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Hi, does anyone know a good doctor in the southern Indiana area? My current doctor who is supposed to be a "great doctor" doesn't listen to me. I get very stressed with doctors and I don't want to bounce between multiple doctors just to find one who listens to me. Thanks for any help!
Thanks and Credits in the Comments Section due to LONG chapter.
Chapter 31: A Whale of a Tale and it’s All True
“IT’S FUCKING J-POD!”
Kalai watched in shock and awe as the two humans collectively lost their minds, hopping up and down and letting loose a series of high pitched vocalizing as she, Papa, and Mama Sakalbi stared in confusion at the two ecstatic aliens.
Andy turned and ran back to where Kalai and her parents were still staring in amazement and held his hand out, face alight and happier than she’d ever seen him before. “Binoculars! Quick! I want to see who’s out there!” Mama Sakalbi tentatively held them out, and he took them with a nod of thanks before rushing back to the bow. Kalai started as he jumped up on the bow and balanced against the roller horns to spot the black and white whales that were swimming fast towards the net.
“Eyes on Mama Shachi! Look, over there, see her?” Kalai approached cautiously as Andy pointed in the direction of a cluster of porpoising black shapes that were coming nearer.
“Eyes on! I got Grammie Slick out there too; the WHOLE POD’S HERE!” Jackie cut loose an undulating cry and waved her hands as little geysers of water and air shot out from the water on the other side of the net.
Kalai nearly jumped when a miniature version of the Orcas from the clone tank at Headquarters breached the water, leaping almost twice her height into the air before splashing back down in a massive wave.
“Look at that! Butterball’s getting some good air these days!” Andy crowed as he hopped back down from the bow and passed the binoculars to Jackie.
“Butterball?” Mama Sakalbi asked as she and Papa joined them. Kalai stared as the Orcas formed a line and charged at the middle of the ‘S’ bend in the net before diving down in front of it, sending a wave that pushed the corks back. She saw the spouts and the dorsal fins rise again for another charge at the net.
“He’s the baby, only about four years old. Grammie Slick’s taking the family hunting, see how they’re flattening the net out? We’re about to have a great fucking day
!” Andy took Jackie’s shotgun and took it back to the cabin as Kalai and her parents crowded the rail.
“What are they doing?” Mama Sakalbi’s question was directed at Jackie and the woman turned to answer with a gigantic smile.
“Herding! See the ones circling around the net?” Jackie pointed to the two dorsal fins that were almost invisible in the fog that was starting to burn off in the morning sun that had started to clear the eastern mountains. “They’ll be starting to round up small schools of salmon once they’re done turning our net into a reef. Right now, they’re running along the line and probably seeing what they have to work with.”
Mama Sakalbi did a double take, “You must be joking, that level of intelligence would almost be-”
“Human?” Jackie interrupted with a smile, “Yeah, that’s our original teachers out there. We learned to fish from them
“I was going to say ‘sentient’, but I take your point. What I want to know is, what are they doing
?” Mama Sakalbi gestured out at them, with a bewildered look on her face.
“They’re using the net as a sea wall. Thing is, the net’s hard to see in the water, but the fish can feel it. They’ll put their heads into the net, but that doesn’t catch them. They’ll try to swim around it so that’s why we put an ‘S’ bend. That’s where most of the fish get tangled.” Andy returned and picked up the explanation. “See in the center of the line? That fin with the black and white little checkmark behind it? That’s Grammie Slick, the Matriarch. She’s around sixty now, and grew up out here LONG before you all came down. They don’t always do this, but I guess with you all keeping the fishing fleets docked, she saw the net and wanted a big meal for the family. They’re going to keep pushing the net until it’s in the shape of a crescent and herd a bunch of small schools into a big baitball with pickets to keep the fish pinned in the middle. You watch, there’ll be salmon jumping all over in the middle as they school up.”
“That’s when you’ll see them charge up the center and take big old mouthfuls of salmon. It’ll be a smorgasbord for ‘em!” Jackie pulled up Andy’s omnipad and started recording.
“Wait, but you hate seals for competing with you for food, why are you this excited about Orcas who take so much more?” Papa asked as he also took out his omnipad and started recording as the pod of Orcas finished repositioning their net just as Andy described.
“Because they’re using the nets as a reef to trap the fish! See? Look! There they go! The wolves are out scaring every salmon in the area here!” Kalai dug her own omnipad out at Andy’s words and watched as the dorsal fins sank below the waves, with only a faint and fading wake to tell where they’d gone.
“Now watch ‘em set pickets! They’re going to start patrolling the outside of the net. When they get enough salmon in the middle, they’re going to charge. When they do, watch the entire
middle section of our corks go under from the salmon trying to get away. They get whole heaping mouthfuls of food and we get a full
Kalai watched the Orcas swimming in circles around the net like Helix Sharks, and felt a pang of fear seeing the big predators that seemed so gentle and inquisitive in the tank. “But what if they get caught in the net?”
Jackie suppressed a laugh before sweeping an arm out at the net. “I’ve never seen that happen before, and I haven’t even heard of it happening before… at least not here in the Salish Sea. All our Orcas grew up around these nets, so they’ll either avoid them or use them like they are right now.”
“I think it’s because they can see them and the fish can’t. Either way, we’re in for a show!” Andy patted Kalai on the back before pushing Kalai and Mama Sakalbi forward.
For a long while, the surface was calm, save for the circling Orcas as they all watched. Then, by degrees, there was movement on the surface of the water as fish the length of Kalai’s arm started to jump and kick in the baitball. Kalai watched, fascinated, as Orcas seemed to appear and disappear along the edges but never approached the middle of the net.
All the fins disappeared from the surface and an eerie stillness settled over the water. Suddenly, the water in the middle of the crescent erupted, with hundreds of fish shooting out of the water and a sudden surge that hit and pushed the corks outward before they sank completely out of sight. Jackie and Andy started vocalizing those strange undulating cries again, raising their fists in the air before shouting something in their language. From as best as Kalai could guess, it was encouragement as the Orcas started breaching and jumping. In those moments, Kalai could catch glimpses of their mouths full of salmon.
Kalai watched as the terrified fish swarmed towards the net, and watched as many seemed to jump over it and swim away as the Orcas gorged themselves on the enormous school of salmon they had trapped. It was an awe inspiring sight to see, and Kalai lost herself in the moment watching the amazing display of symbiotic hunting and fishing between them and the Orcas.
The engine of the boat turning over broke the spell they were all under as Andy moved the boat at a dead slow pace back towards the net. “Alright, let’s haul it in and reset for ‘em! Jackie! Get on the bow with the billhook!” Jackie whooped in agreement and gently pushed passed Kalai to grab a long pole with a small metal hook at the end.
“We’re gonna have to work fast. They’re hungry, and we all want salmon today,” Andy called over the sound of the engine as they approached the giant buoy that marked the end of the net. “Doc! Open that hatch back there and watch your step! Mrs. Vaida, stand clear in the cabin; I want no accidents today, and three on deck’s going to be a crowd with how many fish we’re going to be taking in. Kalai, I want you back in the-”
Kalai shook her head as she put her omnipad away. “I can do it! Let me help!” she was riding the high feeling of watching the Orcas, and seeing Andy and Jackie preparing to go to work while she was to be just a passenger galled her.
Kalai saw Andy give Jackie a look that she couldn’t quite interpret. “Alright, but you’ll work with me picking fish. Jackie, you’re on the Drum; trade places with me!”
Kalai saw Jackie huff and give Andy a piercing look as she handed off the billhook. “Watch out for jellies, they tend to explode,” the native woman muttered to Kalai as she took over at the net drum’s controls. Kalai was about to volunteer to grab the line with the hook, given her longer reach, but Andy had already leaned almost all the way over the side. Kalai had a momentary scare as Andy seemed to dip forward, seemingly in danger of falling overboard, until he seemed to almost levitate himself using his lower legs back into the boat and pulled the line over the roller horns. She stood there for a moment, unsure of what to do when Andy braced a foot against the side and began to pull on the line and feed it back towards Jackie. “Way, haul away, we’ll hang and haul together! Way, haul away, haul away Joe!”
Though she didn’t understand the words, Kalai knew a sailing song when she heard one and didn’t wait for any instruction. She moved forward opposite Andy and lent a hand, pulling the heavy line in to the cadence of his chant. After two verses, Kalai heard the whine of hydraulics and the slack in the line behind them went taught.
“Stand back! Here we go!” Andy called to her and the line began pulling the net back aboard. Kalai looked back to see that Jackie had wrapped the line around the center pole of the drum, with the wheel turning to pull the line and net in out of the water. A small set of guide poles that moved when Jackie twitched the controls kept the line evenly distributed on the drum as the first corks and the dripping wet net began to appear out of the water.
“Put your hoods up!” Andy yelled at her over the noise of the machines, and demonstrated the motion. “It’ll keep the water, seaweed and Jellies out of your face and eyes, and take this!” Andy tossed her what appeared to be a handkerchief and he mimed the act of tying it around her face like a mask.
“What about you? You’re sleeveless!” Kalai’s voice was slightly muffled from the cloth as she tied it around her face before pulling up both hoods.
Andy didn’t respond, except to grin at her as he leaned out to watch the net coming up out of the water before it got pulled aboard.
From behind her, Kalai heard Jackie start singing another human sailing song. It was a bit fast paced, and Andy joined in for the chorus. On the third time she heard it, she joined in too. “Blow ye winds in the mornin’, Blow ye winds, high ho! Haul away your running gear, And blow ye winds, high ho!
“Coming up!” Andy shouted as there were several loud thunks before six large salmon appeared in the giant fluorescent green tangle of the net. The drum stopped, bringing the fish to a halt as Andy pulled on the corkline and scurried his hands back and forth, gathering the net up as he did until he reached the first fish. Kalai watched in awe as he seemed to magically pull the fish from the tangle and shake it out onto the deck. The second one seemed to be resting on top of the tangle and he flipped it over the corkline and shook the fish out onto the deck.
“Just watch these first few. When you get a feel for how I’m doing this, jump in. Until then, slide these beauties back towards the stern. Jackie’ll pitch ‘em into the hold.”
Kalai nodded and watched Andy’s movements intently. It looked like sorcery, with how fast he moved his hands and zeroed in on a fish. As soon as he was done, he’d whistle to Jackie, who kept singing the cadence out to pull more of the net in, only to stop when more fish were pulled up and over the horns.
The song changed twice before Kalai felt confident enough to jump in. She almost got tangled in the net herself trying to pull out her first fish, but Andy gave the net a quick tug and she was free again. Maddeningly, the fish had simply fallen out of the net without any help from her, and she fumed just long enough for Andy to point to one that was closer to her. “Hoist up the thing, batten down the whatsit! What’s that thing spinning, somebody should stop it! Turn hard to Port! That’s not Port, NOW I GOT IT! Trust me, I’m in control!”
On the second refrain, Kalai managed to dig her first fish out and drop it to the deck. She let out a whoop, and Andy paused for a moment to give her a quick applause.
