Ariana asked Mahlon if he was serious about a picnic in the Sphere. Ariana was rocking her dust collection but it could wait another 100,000 years. She had a date. Mahlon stopped by the Second Chances Cafe; it was a fitting name. Ana put together a menu after a bit of confusion between squid and squab. She offered ideas for Mahlon and Ariana's afternoon together. Ana prepared a picnic for Mahlon and Ariana. She ventured reluctantly onto the Promenade to pick up a few things. She considered adding picnic lunches to her menu. Mahlon picked up the picnic basket the following morning. His comm badge chirped; their date was almost cancelled again because of work. He ran off to Shuttle Bay Two to meet Ariana. She brought hiking boots and Mahlon brought a packed lunch. The Sphere's topology was created; it did not follow the rules of tectonic plates and weather erosion.
Kal stared lovingly at the treasures gifted by Husar. With all of the hours he put in for her, he had little time for his own project. He doubted he could create a nanovirus when the Collective hadn't. He resolved to holiday in Romulan space. He asked Husar for the weekend off and promised her a bottle of Romulan ale. Seket intercepted him at the docking ports. He told he was going into Romulan space and admitted he considered venturing into Borg space as well. Patriotic Cardassians would suicide rather than be taken by the Borg. Seket gave Kal a PADD with a collection of Cardassian literature. It also doubled as a surveillance device she planned to exploit.
Kal sat in the front seat of the shuttle enojoying the book given him by Seket. The repetitive epic suited Kal's tastes. The Kazon planned to board a Rihannsu ship and download information that had not been shared with the Federation. Kal missed Romulan space and drifted for three days before being found by a DFA shuttle. He was rescued by Ensign Taylor; Kit. Kal would need the XOs permission before seeing the lone Borg aboard DFA Cromwell. Denied permission, he tracked down Six of Twelve on his own. Without permission to speak with Six, Major Reynolds threw Kal in the brig for the night. Major Reynolds interrogated Kal the following morning. Kal admitted his admiration for the Borg and pleaded to speak with Six again.
Seket breezed onto the Kinat'Nu as if she owned it. She was silenced by security footage from the ship's cargo bay. A creature had esacped it's crate. Timari had informed his superiors in the Obsidian Order. Failure was not tolerated. Seket was intruded upon by a woman with knowledge of the Sphere and Builder technology. A small Cardassian woman reached Seket's office where she berated her for losing Builder technology. It was a mess to be cleaned up by the new, well-connected ambassador.
Sentinel Station's new Cardassian Ambassador watched footage of the biomechanoid escape the Kinat'Nu's cargo hold. She paged Commander Mirel ad badgered her to take a meeting. She had lost a pet and wanted it to be found involving as few people as possible. Magar was purposely vague and roundabout in her description of the pet. The Cardassian ambassador was seeking permission to have her own people look for it aboard the station. Mirel was going to have her own people look for the lost pet and a small number of Cardassians were welcome to help.
Eiwan was early to the mess hall. Lionin picked out breakfast and sat at her table. A biomechanoid wandered around Sentinel Station trying to find a GAMM to connect to. It tapped the EPS grid to power itself back up. The lights in the mess hall flickered and died. The biomechanoid moved through the station 'fixing' things and cutting through bulkheads in it's search.
Ana Ferguson met with a supplier who could stock everything she needed for her cafe. Needing a name on the spot, she chose 'Second Chances Cafe'. Everyone deserved a second chance. Lirka floated into the cafe. Ana had never been allowed to have friends over for tea.
T'Zora meditated. Lyras peppered her with questions that the crew of SS Axel were bound to ask. Her thoughts focused on the candle that slowly died and rebuilt itself in the process. She was trying to cope with the busyness of her new ship and craving Trellium-D.
Diagnostic Hologram One abroached the Medbot in Sickbay to discuss the biological units aboard the ship. Diagnostic Hologram One considered shortening it's name to Malot; 'apparition' in the Gatrubbian tongue. It would improve her acceptance by the crew. Medbot, already short for Ship Robotic Medical Droid, decided to be called Bert. Bert didn't consider itself a member of crew but rather a tool to serve the crew. Malot excused herself back to engineering.
Targa ran a simulation in Axel's gunnery room. The Gorn-built ship was popular in the Klingon market. Toraith decided to join in on the fun. The two were situated on an 8-bit Qo'NoS shooting lotlhmoq and raw', then avoiding barrels of blood wine.
Eiwan rushed to Favor's side when he faltered after the holiday party. The scientist brushed it off. They were each well outside the norm of the human majority of Starfleet. Favor had altered his body and exiled himself from Elaysia. They both went against the grain of their own cultures.
