridan, we're shipping out again."

He left the words hanging slightly as he realised that leaving was going to be a bigger wrench than he thought. His father just nodded but his mother stood up and took Derrick's hands in hers.

"Well, I hope you've enjoyed your visit as much as we have Derrick."

She looked over at her husband and smiled reassuringly at her son.

"Any idea where you're headed next?"

Derrick smiled at her, he didn't really know but even if he did he also didn't want her to be worried. News from the rest of the quadrant hadn't taken long to reach Earth and the fact that he might be being sent back into the breach wasn't something that anyone wanted to contemplate for very long.

"The ship is heading to Cardassia, thats all I know. We're on 24hr readiness for launch and I have an office that I'm expected to be back in."

He smiled and tried to sound glib about it. But the reason that he had decided to return home was because of the pressures of the last mission and he wasn't entirely sure he was ready to go back and don the uniform once more. But both parties knew that the visit was temporary and Derrick Boorman hated long goodbyes.

"I'll get my things together."

Derrick went upstairs and began packing the few items he had taken with him back into the carrycase he had brought them in. By the time he returned downstairs his parents were both stood in the hallway. He rolled his eyes as he made it down the last few steps.

"Ah come on, I don't need a big send off..."

His mother came forward and gave him a hug.

"No, but we do. It might be another 15 years knowing you."

Derrick smiled and shut his eyes as they embraced. Something told him that he should try and remember moments like this. This visit was the first time he had really opened up to his mother about the work he did and he knew that she was just as worried as he was about him heading back to his duties. They parted and a bottle was pressed into his hands by his father.

"Here, I've heard it can get cold out there in space."

It was a bottle of whisky, a 15 years old single malt, Derrick turned it over in his hands for a few moments before nodding his thanks. His mother then rushed out to the kitchen and produced two small shot glasses to go with the drink.

"Perhaps you could find someone on your ship to share it with Derrick. You've opened up and we've got to know you better this last week than at any other point, don't let the progress end here."

He took the glasses gratefully and as the clock in the hallway ticked the awkward silence was broken by the sounds of his father clearing his throat nervously.

"Well, Lieutenant, we don't want to keep you waiting..."

Derrick was surprised to hear his father acknowledge his rank like that, it was a mark of the progress that was referred to.

"I'm proud of you, and you ought to be proud of yourself, of the work that you do...."

The two men shook hands firmly, and Derrick felt almost overwhelmed by the poignancy of the occasion.

"Give 'em hell son."

Derrick smiled as his mother gave his hands one last squeeze for good luck. He opened the door in front of him and stepped out into a scene which he had come to call home since beaming down.

"I'll see you when I get back. I promise."

Derrick turned as he was wished good luck for the final time and started back down the dirt path.

== End of timeline ==

>> Next Post - USS Sheridan - Transporter Rooms >>

#30 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.17 @ 18:27 (06:27 PM)

Alice sat and listened to her new duties. The role would be different on the Getty then on most ships but that was understandable. It seemed to make a lot sense. To have a team of three or four would be plenty in her view to maintain. Staffing would be a breeze as long as they all had a strong work ethic. It was definitely interesting to hear how Ken saw her combining the engineering and tactical roles when they weren’t in need of more strategic advice. She figured the tactical role but not so much the engineering side. It underscored Caro’s point that Ken was still looking for a strong engineer.

“I think we have a good start in place as far as our relationship goes, but I think we should have some boundaries in place. When we're not around other members of the crew or off-duty, you are perfectly welcome to call me Ken. Otherwise, Captain or Sir is expected. And one more thing, I expect a great deal from you – you come highly recommended by certain junior lieutenant whom we both know...”

She couldn’t help to giggle at the last part. They both knew full well who that would be.

“She’s a good kid. It’s been a pleasure serving with her. I will miss watching her grow into her own woman. I just hope she continues on her path and that I can live up to the words of praise.”

Then she realized that she was starting to go down a tangent and they should stay on point as much as possible. While Ken knew her previous host, he still had to get to know her.

“As for the rest of what you were saying, I completely agree and wasn’t expecting anything differently. It’s just smart.” Alice paused. She was tempted to throw in Kathy’s and his past where they would try to keep up formalities when on duty together but then thought against it. “I believe that there should be strong communication between those I serve with. I believe that formality is a must when on duty. I may think of someone by first name, but I will call them by their titles when on duty it helps with the chain of command when **** hits the fan. I’m just another senior officer and it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t call you captain or sir. You worked hard to get where you are. “


She continued to pet Nigel as she finished putting her thoughts together. “We are in an odd situation where we have intimate knowledge of each other and yet we don’t actually know each other per say. Sure you know Dega’s mannerisms and I have Kathy’s memories. But I don’t want to take those memories for granted. I know I have to prove myself to you especially if your sister put up a good recommendation for me to live up to.”

#31 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21210.19 @ 01:24 (01:24 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice giggled slightly as Ken alluded to his sister. The relationship between her and Em only served to strengthen the new bonds that were forming between the new Strategic Operations Officer and her Captain. Their separate fates it seemed were destined to be intertwined – a situation that begged for philosophical contemplation on Ken's part, but was at present beyond the ability of his flu addled brain.

“She’s a good kid,” the Trill began. “It’s been a pleasure serving with her. I will miss watching her grow into her own woman. I just hope she continues on her path and that I can live up to the words of praise.”

We'll see,” the Gettysburg's Commanding Officer replied. “She's had her difficulties as you are well aware, but I'm hoping she's grown out of them. I'm glad that she found someone who took an interest in helping her instead of treating her as a problem that needed to be gotten rid of.”

Realizing that the conversation was veering off on a tangent, Alice acted in order to get things back on track.

“As for the rest of what you were saying, I completely agree and wasn’t expecting anything differently. It’s just smart,” she paused as if she were about to add something else and then decided not to. “I believe that there should be strong communication between those I serve with,” she continued. “I believe that formality is a must when on duty. I may think of someone by first name, but I will call them by their titles when on duty it helps with the chain of command when **** hits the fan. I’m just another senior officer and it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t call you Captain or Sir. You worked hard to get where you are.”

She continued to pet Nigel as she finished putting her thoughts together. Nigel rose to his feet to make her task easier – wagging his tail and letting his tongue hang in appreciation for her show of affection. In spite of his initial uneasiness, the sheepdog was taking quite a liking to the new person who somehow had his mistress' scent.

“We are in an odd situation where we have intimate knowledge of each other and yet we don’t actually know each other per say,” she continued on. “Sure you know Dega’s mannerisms and I have Kathy’s memories. But I don’t want to take those memories for granted. I know I have to prove myself to you especially if your sister put up a good recommendation for me to live up to.”

“Odd doesn't begin to describe this whole situation,” Ken quipped with a grin on his face. “But we're going to make it work to your, mine and the Gettysburg's advantage. I have yet to reject a transfer to my ship and I'm not about to start now...”

He started to cough again – albeit not as long and violently as before. Some phlegm came up his throat which he promptly and politely swallowed.

“It looks like the meds are starting to take effect,” he said to Caro who was sitting across from them in Ken's favorite reclining chair.

“What did you expect?” the ex-nurse turned counselor asked sarcastically. “Poison?”

“Sometimes I wonder...” he shot back feebly.

“You should go upstairs and lay down for awhile. You need to rest. Alice and I have to finish up her counseling appointment.”

Ken looked over at Alice and hesitated. Caro was right of course, but he wondered if his leaving might be considered rude. He froze as he searched for a graceful exit to his first encounter with Dega's latest host...

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#32 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.21 @ 03:36 (03:36 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Odd doesn't begin to describe this whole situation,” Ken quipped with a grin on his face. “But we're going to make it work to your, mine and the Gettysburg's advantage. I have yet to reject a transfer to my ship and I'm not about to start now...”

He started to cough again but it was starting to get under control. Which was relieving, it was weird seeing him in such a state of suffering. Dega didn’t want to fully own up to it but she wanted Ken to be healthy and fit even if they were only to friends.
But watching the interactions between Caro and Ken were becoming more and more like they were an old married couple. They would jab back and forth without thinking any ill will.
When Caro started to push for Ken to go upstairs and rest, Alice was torn. Part of her wanted him to get rest so he would be healthy and be the captain he should be. Yet the other part of her wanted to continue talking with him and really start to gauge the relationship and the work environment she was walking into. When he paused, she knew he was just as torn about what to do.
Before she could even say anything, Nigel bounded up and pinned his father to the couch. Apparently, he thought it was best if they all remained the room.

While Alice wanted to giggle, she kept up the straight poker face and turned to Caro. “I don’t think that’s necessary. We were able to discuss what I was hoping to already.”

Turning back to the captain who was still pinned down by a sheepdog who placed his two front legs soundly into Ken’s theighs, she smiled, “So don’t feel the need to leave unless you want to. But this is your home, if you perfer, I can leave.”

#33 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.22 @ 01:07 (01:07 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

An awkward silence fell over the room once Caro finished speaking. Whether he cared to admit it or not, Ken was tired and desperately wanted to go upstairs and take a nap. However, simultaneously he felt the urge to stay and get to know Dega's new host better. Alice was not Kathy even though she had Kathy's memories. It was important to get a handle on her personality and how she might fit in with his other senior officers.

I will stay – sleep can wait.

Finally, he was ready to say something, but before he could Nigel decided that laying at Alice's feet was no longer appealing. The great beast rose up and decided that his master's lap looked more comfortable – getting as far as pinning Ken to the couch before he was halted. Alice struggled to keep a straight face. Ken did as well at first, but then he broke into a smile.

“You were so good when I took you with me to see the ship and now you want to act up,” he said to the sheepdog as he started to scratch him behind the ears. “Get down,” he continued – lifting Nigel's paws out his lap and guiding them down to the floor. Once the dog was off of the couch, he continued to pet him.

“Spoiled as ever, aren't you?” he asked before turning his attention back to Alice and Caro. “Company always seems to rile him up...” he added almost as an afterthought.

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” the Trill said to Caro – answering Ken's earlier question. “We were able to discuss what I was hoping to already.”

The counselor nodded in agreement.

“She and I discussed what needed to be discussed.”

Alice smiled.

“So don’t feel the need to leave unless you want to,” she said. “But this is your home, if you prefer, I can leave.”

“That won't be necessary,” Ken replied. “We can visit some more. Is there anything else you have questions about? If you like, we can discuss specific personnel that I'm considering assigning to your team. Or I can give you the skinny on your fellow senior officers. Whatever you like...I'm open to suggestions or comments...”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#34 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.23 @ 04:05 (04:05 AM)

==Lake Placid, Ken Fitchell's home==

Ken’s offer was tempting and surprising. There was a casualness to it that was heartwarming. But it was something where she had to be careful with. Don’t want to appear to be a ship gossip especially to her new boss.

“Well I am definitely curious about who I will be working with. Both on the senior officer side and within my own department. I looked at their files briefly but you don’t always see the whole personality to it. It would be great to hear to hear more in a way..”

“But I will be honest, I don’t always trust the files or the skinny. Your sister is a perfect example. If you look at the file, you would think she’s a horrible officer. She’s not. She’s opinionated and can be stand-offish but she is also damn good at her job. If given a chance she can shine. I hope the rest of Starfleet is seeing that now.”

“So who will be in my department? Any recommendations on who to push harder and who to just work with?"


Her response that the response she was hoping for. It showed a couple different things. First, she wasn't interested in who was dating who and pure gossip on the ship. Second, she showed she was open minded. Both things she hoped it would help represent her well in front of her new captain.

#35 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.24 @ 02:33 (02:33 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Well I am definitely curious about who I will be working with,” Alice began – seemingly eager to get the inside scoop as it were. “Both on the senior officer side and within my own department. I looked at their files briefly, but you don’t always see the whole personality to it. It would be great to hear to hear more in a way...”

She paused for a moment and then continued, “But I will be honest, I don’t always trust the files or the skinny. Your sister is a perfect example. If you look at the file, you would think she’s a horrible officer. She’s not. She’s opinionated and can be stand-offish, but she is also damn good at her job. If given a chance, she can shine. I hope the rest of Star Fleet is seeing that now.”

Ken nodded in agreement with what Alice had to say – especially when it came to her assessment of Em. She was a raw talent in definite need of mentoring and he was glad that the Trill had gotten to her before she got kicked out of Star Fleet. Ken himself was no stranger to being mentored. As a Cadet and then junior officer he owed a great deal to his Academy sponsor, Jorel Nix, and later on to his first Commanding Officer, Kinziri Jal.

“So who will be in my department? Any recommendations on who to push harder and who to just work with?”

“I have some ideas...” the Gettysburg's Captain said as he rose to his feet and walked over to where he had dropped his shoulder bag. He fished around inside for a bit and retrieved a PADD. He then walked back over to the couch and sat back down.

“...I have some ideas. However, since Strategic Operations is new to the Gettysburg, I thought I would give you some leeway in who you want working with you.” Ken handed her the PADD and continued on, “The two officers have in mind, Lieutenant Jay Gee Igor Kamerinsky and Ensign Navon Boli both have backgrounds in Ops at the fleet level. Kamerinsky has rank and experience obviously, but Boli did a stint working in the Zakdorn Defense Ministry before joining Star Fleet so he has that in his favor.

As far as the NCOs and enlisted go, I've prepared a list of a dozen or so likely prospects drawn from my Tactical department. You and Lieutenant Maxwell, our Chief Tactical Officer will have to sit down and hammer out the details as far as who he's willing to let go. He's a good man and a good officer and his tactical skill is almost equal to Stovon's...”

Ken's voice trailed off and he then paused. He hoped that Alice would start to understand the people she would be working with better if he compared them to people he and Kathy served with and knew.

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#36 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.25 @ 04:26 (04:26 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==


Alice was paying close attention to what Ken was saying. He was completely ready to dive in the work which she loved.

As he was talking she was taking a close look at the PADD he handed her. It was something an interesting choice between Kamerinsky and Boli. They were so different other then they both have backgrounds in the Ops. That was a good thing to have especially since her background was tactical.

When Ken mentioned the Stovon, it started to stir up memories within Dega. His voice dropped off. It was as if he was trying to read her or if she understood what he was getting at. Part of her was tempted to say ‘that she hoped he had a better sense of humor then Stovon’ but she chose not to say that.
Instead she said, “I understand and that’s an excellent quality to have. Stovon was always excellent at tactical, but if I remember correctly, he could be a little closed off even by Vulcan standards.”

“So how about that’s good to hear about Mr. Maxwell. And if I remember correctly, you also have another excellent tactical officer even if he has had a little bit of a checkered recent past in Lt. Ouse. Have you worked with him yet. And what about the security department? Why is that post empty?”

She then got almost quiet. It was going to be a personal question. Or at least something that could bring up memories. “Is it because it’s your pet department and you can’t quite let go of it? I know it was never easy to give up engineering for Dega and I never did get you see you in action as my senior officer until now. It’s actually a fun twist if you think about it.”

#37 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.26 @ 00:02 (12:02 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice hesitated for a moment – looking like she wanted to say one thing, but thought better of it. To Ken, it was a natural reaction - bringing up someone who served with both Kathy and him was a gateway to Kathy's memories and sure to elicit a response along those lines. However, to her credit, the Trill resisted that urge and instead plowed on.

“I understand and that’s an excellent quality to have,”she replied diplomatically. “Stovon was always excellent at Tactical, but if I remember correctly, he could be a little closed off even by Vulcan standards.”

Ken nodded in agreement. “I've known him for a long time, but sometimes I feel like I don't really KNOW him. He is an enigma for sure...”

Alice continued, “So that’s good to hear about Mister Maxwell. And if I remember correctly, you also have another excellent Tactical officer even if he has had a little bit of a checkered recent past in Lieutenant Ouse. Have you worked with him yet? And what about the Security department? Why is that post empty?”

She then got almost quiet. It was going to be a personal question. Or at least something that could bring up memories. “Is it because it’s your pet department and you can’t quite let go of it? I know it was never easy to give up Engineering for Dega and I never did get you see you in action as my senior officer until now. It’s actually a fun twist if you think about it.”

It was a barrage of rapid fire questions aimed at Ken for certain. Rather than pause to think about them, he shot right back with his answers.

“Lieutenant Ouse was fresh out of the Academy when I last served with him...on the Pulsar...toward the tail end of the Romulan war. I remember him being an excellent helmsman – it will be interesting to see how he's grown as an officer since then.

As for the Chief of Security slot, that's a bit of a sore spot right now. I just found a suitable candidate today and filled it, but she's green and a little raw around the edges. I hope she works out – I've tried everything I could think of to close that revolving door. I tried a transfer from another department an now I'm trying an officer who up until this afternoon was still an Ensign. It's hard right now. When the war ended, they cut back on the number of Security officers graduating from the Academy and now there's a shortage of qualified officers at the Department Head level due to promotions into Command, retirement and attrition...” Attrition was his way of saying they were dying off.

“...So yes, I like to keep a closer eye on Security than other departments – it's just natural I suppose given my background. I still miss it sometimes, but honestly if I hadn't moved up to Command, my luck in avoiding fatal injuries probably would have run out. My longtime departmental senior NCO, Bob McFadden, always said I was a magnet for trouble...”

Ken chuckled to himself and smiled as he remembered the foul-mouthed Master Chief.

Caro, who had been sitting quietly and patiently, chose this lull in the conversation to speak up.

“If you two don't need me any more, I'm going to go into the kitchen and start figuring out what we're going to have for dinner. Alice, will you be staying on?”

“You're more than welcome,” Ken added.

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#38 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.26 @ 04:49 (04:49 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==
Alice was glad that Ken was able to keep up with her answers. But it was even better when he was just open with her. He didn’t have to admit that security was his pet department or let her know how there was a brand new security chief who has been barely a Lt.

The Trill was taking mental notes. There was a lot of information to take down. She wanted to be ready to hit the road running with the new crew. So it was good to get some of the inside scoop.

“If you want to talk about magnets for trouble, I think Kathy takes the cake on that one. Even moving up on the command track, didn’t help her. You aren’t that much of a trouble magnet.”

Caro, who had been sitting quietly and patiently, chose this lull in the conversation to speak up.

“If you two don't need me any more, I'm going to go into the kitchen and start figuring out what we're going to have for dinner. Alice, will you be staying on?”

“You're more than welcome,” Ken added.

Alice smiled, “I can do that. Seems like we still have to have more to catch up on.”

Caro nodded and left for the kitchen.

“So why do you think you think I’m here? It’s just seems odd in a way that one we are together again. I don’t mean here at your house but on your ship. Why would Starfleet assign us to the same ship? Did you…” tilting her head some as she asked it, “ask for me specifically? Or was it something else? Starfleet is normally pretty good about respecting Trill taboos on reconnection unless a captain requests to work with the new host.”

Edited by Lt Alice Dega, Star Date 21210.26 @ 05:06 (05:06 AM).


#39 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.27 @ 01:21 (01:21 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“I can do that,” Alice said in reply to the dinner invitation. “Seems like we still have to have more to catch up on.”

Caro nodded and left for the kitchen.

“So why do you think you think I’m here?” she continued. “It’s just seems odd in a way that one we are together again. I don’t mean here at your house but on your ship. Why would Star Fleet assign us to the same ship? Did you...” She tilted her head some as she asked it. “...ask for me specifically? Or was it something else? Star Fleet is normally pretty good about respecting Trill taboos on reconnection unless a Captain requests to work with the new host.”

Ken sighed and slumped down a bit. Alice had no way of knowing it, but he had already put some thought into that very question on the way home from the Gettysburg. And all he could do was add that thought to all the other thoughts concerning Kathy and the whats and whys surrounding her and let them pile up in the corner of his mind. There was no answer he could see. Perhaps it was simply a matter of providing him with a means to heal his emotional wounds. Perhaps it was something else equally deeper than simple chance. Or it could just be random coincidence. It was all beyond him and he was no philosopher.

“I couldn't begin to tell you why you've been assigned to my ship,” he began honestly. “Maybe it's just the way the universe flows. First Em, now me – maybe Dega and the Fitchel clan are destined to have intertwined fates that's all...Can you imagine that?”

Ken chuckled at that last part. Nigel, who had been laying at his master's feet, stood up and put his head in his lap. Ken started to scratch him behind the ears absentmindedly as Caro reentered the living room.

“I just finished seeing what we have on hand that's fresh and here's what I'm thinking – turkey lasagna, garlic bread and a mixed green salad...Oh and plenty of wine.” She added with a mischievous grin.

“That sounds good to me,” Ken answered. “What do you think Alice?”

The Trill gave her answer and Caro then spoke again.

“I'll get right on it.”

“Do you need any help?” he asked.

“I'll be fine,” the counselor replied. “You two just keep on with what you were talking about.”

“OK,” Ken said hesitantly. When dealing with Caro, there was always the feeling that she was up to something and this time was no exception. He shrugged off that thought for now and turned back to Alice.

“I don't know why you're here,” he said picking up his earlier train of thought. “But I do know that I'm grateful that you are...”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#40 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.28 @ 03:30 (03:30 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

When Ken sighed and slumped down into the couch, Alice couldn’t help to relate. It was something that allowed all the vulnerability in the room to open up some and she knew it was an honest answer that he didn’t know. It was just the luck of the draw or cosmic fate.

Whenever he played with Nigel, Alice could just see what Kathy always saw in him. It gave a glimpse into the life that she could remember. It was just a sweet playful movement of just letting the dog get his ears scratched while snuggling up some to his master.

Caro reentered the room and said, “I just finished seeing what we have on hand that's fresh and here's what I'm thinking – turkey lasagna, garlic bread and a mixed green salad...Oh and plenty of wine.”

“That sounds good to me,” Ken answered. “What do you think Alice?”

“That sounds excellent to me.” Although then she saw the mischievous grin on Caro’s face. She couldn’t help to think. I wonder what Caro has up her sleeve. But the meal should be heavy enough to indulge in almost any amount of wine without things getting crazy.

“I'll get right on it.”

“Do you need any help?” he asked.

“I'll be fine,” the counselor replied. “You two just keep on with what you were talking about.”

“OK,” Ken said hesitantly. When dealing with Caro, there was always the feeling that she was up to something and this time was no exception. He shrugged off that thought for now and turned back to Alice.

“I don't know why you're here,” he said picking up his earlier train of thought. “But I do know that I'm grateful that you are...”

Alice smiled and started to let down the tight bun her hair was in. She still left the pony tail in which allowed for her blond curly hair to stay off her face and have some control. It was her subtle sign that she was getting to be less in work mode and more in a more casual mood.