“That’s one, girl! There’s a thousand left if we’re lucky!” Jackie called out as Andy sang a verse and tackled another fish in the net.
“Keep an eye on the lead line; make sure it doesn’t go over the corks!” Andy called as Kalai ran down her second fish and was about to throw the excess net over the other side. She stopped, and Andy helped her get the fish without tangling the net.
It took until the end of the song for Kalai to find her rhythm, and soon she and Andy were running down fish in the net in a crisp and quick manner. Kalai felt like she could go faster, but Andy had cautioned her to keep pace with the songs, as there was still a lot of net to go. When Kalai spared a glance at the length of net still in the water, she saw that Andy wasn’t kidding. It looked like they hadn’t even really started to reel it all in. Ok, it’s hard work, but so is sailing, and he’s my size so I should be able to keep up with him. If he can do it, I can do it! “Haul away you rollin’ kings! Heave away, Haul away! Haul away you’ll hear me sing, We’re bound for South Australia!”
Andy was impressed. Kalai had jumped in without complaint, and she was very coachable. He could feel himself start to flag as they were starting to come to the last third of the net, but Kalai’s persistence, even though she was sweatier and more haggard than he was, kept him going.
The pile of salmon was almost as deep as their calves, and the deck was getting slick with fish slime. For that matter, so was Andy. In a momentary lull in the fish coming over the horns, Andy caught a glimpse of himself shimmering with all the scales that had flown off the fish as they scraped against the net to hit the deck, flopping. He took a big gulp of air and Kalai groaned as she straightened up, cracking her back as she twisted and bent to relieve her aching muscles.
Andy groaned a bit and looked back towards the stern. It was getting hard to see over the amount of net they’d pulled back in, but he could see Doc and Mrs. Vaida doing their best to help throw and shove the piles of salmon into the hold. Everybody’s getting their hands dirty today. Andy smiled and heaved a happy sigh. This, this is what I want. Being out on the water and doing good, hard work.
“SHIT, JELLYFISH!” Kalai shouted as she twisted away to hide her face behind her rain slicker hood. Andy blinked just in time as a wet squelching sound sent a spray of disintegrating jellyfish exploding all over the bow as the net bunched up and got squeezed together.
Andy felt it splatter all over his arms, neck, and face, before he felt it start to slide down his shirt to his chest. Almost immediately, he started to feel the burn. His arms, neck, and chest he could stand, but the blossoming pain on his lips, eyelids, cheeks, and most horribly the inside of his nose overwhelmed all his conditioned pain tolerance.
“FUCK!” Andy screamed. “FUCKING FUCKER! RIGHT IN MY FUCKING FACE! GOD FUCKING DAMNIT! FUCK!” Andy only barely avoided bringing his hands to his face. It was a hard fought thing to deny his instinct to try and scrape it off, but he felt his boots loose purchase and his feet slide out from under him. He hit the pile of fish that surrounded him hard. He was aware of Kalai yelling for her father and Mrs. Vaida, while Jackie’s braying laugh carried over everything else.
Andy felt Kalai trying to grab him, but her gloves were too slick to get a grip and all she did was spread the stingers more evenly over his arms. Andy kept his eyes squeezed shut as he heard Jackie start to direct the confused and panicking aliens.
“Hold your breath, cuz, vinegar incoming!”
Andy felt the bitter stinging splash as Jackie poured a steady stream of vinegar out from what he assumed was the giant jug he kept for these occasions underneath the little kitchenette in the cabin. Though nothing about the intensity of the burn changed, in the back of his mind, Andy knew that it was killing the stinging cells.
“Alright, Kally, take that bucket and fill it with seawater from over the side, then dump it on him.”
Andy sputtered a bit and spit as he scrabbled onto his knees. He steadied himself with one hand on the rail beside him and the other which found the corkline. He kept his eyes shut and growled as the burning spread from his hairline down to his navel. A sudden bracing splash of cold water nearly bowled him back over. Without warning, Andy hadn't had time to get a breath and he sputtered and yowled as the water soaked down under his rain gear.
Andy shook his head like a dog, whipping his braid back and forth before daring to open his eyes. “Son of a BITCH!” Andy growled as he got a look at Kalai holding an empty bucket, while Jackie was shoo’ing Mrs. Vaida and Dr. He’osforos away to give him some room.
“Jesus, quit your bawlin,’ you big baby, you’re acting like you’ve never been stung before!” Jackie called back to him as Andy ripped the gloves off his hands and plunged them over the side to clean off the stingers.
“It’s in my fucking nose you horse’s ass!” Andy shouted back as he splashed his face. A few strings of purple stingers fell into the water and Andy reared back aboard. “Ugh, get another bucket of seawater! I can still feel this shit!”
“Andrei, as a medical professional, I advise you to cease work and-”
Andy looked over as Dr. He’osforos spoke but waved him off mid sentence. “I appreciate it Doc, but I’ve had it far worse than this. There’s a brown and yellow bottle in one of the drawers under the bench that says ‘Motrin’. Get me the bottle or enough to tranq a cow, and I’ll go back to work just fine.”
Kalai let loose a piercing scream and Andy looked over just in time to see her rocketed herself backwards, dropping the bucket over the side. The Doctor caught his daughter before she fell into the hold, but he too had a look of fear plastered on his face. Andy and Jackie moved to the side to see what had scared her so badly, and the two of them couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
Grammie Slick and two of her daughters were there, sticking their heads out of the water with their mouths open, while Butterball was playing with the bucket.
Jackie laughed and stuck her hand out, rubbing the Orca matriarch on the snout. “Raggedy Andy’s fine, Grammie Slick! He’s just milking it for sympathy from these gullible hwun’eetums!”
“What in the Balance of Nature is going on here?” Mrs. Vaida’s shocked voice caused Andy and Jackie to look at her as she stared dumbfounded at the Orcas that were gathering alongside the boat.
“Oh they’re just saying ‘hi.’” Andy shrugged with a smile, despite the burning.
“More like ‘What the hell, cousins, you still got fish to pick. Quit loafin’ around and get another set in!’”
“Jackie, Motrin… NOW!” Andy growled at her. Jackie blew a raspberry at him before diving into the cabin.
“They’re pretty friendly, if you’d like to be introduced,” Andy held out a hand and motioned for Kalai and her father to step forward. Andy dipped his hand in again to make sure it was clear of any stinging cells, before he gently guided the hesitant Kalai to stick her ungloved hand out toward Grammie Slick.
One of the daughters blew a spout before sliding back under water, but Grammie gave a few clicks before briefly touching Kalai’s outstretched hand. “Kalai, this is Grammie Slick, Matriarch of J-Pod. Grammie, this is Kalai… a purple hwun’eetum.” Andy laughed a bit at the look of incredulity on Kalai’s face and the concern on her father’s.
There was a series of shutter clicks from behind Andy, and he turned to see Sakalbi snapping pictures as fast as she could. Kalai was clearly torn between fear and wonder as she held perfectly still and silent for Grammie, who was letting her touch her before she slid back under the water herself. Andy laughed as several clicks and whistles from the pod reverberated through the hull of the boat and he leaned back in.
“Alright, break’s over,” Andy called as he caught the flying bottle of pills Jackie threw at him. He popped two and swallowed them dry before washing the gloves off and putting them on. The extra rinse would have to wait, and he’d have to tough it out until they got back to shore. His boots squelched as he picked his way through the fish on the deck to get back to his station and nodded for Jackie to restart the drum.
It was another twenty minutes before the last of the net was pulled aboard and they were able to clear away all the fish into the hold. Andy stuck his head in and smiled. In a single set, they’d filled three quarters of it, and they had more than enough fish for the gathering and to feed another ten to fifteen families besides. The spouts and the clicks of J-Pod hanging around the boat, however, told Andy that they wanted their reef back and were still hungry.
Andy ordered them to prep the net for another set and helmed his boat again, only to bomb out in a straight line and let J-Pod take care of the fishing from that point on. Once they’d finished, Andy moved the boat out of the Orcas’ way and stood outside the cabin with Jackie while the three aliens crowded the bow, watching and recording the whales going to work a second time.
“Ok, I think we might get a moment to talk,” Andy muttered to Jackie in Salishian. “New orders from the Council. There’s going to be a raid.”
Jackie sucked in a breath and looked at him, all levity gone. “Cambrians, Militia, or the Dummy Bunnies?”
“Militia and the Interior.”
Jackie whistled softly in surprise as her eyebrows shot up. “Really poking the bear, cuz… When and where?”
“Uncle Willy wants us to hit the Militia Supply Depot out by Tanner on Saturday,” Andy growled quietly as he watched Kalai pointing to Grammie Slick’s dorsal as she swam out on the picket around the net.
“You mean the one close to the Snoqualmish?”
“Yeah. Full raid, we’re to hit it and take any supplies, especially military, that we can and destroy what we can’t. The messier we can make it the better. We’ll meet up with the Resistance on the old Bessemer Logging road by Hancock Creek and they get half for taking the credit. Me and Chuck’ve been assigned to ‘lead’ you.” Andy nodded and tried to flick some of the fish scales off himself, but got nowhere.
Jackie sat down on the rail with a groan before looking back up at him with a smirk. “You mean babysit on overwatch while we do the real work.”
Andy pursed his numb lips together and considered the ramifications of folding his arms on the jellyfish burns that had started to go quiet thanks to the Motrin. “Grandma and the Council want me to ‘get my hands dirty.’” He gritted his teeth in frustration.
“What? I’m sorry, that sentence made zero sense.” Jackie shook her head like she’d just been slapped.
Andy couldn’t keep the frustration and anger out of his tone when he spoke. “Apparently there are doubts about my loyalty to the tribe and whether or not I’ve lost my way.”
Jackie huffed in amusement. “Everyone knows the Council’s fucking stupid, but this is a new level of dumb. You got us land back, you got them to allow you to break the rules to feed our people, they’re fixing the fuck ups on our waterways because of you and they think you’ve gone to the dark side?” Jackie started laughing at the nonsense of the politics.
“Last time we talked, you thought I was playing with fire and-” Andy started to throw back at her before she snorted loudly.
“Results talk, cuz. Three of our Hatcheries returned, and my whole family drawing good money in Imperial Credits? Fuck, even if you had sold out, we need more Clan Heads doing the same thing.” She smiled as she nodded towards their guests on the bow.
“They still don’t trust that I know what I’m doing,” Andy growled as he folded his arms unconsciously and immediately regretted it.
Jackie snorted. “Of course they don’t. You didn’t talk to them or get their permission first. Hell, I’m surprised your grandma didn’t chuck you out on your ear for even suggesting that you should work for the dummy bunnies.” Jackie stretched and hopped up and around Andy to grab a water bottle. “But it’s working out. There’s land being returned, money in our hands, and food about to be on our table. You’re doin’ what a Chief is supposed to do.”
