Previous Scene Voting Results

The Price of Freedom, Part One
The Wake

Officer's Lounge <Deck 30> [Gibraltar Station]

The Officer's Lounge is a quiet, subdued space, perfect for relaxing and socializing. The doors are ribbed mahogany, inlaid with circular windows, each with the Starfleet Delta etched in its center. They are placed to fore and aft of the room, on the port side. Between the doors is a long bar, swirled black marble supporting a white top rimmed with mahogany. The bar curves slightly at either end to enclose the area behind, where twin replicators serve the mundane orders. There is space under the bar for exotic liquors from many parts of the galaxy, and an Antarean ice-crystal sculpture is placed on the wall for decoration. Seven low stools, each made of dark metal with navy blue cushions, sit before the bar for use by the patrons. There is an open space starboard of the bar that extends for a few feet until a step up to a raised platform. Just before the steps are two tables, each a white quarter-wedge with two dark chairs. The room's fore and aft walls widen a bit at the platform to create a large seating area. Four square white tables, each ringed by four dark chairs, are the main seating. Couches built against the fore and aft walls provide more, each with a half-wedge white table before it. Three more small white tables complete the arrangement, each set in front of one of the windows, two dark chairs complementing every one. The central table of these three has a 3-D chess set upon it for use by the lounge's patrons. The windows themselves look out onto the black of space, providing an excellent view of the planet below. The carpeting is a deep blue, the walls paneled in a light gray that almost looks maroon under some lights. Soft mood lighting is provided by panels on the steps, decorative lights at the doors and behind the bar, and by hidden panels in the ceiling.

Winifred Brooks
Gwen Hawkins
Koram Nobil

There are several officers in the lounge already, gathered, talking quietly, drinking various drinks. There is soft music playing, something classical from Earth.

As Hawkins enters she moves toward the bar, nodding to various officers as she goes. She leans over to speak to the bartender, who nods and moves off for a moment.

Solvek walks in slowly and moves toward the bar as well, in more of a slow gliding motion. The expression on his face is thoughtful.

Koram steps into the officers lounge. His face is troubled as he stares down at his PADD. He slowly winds his way to the Bar, not looking at anyone in particular. He sits on a stool, and places the PADD on the bar. He rubs his eyes, which have large dark circles under them.

Brooks slides into the room in dress uniform, 'cause she was at the funeral thingy earlier. No really. So many higher-up-type-folk in the room make her eyes go a bit wide, but she slides right along the wall, trying to blend in.

Hawkins turns from the bar, now holding a small glass with some amber liquid in it. The bartender had also handed something to Solvek, in a brandy snifter. Gwen looks around at the assembled officers, most in dress uniform, and raises her voice. "Can I have your attention?" She waits for things to quiet down, then says, "A toast... to all those who have died, to let them know we will never forget them." She downs the liquid in one gulp, placing the small glass back on the bar.

Solvek solemnly raises his glass with the toast and takes a small sip from his Vulcan Brandy. His eyes drift down into the glass staring at the contents idly.

A glass is placed in front of Koram, just as the Captain gives her toast. He looks at it for a moment before raising it with the others. "To all those who have given their lives in the name of freedom and exploration," he says solemly, drinking a sip of the amber fluid.

Brooks, over by the wall, blushes a tad. Trust her getting lost to get her late enough to not have something to toast with. She pantomimes instead, raising her hand in such a way to mime raising a glass and drinking, a solemn and sad look on her face.

As the rest of the lounge raises their glasses, the Captain nods to Koram. "Well said, Commander." She sighs a bit as the bartender pours her another drink. "I'm sorry to have to burden you all with synthehol, but we do have jobs to do. If anyone has anything they wish to say, they may do so. Otherwise, please, continue to mingle."

Solvek sits down on the stool on his left. He then turns around facing the window. His eyes slowly drift over the stars outisde.

Koram grimaces at the amber drink. "Well," he says with a half-hearted grin. "Don't get bent out of shape about it. I wasn't expecting springwine from before the occupation." He sets the glass down, after taking another sip. "That is, unless we have any?" He looks to his PADD. "Note to self, when everything calms down, get Bajoran springwine..."

Brooks frowns, seeming to argue with herself for a moment, then, on something of a whim (or maybe not) gets up off the wall and heads toward the bar. She stays a little away from the senior officers and orders herself a drink.

Tremar comes through the door from Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Tremar has arrived.

Hawkins sighs. "I could wish we had some. Your Captain would much appreciate it if you found any. Or perhaps some decent whiskey." She smiles lightly, taking her drink from the bar and holding it in one hand. "You look like you need more sleep, Commander."

The Lounge is filled with officers talking softly, comforting each other, contemplating. There is a group near the bar which now includes the Captain, XO, COps, and a young blueshirt.

Solvek is contemplating, yes. Brooding, even, staring out the windows holding his brandy in his hand.

Koram sets the PADD back down on the bar. "A better phrase, Captain, would be when do I look like I've had enough sleep," he says with the same half-hearted grin. "Even with an assistant, I seem to never to get caught up. And now, well..." His voice dies off, and his face sinks. He takes another drink of whatever it is the bartender handed him.

Tremar shuffles into the lounge, back in her duty uniform. She has a lot of stuff to do after this, after all. "Hello, sirs..." she says, climbing up onto a seat. "Apple juice please. Make it a double."

Brooks turns away from the bar, clearing her throat. "Ummm... hi?" She raises her voice a bit when no one notices her, "Hello? I had something I wanted to say." There's a glass in her hand now. She glances to Captain, looking clearly unsure of herself.

Hawkins nods to Koram. "Maybe you need another assistant? We could arrange it." As the young woman speaks, Gwen waves a hand. "Of course, Lieutenant."

Solvek is still sitting, contemplating, lost in his own Vulcany world.

Koram opens his mouth to say something, but stops as Brooks takes the floor. He grabs his drink and pivots on his stool. He leans agains the bar, waiting for her to speak.

The bartender gets Tremar her apple juice and moves to help others.

