Kayleigh commences psionic training at the Chlasi temple. While on the Valley Forge, Crystyl finally faces a challenge she is not prepared for.
Once again, a Ferry touches down on the landing platform of the Chlasi temple. Mariel steps out in her Chlasi robes, with Kayleigh behind her in off duty clothes
Mariel; "Welcome back to the Chlasi temple. How're you feeling about your first day?"
Kayleigh; "If I had to label it with an emotion, I would have to go with something between embarrassment and anxiety"
Mariel begins leading the way into the temple proper. The attendants don't approach them, seeing Mari's Chlasi robes and identifying her as one of their own rather than a visitor who needs attention
Mariel; "Anxiety I can definitely get, but embarrassment?"
Kayleigh; "More of a lingering guilt over the disruption to our away mission"
Mariel; "I don't think anyone's mad at you for that! We're all just very relieved that you're alright, Kay."
Kayleigh; "Regardless, it is an added complication that was not desired. It disrupted everyone on the day, caused a starship to divert from its mission, and continued to keep me out of classes for even longer. Whilst I am aware that these are all logical outcomes, they are nonetheless undesired still. So the frequent reminders of curious questions from pretty much every daily encounter sustains that sense of guilt, and makes it comparable to embarrassment"
Mariel nods; "I think I understand. Well, at least here at the temple, people aren't going to ask you curious questions, or know about the away mission!"
Kayleigh nods; "Which is why I have been anxious about today since it should signify the beginning of a new period of acceptance and hopefully some normality"
Mariel smiles; "I'm pretty sure it will be! Things were really weird for me when I first got my powers, too. To be honest, there were a few embarrassing moments too, but for, uhh...different reasons."
Kayleigh; "Given the nature of your abilities I assume that involved seeing things you were never meant to see"
Mariel; "That, and freaking out over seeing things and generally thinking you're going crazy. I was definitely more concerned than embarrassed, but there was a little embarrassment, too." she chuckles
Kayleigh; "Understandable given the nature of your abilities and their emergence. I do consider myself rather fortunate firstly for being here and already acclimated to the psionic awakening, But also that this occurred so rapidly once I opened myself to the potential"
Mariel; "Yeah, it can be pretty scary. At least for me, when I learned it was because of psionics and I wasn't going crazy, the visions were still a problem but I knew they were visions most of the time. So even when I can't fully control them, the most they'll do is overwhelm me emotionally like on the Valley Forge. Your shocks though..."
Kayleigh nods; "They pose a genuine risk whilst so unknown"
Mariel steps into the lift; "Have you had any more shocks lately? I mean, definitely nothing as bad as during the mission, but any little ones like before the mission?"
Kayleigh; "A few" she admits; "But since the realization of what this phenomena actually is, I have been naturally more conscious of it and so been able to exert control over it for the most part"
Mariel nods; "So you've been able to reign it back from any serious shocks?"
Kayleigh; "Correct. This has been my primary focus and I have been spending more time meditating on this condition, since I believe demonstrating an ability to exert control over an ability such as this is key to resuming normal duties"
Mariel; "Yeah, not electrocuting yourself and everything in your vicinity will definitely help..."
Kayleigh; "As far as I can tell I am not in immediate danger of harming myself with this, not directly at any rate. Inadvertent discharges into the wrong place like that Iconian device however are still potentially problematic"
Mariel; "But a less powerful device like a...door panel or something, that shouldn't cause any major issues right? Even if you did inadvertently electrocute it."
Kayleigh; "Indeed. That is when I produce the effect we likened to a static shock. It would seem those are lapses in my control where I inadvertently cause a discharge which jumps to a nearby conductor"
Mariel nods; "You just have to be careful not to start some kind of chain reaction with high power tech like that Iconian device."
Kayleigh; "Which is why control is top of the agenda"
The lift door opens and Mari leads the way out
Mariel; "Well, this is the best place in the galaxy to learn that control! So you are definitely lucky you're already here."
Kayleigh; "I concur. And thank you for guiding me today, it is assuring to have familiarity"
Mariel smiles; "When I was here, I had an Attendant guide me around, but I thought it might be better for you to have someone you know! Not that the attendants aren't nice and welcoming, but you get what I mean."
Kayleigh; "I do, and that is why I appreciate it. I have been several times now accompanying you and studying. But the nature of today's visit makes it very different"
Mariel nods; "That it does. Which is why I was asking how you were feeling and all. Other than the anxiousness and embarrassment...is there any curiosity, excitement?"
Kayleigh considers briefly; "I do not know if I would equate any of this as excitement since that would suggest a preexisting desire to reach this state. Curiosity however, is definitely at the forefront. After all, I only just started researching the potential for late awakening after we met T'Pia's grandfather so it is very much a topic of interest. The fact that I am now the subject of that very study is somewhat more... ironic"
Mariel nods; "Yeah, I definitely wasn't excited either, but I can't deny I was a little curious. I've met a few apprentices who were actually excited to have their abilities, though."
Kayleigh; "Yes, I have met some who have eagerly embraced this change. And whilst I am not adverse to psionics, it was not something I explicitly wished for either"
Mariel; "But you were curious enough to explore things to the point that it brought along the onset of these electrical powers you've got now."
Kayleigh; "Curiosity was certainly a part of it, but the irony comes from the fact that I was researching after we learned of the potential out of caution more than anything. It is... a Vulcan complexity"
Mariel; "But then researching out of caution actually brought your psionics to the forefront and made it something dangerous you have to deal with now. I guess logic can't always predict the way everything works out!"
Kayleigh; "Hence the irony of my current predicament and the unwelcome mixed emotions frustratingly trying to surface as a result"
Mariel; "Hey, I think the overall situation is still positive. You're here in the Heart now, with easy access to the temple where you can learn to control your power. If you didn't know about it until you were off serving on a ship, or in a senior position on a ship, that would cause a lot more problems than it kicking in as a cadet! Trust me, as hard as it can be to juggle Academy work and Chlasi training sometimes, the apprentices who first developed their powers with no one to teach them had it way worse."
Mariel leads Kayleigh into a chamber where several attendants seem to be at work, hand crafting clothes
Kayleigh looks around; "Well I don't mind admitting that this is not what I expected"
Mariel; "Oh, this isn't your first class. We need to get you your robes first," she smiles. "Esoteric robes are never replicated. They're hand crafted, which is the tradition at all the other temples. The attendants make them for all the apprentices, but Esoterics beyond that make their own."
Kayleigh; "A surprisingly impressive commitment to traditions"
Mariel; "It's a little more impressive than usual here because of the influx of new students. They've actually had to hire assistants specifically for this role, while usually it's one of the many tasks that regular temple attendants undertake."
Indeed, Kayleigh can see that some of the attendants here aren't Chlasi, but of other races who have seemingly been hired on for the robemaking work
Kayleigh; "Given the circumstances I am surprised they do not make it a task for new students; to craft their own robe"
Mariel; "We're actually learning that now, for when we proceed beyond the apprentice stage. I think it might just take too long to teach everyone how to make a robe from the start, especially in these days when most people rely on replicators. So they want to get everyone right into learning to control their psionics. That's my theory, at least."
