Xoasys, Xet-bey City Ruins.
"Strangers in a Strange Land"
The first rays of dawn shone over the valleys upon valleys of rust-coloured rocks and old, archaic architecture of ancient, abandoned city. It was one of the oldest of the Xoasian race, spanning a thousand miles in every direction. Now only hollow, empty structures, caverns and drying wells remained. There was also tranquillity to the desolate city, that if you could quiet your mind you could have found a sense of calming or a peace of mind. Some of the Xoasians believed that you could even hear the songs of the dead within the walls if you listened carefully.
On the hills of Transcendence as they called it, a petite. slender, four-armed, blue figure moved with such fluidity that one could call it mesmerizing. Holding twin, curved golden daggers like kunai, the female Xoasian swung her upper arms towards the sky and the her lower arms she tucked in around her waist. As she knelt her head tilted up towards the twin suns rising slowly over the mountain range. The suns reflected upon the embedded crystals along the top of her wide cheek bones as she smiled. After a moment her expression turned serious. It was a fact that she, Ki'llan Xobe took the morning ritual of waking the most seriously, believing that she should give thanks to the Deities for allowing her to be alive each and every morning. To her it was a gift that should never ever be squandered, or taken for granted.
Unsheathing the lower daggers from their side holders, Ki'llan began to swing her arms in slow circular movements. Her upper arms turned clockwise and her inner arms turned the opposite way. As she speeds up the edges of the jewelled kunai scrapped across one another, showering bursts of sparks all around her. Gripping tighter with her thin, three fingers and thumbed hands onto the leather, brass-handles, Ki'llan began to perform a unique form of dance, making quick, circular movements with all her limbs in perfect sync.
If any other bipedal alien tried doing some of these ritualistic movements, it'd be a chiropractor’s nightmare. It was only thanks to the unique triple jointed skeletal structure of the Xoasian people that allowed Ki'llan to do such unique turns and other odd movements. Each fluid motion meant something specific in the waking ritual.
As she plunged all four, double edged kunai's into the rocky ground below her feet as she knelt, finishing the ritualistic morning dance of thanks, Ki'llan took a deep breath. Rising up on her reversed jointed legs, the beautiful blue skinned Xoasian sheathed her blades into the holders on around her teal, loin cloth waist and on the back of the four sea-shell armour bra. Quickly tying back her violet and green highlighted, tentacle like hair into a pony tail, Ki'llan made her way to the edge of the cliff face and stopped.
Swinging her slender arms wide and arching her body as she tiled her head back, and slowly iris diamond-shaped, green eyes shut. Ki'llan allowed the warm dawn rays wash over her body, as if allowing the pours within her blue pigmented skin to soak it up. A genuinely big smile formed upon her human looking mouth, brandishing a full set of pearly white teeth, including a couple of fangs, one on either side of the front two teeth.
Just as Ki'llan Xobe took a deep breath of her planet's fresh and clean air, she heard a voice behind her in the distance.
“Ki'llan Mey! Ki'llan Mey!” shouted the voice.
Ki'llan lowered her arms then spun on her heel to see a just as slender, male Xoasian hurrying towards her. Dressed in purple robes and golden plates around his waist, shoulders, and wrists, each one had a unique and specific number of characters or symbols on them. The markings of the Wise Messenger from what Ki'llan could see, as most of the symbols had a unique inward curve to them.
“Ki'llan Mey,” he Messenger said as he stopped a couple feet in front of her and bowed. Looking up at Ki'llan from under the bishop shaped headdress, that was the same gold and littered with symbols as the rest of the armor, he waited for her permission to speak.
“Yes, Messenger, what is it?” she asked curiously with lower left arm raised slightly, signalling for him to speak.
“You...,” began the Xoasian Messenger attempting to catch his breath at the same time, “Have been chosen to go... on... a journey on one of the human vessels. Your Bas'tra has given his permission to allow you off world... Mey.”
“Good, it's about time my Bas'tra allowed me to live,” said Ki'llan, smiling from ear-to-ear or whatever the gills on the side of her head were called. “Now I must go prepare for my journey, and Messenger.”
“Y-yes, Ki'llan Mey?” stuttered the robed and armored Xoasian, awaiting for what she would tell him next.
