Captain Kieth Andrews leaned back in the chair in his ready room. Fingering a silver pocket knife, he mused to himself. The knife was the one object he still had from his past, before he found himself catapulted to another time.
The crew of the USS Adriatic, following an anomalous energy reading during a survey near the Romulan Neutral Zone, had found him in a stasis chamber on a planetoid. The crude facility there had successfully preserved him through nearly 400 years. For what purpose no one knows, as most of the other equipment could not claim the same success rate. The computers banks were completely corrupted, a shame since Kieth had no memory of how he had ended up in stasis much less light years from his home. More usefully, there was a container that apparently held the possessions Kieth had at the time of his incarceration. While the locker was well sealed, 400 years still took its toll on the items therein. The only item left intact was the folded up metal knife he now held with dear regard.
Initially it had not been that important to him. The knife had served merely as convenient tool for miscellaneous tasks. Now it remained as the last physical memory of his old life, a tangible reminder. As the years went on, it became easy to forget that he once lived in another era, so different as they are. It was hard at times to believe that such a future sprang from the past he had known. Although everything could be traced back easily through history, one point stemming from the previous one. But in such a ponderous meander that one could scarcely predict what might come next. He never could have known that commanding a starship centuries after his birth would be what his future held. He wondered what else the future held for him that he still could not perceive. The possibilities both exciting and terrifying.
Kieth held the knife out at arms length, catching a glint of light and highlighting the pits and defects on the surface. The familiar tactile sense of the inanimate object brought many fond recollections. He was glad to have something to anchor him to that past, as it is the past that helps guide you through the future and keep things in perspective.
Kieth was reminded of a story, a fiction about a character in a very similar situation. Awakening many years in the future to discover the world had changed so much, with only a single personal item to prove that past really happened. The character pursued that past at the expense of the present, the object being a constant reminder of that past. Eventually the character learned let go of the past and accept the present and future, and disposed of the object. While Kieth mostly agreed with the sentiment of the story's moral, he felt that completely abandoning the past was also folly. The past is there for a reason and needs to be remembered. If items like a pocket knife can help facilitate that, it too should be accepted. He smirks briefly realizing there is probably no longer any trace of that particular story to be found anymore.
Sadly, the standard uniforms design prevented him from carrying it with him. Just as well, he'd probably have lost it by now on some away mission. So with a slight sigh Kieth sets the pocket knife back onto the desk and returns to the report on his display.
ENCRYPTION CODE: Black
PUBLIC KEY: File / Colonial
RECORDED BY: Codename Kestrel
SUBJECT: Reflection, Taking Inventory.
CLASSIFICATION: Eyes Only, Federation Intelligence: Section 1, Directive XXD-X3
/Start File/ Decryption Protocol
>>>>>> Start Playback, Text Only. Warning: Dissemination of any information contained within may be grounds for a General Court Martial, imprisonment, and Dishonorable Discharge from Starfleet.
>>>>>> This assignment has been harder than I had ever imagined it would be and this is the first down time I've had in three days, hopefully tonight I'll be getting the first rest in just as long. Without any doubt, the Klingons will soon own this world and all of its resources. They've obviously made this decision a long time ago and no amount of our fleet, nor soldiers for that matter, are going to contradict them on this point. The Fleet Flyboys have been doing their best to get any and all civilians off-world before the inevitable happens, I myself have had several opportunities to escape but my mission remains too important to walk away from.
>>>>>> My fate now seems all but determinate and as I come to grasp with being marooned here before the impending change of management I have precious time to take inventory on what I have left. Any good operator or soldier will tell you their weapon is their best friend, this is true of my TR-116, though I am finding that my true love has been a knife given to me by my instructors before I graduated the Intelligence Operative Training courses. It's a type of knife commonly called a "Balisong" or "Butterfly Knife" that originated in the Philippines back on Earth, honestly when I first got my hands on it I believed it to be nothing but a trick weapon, useless on the actual battlefield.
>>>>> In the time since then I have had ample time to practice with this weapon, get good at throwing it, using its compact design to hit and fade in crowds and since arriving on this colony have even stood toe-to-toe with a few Klingons with smaller knives when they got in too close for either my phaser or rifle to be effective. It's longer than most knives of its kind, the blade being eight inches of polished steel. The two handles are an opalescent white, matching my cloak armor. More and more I find myself relying on it and more and more I realize just how important it was to bring with me. I'm going to make it a point to find my trainer and buy him a drink if I somehow survive this. I owe him more than I could ever hope to express and I just hope that what I am doing ends up making some difference.
