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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Two days later, the repaired Blacksabre-E was in orbit of Earth, Krovennan stood in front of the five Cadets who had saved everyone on the vessel, Shliin was sporting a cast over her arm, but her arrogance was gone as she stood at attention, Jomar stood to attention calmly and confidently, Melissa White stood to attention with a face showing her newfound focus, Sormek stood to attention with admiration for all around him, Krovennan was impressed with them all.

Jeffery however, he had imporved the most, the bored Cadet who had no drive now had a burning passion to do all he could do as best as he could, and stood to attention with the pride he deserved.

"Cadets, you have come a long way since when we first met, and now it is time I told you of my recommendation to Starfleet, in light of your recent endeavours, I have seen a performance I strive for in all my crewmen, therefore, my recommandation is that all five of you are given a field commision, you are no longer Cadets but now Ensigns, you each deserved it."

The group looked to each other with glee, Melissa raised her hand as if to speak, and Krovennan nodded in approval.

"Vice Admiral Sir, where shall we be stationed?"

"Well Melissa, the attack was costly, many good crewmen died, so I am in the market for some new Ensigns, and I have more than five spaces to fill."

"Sir, you don't mean..."

"I do Jomar, you shall all join the crew of the Blacksabre-E and will be assigned jobs suiting your studies, welcome to the Blacksabre Ensigns, if you will head to your rooms, you will find new uniforms and the locations of your new quarters."

Krovennan saluted the Cadets, who saulted in unison as a response, Krovennan dismissed the group and watched them walk out with the dignity of Starfleet Officers.

"I get the feeling the future of the Federation is in good hands from here on."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12 Repetition Part 1
08-21-2011, 08:31 AM
“Repetition”
by Captain Tim Kingston.

Captain Tim Kingston sat quietly in his ready room, proof-reading his latest mission report to Starfleet Command. The USS Elsternwick's mission to the Chiron system had succeeded in gathering intelligence on Obisek's Reman insurgents who fought against the remnants of the Romulan Star Empire. The data would assist Command in reassigning border patrols around the Romulan-occupied systems, in addition to identifying possible targets for Reman strikes. As he came to the end of the report, he placed an elbow on the desk and inadvertently sent a PADD clattering to the floor. As he reached down to collect the device, his door chimed.

“Come.” Kingston sat back up in his chair, looking towards the door as he placed the PADD down on the desk. The Elsternwick's Saurian Ops officer came and stood before the captain, looking quite exhausted. “Well, Lieutenant D'Lesch, what have you got for me? It better not be another intelligence report, as I've already finished the mission report.”

D'Lesch shook his head tiredly. “No, sir, but you do have a communique from Admiral Quinlivan at Starfleet Command. It's already been routed to your terminal.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” Kingston gathered the remaining PADDs before him and stacked them neatly beside the terminal “Do we have an ETA for Earth yet? I'm eager to visit family.”

D'Lesch nodded his black and red-mottled head. “Yes, sir. Lieutenant Vem reports that we are due at Earth spacedock within 15 minutes, barring local traffic. Commander Ta'lis has the Conn at present, but I can notify you as soon as we enter the Sol system.” The Saurian allowed himself a small but cheerful smile. “I don't envy the mission report you had to write. I know how many transmission logs and intelligence reports you must have gone through.”

Kingston sat himself down into his chair and closed the report on his terminal so he could access the comm channel. “Of course you do, D'Lesch. You were the one who provided all of them. Good work, Lieutenant.” He smiled in appreciation at the Saurian. “Dismissed.” Kingston ran his right hand through his hair as D'Lesch turned silently and left the ready room. A few moments later, the captain's terminal flashed the logo of the United Federation of Planets, followed shortly thereafter by the taciturn image of Admiral Wayne Quinlivan.

Despite the expression of the Admiral, Kingston answered the communique with a broader smile than he had worn all day. “Admiral, it's always a pleasure to see you. How have you been?”

“It's good to see you too, Captain. I am well, if more than a little too caffeinated for this time of the evening.” Admiral Quinlivan sat at his desk, nursing a steaming cup of coffee, which he sipped from casually. Something of a traditionalist of sorts, the Admiral wore the standard uniform from the 2390s, a tradition that Kingston and his crew also honoured. While Indian in ethnicity, Wayne had grown up in Australia and still maintained his accent despite working extensively in San Francisco at Starfleet Command.

“I believe I could do with a good brew myself, actually,” Tim conceded.

The admiral took another sip. “Well, I think you'll need it. As soon as you report to Earth Spacedock, I have some passengers for you to pick up.”

“Passengers, Sir?”

Admiral Quinlivan nodded. “Alpha Squadron, specifically. I've been working extensively with Starfleet Academy to expand the curriculum in line with the current state of the galaxy, and I want you to take these cadets on board for ten days and put them through the paces. These kids are meant to be the best the Academy has to offer, so I expect you to take good care of them.”

