USS Adelphi


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Post 25 - A Buggy Quest

Posted on Mon Sep 28th, 2020 @ 5:18pm by Lieutenant Nico Oliveria & Lieutenant Commander Kora Lenek & Lieutenant Commander Karim MD & Lieutenant Timmoz & Lieutenant Emni t'Nai & Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril & Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant JG Chaali
Edited on on Mon Sep 28th, 2020 @ 6:32pm

Mission: Epilogue 1: The Long March
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: Shortly after Karim left the merry band of questing knights and a noble lady.

They had followed Sir Tov-Gawain along the path and under the darkened branches of the forest nearly thirty minutes ago. The band had begun quite merrily, but as the minutes wore on and the questing remained walking Emni could feel a touch of tension amidst the group. She found herself wondering whether Karim had meant for the program to leave them walking this long or if, perhaps, there had been some glitch.

Sometime during their walk the rain had cleared and what remained was the drip dripping of water sluicing down leaves and making their way down to the ground. The path, though somewhat preserved by the cover of the trees, was still fairly muddy and sucked at their boots as they walked.

The chatter amongst the officers had continued as they marched forward, poking fun, insinuating activites other than questing, and generally staying light hearted. Emni mostly listened, taking the emotional temperature of the crew as they walked and noting the times where words matched emotion and others where those same words didn't quite line up. She realized quickly how little opportunity for interaction with this group had previously been available. Likewise she found herself settling comfortably in and enjoying the reparte.

It was then, just as most of the conversation had dwindled that they reached the a fork in the path ahead of them.

"Two roads diverged in a..." the Lady Gwendak paused then, realized the Robert Frost quote didn't exactly apply. With a smirk, he modified it. "In a dreary, muddy wood. Which shall we take?" he asked, eyes roving to Nicolot, their leader in the quest for the Grail. The light from Merlin would, of course, help guide them on their journey but it was up the great Knight himself to direct their action and course. "Also, still hungry," he said, his stomach audibly growling. "Did that wizard happen to whip up a picnic for this little adventure?"

Nico smirk at the lady, "I'm afraid not. Perhaps there will be a buffet at the end of the journey." He chuckled, "Or we could ask the Computer for a sandwich." Stepping forward, he raised his left hand and pointed, "We shall take the path to the left." Without turning back to the group, he headed off with the confidence of a man who knew he would be followed, "We should be on the lookout for evildoers. Nothing must stop us from finding the Grail."

Tov nodded and ceded the point position of the group to Nico. Since they began their quest, Tov's smile remained and he still seemed relaxed outwardly, though his eyes betrayed a watchfulness, and Emni likely felt a mix of joy and wariness exude from the Betazoid. His hand remained on the pommel of his sword, and his eyes moved constantly in smooth motions so he had a good picture of his surroundings.

Emni took in their ragtag band, intrigued by the ease with which Nico appeared to make his decision while his own indecision and uncertainly surrounded him a bit like emotional fog. Tov, following close behind Nicolot, exuded an air of joy that settled over the group like a sunny day. His emotional state constrasted sharply with the dark wood. Emni realized a moment too late that a small smile was gracing her features--she had fallen into the empathic trap of letting others emotions influence her own mood.

The group had once again fallen silent as they walked down the leftward path. The darkness of the forest seemed to deepen to a velvety navy blackness and their Karim-based weir-light seemed to cast its glow less and less ahead of them.

And so it was that they didn't see the archer before an arrow streaked past them burying its head in a tree immediately next to where Timordred had just been standing. A bit of peachy ribbon hung from the shaft of the weapon fluttering from the breeze of its passing.

Timmoz jerked his head back at the tail-end of the shrill sing of the arrow- it embedded itself in the Yew behind him, arrow shaft parallel his cheek. His sword hand had his blade drawn in eerie quickness. He spun its single handgrip in his hold and slunk into the holodeck's eerie darkness as well. "Someone wants to play huh?" He hissed like smoke.

Tov's hands filled with sword and dagger, his left foot slid forward with his dagger hand out front with the blade pointed the same direction as his toes. His right hand held his sword in a high ready position as his eyes roamed the general direction the arrow came from. As he stepped forward, he pushed down the urge to try to push peoples perceptions away from him. A telepathic look-away wouldn't work on holograms, and would only hinder the story. He did not stray off the path just yet, but made sure he had a clear path to do so in the direction of the archer. He also wanted to be between the archer and any of the rest of the group that didn't want to fight, an automatic reaction. "Ware archer!" He said loudly, eyes roaming the shadowed wood for sign of their assailant.

