Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,335
# 11 LC63: Nightmare Anomaly
05-05-2014, 10:31 AM
Captain's Personal Log, Stardate: 91946.4. Lieutenant Commander Ryan Allington, Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Victorious.

If you'd told me a week ago that I'd end up being trapped in a my worst nightmares, I would have said you were crazy.

Would have.

So, let's do a rundown, shall we? My Chief Engineer is in Sickbay, restrained to a biobed for her own safety. I'm seeing the U.S.S. Horizon explode again and again...

Let's start from the beginning... Three days ago.

Captain's Log. Stardate: 91938.2 (3 Days Earlier). Lieutenant Commander Ryan Allington, Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Victorious.

While conducting a standard survey at the edge of the Delta Volanis Star Cluster, our long range sensors have detected a subspace rift which does not conform to known readings. As per regulations, we are approaching at low warp to investigate.

End of Log

Ryan stands next to the Operations station, hand pressed against the back of the chair as he leans over Alpha's shoulder, curiosity evident all across his expression, as he asks the Android "Are you sure Starfleet Records have never picked anything like this up before?"

"Negative, sir. No subspace anomaly has ever shown these characteristics."

Ryan stands straight, looking at the ever-closening rift on the viewscreen. "Time to threshold?"

"30 seconds before we drop to sublight, sir." The ensign at the helm turns from his station momentarily.

"Alpha, any radiation?"

"Standard background Micro- and Gamma Waves. Nothing unusual, except..." The Android pauses.

"Alpha?"

"A curious sound frequency coming from the anomaly."

"Sound can't travel through space." Ryan turns to the origin of the protest, Tala at the Security and Tactical Station.

"Not necesserily correct, Ensign. Sound is essentially kinetic vibrations travelling through the air. Sound can however be interpretted through liquid, solid or anything else which carries vibration. There are significant amounts of Hydrogen and Helium gas being transferred out from the rift and impacting the hull, transmitting a curious sequence of vibrations."

"Does it pose a danger to the ship?" Ryan sounds worried, now more focused on the anomaly.

"I do not believe so.

"Sir, curious. I have just completed a second scan of the anomaly."

"What did you find?"

"It is not what I found, but what I did not find. According to our sensors, there is nothing at the coordinates of the anomaly."

"You mean the sensors can't detect it?"

"No, sir. The sensors do not detect anything at those coordinates. No matter or radiation. However, at the rift's boundary, there is a large build up of matter. I believe the anomaly is repelling all matter which surrounds it."

"Keep scanning.

"Well, we were due at Starbase 12 for refit, but I think this warrants a few hours of our time, don't you?"

"Indeed, sir."

Ryan looks out the viewscreen again, at the bright rift, almost like a massive cascade of cracks in the glass of space - a web-like pattern with white light shining out from it. Ryan then shifts his gaze from the almost mesmorising show of light, to a strange sphere-like shape in the corner of the viewscreen. "Science station, report."

He then recognises the classic shape of an Olympic-Class starship's stardrive section connected to the sphere, and sees three Klingon B'rel-Class Birds-of-Prey make an attack run on it, as purple clouds of plasma flood from the nacelles. Then, following a series of green disruptor bursts, he watches as the ship is engulfed in the tell-tale white flash of a matter-antimatter explosion.

"Red Alert! Science Station, I want a scan of that entire area now!"

"Sir?"

He turns to see his entire Bridge Crew looking at him, bewildered."

"Captain, sensors show that there is nothing out there." Alpha states as a matter of fact from the Ops position.

Ryan turns back to the viewscreen, confused. "Right. Of course. My mistake." He stares at the anomaly for a few long moments before beginning his stride towards his Ready Room. "You have the Bridge, Lieutenant."

2 hours later, Captain's Ready Room.

Ryan is seated behind his desk, with a small circular device in front of him, projecting an image of an Olympic-Class Starship. Directly below the ship are the holographic words 'United Star Ship Horizon, Federation Medical Vessel'. He then glances over to a photo over to the side, of an older man and women, both in Starfleet Uniform. The women has short brown hair, and is wearing a teal Starfleet Medical Uniform, while the man is wearing the Command Red. They're both displayed with three rectangular gold pips across their chests.

Ryan is swiftly broken from his trance when the door chime rings out through the room.

"Come."

The doors silently hiss open, as Tala steps in. "Am I disturbing you?"

"No, of course not. Please..." He gestures to one of the two seats opposite his side of the desk.

Tala gives a curt nod, before sitting down and glancing at the hologram. "I heard about what happened to the Horizon. It was during 2407, wasn't it?"

"Stardate 85697..." Ryan began solemnly, "point 58. Only 12 survivors, from a crew of over 600."

"It wouldn't be the last time the Klingons destroyed a Medical Ship at Starbase 24."

"No... it wouldn't." Ryan turns off the projector, before clearing his throat and looking at Tala. "You needed something, Ensign?"

Tala nods, before handing him a PADD. "We've had a number of incidents in the past couple of hours. Nothing major, but a lot of the crew have been reporting hallucinations."

Ryan raises an eyebrow, looking up from the PADD. "This is almost a third of the crew."

"Ensign Dannover's checking the air recycling system for contaminants, and we're checking the crewmen affected for intoxicants and hallucinogens."

"Any pattern?"

"Only that they all seem to be seeing either nightmares or bad memories."

Ryan looks up again, thinking for a minute at the startling coincidence. "You say this started after we arrived at the anomaly?"

"I suppose so."

"You suppose so? You knew when this started and you couldn't make the connection to our arrival at the anomaly?" Ryan stands up and hurriedly walks onto the bridge. "Alpha, drop off a Class V probe! Helm, set course 180, mark 0 relative current orientation! Warp Factor 1!"

"Aye, sir!" The helm frantically starts entering commands into his console. Alpha turns from his station as Ryan takes his seat in the Command Chair.

"I have released the probe and configured it to broadcast all data to Starbase Deep Space 2."

"Alright..." Ryan says as he checks the small console on the arm of his chair, before looking to the helmsman. "Helm, engage."

The helmsman taps several keys on his console as the ship begins to turn away. Ryan looks in puzzlement as the anomaly changes colour from white to red.

"Alpha, has the anomaly done that before?"

"Aye, sir. Several times since we arrived. You were on the bridge for one of them."

"I don't remember--"

They suddenly hear shrill screaming from the helmsman as he launches himself from his station, frantically clawing at his skin on the deck, repeatedly screaming "Get them off me!" as Ryan and Alpha hurry over to him.

"Bridge to Sickbay, medical emergency!"

The crewman soon stops, as his body goes still, his face contorted in terror. Alpha places to finger on his neck, before looking at Ryan. "He is dead."

Captain's Log, Stardate: 91943.1.

It has been more than a day since the death of Ensign Yuri Gugarav on the Bridge. All attempts to leave the vicinity of the so-called 'Nightmare Anomaly' have failed, the latest one when we were forced to jettison the Warp Core after Chief Engineer Dannover observed a build-up to warp core breach.

The breach was yet another hallucination triggered by the anomaly, and we are now attempting to retrieve the core.

End of Log.

On Deck 7, Elizabeth Dannover is working in a Jefferies Tube, with one of the panels to the bio-neural network nodes open. She has a tricorder out, scanning the gel pack.

If she doesn't get this right, they won't be able to restart the warp core due to the safety overrides.

Suddenly, she starts hearing voices in her head again, as there is slight pain coming from her interlink node. She shakes her head briefly, waiting for it to pass. She then quickly snaps her head to the side, as a shadow flickers past the next junction. She drops the tricorder, slowly crawling towards the junction as she hears a shrill drilling sound, and a soundtrack of electronic humming. She lets out a start as someone grabs her shoulder from behind, turning and pulling her fist back, before relaxing as she sees it's just Ryan.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah..." Dannover takes a deep breath before continuing nervously, "I just... thought I saw something."

She bites her lip. "What are you doing down here?"

"I was just checking the safeties before we bought the core back in."

Dannover looks at him, confused. "Why?"

"Heh..." Ryan leans back on the wall of the crawlway as he thinks. "I started out in engineering, before I switched to Command Track. I guess it's just an old instinct."

He pats her shoulder again. "You okay?"

Dannover nods. "I was just finishing up with the node myself."

"We all good?"

"Uh-huh..."

Ryan smiles, giving her a reassuring nod before crawling back the way he came. Elizabeth lets out a deep breath, before returning to the computer node and collecting her equipment.

As she steps out of the hatch and back into the corridor, she starts hearing that electronic hum again, this time with a series of mechanical whirs. She shakes her head, trying to snap out of it, as she turns a corner. Suddenly, her heartrate shoots up; she sees the normal Starfleet corridor, but poisoned with sickly brown metal devices protruding out of it, with the lighting changed to that horrible, evil emerald green. She shakes her head violently, as flickers of fire start appearing, the evacuation klaxon blaring, and her head filling with that terrifying chorus of deep, dark, monotone voices.

"Dannover?"

She feels something grab her shoulder.

****

Tala quickly ducks below the closed fist, as she spins around and usesher right forearm to block a follow-up, using her left hand to tap her combadge. "Security to Deck 7!"

She bounces back a little, pulling her arms up to guard as Dannover throws another punch at her, letting out a terrified grunt.

"Dannover, it's me!" Tala deflects the punch before delivering a palm strike to her shoulder, not reacting quickly enough, as Dannover seems to almost instinctively grab her wrist before it connects, twisting her arm at a sick angle.

Letting out a painful strain, Tala spins herself around her shoulder to put her arm back to a physically painless position before pulling Dannover's arm into an armbar, pushing her left hand against Dannover's shoulder, and slamming her against the wall, hearing the glass computer screen crack from the impact as Dannover strains against her.

"Liz, snap out of it!"

Dannover strains slightly, before she feints for a moment, Tala holding her up. Dannover shakes her head, before responding, dazed and confused, "Tala?"

Sickbay, 15 minutes later.

"She thought I was a Borg." Tala is leaning against the wall as Ryan and the EMH look at Dannover, held onto the Biobed by a restraining field.

Ryan looks to the EMH momentarily, "Is the restraining field--?"

"She has had several other violent hallucinations since she was admitted. The restraining field is for her protection as much as ours." The EMH replies, gesturing to the small cut on Tala's cheek. Ryan notices it and looks at Tala quizzically.

"She went nuts almost as soon as I bought her to sickbay. If the EMH weren't online, it would have been a lot worse."

"Understandable," the EMH begins, first looking at Tala, then Ryan, then to Dannover, "given her experience with the Borg. Entering Sickbay could very easily have triggered an hallucination of a Borg Assimilation Bay."

"This is getting out of control." Ryan starts, agitated, "I've had 5 reports of similar incidents with the crew. Whatever this anomaly is, it's not just triggering brief hallucinations of small details or images anymore. It's causing full-fledged instances of violent, totally convincing hallucinations." He turns to the EMH. "When will Doctor Viran be back up?"

"Doctor Viran's symbiont is in danger due to the rise in hormones triggered by her own hallucinations. I will keep you informed should that change."

"Thank you, Doctor."

Ryan turns on his heel and walks out.

As he steps into the corridor, he's greeted with the site of burning fires and the red alert lighting, along with the evacuation klaxon blaring. He sees dozens of Starfleet Officers running through the corridors, some of them medics helping wounded civilians towards the escape pod bays. Ryan very quickly realises where he's seen this before, as the women from the photograph kneels over the body of a dead crewman, scanning him with a tricorder. Ryan's heartbeat elevates, as he trembles out a single word.

"Mum...?"

He suddenly hears loud shouting, in Klingon, accompanied with the sound of disruptor blasts. The medical officer pulls out her phaser, before there's an explosion.

"NOOO!!!"

Captain's Personal Log, Stardate: 91946.4. Lieutenant Commander Ryan Allington, Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Victorious.

If you'd told me a week ago that I'd end up being trapped in a my worst nightmares, I would have said you were crazy.

Would have.

So, let's do a rundown, shall we? My Chief Engineer is in Sickbay, restrained to a biobed for her own safety. I'm seeing the U.S.S. Horizon explode again and again...

Let's start from the beginning... three days ago...

How do I even begin?

Well, I guess if you're listening to this, then you've probably already read my official log. I suppose you already know what's happened.

It's been more than 5 years since my parents were killed when the Horizon was destroyed, but I still can't stop thinking about it. Running it through my head, over and over again.

I wasn't even there. I was in the lobby at Starfleet Academy when the alert about the attack came in. I saw the Horizon explode in real time.

How am I supposed to command this crew when I can't even think clearly because of these hallucinations?

End of Log.

Alpha is sitting at the Ops Station on the Bridge, watching the anomaly with his instruments. The past several days have been enlightening for him, and hollowing. In the past several days, he'd seen the various crewmembers on board exhibit signs of irrationality and become overwhelmed with fear. He'd been intrigued by how easily his humanoid crewmates had been overcome by fear - something he doesn't experience. However, he'd also been fascinated by how the crew has come together in a sense of comraderie - an emotion he has classified as 'positive' and one he knows he will likely never experience personally.

And he'd ascertained that existential insight in less than half a second.

As he continues to watch the anomaly, he notices a curious pattern. He runs the hundred different scenarios in his mind that could explain it, but to no avail. He expands the parameters. And again. Soon, he discovers the most likely possibilty and, less than 10 seconds after he'd started his investigation, he's standing up and tapping his coombadge. "Alpha to Lieutenant Commander Allington."

"Go ahead, Alpha."

"Captain, may I request a senior staff meeting in the Obseration Lounge immediately?"

***

5 minutes later, Alpha is standing by the large monitor on the port wall of the Observation Lounge, with Ryan sitting in the chair at the opposite end of the conference table. Tala is sitting next to him, with Dannover and Doctor Sara Viran - the ship's Trill CMO - attending via visual communication from Sickbay. On the monitor behind Alpha is a sensor image of the Victorious and the anomaly. Alpha begins his presentation. "All efforts to attempt to escape the influence of the anomaly thus far have failed. To this moment, all attempts to leave have triggered a hallucination for any crewman who is in a position to stop our escape."

"Like when I ordered the jump to warp. Ensign Gugarav suffered a panic attack just as he was about to engage our warp drive." Ryan had his eyes fixated on Alpha - he'd learned over the past year never to dismiss the Android's suggestions.

"Or when we tried a second time. I saw the Warp Core start to go into meltdown." Dannover was also focused on Alpha.

Alpha nodded. "And later you and 50% of the Engineering Department were confined to Sickbay or Crew Quarters due to your hallucinations, which is now slowing efforts to reinstall the warp core." Alpha then turns to Ryan. "Captain, it is my hypothesis that this pattern is not coincidental. All evidence points to one thing; the anomaly is not a typical subspace rift - it is a life form."

Ryan and Tala lean forward in their seats, everyone's face's in shock, as Ryan asks, "A life form?"

"The anomaly has shown none of the typical signs of a subspace rift. There is no subspace radiation being released from the event horizon, and matter can only travel one way through it. Furthermore, the only matter that has so far passed through it has been hydrogen and helium gas, which would suggest a protostar nebula."

"And as Voyager proved, some life forms can appear to be nebulae to our sensors."

"Also consider the irregular pattern of vibrations which have been colliding with our shields. I believe that it is an attempt at communication."

"Not that this isn't fascinating, Alpha," Tala had a hand out, apologetically, "but how does this change the fact that we're trapped here?"

"We are not."

"Say again?"

"We are not."

Ryan and Tala smile as they find yet another communication barrier with the Android, before Ryan elaborates, "No, Alpha, she means 'explain'."

"Ah. Intriguing.

"The life form has made no attempts to prevent our use of sub-light propulsion, only our warp drive. I believe it is attempting to defend itself."

"What?"

Alpha taps a small panel on the table, which displays a new filter over the image, from the ship's subspace sensor array. "This area of subspace is at present very unstable due to the presence of the life form. An attempt to warp out from this position would create a new subspace rift, which would annihilate the life form."

"It's been acting only to protect itself."

"I believe the incident with Ensign Gugarav was an accident, sir. All hallucinations since have been much more tame."

Dannover and Tala both clear their throats simultaneously.

"The hallucination only turned violent after Ensign Tala triggered an instinctive defensive reaction from you, Ensign Dannover."