Doctor Noble was found Commander Favor who had been paraded by every other doctor on Sentinel Station. His bi-weekly checkups were necessary after the Neuromuscular Adaptation surgery a year earlier. On their way back to Medbay, the doctor tried to break the ice. The station's chief science officer was from one of six sentient species on Elaysia. The doctor was a Starfleet brat with two parents never assigned to the same duty station. With another clean bill of health, Tian extended the timespan for Favor's next physical to four weeks.
Malot stopped into Axel's rec area to 'socialize'. Quidano was having a dinner of fungi and algae.
Antonia was lost but made it to her first duty shift with fifteen seconds to spare.
Pleg was admiring SS Axel when a young woman reacted to hearing it's name. She knew a Paul Gorgon who captained a ship named SS Seiklon Axel. Pleg beamed the two of them to his shuttle, the Convenience, to rendez-vous with Axel.
Axel prepared to depart Sentinel Station for the Batim Wellness Institute. Bresa was still getting used to the captain's chair. The crew were getting used to their new ship. No one had seen Bailey since leaving port. The crew assembled in the mess hall. They were interrupted by Xin. A Ferengi shuttle requested permission to come dock. The bay would remain depressurized until Targa and Toraith could ready themselves. Pleg waited for before opening the shuttle door and introduced Larissa Gorgon to the pair of armed Axel crew. Toraith misunderstood the implication that the human girl was his child. Toraith summoned the captain. The name Gorgon hadn't been used in years. Paul was dead. Bresa offered the young woman to stay aboard the ship.
Pleg rendez-voused with the Viatorem after dropping off the Gordon girl. Captain Mason questioned supplying the Gatrubbians rather than wealthier planets nearby. Pleg acknowledged they were not much but being in on the ground floor could be very lucrative. Viatorem carried a piece of Starfleet's secret 'Genesis' project. Mason offered to remain nearby should his services be needed again.
Quidano piloted Axel on it's final approach to the Batim Wellness Institute. The interior of the institute showed no life signs whatsoever. T'Zora was called to the bridge for her expertise. She theorized that the institute shut down it's environmental systems twenty-four hours after the last living person, herself, left. The boarding party would don environmental suits to explore T'Zora's former home. Targa looked over each suit meticulously.
Kal was approached by a woman with mistletoe dangling from a small fishing pole on her cap. He blushed. The woman turned to Mahlon who feigned a contagious virus and evaded her. Kal moved to the bar followed by the mistletoe-bearing woman. Husar was curious about human mating rituals. Kal was growing more and more uncomfortable.
Commander Favor arrived to the party on the holideck. It was a chance to keep the vertical hierarchy out of the horizontal exercises. He drank a hot chocolate and made smalltalk. Mahlon introduced the chief science officer to the stations geologist completely oblivious that they already knew each other. Only putting an extremely hot dumpling in his mouth halted the awkward conversation. Kal enjoyed one more cautiously. He hadn't eaten real food in a very long time. He retired early to his quarters.
Kal rang the door to Commander Favor's quarters to discuss a research proposal. Ensign Serota had encouraged him at the party the night before. He had brushed up on Lieutenant Jameson's research into Borg nanoprobes. If he could improve on Borg technology, he might be considered worthy of assimilation. Favor was concerned about Four's interest in the Borg and desire to go to a Cube known to be in the area. It would require the sanction of Starfleet.
SS Axel escaped from the Sphere pursued by a pair of Kharian attack craft. Barrels dropped from Axel's cargo bay destroyed their pursuers. Captain Kivas Wren manned the disruptors himself as more Kharian attack craft closed in. Starfleet fighters were deployed from Sentinel Station. The Banzai fighters evaded the incoming disruptor fire but maintained formation. The interactions between the Hope One Dyson Sphere and the Geroch Wormhole created hot spots ripe to opening subspace vortices. USS Daystrom closed in the vortex. Toraith tugged at the collar around his neck that kept the crew obedient to their captain. Being captured by Starfleet wasn't the worst outcome for the crew of SS Axel.
Everyone wished everyone else a Happy New Year on both sides of the Atlantic.
Real life friends Cára and Richie joined OH1 together. As a group, we should be able to distinguish with Rich L, Richie T and Richard N.
Dark eyes glittered as they stared at the tiny flame. It rested on an ingenious little plate with tiny holes on the outer rim for the melted wax to escape through. From there, the wax was funneled down into a special mold, where a wick rested along a tiny rod. As the candle slowly died, it slowly rebuilt itself.
—A metaphor fitting for T'Zora (played by Roxane)
"To...Tomorrow?" repeated Ariana startled. "Um, Rocking my dust collection...."
—Ariana (played by Devon) in response to be asked on a date.
