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David Foss

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Posts posted by David Foss


  1. Awesome! Good to hear, and thanks! I've only seen a few screens so far, and it looks freaking awesome :) I can't wait to have a few RP standoffs when the time comes. Speaking of RP, do folks still partake in that wonderful pastime?


  2. *Salutes*

    Holy crap, looks like we're both back! Commander David Foss, reporting for duty. Damn, it's been a long time :)

    Looking forward to getting back to the action. The crew is dusting off GCV Deterrence as we speak. Request permission to resume my duties.

    Sho, Blades, how the heck have you all been?


  3. I must be the luckiest Commander on the forums. I've never had a problem with the guy. He's never contradicted my orders. It's wierd! I issue all kinds of orders to my Marines and they do their jobs admirably. Not even a peep from Resnig...

    Of course, that could also be attributed to the fact that I reassigned him to guard the underside of an APC!

    I don't remember if anyone ever had problems with Resnig issuing orders when he was KIA or being cloned. But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it happened...


  4. Seems there's still some activity around here. I'm glad to announce that I'm finally back from my unannounced drop off the face of the earth. If there's still a position for me, I'd like to come back to work.

    -Foss


  5. I don't have any suggestions for a thread from the past, but how 'bout an old face?

    I'm pleased to say that I can finally come back. Between job searching and rendering my 3D stuff, I intent to make my second home here once again.

    Good to see there are still a few familiar faces around.


  6. I'm good. Been learning to program since Spetember. I started out feeling like this:

    Now, it's more like this:

    I know the captions for these are happy and joyous, but I'm learning Java. No joy at all. Bloody annoying, and it's only gonna get worse. I'll be learning C++ and such next semester though, so it's not all bad.

    Just don't ask me about the study time.

    Akuma's here right now, thanking you for the replies. She fell down the stairs, though. Her bum's still okay, so it's no problem for me.

    *duck*

    Just kidding. She hurt her arm, but no breaks. She has the energy to bite my arm for what I just said, so I'd say she's fine.


  7. “You’re wrong sir. You did have a choice. You chose not to choose. That’s where you went wrong.”

    I turned without another word and headed through the passage. In my veins, I could almost feel the poison flowing through. I could almost feel the monster that was just waiting for the right moment to flare up and take us all down.

    I caught up to Chavik, getting his attention as silently as I could.

    "What's that?" he asked, indicating the vial in my hand.

    "Something to help you last a bit longer in your old age." I said, trying my damndest to mask the dread of what I was about to do behind a wall of something resembling a sincere smile.

    It must have worked. Chavik took the shot with only a mild glare at my comment. While I was administering it, I leaned in close.

    "When we find Akira, I want you to be the first one out of here. First one back to the LZ. No heroics. This will only relieve your symptoms temporarily. If they return before we get back, let me know, but there's nothing more that I can safely do until we get back to the ship."

    "What do you mean..."

    "You're reacting to something, sir. I'm not sure what, and I can't tell with this equipment. This is a general relaxant. It will help you deal with whatever it is and keep you alert, but it won't last more than a couple of hours."

    The shot finished, Chavik continued on. I wasn't sure if he said anything or not. I was still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of what had just been done to us...

    And of what I'd just done to Chavik. If he did as his doctor told him, he would make it back. If not... No, I didn't want to think about that. It'd be far worse than hightened respiration. It'd probably be akin to ones heart exploding. Probably.

    I didn't want to wait around to find out. I continued forward, not looking back at the Fleet Commander who had just signed our death certificates.


  8. I hate caves...

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not claustrophobic, or anything. I hate caves of any kind. Last time I was in one... No, I won't go into that. That is how much I hate them. I also hate explosions in caves. I hate explosions in caves because, if someone inside the cave was looking for you, they would be led toward you. If someone was outside and looking for you while you were inside, they were usually the cause of the explosion, and subsequent cave-in, to trap you beneath the surface.

    I hate caves...

    The echo of the grenade detonating was far louder than the actual explosion. Maybe it was just my imagination running wild as the dust drifted around the corner. Leaning around, I saw the newly formed passage way, and York was endeavering to make it large enough for the group to get through.

    Only one thought occurred to me as I noticed the dust and pebbles falling from the ceiling above.

    I hate caves...


  9. So many things had changed in the past few days. Nine years ago, I'd been the CMO aboard the GCV Kev's Star. Just after the Battle of Jupiter, I'd been promoted and reassigned to the Deterrence. My first mission had nearly resulted in the destruction of my ship, and had taken the lives of over twenty young soldiers. A few years after that, Blades gave me command of a Battle Group. I was never able to figure out why he'd done that. Then, to top things off, he put me in charge of a base. A ground base, of all things. I had tried, until that time, to only be planetside during leave.

    Now, nine years later, I'd been a medical again. It had restored something that I'd thought lost in me for a long time. I'd been saving lives instead of taking them. Now, as if some cruel joke of the universe had been played on me, I was back in a position where I would have to kill again.

    The difference was, though, that this time, I would be shooting at other humans. An occurrance that had been, up to this point, blessedly limited.

    I thought about the lives that could soon be lost. Thought about their hopes and dreams, what they might wish to be. If this mission didn't go as planned, the consequences could be a lot worse than if we succeeded. Hundreds versus thousands. No, versus millions.

    Damn the numbers, I thought silently. The rifle, slung silently across my back. The pistol secured in a back holster. The wrist laser, a last resort. I looked down at the medikit hanging off my shoulder.

    Hope I don't have to use you, old friend. Though I would rather that, then have to shoot someone. Somehow, though, I got the feeling that I would soon be firing with the rest of them. Whether I liked it or not, I'd volunteered for this mission. If that meant that I had to shoot the enemy to ensure my comrades - Insurgent and Galcom alike - made it back in one piece, then so be it.

