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

  1. #1151
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    "Haven't heard," Maude says, "but it probably is. When it's out, it usually ain't for long."

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    Nodding, Kylah takes it upon herself to enter the vehicle. She is being somewhat presumptuous but the whole point of this excursion is to communicate with other ships and convey messages, and these are her tasks. It is relatively rare that Kylah is in a position where the only thing to be done on a mission is her responsibility.

    As she gets in she realizes that if she is the first to be seated, the men will have to sit beside one another. That could be awkward, but... there is nothing she can do about it. Or rather, there is nothing she currently feels like doing about it.

    She lifts her head to speak to Maude. "Then unless either of the officers objects, let us go there, please, madam."

  3. #1153
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    Mäkeläinen considers asking Maude for walking directions to the hospital, changes his mind, even though it is a nice day and he is finally dressed for it. He wants to just get there as fast as possible and visit Lt. Onn; he could not properly enjoy it, anyway, with that case preoccupying his mind, nor is he sure he would make good company, even if he suspects that, out of all the people here, he would find the unflappable Rawlings one of the easiest to get along with right now. He does not know for sure walking would be safe (though Rawlings does not look like a person someone would casually mess with), but that alone definitely would not stop him.

    So, he is content to take a seat in the crawler.

  4. #1154
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    Graham nods at Kylah's somewhat surprising taking of the initiative. "Let's go."

  5. #1155
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    Everyone climbs aboard and Maude drives off, the crawler crunching through snow already beginning to melt in the bright sunshine. There are a few people out and about, picking their way through the streets, and some other vehicles. They, like the town itself, look worn and hard-used. Maude chortles as she sprays pedestrians with dirty, icy slush thrown out by the crawler's treads when she takes sharp corners.

    The Ollos Port Authority building is a modern, drab thermocrete dome three stories tall. Portmaster Goll is out, but one of his assistants directs you to the Communications Room. There, a young Tellarite woman sits at a new-ish comm console. She confirms that the colony's out-system subspace commnet is back up again. She explains that a text-only message to the Yorktown will cost 220 monits per word; a real-time audiovisual link will cost 700 monits a second.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 20 Mar 2023 at 10:55 PM.

  6. #1156
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    Graham listens to the pricing, conscious of their 10,000 monit total loan but also that the most important thing they can do is get the Yorktown hauling ass back here.

    "Mr. Kylah, as comms officer, do you have a recommendation about how to best contact the ship?"

  7. #1157
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    The money discussion does not concern Kylah, since to her, it is merely a matter of transferring funds. She focuses on the various buttons, pads and indicators on the new console, trying to get a handle on what they all must mean.

    "Yes sir," she says distractedly to Lt. Graham, then moves a little closer to the Tellarite. "Is this strong enough to reach the nearest relay? Or if not, which ship or ships are heading in the right direction? Which would be..."

    She pauses, suddenly stuck. She has lost her sense of where they are relative to the Yorktown and Cavinre VII. Or was it Cavinre VI? Her fingers pinch her chin as she tries to concentrate, but decides there is no point in wasting time hoping her memory will return. "Our ship is meant to be at Cavinre... VII...?" Not very confident, she glances up to Velir, then back down to the Tellarite. "We need to get our message there. I do not know how powerful your local relay is. Is it best to ask one of the ships in orbit? We could even hire one to travel in that direction, if there is one willing to change their route."

    Kylah straightens, hands on hips, and eyes the console again. "You know your system best, ma'am," she says while examining the screen. "Which tactic would you take?"

  8. #1158
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    The Tellarite frowns as Kylah looks at her communications console a little too closely for her liking. She seems a bit... territorial. "I can reach anywhere you like in the Cavinre system," she says.

  9. #1159
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    The doctor is impatient to get moving, but he is aware that this is their best, maybe only, reasonable chance to summon timely help. His presence here is surely of no help technical-wise or with protocol, but he does have a good memory: "It is certain that a message to the Federation embassy on Cavinre VII marked priority, emergency, whatever the proper term is, will be promptly relayed to the Yorktown, whatever her precise location at the moment."

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    "Agreed," says Rawlings, "although we could probably also reach the ship directly. Subspace communications reach just about everywhere."

  11. #1161
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    "If you can reach that far," Kylah says with relief to the Tellarite, "please do. Let me have the cont--" She stops herself, noting the somewhat bristly mood of the woman behind the console. Having to be diplomatic when she and the rest of the Tesla crew are so anxious is not an easy task, but the Tellarite has the power to countermand Kylah's request and deny them access, if she were that petty. "That is... may I use your headset and controls? Of course, you know your system far better than I."

    In truth the system does not look difficult at all to Kylah, whose Academy training--while shorter than most--was quite thorough when it came to understanding different communications systems. But it costs her nothing to err on the side of flattery.