2517.01.01.01 SENT Kal "First post of the new year!"
—Very accurately the first post of the year; received "1 Jan 2018 00:03:50 -0000". In her enthusiasm, Tabitha jumped forward 99 years rather than just 1.
2418.01.26.01 SEN Mirel "You think yourself important"
2418.01.27.01 SEN Magar "I am Important"
Really, the whole thread has to be read to be appreciated: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SentinelStation/conversations/messages/4834
I played something very similar to Raw' Hunt growing up. It's nice to see 8-bit gaming has a place even in the 25th century. Doug and Rich did a great job in this scene.
Rich has contributed greatly to OH1 this month. Targa and Toraith interacting in the gunnery room was a great read (see above). I think I'd like to revisit the alternative universe where Axel is smuggling under the noses of the Federation and the Kharians. Rich is prolific writing both standalone and one-on-one threads with a number of players.
Honourable mention to Tabitha. She contributes to three (or is it four) duty stations and writes for each as if they were the only one. It is interesting to see Kal in a different environment and interacting with her own Borg character aboard DFA Cromwell. These kinds of stories highlight the value of Star Trek: Borderlands as cooperative, collaborative, creative group.
Bresa returned from Oka more tired than when he left. It had been days of meetings with limited success. Targa had obtained a holographic emitter the size of a torso to contain the diagnostic program provided by the Gatrubbian government. He was arguing with a company in Oka over the construction of the cargo jacket. It was not needed on their next mission to the Wellness Institute.
Bresa and Quidano spoke with Targa before they activated their holographic crew member. Diagnostic Hologram One greeted Captain Bresa and the others in the room. Quidano's first question was a reaffirmation of the Hippocratic Oath. Lyras needled T'Zora whom she suspected of wanting to practice medicine rather than a hologram. Bresa decided to assign DH1 to engineering rather than the med bay given it's role on it's previous ship. It would be given leave to wander throughout the ship despite Quidano's vocal misgivings.
Natasha had wandered around Sentinel Station for ten days and was finally seated in the First Contact Bar. It was a Parisian cafe complete with charming holographic rain. After lunch, Nat waited on a response from Axel.
Word spread of a Writer appearing witin Oka after the quake. Ensign Serota shared the appearance of a Builder while beneath the surface with a Lacosian worker. Evidence was mounting of a opportunistic trickster. The station's commander, governor and senior scientist offered to continue support as Oka rebuilt. Graven had never heard of a Writer appearing in the flesh and Favor was doubtful of the Writer's identiy. It followed Clark's Third Rule: any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Bresa walked into Oka's main temple. He had lost track of the Gatrubbian calendar and was surprised by the eve of Scribe Grimana's Day. Families would come together and share their stories of the past year. The evening prior, Gatrubbians remembered the stories the Writers decided to end. The temple was lit only with candles. The day was based on an ascetic monk who regretted not spending time with his parents before they died. Bresa had long ago lost everyone he knew. He was invited to a Scribe Grimana Day gathering with Reader Kalana and his family.
Indrisi Elva had transitioned from maintaining the fleet of aging ships to dismantling the fleet for the construction of Oka. Many of the ships that reached the Sphere were automated and few Gatrubbians that remained at the Sphere after the schism had a desire for space travel. He was designing the external cargo module for SS Axel. The Cestus-class ship fit what the Gatrubbians needed for trade beyond the Sphere.
Pleg watched a small ship leave the station. He didn't recognize it.
Commander Favor still had mixed feelings over his decision to undergo neuro-muscular adaptation. His body was not accustomed to humanoid gravity norms.
Seket was confident that Kal would betray Husar. She just had to find his price. Husar was no better than the nasty, spitting voles she delivered to the embassy. They were sent to the Cardassian Café to be turned into stew. Kal declined to help his only friend and a woman who did know his price. Seket revealed that Husar was a member of the Scravvan families. She had planted the seed in Kal's mind and was ready to release him back into Husar's hands. Her door was open whenever Kal had information for her. Deben handed the Kazon a care package as he left. It held syrupy sweet cakes. Kal told Husar about meeting Seket and her offer. He didn't care about her criminal connections. Husar told her new employee to take the box of cakes with him in case it was bugged.
S'Yahazah appeared to Toraith. She was a hefty Gorn with shiny scales. She was a ghost of Christmas past showing Toraith his younger self on the hunt with cousins. Alton encouraged Toraith to interact with the past. Toraith's dream morphed into a boxing match with his father. A scene of Gorn massacring humans came from Alton's past. Alton and Toraith had never built a friendship because of that event. Toraith awoke aboard Axel. Toraith fell back to sleep and was greeted by his old captain. Rather than show alternate futures for Toraith, Elias told him that he needs to trust himself. The Gorn had lost faith in himself. Control was an illusion and sometimes life is lived by winging it. Toraith decided to make himself a new sash bearing his family crest and Axel's logo.
