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Rihannsu
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 216
# 28
03-26-2013, 06:40 PM
Literary Challenge 28: Stranded

Bryan looked around the interior of the Captian's Yacht at the other four officers, all joking and drinking from their glasses of Romulan Ale, that he had brought with him on a brief reunion. Justin Bronder, Bryan's chief of security and one of his closest friends, who served with him since he was given command of the U.S.S. Omega after he was promoted to Commander. Syiseda Dinirtra, the Betazoid doctor who had served with him since he made Lieutenant Commander, and one of his closest confidants. Six of Nine, his chief engineer, the Liberated Borg he had "met" when he knocked her unconscious with a salvo of stun bursts from a phaser rifle because he forgot to set the switch on his weapon, who rapidly became one of his most trusted officers and friends. And, last but not least, there was Ibalei Zizania, his Joined Trill, chief Science Officer, First Officer, and soon-to-be wife, whom he had known since his earliest days at the academy and served with since a little after he took command of the ShiKhar class Nemesis.

"Well, I'm sure you all know why we're assembled today." Bryan said, looking around at each of them. "Today marks the two year mark that we were all finally assembled." That marked light applause from the other four he was with. "Justin, Syiseda, Six, and Ibalei, there is no way I could do half of what I've done to date without any of your help. So, to that end, a toast," he raised his glass, "to us all. May we continue to serve together until the boat falls out from under us."

"To us!" They all cheered at once.

Just before they all took a drink form there glasses, there was a loud crash from the starboard side, and the entire yacht shuddered. Bryan picked himself up off of the floor and looked out the front window in time to see the starboard nacelle drift past.

"That's not good..." He muttered.

"What's going on Bryan?" Ibalei asked worriedly as she got up form the floor as well.

"Oh, nothing. Just watched the starboard nacelle drift past is all."

That elicited a scowl form the Trill.

"So, does anyone know what hit us? And for that matter, why the proximity alarm never went off?"

"I can check the logs if you would like sir." Six said calmly.

"Do it."

She walked up to one of the undamaged consoles and began scrolling quickly through the logs. "Done sir," she called.

"That was fast," Bryan replied, a little shocked.

"What?" She said, her voice filled with feigned hurt, "You do know that I still have a brain that's partially computer, so I can process information at a significantly higher rate than you can."

Bryan glared at her. "What did you find?"

"Well, to be frank, the proximity sensor didn't have time to go off. We were impacted by a very small asteroid that was traveling at near-warp speeds."

"Can you tell me how it was moving that fast?"

"Nope." The Borg said. "Sensors couldn't get a good scan of it before it sped away."

Bryan sighed. "Is the distress beacon active?"

"It activated automatically when we were hit," Ibalei said. "Athena probably won't spot it until she's out of the Nebula though," referring to the ship's AI, who also managed the sensor array.

"Well, I guess all we can do now is wait. Are the replicators and life-support systems functioning?"

"Yes, and yes," Six said, looking at the shuttle's MSD. "Looks like we got lucky there."

"Well, that's something at least," Bryan said, shaking his head in exasperation. "How much longer until the Athena is in range again to detect our beacon?"

"A few days, maybe a week, sir," Ibalei said.

"Well, I guess that gives us a day or two to talk some more. Anyway, it's getting late." He said, finishing the last of his ale. "I should probably stop so that I don't feel horrible tomorrow morning."

*******

"Hey sir," Syiseda said, walking up to him several days later. "How are you today?"

"You already know the answer to that one," He replied chuckling a little.

"Oh my gosh...Did I...Please tell me I didn't...I am so sorry sir," She stammered desperately.

Bryan laughed loudly. "I was kidding Syiseda. I'm fine."

She looked relieved first but quickly switched to annoyed. "Anyways sir, I had an idea that I wanted to run by you."

"Go ahead."

He heard her voice whisper in his mind, "Seeing as how we'll be stuck out here for a few more days with nothing better to do, not to mention the fact that you still have not planned your wedding, why don't we do it here and now?"

Bryan stood and pondered the idea for a moment ."Well, it's fine by me, if you've already okay-ed it with Ibalei," he thought in reply.

