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July 10th, 2005


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whosdamike
01:19 pm - Star Trek game
Hey everyone. I hope this post isn't off-topic. It didn't look like it was against community rules, but if it is, delete this post with my apologies.

Basically, I'm advertising a Star Trek play-by-e-mail role-playing game. The web-site can be found here:

http://www3.hmc.edu/~mqle/ussatlas

It's a game set in 2380, shortly after the events of Nemesis. Premise in a nutshell: old run-down ship, TNG era in the TOS space. The game's set to launch in two weeks. I know there are published writers here, so I don't know if anyone would be interested in wasting time on role-playing... but if you are, drop a comment. We'd love to hear from you.

---

“Kneel.” The statement was punctuated with a jab of the painstick.

Hiro clenched his jaw hard, taking a chip off a molar in the process. But he didn’t scream. He spat at the ground, clearing his mouth of blood and loose enamel. “Sorry,” he said, “I’m just not a kneeling kind of guy. I prefer standing.”

The guard kicked the back of Hiro’s knee, causing pain to flare through the limb and forcing the commander down.

“On the other hand, it’s always nice to try new things,” Hiro continued. “Variety is the spice of life and all that.” He turned to look at Connor. “Okay. Any time now.”

“What?” Connor asked.

You’re the ‘Chosen One,’” Hiro replied, making the title sound like something Connor had won in a poker game. “Do something.”

“Does shitting my pants count?”

“Worst. Chosen One. Ever.” Hiro sighed.

“Hey, I’m new at this,” Connor said. “It’s not like they taught this ‘Chosen One’ bullshit at the Academy.”

“Of course they did. Didn’t you take the course on Kirk?”

“That class was for lazy people who didn’t want to wake up for Temporal Mechanics.”

“Tempowhat?”

Connor sighed. “I hate you so much.”

“I can’t believe they made you the Chosen One,” Hiro complained. “I mean, look at you. You’re like the poster boy for Irish drunks.”

“And I suppose you’d do better.”

Hiro gave Connor a look of complete disbelief. “Of course I’d do better,” he said. ”The name’s Hiro, remember? Besides, I cut quite the dashing figure. All the ladies say so.”

“These ladies you speak of… they wouldn’t happen to be blind, would they?”

“I understand that you speak out of jealousy. And I just want to let you know that I don’t hold that against you.”

“And how sure are you, really, on the ‘ladies’ part?”

“Oh, I’m sure. Unlike you, I’m rather selective in that respect.”

“That’s not what I h – ” Connor’s retort was cut short by a sharp blow across the back of his skull. A moment later, he was facedown in the dirt, the guard’s boot pressing hard against his head.

“Everyone’s a fucking critic,” he muttered, spitting dust out as he spoke.

“That’s enough.” The voice echoed down from the boot’s owner. “You will be silent and show respect. Or I will crush you beneath my heel.”

Without waiting for a response, the guard pulled Connor back into a kneeling position. In his peripheral vision, he could see Hiro struggling upright as well.

Laughter echoed out at them through the darkness. There was a faintly disturbing quality in the sound. It wasn’t mirthless. That was the problem – the sound was full of sinister pleasure, joy derived from tearing wings off insects or kicking dogs into the ground. Something terrible lurked behind that laughter. Connor and Himura squinted but could see nothing. There was a trembling of shadows, a sick shudder of black against black.

The laughter didn’t so much fade away as die in the air. There was a shifting sound, then the soft glow of lights coming online. The shadows fled into the corners of the room and a figure slowly came into view.

“Well, well,” the figure said. She gave a smile that was full of the same twisted gratification as her laughter. She stretched, her form languid. She was tall and thin, an unfurled snake. “Himura Hiro… I never thought I’d see you again.” Her smile turned feral, adding to the sharpness of her features. “I never thought you’d be stupid enough to cross my path after what you did to me. I spent so many nights… so many nights thinking about all the things I’d do to you if I ever had the chance. I must admit, I’m torn now that you’re finally here. It feels like so many years have led up to this moment and now I’m not sure what to do. After all, there are so many ways to kill you… and I only get to do it once.”