A woman slipped silently out the back door of a huge house. She met up with someone in the shadows and they moved further into the woods. The following day Mr. Morales berated two local police. He had last seen his wife the previous evening before bed. Neither of the police officers were going to expend much effort in finding her knowing she had run away. Ana reached Sentinel Station and an unused space on the Promenade. Elizabeth had evaded her husband for three years and disappeared in the Delta Quadrant. She had taken a big step in reclaiming her own life.
Ana had slept on the floor with her duffel bag for a pillow. She looked both ways before stepping out into the corridor; old habits die hard. She shut out memories of her past as she stepped into an unoccupied cafe space on the Promenade. She was enjoying a freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee when a Grazerite stopped by her open threshold. She offered coffee. Ashon-Milyo drank black tea and asked about the new cafe. She would be opening breakfast and brunch cafe with baked goods. Ashon-Milyo had confidence in her success. He finished his tea and continued his walk on the Promenade. Ana was assailed by self-doubt.
Ariana was an outsider, even amongst the scientists aboard Sentinel Station. She sent invites to the science department that spread more widely through word-of-mouth. She was throwing a party on the /Holideck/. Her favourite android replied he would not be attending. The season was a sore spot for him. Kal was surprised at the invite to an Earth holiday. He was glad to have an evening to break him from his self-enforced isolation. Kal invited Husar to a Christmas party as his 'plus one'. Mahlon was glad to have a third chance with Ariana. He gritted his teeth at sending a form letter as a reply with no personal message and followed up with something only slightly better.
The holodeck was programmed with a wintery glade and a bonfire. The party included most of Sentinel Station's science community. The geologist bartender served all drinks 'on the rocks'. Kal felt out of place. He brought the cupcakes given him by Seket hoping they were appropriate to the occasion. Mahlon worried that Kal was making a move on Ariana. Kal shared that he had been aboard more than one Borg vessel and never assimilated because his species was unworthy. The others tried to make him feel better. Husar showed up fashionably late to the party. It was the first major holiday after Favor's surgery. He had never been able to partake in Winter events in his harness. Ariana was used to the holideck being a place where rank and role were set aside. A woman was making the rounds with a sprig of mistletoe dangling above her head. Husar found it entertaining as Kal, then Mahlon, tried to avoid her.
Mary joined OH1 from another roleplay group. To quote Rich: "The more the Mary-er".
Roxane achieved her 50,000-word goal for NaNo (National Novel Writing Month). Finley (XO of USS Discovery) also achieved 50,000 words.
Doug wrote a fantastic take on Gaston's song. We were all stunned to hear that Toraith saw himself not as Gaston, but, as Belle.
We were introduced to the new SS Axel. It's a cozy ship. It includes a table-top holographic monster chutes and ladders.
Jim and Caleb shared tips on cleaner formatting when copying from an editor into email.
The Promenade page was expanded to include signage.
We all exchanged happy Christmas and New Year messages.
2417.12.22.01 SENT Kal "Food glorious food.."
2417.12.22.01 AXEL Bresa "Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?"
—Reading these subject lines, I had to sing the whole thing.
Twas the night before Chrismas and all through the ship
Not a crewmate was stirring not even a bit
Toraith the Gorn was asleep in his bed
While dreams of dead crewmen danced in his head
—The lead-in to Toraith's visitation by the ghosts of Christmas (Doug)
No player selected.
Captain Tervan decided he needed to board the Requiem to save the sole life sign aboard. Avinbruch offered to join the boarding party along. The Gatrubbian captain welcomed the better trained and more experienced Marines. The Mainframe was confused by the attack and Kima and Diagnostic Unit One more performing their duties. It fired it's outdated phasers in a weak defence and made for Sentinel Station whom it assumed would protect it. As Mainframe routed all power to phasers, it's shields wavered and Tiberius Strike Group was able to disable it's tactical systems. The diagnostic unit defended Kima from the Mainframe citing ethics grounds. Mainframe was focused on operational efficiency and survival. Ghastly images of ghastly, malformed Gatrubbians appeared to the boarding party lead by Captain Tervan. Kima defended Diagnostic Unit One when it was clear the boarding party intended to disrupt it's holographic matrix. Gatrubbian law treated the holographic being as a person. Kima and DUO were beamed aboard the Requiem. The Mainframe escaped in the form of a memory core as the ship around it was utterly destroyed.
Quidano was promoted to First Officer over Xin who took the position of Second Officer (Bridge Operations).
