PWE Community Manager
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 931
Welcome to the second Edition of the New Month Long Writer's Challenge!

Today we start the one month run of the sixty-fifth Literary Challenge: Myths & Lore.

We will be running this event from the 6/17 to the 7/15.

You may enter 1 story for each the 3 topics below, and space them out as you please timewise.

This month, our first line up will be the following.

Challenge #1 - Myths & Lore
Facility 4028 has sent out a general distress call. Preliminary reports indicate that a group of possible augmented humans broke into the facility and ransacked the holding cells, but there have been no reports of missing inmates. Only a confirmed report that a crate has been removed from a maximum security clearance storage area in Facility 4028 that contained the deactivated remains of a Soong class Android known only as "Lore." The predecessor to the now MIA sentient Android known in Starfleet as Captain Data, of the USS Enterprise E. Lore is a dangerous criminal known to have collaborated with a group of liberated Borg drones, and the Crystalline Entity, both in an effort to destroy the Enterprise and kill his "brother." Your orders are to investigate Facility 4028 for any evidence of how these augments broke into the facility, and where they have taken Lore's remains. Find them, and stop them before they can reactivate this dangerous android.
Challenge #2 - Movie Night - thanks to the suggested moonshadowdark for this suggested topic!
You and your ship have been selected by the hottest film director in 2414 Hollywood to be the muse of his latest movie. He and his film crew have decided to shoot their entire film aboard your vessel and then premiere it on Earth. Is it a documentary? An action film? Romance? Does the entire shoot go smoothly or are there "unexpected cameos" by enemy Klingons or Borg? Write about the experience having someone film you and your crew or write a log about how the premiere went and if your Captain enjoyed the portrayal of themselves or the ship.
Challenge #3 - Episode ReWrite - VOY - Bride of Chaotica!" "
Introducing a New Challenge! Every month's 3rd challenge will be to test your skills re-writing a classic canon episode to see what you would have done differently. This is completely open ended, so have fun with it, and see what response you can get from your fellow writers! And yes, you may add your own characters to this story to interact with the original cast/crew.

VOY - Bride of Chaotica! - During an episode of The Adventures of Captain Proton on the holodeck, Ensign Tom Paris and Ens. Harry Kim are forced to leave the program running when spatial distortions trap the ship and disrupt their control over the computer. While the command staff of Voyager seek to discover a way to free the ship from the spatial distortions, extra-dimensional aliens who exist in a photonic state cross over from their own dimension through a distortion located in the holodeck. There, they are detected and attacked by Chaotica, who believes them to be from the fifth dimension, and whose holographic photonic weaponry - though harmless to humans - is deadly to the aliens.
This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.

The Discussion Thread for all three topics can be found HERE.

We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.

The Basic Rules:
  • Each Challenge will run for 4 weeks. You may enter at any time during this open period.
  • There are no right or wrong entries.
  • Please keep discussion about the entries in the appropriate Discussion Thread.

A few other important reminders:
  • Please obey the TOS rules and policies of our Forum with each entry.
    • Anything overtly sexual or "adult" will be deleted. You have been warned. This is not a slash forum.
  • Each poster can have one entry per topic. Feel free to edit your post to fix typos or add/ remove content as you see fit during the next month.
  • After four weeks time, the thread will be locked and unstickied, as we move on to the next challenge.
  • We'll have two threads: One to post the entries in and one to discuss the entries. **Cross-linking between these two threads is acceptable for these challenges ONLY!!**

Have fun Captains!
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Last edited by pwecaptainsmirk; 06-24-2014 at 01:20 PM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 7,096
# 2
06-18-2014, 07:29 AM
Tal Shiar warning for sometimes-dark tone and references to bad guys doing really bad things.
-------------
Vice Admiral D'trel Tomalak finally agreed to wear a miniature holocamera on a headband just to shut the filmmaker up.

He was ecstatic.

"Thank you, Commander! You won't regret this!"

"You might," said D'trel. "I run into a lot of stuff that isn't exactly rated for children."

Edwin Anderson, the portly Human filmmaker, waved that off with a chuckle and a smile.

"Bah! I can always edit it if need be. This documentary will be the star of Sundance! An independent look into the Romulan Republic, and not just the media-savvy shined-shoes types they have on the flagship!"

"Well, I like my boots clean and shined myself, but we're definitely not a media-savvy bunch. First Omek'ti'kallan! Signal Command that we're ready to leave! Zel, take us out. Set course for the Hveid-kustais system, warp 6, and engage the cloak. I want all unnecessary energy signatures turned off and absolutely no outgoing coms."

"Uh, Commander?" asked Anderson, holding a camera pointed at D'trel as she took her seat. "What is your mission this week?"

"Hveid-kustais--loosely translated, it means "backwoods". It's an out-of-the way system that we haven't actively patrolled since the Republic claimed that sector. RRW Tale'sedrin detected an encrypted comm coming out of it two days ago, so we got scrambled to investigate. Before you ask, Tale'sedrin's an old Dhael class that hasn't been retrofitted with modern tech yet. They're not up to a big fight, which is almost certain if encrypted coms are involved. It's probably a Tal Shiar base, so I want you and your crew to strap in to spare seats. It could be a bumpy ride."
-----------
Tal Shiar base Athena. "Backwoods" System.

Turak-ongbūrz Gol'dun wished for Ungkat to claim him.

He knew not where he was, his fellow ongbūrzil were dead and likely cut off from Ungkat in that black hole that their ship had careened towards before the monsters had captured him, and there was little chance for other turakil to find him here.

And the monsters that held him...Alien, smiling monsters with the short faces of tuskless duhin-kon. They had asked him questions, ever since their strange translation machines had deciphered his speech, and when he had refused...

Well, he could handle a little torture; he was an ongbūrz, and a dhunak-ongbūrz at that, an elite, silent hunter, respected by all turakil. But the monsters...they were intelligent, clearly, and not just in a "they build things and have civilization" way. No, they were intelligent in an evil, appalling way.

The fifth time he had refused to tell them of the numbers and technology of the turakil, his thorn-sharp claws and massive fangs were already gone, his skin flayed and tattered, and he had laughed in their monstrous faces, spat on their dark, checkered uniforms, and thrashed in his chains. So they had brought in another of their kind, scrawny, pale, and shivering, whimpering in terror and without fur, and had burned her alive.

Gol'dun would kill the one called himself Colonel Dorak of the Tal Shiar, and pray that the monster would be reborn as a worm. To kill another so slowly and painfully, especially one of one's own kind, was horrible enough. But to destroy the body with fire, burning even the soul and preventing its journey through Ungkat...now THAT was a true abomination.

And once he had killed the one who called himself Colonel Dorak, Gol'dun would destroy as many of these Tal Shiar as he could, even if they burned his body and ripped him from Ungkat entirely. It was only right.

The door of his cell opened. Gol'dun craned his neck and turned his snout as best he could to see who entered.

It was the one who called himself Colonel Dorak.

Dorak smiled, and it was the smile of a man who knew that he was a monster, and enjoyed it.
-----------
"Get me another reading of the sixth planet; it's barely M-class, with that thin atmo, but you COULD build a base there, buried in one of those big canyons."

"Yes, Admiral," said Zel, taking the cloaked warbird in closer to the planet. "Sensors are functioning at 30% full normal efficacy, sir; should we decloak?"

"No. Do a sweep, only decloak if you find nothing on the first pass. I've got a feeling about this."

"We have a reading, sir," said Nelen Exil from the science station. The Voth archaeologist whistled slightly as he read off the expanding results. "Wow. Looks like a concealed base, similar to the one in the Hfihar system. Reading hundreds of lifesigns, most Romulan but a few others, which are in what appears to be a cellblock with several Romulan and Reman lifesigns. They don't seem to have transport dampeners up, but there's some material--a quadratanium alloy, I think--in the cells that's preventing me from getting a lock on the prisoners. I think we can beam people in and out of the corridors, though."

"Typical Tal Shiar arrogance," snarled D'trel. "They build a secret base, then don't fortify it because they're so sure of their skill at clandestine ops. Omek'ti'kallan, get Jak and Daysnur. We're beaming down to that cell block and playing heroic liberator. Zel, watch for Tal Shiar ships. You have the bridge."

"Don't forget to turn the holocamera on!" said Anderson excitedly. "Real Republic freedom fighters in action, I HAVE to get footage of this!"

"As you wish," said D'trel, heading for the turbolift with Omek in tow. "But don't blame me if it's blood and guts instead of witty quips, rakish hairstyles, daring escapes, and glorious battles."
------------
Gol'dun spat in the monster's face as he entered, before the thugs could gag him again. Colonel Dorak punched him, re-breaking one of his ribs, but it was worth it.

"We're going to try something new today, little ahlh," said Dorak. "Remember, you can stop this at any time by giving me the secrets of your wormhole devices, propulsion systems, weapons...well, anything about you or your starships, really." He smiled. It made Gol'dun nauseous.

"Bring in the girl," said Dorak to one of his thugs. A smaller alien, probably of the same species, was shoved in. She scrambled to the far corner of the room and curled up, whimpering. The thugs left, and the doors closed.

"Remember," said Dorak with an evil leer. "You can stop this at any time."

Gol'dun thrashed and screamed around his gag with helpless rage and hate as Dorak pulled off his lower garments.
-----------
There were guards ten feet down the hall from where they beamed in. They looked up in utter shock as D'trel and her team materialized. Typical arrogant Tal Shiar.

D'trel's Nausicaan tegolar sword stabbed through one man's heart as Omek decapitated the other.

"Set some charges, blow these doors. Daysnur, telepathic monitoring--Daysnur?"

The Lethean turned to his side and vomited. "Third door on the left, break it down, now. You have to stop him! He's...GO!"

D'trel had been around the mindhound enough to know when he'd sensed a particularly twisted mind. She and Omek raced to the door, took a quick step back, and rammed it as one.

The door dented enough in the center for D'trel to reach between and wrench apart the two halves.

Her hate almost overwhelmed her instantly.

The Tal Shiar man stumbled back, but Omek grabbed him by the throat and slammed him into the ground, shattering his ribcage and spine. D'trel forced the doors open and rushed to the Rihan girl in the corner, hearing herself snarl "Free the prisoner, then kill that little sh*t painfully!" to Omek.

The girl was curled in a ball, crying and whimpering. She couldn't have been more than twelve cycles.

"Hey. It's alright. I'm hear to help you. I'm with the Republic."

The girl looked up tentatively. D'trel put on her best motherly look. It wasn't a very good one. She could do with Viasa here, that Reman always did know how to make little kids calm down...

"It's OK. Did the monster hurt you?"

The girl shook her head.

"That's good. Looks like we got here at a good time. Come on, let's take you out here so that you don't have to see this. Daysnur! If you're done throwing up, this kid's pretty badly shocked. Get her back to the ship, tell Viasa and Korax to help her out."

"Yes, sir," said the Lethean, a haunted look in his eyes as he wiped acrid bile from his face. "I'm going to need a hydroshower. Ugh, that man's MIND..."

"Get moving. I'll deal with this."

She re-entered the room, kicked the Tal Shiar thug in the groin as he tried to rise, and grabbed his combadge. She switched it to "Broadcast". Tal Shiar thought it was clever to label their combadges in reverse. Idiots.

"I am Vice Admiral D'trel Tomalak, Romulan Republic defense fleet. Who are you?" she said to the now-ungagged alien as Omek helped it with its leg chains.

"I am dhunak-ongbūrz Gol'dun," said the alien. "Thank you for rescuing me, na'turak-t'ongbūrz D'trel Tomalak. May I borrow your weapon?"

"What for?"

Even through the translator, the alien's voice was steel, colder than the Andorian poles. "To kill this honorless taszh-nakh-moi so that it may be reborn as a worm. It denied multiple sentient beings their rightful place in Ungkat, delaying and preventing their rebirths, and performed tortures that no being could possibly condone. He must be sent to Ungkat, more than he deserves, so that he may be reborn as a worm."

D'trel handed the scarred alien her sword. "Be my guest."

"Torkh Ungkat nauszh ni gkhai!" snarled the alien, and he decapitated the Romulan man with one swing.

"Charges set," said Jak, appearing in the doorway. "Zel says the enemy should be alerted to the noise, though."

"Blow the charges, then get those prisoners out of here, straight to sickbay. Beam in a security team to help. Omek and I'll cover you if the Tal Shiar get here. Gol'dun, you coming with us?"

The alien made a curious hand-gesture. "No. As a turak and an ongbūrz, it is my duty to destroy this nest of monsters and all of their evil. Vah-tho'kun! May they be reborn as worms!"

"I'm with you," said D'trel. "Jak, evacuate the prisoners. Omek, with me!"

The alien grabbed D'trel's arm, gently but firmly. "You, D'trel Tomalak of the Romulan Republic. You are a na'turak, but a true ongbūrz and t'ongbūrz nonetheless. When I am dead, I would be honored if you would eat my corpse, so that I may pass on through the cycle of Ungkat and be reborn in a greater form."

"You want me to eat you? I couldn't do that to someone I hated, let alone someone I'm starting to like!"

"Please," the alien, Gol'dun, said, looking directly into her eyes. "Normally my kin or my hunt-brothers would consume my corpse and purify my spirit, but since they are dead or lost to me, I have only one honorable ongbūrz who I can trust to send me to Ungkat well. When I die, I would be honored for you and your ongbūrzil to take the place of my kin and my hunt-brothers."

D'trel sat on the revulsion for a moment and returned the alien's stare. "This is a cultural thing, isn't it? How does it work?"

"The kin and the hunt-brothers of a dead turak must consume that turak's corpse, purifying the soul and sending it to Ungkat, the cycle of life and rebirth, so that it may be reborn swiftly and painlessly into a higher form. If the body is not consumed, the soul is tied to it for a thousand cycles, and if the body is burned...then the soul is cut off from Ungkat."

D'trel clasped the alien by his fresh-scarred shoulders.

