Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,241
# 21
08-01-2013, 12:20 AM
The Tales of Alyosha Strannik:
"Going Through the Motions"


There are 47 ships of varying classes and sizes docked inside and immediately outside Earth Spacedock. I know not just from reviewing the Chin'toka's scans, but I've had time to scrutinize them all through the windows as I wait for the Board of Inquiry to hand down its final ruling on the loss of the USS Indomitable. It's scheduled for this afternoon--but until then there's nothing I can do but wait here on ESD.

One of those ships is the USS Akellen Macet, commanded by Vice Admiral Tayben Berat, the 77th Fleet's second-in-command under Admiral ch'Harrell. The Macet is one of the few, if not the only Federation starship named after a member of a foreign military--and even more unusual given that the Cardassians are sometimes known to bestow such an honor while the honoree still lives.

The gold-ochre-copper patterns emblazoned across the Vesta-class starship's hull are even more striking. These are Cardassian colors. The familiar Starfleet shades of moonlit silver are still there, but the ship's unique identity is plain to all.

Its commander, Berat, began his Starfleet service as an exchange officer--an ensign--but back home on Cardassia, he'd held a commission as a senior gul. Then came the Vega crisis. Faced with the obliteration of his assigned ship's command staff at the hands of an altered group of Borg, Berat had used his extensive Cardassian training and experience to take command and fend off the assault.

Desperately short of manpower, the exchange officer suddenly found himself dual-commissioned as both Starfleet captain and Cardassian gul, a position only permitted given that treaty stipulations made the Cardassian Defense Force something of a subordinate branch of Starfleet. Berat is now the highest-ranking Cardassian in Starfleet and the unofficial liaison between Starfleet and the CDF.

But his extensive list of duties doesn't stop him from taking good care of the 77th--including coming down here to ESD to testify in person on the after-action reports I submitted after the destruction of the Indomitable.

Berat approaches me from behind. I've never known for sure if Admiral Berat is cleared to know my species, but he shows no surprise when I turn around to greet him before he announces his presence. Perhaps this doesn't seem unusual to the Cardassian, given his own people's bioelectric sense...a sense that from what I've read almost seems like a faint echo of my own neuroelectric sense, but far less powerful and less specialized.

The Cardassian wears one of the 25th-century vice admiral's coats--black, trimmed in Sciences blue that plays off of his robin's-egg blue eyes, but the combination of the formal admiral's belt and gold-striped trousers gives the impression of something truly military--something very twentieth, twenty-first century Earth. Designs of a similar nature were considered at one point for the entire service in the middle of the 23rd century, but discarded as "too military." For Berat, as for many Cardassians, hiding from the military nature Starfleet has always had, and must now embrace if we wish to survive, is distasteful--so now, in his unique position, he doesn't shy away from that part of his service and his identity.

Berat offers a polite Cardassian inclination of the head--the respectful greeting of superior to subordinate. Nor can I sense his emotions, even if I try. Cardassian mental disciplines at their strongest forbid even a Vulcan mind meld; I, with my much weaker telepathy, don't stand a chance. His tone, however, is warm. "Captain Strannik...it's good to see you. I know these are never good circumstances..."

I nod. Berat is a veteran of the Dominion War and the Cardassian Rebellion...he's seen a staggering number of ship losses, not to mention the other horrors inflicted upon Cardassia by the Dominion.

"At times like this," Berat admitted, "I don't understand Starfleet. This sort of procedure seems more appropriate for a training accident or peacetime loss. Not for a time of war. The Defense Forces would have passed summary judgment on this a long time ago. I told them that the evidence was clear, your reports not in doubt, and I considered the matter closed as far as the 77th was concerned."

"Thank you for your confidence, sir. And for coming here in person."

"It's no trouble," Admiral Berat replied. "I was due to deliver a report on the New Romulus initiative; it wasn't hard to get my arrival schedule pushed up by a week."

I eagerly accept the opening to get off the oppressive subject of the Board. "How has that been going?"

Berat returns an easygoing grin. Like a Vulcan, the Cardassian's face doesn't betray his years as it would for a human, and you'd never know the man was over seventy. No...that look was almost boyish on his young-seeming face. "Quite well, for the most part. I mean, considering the fact that 'everybody and their mother' is trying to interfere with the Republic, as you'd say.

"I can't be there as often as I'd like, but I'm finding that once the Mol'Rihannsu get used to the idea of a Cardassian being around, we actually get along quite well most of the time. My main research area is at the Atlai River, but I get called to the main staging area to speak with some of the Mol'Rihannsu workers there. To tell them what I've seen on Cardassia. What we've fought against, what we've accomplished in spite of the Dominion. And in spite of ourselves."

For a moment, a hint of bitterness creeps into Berat's voice. "You should hear the inane chatter some of the Starfleet officers think is going to inspire them. 'Your work is so important,' 'look sharp'...such blatant platitudes. No offense to you, Strannik. But the Romulans aren't stupid; it's obvious to them when some sheltered soul just doesn't have a clue. I tell them the truth. I tell them that we're still fighting the True Way. That Cardassia and her worlds are still scarred. But that we're still there, and things are better than they were thirty years ago. And that the Federation has honored its obligations."

There isn't much I can say to that. My own country had a history something like that once--generations of an oppressive regime followed by fitful starts at democracy and the near disintegration of our hopes between twin spectres of corruption and powerlust. Freedom had come with a bitter taste for quite some time after the hammer and sickle fell for the last time over the Kremlin.

But I also knew better than to act as though I'd lived those days. I'd "slept" through the whole thing beneath San Francisco, and then some. The Russia I knew had this as part of its history, yes, and we studied our history and the lessons it afforded us. It informed our heritage, yes, and I had especially heard it as my foster father vented at the borderline illegal nature of Admiral T'Nae's recent conduct in St. Petersburg.

The fact was we were centuries distant from that time, with over two spent as part of United Earth. I'd read and watched eyewitness accounts from back then, and though they and I shared much, not I, nor my foster parents, nor even their parents or grandparents had the kind of personal experiences that Admiral Berat did. Listening to Berat was just like listening to one of those historical recordings. It struck a familiar chord with me, for sure, but I couldn't sing the exact same note no matter how much I matched my pitch with his.

So I accept Berat's words with a respectful silence.

Finally I speak again. "I understand you've had Commander Redmond with you. How is she progressing?"

Admiral Berat smiles. "It's not easy for her, but I am definitely seeing her take more chances in interacting with strangers. Getting to know people. The Mol'Rihannsu have been gracious, for the most part. I think maybe she's starting to learn that anybody who's actually paying attention will get to know her for what she is, and not just what she looks like."

Berat's chief engineer was one of the earliest victims of irreversible assimilation--she'd been a green ensign out of the Academy serving on the Enterprise-E during the Battle of Sector 001, when the Borg had captured her. Remarkably she'd survived the destruction of the Queen aboard the Enterprise. While her brief imprisonment had left her identity fully intact, she'd been an experimental prototype...a hint of the grotesque types of assimilation the Borg use today. And Dr. Crusher hadn't been able to do a damned thing for her...not one implant could be removed, not one strand of DNA rewritten.

She'd taken a long leave of absence, but eventually returned to Starfleet as the Borg threat re-emerged. Aboard her own ship Redmond had earned the respect of her colleagues, but understandably had remained painfully shy when it came to dealing with outsiders. Those who saw a Borg and could not or would not accept that they were dealing with an individual who was still culturally human. And her own self-perceptions.

"It's good to hear the Mol'Rihannsu have been so understanding," I said. "And I think that speaks well to the type of republic D'Tan wants to create."

"It does. That, and she and Counselor Zalor really seem to be making some headway. I think working with a Cardassian helped. Someone who doesn't see her skin tone as something...undead. She's helping Commander Redmond to judge herself not by human ideals, but by something unique. Something that's just her. She's used a wig and some Cardassian techniques to come up with a look that's a bit more livable."

I had to admit, it was ingenious. I would never have made the connection between the grey-skinned Cardassians and certain of the Liberated Borg...not to mention that an immutable appearance wasn't exactly part of my personal experience. "I'm happy for her," I replied sincerely. "But that reminds me...have you heard anything from Gul Tassok lately?"

Berat folded his hands behind his back and nodded, staring out the window from Starship Requisitions at the Macet and the other starships inside. He didn't look at me as he answered, "I have. He made good on his word, and retired immediately. He's still in the Draylon system, though. It's...going to be a long haul with his daughter's recovery. The first time they dropped the forcefield between the two of them, she tried to assimilate him."

"Oh, no..." Had I been wrong in my impression that there was something still in her besides a mindless mechanized zombie?

"From what I'm told, it's not uncommon. There's still a chance. According to Gul Tassok, the last time he visited her, he was at least able to be in the room without her getting violent. We can only hope for small steps at this point, but at least that was one."

"She's in my prayers," I replied.

The Cardassian nodded respectfully.

Then my commbadge chirped. "Captain Strannik, report to Conference Room 2."

It was time.



For me it was a victory of sorts. While I hadn't been facing any charges of my own, per se, Admiral T'Nae had made it quite clear through her tone and conduct that my actions and behavior had been just as much under scrutiny as Captain Sengupta's. But now, as I stood and faced the three-admiral panel, with Admiral Berat on his feet at my side, I allowed myself to breathe a sigh of relief. I was neither to be charged nor reprimanded for my actions--no matter how much I had reprimanded myself for not having spoken a few critical seconds sooner, when Sengupta might still have listened to my warning about the transwarp interdictor waiting at our destination.

Unfortunately Captain Sengupta's record beyond the grave would bear the marks of this: the official cause of the Indomitable's demise was to be listed as a combination of enemy action and captain error.

It was all I could do not to visibly shake my head at that. True, Sengupta had rushed too eagerly into battle, but to have put the surviving officers through this, for his family to be told a thing like that about the one they loved...especially at a time of war when the Indian captain had been ready to lay down his life for the Federation...Admiral...Gul Berat was right. The whole thing had been a pointless exercise.

T'Nae cracked the gavel and announced the adjournment of the Board as Admiral Berat stared coolly, levelly back at her.

Then the Cardassian turned to me and muttered under his breath, "Let's go."
Christian Gaming Community Fleets--Faith, Fun, and Fellowship! See the website and PM me for more. :-)


Sig by gulberat. Avatar credit to balsavor.deviantart.com

Last edited by gulberat; 09-14-2013 at 09:55 PM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 771
# 22
08-01-2013, 02:43 PM
When the Tholian's programmed the food replicators for their humanoid "servants," they only included 47 items, numbered of course, so there was no telling what it was until you tried it. And of course, you were only allowed one meal per break. I suppose that I was lucky when I commanded a starship, I could program more, but I never learned the names of many foods. So when this human captain from the future sat me down in his cabin, and asked me what I wished to eat, I had no idea. At the time I didn't think it mattered.

The Human, Captain Walker, came back to the table, setting a dish of food like I had never seen in front of me, and another plate of it for himself. "I checked with the ship?s doctor, you should be able to digest this."

I watched him as he picked up a fork and speared it into the white mess of worm like things, covered in red sauce and white flakes, with large round masses of what I thought were some kind of flesh. Twirling the fork around, he lifted a bundle of the worms to his mouth and ate it. Before he could notice I hadn't touched my food, I aped him, managing to not create a mess and get some of the worms down my throat. It wasn't bad. "What do you call this?" I asked.

"Spaghetti and meatballs," he replied. "The replicator doesn't do a bad job, but you should have homemade."

I nodded, wondering when he would change. They usually did.

"I feel I owe you this much at least..." he trailed off, looking old. I doubted he would hurt me, perhaps he simply wanted company, but I wished he would hurry along. Still the dance he had started had to play out.

"You do not owe me anything. I still don't understand why you did not send me back to me own timeline as you said you would." Something I shouldn?t have asked in the dance, but it slipped out.

He sighed. "I suppose I owe you that as well. Without your help we would not have been able to send the Enterprise C back to its place in history." He looked at me, and I felt uncommon warmth inside. "You don't seem to have had a good life in this timeline, judging by what our medical scans found."

I shrugged, slightly confused now, the dance changing into a form I didn't know. "It could have been worse I suppose."

"You expect me to take you to my bed."

The bluntness of it shocked me. "I..."

"I'm not going to. I'm not going to hurt you any more than you already have been." He looked me in the eyes, and I saw his were old, so very old. "According to our readings, you don't exist in any other time line in any form. It happens sometimes, not as often as one might think. Most beings will still exist in some form, somewhere. But not you. If you weren't protected by this ships temporal shielding, you would cease to exist. And by the rules I follow, that would be right."

I swallowed in fear. "Then why did you bring me here?"

