Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8,084
# 31
03-12-2014, 09:33 AM
LC 38 redux: "A Republic Romulan in Gilded Age New York."

Earth, 1898.

The retrofitted T'varo-class Romulan warbird IRW Vengeance (still not updated to RRW because of its commander's sheer laziness) screamed out of space, trailing plasma, skipped off of the atmosphere of Earth over Hawaii, rolled, cut neatly into the upper mesosphere over California, and left a trail of fire in the sky a couple thousand miles long as it flew with gradually decreasing velocity across the American continent, crashing rather dramatically in New York Harbor (causing a not inconsiderable splash and swell of water) before sinking to the bottom.

Vice Admiral D'trel Tomalak crawled feebly out of a mess of bulkheads, consoles, and sparking wires on the Vengeance's bridge. A strong, scaled hand gripped her arm.

"I have you, Commander," said Subcommander Omek'ti'kallan, hauling the Romulan woman out with a grunt. "Are you intact?"

The Admiral looked herself over.

"Beat up but alive. How are the others?"

"Praise Odo'ital; we had only two casualties; engineering crew who got hit by a plasma leak. Viasa reports from Sickbay that there are more than fifty injuries that need her attention."

"Elements, what a mess. Jak and Daysnur?"

"Broken arms for both of them, but alive. Daysnur has two crushed ribs as well."

"Zel? The Voth?"

"Subcommander Exil reported just before we found you; he is intact. Third Zel has not reported in yet."

"Get some search parties together and scour the ship. Find anyone you can--hey, that pile's shifting!"

The refrigerator-suited hand of the Breen helmsman inched out of another pile of debris and cables behind the Commander's chair.

"Help me out here! And hail Astrometrics, see where the hell we are. Zel, are you all right?"

"These...suits...are...really...good..." managed the Breen, before xir head fell back with a sigh and a thump. The Admiral panicked for a moment before seeing the slight rise and fall of Zel's chest.

"Haul xir out of there, I'm off to Astrometrics to see what the hell is going on. When xe's loose, set up some search parties and scour the ship for more crew!"

"Yes, Commander!"

The Romulan made it into the turbolift; fortunately, those were at least working, if disturbingly shaky. As the door closed, she clutched her bruised, slightly bloody head and moaned.

"Ooooooww..."

2 hours later.

"Tell me again. With feeling, this time."

Admiral D'trel Tomalak's voice was level and cold. Astrometrics Specialist Sublieutenant Saler couldn't help but gulp in terror.

"We...sir..uh, we found that...we are approximately five hundred years in the past, and we're on Earth, based on a statue that the probe got footage of; it's an old Terran monument called the Statue of Liberty. Um. I'm...sorry, sir."

The Admiral was stiff as a board, tapping her fingers in a monotonous rhythm on the table.

"Out."

Selar was more than happy to comply.

Once he had gone, the Romulan looked to her other officers, two of whom were in rather impressive casts.

"Well?"

"The singularity core is stable, but the EPS conduits are fried. We're going to need to do some serious repairs," said Jak, resting his broken arm awkwardly on the table. "And Daysnur's working on a temporal wormhole device, but he needs some parts. Copper and silicon and whole list of stuff."

"Zel, can you handle this?"

The Breen gave the list a once-over. "Sure. Just give me some guys who can pass for human. I studied Earth as a kid, I know where to get stuff in this time."

"Good. Omek'ti'kallan, how are repairs to the bridge coming?"

"They are proceeding well, praise to Odo'ital. Second Daysnur has been working on his theoretical engineering solution to our problem, but the engineering crews have been sufficient."

"Nelen, how are the patients?"

"Viasa has Sickbay under control, sir. I'm sorry I can't be of more help in this situation."

"You're an archaeologist specializing in Delta Quadrant civilizations. I was impressed enough that you knew rocks and paleontology. Right. Omek, get some guys together and report to Sickbay for disguises. I'll be right down. Zel, you keep in contact with us through earpieces, tell us what to get."

Four hours later.

"Now, what's a pretty girl like you doing out here at this time of night?"

Fred Thompson was a basically decent human being, a police officer, and generally the sort of person who tries to be friendly at really bad times.

The woman whom he was addressing was a slender, wiry thing about six feet tall, a height that Fred (himself a rather imposing chap) found rather refreshing in this city of women who averaged five-foot-six. She was maybe thirty, and was wearing a simple dress and long-sleeved coat, and carried a small purse. The woman's companions were a number of fellows in trench coats with black hats pulled low, including one disturbingly large, brutish chap with a bulge (which Fred was experienced enough to recognize as a pistol) beneath his coat. Being a chivalrous sort, Fred felt that it was his responsibility to ensure that these dangerous-seeming chaps didn't turn on the nice lady.

"Shopping," said the woman tersely.

"What for?"

"Copper wire, some bauxite and quartz. Glass would be acceptable in place of the quartz."

"That's not stuff that a fine lady should be carrying around, especially not at this time of night in this part of town, and with the strange happenings tonight...well...Tell you what, my brother knows a glassblower, down near the park. I could get you the glass, and probably at a discount."

"Acceptable," said the lady. "Omek, Soral, go with him. The rest of you, with me."

The brutish fellow and a stocky chap about Fred's size saluted--military?--and moved to Fred's other side without breaking pace.

"Er...Ma'am, I didn't even catch your name, or where you're from, or why you're in such a dangerous part of town..."

"We are from...far away. We are here because our transportation is currently broken, and we need the items I mentioned to repair it. My name is D'trel."

"Foreigners, eh? Well, between you and me, ma'am, this is a dangerous part of town, especially for foreigners. Do you want me to call for a cab?"

"We are capable of defending ourselves. Please, go with Omek and Soral."

The hulking man grabbed Fred gently but firmly by the shoulder in one huge hand. "You said that your clutch-brother knows one who makes glass?"

He had an odd accent. Fred couldn't place it.

"Yes, my brother--he knows a chap who runs a glassblower's shop..." Fred trailed off as he saw the huge man's misshapen face and yellow eyes.

"What the..."

"My apologies," said the hulking "Omek", hiding his face with his hat and turning away. "I had forgotten how your people react to me."

"That's...fine. Just peachy. Um. Well, I hope that you have enough money; glass is expensive, you know!"

"Money is no object."

The other fellow, Soral, had a strange accent of his own, but he at least looked like an ordinary man, even if his chin was unusually sharp. Fortunately, the shopping trip went quickly and easily, and the mysterious men gave Fred a rather large packet of greenbacks for his trouble.

They met up with the woman and her guards down at the docks. Fred had taken his leave of the two men a few minutes previously, but had followed them out of curiosity. He was now hiding behind a barrel, watching the foreigners.

The foreigners chatted for a moment (the men saluting "D'trel" as she approached), and looked around surreptitiously. Then the woman rolled up her sleeve, revealing some sort of metal bracelet, and poked it a few times.

A hatch like a ship's docking ramp appeared out of nowhere, and the foreigners and their loads all entered what for all intents and purposes appeared to be a hole in the air. After the last one had entered, the hatch closed. There was a slight humming noise and a blast of air followed by a splash, and Fred watched with disbelieving eyes as an invisible thing about the size of a tugboat plunged into the water, setting the boats moored at the neighboring piers rocking in the swell.

Fred blinked. Then he sat back. He blinked again, and rubbed his eyes. Then he burst out laughing.

Nobody would ever believe this story at the pub.

Two days later.

Vengeance turned slightly upwards, engines straining against the pressure, and jetted up at an angle, slicing through the water of New York Harbor.

The starship cloaked as it emerged with a dramatic splash, terrifying and mystifying a number of fishermen who happened to be near enough to see what appeared to be a patch of air burst from the water.

The remaining water on the warbird evaporated from the static of the cloak as the ship, engines humming, came to a halt above the Statue of Liberty and turned towards space.

"Alright," said Vice Admiral D'trel Tomalak, ears newly restored, from her chair on the Bridge. "Take us out, one-tenth impulse, then out to Mars at full impulse once we clear the atmosphere. When we get out to Mars's orbit, activate the device."

"Ready, sir," said Zel from the helm station.

"Engage," said the Romulan, and she leaned back into her newly-fixed chair.
Founder and Grand Vizier of the Sovereign Ba'al joke. Hail Ba'al! Our theme song
My official eternal issue: Why no muscle definition slider? Let's have some equal-opportunity sexiness, Cryptic!
PWE: NO to mandatory ARC! At least make it optional!
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 107
# 32
03-12-2014, 03:13 PM
LC Redux #7 Best and Brightest


Vice Admiral's Personal Log
Stardate: 91798.16
USS Canada
NCC-171867

We have arrived at Spacedock after a two month long deployment to the Khazan Cluster for an exploration tour on behalf of the Romulan Republic. It would have been routine had it not been for Starfleet assigning 200 cadets to the Canada for training. If there was I thing I remembered at the Academy, it is that the vast majority of Cadets, no matter the species, have the mentality of adolescents in adult bodies. It goes without saying, it was less of exploring the Cluster than being the babysitter for 200 young adults for two months. It was fortunate that 450 of my permanent crew were on board with experience to handle the cadets.