They both nod in understanding, before Tala brings up another point, "Alpha, if this life form is trying to communicate with us... it hasn't done a good job."

"On the contrary, all crewmembers who have suffered hallucinations have reported that they were based on fears and nightmares, esxcept one." Alpha now looks directly at Ryan.

"Me." Ryan begins to understand. "My hallucinations have been much more specific. They've been focused on the destruction of the U.S.S. Horizon and my parents' deaths. A memory of fear and loss.

"It hasn't just been trying to contact me, it's been trying to warn me."

"I have formulated a method of escape, captain, but it carries significant risk."

Captain's Log, supplemental. Lieutenant Commander Ryan Allington, Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Victorious.

We are preparing to go ahead with Lieutenant Alpha's plan to escape the subspace life form which has ensnared us. The plan is to push our impulse engines far beyond safe tolerances in order to reach relativistic speeds. If we are fortunate, and our impulse drive doesn't burn out before we reach the no-warp threshold, we should be able to escape the anomaly in 2 minutes, which will be percieved as a few days by the universe around us. If we fail, it will be decades before we reach the threshold, by which time we will have ran out of deuterium for our fusion reactors, and with no stars or nebulae, we won't be able to replenish our supply.

Suffice it to say, failure is not an option.

End of Log.

Ryan is sitting in the centre chair, with Alpha tapping on the Ops console with incredible speed. Ryan looks to him, asking "You're sure the inertial dampeners can take it?" There was more than a hint of nervousness in his voice.

"No one has ever attempted to accelerate to this speed before on impulse only. I have diverted all power from the warp core to reinforcing the dampeners. According to my calculations, they should have sufficient power to prevent excessive G-forces."

"Do me a favour. Run them again."

Alpha turns to face him. "I just did."

"Just checking." Ryan clears his throat. "How long will we have before the impulse reactor temperature exceeds tolerances?"

"I have rediverted all main power from secondary systems to environmental control, and focused the environmental controls in the Impulse Reactors themselves."

"I can see..." Ryan is looking at his console in slight awe. "It's colder than the Andorian Arctic down there... in winter."

"I calculate it is approximately 20 times colder than that, sir."

"Thank you, Alpha."

"It is more likely that the impulse engines themselves will melt from the plasma temperatures caused by our acceleration."

"There's a cheery thought." Ryan sighs. "A;right, let's get this over with. Are we ready?"

"Confirmed."

"Alright." Ryan taps his comm panel, as the intercomm chimes. "All hands, this is the Captain. We are about to attempt to escape the life form. Be advised, we will be travelling at relativistic speeds far greater than any starship has ever gone before. Expect an increase in G-forces and internal temperature." He releases the comm panel. "Helm, set course for Federation space."

The helmsman, a Bolian, starts tapping the commands into the console. "Course laid in."

Ryan takes a deep breath, silently praying to god this works, because they'll only have one shot at this. "Engage."

Suddenly, the Victorious' impulse engines burn to life and begin accelerating the Exeter-Class starship up to speed. After a few seconds, they're straight past the full impulse mark and still accelerating. Space dust starts to streak by, getting deflected away by the deflector dish as the speed keeps piling on. Ryan feels himself slowly getting forced back into his seat by the accelerative force as the temperature starts to rise.

(Part Two)
My Fan Fictions

Last edited by ryan218; 05-09-2014 at 11:24 AM.
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 21
# 12 Allen's Paradox
05-06-2014, 05:43 AM
Allen’s Anomaly, (The Discovery of Allen’s Paradox)


We did not have much time. We were to have twenty minutes to examine the anomaly that had detected. In two minutes time we slowed to impulse because the anomaly did not meet three of the main categorical criteria of anomalies, it could not be proven without a doubt that it was not a time paradox given the known empirical methodology. Perhaps to my own fault I was so proud and relieved that my astrometrics and engineering team had worked so efficiently, within the two minute slow down interval, that I was to believe that our science and engineering technological teaming with the Klingons and Romulans had created an effective protocol in which to observe the irrational in the most safe manner. In three minutes I ordered the ship to an ineffective elliptical orbit with the anomaly, until we had more information, we were going the long way around.
My science team and my commanding bridge officer both issued their complaints, I simply informed them that I was not moved to take too many chances. What tipped me off were the temporal signatures, along with what would otherwise appear to be signs of Tholian energy signals, especially noticeable nearest the anomaly, they were not fresh as far as we could tell, no matter, I erred on the side of caution gladly from that point onward. We launched three probes at five minute intervals. In another half hour we learned that there was a collapsed / emergent wormhole, that might take us south of the Eta Eridani, the problem with this is we were near the Defari side of the Sheliak neutral zone, this kind of exploratory procedure was unprecedented in their space, and should the detour consume any of our journey further we were to enter a known Cardasian conflict area and eventually Breen space. It might have made more sense to simply turn around at that point. The politics near the Rolor nebula have always in fact been somewhat, nebulous, factually.
I wasn’t about to give the order to turn around. Our sensors detected that our out bound probe was in full communication with our in-bound probe, and our third probe was some safe distance from the anomaly itself, about the third of that distance. The Rolor nebula would take some time to traverse, it wasn’t the end of the world, it was just that we had already come from the Badlands, the Marquee Admiral Chakotay and I are on good terms, but not that good. He thinks I’m a defector to the Klingons, I have difficulty stipulating to him the nature of our new diplomacy, our alliance is in keeping with the former inclinations of Federation / Klingon diplomatic relations, etc, he thinks it’s an espionage scam, although he is very polite about it, I don’t want to hear any more austere mystification from him about “Coyote’s call in the wind…” It’s just so embarrassing, I understand the metaphor clearly, I just don’t want to argue with him about it anymore. Officially we are diplomatic ambassadors of the Federation, him with the Marquee and myself with the Klingon Honor Guard. He doesn’t act like a Star Fleet Admiral, he acts just like a Marquee, like the only Admiral of their fleet, it is very daunting frankly. I also know if he was in the Eta Eridani, and surrounded by Klingons, he would simply be arrogant about my presence there, and likely belligerent also. I find diplomatic reasons to avoid his temperament, perhaps he of I as well.
Communications about the anomaly to Star Fleet Command, the Honor Guard, and the Sheliak were expectedly fruitless. The next experiment was to perform additional wave length frequency tests to judge the spatial anomaly’s properties. This would require an additional probe. As our second probe made the decent into what would otherwise appear to be a Tholian wormhole the signal frequency modulator began to have fluctuations and other technical difficulties. It’s outboard warp drive was malfunctioning, and data from the inbound probe became continuously sporadic. Despite this, our sensors could easily detect that an inherent energy wave was likely the blame for the fluctuations, and had the probe had enough continuity of motion, or drift, it would have likely steered to a more effective wavelength in due time. We hadn’t actually considered keeping a probe in the anomaly itself, we merely had monitored the previous probe’s trajectory. My chief Science officer had begun to work with engineering to create a counter fluctuation in order to effectively match the probe signals that were interfering with our readings of the out bound probe in the Eta Eridani. Finally a transcription signal from D-7 to DS9 to us had confirmed that our probe had been spotted by Starfleet, and likely anyone else within earshot as well.
We could use quantum science to counter fluctuate our movements within the wormhole with our shield variance relay field technology to keep in synch with the signal should we wish to utilize the distance ourselves. I was happy to simply keep the relay signal fluctuations and study this temporality from a distance. I order a warning buoy, had my joint science and engineering teams complete the next contiguous levels of quantification, and was about to issue a forbearance to the crew to regret delay to Deferi due to our new trajectory. It had been approximately two minutes of using flux signals to relay to the Eta Eridani probe when the countermeasure fluctuations began to jolt the ship, we tried evasive measures, to no avail, and I ordered my chief science officer to create a temporal shield flux barrier to coincide with our now locked and dangerously jammed signal. This created a divergent pulsewave and we became lost within and outside of the wormhole in a loophole phenomenon I like to call Allen’s paradox. Our variance signal had conjoined and diverged within and at our localized position in space, we were in a seventh dimensional paradox, both inside and outside of the anomaly. This is why the anomaly had inherency, this is why there were fluctuations, this is why the Tholians no longer were invading this section of space via this paradox, and this seventh dimensional rift was beginning to tear apart the USS Qotsa. I didn’t want my atoms to matriculate across the space time continuum with the base element of this ship and its crew for an anguishing eternity. We could hold for a finite amount of time using our fluctuation quantum wave length corresponding shield manipulations, however we needed a more practical solution, hull integrity would give out within the hour, and onboard tolerances, including that of sentient, were likely not so resilient.
From within the seventh dimension temporal Tholian particles were abundant and completely traceable. This might have been a trap set by the Sheliak to twart the Tholians. Sheliak science may have given into the idea that the anomaly was now dormant, I would have to approach the diplomacy at a later moment. I signaled out to the inbound probe of our distress, I was sure, despite our 7th dimensional telemetry, that we were to be heard in a similar delay as before, I gave my reissuance of warnings. My chief engineer and I conferred with my chief science officer. Our sentient tolerances weren’t designed for the realities of seventh dimensionality. My head began to swim, my voice slurred, and I felt heavy and damaged in new and uniquely profound ways that impressed upon me as new sentient perceptions of a previously unperceived universe, or universes.
I decided that perhaps distancing ourselves from the anomaly as soon as possible, might relieve our new seventh dimensional reality, however I think perhaps the taste of green is likely blue in spring of audio condolence should music have functional dystrophic jellyfish of a small gravel path of benign chromo binging habitat mythology. We recalibrated everything to coincide with the quantum slipstream and ended up in three dimension space surrounded by angry Sheliak, it was eight days later and our shields were still maintaining a vibrato of resonance that was effecting communications everywhere. Not really, only locally and anyone within earshot of the probes. We had been emitting for several hours in real space time. Chakotay had volunteered to destroy the existing probes and yet we were still somehow emitting and as clearly as if the probes were still intact. Quite a bit of interesting data came from the occurrence of our several hours of shield emitting activity. I immediately knew from experience that with effective cloak technology our new innovation would put centuries between us and our enemies with this new technique, but you know, I was busy with revamping my Sheliak diplomatic considerations in the midst of a crew being pampered by a secondary crew of emergency medical holograms, I was too busy to worry about my discovery, for the moment. Frankly the Sheliak had displayed an unusual amount of patience, even concocting a formal dialog about, “What happened to you alliance member of the Federation? We are very concerned about your proximity to multi-proxy dimensional existence.” I hated to do it, I had the hologram respond at first, I had tried to stand up, and the doc reassured me, don’t attempt that for some time to come now. With multi-dimensional travel it’s not like a hangover or getting beat up, you don’t see stars, you see every star there ever was, and ever will be.
“Take a deep breath, relax, clear your mind of any thought, stay in your happy place, everything will be fine, the residual effects of multi-dimensional travel should soon coincide with nonsensical goldfish bearing pregnant Tulaberry buried in subspace dementia.”
“Uh, yeah, I was worried about that, thanks doc…”
“Anytime Admiral, you know my programing can handle the Sheliak until the crew is fully cognizant. Abalone horseshoe crab coyote armadillo seahorse.”
“Yeah good, glad to hear it…”
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,849
# 13
05-07-2014, 06:28 PM
"What Dreams May Come"

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

While surveying a remote section of the Alpha Trianguli sector, we encountered an odd phenomenon. Subspace, or at least the subspace domain our engines use, is almost flat here; it's been five days, and we haven't been able to form a warp bubble. Scans indicate this area is several light-years across, so getting out on impulse alone is obviously out of the question. Roclak and Vonovek have been working on a solution, but no luck yet.

Also, it might just be because we're stuck here, but everyone on the crew has been reporting nightmares - even the Vulcans, and I wasn't even sure they dreamed. Most of us have been having a hard time sleeping because of it. LLunih's reporting a record number of personnel requesting sleep aids. And then there's poor Shelana, and the way things are going, she's just going to be the first. I'll be checking on her shortly.


Grunt ran down the corridor, the padding of the fangcat uncomfortably close behind him. Thirty meters, he panted silently to himself, his heart jackhammering in his chest. Thirty more meters, and I can lock myself in my quarters...

"You'll never make it, you know," the oily voice hissed. The twisted smile lurked in Grunt's peripheral vision.

"Gonna... make it... 'sides... you... you're not real..."

"Of course I'm real, silly boy. Mumsy and Daddy always warned you about making deals with the Smiling Friend. How could they have warned you if I weren't real? Oh, but then you've turned your back on them, haven't you?"

"Never.. turned... back..." Grunt panted angrily.

"You turned your back on them, just as you turned your back on what it means to be Ferengi, when you made that deal with that smiling Starfleet recruiter. You sold them out, you left them in that swamp and went to the stars. Oh, and it's certainly been an adventure, hasn't it? You've been brave, and selfless, and self-sacrificing, and you turned away from your people! You're going to die out here, alone and unmourned and unsold and poor, headed straight into the Vault of Eternal Destitution!"

"No! NO!!" Grunt screamed, but in his lobes he knew his fate. Only a few more meters now, though, and he was safe...

The fangcat leapt from behind, knocking him to the cold hard deck, and as its claws ripped into his abdomen he could hear the Smiling Friend laughing at him...

Grunt sat bolt upright in his bed, his throat still raw from screaming. Shakily he pushed aside the covers, and saw his belly still whole, marked only by the scar he'd picked up during a fracas a few years earlier. He was fine, he was safe, this was the captain's cabin of the starship Bedford, and it was just a nightmare. In his mind's eye, though, he still saw the furred beast tearing his intestines out through the great gouges it had dug in him... He climbed out of the bedclothes, now soaked with his sweat, grabbed a robe, and headed for the door.

********

Grunt padded into Sickbay, unusually busy for this time of the ship's night. Dr. LLunih tr'Dalen looked up from a young crewman he'd just given a hypospray to. "Good evening, Captain," he said sourly. "Let me guess - bad dreams?"

Grunt shuddered. "You know it. How's Shelana doing?"

The Romulan doctor glanced at the biobed at the end of the room, where an Andorian female lay under the sensors. "Maintaining a medically-induced coma. Until we solve this night-terrors issue, even letting her close enough to consciousness to dream could be fatal. Possibly even to her."

Grunt nodded. Two days earlier, Shelana had emerged from her quarters with her custom bat'leth, screaming about "monsters of ice" attacking. Seven crewmen had been wounded before the stun effect of a phaser could stop her. LLunih had first tried restraints, but she had almost torn her own arm off trying to escape. Since then, he'd been keeping her too deep to dream - the source of everyone's trouble lately.

"You, on the other hand," LLunih went on, "haven't come out of your quarters armed - yet, at least. How are you holding up?"

Grunt smiled half-heartedly. "I could ask the same of you. It takes a lot to make a Ferengi go crazy. How about a Romulan?"

"Oh, we're already all of us about half-crazy, so it's kind of hard to tell. I've got my nurses keeping an eye on me, with instructions to drug me into insensibility if I start to crack. I'm a little worried about the rest of the crew, though - three more came in for restraint today. If we don't start getting some solid sleep around here soon, Shelana's going to have even more company. Any word about getting the ship moving? I'd be happier if we could be backstopped by a starbase."

"What's a backstop?"

"Not sure. It's a phrase I picked up on Earth, getting multispecies medical training. It means having someone to catch your mistakes, which would come in really handy about now, because I haven't slept properly since we got here."

Grunt rubbed his nose ridges. "I know the feeling. It's pretty close to my shift time - I'll go talk to Vov, see if anything's come up."

The Romulan coughed delicately. "You, ah, might want to stop by your quarters on the way, at least if you're going on-shift afterward..."

"What do you mean?" Grunt looked down. "Oh, the robe, right. It'd probably look better on the record if I wore a uniform."

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

Main Engineering

Roclak and Vovonek were bent over the main control console in the warp mix chamber when Grunt arrived. Neither one appeared to have slept recently - the Klingon's once-proud mane of hair hung limply, and stubble could be seen on the Pakled's forehead where he habitually shaved his eyebrows.

"Any news?" Grunt asked, as jauntily as he could manage.

Vovonek looked up at him. "It won't go," he said hollowly.

Grunt started to grin at his engineer's old joke, but something about Vovonek's face told him it wasn't funny this time. "How about you, Rock?"