Kayleigh; "That does make sense" she acknowledges, watching curiously
Mariel steps up to one of the tables, where a Clenduros in attendant robes is working; "Excuse me. This is Kayleigh, a new apprentice. Is her robe ready yet?"
The Clenduros pauses his work and checks a PADD; "Kayleigh, Kayleigh...Ah, there she is. Yes, they're ready. Just wait one moment, please."
The Clenduros moves off to a storage closet, returning after a moment with a folded robe which he hands to Kayleigh; "Here you go, apprentice."
Kayleigh bowed her head, folding it over her arm; "Thank you"
Clenduros: "Good luck with your lessons! And try not to tear or fry the robe, we're charging for replacements."
Kayleigh perks a brow, having not considered that being such an issue here; "Duly noted, I appreciate the warning"
The Clenduros chuckles; "That was a joke. There's no extra charge, but do be careful. We get a lot of requests for robe replacements or repairs. Very easy for a psionic just starting out like yourself to get your robes damaged. By yourself or your fellows, depending on powers, of course."
Kayleigh; "I see, I will try to be careful"
Mariel waves; "Come on, let's get you changed, then you can attend your first class!"
Kayleigh nods and turns to follow her out
Mariel gives Kayleigh a smirk as they walk out; "I hope you don't fry it before even putting it on."
Kayleigh; "It is a non-conductive material so that is not likely to happen"
Kayleigh as usual, doesn't get it
Mariel chuckles; "Nevermind! There's a convenient change room, right this way..."
After changing into her new robes, Kayleigh emerges to regroup with Mari for her first class...
Kayleigh steps over to Mariel, still adjusting herself; "An impressive fit given the lack of details to work from"
Mariel smiles as she walks up to Kayleigh; "The Chlasi robes are made a little looser to Starfleet uniforms, so they don't need as much proportions to tailor them. Looks good on you, I think!"
Kayleigh; "Given that this is purely functional attire, consideration to the simple aesthetic is quite welcome" she concurs
Mariel; "You wear robes on Vulcan, right? Or is that just a stereotype thing?"
Kayleigh; "Robes are traditional attire on Vulcan, yes. Many are ceremonial now, but these actually remind me of more casual or 'everyday' robes"
Mariel starts to lead the way. "But you mostly grew up near Earth, right? Did you ever wear robes much?"
Kayleigh shakes her head; "Only when socially appropriate"
Mariel; "You'll get used to it! It was weird for me at first, too. Probably easier for you since you have worn robes sometimes, even."
Kayleigh; "You have never worn robes before coming to the temple?"
Mariel thinks; "Not unless you count bathrobes and graduation gowns..."
Kayleigh; "I would count both as socially acceptable occasions...
Kayleigh 's hesitation almost makes it sound like those are the only socially acceptable occasions she was referring to for herself too
Mariel looks to Kayleigh; "Wait...are /you/ counting bathrobes and graduation gowns?"
Kayleigh; "Well... it is as I said; both are socially acceptable occasions..." clears her throat; "So what is next on the agenda?"
Mariel; "Your first class! The temple works a bit differently from the Academy. We're starting off with a general training session, which is actually pretty close to our more hands-on lectures, so that should be pretty familiar. You remember the Esoteric who visited you on the Valley Forge?"
Kayleigh nods; "Corion, yes?"
Mariel; "He's running this session, it's general psionic discipline and control for people who have some mental discipline and meditation training already."
Kayleigh; "Are you attending this class as well, or just escorting me to it?"
Mariel; "Normally not, but I thought I'd sit in since I don't have anywhere I need to be anyways. And I think I've got enough training from my class that I wouldn't be totally lost here or anything..."
Kayleigh; "Of that I have no doubt"
Mariel; "I just realized...."
Kayleigh; "Realized what?"
Mariel smiles; "This is kind of the opposite of when I first arrived. Where I was the new student at the annex, and you showed me a lot of things."
Kayleigh; "It is a comparable reversal"
Mariel; "Well, now I get to repay the favour!"
Kayleigh; "To my good fortune"
Mariel leads Kayleigh into a large room. In the center is a long table with seats around it, like some of the Academy classrooms. However, to one side is a far more homely setup with couches, while on the other lay various meditation mats
Corion and several students are gathered by the mats. He stands as they enter, waving them over
Corion: "Apprentice Kayleigh. Welcome."
Kayleigh bows her head; "Thank you"
Corion: "And you as well, Apprentice Tanglao. Please, take positions at one of the free mats."
Kayleigh looks around and moves to a free mat
Mariel does so as well. As they sit on the free mats, they notice that the majority of other students here are Vulcan, along with a Bajoran and a member of the Regulator species
As they settle in, another student of an unknown species arrives, and Corion nods to the group; "The class is assembled. We may begin."
The class sits on their respective mats, quietly meditating and focusing...
Corion paces around the class, observing everyone but paying special attention to Kayleigh to see if there is any sign of her powers activating
Kayleigh while wholeheartedly focusing herself, there are no signs of sparks flying
As the class begins to stir upon finishing their first meditation session, Corion steps over to Kayleigh; "No signs of inadvertent psionic activity. That is a good start, Apprentice Kayleigh. Though we will still wish to find how to trigger it, in order to maintain the necessary level of control outside meditation."
Kayleigh relaxes from her meditative pose; "Yes, the concern is where momentary lapses occur in the conscious control over it. Understanding activation and triggers would be a logical step towards mastering this control"
Corion nods; "Come with me, Kayleigh. Everyone else, please continue your meditations." He leads her over to the sofas
Kayleigh stands and follows, looking around a little as she is pulled away from the class
Corion takes a seat, gesturing for her to sit opposite him
Kayleigh does so, refraining from inquiry
Corion: "We believe your psionic abilities were brought on by exploring your psionic potential. However, that was only the trigger which lowered the mental discipline that kept your power hidden until now. It seems that once the power is released, further introspection will likely not trigger them further. Does that align with your own experiences?"
Kayleigh nods; "It does. In my efforts to prepare my conscious mind for the possibility of an awakening, I failed to account for the association of the subconscious mind allowing said awakening manifest. To date, all occurrences have been sporadic outbursts which I can only best assign to momentary lapses, or distractions diverting my conscious level of control. The only exception being when I first awoke from the healing trance, since this seemed to allow this ability to... for want of a better term, stabilize into a natural resting state"
Corion: "Interesting. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that your ability was active throughout your healing trance as a form of protection."
Kayleigh; "Perhaps. Since the healing trance also minimizes all non-required functions, I believe it allowed my subconscious mind to fully adapt to the awakened state"
Corion nods; "But now that you have adapted, have you been having less incidents with your abilities?"
Kayleigh; "There have been no more comparable incidents to date, but I have been much more consciously aware of my awakened state and so actively focusing myself at all times"
Corion: "Have there been any points of similarity between the inadvertent triggerings?"
Kayleigh shakes her head; "Not that I have been able to define. That is why my best assessment right now is that they resulted through momentary lapses brought on by distractions"
Corion: "And during those momentary lapses, I presume your mental discipline is lowered?"
