Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

The Breakfast Club Episode 1 Recap

A/N: This is a recap of The Breakfast Club from Series: Your Universe, which will be closing down in December.  It’s a gift to BloodRoseRed, who loved the series and even wrote her own fanfic for it called Beauty and the Brain.  If you recognize it from The Breakfast Club movie or from the story on Series: Your Universe, I don’t own it.

img_0016

Dear Diary,

Corrine Conorino here and I just got transferred to Shermer High, my new school that my dad forced me to go to while my mom was too chicken shit to stand up to him. The counselor from my last school gave this to me before I left and said that I should write anything that happens to me. He told me to think of it as less of a diary and more of a writer’s journal, that there are interesting stories all around me and, if I record my life, I might find something worth publishing. What a joke. Nothing that interesting happened to me at my old school and my new school will be exactly the same. On my first day, I met a cute young blond boy who said he liked my outfit. I told him that I wanted to make a good first impression. He said that I succeeded, making me feel happy about my outfit choice. He remarked that it sucks to be the new kid. I admitted that I was a little nervous. Then he told me that all I really need is one good friend, which sounds a bit after school specially and I pointed that out. The boy was a little confused about my words, but admitted that it’s from a motivational poster he has in his bedroom.

I told him that would explain it. Then I introduced myself to him and he told me his name was Brian. He said that, if I like history, then I’m in for a treat. According to him, Mrs. Russell keeps class pretty interesting and he claims that I’ll love her. I told him that any history teacher would be better than my last one, he droned on in monotone and made even the most brutal facts sound as dull as reading off the ingredients of a candy bar. Brian gave a nervous chuckle when we walked in.

Unfortunately, unless Mrs. Russell got a sex change operation, it wasn’t her. It was a man in a dated suit filling in for her and boy did he look pissed.

I told Brian that it definitely wasn’t how I pictured Mrs. Russell, leaving out the part about the sex change operation. He explained that the man is Vice Principal Vernon. Brian didn’t have time to go into further detail as Vernon immediately ordered us to listen up. He explained that our “beloved” Mrs. Russell is out for the rest of the semester. Hey, I didn’t even get to meet Mrs. Russell, so she wasn’t really “beloved” to me. Apparently, she was exhausted and had to go on holiday for the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, that means Vernon’s filling in and I can already tell I’m not going to like this guy before everyone in the class gave disappointed sighs. Vernon claims that we might actually get an education for a change, but I get the feeling he’s going to be like my last history teacher, only meaner. A cute guy in a letterman jacket must have read my mind, because he remarked that we’ll only get an education if it’s a course on how to be an asshole.

Vernon called the boy Andrew Clark and asked if he’d care to repeat that while I couldn’t stop the small chuckle that emerged, earning a glare from Vernon which I quickly covered up with a cough. Then his attention returned to Andrew, who he stared at for a painfully long time. Finally, Andrew gave in and looked down at his desk. Vernon took it as a victory, but I don’t think winning a staring contest is something to brag about.

Then Brian’s wallet fell out of his pocket and onto the floor. This strange girl with shaggy hair stepped on it and slid it under her long skirt.

Vernon turned his attention back to me and introduced me as the new student joining us today. Great, my first day and I’m already in the spotlight. He welcomed me which, in all honesty, was the nicest thing he’s done in the few minutes I knew him. Then he asked me to tell everyone why I’m at Shermer with this deadly glare as if he already knew. I take that back, he is 100% asshole. I said that I needed a fresh start and Shermer’s as good a place as any. Vernon told me that it certainly sounded like I could use one. Great, I try to be nice and all I get is a metaphorical slap in the face. I wanted to know what Vernon meant and he explained that he read my file, like I’m some kind of criminal! Thankfully, a girl with red hair dressed in pink sort of came to my defense and asked if that was kind of… private. Hell yeah! Isn’t invasion of privacy against the law? Then the asshole hones in on the girl, who’s name he said was Claire, and says that it’s none of her concern! Considering she’s one of your students, I think that is her concern! Claire suggested that we just get on with class, since it’s getting late. Vernon picked on Claire some more and asked her if she of all people should talk about being late for class! Claire only looked down and took his abuse. Then Vernon talked about how he controls the time in this class! Brian politely told him that time manipulation is a physical impossibility. Yeah, way to stick it to the man, Brian. He ended up getting Vernon’s unwanted attention. Brian explained that he did a paper on time and got an A. Vernon just told Brian to watch himself unless he wants detention NEXT Saturday, too! This guy needs to use his holiday time for a trip to the hospital so that a doctor can surgically remove the stick up his ass. Claire and Andrew snickered, getting Vernon’s unwanted attention as he told them both to keep their mouths shut. Then said that they’re both already in enough trouble as it is. I swear, I’d give this guy a piece of my mind if I could just find the courage. Then, for no reason, he rounds on me and says that the same goes for me! The nerve of this asshole! As if he read my mind, he told me that this “asshole” is starting to get agitated. There were so many things I wanted to respond with, like how they make ointments for that kind of agitation or how pathetic it is for him to pick fights with kids. Instead, I chickened out and said that Claire’s right, maybe we should just start class. Then I claimed that everyone’s just excited to get class started. Because the sooner we get this class over with, the sooner we can leave. Claire said that I was right and claimed that she loves history. Vernon’s still picking on me as he told me that he doesn’t know what kind of crap I got away with at my old school, but brown-nosing won’t get me anywhere with him. Hey, I wasn’t trying to brown-nose! I was just trying to avoid conflict, which didn’t work in my favor. I told Vernon that it’s like he said, we’re going to learn something… for a change. Vernon glared at me and said that he didn’t buy it. He called me Miss Not-So-Goody-Two-Shoes and said that I just bought myself Saturday detention!

Can you believe this guy? I’m getting detention for doing absolutely nothing! Then he welcomed me to Shermer High, which is apparently run by an evil dictator. Believe me when I say that’s the nice way of putting it. He slammed a detention slip on my desk and said that he’d see me Saturday. Then he called me Sunshine! Great, not only does he make me get up early on a Saturday, he also has to give me a crappy nickname.

Now it’s seven am on a Saturday and, not only am I up, but I am in the car with Grandpa stopped in front of the school. He gave me this lecture about how he promised my parents that he’d make sure I’d get my diploma. I told Grandpa that Dad doesn’t care if I get a diploma. Hell, I could drop out and spend the rest of my life stripping in Vegas and he wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Grandpa responded by telling me that my mom cares, asking me if I really wanted to disappoint her. I told Grandpa that, if Mom heard this, she’d march right over to the school and give Vernon a piece of her mind. Grandpa ignored me and told me to keep my head down and my nose clean. He claimed that he loved me but, if he must, he’ll make life very unpleasant for me. Then said that, if I screw up here, my next stop is Calvin Military Academy. I know Mom’s not good at standing up to Dad or Grandpa, but I’d like to think that she’d put her foot down on me getting sent to a military academy. She’s the only reason I got sent here instead. Finally I just told Grandpa “Yeah,” in case I was wrong about Mom having enough courage to stand up to the men in her life. Grandpa gave me unsolicited advice about being mindful of who I make friends with. According to him, the people I surround myself with define me and he’s hoping that I surround myself with better people this time. I just thanked Grandpa, wanting to get this day over and done with. I got out of the car and, just as Grandpa started to pull away, he nearly ran over this surly-looking burnout who looked rather scary but also cute!

Thankfully, Grandpa stopped the brakes before he could send anyone to the hospital. The burnout shouted to Grandpa to watch where he’s going, calling him a jerk-off, and shouted that he could’ve killed him! Then he caught my eye and flashed me a grin, causing me to turn away and blush.

I walked into the library and who should be there but the four kids that I somewhat met in History Class, the burnout Grandpa nearly ran over and the evil dictator himself, Vernon? My only consolation is that he looks as miserable as I feel. He checked his watch and said that I was late, which I have to make up for at the end of detention. He ordered me to take a seat and said that I’ve got quite a cast of characters to choose from. There was Brian, the cute geek, that girl who took Brian’s wallet and seems to be a bit of a basket case, Claire who seemed to be the princess of Shermer High and tried to help me out sitting with Andrew, the cute athlete who made me laugh and last but not least was that cute guy who smiled at me earlier and Grandpa nearly ran over with the typical bad boy look, almost criminal. It’s like Vernon collected all of the high school stereo-types and gathered them into one room. For some inexplicable reason, I found myself drawn to the bad boy. So, I took a breath to calm my beating heart and sat with the guy Grandpa nearly ran over. At least, I tried to but he just sat with his feet up on the other chair and blocked any chance I had of sitting with him. I was about to move but I found myself cracking a joke to calm my nerves. I told the bad boy that I heard it’s not healthy to keep his legs up like that. He just nonchalantly asked why that is and, once again, my mouth was running like a nonstop car engine because I told the bad boy that his balls would shrink, permanently. Dear God, why did I say that? What possessed me to say something so stupid? I earned a glare from Vernon, who warned me that he heard that. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as the bad boy cracked a small smile at me and swung his legs off the side of the desk. Okay, so maybe what I said wasn’t that stupid if it got me a smile from him. Either that, or he’s mocking my pathetic attempt at humor and letting me sit next to him out of pity. Okay, Corrine, your thoughts are going in a negative direction again. Don’t over-analyze the situation and just roll with it. I took the seat next to him and watched Vernon.

Vernon told us that we’re going to try something a little different today as he placed a sheet of paper and a pencil in front of each of us. He told us that we’re going to write an essay about everything good about the other people here as if we were in Kindergarten. Actually, we’re writing a thousand word essay describing to him who we think we are. Really, we need a thousand words to accomplish that? I’m Corrine Conorino, a closet geek who wants to be a famous writer and easily gives into peer pressure. Really don’t need a thousand words to describe that. Vernon claimed that we might learn a little something about ourselves, but what could we possibly learn from this? Then he threatened us by saying that maybe we’ll even decide whether or not we care to return to detention. I never wanted to be in detention in the first place. Brian rose his hand and then stood up, saying that he could answer that question right now. He said that it would be no for him because— I didn’t get to hear why as Vernon made him sit down, which Brian actually thanked him for and sat back down! Vernon told us that his office is right across that hall and any monkey business is ill-advised. Then he asked the rest of us if we had any questions. The sooner this guy gets out of here the better, so I stayed silent as Vernon kept looking at us as if he expected one of us to pull out a gun and start shooting up the library. Then he, once again, asked if anyone had any questions. That’s it, I’m through being Miss Nice Girl. Next time he looks for trouble like this, I’ll give it to him. The guy next to me answered before I could and asked Vernon if Barry Manilow knows that he raids his wardrobe.

I couldn’t help but snort a bit as Vernon angrily told Mr. Bender, which I guess is his name, that he’ll give him the answer to that question next Saturday. Then Vernon told Bender not to mess with the bull or he’ll get the horns. I thought to myself that, even if we don’t mess with the bull, we’ll still get the horns. Vernon glared at me and, for a minute, I thought he read my mind. Then he said that, if I think I’ll get away with the same crap I pulled at my last school, I’d be sorely mistaken. Then he finally left, which was what I wanted him to do earlier.

Bender turned to me and asked what I did to become the apple of Vernon’s eye and I felt my heart pound a bit. Dear God, why does this guy make my heart pound? I told Bender the truth, that I got into a bit of trouble at my old school. He wanted to know what kind of trouble and Claire told me that I don’t have to tell them if I don’t want to. Bender demanded to know what I did that’s got Vernon’s panties in such a bunch. I told Bender that I tried to stay on Vernon’s good side, but he kept treating me like I was some sort of trouble maker, which made Bender scoff at me like I was some naive child! Andrew told Bender to leave me alone, because I just got here. Bender turned on Andrew and wanted to know if he was in love with me or was just looking at anyone with a pulse so he can finally lose his virginity. It was my turn to scoff, because a cute jock that can have any girl in the school he wants isn’t going to be wasting his time on me and something tells me that his virginity is long gone by now. Bender remarked that it looked like the new girl thinks she’s too good for him. I blushed and tried to explain that it’s not why I scoffed and, when Bender wanted to know what else it could be, Andrew told Bender to stop harassing me and, just because he lives here doesn’t give him the right to be a pain in the ass. Bender told Andrew that it’s a free country and Andrew just kept glaring at Bender who turned his attention back to me. Then said that they’re waiting. I tried to explain that I don’t think I’m too good for Andrew, but Bender said that he was asking about my expulsion. Claire told me to just ignore Bender, but he told Claire that she couldn’t ignore him if she tried. Of course, he has his eye on Claire. I said that I didn’t know about Claire, but he definitely has my attention. I’m just a motor mouth today. Bender narrowed his eyes at me as everyone else stared and I wanted to crawl into a corner and die. Bender asked me if that was so, making me feel even more embarrassed. Then he told Claire that I think he’s charming. I told Bender that I never said he was charming, just that he had my attention. Then added that, until today, I always thought that walking bad boy cliches like him only existed in formulaic high school movies. Bender responded by asking me if I wanted to play the sweet innocent girl who thinks they can “change the bad boy” which made Claire gag and me blush, but I turned away before anyone could see. At least, I tried to. Andrew saw and told me that, if he was me, he’d stay away from Bender. Andrew’s right, the last thing I want to do is get hung up on a guy who’s got the hots for the school princess. Bender told Andrew that, if he was him, he’d jump off a bridge. Andrew responded by telling Bender that if he disappeared forever, it wouldn’t make any difference. The strange girl I still didn’t know the name of picked her head off the desk and leaned in. Bender joked that he could just run out and join the wrestling team, maybe the prep club too. Andrew told Bender that the wrestling team wouldn’t take him. Brian said that he’s in the Math Club. Claire asked Bender if he knew why guys like him knock everything. Then said that it’s because he’s afraid that they won’t take him. Brian then said that he’s in the Latin Club. Bender sarcastically asked if it had anything to do with activities people like them being assholes. Claire said that Bender wouldn’t know because he doesn’t know any of them. Bender fought back by saying that he doesn’t know any lepers either, but he’s not going to run out and join one of their freaking clubs. Then Brian said that he’s in the Physics Club too. Bender noticed Brian and said to excuse him a sec and asked Brian what he was babbling about. Brian again said that he’s in the Math Club, The Latin Club and The Physics Club. Bender turned to Claire and asked her if she belongs to the Physics Club. Claire snobbishly said that academic clubs aren’t the same as other kinds of clubs! Bender pointed out that, to dorks like Brian, they are. Then he asked if I was joining any clubs. I told Bender that, today, I was supposed to have a one-woman meeting with the stay home and sleep in club, but detention made me cancel it. Bender mocked me by asking me if getting detention got it the way of my perfect life! I told Bender that my life is far from perfect. Andrew warned us that, if we keep on talking, Vernon’s going to come right in here. I agreed with Andrew and said that, I don’t know about the rest of them, but I don’t want a visit from our own personal leper. Andrew added that he’s got a meet next Saturday and he’s not missing it on account of us acting like boneheads. Bender said that would be a real bite, missing a whole wrestling meet. Andrew told Bender that it was easy for him to say as he doesn’t have any goals. Bender sarcastically remarks that he does, he wants to be just like Andrew. Then added that all he needs is a lobotomy and some tights. Look, I’m not deluded. I know I don’t have a chance with either one of them, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Bender pick on Andrew when he’s been nothing but nice to me! I told Bender that I think it’s cool Andrew’s so committed to the wrestling team. Andrew used that against Bender by saying that I understand the value of competition. Bender countered by saying that it sounds like I’m more interested in Andrew’s jock than he is and Andrew looked like he wanted to punch the satisfied smirk off of Bender’s face! I explained nervously that I have relatives who’s number one goal is to see how much TV they can marathon in one day and they usually come to my parents’ house to achieve that. So I told them that I admire anyone with ambition. Claire asked if I really had loser relatives like that. Before I could answer, I saw Vernon exit his office and head down the library through the open library door and quickly pointed it out.

Bender suggested that we close that door, since we can’t have any kind of party with Vernon checking us out every few seconds. Brian asked if we should be getting started on our essays. Bender rolled his eyes at Brian and turned his attention to me. Then he asked me if I was going to help him close the door and called me hotshot. I told Bender that I would be his lookout. I said that Vernon will get pissed no matter what we do, so we might as well go that extra mile. Bender told me that he’s glad that I finally got some common sense and told me to come on. I followed Bender towards the library door, wondering if I was doing the right thing. Especially since following a bad crowd was what got me expelled in the first place. He told me to look out for Vernon while he gets the door closed. My heart started pounding again, so I quickly turned away as I tried not to think about how I was, once again, letting myself go along with what other people wanted. No, this is different. I’m doing this to get back at Vernon and no one’s pressuring me into doing anything I don’t want to do. That strange girl from earlier looked up from her drawing and kept staring at me and Bender, making me a little uncomfortable. Andrew told us not to mess around right when the screw came out and the door slammed shut. Andrew remarked that it was very funny and told us to fix it. Bender and I just returned to our seats and I told Andrew that we already did. Then we heard Vernon walk down the hall. He jerked the door right open and rushed into the library. Let me tell you, he did not look happy. Vernon demanded to know who closed that door. Bender told Vernon that he thinks a screw fell out of it. Yeah, with Bender’s help. Vernon just stuck out his hand and demanded the screw from Bender, who told our reigning dictator that he didn’t have it. Then Bender said that screws fall out all the time, the world’s an imperfect place. Vernon turned to me and demanded to know why that door’s closed. Forget it, Vernon, you had a chance to be on my good side and you blew it. So I told Vernon that a screw fell out and the door slammed, just like Bender said.

This just pissed Vernon off as he said, “my ass it did!” Bender joked that Vernon’s right, maybe the screw is up his ass which made me chuckle which I, once again, covered up with a cough. Vernon told Bender that he just scored himself another Saturday in detention. Bender told Vernon to add it to his tab. Vernon said that he’s going to be right outside those doors and, the next time he has to come in here, he’s cracking skulls. Vernon opened the door and it slammed shut behind him.

9:30 and I’m bored. Bender managed to find something to do by tearing the pages out of a book and tossing them around the room. Andrew remarked that it was real intelligent. Bender said that Andrew’s right, it’s wrong to destroy literature because it’s such fun to read. I told Bender that it depends on what you read. Bender stared at my diary and said that he’d love to read that sometime! I told Bender that, unfortunately for him, the only one allowed to read it is me. Bender talked about how sad he was that he won’t get to read about my crush on Sporto and how he doesn’t know I exist! Then the asshole mocked me by trying to imitate me, or this weak pathetic version of me, and went “Dear Diary, I just saw Andrew leave from wrestling practice! He’s such a dream boat with that wind swept brown hair and perfect abs! I just wish he would notice me!” Andrew told Bender to leave me alone and was about ready to punch him, but I countered by telling Bender that he couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t know why I did this, but I pretended to read my diary and said, “Dear Diary, Bender’s tearing up the literature, probably out of frustration that he doesn’t know how to read any words that are more than two syllables. It’s a shame that he can’t be more than his stereo-type, but I guess some people are just simple minded like that.” Bender interrupted by pretending to be flattered that I wrote about him. So I finished by saying, “He keeps harassing me and Claire but, after he made that comment about Andrew’s perfect abs, I wonder if he’s not secretly hiding his true feelings for our resident jock.” Claire laughed while Andrew looked at me like I had gone insane. Bender responded by inviting me to the broom closet to show me just how “gay” he is. Claire asked Bender if he’s sure he doesn’t want to invite Andrew. Bender retaliated by asking Claire to come with us so he can get Ginger and Mary Anne in one go.

