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Hello everyone and welcome to our writers challenges!

From here on forward we are going to close each thread after two weeks and insert it into this one for safekkeeping.

Thanks so much for everyone who is participating! Please see the index thread for a "jump-to" option.

-WishStone and all our writing Fans

Literary Challenge #1 : Prized Possessions

For our first challenge I have selected something easy: Prized Possessions.
Write about something that is close to the heart of your captain. Maybe it was an item you were given by a member of your House when you got your first command. Maybe it was a trinket you found in the ruins of a raided town. Maybe it is a framed document from your medical studies. Or that one weapon you took off a defeated enemy?

Please do not go for any pets in this lit! It has to be about an object.

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

The rules may change from one to the other, but I'd like to give a quick recap each time. These may grow as we move on, so feel free to also give feedback!
  • Each poster can have one entry. Feel free to edit you post however to fix typos, add stuff or remove stuff as you see fit!
  • Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky a subject and have at it.
  • We'll have two threads: One to post the stories, one to discuss the stories. *I will allow cross-linking between these two threads!!*
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-06-2011, 12:13 PM
"Ahh yes, my trombone! I remember it well. It actually belonged to my old Tactical tutor at the Academy, back when I played the clarinet, and most nights we'd hang by the bar on deck 3 and entertain the masses, along with Yates on drums and K'rell on piano. Ah, how life was so much simpler back then.

Of course, I've never played it since I got it. I never had the lung capacity for brass instruments, and I'll always remember him playing it like it was yesterday, belting out "You bring a new kind of love to me" to every young female ensign willing enough to spend some time paying him attention.

And, of course, I'll never forget him standing up on the leaving celebrations just after the admiral had finished talking, picking up his trombone, and signalling the 'last post of ye ensign', to the tears of tutor and student alike."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-06-2011, 01:21 PM
Please excuse the eye patch and pass the honour biscuits this way .. Thank you.
I wasn't always a Fleet Admiral that looks like I have a targ taped to my belly.

When I was young I stepped up to earn General Wolfe's House Honour and myself Glory
My Prize possession Adorns the Mess Hall Trophy Case .
On Board The IKS Guðmundsdóttir [ˈpjœr̥k ˈkvʏðmʏntsˌtoʊhtɪr]
First Place in the Last Torney of Bat Leth
held prior to the Dis Honour of TORG and the invasion of the Shapshifters.

I used a Finely honed blade made from recycled Alloies the fine grips hand carved wood from renewable woods of ancient harvest. Woven with hemp from the jute crops of the MArtok Estates Humble grainery sack makers sack. Ornimental leather straps from worn out Army boots. Nothing goes to waste in the budget watchign Household of BAt.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4 That Ball....
05-06-2011, 01:36 PM
That football? Oh, that’s a long story.

It begins when I was at Starfleet Academy. I was on the academy football team. We were getting ready to play the Vulcan Science Academy when I was approached by the Romulan Ambassador to Earth. He had grown an interest in the sport and wanted to talk to me about it. I was the team captain, you see, and so the ambassador thought I’d be the best one to answer his questions.

I was happy to help out. We had lunch together a couple times while I explained to him the intricacies of the game. He said he would be traveling to Vulcan in order to catch our next match. And he wished me luck.

We arrived at Vulcan as a major underdog. Vulcans are naturally stronger than humans and logic is a pretty good predictor of sports plays. The first half went as well as could be expected. The Vulcans ran up a 28-point lead and we were just hammered. The coach tried to motivate us, but it just wasn’t working. Then, as we were walking back to the field, the Romulan ambassador approached me and said, “The Vulcans' strength could be your biggest advantage.” I didn’t have a clue what he meant.

As we got ready for our first play after the kickoff, something occurred to me. We were lining up in the expected formation and were about to do a play you would expect from a team in that situation. The Vulcans knew that because it was the logical thing to do. I told the quarterback to call a timeout. He looked at me strange but did what I asked.

As the crowd was looking on in confusion as to why we would bother to call a timeout before the first snap of the half, I ran over to the coach with the quarterback and I told them, “Throw away the playbook. The Vulcans know what we are going to do because it is what is expected in this circumstance. We need to do the exact opposite. If it is an obvious run play, we need to throw. If it is an obvious throwing play, we need to run. The Vulcans are going to do what is logical, so we need to be as illogical as possible.”

The coach agreed and he flipped the playbook onto the grass. From that point on, we would do the opposite of what you would think we needed to do. As a result, we took that game into overtime and we finally broke a 36-year losing streak to the Vulcans. The coach presented me the game ball because it was my suggestion that lead to our victory. I then gave it to the Romulan ambassador and told him I owed him a debt of gratitude.