    "If you prefer to open hailing frequencies I will pass along the specific direct subspace band for the Yorktown--our ship," she explains before realizing the context was likely clear from the doctor's reference. "How far are we from the Cavinre system? We went quite off-course during our shuttle breakdown. How much of a transmission delay should there be, if any?"

  12. #1162
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    Graham nods approvingly, his concern for Nia at least momentarily relieved by seeing Kylah apparently in her element and acting with confidence.

  13. #1163
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    The Tellarite, whose name is Ylan, says, a little haughtily, "Sorry, you may not operate the Port Authority's communications system; only qualified employees may do so. There will be," she checks a chart, "a 42-second delay in reaching Cavinre from here. Now then: what message would you like to send? And will that be via text or A/V?" She doesn't have to remind you of the fees for each.

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    Kylah thanks the operator--not effusively, given the other woman's attitude, but her manner is polite enough. Then she turns to the others. "I should think text would be enough, unless any of you feel our circumstances are best conveyed accurately through visual or audio cues. But the facts--the technical ones about the shuttle and how we ended up here, at least--are straightforward enough for text to serve adequately. It is passing along the news about Lt. Onn that might require some... nuance. Do you agree?"

    She has been speaking to them all generally, but now she turns to the doctor. "Should we contact the hospital first to check on her progress, so you may report back? I suppose you wish to confer with Dr. Villa as to whether any treatment is possible." Kylah's hands clasp and unclasp nervously as she glances at Lt. Graham and hurries on. "I mean--possible without the Yorktown's assistance? They are still so far away. If there is a delay of 42 seconds, that means they are... um..." She focuses on Velir, flushing a little. He is much quicker in calculating such things than she is. "How many lightyears would that be? Do we need them to return, or is it..."

    Kylah cannot think of a tactful way to ask if there is any purpose in their returning to assist Lt. Onn, or if it will be a waste of time. The mission commander may not have long enough to make a return useful.

    "Whatever you think best," she finishes, deferring to Dr. Mäkeläinen, Lt. Graham and Velir, each of whom has areas of knowledge that are of more help than any of Kylah's guesses. But she adds, mostly to Lt. Graham, "And whatever you think Lt. Onn would wish to say, if she could."

  15. #1165
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    Dr. Mäkeläinen says, "Not much nuance to work with in a few words. I would be lying if I said I had any experience with this particular mode of communications, but we need to lay out the essentials and emphasize the need for an urgent response. Something along the lines of TESLA DAMAGED EN ROUTE UNKNOWN CAUSE X CRASHED OLLOS SYSTEM SHUTTLE LOST X PILOT INCAPACITATED X MEDICAL EMERGENCY X REQUEST TRANSPORT REQUEST BILITRIUM AUTHORIZE EMERGENCY EXPENDITURES MONITS X CONTACT VIA OLLOS PORT AUTHORITY, along with a priority flag and a Starfleet authentication code, we should barely be able to afford."

  16. #1166
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    Graham squints listening to the doctor. "Emergency expenditures is a good idea, Doc." He nods, then pauses, collecting himself.

    "Doc, what's the--" he clears his throat. "The...prognosis...for N- Lt. Onn..."

    Fuck it.

    "If she does not get Bilitrium how much time does she have?"

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    Listening attentively to the doctor's suggestions, Kylah then realizes that he means his truncated sentences--mere phrases, really--to be verbatim. Her brow furrows in some puzzlement but she hurries to take down his words using her tricorder, fingers tapping with quick accuracy.

    But when through she holds the device to her chest, almost as if hugging it protectively. After a sidelong look at the operator, she moves slightly farther from the woman's station to whisper to Velir. "I do not quite understand. Why is there the need for such brevity? And the monit issue... why is it--"

    She hesitates, worried about sounding foolish or inexperienced or, most likely of all, extremely privileged and out of touch with financial matters. None of which she can argue with, if accused.

    When she pauses she registers Lt. Graham's question about Lt. Onn, and falls into a respectful and concerned silence.

  18. #1168
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    Dr. Mäkeläinen is acutely aware of all the attention (and tension). He says, "This is my first case of a patient with hypobilitria. Starfleet Medical has precious few relevant statistics, so I will not quote you figures that are unreliable at best. As soon as I see her current charts with a plot of Bilitrium levels over time, I may be able to give you some sort of estimate. I do know— it could be all Sidonians, but she is even tougher than she looks, which is already something. Based on everything I have read, and what the Lieutenant herself told me, if she falls into a coma, treatment with pure Bilitrium can still stop it, but that is when the clock really starts ticking. Think of a human with acute altitude sickness. But that has not happened yet.

    "I am officially declaring a medical emergency, which was in our message. What we hear from the Yorktown in the next couple of minutes, whether they can divert, or send another warp-capable shuttle along with a supply of Bilitrium, or send us the funds to hire our way off world, will determine our best course of action. I suggest whatever's fastest."