Roclak thumped the console in annoyance. "This tu'HomIraH piece of veQ can't tell me a ghuy'cha' thing I don't already know! The Cochrane fields are generated, but the warp bubble collapses the moment it is initiated! And something about this space deranges the mind, and won't let me sleep!!" He hit the console again, hard enough to crack the plasteel cover. "It is most displeasing!!"

"Like I said, it won't go," Vovonek repeated.

Grunt stifled a yawn. "Damn. I'd better get to the bridge - you guys stay on top of this, and let me know if you figure anything out."

The Klingon growled at Grunt, which he took as a farewell, ducking into the turbolift again.

Grunt emerged onto the bridge. "Looks like we're still stuck here, gentlemen. Anything new?"

"I've found something, sir," replied Lt. Manalang, the comms officer. "A repeating pattern with variations, on a theta sideband of standard subspace radio frequencies. Not sure what it means, but it's definitely something. I've got Mycroft running an analysis."

Lt. Turing turned around from his station at Ops. "Intriguing, sir. It is hypothesized that theta-frequency subspace transmissions may have an effect on the subconscious level of organic minds. Research is ongoing, but inconclusive thus far."

"Intriguing indeed. Can anyone raise Mr. Brel?" Grunt was hoping his ship's counselor could shed some light on the situation.

"Lieutenant Commander Brel is in his office, sir, but he is not responding to hails. Interesting. There is no record of Lieutenant Commander Brel having any appointments this morning."

"Thank you, Mr. Turing," Grunt acknowledged. "Please have someone from Security check up on Tan."

The android turned back to Ops.

"Meanwhile," a voice broke in from the ceiling, "I have reached some disturbing conclusions, Captain."

"Let's hear it, Mycroft."

A holographic Human coalesced next to the captain's chair. The AI continued, "You are aware, sir, that I was originally configured for SIGINT - SIGnal INTelligence. I've been analyzing the pattern of the theta-band transmission, and I am unable to avoid the result - the signal is purposeful. I believe it may be inimical, as well."

"You mean someone's doing this to us on purpose?"

"It would seem so, sir. What's more, the amplitude of the signal has been increasing. If we don't get out of here soon, the nightmares induced by the transmission might begin occurring during waking hours - as has already happened with Commander Shelana, Lt. Jermons in Engineering, Ensign Vaughn in Astrometrics, and Able Spacer th'Trygan in the hangar deck."

"Great. It's going to make us crazy if we don't leave, and we can't leave. Suggestions, anyone? Gydap?"

"I've been trying to think, sir," the Andorian helmsman replied, his voice thick with exhaustion. "I remember reading something somewhere about a ship caught like this, and the crew not being able to sleep, I think, but I can't seem to recall..." He trailed off.

"All right, let's try it this way. Computer, search paramaters 'starship caught no warp crew can't sleep'. Search."

"Working," the computer's vaguely feminine voice replied. "Two incidents. USS Defiant, NCC-1764, caught in a spatial interphase, stardate 5693.2. Crew rendered violently insane, leading to the deaths of all aboard. Also involving USS Enterprise, NCC-1701. Second incident, USS Brattain, NCC-21166, caught in a Tyken's Rift along with members of a telepathic species aboard another craft. The telepathic species attempted to communicate with the crew of the Brattain, which interfered with REM cycles. Lack of dreaming led to insanity; the sole survivor was rendered catatonic. Also involving USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, caught in the Tyken's Rift on stardate 44631.2. In the former incident, the Enterprise was able to depart, but her captain, James Kirk, was aboard the Defiant when it was entrapped in a Tholian web, and her crew refused to leave until Kirk could be rescued. The crew began experiencing abberations in temperment, apparently induced by the nature of the local space. In the latter incident, the Enterprise-D was able to escape the rift by supplying hydrogen from her Bussard collectors, which combined with an element provided by the other ship, resulting in an explosion which threw them both clear."

"Yeah, that second one, that's the one I was thinking of," Gydap said. "This isn't a Tyken's Rift, of course, or we'd be out of it already, but maybe something similar could work."

"Maybe. Dammit, I can't think!" Grunt rubbed his head in frustration. "Turing, does anything suggest itself to you?"

"Possibly, sir. There appears to be a subspace rift in the approximate center of this region, about two million kilometers off our port bow. If three tricobalt torpedoes were to be configured for coordinated explosion, it could result in a temporary disruption of the field that is preventing our warp drive from functioning. The flaw in this plan is that this would require precise timing, and at this point none of the organic intelligences aboard would be capable of issuing the appropriate orders in time. I could pilot the ship out, or I could time the torpedo explosions; however, to do both would require that I use two separate consoles very nearly simultaneously."

"Hmmph. Great. A maybe solution, but we can't even try it. If we make it out of this, maybe we should look into a few emergency holographic officer programs."

"Sir," the android said, "I am not the only non-organic intelligence aboard. There is also Mycroft."

"Me?" Mycroft replied in astonishment. "I can't fire the torpedoes, or fly the ship - I haven't the authorization!"

"This is true. However, the Bedford was designed to have a ship's AI. With the authorization of the captain, the first officer, and the chief engineer, you can take that position."

Grunt nodded. "Sounds like a plan. You've been about as thoroughly vetted as a sapient program can be, Mycroft. Let's get Rock and Vov up to speed. Grunt to Engineering."

"Vovonek here."

Grunt quickly filled them in on the plan. "So we just need to provide the codes. The Captain concurs. Authorization Grunt seven aleph niner gree-worm yellow eight omega seventeen."

"The first officer concurs. Authorization Roclak gamma twelve orange targ escrima eight."

"The chief engineer... the chief... NO! NOT THAT!!"

"Captain!" Ruben called. "The theta-band signal has just jumped in amplitude by a factor of ten! I don't think they like what we're doing!"

Vovonek's screams across the intercom abruptly ceased. A new voice spoke up. "I am Lieutenant Commander Sorak. As Commander Vovonek has become incapacitated, I am hereby assuming the position of chief engineer. The chief engineer concurs. Authorization Sorak iota nine seven six delta epsilon green powder."

"Authorizations acknowledged," the computer replied. "Installing ship's artificial intelligence, utilizing program MYCROFT version twelve point four seven."

The hologram flickered, then steadied. "I acknowledge responsibility," Mycroft said.

"Sir!" Ruben screamed. "THE SIGNAL!!"

The deck beneath Grunt's feet abruptly yawned open, revealing a vast abyss toward which he began to slide. As he grabbed desperately at the arms of his seat, he could hear that oily voice hiss, "I told you, there's no escape from the Smiling Friend..."

"Not real! NOT! REAL!!" Grunt ground the heels of his hands into his eyes. When he opened them again, he could see the bridge of his ship, undisturbed save by the panicking life forms aboard her. Overlaid on that, however, he could still see the hallucination of the pit.

"Turing! Mycroft! Execute the plan now!"

Three orange sphere tore loose from the forward torpedo launcher, speeding toward their destination. As they erupted into violent light and a massive shockwave, Turing's hands danced on his control panel. The ship lunged, turned, and fled the devastation she had unleashed.

"I am pleased to announce that the maneuver has been successful," the android stated. "We are now clear of the phenomenon. I recommend the placement of a series of warning buoys, to prevent other ships from entering this space unexpectedly."

"That sounds like a great idea," Grunt said wearily. "See to it. Meanwhile, all off-shift personnel are to go to bed. Now."
-------------------------------------------
I'm old enough not to care too much about what you think of me --
But I'm young enough to remember the future, the way things ought to be...

- Rush, "Cut To the Chase", Counterparts
Captain
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,559
# 14
05-09-2014, 06:56 AM
The Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X trekked through space. Captain Seifer had just finished a raquetball match on the Holodeck and was ready to start a new shift.

"Ah, that was perfect," Seifer said as he took a seat. "Except, why was I being attacked by a skull-head guy with an axe?"

Kayl, at ops, turned to him, "Sir, the racquetball simulation has been programmed to make itself more interesting after thirty minutes of play."

"Dammit. Why'd we let Felix's nephew on board last week. He jack-in-the-boxed all the sports programs-- he turned hoverball into hover-Horta," Seifer clenched his fist. "Have we learned nothing of nephew's after Janeway's Q Junior?"

Before anyone could answer, the Phoenix-X was jolted with a powerful rush of energy and stopped in its tracks.

"Sensors indicate an unknown energy reading all around us. It's nothing anyone's encountered before!" Armond commented from tactical.

"Quite bold of you, Lieutenant Commander," Seifer replied.

"Thank you, sir. It is Friday, after all. I think we can all agree that spirits are usually up more on this day of the week, and, thus, observations more freely made," Armond turned to discuss.

"Dudes, can we focus here?" Kayl interjected.

Seifer pointed, "That is not Starfleet jargon! But I do like it. So, maybe?"

"Well, whatever you decide, the engines are offline," Ensign Dan, at navigation remarked.

Seifer's jaw dropped, "How dare you, Ensign? You're relieved!"

"No, I mean, due to the unknown energy stuff," Ensign Dan turned, exasperated.

The Captain then squinted his eyes and pointed, "Alright, you win this round. But I'm watching you..."

"Sir, I'm certain that with extensive study, we can learn more about this phenomenon, and determine a way out," Armond turned again.

Seifer tapped his chin inquisitively, "Like, a couple minutes... an hour or so...?"

"Closer to a day," Armond confirmed.

Captain Seifer dropped his arms in relief, "Oh, thank goodness. This has been the longest shift ever. I'm off to bed! You guys too. I don't want you all to be grumpy-Denobulans in the morning. You remember how badly our Tykon's Rift Memorial visit turned out?"

He shifted his pointing finger at each of them as he exited to the turbolift.

"Captian's log, Stardate 87035.4; I had the worrrrrssstttttt dream last night. Why did I even go to bed during an obvious ship crisis? That is the dumbest thing any Starfleet officer can do! I just have to hope that my crew didn't take the same action. Hold on, let me check the shift logs--

Dammit! We must be getting way too comfortable with being in danger. It is literally something that happens every week.

Anyway. I should digress. The question is, why must I digress? Can't we Captain's escalate for once? Why are we meant to be the level-headed, so-called role model? It's a lot like that dream I had last night. I was phased-out of normal matter and everyone on the ship was ignoring me. Even someone named T'Pol. It was the worst copycat-episode ever. Luckily, though, it was all a dream-- though, that did seem like a cop-out.

Ah, I see what I did there. I digressed without even knowing. I'm like the Julian Bashir of Captain's logs."

Later, Captain Seifer entered the Bridge of the Phoenix-X. The ship was rumbling in an attempt to escape the alien energy that trapped it.

"I didn't authorize this!" Seifer barked.

Chief engineer Kugo walked over and handed him a padd, "Actually, you did. Though, telling from the spelling and grammatical errors, you may have been sleep-commanding again."

Captain Seifer picked up the padd and read it, "--'Make ship go; I am smart.' ...Since when am I a Pakled?"

"Sir, I had, uhh... the weirdest dream last night. Permission to transfer to the Enterprise-F after this? I hear Captain Shon is a real slave driver," Armond inquired, hopefully.

Seifer snapped, "Denied! Just for that, you will all do double leisure duties on the Holodecks."

"But I dreamt someone was drinking out of a straw connected to my brain!"

Doctor Lox then started scanning him, "You may have interphasic organism syndrome. The Borg analgesic cream works best for that."

"We all had horrible dreams, sir; Mine was that I was floating in a green, cloudy void, yelling 'Where are you' over and over again. Ugh. The repetitiveness gave me U.S.S. Bozeman syndrome," Kayl covered her face in horror.

Kugo activated a hover screen at the back of the Bridge, showing an image of the Phoenix-X trapped in an unseen energy. "The energy has reached into a theorized unknown layer of subspace I have deemed subspace-subspace, or subspace-extreme, or gravimetric-subspace."

"So, what you're saying is, we're surrounded and trapped within a family of over-emotional two-dimensional lifeforms who exist in cosmic strings?" Seifer postulated.

Kugo deactivated, "No! And yes, that was my nightmare last night. It's all Engineer's nightmares-- that, and being stuck in the Delta Quadrant for seven years without a uniform change."

"Well, I think it's obvious what the answer is here--" Seifer started, "Tachyons--"

"--Tachyons!" Kayl raised her hand, trying to be the first to say it.

Kugo interjected, "More precisely, an inverse tachyon pulse."

"Right," Armond nodded, "The only side-effect being that one Phoenix-X from the past and one Phoenix-X from the future will appear."

Ensign Dan turned, "I didn't even go to sleep last night and that skull-head guy came into my quarters. I think he's loose on the ship."

"Not now, Ensign Dan! We can only deal with one issue per week. There's no room for good b-stories here, or on the Starship Voyager," Kayl said.

The Phoenix-X fired an inverse tachyon pulse into the more dense area of the energy, causing two more Phoenix-X's to appear. They were then hailed.

"This is Captain Cell of the Phoenix-X from 2390. What the hell? You're Captain in the future??" Cell asked from the other ship.

Seifer shrugged, "Sorry about that."

"Just-- just don't ruin the ship. That's all. You know we still owe the Orions like fifteen more payments for fixing that moving-nacelle problem the Intrepid-class forced on us," Cell said.

Seifer responded braggingly, "It's down to twelve payments now."

"Nice!" Cell said impressed. "Well, we're going to disengage our tachyon pulse. We just wanted to see what would happen."

He clicked off screen, but the Phoenix-X from the future clicked on, "This is Captain Ensign Dan from the year 2450! The Borg are everywhere; you have to help us!"

"Ew! No way you're the Captain. Ugh. Disengage the pulse!" Seifer ordered Armond.

Suddenly the two other ships disappeared and the Phoenix-X of the present's engines came back online.

"No offense, Ensign Dan, but we can't let that future happen," Seifer said.

Ensign Dan nodded, "I understand. But why'd I have two titles?"

"Now that we're out of that mess, is anyone up for an all-nighter of poker? I know it's morning, but I changed the internal chronometers to fix that," Lox said.

Kayl stood up, "Fine. But you have to stop using Fizzbin cards. And someone needs to leave a warning beacon here."

"We're out of those. All I have are these drink coasters that project mini-EMH Mark I's singing opera," Armond held one up.

The EMH started singing, "I've been working on the railroad---"

"Oh, hell!" Seifer immediately knocked it to the floor and started stamping on it.

Armond shrugged, "We have fifty more. They were a gift from Admiral Tuvok."

"Those'll do fine, Armond. Thanks." Seifer tried to catch his breath. "I just want to thank everyone for saving our lives," he continued. "Being the twenty-fifth Phoenix-ship, we have a standard to uphold, and that standard is existence. Maybe there's more, but I don't want to pressure you."


Suddenly, Seifer woke up and found himself in Sickbay with the Doctor hovering over him.

"Uh! Was it all a dream?"

Lox shook his head, "No, you just fell unconscious during that speech. Turns out we forgot to leave the area after our engines came back online. We're gone now."

"It's like I'm the Tom Paris of captaining."

THE END

Last edited by hawku001x; 05-10-2014 at 07:02 AM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,335
# 15
05-09-2014, 11:20 AM
(Posting this as a separate post as I ran out of room in the first one...)

(Part One: http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...1&postcount=11

Outside, the impulse drive housing starts to glow a radiant red as small streaks of molten metal start to slip off and into the plasma stream.

After a few minutes, Alpha looks to Ryan. "Captain, we have gained enough distance from the life form that we can engage warp drive safely."

"Helm, decelerate. All stop."

The Victorious begins to decelerate, within minutes being back down to stationary velocity. The impulse engines start to flicker, the housing still glowing, melting away. The ship then jumps into warp.

2 days later, the Victorious drops back to sub-light inside Federation space, and begins transmitting a request for assistance.

U.S.S. Darwin, Rhode Island-Class Science Vessel.

Daya is sitting in the Command chair when her Ops Officer turns to her. "Captain, we're picking up a distress signal. It's from the Victorious. They're requesting a tow back to spacedock, reporting serious thermal damage to their impulse drive systems."

Daya stands up. "Lay in the course."

Federation Border, U.S.S. Victorious.

Several starships are on the scene, responding to the Victorious' signal. It's only now that the sheer amount of damage has been realised. The relativistic speeds not only destroyed the impulse engines and rendered the impulse reactors inoperable, but they also caused microfractures in the hull from the friction and radiation.