The Romulan ambassador came to every game while I was in the academy and we would get together twice a week to talk football. He personally pinned my first pip on and said, “If every Starfleet officer was like you, the Federation’s future would be secure.” I thanked him and we kept in touch over the years.

Six months ago, I found out that the Romulan ambassador’s shuttle had crashed while landing near his office in San Francisco. I was on ESD for a conference at the time and so I beamed down to the medical center he was taken to. I arrived three minutes after he died. His aide recognized me and let me see him. Seeing him there in that hospital bed hurt. There was an honorable man... brought down by a bad engine diode.

At his funeral, I took off one of my pips and pinned it on his uniform. I said, “If every Romulan was like you, then the Empire’s future would be secure. Thank you for being such a great friend.” As I started to walk out I was approached by one of his aides carrying a box. He said, “The Ambassador instructed that this be given to you upon his death.” I thanked him but didn’t open the box as I returned to the USS Huntsville.

As we got underway for a routine survey in the B’Tran Nebula, I went to my quarters to read up on some situation reports when I noticed the box. I walked over to it and inside was that football. It had my signature and the date of that victory over the Vulcans. With it was a note that read, “Given to me by the captain of the Starfleet Academy team. He is the most honorable man I have ever known.”

I was moved to tears. I immediately took the football and that note to my ready room and put it on display. That ball means more to me than any award I have ever gotten from Starfleet. That ball was given to me by a friend and mentor; a man I will never forget as long as I live.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-06-2011, 01:42 PM
...Cardassia. It had been almost thirty-four years since Vice Admiral Elim Tanar had set foot on its dusty and arid surface. Thirty four years since he lost his home.

...The hot sun blazed over the skyline of twisted metal, intimidating archways and decadent spires. The oval view screens, showed some namelss Gul’s face, talking about honour and duty to the state. It seems nothing much has changed since its near destruction at the hands of the Dominion.

...Tanar had so hoped that Cardassians would move forward and join in an era of peace, perhaps join with his new family in the Federation, but too long has the heavy boots of war been placed upon its citizens feet. The devastation passed, the cities rebuilt and the voice of the True Way grew ever stronger in the ears of young Cardassians, eager to test themselves against the galaxy.

...Tanar walked quickly through the streets of New Lakarian City. He had lived here as a child with his mother, in its former incarnation before the war, and had been old enough to remember how it looked. Either through fading memory or meticulous architecture, the buildings and streets looked the same as before. The streets a little cleaner, perhaps, but the skyline looked eerily similar, like nothing had touched them in a thousand years. Cardassians do look for continuity in their artistic work, and clearly the architect felt that what was good enough before the war, was good enough after. Tanar sighed, somehow he felt his people had not learned their lesson.

...He continued down the street until he came to an old shop, one that sold jewellery and fine ornaments. He remembered playing here as a child, before the Jem’Hadar stalked the streets, when no one dared to venture out. This shop had been a run down old house, broken beyond repair and Elim had spent many a day playing with his friends, hiding within the nooks and crevices of the old tattered building.

...Once he had found a Cardassian disrupter on the floor under a table. He had not noticed it before, and not fully understanding the risk, and had decided that it would make a fine addition to his collection of toys. His friends would be so jealous of him he thought. Only the great men and women of the military carried these kinds of weapons. Someday perhaps even he would serve Cardassia proudly by destroying its enemies. He remembered moving towards the disrupter only to see a hand reaching out from under a fallen roofing beam. He had jumped back in shock at the sight of the arm, emerging from the dark.

...“Don’t be freighted young one,” Came the voice. “I won’t harm you.” he said, wearily.

...Tanar, smirking at how foolish he had been, clearly remembered that, instead of running like any sane person, he moved in closer until he could see the face of an old Cardassian man. His hair grey, and his scales dark black. His eyes kind, but tired.

...“My name is Rusek. Who are you?” he said softly.

...Elim had told the old man his name.

...“Elim? I knew a man called Elim once. He was a right…” he paused, remembering he was in the company of a child “tricky one.” he finished. He remembered seeing a hint of betrayal flash across the old man's face.

...He had asked the man if he was alright, and the man just sighed and nodded. For no apparent reason that he could remember, the man thrust the disrupter in his direction and beckoned him to take it. He had been startled at the action, but the chance to hold a real Cardasian disrupter was too great. He gingerly took the weapon and held it up to the light. The warm sunlight sparkled off the cool metallic finish.