  19. #1169
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    The message which Dr. Mäkeläinen proposed is soon sent, with some minor alterations by Graham. The reply comes back three minutes later: Message received. Priorities: restore pilot health, secure shuttle wreck. Bilitrium availability in your sector unknown to us. No Starfleet vessel nearby. Charter or book passage aboard civilian vessel. Come to Cavinre system ASAP. Federation line of credit approved for disbursement, Ollos Port Authority. Best wishes. SINGH, SP, USS Yorktown, commanding.

    Ylan deducts 7260 monits from your loan account. She says, "I have separate confirmation of your line of credit, for the equivalent of another 20,065.9 monits."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 03 Apr 2023 at 12:20 AM.

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    "'Restore pilot health'," Kylah repeats, shaking her head. "Is it that easy? Perhaps I should have better conveyed the urgency of the matter. Perhaps they would have sent a shuttle themselves with the Bilitrium." She wonders how Lt. Graham feels about the Captain's muted response. Rereading the message, she shakes her head a second time. "I wonder how we can secure the shuttle on our own, in its state. They must not realize just how 'lost' it truly is. As for chartering a--"

    Now she stops and rereads the message. "No Starfleet vessel in the vicinity? What about the one that caused problems last night? I suppose it has gone too far out of range already."

    Having played her only real part here, Kylah thanks the operator and turns to the others, particularly Dr. Mäkeläinen. "I suppose the hospital should be our next stop? Or should we split, as we planned before? Lt. Graham, Velir and I could try to charter a vessel...?"

  21. #1171
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    "Fuck."

    The grunt is reflexive. Like a punch to the gut or a flash of pain behind the eyes. When I did a stint in law enforcement back on Earth a "signal zero"--"officer down"--meant all hands on deck at making heaven and earth move... And now the doc's righteous declaration of a medical emergency, our best effort gets a fucking dot the i's and try harder.

    "Don't beat yourself up, Mr. Kylah..." his s speech becomes slower word by word as he realizes what he is saying to whom.

    He shakes his head and clears his throat. "I mean - it's not your fault, full stop." He squints at the small young woman suggesting she and Rangin cooperate. "Are you...are you comfortable with that, Ensign?"

  22. #1172
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    Turning her wide, sympathetic eyes to Lt. Graham, Kylah hesitates, uncertain for his concern. She can tell he is not pleased by Capt. Singh's relatively lackluster response, understandably so, and she addresses him gently.

    "Why... yes, sir. Of course I do not object. You suggested we split the team before we left, do you not remember? With the doctor and Mr. Rawlings going to the hospital, and the rest of us coming here--"

    The meaning of his question coalesces in her mind and she suddenly recognizes the miscommunication. Her sentence had been ambiguous. Lt. Graham thought she meant just her and Velir. And I used 'Velir', too, so casually. He must be wondering...

    She flushes and takes a micro-step closer to him. "But you would surely be the best person to select the safest transportation. That is, I am sure Lt. Rangin would accurately assess their scientific capabilities, of course, and I might offer some insight into what the strangers are--"

    About to say feeling, she swiftly changes to "--are saying, if--in the unlikely possibility that there is some nuanced language that is not translating well. But for security and a sense of authority, you are surely ideal. Barring Lt. Onn herself." Kylah pauses in regret, then softens her voice further. "That said, if you wish to go to the hospital yourself, we will do our best."

  23. #1173
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    Mäkeläinen feels much the same as Lt. Graham, but no expletive. Is that because he is not truly surprised? Here they are at the mercy of an (at best) unfeeling and unforgiving universe. He should have expected that response. "So, nothing is changed, essentially. We are still on our own. At least we have the credits, I mean monits, to pay what we owe and procure the means to depart.

    "I am going straight to the hospital. As for the conveyance, I don't know about counting on that Starfleet vessel—if they are in range, they may be tied up here in red tape for the next half-century or so. The fastest way to Cavinre... in this kind of port, there are packets and freighters, and there are bound to be some independent traders. If you can find a fast ship heading in that direction anyway, equipped with passenger cabins or life support in the cargo hold, they should be more than willing to pick up some extra profit by taking on a few passengers."

  24. #1174
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    "Take good care if N- Lt. Onn, doctor," Graham says quietly. "And in a sane universe what you say makes sense about transport..." He shrugs, and then gives a small smile to Ens. Kyah. "I guess we'll find out. He pauses. "Yes I would like to go to the hospital, but you're right than a team effort to get off this rock is what we need to do."

    He grunts. "Rawlings, if anything happens to the doc, that's going to be pretty embarrassing to our department, right?" He adds more softly. "Nia too."

    He claps his hands. "All right if there's nothing else let's get to it."

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    Kylah wishes Dr. Mäkeläinen and Mr. Rawlings good luck, and offers her good wishes to Lt. Onn. She turns to the operator again. "Thank you for your assistance," she says respectfully. "If we may trouble you further... where is the best place here to find or book off-planet transportation?"