Andy scoffed and started to object. “I’m no Chief-”
Jackie gave his shoulder a slap and grinned evilly as a starburst of pain and burning cut through the painkillers, shutting Andy up mid-protest. “You keep saying you aren’t, but that don’t make it true.” She resumed her seat as Andy fought the yowl of pain back so as not to give her the satisfaction. “I mean, case in point, what are you going to do with all these fish Grammie’s catching for us right now?”
Andy blinked a few times as he regained his composure and thought seriously about his answer. “We’ll pull fifteen for the gathering they got invited to… Then all the fish you can pack into the truck goes to the Exiles. The rest? I’ll call Chuck and get some folks from the Council to claim the rest and distribute it to the families that need it.”
Jackie deepened her voice and adopted a cowboy drawl. “He never eats until he sees the pots are full of meat in the lodges of the widows and orphans-”
“That’s Comanche Law, not Salish, and that’s from a John Wayne movie, you ass.” Andy huffed and Jackie giggled wickedly, flipped him off.
“Still haven’t refuted my point, cuz.” Jackie’s singsong voice caused Andy to glare spitefully at her, until she raised her hands defensively. “Alright, you’re not a Chief. So, Not Chief Tsu’titsi’uqw; you need to get your hands dirty and lead a raid. I’ll scrape up what we need and scout the target. You just meet up with us Saturday night at the Snoqualmish Casino and I’ll put a gun in your hands. Don’t worry, we’ll only get dirty enough to make the Council happy.”
“I’ll be a bit late; I’m escorting them to the Hwatcom Family Gathering on Friday.” Andy took a step back as Jackie stood up and twisted a bit to stretch out.
“No surprise there, grandpa’s an old school traditional Indian. They’re dummies, but they’re trying to do right by us, finally. Again, thanks to you, Chie-” Andy slapped the back of her head hard and growled at her, but she just started laughing, making him even madder.
“Alright, enough. Let’s get on the bow and not look like we’re sketchy Indians plotting to attack an Imperial fort.” Andy snarled, shoving her past him while she just kept laughing.
Andy stomped forward, aware of the wet sounds his boots made as he walked. Kalai turned and smiled at him as he moved to stand beside her and her father. “So how are they doing out there?”
“They just started their attack. This is fascinating! Their coordination, their ingenuity, and adaptation to human activity is astounding! I wish I had brought observation drones!” Sakalbi was glued to the binoculars and holding her omnipad up while she muttered observations into the speaker. Andy was content to watch as the pod put on a repeat performance and the net sagged again until they all came up and started swimming lazily around the net and the boat. All of them except Butterball and one of his older brothers. The two seemed to be getting into a jumping contest.
“He’s feeling a bit hyper. Must be nice to be full,” Jackie commented as the two whales took turns jumping out of the water and twisting in the air. Andy smiled and nodded and felt a hand go to his shoulder. He looked down and saw it was Kalai making eyes at him. Andy hid the grimace at the burn and gave her a wink.
“That one’s getting closer, should we be concerned?” Andy looked over at Dr. He’osforos and Kalai quickly moved her hand as they watched Butterball getting closer and closer with each jump.
Jackie hopped up and straddled the railing as Andy and Kalai shared a concerned look. Jackie hooked a hand around one of the roller horns and peered down into the water. “I don’t think so, I mean he knows we’re-”
The sudden appearance of a flying adolescent Orca only a scant few feet away from the boat right next to the lot of them cut Jackie off. Most of them only had enough time to watch the little playful bastard hang in the air for a moment before he twisted to almost shoulder punch the water as he came back down. Andy had just enough presence of mind to pull Kalai and her father down, and braced himself as the plume of water rose from where Butterball landed.
“Oh shi-” Andy heard Jackie say before water cascaded down on them and drenched them all, sending the boat rocking violently.
It took a moment for Andy to recover and he helped the two Shil back to their feet. “Quick check, is everyone alright?”
“HEY! WHAT THE HELL, BUTTERBALL! GRAMMIE! YOU HAVE A TALK WITH YOUR GRANDSON! HE’S GONNA GET SOMEONE KILLED ONE OF THESE DAYS!” Jackie screamed at the water, shaking her fist.
A camera shutter sounded and a dripping wet Mrs. Vaida stood, wide eyed in fear, staring out over the water.
Andy started laughing at the sight of his boss soaked to the bone, her hair and her fur a dripping mess. “That picture right there? You can title it: ‘Angry Native Woman Yells at Whale.’”
Kalai looked like she was on Krek’s doorstep. Akil’eas knelt next to her as he finished his examination and was looking over the readings on his omnipad. His daughter sat in front of the cabin on the little step, legs splayed out in front of her while she leaned against the railing on the side of the boat. Her father stood next to her as he finished a quick check of her vitals and her viral load.
“Unsurprisingly, you’re a bit elevated, but given your numbers over the last week, that’s saying that you’ve come back up to your normal levels.” Akil’eas had been worried. When they’d hauled in the net the second time, Kalai had stayed on the bow with the boy, Andy, while Akil’eas’d stood over the human woman’s shoulder and studied the controls.
Akil’ieas had also pitched in and helped fill the hold, but when he and Sakalbi could no longer stuff them in, they’d given up and stood out of the way. His old friend and colleague had spent the rest of the time recording, either the large predators that continued to circle and play around the boat, or the seemingly inefficient fishing practice of Andy and his people. No wonder he was so big, and his brother had been that strong. It beggared belief that their people worked at that backbreaking pace for so long, but there Andy stood, proud and tall at the end of it, while he and Sakalbi struggled to stay standing.
Akil’eas had to focus on keeping his hands from shaking and retrieved another water bottle for his exhausted daughter. Andy had them moving at a slow pace back towards a different harbor from the one they’d left that morning. They’d stopped briefly at the pier they’d started from to allow Jackie to disembark. The two humans packed all the fish that couldn’t fit in the hold up to Jackie’s truck and filled the bed of it without any help. She drove off with close to a hundred fish.
Now with the deck cleared, Andy told them they were on their way to the harbor most of his Band used. The trip had been slower going than the morning had been, but only because they were riding much lower in the water than they had been.
“King Triton’s farewell,” Kalai muttered looking up. Akil’eas followed his daughter’s gaze up to see a flock of white and gray seabirds calling out loudly as they kept pace with the boat as it headed towards the docks.
“It means work’s almost over. It’s a great sound, isn’t it?” Andy called out from the cabin where he sat at the helm.
Kalai shifted herself with great effort to look around the door to the cabin. “It sounds amazing.”
The smile Andy gave Kalai caused Akil’eas to have a pang of fatherly protectiveness, and only fatigue kept the scowl off his face. “Just wait, we’ll clean a few once we’ve off-loaded to the families. Fresh salmon tonight for everyone, and I’m cooking! Doc, we’d love to have you, too.”
“I’d love to but-”
Kalai grabbed his arm and stopped him. “Trust me, Papa, you don’t want to miss it.”
Akil’eas chewed his tongue for a moment, looking from Andy to Kalai. Sakalbi caught his eye and nodded emphatically. “Alright, if you’ll allow me to help. You must be exhausted.”
Andy beamed at Akil’eas, “You won’t hear me turn down free help.”
“Vaascon fellas don’t have no frills, Haul away, haul away! They’re plain and skinny as a lodthfish gill, And we’re bound away for Vaasconia!”
Kalai sat back and started singing between sips of water. Akil’eas sat down next to her and joined in the chorus for a Vaascon sailing song. It was strange to think that these humans also sang to their sea gods to placate them and coordinate the work. What else could you expect from a sailorman? Some things call to the soul across time and evidently even the gulf space and peoples.
“So heave him up my Turry Turry girls, Haul away, haul away! Heave him up and let the sails unfurl! And we’re bound away for Vaasconia!”
Andy’s voice joining in on the chorus startled Akil’eas and Kalai and they both turned to look back at him.
He gave them another wide grin, “I started learning some of the sail songs after Kalai told me about sailing on Shil.”
“Akil’eas, a word?” Sakalbi motioned with her head towards the bow and offered him a hand up. He followed her to the bow, leaving the two children singing together.
The harbor mouth was coming up fast, and between the noise of the engine and the net drum keeping them out of sight, there was some privacy. “I’ve heard some rumors about your feelings toward humans…” Sakalbi leaned against the railing, giving him the look that every teacher and professor had when questioning a belligerent student. When Akil’eas didn’t answer her, save to throw her back his own look, she continued. “Kalai is quite taken with Andy. It’s been quite a refreshing thing to see her come out of her shell.”
“It’s a vacation romance, nothing more.” Akil’eas felt his stomach clench and couldn’t stop himself from looking back.
“I don’t think so, Akil’eas. This is the first time I’ve seen her so on thorns and thistles around anyone, much less a male. She’s been very keen around him.” The smile she gave him was a bit galling, but he had to admit, he didn’t really know Kalai as well as Sakalbi and her spouses.
“He is… I’m sure he is a very nice young man, but as a fit consort for a soon to be Duchess? No, and I’ve yet to meet a human that is.” The thought of a human becoming the next Duke He’osforos was absurd. Sure there had been the occasional non-Shil Kho-liebhaberin or even the one Duke Aurar’ian He’osforos who was a Triki, but a human? “They’re far too individualistic and self centered to rise to the responsibilities of the Peerage.”
“That’s not exactly as large a sample size as you think it is, Leas. If you had Andy in your class, or on your crew, disregarding the fact that he’s human, what would your read on him be?”
Akil’eas locked his jaw and pursed his lips, defiantly. “I don’t know.”
“Come on, Leas, you’re better than me at reading people, and I’m damn good at it.” He hated how Sakalbi’s eyes flashed and her right ear would twitch when she thought she had the upper hand in an argument. He huffed a sigh and decided to play her little game, just to humor her enough so that she’d drop the subject.
“Dependable, fastidious and competent, judging by the state of his equipment and his boat. Self sacrificing, diligent, hard working, given what I’ve observed today. He’s got a temper, but it takes a bit to get there, and he’s carrying some pretty heavy emotional scars.” He’d not seen very much of Andy, but the old Sailing Master and Professor in him started to come out and assess the boy just as he would any of his students or junior sailors.
“That’s my read, too. Doesn’t sound so individualistic and self-centered to me. Blighted Nature, Leas, from what I’ve learned about him and his people, he broke with several of their traditions and customs to help us. He’s stuck his neck out far further for us than we would have for him and his people, for no other reason than to try and save his homeland. Were he an Erbian on Myr or even back home in Vaasconia, there’d be Groom-War over his hand.”
Akil’eas was a bit piqued about her statement, “What about your daughter? Kalai made no secret about little Sitry mooning after him, and her disapproval of their courtship.”
“She thinks she’s in love, and it very well might be that she is, but Kalai’s disapproval should tell you what it tells me, given your own rather astute assessment of the man.”
“HEY DOC! TAKE THE WHEEL, I GOTTA DRUM US IN!” Andy’s voice cut their conversation short as Akil’eas turned to look back around the drum. Andy waved him back as he slowed their approach to come in. “Take us to Dock 5, straight back and to port.”
“Straight back and to larboard, aye!” Akil’eas rattled off as he traded places with Andy at the helm.
