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Gregory Paladin
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Location: Powder Springs, GA

In the months prior...

Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:18 am

OOC:

The first two posts in this thread were cut and pasted from this thread due to clutter: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=332&p=3059#p3059

This thread exists to allow a development of character for Gregory, if I so should see fit to use it. Participation in this thread is open! Please PM me first before posting.

IC:

Paladin Residence; 1430 Hours
Outskirts of Clinton, Iowa; Old United States, Earth
Three(3) months before arrival on the USS Portland
AUTHORS: MCPO Gregory Paladin

"Aren't you supposed to be on vacation?"

The question caught Gregory off guard. The afternoon sun bore down on him harder than he remembered as a child, and the lack of humidity helped little in quelling his condition. The off-duty Master Chief Petty Officer had been working on an old tractor unit for his fathers farm, just concluding his work as he had let down the hatch only to be startled by the question from behind him. His body was drenched from head to toe with sweat, a careful wipe of his wrist only smudging grease into the droplets on his forehead. He blinked, ignoring the stinging that came thereafter, turning to look at his father.

"Thought you wanted some chores done, Pa." Gregory had answered with a smile. He looked on as his father approached, the eighty-two year old man wearing overalls with a shirt - and probably nothing else underneath - with a set of well worn work boots. He looked much like Gregory, as would be expected, though more aged and with a more stern expression. The elder Paladin did not return the smile.

"You know what I meant, boy," Arytiss Paladin said, motioning a hand toward the tractor. "You come home and Ma has you doing chores already, then you blame it on me. Gosh darn it, son, I told you that vacations were for relaxin', not workin'!"

Gregory maintained his smile. His father caught him there. It was his mother that wanted the tractor worked on. Samantha was caring, though slightly manipulative in her methods in such caring. When something needed done, she was always the first to ask, though in what fashion she asked always seemed to change. Regardless, the majority of her requests seemed to lean towards helping Arytiss and the home rather than hinder, so Gregory had no right to complain about her, or his father. With a casual turn, he opened the small tool chest he had carried over, returning a wrench he had been holding into its confines. Closing the lid, he lifted it, turning back to face his father.

"Alright Pa," he said, maintaining his smile. "I'm heading away from doing any work. I promise, this time."

"See that you do, boy," Arytiss said. He then reached for the tool chest. Gregory handed it over without resistance. "I'll get the rest of the darned chores your Ma wants done, and you-" he emphasized by pointing a finger at Gregory "-go relax."

"Right away, Pa."

Gregory knew the truth of the matter. His father and mother considered him an adult, and fully respected his decisions in life. Yet he was residing in their home which, at one time, was his. By that right, they had every right - in their minds - to treat him like his younger self. They never seemed to cross the line between respect and authority, and much of it revolved around the manner in which his recent interaction with his father had concluded in, so for the most part Gregory never complained. He knew they loved him.

Waving to his brother as he passed on one of farm trucks, Gregory set about to the guest room; the guest room specifically set aside for Gregory when he decided to return home. He needed a shower, an old fashioned one. Water always seemed to do better than the sonic pulses did.
Last edited by Gregory Paladin on Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
MCPO Gregory Paladin
Chief of the Boat
USS Portland

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Gregory Paladin
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: Powder Springs, GA

Re: In the months prior...

Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:18 am

Paladin Residence; 2200 Hours
Later that same evening
AUTHORS: MCPO Gregory Paladin

"I wish I had you back Gregory," the youngish looking man on the table-top screen said. He was dressed in proper red-and-black command uniform of Starfleet, Captains pips visible. The background visible displayed a potted plant in one corner, with a framed picture of a log cabin in the woods - at least partially visible. It was clearly the Captains quarters for this individual. "I wish you'd just tell me why you left in the first place."

Gregory Paladin sighed. He slumped into his comfortable desk chair, looking up from the screen to his well-lit room. The lights were dimmer than usual due to the ongoing conversation via personal table-top computer, but the light still provided ample view of his guess room on the second story of his childhood home. Much of what had been when he was a child - old electronics, tapestries, his old bed - had been exchanged for more modern amenities. The electrical wire in the home was up to date and code, and the interior had been remodeled at least once or twice since he had joined Starfleet. This a modern country-home type feel for the place, with polished wooden floors and cleanly presentable walls which (in his room at least) were colored a sky-blue that his mother favored. The conclusion of which was the windows; updated, polished, and nearly unbreakable glass stationed. The outside of the home, in appearance, had remained the same.