As no doubted intended by their verdantly-veiled assailants, the focusing of eyes forward in search of a hidden archer proved a magnificent distraction. From above came a loosely open lasso, draping itself around the body of the Lady Kodakevere, who was -- literally -- caught by surprise. With a taught tug, the lasso closed in, pinning the Queen's arms to his sides as his body began to rise from the ground.

"Uh...little help here?" Kodak actually sounded amused by his predicament. He could, of course, attempt to shift himself into a smaller form to escape the lasso. But as the true Lady Guinevere had no such abilities -- and as the lasso would likely just tighten in response around his new form -- Kodak decided against doing so. As others turned, perhaps, to face him, the Chameloid rose higher and higher into the thick treetops above. "Maybe they have sandwiches?" he called down with good humor before disappearing into the foliage altogether.

The down side, Emni decided as the captain-turned-royal-lady disappeared into the folliage, to holodeck adventures was that her empathic abilities were blind to their adversaries. As the other knights reacted to their attackers, she drew here sword, focusing on the amused and slightly tense emotional makeup of their captain. She waited a moment before pointing with her non-sword wielding hand.

"That way!" she said, indicating a direction through the trees. "They're taking her through the trees!"

As the action unfolded around him, Nicolot struggled to free his sword from the scabbard. He spun, still tugging on the hilt as the Guinevere disappeared, only barely managing to slip the blade free just as Emni yelled. With an exasperated chuckle and slightly blushing cheeks, he pointed the sword toward the trees and bolted forward, "She must be the key to the Grail! Save the Captain, save the Grail!"

In the deep of the emerald thicket of yew and oak, Timmoz was swinging the unwieldy longsword so common to the Knight. A pair of archers were fending him off with ducks behind trees and the occasional careless, desperate parry of their tender bows. With a squelch, Timmoz ran one through with a feint at his ear and then a quick pivot. he wheeled to finish off the other archer, seeing him disappear with a leap into the foliage. But near him, a throat cleared and he sensed a shadow move.

"Sir Mordred," growled a holodeck villain, "Lord of the Northern Marches," Timmoz felt the dagger flick to his long neck, eyes on it's glint despite the fact he had some protection there with chain mail. "Well, former Marcher-Lord, maybe." The man pulled back his dagger to thrust into Timmoz- when there was another whistle of an arrow. It thunked between the eyes of the brigand. As he slackened, the villain went crosseyed.

Timmoz swayed and pivoted to look behind him, seeing a smirking blue face drop down from a tree. She wore battle leathers, mostly brigandine. Her blue fingers laced her own bow as she sauntered toward him, "Never send a boy to do a woman's job?" she teased. Chaali chuckled while she walked by and away from the Orion. "Well?" With a sick sound she pulled her arrow from the dead highwayman, "What're you waiting for? There's battle to be won." Timmoz raised a raven eyebrow. "They've taken Arthur's love." She reported as they returned to the small clearing- just in time to see Nicolot shrugging to withdraw his sword from its scabbard.

Tov had followed the others into the trees, starlight glinting off of his drawn blades, but his footsteps silent through the undergrowth. He spun through a pair of enemies, at first blocking attacks from their blades, then striking them down once their guards were drawn open. He turned to the others and did a mental count. The Captain-cum-Queen was missing. "Which way did they take her?"

Nicolot managed to scabbard his sword with only slightly more grace than when he removed it, "Well shit, hell if I know." The little Human chuckled and shrugged, "I'm an engineer, not a tracker." He laughed, enjoying the company, and looked around his motley crew before settling on the new arrival, "Hey Chaali, thanks for saving our Second Officer. It would have been a lot of work for the captain to have to replace him to quickly." He grinned at the Bolian and cast his Ashka a wink before clapping his hands and turning back to Tov, "Hey! can't know sense the Captain's direction?"

Emni tamped down her desire to crack off a sarcastic remark to the engineer who had asked the security chief to do the same thing she had just done. Reminding herself that most of this group didn't know her well if at all and, if Karim's behavior was any indication, weren't aware of how she knew what she knew.

"Through the trees." She said a touch of irritation edging her voice. "That way." She pointed.

The group seemed to turn eyes on her as one--most looking askance, but the Betazoid security chief's, perhaps, holding a glint of amusement?