Brian nervously changed the subject by saying that what I did yesterday was really cool. Bender asked Brian what I did yesterday. Brian explained that Vernon was giving Claire a hard time in history class. Bender faked panicking by saying not dear sweet Claire. Claire told Bender to knock it off. Brian continued his story by saying that Vernon was really laying into Claire and Andrew. Claire finished Brian’s story by saying that I handled Vernon brilliantly by having the perfect response. I never thought I would see the day when the school’s princess actually complimented me in a way that wasn’t a secret insult. Brian explained that it’s why I’m in detention today. Andrew even said that it was pretty ballsy. I told them that it was nothing and I’m sure they would’ve done the same thing. Bender remarked that he wouldn’t have. Andrew told Bender that of course he wouldn’t have. I admitted that I hope that I don’t get grounded over it. Mom wouldn’t ground me over it but Grandpa on the other hand. Andrew sympathized and said that he knows how that would go and then looked over at Claire. He asked her if she was grounded tonight. I’m guessing that Andrew and Claire are the It couple of Shermer High. Claire explained that her mom said she was, but her dad told her just to blow her off. Andrew said that there’s a big party at Stubbie’s and his parents are in Europe so it should be pretty wild. Then asked Claire if she’s going to go. In other words, he’s asking her out so maybe they’re not a couple and Andrew was trying to correct that. Claire said that she doubts it. Andrew asked why, so Claire explained that if she does what her mother tells her not to do it’s because her dad says it’s okay and then it’ll cause a major fight. Then explained that, with her parents, it’s like any minute divorce which is a total drag and said that she doesn’t think either one of them gives a shit about her. The sad thing is I know how she feels. Bender mocked Claire for being a poor little rich girl and the strange girl laughed with him, which shocked everyone in the room. Claire gave the strange girl the finger and told her and Bender to shut up. Bender just mocked her further by being surprised at obscene finger gestures from such a pristine girl. Claire said that she’s not THAT pristine and then Bender asked Claire if she was a virgin. Claire just looked down at her feet and stayed silent. Bender kept harassing Claire by saying that he bets a million dollars that she is! Okay, that’s it! I don’t care how cute Bender is! He is out of line! I snidely told Bender that it sounds like he’s just projecting, which caught that smug asshole off guard. I explained to Bender that maybe he’s insecure about his own sexual scorecard. He only scoffed at me by saying that I don’t know anything about him, which he’s right, and then turned his attention back to Claire. Then said that we should end the suspense by asking Claire if it’s going to be a white wedding! Claire told Bender to just shut up and she started crying. Andrew told Bender to leave her alone as he continued staring at Claire. Andrew got even angrier than before, as he once again told Bender to leave Claire alone. Bender challenged Andrew by asking if he’s going to make him. Andrew just told him “Yeah,” like a badass! Bender refused to back down and stepped on top of the table, onto a chair and right into Andrew’s face. Andrew told Bender that, if we weren’t in school right now, he would waste him. Claire demanded that they stop it and that they need to be more like me! Okay, that came out of nowhere. Bender laughed at this by asking if he should be more like a screw up who had to transfer schools! Claire explained that he should be a person who stands up to assholes instead of being one, which totally caught me off guard!

Claire ran to the back of the library sobbing.

After Claire complimented me like that, I had to go console her. I found her in the library stacks, crying her eyes out. All I could say was “hey,” and give her a tissue. It’s what the school counselor did when I started bawling. She took it and used it to dab her eyes. Claire said that her mascara must be a mess. I told Claire that she even looks good when she’s crying.

She thanked me for saying that, then accused me of lying. I assured Claire that I’m not lying and admitted that I wish I looked half as good as her, which made Claire smile. Then I apologized for what happened back there. Claire said that it was okay and it wasn’t my fault. I said that it’s not fun being ganged up on. She just wiped away her tears and smiled at me. Claire said that, in a way, she gets where Bender and Allison (who must be the strange girl) are coming from. Then said that she knows she’s not some starving kid in Africa, she’s a rich girl from Shermer. I told Claire that just because she grew up with privilege doesn’t mean that her problems aren’t real. Claire thanked me for saying that and admitted that it does get hard sometimes, since it’s not fun for her being a pawn in her parents’ game. I joked that I thought she was the Queen, which got me a smirk from Claire. I admitted to Claire that I know what she means about her parents getting a divorce and told her about how my parents fight a lot. I even told her about the night my mom got drunk and asked me how I felt if she divorced my dad. Claire said that at least my parents care about me. I told Claire that my mom cares about me while my dad wouldn’t care if I lived or died. Claire reassured me that at least one of my parents care about me, which is one more than she has. It was my turn to smile. Then I asked Claire what the deal was with her and Bender. She asked what I meant and I explained that he’s always singling Claire out. Claire said that it’s because he’s a psychopath. I said that it could be because Bender likes her and felt a bit hurt. It grossed Claire out and she said that the very concept makes her retch! Hey, Bender’s not that awful! He might be a jerk but he’s still cute and I think I’m crushing on him. Dear God, I’d better not be crushing on him! Claire claimed that the only person Bender’s interested in is himself and maybe me. Then she gave me a teasing grin, which made me laugh. I told Claire that he’s not looking at me with her in the same room. Claire said not to be so sure and that I shouldn’t put myself down like that. Then she said that she knows we don’t really know each other, or anything, but she feels like we could be friends. I told Claire that it would be nice to be friends with the school’s princess rather than being the object of ridicule and then quickly added that I’m not using her or anything. Claire told me that it’s okay, she knows what I meant. Then thanked me for coming over to cheer her up and gave me a hug. I asked Claire if we should head back to the group. Then explained that, the way Bender and Andrew were going at it, we might have one less student by now. Claire agreed with me.

We returned to the group where, guess what, Andrew and Bender were still fighting. Andrew said that they should end this right now and told Bender that he doesn’t talk to Claire, he doesn’t look at her and he doesn’t even THINK about her.

Then asked Bender if he understands him. Bender claimed that he’s trying to help Claire. How, by harassing her and making her feel like shit? Andrew told Bender that he can help this and called him a brain-dead burnout! Bender was about to smack Andrew across the face but Andrew got the better of him and pulled Bender to the ground with a wrestling move, which Bender couldn’t break free from. Bender told Andrew that he didn’t want to get into this with him, but Andrew just shoved Bender further into the floor and then jumped to his feet. Andrew asked Bender why not and Bender got up and wiped his mouth and said that it’s because he’d kill him. Andrew shook his head. Then Bender elaborated further by saying that he’d kill Andrew and his parents would sue him and he doesn’t care enough about Andrew to bother.

Andrew called Bender chicken shit and turned and walked away. Then Bender pulled out a switchblade and stabbed it into a chair! What the fuck? I saw Allison eyeing the knife and pulled it out of the chair without even thinking! It’s just my luck that the library door opened and there was Vernon staring at me with a knife in my hand demanding to know what I was doing and I don’t know how the fuck I’m going to explain this one! Well, diary, it was nice knowing you but I think I just signed my death warrant.

A/N: So, what did you think?  If you want, you can also request recaps of interactive stories as well as requesting the love interest and anything else that’s important to the story.  For example, if you request High School Story from Choices, you can pick the love interest and the club your character joins!  The only exception is Series: Your Universe for reasons I mentioned in the first author’s note.  You also can’t request stories Titanic from Storyscape because I can’t change the name of the character or change her appearance.  You can RP in the comments, if you can figure out how to RP as this is a private diary.  I’m open to constructive criticism and, as this is my first time writing The Breakfast Club characters, I think I’m going to need it.

The Lion’s Song Episode 3 Derivation (Steam Store)

When an elite group of mathematicians won’t take Emma seriously, she disguises herself as a man to gain access and talk about her theory.  Can Emma successfully lead a double life?

Like the last two episodes, this one takes place in early 20th Century Germany.  We’ve already met Emma in the last episode, disguised as Emil when Franz wanted to paint him.  We also get to meet Nikol, who is the niece of Leos, a character who accidentally calls Wilma in the first episode.  In this episode, we finally explore the gender issues of early 20th Century Germany. With Wilma, we only get a small hint about the roles expected of men and women.  With Franz, no one told him that he couldn’t be a painter. With Emma, she is an aspiring mathematician who tries to become part of the Radius, an elite group of men with the same job, but they won’t take her seriously because of her gender.

Image result for the lion's song episode 3 derivation

I’ve already explained that Emma is working on her theory of change, but the men won’t recognize her as a genius.  According to them, a woman’s mind is more domestic than it is logical. However, Emma herself works more on math equations and admits that she’s not suited for the domestic.  In order to prove herself, she has to take up cross-dressing so that men will take her seriously.

Image result for the lion's song episode 3 derivation

I remember watching an episode of Sherlock BBC set in the Victorian Era when one of the already established female characters, Molly, disguises herself as a man.  My mom told me that such ruses were quite common for women who wanted to be more than what society would allow them to be. While women don’t have to go to such extremes today (at least in my country), sexism still exists today which I will talk about later.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why Wilma never took issue with the traditional gender roles of society as Emma did.  This is because Wilma’s dream is to be a composer, which is a field women have an easier time entering. She has to isolate herself from society in order to write the great composition that could make or break her career, something the people around her encourage.  However, sexism still exists in Wilma’s chosen profession. Emma herself claims that, while Wilma has a dream society allows women to have, only men can sit first chair in a concert hall. Whether Wilma will take issue with this in the future is a question that the game won’t answer.  Emma, as I demonstrated earlier, has talents and a dream that society discourages her to have but, thanks to the words of her father, chooses to go against what society wants from her. Even when the men of the Radius mock and humiliate Emma, she doesn’t give up on her dream.

As I said, sexism still exists in both professions today, particularly in the world of math and science.  While women have the same opportunities as men, society will deny them these chances because of their gender.  I don’t know how it is in Germany but, in today’s American society, women often dominate the soft sciences, such as biology, while men dominate the hard sciences, such as physics.  I know one woman who’s majoring in a physics career yet considered changing it when her jealous boyfriend didn’t like her working in a male-dominated field. Even today, many men claim that women don’t have a gene for math and science.  Take the Big Bang Theory; the men each have a job in the physicist department, with the exception of Howard who’s an engineer. Meanwhile, the first woman character is an aspiring actor down on her luck who eventually makes friends with two other women, both working in a separate field of biology.  The theoretical physicist, Sheldon, often mocks his girlfriend, Amy, for having a job in biology. At one point, he tells a woman physicist that she needs to give up science for laundry and childbearing, even going so far as to slut shame her. Pop Culture Detective himself addresses the “adorkable misogyny” of the Big Bang Theory.  I will give credit to the Lion’s Song for not treating the misogyny as adorkable.

Sexism also exists in classical music today, with one man claiming that women can’t be conductors because they’ll distract the men to the point that they can’t concentrate on their performance.  Apparently, men have no willpower, sarcastically speaking. Classical music also shares one sexist aspect in common with math and science professions in that society rewards women in both areas based on how they look rather than their skills in said professions.  I’ll admit that I’m not that knowledgeable about classical music, but the Big Bang Theory had an episode about Bernadette getting a feature in a magazine about being one of fifty of California’s most beautiful scientists. My mom once again explained the truth of this to me about how magazines tend to talk more about how women scientists wear their hair than they do about what they accomplish.  On the other hand, society rewards men for their accomplishments rather than how they look.

The game play itself only slightly deviates from the last episode.  Like Franz, Emma can go as she pleases around town. Unlike Franz, she also has the option about whether she wants to go somewhere as Emma or as Emil.  Whether she’s transsexual or not depends on your dialogue choices, which you get to pick for her. You can also pick dialogue choices for Emma that determines whether she can prove herself as a mathematician.  This episode also comes with one unique play style that represents Emma’s chosen profession. You know how Wilma can hear music from various sounds and Franz can see the different personality layers of people that helps him paint?  Emma sees the world through equations, which helps her to calculate her theory about change.

Image result for the lion's song episode 3 derivation

However, this game still has that retro style which gives it the unique historical fiction experience that makes it great.

This game is insightful and unique.  I give it 9 out of 10; it really makes you think about sexism in the past versus the sexism of today.

Home (Star Trek Online)

A/N: I know, it’s been awhile since my last post and I’m sorry about this.  I recently started school, so I’ve had to juggle that, my job, my volunteering, my writing and my blog.  Trust me, it hasn’t been easy.  Anyway, Candy’s back and she’s here to talk about when she had to team up with Rush (hashakgig1106‘s character, who also provided some of the screenshots) to save the Dominion from the Hur’q!

screenshot_2019-04-24-16-16-01

Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96229.49

This is Candy Marino and I just got a call from Odo.  He said that Empersa, the homeworld of the Founders, is under attack by the Hur’q.  Odo told me that this is our darkest hour because, if Empersa falls, the Dominion will come to an end.  He asked me to join in the defense efforts as soon as I can. Then Odo told me that a task force will assemble at his fleet’s location in the Gamma Quadrant and warp to Empersa from there.  Odo reminded me that, if we fall, the AQ is next. So, it’s time to make a stand. He said that he hopes I join in the fight. I told Odo that, considering the circumstances, I don’t really have much of a choice.  So I went to Odo’s fleet and guess who else was there, Rush. Apparently, Odo needed all the help he could get, so he called the pirate. Great, this is the last thing I need. Not only is Rush part of a past that I would like to forget, but I’m about to fight man-eating bugs!  She’ll see me freeze up and never let me live it down! Just like that time her chef placed gagh on the table and I screamed loud enough to wake the dead! I suppose she found it amusing, Galaxy’s Greatest Detective afraid of small worms. I really hate Tanya right now. Unfortunately, the fate of the galaxy depends on us defeating the Hur’q, so I need to put my personal feelings aside and remind myself not to give Rush anymore fodder.  Besides, maybe she’ll bring Tike along and it’s always great to see him.

I got a call from Odo, who said that he arrived here ahead of us and he’s already engaged the Hur’q near the planet.  Then he told Garak that he’s made his point and to deactivate the Hur’q Lure device he placed on the homeworld before this gets out of hand. 

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-11-06-101

I have to say, I’m on Odo’s side about this and I let that be known. Then Garak told us that he deactivated it several minutes ago! God damn it, I should’ve known it wouldn’t be this easy!  Odo asked why the Hur’q were still attacking and told Garak not to play games with him. Garak said that they might still be attacking due to a deep hatred of Odo’s people. Then claimed that it was The Founders who were directly responsible for their state of mind, body and soul.  Garak tried to finish by saying that he doesn’t blame them for—, but I told them to stop their male chest pumping and help us figure a way out of this mess. Kira called and said that I’m right, because we don’t have time for this. Then Kira told us that there’s a bigger problem to deal with here, starting with that swarm of Hur’q vessels nearby.  Rush phoned in her own comment about how, after that, Garak and Odo can wipe their dicks out and measure them. Why does that pirate always try to one-up me? Anyway, Odo agreed with us and said that his fleet is already engaged near the planet, but Hur’q reinforcements keep arriving. Odo told me and Rush to try to punch through the swarms so they can join up.  I ordered the helm to take us in and got a call from Garak. He told Bashir that we may be needing his solution to this problem soon. Bashir agreed, since Garak’s failed in a spectacular fashion. Garak asked if it really has, because some might argue that it succeeded beyond expectations. Great, more male chest thumping. Men are all the same, no matter what the species.  Rush and I both ignored this and continued shooting the Hur’q, dealing with the problem at hand. It wasn’t until we both got rid of some Hur’q that Nog showed up with the Chimera and a fleet ready to help! Then that Tzenkethi admiral, the real one, showed up and said that the C.S.S. Steadfast is ready to assist us as well! Maybe this will turn out like Avengers: Infinity Wars, when The Avengers, Dr. Strange, Spiderman and the Guardians of the Galaxy all teamed up to take down Thanos!  Hopefully, it won’t end the same way. Rush and I continued fighting off the Hur’q with the added assistance. Odo called in and said that his ship won’t last much longer, so we need to deal with the swarm attacking it immediately. Then another wave of Hur’q came in and, let me tell you, these guys are unstoppable! If there’s any time for the Klingons to make their Big Damn Heroes moment, it would be now. After defeating them, we had to deal with another swarm and the Klingons better get here quick.  Turned out we didn’t need the Klingons as we got rid of the Hur’q ourselves. I hailed Odo, who congratulated me and Rush and then told us that his ship’s taken heavy damage, but she’ll survive. What is it with guys calling their ships she? Kira said that we’ve bought ourselves some time, but let’s hope it’s enough. Then asked Bashir if his plan’s ready, because it may be our best hope to end things now. Bashir said that it’s as ready as possible because the challenge of “frontier medicine” is that there is never enough time.  Honestly, this sounds like an inside joke between the two of them. Then Bashir said that he created a program that will enable the Hur’q to synthesize the compound they need to come to their senses. After that, Bashir told us that he’s also put together a core sample of the compound for them to utilize in mass production, which is actually the easy part.

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-14-05-511

Kira asked Bashir about the hard part and what he needs to make this happen. Bashir answered by saying that, from what we’ve learned about the Hur’q, the best way to make this happen will be to enter the data in one of their core computer systems.  Then Bashir said that it’ll need to be a command-level system with fleet-wide override authority. He told us that systems of that caliber are only found on Hur’q dreadnoughts. I voiced my displeasure at having to actually beam on one of the ships and face those things again. Rush teasingly asked me if this was going to be too difficult for me and mockingly offered to hold my hand. I told Rush that I’d rather have Tike do that. Then we disabled the giant Hur’q ship and got a call from Kira. She told us that the Dreadnought’s disabled, but that ship is still crawling with Hur’q. So, we’d better make sure our away teams are ready for a fight.  Odo said that he’ll send some of his best, meaning Rex and Loriss. The former will lead a Jem’Hadar away team while the latter will assist Bashir. Rush said that she’s taking Tike and Jinnie with her and I said that I’ll be taking Chris. Kira said that we need to get our away teams on that dreadnought before it calls for backup. Bashir called us and said that he and Loriss have all they need. Then he told us that they’re ready to beam over when we are. I took a deep breath and said that we might as well get this over with, which is also my attitude about gynecology exams.

I beamed down with Chris while Rush beamed down with Tike and Jinnie, the former being the only one happy to see me.  Bashir greeted us and said that we need to find their central computer core. He told us that, once we’re there, he’ll begin the override process that will allow him and Loriss to transmit their data on the cure.  Bashir then said when that’s done, he and Loriss can instruct each ship in the fleet to replicate the cure and distribute it to every Hur’q onboard. Of course, they’ll need to reach the command center in one piece to do so. 

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-17-37-903

Rush arrogantly said that she and her team can clear the way, but I told her that Chris and I aren’t slouches either. Chris said that we can fight about it later. Right now, we need to get to the control room. So, we both went through the corridor with Rex warning us about enemy lifesigns ahead and that we need to get ready to fight.  Jinnie got her weapon ready and I heard her mumble “let’s get this over with.” Then Rex told us to proceed with caution, because he’s reading numerous hazards in the area. Apparently, this section of the ship has taken heavy damage. Jinnie immediately started shooting at the giant bugs that came lunging at us and I’m supposed to believe that these things were peaceful?  I channeled all of my fear into my phaser and started shooting, screaming at the roaches to die! After they were gone, I remembered that Black Mirror episode and said aloud that I should’ve used a different metaphor. Anyway, we fought through swarms and swarms of Hur’q until we got to the control room which, surprise, had more Hur’q we had to get rid of. Where’s a giant hypospray of bug repellent when you need it?

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-20-33-777

We finally killed the Hur’q and checked in with Bashir.  He praised us for excellent work and then warned us to keep our weapons handy because we’re breaking into a secure computer system here and the Hur’q are bound to take offense.  Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. He told us to keep them busy while he and Loriss do their work, or this’ll be a wasted trip. Next thing you know we have to deal with more Hur’q and then Loriss was screaming at Bashir like a stereo-typical shrew about how this one goes here and that one goes there.  Bashir explained that he was saving time by inverting the feed now instead of later. Then Loriss starts screaming at Bashir about how he’s supposed to be Starfleet’s best and brightest, which got my attention! I repeated, with tranquil fury, that he’s Starfleet’s best and brightest? Bashir said, medically speaking, he’s the best and brightest and he wouldn’t even be in Starfleet if it weren’t for this Hur’q nonsense.  Okay, I can accept that. Then Loriss screamed to Bashir about how we’re running out of time. Bashir asked Loriss sarcastically if she knows a faster way to translate Hur’q language and reverse-engineer their technology. Jinnie told them to hurry up because she doesn’t want to stay in bug city any longer than she has to. One of the Hur’q tried to attack me from behind while I was dealing with other Hur’q, but Tike pulled me out of the way before the explosion could do any damage and then I repaid him by yanking my arm away and stomping on his foot.  Tike only laughed it off and said that he sees that I still haven’t gotten over my touch phobia. I told Tike that it’s the golden rule, don’t touch me unless I allow it. Then I told him that I’ll make it up to him later and called him tiger. Rush told us that we can flirt after we try to prevent the end of the galaxy as we know it. Chris said that he hates to say this, but he agrees with Rush. Finally, we took care of the Hur’q and checked in with Dr. Bashir. He told us that the cure’s almost ready, but the system still needs the physical samples of the cure for final analysis and processing.  Then Bashir asked me if he should proceed! Hell yeah, he needs to proceed! The sooner we get this bug nightmare over with, the better.