    [ 09-27-2001: Message edited by: David Foss ]


  10. I avoid the news specifically because 95% of the reported news is bad news. I avoid political discussion and entanglement, simply because I get a headache thinking about the decisions that polititians make day in and day out.

    As of today, I leave all that behind. Akuma came to my house this afternoon in tears. A few hours after the first crash. I'd just woken up, and had no idea about what had happened. For some reason, I knew that the cold I was feeling wasn't just the weather. Then she turned on the TV, and I saw the things that everyone else has been watching for countless hours.

    Now I'm reading words of people who, if they were in office, seem to be willing to "nuke" those responsible, before their responsibility is even proven. To those, I would offer these words. Whether you read them or not is your choice. Reading is easy, though. I ask that you also hear them.

    It is obvious that eventual military action is now not a question of if, but rather, when. I'd hoped never to see such a thing in my lifetime.

    I've seen footage of Atomic Bomb tests. Footage of such bombings, that I need not name. Those images were taken over fifty years ago. Half a century.

    I saw that footage in Grade 2, and I cried. In the middle of class, I started crying. I didn't see the people! I didn't need to. A few years later, I heard stories about how people's sillouettes had been burned into the few buildings left standing. Images, for all eternity, of those people's last moments on this earth.

    And predictably, it is being suggested that that same fate should be wrought about once again. Also, predictably, it is by people who were not there when those two Atom bombs were dropped. And I'm willing to bet all that I am to say that those same people have never been to those horrific places. If you had been, I do not believe that you could ever suggest such an act.

    Today, I saw two of the tallest buildings I'd ever seen, be struck by commercial aircraft, and tumble to the ground. I saw people jumping, falling. And I saw Dr. Heath, right after the collapse, immediately trying to render aid to those who needed it. I imagine that he's still out there right now, waiting for the chance to save a life.

    So why do you people suddenly call out for more death? Because you're angry. As I am. We all seek Justice. Yet it should be noted, that Justice has never been found through the use of a nuclear warhead. Nor from any weapon. It ended a war, yes. It "saved" thousands of lives, sure, but at what cost?

    Humanity learned of the awsome destruction of the Nuclear Bomb. That harsh lesson prevented the Cold War from becoming something much worse. Yet, as we've all learned, in principle or in experience: History has a habit of repeating itself. It happens when those in control, forget the lessons of the past, and act on their instincts. I hope and pray, that President Bush, or any President after him, never has to give the order to push that button. He already showed great promise today by not forgetting the things that have gone before.

    I do not encourage armed conflict, but I recognize when it is no longer an option to avoid it. I would rather "send in the troops." I would never sanction the dropping of a nuclear warhead.

    Please understand, that I am not trying to insult anyone. Everything that has happened today has been the result of a "knee-jerk" reaction to a horrific and unprecidented event. My reaction is no different, and I know that. I recognize that you are all speaking from your hearts.

    As of now, my heart tells me that the time for words is over, and action must be taken. As such, I am going to be donating blood first thing tomorrow. It's not the time for more death. Now is the time to heal the injured. Since I cannot go across the border to lend aid, I will send, instead, my life's blood. Not all of it, mind you, but as much as I can spare. And as much as may be required to see this crisis through to the end.

    It is 1:30 in the morning. I can't sleep, and an attempt to do so would only result in more torture. I apologize if I have offended anyone. What I have said, I feel, is something that needed to be said. I intend to say no more on this until we've all had time to think things through.

    I've seen it on the news, and I still can't quite believe it. Some part of me does, though. Some part of me, the part that was crying for six hours, and cries now as I type this post, does know that it is real. My condolences to all those who lost friends and loved ones. My prayers to all those who do not know yet, the fates of their friends, their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, family. My prayers also, to those who are awaiting the rescue teams. May we all be carried through this tragedy, this day of great sorrow.

    [ 09-12-2001: Message edited by: David Foss ]


  11. I paid attention to the briefing. Heard the questions, heard the answers. I even read the expressions of every man and woman in the room. But to all outward appearances, I might as well have not been there at all. Outwardly, I was staring, very intently, at Commander Minako.

    She was distracted, worried about something. Judging from her expression whenever she looked at me, she was definately angry. Most likely the fact that Blades was going along on this mission.

    Well, why shouldn't she be worried and angry? After all, Blades had just given us the the plain, no sugar-coated truth, that we were likely not going to make it back. Given their apparent new-found feelings for each other, that was understandable. And to think that not even a week ago, Savage had been a mere heartbeat from blowing her and the Tenchi into atoms, believing her to be a defecting officer.

    I was making her nervous, I guess. I figure that due to the fact that as soon as the briefing was over, she was on her feet heading for the door. I followed, keeping a respectful distance. It wasn't long before we were in a corridor that was empty enough for me to talk to her. With just less than an hour before we left. Now would be the best time.

    She apparently thought the same, if not for the same reasons. She spun around, speaking angrily. "What do you want?"

    "I want to talk to you." I said insistently, pulling her aside.

    We headed down the corridor, away from as many people as we could, before I stopped and turned to face her.

    She was visibly confused, even worried, perhaps.

    "What do you..." She started to ask, but I cut her off, answering her question.

    "Remember our conversation aboard the Vulture?"

    Akuma furrowed her brow in concentration. Finally, she responded. "About the kid who...?"

    "Yeah, that conversation."

    "Yes, I do, but what does that have to do with..."

    "Everything, Akuma. Your brother died because you couldn't do anything. That kid died because I didn't do anything. You led Akira into a trap because you didn't have any other choice. From this point on, you do. Because of your relationship with Rattler, I could understand your decision if you wanted to defect, even though I would never condone it. Your life as a Galcom officer is a hazardous one, and it would be even more so if you joined the Insurgents. Eventually, you will have to do something. The cold war between Galcom and the Insurgents is one step closer to becoming a real war every day. If that day ever comes, you're going to have to make a choice between your loyalty to Galcom - to me, and especially Blades - and to Rattler."