Kayleigh hrms; "On the whole, no. But I think it would be fair to say that it's attention is diverted. For example when I felt the discharge in the academy transporter room, we were going to find our missing group member so I was focusing on estimating her location and optimizing the recovery so as not to impede our class's efforts. Then with the Iconian device, I was focusing on calculating how best to collate our results in order to effectively corroborate the earlier data"
Corion: "So it was a distraction which caused you to unleash your abilities. Is there any way you can divert your attention intentionally in such a manner?"
Kayleigh; "I... have not yet attempted to do so..."
Corion: "The confines of the temple are the most logical place to try such a thing, with Esoterics who will be capable of ensuring your powers do not expand out of control. Do you believe you have the means to create such a distraction for yourself here and now?"
Kayleigh; "I am uncertain about distractions, since they are largely governed by the subconscious. However I have been meditating on this a lot since the awakening and believe I can create a focused discharge. However I have no means to predict the strength of such an effect"
Corion nods; "Perhaps it would be wiser for you to attempt this with your mentor. Have you met him yet?"
Kayleigh shakes her head; "No, I assumed I would be under you given your expertise at guiding Vulcans"
Corion: "I will be one of your primary instructors, but every apprentice is given a specific mentor with similar talents to your own. While I am experienced in guiding Vulcans, I do not possess the electropsionic skills. I may assist you in maintaining discipline and control over the activation of your powers, but not the actual honing of your power once activated."
Kayleigh; "I see, that is logical. Then I concur that the aforementioned experimentation should be conducted under the guidance of this mentor"
Corion nods; "Rejoin the other apprentices for the time being and continue your meditation, then. Try to refine this method you believe will allow you to create a focused discharge, or as much as you are able to refine your discipline over it without attempting to utilize it. Explore some means you may be able to halt the method, should the energy level be too potent."
Kayleigh nods and stands; "I will consider these points with my meditation" returning to the others
Corion stands, following Kayleigh over as well to observe her and the rest of the students
After completing Corion's class, Mari leads Kayleigh out of the large chamber and back into the halls of the temple
Mariel; "So, this is the bit that's going to be different from Academy classes."
Mariel; "Unlike the Academy, we get specific Esoterics as our mentors. We don't learn from them exclusively, they're more like primary guides for us. The mentors they assign us to are always someone with an ability similar to yours. Not necessarily exact, but close enough that they understand your situation better than most. You've met my mentor already during the whole multi-tool business, remember Hiruven?"
Kayleigh; "Yes, and Corion pulled me aside back there to explain the mentoring setup as well"
Mariel; "Oh, that's what he was telling you about?"
Kayleigh nods; "Alongside some updating on my control"
Mariel nods; "Did he go into detail about how lessong with your mentor go?"
Kayleigh; "He did not. We briefly considered his suggestion to attempt directly triggering my abilities, but when I expressed my reservations he concluded it best to be done in the presence of this mentor. We did not really cover any specific details on the lessons, presumably since that is tailored more to the individual pairing"
Mariel; "That's what I wanted to talk to you about. The mentor lessons are less like our lectures, and more like after hours meetings with professors. Actually, it's probably more like Counseling sessions, now that I think of it. You book a next meeting time at the end of every session depending on your mutual availability, which is why I don't always come to the temple on the same days. And it's usually one-on-one, but depending on scheduling, you sometimes share the time with one or two other apprentices."
Kayleigh; "I see, that certainly does explain the illogical scheduling of your time until now"
Mariel nods; "Most Esoterics have a few apprentices, but not all of them are full time teachers like Corion. Some do other work in addition to teaching us, which is why the individual lessons with our mentors are scheduled on a case by case basis and not just on a set timetable."
Kayleigh; "I understand. Do you know my new mentor?"
Mariel shakes her head; "He's called Laurendor. I don't know him, only how to get to his office."
Kayleigh; "That is more than I know right now. Please, lead on"
Mariel leads the way to the office, pressing the door panel as they arrive. A voice sounds from within; "Come in."
Kayleigh follows Mari inside
Inside the classroom, they find a golden-skinned Chlasi in the dark Militant Esoteric robes sitting behind a desk, with Eshara on the other side. Eshara stands and turns to them as they enter
Eshara: "You're the one from the Valley Forge that day...Kayleigh, right?"
Kayleigh; "I do not know which day you specifically refer to, but I am Kayleigh, yes. And I was on that ship recently, so I believe it likely that the day you refer to is the one where my abilities manifested"
Eshara: "That's right, when you zapped yourself into that...healing coma thing you do."
Kayleigh; "That would be the one"
Eshara gestures to the seated Militant Esoteric; "This is Laurendor, a specialist in electropsionics. He's the one mentoring me and he'll be your mentor, too."
Laurendor inclines his head; "A pleasure to meet you, Apprentice Kayleigh. Come, join us."
Kayleigh steps over; "Thank you, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well"
Mariel; "Should I wait outside?"
Laurendor: "You are a friend of Apprentice Kayleigh?"
Mariel nods; "We study together at the Starfleet Academy annex."
Laurendor: "And you are an apprentice here at the temple. You are welcome to stay," he looks to Kayleigh. "You are fortunate to already know fellow apprentices here."
Kayleigh; "I reached the same conclusion earlier as well. Mariel has been most helpful in guiding me during my acclimating here"
Laurendor: "Has she been of any assistance in developing and controlling your abilities, or are her talents different from your own?"
Kayleigh; "Mariel's talents are quite unique, and very different from mine. So we have not exploring any development or control to this point"
Laurendor: "And I am told you have difficulty controlling your ability?"
Kayleigh; "It is not quite so simple to quantify, as to say I have been having difficulty would suggest a preexisting conscious effort to utilize them. Because of the mental disciplining I have been undergoing as part of my natural growth and development, all signs of awakening were also repressed. This change recently and they began to manifest but I was not consciously aware of them which resulted in uncontrolled discharges"
Laurendor: "Now that you are aware of them, are you capable of activating your abilities at will? Or capable of keeping them contained?"
Kayleigh; "There have been no further accidental discharges, but I have been maintaining a strict focus on restraining them since. Due to my inexperience I have not yet attempted to intentionally trigger them. This was discussed earlier with Corion and we agreed that the current unknown extent made it inadvisable to attempt without the supervision of yourself"
Laurendor nods; "We have special chambers designed for experimenting with psionic abilities which may be more...destructive." He stands; "Come with me."
Kayleigh turns and follows
Mariel and Eshara tag along as well
Mariel; "I've never been to one of these chambers, actually. My abilities don't exactly affect anyone else, after all..."
Kayleigh; "Then this will be a new experience for us both"
Laurendor: "The chambers are usually only used for Militant Esoterics, as we are the ones with abilities which necessitate such measures."
Kayleigh looks to Eshara; "I take it you have trained in these chambers also?"
Eshara nods; "A few times, but because my electrical abilities are just an enhancement of what my species biologically has, I already have a good handle on them. It's more exercise than learning for me. Controlling tech, now that's the part I'm trying to get a better grip on."
Kayleigh perks a brow; "A curious aspect"
Eshara: "That wasn't a natural part of my ability- biological or psionic. It was a Dominion experiment which gave me that ability, and something the Esoterics here are still studying."
Kayleigh; "Dominion experiment? I apologize if discussing the topic is problematic, but it is admirable to continue honing your abilities as they now are"
Eshara: "Well I certainly don't intend on being experimented on /more/ by the Dominion. But what I've got as a result of these experiments, I don't plan on throwing away, either. They're useful powers, and I earned it by living through the experimentation."
