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Selected Quotes October '23

Posted on 06 Nov 2023 @ 7:23am by Commander Calliope Zahn

Selected Quotes October 2023

Ibn Sharjar: Sunstorm truce
No sooner had their gaze crossed than the stranger’s glance moved on. If he had recognized Ibn Sharjar he did not betray it. For his own part Atif had no doubt it was the same fellow who had beaten his blood stained fist onto his cockpit window. As a trader he seldom forgot a face, particularly one whose owner had been part of a group trying to kill him.

“But they lied, they claimed to be Ruj-Hadha!” the women protested “We cannot do nothing!”

“It is the one and only common law of the tribes! You all know that and the truce has been accepted! The sunstorm will kill them, and us, as quickly as a sword” Jebril said ‘They know it too, they will not seek a fight until it, and the truce, is over.

No Harm in Talking
This was supposed to be one of the finer dining establishments on the station; to her, it came off appearing like one of those gaudy dinner theater restaurants in Florida. She half-expected a singing waiter.

“The Korinn aren’t talking about getting help next week or next month or next year. They’re talking about tomorrow. They want a commitment now. The last I saw of their tests, the Grazerites are at best a year away from any working model.”

Hospitality's Guide
“I do believe that woman would sue the weather.” Jalaine muttered. Irwin repressed a smile.

A Loss for Words
“The gut pain is going to pass.” Ibis promised. “The supplements help.”

“No they don’t. I tried them and they don’t.”

“It isn’t instant.” Ibis sighed. “It takes a couple of weeks.”

“Weeks are for-stupid-ever.”

She wished there were sand to kick in protest, but had to settle for digging her toes into the floor fur they called carpet.

Piled into a hug on the threshold, the three of them felt everything they couldn’t possibly say.

Sugar, Tea, and Surprises
The girl still looked like an unwashed wilding street urchin, although Ibis seemed to think her brave, intelligent, and full of potential, and identified the friend that she had lost in the girl’s face. She was personally invested in the girl, a part of herself bound up in Olivia while trying to set her apart from herself as her own woman, and afraid she wasn’t enough for the task but loathe to trust it to anyone else. Meanwhile the emotional attachment Ibis had formed over the boy who was behaving like a rabid animal was indecipherable from a mother and child bond, at least a human one without the depth of an in utero empathic connection. Ibis both worried over him and she delighted in him all at once.

Ibis scrunched her nose. “Surprise! We’re engaged.”

Jalaine blinked enough to fan the tea cold. *She’s not serious.*

Irwin was smiling. *Does she seem not serious to you?*

*You’re not serious, are you?* Her mother insisted on drilling telepathically.

Fair Trade
“My name is Brek. I run a gallery on a Federation Station called Obsidian Command, and it came to my attention that your museum possesses, among many captivating artworks, one specific piece. A wing, part of an unfinished mural, carved by Terran artist John A. Wallace. I would like to buy it.”

“You would. But it is not for sale, Mr Brek. I run a museum, not a bazaar.”

Brek nearly winced. He hated those words ‘not for sale’. Such a fallacy.

“I did the portrait of Mr. Nurbs once. Without even seeing him. He is a cat, by the way. In order to paint a good portrait, there needs to be a connection though. Mr Nurbs belongs to Zuzal, and she is nice. She works in sickbay, do you know her?”

Brek, who, for many years, had enjoyed the company of a pet spider called Alice said nothing about the strange names that are often given to animals.

Just Say No
“The older I get,” she told the pseudo sky, “The more I'm sure that no one really knows the score and everyone is just making this shit up as they go.”

Phantom Grove
Brek fell to his knees. “You should have allowed me to stay with you, Orloff. I’d have found a way to save you.”

“One ghost is better than two, Brek.”

“It’s all wrong and you know it. There should have been no ghosts.”

“If the past could be changed, it would not exist. We spoke about that once, do you remember?”

Brek shook his head. This was the whole point. He didn’t want to remember.

Best of Intentions
Aiden couldn’t say for sure, but selling an image of an individual felt like stealing from them, and it was something he was trying to set in his past.

Watching him go, the older man shook his head. Admittedly he was still learning details of Aiden’s past, but what he did know – what he had witnessed in the months before this project took up his time and brought him here – was enough to secure his trust in the young man’s motives, and to let him share in the frustration now weighing him down. As Kitaan turned to leave the room his gaze fell on the newest image laying on the table, taking in the shape of a father protectively cradling his errant daughter, and sighed before stepping out the door.

