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 A Future Without...

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:28 am

[USS Phoenix - Observation Lounge]

It was shortly after 2200 when Jiseth stepped in quietly to the dim room lit only by the viewports. 10 Forward's view was solely of a giant metal wall and there were far too many people in there. Minor celebrations to take the edge off what the following day would entail.

The Romulan needed something else. It was not necessarily the silence or the lack of light. Nor the kali-fal she took from the replicator. The view, however, that is what she came for. Looking off past the large pylon module mounted at the rear of the ship she could see the Gannius. It reminded her of a hummingbird feeding from a flower the way it hovered in the vast bowels of the station.

Something made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She thought she had been alone, but looking back over her shoulder Jiseth jumped slightly as she saw Rear Admiral Stark sitting in the Captain's chair staring straight at her in return.

"Well congratulations, sir. You're the first human to startle me."

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Corman Stark
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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:10 pm

It was quiet at night. 'Night', of course, being a relative term, since there were no solar cycles in space. Still, this time, after Alpha and Beta shifts...it certainly felt like 'night' to him. He shifted slightly, hearing the small squeak in the chair. Perhaps he'd tell Ops to take care of it. Perhaps not. It's not like it was his ship, after all.

They all defer to me, as is proper and right...but it's still her ship. I don't know why Command had any doubts on that front. No, he was in command, but was still little more than the figurehead position he occupied on the Athena. Perhaps Command felt like this was one final hurrah for him, like the old man who gets to blow his own birthday candles out. 'Old man', my ass, he frowned, pouring another small glass of amber bourbon. He was only within striking distance of fifty. Why, then, did it feel like double that, sometimes?

Stark glanced up as the door slid open and Lieutenant Jiseth stalked past, heading for the viewport and obviously unaware that he was here. He smiled to himself, allowing the shadows of the darkened room to settle around him like a shroud. Corman thought about clearing his throat or something, but reconsidered as he wondered if she kept knives on her person. Instead, he just waited, finally nodding as the woman realized he was here.

"If it makes you feel any better, lieutenant, I've been startled by several Romulans in my life." He raised his glass. "Care to sit? It's much quieter in here."

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:55 pm

There was a moment of hesitation before she answered. On one hand she did not wish to be impolite. On the other, she came solely to see the warbird and it was much harder to do so from a chair. Plus, she did not want to get too comfortable, especially with the beverage she had.

"If it's all the same to you, Sir. I'd prefer to stand."

The Romulan leaned against the viewport and looked away from the man back toward the Gannius. Watching the work bees buzz around it compared to other vessels, giving a wide berth to the baleful, green ship. It really did look less like a starship than a creature. A living machine with a literal heart of darkness.

"Odd isn't it, Admiral? Our species each have our own colors. Romulans bleed green and drink blue. Klingons bleed pink and drink red. Cardassians bleed brown and drink orange. Humans bleed red and drink amber. Yet we do both bleeding and drinking for the same reasons."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:42 pm

Jiseth wrote:
There was a moment of hesitation before she answered. On one hand she did not wish to be impolite. On the other, she came solely to see the warbird and it was much harder to do so from a chair. Plus, she did not want to get too comfortable, especially with the beverage she had.

"If it's all the same to you, Sir. I'd prefer to stand."

The Romulan leaned against the viewport and looked away from the man back toward the Gannius. Watching the work bees buzz around it compared to other vessels, giving a wide berth to the baleful, green ship. It really did look less like a starship than a creature. A living machine with a literal heart of darkness.

"Odd isn't it, Admiral? Our species each have our own colors. Romulans bleed green and drink blue. Klingons bleed pink and drink red. Cardassians bleed brown and drink orange. Humans bleed red and drink amber. Yet we do both bleeding and drinking for the same reasons."

Stark chuckled, pouring himself a bit more into the wide tumbler. He took the glass with him as he stood up from the chair, walking over to where Jiseth was. "Poetry, Jiseth? All that waxing philosophical about blood and drinking...if you're not careful, someone might mistake you for a Klingon."