Kayleigh; "An admirable philosophy"
Eshara smiles; "And you should look at your powers the same way, too. Might've caused you some trouble at first, might take some work to master and control. But now that you've got them, might as well make the most of them."
Kayleigh nods; "A most logical approach to the situation"
The group arrives in another chamber. Unlike the others in the Temple, this one looks less ornate and decorated, with more of the original Iconian-Nuhar structure visible. In the centre is a raised platform. It looks almost reminiscent of an Earth boxing ring, except the ring area is significantly larger
Laurendor: "Step into the centre, and we may begin."
Kayleigh nods and takes her position
Laurendor: "Everyone else, remain outside."
Laurendor moves over and taps a console. A force field snaps into place around the platform and a moment later, there is a flicker in front of Kayleigh as a row of three holographic training dummies form
Kayleigh perks a brow; "I see how this is orientated towards offensive uses now"
Laurendor: "I can trigger a hologram with actual programming to attack you in return, but that is far too advanced for your current stage. Let us see if you can use your power at will, first. You may begin when ready."
Kayleigh takes a deep breath and focuses on one of the targets
Kayleigh 's attention being on producing a discharge allows her to do just that. An explosion of electrical energy erupts around her and while it strikes the target she pictured, it also strikes everything else around her
Kayleigh 's attention being on producing a discharge allows her to do just that. An explosion of electrical energy erupts around her and while it strikes the target she pictured, it also strikes everything else around her
Mariel takes a step back as a few stray streaks of lightning come into contact with the field
Eshara chuckles; "Don't worry. That field can take it. I can't drain it with a full powered blast, unless your friend's /that/ powerful."
Kayleigh; "I would prefer you refrain from such comments since we have a history of seeing them result in ironic outcomes"
Eshara: "Good point. But it would be interesting if you were that strong. Give Sin some competition!"
Laurendor: "It would be considerably less interesting with us in the chamber. But you did well for a first attempt, Apprentice Kayleigh."
Kayleigh; "I appreciate the praise, but it did not feel particularly effective"
Laurendor: "You were able to trigger your ability when you wanted. That is an achievement already."
Mariel nods; "Even I struggle with that still! Although it might be harder for my particular power...but still!"
Kayleigh; "Yours is at least somewhat linked to your surroundings, so triggering it on demand is understandably problematic"
Laurendor: "But even with abilities such as the ones we have, apprentices do not always successfully trigger it at will. I suppose the mental discipline your species is known for can be helpful, there."
Kayleigh nods; "A logical conclusion. Control over this has been the subject of intensive meditation since awakening also"
Laurendor: "Let us see if you can repeat the process, just to confirm that your process works."
Kayleigh nods and refocuses for another go
Kayleigh produces another wild discharge, smaller and not reaching any targets this time
Eshara: "It looks a lot smaller this time. Were you not focusing as hard, or do you feel tired? Drained?"
Kayleigh hrms; "I do not feel exhausted at all. I think I was simply a little more conscious of the effect and apprehensive about making an effort to increase potency"
Eshara: "I thought not, since your power isn't tied to biology like mine."
Laurendor: "Perhaps try to focus on one target and direct your attention on that and that alone. Either look directly into it, or close your eyes and picture that one alone. Here, this may help," he taps the console and the targets flicker to be of all different colours
Kayleigh hrms; "That was what I tried to do the first time... another attempt then" she nods, closing her eyes and taking a bit longer to focus. This time she reaches out her hands towards the target in an effort to focus her discharge
Kayleigh:l The discharge is largely focused in that direction, but highly erratic. It strikes the target, and clips those either side too
Laurendor: "An improvement. It could do with more focus, but that is only to be expected at this stage."
Kayleigh; "Being able to focus the discharge would be highly advantageous in developing an offensive capability over the previous wide area attempts which feel more practical in a defensive capacity"
Laurendor: "Indeed. Perhaps if I lessen the distractions..." he taps the console, presenting only one target for Kay now. "See if it is easier to focus with solely one target."
Kayleigh nods and gives it another go, exactly like before
Unfortunately the discharge is still very wild
Laurendor considers for a moment as he watches; "How are you triggering the ability? What is the process that has successfully allowed you to activate your psionics so far?"
Kayleigh thinks on this; "I am uncertain how exactly to quantify it. If you ask me to raise my arm, I do so because I will my body to respond accordingly. That is the closest I am able to compare to"
Eshara: "My people's natural bioelectrical abilities are only used on touch, so it was a little difficult for me to figure out how to control it from a distance at first, too. Have you done combat training in your academy yet?"
Kayleigh; "Only the basics"
Eshara: "Have you used a...what weapons do you use again? Not polaron, not disruptors..."
Eshara: "Phaser! That's the type. Have you used a phaser pistol yet?"
Kayleigh; "Yes, but only the pistol variants. I have not trained with rifles at all yet"
Eshara: "Try using one hand to direct the energy then, and pretend you're just firing a phaser pistol."
Kayleigh hrms, considering this and nods; "Very well" she closes her eyes once more and this time outstretches a single hand
Kayleigh still doesn't seem to be able to truly focus the discharge any better
Eshara: "Hmm...maybe not being experienced with weapons doesn't help."
Kayleigh; "I am trained and competent with a phaser, though experience is limited"
Mariel; "When you were unconscious, you were able to target the medical tools very specifically, and the medical tools alone..."
Kayleigh shakes her head; "I do not believe anything was being specifically targeted then"
Mariel; "Not consciously, but you were subconsciously marking them as threats and zapping them. Or was it a wide field that just zapped anything inside? I wasn't there to actually see it happen, when I tried you didn't zap me. Fortunately."
Kayleigh; "As I understand it, it was more of a wide field; a defensive area around myself that affected anything within that was not trusted to be that close"
Mariel; "I wonder if you could do that consciously, too. But that might be even harder than directing one stream of lightning."
Kayleigh; "Given my condition at the time, I believe it would take much more advanced control in order to apply such an effect again"
Laurendor: "Yes, let us continue attempting to focus the discharge first. Are you ready to try again, Apprentice?"
Kayleigh nods; "I shall make another attempt"
This one is largely focused on the target itself, with much less energy sporadically jumping around
Laurendor: "Excellent. That appears much more focused. Did you do anything differently?"
Kayleigh; "I do not believe so. Just observing previous results and attempting to compensate in order to reach the desired end result"
Laurendor: "Perhaps continued practice is what you require, rather than a specific focusing technique
Kayleigh; "That could well help. Might I remain here to experiment with these techniques further?"
Laurendor nods; "I do not believe the chamber is booked for the next two hours, so you may use it for that duration. You may lower the fields with a voice command as well, when you wish to exit.
Kayleigh; "Understood. Then I shall continue to experiment and practice here"
Laurendor: "If you ever wish to book the chamber for independent practice outside of our sessions, you may do so through the attendants as well."
Kayleigh; "I will keep that in mind, thank you"
Meanwhile back at the Annex...
Ailmna is relaxing in the canteen when she is distracted from her reading by an all too familiar sight...