"She already did," Ibalei's voice whispered in his mind.

"When did my head become an open forum?" Bryan thought with exasperation.

"Sorry Bryan." Ibalei thought, chuckling a little.

"So, do you two want to get ready or what?" Syiseda laughed.

"Well, who'll officiate?"
Bryan questioned.

Syiseda hit him in the arm. "Who were you going to have do it on the Athena?" She nearly shouted into his mind, referring to the one idea he did have about his wedding.

"Point taken," Bryan thought back, rubbing his arm.

"Now, you two go get ready before I have Justin make you!"

*******

The five officers stood in their dress uniforms, the shoulders of which gleamed a bright gold, with division-specific trimming on several edges set upon a black background.

"Well, you all know why you're gathered here right now," Syiseda said, "So I'm not going to waste any time reminding you. I'm also not entirely sure what marrige ceremonies consist of on Trill and Earth, and I'm reasonably certain you don't want a Betazoid style wedding." All five of them laughed a little at that comment. "As a result, I'm kind of just going to make it up as I go along. So, here goes: Bryan, you and Ibalei are two of the most amazing people I have come to get to know. I can really see that you two truly love each other, in a way that few can. Whenever I join minds with both of you, I can feel how you two see each other. That overwhelming sense of belonging you share when you two are together, the happiness you feel when you two look into each-others eyes, the strength you two give each other. You have something unique."

"We all saw this coming. You two have known each-other for six-and-a-half years now. When you proposed to her in the middle of the Bridge, Bryan, I'm sure you weren't aware of it at the time, but everyone broke out into applause when she kissed you. When Ibalei was joined, I...talked with Zizania, telling him of all the hardship you two had been through. When I finished, he said, 'I know. I'm going to let her be herself. That's the least I can do for the both of them.' And, here we are today. Finally, joining the two together forever. So, without any more ceremony, Commander Ibalei Zizania, do you accept Bryan as your legal husband, from now until you both are gone?"

Ibalei looked into Bryan's eyes for a moment. Tears had begun to well up in her beautiful stormy-grey eyes, and a smile crept across her face as she uttered one word. "Yes."

Syiseda turned now to Bryan. "Vice Admiral Bryan Valot, do you take Ibalei to be your legal wife, from now until you both are gone?"

Bryan began to think about his past with Ibalei. They first met when he literally bumped into her at the academy. They became friends quite quickly after that. They had helped each other study for courses that they each had trouble with, and, when it came time for Bryan to take the Kobayashi Maru test, Ibalei sat as his First officer. He remembered her calling out orders when she saw an opportunity that Bryan had missed. When they finally graduated, she was assigned to a different vessel, though not for long, as after Bryan's first mission as the official captain of the ShiKahr class Nemesis, he personally requested that she be transferred to his command. The pair had been an inseperable team ever since. Bryan thought to when she had nearly been killed, after the battle against the Mirror Universe of the 1st Assault Fleet. Back to when he proposed to her, after being sent back in time to New York City pre-World War III, to when she had been Joined to Zizania, after the loss of Ambassador Pakan during a battle with a Borg Cube. He thought, and smiled as he spoke one, single word. "Yes."

"Very well then. By the power granted to me by the United Federation of Planets legal system, I hereby pronounce you husband and wife."

Just as the pair began to kiss, for the very first time as a married couple, a massive, gleaming, pale-white ship warped in just outside of the front window.

"Yacht Jason, this is the Athena," Lieutenant Commander Kerry Avalrez, who had been left in command of the Athena in Bryan's absence, called out. "Heard you guys could use a hand."

Bryan stared smiling into the grey eyes of his wife. "Athena, this is the U.S.S. Jason. We weren't expecting you to be out for another few days."

"We finished a little earlier than expected. So, do you want us to get you aboard or not?"

"Sounds good, Avalrez. See you aboard."

