Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hello and welcome to our writers challenges!

Today we start the two-week run of the seventh Lit Challenge: The Best and Brightest

As you return back home from your last exhausting space commission; you are being hailed by the Academy. The High Command has selected a group of Cadets to get hands-on experience on board your fine ship.

This one is very open:
  • You can write from the point of view of a Cadet on your ship; the group as a team or even just variations of this, such as in Log entries. Are they frightened? Excited? Bored?
  • You may also write about your captain or officers as they try to handle the Cadets. Do you feel they are they competent? Are they not showing enough honour? Are they too eager?

This is the writer's thread.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an index page of previous stories HERE.

The rules may change from one to the other, but I'd like to give a quick recap each time. These may grow as we move on, so feel free to also give feedback!
  • Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky a subject and have at it.
  • There are no right or wrong entries. If you write 500 words of 3000: Write what inspired you and what your thoughts on the topic are - with one tiny mention:
  • Please heed the rest of the forums' rules when submitting your story!
  • Each poster can have one entry per character. Feel free to edit you post however to fix typos, add stuff or remove stuff as you see fit during the next two weeks.
  • After two weeks time, the thread will be locked and unstickied. If you wish to write on this topic after this time, there will be a place for this in the "Latecomer" thread.
  • We'll have two threads: One to post the stories, one to discuss the stories. *I will allow cross-linking between these two threads!!*
  • I will index your story by name and title (if you have one) for future reference.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
08-08-2011, 06:50 PM
Vice Admiral's Personal Log
Stardate: 86505.4
Location: USS Huntsville

The cadets have departed after a two-month training exercise. What started out as having them do basic intern work turned into an interesting ordeal. One of them, Fodar, about lost it when the ship went to warp the first time. I'd never met someone who joined Starfleet and was afraid of space travel. That Bolian will have to get over that if he is going to have a successful career. He was a great medic and knew his material well. It's no wonder Starfleet wants to expanded their EMH program. None of their doctors actually like being in space.

Another of the cadets, a Vulcan named Sobek, was as professional as they come. Although I think there may be an underlying mental issue with him. When we first encountered the Remans, he had an almost bigoted attitude concerning them. He kept questioning my support of a "lesser species." I recommend Starfleet do a little more investigative work on him. The Vulcans aren't the only species with pointed ears and green blood.

The third an final cadet that was sent to my ship was an Aenar named Liloh D'shov. She was brilliant in the engine room. She could almost tell ahead of time when a problem would crop up. She was also very capable during the field exercises. She was always the fastest when it came to deploying turrets and support drones. I'm so impressed with her I have asked her to join the crew. I gave her a field commission and she will take her final classes here on board. I'm glad Ensign D'shov was part of the group. She has a great career ahead of her.

Overall, I am glad the ordeal is over. This is an Admiral's ship and my crew is hand chosen by me. I'm not fond of having novices on board.

End Log.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3 New Orders
08-10-2011, 11:35 AM
Soriedem entered the conference room, walked over to his seat at the head of the large table, and sat down. He was silent for several moments as he collected his thoughts and prepared to give his bridge crew our latest orders.

The officers onboard the Debris Cloud watched their Captain in anticipation. He seemed apprehensive and concerned. It was a look that they were unaccustomed to seeing in their Commanding Officer. As the silence drew out, their nervousness increased exponentially. They shot glances at each other, as if prompting each other to say something.

Audria finally took the initiative to find out what is troubling her mate. “Soriedem, what is going on? What orders did Starfleet Command have for us?”

Soriedem looked up and felt the worry on Audria’s face. He cleared his throat, and said, “Alright. Starfleet has ordered us back to Earth.”

The room erupted in a quiet murmur. Getting called back to Earth for any reason was never a good thing. The low din quieted down, when Soriedem continued. “We are to report to Starfleet Academy to pick up a fresh batch of cadets.”

“Cadets!” Rymor cried out as he slammed his fist on the table.

Coujoyquu leaned back in his seat and sighed heavily.

Shmullus held his hand up to his face and shook his head.

Fausto rose from the table, walked to a nearby wall, and stopped. He stood there mumbling to himself.

Drem bowed her head and whispered a prayer to the prophets.

“I can see that you’re concerned about these orders. I am too.” Soriedem looked down at the Padd lying on the table. “We’re slated to pick up five cadets. Command assured me that the incident with the last batch of Cadets was a fluke and would not happen again. They have taken steps to prevent it from happening again.”

Audria looked around to the other officers in the room. She didn’t understand their reaction. “What’s going on? On Tobarrus, the addition of new cadets to the crew is an exciting time.”

“I remember those days. I got excited about taking on cadets as well.” Soriedem looked away and fought back the emotions that welled up within him. He turned back to his mate.

Fausto returned to his chair at the conference table.

She read the story in the lines of his face, as Soriedem began to describe the events that led to the crew and his dour attitudes.

“A few weeks before we rescued you from the Borg, we had received our orders to take on a fresh group of Cadets. We had already studied their Academy records and determined them to be raw and malleable; just the way we like them. We had assigned their duties and were already planning and plotting their initiation.”

A smile crossed Soriedem’s face at the thought of the initiation prank that they had planned for the cadets. The initiation prank was a Tobarri tradition that Soriedem carried over when he joined Starfleet. It provided an opportunity for the crew and cadet to create lasting bonds with one another.” Then, the smile was gone and a great sadness fell.

“When we reached Earth, I took a shuttle down to the Academy to inspect the cadets personally. We were picking up a Bolian, two Humans, and a Caitain. They stood at attention outside Building Two. With my hands clasped behind my back, I slowly paced back and forth as I scrutinized them, and gave them my welcome aboard speech.”

Audria laughed, “The same one you’ve told to every cadet that joined your crew for the last 20 years?”

Soriedem nodded and continued with the story. “Cadet Rotbar, the Bolian, was relaxed and I had to remind him what standing at attention meant. Cadets Linda and Bill Stempson were a pair of fraternal Human twins that came from a long line of Starfleet Officers. Sh’raz, the Caitain, was so stiff that even his tail stood at attention. I shook my head and had to tell him to relax before he sprang something and had to spend the rest of the voyage in sickbay.”

“I turned away from the cadets to speak with Commander Achloo, their former CO. We chatted quietly for a few minutes about nothing, while the cadets stood motionless behind us. I looked over my shoulder, dismissed them, and told them to report to my shuttle in one hour. I turned back to Achloo to continue our small talk, when I heard Rotbar begin a futile attempt to apologize. I swiftly raised a hand, cutting him off, and told him that he was dismissed. Achloo and I walked away to have a drink at the 602 Club.”