  26. #1176
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    Dr. Mäkeläinen assures Lt. Graham that they will check in with the rest of the party after they arrive. He (presumably accompanied by Rawlings) tries to arrange a ride with Maude or another driver who is on call, or public transport---whatever will take them straight to the hospital building where they left Lt. Onn.

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    Rawlings says to Graham, "Understood, sir. You can count on me." He agrees with the doctor about your good odds in finding a ship in so busy a port.

    Ylan overhears what Kylah says and puts in, "The Beowulf was here four days ago, not last night." She adds, "You want a ship? You'll want go to the Black Sun."

    Maude agrees, when you ask her, "Quite a place, quite a bar. It's the most popular watering hole around here for offworlders, including starship crew. If you can't find a ship there, I don't know where you could. Tell you what, I could drop you off there after I take the Doc and anybody else back to the hospital, hey? It's not far past that."

    You all trudge back out to her crawler, shivering a bit in the biting cold despite the bright morning sunshine and your warm new-ish clothes. In a few minutes Maude has stopped at the hospital, where Dr. Mäkeläinen and Rawlings climb down from the crawler and go inside. She then takes the rest of you to the Black Sun, which is in a black, near-ruined but sizable thermocrete pile with its name in zig-zagging purple hololights over the doorway. On one side is a storefront for Wo & Shade, Importers, and on the other a temple-brothel of the Secret Sisterhood.

    What appears to be a body lies partially buried in snow to the left side of the door of the bar.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 11 Apr 2023 at 07:15 AM.

  28. #1178
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    Kylah (who must have been too tired to catch the correct timing of the Beowulf incident) is busy taking a second surprised look at the "temple-brothel" building when her brain processes what her gaze just skimmed past. Is that lump a buried body?

    With a gasp she takes an immediate step toward it, but just as quickly stops short. This is Lt. Graham's area of expertise, and Velir can run a scan to see if this... whatever it is... is (or was, as the case may be) a living being. Kylah will stay out of their way, but tries to empathically reach out to see if this is someone simply unconscious or even asleep.

  29. #1179
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    "Still a bit nithered," Bizhi absently tells Rawlings as they enter the hospital. "It must take a few days to get used to the climate...." He looks down at the outfit of warm clothes that Kylah picked out for Nia.

    More forcefully, he proceeds, "First order of business, then: let's visit the Lieutenant. Fetch her something to eat better than hospital food, if she's feeling up to it." She will appreciate a briefing, too, not that there is much to report yet, even including the short message from the Yorktown, which has not appreciably changed anything regarding their circumstances.

    He heads toward the Emergency Room reception, where they will ask to see Lt. Onn.

  30. #1180
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    Graham raises an eyebrow at the bar, the brothel, and the...body.

    "Mr. Rangin, as inconspicuously as you can, check what that is and if it--they--are still alive."

  31. #1181
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    Rangin looks around, sees no one else on the street, and runs a discreet tricorder scan. He says, "Human male, about 40, sir, and dead, unfortunately. I'm no medico, but it looks like he froze to death at least... six hours or so ago."

    A nurse shows Bizhi and Rawlings into Lt. Onn's room. She is sitting up and looks much better than when you last saw her.

  32. #1182
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    Kylah exhales, having held her breath while Velir ran his scan, and stares down at the unknown man. "Froze. How horrible!" Her shuddering is no longer simply from the weather. She cannot forget how close they all might have been to such a death, back in the Tesla.

    "Is there no chance that he could be..." The question, whether the man might be revived if warmed up, seems foolish and she does not complete it. She forces herself to keep her gaze on the man--it is the least she can do now to pay him, in his death, the attention and respect that were wanting at the end of his life.

  33. #1183
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    The sip of cool, fresh water is, as always, a relief and joy that Nia feels grateful for even now, ten years after leaving Sidonia behind and with her life in dire straits. Of course she can only take small sips, because she needs to breathe more than she needs to enjoy the luxury of drinking. Any moment swallowing is a moment without even the pretense of breathable air.

    She hears the door to her room whoosh open, which isn't a surprise since she's expecting the nurse with the breakfast she requested earlier. (To her hungry stomach it seems like she pressed that call button a month ago!*) But when she lowers the cup she sees the equally welcome face of Dr. Mäkeläinen.

    "You're back!" Nia blurts, then almost winces at the banality. I've got few enough words left. Probably shouldn't waste them on the obvious. She clears her throat so her voice is somewhat less of a rasp, and tries to mask her short shallow breaths through action: namely, trying to swing her legs off the bed. "Well," she says somewhat shakily, "If nothing else, we've both learned how good Lexorin is. Did you reach the ship?"

    Please say 'yes, and despite the infinitely tiny likelihood, the Yorktown somehow tracked us and has traveled all night at Warp 9 to get here, which'll be in about an hour.'


