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Thread: Star Trek RPG - Mission #7: "The War-Brotherhood of Irkhuit"

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    Default Star Trek RPG - Mission #7: "The War-Brotherhood of Irkhuit"

    Star Trek: The Yorktown Chronicles

    Setup thread: http://www.mellophant.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10960

    Mission #1: "On the Brink": http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...the-Brink-quot
    Mission #2: "Primum Nil Nocere": http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...il-Nocere-quot
    Mission #3: "Some Other Side of Paradise": http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...-Paradise-quot
    Mission #4: "Codex Aelyrr": http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...ex-Aelyrr-quot
    Mission #5: "Of Captains and Capos": http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...and-Capos-quot
    Mission #6: "Marala": http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...ot-Marala-quot

    It is March 17, 2270.

    Capt. James T. Kirk and the starship Enterprise completed their historic, and soon to be legendary, five-year mission not long ago.

    The United Federation of Planets is strong, expanding and prosperous. Some fifty worlds are now represented in the Federation Council, united in their commitment to peace, democracy, the rule of law, free trade and mutual protection. The Federation's longtime rivals, the Klingons and Romulans, are now loosely allied, but to date have not mounted a major, concerted challenge to Federation interests in the quadrant.

    Starfleet, the Federation's exploratory, scientific and military arm, has grown in the past few years. Twenty Constitution-class heavy cruisers remain its backbone, but a host of other vessels - light cruisers, destroyers, frigates, scouts, couriers, tugs, research and other specialized craft - have more than tripled the size of the Fleet. Starfleet is committed to extending its reach to every corner of the Galaxy granted to the Federation by treaty or unclaimed by others.

    It's a good time to be a Starfleet officer, and those aboard the USS Yorktown often find themselves on the front lines of the challenges now facing the Federation.

    So prepare yourself for adventure where no one has gone before....

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    Captain's Log, Stardate 6055.3. We left Novy Rostov four days ago and are continuing on course to Beta Antares IV, at last in company with the scoutship Rodgers and our sister ship the Viraat. They rendezvoused with us earlier today and have since, I'm glad to say, done much to relieve the terrible overcrowding we've all been putting up with. I'm very grateful to Capts. Norita and Potter for their help. The merchantman Sarafina is also in company with us, of course, still heavily-laden but doing well, her acting master reports. We'll be meeting up with several other ships in the next two days along the way to Beta Antares IV, and they should be able to help further with our overcrowding and still somewhat-strained ship's resources. The mood aboard ship is mostly quiet, I'd say; many are still mourning the lost of Novy Rostov.

    Captain's Log, supplemental. After review, I've approved the reprimands recommended by the First Officer as to Ens. Kylah, Communications, for failure to report for duty as ordered, and as to Lt. JG Booker Graham, Security, for failure to obey orders. Both of these disciplinary matters arose from the shuttlecraft mission to the colony to recover a priceless Van Gogh painting. Cmdr. Vargas strongly recommended a court-martial for Ens. Kylah, but I've decided otherwise; I think she still has the potential to be a good officer. On a happier note, I've received confirmation from Starfleet Command as to a well-deserved promotion for one of my crew.

    Kylah returns to her quarters, exhausted after another back-to-back watch in the Communications Center, part of her punishment duty. The many NR evacuees still aboard the Yorktown have been keeping the Comm staff very busy, assuring family, friends and loved ones via subspace that they survived the disaster. There has been a very high volume of incoming messages to deal with, as well, in the aftermath of the colony's loss, from all those family, friends and loved ones, but also from the media.

    Graham has been kept very busy, too, standing double watches as the ship's overcrowding over the past four days has led to heightened tensions, arguments and at least nine fistfights or scuffles. He is now on foot patrol on Deck 7. A group of what appear to be NR miners, big men and ragged around the edges, is talking together in low voices. They fall silent and look sullenly at him as he approaches.

    Onn, by contrast, has had a regular watch schedule and is, at the moment, in the big chair as Bridge Command Duty Officer.

    Rangin, just off-duty and on his way through the still-crowded corridors to get a snack, receives a text: Please report to me in my office at your convenience, Ens. Rangin. I look forward to seeing you. SINGH.



    For the other ships assisting our own, see post 1318 here: http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...la-quot/page27
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 10 Apr 2022 at 10:28 AM. Reason: corrected other captains' names

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    Well, that was unexpected, thinks Rangin to himself, I wonder what the Captain wants with me.

    It’s been fairly quiet for Rangin, mainly staying out of the way either in his quarters or, more and more often, the Science bay where the colonists are not getting underfoot and he can find a little peace even if a lot of his fellow scientists are having the same idea.

    It’s the I look forward to seeing you bit which makes Rangin nervous. Very few people look forward to seeing him. Comes with being from Coridan and always expected of being up to something.

    Oh well, no time like the present and as he is not doing anything of importance, decides to just get it over and done with. Probably a delayed punishment for something that occurred during the evacuation, which also shows just how far down the pecking order he is.

    He texts back, “On my way now, Captain. RANGIN”, before closing the communicator and heading directly for Captain Singh’s office.

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    Once inside her quarters, Kylah darts her gaze around, a new habit born of life with a temporary roommate.

    While her double watches have mostly kept Kylah outside her cabin when not sleeping, she still hopes for some time to herself. Over the past few days, she has spent almost every waking moment in front of others, maintaining a firm grasp of professionalism and obedience as best she can. Lt. Thalen has been tolerant and kind as her superior, but Kylah knows she has no room for any missteps. She also imagines Cmdr. Vargas's piercing eyes glaring at her, in the rare times he has been in the vicinity.

    It has been draining, too, to field seemingly endless communications to and from the ship. While on watch, her mind is jumbled with hundreds of voices, from the refugees to their families and vice-versa, all shocked and frantic and sad and relieved.