"I'm an empath." She said by way of explanation, shrugging. "And the only emotional signature from our group that isn't here is going that way."

She was suddenly self conscious, the passion she had felt a moment ago giving away to embarrassment.

Nico felt a twinge of embarrassment but shrugged it off. He hadn't been aware of t'Nai's abilities, and turned his shame around into a smile blending back into character, "So another sorcerer, well you just remember you serve the realm just like the rest of us." Extending a gauntleted hand in the direction, Emni indicated, "Follow me! Lady Guinevere must be saved!" His speech over, Nicolot bounded into the forest, heading for the captain.

The assailants -- with the trussed up Queen in-tow -- had made quick progress while their compatriots lagged behind to delay the questing adventurers. The Lady Gwendak had been hoisted over the shoulder of a holodeck strength-enhanced brute, who bore his prisoner's weight as easily as a loaf of bread. Having gotten off two very loud calls for help, however, the brute and his guards came to a stop in order to gag Guinevere with the hem of her own dress. Which, you know, was super muddy from trailing on the ground and did not at all taste like the satisfying sandwich the lady had been hoping for...

"Mmmf! Mmmmf!" Koduinevere tried to yell, his voice mostly muffled while writhing in his bonds. Attempting to roll off the brute's shoulder, the lady suddenly succeeded and landed nimbly on her bound-together feet. Unable to run, she potato-sack-hopped as fast as possible back towards Nicolot and the others. Unfortunately, she did not account for a large, slippery stone hidden in muck. Kodak slipped on the offending rock, falling face first into the mud. Unable to stand or breathe through the sludge, the Lady Gwendak wondered how long it would take for the holodeck safeties to kick in.

Suddenly -- with the sound of sucking, slurping mud -- the Queen was hoisted out of the muck and back onto the shoulder of her captor. Unable to spit out a mouthful of mud that had flooded past his gag or clear the watery dirt from his eyes, the Captain groaned with resigned misery. For those who could sense his emotions -- just several feet away in reality but appearing further off given the magic of the holodeck -- it was obvious that Kodak was now having decidedly less fun than he had been before.

Given the stop to gag and then re-secure the prisoner, the abductors had lost just enough time for Nicolot, Mordroz, and the others to catch up. Crossbows in-hand, the guards began firing at the party while the brute tried to hurry his way further into the woods. Would the Lady Gwendak's noble companions be able to catch up and rescue her? And more importantly, did lunch await as reward for such a rescue? One could only hope...

Through the trees, Timmoz eyes the short crossbow bolts as they squealed into the underbrush. He looked at Chaali, "Can you take them out from here?"

The Bolian's blue lips were pursed, conflicted. Her eyes rolled to her companions, "Not without hi..." She trailed off as the trees among them suddenly went blocky, then fuzzy, then snapped back into their lifelike illusion. In place of Gwendak's companions was a strange, snarling skull with fangs and a suit of leather armor. Another strange, broad beast with a feathery neck-mane made a strange metallic hooting sound and bounded into the open.

Before them, a nearly-nude green-skinned woman appeared clad in mithril-like silver chain garment. Her arms wide, she tossed locks of black curls behind her shoulder and spun with a smile. She was beautiful- but also incredibly pregnant looking. Despite that, she spun with a sense of grace and teased the jawline of the skull-faced monster. Timmoz's brows rose.

Strange sounds like cracking, popping ice came from above as the moody cool light of the forest broke into warm dawn, coppery glow- and then a hiss of the Holodeck's emitter frame. The computer's voice chimed with a chirp, "Error. Fault in playback subroutine 67-111-87B-Iota on Holodeck One..." the computer ground like it was mulling, "Error. Corruption found. Chapter sequence playback. See subroutine Theta-Theta 77-819-01A." Suddenly everything froze in a strange, zigzagged jerky quality and colors flushed to unusual hues.

Timmoz stepped forward, "Hmm." He eyed the now turquoise-splashed Orion goddess. "So. That's interesting. I wonder who's been making holodeck programs with Sumeme?" The Orion smirked back at his companions.

"Sumeme?" Emni asked, eyebrows raised. The name was unfamiliar to her.

"Goddess of-" Timmoz trailed off as a cascading pulse of yellow and black lines arced across the odd sky and then righted itself, "Goddess of Sex and Fertility." Timmoz decided not to go into her finer points at the moment.

The group's emotions washed together and she found, in the disruption, an annoying difficulty to sort them.