    * hee

  34. #1184
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    Dr. Mäkeläinen is touched by Nia's reaction. He feels vaguely guilty for not staying overnight: it must not have been fun spending the night sick and alone (or surrounded by indifferent hospital staff). But, ultimately, she is technically the Ollos Port General Hospital's patient, not his, and, even if he were employed here, spending hours loitering around the Emergency Room while too tired to do any real work would not have made Bilitrium or any other medicine appear any faster. Also, Nia knows as well as he does that duty sometimes brings hazards and privations as it does, other times, wonders and ineffable beauty. She did not need her entire crew around to hold her hand....

    Despite no news being good news, he is relieved to see her with his own eyes looking much more animated. He doubts it has anything to do with Lexorin as much as her own natural resilience plus the cocktail of other medications they have been pouring into her, but it is not time to discuss that, nor has he seen her charts or talked to the ER doctors yet.

    She wants to hear about the Yorktown first, anyway. "We did this morning," he answers, "but it did not improve our situation as much as you would think. Here, see for yourself—" if he has a copy of the original orders he shows her and forwards it to her communicator if it is not already there. "I emphasized it was an emergency, but, whatever is going on in this sector, Starfleet does not have and cannot send any ship. We have enough currency to pay our bills and, if we're lucky, hire a small yet fast ship to take us to Cavinre. The others are out taking care of that right now.

    Not sure how we are meant to secure the Tesla. Even if we could afford to take our time, we would have to contract with someone to raise it out of the frozen lake. We may be able to guard it, but, with no one coming, what then? Get it onto a ship as freight? They are right about one thing: it's Starfleet property, we still don't know what hit us in the first place which I am sure they are eager to find out, I know I am, and, if we do not do anything, some local entrepreneur is going to try getting their hands on it on their own initiative."

    He pauses for a minute, reflecting.

    "We brought you some clothes," he says, and places the bundle next to the rest of her stuff. "And we can get you something to eat better than hospital food." He realizes he has no idea what she likes for breakfast. "What do you prefer?"

  35. #1185
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    As Mäkeläinen talks--his bedside manner is quiet but professional--Nia reads Singh's message or listens to the Doc's recitation of it, if he doesn't have the text to forward to her and keeps her expression still and frozen, like the Tesla is now. But, also like the Tesla, her heart has plummeted and she doubts her spirits are recoverable.

    "I see," she murmurs, processing it all while her gaze remains somewhere in the vicinity of Mäkeläinen's chest. "Well. No cavalry. Didn't expect one, but..."

    But is this really all they've got for her? She's not expecting weeping and wailing on this brusquely, curiously terse message*, but some regret would've been nice. Even better would've been a pledge to contact any Starfleet ships close enough to rendezvous halfway between here and Cavinre with whatever sluggish piece of junk the crew can hire for passage.

    What do you expect? You fucked up the prototype for a much faster, much more powerful shuttle, and you're high-maintenance damaged goods yourself. Face it, your value's to Starfleet's gone way the hell down.

    After a second or two she rouses herself to get back into Mission Commander mode, and sits up straighter to look back up at the doctor.

    "Thanks, Doc. For the report, and clothes, too. Securing the Tesla... there's tech on there, experimental stuff, that really shouldn't be discovered by outsiders. Especially any Romulans near this system." That was a long sentence and she takes a much-needed breath and tries to chop up her words more efficiently.

    "So if we can't raise or adequately secure it, we might need to do some diving work." Breathe. "...And disassemble some of those newer features. Or set it to self-destruct." Breathe. Her eyes close at the prospect of destroying that shuttle. "At least, if that's what Vargas wants."

    Nia puts both hands on the edge of the thin mattress, clutching it like a life raft. "Your orders are clear, anyway. 'Restore pilot health.' Easy-peasy," she adds dryly. Then after a deep breath. "Anyway. Breakfast. Right. Thanks. Something with protein--if my kidneys can handle it. Gotta watch out for organ shut down. Not that you need reminding of that." She gives a sort of apologetic shrug for again speaking the obvious.

    What isn't obvious, and what she absolutely needs to convey, are her wishes. Or orders. Assuming she's still in command. Nia's not even sure what her status is, but she's sure as hell gonna act as if she's still leading. She won't go out shirking duty.

    "Once I get some food in me," she says more energetically, "I'll use those clothes. Give 'em here, please?" Nia holds out her arms for the bundle Mäkeläinen's carrying. "Are the rest of the crew here too? I want to get out and back to duty."

    It sounds ridiculous even to her ears, and she tries to stave off any medical objections. "I'm dizzy and my nerves are buzzing. Like I'm one big communicator on vibrate. But I can think, and I can walk." She smiles crookedly at him. "I might be the walking dead, but as long as I can move... I want to lead my crew. For as long as I've got."

    The last words are weak and shaky, too emotional, and she quickly clears her throat and boosts her mood. She tilts her head wryly. "That is, unless Graham's mutinied already?"



    * She doesn't know the message length restrictions.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 16 Apr 2023 at 06:32 AM.