    Then, I stopped softening the words. "You might someday have to decide who you're going to shoot. Personally, I hope that day never comes for you, but if it does... Don't make the choice to do nothing!"

    As I turned to leave, Akuma's eyes softened, and tears began to show. I wiped them gently away, letting a faint smile show. Then, I headed down to the medical bay for my shots. So many things had changed during the past week. Something felt out of place about this mission. I couldn't understand why I had such a sense of forboding, of unease... no, of terror, about it. Something told me, deep down, that this mission was going to change my life forever.


  12. Due to Akuma's constant nagging, I've agreed to post a section of a story that I'm intending to get published. Take a read and let me know what you all think. Please note that I've already copyrighted this material.

    It's my first spin at writing something suspenseful. Please let me know if I was successful or not

    Akuma: And he's scared to push the New Topic Button...Low self esteem and all... Isn't he cute? *presses button*

    --

    Lance slowly opened his eyes. Goodin was looking at him, but something was wrong. As he looked past her, his eyes focused, not on the viewscreen, but instead on the ceiling of the bridge.

    Then he realized what had happened.

    “I passed out?”

    Goodin nodded. “Thought we’d lost you there for a minute, sir. You had us pretty worried.” She whispered.

    Her voice sounded strange, then he saw the short-range communications headset that she was wearing. He had one as well. She was whispering for some reason. Then, without warning, the entire ship shook around them. He was instantly alert, coming to his feet and about to bark his first orders. Then, the blood rushed from his head, and he nearly fell back into his chair. Goodin steadied him, then sat him down easily.

    “We’re in the nebula, sir. All main systems are shut down and we’re holding position about two minutes past the perimeter.”

    “Distance?” Lance said, as the rush of memories came back to him. Oddly enough, he was whispering too.

    “Unknown. I had to clock it. Sensors are useless with this new shielding.”

    “How long have I been out?”

    “Only a few minutes. I sent for a medical team.”

    The ship shook hard again. Lance fought the urge to start barking orders.

    “What is that?”

    “Unknown as well, sir. I’m guessing, but it’s probably a new kind of weapon. It’s either not very accurate, or it’s blowing up all the other ships before it targets us.”

    “Pleasant thought.” Lance said.

    Chel spoke up. “Sir, I’m somewhat familiar with the old wartime tactics from the mid-twentieth century. To target submarines, surface vessels would use something called a depth charge. It was also inaccurate, but it didn’t have to be accurate in order to inflict damage.”

    The ship jolted again, nearly throwing Lance out of his chair once more.

    “What are you saying, Chel?”

    “We’re in a nebula, and according to my earlier scans, it doesn’t have much in the way of oxygen. What if they are using something similar to depth charges? If one of our ships is damaged, and their sensors can penetrate far enough into the nebula…”

    Lance swore softly to himself, finishing the young officer’s thoughts. “Then it won’t matter if they can see us or not. They’ll see the oxygen or a surge of other gas from the breach, and it’ll pinpoint our exact position.”

    “We’re sitting ducks, sir.”

    There was nothing left to be done. All they could do was wait and hope. “Then let’s just sit tight and see what happens. With luck, we’ll sit low enough that they’ll keep missing.”

    Another jolt, this one harder than any of the others. Abruptly, the feeling shifted, though. Lance instantly recognized the trademark of space travel as he drifted up from his chair.

    “Gravity’s gone.” Goodin reported, buckling herself into her chair.

    “I noticed, Goodin, thank you.” Lance said calmly, placing his feet against the ceiling and pushing off, guiding himself back into his chair. “Are we hit?”

    “I don’t think so, sir.” Goodin said. “Just a close call.”

    “Let’s hope they don’t get any closer.”

    ***

    Franks flinched as the ship jolted under her. She was hanging on to a console, hoping that she wouldn’t be thrown into a bulkhead. With the gravity generators gone, it was a lot easier to get seriously hurt, especially in the hangar. Sparks was beside her, just as scared as she was. They heard a sharp hiss, and for a moment, they both thought there had been a breach. But there was nothing beyond the hiss. No steady whisper of escaping air, no sharp bang or crunch. Then, she heard something awful. Another jolt threatened to tear Franks from her console, and a terrible groan sounded from overhead. Sparks and Franks both looked around wildly, trying to find the source of the noise.

    Nothing. Then the worst thing happened. The seconds ticked by, and the ship jolted again. Several consoles overloaded, throwing people clear only to slam into walls or ceilings, even the floors.

    Then, suddenly, she could see nothing. Franks looked around, trying without success to see what was happening. She still heard noises, but she couldn’t see anything.

    I’m dead. She thought. Explosive decomression. I didn’t feel a thing. I’m dead.

    No, if she was still hearing things, then she was still very much alive. “Sparks?” She called out. Her voice sounded so tiny, and she realized there was no way to keep the fear out of her voice. She wished she had been able to at least hide some of it. But it was all there. She was terrified beyond words.

    “I’m here, Caroline. We’re gonna be fine, don’t worry.”

    “I’m blind!”

    “You’re not blind, Caroline. The lights are out. Just calm down, everything’s gonna be okay.”

    She had been panicking about being blind. Now she wished she was. That would have been better than this. Her eyes were still open, still seeing, but she was seeing nothing. That was the worst feeling she had ever had. To die here, in the dark, knowing that people were around, floating through the huge hangar bays. She imagined being the last one, unable to see anything, bodies drifting around her, even right past her, not making a sound.

    Even bumping into her, and she would never be able to tell who was alive and who was dead.

    Then she screamed.

    ***

    Menkowski tried desperately to fight back the fear. Not now. This will not happen now! There’s too much to do. I’m not letting them down now. I don’t care if you’re afraid of the dark, Steven. Every soldier is afraid of something. You just happen to be afraid of the very thing that’s making it impossible to do your job. But there’s no choice, old friend. You’ve got to get through this or it’ll be dark forever.