“I’m glad you say that. I definitely was worried about your reaction to having me inserted into your life. I heard some things about how you were handling things after her passing and well I was afraid I would be a bit of a sore subject. I know she felt so guilty for not being stronger and able to wait to say a proper goodbye to you. But it wasn’t pretty towards the end. In a way I respected her for still trying, but in another way it was just so stubborn that she tried to continue mentor me and pretend it wasn’t as bad as it was.”

Then she realized she might have said too much. But she was a believer of getting the cards out on the table and Ken made her feel like they could talk about it.

“I do hope we can be friends and you could count on me as a trusted adviser on your senior staff.”

#41 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.29 @ 01:20 (01:20 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice smiled and started to let down the tight bun her hair was in. She still left the pony tail in which allowed for her blond curly hair to stay off her face and have some control. Her body language signaled that she was starting to relax somewhat.

“I’m glad you say that,” she began. “I definitely was worried about your reaction to having me inserted into your life. I heard some things about how you were handling things after her passing and well I was afraid I would be a bit of a sore subject. I know she felt so guilty for not being stronger and able to wait to say a proper goodbye to you. But it wasn’t pretty towards the end. In a way, I respected her for still trying, but in another way it was just so stubborn that she tried to continue to mentor me and pretend it wasn’t as bad as it was.”

There was a pause – the ‘I think I said too much’ pause. Ken played it off as best he could and allowed her to finish.

“I do hope we can be friends and you could count on me as a trusted adviser on your senior staff.”

“I think that can happen on both accounts,” Ken began with a smile. “Though I expect my style of command might take some getting used to…Excuse me for a minute…”

He picked up his empty water glass and swallowed down the remainder of the melted ice water therein. When he was done, he rose from the couch and went into the kitchen. A minute or so later, he returned with a refill. He sat back down on the couch, took a long sip and then placed it on the coffee table.

“Where were we?” he asked rhetorically. “Oh yeah, command style. I hope you can adapt to my way of doing things quickly. I know my methods were a little off-putting at first to the senior staff, but I’m sure you’ll hear more about that from them once you meet them…”

Ken became quiet as he thought about what he wanted to say next, but didn’t wait long before he dove right into the heart of the matter.

“I guess the guilt runs both ways,” he began. “Kathy always was a bit stubborn and so am I to an extent. I should have been there at the end, but I wasn’t. I had planned to resign from Star Fleet and finally ask her to marry me. I had the letter all ready and the ring in my pocket the morning I went to see Dan…Admiral Wueste on Starbase Alpha but he ambushed me with the offer to become CO of the Gettysburg. I couldn’t turn it down…it was what I had spent my whole career working toward.

I always thought there would be more time – another miracle in the chain of miracles that she and I always seemed to stumble upon. But the miracles ran out and all I have left now are the beautiful memories…”

Ken’s voice started to trail off and his eyes started well with tears.

I should have been there in the end, but I wasn’t…

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#42 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.29 @ 21:23 (09:23 PM)

==Lake Placid, New York==
==Ken Fitchel’s Residence==
Alice waited to hear Ken’s answer. It was just nice to hear that he was hoping for the same things that she did. Although she noticed how he brushed off her comments about Kathy.

I hope I didn’t take it too far. It is almost odd that he would completely ignore what I said. Either I brought uptoo much or he is really trying to avoid that topic altogether. But he’s smiling so I can’t have hurt him too much.

Then Ken announced that he would be right back. Alice continued to mull over things and stayed seated on the sofa. Nigel seemed to have taken the moment to come up and sniff her again and beg for more attention. Alice was all too happy to give it to him. Then Ken walked into the room with a new glass of water.

He immediately mentioned how his command style was a little unusual. That was making her oddly curious. How could it be that different? Sure each captain had a few quirks but it seemed odd that he would mention that idea twice.

Then he started to open up completely. He confessed his guilt and how he wanted to marry Kathy. When Ken’s voice trailed off and his eyes started to tear up. Alice just moved towards him and hugged him.

“Hey,” in a quiet voice, she just started to open up even more. “She knew that you loved her completely and she loved you the same way. While they never had a ceremony, she considered you her husband. They didn’t need the ring. The love was there. And the wonderful memories will continue to live on. As long as Dega is around, there will always be memories of true love.”

She then released the hug but still remained close to Ken.

“I’m sorry for bringing it up. I would say don’t feel guilty but I know that’s impossible. Just like it’s impossible for me to not remember the guilt Kathy had for getting sick in the first place. ”

“I’m so sorry.”

#43 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.30 @ 04:25 (04:25 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

As Ken started to cry, Alice instinctively leaned in and started to hug him. He recoiled slightly at first – sensing on a subconscious level that he was falling into the trap of trying to pick up the pieces of the relationship between him and Kathy. However, he soon changed his mind and returned the show of affection by wrapping his arms around her. He had concluded that it was comfort, not romance, that she was expressing.

“Hey,” she said in a quiet voice. She knew that you loved her completely and she loved you the same way. While they never had a ceremony, she considered you her husband. They didn’t need the ring. The love was there. And the wonderful memories will continue to live on. As long as Dega is around, there will always be memories of true love.”

The Trill then released the hug, but still remained close to him. Ken did the same – wiping away his tears with his sleeve, but not saying anything. Instead, he nodded in mute understanding at her words.

“I’m sorry for bringing it up,” she continued. “I would say don’t feel guilty but I know that’s impossible. Just like it’s impossible for me to not remember the guilt Kathy had for getting sick in the first place. ”

She paused and then added, “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s alright,” Ken said quietly. “Kathy was special and not just because she was the woman I loved. She was the first joined hybrid and the fact that she lived at all after her joining is a testament to her strength. I watched her handle the increased dosages of isobromine she had to take to keep Dega alive with a great deal of courage even though it was causing her a great deal of pain and killing her bit by bit…”

He reached over for his glass of ice water and took a sip.

“…That was how she was – thinking more of others than herself. I’m sure you saw that when she was helping you through the joining process so that Dega could have a proper, healthy host and that she would live on in that way. It’s the only comfort I have really…knowing that the time we had together will be remembered long after we’re both gone…”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#44 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.30 @ 20:02 (08:02 PM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==
Ken was pulling himself together and things were starting to calm down in away. Alice was just glad he didn’t completely pull away. She did notice at first he almost did but he changed his mind in a way.

“It’s alright,” Ken said quietly. “Kathy was special and not just because she was the woman I loved. She was the first joined hybrid and the fact that she lived at all after her joining is a testament to her strength. I watched her handle the increased dosages of isobromine she had to take to keep Dega alive with a great deal of courage even though it was causing her a great deal of pain and killing her bit by bit…”

Hearing the mention of the isobromine just triggered something. She realized how lucky she was that she never felt Dega moving around in her like Kathy would and how nauseous she would get at the beginning and end of the day. It was something she seldom ever thought about.

“…That was how she was – thinking more of others than herself. I’m sure you saw that when she was helping you through the joining process so that Dega could have a proper, healthy host and that she would live on in that way. It’s the only comfort I have really…knowing that the time we had together will be remembered long after we’re both gone…”

She didn’t say too much. It would have been odd to contradict him. The way she remembered Kathy being a little too far gone with her illness to really be the best mentor, but she knew Kathy meant well.

“I hope that’s not the only comfort. There is still a lot to take comfort in.” Alice looked down at Nigel and then pointed towards him. “Nigel is a great example. He loves you a lot. I bet he will love going up to the ship with you.”

Then that reminded her of her own puppy. He would be needing to be fed soon and he would be going to the ship as well. Could be a good way to redirect the conversation away from the grief and death of Kathy.

“Do you mind if I use your comm system for a moment? I need to phone home and make sure that my puppy gets fed. One of these days we should set up a puppy play date. Although I will warn you, my puppy, The Doctor, is a wee bit mischievous. “

#45 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21210.31 @ 02:19 (02:19 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“I hope that’s not the only comfort. There is still a lot to take comfort in.” Alice looked down at Nigel and then pointed towards him. “Nigel is a great example. He loves you a lot. I bet he will love going up to the ship with you.”

Ken smiled and nodded in agreement. He wiped away the last of his tears and thought back to earlier in the day and how Nigel had taken so readily to being aboard the Gettysburg.

He even made a friend or two amongst the crew...

“I don’t doubt that for one second,” he answered. “He already has a favorite spot staked out in my Ready Room. He’s met some of the crew already as well and they seem favorably disposed of him though I’m not so sure about Lieutenant Merawdr…He’s Caitian and I think there’s some of that dog versus cat thing going on between the two of them…”

“Do you mind if I use your comm system for a moment?” the Trill asked suddenly remembering something urgent. “I need to phone home and make sure that my puppy gets fed. One of these days we should set up a puppy play date. Although I will warn you, my puppy, The Doctor, is a wee bit mischievous.”

“Of course, go right ahead,” Ken replied before leaning over and scratching Nigel behind the ears again. “Do you hear that boy?” he asked his shaggy child. “It looks like you’ll have at least one friend of your own kind on board. Aren’t you excited?”

Nigel looked up and started wagging his tail. His tongue flopped out the side of his mouth and he flashed a toothy grin. It was a silly thing to believe in, but Ken was certain that the great sheepdog was possessed of intelligence far beyond that of the average canine.

“Nigel seems eager to meet The Doctor so I guess I am as well. Consider the time on the holodeck for the two of them to meet already booked…”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#46 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21211.01 @ 03:05 (03:05 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice wasn’t surprised that she was allowed to use the comm system. Alice started to move the way over to the side wall desk. It was odd remembering setting up the desk and knowing exactly where it was yet she also knew she never actually step foot in the house.

They basically set up a play date for the puppies right then and there. The time might be fuzzy but it was nice to know it was set up. Plus it was great for the two pets to have a friend.

Alice pushed the comm to call to her friend’s Carly’s house. She didn’t have to wait long to see her long time friend on the other side of the screen. The slender human with a lithe voice said, [So finding any men tonight?]

“Not exactly but I won’t be home until late. Can you take care of The Doctor a little longer?”

[Why don’t I believe that? Oh I know I see the name tag and I see that you are calling from a Ken Fitchel’s home. ]


“Trust me. It’s not what you think. It’s my new captain. It was an impromptu meeting.”

[I still don’t believe you. But you should get it on. You are practically a nun. Besides I’m dying for some dirt. Have fun tonight] Then the line with dead.


Well that could have been a little easier. I could be explaining that one for a while. Just don’t know with who.


Alice came back over to the couch. She started to pet Nigel’s rump. “Thanks for letting me use the comm system. It’s good to know that The Doctor is taken care for a few more hours. I don’t want to impose too much.”

To make sure that conversation didn't get too heavy. "So do you think Caro has something up her sleeve or is it just me?"

#47 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21211.02 @ 01:25 (01:25 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken continued to lavish affection on Nigel as Alice got up off of the couch and made her way over to where the comm. system was located. Not surprisingly, she knew exactly where it was – another reminder that she was unnervingly familiar with the layout of the house even though it was her first visit. It was Kathy’s memories guiding her he reminded himself – trying to maintain some sort of objectivity regarding Dega’s new host.

The Trill got in touch with her friend and an animated conversation ensued.

[So finding any men tonight?] the slender female on the other end asked.

“Not exactly but I won’t be home until late. Can you take care of The Doctor a little longer?”

[Why don’t I believe that? Oh I know I see the name tag and I see that you are calling from a Ken Fitchel’s home.]

“Trust me. It’s not what you think. It’s my new captain. It was an impromptu meeting.”

[I still don’t believe you. But you should get it on. You are practically a nun. Besides I’m dying for some dirt. Have fun tonight]

The line went dead. Ken couldn’t help but smile as he finished eavesdropping on the conversation he had just heard. He was tempted to say something right away, but held back as Alice returned and sat back down on the couch.

“Thanks for letting me use the comm. system. It’s good to know that The Doctor is taken care of for a few more hours. I don’t want to impose too much.”

“It was no trouble at all,” Ken replied. “I’m happy to make sure that things continue to be as comfortable as possible.” There was warmth to his words as he spoke them. He was generally pretty introverted, but he did rather enjoy being the host when called upon to do so.

“So do you think Caro has something up her sleeve or is it just me?” Alice asked starting up a new subject.

“Caro always has something up her sleeve,” Ken replied with a grin. “But knowing her it’s best not to overanalyze what she might do because she tends to be unpredictable. I always just react when the time comes and not before…”

He stopped and took a drink of water before continuing on.

“I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation you had with your friend. Years of training in Security gave me that nasty little rude habit so I apologize for that. She seems to have an active interest in your sex life doesn’t she? Not that it’s any business of mine, but you should probably sit down with her and explain that trying to shag your new Commanding Officer isn’t the smartest thing to do if you’re a senior officer.”

Ken chuckled to indicate that he wasn’t being overly serious about the matter and then added, “Don’t worry – everyone has at least one friend who embarrasses the hell out of them regularly, but is still as good as they come…”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#48 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21211.05 @ 00:46 (12:46 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken was definitely in a good mood after the comm message. He was smiling and definitely a bit more open afterwards. But as a whole it was just a fun, friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

“Caro always has something up her sleeve,” Ken replied with a grin. “But knowing her it’s best not to overanalyze what she might do because she tends to be unpredictable. I always just react when the time comes and not before…”

He stopped and took a drink of water before continuing on.

“I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation you had with your friend. Years of training in Security gave me that nasty little rude habit so I apologize for that. She seems to have an active interest in your sex life doesn’t she? Not that it’s any business of mine, but you should probably sit down with her and explain that trying to shag your new Commanding Officer isn’t the smartest thing to do if you’re a senior officer.”

Ken chuckled to indicate that he wasn’t being overly serious about the matter and then added, “Don’t worry – everyone has at least one friend who embarrasses the hell out of them regularly, but is still as good as they come…”

Alice raised an eyebrow and started to laugh some. “Yeah, Carly won’t ever change. Besides why should best friends change too much or be disinterested in your love life?”

Alice knew the next part would have a little bit of a barb to her laughter. “But you are one to talk. While it wasn’t the Commanding officer but the first officer is just as close. At least I tried to dissuade her that I was after a roll in the hay tonight.”

#49 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.06 @ 02:11 (02:11 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice raised an eyebrow and started to laugh some. “Yeah, Carly won’t ever change. Besides, why should best friends change too much or be disinterested in your love life?”

Ken silently nodded in agreement.

That’s what makes each friendship special and unique…

The Trill continued on, “But you are one to talk. While it wasn’t the Commanding Officer but the First Officer, it is just as close. At least I tried to dissuade her that I was after a roll in the hay tonight.”

There was some truth to what Alice was saying and he would be a hypocrite for denying it. However, it was not so cut and dried as she made it out to be. Whether or not, this was a deliberate obfuscation on her part was hard for him to tell – he knew Kathy and in spite of the connection the two of them shared, he didn’t really know Alice. Dega’s new host was most certainly more blunt and combative, open-minded was too mild a description really, and Ken hadn’t yet decided whether or not this was to be condemned or encouraged. It did, however, remind him of the dynamic between him and Dan Wueste and that was something he wished for from his senior officers who although they were competent to a man and woman tended to be stiff and formal around him.

Maybe her attitude will rub off on Santiago and the rest…

“Close, but every situation isn’t the same,” Ken began. “And in Kathy’s and my case, you are omitting a few details that I know you know…” He smiled as he thought about what he was about to say – it was a good memory. “…She and I didn’t start seeing each other until after the launch ceremony for the Enterprise and our mass transfer to the Dauntless. Remember, it was the night we snuck aboard and I got the barefoot tour of the ship…Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that the two of us were both department heads at that time so we were equals of a sort even if she did outrank me. That business about dating the First Officer only came about later and didn’t last very long in the scheme of things…”

Ken sighed – that was where the sad part of the journey began. Alice of course knew all of that so there was no need to dredge up those painful memories. Instead, having made his thoughts on the matter of fraternization amongst senior officers known, he shifted the onus of the conversation back onto Alice.

“You certainly don’t have a problem speaking your mind do you,” he said with a grin. “I don’t have a problem with that, but I wonder – how did Captain Neilson feel about your bluntness?”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#50 Peter Powell

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Posted Star Date 21211.06 @ 15:34 (03:34 PM)

>>Sol System - Earth - Hampshire - England>>

Arriving at the end of the garden like every did that beamed in from any location, his grandparents never like people beaming in to the back or front doors, so they had got a limiter which stopped this and had the beam in spot relocated.

He opened the garden gate, like he had done a million times before, the garden looked nearly like it had done for years, before his grandfather had died, but there were areas which were either untouched or had been tided, but the weeds were poking through.

Think the garden might be getting beyond gran's abilities

Arriving at the dock door, Peter knocked on the glass window and then pushed the handle down and pushed the door open, stepping inside the kitchen area, looking arounds he noticed that it was spotless like it always had been, everything was in its correct place, continuing a on thought into the dinning room area, again everything was clean and correct, but a feeling something was wrong was going thought him, he had knocked loudly on the window, but still his grand mother hadn't shown herself, normally she would of been at the door so quickly that he might have not even have stepped over the threshold.

"Gran" he shouted out.

But there was no answer, the fact that there was no answer made Peter felt really bad, he had a feeling that something was completely wrong, looking into the living room area,it was empty, he carried on thought the bungalow towards the sleeping area, he had a really bad feeling inside his gut, he really hoped that what he was thinking hadn't happened.

He arrived at the first of the three bedrooms which was inside the building, he opened the door and stepped inside, there was still no sign of his gran, starting to get really panicky he started calling out as he moved towards the other two bedrooms, it wasn't until he reached the spare room which normally was kept for quests when they were staying, that he found his gran, she was laying on the bed, he moved into the room and towards the bed.

Peter felt like he was holding his breath and his voice box had completely stopped working as he reached the bed, bending slightly so that he was able to reach out his right hand and shack his gran on the shoulder, he also managed to find a little bit of his voice and he spoke, "Gran".

The feeling of her shoulders against his hand was soft and warm, but there was no answer from her, he then moved his hand towards her neck to check to see if there was a pulse running up her carotid artery, thanks fully there was one, but it was very weak and faint.

This was nothing that Peter had ever experienced in his life, he had faced death and near death with this colleagues, but there is something completely different when it comes to family and he was more nervous than he had been in his life.

Knowing that as his gran had a heart beat, she was still breathing if only a minimum amount, he was able to leave her there which he went to get medical help, the nearest communication system which was set up in all houses  was located in the living room, so he ran as fast as he could back down towards the area, once inside he switched on the wall monitor and opened up the communication system, he programmed it to connect to the local medical centre.

"This is Commander Powell calling from 58 Potter Close, I need a medical team at this address immediately , I have a seventy two year old female, who has a slow heart rate and is unresponsive, I have first aid experience, please hurry." Powell said trying to stay calm but anyone could tell that he was failing miserably.

[This is the medical centre William Harvey, there will be a medical team at the address stated within five minutes, please call back if the situation deteriorates] a ladies voice indicated to him.

He was too busy wanting to get back to his gran to not really care about anything else, he ran back down the hall and into the bedroom, just as he reached the door to the room a male voice sounded from the direction of the back door.

"Commander Powell, this is Medical team  Hotel, answering your call." 

Taking a step back, he shouted back himself, so that the people could hear and also follow his voice.

"Come thought the kitchen, then the dinning room, then down the corridor towards the bedroom area, she's in the last bedroom." Peter said.

As he was speaking he could hear the footfalls of the medical team heading towards his location, when they arrived him moved inside the room, but stood at the back of the room watching the people do there jobs, he was scared that he was going to be losing his gran, the woman that raised him like her own son, he had enough trouble when he lost his grandfather a year ago, but the thought that he might lose 'gran' was something that he could assimilate in his head.

It seemed like ages that the medical team was working on his gran, but it probably wasn't long, when the lady turned to him.

"We need to get her to a medical facility, can you deactivate the transporter inhibitor, so that we can beam her directly from here" 

Not wanting to speak, as it would sound like he was nervous and scared, so he just nodded and exited the room, he needed to go back to the living room and the wall panel, it was lucky that his code hadn't been removed by his grandparents after he left for StarFleet, so he entered it which dropped the transport inhibitor.

"Done" he shouted as he marched back to the bedroom.

"Thanks Commander, We will be taking this lady to the Thomas Linacre Hospital, you know where tht is and how to get there?" the woman asked.

Again Peter not nodded a yes, he still felt unable to speak.

"Good, if there is any other family, I would suggest that you contact them and let them know, as the next few hours and possibly days will be tough" she stated.

Continuing only look at his gran, Peter knoticed that the two medical people were standing either side of the bed and the male was using a communication device and was talking into it.

"...Understood....energise now." he finished.

With that, his gran and the two people were engulfed in the transported beam light and he watched as they were collected and started to dematerialize.

"Need to get command to contact the Defender and let mum and dad know" Peter said as he started back down the corridor towards the living area.

Once back inside he moved to the wall panel and opened up the communication grid and connected it with StarFleet operations, the young officer who answered the com was a blond hair blue eyes extremely young female.

[How can I help you today, Sir.] she asked.

"I'm Lieutenant Commander Powell, USS Copernicus NCC nine zero three five, authorisation code gamma-xray-nine-alpha" Peter replied

As he spoke he watched her typing onto a PADD, he figured she was inputting the information he had just given here to check to make sure he was whom he said he was.

[Code verified Commander Powell.  How can I help you Commander] she asked again.

"I need a message sent to the USS Defender Charlie alpha- one one zero six please, medical priority one, to Lieutenant Paul Powell and Lieutenant Commander Bernadette Powell" he knew that with his code he would be able to push this message up the pile and have it sent nearly instantaneously to his parents.

[Understood Sir, What is the message you would like to send] came the reply.

"Mum and Dad, Gran found  unconscious at home and taken to the Thomas Linacre Hospital, will be heading there myself shortly, condition unknown at this moment, will advise when I have more information about her condition, Love Peter." He said.

[Message copied and will be sent within the next three minutes]

"Thank you Miss" Peter said before closing down the comline.

He  re-establish the inhibitor on the house and then practically flew out the door and down the garden path, when he got to the gate, he did slow down, so that he looked somewhat in control of his abilities, emotions and everything else, still moving sort of faster Peter asked towards the local transporter was located, it was in the beautiful centre square, when he arrived luck early there was only one other person in front of him, so he only had to wait a few seconds before he mounted the transporter padd, as he stepped inboard a voice spoke.