Well, unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of luck.  Weyoun came in out of nowhere and shot the machine!  Bashir asked Weyoun if he was insane, because that was our last hope!  Loriss wanted to know how it’s possible, because Weyoun was in prison. Weyoun said that he was liberated by those who still serve the true Founders.  Then claimed that not everyone is a traitor to the Dominion, after all. I sarcastically remarked that the Founders treated them like shit and they’re still willing to destroy the galaxy for them.  Chris said that, psychologically speaking, it’s not that uncommon. I told Chris harshly that I’m well-aware of that. Loriss told Weyoun that there is only one traitor here, and it’s time he paid the price.  Loriss shot Weyoun in the shoulder, who called her pathetic because she can’t even kill someone properly. Then tried to order Rex to kill us all but, unlike Weyoun, he turned on his abuser and shot him in the head! 

20180816194018_1

Bashir scanned Weyoun and said that he’s gone. Loriss added that it’s not a moment too soon. I told Loriss that she’s preaching to choir. Bashir contacted command and said that we have a problem. Rush beamed back to the Jimeck with Tike and Jinnie while I beamed back to the Winchester with Chris.

Odo contacted us and said that the Hur’q fleet is about to attack our position.  Then he told us that we need to give the doctor the time he needs to transmit the data on the cure.  My grandpa once told me to never speak ill of the dead, which just makes me want to do it more. God Damn Weyoun and his fucking martyr complex!  If there’s a hell, I hope he’s rotting in it! So, we have to survive a swarm attack and, even with all of us working together, we still can’t beat these guys.  Dear God, this is going to end like Avengers: Infinity Wars. Then Quark showed up and took some time to brag about how Odo was in quite a fix. Odo sarcastically replied that it’s a brilliant observation and demanded to know what Quark wanted.  Rom asked Odo to forgive Quark and explained that they’re here to help. Odo scoffed at a Ferengi cavalry and said that now he’s seen everything. Quark bragged about how the best is yet to come and I know he’s talking about his Klingon friends. I’m fighting the urge to point that out because I know it will be much cooler when they arrive right next to Quark’s ship.  Then he told Odo to say hello to his dangerous friends. Sadly, the Klingons didn’t show up and Odo smugly said that we’re waiting. I told Quark that it looks like his Klingon friends are late. Quark sarcastically thanked me for ruining the moment, but Rush pointed out that the moment was ruined when they didn’t show up. Then Quark asked Rom where they were. Odo kept bragging about how Quark lost his nerve and then Rush told Odo that we’re all about to die, so this isn’t the time for he and Quark to get into a pissing contest.  I only rolled my eyes and said that it’s typical of men to measure their dicks even when their life is in danger. Then the Klingons finally showed up! 

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-35-14-636

Martok even gave this great speech about how, long ago, T’Kuvma the Unforgettable lit the beacon of Kahless to restore glory to the Empire. Martok then explained that, today, a new Torchbearer, Worf, son of Mogh, does the same. Martok said that, united, we now go fight the enemy of our ancestors. He claimed that, today, we will fight the Hur’q. Then he proudly proclaimed about how he now holds the weapon they fear most, which was the Sword of Kahless.  I remarked that I bet a certain Ferengi helped him get that. Martok said that we should join him now, in honorable combat, and show the Hur’q what it truly means to be Klingon. Then he finished it up by shouting “For Kahless! For the Empire! Qapla’!” After that I was beaming and shouted that it’s time to kick Thanos’s ass! So, that’s what we did! Just replace Thanos with the Hur’q. After defeating them, Rush and I got a call from Odo. He told us that the arrival of the Klingons has given us more time in space, but the situation on the surface is dire. Odo said that Hur’q forces are breaking the Jem’Hadar defense lines and we need to do what we can to help.  Odo told us that he’s beaming directly to the Great Link to aid his people. Then Martok contacted us after and said that the time has come. He told us that the Hur’q mean to ravage everything in their path, but we will not allow it. Martok gave a speech about how we still stand against them, as Kahless once stood, defiant and proud! He told us to fight well and, if need be, die well!

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-38-39-992

I said that this might be like Avengers: Infinity Wars, but there’s no way in hell it’s going to end the same way. Rush and I had to move our ships within range of the planet. As soon as we arrived, Chris asked me if I was ready to beam down, giving me a sympathetic glance, but I said that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and beamed down to the Founder homeworld with Chris.

Rush already beamed down with Tike again but, this time, Turel joined us.  Guess Rush decided to bring in the big guns. We both saw Martok doing the Kahless ritual with his fellow Klingons.  Odo said that it’s worse than we thought because most of the Jem’Hadar lines have been broken, so even the Great Link is in danger.  He told us that he’s going to coordinate our defenses at the Link and said that we should meet him there. Kira responded by telling Odo that we’ll meet him there as soon as we can and to be careful.  Martok said that the Jem’Hadar have come to our aid, so now we return the favor. We walked through the pathway, found the bug people and did exactly that. This time, it was my turn to save Tike when one of the bug people tried to get the drop on him.  I only smirked and told him that now we’re even. After defeating that section of Hur’q, we went to talk to the Jem’Hadar, who congratulated us on fighting well. He told us that there are many Hur’q between us and the Great Link. Then talked about how we go there now to reclaim our lives for we are already dead.  Rush said that talk like that is what will get us killed. As much as I hated to admit it, Rush does have a point. So, I said to the Jem’Hadar “May the odds be ever in our favor.” When he asked what that meant, I translated it to victory is life.  

After that, we went further down the path to the Great Link and Kira said that we won’t last long out in the open like this.  I told Kira that we definitely won’t with that attitude. Odo contacted us and said that they’re fortifying their position near the Great Link.  Kira responded to him by saying that we’re on our way. Then we ran into a Vorta commander, who told us that he had to confess his surprise at seeing us here on the homeworld of his gods.  He said that we really were living in strange times and I loudly admitted that I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be saving the Great Link. Then the Vorta asked us to forgive his boldness, but there are still Founders under attack nearby.  The Vorta then asked if he can count on us to aid them, and destroy the wretched creatures who would do them harm. I told him that we don’t exactly have a choice.

So, we go down the road, defeat a few Hur’q and rescue a few changelings, who were actually grateful for it. 

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-47-24-530

Well, some of them were. Others accused us of invading but, after a Hur’q takeover, what would be left to rule?  It was Chris’s turn to get attacked by Hur’q, but Turel saved him. When Chris thanked Turel, he acted like a complete ass and said that he didn’t want to get in trouble for getting the golden boy of the Federation killed!  I made it clear to Turel that he doesn’t get to talk to Chris like that! Only I get to talk to Chris like that! It wasn’t long until we finally got to Odo and the Greak Link. Odo was happy that we made it in his usual stoic way and said that they’re going to need all the help they can get out here.  He told us that it looks like the Hur’q are focusing their attacks on the Link. Odo said that he called for reinforcements, but most of their lines have been overrun. He claimed that we’re going to make a stand here, and hope the doctor’s plan is successful. Then Odo finished it up by saying that, if we fail, this may be the day the Dominion dies.  I told Odo that Dr. Bashir is the smartest medical mind in Starfleet, so he’ll come through. Rush noted that I made sure to add medical. We didn’t have time to argue about it as more Hur’q came our way. While we were fighting, Kira asked Odo if he has more Jem’Hadar coming to help. Odo told her that the call’s been sent, but they may not arrive in time.  Kira just responded by saying that we’ll do what we can with what we have. Odo got a little morbid by adding “until the end,” which I pointed out. Kira agreed by saying that she’s not sure she liked the way he said that. Odo started his own goodbye to Kira by saying that, if they don’t make it, which Kira interrupted by saying now is not the time for this discussion.  Odo told Kira to look around, because there may not be a better time. Kira agreed and said that he’s right and she understands what he did. Odo then told her that he’s sorry… for everything. Kira said that she forgives Odo, but I’m not quite sure if I forgive him yet. Odo told Kira that he knows and that he feels the same.

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-49-33-890

Chris was about to talk to me, but I told him that we’re not doing the whole sappy last words deal.  Rush said that she is and told Turel that he may be an ass, but it’s been great having him on the ship. Turel only responded to Rush by saying that she’s one of his better bosses. Tike said that the day he joined the Jimeck was the happiest day of his life, to which Rush joked that he’s getting a little too mushy. Then Tike was about to talk to me, but I told him that I’m not doing this. Tike asked me to humor him and then he asked me if I remembered when they first met and I was with Joey.  Chris asked who Joey was, so I told him that he’s my ex. Tike asked me what I saw in the guy and I told him that, when we make it out of this, I’ll tell him. 

The Hur’q overwhelmed us and took out Turel and Tike!  It was just me, Chris and Rush fighting the Hur’q and Kira got shot!  Odo wanted to know if she was all right, but she insisted that it’s just a scratch.  Chris started talking about how he sees me as more than just his friend, how I was his sister.  Then he said that abandoning me in high school was the worst mistake he ever made. I told Chris that we’re not dying right now!  Chris got angry with me and told me to look around, the Hur’q are surrounding us and we have virtually no chance of getting out of this alive and he can’t even tell Siket that he loves him!  I started crying and told Chris that at least Siket knows he loves him! I finally exploded and told Chris that Rose doesn’t even know I exist! Before Chris could even ask who Rose was, I started crying about how I can’t die knowing I missed the one chance to finally meet my daughter!

Thankfully, the fighting stopped and Bashir and Loriss pulled a big damn heroes moment.  One of the Hur’q showed up with Rex’s corpse and, against my instinct, I walked up to the giant bug. 

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-53-09-863

The bug actually stood there, looking at me and then talking to me in clicks that I think meant thank you and transported away.  You know, these guys aren’t so scary. In fact, they’re actually quite cute, when they’re not trying to eat you alive. Odo said that it seems that the battle is over, but asked Bashir how and wanted to know what happened.  Bashir said that he believes Dukan’Rex realized that his own body contained the ketracel material he needed to finalize the cure. Then Bashir told us that Dukan’Rex extracted what we needed at the cost of his own life. Bashir explained that, once the Hur’q were able to synthesize the cure, they came to their senses and called for an immediate cease fire.  Bashir said that the Hur’q forces are withdrawing as we speak. Bashir finished up by telling Odo that it’s over, though he wouldn’t say we won. I got my flask out and toasted to Rex, taking a drink and then passing the flask to Chris, who took a drink even though he hates hard liquor. Chris passed it to Rush, who took a drink and passed it to Tike and then he took a drink and passed it to Turel.  Then I got a call from Elisa who told me that we’ve received orders from Alliance Command. We’re to report to Deep Space Nine as soon as possible for debriefing. Rush got the same call from her ship and we got asked if we’re ready to return to the Alpha Quadrant. I told Elisa after taking a deep breath that I’m ready to beam up. After that, Chris left to contact Siket and I went to my ready room and called Tike.  

I said that I told him that, when we survive, I would answer his question.  I explained that Joey was my dad’s guest in an attempt to boost his status on Earth, despite my mom’s objections.  Joey took an interest me when no one else would. Tike laughed and told me that he found that hard to believe. I explained to Tike that I was still in high school when it happened and, at that time, it was all about the pecking order.  Tanya was on top and I was at the bottom. Then dad left to captain a freighter and Joey moved to a nearby hotel room. My mom was too busy dealing with the shit dad left to notice that I was still seeing Joey. Then he abducted me and I was stuck under the radar with Joey as my only protector.  Tike said that he couldn’t imagine a worse fate. I told Tike that I could, have ended up with some Joe Carroll type sadist. Tike asked me who Joe Carroll was and I explained that he was a character from The Following, serial killer who targeted young women and removed their eyeballs, huge Edgar Allen Poe fanboy and he created his own cult with psychotic and devoted followers.  Tike pointed out that the guy had the same name as my ex-boyfriend, to which I jokingly pointed out that it could kill my interest in the program. Then I invited Tike to stay on my ship, but he turned me down. Tike said that I was too emotionally vulnerable right now and it wouldn’t be right. I only laughed and said that it seems like entities have better moral values than humanoid men.  Tike responded by saying it’s only the humanoid men I hang around who have such low values. Chris showed up and told me that we just arrived on Deep Space Nine, so I had to cut my conversation with Tike short. 

Rush and I went back to DS9 and found Bashir treating Rex in Sickbay, or trying to treat him.  Bashir said that there was nothing he could do for Rex on the Hur’q dreadnought. According to Bashir, the ketracel extraction process was too devastating.  Then Bashir talked to Odo about how he treated him like a son when they first found him on DS9 and Bashir told Odo that he’s truly sorry. Odo added that Rex didn’t even have a name when he left them, so he’ll make sure the name Rex found is never forgotten.  Odo reminisced about Rex’s first days on the station, when all he wanted to do was fight and it didn’t matter who. Odo then talked about how, when Rex left, Odo thought that he’d never see him again or, if he did, it’d be as enemies. Odo said that the man he met years later still knew how to fight, but his reasons for doing so had changed dramatically.  Odo then talked about how he’s proud to have known Rex and how he wish he could’ve done more in the end. I told Odo that he’s done more for Rex then a lot of fathers do for their kids, while adding in my head, mine included.  Rush agreed by saying that Odo did make a difference in Rex’s life.  Odo said that he supposed that we were right and then told us that Kira was looking for us.  Apparently, she’s at the temple or at least she was the last time Odo checked. Then Odo excused himself to pay his respects and said that we’d talk more later.

Rush and I went to the temple to see what Kira had to say only to be stopped by Loriss.  She said that it pleased her to see us and that she has interesting news. I admitted that I hope it doesn’t involve the Hur’q, which only intrigued Rush.  Loriss said that it doesn’t, but it does involve the Orb of Peace that I returned with Kai Opaka. Loriss talked about how the Orb spoke to her and that she’s been exploring the meaning of that experience with the Kai and Captain Kira.  After all, they are the experts in such matters. Loriss admitted that they all find it curious that an Orb of the Prophets would speak to a Vorta, they also agree that it would be foolish to ignore it. I asked Loriss if she’s a born again Prophet believer now.  Since Loriss didn’t know what that was a reference to, she didn’t get the joke. Rush got it and told me to retell the joke when she’s on blitz. Then Loriss told us that, with the blessings of Founder Odo, she has been transferred to this quadrant to continue her studies of the Orb and the Prophets.  Loriss claimed that she’ll serve as Founder Odo’s representative, since diplomacy is her specialty. Loriss told us that she’s sure we’ll be seeing one another again and said that may the blessings of the Founders and the Prophets be ours. Rush said that she didn’t need them, but I told Loriss that I’m going to repeat this to my grandpa because, being a strict Catholic, hearing this would really piss him off.  Loriss apologized for that, but I told her that it made my day. After that, Opaka wanted to talk to us and said that it was good to see me once more. Opaka told us that she was hoping to speak to us about an important matter before our duties take us back to the stars. She talked to us about how her thoughts often return to the Orb of Peace and that it was no coincidence that it was found in the Gamma Quadrant, in the midst of two warring tribes.  Opaka said that she believes it to be a message from the Prophets, one of guidance in troubled times. Then she went on about how the conflict with the Hur’q has ended and she feels that it’s time to explore this omen more thoroughly. Opaka talked about the recent vision Loriss experienced and how it’s truly remarkable that the Prophets would speak to a Vorta. According to Opaka, this can’t be a coincidence. Opaka believes that the Orb is meant to broker a lasting peace between the people of our quadrants and the Dominion.  I said that it would be the first time in history religion brought peace instead of war. Opaka only responded to that by saying that it’s not religion that causes war, it’s humanoids. Rush said that she’s got a point. Finally, we got to talk to Kira. She said that here we are again and it’s been quite a journey. I asked Kira what’s next for her and she told me that, after she got back, Starfleet Command offered her a number of postings—even the center chair on one of those shiny new cruisers. Kira admitted that it was tempting, but she chose to join the command staff on DS9.  She said that Bajor and the Celestial Temple mean a lot to her, and this station is a good place to keep them both safe, which Kira said also includes my daughter. Rush told Kira that it’s also close to our mutual friend in the Gamma Quadrant.

GameClient 2019-06-05 00-59-54-828

Kira said that Rush was subtle, but she’s not wrong. Kira claimed that she and Odo have a lot to work out before they’re back to where they were, but they’ve taken a few good steps in that direction. However, Kira still thinks it will work out… eventually. Kira admitted that Odo’s a hard man to read sometimes. I said that I actually find Odo very easy to read.  Kira then told me that he’s a hard man for normal people to read. After that, Kira thanked us for coming to visit. She said that, after all we’ve been through, it means a lot to have friends, even if it reminds her of the ones we miss. Then Kira told us that General Martok is leading the charge against the bloodwine at Quark’s. Kira said that she’s sure that Martok would want to congratulate us on another glorious victory. I told Kira that I’d take any excuse to drink. Rush agreed with me, though I admitted that I’d also like to reserve a holosuite, even if I’m not sure what program I’m in the mood for.  Kira told me that I might not have time to reserve a holosuite, which really disappointed me.

Rush and I went to Quark’s to find not only Martok and Quark, but Leeta, Rom, Nog and Neth Parr.  It was the last one who wanted to talk to us first. Neth Parr told me that she’s forever indebted to me because, without my efforts, she would’ve walked the Path of Exile for the rest of her days.  Now, she will help make amends for all that has happened during Tzenketh’s terrible crusade. Then I talked to Nog who said that we need to stop running into each other when the fate of the galaxy is on the line.  He suggested drinks at Quark’s or some baseball on the holodeck. I told Nog that I’d meet him halfway and just have drinks, but I’ll send Chris to play baseball with him. Rush said that, unlike me, she’s not too lazy to do both.  Why is she always trying to one up me? Then Nog said that he can’t think of too many people he’d trust when everything’s on the line. Nog said that he was glad I was here for this. Then he told me that Starfleet’s assigned the Chimera to peacekeeping duty in Hur’q space and they’ll be working with a joint task force to help the Hur’q get back on their feet again.  Rush said that it sounds like he got assigned to Hur’q rehab. Nog said that she’s not wrong, but there’s a lot to be done. Nog claimed that he’s happy to help the Hur’q rejoin the galactic community. I wished Nog luck with that and told him that he’s going to need it. Nog laughed and said that I might be right about that, but his crew’s up for the challenge because they’re some of Starfleet’s best, like my crew.  He told me and Rush to take care of ourselves out there and not to be strangers. After that, we talked to Leeta who said that she’s glad to see this all come to an end, but not as glad as everyone on Ferenginar. She claimed that it’s a celebration of Rule 35 like no one’s ever seen before. Leeta said that peace may be good for business, but things are really getting out of hand. Leeta told us that, when word got out that the Gamma Quadrant was open for business, the “New Latinum Rush” was on.  Then she talked about how with open borders and free trade policies her husband was practically weeping with joy. However, she felt sympathy for Odo because, if he thought he had his hands full with Quark on DS9, he’s going to have an even tougher time now that he has an entire quadrant of Ferengi to deal with. Rush and I both laughed about this, with me admitting that I would pay to see how this plays out. Rush asked me how much I would pay. I ignored that and talked to Rom, who said that he’ll be here until his ship is repaired.  However, every cloud has a silver lining because he now has exclusive rights to the holosim of the battle. Rom claimed that the sales alone will cover the cost of repairs. He finished that up by saying that, some days, it’s good to be the Grand Nagus. I told Rom that it sounds like too much responsibility for me, to which he somewhat agreed. Then Rom talked about how he doesn’t like to think about how close to disaster we were and was fortunate that there were people like me and Rush out there to bring us all back to the brink. Rom claimed that we both have quite the stories to tell with all of our adventures.  Then he asked if either one of us considered making a holobiography, because our life stories would be quite popular and profitable. Rom said that he’d make me and Rush a very generous offer for the rights and cut us both a share of the profits, 25%.

