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Old January 28 2009, 05:48 PM   #1
Gibraltar
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The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

The Plebe

The sleet fell in piercing sheets that stung the skin and sent cadets and instructors racing between structures.

She watched the short lived pandemonium with detached amusement, the sensation of water falling from the sky as alien to her as the billowing grey clouds overhead. To be honest, she preferred the overcast to an open sky. The naked blue canopy filled the young woman with a potent sense of agoraphobia.

Her dark hair hung limply under the onslaught. It stuck to her face and channeled the rivulets of icy water that coursed down from her unprotected head. She stood, transfixed, still in the very spot where she'd stepped off the shuttle bus. The grand entrance to Starfleet Academy stood before her, but her legs would not move. Try as she might to enter their historic grounds, it was as if an invisible force held her in place.

This will be my home, she thought finally. These buildings; the lecture halls, the dormitories, the simulator complexes, this can be my new beginning. I can't go back, not ever.

The carryall suddenly seemed to weigh too much and she let the handle slip from her fingers.

"Child, please tell me that if you've passed the battery of tests necessary to get into this place you at least have sense enough to come in out of the rain!"

The voice jolted her from her reverie. She turned to find an older man clad in a work shirt and overalls, a wide-brimmed hat atop his head with water trickling from the brim. He appeared to be adjusting a portable ionizer field set above a small patch of tulips that surrounded the base of the statue of Jonathan Archer that stood before the main gates.

"I've got to make sure these darlings don't get clobbered by this un-seasonal downpour." He shook his head in dismay, "Weather modification network my wrinkled backside! We never used to have freak storms like this in the Spring here in the Bay."

She smiled despite herself at this wonderful piece of normalcy that had intruded into the most momentous day of her young life.

He pressed the last toggle on the control mechanism and then moved over to where she stood. He put a strong but deceptively scrawny looking arm around her shoulders. "C'mon, miss, let's get you inside and dried off. My name's Boothby." He stooped to pick up her carryall and guided her gently but insistently towards the main administration building. "What do they call you?"

"Ramirez," she croaked, speaking before she'd even realized it. "Liana Ramirez."

"Well then, welcome to Starfleet Academy, Cadet Ramirez. I'm afraid I'll have to suggest to your instructors you receive some remedial training in inclement weather survival."

"Sounds like a plan," she remarked numbly as she tried to make sense of her new place in the cosmos.

A warm rush of air greeted them as they moved through the sliding transparent aluminum doors into the grand atrium. The sleet continued to pelt the exterior, its staccato beat announcing the arrival of Earth's most recent immigrant, another bruised soul searching for meaning and belonging within the walls of the Federation's foremost cathedral of dreams.
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Old January 28 2009, 06:27 PM   #2
CeJay
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

Short but definitely sweet.

It kinda creates more questions about Ramirez than it tries to answer. Why couldn't she go back, ever? Perhaps we'll find out in Gravity.

Nicely done.
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Old January 28 2009, 06:52 PM   #3
RobertScorpio
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

CeJay wrote: View Post
Short but definitely sweet.

It kinda creates more questions about Ramirez than it tries to answer. Why couldn't she go back, ever? Perhaps we'll find out in Gravity.

Nicely done.
I really like the way you were able to describe the visuals of what she was seeing...the pounding sleet, the billowing grey clouds, ect...it really made you "see" this person in a real, 3-D, world...great job!!!

Rob
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Old January 28 2009, 07:20 PM   #4
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

Great imagery! Makes me glad I'm inside with a cup of coffee - it's grey and threatening where I am. A very nice intro to Liana Ramirez!
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Old January 28 2009, 09:32 PM   #5
Mistral
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

Any story with Boothby is a winner with me! (echo: Great Visuals!)
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Old January 29 2009, 12:56 AM   #6
mirandafave
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

A bittersweet tale because we see how it all begins and we know how it ends. Top notch. And begs the question what is her history with her family? And knowing the Gibraltar crew it'll probably bite them in the ass as they return to her home.
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Old January 29 2009, 05:40 AM   #7
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

Very nice for all the reasons already mentioned. I also think you did a great job in depicting the shock it must be for someone accustomed to ship/station life to go to a planet for the first time. I really do wonder what kind of psychological effects that would have on a person!

(Another really cool take on that you might be interested in reading is the old numbered DS9 novel, Objective: Bajor by John Peel.)
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Old January 29 2009, 03:47 PM   #8
Dnoth
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
Great imagery! Makes me glad I'm inside with a cup of coffee - it's grey and threatening where I am. A very nice intro to Liana Ramirez!
ditto
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Old January 31 2009, 07:42 AM   #9
DavidFalkayn
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Re: The Plebe - A Gibraltar short story

I'm a sucker for stories like this--two characters, a simple, non-complicated setting, but so much depth and atmosphere. Very nicely done.
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