[Transport location please]

"Thomas Linacre Hospital please." heh felt the beam engulf him and his location disappeared.

==Thomas Linacre Hospital-Basingstoke-Hampshire-England==

Arriving out side the main entrance to the hospital, Peter moved swiftly inside towards the desk.

Behind the desk stood a man, who seemed kinda stressed, but had that kinda face which gave the impression that he would give full attention to whatever was in front of him, be it that it was an individual or a PADD of information.

Looking up as Peter approached, he gave a welcoming smile.

"My grandmother has been beamed in with two medical people from  William Harvey medical centre." Peter stated without the man asking anything.

"Ah yes sir, I've just been given the information about that, I need some more information to get the ladies file up." he asked.

This seemed kinda strange to Peter, he thought that getting the information on a patient would be simple and wouldn't need to ask any questions, but he started answering the questions that was needed.

Once that was over he was shown further into the hospital, this was mainly because he didn't know where he was going and was shown into a critical care unit, looking though the window at his gran, Peter could feel his emotions starting to build up and unless he started to fight it he would end up bursting into tears.

As he remained looking at his gran, hoping hard that she would be fine and will be out of here soon, he felt a presence beside him, turning his head he noticed that it was a nurse standing beside him, but not any nurse it was Jessica Afton.

==More to post later==
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#51 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.07 @ 03:52 (03:52 AM)

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Close, but every situation isn’t the same,” Ken began. “And in Kathy’s and my case, you are omitting a few details that I know you know…” He smiled as he thought about what he was about to say – it was a good memory. “…She and I didn’t start seeing each other until after the launch ceremony for the Enterprise and our mass transfer to the Dauntless. Remember, it was the night we snuck aboard and I got the barefoot tour of the ship…Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that the two of us were both department heads at that time so we were equals of a sort even if she did outrank me. That business about dating the First Officer only came about later and didn’t last very long in the scheme of things…”

Ken reacted pretty well to the comment which made Alice feel pretty good. It could have been touchy subject y yet the humor was reciprocated for the most part. They were able to talk about a happy memory and he was right, they were equals for a while and when they first hooked up. But he still granted her some leeway and that meant a lot. He did make a sigh before switching the subject.

“You certainly don’t have a problem speaking your mind do you,” he said with a grin. “I don’t have a problem with that, but I wonder – how did Captain Neilson feel about your bluntness?”

That made Alice chagrined. That was one the one thing that she hated. She was a little bit too outspoken and it got her in trouble.

As she ran her hand through the curls of her hair, she said, “Well I wasn’t very open with her after I was sent to the brig for insubordination. Granted I did willingly disobeyed orders not to fire my weapon in engineering. I knew I could make the shot and the CE also thought I was in the right after I made the shot. "

"After that I showed her the utmost respect and tried not to step on any toes. While we both were able to push pass it, I was always very stiff around her and never could fully open up with her. I wish we could have been friends after the whole captain and commander thing but we weren’t able to. Cause i think the best mentor relationships happen when you can get real with someone on both sides of formality. You can ask your sis, I could ride my team hard but I would allow them to be real with me too.”

#52 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21211.07 @ 05:07 (05:07 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

For a moment at least, it seemed as though Alice was uncomfortable about the question asked. Ken understood, having read about the incident in her personnel file, but he wanted their relationship to start out on a solid footing with everything out in the open. The question was a test of sorts and it was up to her to see if she would react in what he judged was a positive manner.

The Trill ran her hands through the curls of her hair and finally spoke.

“Well I wasn’t very open with her after I was sent to the brig for insubordination,” she began. “Granted, I did willingly disobey orders not to fire my weapon in Engineering. I knew I could make the shot and the CE also thought I was in the right after I made the shot.

After that I showed her the utmost respect and tried not to step on any toes. While we both were able to push pass it, I was always very stiff around her and never could fully open up with her. I wish we could have been friends after the whole captain and commander thing but we weren’t able to. ‘Cause I think the best mentor relationships happen when you can get real with someone on both sides of formality. You can ask your sis, I could ride my team hard but I would allow them to be real with me too.”

Ken nodded approvingly.

“I read about the incident in question in your file so it wasn’t going to be any sort of secret that you’d have been able to keep from me. Your admission tells me that you have no problem taking responsibility when things don’t go by the book or an order needs to be disobeyed in order to save a life. That’s a good thing. Rules and regulations are only guidelines. They work fine the majority of the time, but don’t always cover every situation. You need to be flexible in your thinking or else you end up making things worse than they might otherwise be. I’m sure you recognize that…”

A sound then came from across the room. It was an odd sound, the archaic ring tone of a 20th century rotary telephone. It was a sound that signaled an incoming transmission on the living room comm. link.

“…Excuse me while I get that,” Ken said as rose and walked over to the comm. system. He tapped the screen and accepted the call. On the other end was his oldest friend in Star Fleet, Bojay.

“You’ll never guess who’s sitting in the living room with me right now,” he said immediately.

[It is impossible for me to formulate a response given the lack of information you have given me. Therefore, I will wait for you to provide me with the answer.]

“It’s Kathy’s new host and you want to know the kicker – she’s been assigned to my ship as my new Strategic Operations Officer.”

[That could prove to be a most uncomfortable situation.]

“We’re working on making sure that’s not the case. What time are you due home? She’s staying for dinner so you’ll have a chance to meet her.”

[Unfortunately, I do not think that will be possible. The purpose of my call is to let Caro and you know that I will be working late tonight. The simulator was down for most of the day and just came back on line. My team and I need to finish all the testing that needed to be done so we don’t fall behind schedule.]

“Alright, I’ll let Caro know.”

Bojay nodded and the screen went blank. Ken walked over to the couch and sat back down.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the way he is now,” he said forlornly in regard to his friend’s ‘new and improved’ personality. “But after the accident, Star Fleet Medical made the decision to retrain him using Vulcan mental techniques. What they didn’t mention was that included reprogramming his personality as well…At least he still lets me call him Bojay. To everyone else, he’s Brom…”

Ken leaned over and picked up his glass of water. He finished the remainder of it in one swallow and set the empty glass back down.

“Where were we?” he began rhetorically. “Honesty, taking responsibility for one’s actions…You said something about regretting not having a mentor relationship with Captain Neilson. I don’t know if that will be the direction our relationship takes – being joined means you have a leg up on me experience-wise in quite a few areas…”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#53 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.08 @ 03:41 (03:41 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==
Alice just nodded casually as Ken started to talk about honesty and the talk of when to go by the book and when not to. It was a lecture that she heard enough of when she got herself into trouble. Instead of rolling her eyes or anything, she just took it in and thought of it as going back to basics. Which can be good to do from time to time.

Then came an odd sound coming from the direction of the comm. link. She wasn’t sure what the sound was but it was clear that Ken did since he immediately excused himself for a few minutes. It was her turn to eavesdrop on the conversation. Immediately it was a recognizable voice but the personality was all wrong.

But it was entertaining to hear how Ken talk to his good friend. It was definitely a lot drier of a conversation then her and Carly’s. But it seemed like that Bojay wasn’t going to be joining them for dinner so she couldn’t catch up or meet him again.



Then Ken walked back over back to the couches and said almost forlornly, “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the way he is now. But after the accident, Star Fleet Medical made the decision to retrain him using Vulcan mental techniques. What they didn’t mention was that included reprogramming his personality as well…At least he still lets me call him Bojay. To everyone else, he’s Brom…”

Ken leaned over and picked up his glass of water polished it off before he set the empty glass back down. Alice was tempted to say “It’s like losing a friend when the personality changes so much. I know it wasn’t always easy to keep up friendships from pre-joining.”

Alice took the last sips of her own coffee that she set down on the coffee table a while back. So after that her latte was done.

“Where were we?” he began rhetorically. “Honesty, taking responsibility for one’s actions…You said something about regretting not having a mentor relationship with Captain Neilson. I don’t know if that will be the direction our relationship takes – being joined means you have a leg up on me experience-wise in quite a few areas…”

Then Alice smiled some. “But isn’t that whole point to Joining? Getting a chance to learn more about life from several different walks of life? Sure I have some memories of being a politician and an engineer. But it’s not the same of commanding a ship and it’s something I want to do one day. Besides, you have the opportunity to pass on your legacy to the next generation of leaders."

Alice took a moment to almost soften up the conversation a little by saying, "Plus doesn’t it get loyally at the top without someone to speak with?”

#54 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.08 @ 04:32 (04:32 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“But isn’t that whole point to Joining?” Alice asked with a warm smile on her face. Getting a chance to learn more about life from several different walks of life? Sure I have some memories of being a politician and an engineer. But it’s not the same as commanding a ship and it’s something I want to do one day. Besides, you have the opportunity to pass on your legacy to the next generation of leaders.”

She then took a moment to almost soften up the conversation a little by adding, “Plus doesn’t it get lonely at the top without someone to speak with?”

The Trill had a point of course – the whole idea of becoming Joined was to broaden the experiences of the host, not repeat them. Additionally, that she wanted to have a ship of her own someday was something that Ken could relate to when he was at the same career stage that she was now. What he couldn’t get used to was the idea that he was some sort of tribal elder whose time had come to pass along his collected wisdom to a younger generation. He didn’t feel old, but when he looked around, there were fewer and fewer of the people left that he had served with throughout the years and those that he knew as ensigns and lieutenants were now senior officers in their own right.

He thought about Alice’s words some more and then finally spoke.

“I don’t know about leaving any kind of legacy, but I guess I qualify as a ‘veteran’ Captain by now so I do have a responsibility to hopefully pass along my experience to others. I don’t say it often enough, but I’m lucky in a sense in that I have two highly qualified officers who could take command of the Gettysburg in a heartbeat if something happened to me. Of course, I’ll mentor you as best I can, but you’d be wise to watch how Commander Santiago and Lieutenant Commander Carter operate as well. There are things to be learned from them as well…”

Ken paused for a moment – leaving the question of feeling lonely at the top hanging in the air. That was a more difficult thing to address and at the moment he didn’t know what words would suffice to answer it.

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#55 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.08 @ 05:33 (05:33 AM)

==Lake Placid, New York-Earth==
==Residence of Ken Fitchel==

Alice noticed right away that he seemed to put almost ill at ease about her mentioning that he could pass on a legacy. Then she realized it probably made him feel old. It wasn’t like her when she knew age and experience could be very relative.

He mentioned two other officers that she should get in contact with. She nodded and took note of the names. She knew that she would want to get in contact with those two officers later on.

But he never made mention about her last comment. She wasn’t sure if she should push further or leave it alone. There was something that was telling her to avoid pushing too hard. He would open up about his friendships with the crew soon enough and if not, she hoped she could help make a bridge between everyone.

“Hey you are a captain with a few missions under your belt. It’s not your first couple tours. So defiantly someone I can learn from. And it’s great you have so many other excellent officers you can fall back on. Your personnel speak for you as much as your body of work. I know how I act will reflect upon you, Captain Neilson and Captain DiNardo; so I strive to follow my duty to the best of my capability, do what I believe is right and accept every consequence that I do. To do otherwise wouldn’t be a good reflection of myself, Starfleet or any of my captains.”

Then she smiled. "So is there anyone I shouldn't speak with from your crew? Seems like you have a lot of faith in them. How did you get to be so lucky that you could trust each and every one of them."

#56 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.09 @ 01:30 (01:30 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Hey, you are a captain with a few missions under your belt,” Alice began – breaking the silence and maintaining the ebb and flow of the conversation. “It’s not your first couple tours. So definitely someone I can learn from. And it’s great you have so many other excellent officers you can fall back on. Your personnel speak for you as much as your body of work. I know how I act will reflect upon you, Captain Neilson and Captain DiNardo; so I strive to follow my duty to the best of my capability, do what I believe is right and accept every consequence that I do. To do otherwise wouldn’t be a good reflection of me, Starfleet or any of my captains.”

She then smiled – a smile that Ken recognized as being both sincere and laced with a hint of mischief.

“So is there anyone I shouldn't speak with from your crew? It seems like you have a lot of faith in them. How did you get to be so lucky that you could trust each and every one of them?”

Ken smiled back and then laughed.

“Not really,” he began. “Although I would take what my Yeoman says with a grain of salt. She’s a consummate professional, but she’s convinced that one of these days I’m going to drop dead from overwork. I think she believes her duties are too light given her position. Maybe she’s right, but I’ve gotten used to handling a lot of things I should probably delegate…”

There was a brief sigh before he continued on.

“As for my crew, when I assumed command of the Gettysburg, I inherited a core of officers and enlisted who were being reassigned after the Enterprise was taken out of service to be refitted. All of my senior staff served with Admiral Thrawn so I obviously started out with the right personnel to be a success. Some of them have moved on to other assignments or retired, but the ones remaining have continued to be exceptional.

Right now, I consider our strengths to be in Tactical and Science – Lieutenant Maxwell and Lieutenant Commander Carter are top notch. Engineering, Security and Medical are a little greener than I’d like, but they have potential…”

Ken chuckled at his last words and then added, “And by green, I mean LITERALLY green in one case. Lieutenant McKendry, our newly promoted Chief of Security is half-Orion…”

It was at that moment that Caro popped out of the kitchen with a glass of wine in each hand and spoke to the pair.

“I just put the lasagna in the oven so we’re almost ready to eat,” she said with a grin. “And while we wait, I thought you two could use some conversational lubricant.”

She handed Ken and Alice a glass of wine.

“I’ll be back in a second. I just need to get my own glass.”

“Bojay called and said he’d be home late so it’s just the three of us for dinner,” Ken said before she disappeared.

The counselor nodded silently, barely hiding her disappointment, before leaving the room.

“And I thought Kathy and I had an odd relationship,” he said turning to Alice. “But those two take the cake. She loves him something fierce, but I think his detachment and lack of emotion grates on her from time to time,” he added as he gingerly took a sip of wine.

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#57 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.12 @ 03:54 (03:54 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==
== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

They had a nice moment with both of them laughing at her jest. Alice was excited to hear more about her new crew. There was a lot of learn and it was always great when the commanding officers really respect their crew and their capability The fact he trusted them so much could allow for some leeway with decision making. That was going to be important to know in the long run.

It was funny to hear how the security officer was a bit green even literally. Alice knew that had to be a bit of an adjustment for Ken. He always did have a strong hatred of the Orions especially after all the problems he had to deal with from the syndicate. The Trill liked seeing that he was laughing and poking fun at the situation, so it showed that Ken was able to keep his bias from affecting the

It was at that moment that Caro popped out of the kitchen with a glass of wine in each hand and spoke to the pair. “I just put the lasagna in the oven so we’re almost ready to eat,” she said with a grin. “And while we wait, I thought you two could use some conversational lubricant.”

She handed Ken and Alice a glass of wine. Alice gladly accepted the wine and said, “What? Did you thought we would be in stony silence about now?”

“I’ll be back in a second. I just need to get my own glass.”

“Bojay called and said he’d be home late so it’s just the three of us for dinner,” Ken said before she disappeared.

The counselor nodded silently, barely hiding her disappointment, before leaving the room.

“And I thought Kathy and I had an odd relationship,” he said turning to Alice. “But those two take the cake. She loves him something fierce, but I think his detachment and lack of emotion grates on her from time to time,” he added as he gingerly took a sip of wine.

Alice was glad that she took a second before taking a sip of wine. The shock of hearing that Bojay and Caro actually got together was worthy of a spit take. It was just so surprising. While it was something that Kathy was hopeful for, but it was just so unseen.

“Really? They got together?” Then Alice realized that there could be something more difficult to saw knowing that Caro was about ready to get back into the room and it could be rude if she overheard. “Wow. Especially if he isn’t able to reciprocate her humor.”

Alice took a sip of the wine and trying to appear as innocent as she could. As she tasted the wine, she noted two things. First it was a well aged wine: full body and tasty. Two, she was likely to get a little bit of a buzz after a glass or two.

“Now you will tell me that your sister was fearing you are working yourself to death and will never find another love again is all for nothing.”

#58 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.13 @ 03:40 (03:40 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Really? They got together?” Alice asked doing her best to feign surprise, but falling short of the task. “Wow. Especially if he isn’t able to reciprocate her humor…”

The Trill took a sip of the wine and put on an innocent look.

“Now you will tell me that your sister was fearing that you are working yourself to death and will never find another love again is all for nothing.”

Ken didn’t know what to say to Alice’s last remark so instead of opening his mouth to speak; he opened it to take another sip of wine. Caro had chosen well – the wine was full-bodied and strong and he was sure that in his weakened state he would soon have a pretty good buzz on. With that in mind, he leaned forward and placed the glass on the coffee table – positioning it so some effort would be required on his part to drink from it.

“Em has a flair for over dramatizing things,” he began as an amused smile crossed his face. “I’ve been entrusted with command of a starship and that’s not something that Star Fleet hands out like a piece of candy to any officer wants one. I feel like I work hard enough to ensure that my ship and crew are taken care of properly and then some. If that constitutes overwork, then I’m guilty as charged. Otherwise, I just think of it as part of my job requirement.

As for finding love again, I won’t rule it out completely, but the woman in question has a pretty tough act to follow…” There was an awkward pause where Ken allowed unspoken words to fill in the gap knowing Alice would understand without him having to elaborate. “…I’ve made my peace with the idea that Kathy was my one true love and I won’t consider it a great loss if I don’t find another to take her place. No wife, no children, no family – it’s not like I’d be unique in Star Fleet in that regard…”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#59 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.16 @ 04:08 (04:08 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==
Alice wasn’t surprised to hear how Ken was almost minimizing Em’s concerns or the fact there could be some surprise if he were to get into another relationship. Nor was she surprised to hear that he would be content if he remained single.

“As long as you don’t isolate yourself from any chance for another great love. There is no rule saying you can only have one great love in a life time. If not I could be sorely out of luck if you put the previous act on the scale of Dega’s lifetime.”

Drinking the wine and feeling the warm feelings start to take over. It actually felt rather relaxing.

“Plus you can’t blame your sister for worrying about you. She cares about you deeply. Just like I know my family is just as worried about me.” Alice didn’t mention how hard her Joining had been on her family and changed her relationship some with them for a while. While they were happy for her, it definitely changed some of the dynamics with them. Some of it was learning to bite her tongue again since for a while her joining definitely brought her out of her shell. Instead she said casually, “it’s always tough for them to realized you grew up some and your coping methods might have changed as well.”

Swirling her wine around to bring out even more layers to the wine. “I’m glad our meeting up has been so easy. I was thrilled to be assigned to your ship but a little scared as well.”

#60 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.18 @ 00:23 (12:23 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

It was very plain from Alice’s words that the wine was loosening her tongue and amplifying her already pronounced brashness. Ken wasn’t really sure if she being insensitive or baiting him, but what she had said with regard to his relationship with Kathy and she being his one true love in life had wounded him on a pretty deep level. In spite of that, he was willing to forgive her immediately – even so far as to quickly put on a mask of indifference as he sat there and listened to her.

She knows that she has the advantage right now in this conversation. She knows me, my emotions and reactions thoroughly and I’m still trying to figure her out…

Leaning over, Ken picked up his glass of wine and brought it to his lips. He took a long sip and then set it back down. He pursed his lips together – a tell of his when he was ready to say something impolitic and was holding back in order to avoid offending someone.

We’re going to be working together quite a bit so there’s no point in potentially damaging that relationship with some ill-chosen words so early on.

Finally, he spoke.

“Em takes after our mother when it comes to worrying, but at least with her I don’t have to gloss over or omit some of the more terrifying near death experiences I’ve had over the years. With Mom, I always have to be careful what I say when I talk to her – she’s always been fiercely protective of me and was against me joining Star Fleet in the beginning. She’s over that now for the most part though…Still I have to be not too revealing of what’s been going on with my life at times.

As for dear sister, of course she cares deeply for me. She and I are probably the closest out of all my siblings. I had to leave home when she was still a little girl and consequently she feels the need to be as close to me as possible. I think that’s why she ended up joining Star Fleet as well. That and a healthy dose of older brother hero worship as well!”

Ken smiled with pride as he spoke about Em. It was one of the aspects of his sometimes tumultuous family relationships that brought him happiness.

“Tell me about the circumstances of how you came to be chosen to be Joined,” he then said. “I know in Kathy’s case it was under emergency circumstances. And even with all the preparation a candidate goes through before being Joined, why is it that there’s always some tension between the newly joined and their family?”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#61 Peter Powell

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Posted Star Date 21211.18 @ 20:43 (08:43 PM)

==Thomas Linacre Hospital-Basingstoke-Hampshire-England, Intensive Care ward and Pre-resignation from StarFleet==

"Jessica, what you doing here and when did you become a nurse?" Peter asked.

Last time he saw Jess, was just after he learned about his grandfather death and he had taken a walk to sort out his head and they had bumped into each other, literally.

"Well I decided that I needed to do something, so with the decent grades I got after we left school, I decided to try and something like this and I liked the nursing side of it in a hospital, so here I am." she answered

As she spoke, he felt her hand sneak into his and give it a little squeeze, the feeling of her skin on his sent a small shiver up his spine, even thought he had other relationships since they had broken up, Lorelei Oceania being the main one, he had secretly missed her, she was his first love and she has always had a soft spot with him.

Looking back thought the glass which kept him outside the critical care unit, he's mind focused back on his grandmother, she was looking so helpless, something which he had never expected to see from his gran, she was always sprite and up for almost anything.

"She will be fine Peter, she is in good hands, Doctor Wilmslow is one of the finest in her field and she will do all she can to help your gran" Jess stated.

Peter knew that, but it did feel good coming from someone else and with it coming from a person that he trust made it even better.

"What has been done so far to help her"He asked.

Jess might only be nurse, but he know she knew what she was doing and he knew that she wouldn't lie to him, she might try and soften the blow, but that would be about it.

"We have completed a load of test to try and find out what happened and we discovered that your gran has suffered from a Cerebral hemorrhage, brain hemorrhage or brain bleed, I will need to leave the rest of the details up to the Doctor to tell you, just I case I get anything wrong, I would hate to give you wrong information, Peter" Jess said.

He knew that she was saying that due to her professionalism and the event that she will get into trouble if she did anything wrong to a next of kin, some didn't press her to say anything.

Due to the fact that he wasn't a medical person, except the fact he could perform emergency first aid, he had trouble knowing what could have happened to cause this on his gran or what might happen in the future.

"Well when the Doc is available I would like to talk to her please Jess, I would like to know, how, why and what might be the side effects of it" Peter asked, he hoped it sounded like he was asking, but he knew that it might not of come out that way.

