Personal Log: Azera Xi
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Chronological Order)
Azera Xi's Biography
The Roanoke Crew's Biographies
Personal Log: Aboard the Salamanca
Personal Log: When it Rains
Personal Log: Ghosts of Donatu
Azera Xi: In Memoriam
Personal Log: The Wild Blue Yonder
Literary Challenge: Fools and Children
Literary Challenge: Repondez s'il vous Plait
Personal Log: Blast from the Past
Personal Log: Days Gone By
Literary Challenge: Original Sin
Personal Log: Fall Seven Times
Literary Challenge: Dead Drop
Incoming Message: The Truth (by marcusdkane)
(This is my first character and, though I'm proud of her story, her bridge crew's bios and the logs I've written for her so far, there doesn't seem to be any way to make those things available for other people in the game (please, please Cryptic, fix that blank character info bug!). So I thought I'd post them in a thread here instead, for anyone who'd like to read them...)
Female Alien, Science Officer (Captain)
Legends are told of the earliest days of the Delta Quadrant, though few archeologists have managed to sort out the facts from the myths. Some of those myths say that when the Borg Collective first emerged from the cybernetic network that birthed it, it began to assimilate the worlds its own people had colonized centuries before. It hunted down every last trace of the organic species it had once been, a grim reunification that left no one to warn the galaxy of what was to come.
Those are the stories.
What's known for certain is that 12 years ago an alien child was found in a stasis pod, following a course that traced back toward the Delta Quadrant. Its near-light impulse drive made it impossible to guess the pod's age and it contained no computer records at all; it seemed designed to use as little technology as possible. As for the child, the only name anyone could find for her was the one inscribed on the hull: Azera Xi.
She awoke shouting in a language the universal translator couldn't decipher at first, in a thrashing, telekinetic fury from a nightmare she refused to believe had ended. Azera grew up on Earth and joined Starfleet as a young ensign with little memory of her past but a cheerful idealism toward the future. She relapsed, however, the first time she saw a Borg cube, covering her ears and whispering fearfully about the "machine-priests," the "black cubes" and "apostate worlds" before crying out for her parents and collapsing.
Azera Xi doesn't remember what she said, and she's continued to prove herself a resourceful, if impulsive, officer, but the incident prompted Starfleet Command to quietly order a more thorough examination of her pod. Though the ship's hardly more advanced than a 22nd century Earth shuttle, there's no doubt about the power readings and metallurgical scans. Out of all the known spacefaring species in the galaxy, the closest match in the Federation archives is Borg technology.
(A rule of thumb for the bridge crew is that I accepted everyone the game gave me with no changes to their names and wrote the stories around their races, professions and when the game introduced them. One interesting result is that there's just one lone human aboard the USS Roanoke... :) )
Female Andorian, Tactical Officer (First Officer)
A fellow survivor of the Borg attack on Vega Colony, Ensign Corspa had only served aboard the USS Khitomer for a few weeks before her ship came under attack. After Azera Xi averted a warp core breach on the Khitomer, Corspa returned the favor by helping restore the Roanoke's crippled systems and devastated chain of command. As fiercely combative and calculating as any Andorian, she quickly took charge of the remaining security detail and managed to bring the ship's weapons back online just in time to fight off an approaching Borg cube. When Azera Xi was promoted afterward to acting captain of the USS Roanoke, Corspa accepted a transfer to the Roanoke's crew as its tactical chief and first officer.
Male Andorian, Engineering Officer (Chief Engineer)
When Azera Xi took full command of the USS Roanoke, one of the first bridge candidates assigned to her from Earth Spacedock was the ingenuous Andorian engineer Nyzoph Ythlip. Unfortunately, Nyzoph's reaction upon arriving on the bridge was outrage at the sight of Corspa, and their argument quickly led to a physical confrontation that ended with a phaser being drawn on both of them. Despite her better judgement, Azera accepted each one's apology and claim of responsibility, and approved his assignment. The two Andorians have developed a grudging respect for one another, while the rumors about their animosity range from Corspa and Nyzoph being rivals in the Imperial Guard to their being former lovers.