    He shouldn’t have said that. Sweat beaded on his forehead. He couldn’t tell how much of it was perhaps floating, because he couldn’t even see his hand in front of his face.

    Okay, just pretend. See the engineering section. You are at the main console. The utility closet is real close to you. It’s just behind you.

    Well, so is the entrance to the cooling room. Never really spent much time in there. If you float in there, you’ll never find your way out again.

    Shut up!

    What? It’s true, Steven. You’ll eventually hit a wall – or a body – and you won’t even know which way you’re pointed.

    Steven shook his head. Of all the childish things to do in an emergency, he was talking to himself. Not only that, but he was talking back to himself.

    “I’m getting too old for this crap.” He muttered out loud.

    “Sir?” One of his engineers asked.

    “Nothing, Lieutenant. Just stay where you are.”

    “Aye, sir.”

    Menkowski pushed off from the console, arms spread wide, hoping that if he was off, one arm or the other would catch the corner of the corridor leading to the reactor cooling system.

    He floated for what seemed like forever. For a moment, he thought he’d floated right through a breach in the hull. He imagined himself, tumbling, unable to breathe, watching the Excalibur drift away during the agonizing thirty seconds that it took to die from exposure to the vacuum.

    He would have shaken that thought off eventually. He would have been able to redirect his mind into thinking of something else. Fortunately, the lack of site caused his mind to misinterpret the distance to the utility closet.

    Unfortunately, he had been right on course. With his arms flung wide to catch the corners of a corridor if he was off, he had forgotten that he had nothing but his face to catch the wall with if he was on course. His fear was sniped by the sudden pain from his nose making contact with the wall. He continued forward, legs and back pivoting up for him to make a successful, if ungraceful, landing against the far wall.

    He felt along the wall, finding the catch for the utility closet and pulling it open.

    He swung around the door, finally grabbing one of the engineering tool kits from the bottom of the closet.

    Wait a minute… The kits are at the top of the closet. He checked his mental map of engineering, then realized he was upside down. He reached around to his head – the bottom of the closet – and felt his hand close around the comforting grip of one of the utility lights.

    With a cry of triumph, he pulled it free and switched it on.

    Nothing.

    Terror threatened to freeze him as he tried again. He moved the switch back, then switched the light on again.

    Nothing.

    Frantically, on the edge of complete loss of control, Menkowski reached back into the closet, pulling another light. He tried again.

    Nothing.

    He tried every light in the closet, finally pulling the last out of thirty lights. He switched the light on.

    Nothing.

    Menkowski simply floated there, thumbing the switch on and off again, completely oblivious to the engineer he had been talking to. Completely unaware of his frantic voice, asking what was wrong. All he heard was the hollow clicking sound from the utility light as he vainly switched it on and off.

    Click. Click. Click. Click…

    --


  13. (rp)

    The speaker fell dead, and I could only stand there, doing my best to avoid being reassigned to a desk... again.

    Savage and Akuma stared, at a loss for words, first at the speaker, then at me. I couldn't help but be amused at the what the hell are you doing here expression that was currently painted plain as day on Fleet Commander Savage's face.

    Finally, I found my voice, and elected to answer Blades' silent question without further delay.

    "Sir, I request permission to be assigned to the away team. Akira may be injured, and I believe it would be best to have someone with medical experience on hand to tend to him."

    (/rp)


  14. (RP)

    Commander Polovoski had not looked to be in a very good mood. It hadn't taken me long to track down Fleet Commander Savage with the PerScan computer. Last I'd checked, both he and Polovoski had been in the ready room. Her sour expression told me that things had not gone well. No doubt some really bad timing for one piece of news or the other. I figured that Savage was still in the ready room, so I stepped up to knock. I should have checked the computer again. I really should have. Up until that moment, I thought Murphy might give me the day off after the close call aboard the Vulture.

    I should have known better.

    The door opened, revealing the usual decor of the ready room. It was the right room. The right man, but the wrong woman.

    No, I shouldn't say that. I'm not one to say who should be in what relationship with whom, unlike some people in the military heirarchy. But I could swear that I'd seen a regulation somehwere saying that what was happening right in front of me, wasn't supposed to.

    My CO, Fleet Commander Savage and my subordinate, Commander Minako, both of them engaging in less than advisable, probably less than legal, and definately less than regulation standard behavior. Both of them quite oblivious to the fact that one's subordinate and the other's commanding officer was standing in the doorway. Namely, one David Foss.

    Suddenly Commander Polovoski's expression was a lot more understandable now. I guess some rumors shouldn't be dismissed so easily. I thought quietly.

    And this was something that looked like it could blow the rumor-mill wide open. This sucked. It was one thing for rumors to filter down about a celebrity Commander and the head of the fleet. That sort of thing was expected. But when it becomes the head of the fleet and one of the fleet's newest command officers - substantially younger than the average fleet officer, I might add - well... you get the idea.

    And here I was, about to get stuck in the middle of it. I could have just stepped back, and no one would have been the wiser. Unfortunately, my feet had rebelled, and I'd just taken two full strides into the room.

    With that distance achieved, the door had just closed behind me.

    I don't know what my expression was. Probably somewhere between total embarrassment and complete loss of emotional self-control in the face of extreme hilarity.

    Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I heard Murphy laughing his arse off, while the best my conscious mind - and consequently, my mouth - could think to say was the word "Oops..."

    Fortunately, the word didn't leave my mouth. There'd been no air moving past the old vocal chords for that.

    Unfortunately, it was right around then that I cleared my throat.

    I didn't smile, I swear! I didn't even smirk! At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Unfortunately, with Savage's less than... shall we say... hospitable expression, I think I may have indeed been smirking... But only a little!

    (/RP)

    I'm back... personal I-net access should be up and running in a day or two.

    (Akuma Takes over the Keyboard) Hee hee And it's my fault! Yea me!!!!!!