Targa toured Axel's engine room. Without an endorsement from his former captain, the engineer was unlikely to be given a new posting with the Klingon Empire. It an entirely different life with a ship of species he'd never met before. Axel's shuttle bay was barely large enough to hold the Clydesdale-class shuttle. He downloaded the shuttle's entire navigational database. He familiarized himself with Axel's schematics. The Dahk'let was a cargo hauler and he knew he could improve the load capacity of his new ship. It's engine design precluded pulling a cargo train. He opened a connection to Bresa within the Sphere via Sentinel's communications network. He proposed a cargo jacket; containers carried alongside Axel to improve capacity.
Quidano was surprised at the leeway he and Toraith were being given. Under their previous captain, they had commandeered a ship. They both felt Toraith was lost after the loss of his mother. He showed a weakness neither ever expected to see in a Gorn. T'Zora had been discharged from the med bay and given quarters near the engine room. She would accompany Quidano and Toraith aboard Sentinel Station to find new crew. Quidano mentioned renting permanent lodging aboard the station but no one else seemed to notice.
Toraith was surprised his ban from the station had been lifted. He joined Quidano and T'Zora at the First Contact Bar. Cash Bailey returned to the bar he had visited on his last trip to the station. B.B. threw a man out of the bar, then gave him Valdian coffee on the house. T'Zora and her alter ego argued. Quidano came across Bailey who presumed the Garan wanted something stolen or something returned. Toraith told Bailey not die like the other humans. He was bothered by Axel abandoning their mission on Gornar and the loss of some of it's crew and his own parents. Axel would be underway when it's new captain, Bresa, returned from the Sphere.
Bailey chatted with T'Zora in the corridor near their quarters. He noticed a change in her eyes when she started talking about the Institute. Lyras nudged her consciousness.
Xin was minding Axel's docking port when Toraith came back early from the First Contact Bar. She was reading 'A Christmas Carol'. Toraith commented on humans treating Ferengi with disdain. The Gorn could just as easily have been talking about his own mistreatment.
Bresa admired the resilience of the Gatrubbian people. Oka had been largely cleaned up after the quake. The architecture looked the same as it did on Gatrubbe. A hologram from the destroyed ship Requiem was offered to Axel for a period of servitude. The Gatrubbian government would install the necessary holographic matrices.
Quill represented himself as a Builder in the appearance of an Adonis-like Lacosian. A God-like radiance shone from his face and he threatened punishment. Ariana stumbled into the face-to-face between the supposed Builder and a scizophrenic Lacosian. After several changes of appearance, Quill disappeared. Skel's confusion was quickly replaced by his obsessive need to fix the Sphere. Ariana noted that the Lacosians were generally unstable and that the Sphere was falling into disrepair. Skel paused when he realized that, perhaps, Ariana was real. She followed the Lacosian deeper into the Sphere's crumbling interior structure.
A summit of Starfleet, Federation and Gatrubbian officials met in Oka over stories that a Writer had appeared. Word spread like wildfire in the settlements. Reports of a shape-shifting being dispelled the notion it was, indeed, a Writer. Efforts by Sentinel's engineering teams, Marines and the assistance of PlegCorp had repaired the physical damage to the city and mitigated the effects of future quakes. Never in recorded Gatrubbian history had the Writers appeared in coporeal form.
Lirka tried to convince Commander Mirel to change her uniform after blotting out the non-existant stain. The Commander was undeterred from speaking with the station's new ambassador. The Fenergi female spoke loudly about Pleg's humanitarian efforts in the Sphere and it's many opportunities.
Husar strung Kal along with the story of the Kel Dakul. Kal was dejected by the thought of his unworthiness for assimilation. Gaspar offered commentary on everything Husar said. The story ended with a box of Borg odds and ends. Kal was hooked. Kal couldn't leave the Sushi Bar fast enough. Husar showed Kal a chunk of metal he immediately realized was not Borg. She made him swear he was not undercover security. The bits had been recovered as salvage and resold before the Obsidian Order could confiscate them. The real prize was an interplexing beacon. She doubted the kid could afford such a piece. Kal was willing to do anything and said as much. Kal had attempted to surgically implant Borg components in the past. Kal agreed to a months labour for the beacon while Husar was considering ways of keeping him working for her indefinitely. She put him to work cleaning teh pens of fighting voles. Kal was willing to lose his fingers for an interplexing beacon. Husar almost knocked over a bottle of kanar when Kal announced he was finished. She rewarded his efficiency with drone exoplating. Kal offered to sleep in the back room where he would be available at a moment's notice. Husar decided on an alternative to sleeping next to vole cages.
Gordo was cleaning an apartment of blood when Husar and Kal approached. His brother Groud hadn't been since doing a job for Husar. The apartment was a small living space at the back of a commercial business owned by Kang and Kodos. Husar insisted on coming along and Kal was glad to have her along. He started to unpack in the apartent with blood-stained walls until Husar stepped in. The next apartment was a luxury by comparison. Kal had little to move as all of his collectibles were kept on the shuttle safely out of view.