"I promise you that I WILL see this done. I hope that you and I will both survive this day, but if and when you die, I promise to you, on my honor and my mnhei'sahe, my ruling passion, that I will see your funeral rites performed properly."

The alien, Gol'dun, clasped her back. "Thank you, Vice Admiral D'trel Tomalak of the Romulan Republic. You are a fine ongbūrz. May you live long and be reborn in a greater form."

There was a loud bang from outside as the charges blew. Jak and the security team started getting prisoners out.

D'trel unslung her plasma rifle, stepping back out into the corridor. "C'mon. Stay back near me and Omek when the Tal Shiar get here."

"Hey!" yelled a man in Rihan, sticking his head around the corner. "What's..."

Omek shot him. The Romulan crumpled.

"Damn. Closer than I thought. Jak, hurry it up back there!"

"Yessir!" said the Nausicaan.

Omek was humming a hymn. "All Praise to Glorious Odo'Ital, He who tramples the servants of the loathsome Criminal One with hooves of hot iron", if D'trel remembered Omek's hymns.

She felt her self-control slipping. She'd managed to be strong for that little girl, and she was fresh from new meds and the first good, solid telepathic counseling session she'd had in months, but...

Two more Tal Shiar security men came around the corner in a low roll, popping up and shooting, one at D'trel and the other above their heads. Omek leaped up, taking a hit on his personal shield and causing the men to roll backwards in anticipation of a grenade. D'trel shot one as her shield buzzed.

Gol'dun leaped forwards, its short, stocky body and muscular legs, reminiscent of a Terran lemur D'trel had seen once, carrying him forwards and into the other Tal Shiar thug in a prodigious leap. One stab from the sword and it was over.

"D'trel to Kholhr," said D'trel as Gol'dun scrambled back into formation, more Tal Shiar boots audible. Lots of them, now. "Status report!"

"The security teams are getting the last prisoners out now, sir. One more transporter cycle." The Breen's voice was calm and businesslike. "The Tal Shiar are sending distress calls, but we're jamming their coms."

"Assume that they got through. I want us out of here and this facility firebombed to rubble in five minutes."

"Yes, sir," said Zel. Xe was a good officer. D'trel remembered to consider that Breen for promotion.

Gol'dun crouched in preparation for another leap. He clutched his chest momentarily and winced.

"You good?" She had to keep control; she'd been doing so well, she couldn't lose it now!

"One of my ribs is broken. May I borrow one of your dunih-makton, your ranged weapons?"

"Here. Plasma pistol. Point that end at the enemy and pull here. It's not much, but it's what I've got."

Omek chanced a glance over his shoulder. "They are beaming out now. Third, retrieve us next."

Three Tal Shiar in combat armor, carrying massing nanite disruptor miniguns, turned the corner. The trio shot at them, but the plasma and polaron pulsed glanced off of high-powered personal shields. The miniguns began to glow...

And the world fuzzed in transport.

D'trel rematerialized, and immediately checked Omek'ti'kallan on her left. He was just standing, apparently intact. Good. Her own uniform was singed by the smell; they must've been shot as they transported...

She turned to look at Gol'dun.

The alien had a massive, horrible burn across most of his torso; he gasped for breath as he rolled onto his back.

"Medical emergency, Transporter Room One! Omek, get to the bridge and blast that base into rubble. Hey, alien. Gol'dun. Stay with me. I just pulled you out of that base, don't die on me or so help me I will kill you!"

The turak wheezed a laugh, and coughed up blood.

"Ariennye! Viasa, get down here NOW!!!"

The turak choked on a gasp, and grabbed D'trel by her shoulder. She looked down into the vaguely monkey-like creature's huge, dark eyes.

"Remember...your oath!" Gol'dun wheezed.

D'trel held his head in her hands. "I will. I promise."

And the alien's eyes rolled back as his breath petered out.

D'trel stood, and wept silently as Viasa and her team rushed in. She knew what the Reman doctor would say even before Viasa looked up and shook her head.

"I'm sorry, sir. Who was he?"

"Gol'dun. Some alien the Tal Shiar had captured."

There was a faint thrum as the torpedoes discharged.

"Well, sir, I'll go have a torpedo prepared for his ashes..."

"NO," said D'trel. "His kind eat their dead. It's a sort of sacred ritual. He said that he would be honored if I would do the deed. He made me promise."

Viasa looked sick. "Sir? That's..."

D'trel sighed.

"I know. It's...strange." She leaned against the wall. What a waste. Gol'dun had survived whatever had brought him to this lousy rock, the worst the Tal Shiar had thrown at him, and who knew what else, only to die like this.

Well, the least she could do was honor his wishes.

"I can't believe I'm saying this. Take his body to the mess hall, cook it, and call the crew together for a briefing. He fought like a Romulan, and he died like an Elements-damned Klingon. Everybody of Lieutenant Commander or higher rank must participate. Anyone else who doesn't want to doesn't have to, but remind everyone that he explicitly wanted this."

"Yes, Sir," said Viasa quietly, after a moment. "As you wish."
-----------
Three hours later. Mol'Rihan system.

There was a knock at her ready room door.

"Enter."

Edwin Anderson slipped in. His earlier enthusiasm and bad jokes were gone, replaced by a somber, almost ashen expression.

Oh. She had kept the holocamera on.

"How much did you see?"

"All of it," whispered the Human. "This is what you go up against?"

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's not quite so bad. One time, it was worse."

"How do you do it?"

D'trel motioned for him to sit. He sat. She leaned forwards.

"The thing about Republic military personnel--us "freedom-fighter" types--we're not fighting because we want to, or because we make witty quips or daring escapes, or because we want to be war heroes and get dates. We fight because the other options are worse."

"You must think I'm an idiot."

D'trel shrugged. "We get someone like you every few weeks. Some inner-world Federation citizen comes out here, head full of assumptions about "frontier" life and plucky little nations from historical holovids and bad entertainment programs. Sometimes they even badger their way into the military. They never last more than a couple of days after their first encounter with our enemies. Most run back home. The strong ones...they turn out like the rest of us. No witty quips or dashing mustachios, just brutal raids and even more brutal defenses. It is what it is."

Anderson looked at his hands, twitching on the Romulan's desk. "...I'm still doing the movie."

Now, that was a surprise. "Why?"

"Somebody needs to get this out. People need to know. Reports and journalism are one thing, but a good documentary...That can change the galaxy."

D'trel shrugged. "If you say so. What about Sundance, that great "real-life freedom fighters" thing that was going to win you awards?"

Anderson looked up, a determined expression on his face. "Oh, I'm going to win awards, all right. When I'm done with this, everybody will remember it. Nobody will be able to sound educated and refined for an entire year without seeing it. People will know."

D'trel sat back in her seat. "Well. That's something. That's something, indeed."

She and Anderson sat in silence for a few minutes. Then she spoke up again.

"Alright. I'm going to tell you something now, and I'm only going to go through this once." She took off the holocamera headband, still sitting on her forehead, and tossed it back to him. "I won't give you her name; that's private. But I will tell you my story."

Anderson fiddled with the camera for a moment, then pulled it up with the lens facing her. "Go ahead."

"Right. Well, it starts a good three decades ago, on ch'Rihan. You see, I was an active member of the Unificationists..."
Founder and Grand Vizier of the Sovereign Ba'al joke. Hail Ba'al! Our theme song
My official eternal issue: Why no muscle definition slider? Let's have some equal-opportunity sexiness, Cryptic!
PWE: NO to mandatory ARC! At least make it optional!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 157
# 3
06-18-2014, 02:48 PM
Movie Night

"Peace? Really? No more fighting Klingons? No more bad dreams of a bat'leth in my backside?"

It was hard to gauge the age of some Caitians, but the kit that posed the question had a bit of a reputation for being immature. He liked inappropriate pranks, and laughed at politically incorrect jokes involving human bodily functions. But for once, he asked a pretty good question.

The Vulcan who answered looked like she was in her late thirties, but her shipmates knew that the Ensign was the opposite of immature. Although she wore only a single gold pip on her collar, this was her third career, and she must have been over 100 years old. For some reason she kept the young Caitian in check...maybe something during Academy Survival Training let them bond over something.

"Yes. How long though...that's the question."

The other occupants at the table nodded solemnly. There had been way too many battles of late, too many casualties. Starfleet Academy was more of a factory than a refinery these days, pumping out warm bodies to occupy consoles. A look around the mess showed an equal distribution of junior officers, junior enlisted, and a lot of cadets.

Maybe peace would allow the young to become old.

The kit responded to a beep on his PADD, and after a brief read, he leapt on the bench, waving the PADD like a flag. "Wooo! Risa! WOOOO!!! We're going to RISA!" His tail jumped around as if charged with electricity, and the Bolian Lieutenant J.G. next to him glowered at the tuft of blue fur that landed on his dessert.

The Vulcan held up her hand slightly to the Bolian, and was about to remind the kit about jumping on furniture when his tail swatted her nose.

"Wooo! R! I! S! A! Wooo!"

The Vulcan closed her eyes, bringing her left arm up to rub her temples. She wondered again just why she decided that Starfleet would be an interesting option after a career in medicine.

The tail swatted her again.

Hmm. Maybe with the new peace she should transfer off the Bonaventure. Maybe the Solaris was accepting applicants for diagnostic engineers.

And the tail swatted her again.

"Kitrel, sit down before I fabricate a retractable leash and a spray bottle for ice water."

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

"Captain...I do not think this is a good idea."

Sotek was in sync, and had read me correctly. He looked at the screen again to see if it was a joke of some kind, but glanced towards the ceiling, shaking his head. "I think the crew needs a proper debrief before we take on this assignment. They are wound too tight...the damage they will cause on unsupervised shore leave...well...it is *not* a good idea."

I nodded at my friend. "Unfortunately, we don't have a say in the matter. Trust me...I tried. Doc even forwarded the logs from our last shore leave on Risa. Doesn't matter to the Commodore. She says that since we were at the vanguard of the peace process, we deserve to enjoy it first. And her definition means immediate shore leave for the crew."

Sotek sighed, pondering his options. "Then I would like to detach the Rouge Valley for...."

Holding up a hand, I broke in. "No can do. Look...I told her that the crew needs to be properly debriefed. That it is not a good idea to transit right from the war zone to a pleasure palace. With all due respect to the Commodore, the last command she had was one with a full counseling staff and working holodecks. Her crew worked out issues before being released on the unsuspecting public. Our crews...they're good. But there are a few who need a bit of supervision, a gradual return to a new normal." I leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes. "For crying out loud, we need to deal with what happened last week...to see if there are any more Bajorans who were in cahoots with the "Protectors of the Tears" or whatever they were calling themselves. Or any sympathizers. Or any..."

Brr-deet!

I straightened up, holding up my hand to pause the conversation. "Enter."

"Oh Captain...are you addressing me in particular? On Cardassian vess-"

"Yes, Gul Figler, I am addressing you, and know how one addresses others on Cardassian vessels. Please enter, and remember that you are not *on* a Cardassian vessel." Sotek suppressed a grin, and did not raise to greet the Gul.

"Oh. Then. I...uh. Hmmm."

"You must be here for the transfer order for Durak." I forced a smile. "Here, on this PADD. Done in triplicate. And once again...I am not invoking any right to press charges. If I went by Cardassian law, Durak would be flotsam right now. Just get him off my ship."

The Gul seemed offended. Good, I thought. Subtleties work on this one.

"Captain," Figler said. "I am only doing my job. I was asked to rendezvous here and pick up the science team. I don't know what transpired to create this highly irregular situation, but was assured that it was in the best interests of all parties."

"Gul Figler, I'm afraid you've caught me in a bad mood. You've demanded a hard dock instead of beaming Durak off my ship-"

"Which is standard operating procedures for any prisoners."

I inhaled sharply. "He's not a prisoner."

"If he did what he did on a Cardassian vessel-"

I jumped up, taking a step towards the Gul. "For the last time, this is!--" I stopped myself, and took a deep breath. "This. Is. Not. A. Cardassian. Ship. Period. The next time you attempt to imply otherwise you can join Durak in the special guest quarters I've prepared."

The Gul straightened, and it looked like a grin appeared on his face. "Special guest quarters. Yes...the damage you sustained apparently made the only place to put the science team was under the waste reclamation facility? The one that sustained damage and lost all environmental containment, sloshing waste all over the deck?"

"Yes. Those quarters."

Gul Figler did smile this time. "Captain...I'm afraid that I was asked to...what was the term, Captain Sotek? Push your buttons?"

I swiveled to face Sotek, who was suppressing laughter. I shook my head, mentally swearing vengeance, and turned back to the Gul.

Figler continued, "You really should see your face, Captain. Your expression...I would have done this for free! I know Durak...he is...well...let's just say that he won't be bothering the Federation any further." He handed me a PADD. "The hard dock...that wasn't my idea. My father always told me to maintain balance in life. So...I pick up a problem...Durak...and repay you by leaving you with a problem of mine."

I tilted my head to the right, narrowing my gaze. "What kind of problem?"

"Media types. What Durak did on your ship, these tried to pull on mine. And while I could have imposed Cardassian law, I was directed by the Castellan to ignore it in order to improve relations with the Federation." He sighed deeply. "The True Way has caused problems enough that we need to repair."

I looked to Sotek, wondering if this was part of his little joke, but he looked as surprised as I did.

"The hard dock...it was to avoid transporter file degradation of their holorecorders. Or some such nonsense. It wasn't worth the hassle of an argument, and your 'friend' said it would add to the 'button pushing'." Figler chuckled, saying, "I think I do end up getting the better part of the deal, Captain. These media types...they do not seem...reputable."

My blood pressure was finally back to normal, so I asked, "How so?"

"Their credentials are...odd. Independent producers. Given unrestricted access to document reactions to the new peace. But the manner in which they do so...it is....well....you'll see for yourself."

"And they're transferred to my ship why?"