Leandra turns away from one of the replicators with a tray of fresh lunch, standing awkwardly as she looks around and figures out where might be a good and/or safe place to eat
Leandra tenses and yelps a little when she feels someone brush up beside her from her behind
Miklos; "Heyyy... if it isn't little Tierno! Looking for some company?"
Leandra flusters; "Um... I, err... um... well, I..."
Ailmna sighs and stands, making her way over to Miklos; "You know, there's usually somebody like you in the backwater bars of the old neutral zone I visit..."
Miklos turns with a grin; "Well, if you're feeling a little homesick then... I'm not shy!"
Leandra - by contrast - is very shy and stands there frozen like a statue, not knowing what to do apart from flushing deeply and staring at the floor
Ailmna: "So you wanna know what happens to them? Well, let me give you a hint- it usually ends up with them on the ground, but probably not the way you're hoping for." She returns the grin as she rolls up a sleeve. "But hey, if you want to experience how much the Kirk double punch really hurts without holodeck safeties, I'd be happy to oblige."
Miklos raises his hands; "Woah, woah! I don't playing rough some, but-..."
Shavi *ahems*, tapping Miklos on the shoulder
Miklos spins around to see a very unamused face; "Uh oh..."
Shavi pinches his ear and walks off with him painfully in tow; "You really have been a naughty boy today. Seems I'll have to punish you twice as hard for this..." her voice trails off as they disappear out of the canteen amidst a lot of chuckling at what is now clearly recognized as a regular occurrence to all but Leandra
Ailmna chuckles; "Well if he wanted rough, he got rough."
Leandra turns to her; "That's... good. Right? Thank you for stepping in though!"
She looks over to Leandra; "Don't think I've seen you around yet."
Leandra; "Oh right, yes! I'm Leandra, I just recently started here. So... yeah, that's me - the new girl!" she adds trying to sound chipper about it
Ailmna: "You and me both, though I got a feeling you're slightly newer." She offers Leandra a hand; "Ailmna ir-Fenris t’Johnson."
Leandra smiles, eagerly greeting it with her own hand, almost forgetting that she's holding a tray of food and nearly dropping it; "Leandra Tiern- oops!" she giggles; "I should... probably put this down..."
Ailmna chuckles; "That'd be a good idea."
Leandra makes a beeline for the nearest empty table and sets down her tray before taking a seat, hoping Ailmna will join her as she seems nice
Leandra doesn't understand the whispered gasps when she sits in the forbidden chair...
Ailmna: "Uh...you might wanna avoid that chair."
Leandra jumps up and turns to see what's wrong with it; "OHMYGOD!" sees nothing wrong, then twists awkwardly checking her skirt, assuming now that she sat in something
Makes an innocently comical scene of it, like a cat chasing its own tail
Ailmna laughs; "Oh no, the chair's perfectly fine. Just that Cadet Kayleigh's pretty peculiar about it."
Leandra pauses, midway stroking the back of her skirt out to find what was on it; "Oh..." and straightens before sitting with a content smile; "That's alright then!"
Ailmna sits down on a nearby seat; "You sure? I hear she's developed some pretty dangerous psionic powers or something. Might not want to get on her bad side."
Leandra; "That's right! That's why I know it's fine, since she's not coming back!"
Leandra adds after she thinks about what she said; "...yet. Not coming back yet! She's still signed off duty until she gets it all under control"
Ailmna: "Oh, that explains why I haven't been seeing her around the last couple of days. You in some classes with her, then?"
Leandra nods; "We're in the same home room, yeah! I thought it was weird at first when they said we'd have classes with cadets in different years, but so far it seems really handy!"
Ailmna nods; "I thought it was a special thing for me at first, since I'm technically still first year, but I'm placed in plenty of higher level classes, mainly for combat training. But turns out the Commodore likes to mix us up so we can learn from each other, give the younger cadets a chance to work with people who've got more experience, and older cadets get leadership experience and all. Pretty different from when my father went through the Academy, but I think it's a good way to prep everyone for being officers."
Leandra; "Ooh so your father is in Starfleet too, following in his footsteps?"
Ailmna: "Well he was, back before I knew him."
Leandra; "Ah, interesting!" she nibbles her lunch; "I guess you could say I'm following the family footsteps too! Not my father though, although he is here..." she shakes her head; "No, it's my sister in fact! She's in Starfleet still"
Ailmna: "Is she serving in the Heart? I know a lot of cadets in this Annex are out here because they've got family in or around the Heart."
Leandra smiles and nods; "She is! Well, was... I mean... she's currently touring on a ship based from here that left before we arrived. In fact, most people assume I'm her when we first meet and they learn my name. It's quite refreshing to not get that reaction for once, so thank you!"
Leandra hasn't realized she only got to giving her first name so it really doesn't count...
Ailmna: "She's pretty well known around here, then? Who is she? I probably don't know her, most of what I learned about Starfleet outside my lessons here was from my father, and with how long ago he left, his information isn't exactly the most up to date," she chuckles
Leandra giggles, thinking Ailmna hasn't connected the name that she hasn't given yet; "Rianni! My sister is Rianni Tierno, from the Valley Forge"
Ailmna: "Oh yeah, I've heard of the Valley Forge. Pretty big name around here. I think I've heard your sister's name here and there too. Mostly from Professor Se'Lai who used to command that ship."
Leandra; "Makes sense! Rianni was always talking about her too!"
Ailmna: "I don't know too much about your sister yet, though. I did hear apparently the new Empress of the Star Empire was on the Valley Forge for a while..."
Leandra; "Oh yeah? hmm... I /think/ I remember Rianni mentioning a Romulan envoy. It's been a long time though"
Ailmna: "Apparently she's off ruling the Star Empire now- probably why it's been a long time," she chuckles
Leandra; "How does someone go from being a Republic envoy on a Starfleet ship to being Empress of the Star Empire...?"
Ailmna: "No idea. There was a big civil war within the Empire recently. Maybe the Republic took advantage of that, which is why the current Empress' so much more diplomatic than her predecessors. In any case, it's definitely worked out for the better for Romulan space."
Leandra smiles, munching on more of lunch; "Bwa's bwoo-" *gulp; "That's good then!"
Ailmna nods; "It's why I'm out here. With the recent reorganization and relative peace in the region, there's not much need for Rangers anymore."
Ailmna: "Fenris Rangers. We were peacekeepers based out of Fenris in the old Romulan neutral zone."
Leandra; "Ooh, was that like a planetary defense thing or something?"
Ailmna: "Not quite. We didn't have any official authority, it was more who was the toughest and scariest. And we started on Fenris but tried to cover as much of the neutral zone and old Romulan territories as we could. That's why the Federation classed us as a vigilante group."
Leandra; "A vigilante group? Oh I get it now! Must be quite a stark con... trast..." she trails off, distracted by what looks like a small dog run past the canteen
Leandra shakes the thought from her mind; "Y- yeah... a contrast! A contrast to being here I mean"
Ailmna glances around to get a look at what distracted Leandra
Leandra chuckles; "Don't worry, it's just me! Everything's still so new and different here, it all seems strange at times!"
Earlier that day...