Captain Kingston's face twitched at the suggestion of the mission, but ignored it as well as a growing sense of resentment within him. “Very well, we'll do what we can. Please send the relevant information through to my XO on which cadets we'll be bringing on board. “

“Good, I'm glad to get that out of the way.” Admiral Quinlivan's face visibly softened. “It's been a while since we last talked, much less met up with each other, since it's very rare for you to be in this part of the galaxy of late. I try to keep up with your reports. The Romulans, the Breen, the Devidians... It almost makes me miss being in space myself.” With a touch of seriousness he added, “You could probably do with making a few less enemies when possible, you know.”

Kingston nodded. “I know what you mean, but we have a fine ship and a fine crew.”

Admiral Quinlivan smiled at the mention of the crew. “I trust you have been taking good care of my nephew as well. How is Paul?”

“He's good, but understandably eager to get back to Earth. It's been a while since he's seen you too. We're both so glad you could make it to the ceremony.”

“Wouldn't have missed it for the world. When you both get a chance, we'd love for you to visit for dinner. Give us a chance to catch up properly.”

“I'd really like that, Admiral.”

“Good. Take care of those cadets, Tim.” Admiral Quinlivan reached forward and deactivated the commlink, ending the call. Captain Kingston was left staring at the screen, the last comment about the cadets stirring some dark force deep within him. Before he could calm himself, he struck at his screen with a single, mighty thwack, leaving the terminal utterly destroyed. Recoiling his hand in shock, he saw that he had injured himself in his moment of rage.

“Why....” Tim shook his head, trying to regain some semblance of composure. He stood up and walked to a nearby bookshelf, retrieving a small first aid kit and applying a dermal regenerator to his injured hand. Once healed, he tapped his commbadge. “Kingston to D'Lesch. Can you send someone up from engineering for me, my terminal seems to be having issues.” D'Lesch responded with acknowledgement, and without asking any questions much to his captain's appreciation.

Kingston sat back down at his desk, staring at the broken screen, unable to come to terms with the spotaneous violence. A comm from Commander Ta'lis, his Vulcan XO, broke the silence. “Captain Kingston, we'll be entering Sol momentarily. Standing by to be relieved.”

Kingston sighed, tapping his commbadge and responded, “On my way. ”

* * *

Commander Paul Kingston met up with the captain in Transporter Room One. On Ta'lis' orders, Lieutenant D'Lesch had contacted Starfleet Academy and organised for the selected group of fourteen final year cadets to beam aboard with temporary quarters ready and waiting for them. Kingston appeared more agitated that he'd normally allow himself to appear in public, but it seemed that neither the transporter chief or the gruff security chief Lieutenant Commander Isaak seemed to notice. The Breen security officer was still becoming more familiar with humans, however since his recent defection to Starfleet. The agitation, however, didn't escape Paul's attention, who noticed the captain rubbing his right hand repeatedly. The red-haired chief engineer decided it best not to discuss it with the captain openly in front of other officers.

The cadets were to be beamed up in two groups of seven. The first group of seven re-materialised on the platform and shuffled into the room, awaiting orders. The cadets looked like a mixture of coiled springs and awe-struck Pakleds. The group chatted in hushed whispers before realising the captain stood before them and suddenly snapped to attention. The second group were more immediately aware of the officers in their presence, joining their comrades and standing at attention. All cadets were wearing the recently-issued standardised cadet uniform, reminding Kingston briefly of old Marine holovids in his youth. From the first five, a young brown-haired male in his early 20s spoke up. “Captain Kingston, Cadet Cartwright requesting permission for Alpha Squadron to come aboard the USS Elsternwick, sir.”

Kingston looked from each fresh, determined young face to the next. He tried to recall each of the cadets names from the information provided to him by D'Lesch, and what little biographical information was recorded in the dossiers he skimmed through. One of the cadets even hailed from his native region in Australia, Cadet Welsh. Their enthusiasm both spoke to his optimistic nature, but also served to stir his anger from his ready room.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13 Repetition Part 2
08-21-2011, 08:38 AM
Captain Kingston kept a serious expression as he spoke to the cadets before him, his voice full of purpose. “Permission granted, Alpha Squadron.” Gesturing first to Paul and then Isaak, Kingston continued. “Firstly I'd like to introduce my chief engineer and husband, Commander Paul Kingston. Next to him is the Elsternwick's chief of security, Lieutenant Commander Isaak. Commander Ta'lis, the XO, is currently on the bridge, but you will meet him soon enough. If you follow Isaak here, he will lead you to your assigned quarters and brief you on some of the battle drills that you'll be running during your stay. Dismissed.” Kingston nodded to Isaak, who promptly turned and led all of the cadets out of the transporter room in silence.

As soon as the doors closed, Paul turned to Tim and glared at him. Understanding the expression, the captain turned and addressed the transporter operator. “Chief Morony, please excuse yourself. We'll be out shortly.” As soon as Morony left the room, Tim let out a breath he didn't know he held and turned to Paul. “Fine, out with it.”