From the expressions of my senior officers, I know my crew is relieved this ordeal is over, with two weeks of R&R before we deploy for a patrol in the Tau Dewa Sector.

(Cut to Bridge)

Vice-Admiral Lee watched the viewscreen as it showed an airlock extending a retractable corridor to the starboard docking port, located on the Saucer section of the Sovereign-Class starship. After it was connected and the docking port opened, he could see the first of 200 cadets begin to finally leave his ship. He relaxed a bit in his chair, and could hear the sighs of relief from the others on the bridge. He looked at his first officer, Captain Tarah Ovlam, and the Andorian finally looked relieved as the Cadets began to leave.

The entire senior staff had been pushed to their limits by the cadets, who had the maturity of 18 year olds at best or at worst five year olds. His normal security officer, Lieutenant-Commander Eunice Skillicorn, had taken early leave halfway through the tour, dropped off at Outpost 417 near the edge of the Cluster, having been pushed to breaking point after a massive brawl in Eleven-Forward. From the viewscreen, Lee could now see several Security officers from Spacedock head across the corridor to collect four cadets awaiting a formal academic hearing, being the ones who had initiated that brawl. Lee grimaced as he remembered that particular incident.

It was about halfway through the exploration tour, en route to an abandoned mining station. Lee had been sleeping with his wife when he was alerted by Skillicorn, that a fight was breaking out at the Eleven-Forward lounge. It was apparently started as a massive love-rhododendron exploded, centred around three members of the Academy football (association not American) team and their girlfriends. Several argument broke out, as the love-polygon disintegrated, and soon the punches were thrown as more and more people involved entered the fray. A Half-Vulcan cadet named T'Lau Chang reported the brawl to security, but even the normal security had been unable to stop the fighting, with several suffering injuries trying to pull cadets apart. The ship's MACO detachment had to be called in, with Major George Ross getting a black eye after one Cadet (drunk from contraband Romulan Ale) swung wildly and punched him. The Brig became full as over 30 cadets were detained, with a number having to be confined to quarters for the remainder of the tour.

However, it seemed there was some hope a with a few Cadets, including a number of science students who helped the senior Astrometrics Scientist chart a number of new systems discovered during the tour. The Canada had entered a fight with a rogue Klingon House that had set up shop in the a system withing the cluster, though fortunately, their flagship, a Negh'var battleship, was quickly crippled with Canada's....non-regulation weapon systems. A Klingon task force from the house of Martok arrived, and informed that the rogue house had been on the run from the High Council for possible treachery involving the Tal'Shiar, and thanked us for our efforts. During that battle, engineering cadets had helped in repairs to our ship during combat, with Cadet Silas Finnegan receiving a purple heart for injuries sustained during repairs in combat.

However, it was hard not to be reminded of the antics of the cadets, most of whom had zero clue about life on a starship. It had only taken a week before holodeck privileges were restricted, and Cadets were given restrictions to their replicator menus. Also, access to the computer core was also limited after one soon-to-be-former cadet tried to use it to store certain questionable materials (note: use your own damn computer to store your stuff). Painkillers had been a common prescription for the regular crew since the third week. At least one Klingon defector who joined the crew nearly went on a rampage after several cadets tried to have fun at his expense, and Law, a Romulan who joined after Nimbus III, was nearly ready to kill another cadet for misplacing his old peacekeeper pistol.

Given another tour with cadets or fighting the Borg, Lee was sure the crew would pick the Borg.
USS Canada
N.C.C. 171867
Sovereign Class
Saint John Fleet Yard
"A Mari Usque Ad Mare"

Last edited by mli777; 03-14-2014 at 07:00 PM.
Ensign
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
# 33 LC #2 Taking Command
03-12-2014, 06:14 PM
Taking Command

Star date 88206.68(Earth Space Dock-6 years after the Cardassian Struggle)

Fleet Admiral Quinn: James, you are here by promoted to Rear Admiral Lower Half. You've shown excellent progress during your journey, and I think you deserve it.
- The room fills with clapping and cheering as the Fleet Admiral pins two bars on Throne's neck sleeve. It has been ten long years since the crew of the U.S.S. Lexington-D have been home. Even though there were many loses during the 10 year mission, James managed to bring those that remained, home. Their last mission was a turning point for the Klingon War.

After several weeks of fighting, things finally cooled down near the border of Federation and Klingon space. The Lexington-D managed to make her trip home, even though she lost 67 crew members. It was time the crew had some R&R before shipping out again...-

Star Date 91796.31 ( Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards- 8 years later)

James: "Don't worry about the design chief. Think about what she is capable of. This is an Odyssey Class Star Cruiser. One of the largest ships in the fleet."
Chief Uvar: "With all due respect sir, I'd rather serve on sovereign class than this whale."

-The Vice Admiral let out a sigh and shook his head. Uvar turned away with her arms crossed and stared out the shuttle window.-

James: "Number one, what's the status of the rest of our crew?"
-The Female Andorian turned around to face the him.-
Tonha: "I believe chef is on board already. Let's hope he's prepping dinner for tonight."
James: "Is that my wife or first officer speaking? It's hard to tell."
Tonha: "All crew members check in. We are the last shuttle to arrive."
James: "Hmm alright then. Dinner at 1600 hours?"
Tonha: "Sounds like a plan. But I'd like to run some tests on those new Antiproton beam arrays, once we get on board."
James: "Noted"

-The shuttle flew around the Lexington-F giving the senior officers a better look. About a minute later, the shuttlecraft finally landed in the Main Hangar bay. One by one the crew stepped out of the Aft door with aw on their faces.-

Kall: "This hangar is bigger than a Galaxy class shuttle bay! I wonder how big the sickbay area is."
James: "I'm sure there will be plenty of new toys for you Doc."

-As the group began to talk about their new areas, James's com badge beeped and the officers were silent.-

James: "Throne here."
Armo'Tora: "Sir your needed on the bridge. Admiral Weston would like to speak with you."
James: "Understood commander. I'm on my way."

- The Vice Admiral walks into the nearest turbo lift.-
James: "Deck 1"
Ship AI: "Welcome aboard Vice admiral."
James: "Since when did Starfleet ships have A.I?"
A.I: "The Lexington-F is the first to have one admiral."
James: "I see... State your designation."
A.I: "I am designated as Alpha-2531 sir."
James: "Ok then, Alpha, I hope you'll make good use of your self."

- The turbo lift doors opened up to the bridge. -

Armo'tora: "Captain on the bridge!"
-The crew snapped to attention-
James nodded: "As you were."

-The Lexington's bridge was bustling with activity. Several engineers were checking consoles and equipment to make sure everything is good. James noticed his First Officer speaking to Admiral Weston on the view screen.-

Weston: "Ah Throne, I was just telling your first officer about the Lexington's next mission."
James: "With permission Admiral, I'd like to take her into the old testing zones, just so we can get used to a ship at this size."
Weston: "As always you have my permission. I'll contact you after shakedown."
James: "Understood. Throne out."

-The remaining engineers walked onto the transporter pad and beamed out. James watched them leave as the senior officers took their stations.-

Tonha:"All decks report ready Captain."
Renuzia: "Systems report green across the board sir."
James: "Armo'tora...takes is out. One-quarter impulse."
Armo'tora: "Aye sir, one-quarter impulse."

-Outside, the Lexington slowly cleared the dry dock and began her new journey.-

Renuzia: "Captain' we've cleared dry dock and have permission to go to warp."
-Throne looked at his wife who was sitting right of him.-
James: "Just like old times eh honey?"
-Tonha gave him a slight nod in agreement.-
James: "Mr. Jeks, set a course for the Lackey System."
Ensign Jeks: "Course laid in Captain."
-The admiral looked around the bridge, then back to the view screen. Alpha popped up on a tube near the Admiral and faced the view screen.-

James: "Engage"

-The star cruiser lurched forward like a rocket and disappeared into sector space.-
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8,084
# 34
03-13-2014, 08:58 AM
LC2 redux: "The Captain's a living weapon"

USS Douglass, NCC 94828. Retrofitted Cheyenne-class heavy cruiser.

Commander Azip Shran slid her blue Andorian behind onto the officer's table in the mess hall, and promptly tore up the seat of her pants on the splinter that had been sticking up from the bench for three weeks.

Damn it. Every single time...

Lieutenant Belkrab, Chief Engineer, was already sitting, morosely stirring her bowl of glutinous, foul-smelling orange ooze that the replicators apparently thought was Vulcan Plomeek soup. Azip plunked her own bowl down, careful not to spill (the glop melted the plastic tables like acid).

"I heard we're getting a new Captain," Azip said. "Maybe she'll get some more engineering crew so you can fix the replicators to dispense something other than bad soup."

The Tellarite grunted pessimistically. "With our luck, we'll have another Wilson."

Azip shuddered. "Oh, please, don't mention Wilson. That man was an idiot!"

"Told Ambassador Kriton that his mother had a smooth forehead..."

"Stop. Please."

Belkrab smirked ruefully. "Sorry. What did you hear?"

"Admiral Quinn notified me. Said we're getting a new Captain. Said that she's going to bring a "new leadership style", whatever the hell that means."