    But she is managing. Deep within her is a core of new strength, of pride, in the knowledge that Mrs. Soeryadjaya and Mr. Yarrow are onboard, safe. Also within her is warmth and pleasure from a very different source: while she and Velir have had almost no time together since the day of the disaster, they are, once again, friends.

    If Lt. JG Xiang is here, Kylah will greet her pleasantly. Either way, she glances at her chronometer to check the time, trying to determine how much is left before either lunch/dinner or sleep.

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    The Big Chair usually provides Nia a sense of confidence that ranges in flavor from serenity to exhilaration. Now that confidence is muted. All her emotions have a sort of foggy haze surrounding them, dulling their impact.

    Physically she's at her best. At least, her best since leaving Sidonia, when she began adapting to the unfamiliar air. The few but significant shared elements between her Class-H planet and the Federation standard Class-M atmosphere made the transition possible--Nia couldn't have left without them---but still, it's never felt quite... right.

    She's compensated by maintaining her physical condition with the focused care she'd lavish on any of the much-loved airships she tinkered with back home. By now, there's almost no difference in her performance compared to a particularly fit human... at least, until hour 46 approaches and her body starts reminding her it's almost time to rejuvenate with her tank.

    The last few days have been different. She's been bunking on her own, spending each night in a space no human could survive in due to temperature and lack of breathable air.

    The saving of the l/s resources may be relatively small, but every bit counts. Especially with at least four extra passengers than Roble, Cheverez and various Science officers like Rangin calculated when determining how many the Yorktown could safely carry.

    Relying on her Bilitrium tank every night, not just every 48 hours, has had the additional benefit of providing the intellectual clarity, energy, strength and just overall enhanced physical condition that makes Nia feel fifteen years younger.

    Yeah. Physically. Emotionally, she is--

    NOPE. Not thinking about that crap again. Shut. Up.

    Nia's fingers curl around the edges of the armrests, gripping until the pressure turns her skin pale. She takes a deep breath--she kinda has to, her veritable bingeing on pure Bilitrium has the side effect of making the ship's regular atmosphere foreign again, though fortunately not as stifling as it was when she was first exposed to it.

    To occupy herself, she takes in the current Bridge crew lineup, most doing just as she'd expect them to do. But things are quiet. The more quiet her surroundings, the louder her thoughts get. Nature abhors a vacuum. So, time to feed it.

    "Status check, everyone? If it's not interrupting, let's share what we're working on. I'll start by saying--not as much as the rest of you, ironically. A perk of command, but also a frustration, for some of us." Nia's tone is light. "Okay, who's next... let's start with Science."
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 09 Apr 2021 at 11:14 AM.

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    Rangin finds Capt. Singh conferring in her office with Yeoman/1 Masum Topu. The whip-thin Turkish man spares Rangin an equally thin smile before leaving the room, several data pads in his hands. "Welcome, Mr. Rangin," the Captain says, smiling more broadly than her aide. "Thank you for coming so quickly."

    Kylah enters to find her quarters empty. Lt. JG Demei Xiang has been there very little herself lately, being kept busy almost night and day, it seems, assisting Chief Engineer Cheverez in keeping the ship's life support systems working despite the heavy load they have carried over the past four days.

    Lt. Katrin Gunnarsdottir is the duty Science officer on the Bridge. The older Icelandic geologist turns from her console and says, "All's well, ma'am. Sensors show no ships in this sector other than the three now with us. There is nothing of particular note within sensor range, although of course we're continuing our analysis of the recent rho radiation burst and its, uh, aftermath."

    It is now 1410 hours ship's time.

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    Nia nods soberly. "There'll be a lot to study for years. If not decades. Sorry, I've forgotten the estimate on just how long that part of the system will be inhospitable." An instinctive and almost unconscious shift of her gaze to the viewscreen reassures her natural fight-or-flight response that yes, they are still traveling away from the danger.

    She continues to the Science officer, barely skipping a beat: "Is there a calculus on the eventual spread of the no-go zone? I mean...as the radiation spreads it'll thin out, presumably. How far from the star will the radiation be diffuse enough to allow safe passage?"

    A glance to her right, across the turbolift exit, takes her attention briefly to the Communications officer on duty. "You'll be up next--I'd like to hear from all of you... I guess we'll go clockwise." she adds with a gesture from Comms toward Environmental station before returning her focus to Gunnarsdottir.*


    * I'm assuming the layout is similar to the Enterprise as seen in these blueprints. Is that about right? Also this is my way of asking who all's on the Bridge and what they'd all be doing on a not-so-average journey.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 11 Apr 2021 at 01:33 PM.

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    Kylah starts toward her bed, about to flop down and take a nap, but her stomach prevents her by curdling with hunger. Frowning, she places a hand on her belly and contemplates what's more important, sleep or a meal.

    Neither, she decides with a deepening scowl. It has been too long since she has checked in on Mrs. Soeryadjaya and Mr. Yarrow. She has yet to see them walking around the ship or in the Mess. Which is a positive, of course, but Kylah cannot wager everything on how docile Ruth Soeryadjaya will remain.

    Still unwilling to contact them by communicator--her newest in a string of embarrassing replacements--she nearly turns around to retrace her steps out of her cabin. Once again she changes direction, this time moving to sit in front of her terminal. She needs to know when her next watch assignment is, and how much spare time she has to get some sleep, as well as check on 'her' refugees.

    A few taps later and she is examining the rota hopefully. It will be a relief to get back to her normal level of duties. Kylah cannot guess how long she will be punished. Despite knowing she deserves more, these double watches seem unfair. Just for one disobedient act, she thinks rebelliously. For all they know, it was indeed caused by a migraine.

