Episode One: The Severed Garden.   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Narrator
 GM, 110 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 21:01
Episode One: The Severed Garden

They are waiting to take us
Into the severed garden
Do you know how pale and wanton thrill-full
Comes death on a strange hour?
Unannounced, unplanned for
Like a scaring over-friendly guest
You’ve brought to bed
Death makes angels of us all
And gives us wings
Where we had shoulders
Smooth as raven’s claws

             James Douglas Morrison

Mission briefing: After the battle at Deep Space 9 space station, a month ago, Starfleet captain Roy Marteens captured a group of eight Cardassian civilians and murdered them, committing a war crime under Federation of Planets law. Captain Quinn Graves learned of his crime through observation of the corpses, who bore wounds consistent with Starfleet armament, although Marteens later attempted to cover up his crime by setting fire to the area in which the bodies were found. Marteens was charged with his crime, but escaped on Cardassian battle Cruiser "Gul Nhiar". Captain Quinn Gravers, commanding USS Yellowknife was sent to apprehend him and bring him to justice.

Captain Marteens had an unremarkable service record, enlisting operations track at the Academy and later serving on a series of Federation starships. He even spent two years serving on Yellowknife. He is sixty years old, but was promoted to captain just eight years ago. He grew up in demilitarized zone, which might be his motive for hatred against Cardassians. A scientific probe registered warp signature of "Gul Nhiar" in Kira system in Shackleton Expanse. Kira system was discovered by Vulcan science ship only four years ago. It has binary star system orbited by three planets. None of the planets are inhabited by sentient life, but Kira-2 is an M-class with 71% of water surface planet with traces of extinct civilization. Most of the planet is uninhabitable due to strong Q-particle radiation, owning to unknown catastrophe, but two locations of the planet are protected by spherical containment fields. Design of the fields and technology used to maintain them is of yet unkown. Under the fields are lush ecosystems referred as Kira-2 biom alpha and Kira-2 biom beta. Kira-2 biom alpha is a tropical rainforest with abandoned ruins of a city, while Kira-2 biom beta are fertile plains covered in low flora. Other two planets, Kira-1 and Kira-3 are Class H and Class J planets without flora or fauna.

Mission directives: Prime directive
                    Locating Gul Nhiar
                    Exploring traces of ancient civilization (optional)
Narrator
 GM, 111 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 21:17
Episode One: The Severed Garden
The bridge

Lt. commander D'rala Vex was monitoring communications frequencies on the outdated, old fashioned monitors of USS Yellowknife. They were about an hour far from Kira system, cruising at warp 4.5. It was the first shift and full complement of officers was on the bridge. Suddenly, she received a subspace distress call coming from the system.

Chapel

With most officers of duty chapel was half-empty. However, about ten crew member were inside the small space, looking for spiritual solace. Tsolo saw eight humans, one wearing the distinct turban of Sikh religion, one Tellarrite and one Betazoid woman, distinctive by her deep black eyes. He approached to hold the sermon.

Sickbay

It was another day of boredom for Akira Akagi. Not having any patients, she decided to review the database of previous doctor, tragically deceased Larisa Karavagis. She did found something interesting. Commander Karavagis had maintained the garden of medicinal herbs. Some of which were quite rare examples. The whole garden was in cargo bay 8 and as ship doctor, she had authorization to access it.

Engineering room

The ship was cruising perfectly for such an old cruiser, but Nixor was far from satisfied. One of antimatter injectiors was still giving him trouble. Antimater flow was at 0,6 percent higher than normal, which meant nothing at present warp speed- such variations were to be expected in older ships who were being shot at at lot to boot. But still, he had the nagging feeling about it. if they needed to accelerate rapidly the whole conduit could overheat and he was looking at the potential disaster.
Quinn Graves
 player, 77 posts
 Discipline is what
 winners eat for breakfast
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 21:44
Episode One: The Severed Garden
Captain's Log, Stardate 2374.212.8.5, Personal

The USS Yellowknife, underway from DS9 with repairs completed and refreshed crew compliment, is on the trail of Marteens and the Gul Nhiar. Approaching Kira system while doing a crew shakedown.