"Huh. Hey, did you hear about the terrorist attack at the shuttleport?"

"No, what happened?"

"Some woman the size of a Gorn appeared out of a blue beam of light and beat the tar out of an elite MACO squad at the main shuttleport in San Francisco. They finally took her down by shooting her with six different weapons set to kill."

"That's nuts. An augment?"

"Apparently. They hushed it up, but FNN had the story."

"Huh. Voice in the Wilderness and the xenophobic crowd are gonna be spitting fire."

"Yeah, like it matters. Oh, hey D'vek, Gamat'Elon."

Ensign First Class Gamat'Elon and Lieutenant Commander D'vek walked over, D'vek holding a bowl of glop and Gamat'Elon inserting a stick of ketracel into its slot.

"Hey, guys. Hear about the new Captain?"

"Yeah. Belkrab's being pessimistic, but I say the new boss lady can't be worse than Wilson."

D'vek fished something that may have been a pea out of the glop and threw it gently at Azip's head.

"Never, ever mention Wilson. Please. He got six guys killed in the first thirty minutes of his first mission. We were just lucky one of those guys was Wilson himself."

"May Glorious Odo'ital send us a good Vor--I mean, Captain," rumbled Gamat'Elon. "Praised be the glorious name of Odo'ital, may His will come to pass and His love be hallowed by all."

"Yeah, what he said," said Azip, pointing at the Jem'Hadar with her spoon. "Although I'd really settle for "mediocre". Anything but another Wilson."

Another green blob bounced off of her forehead.

"Quit it, D'vek. Anyway, the new Captain should be here soon; Quinn said she was on the first shuttle up. Oh, and he said that she should live longer than the last 6 because she's invincible."

"Seriously?" said Belkrab. Azip shrugged.

"Apparently. Damned if I know what that means."

The intercom suddenly buzzed to life, and a vaguely female voice was audible through the horrible audio.

"Hey, all, I'm...uh...the new Captain, I guess. I'm Nemesis unit designation Three, and I'd like you all to know that I'm going to run a fairly loose ship, but if I say jump, I expect you to say "How high?" on the way up. I'll be posting a set of guidelines for behavior, etiquette, intimate relationships, and clothing in the mess hall in an hour or two. I hope to have a meet-and-greet tomorrow. Senior officers please report to the Bridge now for my first official briefing."

She paused for a moment, then continued.

"Oh, yeah, and I got Admiral Quinn to change the ship's name. Welcome on board the USS George Takei. Repair teams will be coming up shortly to help fix this hunk of junk so that we can actually endure space missions."

The intercom cut out with an ear-gouging shriek of static.

Azip was more than happy to have an excuse to dump her glop into the recycler and go get some non-ripped pants on.

The Captain was leaning against a console when the officers got to the Bridge.

Azip felt herself start to drool. The woman looked mostly human, but was easily six-foot-eight, with bulging muscles all over her body, clad in a jet-black bodysuit--Kevlar? Her five feet of dark brown hair, currently in a loose ponytail, cascaded down her back behind her broad shoulders. Her eyes were brown, with slit pupils, and caught the light oddly, like there was something reflective behind them--a tapetum? Her arms were thickly muscled and rippling with strength beneath the black bodysuit, currently crossed below her smallish...assets.

Azip Shran had to remind herself to breathe. Yes, the Captain was a walking version of one of her favorite fantasies. But with Azip's luck, she would be hetero.

The Captain caught the Andorian's eye, and grinned.

"You interested? I've got nothing to do Friday night, you want to play around on the holodeck?"

Azip was saved from mortification by Belkrab, who walked up and stuck out a hand.

"Hey, Captain. I'm Lieutenant Belkrab, Chief Engineer. You said something about fixing the ship up?"

"Yep. Contractual stipulation with Admiral Quinn was that he fix up the ship. He said he'd been waiting for the excuse. Also, you're promoted, Commander. You three, too. Congratulations. Who are you?"

"I am Gamat'Elon, servant of glorious Odo'ital, may His name be praised and His will come to pass. I am chief of security and chief tactical officer. I search for gods who are not the Founders on Odo'ital's orders. This is D'vek; he is a Romulan. He is chief science officer and does the doctor's work when the EMH is not working. This woman is first officer Azip Shran; she is Andorian, and fights well."

"Awesome. Right, you and Azip go and change out of those shirts. No red clothing on my ship under any circumstances, and be wary of yellow. Belkrab, get some surge dampeners or something for all the consoles; I don't want any of them blowing out for any reason. Also, get me a fish in my office, stat! Clear?"

"Yes, sir!" said D'vek with a crisp salute and only a trace of sarcasm.

"Awesome. Get moving."

The officers crowded into the turbolift and started down, tolerating the sudden stops and jerking descent. D'vek was the first to speak.

"Thoughts, anyone?"

"She appears to be a good Vor--I mean, Captain. Praise Odo'ital!"

"Yeah," said Belkrab, "she looks good to me. First Captain I've ever had who even thought of surge dampeners. Seems a little crazy, but then again the best Captains always are--I mean, look at Kirk! Man slept with half the galaxy, still made Admiral and saved the universe three or four times."

"Yeah, she's good. Military trained, for sure. Wouldn't be surprised if she was bisexual; I saw her size us all up both for tactical stuff and attractiveness. Azip, you are one lucky girl."

"Oh, stop it!" said the Andorian, blushing purple fiercely. "How can you tell all that, anyway?"

"I spent two years in the military when I was younger, before I defected to the IRS and then over here. Basic body language was part of the course. She wasn't even hiding it, which tells me that she CAN hide it if she wants to. I'd say that we're in for a good one, especially if you can get over your shyness."

"D'vek, I have zero luck with women. You know that."

"Yeah, but here's someone who was pretty openly checking you out--I saw her staring at your chest, even."

"Two words. Frat regs."

"Ten bars says she doesn't give a damn about frat regs."

"Oh, you are SO on. Never bet FOR my luck with women!"

Azip would later pay up rather grouchily when the lists of rules and regulations (including a sheet titled "Intimate relationships on a starship: what YOU need to know") were posted in the mess hall.

The general consensus among the crew after that and the meet-and-greet (at which Three familiarized herself with all five hundred crew members over the course of eight hours of partying), was that the new Captain was completely and utterly insane, but in a way that was really good for the safety, health, and sanity of anyone and everyone under her command*.

Subsequent missions (including the Incident On Qo'noS) would confirm this opinion.

*Making Thee possibly unique in the entirety of Starfleet history.
Founder and Grand Vizier of the Sovereign Ba'al joke. Hail Ba'al! Our theme song
My official eternal issue: Why no muscle definition slider? Let's have some equal-opportunity sexiness, Cryptic!
PWE: NO to mandatory ARC! At least make it optional!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,127
# 35 Challenge 41: Call to Arms
03-13-2014, 10:03 AM
Captain Donovan hadn't been expecting another call from the Admiral so soon, but considering that it was coming in over the secured Section 31 channel, he couldn't help but worry. There was a starbase located a day's travel from their current location, and that was at maximum warp. She seemed hesitant to reveal full details at first, which seemed out of character until:

"It's the Genesis device, James..."

"You've got to be @#$%ing me, Jol, YOU of all people..."

"It's worse that than James, much worse." Her tone dropped, which caused him to furrow his brow more, before she continued. "They were using Project Scorpion, from the Voyager expedition."

He swore once more, loudly, when suddenly the door chimed.

"WHO IS IT!"

"Commander T'Pal."

"Enter." he sighed.

"Captain, are you alright?"

"Prepare the transwarp drive."

"Aye, Captain." She turned without further question.

"We're going to talk about this later Jol." He said, pointing accusingly at the screen.

"That's Admiral right now, Captain."

"NOT THIS TIME JOL! Not this time..."

It was the first time Captain Donovan had ever closed the channel on Admiral Aviess, and she frankly wasn't prepared for it. After a moment to compose himself, he exited the ready room and took his seat. His first officer T'Pal leaned over stating:

"Captain, need I remind you, that the Transwarp drive is still in the experimental stages. While we can use it for limited duration increases in warp speed, doing so will leave us incapable of doing so for a short time afterward. If this is a situation we cannot win, we have no means of retreat."

"This isn't the kind of situation we get to retreat from, Commander, and we're not using the drive for a speed boost." He reached down and pressed the ship wide intercom. "All hands, This is the Captain speaking. Prepare for transwarp jump, this is NOT a drill. Battle stations. Strike teams Alpha, Beta, and Charlie prepare for full combat incursion. Repeat: This is NOT a drill."

Everyone on the bridge minus the two Vulcans looked entirely caught off guard, but they did as they were told. From behind, Lt.C Keating tapped the console and reported in.

"All stations report ready, Captain."

He tapped the coordinates into the console built into his char, and with a look of focus and determination driven by anger, James Charles Donovan signaled forward: "Engage."

Within seconds, the nacelles overcharged, bending space itself, instantly placing them within thirty Kilometers from the station.

"Report." Commander T'Pal ordered.

