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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
The Royal I - Pt.2

For the first time since the procedure, his veins seemed to pulse back to life. A hint of color was slowly returning to his skin, though some wounds never fully heal.

They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

But what if it’s not truly gone, just locked away behind a wall, your mind drowning in a surge of voices?

We’ve all heard the stories, but what would you do if it happened to you?

Well, it happened to me, & now I don’t know what to do. Who can I turn to?

What would ambassador Picard do?
<End session.>

That was his first memory, now nearly a year has passed & in that time he’s already reached the highest rank an officer of his experience can currently achieve. In that time, he’s transferred through several ships, it hasn’t been easy to identify with the others, but he has forged bonds worthy of testament.

Captain’s log, stardate 0995.41

I have decided it is finally time to recap some of the events that have lead me here, & the people who have journeyed with me along the way as we all helped each other to adjust.

Some people with a social aversion have a disposition towards helping others like them. Some exhibit the tendency to seek out others like them hoping to find refuge from the strange insecurities societies seem to have about them. It is our unconscious desire that in surrounding ourselves with what ails us or helping others with similar issues, we will miraculously break from our own shells. As such, we are all inevitably drawn towards one another, like gravity, like all people of the universe. Such has been the case throughout my tenure since my return to Starfleet.

You know the idiom, if it isn't damaged then do not attempt repair, or you could further complicate the issue. Well, it went something like that...

I went through a refresher course on the finer points of being an officer, but it was inexorably decreed that I didn’t need it. Proof was given when I took command of the U.S.S. Copperwire following the death of the captain, on that tragic day when the borg reinitiated themselves as a threat to our way of life. As a commendation for my command ability, I was given a choice to retain my command status even though I was still technically a second time around ensign. Apparently, I had impressed the crew & they helped sway the vote. All 308 of what had originally been 450 crew members approved of my well processed decision making. One even called me a Man of Action; I was proud, though I would never have thought that of myself.

I immediately knew who would serve well as my first officer. I trained with her at the academy when she had the accident. I was the only one who was there for her.

V’Buni Alsharin was in a student exchange program from the Vulcan Academy of Science, herself a liberated borg. She had been studying & training with the most promising class of ’09; my class, naturally. Not intending to boast, just that when you’ve done all this before & the memories start to return, everything is already familiar so it becomes rhetorical, really. But I digress…

V’Buni was hard to get along with at first, but we came to trust one another. She asked for my help one day; her Kobayashi Maru was coming soon & with little warning, & worse off still it was likely to occur during her time of pon farr. She had heard the stories as we all have, & would have been a liar if she denied being nervous; unable to hide it as well with the heat already upon her.

At a most untimely moment, a single tethys dreadnought managed to break our line of defense & entered the atmosphere attacking earth during the exam, & she assumed it was part of the test; unwilling to be fooled. She caught her commanding officer lowering the shields of the base, & she stunned him without a second thought. It revealed itself to be a hostile undine, & she was forced to vaporize it when it rushed her position.

Soon after, a chroniton torpedo lodged into the chamber where she was working on re-establishing the shields. She had thought of a way to disable the dreadnought's shields by extending the academies own shields around the undine ship & matching their frequencies. She no longer had time to run a simulation, she trusted herself & engaged the program. It wasn't immediately apparent, but it worked flawlessly & was an essential component to defeating the aggressors.

The torpedo’s detonation module was malfunctioning, as tends to happen with chroniton torpedoes; it may have very well been a dud. Faced with this new problem, she knew she had to attempt to disarm it whether or not it was an immediate threat. She began formulating calculations to expose the torpedo to a chroniton wave, countering its own energy with the hopeful goal being to negate the reaction altogether without even having to lay hands upon the weapon.