Tremar nods her thanks and tries to turn her stool as eloquently as Koram did, but unfortunately it involves a lot of feet kicking and wiggling to turn it. Taking a sip, she listens to the others.

So many people looking at her all of a sudden. Maybe this was a bad idea. But, no, she decided she was going to do this, so she will. Brooks' voice, as she speaks, is thick with some sort of drawl, which those who would know might be able to place as Texan. "Umm, so... I haven't been here very long... but when I came here a couple of weeks ago, there was an Ops officer, Lieutenant Carlson, and he was real nice, helped me get settled in and everything. And he remembered my name, later... not a lot of people remember me, y'see, on account of I'm pretty quiet most of the time." Clearly not right now. "He even asked me to have a drink with him, and I did, and we chatted. I... I'd kinda hoped we could be friends. I haven't had a lot of friends. But he was workin' in the docking bay when the explosions happened, and he... died." She stops a moment, a little choked up. "Oh, I'm no good at this... I didn't know him too well, but he was real nice, and he did his job real well, and... and I'm really sad that he's gone." Seeming to have run out of breath, the girl's face turns bright red at having made such a long speech and she just stands there a moment before trying to slide out of notice once more.

"Lieutenant, what did you say your name was?" Mean Captain, that one. Most everyone else seems to have gone back to what they were doing after having listened, however, so at least some of the pressure's off the poor blueshirt.

"I remember Lieutenant Carlson," Koram says, taking another drink. He grimaces again, before continuing. "He was a good man, a good officer. I could always count on him to get the job done. He never complained about his work, and was always ready to goes at a moment's notice. I was going to recommend him for a promotion when I got a chance, Captain. I'm sorry I didn't know him enough outside of the job, and now it seems a bit too late for that."

Solvek listens to the individuals continue on about those who have passed. His eyes still have that dazed look to them. He vaguely notices the long speech made by the the science officer and nods his approval, seemingly unaware of his doing so. He starts to take another sip of his brandy and receives nothing from the glass. Looking into it, he notices that he has drained its contents. He turns and asks the bartender for another. Once the glass is filled he takes it and sips, resuming his thoughtful analysis of what appears to be the stars outside.

It might not have seemed possible for Brooks' face to go more red, but it does. She stops in her tracks instead of sliding away. "Oh, umm, Winifred Brooks, ma'am. Sir. Captain. Most everyone calls me Fred though. Or Lieutenant. Or hey you." She looks to Koram. "I'm sorry he didn't get that promotion, Commander, he deserved it." She seems to realize she's speaking too much again and falls silent.

Hawkins smiles a bit. "Well, I'm Gwen Hawkins, this is Koram Nobil, our Chief of Operations... Commander Solvek, the First Officer, and Commander Robyn Tremar, our Chief Engineer."

Koram drains what's left of his glass, and sets it down. He makes another note on his PADD. Turning back to the bar, he orders a glass of Kava juice. "Nice to meet you, Lieutenant," he says, extending his hand.

Tremar lifts her hand and waggles her fingers with a bright smile even though she's exhausted. "Hello there! Don't break anything... we're scrabbling to fix the remaining damage as quickly as we can!"

Solvek seems to start at the sound of his name. His eyes refocus apparently bringing him back to the station from whatever star he was orbiting. He turns to face the person he is being introduced to, "It is nice to meet you, Lieutenant Brooks." His words seem to be rehearsed, like he isn't really following what he is saying. He takes an idle sip from his glass.

Brooks' blush fades. A bit. "It's nice to meet you, too, sirs. I won't break anything, I promise." The handshake she gives Koram is tentative, like touching people is something she isn't used to.

All in a day's work. That done, Hawkins turns to Tremar, taking a sip of her amber liquid. Safe to drink plenty of, as it's synthehol. Not as much fun, though. "How are the repairs coming, Commander?"

Alexandria comes through the door from Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Alexandria has arrived.

Koram's handshake is firm, and he grins as she pulls her hand away. He sigh and sits back on the stool, turning toward the bar. He takes his glass of Kava juice, and sips it. "Mmm," he says. "Now if we could only ferment this. What do you think Commander Tremar?"

A woman in a teal uniform enters, she looks upset, but is trying to hide it, her fists clenched and her teeth can be heard grinding if you have acute hearing. She slowly makes her way to the bar and a replicator. Kat sighs and says, "Liquid 3984-388-JS-8, 1 degree celsius."

Danley comes through the door from Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Danley has arrived.

The lounge is filled with dress-uniformed officers sipping drinks and chatting in low tones. The Captain, XO, COps, CEng, and a blueshrt are all over by the bar.

Danley steps into the Officer's ?ounge and glances around briefly before heading to the bar.

Brooks looks like she wants to fade back over to the wall now that the higher-ups aren't paying attention to her, but something seems to strike her and her eyes go wide. She takes a step or two and pokes Solvek in the arm. "Hey, are you Solvek, son of Survak? Of course you are. Wow, I never thought I'd get to meet you. I've been reading your papers since, oh, forever. You know, you were totally wrong about the Korlarans. The 5th Declination of Mirosha's Theory of Technological Advancement clearly states that a culture can go through a period of rapid change after centuries or even millenia of stagnation, as evidenced by the Renaissance on Earth and the time period just following Surak on Vulcan." Her voice has become strident, more confident than before, though she's speaking faster and with just as much accent.

Another woman walks into the bar, another blueshirt, stunning figure, blonde hair cascading from her head, most men and some women love to stare at the buxom blonde. She walks up to Alexandria. "Don't you dare walk away from me, we are in crisis mode and I demand that you make some changes to the science roster."

Tremar lifts both brows. "You want to create a distillery on the station?" she asks with a laugh. "I'm afraid I don't know much about alcohol since I don't drink." She pauses then adds. "Although I could... it's not that I'm not old enough! I just don't! Although the bartenders don't always serve me... or allow me in the lounge... or bar... or holodeck..." She sighs. "Oh well. I could drink alcohol if I wanted to!"