He looked down. "Three years ago, I had to correct another fault in the timeline. To do that, I had to destroy a world, a world filled with people that did not exist, should not have existed. If I didn't, the time I come from would never have existed, and the time that replaced it would have been infinitely worse." He looked up, eyes boring into mine so much that I barely noticed the tears tracking down his cheeks. "I had no choice, you understand. A universe of life depended on me. A single planet is nothing in comparison."

I stared at this human in front of me, filled with fear of him, and pity for him.

"My crew thinks that I am here to give you a last meal before I turn off the temporal shielding, to give a bit of light into your life before it never happened. They think I am sentimental like that."

"Are you?" I asked, so confused and filled with conflicting emotions that I do not sound afraid, or angry, or caring. I simply was.

"What is your name," he asked in reply.

"Kobobo," I said.

He gently took my head between his hands, avoiding my spines as he kissed my forehead gently. "I never had children Kobobo," he said, and then everything went white.

"Captain," said the rogue Gorn at my helm. "We have arrived on station. The I.K.S. Moon's Dark Side is waiting for us."

I glanced to him, then back down to the padd I have on General Molia. She is said to be fair, but has a reputation of trying to seduce anyone who serves with her. Still she is my best bet to obtaining the supplies I need. "Send a hail, and ask which ship she would like to conduct negotiations on."

The dishonored Klingon at the comm board bent to my task, and I prepared to leave the bridge, when I noticed a note at the bottom of the report.

"I never had children Kobobo, because the world they were on never existed. Have a good life, my second daughter."

Your father in spirit
Walker

I looked at the note in confusion, not remembering how it got there. I reached to erase it, but changed my mind and sent it to my personal files. It was not written for me. I had no father, of course, I was born out of an artifical womb, like any Jem'Hadar, thought no other Jem'Hadar was female like I. And no father, no being of any kind had helped me when I found this ship, gathered a crew, rose to prominence as a raider until the Klingons and Starfleet had taken notice, until I had to choose a side for protection. No one had guided me to find Molia as a being I could work under, at least I hoped so.

No I had no father. But it was nice to think otherwise sometimes.

"General Molia will welcome you on her ship," the Klingon smiled. "She says you may come armed if you wish."

I nodded. "Contact the senior officers and have them report to transporter room one, I will met them there."

The Klingon nodded, and I went to the lift, fingering my disruptor pistol at my side. I didn't think Molia would betray us, but it would not hurt to be cautious. As the lift wisked me towards the transporter room, I wondered if they would have any Terran dishes to eat. I rather liked spaghetti and meatballs, even out of a replicator, but of course homemade was better.
Joined September 2011
Nouveau riche LTS member
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,853
# 23
08-02-2013, 09:51 AM
wrong thread.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Look into Vanilla PvP if you're tired of the endless pursuit of grind, utterly unbalanced selections of geardo-inspired traits, and generally unbalanced and careless 'development' made mostly to turn this game into a second job.

Last edited by patrickngo; 08-02-2013 at 10:37 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 512
# 24
08-02-2013, 11:50 AM
Quote:
]Captain's Log, Stardate 8572311

The Archimedes has been sent to investigate the disappearance of the U.S.S. Blackstone, following that ship's loss of communications about two weeks ago. According to Starfleet Intelligence, the Blackstone was on a scientific expedition into the Kython system when it went off the grid. Given the presence of Klingon patrols in the region, Starfleet Command feels it is most likely that the ship was destroyed by the enemy. While I acknowledge the possibility of a Klingon attack, I have my doubts. The Kython system is an area of space that most regional traders seem to avoid, for reasons that have never been determined. While I am not about to pay credit to the superstitions of traders, I cannot help but feel that something other than the Klingons may account for the Blackstone's disappearance...

"...there...are...forty-seven..." the voice on the comms rasped. "...there...are...forty-seven..."

The voice muttered the same words, over and over again, as the looped message played on the audio system. It was a man's voice, weary with exhaustion and dread, speaking the words as though for a recitation. The message was laced with the sinister crackle of electromagnetic interference, and something about the whole sound of it made the skin on the back of Arkos' neck go cold as he gazed silently at the viewscreen. There, rotating lifelessly in the middle of an asteroid belt, was the triangular shape of an Aurora-class science vessel, its glossy steel hull reflecting the starlight and the not-too-distance Kython sun. There were no lights on that ship, no glowing engine strata or glimmering pulse on its main reflector. The U.S.S. Blackstone floated dead and lifeless in space, almost indistinguishable from the asteroids it floated amidst.

Dead and lifeless, that was, except for the signal it was broadcasting.

"...there...are...forty-seven...there...are...forty-seven..."

At the Ops station, Lieutenant Farim Meru tapped her console and cut the signal. "As far as I can tell, sir, the message is being broadcast through auxiliary systems," she said. "It's possible it might even be broadcast by a portable generator within the ship itself, given how weak the signal is."

Next to Arkos, Commander K'Nera Shras leaned forward, her antennae twitching as though tasting the tension in the air. If she was as perturbed by all of this as Arkos was, then the Andorian was doing her best not to show it. "Can we I.D. the speaker?" she asked.

Farim ran another diagnosis, and quickly nodded. "Voice records confirm the speaker as Captain Knut Henriksen, commanding officer, U.S.S. Blackstone," she said. "Sensors are not indicating any signs of tampering or falsification."

K'Nera frowned. "What about the interference? Can you pinpoint the source of it?"

"Yes, Commander. Radiation feedback from the Kython sun and heavy magnetic interference from the asteroids are probably distorting the original message." The dusk-skinned Bajoran woman looked up from her console and stared warily at the dead ship. "It's also possible, Commander, that something else may have fragmented the original message."

Arkos took a deep breath as he leaned back in his seat. The more he learned about the Blackstone's present state, the less he found himself liking it. "How about life signs?" he asked. "Sann?"

At her own console, the Archimedes' chief science officer, Neazri Sann, did a quick sensor sweep. The Trill woman quickly shook her head. "No sir," she said, "no life signs aboard. Given the interference, though, I can't tell if that means they're dead or missing."

The news sent an icy chill down Arkos' spine. A dead ship, a missing crew, and an ominous signal being broadcast on audio playback. This was beginning to sound more and more like one of those horror films that the Humans were so fond of. He had never liked those films, personally. They were all too...irrational.

"There are forty-seven," he repeated to himself, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "There are forty-seven what? Enemy ships? Boarders? Remaining crew members?"

At a Tactical station, Lieutenant Brax did a quick diagnostic of his own. "I'm not reading any damage to the Blackstone, sir," the Ferengi said, "and I don't see any evidence of weapons discharge on its hull or the surrounding asteroids either. Whatever happened here, I think we can rule out a battle."

That confirmed one of Arkos' suspicions, at least. Whatever had happened to the Blackstone, it wasn't Klingons. He straightened up in his chair. He and his crew had stumbled onto a mystery, and now he was all the more determined to solve it. There was a rational explanation behind all of this, he knew, and he was itching to find out what it was.

"It seems we aren't going to find any answers unless we go onto the ship and dig for it ourselves." he glanced at the ship's security chief. "Mr. Brax, prepare an away team to board the Blackstone. Advise them that you will be dealing with a potentially hostile environment, and that no chances are to be taken. I will join you in Transporter Room One shortly."

K'Nera turned and raised an eyebrow at Arkos. "Sir, you're going down in person?" There was aggravation, rather than surprise, in her tone. K'Nera had had to deal with Arkos' adventurous nature before.

He simply flashed her a smile. "I don't see why not, Commander. There's a mystery down on that ship, and I'm very keen to unravel it."

The Andorian gave Arkos a disapproving frown. "Sir, with all due respect, the Captain of a ship can't risk his life in every single away mission. You're many things, sir, but James T. Kirk you are not."

Arkos gave her a sour frown. This always happened: whenever Arkos wanted to do something in person, K'Nera would invoke rules and protocols to reign him in. It was, he knew, why K'Nera was such a good First Officer.

"Fine," he sighed. "In that case, Commander, you can lead the away team in my place. Take Lieutenant Sann with you, as her brain might come in handy."

Seemingly satisfied, K'Nera nodded. "Aye, sir." Standing up, the Andorian looked to the ship's science and tactical officers. "Sann, Brax, you're with me," she said, before striding to the turbolift with those two officers in tow.

Sighing, Arkos turned back to the viewscreen. Lately, K'Nera had been a lot more stiff and aggressive in her adherance to Starfleet protocols. He suspected she was still bitter about being turned down from the command track, and was trying even harder now to prove herself in the eyes of the Starfleet brass. He'd have to sit down and talk with her about it one day, he knew, though that would have to wait until the whole Blackstone affair was resolved.

In front of him, the Blackstone continued to rotate lifelessly in space, as though silently daring him on...




*****

A few minutes later, the darkness of the Blackstone crew deck was illuminated briefly as Away Team Alpha beamed into position.

Materializing in at the fore of the team, K'Nera quickly took stock of the situation, her antennae twitching as they tasted the air, even as the away team all activated their hovering flashlight-drones. The hallway was dark, with zero illumination coming from the adjoining light-strips built into the bulkheads. The computer panels were black and lifeless, and the musty smell of accumulating dust was present in the air. The entire place seemed dead, powerless, and abandoned...and aside from the sounds of the away team's breathing, was as quiet as a tomb.

It was the last part that set K'Nera on edge. She was too used to hearing the murmur of distant voices and the hum of engines on a starship. But those sounds were empty: the Blackstone was eerily quiet, and the quietness set her on edge.

"Fan out," Brax ordered the team. "Take up lookout positions." Like K'Nera, the stout Ferengi was wearing a full tactical harness that seemed to add to his squat shape, and was wielding a phaser rifle. At Brax's command, three of the team's security personnel-- Ensigns Tebran, Serruk and Vasquez-- fanned out into ready positions. K'Nera had had her misgivings about the Ferengi initially, but she had to admit, so far Brax had a good grasp of away team tactics, and it was clear that he had drilled his team well. She still had her misgivings, though-- there was an old saying that brave Ferengi are an extinct species. Hopefully, K'Nera thought, Brax would prove his mettle during this away mission.

Even as the security team took up ready positions around corners and bulkheads, Lieutenant Sann took out her tricorder and held it out in a scan. "No sign of any contaminants or toxins in the air," she observed, "and there aren't any detactable anomalies coming up either. Minimal auxiliary power has been diverted to life support and gravity, though the ship's main power grid is still offline." She glanced uneasily at her surroundings. "No life signs. In fact, I'm not reading any bio-signiatures in a hundred metre radius."

Brax gripped his phaser rifle tightly as he peered at the dark corners of the hallway. "I hate this ship already," he muttered. "It reminds me of Drozana. Only...without the dabo tables."

K'Nera said nothing in reply. She'd heard a few muttered stories about Drozana back on Earth Spacedock...something about how an escort called the Chin'toka had encountered a nest of Devidians down there. She instantly put the thought out of her head. "Let's move," she ordered, keeping aloof. "We'll conduct a room by room search. Lieutenant Brax, take point."

"Aye aye, ma'am," Brax replied curtly. "You heard the lady, team, let's move!"

It took them roughly ten minutes to search the crew deck. Spreading out, the away team made their way through crew quarters, the ship's lounge, the holodeck...all of which was left dark and inert by the lack of power. Wherever they went, they found the same thing: abandoned rooms, accumulations of dust, and no indication at all of where the crew had gone. There were a few signs of former activity in some of the crew quarters-- open books and PADDs, un-made beds, unkempt rooms. But no people. Whatever it was that had happened here on the Blackstone, its crew had vanished.

After a while, the team recongregated near the main turbolift. "No bodies," K'Nera muttered, "no signs of struggle. Nothing. It's as though the crew all just...vanished into thin air."

"Or left," Brax spoke up. The Ferengi straightened up as much as his stout form would allow. "I found a few signs of crew members having left their quarters, ma'am. A few lingering footprints, some overturned bedsheets. Nothing to suggest any violence or any sort of hurry, though. If you want, I can have Serruk run a detailed scan for prints to see where they all went."

K'Nera frowned. She didn't want to spend more time in this place than she had to. "If we have time," she replied. "But first, we need to figure out where the message is coming from, and why the main power grid has been shut off." She nodded to the Ferengi. "Brax, Tebran, you two are with me. We'll investigate Engineering, see what we find down there, and hopefully see if we can bring the main power grid back online." She turned to Neazri. "Sann, you, Serruk and Vasquez head to the bridge and try and I.D. the source of that signal."

Sann nodded. "Aye aye, ma'am." With an inclination of her head to Vasquez and Serruk, she headed off towards the turbolift, with the two security personnel following suit. Even as they left, Brax tensed up. "Permission to speak freely, Commander?"

K'Nera nodded. "Granted."

"I have a really, really bad feeling about this," Brax said. "And it's not just the fact that the crew's missing. I usually get this feeling in my gut whenever foul play is involved, and right now, I have that feeling. Whatever it is that's in Engineering, ma'am, I don't think we're going to like it."