Paul shook his head. “You know, you could have cut the tension in this room with a plasma torch.” (an engineer would use a more engineering tool rather than a medical one)

Tim moved over to the transporter platform and sat down, adjusting his command tunic as he did so. “I didn't know you were half-Betazoid.”

“Yes,” Paul replied sarcastically, “because one needs to be have telepathic abilities in order to demonstrate any type of emotional awareness and empathy.” Paul walked over to the pad and sat down on the left of Tim. “Why don't you try telling me what's really the matter? There's something more to this than you're letting on, and I can tell it's eating you. Is it being back in Sol?” Paul placed his hand on Tim's left knee and squeezed reassuringly. “Talk to me.”

Kingston's first instinct was to pull away, but Paul's firm hand told him that he wasn't going anywhere until he talked this through. Resigning himself to the situation, Tim reflected on the last few hours and the emotions assaulting him. The anger and the resentment that followed after being given the assignment had surprised him. “Ok, so I seem to have been a little irritated lately.”

The chief engineer's auburn eyebrows darted up in surprise, followed by a sceptical expression. “Irritated? Yeah... you say that like the destruction of your ready room terminal was just an accident. So, do you want to explain that?”

“How did you find out about the terminal?”

“I'm the Chief Engineer. This may be your ship but I keep it flying, and part of my job involves assigning maintenance details.”

Kingston nodded slowly and leaned against Paul. “It was anger, rage unlike anything I've felt in such a long time. I could feel it flaring up again as soon as Alpha Squadron beamed up. I can't remember reacting like this before to Academy graduates posted to the ship, so I feel like I'm at a loss. I don't want to have to step down, but I can't keep letting these emotions interfere with my duties.”

“Look, I don't pretend to understand psychology. Give me an engine any day!” Paul flashed a smile. “If I've got a problem with the warp core, I break the problem down to the basic components. What do you know about your situation? What does it tell you?”

The captain paused in contemplation and stroked his beard, collecting his thoughts. “Well, I guess the first thing to look at is the emotional overreaction. The anger and, ah, subsequent destruction of property is obviously a disproportionate reaction to the stimuli of the mission, so therein lies the trigger.”

Paul nodded in response, and motioned for Tim to follow the thought through. “Okay, that's getting a little bit out of my field, but what does that suggest to you?”

“Well, anger is often used to compensate for or mask feelings of anxiety or fear,” Tim replied.

“You're afraid of a bunch of cadets? Tim, you've faced off against the worst side of the galaxy has to offer: Undine, Klingons, Hirogen, Romulans and Breen. You've even stood toe to toe with the Borg!” At the mention of the Collective, he saw Tim left eye twitch. “The Borg?”

The memories flooded through Tim. In their final year at the Academy, Tim and Paul had been aboard the USS Caulfield as part of a cadet placement assignment when the ship had come across a derelict Borg sphere near Risa. A trap, several crew were captured and assimilated, including Tim.

Tim stared straight at the floor in front of him, studying the patterns woven into the synthetic floor covering. “I think so. It's been so long since the last of the implants were removed. I don't even dream about the Collective any more. I thought I was past this. I thought it was over.”

“That's what this is really about, isn't it?” He touched Tim's shoulder. “You were assimilated into the collective for 72 hours before the crew of the Caulfield would listen to me about my plan to get you out of there. If I wasn't just a cadet, they may have listened to me sooner. I kept thinking at the time, 'what would Captain Kirk do?' I should have found a way.”

“You're the reason I'm here today, Paul, and not a drone. You saved me. You rescued me when others had already given up. And now here I am, treating these cadets appallingly and destroying Federation property because I still have some unresolved issues.” Looking up at his engineer, he asked finally, “It's time I make an appointment with Counsellor Tiran, isn't it?”

Paul stood up answering, “Yes, it is.” Extending a hand which was then accepted, Paul helped his captain to his feet. “I also think it's time you contacted Isaak and amended the schedule for the cadets. You can't let what happened to us when we were cadets affect Alpha Squadron, or let it interfere with your other duties. I still can't believe you wanted them to run fifteen battle drills while they were aboard.”

Captain Kingston looked sheepish. “You're right. I'm sure we can find something more fitting for the cadets. After all, the last thing I want is to chase someone out of Starfleet before they've even graduated. The universe is a dangerous place, but we can't let that fear overtake us or we will miss out on all the beauty all around us.”

Paul nodded at this, and walked beside Tim as they exited the transporter room and headed to the nearest turbolift. Paul entered the turbolift car but stood in the doorway so that Tim couldn't enter. “Now, make the appointment with Tiran or I'll tell the admiral on you.”

Kingston seemed surprised at the mention of the admiral, more so than the reminder about the Andorian counsellor. “I didn’t know you’d been speaking to the admiral as well. When did you last talk to him?”