Alexandria slowly turns around drink in hand, actually her drink is being clenched with two hands, if Kat worked out the glass could very well be shattered right now, but she is pretty scrawny and weak. "Melanie... I need you to do me a huge favor and shut the hell up." She sighs and takes a sip of her drink.

Hawkins shakes her hedad. "Silly that they don't. You'd think they'd have seen something besides a human or a Vulcan before." Pause. "A distillery might bring in some funding, and there's always the cultural aspect." Bad Captain! She's idly watching confrontation between science officers even as she chats with the Commanders.

Koram laughs at Tremar's remarks. "Well then," he says with a grin. "I'll send some crewman to get to work on it now." He takes another drink. He turns to listen to the conversation between Alexandria and her subordinate. "Now, hold on here. Melanie is it?" he says, standing. "If you have questions for you Department Head you do it in private, as per Starfleet regulations. We're all under a lot of stress and little sleep. So whatever this is, it can probably wait until morning."

Tremar smiles and nods. "Very well... we're getting close to having all the repairs completed. A distillery... why can't it just be replicated?"

Solvek turns slowly as his arm is forcibly poked. "Yes, I am the Solvek of which you speak. I do have to state that if the paper I wrote was based on xenocultural evidence you would be correct, however, as my research was based on xenobiological evidence your claim, while intriguing, is not valid." His tone is slightly condescending.

Melanie glares at Kat while holding a hand up to Koram for him to wait his turn. "Kat, get rid of Tim, he is cracking under the pressure, I deserve that slot, I don't deserve to be a little supervisor, if I can't have the chief slot then I at least deserve a role suitable to my capabilities..."

Brooks shakes her head. "See, that's the problem. You totally ignored the reason their biology is that way in the first place. The Korlarans developed their toxin resistance almost entirely due to the rapid mixing of nation-states when they went, within 50 years, from using their feet for transport to using steam-powered carriages. Everyone who didn't die off from the plagues that were spread around since they didn't have proper hygiene yet were the hardiest ones. That means the trait isn't an evolved one the entire race shares, which explains the discrepancies in the data, which is why traditional Korlaran medicines could not prevent the outbreak of 2368." Brooks is totally ignoring the confrontation.

Alexandria nods slowly at Koram and then looks at Melanie. She pauses a moment before speaking. "You are right, you don't deserve the supervisor slot... you want a role based on your capabilities? Then you can have clean up duty in the Gardens for the next month, as for your 'little,'" she even does the air quotes, "supervisor slot, perhaps this new person," she looks at her padd, "Brooks? Yes, Brooks, perhaps Brooks can have the general science supervisor slot..."

Danley stares at Melanie for a moment, "I can think of a few roles she could fill for me. I imagine I could help her find a suitable slot if you need somewhere to send her Lieutenant. Just order her to my quarters and I'll take care of it for you."

Hawkins raises her eyebrows as Melanie completely ignores a superior officer. However, she doesn't step in, instead watching Alexandria to see how she'll handle this. Which she does. Does the Captain's mouth twitch at Danley's comment? Nah.

Koram snickers at Danley's comment. The situation seemingly well in hand, he takes the Captain's tack and stays out of it, taking a large gulp of the Kava juice in the process.

Fuming, Melanie looks at Kat, with a very evil yet stunningly beautiful grin, her sensuous lips curling up at the corners. "Fine." Then she mumbles under her breath, "Bitch!" She turns to Danley, "What's your room number, stud?" She takes a step in toward the civilian, her lithe and well manicured fingers making their way toward his shoulder.

Tremar blinks. "Did he just insinuate what I think he just did?" she asks in regards to Danley's statement. "How inappropriate! This is a wake, not a boxing match... or a brothel!"

Solvek's ears seem to twitch slightly. "I believe you just recieved a promotion, Lieutenant. You might want to pay more attention to your department head when she is present." He gestures to where Melanie and Alexandria stand. "I myself should do the same in kind." He stands, his footing seems to be a little off, but he manages. His face contorts in anger, he turns on Melanie, "Lieutenant, I must remind you that Lieutenant Alexandria is your department head and therefore requires your utmost respect. I will not tolerate your attitude and manner of speaking to her. Perhaps you will accompany me to the brig where Commander Volchenkov will give you the proper time to think of how you are suposed to address your superior officers."

Brooks folds her arms across her chest as the Vulcan walks away, and starts to follow him. "Hey! I wasn't do... oh. Ohh." She blinks a few times. She just got promoted? Melanie's being sent to the brig? Should she dance a little jig? Nah. This is supposed to be a solemn time.

Hawkins stands, putting her drink down, but still doesn't interfere, merely watching Melanie's reaction.

Danley grins mischievously at Melanie, "I'm on deck 9, room 901. Whenever you have time dear."

Koram takes a step forward. He come shoulder to shoulder with Solvek, adding a sort of authoritative support.

Melanie scoots in closer to Danley. She whispers in his ear, "Not in your lifetime moron." She steps back and slaps Danley. "I wouldn't allow you near my slot if you were the last man alive." She looks at Koram, with a very forced sarcastic smile. "Sorry sir, I'll be going now..." She looks at Kat and bats her eyelashes. "Yes ma'am, clean up... sure will!" She turns to the exit rolling her eyes as she turns, and mumbles, "Bitch," one more time.

Hawkins calls out, "Lieutenant, stop where you are or you will be Ensign Travers."

Hawkins walks forward. "And in fact, for ignoring not one but three superior officers, starting a conflict in the middle of the officer's lounge, and striking a civilian, I may have you thrown out of Starfleet altogether."

Alexandria smirks and turns around facing the bar holding her drink, obviously not needed in this conflict anymore.

Solvek looks furious beyond normal Vulcan ability. His eyes are near to watering and his body is visibly shaking. His right hand seems to be twitching uncontrollably. His breath is shaking. He manages to somehow hold his ground and waits for the Captain to take over the escalation of the conflict.