*****

The path to the bridge was more difficult than Sann and her team had anticipated: without any functioning turbolifts, they had had to climb up the nearest shaft by ladder. After climbing their way up to the bridge, Ensign Serruk had had to pry the doors open with a pair of magna-clamps, a feat that took even the fit Saurian a few minutes. With a stiff metal groan of hydraulics, the doors were finally forced open, giving Sann and her team a look inside.

"Well," the Trill muttered, "this is depressing."

It was depressing because Sann had been hoping for something new waiting for them on the bridge: a few scattered bodies, perhaps, or some sign of alien interference, or perhaps even a glimmer of functional power. Instead, the Blackstone's bridge, like the crew deck, was dark and deserted. The chairs, consoles and captain's chair all sat vacantly as if expecting new occupants, and a fine sheen of dust was visible on some of the blank readouts. The only light source was the main viewport-- through it, Sann could see the magnificent arrowhead shape of the Archimedes, and the surrounding starscape bathed the bridge in an eery twilight.

She took a deep breath as she strode onto the bridge after Serruk and vasquez, their portable flashlights hovering around them all the while. "Right, let's get to work," she said, casually popping open her tricorder. "Serruk, see if you can bring some of these consoles back online and check the ship's sensor logs. That should give us some idea of what the Blackstone ran into." As the Saurian nodded and set diligently to work, Sann turned to her other team member. "Vasquez, you're with me. We need to trace the origin point of that signal."

The Human was already doing a scan with his tricorder. "I'm on it, Lieutenant," he said. The tricorder beeped suddenly. "There we go. The origin point is roughly ten metres and one hundred and fifteen degrees from our position." He glanced in the direction the scan was pointing to. "The Captain's ready room."

Sann gave a grim smile. Farim had been right: the origin point was a portable device after all. "Well, this should be interesting," she said, fishing a pair of magna-clamps from her belt. "Vasquez, take point in case there's anything big, scary, and suitably bug-eyed in there that needs shooting."

Vasquez gave her a nervous look, but nonetheless stood guard with his phaser rifle at the ready. Sann stepped forward, fixed the magna-clamp, and pulled. The door, to her surprise, moved with very little resistance, and hissed sideways.

Nothing came leaping out at her. Sann was almost disappointed by this: clearly, whatever had abducted all of the Blackstone's crew needed to sit down and watch Alien once or twice.

The stygian darkness of the ready room was quickly illuminated by her flashlight, revealing a broad, ordinary looking desk, a nicely organized bookshelf and a pair of potted plants. Nodding to Vasquez, she drew her phaser and stepped in, with the more burly Human following in her wake. A quick sweep of the place confirmed her suspicions that there was nothing in here that was a cause for concern.

Nothing, that was, except for a faint blue glow visible against the captain's chair. Inching forwards, Sann nearly jumped shen she realized that the Captain's personal computer was functional, and still on.

Wasting no time, Sann stepped in front of the terminal. The screen showed the standard blue and white field and a list of programs and functions available for use. Whoever had last used this terminal, she realized, was still logged on. To the side of the terminal, she saw a squat, bulky cube with several interconnected wires plugged in.

"A portable generator," Vasquez breathed. "It's been plugged into the terminal. That means that the looped message was recorded right here." He personally examined the generator. "Only its battery is dying. Whoever sent this message put only a small portion of it into a loop to save power."

Leaning down, Sann tapped at the terminal, and examined all of the previous activity. "Not only that," she realized out loud, "it was tied directly to the captain's logs. And it looks like he's left them open without password protection. He wanted us to find this."

She quickly typed in a few commands and gained entry almost immediately. A picture popped up of a handsome Human male, somewhere in his late thirties, with cleanly-cut blonde hair, chiseled features and a warm smile. Captain Knut Henriksen was every bit the handsome Norwegian that Sann had imagined him to be. Below, a list of logs popped up. Without hesitation, she selected the earliest one for playback.


Quote:
Captain's Log, Stardate 85384

We have just completed our initial survey of the Kython system. The radiation thrown up by the local star would make it an ideal hiding place for pirates or for enemy raiders, but curiously, we have yet to run into any enemy vessels so far. Even so, I am maintaining high alert as long as we're in the system. We may be on a scientific expedition, but I'm not about to be caught flat-footed by the Klingons.

Our survey, though, has already yielded some interesting results. Our scans of the third planet in the system show a tolerable atmosphere, low levels of radiation...and what appear to be structures on the surface. We tried scanning for life signs, but the radiation thrown up by the sun is making it difficult to spot anything. Because of this, I am authorizing the launch of several away teams to the surface. If we're lucky, we may find an indigenous species to make first contact with, or at least monitor. If we're not lucky, and there's no one down there, then the structures at least are a significant archaological find. It is at times like these that I envy my crew for being able to participate in missions like this-- if I weren't burdened with rank, I'd love nothing more than to join them down there.

"Interesting man," Sann said aloud as the message ended. "Curious, adventurous...he sounds like the sort of person who would have gotten along really well with Captain Nair."

"Or you," Vasquez piped in with a cheeky smile. He suddenly straightened up and adopted a more serious expression. "Er...ma'am."

Sann simply flashed Vasquez a wry grin. "Oh hush, Ensign," she said. "That's an order."

Turning back to the terminal, she selected the second earliest entry for playback.


Quote:
Captain's Log, Stardate 85388

Our away teams have just returned from the surface of Kython III. Our initial scans were correct-- there were structures on the surface. Lieutenant Trager reported several large clusters of buildings in severe states of decay. Our archaologists have placed the ruins as being several thousand years old, and more than a few artefacts have already been beamed aboard the ship for examination, and hopefully we will gain more insights about the nature and culture of this world's original inhabitants.

Curiously, while our away teams have found plenty of habitation on the planet, we found no actual trace of the original inhabitants. No remains. No tombs. Nothing. Our archaologists have determined that the buildings have been in a state of decline for a thousand years at least, so the original inhabitans must have died out quite a long time ago, but even a mass extinction would have left physical traces behind. Lieutenant T'Kell has already postulated that the original inhabitants may have been wiped out by a phage that thoroughly dissolves living matter-- a possible bio-weapon designed to target their species. While I cannot rule out this possibility, our away teams scans have confirmed no sign of contamination or of viral agents at the habitation sites. It is as though the original inhabitants simply...vanished into thin air.

At present, we are breaking course from planetary orbit to initiate some scans of the nearby asteroid belt. Our initial scans suggest several noteworthy metallurgical deposits in the belt, including possible traces of dilithium. Our continued examination of the surface will have to wait for now-- as much as I love a good archaological dig, we are, regrettably, at war, and we need resources wherever we can find them to win that war. As soon as we're done with the metallurgical scans, though, I have every intention of going back to Kython III and examining the planet further.
Sann frowned. That last log entry had seemed eerily prophetic-- the mention of a planet with a missing population was a big warning sign. There was only one entry left-- one that had been written exactly two weeks ago, and, according to the terminal, had a single segment uploaded to the communications array for continuous playback. Captain Henriksen had wanted to make sure that part was heard, she realized.

She played the entry. Captain Henriksen's voice returned...only this time, the controlled, confident voice that had spoken earlier was strained, stressed and frayed with anxiety.


Quote:
I tried to stop them. You understand me? I really did try to stop them. But they wouldn't listen. They heard the siren call and fell under its sway. Trager, T'Kenn, Ch'Rell, Kitano...even Five of Eight. All of them! I'm the only one left, and I'll be joining them soon. I feel it. It will have me soon, but I realize that its necessary. It has to do this, don't you understand? I have to do this. I have to step in. It's the only way to keep them out.

If anyone finds this message, keep as far away as possible, do you understand? There are forty seven--"

*****


"Doors," K'Nera breathed.

The main engineering room of the Blackstone was just as dark, deserted and stygian as the rest of the ship, it's walkways, gantries and consoles all empty and abandoned. Even the massive central tube of the warp core was dim and inactive, leaving the entire room submerged in shadow. It was just as empty and unremarkable as the rest of the ship...except for the doors.

They were set into the walls of the cylindrical chamber, lining both floors in a double ring. Each came in a different shape and colour-- some were rectangular, some lateen, some were wide circles. She saw doors made of hardwood and painted over in various colours, some others seemingly chiselled out of stone, some others in turn forged out of brass or steel. They all stood, set firmly into the walls of Engineering as though built there. And by K'Nera's count, there were forty-seven of them.

She felt the skin crawl on the back of her neck as she shone her light over the doors. It was disturbing enough that these doors were even here: even your average cadet would tell you that these doors weren't part of any basic starship floorplan. But what was more distubring was that some of these doors were positioned in front of areas she was sure consisted of hull plates and bulkheads.

Further behind her, Ensign Tebran broke the silence by asking the questions everyone was wondering. "What are these doors doing here?" the Betazoid whispered. "And who put them here?"

"Or more importantly, where do they lead to?" Brax muttered as he pulled out a tricorder and ran a quick scan. "Hm. Wherever these doors came from, they're real alright. I'm reading compounds of wood, mineral and metal compounds, a few exotic organic substances..." He glanced up warily at one of the doors in front of him, a glimmering portal of polished silver. "But I can't detect anything behind them, Commander."

K'Nera felt a lump tighten in her throat. Her antennae twitched, probing and tasting the air. Something about this place set her on edge, and it wasn't just the doors. She couldn't put her finger on it, but there was a palpable wrongness to this place. Every deep rooted instinct as screaming for her to open the do--

She blinked. No, her instincts were telling her to run. Weren't they?

Taking a deep breath, K'Nera willed herself to look away from the doors. "Fan out," she ordered, "and search the entire room. We might find a reason for why they're here. Tebran, you should--"

She paused, then, when she realized the Ensign wasn't there. "Tebran?" She spun around. "Tebran? Brax?"

She was alone.


*********


Ensign Merida Tebran's pulse quickened as she walked towards one of the doors, It was a large, rectangular door, fashioned out of white basalt. Just like the stone buildings of her hometown on Betazed.

Her senses were aflame. Not the basic, mundane senses that her crewmates relied on, but her mind... felt open and alert. Something indescribable was pulling her towards the door. It felt like a compulsion, but at the same time...didn't. She couldn't explain why, but she wanted to open that door. She wanted to take a look inside.

She took a few more steps towards the door. Its white surface caught the light of her flashlight and lit up with dazzling radiance. It seemed to generate a feeling of warmth and comfort...memories of her old home when she was a little girl. Before the Dominion occupation, before the death and the horror. Far, far, back, during a time when she was actually happy.

Slowly, she reached forward, turned the handle, and stepped over the threshold.

The radiance of the outer door melted away...and suddenly Merida was confronted by a sudden and bitter chill. Ahead of her, far in the door's depths, was darkness. An inky blackness that seemed to fill everything. She recoiled as she felt the darkness oozing into her mind, and she gasped, almost shrieking in revulsion at the sensation.

Something cold and clammy grabbed her, and pulled her in. Merida didn't even have time to scream before she disappeared into the blackness, the door sliding shut behind her.


********

K'Nera's senses were on high alert she crouching behind a warp containment console, glancing over her shoulder. There was nothing there. No enemies, no anomalies...and certainly no sign of Brax or Tabren. But all the same, she knew something was horribly, horribly wrong. A pair of Starfleet officers didn't simply disappear like that.

She gripped her phaser rifle tightly. Her attempts to call Brax and Tabren by name had been met with only silence, and her attempts to contact them via comms had been no better. If they were out there somewhere, then she would have sensed them now-- her antennae would have picked up the unique smells and chemical stimuli both the Ferengi and the Betazoid generated. As far as she could tell, though, she was alone. Alone, in an abandoned engineering chamber full of mysterious doors.

She closed her eyes, and swallowed, willing herself to force back the icy tendrils of fear that crawled up her spine. She was a ranking Starfleet officer, damn it, and an Andorian at that. She had trained for situations like this. What she needed to do right now was contact Sann's team or the Archimedes, notify them of the situation and request backup. Then they'd be able to find out what happened to Brax and Tebran, and figure out what all these doors were doing here--

K'Nera.

She froze on the spot. Something had said her name.

She blinked. No, she hadn't actually heard anything. The engineering chamber was still as silent as a tomb. But it had felt as though someone had said her name. Her mind had comprehended her name being spoken, even though her ears had heard nothing.

"Hello?" she called out. "Who's there?" Her grip on her phaser rifle tightened even further.

K'Nera. She comprehended the not-voice again. Ice-flake.

The last word nearly bowled her over. In an instant, she became aware of the fact that her arms were trembling, and they continued to tremble even as she willed them to stop. Ice-flake. That was what her thaan-father had called her back on Andoria, when she was a little girl. She hadn't spoken to her father in almost ten years...never since she had failed her entrance exam to the Imperial Guard.