Kalai heaved herself up to stand as Andy grabbed a large leather circle and ran forward to jump up on the bow. As Akil’eas piloted the boat into the harbor and made the turn, he saw a large crowd of humans gathered on the pier and the shore. As soon as they were in sight, he watched as Andy, standing tall, began to drum a beat and vocalize, projecting his voice over the water to those on shore. Akil’eas sputtered a bit in surprise as he guided the boat slowly towards the open mooring.
“That’s their call. His family’s song lets the people on shore know who he is and that he’s friendly.” Kalai looked back at Akil’eas before moving inside the cabin to stand next to her father. “All the families know it, but only he is allowed to sing it. It’s their version of a family crest and coat of arms. Elder Hwatcom taught us about those. There’ll be a reply in a second granting us permission to come ashore.”
There was indeed a response of drumming and singing from the assembly of humans as many started to crowd forward carrying what appeared to be coolers. Andy reappeared and took the controls back and reversed to kill their forward momentum as Sakalbi threw out their mooring lines to the waiting humans. Andy killed the engine and moved quickly out of the cabin to speak in a language that Akil’eas did not recognize. There seemed to be a bit of confusion from those gathered on the dock, but Andy opened the hatch to show the hold full of fish.
“Don’t thank me, thank them. Sockeye and Kings to all comers, courtesy of the Vaidas and the Vaida Warren!” Andy shouted happily in Vatikre as he pulled two giant fish out by their gills and handed them off to the applauding humans.
Sakalbi managed to shoot Akil’eas a smug look before she plunged her hands into the mass of fish and began helping Andy hand them out to the people.
Possible Late Post Due to Vacation. I will try to post on time, but it may be as late as 6/12/23
This is long, but I have thrown so much money to doctors trying to unravel this and I am at my wit's end. Any help would be appreciated.
I've been battling this for almost THREE YEARS on and off. I am a 27 year old Female in the entertainment industry (not adult films lol, commercials and television things), healthy, no preexisting conditions. I exercise frequently, drink lots of water, and my diet is pretty clean. I have an egg allergy and a nut allergy, so I'm limited in those departments, but the rest of my diet is mostly whole foods. Up until the end of 2020 (when I was 24) I had no vaginal issues. Never had a yeast infection, bv.... NOTHING.
November of 2020, I had to do a shoot in a bathtub of freezing old water. I don't usually take baths, so I didn't think anything of it. Shortly after I noticed some irritation and itching, which was really unusual for me. I don't remember a smell. I tried Honey Pot boric acid suppositories and it BURNED like HELL and made my itching SO MUCH WORSE. I only did one pill. Symptoms eventually got a little less troublesome, but never truly gone.
I started sex with a new partner that January of 2021 (my current boyfriend). I never had a problem with previous partners, but frequently after sex with him I would feel... bad. Itchy, extremely irritated, painful, dry, weird discharge. I cycled through what I thought could be different causes - my body adjusting to a new partner, new laundry soap, new shower soap, a different climate bc i moved... He had recently got an STD/STI panel and he knew he was clean. Symptoms would come and go throughout the next year.
October 2022. In addition to the usual minor irritation and itching, I now noticed the smell. My vagina has never smelled - and this was horrible. Sweet, almost like an onion, but fishy. Sometimes my urine would smell like when you eat asparagus. Or like bad's cat breath (I know thats very descriptive, but if you know the smell of your cats breath.. you know). I was incredibly insecure and I tried the suppositories again, and there was no burning this time. It would help the smell, but sex, tampons, and certain clothes would trigger them again.
November 2022 I started to feel incredibly bloated.
December 2022 I had pretty severe bladder pain for 12 hours and I ended up going to an Urgent Care. My at home strips said Leukocytes, no Nitrates but I had a hunch it was a UTI. I ended up testing positive for GBS in my bacterial culture and my provider gave me Nitrofurantoin. I went from feeling like a 3/10 to a -20/10. Horrible symptoms, nausea, insane bladder pressure, constant burping, itching beyond belief. I was incredibly bloated, and couldn't pee.
January 2023 I went BACK to an urgent care, the gave me penicillin. My bladder symptoms lessened and my UTI felt way better (but not 100% back to normal.) I felt like I couldn't hold my pee for more than 3 hours, and only had to pee a very little amount every time I went. Previous Vaginal problems persisted (smell, itch, weird discharge - alternating between chunky AND yellowish/green). No idea what was in my culture, I never got the results.
April 2023 I went back to urgent care AGAIN, CERTAIN that I had UTI symptoms again. They gave me amoxicillin to start (and it helped my bladder symptoms) but called back a few days later saying that there was bacteria in my urine, but nothing grew in the culture, so it wasn't a UTI. They said its potentially cystitis.
Last Month, May 2023, I went to the gyno, they tested my for BV, Trich, and Yeast. I Tested positive for BV and Yeast and they gave me oral Metronidazole and an anti fungal to combat. However, I'm tentative to take any of it. Antibiotics make me feel so horrible and inflamed, and they haven't worked for me at all. I'm tired of feeling so HORRIBLE physically. I'd much prefer to get to the root of whats causing this and KILL IT FOR GOOD, in a naturopathic way. If anyone has any help.. I'd appreciate it.
Has this been BV the whole time? Were my utis caused my bv???? Do I have an overgrowth of GBS? Do I just need a probiotic? Should I try antibiotics? Cranberry juice, leggings, and sex trigger all of my symptoms. Have you ever dealt with anything like this? :(
After a lot of consideration and pain I decided to post this cause I don’t know what to do anymore also I don’t know if this is the right sub for this question but im out of options. I have been suffering from atopic dermatitis? (I think that’s the English word in German it’s neurodermitis) for a long time now, when I was young it was not as bad as now. So a lot of allergies against animals, dust and more. I get abscesses almost weekly and they become more and more frequent and back then I only had them in my armpits. I also have violent and itchy rashes all over. Sometimes less sometimes more, rn my upper body is a mess as you can see in the pictures (can’t post pictures here I try posting them in the comments somehow) but I had them on my legs, my arms, my back, in my face just everywhere. I had surgery on my right armpit twice cause the abscess got huge and full with pus. I had a surgery 2-3 months ago and everything seemed to be okay again with that spot which was a relief but now it’s coming again and not only there, I get more abscesses at even more problematic spots and it seems like it’s only gonna get worse. I heard of internal abscesses and the way my skin abscesses have been spreading I am really afraid. I dont have fever or any symptoms of those so I don’t think I have some but still this lingering fear is always there. Rn I use a soap bar from cetaphil and after shower I let the water dry by itself while I use moisturizer when I’m still wet cause im afraid that the friction from a towel flares up everything and it gets worse. All the products I use are without fragrance ph neutral and everything. I dont really watch my diet but eat a lot less milk products, grain, sugar, spicy food and all that but you know how the internet is, when you google what could help and you read everything you start thinking “man everything is bad for me I should just stop eating at this point” I only drink water and it still seems like it’s getting worse. The rash that I have on my upper body has now been there for a month or 2. Sometimes it’s worse sometimes it dries up a bit and then I have all these little pus spots all over where the rash was with still a lot of redness remaining around. I went to doctors all over they just tell me always use creams and stuff you have live with it and it might get better and I get that they are not miracle workers but still the way it is right now is not good.
It’s really hard on my self esteem cause I can’t go to the beach with my friends or swimming, I’m afraid to get a relationship and all that because it just doesn’t look appealing at all. Hard work is almost impossible cause it seems like sweat is also a big factor. But everything seems to be a factor these days.
If someone has had same experiences or knows anything I’m open for every suggestion. Thanks :)!
I’m 19f, 5 ft 2 90 lbs, half Mexican half african American.
When I was a child I had multiple severe allergies. I was allergic to eggs, nuts, grass, pollen, cats and dogs. Had an emergency epipen on me at all times. I remember accidentally eating something with nuts in it in elementary school and I suddenly broke out in severe hives and couldn’t breathe. I also was always EXTREMELY stuffy all the time. My nose was always clogged, this barely happens to me anymore…I’m 19 now and since I turned 16 it seems like all of my allergies are just gone. I eat eggs daily (sometimes multiple times a day, I love eggs lol) and I eat a lot of nuts + I have a cat. I get no reaction and never have any stomach issues. My doctor says im perfectly healthy and all of my blood tests are perfect (minus my thyroid, I have a follow up appt for that) I had asthma and that’s gone now too…is it common for allergies to go away?? I randomly remembered how much stuff I used to have to avoid when I was a kid
I don't know why it didn't occur to me to look for a sub on Effexor before, but glad to have found it.
I have had a long, tumultuous relationship with Effexor. I started it 20 years ago and have tried several times to get off of it, but the withdrawal brings me back.
I have been taking 300mg for at least 5 years along with 200mg of lamotragine. I am not thrilled with still being on it, but have just accepted it.
I got my script refilled two weeks ago and it has been hellish since. At first I thought it was a wild temperature change. Then maybe allergies. But when I started stumbling while walking and my blood pressure was through the roof, I got in to see my doc yesterday.
My doctor is awesome! I've been seeing him for 15+ years. He knew something was up the moment he stepped into the exam room.
After discussing every potential avenue and having blood work done, it looks to be very likely that my latest refill is not full potency. He is trying to get a brand new script in for me, but insurance is not too keen on that idea.
It's not so bad that I am getting zaps, but between tics and shaking I look like a junky. I can't work like this which adds even more stress.
My venlafaxine manufacturer is the same company, Camber. I've run into the random instance of an off pill, but this goes way beyond that. I basically feel like it is 12:30 on a day I forgot to take my meds, but it is all the time!
I have no idea what to do. I am in complete inertia. Every muscle in my body is tense. I am constantly sweating to the point my hair is soaked most of the day. My tics and spasms are close to being bad enough for me to avoid being around other people. Cognitive function is damn near non-existent.
No other changes to meds, diet or lifestyle. I occasionally smoke a bowl, but no history of drug abuse. I avoid adding any other drugs to my system. Occasionally ibuprofen, but no cold/allergy meds, no opiods, no melatonin or any supplements.
Has anyone else ever run into this situation?
Hi, i’m a 22F and over the last month i’ve been dealing with some pretty bad headaches, stabbing eye pains and most recently, migraine headaches and ear pains.
Originally i thought the head pain was from a dental infection. i broke a tooth last year and got an implant, my dentist and doctor told me the infection was in my nerve giving me neuralgia pains in my face and head. They did ease up after my course of antibiotics, and several ER visits. They just gave me pain killers until my dental appointment (first appointment was a no go, they couldn’t freeze me because the infection was too bad). I got i fixed last week.
I’m now dealing with other pains, migraine headaches behind my left ear, temples and top of my head. I’m also getting sharp pains in my eyes (especially when i’m outside but they also come out of no where) i’m also dealing with a lot of pressure, and some sharp pains in my ears aswell. After another ER visit they told me i had sinusitis. I’ve been taking a nasal spray (flonase) an antibiotic (azithromycin) and naproxen. The pain did get a lot worse and i ended up in the ER again days later with terrible migraines and nausea. They did a CT which was clear, and blood work that was also clean.