  36. #1186
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    Graham grunts acknowledgement of Rangin's report. "At least no obvious signs of foul play, " he says to the two officers accompanying him. "Initial cause of death Romulan disruptor would be all we need right now."

    He rubs his chin. "Mr. Kylah, you're at my side. We may need your communications skills. Mr. Rangin...I hope you don't take offense at 'Security' duty, but you're our wingman. Keep your eyes peeled and don't hesitate to subtly--or not--let me know if something looks squirrely."

    "All right, if there are no other questions, let's enter this...ah, fine establishment..."

  37. #1187
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    A harried-looking orderly comes in with Onn's breakfast, says a quick "Hello" to her visitors, and puts the tray on her bedside table. "Need anything else?" she asks the patient.

    "Understood, sir," says Rangin to Graham. They and Kylah enter the Black Sun together. Two very large Tellarite bouncers/security guards stand near the inside entrance and boredly look you over. A wave of smoke bearing the scents of a dozen hard-to-identify intoxicants washes over you; Rangin can't help but cough. It's loud and pretty dark inside, with many voices talking all at once, and indirect and somewhat jarring lighting of red, purple and green here and there. Kylah has a sense that the room is very large, but none of you can see very far back into it. From where you stand, though, you can see several dozen people at tables or in booths, mostly Human but a number of other races too. Some look at you but most pay no attention.

    Weird and loud music is coming from a four-piece electronica group farther into the bar and to your left; the singer appears to be a young Klingon woman in a tight black leather outfit with wild hair.

    A mangy-looking Caitian waiter directs you to a table, or you could be seated at the long bar which runs along the wall to your right, disappearing into the dark.

  38. #1188
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    Realizing she hasn't greeted Rawlings, Nia offers him a gentle, affectionate nod. They weren't a love match by any stretch, but the few times they had together were fun. A big man with a kind heart.

    She looks down at the meal on the tray, trying to identify it all, then thanks the orderly. "Possible to get some coffee, please? Tea? Even hot water'll do." While sleeping Nia warmed up under the covers at last, but now that she's awake, she's feeling the chill of emotional and physical weariness. The disappointing word from the Yorktown didn't help, either. It's still hurtful.

    Her brows lower in a frown as she thinks of it. I mean... "Restore pilot health." Wouldn't even use my name. Doesn't seem like Thalen so he was probably transcribing. Was it Singh? Vargas? Either way I'm obviously already gone to them.

    Picking up a piece of toast, she nibbles at a corner. It's as dry and depressing as she feels.
    Last edited by choie; 17 Apr 2023 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Just a reminder that Nia doesn't know what message the crew sent the Yorktown, and that "pilot" was Mäkeläinen's wording.

  39. #1189
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    The visuals, scents and sounds are overwhelming. Kylah stays close to the men though her attention bounces from place to place like one of the arcade games she once played on Earth. Even so, ever since they entered the club so quickly, something has been nagging at the back of her mind. At last it hits the forefront.

    She tiptoes up to reach Lt. Graham, the only way she will probably be heard. "Sir... should we not have seen if the man outside had any ID? Just leaving him there... Someone might know him." Heels back on the floor, Kylah passes the same concerned look to Velir. "I just asked if I should have looked for identification for that poor man," she explains.

    About to add a little more, her focus suddenly shifts to the Klingon on stage. A Klingon. Kylah's lips part in surprise, then hurriedly darts her gaze from the singer to Lt. Graham to Velir and back again.

    If possible, she will try to find someone receptive enough for a question so she can ask, loud enough to reach past the music, "Pardon me, what is the name of this band?"

  40. #1190
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    The orderly nods, and soon returns with coffee, which is surprisingly good for hospital coffee.

    Rawlings says, "You're looking better, Mr. Onn. Last night, if you'll pardon my saying so, you looked like death warmed over. Whatever the doc gave you did you a world of good. How do you feel, really?"

    The Caitian waiter says in barely understandable Federation Standard, "The group's name is Klara and The Threats."

  41. #1191
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    Mäkeläinen looks longingly at the coffee. Regarding the tray of food, he says, "If you have an appetite, I will get you something more substantial from the canteen."

    "The others are not here; I just left them. They are on their way to some local hangout to charter a ship. Mutiny, well, there is always the risk someone will be seduced by this utopian tropical paradise and not want to leave, but I daresay you should be able to raise them via communicator."

    Concerning the Tesla, he suggests, "If it were merely a matter of raising the wreck, a deal might be worked out with a local salvage operation, though it is not clear what we are authorized to offer them beyond our inadequate remainder of cash. Also—" he thinks for a second about what she said about classified technology; for all they know, it could be the Romulans who are the best in the salvage business here, and, in any case, how likely are they to find anyone outside of the crew of the Tesla with a Starfleet security clearance? He continues, "Anyway, we can communicate with the Yorktown for further instructions."