Koram places his drink back on the bar. "Captain," he says with a stern look on his face. "Should I call for security to escort Ms. Travers to her quarters? Or should we chalk this one up to... 'high stress factor'?" he says, adding his own finger quotes.

Brooks just sort of watches, wide-eyed, backing away from any conflict brewing. Oh dear.

Danley rubs the side of side of his face and shakes his head, "Tsk, you know slapping me in private I might pay for... but in front of your department head, XO, CO and a room full of people is just stupid. Now I might have to press assault charges."

Melanie looks at the Captain, obviously not phased by any of this... as she can usually charm her way out of this, or sleep her way to another promotion. "I am sorry ma'am, it won't happen again... I am so upset about all that has happened... I must have..." she pauses as a single tear streams down her cheek, her flawless complexion now glistening as the eyes widen on cue, "gotten emotional. I am so sorry that I caused a commotion."

"Don't even try that bullshit with me, Lieutenant. I know your type. You are off my station as of now. You'll be in the brig until a hearing can be arranged. You will, of course, have access to a lawyer. The charges will be, oh, striking a civilian, three counts of insubordination, and attempting to manipulate a senior officer. Not to mention the numerous problems in your record I'm sure a trial will be to light. Security!" Two yellow-striped officers, both female, step forward to flank Melanie. Hawkins also steps forward. "Don't think you can charm your way out of this one. If you try, I will find the most unsympathetic judge, and a copy of your misdeeds will be sent to all of the appropriate people at Starfleet Command. You are a disgrace to that uniform." She waves a hand. "Read her her rights, and take her to the brig."

As the security officers escort the drop dead gorgeous woman out, the former science officer can be heard saying, "Whatever." They leave quietly and without incident.

Koram grins and picks his drink back up. He drains the rest, and turns back to the bar. he motions the bartender to refill his glass. "Well said, Captain," he says after they've taken her away. "The only thing missing from that speech was the obligitory 'And May God Have Mercy on Your Soul.'"

Alexandria takes a deep breath and looks around the bar, she holds her breath before looking down at her PADD. "Now, who is this new Brooks person?"

Solvek turns to the Captain. "Sir, I believe I need to be escorted to my quarters... I am feeling... unnatural. I believe humans call this... fury." He is still shaking uncontrollably and that hand is still twitching as if it wants to strike something.

Brooks watches the other science officer get escorted off and wrinkles her nose at the woman. Bitch, indeed. Since she's still standing near everyone, she comments to the Vulcan, "You should take a few deep breaths. That always helps me calm down." And, since someone's looking for her: "I'm Lieutenant Brooks."

Alexandria nods to Brooks, "Hey there... I'm Kat... well Lieutenant Katherine Alexandria... you are Lieutenant Brooks? And you are apparently my new supervisor for general science..."

Danley shakes his head as he turns back to the bar, "Fleeties always throw a hell of a party. . ."

Hawkins chuckles at Koram's comment. "I'll let JAG take care of that. I do not like people like that, especially when they interrupt a funeral." Which is going back to normal now. Gwen grabs Solvek's drink and walks over to him, putting a hand on his right shoulder. Reaching up a bit to do so. "Finish your drink, sit down and yes, take some deep breaths. Your anger is understandable, just don't let it get the better of you."

Koram gets a full drink, and steps into the middle of the room. "If it's alright, there is something I wanted to say," he says, addressing the entire room. "I know it's a bit late, but I couldn't be at the memorial service, Ops begin the job that it is. Tonight, I'm going to light a Duranja. It's an ornate lamp for the dead used on Bajor," he says and runs a hand through his hair. "You see, Bajorans take life and death very seriously, as is to be expected. There is a prayer that goes with the lighting of the Duranja, that I would like to share. Raka-ja ut shala morala... ema bo roo kana... uranak... ralanon (this is where you would insert a name of the deceased)... propeh va nara ehsuk shala-kan vunek... literally translated, it means, 'do not let him walk alone... guide him on his journey... protect... the one named (the name again)... take him into the gates of heaven...'"

Solvek takes the glass, forcibly seats himself, breaths deeply and downs the drink in one gulp. He seems to teeter a bit and his eyes are becoming more and more dilated.

Danley mutters, "There should be a law about government and obvious religious expression."

Brooks listens to Koram, tilting her head a bit, frowning. She then moves back toward the bar and her abandoned drink, picking it up and taking a long drink. She looks to Alexandria. "Supervisor? Me... no.... you must have me confused with another Lieutenant Brooks." She's speaking rather softly.

Hawkins nods as Koram speaks, and is silent for a moment after, as is much of the rest of the room. "Thank you, Commander," she says softly, before moving to her own drink again, leaning over a bit to check on Solvek.

Alexandria looks to Brooks. "Okay, I will go back and check my records then, I am expecting a new Lieutenant Brooks..." She looks very confused. "Come by my office tomorrow anyhow and we will work this out. I have an appointment to keep at the moment." She quickly heads for the exit.

"I'm not asking anyone to join me, or anyone to chant this prayer on their own," Koram says with a half-grin. "I just wanted to share with you how Bajorans deal with the death of comrades and friends. And also, if security detects and open flame in my quarters, I didn't want to get jumped on. Thought I'd give you a fair warning about that." He chuckles softly. Koram drains the rest of his drink, and places the glass back on the bar. "Having said my piece," he says, turning to the officers assembled at the bar. "I do believe there is a bed in my quarters calling my name. I wish you all good night." He takes his PADD and heads to the door.

Koram leaves through the door toward Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Koram has left.

Alexandria leaves through the door toward Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Alexandria has left.

Danley shakes his head again. "First lighting candles in religious mumbo jumbo. Now robotic beds. What is this station coming to."

Solvek looks at Danely. "I do believe hat the Commander was using a figure of speech." He looks to the bartender, motioning him to fill his glass once again, "Thank you," he says as the bartender does so.