Assuming the damge can be repaired, the Victorious will be in spacedock for a while.

The U.S.S. Seacole and Darwin begin evacuate the crew - in case the dtructural itegrity field fails - as the U.S.S. Kirk locks on a tractor beam. Then, the wounded ship jumps to warp with it's 3-ship entourage, hopefully not for the last time.
My Fan Fictions
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,030
# 16
05-11-2014, 12:53 AM
Dead Captains Don't See

"How long until the Romulan ships are within weapons range, Mr. Chellaud?" Commander Aznia Toma ordered the report from Tactical.

The Pakled tactical officer reported back, "Two Minutes."

"Toma to Rahall," Aznia tapped her badge, "How quickly can you install a cloaking device?"

Chief Engineer Rahall's voice rang back across the communicator, "Three... maybe four minutes."

"You have two, prepare to beam to the freighter!" Aznia ordered. She tapped her badge again, "Transporter room, beam Rahall and one of our auxiliary cloaking modules directly to the freighter immediately."

"Aye sir, energizing." a crewman's voice answered.

"Mr. En'thaas, set a course for the Romulan ships. Let's intercept them and buy as much time as possible."

The Aenar helmsman maneuvered the ship toward the ominous warbirds. "Captain, they're locking on us."

"Evasive maneuvers." She turned toward Tactical "Mr. Chellaud target the smaller support vessels with a phaser cannon spread, let's see if we can pull them off course." Aznia ordered.

"Support vessels are pursuing, the lead warbird is breaking toward the freighter, 30 seconds to range."

The Federalist shook violently, sparks flew across the bridge.

"Shields are at 30%." The Tactical officer reported.

Aznia turned to Science Officer Haln, "I want you to dump all power except shields and structural integrity into the deflector dish. Let's see if we can generate a gravity well to hold that warbird back."

The Saurian Science Officer engaged the deflector as the energy transfer blew out several relays, but the particle stream generated a field that slowed the Warbird's progress.

"Get whatever power is remaining back to weapons!" Aznia ordered as the strained ship tried to juggle its various tasks. "Fire at will on the Warbird!"

The phasers inflicted significant damage on the Romulan lead ship, but the support vessels swarming them were decimating their defenses.

"Shields offline!" The Pakled Tactical officer shouted. "Hull integrity down to 29%!"

"Keep firing until the freighter cloaks! Once they're clear, give me warp power!"

The bridge overloaded with energy feedbacks, "We won't have warp power!" En'thaas reported, "We're losing core contain-"

A shower of sparks cut off the officer's report, as the holodeck program ended. The crewmen found themselves within the empty holomatrix on level 1 in the Starfleet Command building.

En'thaas stepped toward Aznia, setting a hand on her shoulder, "Good attempt." he consoled her.

The holodeck doors opened, two Starfleet officers walked in, "Interesting method." a grey haired Admiral announced. He looked around the holodeck, "Thank you for participating, you're all dismissed." The crew shuffled out of the room, except Aznia.

"I thought I could give the freighter time to make repairs by cloaking them." Aznia explained her actions, "I was only fighting for time... I'd hoped we could hold out long enough to secure them, then jump to warp ourselves."

"You don't often get the time you expect," the Admiral explained, "but your approach was commendable."

"Is there any chance I could see how the rest of that simulation turned out?" Aznia inquired, "The Kobayashi Maru may still have escaped."

"No you can't see. You died. Dead Captains don't see." Admiral Deet taunted the failure. "You must accept the consequences of your losses. Not knowing what happened to that freighter is a very small consequence, compared to losing those 400 men and women aboard your ship."

Commander Toma shook her head in frustration.

"You did fine, Commander." Deet reassured her. He looked over to the other officer in the room, "Have you met Commander Daniels? He's in charge of the simulations department here at Starfleet Academy."

Daniels extended his hand to Commander Toma, "Nice to meet you." he smiled politely.

Aznia smiled and greeted Daniels similarly.

Daniels looked in the Admiral's direction, "To be honest, I think Commander Toma's attempt was one of the best I've seen in my time here. I'd hate to think my program is getting soft." He smiled coyly toward Aznia, "Admiral, if you don't mind, I have some questions about the simulation from the user's perspective. Would you mind if I spoke to Aznia in my office?"

"Of course." He nodded to Daniels before addressing Aznia, "Commander, report to my office tomorrow at 1400 hours, we'll go over your results and I'll let you know your next assignment." Admiral Edinger Deet smiled at his subordinates as he turned to leave, nodding as if to say 'good day'.

Toma and Daniels stood at attention as the Admiral vacated the area. Once he was clear, they began to speak casually. "You've served with the Admiral, right?" Daniels asked the straightforward question.

"I was his Chief of Security aboard the L'Étoile du Nord for three years," she answered "I consider him a mentor... and a friend."

"I suppose that's good to hear," Daniels smiled, "With his promotion, I'll be working under him here at Starfleet Command. I'm interested in knowing what I'm in for." Daniels led Aznia out of the holodeck, walking a short distance down the corridor to Daniels' office.

The office was small; it was on the interior side of the corridor, so there were no windows. PADDs were stacked on every surface, listing reports and assignment rosters for ships all across the quadrant. Aznia smiled at the messy workspace, "It looks like you keep yourself busy!"

"Oh, I'm sorry about the mess." Daniels looked around.

Aznia smiled back, "No... don't be! I feel like I'm at home."

The door slid shut behind Daniels, "Commander, I'd like to speak to you about something classified. This can't go beyond these walls, not even to the Admiral."

Aznia was too curious to turn away, "Um... Go ahead." she nervously permitted him to continue.

"Computer, lock office doors." Daniels walked behind his desk, unlocking a cabinet with a retinal scan. "Have you ever heard of Section 31, Commander?"

"Of course I have." Aznia's attitude changed to disgust, "If Section 31 still exists, and if you're working with them, we can end this meeting now."

"No, Commander. I do not work for Section 31. In fact, Section 31 hasn't existed in over 180 years." He sat down, setting an unusual piece of technology from his cabinet on the desk, "And that's the problem we face." he tapped buttons on the device which illuminated the room with a stream of complex holographic data and imagery.

Aznia was stunned by the imagery for a moment, she forced her composure past the sight to discuss the so-reviled topic at hand, "Section 31 was a criminal organization that corrupted the best facets of Starfleet!" She leaned in, "How many people died because of their actions?"

"You're right. Section 31 was brought to light when their efforts to instigate a war with the Klingons backfired. Their unfrozen, genetically engineered, super soldier wreaked havoc on Earth, Starfleet Command, and the Enterprise. The incident led the people of earth to route out their operatives and to remain vigilant in stopping any rouge intelligence operations like them." Daniels leaned in closely to match Aznia eye-to-eye, lowering the tone of his voice, "None of it should've happened."

"Then we agree." Aznia eased back, "Section 31 should've never existed in the first place."

Daniels grinned, "Well... we don't agree. Section 31 should exist. They should still exist." he struggled to make his point, "Don't get me wrong, the Section 31 that you know should've never existed. They should've never been pushed to such aggressive lengths. They should've never overplayed their hand like they did."

Aznia was confused by the nebulous debate, she cut straight to the chase. "So, why are we discussing this."

Daniels stood up, and began to interact with his holography. "This is a timeline. It shows time as it should have played out."

"'Should have played out'?" Aznia quoted back in a dismissive tone. "Are you saying that the timeline has been altered?"

"Right." Daniels expanded a section of the timeline, "Right here. The destruction of the U.S.S. Kelvin" information about the event expanded onto the holographic globe surrounding them.

"I've read about this." Aznia stood up and walked in closer, "That was the same ship that destroyed Vulcan. That was when it arrived."

"So you're aware that the timeline has been altered." Daniels argued his point.

Aznia contemplated the statement, "Who's to say that this isn't the 'correct' timeline? Nobody is qualified to rewrite 200 years of history!"

Daniels chuckled, "It's quite a responsibility, but it's an important job to do."

Aznia gazed back at him sharply, again cutting directly to the point, "Who are you, Daniels?"

Daniels sighed, "I am a temporal agent from the 29th century, I've been trapped here for the past 22 years, monitoring intelligence reports, forging credentials, evaluating officers, making calculations, and waiting for the right time to act."

"What are you waiting for?"

"Like you said," Daniels answered, "A chance to rewrite history. And I need the help of a good officer."

"I can't be a part of this!" Aznia scoffed, "I won't take lives into my hands like that."

Daniels turned back to his timeline, bringing up the profile of a Vulcan officer, "This is Doctor Span, one of your best friends and most trusted confidants."

"I've never seen that man." Aznia shot back.

Daniels brought up a picture of Span with his wife and son, "Because Vulcan was destroyed, he was never born. Neither was his son." he pulled up another profile, "His wife, Elsie Walesa. She should be your first officer; someone with an illustrious and meaningful Starfleet career... instead, she's running a courier service in Idaho."

"I don't know these people at all." Aznia shook off the information.

Daniels moved the timeline again, "And then there's our war with the Dominion/Romulan alliance. That isn't going very well, is it?"

"I'm still confident that we can persevere." she hoped aloud.

Daniels shook his head, "This war should be over. It should've been over almost 50 years ago when we liberated Cardassia."

"Liberated? We left Cardassia leveled, their population almost extinct, hardly a military victory." Aznia lamented.

"Just another entire race of people that we can save." Daniels shot back. "If Section 31 would've been involved in the Dominion war, their actions would've led to a cease fire at Cardassia. They would've coerced the Romulan Senate into maintaining the Treaty of Algeron."

Aznia covered her mouth with her hand, exhaling softly.

Before she could answer, "How about the fate of the entire Federation?"

Aznia set up sternly, "What happens to the Federation?"

"I can't be sure. I don't know this future any more than you do. But what I do know is that my attempts to contact my century's Temporal Investigations department have gone unanswered, as if they're not there at all." Daniels explained, in the future that I know, the Federation barely survives a number of threats. But they do survive. Even if they win this Dominion War, it will leave a weakened, pitiful Federation that is completely unprepared for the Undine, the Fen'Domar, the Iconians, or the Sphere Builders."

"Who?" Aznia was giving Daniels her full attention.

"Just know this." he tapped his finger against the desk, "With this past, we have no future."

Aznia was sold. "What do we need to do?"

"Just be prepared for further instructions. Make sure you're on time to meet with the Admiral tomorrow. And remember, this information doesn't leave this room." Daniels switched off his device, the cluttered office reappeared around them. He manually opened the door by pressing a control pad on the wall. "Commander Toma, I appreciate your feedback on the Kobayashi Maru simulation." he gestured for her to leave the office, "Feel free to contact me if you have any other feedback!"

Aznia left the office questioning her whole world, not knowing where to turn.

---

A short stroll from the transporter hub in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Aznia found herself outside of a building marked 'Lakul Courier'. She walked in the front door, greeting the clerk, "Hello. I was wondering if I could speak to Elsie Walesa."

"Let me see if she's available." The clerk walked away.

Aznia took a moment to look around the room, noting a series of pencil sketches. Some appeared to be family portraits, but several were different starships, a Tuffli freighter, a Whorfin class transport, and even a striking sketch of the Excelsior class Enterprise-B.

The clerk returned, "She has a full schedule today, is there something I can help you with?"

Aznia insisted, "Please. It's a matter of personal importance. I have some brief questions for her."

The clerk sighed and disappeared around the corner again. A moment later he returned with Walesa in tow.

Walesa entered with an annoyed tone "Is there something I can..." something about Aznia struck her as familiar, stopping her in mid-sentence, "Deet? Your name is Deet." she said.

Aznia was surprised, "No, but I do know someone by that name..."

Walesa led Aznia to her office. It was a tidy and well organized place, with more pencil sketches adorning the wall. In the corner was a lighted drawing table.

"Are these pencil drawings your own?" Aznia asked.

Walesa smiled, "Yes, it's a hobby of mine. I've always got visions running through my mind, and I feel a need to put them to paper. In fact, I have one I want to show you."

Walesa reached into a large desk drawer, removing a portfolio. Several additional drawings were inside.

"When I drew this picture, the name Deet came to mind." Walesa showed Aznia a picture that bore a striking resemblance to herself. "I must know you from somewhere."

"Fascinating," Aznia admitted, "Do you have others?" She wondered how she would end up joining with the Deet symbiont.

Walesa showed Aznia a number of drawings, some of Span, some of Federation starships, some of a half-Vulcan child. "These people... it's like I have memories of them in my head, but I don't know who they are. Sometimes a name accompanies the image, but it's like an afterimage."

Aznia smiled and nodded, "Tell me about your courier service. When did you start Lakul Transport?"

"I didn't start it, it's a family business." she explained, "My grandmother was an El-Aurian. She was the Captain of the S.S. Lakul, which transported refugees to Earth after their homeworld was decimated by the Borg. Interestingly, she barely made it to Earth in one peice. The ship was caught in an energy ribbon, and was fortunate to have been towed to safety by the Enterprise-B. She was lucky the Enterprise was outfitted with a tractor beam that very morning, Starfleet protocol wouldn't let them leave drydock without one. The Lakul's sister ship was destroyed, but my grandmother made it to Earth with one of her vessels in tact. It was all she had when she arrived. She used it to start this business."

Aznia nodded, "Did you ever have any aspirations of joining Starfleet."

"I suppose I would have... but the family trade has always kept me busy." She chuckled, "...and my drawing."

"And your drawing." Aznia echoed. "Do you ever wonder why you have these visions you draw?"

"I think it's an El-Aurian trait. My grandmother had similar visions, much more intensely. It's like there's an awareness of something else out there. I really can't explain it."

"I think you're right, Elsie." Aznia leaned in, lowering her voice, "I think that there's been a horrible change to our history, and it may be up to me to fix it."

Walesa laughed aloud, "...and people think I'm crazy."

"Please, Elsie. For Span, for your son..." she tapped her finger on the picture of the half-Vulcan boy, "...consider what I'm saying."

Walesa turned serious, locking eyes with Aznia for a long moment. "Alright. I believe you."

---

The next afternoon, Aznia arrived at Admiral Deet's office in San Francisco. Aznia wanted to tell the Admiral what she'd discussed with Daniels, but she also realized the importance of keeping such information secret, Daniels had yet to contact her, so she was unsure of how to proceed.

"Aznia, come in... take a seat," the Admiral greeted her as she entered his office, "I've gone over your Command training records with Starfleet, they were reticent to give someone so young a command at this point; but I got a report in on my desk this morning, and we need good Captains more than ever." he smiled widely, "Congratulations, you're due for promotion this evening, and they're giving you command of the newly commissioned Tactical Escort, U.S.S. Federalist. Your first assignment will be on the lines in the Orellius sector."

Aznia was excited by the news, "Admiral, thank you. I don't know what to say."

"You could start by saying 'Yes, sir.'," the Admiral joked, "We'll hold the promotion ceremony at 1800 aboard the Federalist. Pack up your things and get ready to report aboard."

Aznia stood up, preparing to get to the task. Before leaving the room, she turned back to Admiral Deet, "Have you, by chance, spoken with Commander Daniels since yesterday?"

"He helped compile the data from your evaluations, but we didn't speak at length. Why do you ask?" Edinger inquired.

"We had an... interesting conversation. He suggested some interesting things about time travel and alternate timelines," Aznia decided to hold back, "...but I'm sure it was just banter."

Deet raised an eyebrow, "Alright, Aznia. You'd better get ready. I'll see you this evening."

Aznia left the Admiral's office, and returned to her temporary quarters at Starfleet Command. She packed up her things, and had them transporter aboard the Federalist. She decided to take a shuttle into orbit so that she could visually inspect her new ship, as it awaited in dry dock.

The shuttle launched from San Francisco and reached orbit in minutes, a Saurian ensign piloted the shuttle, "She's a beauty, Captain!" he said proudly as they approached the Escort in drydock.

"Yes she is, Lieutenant. But I'm not Captain quite yet." She quipped, "Are you serving aboard?"

"Aye, ma'am," the Saurian responded, "Lieutenant Jr. Grade Dewoh. I'll be working ship's security detail!"

Aznia immediately began to size up the situation, "Let me ask you, Lieutenant. If my orders seem unusual, even in our first mission, would you have any doubts?"