Soriedem swallowed the lump in his throat to no avail. His gaze sought the faces of his crew. He could tell that the story was difficult for them to sit there silently listening. He considered dismissing them for the time being, but decided against it. It was important. We needed to remember the cadets and the crewmen that we had lost.”

He continued. “When I returned to the shuttle, the cadets were lounging around the shuttle awaiting my return. They snapped to attention when they saw me draw closer. I ordered them to stand down. Cadet Linda Stimpson took the helm and began piloting the shuttle towards the Debris Cloud in orbit. Her sibling, Bill, took the second seat. Sh’raz manned the science station, while Rotbar took tactical. I stood at the doorway to the aft compartment and observed the crew of hopeful cadets perform their duties with enthusiasm and vigor. After a few minutes, the Debris Cloud was coming into view through the shuttle’s panoramic window.”

“I contacted the shuttle bay and ordered them to disable the automatic docking procedures. I wanted Linda to fly the bird on manual control. She expertly lined up the shuttle bay doors through the shuttle’s window. As the blast doors opened, she reduced speed and adjusted her angle of approach. The shuttle glided into the shuttle bay. She reversed thrusters, coming to a complete stop, and gingerly set the small craft down on the deck in one of the smoothest landings I have ever experienced.”

“We disembarked the shuttle craft, where a few of my officers were waiting for us. I approached Lt. Commander Vox, a Ferengi Officer, and ordered him to give the cadets a tour of the ship and show them to their quarters. Vox nodded and led the Cadets away. Standing with the rest of my officers, I watched them leave. Little did I know that it would be the last time I would see any of them alive.”

“We still don’t fully understand what happened. But from internal sensor logs and eye witness reports, we have an idea of what had occurred.” Soriedem looked down at his hands and released his white knuckled grip on the Padd. He had not realized that he even picked it up.

Concern distorted the sweet features of Audria’s face, as she prodded him for more information. “Sori, tell me what happened to them?”

“Vox led the cadets on the tour of the ship. They started in the lower decks of the ship and made their way towards the bridge. They had stopped by Engineering and sickbay. Drem had her hands full taking inventory of the new medical equipment that was being installed and postponed their crew physicals.”

Soriedem looked over to his doctor. “I know you still blame yourself for what happened. I know how you feel, but you shouldn’t blame yourself.“

Drem objected to his words of reassurance, “If only I had followed protocol and gave them their physicals right then and there, those cadets and 20 members of our crew would still be alive. Instead, I was fiddling with a new toy rather than doing my job.”

Soriedem cut her off. “There’s nothing you or anyone could have done. Besides, ultimately, it was my responsibility.”

An expression of shock and disbelief warped Audria’s face. “20 crewmen and the cadets died? Why haven’t you told me this before? What happened next?”

Turning back to his mate, “I still haven’t fully come to terms with it. It was too difficult to remember,” Soriedem replied softly.

He cleared his throat and continued with the story. “Vox took them to the mess hall. At that particular time, it was crowded with off-duty crewman. That’s when Rotbar stepped towards the center of the room, spoke the words ‘DaHjaj jIH Hegh tlhej quv vaD tlhIngan wo’’ in Klingon, and detonated a high yield explosive that had been implanted within him. Rymor translated the phrase as “Today, I die with honor for the Empire…”

Rotbar had been one of several Klingon agents that had been surgically altered to infiltrate Starfleet Academy. Luckily, he was the only one that was able to complete his mission. After the incident, all cadets were rescreened, and dozens of Klingon agents were apprehended. Apparently, it was an attempt by the Klingon High Council to create chaos within the Federation by casting doubt on the Academy’s ability to resupply our ships with crew while striking at the heart of our fleets.”

“The Debris Cloud spent the next three weeks in space dock undergoing repairs. Once, they had been completed, you had notified me through the t’O that the Borg vessel you were assigned to had entered the Alpha Quadrant and was en route to Cestus.”

Audria didn’t say a word. She rose from her seat, approached her husband, and softly touched his hand. Soriedem stared at her hand on his. He took a deep breath, and looked back to his officers. “Alright. We’re getting five of the Academy’s best and brightest. Any ideas for their initiation?”
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 201
# 4
10-26-2013, 11:20 PM
LC7: Lord English Sketch

Captain's Log, Stardate 85482.36. Due to continued crew attrition as a result of enemy action, the Lord English is taking on a new complement of personnel. Among them will be Starfleet Academy cadets on the Academy Abroad program. These cadets will get a little exposure to life on board a starship for class credit; with any luck, they won't be exposed to the more violent aspects of life on board a starship too soon.

"I'm finally finished!"

Cadet Juno Poplar Inselart finished moving her belongings to her side of her quarters on Deck 8. She had never been out of the Sol System before; even studying at the Academy, she always took a shuttle back to her home in New Berlin. She began missing her parents and her dog, Barklay, more than ever, now that she only had a small terminal connecting her and her family. Before the full force of her malaise brought her to tears, however, the door to the cadets quarters and a blonde-haired Bajoran walked in with a pot of brine.

"You're just in time to make hasparat!" she said.


"So you're a sophomore at the Academy too?" the Bajoran asked while stirring the brine.
"Yes. My name is Juno Inselart, and I'm in the Sciences School," she replied while folding hasperat. "Are you my roommate?"
"Sure am. I'm Garaze Rela, and I'm a sophomore on the tactical track. I've only been on this ship a month. Can you pass me that hasperat when you're done?"

Juno passed her a wrapped hasperat before starting on another one. Rela stuck several skewers through the hasperat before placing it in the brine. She then added a cup of live gagh before bringing the brine to a boil, driving the gagh to burrow into the hasperat. Juno stared wide-eyed at the Bajoran's avant-garde cuisine.

"I like fusion cuisine, you see," Rela explained with a grin. Juno decided to ask a different question rather than focus on the squirming of the gagh.
"So why did you come onto the ship so early?" she asked. "It took me a long time to decide on Academy Abroad becayse it would have been harder to go home if I was travelling all the time."
"Well, I was thinking about how often I'd be able to go back home if I was Academy Abroad," Rela answered. "so I signed up to Abroad on the Lord English because one of its ports of call is Deep Space 9. From there it's a shuttlehop back to Dahkur Province."

Juno marveled at her roommate's canniness. Soon, the hasperat was finished and the two cadets partook of the meal. To Juno's delighted surprise, the gagh-hasperat was spicy and crunchy. Rela put two more hasperats in bowls and gave one to Juno to carry.