“He contacted me just before I came down to the transporter room. He was concerned about you, said you looked agitated. Told me to take care of you.” Paul held Tim’s cheek briefly. “You handle the cadets, Captain. I’ve got a warp core to detail before dinner tonight. Just, uh, keep them out of engineering for as long as possible, ok?”

Captain Kingston nodded solemnly. “I’ll do what I can.” Tim smiled lovingly at Paul. “You continue to be the brightest star in my heavens.” Paul blushed profusely and let the turbolift doors finally slide shut to prevent further embarrassment. Kingston decided to take the next turbolift to the forward observation lounge for some quiet contemplation, followed by a small social gathering to let the cadets of Alpha Squadron meet the rest of his senior officers.

History doesn't have to repeat, he mused.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14 Making the Cut
08-21-2011, 08:59 PM
Kham’s fingers tensed around the grips of his bat’leth as the harsh battle alert lighting and klaxon of the I.K.S. Sor'nuk’s transporter room dissolved and was replaced by the blaring red alert of the small Federation research station’s control center. Eyes locking on the first target that appeared (a Starfleet security officer that was just beginning to turn toward the threat of the Klingon boarding party), Kham charged the half-dozen or so strides separating them to swing his blade in a low arc at the human’s pivot leg. The blade hooked behind the human’s knee, pulling it up and out and leaving his weight unsupported. As the human sprawled to the deck on his back, Kham shifted his grip as the bat’leth reached the apex of its arc and brought it slashing down with finality, noting only briefly the human's look of surprise and fear as it was quickly extinguished.

Turning his attention to search for new opponents, Kham spotted what he presumed was the Federation’s officer in command through the phaser and disruptor fire. Two strides brought him to a low railing, easily hurdled. The sting of a grazing phaser beam ran across his back as he ducked his shoulder to knock aside another security officer partially obstructing his path. The Federation commander had noticed his charge, bringing his phaser around to fire. Kham felt the blast hit him squarely in the chest and almost staggered, but his armor and natural Klingon toughness served him well.

Before the officer could get off a second attack, Kham swatted his weapon arm away with the bat’leth’s blade, then let the blade edge drop to bring the blunted back edge up with jaw-cracking force. Flipping the blade edge back up to deliver the killing strike, Kham found his weapon rendered suddenly immobile as a large, scaly green arm reached over his shoulder, arresting his attack. Kham turned and growled at the immense Gorn as the Federation officer dropped nerveless to the deck, and wrenched his weapon away with a jerk. The fighting was over, and the small boarding party now held control.

“Thank you, Lieutenant Rssilt.” Both Kham and the Gorn turned toward the voice of Meela Pahar-dha, captain of the Sor’nuk, as she sauntered across the control center, holstering her sidearm. The Gorn nodded and stepped back as Commander Pahar-dha approached, the red emergency lighting flashing harshly off the green skin of her face… and neck... and shoulders… and…

Kham shook his head quickly to clear it as the Orion stopped mere centimeters away, glaring up at him with steely eyes. “The dead do not provide us with their security codes, Cadet Kham; security codes we will need to access the valuable research in this station’s computer core. Think on this as you are collecting the phase modulators we came for. Report to me on the bridge of the Sor’nuk once they have all been secured in our holds.”

Pivoting on her heel, Commander Pahar-dha walked toward the unconscious Federation officer as she issued orders to the remaining members of the boarding party, some of whom were already moving to comply before she even spoke. “Lieutenant Rssilt, locate and secure the researchers. Bring the senior scientist to me here, and transport the others to the brig. Sergeant Prexay, start cracking those files open and begin transmitting them to our vessel. Cadet B’Etara, get over here and revive this man.” A husky note began to enter her voice as she knelt next to the Federation officer and Kham’s fellow cadet rushed to join her, tricorder and hypospray already out.

“I want to have a few words with him.”

Kham stood unmoving in the sudden whirl of activity until his captain rounded on him again. “Dismissed, Cadet. Stop wasting time.” With a clenched jaw, he turned and stalked out of the room.

***

Various members of the bridge crew were reporting completion of their tasks and readiness to depart as Kham stepped through the doors from the corridor. The captain was settling herself in the command chair when a warning sounded from the weapons console.

“The Federation vessels are dropping out of warp, captain. Distance 15000 kellicams.”

“Set course 215 mark 40, one half impulse.”

The bird-of-prey began to swiftly come around under the helmsman’s deft controls.

“Deploy cloaking mines and engage the cloaking device.”

Mines tumbled off the Sor’nuk’s launchers and began to disperse as both they and the vessel began to shimmer and vanish.

“New course 108 mark 5.” The captain leaned toward her weapons officer. “Are the Starfleet vessels following us, Tran?”

The renegade Breen’s helmet shook, indicating the negative. “They are all proceeding to the station at full impulse.”

Commander Pahar-dha gave a satisfied smile. “Take us away at full impulse. Once we have cleared the system, plot a course for Ganalda and engage at maximum warp.”

