Ezri: You’re kidding, right?
Worf: And Jadzia said I did not have a sense of humor.
Nicole de Boer
The first thing that Martok noticed on their arrival at the planet’s surface, was the wind. Hot, dusty, blustery wind blowing right at him. He never wore a choljaH, but right now, he rather wished he did, and he quickly turned around so that his hair was no longer whipping him in the face. “Bleh!” he spat, displeased. If this what what the local weather was going to be like, then this was not going to be an easy journey…
"yuQvam moH," he agreed, replying to Dax’s comment with a sour face.
The second thing that he noticed was the sunlight. The rocky hills were bathed in a pale, dry yellow and the shadows were long and dark and made every detail of the landscape appear as though in sharp relief. Though it was neither bright nor overbearing, the light was nevertheless quite jarring after the comforting dimness of the Rotarran’s shadowy, red-lit rooms, its paler haze made Martok scrunch up his eye until it adjusted.
The third thing he noticed was the heat. It swept over them in waves, hot, dry, and with not even a smidgen of coolness in the breeze. Klingons, as a general rule, preferred warmth to the cold, but this was a little hotter than Martok was accustomed to, and already he was beginning to feel like his uniform was choking him.
He set it all aside, resolving not to let it hold him back and certainly not to complain. The inconvenience of foul weather conditions were of no concern to a warrior on a mission, and overcoming these problems through sheer determination was a strength that was within his power. Getting the job done under these conditions was a hefty challenge, but powering through the difficulties would only make success that much sweeter to the taste at the end of all this. So, he grit his teeth, and swung his head about, taking a long look at their surroundings and taking it all in.
From one horizon to another, all that could be seen was desolate wasteland, dust and what looked like it might be sand sifting over the rocky hills, blown there by hot flurries of wind which occasionally spiralled back on themselves and twisted the dirt into miniature whirlwinds. There didn’t seem to be any plantlife that he could see- but, granted, it was hard to see clearly further than about fifty or seventy metres or so ahead of them. The hot air billowed and rippled, distorting the more distant landscape behind it in a slight mirage effect. There could well be plants or other features hidden upon the landscape, Martok thought… but they would have difficulty identifying that until they closed the distance between these things and themselves.
He sniffed the air experimentally, but could not smell anything. Instead, Martok got two nostrilfulls of dust for his efforts, and he threw back his head and sneezed.
Ugh. He wiped it on his sleeve, then turned to the others. ”yIlegh,” he muttered to everyone, raising an arm and pointing at the hazy, fluttering landscape, rippling mirage effect produced by the heat. “pa’ luleghchu’laHbe’ mInmaj. yIHoj! yIleSbe’!” He didn’t say any more, but he didn’t feel that he needed to, the implication quite clear enough. Any number of perils could by lying unseen in the distance… even if there were no life forms here, there could be pitfalls, rocks that could trip one over or inanimate dangers hidden in the ground and in the air.
If anything survived here at all, Martok thought, then it would be a miracle. The planet was abominable, and as far as he could tell, there seemed little to eat and nothing to drink. The wind and the heat bore down on one and the dry dust, as Dax had been wise enough to point out already, could likely choke someone to death over a long period of time. But stranger things had happened. Perhaps these scientists would be more resilient than he gave them credit for. After all, they had chosen to travel here in the first place- surely they would have brought provisions to assist with their survival.
When Dax took the readings from the tricorder, Martok nodded. Starfleet tricorders were superior to the Klingons’ hand-held HotlhwI’, so he didn’t even bother to check his own, just trusting Dax’s judgement and following her lead. “yIghoS,” he told the warriors, who obediently fell into step, fanning out as they did so.
The terrain was rocky, treacherous even, and keeping one’s footing on the uneven ground was not easy - especially with hot winds blowing at them. But they slogged on regardless. Martok continuously glanced about himself as he stomped over the rocks, trying his best to keep a look out for anything that might be hidden in the miraging landscape, which illusively seemed to move along with them, remaining the same distance away from them, so that they never passed by it. A couple of times he thought he saw something move, but after staring hard and squinting into the distance, he eventually put this down to his imagination - the mirage causing his eye to play tricks on him. From time to time he cast a glance toward Dax, wondering how she was faring. With her slighter figure she may not be able to stand so firm against the wind, he thought- but she was also wearing less clothes, and had less hair on her head to have blown in front of her face, which would surely be advantages for her.
A sudden clattering sound creaked through the air and at once Martok tensed and looked about, searching for the source of the sound. He was just in time to see a few large rocks lurching across the landscape, a fair distance away, slightly rippling beyond the mirage. He heaved a sigh. They must have been dislodged and thrown across the floor by the wind.