"Hey," she said to Juno. "Can you help me carry this to the room down the hall? The two juniors there helped me a lot when I moved in, so I want to return the favor with food."

The two sophomores moved down the hall, taking care not to spill brine on the ship's carpeted floor. Along the way, they encountered a young Klingon female working on a wall console.

"Well! If it isn't the new cadets!" she said.
"Hello there!" Rela said. "I'm Garaze Rela and this is Juno Inselart. She just moved in today as part of Academy Abroad's science program."

Juno waved with her free hand.

"Science, eh? Well then, I'm in the science department too, so we'll be working together often. My name's Kira. I'd like to chat, but I have many things to do, so I'll see you later."

With that, Kira and the two cadets parted ways.

"She doesn't seem that much older than us," Rela said. "I wonder if she's a cadet like us."
"I hope I get along with her, since she seems so friendly," Juno replied.


Eventually they reached their destination, where they found a sign on the door reading:

Nobody is home to receive gifts.
Juno glanced at Rela, who had a big grin on her face.

"That must be Idouna's work. She must have picked up that she was coming."

Giving a bowl of hasperat to Juno, she fished in her pockets for emergency door activators. Inside the room, a voice could be heard.

"Rela! You don't really need to come in with worms in food!"

With a burst of strength, Rela pulled open the doors to the cadet quarters and was instantly smashed in the face with a pillow. Juno stared wide-eyed at the crimson-haired Betazoid as she turned her gaze from Rela to Juno.

"Oh! You must be Rela's new roommate!"


"My name is Idouna Stadi. I'm a junior in the science program of Academy Abroad."
"Wow, I'm in the science program too! I'm Juno Inselart, a sophomore."
"Nice to meet you, Juno, I hope we'll find ourselves working together more often."

Juno and Idouna sat around a floor table of intricate Betazoid design while Rela consumed one of the bowls of hasperat. Idouna could feel Juno's anxieties and set about reassuring her.

"Don't worry about spending time away from home, Juno. The community aboard the Lord English is very helpful and you can ask any of us to help you get settled in."

Rela looked up from her hasperat.

"Some of the cadets in my class were a bit put off when I said I was going to the Lord English, though. Apparently there's a reputation that Lord English attracts the Academy's misfits because the ship captain's so lax. That's so rude of them, don't you think?"
"I... did not know that," Juno replied with a shocked face. Idouna could sense Juno's confidence slipping and changed the subject.
"Juno, did you meet up with the head of the science department?" Idouna asked. "I think you have to check in with her so that your course credits are fulfilled while on board the vessel."
"Oh! I didn't know that," Juno replied. "Who is the head of the science department and where should I find her?"
"She should be in the science lab, I think," Idouna replied. "I think her name is Commander Kira. She's a Klingon not much older than I am and... wait, did you already meet her?"

Idouna didn't need to be a telepath to sense Juno's sudden realization or her embarrasment. Juno covered her head with her hands with the knowledge that she missed the chance to make a good first impression.

"Well, well, first impressions aren't everything," Idouna replied reassuringly. "If you ever need anything you can always come to me for help."
"And if I ever need anything, you can come to me to help!" Rela shouted triumphantly, getting another pillow upside the head for her troubles. Juno giggled. Life aboard Lord English might be cozier than she thought.

"Look at the time," Idouna said while glancing at her watch. "I should be preparing some food for my roommate, she should be coming back right now."

As if on cue, the door to the cadet quarters opened and a blue-skinned Saurian covered in blood with two swords walked in. Juno yelped.

"B-b-bl-blood!" she cried.
"Wait, Juno, it's fake blood!" Idouna said. "Salin is part of the Lord English's drama club."

However, it was too late. Juno had already fainted.


When Juno came to, she found herself in her room surrounded by Rela, Idouna, and Idouna's Saurian roommate, Salin. Salin was extremely apologetic.

"I'm truly sorry about that," she said. "The drama club was finishing up practice of an old Earth drama. It's about soldiers trying to defend their city from giant creatures trying to eat them."
"It's OK," Juno replied. "I was just shocked when you came in, but I'm better now."

Juno looked around her room. Rela, Idouna, and Salin were tidying up Juno's half of the room.

"You-you don't have to do this, everybody," she cried. "I can handle cleaning up my room."
"Don't worry about it, Juno," Rela responded. "We're all in this together, us misfits of the Lord English."

The grins from Idouna and Salin reassured Juno of her new friends' honest intent.

I thought that I wouldn't be able to take living away from home well when I first came here, she thought to herself, but now I think I'll enjoy the chance to start living independently.

Juno left her bed and joined the other cadets in cleaning the room.


Captain's log, supplemental. The Lord English has finished the transfer of cadets and is ready to break orbit and go off into space. All stations have reported nominal conditions; everyone we expected on the ship is aboard the ship. As the first order of business, I have ordered the Lord English into the Delta Volanis Cluster for an easy exploration mission to ease the new cadets in. I hope we'll see more of them in the future.

Literary Challenges Entries- Star Trek Online: Lord English
Dramatis Personae of Star Trek Online: Lord English
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5 Fittings
08-11-2011, 12:25 AM
The U.S.S. Yorktown was in Earth spacedock, shuttles were constantly on the go. Repair equipment was being moved. The left nacelle was being taken apart. Signifigant damage was seen along the pylon, and damaged plates were being hauled away to make room for new replacements. Disruptor scarring was seen over the saucer and hull, portions of the hull were missing from torpedo explosions, and repair crews were seen diligently working to return the ship to operational standards as quickly as possible.

Captain Tarrak sat in the lounge, looking out the window and watching Work Bees and crews in EV suits outside. He reached into his pocket to check his watch, it was nearing that time. Commander Andretti would approach him, the woman had served by his side for over two years now as his first officer, and she had a PADD in her hand.

"Well, Captain... the new recruits are on their way here." She said almost nervously, looking at the vulcan who seemed lost in his own little world.

He'd turn to her and give a small sigh, "I don't like this, Maria." He said simply.

She offered a small, comforting reply, "You were a cadet once, too. Tarrak, I know you don't like this... but this is what these cadets have been training for. We lost a lot of good men and women in the Neutral Zone, I know... these people won't be able to replace them. But they do have the certifications that make them capable. Combined with the survivors of the Ardent, and the transfers from Earth Spacedock... I think we'll be fine, sir." She offered a reassuring smile.

Tarrak was ready to reply, until five men and women in their cadet uniforms walked through the door and approached the two commanding officers. They stood up straight in perfect posture and saluted.

He gave them a nod of acknowledgement, "At ease. You know who I am. I am Captain Tarrak, this is Commander Maria Andretti. Let's start with introductions, shall we? Tell me a little about yourselves."