The interior of his room was quiet. It was the only amicable word to describe it. Two light stands were stationed in adjacent corners of his guest room, and the bed on the other end - which if he laid properly in it his head would face out the southern-facing window to the rolling Iowan hills. There was door to the restroom to his right, and his desk was positioned on the other side of the room, against the southern wall, having him look forward towards the rooms entrance. A bookshelf to the side as well, along with a door to a small closet where he was currently keeping his belongings. As a final touch, his mother had placed local fauna in a pottery in the corner, adding to the quiet atmosphere of the room.

"You know why I did, John," Gregory replied, looking down after his mind had drifted. "The ship reminds me of her."

"Damn lizards," Captain John Arrow said. "Sorry," he quickly corrected, "Didn't um-.."

"It's fine John," Gregory interrupted politely, "I know, I get it. I never told you why, and you're understandably upset. But, look, now that you know, do you think you understand a bit more about my side of the issue?"

There was a pause. The younger Captain looking away, lowering his head as he ran his fingers through his sharply presentable black hair. The Indian gentleman was highly careful with his looks, and the current conversation bode no difference to this priority. "I suppose," John replied after a time, looking back up. "Though, you know, I've got a little bit more respect for you now. Wish you brought this up after it happened during the war. Maybe we could have sought counseling for you."

A smile played Gregory's lips - though smiling was the last of his wants. "I thought about it myself a few times, but I drudged through it. I wanted to serve, to see if I could move on. I couldn't. Nautilus haunted me, John. She just....haunts me. I needed a change of pace, you understand, right?"

"Yeah I understand," the Captain confirmed, smiling - genuinely, Gregory noted. "Yeah, I get it. If after what you went through transpired to me, and then that, yeah, I'd be messed up too. Anyway," he quickly gestured with a hand, swiftly bringing that line of conversation to a close, much to the welcome of Gregory, "I've got a few listings you might be interested in. Course I wanted to ask you if you'd be interested in a Commanders position...-"

The words lingered, but Gregory remained stalwart in his expression. Kind, but denying. Somehow he had managed to present that with just his smile.

"...-but I see you're set in your ways." He sighed, quietly, rubbing his hair again. "Anyway, I don't know these posts, nor their commanders, but one stuck out. One called the Portland. Something to consider. They've got an opening that'll fit your bill, Gregory. Lot of action their way, too. Maybe it'll help clear things up."

"Maybe," Gregory affirmed, gazing to the right of the screen as the email sent by John was received, and a brief overview of the content shown. "I'll look into it."

John looked off screen, then back to Gregory. "Look, I've got to go Gregory. But remember, you're a damned good Chief. Things haven't been the same without you. Try to get yourself in line, and when you think you are, I'll always have that position open for you. Take it easy."

"Thanks John, you too," Gregory replied before the feed ended.

He opened the email thereafter, sighing again, the thoughts of the one he loved lingering as he looked over the standard application. USS Portland, huh? Miranda class? John was thinking of him there, no doubt.

He'd think about it.
MCPO Gregory Paladin
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USS Portland

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Gregory Paladin
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Re: In the months prior...

Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:09 am

Clinton City Park; Clinton, Iowa
Old United States; Earth
The very next day; 0830 Hours
AUTHORS: MCPO Gregory Paladin

Ever since the Great Quake of 2047, the Old United States had gone through some very extreme changes particularly in the manner of scenery and topography. Various other notable seismic events were to follow, but none as devastating and horrible as that event. Despite the appearances of new canyons in the old state, Iowa remained almost completely untouched. Clinton, Iowa, most particularly. Nestled in the eastern corner of the state, just beside the old borders between itself and the state of Illinois, Clinton had once been a gateway city to new ventures westward. During the times before the landscape-changing events, Clinton had progressed to a modern town, and thereafter maintained a sense of small-town life mixed with a welcoming attitude toward a progressive future.

In a sense, despite everything, the town of Clinton could still be defined as quaint, welcoming, and small.

The year of 2392 saw little to change that. Gregory's family, and their business, was of a notable sort to the town due to its continued source of revenue for the region, but overall they were just one business, one part of a complete whole. No particular business or venture in the area rose above the other in significance; farmers still played an important part, and the strong belief of working together as a community kept egos in check. So it was that when Gregory visited the quaint and tidy City Park, his presence was all but overlooked, if not ignored, by passer bys as they went about their day. Some he would know, and greetings in the form of a wave of a hand or one-word speech were exchanged with these individuals, but the vast majority were just slight nods of his head or complete ignorance to his or, in his case, their existence.