“When I got up to that floating city in the dark sky,” she paused for a moment, then continued, “Do not call me by Mey. And do not ask why.”
“Yes, of course, Ki'llan M-ehh... Ki'llan,” he winced, catching himself in the nick of time but cringing at the thought of having to stop using her honorific title. It was just something he'd have to get used to in public at least, but he thought might as well start now, as practice makes perfect. Hopefully he wouldn't slip down the road at some point, only to incite Ki'llan Xobe's wrath upon him.
“Good, now let's head back,” stated the female Xoasion in the skimpy armor and loin cloth as she walked passed tghe robed Messenger only to stop as a mild, bright flash shone in the sky above them. She cocked her head up towards the green hued and orange sky, to find an explosion peeking down through the clouds. Ki'llan knew where it was happening, where she looked was where the floating city was, Gamma Station One.
As they both watched the fire dissolve into nothingness, Ki'llan took a steap foward and with her mouth agape, said, “My Sh'a'ai....”
GS1: Galleria, Bob's Restaurant.
The main hub of entertainment, dining of all kinds and shopping on the station buzzed busily with officers with their families, civilians and alien traders alike. In fact in around this one restaurant it was quite crowded with people lined up all the way out of the door, waiting to place their orders for take out. Though inside most of large, gunmetal grey pick-nick tables were filled to the brim. Only a few of the smaller places remained vacant.
Sitting at one of them was a petite, Asian looking female Vulcan with shoulder-length, light brown hair and wearing a blue starfleet jacket. Across from her sat a rather large and blocky, gruff, orange skinned, bald male alien, in a yellow starfleet jacket. Both wore the Lieutenants pips, but he was in fact a Dalfian from the looks of the thick, grey quad spikes protruding from the back of his head and hands.
Lieutenants T'Lea and Ba'lon sat amongst the noise crowd in silence as they had their lunch and looked over status report PADDs, from their respective departments of Science and Operations.
Ba'lon was first to take a break from his 'light reading' and looked up his compatriot from under the large, rock like, uni-brow. Lifting his mug of the dark, slightly thick liquid he was drinking, he took a sip then placed it back down, thinking for a moment about if he should start a conversation. After a few moments Ba'lon just shook his head and picked up his PADD once more and bega to type with one of his three thick, stone fingers.
“Can I help you, Lieutenant?” T'Lea asked not looking away from her own PADD.
The brutish Dalfian was a little taken aback by her response, and hesitated as he was unsure how to respond. “No. Not really, Lieutenant,” Ba'lon finally answered, only glancing every so often to see her reaction.
It remained unchanged as she continued to read her PADD and took another sip of her tea from her steel, starfleet emblem mug. Then still without looking, she replied in a nonchalantly, “Then why did you look in my direction?”
“I don't know. I don't like long silences. They... disturb me greatly,” the Operations Officer answered, not looking at his fellow Science Officer.
“It is not quiet in here, Lieutenant. Not in the least,” she told him, “Silence is what I would prefer and may in fact seek after lunch.”
Ba'lon tried to find some way of getting out of this awkward moment, as he did not want to give his Vulcan compatriot the wrong idea. So he just let it out, “We're both going to be on a long term mission, far away from the Alpha Quadrant. Away from any kind of contact with our own people and from Starfleet Command. Doesn't it disturb you in the least, T'Lea?”
T'Lea raised her head and cocked an eyebrow. “Disturb? Not particularly. I find the prospect of being away from the familiar to be... intriguing, and quite refreshing. Change is a part of life. It is logical that things change.” She took another sip of her tea. “It is also natural for other emotionally driven species to feel a sense of loss and fear when change occurs in one's life. So, even though I do not experience how you feel-I do, however, understand where you're coming from, Lieutenant.”
The large, muscle bound Dalfian just grunted his acknowledgement with a hint of frustration behind it as well. Right after taking another sip of his own drink, he roughly grabbed up his PADD and begin to skim through the text again. Ba'lon tapped the back light on his PADD to increase the brightness due to the lower lighting conditions of the restaurant. Honestly he thought this place could of been lit better, but outside in the Galleria, it was brightly lit. Ba'lon wondered if it could of been an problem with the power relays, maybe he'd even give them an overhaul before leaving for his assignment. Whatever ship that ws going to be, he wasn't entirely sure. All he knew was that him and T'Lea were both set out on long term missions out into the unknown, unexplored parts of the Gamma Quadrant.