    But considering how fortunate she is that the stowaways have yet to be discovered--the recriminations from that would be inexpressibly worse--she quashes her minor resentment. She must not complain, even to herself. Things have gone as smoothly as she could have wished.

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    Lt. Gunnarsdottir says, "The radiation burst was much worse than expected, ma'am, but has already reached its maximum measurable expansion point. We're well clear of it now, of course. I'm sorry to say the Eta Ophiuchi system will be uninhabitable for humanoid life for at least eight years or so." She checks a small display screen and shakes her head. "Safe passage nearby will be possible only for crewed ships with deflector shields up at a distance of approximately 125 AUs at closest approach, well beyond the orbit of the outermost world in the system."

    Lt. Thalen, head of his department, is also the duty Communications officer of the watch. "I have little new to report, ma'am," the young Andorian says from his console, silvery transceiver earpiece in place. "There's still heavy comm traffic largely driven by the evacuees, but my people are keeping up with it."

    Kylah is due to go back on duty in just under eight hours.



    SG, thanks, but that Bridge chart is for the later refit Bridge design from the movies, including two turbolifts. Here's the famous Franz Joseph diagram of the original Constitution-class starship Bridge; the Yorktown's layout is similar (including, unlike what we saw on TV, a second exit near the main viewscreen, a head [bathroom] off the outer access corridor, and stairs [a gangway] down from there): https://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2016...print-culture/

    For more on the rho radiation burst's initially-predicted aftermath, see post 1261 here: http://www.mellophant.com/forums/sho...la-quot/page26
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 12 Apr 2021 at 11:44 PM.

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    Rangin stands at attention in the Captain’s Office, his eyes flicker across to Yeoman and then back to facing Captain Singh as no permission has yet been granted to stand at ease. So until that point, Rangin is going to keep it by the book, giving no reason for anything further to drop on him from a great height.

    But that broad smile is beginning to worry him, not that he would let it show, as he maintains his discipline and stands firm waiting for her to continue. Her welcome seems genuine enough and it begins to pique his interest as to why exactly he is here.

    He racks his brain further, thinking back over the last few days, but nothing honestly springs to mind. Security hadn’t said anything, Graham being even more run off his feet with the minor niggles going on and Vargas had not crossed his path. Though this is more that Rangin is doing anything he can to stay out the First Officer’s way. No, all he can do is wait this out and it looks as though the Captain is not going to wait for much longer.

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    Eight years? It's simultaneously overwhelming and yet not as long as Nia expected, to be honest. She's heard of incidents--both natural and mechanical--that emitted enough radiation to render areas utterly uninhabitable for centuries. But they'd generally been contained within specific planets' regions. Those who lived in the affected vicinity, those who survived, had been able to move elsewhere. The dead on Novy Rostov weren't that lucky.

    She shakes her head and is about to mention her regret that the Yorktown didn't leave any emergency beacons, if only on the off-chance that some vessels might not have the capability to detect or identify the danger. But she's in a position of command now. It's not good leadership to second- or third-guess Roble, much less Singh or Vargas.

    And she's already uncertain of her status, as far as the latter are concerned. No word of any permanent strike against her after disobeying orders the day of the disaster. Not even any punishment aside from her brief confinement. She knows Ens. Kylah received a reprimand and extra duties after the whole mess--and she's pretty sure the Captain and First Officer aren't aware of even half of the crazy undertaken by that girl. Meanwhile, of course, Booker--

    Nope.

    Nia shoves the subject out of her mind, instead nodding affably at Thalen. "I know you've all been run ragged. Y'know, whenever you have a few moments, could you give a listen or scan to pick up any news updates? From reputable outlets only, of course," she adds with a smile. "We can each sneak a peek on You Know You Want It on our own. But not just Starfleet bulletins, either. I'd like to know what's happening in this part of the quadrant. If you find anything that sounds interesting or pertinent, feel free to share."

    Since no one seems to be taking the initiative to speak up next despite her request--grief, did Vargas intimidate them all into silence whenever he last sat in the chair?--Nia picks randomly. "Medical? Are you being inundated with cases? With so many people on board it's gotta be a zoo--oh, wait! Whatever happened with that woman, the one we picked up on Beta Antares, who contracted--" She tries to come up with the disease without success. "Well, some dangerous illness. Forgot the details, sorry. How's she doing?"



    Sorry for the mix-up with the layout! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, EH
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 12 Apr 2021 at 10:25 PM.

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    Eight hours? Kylah groans inwardly when seeing her schedule. After visiting her guests, she will barely have enough time to grab a small meal and take a shower before she must sleep. For Elasians, eight hours' rest is considered only a minimum.

    She logs out of her terminal and takes the brief trip to the turbolift. Once she grips the handle and asks "Deck Four," she feels the slight vibrating hum of the lift. Kylah's mind is already winding through the corridors in the now-familiar journey toward #4A14--Lt. Onn's cabin--and hopes Mr. Yarrow and Mrs. Soeryadjaya are actually there.

    "Oh!" she says aloud after remembering something she can hardly believe she nearly forgot. Lifting her communicator, Kylah clucks her tongue in disappointment as she taps out a quick message.
    RANGIN, ENS. - I do not think I can meet you for dinner after all. My next watch begins at 22:00. There is barely enough time to get something from a replicator before going to bed. Please forgive me--I hope you know I would much rather see you. May we reschedule? - KYLAH
    Sending the text on its way, Kylah returns her communicator to her belt and sighs. With their friendship so recently rekindled, she worries about letting Velir down.

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    Capt. Singh shakes Rangin's hand, invites him to sit and says, "I'm pleased to tell you that Starfleet Command has approved Lt. Cmdr. Roble's and my recommendation that you be promoted, effective immediately. You've done fine work on this ship since coming aboard, and have by now of course put in sufficient time in-grade to justify promotion. So congratulations, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Rangin. Well done!"