"All stations at the ready. We're picking up an unidentified Vessel at the station, they're jamming all external sensors and communications." Keating chimed, while over the comms, Chief Fine, responded with "Primary and tertiary warp cores are on emergency shutdown, but secondary is still able to put up a fight. I don't recommend we use MultiVector though until we get them all back online though."

"E.T.A?" he asked.

"No clue until we get the smoke cleared, but with how hard the Transwarp drive blew, it nearly took all three cores with it. Had it not been for the shutdown, we would be left on auxiliary."

"Move in. We'll go for a strafing run, we'll hit the ship with a light burst from the cannons, so we can beam in the assault teams. Once inside, the teams orders are to disable and detain. Maximum stun..." He sighed heavily. "Lethal Force is authorized as a last resort."

"Captain?" Commander T'Pal seemed genuinely concerned by this.

"The order stands." He grimaced before giving the order to attack.

The ship moved forward into attack pattern alpha, sweeping down with in kilometers of the stations hull, laying a quick burst into the enemy ship, to no affect. As it came about, it tried to open a hailing frequency, but the unknown vessels only response was to begin launching fighters, which billowed a black plasma cloud from it's exhaust as they moved forward, firing anti-proton cannons. The Geist followed suit, pushing power to the forward shields firing a full spread from the forward arc. To everyone's surprise, the fighters didn't bother dodging the fire. They just pushed through the cannon fire, laying down a spread of almost equal force.

"Come about, push all available power to the weapons." Ordered the first officer as the bridge shook lightly.

Then suddenly, there was a much harder jerk than before.

"Damage Report." Donovan ordered.

"Shields down ten percent and holding, Sir." Keating replied.

"What did they hit us with?"

"A tricobalt device, Captain." T'Pal added.

"A tricobalt device? But fighters are too small to be carrying that kind of firepower."

"Agreed, Sir, but that IS what they have 'hit us' with."

"Mr. Sabin, power status. Can we maintain the shield and the heavier fire?"

"Negative. Their shields are too strong for our standard fire, yet our shields cannot take sustained fire from their projectiles for too long. If we maintain this fight for too long, without the power from all three cores, we will not overtake them."

The ship rocked again as another torpedo hit.

"Devon, what's the status of the cores?"

"We're working as fast as we can, Sir, but the jump drive did a number on a lot of the energy conduits. I'll give you what I can from the secondary, but if we try to restart the other two without replacing the lines, we won't be getting more than a fraction of the power we'd be generating."

The ship shook again, this time as a console shot sparks at Edison, the fully assimilated Science Chief.

"Edison?" asked the First officer, turning her head to check on the fallen crewman.

"It's just a little burnt skin. I've already deactivated pain receptors, but my station is useless, Ma'am." he said in his usual, Borg modulated voice.

"Are you still capable?"

"Yes, Commander."

"Good," Donovan interjected, "head to engineering and give what ever help you can getting those cores back online."

"Aye, Sir." He turned, heading into the turbolift.

Another few shots hit the shields, causing the vacated console to fully explode.

"Sabin: fire control, then full power to the inertial dampeners. Keating: Torpedoes, full spread on my mark. Helm: full power to aft thrusters, pitch and yaw one-eighty. Go" He said, his grip tightening on the arms of the Captain's chair."

The Geist slowed, rolling forward on momentum as the thrusters kicked in, bringing the ship end over end.

"FIRE!"

It was a lucky break, some of the fighters had launched Tricobalt torpedoes and the full complement from the surprise maneuver caught them all, creating a series of spatial anomalies and explosions causing massive damage to the fighters. Most didn't make it, but a few of those that did, made directly for the U.S.S. Geist on

"a collision course!"

"Evasive maneuvers!" the Captain yelled

Commander T'Pal ordered into the ship wide comms "ALL HANDS: BRACE FOR IMPACT!"

Another crash as the lights went flickered, and when another fighter crashed, they went out completely. Emergency lights were on a moment later, but the damage was done.

"Shields are down! We have multiple hull breaches, starboard, decks seven through ten. We're getting casualty reports from each of those decks."

"Emergency fields?"

"Negative Ma'am, all shield subsystems are down."

"Seal the hatches, do we still have the holo-emitters?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Rescue A-7. Use any power you can muster to get photonic soldiers in the sealed off areas. They're on patrol for survivors, ours and theirs. Main priority is to assist the medical teams."

"Aye, Captain."

The Emergency lights flickered as a fighter exploded near the hull, blasted by a hit from the Geist's cutting beam.

"Two fighters left Captain." Keating said, coughing out the smoke from Edison's console.

"Take us in close to the ship, we'll need to set up a little surprise. Sabin, can you work up a little surprise for them?"

The Geist pulled toward the station, moving to dodge shots from the fighters. As it approached, the Geist launched a single high yield torpedo, broadsiding the mystery ship moments after the Federation ship flew passed. It exploded, leaving behind a highly charged graviton field, drawing the damaged fighters directly into the hull of the alien ship. The Explosions did little damage, but at least the ship had a moment to breathe. A moment that was soon filled with a very slow and deliberate clapping.

"You..." Captain Donovan could hardly believe it.

And then, to the horror of the bridge crew came the gruff slightly modulated voice of an old enemy.

"Am I doing this right Captain? You'll have to forgive me, I'm not familiar with many Earther customs."

"Krotious." The disdain in the Captain's voice was clear.

"Where is he Captain?"

"What are you doing here? The last we saw each other, you were flying away in a ship more advanced than anything in this station. What possible reason do yo-"

"I can destroy your vessel a thousand times over, Donovan. Perhaps you should remember just who you're talking to," He started walking closer to the view screen, only to pass through it, straight onto the bridge of the U.S.S. Geist. "-and tell me WHERE IS HE?"

T'Pal drew the phaser holstered to the side of her seat, but as she raised it to fire, Krotious of Borg grabbed the young helmsman by the shirt, tossing him at the First Officer, knocking her against the railing of the tac console. Keating followed suite, only to have the blast negated by Krotious' internal Borg shield. As Captain Donovan stood to strike him, the Klingon shoved him back into the Captains chair. Both Keating and Sabin came around the sides, but Krotious dispatched them easily before swinging his arm to the side, taking out the other helmsman, his eyes never leaving The Captains. As he approached again, Donovan had his own phaser ready, blasting a series low frequency pulses directly into the Cyborg's eyes.

"GAAAAHH ha... Ha ha HA HAHAHA!"

James had forgotten just how unnatural that laugh was, more so after the initial howl of pain and surprise.

"Clever little Earther, that actually hurt. I do believe that you've actually managed to knock some of my sensors."

"What can I say? I don't like uninvited guests on my bridge."

Krotious grabbed the Captain, pulling him close.

"Call him here."

The Captain struggled, Pistol whipping his attacker with the phaser. Krotious however caught his other hand as Donovan swung again, breaking the man's hand in his metallic talon. This time it was the Human's turn to howl in pain and surprise.

"Bring. Him. TO ME!"

Even though his hand was broken, Donovan could only glare into the face of his enemy. At first, Krotious could swear the Captain had made a whine, but as his sensors started coming back, the sound had been coming from his side. The wretch must have knocked hit Krotious harder than he thought, to have disrupted the implant on the side of his head.

"Ahhh, defiant to the last. Is every member of your species this stubborn? Or is it a matter of honor? Always the noble race, yes?" Krotious looked around, before kneeling down and picking up the young ensign by the back of the neck. "Where?"

"Try behind you, ugly."

"Damn you, petaQ!"

As he turned to strike, Wraith used that speed and agility of his to toss the assimilated Klingon against the view screen, hard enough to crack the screen and cause the ringing in his ear to get louder. That is at least, until he realized that it wasn't his ear or a broken implant that was whining. What Krotious had thought to be a desperation move, was merely a distraction and a calculated loss, which allowed the Human to attach his phaser to the Klingon Captain's shoulder. Knowing there wasn't much time, the hand on his cybernetic arm folded backward, the fingers bending further and connecting to the wrist. He raised his arm and shot a heavy pulse directly into Wraith, sending him through the door of the turbolift, as the phaser exploded. The blast shattered the screen behind him, sending a massive shock throughout his already damaged systems.

James moved through the crew, checking their wounds.

"Emergency medical team to the bridge. We have multiple wounded, and one, maybe two dead."

"Acknowledged."

He was glad to hear Tala was okay, a little good news right now.

"Mr. Sabin, are you alright?"

"Mostly."
"Help Ensign R'saur and T'Pal, I think she has a heavy concussion. I'm going to grab the med kit from my ready room to treat that gash on Keating's face before he bleeds out."

"And Lieutenant Jeffers?"

The Captain hung his head for a moment.

"Wraith..." He paused a moment, without lifting his head. "Wraith is in the turbolift. He's alive, but I have no clue what that insane monster did to him."