>>>>> Going to have to end here, I need rest and I have a feeling tomorrow will end up being an interesting day to say the least. For the record, and in case I don't make it out of here it should be noted that the primary objective has been completed, I have destroyed the database at the S-31 complex located in grid reference G-6 and am now onto a target of opportunity, an Undine infiltrator that may be trying to get off-world posing as a prominent member of this colony's government. Per the directive recently passed, I will neutralize this threat at all means necessary.
>>>>> Recording Ends. Reason: Terminated by User
........People always talk about Important Firsts. First Car, First Job, First Date, First Kiss, First Time Getting Laid. For me, Captain Takeshi Yamato of the U.S.S. Raging Tempest, my first weapon, a Japanese Katana named Akatsuki no Ken, counts as one of those Important Firsts, and I still have that very same Katana today, even though regulations forbid me from using it in the field, forcing me to use a Tsunkatse Falchion until such time as Starfleet considers Katanas to be appropriate field weapons. However, to understand the importance of that blade, one must take a look at its past—and mine.
........Akatsuki no Ken has been in the Yamato Family for generations, with some family tales of the sword going back to the 16th century, back when the first Yamato took up the path of the Samurai, a path that all Yamato men follow even today. The sword is considered a family heirloom, and it’s a family tradition for the eldest son to receive the blade from his father upon entry into military service.
........Also, ever since I was little, I’ve known that I was adopted. My parents never hid that fact from me, even as they raised me with love and kindness. And although I enjoyed growing up in the Yamato household, and learning the skills, traditions, and moral code of the Samurai from my adoptive father Tetsuya, a part of me always felt like I was just a guest, and not an actual part of the family.
........So, you probably can’t imagine how moved I was when Tetsuya gave me Akatsuki no Ken before I left home to attend Starfleet Academy. He basically told me through that act that even though I was adopted, he truly considered me his son. It’s a wonder that I didn’t start bawling like a baby on the spot, though tears of joy were flowing freely down my cheeks.
........Akatsuki no Ken has been with me ever since. It currently rests in its sheath on a display in my Ready Room, waiting for the day that I can unleash it in battle. And when I have a son of my own, I look forward to when he enters Starfleet Academy, so I can carry on the family tradition and pass Akatsuki no Ken down to him.
My recent promotion to Commodore, and transfer of many personal possessions from the Avenger to my new command, Crimson Station, has given me time to reflect quite a bit.
As I removed the display case that has adorned my ready room walls for the past several years, a flood of memories I see most every day hit me stronger than usual.I've been asked about the contents before, several Borg components, and two holo-images.
The story is the most important of my life and it started 7 years ago.
I was a freshly graduated Academy Graduate, green as heck, and ready for my first assignment. I wasn't top of my class, but I was good enough to be offered a position aboard the Nikola Tesla, captained by the legendary Nivar Ise. I had heard many stories from his son, Roden, a fellow classmate. I was given the rank of Ensign and a post in Security and Tactical. Several months passed by with pretty normal starship operations. Then one day, my life changed.
We picked up an emergency distress call from a colony world on the Klingon border, it was under attack by a Borg ship. We were not the only ships to respond, so did a Klingon Bird of Prey , the IKS Conqueror.When we arrived it had only begun to engage the Sphere. We began firing weapons, but even our combined attack did little damage. The Klingon ship took a direct hit to the Bridge, killing its command crew instantly. But a lone Bekk in their Auxiliary control center took command, and kept firing.
The Chief Tactical Officer was incapacitated by a console explosion, and I had to take over. I fired our weapons as best I could, but I couldn't do a thing. Then, three Borg beamed aboard the Bridge when our shields got knocked out. The first went down with a phaser shot, the others adapted. Without a second thought, I jumped in the way of the other two trying to assimilate the Captain, managing to kill the second just as I felt the cold metal of the last ones injection tubules enter my neck.
The whole world change, voices started to grow, I had to resist! With all my strength, I ripped the wires from the back of the drones head, and killed it. The Captain yelled for tow officers to take me to sickbay, then I heard a voice inside me, "Primary Shield Matrix Fracturing at Subjunction 12." I knew what I had to do, I pushed away the crewman, staggered to the Tactical Console, the voices screaming in my ears and initiated a Tetryon pulse and a quantum torpedo spread. My final sight before the voices consumed me was the sight of the Sphere's shields dropping as the torpedoes hit their mark!
