Rihannsu
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 216
# 21
11-03-2013, 12:19 PM
When we reactivate the Iconian Gateway

Bryan could not stop reading that line of the invitation he had recieved from D'Tan.

Iconinan Gateway

Those two words struck more fear into his heart than seeing the Borg Queen's vessel during the recent battle of Unimatrix 01. He thought back to the batte at the Brea system, when he watched Sela's flagship get captured by an unknown vessel and disappear through an Iconian Gateway disguised as an asteroid. He got up from his chair and looked around his quarters. Somehow, he knew that something was going to go very wrong, and that he was going to be on the front line.

*******

Standing in the center of her bridge, Selana looked around at her crew.

It's been a while since we met, she thought, looking specifically at Tovan, Satra, Veril, and Hiven, the four officers that had been with her since the beginning. I just hope you are all ready for the worst, even though we're not entirely sure what that is.

Don't worry, came another's thoughts, We would follow you no matter where this path leads.

Veril she thought, touching her Reman lover's mind in turn, while smiling slightly, I know that you all will. You are the best crew in the Republic. I just wish I knew what was going to happen to us today.

Well, what ever happens, We will be there beside you.

Selana nodded to Veril, smiling slightly. "Veril, you have the deck," she called, "I'll be in my quarters. I have a few reports I need to go over before the gate is activated. Let me know when we arrive at the rendavouz point with our Starfleet contact.'

"Aye, aye, sir," Veril called, and Selana walked into the turbolift and disappeared behind the doors.

*******

The Athena slid smoothly out of warp at their rendevouz point, only to find another ship there waiting for them.

"Sir, we have a Roluman Scimitar class dreadnought in the area," Athena said, just as Bryan entered the bridge.

"I see it," He replied, noticing the pale white, bird-shaped vessel outside the front window.

"Shall we go to yellow alert?" Ibalei asked.

"No," Bryan said, studying the ship very carefully. "Raise the shields, but let's not press the issue quite yet.

"Raising shields now," Six called from her seat.

"Sir, they're hailing us," Athena said.

"Onscreen," Bryan nodded.

"U.S.S. Athena, this is Centurion Satra of the Romulan Republic Warbird Aquila," The Romulan woman called, "My commanding officer and her first officer are requesting permission to beam aboard your vessel."

Bryan nodded slightly. "Granted. Tell them I'll meet them in transporter room one."

"Very well. closing channel."

The viewscreen went blank. "Ibalei, with me. Six, power down the shields. You have the deck while Ibalei and I are gone."

"Yes sir," the Liberated Borg replied. "Is something wrong?"

"No," Bryan said, actually smiling a little. "I just have a hunch as to who the Republic sent."

*******

Bryan stood in front of the transporter pad, his first officer behind him. Suddenly, two green anomalies shimmered in, and there stood a proud Romulan woman, wearing a long, dark green coat with gold trimming, to large shoulder pads with similar coloring, and twin black capes flowing down, one from each shoulder. Behind her, trying to stay in the shadows, was a Reman woman, who, despite her attempts to shadow herself, still looked no less proud.

"I thought that you would be my contact," Bryan said, smiling sightly.

The Romulan smiled as well. "It's good to see you too, Bryan."

"Athena, dim the lights," Bryan said, looking at the Reman woman.

"Thank you," The Reman said, smiling slightly now.

"Well, anyways, welcome aboard the U.S.S. Athena, Vice Admiral Selana Da'is."

"Do you have to be so formal?" Selana asked, chuckling a little, "We are family, afterall."

"There are some regulations that I take seriously," Bryan replied, laughing a little as well. "Come on, let's go down to the lounge."

*******

The four sat down at the bar in the Athena's lounge.

"So, how have you been?" Selana began. "It's been a little while since I spoke to you last."

"Honestly?" Bryan said, suddenly looking very tired. "I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up. The other Admirals are questioning my every move. It seems like no matter what I do, they don't approve of it. You heard about the battle of Trill recently, right? I volunteered to participate in the ground action there as well, because it's good for morale if everyone sees their commanding officer actually standing on the front line fighting with them. During my time on the ground, my chief tactical officer, Kerry Avalrez, was killed when a high yield photon torpedo impacted the hull. Ibalei offered to take up the mantle of chief tactical officer, so I gave her a month long evaluation. The entire tactical department has shown a drastic improvement after she took over, so I let her keep the position. The other Admirals thought I allowed her to switch because of our relationship, even after I showed them the statistics. In the end, they almost court-martialed me for 'Breaking regulation,' but I barely managed to stave them off. I'm starting to wonder it they're right though. Am I going to far to secure victory for the Federation? Am I-"

"No, you're not," Selana said, a slight fire in her eyes.

"Exuse me?" Bryan said, taken aback slightly.

"No, you're not," She continued, her green eyes gleaming in the dimly lit room. "You are one of the strongest and the most determined Admirals in Starfleet's history. You are willing to take the risks and fight the battles that the others refuse to fight." You have held the line, and won, when others would have retreated. Starfleet is at war, and so it needs to change with the times. You are the only one who has embraced that fact. Don't stop. I know you can do it."

Bryan smiled slightly, "Thanks Sel."

"You're welcome," She quipped, smiling a little as well.

"So, how about you? What's it like being an Admiral in the Romulan Republic?"

Now it was Selana's turn to look exhausted. "It's tough, I won't lie. It's become my job to give orders and send men and women to their deaths. I try to be on the front as much as I can, helping against the Ealchi, Tal Shiar, and everyone else that threatens the Republic, but it can be quite difficult at times."

Bryan nodded. "Well, at least you try to be out on the front. Most of Starfleet's Admirals are too washed up for front line service."

She laughed at that comment. "I wouldn't doubt it."

Bryan looked down into his drink. "So, what are your thoughts on this Iconian Gateway?"

Selana sighed heavily. "Do you want the honest answer or the 'be a good little Admiral' answer?"

"Sel..."

"Fine," She said, roller her eyes slightly, "I'll give you both. Objectively, I have to believe that D'Tan is doing what is best for our people. Honestly though? The whole idea scares me. We really should not be so anxious to try to use that which we do not understand."

"I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so," Bryan sighed heavily.

They were silent for several minutes.

"Bryan," Selana spoke up suddenly, "I need you to promise that, whatever happens down there, that you will keep Mol'Rihan safe, no matter what."

"Of course I will," he replied, slightly taken aback by Selana's outburst, If you don't mind me asking though, what brought this on?"

"I lost my first home, Romulus, before I was born," She said. "I was born on a colony world to a single mother who was determined to make that world a home for me. Then, when I was only ten, my new home, my mother, was taken from me by the Tal Shiar." Tears began to slide down from her green eyes, now full of pain and loss, rather than pride. "Killed, simply because she was defending her new home. Then, two years ago, the world of my birth, Virinat, on which I still lived, was taken from me as well, and many of my close friends were killed, simply because we happened to be on the planet. I couldn't bear it if I lost another home. I just couldn't..." Her voice broke. She placed her head in her hands, and started to cry, the sound of her pain muffled slightly.

Bryan hugged his half-sister tightly, and she placed her head on his shoulder, her tears beginning to soak into his uniform. "I promise you, Sel," he said gently, as he continued to embrace her, "I promise that I will do everything I can to prevent you from losing another home."

*******

Selana appeared on the screen in the computer in Bryan's Ready room. "What do you need Bryan?" she asked.

"First of all, Athena," he called, "I need you to triple layer the encryption on this channel and cycle the keys every three seconds. Use the best algorithms you can manage."

"Aye, sir," the AI replied, and the screen jumped for a moment while the computers synced.

"Good, now that that's done, we can discuss this securely."

"What's this about Bryan?" The Romulan asked, looking very concerned.

"Selana, what I'm about to tell you is to stay between you and me, understand?"

"Bryan..."

"Do you understand." He repeated.

"Fine, yes, nobody will hear about this. Now what is it?" She asked getting rather impatiant.

"I'm sure by now you've heard about the fact that Iconian gateways have now reopened all over the galaxy?"

"Yes?"

"And that scanning the gateway in orbit in the Jouret system caused the Enterprise to mysteriously lock down?"

"What are you getting at Bryan?"

"I had to get special permission from the rest of the Admirals in Starfleet in order to release this to you, and I am telling you that nobody, save for ship captains and flag officers are to know about this, understand?"

"Of course."

"Sending the files now." Bryan touched the screen, and selected all of the reports the were flagged with a single symbol: Omega.
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
Join date: Some time in Closed Beta
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,595
# 22
11-03-2013, 12:50 PM
"The Gang's All Here"

The Nebula-class starship USS Messier sped through the void of otherspace, bound for the world once known as Dewa III, now Mol'Rihan. In her ready room, her commander, Vice Admiral Jon Sills, was speaking on hyperchannel with his old colleague and classmate, Vice Admiral Sajak, commander of the advanced escort USS Pournelle.