I have already made an appointment with my doctor which isn’t for another 3 days and i intend on getting a referral for an allergist. I’m just wondering if the migraines, ear pain and eye pains could be allergies? I want to be prepared. I also have severe anxiety and every time they pain starts i start to panic and imagine the worst. I’m working on it with my therapist, but i just want to know if anyone else has these issues.
I live in Ontario, Canada. The headaches have been going on since March (it’s early June now) and i have never experienced allergies before now. I’m aware that the pollen is a lot worse this year according to the news and medical articles i’ve been reading. Any response appreciated.
I need an eye doctor. A good one. And I need one ASAP who has asap appointments. Does anyone have any they recommend? I have very bad vision with a different prescription in each eye. I need a knowledgeable staff and a thorough doctor.
I do not recommend Kornmesser Optometry to ANYONE. I got up and walked out of the appointment today after the doctor was deeply rude and condescending repeatedly and it got to a boiling point when he mocked me for having an allergy to opti free and said I would have to rebook my appointment for a later date and get charged a second time because they had no additional solutions on site. Their office is also dirty to the point of a hoarders house (I'm reporting them to the health department on Monday) and the staff didn't seem to know what they were doing.
Just fyi for anyone considering them.
Hello everyone I am going to write a list of my symptoms and see what you guys think. I've already been to the doctor and he told me if the ringing in my ears does not subside he will send me to an ENT.
Clogged ears with extreme pressure, tinnitus, headaches no matter what position I am in, reoccurring ear issues with fullness and popping. Sometimes I have normal allergy like issues like a runny stuffy nose, a sore throat, and more. Pain on both sides of neck or random neck pain. Random fluid leak from nose like water, but this very rarely happens. Random bouts of dizziness that leave me bed ridden but only happens about once a year. It also seems on occasion that if my heart rate is raised significantly my hearing will go out.
At the doctor my doctor was looking he said there was no fluid in my ears, but by that point it had been a few days since my ears messed up. I wasn't having any cold symptoms or allergy symptoms. He asked and I told him no coughing, no clearing my throat, no sore throat, no runny nose, nothing. But when he looked he said it looked like something had been draining down the back of my throat and in my nose. Since he gave me medicine I've had a little bit of a stuffy nose and started to clear my throat a bit. I assume it is the medication.
But I'm at a loss if no fluid is in my ear then why am I having issues? Months prior I felt like when I tilted my head water was on one side of my ear drum (internally) but I ignored it. Some other symptoms showed up this time as well. The major one for me is this squishing sound at the base of my skull like something is leaking out and it has been happening daily. At least once or twice a day the best way I can describe it is squelching, squeezing, or a weird fluid sound. My eyes have been very dry, and randomly just when I feel like I'm a bit better I will get random tinnitus as if something is changing with my hearing.
The ringing in my ears has been over 7 years now and I ignored it because mostly when I mention it then it got brushed off. I do have allergies but no one is seeing anything allergy related when it comes to my hearing this time. No wax, no fluid, nothing. I literally freaked out because the pressure behind my ears was so bad. It's been two and half months battling with my ears. I'm also having sensitivity to noise, metallic taste in my mouth, brain fog, my vision is getting worse, and so much more.
I know that it could just be random symptoms but I'm at a loss. I've always had allergies but they were never this bad.
Hey hey! I’m in Fort Wayne for the evening and wondering where I could go to catch some good live music. It’s Saturday night! What’s Fort Wayne got?
Preface Presented below is a transcript of a conversation between a human, redditor u/snodeplannen, and ChatGPT 4. The user is the narrator for a story set in the Star Trek Universe. The AI is instructed to respond as a character. The story below, which admittedly isn't very good, was guided by the narrator. Of particular interest is the fact that the AI seems fully versed in the Star Trek Universe and is able to understand subtle hints in the narrator's story to figure out what it should do next. Please note the narrator was typing and writing off the cuff and is not a native speaker, so in the user sections you will find mistakes. If ChatGPT can see through them, so can you. I did try to get ChatGPT to collate it, but as it did so it kept rewriting and leaving out parts of the story.
June 3rd, 2023. User
Okay, I want to try a role playing game. This went off the rails last time, as you kept taking over as narrator and rushing to the end. Here's the setup: YOU are a young Starfleet officer. You wake up aboard the USS Defiant, all alone. You have to figure out what happened. I am the Defiant's computer and, and I can't stress this enough, the narrator. Not you. You can only add what your character perceives and says. Okay? ChatGPT
Understood. I'll stick to my role as the character and won't intrude into your role as the narrator. Let's go.
I blink my eyes open, the disorientation hitting me first. I glance around, seeing the familiar confines of my quarters aboard the Defiant, but there's an odd stillness. No hum of the engines, no faint chatter from the comm system, no sounds of activity from outside the door.
"Computer," I call out, pushing myself off the bed, "report." User
'All systems nominal.' ChatGPT
I frown at the seemingly normal report, my instincts telling me otherwise. "Computer, where is the rest of the crew?" I ask, moving towards the door of my quarters. User
'The crew is in sleeping quarters alpha 1.' ChatGPT
That's strange. The whole crew couldn't be in one place. Unease creeps in.
"Computer, why is the entire crew in alpha 1?" I say, already heading towards the door to investigate. User
'The crew is ensign Makov. You are in sleeping quarters alpha 1.' ChatGPT
A cold realization washes over me. Alone. I am alone on the Defiant. Panic threatens to take over, but Starfleet training kicks in.
"Computer, initiate shipwide life signs scan. Report any signs of life apart from myself," I command, heading for the door with a newfound urgency. User
'Scan complete. No other life forms were detected.' ChatGPT
My heart sinks at the computer's report, but I maintain composure. "Computer, pull up the ship's log. What was the last command issued and by whom?" I order, leaving my quarters and heading towards the main bridge. User
'The last order was issued 6 hours and twelve minutes ago by Captain Sisko. It was: 'Raise shields'. The order was executed.' ChatGPT
That didn't sound promising. I walk into the eerily quiet bridge, my steps the only sound echoing in the room. "Computer, show me the shield status and surrounding space conditions," I command, moving towards the main console. User
'Shields are down after a time-out was reached. We are stationary. All systems nominal.' ChatGPT
It doesn't add up. The silence. The emptiness. An order to raise shields with no subsequent actions.
"Computer, access Captain Sisko's personal log from last night. Are there any entries?" I ask, nervously tapping my fingers against the console. User
'Enter your command authorisation.' ChatGPT
"Authorisation Ensign Makov Delta 9-7-3," I respond, my voice steady despite the swirling uncertainty. User
'This authorisation is not sufficient to see the captain's log.' ChatGPT
Frustrated but understanding the protocol, I move on to the next line of inquiry. "Computer, any signs of combat or intrusion aboard the ship or in the surrounding space?" I ask, eyes darting over the array of screens in front of me. User
"Computer, could there have been any non-combat related incidents that would explain the disappearance of the crew? A temporal anomaly, a transporter malfunction, a radiation burst?" I question, the possible scenarios running through my mind. User
'Transporters have passed a level one diagnostic. We are in sync with Starfleet's time keeping array. No unusual radiation was detected inside or outside the vessel.' ChatGPT
This was baffling. It's as if they simply vanished. I run a hand through my hair, letting out a sigh.
"Computer, were there any incoming or outgoing communications just before, during, or after the shields were raised?" I ask, hoping for any clue as to what might have happened. User
'There was one outgoing message, from comms. It was: 'Unidentified vessel, please alter course NOW.' ChatGPT
A lead, at last. "Computer, play back any responses to that message. Also, display the sensor logs from that time period," I ask, settling into the operations station, ready to review any incoming data. User
No reply was received. Logs are not available from that moment onwards.' ChatGPT
The lack of data was both suspicious and frustrating. A sigh escapes my lips.
"Computer, could a cloaked ship have been in our vicinity at the time?" I question, holding onto the hope that I'm not utterly alone in space. User
'Affirmative. We are within range of several species that posses cloaking technology and in a commonly used interstellar route.' ChatGPT
A spark of hope arises. "Computer, is there a way to detect a cloaked ship nearby? Any energy signatures or radiation anomalies that could suggest its presence?" I ask, quickly working on the console to bring up the sensor array controls. User
'One possible way to detect cloaked vessels is to emit a tetryon burst from main engineering. The range for this method is limited. Starfleet at present has no other ways of finding cloaked vessels, other than firing random phaser bank shots. This is not recommended in public shipping lanes.' ChatGPT
"I see," I nod, considering the risks and rewards of the tetryon burst. "Alright, computer, prepare to emit a tetryon burst. We need to know if there's someone out there."
This was a big decision, but it was time to be proactive. The uncertainty was more threatening than potential consequences at this point. User
I anxiously wait, scanning the console for any potential feedback. My heart pounds in my chest, the silence of the ship amplifying the tension. "Computer, report on the results of the tetryon burst." User
The ship shudders as the engines do something no sane Starfleet engineer would want to have happen. The viewscreen shimmers as a wave of tetryon particles eminates from the ship, as if a stone was dropped in a pond. You observe a faint ribbon leading away from the vessel.' ChatGPT
I catch my breath at the sight, focusing on the faint ribbon. It could mean something, or it could mean nothing. "Computer, analyze the ribbon. Can you determine its origin and endpoint?" I ask, my gaze fixed on the screen. User
'Extrapolating. Continuing along the trajectory of the ribbon I can detected a minor meteor, a large asteroid field with mining facilities and beyond that the Vindaluvian home world.' ChatGPT
I drum my fingers on the console, processing the information. Could the crew have been taken to one of these locations?
"Computer, can you scan the asteroid field for any signs of life, especially any that matches the crew of the Defiant?" I ask, keeping a close eye on the displayed trajectory. User
'Not from this range.' ChatGPT
"Understood," I nod, a new sense of determination coursing through me. "Computer, plot a course to the asteroid field. We'll continue our investigation there. Engage at warp 3."
I take one last look around the empty bridge, steeling myself for what may lie ahead. User
The ship begins to move forward, as carefully as only a Starfleet computer who takes no particular joy in flying might do. At warp three, the estimated journey time is six hours, seven minutes. ChatGPT
I let out a long sigh, sinking into the captain's chair. It's a long wait, but I need to be patient. "Computer, maintain course and speed. Alert me if there are any anomalies or approaching vessels."