Brooks watches Alexandria go looking a little stunned. She takes another sip of her drink, frowns, notes, "You know, I think 23rd and 24th Century humans are one of the only races not to have religion. Even Vulcans have their gods. It's kind of odd. Which reminds me. You never did refute what I was saying, Commander."

Satisfied that Solvek is calmed down, or at least mostly calmed down, Gwen takes a seat. "It's natural to turn to the beliefs of one's people at a time like this," she comments.

Danley shrugs, "I figured as much but I was trying to be funny. Speaking of funny, I thought Vulcan had better control of their emotions."

Solvek turns around and looks at the young woman. "I did not refute your statement because, however true your statement is, it is still based on the principles that a society is guided by its culture, not it's natural exsistence, therefore, in regards to my reports it is incorrect. If you feel that you need to make a full dispute, you can write a report of your own and have it published."

Brooks rolls her eyes. "You don't believe me. No one ever believes me. Fine. Here's the thing. The chemical composition of..." Fred goes off on about five minutes of complex biological theory, rattling off chemicals, protein chains, and mathematical sequences. "...and that's why you're wrong and I already am publishing a paper on the subject, including my formula for a proper vaccine for those without the genetic sequence in case this ever happens again." She looks... a tad indignant.

"They do. Usually. The Commander has been distressed by the recent events. He'll be fine." Hawkins blinks at the science officer's rambling, as it makes no sense to her whatsoever.

Danley shakes his head again as he stares at Brooks, "You didn't get out much as a child did you? First thing we're going to have to do for you with your new job is work on your social skills."

Solvek shakes his head. "Had you ever thought of the possibility that the genetic structure of those who need a vaccine was not adapting because the sequence is no longer necessary? Evolution clearly states as far back as 19th century Earth that the most likely candidates to provide the next generation of any creature will survive and those who are no longer needed will pass, ensuring the continuation of a stronger, healthier, and clearly superior next generation."

Brooks sighs. "I've read Darwin, and I'm not even going to get into the effect of ethics on artificial selection. What your short-sighted focus on biology has made you miss is the effect of gamma radiation particles on micosing protein chains... the same particles put out in droves from the Korlarans' first steam-powered vehicles, the same particles that created the plagues in the first place, and also affected certain segments of the population such that they survived those plagues." She says this last with a bit of triumph, and then dissolves a bit as the impact of Danley's words hit her. Which is a shame. She was pretty cute for a minute there, while she was being confdent.

Hawkins looks to Danley and nods. "Social skills, I think. Perhaps not in quite the same way you were going to, ahh, help Lieutenant Travers?"

Danley chuckles, "Travers? The people she ends up have to deal with their own plagues... hey! There's something you could write about! Plagues caused by Starfleet science officers."

Solvek sighs and shakes his head. "Very well, Lieutenant, I will for now concede to your viewpoint. However, once your report has been released I will be carefully studying it to make sure that nothing is missed or incorrectly deduced." He looks at her, "I do have one question, why have you been studying my reports if your specialty is obviously xenocutural studies?"

Brooks seems to shrink, becoming her old self once again. "Oh... I... you don't have to do that, I just... well... I read your reports because of your work with the Maelstrom before... I've been studying the work of everyone who was on the project in the early 2340's... you, Crawford, Okuda, all of them. I double-majored in xenocultural studies and particle physics at the Academy, but I'm curious about just about everything. I don't have much else to do but read... this is the most I've said to anyone but Lieutenant Carlson in months."

Hawkins sighs softly. "Science Officers. They're not going to listen until they're done arguing, Mr... ahhh... I didn't catch your name. And will you be pressing chargers against Ms. Travers?"

Danley offers his hand, "Danley, Ed Danley. And if you need me to press charges I will. Personally I'd prefer to keep my name as far from Memory Alpha as possible."

Solvek's eyebrow quirks at the mention of the Maelstrom and a long list of his contemporaries and partners. "You're a Maelstrom specialist then? That is intriguing. That explains your being posted here. Well, I believe I am going to have a make a habit of reading your reports then. I am highly interested in any new research in reference to the Maelstrom."

Spots of color appear in Fred's cheeks. "That's really not... I mean... umm... I was only assigned here 'cause it's my latest project. I'm not an expert really." She takes a long gulp of her drink.

Hawkins takes the hand, shakes it. "Gwen Hawkins. You might need to make a statement, or testify. I'm fairly certain JAG will want to push forward with things now that Ms. Travers can't use her looks to charm her superiors into being lenient."

Danley says, "What is there to study about a Maelstorm? It just floats out there."

Solvek looks at the Lieutenant as she takes a drink. "I insist. As a fellow scientist, I want to you to copy your further research and send it to me."

Brooks uses the excuse of Danley to avoid stammering any further, which she was about to do. The color in her cheeks is now red, and she's quite firmly not looking at the Vulcan. "Oh, no, the Maelstrom's very dangerous. Most ships that go into it don't come out, and quite often there isn't even any debris. The patterns of its movements are very strange, and regular, and can't be explained by natural phenomenon we've uncovered as of yet. So we keep looking. It's fascinating."

Hawkins looks... amused, at the entire conversation, and leans over to whisper something to Solvek.

Danley says, "So if ships get lost why do people go into the thing?"

Solvek takes a slow sip of his drink. He turns his attention to Danley. "Ships now do not enter the Maelstrom, Lieutenant Brooks was referring to historical analysis of the Storm. What we are attempting to discover is the reason the Storm exists and the reason for its regular patterned movement. We are also hoping that in discovering the nature of its exsistence we can also uncover new elements and possibly a new method of energy."

Brooks takes another sip of her drink, staying silent and letting Solvek speak since he's much more knowledgable on the matter. Or so she thinks, anyhow.

Hawkins nods idly. "We divert traffic around the Maelstrom these days, though it's been... drifting off-course a bit."

Danley shakes his head, "How does a Maelstrom drift? Isn't it stationary based on the relative gravity of the surround bodies? I mean, that's what they told us at school. For it to be moving and breaking free of gravity the laws of the universe would have to be different in the surrounding area."