    He agrees with Rawlings' remark that she looks better, but he wants to talk to the physician on duty and look over her charts. She understandably wants to get back to work, but she was on the verge of systemic collapse only last night. If Ens. Rawlings had not asked her for a self-assessment, he would have done so himself, so he pays attention to her response.

  42. #1192
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    Graham cocks an eyebrow at Kylah, wondering about her question about the band.

    He leans in toward the young ensign. "That band certainly got here from somewhere else...is that what you're thinking?"

    He gestures for Kylah and Rangin to follow him to the table.

  43. #1193
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    Kylah is glad for the darkness as she moves toward the table. "I am interested in music, and this sort is... new to me." It does not sound like music, in fact, at least not the sort she enjoys hearing--and is not at all typical of Klingon tastes, either.

    She wonders at neither Velir nor Lt. Graham's answering her question about the dead man's ID, but suspects it must have been a naive impulse. They have more experience at places like this; perhaps such things are commonplace on Coridan and Earth, at least wherever Lt. Graham hails from.

    Sitting, she turns around to watch the band, particularly the singer of course. She tries to explain her interest--at least, some of it--further. "I have not heard of Klingons traveling by themselves, off-world, much less involved in a group that does not include other Klingons. Does that not seem curious to you?"

    With a shrug Kylah switches her gaze to search for anyone who seems to be wearing any sort of uniform. Though uniforms are hardly necessary for civilian space flight, it is also not unusual to have crew wearing some distinctive outfit of some sort.

  44. #1194
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    The hot, strong coffee is perfect for warming Nia's insides, and the steam wafting to her face as she lifts the cup towards her with both hands feels good as well. She takes her time sipping, allowing her to listen to Rawlings and the Doc--who has an impressive array of knowledge. Someone with such broad experience will be a highly useful crewmate to have on missions off the ship. Maybe she should edit her memo to the Captain to add this observation.

    She takes in Mäkeläinen's report, surprisingly disappointed that the others aren't here but, on the other hand, relieved that they're off finding transportation. "Thanks," she says to both men after lowering the coffee. "I am hungry, enough to eat whatever this stuff is. So that probably shows just how hungry I am."

    The remark is lighthearted--the food doesn't really seem bad. She addresses the doctor first. "You're right. We'll have to see if we can get more detailed information from Vargas re salvaging or scrapping the Tesla. Are funds that low?" Nia frowns, trying to recall if she knew this or not. "I don't want to sound like I like spending other people's money, but we've got royalty on board. Surely the Elasian treasury is wide open to Kylah. Starfleet can reimburse her if it comes to it."

    She is, of course, stalling. They probably know she's stalling, too. Setting the coffee down and breaking off another piece of toast, Nia pretends she's occupied with spreading whatever-it-is, some goo like jelly or jam or marmite (Ajay's favorite) that she doesn't immediately identify, onto the bread.

    "How I'm feeling," she says at last. "It's a mix. I feel like I've got a shot of a stimulant of some kind zipping through me. My muscles want to move. My head is foggy but I'm not feeling like I'll pass out any minute." Hesitating, she puts the toast back on the tray without tasting. She just stares at it.

    At last she aims an honest, not-quite-as-desperate-as-she-is-but-still-pretty-fucking-concerned look at the doctor. "I want," she says quietly but intensely, "to take a breath that doesn't make me feel worse than the one before. It's like--like--" Words fail her for a few seconds. "Like I'm in a building that's burning in slow-motion. The air's thick. Flames all around me so there's nowhere to escape. I can still breathe but the smoke's rising higher and higher, choking me and turning my lungs to ash. Slow. But steady." She swallows her sore throat. "And inevitable."

  45. #1195
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    Graham, Kylah and Rangin sit down at a table. Rangin rubs his chin and says to Kylah, "You're right, it is kind of unusual to find a Klingon off by himself or herself. Maybe she wants to be a rock star... or maybe there are other Klingons around that we just haven't met yet."

    Kylah sees several people in uniforms, or scraps of uniforms, but none that she recognizes.

    There is shouting a few tables away, then screaming, as a hulking four-armed alien knifes a much smaller Axanar, who noisily dies as he is pulled away and towards the door by one of the Tellarite bouncers. No one seems to take much notice of it. The larger alien turns back to its tankards of some purplish brew.

    At the hospital, Dr. Mäkeläinen is able to find Dr. Sophie Anikwata, who looks surprisingly well-rested and put-together, considering that she was apparently at the hospital all night. After greeting him and exchanging a little chit-chat, she somberly tells the Starfleet physician, "Your Lt. Onn was in very bad shape after you left last night, but the CMO of a Denobulan freighter upstairs was able to synthesize some coveserol for me. It's an LNT-3 stabilizer. There was a clinical trial on Arcadia that I read about a few months back and, since we couldn't get any bilitrium, it seemed like the next best thing. Between you and me, she could have died without it. She responded well to it, fortunately, and her biosigns this morning are much improved. It's a stopgap, though, really, until you can get her back on bilitrium." She hands him a small, gray, rugged carrying case. "There are seven doses in here, which at one a day should last you a week. She might build up a tolerance and it won't last you that long, though. I just don't know for sure, with a Sidonian. The sooner you can get her bilitrium, the better."