“We are going to flee the battlefield rather than engage?” Kham asked, unable to keep the distaste out of his voice.

“Does someone here challenge my authority?” the Orion asked. A sudden icy silence fell over the bridge. Kham glanced quickly at the other members of the crew, searching their eyes for any sign of agreement or sympathy, but saw none. Most, including his fellow cadet, kept their attentions focused on their consoles, studiously ignoring him. Rssilt was eyeing him in a manner not unlike he had seen the Gorn eye dinner in the crew’s mess.

Kham set his teeth and spoke. “Yes. It is dishonorable to run before these Federation dogs.”

“Those three vessels have more than ten times our power. And I already have everything I want from this system,” the captain retorted. “We would have been clear of the system before they arrived had you loaded those phase modulators swiftly without needing additional prodding.”

“I am a Klingon warrior, not a freight hauler’s assistant!” Kham bellowed.

“So following my orders is beneath you?” Commander Pahar-dha rose from the command chair to face Kham, hands placed on her hips. “You are serving on a bird-of-prey. There are not enough members of this crew for anyone’s honor to be offended by performing any task. But if you insist, walk with me. No need to distract anyone else from their duty to settle this.”

Kham was not sure whether it was his anger, or the sight of the Orion’s weapons swaying at her hip which had distracted him, but he noticed that they had not turned to the turbolift after exiting the bridge when he walked directly into a containment forcefield. Commander Pahar-dha turned and addressed him.

“You are a skilled, and obviously proud, warrior: hungry for glory. However, I do not have the time, patience, or inclination to contend with your over-developed sense of honor any further. Goodbye, Cadet.”

The Orion pressed her finger to a console on the wall. Kham heard a latch open and felt himself swept up in a roar of rushing air.

The last thing he saw was the Sor’nuk jumping to warp.

***

Captain’s Log:

The Sor’nuk has docked at Ganalda station, where I have delivered the captured phase modulators to one of my contacts in the Syndicate for reasonable compensation, with the exception of the units which my engineer has tied in to our weapons systems. Preliminary testing indicates we can expect a minimum 25% increase in peak power once calibrations are completed.

I have reported the death of Cadet Kham to the academy, along with an account of the action in which he was killed, battling Starfleet security in hand-to-hand combat when the station’s corridor depressurized, venting him and his opponents into the void. I have also sent the academy a request that Cadet B’Etara be assigned to the Sor’nuk once her course of training is complete. She has shown herself to possess considerable talent, as well as the flexibility I value in a member of my crew.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
08-22-2011, 02:04 AM
"A Letter Home"

Second-year cadet Orodgwi Met, dropped her PADD on the chair near the door of the quarters she shared with one other cadet. Her roommate was not here right now – out on a “hot date” as her roommate had put it- and Orodgwi planned to take advantage of the privacy.

She removed her overtunic and kicked off her boots then collapsed on her small bed. She rolled over and propped herself up on one elbow, tapping in her access code on a small portable terminal on the nightstand. “Computer, record for later delivery.” “Recording, “ the terminal chirped in its pleasant feminine voice.

“Nyozi, it’s your little sis. I just got back from the U.S.S. Resolute! You were right! Those Nomad-Class Star Cruisers are immense! They gave us a tour of the ship-well the high points at least. We visited each major department and met with the command staff. It was so exciting!” Orodgwi caught her reflection in the shiny black surface of the terminal and realized she was grinning like a idiot, flushed a deep cyan. “Computer, pause.” Bolians are known for their good humor and infectious smiles but even by those standards she felt like she was being unseemly. She had won a tour of a starship – along with 14 other cadets - not the Federation Medal of Valor. She rolled over onto her back and put her hands behind her head, feeling the smoothness of her scalp and crossing her legs at the ankles. She concentrated on taking deep breaths and calming herself. “Computer, continue.”

“We were greeted in the shuttle bay by the First Officer, Commander ShalanTora sh’Firal, a light-blue-skinned (lighter than us even!) Andorian with relaxed antennae; but she was unlike any Andorian I’ve ever met! For one thing, she was smiling…and funny! I’ve never heard an Andorian tell a joke before! I can’t remember it because I was so surprised but I remember everyone laughed! She had such an easy manner but you could tell she was well-respected by the crew. I found out later she was raised on Earth…by two parents. No wonder she was so unlike any Andorian I’ve ever seen. She gave us the usual ‘welcome aboard’ speech and an overview of where we would be going on the tour. I was so excited I think I missed most of what she said! We were split up into three groups of five so we could move about the ship with a minimum of disruption to its functioning.”