He took a small pull from the glass, enjoying the slow, burning sensation of real alcohol. The replicators might only make synthehol, but this was from his own private stash. Considering the kind of mission they were about to embark on, it had seemed quite appropriate. "True, bleeding and drinking are often intertwined. They tend to cause one another, too. So, tell me, lieutenant - who, or what, are you drinking for tonight?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:18 pm

With lips knotted at the suggestion of being a Klingon. Her eyebrow raised too as she shook her head. She took a sip as well, following his lead. The aroma of replicated kali-fal not nearly as potent as the real thing. Perhaps that would be to her benefit. She was not sure this human admiral would find it appealing.

"Well... For old times I suppose... Though they're fairly recent. I used to hate waking up and putting on a Feddy uniform. It's so bright compared to my Imperial Fleet one. I never entirely considered myself fully a part of Starfleet, I'm the only full-blooded Romulan here. Can't find it in myself to drink because of tomorrow like the others... I'm drinking for those no longer with me."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:53 pm

Jiseth wrote:
With lips knotted at the suggestion of being a Klingon. Her eyebrow raised too as she shook her head. She took a sip as well, following his lead. The aroma of replicated kali-fal not nearly as potent as the real thing. Perhaps that would be to her benefit. She was not sure this human admiral would find it appealing.

"Well... For old times I suppose... Though they're fairly recent. I used to hate waking up and putting on a Feddy uniform. It's so bright compared to my Imperial Fleet one. I never entirely considered myself fully a part of Starfleet, I'm the only full-blooded Romulan here. Can't find it in myself to drink because of tomorrow like the others... I'm drinking for those no longer with me."

"As good a reason to drink as any," Stark said, with a quick nod. "If you think these uniforms are bright, you should see some of the ones we've had in the past. I think these are rather subdued." He looked out at the warbird, wondering at the amazing ability those things had to seem like they're lurking, even when docked. So aloof, especially compared to the relative viciousness of Klingon ships.

"A distant grandfather of mine, Aurelius Stark, was killed in the Romulan War. His uniform was mostly blue, but I can't help but wonder what he'd think of days like today. Or," he said, nodding to Jiseth, "the present company I'm having a conversation with. Times change, and I suppose we change with them. What are you drinking?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:01 pm

"We call it kali-fal. I suppose the closest approximation would be your tequila, though it is consumed in a more civilized manner."

Taking a long pull herself, Jiseth's head turned slightly back toward the admiral.

"One of my grandfathers was a mechanic fixing up shuttles at various bases and the other worked in a factory. Neither saw combat. Only the results of it..."

With a sudden push she moved away from the viewport to the table and placed her commbadge on it. The temperature in the room, partially due to drink, was beginning to feel a bit stifling. She unzipped the front of her blazer and removed it quickly. Then the vest and crimson shirt leaving only the grey undershirt on. The outer layers were folded neatly on the table as she took another sip of her drink.

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:57 pm

Jiseth wrote:
"We call it kali-fal. I suppose the closest approximation would be your tequila, though it is consumed in a more civilized manner."

Taking a long pull herself, Jiseth's head turned slightly back toward the admiral.

"One of my grandfathers was a mechanic fixing up shuttles at various bases and the other worked in a factory. Neither saw combat. Only the results of it..."

With a sudden push she moved away from the viewport to the table and placed her commbadge on it. The temperature in the room, partially due to drink, was beginning to feel a bit stifling. She unzipped the front of her blazer and removed it quickly. Then the vest and crimson shirt leaving only the grey undershirt on. The outer layers were folded neatly on the table as she took another sip of her drink.

Corman had never been much for Romulan drinks, although he had disagreed with making their infamous blue ale illegal again after the war's cessation. "Starks have always served in whatever their respective nation's armed forces were," he said, glancing slightly over as she pushed away from the window. "If you had human ancestry, I'm sure we could go back and find multiple instances of grandfathers fighting grandfathers. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for stupid ones." Historical records from World War III were often sketchy, but Corman knew that one relative had been a subordinate of the genocidal Colonel Green. That was, until speaking against Green's policies had cost him his life.