"I mean, have you seen the list of ships Starfleet's called in?" the Human asked, waving expressively at a printout. "It's like a Who's Who of who you call when the waste's about to hit the fan!"

"It is indeed impressive," the Vulcan replied. "To be sure, I was rather surprised when Command relieved us of our assignment in the True Way pacification to respond to this summons."

"Yeah, and they pulled us off the Borg front, too," Sills said, fuming. "If we lose an engagement because my ship was out of position..."

"You will do what, exactly?" Sajak asked drily. "You may have the rank, Jon, but like me you are just as subject to orders as the day we first reported to the Northwestern for our cadet cruise. No, logically our only open course of action is to respond to this order, and rely on our compatriots in Starfleet, Task Force Omega, and the Cardassian Defense Force to manage without us for a short time. I have no doubt that once this incident has concluded, we will be returned to our former duties."

"If it concludes, Sajak. D'Tan's determined to open an Iconian gateway! You know as well as I do what that can mean - even if they do manage to avoid what happened when the Dewans tried to activate that same gate, who knows where the other side will lead? What if it comes out through that big gate around Brea, and New Romulus starts venting atmosphere into space? Or worse, what if this was the gate the Iconians used when they escaped, and we're about to get a good look into their headquarters?"

"There seems little point in examining 'what-ifs', Jon. What was that saying of your father's? Something about 'ifs' and 'ands'?"

Sills sighed. "'All those 'ifs' and 'ands' can leave you sitting on your 'buts'," he quoted. "But sometimes the old man made mistakes too. How can we prepare when we don't even know if there's going to be anything to prepare for?"

On the screen, Sajak nodded. "Indeed. For the duration of the ceremony, the Pournelle will remain in yellow-alert status, with shields up and weapons energized. May I recommend a similar posture for the Messier?"

"Not a bad idea. Better coordinate with some of my Klingon counterparts from Omega, though - the KDF's sending a fair contingent too. Intel says they're even sending the Bortasqu', probably as the opposite number to Shon's Enterprise, and I don't want to make her captain nervous. I guess it's a good thing neither of us was selected as Starfleet's representative, although I can't say I'm that comfortable with who they chose. Just a captain? And a Ferengi captain at that?"

"I take it you have not yet met Captain Grunt," Sajak replied. "I had the opportunity some time back, when his Hephaestus assisted us with relief efforts at some old Romulan colony worlds. He is quite atypical for a Ferengi - while, like most of his people, he does look for profit in all things, he does not regard profit as the sole worthwhile motive. He is also unusually brave and resourceful, and his service record shows that he has a talent for, as your people would put it, 'falling into an outhouse and discovering a dilithium mine'. I believe his advancement through Starfleet may have been impeded by certain ingrained reactions to his species - reactions not unlike yours, if I may be so bold."

Sills sighed again, then chuckled, running a hand through his thinning hair. "Yeah, thanks, Sajak. I can always count on you to poke logical holes right through all my unspoken justifications, can't I?"

"I am, as always, pleased to be of service, my friend. Now if I may be excused, there are a few matters I would like to see to before we arrive, which by my estimates should be in less than three standard hours. I will admit that I look forward to sharing your company again."

Sills grinned. "You still can't make yourself say you'll be happy to see me, huh? Don't worry, though - I'll have that bottle of Coke I owe you. And yes, this one's brewed by an authentic Coca-Cola factory, not replicated, so you'll get the authentic sugar buzz."
-------------------------------------------
I'm old enough not to care too much about what you think of me --
But I'm young enough to remember the future, the way things ought to be...

- Rush, "Cut To the Chase", Counterparts

Last edited by jonsills; 11-03-2013 at 01:10 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 237
# 23
11-03-2013, 09:22 PM
"I call, and double your bet."

There was no doubt whatsoever in Lieutenant Commander Jack Storen's voice as he tossed a handful of round plastic chips into the middle of the table. He looked completely at ease, leaning comfortably back in his chair and letting his grey hued blue eyes play idly over the other senior officers seated at the poker table. The first officer of the U.S.S. Atlanta, Storen was quite handsome, with well-proportioned features and almost girlishly high cheekbones, and he kept his chestnut hair neatly combed.

Directly across the table from Storen, Lieutenant Commander Jalik's deep brown eyes narrowed a little. Tall and broad shouldered, he wore his short black hair in the traditional Vulcan style, exposing his pointed ears. His slanted eyebrows and strong, squarish jaw gave him a stern look, but when he spoke, his voice was calm and considered.

"You cannot be serious."

Storen smiled and turned his palms upward in a helpless gesture, not at all worried by the grave look on the Chief Engineer's face.

"Oh, but I am."

"It is not logical to bet without even looking at your cards."

"In that case you shouldn't have any trouble winning the hand."

Jalik was about to say something else when a compact woman sitting to Storen's left shook her head and cut him off.

"Let it go, or else we'll reach New Romulus before we even finish the hand."

Storen turned to face the woman, raising one eyebrow in a quizzical look. A pretty young woman with blue eyes and pale blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, Lieutenant Lisa Hill could still pass for a Starfleet Cadet despite holding the position of Tactical Officer and Security Chief aboard ship.

"And will you be joining the hand, Lisa?"

Hill merely smirked as she stacked up a pile of chips to match the first officer's bet.

"It'll take more than that to get rid of me."

Jalik silently called the bet, and subsequently all eyes shifted to the fourth player, an attractive young Risian woman with caramel brown hair that hung in a loose cascade about her slender neck. Currently her clear blue eyes, set neatly amongst exquisitely fine features, were looking absorbedly out the window at the stars streaking past. A slightly puzzled look on her face, she turned back to the table.

"Does it seem like the ship is going faster than usual?"

Storen frowned as he looked over the science officer. Laiale Karn had joined the Atlanta's crew only a few months ago and despite numerous missions together, Storen still felt like he hadn't quite gotten to know who she really was. Putting those thoughts aside for the moment, he gave a nonchalant yawn before answering her question.

"We've been at warp 9 for the last five hours, ever since the Captain was invited to New Romulus."

"The Captain was invited to New Romulus?" Karn echoed. "Why?"

"Apparently the Romulans are planning to reactivate the Iconian Gateway they found. They're making a show of it to us and the Klingons, and there are a fair few important people attending, including Captain Va'Kel Shon. Captain Gilmore will complete the party."

After he had finished his explanation, Storen noticed that Laiale was still yet to make a move.

"Are you going to call?"

"Sorry, I fold."

"In that case..."

Storen flipped over his cards and was rewarded with absolutely nothing. A crestfallen look passed over his face like a storm front, and he gave an exaggerated sigh in mock despair.

"Well, that didn't work."

Jalik fixed his gaze directly on the first officer as he leant out to collect his winnings.

"It would seem that logic prevails once again."

Storen shook his head in regret and collected everyone's cards, bringing them together before he started to shuffle them expertly.

"Doesn't it seem a bit reckless for the Romulans to try and activate the gate?" Karn asked suddenly, the thoughtful look on her face making it perfectly obvious she was still preoccupied by the news.

Hill smiled wryly. "Tempting fate is more like it. Last time that Gateway was used, an entire civilisation was wiped out."

Storen nodded in solemn agreement. "Not to mention that when the Romulans tried to use Iconian technology for their own ends before, they blew up their homeworld."

"I didn't think D'Tan would want to risk everything like that," Karn murmured, her eyes clouded with concern. "He's tried so hard to give his people a future, and now he might be throwing it all away. It just doesn't make sense."

Jalik appeared entirely unsurprised by that observation. Taking a short, almost tired breath, he turned to the science officer and gave her a critical stare.

"D'Tan is Romulan. And Romulans are governed by passion and impulse. Doubtless this show is a product of a moment's strong emotion rather than well-reasoned planning."

Storen tilted his head a little, then smiled as something occurred to him.

"Either that, or D'Tan is a Changeling."

"And this is how conspiracy theories are born," Hill commented exasperatedly, closing her eyes and putting a hand to her forehead.

Storen chuckled to himself and began to deal out the cards with a practiced hand. They flew neatly across the table under his direction, and he soon finished and set the deck down between the four of them. Now that his hands were free, he glanced down and picked up his cards. He grinned confidently and was about to make some boastful comment despite the fact his cards were awful when Lieutenant Karn spoke in an almost inaudible voice.

"If something goes wrong down there... the Captain is going to be in danger."

"There is no need for concern," Jalik said dismissively. "Transporter Chief Kelly and I have prepared a portable pattern enhancer for the Captain. At the first indication of trouble we can beam him back to the Atlanta, even if the Iconian Gateway is generating interference."

"And what about everyone else?" Karn asked.

Jalik's gaze did not waver as he considered that question. "Captain Gilmore is our responsibility, not the others."

Hill gave the Risian a reassuring smile. "Besides, I'm sure we're not the only ones who are concerned. There'll probably be half a dozen precautionary measures in place."

Somehow that statement did not seem to have the desired effect, and it seemed for a short time as though a pall of silence was draped over the poker table. Realising there was nothing to be gained by worrying, the first officer turned to Hill and forced a nonchalant smile.