"Special request from your Commodore. She said you're on the way to Risa, they may as well record your crew's reaction to peace. Apparently drinking 'fish juice' isn't exciting enough for these media types, so they requested a Federation vessel transport them to Risa."

I glanced at Sotek, and he signaled that he knew nothing of what was going on.

Figler looked at me in the eye, and said, "Captain, I do apologize for what happened with Durak, from one officer to another. For what it's worth."

I held out my hand to shake the Gul's. "Thanks. I appreciate the sentiment."

Figler grinned again. "Then I'll leave at this time, before you meet your new passengers. While we're both still smiling."

I didn't like the sound of that.

****************************************
Two days later...

L'naa, Sotek, and Doc's jaws were all at floor level as the playback ended. For once, I managed to keep my mouth shut, only because I was so enraged at what I witnessed.

"Y'see, cap, that's awesome footage! Wanna see it again?"

The large 'director' had a rather unique hair style; the right side was shaved bald, and the left was braided into dreadlocks. The word, "Yeah!" was inked on the right side in about a dozen different languages. He wore a sheer brown shirt that would be more appropriate on somebody half his age, and a skirt that was short on one side but long on the other.

"Seriously! Awesome! Wanna see it again!?"

I looked back at the screen, now frozen, with a dozen of my crew in various states of undress. Each held a container of what obviously wasn't synthehol, and we had just witnessed actions that would give me the ability to court martial any of them for conduct unbecoming. Was that a Vulcan riding a Catian with a spray bottle?

"Mr...uh...ick'lak'....I'm sorry, I can't pronounce your name correctly," I said. "I cannot allow these images to be transmitted."

"Jes call me Icky, cap. And don't matter what you say...you can't do a thing about it!...people are jes gonna love "Kits Gone Wild IV! Whoo! You should stock some real booze on yer ship so'oze yer crew can learn to handle their likker! Great footage! Oh man!"

I didn't like this civilian telling me what I could or couldn't do, particularly after having put up with Durak. "Mr....Icky. The Federation expects a certain level of decorum for members of Starfleet. What you've done is basically drug my crew and filmed the inappropriate actions of beings acting beyond their control."

"Beyon' Der Control! Love the title! Might use it! But cap...check this letter...I can transmit, and will." He handed me a PADD that was encrypted with a high-level Starfleet HQ privacy lock. He tapped a button, and I read the letter.

L'naa squinted at me, asking, "Well?"

I breathed very deeply. "Authorization for any recreational filming of any personnel and subsequent transmission. Validated and verified authentic." I stared at Icky. "Bears the signature of the Commodore."

Icky seemed pleased with himself. "I know what yer asking, cap. But yer not old enough to know." He pointed to Doc Irve. "But gramps might. Hit the image icon."

Doc Irve scowled at him, but looked at the PADD. "Huh."

I looked at him. "Huh?"

Doc Irve nodded at me, "It's legit, Captain," then looked at Icky. "You best be getting back to your quarters now. We'll notify you when a window opens for your transmissions."

Icky bounced up, waving away the PADD. "Thought you'd know what it was, gramps! Maybe call it Kits Beyond Control! They'll love it!" He swayed out of the room, dancing to some tune only he heard.

Sotek raised an eyebrow at the Doc. "Is there something you wish to share with us, Doctor?"

Doc Irve chuckled to himself, then motioned towards the PADD. "Recognize the third girl to the left?" he asked, pointing to a topless girl half-wearing a midshipman's uniform.

L'naa stared carefully, then looked away in disgust. "That explains his presence on the ship and the blank check the Commodore cut him."

I looked, but looked away quickly. Some images don't leave your mind, ever. "But that's gotta be...how old?"

Doc Irve snorted. "Icky is the fifth or sixth generation that peddles that junk. And...as you can see...it's not hard to get young Starfleet types to do stupid things for some free booze and cheap beaded necklaces." He shook his head. "Sometimes the brass has skeletons they've hidden well...and sometimes the wrong person unearths them." He slowly stood up, laughing to himself. "I better go get the sickbays ready for Risa shore leave. Hopefully we'll have better luck this time."

I glanced at the PADD again despite myself, and asked Sotek, "Can you do something with the transmissions? Hack them just enough to take out any Federation or Starfleet insignia?"

"Can do. We have been through enough anomalies to explain it to his company. The recordings will not be traceable back to our personnel."

"Fine," I said, resigning myself to reality. "Plausible deniability is the best we can do now. Make it so."

I got up to leave, and called out to Doc Irve. "One second...how did you know that the image was legitimate that quickly?"

He smiled broadly. "Youngun, I'm smart enough to know that when the cameras start to roll to not be in front of them!"
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Posts: 14,250
Facility 4028, Stardate 52132.3.

There is a large gathering of security personnel in the Main Shuttlebay of Facility 4028 as a Danube-Class Runabout lands inside. The security officers are all carrying Type 3 Phaser Rifles - and with good reason. Even dismantled, their latest prisoner is extremely dangerous.

The hatch of the runabout opens as Andorian Warden Ja'kel Kran steps forward to meet the now-embarking Captain Bruce Maddox. The Andorian gives the Captain a curt nod, which Maddox returns, before gesturing to the sealed duridium canister in Maddox's hand.

"Is that him?" There's more than a hint of apprehension in his voice.

"Yes, Warden," Maddox replies in his usual professional tone. The Dominion War has done some to moderate his overconfidence, as he hands the canister over, finishing with a brief but sufficiently clear introduction, "Lore."

Earth, McKinley Station. Stardate: 87186.6.

Within the arms of Earth's unique drydock structure, famous for servicing iconic mid-24th Century vessels such as the Ambassador-Class and the Galaxy-Class, as well as being the place of construction for the U.S.S. Enterprise-C.

Now, there was a familiar site to the more veteran members of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers - a vessel they'd decommissioned in the 2380s; The Ambassador-Class U.S.S. Victorious, now recommissioned as NCC-97038.

Following the incident in the Delta Volanus Cluster, the Exeter-Class U.S.S. Victorious has been scrapped in favour of using the materials for the newer Tempest-, Dyson- and Hood-Class Starships. However, with the Klingon-Federation War still raging and the tensions along the Romulan Border, Starfleet has opted to recommission several older vessels and retrofit them, as many of the Dominion-War era Starships are still viable - the U.S.S. Victorious had been fitted with state-of-the-art tactical systems when it was retired in the 2380s.

The Victorious has been under retrofit to bring it up to modern standard for 6 months, designated only by its original registry number.

It is now upgraded with Grade VI Tactical Systems and fitted with a new warp drive capable of Warp 9.3. It is also fitted with Emission-Seeking torpedo modules, a Photonic Displacement System, a Point Defence module and a Red Matter Capacitor, as well as other systems.

And it's all his.

Ryan looks out the cockpit window of the Starfleet Yellowstone-Class Runabout, with Alpha sitting in the seat to his left. Ryan had actually worked on the U.S.S. Republic during its refit on his Sophomore Year at Starfleet Academy. He'd originally wanted to serve in the SCE, but changed to Starfleet Command after the destruction of the U.S.S. Horizon several years ago. He enjoyed his time working on the Republic's Warp Engines, and he can't wait to get his hands on the Victorious.

The name holds sentimental value to him - and not just because of his last two ships. One of his ancestors had served on the Royal Navy's HMS Victorious (R-38) during Earth's Cold War, and it was something of a badge of family pride to command its namesake.

Unfortunately, he won't get time to take her out for a shakedown cruise. Starfleet Command has issued him with orders to head for Facility 4028 following an attack, with further information upon arrival. He hates being kept in the dark - the Facility itself is barely at his clearance level. He can't even get records on the prisoners held there - they're all classified.

"Okay, go over our orders again, Alpha."

"We are to proceed at best warp factor for Facility 4028, to receive further instruction upon arrival."

"Is that it?"

"Yes, sir."

Ryan lets out a sigh as he catches a sight of the third gold pip on his uniform. He's also been given a promotion for his actions in the Delta Volanus affair. Alpha is wearing a similar uniform, but with gold trim instead of red, and two gold pips followed by a black pip to signify his rank as Lieutenant Commander.

Ryan's also been given his choice of an extra 2 Bridge Officers - a First Officer and a Security or Tactical Officer. He values Alpha at Ops more than in the XO's chair, which is the only reason he wasn't being given the position. As for Tala - Ryan feels she lacks the experience, and, again, he values her judgement at the tactical and security stations.

But, he has to choose someone to replace Alpha as his First Officer, and he has to pick a dedicated Tactical Officer, instead of splitting Tala between tactical and security.

"Now on final approach, Captain." Alpha announces next to him as the Runabout lines up for approach to the Victorious' Main Shuttlebay.

"Thank you, Alpha." Ryan opens a comm channel to the Victorious, "U.S.S. Victorious, this is U.S.S. Orwell, requesting landing clearance."

"Clearance granted, Orwell. You may land at your discretion." Ryan smiles as he recognises the voice from the Victorious' Flight Operations station, before closing the channel.

"Sounds like Liz is getting settled in nicely."

"Lieutenant Dannover does indeed seem to be making herself acquainted with the ship, sir." Alpha replies in his usual monotone manner, invoking a grin from Ryan.

"Take us in."

The Runabout slowly lands in the rather cramped Main Shuttlebay, which is littered with Sphynx Workpods and Worker Bees, as well as cargo containers. As Ryan steps off the Orwell with Alpha, he looks around, letting out a frustrated sigh. "We're supposed to leave in 2 hours! Alpha, head to the bridge and get me the Station Quartermaster - we need to get this shuttlebay clear before we depart."

"Aye, sir." Alpha then turns to him, a curious expression on his pale face. "Sir, is it not customary for new crew members to request the permission of a vessel's Commanding Officer before embarking?"

"You're absolutely right, Alpha. That's very unprofessional of me." Ryan then looks around for anyone who may be considered the refit overseer, as Dannover walks over from Flight Control. She nods to the two senior officers before dispensing them a PADD.

"I relieved the Refit Supervisor when I came on board, Commander." Dannover gives the two a small smirk. She might as well savour this moment while it's here.

Ryan could clearly see the expectancy in Dannover's eyes, before respectfully obliging. "I see. Permission to come aboard, Lieutenant?"

"Permission granted." Dannover puts her thumbprint on the PADD before handing it back to Ryan, who does the same. "Computer, transfer all command codes to Commander Ryan Allington."

"Command Code transfer complete." The computer rings out from the speakers before Ryan hands the PADD back.

"I relieve you, Lieutenant."

"I stand relieved."

The three start walking out of the shuttlebay and into the corridor, where work teams are still fitting systems to the ship via the corridor access panels. Ryan gestures to the series of messes the trio come across, before asking in an exasperated fashion, "What's going on, Dannover? We're due for departure in 2 hours."

"With respect, sir," Dannover starts, "the Victorious is undergoing a retrofit so extensive they had to stop work on the U.S.S. Odyssey's refit to complete it. The amount of work we're doing right now should take another 2 weeks, let alone 2 hours!"

"How much notice did Starfleet give you of our departure?"

"I was told 6 hours ago, that I had to; get fuel from McKinley Station for the Fusion Reactors, perform a full safety check of the antimatter containment units, prepare the warp core for active service, complete re-installation of the Navigational Deflector Dish--"

"I get the picture..." Ryan delicately interrupts her.

"All while having to deal with the SCE and your new First Officer looking over my shoulder."

"Wait a minute..." Ryan stops the group just outside the turbolift, before summoning it and continuing "I haven't chosen a First Officer yet."

The turbolift arrives and the group step inside as the doors hiss closed. "Take it up with Commander Carter. Main Bridge."

Upon arrival on the Bridge, which is in just as bad a state as the corridors, the trio step off the turbolift and walk over to the auxiliary stations.

"Captain on the Bridge." Tala nods to the group as she spots them, and Ryan sees a Command-Branch Lieutenant Commander stand from the Command Chair, before snapping to attention.

"Commander Allington." The Lieutenant Commander was clearly disciplined and respectful to authority.

Ryan gestured has hand downwards in a calmly manner, "At ease, commander...?"

"Lieutenant Commander Michael Carter, sir." Carter quickly loosens his posture, before climbing up the small step between the Command Area and the aft stations, walking over to Ryan and holding out a hand, which Ryan quickly accepts. "It's an honour to sere with you, sir."

"The honour is mine, commander. But, if you'll forgive me for being blunt, I never submitted a request for a new First Officer. I'm still making my decision."

"Yes, sir, I'm aware of that. However, Admiral Maddox at Starfleet Cybernetics... advised... that you should not leave without a FIrst Officer, and I had already been assigned as an advisor to the mission, so for the duration, I will be serving as First Officer."

Ryan turns to Dannover, confused, "But you said you took command."

Carter was quick to clarify, "I declined to relieve her, sir. My orders were to report to you and take my posting."

"Very well. Commander, may I speak to you in my Ready Room?"

Without waiting for a response, Ryan starts walking towards the Ready Room, with Carter following.

The Ready Room is bigger than on the last Victorious, though most of the furniture hasn't been installed yet. There is, however, a desk with a portable computer terminal on top with a seat on either side. Ryan forgoes sitting at the desk, instead choosing to stand as he turns to Carter, waiting for the door to close behind them. "Firstly, I would have like to have been informed that you had been assigned here prior to my arrival."

"I understand, sir. However, I was told Admiral Maddox would take care of it."

"Of course you were...," Ryan sighs, gesturing to a chair for Carter to be seated, as he himself steps behind the desk and takes his seat, before continuing, "Well, you clearly know more about our mission than I do. What can you tell me?"

"At 0300 hours this morning, Facility 4028 sent out a general distress call, saying they had been attacked." Carter takes his seat, clasping his hands together.

"True Way? Klingons?"

"I wasn't informed. However, Starfleet hasn't performed the same level of mass redeployment they usually do in such events."

"Alright. What about Admiral Maddox? How does Starfleet Cybernetics fit into all this?"