"Every situation is unique, Captain... Commander," he corrected himself, "I go where I'm ordered, and I will have your back."

Aznia smiled at the dark red alien, "Thank you Lieutenant."

The shuttle approached the Federalist docking doors, the large panels slid open, allowing the shuttle to access the ship. The shuttle's rear hatch opened as crewman awaited their commanding officer at attention. A formal whistle sounded, greeting Aznia aboard.

En'thaas and Rahall were two of the first officers to welcome Aznia, having just been transferred aboard, "I can't think of anyone I'd rather serve with," En'thaas assured the Captain.

"Congratulations, this is quite a ship," Rahall added.

"Well, I know she's got a fine helmsman and chief engineer!" Aznia complemented her senior staff. "I'd like to see the bridge before the reception ceremony."

"This way Captain Toma," En'thaas led the officers to the turbolift.

They walked aboard the bridge, as it all seemed strangely familiar to Aznia, she eyed up the Captain's chair, "I suppose that's yours," Rahall gestured for her to sit down.

Aznia sat in the seat, immediately pressing a few buttons on the arm, "Comfortable fit... just needs a little lumbar adjustment." she joked.

"The command transfer reception will be starting shortly in the deck-3 banquet room. I'm going to go see if I can find my dress uniform." En'thaas reminded the group.

"Officer thinking, I'm about to go do the same." the ship's new commanding officer stood up, as the crowd parted.

---

A few members of Starfleet brass arrived with Admiral Deet to the reception, a crowd of crew and dignitaries enjoyed good food and a mildly festive atmosphere, "Attention everyone!" Admiral Deet boasted from the central lectern, "Attention on deck!" Another ceremonial whistle blew, stopping the crowd in their tracks, Aznia stood alongside in anticipation as Edinger gave the orders. "For services performed on behalf of Starfleet and your crewmates, it is my honor to promote you, Aznia Toma, to Captain, with all the duties and privileges thereunto." Edinger pinned an additional pip on Aznia's uniform as the crowd began their applause, "Hold on... Hold on..." Deet settled the group lightheartedly, "Captain Aznia Toma, as of stardate 87355.47, by the request of Admiral Edinger Deet of Starfleet Command, you are hereby requested and required to accept command of the U.S.S. Federalist... Computer, transfer all command codes to Captain Aznia Toma, voice authorization Admiral Edinger Deet Pi-Omega-Six."

The computer chimed, it's cold voice repeating the order, "Transfer complete. U.S.S. Federalist now under command of Captain Aznia Toma."

"I relieve you sir," Aznia stated.

Edinger smiled, "I stand relieved." he reached out to shake Aznia's hand, "Congratulations, Captain." He quickly looked out toward the crowd in the room, "Now go ahead and clap." Laughter and applause filled the room. As the festivities continued.

"It's all a little overwhelming," Aznia mused.

Edinger raised and eyebrow, "This is overwhelming? Just wait until you've got a wing of Jem'hadar assault ships chasing you from behind, and two Romulan Warbirds ahead of you..."

"Well when you put it that way, maybe I'll just have another drink." Aznia joked.

Edinger praised the new Captain "I'm proud of you Az, you're going to do well here."

Aznia was overwhelmed with the support she'd received, and felt compelled to be more forthcoming with her Commanding officer. "I wanted to talk to you about this afternoon, remember I mentioned that conversation I had with Commander Daniels?"

"Yes, you mentioned he said something unusual to you?" Deet was suspicious.

"Well, to make a long story short, he suggested that he was from the 29th century and that changes made to the timeline needed to be corrected." Aznia raised her hand to assure the Admiral, "I wouldn't mention something that seemed so outlandish, except... he had some compelling evidence."

"What kind of evidence," Deet inquired sternly.

Aznia sighed, "He had some impressive holography, complex and detailed knowledge of history, back stories on individuals he couldn't have possibly otherwise known." she went on further, "And I went out of my way to check out some of these stories, and it all seems to hold up."

"What does he want you to do?"

"Well, ultimately, his goal is to restore the timeline- in his words." Aznia replied, "He asked me not to discuss this with anyone, and said he would follow up with additional information."

Deet was puzzled, "I'm glad you've come to me with this, clearly we need to find out what he plans to do. For now, I want you to wait for his instructions and get back with me. We need to stop whatever he's planning."

"But what if he's right, Admiral?" Aznia was concerned about Deet's dismissiveness, "What if this is all wrong, and we are on the wrong course."

"We've got our own history to protect, Aznia. The temporal prime directive demands we prevent incursions into the timeline as much as possible." Deet drove home the lesson, "Whatever he's asking you to do, if he can't bring it before Starfleet command, there is no place for it on the bridge of your ship. Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir." Aznia acted confident in the order, while hiding her substantial doubts.

---

Aznia retired to her quarters, ready to spend the first night aboard her new home. She began to unpack her personal possessions. A panel on the wall chimed to summon her attention. She walked to the panel activating the comm line, "Captain Toma here,"

"Captain, you're getting a message on a secure line." the communications officer informed.

"Go ahead and put them through." Aznia answered.

Daniels' face appeared on the uplink. "Congratulations, Captain. I trust everything went well with the Command Transfer?"

"It did, and I've been able to confirm much of your story as well." Aznia informed him.

Daniels explained, "I'm uploading information into the Federalist's computer about a phenomenon that will be passing through the Orellius system in the next few days."

"The Orellius system? That's where we're being sent on assignment." Aznia stated with a questioning tone.

"Right. You'd be surprised by the orders you can divert and sway when you work for Starfleet Command." he got back to the point, "This phenomenon is a conflux of temporal energy. The bottom line is that it will allow you anyone who enters it to leave anywhere, at any point in history."

"Just that easy? Sounds too good to be true." Aznia shot back.

"Well," Daniels sighed, "Not quite. The ribbon has proved incredibly destructive to any ship that is pulled near it. 120 years ago, two El-Aurian transport ships were rescued from the ribbon by the Enterprise-B. It can be a very dangerous phenomenon."

Aznia remembered the same story from Elsie, "How do you suggest we proceed?" Aznia asked.

"First off, I'd like you to familiarize yourself with the history regarding the U.S.S. Kelvin incident. When you leave the ribbon, you'll be traveling to the year 2233 and boarding the Narada, a Romulan vessel that arrived in our space through a temporal anomaly exactly at that time. You'll need to bring several officers who each need to be briefed on the situation in detail. The more trusted officers that you can muster, the better. Based on what I know of the phenomenon, each officer who enters the ribbon will be enticed by a fantasy that will tempt them to stay, they need to resist it, so I hope you can find disciplined minds for this mission as well. Ultimately your goal will be to commandeer or destroy the Narada from within, as soon as you arrive, and at any cost."

Aznia replied, "Understood, and how do we get into the ribbon?"

Daniels braced himself for a negative reaction, "I've arranged to have a crate placed aboard your ship. You will find it in Cargo Bay two marked as '5000 Self-Sealing stem-bolts', in the crate, you will find all of the necessary components and instructions to modify one of your quantum torpedoes with a trilithium warhead."

"Trilithium?" Aznia recoiled.

"You'll need to fire the warhead into the Defera sun in the next 72 hours in order to change the course of the ribbon so that it intersects with Lae'nas III. I'm sending over all of the data you'll need." Daniels explained the plan.

"That will kill everything in the Defera system!" Aznia shouted down the plan, "I won't have any part of it!"

"If you succeed, none of it matters! Those lives will be restored!" Daniels pleaded.

"I think you're a little too confident and comfortable playing god, Daniels." Aznia reasserted herself, "I was already unsure if I wanted to go along with your plan, and now you're asking me to murder billions of people?!"

"I am asking you to save billions of people," Daniels demanded, "I've been waiting for years for a chance to access this anomaly. The time is right to set everything straight. If we succeed, the consequences of this timeline are erased!"

"If we succeed... 'If'." Aznia scoffed, raising another matter, "Tell me Daniels, what happens to Admiral Deet in your other timeline?"

"Admiral Deet?" Daniels was thrown by the question, "What do you mean?"

"I spoke to someone who seemed to have some knowledge of your timeline. They suggested my name was Aznia Deet." Aznia raised an eyebrow, "Why else would that be my name? Why would I end up with the Deet symbiont?"

Daniels rolled his eyes, "Edinger Deet died in service of his career as a doctor. In my universe, he was a great healer who gave his life on a mission that saved millions of lives from an environmental disaster, and thankfully you were there to save his symbiont when things went south."

"So, if this mission is a success, the Admiral dies." Aznia cut to the chase.

"Yes." Daniels admitted, "And I'm asking you to restore his fate as a hero and a healer, and to save all of those lives that he already sacrificed himself to save once. Aznia, I'm asking you to affirm the decision he's already made."

"Daniels, I'm not destroying that solar system, and that's the end of the story." Aznia shut down the conversation, "Goodbye, Daniels. I'm sorry I can't help you." she pressed a button to turn the monitor black.

Aznia sat down on the edge of her bed, contemplating the situation for a good long while. After several minutes she made a decision, "Computer, establish a communications like to Lakul Transport in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho."

---

The Federalist arrived in the Orellius sector. Aznia had spent hours pouring over the data sent to her by Daniels. She hailed Admiral Deet, "Admiral, I wanted to let you know what Daniels was planning."

"Go ahead, Captain." the Admiral gave her his full attention. "He had a trilithium warhead placed aboard the Federalist. He wanted me to use it on the Deferi star, so that the gravitational forces in the sector would shift, and a temporal nexus would intersect with Lae'nas III. He then wanted me to enter the temporal nexus in order to change history."

"He wanted you to destroy a star?!" The Admiral was shocked.

"That's right, I suggest you have him brought into custody immediately." Aznia insisted.

"I want that trilithium device, Aznia. Not only would it be important evidence against Daniels, but that is a weapon of mass destruction that I do not want aboard one of our ships on the frontline." Deet was concerned.

"Do you want the Federalist to return to Starbase?" Aznia offered.

Deet responded, "No, I'll take the L'Étoile du Nord to rendezvous with you tomorrow at Defera."

"The Federalist will be there, Admiral." Aznia nodded, "Aznia out."

---

The Federalist and the L'Étoile du Nord rendezvoused in orbit of Defera, Deet hailed the Federalist to initiate contact. "Hello, Federalist, are you prepared to transport the device?"

"Lieutenant Corbin Bohannon here, Admiral. We're transporting it now." a junior officer answered.

Deet was curious, "Where is Captain Toma?"

"She left yesterday along with several members of the bridge crew. She said it was a top-priority matter, and placed me in command. That's all I know." Bohannon struggled to explain.

Deet ended the communications without warning, "Computer, are there any known temporal anomalies passing through this sector?"

"A conflux of temporal energy is currently passing near the Lae'nas system."

Deet grabbed his helmsman by the shoulder, "Set a course, maximum warp!"

---

Aznia, Dewoh, En'thaas and Rahall stood with Elsie Walesa on the bridge of the Lakul. The rusty old El-Aurian transport rattled and hummed as they plotted their strategy.

"No matter what you see in that ribbon, you need to remain focused." Aznia insisted, "We need to focus our attentions on emerging in the Narada's engine room as soon as it enters our space. Once we're there, we do whatever we can to detonate their singularity core. At all costs. Remember, if we succeed, the timeline will reset, and we all take our chances on an entirely new fate. We aren't giving our lives here."

The crew was ready to trust the Captain, no matter the consequences.

A chime rang on a nearby control panel, Elsie moved to investigate. "It's a Federation starship, Aznia." she warned.

"Can you hail them," Aznia asked.

Edinger appeared on screen, "Aznia, what are you doing?"

"Daniels' methods may have been abhorrent," Aznia admitted, "but his goals were admirable. We need to fix this timeline. I believe you would've want it that way."

"I want to see the timeline preserved, Aznia. You need to remember your oath to the prime directive." Deet began to lecture.

"It's time to heal what's been broken," Aznia confessed, "In another world, you would understand that. At least I hope you do."

Edinger responded, "I don't know what any of this means, Aznia; but you're sacrificing a lot by pulling this stunt."

"Admiral, however this ends, I want to thank you for the faith you've put in me. I'm doing my best to live up to it." Aznia clenched her teeth, knowing she was sentencing this man to death, "...and I'm sorry for whatever changes for you. But I believe you'd really want it this way. Toma out." the screen went to black.

Aznia hung her head in sadness for a long moment, as the L'Étoile du Nord attempted to engage a tractor beam.

"Polarize the hull to break free, then set a course into the ribbon!" Walesa ordered to Rahall, who manned the navigation console, "Let's get to the cargo bay!"

The team rushed to the ship's cargo bay as the ship careened on auto pilot into the ribbon, as soon as they were all in, Walesa reached for a control panel, hesitating for a moment; "Are we ready!?"

"Let's go!" Aznia shouted back as Walesa pressed the button.

The cargo bay doors blew open, jettisoning all five of them out of the ship and into the ribbon violently. As Aznia was pulled out into space, she watched the energy of the ribbon blasting into the Lakul's hull as the ship was rocked to pieces, for a moment she wondered if the plan was going to work as her breath was forced from her lungs by the frigid vacuum of space.

---

Aznia found herself standing in a woodland meadow, walking in bare feet walking through the softest grass she'd ever felt. A stream peacefully babbled nearby. She looked around briefly forgetting her mission altogether. It was the most serene setting she'd ever seen. After a moment, she shook her head... "No. This is an illusion," she reminded herself. She closed her eyes tightly, and before any more enticement could fall her way, she willed herself out of the Nexus.

---

The singularity core of the Narada was in a large dreary room- a stark contrast from the meadow she'd found herself in moments before. Aznia appeared there with Rahal, Dewoh, En'thaas and Walesa together, surprising several Romulan officer who drew their weapons on the intruders immediately.

Dewoh was shot down first, the others took cover.

"Rahal, can you overload the core?" Aznia shouted over the disruptor fire.

She answered, "I'll need a minute, Captain!"

Aznia darted across the room, drawing the fire of the Romulans. She ducked behind a console, then rolled out to focus their attention as much as possible. She pointed for her other crew members to do the same, all while giving Rahall a chance to work at destroying the ship from within.

En'thaas lunged out from behind a console and attacked one of the Romulans, he knocked the guard's disruptor loose, but was shot by another guard in the process.

Elsie ran the opposite direction, hoping to give Aznia time to get to the loose disruptor. Aznia sprinted for it diving to grab the device, but Walesa was shot before Aznia could draw down on her assailant.

Aznia briefly looked to see Rahall still working on the singularity core. She pulled up the disruptor hoping to buy just a few more seconds. Aznia fired, downing one Romulan. In the process, she drew the fire of another, and took a fatal bolt to the chest without ever seeing Rahall complete the job.

---

"Ahh!" Aznia Deet gasped awake in a cold sweat. "Computer, what's the time?" Deet found herself in her bed aboard the Federalist, stunned by the odd dream.

"The time is 2334 hours." the computer dispassionately reported.

She climbed out of bed, "Water, 2 degrees Celsius." a glass of water appeared for her in her replicator. She drank it quickly, trying to shake off the vivid nightmare she'd just endured.

Against her better judgment, she tapped her combadge, "Deet to Walesa."

A groggy voice answered the hail, "Yes, Capitan."

"I'm sorry to bother you this late, but I have a strange question for you." Aznia suddenly felt silly bothering someone about her nightmare.

"It's alright Captain, go ahead." Walesa answered.

Deet asked, "Was your grandmother El-Aurian?"
Vice Admiral Aznia Deet, Federation Ambassador, U.S.S. Federalist

Last edited by azniadeet; 05-13-2014 at 09:27 AM.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 419
# 17 When You Stare Into The Void
05-11-2014, 06:52 PM
___




The ship…




The darkness around her is only a shroud, concealing the devices and tools they haven’t let her see yet. The few indicator lights that are visible give testimony that many of these are medical equipment she is familiar with, and might even have used recently.

Highlighted in the circle of brightness cast by the single bank of surgical lights above, she gives yet another strain at the straps that hold her to the angled medical bed, still unable to move more than a few centimeters. Gasping in exertion, she pulls with what strength remains in her body until there simply is nothing more to use, collapsing back onto the padded bed with the quick intakes of breath that almost make her cough.