"It's your bet."

"Oh, right."

Although no one mentioned the Iconian Gateway again, a slow burning anxiety seemed to pervade the room as the officers continued the poker game, one that they were each of them powerless to extinguish.
Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 25
# 24
11-04-2013, 01:00 PM
Admiral James Gorman watched quietly as Captain Dennis Merrik stormed into his ready room. The younger man looked furious, and James knew why, it was the fifth time that the launch of his ship, the USS Explorer, had been delayed.

"What the hell James?"

"You've been out of the game too long old friend." James smiled. "But you need to understand. You and your crew spent almost a year stranded in the mirror universe. I've read the reports, you fought every day to survive, and did a lot of questionable things. Things that must have come really close to compromising everything you stand for. That kind of stress takes its toll."

"I'm as sharp as I've ever been." Merrik snapped, his eyes narrowing.

"And all the doctors agree with you." James nodded."But there are people who want to ground you and shove you behind a desk, and they're trying really hard to use your experience as a reason."

"Your friends." He let the words hang in the air. He hoped the word would remind Merrik that he wasn't challenging him, he was just trying to help. "We have worked really hard to make sure that isn't going to happen. You're not the only one who had to pull favours to get your ship back. So pardon me if it doesn't suit your schedule."

"We've been on leave for months..." Merrik began, only to be cut off.

"During which, you took up with some Klingon outcasts, started a relationship with an enemy officer and somehow convinced a long-lost Romulan war hero to return to his people. That doesn't sound like leave to me."

"You know she's Orion right?" Merrik said, a sly smile creeping across his face. "We found this secluded beach on Risa and..."

James shot him a sharp glance and Merrik's voice faltered, a quiet reminder that he still feared him, for now anyway. "I was going to say 'hatched eggs'..." he finished quietly.

"I'm serious Merrik." James continued. "You've got to watch yourself. The political climate since you've been gone has gotten a lot murkier, there's not a lot of trust floating around. Don't even get me started on your Fleet Alliances."

"Here's the deal." He pulled a PADD out of his pocket, and extended it toward Merrik.
"I'm authorizing your launch, a little shakedown cruise. A chance to test out the new Explorer and get your space-legs back. You've got a top notch crew, and a top notch ship. Go through the drills, test your systems, and you'll be back on the front lines in no time."

"Thanks James." Merrik accepted the PADD. "So what's the plan?"

"The Romulans are going to activate their Iconian gateway. They want representatives from the Federation and from the Empire to attend what will surely be a historic event for the New Republic and the Quadrant. Dr. T'Mira is one of the Federation's leading experts on Iconian technology, she was on the Enterprise during their first encounter with one. Pick her up on Vulcan, and escort her to the event, make sure she and her team are safe."

"Wow." Merrik studied the PADD. "That's quite a guest list, looks like every commander in the fleet is coming." He went silent as he scrolled through the more technical details. "You sure this is a good idea? The first activation of this ancient 'star gate' seems pretty risky for a bunch of diplomats to watch."

"Gateway." James corrected him. "D'Tan's people have been working on it for months. They've assured us that the activation will be tightly controlled and our representatives will be safe. It?s all very political and ceremonial, the New Republic is grasping at legitimacy and they saw what the wormhole did for Bajor. That said, it's a pretty amazing technology and research opportunity for us, we'd be stupid not to risk it. Even so, I can't think of a better officer to keep our people safe."

"You sure you're not trying to kill me? " Merrik raised his eyebrow. "Did you pay Shon to shove me into that gateway?"

"I wish." James snorted, "I couldn't kill you if I tried."

Last edited by proteusrex; 11-04-2013 at 01:04 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 234
# 25 #52: Back-up Plans
11-04-2013, 10:43 PM
Captain's Log:
I've been delivered a personal letter by a young Reman Centurion from New Romulus. I can only guess as to it's contents, and am as now, about to peer into its words.

******

Quote:
Stardate 90834.59

Jolan Tru, Vice Admiral Son'aire.

From D'Tan of The Romulan Republic:

It's been an eventful year, from beginning to near end. The war with the 2800 at Bajor and DS9, the capture of Hassan the Undying at Nimbus as his involvement with Tal'Shiar is exposed, the joint Borg/Undine war efforts, the Tal'Shiar being exposed as agents of the Iconians, as well as the disappearance of Sela and the death of her general Hakeev.

The most important event, was your helping to found New Romulus, helping my people to explore their new world, beating back Tholians, and discovering the greatest jewel Mol'Rihan held in its fold!

And I would like to invite you to see a new event taking shape in the Romulan Republic. Come today to Mol'Rihan, as you and a few others who have taken important roles in establishing a foothold on our new home have been invited to take part in the activation of the Iconian Gateway found in the depths of our planet
.
Many of your contemporaries have already joined us in the last few days, hopefully you too, can witness the next step for the Romulan people.
I toss the P.A.D.D. away from me, as an audible crack is heard from the durable pad hitting the glass trophy case across from me.

"Idiots, all of them idiots... destroy the stupid thing I say, but no.... The Undine don't have a Gateway anymore, the Tal'Shiar gateways have been confiscated/destroyed they say... they rebuild the one that caused cataclysmic extinction of at least one species... idiots all of them" I shout to an empty, and now trashed, room. I hit my combadge to signal the helmsman. "Immediate course change to Mol'Rihan, authorized to use transwarp capabilities, Gregs-Sharvan-32-X, just get us to that planet yesterday," I know I'm yelling for no reason, but I only fear the horrors that the gateway could unleash.

**********

Stardate: 90835.59

Finally arriving in New Romulus orbit, I was hailed by three other ships in orbit, all of them familiar to me. All requested transport onto the Oregon, and I decided to meet them in my ready room.

Two green beams and a red beam, accompanied by a whirring sound, brightened and dissipated, revealing a Romulan, Reman, and my brother standing before me. "Well, it's good to see you brother," said my brother in a sneer, "The Romulan clone, and his pet Reman." I rolled my eyes at his comments, I knew he wasn't serious, but that doesn't mean he wasn't hurtful in his words.

Sal'vin merely rubbed the bridge of his forehead, he didn't really appreciate his half-brother, and insulting his friend wasn't what they all came together for. "It's good to see you two, and we all know why we're here." We all nodded, knowing that we each had a stake in the Iconian gateway not blowing the planet to bits. "We all know D'Tan plans to activate the gateway no matter what the Feds and KDF say, but that doesn't mean we within D'Tan's forces believe this is the wisest course," Sal'vin continued, "I've managed to stall D'Tan for you two to show up, so all three of us can continue on with the delegation planet side, while Zdar here," he said pointing to the young Reman miner, "He will keep watch over the Romulus while we're down there."

I nodded, we all knew that even opening one gateway, we could unleash the Iconians upon an unsuspecting galaxy. We were all in agreement, while our own personal superiors had political confrontation issues, we four would put our differences aside.

"Let's hope by the end of this experience, we all survive to live another day," said the quite Reman in the background.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 26
11-05-2013, 02:16 AM
He was in awe.

Every one has to have heroes, and I suppose, for how young he truly is, it was about time for even Wraith to have one. I suppose it was my fault really. It's not every day we have some one on board who has done so much over the years, for so many. Captain, General, Ambassador... He was the first ever Klingon to serve in Starfleet, and even when he left, he still had a presence through his actions, both on the battlefield as well as in any diplomatic situation. To be honest I suppose, I had been a little star struck as is were. Ambassador Worf, son of Mogh, gin'tak to the House of Martok, was coming on board for a tour of the ship.

We were on a security assignment to New Romulus, escort and security as per usual. It seemed that D'Tan and his people had managed to get an Iconian Gateway they'd found, up in working order. They'd called in both Klingon and Federation allies, to some kind of conference or presentation where they intend to reactivate the gate. I was brought in to act as Admiral Aviess' personal escort, as well as lending my engineering team where needed. As a personal favor, she asked that I give the Ambassador the personal tour, knowing that it was more of a treat for me, to show a man like the Ambassador one of the most advanced escorts in the fleet.

And yet, from the get go, I had managed to upset him at every turn. Don't get me wrong, he was a very respectable man, but frankly he viewed me as soft. Where some see me as a father figure, he saw weakness. My tactical prowess was nothing more than an excuse to let others fight for me. I even managed to earn a grimace when I declined his offer to eat Gagh. He conducted himself in every way an Honorable Klingon Warrior would, but for what ever reason we just didn't get along and it showed.

"Be nice to him, he's an ambassador."

"Just put up with it for a little while longer."

"After the activation of the gateway on Mol'Rihan, you'll never have to see him again."

Needless to say, that when I received reports that a fight had broken out in the mess hall over a broken replicator, I was almost running to get down there to "man up" as it were. Little did I expect to find the Ambassador standing over the boy, who had been laid out on his ass, both of which were covered in prune juice and laughing. Before I could even ask what the hell was going on, he boasted "The Boy has spirit, but he lacks the warrior's heart. Come. We will begin training right away." With that, Wraith's black and red eyes, lit up like a child at Christmas, and the two were off.