“First stop for my group was main engineering. It’s huge! You could run a Rujian Steeplechase around the exterior! The warp core was a massive pillar of contained energy throbbing like a gigantic heart…here I am telling you about a warp core! You’re the engineer in the family! You know what a Star Cruiser’s warp core looks like! Anyways, we met the Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Marissa Lassiter. Get this, she’s a Borg! Okay, a Liberated Borg. Well, a human who was assimilated for three years and rescued from the Collective (by her current captain, no less)! You know what I mean! I don’t know what the Culturally-Sensitive term is. Anyways, she really stood out. She still had that bleached out skin and hair you see in the vids and her her eyes had reflective sheaths. You never knew exactly who she was looking at! She spoke with a weird cadence, too. She hesitated before every name and pronoun as if consciously selecting them from a menu dropdown only she could see (that may very well be the case. Some L.B.s keep quite a few of their implants). She gave us an overview of engineering’s functions (nothing you couldn’t get out of a textpad) and a short foot-tour.

She also introduced us to her Assistant Chief Engineer Lieutenant Emelar Zepan, who finished the tour. What a dreamboat! He’s Betazoid! You know how I love those large, dark soulful eyes of theirs! I think all the female cadets fell in love with him and his wavy chestnut hair by the end of the tour! I think he could tell, too. He avoided direct eye contact except when directly answering a question, keeping his attention on the terminals and machinery around us. His dedication and expertise was clear. He seemed rather flustered by the end of the tour but that just made him cuter!”

“We were escorted to one of the large gymnasiums on the crew deck next. Everyone was confused until we saw a group of crewmen in workout togs scuffling on padded mats at the far end of the room. I was surprised to see that all the crewmen were attacking one person. A woman! Barely more than one-and-a-half meters tall, her muscles were like coiled steel under her skin. She has very short brown hair and tanned skin. She employed an efficiency of motion and precision of technique I have rarely seen outside of martial arts exhibition matches. When the last person had been thrown out of the dueling ring, she finally stopped; coming to attention and bowing to her opponents who all jumped to their feet and returned the bow. One of her former opponents tossed her a towel as she dismissed them and she dabbed at the sweat on her face and arms. It was then I noticed her scars.”

“Her arms and exposed midriff showed a map of thin, white scars; she even had a scar running down the left side of her face; it made her look rather scary actually. With the advancements in cosmetic procedures in modern medicine, it’s rare to see someone with any scars let alone as many as she had. I think she caught me staring or maybe we were all staring; you could have heard a pin drop (why humans would be dropping pins in quiet rooms I’ll never know but it’s one of those phrases you pick up at the academy) because that’s when she said, ‘Each one is a lesson. A lesson I will never forget and I started learning at a very young age.’ She then looked up and I saw the nose ridges that marked her as a Bajoran. She said her name was Lieutenant Commander Gelon Treya, head of ship security. I remembered that Bajorans traditionally give the family name first; it was an old tradition but many Bajorans in Starfleet had abandoned the practice, not this one though.

She gave us a blow-by-blow rundown of the fight we had just witnessed. Outlining the mistakes each attacker had made and how she had countered their attacks. She then took a few steps towards us, head lowered conspiratorially and I’ll admit I had to fight the temptation to step back; her forceful presence belied her small size. She surprised all of us then by explaining all the mistakes she had made (there weren’t many and we had not caught any of them) and how close the fight had come to going against her a few times. I was impressed by her humility and it softened her a fraction in our eyes. I could see she was a hard woman but at her core you could tell she just wanted to make the security personnel under her command the best they could be so they’d have the best chance of going home to their families after their tour was up. I’d heard of Bajorans’ strong sense of family and it was clear she considered her security staff her extended family.”

<continued in next post>
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
08-22-2011, 02:05 AM
"A Letter Home" (Part Two)

“After that intense display of martial prowess, it was almost a relief to head to Sick Bay and meet the Chief Medical Officer Commander Karisa Bennet, MD. A human woman of perhaps 40 earth standard years, she wore her pale blond hair up in a matronly bun but her smile was genuine and showed in her dark blue eyes. She showed us around Sick Bay and even let us sit in on a diagnosis of a current patient. I could tell she was a very nurturing woman but when I commented on her motherly manner, she got a sad look in her eyes, stuffed her hands into the pocket s of her blue lab coat and had to excuse herself to her office. I felt really bad! I meant it as a compliment! There was obviously a story there but we were not going to hear it today.

It was then that I met her associate Dr. Niazna Ret, another Betazoid! Unlike hunky Lt. Zepan in engineering, she was a slightly-built woman in her mid-twenties with pale skin and short, raven-black hair that matched her eyes. She explained that her telepathic talents helped greatly with diagnosis and treatment as she scored very high on empathy tests, being able to ‘align her nervous system’ with her patients and actually feel what her they were feeling. That seemed a rather ‘touchy-feely’ way to describe things but I was then informed that she was also the ship’s interim head counselor and it made a little more sense. Another member of the group inquired after the fate of the previous counselor (ship’s counselors are usually command rank officers and we could see by her rank pips that Dr. Ret was a lieutenant). She smiled politely but did not answer the question, directing us instead to one of the nearby science labs for our next stop. As we left, I noticed her knocking softly on the door to Cmdr. Bennet’s office and then entering.”