I'm not sure about this new crew and the speed at which we left the station. I trust my officers, and I selected the best of the options, but lack of full support from Starfleet Command, understandable given the circumstances, prevented alternatives. I would have preferred less time at DS9, but repairs needed to be made to the starboard nacelle after severe phaser bombardment.

We'll come together, probably will be trial by fire before we know it.

And then there's the ship. I can't say I always trust the newer ships of the fleet, and the Miranda-class has always been a personal favorite. The workhorse of the fleet, just like me.

We'll go down together if needs be, old girl.


Graves put down the recorder wand and sat back in his chair. His ready room was small and spartan, just like he liked it. Just enough room to get the job done. He did a few Vulcan discipline katas in his mind, then cracked his neck and stood up from his chair. He glanced at the chronometer.

Lieutenant Commander Vex would be looking to be relieved in about fifteen minutes, but he might as well take the bridge a few minutes early. It would keep the crew on their toes since they would not be expecting him.

He straightened his jacket and buffed a scuff off one boot before straightening and walking through the door.

<whoosh>
Nixor
 player, 50 posts
 Engineer, Lover,
 Deal-Maker
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 22:08
Episode One: The Severed Garden
Down in Engineering, Nixor sat casually at one of the central terminals; studying the variance data.
There was no urgency right now, and so he felt the time to sit and analyse the readings thoroughly.
- rolled 4 using 1d20.  Reason+Engineering ... equals one success
- rolled 9 using 1d20.  Additional die ... equals another success
- rolled 18 using 1d20.  Ships Computers+Engineering ... so no success there.
That should = 2 successes, at least, to get us started down the path to fixing the problem.


The computer systems themselves weren’t really providing any insight ...  but Nixor had a hunch, as his eyes were drawn back to the way the Energy Sizer was interacting with its reticulator ...

This message was last edited by the player at 22:29, Fri 07 Aug.

D'rala Vex
 player, 23 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 22:19
Episode One: The Severed Garden
In reply to Quinn Graves (msg # 3):

D’rala Vex has fallen into sync with The Yellowknife. The out-dated nature of the console has ceased to bother her, more fond of it now than frustrated by it. She’d had to learn Her quickly when Captain Graves had come calling for Operation Return, but now, she’s as comfortable at the Comms station of the Yellowknife as she was on the Exalted--more, maybe. Serving with a Captain who truly believes in her abilities certainly doesn’t hurt.

When the doors slide open at the back end of the bridge, it's not Captain Graves D'rala expects to see. She sits up straighter in her seat.

"Captain on the bridge," she says by rote, giving him a nod.

When, a few minutes later, the red signal alert pops into view on her central screen (an hour out from the supposedly lifeless Kira System), there’s no doubt in her mind that it must be some nearby space faring vessel’s call: Vulcan archaeologists, maybe, or even pirates on the wrong end of a crisis. Her face folds into confusion as she triangulates the signal’s origin.

She turns to look back towards Graves, the man in the Captain’s chair.

“Captain, we’re receiving a distress call. It’s originating in the Kira system.”

This message was last edited by the player at 22:24, Fri 07 Aug.

Narrator
 GM, 116 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 22:36
Episode One: The Severed Garden
Engineering room
Nixor examined the flow carefully. It seemed that the Energy sizer was using the right amount of antimatter fuel and the same amount came to the dilitium core. The problem was somewhere deeper in the system, probably one of still active subsystems were leeching energy, without being registered on the console. So many engineers messed with this ship that it was no wonder his console didn't account for all the relays someone put inside. He would need to take the closer look to see what exactly was disrupting the flow, but his guess was it was something between the left nacelle and the cargo bays.