I had some how managed to lose control on my own ship, and each time, it only stood to make me look that much weaker to a legend like the Ambassador. Afterwards, at least from what I could gather from reports, Wraith had been sent to fix the replicator, but while doing so, had been accosted by the Klingon, who had. From eyewitness reports, the two began talking, before Ambassador Worf began berating the young man. Wraith, being the timid type normally, slipped causing the replicator to spray them both with prune juice of all things. Wraith began laughing at the situation, and the obvious outcome was that the Ambassador took a swing at him.

At first, he couldn't land a single blow, but being the legend that he is, he began thinking a few steps ahead. Despite Wraith's numerous advantages, Worf still had a life time of experience as a warrior of the empire. A punch was nothing but a distraction for a well timed kick, any attempt to grapple pulled the boy into a headbutt, each time Wraith adjusted, the Worf would switch it up. At one point, Wraith had jumped to avoid a leg sweep, while the ambassador grabbed a tray and slid it under the boy as he landed, which is how they ended up in the positions that I found them in.

As Wraith explained it, they were having a talk about his warrior status. Worf began asking questions about his training and abilities, Wraith seemed less interested in combat as he did asking about Worf and his "magnificent beard". Dealing with the stories of a devil incarnate, or a... or a "Vulcan with the lust of ten warriors"... must make one curious. Especially when you meet that person, only to find they are the exact opposite of what you expected. The Ambassador raised his voice when Wraith mentioned that he really didn't like fighting much, or how he didn't see the point in battle. Mostly in disbelief, He swung at Wraith just to see if the stories were just lies to cover the failings of other. To his credit, Wraith gave as good as he got from the sound of it, but in the end, the Klingon was able to drop him on his butt, stating "You are not the first Augment I have faced, and I have learned much since then." I'm not even sure if he knew about Wraith before or after the fight.

Since then, when not on duty, Wraith spent much of his time reading or watching holorecordings of Klingons in combat. At one point, I had entered his quarters to the sound of Klingon opera. He even asked to use a little bit of his vacation leave to join the Ambassador planetside for something called the "Mok'Bara". I hadn't even stopped to think that he had actually been accruing leave of any sort, until he asked. But I agreed as long as he didn't get too talkative with the rest of the group about his origins. For as much of a secret as the boy may be, there are way too many people that know about him as it is. Unless cleared to know other wise, he was to tell people that he was assimilated as a child. A weak story, but when the Borg were involved, few people asked questions. While the Admiral loudly stated "Honesty is the honorable decision, always", he did agree to not disclose who Wraith really was. A man like that knew how terrible the outcome could be for all involved.

E'Saul thinks I'm showing signs of jealousy. I suppose she may be right, but it caught me off guard to think so. Normally i'd have been the one he looks up to, but lately all he seems to do is talk about how much he is learning from the good Ambassador. I'm almost conflicted. I'm all for him taking an interest in learning about other cultures, or even finding some one to look up too, but still, a Klingon (even the honorable type) might not be the best of role models. While he has a good heart, sometimes Wraith can be... "provoked" for lack of a better term. I've seen him become ruthless and aggressive, committing acts, that not many in the Federation would be capable of, in any sense. I could only shudder to think of how the Klingon Empire would handle such a being.

It struck me suddenly however. "What if he asked to leave?" What if Wraith asked to go with Worf? Just a few days, for a day even? What if we decided to go permanently? It was a question that plagued me as I prepared any and all security from the Federation's standpoint. It was a question I also feared, that I would have to ask of the Admiral. He's a living being, he had choice, freedom, he wasn't bound to Starfleet like the rest of the crew, yet because of what he is, and what people could do with that information, could I really let him leave? Would the Admiral let him out of her sight? Would section 31 be able to let him truly be free? There were a lot of questions and problems coming up, all of which were just adding onto the problems that might arise from the opening of that Iconian Gateway.

With all that was on my mind, it came as a surprise that I had not one, but several requests that Wraith be at the presentation. Worf requested it, so that "the Boy might learn that a Warrior handles diplomacy with the same honor and ferocity that he would handle battle." Chief Fine requested that her team, assistant included, be present to assist in case of systems failure, while T'Pal commented that it would only be logical to have him there in case something came through. It seemed very left field to me, but given the clearance level that most of the attendees had, it was a safe bet that a few of them already knew about him. The Admiral agreed to it given his sudden popularity. He would be allowed to go down to the presentation as Chief Fine's assistant, once he was no longer needed, and only then, would he be allowed to learn the "finer points" of Klingon diplomacy. I almost shudder to think what all he might learn. With only two hours until they activate the gate, I shudder to think of what we all might learn...

Last edited by wraithshadow13; 11-05-2013 at 02:23 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 178
# 27
11-05-2013, 03:38 PM
LC53: Blood on the Doorposts

Quote:
Captain's log, Stardate 87526.46. The Lord English has been spending the last few weeks hunting down Klingon rebels on Nimbus III. However, I have received an invitation straight from Proconsul D'Tan of the Romulan Republic inviting me to the opening of the Iconian gateway found at the Hwael Ruins. This has been in recognition of my assisting the New Romulans. The crew of Lord English will get some well-deserved shore leave while I attend the ceremony.
===

A thin lines of green blood trailed from a thin wrist-blade as it dragged on the ground. At the far end of the trail, a Romulan Republic subcommander and her squad lay dead as Dewan arthropods picked over their bodies. At the source of the trail, a Tal Shiar agent clad in black moved swiftly over the craggy ground of the Vastam Peaks on Elachi-made cybernetic legs as it made his way towards the city. The agent began receiving subspace emissions from a nearby Tal Shiar device in the Borg-derived implants in its brain.

"Agent Warrigul, you are now to make your way to New Romulus Command. The traitor D'Tan is attempting to open an Iconian gateway and has invited dignitaries from the Federation and the Klingon Empire to attend the grand opening. This is an opportunity to slaughter important members of both factions as well as to dismantle the rebels' command structure. The more dignitaries you kill, the more likely the alliance between the rebels and the foreign powers will fail and the easier it will be to destroy the rebellion."

"Un...understood," Agent Warrigul replied. It turned to the city on the horizon before activating a stealth module and running off into the distance.

---

"What does Admiral Lee think about the Iconian gateway reactivation?"

Commander Kay Taylor was sitting in an outdoor cafe with the Lord English's Republic contacts, Twimek and Liviana. Taylor sipped at a cup of Romulan travit milk as Liviana ate a travit meatroll and Twimek dipped some bread in khellid honey.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Taylor replied. "He's always so over the place, sometimes I think he'd be better off as a writer than a ship captain. I hear that the Federation wants to dismantle the Iconian gateway out of security concerns. They are concerned that an open gateway could mean invaders at our back entrance, so to speak."

Liviana nibbled at the edges of her meatroll.

"It is a troubling thought," she continued. "New Romulans are hoping that the gateway is New Romulus' answer to the Bajoran Wormhole. Of course, the wormhole gave prosperity, but it also brought the Dominion. The Federation doesn't want another war, especially with an entity we know next to nothing about, apart from their desire to enslave the known galaxy."

Twimek flipped some bread into his mouth.

"Of course, the Klingons think that anything that comes through the portal is just another chance to win honor for themselves," Twimek stated. "They fully support the gateway reactivation mainly because someone else is shouldering the risks. They can look like supporters of Romulan sovereignty without exposing themselves to the fallout if something goes wrong."

Taylor finished the rest of her milk.

"In any case, I'd bet latinum that whatever happens with the gateway, Admiral Lee would at least be grateful he'd be doing something other than hunting down Klingon rebels one at a time on Nimbus III. I think he thinks it's irrelevant whether or not the Republic holds onto the gateway," Taylor replied. A beeping on her tricorder alerted her to other things.

"The admiral wants us to keep a lookout for a Subcommander T'Vara and her squad. They went to patrol the Vastam Peaks and haven't reported in."

---

"Palmer, Amanda. Beringer, Kathyrn. Worf. Kererek. Sills, Jon."

Agent Warrigul pored through the databanks of the RRW Hyperian. At its feet, the head of an uhlan spun slowly as it began losing the angular momentum it picked up when it was cut off its body. An implant on Warrigul's face began blinking as it recorded the data off of Warrigul's visual cortex.

"Koren. Persico, Selene. Harlen, Robin. Tekor, Veleen. Valot, Bryan."
"By the elements! Taevaid!"

A Romulan sublieutenant walked onto Warrigul and found his dead comrade at the feet of an unknown assailant. Before the uhlan could reach for his pistol, however, a thin blade shot out from Warrigul's arm and pierced the uhlan's skull. A few arm movements from Warrigul and the second uhlan fell down dead, brains flowing from the wound in the uhlan's head. Alarms rang out as Warrigul's presence was finally detected.

