Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 111
06-20-2011, 05:20 PM
Passing Marks..

But, Father i dont want to be a starfleet officer to legitimize your packaging us off and leaving the Empire.

Get up get yourself dress and march your "**" off to the recruiter.. and give them this Letter of Recommendation..At Once!

Yes, father but who is this Drake. why should some snake known father and want to lend a hand.. I cant even Roll Kirk off my
new language tongue. and besides they all dress funny. Im not wearing some bland unflattering jumpsuit.. Not Me
Not The Daughter of the House Batavian. Foul evil Vulcan Logic..changing the power base.. destroying my destiny.

Yeah yeah Natelle that what my Last Classmate told me.. Before i turned her in for cheating.. So gonna "help me with our homework/" Or wink not? You just cant have any old Romulan being accepted as a cadet now can we..

Yeah know being an upper class man looks easy..So im specializing in cultural XenoBiology...You can be my First MAte and walk 3 step behind me.Nod yell at the crewand they will still love me.. See good Cop Bad cop is the oldest management tool we have.. To keep the brickenberrack in line. I'll pass you on Engineering Lab and that Jump suit you like..What ya.. say?
Knock knock
Yes Cadet?
Cadet Prentice wishes to Discuss the Assigne study Buddies
Cadet are you questioning the class process?
Yes TAC Finn I am.
Get out.
? Well that's just dandy..
Dear Commandant SFA. SOL
CCC: Ambassador Services Tellerita Consul General
CCCC: JL Prd Esquire,
Dear Sir I wish to be a wine maker please get me out of this blasted academy.

Dear Diary Day 3 of Heck Week.. How I so hate the Low e Grav Combat.. Im a Scientist not a Space Marine..
2 demerits for spontaneous muscle memory strikes in the lower regions of that spare partner..Men..wearign pointed grav boots that fit and look stylish..checks TAC Finn of holiday list.. Checks Chaplain's kit for crib sheets..nope.

Me Command of this Nova yeah that's me! How? I reprogram the Key and got a 2.0 enough to clear the compulsories off my syllabus.I actually got past TRill Life accepted transfer credits and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 112 Alpha Grade
06-23-2011, 04:32 PM
Alpha Grade

........There are jungle sounds, jungle smells, heat and humidity, all throughout the bio-dome. A wild animal screeches and runs through the brush unseen. Winged pteryxipods fly overhead, their scaly necks ending in teethy beaks and feathery heads.

........A frond to a large fern is gently pulled down, revealing the eyes of a jem'hadar. His skin is thick and rubbery and colored a muddy gray. Spiked bone portrudes around his crown and his chin. His eyes are sharp and his hearing acute. As he absorbs the stimuli of this environment, his movements are subtle and deliberate. He hears something ahead. He slowly lifts the frond back in place and then freezes.

........In the distance is an ever-so-slight brushing against the flora. To any ordinary humanoid, the sound would be drowned out by all other noise. But to the jem'hadar, it is a gong announcing the encroachment of an enemy. After a few minutes, the source of the sound emerges from the brush.

........A boy. A hirogen boy. The armor and helmet he wears is a dark blue-gray color. It would normally be easy to spot, but as the boy moves, the armor absorbs the light and reflects it in such a way as to blend the boy into the background.

........The boy is the same height as the jem'hadar, six feet, but more slim. The jem'hadar smirks. He keeps his eyes fixed on his prey and reaches down slowly and surely, pulling a knife from a sheath on his belt.

........A slight brushing sound off to the side catches his attention. His head jerks in the direction of the sound and then back to the spot where the hirogen boy stood. Nothing. The boy is gone.

........The jem'hadar strains his eyes, looking for the sliver of blue-gray. He looks in the light, in the shadows, under the greenery, low and high. Nothing.

........Panic sets in, compounded by the anxiety of withdrawal from the White serum. The jem'hadar fights to hold his breath and remain motionless. The sound of a brush against the frond in front of him raises his alarm. He screams and leaps forward.

........The hirogen drops and rolls, and the jem'hadar leaps over him. The jem'hadar lands and turns as the hirogen jumps to his feet. The hirogen raises the tetryon pulse rifle, and the jem'hadar stops, but holds the knife poised for striking.

........"Aim the rifle at his core, not his legs," a soft feminine voice sounds from the brush.

........The boy raises the aim of the rifle.

........A tall female hirogen, about seven feet, steps from the brush into the small opening. She has a flat, smooth chest with a muscular, bulky build, though more slender than her male counterpart. Her armor is thinner than the hunter's armor, and is copper red, signifying her status as both female and supervisor. Her helmet is the same as a hunter's, but is also copper red. Her skin is scaly and reddish orange. As she moves, the chameleon effect blends her into the background.

........"Don't hesitate," she says. "Your prey is armed and dangerous." She places a hand on the boy's shoulder, and then steps off to the side.

........The jem'hadar watches her closely, snarling to show the white of his teeth. The hirogen boy fumbles slightly with the rifle, keeping it aimed at the jem'hadar's chest. A withdrawal pain hits the neck of the jem'hadar, forcing him to wince and reach up to grasp the side.

........The trainee looks at the supervisor.

........"Eyes on the prey at all times," she says gently. "Don't give your prey any opportunity to escape or counterstrike."

........The boy returns his focus to the jem'hadar. The pain subsides, and the jem'hadar becomes agitated. He leaps towards the supervisor, swinging the knife downwards. She catches him, grabbing his knife hand with her hand, and then grasping his throat with her other hand. The jem'hadar flexes and pushes, forcing the supervisor's foot to dig into the earth. He manages to push her back several inches. Then she flexes and lifts him off the ground, tossing him on his back a couple of meters away. He groans in pain, but jumps to his feet. The jem'hadar then growls, turns to the boy and leaps. A tetryon blast slams the jem'hadar's chest. He falls face first to the earth.

........The supervisor walks over to the body. She lifts up his head and turns his face to her. She then raises his eyelids to look into his eyes. She lets go, and the jem'hadar's head plops back down.

........"Dead," she says. "One shot kill. That places you above your peers, Dunjir." The supervisor stands and smilingly motions for the boy to approach the jem'hadar's dead body. "You also waited to shoot him in the chest, face-to-face, instead of shooting him in the back. That earns you the alpha grade, to be just like your father, Sanjurid." She squats next to the body and motions him to do the same. He complies. "But you did learn one lesson, didn't you?"

........The hirogen boy looks at her with his brow scrunched.

........"You hesitated," she continues. "You showed him a moment of mercy. You gave him the opportunity to surrender. But he didn't, did he?"