GameClient 2019-06-05 01-06-59-256

Rush said that writing her life story would do more harm than good. I told Rom that, if anyone’s writing my life story, it’s Chris because he’s my Watson. Rom said that the offer still stands if either of us change our minds, which is not happening anytime soon. After that, we talked to Quark who welcomed us and offered both of us a VIP discount on our drinks because it’s a private party and he’s in a generous mood.  Rush asked him if he really means that our drinks are not on the house. Quark asked Rush if she took a hit in the head in that fight, because he’s in a generous mood but he’s not insane. Quark told us that we get half off, so we either take it or leave it. I told Quark that I’ll take it and the same goes to Rush. Quark made a comment about how, with two alcoholics, he’s not surprised in the least. However, he was still happy we agreed and told us not to take it personally, since we could be Odo and he gets a 50% markup on his drinks. Rush pointed out that it’s rather useless because Odo doesn’t drink. I asked Quark about the Sword of Kahless and he said that there wasn’t much to tell because Lek saw the error of his ways and gave it back.  Then he let Grilka, Martok and Worf know they’d recovered their precious relic. Quark said that, a quick handoff later, and the Klingons were off to war. He claimed that he and Rom tagged along, mainly to see the look on Odo’s face when Quark rode in with the cavalry. Quark said that it was priceless and, if he dies tomorrow, he’ll go to the Exchequer with a smile on his face. Rush asked Quark sarcastically if he made a profit on that job. Quark responded by asking if he looks like Nog to us because, unlike the Federation, the Klingons know the value of latinum. Rush agreed with that, saying dealing with the Federation doesn’t do much in the way of profit. I said that the Federation has a different system from the rest of the galaxy, what you get is based off of how much you contribute, which is why my dad agreed to let Joey stay with us when his ship crashed on Earth, against my mom’s wishes.  However, I didn’t mention that part out loud. I did say that, If you contribute a great deal, or your status is high enough, you can extend your privileges to friends or relatives, like how Chris’s dad is a high-up Federation official.  It’s why he’s the golden boy of the Federation. Quark said that it sounds interesting, but he’s thinking about spending his cut on a smaller moon to orbit the one he already has, then speculated that he might even name it Odo. I told Quark that he’s taking a huge risk with that one. Finally, it was time to talk to Martok and he bragged about how it was a hard-fought battle and a well-earned victory, but was disappointed that the Klingons almost missed it. Martok admitted that their fleet would’ve never left the Empire if it weren’t for the Sword’s return. He claimed that Grilka told him that her former mate, Quark, had something to do with that. Martok said that the sacred blade of Kahless being returned to the Empire by a Ferengi was madness. I pointed out that it’s not that hard to believe and Worf also played a part in all of this.  Martok admitted that it was Worf’s idea to ignite the Beacon of Kahless. He claimed it was a bold move, but it paid off because only a coward could refuse such a call to arms. Martok bragged about how the legend of Kahless was stronger than ever, and it would not surprise him if the High Council moved to create a new clone of the Emperor. After all, there is great power in legend. Rush was still confused about Grilka and Quark being an item, but she wasn’t schooled in the adventures of Deep Space Nine like I was. I told Rush that it’s a long story and then Quark interjected by telling us that there’s a message from Garak on his monitor, text only. Quark said that Garak wants us to meet him at his old tailor shop. Then Quark speculated that maybe Garak’s had enough of politics and wants to get back in the fashion game. Quark claimed that it would be more profitable in the long run and easier on the nerves. Rush and I both doubted that. Then Quark warned us not to keep Garak waiting because he looks for secrets when he gets bored, and he’s not the person anyone wants poking around in their business.  I told Quark that my life’s an open book, even if I won’t always read it to people. Still, I was happy that I would get to see Garak one last time. Unfortunately, so was Rush.

So, we made our way to Garak’s Tailor Shop, where Rush decided to sit on the table, near Garak I might add.  Kuumaarke talked to us before I could say anything about it, claiming that the conflict may be over, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.  She told us that the Lukari have offered to help the Hur’q restore their homeworld’s ecosystem, and they’ve accepted. Then Kuumaarke said that Doctor Bashir will be working with them on this and it’s their goal to ensure that no Hur’q will ever go hungry again.  Actually, she said that no Hur’q will go without nourishment again but I couldn’t resist quoting Scar. Kuumaarke told us that, some time ago, she hoped for a path to peaceful resolution to their troubles with the Hur’q. Now she’s happy to be part of such a solution, at last.  Then she thanked both me and Rush for our efforts in getting us all to this point… to peace. At that point, Rush took a seat on the table, so I told her that she shouldn’t be sitting there, because she’ll break it. She asked me if this was supposed to be a crack about her weight.  I told Rush that I was just saying that the table’s very fragile and I wouldn’t want Garak’s former shop ruined. Garak told me that I didn’t have to worry about that, and then he turned to me and thanked me for agreeing to meet him here. That’s right, the great exile and former spy that I read about in the Academy thanked me!  This is so cool! He also thanked Rush, but he did ask for the both of us. Garak said that, strangely, he finds it easy to center himself in this shop, even relax. I asked Garak if it was because of memories of a simpler time in his life. He told me I was right (my three favorite words), and that Cardassia is about to begin a new journey, as it were, and he’ll be going along for the ride.  Rush told Garak and it sounds exciting to her, to which he admitted that it is. Apparently, Cardassia has been offered membership in the Alliance, and they’ve accepted. Garak said that their seat at the table was hard-earned, but they’re ready — and grateful — to join the ongoing efforts. Then Garak told us that officer-exchange programs have already begun, in fact. Garak suspected that I’ll be seeing more Cardassian faces in the future, and he hopes that I show them the same courtesy as I’ve shown him in their shared adventures.  I detected quite a bit of sarcasm from him, because we both know that I don’t do courtesy. I asked Garak where he falls into in all this.

GameClient 2019-06-05 01-11-53-941

He told me that he’ll be spending time on Earth, Qo’noS, and New Romulus… the life of an ambassador is never dull after all. I snorted and told Garak that I beg to differ on that one. Garak sarcastically asked why no one offered to make me a diplomat. Rush said that, if I were a diplomat, I’d cause an intergalactic war. I told Rush that she actually makes a good point. Hey, I wouldn’t be dishing if I couldn’t take.  Garak then said that someone needs to make sure the Alliance doesn’t forget about Cardassia, and he supposed that someone is him. He said that he’ll be sure to follow both of our exploits, of course. Since either one of us will be far more entertaining than economic forecasts and state functions, to be sure. I said that The Last Jedi would be more entertaining than that, something Rush begged to differ on. Garak told me that he looked up my daughter, Rose, and she’s doing rather well, unscathed in the Hur’q attack. I hesitated and then asked Garak what she was like.  He told me that she’s very happy, energetic and very polite. Then added that, if it weren’t for her striking resemblance to me, he’d have a hard time believing she’s my daughter. I stayed silent for a minute until Garak told me and Rush that our fearless leaders want to have a word with us next. Neither one of us even asked him how he knew that.

We left Garak’s Tailor Shop and found the Alliance leaders waiting right outside for us. 

GameClient 2019-06-05 01-13-30-346

Rush caught D’Tan’s attention, who told her that he’s initiated a dialogue between the Dominion and the Karemma.  He claimed that, in light of recent events, he felt that it was imperative that their conflict be resolved peacefully.  D’Tan said that whether that results in an independent Karemma or not remains to be seen, but he shall endeavor to help them reach a result that is beneficial for both parties.  Rush told D’Tan that he’s got himself a real challenge. After that, Admiral Quinn talked to me and said that there have been some significant diplomatic events since our return from the Gamma Quadrant.  Quinn told me that, first, the Dominion is joining the Alliance and having them as allies will take some getting used to, but the opportunity was too great to ignore. I told Quinn that I always thought Quark would become a Bajoran Vedek and take a vow of celibacy before that ever happened.  Quinn then said that, as a condition to joining the Alliance, they requested that the Founders take steps to free the Jem’Hadar from their addiction to ketracel while. Quinn was happy to say that Ambassador Odo was inclined to comply with that request. Quinn said that it will make things… interesting in the Gamma Quadrant, to be sure.  Still, it’s been a long time coming and the Jem’Hadar should be able to live their lives freely. I told Quinn that, now that Thanos isn’t a threat, the Avengers, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy can all go back to their normal lives. This time, it’s for the better. Quinn told me that I really need to stop comparing reality to fiction.  I told Quinn that he’d have to erase all my knowledge of fiction from my brain to make that happen. Finally, it was J’MPok’s turn to speak. He told both me and Rush that the Havas-kul sector has been designated as independent from the Dominion, and a “Hur’q Neutral Zone” has been established around it. Then he said that the Empire will join the Federation and the Republic in keeping the peace with the Dominion and the Hur’q.  J’mpok finished it up by saying that they have experience in enforcing a neutral zone after all. Then J’mpok proudly proclaimed that Martok’s use of the Beacon, and the return of the Blade, has led to a renewed interest in Kahless throughout the Empire. J’mpok said that some say Martok stands with honor next to great heroes like T’Kuvma, Voq, L’Rell, and Kang. J’mpok joked that getting along with Martok is difficult enough, now his ego’s going to be larger than Mount Hamar.  However, J’mpok’s grateful that Martok has very little in the way of political aspirations, otherwise he’d have to kill him again. J’mpok laughed at his own stupid joke, something that made me and Rush roll our eyes. Rush told J’mpok to watch out, because Martok might want revenge for his previous death, and she said this with a smile. J’mpok said that he’ll keep an eye on Martok so that it doesn’t happen. I told J’mpok not to abuse his power, because that was Gowron’s mistake. 

After that, I got a call from Chris who told me that Odo and Bashir would like a word with me and Rush in Sickbay when we have a moment.  Well, we’ve got nothing but time so we went to Sickbay and talked with Bashir. He told us that things are finally settling down around here…  well, as much as it ever settles down, that is. I asked Bashir why he’s still in uniform if that’s the case. Bashir explained that there’s a lot to be done with the Hur’q and being a part of Starfleet will help him make things happen in that regard.  Bashir said that, when he’s not on DS9, he’ll be working with the Lukari and the crew of the U.S.S. Aventine to help the Hur’q get back on their feet. Rush told Bashir that Havas-kul is a long way from home for him. Bashir explained that he’s married to the captain of the Aventine, so it won’t be too bad.  Then Bashir said that the kids won’t be joining them until Kuumaarke and her team restore Havas-kul to a more habitable state. Just the mention of kids sent a pang through my heart as I thought of my own. Bashir told us that he’s sure we’ll be seeing each other soon but, until then, stay safe and said it was an order from our Doctor.  Finally, we talked to Odo who told us that the Dominion is about to go through a number of changes. They’re liberating the Jem’Hadar from the White, phasing out the Founders’ “benevolent dictatorship,” establishing a safe haven for the Hur’q. Needless to say, Odo’s going to be busy for a very long time. I told Odo that won’t be easy, because if there’s one thing no one likes it’s change. 

GameClient 2019-06-05 01-17-45-847

Odo agreed with me and said that many Founders are still resistant to it. Though he likes to think that they’re outnumbered by those willing to take a more diplomatic approach. After all, the last thing the Dominion, or anyone, needs is a civil war. Odo then told us more bad news by saying that not all of the Hur’q were cured, so we’ll be dealing with rogue swarms for quite some time. However, he hopes that they can call on either one of us in the future if they run into that special kind of trouble that we have a talent for dealing with.  Rush said that she’d be happy to help for a price while all I could do was stand there like an idiot and give a high pitched sure. Then Odo warned both of us to keep an eye out for Quark, because that little act of “heroism” with the Sword of Kahless will make him bolder than ever. Odo asked me how my daughter was, and I told him that I heard from Garak that she survived the attack. Odo then apologized for putting my daughter in harm’s way and all I responded to that with was that he’s lucky that she wasn’t hurt. Chris told me that the Winchester’s been clear for departure, so they’re ready to leave when I am.  Rush got the same message from the Jimeck, who said that she was ready to clear out.

As soon as I got back on my ship, I got a call from Odo before I could visit Bajor.  He told me that the future of the Dominion is uncertain for the first time in many years.  According to Odo, without the Wicked Witch of the Gamma Quadrant and her unbreakable will at the center of it all, the GQ will undoubtedly go through a great deal of turmoil.  Odo said that he’ll do what he can to maintain order and keep the peace, but it’ll definitely be a challenge. For now, what matters to Odo is that we fought for the Dominion when they needed it the most.  Odo told me that he won’t forget that and, thanks to the Great Link, neither with the Founders. Odo thanked me and said that he hoped that we can meet again under much better circumstances.

GameClient 2019-06-05 01-21-58-152

Elisa asked if I was ready to leave, but I told her that I want to stop by Bajor first.  I faced one fear, now it’s time to face another.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy’s team up with Rush and her take on the epic battle?  Once again, I’d like to thank Hashakgig for agreeing to do this mission with me not once, but twice after I lost my screenshots.  Considering that I got to take better ones with Bandicam, maybe it was for the best.  Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to role-play or make requests.

American McGee’s Alice (Amazon Store)

Requested by BloodRoseRed

After surviving a house fire that murdered her parents, young Alice finds herself locked up in an asylum.  

Image result for american mcgee's alice

Her only escape is through the mythical Wonderland, corrupted by her own experiences. Now she must fight her way through an evil land in order to reclaim her own sanity.

Those of you who’ve watched the Disney movie will be in for quite a shock.  It’s definitely not the Alice in Wonderland from your childhood. However, the game is also not a darker re-telling.  It takes place after the events of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Therefore, it’s more of a sequel to the original events, which I think works in its favor.  In the past, Wonderland has always been a place of mythical adventure that Alice could escape to when life became too much for her. Which, considering the first book ends with the Queen of Hearts wanting to chop off Alice’s head, wasn’t that happy go lucky either.  Now that tragedy struck Alice and she’s in a Victorian Asylum, which was not a place you wanted to be sent to, she needs this one escape to cope with her situation. The beautiful Wonderland she knew and loved transformed into a twisted nightmare due to her own experiences.  However, even in this hell Wonderland transformed into, Alice still has friends in the form of the Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit and The Griffin.

Image result for american mcgee's alice

They’re the ones that help her through this nightmare world and guide her on her quest.

As I said, the game is a gritty sequel to the Alice in Wonderland books.  I first saw it at a store when I was in Middle School but, since I wasn’t old enough, I couldn’t get the game. I’ll admit, I thought that it was just a tale of needless violence thrown in to make a beloved children’s classic cooler and more adult.  Then BloodRoseRed requested me to review both this and Alice: Madness Returns and, I’ll confess, I was happily wrong. Yes, this is more violent than what you’d expect from something set in the Alice in Wonderland universe.  However, it’s not needless violence thrown in to make the game cool, as is often done in these situations. The game explores deep elements such as mental illness, trauma, and survivor’s guilt. When Alice was seven years old, she witnessed her family die in a fire and was too busy having a make believe tea party to pay attention to what was going on.  Minor spoiler alert, her guilt manifests in Wonderland as villains, such as the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen, as they call Alice a selfish and spoiled girl. According to them, she didn’t deserve to survive and, if she had paid attention, she could’ve warned her parents and saved them. These are feelings Alice has herself echoed through the words of the game’s villains and, in order to conquer them, she has to kill the villains that represent her guilt.  This is actually very symbolic of her fight to keep her sanity and it’s something that the game play reflects, which I will discuss in a later paragraph.

The game comes with an instruction manual that has a diary of one of the doctors of Rutledge Asylum giving his accounts of treating Alice in the real world while she battles her own metaphorical demons.  Unfortunately, the copy of the game I bought didn’t come with a casebook, so I had to look it up on the game’s wiki, which you can read here. I’m sure many of you who know the history of Victorian Asylums think the doctor is some sadistic man deriving in the torture of an innocent young girl.  I actually have a book called Women of the Asylum and it documented cases of women who refused to submit to the patriarchy finding themselves committed to the asylum for a mental illness.

However, this is not the case.  The doctor is actually a caring man not sure what to do about Alice’s condition.  He talks about how he had to treat other patients and seems remorseful that the treatments result in death far more than they do in curing mental illnesses.  Little by little, this becomes normal to the doctor but he still wants to do his best to help the people in his care, even if the “treatments” are barbaric by today’s standards.  Yes, Asylums in Victorian London were hell on Earth, but the Asylum was a recently introduced concept to curing the mentally ill. Many of the horrors were less from evil and more from the ignorance of the time.  It doesn’t make it any better and I’m sure it’s making Alice’s mental illness worse, but it does make us more understanding. In addition, you can tell that the makers of the game did their homework when writing the book, even if they did get one detail about Victorian London wrong in the game, which I’ll discuss later.  You also get to see the difference between Alice in Wonderland who, in this version, is a real badass you don’t want to mess with, and the Alice in the real world, who’s a passive patient. The doctor is actually rooting for Alice, even if a part of him wants her to stay in the Asylum with him.

The game takes place entirely in Wonderland with only a few mentions of the real world. In it, you take control of Alice who must defeat the corrupted and nightmarish versions of the Wonderland characters we know and love.  These enemies represent Alice’s insanity trying to consume her and she must destroy them to keep what sanity she has left. Like many games, this one has an HP bar and an MP bar.  The HP bar represents her sanity, which she regains by killing enemies such as the playing cards that attack her and must consume the essence they leave behind. Try explaining that to a psychiatrist and see if they don’t put you in a home.  The MP bar is for magic you need to defeat the enemies but, thankfully, the essence found throughout the game to restore HP also works for MP. Boss’s have their own level and they must be defeated if you want to advance through the game.

Image result for american mcgee's alice

However, Alice is not alone as she has friends who guide her throughout her journey that represent her sanity.  One conversation she has with the Cheshire Cat about taking Gym Class contradicts schooling in Victorian London, due to not having Gym Class back then. They had Drill Class, which was the closest you could get, and it was for boys. Girls whose parents were rich sent them to Finishing School to learn how to become proper ladies and there was no Drill Class for them.  Still, historical inaccuracy aside, these conversations and help she has from those few friends represent what little sanity she has left. Spoiler alert, these characters die trying to help Alice, which feeds into her own survivor’s guilt about how she should’ve died in the fire with her family. It also shows that, for a brief moment, Alice’s insanity is winning. Having the Jabberwocky and the Red Queen accuse Alice of being selfish and spoiled represents the most powerful obstacle that Alice has to overcome if she wants to rejoin society, her guilt.  So, in many ways, the game play is made almost entirely of symbolism, which is actually very creative. You can also collect weapons throughout the game and complete puzzles in order to advance through the storyline. The most powerful weapon is the Jabberwocky eye staff, which you can use to beat the final two bosses, but my favorite for dealing with the regular enemies is the Ice Staff.

Image result for american mcgee's alice

It knocks them out just like that. The puzzles can also be difficult and, more often than not, you’ll find yourself consulting a walkthrough.

As for the horror element the game tries to represent, I admit that I didn’t really find it that scary.  I found it interesting from a psychological perspective, as I already discussed, but I wasn’t really trembling in my seat.  I did find myself on edge when I managed to play it at night but the only incident that made me slightly jump out of my seat was when a fish pops out of the lake and eats you.  Then again, I am a tough sell and I haven’t been properly scared since the recent IT movie.

This game is intriguing and fun.  I give it 9 out of 10, a creative take on a classic story and mental illness that really made me think.

Tenebris Torquent (Star Trek Online

A/N: Candy’s back and, this time, she’s recounting when she had to visit the Hur’q homeworld and got separated from her away team while traveling dark corridors, praying that she doesn’t become the Hur’q’s next meal.

screenshot_2019-04-24-16-16-01

Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96225.23

This is Candy Marino and I just got a call from Garak.  He told me that researchers led by his friend, Doctor Bashir, have isolated several fascinating aspects of Hur’q biology.  Garak said that he’s told this data provides insight on their native environment; specifically a metallic planetoid orbiting a pulsar within a nebula.  Garak claimed that there’s only one system that meets these requirements: Havas-Kul, in the Gamma Quadrant. Garak told me that he’s going to investigate, along with Captain Kira in the Defiant.  Then he said that Doctor Bashir will accompany us as well, since his insight will be critical to the mission’s success. Garak claimed that the doctor believes we’ll find what we need to end this conflict on Havas-Kul.  Garak said that if Bashir’s right, and he often is, Garak’s willing to go to the heart of enemy territory. Then asked if I would join them. I told Garak proudly that I never back down from a challenge. Garak only challenged this by pointing out how I acted the last two times, barely able to contain my fear of the Hur’q.  I countered back by pointed out that I still managed to do my job. Garak then had the nerve to say that he hopes I can still manage this time and then cut the connection with a smile on his face! The nerve of that man! I set course for Havas-Kul, determined to prove him wrong.