The Valley Forge remains docked at the Annex, with Junior coasting around nearby, while the ship continues to accommodate the cadets who eventually went back to complete their assignment with T'Pem
Lendaria sits lazily in the command chair, seemingly finally feeling comfortable in it. To a point at least. She browses through a PADD
Lendaria; "Huh... I think th'kids're more interested in playin' wit' Junior than they are in finishin' their assignment, lookin' at these requests!" she chuckles
Ann glances over; "What're they requestin'?"
Lendaria leans over, handing Ann the PADD; "Time wit' th'teams studyin' Junior!"
Ann takes the PADD and looks it over; "Well, I guess a lotta 'em are out here to get firsthand experience studyin' the unknown! An' Junior certainly counts for tha'."
Lendaria; "No arguments there!" she reaches over and points to a section; "See there, some're even askin' t'go visit Junior"
Ann; "I guess now we gotta decide how many o' those requests to approve..."
Lendaria; "Studyin's one thing, but ya think we should let any of 'em go over there? I mean sure, we got a better handle on Junior now. But we also thought we had a handle on th'Iconian stuff, an' we nearly lost a cadet th'first time we took some out!"
Ann; "Tha' was a freak accident, though! An' I think Junior's mature enough tha' he'll block off any danger from visitors. Didn't he do tha' when the consoles first started manifestin' an' all?"
Lendaria nods; "Yeah... I know. Guess this whole recent business's jus' got me paranoid... Might go have a chat wit' Keelah 'bout it all while we're here"
Ann; "Hey, the Cadet's all fine now! But it's a good chance to catch up with Keelah, yeah."
Lendaria; "She were always real good wit' th'kids, an' never seemed to get phased by nothin'. An' right now, I can't stop thinkin' on all tha' an' second guessin' everythin'. Like, could we have done somethin' more to stop it happenin', y'know?" she sighs and smiles; "Or maybe mah minds jus' wanderin' since we jus' sittin' here not really doin' anythin' for a few days..."
Ann nods; "I know what ya mean. Maybe we should bring some Cadets on board to study Junior. Onto the Forge at least. I'm sure it'll be fine, what're the chances o' another one manifestin' psionic abilities all o' a sudden?"
Lendaria chuckles; "Yeah, I'm-a good wit' tha' at least! I mean, we're sat 'ere at th'Annex, not like anythin' crazy'll happen to us here!" she laughs at the absurdity of the idea
As if on cue, the turbolift door opens and Chief Tyr comes rushing out in a panic; "Sound the alarms, send out the search parties! Oh... it's a disaster, it's a disaster!" she flusters, flying at her console and working furiously
Lendaria turns and watches, raising a finger before anyone can say it; "Aight, tha's on me f'sayin' it..."
Ann glances back; "Wha' happened?"
Crystyl keeps flapping; "It's impossible... I just stepped out for a minute... this can't be happening..."
Lendaria; "Chief... whatcha doin'...?" she glances back, giving Ann a little upnod to keep going
Ann stands and walks her way over to Crystyl's console; "Wha's goin' on, Chief?"
Crystyl still works furiously; "I... I..." and finally stops for breath and slumps; "Ann, it's... not my fault I swear! I can fix this, I just need to..."
Ann; "Calm down, just tell us wha' this even is. Nobody's blamin' ya for anythin'."
Crystyl; "We have missing crew! I lost them!"
Lendaria actually stands and turns at this; "Say wha'?"
Ann; "Wha'd you mean, lost 'em?"
Crystyl takes a deep breath; "Alright... alright... calm down Chief.... ok so, I was watching the kids for T'Quila while she and Tiah are off at the shopping district. But I stepped out briefly to answer the door, and now one of them is missing!"
Lendaria 's face quickly shifts to a mix of disapproving and disbelief; "Woah woah woah... you were watchin' /T'Quila's/ kids? T'Quila an' Tiah's kids...?"
Crystyl nods, pouting
Ann; "So we got a lil Tiah on the loose?"
Lendaria facepalms and slumps back into her chair; "stand down red alert, Chief! You got us all worked up over a stray puppy!"
Crystyl turns to Ann, nodding and pouting more; "It's the first time they've ever asked me to watch them too!"
Ann; "Hey, don't worry. We'll find the missin' pup for ya. No need to put the whole ship on red alert, though. I'm guessin' ya checked internal sensors already?"
Crystyl turns back to her console; "That's what I came here to do"
Ann glances over; "Take a breath, calm down, an' let's see if the sensors pick anythin' up."
Lendaria; "Well you two have fun wit' tha'. I'mma go work in th'ready room" she stands and heads off
Crystyl meanwhile works the internal sensors, after a moment slumping; "It's no good. She's not here! Look, there's the litter in my quarters, but no other signatures on board"
Ann; "Well she couldn't have gotten off the ship...right?"
Crystyl gasps; "Oh no, you think she got into an accident and... oh no..."
Ann; "Let's not jump to conclusions just yet. Wha' 'bout the hull? She could've gotten out an airlock somehow and climbed outside?"
Crystyl taps a bit and shakes her head; "No airlock activations of any kind since I lost her..."
Ann; "Wait. We're still docked with the Annex..."
Crystyl's eyes widen; "You don't think...?"
Ann; "There wouldn't be any airlock openin' since it's already open there. I think tha's the only place she could be. I mean, anywhere dangerous on the ship is gonna require authorization, so there's no way she could've gotten in on her own. If she's not in the ship or on the hull, tha's the only place I can think of where she could be."
Crystyl stands; "Then I have to get over there and find her!"
Ann; "Wait wait wait, you're not gonna find her by just runnin' around the Annex. It's a big place."
Crystyl; "Well I can't just sit here and hope she comes back before they get home..."
Ann; "Could we contact the Academy, ask 'em to check their sensors an' keep an eye out?"
Crystyl: "I guess... but you know what the Tiah are like, if she's in a strange place like that she'll probably be masking her presence"
Ann; "Good point. Well, it's worth givin' 'em a heads up, I think. Then we can head on over an' see if we can find her if there's nothin' on sensors."
Crystyl beams with relief; "Thank you! Yes, I'll let the Commandant know right away and we can get going!" she starts tapping away
Ann; "Think we should ask Annex security to help with the search? Or tha' just gonna scare her into hidin' from everyone?"
Crystyl: "A bunch of armed security hunting her in force? Hell, /I'd/ want to go into hiding! No, if she feels threatened she'll disappear forever. Softly and quietly is our best approach"
Ann; "Had a feelin' tha' might be the case. Let's head on over once ya inform the Commandant, then."
Crystyl; "I'm ready! The Commandant knows we're coming"
Ann heads into the lift; "C'mon then!"
Crystyl; "Should we let Lennie know we're heading out?" she asks, trailing after Ann
Ann nods, tapping her combadge; "Hey Lennie?"
Lendaria <C> "Hey, how's th'lost pet department?"
Ann chuckles; "We haven't found her yet, but we think she might've crossed over the dockin' port to the Annex since she doesn't seem to be on board. We're headin' there now to try an' look for her."
Lendaria <C> "Aight Sweets, y'all have fun now"
Later in the day, Mari finishes her sessions with the Chlasi and heads back to check on Kay at the practice area
Mariel steps into the chamber, watching Kay inside the central, force field protected practice area as she makes her way up to Corion; "How's she doing?"
