The second nominees for Best Post are Lieutenant Harmon Rabb, Commander Gordon, Lieutenant Karon, Commodore Chapman, Lieutenant March, Doctor Kyla, Counselor Breaux, Major Owen Hatch, and Commander Walter Clark of the USS Axanar for "Meeting at Dally's Part III". If you believe this post is the best, cast your vote by emailing Commodore Brett Gann at brett.gann (at) sixth-fleet.com and include your character name and simulation. Other nominees to follow in additional articles.


The text of the post follows:

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS – “Meeting at Dally’s” part III– multiple JP
November 2013

OFF: A 21st century groupe of SciFi Convention goers (and a dog) found themselves locked in a basement set to fire by two strangers. The next day they are meeting again, after realizing they have more in common than being StarQuest fans... In this mission, most players used their RL selves as a basis for 21st century characters faced with a very disturbing situation.

ON:


<< Dally’s >>
== Las Vegas Convention Center, 21st century ==
== Meeting Time ==

Everybody had arrived finally. Once the initial round of introductions and small talk died down, came a bit of awkward silence. Nathalie breathed in, breathed out and went for it.

“You all got Chance, Kari or myself on the phone last evening. We had not really planned to come Vegas but we felt driven to. We have strange dreams, or memories, where we are... someone else, someone who lives in the future. And we have those moments... of calling the lift a turbolift, of suddenly being able to do things we never trained for. We connected very easily with each other from the get-go.

“We have something to tell you that could be important but before we get to that, it may help to share our experiences. So I’ll go first and perhaps you can follow one by one to make it easy. In my most recent dreams, I am Commodore Paula Chapman Stark, the commanding officer of a space ship. I dreamt about piloting a space fighter, and sky-diving from orbit. I attended a party with aliens in uniforms aboard my starship.

“Yesterday I had a bit of a fight with the people who assaulted you, on their way out. I was standing outside smoking. Believe you me, I can yell but I’m no Bruce Lee.” That got her a chuckle or two. “Okay... who’s next?”

Mo watched the group as she spoke. His own thoughts about what he'd undergone were pulling at him. Sharing was not something he did openly, and if ever there was a bizarre scenario in which not to share, this was the 'mothership' of all scenarios.

He looked at his German 'friend', who was taking in the speech as well. Even now his own mind raced with opposing images, and what was worse, it seemed layered. The confusion of this, that, and something else, all seemed to be battling each other.

He told himself to 'slow play it' and see who opened up first, maybe it would help him. Maybe he should just leave. No, there was something to what was going down and he needed to stay.

He sighed audibly, and physically gripped the edge of the table reminding himself to give it a few beats.

'Space ship', good god, if the lads at the police department could see him now...the teachers wouldn't be so bad, they'd want to share out and turn the experience into a character-building moment...talked about conflicted...she really did say 'space ship'...

His musings were interrupted as a middle aged blonde man stood.

“I feel like I should be saying that my name is Craig Haywood and I’m an alcoholic.”, he waited until the nervous laughter had died down, “But that isn’t right and hasn’t felt right for…”, Craig’s voice trailed off as he raised his hand to his head.

The pain was so bad that tears had begun to roll down his cheeks and then….

The pain just disappeared. He stood straighter and looked around the table, “In fact, I have never had an alcoholic drink in my life. My name is Harmon Rabb. Lieutenant Command…no wait, that’s not right… LIEUTENANT Harmon Rabb and I am the Chief CONN Officer on board the starship that Commodore Chapman Stark commands, although for the life of me right now, I can’t remember the name of it.”

He took a breath, “Having said that, right now I have a Bryan Ferry song, Avalon, bouncing around in my head.”

He smiled nervously, “Anyway, I’m a bit fuzzy on details and this is going to sound really weird but I feel like I know all of you and that this meeting feels like this is something that we’ve all done before.”

He sat down again before his legs gave way and watched to see what happened next.

“Chief CONN officer,” Nathalie sighed. “That’s it. Let’s...” she scribbled her “second name” and her position under Nathalie on her name tag and handed the pen so he could do the same.

Nina smiled at Craig, a small, quick smile, and took his apparent courage as a source for her own. She didn't stand though, instead kept what little protection sitting at the table offered, hands clamped around her cup. Despite how weird all of this was, and despite how much she disliked opening up in general, she cleared her throat and said, "I've been a fan of science fiction stories since I don't know when. I like to write some as well. Over the past days I have become afraid that I am losing my mind, mixing the stories with real life. I have dreams, very intense dreams, about being...not Human.

"Sometimes I wake up thinking I am a medical officer on a star ship. During and after missions I have treated fellow officers called Clark, Chapman, Breaux, among others," she looked at the faces of the people with her in the room and her eyes came to rest on her new friend, 'Mo'. She felt a blush creep into her cheeks. Then she looked at Kari and Nathalie, "In my dreams my name is Kyla. And the name of our ship is USS Axanar." With that, she subsided again behind her coffee cup.

He was staring at his coffee cup during Nina's sharing out. Breaux. He tried to tackle thoughts as they raced through his mind. He heard only bits and pieces of her finishing as he was trying to assemble what he knew. Images of the French Quarter, an Asian woman, Moses, a Ktrell, it was Kyla....Nina...Kyla...he found himself standing...