“This was what I had been waiting for the whole tour! In the science lab we had been directed to, we found the Chief Science Officer, Lieutenant Commander Oslad Met. He’s a Bolian like us, Nyozi! When he introduced himself, I got some wide-eyed looks and ribbing about ‘family connections’. Lt.Cmdr. Met then explained that Met was a rather common Bolian name, ‘It’s like Smith,’ he stated matter-of-factly. This elicited several ‘ohs’ from the other members of my group. Evidently that was all that need be said. I need to remember that the next time a Terran asks me about our family name!

Lt. Cmdr. Met was tall and in surprisingly good physical condition with rich azure features. Bolians love to cook and to eat, males especially, and this has led to a certain doughtiness that has become a bit of a stereotype. Lt. Cmdr. Met was as fit as any Bolian I’ve ever met (no pun intended!). He admitted that the captain placed a great value on personal physical fitness and even showed us a picture of himself when he had first transferred aboard. He looked much more ‘typically Bolian’ let’s just say back then. He explained that he held advanced degrees in more scientific fields than I could easily remember and was a medical doctor as well(!), serving as field medic on many an away mission! He explained the scientific mission of the Resolute and it’s incredibly extensive scientific facilities. I’ll admit I was overwhelmed.

He also introduced his Assistant Chief Science Officer Lieutenant Riryr zh’Ossadiph, an Andorian female with pert, forward-leaning antennae and darker blue skin than Cmdr. sh’Firal (I looked it up later; zh’Ossadiph’s from an equatorial region of Andoria where the ice sheets are thinner and there are more surface colonies. Evidently Cmdr.sh’Firal’s lighter skin tone is indicative of some Aenar heritage and might even have be cause for some prejudice had she grown up on Andoria or one of its colonies). She acted just how I had expected an Andorian to act – passionate, somewhat aggressive around subordinates (which included us, of course) and stern. She answered our questions in concise, slightly- impatient sentences that made me wonder if she was being charged by the word. When Lt. Cmdr. Met gently chided her on her brusqueness, she explained that we were the third group she’d had to do this presentation for and evidently being asked the same questions repeatedly was a pet peeve of hers.

When she had answered the last of our questions, Lt. Cmdr. Met took up where he had left off, sharing some of his most interesting away mission experiences (okay, interesting for a science officer, so of course, I was rivetted)! I’ll admit that I was starting to forget about handsome Lt. Zepan by the time he was done with his ‘spiel’ (as he put it, a distinctly un-Bolian term)… then he showed us pictures of his three co-spouses and five children! Why are all the good ones taken, Nyozi?”

“Last stop on our tour was the main bridge. Normally, they’d never let us on the bridge of an active starship but we were in earth standard orbit and many of the crew were on shore leave anyways so our presence would a minimal disruption.”

“Holos and printouts of the main bridge of a starship don’t do it justice. You can feel the power coursing through the deckplates! More so than even main engineering! As we entered the bridge from the main turbolift, we were greeted by Cmdr. sh”Firal again, who stood up from the command chair. A moment later the doors of the captain’s ready room whooshed open and out strode the man himself!

Admiral Jarek Armstrong is one of the tallest humans I’ve met – over two meters! Muscular, broad-shouldered and fair-skinned but with a ruddiness that suggested recent prolonged sun-exposure; blond hair, parted on one side; a trim beard; and pale blue eyes that conveyed both a great personal strength and a world-weariness that belied his otherwise rather youthful appearance. He looked to be in his early 40s but that was only his biological age. His record was still largely confidential or heavily-redacted (I ‘bribed’ one of our best computer-cryptology cadets with one of mother’s prize-winning Bolian soufflés to get me some advance information on the captain of the Resolute but even he was stymied by the security on Armstrong’s file), but it was known he was much older than he looked having been revived from cryo-suspension aboard one of the Terran sleeper ships that left Earth before the third ‘World War’ that nearly exterminated their whole species (I still marvel at how such a prosperous and successful species as humans was once so brutal and savage). He’d audited many of the courses at Starfleet Academy, his prior military experience allowing him to bypass the full curriculum but I found his presentation on how he had encountered a post-Eugenics War Augment in Eastern Europe during the early 21st century. His pre-cryo record after that was still classified.

His record since revival was an open book though. He’d shot up the ranks as many had since hostilities with the Klingons had resumed and new confrontations with the Borg, the Cardassian True Way, the Romulan Empire remnants, and even the Undine became more commonplace. He was definitely a ‘lead from the front’ commander like captains of old but also a talented engineer having served several rotations at the Utopia Planitia shipyards contributing to the very class of ship we now were touring (when I mentioned this, the admiral - who preferred to be called captain aboard ship except in formal situations – was quick to point out that hundreds of engineers were on the Nomad team and he gave most of the credit to a ‘Captain Logan’ who he obviously held in great esteem). He ably described the functions of the bridge stations, sometimes relieving the crewman at the stations to show us something specific. He became more animated as the tour proceeded. He especially appreciated insightful or unusual questions and answered them at length.