OOC: One momentum for Nixor.
S'rela
 player, 26 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2020
at 22:55
Episode One: The Severed Garden
S’rela sat in her meditation pose in her quarters, eyes shut trying to find her inner balance.  This vessel she was now on, a relic of a bygone age, yet dependable; this vessel smelled wrong.  It sounded wrong.  She was raised in and around starships, Romulan starships, she reminded herself.  The hum of the engines was different, no contained singularity here, just a matter-antimatter core.  She looked the systems over when she came aboard, studied their capabilities.  Photon torpedoes.  Federation phaser banks.  Capable, dependable, reliable technology.  She sighed and opened her eyes.  Starfleet Intelligence would be watching her, even here.  But the offer from Captain Graves seemed genuine enough, a chance to prove herself.  The Romulans, her people, believed a traitor could never be trusted again.  Would she find acceptance here?

In the mirror she studied herself.  No uniform.  She dared not wear her Tal Shiar uniform, a superstitious part of her hind brain thinking it would burst into flames if she tried.  She was not Starfleet and felt she had not earned that right.  Instead she wore all black: the boots and slacks of a Starfleet uniform, a black top close-fitted and open at the throat, a bit deeper than was standard.  The Cardassian tailor on Deep Space 9, Garrick, was very talented.  On the collar a yellow bar denoting that she was in the Operations branch on one side, on the other side her Sub-Commander’s badge.

Looking at the chronometer she took in one more deep breath, holstered her side-arm, and with a stiff back, exited her quarters to report to the bridge for her duty shift.
Akira Akagi
 player, 29 posts
 Physician
 Heal thyself
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 04:15
Episode One: The Severed Garden
Sickbay

"What the hell am I doing here?"

Shaking her head, Dr. Akira Akagi - late of the starship Bozeman, from the year 2278 - lowered her gaze to her shiny new desk and ran a hand through her dark hair.  It was spiky in parts and had an undercut; it certainly wasn't typical of Starfleet, nor did it match her Starfleet dossier.  Then again, neither did a scar on one side of her brow or the Orion piercing she'd had done over that same lip.  And the uniform she wore was about a century out of date... medical whites circa 2278, with a sea green under tunic.  Although even then, they were covered in the day's stains and dirt... hardly prestine.

She sighed and raised her head, picking up one of the slick, fancy PADDs that everyone in this century was so in love with.

She hated them.  She missed the old electronic clipboards with an actual freaking stylus that you could write with, like a civilized adult.

Scrolling through the manifest, she growled, then winced at the memories.

She knew what she was doing here.

"@#$^$!@%!@# Nixor," she snarled.  Then she tossed the PADD across the room.  To her credit, her aim was good and it landed on one of the cushy plushy couches instead of smashing against the wall.

Don't worry, she told herself.  Sooner or later they'll figure out what a train wreck you are and you'll be out on the next shuttle. Then you can stop being responsible and go crawl back in a hole.  Give up on the one chance you've got to make it right.

Sighing, she rose.  Might as well do some inventory in Cargo Bay 8.  The way the day's going, I might have a use for some botanicals...

This message was last edited by the player at 04:21, Sat 08 Aug.

Nixor
 player, 52 posts
 Engineer, Lover,
 Deal-Maker
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 05:34
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
Engineering room
Narrator:
Nixor ... would need to take the closer look to see what exactly was disrupting the flow, but his guess was it was something between the left nacelle and the cargo bays.

OOC: One momentum for Nixor.

Calling one of the nearby Engineers, and without sharing his own theory, asked the woman to “take a look, and tell me what you think”.

Then, if she hadn’t seen what he’d seen, he pointed out his observations, and again asked her for her thoughts.
None of this was done judgementally: he was seeking a second opinion.

When she was done, Nexor thanked her, and returned her to her duties.
Grabbing himself a tool belt, and a PADD that he linked directly to the terminal he’d been using, he went for a walk.
Tired of looking at that screen, he wanted to get eyes (and hands) on the actual merchandi.... umm, hardware.