    Thalen says to Onn, "Certainly, ma'am. Although 'reputable' is, naturally, in the eye of the beholder, The Solar Post and The New York Times have both had extensive coverage of Novy Rostov and the... tragedy, as has FedNewsNet. I will send links to your comm account. Other ships are now converging on our course to further assist us with overcrowding, as you know, but the sector is otherwise relatively quiet."

    Continuing counterclockwise around the Bridge from Thalen at Communications and then Gunnarsdottir at Science 1, the Science 2 console is currently uncrewed. Next is Dr. Helen Noel, the Ship's Psychiatrist, who is at the Life Sciences console for this watch. She respectfully nods to Onn and says, "We have been busy in Sickbay, ma'am, but so far Dr. Villa and my other colleagues seem to be keeping up. It's a little quieter than when we broke orbit, but only a little. Plenty of people have asked to talk to me, and that has kept me busy. To be honest, standing a watch on the Bridge is something of an escape for me." She thinks. "You may be referring to Mrs. Kostoyev, wife of the chief miner among those we brought to Novy Rostov. She was quarantined with the Canopian flu, and decided to beam down to be with her husband and their children when none of them drew a winning number." She says this calmly and quietly, but Onn can tell that she is moved.

    The others now on the Bridge include Ens. Jeanne St. Croix at the Security console, further around the arc of the outer consoles to the left of the main viewscreen, and Ens. James "Jim" Delaney at the Engineering console, right next to the turbolift entry alcove. In front of the big chair, Ens. Horst Leventhal sits at the Helm and Lt. JG Faraz Pourtash at Navigation.

    Rangin's communicator vibrates slightly with an incoming text.



    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Helen_Noel
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 26 Apr 2021 at 06:42 PM.

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    Nia is horrified by the doctor's report--to the extent that she nearly leaps out of her chair to stand. But she restrains herself, instead digging her fingers even more tightly into the armrests.

    That whole family. Gone. Marala and Nikolai and whoever the fuck Kylah's two leeches are in my quarters... the Kostoyevs could've taken their place. They weren't on that planet for more than an hour or two before they were chosen to die.

    Because that's how she thinks of that lottery. Not a list of those allowed to live, but those forced to die.

    After a second or two she turns back to Thalen. "No thank you, Lieutenant," she says as evenly as possible. "I've seen as much coverage about Novy Rostov as I need. I was hoping for something diverting, informative or educational."

    Shaken but refusing to show it, she asks the others to please let her know if there's anything they have to report, particularly St. Croix. Otherwise, she won't interrupt their duties.

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    Kylah arrives at Lt. Onn's door, hesitating only slightly before realizing that she has no reason to fear being seen. She still girds herself before reaching up to the door chime.

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    Thalen smiles a little. "Well, as for diverting, ma'am, a friend did just send me a vid of a cat at the controls of an Antares-class transport - and apparently running it quite capably, too. Have you seen it?"

    Ens. St. Croix reports that there have been occasional problems with the NR evacuees but only three arrests so far - two for fighting, and one for theft. Ens. Delaney says that the engines are functioning perfectly. The ship's life support (LS) system is running at capacity, and then some, but so far, so good. Ens. Leventhal at the Helm and Lt. JG Pourtash at Nav are both pleased to report that the Yorktown is running straight and true, on course back to Beta Antares IV.

    "Who is it?" comes the response from within Onn's quarters. Kylah recognizes Miss Soeryadjaya's voice - a little terse, as usual.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 14 Apr 2021 at 01:41 PM.

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    Nia grins at Thalen. "I haven't, send it along. Are you sure it's not a rogue, um, Aleyrr?"

    She thanks all the officers warmly in turn for their updates. She jokes to Delaney, "That LS system had better be running well. given all we've sacrificed. I'm not curling into a ball each night in my lonely cold box just for my health."

    ...Which isn't entirely true, since she feels so much better 'dosing' with Bilitrium every night. And forcing herself into a near-hibernation state is good for shutting off her thoughts. Her feelings. No dreams, either.

    But all that's beside the point. She continues to Delaney: "What about the Sarafina? Have we been able to track them, or heard anything about how well things are going? Everyone worked extremely hard and fast to get that ship in good enough shape for carting so many passengers, I know that. Just wanted to make sure everything's five by five." She shifts back to Thalen to include him. "Any chatter from your end?"

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    Kylah knows she was right to gird herself preemptively. "Ensign Kylah, of the House of the Silver Weeping Tree."

    The words are automatic by now, although she does not think she has used her full name more than five times throughout her time at the Academy and the Yorktown. On Elas, of course, it is used in every formal occasion--and many informal ones, for that matter.

    She continues: "May I come in, briefly, ma'am?"

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    Thalen smiles a little more broadly and reaches for his communicator. "It is recognizably what I believe is called a 'Siamese cat' and thus much too small to be an Aelyrr, ma'am, but I suppose anything is possible. I'm sending the vid to you now."

    Delaney says earnestly, "Yes, ma'am. A lot of the Engineering crew is standing double watches, doing constant checks, diagnostics and preventive maintenance to make sure the LS system doesn't crash. I bet Mr. Cheverez has hardly slept a wink since we left NR, poor guy."

    Delaney doesn't know much about the Sarafina, but Thalen coughs gently into his fist and says, "Ma'am, we're traveling in company with three other ships, matching course and speed. We are in line ahead formation, spread over half a million kilometers, with the Yorktown in the lead, followed by the Sarafina, then the Rodgers, and the Viraat bringing up the rear. All seems well on each of those ships, judging by their reports and updates so far." See post 2 above.

    After a long pause, Soeryadjaya says, "Come in," and the door opens for Kylah.