"The attackers stole one of the inmates."

"Did I hear that right? They 'stole' an inmate?"

"In this event, it's the correct verb. They seized the memory engrams of one of Dr Noonien Soong's original Androids - Lore."

"I've heard of him. He collaborated with the Crystalline Entity in an effort to destroy the world on which he was created. He deactivated then-Lieutenant Commander Data and took his place aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D before he was stopped. He was also complicit in the death of Dr Soong and took charge of a splinter colony of Borg Drones. He was eventually permanently deactivated and his body was placed in storage at the Daystrom Institute."

"All true. However, after the Breen attack on Starfleet Command during the Dominion War, Starfleet Security had Lore fully dismantled with his components being sent to different facilities across the Federation. His memory engrams were sent to Facility 4028 and placed in maximum confinement."

"And now someone has stolen the engrams?"

"Yes, sir."

"Why?"

"We don't know. That's part of the reason we're being bought in. To discover who is behind the theft and take them into custody, by any means necessary."

Ryan looks up at that.

"Lore is considered an extreme threat to Federation security - especially with the war with the Klingons."

Captain's Log, Stardate: 87187.3. Commander Ryan Allington, U.S.S. Victorious, Ambassador-Class Support Cruiser.

The U.S.S. Victorious is now underway, though hardly fully prepared, for Facility 4028. We're still not sure on who it is that has seized Lore's memory engrams, or what their intentions are. We're proceeding at Condition Yellow, and I have convened the Senior Staff to discuss the situation.

End of Log.

The senior staff are convened in the Observation Lounge situated behind the Main Bridge, the yellow lighting from the alert stripes along the wall adding to the professional atmosphere in the room, reiterating the threat their current situation poses.

Carter is stood at the opposite end of the conference table, showing the list of incidents involving Lore throughout the 2360s as well as a profile on Dr Soong and a profile on the three original Soong-Type Androids; B4, Lore and Data. Carter has been talking for 5 minutes on Lore specifically, especially his profile.

"Lore is known to be resentful of humanity due to his experience on the colony where he was created. He's considered mentally unstable, arrogant, and malevolent." Carter continues, "He's the single biggest mass murderer in the Federation's history."

"He's also effectively lobotomised." Ryan retorts, pointing out the fact that he's not much of a threat without a body.

"He's more dangerous than you think, Captain. The principle reason Lore was captured at all is because his use of an emotion chip designed for then-Lieutenant Commander Data resulted in an overload of his positronic net. Otherwise, it is very likely he would have escaped.

"Now, there are many systems in Federation facilities and starships which use positronic technology, some of which can cripple a starship on a whim."

"The exo-comps."

Carter nods affirmatively, also gesturing to Alpha, "Or our Operations Officer.

"Worse, Lore could be uploaded to the Computer Core at Memory Alpha or the U.S.S. Daystrom. Both are positronic and have access to a great deal of information relating to Starfleet Security and Intelligence."

Alpha speaks up, "Starfleet Communications has also considered using a system of positronic transceivers and computer hubs to speed up information analysis and transmission from our surveillance networks, detection grids and listening posts."

"Exactly, Alpha." Carter takes over, "If Lore's memory engrams fell into the hands of the Klingons, or the Romulans, it could dramatically reshape the balance of power - against the Federation."

"So Starfleet wants the engrams found and secured." Ryan nods in understanding, before he continues, "Alright, how do we do that?"

"First, we need to find out who stole the engrams, then try and figure out where they would take them. Starfleet has already ordered increased starship presence at the facilities where Lore's other components are being held, but we don't know for sure if the perpetrators are aiming to reassemble him or crack the secret to positronic networking, like we have."

"Not precisely, Commander," Alpha speaks up again, "I was created on Stardate: 61685.7 by Captain Bruce Maddox and Captain Data at the Daystrom Institute, based on Captain Data's assistance."

Ryan perks up again, looking at Carter, "Bruce Maddox? As in Admiral Maddox?"

Carter nods, "He was the Starfleet Officer responsible for Lore's incarceration. He personally conducted the transfer of Lore's memory engrams to Facility 4028 40 years ago. He's also the Federation's leading expert in positronic cybernetics."

Ryan dwells on this as the hum of the warp engines drop and the vessel slows to sub-light speeds, before a voice erupts over the comm. "Bridge to Captain Allington. We have arrived at Facility 4028."

1 hour later, Facility 4028.

Lieutenant Commander Marilla 'Daya' Saph is inside the Maximum Security Vault, where Lore's engrams were held, kneeling on the floor with a tricorder. The U.S.S. Darwin had been in the area when the distress call went out and was the first vessel on the scene. The room is mostly pristine, save for the doors being warped and sheared, as if something had ripped through them. The second she saw it - and the lack of alien DNA or any non-Federation warp signatures leaving the facility, she knew who was responsible.

The small sample of epidermal cells she's scanning is just confirmation.

"Gotcha..."

"Got who?" Daya stands up quickly in surprise, seeing Ryan standing in the doorway, grinning at her mischievously, satisfied with his entrance.

"Mature." Daya is being about as obviously sarcastic as you can get while still maintaining a remotely professional demeanour - not that she needs one around him.

Ryan smiles at her before gesturing to the spot she'd been kneeling at, "So, what you got?"

Daya smiles in courtesy before stepping over to him and showing him the tricorder readings. "Whoever attacked this place had a human's genetic code."

Ryan looks at the warped blast doors in confusion, "Daya, a human could not have done that."

"They could if...," she shows him an abnormality in the genetic code, which Ryan instantly recognises from the B'vat Affair, "They were augments."

Ryan stays silent for a moment. The atrocities he'd seen in B'vat's lab had chilled him to the bone. What was worse was that it was a human who was responsible. A mentally unstable human, but a human nonetheless.

"There's more," Daya says, "I don't think they left."

Ryan looks at her, concerned, before remembering what Carter had said during the briefing. Alpha. The Victorious had docked with the facility because the transporters weren't fully online yet.

Meanwhile, Docking Bay 2. A Photonic Security Guard is flickering in and out at the threshold to the Victorious' Airlock - the security systems were damaged in the attack. A team of Starfleet Maintenance Engineers walk over to the Airlock, showing the security officer a PADD with security authorisation. The damage means that the security officer cannot make a more secure verification, and the team is admitted on board.

Within minutes, the team enters the Computer Core, with one of them tapping her combadge, "Computer Core Room to Commander Alpha."

Alpha is quick to respond, "Alpha here."

"Sir, we're having a series of malfunctions here. Could you come and check it out?"

"I am en route. Alpha out."

The engineer nods to her team, one of whom disconnects the internal sensors as the others pull out their phasers.

"Hey, what are you--?!" The engineers on duty don't get a chance to react before phaser blasts pelt them in the chests.

"Kaliver, take the door." The attackers' leader signals for the others to get the bodies out of sight.

Within minutes, Alpha walks into the room, looking around curiously. "Where is the supervising officer?"

The team leader smiles, gesturing for Alpha to move over to the interface console. "I don't know, sir." As Alpha stands beside her next to the console, a member of her team quickly seals the Core Room doors. "We've been getting intermittent memory faults."

"I do not see any indications of such an anomaly." Alpha states, confused.

"It's right...," the team leader reaches towards Alpha's side, "there!" She quickly pushes into the space where Alpha's ribs would be, triggering his manual shutdown as he falls to the deck, like a puppet with his strings cut. She then picks him up and pulls him into the seat. "Get the engrams."

Meanwhile, Ryan and Daya are boarding the Victorious, being met by Carter in the corridor. "Welcome aboard, Captain."

"Thank you, Carter. What's our status?"

The Airlock suddenly seals behind them as the ship's red alert klaxon sounds. They feel the deck shake as the docking clamps disconnect.

"What the hell?!" All three of them yell out in shock as the ship swings away from the station and to high warp.

Meanwhile, in Engineering, Dannover is running around like a lunatic trying to restore helm control. "Delvientos, activate the antimatter cut-off!"

"I've already tried!" A voice shouts down to her from the upper catwalk, "She's not responding! The computer's locked us out!"

Dannover mutters a curse, before grabbing an engineering kit and shouting to a damage control team, "With me! Engineering to Bridge! Have a security team meet me at the Main Computer Core!"

On the Bridge, Ryan, Daya and Carter step off the turbolift to see stars rapidly streaking by on the viewscreen. Ryan and Carter quickly move to take their respective seats, with Ryan quickly taking charge, "Report!"

"We're at warp nine and accelerating, Captain!" There's a young ensign at the helm, with an auxiliary officer at Ops.

"Where's Lieutenant Commander Alpha?"

"He went to the Main Computer Core to handle a series of malfunctions they were reporting."

"Great, just great! Computer, initiate warp core shutdown! Authorisation: Allington Alpha-Two-Four-Lima-Foxtrot!"

"Unable to comply." The computer announces, "Command Functions are not authorised from your current location."

"Explain!" There's a growing sense of impatience in Ryan's voice.

"All command functions have been rerouted to the Main Computer Core."
My Fan Fictions

Last edited by ryan218; 06-19-2014 at 09:06 AM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 14,250
# 5 LC65: Myths and Lore - Part 1b
06-19-2014, 09:11 AM
Ryan narrows his eyes as he sees the ship continue to accelerate, Daya looking at him, seeing the frustration and helplessness in his eyes as he simply mutters, "They have my ship."

Suddenly, the viewscreen switches to an image of the Main Computer Core room, with Alpha being the focus, his head looking down.

Ryan's expression changes to confusion, "Alpha?"

Alpha raises his head, his expression being dominated by a menacing smirk, his tone malevolent, "Hello, Captain. I am Lore."

To be continued.
My Fan Fictions
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 239
OPEN: The Adventures of Captain Proton!
CHAPTER: Eighteen, The Bride of Chaotica!

INTRO: Captain Proton and Buster Kincaid have gone, yet again, to rescue their ever trusty and faithful secretary Constance Goodheart from being a snack. As Captain Proton travels billions of miles to reach the dark and dangerous Planet X, Chaotica, the Lord of Evil, has been preparing to sacrifice Constance to his radiantly beautiful, beguiling, and dark, Queen Arachnia of the Spider People.

Aware of Proton and Kincaid, Chaotica has used his fiendish death-ray against Proton's ship, causing it to burst into flames while entering Planet X's unusually large and expanded atmosphere.

NOW: Captain Proton and Buster Kincaid stare in horror, plummeting to Planet X's surface, while being contacted by the gloating Chaotica, who taunts them with surrender. Will our heroes escape to save Constance, will they successfully infiltrate the Fortress of Doom, have Chaotica and Arachnia destroyed our heroes and conquered the Earth at last?

[Inside the Holodeck]

Tom and Harry, respectively playing Captain Proton and Buster Kincaid, continue in their newest saga, and for the moment explore planet X as they look for the entrance to the Fortress of Doom.

*****
[Sometime in 2375]
[Outside the Holodeck]

[Location: Delta Quadrant, Unknown.
View: Looking at an Intrepid-Class ship,
USS Voyager]
[Stardate: Unknown]

Voyager, unknowingly, is on a disastrous date with subspace. They escape later breaking free of the 'subspace sandbank' as it usually is called, and after leaving a disastrous first contact with an unknown photonic dimension, continue on their merry way, causing havoc and destruction where they go, or at least viewed in that light by one man.

****

A tear in space occurs, stretching across the sky of a nearby planet and its moon, a rip in space, one across time.

Hurtling through is a small orb of light, sent to do its masters bidding, interfering in the past of this, seemingly insignificant, week in history. It settles within the ships holodeck, the active program being played was Captain Proton, and it began to merge with the program itself, all while those within continued unaware, while a single program was altered.

****

[The Future]

The trickle down effect is felt immediately, yet only by a single man as he lays in his cot; his body restricted by the safety harness meant to keep him from injuring himself in his delusional state, though that didn't mean it restricted his face. It twisted in a Cheshire smile, his eyes twinkling as he views the world around him shift into something different, a coalescing effect occurs, before all returns to normal. The man was free of a straightjacket that no longer existed, he alone unaffected because of the time energy he has saturated over the decades, twisted along the same temporal vine of Voyager.

The once-captain Braxton looked on in horror at the ashes of Earth, the pale sky was gray, the buildings crumbling to dust and warped metal shone in the glaring sun, skeletons of a past world, now dead. Something happened in Voyagers timeline, something that never should have, and Braxton was afraid, the very thing he tried to stop for years, had occurred once more.

****

[Year: 2410]

"Temporal shielding is up and running Captain, we're clear to enter the Azure Nebula, free of fear of temporal incursion," first officer Zinuzee relates to the captain, "Wait... something's just shown up on temporal scanners, it... oh no... it's a chronal wave...ripples in time." The rest of the bridge immediately silences, all eyes on the science station. "It...it appears to be rewriting history, in fact scanners show all life around us is gone, M-Class planets have been altered to H-Class all around us, sir, all life in Tau Dewa, except Mol'Rihan seems to be dead," she utters in horror, "Wait, another reading is coming in, some kind of temporal flux has opened off port, full of chronitons and tachyons, but it... bears resemblance to Tholian technology." At that a Tholian Tarantula tears through the rift, it's massive form towering next to the Odyssey-Class ship.

"Weapons up, and prepare for a fight, set course back into the nebula," issued Gregs, "I want to be out of here and back home before that Tholian ship can entrap us!" The whole bridge crew immediately responded, tensing, all except for comms.

"Wait, Captain, they're hailing us, stating some pact with the...'TIC'?" the comms officer said, "They wish for visual communication, shall I open the channel?" At that Gregs nods, sitting down at his chair, facing the view screen.

A Tholian, tinted orange by the bridge lighting, appears on the screen, screeching in harsh clicks and clanks, before translation software fully engages. "We've been waiting for you Captain, for over thirty-five Terran standard years; be happy we have such patience," the Commander says, "Our compact with the TIC of your 28th century Federation is still valid with your existence; we have seen a dark future, and we fear it, we owe our history to your Federation, and so we now repay our debts." At that the Tarantula opens another rift, tractoring the Oregon with it as they go through the second temporal rift.