........He shakes his head no.

........"Why do you think?" She asks.

........Dunjir shrugs.

........The supervisor sighs. She then looks the boy in his eyes sharply. He acknowledges the unspoken gesture of reproval with a nod.

........"He saw it as a weakness, a vulnerability worth exploiting," the supervisor continues. "He could have thrown his weapon down, knelt and surrendered. He didn't, though, did he? No. He asserted himself to dominate, because that is his nature. That is the nature of all prey worthy of the hunt." She pulls a knife from a sheath attached to her thigh. "We do not hunt prey that surrenders. There is no glory in that, no honor, no valor. We hunt for the kind of prey that would be the dominant species if we did not exist. We dominate, so that we're not prey." She hands Dunjir the knife. "Retrieve the skull. Your father will want to see proof of your success."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 113 The Academy
06-23-2011, 08:48 PM
Thinking back to the Academy, I can’t help remember how difficult it had been for me. I excelled in all my courses, and got along well with all of my instructors. The social aspects gave me the most difficulty. I was a stranger in a strange land, surrounded by dozen of species from a hundred different worlds. Vulcans and their logic; Tellarites and their antagonism; Rigelians and their Spirits; Bajorans and their religion; and the humans … It was strange. It was wonderful. And there were no Borg.

On Tobarrus, we traded with a handful of neighbors. They supported our guerilla war against the Borg with food, fuel, and hiding places. In return, we provided protection and in a few rare instances, search and rescue operations when a member of the ruling clan was assimilated. Our actions dictated the fate of dozens of worlds with each and every encounter with the Borg. When a Tobarrii made a mistake, millions of people suffered for it. Yet, our neighbors continued to support our efforts, despite the fact that we even kept the location of the Tobarrii home world secret.

At the Academy, I felt like a curiosity; a spectacle for all to see. Who was this alien that day after day fought the Borg in a faraway quadrant of the galaxy? People would stare and point. If I had understood the Federation better, I would have leveraged my fame to my advantage. Instead, my classmates would approach me and ask a few harmless questions. However, Tobarrii do not share sensitive and private information with strangers. It isolated me even further.

I didn’t make any friends until my final year at the Academy. By that time, I understood my classmates better. I had learned the proper etiquette for speaking with a Tellarite; that asking a Vulcan how they’re feeling will always end up in a lecture about something dull and boring; that you don’t discuss religion or politics with humans; and so much more. My favorite courses at the Academy were Anthropology and sociology. I’ve taken them up as a hobby, since then. In fact, I have made it a point to have one of the most diverse crews in Starfleet, just so I can learn more about their cultures and societies.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 114 Survival
06-24-2011, 02:46 AM
...This shouldn’t be that tough, he thought to himself. If I can survive Starfleet’s advanced tactical training course then what is escape from an Undine facility compared to that?

...The words sounded hollow as they echoed round his weary mind. Tanar had already overcome the first hurdle at least. The over confident guard had given his chains far too much slack, and to Tanar’s surprise, the snapping of an Undine’s neck was not as difficult as he had imagined.

...As a Starfleet officer he abhorred the idea of taking another’s life. Starfleet has taught him to respect all life. As a Cardassian, his people had taught him that sometimes taking a life is the only way to preserve ones own.

...He blocked the twinge of guilt that rattled around the back of his mind, grabbing at his morality through the prison bars of his resolve; he had a job to do, and now was not the time for regrets. An Undine infiltrator was now in command of his ship, for god knows what purpose. He had to save them.

...Back aboard the Relentless, the creature that wore his face walked into the Admiral’s ready room. So far everything had gone exactly to plan but there was no room for complacency. The telepathic scan he had performed on the inferior life form had yielded much, coupled with the logs they had retrieved from Starfleet’s central database, but he must know and understand the one he now acts as.

...“Computer,” he said, his voice pattern perfect in every detail, “show me all secure logs for Tanar, Elim, Vice Admiral.”
...“Please state security clearance.” chirped the female voice.
...“Tanar, Pi, alpha, one, one, three, alpha.” he replied sharply.
...“Security clearance verified; accessing records.” The data began to scroll across the screen. Personal logs were never uploaded to the central database, and as yet they had little access to who he was. The smallest detail would be crucial to know if their mission was to succeed.

...A faint sense of danger crossed the creatures mind. The creature focused its thoughts but the sense was lost. It carried on looking through the records. For some reason one jumped out at it. “Computer stop, play file index forty seven.”
...The image of Tanar stared back at him, much younger than the face it bore.

...“Today’s been a tough day. Our instructor had us flown to Vulcan on a transport no larger than this room. We were packed in like Ferengi round a Dabo table, no food, no sleep. I quite enjoyed the heat although Mckenzie was nearly sick over Hoskins. One more hour and it would have been a mess.” The young Cardassian chuckled to himself. The imposter watched his facial muscles intently.

...“Once there they unloaded us, strapped fifty kilogram back packs on us and told us to march across some Vulcan Desert. I head one of the guys say it was called the Forge or something? I don't know. Three hours we marched, three hours, My legs were killing me. Our instructor was a Vulcan, Commander Suran. He kept a brisk pace the whole time. We must have lost a third of the squad after an hour. Mckenzie was hurt pretty bad in one of the electrical sandstorms, I hope he okay. Doc says he should be but it was pretty scary. Only three of us made it to the finish line, me, a Vulcan and a Hologram although he nearly lost his mobile emitter once or twice. I felt like I was about to die by the time I got to the end. I’ve lost more weight that I knew I had, my feet look more like giant blisters, and my eyes are still stinging from the sandstorms. No wonder half the class washes out every year, but that won’t be me. despite the pain, and the dehydration, I loved every minute of it. Heck I’m not even an officer yet, most of the class are ten years older than me. I shouldn’t even be here yet but I am, and I intend to make the most of it. I’ll be the best ensign Starfleet has ever seen.

...The log came to an end. The image of a young, brash and confident young man lay frozen on the screen. The Undine chewed his genetically altered Cardassian lip. Another wave of danger crossed its mind, then a flash of determination. The residual telepathic link it has used to probe the Cardassian’s mind was still in place, even across realities. Tanar was a fighter, survivor and right now it knew he was no longer a prisoner.

...The Undine found itself displaying a curious side effect of being a bipedal creature as it began cursing in its stolen language.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 115 One, Final Test
06-24-2011, 04:11 AM
"I'm telling you, he'll be here!" she whispered emphatically, as her pale, blue-skinned hand grasped his, squeezing reassuringly.