As soon as I arrived, which was a long flight, I met with Garak and he talked about how the survey reports don’t do this system justice.  After all, it’s got a nebula, a pulsar, dark energy and the Hur’q homeworld. I said that it’s like a haunted house in space and then pointed out that I’m not reading any Hur’q ships on sensors.  Garak said that he didn’t either, something he found strange. Garak claimed that one would think that they’d place a heavy guard on their home system, something we both found peculiar. Garak wants to use the opportunity to look around quietly, but I suspect a trap.  I still conducted a system scan, which Garak said picked up a number of interesting phenomena, despite interference from the nebula.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-07-11-721

We found a plethora of heavy metallic compounds, and a hotbed of tetryon and thermobaric energy throughout the nebula. Kira contacted us to say that there’s a moon nearby.  She claimed that the preliminary scans aren’t showing much, but it’s just the kind of place the Hur’q could be using to hide a base… or a fleet. Kira said that she wanted to take a closer look, something I agreed to. After all, the bug people are much less scary when they’re flying around in ships.

I headed for the dead moon and got another call from Kira about how the pulsar’s throwing off a lot of hazardous energy.  Garak complimented her on being astute and then suggested that we make the appropriate shield adjustments. Meanwhile, I scanned the dead moon and got another call from Kira.  She told me that she didn’t like that scans were showing a lot of bare rock, but no metals or compounds. She and Garak said that it’s a lot like it’s being stripped of anything remotely useful, which is the calling card of the Hur’q.  Garak suggested sending down a probe just to be sure. He said that there could be some Hur’q down there, hidden by the nebula’s effects on our sensors.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-08-47-596

Hey, anything that prevents us from running into the Hur’q is all right with me. I immediately sent a probe and got a call from Kira right after.  What can I say, she works fast. Kira told me that the moon is barely Class-D; no metals, complex compounds, liquids, or atmosphere. Garak said that the interior is a complex maze of tunnels-thousands of them. Bashir told me that this matches Hur’q patterns they’ve seen elsewhere, so you can bet that the Hur’q have been here.  I was about to set course for the dead planet until Garak contacted me. He told me that the probe is online and transmitting and their science teams are taking a close look at the incoming data, but it doesn’t look terribly promising. Then asked if we should forge on, since there’s a lovely planet nearby, no doubt filled with a bounty of toxic rocks and metallic salts, which he was being sarcastic about, of course.  I set course for the planet and got another call from Garak about how I’m entering scanning range.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-09-53-736

Bashir contacted me and said that the astronomic readings are strange. He said that the planet has a highly eccentric orbit and it looks like it collects matter from the nebula as it sweeps around the pulsar, all while being bombarded with radiation. Bashir concluded that it’s definitely not habitable by most standards, but not quite Demon-class.  Bashir went on about how the planet has an orbital period of several thousand years, which explains the Hur’q lifestyle. Bashir claimed that they must hibernate while the planet is at the far range in its orbit. Bashir talked about how this orbit coincides with the previous emergences of the Hur’q. Then he said that the thousand-year-cycles explain why they appear suddenly, then vanish just as quickly. Garak contacted us and put in his two cents, about how we’re reading complex structures here, along with power systems and technology.  Then said that this could be a base of operation for the Hur’q. Garak told us that it appears to be deserted and suggested that we look around, since this is a prime opportunity. Great, I have to beam down and face the bug people, again. I sarcastically asked Garak if I have a choice. Garak only responded by saying that I actually do, I can help them stop the Hur’q now or I can lay back and wait for them to devour everyone I know and love, including myself. Damn, he’s good. Kira contacted us and said that we need to meet on the Defiant.  After all, we’ll need to make preparations before we send an away team down there.

Me and my team immediately beamed on the Defiant and met with Kira.  She told us that she’s sent a team down to establish a secure zone. Apparently, they’re ready for us, but we’ll want to put on EV suits before I beam down.  Kira said that they have some in that container for me to use. She told us that, once we’re suited up, they’ll beam us down to the planet’s surface in a large cavern area.  So, we got the EV suits and beamed down to the caverns.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-14-15-834

As soon as we beamed down, Chris told me that this chamber appears to be a natural cavern, but the readings show unusual energy and a lot of magnetized metals and salts not far from here.  He said that some of the caves near here have a regular structure, like they were dug out rather than naturally occurring. Chris suggested that maybe the Hur’q have something like an ant hive.  I sarcastically told him that he’s telling me that the Hur’q have something in common with Earth’s most vicious species. Chris looked at me like he thought he was joking, until Elisa chimed in asking about that famous saying. Then said that, if ants had photon torpedoes, they’d end the galaxy in a week. Chris thought it was crazy and asked me if I really believed that. I told Chris that I don’t think it would take them that long. This was more than enough for me to take, so I said that we need to check in with Kira’s away team and see how they’re progressing.  First I went to Williams, who said that he should have a habitation area set up soon. Williams told me that we can replace the reducing atmosphere in this cavern with standard oxy-nitro and warm things up a bit. He said that Kane’s keeping watch and Weir’s looking into other connected areas. Then Williams told me that we should have a perimeter field up within a few minutes.  After that, I went to Ishimura who told me that she’s reading a lot of background radiation and some wild magnetic fields. Ishimura claimed that it’s like the pulsar and the nebula are supercharging the metallic crystal compounds here. Then she proceeded to tell me what I already know, about how the environment’s very different from anything we’d consider a habitable planet. Ishimura said that it explains why the Hur’q are so alien.  Then she said that it’s quite a treasure for a geologist like herself. I told her to just ignore the fact that we might get eaten alive by a giant ant colony and it’s a real picnic. Chris suggested that we hail the Defiant and explain our situation, which I agreed to. Bashir asked the Defiant if they still have a lock on us. Thankfully, Kira replied with an affirmative but, if we need transport, there might be a slight delay due to pulsar emissions.  Ishimura said that she’s getting something odd on her tricorder and I’ve played enough horror holo-programs to know that’s never a good sign. Turned out I was right because we heard something sneaking around us and I’d bet the Winchester it was the Hur’q. Ishimura yelled that she saw something nearby, that “something” being a Hur’q hiding like a horror movie monster in the shadows!

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-16-47-743

That thing blasted us with a shockwave like it was a Final Fantasy monster and knocked me out big time!

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-16-48-758

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-16-49-848

Thankfully, I didn’t need a Phoenix Down to get back up again, because I woke up in a series of underground tunnels.  Not so thankfully, my entire crew didn’t wake up with me. Before I could contemplate that, I got a call from Kira. She told me that she was glad that I was still with them.  Then said that whatever it was must’ve left me for dead. Kira said that I’d better get moving in case it comes back to make sure. She also explained that I’m in a series of tunnels that connect to a larger cavern.  Then said that Garak and Bashir are close to my position and they’re moving into a large open chamber. Kira told me to try to make my way to them. I told Kira as I was trying to regain my senses that I’ll just get my away team and then I looked around and realized that I had no away team. After that, Kira told me to be careful. She said that some of the crystal formations down here are emitting intense amounts of energy. Then said that they can’t lock onto anything with transporters, and the others are reporting that directed energy weapons won’t work. I cut the communication with Kira and got another one from Bashir, saying that he and Garak are alive but they’re a little lost.  Thank God for small favors.

I wasted no time and immediately started walking through the caves.  It didn’t take long for me to get another communication from Kira, who told me to keep moving because I should head up to another chamber.  I’ll admit, I’m hoping to find my crew ASAP and get out of here before any of us becomes that creature’s next meal. Then I got worried that my crew might’ve already become its next meal.  No, I can’t think like that! Each member of my crew is alive until proven dead! Kira contacted me to tell me that the creature’s in a passage near my location and I need to stay sharp. I got my weapon out and kept moving, which wouldn’t really do any good against the creature but it makes me feel better, like a security blanket.  I got another call from Bashir, who told me that he and Garak are moving into a very large, oblong chamber. Garak called in with his own commentary about how he was hoping that those cozy, cramped little tunnels would make a nice vacation spot. I said that it might make a decent theme park ride. Come one, come all to a tour of the great underground.  Run for your life from giant man-eating bugs while fearing for the lives of your friends. Caution: chance of getting eaten alive. Those with claustrophobia or a deathly fear of bugs need not apply.

Before anyone could respond to my little joke, I found a door up ahead that Kira told me was locked.  I examined the door and got a communication from Bashir. He told me that those readings I’m getting from that crystal node are interesting.  Then he explained that it’s generating a localized magnetic field. Bashir said that manipulating that field could cause a response, similar to pushing a button or flicking a switch.  Then Bashir asked me if I think Hur’q can sense magnetic fields, similar to sharks on Earth?

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-19-06-438

I told Bashir that, right now, I’d much rather be dealing with sharks. Bashir seemed surprised by this, but I told him to get to the point.  Then he told me that I might find a way to manipulate that magnetic field to open the door. Bashir said that the morphogenic crystals are probably the “keys,” so look for one nearby that has a similar output to the door nods. In other words, we just went from Final Fantasy to Legend of Zelda.  I said out loud that maybe, if I keep looking, I’ll find a weapon that can help me defeat the Big Boss. I turned around as if expecting one of my crewmembers to respond, but found no one there to appreciate my pop culture references. Then I went to get one of the crystals Bashir told me about and got another communication from Kira.  She told me that the readings she’s getting on that crystal are weak, so it’s probably not usable. I found another crystal that Kira told me had an odd harmonic and doesn’t seem to match the rest. Then I found another crystal and, apparently, third time’s the charm because Kira told me that it’s the one I need. Then she told me to use it to open that door.   I wasted no time because, the sooner I get through this dungeon, the sooner I can find my crew and get out of here. I must’ve said it out loud, because Kira told me that this was a cavern, not a dungeon. I told her to play a Legend of Zelda holosuite program next time she’s at Quark’s and she’ll see what I mean.

Before Kira could respond, one of the bug people beamed in right behind me!  

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-20-33-739

Kira told me not to fight that thing and run, which I was already doing anyway!  Then she said that there’s a deep crevice ahead of me and told me to see if I can get across.  I told her that it doesn’t look like I have much of a choice, and ran and jumped through the thing with a speed and strength I didn’t even know I had!  After that, Kira told me that there was hazardous energy and anti-gravity ahead, and to use my thrusters. I wasted no time turning them on while praying to every religion in existence that the energy’s also hazardous to the giant Hur’q that’s chasing me.  Thankfully, the creature turned back and Kira said that it might not like anti-gravity. I stopped and took a deep breath, thankful that this Indiana Jones boulder chase was over.

Then I found myself in an underground anti-grav labyrinth when I had to go down at the end of the hallway.  Kira told me to be slow and steady and to not get lost. Then she said to try to head up when I can. The good news is that the monster can’t get to me here.  The bad news is that this labyrinth doesn’t have any 80s rock stars ruling it, and I still haven’t seen any sign of my crew. I told Kira that, with my brain, I’ll be out of this maze by dinner time, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt.  Then we got another call from Dr. Bashir who said that he and Garak have a breathable atmosphere and that we need to try to reach their location. After that, Williams called and said that he’s stuck in some kind of tunnel maze and not sure how to get out.  Then Ishimura called and told us that her nav system’s useless, but she’ll keep trying to find us all. Meanwhile, I found a console nearby and operated it. That’s when Kira called and said that this one looks like technical data. Then she said that it was interesting that none of their starships had weapons until two thousand years ago.  Apparently, their first designs were way ahead of most species at that time. Then Kira asked aloud how they went from the geniuses to the ravenous eating machines we’re dealing with now?

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-22-27-706

Honestly, I have a hard time believing that those creatures ever had the slightest form of intelligence. I left the room and then heard screaming from Kane on my comm that got cut off.  Please don’t tell me the bugs are back! They’re supposed to hate anti-gravity! Kira told Kane to report in and then said that she just lost his vitals. Great, what if my crew suffered the same fate and I don’t even know it? I came across another console in this labyrinth and activated it as Kira told me that Weir’s comm signal is down, but he’s still alive. Then she told me to keep an eye out while I’m trying to keep an eye out for my own crew.  It wasn’t long until I found more tunnels I had to go up and down in. Then I found another console and sent the transmission to Kira who told me that there’s a lot of historical data and cultural references in there. She gave me the short version, which was that they used to be a peaceful species. I interrupted by asking Kira if she was seriously telling me that a race of humanoid consuming bugs used to be peaceful! Kira angrily responded by saying that, if I’d let her finish, the information talks about a “great betrayal,” and some kind of epidemic.  Then I sarcastically responded by saying that it’s not their fault that they devour people alive, they’re just sick. I finished up by asking Kira if their daddy also didn’t give them enough hugs and, I’ll admit, I got a little on edge. Actually, I got way on edge. Kira responded by asking me how many hugs my father gave me. All I could do was stare and blink and tell Kira that she’s good. Then I followed up by asking Kira what else she found out about them. She told me that the rest of it is gibberish. I asked Kira if she’s located my crew yet and, when Kira answered no, I hung up on her.  Then I went deeper into the labyrinth, found another console to turn on and kept going. Yeah, this whole thing is getting redundant, even if this console actually opened a door for me that pushed me deeper into the labyrinth. Then I found another console to open a door, went past two consoles that did nothing and then went into a room that finally looked like the exit. Kira contacted me and told me that Bashir and Garak are just past this chamber.

Finally, I got out of that labyrinth and Kira told me that they’re picking up some interesting tech on sensors.  She said that it was interesting and old, very old to the point that most of it predates the Federation by several centuries.  She asked me if I was reading those energy patterns on the other side of that opening. Then Kira said that the patterns are far more intricate than the others we’ve seen.  She claimed that they think there’s some kind of ship ahead of me. Then said that it shows signs of damage and I might be in some sort of drydock or repair facility. Kira told me that there are large gaps in tech level between each section of the facility, as if the Hur’q learn as they hibernate. Then Kira elaborated by saying that they wake up with a thousand years of advancements at hand and get ready to work. Okay, this I’ve got to see. I told Kira that I found a console that looks like it can operate a door here.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-25-23-007

So I opened the door, went through the hall and came across another big giant door that opened on its own.  Then I finally ran into Chris and I was so happy that I did something completely against my character, I hugged him! Chris was quite shocked, but eventually hugged back. Then I regained control of my senses and ended the hug, telling Chris that it would be hard to find another doctor who has the stupidity to put up with me. Chris responded by telling me that, what I call stupidity he calls patience.  Then I said that, if he’s okay, then the rest of my crew should be fine and I don’t have to go through any hassle trying to get a new one. Chris told me that we’ve got a safe area set up here, so it should be fine. Garak interrupted us by saying that he’d hate to break up this touching reunion, but we’ll need all the help we can get if we’re to leave this world alive. Garak claimed that he and Bashir have started to make sense of our surroundings.  Garak explained that we seem to be in some sort of Hur’q command center. He told me that, from here, we can begin to restore power and critical systems. Bashir then explained that Hur’q technology is driven by electromagnetic manipulation of morphogenic crystals, doors, life support… everything, even their central computer. I said that this feels like a huge design flaw, to which Chris said that it’s a design flaw that works in our favor. Bashir agreed and told us that, if we can find the right crystals, he can bring things back online.  Then we can look for information on Hur’q biology within their data system. Then he said that we might even find a cure to what’s ailing the Hur’q. Then Bashir went on about how this planet used to be rich in a type of fungus and it thrived in the harshest of environments, even areas high in pulsar radiation. He said that it used to be a staple of the Hur’q diet until it disappeared from the ecosystem. I sarcastically remarked that I wondered who was responsible for that. Bashir just kept on talking about how, without the fungus, the Hur’q began to suffer a severe type of malnutrition. Apparently, it led to a number of neurological disorders, many of which we’ve seen firsthand. Then Bashir said that, based on these readings, there should be more data storage units in the tunnels beyond this chamber. He told me that they’re the ones by the door with the blue glowrods. I told Bashir that I’ll get the spiritual stones and help him get the Triforce before Ganondorf. I was about to leave, until Bashir told me some parts of the tunnels still have malfunctioning gravity systems. He said that I should be able to navigate through them, but the energy fields in there will nullify my weapons, so I need to be careful.  I made a remark that it sounds like I’ll be going through the water temple. Bashir asked if that was going to be a problem, to which I told him that I got through that temple… eventually. What I didn’t say was that I had to consult walkthroughs on my PADD. Even for someone of my intelligence, that temple is a real pain in the ass.

I equipped some knives I got from Lek who, in return, got to copy my music playlist. Even if phasers and disruptors are nullified, physical weapons always come in handy and I’m going to need more than my fists.  I went through the tunnels and found Kolez waving to get my attention, so I went to get him. There Kolez was with Ishimura, who was really happy to see me.  That’s when you know the situation’s bad. She said that they were about to leave and then got cut off by getting grabbed by one of those bugs!

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-28-38-782

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-28-39-944

I’ll admit, that made me jump and I nearly threw my knife at the thing until it disappeared! Then I got a call from Kira, who demanded to know what was going on because Ishimura’s vitals just flatlined. The thing attacked me and Kolez before I could answer, so I immediately started attacking with my knives while Kolez shot and threw bombs at it, his weapons working just fine.  After a while, the thing moved away from me and shrouded itself, which Kira was kind enough to tell me. Bashir told me to send Kolez to him so he can address any injuries.  I ordered Kolez to do so and then told Bashir that my weapons are working just fine, to which he immediately corrected that he meant that going through the malfunctioning gravity system would nullify my weapons. Ordinarily, I would fight that but I’m still trying to compose myself after that random encounter.  Knowing that the thing I’m so afraid of is still cloaked and lurking around is not helping. Anyway, Kolez went back to Dr. Bashir and I got one of the storage crystals from the room. Dr. Bashir told me that it covers the first peaceful meeting between the Hur’q and the Founders over three thousand years ago.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-29-24-316

Honestly, it’s still hard for me to believe that there’s anything peaceful about this species, no matter how much information I come across that says they were. However, I’ll admit that, thanks to my half-sister, Tanya, sticking bugs in my hair when I was a kid, I’ve got a huge fear that makes me somewhat biased. Maybe if I went back in time and told Tanya that I would face giant man-eating bugs in the future, she wouldn’t have done that and I could actually get through this with my senses intact. I take that back, that would only encourage her.  

As I was thinking about all this, I got a call from Garak telling me that Kolez is with them. Then I finally saw a pile of rocks and activated the anti-gravity machine before going through that.   After that, I found Zarva lying on the floor injured. I gave her some first aid and she thanked me, explaining that the thing ambushed her and Weir.  Said thing tried to ambush us again but, after a few rounds of shooting at it, Kira contacted us to say that it moved away from us and shrouded itself again.  This feels less like Legend of Zelda and more like trying to get away from Pennywise in Neibolt House, or when Batman went to the sewers in Arkham Asylum and had to evade Killer Croc.  Once again, Bashir told me to send Zarva to him so he can address any injuries. Zarva told me that she’ll head to the central area now and wished me luck before leaving. I went through the tunnel and came across the last member of my away team, Elisa.  To say she was happy to see me was an understatement. Crewman Williams told me that I’m a sight for sore eyes, again something people only say in the most desperate circumstances. He said that we need to get out of here before— and then got killed by the thing he wanted to avoid.  

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-33-07-097

The thing dragged him back and, if I can make an educated guess, ate him. Seriously, do the Hur’q have bottomless pits for stomachs? They’re like those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park whose only purpose is to eat! Which is actually quite fitting, considering how the Hur’q came to be in the first place.  Then Elisa and I had to, once again, fight off the Hur’q. After the Hur’q shrouded itself, Bashir told me to send Elisa his way, who was a little wary about following his orders, but I told her that I’ll be fine. It wasn’t long until Garak contacted me and told me that one of my officers has arrived there.

While I was exploring the area looking for more crystals, I found a helmet that belonged to Kane and Kira said that she doubts we’ll find the rest of him.  

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-32-27-245

It wasn’t long until I found the second storage crystal and got a call from Bashir. He told me that the Hur’q tried to synthesize the enzyme they needed for cognition but failed. After exploring the bottom, there was nowhere to go but up. So I hummed the Song of Time and went up one of the anti-gravity beams. Then I went up one of the beams and I have good news and bad news.  The good news is I found the crystal. The bad news is it’s behind metal bars and I can’t beam myself past them. So, I had to go back down and find another anti-gravity beam to go up. Unfortunately that led to another set of bars and, even worse, I saw one of the Hur’q behind it!  Please, whatever deity runs this universe, don’t make me fight that thing again!  Guess what, I had to fight that thing again and, let me tell you something, Lek’s knives suck!  At least they do against the Hur’q.  Then I remembered that Kolez managed to use his bombs, despite Bashir’s claims that weapons wouldn’t work and re-equipped my original weapon of choice.  Guess what, it does work and I’m going to have a fun time pointing this out to Dr. Bashir later on!