The warriors had seen it too, so Martok made a gesture to get their attention. “pa’ SuS HoS,” he said, pointing at the rocks. “yIHoj,” he reminded them. “Grrrr,” he added, as though to punctuate this.
Ezri took a good look around at the vista before falling into step behind Martok and, too, thought to herself that each member of the team probably wore a class-2 environmental suit for the duration of their stay. In that case, the away team should be picking up signs of modular settlements and at least a shuttle craft. The occasional spats of dust into her fact caused her to squint. A few grains slipped between and lashed at her eyes, which smarted until she daubed at them with her sleeve. What I’d give for an EV suit right about now, myself.
Six Ezris, two Garaks, and a Bashir. Garak is fun to draw. Ezri looks different every time. Bashir’s hair is a little easier.
I feel like I’m improving?
“You can either trust me, or you can stay here and be executed.”
“I vote for option one." - Damar & Ezri Dax
The only episode where they interact is called Strange Bedfellows, its not my fault~! Have some fast-and-sloppy Damzri in Distress inspired by onetobeamup's descent into crack-ship hell \o/
I just got up to this episode and OH MY GOD MIRROR EZRI.
"Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm," rumbled Martok, playing with his whiskers thoughtfully as he studied the image on the screen. No, the planet did not look very nice, it did not look very nice at all. Well that was just grand, he thought— and there was not a trace of irony or sarcasm in that thought. A good hike through treacherous terrain would be a fine challenge, and was something Martok felt like he needed right about now! He’d been cooped up in here for far too long, and would relish the chance of a good leg stretch, not to mention making himself useful on a thoroughly decent rescue mission.
"maj," he said again, genuinely pleased - both with Dax’s good work and with the planet itself. "DaH majol." He stood up abruptly, and cast a gaze once more toward the science officer, making a sweeping, beckoning gesture with one arm to indicate that she follow him. They were going to go directly to the transporter room and then proceed to the planet.
"pa’ majolpa’ vay’ chota’ je DaneH’a’?"
While Martok was contemplating the glories of a dangerous planet, Dax was staring back at the lighter, variably ochre sandy basin roughly in the shape of a betleH facing the northeast and skirted by the dark, russet highlands, half-seriously wondering if she would get peppered to death by sand pellets or pulverised by an incoming meteorite. As if she needed to feel even shorter than she already did, especially around the Klingons. She suddenly chuckled to herself. Well then she’d get her wish —that would be going out with a bang!
Basking in her bad self-puns was abruptly cut short when her eyes caught the motion of his hand, beckoning her to join him, and she immediately rose to follow him into the turbolift while voicing her previous thoughts on the timetable the weather may afford the away team. The procedures Jadzia used to follow coming back to her, she had changed her mind, feeling it would be remiss of her not to ensure he was advised.
"cha’ repmey ‘arghpa’ muD ’oH ‘aqroS’e’. ‘e’ vInoH." If he looked at her face, he would have begun to see signs of doubt creeping into her visage. “‘ej…"
Gaze intent and steady yet unfocused on the wall ahead of them, her teeth chewed lightly on the inside of her lip. A brief moment later, she snapped out of it with a hint of a smile. It was silly, came the impulse just before she spoke. She should ask —no matter what the others, even Martok himself thought.
"HIja’. wa’." Airy was her soprano voice, but firm were her aspirations in this robust language.
Plus, it might give him cause to chuckle and she felt he could stand to smile a bit more. He had such a sweet smile! ‘Sweet’ not being a very Klingon word in spirit, however, she had been keeping that opinion to herself all these long months.
“‘aH thluH Daghaj qar’a’?” She asked, still with that hint of a smile growing while she tilted her head to her left side, hinting that more light-hearted sarcasm was about to follow. “‘ach rur tlhIch tlhuHqu’wI’ tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaH ’oH DaparHa’chugh.”
. . .
On the planet surface a shimmer of light appeared while the accompanying the high-pitched drone transporter beam was partially drowned out by a low-whistling wind. As the sound and shine faded away, the silhouettes of Dax, Martok, and the away team materialised out of the transporter beam.
The first thing Dax felt was a hot wind buffeting her face, and as the group began to fan out, she took in her first view of the surface. The raw bones of the planet lay stripped of their protective layers and exposed to the sky as far as she could see, further than the image of the distant sun sitting just over the rim of the world stretching its pallid, yellow rays through a relentless haze of dust particles racing across its disk between the horizon and the cloud canopy.