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    Entering Lt. Onn's quarters, Kylah casts a glance around the spacious cabin and, if all seems well, will greet the older woman; of course, if Mr. Yarrow is also there, she will include him as well.

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    Nia cringes inwardly at her forgetfulness. Unwilling to cover with a lie--well, not unless there's a damn good reason, and saving face under the current circumstances doesn't apply--she just shakes her head and thanks Thalen and Delaney.

    "Right, of course. And I'm usually a good multitasker. Ah well, heavy lies the head that, uh, something something something. Don't recall the quote, it's one of Chef Johnson's. Anyone more familiar with old Terran books know it?"

    She shrugs. "Anyway, thanks again to all of you for your thorough reports. And Lieutenant," she adds to Thalen with a gesture toward the screen.* "By all means, let's see that extraordinary cat. Maybe Leventhal, Pourtash and I can learn some moves from the fuzzy thing."



    * Would it be kosher for her to show that briefly on the main viewscreen? If so, that's where she gestures. If not, she's gesturing to whichever screen, either the nearest available station or her communicator or wherever she's able to watch.

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    Soeryadjaya is standing there, looking frazzled. She crosses her arms. The cabin does not seem quite so spacious as before, as there are now two messy bedrolls on the deck that weren't there earlier. Yarrow is nowhere to be seen.

    Ens. St. Croix knows her classical theater and promptly says, "You're probably thinking of the line, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,' ma'am. It's from Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part II."

    Thalen hesitates a moment and says, "I think maybe the Captain would prefer such a vid be shown on one of the smaller screens, Lt. Onn." He cues it up and plays it. Sure enough, it shows a Siamese cat working the controls of a civilian starship with its paws, setting a course and then apparently taking the ship to warp. It lasts just over a minute. Onn can't tell if whoever made the vid used special effects or just trained the cat really well.

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    Rangin’s eyes widen in surprise at the news. He had been expecting something a little harsher, so the mention of a promotion makes him stop and think for a moment longer than perhaps he should before he recovers himself. Once he does his immediate reaction is to try to jump to his feet to thank Captain Singh, only to find his legs are a little unwilling to obey him and he remains where he is as the only way he can stay in position without making a fool of himself.

    “Thank you Captain,” he replies, “I will admit I was not expecting it, but I will do my best to uphold your faith in my ability.” he continues honestly.

    It’s one of the first good things to happen to him for a long time and he feels the need to let at least a few people know. Certainly Kylah might appreciate that some good things may occur.

    “I suppose I should talk to Lt Cmdr. Roble to find out what he has planned for me.”

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    "Yes, you should," the Captain says. "But I don't think he has any reassignment in mind for you." Her library computer terminal beeps, and she glances at it, then smiles at him again, saying, "If there's nothing else, then, Lt. JG Rangin, carry on."

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    Kylah concentrates on the scene with a frown and rushes through her planned apology. "Forgive me, ma'am, I have been remiss in staying in contact; time is scarce since I have been working consecutive watches. Is everything all right?" She pauses to nod down at the bedrolls. "What are these?"

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    Nia snorts in amusement at the vid after it blinks offscreen, then thanks Thalen and adds: "Mmm, not too bad. What do you think, gents?" she aims at Pourtash and Levenson. "Probably'd pass third year at the Academy, but no real risk to outrank the three of us anytime soon, am I right?"

    With a grateful look over her shoulder toward St. Croix, Nia crosses her legs. "Yes, that must be it. Quick on the uptake, St. Croix. You ever take part in any of Lt. Thalen's cultural programs?" While she speaks, she taps her console to remind herself when the Yorktown and its current convoy--and the ships they'll be rendezvousing with over the next couple of days--will arrive at Beta Antares.



    Please ignore the stuff in green if I've understood wrong. See Setup thread.

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    Rangin stands to attention in front of the desk, unable to help the broad grin that is currently plastered across his face. Yes, Maam. Thank you Maam. Ill do that.

    Once he is dismissed from the cabin, he checks his communicator to find the message from Kylah. Its a shame, but even though he is a little sad about it, he still wants to let her know the news.
    KYLAH, ENS. - I would still like to meet up with you, if not for dinner this evening, then perhaps for a few minutes now. I do have some news I would like you to hear, but I understand if it is not possible? - RANGIN
    He sends the message off, hoping she will respond positively, before he starts making his way back to the Science Labs to talk with Lt. Cmdr Roble as to what Rangin will get up to next.

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    Soeryadjaya says, "No, everything is definitely not all right. Two more refugees were moved in here last night, two miners from the colony. They stink, and I don't mean that metaphorically. They're off now doing God knows what."

    From the Helm, Leventhal laughs and says, "That Siamese is OK, but I've seen better piloting from Maine Coon Cats, ma'am, frankly. Those are some smart kitties."

    Pourtash, at Nav, smiles. "I don't know, Horst. I've heard Angoras can fly rings around them."

    St. Croix replies to Onn, "Yes, all the time. I'm a proud member of the Lyceum, ma'am; I've even been in some of the plays, including Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor, but never a lead role or anything."

    Onn learns that the tanker Yashida Hachi Maru and the Vulcan explorer T'Vaa are expected in about seven hours along the line of the course back to Beta Antares IV. The liner Moonshadow and the transports Zephyr and Gryphon are at least another ten hours beyond that, and the transport Sweet Hannah and the yacht Easy Peasy (neither especially swift) maybe four hours or so after that. The entire convoy should reach the planet two days from now.

    Kylah's communicator vibrates.

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    Nia is gratified to confirm all the ships heading their way. Even as she scans the info, she smiles at the banter around her. This is the atmosphere where she feels most comfortable and confident in command.