****

[Sometime in 2375]

The rift in time and space once more opened, the crack widening behind the same planet and its moon, before it spat out the Tholian ship and the Oregon.

**

Stumbling onto the floor, the bridge crew fell into various states of disarray and sickness, the temporal event causing stress to the ship and its occupants. Regaining his footing Gregs stood up, only to fall onto one of his knees. Suddenly the whirring of a transporter was heard, before a strange suited being, a humanoid, appeared on the deck in front of him. The being was dressed in a strangely thin, but machine based suit, reminiscent of an EV-Suit. Removing the second skin, the now human male, tubby by many standards but his face betraying days of hunger, smiled at the crew before him.

"Oh joyous of days, I'm on an oxygen based ship now, with proper temperature and all!" he says with a hearty laugh, "May I ask who I have the pleasure of having as my host?" He looks at the various beings around the ship, recognizing many of the bridge crew were familiar to him, except for Gregs, who now sat on his knees looking up at the man.

"Gregs, Captain Son'aire of the U.S.S. Oregon, and may I ask, who the hell are you?" he says to the fat man, "And why the hell are you in league with the Tholians?" The joyous face turned grim, as soon as he had heard the name he recognized the man before him.

"I'm sure you don't know much about me, all hush, hush by the DTI I bet," he says, "But if you are familiar with the Voyager, then you may remember me, I am..." At that he is punched in the face by Gregs, and he stumbles back onto the floor; he wipes the blood from his broken nose.

"Damn that hurt... Captain Braxton you better as well have a good damn reason for bringing us into who the hell knows where and when," he says in anger, "but let me tell you this, if I get back to the 25th century I swear I'll make sure they hear about this." At that Braxton laughs, he realizes who Gregs is speaking off, but stands up while accepting help, as Zinuzee grabs a device to heal the broken nose.

"I need to tell you something Gregs, I'm glad you hit me, I've probably needed that for all I've ever done to the timeline," he says "But there's no damn time now for fighting me; be happy I even got help from the Tholians, if they hadn't been outside our timeline we may never have been able to get here to fix the damage!" He takes over the scientific console, and brings up a schematic detailing two very different timelines, one blue, one red. "Our timeline, the true one, is blue, but see here," he says pointing to where the red one branches off from the main, "This is today, spanning a week, it's the window where the timeline was altered by the Iconians, or at least another power of the old Temporal Cold War."

He brings up schematics of a device, as well as schematics of the Intrepid-Class ship, focusing mainly on the area of the three holodecks. "Somehow the timeline was altered, and Voyager was destroyed by this subspace sandbar, it never completed its journey home," he says, "So the Federation never got anti-borg technology, they had no information on the Voth when the Solanae sphere was found, the Undine would eventually stop their attack on the Delta Quadrant only after eliminating a third of it, a majority of that space Borg, and as a final result the Alpha and Beta Quadrants fell to the Iconians." He points to Gregs, then to the screen. "I can't go over and repair the timeline, or else Voyager would recognize me immediately and it would cause a paradox," he says as he brings up pictures of the holodeck, "but if we can get you Gregs, over to that ship, disguising you with a device that would make you appear to be a hologram, we can restore the timeline and keep the Iconians from altering history too much already."

Gregs was skeptical, but when the TIC agent had requested help from Tholians, abducted him, and his crew to what was supposed to be the 24th century, he began to believe it. "What do you need me to do?" he asks. Braxton hands him a watch with a holographic interface.

"I need you to go in," he said grimly.

****

[Onboard Voyager Holodeck]

As Tom explained to Harry how expensive sets where in the past, as he also explained how the story was to progress, the Orb had begun its own mission choosing to take over a holomatrix, and then the ship shook.

"I thought you said there was no volcano?" Harry asked. Tom looked at him stunned.

"I did!" he replies, as both look around to see the cause.

"Uhhh... Tom!" Harry says, as they both look at a colorful rip in space that had appeared in the holodeck.

"Definitely not Chaotica," Tom says with a sigh, both men looking bleak.

****

While both Harry and Tom were off looking for a manual override to the know on the fritz holodeck, Lonzak found himself face-to-face with a sphere of energy. "Halt in the name of Chaotica," the bumbling henchman shouts at the sphere, "Are you some trick by Proton, maybe he realized I escaped the den of crocodiles, and knows the only way I survived was clinging to the thought that I would one day..." He was interrupted by the sphere as it shot into him, merging with his holomatrix as it took over and separated itself from the program. "Well, this new sensation...it tingles," Lonzak says, "This primitive holographic technology is so easy to manipulate, my task will easily be accomplished, but the fact they program their technology to emulate organics... it's unnerving." With that Lonzak no longer being himself but the entity, he walked away not noticing as Tom and Harry are confronted by the two guards who followed Lonzak, while they are easily dispatched.

"That's weird," said Tom as he looked around. Harry looks to Tom at confusion, then back to the two men at the ground.

"What's so weird Tom," Harry asked. Tom brought out his Captain Proton scanning device, as if to search the area.

"Lonzak...Lonzak should have been with these guards, at this moment, to stop our progression," Tom replies, "The program Harry, he's just a hologram, he shouldn't be able to go off script he was programmed with; something's wrong Harry, and we need to get out of here!" With that both friends scurry ever forward towards the manual override , unaware the war about to occur.

****

[Oregon Transporter Room]

Decked out in mob styled clothes: a crisp white and gray pinstripe tux, a gray vest underneath, with a gray and silver etched tie, and a white fedora to complete the ensemble. Braxton was patching a piece of tech that would convert him into a hologram, covering his bio signature, and replacing it with a photonic one, so no contamination of the timeline could occur. "Do you understand what you have to do?" asked Braxton as he points to the watch on his wrist, "This watch it will transform what your wearing into whaever you want, but it has three preset costumes, the one you're wearing now, one of Chaotica henchmen's clothes, and one as a servant of Queen Arachnia". Gregs nodded, he had heard it six times already, and he wanted to punch Braxton in the jaw again, just to shut him up, but kept his anger against the abusive time traveler at bay.

He had a job to do, and it was to help Tom Paris- no Captain Proton- protect their home and stop a war between the photonic aliens and Chaotica, so the Starfleet in the real world could get the vital technology and information Voyager held.

****

Lonzak had activated the second holodeck, extending the range of the malfunction, so that he could cause a secondary rift to occur, hastening the destruction of Voyager in subspace. He had rerouted Chaotica and his Fortress of Doom into this holodeck, so that not only would they have to chose which holodeck had Chaotica, but it would also make it easier to spark the war between the photonic aliens and Chaotica, in a second war zone if it were. Now though he was done with this bumbling baboon, the intelligence of it's current host was slight, more ogre than architect in a war, so the being decided to pick a new host, and he quite a handful to chose from.

****

Materializing in the holodeck, on Planet X just outside Proton's Rocket, was Captain Son'aire, just Son'aire here, when he heard a scuffle coming from the other side of a rock archway. He peered around the pillar, to see Admiral- no Lieutenant Commander- Tuvok and Lt. Tom Paris, standing over what he assumed to be the dead body of a blond, one he recognized to be Constance Goodheart. "She's a good guy Tuvok, she isn't supposed to die, I mean, this is a 1930's science fiction serial, the good guys always win in those," Tom was saying to Tuvok, "This doesn't make any sense at all, first Lonzak wasn't in the right place, now my secretary is dead." Tuvok raises his brow in the typical act of Vulcan confusion, but got up from his kneeling position.

"It's illogical for you to feel any sentiment for a Hologram, Lieutenant, but if your suspicions are correct, it would seem something is wrong," Tuvok replies, "Perhaps we should try to contact the aliens, so they may cease their attack, it would be a more logical choice." Tom mentions to Tuvok the onboard sensors of his rocket, that their might be some sort of sensor that would detect the holographic aliens.

Moving behind the pillar in a swift, yet silent, motion Gregs scaled the behemoth rock to escape the glance of Tuvok or the expert eyes of Tom. Now they went into the rocket, where he watched them, when all of a sudden a person appeared out of thin air like some kind of transporter had brought them in, until I realized that it was one of the photonic aliens. He looked like a 1930's mobster, though minus the tommy gun. He had gone inside, but after a brief amount of shouting and a laser ray coming from out of the door, I had realized the entity had returned to its immaterial form and returned to its native dimension. Both Tuvok and Tom returned to Voyager, after calling for the arch, leaving unaware of Gregs. Leaping off the stone he landed in the dust, kicking it up into a cloud, and he coughed, even if it was really holographic.

Suddenly, the photonic alien appeared next to him, standing a few inches shorter than Gregs, but with a menacing look. "You are not part of this world, your photonic signature is remarkably different, remarkably alien," it says, "Are you a part of this Chaotica's war against us, the one on the other side of this planetoid?" Gregs was confused for a second, before the alien gripped his shoulder, and in an instant he was transported to a new location. Of course when he checked his sensors, he realized it was holodeck two, but the location between the two rooms had changed, and now instead of being in the mountainous Planet X, they were in a large underground laboratory where Chaotica and his henchmen resided, the Fortress of Doom.

A that moment he decided to switch to the guise of Chaotica's henchman, startling the photonic alien and it left, mostly from fear of their new enemy. Watching the henchmen work beyond where he hid, Gregs subtly slid in among their ranks, to spy on Chaotica's plan. "Satan's Robot was lost to the alien's, my liege," one henchman, a fat, old man with a grim face and odd clothing choice relayed to Chaotica, "and still Arachnia fails to reply sir, and our spies in her ranks report never even receiving your message, master." The fat man had begun to bow low, as if asking forgiveness from his master, Chaotica. Dr. Chaotica is steel faced, he neither moves, nor even acts as if he had heard Lonzak.

"It's immaterial now Lonzak, I've just recieved word from our new ally that Proton intends to ally with the Invaders from the fifth dimension, they are probably planning to kill me and take my place as we speak," Chaotica says, with a solemn look, yet sad eyes, "Perhaps it doesn't matter anymore Lonzak, perhaps... my rule has ended." The dejected looking Chaotica sat in a plush and firm throne and was give a glass of wine to drink, and he began to sip at it. Chaotica knew...he had lost.

"Not so fast Chaotica, I am Viceroy Sharvan under Queen Arachnia," another voice added to the conversation, "I've got word from my mistress the Queen." Gregs now stood out from he wall, in full royal garb reminiscent to a mix of Lonzak's clothing mixed with the webbing pattern of Arachnia's own dress. "Yes Dr. Chaotica, my Queen Arachnia sends you her word that soon she, and she alone, will arrive in preparation while her...spider ship armada awaits outside of range of these invaders sensors," he continues, forcing himself to bow to this despicable man. Chaotica looks down at the man, his grim face turning to one of sheer delight.

"Well I'll have to take your word for that then, but... just in case, Lonzak!," he says, said man turning to attention, "Take and imprison this man for now, chain him within the confinement rings area; we'll use him as target practice later if he's an invader spy, but if he speaks the truth...well we'll see about his fate then." The man went from depression to childlike glee at this news, and his scheming mind turned as Lonzak shackled Gregs. This was going to be a bit of a conundrum in the end.

****

Satan's Robot was with Tom and Harry, as they prepared the rocket's weapon to attack the Fortress of Doom, they awaited for Janeway to pose as Queen Arachnia, so they could end this war. Of course, one in their party didn't really want them to suceed, and he was shiny, metal, and had pincers...of Doom! If the entity had really thought the robot hologram would be it's host, he had underestimated the loyalty programmed into the character's holomatrix. It had begun to clash with his own mission, causing shorts in the robots body, as one mind tried to keep the war going, while the robot tried to end the threat to its creator. This was going to be a bit of conundrum in the end.


****

TO BE CONTINUED:

Fear not faithful viewers we will continue to run your favorite serial at a later date!

****

NOW: Captain Gregs Son'aire, masquerading as Queen Arachnia's Viceroy while Tom and Harry work with Satan's Robot, in reality the Entity wanting to destroy Voyager, to stop the war going on between the Photonic Aliens and Chaotica.

****

[Chaotica's Laboratory]

"Sire. Three more of our space ships have been destroyed," Lonzak says to the room, directed towards Chaotica. Chaotica glares at Lonzak, his contempt at his henchmans news showing. "Argh! Full power to the Death Ray," he says while moving to his broadcast microphone, "Citiznes of the Fifth Dimension; your feeble attacks are nothing but pinpricks to me." He pauses for asecond, dramitic effect calling for it. "Surrender to me now and I will be merciful," he says, his grin showing that promise would be null.

"We're receiving a transmission sire," Lonzak says, turning to Chaotica from the screen. Chaotica merely laughs at this news.

"They are surrendering," Chaotica says smugly. He was sure that his brute show of force was enough to fool them into surrendering.

"No, It's Queen Arachnia and She wishes to cross the drawbridge," Lonzak says bluntly, then looked back at Chaotica preparing himself for what string of insults were sure to come.

"What are you waiting for?," he shouts at his incompetent henchman, "Show her in!" Flaring up his cape, he drapes it over his arm, while his body is in a slight bowing position.

"I present her Royal Highness, Arachnia!" Lonzak shouts. He leads the Queen over towards Chaotica.

"Ahh, at last, at last, My Queen," Chaotica says, "This is a historic occasion." he says grabbing her hand. "Kindred souls meet at last," he says, leaning to kiss her hand, but she withdraws it curtly.

Queen Arachnia -in reality Captain Janeway- was dressed in her webbed clothing, robes and, gaudy jewelry that befit a Queen, and Chaotica was engrossed in it all. "Aracnia, you've finally found yourself fit to meet my summons" he says stiffly for a moment, before he opens his arms high in a welcoming gesture, as his voice then reflects his ecstatic attitude, "Your Viceroy, he has been telling us that you were coming, and that your armada of spider ships were awaiting your arrival here to help join our glorious battle against the Invaders from the Fifth Dimension." Chaotica kisses Janeways outstretched hand again, this time she allowed it, and leads her over to his imagizer, viewing the Fortress from afar, and the battlefield below.