"I will go and speak to her now and try not to worry too much Peter" Jess said giving a squeeze of him arm.

Feeling her release him and head her start moving away, he know that he was back to being alone again, he was still routed to the spot looking though the glass into the intensive care unit, he wasn't sure how long he had been standing their looking at his gran, hoping hard, that this was some sort of nasty dream, when a male voice interrupted him.

"Are you Commander Powell?" he asked.

Coming back out of his stare, Peter finally turned his head n the direction of the voice, it was a bother nurse, but as the voice indicated a male one this time.

"Yes, that is me." Peter replied.

"There is a sunspace communication for you from the USS Defender..." the nurse stated.

Finally a reply from mum and dad

"You can take it in the family room sir, it just down the hall, third door on your left" the man said.

He was just about to turn and head in the direction that the nurse was pointing,  when he remember, that Jess wouldn't of known where he had gone, when she returned with either more info or the Doctor.

"Thank you...can you let Nurse Afton know where I have gone to, she might be looking for me."

Nodding that he would pass on Powell's location, Peter turned and headed down the corridor towards the family room and his parents communique.

Stepping inside the room, Peter noticed the screen which was hanging on the wall, it wasn't very big, but it was big enough to hold a decent face to face communication.

Pressing the switch on the wall, Peter activated his voice box, hoping that the system will understand him.

"Transfer communication for Lieutenant Commander Powell to this monitor" Powell instructed.

There wasn't the unusual reply that he was use to from a computer, but the intro came to life and two faces were looking at his on the screen, one being male, dark hair and wearing a StarFleet engineers uniform was him father, the other was female, with dirty blondish hair and wearing a Medical Chief's uniform was his mother.

"Mum Dad, you got my message then." Peter said trying to sound normal.

[We got the message, what happened.] his mother asked.

"Following the conversation I had with Dad, I followed instructions and went to see gran, I entered the house and initially there was no reply to my calling, so I went on a search and I found her in the back bedroom unconscious, I called for a medical team and they brought her here, all I know at the moment is that she suffered from a Cerebral hemorrhage"

He knew that his mother being a CMO would know what this was and by the look on her face, his suppositions were correct.

[How did she get it and what test have they done] his mother asked

"I haven't got the foggiest mother, all I know is that they have preformed all the test and that is what they found, I'm still waiting to speak to the Doctor who is looking after Gran, when I do, I will get a message to you, but at the moment she is still unconscious, either naturally or from an induced coma" Peter replied trying again not to sound too worried or scared.

Wishing he knew more about the medical side of things, so he would understand what was going on, but he was thinking that he would have to translate it into a language that he would understand, an engineering language.

[All right son, get back out there and when you find out any more, send us another message, we will reply to it as soon as we get it...ok] stated his father.

Nodding that he would send them another message the communicate was severed by either his mother or father, as his arms hadn't left his side during the whole convo, with nothing left to keep him in the family room, Peter returned to the door and then out back into the corridor.

Returning to his original position, looking thought the glass, he was only standing there a few minutes, when Jess reappeared and this time was accompanied by a female wearing what he considered to be a Doctors uniform.

"Peter, this is Doctor Wilmslow, she is the Doc who is looking after your gran" She stated.

Ah about bloody time

"So what happened to my Gran, Doc" Peter asked with more gusto than he felt

"Well Commander, your gran suffered from a Cerebral hemorrhage, we think it was caused by your gran suffering with high blood pressure, but we did find that there was a small amount of bruising on the left hand side of her brain, she might have managed to hit her head at some point, but either didn't realise it or didn't thing she had done much damage to seek medical advice, either one of these might have been the primary cause. As you can see we have put her in an induced coma, we have repaired the damaged blood vessels and the bruising, but I am wanting to keep her in a coma until at least tomorrow night, to help the body adjust. The thing which we are more worried about is the fact that she might suffer from speech, eating, movement, coordination, balance and possible other things side effects of the hemorrhage, but we can't be too sure until she is conscious and we do some more tests." Wilmslow stated.

This was a lot to take in, the fact that his gran had hit her head and not gotten checked out and also the fact that there could be some bad side effects from the bleed, he wasn't sure how to take it, lifting his left arm up, Peter lent on the window, using it as a balancing point so that he didn't fall over.

Not really sure what to say, the only thing which can to mind was to thank the Doctor for the work she had done so far, when she had moved off from him, he nearly almost collapsed onto the chairs which were under the window, but then remembered the Jess was still there.

"I get off work in an hour, stay here till I come back to you and I will stay with you tonight, where ever that maybe be" Jess said.

After she left, he wasn't sure what he was doing in an hours time, at the moment anything in the future wasn't something that he had considered, all he wanted to do was stay here looking though the window at his gran.

Suppose I better get that message off to mum and dad again, maybe I can get a face to face communique, so that I don't need to repeat anything

Staying out for another few minutes, Peter managed to draw his eye away from his gran and returned to the family room to make his call.

He was surprised that he was able to get a visual communication between himself and his parents, it looked like they had managed to get their Captain to put though any communication from him.

[So what has the Doc said, Peter] his dad asked.

His father voice was direct and to the point, something which he only did during times of real issue and problems.

"It was confirmed as a Cerebral hemorrhage, they are not sure if it was caused by either high blood pressure or the fact that they found a bruise on her brain, so it looks like she hit her head and didn't get it checked out" 

He could tell by the look on both his parents faces, like him, he couldn't figure out why she wouldn't of got herself checkout offer such an accident, but then she might not of considered t to have been that much of an issue.

"As you know mother, the Doc said that there might be side effects from the bleed and even thoughts he is still in an induced coma, someone will have to be here to look after her." 

Switching between staring into his mother and fathers eye, he know what he was saying and by the way he was looking at them, he knew that they know what he was saying as well.

"We won't know until they wake her up,which the Doc said will be late tomorrow, even thought she is medically fit, I think they want to make sure that she is ready when they wake her up,  I will be here most of tomorrow, so that when she does wake up, there is someone around that she knows" Peter stated.

There was a massive silence between the three people, it seemed that all that had to be said, was said.

[Ok, when you know me, send as another communique, but in the meantime I want you too really think about what you said....understand me son] his father stated.

There was no need to explain what he needed to 'really think about', he knew exactly what he had said and it would be a conversation he would be having with Jess later on that night.

With the communication terminated, he moved back to his position looking in on his gran, he continued to look at her for what seemed like an age, but after about ten minutes, he turned and took a seat in on of the chair, that were stationed under the window.

==More to come==
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#62 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.21 @ 01:12 (01:12 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice noticed the subtle purse of Ken’s lip. She knew it was his way of putting together a thought while holidng himself back. That little gesture was a tell that never seemed to bother Kathy but it oddly bothered her. She wanted him to be open with her and not hold back.

When he did speak, it wasn’t quite what she expected. He was rather open about his family life. With his mom being protective and then the pride he has in his little sister. It seemed like they had the singular most common bond through his little sister. She was just as protective and loved the young Fitchel.


Then there was the change in the topic. “Tell me about the circumstances of how you came to be chosen to be Joined,” he then said. “I know in Kathy’s case it was under emergency circumstances. And even with all the preparation a candidate goes through before being Joined, why is it that there’s always some tension between the newly joined and their family?”

She opened herself up that line of the questioning She mentally kicked herself for that one. But she knew it would be hypocritical for her want Ken to be open with her if she wasn’t open with him.

So she took a sip of wine before saying. “Well it inevitably changes your personality. The training allows a candidate to prepare for the transition, how to adapt to having multiple lifetimes of memories, and minimizes the changes to the personality but there is always some.”

Thinking back to who she used to be. It was a stark contrast in many ways. While she was still the same person and had the same interests, so many things changed.

“Like most Trill, I started to train for Joining at an early age. It was the goal for the whole family since it was such an honor. I worked hard. It was a singular goal. Working with Kathy was the last test in many ways before I was washed out. She just barely let me by as a candidate before she passed. So I was able to submit my name in the pool of candidates to be Joined and they picked me to be joined with her. My family was so elated to hear about that choice. They came to be with me shortly after. “

She played with the glass some. Watching the wine swirl from one side of the glass to the other.

“It wasn’t easy right afterwards. They saw their taciturn serious daughter come to life. After being Joined, I learned I didn’t have to be so serious or always watching what I say or did. So I started to speak more. And more frankly. Plus I don’t think it was easy for them to know I had the memories of having kids, to be an engineer and a politician. It was just different. While they love me and were proud, it just wasn’t easy to see differences like that. It was like someone comes in and is a bit of a body snatcher to who they once knew. Then we all adapt. Some of it was me reining in my tongue some and the other part was them getting used to the new aspects to me.”

Alice just leaned back. “I still love them. They never stopped loving me but yeah. There was some tension for a short bit. Now my mom is back to worrying about the usual traits about me. Me working too much, getting to engrossed with piloting and my career, and me being too unsocial.”

Then she started to shrug a little, "Should we see if Caro needs any help with dinner?"

#63 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21211.24 @ 03:18 (03:18 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken listened as Alice talked about her joining and the effect it had on her relationship with her family. What she said about it being an adjustment for both parties involved was hardly a surprise, but it did provide a contrast of sorts with what he knew of Kathy’s Joining experience. It also allowed him to probe the attitudes and mindset of his newest officer in a manner that was non-invasive and non-confrontational. The conversation was friendly and even lively at times, but subconsciously he was conducting an interrogation of sorts as he sought to balance his understanding and knowledge of her with her understanding and knowledge of him – a task that he knew would take some time.

Nigel, who had been lying peacefully at his master’s feet, decided that he was in need of some attention and rose to his feet. He buried his face in Ken’s lap as if to say ‘Pet me – you’ve ignored me long enough.’ and started rubbing his wet nose against Ken’s hand. Ken smiled and started to scratch the great beast behind the reflexively. Alice then leaned back while continuing to speak of her family.

“…I still love them. They never stopped loving me but yeah there was some tension for a short bit. Now my mom is back to worrying about the usual traits about me. Me working too much, getting to engrossed with piloting and my career, and me being to unsocial.”

“The usual…” Ken repeated with a smile on his face. “…I know what that’s like.”

She shrugged a little and then changed the subject.

“Should we see if Caro needs any help with dinner?”

“I think she has things under control, but I don’t think it would hurt to stretch out a bit and check up on her.”

Ken stopped lavishing attention on Nigel and stood up. He then reached over and picked up his glass of wine with the sheepdog giving him ‘the look’.

“Come on you,” he said to the great beast waving his hand in the direction of the kitchen. “Let’s go see about getting you a treat since you’ve been so good while we’ve had company.” Nigel started wagging his tail in anticipation. Ken turned to Alice and added, “Shall we?” He then gestured for the Trill to lead the way.

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#64 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.01 @ 02:41 (02:41 AM)

==Lake Placid, Earth==
==Fitchel Residence ==

Alice was enjoying chatting with Ken. He invited both her and Nigel into the kitchen. Nigel was easy to budge by offering a treat. The excitement the puppy had was pretty contagious.

Alice walked to the kitchen. It was familiar and being field with a scent of warm pasta filling the air. Ken was right with his assumption that Caro had things in hand.

Looking at her mostly empty glass and Ken’s wine glass, she started to walk over to the wine bottle. She causally asked, “does anyone else need a refill?”

Before anyone could answer she said, “Wow, Caro, I think you out did youself again. What can I do to help with the final preparations?”

Edited by Lt Alice Dega, Star Date 21212.01 @ 02:42 (02:42 AM).


#65 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.03 @ 03:34 (03:34 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken got up and followed Alice into the kitchen. Trailing behind them was Nigel – his claws making a scraping sound as he trotted first across the hardwood floor of the living room and then onto the tiled floor of the kitchen. The air was filled with the wonderful smell of Italian food cooking and the counter showed plenty of signs of the effort that had gone into the meal with bowls and utensils scattered about.

“Does anybody need a refill?” the Trill asked as she made her way over to the part of the counter where the open wine bottle was. Ken looked at his glass, still about half full, and considered whether he wanted to be drinking so much given his Tarkalean flu. However, before he could respond, Alice continued on.

“Wow, Caro,” she said enthusiastically. “I think you outdid yourself again. What can I do to help with the final preparations?”

“The lasagna is just about ready to come out of the oven,” Caro began. “You two can start taking stuff out to the table.” She gestured over to where a basket of warm garlic bread and a large salad bowl were situated.

“I’ll get the salad. You can carry out the garlic bread,” he said to Alice as he walked over to the refrigerator and opened the door. “It looks like all we have for dressings are raspberry vinaigrette and Caesar…I hope that’s OK with everyone…”

There was then a familiar nudge against his leg. Nigel, who had been waiting patiently for his good behavior reward, finally could wait no longer.

“I haven’t forgotten about you,” Ken said with a smile as he closed the refrigerator door and placed the bottles of dressing on the counter close by. He then opened the treat jar and fished out the great beast’s reward.

“You know the deal,” he continued on. “Sit,” he commanded. The sheepdog immediately complied and Ken held out his hand long enough for the treat to disappear down Nigel’s mouth. The chomping and chewing and requisite tail wagging showed that he was a happy pup.

Ken wiped the little bit of dog slobber on his hand against the side of his pants. He picked up the dressing bottles and the salad bowl – cradling it under his arm pit.

“Shall we make our way to the dining room?” he asked Alice rhetorically. He then turned to Caro. “I’ll be back for my wine and to help with anything else in a minute.”

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#66 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.05 @ 04:43 (04:43 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Before anyone really got to get a refill of the wine, Caro started to order them to help set the table with the food that was already. Ken immediately opened up the refrigerator door and pulled out two bottles of salad dressing.
“I’ll get the salad. You can carry out the garlic bread,” he said to Alice as he walked over to the refrigerator and opened the door. “It looks like all we have for dressings are raspberry vinaigrette and Caesar…I hope that’s OK with everyone…”

Alice kept a firm grip on the bottle of wine but abandoned her glass. Instead she grabbed the garlic bread with her free hand. Alice started to move towards the dinning room. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Nigel trying to get his treat. So she paused while the good captain was more then willing to oblige the dog but only after making Nigel perform a trick.


“Shall we make our way to the dining room?” he asked Alice rhetorically. He then turned to Caro. “I’ll be back for my wine and to help with anything else in a minute.”

Alice led the way to the dinning room. The table was mostly set up and really just needed people sitting at the three settings and the food to be placed on the table. She placed the garlic bread on one corner and put the bottle of wine on the opposite side of the table. Then she started to eye the settings closely trying to remember where Kathy and Ken would used to sit. She wanted to carefully avoid sitting in her seat but she just wasn’t confident on which seat that used to be. So she decided to head back into the kitchen to retrieve her wine glass instead.

“Need help with anything else Caro?”

#67 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.06 @ 03:59 (03:59 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

== LCdr Caro Brewer – Counselor, Star Fleet Medical ==

Caro was taking the lasagna out of the oven when she looked up and saw that Alice had returned to retrieve her glass of wine. The expression of the young Trill’s face told the experienced counselor that something was wrong.

“Need help with anything else Caro?” she asked.

“No, everything is fine,” the counselor replied as she placed the glass dish on the counter next to the stove and slowly removed her oven mitts. She studied Alice again and then asked, “Is there something wrong dear? You seem a bit flustered. Are you remembering something uncomfortable about Ken and Kathy?”

== Dining Room ==

== Ken ==

Ken placed the bowl with the salad and the bottles of dressing in the center of the table. He stood back for a second to examine things and quickly determined that he needed to shift them slightly in order for the lasagna dish to fit properly. He moved the items and continued to stand – politely waiting for Caro and Alice to enter before taking his seat. The place settings were immaculately laid out with three of the four slots filled – the only one not set was the one opposite from his where Kathy used to sit.

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#68 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.06 @ 07:47 (07:47 AM)



== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==


Almost immediately Caro asked if there was something wrong. While Alice thought she started to shake off the lack of a clear memory but obviously she didn’t.

“Oh no. Nothing like that. It’s stupid really. I wanted to be sensitive to Ken’s feelings and not sit where Kathy used to sit but I can’t fully remember. But as I walked into the kitchen I started to realize, I don’t think you actually set that spot for anyone. Which is why I was getting thrown off.”

Alice picked up the two abandoned wine glasses. She took of sip of her own glass before continuing on. “It’s actually surprisingly easy talking with him again. Even easier than when I reconnected with his sister and you.”

Then she noticed from a bounced reflection off of a mirror onto the refrigerator that Ken was still standing waiting for them to join him in the dining room. “We should probably get back out to the dining room or else he will be standing all evening all evening or at least until a coughing fit makes him sit.”

Alice headed back into the dining room. Immediately she handed her captain the half filled glass of wine.



#69 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.07 @ 04:00 (04:00 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

== LCdr Caro Brewer – Counselor, Star Fleet Medical ==

“Oh no, nothing like that,” Alice answered. “It’s stupid really. I wanted to be sensitive to Ken’s feelings and not sit where Kathy used to sit but I can’t fully remember. But as I walked into the kitchen I started to realize, I don’t think you actually set that spot for anyone which is why I was getting thrown off.”

Caro smiled knowingly. There was a story that went with the reasoning behind the place being left empty that involved Ken and that dark period after Kathy’s death. However, rather than bring it up and spoil the mood, she chose to remain silent on the issue.

The Trill picked up the two abandoned wine glasses. She took of sip of her own glass before continuing on. “It’s actually surprisingly easy talking with him again...Even easier than when I reconnected with his sister and you.”

“That’s the funny thing about Ken,” Caro replied. “He’s a remarkably flexible man who takes a great deal in stride. Nothing really seems to faze him. I thought you showing up today might, but somehow I think knowing you had served with Em on the Yeager smoothed over a lot of the awkwardness.”

Alice said nothing at first – having caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of her eye. Finally, after a few seconds, she spoke.

“We should probably get back out to the dining room or else he will be standing all evening all evening or at least until a coughing fit makes him sit, she said referring to Ken who was obviously waiting patiently for them.”

Caro nodded in agreement. “Yes we should,” she replied as she put the oven mitts back on and then picked up the baking dish with the lasagna. “Lead the way,” she then added.

== Ken ==

Ken smiled as he watched Alice and Caro approach. When they were close enough, he reached out and took his wine glass from Alice and placed it on the table. Caro set the piping hot dish down and removed the oven mitts.

“Oh,” she began apologetically. “We need something to serve the lasagna with.” She disappeared back into the kitchen and returned shortly thereafter with a metal spatula. “There we go. All set.”

Ken waited until his female dinner companions sat down before he took his own seat. He thought about pulling the chair out for Alice, but decided against doing so due to the romantic overtones that such an act conveyed. As they settled in, he took a sip of wine and said, “Everything looks delicious. Dig in everyone – we’re all friends here so there’s no need to put on any airs…”

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#70 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.11 @ 03:59 (03:59 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==
Alice led the way as she and Caro approached the dining room once more. Ken reached out and accepted his wine glass while Caro set the steaming dish down on the counter. Then Caro realized she forgot the spatula and quickly ran back for a metal spatula.

Alice took the open seat next to Ken. It almost felt like Ken was going to pull out the chair for her as he continue to stand before sitting down himself. The Trill felt bad since he was waiting on them before sitting down. There was a certain amount of irony when he told him not to stand on airs when he was the one who waited for them to sit down But she decided not to call him out on that.

Instead, she grabbed a helping of the lasagna. She quickly took a bite. It was a wee bit too hot to really savor any of the taste. In hopes of avoiding burning the roof of her mouth, she quickly took a swig of wine. She knew the swig was a little less ladylike then she would have preferred but she wanted cool liquid in her mouth quickly. Then she took a second much more manageable sip of wine before laughing some.

“I’m sorry Caro that first bite was a wee bit hot but I think it was quite yummy. It’s amazing you still take the time to cook a real meal. That’s one of the things, Oh so often, I rely on the replicator for a quick bite to eat so I can get back to work.”

Then Alice turned towards Ken again. “Speaking of work, do you have ideas to the mission yet? I know I keep bringing it back to work but I’m definitely trying to get a good grasp on the new job. I definitely don’t want to fail you or your crew.”

#71 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.12 @ 03:22 (03:22 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

As the trio settled in, Alice was the first to help herself to the lasagna while Ken and Caro grabbed some of the garlic bread and portioned out a serving of salad for themselves. The Trill was undoubtedly hungry. She took a bite of the lasagna and because it was still hot, promptly knocked back a healthy slug of her wine. Ken sat by silently amused by it all – suppressing the slight desire to say ‘I told you so’.

It’s not like food from the replicator that always comes out at the perfect temperature is it?

Alice then took a second, more appropriate, sip of her wine and spoke.

“I’m sorry Caro that first bite was a wee bit hot but I think it was quite yummy. It’s amazing you still take the time to cook a real meal. That’s one of the things, oh so often, I rely on the replicator for a quick bite to eat so I can get back to work.”

“I’m happy that you’re enjoying it,” Caro replied. “I was like you – not too keen on the idea of fixing meals from scratch when a replicator is much more convenient. However, Ken kept prodding me and prodding me saying how great it was to actually cook. Over the years, we’ve shared quite a few meals that he’s prepared himself so finally I decided to learn how to do it myself. I’m not quite as good as he is, but I’m getting there.”

“What can I say,” Ken interjected. “Mom has always hated replicators and that just rubbed off on me. I never had a meal that was entirely replicated growing up and so my taste buds got to be more refined…Turns out I’m a natural cook as a result.”

He took a sip of wine and then helped himself to some of the lasagna. Alice spoke again.

“Speaking of work, do you have ideas to the mission yet? I know I keep bringing it back to work but I’m definitely trying to get a good grasp on the new job. I definitely don’t want to fail you or your crew.”

Ken took a bite of the lasagna and nodded as she spoke. When he no longer had any food in his mouth, he answered.

“I’m not sure if you’ve read the logs from our last mission yet, but I’ll give you the quick and dirty rundown. The Gettysburg has just returned home after what amounts to a double deployment with no break in between. Following a rather unfortunate incident involving some representatives of the Telarite government, we were ordered to Starbase Charlie for shore leave in order to escape the media scrutiny directed at us. When we arrived in the Bajor system, we found that Bajor and Starbase Charlie had been destroyed by the aliens we now know as the Krynar. Our leave was canceled and we were ordered to do a survey of the devastation. When we were done, we were joined by the USS Sheridan and ordered to traverse the Bajoran wormhole to conduct a similar survey in the Gamma quadrant.