He’d begin in the cargo bay, and work along towards the nacelle.


Is that ‘one momentum just for my task, please?  Or does it go into the Team Pool for whatever is about to happen?
Tsolo Kloshe Saghalie
 player, 10 posts
 I'm listening
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 06:06
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
The chaplain smiles at the group. “Welcome! I’m Tsolo Kloshe Saghalie. In informal situations, ‘Tsolo’  will do nicely. I was born and raised in a forested land near a juncture of river and ocean, the continent of North America, Earth. This is my first starship assignment. If it please you, I’ll say a few words—several, actually—and invite you to contemplate, meditate, or pray in silence. Then I invite you to speak as you will, perhaps to have a discussion. We aboard here are of diverse faiths; some may have faith in their skepticism. And the crew comprises various races. It would be well   for allo of us, then, to work to fulfilling this motto in an old Earth language, Latin: ‘E Pluribus Unum’—’Out of many, one.’”

Tsolo let there be some moments of silence. “I see one of you appears to be a practicing Sikh, an Earth faith. Be that so, you have five principles: Honesty, equality, fidelity, meditating on Waheguru, and never bowing to tyranny Regarding honesty: Being your true self depends on it. Besides, it’s a chore to keep track of lies or conceal theft. Regarding equality: Only when others are equal to you in respect and under the law can you be equal to them. Besides, lording over others invites others to lay you low. Regarding fidelity: Being true benefits you just as standing up straight benefits you. Besides, you don’t have to worry about getting caught. Regarding meditating on, to paraphrase, what it is that leads or enables one to go from the unknowing toward the understanding and acceptance of knowledge, the way of things, that which is beyond our senses: This is much of what makes us more than merely animals. Besides, doing this—in moderation—soothes the nerves. Finally, never bowing to tyranny: Certainly in society we often subordinate our will. This is the price of accomplishing things we cannot do alone. But each time one bows to tyranny, one’s self dies a little. Therefore, let us be valiant;  for as is said, ‘The valiant never taste of death but once.’ And even then, those of us who have certain faiths believe that our lives continue beyond physical death. I pray that this may be so for me and for each of you.

“Let us have some moments of silence. Then those who will, we who care to will remain to listen.”
Narrator
 GM, 120 posts
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 10:29
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
Cargo bay 8

Akira used her authorization to open the door to the cargo bay and was immediately overwhelmed with familiar, moist smell of tropical climate. There floor to the cargo-bay was packed with earth. The air was heavy with evaporating moisture and the temperature was at least ten degrees higher then in the rest of the ship. As far as she could see, there were plants- huge ones with green leaves, smaller ones, the heavy scented yellow and blue orchids, some weird plant that had neon lumiscent flowers. Artificial lighting gave the yellowish tint different than the one in the rest of the ship.

Engineering room/Jeffrey's tube

The another engineer, slight plump woman going by the name of Kasimoto, confirmed Nixor's theories: "It looks to me like something is leeching power, chief and the antimatter injector is over compensating for the loss.

The trip to the injector took Nixor all the way up the Jeffrey tube that enabled access to the nacelle. He removed the protective panel and saw the injector access. He could now indeed see, that part of the power was being hastily rerouted to cargo bay 8 some time ago and regulation of that flow was not connected to the main engineering console, resulting in the surplus he could not correct from down there.

OOC: momentum always goes to the common pool, unless spend immediately on a task in which it was gained.

Chapel

There were several long and calming moments of silence as crew meditated and reflected. One human, wearing civilian clothing rose: "I got something I wish to share with the congregation. My name is Gunther Jericho and I come from one boring mining colony called New Vienna. The think that keeps bothering me is that many of my previous colleagues have died in the Dominion attack on the colony, a year ago. Now I was never a spiritual man, but since then I've been thinking about afterlife more and more. In a way, I find solace in finding that people I knew and loved might not be gone. But then again, if I pass on some eighty or ninety years from now and not meet them, I fear disappointment. I try to balance that, the fact that hope gives me the reason to push on and the fact that hope might lead to despair if it doesn't come true. "
Krillek
 player, 7 posts
 Subject to Change
 Intel Officer
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 12:20
Episode One: The Severed Garden
In reply to S'rela (msg # 7):

The looming sense of being watched and observed constantly could not have been helped by her companion on the turbolift.