...Then as suddenly as a blink of an eye, the man demanded that he leave.

...“Go child, it’s not safe here. Go now.” he screamed, more in guilt than anything. Elim remembered he wanted to stay, talk to the old man, learn why he had been in this old decrepit building, when the sound of footfalls drew louder. Shouts rang in his ears as two huge men had drawn up to his position. They would be on him in moments.

...The man had looked at Elim, terror in his eyes, before bolting away from the building. The two men, who Elim could now see were dressed in obsidian black clothes. They gave chase at the sight of the old man, until one screeched to a halt. Elim had peered out through a crack in the wall and looked at the man as he raised another disrupter, similar to the one Elim now held in his hand. The yellow blast of light erupted from his tip and flashed across the street, until its end point; the back of the old man. He slumped to the ground in a cry of both pain and relief.

...The two men walked slowly up towards the still body, and began to drag him away. The faint sound of the two men could still be heard as they echoed through the quiet street. “Tain will be pleased, this ones eluded him for years.” said the one who had fired the deadly weapon.

...Elim had not fully understood at the time what had happened, or why no one had come to check on what had happened; a murder in the middle of the day should have at least caused someone to open a window? How little he understood the power of fear in the old days. All he had was the disrupter as he sat in the darkness as the sun slunk behind a cloud. He looked upon it, and it no longer shone as it did. He wanted to throw it away, and run back to his house, but he just sat there for hours, staring at the weapon. It seems, he did not truly know who Cardassia’s enemies were.

...Admiral Tanar, now one of the youngest Admirals in the fleet, and one of only a handful of Cardassians now serving in the Federation, drew the old battered disrupter out of his belt holster and looked at it once again. What once he briefly had seen as a shinning example of Cardassia’s strength was now just an echo of its dark past. He had kept it to remind himself of the path he had almost gone down. Perhaps if he had run when the man said instead of hesitating, he would not have seen a defenceless man shot down in the streets of his home. Perhaps he would now be the one tracking an enemy of the state though the lonely streets. He gazed around the streets and sighed. I will not rest until I have helped create a new Cardassia, he thought to himself and exercised the ghosts of the past. We will break this never-ending cycle of violence and my people will be free to make their own paths.

...The moment was broken by a hail from his ship.

...“This is Tanar, go ahead.”

...“Sir, you’re needed back on the bridge.”

...He holstered the weapon and sighed again. “Understood. One to beam up.”
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-06-2011, 02:07 PM
Hmm the metal still feels oily to me after all these years. I roll the borg neural implant around in my hand a moment longer before placing it back in the display case in my Ready room. Lt. Commander Devron keeps asking me why I have a borg neural implant in a display case. I have yet to confide in him the truth. Oh he knows I am one of a hand full of Liberated Borg in Starfleet but this object I have yet to tell him the meaning of.

The sweat pours off of me, my hearts pouding, I'm shaking all over, and the constant screaming is unbearable. It's hot and humid in this ship. They are every where. I know what they are but I can't bring myself to say the name. They captured my parents freighter. We all knew what was coming but were helpless to stop it. I am only 17 years old. Then one of them comes closer and straps intwine my arms and immobilize my head. Off to the side I can hear the whine of a drill begin. My heart feels like it will jump right out of my chest. Suddenly I can feel the acrid burn of urine dribbling down my leg. In this momement of terror I actually chuckle thinking it's true that you can pee yourself from fear. Then the whine of the drill becomes suddenly louder and then I start to scream the pain is agonizing. I suddenly snap open my eyes. I am back in my ready room.

I have relived that moment over and over again since I have been liberated. It was the last human thought I would have for 8 years. I look again at the display case. The implant was removed from my right temple. That was where the first drill touched my skin. When I was deemed fit enough to leave the hospital after having the borg devices removed I asked if they still had any of them. They did. I asked for the one in my right temple. The first one. It was an odd request but they gave it to me. Why did I want it? At the time I didn't know. For years, it lay at the bottom of one drawer or another. I couldn't bear to look at it but I couldn't bear getting rid of it either.

It was only after becoming Captain of the Stellar Dawn that I realized why I kept it. Why I needed it. That thing was the first act that robbed me of my youth, my freedom, and my parents. I needed it as a reminder of who I am. Where I came from. It connects me in some weird way to my lost parents. I look at it and I loathe it. I look at it and I love it. That single piece of equipment changed my life forever. In the end it reminds of what I stand for and what I fight for. I look at it and say never again. Never again will some young child be robbed of their future. Not if I can help it. I take one last look at the display case and walk out of the room. It's another day in Starfleet and it's time to get to work.