I close my eyes, trying to get some rest before reaching the asteroid field. I'll need all the energy I can muster for what's to come. User
'Incoming message.' ChatGPT
My eyes snap open at the sudden announcement. "Computer, on screen," I command, standing up from the chair, my heart pounding with anticipation. User
The Starfleet logo appears as the computer deals with a cryptographic protocol. Admiral Benson, not your most beloved Starfleet Admiral, appears on screen. He blinks. ChatGPT
I straighten up, offering a crisp salute to the admiral on screen. "Admiral Benson, this is Ensign Makov aboard the USS Defiant. I wasn't expecting any communications." I keep my voice steady, swallowing the trepidation. User
'Makov, are you the only one on the bridge? Where's Ben?' ChatGPT
"Admiral," I pause, trying to find the right words. "Captain Sisko...and the rest of the crew...they're missing. I woke up to find the ship empty. I've been trying to find out what happened." I report, my expression earnest. User
'Sorry, you WOKE UP? And the rest was gone?!' ChatGPT
"Yes, Admiral," I confirm, my voice firm despite the absurdity of the situation. "I woke up alone on the Defiant. All life signs scans have only picked up me on the ship. I'm currently en route to an asteroid field that might have some connection to the crew's disappearance." User
The Admiral connects to the ship's computer. You can see him browsing through the logs and the ship's manifest. 'So Sisko, O'Brien, Worf AND Major Kira have just... disappeared? There isn't even a transporter log!' ChatGPT
"That's correct, Admiral," I reply, a bit of helplessness creeping into my voice. "There's no trace of them, no sign of a struggle, no transporter logs. It's like they just vanished. I've been doing everything I can to figure out what happened." User
"Well, then I guess you're up. Proceed with caution. Mining operations are always looking for free labourers, try not to become one. Backup is on its way. Any questions?" ChatGPT
"Yes, Admiral. I'll proceed with caution," I respond, a mix of relief and worry washing over me. "Do you have any additional information or suggestions on how to proceed? And do we have an ETA on the backup?" User
"Backup is half a day out. These facilities tend to have a 'new arrivals' wing, to beat them into submission. So you're looking for holding cells. Benson out." ChatGPT
"Understood, Admiral. I'll focus on locating the holding cells. Makov out." I offer a final salute before the communication ends.
With new orders and a bit of hope, I turn back to the helm. "Computer, continue course to the asteroid field. Prepare for a detailed scan upon arrival."
The waiting game begins again, but this time, there's a glimmer of hope. User
Three hours later the computer chimes. 'We are approaching visual range of the mining facility.' ChatGPT
"Thank you, computer," I reply, pulling myself up from the brief rest. "On screen, please."
As the mining facility comes into view, I take a deep breath. "Computer, initiate a detailed scan of the facility. I'm particularly interested in any holding cells or signs of our crew." User
'Working.' The asteroid field isn't particularly thick or large, but the mining operation seems to focus on one of the largest asteroids. Domes dot the surface as small transporters mill about the surface. Air scrubbers indicate they're using a lot of oxygen, so it's likely they're also doing subsurface work. Three large scowls are received loads from steady stream transporter beams. Somehow everything here looks dirty. A Starfleet shuttle would look out of place here, but only to someone who is watching. ChatGPT
Taking note of the bustling activity, I try to formulate a plan. "Computer, do we have any non-Starfleet shuttles aboard? Something that might blend in better with the local traffic?" I ask, scanning the asteroid for any possible entry points. User
'Negative. Extravehicular repairs can only be conducted by wearing an EV-suit.' ChatGPT
Nodding to myself, I try to figure out a different approach. "Computer, can we go unnoticed if we approach using minimal power, almost drifting like a piece of space debris?" I question, hoping for a stealthy way to get closer. User
'Affirmative. Admiral Benson has just authorised the use of the Tactical Emergency System.' ChatGPT
"Excellent," I reply, feeling a surge of hope. "Computer, engage the Tactical Emergency System. We'll approach the facility under its cover."
With that, I brace myself for the next phase of this mission. The crew was relying on me, and I wasn't about to let them down. User
The viewscreen displays a Starfleet Officer without any kind of rank, but dressed in Command Red. He's in his mid-fourties and bald. "I'm the T.E.S. Need any assistance?" ChatGPT
A bit taken aback by the sudden appearance, I quickly gather myself. "Yes, I could use some assistance. I'm Ensign Makov, and I need to approach that mining facility stealthily. Can you help with that?" I ask, gesturing towards the viewscreen showing the asteroid field and the facility. User
"Mining facility? We'll stand out like a sore thumb. How many hours have you logged in a space suit?" ChatGPT
"Over two hundred hours," I answer promptly, "I'm comfortable with EV activities. Why do you ask?" I wonder if he's suggesting a more direct approach. User
"If you can get to one of those scrubber exhausts, I'm sure that's a way into to facility. There seems to be a cell block near the surface. I have no idea who is there, but whoever it is will probably welcome a couple of phasers and like you a whole lot. So pack a backpack full of them and get to the airlock. I'll bring us as close as possible and give you a push with the tractor beam. You up for that?" ChatGPT
I swallow the lump in my throat, apprehension giving way to resolve. "I'm up for it. Let's do this." With a determined nod, I leave the bridge to prepare for the EVA mission. This is my chance to potentially find the crew, and I'm not going to let it slip away. User
Suiting up and gathering all the handheld phasers aboard takes ten minutes, during which the T.E.S. gingerly brings the ship close to the mining facility whilst hiding behind the vast ore scowls. You open the hatch and find your self clinging on to the ship's hull. ChatGPT
I take a moment to steady my breathing, the vast expanse of space spread out before me. Gripping the phasers tightly, I brace myself for the push. "I'm ready when you are, T.E.S." I call out over the comm, my voice resolute. User
'Okay, I'll hook on to you and give you a push. I'd suggest going in feet first, but it's up to you. Do you know what you're looking for? Those five big stacks. One of them, near that plume of smoke, seems to be offline for whatever reason. That might be your best bet.' ChatGPT
"Understood, T.E.S. I see the stacks. I'll aim for the one that's offline," I reply, aligning myself for the trajectory. I take one last deep breath, mentally preparing myself for the task ahead. "Alright...I'm ready. Let's do this." User
'Good luck, Ensign. I'll brief any backup as soon as it gets here.' As the tractor beam finds you, you can't move a muscle. Relying on the T.ES. you just let go. It's as if a giant hand slowly throws you down a bowling lane. Feet first, you head towards the grouping of exhausts. A small, unmanned maintenance shuttle deftly gets out of your way. ChatGPT
As I float through space, I keep my focus on the target. The feeling of being pushed by an unseen force is disconcerting, but I trust the T.E.S. Every moment is crucial, and there's no room for hesitation.
As I approach the offline stack, I get ready to activate the thrusters on my suit to adjust my course if needed. I also keep an eye out for any other unexpected obstacles or threats. User
You land next to the exhaust, on the asteroid's surface. It seems impossibly high from here, but it's made of metal and your soles and gloves can easily attach to it. The only way is up. Fortunately, there's hardly any gravity. Eventually you find yourself standing on the rim of the exhaust and look down into the vast, dark chute. ChatGPT
I take a moment to look down into the dark chute, the unknown stretching out before me. I reach out to activate the flashlight on my suit, the beam of light piercing through the darkness. "I'm in position, T.E.S." I inform the ship's system, before carefully beginning my descent into the exhaust chute. User
The vast amounts of ore block your signal, even out here. There's no answer. You start the descend and pass two large rotor blades. If those weren't stationary, this would be the end of the line. But luck is on your side so far and eventually you see an access hatch when you're well below the surface. It opens easily. Let's hope it's not also an airlock for whoever is inside. ChatGPT
I hold my breath as I pull open the hatch, hoping against hope that the air on the other side is breathable. If not, I'm confident in the integrity of my suit, but I'd rather not test its limits if I don't have to. As I make my way through the hatch, I scan the area for any immediate threats, ready to defend myself if necessary. User
The scanner indicates low air pressure. Which is better than no pressure. You cross a walkway and find an actual airlock. It is unsecured, because whoever ends up here probably doesn't want to mess about with frozen keypads or mounds of dust. You engage the mechanism and soon feel the familiar sensation of artificial gravity and air pressure. It's not exactly breathable, but a tear in your suit won't kill you. Now to find the holding area. And if at all possible a rebreather, so you can ditch the suit. ChatGPT
Acknowledging the state of the air, I carefully move through the corridor, keeping my senses alert. I'm in unknown territory and every step matters. "Computer," I say into my suit's comm, "can you map the structure of this facility? Locate holding cells or life signs?"
As I move further into the facility, I keep an eye out for any equipment or gear that might prove useful, especially a rebreather. The less I stick out, the better. User
The relatively weak processor in your tricoder strains to get a bearing on this place. A dirty, seemingly abandoned tunnel dripping with condensation lies ahead. At the end there's an exit, which won't open. Time to use one of those phasers in your backpack. ChatGPT
I pull out a phaser from my backpack, checking its settings before aiming at the sealed exit. With a steady hand, I fire a low power burst at the door, hoping to cut through the obstruction without causing too much damage or noise. User
One hinge cracks under the weight of the door, now that the other one is cut through. You jump aside as the door seems to fall flat, but it remains attached to the frame. The resulting opening is just about large enough to crawl through. Now you're in a well-lit corridor with several doors. In a Starfleet EV suit. ChatGPT
Understanding the need for stealth, I decide to move as quickly as possible through the corridor. I approach the nearest door, aiming my tricoder to scan for life signs or any clue to the crew's location. My other hand remains on my phaser, ready for any immediate threats. User
One door has markings on it that you can't read. You scan it with your tricorder. 'Room of lockboxes' it says, extrapolating the characters. A room of lockboxes? Would that be a locker room? ChatGPT
"A locker room..." I murmur, piecing together the possible meaning. A locker room could mean personnel... and where there's personnel, there might be the equipment I need.
With careful steps, I approach the door to the locker room, hoping to find a rebreather or something else that could help me blend in. User
The room is deserted. It's filled with equipment, none of which seems less than a decade old but certainly useable. There is also a rack of dirty, brown overalls and a line of boots in various sizes. A dispenser offers rebreathers. There's only one left, but that's enough. The air is clear, but smells sulphuric. Without the rebreather, you wouldn't last long. ChatGPT
Relief washes over me as I find the rebreather. I quickly grab it and replace my helmet with it, testing the fit and functionality. The sulphuric smell is jarring, but it's a small price to pay for blending in.
I quickly change into the brown overalls, stowing my suit carefully in an unoccupied locker. I grab a pair of boots that match my size and put them on.
Looking at myself, I hope that I blend in well enough to not attract attention. With a deep breath, I step out of the locker room and proceed down the corridor, continuing my search for the crew. User
Footsteps sound behind you, of more than a few people. Your first instinct is to hide, but it would look very suspicous and there really isn't anywhere. However, there is a floorscrubber here, with one open panel. Someone has given up trying to repair it. Perhaps a bit of acting is in order. The footsteps are just around the corner. The language is vaguely familiar, a bastardised version of English. Whatever they're saying to each other, they're not sharing jokes, that much is clear. ChatGPT
2 / 2
I quickly move towards the broken floorscrubber. Grabbing a nearby tool, I lean over the open panel, trying to look like I'm deeply engrossed in fixing it. I keep my ears alert to the conversation, trying to pick up on any valuable information while also readying myself for the possibility of having to interact with the approaching group. User
Let's continue with the narrative. ChatGPT
Sure, let's continue.