He went into his ready room, ignoring the mess that used to be his office, grabbing a med kit from a panel behind the washroom door. As he rushed back to the bridge, he was abruptly stopped by the five razor sharp claws on the remaining arm of a very weakened Klingon. Each one pierced through the uniform and flesh with ease. Both men fell to their knees, unable to bare the others weight. The crew had been too busy helping Keating and Wraith, to notice Krotious struggle to his feet. His real arm missing, with massive injuries and burns over the rest of his side. As he fell over, he was beamed out by his ship, missing out on a lethal blast from T'Pal's phaser. Things seemed to slow down as Captain Donovan began to fall. He saw Wraith lying there, motionless. T'Pal was yelling something as she rushed towards her Captain, but it had been to muffled sounding.

As his head hit the deck, he was fading fast, losing consciousness as shock finally took over. The medical team coming in through the second lift, was the last thing he saw before it had all faded into the abyss...


To Be Continued...

Last edited by wraithshadow13; 03-13-2014 at 10:07 AM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8,084
# 36
03-13-2014, 10:36 AM
This is sort of a chronology--different from how I usually write. Trying for short, light, and humorous here.

LC 7 redux: "Why Three banned cadets from her ship".

--Day 1, hours 1 through 4. The events of my LC 59 submission take place. Starfleet security removes the remains of Rianna Vell for transport back to Betazed. Cadets are interrogated lightly by Starfleet Security. Admiral Janeway gives the official all-clear and tells Three to "Get the hell out of Sol system, and keep those cadets alive."

--Day 2, hour 7. Cadet James Wilkins trips over his own feet while Chief Engineer Belkrab is demonstrating EPS conduit repair, and accidentally crashes head-first into the open conduit. He is treated for second-degree burns and has the charred remains of his hair removed for sanitary reasons.

--Day 3, hour 4. Two male human cadets get into a fight over a female Orion cadet in the mess hall. Captain Three is guzzling Dosi rotgut as the fight breaks out in an unsuccessful attempt to get drunk*, and physically hits the cadets' heads together until they stop fighting. Both cadets are treated for concussions and massive head bruises.

--Day 3, hour 8. Cadet Brox, a Bolian, takes some holodeck time, and accidentally activates the Captain's private romance program. A malfunction traps her in the holodeck with the safeties off, and she is beamed out seconds before the Titanic sinks with her trapped on board.

--Day 4, hour 16. Another fistfight over the aforementioned Orion cadet, between the same two numbskulls, becomes a giant brawl that effectively breaks the entire mess hall. Three orders all stop for repairs and confines all 30-odd fighters to the Brig.

--Day 4, hour 20. Two Breen starships drop out of warp and attack Three's ship, the Predator, in the interests of recapturing it for the Confederacy. They are disabled, but the Predator is forced to make an emergency landing on a nearby planet.

--Day 5, hour 17. Chief Engineer Belkrab finishes repair. Three orders an immediate return to the Sol system.

--Day 6, hour 10. The Predator arrives back at Earth spacedock several weeks early and discharges all cadets. Three sends a very profane letter to Command saying, on no uncertain terms, that she will not under any circumstances go through that mess again.

* Nemesis units are incapable on getting drunk under normal circumstances due to their rapid metabolism.
Founder and Grand Vizier of the Sovereign Ba'al joke. Hail Ba'al! Our theme song
My official eternal issue: Why no muscle definition slider? Let's have some equal-opportunity sexiness, Cryptic!
PWE: NO to mandatory ARC! At least make it optional!

Last edited by worffan101; 03-13-2014 at 10:53 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,105
# 37
03-13-2014, 04:44 PM
LC: Lone Drone




The IRW Tomalak, a D'Deredix class warbird, hovered in orbit of a generic class M world, seven light years from the Solonae Dyson Sphere. They were under cloak, observing strange activities of the Borg.

Commander D'Elon stood in front of her command chair. She always preferred to stand, it forced her to be the centre of focus, as she should be. "Report." She looked over to Sub-commander Satra, her science expert and second in command. "The Borg are still clustered in a single area." Satra said. "There's no sign of assimilation. No sign of activity. They're simply...... putting drones on the surface."

D'Elon frowned. "What in the name of the Raptor's Wing are they doing?" She pressed a comm button on her command chair. "Lolius. Report."
"We've completed the modifications to the cage. Completely seperate from all power systems, no networks, multi frequency forcefields and a small canister of plasma coolant behind a bulkhead. We're as ready as we're going to be."


D'Elon tilted her head back slightly, staring at the Borg Cubes orbiting the blue marble. The Star Empire would learn what the Collective was doing here. And if it was something they could use, then they would. Before the Federation, Klingons or Romulan Republic could get their hands on it. "Transporter room. Energise."


In the modified cell of the Brig, a glimmer of green lights heralded the arrival of a Borg drone beamed up from the surface. The female figure turned and stared at Lolius, who dropped his instrument in shock. He quickly slammed the comm panel. "COMMANDER! COMMANDER! W'VE BEAMED UP A QUEEN!"
D'Elon let out a string of curses before ordering the ship to move away from the system at half impulse, so as not to trigger the Borg sensors. Once confirmed the ship was not detected, D'Elon made her way from the bridge, pausing only to observe a diamond ship warp into the system, flanked by a pair of cubes. The Commander hurried towards the Brig, ordering an extra three security teams.



As D'Elon entered the Brig, Ta'al was already positioning Centurions around the room. Lolius was behind a console, finger twitching over the release button for the Plasma Coolant, ready to liquify her organic components at a moment's notice. The Queen was stood up against the forcefield, staring intently at the Romulan Engineer, which only served to make Lolius even more nervous. D'Elon stood directly infront of the Queen, staring her down. "You are in command of the Collective. If we kill you, the Collective dies. So do as we say, or you die."

The Queen looked directly into the Romulan's eyes, observing her before she spoke. "I do not control the Collective. I am the collective."
"Same difference. What are the Borg doing on this planet?"
"So direct. I like that. Such bluntness is a trait we admire. It helps one achieve one's objective so much quicker."
"Start answering the questions, or I'll dump you in the singularity core of this ship."
The Queen frowned, a smile ever so slightly tugging playfully at the edge of her lips. "Now I know you're bluffing. The Romulan Republic is allied with the Federation. They will never execute anyone."
"Then you've been misinformed. This ship is part of the Romulan Star Empire. The Romulan Republic is not an officially recognised government. There are plenty more drones on the planet. One of them will be more forthcoming."

D'Elon turned to Lolius. "Beam this ***** into the core."

The Queen barely had time to look surprised as she was transported away. In Engineering, her screams rang out from the Singularity Core as she was torn to pieces and quickly compressed. In the Brig, D'Elon simply sneered and left for the Bridge. Upon arriving, she stood in front of her chair.

"That Queen was unresponsive. But as she's now dead, the Collective will be in dissaray. At least until they install a new one. Helm. Take us back to the planet. We'll fish another drone."


As the warbird turned and made their way back to the planet, Satra walked over to D'Elon. "Sir, is this such a wise idea?"
"We have orders to investigate what the Borg are doing here."
"Yes, but we were lucky last time. Is it such a good idea to try again so soon?"

D'Elon turned to her friend. "Satra, we may be on the far side of the galaxy, but we still have a mission. The Borg have shown up in the Beta Quadrant. Whatever they are doing here will have repurcussions back home. We need to know. And as officers of the Empire, everyone on this ship made a vow to uphold the integrity and security of the Empire with their lives."
"I understand.... but I still think this is a bad idea."


Before D'Elon could reply, Oensach shouted from his sensor station. "Sir, detecting a Thalaron Radiation buildup from the Borg construct!" D'Elon turned quickly to the officer. "Beam a drone up. NOW!"


The Romulan ship's advanced cloaking abilities allowed them to use their transporter while remaining cloaked. A lone drone was plucked from the group mere moments before a green pulse envelopped the planet, killing everything there. D'Elon opened a comm, asking Lolius to confirm if they have a drone.

"Errr..... Yes Sir. We have a Borg.... but it's another Queen."


That puzzled D'Elon. Why would there be more than one Queen on the planet? Where all the Borg signatures Queens? What was going on? "I'm on my way."









