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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 844
(Literary Challenge 37 Accepted)
Friend and Foe: A Tale of Two Redskins.
By Tommy Hale (@Lord-Ice)
Character: Vice Admiral Rygobeth Lerginas.

"Captain's log, stardate 90667.1. The USS Deliverance has been patrolling the Tau Dewa sector block for some time. Numerous conflicts have been resolved, and several rather odd occurrences have been handled. We are currently en route to the Japori system, responding to a hail by a scientific organization on Japori II. They report an unusual anomaly near Japori VII, and have requested we investigate."
***
Vice Admiral Lerginas walked from his ready room onto the cavernous bridge of the retrofit Galaxy-class Dreadnought. The bridge was "Diplomat"-style: Standard Galaxy-class, realistically, but with lighting more to Rygobeth's liking. His height, just over two meters, and his dark red skin made him stand out among the many humans (and near-humans, such as the Trill, Betazoids, and Vulcans) on the bridge. As he neared the center of the room (after only a few long strides), he asked, "Helm, what is our status?"
Kopaka, a refugee from his native Breen Confederacy, reported in the usual robotic tone created by the snout-like mouthpiece on his headgear. "Currently at warp four point two, arriving in Japori VII orbit in two minutes." Knowing her role was up next, Raydza, the ship's Betazoid chief science officer, reported, "Preliminary sensor scans show a large anomalous energy reading near one of the gas giant's larger moons. No sign of vessels nearby, but I wouldn't count out the possibility of Romulan involvement." Rygobeth took the center seat and nodded. "As well you shouldn't Commander. Helm, take us to impulse and put us two hundred thousand kilometers off that anomaly. Raydza and Gollum, prepare a full sensor sweep. Remata'klan," he said to his Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, "keep an eye out for any possible hostile ships. Shields and weapons to hot standby. I wouldn't put it past the Tal Shiar these days to fake an anomaly just to make a Federation starship disappear." A grunt of acknowledgement came from the genetically-engineered soldier. The low hum of the warp engines lowered in tone before vanishing, replaced by the whine of the impulse engines. In a moment, they were in position. Rygo called for it to be displayed on the main viewer. The anomaly appeared as a cloud of energized gas and dust, electric blue in color. Raydza reported, "Low levels of various types of radiation, including metreon, tachyon, and even some traces of chroniton particles. If I had to speculate, it's some kind of spatial vort-" she was cut short by Remata'klan. "A vessel is emerging from within the anomaly... it is a Qin-class Klingon raptor!" Rygobeth called for shields, even knowing that the soldier would already have them up. Alert klaxons blared as the ship was called to battle stations. Remata'klan growled and said, "We are being hailed." A dozen possibilities rushed through the admiral's head. Why did they lure us here? Why didn't they use their cloak to lure us into a position where they'd be behind us? Why here, why the anomaly? Above all, he wondered, what do they want? They must know they're no match for us. He decided to talk to them. "On screen, Commander." The screen flickered from a view of the raptor, incandescent anomaly behind them, to the dark and dimly-red-lit bridge of the Klingon ship. In the center of the screen was a face familiar to the crew, but still somehow strange. Their captain had dark red skin, pitch-black feline-like eyes, blonde and fur-like eyebrows, and cranial ridges. It was also heavily scarred, but there was no denying it...
The other captain was Rygobeth Ircretian Lerginas.
"Hello captain," the doppelganger of the Determination's CO said, "I need a favor."
***
A few minutes later, in the Determination's Conference room.
The display panel in the wall showed a strange device. It was a weapon, a rifle of some kind. Mirror Lerginas had brought it up from a PADD in his hand. "This," he said to the assembled Determination senior staff, "is a multidimensional cascade disruptor. It was developed by a hated enemy of mine and a loyal patriot of the Terran Federation, a captain named Charles Antilles." Rygobeth interjected, "You hate your Antilles? That's ironic. I know that man's variant in this universe; he's a good friend of mine." Mirror Rygobeth smirked. "Yes... fate likes to play such games. I would not doubt that your Antilles and mine share a common aptitude: engineering." Rygobeth nodded. "Yeah. Kind of helps that he was liberated from the Borg Collective a decade or so back." Mirror Lerginas replied, "My Antilles has no such aid, since our Alpha Quadrant has been spared the heavy hand of the Collective. However, he is still a skilled engineer, particularly with weapons. He's had a personal vendetta against me for years, ever since I beat off his ship's advance into Alliance territory. This weapon is his magnum opus. He has acquired time-traveling technology from a traitorous peta'Q of a Klingon named Korath. He intends to go back in time and use this rifle to kill me while I'm still in stasis of that abandoned rock."