    She has no doubt whatsoever that any Yorktown crew on Bridge watch will perform their duties with the high skill expected--demanded--by Starfleet as a whole and Captain Singh in particular. And yet... sometimes she has the sense that each station is its own little island. Helm and Nav are a tight team, of course, but otherwise the rest are off doing what they must--efficiently, but separately, usually interacting only when necessary.

    A crew's like a machine, she figures. Interlocking parts, cogs and gears and axles and turbines and shafts, all working in congress with one another. All these components work no matter what, assuming they're well designed and put together correctly. Nia has to admit there are certain crew members who'll never quite mesh with the rest, and hopefully Singh and Vargas will learn to keep them off the Bridge.

    But these parts work best when smoothed with oil. Yeah, oil's not the most pleasant description of what Nia considers crew chemistry. Still it's apt. With chemistry things get smoother, fit better, work better. When a crew bonds, even in silly banter like this, they get to know each other's minds, how they work, how they react.

    That kind of tight-knit connection isn't really possible on a huge ship like the Yorktown. Well, maybe not impossible but harder to come by, given the size of the complement. This isn't the Sarafina with a small but consistent team on its bridge.

    Sure, Singh has her favorites, her tried-and-true-and-tested picks for Bridge watch--Nia included, she's happy to acknowledge. Nonetheless, the captain mixes things up, not just to give the regulars some rest, but to provide other officers with experience. It's rare to have the same Bridge crew from day to day, or even week to week.

    So that's why Nia likes her atmosphere conversational when possible. Loosens even the newbies up. They're still required to be on alert, of course, but these watches are frickin' long. Plenty of time to create the back-and-forth chemistry that's so vital when shit goes down.

    "Lead role or not, everyone matters," she says now to St. Croix, in a nice continuation of her own thoughts. "I admire anyone who gets up on a stage, with an audience's eyes riveted on you. Takes a lot of grit. And talent, presumably." She grins at the other woman before glancing back at Thalen. "What's upcoming at the Lyceum, Lieutenant? I wonder if any of our guests would enjoy some diverting or calming music. Soothing the savage breast, I think it's called." She arches an eyebrow at St. Croix. "Have I got that one right?"

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    "Oh, I am sorry to hear that," Kylah begins. When her communicator vibrates against her hip, she has a single second of it can probably wait before her new vow of professionalism yanks her attention away from her guest. Her hand practically dives toward her utility belt. After the reputation she has justifiably earned as a flighty, privileged malingerer, she dares not miss any notification or order from anyone. It would not surprise her if Cmdr. Vargas ordered some second-class Specialist to contact her, just to test her vigilance. Even off-duty.

    "Excuse me, ma'am," she murmurs as she snatches the device to see who wants her. "This cannot wait, I have to see--"

    Velir...

    It is still a surprise to see his name on the tiny screen, after so many weeks--months, now--of utter silence. Kylah opens the message and reads.

    Something he wishes to share with her. Good? Bad? Her fingers twitch with the instinct to respond immediately, but Mrs. Soeryadjaya's presence looms too large for Kylah to ignore. Reluctantly she closes her communicator, unconsciously cupping it in both hands as one would a fledgling dove.

    "Excuse me," she repeats. "I cannot afford to miss any attempts to reach me, after everything..." The words trail off with a tiny shrug before she looks down at the bedrolls again. "That is unfortunate," she says in understatement. "I suppose there were only supposed to be two guests assigned to these quarters, since they did not know you were here. What are their names? Perhaps I can... help them with their..."

    Again she lacks the ability to finish her thought. Their hygiene? How could she possibly manage that with any level of tact? She starts over. "Does Mr. Yarrow find them--troublesome--as well?"

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    Graham cocks an eyebrow and approaches the men at a leisurely, walking-the-beat pace. He nods amicably enough. "Gentlemen, I hope you're holding up well enough today."

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    St. Croix says to Onn, smiling, "Oh, I'm not particularly talented, ma'am, but I do enjoy it. And I guess I have at least some grit, or I wouldn't be any good as a Security officer." She thinks. "I know I've heard that quotation before, about soothing the savage breast, but I can't place it. Sorry. Is it Klingon, maybe...?"

    Thalen says, "The Lyceum is on hold for the moment, Lieutenant, with all that's been going on. There's not really anywhere aboard big enough and empty enough to use as a performance space right now. But if I recall correctly, our upcoming events were to include a solo zither concert, a group reading of Bolian poetry, and auditions for a production of Moson's Not In My House. I will be directing." He bows a little to the Frenchwoman. "And if I may say so, Ens. St. Croix is being unduly modest; she is actually quite talented. Her performance as Ophelia in Hamlet was a highlight of the show, I thought. I sincerely hope she tries out for our new play."

    "Thank you, sir," she says, actually blushing a little. "I expect to."

    Soeryadjaya says dismissively to Kylah, "I didn't catch their last names. Their first names are Ivan and... Yuri? Or something. I don't know. Martin didn't seem to mind them; he can apparently sleep through anything, even their snoring, and their awful smell. At least they didn't demand we give up our beds. I wouldn't have put it past them."

    There are five of the men there in the corridor, two of whom are a good bit bigger than Graham. One of the others, not the biggest but with the most intense expression, scoffs and says, "Fuck off, reddie."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 23 Apr 2021 at 03:34 PM.

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    Graham affects a look of concern. "You're finding our ship's hospitality that unsatisfactory," he replies. "I'm sorry to hear that."

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    While nodding in a generally sympathetic way, Kylah is gratified to learn that Mr. Yarrow has a first name. "I wish there were something else I could do, ma'am. I thought these quarters would be sufficient. The room is larger than mine, despite being designed for one. As you may have seen, Lt. Onn requires special living accommodations."