D'Elon entered the Brig once more. Sure enough, there was another Queen in the cell. D'Elon marched up to her and once again stared her in the eye. She was exactly the same as the last one. Same face. Same eyes. Same arrogance.... no, not the same arrogance. She was visibly nervous. This was an interesting twist. D'Elon smiled as she spoke. "Queen. I don't know if you are aware of what happened with the last one who didn't answer our questions, but-"
"I'm aware. We were still linked into the Collective at that point. We were all aware."
"Good. Then you will tell me what the Borg are doing on this planet."
The Queen hesitated. She was clearly trying to decide what was in her best interest. She decided quickly. "They were dealing with us."
"Us?"
"Yes. Specifically, me. Or.... the original me. The many me." She sighed and sat down, defeated, yet still maintaining that air of superiority. "We..... were not always the Borg. Originally, a long time ago, I was a simple individual on a simple world. Until the Borg showed up. They assimilated my people. Ripped apart families. Stole everything that made us unique. I saw a power I had never seen. And I wanted it. So I spent the next ten years working on a way to gain that power."
"By becoming their Queen?"
"Basically, yes. I began cloning myself, hundreds, perhaps thousands, and slowly began spreading myself through the Collective, allowing my clones to be assimilated. Eventually, I had a combined mental presence within the Collective to begin shifting their mentality. Over the next few years, I turned them from seeking to elevate all species to their level of greatness, to a quest for perfection. It was the ultimate goal. The only thing I could do with such power at my command."
"When was this?"
"Mid 2360's."
"Starfleet reports did indicate the Borg shifted their objectives around that time."
"It took a few more years, but I eventually managed it. I took full control, with my own mind acting as the central processor for everything. All I had to do was say a command, and it would be carried out without question."
"I can certainly see the lure of such power. So what went wrong?"
"The Borg did what they were designed to do. They adapted. It took them 50 years, but they finally overcame my influence. A shame. I had such great plans."
"Wait. Is that why the Borg have been mutilating themselves recently?"
"Mutilating?"
"Yes. Appearing more cybernetic, gutting out all but the core of their organics. Becoming basic cybernetic Endoskeletons with only a trace of organic?"
The Queen paused to think about it. "Yes. I suppose it was. They were trying to purge themselves. Finally, they succeeded. But I'm greatful for you rescuing me. Now, I can adapt and reclaim my collective."
"I think not. Lolius. Gas her."
"What?" The Queen smashed her fists against the forcefield, trying to adapt. D'Elon simply narrowed her eyes as she snarled. "You are responsible for the Borg's actions over the past fifty years. I hold you as a war criminal. And as such, I sentence you accordingly. By your own admission, you are guilty of galactic genocide. I sentence you to death." D'Elon turned and nodded to Lolius. The Queen screamed in rage as plasma coolant was vented into the cell, burning away her flesh. D'Elon remained motionless, watching her die. She felt no pity for this creature. One of thousands of clones, apparantly. And the cause of so much grief over the years. If the Borg had killed the rest of the Queens, then this could mean the end of their presence in the Beta Quadrant. After all, they only started appearing there around the time she took control. Once the cell was vented, D'Elon stepped inside, staring down at the twitching corpse with disgust. She placed her heel over the exposed neck and pushed down firmly, breaking it. Relieved this was over, she walked to the console and hailed the Bridge.


"Set course for home. We've got what we came for."
"Commander, sensors picked up a Defiant class vessel also in orbit of the planet. It engaged a Borg cube, but then fled when it was outmatched."
"Did it detect us?"
"No evidence it did."
"Then make a note of it's ID and engage warp."


As she felt her ship jump into warp, she looked back to the corpse, science teams already starting to analyse what they can. It was a fantastic tale. But was it true? Were there any more Queens out there? And if they had all been killed, what did it mean for the future?
*******************************************

A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'

Last edited by grylak; 03-13-2014 at 04:54 PM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8,084
# 38 Q, you bastard!
03-14-2014, 09:23 AM
LC 45 redux, using a prompt from the community thread because I felt like it.

"I'm really not cut out for this, you know."

"Oh, come, come now," said Q, sitting on nothing. "Look how dramatic, how fluid, how natural you look right now! You were born for this, you just needed a devilishly handsome god to help you get where you needed to be!"

"I think I'm going to puke."

Commander Azip Shran (first officer, USS George Takei) was currently hanging by her ankles from a rope, being slowly lowered down the side of an entirely too-tall tower on a world that made no sense. Below, a few hundred gholan, vaguely reptilian things in loincloths wielding nasty-looking black spears and axes, snarled and leaped excitedly.

If Azip had had her phaser, she would've made mincemeat of them. As it was, the idiotic humans she was supposed to save were about to sacrifice her to these guys.

Something about "not wanting the return of the One Dragon". Which, according to Q and that portentous dude with the stupidly long beard and the pompous voice, Azip was. Despite being Andorian, not human like the inhabitants of this world (gholan excepted). And despite never hearing of this planet with its unpronounceable name and thousands of years of history ever before.

"You know, you dropped me here in the raw, you overheated puffball. I was in the middle of something with Three when you nabbed me. When I get back? I'm so totally telling your wife that you were spying on lesbians to get your perverted thrills."

Q--Three called him "John deLancie" and said that he was "totally awesome"--snickered.

"Oh, out of words? You know, you could use those Q powers to get me out of this mess and put me back on the ship!"

He spread his arms magnanimously, which looked extremely odd from Azip's current perspective. "I'm sorry, but I can't. Narrative rules, you know..."

"Those guys are going to eat me. You and I both saw what they were doing to their captives; they set up a sentient meat farm for the Elements' sake! And you're just going to let those idiot up there in Castle Unpronounceable lower me like a snow-lurker's lure?"

"You have great power, O One Dragon! You must use it to save..."

"In case you haven't noticed? I don't have power. Not one iota of random reality-warping talent, even though that seems to be the norm here, at least for old dudes in funny hats and ridiculous robes. So, would you please help me out? Vaporize those guys? Get me back to the ship right freaking now?"

"Look, I'm giving you all the hints I can here. You are, most unfortunately, the One Dragon, which gives you ultimate power over wind and wave and yadda yadda yadda. This universe's equivalent of the Q think a lot like you sometimes; they threatened to tell my wife some things that I would rather she not know, unless I got you here so that you could get the ultimate power or whatever. I'm as new to this as you are, and they said that they'd tell my wife if I interfered directly!"

"Doesn't change the fact that she deserves to be told, you're a jerk, and I'm being lowered to my death and consumption."

"I was told that you're supposed to be able to call down lightning and summon the winds. Just do that!"

"Oh, for the Elements' sake! I'm upside down, starting to have issues from the blood pooling in my head, and being slowly lowered to a bunch of guys who will r*** me to death, eat me, and sew my skin into underpants. And that's if I'm lucky. So I'd really appreciate a little help here!"

"I was told that you have to face all of your challenges on your own, or they'll tell my wife! I'm being blackmailed here!"

The gholan were maybe fifty feet below now, sharpening their axes in excitement.

"Hey, it's MY life that's in imminent danger here! What am I supposed to do, fight them all off? I'm MACO-rated, but nobody can fight off three hundred lizard guys...well, except Three, but she's special that way. So it's just me against three hundred evil lizards, and I don't have my combat armor or my phaser, because as has been previously noted you kidnapped me while I was in bed with my girlfriend, you utter ***hole!"

"I'm being blackmailed here!" Thirty feet. The gholan were slavering now--then again, they always were.

"Oh, and that's so much more important than my imminent painful death! Damn it, what I wouldn't give for Three right about now..."

"I was told that you would have incredible power in this universe! And they're blackmailing me, what was I supposed to do?"

"Not kidnap me while I'm in the middle of something, that's for sure." Twenty feet. "Look, they're going to tear me apart, my hands are tied, and I'm hanging by my ankles here because those superstitious human idiots up there don't like me for whatever reason. Please help with at least one of those problems?"

"But...blackmail..."

"Oh, you useless idiot...GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!"

At which point the rope snapped for no reason whatsoever.

"Oh, sh**..."

And then Azip crashed to the ground, right on top of a rather large and ugly gholan. The other monsters shrieked with glee and leaped, starting to fight for first dibs at their prey.

Really would be good to have Three right about now... thought Azip as the monsters started tugging at her legs.

And then there was an explosion of light and sound, and the glorious, sleek, gargantuan shape of the George Takei exploded out of the air, leveled out, and spun like a Hirogen escort with a sound like a thunderclap.

Oh, f*** yeah!

The gholan turned as one and gaped stupidly. Then something small and dark shot out of one of the forward torpedo tubes.

Oh, darling, you did NOT just...yeah, you just did that.

Captain Nemesis unit designation Three unfolded in midair and crashed through the massed gholan like a living engine of destruction--which was technically what she was. Azip tugged again at the ropes holding her arms, which blessedly loosened. Must've been ripped by the gholan or something during that scrum.

Azip gave Q the finger, grabbed an unattended axe, and started hitting gholan as Three ripped lizard monsters apart on the other side of the mess.

The gholan were just smart enough to realize that they were in real trouble, but not smart enough to drop everything and run. Seven of them rushed Azip at once and managed to grab and restrain her (she killed three of them, though--MACO training is a useful thing) before trying to run away.

Three decapitated them before they'd gone fifty yards.

"Sorry we're late, honey. Please forgive me for not suggesting that we start where we left off. Nice outfit."

"Better late than never, darling. Thanks--it's actually pretty comfortable. Pity the lizard dudes ripped it up."

"I see John deLancie is here, in all of his magnificent bastard glory." She gave Q the finger with both hands, then lazily chopped an incautious gholan in half with an armblade. "How was your week?"

"Got kidnapped by Q, turned up naked and unsatisfied in the middle of a crater in some city, grabbed a random thing to use as a weapon that turned out to be a mystical sacred axe that only the chosen one could lift, was declared the chosen one and informed of my destiny to save this place, went on a quest with a useless Q and a useless pompous old dude with a beard who can alter reality but not apparently send me home, got attacked by lizard dudes, learned about their leader--some dude called Dread Lord Molgarathicus or something--"

"Molgarath, Dread Master of all gholan and Lord of the Mountains of Mist," said Q very quickly.