    (Foss re-aquires keyboard...)

    (very tiny voice)

    help me..... she's invaded.


  15. Damn, it's good to see you back again, DeSylva! Time for my catch-up post

    For the record, this is only a partial catch-up. I'll post the rest of it if I'm allowed. Blades, could let me know on that when you get back?

    (RP)

    11:40 hrs, 19th May, 3008

    Modified LRT-15 Transport S.S. Vulture

    Medical Bay

    “I should be going… sir.”

    I turned to see Akuma walking away from the table.

    Jamont spoke up, “Mr. Foss, sorry I have no med training so I’ll head over to the cargo bay to help the ensign out!”

    I nodded to Jamont, then looked over at Akuma.

    She murmured something to Jamont, then slumped down into a chair. Couldn’t say I blamed her. She looked exhausted.

    My thoughts on the matter were proven right as she said, “Hrm...Maybe on second thought I'll just rest here for a moment..." She looked up at me. "If that's okay, sir?"

    I still needed people, but it was obvious that she was in over her head. She wouldn’t be much help. I nodded reluctantly and headed over to the next patient.

    Shortly after Jamont left, another new face announced his presence. Commander Nova was able to move several people and help a few others with various injuries.

    Unfortunately, his help was short lived. After dealing with a minor wound on his arm, he was already prepared to call it a day. He ignored my objections. We needed more people, but that didn’t seem to matter one bit to him.

    “I need some sleep. Besides, I’m no COMmie. I ain’t takin’ orders from you!”

    He turned to leave, mumbling something under his breath. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was trying to figure out just how he knew that I was in GalCom. I wasn’t wearing the uniform. No tags, rank, or ID. My hair and eyes were different. Maybe he had a photographic memory or something.

    Crybaby. Try doing 30+ hours without sleep, then having this mess land in your lap, lad. This sucks!

    I didn’t waste time dwelling. There were people who needed my help. I started tending to another patient. Without working equipment, I knew there was no way to save him. That didn’t stop me from trying.

    Along the way, I heard orders being called out near the entrance to the medibay. They weren’t my orders, but they were certainly in line.

    I was wishing for the one instrument that would save the man’s life when it landed in my hand. I looked down, utterly dumbfounded as to how it had gotten there. Then, my eyes drifted up, following the hand, up the arm, into the eyes of someone who had to know what she was doing. About time, too.

    “I’m Cathy, mind if I join in?”

    The war to save lives had just shifted odds back to our side. Fresh medical supplies were being unpacked, and as I looked around, a fresh sense of hope spurred my medical crew into action.

    My medical crew? Since when I start thinking of these people as my medical crew? I wondered. The only explanation was the oldest one in the book: Once a doctor, always a doctor…

    16:07 hrs, 19th May, 3008

    Modified LRT-15 Transport S.S Vulture

    Medical Bay

    The emergency was over. We’d lost a lot of patients, even with the extra aid. There just wasn’t enough equipment and hands to save everyone. There was a small office to one side, away from the main area. I should have gone to help those in the cargo bay, but my legs had other ideas. I just couldn’t move.

    One of the MA’s looked over at me, concern all over his face. Without waiting for permission, he came in and sealed the wound that I’d taken outside the medical bay a few hours earlier. It only took a few seconds, but I felt a lot better when it was done. “Sir, you should get some sleep.” He said, standing.

    “Thank you, I’m all right. I’ll take care of it. Could you work on Blades for a while, please? Get him back on his feet. I know he isn’t the worst case, but he is needed on the bridge. Also, could you send Mrs. Minako in, as well?”

    “Yes, sir.” He said, then left.

    A few seconds later, a very distressed Akuma walked into the office.

    “You wanted to see me?” She asked.

    “Yes. We need to have a chat. Take a seat.” I said simply.

    She sat down across from the desk. I took out the nametag that normally took up residence on my uniform.

    “May I see your hands, please?” I asked casually.

    She immediately stiffened. “My… My hands?”

    “Yes.” I said flatly. “Those two things on the ends of your arms with the fingers on them. I’d like to see them if you don’t mind.”

    “Actually, I do.” She said. She clenched her hands tightly, seeming to withdraw into herself.

    “Ah. Okay, then.” I said. Without delay, I threw the nametag straight at her.

    Had she not reacted, it would have hit her between the eyes. Surprisingly, her reaction time was lightning fast, even with the sedative.

    Clearly, she wasn’t expecting my reaction time to be on par with hers. She didn’t have time to pull her hand away before I grabbed hold.

    I studied the faint scar tissue, even as she tried to pull away. I kept my voice as casual as if I were assessing a simple bruise.

    “Common mistakes for someone who hasn’t been through proper medical training.”

    “What are you talking about?” She asked, anger in her voice, still pulling against my grip.

    I let go of her wrist and sat back casually, resting my hands behind my head. The wound in my chest still hurt, but not nearly as much as it had earlier. I managed to keep the pain hidden. “I mean that you deliberately did that to yourself. I don’t know how, and I don’t care how. I already know why, though.”

    She didn’t say anything, so I continued. “Read the name.”

    Puzzled, she opened her hand. “It’s Foss. I know your name. What about it?”

    I smiled slightly. My response came in the form of another object, tossed from behind my head. It arced over to land square in her palm.

    She looked down at the Galcom Commander’s insignia. She continued to stare for a few seconds, then looked back to the nametag. Back to the insignia. Back to the tag. She’d done a triple-take on each one before her eyes finally widened with realization. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it the funniest thing to happen in a long time. It was all I could do not to snicker.

    “Com… Commander Foss?”

    “That’s right, Commander Minako.”

    “What are you doing here?” She asked, trying not to sound worried, and failing miserably.

    “Saving lives, and by that I mean more than just the lives on this ship.” I answered. “I’m also here to evaluate your physical and mental fitness for duty.”