This served Gregory particularly well on this day. With his father having spoken his mind yesterday about him working on their farm during his "vacation", and his mother inevitably standing behind her husbands decree, he had little choice but to enjoy the scenery of his home-town. Iowa was full of possibilities, no doubt, and he could have easily visited Riverdale, Iowa to see the birthplace of one of Starfleets most famous Captains, or perhaps other places across the region, but nothing tickled his fancy more than leaning on the old rock wall in the Clinton City Park, which provided ample overlook to the beautiful and wide Mississippi River.

Gregory leaned on his elbows, rested on top of the wall as his upper body slightly leaned forward, and he allowed a breeze from the east to flow across his face and hair. It was refreshing, the coolness of it, and the fullness of the natural force as it brought a slight reprieve from the days sun. His eyes opening, he once again cast them on the famous river.

Tourists were on boats just below him; fishing, some, and others kayaks as they ventured in other, particularly dangerous areas and short creeks that littered the coastlines. Further below, where some rail tracks had once been, he saw hikers as they enjoyed themselves; a hiker family noticing him, waving, and he smiling to wave in return. It was, in the very least, a very perfect day. This bode well for his thoughts, quelling the worries that now dominated his mind.

Particularly, recent communications with his prior commanding officer on a new post. Gregory was still deciding on what to do about researching the USS Portland, on seeing whether or not it fit his criteria as an avenue to get over past events. A thought crossed his mind then, his features contorting as his vividly remembered a scene with a prominent and important figure in his life. His eyes closed, and he took a deep breath in. Willing the thought away, he once again allowed another breeze to wash the feelings from his face.

As he exhaled, Gregory realized just how far down the path of remorse he had gone. There had been little vindication for the events that transpired during the Dominion War, and despite how silly he knew the memories of that day impacting him had become, they were still vivid to him, still important. He needed time to think. Hell, he'd had all the time to think! Why now, then, why here? Why was it coming back so hard on him?

With a sigh, and a realization he needed a chance of scenery, he turned from the majestic view of Mississippi River to return to his truck. His family still operated some vintage personal vehicles, and while the majority had been updated with newer, cost-efficient engines, they still maintained a sort of charm about them. Entering, he turned his vehicle on, and with one last wayward look out to the flowing waters, he bade the city park farewell.

He needed time to think. More time, evidently.
MCPO Gregory Paladin
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USS Portland

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Gregory Paladin
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Re: In the months prior...

Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:17 pm

Starfleet Academy, San Francisco
Old United States; Earth
Two(2) Months before arrival on the USS Portland
AUTHORS: MCPO Gregory Paladin

Gregory placed the full box on the top of his old desk. His office, as he looked around to check, was completely packed. A heavy sigh escaped from his body. Nearly two years he had been here, teaching logistics to a newer and increasingly smarter generation of personnel. Most of them had just come in for the adventure, or to learn a trade for another career out of Starfleet. These were the ones Gregory had attempted to target, and for the most part he had. However the majority of his classes had been for the die-hard future officers, those who would complete the four-year term at the Academy and move on to bigger and brighter things.

Not like an enlisted.

No, Gregory and his ilk were just specialists in a trade, in a subsystem or different type of system. Like Gregory, for instance, knowing all there was on how and where to implement a new policy to assist in supply and demand, or for putting one specialist with another to assist with a problem. Anything outside of that? Sure, he had extensive Starfleet training, but he didn't want to be an officer. Not yet. So anything outside of that was moot.

"Feeling good about the future?"

Gregory turned to the entrance to his old office. Standing there was an old friend, from the Nautilus nonetheless. "Hey Oscar. Yeah, I guess I am."

"Good," Oscar replied. The elder of the duo looking around the now-drab and vacant office, then back to his superior. "I enjoyed serving under you and with you. You were a good teacher. You should have considered the Academies offer."

"I did," Gregory replied with a chuckle. "I'm not a desk jockey." Then, with a look from Oscar, he added, "not too big of a desk jockey."

Oscar entered the room, taking one more grand look around, before approaching the desk. Like much of the furnishing in the office, it would remain. The only things taken were the personal affects. "I followed you for a reason," Oscar began, reaching to take the box from Gregory's grasp. The latter relented the grip, allowing the formers help. "I knew you'd teach well, I knew you'd do well, and I also knew you'd help me find my way eventually. I think I found where I wanted to go, and none too soon it seems."

"Where to?" Gregory asked, leading the way out of the office after grabbing a duffle bag from the corner.

"A Steamrunner class," Oscar said, following behind. "Something different. Miranda's are getting old."