Smiling at her earnestness, he shook his head slightly and replied, "I know you're trying to help, Tala, but, really, I'm not worried about whether he shows up, I'm just trying to not pass out in front of all this brass!"

His mind, however, warred against the words, even as he spoke them, because it did matter to him. Today was the day... His final, major test, before graduation from Starfleet Academy, the delivery of his dissertation to qualify for completion of Command School. As if completion and submission of the lengthy dissertation were not enough, a portion of the grade hinged upon its delivery, in front of a veritable sea of command pips, medals, and campaign ribbons, seemingly pinned to every, otherwise-unadorned scrap of cloth that covered the assembled officers of the General Staff, in attendance from nearby Starfleet Command.

It was not the legion of Starfleet officers that fueled his angst, however, but the glaring absence of one, specific individual, that threw his soul into torment. He and his father had not spoken, in person, since the day that he left for the Academy; their only communications had been terse, merely informative notes, advising each other as to their health and welfare, always with a civil, though frosty, veneer.

His father... Eugene Marshall... Well-known Federation Councilmember and part of President Bako's inner circle... His father who had never approved of his decision to enter Starfleet, believing that it would be better if he followed the carefully-crafted path that had been arranged for him... Enrollment in the best prep schools, followed by admission to Harvard University... A cozy position as an aide to one of Earth's Representatives to the Federation's General Assembly... Ultimately, following in his father's footsteps as a Councilmember... Every detail was planned with meticulous deliberation... Except for one... He had little (if any) desire to follow in his father's footsteps, seeing the cutthroat nature of political machinations from the inside, he preferred a path that would, hopefully, serve a more noble purpose; hence, his enlistment in Starfleet, despite an angry protest by his father.

Since that day, despite impressive marks in every class, discipline, and study at the Academy, he had never received a word of commendation or approval from his father. Most days, it did not bother him, as he had made his choice and was going to abide by it, regardless of the consequences or opinions of those around him. Today, however, the weight of expectations was driving his mind to the edge of despair, as he realized how desperately he craved a healing of that rift between him and his father, and further began to realize how much it had motivated his efforts in the past four years.

As if sensing his thoughts, the young, Andorian woman brought her hand up to his face and traced several, slender fingers along the sharp contour of his jaw, "You're not listening to me, Ben, I'm telling you, he will be here!" As she saw him give her a wistful glance and a half-smile, she continued, "Your father is not going to miss the most important presentation that you'll ever make at the Academy! You are going to graduate first in your class and I'm telling you, he is going to be here for this." The fingers tracing his jawline gently pulled his face down to hers and she emphasized her final words with a tender kiss.

A genuine smile creased his face as he looked down at her, "Well, whether he's here or not, I'm definitely going to go make you proud, at the very least." Even as he finished speaking, however, the smile faded to the same, pensive look that his face sported earlier, belying the turmoil that had his insides in open rebellion.

"He'll be here," she whispered again, seeming to sense his inner conflict, "Now, go out there, and show them that your father isn't the only Marshall that will be a star."

Chuckling quietly, he embraced her briefly, then stepped away from her and toward the curtain at the back of the stage. Taking a deep breath and consciously trying to will his emotions into balance, he pushed through the curtain and stepped out onto the stage, as the Academy Commandant finished his introduction.

Striding to the podium with a confidence that he did not truly feel, he shook the Commandant's hand and thanked him for the introduction. A smile and quietly-whispered, "Good luck, Ben" did little to alleviate the nervousness that he felt.

Looking out at the assembled officers and public officials, time seemed to slow as he pondered the future. This dissertation was but a tiny ripple in the pond of his life, but it would touch the lives of all those gathered here, many of whom would be his superiors in Starfleet, after graduation; as such, it took on a certain gravity that both amplified his personal nervousness, yet also helped him to steel his motivation to give an exemplary presentation.

As his eyes wandered over the crowd, he tried to block out his recognition of specific, high-ranking attendees, though, naturally, it was difficult to ignore Admiral Quinn and his personal staff. When the Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet, attends a function, it is nearly impossible to ignore. Looking away from the Admiral, to avoid adding to his anxiety, his gaze swiftly passed over the remainder of the crowd when, suddenly, his eyes locked on a stocky, white-haired man standing near the back of the auditorium.

Flanked on one side by his omni-present aide, a Vulcan female, on the other by his Rigelian bodyguard; and dressed in an immaculately-tailored suit, stood his father. His pale, blue eyes met the stare of his father's stone-gray eyes, and time stopped.

A thousand conflicting emotions raced through his mind, ranging from terrible frustration to unbridled elation. His face, remarkably, remained composed, despite the internal rollercoaster ride that he was experiencing. For a moment, all that passed between he and his father was the impassive stare that they shared. With a brief, barely-perceptible nod of his father's head, however, his nervousness vanished, replaced with a firm determination to validate his choice, made four years previous.

At the thought of the smirk with which Tala would tell him, "I told you he'd be here," a wry smile set itself upon his face. Acknowledging his father's nod with a slight nod of his own, he took a deep breath and began his dissertation.

"Space... The final frontier..."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 116 Definitions (pt1)
06-24-2011, 04:47 AM
Title: Definitions (pt1)

Sullenly, the Cadet entered the turbolift. Stares and occasional glares followed him. His proud brow ridges and dark complexion stood out even among the other species aboard the Relentless. When the mighty Klingon empire broke from the Federation, his House had opted to stay. What his House received was far from what it expected and much, much less than it deserved. Now, however, it was impossible to return to the Empire and so as a young warrior he had no choice but to enroll in Starfleet.

“Captain’s Ready Room,” he instructed the computer noting that two other occupants exited the turbolift when he entered.

“Alone,” he thought, “Yes, I prefer to be alone. A warrior must rely upon no one but himself. I can withstand your civilized shunning. I am Klingon.” His mantra was interrupted by the opening of the turbolift door. Facing him was a towering form, glaring at him with flaring nostrils. The form was almost a reflection of what he had once hoped to become. Drawing himself up to full height, he snapped off a salute and crisp, “Commander Disok, Sir!”

His fellow Klingon stared at him even harder, waves of contempt rippled off the Commander as a returned the salute and snarled, “Cadet Guktak. The Admiral will see you now. I assure you he has been fully briefed on your performance. Dismissed.”

With every fibre of his being, Guktak hated the Commander. “To think, this.. this…qoH was once one of my heroes. How harsh the reality.”

Cadet Guktak approached the door to the Admiral’s Ready Room. “No guards,” he thought, “on a Klingon ship there would be guards”.

The door chimed and a firm voice rang out “Enter”.