In the Gamma quadrant, we were immediately attacked by the Krynar and probably wouldn’t have made it home alive if it hadn’t been for Dominion intervention. We were lucky though I would never tell my crew that. I’d rather say it was their courage and skill that saved the day. It was up to a point, but not entirely…”

Ken started to cough slightly and he took a sip of wine – it being the only liquid close by.

“…So to answer your question Alice, I’m not sure about any specifics regarding our next mission. We’re a tired crew that’s seen and been through a great deal. Dan…Admiral Wueste has promised us proper R&R as much as can be granted under war time circumstances. We can’t venture too far from Earth, but otherwise we’re free to unwind as we see fit…”

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#72 Peter Powell

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Posted Star Date 21212.13 @ 21:55 (09:55 PM)

==Thomas Linacre Hospital-Basingstoke-Hampshire-England, Intensive Care ward and Pre-resignation from StarFleet==

Peter had been sitting in the seat for about 20 to 30 minutes, when Jess reappeared wearing her coat, instead of standing their and looking down at Peter, she took the seat which was next to him.

"So, I've finished for my shift and it's started to get dark out there, so I would like someone to walk me back to your place" she said with a smile.

He knew that she was only trying to be nice, kinda and gentle like she alway is, but all he really wanted to do was sit here all night.

He gently felt her hand slip under his arm and run down the inner side of it and then grasp his left hand, "You can't stay here all night, they won't let you and it's not like your going to be alone, I've already told mum and dad that I'm not coming home tonight, as I know that you will need someone with you" Jess stated.

He gripped her hand tighter and resigned himself to the fact that she was right, he wouldn't be able to stay there all night, but it wasn't like he was going to sleep when he got back to him gran's place, he tarted to raise his arm indicating that he was going to get to his feet, but she didn't let go and they both rose together hand in hand.

As they walked down the corridor, Jess stopped and asked on of her fellow nurses to keep an extra eye on the woman in room 6 and to call immediately the next of kin if anything was happening or potentially going to happen, Peter knew that she was talking about his gran and that he had been put down as next of kin, normally it would have been his mother, but as she was operating out of StarBase Bravo and that was along the Romulan boarder meant she was further away and he was operating out of Alpha.

He would of found his way out of the hospital, by following the signage, but he let Jess lead and steer him thought the corridors down turbolifts and out into the darkening sky, the feeling of the coldish night air made him shiver a bit, mainly cause all he was wearing was his uniform, he hadn't even thought about wearing his cold weather jacket when he left earlier in the day, being on a starship for a number of years had made him slightly forget how cold Earth can be at times.

Still leading the way, Jess took them down a path that lead them away from the hospital and into what only could be described as a housing area, Peter did start to wonder why they hadn't just the transporter station which was located inside the hospital when Jess spoke, obviously reading his mind.

"Thought we could have a walk first before going back to your gran's place, as I suspect that you could use some real oxygen and not that recycled stuff they use of ships"

She seemed to be remembering him well, he did need some fresh proper air, this as he suspected she was hoping would help him relax, even if only a little bit. They continued down into an open green space where it seemed that a local body had set about keeping things up together and where children and grown ups a like could enjoy themselves, there were a number of benches for people to sit and relax, but there seemed to be a nonverbal exchange between Peter and Jess which indicated that neither of them wanted to sit down.

Something seemed strange to Peter, he hadn't been anywhere near Jess in many years except that time they literally bumped into each other while he was on shore leave just after his grandfather had passed away, but they didn't need to use words, they both knew what each other was thinking, it was like they were telepathic and need only look at each other to communicate.

He wasn't sure how long they had been walking, it was defiantly dark now, in a few places were there was no street lighting or illumination, you could make out the familiar stars which hung in the sky in the galaxy, looking up at a few of them, he wondered how many of them he had visited during his time in the Cop.

"I spoke to mum and dad about thirty minutes before you finished and told them what the doctor had said and as you know mum is a doctor herself, so I didn't need to explain everything,must I did mention that if gran turns out the way the doc is expecting, then she will be needing that care, twenty four hrs a day and I have kinda stated that I would be the one to be doing that care." Peter said

Jess was and wasn't surprised by this news, she had expected something like that from Peter, but to her, he was a space grease monkey and wouldn't be happier unless he was deep inside a warp core or something on a starship, but he was also a caring man, this she had known for years, it was one of the things which attracted her to him.

"That is a big decision, you know, it take a lot of commitment to do that level of care and you will need to resign your commission which you worked so hard to achieve" she answered.

This was true, he had worked hard to firstly make Chief Engineer and also then to make Lieutenant Commander, but this was family, so to him there was no real contest, family won over work ever single time.

There was other advantages to being back on Earth, ever since Lorelei had left him and returned to Risa, he had been down, he did his best to not let it show, but when he was alone he really felt it, there was time when he considered sending her a message to see how things were going, as she must of given birth about 6months ago and the feeling that he would of now been a stepfather haunted him, so being back on Earth and the fact that Jess was walking along holding his hand made him feel wanted.

They arrived at the transporter substation and indicated to the technician that was on duty where they wanted to be beamed too, they arrived before the gate to his grandparents house.

Jess opened the gate and then walked thought the garden with Peter behind her, she could feel his eyes on her as she walked and she was feeling that things might be turning around, ever since she had broken up with him, years ago, she hadn't been happy, she did regret her actions, but felt that she couldn't go back, so she settled into her life and started training for her new career, but now she hoped things were going back to the way they should have been.

After stepping into the kitchen, she turned as Peter closed the door behind him.

"Are you hungry?"she asked.

To be really honest, Peter wasn't sure whether he was or not, after having a long think about it, he decided that he might of been, but didn't feel like eating anything.

"No thanks., don't think I could stomach anything at the moment"

She figured as much, she wouldn't be in his circumstances, not knowing what else to do, she again grabbed his hand and proceeded to lead him into the living area and towards the three seater couch, pulling him front of it, she then gave him a gentle push and he fell onto one of its seats, sitting down next to him, she then started talking again.

"If you are serious about staying here and looking after your gran, you will probably need to adapt this house accordingly"

He was listening to her words, but not really taking it in, he knew that she was only trying to prepare him for what might be, but he was surprised that it was mentioned so quickly and early.

She could tell that he wasn't really there, with her, she said one last thing, before shutting up.

"We will sort all that out, when we know that all the facts"

Being the fact that she had been working all day, she felt the signs of tiredness, hoping that she wasn't pushing her luck, she twisted in the seat and then proceeded to lay her head on Peter's chest, she could feel his heart beating reasonably fast, but it was a nice feeling.

Peter was kinda surprised when Jess laid her head on his chest, he thought that  even thought she had grabbed his hand, that was only to be leading his out of the hospital and to make sure that he gotten to his grandparents house, he didn't object, having a beauty like her laying on him, made him feel slightly better about himself, he did shift slightly making himself more comfortable, he then proceeded to lay his head on the back for the sofa and with in a few seconds he was asleep.

==Dream sequence==

Peter was standing in the engineering section of a starship, but it wasn't one which he recognised, nothing was where he was use to, so he figured that he wasn't on the Copernicus.

Walking away from the door, he noticed that there was no-one around, which meant to him that he was either on a ghost ship or something was really wrong, moving deeper into the department, he noticed that the core which wasn't the usual federation configuration wasn't active, but there was power, so at least the back up batteries were still working.

"Hello" he shouted out.

There was no answer, the only noise was the echo of his voice around the wall of the deck, the sound was very strange, he had only experienced that sound before and that was during his academy day when he was doing his Psychosimulator test, 

Continuing to walk towards the core, he noticed some movement out of the corner of his eye, turning in that direction he was taken back by a group of four people moving towards him, he initially recognised the people, as being his mother, father, gran and grandfather, but there seemed to be something really strange about them, he was just going to speak to them, when they stopped in a line looking directly at him and as he wiped at his eyes, just making sure that they were really there and this wasn't part of his imagination, they changed, there faces started to shift and things started bursting out from beneath their skin.

What the ........

Coming out of the skin on their faces were cybernetic devices, it stretched the skin to breaking point and then burst thought the skin, after a few second of this, Peter realised what he was looking at.........Borg drones.

He turned and started to run towards the exit of engineering, but instead of the door opening, they remained closed, behind him, Peter could hear the drones heading towards him, turning he was trying to find a place to hid in, but he was too slow and as he stepped away from the door, a drone which he hadn't seen grabbed him by his shoulders and he felt two thing press against his neck and knew that it was too late to fight, he felt the two points on his neck split and a pain run thought his body.

Starting to attempt to fight against the nanoprobe which were flooding thought his body, he felt his heart rate increase astronomically and he started grabbing his neck....[/i]

==Awake mode==

Peter awoke with a start, in a cold sweat and kinda jumped slightly, he instinctively grabbed for his neck to see if he could fell for the puncture holes which would have been left by the Borg assimilation tubicules.

His jumping awake, had woken Jess with a start, initially she wondered what was going on, looking around the room and seeing nothing, she focused on Peter and watched as he searched his neck for something.

"What's wrong Peter?"she asked.

He wasn't sure how to say it, as he was still slightly shacking for the nightmare.

"I was back on board the Cop in engineering and for some reason both my parents and grandparents were there, but after I spotted them, they started to  change..." Peter heard his own voice crack as he thought about what happened "... they were selfassimilating into Borg drones, they then started to pursue me thought the department, I couldn't get thought the main doors and then another drone came out of nowhere and attacked me, slamming the two assimilation tubule into my neck, that is when I woke up" Peter explained 

The imaging that was going through Jess's mind was horrible, she had seen images of people either being assimilated or been assimilated, but having it actually said out load wasn't one which she enjoyed hearing, taking hold of Peter's hand, she started stroking it, as she answered.

"It was just a dream, Peter, you r parents haven't been assimilated and your gran is still alive, sounds like your mind was trying to put things into it's mental boxes and they were over spilling."

He knew she was right, it had only been a dream, placing his other hand onto of hers and squeezed it hard, indicating that he was pleased and happy that she was there.

Looking up on the wall which was opposite from the couch, he noticed that it was only 0130, they had only been asleep for a few hours, but now he was actually starting to get hungry.

"I think I could do with a drink and something to eat, Do you want anything?" Peter said hoping to take his mind off of his dream.

Jess nodded indicating that she was fine, she had managed to get a bite to eat about 2100hrs and that would last her till morning.

Releasing her hand, he got to his feet and stretched, he felt his muscles moan and his bones creek as they were pulled, he wasn't sure what exactly he felt like eating, but his stomach was saying 'feed me...feed me', so he would grab something.

Moving out of the living room, he moved into the kitchen, he didn't know what his gran had around the room, food wise, so he would start his search in the cupboard on his lefty and side.

==More to come==
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#73 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.14 @ 03:03 (03:03 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==


Ken took a bite before he answered her question about the mission but he started to give her a more thorough rundown of the past few mission. This is where she got a truer picture of the crew’s mentality. Before Alice heard about the respect levels and his thoughts of his staff, but now it was getting deeper. Knowing that they were given a long shore leave to help make up for the stress placed upon the crew helped her get an idea what she was going to be getting in to.

“A long shore leave is always nice but there are few good circumstances that will allow that. Hopefully it helps out everyone.”

Alice then cut off a small piece of lasagna. This time she could actually enjoy the food since it cooled down enough there it wasn’t burning the roof of her mouth.

“Hopefully none of you crew is getting in as much trouble as Admiral Dinko Barnes. In a way you have to applaud him for finding time to have time for a tryst with President Meas. That is until you realize the craziness of it all. Especially if you believe the TFMZ reports saying that that he was also trying to court Kai before Bajor’s destruction. Should be interesting to see if there is any truth to that claim. But he can’t try to deny knowing Tanya, both of them should have deleted the comm messages.”

#74 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.14 @ 04:41 (04:41 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“A long shore leave is always nice but there are few good circumstances that will allow that,” Alice replied sagely – obviously understanding the full weight of what Ken was trying to say. “Hopefully it helps out everyone,” she then added before cutting up a small bite of lasagna and eating it.

“I hope it does,” Ken said. “We’ve been under a lot of stress these last few months.”

“If it doesn’t, you may even have to consider having a Ship’s Counselor for once,” Caro interjected.

“I doubt it will come to that,” he answered in a no nonsense tone before taking a fork full of salad.

“Hopefully none of you crew is getting in as much trouble as Admiral Dinko Barnes. In a way you have to applaud him for finding time to have time for a tryst with President Meas. That is until you realize the craziness of it all. Especially if you believe the TFMZ reports saying that that he was also trying to court Kai before Bajor’s destruction… Should be interesting to see if there is any truth to that claim. But he can’t try to deny knowing Tanya, both of them should have deleted the comm messages.”

Ken finished chewing his salad and swallowed.

“I haven’t had much time yet to catch up on the celebrity gossip and scandals since I got back – TFMZ hasn’t made it to the Gamma quadrant yet,” he replied dryly with nary a hint of humor except to those who know him well. “However, Barnes always did fancy himself as the James T. Kirk of our time – swaggering, womanizing, but a damn good officer and a tactical genius. Sadly, people like him tend to be overly arrogant when it comes to covering their tracks. To them, discretion only gets in the way of things…”

“I just wonder whether this is the type of thing that will bring down the Trill government,” Caro added with an eye toward the more geopolitical side of things. “And what effect it will have on Trill’s relationship with the Federation.”

“I can’t really say, Caro,” Ken answered. “You know me. I’m as apolitical as they come. Politics is not something that a Star Fleet officer should be entangled in – especially one in my position. Look at how things are with the KDF and the various ruling houses. Do you really want something like that in the Federation? I sure as hell don’t…”

“No,” Caro said shaking her head negatively. “What’s your perspective on things Alice? After all, we are talking about Tanya Meas, the duly elected leader of your home world…”

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#75 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.16 @ 07:22 (07:22 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice’s comments definitely spread like conversational wild fire. Ken first started in.

“I haven’t had much time yet to catch up on the celebrity gossip and scandals since I got back – TFMZ hasn’t made it to the Gamma quadrant yet,” he replied with his dry wit. “However, Barnes always did fancy himself as the James T. Kirk of our time – swaggering, womanizing, but a damn good officer and a tactical genius. Sadly, people like him tend to be overly arrogant when it comes to covering their tracks. To them, discretion only gets in the way of things…”

“I just wonder whether this is the type of thing that will bring down the Trill government,” Caro added with an eye toward the more geopolitical side of things. “And what effect it will have on Trill’s relationship with the Federation.”

“I can’t really say, Caro,” Ken answered. “You know me. I’m as apolitical as they come. Politics is not something that a Star Fleet officer should be entangled in – especially one in my position. Look at how things are with the KDF and the various ruling houses. Do you really want something like that in the Federation? I sure as hell don’t…”

“No,” Caro said shaking her head negatively. “What’s your perspective on things Alice? After all, we are talking about Tanya Meas, the duly elected leader of your home world…”

Alice was picking at her lasagna as she was listening to everyone. She was still hungry but she was trying to be polite. She put her fork and knife down on the plate.

“Well quite frankly it’s shocking. Well not the Admiral. He was always a player although his lack of sense to delete some of the videos was a bit dumb. “

Alice took a sip of her wine as she debated how much she wanted to share about Trill culture. Part of it was still so protected from outsiders. Even though other members of the Federation knows of symbionts and about joining, there was a lot they didn’t always share with an offlander.

“But Meas hosts always been fairly prudish. Never saw her for just abandoning reason for a quick lay. Although it wasn’t a really a quick lay at all given the fact they have been doing this for a couple years. “

While her previous male host was much more of a rebel with his views towards outsiders, she decided to not open up how the fact that Meas was over 870 years old and that age group tended to be more reserve.

“But I doubt it will rock the political foundations of Trill. It will be the talk of the town for a while but that’s it. The government is made up Joined Trills and they see it for what it was. A weakness of the heart but it shouldn’t hinder her ability to rule Trill or make decisions.”

#76 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.17 @ 03:34 (03:34 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Well quite frankly it’s shocking,” Alice said taking a break from picking at her food and listening. “Well not the Admiral. He was always a player although his lack of sense to delete some of the videos was a bit dumb.”

The Trill paused and took a sip of her wine. There was something she wanted to say that she appeared to be debating internally. Ken might have pressed her on the issue, but years of being with Kathy left him with a somewhat incomplete understanding of Trill society and culture. Certain things were not discussed with non-Trills and the present conversation might veer into that territory so it was best left for him to maintain the aura of polite meal conversation that had been established.

Alice continued on, “But Meas’ hosts have always been fairly prudish. Never saw her for just abandoning reason for a quick lay. Although it wasn’t a really a quick lay at all given the fact they have been doing this for a couple years.

But I doubt it will rock the political foundations of Trill. It will be the talk of the town for a while but that’s it. The government is made up of Joined Trills and they see it for what it was. A weakness of the heart but it shouldn’t hinder her ability to rule Trill or make decisions.”

“A most sensible approach to things,” Ken said after finishing up a bite of food and a sip of wine. “Having the experience of several lifetimes puts these things in perspective. Contrast that with humans and their meager solitary lifetime. Without the benefit of having travelled down some of the same roads, we tend to blow such matters out of proportion. Although, I like to think we’re not as prudish as our ancestors. There was a time when a scandal like this would cause enough outrage to topple governments…”

Ken bit off a piece of garlic bread and chewed on it slowly – thinking about what to say next. When he was done, he leaned back slightly in his chair – sitting in a fully upright position was starting to wear him down. That, combined with his meds and the alcohol, was making him a little sleepy.

“…Anyway,” he continued. “Regardless of the specifics this time around, gawking and gossiping over every scandal real or imagined is an ingrained part of human nature. I often wonder if that attitude was present in other alien cultures or if it became that way because of human influence. As the non-Human present here, what do you think Alice?”

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#77 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

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Posted Star Date 21212.18 @ 04:04 (04:04 AM)

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==


“A most sensible approach to things,” Ken said after finishing up a bite of food and a sip of wine. “Having the experience of several lifetimes puts these things in perspective. Contrast that with humans and their meager solitary lifetime. Without the benefit of having travelled down some of the same roads, we tend to blow such matters out of proportion. Although, I like to think we’re not as prudish as our ancestors. There was a time when a scandal like this would cause enough outrage to topple governments…”

Ken pretty much summed up everything that was to be a Joined Trill. Although it seemed like there was a slight undertone of discomfort in his voice especially when comparing Trill versus human comparisons. Alice wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. She never thought of him as a bit of a racist or discontented with the fact that she and Kathy’s’ memories could live on.

“…Anyway,” he continued. “Regardless of the specifics this time around, gawking and gossiping over every scandal real or imagined is an ingrained part of human nature. I often wonder if that attitude was present in other alien cultures or if it became that way because of human influence. As the non-Human present here, what do you think Alice?”

Alice picked at the bread as she tried to figure out her thoughts. It was a stalling tactic but quite frankly she needed it. Ken’s question was a little hard to figure out. It was almost like putting the chicken before the egg.

“Um… I would say gossip and scandal has always existed. Especially in a culture that has haves and have nots. It’s almost about leverage or at the very least figure out things. I don’t think that human influences had that much to do with it. Although I think all cultures have learned how to hand and not handle scandals well. Look at the Klingons, they are rife with political drama and so much of it could be based on as little as an unintended insult that spirals into battle.”

Alice could see that Ken was starting to lean back more and more in his chair. She realized that he was probably exhausted from the day and the cold he was fighting.

“Just let me know if you would like me to leave.”

#78 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
  • Guests

Posted Star Date 21212.18 @ 07:46 (07:46 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Alice stalled at first – picking at her food in a manner that reminded him of a similar habit Kathy had, but for a different reason. Even though it wasn’t his intention to put her on the spot and make her feel uncomfortable, it was clear that Ken had done just that. Finally, she broke the building awkward silence and spoke.

“Um…,” the Trill began hesitantly. “I would say gossip and scandal has always existed. Especially in a culture that has haves and have nots. It’s almost about leverage or at the very least figuring out things. I don’t think that human influences had that much to do with it. Although I think all cultures have learned how to handle and not handle scandals well. Look at the Klingons, they are rife with political drama and so much of it could be based on as little as an unintended insult that spirals into battle.”

Alice paused for a moment and gave Ken the look he recognized as being one of concern.

“Just let me know if you would like me to leave,” she then said.

“I’m in no hurry to see you go,” he said with a smile – albeit a weak smile due to his fatigue. “I don’t get to entertain very often and I’m enjoying your company and convers…” He stopped mid-sentence and started coughing. He took a sip of wine and the coughing stopped. “…conversation. Let’s ask the medical professional dining with us this evening whether I can continue to play the charming host,” he continued with a chuckle. “Well Caro?” he asked turning in the direction of his friend.

“If you feel up to it, then by all means continue on.”

“I do.”

“Good. Just promise me you’ll sleep in tomorrow and not try to sneak up to your ship and do some work.”

“On the sleep part, I promise,” Ken began. “On the no working, maybe…”

Caro shot him a stern glare.

“…Alright, I’ll take the day off.”

Caro then gave him a more satisfied look.

“Do you see what I have to deal with?” Ken asked Alice. “Everything is either all or nothing with her. There’s no compromising to be had.”

He then took another forkful of lasagna. When he was done, he spoke again.

“You mentioned a little bit about your family and how they reacted to your joining earlier. Tell me some more about them. What about your parents? Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#79 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21212.19 @ 05:02 (05:02 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“I’m in no hurry to see you go,” he said with a smile – albeit a weak smile due to his fatigue. “I don’t get to entertain very often and I’m enjoying your company and convers…” He stopped mid-sentence and started coughing. He took a sip of wine and the coughing stopped. “…conversation. Let’s ask the medical professional dining with us this evening whether I can continue to play the charming host,” he continued with a chuckle. “Well Caro?” he asked turning in the direction of his friend.

“If you feel up to it, then by all means continue on.”

“I do.”

“Good. Just promise me you’ll sleep in tomorrow and not try to sneak up to your ship and do some work.”

“On the sleep part, I promise,” Ken began. “On the no working, maybe…”

Caro shot him a stern glare.

“…Alright, I’ll take the day off.”

Caro then gave him a more satisfied look. If she didn’t know better they were the Bickersons. They were so much like an old married couple that both loved and couldn’t stand each other. It was just entertaining to watch. Plus Alice knew that Caro was really looking out for the captain.

“Do you see what I have to deal with?” Ken asked Alice. “Everything is either all or nothing with her. There’s no compromising to be had.”