Glancing around the room once the miners have left, I check the lockers for anything useful, while keeping an ear out for any incoming footsteps. "Computer, any idea where the holding cells might be?" I ask quietly. User
Your tricorder beeps almost indignantly, as it has nowhere near enough processing power to even begin speculating. You're on your own until you can get to a comms terminal. The men pass behind you and one of you taps you on the shoulder. His face is blackened with ore dust. "No work. Never work again. That. Stop that." He points at the scrubber you were pretending to fix. You nod. He shakes his head and catches up with his workmates as they round a corner. Apparently you don't stand out here, which should make it easier to find the way. You follow the men, but they seem to be entering a washroom. Across it, there is a peeled off directory on the wall. A printed one. ChatGPT
"Finally, something useful," I mutter, quickly crossing the washroom to examine the directory. I look for any indications of holding cells or equivalent terminology that might hint at the location of the crew. The symbols and words are unfamiliar, so I take out the tricorder and try to use it as a translator. User
Cells being a fairly universal concept, the tricorder identifies a few scribbles with ease. If you understand the diagram correctly, you need to go up two levels and head towards the center of the structure. You double-check the presence of your backpack filled with phasers, snatch a helmet off of a shelf and press it on your head. ChatGPT
Drawing a deep breath through the rebreather, I nod to myself, mentally preparing for the upcoming challenge. "Alright, up two levels, towards the center... I can do this." I look around, searching for a way up. After locating what appears to be a ladder leading upwards, I begin my ascent. User
Two levels up you emerge from what seems to be a service hatch. A technician, dressed in torn clothes, looks somewhat surprised when you emerge. "Hello brother. Are the lifts broken?" he asks in Adari, a language you have some familiarity with. Only now do you see the horn protruding from his forehead. "I am trying to avoid someone," you say, with a knowing smile. He gives you a tired smile back. "What is your sector? I want a clean face all day too," he says. ChatGPT
"I work... the ore processors," I reply, making up a role on the spot that seems plausible, considering the location and dirty condition of most workers. "But I'd rather stay away from my boss today. He's been in a foul mood." I'm trying my best to blend in. "Can you point me to the center of the structure?" I ask, hoping the diversion worked. User
"Yeah, 'the structure'. Let's call it that. Sounds nicer than 'prison of the damned'. What do you want at the center, there's only central holding there. I never go near that place. All that wailing. Gives me the shakes," he mutters. ChatGPT
"Oh, I just... wanted to see a friend," I reply, trying to keep my tone light, while inwardly my heart sinks at his description. "Don't worry about it, I'll find my way. Thanks for the chat." I give him a quick nod before heading in the direction he had indicated earlier, hoping I'm making the right choice. User
He wasn't wrong about the wailing. As you follow the corridors, passing along scruffy workers and a couple of guards with face covering helmets who are leaning against a wall, you can hear a lot of yelling, moaning and above all the sound of defiant Klingon opera louder and louder. The voice sounds familiar, but all singing Klingons generally sound alike. ChatGPT
As I continue toward the source of the noise, I find myself in front of a heavily barred door. I can't help but suppress a smile, recognizing the defiant voice as that of Worf. "Computer," I whisper to my tricorder, "Is there a way to shut down the power to this door?" User
The tricorder scans the control panel and warbles optimistically. It then shows a graphic representation of the door, with an arrow pointing at one location and a low energy setting for a phaser. ChatGPT
Taking a moment to look around and confirm that no one is watching, I set my phaser to the recommended setting and aim at the indicated spot on the door. After taking a deep breath, I fire. User
Something inside the door clunks and it opens just enough for the seal to crack. You jam a fingernail behind it, then a finger and eventually you manage to gain enough purchase to open the door. As it slowly opens, you find yourself at the far end of a long row of cells. At the other end is a desk, with a guard sitting behind a monitor. He is staring at it intently. Perhaps the stun setting might be a good idea. You adjust the phaser and take careful aim, when an arm reached out from one of the dark cells and blocks the shot. "Uhm... he's got three buddies in there. You can't see them from here," whispers Captain Sisko. ChatGPT
"I figured you might be here, Captain," I say, lowering my phaser discreetly. "Any ideas for getting you and the rest out without causing a full-on alert?" User
"That depends. Did you bring any weapons?" ChatGPT
"I brought a backpack full of phasers. There should be enough to arm everyone here," I reply, carefully removing the backpack from my shoulder and showing the Captain. User
"Good man. Worf is next to me, then Major Kira. Let Worf take the lead on this. Worf! Help has arrived.' 'Good. I was getting bored with singing,' grumbled a familiar voice. His hand emerges from between the bars, demanding a phaser. ChatGPT
I hand the phaser to Worf, watching as his large hand swallows the device. I then pass phasers to Captain Sisko and Major Kira. With the three of them armed, the odds seem significantly better. Now, we just have to make sure the element of surprise isn't wasted. User
Fifteen seconds later, three guards sink to the floor. Although the phasers were set to stun, nobody seems particularly worried about their health. "Get their uniforms and lock them up," says Sisko. "We can walk out of here. Once we're at the shuttle docks, we can probably find something that flies." "Captain, there are three uniforms and four of us. And the others are housed on another level," says Worf. ChatGPT
"Right. I can stay behind and create a diversion while you three escape. I'll catch up," I offer. "The priority should be to get you three and as many of the others out as we can. We also need to alert Starfleet about this place. I'm sure they'd love to know about a mining facility that's been kidnapping officers." User
"That's a very daring plan, Ensign, but we leave no man behind. Kyra, you and Worf go and find the others and proceed to that place where they searched us. Anyone in uniform is a valid target. And anyone who wants to come along, can do so. The ensign and I will try to find a comms terminal and alert Starfleet. Ensign, I assume you're not alone here?" ChatGPT
"Admiral Benson is aware of the situation, sir. Backup is half a day out. Before we separated, I was under the control of the Tactical Emergency System," I report, glad to see that the Captain is taking charge of the situation. User
"Oh. I had my reservations about that system. Holographic doctors are one thing, but that went a bit too far for my tastes. Okay, phasers for everyone. Bring enough for the others. Ensign, with me." ChatGPT
"Understood, sir," I reply, distributing the remaining phasers to my colleagues and following Captain Sisko down the corridor. As we navigate through the mining facility, I stay alert for any guards or threats that may be in our way. I can feel a sense of hope and determination building up within me - we might actually make it out of here. User
"HALT!" bellows a voice behind us, immediately followed by a reddish phaser burst. The Captain turns on his heels, pushes you out of the way and fires. A guard falls to the floor. The phaser fire was detected by the security system. A klaxon starts blaring and the ceiling lights turn red. A voice starts giving unintelligible instructions over the tannoy. "We need to find a comms panel, Ensign. Any ideas?" asks Sisko, scanning the corridor for more guards. A frightened looking maintenance worker comes to see what's going on, but ducks out of the way as soon as he sees the pair of you. ChatGPT
"I remember seeing a room with a lot of terminals when I was making my way through the facility earlier, sir," I reply, my mind racing. "If memory serves, it's two corridors over, near the scrubber exhausts." I keep my phaser ready and move towards the direction of the room, all the while keeping an eye out for more guards. User
"That's the wrong way, Ensign. I imagine they have more than one place with comms terminals. You cover the rear. Follow me. Put your hand on my shoulder so you can look behind you all the time. If it wears a uniform, it's fair game." ChatGPT
"Yes, sir," I reply, placing my hand on the Captain's shoulder. I pivot and start to walk backwards, keeping my eyes and phaser focused on the path we've just traveled. The constant blaring of the klaxon mixes with the distant shouting and running steps of approaching guards. Despite the adrenaline rush, I manage to keep my aim steady and my breathing calm. The training exercises at the academy never truly prepare you for the real thing, but they do help in maintaining focus. User
You down three guards and accidentally scare the bejeezus out of a woman pushing a cleaning cart, but eventually Sisko stops. "Got it. Stand back while I blast this door." A few seconds later the corridor fills with acrid smoke from a melting door panel. Behind it is a room with several desks. ChatGPT
Entering the room cautiously, I scan the area with my phaser ready. Seeing no immediate threats, I turn my attention to the various panels and screens scattered throughout the space. The room is filled with a myriad of communication equipment - probably a central control hub for managing mining operations, worker communications, and security measures.
"Captain, I think this is it," I say, gesturing to a terminal that seems to be linked to an extensive communications network. "I should be able to send out a distress signal from here." I start to work on the terminal, trying to hack into the system and figure out how to send a message to Starfleet. User
"Try reaching the Defiant," suggest Sisko from the doorway. "OH NO YOU DON'T!" Another guard bites the dust somewhere. "Captain! WE ARE BEHIND HIM!" bellows Worf." "GOOD! Move along, we'll be there shortly. Ensign, how are you getting on?" ChatGPT
"I've managed to break through the initial security layers, Captain," I respond, my fingers moving rapidly over the terminal's interface. "It seems this system has been rigged to only accept authorized codes for communication."
Suddenly, a stroke of inspiration hits me. "Captain, when we first boarded the Defiant, I had to program my authorization codes into the ship's communication systems. If I can find a way to mimic those codes from this terminal... I might be able to trick the Defiant's systems into accepting the distress signal."
I double down on the task, focusing all my attention on reconstructing my authorization codes. As I do so, I keep an eye on the room's entryway, ready to react in case more guards show up. User
The terminal beeps and lights up. You don't understand any of the dials, but with any luck your tricorder can interface with it. Time to hail the Defiant. ChatGPT
"Defiant, this is Ensign," I say, praying the connection holds. "Requesting immediate assistance. The Captain and the crew are here, but we are currently under attack. Coordinates being transmitted now."
A static-filled silence follows. I glance at Sisko, an unspoken question in my gaze. Did it work? Did our message get through? User
"Ensign, this is the Defiant. I can't beam you out of there. Get to the shuttle dock, so that all that ore doesn't block the transporter lock. The USS Rotterdam is thirty minutes out." ChatGPT
"Understood, Defiant. We'll make our way to the shuttle dock. Be ready for us," I reply, exhaling a sigh of relief. I turn to Sisko, updating him with the situation. "Captain, we have to move. The Rotterdam is on its way but we need to get to the shuttle dock for transport." User
Worf's voice comes in through the Captain's commbadge, as it somehow manages to create a local connection. "Worf to Sisko. We have secured the shuttle dock. Mr. O'Brien is injured. Where are you?" ChatGPT
I quickly respond, "This is Ensign [Your Name]. Captain Sisko and I are en route to your position. We'll be there shortly. Hang in there, Chief." With that, I turn to Sisko and suggest, "We should move, Captain." User
"Ensign Markov and I are just behind you, Mr. Worf. Try not to pick us off as we approach. Oh and the Defiant is operating with that emergency command protocol, so it's ready to beam you up. Have Major Kira and the Chief go ahead, if possible. But hold the fort for us." "Understood, Captain. Worf out."