I woke up several days later, my brash action meant I would have Borg parts in my body for as long as I lived. Several other patients were there, several humans I had never seen before and several Klingons. The Captain told me that they had recovered several Borg from the sphere and liberated them. Even more important was that the young Bekk had been partially assimilated as well.
For my actions that day I was appointed Chief Tactical Officer in place of Lieutenant Vincent who had died from injuries. I gained my Lieutenant rank but more importantly, I was given the job to help the injured Borg regain their individuality.
The Bekk was named Kane and took care of the liberated Klingons. We both spent months helping them (and ourselves) adjust back to normal lives, with help from Capatin Ise. We had Borg parts remaining and so did they, it made us their teachers and their family. But we worked hard to help them and us recover from the experience. Soon the family broke up, Kane and the Klingons returning to the Empire, and several of my new family moving to different postings. Some even gained their own commands, while the last of the Borg became an officer in every ship I ever served.
Kane and myself maintained a close friendship over the years, even when the War started. We talked often and both attended the funeral of Capatin Ise, who died during a pitched battle with a Klingon ship. We vowed to do everything in our power fight for peace. It is that friendship that started the first joint Starfleet-Klingon operation of the century, the Crimson Task Force.
So I kept a Borg piece from each and everyone of my special family. Eye pieces, cranial implants, each had a story and a person they reminded me of. And a holo image of all of us together. Another of the Captain who had so changed me and help me become the officer I am today.
........As the bookmark of a classic page turner, or the knot affirmatively tugged around his finger; a single thread is kept in memoriam to the life he left behind. The terror was inexplicable, as the needles pierced his flesh; the invasion of machine commenced on the human front lines, within his very bloodstream.
........Having just earned the captains seat, Aindreas received a new parcel which he immediately dawned as part of his uniform: a Starfleet issued captain’s vest. But it was far from standard, it was a nano-fiber enhanced shield, the first of its kind; a testament to his new "cozy" position, as the eggheads would tease him. He had earned this casually trimmed uniform, having often served as a guinea pig for Daystrom’s field testing extravaganzas.
........Of course this was slightly prior to the easing of the uniform policies. A proper test pending, the jacket would surely become standard issue. Unfortunately, it never made it back for confirmation.
........“So, Starfleet wants their apparel to be as diverse as their communities. Well, looks like this little addition won’t be a unique benefit for much longer; I’ll wear it with pride until I wear it out.”
........Indeed he did, it accompanied him on 46 missions, but it had yet to meet any conflict. He was just about to head another away team before he went missing in action, & was eventually presumed killed in the line of duty.
........As part of a squadron of 5 starships that branched from the reserve station now orbiting Delta Vega, they soon came to realize that an unexpected enemy had their flank. Klingon ships, presumably approved for a diplomatic voyage through federation territory, descended upon them without warning. As the fighting broke out, a boarding party tried to overtake the bridge of the U.S.S. Copperwire, Aindreas’ charge of the time. The nano-fiber mesh successfully dispersed several disruptor blasts & deflected many a bat’leth strike.
........Aindreas acted swiftly & somewhat recklessly, using every advantage at his disposal. He rushed into each confrontation as though he were invincible, not taking into account the fact that his shipmates did not have such beneficial technology. Eventually, he lie soaked in the blood of his aggressors & comrades alike. All were too engaged defending themselves & the ship to help each other. Acts the survivors would writhe in guilt over, though it would be short-lived.
........Word had been spreading that splinter factions of klingons were acting without the consent of the council. But it was becoming alarmingly clear that their support was growing within the empire & a declaration of war would soon be inevitable. A standoff crept in like a rolling fog; Starfleet personnel had clear homefield advantage but their spirits were beginning to dwindle. Sensing this, the klingons prepared to attempt withdrawal once the fight seemed meaningless.
........When it looked as if the situation couldn’t get any worse, the rain turned to hail; borg sphere sized hail. The borg, thought defeated & crippled beyond recovery, dropped out of transwarp & assaulted both sets of vessels indiscriminately. They were not known to host such violent salvos on ships of such meager technological value. But as was later affirmed by Starfleet intel, these rogue drones were acting without the direction of a queen & simply, instinctively began lashing out en masse to replenish their numbers.