She finds Carion quietly observing Kay in the chamber. Inside, she is directed continuous streams of energy around, sweeping through reappearing targets. Whilst the energy still looks relatively unstable with lots of wild fluctuations, her control over it is a far cry from her starting efforts albeit still clearly marking her as a novice
Corion: "There is a marked increase in her control, as you can see. She still requires much training to fully direct her abilities exactly as she desires, but she is at least able to bring forth her abilities /when/ she desires to. This bodes well for keeping them in check and preventing any accidents like she suffered prior."
finishes her current practice and steps over to the others, the lightning stream fading away but continuing to crackle around her like a second skin for a few moments as she approaches; "Hello Mariel"
Mariel smiles and waves; "Hey Kayleigh! Looks like you're doing pretty well with your new abilities!"
Kayleigh; "I believe it has been a fruitful and educational practice" she looks to Corion for affirmation
Corion nods; "Indeed. She has made significant progress. I am confident that the abilities should not be a danger to her or those around her due to inadvertent discharges. However, I would still advise reserving practice for within this chamber."
Kayleigh nods; "That is logical, thank you" she turns back to Mariel; "Am I to take from your presence that it is time to return to the annex?"
Mariel nods; "Are you ready to return? Sounds like you've got a good bit of practice in!"
Corion: "I believe it is certainly safe for you to return to the Annex. Do avoid unleashing your abilities however, as they are still rather unstable when unleashed."
Kayleigh; "Yes, I believe so" she exits the practice chamber; "I remain conscious of over-exerting myself after this initial session too, so pausing here seems wise for today"
Mariel; "Come on then! Or do you want to rest and grab a snack in the temple first before heading back to the Annex or something?"
Kayleigh; "Well I do at least need to collect my uniform since I changed here. If there is somewhere suitable here, I am amenable to refreshments before we head back"
Mariel; "There is a cafe here in the Temple where they've got some real Chai teas. Come on, I'll show you!"
Kayleigh; "Sounds good" she tags along with Mari; "I trust your training sessions went well too?"
Mariel nods as she leads on; "Mhmm! I've settled into a pretty standard pattern now, I'm sure you'll work one out before long, too!"
Kayleigh; "That would be most agreeable. I was just starting to find comfort in my routine at the annex here before all of this"
Mariel smiles; "I'm sure you'll figure out a new routine before long! You're already used to the annex here, at least, I had to adjust to the new annex and Chlasi training, and I still managed so you'll be fine!"
Kayleigh; "Your confidence is reassuring. But for now I would be satisfied with simply learning all about this place. Like this cafe I didn't know was here before"
Mariel; "It's pretty tucked away, most visitors don't know about it! There are dining areas for the Esoterics who live at the temple too, but they're more like mess halls. Technically not private, but most apprentices like to gather in the cafe. That's much more of a public social spot like the dining hall back at the Annex."
Kayleigh; "So this is a go-to place for the apprentices?" she hrms, not saying it but obviously already planning to stake her claim somewhere there
Mariel nods; "That's right! It's close to the training areas, and the authentic Chlasi drinks and food are a big draw too, since most apprentices here aren't Chlasi and it's very new and fresh to us! The mess halls in the residential parts only have replicated food and drink."
Kayleigh; "I must admit, you piqued my curiosity with the Chlasi tea"
Mariel; "I think you'll like it! Do you want to head there first or get changed first?"
Kayleigh; "Is it far from where I changed?"
Mariel; "They're pretty close, actually! With the changing area a little closer to the landing bay."
Kayleigh; "Then let's do the cafe first to save doubling back"
Mariel; "To the cafe, then!"
Kayleigh follows Mari into the cafe
Mariel steps into the cafe, where there were indeed a number of apprentices of all species, easily identifiable from their robes. Several fully-fledged Esoterics were present as well, and it seems to be rather busy at this time of day
Kayleigh looks around; "I see you were not exaggerating about the popularity of this establishment"
Mariel; "Yeah, the mess halls are usually where the Esoterics have breakfast before starting their day, or grabbing a late dinner or snacks before bed. This is the main dining area of the Temple."
Kayleigh keeps looking around; "Securing a position at such a bustling venue will be problematic..."
Mariel; "Well, if you make enough friends among the other apprentices, maybe they'll help save a seat for you!"
Kayleigh gives Mari a funny look; "It is not as if I expect everyone else to honour my preference in my absence and never use a given seat. They don't do that at the annex. Do they...?"
Kayleigh considers Mari for a long moment before perking a brow; "...fascinating". and joins the queue
Mariel chuckles and follows Kayleigh into the queue
Back on the annex...
We see a distorted view of the otherwise familiar setting; low to the ground at little more than ankle height and moving quicker than the walking pace of the humanoid cadets that tower overhead.
We see Iona walk towards us, oblivious at first but then jumping and yelping in surprise, looking down at us and instinctively trying to cover the hem of her skirt
We seem to turn and watch as she sidesteps around us, clutching her skirt out of some sense of modesty before turning back and running along on our way
Moving further through the facility, we enter what is recognizable as the cadets communal area which is mostly deserted. Pausing and looking around with slight head bobbing which could easily be perceived as us sniffing the air before dropping back down and exploring at a more cautious pace as we head towards the obscured sound of voices which we can't make sense of
Turning a corner and going through a door, we look up to see Shavi kneeling on a bed. She wears a wicked grin and does more distorted talking down at the bed
Then we see a shirtless Miklos strain forwards from his position laying down on the bed. Straining in part to Shavi sat on his torso, but also from the way his hands are restrained over his head in some bizarre ritual that means nothing to us in this perspective. With a bit more distorted sound from each of them, Shavi lashes a long skinny tail at Miklos which cracks the air in our sensitive ears, so we quickly turn and run away faster than we have moved previously
Turning a corner we slow back down and continue to sniff the air before coming to another door, but this one doesn't open for us so we can see our view rise ever so slightly and two small fluffy white paws come into view from beneath our peripheral and claw at the door
After a moment we drop with disappointment, evident from the way our gaze seems to lower a little as we stare at the bottom of the door before turning and moving away at a steady pace
We continue much further this time until we come back into the central area, where the canteen is in the distance...
Leandra chuckles; "Don't worry, it's just me! Everything's still so new and different here, it all seems strange at times!"
Ailmna: "Yeah, I know what you mean. Neutral zone was pretty diverse, but the Heart is something else."
Leandra; "Yeah, and Mars was anything /but/ diverse. I've already put my foot in my mouth enough times and I don't plan on doing it again! So nope! no more weirdness for me, I've just got to accept this place for what it is!"
Ailmna: "You're from Mars? The shipyard world?"
Leandra nods; "One of the more remote colonies though"
Ailmna: "I've never been there, but I've heard many things about it through my father."
Leandra; "Most people just think of the AI uprising and the destruction of the shipyards. It's easy to forget that the rest of the planet exists and other colonies sprung u-uuUUUPPP! AH!" she slides her chair back, looking down; "What the-...?"
Ailmna also looks down to see what just happened
between her feet is a small furry vulpine eagerly sniffing around her legs. About the size of a young housecat, it eagerly circles around her feet and sniffs at her, several tails set it apart from more familiar variants of the species, and they tickle her legs as it circles which is what made her jump
Leandra; "It's back!"