"Commander" He stated simply and dryly as he entered the lift with her, heading to the same location.

One of the ships last transfers onto the ship. A junior officer on his first shipboard assignment. It was rare that a ships only Intelligence Officer position would be fulfilled by someone so new, but he had come highly recommended from Strategic Command. Being assigned to security, this meant the two would have to be working together closely. As if his whole existence didn't already reek of being a spy or having ulterior motives, there was just the nature of who he was.

A Vulcan, his uniform looking crisp and proper as if ever ready for an inspection. This had to be someone's idea of a sick joke this is to force a Vulcan and Romulan to work together, the only solace would be that LTJG Krillek wouldn't be the one to laugh about it.
S'rela
 player, 27 posts
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 14:49
Episode One: The Severed Garden
In reply to Krillek (msg # 12):

S'rela resisted both an outward sigh and the urge to correct Krillek about her rank.  Too much trouble and it was the Starfleet equivalent in any case.  She didn't buy all that 'pure logic' stuff the Vulcans claimed, she knew they were masters of sarcasm.  This one was almost certainly an Intelligence plant, there to watch the crew and especially her, she was certain of it.

"Lieutenant." she said by way of acknowledgement and greeting.  As the indicator lights flashed past she kept her eyes forward letting the strobe effect soothe with its regularity.  Turning only slightly in his direction, she asks, "Krillek?  The name does not sound Vulcan to me; what is the derivation?"
Krillek
 player, 8 posts
 Subject to Change
 Intel Officer
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 15:39
Episode One: The Severed Garden
"Whether something sounds Vulcan is a subjective matter of interpretation. If my name was Spork, the humans would tell you I sound like a disposable dining instrument. A rose by any other name still has its thorns, as they say"

Krillek let the thought linger for a few seconds. The last word of guidance from his mentor before being assigned to this ship was to work on being 'more personable' "I apologize that I did not provide an answer to the question. I was born on Vulcan." He was at least making the effort.
Tsolo Kloshe Saghalie
 player, 11 posts
 I'm listening
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 21:29
Episode One: The Severed Garden
Tsolo pauses to give others an opportunity to speak.

"Gunther, may I call you Gunther?, such sorrow lingers. A question that may help you work toward a response to hope or despair: How would those now lost to you in this life feel about your remembering them and desiring to meet them in any life beyond our mortality?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:10, Sun 09 Aug.

S'rela
 player, 28 posts
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 22:25
Episode One: The Severed Garden
In reply to Krillek (msg # 14):

As the turbolift stops on the bridge S'rela nods, acknowledging Krillek's point. "There is always room to learn more about a subject," she says stepping onto the bridge.  She moves gracefully to the left-side tactical station, relieving the crewman sitting there, and takes the seat.
Nixor
 player, 55 posts
 Engineer, Lover,
 Deal-Maker
Sat 8 Aug 2020
at 23:10
Episode One: The Severed Garden
Nixor sat down at the improvised power theft junction, and casually studied it a little.
He was curious to work out if it was new (since he and the new crew had come on board), or some effort by older crew?

He intended to follow the flow from the source here to its use; but decided not to simply cut off their syphon till he understood what the energy was being used for.
However, he took the time to attach a remote cut-off device ... so that, if he felt he needed to, he could disconnect this sneaky flow from wherever he happened to be, at any time.