    For the first time it occurs to her that with one bed, her guests must be sharing it. Unless Mr. Yarrow is forced to lie on the floor like a dog. Both images are humorous and Kylah hides this by taking another look around. "I know this is not what you are used to. Nor I, for that matter. But in comparison to the rest of the crew's quarters--other than those belonging to the most superior officers--this is practically grandeur. In fact, had I seen this space when I first boarded the Yorktown, I would have assumed it was mine. And I would have been quite affronted to learn otherwise." Kylah pauses, then nearly smiles. "And I would have complained."

    How swiftly that sense of entitlement transformed into humility! The thought is simultaneously rueful and sad. Her arrogance has taken quite a figurative battering since then. No, she corrects herself with a flash of nausea. Not just figurative.

    "Anyway, I will seek the others out and try to... alleviate your chief problem. If it helps, we are expecting to meet up with a few more ships to board the guests, and space will be greatly improved." She hesitates. "Forgive me, I should have asked before now... what are your plans and destination? I do not even know your home planet. My uncle revealed little more than your names."

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    With a knowing smile to St. Croix, Nia silently acknowledges her modesty, then turns back to Thalen. "Oh, I wasn't thinking of a whole formal concert with an audience. That'd be a nightmare. Just something along the lines of broadcasting music to the Mess and rec rooms, or anywhere people are already gathering. Obviously we could use pre-recorded stuff, but having live musicians is..." She lifts a hand, unable to express her thoughts before it comes to her. "More intimate. More real and personal. I think despite the huge crowd, we're feeling kinda lonelier than ever."

    Nia immediately regrets this unfortunate admission and rushes to shrug it off. " That is--the refugees are lonely for home--homesick. For that matter, I bet performing'd probably be a benefit to the crew too, those who get to play. I don't know, the idea just popped up. Might not be workable; you know these things better than me."

    She taps her fingers idly on the armrests, then realizes she's doing it and stops. Quiet as it is, that could get annoying pretty damn quick, especially to the colleagues closest to her at the Helm. Plus, not professional. And after being so stupidly honest, she needs to recover a bit of her dignity--if only to herself.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 26 Apr 2021 at 12:36 PM.

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    "Yeah, I can tell," the man sneers at Graham. "You're just dripping all over with sympathy."

    Soeryadjaya rolls her eyes and says to Kylah, "If you can get these two scrotes removed from here in the next hour, that'd be great. I'd rather not spend another moment in their company." To Kylah's question she replies, "I expect to head back to Earth. Martin will be coming with me. As to how we get there... I'm working on that. Maybe the less you know, the better."

    Thalen nods judiciously and says to Onn, "Thank you, Lieutenant. I'll have a word with the Captain about that. Not everyone shares the same taste in music, of course, but perhaps we could do something."

    The sensor light on the front center of the Helm and Nav console suddenly begins to blink and beep. Leventhal and Pourtash turn back to their controls, and Gunnarsdottir, at Science 1, does the same, checking the ship's sensors. "There's a ship approaching us on an intercept course, ma'am," she reports after a few seconds. "Warp 7."



    The sensor light is the clear pyramid to the lower right here; couldn't find an image of it lit: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki...ith_viewer.jpg
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 26 Apr 2021 at 06:42 PM.

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    Nia easily remembers the schedule of the next ships to assist the Yorktown from having checked just moments ago. "Not expecting company this early," she murmurs almost to herself as she leans forward in interest. She addresses Gunnarsdottir more clearly. "Current approximate distance from us and time till intercept, given our respective speeds?"

    While the Science officer calculates this, Nia adds: "St. Croix, you know what to do--scan and identify the vessel once it's near enough if you can, rule out hostility. And Thalen, get ready to hail this newcomer to say hello."

    After another second she continues, "Oh--and once Science and Security get the data, open a channel to the other ships in our convoy. They'll probably be aware of this already, but some of their sensors might not be as powerful as ours and they'll need a heads-up."
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 26 Apr 2021 at 06:01 PM.

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    Frowning slightly, Kylah takes a breath to ask Mrs. Soeryadjaya what she means by 'scrotes'--her immediate guess is perhaps some kind of derogatory term for miners?--before her mind takes the journey to her Academy days and the conversations she overheard. And when she understands, she blinks in first shock, then amusement--and back to shock again.

    "They are displaced people, just as you are, madam," she says gently. "You are not seeing anyone at their best. But I can tell you are extremely distressed, or you would not..."

    You would not be so vulgar, is her intended comment, but she thinks better of it. "You might not be quite so impatient. I am sorry, I would invite you to my cabin, where there are only two of us, but under the circumstances the less you are seen by others the better. How have you been handling being around others? Has there been any close call, are you staying strictly inside here? Although Mr. Yarrow is obviously out. Has anyone said anything to you?"

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    Rangin strolls happily through the corridors wendin his way through the throng of people scattered around and heading for the Mess Hall. While he is itching to see what Roble has in store for him and hoping that Kylah will respond sooner rather than later, he is currently off-duty.

    He is also hungry and maybe a bit of brief refreshment will help appease his stomach, put him at ease and ready for whatever comes next.

    When he gets there, he checks round to see if he can get something, if there are any free spaces or if it is too full with colonists looking to alleviate their boredom.

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    Gunnarsdottir says, "Interception at our current course and speed in exactly 22 minutes, ma'am... mark."

    St. Croix runs a tactical scan, checks Federation shipping records and soon reports, "It's a small civilian transport, ma'am - a clipper, the Ain't She a Butte. Independent, eight years old, Federation-flagged and registered to Camus V. Lightly armed and about a sixth our size, with a crew of 14." Gunnarsdottir confirms this.

    Thalen passes along this information to the Yorktown's companion ships and says, "Standing by to hail, ma'am."