"--yeah, that, he's a sexist douche who captured me and wanted to r*** me because he sucks, so I kicked him in the balls and he apparently forgot his evil staff of power and obnoxiousness and ran--well, sort of gingerly scuttled--away whimpering. Then I got told to convince the king of that big tower place to march his armies against the bad guys, and I called him a sexist, misogynist imbecile to his face when he was going on and on about not wanting the chosen one back or something, so they hung me out the window and that's when you showed up. How was your week?"

"Well, I was unsatisfied too, but D'vek managed to track the transreality conduit that John deLancie used, and we managed to fit the ship through it. I beamed to the torpedo room and shot myself out because why not? And that's where we are."

"Sounds like you had fun. I had to deal with chauvinist idiots and a shocking lack of quality toilet facilities."

Three winced. "Ouch. Anybody you want me to kill, honey?"

It was at this point that a tall fellow in a black cloak and a spiky helmet appeared in a cloud of smoke, a flash, a bang, and a gout of fire from the ground. He laughed menacingly.

"Mwahahahahaaa!!! YOU SEE BEFORE YOU YOUR MASTER, THE UNBELIEVABLY POWERFUL DARK LORD OF--arglbargl..." He cut off as Three grabbed him by the throat.

"This the Dark Lord guy who sexually assaulted you?" The man scrabbled desperately at the iron grip of the unit, who ignored him.

"Yeah. Uh, he's DEFINITELY on my kill list."

"Awesome. Did he actually, y'know..."

"Nah, I kicked him in the balls first. He did strap me to a rather hard bed in the raw and make lewd comments about my...assets. Plus he very openly intended to r*** me."

"Right," said Three, and squeezed.

"Honey?" said Azip when she was done throwing up.

"Yeah?"

"Too much. Strangling him was fine. Squeezing...like...what you just did? Maybe a little over the top, honey."

"Mood killer?"

"A bit, yeah. He was a douchebag and killed a lot of people and hurt a lot of others, but...mood killer."

"Huh," said Three, wiping the gore and bone chips off of her hand with a wet wipe she pulled out of her pocket. "Might want to work on that, I guess. Hey, deLancie, you done kidnapping my girlfriend?"

"I...uh...I'll see what I can do. You should probably go now before things get really ugly." Q looked a little green about the gills.

"Awesome. Three to George Takei. Two to beam up."

As she dematerialized, Commander Azip Shran shot a highly insulting Andorian gesture that translated into Standard as "Your mates laugh at your lack of seed" at Q. This accomplished absolutely nothing whatsoever, but made the Commander feel extremely pleased with herself.

They materialized in the transporter room, and Three gave the order to leave. The battlecruiser turned ponderously, engines screaming in atmo, and ripped a hole in the universe, which it entered.

Commander Azip Shran would remember the entire affair in particular for the sixteen-hour debriefing that Starfleet Command insisted on so that all of the Admirals could hear the whole story of the mess six or seven times.
Founder and Grand Vizier of the Sovereign Ba'al joke. Hail Ba'al! Our theme song
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PWE: NO to mandatory ARC! At least make it optional!

Last edited by worffan101; 03-14-2014 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Typos...
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,377
# 39
03-14-2014, 04:19 PM
LC #59 - Remember Betazed

Mindkiller (with apologies to Spider Robinson)

Captain's Log, USS Bedford NCC-92570
Captain Grunt recording.

We are now en route to the Bajoran Wormhole, escorting Ambassador Everan and his three Jem'Hadar bodyguards back to Dominion space following talks with the Federation. For a Vorta, I find Everan to be unusually accepting of those who don't share his religious beliefs - most of them seem positively shocked that we don't worship the Founders the moment we meet one. I suppose that's how he got to be an ambassador, though.

We're also carrying a team of five Federation diplomats, who intend to continue the talks in Dominion territory. Roclak's been complaining for days about the
Bedford being used as a passenger liner. I don't mind that so much - it just seems foolish to me to give up an edge in negotiations. But the diplomats say this is the best way to carry forward, and they're the ones in the Diplomatic Corps, not me, so perhaps they actually are right.

It might just be my misgivings about the crew's performance, too. Nothing I can really point at, but things just don't seem right since we took all these passengers aboard. Oddly, the Vorta is the only one I'm going to miss when we reach our destination. The Ambassador and I will be dining in one of my favorite holodeck programs this evening. I hope he doesn't mind my snail steak - Rock won't even eat in the same room as me any more.


"One of my great regrets," the Vorta ambassador said, "is that I never found time to visit Ferenginar. The weather seems quite nice - it reminds me of my home district in springtime. Is it true that you constantly maintain it?"

Outside the holographic representation of a window, a gentle rain fell, blanketing the half-seen swampland with fog. Inside, Grunt smiled. "We purchased the weather-control devices from Risa almost two hundred years ago. We've made a few improvements since, of course. The histories say that when the Risan engineers were told the settings we wanted, they thought we were all insane. Any Ferengi appreciates a good rain, though."

"As well you should, Captain. Rain is one of the great blessings of the FoundaaaAAAAAUUUUUGGGHHH!" The Vorta collapsed, clutching his head, screaming.

Grunt leapt to the ambassador's side, slapping his combadge. "Grunt to sickbay! Medical emergency, Holodeck 2! The Ambassador's down!"

"tr'Dalen. We're busy right now, captain. All three Jem'Hadar seem to be undergoing systemic shock. You'll have to bring the Ambassador here yourself. No, I said stabilize him, you ham-fisted dha'rudh! I swear by all the Elements, if that one dies..." tr'Dalen trailed off into something emphatic-sounding in Romulan, just before the transmission cut off.

Grunt tapped his combadge again. "Grunt to transporter room. Two to beam directly to sickbay, stat!"

"Acknowleged." A familiar azure swirl formed around Grunt and Everan, and the holographic restaurant was replaced by an unusually hectic Sickbay.

tr'Dalen looked around at the sound. "Good, you're here. Get him up on that biobed. Ferst, set up support program 7 and engage the psionic dampeners." The Betazoid nurse hastened to comply, as Grunt hefted the Vorta's semiconscious body up onto a bed.

"Psionic dampeners?" Grunt asked, puzzled.

"Yes," the Romulan replied. "I've seen something like this before, back during one of the Reman rebellions. It's an assassination technique usable only by a telepath or empath of sufficient strength - overwhelming the target's neural system with sensation or emotion. Given what I know about Jem'Hadar endocrine systems, someone's trying to hate these things to death."

"'Hate' them to death? Who'd want to do that? And how?"

The Vorta stirred. "Voices..." he whispered. "...scream... remember... Betazed..."

"Mycroft!" Grunt called out.

The AI coalesced next to him. "Yes, sir?"

"Was Ambassador Everan or any of his previous clones ever assigned to Betazed? Maybe during the Dominion occupation?"

"One moment, sir, checking... No, this was Everan's first trip out of the Gamma Quadrant. Apparently, his predecessors tended to be rather conciliatory, which is fine for an ambassador, but not for front-line troops."

"Well, that's an odd thing for him to say--"

"There's more, sir," Mycroft interrupted. "I've just turned up a reference to an apparent insurgent group calling itself 'Remember Betazed'. Their hypernet site says that they are devoted to, quote, 'keeping the memory of the Occupation alive, and punishing those who subjugated our world.' It seems to be a fairly minor group, but aside from that hypernet site, I can find no further information, which seems a bit suspicious to me - if the group is active, as this site seems to claim, there should be at least an occasional mention of them in newsfeeds from Betazed, but there's nothing. And there was a group fighting the Dominion occupation of Betazed during the Dominion War using a similar technique..."

"Begging the Captain's pardon--" a hesitant voice spoke up.

Grunt looked around. "Yes, Lieutenant?" he said to the Betazoid nurse next to Everan's bed.

"I, ah, I can tell you why there's no news about -- about that group, sir. I-- I'm not, ah, proud of this, sir, but I have an uncle who was an Arby - a member of Remember Betazed. There are, like, maybe twenty or thirty members in the entire world, and most of them are people who tried to make it into the freedom fighters during the Occupation and couldn't - they didn't have the empathic strength. If these Jem'Hadar had been assassinated by one of them, sir, it would have had to have been with a weapon, not -- not that." The lieutenant paled as he spoke.

Grunt nodded. "Thanks, son. That helps. So, the attack came from a powerful telepath, but not - what did you call them? Not an 'Arby'. LLunih, how many telepathic crew members do we have?"

"Four, but none this strong. If we had a telepath able to do this on board, he'd be your new comms officer." The Romulan shook his head. "Maybe one of the diplomats - there are two Betazoids in that group..."

"Hmm. Maybe. Then again, maybe something else." Grunt looked into space for a moment. "I think I know a way to either find our assassin, or eliminate the diplomats. LLunih, if we could speak privately for a moment..."

*******************

Outside the conference room, Grunt stopped and turned to Lt. Zoex. "Now remember, if I haven't given you the all-clear in two minutes after this door closes, contact Shelana and tell her we have a Priority Omega-Seven in this room."

"Of course, sir, but - what's a Priority Omega-Seven?"

"I'll tell you later. Ferengi brains are harder for telepaths to read than most, but just in case this one manages the trick, it's better if it can't tell from you."