A laugh from Gregory followed, then, "Yeah, well, after 27 years on one I'd want to do something else too. By all rights you should be my superior. Speaking of, why aren't you?"

"You know the answer," Oscar replied defensively.

Gregory nodded, silently. He cleared his throat, continuing. "Guess it's hard to command anyone when you're so closed with yourself."

"You've tried this before, Greg. Won't work."

Oscar understood quite well how Gregory loved to poke holes in his method of social interaction. Which was, blatantly enough, avoiding it entirely.

"I'm not trying anything," Gregory replied coyly. They exited the front of the Academy, heading towards a far off shuttle transport. "Anyway, I'm planning on visiting her grave, finally. What do you think?"

"The lizard woman?" Oscar asked, eyebrow raising. "Doesn't her family blame you?"

The events of that day passed through Gregory's mind, vividly. The escape from the attack from the Dominion, the Nautilus on the front lines of the defense, she becoming trapped and fighting for her life from the Jem'Hadar. Gregory trying to save her. The explosion. Death. Dishonor. An end to a possible future, and the beginning of what appeared to be a much darker, emotionally barren one.

"Not lizard, Gorn," Gregory replied, sighing as he tried to forget those flashbacks. "And yes, they do, the mother at least. The father doesn't. He saw the tapes. Only reason the mother hates me, and half of the family, is because I got involved with her."

"Can't blame an honor-bound culture, Greg," Oscar shrugged. "She was your responsibility. Don't see why you want to put that on yourself, though. Sometimes circumstance trumps responsibility. Wasn't any way you could have stopped what happened."

"Yeah," Gregory replied, quietly. "Yeah I guess so," he said a little louder. "Still, I figured I'd ask if you wanted to go too."

There was a silence, and Gregory had to look to make sure Oscar was still there. The elder was following him still, head downcast a bit. A moment later, they made eye contact. "Okay, sure," replied Oscar, a frown. "But only this once. I hate trips."
MCPO Gregory Paladin
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USS Portland

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Gregory Paladin
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Location: Powder Springs, GA

Re: In the months prior...

Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:11 pm

Starfleet Headquarters; San Francisco
Old United States; Earth
One(1) month before arrival on the USS Portland...
AUTHORS: MCPO Gregory Paladin

"...-and I do not ever want to smell your foul stench again, human. In short, your request is denied. Be gone, and never contact my residence again!"

The recording ended. Gregory sat, emotionless and motionless, at the temporary desk in a temporary office in one of the adjacent buildings around Starfleet HQ. He had been invited to linger there for a few weeks by an old friend, and the two had yet to formally meet after so long. The initial plans for this meeting coincided with Gregory's desire to visit the burial planet of the Gorn, and knowing their practices, he contacted the family of the deceased for their permission. The image of the matriarch mixed with her stern expression he had just reviewed had, to put it in simple terms, destroyed him on the inside.

He had expected to talk to the patriarch, the one he knew closely. What he hadn't expected was that the father of his deceased lover had died a month prior, and the death of everyone the matriarch had cared for had solidified her opinion of Gregory and his ilk; hatred, unmolested and pure, burning and seething hatred.

There was a stinging sensation in Gregory's eyes, both foreign and unusual. He felt two trickles of tears wash down his cheeks. He took in a breath, sniffling back his emotions, trying to in the very least. The torrent of sadness and betrayal of that day, of when the future he had been promised, of the future he promised her, was so blatantly stolen from him, began to emerge. It would not be denied, no matter with proper posture, nor with clenched fists. A new emotion rose with it; tears hot, stinging, and beginning to flow. Anger rose to the fore, and in an instant the civilized and compose complexion of the veteran enlisted non-comm washed away.

The room echoed with the sound of fist pounding against table, of the scream of anger and sadness from so long ago. Then...quiet. A quiet sob. Would he ever be able to come to terms with what happened to him? Would he ever forgive himself? Every avenue he had tried to conclude a horrible chapter in his life had come to utter failure, this most recent venture adding to them. As the tears streamed down his face, and sobs rocking his normally composed form, Gregory Paladin kept his fist clenched upon the table surface, trying in vain to hold back the deepest sadness that escaped his heart.

Peace would not come this day.

But when did it ever come? The experienced Master Chief, whose sobs subsided into quiet breaths of air, sat up. His lack of control over his emotions over, he used the sleeve of his shirt to clean his nose, and the tears from his cheeks and eyes. He had business to attend to now. An old friend to meet. The past would need to stay there, for now.
MCPO Gregory Paladin
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USS Portland

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