    Soeryadjaya sighs and tells Kylah in a long-suffering tone, "Mostly I've been pretending to sleep or to not speak Russian. I've been staying here as much as I can, and Martin has gone out to get us food and other things as needed. Nobody has given us any trouble otherwise." The door chime then sounds, and Kylah's communicator vibrates again.

    Rangin finds Mess Hall 1 to be about halfway full, mostly with evacuees. Several look sad or withdrawn, but others are talking normally and occasionally even laughing. Several appear to be family groups. The only person Rangin recognizes is Lt. Gral, the Tellarite botanist, with a large cup and a nearly-empty plate before him on the table. He raises a furry paw in greeting to Rangin from across the room.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 28 Apr 2021 at 01:20 PM.

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    Graham shrugs slowly and spread his hand just slightly, just above his waist. "I can't take credit for it, mom raised me that way," he offers. "But seriously, is there something wrong that's got you looking pissed off, big, menacing--and downright hostile to 'reddies' that's fixable?"

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    Kylah swivels to the door in alarm. But then she sighs, relieved. She has little reason to be afraid; there is no prohibition against her checking on one of the guests.

    Of course, Mrs. Soeryadjaya is not just any guest. Kylah looks back at the older woman warily. "Are you expecting anyone?"

    Meanwhile she lifts her communicator, intending to identify the caller.

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    Satisfied, Nia thanks the officers and sits back comfortably in the chair. "They're in quite a hurry," she says, interested given the Yorktown's current speed.* "Our own destination is two days away. Wonder where they're headed. I know we'll likely find out once they're in hailing distance, but my curiosity's piqued. Let's see if we can anticipate. Gunnarsdottir, what's in the neighborhood closer than Beta Antares? Anything likely given their current course?"





    * Which is...? Nia would know it, so wouldn't ask such a basic question.

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    The man shakes his head and says to Graham, "If it was fixable, reddie, we already would've fixed it ourselves. As it is, we're just counting the hours until we can get off this shit-ship. So get lost off already, would you?"

    Soeryadjaya looks a little concerned. "No, I don't know who it might be."

    Lt. Gunnarsdottir says, "Beta Antares is the closest system, ma'am." She runs a projection of the Ain't She's course. "Assuming she's made a beeline towards us, the nearest system anywhere on her line of approach is Ferrin Prime, but that would be more than a month away even at high warp."

    The Yorktown continues on course at Warp 5, along with the other ships in her group.

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    Kylah gnaws a little at her lower lip in consternation. "I suppose it is unlikely to be Mr. Yarrow?" She remembers Mr. Johnson's advice to her when she was caught in here herself.

    "Perhaps you should get in bed, pretend you are ill?" Kylah omits Mr. Johnson's subsequent (and characteristic) suggestion of disrobing. "Or you could be in the closet or bathroom area. It is probably nothing, but..."

    She waits to see what strategy Mrs. Soeryadjaya chooses; after that, she will call out "come in" and pretend she is on her way out the door.

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    Hmm. The fingers of Nia's left hand trace an invisible circle around her comms. panel. "If they're not speeding to something, maybe they're speeding away from it. Can you take a deeper scan to see if there's anything following them?"

    She turns to Lt. Thalen. "Let's send out a standard greeting, just letting them know we're in the neighborhood. They already know, I'm sure, but never hurts to be friendly. Once they respond--or even if they don't--and we're in hailing distance, open a channel."

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    Graham cocks an eyebrow and offers a casual salute. "All right, have it your way, gentlemen."

    He continues on his beat, taking note of the faces and the location of the group as he moves on.

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    Rangin nods back towards Lt Gral, and quickly grabs a coffee from before heading to join the botanist at the table. Despite their cultural differences and the various interactions between the Tellar and Coridan, they still got on well enough, after all this is what the ideal about the Federation of Planets is all about.

    “Afternoon, Sir,” Rangin says politely as he sits down on the opposite side of the table to Lt Gral, “how is Botany surviving?“ He takes a slow draught of the coffee, aware that it is slightly too hot and hoping it will have cooled just enough before he swallows it.

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    Soeryadjaya hesitates, then grumbles a little under her breath, purses her lips in annoyance (an expression Kylah has seen far too often already), climbs into bed and pulls the sheets up to her chin.

    In response to Kylah's call, the door whooshes open and an older, ramrod-straight black woman, clad in a red uniform dress, walks in. She looks a little surprised to see her and says, "Ensign... Kylah, isn't it? I'm Lt. Juliet Onyibe, the Quartermaster. I don't think we've met. May I ask... what are you doing here?"

    On the Bridge, Gunnarsdottir extends her scans. "I see nothing chasing that ship, ma'am."

    Thalen turns to his Comm panel. "Standard hail sent, Mr. Onn." After a few moments, he says, "I've received an automatic transponder reply, simply acknowledging our hail, identifying their ship. It confirms what we already knew."

    Gral says to Rangin (his voice gruff even when being friendly), "Pretty quiet these days. Nothing was growing on Novy Rostov, and there's nothing of note to look forward to, really, on Beta Antares IV. But I've been growing and cross-pollinating some Rigellian dianthus over the past few weeks, which has been interesting. What's new with you?"

    Just as Graham passes the group, one of them - not the man who spoke earlier - grins maliciously and sticks out a foot, clearly intending to trip him. Graham is able to sidestep him and avoid tripping.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 06 May 2021 at 09:42 AM.

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    With barely a hesitation, Kylah puts a finger to her lips and offers a sympathetic glance toward the bed. "I came across this woman in the corridor," she begins in a hushed tone. "She seemed a bit woozy--I do not think she is used to space travel. As she did not wish to go to Sickbay, I brought her back here to rest."

    She moves closer to the door. "It is good to meet you at last, Lieutenant. Actually, if you have the time, perhaps I might have a word? Outside, that is--I think we should let her sleep."

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