Turning around, Stark's flinty eyes widened slightly at the sight of Jiseth stripped down to her regulation undershirt. "Why, lieutenant," he smirked, swirling the bourbon in his glass. "I still hit the gym regularly, so I could join you without embarrassment, but there might be a hell of an incident if someone walked in on us in various states of undress."


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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:22 pm

"No need to worry. I bat for the other side of the fence if you know what I mean. Actually..."

Jiseth's eyes drifted upward toward the ceiling in thought.

"Since I would have no emotional attachment, it might be seen as a mere physical transaction. Given your rank, many would suspect I would want to get a promotion out of it. Sneak my way up the pyramid to the big chair."

The emerald circles floated back down to him as she took another sip, not breaking her gaze from his.

"It's that kind of effete mental capacity that makes some people believe that my side would have won, but... Who's to say? Besides, you don't seem to be one who cares what other people think of him."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:21 pm

Jiseth wrote:
"No need to worry. I bat for the other side of the fence if you know what I mean. Actually..."

Jiseth's eyes drifted upward toward the ceiling in thought.

"Since I would have no emotional attachment, it might be seen as a mere physical transaction. Given your rank, many would suspect I would want to get a promotion out of it. Sneak my way up the pyramid to the big chair."

The emerald circles floated back down to him as she took another sip, not breaking her gaze from his.

"It's that kind of effete mental capacity that makes some people believe that my side would have won, but... Who's to say? Besides, you don't seem to be one who cares what other people think of him."

Corman did indeed know what Jiseth meant. The Romulan's relationship with Zero Alpha was common knowledge aboard the ship, even if the truth behind what the hell Zero actually was wasn't. Not that Corman knew, either, but he often wondered exactly what Starfleet Command and Medical were hiding about her.

"Well, not to worry. I've not chosen a future ex-Mrs. Stark from a pool of shipmates for a long time, now," he said, chuckling dryly. He turned around, leaning his back against the transparent aluminum of the viewport, feeling the alloy's coolness through the back of his uniform tunic. "I care what people think...but just not very much," he replied, finishing off the little bit of amber liquid in the tumbler. "I care more about results. Sometimes the path to them is a tongue in the ear, sometimes a boot in the ass."

He walked back over to the table, picking up the bottle and pouring himself a little bit more. "I'm assuming you're off-duty. Can I freshen your glass?"


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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:14 am

Corman Stark wrote:

"Well, not to worry.  I've not chosen a future ex-Mrs. Stark from a pool of shipmates for a long time, now," he said, chuckling dryly.  He turned around, leaning his back against the transparent aluminum of the viewport, feeling the alloy's coolness through the back of his uniform tunic.  "I care what people think...but just not very much," he replied, finishing off the little bit of amber liquid in the tumbler.  "I care more about results.  Sometimes the path to them is a tongue in the ear, sometimes a boot in the ass."

He walked back over to the table, picking up the bottle and pouring himself a little bit more.  "I'm assuming you're off-duty.  Can I freshen your glass?"

Cocking her head back, Jiseth finished the last bit of her blue beverage before handing the glass over to Stark. A curious look came over her face as she swallowed the warm liquid that made her feel fuzzy a great deal faster than Terran drinks. Whatever he had would surely be more of a chaser compared to what she was used to.

"Thank you... Begs the question, I suppose... Which do you think I need considering the results of the last mission? Two of my officers are dead. An engineer lost a leg and a medic needing a bone graft for part of her hip. My record isn't exactly... pristine."

She glanced over to the bottle of amber liquid he had brought. Fornell would probably have loved the stuff. He did his best to try to keep up with Jiseth and her Romulan ale which to his credit was somewhat possible to do given his size. However, Zero seemed to be the undisputed champion who could probably drink the entire flight department under the table in a single evening.