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Literary Challenge #30: The Tau Dewa Sector Block

Admiral's log, Stardate 90831.46
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot of the U.S.S. Athena recording

The Athena detected what seems to be a civilian distress beacon approximately 5 minutes ago near the Beta Thoridor system. We launched a probe to investigate, but are still waiting on the final report. I have my suspicions as to who sent the distress call, as I only know of one civilian ship currently in this sector. I will keep it to myself for now however, as it may affect both mine and my first officer's decisions.

Personal note: I really hope my suspicions turn out false, because if this really is the freighter I'm thinking of, I'm not sure what I'll do.


"Admiral, I have a report for you," The Athena AI called.

"Yes?" Bryan asked, leaning back in his Ready room chair

"The probe has completed its survey. The ship is under attack by a Bortaqu' class supported by two Negh'vars. And you'll really want to hear this part: the ship is the freighter S.S. Dionysus."

Bryan paused. "Are you sure?"

"Bryan, if I wasn't sure, would I really be telling you that it's the ship belonging to your-"

"Point taken Athena," he interrupted. He got up and left the ready room, and sat in the central chair of the Bridge. "Helm divert course to Beta Thoridor."

"Aye, sir," Ensign Dwayne Ables, the ship's helmsman, replied.

Bryan tapped the intercom button on his chair. "Attention all hands, this is the Admiral speaking. Red alert, all hands to battle-stations, red alert, all hands to battle-stations. This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill."

The Klaxons bared. Bryan could almost imagine his crew scrambling around the ship, getting ready for whatever they were about to face. He looked around the bridge at the rest of his staff. Many of them had been on the original Athena when she had faced the exact same odds that Bryan was about to throw them into today. They all remembered how the ship had been nearly destroyed before they managed to retreat into warp. Now, they're about to charge into almost the same fight they had nearly lost, and hope for the best.

"All stations report ready, sir," Ibalei said, sitting down next to him

"Good. What's our ETA?"

"Less than a minute, sir," Athena responded.

The Athena dropped out of warp to witness the freighter in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the Klingons. But, by this point, the cat was more playing with its meal then actually trying to catch it. Bryan's mind immediately went into focus, analyzing the Klingon's maneuvers, looking for weak spots, and picking up on key aspects of the attack patterns they were using. He could almost see where the Klingons were maneuvering, where their ships weak spots were, and what strategies he could use to defeat them. The battle began in a split second, with the Athena lashing out at the three Klingon warships with all of her phaser banks, followed closely by a full spread of quantum torpedoes. Both of the Negh'Vars were damaged by the Athena's ferocious opening salvo, but the Brotaqu' held. THe three vessels turned clumsily towards the Athena when she unleashed her second surprise. A small shape jettisoned from the aft of the vessel. Two tiny nacelles extended away from its hul, and it sped off. Meanwhile, the three Klingon vessels returned fire on the Athena, impacting her shields with enough fire to more than destroy some vessels. But the Athena's reversed polarity shield generator easily shrugged off everything the Klingons threw at her. Suddenly, the small ship the Athena deployed returned just behind the Klingon battlegroup, unleashing a massive salvo of cannon blasts, scoring multiple direct hits to the hull of one of the Negh'Vars. the cannons were followed closely by a torpedo, which slammed into the hull, ripping clean through the ships armor, and detonating within the bowls of the hull, causing the ship to simply fall apart at the seams.

Even as the first Negh'var began to collapse, the Athena had already turned her attention to the second one, beginning to fire as her broadside came to bear. The Negh'var turned, attempting to stay in what was normally the weakest arc for a Starfleet vessel, as most ships didn't have torpedoes that could be fired to the side. Just as they entered the Athena's starboard-bow arc, however, their shields failed, and a spread of torpedoes sped away from the Athena's tubes , arcing shrply toward the ship, which had already suffered damage from phaser blasts beginning to rake along her hull. The torpedoes detonated around and against the Negh'var, causing significant damage to the ship. Another spread of phaser blasts ripped along the ship's hull, cleaving off one of the nacelles, ripping open the bridge, and sliced open the hull in multiple areas. Noting the ship was more than crippled, Bryan turned his attention to the Bortasqu', which had thus far been trying to maneuver into position to attack the Athena.