The not-voice seemed to have come from somewhere this time. A door, just to her left, fastened from glass that caught a nimbus of what little light was in the room. Just like the ice-doors back on Andoria...

Before K'Nera knew it, she was standing up and walking towards the door. It all felt so right and rational: a voice had come from beyond that door, calling her name. It was only right that she should turn the handle, open the door, and investigate.

Gripping the handle and feeling the reassuring, cold bite of ice, she turned it, and opened the door.

She was met by a familiar feeling of warmth. Beyond the door lay a circular room, hewn from preserved ice and silicate stone. Scented candles lined the walls, and red vials hung from alcoves. She instantly recognized the room for what it was: it was the family catacomb back home, where the blood-samples of honoured ancestors were stored and preserved. Each vial was the blood of a member of her line, a hero, either of the Federation or the Andorian Empire of old.

And kneeling in the centre of the chamber, with its back turned to her, was a familiar figure clad in an indigo blue robe. The blue skin, silver hair and antennae of her race were instantly recognizable, as was the posture of the figure itself.

She took a step into the room. "Father?" she whispered.

The figure slowly turned its head towards her...

...and then something grabbed her behind and wrenched her backwards. "DON'T!" a voice yelled in her ear. K'Nera shrieked in alarm and snapped an elbow back into her assailant's ribs, but her attacker held on and pulled her back, sending the two of them toppling backwards as K'Nera finally lost her balance.

Everything happened in a blur of movement. Looking up from where she fell, K'Nera saw that she had fallen back outside the door. Only now, the interior was different: the familiar sight of the family catacomb was replaced by a swirling, inky darkness, and an unbelievable cold. And not the familiar cold of home that she was used to, but a deep, fierce cold that seemed to sink into her bones...

Rolling out from under her, K'Nera's assailant sprang to his feet and slammed the door shut, before looking at her. Lieutenant Brax stared down at her with wild, terrified eyes as he caught his breath. "Don't open the doors!" he said. "One of them already got Tebran!"

K'Nera blinked. "What?" She felt strangely dizzy, as though she had just woken up from some sort of fugue. Realization sank in, slowly and dully. "I...Brax...did I just try to go through one of the doors?" Everything felt leaden and heavy, as though she had just surfaced from underwater. Or woken up from a dream. What I just saw wasn't real, she slowly realized.

The Ferengi calmed down a little and nodded. "You did, Commander," he said. "The same almost happened to me, but I somehow...woke up before I could open the door. I saw Tebran go into another one, though, and it locked behind her."

The news caused K'Nera to sit up abruptly. "What?" The sense of danger returned. She clutched her phaser rifle, and stood up. Her body replied sluggishly, and she stumbled a little as though drunk. "What are we waiting for? We need to get her out of there!"

As if on cue, the sounds of several heavy footfalls suddenly rang out. Spinning around, K'Nera saw the bright flashes of several flashlights flood the room. Her eyes adjusted just in time, though, and she quickly recognized the newcomers as Sann and her team.

"Commander!" the Trill was out of breath, and looked just as alarmed as Brax. "We have to leave!"

K'Nera shook her head. "Ensign Tebran went in one of these doors!" she exclaimed, gesturing to the ring of doors surrounding her. "We have to save her!"

"She's gone already, Commander!" Sann replied. "We can't save her now! We need to leave before they take us as well! Just like they took the Blackstone's crew!"

The mention of the Blackstone crew brought K'Nera's mind back to the mission. She was about to demand to know what Sann had found out when a sudden, loud noise caused all five of them to jump.

Something had banged at one of the doors.

"Tebran?" K'Nera called out, instinctively readying her phaser rifle. Brax, Vasquez and Serruk did the same, just another single, loud thump sounded out. Only this time, it had come from a different door, a few metres to K'Nera's right. The one she had almost stepped into.

And then the drumming started.

Each of the forty-seven doors emitting a loud, hollow thump in unison, the sound reverberating in the engineering chamber like an oversized drum. The doors all thumped again, before repeating the sound in rhythm like the marching of feet. K'Nera looked on in bewilderment as the doors rocked on their hinges and vibrated as they were slammed from behind. The thumps seemed only to grow louder and louder, surrounding the five Starfleet officers in a cacophony.

With horror, K'Nera realized that something...no, several things...were trying to force their way out of the doors. And she noticed, with alarm, that the handles of a few of the doors were slowly tilting...

Without another second of hesitation, she slapped her comm badge. "Away team to Archimedes, prepare for emergency transport! Energize!"

There was the familiar hum and tingle of a transporter beam, and then the forty-seven doors disappeared from view.


*******


"So let me get this straight." Arkos Nair leaned back in his ready room chair and folded his palms. "You all found a bunch of mysterious doors fixed into the walls of the Blackstone's engineering room, almost stepped into one, lost Tabren in another, and then had to beam out when it seemed like they were all opening?"

Taking a deep breath, K'Nera gave a stiff nod, painfully aware of how ludicrous the whole story sounded. "Yes sir." On either side of her, Brax, Sann, Vasquez and Serruk were all standing sombrely at attention.

Arkos frowned. "And you found no sign of the Blackstone's crew? At all?"

"No sir." K'Nera replied. "All of the evidence we found, including the logs of Captain Henriksen, suggests that they were all...put under a compulsion, just I Ensign Tabren and I were, and made to walk through the doors. What happened to them afterwards is anyone's guess."

"It's possible that the compulsion may have been partially telepathic in nature, Captain," Brax added. "If that's the case, then Tebran would have been more vulnerable than us due to her telepathic nature. That would also explain why I was able to snap out of it, given my race's...well...resistance to telepathy." He gestured to the four massive lobes on his cranium. "It's just a hunch, though."

For a moment, Arkos seemed to consider the testimony of his officers. Slowly, he gave a defeated sigh. "well...that doesn't change the fact that I'm going to have to write a letter of condolences to Tabren's loved ones tonight," he muttered. "We lost a crew member today, ladies and gentlemen, and we have little to show for her loss."

K'Nera gave a grave nod. "I take full responsibility, sir," she said. "Tebran was under my command. If I had paid better attention--"

"You were just as much of a victim as she was, Commander," Arkos cut in, "so there's no point in blaming yourself. Just be thankful that you didn't share whatever fate she suffered."

Remembering the illusion of her home, K'Nera shuddered and nodded. "Yes sir," she said. "If that's the case, then I feel that Lieutenant Brax should be commended for his actions during the away mission, sir. It was his quick thinking that saved me."

Brax gave a sheepish smile. "Oh...it was nothing Commander, really."

"Don't be so modest, Brax, it's not often K'Nera praises people," Arkos said with a grin to the Ferengi, before his expression became serious again. "Is there any way we can account for the presence of these...doors...on the Blackstone in the first place?"

It was Sann who chose this moment to speak up. "Well, sir, I have one hypothesis on the matter," she said. "The second to last log of Captain Henriksen mentions that his crew brought several artefacts up from Kython III for study. The ruins of Kython III itself were described as being completely desolate, with no visible trace of its original occupants. No physical remains, no tombs, nothing."

"Just like the Blackstone," K'Nera realized out loud.

Sann nodded. "Exactly, Commander. I think it's possible that whatever happened to the Blackstone's crew was the same thing that wiped out the Kython population thousands of years ago. Bringing those artefacts aboard may have triggered or reactivated...well...whatever those doors are supposed to be."

Arkos stared curiously at Sann. "So you're suggesting...what, that the Blackstone was the victim of some sort of...curse?" He frowned. "Lieutenant Sann, if you don't mind my saying so, that explanation is pretty bizarre, even by your standards. Even if it didn't sound too supernatural for my liking, you're suggesting that these telepathic doors have accounted for an entire race of people."

The Trill slumped her shoulders. "I know it sounds pretty farfetched, sir," she said, "and I have nothing to back it up beyond conjecture. But for what it's worth, Captain Henriksen mentioned quite a lot about the doors in his final log entry. He didn't seem to be in a stable mindset, but he didn't seem to be under any compulsion either...at least, for the duration of his final log. Apparently, he had set up that message loop to warn other ships off."

"If only that message worked," Arkos muttered. "What did the late Captain say?"

Sann looked uncomfortable. "Well, sir, he seemed believe that there was some sort of sacrificial element to the compulsion. I don't know how he came to this conclusion, but he seemed very convinced of it. He even seemed to think that this sacrifice was necessary in some way."

A look of disgust crossed Arkos' features. "Necessary?" he echoed. "Necessary for what? They were his own crew!"

Sann took a deep breath. "Captain Henriksen's last recorded words, sir...were...'the supplicants go in...so that the dark things can never get out."

A silence settled over the ready room. Arkos' expression seemed to waver a little, before he broke eye contact with Sann. As much as he was trying to hide it, it was clear that the last words of the Blackstone's captain disturbed him.

"I'll notify Starfleet Command of the situation," he finally said, "and inform them of what happened to the Blackstone. I'll be sure to recommend that we quarantine this system to avoid further such...incidents. In the meantime, we'll set a course for the Berion system to await further orders." He straightened up. "You all behaved admirably, given the situation, so I'm giving you all some R and R for the rest of the day. Just so you know, though, we'll be holding a wake for Ensign Tebran at 0900 tomorrow morning. Dismissed."

The away team all nodded, and left the ready room, leaving Arkos with a lot of writing to do...


****

In the cold depths of space, the gleaming shape of the Archimedes made a stately turn, gliding away from the asteroid belt. Slowly but surely, the Dakota-class hybrid drifted free from the belt, before disappearing in a flash of light as it jumped into warp. In its wake, the shape of the Blackstone drifted silently, alone and forgotten.

A single speck of light shone from one of the windows-- a tiny fragment of blue light coming from a computer terminal in the Captain's ready room. It was the only source of light on the Blackstone, and it shone, barely perceptible out in the cold void.

There was a sudden flicker of darkness, and that light went out like a candle.

Last edited by ambassadormolari; 08-04-2013 at 10:35 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,376

To the centre of the city where all roads meet
Waiting for you
To the depths of the ocean where all hope sank
Searching for you
I was moving through the silence without motion
Waiting for you
In a room with no window in the corner
I found truth

In the shadow play, acting out your own death
Knowing no more
As the assassins all grouped in four lines
Dancing on the floor
And with cold steel, odor on their bodies
Made a move to connect
But I could only stare in disbelief
As the crowds all left

I did everything
Everything I wanted to
I let them use you
For their own ends
To the centre of the city in the night
Waiting for you...


Ian Curtis and Bernard Sumner of Joy Division - "Shadowplay"



- THE ROAD TO RUIN -

CODA: WHERE ALL ROADS MEET


Quote:

AFTER ACTION REPORT: Engagement of hostile Fek'Ihri forces in the Moab System

Appendix B: Casualty Report - USS
Tiburon NCC-68636


There are forty-seven significant casualties to report:


- Blake, Hunter Evan; LCdr., tactical; Human, male, age 34
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: CO of fighter squadron Pescaditos and pilot-in-command of Pescadito 1, Blake received plasma burns and a broken wrist when his craft was destroyed by enemy fire. Emergency beamout was successful, and injuries have been treated. He is recovering well.

- Chelios, Rhonda Joy; Spsc., medical; Human, female, age 25
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Nurse Chelios received severe acid burns to her hands, arms, and right leg while attempting to triage and treat Lieutenant H'mL'n's injuries. She has been treated with dermal regeneration and should make a full recovery.

- Dong, Brandon Raiden; POsc., security; Human, male, age 24
Status: Stable / Recovered
Notes: Petty Officer Dong received disruptor shock injuries while in physical contact with a Fek'Ihri female who was shot and killed by a Klingon disruptor weapon. His injuries were not severe. Treated and released to light duty.

- Dugan; POfc., engineering; Tellarite, male, age 40
Status: Missing, presumed deceased
Notes: at the present time, Petty Officer Dugan is believed to have been spaced by a massive double-hull breach the Tiburon suffered due to being rammed by an enemy warship. Lieutenant Barrister counted four individuals who were spaced along with himself, including a "hairy, short-statured" humanoid which matches Dugan's description. The shuttles Kristy St. Germaine and Jim Toomey are currently searching the debris field for survivors and expired victims.

- Enfanfar, Mohamed Salam Omid Sahebek; Lt., operations; Human/Orion hybrid/augment?, male, age 29?
Status: Stable / Isolation
Notes: Lieutenant Enfanfar was burned and lacerated by a blown ODN junction. While treating him, CMO noticed unusual levels of self-regenerative activity. Investigation revealed Enfanfar has traces of Orion DNA and some augmented genetic markers. He has since admitted that he has an Orion ancestor (previously undisclosed according to personnel files) but denies any genetic augmentation. He has been treated, released and confined to quarters pending further investigation of personal and family history.