........UFP & KDF were suddenly fighting side by side against their common enemy, but the effort was given too little too late. The spheres outnumbered them 2 to 1 & they were ruthless, factually brutal in the execution of their objective. Most of the klingons met their end head-on in the devastating encounter. Several Starfleet personnel saw little hope & set the auto-destruct aboard their ships, & resigned to their fate. Quite as anticipated, the borg had succeeded over their quarry nevertheless, sustaining minimal casualties. All whom were not killed were captured & arbitrarily assimilated.
........Aindreas met his captor face to face, it seemed to toy with him. He couldn’t deny that he was frightened, & why hide it from beings with not a single shred of empathy. He cried out for his peers, comrades, even his enemies to be avenged; as if the wavelength of his pain could be transmitted loud enough to carry on subspace. Alas, the tubules unalterably pierced his collar, in the vein of ancient myths now made reality, such as the vampire sinking its teeth into its latest victim. A blood soaked fiber of the vest became lodged between the newly growing implants & his skin; & there it remained until his body was salvaged 25 years later.
........It was spotted during his implant-removal by an artificial being. The E.M.H. caught it mid-air as it drifted gently to the floor. Of all the stabbing sentiment & personal questions asked in their attempts to bring him around, his humanity refused to surface; until he saw the string, shimmering like a gilded piece of shrapnel.
........This sent a spark throughout his neurons, an humane wedge now held open the lids pulled over his mind’s eye. After the procedure he finally lifted his head, blinking rapidly. The first thing that came into focus was the ship’s plaque which read: “U.S.S. Pasteur” & the quote "I swear by Apollo, the healer, by Aesculapius, by Health and all the powers of healing..." Salvaging the mind would be another task altogether for his memory, up until the moments before the battle with the klingons, was all but lost or hopelessly suppressed.
........However, the sensation in the air, & the comfort the plaque & the people gave him, he knew his calling was to save lives; & thus a new human life was born. He had forsaken the name of the man he was, systematically deeming himself a failure with no regard nor interest in his actual history. All he remembered was what she called him... Droidrewid. Almost all at once, a new order was in place, when her mind became the new driving force. She was the borg. He ultimately chose the new name of Droid, since that is what many began calling him upon reading his report after his liberation from the collective.
........Not being complete enough to be of any use to the Daystrom institute, their hands now full supplying the war-effort, he keeps the frayed nano-fiber to remember his friends. He composed an ode to honor those victims of circumstance who were not recovered from the day the borg eclipsed their lives, & extinguished their individuality. He had the dirge etched onto the string with a micro-scribe, to further discourage his wish to throw it away & forget its role in all that had transpired.
Upon a first glance one might simply brush it away,
But from hence on to forth, there it doth stay,
Never again shall it lead the team astray,
As when the shadows fell on that fateful day,
Though be it ever so soft,
On & off it floats aloft,
Splitting hairs all too oft,
Still it rests anon forgot,
On & on as no other knows,
Where & how the story goes,
Betwixt its fibers frozen pose,
Final taken thoughts of thy foes,
The first to fall the last to flee,
From the onslaught of thine enemy,
A devastating blow began the siege,
Behind the lines no eyes could see,
A key component to your downfall,
A suffering mortal cry is outlawed,
Drag them through your trough of flaws,
Shed the fear that nearly draws,
In excess excrement of seething evil eyes,
In unvoiced atonement for detrimental lies,
In abhorrent insurrection from decadent ties,
In abysmal proliferation of reeling cries,
O be there no formal address,
For the dues of the confessed,
Are not the survivors truly blessed,
To the wall their backs firmly pressed,
Channeling churning shapes of shame,
Images fall upon the deaf or lame,
Their nature is not ours to tame,
They knew not a single name,
Still they would dare to delve,
Into realms deep as a darkened well,
Resistance is futile; no thoughts withheld,
We know no heaven without hell,
So upon a fatal thread may rest,
The final fiber of a long lost vest,
Take the time now to invest,
Surely the inferno will arrest,
Nightmares come no more no less,
To this day I cannot win nor best,
The enemy within, but I digress,
Life is not a dream; I do not jest.