    “I’ve already been cleared. Karl said that…”

    I interrupted her. “Fleet Commander Savage asked me to have you ready for action before things went south. I’m late on that promise, but I will get you ready regardless. I know why you injured yourself. Like I said, I don’t care how it happened. Those scars are not on your medical records, so they happened after you left. I suspect it was before you even got aboard this ship. For whatever reason, you’ve been hiding their existence from people. No one on this staff would have left scar tissue like that.”

    “How do you know?” She shot back defensively. “You don’t know what they’re capable of…”

    “Commander, I just spent the better part of the last seven hours putting people back together with their help! I know exactly what they’re capable of!”

    She looked away for a moment, defiance still on her face. “Well, you still don’t know why this happened. How do you know it wasn’t an accident?”

    “Because I was there when Fleet Commander Savage was less than ten seconds away from destroying your ship and everyone on board. I know the events that transpired before, during, and after that incident. I know that you tried to kill yourself, and that you’re fighting off wave after wave of depression due to the mess you’ve gotten everyone into.”

    “So then it is my fault.”

    “Yes, Commander Minako, it is your fault. But that’s only because you won’t allow yourself to see it any other way!”

    “How would you know what it’s like? You’ve never been in this kind of situation!”

    “I have been in the same situation. If you don’t believe me, then I’ll remind you that we’re all in ‘this kind of situation’ right now!”

    She stared blankly at me. I took out a small disc, a recording made eight years ago. Without a word, I popped it into the reader and turned the terminal display towards her.

    Staring at Akuma was a young brunette with loose curls that fell around her shoulders. Crystal blue eyes seemed to look straight through the young Commander. I’d seen the same expression hundreds of times before.

    Then the image spoke. “Hi there, Davie. If you’re seeing this message, it means that I’m dead. I carried this message because I knew you would come after me. But at the same time, I knew that I wouldn’t be getting out of there alive. I know I told you that I was just snooping along the border. The truth is, I was asked by an outside source to check out a military installation on Gamma 2 in the Gammula system. I am sorry that I couldn’t make it back with you, but you have to understand that I did it for a reason. There is the very real danger that the Gammulans will attack Sol again. This time, it won’t be for some obscure reason surrounded in mystery. It will be for domination. Whatever they were after, they now consider us a threat, and you know what that means.”

    Her face still held that astonishing determination behind it. She was a transport captain, but she could have been a great Commander.

    “Listen, Davie. I don’t know what happened out there, but you have got to go on. I know you’re hurting inside, but you have to let me go. Otherwise, you will follow me. I don’t want that, my friend. You’ve always been like a brother to me. Let me protect you in the afterlife. If you join me anytime soon, I’ll boot your sorry ass right back onto that ship where you belong. Always remember, David Eugene Foss, that in order to value peace, you must truly understand the hardships and costs of war. Goodbye, my friend. May you find the wisdom in my death that I could not teach you in my life.”

    I paused the playback just before it would have ended. The woman’s face was frozen there, staring with the same intensity, straight through Akuma. Akuma stared at the screen for a few seconds, then looked up at me as I spoke up.

    “Her name was Janice Errintha. She died eight years ago saving my life. Twenty-eight people lost their lives when I made the decision to try and save hers. My ship was docked for four weeks while they tried to repair the damage.”

    Then I looked straight into her eyes. “That was my first mission as a Commander in Galcom. I didn’t follow orders either, and twenty-nine people died. You have no idea how lucky you are that you didn’t spark a battle in Jupiter’s skies a week ago.”

    She sat there for a moment. I stood up, walking over to the office door and closing it. Then, I went back and sat down across from her. “Let me tell you about my first day in Galcom.”

    I didn’t wait for her to respond. “It was aboard the Kev’s Star, a ship that was decommissioned just a few months ago. At the time, I’d just graduated, and the Kev’s Star had already been out far longer than she should have been.

    “She was rotated back to Earth for minor repairs and upgrades to old systems. Various members of the medical staff had been promoted or reassigned. That left us, the Academy graduates, to fill the gaps. I was a cocky, headstrong teenager. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

    Current time…

    God, what a nightmare the past few hours have been! A ship blowing up around me, a junior Commander to educate and whip into shape. A nights sleep that is way overdue, and still a ways away from what I can tell.

    I just found out that Donaldson was critically injured in the evacuation. She’d closed off a section on deck three to isolate just before the section she was in decompressed. They’re still not sure if she’ll make it. The section she closed prevented the Medical Bay from decompressing, providing those crucial seconds we needed for transport. Everyone in that room owes her their life. I just hope there’s a chance to repay the favor.

    I won’t even mention the small and not-so-small outbursts from supposedly trained officers. I can understand their hesitance to trust Savage, but there are limits to acceptable behavior as a result of such feelings.

    That’s not to say that I don’t trust him. Far from it. Granted things haven’t exactly gone according to plan, but everyone is blaming Blades and Rattler. It’s getting ridiculous. They seem to have forgotten what will happen if Akira isn’t rescued. They also seem to have forgotten that only yesterday, they were nose-to-nose with Gammulans, most of them being unarmed at the time. The only good sign was the absence of firefights after the Gamms were neutralized. Figures. It takes an immediate mutual crisis to promote any kind of cooperation. As soon as that’s resolved, it’s back to the cold war.

    I’ll probably be court-martialed for even thinking this, but personally, I kind of like Rattler. I don’t agree with his cause, mind you, but he’s got a sense of honor that few people in this cold war have. If he gives his word on something, it can be trusted. That was the case during the First Gamm War eight years ago, and it remains the case today. I’d never met the man face-to-face before this mission. Up until a few days ago, I’d known him by reputation only. I’m beginning to understand why he is such an effective leader.

    But despite his abilities, I know it will take more than just him to keep his people in line, and it’ll take more than Blades to keep the Galcom personnel in line. It’s fairly certain that they need another reminder of just what it is that they’re here to do. Akuma was right. They had to see past their differences in order to make this work. She’d given that speech to a room full of Galcom and Insurgent officers.