Admiral Sheppard’s Ready Room was a Spartan affair. From what Cadet Guktak understood of the standard accommodation of Defiant Refits, the Admiral had made exactly 4 changes to the standard décor: 2 model starships and 2 piles of latinum that, based on their sheer size, were fakes. “They couldn’t be real,” Guktak told himself, “otherwise the Admiral would own several planets. Why would he be in Starfleet?” His musings where interrupted by a delicate cough.

Cadet Guktak belatedly snapped to attention. “Sir, Admiral Sheppard. Sir!” This response was met with a decidedly uncomfortable noise from the Admiral. It sounded suspiciously like “Hmmmmmm?”

The Admiral acknowledged the Cadet and gestured to a chair opposite his desk. “Be seated Cadet Guktak.”

His refused of “I would prefer to stand, Sir” was rebuffed by a pointed gesture and a stern look that brooked no argument. It was clear. You. Chair. Now. Guktak obeyed.

Guktak seated himself as if he were asked to rest upon a bed of coals. As he did so the Admiral arose and began to stroll around the room, gently testing for dust and caressing objects at random.

“Do you know why I volunteered the Relentless to accept Academy Cadets Mister Guktak?”

“No, Sir. That is your decision and right. Not mine.”

“True enough,” the Admiral paused and faced Guktak, “but a little questioning and curiosity can be instructive every now and then… done appropriately, of course. I volunteered the Relentless to accept Academy Cadets, Mister Guktak, for two reasons. First, I received my first commission as battlefield promotion. Accordingly, I place great stock in real experience and real events. Secondly, I am always scouting for new talent for my rosters. However, I only accept on rotation Cadets that my officers have personally vouched for. Do you know who vouched for you?”

“No Sir. I assumed it was Commander Disok or Commander Vulkrath.”

“So you assume my Klingon officers recommended you to me. Well, you assumed wrong Cadet. Commander’s Disok and Vulkrath had never heard of you before your rotation here. I think your assumption is a hint at something we will get to shortly.”

Guktak was confused. This whole disciplinary hearing was not going at all as he expected. “Sir?”

“Perhaps it is time for that questioning and curiosity I mentioned. You may speak freely.” Admiral Sheppard took in the perplexed look of his charge, “Go on, give it a try.”

“Sir, I was of the view that this was a disciplinary hearing. Is it?”

The Admiral moved over to his desk and leaned against it. “Yes,” he replied very solemnly, “but it is not going to be like you expected and it is going to be tough. How you handle it will determine whether or not I recommend you see out your rotation or send you back to the academy for further evaluation.”

“I see” had barely escaped Guktak’s lips before he was cut off by the Admiral.

“No. No you don’t and that’s the heart of the problem, Cadet. Here is my challenge to you. You listen to me until I am done. I will ask you one question as I go. Then at the end you get one more question of me. After that you get 12 hours off duty and then you return here. When you come back, what you say will determine your future. This isn’t a take it or leave it deal. You take it or you are on a shuttle to Earth in five minutes. Are you determined enough to take me up on this challenge?”

Guktak bristled, “a warrior never refuses a challenge.” The Admiral’s smile revealed that Guktak had just been tricked, and rather simply too. Silently Guktak cursed himself.

“Glad to see. Glad.” The Admiral clapped Guktak on the shoulder in a way that he found highly irritating.

“To get started, I have some light reading to help frame all this. I want you to examine this PADD. There are two files on it and you may take both with you when you leave to help you in the next 12 hours. One is redacted for the moment. Take a quick look and give me your first thoughts.”

Guktak looked down at what he was sure would be Commander Disok’s “incident” report. Instead Guktak was confronted with his own detailed Starfleet Academy record in all its checkered glory. He thumbed to the other record. Names and dates were redacted but it too was a detailed and highly “colourful” Starfleet Academy record. Guktak was unsure as to why he was given the two files. The Admiral looked on expectantly and clearly was looking forward to Guktak’s response. Seconds seemed to stretch into minutes before he could form some response.

“Admiral, these records both appear to indicate that…their owners…have… a very similar pattern.” It was not what he should have said but “similar pattern” was all he could choke out. He ought to have said “failed” or “struggled” or perhaps even “inconsistent performance”. He ought to have said any of these but his Klingon pride would not let him.

The Admiral spoke again. “That is most kind of you, Mr Guktak. Very diplomatic. It might surprise you to learn that the redacted record is my own from the exact point in my career that you are now at. Let me remove those data block for you” And with that the Admiral casually reached into Guktak’s personal space and tapped the PADD. Again Guktak flared with annoyance but it quickly melted as the PADD now indicated that the record was that of Admiral Markus Sheppard... then Cadet Sheppard.

“Cadet, I believe that the similarities in our records have a similar cause. Now if I am right, you are at a fork in your life. I stand before as an example of where one path may lead. That door is not yet closed. You have 12 hours to decide if that is the path you want to aim for. To help you, I am going to tell you my story of this fork and how I faced it. Now it will be different for you but I want you to listen.”

“As a young man I grew up on the Moons of Titan. I was headstrong, self-assured, independent and convinced of my own eventual ascension to greatness. I was more or less a spacer who liked nothing more than hopping from moon to micro-moon and exploring. Now I thought Starfleet might let me explore more than little moons so I enlisted and came to Earth. Let me tell you, Earth was downright alien to me. For starter’s it had an atmosphere, there was wildlife, it had ever so tall buildings. Oh, and it had people. So many people. All of them were full of noise, noise, noise. Anyway, I was used to being self-reliant loner and I did not make friends easily. Pretty much the only folk that put up with me were a Vulcan named Sel’el and a Betazoid named Dyesane. Most humans and everyone else avoided the weird human spacer. And for my part, I annoyed the crap out of people. I wasn’t deliberately rude. It was just that I didn’t really see a need for others and I was pretty good at most things right off the bat. You will let me know if I throw too many colloquial phrases in, won’t you?”

Guktak could only nod. He had no idea where this was going and it made less sense the longer it continued. The Admiral picked up the story as if Guktak was not even there.

“Space flight: I knew it. Starship operations: done it. EVA: it was my hobby. Xenobiology, well, in fact any academic course: I aced them all because I spent a lot of time reading and teaching myself things back on the moons. However, there were some subjects where I completely bombed. For the life of me I could see no pattern. Diplomacy: fail. Tactical Deployment: Fail. Starship Command: conceded pass… and let me tell you, the way I got that one NO ONE wants to ever see again. But I digress.