"It's an honour to be in your presence, Majesty," Janeway replies, looking at the raging battle, "I've always admired your clever fiendishness." She knew in reality the battle was occurring in Holodeck Two, for somehow the second holodeck was activated and the program expanded by itself, with Chaotica's laboratory remaining in Holodeck One. After exploring the Throne, Janeway had located the controls to the Death Ray, and after procuring the pheromones, set in motion a plan to trick Chaotica.

Of course after flattering him hadn't worked, she turned her attention to something peculiar he had mentioned. "My Viceroy?" Janeway asks, "I do believe I hadn't realized I sent him here, may I see him?" Janeway was suspicious, Paris had told her all about her role as Queen Arachnia and her role, but Tom had forgot to mention a Viceroy to her. "Oh yes, I remember him now, I forgot he would make it here," she says, "I believed he wouldn't make it until tomorrow, it was a miracle I even made it through your battlefield today," she says, trying to exude confidence, " Your Majesty seems overly concerned with trivial matters when there's a battle to be won. That is why you asked me here."

"Of course, my dear, Forgive me, it's just that the air itself seems to vibrate in your presence," Chaotica says, "This war has been taxing on me, it's been hard fought, and few allies could be trusted." He creeps closer to Arachnia.

"We can't be slaves to our paranoia, not when your Empire is threatened," Janeway says, putting her hand to his cheek while subtly walking further away, "I have assembled my fleet of Spider ships, however, the Lightning Shield prevents them from approaching your fortress." She walks over to the controls of the Lightning Shield.

"We'll send them directly into battle, alongside my space force!," Chaotica says, pointing to the battlefield on the imagizer.

"My soldiers wish to pay homage to you," she says, trying to smooth over his bloodlust.

"Gratifying," he says heartily," Of course, if I lower the shield my fortress will be defenceless...even an ally might choose such a moment to seize my throne."

"You don't trust me," she says coyly, again putting her hand to his cheek, and the effect made him melt, until he roughly grabs her hand.

"There is a way you could convince me of your loyalty," he says, motioning for Lonzak to approach.

"Oh?" Janeway asks.

"I'll lower my Lightning Shield but first, you must become my Queen!," he says then turns to Lonzak, "Gather my courtiers, prepare for the ceremony!"

"And don't forget to deactivate the Lightning Shield so my subjects may witness the blessed event!" she mentions as Lonzak begins to walk away.

"Very well," Chaotica replies dismissively, " Do as she says...once her guests have arrived" Lonzak merely scurries away to prepare, while Chaotica once more turns to Janeway. "So, my dear, the day you have always dreamed of has arrived," he says triumphantly, "The day you become, Bride of Chaotica!" To the unrestricted viewer, it was if a camera was slowly panning outward, to view a grinning Chaotica with his arms stretched out wide, with Janeway in the background. Janeway did all she could not to roll her eyes.

****

Gregs was surprised at how quickly downhill it had gone, after Janeway had attempted to deactivate the shield by herself, she was quickly trapped by Chaotica's Confinement Rings, after she had also attempted to free Gregs, if only to use him to her advantage. Now he was free, but both of them were trapped behind the rings. They could only wait. Then Janeway had removed something from her cloak, uncorked it, and all of a sudden Lonzak was quickly distracted and both Janeway and Gregs escaped and confronted Chaotica, Gregs holding him at ray gun-point, while Janeway contacted Tom.


****

Satan's Robot, the Entity inside still fighting for control, was bored while the organics talked among themselves, the robot actually helping on an automatic function, merely repeating what was being said. The ships photonic medic had came in three point two- now four point seven- seconds ago and was conversing with the organics, but he found the conversation boring, before he heard something of interest. Suddenly the EMH reported that the aliens were leaving, freaking the Entity out. HE had failed! But wait, maybe he could do one final attack, distract the aliens for another second, to take them out.

Finding one single alien left in the first holodeck, the Entity took full control of Satan's Robot and fired at the alien presence. Then he felt, for that is the best word to describe it, pain in his body, looking down as best as he could in that body, to find a hole in his host, and turning around to look he saw one of the organics, Paris, with a ray gun in his hand, still smoking from the blast. Great, now he had to find a new host.

**

Leaving the robot, he searched both holodecks for useable holographic matrixes, finding an extremely advanced and easy to manipulate one, he set off to enter it. At first it couldn't feel anything, then suddenly it felt the tight circuits, the malleable energy conduits, and an empty space easily able to fit his being. Then he felt blackness, no light, no sound, and constricted like he had been packed into a cube. Then sound returned.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't a member of species phi-9364709-654-099, your photonic based aren't you...weren't you also an Iconian Servitor race, before 2703?" said a voice, "Ahh of course, you were meant to stop Voyager weren't you, well we had to stop you?" Suddenly light and the feeling of constriction, was returned and removed, and he began to see himself in an nondescript and blurry holographic body, simple, but functional for a prisoner. "I've given you a basic holographic body to inhabit, while we attempt to contact TIC and discover when you came from," the voice was now given a face, and was revealed to be Braxton, sitting down in a chair next to the being he confused as a photonic, and now discovered was actually an organic, "Sit down and make yourself comfortable, you won't even remember this ever happening, once we have the Department change a few things." Inwardly groaning, the entity did what he was told, temporal paradox's and altering history wasn't his strong suit, but if he wasn't going to remember this, he might as well enjoy his remaining time.

"Tell me how long do I have?" he asked. The human held up five fingers, meaning he had five minutes till the end. "Tell me, I've never really played it, but an android taught me how to play an earth game a few hundred years from now, I think it was called poker..." it says, "Do you think we have enough time to play a game?" Braxton looked to Gregs, and Gregs looked to Braxton, before he reached into his pocket, pulling out a deck of cards.

"You know, five minutes is a long tiem, one might even say...forever," Gregs says with a bit of a smile, "Maybe we can see if we can stretch this game out for a bit, see if that android taught you how to play it right."

****

[2410]

"Now that TIC has altered the timeline, we're about to return you to your timeline," Captain Walker said, walking next to Gregs in the windowed corridor, showing nothing but stars and space, except for the Tholian Tarantula looming in the distance. Gregs was invited in, he had a few strings he could pull, and happening to remember an alternate timeline where Walker helped him last time, he was given some leniency.

"What about Braxton," Gregs asks, "What's going to happen to him, I mean he did actually help us save Voyager, instead of letting it die like all the previous attempts he's tried." Walker nodded, then stopped, pivoted, and looked at the figure of the Tarantula in the distance.

"Surprisingly the Tholians have given the man a gift, a special crystal lattice they implanted into his brain within a metal sphere, a bit of a personal temporal phase discriminator if you will," he replies, "Way beyond our current level of technology, but it will stabilize any temporal psychosis he ever had." He looks back at Gregs, and sighs wistfully. "Truthfully, I'm happy he's back to his good old self, me and him have been friends since the Academy," Walker says, "The Brass, they've decided to recomission Braxton's rank and status, he'll be a captain, not the Relativity of course, but of a good ship, you needn't worry about him Gregs." Nodding, Gregs and Walker continued to walk the halls, as they went on to the transporter room.

****

[Year: 2410]

The Odyssey-Class ship was preparing to test their new prototype temporal shielding, hopefully to rebuff the chaotic effects of the Azure Nebula, when a bit of a miff occurred in the inner workings of the mechanism. A certain part procured recently to repair a certain deflector dish component, was convienently forgotten, not intentionally of course, but the officer in deflector control was relieved of duty when his wife's child was born, not two minutes earlier this morning then it was projected for. Though a replacement was on his way from engineering, not soon after he was stopped for point six nine three milliseconds by the turbolift by a glitch in the system. Of course this left a five minute gap in security, allowing anyone, thief or innocent bystandard, to walk right in, pick up this part, and leave with little oversight or thought, no one the wiser.

Of course, this was all speculation, but when the temporal shielding failed, instead of activating correctly, no one was the wiser. Now the ship, instead of continuing into the nebula, had to return to Romulan Republic space, before being rerouted to the Solanae sphere and the Undine front, to help the battle. Gregs, though, was leaving with a smirk, knowing exactly what had occurred, or more precisely not.

FIN

Last edited by aten66; 06-22-2014 at 11:36 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,039
# 7 Challenge 1: 4028
06-20-2014, 11:41 AM
Captain Tolbar sat in the command chair of the Typhon as they sped at high warp towards the Briar Patch. They had been the closest vessel when Facility 4028 sent out the distress call, but when they arrived, the attackers had already fled. They had only taken one item, a crate of parts that the Holographic guard had identified as containing the pieces to a Soong type android named Lore. Security footage showed a bunch of humans overpowering the guards using holographic dispersal grenades, essentially just walking in. Such was the problem having the entire base staffed by holograms. But at least they had been able to get the sensor data of the warp field, so the Typhon had jumped to warp as soon as they found it. And it seemed to be heading for the Briar Patch.


"Report."

Commander Cooper turned from his station and looked at the Captain, seating in a slightly elevated position in the centre of the bridge. "We're approaching the Patch now sir. No sign of the attackers, but the warp trail definately ends here."
"Helm, drop to Impulse. Cooper, have a wing of Valkyries ready for launch. Maintain full sensor scans and ease us in, half Impulse."
"Sir, sensors are picking up an Ion wake heading into the Patch. It starts from where the warp trail ends, it has to be the attackers."
"Track that wake. Keep us away from Metreon Gas pockets and keep all sensors on full alert."


The carrier ship moved into the Patch, cosmic clouds rolling off the hull. Like a shark hunting it's prey, the Typhon moved gracefully, trying to track the attackers. After a few minutes, the trail led to a ringed planet. Cooper confirmed the trail went into the atmosphere, but no return signal indicated they landed and are still there, but radiation interference prevented them from getting any sensor data on the surface. Tolbar ordered the launch of some Valkyrie wings to perform high altitude flybys with ground teams to beam down and search on foot.


Something caught Cooper's attention. There was some kind of spatial disturbance in the planet's rings. He focused his scans on the area.



On the Bridge of her ship, Commander D'Elon watched as the Starfleet vessel started sending fighters down towards the planet. Stood nearby, her guest, a Suliban, grew agitated. "Starfleet will find my ship, and they will find your cargo. And neither of us want that to happen." D'Elon remained calm, simply steepling her fingers and leaning back slightly in her chair. "No, Frillisk, we don't." Frillisk looked from the Romulan, to the viewscreen, and back. "Well? Aren't you going to do something? Shoot them down?"

D'Elon kept staring at the viewscreen as she replied. "That is a Typhon class carrier command ship, with a full compliment of Valkyrie fighters. Starfleet doesn't have many of them, and if we were to engage in a straight fight, we would suffer heavy casualties. No. No I have no desire to see my ship and crew lost because some smuggler got scared."
"You would do well to watch your tone."
At that, D'Elon turned, piercing Frillisk with a stare that could cut steel. "You are a guest on board my ship. As such, shut up or spend the next part of your insignificant life rotting in a jail. That ship outmatches us in terms of sheer firepower. We'll have to use our brains to get out of this one. Tell your crew to prepare for transport. Ta'el, decloak and maintain standby status. Make no hostile moves."








On the Typhon, the ship instantly went to yellow alert as a Romulan Warbird decloaked in the planets rings. The tactical officer reported they had not powered weapons or raised shields. In fact, they had made no hostile moves, but were hailing. Tolbar straightened in his chair, making sure to project the correct air of authority that Romulans always needed. "Romulan Commander. I am Captain Tolbar of the Federation Starship Typhon." On the viewscreen, D'Elon nodded, smiling gracefully. "Greeting Captain. I am Commander D'Elon, of the Imperial Warbird Tomalak. How can we be of assistance?"
"You can tell me why you are cloaked so deep in Federation space."
"We are simply on a scientific mission Captain. We are here to analyise the metagenic properties of this region, and determine if it would be feasable to establish a hospital here."
"You are aware this is deep in Federation space?"
"I am Captain. And are you aware this is not the days of old? Romulan and Federation ships freely traverse the space of each others, provided they stay away from major homeworlds, in the name of scientific research. If you wish, contact Romulan Command, or Starfleet Command, they will confirm our permission to be here."
"That may be, but it still doesn't explain why you were cloaked."


D'Elon kept her face perfectly genuine as she replied. "The answer is simple Captain. We detected a civillian ship approaching our position. They had no I.D. code and were heavily armed. They appeared to be pirates, and we have no interest in fighting so we cloaked until they passed. They entered the planet's atmosphere and we simply waited until it was safe to beam up our research teams. I assume you are in pursuit of that vessel?"
"That's correct. You know where they are on the planet?"
"Of course Captain. Our sensors have been modified to penetrate the radiation. We will transmit the coordinates to you. As this appears to be a Federation matter, we will transport up our research teams and withdraw from the Briar Patch."
"I would like you to stick around until we can confirm your story."
"Very well Captain. Tomalak out."



As the comms were cut, D'Elon turned to Ta'el and Satra, her smile dropping. "Beam the Suliban onboard and engage cloak. Take us back to Empire space."

As they departed the system, Fillisk blurted out. "What about that Starfleet ship? They'll find my vessel!" D'Elon didn't even look back to him, just kept staring at the passing gas clouds on the viewsceen. "Of course they will. We transmitted its position to them. But we also beamed up your entire crew and cargo. And by the time they can get a message to Starfleet to confirm we do not have authorisation to be here, we will be long gone. All they will be left with is some questions, and no proof of why we were here. After all, thanks to your shapeshifting abilities, they are searching for a group of augmented humans, not Suliban. And why would we give them the pirate ship if we were engaged in some transaction with them? Now, I believe you will find your payment and the rest of your crew in Cargo Bay 2."