Female Trill, Science Officer (Operations)
Auslaz had always dreamed of becoming a joined Trill. They seemed almost like gods to her, with memories spanning centuries and lifetimes woven forever into the symbiont's being. That sense of reverence may have been the very reason the Symbiosis Commission rejected her as an initiate, though her skittish, timid demeanor probably also played a hand. Left without a sense of purpose, she eventually applied to Starfleet Academy and, after graduating with honors, became an astrophysicist aboard the Roanoke. When Corspa and Nyzoph nearly came to blows during their first meeting, she was the one who drew a phaser to break up their fight, and since then she's gradually begun to regain her self-confidence.
Male Bajoran, Science Officer (Chief Medical Officer)
Umliz Kwam's resignation from the Vedek Assembly sparked a wave of controversy on Bajor, and his subsequent decision to reenlist in Starfleet, on the condition of an immediate transfer to Azera Xi's command, raised questions about his mental health. Having already served aboard the USS Venture during the Dominion War, he was immediately assigned to the Roanoke as a bridge science officer alongside Auslaz. A calm, spiritual figure even under the most trying circumstances, Kwam explains his motives only by saying that he serves the Prophets. He's also become something of a mentor to the young captain, and hints in their conversations that he believes she may be far older than she suspects.
Angel Jermaine Cragin
Male Human, Tactical Officer (Security Chief)
Angel Cragin never really believed his father's nostalgic stories about the Federation. Born and raised on Cestus III, a colony world that began its history with a massacre and now sits on the front lines of the Klingon war, he enrolled in Starfleet less out of ideology than to protect his home from its enemies. His cynical outlook served him well as a criminal investigator, though, and after meeting Corspa at a Tactical Ops seminar and later helping the crew capture a Ferengi arms dealer, he transferred from Starbase 114 to become the ship's security chief. His presence aboard the Roanoke has attracted the notice of baseball fans, who still remember his previous stint as star pitcher of the Cestus Comets.
Male Betazoid, Engineering Officer (Helm)
Luverala Onploz may be Betazed's most reluctant telepathic prodigy. As a psychically gifted child, he made both medical history and military history during the occupation of Betazed by using his empathic powers to reduce an entire Dominion base to a cataleptic stupor. That he did so by instinctively projecting his own terror at being captured by the Jem'Hadar into the minds of everyone around him is less well known, though it led to his becoming a Starfleet engineer, a career where he need never read another person's thoughts. As a bridge officer on the Roanoke he's gradually befriended Auslaz, whose shy demeanor he shares, and Azera Xi, who likewise struggles with controlling her telepathic abilities.
Personal Log: "Aboard the Salamanca"
It's been almost a week since my promotion to Lieutenant Commander and our reassignment to the USS Salamanca. Starfleet's still researching the unusual chroniton signature found on the Roanoke after our mission in the Azure Nebula, and they haven't dared to guess when, or even if, we might have our old ship back. Even if it's cleared by Utopia Planitia, the quadrant's becoming so dangerous that they might start phasing out Miranda class starships altogether. I've placed a request to rechristen our new ship the Roanoke if necessary: vessels may come and go, but her spirit lives on in every ship we call home.
Two months ago I was an ensign fainting at the sight of a Borg cube. It's still crazy to think about how much has changed since then. I'd give up every accolade just to have our old crew back. Captain Taggart, Commander McMary, Ensign Nara...
Nara was the first person I saw when I woke up that day, after I passed out on the bridge. She'd volunteered to help out in sickbay until I woke up. Two hours, and she just joked that the bridge is boring anyway. She tried to talk to me about what happened, but I didn't really want to think about it. I brushed her off and went back to my duties, and told myself we'd catch up later.
...and she's gone now. Everyone's gone.
* * *
But we've done a lot of good since then, and I think they'd be proud of us. We completed the mission and saved Vega Colony from a fleet of Borg ships. And there's Corspa, and the USS Khitomer. Together we saved both our ships, and when Admiral Quinn assigned me to the Roanoke as acting captain, I couldn't have asked for any braver or more steadfast first officer.