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:28 am

Jiseth wrote:

Cocking her head back, Jiseth finished the last bit of her blue beverage before handing the glass over to Stark. A curious look came over her face as she swallowed the warm liquid that made her feel fuzzy a great deal faster than Terran drinks. Whatever he had would surely be more of a chaser compared to what she was used to.

"Thank you... Begs the question, I suppose... Which do you think I need considering the results of the last mission? Two of my officers are dead. An engineer lost a leg and a medic needing a bone graft for part of her hip. My record isn't exactly... pristine."

She glanced over to the bottle of amber liquid he had brought. Fornell would probably have loved the stuff. He did his best to try to keep up with Jiseth and her Romulan ale which to his credit was somewhat possible to do given his size. However, Zero seemed to be the undisputed champion who could probably drink the entire flight department under the table in a single evening.

Reaching over, Stark added about one-quarter of the glass' capacity of bourbon for Jiseth. He didn't know if she was drinking synth or not, but he assumed that she could handle this. Of course, synthehol was made to be shaken off with minimal effort. Deacon and T'Koris might look askew if he got the CFO smashed.

Then again, they were off-duty, and in damned space dock.

"If you need your ears tongued, ask your partner," he replied, still dry as dust. "For boots in asses, I can readily provide those...but I think you need neither for that mission. You got pantsed, Jiseth. We all did. Who would have guessed that vaunted Bajoran guile would have been turned against the Federation? Though," he shrugged, throwing back a bit of his drink, "we should have had contingency plans against it. We sat back and encouraged Bajoran guerilla tactics when it suited our needs. We should have known that, in a universe of constant variables, some group of them would turn it against us."

Stark was silent a long moment, staring into the contents of his glass. "Luck's a fickle bitch," he finally said, not looking up. "You don't need me to tell you, but I will anyway." Stark did look up then, a flash of amusement touching his grey eyes. "Privileges of rank, and all that. How much do you know about Tarses IV?"

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:41 am

Corman Stark wrote:

Stark was silent a long moment, staring into the contents of his glass.  "Luck's a fickle bitch," he finally said, not looking up.  "You don't need me to tell you, but I will anyway."  Stark did look up then, a flash of amusement touching his grey eyes.  "Privileges of rank, and all that.  How much do you know about Tarses IV?"

"It's the fourth planet in the Tarses system."

The Romulan could play the dry humor game too. And pantsed was a word she would not have considered for their situation, but it was one way to put it. There was an ere of humiliation that had come from the event. The engineer in question she had done well to avoid. She needed that to change, however. Some part of her felt obligated to do so.

"If I remember correctly, it was one of the Feddy victories that didn't involve a Captain Benjamin Sisko. 5th Fleet I believe was there."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:23 am

Jiseth wrote:

"It's the fourth planet in the Tarses system."

The Romulan could play the dry humor game too. And pantsed was a word she would not have considered for their situation, but it was one way to put it. There was an ere of humiliation that had come from the event. The engineer in question she had done well to avoid. She needed that to change, however. Some part of her felt obligated to do so.

"If I remember correctly, it was one of the Feddy victories that didn't involve a Captain Benjamin Sisko. 5th Fleet I believe was there."

Corman leveled a look at Jiseth, giving a small snort of a laugh and rolling his eyes. "I'm glad to see they don't make you pilots skimp on astronavigation," he said, returning her deadpan tone-for-tone. He did nod, though, at the Romulan's descriptor of the battle. Sisko was a hell of a mind, and it was a shame that the Federation had lost him. Corman hoped that he returned from whatever Bajoran mysticism bullcrap that he'd gotten himself tangled in.