After quite a bit of backtracking and error, I finally found a way to the third shard.  Yep, this is definitely the Water Temple. Except, this time, I can’t consult my PADD for walkthroughs.  Anyway, I got the third shard and Bashir told me that the enzyme the Hur’q need is a precursor to Ketracel White. I didn’t have time to contemplate that, because the Hur’q attacked me again!  If there are any deities controlling the universe, they hate me. I didn’t even fight that thing, I just got the hell out of there and went back to the Central Room! Then I talked to Bashir, who congratulated me on a job well done.   He told me that we should be able to translate the Hur’q data files and run a detailed analysis of them at a greatly accelerated rate now. Bashir told me that he has a good friend in Starfleet Engineering that’d love to spend some time with this technology, who I’m guessing is the great Chief O’Brien I read about when I was learning about Deep Space Nine history at the Academy.  It was one of the few times I willingly paid attention in class. Then Bashir said that the Hur’q have made some remarkable advances in their time. Bashir practically celebrated when the first results came in, and then told me that he has access to a few critical systems, including gravity and power generation. He brought them back online and claimed that doing so should make things a little smoother.  I’m all for anything that gets us out of this hellhole ASAP. Bashir told me that he got some historical records and, guess what, it was the Dominion who removed the fungus from the ecosystem during a Hur’q hibernation cycle for military conquest and it drove the Hur’q to madness.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-39-13-252

I sarcastically asked Bashir if he really needed to risk all of our lives to get files that say something I could’ve deduced in two seconds and, I’ll admit, my voice got a little higher than it should’ve.  Chris responded by telling me to calm down, but everything I’ve been holding in during this nightmare just came pouring out! About how I had to deal with man-eating bugs, actually worry about the lives of my crew and nearly turning into a sap and, to top it all off, Odo nearly got my daughter killed when he planted that device on Bajor! After that, I took a deep breath and, if it weren’t for my E suit, I would’ve drank from my flask. Everyone stared at me, except Garak who only gave me a smirk.  Then Chris asked if I really had a daughter. Before I could respond, a Tzenkethi beamed in with Vorta and Jem’Hadar.

I said to look at this, Vorta and Jem’Hadar slaves everywhere, but their master is nowhere to be found.  Garak noticed this and said that it appears we have some uninvited guests. Bashir told the “Admiral” that he’s a long way from Tzenketh.  Garak agreed and asked what we owed the pleasure to. Turned out the Tzenkethi was actually the Changeling bitch herself, to the surprise of no one.  Bashir asked if she was traveling incognito, and Garak said that it was one of her many covert identities, he suspects. The Changeling bitch told us that this expedition of ours has gone on long enough.  Bashir then asked the Changeling if we touched a nerve and she told us that we found a secret that she’s kept for a millennia, even from Odo and the Great Link, which Garak guessed was the origin of the Hur’q infestation, and Bashir finished the sentence for Garak like they were an old married couple by saying “And your role in it.”  I told the Changeling Bitch that I’m guessing she’s not here to give us a medal. Then she said that she needed soldiers to realize her dream of Dominion, enforcers willing to obey without question.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-40-04-783

I responded by saying here comes the evil villain monologue and she only told me to be quiet as if I were a child!  I was about to grab my phaser and blast that inconsiderate bitch all over the cave, but Garak gave me a look that said he had a plan that might be better than a simple phaser shot. Anyway, the Founder went on about how, physically, the Hur’q were perfect candidates but their peaceful free-thinking nature was an obstacle.  Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for us, she found the key to the Hur’q’s loyalty by studying their biology. Bashir said out loud that it was the Ketracel precursor. Then the female Changeling went back to her evil villain monologue by admitting that she extracted that from the Hur’q ecosystem so that they had no choice but to obey or die.  

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-40-27-690

All that’s missing is some cookie dough chips and a cherry Dr. Pepper with vodka in it and I can really enjoy myself. Garak said that he took it things didn’t go according to plan. The changeling said that it didn’t because they became savage, incoherent, volatile and, with each cycle, the swarm grew larger, wilder, and her ability to control them diminished. So, all she could do was point them to the direction of her enemies.  The Changeling told us that she would let them rampage and await their eventual hibernation, which really pissed Chris off as he summed up that she used bullying to get her way. Kolez added that now her victims are fighting back. Bashir quoted Lex Luthor from Smallville by saying “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Even the Changeling bitch herself admitted that they were a failure. I told her that it’s not hard to believe. Then I explained that she tried to control life, but life can’t be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territories and it crashes through barriers. Life finds a way. The female Changeling insisted that solids might not be able to control life, but changelings can. My phaser trigger’s getting really itchy right now. Then that Changeling Bitch said that some good came from the Hur’q, the Ketracel White, it was a gift that led to a more successful endeavor, the Jem’Hadar.  While the Changeling went on with her monologue, the backpack transformed into Odo and he told her, in a crowning moment of awesome, that he thinks he’s heard enough! Then he said to the changeling that he knew she was involved in this somehow. After all, she built an empire on slavery and now it’s all falling apart.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-41-13-232

Odo told her that, when the Alliance learns about this and was about to say what we would do before getting interrupted by the Changeling insisting that they won’t because we’re not leaving this world alive.  Elisa rolled her eyes and said that we haven’t heard that one before, earning a smile from me. Odo seemed surprised that she would kill another Founder while I sarcastically said, “So much for ape shall never kill ape.” Then the female Changeling explained that there were other Founders who knew the truth, once. Apparently, they had as many reservations as Odo did about building a Dominion on the backs of slaves. So, they tried to depose her, and to expose the truth to the Link. She said that they failed, and paid for their lack of vision, meaning they died.  Then the Jem’Hadar aimed their guns at us and Weyoun ordered all of us against the wall. Garak told Odo that this is getting out of hand and Odo told the female Changeling to stop this now. Predictably, she refused because, according to her, this is bigger than him, bigger than all of the changelings. She went on about how the Dominion must endure, but Garak told her that he’s afraid he can’t allow that. Before I knew it, Garak retrieved a Hur’q remote and said that she forced his hand.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-42-01-798

So, this was what Garak was planning that would be better than blowing her up to smithereens.  He told the Changeling bitch that it was a modification of her own Hur’q lure. Then he said that every Hur’q in the quadrant is homing in on the signal as we speak. The Founder asked Garak if he was seriously calling them here, to their homeworld? Garak explained that, on the contrary, he was calling them to The Founder homeworld. Then he told that Changeling bitch that her chickens, as the humans say, are coming home to roost. I smiled at this, adding that the dinosaurs broke free and they’re eating everything in sight. The Female Changeling lost her shit and called it insanity, but got interrupted before she could say what her people would do by one of the Hur’q themselves.  

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-42-33-390

As bad as I was shaking, there was something satisfying about watching the Hur’q murder the Wicked Witch of the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately, not everyone was as pleased as I was. Zarva looked horrified, yet couldn’t look away. Weyoun and the Jem’Hadar looked like their lives ended as their God was killed right before their eyes. Unfortunately, that meant we had to clean up the mess and fight that Hur’q before it killed us.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-43-02-768

It took a while, but we defeated that monstrosity and, after that, Garak said that, since we have restored operations here, our ships will be able to lock onto us with transporters. He suggested that we take advantage of this while we can and I agreed. Weyoun collapsed in a heap and got angry at us for killing his god.  He cried about his “beautiful” Founder being gone and how much he loved her. Then he declared vengeance on all of us, ordering the Jem’Hadar to attack.  Odo ordered them to stand down, but Weyoun refused and called Odo a traitor. Then Weyoun claimed that he would carry out her final order. Loriss stood by Odo’s side and told Weyoun that the Founder he’s crying about is no more. Then she pointed to Odo and said that this Founder has given him an order and he will obey. Weyoun kept demanding that Odo is no Founder and the Changeling Bitch was a Founder.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-45-38-714

Then he called Odo a traitor and ordered the Jem’Hadar to shoot to kill every single one of us! Fortunately, Dukan’Rex told the other Jem’Hadar to belay that order and told Weyoun in another crowning moment of awesome that they don’t serve him!  Then Rex pointed to Odo and said that, where this Founder leads, they follow. Odo thanked him for that, but it made Weyoun angry as he declared that he would do it himself. Then Rex knocked that asshole down and Garak clapped while I told him, “Nice punching, Rex!” Odo told Rex to take Weyoun into custody and to return to his ship. Then Odo turned to Garak and said that we have business at the homeworld to attend to.

We beamed up and now we have to deal with a whole swarm of Hur’q.  Great, more giant bugs! Thanks a lot, Garak! Kira demanded to know if it was part of Garak’s plan to draw every Hur’q in the sector to this system.  Because, if it was, it worked with flying colors. Then Kira said that we need to get out of here, and fast. She told me that our only hope is to punch a hole through the swarm so we can go to warp.  I told Kira that I’d do anything to get the hell out of here. While I started fighting the Hur’q, Garak told me to try to hold them off and he’ll see if he can arrange a distraction.

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-47-39-770

Then I heard from one of his soldiers that they got a containment breach!  Then another Cardassian said that the structural integrity was failing and that they needed to abandon ship! It took awhile and the Winchester suffered quite a bit of damage but, eventually, Kira contacted me to tell me that the Hur’q are breaking off. Garak said that they received the signal, they’re heading for the Founder homeworld.  Zarva said that it was to commit genocide against an entire species. I told Zarva that it won’t happen if we can help it. After that, Garak contacted me and said that he thinks we’re in the clear. Garak told me that the Hur’q have departed for the Founder homeworld, but it will take them some time to reach it, even at maximum warp. Garak said that we should make the most of that time and bring an end to this madness.  He told me that the information Bashir, who he calls the good doctor, found should do just that. Then Garak suggested that we return to our respective fleets and prepare the next and, hopefully, the final steps of the journey. After that, Odo contacted me and told me that, thanks to Garak, his homeworld is under siege. He said that he realizes that there’s not a lot of love lost for the Founders these days, but if the center of the Dominion falls to the Hur’q, so does the rest of the galaxy.  Odo said that, if I’m willing to stand with them one last time, I should assemble my forces and rendezvous with his fleet in the Gamma Quadrant. He told me that he hopes to see me there, before it’s too late… for all of us. I told Odo that, lucky for him, I don’t judge an entire species based on a few members and, even if I did, I wouldn’t let the rest of the Galaxy go down with them.

I warped out and got a message from Garak, who told me that there’s a certain poetic symmetry at play.  He told me that the Dominion are about to receive their comeuppance from one of the many species they’ve abused.  Then said that, regrettably, his people have experience in such matters. Garak told me that our work is just beginning.  He said that we need to formulate a cure for the Hur’q before they devastate every species in the quadrant. Garak added that, hopefully, we can achieve this lofty goal before they make a meal of the Dominion.  Then he told me that science is often a lengthy, perilous process. Garak said that he’s certainly glad to put Havas-Kul behind him, because small dark passages are not a passion of his anymore than bugs are a passion of mine.  

GameClient 2019-05-22 19-54-03-062

Thankfully, he didn’t say that in a mocking way. I cut the connection and prepared to head for Odo’s fleet.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy’s take on the underground Hur’q mission?  I meant to post this mission before the Mirror of Discovery two-parter, but I ran into an issue with Star Trek Online and had to do the uninstall/re-install method.  Needless to say, a lot of my pictures got deleted, save the ones I took through Bandicam, and I had to replay a few missions.  Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to role-play or make requests.

Rite of Passage: Bloodlines Beta Test

Image result for rite of passage bloodlines

When a reporter visits her childhood friends, she finds herself in the middle of a murder plot.  Can she find out who did it without becoming the killer’s next victim?

The plot is your cliché murder mystery, with a friend of a prestigious family trying to figure out who the murderer is.  Be prepared for some slight spoilers about the game. For starters, one of the servants is romantically involved with the family’s wealthy daughter.  However, clichés are not always bad as I found myself intrigued by the secrets of this very family and wanting to find out who the murderer is. In addition, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to attending an interactive murder mystery play.  One thing I had a problem with was when you come across a red herring where a woman who loved the son poisoned him for spurning her. When you confront her, she confesses that she did poison the son, but she meant to give him the antidote later.  Whether or not she meant to give him the antidote, the law still needs to punish her. If you shoot someone, the police won’t pardon you because you meant to take the bullet out and heal the wound later.

The game is your typical hidden object with you exploring various locations and collecting items to progress further in the game.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes and you can even play mini-games. You also have a book filled with information about each of the characters that you add to as you find out more about the story.  If you’re stuck, use the rechargeable hint. I actually didn’t find the game hard to understand, so I rarely used it.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I am most definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

Illusion of Communication (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Bianca’s back for part two of her take on the Mirror of Discovery Arc!  See how she fixes the mess she made in the part 1 by confronting Mirror Tilly (voiced by Mary Wiseman) on Pahvo and stopping her evil scheme!

GameClient 2019-05-28 15-48-29-441

Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96882.12

This is Bianca Andrews of the Discovery and I just got a call from Somat.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-26-14-153

He told me that their information about the events at Pahvo is incomplete, but he believes that the Terrans are undertaking a large scale operation there.  Somat said that they managed to coerce the planet’s consciousness into serving their violent needs. Somat then informed me that they’ve turned Pahvo’s transmitter into a potent weapon. He said that time is of the essence and, while the Alliance is mobilizing a larger response, we’re the first responders. It’s up to us to do what we can to stop Captain Tilly and her crew before they solidify their control of Pahvo.  Somat said that failing to do so could be catastrophic. He also told me that we need to return Tilly’s Discovery and her crew to their proper time and space. He said that, under the circumstances, removing the Terran presence from Pahvo is the more immediate, logical need.  I told Somat that I’d be there as soon as I can and set course to go back to Pahvo. Since this whole situation is my fault to begin with, it’s up to me to fix this problem and send these monsters back to where they came from.

As soon as we arrived at Pahvo, Somat said that, based on his readings, he believes that the Terrans have managed to alter Pahvo’s “song.”  Somat claimed that Tilly and her crew have manipulated it into a new type of harmonic waveform. Then he told me that this very waveform is potent enough to realign the space around the planet, shifting it to a different quantum signature.  Somat said that, as a result, a number of interphasic rifts have opened within the system. I don’t even want to think about what harm that’s causing to the poor Pahvans! I asked Somat why anyone would do something so horrible! Somat suggested that Tilly is attempting to bring things from the Mirror Universe to ours.  Somat then said that logic suggests an invasion force, based on previous encounters with the Terran Empire. He claimed that we’re not the only ones interested in this behavior. Apparently, the time-displaced Klingons are moving to investigate as well. Somat said that, considering previous encounters, the situation could become volatile quickly.  I told Somat that we need to deal with this before it gets out of hand. I fought a Klingon Bird of Prey and then scanned the nearby portal. Kwon told me that it was wreckage from a nearby ship, a massive one. He said that, if the Terrans were trying to get reinforcements through here, it didn’t work, something we can all be grateful for. Kwon told me that he was picking up lifesigns on several of the larger pieces of debris. Kwon was quick to warn me that the emergency life support systems were failing and that the survivors didn’t have a lot of time left! I ordered Kwon to prep sickbay for casualties and to transport the survivors aboard. Terran or not, I will not leave anyone to die if I have the power to save them!

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-35-47-038

After we managed to rescue all of the survivors, Kwon told me that the uninjured ones are being held in the brig and the casualties are in sickbay.  He said that several of them were cocooned in mycelial threads. Kwon claimed that, apparently, the wreckage passed through some kind of subspace mycelial network, which I remember seeing a lecture about in Alpha Centauri, and now several of the survivors were wrapped in these… fungal strands. I asked Kwon if the cocooned ones would survive. He said that it was too early to tell, but indications are generally positive.  Kwon claimed that the mycelial webwork is very durable—it may have protected them from the disaster that claimed their ship. I told Kwon to keep me posted if their status changes. In the meantime, we need to get planetside. Somat told me that he has the coordinates for the science station on the planet’s surface. He claimed that it was logical to assume that the Terrans have taken control of the research team and their facilities. Then Somat told me that preparing for an armed response would be prudent.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-41-44-658

I gathered my away team, sad that I couldn’t take Artemis as she was still recovering in sickbay, and immediately beamed down to Pahvo.

We arrived at the research facility that, according to Somat, had already been attacked. He said that we must see to the welfare of the researchers, if any survived. I said that we should check the shelter area.  Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, so I only needed to use basic first aid treatment on all three Vulcans who were very grateful.  Well, as grateful as Vulcans can be. Somat said that we were fortunate that the Terrans did not kill everyone, since they were more concerned with their research data and equipment. He claimed that their work gave the Terrans what they needed to communicate with Pahvo in ways we cannot. Somat said that they are now able to alter the planet’s consciousness, causing it to reflect their own dark nature.  I told Somat that we’d beam his people to safety before we deal with the Terrans. Somat suggested that their security personnel should remain with them because, if we’re going against the Terran forces, we’ll need all of the help we can get.  I told Somat that I can’t argue with that logic. Then Somat said that, while trying to communicate with the planet, they learned that it uses crystal matrices as transmitters. Somat told me that they have a small collection of crystal samples, which may be useful to re-establish the planet’s normal biosphere, free from Terran influence.  I told Somat that we’ll pick up a few of those crystal thingies before we continue. So I grabbed some of them from one of the cases.

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-45-04-984

Then, before we could leave, Somat said that he was able to take readings of the area. Apparently, Terran technology is not subtle, especially agonizer gear. Somat then informed me that he read it in several locations, a meadow, a river back and a narrow pass.  He also read several Terran lifesigns in those areas, so he doesn’t think that we’ll be receiving a warm welcome. I told Somat that, once we’ve dealt with the Terrans, we’ll turn their torture thingies off and re-stabilize the planet. Somat then informed us that there’s a canyon that exits to another glade of Pahvan life a short distance to the south of here. He claimed that, logically, the Terrans would seek out places where they can use their technology to attempt to subvert the planet.  I told Somat that we’ll keep an eye out for those devices. We finally left the camp and it wasn’t long until we came across the first device. Somat told us to disable the device on the crystals to interrupt the Terrans’ hold on Pahvo. He didn’t have to tell me twice. I immediately disabled the agonizer and put a new crystal to help those poor guys heal.

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-46-15-868

It didn’t take long for the red crystal to turn blue and then we went down the path, coming across the Terran forces. We managed to defeat them and come across another crystal guarded by more Terran forces.  Thankfully, we also defeated them and disabled the agonizer, putting an uncorrupted crystal in its place watching the crystal turn blue. We went further down the path and found more Terrans in the meadow that we had to take care of.

After defeating those Terrans, Somat said that we needed to continue before more Terran reinforcements arrived.  Then he looked like he was sensing something and turned around to see the Pahvans! Somat told us that they were attempting to communicate with him telepathically!  Somat stuck out his hand and the blue mist known as the Pahvans sent a few blue lines his way.

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-49-21-928

Then the mist and the lines turned red! Somat explained that it means they’re angry and, in all honesty, I really don’t blame them. Somat collapsed on the ground and then turned to us with his eyes covered by a red beam screaming, “Kill them! Kill them all!” in a voice that sounded echoey!

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-49-48-542

We had to stun Somat and his team and, after that, treat Somat once the control was gone.  After Somat got back to his senses, he explained that the Terrans used their agonizer technology to induce a state of hostility in the Pahvan biosphere. He said that now, it is lashing out, using its empathic powers to project its pain and rage into other living beings.  Now I feel really awful. Somat then claimed that, if the Terrans are able to do this on a large scale, the planet could serve as a massive telepathic weapon. It would be able to subvert or kill anyone, anywhere. Somat said that we need to disable this technology wherever we find it on Pahvo.  I asked Somat why the attack didn’t affect me or my away team. Somat speculated that he believes that the biosphere has a stronger connection to him and his team. He claimed that it may have instinctively struck the most familiar minds first. Then Somat said that he doesn’t believe that it will continue to exclusively attack members of his team.  He even claimed that those with the ability to harm the biosphere will be immune. I asked Somat if he meant that the Pahvans were seeking allies to protect itself and, since I’m the one that caused its suffering, it saw me as an enemy. Somat said that it could be true, but we have little time to dwell on past mistakes and I couldn’t argue with that.  I asked Somat if he was able to continue on. He answered that he could, because he experienced the psionic attack and can take steps to shield his mind against it. Somat told me that his security officers, on the other hand, don’t have his level of training in the mental arts. He said that it wouldn’t be logical for them to continue. So I had the security team beamed up to my Discovery.  After that was over, I disabled the agonizer and set the uncorrupted crystal to help the Pahvans heal.