He nodded to the end of the line. "Let's start with you, miss."

The young andorian woman nodded, "Ensign Vehl, sir. I'm supposed to, um, be one of your gunnery officers. I don't know what to say, sir. It's an honor to be given this assignment." She smiled enthusiastically.

Tarrak nodded in approval, then looked to the next man after her. He was a short bolian, not looking any older than 17 years.

"Ensign Gell, um, sir. Just, um... a junior science officer. I'm, um... a botanist, and -- um... um..." Tarrak waved a hand.

"Relax, Ensign. You're a botanist, that's fine. Our botanical lab could use some careful attention. I'm pleased you'll be joining us." He nodded. Then looked next to him. Another, much larger man.

"Sir. Ensign Gessh." The caitian nodded with a bit of a purr. "Security Officer. I've been trained in investigations for three years now. I've received third-grade certification in Type 3 Phaser Rif--..." Trailing off when the vulcan waved his hand.

"That'll do, Ensign. It'll be interesting to follow your career, I'm sure." He looked quickly over to the other two, a young man andwoman who were trying not to laugh, but failing.

"Is there something amusing, you two?" He replied dryly. Clearly not amused.

The man spoke up, "Heh... heh... no, no sir..." Clearly feeling guilty for laughing. Tarrak only shook his head, "You two were clearly laughing about something. Please inform me. Now." He seemed to order.

"Um, sir... just. Ensign Gessh, sir... just thought he was taking the introduction a little too seriously, uh, sir..." He gulped afterwards. The woman likewise straightened up.

The caitian growled at them both, "It is an honor to serve on the Yorktown, you fools. You are disrespecting not only me, but everyone el--..." He found himself cut off again by Tarrak, "Enough."

The vulcan stood up from his chair and approached the five cadets. All of them standing at attention.

"You should take this seriously." Looking to the two humans who were laughing. And looking to the Caitian with a nod of respect.

"Why are you here, if not to take your duties seriously? This is no passenger liner... this is not a pleasure cruise. I lost thirty men in the Neutral Zone four days ago." He watched the fear rush through the faces.

"We're at war, here. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner we will be able to proceed. What do you think we will be doing when we return to the Neutral Zone, ensigns...?" Looking to the two humans.

"Rodriguez." Said the woman. "Fields." Said the man. Each of them speaking it as if they were back in the academy.

"Sir. Killing some klingons and spacing some nausicaans, sir." Fields replied cooly.

Tarrak raised an eyebrow curiously. "Eager to go to war, ensign?" The vulcan replied.

"Just wanting to get some payback for everything they've done so far, sir." He licked his teeth. Tarrak only shook his head.

"Noone should want to go to war... people die. Families are devastated. The Federation is a faction of peace. We only go to war if we have no other options. Remember that. The next person who dies on this ship could be one of your friends. Or you." He pointed a finger at him, then moved to the rest.

"All of you. Now... your days at the academy are over. We're going back to the Neutral Zone once our repairs are complete. Commander Andretti, how long will that be?" He spoke aloud, not even looking at the woman.

"Nine days, sir." She spoke up.

"You have nine days to get your acts together. I'm not your instructor, I'm your captain. You'll learn by observing and taking the cues of the other officers on board this ship. In nine days we're returning to the Neutral Zone and we're going to hunt down the IKS Gha'tarv. If you can't take this seriously, I recommend you put in your transfers now. Just remember, there's not going to be any safe postings. If you think you'll be safe on a starbase, I recommend you read the details regarding the fate of Starbase 24."

The ensigns looked very worried, very afraid.

"You'll report to your superior officers. Commander Andretti will read those reports several times a day. I'm keeping an eye on you. You may be acting ensigns... but once we're through with the Gha'tarv, we're returning here. You five cadets can either work as part of this ship, as part of a team... or you can return to the academy with negative notations."

He turned to Maria and gave her a nod, before looking back to them.

"I recommend getting acquainted with the workings of a Sovereign-class starship, and getting to know who you'll be working with for your hands-on experience. As the ship is undergoing repairs, I will be appreciative of any extra help you can offer the crew. Dismissed. All of you." He said coldly before turning back to the Commander, hearing the cadets walk off out of the lounge.

"I think you scared them, Tarrak." She replied a bit sadly.

"They should be scared, Maria. This is no place for cadets. Acting ensigns or not... they're going to be in danger. Try and make sure they understand that. They're in your hands now." He put a hand on her shoulder before turning back to the window, to look back out toward the repair crews -- while Maria would take her PADD and walk off to deal with the rosters.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
08-14-2011, 09:19 AM
Title: "Above and Beyond"

Well, no, I haven’t yet been back to the Academy since I was a cadet. I believe, owing to the trouble that Grace and I raised while in attendance, there’s a standing order to incarcerate me if I ever set foot there again. Still, I’ve been getting curious about the old place, and the brig is as good a spot as any to start reminiscing.

Speaking of cadets, that puts me in mind of a story.

This happened aboard the USS Alliance, which was my third command. We’d lost the Ardent to the Klingons. Even though we managed to coax her back to a starbase after the fight, she was never fully spaceworthy again. Currently, she’s a museum ship in orbit around Mars. I’ve visited a few times, and said hello to my old friends down among the deuterium storage tanks.

The de Valera met a less happy end. We had to scuttle her after a punch up with a few Romulans, though she gave as good as she got.

So, sure due to some bureaucratic mistake, they gave me another ship. The Alliance was one of those four-nacelle starship that seemed to be in vogue once upon a time. The extra nacelles were, I was told, supposed to make them faster and easier to manoeuvre, but, in fact, keeping those four sets of warp coils synchronised was like balancing a bucket of water on your head while jumping up and down in a shuttle that just hit a patch of turbulence. Far from being nimble, she turned so slow that I considered making the captain’s chair recline, so I could nap while we came about.

A few weeks after taking command, I encountered what I could only interpret as another lapse in judgment at Starfleet Command. We were ordered to take a group of cadets with us on our first mission back into Romulan space.

Now these were not your ordinary cadets. They had elected to delay graduation—which already made their sanity suspect—to attend the Advanced Tactical Training programme. They’d all expressed a particular interest in intelligence work—again, ironic considering their decision to remain in school.

Now, I’m not in Starfleet Intelligence, though I suppose I’d be telling you that even if I were. No, but, early on in my career, I did find that I had a special talent for…oh, let’s say, situations that required some discretion. It’s true, we had to sometimes associate with some unsavory characters and occasionally bend the rules, but we always did what we had to do.