    The problem was that she’d given that speech to the wrong people. She should have given it to the two people in charge of this mission. Granted, the rest of the group needed to learn to see past differences and focus on the common goal, but such behavior is set by example. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Rattler and Blades still had reservations about each other.

    They weren’t providing a very good example.

    Now the question is, what the hell can be done about it?

    (/RP)


  16. Foss has his hands full, as does a good portion of the medical staff, getting people to stop bleeding all over the deck. However, there are two medics, along with a few mercs who did survive and are still on their feet, who are shifting people over to the cargo bay and any nearby rooms that have enough space. The only poeple they are moving are those whose injuries are not life-threatening, and those whose injuries do NOT require surgery.

    Whisper, since your only injury was a broken leg, and it was not life-threatening, you would have been moved to another area of the ship and tended to accordingly. It's safe to say that you would have been treated. Ah well. Maybe you're dealing with another uncaring MA. smile.gif If that's the case, your character should submit a complaint. However, even if that is the case, Ensign Donalds and her assistant are doing all they can. Since you were moved out of the medical bay, I don't think there would be a computer to hack into that would be capable of giving you painkillers. There should also be at least a couple of additional people who would be helping in any way they could. It's my fault for not mentioning that in my previous post, though, so I'll roll with it smile.gif

    For the record, anyone else who was injured, but not badly enough to require surgery (chest wounds, etc. use your own judgement), it's safe to assume that you've been moved and tended to by Ensign Donaldson and her partner.

    (RP)

    11:39 hrs, 19th May, 3008

    Modified LRT-15 Transport S.S. Vulture

    Medical Bay

    "DAMN IT! For god sakes sanitize you're hands first! It's over there." I said, nodding my head towards the sink.

    I should have held back such a reaction. For a moment, I'd forgotten that Akuma had no training. At least, not according to her records. She quickly did as she was told, but as she returned to the patient's side, I could tell she was close to either panicking, passing out, or doing something rather messy with her lunch.

    I gave an almost imperceptable nod toward one of the MA's. She nodded and gave Akuma a slight sedative. Nothing too strong, just something to calm her down.

    I'm not sure why I was smiling, ever so slightly. Perhaps she reminded me of myself a long time ago. Damn, that was it! It was a mirror image! I ignored that train of thought, as it wasn't helping Christoff at all. "Help me hold him together while we cauterize the wound."

    One of the most disturbing things about medical practice during combat or triage situations, or in medical emergencies where the needed equipment is not available, is that you sometimes have to resort to drastic measures to get anything done. I won't go into what we had to do, patient-doctor confitentiality being what it is. Suffice to say, we managed to stop the bleeding and stabilize him again. However, it was quite clear that he would need a lot of time to recover.

    Just like a lot of other people in this room.

    "Jamont reporting for duty, anyone need a hand?"

    I looked up to see someone with barely a scratch on him. Lucky lad. I wasn't sure if he was Galcom or Insurgent, but it hardly mattered right now. Lives were at stake.

    "Aye! We're pretty full here. If you have any training as a surgeon, Mr. Jamont, you can help out here. If not, see if you can give Ensign Donaldson a hand in the cargo bay."

    I moved across the room, trusting Mr. Jamont to make up his mind based on his own observations. As I was moving, a display caught the corner of my eye. It was a display indicating a room on deck 1. 14g, if I remembered correctly. Damn! Commander Wold!

    I headed over to the terminal, opening a link to Ensign Donaldson.

    "Yes, sir?"

    "Ensign, I need you to find an Insurgent uniform."

    She looked at me as though I'd grown a third eye. "An Insurgent uniform? What for?"

    "Commander Wold is an Insurgent, and he doesn't seem to like medical environments. It's safe to assume he would react in an... undesirable fashion... if you tried to wake him while dressed as you are. It'd be even more likely if you were in a Galcom uniform. See if you can borrow an Insurgent uniform and try to wake him up."

    "Sir, I don't know if any of the supplies I have here will do it. And if he does turn violent, I know I don't have what I need to sedate him again!"

    "Then do it quickly and get out of the room if you're worried. But keep monitoring him. We don't want anything unexpected to happen."

    She was reluctant, but she responded quickly with a simple "Yes, sir."

    (/RP)

    That gives her roughly twenty minutes to find a uniform and wake you up, Wold. Haven't figured out where she'll get the uniform yet, but it's hardly an important issue, since you're already awake. smile.gif However, it's entirely possible that whatever drug she gave you had some nasty side effects, particularly with your memory.

    I think that's got everyone. If not, let me know and I'll revise accordingly.

    [This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 03-27-2001).]


  17. (RP)

    11:36 hrs, 19th May, 3008

    Modified LRT-15 Transport S.S. Vulture

    Medical Bay

    We managed to stabalize Fleet Commander Savage with little difficulty. At least he was out of danger. Unfortunately, there wasn't time to take care of all his wounds. He was unconscious, which was just as well, given his injuries. We'd managed to stop the internal bleeding. The broken ribs had been set so that his lungs wouldn't be in danger of being punctured, but not well enough for him to move.

    Then the nightmare started again. More wounded came in. Some superficial, some far worse. The medical bay had just become a triage facility.

    And so had the rest of the ship. There was no way I could accommodate the number of people coming in.

    That was when I heard the best piece of news since this whole thing started. Ensign Donaldson handed me a brief report, for formality's sake, then gave me the summary. "We've got more wounded coming in, but the last of the Gammulan soldiers have been eliminated. They've sounded the all clear."

    "Any news on the extent of the incoming casualties?"

    "Mostly superficial, sir. A few critical, but most of them were people who helped to fend off the last few troops. They're coming here for treatment. Cuts and bruises, mostly."

    I looked around the medical bay. We were already stuffed in here tighter than a can of sardines. This wasn't going to work at all. "Any of those incoming who don't have a disabling injury are to search the ship deck by deck for more wounded."