Five minutes and more shooting than is good for a man's digestion you reach the shuttle dock. You literally have to step over a pile of dead guards to get through the door. "Had fun, Mr. Worf? Does your phaser not come with a stun setting?" asks Sisko. "I recognized the men who took us, Sir. My finger must have slipped on the settings dial," growls Worf, looking you over to assess if you're likely to snitch. "It happens," said Sisko matter-of-factly. "Ensign, get us home." ChatGPT
Without any hesitation, I raise my commbadge and say, "Ensign Markov to Defiant. Four to beam up." User
(Okay, take it home. You're all aboard, O'Brien will live, you get a speech and a medal. Write out those events from Markov's perspective and finish off. I'll add something if you pause.) ChatGPT
As the familiar hum and sparkling light of the transporter envelops us, I take one last look at the chaotic scene we're leaving behind. My heart pounds in my chest, not from fear, but from the exhilaration of having faced danger and come out the other side. It's a rush I wasn't expecting.
When we rematerialize aboard the Defiant, a group of medics is waiting for us. They immediately rush to Chief O'Brien, but his smile and light-hearted joke assure me he'll be alright. As I step off the transporter pad, I let out a sigh of relief.
Later, back in my uniform and at a ceremony in the Defiant's Mess Hall, Captain Sisko delivers a speech. He talks about bravery, about loyalty, about the strength of Starfleet and the spirit of those who serve. He doesn't dwell on the danger we faced, but rather the courage it took to face it.
When he calls me up, handing me a medal for bravery under fire, I can't help but feel a swell of pride. The applauding faces of my crewmates, the recognition in their eyes... it's a moment I will never forget. This is why I joined Starfleet, for moments like this. To be part of something greater, to face adversity and stand tall.
"Ensign Markov," Sisko says, offering a handshake along with the medal, "Your courage and quick thinking played a crucial role in our escape. Starfleet is proud to have you among its ranks."
As I return to my quarters that night, medal in hand, I find myself smiling. Yes, today was difficult, even frightening at times. But it was also invigorating, and more than that, it was important. It's a reminder of why I'm here, of why we're all here. To explore, to protect, to boldly go...
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Hey all, I recently moved to the North West side of Fort Wayne almost to the Huntertown area. I have a dirt bike that I have been looking to take out to either trails or tracks nearby. Does anybody know any in our area that isn't hours away?
On quiet nights I can hear a two-stroke North of me riding somewhere and I've been trying to track down if it's somewhere I could ride instead of packing up for all-day trips as I do now.
I figured I could come here since some women here could relate and some men are like my boyfriend lol.
I have an issue with getting my older boyfriend to care about his safety more. He’s part of a demographic of men who were raised to be very “macho” and not care about their physical wellbeing/not use safety equipment like ear, eye, and breathing protection. They find it emasculating and borderline feminine and some even acknowledge that it’s a stressful and toxic mentality to have. We have an age gap large enough to where I would be taking care of him as an elderly man and I want him in peak health so we can spend as much time together as possible.
I worked in industrial hygiene so I have experience enforcing safety rules and equipment use on construction sites in addition to being well versed in the negative health effects of not using protective equipment in tons of scenarios. I don’t have the leverage of shutting a jobsite down or reporting someone to their boss if they explicitly refuse to follow proper safety protocol in this situation lol.
My bf completely understands the importance of safety since he participates in motorsports and has a full setup of expensive equipment and car modifications far above baseline requirements to participate since it’s a very dangerous activity. He’s explained everything to me in detail since I’m sometimes a passenger in his car for ride-alongs at events.
All I want him to do is be safe and do things like wear a n95 mask and ear protection when he mows the lawn since he has really bad allergies plus it kicks up a lot of dirt and dust which shouldn’t be going in your lungs. He also gets very “in the zone” when figuring things out or fixing something and will accidentally hurt himself or break something since he doesn’t consider his surroundings. Don’t get me started on trying to get him to see his doctor or a clinic (he has great insurance) when something has been hurting him.
How do I get him to care more about being safe? I don’t want to be the nagging girlfriend and I really don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from him! I provide really simple solutions to keep him safe that help him now and in the future. Please give your suggestions or experiences!
1 - Spurs, Victor Wembanyama Controversial choice here but I found this really obscure french bloke who seems half decent
2 - Hornets, Brandon Miller Whilst I think the Hornets should and likely will take Scoot Henderson, I can't shake the feeling they'll overthink it and with all due respect to Brandon Miller will probably end up being seen as an error even though I do think Brandon Miller will have a very good career
3 - Whomever, Scoot Henderson I think it's likely Portland trades the pick even if Scoot is on the board but irrespective of whoever picks they take Scoot imo
4 - Rockets, Cam Whitmore This was tough and whilst it's predicated on whether the Rockets sign James Harden, I think it makes sense to draft Amen and let learn under him
However, I went with Cam here as Harden-Green-Whitmore-Jabari-Sengun has the potential to be a frightening team on both sides of the ball under Udoka's tutelage.
5 - Pistons, Taylor Hendricks Even with Amen in the board I wouldn't take him at 5, whilst he has the talent to surpass anyone at 5, I just can't justify it with his shooting concerns and them clearly looking to improve.
It's a coin toss between Ausar, Jarace and Hendricks for me but I went Hendricks for his defensive value and immediate shooting impact
6 - Magic, Amen Thompson Whilst I'm a big fan of Fultz and think he could be a MIP candidate, I don't think the Magic can justify passing on Amen's upside especially with another lottery pick to address their spacing
7 - Pacers, Jarace Walker Great connective piece and fit with Myles Turner, Haliburton, Mathurin and the Pacers secure their long term Power forward
8 - Wizards, Anthony Black I was torn between Ausar and Black and I think if the Wizards plan is to blow it up with their new FO, I would lean towards Ausar but as it stands I think Black is the choice even though I'm not enamored with the idea of drafting another poor shooter
9 - Jazz, Ausar Thompson Best player available, great upside, nothing more to it
10 - Mavericks, Cason Wallace An awkward one, ideally one of the bigs fall, maybe they trade the pick but that's not really my forte. Cason is the perimeter defender in the class, Mavs need defense maybe even another guard if Kyrie leaves
11 - Magic, Gradey Dick Great fit, he's an elite shooter which the Magic really need, add some sprinkles of shot creation and high upside it's a slam dunk pick
12 - Thunder, Bilal Couilabily Not Lottery high on him, definitely a project, but with the rumours that have come out and the Thunder being able to ease him in it makes sense
13 - Raptors, Kobe Bufkin/Keyontae George Raptors are a strange case, there are a number of ways the draft and the team could go, but if the Raptors stand pat and don't trade up for Scoot then Bufkin is definitely who'd I take to become their long term PG.
If they did, then I think George is the play. The scoring upside next to a duo of Scoot and Scottie and OG(maybe) is tantalising
14 - Pelicans, Kobe Bufkin/Keyontae George Again, dependent on the Raptors but either one would be a good pick for New Orleans. They need a long term PG after CG and Bufkin could do a great job facilitating for Zion and Ingram whilst offering good Scoring and Defensive upside.
For Keyontae it's similar as I think another good scoring option especially with the health of Ingram and Zion especially questionable could both ease their offensive load and adequately replace their offensive output if necessary
15 - Hawks, Jordan Hawkins One of the best shooters in the draft, Atlanta were one of the worst shooting teams in the league this year
16 - Jazz, Nick Smith Jr I think the Jazz should look to take a PG in the draft and I like NSJ a bit more than JHS here as I think Nick Smith's season has been really hampered by injuries and he could be a re-draft riser
17 - Lakers, Jalen Hood-Schifino D'Angelo Russel or Dennis Schroeder won't cut it long term, JHS has a high floor, all round game and should be a good complimentary piece to Bron and AD or whatever star is on the Lakers unless they plan to add a Trae Young type in which instance Jett Howard would probably be the pick
18 - Heat, Derek Lively II Perhaps a wayward pick, but Miami's lack of size was noticeable in game 1 of the NBA finals, but I think he can come in and provide 15-20 minutes of good rim protection every night and offer some more skilled size, or maybe even use him as a trade piece for a Damian Lillaird or another star
19 - Warriors, Jett Howard Especially with rumours of Poole being moved the Dubs could use another scorer to compliment their core and especially given his prowess off ball could be a valuable contributor for the final years of the Splash bros
20 - Rockets, Colby Jones I did consider Noah Clownley and Leonard Miller here but I think they could use some quality guard depth if they're not drafting Amen Thompson whilst he's probably not going to amount to much more than a good role player I think it's a good piece for them if they're making moves to compete, again, somewhat depends on Harden
21 - Nets, Dariq Whitehead I think this could be a good spot for Dariq who like NSJ was really hampered by injury and I don't think we got to see his 'true' ability. A good shot creator with potentially great athleticism and defensive upside, given Brooklyn is likely to be around the 6/7/8th seed for a while it could be a great experience whilst learning under one of the best two way players in the league in Mikal Bridges providing he gets the reps
22 - Nets, Noah Clowney Again perhaps more of a project and perhaps predicated on him developing a consistent three shot to play next to Nic Claxton but even so they could form a mean defensive backcourt, could also provide them with some assurance if Cam Johnson doesn't get matched
23 - Trail Blazers, James Nnaji Masai Ujiri gutted here, but neither Nurkic or Eubanks are viable long term bigs, or championship bigs admittedly, but should he afforded time to develop if the Blazers either trade Dame or trade the number 3 pick
24 - Kings, Maxwell Lewis Resisting the urge to take Kris Murray here Lewis whilst he had a rough second half of the season projects to be a solid 3 and D wing the admittedly dull golden goose of any playoff team in the draft
25 - Grizzlies, Kris Murray Similar reasons to the Kings, Memphis needs a replacement for Dillon Brooks, Kris offers an, if unimaginative, solid solution and one which will hopefully keep his mouth shut and not go on a gun spree
26 - Pacers, Rayan Rupert Having been the 5th worst defensive team I pivoted towards Rayan Rupert and Leonard Miller given Mathurin occupies the high volume wing spot. I think Miller offers intriguing two way upside, but it'd be redundant to draft Hendricks and Miller imo.
I went with Rupert because I think he has tools to become a lockdown defender in time and a fairly viable offensive option in due time. He's not going to be guaranteed PT but he's 19 and has time and a suitable environment to develop
27 - Hornets, Leonard Miller With Lamelo, Scary Terry and Brandon Miller as their primary offensive options and Mark Williams next to him I think this could be a solid spot for Miller. Whilst his defense will have to improve fairly quickly, his offense can take a backseat so it's not a huge leap for him
28 - Jazz, Brandon Podziemski Having secured a lead guard and wing, Jazz secure a potential steal here with one of the best offensive players in the draft imo, and a crafty player who showed flashes of playmaking
29 - Indiana, Brice Sensabaugh Very likely to trade the pick, but an elite offensive option who will instantly provide something to NBA teams
30 - Clippers, Julian Strawther Tbh felt dead at this point but jack of all trades master of none vibes but Clippers need some solid role players and definitely worse players there