“You mentioned a little bit about your family and how they reacted to your joining earlier. Tell me some more about them. What about your parents? Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

It was thinking about her family. She hadn’t really talked to Kit’a at all since being joined. It was almost like she was an only sibling but she knew that was a lie.

“I have a younger sister. But I fallen out of touch with Kit’a recently. She’s been working so hard to become Joined and my own career. Just seems like we are opposite schedules. Plus I don’t want to interfere with her process. It’s such a harsh program. Sometimes it’s best to let her study and do well on her own.”

“But I continued to talk with my mom and dad. They were both unjoined but thought they could beat the odds and have one daughter if not both become joined. I know they were so proud of me being chosen. They are hopeful for Kit’a’s chances as well. Although it’s weird finding out about Kit’a through them. They were always in my life but usually on the other side of a computer monitor except for shore leave and unemployed. They worked together on a really successful freighters until recently. So they were always traveling space for work.”

“Used to love working with my dad when he was home. The two of us would help to repair his different vessels. Then when I got old enough and if it didn’t interfere with school too much, I was allowed to start making my own runs in the smaller hoper. But that meant staying close to Trill. Usually just a day journey. I did transform those engines to where they were agile and so much quicker then most hoppers in the area.”

“I was actually raised by my grandparents for the most part. But unfortunately, both passed away just before Joining. I think in all honesty, that’s why my parents are back on Trill. They won’t admit it. But I don’t think they want to miss to much more in anyone’s lives and they can’t rely on grandma to run the books anymore.”


== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“I’m in no hurry to see you go,” he said with a smile – albeit a weak smile due to his fatigue. “I don’t get to entertain very often and I’m enjoying your company and convers…” He stopped mid-sentence and started coughing. He took a sip of wine and the coughing stopped. “…conversation. Let’s ask the medical professional dining with us this evening whether I can continue to play the charming host,” he continued with a chuckle. “Well Caro?” he asked turning in the direction of his friend.

“If you feel up to it, then by all means continue on.”

“I do.”

“Good. Just promise me you’ll sleep in tomorrow and not try to sneak up to your ship and do some work.”

“On the sleep part, I promise,” Ken began. “On the no working, maybe…”

Caro shot him a stern glare.

“…Alright, I’ll take the day off.”

Caro then gave him a more satisfied look. If she didn’t know better they were the Bickersons. They were so much like an old married couple that both loved and couldn’t stand each other. It was just entertaining to watch. Plus Alice knew that Caro was really looking out for the captain.

“Do you see what I have to deal with?” Ken asked Alice. “Everything is either all or nothing with her. There’s no compromising to be had.”

“You mentioned a little bit about your family and how they reacted to your joining earlier. Tell me some more about them. What about your parents? Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

It was thinking about her family. She hadn’t really talked to Kit’a at all since being joined. It was almost like she was an only sibling but she knew that was a lie.

“I have a younger sister. But I fallen out of touch with Kit’a recently. She’s been working so hard to become Joined and my own career. Just seems like we are opposite schedules. Plus I don’t want to interfere with her process. It’s such a harsh program. Sometimes it’s best to let her study and do well on her own.”

“But I continued to talk with my mom and dad. They were both unjoined but thought they could beat the odds and have one daughter if not both become joined. I know they were so proud of me being chosen. They are hopeful for Kit’a’s chances as well. Although it’s weird finding out about Kit’a through them. They were always in my life but usually on the other side of a computer monitor except for shore leave and unemployed. They worked together on a really successful freighters until recently. So they were always traveling space for work.”

“Used to love working with my dad when he was home. The two of us would help to repair his different vessels. Then when I got old enough and if it didn’t interfere with school too much, I was allowed to start making my own runs in the smaller hoper. But that meant staying close to Trill. Usually just a day journey. I did transform those engines to where they were agile and so much quicker then most hoppers in the area.”

“I was actually raised by my grandparents for the most part. But unfortunately, both passed away just before Joining. I think in all honesty, that’s why my parents are back on Trill. They won’t admit it. But I don’t think they want to miss to much more in anyone’s lives and they can’t rely on grandma to run the books anymore.”

#80 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
  • Guests

Posted Star Date 21212.22 @ 04:13 (04:13 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken listened attentively as Alice spoke of her family. As he became further engrossed by what she was telling him, he stopped eating and placed his fork on the edge of his plate. He did not interrupt her at all although he did cough once for a brief moment until he took a sip of wine. It was fascinating to hear about the dynamic of her family and how her unjoined parents wanted both of their daughters to go through the Initiate process and become joined. She was proving to be quite the impressive woman and Star Fleet officer – though if the truth were known, he had yet to meet a joined Trill who wasn’t impressive.

I have to give the Symbiosis Commission credit for only allowing the best of the best to host a symbiont…

His mind wandered then wandered as he thought about Kathy and the circumstances of her joining. She hadn’t been through the initiate process before she was joined. She was an experiment – a point to be proven by Dega’s dying second host that hybrid Trills were suitable candidates for joining. It had worked for a while until a sniper round on a miserable rock of a world set forth a chain of events that led to her slow and painful death. By all accounts, the Trill Symbiosis Commission did all they could to help her. However, there was a part of him that believed that they were glad to be rid of her since her existence challenged the nature of being joined amongst the Trills. To Ken, she was like a beautiful unicorn to be prized for her uniqueness. To the Trill powers that be, she was an abomination.

Alice stopped talking and there followed an awkward silence as Ken was still lost in his bitter thoughts. After a few seconds, Caro chimed in.

“Is there something wrong Ken?” she asked.

“No. I’m just a little tired that’s all,” he answered snapping back into the conversation. “Two joined in one family,” he said to Alice. “An ambitious goal and probably not very common I imagine. You pretty much know about my family already. In fact, you know more about what’s going on with Em than I do!” He chuckled some and continued, “The only real news I have is that Andy’s quest to become the Zephram Cochrane of time travel has attracted the attention of some pretty high powered folks in the science community. Last time I talked to him, he had just been visited by a group representing the Dystrom Institute, the Vulcan Science Academy and naturally Star Fleet Science. There was also someone there who was some unaffiliated government official, but if I had to guess, they were part of Star Fleet Intelligence.

Right now, Mom can’t decide whether to be excited or scared. In a family of scientists, this kind of news is a big deal. However, she’s worried that with Star Fleet involved, he’ll end up being whisked away to some top secret research facility and she and the rest of us will never see or hear from him again. I’ve tried to reassure her that that’s not how things work, but so far she’s not convinced. Stubborn woman she is, but she loves us all deeply…”

Ken took a sip of wine to lubricate his parched throat. Talking was taking its toll on him, but he continued to put on the face of a convivial host.

“…Anyway, that’s some of what’s going on in my family along with all the usual more difficult stuff that you know about.”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#81 Guest_LCdr Cristina Fiore_*

Guest_LCdr Cristina Fiore_*
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Posted Star Date 21212.26 @ 00:59 (12:59 AM)

== Chicago. Set just before the ongoing Chin’toka mission. Christmas Eve. ==

It was a short walk from the transporter station to Hazelnut Drive, the street Crissy grew up on. Her family still lived there and as her boots crunched through the thick snow there was a faint smile on the Starfleeter’s lips.

It’s been over 5 years since I was last here. 5 years of trying to hide away from all this.

She shook her head and brushed snowflakes off her shoulder. She had stayed in uniform with an overstuffed duffel bag across her shoulders. The family were dying to see the first ever Fiore to have made officer – the 3 pips and DH jacket, along with the medals she had brought back for safe-keeping, were just the icing on the cake.

At least I can come back now with my head held high. I’ve made something of myself. A couple of close calls but I’m on my way. Never would have thought that would actually happen!

Her stomach was doing backflips as she approached the front door. The Fiore clan owned 3 townhouses knocked together making for an imposing facade. It all looked clean and tidy, a big wreath on the front door and a massive tree visible through the enormous living room window.

No indications of the chaos that’s probably going on inside. The entire family together? I’m glad I’ve kept my phaser...

Crissy had faced down cybernetically enhanced Klingon warriors, Romulan warbirds and one of the most feared assassins in the quadrant. Throughout all of that she had stayed icy calm. Now, as her hand reached out for the door knocker, she found herself actually shaking.

Oh boy. If the Chin’toka crew could see this I’d never hear the end of it!

She took a deep breath, seized the ring of the knocker and gave it a couple of thunderous whacks. What seemed to be a rolling argument got louder and louder, and Crissy braced herself as the door was thrown open.

Cristina! It’s Cristina!” The booming voice was her brother Guiseppe, and he turned to bellow into the house. “I told you she’d make it this time!” He turned back to Crissy, towering over her, and grinned broadly as he swept her up in a huge bear-hug.

“Good to see you. It’s been too long!” Crissy said, squeezing tightly. She was let go long enough to step into the house and shrug off her duffel bag before the rest of the family arrived. Her other brother, her 3 sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Finally, at the end of the big corridor and positively bursting with pride, were her parents. Crissy burst into a run, throwing her arms around her father and leaning her head against his barrel chest.

“We’ve all missed you, Corvina” her father Vito said, holding his daughter tightly as he used the pet name he had for her. Crissy’s raven-black hair was unique amongst the women of the family and her habit of dressing all in black as she grew up had earned her the epithet. Vito was almost pushed out of the way as her mother Trish grabbed hold and squeezed her so tightly Crissy had to gently prise herself free to gulp in a breath. Trish held Crissy at arm’s length, sparkling brown eyes taking in every detail of the uniform.

“Lieutenant Commander! And a Chief Tactical Officer! When did that happen?”

“Long enough ago that I probably should have mentioned it” Crissy replied, having the decency to look embarrassed.

“I think we can overlook it” Vito said grandly. He was the unquestioned head of the family now at the grand old age of 62, and had lost none of the raw presence that had served him so well in his life. “Come, sit. You must have come a long way.”

“You have no idea. I left nearly a week ago” Crissy replied, wiping a tear from the corner of her eye. She felt overwhelmed by all the affection – her relationship with her family had been somewhat strained at the best of times. Nobody had entirely believed she would make it to the Academy, never mind out the other side and firmly ensconced amongst the elite of the Federation.

Guiseppe had stretched a protective arm across her shoulders as everyone headed for the enormous living room. There were big chairs and couches everywhere, and toys from where the kids had been playing were strewn across the thick carpet. Francis, her second brother, had brought her duffel and her youngest sister Sara had appeared with a cup of steaming hot coffee.

In a show of favour, Crissy was sat down next to her father on his favourite red leather couch. She literally sank into the overstuffed cushions before shifting and gratefully accepting the coffee that was handed to her.

“Tell us about your ship. Where do you call home now?” her uncle Gianni called out. “Vito told me but damned if I can say it!”

Crissy laughed.

“The USS Chin’toka, a Fearless class heavy cruiser” she replied. “Captain Yvette spent months correcting the entire senior staff until we could say it properly. So don’t worry, it’s not just the hicks from Sicily who can’t say it” Crissy teased. Light-hearted insults were traded across the room as she opened up her duffel. Her little nephews Mal and Nathan had sat at her feet, and their eyes collectively lit up as she produced two boxed up models of the Chin’toka complete with flashing lights and sound effects.

“Here. I know you’re gonna drive your mom nuts with these but I couldn’t help myself” Crissy said as she handed the toys over. She looked up at her sister Imelda. “Sorry Imma!”

“Oh, you will be!” Imelda threw back with a big smile. Moments later the first simulated phaser blast sounded as Mal had ripped the box open and was pressing buttons with a huge grin.

Crissy dug around in the huge bag and eventually produced a series of blue felt boxes, the medals she had earned and finally gotten around to collecting.

“Mom? Can you look after these for me?” Crissy said. “I think they’re safer here.” Before Crissy could say anything, the boxes had been opened and the medals were being passed around.

“You earned all these?” Trish said, surprise and pride in equal measure hanging from every syllable.

“Yeah. You didn’t think I’d sit in the corner did you?” Crissy joked, drawing a rumble of laughter from the assembled family. “One Starfleet Commendation, a Gold Star, a Diamond Star, a Distinguished Service Globe and 3 RPGRs.”

“What’s an RPGR?”

“Honestly, I have no idea” Crissy said. “They’re dated 2011 and 2012, and seem to turn up whenever I do something monumentally stupid.”

“So how come there’s only 3?” Sara teased.

“I think I’m owed a 4th for being dumb enough to come back home!” Crissy rejoined, earning a playful nudge from her father that nearly dumped her on the floor.

“You got anything else in there?” Vito asked, nodding towards the duffel.

“Yeah, a few things. But they can wait til the morning.” Crissy emptied out a series of inexpertly wrapped presents that were swiftly gathered and placed under the huge tree.

The oven timer sounded and immediately all other conversations ceased.

“Dinner’s up! The best beef rib roasts the Green City Market could provide” Trish enthused.

“You know I can’t actually remember the last time I had a real roast dinner” Crissy said, rising gracefully. “An actual former cow cooked properly.”

“Let’s fix that” Vito replied, standing right alongside her. He pulled Crissy in and kissed her on the forehead as the family decamped to the dining room.

#82 Guest_LCdr Cristina Fiore_*

Guest_LCdr Cristina Fiore_*
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Posted Star Date 21212.26 @ 02:20 (02:20 AM)

== Hazelnut Drive, Chicago. 2330 hours, Christmas Eve. ==

Crissy was stretched out on one of the big couches next to the roaring fire, her head on the armrest as candle lights and the enormous tree provided some soft illuminations in the otherwise dark room. Her voice was hoarse – the enthusiasm for her being home hadn’t worn off in the slightest yet and everyone had questions. They wanted to hear all the war stories, the battles she’d fought and the lives she’d saved. The clan heading out for mass had brought a welcome couple of hours of respite.

Hard to believe this has been my life! She thought to herself, looking into the fire with a glass of whiskey in her hand. It was a single malt Scotch, incredibly expensive and worth every penny.

Dad has outstanding taste.

The Starfleeter was clad in a long woollen jumper that reached almost to her knees, a pair of boy shorts underneath, and that was it. The feeling of the soft material against her skin made her think of happier times from when she was younger, the flickering heat from the fire warming her bare legs and feet as she rested the glass on her belly. She had every intention of being in bed before the horde returned.

Heavy footfalls sounded coming along the wooden floors outside, and after a moment her father Vito appeared and settled down in a chair just off to one side in a polo shirt, technicolour lounge pants and slippers. His beard and long hair had once been as black as her mane, but were now flecked with grey. Those glittering blue eyes that missed nothing still gazed out benevolently.

“You decided to skip mass?” Crissy asked, a little surprised.

“Yeah. I thought it would be good to talk, just me and you. We’re not likely to get the chance to do that again. And we haven’t done it in a while” Vito replied. He had a glass of his own in his hand and he sipped from it sparingly.

“Thanks.”

“It’s the least a good father could do.” There was a moment’s pause. “I see you’ve started drinking again.”

Crissy nodded.

“Yeah. But I can control it these days” she said. “I don’t drink for the sake of it any more. Those days are done.”

“I’m glad to hear it. The temptation must be strong. Long periods of time by yourself. I doubt that’s changed much.”

There was a pregnant silence.

“I... I have my moments” Crissy said eventually. “It does get lonely out there. That’s the bit they don’t mention about becoming a senior officer. You can’t be too close to anyone junior to you in your own department in case you start getting accused of favouritism. The DH jacket scares a lot of people away. There aren’t many people left to get close to, especially on a new ship. So you end up spending a lot of down time on your own.”

“Cristina...”

“I know Dad, I know.” Crissy sighed. “I know it isn’t healthy. But I’m making progress.”

“You made a vow. No more getting drunk and letting your life run away from you.”

Crissy sat up so she could take a slug of scotch.

“And I’ve kept it. I slipped once. Once in ten years” she said.

“How many people died?”

“Just my ego.”

“About time. That thing is out of control” Vito teased. A cushion bounced off the side of the chair and spiralled away, drawing a grin from the Fiore patriarch.

“Seriously though” Crissy said. “I’m a lot better these days. You’d never believe this... I’m not sure I believe it, but I think I have a boyfriend now. An actual honest-to-God boyfriend.”

There was an impressed grunt from the other chair.

“I’m glad to hear it. Can’t say I’ve ever approved of your habits, but if this guy is actually capable of taming you then he deserves a medal at least as impressive as some of those you brought home.”

“Thank you father for your kind concern for my wellbeing” Crissy threw back with a laugh.

“I know you, remember?” her father said. “You take after your nana in that you’re a strong woman. Fearsome sometimes. When you fix on something even I wouldn’t get in your way. It takes a brave man to take that on.”

There was a moment’s pause as the two took another sip of whiskey and savoured it.

“So who is he anyway?” Vito asked. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell your mother. She’d have downloaded the poor guy’s career history and started calling round his friends and family to vet him before your mouth had even closed.”

“Don’t I know it!” Crissy said as she rolled her eyes. When Imelda had gotten married her fiancé had been subjected to 3 hours of questioning around the dinner table, and had been considered by the family to have gotten off lightly. “His name’s Brodie. He’s the Chin’toka’s Chief Engineer.”

“Human?”

“Close. He’s Australian.”

Vito chuckled at that.

“Your age? Younger? Older?”

“Couple of years older. Not enough to matter” Crissy replied. “He does that whole surfer dude thing sometimes but I can train him out of that.”

“Can he train you out of wearing clothes that look like they’ve been through a shredder?”

“One step at a time.” Crissy grinned. “He just makes me feel so... I guess so chilled out. I can relax with him, unwind and come out of my shell. He can deal with the crazy and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Never met someone that I can just be me with before.”

Vito nodded.

“A rare skill” he said.

“I know.” Crissy smiled at the fond memories of that first night together as they ran through her mind. “It all gets a bit macho sometimes in Starfleet, especially in Tactical. You don’t want to show any weakness. You have to be able to deal with anything that comes up. It’s nice to be able to let someone protect me every once in a while.”

“You coping OK when things don’t go your way?”

“Not really, but then again I never did.” Crissy shrugged. “I do what I’ve always done, go and find some way to vent. Firing range. Soccer sim. Anything.”

“No bottling?” Vito pressed. He remembered his daughter’s penchant for bottling things up until they festered and hoped she’d gotten past that.

“No bottling. I know I can’t do that. Turning in on myself has never gone well for anyone. Least of all me. I have so many duties now and responsibilities and people looking for me to guide them that I can’t just go and hide.” She smiled wistfully. “Sometimes I wish I could. But I can’t. Then there’s SOCOM and all the assorted weirdness that goes with that. I know what I’m like and so does Starfleet. That’s why they keep me busy.”

“Good to hear they take care of their officers.”

Vito levered himself out of his chair, and beckoned to Crissy to do the same. He held his arms out and as she stepped up he wrapped her in a big hug and held her tightly.

“I’m proud of you” Vito said, gently resting his head on his daughter’s. “That hasn’t always been the case. God knows, you’ve put us through things in the past. But look at you now. Lieutenant Commander Fiore. Your mother worships the ground you walk on. She’s already making me build something to display your medals in. Your little cousins and nephews think you’re a superhero. Hellraiser to hero. My little girl has grown up and I’m so proud of you. I want you to know that.”

Crissy had her eyes closed as tears rolled down her cheeks. It meant so much to her to hear that from her father, the man she looked up to like no-one else. The hard work, the sacrifices, everything. They had been worth it.

“Thanks Dad” she managed, her voice cracking. “I’m... Just... Thanks.” She didn’t need to say anything else as Vito rubbed her back softly.

The sound of the front door being thrown open echoed across the house, and even as the lights came on father and daughter still held each other in that warm embrace.

Edited by LCdr Cristina Fiore, Star Date 21212.26 @ 02:24 (02:24 AM).


#83 Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*

Guest_Lt Alice Dega_*
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Posted Star Date 21212.30 @ 05:08 (05:08 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

Ken didn’t respond to her right away. She could tell that he was most likely thinking of his lover but he wouldn’t admit it to her just yet. But she just let him play if off as if he zoned out due to being tired.

Then she listened to the exploits of the rest of the Fitchel clan. She was happy to hear that Andy was doing well with his endevours to study time travel more. She could hear the sense of pride from Ken that Andy’s work was attracting the right kind of attention from the scientific field. Hearing how his mom was still distrustful of Star Fleet was almost unsurprising.

“Will you mom ever trust Star Fleet? It’s not like you or Em have ever been whisked away and never seen from again. How many more members of your family would need to join before she sees it’s not the all-encompassing monster some fear it to be?”

But Alice was starting to feel bad, she could tell that Ken was starting to tire some. She didn’t want to be in the way.

“Are you sure you want me to stay more tonight? I can let you rest. Not like we won’t be seeing each other on a daily basis on the ship.” Then she took a sip of the wine. The drink brought out her more mischievous side. She winked and said, “Or do you have any burning questions that you have to know now?”

#84 Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*

Guest_Capt Kenneth Fitchel_*
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Posted Star Date 21301.01 @ 04:09 (04:09 AM)

== Lake Placid, New York – Earth ==

== Residence of Ken Fitchel ==

“Will your Mom ever trust Star Fleet?” Alice asked rhetorically. “It’s not like you or Em have ever been whisked away never to be seen again. How many more members of your family would need to join before she sees it’s not the all-encompassing monster some fear it to be?”

Ken knew the answer to that question and that answer was an unequivocal no. His mother blamed Star Fleet for keeping her apart from her son and no amount of persuading would ever change her mind. And although he was a dutiful son who spoke to her over subspace every chance he got, he was content to allow her to believe that the organization to which he had dedicated his life was responsible. The awful truth was that he would not, could not go home, because doing so would endanger her lives and the lives of every other member of his family. Alice would know that because Kathy knew – she had been only the second person with whom he had ever shared the story and the reason why.

After another round of awkward silence, he finally spoke.

“I doubt Mom will ever change her mind about Star Fleet,” Ken answered ruefully. “She’s a stubborn woman and even though she’s a scientist, her logic fails her when it comes to her children – especially me. A lot of this is my fault, but you know the reason why so there’s no point in rehashing it here and now.” He then gave Alice a look that she should drop the conversation or maybe it was a look of a tired man. Either way, the Trill quickly changed the topic.

“Are you sure you want me to stay more tonight? I can let you rest. Not like we won’t be seeing each other on a daily basis on the ship.” She took a sip of wine and then winked mischievously. “Or do you have any burning questions that you have to know now?”

Ken glanced around the table and saw that the three of them were pretty much done with dinner.