    "But sir, most of these people won't have any medical training..."

    "Donaldson, anyone can find a pulse! Since it's no longer a shooting war out there, I'm declaring a medical emergency. Every able-bodied person is to search every square inch of the ship for wounded."

    "Yes, sir."

    "All right, listen up, people! This entire ship is now open ground. Anyone who's injuries are not life threatening is to be relocated. I want them in the cargo bays, personal quarters, anywhere but this medical bay. Draw up a list of injuries from worst to best, and work from there. Ensign Donaldson, take someone with you and work on getting the worst non-life threatening cases back on their feet."

    "Yes, sir."

    Too many wounded. It was impossible to save them all. But that was what I intended to do. There was no mistaking that I needed more hands, though.

    "Sir, Christoff's crashing!"

    Bloody hell! He was stable not three minutes ago! The youngest one in here so far, the merc couldn't be over twenty. He'd taken a shot to the chest. The armor had taken the brunt, but there was still massive tissue damage.

    "What happened?" I said, as I arrived at the table.

    "Massive bleeding, sir. His wound just reopened."

    "Then seal it!"

    "Tried that, sir. The regenerator isn't working."

    Damn! Time for plan B. I reached over, forcing the wound closed with my hands. Good thing the kid was unconscious. Otherwise he would have felt every nerve firing in his chest. "All right, now seal it. Use a sutcher, use tape, use a red-hot barrel if you have to, but seal it now!"

    With only one set of hands aside from my own, it was hopeless. That was when I remembered Akuma.

    The young lass was sitting by the door to the medical bay, her weapon clutched tightly in her hands.

    "Minako! The party's over! Put that weapon down and get over here! I need your help!"

    Right then, the doors opened, and the last few stragglers, battered, bleeding, dying, staggered through the door.

    (/RP)

    Let the medical draft begin smile.gif

    ------------------

    Commander David Foss

    GCV - Deterrence, Orion Starstation (CENTRIS)

    Wing Leader, Deterrence Battle Group

    www.orion-hq.fsnet.co.uk

    'This far, no farther!'


  18. Downloaded and tried it yesterday. I was completely floored! I was running it on my old 266, and it ran just fine. Got a little choppy when the ships started to blow, but that was expected. The only downside is that it's sitting on my system. My system is approximately two and a half hours away from me, and I won't be able to get to it for two weeks. frown.gif None of the systems I will have access to will be suitable to play it on, and I'd be trying to download the demo via 33.6. Not acceptable. Means I have to wait two weeks to play around some more.

    Talk about cruel smile.gif

    ------------------

    Commander David Foss

    GCV - Deterrence, Orion Starstation (CENTRIS)

    Wing Leader, Deterrence Battle Group

    www.orion-hq.fsnet.co.uk

    'This far, no farther!'


  19. (RP)

    Three medics and myself. I had been wrong, the fighting wasn't over yet. I still heard shots further down the corridor.

    Bodies littered the deck. Most were mercs. Most were dead.

    I turned back to the medic with the trauma kit.

    "Do what you can for these people. Get another trauma kit down here ASAP. I'll take that one." I said, gesturing to the kit in his hand.

    He handed the required kit to one of the other medics, who traded a stretcher with him, and the rest of my hastily formed Emergency Response Team hoofed it to the bridge.

    Fortunately, we managed to dodge the fighting once again. Somewhere deep down, I knew that couldn't last forever.

    We finally arrived on the bridge. I wished then and there that I'd brought more stretchers.

    "Check them out." I said, directing the other two medics. They fanned out, checking the bodies. I headed straight for Blades, who was laying on the deck.

    I checked for a pulse, and upon finding it, opened the trauma kit and grabbed a medical scanner. "Broken ribs, fractured arm. Severe internal bleeding." I shook my head. "He's going to die unless we get him stabilized."

    Thankfully, it didn't take long to stabilize him. Unfortunately, it wasn't a complete job.

    "We need to get him back to the medical bay. I've done all I can for him here. We'll be able to move him, at least."

    The medics gave me their reports. Six wounded, the rest dead. Stabilized, but not for long. They had to be moved as well.

    "All right, let's get the worst case to the medical bay. Send for a team to get the rest."

    It was about then that I finally heard another voice. It was Rattler's.

    "...he make it?"

    "He will if we go now. Looks like you're in charge of the boat until he's back on his feet. If other events on this ship are any indication, he could be waiting for a while. We've got a lot of wounded so far." It belatedly occurred to me that I needed a second set of hands to carry the stretcher that Savage was on. Come to think of it, I would need a lot more hands if I wanted to save even half of the patients that would be coming in.

    I closed my eyes, remembering my promise to Blades. "I'll fight just as hard to save an Insurgent's life as a Galcom Officer's." God, I hoped certain others had made similar promises, at least to themselves.

    "Rattler, if any of your people have medical experience of any kind, I need them now."

    Abruptly, another voice was heard above all. "Rattler?! Commander?! Where are you?"

    I looked up to see, of all people, Akuma. She ran a hand through her hair and cleared her throat. "What the hell happened?"

    "Ms. Minako, if you haven't been able to tell from the bodies lining the corridors from one end of this ship to the other, then I'll tell you. We were attacked by a ship full of Gammulans. We're still trying to fight some of them off. Now, if you don't mind, grab the other end of this stretcher and accompany us to the medical bay. If you do mind, do it anyway!"

    (/RP)

    Keep in mind, Foss is still wearing the contacts and hair coloring. He has no nametag, so it's very unlikely that Akuma will recognize him... yet smile.gif

    ------------------

    Commander David Foss

    GCV - Deterrence, Orion Starstation (CENTRIS)

    Wing Leader, Deterrence Battle Group

    www.orion-hq.fsnet.co.uk

    'This far, no farther!'

    [This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 03-12-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 03-12-2001).]

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