Then he steps forwards from the shadows, his alien eyes taking in her tattered uniform, the exhausted limpness of her form. A sterile mask hides his face, but she knows those eyes. Knows the cold amusement in them that she never thought would ever be there. His arms come up, and she knows the device he adjusts, its purpose and what it does.

"You should have been more careful." he says as he finishes turning a control and peers carefully at the miniature display lights on the device. "We never could have obtained you so easily if you'd kept your distance from me. You made it too easy."

"No!" her voice cracks as she tries to keep the fear from it. "You were my commander! I...I..."

He nods as he steps forwards, his manner that of a professional doing a job he knows well. "All true. But as Master Healer, you of all people should know the dangers of personal attachment to those under your care. Did you expect the Tal'shiar would be ignorant of that as well, Sub-lieutenant Kirana?"

Kirana's eyes go wide as she sees the device come up, her head shaking from one side to the other in denial "No! Please! I....I love....."

Subcommander Rycho's eyes do not change in the slightest. "You might be amazed at how many of my assignments say that." Then he puts the device to her temple.

And she begins screaming again.




The ship is falling...




He is running through the green-lit corridors of the Borg Cube, frantic to find a way out. For hours, he has been running, and his skin is streaked with cuts from the many metal surfaces he has come into contact with in his wild flight. His uniform is in no better condition, the charred marks of three plasma near-hits marking where his pursuers have almost stopped him.

The Cube is huge. It seems to go on forever, and he has run farther than he ever thought possible inside a ship, and not come to the other side. It dwarfs any construction he has ever known, and now he realizes how little he understood about just what such a vessel was. It was a miniature world.

Looking wildly around, his eyes half-panicked, Subcommander Tosik's mind still catalogs and identifies all that he sees. Here a dynafunction node. There, a nutrient transmission line. All part of the massive machine that is the construct he has become trapped within.

Spinning around a corner, he sees the open doorway, but is unable to halt his momentum before he has passed through it. His efforts to stop only cause his weary legs to buckle, and he falls onto the metal surface of the floor with the audible impact of his head striking last. For a moment, he is stunned, unable to make out his surroundings.

Then he is being lifted by mechanical arms too stiff and strong to be biological. To either side, a Borg drone that once had been a rihannsu like himself carried him forwards, one pinning his head in place with its other hand so that he saw what was awaiting him.

She was there.

The female figure he had so long sought was shrouded in white robes, but from several holes in the fabric, he could see the large conduits and wiring that led from her, linking her directly to the Cube structure. Her face regarded him with serene interest, the one eye clearly a prosthetic that was ringed in metal and from the depths of that iris shown a single red dot of light. Even the hand she raised to halt the Borg carrying him displayed the evidence of cybernetic invasion, the fingers each tipped in an alloy cap that seemed to shine with an inner light of their own.

In a voice he barely recognized as his own, Tosik cried out "Commander!!!"

But she only nods, and a small smile forms on her face as she says in a voice made of many others besides her own. "It is good that you have come to us. Now, you will service us, and be perfected."

He barely has time to arc his back in agony as the assimilation probes pierce his neck.





The ship is falling down the well......




Warlord Desalle Mendez Rycho staggers under the blow, his legs shifting madly to keep him upright as the ringout from the blow of Captain Furth's sword that had sent his own blade sailing out of the arena floor echoes off the stone walls. His hand is numb, but he knows in seconds it will flare with the agony of broken bones, and he grits his teeth as he glares in defiance at his foe.

Furth's grinning face leers back at him as the massive warrior takes a moment to savor his advantage. The tattoos of skulls below the eyes that watch Rycho dance as the man tilts back his head and utters a shout of glee, the sword already positioned to slash through the man who had been his superior only a few minutes before.

"You can see, my Khan, that this worm does not deserve his place!" Furth shouts out as he turns slightly to one side. "Let the lands of Greater Europa have the master worthy of them!"

Rycho knows this is his chance, that it happened just this way before, and that he must strike or lose everything. In an action as swift as a striking cobra, he is moving, his legs propelling him in a leap forwards that....


Furth's sword drives into his chest, somehow interposed where it should not, could not, be.


Collapsing to his knees, Rycho's hands go to the hilt now extending from his chest, trying to comprehend how this could have happened. He knows he has done this before, and that he had slipped past Furth's blade in that moment of distraction to knock the traitorous warrior out with a head strike to the other's jaw.

In shock, he finds his head becoming hard to lift, yet he does so. Determination to see the others in the stadium around him forces him to push his last strength to meet the eyes of his former subjects. And one other.

There, on the throne chair Rycho had positioned for him, Kahn Noonien Singh watches his Lieutenant with slitted eyes. With a single motion, Singh sweeps the cloak from his shoulders and stands to address the crowd of faces around them.

"So it shall be."

In a gasp of pain and utter despair, Rycho collapses onto the floor of the dueling arena, his breaths causing the dirt to scatter. When the crunching of gravel reaches his hearing, he almost doesn't realize his Master has come to stand beside him. Lifting his head for what he knows is his last time, he sees the merciless eyes of Khan Singh regarding him with utter disappointment written in them.

Then that changes to fierce anger.

"You think this is the end, don't you?" the leader of the genetically augmented race of Humans says as he bends down to grip Rycho's hair in his hand. "Oh no. Not for you. Not for your crew. Did you think I would forget how you interfered in my release? After so many...many.....

"No. We will keep playing this out until your soul is broken, and your mind is shriveled! However many times you all must die, I will have my revenge."

Forcing Rycho to look at him fully, Singh asks him in a voice filled with hate "Do you like this face?" before he lets Rycho see a little bit more of the truth behind the mask, and Rycho howls as madness begins to take him.

Then Furth is swinging a battleaxe down at his head.





The ship is falling down the well, the crew is incapacitated........





The hull of the Thur'Vas sang with the passage of the ship through the wild distortion of space, the roaring of sound within its confines a vibration that shook Master Engineer Xa'Jev's hulking body almost off his feet. Clawing along the Bridge from the turbolift he had ridden from Engineering, he used his arms to pull himself along against the gravitational forces that sought to drive him into the bulkhead along with the others.

On the main screen was only the blur of passing matter as the ship flew at speeds that would be incomprehensible to biological minds around the massive whirlpool disk that marked where a rift into subspace had formed. A rift that had caught the Thur'Vas unexpectedly, and was gradually drawing it downwards into the dark maw at its center.

Part of Xa'jev knew that the ship would not survive passing into that darkness, that entry into subspace in this way would crush it long before the matter that composed both the ship and everything inside it was annihilated by contact with the different physics of subspace. But only part of him. That part was a computer-generated copy of his brain, a companion to the one he had been born with and a constant assistant to recalling of facts or calculating equations.

The other part was in a sleepcycle nightmare, seeing what the artificial brain did but unable to experience it except as part of a twisted dreamstate the bionic copy identified as the result of the altered space the ship was flying through. The same effect that had caused the other members of the crew, all without the benefit of a cybernetic implant system, to collapse into an REM state that clearly was causing them as much distress mentally as the G-forces of the ship's rapid spiral course was causing to their bodies.





The ship is falling down the well, the crew is incapacitated, and <ERROR/SUBROUTINE CHECK/INCORRECT DATA FORMAT> only this one is left to <ERROR/DANGER/IMMEDIATE EVASIVE ACTION/HALT PROGRESS> implement correction action.




Staggering towards the Science Station, the Master Engineer could not spare effort to be gentle as his divided mind alternated between firm logic and utter madness. With barely a notice, he pushed the twitching form of Subcommander Tosik aside and, jamming his input spike into the console surface close enough to induce signal traffic to the computers, began to enter commands into the Scanning Station.




Action required enter elevation course correction pulse NONONONONOGETAWAYGETAWAY zero-point-five-seven. Set delay on main deflector THEREISSOMETHINGBEHINDUSGETAWAYGETAWAYGETAWAYGET two seven seconds. Warp coefficient eight stroke two theta one.




Twisting away for a moment in panic, Xa'jev tried to run back to the turbolift, the spike from his hand embedded into the console the only thing that stopped him. In the next moment, he returned to cold calculation and continued to feed instructions to the computers. In minutes, he had the structure of the subspace rift analyzed and the path needed to escape calculated.



Entering the final commands, Xa'jev gripped the edge of the console, and activated his program.



And watched in horror as the ship was rocked to one side by the impact of an asteroid he had missed in one of his periods of delusion. Quickly attempting to correct his program, Xa'jev found that the impulse engines were already firing, the ship's main deflector array already emitting the antigraviton surge he had ordered it to. In a synthetic howl of dispair he tried greater and more complex corrections as the ship's course bent further and further from what was needed.

Then the sound of the hull turned to the twisting screech of hull structure, and the Engineer could only watch as the port wing Engineering display diligently showed that part of the ship collapsing in on itself, crushed into the main body of the vessel by the hideously increasing forces around it. A moment later, and the starboard side of the vessel began to follow suit, filling the Bridge with the thunder of crushing hull and compressing systems.




He barely noticed when the upper section of the Bridge ripped open to show the blackness of the subspace maw coming down to swallow what remained of the Thur'Vas. His last moments were of screaming his rage at his failure.....




___




Commander's journal supplemental.



The Thur'Vas is on course for Deep Space Nine for repairs and medical assistance after our encounter with a subspace rift that drew the ship in and incapacitated the crew. Special commendation is noted for Master Engineer Xa'jev, who managed to make his way from Engineering to the Bridge and execute a manuever that extricated the ship from the gravity well around the rift with only minor structural stress damage.

Unfortunately, it seems Xa'jev's cybernetics only allowed him to resist the effects of subspace warping for a time, and he succumbed to the same incapacitation as the rest of us just as he activated the ship's navigation program. Master Healer Kirana believes the reason we have not been able to revive him has something to do with the interaction of his cybernetics and concious mind. In saving the ship, my Master Engineer may have lost himself.

As to the rift itself, the sudden appearance of the anamoly directly in our course is suspicous. I cannot record any other reason for this conclusion other than to say I have....some of the experience.....computer delete last paragraph. What do you mean you cannot?? <words not translatable. Please check transcription database>.

Very well. I will have words with Republic Security upon our return to Mol'Rihan.




End recording.


___
"I am your leader, I am in command. The fate of all my followers lies in my hands. The burden of what is right or wrong, decisions have to be made. I have to take you all into this burning Gate." - Iron Savior, 'Never Say Die'.

Last edited by danqueller; 05-12-2014 at 05:25 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4,558
# 18 An Anomalous Nightmare
05-12-2014, 03:06 AM
An Anomalous Nightmare

I collapse backwards in a blinding haze of pain, the double-bladed knife embedded in the right side of my belly. The Orion advances on me, wipes green blood from her crushed nose, cursing, and kicks me in the jaw, sending me sprawling against the bulkhead and burying the knife still further. "Bajoran *****!" she grinds out. "You won't die quickly for that."

I can't move. I can't scream. No breath will come out. The matron has her knee on my chest as she reaches out for my ear and begins sawing.

And then she's not a greenskin. She's a human, long black hair, Asian features. Starfleet Science uniform, noncom's insignia. Huge, bloody hole in her chest.

"I'm going to kill you slowly, Captain, the way you killed me."

Captain? I'm a sergeant.

Blood pours down my side as the ear comes away. I can't move. I can't scream. Suddenly the nightmare vanishes with a sharp, stabbing pain to my neck.

I look around. I'm in my cabin on the Bajor. The pressure on my chest is Gaarra holding me tight. The pain in my neck was Warragul with a hypospray.

"Eleya, are you all right?" Tess asks.

The pain is still burning in my memory, vividly real, but both my ears are intact. I push Gaarra back before I realize I've got no clothes on. I grab at the sheets to cover myself but Warragul's South Australian tenor says, "Relax, Cap'n, it's nothing any of us here haven't seen before."

He's right, of course. Warragul's my doctor, Tess is my workout partner, and Gaarra … Prophets, I still don't even know what Gaarra is.

Tess goes to my dresser and tosses me a set of underwear. "We paged you to the bridge four times but didn't get an answer," she explains, leaning against the chest of drawers, as I fiddle with the back close of the bra. "Commander Reshek volunteered to come looking for you, then he called me to override your door, and then I called the doc when you wouldn't wake up."

Gaarra gets off the bed and jogs over to the replicator. "Raktajino, one cream, double sweet," he says, then digs a jumja stick out of the box on the shelf beside it. "Evidently we're going to need to make a pit stop at DS9 at some point," he comments as he walks back over and hands the drink and food to me. "You're nearly out of these."

I slip my panties on under the covers as I ask, "So what's so important that you had to wake me up at … Computer, what time is it?"

Chirp. "The time is 0514 hours and 25 seconds."

"Yes, that."

"No idea," Gaarra answers.

I stare at him. "You don't know why you woke me up?"

"He means that we don't know what the thing is that we woke you up for," Warragul explains, somewhat unhelpfully.

"Well, neither do I, so unless you want to explain it to me I'm going back to sleep." I flop back against the pillow.

"And neither does Birail."

I sit back up. "Okay, why don't you start from the beginning?"

"We're stuck," Tess says. "Gravimetric anomaly of some kind, came out of nowhere. Not causing any serious damage to the ship but it did something to the warp core and Bynam had to make an emergency shutdown."

I gulp down a mouthful of raktajino, tasting the bitterness of the Klingon liqueur. "How far are we from New Romulus?" We're delivering a shipment of industrial replicators to a new orbital shipyard they're constructing.

"About half a light-year. Comms are down, too, and we've already tried sending a shuttle out on remote. Anomaly just sucked it right back down, tore it to pieces."

"Think the Glyrhond could make it?"

"I doubt it. Runabout's SIF isn't much stronger than a Type-8's." Tess hands me an undershirt and my uniform jacket and I shrug into them. I swivel my legs off the bed and stand up, then grab my trousers.

We get to the bridge and somebody barks, "Captain on deck!"

"As you were." I turn to the person in question. "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" Then I take a closer look and wonder how I managed to forget the name of the only Romulan on the Bajor.

"Sauringar. Sir."

"Right, sorry. Oh, and don't call me 'sir'. 'Ma'am' or 'Captain' is fine."

"Sorry, sir." He coughs. "Captain."

Now it's coming back to me. Commander Sarsachen Sauringar, fifteen-year Starfleet vet hitching a ride to his next post. Apparently we're permanently loaning him to the RRF or something: he's been offered a job as XO of a warbird.

I turn to the viewscreen. Dark blue lightning, a swirling pattern of energy. "Tell me more, Biri."

The Trill hands me a PADD. I yawn and peruse it but the technobabble is a little much. "So, basically you don't know anything."

She rolls her eyes at me. "No, we know it's about 350,000 kilometers in diameter, strong subspace distortion emanating from the center and that it's producing a gravity well roughly the strength of a G-type star."

Takes me a moment to dredge up the memory from a half-remembered astronomy class at the Academy—I was a naval weapons major—but G-type is your basic yellow dwarf, same size as Sol or my own sun B'hava'el. Not exactly an overpoweringly strong gravity field. "So why can't we get away from it?"

She opens her mouth to answer but a chirp from the intercom interrupts her. "Security to Ten Forward! Security to Ten Forward!"

"The phekk?" I look at Biri. "You need me for anything?"

"Not at the moment. I'll call you when I know more."

I start for the turbolift but then stop. "Biri, random question. You ever have any Asian brunette noncoms in your department? Somebody who got run through and died?"

She gives me a funny look. "Juno Ichigaki, Geo Specialist Two. Took a chunk of a mass spectrometer through the stomach when we were hit by that torpedo over Dreon VII. Why?"

"No reason."

I head for the turbolift as she yells after me, "Really, you ask me about one of my dead specialists for 'no reason'? What's going on, El?"

"Back to work, Riyannis!" I yell back. "Deck Ten," I tell the turbolift.

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

By the time I get there Dul'krah, Chief Athezra, and Lieutenant McMillan have already arrived. McMillan starts to yell something (probably "captain on deck") but I wave her off, reach up, and grab the big Pe'khdar by the shoulder. "What happened?"

"Captain. All I know right now is"—he points to a bewildered-looking yellow-shirted Bolian crewman I can't place, standing against a wall with Athezra holding a stunstick on him—"that man"—he points at a Caitian ensign in a red shirt whom Assistant CMO Maela is checking with a tricorder—"clubbed that man with the whiskey bottle on the bar."