They began with a ritual washing of her head, intended not only to sterilize the skin and prepare it for the taking of ink, but also remind her of the necessity of a clean soul, a clean katra. She felt each of the three hundred sixty prescribed strokes of the smooth grey pumice stone as it circled her shaven skull, and the gentle rhythmic brushing helped her attain the proper state of meditation. Though one small part of Sarai’s elaborate and sophisticated Vulcan mind counted each of those gestures one by one, she nevertheless felt herself slipping back into reverie, and she thought to herself, “How did I come to this place? This moment?”
She had been a difficult daughter, rebelling against traditional parents. They had raised her properly, sparing no pain or harsh truth, but instead of the stoic demeanor that was the hallmark of all mature Vulcans, Sarai had retreated into lonely physical pursuits. Instead of mastering logic, she spent her days scampering up the intimidating cliffs near her home. Like an insect she found tiny cracks for her fingers and toes, and when she returned after three days, bruised and hungry but triumphant, her smile beaming from her dusty face, her parents knew that she had left the path of wisdom.
When the Vulcan Science Academy refused to assist the Romulans, contributing to the Hobus disaster, Sarai had been seven years old. She had joined the protests of men and women much older and more articulate than she, voices who suggested that the Vulcan people had lost their way. None denied the role of logic in the governance of wild emotion, but if the decision to refuse aid was a logical one, then logic had caused the death of billions of lives. And if the decision was not logical, then the authority of the Science Academy was in doubt. When they saw their daughter chanting slogans in sympathy for the Romulan people, Sarai’s parents knew they had failed. She was sent to the Su’Lan Monastery, where it was thought she would at least find peace and, if she was lucky, eventually contribute to society.
And so she had, for the wrinkled masters of Su’Lan had long held dear principles to which Sarai’s rebellious heart cleaved. Here she came to understand logic had its perils, no less dangerous than those of emotion, and these two poles stood to the right and the left of each Vulcan pilgrim on the long and difficult journey through life. To navigate between those two dangers was to walk the narrow and perilous Path of the Razor, and this was the philosophy which would guide Sarai for the rest of her waking life, till her katra shed the gross impurities of flesh and was housed forever in the stone caskets of her forebears.
For fourteen years now she had walked the Path of the Razor, learning to balance logic and emotion. Along the way she had strayed many times and even fallen, but always her sisters and the ancient masters had been there to help her, until in time she came to be the one who gave help and succor to others. No longer was she the wanderer; now she was a mentor, and in the eyes of the masters a new light of recognition and pride could be seen. She was ready. It was time for her to go.
All of that had led her to this moment, and to the careful inscription of her bindi, her soul-mark, on the sacred qui'lari, the neural pathway which lay between her eyes. Carefully she knit the physiology of her mind to her will, increasing her heart rate to keep her body cool and numbing the pain receptors in her forehead where the long needles, pregnant with ink, pierced her skin. The ritual mark, emerald green in the firelight and elegant in its complexity, marked her as a pilgrim on the Path of the Razor, a Vulcan woman who balanced logic and emotion in a careful dance. The idea made her smile. She had always loved to dance.
Personal Quarters: Riker, E. L. - Captain
It was just an innocuous little piece of metal.
She drew her fingers over the fragment with care. It was small, gnarled and heavy; smooth and refined on some of its curves – buff and muted on others; intermingled with tiny, rough points and counterbalanced with razor-sharp lines. Yet it sparkled – its pits of polished surface reflected the lights with such ferocity it seemed more a jewel than wreckage.
She thought it was rather amazing that an end to one's existence would result in remnants of such disturbing beauty.
But still, it was just a hunk of twisted metal.
Keep saying that to yourself Beth. It’s “just a hunk of metal.” You know damn well it means more than that. Worse, you’re becoming quite the collector of “hunks of metal” and that’s what’s got you so angry now. How many do you have? Ten? Twelve? Fifteen? Pretty morbid paperweights don’t you think?
Beth swallowed back her pain and opened the small drawer in the bureau in her quarters, letting her eyes rest upon a line of small, metal blobs.
Anyone who would see them would think of them as a strange collection of clutter – silvery metal shards of junk – but she could tell every single one of them apart. To her, each one was spectacularly different from another.
The one with the jagged little hook – that was Futs-Lung. The one with the sweeping, curving blade was Chan’iel. The one with the spikes that ran down the length of its pressed-globular form was Norel … the one that somehow her mind always saw as being in the shape of a Celtic harp? That was Brian. And the one in her hand? The one that sparkled with pits and dents of brushed tritanium? That was Carrie.