"That, Mr. Danely," Solvek states, his eyes flashing for a moment, "is the question we are attempting to answer." He turns on Brooks, "What is the current hypothesis on the movements and wanderings of the Maelstrom?"

Brooks blinks as she's addressed. "Oh... umm... well, there's two prevailing theories... one is that the Maelstrom's somehow responding to another set of gravitational bodies, and the other that its movement is somehow... artificial. There're some smaller ones, about dark matter and such, but those are pretty much bunk." Another long gulp of her drink. Thank goodness for synthehol, eh?

Danley scratches his head, "But if it was responding to another set of gravitational bodies then shouldn't it affect other items as well?"

"That was one of the theories I had almost presented. Perhaps the Maelstrom is a self-contained system and has somehow become independent of outside gravitational forces. The cloud that is visible is a form of barrier that prevents the outside forces from intruding and altering the course of the system." Solvek continues, "but as I have insufficient data to make such a claim, I withheld the presentation."

Fred clears her throat quietly. "That was my thought. I've been hoping to get some closer data as well, but... can't risk the ships, I suppose." She bites her lip, as if wanting to say something but refraining.

Danley smirks, "You just need someone to report back first hand events. Ya just need to modify a long range probe the way the Klingons send their specialist and then put Travers in it as a special assignment. You complete the mission the charges are dropped. If you don't... well you don't have to worry about the charges anymore."

"The problems with that situation go further than the ethical level," Solvek continues, apparently on a roll. "What we are finding is that any reading taken from inside the Maelstrom is distorted and unable to be deciphered. There appears to be some form of distortion field within and surrounding the Cloud. As for your... suggestion of placing Ms. Travers in a vessel, I do not condone such illogical punishment. Furthermore, I believe that any data she transmits to us will be undecipherable without the assistance of the Maelstom's distortion field."

Did the Captain just snicker into her drink? Naaaah.

Brooks did snicker into her drink. Or smiled, anyhow. She's nodding along with Solvek. Funny, given how vehement she was about him being wrong earlier.

Danley shrugs as he leans against the bar. "It would seem to me that if you can get a variance reading on the distortion effect then you could simulate the field with a mulit-phasic refraction generator perhaps in the holodeck. 'Course, based on the nature of the universe I would imagine it's going to be more like an onion and each layer you peel back is going to be another layer. The bad thing is you may peel back so many layers that before you realize it you've popped out on the other side."

Brooks puts in, suddenly. "Actually, that was what I was wanting to do. Holographic technology's only gotten good enough for that in the past couple of years, and you know how slow Starfleet can be to approve things."

Solvek quirks his left brow. "Fascinating. I had never thought to attempt such an experiment." He looks at both Danley and Brooks, "However, at the time holographic imaging was greatly inferior to the capabilities that it has at the present."

Hawkins chuckles. "And human intuition triumphs Vulcan logic once again."

Danley shrugs. "A lot of my customers want... unique experiences in the holodeck. So I'm always looking at inventive ways to give them what they want. I would think that if the sensor array could be tied into the program and update the refraction on the fly it might work. Course that's assuming that the distortion is a static distortion. If the frequency changes that's going to be another challenge all together. The computer would have to receive the signal, adjust the generator, reestablish the connection and repeat. Maybe if you launched a probe with a shield tuned to that frequency you'd do better."

"That's a really good idea." Fred seems to be taking mental notes. "A really good idea. Could we try that, Commander? I mean, get permission to use the telescope that way." Pause. "What sort of unique experiences?" She totally did not say that in the tone she just did. She's way too stammery for that. Right?

Danley shrugs a bit. "Ones that involve some type of bodily fluid transfer."

The Vulcan doesn't even acknowledge the Captain's dig with a look. "As it is the purview of the Science Department to use the telescope in whatever way necessary to further your experiments, I do not think it necessary to ask for permission. You may use the telescope however you wish. In fact, once the loss specimens are catalouged I want you to start on that project. Mr. Danley, your... experience with the holodeck seems quite extensive. Would you be willing to assist with this project, if you have the time?"

Hawkins chuckles as she's ignored, and also at Danley, and goes on listening to the conversation.

Fred nods. "Yes, sir. I'll do that, then." She glances to Danley, comments, "That's not all that unique, in the Acade--" she shuts up suddenly, pressing her lips closed, face reddening a tad, where the blush had faded. She takes another sip of her drink and finds it gone. Drat.

Danley arches an eyebrow to the extent that you might think there's a trace of Vulcan blood running through his system. "Oh? This I wanna hear. You know the rule. Once you start the story you have to finish it. But if you all want my help with the holodeck I imagine I could be persuaded."

Solvek quirks an eyebrow of his own. "I am not certain I fully understand your meaning, Mr. Danley. What could persuade you to assist us in this experiment?"

Red, redder, reddest. "Oh, well... my roommate was training to be en engineer, and pretty good with the holodeck, and we were bored one night, and we'd snuck some Aldebaran whisky, so we decided to make a program for some of our friends to use. And we got the idea to set it on Risa. And she... uhm... well... she used me as one of the models for... ahh... well... you know. The bodily fluid transfer stuff. They found out pretty quickly, and pulled the program, and I got in a lot of trouble, but I got a couple of dates out of it." Brooks grabs another drink and adds, hastily, "I'd never do anything like that again. I mean. Modeling. For the holodeck. Nude. Not appropriate. I was young." Gulp.

"And I thought I had good Academy stories," the Captain mutters to herself.

Danley chuckles a bit as he looks over to Solvek, "It's a figure of speech. I'll help if I can. It's always useful to keep command staff indebted to you." Reaching into his pocket he pulls out a small PADD and taps away on it. "I bet there's still a backup copy of that program somewhere. Someone had to copy it. It wouldn't surprise me if there's a copy floating in Memory Alpha itself. Once something's on the network it's never erased."

Solvek nods. "Thank you, Mr. Danley. I'm sure your expertise will be of great value to our research here."