Rygobeth perked an eyebrow. "I still fail to see how this concerns me."
Mirror Rygobeth brought up a more detailed schematic of a weapon. "It uses technology similar to the inter-dimensional transporter once used to cross between our two universes, as part of its collimator. However, this device is tuned not for one dimension, but for all. It is a brilliant design. The disruptor bolt surges through the multiverse, striking the same spot with the same power in every universe. Since YOU will be in stasis then, as well, and in that same place, YOU will be destroyed by this disruptor bolt as much as I will. You will never have existed. None of our counterparts will. Antilles intends to wipe us from the entirety of the multiverse."
The true scope of the heinous and evil plot struck Rygobeth. This was not just a hateful Terran's attempt to rid himself of an enemy in a minor power play, this was multidimensional genocide. An immeasurable number of people would die because of this, and they would all be him. At the same moment, several gasps of shock and utterances of disbelief came from the assembled crew, but Rygobeth barely noticed them. The scope of this was appalling... and he knew, it must be stopped. Slowly, he stood. The room went silent as they saw the numbed, blank expression on their CO's face. They knew he was serious... and angry. In his eyes, they saw a primal rage that they all knew too well... although, it usually only came out in times of desperation against the Borg, the murderers of the admiral's parents. When he spoke, it was with a cold, flat and calm determination.
"I want this ship at peak performance. I want security teams posted on all decks, at every access point. I want this vessel to be ready for war. We're following my counterpart back through the anomaly, and we are going to prevent this genocide. Failure is NOT an option. Am I clear?" Each of the crew nodded. Then Rygobeth turned and looked himself in the eye. "Where is he doing this?" His mirror self said, with the same tone, "Captain Antilles is acquiring the technology from Korath on our version of Japori II. That is why the anomaly is here. Undetectable to him, proximity for us."
Rygobeth nodded. "Good idea. What's the plan?" Mirror Rygobeth brought up a scan of the system. Captain Antilles' ship was in orbit of Japori II. "The technology is being installed as we speak. We will likely arrive only in time to pursue him through the rift. We beam down to the surface after him and keep him from getting to the chamber."
Rygobeth brought up a map of the chamber, and the caves leading to it. "If we beam into the chamber itself, we'll have the element of surprise." Mirror Rygobeth shook his head. "We can't beam in there. Some kind of scattering field blocks direct transport." Rygobeth smirked at his battle-scarred alternate. "I visited home not too long ago. I know how to cut through that scattering field. Piece of cake." Mirror Rygobeth nodded with a smile. "Have the protocols transmitted to the Itak, and we'll beam down from there. Your ship is better equipped to keep the rift secure and open." Rygobeth agreed as they exited the conference room, dismissing the bridge crew with a specified hand gesture, then asked, "Itak? As in House of Itak?" His mirror nodded. "Yes. Their warriors found the chamber and awakened my family in the 2350s and took us in. We knew only our names. They accepted us into their house. Q'tar, the leader of the House, is a skilled warrior, despite his age." Rygobeth halted them in the hall. "Q'Tar is alive in your world? Are our parents there, as well?" Mirror Lerginas nodded. "Yes. Our parents are well. They serve as advisors to Q'Tar on his flagship, the Lukor, named for his eldest son." Rygobeth smiled. "I never thought I'd see either of those three again. The Federation awakened my family in 2314. Our parents here were killed in Starfleet's first full-scale engagement with the Borg, at Wolf 359. Their ship was vaporized, lost with all hands. I met Q'Tar later, when serving as a liason to the Klingon thirteenth fleet in the Dominion War. My Q'Tar allowed me into his house shortly before his death in the First Battle of Chin'toka in 2374. I took up his bat'eth and slew his killers. With his dying breath, he bequeathed the sword to me. I still have it. I would much like to see him again, even if it isn't truly him."