"wejpuH." Unnumbered streaks of fiery orange across a troubled, dark sky reflected in the pair of ice blue eyes as the hand at her right hip unholstered her tricorder. "ghIQghachvaD Daqvam naDev’e’ QaQ law’ Hoch QaQ puS." Again with the light-hearted sarcasm. It was accompanied by a raise of her eyebrows as she turned her gaze downward to the beeping tricorder.
To some, the position of the sun may have given a false sense of impending darkness. Darkness would come and it would wrap the planet in an inky shroud but sunset would not be for a few hours yet. To those who had read the data, they knew that this planet had a very slow period of rotation. 134 Earth hours it took to complete one.
Waving it around in front of her, Dax came to a halt. “‘ev HablI’.” She indicated, maintaining her outstretched arm in the direction of the basin. “Sochvatlh… erm. Meters.” Her mind caught between reading the English display and translating into Klingon, she’d momentarily forgotten the Klingon word for the equivalent.
MIT’s Tangible Media is coming along nicely,
"Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace, but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that’s only the beginning."
I’ll generate a number and my muse will react to your muse telling them something they probably don’t want to hear.
5- “On a scale from 1-10, how freaked out would you be if I possibly was about a week or two late?
A moderately confused expression crossed Verelan’s face. What does she mean by that? And… why would it make me ‘freak out’? she wondered.
"That… would highly depend on what exactly you mean by late…" she said cautiously, paraphrasing her own thoughts. "Do you mean late as in late to a meeting or….?" she trailed off.
Ezri stared unblinking up into the emerald green eyes of her 6’8” friend for a moment, then chuckled lightly, shaking her head. “I mean, I think I’m pregnant!” Finally, it had happened after months of trying.
"No," Martok agreed. "Choking to death in a cloud of dust would not be my choice either." Whilst it would indeed be an honour to go out serving one’s duty, rescuing allies from almost certain death… Martok, like most Klingons, would far prefer to go out in glorious- and preferably, successful! - battle. He could think of better ways to end his life than loss of breath due to something like an atmospheric dust cloud. He was quite sure that his opinions echoed those of everyone else on the ship.
Medical aid- now that was something that hadn’t really occurred to him until now. Assisting the sick and the wounded was not one of the primary goals of a Klingon Bird of Prey in any situation, and they were not well equipped to deal with such things. The Rotarran had only one surgeon at present, and he mostly kept to the medical bay, and was avoided by most of the crew except when they needed him. Or, thought Martok, did she mean—? He narrowed his eye at her, thinking that Dax may have been implying something else in addition to just patching up broken bones. Although she was functioning as a science officer, Martok was aware that Ezri’s main field of expertise was as a doctor of the mind… or something of that nature anyway. Counselling was rather an alien concept to Klingons, but that was the best understanding he could make of it at present.
Well… he wouldn’t press the matter. Dax, he acknowledged, knew Starfleet people and their ways better than he did, and if she thought they needed her… in his thoughts he grappled to find a word, eventually settling on yab Hergh - brain medicine - if she thought they needed her brain medicine, then he would defer to her judgement in this matter. Meanwhile, he would make sure that the surgeon was standing by in Sickbay, ready to receive casualties that they would beam up as soon as they could find them.
"HIja’," he agreed. "jIyaj." As if to conclude their discussion, Martok brought the flat side of his fist down on the top of her console, lightly slamming it once, before turning swiftly away and returning to the Captain’s chair.
Time seemed to pass slowly now, but it was not the same crawl of boredom that they had had to endure before. Now it was the slowness of impatience, of having something to do but of having to sit and wait for just a few minutes longer, of watching the clock tick slowly by. Some of the crew were fidgeting or drumming their fingers on their consoles, and even the helmsman seemed to have forgotten the nostril that had so fascinated him earlier (which was unfortunate, because there was something small and squidgy still hanging out of it). Martok, having decided that he was going to lead the landing party himself, was eager to be getting on with this mission, was itching to go, and he too fidgeted in his seat as they continued on course toward the planet. Meanwhile, Kornan returned to the bridge, reporting that a landing party consisting of three warriors was assembled and ready to go. A few minutes later, the helmsman informed that they were entering orbit.
"maj!" Martok replied cheerfully as the image of the planet was transferred onto the main viewscreen. A dull, wretched planet it looked, though very little could really be told about it from visual inspection alone. Nevertheless, Martok found himself leaning forwards and out of his seat a little, squinting at the image- as though he could actually see the finer details of it and locate the lost officers just by staring very hard- whilst he waited for the scans to be conducted and for the science officer to pinpoint their location as he had previously instructed.
"HablI’ vISamta’." Dax announced.