“Sel’el and Dysane could see the problem because they were not me. They told me over and over again: Markus, you have learn to work with others. Sel’el kept telling me that it was logical. Dysane kept telling me all civilizations recognised the need to work together. I didn’t believe either of them.”

<continued in part 2>
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 117 Definitions (pt2)
06-24-2011, 04:48 AM
Title: Definitions (pt2)

“Shortly after the time reflected in that record you hold I went off and got hurt. Hurt bad. I am talking the sort of hurt that you don’t normally come back from. Never mind how. Let’s just say that a reckless young man who thinks he knows everything, who is frustrated and angry and has access to a micro-hopper is a dangerous combination. You might know a thing or two about that. Minus the micro-hopper of course.”

Guktak bristled at the implied insult. The Admiral was clearly caught up in his story and continued.

“You have heard of an EMH of course. Well, my body was so badly damaged that by the time I would be able to return to duty, the Academy year would have ended and I would have to repeat a whole year. Faced with that, I was ready to quit. But apparently one of the instructors had an idea and offered to arrange me a loaner body in the form of hologram. They would slave it to my mind via some technical link while my real body recovered. Sel’el and Dysane convinced me to try it out and truth be told I was looking forward to my temporary indestructible holographic body.”

“The reality was not what I expected at all. We all think of holograms as strong, resilient and being without mortal limits like being able to breathe. I got nothing like that. The link between my mind and the hologram was unreliable. The hologram was glitchy. Sometimes I was solid. At other times I was soft light. Usually I was somewhere in between and invariably I was slower and weaker than my real body. I never quite knew when I would lose solidity. It was frustrating. It was annoying and to top it all off I was an even bigger freak than before.

“Sel’el and Dysane helped where they could but the turning point for me was a shy young Bolian man who was studying engineering and was named Ordtin. One day my hologram turned unexpectedly weak. They tell me it was solar interference to the link. It was all I could do to carry my PADD and instruments but I dropped them and couldn’t pick them up. The hologram glitch left me there. Sel’el and Dysane were in other classes and here I was in a corridor unable to pick up all my equipment. Ordtin came over to me and he said “Do you need help?” I was stunned and he asked again, “Are you alright? Do you need help? You just have to ask.” It seems silly now, decades later but that last part struck me like a bolt of lightning: You just have to ask. A complete stranger was willing to help and if he did, it effectively made me stronger.

“That was the start of a life changing friendship. It made me realise that Sel’el and Dysane were right. I didn’t think I needed anyone and therefore I didn’t treat them right. This was why I was shunned. I didn’t care for people and I didn’t see value in anyone but myself. In hindsight it makes sense that only a Vulcan and a Betazoid could tolerate that type of treatment – for completely different reasons, of course. Anyway with that one revelation I started to rethink and redefine myself and my interactions with others. In the months I was using that hologram I turned my life around. There was even a party for me when I got my real body out of the hospital. People even turned up.”

The Admiral leaned over again and keyed the PADD. “Let me open the successive academic history for you”. Guktak quickly digested it and noticed a marked improvement – still a long way from an honour student but clearly someone passing on all fronts: perhaps excelling in a few.

“So Cadet Guktak, that is what made me the person I am today. I learned to accept my limitations and accept that synergy exists. The whole exceeds the sum of the parts. Now let’s consider you for a moment. It might surprise you that Commander Disok thinks very highly of your potential. He pushes you very hard because he wants to see that potential realised and not wasted. He also understands that the whole exceeds the sum of the parts. That is why he is not pressing charges for the swing you threw at him today. Pressing charges would squander your potential and Starfleet would lose what he considers to be a valuable opportunity. However, we are coming to a close. Commander Disok will not end your career. You will need to decide for yourself what defines you and whether you will embrace this career or reject it. Disok has considered this carefully against his honour and views. He is a Commander in Starfleet because he both takes and gives help and he considers how things contribute to become something greater than they can be than if they were alone.

“You have one question and then you are dismissed for 12 hours Cadet. What is your question?”

Guktak’s mind was reeling. An idea was dawning in him that he did not yet understand or have words to express. He wanted time to think it through: to see where it might lead him; to see if it might come to define him. Because of this, he could not ask that question now. Instead he looked the Admiral in the eye and asked, “Sir, if Commander Disok nor Commander Vulkrath recommended me for this rotation, may I ask who did?”

“A fair question. It was Chief Engineer Emetiz. I have no idea how you came to his attention but I do know he is in the lounge at the moment. Since he is a Betazoid, he is not only a good judge of character but he is also open to talk. Cadet, you are dismissed under your own reconnaissance. Think carefully. Use your time well. I expect you back here with your thoughts in twelve hours.”

Guktak rose and saluted, “Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir”.

As the young Klingon left, the Admiral already knew that he had just successfully planted seeds that what bloom into a fine Starfleet officer. All that remained now was time for the planted seeds to grow.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 118 Past Fears
06-24-2011, 06:10 AM
“You have GOT to be joking”, captain Tyr said to a startled crewman.
“Erm ... No sir, I swear they were at least three metres in length.”

The crewman, ensign Black, had a large gash on his left cheek that was still bleeding. His uniform was torn in two places and he was covered in mud, but his most prominent feature was the confused look on his face at his captain’s outburst. Mentally, captain Tyr cursed himself and quickly tried to regain his composure.

“I believe you crewman, you say the ... creature ... was beamed into cargobay 2?”
“Yes sir, but ‘doc’ has probably moved it to sickbay by now.”
“Thank you crewman you are dismissed, take a shower, have that wound taken care of and take the rest of the day off along with your team. You all did well today.”

The human ensign nodded and walked out the door. All looks of confusion gone after recieving such a compliment. Once he was gone Jijan let himself fall back in his chair, “Spiders, why did it have to be spiders ... and huge honking space ones no less”, a familiar chill of fear ran along his spots.
He walked over to the replicator and ordered a cup of chamomile tea. As he picked it up he noticed his hands shaking.
Stop it”, he thought.
Remarkably they did.

As he held his tea he couldn’t help dreading the moment when his chief medical officer, doctor Syaxani Tgaza, would call him and ask for him to come down to sickbay. He had half a heart to ignore her and stick to reading status reports from the comfort of the farthest possible location AWAY from sickbay. “An EPS juncture on Deck twelve I believe
But he was the captain, he couldn’t do that. He had to face his arch-nemesis once more: spiders. There was that chill again.

The pathological fear of arachnids he felt wasn’t even his, but belonged to his former host: Tazi Tyr. She had braved incredible danger to help out those in need in her short career. But when it came to arachnids she would run out of the room ... screaming ... right into the nearest broom closet. In fact, whenever she had to perform any kind of medical procedures on insectoid-like beings she would do it under the influence of a battery of tranquillizers. “Yes”, he thought, “she was that good”.

