USS Adelphi


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Post 20 - Darkness

Posted on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 @ 6:03pm by Ensign Sheldon Parsons & Lieutenant Timmoz & Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: The Jungle, Kilometers from the Complex
Timeline: Nightfall, Day 1

[The Jungle]
[A few kilometers from the Complex]
[Day 1: Nightfall]

Night and the jungle.

On Botchok, they say, it was full of terrors not visible in day. Timmoz was reminded of his conversation earlier with Nico, about their parallel cultural views of the darkness. There was a dangerous romance to it, and the jungle. To the Orion mind it was something almost Lovecraftian, terrors both beguiling and gross.

His eyes flicked to Tov and then to Parsons. Isan and Sor'aa had bedded down, leaving for the moment the three men to themselves. Despite the jungle, Timmoz shivered. His wrist still had a dull ache to it and he rubbed it with his hand. "This reminds me of a time I was marooned on Gamma Hromi when I was a teen." He smiled his Cluros smile to the two men. He glanced at an animal call up in the trees, "Greener and warmer but... it's similar. With a fat Ferengi, a very fat Farian and a couple of obnoxious Markalians who'd just learned the Human game of knuckle duster." He shook his head. "We were evading Gatherers who'd attacked us on some derelict Federation relay near the Klingon border. They'd claimed the salvage rights to it."

Tovs eyes were distant, he was doing his best to keep a sharp minds eye on the area around them. He smiled, when Timmoz spoke and looked to him with eyes of deepest black. "That sounds like a perilous journey. Did the Gatherers keep after you planetside?" Tov asked.

"It sounds," Parsons got a bit nasally, "like you shouldn't have even been on a Federation relay back then, derelict or not. It wasn't your property. Squatters are rotters," he grumbled into the darkness, his face barely visible in the scant moonlight shining through the jungle canopy. The junior engineer didn't seem especially happy about bedding down for the night when they were still being pursued. Death and mayhem could be upon them at any time. But a yawn betrayed how tired his body felt, despite Parsons' fear.

Timmoz was about to answer Tov when Parsons interjected. His mouth open to speak, it slid to Cluros-amused. He gestured at Parsons with his detached amusement, "Says the enlightened man who comes from Utopia," he cooed with an irreverent charm to the Engineer, a toothy span almost daring Parsons to challenge him. His dark eyes returned to the Betazoid, "They came after us." Timmoz was sitting on a falling piece of slow-rotting tree, knees apart and elbows rested on them. He was leaning towards his team, his green skin an odd blend to the dark foliage. "For a few days until they decided we weren't worth it."

The Orion's eyebrows furrowed and he moved a packeted drink from next to his his shoe to his lips, "I've never been to Betazed. What's it like?"

Tov nodded, choosing to remain silent on Parson's interjection. At Timmoz's question, Tov shrugged and a wry smile tugged at his lips.

"Utopia." Tov chuckled softly. "It's a world where everyone knows your name. Crime has been almost unseen in centuries, aside from crimes of passion and whatnot. It'd take a determined and strong willed individual to plan anything detailed on a planet of natural telepaths. The high houses have their rituals that sometimes involves the rest of the planet, but largely it's just business as usual." He shrugged and took a sip of water. "To me it is home, I have a few spots I love to go, all of them secluded. Places I can let my mind open up."

Tov turned to the young engineer. "How about you, Parsons. What was life like where you grew up?"

"Pleasant and problem free, apparently," Parsons grumbled from the dark, casting a look that was half barbed, half awkward at Timmoz. Whether the Lieutenant saw the expression in the faded hues of the jungle moon, the young engineer couldn't be sure. Nor, really, did he particularly care. "But contrary to popular thinking, I did not grow up in Utopia. I grew up on it." Knowing the question to come, he further offered, "My parents were engineers stationed at Utopia Planitia, on Mars. Worked on ship construction. I...didn't see them much," the young man lamented, "but that's ok. It's not like I got lost in the martian deserts due to lack of parental oversight or anything..." Parsons' sarcastic tone, in fact, indicated the opposite to be true. "You'd like it out there, Lieutenant Astril. Pretty barren and devoid of busy minds," he said, subconsciously kicking at a small rock by his right foot.

"I do enjoy the Martian sunrises. We trained there when I was first selected for hazard team training. Arcadia Planitia." Tov grinned at the memory and nodded. "There is a little promontory the instructors like to use as a marker in nav training. There is this...divot, I guess, in the rock. It kinda conforms to a seat, especially with the low pressure hazard gear on. It is comfy and gets the best sunrises as you look towards Amazonis Planitia." He looked over at Timmoz.

One of Timmoz's eyes narrowed while he drew liquid from his drink canister again. With Tov addressed, Timmoz stayed silent, Parson's sneer missed by the Orion's eyes being not one blessed to pick up the dark reds and warm-leaning blacks of the night around them. Instead he eyed the sleeping Antican and the Trill nearby.