Ailmna: "Was that what you saw before? Looks like someone's pet..."
Leandra nods; "Yes, but it's not mine so- hey, stop, that tickles!" she tries to hold it back from tickling her legs
Ailmna: "I don't suppose you've gotten to know everyone well enough to know whose pet this might be?"
The creature looks up at her with big round eyes before giving a little 'yip' and running off, darting through Kerafar's legs as he innocently wanders into the canteen
Leandra watches it dart off; "I-... well, no"
Ailmna: "It probably shouldn't be running around like that..." she stands and moves to follow the creature
Leandra stands; "Right! I think it went that way!" she hurries out, almost bumping into Kerafar as he recovers from almost stepping on the creature. She calls back; "Sorry!" as she heads out
Ailmna rushes after Leandra, keeping her eyes out for the creature
Ailmna's keen senses and sharp tracking skills afford her much more ease in spotting slight movements through the large foyer. Her height advantage probably helps too. And she spots the creature disappearing through a hallway on the far side
Ailmna points out the hallway; "There!"
Leandra; "Quick, after it!"
The pair run off...
Crystyl & Ann disembark the VF and head out through the main docking ring, tricorders at the ready
Crystyl; "You know I just realized, I don't think I've ever actually been here before. You?"
Ann looks around; "Now that ya mention it...I haven't been here yet, either. Even though Keelah's teachin' here now an' all tha'. I only talked to her when she came back to visit the ship..."
Crystyl; "No local knowledge on our side then. Guess we're doing this the hard way"
Ann; "Yeah. Now where to start...guess we should start walkin' to begin, better than standin' around!
Crystyl; "Right!" she taps her tricorder; "The pup's so small I can't get a solid read at any kind of distance here. But we should be able to find traces if it's left any fur, that kind of thing"
Ann nods, taking out her own tricorder to help check as she starts wandering on from the docking ring; "I don't suppose you got any guesses on where she might wanna go?"
Crystyl; "I still can't figure why she'd run off from the rest of the litter like that!"
Ann; "Maybe she's just eager to explore or somethin'!"
Crystyl; "Well it is a pup of Tiah's, so anything's possible!" she chuckles, pausing to check her scans; "There-" she points; "-looks like she went that way"
Ann starts proceeding in the direction Crystyl points, checking her tricorder as she goes; "Were all the others pretty rowdy too, an' this one just happened to slip out? Or were the others actually behavin' pretty well, an' this one might just be more adventurous?"
Crystyl; "They're all pretty excitable, but they also always stick together like a pack too. I never noticed this one being particularly separate to the others or anything"
Ann; "Maybe she just happened to be in the right place at the right time to slip out, then."
Crystyl; "I just need to get her back before T'Quila and Tiah get home. The pup can slip out on their watch then!" she laughs
Ann; "I wonder if it's happened with them before..."
Crystyl; "Well if it has, they could have warned me..."
Ann; "And given ya a few tips on how to track her down!"
Crystyl; "That's one aspect at least where I'm glad it's these pups and not a true Tiah!
Ann; "Oh yeah, she hasn't got those energy projection powers, right?"
Crystyl; "Who knows! But she's not interdimensional like Tiah was. This litter was born in our dimension, and only exist here. Unlike Tiah who would have straddled both realities if she had matured with a bonding to her own kin. But when she bonded with T'Quila, she bonded with our reality. So her pups are solely of this reality which means they at least can't hide in another dimension!"
Ann; "That would definitely make things a lot harder..."
Crystyl; "Which is why the Lupan considered them such prized game before. Oh god, there aren't any Lupan cadets, right?"
Ann; "I, uhh...sure hope not! Hey, think we should go find Keelah for some help? She knows the annex by now..."
Crystyl; "We might have to... not that I particularly like the idea of her finding out I- woah!"
Crystyl jumps aside as a certain pair of cadets run past going the opposite way. the smaller human trailing after the Romulan turns and calls back "Sorry!"
Crystyl chuckles, shaking her head as they continue on their important mission; "Oh for that youthful innocence, eh? They have no idea..."
Ann chuckles; "Maybe they're late to some class..."
After almost bumping into the two officers, the pair slow down to focus their search
Ailmna continues looking around; "That thing's small and probably pretty good at hiding. Fairly distinctive colour, though, which should help..."
Leandra; "It's so fast as well..."
Ailmna: "Yeah. I don't think we can catch up with it even when we spot it. One of us will probably have to position ourselves in its way, grab it when it tries to flee from the other."
Leandra; "Ooh good thinking! Now we just need to get it in a position we corner it like that"
Ailmna: "Not to mention find it first..."
Leandra; "Any ideas? I lost sight of it after we followed it down this way"
Ailmna: "I saw it run in this direction, but like you said, it's fast. We could split up, but then we probably won't be able to catch it alone once we do see it."
Leandra; "Is there a way to circle around from here? I could go and try"
Ailmna: "I'm not sure. I might've been here longer than you, but nowhere near long enough to know this place like the back of my hand."
Leandra; "Well if it's our best bet, I guess we'll have to try"
Ailmna: "I'll keep trying to track it, then. See if you can find a way around, and don't get lost!"
Leandra; "Easier said than done..." she chuckles, rushing off to find a way around
Ailmna continues ahead, searching for more signs of the creature
After searching for a while with no sign it begins to seem as though they have lost the creature when Ailmna's combadge chirps
Ailmna taps her combadge; "Ailmna here."
Leandra; "I found it! Oh, um, it's Leandra by the way. I found the - whatever it is - and made it jump! It went running back in your direction!"
Ailmna: "Alright, I'll try to intercept it."
Ailmna keeps an eye out for it running in her direction
Sure enough, a small fluffy white blur comes darting down the hall towards her, with a less blurry Leandra trailing after it
Ailmna tries to grab the fluffy white blur
The creature is as cunning as it is fast and as Ailmna reaches down to grab it, the creature leaps up from a surprising distance back and springboards off Ailmna's back to continue on it's way
Leandra comes rushing in right after and being far less graceful, tumbles straight over Ailmna
Ailmna: "Woah, easy! You alright?"
Leandra scrambles back to her feet; "I- I'm alright, you?"
Ailmna was only stumbled slightly but managed to maintain her footing; "That thing jumps further than I expected. But I'm unhurt, these uniforms are tough enough to resist some small animal claws."
Ailmna chuckles; "Besides, it wasn't trying to hurt me, just jumped off my back is all."
Leandra; "That's good! Sorry we didn't manage to catch it, I thought that was really going to work for a second!"
Ailmna nods; "Me too. The creature's more agile than I expected."
Leandra; "Did you see which way it went? I was... well, yeah"
Ailmna points behind Leandra; "That way. Or at least that's the direction it jumped in."
Leandra; "Alright, guess we'll have to try this again..."
Ailmna: "Hopefully now that I have a better idea of what it's capable of, I'll be able to grab it..."
Kayleigh & Mari arrive back at the annex following their visit to the temple's cafe
Mariel; "Productive first day, don't you think Kay?"
Kayleigh; "Very much so, I am quite satisfied by the results. Though I remain conscious of over-exerting myself on focused efforts like today"