Honestly, had our positions been a little different, had it been the Khitomer that lost its senior officers, she could have been promoted to captain every bit as easily as I was. Not that she'd call that a fair trade, any more than I have, but still, she's never the least bit jealous. She says she's gone from ensign to first officer in record time, and that's more than enough for her. Still, I'm glad the ship's in such capable hands when I'm not around.
Then there's Nyzoph. I thought we were lucky to get such a celebrated genius on warp theory right out of the Academy, but the moment he and Corspa met, they practically started an Ushaan right there on the bridge. It turned out that wouldn't have been the first time: they fought one before on Andoria, though neither one wanted to get into the reasons for it. From what I gathered, Corpsa won the battle, and she spared his life for... well, more of those reasons they didn't want to talk about.
Each of them apologized and, without knowing what the other would say, blamed themselves entirely for the incident. That's the only reason I decided to overlook the matter and approve his assignment as chief engineer, but I haven't regretted it. Despite their rivalry they work well together and, strange as it seems, completely trust each other. Whatever their history, I think they were friends much longer than they've been enemies.
* * *
That first meeting on the bridge could have been so much worse, though, if Auslaz hadn't already arrived. I didn't even notice her until then. She'd been working quietly at the helm, never looking up or introducing herself, and I'd nearly forgotten we were expecting another Academy graduate that day, an astrophysicist. She told me later she felt like a stowaway on her own ship, trying to hide so we wouldn't notice her arrival and make a big deal out of it.
But while I was frantically trying to calm Corspa and Nyzoph down, and not doing such a great job at it, she leapt right to her feet with a phaser set to stun and aimed at them both. Our security staff was still on leave at Earth Spacedock, but we never even needed them. One shy young Trill clutching a phaser as she stared down two enraged Andorians, barking at them to stop fighting and listen to their captain - and they did exactly that.
Then she sat down again and went back to quietly running diagnostics on our navigational system. Corspa and Nyzoph didn't say a word. I hardly dared to say a word either. When I called Auslaz into the ready room later, she thought she was in trouble and was bracing herself for anything from a reprimand to a court martial. Her voice practically squeaked when she thanked me for giving her a commendation for quick and decisive action.
Even now, she's busying herself with the readings from a nearby pulsar and trying not to make eye contact with anyone. But I haven't forgotten the bold, assertive officer who leapt to the occasion that day, and we can always count on her to show up again and again during our away missions. Auslaz claims to be scared of her own shadow, but maybe that's exactly what makes her the bravest one among us when she needs to be.
* * *
Umliz Kwam is our chief medical officer. He transferred from K-7 during the quarantine situation, and it was his experience as a Starfleet doctor in the Dominion War that helped us avert a disaster. He's something of a mystery, though. He'd make an El Aurian jealous with the way he can listen to people's problems: I've found myself telling him more about growing up on Earth and wondering where I came from than I've ever told anyone. I guess it comes with the territory when you've been a Vedek.
Even though I'm supposed to check the background of my crew, I felt a little guilty looking up his records. He doesn't really want to talk about himself and believe me, I can appreciate that. Still, his past only makes him more of a mystery. He resigned from Starfleet after the Dominion War and became a Vedek on Bajor, joined the Vedek Assembly - and then he suddenly resigned to reenlist in Stafleet and request a transfer to the USS Roanoke. Well, not the Roanoke exactly, but to "Azera Xi's command."
I haven't brought that up with him, and when I mention how strange his circumstances seem, he just smiles and says they're strange for him too but he lets the Prophets guide him where they will. Prophets, or wormhole aliens, I guess. The day before Kwam resigned from the Vedek Assembly he consulted one of their orbs, the "Orb of Prophecy and Change." The attending Prylars believed he had a vision. I think maybe it was about me.
Should I ask him about it? Probably so, but there's a part of me that doesn't want to know what he might have seen. It's the same part of me that didn't want to listen to Ensign Nara that day, when she tried to tell me about what happened when I fainted on the bridge. That I didn't just faint away: I said something first, something that sounded important. Whatever it was, it's probably listed in my medical files. I haven't looked to find out yet.