- Erebia, Boris Elmo; Ens., tactical; Human, male age 23
Status: Deceased
Notes: Erebia was defending his duty station from enemy borders when attacked and bitten in the head and neck by a Fek'Ihri female, which delivered a paralytic neurotoxin to his bloodstream. Death followed before anyone could attend to him. There is no known antivenin.

- Gromp; Sptc., engineering; Ferengi, male, age 21
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Specialist Gromp accidently burned himself with his plasma torch while making emergency repairs. Treated and discharged. CMO recommends additional situational training and supervision for this crewmember.

- H'mL'n h'lL'r; Lt., tactical (cultural exchange); Pentaxian, female, age 31
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Lieutenant H'mL'n was bitten on her right arm by a Fek'Ihri female. However, H'mL'n's acidic blood either neutralized the creature's venom or drove off the creature before it had a chance to inject her. Treated injury with adapted vascular and dermal regenerators following the recommendations of Lt. Dr. Ben Kincaid of the Valkyrie. H'mL'n was also stabbed in left-upper thorax by a ceramic-bladed carving knife, severing one of three cardiac tubes supplying blood to that side of her body as well as puncturing her left lung. Noting the knife did not dissolve as one would expect a metal blade to do, CMO replicated ceramic instruments for surgery and successfully repaired all tissue damage. H'mL'n further injured her left ankle while engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Strained ligament has been repaired and CMO recommends patient wear lighter boots. H'mL'n is in good spirits and recovering well.

- Hemmingway, Heidi Susan; Cmn., engineering; Human, female, age 18
Status: Missing, presumed Deceased
Notes: Crewman Hemmingway was stationed at the port nacelle maintenance terminal at the time an enemy vessel collided with the Tiburon. Shuttles are searching for her work station and person.

- Honed Rala; civilian; Bajoran, male, age 68
Status: Critical
Notes: Mr. Honed was severely injured when Fek'Ihri boarders stormed the Deck Six lounge where he was working to set MCDC guests at ease. Honed received multiple blunt-force trauma injuries, stab wounds, bites, cuts and acid burns. He remains in critical condition although if no complications arise he is expected to make a full recovery.

- Hssell; Lt. jg., tactical; Gorn, male, age 89
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Hssell brought his crippled fighter (Pescadito 9) back to main hangar bay when it was determined that his copilot, Warrant Officer Osborne, would not survive beam-out due to severe brain injury. Hssell suffered numerous burns, a fractured wrist, and smoke inhalation. His injuries have been treated and he is recovering well. He has shown a great deal of concern over Osborne's condition. CMO has requested counselor Nequi, an expert on Gorn behavior, to assess his emotional state.

- th'Iphroo, Nedev; POtc, operations; Andorian, thaan, age 22
Status: Deceased
Notes: Petty Officer Iphroo was attacked at his duty station by Fek'Ihri boarders. A witness saw him being "torn apart and devoured."

- K'lak, son of K'ryl; Lt. jg., security; Klingon, male, age 28
Status: Deceased
Notes: reports indicate that K'lak died by self-immolation when he was overwhelmed by Fek'Ihri forces while covering the archaeological survey team's escape from the Fek'Ihri ruins on the surface of Moab III. Commander Marq Sander has recommended him for the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor and the Legion of Merit.

- K'mukkel; Lt. jg., tactical; Caitian, female, age 20
Status: Stable / Recovered
Notes: K'mukkel's fighter was severely damaged by enemy fire and she and her copilot were recovered by emergency transporters. K'mukkel sustained electrical shock, moderate burns and minor lacerations to her paws. Treated and released, restricted from duty for twenty-four hours.

- Kunicki, Allan Robert; Cmn., security; Human, age 19
Status: Critical
Notes: long considered the Tiburon's security team's good luck charm after surviving many dangerous assignments with only minor injuries, Crewman Kunicki's luck ran out when he received a slashing blow to the chest from a Fek'Ihri pole-axe. Organ damage has been repaired surgically, however the systemic shock from the initial trauma and blood loss lowers his recovery chances.

- Kurinka, daughter of D'rnel; CPO, security; Klingon, female, age 26
Status: Critical
Notes: Kurinka received numerous bites to her legs, arms and lower torso, inflicted by lesser Fek'Ihri specimens, along with cuts and phaser burns she self-inflicted while trying to fight them off. Tissue and blood loss was severe. Prognosis for recovery is optimistic.

- Lanthan; CPO, engineering; Karemma, female, age 37
Status: Missing, presumed Deceased
Notes: at this time, Chief Lanthan is believed to be one of four individuals that Lieutenant Barrister witnessed being spaced after the Tiburon was struck by an enemy warship. She was last seen entering the starboard engineering boom. Shuttles are presently searching the debris field for survivors and/or remains.

- LaRoca, Jesus Lorenzo San Gregorio; V. Adm., security / command; Human, male, age 42
Status: Stable (physical) / Critical (psychological)
Notes: Admiral LaRoca has sustained numerous contusions and lacerations for which he has thus far refused treatment. His emotional state is severely depressed and is precariously tied to the status of his brother, Commander LaRoca. He has remained on the IKS Norgh'a'Qun, refusing to leave his brother's side; Commander LaRoca's status having remained unchanged for over twenty-four hours by now. CMO has temporarily relieved Admiral LaRoca of command of the Tiburon and recommends that he be placed on suicide watch if Commander LaRoca succumbs.

- LaRoca Rusty Alpha the First; Cmdr., security; Deinon, male, age 35
Status: Unknown
Notes: Commander LaRoca was bitten on his tail by a Fek'Ihri female over six hours before he received medical attention. By that time paralysis had reached his lungs. He was placed in stasis immediately after being beamed aboard the IKS Norgh'a'Qun. At that time he was no longer breathing and his pulse was not detectable by manual contact. Cortical monitors show active brain function, however. He is being treated on the Norgh'a'Qun as moving him is deemed unfeasible in his condition. Drs. Tr'vayn and Xyoosix of the Norgh'a'Qun, Dr. Moowir of the IKS NIteb mo' and Dr. Malhul of the IKS Cha'bIp have each consulted on Rusty's case, each having some experiences dealing with this neurotoxin. No one has yet proposed a viable course of treatment; although Dr. Tr'vayn insists that her idea is the only one with a chance at working, CMO is highly skeptical. Commander LaRoca will remain in stasis as long as possible or until an alternative course can be found. His recovery prospects are most doubtful.

- Lesco; Spfc., science; Tiburonian, male, age 26
Status: Deceased
Notes: reports indicate that Lesco was killed instantly by an axe-blow to the back while attempting to escape the Fek'Ihri ruins on Moab III.

- Liow'an; Lt., tactical; Caitian, male, age 23 (?)
Status: Stable
Notes: Pilot-in-command of Pescadito 5; Liow'an and his copilot both underwent rapid aging when their fighter was caught in a chroniton field. The emergency transporter system, though responsible for saving their lives, may have exacerbated this problem. Liow'an now appears to be in his mid-to-late fifties, and is showing streaks of gray in his fur at his extremities, the tips of his ears and around his muzzle. Internal degradation matches this. CMO is investigating whether the Pulaski technique can be successfully applied to reverse the damage.

- Marsolek, Erick Newman; Lt., tactical; Human, male, age 42
Status: Stable / Recovered
Notes: Marsolek received a moderate electric shock and burns to his hands and forearms when his console overloaded. He was treated and released to light duty.

- Mayas, Gina Lynette; CPO, security; Human, female, age 39
Status: Deceased
Notes: Chief Mayas' head and upper torso were dissolved by Fek'Ihri stomach acids during action to repel boarders in Deck Six crew lounge.

- McGee, Bono Nelson; CWO, tactical; Human, male, age 39
Status: Missing
Notes: copilot of fightercraft Pajarito 5; his fighter was last seen flying near an enemy vessel before it exploded from a warp core breach and/or tricobalt warhead sympathetic detonation. No debris from the fighter was observed, and some witnesses claim it was not close enough to the explosion to have been vaporized. It is possible that the fighter experienced a total systems shutdown and its occupants are still alive. A Search-and-Rescue/Recovery effort is underway involving the runabout Zambezi and the shuttlecraft Steve Alten with the shuttle Peter Benchley joining the search as soon as its repairs are complete.

- Miller, Henry Allen; civilian; Human, male, age 52
Status: Unstable (psychological)
Notes: Miller had a strong emotional attachment to Commander Traa'cee and has taken news of her death very hard. CMO recommends a period of non-intervention, followed by alcoholic detoxification and mandatory counseling sessions.

- Morga, son of Borden; SSp., science; Klingon, male, age 42
Status: Deceased
Notes: reports indicate that Senior Specialist Morga was consumed by the Fek'Ihri horde that emerged from the Iconian Gateway in the Moab III ruins. He was the first casualty in this battle.

- Mular, Ghilbi; POfc., engineering; Cardassian, male, age 45
Status: Deceased
Notes: Lieutenant Barrister has positively identified Petty Officer Mular as one of four victims who were spaced subsequent to an enemy warship colliding with the Tiburon's engineering booms. Shuttles are still searching for his body.

- N'moore Oolt; CPO, operations; Bajoran, female, age 36
Status: Stable (physical) / Unstable (psychological)
Notes: Chief N'moore was attacked at her duty station by Fek'Ihri boarders. Though she escaped with only minor bites and lacerations (for which she was treated and released to light duty) she was severely traumatized by the experience, having witnessed the death of her colleague, Petty Officer Iphroo. CMO prescribes mandatory counseling sessions.

- Nataget, Stennit; CPO, security; Saurian, male, age 29
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Nataget received minor acid burns to his chest and arms while transporting Lieutenant H'mL'n to sickbay. Dermal regeneration is ineffectual on his species. Treated, bandaged, released, prescribed bed rest and light activity for next three days.

- Nnormiz; POsc., engineering; Benzite, male, age 29
Status: Deceased
Notes: The shuttlecraft Jim Toomey discovered the Tiburon's starboard warp nacelle largely intact, along with organic traces which confirm that Petty Officer Nnormiz was at his post at the warp coil maintenance terminal at the time of impact. Shuttles are still searching for more substantial remains.

- Osborne, Mikaela Louise; WOfc., tactical; Human, female, age 33
Status: Extremely Critical
Notes: copilot of fightercraft Pescadito 9; Warrant Officer Osborne suffered severe burns, smoke inhalation, blunt-force trauma to the head and extensive neurological damage when her fighter came under sustained enemy fire. Luckily her PinC recognized her injuries, and rather than initiate emergency beam-out (which would have certainly been fatal in her condition) Lieutenant Hssell brought the fighter in to land. She is scheduled for a third round of surgery at 2030 hours and her recovery prospects are not optimal.

- Pakray; Lt., tactical; Tellarite, male, age 36
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Pakray received severe burns and lacerations to the hands, forearms and chest when the console he was operating overloaded and exploded. His injuries have been fully treated, and he should be recovered enough to return to duty within forty-eight hours.

- Pavaro; LCdr., tactical; Vulcan, male, age 86
Status: Deceased
Notes: CO of fighter squadron Pajaritos; Pavaro was killed when his craft collided with an enemy vessel. No body recovered.

- R'merral; WOsc, tactical; Caitian, male, age 16
Status: Deceased
Notes: copilot of Pajarito 7 / Manta 3; fightercraft destroyed by enemy fire before emergency transporter cycle could complete. Organic residue later found on the USS Hammerhead's transporter pad was matched to Warrant Officer R'merral's DNA.

- Randle, Robert Darren; SCPO, tactical; Human, male, age 49
Status: Missing
Notes: Senior Chief Randle was stationed in the projectile weapons pod, which was the point-of-impact for the enemy ship which rammed the Tiburon. However, according to Commander Ibear, that is the most heavily-armored part of the ship, apart from the bridge, so there is a good chance that Randle survived the initial impact. Search-and-Rescue/Recovery efforts are underway.

- sh'Redderrman, Ferra'bie; Lt., tactical; Andorian, shen, age 36
Status: Missing
Notes: Pilot-in-command, Pajarito 5. See notes on Chief Warrant McGee.

- Rider, Jamal Gerardo; Ens., tactical; Human, male, age 24
Status: Deceased
Notes: pilot-in-command of Pajarito 7 / Manta 3. Like his copilot, Ensign Rider died before he could be beamed to safety aboard the Hammerhead. Organic residue was recovered which matched his DNA.

- Sander, Marq son of Breq; Cmdr., science / command; Klingon/Human/Vulcan hybrid, male, 26 years old
Status: Stable / Recovered
Notes: Marq suffered a minor asthma attack due to dust inhalation and moderate acid burns to the chest as well as various minor contusions. He was treated and discharged. Bed rest was prescribed.

- ch'Snenav, Silephogh; WOfc., tactical; Andorian, chan, age 31 (?)
Status: Stable
Notes: copilot of fighter Pescadito 5; Warrant Officer Snenav underwent rapid aging when his fighter entered a chroniton field. He now appears to be in his late sixties. See notes on Lieutenant Liow'an.