At that moment he heard the chime of the intercom followed by the voice of his medical officer, “Tgaza to Tyr. Captain, could you meet me in sickbay? I have something you might want to see.”
“Oh I seriously doubt that”
He hesitated only for a second or two before he acknowledged.
“I’ll be there in a few moments.”
As he left he absent mindedly put his cup of chamomile down on his desk.
Still steaming.

As he walked along the corridors towards sickbay he couldn’t help but think back to his days at Starfleet Academy. Some of his classmates had been somewhat bitter at his ‘unfair advantage’ and yes, he couldn’t deny that having the memories of three other people had helped him pass many a test during his training there. On top of that he excelled at tactical training and command all of his own, something that only fueled resentment in a few of his fellow cadets. No, his challenges weren’t cerebral or academic but of a personal nature. He had tried taking classes in exobiology in order to face his (or rather Tazi’s) fears and finally get rid of them. It had turned into a disaster.

During the final exams he had to perform a complex medical procedure in order to separate an insectoid that had clamped unto a half-klingon, half-human female. Without killing either of them. It had first been performed by ‘The Doctor’, the famous hologram from the starship Voyager. Until this day he still didn’t know if it was purposly done by his instructors, if someone broke into his files and assigned him that particular test as some sort of ‘prank’ or if it was sheer coincidence. But it nearly cost him his year. Where he had summoned the strength to keep going in that examination chamber he didn’t know. And now he had to do it again.

He took a deep breath and walked through the automatically opening doors of sickbay. As he saw a giant tangle of legs and fur lying on one of the biobeds he tried to look neutral and with the practised look of a captain he walked over to where Syaxani and a male nurse were performing their autopsy. As the image of the giant spiderlike creature became clearer he heard Docter Tgaza gasp and a loud ‘clank’ as she dropped her laserscalpel. She turned around and faced him, a look of understanding crossing the face of the elderly Betazoid. Of course she could telepathically feel what was going on. She closed her eyes for a moment and when she opened them again he knew her mental barriers were up. He adressed her with a practised voice, but she wasn’t fooled.

As Doctor Tgaza was relaying her findings he found he couldn’t help himself looking at the lump of flesh in front of him. It was huge, with no less than twelve legs and half as many eyes. It had a much longer body and he imagened it slithering towards his prey. Looking at the size of the mandibles the away team had been either lucky or extremely competent. And were those teeth?

Meanwhile the good doctor was still talking, he couldn’t understand half of what she was saying as fear clenched his heart. Did that leg just twitch? Did he see that indeterminable organ that the nurse was prodding at with an instrument contract? He shook his head slightly and forced himself to listen to his medical officer.
“The venom is of particular interest, it seems to have certain anti-viral properties. I’m having a sample analysed right now.”
“Fascinating doctor, was that all?”
“Just one thing, sir.”
“What is it Sya?”
He tried to smile but his cheeks seemed to be made of stone today.
“You are a brave man, captain”, she whispered so the nurse couldn’t hear, “few men would have come to see me in person under these ‘circumstances’.
Now he did manage a meek chuckle.
“Courage isn’t a manner of fearlessness, but of experiencing and facing said fear head on.”
“T’len of Vulcan, right?”
“Yes, a very controversial statement coming from her”, he said.
And with that he walked, as calmly as he could, out the door.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
"Looks like its now or never."

Krovennan eyed the rocky forest he stood in, Vilscar's landscape truly was beautiful, but it housed many hidden dangers, and now, to ascend to adulthood, Krovennan had to find one of these dangers and kill it.

This was the rite every Vilscaran had to go through, a few metres away, a hovering platform gently swayed as it circled Krovennan, standing on this platform, an elderly Vilscaran watched Krovennan from under the red hood of otherwise black robe, this was a Blood Prelate, the followers of Vex'Manna Mordeth, and also the one chosen to oversee Krovennan's actions during this test.

Next to the Blood Prelate hovered a small device, this was a holorecorder, projecting the live images to a stadium in Ossik'var, Vilscar's capital, this trend had risen about 200 years ago, the interest in what happens during this test gre exponentially during that time, and an unexploited market was quickly utilised, and live recordings of these events were now highly sought after.

Krovennan could have, if he wished, omitted from the recording, but he did not see it as a distraction, so he let it be, Krovennan was focsed on one thing, killing a Skildrassa, the rules were simple, Krovennan could kill the Skildrassa in anyway he wished as long as it did not utilise energy weapons, most creatures of Vilscar had energy resistant hides anyway, so they were ineffective gainst these creatures, he also had to doeverything himself, the Prelate could not help him other than to escape if something were to go wrong, and he could not enlist the help of any other Vilscaran or vehicle to aid him.

Krovennan knew these rules and adhered to them for the three days he had been left in the forest, he had brought enough gear to set up a reasonable camping site, some food, water, and his trump card, all of which had been approved by the Blood Prelate beforehand to ensure he was not breaking any of the rules.

Krovennan had been following a male Skildrassa since last night, and now the beast was just beyond the bushes, it had stopped to drink from a nearby lake, the creature was the size of an animal native to earth known as an "Elephant", but unlike the elephant, this was no lumbering herbivore, this creature was fast, strong, and like most wildlife on Vilscar, carnivorous, it also more resembled some kind of reptile rather than a mammal, the pale red scales of the beast glistened in the morning sun, the toothy snout of the beast half dipped in the water, and the long tail rested against the ground.

Krovennan waited silently in the bushes, the Blood Prelate watched intently from the canopy above, the Skildrassa, having had it's fill of water, begun to leave, Krovennan took his chance, Manna'gahr in hand, Krovennan charged the beast, the Skildrassa was initially taken off guard, and Krovennan ran right past the creature, scraping his weapon along the Skildrassa's flank, the creature howled in pain and stumbled as Krovennan stopped his charge after he had reached a safe distance to avoid being counter-attacked by the beast.

The Skildrassa regained it's composure and now glared at Krovennan, snarling and growling at him as Krovennan brought his Manna'gahr up until the front end was beside his head, turned sideways and aimed at the beast. The Skildrassa bellowed a deep roar before charging Krovennan, the beast's loping strides gave Krovennan little timeto bring his Manna'gahr up in defense, but Krovennan managed it, the beast's hardened snout impacted off the metal with a clash, the pair were locked in a struggle before the beast's superior strength allowed it to knock Krovennan back.