"They're dreaming fairly peacefully just now, I'm not picking any specifics up, just the general feel of their minds against my mental feel. What made you join Starfleet, if I may be so bold as to ask?" Tov spoke, trying to work feelings off of the precipice.

Timmoz nodded in slow recognition that Tov was talking to him. The sparkle of his dark eyes returned to the Betazoid, after studying the Trill's forehead spots. "Vodazee," Timmoz replied in a soft murmur. He sighed and straightened, arching his back until it popped. "I always took Cluros seriously. The fourth pillar is Vodazee... the closest translation is solvency." Timmoz eased his smile enough to pair his double set of canines. He shook his head irreverently, "Cluros followers don't like owing another. It creates a cosmic imbalance... it's bad luck." He stood up and raised his lanky arms over his head to pull them into a stretch. "They saved me, I owed them," he said, referring to the Federation.

He sniffed, "So why sign up for a mission so far away from your home?" He asked Tov directly, though he meant Parsons as well, acknowledging the junior Engineer with with a glance. In his mind, Timmoz was antsy... feeling more like the gazelle than the cheetah. He didn't like it.

"I am good at what I do, and what I do is not very welcome at home." Tov replied with a shrug. "Betazoid culture is about openness and honesty. We have our cultural wars in our distant pasts but it's always only a reference." Tov's voice took on a snooty accent. "Oh yes, the people of Catar were warriors of some repute, when Betazoids needed warriors. We are beyond such now." He made a face. "I trained in arts that people will say should have been consigned to the history books. I am not unwelcome at home, few people are unwelcome on Betazed. I just always feel more useful out on a mission."

Timmoz twisted his smile into one cheek, brows rising in acceptance of Tov's reasons. They seemed perfectly sound- if alien- to the Orion. "And you?" He asked, "Parsons?"

The young engineer in question found himself wondering what "arts" the Betazoid was referring to. Parsons was about to ask when Timmoz turned the question around on him instead. If Astril happened to be mentally listening in, he'd no doubt pick up a strong conflict between a desire to open up and feeling like he should stay locked up tighter than a clam. The battle might be visible across Parsons' face were there enough light to see properly but, for Timmoz, the tone of the engineer's voice would have to be enough to communicate that particular reticence.

Adjusting again -- moving himself off an uncomfortable tree root -- Parsons lamented into the darkness. "My mother told me that never leaving the Sol system would hobble me forever. She said," and here, he adopted a nasally tone to impersonate her, "Son, a man doesn't grow in the shadows of his home. He needs to walk afar to appreciate what he's left behind." The impersonation ended, though Parsons had more to say. "When I told her I was headed to the Delta Quadrant, she threw a bit of a hissy fit. I told her to be careful what she wished for. Anyway," he snorted dismissively, "had I known I'd be stuck in the jungles of some alien world rather than holed up in the bowels of the ship, I might have chosen different."

Despite Tov not trying to snoop in the minds of his companions, as such was the height of rudeness, he couldn't help but feel some bleed over from Parsons feelings.

'Something has him anxious.' Tov mused to himself as he nodded, listening to the words as well.

"Law of unintended consequences." The Betazoid lamented with a wry grin. "We all ended up here, from vastly different points of origin, without ever actually trying to get here." He gestured at the jungle surrounding them. He fell silent and nodded, taking a deep breath. "We should get some rest, we should move as soon as it starts to lighten up." Though precisely where they would go was beyond him just now. "You two hit the rack, I can rest a bit while keeping a telepathic lookout, warn us of anything approaching."

Timmoz glanced to the engineer, then back to his chief of security. "Wake me up in two hours. We'll take shifts." He stood, stretching all six foot nearly three of himself, arms long over his head. Timmoz tied back his frizzy orb of hair and cantered to a nearby tree. He leaned against it and tilted his head back to the bark.

Tov nodded and let his vision unfocus as he straightened where he sat. He set his hands across his knees, and began to take slow, deep breaths as he took down more of his mental barriers in preparation for watch. He'd follow directions and wake Timmoz in a couple of hours.

Parsons, meanwhile, nestled himself down as much as he could. "Thank you for keeping watch first, Lieutenant," he said, looking up at Astril. "And you second, sir," he spoke into the darkness, directing his voice towards the tree where Timmoz had bedded down. "I'll take the third and then will wake our Antican friend here," he toed toward the sleeping security officer. Wrapping his arms around his backpack like it was a body pillow, Parsons laid his head down and tried not to let the sounds of the jungle spook him out of getting any rest.

=/\= A joint-post by... =/\=

Lieutenant Timmoz
Chief Flight Controller and 2XO


Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril
Chief Tactical/Security Officer


Ensign Sheldon Parsons
Engineering Officer


Sor'aa and Isan (sleeping NPCs)


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