Alas, the torpedo detonated when its hull was penetrated by the waves, but this did not have the result one would expect. An anti-time distortion field surrounded the entire chamber & began to expand. Being near the epicenter inexplicably affected her, V’Buni was suddenly aware of the explosion in a hyper accelerated state. She was able to create 10 emergency forcefields around the room & escape as the reaction reversed itself & began again, this time avoiding the disaster before it had happened. The room was destroyed of course, but of the 7 layers of the forcefield that failed, the remaining 3 prevented a large scale explosion.

As she felt herself re-pacing with her surroundings, she could not have imagined the lasting effect this would have on her. In the sky above the dreadnaught was adrift & being tractored away by 3 Federation starships, having been besieged & defeated outright. At this moment I ran up to her, yelling though she could not yet hear me. The blood dripping from her face told her that this had not been a mere simulation, & the emotions it carried overwhelmed her. She had been fooled, or rather, she had even fooled herself into believing they were trying to fool her... & she had killed someone she thought was a trusted mentor. She lost consciousness, & I hauled her to the nearest emergency hut to check her for injury, & monitor her condition which only I knew about.

I had to brief the local staff about her pon farr, violating her trust to save her life. Then, even more regrettably I was forced to leave her in the hands of the hospitals on earth when I was called to duty in space after she fell into a coma for 2 months. I received word that somehow she awoke alive & well. When she inquired how it was possible that she survived the pon farr, the doctors & scientists of both races had no conclusive theories.

Having attained an early captain’s seat, I instructed the helm to return to earth after I heard she had awoken. I was apparently the only person she could talk to; she was confused, frightened, agitated, & somehow untrusting of any others, even her own people. I managed to calm her down with a mild sedative as it was my official duty to debrief her, & as a friend, console her; something I did not expect she would need. After learning about the events which had transpired, I realized she had saved the academy, indeed the entire western continent from the only torpedo that had made it through. The governments were very curious how this had happened, & unbeknownst to them the answer was right under their ears.

The radiation had some potentially negative side effects, I conjectured; but I knew she was strong & would work through it. Her body was left in a permanent state of temporal flux from the anti-time distortion field, it was not known if she would ever age another second in her entire life. The down-side being that she would likely have to live the rest of her life in a permanent state of mild pon far, attributing to her frenzied emotional state & often aggressive behavior. She manages her condition by allowing all of her other emotions to invariably control her; something I am forced to be patient with, though I can only bend so far before I must place her in the brig with a holographic punching bag. I am told that from time to time she programs it with my face upon it… but I’m not concerned.

She took solace in her friendship with a fellow exile, & it was agreed that V’Buni & I were uniquely suited to serve together. My commission to have her assigned as my number one was approved, & down the line I encountered similar situations to which I was uniquely empathetic towards, Soon & without my really even realizing it, my entire senior staff was populated by fellow exiles, runaway miscreants & xenophobes; but we all came to know & accept one another. My ships all soon became referenced as a “barge of the damned.”

Whenever a ship transfer was arranged for us, the new crew never seemed too excited about the prospect, having heard about us through hearsay like most have. Some even seemed to go out of their way to minimize contact with us or avoid us altogether. This included them performing their duties without question, & snapping to it in every case. This was actually kind of efficient; in fact I almost liked them fearing us, but it made personnel reviews impossible. I will have to start conducting myself better, we will get used to the new unit soon enough; they will see that I’m really not so alien.

I thought to myself, jokingly at first, “We’ll hold a morale rally or an initiation ceremony or something. I can see it now…”

“Welcome crew of the (insert ship name here) thank you for your attendance. Your new senior officers will now address you as they repeat after me:”

“I, [as in we, the senior staff,] take responsibility for & accept my place among this community. I choose to trust in you all, regardless of your faith in myself or my abilities. I am your guardian, your comrade, & I promise that your voice will be heard.”

“That’ll get ‘em!”

Then the idea grew on me. & when I brought it up to the senior staff they hesitantly agreed that it could prove effective for our term aboard this ship, that is… until the next transfer…
<End session.>