Once he was satisfied that he had control of this situation, he proceeded to follow the stolen power flow to its destination.
Akira Akagi
 player, 32 posts
 Physician
 Heal thyself
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 02:13
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
Narrator:
Cargo bay 8

Akira used her authorization to open the door to the cargo bay and was immediately overwhelmed with familiar, moist smell of tropical climate. There floor to the cargo-bay was packed with earth. The air was heavy with evaporating moisture and the temperature was at least ten degrees higher then in the rest of the ship. As far as she could see, there were plants- huge ones with green leaves, smaller ones, the heavy scented yellow and blue orchids, some weird plant that had neon lumiscent flowers. Artificial lighting gave the yellowish tint different than the one in the rest of the ship.


"Nandeo," she breathed, looking around, lapsing into her native Japanese for once.  This was... impressive.  Jaded and battered inside as she was, it was impressive.  She pulled out her medical tricorder and slowly began a scan, cataloging each plant and building a virtual 'map' of the bay.  Later, she'd cross-index it with plant functionality and efficacy and make a medical database so she'd know right where to go to get the proper herb for the proper problem.
Narrator
 GM, 122 posts
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 11:53
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
Chapel

"Gunther's fine. I have no rank or anything." He spoke.Then he thought for a while. "I guess most of them would be happy that I still desire their company, even after much time has passed."

Jeffrey's tube/Cargo bay 8

Nixor descended down the tube, using his engineering tricoder to track this particular energy flow. He arrived to the door of Cargo bay 8, unremarkable cargo bay that didn't show in ship declarations. The door opened before him and he was in the middle of miniature rainforest. It became clear to him where energy was going: maintaining that artificial climate and humidity required some seriously wasteful air-conditioning. Behind one fern as tall and as some pines he saw, he spied doctor Akira, who was examining the plants with fascinated expression on her face.
Quinn Graves
 player, 81 posts
 Discipline is what
 winners eat for breakfast
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 14:21
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
Graves inwardly smiles as Vex announced his arrival. He surveyed the bridge crew, watching them stand erect. They would do just fine.

”As you were,” the captain said, moving to take his seat at at the center of the room. When Vex gave her report, he tended up a bit.

”A distress call? Well that answers the question of whether Kira system is inhabited. Have you pinpointed a precise origin source for the call, Number One, or are we too far out?” He liked Vex. He trusted her. He’d followed her career and mentored her for several years, and he knew she was ready for this. She’d proven that during Operation Return. Her leadership had helped make the difference between starboard nacelle damage and total destruction.

They could speed up their approach to Kira - they were going there anyway - but Graves wanted to learn as much about this distress call as he could before making a decision. It was what made him a good captain. Follow your gut and make snap decision when necessary, but keep an eye on the data when you can.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:22, Sun 09 Aug.

Narrator
 GM, 123 posts
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 15:15
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
OOC: Someone might attempt to pinpoint the location of distress signal using Reason+Conn, aided by ships Security+Communications and maybe a single d20 from another crew member helping. Difficulty is one.
D'rala Vex
 player, 31 posts
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 15:54
Re: Episode One: The Severed Garden
In reply to Quinn Graves (msg # 20):

Hearing herself called “number one” still sends a jolt of reward through D’rala’s mind. She always holds her chin a little bit higher at the reminder. Six months ago, D’rala never would have guessed that she was on the verge of a command seat, despite her desires for it. Nor had she expected to find herself in the fray of what she thought would likely stand as one of the greatest space battles of the 24th century: her trial by galactic fire. Operation Return was unlike anything she (and likely most) had ever experienced. Despite the conflict's horrors, she had risen to the challenge under Captain Graves' command.

D’rala focuses in on her primary screen again, eyes flitting efficiently over the information, before pulling up a secondary signaling program on her right auxiliary pad.

“Attempting to triangulate the signal’s origin further, Captain. We should be within range for a more precise location, provided there’s no interference.”

As her efforts begin to clarify, she allows herself a small smile.

OOC: My reason and conn together make for 11 as the target number. My Rolls: 11:37, Today: D'rala Vex rolled 10 using 2d20.

So I think that makes it a success!

This message was last edited by the player at 15:58, Sun 09 Aug.