Under the Lense
Shaking his head to the man, Kit’s shoulders slumped in resignation. “He was controlled by the Orion Syndicate.” The uproar that resulted from that was beyond the Council’s ability to control. As Cyrus ushered Kit away from the council room before an outright mob could develop, the face of the Romulan father passed his line of sight - pale skin washed with a flush of anger, and then it was all shut away as a recess was called. Leaning his head and shoulders back against cool rock, Kit could only hope the council could talk some peace into the mass before all hell broke loose.

Ibn Sharjar: The truce cannot be broken
“That is settled then,” said Gebrun. “What now do we do with the Fraj-Sanni? No matter that they lied and have falsely taken on the guise of the Ruj-Hadha. Like the Qatarak is a hunter in the dust, it is the Fraj-Sanni way to lie and betray, but the Sunstorm Truce binds us, we can do them no harm while it is in effect.”

Shared Sentiments
But you are late, little beetle," Ara remarked. "I hope it was for a profitable cause."

"I wouldn't dream of having any other causes,'' Brek said.

Woulda Shoulda Coulda
“If that were the case, you might as well gift your fiance an intentionally kitschy office poster bought for a slip of latinum at Milli-cents’ General Supply and have the embarrassment over with.”

“I like kitsch,” Moon said absent-mindely while considering the many ways she could use a kitschy poster.

Sylvie smiled, remembering a mass produced bird sculpture her Grandfather had kept. Both wings had been broken and re-glued and the thing kept on the pedestal in the guest hall. With all the finery they had to their family name, she could only imagine he had kept it for sentiment. “I am not against it. Save where it’s unintentional or insincere.”

“I always thought Vulcans do a fair job of it. Those haircuts, right?”

“Ironic or unfortunate…?” Sylvie murmured.

“Exactly!” Moon chuckled. “Anyway, Rice knows all too well about breakdown between cultures. Well. Onward, then. Tell me about those?” Moon asked, pointing to one of the pieces the workers were moving into place.

Along Comes Mother
“Did you get him reassigned?” she yelled pointing at the box. “God, that is something you would do! You always said Dad was the one who ruined your marriage, but it’s always been you, hasn’t it? Exploiting every weakness, brow beating, and…and…politicking! Not this time, Mother. You’ve gone too far! You’ll need to undo whatever it is you did, because if you don’t – ”

Rice coughed politely into the hand that was only partially hiding a smirk, “Uh. I just had to let the Admiral borrow my office. I thought it would be better for my things if they were here instead of on some random desk.”

“Oh,” Moon flushed and licked her lips nervously. She’d never raised her voice at her mother before and she tried to look everywhere, but at her now.

Bong-Cha was nearly as taken aback. She crossed and uncrossed her arms, tapped her foot, huffed, but she found herself at a loss of what to say. The nerve of the girl, suggesting she’d been the problem in her marriage to Dae-Jung. She married a man married to his job. Dragging them to Bajor when he did. The occupation had barely ended and they couldn’t find a decent restaurant anywhere! Then he was gone all the time leaving her with whatever odd Bajoran neighbor wanted to chat or whoever came down from the ugly space station with its pseudo-holy man commander.

“Clearly this place is affecting you,” Bong-Cha finally eked out.

A Drink Between Strangers
“Some of the outer colonies are nice. The homeworld.” Rice made an explosion sign with his hands. “Centuries of pollution. Then the Dominion rained holy hell down on them. Even a decade after the war, Cardassia was still early days in rebuilding. Things were still desperate. And in desperation people will do things that make little sense.”

“It seems to me you can count on people being unreasonable in such conditions. In fact it would hardly surprise me that the creation and maintenance of such disorganization is an intentional tactic in order to capitalize on the irrationality prevalent among most races.”

There’s an expectation most people held that they understood a significant partner better than anyone else. He belonged to a different school of thought: keeping a clear perception of another was like trying to sail a shifting sea through a dense fog. He quickly diagnosed Lance’s problem: inattentiveness brought on by a severe case of ego and a general lack of empathy.

“Therapy would be good,” Rice said finally, “It would give you options. Options are what you want, right? If they aren’t what you want, then there’s really only one option...”

“Yes, well.” Lance rubbed a thumb over his lower lip repeatedly. He knew exactly the singular option of which Rice was speaking. He had tried to present other options, or a return to former ones, but that had only succeeded in aggravating Calliope further. “That may be so.”