With her confirmation, the map and grid at her workstation was displayed also on the main viewscreen for everyone to see. Overlaying a black background appeared a predominantly russet planet marked with a colour resolution of its surface features provided to the Empire by the latest Starfleet imaging survey of the planet. Overlaying the image was a marigold grid divided into spherical coordinates converted from Federation Standard kilometers to the Klingonese equivalent —nineteen marked lines of
vaghvatlh qelI'qammey latitudinally and nineteen longitudinally. Overlaying the grid was a single pair of white spherical crosshairs centered nearly over the fourth latitudinal line from the northern pole and the twelfth longitudinal line counterclockwise from the Western circumferential arc. The crosshairs’ center displayed a warmly pulsing white dot accompanied with a pair of coordinates displayed just to the right and upward of it on the screen. These were also given in qelI’qammey, which Ezri read off while she continued speaking.
"Quvmeyvo’ wa’ Hut vagh pagh DoD vagh Hut wa’ wej labtaH."
She pressed a button which erased the image and replaced it in the blink of an eye with a zoomed in image of the planet’s surface marked as a four square qelI’qammey area with a one square qelI’qammey marigold highlighted box.
"nochmeymaj ghomHa’taH QuvmeyvetlhDaq toplIn ’ach qelI’qam bID qoDna’Daq." Ezri explained while the room could choose whether or not to commit to memory the surface features displayed to recall and help them navigate by once they beamed to the surface.
She finished with “QaQ muD SaH ’ach nom choHlaH muD Dotlh.” Visibility would be fair once they beamed down. If asked, she would give an approximation of a two-hour window maximum before conditions below deteriorated as a massive storm front was due to blow through. There was a footnote reporting that this region was prone to localised cyclonic activity which was why she brought up the caveat.
Martok misunderstood completely, thinking that Ezri had said “tu’wI’ law” - ‘many seekers’. Fortunately, the misunderstanding had little bearing on the rest of the information (‘many seekers’ meaning essentially the same thing as ‘search party’ or ‘search parties’, in context) so he didn’t really notice it, concentrating instead on the information itself.
He looked at the viewscreen, and listened to Dax’s explanation. By Martok’s estimation, anyone who visited such a planet in spite of its danger, was a fool, and deserved everything they got for their foolishness. On the other hand… there were many unknowns to factor into the scenario. Starfleet weren’t stupid enough to send a science team on a suicide mission for no reason; whatever work these people had been doing on this planet, there would be a good reason for it, he was sure. Perhaps their studies were to play some crucial part in the ongoing war effort. Perhaps they had risked their lives to conduct some kind of vital research. At present, they weren’t to know- but dismissing the distress call would be, he felt, premature.
"mapawDI’ ghor yIHotlh. Sotlaw’chaj Hal yIngu’chu’," he told Ezri. Then he addressed the rest of the bridge crew. "vaj yoS jol Saqghom. Heghbe’chugh DItu’ ‘e’ wInID."
He turned his attention back to Ezri.
"Qu’ DajHa’ ‘e’ Hech. toH! ‘ejyo’ Sotlaw’chaj tu’lu’ ‘e’ vaj Saqghom DajeSlaH. ‘ejyo’ DaSovchu’ ‘e’ nuQaHlaH. nom manej," he assured her. They wouldn’t want to stay any longer than necessary.
He turned and flashed a glance around the bridge. “Saqghom yIghom!” he ordered.
"qaH luq" Kornan replied, eager to make up for his earlier mistake, and get back into the Captain’s good books before Martok could remember it and issue a punishment. And off he went to do just that.
"qaH luq," Dax replied with a swift nod. They were still well out of range to pinpoint an exact location and would need to be in orbit of the planet before she could get anything resolute with all the scattering.
That was all she had thought he would have to say to her for the moment. In her mind, she fairly assumed that she would almost certainly be invited to join the away team as she had invaluable experience and utility to offer on this particular mission. As such, the trip would likely be made shorter for everyone by having a science officer present on the surface of a volcanically active and otherwise potentially hazardous planet, a psychologist available to assist any traumatised survivors, and a Starfleet officer to pick up on anything unusual with regard to the team and its mission.
"Hah." She grinned up at him with light-hearted sarcasm. "I don’t have a death wish! And death by cloud of ash isn’t exactly my idea of going out for good with a bang." Sarcasm had faded into genuine smile as she laughed lightly, then shook her head.
"SuH. Dujvo’ lumejrupDI’," she replied, switching back to tlhIngan Hol. Of course she meant after grabbing her phaser and tricorder before they entered orbit. But joviality too had become muted as she thought back to the contents of the distress call, adding, “chaq boQ Hergh luHevnIS taHwI’pu’.” There was a very slight pause before and after ‘Hergh’ as she held his gaze unwaveringly for the duration as though to indicate it she specifically meant psychological.