"Sisko was right there on the front of it, since the wormhole was the Dominion's strike point into our space. I wish we'd had a hundred of him." He paused a moment, taking a savoring sip of the liquor. "Tarses IV...we were outnumbered by Gul Mabus's fleet, at least two-to-one. Mabus had us dead to rights. The only advantage I could find were a series of nebulae scattered throughout the sector." Stark leaned back in the chair, making himself more comfortable. There were few things he enjoyed more than war stories. However, he glanced over at Jiseth. "You can tell me to shut up if you don't want to hear any of this. We are off duty, after all."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:05 pm

Corman Stark wrote:

"Tarses IV...we were outnumbered by Gul Mabus's fleet, at least two-to-one.  Mabus had us dead to rights.  The only advantage I could find were a series of nebulae scattered throughout the sector."  Stark leaned back in the chair, making himself more comfortable.  There were few things he enjoyed more than war stories.  However, he glanced over at Jiseth.  "You can tell me to shut up if you don't want to hear any of this.  We are off duty, after all."

"No, please, continue."

Her head tilted to the side slightly, she smirked a bit before her face went neutral again. A quick, polite sip of her bourbon was taken. It had a unique taste that was growing on her. The effects were slower than what she was used to, but that might be preferred. Romulan ceremonies were quick and to the point. Very little small talk.

The amber liquid carried a different philosophy. A distinctly human one it seemed. Take it slower. Enjoy something. Savor it. Though the amount of time necessary, some might see it as a waste or for those children who were brazen enough to try hard beverages before they were allowed. Certainly an admiral's drink.

"After all, I intruded into your space. You can tell me to leave at any time."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:01 pm

Jiseth wrote:

"No, please, continue."

Her head tilted to the side slightly, she smirked a bit before her face went neutral again. A quick, polite sip of her bourbon was taken. It had a unique taste that was growing on her. The effects were slower than what she was used to, but that might be preferred. Romulan ceremonies were quick and to the point. Very little small talk.

The amber liquid carried a different philosophy. A distinctly human one it seemed. Take it slower. Enjoy something. Savor it. Though the amount of time necessary, some might see it as a waste or for those children who were brazen enough to try hard beverages before they were allowed. Certainly an admiral's drink.

"After all, I intruded into your space. You can tell me to leave at any time."

"Tact," Stark replied, smiling softly as he took another sip. "You'll make the admiralty, yet." Oh, well. Since Jiseth obviously didn't mind hearing the story, he would indulge her. He drank again, enjoying the smooth burn as it went down. Romulan ale was like a garrote, but good bourbon? It just softly put you to sleep, nice-like.

"Anyway. Outnumbered, at least two-to-one. The Tuscarora was task force leader, with a separate detachment of Qur'lot's battle cruisers. When you don't have the advantage of numbers, there's really only two good options - surrender, or make the other bastard believe you know something he doesn't."

Corman's body language shifted as he got more into the story. Gone was the languid, almost laconic posture. Now, he was leaning forward, eyes like greyish-brown augers. "So we did just that. Instead of retreating to where we could be picked off at Cardassian will, we stayed put. Qur'lot commanded the diversionary force, whose main object was to amuse Mabus and keep him on his toes. Make the son of a bitch wonder...'why are they still there?'. And it seemed more believable that a Klingon would fight on in the face of insurmountable odds. Meanwhile, I split the task force, taking my wing into the nebula. We brought them out on the Cardassian flank and rear, guns blazing. Plus, the particles in the nebulae fields made a handful of sensor ghosts per ship. The Cardies had no idea how many were belching out of space at them."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:29 pm

Corman Stark wrote:

Corman's body language shifted as he got more into the story.  Gone was the languid, almost laconic posture.  Now, he was leaning forward, eyes like greyish-brown augers.  "So we did just that.  Instead of retreating to where we could be picked off at Cardassian will, we stayed put.  Qur'lot commanded the diversionary force, whose main object was to amuse Mabus and keep him on his toes.  Make the son of a bitch wonder...'why are they still there?'.  And it seemed more believable that a Klingon would fight on in the face of insurmountable odds.  Meanwhile, I split the task force, taking my wing into the nebula.  We brought them out on the Cardassian flank and rear, guns blazing.  Plus, the particles in the nebulae fields made a handful of sensor ghosts per ship.  The Cardies had no idea how many were belching out of space at them."

"You would have done well in a warbird, Admiral."