“You can leave if you like,” he said to Alice. “But then you’d miss out on dessert and coffee.” He then looked over at Caro. “Caro, was that a pie from the bakery in town that I spotted on the kitchen counter earlier?”

“Strawberry rhubarb,” she answered indirectly.

“Well then,” Ken said. “We can’t send our guest home without having a slice and some ice cream can we?” He smiled at the Trill. “Are you going to give into temptation or are you just going to leave unceremoniously?”

== Tag Lt Dega! ==

#85 Guest_LCdr Cristina Fiore_*

Guest_LCdr Cristina Fiore_*
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Posted Star Date 21301.10 @ 00:35 (12:35 AM)

== QuickFire Shooting Range, downtown Chicago. 1630, December 25th ==

“I got you Crissy! I don’t care what you say or how good you think you are!”

Crissy just kept the same knowing smile on her lips as her brother-in-law Daryl and uncle Massimo lined up on the targets.

Right before lunch there had been a lot of bragging about marksmanship. Daryl was a keen hunter and Massimo a civilian police officer, and they were both good shots in their own right. Egged on by Crissy’s father Vito they had challenged the Starfleeter to a round at the shooting range. Along with the 3 challengers and Vito as unspoken referee, a group of 12 had come as well and stood at the back of the range.

“Here’s how it goes down” Vito said, the big patriarch very much in charge. “Daryl and Massimo shoot first. At Crissy’s request you both shoot then she takes a go at both your scores separately.”

There had been some consternation at that but Vito knew exactly what Crissy was up to.

“Type II phasers, standard 400 point scoring system” Vito rumbled. “If Daryl beats Crissy he gets her Fender Telecaster and if she beats him, he hands over the Garak original jacket Trish wants. If Massimo wins he takes the family Colt revolver, but if he loses he has to hand over his Barolo stash. Clear?”

“Clear!” Crissy, Daryl and Massimo chorused in unison.

“OK. You may fire when ready.”

Occupying neighbouring lanes, Daryl and Massimo sighted down their weapons and opened fire, the hissing of phaser shots filling the air. They had 10 shots to score as close to 400 points as possible. 300 was considered an outstanding score and anything over 350 was extremely rare. The range record stood at 378 and that had been there for 15 years.

Eventually the shots died away, and the two men slotted the phasers onto charging stands and took a step back to watch their scores come in. Massimo nodded contentedly as he posted 327, and Daryl whooped and punched the air as the counter above his lane displayed 351.

“Beat that!” Daryl hollered. “I can’t wait to play that guitar. Been hankerin’ for one o’ them for years!”

“In your dreams, asswipe” Crissy threw back. Confidently she strode up to the ranges, picked up both phasers one in each hand, and reset the counters with the butts of the weapons.

“Now I’ll show you how a pro does it” she said, ignoring the sniggers from behind her.

She extended both arms and sighted down the phasers at the two separate targets. Firing left then right, left then right, her head barely moving, Crissy let rip. Her confidence came from hours spent in exactly this environment honing her accuracy. She was lucky enough to have been born a crack shot. Specialist training and the practice time had taken that to whole new levels.

With ten shots fired at each target, she backed up and slotted the phasers into the charging stations. She knew what her scores were without having to wait for them.

“I’ll trust you boys to bring what you owe to dinner. Mom serves at 1800 hours, don’t be late” Crissy shouted over her shoulder as she took her jacket from her father and headed for the parking lot, to hoots of derision from the two competitors.

As the door to the lot closed behind the raven-haired officer, her scores flashed up over the firing ranges.

392 on the left hand side, 387 on the right.

A hushed silence fell over the Fiore clan. Massimo just shook his head, a smile on his lips. Daryl looked like a man who had just had his rifle stolen by a deer.

“I should probably have told you that my daughter was inducted into the Starfleet Special Operations Command” Vito said as he patted both men on the shoulder. “You’re good. She’s considered outstanding even by Starfleet’s elite. Next time, shut up earlier.”

He was enjoying himself immensely and wore a huge smile as he followed Crissy out to the parking lot, the rest of the clan following and jubilantly giving the two challengers a hard time.

Edited by LCdr Cristina Fiore, Star Date 21301.10 @ 00:36 (12:36 AM).


#86 Guest_Lt (JG) Keith Munroe_*

Guest_Lt (JG) Keith Munroe_*
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Posted Star Date 21302.28 @ 03:22 (03:22 AM)

== Dothan, Alabama =

== Midshipman Kruse's home ==


Keith stopped the vehicle in front of the little house in the small neighborhood and closed his eyes as though he were saying a prayer before getting out. Taking a deep breath, the young Texan began to open the door but paused to speak to T'Ara.

"No salutes, this isn't official. If we as much as salute them then our careers are over if it reaches back to Star Fleet." The young man said with a serious tone. He then proceeded out of the vehicle and slowly began making his way up the sidewalk. As they walked, Keith began thinking back to a time when he went through the exact same thing.

"Will, I have breakfast ready!" The young boy called out to his little brother. Will came sauntering into the room still rubbing eye boogers from his face.

"What are we having?" The little boy responded, still rubbing his eyes.

"Biscuits, Gravy, Hashbrowns, and Bacon fresh killed yesterday." Young Keith said to his still sleepy little brother. At this point their father, Robert, had made his way out of bed.

"What's cookin'?" the middle aged man asked as he rubbed his face. After a couple of seconds there was a knock at the door and Rob went over to answer it. As his father answered the door Keith could see two men in Star Fleet uniform salute his father followed by the immediate response of his dad telling the two boys to go to their rooms. The two officers spoke to Rob for what seemed like hours. After the two men had left Keith's father called the two boys back into the living room. "Boy's there isn't any easy way to say this so I'll just say it. Your momma was killed today." The fourteen year and ten year old stood in the middle of the room as they listened to the detailed description of what happened. Will began grieving for his mother and Keith remained strong for both his little brother and his father to the point that it was almost unbearable.

"She deserves to hear this from someone who has gone through the same thing before." The man said to himself, trying to keep himself from walking back to his seat.

The two officers finally made it to the door. Keith gathered up every last bit of courage that he had left from over the years and knocked on the door to the little white house. After about a minute of nothing but silence the two could hear movement in the house. A few seconds later the door opened to reveal a woman, undoubtedly Kruse's mother.

Now I have to ruin this woman's life.

"Mrs Kruse?" The young Texan asked, his accent becoming thicker.

"Aye, that's me boy. May I help you?" the woman asked as she glared through the screen.

"Ma'am I wish I were here on better terms. But there is no easy way to say this...." Keith looked down toward the ground and then looked up in the woman's eye. "My name is Keith Munroe and this is my friend T'Aranai Dawn. We worked with your daughter, I'm afraid that she has been killed." The young security officer stood there waiting for the woman's response.

== Tag T'Ara ==

#87 Guest_Mid T'Aranai Dawn_*

Guest_Mid T'Aranai Dawn_*
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Posted Star Date 21302.28 @ 06:04 (06:04 AM)

==Dothan, AL Kruse’s House==

They drove toward the address of Kruse. She wanted to come along, but she didn’t know Kruse for all that long. Not even spoke with her really. T’Aranai stared out the window, looking at the small town, shops and other areas. They finally arrived to their destination. Keith then spoke.

"No salutes, this isn't official. If we as much as salute them then our careers are over if it reaches back to Star Fleet." He said with a serious tone, looking at her. She nodded and then they exited the vehicle. She closed the door and walked up beside him, at the door, seeing the door, her eyes blur, but she kept her emotions intact.

"She deserves to hear this from someone who has gone through the same thing before." The man said to himself, trying to keep himself from walking back to his seat.

T’Aranai looked over to Keith. Someone who has gone through the same thing? Has he…

The two officers finally made it to the door. Keith knocked on the door to the little white house. After about a minute of nothing but silence the two could hear movement in the house. A few seconds later the door opened to reveal a woman, undoubtedly Kruse's mother.
"Mrs Kruse?" The young Texan asked, his accent becoming thicker.

"Aye, that's me boy. May I help you?" the woman asked as she glared through the screen.

"Ma'am I wish I were here on better terms. But there is no easy way to say this...." Keith looked down toward the ground and then looked up in the woman's eye. "My name is Keith Munroe and this is my friend T'Aranai Dawn. We worked with your daughter, I'm afraid that she has been killed." The young security officer stood there waiting for the woman's response.

The mother’s glare turned to a somber look as she opened her screen door, and approached them, “A-are you saying…?” T’Aranai looked at the woman, with a sadden look, as the woman’s demeanor completely changed from having strangers on her doorstep to realization. T’Aranai only nodded then spoke, “I worked with her for a short time, but she was high spirited.” She kept that she was an officer as the mother began to sob.

“She was my baby…do…do you know…?” The mom asked as the young Vulcan was grasped by her hands. T’Aranai gripped her and gave a sadden smile, “Aye. I heard she passed without pain.”

Kruse’s mother fell into a weeping mess as the screen door squeaked open again, “Mama…why are you cwying?” T’Aranai looked at a very young girl who walked to her mother. Sisters...I wonder how young she is?

“Oh, Kandee, older sissy is going to be in a place called Heaven. It’s far away that we can’t visit just yet.” She let the unknown doctor go and hug the little girl as the little girl smiled, “Is it where grandpapa lives now?” The mom nodded as she sobbed, smiling through the tears of loss, “Yes, honey, that’s where sissy is living now.” She wiped her falling tears as she looked at the two people who gave her the news, “This must have also been difficult for you. Knowing her for even a day, seems like an eternity. She's like a star that shines. Thank you, both of you.”

==Tag. You can post as the mom too, or other family members ^_^==

Edited by Mid T'Aranai Dawn, Star Date 21302.28 @ 06:06 (06:06 AM).


#88 Guest_Lt (JG) Keith Munroe_*

Guest_Lt (JG) Keith Munroe_*
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Posted Star Date 21303.02 @ 22:36 (10:36 PM)

“She was my baby…do…do you know…?” The mom asked as the young Vulcan was grasped by her hands. T’Aranai gripped her and gave a sadden smile, “Aye. I heard she passed without pain.” Keith didn't normally encourage lying but given the circumstances it was probably a good idea. Kruse’s mother fell into a weeping mess as the screen door squeaked open again, “Mama…why are you cwying?”The sight of the little girl made the young Texans eyes burn as though someone had thrown salt in them.

Oh God, this is just like dad when he found out!

The relatively large man crouched down beside the woman that was sobbing on the porch and wrapped her in a hug.

“Oh, Kandee, older sissy is going to be in a place called Heaven. It’s far away that we can’t visit just yet.” She let the unknown doctor go and hug the little girl as the little girl smiled, “Is it where grandpapa lives now?” The mom nodded as she sobbed, smiling through the tears of loss, “Yes, honey, that’s where sissy is living now.” She wiped her falling tears as she looked at the two people who gave her the news, “This must have also been difficult for you. Knowing her for even a day, seems like an eternity. She's like a star that shines. Thank you, both of you.” Keith stood up from the ground and began to speak.

"Yes ma'am, I figured that you should hear it from someone who has had the casualty notification officers on their doorstep before..." The young man struggled to talk about the subject. "M...my mother was killed when I was 14... my little brother took it the hardest." Keith fought away tears as his voice broke. "If there is anything you need ma'am... just let me or T'Ara here know." He managed to force a slight smile onto his face. "The letters should be here in couple of days." The burning in the security officers eyes had intensified to the point that it was almost unbearable. “We should go, but if there is anything that you need just feel free to call us. “ The two excused themselves and slowly made their way back to the vehicle. Keith watched as Kruse’s mother and little sister went back into their home. He had fought tears until one single tear managed to make itself known. He hoped that T’Ara hadn’t noticed and quickly wiped the tear away. “Well… let’s get out of here.” He started the vehicle and looked over at T’Ara with a grin. “Computer, end program.” The Texan called out to the computer as the environment shaped back into a holodeck. “Are you feeling any better?”

== Tag T’Ara ==

#89 Guest_RAdm Julia Nielson_*

Guest_RAdm Julia Nielson_*
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Posted Star Date 21303.15 @ 23:44 (11:44 PM)

== Takes place on Stardate 21302.03.

Britannia Beach, British Columbia ==

For a February day, the evening was surprisingly warm. Though the sun hadn’t come out at all that morning or afternoon, it made itself known just before suppertime to treat those on the west coast to a beautiful sunset. Wrapped up in a blanket in her favourite chair on the back porch, feet up on the deck railing, Julia cuddled her little sleeping parcel to her chest. And for a brief second, despite everything that was going on in her world this past year, Julia was at peace.

Her baby shifted in her arms, then yawned, then settled back into the cozy blanket. Jules smiled down at her daughter, still in awe of the little bundle who was just three months old. It never ceased to amaze Julia that she could love something as much as she loved her little Lizzie.

The door behind her slid open, and her father stepped out onto the porch behind her. Resting a hand on Julia’s shoulder, he asked, “How’s it going, kiddo?”

“Asleep at last,” Jules chuckled softly. “When she gets her mind set against something, takes her a awhile to come around.”

“Stubborn,” her father smiled, “Just like her mom.”

Julia stuck her tongue out at her Dad – never to old to be teased by her father, never too old to tease him back.

“Someone’s here to see you,” he said. Jules could read the meaning behind the words, he was asking if she was accepting visitors at this time. With Lizzie sleeping soundly, it would be the perfect time to visit. A small spark of hope fluttered in her heart, and though she was pleased to see who stepped onto the porch, there was a slight disappointment when it turned out to not be whom she expected. Her father squeezed her shoulder in somewhat consolation, before retreating back inside.

“Admiral Perrins,” Julia said, still pleasantly surprised to see the Corp of Engineers’ head honcho. She’d only met the woman a couple times before, but every engineer knew of Perrins. The Admiral’s policies had increasingly been to invest in research and development, and though it had been a push to get the initiatives approved, little by little more new projects were in the works. Julia liked the woman, and was pleased to see the progress she’d made.

“Captain Nielson,” the woman gave Julia a warm smile, seemingly not perturbed by Julia’s lack of standing or offering her hand in greeting. “I’d heard your little one had arrived.”

This in itself was news to Julia, that the Chief of Engineers would take an interest in her personal life.

“Yes, at the end of the year,” pulling back the blanket a little revealed Lizzie, with dark black hair like her mother’s, and much daintier cranial ridges than her father’s. “Admiral Perrins, I’d like you to meet Elizabeth Norah Nielson.” If the Admiral noticed anything curious about the name, she didn’t say anything.

“Well hello sweetheart,” Madeline Perrins said as she crouched down to take a closer look at the baby. “Aren’t you just precious!”

“Would you like to hold her?” Julia asked, already swaddling the baby tighter in preparation. The Admiral looked at Jules with that glint in her eye that said yes. Jules passed Lizzie over, watching as Perrins practically melted before her eyes.

“She’s absolutely darling, Captain,” Perrins said as she cradled the baby in her arms.

“Thank you, ma’am,” Jules replied, pleased at the compliment; it wasn’t every day that someone you admired paid you one.

The porch was silent for a few minutes after that, apart from the Admiral’s cooing at the baby as she walked the porch. Jules pulled the blanket closer around her as she watched out at the water, as the last slivers of the sunshine drifted below the skyline. Red sky tonight, sailor’s delight. It would prove to be a sunny day tomorrow – and chilly – based on the old seafarer’s prophecy.

The Admiral returned to Jules then, handing Lizzie back. “I have to admit, this wasn’t entirely a social visit,” the Admiral said then, a somewhat guilty glint in her eyes. Jules motioned to the spare chair, and the Admiral pulled it closer and settled in. “I know you’re on maternity leave, but I thought I’d better speak to you before Admiral Grayson got his hands on you again.”

Now fully intrigued, Julia raised her eyebrows, waiting for Perrins to go on.

“I’ve been offered a position in Command. It would allow me to support more initiatives for the Corps,” her words surprised Julia, saddened her that the Corps would be losing someone like Perrins. “That means I need a replacement up to the task, who I know I can leave the Corps to their capable hands.

“I know how much you love the Yeager and that almost nothing would tempt you away from her,” Admiral Perrins continued, “But I’d like you to be my replacement.”

== To be continued... ==

#90 Guest_RAdm Julia Nielson_*

Guest_RAdm Julia Nielson_*
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Posted Star Date 21303.19 @ 04:25 (04:25 AM)

== Britannia Beach, British Columbia ==

The Admiral's words hit Julia like a train. Of all of the theories swirling in Julia's head about why the Chief of Engineers was on her porch, this was not one of them.

"Me?" Julia asked, incredulous. "I don't mean to sound ungrateful ma'am, but are you sure? I wouldn't even know the first place to start in runni-"

"Captain," Perrins said, her tone decisive as she raised a hand and cut off Julia's rambling, "I'm not the kind of person who makes impulsive decisions. The Admiralty also wouldn't have agreed with my choice of successor if I hadn't chosen someone qualified."

Sitting back in her chair, Julia had to give herself a moment to absorb the information. Admiral Perrins wanted her, Julia Adrienne Nielson, to become the next Chief of Engineers, and the admiralty supported the decision enough to allow it. How did that happen? When would they have even taken notice of her, just a commanding officer of a little scout ship?

"Thank you, ma'am," Jules said at last, looking back at Admiral Perrins. She was watching Jules with an expression that appeared grandmotherly, but there was that intelligent gleam in the older woman's eyes that said she knew exactly what she was doing. "I'm very honoured."

"I sense a 'but' coming," Perrins replied, steepling her fingers in contemplation.

"My world just changed with Lizzie here, and-" Julia paused on her statement, as if she was going to say something and then deciding to change her mind. "And this is a big decision. Am I allowed to take some time to decide?"

The Admiral smiled and nodded, a wave of the hand dismission the notion that she was going to be pressuring Julia for an immediate answer, "Of course, of course. You're still on parental leave, after all."

"But if you're in touch with Admiral Grayson," Admiral Perrins added as she stood slowly, then patted Jules on the arm, "At least make him squirm a little for me. And get some rest."

"Um yes ma'am, I'll certainly try," Jules said, watching the Admiral show herself out through the sliding door. Turning back to the sunset, Jules could feel the weight of the decision that lay before her setting on her shoulders.

== To be continued... ==

#91 Guest_Ens Cleo Banks_*

Guest_Ens Cleo Banks_*
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Posted Star Date 21303.21 @ 18:45 (06:45 PM)

==Science Insitute, San Francisco CA==

She sat a table, lab coat draped over her chair, tattooed arms resting on the sterile, cold silver table before her. A yawn curled to her lips, creases from sleepless nights around her grey eyes. A long drawn out sigh escaped her ruby lips as she slumped back in her seat. Her eyes stared blankly at her coffee cup, a drink she loathed now, but it kept her awake and busy, anything to keep from missing him. His rugged figure haunted her mind when she didn't, so had to keep moving.

I need a drink....what time is it? Her eyes drifted up slowly, Damn....I've only been here three hours?

She blew out a hard in frustration this time, clearly bored, and anxious. Once again her mind went to him, she shut her eyes so she could see him. She barely got to say goodbye, but that wasn't the memory she held on to now. It was him, beside the fire with her, diving into her crazy world and not running away. Her lips parted to a smile, eyes shut tight now, face glowing with happiness.

"Hey Cleo!" A voice jolted in from behind her, startling her so bad her hands knocked her coffee cup over, spilling the contents.

"F**k! Andrews! You b**tard!" She flung around to glare at the young scientist.

"Sorry..." He said sheepishly, face blushed red. She knew he had a crush on her, but never told her.

She let out a sigh, eyes rolling up in annoyance, "Get something to clean this **** up."

He scurried off to grab something, this gave her time to see that everyone else was going on break, filtering into the break room. She purposely took her break early to avoid this, but somehow time had gotten away from her. She was about to rush from the room when she noticed the light on her PADD was blinking.

Weird....the color means a Starfleet urgent message...

She sat back down, the room was suddenly mute to her, voices and Andrews vigorous cleaning of the table all dulled away as she opened the message. A chill ran through her, goosebumps formed on her arms as she started to laugh. This drew the attention of Andrews again, he looked a mix of scared and curious as he drew closer to her.

"Cleo?"

She stood and grabbed him in a hug, then pulled him back almost shaking him as she spoke, "I'm going back!!"

"Wha.." He murmerd, "Where?"

"Home..." She whispered, a mischievious smile formed just before she vanished to the door.

#92 Peter Powell

Peter Powell

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Posted Star Date 21304.01 @ 20:40 (08:40 PM)

==Pre-resignation of Character==

==58 Potter Close - Basingstoke - Hampshire - England==

There didn't seem to be much in the cupboards and the fridge didn't contain much either, Peter managed to scramble up some eggs nbutter in the fridge and also some bread in a bread container on the side, so he was able to russell up a plain omelette and bread n butter at least.

Cooking without using a replicator was something which Peter wasn't use to, doing any sort of mixing of ingredients and the cooking them was not normal for him, Powell was one of these people who used replicators for everything, food and drink wise, being the fact it was quicker and being the fact that normally he didn't have time to really think about the different types of food, he would just order the first thing which would come into mind.

"I might not be hungry, but that does smell nice" a voice said from the door way.

Peter gave a little grin at this, it reminded him of old time when Jess would always sneak up on him and say something contradictory (in his opinion).

"Yea that it does." Peter answered.

It was lucky that he knew some people really well and had anticipated this manoeuvre and had made a couple more piece just incase.

"It was lucky that I made a few extra piece." he continued with a smile, "as I remember that you nearly always liked to take a little bit of food, especially this time of night"

Jess grinned as Peter said this, cause it was true, she had always had a things about eating at this time of the morning, even if she had been sleep, she always got out of bed around now and made something to eat.

She moved away from the door and into the kitchen, she grabbed a slice and proceeded to take a bite out of it, Peter slowly rolled his eyes, thinking that she said she wasn't hungry.

Placing his hand on her right hand waist, Peter gently pushed her around and then directed her out of the kitchen and back to the living room, where they resumed there original seats.

Not really sure what today would bring, he grabbed a slice for himself and started to eat, Peter wasn't one to eat slowly, as he normally eat while working, but at the moment even though his stomach was telling that he was hungry, he now didn't feel like eating now, but he eat as he knew that he he too.

They finished the food and Peter looked at the old fashion clock which was on the wall opposite and noticed that the time now read 0300, it was still way too early to leave and return to the hospital, so for the moment he felt slightly lost, he was still a little tired and with food now in his stomach he was relaxed.