The Holodeck blipped momentarily, the heavily pregnant green woman and her companions appearing to jump forward before the froze again and then blinked out of existence, replaced by the black walls hatched with yellow grid lines.

"Well this puts a bit of a kink in our quest." She said a light chuckle crossing her lips.

"Computer, end program," Nico stated but received no response. Worried, the holodeck safeties were also compromised. He slapped his chest where his combadge would have been. The engineer was glad he had spent a little extra time replicating one into his garment, "Oliveria to Operations shutdown this holodeck immediately." A split second passed before the simulation faded, and their Captain appeared just a few feet away from them. Unfortunately, for the chameloid he had been on the shoulder of the brute when the simulated ended.

"Disappointing," came the familiar and passive tone of the ship's foremost (and oft-times infamous) counsellor, who was stood a further distance back, closer to the far wall of the holodeck, alongside the Adelphi's first officer.

As before, Karim was garbed in the plain-robed garments of his Merlin character, only the deactivation of the program had removed the artificially-aged appearance he had been sporting during the briefing he had provided to the not-so-motley crew. Beside him, Lenek was also attired in suitable dress, although her usual lack of enthusiasm was omnipresent. Seemingly, the ship's cynical duo had been plotting beyond the view of their crewmates.

Karim did not look around the holodeck that had so recently failed them. Instead, he marched towards the others, in various states of disarray, and simply dropped his staff to the floor with a loud clatter, comfortably assuming it would be latterly re-processed by the advanced technology of the suite (if all working appropriately).

"I surmise the engineers at spacedock failed in installing updated technology within this ageing vessel," he stated, almost in a disparaging tone. In a certain way, it almost seemed like he was directig the comment at Nico. "Nevertheless, a brief interlude of violence to sate your recreational needs." Karim glanced about them, removing his robe to reveal he was still wearing his uniform beneath. "I trust you all feel suitably acquainted with one another, courtesy of your fictitious ordeal."

The smirk that rested on the Executive Officer's face could have been interpreted in a great many ways, not the least of which was of a mocking nature. She hadn't gotten very involved in the foreground action, as her own personal ethos didn't really allow for it. However, had the program not failed in such a spectacular fashion, her manipulations in the background would have been an ordeal to endure.

"A pity..." was all the Cardassian offered before making her way to the door without hesitation.

"Um...little help here still?" the Captain spoke up, hanging in mid-air thanks to the holodeck's safeties. The forcefield geometry of the holographic brute's shoulder should have adjusted to gently deposit the Lady Gwendak on his feet when the simulation ended. However, given the malfunctioning of the holodeck, it seemed the computer had decided to simply keep Kodak suspended in mid-air. As he was helped down by the gallant Knights of the Realm, the Chameloid chuckled and shook his head. "A pity indeed, Commander Lenek. I was looking forward to the hellishness you no doubt had in store for us. Alas, it would seem we'll have to save it for another day. Still," he nodded as a smile blossomed on his face, "it was a fun outing while it lasted."

Timmoz stayed near the back, watching the Counselor and First officer in their roles as the puppeteers of their afternoon's diversions. Once the Captain was extricated from the field, Timmoz dropped eyes on the diminutive Engineer. He had a cryptic smile on his face, a blink before he turned his attention back to the Counselor. With arms crossed over his brigandine, Timmoz looked on. He turned at the waist, revealing something innocuously to Nico under his elbow, between two lime fingers.

Emni took in the group as emotions settled out into somewhat normal patterns. Some good humor, concern at the bug in the Holodeck, annoyance from the counselor and the XO, and a braid of vindication and amusement from Timmoz. She tucked the last away as a matter of curiosity.

"Well," she said as all attention in the room turned towards her, "we did have time set aside for this. Shall we take this party to Ten Forward? We never did get that sandwich you were hoping for Captain."

And with that, assuming anyone who wanted to would follow, she made her way out of the glitching holodeck. After all of that walking she was feeling a bit peckish.

=/\= A mission post by: =/\=

Captain Bjorn Kodak
Commanding Officer

Lietenant Commander Kora Lenek
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Timmoz
Second Officer

Lieutenant Commander Karim
Ship's Counselor

Lieutenant Nico Oliveira
Chief Engineering Officer

Lieutenant Emni t'Nai
Assistant Chief Medical Officer

Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril
Cheif Security/Tactical Officer

Lieutenant JG Chaali
Operations Officer


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