* * *
The dreams have been getting worse again, ever since we engaged the Borg fleet in Sirius sector and destroyed Vessel Four of Ten. I'm in a city, an empty city in the middle of a rocky plain that used to be a forest. There's nobody there, but the city isn't in ruins. Everyone just left. I'm alone, but then a shadow sweeps across the buildings like an eclipse. I don't dare look up, I'm afraid it'll see me if I look up. But even without looking, I already know what it means. It's the people from the city. They've come back for me...
And I wake up.
Well anyway, it's probably just stress. The whole crew must be exhausted after all the missions we've been sent on lately, especially the Orion raiders and the planetary surveys in the Hromi Cluster. And don't even get me started on all the chaos Q's been causing back on Earth. Between living snowmen and miniature Q clones, he's been keeping us busier than the Klingons. He greeted me when we first met as his "favorite lieutenant." I don't know whether to be flattered by that, or very afraid.
We have a backlog of routine maintenance to catch up on: we'll set course for Risa so the crew can enjoy some shore leave while we're waiting. That'll also keep us close enough to Earth for two new bridge officers who should be arriving by shuttle later this week. Angel Cragin's the starbase tactical officer who helped us capture the SS Nandi a few weeks back, and Luverala Onploz was part of the very same engineering group that designed the USS Salamanca. I'm looking forward to meeting them both.
Personal Log: "When it Rains..."
Another day, another confrontation with Klingon "Ambassador" B'vat. I question the use of that word to describe him, but then again, this is a culture that managed to go all the way from prehistory to a spacefaring empire without ever inventing a word for peace. Maybe it's to be expected that Klingon ideas about diplomacy are a little more roughshod than our own.
We still don't know what he's up to other than that it involves developing weapons that can pierce solid neutronium. Auslaz has been practically indignant ever since our mission in the Briar Patch, insisting that what he's trying to do is impossible. Not just difficult or beyond our technology, but literally impossible. It seems that way to me too, but after reading the historical logs from ships like the Enterprise, impossible doesn't sound like such a safe bet. And any weapon that could dent neutronium would be more than a match for anything else in the universe.
Our leads have dried up for now, but we have Admiral Quinn's assurance that they're continuing to question Marta and will contact us with any new information about B'vat's plans. We've also been offered the dubious assistance of a strange intelligence officer who claims to represent Section 31. I heard the rumors about them in the Academy and, needless to say, I'd be wary of accepting his offer even if he's being completely honest.
Especially if he's being completely honest.
* * *
I'd hoped to investigate our mysterious Mr Drake further, but the Borg apparently had other plans. They launched another offensive in the Sirius sector and this time we couldn't gather enough starships to drive them back. They didn't attack any star systems, though, or even make an effort to assimilate the disabled ships in our fleet. One of the Borg command ship's probes scanned our bridge and then... they just stopped. All the Borg ships simply left, as though they'd already accomplished their goal.
I swear I can still feel that cold green sensor beam sweeping across my skin. It's been almost an hour since the Borg fleet vanished from long-range sensors, but I can still hear their voices in my head. Vessel Six of Ten, Unimatrix 47. Biogenic analysis complete, set course for Matrix 010, Grid 23...
It's going to be another bad night.
* * *
On the bright side, our visit to Risa went great and I think our two new bridge officers are going to work out well. I only spoke with Angel Cragin through the viewscreen when he helped us arrest Captain Mok, but he's every bit as charming in person as he seemed then. A bit on the cynical side, perhaps, but a little skepticism can be a good thing for a security chief.
I just hope the three messages I've already received from the crew asking for his autograph aren't a sign of things to come: handling a famous baseball player turned Starfleet officer's adoring fans isn't really something they teach you about at the academy.
Luverela Onploz hasn't quite had such a celebrated arrival, but he's certainly no less interesting. Betazoids are naturally telepathic, much more so than I am, and I couldn't resist trying to greet him by thought. His mind answered me with a musical clarity I've never felt from anyone, but then he spoke aloud to make it stammeringly clear that he'd prefer not to use his abilities.