Kal stepped into an astrometics lab at 3am. He was alone to search for the Cube he knew was in the area. After several unfruitful searches, he asked Chief Petty Officer Eiwan for assistance. He told her he was a xenobiologist studying the Borg. His searches were being filtered by Starfleet Tactical. He closed the channel and tried a different tactic. He compared sensor scans from a year earlier including gravimetric distortions and tetryon emissions. Four planets had been affected; Ari-Saae had changed orbit, polar tilt and density. It was last visited by USS Disovery. Four of Six decided he had to visit that planet.
Kal added high-dose caffeine to his breakfast drink and still looked awful when he showed up for work in the morning. His morning task was to take a crate to the Cardassian embassy. It contained live animals and it would be best to avoid the scrutiny of police. He was going to be turned away at the door until Seket stepped in. Kal tried to leave but Seket insisted he enter. Isolating him within the embassy intimidate the Kazon. The crate contained fighting voles. Kal was repulsed by the idea but he wanted the interplexing beacon so badly he swallowed his ethics. The large males were favoured but Seket prized the quiet female. When she dropped her back into the crate, she was ready for attack and none of the other voles dared approach her. Seket added sweet Terran muffins to the table that Kal feared were poisoned.
Kal heard alarms, phaser fire and screaming. He lost his mother, father and twin brother that day. He and his older sister scavenged for six years. Once Kal turned sixteen, he could earn his warrior's name and find a place in Kazon society.
2417.11.23.01 SENT Kal "If I use enough jargon it might at least look like I know what I'm taking about."
—Kal trying to find a Borg Cube purposely hidden by Starfleet Tactical . To paraphrase Roxane, Kal may not know what he's doing, but, he looks darn good while doing it.
Four of Six is a throughly interesting character. He is driven by his desire to be assimilated. It's something he shares with others despite an inner voice always telling him to stop. Even when Husar is clearly manipulating and taking advantage of him, he sweeps it aside because obtaining Borg technology is worth any price. Tabitha has written a character with a level of fanaticism and doublethink worthy of a George Orwell character.
Honourable mention to Doug. Toraith's angry, offhand comments reveal the pain he's feeling over the death of his family and friends. His empathy for the mistreatment of Ferengi on the station is clearly a bit of unintentional self-reflection.
Ariana was happy to hear Mahlon's voice. He had a seat up front next to himself on the Wadati. Farmer had an awkward pickup line or two and an offer of a second date surveying the exterior of the Sphere. Enroute Ariana did some homework and was beamed down to Lieutenant Commander Favor's position.
In Oka, Lieutenant Commander Favor coordinated the search for a cause. A quake was unheard of in the history of the Sphere. The Marine regiment had recently relocated to the Sphere and were already lending assistance transporting equipment and personnel through the capital. Graven introduced a being claiming to be a Writer who immediately disappeared and appeared elsewhere in the city. Lieutenant Bear and Ensign Serota were each searching for clues. The DFA geologist was expected to hvae a preliminary report in two hours. She expressed her concern for aftershocks. Graven reassured the Starfleet team that they had not yet begun construction of a subterranean transport system. Ariana wondered if the Lacosians could shed light on the situation. The Sphere was falling into a state of disrepair.
Lirka spent hours trying to reach Gatrubbian officials. Pleg hadn't had any luck with the Kharians, Lacosians or Johvan. The Gatrubbian official was leary of the below-market price from a Ferengi merchant. Lirka played hard ball and got the deal sealed.
Lieutenant Bear was in command of USS Daystrom. He was his usual brusque self when asked to scan the deeper structure of the sphere under the Gatrubbian capital. He was greeted by a squeling Ensign Serota who had first met him when a volcano appeared within the Sphere. It was before Favor's assignment to Sentinel Station and asked to be brought up to speed. Ariana had located several Lacosians who identified the 'volcano' as molten matter being created by malfunctioning machinery. She hadn't found any Lacosians yet to inquire about the latest geological event. There was no geological activity to account for the quake. She could use Daystrom to tap into miniature science stations distributed throughout the Sphere including one seismic detector.
Favor shared that someone or something had claimed to be a Writer and they could not ignore it as the source of the quake.
Skel moved through dusty, abandoned spaces within the Sphere. His voice ws disharmonious within the Great Chorus. He followed a swarn of biomechanoids awoken by the disturbence with the Sphere. He followed them around a corner to Quinn who was neither biomechanoid nor Lacosian.