Brooks looks like she wants to sink through the floor. "It wasn't that good. I mean, I don't look like Ms. Travers. You should make one of her." She blinks, clamps her mouth shut, puts her arm on the bar and her head follows. "I'm sorry," she wails, her words muffled by her arms. "It's just been such a bad couple of days..."

Danley scratches his head. "Ya know, if you had access to her medical records you would be able to take her personal scans and us it to make a model."

Solvek takes another drink from his glass. What's he had now, 5 glasses of Vulcan brandy, 6? He looks from Danley to Brooks, "While I understand the attraction to such a woman on a psyiological level, logically, such a person would not be a suitable long-term mate as her personality would overshadow any superficial physical attraction she might have. Clearly, a woman who is both attractive and intelligent as well as bearing a measure of personal integrity, such as Gwen or...Winifred, would be a more suitable candidate for partnership." He pauses, "...If one was interested in such things."

Brooks shakes her head. "No, no, that'd be terrible. I can't do that." She looks up at the Vulcan and stares at the use of her name, and in the context of being attractive. Wait. Someone remembered her name? Holy shit.

Gwen also stares a moment and then guffaws. "Solvek. Was that a compliment?" She looks to Danley. "He's been ignoring the fact that I'm female for six years now. Not that I mind or anything, it's just nice to be appreciated."

Danley shrugs. "Who knows. Some people like being abused. Some people are more interested in what others think about them and think that they're judged by who they f... umm... mate with. Others are just stupid."

Solvek looks at Hawkins, "You may take it as such Captain." He turns to Danley, "Perhaps you are correct in your assumptions, Mr. Danley, however, demeaning oneself for the mere use of pleasure is illogical. The opinions of others do not fully represnt the true meaning of their intentions. To assume otherwise is a fallacy."

The blueshirt still looks like she wants to sink into the floor, but fortunately scrutiny's off of her now, so Brooks contents herself with making patterns on the bar with a finger while listening.

"Some people," Gwen puts in, "rely too much on instinct to make their decisions. Not too many of those people in Starfleet, however. You can hardly expect mating to be logical, though, Solvek. I'll back logic on many things, but who we're attracted to isn't something logic can decipher."

Danley smirks. "You know it's kind of funny to hear Vulcan talking about logic and mating. The race that suffers from pon farr and will kill people if they don't get to their mate. Of course they've reduced that to what 7 years? 7 year itch I guess. Now see that would be an interesting paper. If the Vulcans didn't have pon farr would they have died out as a race due to logic."

"It is a common misconception that Vulcans do not engage in intercourse except during pon farr. Intercourse in order to produce offspring is a logical pursuit with one's mate. To only procreate once every seven years would be a very illogical way to ensure the survival of a species." Solvek sips again from his brandy, the bartender having refilled his glass... again. "Pon farr, Mr. Danley, merely forces the issue." His attention turns to Gwen, "If one is to consider the actions of most races as if they were still primitive, Gwen, the choices often made in the pursuit of mating are entirely logical. Vulcans, of course, view the matter from a standpoint of reason rather than base impulses, and therefore make much more appropriate choices for modern situations." He then looks down to Brooks who is sitting there idly, "Winifred, please do not exclude yourself from our conversation. Your input on this matter would be greatly appreciated."

Brooks gapes like a dead fish. "Umm... I'm not exactly an expert on all of this. Unless you want a run-down of the mating rituals of various species, or my theories on why pon farr evolved in the first place, which are really rather preliminary as I've never had the chance to properly observe a Vulcan in pon farr, so of course you don't want to hear them." She blinks, and gulps. "I mean, you'd know more about that than I would anyhow. I mean... ahh... Mr. Danley, have you ever heard about Klingon mating rituals? They're just fascinating."

Hawkins might be cracking a rib from trying not to laugh, or she might just be sitting very stiffly. "If we're looking at it from a standpoint of base impulses, explain to me why, as a female and therefore meant biologically to carry children, I've managed to completely ignore that impulse in every choice of mate I've had? I still say it's not logical."

Danley shakes his head, "I still think pon farr has more to do with being allowed to have an emotional release more than anything. As for Klingons I've never seen it first hand. But I've seen the starts of it. And I've been in Sickbay when it's ended. I'd hate to think what goes on in the middle. But Captain, I'm not even going to try and explain your experiences seeing as how we just met."

Solvek looks to Brooks and her stammering. He takes another drink, "Winifred, I imagine that if you are on the station for longer than three years..." he stops, realizing what he is saying and looks a his drink awkwardly. "...What I was intending to say was, that if you are on the station for more than three years, your studies of various mating rituals will be able to flourish." He looks into his drink again. I'm gonna say that the first option was probably better than that... Nice one there Solvek, real classy.

Choke. Cough. Sputter. Fred just swallowed something down totally the wrong tube. "I'm sure..." cough, "it will, Commander." Sputter. "Ummm. Klingons. Yes. Well. Lots of, ahh, shouting and, umm, well, it's actually similar to pon farr, just, happens more often. Or so I'm told. I mean. I don't know."

Hawkins is staring at Solvek with her jaw wide open. Not terribly becoming for a Captain in dress uniform, perhaps, but clearly the Vulcan's acting out of character. "Well. Ahh. Thank you for that, Mr. Danley. Then again, I'm clearly not doing half as badly as Mr. Solvek here. As for Klingons, it hurts until you start hitting back." Did she just... say... nah.

Danley shakes his head, "Ahh. . . Yeah... ok. I'll keep that in mind if the need ever comes up. . . No pun intended. So, when are you going to let people on and off the station?"

Solvek seems a darker shade of green than usual. "What I was implying was that as a science officer you will have access to all the research material on this matter that you will need." He stops again. "I meant... Captain, what time is it?"

Brooks is no longer looking at the Vulcan... the First Officer... at all. "Yes, Captain, when will people be allowed to leave the station? And get onto it, of course, I wouldn't want to leave when there's still so much research to be done. On the Maelstrom."