Vice Admiral Jonathon Stipe commanding USS Stellar Dawn
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# 7 The Photo
05-06-2011, 03:21 PM
........This black-and-white photo is worth more to me than all the gold-pressed latinum in the universe, at least for the moment that I'm a prisoner here in a Klingon brig. I remember when Sarah Anne took up holography at the academy, which inluded the history of photography. She received an assignment to make a camera out of scrap, a box really, with a hole in it, and a film placed in the back having a simple chemical composition.

........So she took the picture of me kneeling and hugging our two kids. There's Sealbh, a rambunctious boy, eleven at the time, who thinks he can can conquer the Milky Way with nothing more than a toy model of the U.S.S. Superior. And there's Iongnadh, whose aspirations seem too high for her six-year-old heart. She wants to save the galaxy instead of conquering it. I felt inclined to hug them tightly when the photo was snapped.

........Sarah Anne took almost a hundred photos over the course of that day. After she had processed them, she picked the ten best for her assignment. As I looked them over, my eyes became fixed on the grainy black-and-white photo of me kneeling with the two kids.

........"I want this one," I said to her, lifting it up from the table. I showed her.

........Her look of confusion was replaced by a smile. She let me have it, and replaced it with another from her stack. I decided then and there I would carry this photo on all of my missions. So I have an elastic band at the top of my calf, just below the knee, hidden inside the pant's leg. There, I keep the photo.

........That was two years ago. And here I am, sitting on a metal bench in a Klingon cell, stripped of my armor and shielding, waiting for them to interrogate me and then probably execute me. The Granalda Excursion to extract Federation scientists almost met with failure, but a well-thought out plan saved us. The four scientists were rescued as I gave myself to capture. That part was easy. That's how we planned it from the beginning. The hard part is approaching, my rescue by my first officer. Thanks to an insider, we have some frequencies to the compound's shields, and a small window of opportunity.

........I stand and approach the cell-door holding the photo. I chuckle slightly at the fact that it got past the Klingons' scans. They were looking for electronic components, metal objects, and such. This must have seemed to them a mere article of clothing, a bandage even. A holoprint would have been confiscated. Knowing the Klingon's distaste for such sentimentality, they would have destroyed it.

........I raise the photo to the cell-door's slot of a window, holding it at an angle to let the light from the hall cast upon it. Sealbh has his mom's looks and my spirit. Iongnadh has my looks, and her mom's spirit. They have the best of us, and this photo, this simple, black-and-white, grainy photo somehow captured it.

........"Don't worry, Captain," a scruffy voice sounds from the other side. "We are making further arrangements for you."

........I peer through the slot and see my interrogator, Cha'ton Kretok peering back at me, a well-known scoundrel of a Lethean agent of the KDF, well-known, that is, amongst starfleet officers ordered to kill him on sight. I wonder if I can reach through the slot and grab him fast enough. I sigh in disappointment as I know it to be futile.

........"Right now, you're thinking of how to resist our interrogation," Cha'ton says. "I already know how to make you talk." He laughs.

........I inhale deeply and exhale slowly. I know he speaks the truth. It will be unpleasant to say the least. Quite unpleasant. I look at the photo again. It's my only comfort at the moment. But then I feel the tingly sensation, like a warm breeze flowing over my skin. I look up at Cha'ton. I see his puzzlement. I smile.

........"We'll need to reschedule our appointment," I manage to say before the wash of blue light fills my sight. In a flash, the blue fades to reveal the teleportation room of the U.S.S. Superior. My first officer, Commander Lasha K'phav is there. Her light blue Andorian skin shimmers in the room's various lights.

........"Captain," she says.

........"Commander," I respond. "Job well done."

........"All in a day's work, Sir," she says with a smile. "We are set to leave this place. Waiting for your order."

........"Make it so, Number One," I say.

........"Helm, take us home." Lasha says, tapping her badge. The com signal's beeps are followed with an "Aye, ma'am," a man's voice.

........We start to exit the room, but I stop us momentarily. I reach down to lift up my left pant's leg, tuck the black-and-white photo underneath the elastic band, and lower the pant's leg back into place. Lasha looks amused, but says nothing. I nod to the door and we continue on.

~Admiral Ceol A'Brian, Superior Memoirs
Reader's Note:
Sealbh is Gaelic for prosperity and luck, and is pronounced as "shallav." Iongnadh is Gaelic for wonder and suprise, and is pronounced as "eeyanuh", similar to, but off slightly to Anna.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8 Prized Possession
05-06-2011, 04:45 PM
Admiral Aevn Noram was a highly decorated Starfleet officer. He'd served in numerous conflicts, done everything from fight off Borg invasions to negotiate trade disputes.