As renowned an engineer as he is today, he was considered a telepathic prodigy as a child. I wonder what happened?
Personal Log: "Ghosts of Donatu"
We've just returned from a mission in the Neutral Zone at the behest of Franklin Drake and, though I have my doubts about working with any self-professed member of Section 31, so far his assignments have seemed legitimate enough. What we found, though, was chaos, a battle raging between the True Way and the Klingons with Starfleet caught in the middle. Drake thinks that the Cardassians are trying to stir up trouble between the Federation and Klingon Empire in the Neutral Zone. Their plan might have worked better if they hadn't used their own ships.
The fleet's disarray made more sense, though, when we beamed over to their flagship, the Axon. I've never been aboard a Cardassian vessel before. Kwam had, during the Dominion War, and he said they look just as inviting as ever. Steam pouring out of the open vents, lighting so dim that you can't even make out the end of the corridor... I doubt the SCE would approve.
But apart from a few Cardassian guards, who seemed to attack us more out of panic than organized defense, we couldn't even find most of the crew. Its senior officers had simply vanished. As we ventured deeper into the ship, we began to realize why.
Flashes of an eerie blue world began to appear around us, accompanied by triolic bursts of radiation and sinister apparitions. I think all of us were a little relieved when Corspa asked if we were seeing them too: personally, I was starting to doubt my senses. From what we could make of the ship's logs and the few bodies we found, those drifting phantoms had secretly stalked the crew, draining their nervous systems of electric energy.
Even that didn't prepare us for what we found on the Axon's bridge. When we got there, it'd been completely transformed into that alien realm: a ghost ship crewed by faceless spirits.
* * *
They're called Devidians. I remember reading about them in exobiology class, bizarre creatures out of phase with normal space that feed on neuroelectric energy. Also, something about a snake, a portal to Earth's past and Mark Twain, but I honestly never understood that part. The teacher told us not to overthink it, that time and causality don't work the same way when you're dealing with organisms from different subspace domains.
We fell under attack almost instantly: they reached right through our personal shields to suck the life out of our bodies. They nearly killed Nyzoph. I saw him staggering back against the railing and barely managed to telekinetically fling away the thing hovering above him. Usually telekinesis is just a party trick for me: it takes so much concentration to move anything that it's quicker to fire a phaser or just walk over and pick something up. But the blast ripped through the phantom like it was made of paper.
A quick tricorder scan thankfully showed that Nyzoph was fine, and the room changed back to normal after we defeated the last of the Devidians. We're going over the Axon's records now aboard the Salamanca: I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see blue panels and grey carpet in my life. Still, if it could happen to their ship for no apparent reason, then who's to say...
* * *
Anyway, Commander Wildman contacted me a little while ago to answer the questions I'd sent her about the Delta Quadrant. She didn't mind my asking at all, and we had a lot of fun talking about life on Voyager. I'll have to warn our newly promoted Lieutenant Cragin to keep an eye out for telepathic pitcher plants.
She couldn't remember seeing any species that looked quite like mine. I've read Voyager's logs in the historical archives, so that didn't really surprise me. But it's still fascinating to listen to her stories, to think that any one of the planets she remembers could be just one step removed from my homeworld. Did they ever trade with the Talaxians? Were they enemies of the Kazon, or even the Vaadwaur? Did they ever encounter the Voth's city ships? Maybe someday I'll have the chance to ask them myself.
Naomi suggested a few other people from Voyager who might know more. I think I'll check with the Doctor, their former EMH, next. He's away on a medical conference right now but he should be back next week, and his literally flawless memory would be a big help. She insisted that he wouldn't mind talking about it, that I'd get bored listening long before he gets bored telling me about their adventures. I doubt that'd be possible, but we'll see.
I'd better pause for now so I can feed Cho. That's the name of the tribble Ensign McMillan picked up at Drozana Station. I promised to watch her while Kaitlyn's attending the Gratitude Festival, and she's adorable. Oh, but she's sterile, so there's no harm in keeping her aboard. Though I'm a little worried about the five unclaimed tribbles we've found roaming the decks since then...
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