Rice finished off the last of his beer. In an odd way, talking with Lance had buoyed his own spirits. Bong Cha could go straight to hell for all he cared and as for Harshman maybe it was time for him to do something about that. “I wish you both well, I really do. As Cummings wrote, ‘You have played, I think, and broke the toys you were fondest of. And are a little tired now: tired of things that break and just tired. So am I.’”

Lance looked disbelievingly at her. Could she really not be dissuaded? A deep feeling of betrayal set into him and he frowned, his voice growing low and cloudy. “Mother always did say you would break my heart.”

Calliope shouldered the last of her bags, the rest already loaded onto the hover cart, and with a crooked, sad smile and one last pitiable look that she hoped he would comprehend meant goodbye, Calliope left Lance standing with his flowers and his delusions.

The Runaway: Stowaway
“It’s not the only thing to change. After all the changes in the Federation the past fifteen years, I keep wondering what kind of universe we’re leaving our children.”

“Geesh, Al. Can we not talk politics this early in the morning?”

Allison shrugged. “Everything feels like politics anymore.” She waved her hand toward the view screens. “You think we’d be out here getting paid as much as we are to bring essential supplies to Romulans if it weren’t for the politics of the Federation?”

“No. On the other hand, if it weren’t for the messiness of Romulan space, we’d be stuck waiting for another four years for a retrofit. Rooster would be laid up long before that.”

“So, we’re war profiteers?”

Patrice gave her a flat look. “No, we’re doing what we can. Both for them and for us.”

In the Garage
"In addition to general maintenance I have you down for power grid damage, a damaged shield generator, industrial replicator, structural damage and a hull breach on decks seven and eight aft section. Is that correct?"

"That sounds like the laundry list overall, El Tee." Tilmer confirmed giving Knox his trademark smartass grin.

Knox resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Very well ensign, my teams will get started. First priority for now will be the structural work, it will take a few days to get that hull breach patched up assuming no unexpected problems with what's left of the frame around it. Systems repairs may take a little longer, still waiting for some work crews to be freed up for that."

Station Life - Shrine of Memory
The colors she had chosen were somehow less drab than the putrid sea and the smogged sky the way it actually had been. Was this really a memory? Was she lying to herself about the past or choosing something better?

Cold Fish
“You helped the Romulan cause.” T’Sheng added, unabated by his silence. “Then you were confronted to Mu Virginis’ debacle in 2388, after which you were sent to explore the Typhon Expanse. I have read about you. Out of curiosity, you understand. You didn’t perform too badly, considering the missions in which you took part. How odd to meet you here.”

“The universe is full of irony, Cmdr T’Sheng.” Brek simply said. His past was gathering dust in his memory, and he didn’t particularly like to resurrect his time within the Fleet.

“Do you still meddle in diplomacy?” She was now looking at another urban painting. A Romulan city in ruin, with black and blue hues, and a persisting rain, blurring the whole scene. He personality loved this sort of painting where you had to use your inspiration to guess what the artist’s message might be.

“I meddle in art, as you can see, Cmdr.”

Stay Awhile
Somehow when she thought about being the Captain of a starship, or a starbase, Corvus had allowed herself to be convinced that the minutia that the Executive Officer waded through kept it off her desk. That all those years screening Captain Dansby meant that she now would get to enjoy a clutter free desk devoid of the mindless dribble that had occupied her life as First Officer. Corvus was very disappointed to have to accept that was not the case at all. If anything, it was worse which made her shudder at the thought of the state of her desk if Commander Zayne hadn’t been screening it as part of his job.


Calliope disliked dragging around the bag of rocks that was her reputation, coming out of the trail of collapsed dominoes that was her past.


“I have a meeting with the Admiral in an hour or so,” Corvus continued on with a half smile. “I’ll let him know you’re staying and that Lance is leaving. Obviously the details of why I’m not upset about Lance leaving are between us,” she clarified.

“Goes without saying,” Calliope confirmed. “Haven’t even told my priest.” She crossed her heart.

“In the meantime, I recommend Chief Edgerton for the Science station on Pathfinder,” she sighed, standing up to bring an air of finality to it all. “Maybe… we can make noodle soup a… weekly meeting?”

“I’ll ask Chef KevaQ to save us a place at the bar.”

Corvus smiled tightly back, unsure how to proceed now, and opted to just move forward. The same thing she always did when things got rough, or awkward.


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