Admiral Rostov and Ms. Valmont met with an agitated Kharian. The latter grabbed a vial to kill his own brother with. With the trade complete, Rostov settled to sleep enroute to Sentinel Station. He dreamt of his little girl. Rowland was concerned about the ambassador's first public even being so public. He entered the station with more than a dozen personal guards. Rostov's team had organized and funded the extravagant ball. The Lady Lirka glided into the ball in a diaphanous gown. She and Pleg were a royal couple. Rostov spoke with Pleg about his intentions to increase trade in the Delta Quadrant with the creation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee to which Pleg would be invited. Lirka and Rowland both moved to invite Commander Mirel and keep her from interrupting the deals being struck by the new ambassador. Lirka looked at an imaginary spot on Commander Mirel's dress uniform in horror and dragged her away to blot it out with water.
Yul Brynner awoke from a nightmare enroute to Sentinel Station. It was from his time aboard Starbase Horizon. He was like a ghost. After a shower, a drink and concealing weapons on his person he returned to the Promenade. After an hour of casual browsing and checking for a tail, he entered /Whims and Favors/. Pleg didn't recognize his old associate at first. Ghost left a card and contact info for then Pleg could locate him some work. Ghost stopped by the Department of Records to locate a friend. Colonel Anderson was still alive although his record had been redacted and sealed. He met with a reporter posing as a DFA Intelligence officer. She was working on a story about Garam 4. Everyone involved had died, some under unusual circumstances.
Ghost captured Romsey Dom Insa, an entrepreneur, and shared a bit of his own past. Ghost was El-Aurian and had lived on Earth, joined the Marines and eventually Section 31. He asked a childhood friend to look after his family. His wife and child were killed to tie up loose ends. Mr. Romsey Dom Insa had once been Mr. Thomas Stone, the man who reported seeing Ghost's wife and child to Section 31. Mr. Insa was killed and the scene cleaned.
Timari questioned Pleg's motives of selling self-sealing stembolts to the Gatrubbians. Pleg came to Timari because of he was known as an honest broker. Timari called for a bottle of Kanar to seal the deal. Pleg asked for something else, something that would not make him itchy for hours affterwards. Timari offered a variety of beverages and food. He suggested Seket serve the food like a good Ferengi female. Seket recoiled in disgust and fetched beer instead. Pleg stroked his lobe at the opportunity of trade with the Gatrubbians.
Kal docked his 10-year old shuttle at Sentinel Station and inquired about quarters and lab space to develop an assimilation virus to prove his worth to the Borg. He had lost everyone he cared about. The Assistant Quartermaster asked questions to find the right fit for the Kazon traveller. He was drawn to Sentinel over rumours of a Cube in the vicinity. He settled on lab space and access to the main computer during overnight shifts. He sat in his temporary quarters watching a holo of his family. He thought back to seven years earlier. Kal's science vessel was boarded by Borg. Of the 27 life forms on his deck, 26 were assimilated. Kal was knocked unconscious by a drone. Kal awoke to a Talaxian doctor who reassured him that he was safe; his species was unworthy of assimilation.
Kal strayed from his usual diet of unlavoured nutrient supplements and accepted Gaspar's welcome at /Sushi Bar/. Husar admonished Gaspar and adviced Kal leave immediately to avoid being poisoned. Kal avoided the sushi plate and asked for a drink instead. He didn't drink it either after Husar called it vole pee. Husar laughed at Kal describing himself as a scienist. He was different that the usual knuckle-dragging variety of Kazon. Husar part-owned Sushi Bar as well as a curio shop. Kal appreciated the many species aboard the station and asked about the nearby Borg Cube. Husar shared how the Kharians were nearly eradicated with the remainder screaming back to the Sphere.
Kima stumbled through his ship trying to escape the constant repairs. He was shocked unconscious from an Engineering console. His ship regretted the lack of replacement vocal units but was optimistic of acquiring additional replacement parts for it's sole Gatrubbian sub-system. A holographic replay of the ship's former crew looped. The replay was corroded. The ship tried to place Kima into the scene but was arguing with itself to dispose of Kima or repair him further. Instead, more poorly reproduced Gatrubbians walked the corridors.
Captain Tervan of the Gatrubbian patrol ship /Requiem/ detected a ship that concerned him immediately. He contacted Sentinel Station with his concern and was patched through to Lieutenant Commander Valrenie of Tactical Operations. Captain Tervan shared that the ship was gifted to the Gatrubbian Fleet but it's artificial intelligence failed and the crew evacuated. It had become a harbinger of death. Varenie deployed a strike group to help Tervan destroy the threat.
Mahlon called on Ariana for a trip outside the Sphere. During their conversation, he was reassigned to meet up with Gatrubbian ship Requiem. Ariana was disappointed. Mahlon promised to call her when he was back at the station.