I look over at the bar. Nalak Lang is grumbling something in Cardassian that my translator can't make out as he cleans up part of the mess. There's a half-empty bottle of Talisker on the bar nearby, with an evidence marker next to it. I jog over to Maela and the Deferi stands and salutes. "As you were, Doc. How is he?"

"Unconscious, BFT to the head, probable MTBI."

"Okay, I need that in captain dummy talk, Maela."

"He got hit over the head twice with a whiskey bottle, hard."

Two corpsmen run in with a stretcher. "Three, two, one, lift!" They lever the Caitian onto the stretcher and Maela slaps her combadge. "Doctor Maela to transporter room. Four to beam directly to sickbay." They vanish in a shower of blue sparks.

I walk over to the Bolian, brush Chief Athezra out of my way, and switch to my superior officer voice, doing my best to turn my face implacable. I'm told I do that pretty well. The scar helps. "Name, rank, station. Now."

He snaps to attention but looks frankly terrified. "Ma'am. Kuhbb Puso, Matter/Antimatter Specialist, Third Class. Main Engineering. Ma'am."

I slap my combadge. "Bynam, this is Eleya. Get to Ten Forward." I turn back to Puso. "Well, Emmay-Three Puso, congratulations on getting 'assaulting a superior officer' added to your file. Would you care to provide an explanation for your conduct today, or should I let JAG handle that?"

"Ma'am. No, ma'am."

I glare at him. "I don't believe I was actually giving you a choice, Specialist."

"Permission to speak freely, ma'am?"

"Please do."

"Ma'am. I can't provide an explanation." I raise an eyebrow and gesture for him to continue. "Last thing I remember I was … I was in the break room trying to get in a mid-shift nap. I don't remember leaving the room or coming to Ten Forward, and I especially don't remember hitting Ensign F'oit with a bottle. Ma'am."

"Fifteen-plus witnesses say otherwise, Specialist," Dul'krah says. "Athezra, take him to the brig."

My combadge chirps. "CMO to Cap'n."

"Go ahead, Warragul."

"I'm getting an awful lot of reports of sleep disturbances. Bad nightmares, people turning up in odd places and not remembering how they got there."

"How many is 'an awful lot'?"

"Two dozen so far."

My mouth twists. We had a saying in the Militia. Once is a freak accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is a pattern. "Athezra, hold on a moment!" I yell as the dirty-blond senior chief half-drags the Bolian out the door. "Dul'krah, change of plans. Get this man to sickbay. Warragul, I want a full brain analysis on all the affected crewmen." I pause. "And me."

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

I shuck the hospital gown, pull my bra back on and yank my undershirt down before sliding off the bed and pulling my pants back on. I throw the curtain open and step out into the sickbay corridor. I don't claim to understand everything Warragul and Maela checked by a long shot but I recognized the questionnaire Dr. Shree gave me. Standard PTSD thing.

I threw it away and told her to stay on-point.

I walk over to Warragul and Maela. The Deferi scratches the front of her horn and says, "Well, Captain, we ran full psych panels on all of you and while we were at it five more cases came in. One serious: Lieutenant Kerensky, Commander Ehrob's second officer, jumped off the third-floor catwalk in Main Engineering. Serious skull fracture; we're not sure he's going to make it."

"What do you know?" I say, stifling a yawn.

Warragul reads off a PADD. "Elevated levels of acetylcholine and melatonin in the humans, equivalent chemical increases in the aliens. And we've all got unusually high levels of adenosine and its analogs."

I stare at him blankly. "Can I have that in Bajoran, please?"

Corpsman Anoeza Watkins pushes past us with a PADD and a protein bar as Maela explains, "For some reason the affected crew, yourself included, are making chemicals that are causing us to get sleepy"—she punctuates this with a yawn—"and dream more."

I grab my uniform jacket off the coat rack. "And the connection to that grav anomaly is?" Warragul gives me a funny look and I scoff at him. "Oh, come on, we all know that's where this is headed. Every time we or anyone else hit an unexplained anomaly like this in the past it's made something weird happen." I slap my combadge. "Biri, got anything else on that anomaly?"

"Nothing much else, although the gravity well seems to be deepening slowly at the center." I hear a yawn. "Mmf. Sorry, El."

"Seems to be an epidemic of that going around. Anything else?"

"Reading some omicron particle currents."

"What's an omicron particle?"

"Subatomic, produced by a few types of matter/antimatter reactions and toxic to some life forms, but they're not common."

Corpsman Watkins walks back by with another protein bar. I say 'another' because she's eaten less of it than the one she had before. "Biri, feed everything into the computer and see what we get."

Warragul grabs Watkins by the shoulder as she passes him. "Did you skip brekkie, Corpsman? That's your fifth protein bar since you came in."

She looks at him angrily. "Get off me." Then her face twists. "Sorry, sir. For some reason I'm feeling grumpy and I've been hungry since I got up."

"You sleep all right?" Maela asks, raising a tricorder.

"Like a baby, sir."

"Well, you're not showing the symptoms but there's something else weird." She turns to me and Warragul. "She's putting out a lot of psilosynine."

"Psilo-what?" I ask.

"It's a neurotransmitter involved in Betazoid telepathy," Warragul explains. "Watkins is about a quarter Betazoid."

"Closer to a third, actually, sir. I don't really have any control and it mostly just helps my bedside manner."

I pinch my chin. "Is it possible that you aren't the one who's hungry?"

"What, that I'm picking up somebody else and thinking it's me?"

"Oh, it's possible," Warragul confirms. "When I was on peds rotation during my residency I treated a Betazoid kid who was convinced she had a broken foot. There wasn't anything on the x-ray. Turned out it was her sis."

"Full-bloods get more training in that, 'cause they need more," Watkins says. "But what does this have to do with the price of coffee?" Off my look, "Never mind, ma'am, it's something my dad used to say."

"Well, I'm wondering—"

The intercom chirps, and Biri's voice says, "Bridge to sickbay. Finished the computer search and you're not going to believe this. File reference Zulu-5353-Tango-Alpha-6."

Warragul brings it up on a screen. The file shows a picture of a red and gold cloud. "What am I looking at?"

"Something Voyager ran across their third week in the Delta Quadrant, stardate 48546.2."

"A life-form?" Maela says, stifling another yawn.

"Yeah. They tried to harvest omicron particles from it for replicator mass, but that was before they figured out it was alive."

"So, this thing we're trapped in—"

"Probably something similar."

I look over to Warragul. "You're thinking it too, right?"

"What, that this gravitic anomaly of Biri's is trying to eat us?"

"We've seen weirder."

"Not this weird," Maela disagrees.

"Only theory we've got, though. And it maybe fits. If this thing has enough of a mind for Watkins to pick up on it, maybe it's what's causing the behavior changes in the crew. Hey, you thought 'grav anomaly that wants to eat us' was weird, try 'grav anomaly that eats dreams and nightmares.' Maybe Puso and Kerensky were sleepwalking. Even explains the attack on the ensign: I know my nightmare was…" I stop, shuddering. That brought back memories I've tried to forget for ten years.

"Ma'am? You all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine. I just, I need a moment."

I head out the door to the hall, pushing past the security noncoms guarding Specialist Puso. I make it to the turbolift. "Bridge." I lean against the wall, struggling to control my breathing.

No. No. I am not going to break down. I've got people depending on me.

A small voice inside asks, Like your gun crew and the wounded murdered in their beds on the Kira Nerys depended on you? Like a hundred fifty-seven people on the George Hammond depended on you? Like the thirty-five killed on the Bajor in the last six months depended on you?

Shut up, I tell the voice. Now I'm just angry. My head raises to look at my faint reflection in the control panel, brow furrowed, cheek scar creased.

And when I'm angry, I need a target.

The door slides open on the bridge and I look out the viewport.

I've got one.

"Tess, bring us to battle stations," I order.

"Aye, ma'am." She hits the intercom. "All hands, battle stations. You've got a plan, ma'am?" she asks over the klaxons now wailing throughout the Bajor's halls.

"Full spread of quantum torpedoes seems like a plan to me. If it's alive, I can kill it."

"What?" Biri gapes at me. "We don't even know what that'll do! And you'll be killing the only known example of a—"

I cut her off. "I'll be killing a threat to my ship and my crew, and to any other crew that comes through here thinking it's a safe area of space like it rightly should be. Have you got any better ideas?"

"I don't know, talking to it, maybe?"

"How? Flashing our running lights at it? Morse code subspace pulses from the deflector? Or, I know, how about I go out on the hull and wave my arms around!" I hear a low rumble through the ship. "Somebody tell me what the phekk that noise was, now."

Gaarra calls from his console, "Reading some minor buckling on the saucer armor plate, over compartment Four-Bravo-Romeo. Nothing serious right now, but it's going to get worse. It's this gravity field, it's starting to wear down the SIF. We'll probably be dead in fifteen minutes."

"So now we've got a time constraint, too. Any better ideas, Riyannis?"

She glares daggers at me. I glare right back and she turns away. "I want it on the record that I strongly disagree with this course of action, Captain."

"Noted. Tess, disengage the blast shapers on the next five torpedoes in the forward tube and calculate a firing solution for the distortion at the center of this thing." I take my seat.

The Andorian's antennae dance as she bangs out a series of commands. "I have a solution."

"You may fire when ready," I say around another yawn.

"Firing, forward tube." Five glowing blue quantum torpedoes shriek from under the saucer and vanish into the distance in seconds.

"Time to target?" I ask.

"Forty seconds." Another low-pitched rumble I feel in my bones. "Damage?"

"More buckling, starboard nacelle. Revising safety margin downward."

"Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, impact." The torpedoes vanish from the plot.

Half a second later the ship, which still had the impulse engines at full reverse, leaps backwards as the gravity well vanishes. I frantically order all stop. "Report!"

Biri shouts, "Conn, get us the hell out of here, it's reforming!" Lieutenant Park spins the ship hard to starboard and fires the impulse engines. "I think you just bruised it, El!"

"Bridge to Engineering, I need warp power yesterday!"

"I need five more seconds!" Bynam radios back. "There, try it now!"

"Conn! Warp one! Punch it!" The Bajor, still twisting to starboard, suddenly leaps forward, accelerating to the speed of light in under a second, the stars blueshifting ahead of us.

Suddenly a pressure on my mind I didn't even realize was there vanishes and I'm not tired anymore. I let out a breath. "Stand down from battle stations and chart a new course. Biri, I want everything we have formatted for transmission to Starfleet Command. And New Romulus Command. Hell, even the Klingons need to know about this one. I'll make the report myself. And broadcast in the clear to all ships to give this area a wide berth for the time being." I stand and stride into my ready room.

"Really, Captain, your first thought is 'quantum torpedoes, full spread'?" I nearly leap out of my skin, reflexively spinning and swinging at the voice. My fist makes contact with only the wall and I start swearing, cradling my split knuckles in my shirt and leaning over to pick up the medal I knocked off a hook.

I turn and face a man perched on my desk wearing an old-style Starfleet uniform, early '70s vintage. Shortish dark brown hair, high cheekbones and deep-set eyes. But something about him feels intensely wrong, like he can't exist. "Sher hahr kosst. Ieyet kasain tof chin'ktah."

He winces and inhales through closed teeth. "Language, Captain."

"Are you telling me this was one of your games, Q?"

"One of my…?" He scoffs. "Don't flatter yourself. Overranked little spitfire like you isn't half as interesting as Picard. Where is he, anyway?"

"Thought you were supposed to be omnipotent. He retired decades ago, and get the phekk off my desk! You still haven't told me what you're doing here."

"You'd have some trouble comprehending it if I did. You thought the Borg and the Iconians were trouble?" He gives me a pointed look and hops over to my trophy wall. "I was actually coming to bail you out, but you seem to have solved that problem on your own, for the moment."

"What are you saying?"

"That the puppeteer is also a puppet." He turns to me and gives me a critical look. "You're actually not bad-looking for a lower life form."

"Don't get any funny ideas."

"Not like that. Up here," and he pokes me in the head. "You'll find your way." There's a flash behind my eyes and he's gone.

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

"Can we trust him?" Tess asks. We're in the conference room.

"Based on what I've read of Q Prime's interactions with Starfleet crews in the past," I reply, "I don't know. He's never exactly untruthful, and he did warn us the 359 cube was on its way, but he approaches it like a big game."

Warragul growls, "Yeah, ****ing with our heads is the game. I say trust but verify."

"Me too, Doctor. Me too."

The intercom chirps. "Bridge to Captain Kanril, we've hit the outer marker. Admiral Kererek wants to speak with you."

I stand. "Come on, people, back to work."
Vadm. Kanril Eleya, U.S.S. Andraste, Strike Team Alpha

Useful Links for Foundry Writers | "Bait and Switch" -- Fed Foundry project, Part 1 rewards-qualified!
Say no to Arc! STO standalone installer

Last edited by starswordc; 05-12-2014 at 08:40 AM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 216
# 19
05-12-2014, 09:35 PM
Admiral Valot slouched in the command chair of the Athena, nearly falling asleep when the ship AI, Athena, called out to him.

"Sir," she said, her hologram shimmering to life in front of him. "I just detected an unknown anomoly on long range sensors."

Bryan sat up, yawning. "Any idea what it is?

"What does the word 'unknown' mean to you, sir?"

Bryan gave the AI's hologram a sigh, which she seemed to take great pride in. "Helm, move us in for a closer look," He said.

"Aye, sir," the helm officer replied.

Bryan stood from his chair and walked over to one of the consoles to check the time.

"Athena, I'm turning the ship over to you until Ibalei arrives to begin her shift," he said, walking over to the turblift. "Keep me appraised of the situation with the anomoly."

"Aye, sir," the AI replied. "It's not like her to be late, though."

"I agree, but none of us have slept well since seeing that Iconian after battle at Qo'nos a few days ago. I imagine she's just catching up a little."

*******

Ibalei was sitting next to Bryan in the observation room of the Athena. With the lights off, the planet below filled the room with a gentle blue glow.

"It is interesting," Bryan said, continuing to stare out of the window.

"Hmm? What's interesting Bryan?" Ibalei inquired.

"The value you put into this human's life," he said, getting up from his chair and walking to the window.

"Wha- what?" She stammered, her grey eyes widening.

Suddenly, he bagan to stretch and glow, and before long, she found herself before one of them. The Undine approached her, and all she could do was scream. She was still screaming even as she sat up in her bed, desperately clasping her hands through her dark red hair before she once again passed out, this time into a dreamless silence.

*******

Bryan nearly slammed into the doors of the sickbay as he sprinted over.

"How is she?" he asked, barely registering that he had prctically shouted.

"Comatose, but alive," Syiseda responded, even as she used her empathic abilities to calm Bryan.

Bryan walked over to the biobed, and touched the Joined Trill's forehead. "What happened?" he asked quietly.

"Unsure. Crew walking by said that they heard a scream from inside her room, and Justin, who happened to be nearby, overrode the lock, where they found her like this."

"Can you get anything from her telepathically?"

The Betazoid shook her head. "Not much. About the only thing I can glean is some signs of intense dreaming. Alhtough, there is one thing I should tell you."

"Well? Let's hear it."

"A number of other report that they suffered intense nightmares while sleeping ever since we approached that anomoly. One crewmember, who was taken to sickbay two, did show similar symptoms to Ibalei, however."

"Who?"

"The chief counsoler, Sujoi, another Joined Trill."

Bryan sighed. "Is there anything else that the other crewmembers have reported?"

"Many of them report that their dreams are their worst fears embodied. Otherwise, not much else."

Bryan thought for a second. "Keep me updated Syiseda."

"Aye, sir," she replied before moving back to the biobed Ibalei lay on.

Bryan looked at his wife on the biobed once more. "Don't worry, Ibalei, I will not forget about you."

*******

Bryan sat down in the captain's chair on the bridge.

"Athena, anything else on the anomoly?"

"Well," the AI replied, "Would you like the bad news or the good news?"

Bryan thought for a moment. "The bad news first I guess," he replied.

"The bad news is that we are completely stuck here. I've lost all impulse power, and can't form a stable warp bubble."

"Great," he muttered. "And the good news?"

"There is a definite solid object in the center of the anomoly. Not sure what it is, but it is there."

"How is that good news?"