GameClient 2019-04-11 17-52-04-201

We went up the mountain pass and had to take care of more Terrans. Then we found another crystal, disabled the agonizer and placed an uncorrupted crystal as we watched it turn from red to blue. After that, Somat said that, in addition to using their agonizers, the Terrans were blocking access to the central pillar with force fields in selected areas. Somat remarked that it was doubtless that they wish to prevent interference in their captain’s plans. I felt anger fill me at the mention of Captain Tilly and said with a newfound determination that we’ll disable their force fields, and stop their captain.

I immediately disabled the force field blocking the nearby cave and went through it to find a giant crystal thingy that I think is the life force of this planet!  Then I heard Captain Tilly’s voice, taunting me about how good I was. That bitch is going down! She showed up right in front of her computer and talked about how she sent her best to deal with me and I’m still alive and kicking!  

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-00-10-553

She sarcastically applauded and then made sure to comment on my new hairstyle, causing me to narrow my eyes. Before I could respond, Somat told Captain Tilly that it’s illogical for her to continue and that whatever she’s doing to Pahvo needs to end. Captain Tilly only brushed him off for his “famous Vulcan logic” (her words, not mine) and told him that she and Pahvo are just getting started. I told Captain Tilly that we’ll be sure to stop it. Captain Tilly only laughed and said that she loves my newfound spunk, even speculating that it must come with the new hair!  Then Captain Tilly finally admitted that she lied about sending her best at us. More Terrans beamed down to help their captain, who couldn’t give a shit about them! We took care of Captain Tilly’s lackeys first and then concentrated our firepower on her.

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-00-55-490

Captain Tilly said that she’d give us a little taste of her big gun as she tried to activate that monstrosity she forced on Pahvo.  Somat told me to disable the controls to the left before she forces Pahvo to release a lethal wave of psychic energy. I followed the line and then deactivated the controls like Somat said. Tilly said that she can do this all day, but she knows I can’t. Then she asked me how it felt to be betrayed by someone I considered such a dear friend! I told Captain Tilly that she and I were never friends to begin with! She kept taunting me as we tried to fight her, talking about how that wasn’t what I thought when I first saw her.  Then she said that I was so pleased to see her again, gloating about how easy I was to manipulate and asked me how my poor raptor buddy was doing! I told Tilly that she had no right to mention Artemis! Tilly only laughed about how she managed to get under my skin, giving me flashbacks of over the top movies with their mustache twitching villains. I angrily asked Captain Tilly if she had anything else to fight with other than cliché villain dialogue. Captain Tilly only activated her weapon and I had to follow the line to deactivate it before it could do any damage.

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-03-29-170

This angered Captain Tilly, who asked me if I ever had an agonizer down my throat and then said that I’m about to.  After a few more minutes of fighting the captain, she tried to activate the machine again, but I managed to stop it. Captain Tilly shouted about how I just got to her last nerve and jumped all over it.

It wasn’t long until she was leaning against her own machine, grabbing her injured shoulder and saying that this was definitely not how she saw this ending.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-04-23-083

I tauntingly asked Captain Tilly how it felt to get her ass kicked by the very woman she killed in her own universe. The captain glared at me and then told me that I know it’s only a matter of time before they truly beat us because we don’t have the stomach to stop them as she activated the machine.  She claimed that her people were more than capable of defeating us and she intends to make that happen. Somat told Captain Tilly that it was unlikely, because her campaign of terror here was over. She told us that she wasn’t done yet and beamed out saying that she’ll see us next time and called us all assholes.  I gleefully yelled at Captain Tilly as she left that I thought she hated swearing.

After the bitch left, Somat said that Captain Tilly somehow managed to use Pahvo’s transmitter as a long-term transporter, meaning she can be anywhere in the quadrant. Somat suggested looking through the Terran equipment to find clues. So, I checked their gear by the spire thingy and found two hyposprays and a phaser rifle. Somat said that we found everything we can here, so he advised us to return to our ship so that we can deal with the situation in local space.

We beamed back to our Discovery and Somat suggested that, now that we’ve secured the research preserves, we need to find a way to return the Terrans and their vessel to their proper time and place.  I asked Somat if he had any recommendations. Somat suggested using the ion storm to send their Discovery back. He said that specially-modified probes can amplify the storm in specific locations, which can generate a localized ion effect and open a gateway to the proper point in time and space.  I told Somat that convincing the I.S.S. Discovery to enter that could be difficult. Somat agreed with me, adding that the Terrans have a predilection for hostility. I ordered Savea to put our shields up and fire to disable. We fought with the Terrans but, eventually, managed to disable their ship.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-08-10-606

I contacted them to see Chief Patel who said that this was pointless and, as much as it pains her to say this, they surrender. Then she asked me what my terms were. I told Patel that I just want her and her crew to return to her proper time and place. Patel said that it was fine by her, because Captain Tilly slinked off to parts unknown and left them to die. I made a remark about how I thought she refused to abandon her ship. Patel responded by saying that I shouldn’t take her former captain on her word, then Patel claimed that she’s the captain now and she says that we can send them back, if we can. I told Patel to return to her initial entry position and not to try anymore tricks. After I cut the communication, Somat told me that my display has been updated with the locations to place probes around their Discovery.  He said that, once the probes are in place, they will trigger an ion flare to open the gateway that will take the I.S.S. Discovery back. I told Somat that the sooner we get this over with the better. Somat informed me that it would not be that simple. According to him, the time-displaced Klingons are still out there, and they have shown a distinct interest in destroying the I.S.S. Discovery, along with all of us. I told Helm to take us to the launch points and Tactical to keep watching for Klingons.  Somat was right because, every time we placed one probe, Klingons would come out of nowhere and attack us.

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-13-19-296

After setting up all of the probes, it was our job to keep the I.S.S. Discovery safe until they activated. Thankfully, we managed to defeat them and, after what felt like the longest few minutes of my life, the I.S.S. Discovery moved into position, warped back to its own time and took the Klingons with them.

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-18-07-151

Somat said that the ion storm was subsiding and we’re receiving standard readings from Pahvo.  Now, it’s broadcasting its song as normal—no aberrations, no distress calls! Somat said that it seems things are returning to a calm, peaceful level, which I was more than happy to hear! He claimed that, once the research team is able to resume their duties, they will begin analyzing the impact of the Agonizer technology on the Pahvan ecosystem. Somat said that, considering what we just witnessed, it would be logical to make sure Tilly and her crew didn’t leave any unexpected surprises on the planet as well.  Somat finished up by saying that, for now, we can safely depart the system, which we did.

After we left, Somat said that it will take some time to evaluate the impact of the Terran occupation of Pahvo.  He claimed that the agonizer technology they used to manipulate the planetary biosphere was invasive and damaging.  Somat was concerned about the effect it had upon the Pahvan ecology, and how that will affect future attempts at interaction with the planet.  I told Somat that I’m terribly sorry about all of this and that, hopefully, the Pahvans can recover. Somat said that this was Captain Tilly’s doing, not mine.  So an apology from me would be illogical. I responded by saying that I still feel bad about being stupid enough to trust Captain Tilly, and her still being at large just makes it worse.  Somat agreed that it was troubling, because her technological prowess and propensity for violence should make her presence in this time quite disruptive. Then he pointed out that, should Captain Tilly acquire certain technology and return to her own time, it is possible that she will rewrite history as we know it and turn our universe into one more like her own… if not worse.  Somat said that, in the meantime, we both have our duties to attend to and it would be illogical for me to dwell on past mistakes. He finished up by saying that it has been agreeable to work with me and told me to live long and prosper. I responded with peace and long life.

GameClient 2019-04-11 18-20-42-453

Then I excused myself to go to sickbay and check on Artemis.

A/N: So, what did you think of Bianca’s two-part Mirror of Discovery adventure?  Feel free to let me know your thoughts, request an STO mission or team-up, and even role-play in the comments, if you want to.

My Brother Rabbit Beta Test

Image result for big fish games my brother rabbit

When a little girl falls ill, she and her brother imagine a childlike world where they can escape their troubles.  This world stars their stuffed bunny rabbit as he tries to find water for a dying flower.

The game is unique but, other than that, there’s not much to say about it.  I like the creative telling of the storybook world, filled with wonder and possibilities.  Meanwhile, we have the painful reality of a little girl having a terminal illness. The story itself has the style of an interactive picture book, with no words and only pictures to guide you.

Unfortunately, the game play does not live up to the design.  It is your standard hidden object, with you having to locate certain items and use them to advance the story.  Sometimes you have to play mini-games in order to advance the storyline. If you’re stuck, use a hint. Unfortunately, this game is so confusing that I found myself spamming the hint button more than once.

This game is unique, but that’s about it.  I have no interest in buying the full version.

Para Pacem (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Meet Bianca Andrews as she recounts the time when she met Mirror Tilly, voiced by Mary Wiseman, and discovered just how dangerous Terrans can be.

screenshot_2019-02-05-18-51-52 (1)

Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96881.79

This is Bianca Andrews of the U.S.S. Discovery.  Yes, I named my ship after the first Discovery, a ship I used to dream of serving on, but life had other plans.  Actually, more like one huge other plan that had me faking my own death and sending me into the future, which I guess is still pretty cool.  At least, it would be, if it didn’t mean that I’d never see any of my friends and family again. Anyway, no time to dwell on that, because I just got a call from a man named Somat.

GameClient 2019-04-11 13-38-58-315

I took the call and found out that this Somat is the leader of a Vulcan research team studying the unique ecology of the planet Pahvo.  While he was on personal leave, he learned that the team had not responded to routine communications, which is definitely a matter of concern.  Then Somat told me that Starfleet informed him that an ion storm is active in the Pahvo system, so logic would suggest that the storm is blocking communications.  However, as Somat pointed out, storms of that magnitude can have other effects, some of a deleterious nature. So, the Alliance asked him to accompany the Discovery to the Pahvo system.  Somat said that we’re to determine the status of the research team and offer assistance if necessary. He told me that he’s prepared to leave at my earliest convenience, which is now.

As soon as we arrived, Kwon told me that there was no response on comms from the Pahvo research station.  He claimed that the ion storm was causing a lot of interference, but it’s possible that our hails might not be reaching them.  I asked Somat what was causing the interference. He told me that the storm was creating spatial disturbances throughout the system.  He claimed that, if we analyze their patterns, we might be able to position the Discovery at a point where communication is possible. So, I scanned the area. 

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-36-41-798

Then Somat told me that initial scans were picking up clouds of ionized subspace radiation and chronometric particles.  Then talked about how curious it was that sensors were registering a stationary object not far from our position. I asked Somat if it was a ship. He said it was unlikely, and he suspects that it’s one of the Starfleet navigation buoys placed throughout the system. Somat told me that the ionization of subspace was warping and distorting the sensors.  He claimed that, as a result, an accurate identification was not possible at this range. I suggested that we get closer, so that we could learn more. So, I took the Discovery closer and, what do you know, it’s a buoy. Somat said that it appears to be inactive.

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-37-37-426

Somat then told me that the navigational buoys here are configured to broadcast a message on all frequencies.  It’s intention, to inform everyone who arrives at Pahvo that it’s a protected reserve. Somat told me that the sensors indicated heavy hull ionization on the buoy, leading him to believe that it’s been disabled by the effects of an ion storm. I said that we needed to find one of those active navigation thingies to boost our signal, so I ordered to scan for one in range. Somat seemed briefly disturbed that I called it a thingy, and then told me that Navigational Buoy 226 is nearby and should provide us with a means to reinforce hailing frequencies between the ship and the Pahvo research station.  Somat recommended caution in navigating further into the system, because the ion storm is quite volatile. I agreed with him. Then I told the Helm officer to lay in a course for Navigational Buoy 226. So, we set course of the buoy and got an alert that we’re entering the Pahvo system, which is a protected reserve and makes access prohibited.

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-38-41-272

Anyway, we found the buoy and used it to piggyback the signal. Kwon said that he was ready to initiate handshake between our comm systems and Navigational Buoy 226 now. Kwon then went on about how the handshake was received and the fidelity was within acceptable margins of error.  Then Kwon said that the comms were secured and the hailing frequencies open. I contacted the research station, told them that this was the Discovery and asked them to please respond. Kwon said that there was no response because local conditions were still a factor. So the buoys might not be able to overcome the storm’s interference, even with our assistance. I said that it looks like we have to brave the storm. Somat chimed in by telling me that he’s detected something of interest. Apparently, the sensors showed the formation of a spatial anomaly nearby. I asked him if it was the source of the signal disruption. Somat said that he was uncertain, but he does know that it appeared to be providing stability to the ion storm, similar to the “eye” of a hurricane.  Then Somat told me that he’s also detecting bursts of comm signals from the anomaly. He claimed that the signals were currently garbled beyond recognition, but they could be from the research station. Somat recommended conducting a deeper analysis, both of the anomaly and the signals. I told the helm officer to lay in a course and take us in.

So, I scanned the anomaly and you wouldn’t believe what happened!  The Discovery I named my ship after showed up out of nowhere with a bunch of Klingon ships!  

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-41-11-911

I don’t know how this is possible, but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Plus, the Discovery’s in trouble!  So, I immediately targeted the Klingons and came to the Discovery’s rescue. I got some communications from the Klingons, such as how she will not escape and, once her shields are down, V’Mak will lead the boarding parties.  Well, that’s not happening on my watch. Then I got a notice from my own ship on how the first Discovery’s shields were down and she’s being boarded. Meaning we’ve got to take care of the rest of the Klingons, now! Then I got another communication from the Klingon ship saying that this battle is lost, so they’re withdrawing.  Another Klingon said that the first Discovery must burn and that those with the will of Kahless in their hearts should stand with him. Thankfully, that didn’t last as he finally admitted to defeat and had all of his ships warp and withdraw. He claimed that they’d let the boarding party do its work, something I won’t let happen.  Nar told me that sensors were cleared of all hostile targets… for the moment. Then he said that a number of Klingon vessels retreated at high warp during the battle and activated their cloaking devices. Nar claimed that the local ion storm would make finding them difficult, if not impossible. I told them to hail the Discovery only for us to get no response.  Somat classified the Klingon vessels as classes deployed during the Federation-Klingon conflict of the mid 23rd Century. Then told us that the Starfleet vessel is a Crossfield-class, which was also active during that time period. Since no one knows that me and some of my officers are from the time period, we had to play dumb and acknowledge that it’s time travel.  I ordered my crew to scan for chronometric particles. Somat told us that the sensors show a spike in chronometric particles immediately preceding the arrival of those vessels, something he found fascinating. Then Somat said that the Crossfield-class vessel was not transmitting a Starfleet recognition signal. The sensor analysis confirmed that it was the I.S.S. Discovery from the Terran Empire of the so-called “Mirror Universe.”  In other words, it’s not the Discovery from my universe. So much for seeing Tilly again. Then again, just because it’s not the Discovery from my universe doesn’t mean that I can’t have some sort of reunion. Sure, it’ll be twisted counterparts from a universe I don’t know and have only heard of, but I know Tilly. How bad could she possibly get? All I told Somat was that it explained why they weren’t answering our hails. Finally, the Discovery hailed us.

If the Discovery showing up in our time surprised me, I was doubly surprised by who ended up hailing us.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-47-46-358

It was Tilly and, in the Mirror Universe, she became captain of the Discovery! She said that my timely assistance was most appreciated.  Then Tilly said that, speaking for herself and her loyal crew, she thanked me. She introduced herself as Captain Sylvia Tilly and then declared her and her crew’s attempt to seek asylum.  After that, we both just kept staring at each other. Here she is, my best friend from the Academy who I never thought I would see again! Sure, she got a bit of a makeover, which looks great by the way, and she seems much more confident, even got to the top way faster than our Tilly did, but she’s still Tilly!  Apparently, she knew me from her universe because she told me that, in her universe, I was a brunette who wore my hair down and I preferred contacts. I told Tilly that, in my universe, she was a curly red head who kept her hair tied up in a bun, but I’m sure she didn’t contact me just to discuss fashion tips. Tilly also said that, in her universe, I’m dead by her hand.  She claimed that we didn’t see eye to eye on who should take command after the Klingons killed Captain Schaefer. Then Tilly tried to ease my worry by saying that I died quickly.

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-48-18-800

As soon as Tilly saw the look on my face, she started laughing and said that she was just kidding. Then talked about how she got me good. I didn’t know what to do, so I just laughed along and hoped that she didn’t notice it was a nervous laugh.  Tilly said that this would take some getting used to. Then admitted that she’s not sure how, but judging by the sensor readings she’s seeing, and that rather impressive ship of mine, they’ve taken a trip to the future. I told Tilly that it was 150 years, to be exact and assured her that it was strange for me too. Instead of sympathizing with me, Tilly blew me off! She said that she was sure that the science behind all of this is fascinating, but we have some more immediate concerns to address, namely the Klingon boarding parties running wild on her ship.  Of course, Tilly’s just a little upset about her current situation. I felt guilty for getting angry with her, so I offered to send an away team to assist. I’ll always have Tilly’s back, no matter what universe she’s from. Tilly said that she’ll have her chief of security, Patel, meet my team at the transport coordinates with a security detail and said that she looked forward to meeting me in person. Well, it is technically our first meeting even if we have met each other’s counterparts.

So, me, my away team and my raptor, Artemis, beamed aboard the I.S.S. Discovery and Somat told us that sensors indicated numerous life signs in our vicinity, he read multiple high energy discharges as well.  Somat then said that the data was consistent with 23rd Century phaser and disruptor weapons at the highest setting. He warned us to proceed with caution because, in the heat of battle, we could be seen as an enemy by anyone we encounter there.  I told Somat that we’d be okay, which he took as arrogance rather than trust in a friend. At first, I couldn’t help but be in awe as I looked around the starship, or a different universe’s version of the starship, that I used to dream of serving on.  My thoughts were interrupted when the Discovery’s chief of security welcomed me to the I.S.S. Discovery. I assumed that she was Chief Patel, but that turned out to be way off the mark. The new chief of security told me that Patel was relieved of command just like we’re going to be relieved of our fancy 25th century weapons!  My away team and I armed ourselves and I told the new security chief that Tilly wouldn’t approve of this. All the security chief said was that their captain was weak and I’m a fool! According to her, the Terran Empire tolerates neither one. The chief said that some would call this mutiny, but any captain willing to conspire with Federation trash is no captain of theirs.  Then she told us to hand over our weapons or they’ll pick them off of our corpses, the “choice” being ours. Artemis growled at the chief as I made it very clear that our weapons stay with us and that she needs to stand down while she still can.

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-51-22-574

This woman picked a bad time to pick a fight with us, because we easily beat her and her security team. After that, I got a call from Tilly who was surprised that we were now transmitting.  She welcomed me aboard the Discovery (her Discovery, not mine), and told me that things got a bit more complicated. Tilly bitterly told us that it seems some of her crew have decided that now is the perfect time to express their concerns with her command decisions. I only responded by remarking that her crew’s doing it rather violently. Tilly just got a bit more frustrated and said that, if the Klingon boarding parties weren’t enough to deal with, now she has a mutiny on her hands.  Then Tilly asked me if Chief Patel made it to us. Tilly explained that she was supposed to escort us through the security fields to the bridge. I told Tilly that Chief Patel wasn’t here, but the fields still are. Artemis wouldn’t stop growling at my communicator, something Tilly heard because she asked me who the new creature was. I explained that it’s my raptor, Artemis. Tilly seemed intrigued that I had a raptor and I told her that I would explain when we meet in person. Then Tilly told me that she and her crew will do what they can from the bridge, but they’re a bit locked down there at the moment.  She said that, according to their internal sensors, Chief Patel is in our deck’s security station, which is not far from our current position. Tilly guessed that Patel was trying to lock down this ridiculous mutiny. Tilly told me to find Patel and she’ll be able to override whatever the mutineers are doing to raise those fields. Then Tilly said to take them down on my way to the turbolift. I turned off one of the shields and then we ran into more mutineers who gloated about how their “guests” got a warm welcome. Then another mutineer panicked by warning the gloating one that we’re still alive. You can bet that we took care of them easily.  As soon as we got to the controls, Savea warned us that she detected high energy readings and numerous life signs on the other side of the door. I opened the door only to see the lead mutineer holding a crewmember captive in what looked like some kind of torture thingy. He turned to us and snidely remarked about how Tilly’s “allies” were still alive.