The Romulan did something very few had seen her kind do, let alone her herself. She chuckled. The reasons for her amusement would probably not be enjoyed by her counterpart. She held her tongue and did not ask how it felt for a Feddy to be on the winning side for once.

Even so, there were many times the Federation proved that they could fight. More so than the level of a cadet. At the time, most crews were exploring and delivering aid. The only a small percentage ever fired their weapons and then were suddenly thrown into the bloodiest war in the history of the Alpha Quadrant.

"Were you able to capture Mabus? Or at least get some satisfaction from the look on his face when you outsmart him?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:54 pm

Jiseth wrote:


"You would have done well in a warbird, Admiral."

The Romulan did something very few had seen her kind do, let alone her herself. She chuckled. The reasons for her amusement would probably not be enjoyed by her counterpart. She held her tongue and did not ask how it felt for a Feddy to be on the winning side for once.

Even so, there were many times the Federation proved that they could fight. More so than the level of a cadet. At the time, most crews were exploring and delivering aid. The only a small percentage ever fired their weapons and then were suddenly thrown into the bloodiest war in the history of the Alpha Quadrant.

"Were you able to capture Mabus? Or at least get some satisfaction from the look on his face when you outsmart him?"

Jiseth wasn't a typical Romulan, in most sense of the word. Still, Stark knew enough about those inscrutable bastards to know that she'd just paid him a compliment. Normally, the opinions that junior officers had of him didn't mean a fart in the wind. However...he knew Jiseth had experience beyond her years of Starfleet service. She wasn't just an empty-headed kid with an Academy eggtooth still attached.

The mention of Gul Mabus brought Stark back to the present, complete with a fully-darkened expression. "No," he quietly answered. "Mabus got away. Far as I know, the son of a bitch is still out there." He didn't bother mentioning that he would certainly see that reptilian monster dead some day. Starfleet officers weren't supposed to say things like that. Then again, one did not become sworn to a Klingon house without appreciating the finer vintages of revenge.

"The point of all this, lieutenant," he said, standing up again and leaning against the back of the chair, "is luck. My action at Tarses got me the Grankite pinned to my uniform...but the fact of the matter is, I got lucky. Damned lucky. Splitting my forces in the face of superior numbers flew right in the face of how wars have been fought since one tribe picked up sticks. If it hadn't worked...well, I doubt I'd have faced court-marital, but everyone would have just shaken their heads somberly and said what a great shame it all had been. Some historians would have called it a flawed, but noble, effort. Others would have called me batshit insane...had the stars not aligned. But they did. And here we are."

He was quiet for a long moment, tapping the top of the chair. "Never discount luck."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:46 pm

Corman Stark wrote:

"The point of all this, lieutenant," he said, standing up again and leaning against the back of the chair, "is luck.  My action at Tarses got me the Grankite pinned to my uniform...but the fact of the matter is, I got lucky.  Damned lucky.  Splitting my forces in the face of superior numbers flew right in the face of how wars have been fought since one tribe picked up sticks.  If it hadn't worked...well, I doubt I'd have faced court-marital, but everyone would have just shaken their heads somberly and said what a great shame it all had been.  Some historians would have called it a flawed, but noble, effort.  Others would have called me batshit insane...had the stars not aligned.  But they did.  And here we are."

He was quiet for a long moment, tapping the top of the chair.  "Never discount luck."

"...Strange, you humans. Your luck is like the gods of your ancestors, but without name or form. It's statistical. The only fairness in this world is random chance, chaotic entropy, and... And it's hard to be philosophical with this much drink."

There was a more uneasy chuckle because she felt as if she were now rambling. All the same, she gave a smirk and leaned her head back against the chair cushion. It was halfway resting on her right shoulder, but she cared to little to do anything about the lack of comfort in the position.

"I suppose you have a point... Others attempted similar as you. The folly of brave souls, no? Ultimately, we have to know the world around us. Observe as much as we can before we act, but there's never enough is there?"

Jiseth closed her eyes and ruminated the aftertaste of the amber alcohol. She was still pleasantly warmed by it. Soothed as if in a sauna. The effects were starting to grow on her though it would have to be something where she was sure to have nothing planned for several hours in advance.