"Well, push comes to shove, we could unload a salvo of quantum torps into whatever that is and try to destroy it."

Bryan nodded. "Load the tubes with tricobalt warheads. If it comes to destruction, I'd rather make sure that whatever we're shooting at actually dies."

"Aye, sir," she replied.

Bryan stood from the chair and walked around the bridge. Eventually, he stopped at the door to his ready room and thought for a moment.

"Athena, can you search through our records to see if you find anything similar to our situation?"

"Aye, sir," the AI replied. "I'll just be a few seconds."

The AI's holographic image flickered for a moment.

"Done. I didn't find anything in any starfleet logs."

"How far back did you go?" Bryan asked.

"All the way back to Captain Archer and the NX-01, sir."

Bryan thought for a moment. "Do another search. Go through every source you can find, no matter how old, whether it's fiction or not."

The AI looked slightly confused. "Are you sure? Even works of fiction?"

"Yeah. You never know what may help us out."

She sighed. "Very well. It'll be a few minutes though, considering the size of the search."

Bryan nodded. "Send your findings to my computer in the ready room."

"Yes, sir."

Bryan walked through the doors and sat down in the chair. He stared at the computer on the desk as he rested his head in his hand. Data surged across the screen as Athena searched through her databanks for anything that would help them out, though Bryan wasn't really paying attention to what he saw, as his eyes slowly drifted shut.

*******

The Borg Drone's Plasma blast struck the edge of the table Bryan was using for cover, causing him to duck down briefly.

"Anyone got a bead on him?" he shouted above the noise of the other weapons sounding off around him.

Suddenly, a lone pulse blast struck the drone square ing the chest, causing it to crumple to the ground.

"Nice shot!" he called to Ibalei as she ran to take cover beside him.

"Did I miss much?" she replied.

Bryan peeked over the table and fired a pair of shots from his rifle at the advancing Borg drones. "The Borg have almost complete control of the engineering section, and the AI core was succesfully ejected. We're just trying to keep them from getting to the bridge at this point."

"Maybe if we separate the saucer. The Borg's tractor beam is latched onto the engineering hull after all."

"That still leaves all of the Drones in this section though. Plus, what about an crew that-"

The distincive metallic screech of a borg transporter cut him off, and next to the two stood a Borg tactical drone. Suddenly, the drone grabbed Ibalei, who let out a shriek as it stuck its assimilation tubes into the Joined Trill. Thinking quickly, Bryan cut loose with a burst of three pulse blasts from his phaser rifle, each striking the drone in the head.

He grabbed Ibalei as she fell to the ground, and lowered her head gently, her skin already beginning to feel like ice. He ran his hand along her body, stopping at the bulge in her stomach. It was then he realized the Borg had just taken his entire world from him.

Suddenly, Ibalei sat up quickly, and spoke in a strangely metallic voice that was so close to her own that Bryan knew that it would haunt him for a long time.

"We are the Borg. Your technological and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own Resistance is futile."

*******

Bryan lept from the floor, covered in a cold sweat.

"Sir," Athena called, as her hologram appeared in front of him. "Are you alright?"

"No," he replied, shaking his head. "No I'm not."

She looked at him with concern. "I've got a couple of hits for you. They're up on your computer."

Bryan walked over to the chair, shaking his head briefly. As he sat down, he looked at the screen.

"A game and a television show from the twenty-first century? Those are the closest hits you have?"

"Yes, sir. Both the game and show have a section of similar circumstances to what we have right now. have fairly significant similarities to what we're facing right now, however, between the recurring nightmares and the fact that they're essentially manifestations of a person's worst fears."

Bryan sighed and began to look over the footage Athena had loaded for him. As the last of the videos finished, he sighed to himself. None of them had anything really related to their current situation other than the fact that both involved either nightmares or fear, and both ended with the entity causing the adverse effects being destroyed in one way or another.

"Athena?" Bryan called.

"Yes, sir?" The AI replied as she shimmered into the room again.

"Fire a single pulse from the point-defense grid at the object in the middle of the anomaly. I want to see if shooting at it will actually do anything before we waste a full salvo of Tricobalts on it."

"Aye, sir, firing."

Bryan heard the faint hiss of a Phaser turret firing.

"No effect at all sir," The AI said. "The bolt simply vanished when it hit the anomaly."

Bryan half-sighed before an idea popped into his head.

"Athena, compare our sensor frequency to the current modulation of our weapons frequencies."

"Load it to you computer?"

"Yes."

Bryan looked at the waves, each very distinct, a different one for each weapon group, and a single longer one for the sensors.

"Athena, can you match our weapon frequency to the sensor frequency?"

"Modulating now."

Bryan sprinted onto the bridge and sat in his chair.

"What's you plan, sir?" Athena said, walking her hologram to the bridge behind him.

"You were able to get a successful scan, even if it wasn't a particularly good one, of that anomaly with this sensor frequency, correct?""

She paused. "Yes, sir."

Bryan focused. "Then you can figure out the rest."

The AI looked confused for a moment before she realized what Bryan was doing.

"Weapons, standby to fire, full alpha strike, on my mark!"

"Standing by, sir," the weapons officer called from the station in front and to the right of where Bryan sat.

"Double check your firing solution. I don't want you to miss."

"Ready sir!"

Bryan narrowed his eyes, looking at the blue-grey anomoly on the screen.

"Fire!"

Phasers and tricobalt torpedoes lashed out from the ship. Time seemed to slow down as the weapons entered the anomaly. The Phasers struck first, slamming into whatever was inside, and were followed closely by the Tricobalt warheads, which slammed into it each detonating with a bright, pale-white glow, that was followed shortly by a brief subspace tear from the sheer force of the explosions. Suddenly, there was another explosion, this one even more powerful, as whatever had created the anomaly detonated.

*******

Bryan found himself in his dream again, faced once more with the Borg drone that was to assimilate his wife. Bryan slammed into the drone before it could touch Ibalei, bashing his rifles stock into its pale face.

Looking down at the drone in the midst of plasma and phaser blasts flying around him, he whispered. "You will not have her. Not today," and fired a charged blast into the drone's face, almost completely obliterating it, leaving nothing but burned circuitry behind.

As he stood, everyone else in the room, the Borg, his crew, and even Ibalei, simply vanished, replaced by a tall, cruel alien the likes of which Bryan had seen only one other time.

"So, you have overcome what was layed out before you," The Iconian said, its voice seemingly tripled.

Bryan looked at it, the fires around the room casting an evil glow on its thin form.

"We're more clever than you give us credit for," he said simply.

"Cleverness can only get you so far."

"You'd be surprised just how far that can be."

"Confidence born of ignorance. You have existed because we have allowed it, and you will end because we demand it. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything, and we will endure. Our numbers will darken the sky of every world. You will not escape your doom."

With that, Bryan was blasted back to reality.

*******

Bryan shook his head.

"Everyone alright?" he called.

Everyone on the bridge replied similarly, stating that they were fine, followed shortly by complaining about a headache.

"Good. I'll be in sickbay. Athena, I'm giving you the deck for the rest of beta shift."

"Aye, sir," the AI replied. "Are you going to see the first officer?"

"Yeah."

"Well, don't worry, I won't pull any crazy stunts while you're gone," she said, smirking a little.

Bryan simply replied with a sigh as he walked into the turbolift.

*******

"How is she Syiseda?" Bryan asked as he walked into the sickbay.

"She's fine," she replied. "A little groggy, but she'll recover."

"Any idea what caused her to react that way to the dreams?"

"Probably the Symbiont. We all would have had that reaction if we had been here long enough. I think her having being Joined simply sped up the process."

Bryan nodded. "Can I speak to her?"

"Absolutely.'

Bryan walked over to her bed.

"Are you alright?" he asked as he sat down on the edge of the bed.

Ibalei shook her head. "Not really. My dream was... difficult for us to process."

"It was an Iconian ship. It turned our worst fears into a nightmare and forced us to live them while we slept. Fear is difficult for us to process."

"Worst fears, huh?"

"Yeah. What was yours?"

Ibalei winced. "Mine was that you were an Undine, and that everything we had was never real. What was yours?"

Bryan's expression darkened. "I'd...rather not get into that, if you don't mind. I don't want to see that again."

Ibalei studied his expression for a second. "I see," she replied finally.

Bryan brushed a hand along the side of the Trill's face. I won't let that happen to you he thought. No matter what happens, I will never let them take you
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
Join date: Some time in Closed Beta
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6
# 20
05-13-2014, 06:51 AM
Captain's log, Stardate 91932.33. We have completed another week of charting systems in our assigned sector block of deep space. We charted several nebulas, gas clouds and other stellar phenomena as well as officially charting several star systems previously discovered only through Outpost and Starbase long range sensors. Of note, the fourth planet of the the Weyoun system is inhabited by a proto-humanoid species. After several days observing them in high orbit, we left a marker bouy at the edge of their system warning off any others that may come this way. Assuming the bouy lasts long enough for this species to develop warp travel, it could alert us as to when to make First Contact. But, that will be for another ship, another Captain, many centuries from now.

My Chief Science Officer has detected "something" in the next sector over. That's all she was able to tell me. We are currently proceeding towards it at Warp 7, skipping several star systems to reach it. We'll swing back and investigate them later as this is a higher mission priority. We expect to reach it by tomorrow.

Captain's log, Stardate 91935.18. We have arrived at the "something". According to sensors, it appears to be a rupture in the fabric of space. Lt. Commander Diaz reports that it reaches into an unknown layer of subspace that was only previously theorized on. Now it is no longer a theory. We are keeping our distance lest we be caught within it. I have tasked my senior staff, my entire crew, with finding solutions for closing this... anomaly. We can't allow it to remain here. It may grow and endanger local civilizations. Such as that proto-humanoid species. We will remain here until the task is complete, however long it takes.

Captain's log, Stardate 91935.98. The ship is now trapped in the anomaly. We... I miscalculated what constituted a safe distance. It suddenly grew and its gravity well encompassed our position. The ship isn't the only thing affected. Members of the crew have reported hallucinations and bad dreams. Our Andorian crew members succumbed first. Dr. T'Larr tells me it's their anttenae. What allows them to perceive things that we other humanoids cannot made them much more susceptible to the effects of the anomaly, my First Officer included. At first, she complained of headaches. But, today she started acting strangely and had a violent outburst on the bridge. She was shouting about Vulcans invading Andoria. That conflict was resolved centuries ago. It took over five officers to subdue her. She is in sickbay, under sedation along with the other Andorians, just when I need her the most.

I find myself missing her guidance, her strength. Her ability to voice the opposite of what I was thinking before I had a chance to say it. And her determination to follow orders, even if she strongly disagreed with them. Which happened more often than I'd like. But, most of all, I miss my best friend. She always knew the right thing to say. Even if... especially if I didn't want to hear it.

Two other Andorians, Petty Officers Alap Kyll and Tithra Hyhr tried to take Engineering, shouting about "Vulcan oppression." After a firefight, they were subdued, but not without some minor injuries. I have posted security in all the major sections of the ship, but that may prove futile if the security officers start to succumb as well. I hope we figure out a way out of this soon. Sickbay is filling up fast.

Captain's log, Stardate 91937.69. All efforts to free ourselves have failed, much less efforts to collapse the anomaly. Sensors tell us that we are slowly falling into it. Or it is growing even more. It's hard to tell. All attempts to examine it have failed. All probes we have launched towards the anomaly have been destroyed when they reached the event horizon. Unless we find a way to free ourselves, the Yorktown will share that same fate.

Most of the crew is sedated in their quarters, sickbay being too full for any more patients. Those of us still holding on are losing our grip. Dr. T'Larr informs me that it is because those crew members that have telepathic abilities, even low level ones, have the mental blocks to dampen the effects of the anomaly. Dampen, but not suppress. It is a temporary measure. Eventually, even we will succumb. Being human, I'm not telepathic myself, but I have just enough Vulcan and Betazoid heritage in my ancestry to have the mental blocks. But, they are slipping. Two days ago I caught myself trying to swim in the turbolift on the way to the bridge. More disturbing, before going to sleep last night, I had the most charming conversation with my grandfather. I even let him sit in my favourite chair in my quarters. We talked for well over an hour. About life aboard ship, about how proud he was that I made Captain while he retired as just a Chief Petty Officer. There's just one problem. My grandfather has been dead for over seventeen years.

Most disturbing of all are the dreams. We can't avoid sleep and when we do, we all have bad dreams. Nightmares. Mine involve my grandfather's farm on Earth. It's caught fire and he and grandmother are trapped in the house. I'm try to reach them, but the flames are too high. I wake up with their screams ringing in my ears. I know he died peacefully in his sleep, among family. I know this. But, each time I go to sleep I experience this nightmare over and over and I'm afraid it going to drive me insane.

Captain's log, Stardate... dates. Why is it always dates? Why not plums or grapes? And why logs? Why not trunks or a tree? What do rainbows taste like? The same as a unicorn? Tra-la-la-la... *the sounds of feet quickly shuffling followed by a loud slump as if someone fell over then followed by several seconds of snoring before the entry closes.*

Captain's log, Stardate 91940.2. Acting Captain Diode reporting. The Captain has succumbed to the effects of the anomaly. She was the last remaining holdout, even lasting longer than Dr. T'Larr, a full Vulcan. I found her passed out on the floor of her ready room. She had a variety of flowers intertwined in her hair. I do not understand the significance. She is now in her quarters, under sedation. The only crew left consists of myself and seventeen photonic crew members. So far, my android physiology is immune to the effects of the anomaly as are those of the photonic crew. We have been working... what was that phrase Lieutenant Flores used? We have been working 'round the clock' on a solution to the anomaly. At our present rate of drift, we will be enveloped by it in 47 hours.

Captain's log, Stardate 91940.54. Acting Captain Diode reporting. We are still pursuing methods to free ourselves from the anomaly as well as solutions to close it. The organic crew stumbled upon the solution, through they didn't realize it at the time. I am sure if they were all... what was that charming phrase again? "In their right minds", they would have seen it as well. Small craft, such as probes, seem to be able to travel inside the gravity well. At least, towards the center of the anomaly. It is unknown why this is at this time. But, if we can expand this into something as large as a shuttlecraft, we may have our solution.

Captain's log, Stardate 91941.23. Acting Captain Diode reporting. We are about to make the attempt to close the anomaly. If we are not successful, I may not have time to record a final entry. We have removed several holoemitters from Holodeck Two and installed them in a shuttlecraft. We are going to attempt to project a large object inside the anomaly. The idea was developed by the Emergency Engineering Hologram Marks I and II. The Mark I has volunteered to pilot the shuttlecraft close enough to the anomaly to close it.

Captain's log, Stardate 91942.59.
The crew is recovering. Dr. T'Larr tells me that most of them will make a full recovery. The long-term prognosis of the Andorians is... unknown. My First Officer has been insistent on returning to duty. I have let her, as long as she reports to sickbay at the end of her shifts for check-ups.

I must commend the artificial crew members, especially Lieutenant Junior Grade Diode. She stepped up and took command when the rest of us became incapacitated. In addition to commendations, I am recommending her for promotion as well as some real command training. I feel that she will excel at it.

In addition, I want to make special note of the Emergency Engineering Hologram Mark I. When he projected the holographic duplicate of the Yorktown inside the anomaly, it did succeed in closing the rupture, but it was so... dramatic that the resulting shockwave destroyed the shuttlecraft. It also freed the Yorktown and we were propelled away by the shockwave. His sacrifice for this ship will not go unnoticed. There is a memorial planned for him in the ship's lounge. I will make special note to attend. I am afraid that I let my own prejudices blind me about our artificial crew members. I saw them as merely part of the ship, like a console. They are much more than that. This is the 25th century. We... I should be beyond this. This ends today. They are valued members of this crew and will be treated as such from now on.

I wrestled with removing previous log entries with... less than coherent reports. I can't be certain that any of my logs after being trapped in the anomaly weren't under its influence. After speaking with T'Larr as well as the ship's counselor I have decided to keep every one of them intact. Hopefully along with the sensor data they can help Starfleet Medical develop defenses against this type of phenomena.

We are resuming our mission of charting this sector of deep space, returning to the systems we passed getting to the anomaly.

Last edited by syrdeth; 05-13-2014 at 06:58 AM.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:04 AM.