- Sokar, Upilol; MCPO., engineering; Betazoid, female, age 52
Status: Stable / Recovering
Notes: Master Chief Sokar received severe burns to both arms while attempting to repair a ruptured EPS conduit near sickbay. She has been treated and is recovering well.

- Soval; Ens., tactical; Vulcan, male, age 27
Status: Stable / Recovered
Notes: Soval received a minor electrical shock and mild burns to his hands when the shield distribution console overloaded. He also received a slight bump on his head when the Tiburon was rammed by an enemy vessel. He was treated and released.

- Stassen, Madison Philippa; Spsc., engineering; Human, female, age 20
Status: Deceased
Notes: though no body has yet been recovered, Lieutenant Barrister witnessed Specialist Stassen being spaced following the collision with the Fek'Ihri warship. Shuttles are presently searching for her remains, among others.

- Traa'cee; Cmdr., tactical; Vulcan, female, age 64
Status: Deceased
Notes: according to acting Lieutenant K'Jetsk, Traa'cee regained consciousness on Stardate 87813 in the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, in K'Lan-ne, Vulcan. She was agitated and incoherent, claiming there was an Undine inside of her mind. After attempting self-mutilation she was restrained and sedated. Attempts to draw her out were unsuccessful, resultant contact with a malignant psychic presence was traumatic for all involved, culminating with Traa'cee being forced to kill a Vulcan priestess and herself.

- Unmlot, Tesdra; Ens., tactical; Betazoid, female, age 29
Status: Deceased
Notes: copilot of fighter Pajarito 1; killed when her fighter was destroyed in a collision with an enemy fightercraft.

- Yumi; LCdr., engineering; Ferengi, female, age 37
Status: Critical
Notes: Yumi was replacing forward phaser relays when the compartment she was working in sustained a direct hit by enemy fire, leading to decompression and plasma fires. Yumi was badly burned and nearly spaced. Initial surgery effort repaired lungs and major cerebral vasculature. Additional rounds of vascular and dermal regeneration will be needed, and there is still danger of cerebral hemorrhage.

- Yoann Teena; LCdr., science; Bajoran, female, age 41
Status: Deceased
Notes: while assisting in evacuating children on the surface of Moab III, Yoann was bitten in the neck by a Fek'Ihri female and suffered near-instant paralysis. Second-hand reports indicate her lungs failed causing her to die by asphyxiation.

- Zain, Mitiani; Lt. jg., tactical; Cardassian, female, age 25
Status: Stable (physical) / Borderline (psychological)
Notes: Zain suffered contusion and lacerations to the head along with a moderate concussion when the Tiburon was rammed by an enemy craft. Her injuries have been treated and she expected to make a full recovery. She was also psychologically traumatized by witnessing the death of Ensign Erebia. Zain has also expressed concern for Admiral LaRoca's well-being and may be developing an unhealthy emotional attachment to the Admiral. CMO prescribes mandatory counseling sessions.


Casualties Sustained by crew of Akira-class heavy escort carrier USS Tiburon NCC-68636:
25 injured (14 serious)
15 dead
6 missing
5 psychologically damaged
47 total

Additionally there were twenty-three crewmembers of the USS
Valkyrie who were treated for their injuries aboard the Tiburon, and thirty-two members of the Moab Confederacy Defense Command who were injured prior to or shortly after being rescued from the destroyed KDF/MCDC space station Ha Long Bay. These cases are discussed in separate appendices.


This report was prepared by LCdr. Dr. Maria Espinoza, CMO, USS Tiburon - Stardate 88207.13




Franklin Drake deactivated his personal cloak after he'd slipped into Admiral LaRoca's ready room. He knew he could count on Templar to handle manipulating the Tiburon's internal sensors. He sat down at LaRoca's desk in the corner of the windowless room, contented that his only witness was the Admiral's pet leopard shark.

As he scanned the CMO's report for the entry that he needed to amend, he felt the whole crushing weight of the maginitude of the battle descend on him. Fifteen dead. Six others probably gone, at least two injured who looked like they wouldn't make it... and this was just one ship out of dozens. And then there was Moab III, New Saigon...

It's not my fault, he told himself. This was always Infrared's world, not mine. Not Temek's... They would've come eventually... And then there was the map. Temek called it the Atlas. Finding that had to be worth something. A whole world? Or two? Yes. If it helps us save another system from suffering Moab's fate, it will be worth it. The Needs of the Many... The Balance... the Order...

He saw the notes on Miller. Good old Hacksaw. He'll understand. Unrequited love is such a difficult thing to deal with for a man like him... he'll come to realize he's better off without the emotional garbage... He found the entry. Cmdr. Traa'cee. K'Jetsk had talked. I'll have to have a little chat with our Reman friend, find out who else he told, explain things to him... He pasted in Dr. Espinoza's access code and made a quick edit...
Quote:

- Traa'cee; Cmdr., tactical; Vulcan, female, age 64
Status: Deceased
Notes: according to acting Lieutenant K'Jetsk, Traa'cee passed away at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, in K'Lan-ne, Vulcan on Stardate 88180.28 without ever regaining consciousness. Cause of death ruled neural energy depletion as a result of hostile action (see reference, After-Action Report filed Stardate 88102.6)


He looked up, feeling someone staring at him. His eyes darted around the dark room until he settled on the shark. It swam without moving in an artificially generated current, watching him.

"They're still out there, you know," Drake said aloud. "The Fek, the Undine, the Iconians, and whoever these damned 'Masters' are... They will come back."

The shark lost interest, turned away and swam to the other end of his tank.

They will return. And I will be waiting for them.

...


"I won't try to hide behind the Law if what I stand for is what's Right."

The Masterverse Timeline / Ten Forward Fanfics

Last edited by sander233; 09-08-2013 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Hamlin
Commander
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 389
# 26
08-04-2013, 02:20 PM
Romulan Tragedy

Scene: Stage for a play, placed in the mess hall of a romulan ship. Mess hall is filled with Romulan and Starfleet dignitaries. Curtains are still lowered and actors are peeking to see who gathered in the mess hall.

Uhlan: [nervous and scared as this is his first performance in a play.] How many do you think are out there?
Sublieutenant: Don't worry, you only have three lines in the end.
[Third person comes on stage from the dressing room. He is wearing a variation of the Romulan Republic uniform. In his hand he carries a helmet which resembles old Greek helmet from Earth with a large feather ridge on top.]
Old Actor: My good friend, if I had started to panic every time I went on stage...[ is interrupted by Uhlan]
Uhlan: It's different, you were a trained actor of the Romulan National Theatre, you did hundreds of performances and besides if I make a mistake Subcommander will make me clean every sonic shower on this ship.
Old Actor: Yes she is a trying a little too hard to make a good impression on the Admiral, but I can tell you that there are worse directors then her. I can still remember my last performance in the National Theatre for empress Donatra, there... [is again stopped by Uhlan.]
Uhlan: It's probably yours and Sublieutenant's fault that our ship got picked to host the conference. They wanted to show off just because you were once members of the National Theatre. But they also found a play that isn't even in the main language of the Federation
Old Actor: [tired of listening to his inexperienced colleague] Why do you think that I am the communication officer aboard the Skrita? [waits for a moment and continues in an angrier voice] Actors of the National Theatre had to speak at least 3 languages fluently, we even played Klingon operas. [calmes down] If you want you can go and talk to Sublieutenant Arla. She might be able to help you relax.
[Uhlan walks away before the old actor finishes his sentence and starts to practice his lines. Another man comes from the dressing room. He is also wearing the same uniform and the helmet but with a smaller ridge of feathers on top]
Lieutenant: Have you counted all spectators yet, Sublieutenant?
[Sublieutenant stops peeking through the curtain and turns to the Lieutenant]
Sublieutenant: There are about 40. Most Admirals are still on a tour of the Skrita, but their adjutants and majority of the diplomatic staff from the Federation is here.[makes a small hole in the curtains and nods to the Lieutenant to come and look] Ambassador Sugihara and members of the Diplomatic Corps are over there.
Lieutenant: I can see him, but he is standing alone by the window.
Sublieutenant: That's not ambassador Sugihara, he is standing with a Tellarite, Vulcan and a Pakled envoy. They are all dressed in white. But I have no idea who that man is.
Lieutenant: I thought he is a Captain, but then I saw that his four pips are underlined.
Old Actor: That probably means he is some kind of specialist. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a specialist for studying nebulas.
Lieutenant: I don't think that scar was gained by exploring nebulas.
Sublieutenant: I can't see Captain Shon. I thought I saw him in the transporter room when the delegation beamed over from the Enterprise.
Lieutenant: I saw him by the bar with our Ambassador before I went to the dressing room. He tried to "convince" the Ambassador that Andorian Ale is better than ours.
[Women in a Romulan Republic dress uniform enters the scene, she is obviously looking for something.]
Subcommander: Where is my Telemachus? [is angry but can't shout as the entire mess hall would hear her] He should be here.
Old Actor: It is my fault Subcommander. I told him to see the councillor.
Subcommander: And where is the Captain. He should finish his tour by now. We are starting in 5 minutes.
[Door of the mess hall opens. Captain and several Republic and Starfleet Admirals enter the room.]
Lieutenant: Speaking of the Sehlat.
Sublieutenant: Ah, you can never miss our Admiral; he is always the tallest person in the room.
Lieutenant: [sees something that disturbs him] How can he be here? He earned a dishonourable discharge for what he did.
Sublieutenant: Who?
Lieutenant: Can you see the Subadmiral walking with the Reman ambassador. He was once the Admiral's first officer.
Sublieutenant: He is quite handsome but I see that he already has a wife.
Lieutenant: That?s not his wife, that's his sister.
Subcommander: Calm down Lieutenant. I agree that he isn't the best Captain of a star ship, but you can't overlook what he did for the Republic. And I hear that he is an expert in ground tactics. However I am not happy to see that Admiral Zelle and Admiral T?nae lead this delegation.
Lieutenant: How come?
Subcommander: [notices time on her PADD] We don?t have time to discuss this. Take your places everyone we are going to begin.
[Subcommander steps in front of the curtain, delegates sit down, Admirals and the Captain sit in the front row]
Subcommander: [she didn't have time to learn her speech so she constantly looks down to her PADD] Welcome warriors of the Kling... [selects another file on the PADD and continues like nothing happened]Welcome distinguished guests of the Federation. Today we are going to show you excerpts from Odyssey. I hope you will find many similarities between his and our journey to find a lost home.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

Scene: Bridge of R.R.W. Skrita, Only three officers are on the bridge. First one is sitting in the captain's chair reading a report on his PADD, second is the helmsman and the third is standing behind the tactical station.

Helmsman:
So Captain what are your orders? Should we lock weapons on the Enterprise or fire Torpedoes towards that asteroid field.
Lieutenant: You aren't the only one that is bored you know. But still, you should be checking sensors for any Tal'shiar activities. I'm just reading a file from our Intelligence saying that they saw two ships in a nearby system.
Tactical officer: Didn't we fly by one of those systems? It's a miracle we haven't encountered those ships.
Helmsman: [types something on his console and a view of the mess hall shows on the main view screen] Great idea isn't it? Now we can watch the entire show from here.
Lieutenant: As much as I would like to watch the play, we are on duty. If the Captain finds out.
Tactical officer: I'm more afraid of Subcommander, she will make us clean every sonic shower on the ship.
Helmsman: Federation brought quite a large delegation. There must be around 50 delegates in there and the entire crew of Skrita. [pauses] Accept for us.
Lieutenant: There are exactly 46 delegates from the Republic and the Federation.
Tactical officer: That's strange, internal sensor show that there are 47 delegates sitting in the mess hall.
[Lieutenant looks on the screen that is still displaying the mess hall. Suddenly he becomes worried, jumps from his chair and runs towards the turbolift.]

__________________________________________________ _____________________

Scene: Mess hall. Performers are acting out the last scene. Flag officer and delegates are sitting in the improvised theatre while the crew is standing around the mess hall watching the play.

Uhlan: T...t...ti... timeo danaos e...e...et...
[Admirals in the front row are not showing any emotion on their faces. Crew of the Skrita and other Delegates are desperately trying to hold their laugh. Subcommander stands beside the stage. She is disappointed and is looking towards the audience]
Subcommander: [Holds her breath as she sees that a Romulan standing in the back row is secretly drawing his pistols. At the same time door of the mess hall opens and Lieutenant runs in holding his pistol. Lights are turned off.]
Lieutenant: Drop your weapon.
[Three shots are heard, lights are turned on again. Lieutenant and the man with four pips underlined stand with their weapons pointed to the place where the assassin stood. Everybody in the mess hall is stunned. A sit in the front row is empty.]

Curtain
Nobody gets in until the Federation decides to make bigger doors.