Krovennan was stumbled lon enough for the beast to charge into him, Krovennan was hit in the chest with the Skildrassa's forehead before the beast threw it's head back,sending Krovennan flying into the rock face behind him. The Skildrassa released a roar of triumph as Krovennan got up, he knew he did not stand a chance in a test of strength, he had to lure the beast to the trap he had set in order to defeat it, the beast charged again, Krovennan rolled to his right just before the beast struck the rock behind him, it was dazed momentarily but quickly regained it's composure, since Krovennan was closer this time, it did not charge and proceeded to swipe and bite at him with it's clawed front legs and crushing jaws.

Krovvennan took on a more defensive strategy, deflecting or parrying the Skildrassa's attacks while occasionally swiping at the beast to keep it aggravated, all the while Krovennan moved back slowly, the beast was in a rage and Krovennan's skill with the Manna'gahr was the only thing stopping it from overwhelming him, so it took no notice of this and continued to fight with Krovennan.

This duel continued with no sign of slowing down, Krovennan had succeeded in drawing the Skildrassa out of the forest along the cliff face, but he was beginning to tire, the Blood Prelate, who had been following from a safe distance this whole time, noticed this and readied the platforms tractor beam, in case Krovennan needed to be removed from the situation quickly.

After another half a minute of sparring between Vilscaran and beast, the pair were in the valley where Krovennan had set the trap, Krovennan took a wild swipe and cleaved the beast's left eye in half, the Skildrassa thrashed in pain, knocking Krovennan backwards, not waiting to let the Skildrassa recorvered, Krovennan parted the bushes he had left, a tunnel was carved into the rock face, Krovennan had carved this yesterday using the tools he brought with him, none of them were powerful enough to even tickle the beast, so they were allowed, krovennan clambered through the small tunnel, using the artificial handholds to pull himself through as the tunnel curved upwards until he pushed through the net he had placed over the exit to avoid something unwanted moving in, Krovennan clambered to the top of the cliff, the Skildrassa was still where he had been, the Skildrassa had followed Krovennan's scent to the tunnel and was now attacking the rock face in the hope it would lead to the beast's prey.

Krovennan lifted a rock from the ground and a device from his pocket, thankfully it was not damaged, Krovennan threw the rock at the unsuspecting beast merely six feet below him, the rock impacted on the creature's back and got it's attention, the beast lifted it's ruined face to rkovennan and roared in anger before trying to climb up the cliff face to no avail. Krovennan simply smirked and pushed the button on the device.

A series of explosions went off around the far end of the miniscule valley, and soon, that sound was replaced with the sound of a landslide, the Skildrassa noticed too late as the torrent of rock punded against it's body, one rock broke it's right foreleg, another shattered a rib on the other side, before a boulder larger than the beast itself tumbled down the hill and impacted the beast, just as Krovennan had planned.

With the beast both pinned and mortally wounded by the boulder, Krovennan leapt down from above and sent his Manna'gahr plunging into the Kildrassa's neck, biting deep against the tough hide and piercing the neck bone, the creature thrashed for a few moments before lying still, krovennan had slain his Skildrassa, it was now time for evaluation.

the Blood Prelate set the platform down on the ground just outside the clearing, the holo-recorder following him and surveying the dead beast, Krovennan dislodged his Manna'gahr from it's arm mount and stabbed the back point into the ground before him as a sign of victory.

"I have slain this beast in accordance to the rules of the test, will you validate this kill?"

Krovennan's words were known to every Vilscaran above the age of 5, every Vilscaran needed their kill approved by the Blood Prelate to count, if the Blood Prelate did not validate the kill, Krovennan would have to try again at a later date, and while there was no shame in doing so, it was still not ideal. The Blood Prelate remained silent for a minute as he shifted his gaze between Krovennan and the beast, to Krovennan it felt like hours, he just knew the stadium where this was being broadcast had fallen perfectly silent in anticipation of the result. The Blood Prelate turned to the holo-recorder as a sign that he was ready to give his decision.

"As Vilscarans, we strive for strength of body, and strength of mind. The use of explosives may be seen as cheating or finding a loophole, however, it is not listed as prohibited, and Krovennan has displayed the strength of his mind by exploiting this loophole, for in combat, nothing is prohibited to you or your opponent. I, Skorvin Drennas, Blood Prelate overseer of this test, therefore give my verdict."

Krovennan stayed motionless, resting his hands on the Manna'gahr jutting from the ground, but inwardly he was tense as could be.

"I declare Krovennan's kill of the Skildrassa...valid."

Krovennan relaxed his shoulders slightly, unbeknownst to him, the stadium in Ossik'Var was trembling with the cheers of the crowd, Krovennan removed his weapon from the ground and shook hands with the Blood Prelate before boarding the platform, as it sped for the city, a loud echoing howl reverberated through the air, lupine in nature, and enough to make any Vilscaran's skin crawl, the Blood Prelate turned to Krovennan.

"Looks like we left just in time Krovennan, I'd say it was only a few minutes away."

Krovennan nodded, that howl was etched into every Vilscaran's psyche as an omen of death, the creature it belonged to, an enormous monstrosity of the deep woods, devoured the population of an entire city to sustain it's immense body, and it had no problem with attacking a Vilscaran city, were it not for the forcefields, it and it's kin would have devoured the entire Vilscaran race, nowadays, the Vilscarix kept to the mountain woods, but every now and then, one would try it's luck, and the military of it's target city would fight hard to defend that city.

So far, there had been no failures, but the Vilscarix was a powerful and fearless predator, focusing almost solely on crushing the forcefields under it's immense jaws to reach the populace inside.

It was only a matter of time...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Standard Earth Date, June 12th, 2399

It was Arachnidus' final test of his Senior year at Starfleet Academy. He'd spent the past four years training to be an officer, and that day was rapidly approaching. All he had to was pass this final, infamous test. The Kobayashi Maru.

Every single wannabe-officer had to take this notorious test. Starfleet required it. Most people said that it couldn't be defeated, and that there were only three ways to handle the situation. The first and likely hardest one was you either managed to save the Kobayashi Maru, a simulated civilian cargo vessel, perhaps losing your ship and crew in the progress. The Admiralty Board's reasoning was likely that if you were capable of saving the ship, even against such tepid odds, then losing your crew was of no consequence; you had done the impossible, and every captain could face such a situation, where the 7,500 person crew of the Maru would outnumber even the largest of Starfleet craft. The needs of the many, as they say.

The second possibility was that you saved a portion of the crew of the Maru and your ship, and managed to escape the attackers. This one would seem to be the least challenging, however, the failure rate for those who attempted the maneuver was still hovering at around 40%.