==Slight time jump==

Peter felt himself coming around, initially he didn't remember that he had fallen asleep, then it hit him, all he had done was put his head on the back of the sofa, he slightly moved as his body wasn't awake yet and felt a weight on his upper legs, looking down he saw that Jess was still there and must have used his legs as a pillow, he moved his right hand out from under her and started rubbing her back, he remember that this was one of the ways she liked to be woken up in the morning.

He felt her starting to stir and looked down, nearly at the same time she looked up at him and smiled.

"Morning" she said.

"Morning." He replied then asked. "What time you starting at the hospital today"

She tuned her head and looked at the old style clock that was on the wall and noticed that it was 0800 hours, she had hours yet, but would need to get back to her house, in order to have a wash and change of clothes.

"Not due to start my shift until 1400, but I will need to change before hand, how about we head there first and then back to the hospital, so that we can see your gran and whatever news the Doctor's have to say."

This sounded like a good idea to him as well, "Let me grab some fresh clothes as well and then I can take a shower at your place while you get changed." Peter stated.

With this in mind, Jess shifted off of his legs and he stood up from the sofa, collecting the dirty dishes, he moved firstly into the kitchen and then to where he had bumped his bag, he collected some clean under garments and his wash stuff and after putting them into a smaller carryall.

They joined each other at the door and then proceeded out of the house, right then garden and out the gate.

It was good that Jess didn't leave that far away from where he grow up, it was like the old days when they were a couple, they arrived at her place ant 10 minutes after leaving his and set about getting ready to head to the hospital.

==20 minute time jump==

It didn't take them long to get ready, for Peter it was even quicker, a shower and then a change of under garments, his uniform wasn't dirty, so he just slipped it back on, it felt like a second skin, being the fact that he had gotten use to it.

he waited down stairs in the living room, while Jess got ready, they might had been in a relationship before, but they weren't now, so he gave her the space she needed to sort herself out.

Arriving in the living room, she didn't look all that different, just slightly more refreshed and ready for whatever today would bring.

Getting to his feet, he followed behind her out of the house and down the lanes towards the transport hub.

==Thomas Linacre Hospital-Basingstoke-Hampshire-England, Intensive Care ward==

Arriving at the hospital, the pair headed directly to the intensive care ward, which they had left the previous night, he stood before the glass which looked in at the small ward, his gran was still laying there, looking like she was asleep.

Peter felt Jess gentle grab his arm and he felt her breath on the side of his face.

"I'm going to see if there is any more news, stay right here and I will be back as quick as possible"

He nodded that he understood and felt her release him, like last night he didn't take his eye away from his gran the whole time, he wasn't sure how long he was on his own for, as time seemed to stand still at the moment, but the next thing he registered was her voice back in hearing again.

"Peter, this is Doctor Wilmslow, you remember from last night."

This time he did take his eyes away from his gran and looked at the Doctor.

"Greeting again Commander, glad to see that you are a little rested from yesterday, according to the information we gathered thought the night, your gran is still as well as she could be expected, we are going to be starting the test soon, to see if what damage has been done, I know that we could scan her with a tricorder, but we find that doing the manual test gives us a better understanding of what people are going to be capable off, I'm not exactly sure what to expect, however following looking at the scans that we have already done I am expecting that there will be some brain damage.."

It seemed that the Doctor had expected this to hit the family member hard, as he stopped there, letting the information sink in.

"The thing is we don't know, how this is going to effect her 'normal functions', there could be anything from complete memory loss to body motor loss functions or anything in between and in any rate she will be needing twenty four hour care for the start of her recuperation and possibly longer, I will. If you wish, will start the process of looking for home care for your gran." The Doc said.

He didn't know much about the results of what a stroke would have on a body, but the thing he did know what that no one else would be looking after his gran, she had raised him from the age of 5 years old, so he felt it was his duty to return the favour.

"Don't worry about finding someone to look after her, after she leaves here, as she raised me from a young age, so I will be the one who will look after her, it is only fair." Peter answered.

He noticed that the Doctor looked at Jess with an exp<b></b>ression of one which indicated that he had heard these sort of words before, even thought there was no vocal exchange he knew wht they were saying to each other.

"We will be taking your Gran off of the life support system in about an hour and then we can start the testing" Wilmslow stated.

With that said, the Doctor moved off to carry on doing his work.

==More to come==
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#93 Guest_Lt Ciron Ouse_*

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Posted Star Date 21306.24 @ 23:28 (11:28 PM)

bad post

Edited by Lt Ciron Ouse, Star Date 21306.24 @ 23:30 (11:30 PM).


#94 Guest_Lt Ciron Ouse_*

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Posted Star Date 21306.24 @ 23:29 (11:29 PM)

==Oxford University, Oxford England==

It had been a month since the Getty's return form Inferna Prime, being on shore leave usually meant working on his swordplay or piloting, getting to know some of the women on the base or just tracking the next bottle of exquisite spirits for his collection. . The Captain had invited the entire crew to his house on Earth for a bar-b-q but Ciron just blew that off without a second thought. He however didn't feel in the mood to do anything, even his work on his Doctoral thesis was beginning to suffer, something his advisor had noticed and was attempting to help with to no avail

For the most part however everyone just kind of left him alone, he spent his days in the lab studying pulsars and quasars and he spent his nights sitting alone in the dark, waiting. The Firefight on the bridge had done something to him, The Captain had caught it quite on accident but nothing had happened once they returned to Alpha, no mandatory psych evaluations or counseling sessions, just sign out and off you go. Nobody had really given him a second glance, of course that probably had something to do with the fact that this was his fist mission with them and hadn't spent enough time with anyone for them to figure something was wrong.

Ciron had known there was a problem, something was off, so he went to go see the counselors on Alpha, he had spoken about the firefight and told them how he felt. The Commander seemed concerned and had even asked Ciron to repeat his feelings a few times just so he was sure. Then he told Ciron the one thing that he never wanted to hear, "You know something like this is going to have you relieved of Duty and given a medical discharge." While it was phrased like a question it was more of a statement, Ciron had gone for help and instead he was being punished.

The Counselor was contacting him about once every few days asking Ciron to come back in for a follow up, but each time he responded with the same excuse, "I'm sorry, I'm really busy here with my research to leave right now. Maybe in a few weeks after I finish with this set of data." The counselor wasn't buying it and Ciron wasn't selling it. Ciron was on leave when he had went in, and he was still on leave, the counselor couldn't order him back until his leave was over, and Ciron was doing everything he could to stay in Starfleet for as long as possible. As soon as his leave ended however, Ciron would go through a mental evaluation before a medical board of inquiry to decide if he was mentally fit for duty.

Then next morning after his morning run Ciron checked his messages, one from the Counselor asking him to voluntarily come in and submit himself to a medical review, a few junk messages, some data he was waiting on for his next round of simulations, and finally an article sent to him from his advisor. The article was over warp field destabilization effects on time/space dilation in local space. While his advisor was a genius in astrophysics Ciron was the closest thing to an expert in warp field mechanics that he could dump peer reviews on and still get his name in the review.

After a shower Ciron spent the better part of the morning jotting down notes concerning the article, and for the most part the hypothesis could prove to correct if an experiment could be designed to test it in a way that didn't have so many inconsistencies and false positives.

Ciron took his notes, findings, and sources to his advisor and went step by step to explain everything. With that finished Ciron took lunch to his lab and started working with his new data. With the new data he was starting to make some progress in his work. Just as Ciron started his first simulation with the new data he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and everything went dark.

==To be continued!==

#95 Guest_Lt Ciron Ouse_*

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Posted Star Date 21306.26 @ 19:32 (07:32 PM)

==Ellica Ouse Seven Years ago, Somewhere on Till Prime==
Ellica woke with a pain in her face, as she tried to reach where her face hurt but she couldn't move, her hands wouldn't move. She was paralyzed she couldn't feel anything below her neck. Panicking she franticly looked around for someone or something to help her, that is when she saw him her husband. She remembered what happened, they had been fighting, arguing about something once again when he attacked her.

"Hello Kitten, did you sleep well?" he asked as he walked closer, "You were asleep for quite a while, but I'm happy you're awake, now the fun can begin."

"Jakin honey, what is going on?" Ellica asked her voice saturated with terror. With every step Jakin took towards her the more she struggled against her own body to flee.

"Oh, it is very simple my perfect wife, I have grown tired of your constant, incessant superiority over me, I have grown tired of always being your husband, your subordinate, your second! It is time to show you just who is in control of this marriage." Jakin said as he approached, slowly and methodically. "Oh the things you learn from symbionts, for instance did you know that with the proper dosing of Succinylcholine you can paralyze an entire body and keep the subject awake?"

"Why are you doing this?" Ellica said as tears started to roll down her cheek, as Jakin moved closer her she began baling and screaming for help.

==To be Continued==

#96 Peter Powell

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Posted Star Date 21306.30 @ 16:57 (04:57 PM)

==Pre-resignation of Character==

==Thomas Linacre Hospital-Basingstoke-Hampshire-England, Intensive Care ward==

Peter was kind of shocked by what might be the result of the stroke, he knew that the medical advancements were great, but he found that something's even thought the brain had been mapped, were still impossible to fix.

Jess was still standing there next to Peter, she hadn't said anything since he mentioned about looking his grandmother, she thought this was strange that he wanted to give up his career, even though she knew he loved his grandmother, she still thought that he would never even think about something like this.

Chief Powell turned and sank into the seats which were located below the window, these were also the same one he had spent hours sitting in yesterday, leaning forwards, Peter placed his face into his hands, he wasn't crying, but even thought he had slept, he felt exhausted.

Why is this happening to me, I never thought that anything like this would happen, firstly grandfather passing away and then finding gran unconscious and then things got worse and she will be paralysed to some degree

Feeling someone sit down beside him, Peter removed hs hands from his face and looked at Jess, he felt the tension which had been building in his body start to of flow, he didn't want to cry, but there are times when you feel that you gotta let things just go.

He laid his head on Jess's shoulder and started to to cry, he felt her hand move around onto his shoulder and give his a comforting hug, she could tell that she knew what he was doing, but she never said a word, as sometimes there is no words to use.

He had been laying with his head on her shoulder for about 10 minutes, he had stopped crying, but still felt that if he moved he would start again, but he was starting to get a pain traveling up his right hand side, so he pulled off from her shoulder and looked at her.

"Sorry about that, not sure what come over me." Peter said.

He knew exactly what had come over him, but didn't want to admit it and from the look on Jess's face said to him that she knew as well.

"I am still standing by what I said yesterday about looking after gran and leaving StarFleet, but it looks like I will need some help doing it, of course that level of help will only be determined when the Doctors can determine the level of her disability, I would like you to consider along side working here, helping me with looking after her."

He know that it was a big thing to ask, but he wasn't asking her to actually live with him, just help him.

Jessica was kinda surprised by the fact that Peter had asked for her help, it had been something which had been edging into her mind, but she didn't expect him to actually ask her for help, she did think that maybe because she had been working in the medical field for a while and had more knowledge about things like this, was one of the reasons that he had asked her, but she still would need time to think about it, before she accepted or not.

"I need time to think about that Peter, it is something that I can't just jump into straightaway." Jess answered

This Peter was expecting that, he knew that she wouldn't just jump not the fire before analysing the situation fully.

"I wouldn't expect you too say 'yes' without thinking about it, but I had to ask the question." Peter replied.

As he didn't know how long it would be till Gran would be released from the hospital, she had loads of time to think about it, Peter was starting to wonder if Jess was late for work, as he couldn't remember when she was meant to clock in.

It must of been really close that she was starting work, being that they had sat there for a few more minutes, then she stated that she would have to go, as she needed to get ready.

Peter was staring at the wall opposite to where they were sitting, he was zoning out, thinking about the situation, when he felt her shift in her seat, initially thinking that she was getting up, but instead he felt her lean into him and then kiss him on the left hand cheek, the she did move off of the chair and head off to start her shift for the day.

The impression on the kiss on his cheek, felt like it has been burned onto him, it brought back memories of when they had been dating many many moons ago, it also brought up a mixture of feelings as well, there was the connection he had with Jessica, but her also remembered Lorelei Oceania, the last partner hue had was still strong within him, he had gotten to that point where he had asked her to marry him, not just because she was pregnant and he felt that it was the right course of action, even thought they were not his biological children she had been carrying, but because he loved her, but that ended quickly, she had bowed to pressure from her parents about going home to have the children and raise them on Riza, he had not spoken to her since then and didn't intend to either.

With these feeling bubbling inside him, he wondered what to do, it would have been nice to have had company, but Jess had started work, so was busy looking after other people and doing what she loved, getting up from the chair, he turned and looked thought the window into the Intensive Care unit.

"I'm just going for a walk Gran, will be back." He said to her in a quite voice.

He knew that she couldn't hear him, but he had to say it, as it felt like the right thing to do.

Moving away from the area, Peter walked back down the corridor towards the lift area, once inside the lift, he descended to the main entrance area, where he exited the lift and then the main building itself.

The grounds of the hospital was spacious and green, there was a smell of freshly fallen rain and grass cutting, it looked like the grounds were kept up together in a traditional way, by using old style cutting equipment to do the job.

Peter walked along a path with lead to a small wooded area, there was seating placed in the area, which looked like it hadn't been rained on, this made Peter chuckle as he remembered that when he was growing up it would rain out one side of the house and be completely dry on the other, taking a seat he tried to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

==One and half hour later==

He had been sitting on the bench watching the world go by for a reasonable length of time, the weather was still warm, it hadn't rained anymore and Peter, himself felt a little calmer.

Gran was right, fresh air does help calm the nerves

Peter had finally had enough of sitting outside, he got up from the seat and made his way back down towards the main entrance to the hospital, he was nearly retracing his foot steps that he planted a while ago, arriving in the entrance, he had to stop to adjust his eyes, the inside of the building was lite, but it was darker to the natural light outside, once he was able to see properly he continued back to the intensive care unit, to see about his gran.

==More to come later==
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#97 Guest_Lt Ciron Ouse_*

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Posted Star Date 21307.12 @ 19:43 (07:43 PM)

==Ciron Ouse, Location Unknown, Current timeline==

Ciron awoke with a sharp pain in the back of his head and his arms and legs bound securely to a chair, Well at least I'm still alive that's something… isn't it?

As he started to look around he struggled to see anything, the room was big and dark, after his eyes adjusted to the dark he could make out a huge room with support beams holding the scaffolding and roof up, and windows high up above the ground.

So I'm in a warehouse of some sort, well first things first I have to find a way out of this chair.

Ciron started to struggle against the bindings but before he could do much a voice rang out from the darkness that caused Ciron's eyes to go wide and his body shudder with fear, "Oh please don't struggle too much Kitten, I would hate for you to tire yourself out before the fun begins," as a bright light flicked on right above him.

==To be continued!==

#98 Guest_Gen Chris Hathcock {Donovan}_*

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Posted Star Date 21308.21 @ 23:18 (11:18 PM)

== Washington, DC - Old Capitol Mall ==

Chris strolled idly down the walkway, passing the monuments near and far. He marveled to himself. So many of them had been destroyed in the war, but they had been reconstructed so flawlessly that aside from the historical plaques, everything seemed nearly identical to the old historical archive images. He breathed in and smiled, feeling the humid but not oppressively hot air flow through him in a way that left him feeling slightly energized. His objective wasn't far now. It was something of a pilgrimage of his. One of his few routines and habits that his security detail stressed over. It would be easier for him to be protected if he wasn't so predictable in this one habit. But it was more than a habit, it was a tradition, paying homage.

And thirty yards back, a couple in civilian clothes even more carelessly strolled along, arm-in-arm. They laughed and smiled, looking around, and talking in hushed tones to each other. The only thing that would give them way might have been their eyes. The eyes that betrayed their true purposes, and true capabilities. That and, to the keenest of an observer, the bulges on their persons.

"You know I can't stand this place." The shorter female with what looked like a hint of trill spots said, gritting her teeth in a plastered smile and gazing into the eyes of her partner.

"I know Red, but he'd never miss this. You've read the surveillance reports. We just have to do it, and here is the place we are..." The larger and very tanned bald man had a matching smile on his face, and he pretended to tickle her in her side to punctuate his point.

"Blue, let's just get this over with." She said though her forced giggle.

The man surveyed his scene again, resting for a nanosecond too long on the also-plain-clothed-General ahead of them. "Not quite yet..."

And General Hathcock arrived at his destination. The transparently blue hues of the laser etched monument to all of the uniformed service losses of the Third World War stared back at his equally blue eyes. He stopped, and stood there, staring into the massive piece of memorial architecture.

#99 Cdr Laura Macleod {Macleod}

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Posted Star Date 21309.12 @ 23:01 (11:01 PM)

== Arundel Castle, Southern England ==

With some manoeuvring, the dark haired woman had managed to set up her easel at the highest point of Arundel Castle looking over the town and cathedral. She loved being up so high, out in the bright sunshine and cool breezes of a British spring, though the days were getting increasingly warmer and would soon force her to seek a more sheltered spot in which to pursue her art.

Commander Laura Macleod sighed softly, her blue eyes taking in the details of her subject as her hand accurately relayed them to canvas, while her mind was somewhere else entirely.

The journey from the 4th Fleet hadn't taken as long as expected which meant her re-assignment from the USS Chin'toka to Star Fleet Medical had left her with a few weeks free. She'd offered to start early since she no longer had family on Earth to distract her from all she'd left behind, but they were setting up a new research team which she was to head up, and they simply weren't ready for her.

After being unable to contact her adopted cousin Charlie at the special school he ran, because he was 'unavailable' she had been concerned enough about him to contact his parents. They shared her misgiving but had been assured by their son that everything was fine, and were not sure what else they could do. Having been close to the Fitzalan-Howard's since she was a teenager it was only natural that they should invite her to visit, promising that their daughter would be joining them with her husband shortly, and would not be happy if she didn't stay.

Laura loved their home and didn't take much persuading, knowing that at some point she would have to find an apartment in San Francisco and couldn't impose on them for too long anyway.

The only problem had been Shadow, Laura's small black cat, but being a Betazoid feline, and knowing if her mistress was genuinely upset with her, she was current behaving herself. Rather than leaving her in her antique filled bedroom however, the former CMO took Shadow on her painting expeditions and the little ball of fur was current sprawled in the centre of the tower, her legs akimbo and her feet twitching as she snoozed in the sun.

Laura had been sorry to leave the Chin'toka and life aboard ship, in fact she hoped to return to active duty someday, but being basically honest she knew she'd needed the rest and was content to be Earth bound for a couple of years. She couldn’t help hoping however, that some of her friends would get a chance to visit.

I wonder if I could convince Judith to come and stay, I know Alice and Thomas would love to see their grandson and there seems to be no danger of her running into Charlie... The thought was a sad one, Laura had never been sure what happened to break her friends apart but she hadn't wanted to lose touch with either of them. And Emilia is on the Columbia with Xan, and Aloysia on her way back to be with Nick, all of them with families...

She didn't finish the thought. The doctor had never particularly wanted children but now all her closest friends had their own families she was more conscious of how alone she was.

The half-Betazoid sighed, glad that she was a long way away from her mother's side of the family, The last thing I need is their opinion, or gods forbid, their 'help'!

A breeze blew ruffling her long dark hair and she looked out over the grounds once more, smiling at the quotes that passed through her mind, "What are young men, even in red coats, compared to lakes and mountains."..."It's no doubt the lack of exercise, you'll be happier when the hunting season starts," or in my case, my new project.

She only had a vague idea of what Star Fleet wanted but at least it was getting back to basics, to medicine, the reason she had joined up in the first place.
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#100 Guest_GM-13_*

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Posted Star Date 21309.15 @ 17:20 (05:20 PM)

The Washington Monument, located in the rebuilt DC “mall” was an excellent replica. Currently closed while the internal lift that brought tourists up to the observation level was replaced, it was also a perfect location for one of the best snipers in the galaxy to place herself. She had been up here for several hours, just waiting.

General Christopher Hathcock, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was supposed to have arrived three hours, seven minutes ago. Soon it would start getting dark. But the General would be here. She knew he would, because he was being tracked. The small holodisplay next to her showed his location, and his movements.

Just a few more minutes, she thought as she watched him moving along the path, with his companions. I can’t do this until you are in the proper place, General. It’s important that you be right…

She nodded as he stepped into the area. She bent down over the TPS-X1 experimental transphasic sniper rifle, one of a kind that was built by Star Fleet decades ago and then abandoned because it was too aggressive even for Star Fleet Intel and Special Operations. She’d acquired it and then had the plans conveniently erased. They’d never tried to make another one, which was good, because then the playing field would not be hers.

She’d only used it 8 times in 30 years. In fact, she’d only assassinated 7 people in that time. One of them got away without dying. He was still on her list. Someday, Ambassador, you will be mine. But today, we will just take care of General Hathcock, and when my employers find out how effectively it was done… I’ll be paid double.

The General stared at the monument, and the assassin let out her breath, which she’d been slowing over the past few minutes, very slowly. She counted her own heart beats, and as he breath was out, and she was between heart beats, she pressed the thumb contact on the rifle.

The rifle was actually pointed away from the General, at an angle where it wouldn’t have been possible to hit him without the bullet traveling around the planet an entire orbit. As the projectile reached the end of the barrel there was a tiny blue-green spark as it disappeared, the microtransporter dissolving it in a nanosecond.

A nanosecond later the projectile appeared over the White House museum, traveling at a speed of 615 meters per second, a small blue-green spark the only indication of its having been beamed there.

It traveled through the air between that location and the back of General Hathcock’s head losing 18 meters per second in the travel, so that when it entered the back of his head, 1 centimeter above his top vertebrae, it was traveling at 697 meters per second.

The projectile, designed with nanotechnology that had been created by the assassin herself, immediately fractured into 1,000 small fragments which also superheated themselves, literally boiling the bone and flesh as they traveled, igniting the inside of Hathcock’s head before shattering the front of his head, splattering boiling flesh and bone onto the monument before which he stood.

His body fell to the ground, faceless, and stinking of burnt flesh, creating a puddle of brain, blood, and death, on the walkway next to the monument.

Authorities would determine that based on trajectory the shot should came from a building 2 blocks from the White House monument, but they would never find any evidence of such. They would never bother to look at the monument as a possible crime scene, and the assassin was long gone only a few moments later, having already beamed aboard a starliner that was passing in orbit after leaving Star Base Alpha, destined for Risa.

General Hathcock had been assassinated in broad daylight.