Even so, the one possession he prized most wasn't a medal, or a gift from a grateful people. It was a simple white sash. Yes, it was a very nice looking piece of clothing, with it's gold tassels and snow white fabric, but that wasn't why he treasured it.

Above all, it was the symbolism of it.

Aevn had once been scion of a powerful house within the Anorellian Union. In the old days, many Emperors had come from the house of Noram, and it was believed that the ancient king who had carved out the old Anorellian Empire had been a Noram, at least among members of that house.
It was also tradition that Norams would join the Anorellian Defense Force when they came of age, and fight the Anorellian's perpetual enemy, the Morortellians.

Aevn had, of course, continued this tradition, and completed training at the Anorellian Military College to become an officer, receiving his Officer's Sash. However, shortly before receiving his first posting, the Federation made first contact with the Union.

Aevn, like many other young Anorellians at the time, was fascinated by stories of stars far from the confines of the Union, and terrified by whispers of enemies more powerful than he had ever imagined, lurking in the darkness of space. So, in search of a life beyond the stars he knew, Aevn resigned his commission in the Defense Force, and left the Anorellian Union. Months later, Aevn had begun attending Starfleet Academy, and then, years after that, received his first command following the Battle of Vega.

He treasures the sash even now, not as a symbol of all he had given up back home, but of his choice to leave behind the pointless xenophobia and border wars of his people and serve the greater good of the galaxy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9 Soriedem's Most Prized Possession
05-06-2011, 05:44 PM
This tiny vial of soil is my most prized possession. I carry it with me everywhere I go. The day I left for service in the Tobarri militia, my father gave it to me and said “Take this with you and never forget the reason you are out there in the coldness of space.” At the time, it seemed insignificant. It was insignificant. The ignorance of youth contrasted against the cruelty of a lifetime in the service has a certain way of making things like this become larger than life. These tiny grains of sand are all that remains of the Tobarri homeworld.

The Tobarri people fought a guerrilla-style war against the Borg for decades with their secret weapon, a neurolytic compound that disrupted communications between cybernetic components and the host. That is until the Borg managed to find the location of Tobarrus. The Tobarri were able to liberate drones with every assault, but the Hive sent in overwhelming numbers. Millions of drones; hundreds of cubes; a single, terrifying goal: the total destruction of the Tobarri homeworld, the Tobarri people, and their technology.

That was a long time ago in a far flung corner of the galaxy ... Since then; I have been to hundreds of worlds. I have seen countless wonders that no Tobarri could have ever imagined. Yet, there is something mystical about these small grains of sand that dwarves everything I have ever seen. They take me back to time with my friends and family, before the service and the Borg and their relentless pursuit to destroy everything that was dear to me.

This little vial of sand continues to fuel my passion to protect and serve my new home within the Federation against the mindless automatons of the Borg. It reminds me of everything I have lost; everything I have gained; and why I must continue to fight to make sure that it never happens again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-06-2011, 06:44 PM
Unfortunately, I pondered upon this subject for a long time and couldn't determine any single one object that I could honestly say I treasure above them all.

Although the fact that the majority of my former posessions were sacrificed in order to secure my safe passage away from the wrath of several fellow classmates who demanded I reveal to them the exact events that occured during my Kobayashi Maru test. They didn't think that somebody such as I could possibly managed to do what Kirk had managed to do during his Kobayashi Maru. Granted, Kirk cheated to win his test.

That aside, if I honestly had to pick one thing that I could say I treasured, I'd have to say my pen. Sure, there's not much use for it and not a lot of people still use pen and paper, but there's nothing quite as satisfying as writing or drawing something on a piece of paper and holding the finished product in your own hands. My only complaint is its capacity for ink. I tend to write a lot, so I have to replace the ink cartridge often. And ink smudging might be a minor nuisance, but it just doesn't have the same feel as using a PADD to do the same job.

My instructors really don't care what I use as long as I can hand it in digitally.

Plus, it helps when people think you're writing a paper when you're actually planning another prank - just got to remember not to leave the plans intact for somebody else to find and read. It wouldn't be very good for my health, and I'm fairly certain I'd have more than half of my fellow classmates angry at me. One in particular comes to mind...

P.S.: Got into a nasty fight with somebody in the same year as I am. I forgot to mention - when people are surrounded by energy weapons and replicators and computers, nobody expects to be stabbed by a pen. Guess that ridiculously old adage about the pen being mightier than the sword is true.
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