"You triggered an alarm, didn't you?" the voice in Warrigul's head said. "You weren't supposed to get anyone's attention, you imbecile. You were only supposed to see who was going to attend the opening ceremony."
"Wh... wh... what should I do now?" Warrigul whispered.
"Get what data you can and start your mission," the voice replied.

Warrigul looked at the last few names on the list in a great hurry.

"Lerginas Rygobeth Rykon MJarBarJarokTianuSchrodingerM'chelle-"

Before any more names could be read, Republic security officers stormed the databank room. Warrigul tapped a few buttons on the side of its jaw and teleported back to the surface of New Romulus.

---

"Here we are. 221B Via Xiomek. My home away from Lord English."

Twimek allowed Liviana to enter his apartment first. After her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she marveled at how tidy the Reman's belongings were. Even her own apartment was not as well-kept.

"Please, sit wherever you like," Twimek suggested as he put on a soft Romulan ballad on his music player. A soft baritone voice wafted through the air as Liviana made herself comfortable on the two-seat divan. Twimek sat down next to her.

"Oh, commander," she said coyly. "Both Federation and Republic protocols oppose romantic relations between officers," she added, pulling off her boot toe-first.
"As I recall, the Federation protocol on displays of affection only affect on-duty officers," Twimek responded as he sat down on the divan next to Liviana. "Admiral Lee is going to be deep in preparations for the gateway opening. It'll be at least a day before we are called back to service," he said as stretched his arm around Liviana.

Liviana smiled.

"I don't think the admiral is going to do much preparing. You know how last-minute he is. He'll probably be tagging epohhs up until the ceremony starts."

Liviana ran her fingers around Twimek's chest while Twimek slid his own hand down Liviana's waist.
The two science officers were quite ready to do some off-duty research
as Liviana and Twimek began one-handedly unclasping each other's uniforms.

"Do you think we'll have many things to do once the Iconian gateway is open?" Liviana asked as her hand moved towards Twimek's trousers.
"Knowing the admiral, he'd probably order the Lord English to plunge into the gateway if he could. It'd be interesting what they find on the other side of the gateway," Twimek answered while undoing Liviana's skirt. The two officers began orienting themselves horizontally on the divan when...

"Red alert! Commander Twimek, Commander Liviana, report to the staging area! A Tal Shiar agent has attacked the RRW Hyperian and has escaped to the surface! We believe he or she is after the delegates! I'm going to assist the security forces in catching the agent!"

---

"What... what do I do?" Warrigul whispered to itself.
"You keep bungling the mission. Find the delegates and kill them and anyone who gets in your way! You are the product of all the Tal Shiar research we have, don't keep messing up!" the voices in its head responded.
"Halt! You are under arrest for the deaths of two officers of the Romulan Republic!" a Republic centurion ordered. The centurion fired a stun bolt from his plasma pistol which Warrigul took without flinching. In response, Warrigul pointed its finger at the centurion. A thin blade reached out from and stabbed the centurion through the eye and killing the centurion.

"Everything is frightening..." Warrigul mumbled as it continued to make its way towards the Iconian gateway.
"In pursuit of assailant!" shouted the patrol centurions in pursuit. "Subject is about 1.5 meters tall, slender build, male or possibly female!"
"What do I do, enemies are chasing after me..." Warrigul mumbled to itself.
"Pull yourself together, agent!" the voices in its head ordered. "Rebel security forces are converging in the Isha forest. You will have to take the Vastam Peaks Bridge and cut through the Paehhos Crater. Cut down anyone that gets in your way."

As Warrigul made its way towards the bridge, it stumbled onto a barricade manned by half a dozen Republic Security Forces officers. Armed to the teeth, the security officers wasted no time in letting loose a flurry of plasma bolts at Warrigul. Without thinking, Warrigul raised its hands to protect itself; from its palms, a thin plate emerged, deflecting the bolts.

"Good, the defensive systems are working as intended," the head voice asserted. "Now to test the countermeasures."

Four spindles shot out of Warrigul's back, emitting hypersonic waves. The security officers keeled over in pain and were quickly cut down by the Tal Shiar agent. Warrigul continued down the bridge, its wrist blade skewering security officers and civilians alike. As it made its way down the bridge, a phaser bolt grazed Warrigul's shoulder. Warrgul could see Commander Taylor at the far end of the bridge staring down the sights of a phaser battle rifle and pouring fire down range. Warrigul deployed the shield from its palms again, unable to advance in the face of Taylor's assault.

"I don't know how to deal with snipers!" Warrigul hissed.
"It's a Federation sniper," Head Voice determined. "Take a rebel hostage and she won't be able to shoot."

Grabbing a Romulan scientist, Warrigul ran down the bridge using the hostage as a shield. Unable to fire for fear of hitting the hostage, Taylor discarded her rifle and unsheathed a combat knife. Warrigul tossed the scientist off the bridge and began close combat with Taylor. Taylor slashed and stabbed several times at Warrigul; however, what came out of the agent did not have the consistency of Romulan blood. Some portions of the purplish substance clotted around the wounds that Taylor inflicted. Other portions formed into armor plates or blades which defended the Tal Shiar agent and allowed it to counterattack. Although a top fighter, Taylor was unable to defend completely against the erratic movements of the Tal Shiar agent, and suffered several debilitating cuts.

"What the hell are you made of, Tal Shiar?" she shouted as another strike knocked her to the ground. An attempt to trip Warrigul failed as the agent was able to project a lower plate to protect its shins. Warrigul stood over the fallen commander.

"How... how should I deal with the Federation sniper?" Warrigul asked the voice.
"The Federation supports the rebels. Deal with them as you would a rebel," the voice responded.

A long and thin blade protuded out of Warrigul's veins. Taylor watched as Warrigul readied the killing blow.

"My blood is a liquid polymer, you know," it declared as it stabbed down.

---

A kiss for you that is sorrowful, a goodbye for you that is loved.

Taylor's life flashed before her eyes as Warrigul stabbed downwards with its polymer wristblade. Suddenly, Warrigul recoiled backwards heavily. Taylor turned to see Commander Twimek assaulting the agent with mental blasts. With Warrigul's attention drawn from Taylor to Twimek, Taylor stabbed the agent's cybernetic leg stalk into the ground, pinning the agent to the ground.

"That's not good... I can't move," Warrigul stated. "I don't understand how I can be beaten so easily."
"Don't think, just do," head voice ordered. "Deploy the countermeasures again."

The four spindles shot out of Warrigul's back again, but before it could use its hypersonic attack, a stream of plasma flame engulfed the agent. Liviana poured burning plasma into Warrigul, and although the agent's biological components were protected by its suit, the agent's exposed liquid polymer blood was set ablaze, causing great pain to Warrigul.

"It hurts! I don't understand! How do I deal with this?" Warrigul yelled as the polymer began burning it from the inside out."
"This was an unfortunate circumstance that you should have been aware of," head voice stated. "You've failed your mission, agent. We're cutting the cord."

Suddenly, the implanted Elachi and Borg technology in Warrigul began exploding violently. As Warrigul writhed in absolute pain, its humanoid form dissolved, leaving behind a six-tentacled cephalopod.

"I threw away everything..." Warrigul said after its Tal Shiar programming faded but before the Tal Shiar killswitches melted its brain.

Twimek helped Taylor up to her feet as Liviana scanned the remains.

"There isn't much left," Liviana replied. "The Tal Shiar is quite skilled in making disposable agents, but I think this one was a Vendorian, modified with Borg and Elachi technologies and filled with some sort of ferrofluid."
"Vendorian, the shapeshifter species? I thought they were destroyed during the Dominion War," Taylor opined.
"It could be possible that the Tal Shiar smuggled Vendorians off Vendor before the planet was destroyed by the Dominion," Twimek stated. "A shapeshifting spy would be a powerful asset to have for the weakened Tal Shiar, if they could spare them."

Taylor scraped off what she could from the ground.

"In any case, the delegates are safe," she said. "I doubt the Tal Shiar can mount another assault of this magnitude for a while. They sure won't be able to go after the delegates once we strengthen security measures around them. Lord English, beam down a security escort on Admiral Lee's position in the Isha Forest."

===

Quote:
First officer's log, Stardate 87526.46. The Tal Shiar has failed in their attempt in using a modified Vendorian to assassinate delegates to the Iconian gateway opening. The most troubling thing about the Tal Shiar's terror attack is the level of sophistication they've employed; who knows what other technologies they'll employ? In any case, I will inform Admiral Lee about the situation after he comes back from the opening ceremony.
---

"Agent Warrigul has successfully drawn security away from the gateway. Agent T'liss is cleared to act."

Unseen by the other technicians in the gateway room, a worker began covert modifications to the Beta power feed to the gateway.
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; 11-08-2013 at 11:18 AM.
Ensign
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 11
# 28 Home is where the heart is.
11-07-2013, 03:21 AM
The first thing he was aware of was the glow, his vision coloured in the familiar blue green illumination of his cabin lights even before he'd opened his eyes.