Last edited by dojegun; 08-06-2013 at 02:17 PM.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 402
# 27
08-05-2013, 07:48 PM
"Personal log, stardate 91109.61."

"One hundred and forty seven. We've finally had time to take a head count, and that's how many we didn't manage to get off the Yoshua. One hundred and forty seven out of five hundred, left behind for the Klingons to capture or take their time blowing out of space."

"Pure luck we were there to make any kind of rescue at all. When we popped out of warp for the active-sensors part of our little snoop-and-scoot recon, we were almost on top of them: an overloaded passenger ship clawing for orbit, with three birds of prey swooping in and licking their chops. They'd actually strapped some chemical boosters to the hull, to get a little more speed than just their little impulse engines... and they still weren't going to make it. Anyone could see that, but they were desperate enough to try. Anything to get off Ibor III."

"Tala gave the birds something else to chew on... managed to hurt the lead one pretty bad, and I could tell she wanted to finish it off, but the order of the day was 'distract and disable' - keep them from following while we got our sensor data, and now a boatload of refugees, and ran like hell. Discovery's a fine ship, and she proved that again today, but we all knew that one Sovereign wasn't going to stand up to fifteen Klingons, five of them heavies. Even when I gave the order to hail the Yoshua and tell them to stand by for transport, I knew we might not be able to get them all off. I hate being right."

"The worst, maybe, were the six that were in transit right when we got hit with the... hargh'peng, I think they're called. Six people on the pad, and there wasn't enough matter in the stream to make three... patterns scrambled to hell, not even bodies, just... when we were clear, I said a few words and beamed what we had in the buffer out into space myself. I'll probably never know their names."

"We saved three hundred and fifty three people today, people who'd have never had a chance if we hadn't happened to be there. My crew did their jobs excellently, and there was nothing more they or anyone else could have done for the rest. If we hadn't broken off when we did, none of us would have gotten out."

"I just have to keep telling myself that until I believe it."
Join Date: January 2011
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 178
# 28 47/50
08-05-2013, 11:26 PM
LC47: 47/50

Quote:
First officer's log, stardate 87279.81. Starfleet Command wants the Lord English to disrupt the flow of Ketracel White to True Way Jem'Hadar by eliminating a major source of white. The remains of the Son'a Solidarity continue to provide white to Alpha Jem'Hadar, so Lt. Commander Hange Shirogane of the Federation Embassy on Ba'ku has offered up a plan made by Gallatin, leader of the Son'a repatriates on Ba'ku. Admiral Lee will be on the planet finishing up the paperwork, so until then the Lord English will be in orbit keeping the cargo safe.
===

"Dear Admiral, the Ba'ku palm pet (known locally as the rhyl) is a treasured creature among the Son'a, a reminder of the home planet that was lost early into our exile," Lee read aloud from his PADD. "It is my hope that seeing a rhyl will help induce the remaining fifty Solidarity holdouts to return to Ba'ku. Lt. Commander Shirogane will be sending the fifty rhyl to your ship, so once you go over the information for each rhyl and sign off, you will be able to start your mission. Good luck, Admiral. Subahdar Gallatin, Son'a Repatriates."

At the bottom of the file was an addendum which Lee opened.

"Please take care of the rhyl! They are susceptible to the extreme environments of space, even through a ship's hull, so they must be kept in stasis while you are travelling. It took the Ba'ku fifteen days to capture enough rhyl for all fifty Son'a colonies, so even the loss of one will throw off the timetable needed to complete your mission! You will need to review each PADD we sent you with the database here on Ba'ku before you can send it to your ship. I've named all the rhyl for easy identification purposes. Godspeed, Admiral. Hange Shirogane, Ba'ku Embassy."

Lee put down the message and grabbed the PADD for the first rhyl of the group. He casually glanced at the page count and was shocked to see the report had twenty-five pages. Quickly he scrolled through the PADD. Twenty-five pages of biometric data, tailored for every eventuality the creature might suffer in its trip. Lee glanced at all the other PADD's data. Each of the fifty PADDs had different procedures to be undertaken in emergencies such as singularity breaches and artificial gravity failues, among others. Lee sighed heavily and began reading the first PADD from the top.

"Rhyl 1: Gillet de Rais. Sex: Male. Length, 7 cm. Weight, 79 g. Allergies: bicaridine, metorapan, hasperat brine, cayenne pepper..."

---

The devastation wrought by the monster's attack struck deeper than the port town expected; the townspeople thronged the visiting summoner, pleading for her aid. Without her help, they said, the souls of the dead would be unable to find rest and would manifest as fiends. It was her duty as a summoner to send the souls of the dead to their final rest, she told herself as she took off her boots. With the townpeople and her Guardians watching her, she stepped out into the water amidst the cocoons of the dead and began to dance.

"Kira to Commander Taylor, please report to Cargo Bay 1 at once! There is a matter requiring your attention."
"I'm on my way, Kira," Taylor replied with a sigh. She had been looking forward to moving past this stage of the holoprogram for days.
"Computer, freeze program and show arch," she added. There would be no time to change into her uniform, and hopefully the matter will be resolved quickly so she can return to her holoprogram.

Chief Engineer T'Shaanat and Chief Science Officer Kira turned their gaze on Commander Taylor who entered the cargo bay still dressed in her summoner's robes.

"Are you still unable to progress in your holoprogram, commander?" T'Shaanat asked.
"I was hoping to progress past the Sending Dance today as I haven't had much time to myself, lately," she replied.
"Well, we'll be needing more of your time today, Kay," Kira responded. "Look at this stack of boxes."

Taylor looked at the stack of boxes on the ground in front of her. Arrayed in a 5 by 5 by 2 box pattern, the stack was visibly missing a corner.

"Is this missing corner supposed to be there?" Taylor asked.
"It is not," T'Shaanat said pointedly. "This is supposed to be a delivery of 50 small mammals in stasis for diplomatic purposes. There are 47."
"The transporter officer reported that stasis modules 4, 5, and 10 failed after transport, and three of the mammals escaped into the Jefferies tubes," Kira explained. "The creatures are imperative for diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Son'a colonies."
"Can we track them?" Taylor inquired.
"Ten of Twenty-Five has informed me that the creatures are too small to actively track with internal sensors," T'Shaanat informed her.
"They are too small and fragile to implant with tracking devices too," Kira added. "The best we can do is inform the crew to watch out for mammals no bigger than the palm of a hand."
"Alright then," Taylor agreed. "In the meantime, you two secure the cargo and then return to your departments. I'll change out of these clothes."

---

"Rhyl 16: Zodiac. Sex: Male. Length, 9 cm. Weight... ugh," Lee groaned as he slumped over on the desk.

---

Commander Drevis Indoril Nethri was spending his off day testing out several concoctions in 7th Heaven, the lounge/bar of Lord English.

"So," he said to the assembled crew at the ship's bar, "you mix a few grains of Triticum aestivum with the egg of the Origma solitaria and pour a bottle of Trixian Bubble Juice on top before mixing vigourously. The resulting drink is something I like to call "maeertol afya", which the people on my planet use on wounds as well as to drink."

Amid the applause from the crowd, Rhyl 4 (Sawney Bean) dropped down from a vent above the bar and landed in one of the ingredients Drevis prepared for his demonstration.

"And now this next drink is used by my people to clear minds and restore clarity, and for that we'll need some lunasaccharose... yipes!" he exclaimed, as Sawney jumped out of the bowl of moon sugar and into Drevis' uniform.

En route to the bridge, Taylor was apprised of the situation developing in 7th Heaven by Security Chief Aranea Serket.

"7th Heaven is abuzz with something, Commander, and I'm afraid it may get out of control. Please meet me in front of the lounge, as it may be related to your missing palm pet."

When the two officers entered the room, they were greeted with a flying mushroom. Barely dodging out of the way, they saw that the lounge had dissolved into a flurry of flying food and fists, and in the middle of it all a small brown blur trying its very best to dodge the fracas. Taylor recognized the blur from the file Lee sent her.

"That must be one of the rhyl!" she exclaimed. "Everyone, stop fighting!"

Unfortunately, the brawl had escalated beyond Taylor's effort to immediately control. Aranea saw that the next few seconds would be crucial, so she aimed at the rhyl and blew a pheromone-laded kiss at it. Hit by the seductive Orion kiss, Sawney wriggled his way out of the furball and climbed onto Aranea's outstretched hand. Taylor let out a quiet cheer before ushering Aranea and Sawney out of the lounge in as riot control poured in.

---

Rodney James Alcala was a 20th century rapist and serial killer who was labeled the "Dating Game Killer" due to his appearance on an episode of the television show "The Dating Game", Lee read on the Memory Alpha database. Next to the computer was a PADD labeled "Rhyl 32: Rodney Alcala".

---

"In order to catch a small mammal, the logical course of action would be to lure it out of the Jefferies Tube systems with food," T'Shaanat determined. "The temperature in the Jefferies Tubes can be lowered to cause discomfort to the mammal, at which it will seek out a source of warmth."

T'Shaanat continued her train of thought as she entered Main Engineering.

"By using force fields in the Jefferies tubes to funnel debris towards the stardrive section, any animals within will be forced out to Main Engineering, lured to a plate of food set out, and trapped in a shrinking radius containment field," she thought. Aloud, she called to the officer on duty, Commander Kovat Vystan.

"Commander Vystan, I require that you set up an anti-intruder force field pattern in the Jefferies tubes, with a gap of 60 centimenters," she ordered him.
"I will be with you in a moment, Chief," he replied. "I am in the process of sorting out a problem which erased an hour of work."

T'Shaanat looked closer at what Kovat was working on. On the table was a small graviton emitter which held a small mammal (Rhyl 5, Lenore Karidian) and a small cloud of nitrous oxide in a spherical suspension. Looking through the eyepiece of his hands-free scanner, he held two menacing implements over the floating mammal. T'Shaanat recognized the mammal as one of the rhyl she had been chasing.

"Commander Vystan, you are to cease your actions as the creature you are experimenting on is required for a diplomatic mission and must be unharmed."

In response, Kovat directed the graviton emitter at T'Shaanat, launching Lenore at T'Shaanat. As the panicked ball of fur flew at her, her martial arts training kicked in; dropping down into a ready stance, T'Shaanat arced her arms so that the rhyl's momentum caused it to roll gently down across her arms and into her right hand. Before Lenore could flee again, T'Shaanat incapacitated it with a Vulcan nerve pinch.

"Thank you for your assistance, Commander Vystan," T'Shaanat said.
"Don't mention it, Chief," he replied. "Now I just have to set up the computer to run another computer core defragmentation on the secondary core, then sit here for an hour to make sure nobody else interrupts it."

With that, Kovat returned to his console. T'Shaanat pocketed the rhyl and headed back to the cargo bay.

---

Lee lay spreadeagled on the floor of the embassy's back office. In his hand was a PADD. On it was the following information:

Quote:
I, Admiral Remus Lee, do hereby declare that the above information for Rhyl 44, named Redjac, is valid and up to date.

P.S. PAPERWORK HAS LEFT ME IN DESPAIR
---

Having called the entire science department of the Lord English to the observation lounge, Commander Kira began handing out medical tricorders to everyone in the room.

"Alright, department, as Chief science officer of this ship, I have assembled you here today to find a small mammal no bigger than the palm of your hand. This animal, called a rhyl, is as slippery as a Klingon octopus and is capable of sneaking into the tiniest of crevasses. I have calibrated all your tricorders to detect minute vibratons which will be able to detect the rhyl through the ship's walls."

In the back of the room, the Deferi doctor Maela raised her hand.

"Commander," she said. "What will you have the sciences personnel do?"
"I was about to mention that, doctor," Kira responded. "The tricorders are tuned to be sensitive to the rhyl's steps by detecting vibrations up to one picometer along the ships hull. Unfortunately, the sensitivity is good for three meters before the quality drops off too far for it to be effective."

Now Vorta warp theorist Yelgrun raised his hand.

"Commander, how will we be able to tell the difference between the rhyl and the thousands of other vibrations on the ship?" he asked.
"That will require the tricorder to remain absolutely stationary until it is calibrated at the position you've been assigned to. It'll probably take five to thirty minutes depending on how many people are passing through."

More hands shot up. Astrometrics Scientist Rekim Fel asked the next question.

"Commander, are you suggesting that we fan out across the ship, holding a tricorder for thirty minutes before we can even begin to find this "rhyl" creature?"

Kira thought for a moment.

"I assume that if your arm gets tired, you can ask someone to replicate you a tricorder stand."

Still more hands. Chief Medical Officer Four of Thirteen asked the next question.

"Some of the science staff have still not arrived. For example, Senior Biochemist Twimek is still on duty in sickbay."

Kira frowned.

"I made it clear that all sciences personnel were to come to the observation lounge at once," Kira stated as she tried paging Commander Twimek. "Kira to Twimek, get to the observation lounge immediately, the meeting has already started!"