The Gamma Quadrant... the home of the Dominion. That battle for Cardassia Prime and many deaths on both sides. It was in the past and even know he had only read about the mission, thanking his lucky stars he wasn't ever sent on front line missions. But instead having a nice, quiet posting on a starbase for that time was a blessing to him. It was a part of their genetic makeup to be a bit worried a lot of the time and most of that time was over nothing. Though Ba'lon knew and understood that every species had their own set of quirks and issues, he wished that being so far from home and the familiar would stop bothering him so much.
He just knew he needed to calm himself down, and sadly his drink wasn't doing that. Neither was the atmosphere in this place. When looking over at his fellow officer, her emotionless, logical Vulcan exterior puzzled him to no end.
T'Lea could sense the young, Dalfian's uneasiness. She glanced up at him for a moment and hoped that he would settle down quickly. Taking a glance out into the hallway of the Galleria, she noticed another Officer in a blue uniform jacket, come out of the docking-ring gateway hatch. The female Vulcan science officer noticed he was rather pale, and the cold, icy-blue eyes that glanced in her direction from across the Galleria, made her feel uneasy herself. There was something indeed off about this individual. She believed. In fact T'Lea even considered on checking in the docking ring after lunch, just to see if there was something amiss. Certainly no one else emerged from that section, so if he was part of a transport arrival there should of been more then just him. Unless perhaps everyone else took a different exit.
“Curious....,” she murmured.
“What?” asked Ba'lon, noticing that the Vulcan Science Officer was focucing upon something else. Looking in the direction she was, he too noticed some pale, humanoid Officer walking off down into the crowded Galleria. “Do you know him?”
“No, I do not,” stated T'Lea, “I'm curious as to why he-and he alone, exited the docking ring hatch--if he were part of a compliment of new arrivals.”
“I don't know. Maybe he just wanted to avoid someone?”
Suddenly there came a rumbling, followed by several large booms and then everything began to shake as the booms continued, getting louder and closer. The docking ring hatch blew open sending a massive explosion and debris everywhere. Civilians and Officers were sent flying like rag dolls, explosive decompressing then sucked out a few of the people who were close by. T'Lea and Ba'lon were knocked over by the shockwave and rolled along the floor before slowly, inch-by-inch, the decompression began to drag them along. Quickly they grabbed a hold of a table that ws bolted to the floor, and held onto it for dear life.
After a few moments that seemed to last for an eternity, the force field activated and stopped anyone else from being sucked into the dark, cold, vacuum. The Vulcan and Dalfian officers finally let go of the table and helped one another up to their feet. A wave of shock and dismay continued to soar all over the Operations Officer while looking out at the damage across the Galleria.
T'Lea stood beside him, breathing just as heavily reeling from the sudden shock of nearly facing death. It wasn't something she was totally prepared for, even though it was logical to her that she would someday come face-to-face with her own mortality. She had no illusions that death could come at any time when out in the galaxy. It would be illogical to believe space was safe from harm, but that wasn't going to stop her from going out there to discover new life and civilizations. Not even this.
As they both stood by watching the fire suppression system kicking in, putting out the fires as fast as they could. The vents began sucking up the residual smoke that began to accumulate in the air, thickening it with carbon-dioxide. The two alien Officers gave each other a look then began to aid in getting people out of the debris.
“T'Lea, what about that guy you were looking at, he came out of here, didn't he?' asked Ba'lon lifting up a fallen beam off of a red jacketed officer.
She looked over at Ba'lon and quicly put two-and-two together. “You call the medics, I'll alert security.”
“Got it,” Ba'long said tapping his golden outlined, silver chevron comm-badge, “Medical teams to the Galleria, section thirty-four, B.”
T'Lea then tapped hers, “Security...”
GS1: Shooting Range.