"I'm Avery," he said. Abject silence filled the room. He looked about wondering what the hell had just happened. Coffee cup in hand, he continued to stand, grasping for words. He searched their faces. He slowly began to nod. "Yes. Yes. I'm Avery." He smiled and shared a moment looking at each of the people present. He began saying the names that had been shared, looking at each person, "Paula...Harmon...Kyla..." he nodded slowly, "...Kyla...I'm Avery Breaux, aren't I?"

He suddenly felt beyond self-conscious and slowly lowered himself to his seat again. He looked toward Kyla and found her looking back, he exhaled slightly, now grinning, he nodded her way.

Nina, feeling total agreement inside her, nodded back, a relieved grin on her face as well.

The pen went around the improvised meeting table to each of them in succession.

"Kyla... The grey-skinned alien," Josh muttered. "I've seen you---her---in a dream about a...briefing. The ship's senior officers were all there and I was doing most of the talking. I'm an alien too. Hairless, with blue skin. I'm a scientist by training, but Paula's second in command, Commander Gordon," he said, placing the alien inflection on the second o.

"A Benzite," Kevin added. "We all tend to look alike to other species. We. I mean... Well, you all know." Despite the confessions he wasn't completely sure he wanted to admit what was happening was really happening. "I'm a science officer, Lieutenant Karon," he sad with the same alien inflection on the second o as Josh had used. "Podkayne March is the real brains of the department, though."

“It looks like you two just won the right to use that pen,” Nathalie nodded to fill the ensuing silence. Kari, who had looked so self-assured earlier, was staring at her nails. While the pen travelled to a new person, she gave her neighbour a little nudge. “Kari?”

“I remember... Commander Gordon, I think,” Kari said slowly. “I was at the same party on the ship, watching the stars through a large window. I remember a bald, blue-skinned alien and that he felt in charge. I also remember Commodore Chapman. And... and my husband... HER husband,” she corrected brutally, her eyes widening. “Chance.”

“I am Chance,” Chance said soberly. “As it turns out, it is roughly the meaning of the name on my tag and much easier to pronounce so please, feel free to call me Chance. In the future, I am a Chef owning and managing a crew lounge and restaurant franchise aboard the USS Axanar. Avalon is also familiar... an earlier ship, I believe.”

The pen arrived at John and Amy's table. John looked at it in his hand.

“This is like a talking stick,” John said in jest referring to groups where the person who had the stick was aloud to speak. The joke fell flat. Memories came on strong. The names and descriptions added to their strength. “I'm a Martian. Not an alien. Just a human born and raised on Mars. Also a Marine. A Major. Major Owen Hatch. I am in charge of the ship's security. I work with...all of you. Not directly, just providing protection,” John said.

Amy looked at him and just listened.

“I also dream about my wife, who is also a marine and a daughter.”

“Excuse me?” Amy asked.

John looked down and said, “I can't help it. I don't understand it either. I also don't understand why I got a tattoo like this,” John said pulling the bandage off.

On his arm were tattooed the words 'Explore. Dream. Discover.' It was a quote from Mark Twain and the motto of the Axanar.

“I had an entirely different idea of a tattoo, but this memory was stronger than all others,” John sat down and just handed the pen to his left somewhat overwhelmed by the revelations.

Dorothy grabbed the pen and stood up. Buck got up on the chair next to her.

“Hi, my name is Dorothy. I don't have any dreams or space connections here, but my friend here does.”

More than a few quizzical looks showed.

“This is Buck and my niece found him in Barstow. He helped her out and she ended up bringing him here. Ironically though, he has the same issue many of you do.”

“How do you know this?” Chance asked.

“Most of my life I've had psychic abilities. I could sense things about people. With Buck I could sense him which was strange because I could never sense what animals think. Except for those with snarls , growls or wagging tails. But in trying to figure out what was happening I was able to pick up on an entity inside Buck.”

'Am I going to get to talk?' Walter asked.

“I'm answering this man's question, you can learn patience,” Dorothy said to Buck.

'Just tell them I'm the Chief Engineer,' Walter said in her head.

“You don't even have thumbs. How can you be an engineer?” Dorothy said back.

'I need some help here.' Walter said.

Dorothy patted Buck's head and said, “I'm just joking. So go ahead and I'll tell them what you're saying.”

Dorothy paused then repeated what she heard.

“I'm Walter Clark. Commander on the ship Axanar. I'm the Chief Engineer,” she repeated. “When I have thumbs,” she added. “The last thing I remember about all that was a party on the beach with all of you. I was listening to personal messages on a communications device. I think the party was about someone getting married or was it not married?”

“You don't remember?” Dorothy asked.

“Sorry, apparently not,” Dorothy repeated. “I just want to go back.”

After the last but not the least of the personal disclosures were made, a few separate conversations started as people commented and compared memories with growning freedom and ease, if the awe was still obvious. Nathalie was contemplating her notebook. After a few minutes, when questions were asked more insistantly about how all this was possible, she stood up and was fairly spooked as everybody went quiet.


“How is it possible that this should happen... What does it mean? Like I said at the top, we have a bit more to give you. Cling to your hats,” she added, picking her tablet.


OFF: TBC

Craig, Josh, Nathalie, Nina, Mo, John,
aka

Lt Harmon Rabb, Chief CONN
Cdr Gordon and Lt Karon
Cdre Chapman and Lt March
Dr Kyla
Couns. Breaux
Major Owen Hatch
Cmdr Walter Clark
-----------------------
USS Axanar