At first, they seemed like a promising batch, the cadets that came aboard, if still a little undercooked. There were seven of them in all, from all three departments. They were all bright and curious and seemed to be impressed by us all. And four were lasses that were prettier than any captain had a right to expect from his crew.

And yes, before you ask, I gave in to enjoying a little of their idolisation. I’ll admit it—I’m a sucker for an easy, lilting laugh at one of my jokes. I’m only human, now.

The troubles started our third day out. We’d just begun gathering some data of a sensitive nature and a Romulan ship had started shadowing us, flickering on and off our sensors. It uncloaked just long enough for us to know they were there. But it took no action against us, so we went on about our business, though a little more cautiously.

I suppose I believed that, day by day, the pressure of the situation might have worn on our cadets. It’s one thing to face a tense situation in the gentle embrace of a holodeck, but another to do it out in the real cold of space, staring down an actual plasma torpedo tube. I think we were all waiting for them to crack.

But they didn’t.

Instead, I started to hear angry murmuring about their cheery helpfulness. One of them found a way to improve the protocols governing the four-fold warp field integration that actually did make us a bit more nimble. Another diagnosed a stubborn case that my CMO had been puzzling over for days. A third proposed tweaking the phaser targeting subroutines that improved our accuracy by a couple of percent.

When the Romulan finally did make a move, two of the brightest of them found a way to disable their ship without them knowing we had a hand in it.

I could sense the horrified realization among the crew that these cadets did our jobs better than we could. And, of course, we handled it in the way you’d expect of highly trained, seasoned, and professional Starfleet officers.

That night, while they were asleep, we beamed them into the holodeck, where we’d simulated an all-out Borg attack, just to scare the wits out of them.

Naturally, it didn’t work. Within a few hours, they’d found a way to neutralize the Borg and discontinue the programme. But then, I’d seen that coming.

I’d set up a series of 13 nested programmes that began with the Borg simulation and ended with a variation on an ancient video production I’d provisionally called “Survivor: Rura Penthe.” It was all originally meant for my Chief Engineer, but I’d been convinced that desperate times required appropriate measures.

We set up a screen in the lounge that displayed a feed from the holodeck. The crew dropped by to visit and watch our cadets in increasingly ridiculous situations. It took them nearly 24 hours to get out, after which time, we began to show highlights of their more entertaining adventures.

Well, yes, I suppose that wasn’t the kindest thing we could have done. And I’m not happy to admit it, though I take some measure of pride in the holodeck simulation. To be sure, it was among the least cruel suggestions regarding their fate that came up in conversation.

And, I like to think that they did learn a few valuable lessons. Something about teamwork, I suppose, though that’s not one of my strengths and I shouldn’t be instructing anyone on its finer points.

Instead, I’ll say that they discovered that skill will only take you so far, that the real world doesn’t always respect the refined, precise talent you’re so highly praised for by your professors. Sometimes it’s the blunt instrument that does the most work, particularly the dirty work that’s often left to people like us. What matters is that the job gets finished, whether you go above and beyond or under and out.

It’s unfair, I know, like so much else in the universe. And I’m saying all this as someone who goes out of his way to put a little flourish into everything he does, which makes it even more unjust. Maybe that’s the real lesson. Or I maybe I’m just trying too hard to justify a mean-spirited indulgence.

Now, why do all my stories seem to end so ambiguously? Clearly, I still have too many of my wits about me and am thinking a little too deeply. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to that.

So, what do you have in mind for the next round?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Krovennan had just relayed the news to his senior staff, the collective annoyances of the fourteen men and women seated in front of him in the Conference Room weighed upon Krovennan, they had been given the most nightmarish job for a Deep Space Warship.

Cadet Duty.

The crew had different external symptoms, but the exasperation was all the same. Dorryd, the only Bajoran and the ship's Helmsman was the first to speak.

"Does one of the Admirals hate us or something? Or did someone hang a daycare sign on the outside of our ship?"

Kel, the Breen refugee, muttered something short in his mechanical voice, it was not known what exactly was being said, but Krovennan knew from it's tone it was not something family friendly. Tallasa was the next to speak.

"So what do we do? We can't fight other ships and babysit a bunch of Cadets at the same time. Most of them probably havent even seen a space abttle outside of tests."

Krovennan thought silently for a moment, no options came out immediately, but a minute or two later, Krovennan had an idea. A few taps on the wall console in the Conference Room and a map showing a route appeared on the screen, this route showed seven different waypoints that crwould make them cross fifteen star systems.

"This route is a patrol route that we were asked to undertake if we could, the jouney will take one week and conflict, though expected, should be of little threat, what does everyone say to a little trip to test out our new guests?"

There ws a look between the officers before hands started being raised as a sign of agreement, before long, all hands were raised.

Two days later, Krovennan stood in the Shuttlebay of his vessel, Tallasa and Kri'gak were to his left, Drehera and Gyzit to his right. A Runabout approached the forcefield seperating the party from space and passed through it with barely a whisper, as the small craft came to rest in the Shuttlebay, Krovennan tensed for a moment, he had to scrutinize everything about these Cadets to gain insight into how fit they were for Starfleet duty.

It was going to be a long week.

The Runabout's doors opened and out stepped a female Ferengi, Gruturu, one of Krovennan's senior staff and widely regarded as the best small craft pilot onboard the ship. Gruturu stepped down the walkway from the Runabout and stood to attention by the walkway, Gruturu looked to Krovennan, who nodded as a sign for her to carry on, Gruturu nodded back and faced forward before speaking.

"Cadets, front and center!"

Five Cadets walked out of the Runabout, the first was a male Vulcan, Krovennan had read the files of the five they would be working with, this was Sormek, a possible future Medical Officer, he would be working with Drehera, Sormek stood to attention as Gruturu's call demanded, but Krovennan noticed him seeming to glance about the ship with an almost unapproving glance.

Next to arrive was Melissa White, a young Human Female who was interested in Engineering, she would work with Gyzit, she seemed the opposite of Sormek, swaggering down the walkway to stand far too casually to not stick out in contrast to Sormek and Gruturu behind them, she also seemed to have a grin plastered on her face, records had shown she seemed more focused on flirting with whomever caught her eye than the job in hand. Gyzit would have to keep a very close eye on her.

Third came a Trill Male, Jomar, showing aptitude in Security applications, he would be working with Kri'gak, Jomar seemed nervous, too nervous in fact, he stood to attention so stiff Krovennan was beginning to wonder if he was going to strain something, Kri'gak would not be happy to have such a nervous wreck under his command.