"Tell me though... How unlucky is a woman, or man, to have not settled down with an Admiral Stark? Aren't these the years you're supposed to devote to all the things you've been away from?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:51 pm

Jiseth wrote:

"...Strange, you humans. Your luck is like the gods of your ancestors, but without name or form. It's statistical. The only fairness in this world is random chance, chaotic entropy, and... And it's hard to be philosophical with this much drink."

There was a more uneasy chuckle because she felt as if she were now rambling. All the same, she gave a smirk and leaned her head back against the chair cushion. It was halfway resting on her right shoulder, but she cared to little to do anything about the lack of comfort in the position.

"I suppose you have a point... Others attempted similar as you. The folly of brave souls, no? Ultimately, we have to know the world around us. Observe as much as we can before we act, but there's never enough is there?"

Jiseth closed her eyes and ruminated the aftertaste of the amber alcohol. She was still pleasantly warmed by it. Soothed as if in a sauna. The effects were starting to grow on her though it would have to be something where she was sure to have nothing planned for several hours in advance.

"Tell me though... How unlucky is a woman, or man, to have not settled down with an Admiral Stark? Aren't these the years you're supposed to devote to all the things you've been away from?"

Pouring himself just a little bit more, Stark was acutely aware of the warming sensation that was starting to creep into his brain. Had the ship not been in spacedock and had he not been very off-duty, he wouldn't be drinking as much.

"Maybe it's luck," he shrugged. "Maybe it's crap. Honestly...I don't even remember why I started pontificating on it." Stark started to sip the drink, but decided to just throw it back. "Must've been to convince you to stop kicking your own ass over something that wasn't your fault."

His expression flattened a little as Jiseth mentioned his relationships...or lack thereof. He hadn't spoken to Alysandra for about three years, now...not since Conor became an adult by Federation law. "I suppose the luck is in the getting away," he finally said, smirking. "Do I look like someone that should be attached?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:56 pm

Corman Stark wrote:

"Maybe it's luck," he shrugged.  "Maybe it's crap.  Honestly...I don't even remember why I started pontificating on it."  Stark started to sip the drink, but decided to just throw it back.  "Must've been to convince you to stop kicking your own ass over something that wasn't your fault."

His expression flattened a little as Jiseth mentioned his relationships...or lack thereof.  He hadn't spoken to Alysandra for about three years, now...not since Conor became an adult by Federation law.  "I suppose the luck is in the getting away," he finally said, smirking.  "Do I look like someone that should be attached?"

"Yes."

Her response was flat and direct. For a few moments there was a complete stoic expression on her face until a smile started to worm its way between her lips. She was far from being the one to give him of all people relationship advice, especially with her own teetering on the brink, but she felt fairly confident about her position on the matter.

"If you were like N'Vek my response would be much different. Man has the emotional complexity of paint drying."

Jiseth propped her feet up onto the edge of the table and leaned back in her chair. There was a definitive tide of warm fuzziness enveloping her. Sleep would come very easy tonight. Trick currently would be to stay awake and focused to not nod off in front of Stark, but the usual chilliness inside a starship helped considerably.

"Should isn't the proper question. I mean, yes, you should help repopulate after a major conflict has wiped out a sizable portion of the population. Thing is, you're already attached to someone: Mabus. You'll go off, hunt him I bet. Then what? Come back here and share a drink and a story with me?"

She squinted at him and puckered her lips in thought as she looked him up and down.

"You're... perhaps the one Starfleet admiral I've met without the top of his shoulders pressed firmly to his own buttocks. Refreshing, actually. Important to have a sense of confidence in your leadership. I enjoyed serving under Letant, it had a lot of privileges, but he was always out for himself. You I can rely on. So sure, I'll toast to your happy ending."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:34 pm

"I'll take the compliment," Stark nodded, saluting with his glass. He'd met quite a few admirals that he respected. Fought alongside some of them. But they seemed to have their heads up their asses moreso than any other kind of officer. Especially the political ones.