Grunt stood erect, straightened his tunic, and marched through the door of the conference room, facing five annoyed diplomats.

Their putative leader, a Trill named Jenan Greft, stood as Grunt entered the room. Pointedly, the others remained seated. "Captain Grunt," Greft said, with faint emphasis on the title, "we really must protest this heavy-handed treatment!"

Grunt bowed. "I apologize on behalf of Starfleet Operations," he said, "but it would seem that there was a rather unpleasant disease on the station just before we left. It appears to be harmless to most life forms, but it has proved fatal for at least one of our Jem'Hadar guests. I'm sure you don't wish to provoke any untoward incidents on arrival in Dominion space - fortunately, our Dr. tr'Dalen has formulated an inoculation that will clear any infections from your systems. I have come to administer the shots personally, by way of atoning for this greivous insult." He placed a carefully calculated degree of fawning into his inflections and stance.

The Trill softened. "Oh, very well, Captain. Gentlemen, if we could please line up here, we can get this over with and return to our duties."

The diplomats shuffled into a rough line, while Grunt wondered quietly what "duties" could possibly be occupying them aboard the Bedford. Greft, at the head of the line, rolled up his sleeve; Grunt removed the hypospray from his pocket and injected the Trill with LLunih's inoculant.

Four more times the hypospray hissed, and Grunt announced, "Thank you, gentlemen. Now, there will just be a short pause while we wait to make sure there are no side effects, and we can all return to what we were doing. Drinks?"

One of the Betazoid representatives in the group began to choke, one arm spasming. "What - what was in that shot?" he demanded, his voice dropping to a vicious growl at the end.

"Oh, nothing much," Grunt replied cheerfully. "Just some vitamins, a temporary psionic suppressant - the effects should wear off in about an hour - and something LLunih whipped up to counteract that stuff the Undine use to hold their shapes. What's it called again?"

The "Betazoid" collapsed, writhing. Abruptly, in his place there rose a tall tripedal form, slate-gray skin covering a form that spoke of horror to any who knew of Species 8472 - the Undine. "You were clever, for an animal," the thing growled. "Your mind is not as open to me as these others - but it will be!" The thing's eyes blazed, and Grunt found himself pinned against the wall, his boots almost half a meter off the floor. The Undine came closer, settling one hand on Grunt's head. "The weak shall--!" It suddenly stopped speaking, as its head flew from its bifurcated neck.

"Perish?" came a familar voice from behind the Undine. "You certainly shall." Commander Shelana began wiping the Undine's ichor from the blade of her prized bat'leth, her eyes as cold as the fields of Andor. "Say hello to my mates in Hell."

Grunt slid to the floor. "Thanks, Shel," he said weakly. "Just in time, as usual."

"Good thing you sent the kid to get me," she replied, antennae twitching. "With all due respect, Captain sir, mind telling me why you were so freezing stupid as to come in here alone if you thought there might be an Undine?"

"Well," Grunt explained, climbing to his feet, "I figured that if the telepaths we know have a hard time reading a Ferengi four-lobed brain, the ones who aren't even used to our universe should have an even harder time. And I didn't want this - thing - figuring out what was going on before we had a chance to expose it. Zoex and I were the only two who even had a chance of getting this close, and I wasn't about to send a kid like that into this alone. Besides, I had to have someone to alert you when it was too busy with me to pay attention to its surroundings, right?" He put on his best charming smile.

She appeared unmoved. "And what made you think 'Undine' in the first place? I though Mycroft's working theory was a Betazoid terrorist."

"According to the Betazoid nurse in sickbay, this 'terrorist' group doesn't actually have anyone as a member who's capable of carrying out their attacks. They're about as significant as Terra Prime on Earth, or the Andorian movement to restore the Regency. So the attacker couldn't have been one of them. That led me to the Fourteenth Rule of Acquisition - in any deal, find out who profits most. Had we assumed the attacker was Betazoid, as we were obviously supposed to, that would have led to mass suspicion of Betazoids throughout the Federation, splitting away one of the core members of that Federation and weakening the organization as a whole. And who profits most from that? The Undine, of course."

"That makes sense - I suppose. Very well, sir, but as your security chief I must protest your throwing yourself into danger with no backup."

"But I had backup, my dear," Grunt said, smiling broadly. "I had you."

She grimaced at him.

Grunt turned back to Greft. "Consul, I would like to apologize again for interrupting your evening, and for my security chief decapitating one of your team members." He bowed.

Greft blinked. "Quite all right, Captain. Couldn't be helped, obviously. And thank you for rooting out that traitor in our midst. Who knows what kind of disadvantageous agreements we might have reached under that being's influence? Rest assured, when we return to Deep Space Nine to file our formal report with the Diplomatic Corps, your gallant actions, and those of the Commander, will be prominently mentioned."

Grunt bowed again, hiding his amusement. "It was nothing, Consul. Standard Starfleet procedure, nothing more."
-------------------------------------------
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; 03-16-2014 at 05:03 PM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 14,497
# 40
03-14-2014, 10:36 PM
LC59 redux: (partial first draft)

Eridian was in her ready room when a priority message came in from Starfleet command. The message was from an Admiral Sh'reth, a Caitian she'd never met or talked to before. The message inside was short: "For your eyes only." It came with a small but heavily encrypted file.

"what the???" is the only thing Eridian said as she read the decrypted file: "Come to Starbase 215 immediately. Admiral S'voluk." Eridian didn't know what to make of it at first. She'd never even heard of the Vulcan S'voluk, but decided to go along with it anyways. She pushed a button on her desk and addressed her bridge crew, "Set course for Starbase 215, maximum speed." A few moments later, she walked onto her bridge as the U.S.S. Rachel-B hurtled towards the starbase at Warp 30.

"What's the matter, Admiral?" 12 of 33 asked as Eridian entered.

"I wish I knew," Eridian replied. "I guess we'll find out when we get there."

"We have an hour." 12 of 33 said, "perhaps it would be prudent to look to see if anything interesting has happened there recently?"

"Hmm, it certainly wouldn't hurt."

"Where to start?" Nescza, the Andorian tactical officer, said.

"Look up all departures and arrivals in the last few days."

Nescza looks in the console data for a while. "Nothing has left today. At all. Not even a single freighter."

"That's strange, it's a major starbase." Eridian said. "What was the last ship to leave?"

"The Rochli, a Boslic freighter. It departed on it's regular schedule."

"What about the ships that are still there? Did any of them file a flight plan that would have had them leave before now?"

"Hmm... several..." Nescza said as she read through it in more detail. "Hmmm.... hard to be sure why they haven't left, nothing was logged."

"Extremely suspicious" 12 of 33 said. "The Belville was scheduled to be in B'Tran right now. Something is strange."

"Hmm..." Eridian replied. "Has anything happened to them?"

"There's nothing listed out of the ordinary." Nescza, "The ship stopped to resupply and several of the crew beamed over for personal time on the starbase."

"Wait." 7 of 35 said. "The numbers of personnel beamed down don't match the number that beamed up."

"Any indication who or why?"

"Hmm..." 12 of 33 replied, "This is odd. The station computer won't let me access a list of personnel on the station. Hmm.... But, if I stream the data logs from the station internal sensors I can reconstruct the locations of the crew of the Belville." She typed at the console for a while then a display of the starbase appeared on screen. "Everyone who isn't a member of the Belville's crew is marked in blue. As the crew of the Belville beams down, each of them will be marked in green." The bridge crew watched carefully as green dots appeared and moved around the starbase rapidly.

"Wait!" the two Borg said almost simultaneously. "One of them disappeared from the scanners but didn't beam up. Rewinding to time index 05:32:00." 12 of 33 said as she paused the data display and rewound it to a little over five and a half hours after the first of the Belville's crew beamed down.

"Zoom in so we can get a better look at what happened." Nescza said.

"Increasing magnification 4x." 12 of 33 said as she prepared to resume the display. When the display resumed, a female Vorta was visible walking aimlessly around a corridor in the shopping area on the starbase. She seemed to be looking at the various kiosks with no particular interest in any of them. As she was pondering one of them, she was approached by a male figure who talked with her briefly before the two of them walked into a turbo lift. "And that's it." 12 of 33 said in an ominous tone.

"What do you mean?"

"I can't find any sign of them after they entered the turbolift." 7 of 35 said. "I ran a computer search of all the sensor data we retrieved. After time index 05:37:14, there are no sensor recordings of that individual in the data we retrieved."

"And all the others are accounted for?"

"Correct."

"So who were those two people"

"The Vorta was a doctor named Yarrath. As far as I can tell, she was picked up as a result of a personnel exchange with the Dominion a month ago and nothing out of the ordinary happened between then and this."

"And the man?"

"That's the interesting part. The energy reading of him are too distorted to identify him beyond that he's probably Betazoid."

"Distorted how?"

"The distortion pattern is consistent with Breen masking technology, but it looks like it was set to low power to avoid attracting attention."

"Oh, a Betazoid assassin? That definitely sounds like something that could pose a problem." Nescza said.

"Well, we're almost to the starbase, so we should find out soon." Eridian replied.
HAIL HYDRA!

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