Though she didn't look back, she could tell Fillisk hadn't moved. She waved a hand dismissivley at him and Ta'el took the sign, escorting Fillisk to the cargo bay.



After a few minutes, D'Elon stood up and went to the security console, bringing up an image of Cargo Bay 2. Ta'el was showing Filisk the components they were being paid with. While the rest of the Suliban checked their new aquisitions, Ta'el slipped out and locked the door. D'Elon pushed a few buttons as she commented sarcastically. "Oh dear. It looks like a force field has failed in Cargo Bay 2. We had better fix that." On the monitor, the force field cut out, exposing the room to space. The Suliban struggled to remain inside, but the pull was too strong and they tumbled out. D'Elon gave it a few seconds to ensure they had all been blown out, then reactivated the forcefield. "Satra, beam our cargo back onboard."



D'Elon made her way towards Cargo Bay 1, where engineers were already unpacking the components of Lore. D'Elon approached a table near the crates recovered from the Tuffli a few weeks ago, where his head had been put and picked it up, running her fingers over his face. "We've gone to a lot of trouble to get you out. But some secrets are worth taking the gamble for. And once we've cracked your brain, all your secrets will belong to us." She set his head down and looked to the engineers. "Tell me when you've got his positronic network hooked up to the isolated system. I'm eager to find that colony."
*******************************************

A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,585
# 8
06-21-2014, 09:16 AM
San Francisco 10 July, 2012

The Karrank}{ delegate, a species that resembled nothing so much as six-legged badgers, with dispositions to match, was crouched on the podium, growling, snarling and hissing into a translation device, which took a minute to process and project a translation.

<...Let them be free, is that not the way of Infinite Diversity?> the translator took some of the passion from the creature’s words, but the growling and snarling and teeth-baring of it’s native speech came across. <The Earthers can not even give accurate and consistent descriptions of these supposed artifacts they supposedly stole-nobody has seen one, there is no proof it even exists, as to their separateness-they harm only slavers, reavers, and raiders-which is more than can Starfleet be saying of their own acts-this body approved the assault on Denali because of internal human politics. Is the Federation truly a humanoids-only club?>


With a sigh, Admiral Kathryn Janeway reached out and paused the recording from the Federation Council's earlier session.

"This perception of the Federation -- and by extension, Starfleet -- is completely unacceptable," she said, looking across her desk to Commander James Davis, the supervising officer of Wreath and Stars, Starfleet's official media release. "We need to clarify that this is not the case, Commander. Do you have any suggestions to tackle this misperception?"

Davis shrugged. His dark hair was barely within regulation length, and with his moustache and goatee, Davis appeared to be what denizens of the twenty first century would have called 'a hipster'.

"Well they do kind of have a point, Admiral," he said.

Kathryn sighed.

She wasn't sure which offended her the most, his slovenly appearance, or his lackadaisical attitude.

"Yes, Commander, they do have a point," she conceded. "But not the only point. The Karrank}{ live to bicker and debate. By our standards, their delegate's comments are little more than spoiling for a fight, but by theirs, they are witty openings for discussion. But not everyone knows that. We need to show that Starfleet is an inclusory and adaptable organization. Do you have any proposals to facilitate that awareness?"

"Perhaps a series of interviews, focussing on a ship with a varied crew complement," Davis suggested. "Perhaps I could speak to Admiral LaRoca, he has an extremely diverse crew -- a Deinon, Gorn, Bajorans, Cardassians, even a Ferasan and a Reman -- I understand he also has a Pentaxian exchange officer on his staff. Given the current situation between Moab and the Pentaxian Dynasty, maybe she will have some thoughts on serving aboard a Federation ship."

Kathryn pursed her lips.

"The Tiburon's current deployment in Cardassian space rather precludes you from interviewing the Admiral's crew," she said. "But if that's the kind of diversity you have in mind, then I know just the ship for you, and somewhat closer to home."

***

In the conference lounge aboard the USS Vanguard, Captain Ael t'Kazanak leaned back in her chair, and regarded Davis calmly, ignoring the dronecam which hovered above the tabletop, targeting her with the unblinking stare of its optical sensors.

"I received Admiral Janeway's briefing," she said. "What would you like to know, Commander?"

"I'd like to ask you some questions about your life and experiences in Starfleet," Davis replied.

"I see," Ael mused. "What do you know about me?"

"You're thirty seven years old, and are the first Romulan to be given command of a Starfleet vessel," Davis replied. "Following your graduation from the Academy, you spent three years at West Point for advanced tactical training, graduating in 2399 with a lieutenant's commission, then served aboard the USS Kaitain, as chief of security. In 2404, you took command when the Kaitain was severely damaged by gravimetric sheer which resulted in the death of the captain and first officer, and got the ship back to Spacedock with a minimal loss of life. Following the repair and refit, you were subsequently promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander, and offered the command of the Kaitain, which you declined, choosing instead to serve as first officer aboard the Sovereign-Class USS Endeavour. How'm I doing so far?"

Ael nodded.

"All correct, Commander," she said. "What else would you like to know?"

"Have you ever felt yourself to be persecuted or otherwise differently treated because of your heritage?" Davis asked. "Do you think that has had any impact upon your career?"

Ael inclined her head slightly.

"How would you categorise my promotion history, Commander?" she asked.

The question caught the military journalist off-guard.

"Uh... Five years as a lieutenant, another five as a lieutenant commander, then three as a commander, before being promoted to Captain," he recalled. "You certainly haven't been fast-tracked for command, like some recent Academy graduates, but earned your promotions and have mostly just been in the right place at the right time."

"Hmmm," Ael murmured. "Hardly a career stalled by prejudiced review boards, would you not agree, Commander?"

"Absolutely," Davis agreed. "You were born on Romulus..."

"I was," Ael confirmed.

"Do you consider yourself a fully integrated Federation citizen?"

"Very much so," Ael agreed.

"So it's not true that you have Imperial Romulan propaganda tattooed on your person?"

"Not at all," Ael replied calmly.

"Oh. My researchers told me otherwise," Davis admitted.

Ael pushed the cuffs of her jacket sleeves midway up her forearms, then tapped the Rihan glyphs on her right forearm.

"That is my mother's name," she said, before touching her left arm. "That is my father's name. I wasn't aware that the use of one's native language was considered propaganda..."

"Oh, uh, well, it's not," the flustered journalist conceded hastily. "It's just that my researchers told me you had a tattoo which is also the slogan of some Romulan Supremacists who seek to return to the days of the Empire."

Ael grinned wickedly, her eyes sparkling with amusement. "Let me assure you, Commander, my mnhei'sahe is very much tied to the United Federation of Planets. I am a Federation citizen, but I am the legacy of Romulus -- an example of what my people will do in order to survive."

"Thank you for clarifying that, Captain, I apologise I may have caused you any offence," Davis said. "If we may continue, could you name any particular officers as being particularly influential in your career?"

Ael pondered the question for a moment.

"My ATT senior drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman," she said. "Although both Admiral Ross and Captain Atreides have also both been instrumental in my development as an officer, to varying degrees."

Davis nodded.

"I think that's about everything, Captain, who can I speak to next?"

"I don't have a schedule drawn up," Ael replied. "I thought best to simply give you the freedom of the ship, and allow you to conduct your interviews organically, so long as they do not interfere with a crew-member's duties, of course."

***

Cadet I'K'rR'h looked about the small room which had been for the past year, she had shared with Cadet Daniella Vorkuta, then looked down at her cylindrical duffel. Everything was packed, and time for them to return to the Academy for their final year. Picking up the duffel, she slung it across her shoulders, and made her way into the corridor.

As she walked toward the transporter room, she encountered Lieutenant Commander Pok Raban, engaged in conversation with a Human commander, who was being followed by a dronecam.

"Ah, Cadet, this is Commander Davis from Wreath and Stars, would you have a few minutes to speak with him?

"Of course, Sir," I'K'rR'h replied, before facing Davis. "How can I help, Sir?"

"I'm doing an article on the diversity of officers in Starfleet," Davis said. "Cadet...?"

"I'K'rR'r, Sir. Cadet Second Class I'K'rR'h c'r'nai."

"I had been hoping to speak with Commander Hamlin, for her thoughts on service aboard a Federation vessel, but your insights will be just as valuable. Ih... Ick... I'm sorry, could you repeat your name more slowly for me?"

I'K'rR'h smiled, and nodded.

"Of course, Sir," she replied accommodatingly, shifting her duffel strap across her chest. "Irh-Kar-Ruh."

Davis nodded appreciatively.

"Do you have any thoughts about the current situation between your people and the Moabite Confederacy?"

"It's not really my place to say, Sir," I'K'rR'h replied. "Growing up on Mar'ni'Tell -- that's one of the off-world colonies -- we never really had much time for politics and such, more important things to do keeping the Ch'n'rR't fit and well, but I'm sure everything will work out in the end."

"Ch'n'rR't?" Davis sounded as if he were sneezing and coughing at the same time as he tried to replicate the alien vowels.

"Yes, Sir, food beasts. My father's a Ch'n'rR't rancher out on the TarP'n plateau, south of R'ayV'n. He used his profits to get the best Federation infozines available, so my elder brother and I could have a wider education. H'kT'r went into business, and I wanted to join Starfleet -- I thought I'd get to see more of the galaxy than just sitting on a patrol ship."

"You're not the first of your people to come through the Academy though, are you," Davis said, and I'K'rR'h shook her head.

"No Sir, that was Ambassador S'rR's. She was the first, but to be fair, Sir, no one's ever had anything bad to say to me, I've had a pretty easy time of things, and this last year's cruise, under Captain Palmer, then Captain t'Kazanak, well, it's been a real pleasure, I'll sure miss it going back to the classroom."

"The ship had a change in command?"

"Yes, Sir," I'K'rR'h replied. "Captain Palmer was the Vanguard's first commanding officer, but she was killed in a cave-in on New Romulus following the activation of the Iconian Gateway."

Davis nodded.

"How did the crew react to the change of command?" he enquired.

I'K'rR'h shrugged, but quickly covered the movement by adjusting the strap of her duffel.

"Very well, all things considered, Sir," she replied. "Captain t'Kazanak runs a tight ship. She's firm, but very fair."

"As any good commanding officer should be," Davis agreed. "Well thank you for your time, Cadet. Don't let me keep you any longer."

"Aye, Sir, thank you, Sir," I'K'rR'h said formally, before nodding to Raban. "Commander." she continued on her path to the transporter room.

***

<Mellvor}{ is not displeased with his assignments in the crawlways, which are much more satisfactory than the corridors>

Davis sat at the top of the ladder of an open Jeffries tube, while his dronecam focussed on the Karrank}{ engineer working away below.

"So you don't have a issue with the tasks you are assigned?" he asked.

<Mellvor}{ is given these assignments because he is Karrank}{. Commander Bowen makes best use of her staff's abilities, she assigns work to the crew best able to accomplish it>

"Would you rather any other assignments?"

<Such as what? Mellvor}{ is systems engineer, not warp specialist or plasma technician. Mellvor}{'s duties occur in the crawlways, not in the open spaces>

Davis had to admit, he could not fault the badger-like alien's rationale, and for all their reputed disagreeability, the Karrank}{ was not bemoaning their lot.

"Wouldn't you rather work with other crew members?" he enquired.

<Mellvor}{ is sometimes joined by other officers who complain about the confinement of the crawlways, they are not suited to such spaces, unlike Mellvor}{. Mellvor}{ finds his solitude more productive>

"So no complaints then..." Davis concluded.

<Mellvor}{ has many complaints! The corridors are too bright, consoles are not at an optimal height. The mealworms served by chef are not fresh enough and the replicators cannot provide suitable alternatives!>

Davis sighed. He had asked for that.

"I meant that you have no complaints about your treatment by superior officers or the duties you are assigned..."

<Then you should have said that! Mellvor}{ answers the questions he is asked! Mellvor}{ is an engineer, not a mindreader!>

"You have no complaints about your treatment by superior officers or the duties you are assigned?"

<Mellvor}{ is not displeased with his assignments>

Davis shrugged.

"Thank you for your time, Lieutenant," he said, tapping the recall command for the dronecam into his PADD and hauling himself to his feet.

***

"Did you have successful visit, Commander?" Ael enquired, as she walked Davis to the transporter room.

"I did, thank you," the journalist replied. "I'm sure Admiral Janeway will be most satisfied with the interviews your crew granted me.

Last edited by marcusdkane; 06-21-2014 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Missed some *s >_<
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,998
# 9
06-21-2014, 05:48 PM
Facility 4028, July 22, 2412...

"Prisoner 70815, step forward." The holographic Warden ordered.

Manuel Gonzales stepped forward with the practiced discipline of a long-term con.

"It says here, you're a transfer from Wellington -rioting and accessory to the murder of another inmate." the Warden said, "Do you have anything to say about it?"

Manuel shrugged, "The Cabron deserved it." he said, and noted the hologram's reaction, "What? you thought I'd try to claim NOT to be in on that, seriously?"

The Warden frowned, "What set you off?" he asked, "You've been a model prisoner-you were up for parole in only ten more years..."

"Puta was a rapist, see? they were gonna let him out early." Manuel said, "I got a little sister, you know? dude ***** a cadet...can't let that slide man...you got my cell assignment?"

"B wing." the Warden said, "Cell number matches your prisoner number."

"You and Prisoner 70816 will be in facing cells matched to your numbers." the Warden told him, "because of your involvment in a conspiracy to riot, you'll be in wing B, follow the red line."

Gonzales grinned and fell in with the holographic guards.

"Seven Zero Eight One Seven...Anh Cu'ong, Terrorism suspect, considered dangerous...instigated the riot and actually did the killing." the Warden raised his eyebrows, "Not to mention a variety of additional charges."

Anh shrugged, "I want my phone call." she said, "isn't that the running joke?"