The Athena turned to face her nemesis, slowly and menacingly, as her axial phaser banks began to glow brightly. The Bortasqu's own axial heavy disruptor autocannons began togleam as well, as the two vessels brought their mightiest weapons to bear. Both ships fired simultaneously, the Athena's beams arcing across space and barely cleaving the Bortasqu's shields, and the disruptors slamming repeatedly into the Athena's shields. The reversed polarity held true once more, resulting in only minor bleedthrough damage to the Athena's hull. the Bortasqu' turned desperately to avoid the salvo of torpedoes they knew would be coming shortly after their forward shields failed. They wereunable to get a new facing into arc in time, however, as the Athena's torpedoes slammed into the ship's neutronium hull plating, causing a fair amount of damage. The two ships moved side-by-side, and began to trade broadsides in a deadly mix of brilliant orange and harsh green light. The shields of both ships began to sputter when the Athena, in a mix of brilliance and insanity on Bryan's part, activate only one of the ship's warp nacelles, resulting in the ship flipping almost instantaneously to face the Bortasqu' with her fresh forward shields. Her axial beams lanced out once more, this time cleaving into the hull, followed closely by another spread of quantum torpedoes, which ripped cleanly into the hull of the once mighty dreadnought.

"Sir, the Bortasqu' class is about to go critical!" Athena warned.

"Helm divert course, ten degrees up, twenty to starboard. Full impulse. Six, extend our shields around the Dionysus," Bryan called out in rapid-fire fashion.

The ship shuddered slightly from the explosion, but otherwise no real further damage was done to either the Athena or the freighter. As the Athena pulled up alongside the freighter, Ensign Aara, the comms officer, called out, "Sir, the freighter is hailing us."

Bryan looked at his First Officer, who nodded. "Put them through," He replied, dread beginning to enter his voice.

"Bryan," The woman said. "I can't believe it's really you!"

"I'm just doing my job. Nothing more," He replied, his expression suddenly very harsh and accusatory.

"Now, is that any way to talk to your mother?"

Bryan signaled Aara to cut the channel.

*******

Bryan stood facing a window in the conference room of the 1st Assault Fleet's Embassy on New Romulus when his mother walked up beside him.

"You know, it was rather rude of you to cut me off like that earlier," she said.

"Really? I thought I made my point quite nicely," Bryan replied icily.

"You can't keep avoiding me like this Bryan."

"Oh? And why not?"

"Because I'm your mother."

"You made it pretty clear that you wanted nothing more to do with me a year ago after I proposed to Ibalei."

"I never-"

"Do the words 'You're not our son if you marry that spot head' ring a bell?"

"What do you want me to say? I'm sorry? Because I'm not. You can do better than that spot head!"

"Oh, I can do better hmm? And who would you rather see me married to?"

"There are human women out there who would be much better for you than that...women."

Bryan quickly picked up on her concentrated effort to avoid replacing women with thing. "Typical. Always questioning everything I do."

"I have supported you no matter what stupid-"

"No, you haven't!" Bryan yelled. "You have belittled every single decision that I've made! For no better reason than it's not what you wanted for me! If you're my mother, than you of all people should have been willing to support me! But instead, you've been critical of everything I've done to date! When I commanded that freighter in the battle with the Orion syndicate just prior to when I joined Starfleet, you weren't impressed at all! You merely used that as another excuse to yell at me! Same thing when I joined Starfleet. You said that I should be helping with the family business, not fooling around in deep space. When I was given command of the Nemesis, you tried to accuse me of avoiding you. No matter what I've done. you've been critical of me for it! Marrying Ibalei was the last straw! You said it yourself! I'm not your son anymore. And, you know what? I'm glad for that! Because now that I haven't been trying to please you constantly, I feel free! Free from your constant criticism! Nothing I ever did was good enough for you! Now, for the first time in my life, I don't need your approval! I can finally live my life the way I want to! No more 'that's not what we want for you!' No more 'You wouldn't seriously think about that would you!' I am finally free!"

Bryan felt the weight of the world lift off of his shoulders with that last comment. He walked away, feeling, at long last, free from the shadow he had lived under most of his life.
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
Join date: Some time in Closed Beta