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-54-55-275

Artemis was about to rush over and show this guy how dangerous we were, but I held her back. She’s only a hatchling, so I want to keep her close to me. My away team and I armed ourselves while the man only remarked that, if you want something done right… He didn’t finish his sentence as he ordered his loyal mutineers to put their weapons at their highest setting.  Unfortunately, this group put up more of a fight but we managed to hold our ground. The lead mutineer even ordered his loyal companions to kill us now or he’ll kill them. Does compassion not exist in their universe? Eventually, we defeated them and Artemis immediately rushed over to the torture thingy while the prisoner tried to tell me to release the controls but couldn’t because of the pain.

GameClient 2019-04-11 14-56-47-485

I immediately freed the poor woman and asked her if she was all right as she collapsed on the ground.  She managed to pick herself up and then said that she’s guessing I’m the one the captain sent her to meet. The woman introduced herself as Security Chief Patel and thanked me for saving her. I asked Patel if she was all right, still trying to comprehend what I just saw. Chief Patel said that she makes it a habit to be on the outside of an Agonizer Booth, but she’s spent her fair share of time in one too, so she’ll manage. I couldn’t help but point out that she makes this sound normal. Chief Patel only brushed me off by saying that, in this universe, it is normal. Me and my away team could only stare at each other in shock, wondering what kind of universe these people are from that something like this is normal! Patel asked me what the situation was, and if the captain was still in command. I told Patel that Tilly is, for now. Patel could only laugh and say that she isn’t surprised, because it would take more than Klingons and mutinous riff-raff to end Sylvia Tilly, something that made me nod. Even if she’s not my Tilly, I always knew that she had potential.  Then Patel remarked that she’s surprised that Tilly hasn’t killed them all herself, something that does NOT sound like my Tilly. Patel said that, in the meantime, she has orders to get me to the bridge and she intended to obey them. Patel told us to follow her. I responded by telling her that the path’s blocked by a security field. Patel only said that it’s not a problem because there’s no code that she can’t crack. Patel reassured us that she’ll have those fields down in short order and that we need to cover her while she works. She was expecting uninvited guests. Patel was right because, a few seconds later, more mutineers swarmed in and we had to take care of them. Eventually, Patel managed to get her authorization codes back and we left the security room. Patel led us to the turbolift to the bridge.  At least, she tried to until we got ambushed on the way. Thankfully we managed to defeat them, but Patel had another security field that she had to turn off. We got a call from Tilly, who said that they’re reading the loss of security fields on our deck and asked if we found Chief Patel. I told her that we did and we’re on our way to the bridge. Tilly was happy to hear good news for a change, though she’s not terribly surprised. According to Tilly, Patel’s harder to kill than a honey badger. Then Tilly asked if I was ready for the bad news. I’ll be honest when I say that I don’t know how this could get any worse. The only thing that’s holding me together is that I’ll be able to see Tilly again. She told me that the Klingons have taken several lower decks and are moving in our direction. Tilly warned us to keep our weapons hot because they’re killing everyone they run into and they won’t make an exception for me, but remarked that the raptor of mine could bite their heads off.  I told Tilly that Artemis is only a hatchling, shocked that she would even suggest such a thing. Tilly advised us to stick with Patel and get up here as soon as we’re able to, which was actually our plan all along. We went along the corridor, trying not to get too upset at the sight of officers lying dead in the corridors. Patel warned us that she heard Klingon disruptors up ahead and that we need to be ready for anything. The mutineers forgot about us, concentrating all of their energy on what they called “Klingon scum.” Unfortunately, we still had to fight both groups before we could continue down the corridor.

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-02-44-284

Tilly called us and told us to hold our position, because there’s been an… incident. The way she said it sent chills down my spine as I asked her what kind of incident. Tilly told me it was the Klingon kind and then specified that they took control of main engineering. According to Tilly, they killed her chief engineer and his security team in the process. Tilly said that they’re threatening to breach the core if she doesn’t surrender, but she told me that is not going to happen.  I suggested that, if things have gotten this out of control, then maybe we should evacuate. Tilly said that evacuate sounds a lot like “retreat” to her and that’s not going to happen either. Tilly insisted that the I.S.S. Discovery was HER ship and she was not going to abandon her. I smiled and told Tilly that I really admire her confidence, hoping that the Tilly I knew managed to find her own confidence. Tilly didn’t even acknowledge my compliment and told me to take Patel, get down to Engineering, deal with the Klingons and make sure that core breach never happens. I told Tilly that we’d do what we can, feeling a little hurt that she didn’t even acknowledge my compliment, but maybe it was because of the situation. Tilly recommended that we deal with this problem quickly because neither of us will enjoy their solution and then cut the communication. We went down the corridor while Patel suggested that the Klingons probably cracked Rathmon’s code, which she was definitely not happy about. Some Klingons tried to ambush us on our way to the turbolift, but we made quick work of them. Then we boarded the turbolift and went to the Engineering deck.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-07-45-151

Tilly contacted us and told us the bad news first. She informed us that there’s more Klingons down there than we thought. So, we’ll be fighting our way to Main Engineering. Then Tilly gave us the good news, which is that they’ll be shooting at the mutineers down there. I couldn’t stop myself from being alarmed that Tilly would call that good news! Tilly said that they’re a bunch of mutineers, so why should she care? I told Tilly that, mutineers or not, they’re still members of her crew and wishing for their deaths is a little extreme. Tilly said that, if the Klingons are shooting at the mutineers, it’ll make my job a little easier, so I should be happier about that. Then she hung up before I could respond, leaving me dumbstruck. The Tilly I knew wouldn’t be cheering for anyone’s death. How different was this Tilly from the one that I went to the Academy with? I didn’t have time to dwell on that as more Klingons arrived and I heard a crewmember screaming for help! This crewmember was screaming for the recently deceased Engineer about how they were trapped on the Engineering deck and they needed reinforcements now! We went down to corridor, wanting to help these poor hostages out.  Unfortunately, we got ambushed by Klingons and mutineers. Something Patel pointed out as she told us to take them all down. Meanwhile, a Klingon wanted to get some jammed doors open because V’mak wanted those cowards dead. Once again, we took care of the Klingons. 

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-08-57-177

When we went further down the corridor, we came across more chaos. Patel remarked with disgust about how the Klingons weren’t even targeting vital systems, they’re just trashing the place. Then she told us that Main Engineering was just up ahead and that we needed to hustle. Another crewmember that I could see said that Rathmon’s dead and we will be too if I don’t get that turbolift open. I told them that I’m trying! Just let me take care of the Klingons that want us dead first! Finally, we managed to defeat the outside Klingons and opened the doors to Engineering with Patel making a plan. She said that, on my lead, we’ll breach. Patel told me to go high while she goes low. Together we defeated the Klingons and secured Engineering. Tilly contacted me and said that it looked like the Klingons were in a hurry and made a remark about how it’s sloppy work. Tilly bragged about how she was solving engineering problems like that when she was a first-year cadet.  Well, at least she has that in common with our universe’s Tilly. This Tilly told me to rebalance the matter/anti-matter inducers and adjust the flow rate to point five. Then remarked that it should bring the core back from the brink quite nicely. I told Tilly not to worry, because we can handle it. After I cut the communication, Patel said that she hoped I know what I’m doing because that warp core looks fit to breach. However, I managed to stabilize the warp core and then Tilly contacted me again to congratulate me. She said that I cut it a little close with the core, but since we’re all still here, she’s going to call that a win. Then Tilly said that, since we’ve got a little room to breathe, I should come up to the bridge. She told me that there’s a turbolift nearby that she relaxed the security locks on. I told Tilly that we were on our way.

We went to the bridge and I couldn’t be more excited that I was finally going to see Tilly again!  She just turned around in her Captain’s chair to face me, also happy that we could finally meet! Then said that I seemed surprised.  I told Tilly that, in our universe, she could barely go through an oral report without having a nervous breakdown and now, here she is, captain of the Discovery.  Before Tilly could respond, Artemis stood in front of me protectively as if she was going to murder Tilly. I told her to stand down, but Artemis still wouldn’t drop her guard around Tilly.  Tilly only remarked that Artemis was one fierce little lizard. I told Tilly that Artemis isn’t a lizard, she’s a Voth raptor. Tilly reminded me that I said I would explain Artemis to her. Before I could explain further, one of her crew asked her if they could trust us assholes, his words not mine.  Then Tilly grabbed a phaser and pointed it at her crewmember, demanding that he watch his language!

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-13-02-934

Tilly saw that I was staring at her as if I’d never seen her before and, in all honesty, I’m starting to wonder if I have. It feels like I’m looking at a complete stranger who just happens to have the face of my former friend.  Then Tilly put her phaser away, said in a joking manner that cursing is such a filthy habit and encouraged me to finish my story. I told Tilly that there’s not much to tell, I found Artemis abandoned by Voth on the Solanae Dyson Sphere and took her in. By the look on Tilly’s face, she wanted to ask me what the Voth were but, instead, she congratulated me for doing well against the mutineers and explained that they weren’t fond of her decision to seek asylum.  Tilly admitted that it’s unpleasant, but better than the fate they left behind. She explained that, in their universe, Pahvo was a cruel and deadly entity and being sent there is a death sentence. Apparently, that’s exactly where they were sent in their universe. What kind of hell do these people come from? Tilly suggested that an enemy of hers might have decided that it was time for her to retire permanently. Then Tilly said that we needed to get down to business.  First, she told us that she has no interest in hostilities with our government and that she meant what she said about asylum. I asked Tilly if the rest of her crew feels the same way.  She says that she speaks for her entire crew and, while the mutiny was unfortunate, they are Terrans. Tilly explained that dominance is often challenged in her universe and has to be maintained. She said that the mutineers saw an opportunity, took their shot and missed big time. Tilly claimed that everyone left saw the price they paid for their failure, so the rest of the crew will definitely fall in line.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-14-55-065

Then she thanked us for helping her deal with the problem. After that, she mocked Patel for getting captured by saying that her chief of security felt like spending time in an Agonizer Booth during most of the conflict. Tilly told Patel that, if she knew that she liked the booths so much, she’d keep her in one more often. Tilly sounded serious and I’m starting to wonder if her comment earlier about killing me in her universe was not a joke. Patel got angry and wanted to say something but stopped herself mid-sentence and said that Tilly was right to say so and that it won’t happen again. Tilly told Patel to see that it doesn’t, because she’d hate to have to replace her but she will if she must.  I tried to dissolve the awkwardness by asking Tilly what her plans are and she told me that the next step is to get her vessel back in working order before those Klingons come back to finish them off. Tilly said that it won’t be easy because she’s down a Chief Engineer, the power grid is in shambles, they have multiple hull breaches, and they’re nowhere near battle-ready. Tilly remarked that it was a real shame, because she was looking forward to getting to know me over a nice steaming bowl of Kelpien. I didn’t even hide my horror from that and begged Tilly to tell me that she’s joking! Tilly said that, in her universe, it was my favorite dish! I firmly told Tilly that, in this universe, I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat living beings, much less sapient ones!  Tilly only made a remark about how, in this universe, I was one of those people.  I contacted the Discovery, wanting to get off of this ship as soon as possible.  Nar answered and asked if everything was all right. He told me that they detected a surge in the I.S.S. Discovery’s warp core but now it’s operating at a safe level.  I told Nar that I need an Engineering team beamed over here ASAP. Nar told me that they’ll beam directly to Main Engineering and get to work. I cut the communication and asked Tilly if there was anything we can do on the bridge.  She said that their shields are down and, if the Klingons don’t get them, it’s only a matter of time before the ion storm does. Tilly told me to monitor that console while she tries to get the main deflector back online. Tilly said that she’d order her chief science officer to do it but she chose her loyalties poorly.  I didn’t even want to know, so Tilly ordered me to start a diagnostic on the shield emitters while she recalibrates the Main Deflector. I immediately ran a diagnostic. 

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-16-48-161

Right after I was done, Tilly warned us that Klingons were invading the bridge. While we were shooting at them, one of the Klingons told the others to kill everyone, but the captain is his.  After we took care of the Klingons, Tilly told us that the main deflector is in position and told me to recalibrate it now, which I did. More Klingons beamed aboard, to Tilly’s disgust as she compared them to Xethian bed roaches. I got a call from my Engineering team, saying that they managed to restore partial impulse power to the I.S.S. Discovery.  After that, Somat called and said that sensors were picking up numerous Klingon vessels decloaking, so combat is imminent. Then he strongly recommended that we return to our ship at our earliest convenience. I told Somat that we will be as soon as we’re done here. Tilly sounded almost sympathetic as she told us that captains should be on their own ship in the heat of battle.  Then she told us to go and that they’ll take it from here. I thanked Tilly, seeing a bit of my Tilly in her as I contacted my Engineering teams. They told me that they have impulse power restored, but only just. Then they said that, if I want this to be more than just a patch job, they’ll need more time. I sadly told them that their time is up and that we need to return to our ship.  Tilly thanked me and said that, if we survive this, she’s looking forward to repaying the favor and added that, if we ever catch up, she’ll remember to make sure I’m served a vegetarian dish. I thanked Tilly, knowing that there was definitely some of my Tilly in her but made it clear that neither one of us will be eating Kelpien. Tilly told me to go before it’s too late.

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-18-59-966

We beamed back to our ship, though I felt guilty about leaving Tilly in an almost impossible situation.  I didn’t have time to dwell on it, because Savea told me that the Klingons were hailing us. We got hailed by one of them who said that he doesn’t know how they came to be here, but he doesn’t care.  He said that what he does know is that we have a mutual enemy. I told the Klingon defensively that Tilly is not my enemy. The Klingon told me that I was a fool, if I believed that! Then he said that he intended to destroy that ship and mine with it, if we get in his way!  He told me to be smart, because our ship may have the technical advantage, but they have the advantage of numbers and they’re Klingon. This man had the nerve to claim that, if I stand with the I.S.S. Discovery, I will lose! Then he said that, if I fight with him, I’ll live to see another day!  I made it very clear that the I.S.S. Discovery and her captain are under my protection. He once again called me a fool and said that I was fighting in a burning house! We had to fight the Klingons and, in the middle of the battle, Somat told me that the I.S.S. Discovery was altering course towards Pahvo, at full impulse!  Then, while we were protecting them from the Klingons, Somat told me that the I.S.S. Discovery was lowering her shields and he was reading transporter signatures to Pahvo’s surface. What the hell is so important that they have to beam someone down to Pahvo in the middle of combat? Nar managed to re-establish communications with the very ship we were protecting and put them through.  Patel explained that Tilly left the ship and she’s in command now. So the I.S.S. Discovery is back in the fight. I wanted to ask Patel why Tilly would leave her own ship after making a huge fuss about how she would never abandon her, but Somat told me that he was reading numerous Klingon vessels decloaking. So, I would have to find out after we clean up Tilly’s mess. During the battle, Kwon told me that he was detecting a massive energy surge on Pahvo and said that something was…  Before he could finish his sentence, a large beam came from the Planet Pahvo that wiped out not only the Klingons, but nearly destroyed my ship and injured Artemis!

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-25-09-224

I ordered one of my crew to take Artemis to Sickbay! While one of the bridge crew left with an injured Artemis, Savea told me that whatever that was hit us so hard that she was receiving casualty reports from all decks! I ordered helm to use evasive maneuvers and for Tactical to give a report. Savea said that our shields are at full, our deflector’s online and are weapons are all ready.  Then she explained that the beam bypassed all of our defense systems like they weren’t even there! I asked Somat for an analysis and he said that, based on what the sensors recorded during the attack, it appeared that we were hit by psionic energy manifested into an energy pulse of considerable magnitude. Then he said that the attack originated on Pahvo! I know, I saw it happen but I still don’t believe it! Savea said that we were receiving a hail from Tilly. I couldn’t believe it! There was Tilly standing at the other edge of my screen, holding a knife in her hand with a malicious smile!  She said that she didn’t like red in her ledger and, since I saved her ship, she spared mine… this time! I told Tilly that she killed some of my officers, left a ton of them severely wounded including Artemis, who’s in Sickbay because of her, and she calls that a favor? Tilly rolled her eyes and said that it was my first and last warning, leave the system while I’m able to. I demanded to know what Tilly was planning and what she wanted to gain from this. Tilly only laughed at me and asked me if I hit my head in the fight. Then she said that what she had to gain was pretty obvious, everything. Tilly bragged about how Pahvo’s reach is infinite and, after a few more demonstrations of its power, everyone in the quadrant will have no choice but to swear allegiance to her or die! Then Tilly started fantasizing about being called Empress Tilly! I was in such a state of shock that all I could say was that she’s insane!

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-26-36-893

Tilly only said that it didn’t matter, because she’s the one calling the shots and she’s pretty sure that she told me to get lost or get wrecked. Then Tilly asked me who the insane one was here, her or me, the lunatic staring defiantly down the barrel of the ultimate weapon? Tilly finished up by saying that her trigger finger’s getting itchy.  After that, all I could say is that she’s not my Tilly.  Tilly, or this twisted abomination of her, only laughed and said that, considering how weak my Tilly was, she’ll take it as a compliment! I wanted to shout at her, but Somat stopped me. He told me that he was reading an energy signature on the surface of Pahvo that matches the initial blast from the planet. Somat said that we wouldn’t survive a direct hit, so he strongly recommended that we exit the system immediately. I didn’t know what else to do, so I took Somat’s advice.

As soon as we were in safe distance, Somat told me that Captain Tilly’s betrayal, while unfortunate, was not entirely unexpected.  He said that her use of the agonizer technology to weaponize the ecosystem of Pahvo is a matter of utmost concern. Somat believes that he can devise a means to neutralize her technology, but he will need time to conduct research.  Then Somat told me to rest assured that he will endeavor to counter Tilly’s insidious actions as soon as possible. The scientist said that I should prepare to take action at a moment’s notice, because the lives of untold millions, including our own, could be at stake.  

GameClient 2019-04-11 15-28-19-897

I didn’t answer Somat and excused myself to my Ready Room, locking the door and then crying my eyes out. Somat said that Tilly’s betrayal was predictable but, if that was so, why couldn’t I predict it? All she did was talk about how she killed me in her universe to take command, then said it was good news that the mutineers in her crew would die, then she pointed a gun at a member of her own crew for swearing and threatened to put her own chief of security in an agonizer booth for the rest of her life. Artemis wouldn’t let Tilly near me and, when Tilly heard about Artemis, she wanted me to train her to be a killing machine. To top it off, she offered to eat a sapient being with me! Oh dear God, I am a fucking moron! I trusted a complete monster that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have gone near with a ten foot pole just because she had my late best friend’s face! I felt so distraught that I grabbed a knife and hacked my own hair off!

GameClient 2019-04-11 16-50-20-080

Hey, I may have doomed a planet of peace loving aliens, killed and injured some of my crew, put my beloved companion in Sickbay and doomed the entire Alpha Quadrant, but at least I got a new hairstyle out of it.  I should’ve teamed up with the Klingons and blasted Tilly’s ship to smithereens!

A/N: As you can see, the screenshots now show the dialogue boxes and I was able to capture the cutscenes.  This is all thanks to Hashakgig1106, who told me to install Bandicam which I will now be using to take screenshots.  Of course, I realize that I’ll have to turn off the announcements and play entirely with the keyboard now.  Anyway, what did you think of Bianca and my recap of the first Mirror of Discovery mission?  Feel free to Role Play in the comments with your own Star Trek Online character.  You can also request Star Trek Online missions for me to recap and even team up with one of my characters for one.

Persian Nights: The Moonlight Veil Beta Test

1547140975_2pzzg

When the twin moons of Persia approach their full phase, the Academy restricts the students from using magic for their own safety.  Unfortunately, this is when Melika’s sister goes missing. Now she’s alone as she searches for her missing sister.

This is a fantasy story with a mystery twist.  I’ll admit, I didn’t go into this game expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised.  I loved the artwork, the setup of the world and the interaction between the characters!  I never even played the previous game in the series and I had no trouble following this game.

The game play is your typical hidden object with you collecting items and using them in various locations.  Some objects require you to take part in a hidden object scene. This game has an added bonus of giving you a loving companion who can breathe fire when full and eat fire when hungry.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is very intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out!

Post Navigation