Not long after, both ships went through the anomaly and made a warp jump to Japori II. They arrived only in time to see Captain Antilles' ship generate the rift. Diverting all power to their respective engines, they got into the rift just before the temporal cascade wiped them out. In the past, they saw the Terran Sovereign-class ship speeding for the planet. The pair of ships commanded by Rygobeths then moved to execute a coordinated plan. The Determination moved to engage, opening the fight with its Spinal Phaser Lance. The Itak fired its disruptors in a fierce volley before speeding past and beaming the commanders to the chamber. The raptor then turned and moved to engage the Terran vessel while the Determinationworked to keep the rift stable.
On the surface, the door to the stasis chamber opened. Captain Antilles, in standard Terran uniform and conspicuously lacking Borg implants stepped through... and found not one, but two of his worst enemy. Prime Rygobeth held a Tholian Crystalline Sword in his right hand, Mirror Rygobeth hefted a bat'leth. "Ah, hah... Redskin," the Terran taunted, "Wake yourself up early?" Mirror Rygobeth retorted, "Not quite, Ant. This is my counterpart from the Mirror universe. He's Starfleet. An admiral, no less." Rygobeth nodded once. "And the irony is, in my world, your counterpart and I are actually friends. Imagine his face when I get to tell him how his mirror dies." Mirror Antilles laughed. "You Redskins, you all have the same sense of humor. Were you not alien trash, you might be entertaining. But no, you both must die." Antilles slung the rifle and drew a katana from his belt. "Good on you, Ant," said Mirror Rygobeth, "you actually have the dignity to fight!" Antilles scoffed. "How could I pass up the chance to kill you twice, and THEN exterminate you from the cosmos?" Antilles charged at Mirror Rygobeth, but was struck by a purple ball originating from Rygobeth's forehead. Mirror Rygobeth looked over. "What the Gre'thor was that?"
"Low-level telekinetic pulse. We can all do it. Even you." Mirror Rygobeth smirked. "Maybe you can teach me later. For now, we have a baktag to butcher." Antilles had just started to get up when Rygobeth charged. The swing was forceful, and Antilles barely parried it. He tried to return with a diagonal cut, but Rygobeth stepped aside and allowed the blade to cut air, even as Mirror Rygobeth's sword cleaved down. There was no time to avoid it as the double-spiked end of the Klingon sword buried itself in the Terran's left Subclavian. He stood there a moment, but fell as his body shook from the sword being ripped out. Rygobeth stepped over the Terran, the body directly under him, and ensured that he was indeed dead. The head rolled away. Mirror Rygobeth took out his disruptor pistol and vaporized first the rifle, then the Terran remains. "He was a good swordsman," the Alliance captain commented, "but two of us was too much, I suppose." Rygobeth nodded, then said, "Over here. There are transporters. They still work. I can beam us back to our ships. The rift will close once we go through again. Oh, and from the look of these readings, your ship took out Antilles' vessel. It's dust." Mirror Rygobeth laughed. "About time the infamous Guillotine burned in space. Qapla'!"
The pair of ships returned to their own time. Rygobeth spared a visit with his old friend Q'Tar and, for the first time in forty-two years... Rygobeth again saw his parents. While it made him happy, he eventually faced again that his parents were dead. He thanked their company, and took the Determination back to his universe. He began to file his report to Starleet Command, but laughed as he sat behind his desk. As his ship warped to its next adventure, he propped his feet on the table and grinned evilly, imagining Admiral Antilles' face when Rygobeth told him how he had killed him. Yes, he thought, that will make a WONDERFUL story.

THE END.
CHARACTER GRID (@Lord-Ice):
___ |___ _ Fed ____| ____ _KDF __ ____| Rom
Tac_|_Thomas Hale_| __ __Illusion _____| Silence (K)
Eng | ___Antilles _ _| _ Mirror Rygobeth__| N'Vek (F)
Sci _| __ Rygobeth _| _Lukor Son of Q'Tar | Devala (F)

Last edited by icegavel; 01-22-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Damned punctuation tuned into question marks.