Requiem detected a life sign aboard the ship of interest. Tervan linked up with Strike Group Tiberius who were willing to follow the Gatrubbian captain's lead in dealing with the ship.
Xin was the target of interest of a senior officer aboard Dahk'let. She knocked him to the deck and left the bridge with a copy of it's scans of the Gorn system.
Toraith was reeling from the loss of his family. He felt Imgres was the only sympathetic ear aboard Axel and had no kind words for their former captain. Toraith and Quidano had rescued Chelsea while the captain did nothing. Bresa defended their former captain who they believed had escaped the ship before it blew up. Xin had the Dahk'let's sensor logs but their Clydesdale shuttle was not up to the task of tracking down the lost Work bees. Targa disliked the new Axel; a Gorn design with Federation styling. He made a point, as it's new engineer, of walking every square inch of it. It was up to Targa to keep their true identity hidden until they reached allies on the Gorn moon. The moon was desolate with a thin atmosphere and sparse vegetation. The shuttle detected high-decibel audio Toraith identified as music. It was a festival of debauchery called 'Crodie Graw'. Xin was taken aback despite her Risan heritage. Duke Faritha thanked his son Gromo as if the party had been organized specifically for his return to their home world.
T'Zora moved through the Batim Wellness Institute to the ground floor and into the lobby. It was devoid of patients and staff. The stench of rot was overwhelming. The cafeteria was littered with bodies. T'Zora speculated that deep meditation hid their life signs from whomever or whatever killed every living person at the Institute. Lyras suggested reprogramming an escape pod. She staggered through the bloody mess and into an escape pod.
In the six weeks since their arrival on the Gorn moon, the restored Duke Faritha provided the Axel crew with a new ship. It had a top speed of Warp 5 and required unfamiliar piloting techniques to fly the equivalent of Warp 8. They had all submitted themselves to medical scans to the Gorn medbot. Axel intercepted an escape pod bearing a single lifesign. Quidano guided it into the cargo bay where it could be safely opened.
Bresa and Toraith triggered it's egress protocol. T'Zora and Lyras bickered as they regained consciousness. They raced each other to the surface of their conflicted mind.T'Zora was taken to Sickbay. Axel's medbot did not have Vulcan physiology in it's database. After so long in the escape pod, she stunk even to Toraith's sense of smell. Toraith set her down in the small med bay. She was still covered in the remnants of the Institute's staff. The stench was typical of Vulcans. Bresa pulled rank and left Toraith to look after the Vulcan woman.
T'Zora set a bowl of tepid broth on the side table. She was undisturbed by her own nudity. There was no sense of privacy at the Institute. The medbot had scrubbed the blood off her body and from under her fingernails. She gave Bresa a rundown of the events at the Institute and her own escape. Bresa recommended a return to the Institute. T'Zora did not object.
Roxane returned to Seiklon Axel after too long an absence. She has never stopped writing and we are glad to have her back within our ranks.
Jason joined OH1/Axel. He is a long-time writer with Borderlands and has been a leading voice on Starbase Horizon.
Tabitha has been writing with DFA Cromwell for a while and has brought her new character, a motivated Kazon, to OH1.
Jorge has joined Borderlands as a former UFPI player. UFPI, Quadrant Delta and Borderlands splintered in 2000. We're honoured to have him with us.
A call went out to everyone about NaNo 2017 (National Novel Writer's Month) to everyone who writes within Star Trek: Borderlands. About half a dozen decided to try writing a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.
2417.10.10.01 GORN "Risan prude"
—Doug responding to a Gorn free love festival that not even a Risan would participate in
2417.10.22.01 SNT Kal "Area of research: Don't say nanoprobes! Don't say nanoprobes!"
—You just know he wasn't going to keep it under wraps
Kal woke up several hours later in the sickbay of a DFA vessel with concussion and a scar down his neck from were the drone had thrown him.
"Why didn't they take me?" He asked the doctor half deliriously.
The talaxian doctor smiled at his patient "You were lucky, it was the Borg, they consider your species to be 'unworthy of assimilation'" he laughed "Wish we were."
—A patient being told the exact opposite of what he wanted to hear
Anna Maria came back from a break and jumped into several threads, Skel in the quake thread, the Timari captain, Husar manipulating the impressionable Kal. Her breadth of involvement is impressive.
Honourable mentions to Devon and Tabitha:
Ariana is a lynchpin character trying to explain a quake we all know is inexplicable. She is plucky and unafraid. She stood up to Quill. I had forgot about the shard given to Ariana by Sazz. It was a nice bit of continuiuty.
Tabitha has introduced a very well-written, interesting character in Kal. There is a great backstory. I am in eager anticipation of the mess Kal will make.