Still coming fully into consciousness he looked at the clock on his side table.

*I still have time*

His shift started in about 30 minutes, but he knew Octavia would have the bridge until he arrived. Stumbling through the comforter on his double bunk he barely managed to retain his balance as he moved, all be it clumsily to the wardrobe where he withdrew a day uniform and began dressing.

"Computer, Begin recording."

His command was answered by a disembodied chirp.

"Captain's Log
Star Date: 91400.8
USS Republic, Captain William Fenton Commanding."

"We have altered course leaving our assigned patrol route in the Gamma Orionis Sector in the capable hands of Captain Jennifer Hume and the USS Stiletto. She may not be suited for an extended campaign but she's a tough ship just like her captain."

He sensed a short spike of jealousy from the next room; Aliena was his wife and had been his friend and companion for longer than Jennifer had been alive, probably longer than her parents. But even she had a small amount of insecurity when it came to the Captain and his protege. Already the emotion had vanished.

"Command has informed us that the Republic has been requested to attend the New Romulus colony in the Dewa System where my command crew and I will attend a ceremony to commemorate the successful activation of the reconditioned Iconian Portal discovered beneath the Hwael Ruins. While I did not initially concur with command's decision to pull us off the line defending the Andorran colony, I have been persuaded by my staff that the crew could well use a change of scenery."

Aliena's trill laugh derailed his train of thought immediately. His mind filled, once again with the thoughts, memories and recommendations which had convinced him of the tenuous nature of shipboard morale. The fact that none of the memories were his and had been once again placed at the forefront of his mind failed to shock him as once it had. That the information came from two separate minds, all be it one second hand was still something he was adapting to.

He'd learned to think of it much like a flavour. Lt Vaughn's thoughts held an edge, an intensity of emotion, a reflection of the tragedy of her early life. Ailena's were an odd mix of the Ancient sage and a mercurial Terran god.

*Loki is the name you are looking for dear*

*I'm trying to work here*

Her mind retreated and he was once again alone, the muted stream of consciousness reminding him that she hadn't gone far.

He pulled up the front of his uniform fastening it in place as he went.

"The crew has been on the Orionis sector frontier for much longer than originally intended. While the command crew has been in place substantially longer than any of my previous commands the crew is mainly comprised of recent academy graduates that re-enforced us after losses in the defence of this sector. While the Republic has a reputation as a learning experience it is the recommendation or my third officer and ship's counsellor that these kids may have seen to much."

*I like to think that our recommendations were a little more professional then that*

*They weren't, and Octavia was crying in at least part of hers*

A loud crack echoed from the head, he tuned out the mental stream of obscenities that followed. She had taken quite a liking to the ship's counsellor. While their physiology supported their intimacy their genetics made the chance of even conceiving a child unlikely at best.

So from time to time Aliena "adopted" one of the officers as her own.

"Commander Duchene has graciously volunteered to write up a rotation for the most 'at risk' crew members to take shore leave at the Romulan colony."

Another crack, punctuated by the sound of crystal shattering.

*That's going to cost you*

The thought snapped across his mind accompanied by a memory of their last trip to Risa where she had procured a rare and expensive pheromone rumoured to be particularly effective on empaths.

He closed the link, and enhanced his defence.

*Sometimes discretion.....*

"Chief Engineer Chisom has informed me that he can work some of his magic on the Slip Stream drive to shunt us to new Romulus in a matter of minutes and, even given the fact that he's been perfecting his alchemy for a number of days now. The VI has informed me that he is .. and I quote 'close', whatever that means. Chisom was always a dreamer."

He felt a subtle pulse, a harmonic over the operation of the ship's drive systems that indicated the sonic shower was in use. Dropping his guard slightly he reached out to his wife with a subtle probe. Her mind was involved in the task of washing, yearning for water, but weren't they all. They'd been companions for decades, this wasn't a daily occurrence but he knew who she was, granting her privacy he focused, once again on his report.

"I'm not certain what I think about this event. Harnessing the gate is certainly a major feat of engineering that we'll all benefit from. But the fact that if resides in a Romulan colony, even one that is currently friendly to the Federation is concerning. With this device the colonists gain the ability to launch strikes, either covert or overt against any location in the galaxy. There are two things here to consider; one if the colonists decide the Federation is a target for terrorism and the other if the Iconians decide Dewa III will make a good staging ground against us."

He felt her presence well before the harmonics faded, she'd exited the shower and was content, oddly focused, but content. She passed beneath his focus much like ambient noise, they'd rarely strayed more than a kilometre from each other for a little over a century, that sort of familiarity seemed to have bred a form of shorthand.

" I have asked Lt Vaughn to manage the transit to the Dewa System, Octavia, while being the ship's counselor has expressed an interest in spreading her wings and this is a good opportunity for her. Chisom was not very happy to have been working "in the middle of the night" until I reminded him it was completely relative. I suspect that I will need to continue to manage him directly rather than pass him to another. He remembers Aliena and I far too much from Utopia Planitia and his issues surrounding Commander Fox's betrayal may restrict his ability to become a functional member of star fleet beyond his current assignment."

Her hands pressed on his collar.

"Commander Devaraux has confirmed that all the command crew's squads are well versed in close support and diplomatic service, surprisingly they are accomplished martial artists."

That had been a surprise, at least one senior member of each team had volunteered to form part of the honour guard. Octavia had filed a report tinged with concern that the members were far more likely to sacrifice themselves in unreasonable situations to protect their wards. He'd approved her request to move them to the top of the list for R&R and asked to have them observed upon their return.

Pain arched through his chest, as one of his rank pins pierced his skin.

Suddenly focused on the here and now, instinctively he drew in a quick breath preparing for attack. He drew the pheramone deeply his lungs. Rapidly it worked its way into his system, the effect instantly intoxicating. His awareness spread to the form pressed against him the silk chemise gliding across his exposed chest.

Aliena pressed into him nipping his neck, later he realized that he wasn't going to be making his duty shift on the bridge. For an instant he considered resisting. A small voice in the back of his mind reminding him of duty and maturity, the memory of their last trip to Risa efficiently eliminated that voice as Aliena pressed her advantage and lowered him lovingly onto the bed.


-------------------------------

Aliena leaned back, astride her husband and gazing down on him.

Bill was always so detached from the way he felt. Even a novice in the house of Duchene would have sensed the tension in his mind. Her irritation as his dismissal, his blame, had moved her to action. While she'd shattered the vial out of frustration the pheromones transitive nature presented her with an opportunity, and she never passed on an opportunity.

Even now while he succumbed to its effect she, ignorant of the danger, wove deeper layering of emotion into this psyche and then tied hers into the ever expanding effect.

As the pheromone kicked in and she felt herself surrendering she dragged her eyes from her husband who had completely succumbed to her trap.

"Computer, cease recording. Seal this apartment for 12 hours or until countermanded by myself or the Captain. Also inform Lt Vaughn that the Captain is ... unwell and won't be reporting for duty."

A chirp was her only response, one she did not hear as she fell under the sway of her own device. At some point he became partially aware and called her "encouragable" but even the pheromones couldn't entirely filter out the string of obscenities, distant as they were from Octavia who had deferred command to another and retreated to the crew's lounge in search of their real alcohol to tune out their tryst.

She awoke first to silence. Moments later Octavia tartly asked her if she'd enjoyed herself, then moments later for details, the infraction forgiven.

All the while her husband, the captain's mind roiled in bliss filled ignorance. He deserved it, these people owed him that much.

She considered dressing and reporting for duty but instead tested her tenuous relationship with the first officer. Octavia, sensing her thoughts informed her that Alyssa has been on the bridge for hours covering for them.

She didn't need to thank Octavia; her thoughts were already fraying as she released herself back into the call of her body.

*Surely at some point we'll wake up*

But at that point she couldn't bring herself to care.


--------------------

Captain's Log Supplemental - Post New Romulus Event: Refer Starfleet command sector references.

---------------------


The doors whisked open and Bill strode confidently into his ready room. They closed moments before he stumbled and slumped into a chair. Blood trickling sluggishly from his side onto it's arm.

*I really need to get more furniture.*

He stayed still, allowing the pain he'd blocked for so long to gain hold.

"VI institute a class 9 dampening field on these quarters and overlay a class 10 scrambling field. Authorization Alpha Dawn 1.

"Your authorization is not required Captain, as I have both verbal and biometric verification of your identity." Intoned the VI.

"That being said Sir, I am duty bound to notify you that your injuries are in accordance of article 4 of the code of conduct for reporting of mortal wounds. Would you like me to inform the CMO?"

He grimaced, he'd thought it had been that bad, clearly mortal, funny that they thought of wounds he'd received every other decade as such. The simple fact was, in this case, as tough as Ambassador Worf was he wasn't even remotely as resilient as the captain was. Not that he felt so at the moment.