Just then, the door opened. Twimek strode in and greeted Commander Kira.

"I apologize for being late, commander. I just found a rather interesting little mammal outside the door to the observation lounge. I must admit, I'm quite fond of these kinds of creatures!"

In his possession was Rhyl 10 (Chu'lak), scurrying all over his arm. Kira facepalmed in defeat as Chu'lak crawled all over a laughing Twimek's arm. The science department meeting soon dispersed.

---

At long last, Lee finished double-checking the last of the PADDs. He only found four mistakes among the 1250 pages, of which only one he deemed critical.

Quote:
I, Admiral Remus Lee, do hereby declare that the above information for Rhyl 50, named James Mehra, is valid and up to date.
"Now to send the data to the Lord English," he said to himself. "Lee to Lord English, I've finished checking the information for discrepancies and am ready to send you the data for the rhyls."
"Admiral," Taylor replied over the comlink. "Ba'ku Embassy has reported that a large thunderstorm is over the area and has shut down the data transfer server to prevent damage. They advise you to stay in the office until it has passed to protect the data. Sorry, Admiral. Taylor out."

Lee stood silently in the room, pondering his situation. Inside, he laughed and cried.

===

Quote:
Captain's Log, supplemental. I have grown tired of my stay on Ba'ku, which generally isn't supposed to happen due to the metaphasic radiation. All the same, I will be happy to leave and go travel the stars again. I bet Commander Taylor and the rest of the ship's staff spent their leisure time more enjoyably than I did.
http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?p=5629511#post5629511

Literary Challenges Entries- Star Trek Online: Lord English
Dramatis Personae of Star Trek Online: Lord English

Last edited by zidanetribal; 09-21-2013 at 02:32 PM.
Former PWE Community Team Lead
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,046
# 29
08-06-2013, 06:18 PM
Hi Captains!

I am going to extend Challenge #47 for an additional 2 weeks Have fun with it!

Cheers,

Brandon =/\=
Brandon "BranFlakes" Felczer | Former Community Team Lead for Perfect World Entertainment
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 155
"No."

Arky glared at me from the doorway. "C'mon, pinkskin, when are we *ever* going to get this type of opportunity again?"

I just stared at him, not blinking, for a solid thirty seconds. "No," I muttered again. "I heard all about that little plan. I am not going to spend my summer in the blazing desert just to recreate a supersonic flight." His ice blue eyes met mine, not moving one micron. I waited for his tell...his left antenna twitching ever so slightly...but it didn't. He wasn't going to back down from this travesty to common sense, this insane proposal from the over-represented Engineering cadets. He wasn't going to submit. Either that, or he learned to control that tell...and if that's the case, poker night may become very expensive.

A familiar sound started faintly, then became progressively louder. A quick, 'slap slap slap slap'. It meant only one thing...Sara had news that she just had to share with us, and was running like an drunken impala through the dorms. Arky looked down the hallway, smirking that lopsided grin that he had just for her. "It still astounds me that such a small human can make such a racket. I am going to hazard a guess, Sara...your parents never put you in dancing classes when you were a child?"

Sara sneered at him, practically spitting out, "Cram it, Blue."

I don't know what possessed me to ask both of them to join OG...they hated each other. But he's a brilliant Engineer, and she is the most remarkable biologist I've ever known. She was tutoring Academy cadets when she was just 15 years old...easy to do when your family history is as illustrious as hers.

She shoved him hard, leaping into the room with a huge grin on her face. The excitement was boiling, and she shouted, "Bossman, we gotta do it!!!"

Great. Two against one.

I closed my eyes, wondering again why these brilliant, sane young minds were seriously contemplating what could only be described as a very, very bad idea.

"Hold on...hold on. It's Friday. We have until next Thursday to discuss it and come up with an alternative that isn't absolutely ridiculous. There is a very good reason as to why it hasn't been done in fifty years, and--"

Blue sparkles lit up the room, announcing that somebody was beaming in. I was not pleased, calling out towards the head, "Sotek? Damn it, I thought you put the transport inhibitors in place after that...uh...you know..."

The patten solidified, bringing R'nee into the room. "It is not logical to become upset with Sotek. You are well aware that I am able to circumvent standard inhibitors despite your attempt to modify them. And it is not logical to slow down an individual who must urgently convey information."

"And what information might that be, Sticks?" was the playful response from Sara. You get a discount on blond hair dye? Maybe a new pair of boots?"

R'nee looked at her coldly. Well...R'nee just had one look, and it was cold, so I suppose it was a normal look. Zero emotion, zero inflection in her voice. "I have researched that reference. My legs are within the standard ratio for my body. And your obsession with hair coloration via chemical means is illogical when less damaging alternatives exist."

Arky grabbed his tricorder, opening it with a flourish. "If you need assistance in measuring ratios, I've just calibrated this particular tricorder...so you won't need a medical one. Or I can fabricate an old fashioned...what's it called....oh, yes...a tape measure."

Sara's face puckered as if she just bit into a lemon. "You stay one babooze."

"Enough," I sighed. "Not now...please. My head's killing me. You," I said, pointing to Arky, "are not going to keep using phrases that will have you sent to Social, Racial, and Gender Harmony 101. You just had the refresher course a week ago, for crying out loud!" I then pointed to Sara, saying, "and you...need to control your emotions. If we're gonna be taking out Archer's Enterprise, or Jastsilli's Trafalgar, you can't shove my senior staff, nor pout, nor cuss them out." Finally I pointed to R'nee, "and I've said it over and over...do *not* override the transport inhibitors in this dorm again unless it is to save somebody's life."

R'nee and Sara started to speak at the same time. "That's what I was..." "This is the reason I..." "...no, me first!"

"Wait, wait!" I cried out. "One at a time."

And again, they started to speak, only this time competing with each other to see how loud they could get.

I rolled my eyes. It's going to be yet another one of those nights...

Sotek came to my rescue, his deep voice saying one word that silenced the others.

"Athena".

Sara's eyes widened, and she exclaimed, "How did you know? My auntie said that it wasn't announced yet!"

R'nee glared at Sotek, stating, "I do not know how you came into possession of that information. I was informed that I was to convey it to our group, hence the beam in."

I noted she didn't apologize for overriding the inhibitors. I'd have to have another talk with her about that.

Arky finally came into the room, letting the door close behind him. "Athena? How it that possible?" he whispered. "I was told that the Commandant believed it to be an unacceptable risk for an extra credit exercise?" His eyes narrowed as he glared at Sotek. "And how did you know about it?"

Sotek smiled. I was glad to see that...he finally felt that he could drop the Vulcan demeanor in front of not only myself, but also the group.

"I have known for three days."

Arky, Sara, and R'nee all began shouting over each other. All I could make out was, "How the hell did you find out and why didn't you tell us!" Amazing that the three of them made a chorus that said pretty much the same thing.

Confronted by the genuine anger coming off Arky, Sotek held up his hands in surrender. "When the topic of our group exercise came up during the chess tournament, the Commandant pulled me aside and asked if Cadet Jax's idea of recreating an Apollo mission had merit. Given the number of Engineering cadets in our group, a standard cruise in an obsolete Starfleet vessel would not offer a fair distribution of work, nor would it give all of them the opportunity to show their own particular talents."

I knew about Jax's proposal...he was always trying to push the envelope a bit further than sanity allowed. The idea he came up with was that the Engineering cadets would actually fabricate a Saturn V / Apollo stack and monitor the tech, the Science cadets would oversee telemetry and geology, and the Command cadets would act as crew.

I was not a fan of it. I was campaigning for the regular 'cadet cruise' where I would, under the supervision of one of the Academy instructors, act as Captain of a museum ship. For a challenge where I could shine, I started whispering about the obstacles the Trafalgar's crew faced during their navigation of an asteroid field close to Dharma 815. I left PADDs here and there, detailing how it could safely be simulated in the belt between Mars and Jupiter, and explaining how the large number of Engineering cadets could attack each of the problems faced by Jastsilli's crew...the loss of the main deflector...the loss of life support...the loss of all shielding....heck, they could even take on a scenario from the Traffy's last mission where they replicated an entire warp engine and nacelle!

It was fair...it would give each and every member of my team a chance to shine!

Sotek, of course, gave me a virtual punch to the gut when he said, "I told the Commandant that a more challenging test of our group would be to attempt the Athena program. Given the large number of engineering tasks, particularly the fabrication, he concurred."

At that moment I wanted nothing more than to ask Q to appear, drop Sotek three miles off the North Shore of Oahu, chum the water, and make Sotek's pointy tri-trusta vanish into a blink of white light.

Instead of that, I saw Sara jumping up and down excitedly, R'nee's eyebrow raised ever so slightly, signalling that she was pleased, and Arky running over to the computer, starting to make a schedule to oversee fabrication. Sotek grinned and threw me a Shaka.

I think that's when the tears started.

__________________

Six weeks later...

"I hate you. I hate you. I hate you," I muttered over and over, floating weightless as I put the cube of food away. It had the consistency of a block of particle board, had zero taste, and despite the claim that it didn't, made crumbs go *everywhere*.

Sotek, of course, had to use that opening. "Hate leads to Suffering."

I glared daggers at him. "I *am* suffering, you dolt!"

Arky was a very deep shade of blue. For whatever reason, he wasn't adapting well to zero g. He tried to explain something about the difference between zero g and micro gravity, and how he didn't have any issues during ISS operations.

Honestly, I didn't care about the difference at that point...I was just glad I wasn't suffering alone.

See, Athena was some idea...rightfully banished to never becoming reality...of taking the existing Apollo capsule, strapping it on a modified Saturn V, performing a rendezvous with additional boosters in lunar orbit, and proceeding on to Mars. Hard burn from lunar orbit, coast, turn, another sustained burn to slow down and enter Martian orbit.

This was a 'simple summer project', and as such, couldn't last for more than 72 days, lest it interfere with normal studies. A few of the instructors tried to have a full mission profile, build time and all, but that would take years. So industrial replicators were permitted, which allowed the Engineering cadets the ability to quickly create a modified Saturn V, a slew of boosters, and a historically accurate Apollo CSM and revised 'Martian lander'.

As a compromise between "simulated proposed historical accuracy" and operational reality, the mission had to be fast-forwarded between launch and Martian touchdown. The 'cheat' was simple: a Starfleet tug that cut the voyage down to 54 days.

This was day nine.

I hate life.

Jax's voice crackled through the comms. "Athena 1, Houston...Hey guys...uh...life sciences asked me to check in on you. You guys ok? Over."

It wasn't the tug scanning us...they were simply a lifeguard of sorts, only to be used if disaster was imminent. No, we had to wear ancient wires taped to our bodies. This caused very uncomfortable rashes that just added to the misery. I had to suppress my laugh at Arky, who sprouted a virtual forest of these wires. Who knew Andorian physiology would be so difficult to monitor with old equipment? The one on his right antenna kept coming loose, the adhesive not working well with his biochemistry, and it gave him a slight shock every time it left his skin.

Following the old comms procedure, I grabbed the microphone, stabbed down the button, and growled, "Houston, Athena 1. Arky has stopped puking, if that's what you're asking about. The stench has gotten to a barely tolerable level. It again smells like three goats in a locker in here. Sotek....is Sotek." This earned me a bemused grin and another Shaka from Sotek. I wanted to reach over and strangle him. "And I'm still wondering why I'm in stinky BBQ mode when all you had to do to be my XO was put down the old Earth history books and agree that the Traffy would have been a great test of all our abilities. Over." I put a bit of venom on the last word, making sure Jax new that I'd never forgive him for this...that it would never *be* over.

"Yeah...uhm..." He deviated from the old fashioned comms protocol, and his tone with those two words made the hairs on the back of my neck raise up. "See...there's been a bit of a miscalculation. Supply wise...uh....well, since there wasn't the secondary rendezvous with the supply module because of the taxi...and...uh..."

"Spit it out." I too dropped protocol. "Just...just...what is it?"

"Anybody near the WCS locker?"

Sotek grabbed his mike. "Houston, Athena 1, this is Sotek." Leave it to the Vulcan to stick to protocol. "I am next to the locker. Over."

"Er...Sotek...could you count the number of Apollo bags you have?"

"Houston, Athena 1, this is Sotek, stand by..." He started rifling through the collection of plastic bags that looked like an old 'top hat' with a finger sleeve in the side.

Jax interruped, "Uhm...yeah...Sotek...life sciences screwed up really badly. But Command states this isn't an issue where your taxi can intervene...not life threatening." He sighed loudly. "You're nine days into the mission...and you should have 120 Apollo bags left to get you to Mars."

"Houston, Athena 1, this is Sotek. There are 47."

I really hate life.

Last edited by masopw; 08-07-2013 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Grammar correction.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:11 PM.