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Join Date: Apr 2013
04-30-2013, 09:49 AM
The next nine days passed without incident.
When the ship would come out of transwarp (so the engineers could monitor the engine wear and replace components, also called Planned Maintenance) the ship’s sensor suite would be bombarded by two dozen crewman, scientists all, who wanted a crack at what precious little information the passive scanners were picking up.
Andrea spent most of her down time with the Jem’Hadar. Genis would not allow her back into the primary circle, instead he revealed how Narse would redeem his life after his initial fiasco at helm.
“Train her to fight, Narse. She wants to be in battle like us, make sure she survives it.” Narse, of course, thought his life was over. Looking at the small terran female, not as a man would do, but as a Jem’Hadar.
“You are… delicate.”
Andrea wanted to laugh at the comment, which he apparently thought might be an insult to her.
“Narse, I know I’m small. Genis wants me to work on my attack skills, and we’ll have to find a way around my size.”
“It is not always about brain-power. At some point, mass is mass. Punch my fist.”
Andrea put all she had into the shot, which seemed to thud quietly into his hand.
“That settles that.” He said, disappointed.
“How high can you kick? I notice Starfleet likes to dress in, ‘Comfortable,’ clothing.”
Andrea snapped a round kick at his head, which he caught in his hand. “Better. At least four times better. We can’t use mass which is not there, but it is only part of the equation. If we can’t use mass, we’ll develop your acceleration.”
For the next week Narse and Andrea trained every day. The Jem’Hadar would smile when she retired for the day, the concept she needed to sleep after training was to them a sign of weakness. Genis quickly put such thoughts into perspective.
“The Founders also rest. Tread lightly, warriors. The Vorta lead and never see the inside of a training circle, she has spent all her free time here since we boarded this ship.”
“Warlord, surely,” began one warrior, “she couldn’t break wind with her punches.” Many Jem’Hadar laughed.
“Then surely, when she arrives later today, you won’t mind showing me that.”
“She is our commanding officer. How can I win such a contest? You would kill me, and rightfully so, if I hurt her.”
“Treat her as you would any who step into the circle. If she cannot fight, then she needs to learn it while she is young and can recover.” Genis smiled in a way that did not calm his young follower. “She might just surprise you.”
That night when Andrea came to practice she found a new partner ready to spar. The light posts had been set. “I have been told to… gauge your improvement.”
He came at her straight, as he had seen his warlord do in the beginning. She surprised him by leaping into his attack as if she meant to fly through him. Her forehead caught his chin, and he stopped dead in the ring. Andrea used the moment of disorientation to snap a kick into his neck, then stepped back and jumped into his chest, knees first.
They both fell to the ground, with her on top of his chest. She rolled off and waited.
He stood, holding his neck, and walked over to the light post.
He came at her slowly next time. She kept him thinking with quick palm strikes to the head, and quick kicks to the knee and ankles. When he tired of waiting and charged in, she would side-step, and kick hard into the back of his knee.
He was Jem’Hadar, and eventually his stamina and training wore down the young terran, until he was finally able to choke her unconscious.
“Well?” Genis said with a smile, “Should we continue to train her, or tell her to stay in her quarters?”
“Warlord, we may want her to rest before she fights me again. Every small part of me has an imprint of her foot or knee!”
So Andrea woke to the sound of Jem’Hadar laughing. The warrior she fought was allowed to escort her to sick bay, where a holographic doctor shook his head and pointed to a bed, “With her name on it.”
Genis walked up behind Narse after the fight. “I think you have earned your life, Navigator.”
“I think he choked her out so she would stop hitting him.” Both warriors laughed for a long time at that.
Then at last came the time they would be close enough to use a subspace transmission to the object without seeing a delay in response time.
“I take it the science team is ready.” Andrea said as she sat in her chair on the Bridge. The primary action crew was assembled, just in case. So Andrea and Sal'Ar sat waiting while Narse was at helm, Vernes at tactical, Allen and Selan at the sensor station (with eight people talking at once over the comm. at both of them) and Genis standing by.
“Take us out of cloak. Begin active scan, and hail the object.”
“Object is composed of Neutronium and an unidentified alloy. Power output remaining stable, no sign of response. Power generation does seem to be a subspace engine of extreme capability.” Allen rattled off significant statistics while Selan coordinated with the scientists in other parts of the ship also getting the data. The Granameir was a warship, so the lab section was non-existent. The scientists had literally been replicating components that they were adding to the crew quarters to get even a taste of a Starfleet analysis on the object.
They spent the next four hours at full alert while they hailed the object and continued to amass as much data as possible from thirty light years away.
Regular watches soon resumed, with key personnel being allowed to adjust their schedule to collect data when they came out of transwarp (to PM the experimental engines).
The last part of the way to the object Andrea decided to proceed at standard warp, so they could collect data on the object for a week before meeting it, “Nose to nose.”
The object lay, a massive ellipse of darkened metal against an ink-black sky. Signs of battle could be seen across every meter of its battered hull. At the core lay a sphere as large as the terran sun, radiating impossible colors as it converted the underlying elements of the universe into a fantastic amount of power, and yet no where close to its maximum potential.
At the edge of the ellipsoid facing the approaching starship, across kilometers of surface area, a dark green ember traced out a rune, a rune that began to glow, and burn.