The room was barely lit, but the lights that were there gave off enough illumination over the target drone. A single light shone down over it from high above it. Standing a few feet away being somewhat visible by the cascading light cone, stood a tall, athletic looking woman with short, dark hair. She's dressed in only black pants, and a grey tank top, with starfleet issue, black boots. A Bajoran from the ridges across the bridge of her nose would discern, if the unique, stringed, silver earing wasn't enough indication on her right ear.
Holding the butt of the chrome-plated Phaser rifle tightly against her shoulder, Lieutenant Tara Renn let out a deep breath. Breathing in deep once again she held it and waited for the drone to make a move—then quickly pulled the trigger. A thin, red bolt fired from the narrow, black and chrome lined tip of the barrel, sailing across the room like a speeding bullet and struck the target dead in the center. It absorbed the bolt and blinked, beeped and then disappeared into a bunch of tiny, glowing particles into nothingness. “100 Percent. Training Ended,” spoke the computer's familiar feminine voice.
Renn lowered her weapon and switched off the power cell as she walked over towards the open gun-rack in the armoury. Putting the weapon back on the rack, she closed it up and typed in the lock code. With a subtle, quiet hiss and the sound of clamps shutting, she knew the armoury was in fact locked from the inside out. Unless one knew the key, or had a photon grenade... no one was getting in there.
After taking a seat on a nearby bench the twenty-eight year old Bajoran, Tactical Officer, took off the boots and put on a brand new, shiner pair. The ones she had one during the training were just for that, this was to look presentable on the rest of the station. Honestly it annoyed her to no end, she'd of rather walked on out like she was, sweaty and dirty. There was no shame in it to her, after being in the Bajoran Militia against Cardassians and the like, being prettied up for everyone was the last thing on her mind. Sadly being part of Starfleet it wasn't going to be an option, at least not till she found a Commanding Officer who had some lax attitude about it.
Renn often wondered why she left the Militia to join up with these space hoping hippies, as she called them. But it was obvious why, in fact she remembered it just then, the promise of action and adventure out in the unknown. At least that's what she was told, and believed from the get go that was a load of bull. She told herself to listen to her gut more next time. After hearing about a posting available on board a ship that's set to go out into deep space, specifically the Gamma Quadrant, she figured maybe there was chance of some combat after all.
She put on her gold starfleet jacket that was complete, solid colour, except for the thin black line diagonally across the neck and down the right side, and the thicker one around the shoulders, holding two, solid gold, Lieutenant's pips. Quickly the female, Bajoran zipped it up and tucked it down a bit to straighten out any wrinkles there may have been. She stuffed her grey, starfleet duffle bag and swung it over her right shoulder before heading for the door.
Stopping at it, she gave one last look around and said, “Here's to adventure.” Then with a tap of a control button, the lights lowered until they were off. The doors whooshed open with a whisper, the light outside covered one side of her in shadow. Then as she left the doors slide closed and blackened out the entire shooting range.
Lieutenant Tara Renn briskly made her way around the curved, enclosed, beige and maroon corridor, lined with a thick black strip on either side. Computer interfaces she figured, but honestly she did not need to use them to find her way back. Knowing this station inside and out was one of the first things she did during her trip here and her first few days getting acquainted with everything. She even made sure to meet with Admiral Headly personally soon as she stepped off the transporter pad.
Suddenly the whole thing began to rumble and shake, the red alert lights blinked to life, and the claxon sounded throughout the corridor. Catching herself against the side of the wall, she pressed a hand against the computer interface, lighting it up with an array of buttons and readout screen. “Computer, waht the hell is going on?”
“An explosion occurred on Outer Docking Ring Pod Beta,” replied the computer in it's nonchalant, emotionless voice.
“Great...,” muttered Renn, annoyed and worried all at once. “How bad is it?”
“Extensive damage. -Warning. Debris incoming.”
“What??” Renn shouted letting go f the panel and made a made dash down the corridor, hoping to outrun the incoming pieces of debris whatever it might be.
Reaching a windowed section of the corridor, the Bajoran Tactical Officer froze in her tracks as she noticed something in the corner of her eye. Hesitantly, she turned to look and her eyes became wide with fear as she witnessed a large, burning piece of the docking ring flew and crashed into the corridor window!