"Negative VI, load the protocol and ... *UGH* run it"

A loud thunk emitted from the deck as the Captain fell to the floor. He didn't think that he'd broken anything else, but the complete surrender he knew was required to heal from his wounds was concerning him.

"VI please tell me no one is going to hear anything from me here."

"Not on an auditory level Captain, that being said you have any number of psionic beings who could detect your anguish and if I may take this opportunity to remind you that, following this event Command will require you to sign off my complicity in your subterfuge as per section 22a of your commission."

*I don't remember any of my previous computers being any where near this whinny while trying to save my life.*

"VI, Load the freaking Protocol and shut the..."

He felt Aliena's probe and was barely able to block it. He only had a few minutes before she sensed him.

"VI, Stage 2. Hurry"

Light surged in front of his eyes and three hypos appeared on the ground before him.

*I seriously need furniture, this isn't dignified.*

He was injecting the second before he had another conscious memory but his gaze was locked on the third. Jet Black and filled with liquid fire, he knew what was to come.

----------------------

Ailena, withdrew from the Fighter's entrance making a study of the door seals as she went. It was busy work certainly but she knew that this one inspection would ensure that about a hundred more wouldn't need to happen.

Straightening she attempted to sense him again, nothing, she knew he was fuzzy when he returned from the surface. Generally that never ended well. Traffic was that things had gone to "Custard" down there, that he hadn't returned immediately. Add to that his psyche felt like a nebulous cloud only reenforced her suspicions.

"Commander, I'm going to cut this short, I'm needed elsewhere", She said, as Wing Commander Jean Devaraux guided her descent.

"I'm sorry ma'am, orders came through while you were inside requiring me to accompany you to sickbay. It seems that there was an event on the planet".

"Nonsense, " He disappeared as she spoke, she hadn't lost him in a decade.... Pain struck her, like a wave, a tsunami, where was she? who.. *Darkness*

---------------

The Commander stiffened mid sentence and started twitching. She fell like a slab of stone toward the deck and Jean caught her.

*Damn Vulcans are heavy. No wonder she hits so hard*.

Lowering her gently to the deck, her twitching subsiding.

"Medical Emergency, Flight Deck", she screamed into her com link.

Over the ships communication network she noted an alert already in place and a medical team exiting the turbo lift.

----------------

Aliena awoke, staring at an accustomed grey panel.

*He's going to pay for this*

It was her immediate thought before she became truly awake then she rolled her head in his direction and saw him, unconscious on the next bed. Her concern fading as her mind found him moments beyond waking. Beside him Octavia still roiled in a sea of broken daemons, and her concern shifted.

Sitting up she heard her husband's weary yet forceful voice.

"I need to get back to my ready room."

She sensed that Octavia wasn't that far behind them and looked at her husband forcefully. Not everything needed to resort to telepathy.

------------------

"Vi, begin recording Captain's Log - Supplemental".

He looked down from the ceiling and caught the twin glares before him. He'd asked for a chair and a lounge beyond his desk and now Aliena and Octavia were comfortably ensconced in them bathing him in their accusing gazes.

"As has been no doubt reported at this stage. The activation of the New Romulus gate did not go according to plan. I followed Ambassador Worf as per Ambassadorial Directive into the gate and proceeded to defend the away team and effect egress from our situation." That much, at least was the unabridged truth, the rest was designed to move the focus of command from their personal experience onto the larger one they had identified.

"While a great deal was discovered regarding the reconnaissance activities of these minions of the demons of air and darkness I would note the one finding that causes me greater concern. The largest focus of our investigation of the Hobus event has lead us to the understanding that all of the events involved are due to the Undine's belief that we are responsible for attacking their native universe, and the Iconian generation of that belief. Evidence that I have identified in the anomaly indicates that the Hobus System was accessed without the knowledge or approval of the Iconian Servitor race."

He paused looking at his two officers across his desk, the blood slowly withdrawing from their faces, they knew of the implication. "I have sent a priority communique to command that they investigate this possible turn of events."

His wife, and her friend looked first at each other and then him, their looks confused, then shocked.

"I am certain that they will be as concerned as I was when I considered. Someone who can misdirect the Klingons, the Undine, and then use the Iconians themselves as their pawns. I am awaiting Commands orders on this matter while we assist the citizens of New Romulus with reconstruction and humanitarian aid.".

Looking at his captive cabinet Bill saw they'd completely forgotten the questionable events of the day, focusing more so on the big picture. He could only hope that command did the same.

"End Log."

Last edited by jaelk; 11-12-2013 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Better explainations, Better specification.
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 20
Notes: Vice Admiral Daaral Zentron.

Preparation for the event was standard. Special regard was taken for tactical, astrophysics, and the quantum mechanics team. I had also reviewed stolen Romulan military programming information regarding their engineering procedures, most of which had to do with conversion techniques and ratios regarding foreign technology.
The tragedy on New Romulus regarding the tectonic breakdown and the miraculous discovery of the Iconian ship has already been well documented. My science team is still in review regarding tectonic plate retroversion gravitron pulsewaves; however the frequency dampeners may have been somehow compromised. Essentially you have two pulse forces making waves, the actual vibrations of the machine at work and that of the retroversion gravitron compensation activity, which is to be compensated by frequency dampeners. Our lack of understanding of Iconian technology is likely the failure. With two complex vibration frequencies at work?it is quite complicated. Nature being almost impossible to predict, cannot at times be compensated, this is our best data at the moment unfortunately. The retroversion gravitron pulsewaves should have acted like a shield to 'float' the gateway mechanism within the cavernous and active geothermal ductways, however the compensators were somehow too rigid and at some moment gave way, or perhaps even contributed to seismic activity. This is a shame, and again, there could have been sabotage. The Tal'Shiar is somewhat omnipresent in this sector, despite our best efforts at security. Now is the time to wait for further results.
The Iconian Gateway itself is a genius piece of machinery. Dimensional transgenesis migration is a very complicated technological feat, yet my engineers have evidence of trans-dimensional transgenesis migration, which is even more astounding. For one thing we now know where all of the Iconian gateways in the galaxy are, we are learning how to open them, and each one has specific coding. We had teams and teams of engineers, Starfleet, Klingon and the Old Romulan Republic members within an orbital periphery of Iconia, prepared to take scans, make readings, and essentially be there with a trans-dimensional 'catchers mit,' in case of emergency. That was not necessary, we had actually prepared for that, and until recently this was somewhat more classified data, at best it is known by members of the scientific community; however the general populace of the local stellar neighborhood will not be made aware of it for some time. It will eventually be known, there are decloaked Iconian gateways in almost every star system now, hard to keep such secrets. What we did not know is that many of these gateways are not visible from their planet's surfaces. It is obvious that the Iconians had a prime directive of their own. Reports also indicate that the invisibility of the gateway is not possible beyond a certain altitude. There is some kind of temporal refraction emanating from these gateways, and even though we now know for certain where many of these gateways are, we can assume that not all are decloaking anytime soon. There are reports of this as well; it may prove to be some time before all of these gateways are completely controlled.
There is evidence that suggests that the Iconians planted DNA sequences and attempted to harbor life forms on worlds which were essentially primordial, this is well documented in the 24th century. We did not realize, although it had been a theory, that Iconians had been so prosperous in the exo-biological terraforming process to this regard. M class planets with the most abundant life have the most abundant examples of cross breeding. Many new discoveries about Iconian assimilation and colonization have led to equally new and exciting theories. One such discovery, which my scientists believe to be very late placement of Armadillidiidae on the Terran planet by the Iconians, had led to many other discoveries of late introduction of species onto the planet as superfluous exo-biological attainment. This is empirical study based on older data in order to find similar trends on planets that we are not as familiar with. The Earth is a prime example because of its documentation history, and it's still relatively unadulterated eco-synthesis. Another discovery leads to the conclusion that Neanderthal simian humanoids were also introduced by the Iconians. This however could not be the case due to the chronology, the Icnonians were struggling to survive divisive political unrest at the time that the Neanderthal simian humanoids were introduced to the planet earth, and so another theory was devised, based on other existing data sources. It is possible that Borg place the Neanderthal simian humanoids on Earth in order to produce a more sturdy humanoid.
At that time in the galaxy the Iconians were likely on the defensive. However our data suggests that the Iconians devised the Borg in an earlier time of general political uncertainty in their then galaxy wide empire. As Iconian political power waned, and certain expanses could no longer be defended by outer galactic invasion or inner turmoil, the Borg took placement as a self-inducing regimented attempt at the preservation of what the Iconians regarded vainly as their own organic heritage. Sentient life itself would be cataloged and kept like a secret seed vault, also self-perpetuating, and able to construct further defensive mechanisms. It was a harsh and greedy political blunder for the Iconians, who prided themselves on integrity, intelligence, and technological advancement. Eventually the enemies of the Iconians made it impossible for the Iconians to defend themselves and control the Borg. There was apparently also a resources dilemma, this would explain why so many sectors of the Delta Quadrant as explored by Admiral Janeway are so sparse of star systems, as many have been consumed by either the Borg or the Iconians. The Iconian political structure had scrambled to create devices that would ensure the safety of sentience that would eventually grow to such a degree as to be able to confront the Borg. It was thought that these groups would unite to control the Icnonia that they once knew. In a sense the gerrymandering of sentient life in the galaxy by the Iconians lead to their somewhat 'Freudian' god-complex slip of creating the Borg in the first place. On the other hand, and we are able to ascertain in this local stellar neighborhood, and other remote pockets of life in the galaxy, there is a viable source of resistance to the Borg. Based on our own technological evaluations the galaxy should recover from Borg encompassment in less than five hundred years.
One reason for the length of the dissipation is likely due to recent figures captured from Borg transcriptions; at this time, the Borg control at least sixty percent of the galaxy. This new information suggests a new visitation to the diplomatic process surrounding the Borg Initiative policies will be necessary if life in this galaxy should remain non-Borg-assimilated.
One important configuration that was necessary for security reasons was to ascertain whether or not the new gateways could be detected by the Borg, they can, only if they come and discover the gateways themselves, and if they could, there is not real evidence to suggest that they could defeat us in order to utilize this gateway system. It is plausible that the Iconians thought to restrict certain technological signatures from interacting with the gateway system, the Iconians are quite intelligent, and we can only hope that they had created such a system for themselves. Risk assessment is still being evaluated. It would seem that the Iconians comprehending their faux pas de technologique had found a way to build an 'underground railroad' for the last of their planted genome successors. It would be difficult if the Borg should choose to utilize these gateways for their assimilation processes, however we do not yet know for certain that it would really be possible for them to do so. Keeping all of this in mind, my scientists and engineers are also developing new defensive strategies, and deborgification processes. Saving life will be the new struggle for the galaxy in this regard.
One theory that came from my team was that the gateways could be trans-dimensional. If this is the case we would need to know more about the 'mirror-universe,' as it were. From a gathered database of hundreds of interviews of refugees, and prisoners from the 'mirror-universe,' we have shocking information, and we must keep in mind that this is highly privileged information. For some reason, relative to the 'mirror-universe,' our local stellar neighborhood had been spared by a vast Iconian empire. Certain species are allowed to live in order that they gain strength and virility enough to help defend the Iconian Empire. In the 'mirror-universe,' militancy is the only order and orders are given by the Iconians, all factions are divided and must quell against one another. Strangely enough, in the 'mirror-universe,' the Borg do not exist, replaced by them are a successful and extremely militant Iconian Galactic force, which rages and controls everything in the galaxy. Borg have been known to travel from our dimension to the 'mirror-universe,' however the immediacy of their displacement often leaves the Borg with a tactical disadvantage in the opposite realm. Citizens of that universe have been known to deassimilate the Borg, however beyond that a common form of acclimation of the deborgified is seemingly not yet known to them. The Mirror Iconian Empire relishes Borg technology and considers Borg capsulation the ultimate prize, Captains under their wing are rewarded greatly for such finds.
Our hope is that we will soon discover how trans-dimensional and dimensional transgenesis migration is possible with the Iconian gateways, and we are developing special probes to help relay to us information to that regard. If there are Borg sleeper agents in our midst then we will find out soon enough how defendable our new prospect is.