    Rawlings, concerned, squeezes Onn's shoulder. "Hang in there, Lieutenant. We're going to get you back to the Yorktown as soon as we can."


    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Axanar
    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Denobulan
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 20 Apr 2023 at 10:21 PM.

  46. #1196
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    "Still on shift?" Mäkeläinen commiserates, knowingly.

    He listens carefully to what Dr. Anikwata has to say about Lt. Onn's condition, then finally nods. "Sounds like nearly the best we can hope for in the short term, barring a source of Bilitrium. My colleagues and I are operating under the assumption, so far borne out, there is none to be obtained in this sector, at least not through regular channels in a timely manner, and we've already prioritised chartering a ship.

    "To that end, the Lieutenant says she is feeling somewhat better, relatively speaking, and is understandably anxious to do something besides lie in bed and wait. With the stabilizer in effect, would you be able to release her for limited duty? Talking to our ship, coordinating operations, and so forth, not strenuous exercise?"

  47. #1197
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    At the first sound of the fight Kylah swiveled in concern at the ruckus. Once the knife appeared and that--that unknown multilimbed alien aimed it at the small one, she jerked with alarm out of her chair and backed away behind it. Now her hands clasp the chair back and she stares, horrified, at the corpse's lifeless journey as it is propelled outdoors like a mere nuisance.

    Worse, the killer is allowed to sit back down. Kylah, mouth agape, stares from him to her crewmates. "What--what do we do? How can they just--" Her gaze falls to the floor when she notices the trail of the victim's blood. She cannot identify what color it is due to the lights, but it does not look either red or purple, as she is used to. It still makes her ill. Pressing a hand against her stomach, she gasps, "Is this place utterly lawless?!"

  48. #1198
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    Dr. Anikwata smiles and says, "Yes, I don't think she should be running in any marathons, and she should avoid stress if possible, but I'm willing to discharge her. You should keep a close eye on her, though." She picks up a data pad and makes a few notations. "There. She's free to go. Talk to the admin assistant before you go for billing, would you? Right. Safe travels!"

    Rangin looks at Kylah with sympathy and then says, his face grim as he sees the blood trail, "It was like this on some parts of Coridan. Not lawless... not entirely. But definitely not safe, either. This isn't the Federation, remember. This isn't our world, and they don't live by our rules."

    The music pounds away. The Caitian waiter returns. "Your orders, gentlebeings: libations, intoxicants, mood alterers...?"
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 21 Apr 2023 at 10:35 PM.

  49. #1199
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    A kind smile flickers on Nia's lips and she reaches up to cover Rawlings's large hand with hers where it clasps her shoulder. She's a tall woman, curvy and strong-boned, but Double-T's always made her feel uniquely small and... almost dainty. Delicate. As much as she can be, anyway. Probably the way Cece Bennett feels all the time. The sort men swarm to protect.

    Nia's been raised not to need that--she's taught herself not to need it. Now and then, though... it's not a bad thing, to be vulnerable. When there's someone to be there with you.

    "Thanks, Double-T. Hope to see the Yorktown again. If not..." She glances up at him speculatively. Well, Lu might kill me for saying this, but if I'm dead it won't matter much. "I'll leave you with a little nudge. Not sure if you're 'with' anyone now. But... you know Guzman--Luisa Guzman? Relief Nav? She's kinda shy, but funny and real warm when you get past her shields." Nia's eyebrow raises in amusement. "And I don't think that'd be too hard. I've seen her noticing you. Just have a hunch you might make a nice pair. If you're looking."

    Squeezing his hand and releasing it, Nia reaches for her coffee again. Maybe if she croaks on this rock, her legacy'll be having selflessly paired up her past romantic Yorktown partners with other women. She's on quite a roll. Between Book and Double-T that's 2 for 2 so far. That leaves, what, a dozen more still onboard to go? she thinks wryly. Not sure I can manage that from who-knows-how-many light years away.

  50. #1200
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    Dr. Mäkeläinen is in a position to appreciate all that Dr. Anikwata has done for them. He asks for a link to the clinical trials she mentioned and thanks her, saying it was a pleasure to meet her.

    Back with Lt. Onn and Ens. Rawlings, he tells her, "Well, you are officially discharged. Whenever you feel you're ready, we can settle our bill and walk out of here. I don't think we can count on any miracles; medically speaking, getting back to the Yorktown is still a priority.

    "Here," he hands over the case containing the coveserol mixture. "This is the synthetic stabilizer they used in lieu of Bilitrium. You should be the one to hold on to it. One dose per day."

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