Next came an Andorian Female, Shliin, she stood to attention normally, but Krovennan saw a small curl of an arrogant grin of self superiority on her lips, she was regarded as a possible MACO Commander, Tallasa would be working with her, though Krovennan wondered if these two would come to blows, Tallasa hated arrogance and according to her records, Shliin had plenty of that to go around.

Lastly, an extremely bored looking Human male stepped off almost reluctantly, walking towards the others like a Borg Drone, all echanical necessity, no real want to do anything, this was Krovennan's responsibility, Jeffery Kalinzi, studying to be a Commanding Officer.

Krovennan saw an extreme reluctance to be here in Jeffery's gaze at him, Krovennan knew he would be tough.

Krovennan dismissed Gruturu and inspected the five Cadets, listing what would make them difficult, one wascondescending, another was an easily distracted flirt, another looking ready to have a heart attack, another was arrogant, and the last one seemed like he would be unwilling to do anything of remote use. The five Cadets stood in front o f the five batle hardened veterans as if they were prepared to face off against their new mentors right there.

Krovennan knew this was going to be a difficult week.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8 A Bright Future
08-17-2011, 10:40 AM
...Cadet M’run, a caitian female stood to attention as the admiral walked by. She had heard tales of Vice Admiral Tanar and the acts he had performed in his short but illustrious career. Many an admiral had walked past here on the grounds of Starfleet academy but none seemed as majestic as the young Cardassian man that now passed within a metre of her. She found herself at a loss of whether to speak or not, before her mind had made its decision, her mouth had decided to take action.

...“Admiral.” she said softly. He did not make eye contact nor did he respond, causing M’run’s heart to sink slightly. She should have stayed silent, a man as great as Tanar does not speak with lowly cadets. Then just as her disappointment started to grow in her stomach, she noticed that the admiral had stopped moving. He was just standing in the corridor. As she watched him standing there she could not help but feel that he seemed so alone, so isolated.

...“Walk with me cadet” he said. She stood for a second too long, wondering if another cadet had entered the hall. When she realised that they were the only two in the corridor she began to move gingerly away from the wall, wondering if she would have been better to remain silent. He resumed his brisk walk and she stepped up the pace to keep up with his long strides.

...“What’s your name cadet?” he asked quietly, still not looking at her.

...“M’run sir,” she replied quickly. There was a pause, stupidly she decided to fill it. “My friends usually just call me ‘M’.” She rolled her eyes, get a grip, the admiral does not want to know what your friends call you, she thought to herself.

...“I see, well then cadet M’run, just out of interest, what are you doing on my ship?” The question completely threw her off guard.

...“Well, sir…I…I” She took a deep breath and quickly regained her composure. “The academy thought would benefit from some first hand training aboard a ship.”

...“Why you, why this ship?” he asked sharply.

...“I am top of my class in both astrometrics and astrophysics.” she said, a hint of pride seeping through. I have several more exams next month and the practical experience will serve me well. Perhaps when I graduate I can serve on Relentless, errr. If you’ll have me sir.” She winced at her own presumption.

...The admiral remained impassionate. “Whom do you report to?”

...“Lieutenant fields, sir…in stellar cartography.” she replied, starting to wonder why the interest in her. There was a long pause as they made their way into a turbo lift.

...“Deck four.” said the admiral to the computer. It chimed in response. After another pause the admiral spoke again, still not making eye contact. “I have need of your services cadet. I believe you are a perfect candidate.”

...Her eyes lit up. A perfect candidate for what? she wondered. Her class mates would be so jealous of her. “I’ll do anything you ask sir, may I ask what I am a candidate for?”

...“All in good time. Everything has its correct time cadet, you just need to choose the right moment” he said somewhat cryptically.

...The turbo lift came to a stop and the doors slide open with a slight hiss. They both made their way down another hall way for about twenty meters before stopping outside a door. M’run could see it was his quarters. “What I have to say is not for prying ears. It is a matter most delicate.” He said calmly.

...“Of course, sir.” They entered the room. It was surprisingly cold in the room. M’run had knew that Cardassians liked the heat. Despite her fur, she also preferred the heat compared to what most humanoid species find comfortable. The door whooshed closed and the admiral locked it.

...She had never been as excited as she was at this moment. She had expected her time aboard Relentless to involve scrubbing plasma exhaust manifolds and now she was in the Admirals quarters, presented with a very special task. Her mind began to race as if exploring a galaxy of potential that now lay at her feet.

...She turned on sharply her heels, a huge grin breaking out across her face, her fur standing on end. The shock of seeing the phaser pointed at her, was only slightly less than the shock of the compressed energy beam striking her midriff. In an instant she was dead. A bright future snuffed out by the cold reality of war, and the undine was under no illusion; this was a war and one its people had to win. While it took no pleasure in killing, it new the measures were necessary to protect its people from the ruthless Federation.

...Her killer moved towards the crumpled remains of the young cadet. He pulled a small cylindrical device from his belt and scanned the body, before placing the device to his leg. He felt a sharp stab as it was injected into his muscle. The form of admiral Tanar began to twist and change; fur erupted from every pour of his skin, his ears rose up, while his scales melted way. The pain was intense but fleeting. He, now a she, turned and looked at a mirror on the far side. The transformation was successful. The form of M’run towered over the real body that lay on the floor. The Undine spy took the phaser and changed the setting to maximum before vaporising the body. It had carefully disabled the weapon detection system the day it assumed the admiral form. It could never be sure when it might be required to take another form.

...The real Tanar had escaped, it was sure of it and the faint telepathic connection that it had used to scan his mind could feel him drawing closer. His old form was no longer safe, but this cadet, this unknown caitian would prove the perfect cover.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Three days had passed since the Blacksabre-E took on five Cadets, there mission so far had been uneventful, filled with sensor readings of nothing and analysis of rocks and nebulae as they passed, Krovennan, Tallasa, Gyzit, Drehera and Kri'gak each had worked with their Cadets to the best of their abilities, showing them what their stations demanded of them and how best to achieve the most efficient and best result.

Krovennan had called in the four others to the Conference Room, he wanted to see what the others had discovered about their new apprentices over the past week, he coud see from the tired eyes of his senior officers as they sat down that it would not be overwhelmingly positive. He decided to start from the end of the table and work his way in.

"Kri'gak, how is Jomar doing in Security?"

Kri'gak sighed weightily before speaking, being a Klingon, Kri'gak was not incredibly patient, even when he was patient by Klingon standards.

"The boy is ready to panic at the drop of a hydrospanner, on the first day I gave him a stunning Phaser in case he required to use it, he drew it seven times in the space of a few hours over nothing, at one point he shot an Engineer who was rushing over to talk to me, apparently, Jomar thought he was about to attack with a dangerous weapon."