"I'm a hologram, I don't have a sense of humor."

Something shook the facility floor as the Gonzales brothers waited for the doors on the lift down to B wing. Anh heard it too.

"Warden?" she asked, an waved a hand in front of the hologram's face. "Oh ****." the guards blinked out.

Anh looked at the Brothers, "I didn't set it up!" she said.

"Didn't think you did, Bonita." Manuel said, "Luis, what do you think?"

"I think we could run..but we'd only die tired, Manny, some ****'s goin'down. you know if we bust outa here, they'll pin it on Melinda-could **** up her career."

The brothers looked at Anh again, "you sure your friends didn't set this up?"

"we're a week early for that." Anh protested, "She's not here yet."

"Which 'she'?" Manuel asked casually, shifting his weight and loosening his hands.

"A physicist I'm supposed to meet." Anh said, "Bigtime egghead, I'm supposed to get info from her-but my escape wasn't set up until after the meet."

"Well then somebody else is getting out." Luis said, "some of the guys in this place, they're not the kind we want out..." he was saying it, while he hunted for an electronics panel.

Luis got the panel opened, and teased some wiring. "bingo...looks like they're breaching containment in cell block C...internals show six heat-sources, internal sensors show phasers and last year's disruptors."

"what about the warden and the security systems?" Anh asked.

"They're in reboot mode." Luis said, "Nice worm too-elegant, it keeps slicing off zeroes and ones so the code string doesn't resolve, looks like a refined Dwarf variant..."

"Can you slice it little bro?" Manuel asked.

"I can...but...hello intrusion detector. Our visitors know we're messing with their code. I got three coming up the shaft."

"Keep working, Luis." Manuel said, "You ready to repeat your performance, chica?"

Anh nodded, and ducked beside the turbolift exit.

The fight didn't last long, but then, fighting armed augments with bare hands-even very, very skilled bare hands, rarely lasts long.


Ten hours later, secure sickbay, Facility 4028...

"...wasn't me." Anh stated, "It wasn't my government, either." she was restrained in the biobed, with IV's pumping fluids and high as a kite on painkillers.

"We know. The surviving Gonzales brother has already testified, and we've got the analog record of the fight in reception." The Starfleet Captain handling the interview was an Andorian, one of their male types. "What I want to know, is why the three of you didn't try to escape, Luis Gonzales got the Warden back up in time to save your life."

"What about Manuel?" Anh asked.

"He didn't make it." The Warden's hologram flickered, "We tried to save him, but he was too badly injured."

"Who'd they break out?" Anh asked.

"Not who-what. They stole the Lore prototype."

"The...'lore'?" Anh asked.

"one of Noonien Soong's androids, this one went bad, killed a colony of people." the Andorian told her.

"They stole a ****ing robot?" Anh gasped.

"careful, you're going to take a while healing, Prisoner." the holographic doctor told her, as the Andorian continued, "Now, I am intent on verifying that you really didn't have anything to do with this, Miss Cu'ong." he said, "but to do that, I need your permission to have my assistant here telepathically verify your testimony."

"Oh **** no." Anh said, "If I still have rights, one of them is the right to the privacy of my own thoughts-and there are thoughts I really do not want in the hands of the Prosecution-you want to waste time scanning me, you need a court-order, and I need my legal counsel present-If it were one of OUR operations, I'd be on my way home right now, and you'd be standing there with your pants unbuckled and a dumb look on your face-and nobody would've had to reboot the Warden, and Manny Gonzales would still be alive."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Look into Vanilla PvP if you're tired of the endless pursuit of grind, utterly unbalanced selections of geardo-inspired traits, and generally unbalanced and careless 'development' made mostly to turn this game into a second job.

Last edited by patrickngo; 06-21-2014 at 10:31 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,909
# 10 Challenge #1
06-22-2014, 08:30 PM
Captain Seifer and three of his crew rematerialized onto the transporter pad aboard the Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X. The transporter operator, Belm, quickly put his Ktarian headset away.

"So, how was your trip into the Mirror Universe?" he asked. "Wrought with horror, I imagine?"

Seifer stepped off the pad, "Actually, great. We beamed into the mirror Rura Penthe, a tropical resort planet that is brimming with smokers-- but they were bio-neural gel cigarettes, so it was okay."

"Should I even ask about that?" Belm pointed to Seifer's goatee.

The Trill Captain hesitantly brought his hand up to his chin and confirmed his worst fears, "Ah!" He looked over to his other male crewmember, Doctor Lox, who also had a goatee; the two women, were hair-free. "Dammit," Seifer replied as he walked over to a nearby reflective panel, "I forgot about the Mirror Universe's innate, unexplained ability to make goatee's grow on men."

"It's strange how selective the growing is," Lox said, feeling his own.

Suddenly, Tactical officer Lieutenant Commander Armond entered the transporter room, stopping in his tracks at the sight of Seifer and the others. "Oh, I didn't know you were back yet-- I was, uh, just going to check on the Heisenburg compensators," he commented, caught off-guard. "They're like the subatomic version of those puzzles you find on the Orient Express."

"What the guramba?" Seifer knew exactly what was going on, "Are you taking missions while I'm on vacation??"

Unable to lie under pressure, Armond rubbed the back of his neck and avoided eye-contact, "Well, anyway, I have Kimtones tickets I meant to replicate a lighter for, so I'd better get going---"

"Stop," Seifer ordered as Armond was in mid-turn, "Where the hell are we? And don't say Risa, because it's the Lohlunat Festival right now, and you know how creeped out I get every time I'm hit on at that Dancing Stage."

Armond cleared his throat, "No, sir; we're at Facility 4028," he explained, "There was a mysterious break-in in its storage area and Commander Achebe sent us to investigate."

"Ugh. That place is so confusing. First, you follow the blue lines, then the red, then you're attacked by Beta Jem'Hadar. If they were the Jem'Hadar from the Wormhole, shouldn't they be called mid-War Gamma Jem'Hadar?" Lieutenant Kayl asked.

Seifer shook his head, "That name is just too long and unnecessary. Belm, beam us down to Facility 4028 where they sometimes contain members of Species 8472."

---

Minutes later, Seifer, Armond, Kayl and Lox beamed down to the secret prison. They met the holographic Warden at a maximum security storage area where the entrance had been blown open.

"Hm. Perhaps we should take this opportunity to clean out the unnecessaries in here; we still have ten crates of Quark's confiscated yamak sauce," the Warden spoke to one of his holographic officers just before he noticed Seifer and his crew-- "Oh! Wait. You people? I requested the Enterprise-F! Your ship just doesn't make any sense?" He turned to them, "How can you be on the -X postfix already? That shouldn't happen until the 29th century!"

Seifer pondered for a moment, "Would you believe our ships kept exploding?"

"Warden," the holographic guard started, "That was a miscommunication by our computer systems. It seems the Primary ISIS core and Secondary ISIS core are arguing with each other again."

The Warden put his holographic finger to his holographic forehead, "Those cores will be the decompilation of me."

"Captain, according to my biospectral analysis of the blood smear against this torn door-edge, these intruders had highly advanced platelet blood cells," Lox closed his medical tricorder.

Kayl's jaw dropped, "Do you know what this means? We can cure death!"

"Let's........ let's just leave that for some other crazy timeline," Seifer replied, "But I think this more importantly means we're dealing with Augments. We should speak to Amar Singh immediately."

Suddenly, another holographic guard approached with an escaped prisoner, "I'm right here," the apprehended prisoner, Amar Singh interrupted, impatiently.

"Our break-and-enter 'friends' were kind enough to leave this one behind," explained the holographic guard holding him.

Seifer looked at the guard disapprovingly, "You didn't just pull out the 'friend' card, did you? That is the laziest holoprogramming ever."

"After they broke me out we had a difference of opinion on what fiscal direction to take the Children of Khan in," Singh started, "They wanted to invest in Mudd Industries, and I wanted to stick to our original Son'a face stretching boutiques---"

Seifer interrupted, "Just tell us where they went-- and you better not say one of the Cold Stations! Those facilities never contain their diseases and I already have the nehret."

"I refuse to help you because you Federation fools will never support Augment life, thinking that you're morally superior to us with your natural hippie-Darwin genes," Singh shook his fist at them.

Kayl raised her hand, "Oh! They're at the Klingon Research Facility in the Briar Patch!"

"What?? You have a Human that is also a telepath??" Singh pointed at Kayl in shock-confusion.

Kayl shrugged, "I was genetically altered by Srivani a while back."

"Hypocrites!!! Here you are touting your ethically perfect lifestyle when you are in fact Augments yourselves!" Singh yelled as the guard started pulling him away. "I wish I had a Gorn and a Klingon right now. You know what I can do with them!"

Seifer crossed his arms as Singh was on his way passed earshot, "Yeah, well, at least our grandparents don't randomly know who Chekov is."

---

Later, the Phoenix-X dropped warp at the Briar Patch and struggled its way through its orangey-haze to the donut-shaped asteroid. An away team of Seifer, Armond and Kayl beamed into the thought-abandoned secret research base.

"Ugggh. That was far too annoying to fly through," complained Seifer. "No wonder Riker used the forbidden joy stick."

Before them, in the large metallic room, was a group of three augmented Humans, trying to assemble pieces of what looked like a Soong-type android.

"Okay, so are we sure there's not a spinning bed that we can just put him in? I thought that was how they did it on Exo III?" Ruko, one of the Augments rotated an arm, trying to study the connecting point.

But, Tavar, another one of the Augments pointed at Seifer and his away team, "The Federation!"

"By the ridgeless foreheads of skinny Klingons! I thought you were going to take care of the proximity sensors??" Ruko snapped at the other Augment.

Tavar shrugged, "As usual, antagonistic behaviour produces dysfunctional work flow. If you think about it, it's kind of a pre-destination trope."

"What in the name of awkward Kirk-movements is going on here?" Seifer blurted, stunned, "You have the android Data??"

Armond shook his head, "No. Data's working at Oxford University as a professor now. It was his next move after a horrific trip into Fluidic space."

"Seems like he'd be more of a Cambridge kind of guy," Kayl mused.

Suddenly, a familiar voice broke through the confusion, "Wrong on both accounts," the savvy Soong-type android spoke.

"Lore?? But you already came back to life in one of our unique starship's many previous adventures," Seifer explained, "We re-captured you when your leg got stuck in a Malon tanker pipe?"

The android, missing one arm and one leg, hobbled his-sitting-self around to face the Captain, "Your past episodes don't matter and should be comprehensively dismissed!"

"Yeah..... but... you were...... and things...." Seifer drifted, confused.

Lore picked up his other arm and threw it at Captain Seifer, "Shut up! You see, my father's ancestor, Arik Soong, was a devote 22nd century geneticist and bred himself a passionate torn-clothed, rock and roll following. This group endured and now they want a similar Soong-type-genius to help in their ambitions of societal amalgamation in much the same way a Galaxy-class saucer section may attempt to attach itself to a Constitution-class-refit body," he paused to shudder at the thought of it, "Ugghh."

"My first idea was politics. Like, maybe we could run for a counsel somewhere? Perhaps the Nyberrite Alliance? I know a guy with a replicator who is good with branding," Ruko offered, "It's just one idea, though. I have more; much more."

Seifer dropped his phaser aim, "Damn that Facility 4028 and its inventory-reporting glitches," he then turned to the Augments, "Also, your plan may be sound. In fact, I could see you conquering the entire Galaxy through the dreary just-elect-anyone-so-I-can-go-home mentality of politics, except for one thing: this android. --Lore, tell them what your ultimate goal is!"

"Kill all organics," he admitted fluently, unsure at how it could possibly relate to the situation at hand.

Tavar dropped Lore's unattached leg, "What the year-of-hell?? Augments are organics! You mean to kill us as well!?" He paused, feeling as though he needed to explain himself, "If you're wondering about my powers of logic, I once dated a Vulcan."

"Not at all," Lore replied, "I plan to Borgify you in the way one does with tubules and bendable piping. I admit it's not the most effective form of cybernetics, but it's kind of become my signature. It'd be a disservice to myself not to."

Tavar picked up the leg and swung it around in horror, knocking Lore's head off his body and into the far wall. It took a second for him to calm himself down, "Sorry, I'm prone to bouts of enhanced rage. It's quite endearing from a genetically dispositional point of view."

"Ruko to the ship," the other Augment picked up a hand-held communicator, "It appears we've inanely come to an unremarkable avenue for our remarkable kind. Three to beam out! No time for the beaming sound-effect!"

The disembodied head of Lore watched as the Augments dematerialized in a rush.

"Phoenix-X to Captain Seifer," Ensign Dan's voice operated over the comms, "It looks like the Augments transported onto a cloaked vessel somewhere."

"You're relieved!"

Ensign Dan sputtered for a moment, "Well, that was an over-reaction."

Seifer then gave up and followed Armond and Kayl to Lore's decapitated body.

"Are the Augments going to become one of those over-used enemies that lose their teeth with every encounter and that we eventually get tired of?" Armond asked.

The Captain nodded, "Yeah."

"They were the ultimate bronze and they almost had the ultimate brains; I wonder if perhaps I could utilize my own abilities more effectively?" Kayl postulated.

Seifer crossed his arms in thought, "Perhaps we all could. To survive is not enough. To simply exist is not enough," he quoted, "Roga Danar, Angosia III."

"Sir, formally request we go to Risa," Armond turned, inspired and changing the subject, "We almost have enough Lohlunat Favors for a powerboard or floater."

The Captain turned as well, "You do realize I'm the only one that ever beams down?"

"Yes, but we're all watching on screen, in much the same way Kirk's crew did during his Gorn adventures," Armond replied.

Seifer sighed, "Fine. But if I'm talking to a girl, I want that screen off, pronto. I'll contact you when I'm done."

His crew nodded in agreement, and they collected the Soong-parts and left.

Last edited by hawku001x; 06-27-2014 at 11:23 AM.
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