He decided to ignore the comment about Mabus. That was, of course, a story in and of itself, but Stark didn't quite feel like getting into it right now. There was only so much warm-and-fuzzy opening up that he could stomach in a day's time. What would he do if he saw Mabus again? Now that the Federation was playing nice with the new Cardie government, it was just as likely that the monster would meet him across a discussion table instead of subspace radio. Just give them time. Cardies always reveal their true nature. It's always 'next time' for them.

"Now, Jiseth, I've answered your questions and bared my soul," he glibly said, leaning against the edge of the table. "Your turn." Stark shrugged. "My ship. My rules." His expression turned more serious, though, before he asked. "Why? Why are you here?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:19 am

Corman Stark wrote:

"Now, Jiseth, I've answered your questions and bared my soul," he glibly said, leaning against the edge of the table.  "Your turn." Stark shrugged.  "My ship.  My rules."  His expression turned more serious, though, before he asked.  "Why?  Why are you here?"

Her expression turned to that of a lifeless Vulcan after hearing the question. Her emerald eyes jumped around every so often as she thought of the proper response. Nothing really came to mind as particularly award-winning and it was hardly a setting for an interview.

"I normally tell people that Starfleet offered me something the Imperial Fleet could not. I wanted to go do aid missions. Help rebuild the quadrant. Rescue those in dire need. Put myself in harms way not to simply destroy an adversary, but so that others may live."

She somehow slouched a bit further into the chair than she already was.

"Noble isn't it? Probably should have become a recruiter. It's a nice facade, of course, because I'm Romulan... There was this woman. Turns out her uncle was N'Vek and her father serves in the Tal Shiar. They made it look like we were trying to run away together. The exchange program a rouse to defect to the Federation. One moment I'm a respected Subcommander and the next... I do more damage to my own image, even that of my family, over there by serving here. That's why they kept me alive. I'm their version of Stefan DeSeve..."

Jiseth closed her eyes, not out of tiredness but shame. They reopened soon enough though she could not look him in the eye right away.

"I have no where else to go, Stark. I cross that border and I'll be shot."

An angered look took hold as she inhaled slightly quicker breaths and her gaze rose to meet his.

"So I stay here."

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:31 am

"Noble, right," Stark nodded. "Inherent nobility isn't anything to dismiss out-of-hand, Jiseth. It's easy to forget that fighting wars is Starfleet's job...not its purpose." At least, not its entire purpose, no matter what the last half-decade might have indicated. He sometimes wondered if, had he not seen the war, and everything else before it, as a job to be done...would he have been able to handle the mental strain? Or would have have joined the line of officers that snapped at the nihilistic destruction wrought by the Dominion?

Still sitting on the table's edge, Stark looked down at the empty tumbler in his hand, rotating it thoughtfully. "I don't need to tell you that Romulus is falling apart at the seams. All it takes is one more rock on the pile, one more spark in the powder, and the whole tin shithouse goes up. The Federation cares about Romulus, of course, but we also know that we'll want the most politically advantageous position when it...whatever it is...happens. It's best for us, and for the Alpha Quadrant."

Stark sighed, standing again, setting the glass on the table with a soft *clnk*. "Obviously, I can't offer you your life in the Imperial Fleet back. Nobody on our side of the fence can do that. But...what if I told you that we might be able to make an exchange officer's position happen?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Future Without...   Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:47 pm

"You'll forgive me if I'm a little unsure of who is included when you say we and us."

Her feet slipped off the edge of the table and she placed her hands on the arm rests. It was a long and slow push back to sitting upright. She wondered if this was all hypothetical whistling of Dixie from his posterior or if he actually had the power to form something like this amidst the smoldering tensions.

"What? Move me onto a warbird? I'm not exactly a model individual to represent Starfleet..."

Her right hand went to her chin as her elbow on that side went to the table, propping her head up. She was interested, but it could be just the drink on his end. Still, even if it stood a Breen's chance on the surface of a star, the gesture was appreciated.

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