The third and most intriguing possibility to Arachnidus was the one that would net any person who did it successfully the James T. Kirk Commendation for Ingenuity, or, as his best friend and notorious campus womanizer Mark Parker put it, "what you get for cheating". This option would involve reprogramming the holodeck simulation in the most ingenious way possible. You would have to retake the test, but there was a curve applied to your score. Or something like that, Arachnidus couldn't really see how someone would apply a curve to such a "test".

Wanting nothing short of a giant publicity stunt and a challenge, Arachnidus went with option 3. The reason it was so coveted was because it involved sneaking into the campus serverhouse, or finding a way past the Campus Security that guarded it, and reprogramming it directly. In fact, that was part of the test. I don't think anybody realizes just how funny it is that they condone this, Arachnidus thought, as he crept out of his dorm to find his best friend and compatriot in the test tomorrow.

Mark was going down the yellowshirt path, for security officer. The board now allowed students applying for command(which Arachnidus probably wouldn't be ready for any time soon, unless something horrible happened to the Captain on his posting, which is a horrible thing to think of) to choose their own crew, and, with Mark being his best friend and one of the highest scoring students on the Weapons Targeting and other ship related tests necessary for his posting, Arachnidus demanded that he'd be his Chief Security Officer and Conn Officer for the KM. But first, they needed to do some server tinkering.

The halls were dark, as it was 1:40AM PST. Arachnidus had just gotten back from visiting his mother in New York City during Finals Week, after finishing his tests, and wasn't acclimated to his now standard time zone. As such, he was perky and awake as if it were the brightest day of the year. He'd chosen the time because this is when most people would either be at end of year parties(he'd seen several of his classmates carting some definitely non-synthaholic beverages to some dorms) or asleep. What he didn't count on was his best friend and dorm mate's disturbing ability to get with women. So he had to do something he'd hoped he'd never have to do; sneak down a hallway of Starfleet Academy's McCoy Dorm, using a tricorder he normally used for his classes, to find the biosignature of his best friend and whoever he was currently intimate with.

After ten minutes of searching, he'd approached the room, which, to his surprise, read as three life signs, not two. Well then, this is probably going to scar me for life Arachnidus thought. He pressed the door ringer and awaited it's opening. Instead, he got a surprising response.

"Richard! Go away!"

His best friend loved to use Arachnidus' human translation for his name. And, in this instance, it was being used to shoo him away from passing the most important test of his career. Not entirely unsuspecting this possibility, Arachnidus pulled out an OSD he'd set up two days ago with a door cracking program and loaded it into the maintenance panel next to the dorm. With one command from his phone (the tricorder was issued by the academy, and did not have the ability to connect to Ad Hoc connections, only the campus Wi-Fi used for the labs), the door opened up and, to his surprise, he didn't see anybody. Just a bed.

A bed with the blankets horribly warped and the shapes of three people underneath. Mark's head quickly popped up from the middle and Arachnidus had to suppress the urge to collapse in laughter as he spoke.

"Hey, buddy!"

"Mark, come on, we've got that thing we were talking about. You can finish up here later."

"Gah, fine. Ladies, I'm so very sorry."

After he spoke, two human girls, both of whom he recognized as Sophomores, sat up in the bed. The one to the left noticed Arachnidus and smiled, then spoke.

"Hey, Richard. Good luck on the Maru tomorrow."

"Thanks, Michelle." Arachnidus wanted to spend as little time as possible here, especially considering they had a limited window of opportunity to do this.

It took ten minutes, but the pair of friends were out of the dorm and approaching the Montgomery Scott Engineering and Computer Center. The paths across the beautiful campus were lit with low power solar charged lights, giving the exciting situation a calming tone. In the distance, Arachnidus could see the most famous city on Earth as of the 22nd Century. San Francisco was alight, and though it wasn't nearly as much of a sight to behold as the stratospheric skyscrapers of New York City or the Space Elevator in Havana, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge beset by a backdrop of a glowing city, where skyscrapers rose into the heavens and shuttles whirred past, Arachnidus almost felt himself completely entranced. Luckily, he was too nervous to get distracted.

As they entered the building, which was oddly unguarded (likely as there were students still studying at this hour), they approached the server room, which was guarded.

Arachnidus and Mark pressed up against the walls on either side of a standard pneumatic door. Arachnidus hoped the lifesigns inhibitors he'd fabricated, with the help of one Cadet Sasha Lawson, a few days ago, had not failed them. He pulled out his tricorder and saw that there were only two lifesigns within 30 meters of the scanner's location; the two guards in the server hub. Now, the plan would come together, and it was time for Mark to fulfill the role Arachnidus had dragged him along for.

"Alright, man, it's time for you to act your best, drunken self you can" Arachnidus whispered to his friend.

"I gotchu, man. You are going to owe me so much for this."

"Yeah, whatever. Do your thing." Arachnidus ran into the shadows of the staircase about fifteen feet to the left of the door and awaited the culmination of his friend's experience. The doors slid open and Mark waltzed in.

"Hey there buddies, do you-" he stopped and punctuated with a burp, then continued. "Would either of you guys know where I could find my lobster? I love that guy. He's awesome."

The lifesigns detector showed the two security officers moving towards his friend.

"Sir, you need to leave this room."

"Aww, come on dude, I'm just having a time. Besides, I need to find that ******n lobster. He owes me money."

Arachnidus could only imagine the looks on the guard's faces. It was 2:00AM now, it'd been about 20 minutes since the "operation" started. They were wasting too much time. He hoped Mark had an ace up his sleeve.

Unbeknownst to Arachnidus, he did.

"Woops, I think the lobster spiked my drinks. Goodnight, fellas" Mark said before faking collapsing.

Arachnidus paid close attention to what he could hear.

"He's still breathing. Hey, I think this kid's in my C-Band Physics class."


"Yeah, he hit on my girlfriend a few times. Let's dump him somewhere."

Two things came to Arachnidus' mind. First, how ******n stupid are these people?. And, second, they must be using students to guard the servers for the test...then again, these aren't the real server houses, just the holodeck memory banks.

After a hilariously awkward moment of watching the two lumbering Seniors carrying out his best friend, who looked at him without them noticing, and gave Arachnidus a facial expression that could only mean "I'm going to murder you. In your sleep.", Arachnidus rushed stealthily into the server room.

From there on, he just uploaded his custom program and went back to his dorm to sleep, where he found his best friend in the bed opposite from him, a human phallus drawn on his forehead.
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