"I'm guessing it was not a dangerous weapon?"

"No sir, it was a Flux Coupler."

"And the Engineer?"

Kri'gak seemed unwilling to answer, so Drehera piped in.

"When he fell he hit his head against the floor, he has a concussion and lost a lot of blood, he will be off work for the rest of this mission, at least."

Krovennan could not see Drehera's normally blind eyes thanks to her Omni-Visor, but he could see her slumped shoulders and slightly tilted head, she was just as exhausted as the rest of them.

"So Drehera, what about Sormek?"

At the mention of Sormek, Drehera slumped even more before she replied.

"In terms of qualification and knowledge he is gifted, but he is insufferable."

"How so?"

"I have found him scrutinizing every part of the Sickbay, especially the staff, if he sees anyone make the slightest deviation from perfection, he is on them with a conceited rant on Starfleet protocol."

"How bad is he?"

"Terribly, I hardly think coming into the Sickbay with a slighlty ruffled shirt warrants what he gave the crewman, especially since he had been in surgery all night with only half an hour for a rushed sonic shower. And his bedside manner is even worse, he is condescending to my patients and has no sense of tact."

"I see, thank you Doctor, what about you Gyzit How is Melissa White faring?"

Krovennan looked over to Gyzit when he got no answer, to see Gyzit had fallen asleep in exhaustion, a mild slap of the table from Krovennan jerked Gyzit awake, who apologised before talking.

"Cadet White definitely knows her way around the Engine Room, but it seems her reputation precedes her. Let's just say I don't trust her in a Jeffries tube with someone."

"That is it?"

"Well no, she also has a tendency to let her "behaviour" impede her performance, she nearly caused an EPS Conduit she was working on with me to explode because she could not keep her eyes off Crewman Cooper when she should have been keeping the flow stable."

"I see, thank you Gyzit."

"Sir, may I be excused, I fear that the trials of the past few days are going to cause me to collapse without sufficient rest, which I will not get before my next shift otherwise."

"Very well, you are excused."

As Gyzit walked slowly out of the Conference Room, all eyes fell on Tallasa, she had been silent this whole time, and she knew she was next, Krovennan was the first to break the silence.

"Tallasa, how is Shliin shaping up as a MACO Commander?"

Tallasa seemed to tense up, everyone knew Sliin's aparent arrogant streak would annoy Tallasa the most, the tension was almost palpable before Tallasa spoke.

"Shliin has shown marksmanship, but that is nowhere near as remarkable as her attitude, she seems to believe she is the best at everything she sets her eyes upon, and makes sure everyone knows it. On the firing range she completely demoralized a nearby Crewman who missed one shot, I swear I saw the young man flinch under it."

"She was that bad?"

"I'm amazed she isn't worse, she constantly questions the aptitude of senior officers, including me, for the most minor of things. If she is going to lead, she's gong to have to learn humility and to not rip everyone around her a new one every time the slightest hiccup is made."

"I think it's safe to assume Starfleet gave us these Cadets to get them away from them. On file they are excellent, in real life though..."

Drehera interjected Krovennan before he could complete his sentence.

"Wait, what about Jeffery Kalinzi? How is he faring as a Commanding Officer?"

Krovennan lowered his head at the mention of the young Human, he stood up and breathed in before speaking.

"Jeffery does not have arrogance or confidence issues, he simply refuses to do anything required of Command, when he finally gives an order, it is one that requires the least amount of work from him and is usually vague and as such those under his command are confused as to what to do, I put him through the Kobayashi Maru test, he just sat there, he said that he deduced the whole ship was dead anyway, so why fight it?"

"He is that bad?"

"Yes Drehera, to make matters worse, if someone comes to him with news, he merely shrugs and dismisses it, he has no drive to command, or any drive for anything, the problem is I can see from his test scores there is a huge intelligence behind that thick skull of his, but he refuses to try."

The four in the Conference room all collectively sighed and sat in silence for a second, krovennan stood up and paced the room, thinking of what to do next. These Cadets were the future? If so the future was bleak, none of them had ever been in a real combat situation, and the Federation was to entrust their legacy to these people?

"We'll continue as normal as we can for the rest of the mission, four more days, the Cadets we will have to live with, Starfleet wants our recommendations, if I see no improvement, my recommendations will be to send them back until their disposition approves. Dismissed."

Krovennan watched as the three others left, probably to do the same as Gyzit, he doubted he would see change, but things would have to unravel themselves as time went on, what these Cadets did in the next four days would determine their future with Starfleet.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
The five Cadets had been on the Blacksabre-E for a week now, despite being reminded of their position if they did not improve by their respective mentors, they continued as usual. It was now the end of the final day of their tour, the Blacksabre-E would be heading back to Earth to drop off the Cadets, who were being sent to their quarters, due to a lack of guest quarters on the warship, the two women and three men were put in two room adjacent to each other.

"So we head back to Earth tomorrow? I wonder if some of the crewmen will remember me."

Shliin rolled her eyes at Melissa's comment, the Andorian was by far the tallest of the group, dwarfing the Blond Human, Shliin removed her boots in preparation to sleep as she replied.

"They say we'll be sent back to the Academy until we get an attitude adjustment, They'll be holding back one of their best, I can outperform any of these so called "Elites of the Federation" the Vice Admiral scrounged together in anything."

Shliin walked over to the bathroom and pulled out the sink to splash water on her face, Melissa was busy posing in the mirror.

"Melissa, no-ones going to see you in your sleep, is the preening necessary?"

"It makes the preparation in the morning easier."

"You keep telling yourself that, I'll probably be asleep by the time you are done anyway."

"I wonder how the boys are dealing with this."

"Will you stop thinking about men for two minutes? Besides, if they have any sense they won't care, even Jomar will wise up to it eventually, hes not that big an idiot."

Meanwhile, next door to Shliin and Melissa, the three male Cadets were winding down for the night as well, Sormek was meditating on the floor, Jomar was pacing around the room nervously, and Jeffery Kalinzi was reading a novel on a PADD.

"Jomar, you are interfereing with my meditation, I would ask you to stop pacing around this room."

"How can I Sormek? The Vice Admiral is going to recommend we all get sent back to the Academy, I'll be lucky if I don't get thrown out."

"How do you arrive at that conclusion?"

"I doubt Commander Kri'gak is impressed with my performance."

"Well you did severely injure a crewman, and have proven to be easily intimidated and prone to fits of illogicvcal panic, I would not be suprised."

"Oh yeah, you are a real help, you ever consider training to be the ship's counsellor?"