Hawkins is laughing now, if softly, more sputtering than anything else. "It's long past your duty time, Mr. Solvek." She manages to calm her breathing and says more seriously, "Once the docking bays are repaired, and we're sure whoever's responsible isn't still here."

Danley nods, "So how long will it take to repair the docking rings?"

Solvek sits, looking at his drink, contemplating the ignorance of the things he has been saying. "Yes, Gwen, what is the estimate on the amount of time left until repairs are complete?"

Brooks takes another drink, looking to the Captain.

"It's hard to say. Another few days, maybe a week. It shouldn't be too much longer, and in the meantime we can conduct the investigation." Gwen sighs. "Which is proving to be difficult, but I'm sure Commander Volchenkov will manage. T'Lyt is helping him, you know, Solvek."

Danley grins a bit as he pushes himself away from the bar, "Well if it was me, I'd take the internal sensor logs and run it through the holodeck. Assuming everything is recorded. You might be able to walk around the area before and during the explosion. Maybe see what or who caused it. Course you might be breaking some rules depending on what you record and don't record in the embassy."

Solvek looks up. "T'Lyt is assisting with the investigation? Then I am confident that it will run quite smoothly. Her abilities are well placed in a deductive environment."

Brooks, not really knowing anything about this, stays quiet, though she seems to be mulling something over in her head.

Hawkins nods. "We're already going over the sensor logs, of course. And getting access to the embassy logs. Unfortunately, I had to leave a briefing on the matter for the memorial, but Commander Volchenkov and Lieutenant T'Lyt went right back to work."

Danley glances over to Brooks, "Well Winifred, you seem to be deep in thought. What are you pondering?"

Solvek looks down, "Yes, Winifred, what insight into this particular matter do you have?"

"My mother calls me Winifred," the blueshirt mutters. "But I guess 'Fred' is kind of strange for a girl. Umm. I don't know about this situation. I'm a scientist, not a security officer. I was just pondering, umm, well, it's kind of technical, you wouldn't be interested." She's staring at the bar again, making patterns once more.

Hawkins glances around at the lounge, which has mostly emptied, then back to the others, her brow creasing just a bit.

Danley heads towards the door, "Well Fred, you need to remember if people didn't want to know they wouldn't ask. But myself I've got things to do. It was nice meeting ya all. But if you'd excuse me."

Danley leaves through the door toward Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Danley has left.

Solvek looks at Brooks for a moment, "Please... Winifred, elaborate on your hypothesis."

Brooks blinks at Danley. And then at Solvek. What is with people on this base? "Oh, well. I was just thinking, at its current rate of drift, how long it will take the Maelstrom to get to the station. I estimate around 5 years. At its current rate, and pattern."

The Captain frowns at Brooks. "Five years? You think the Maelstrom will head this way at all?"

Solvek states, "Based on the information I had looked over that does seem to be correct. However, as the Maelstrom is apt to change its trajectory and speed it could be later or sooner than that estimate."

Brooks points at Solvek. "What he said."

"Why did no one tell me about this earli--" Gwen sighs as her compin beeps at her, and she's called away. "If you two will excuse me? Solvek, I want a report on this Maelstrom drift on my desk by mornng."

Solvek falls into his duty face, "Yes sir." The effect of the Vulcan brandy seems to be loosening. He turns to Brooks, "I must apologize for some of the comments I made earlier. My statements were illogical and... impolite, especially from someone of my station."

Brooks blinks, looking up at Solvek. "Oh, no, I mean... I'm sure you just meant... things that were quite logical. I'm sure you and your mate, T'Lyt was her name? I'm sure you'll be quite busy in three years. Or, y'know. I mean. That's not what I meant. You know what I mean."

Solvek's eyes widen at the mention of T'Lyt as his mate. He almost seems to stammer as he explains, "I believe you are mistaken, T'Lyt is not, nor will she ever be, my mate. She is my sister. I am currently..." he lets out a deep breath, "without a mate."

"Oh! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply anything." Fred frowns. "You are? That's... well. I'm sorry to hear that. Was it hard, going through pon farr without a mate? I know the plak tow is very difficult to handle." Her voice sounds almost... clinical in a way, as if she's gathering data.

Solvek looks somewhat defeated, "The last occurence of my pon farr, I was with my mate. She passed during the war."

The young woman blinks. "Oh. Oh! Ohhh. Oh, I'm so sorry." Fred turns her head, looking away, shaking it as she speaks, stammering once more. "I'm so stupid, I never should have brought it up. I'm no good at being sociable, I'm much better on-duty, and oh, this isn't the right place to be talking about this anyhow, so many people died... I'll just be leaving you alone then, Commander... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories. I'm really, really sorry." Still not looking at Solvek, she turns to leave.

Solvek instictively reaches out his hand, grabbing her by the arm. The hold is firm but not painful. "I would like you to stay and talk for a time. Please." He shakes himself, "I mean, your company is not unpleasant, I would appreciate it if you did not leave. I was not offended."

Brooks does her dead fish impression again. Which is something of a misnomer, because she's pretty cute when she does that. "I... I... You think... you want me to..." For a moment she just looks confused, and then fear flashes across her face. She pulls away, taking a step back. "I can't. I can't. Not again. I can't." She backs away, slowly, arms held out a bit. "I'm sorry, Commander. I... just can't." She's garnering stares, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Solvek starts at her reaction. A mixture of pain and failure flashes across his face. He looks down and says nothing as she departs.

On seeing the look on Solvek's face, Fred's eyes fill with tears and she turns, quite literally running away. Which causes, well, even more stares.

Brooks leaves through the door toward Starboard Walkway <Deck 30>.
Brooks has left.

The bartender leans over, picks up Brooks' abandoned drink, and frowns. "She couldn't have been that tipsy... she was drinking tea. What'd you say to the girl? It looked like you were all set for a while there."

Solvek looks at the bartender. "I told her that I wanted her to stay." With that he sets down his drink and slowly exits the lounge, his head bent in defeat.

(The scene fades out, replaced by three words: TO BE CONTINUED...)

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