Every single little lump of fuselage in that drawer meant something. While they may have seemed innocuous to some, that drawer was her personal mausoleum – the only tangible evidence that her friends had ever taken up space in this universe – her reminders that she was still here and still had a job to do; just like everyone else who was still here.
She set the sparkling trinket back into the drawer but she did not shut it. She stood there and let herself remember each person and their crews. She promised them all she would never forget…
“Captain, long range sensors have picked up an Orion squadron on an intercept course,” the voice of her Executive Officer broke the silence in her quarters.
She closed her eyes in resignation, closed the drawer to her bureau and turned away – phantoms of the small metal shards still burned into her retinas.
Once again it was her job to try to keep herself and her crew from turning into a small metal blob in the drawer of a friend’s bureau.
"I asked this question to my officers a while back while the Satsuma was in refit. Mei said a parent's uniform. Leila picked a tiara she pulled off an Orion princess she served. That gave me a chuckle. Then it came down to us; my cousin, my sister, my adopted brother and me. Family had been important to us during the Orion raids as children. So for that reason, we wanted to say our kin, but that wouldn't cut it with the others. We agreed that however much Omberi was proud of her M.D., this possession had to have something in common to all of us."
"Thinking back now, I can't believe it didn't come to mind sooner. You see the Bazma system is right in Orion space and the colonists didn't have much in the way of defending themselves. Well when my parents arrived they thought that would change. They only brought themselves a shuttle, not a match for a raid. When I was 15, the Orions came around for another bash. Our parents went out to lend technical expertise but we all knew that wouldn't do any good. Well Omberi, that's my sister by the way, had been working on their lockout code for months on that little shuttle we had and that night she'd cracked it. Being young and stupid, we fired it up and went into orbit."
"Well the Orions were apparently just as stupid. Their flotilla had left, keeping a single corvette in charge of some bombardment and transport. Sianna, my cousin, blocked their sensors with an energy spike she thought up and we blew the shuttle bay open. We landed, got to the bridge and stumbled across a deal going down between Akabei, who'd become my adopted brother, and the captain. He'd stolen a chest belonging to his father who himself had stolen it from an important Ambassador from Earth. Of course, being Ferengi, he knew the value of sense over money. We cleared the room and set a self destruct on the corvette. We took Akabei and his box with us and watched as we lit up the night sky. When we got back, let's just say our parents all agreed it was a foolish thing to do. Being of age, they shipped Omberi off to the Academy the next week and me, Sianna and Akabei three years later."
"Well inside that chest were lot's of photographs, logs and manifests from a group of ships the Japanese navy built before World War II. They'd be reincarnated over the years but Starfleet had never built one under a name in these logs. So, after about 5 years out of the academy, they gave me a commission for a refit ship, a Miranda class, and asked me for a name. Considering my cousin, sister and brother would all be bridge crew with me, we put a photograph from the chest behind the corner of the bridge plaque. The Satsuma was born. It's on its fourth incarnation now, but somehow, that photograph still sits behind the plaque. That photograph is what brought us together. Hopefully, it'll keep us that way."
"My most prized possession you say? I have many trophies from my battles, but the possession I feel means most, is this."
Krovennan reveals the item in question, at first it looks like an oval has been cut two-thirds of the way down to create the gleaming metallic object, then Krovennan reveals more, and the details are revealed, about 15 cm from one of the ends, a handle juts from the flat surface, next to it, about two finger widths apart, the metal continues until it is level with the handle's top, creating both a fistguard and a stabbing edge, it is then you notice a groove in the edge on he other side of the handle, it continues along the flat surface until just before the middle, you notice there is a similar groove on the right forearm's underside of Krovennan's gear, this is obviously an arm mounted weapon.
"This is a Manna'Gahr, its a weapon forged on my homeworld of Vilscar, theres not much I can say without giving you more information on its background, so allow me to explain.
Vilscarans, such as myself, have somewhat of an affinity for melee combat, its become a part of our culture, but let me get one thing straight. Violence, death, such things are a part of us, as it is with all living creatures in one form or another, but do not confuse us with races like the Klingons, we embrace it, the Klingons worship it, they are slaves to their own culture, I've read their history, read the files on their dealings with Federation members, so many issues could have so easily been remedied without so much as broken skin, but their worship of violence blinded them, and it has cost many lives.