Last edited by allen1973; 11-18-2013 at 01:11 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,219
# 30 Straight and Wide
11-08-2013, 09:23 PM

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side

We chased our pleasures here
Dug our treasures there
But can you still recall
The time we cried?
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side

Everybody loves my baby
Everybody loves my baby
She get
She get
She get
She get
High

I found an island in your arms
Country in your eyes
Arms that chain
Eyes that lie

Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through, oh
Oh, yeah

Made the scene, week to week
Day to day, hour to hour
The gate is straight
Deep and wide
Break on through to the other side...


Jim Morrison of The Doors - "Break On Through (To the Other Side)"


S T R A I G H T . A N D . W I D E



USS Ray Bradbury, en route to Mol'Rihan

"Why us, sir?" B.C. Hawkes wondered.

"Can you imagine it, Bryan?" Captain Lewis McLain replied, not really having heard his security chief's question. "Being the first to see an Iconian Gateway activated is like being the first to go through a new wormhole. Its the opportunity of a lifetime!"

To say McLain was excited would be an understatement. Throughout his long and storied Starfleet career, he'd always dreamed of a day like today. He was fascinated with the Iconians and their technology. He'd visited ruins, collected artifacts, explored holoprogram recreations, studied schematics... And then they turned out to be alive, and hostile, and he'd gotten himself involved in an interdimensional war against them. But finally, he had the chance to study their technology intact.

"But why us, sir?" LCdr. Hawkes persisted. The security chief could be extremely persistent when he needed to be.

"'Why him' you mean," Cmdr. Nanz Downig grumbled. The Tellarite first officer had served under McLain since the Dominion War. "And that should be obvious, even to a one-eyed meathead goon like you. Our good Captain's official job title is Scientific Advisor to Starfleet Intelligence.' Unofficially, we investigate strange phenomena for the Technical Intelligence Group and determine if they can be of strategic value to the Federation. Like this Gateway for example."

"Starfleet's policy of late has been to blast the holy bejeezus outta every Gateway we come across," McLain reminded his two most-senior officers. "They are considered strategic liabilities, not assets. No, the only reason I - and the rest of us - would have been chosen for this mission is because of our previous experience working with a multi-faction ad-hoc task force and dealing with Gateway technology."

"But that whole thing was classified so far above Top Secret, they don't even have a name for it," Hawkes declared.

"I'm pretty sure the people who put this together have access to those records," McLain figured. "Look at all the countersignatures on these orders." He tossed his security chief a PADD. "D'Tan, Proconsul of the New Romulan Republic; Can't get much higher access than that if you're a Romulan. Admiral LaRoca, Diplomatic Liaison to Starfleet Security; obviously ConOps would be involved in anything like this. Admiral Clayburn, STIG; our boss. Admiral Davis, STS; so the research side of this is legitimate. General Ssharki, KDF CentCom; he's been supporting exploration efforts on New Romulus for the last year and I think he actually discovered this thing. Plus he practically runs the military side of Klingon Intelligence and rumor has it he's Jesu LaRoca's best friend. All these people would have no trouble looking up a classified report."

"And they're all people who you know," Downig pointed out. "It's your connections who got us into this."

"I don't know Ssharki that well..."

"A Gorn never forgets a friend," Nanz reminded him. "Especially somebody he saw combat with."

"Besides, Ssharki's the direct upline commander to all those folks in the KDF we were running around with last year." Hawkes stared at his CO. "But how do you know D'Tan, sir?"

"Ugh." Instead of answering immediately, McLain turned his chair toward his replicator. "Tea," he ordered. The ship's AI knew exactly what he meant. McLain retrieved the steaming mug of Earl Grey with honey and lemon, took a sip, and turned back to face Hawkes. "D'Tan was at my wedding," he announced. "We've kept in touch."

"You were married? To a..?"

"A Romulan refugee, yeah," Downig picked up. "We found her after Hobus, drifting in an escape pod, and they fell in love." She said the words with disgust, but then admitted "She was really beautiful, for a pointy-eared green-blood."

"She was a mistake," McLain mumbled. "Selfish, lying, manipulative, conniving... Besides the Dominion War, that marriage to D'Lanae was the most horrible experience of my life. I try not to talk about either of them. But D'Lanae happens to be D'Tan's cousin, which makes my son his nephew, which sort of obligates us to stay in touch-"

"You have a son?" B.C. Hawkes simply could not imagine his Captain having a family outside of his crew.

"His name is Nicco, which is supposed to be short for Nicholas. He's a junior science officer in the Republic Flotilla. He was never told about me," McLain concluded bitterly.

Hawkes frowned. This was exactly the sort of thing an enemy could use to compromise his Captain. I should have checked his personal history, the former Section 31 agent kicked himself mentally. All that time I spent researching his career and combat records, and it never occurred to me to look into his life outside of Starfleet...

"And this is why he never talks about them," Nanz muttered.

"No, I'd much rather talk about the Gateway," McLain said, his tone brightening. "Ahab, let's see that three-D schematic again."

The ship's AI dimmed the lights in the ready room and projected a wireframe model over the Captain's desk.

"Now this site is particularly interesting for a number of reasons. First of all the Gateway mechanically retracts when not in use, which is so far unique among all the Gateways that have been catalogued to date. It's also tied directly to a geothermal power core, something that's only been observed at the site on Moab III prior to this discovery..." McLain went on, slipping back into the mode of the Academy professor he had once been, and was probably always meant to be.

Bryan Cecil Hawkes could actually feel his eyes glaze over as Captain McLain started to write out the quantum field calculations that some how made the Gateways work the way they did. His concerns about security were forgotten and replaced by numbers and inscrutable symbols. Oh, gawd, he moaned internally. Why us?

...


"Freedom is just a pretty idea unless it's backed by Force."

The Masterverse Timeline / Ten Forward Fanfics
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