"Sarcasm does nothing to alleviate the situation, the same can be said of pacing the room. I was merely telling you the facts of your situation."

"Facts or not, what do we do if we are sent back?"

Jeffery looked up from his PADD at the two, apparently he found the conversation more interesting than the novel.

"So what? We'll just do the tests again and get sent to another ship until one of them passes us, I found the test easy."

"Well I didn't Jeffery, I found the tests difficult, I couldn't focus."

"Could have your tendency to panic at the slightest amount of pressure have anything to do with it?"

"Your not helping Sormek!"

"Jomar, Sormek, stop already, we should get to bed, can't be tired for our group scolding with Melissa and Shliin from the Vice Admiral."

The trio headed to their beds, the three males were roughly the same size with a inch or two of difference either way, Jomar being the tallest and Sormek being shortest, though even Sormek was half a head taller than Melissa.

Three hours later, a shaking awoke all five Cadets, for a moment each Cadet thought they had imagined it, until a second, more violent shake jarred the Cadets out of their drowsiness, Jomar's first reaction was to grasp the sides of his bad in panic, the other four simply clambered out of their beds and found something to grab hold of as a third shake resounded, this time accompanied by an explosion.

"Sormek, what is happening?"

"I do not know Jomar, it would be best to stay where you are for the time being however."

"No Sormek, Jomar, get up, we need to find out what this is."

After Jomar pried himself from his bed the three Cadets made their way to the door of their quarters, as soon as it opened a group of heavily armed crewmen ran past, moments later the door to their left opened and Shliin an Melissa poked their heads out, the two groups made eye contact before Jefferey spoke.

"Shliin, what is happening?"

"I don't have a clue, but it doesn't look good, we should get dressed and find out."

The two groups returned to their rooms and swiftly dressed, just as they both came out Krovennan's voice rang out over the intercom.

"Attention all decks, an Orion Raider taskforce has attacked this ship and are preparing boarding parties, our shields cannot hold out forever, assume battle stations!"

The group looked to each othr in shock, they were told that there would be little to no conflict on this journey, why were a force of Orions poised to overwhelm them? Shliin was the first to speak.

"We need to get out of here, our quarters would be a priority target and just standing in this corridor isn;t going to be all that safe either."

"Then what would you suggest we do?"

"I'm thinking Sormek, give me a minute...The Jeffries Tubes, we can hide in them."

Shliin walked towards a Jeffries Tube next to them and opened the panel, she ushered everyone in before closing the door behind them. The Jeffries Tubes were dimly lit, all available power was going to weapons and shields to maximise combat efficiency, so the grouo made do, all around them the sound of Orion transporters and weapons fire from both sides wer e heard, as well as a couple of cries from those who weren't so lucky, Jomar was a sickly white colour now a the group reached a junction, just before they rounded the corner they heard Orion transporters, Shliin signaled to be quiet as she heard a mixture of male and female voices, a female apparently the leader of this group.

"Are the rest of our forces distracting the crew?"

"They report they are engaging the Federation on every deck, they have no idea we are here."

"Good, lets get started, you take the charges and plant them in the Engine Room, you two go Sabotage their weaponry, you three come with me, we are going after the Commanding Officer, they can't stop all three groups from doing their job. The rest of you go and help out our forces, you have the heavy weaponry."

There was a string of "Yes Ma'ams" as the Orions were given their jobs and began crawling through the Jeffries Tubes, thankfully missing the Cadets, who waited to make sure they were gone before crawling into the junction and standing. Jomar looked ready to faint, the others were silent until Melissa broke the silence.

"Now what? They are going to destroy the ship in three different ways and the crew won't be able to stop them."

"Logic dictates that, armed with the knowledge we have of their plans, we should split up and tackle these problems simultaneously."

"Good idea Sormek, ok, Melissa, go to the Engine Room and stop those charges, Jeffery, you should go to the bridge and back up the Vice Admiral, Sormek and Jomar, go out and stop those heavy weapons and tend to the wounded, I'll stop them sabotaging our weapons."

As the group began to split up, Sormek noticed Jomar standing still, face as white as the walls and looking like he was about to vomit and faint, Sormek approached him.

"Jomar, we have a mission to do, we must carry it out."

"I can't do it, I'm too afraid, if I go out there, it is one false move and I die."

"Jomar, I should not have to remind you that if even one of the Orion's plans succeeds we will all die, I realise that I may not be a...supportive individual, but I cannot do this alone, can you be brave for this occasion Jomar?"

Jomar shuddered for a minute before looking up at the Vulcan.

"Ok Sormek, I'll do it."

"Good, let us get moving."

As Jomar and Sormek went in pursuit of the heavy weapons, In the Engine Room, a firefight was currently in progress between the Engineering staff and the Orion taskforce, the leader, a female, held the charges, she needed to plant them around the Warp Core because of their low yield, or they would be less than useless.

An Orion fell to a Phaser Blast while two more were frozen in place with Gyzit's Breen CRM 200, until the female had an idea, she removed a charg, set it for three seconds, and lobbed it through the doorway the group was using as cover, the charge bounced once before detonating in the midst of the group, Gyzit was thrown against the wall with most of the staff, no-one seemed dead but many were injured or unconcious.

The last few standing were picked off by the Orions before the female walked casually into the Engine Room, Melissa finaly arrived and peeked around the corner to se the Orion alying the charges. Gyzit, who had kept consious, hefte his weapon and pointed it at the group, the Orion Female spotted Gyzit and leapt out of the way before he fired, the three Orions with her were frozen in place, hyzit dropped his weapon as soon as it stopped firing, his strength run out, the female Orion kicked the weapon away from him before goin to a console to deactivate the blast shield that had been erected around the warp core.

As she accessed the console, she found she needed a code, she walked over to Gyzit, releasing her Orion pheremones to try and make him more suggestible.

"Would a strong man such as yourself be a dear and tell me the code for shutting off the blast shield?"

"Madam, I would rather shoot that core myself than help you in any way."

The Orion female pouted, she knew she had the upper hand in this, she failed to notice Melissa crawling out silently as the Orion continued to try and persuade Gyzit, Melisaa grabbed a depleted Phaser Rifle, wielding it like a club, she charged the Orion, yelling at the top of her lungs. The Orion was initially startled, but found it easy with her pheremones negative effect on Melissa to grab the rifle from her grip and toss it aside. The Orion proceeded to reach out and grab Melissa's throat.

"Come now silly girl, did you really think that would work?"

The Orion threw Melissa aside, the Cadet slamming against a wall and lying on the floor in pain.

"Now where were we?"

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