Before this war is over, it will cost many more.
Now, back on topic, the Vilscaran homeworld is home to many dangerous predators of all shapes and sizes. Grahlvahnas, Skildrassas, Skannabrals and even the mighty Vilscarix roam the forests, jungles and hills just outside our cities, and many have hides resistant to energy, so firearms are ineffective, we prefer a more direct approach..."
Krovennan attaches the weapon to his arm, the handle fits his hand perfectly as he grips it, when he relaxes his arm, the back tip raises behind his arm, it is revelaed to reach the same height as his head, and considering he is at least 7' tall, that is saying something.
"We needed a weapon that was fast, that could deliver crippling blows and would be simple enough to wield and carry that it could be taught quickly, but we also needed defense from the weapons the creatures had, and so 60,000 years ago , we created both a sword, and a shield, in the Manna'gahr.
It is said that the Manna'gahr was created when a soldier had a dream, he dreamt of my race's diety, Manna'Mordeth or "Harpy Mother" fighting a pack of Skannabrals, she had lost her right wing, and it had landed on the ground in front of him, except it was jutting out of the ground, hard as steel. So he took this as a sign, and designed the weapon you see before me.
Needless to say, it was a success, and now, after about 30 generations, though the materials have changed, the design simply hasn't.
All Vilscarans who do any kind of military work or work that may bring them into contact with the predators of our world are trained in the Manna'gahr, there families are as well, this one is my own, and it has saved my life on numerous occasions, our speed is quick enough that we can strike with enough force to decapitate an enemy if we can reach their neck.
But I am starting to ramble, suffice to say, there is no item more precious to me than my Manna'gahr, it is the sole piece of my homeworld I took with me, and so it is my sole connection to it. It has saved my life and the lives of others many times over the years."
Krovennan recites a command into the computer, the holo-emitters in the room glow for a brief second, before a holographic item appears, a simple wooden pillar, roughly Krovennan's height, Krovennan stands in what must be the proper stance, before dashing towards the pillar, the first attack is sudden, a long swipe across the length of the blade, cleaving halfway through the wood.
As Krovennan stops with his back to the pillar, he brings his arm forward and up, before slamming it backwards, the rear tip of the weapon slamming into the wood, at first it looks like the weapon penetrated through and was stopped, but a single crack later, and the pillar splits cleanly in two, both pieces falling to the floor before disppearing, reminding all present it was simply a hologram.
((long, little ranty I know, but I find myself incapable of doing anything else *shrug*.))
It had been a long, painful past few days. The S'harien had been scouting out several systems deep in romulan territory that were suspected of being independent. Jaeih knew why Starfleet had her in this position. A romulan could relate to other romulans, and show them that the Federation would consider their interests. A romulan might trust another romulan more.
Knowing that didn't ever steal away the pain, though. Some of the planets were just isolated colonies, cut off over the past few decades from the rest of the galaxy. They lived fairly comfortable lives. But others...
Others were little more than refugee camps. The starved, dirty faces of men, women, young and elderly all alike in their loss of hope and will to live. It reminded her too much of those early years, just after the incident.
She looked out from the window. The vast nebula that had been the Hobus star filling the view screen. She frowned, turning away from it.
Instead, her eyes came to settle on a familiar shape, wide at the base, then slowly narrowing until it came to a sudden curved neck. A bottle of Kheh ale... now empty. It sat next to a holo-image of a family. A tall, rugged but strong and smiling man, an outdoorsman or farmer. A woman with short hair, and wearing a Centurion's uniform, a young Jaeih. And a girl, no older than 10, perhaps, standing in front of them, holding a stuffed shelat doll.
Jaeih reached for the bottle, her eyes more focused on that than the picture, and she sighed. “I remember this one, Oren.” She smiles a bit wistfully, with a hint of old pain to her eyes and in the corners of her mouth. “Our first bottle together... you'd made it yourself. It was horrible.” She chuckles lightly, turning it over to read the label again.
“I still think you were mad, keeping it all these years. It was just a pick-” She chokes on the word, then sets the bottle down, trying to compose herself. After a few minutes, she wipes the wetness from her eyes and takes a deep breath.
Her commbadge chirps, and she sighs something halfway between both resentment and relief. “S'tarleya here, what is it?”
“Admiral Nyvra, ma'am.”
Her expression brightens some. “Put her through to my desk, I'll be with her in just a moment.”