For a long time, Hiro just stared. His lips parted slightly, mouth ajar, an inscrutable expression on his face. “Yeah,” he said slowly, finally breaking the silence. There was another pause, brief this time. “I’m sorry,” Hiro began again, “but I’m really bad with faces. Just give me a minute, I know it’ll come to me.”

There was another long and uncomfortable silence. Himura and Connor shifted slightly, trying to take the weight off their knees. Somewhere along the way, Connor’s right leg fell asleep. The woman’s expression was a picture of disbelief, as though she couldn’t understand what was happening. Then she drew herself upward, recovering her bearing and forcing a smile. “Very clever, Himura,” she said.

“Why, thank you,” Hiro grinned. Then he turned to Connor. “What’d I do?” he whispered.

“You’re trying to keep me off balance,” the woman cried, her voice shrill. “But it won’t work! You won’t get out of this with your little mind games or your not-so-witty banter.”

“Is it… Stacy?” Hiro asked. “No… no, you don’t look like a Stacy. Hmm. Well, you’re too tall to be a Jeanine. Terry? Christine? Vivian?”

Connor noticed a slow twitch that crawled its way up and down along the woman’s face, growing more pronounced as Hiro spoke. “You will pay for this, Himura,” she murmured quietly, just loud enough to be audible.

“Alice? Denise?”

She raised one hand, fingers trembling. “Do you really not remember?” Her voice was surprisingly steady, possessed of a cold quality.

“Well, would it kill you to give me a hint?” Hiro replied, irritation creeping into his tone.

The look she gave him could have frozen stars. “Four years ago,” she said. “The research station on Choltak.”

When the woman didn’t continue speaking, Hiro realized that she was waiting for him to say something. He nodded slowly. She leaned forward expectantly. “Were you the one that liked horses?” he asked.

She flicked her wrist. The guards jammed the painsticks into the back of Connor and Himura’s necks, jabbing so hard that the pointed tips drew blood. Long minutes seemed to pass, agony running up and down their spines. When it was over, Connor was struggling to wipe the bile from his face. Having his arms bound behind his back didn’t help. Some difficult contortion allowed him to wipe his cheeks and lips on his shoulders. He looked over at Hiro to find the commander surprisingly clean.

Himura caught the look. “The trick is to project,” he confided.

The remark earned another jab of the painsticks, this one more restrained. The woman eyed them with disgust. “Do you remember now, Himura? How you wormed your way into my trust? Stole my access codes, recorded my voice print? Used my money to purchase ale?”

At the mention of alcohol, recognition dawned on Hiro’s face. “On Chaltok! Of course.” Then he frowned. “That was you?” He eyed her up and down. “No wonder you keep things so dark around here. Intoxication and bar lighting must be your best friends.”

“Goddamn it, Hiro,” Connor sighed. He was halfway through drawing another breath when the painsticks hit them again. Well, he thought (as soon as rational thought was possible again), at least I managed to project this time.

For nearly half a minute, there was no sound besides the heavy breathing of the two Starfleet officers. Finally, Hiro managed to catch his breath and speak. He raised his head to look at the woman. “Was it Karen?” he asked.

She strode forward, tore the painstick from the left guard’s grasp and slammed it hard into Hiro’s stomach. Connor tried to surge to his feet, but the guard kicked him in the back of the head. The guard dropped down roughly on the back of the captain’s neck, driving a knee down hard and pinning Connor to the ground. Connor twisted his face away from the ground, trying to avoid the disgusting mix of dirt and regurgitated food.

The woman continued to jab Hiro with the painstick for nearly five minutes. When she finally pulled away, the commander collapsed, unconscious and facedown in his own vomit. For a moment, Connor feared that they would let Hiro drown. Then the woman made a gesture and the guard kicked Himura over, rolling the commander onto his back.

The woman handed the painstick back to the guard, breathing heavily, her face still flush with rage. “Take them to the holding cells,” she hissed. “And clean up this mess.”

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