I could not help but notice that Cmdr. sh’Firal was watching her captain closely with a small contented smile on her face as he interacted with us. She did not see me watching her at first. When she did, she blushed slightly, her cheeks momentarily darkening and made a friendly ‘eyes front’ gesture with one hand, turning me back to where Armstrong was describing the energy output of the phaser banks and explosive yield of the quantum torpedoes to a tactical cadet with much enthusiasm. I wonder if the captain knows his First Officer is in love with him?

After our tour of the bridge, the admiral invited all 15 of us to dinner at the officer’s mess. They even had Bolian dishes! The captain credited Lt. Cmdr. Met with educating the mess hall staff in the finer points of Bolian cooking. It was the best meal I’ve had since my last trip home!

I’ve made up my mind, Nyozi! If I have anything to say about it, I’m going to serve on the Resolute when I graduate. What I’ve seen of the crew and facilities, I could hardly do better! Kiss mother, mother and father for me since you’ll see them before I will! All my best, Gwi. Computer, end recording.”
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
08-26-2011, 07:09 AM
The Mixture of trepidation filled the forward seating area of the transport shuttle as the Cadets peered for a better vantage of their First Real post academy ship.
The Crew Chief Stood Boots secured to deck plating ..

Until you sign in to my Ship you are still Cadets.. Stay seated and secured in. Helm pass by Approved.

Stern to Bow Please Mr Philips.

Aye Pass-by it is ...Passives scanning us Chief.

Steady on helm. Re Enter the Security Codes IFF>

Hands off Weapons.. Pilot Codes now. MArk.

[muttering I hope they don't think your a undine and shoot us prencie.. not before they scan your holo emitter suite jackson]

Steady - Passengers will Turn off all non-life support powered devices the Boats Security Chiefs an edgy cuss. Well i'm waiting hold you hands out show me. Good good. Remember your Academy Security briefings.. no unauthorized transmissions..no absent from post no selling your watch to a EMH..

STop tugging me out this isn't Xenobiology class this will keep you in one piece.

Aye Chief MAx.

That's MAximo to you..[thin smile]

Their she is the "Black Swan" Vulcan Experimental LLR .
Remember no Polemic Soup jokes Skipper likes to wear a belt sword that's Commodores Progressive.
EXECS an old SChool Ancient General. The 2nd Officer is Chief of the SCI LAB Research Pod..
You'll like Izumi.. but look out for the Admirals Bodyguard Alita.. shes one mean cyborg.X.
and if you get the Cleaning detail for the Admirals Stateroom.. NEVER mess with the GEnie's Lamp.. Ever.

Tomi That means you .. No experiments of the Private artifacts without Supervision. Your Skippers a MAster GRAD loves LOw E training so remember what MR Worf said before he went to help MArtok from your academy days.

-----------------------------------
Skipper the Shuttles passing by showing off the ship international biometric scanners indicate a heightened level of body alertness.. Probabilities match Academy Parameters and health.. !One Holometer experimental with Cadet Midshipman Tomi.

Skipper: Very well sealant clearance for docking start up procedures Arm the Cyber Sentries in Hangers Decks Turn out the Gold TEam Space MArine Security TEam and eval their screening.

Aye Sir.

I want them to learn first thing for BLACK OPS the ship must be respected and kept safe secure..
CArry On.

At once sir.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18 Fate
09-27-2011, 02:12 AM
...The Relentless dominated the view screen as they drew ever closer. Captain Grak sank back into his chair, a quick glance to Tanar, who had positioned himself out of the way, before ordering ops to open a com channel.

...“This is captain Grak of the Endeavour, please respond.” There was a moment of silence before the image of an Andorian female replaced the ships view.

...“Captain Grak, an unexpected pleasure. How are you?” asked Commander Jenne.

...“No time for pleasantries now Commander.” he snapped in typical Tellarite fashion. She smirked slightly trying to remember when he ever had time for them. “Where is the Admiral?”

...“Admiral Tanar is in his quarters I believe, I’ll tell him you wish-” she began.

...“NO, no that won’t be necessary. Can you be sure he is in his quarters?”

...“Well, yes but I can get the computer to check. What’s going on cap-”

...“Do it.” he barked. Jenne could see the tension in his voice, even more so than when she last met him. He had been overly rude then, even for a Tellarite. She always wondered how the Admiral and he had never killed one another in some form of gladiatorial combat. She would have gladly used her favourite ushaan-tor blade if it had been to hand after he had referred to her as a ‘scrawny, sickly blue female’ many years ago. Yet now there was something else in his voice, almost fear. She nodded to Lieutenant Baako, a Klingon, at tactical to check on the Admiral Location.

...“Odd,” he replied. “The captain is in Engineering.”

...“No he isn’t.” replied Tanar, now appearing on the view screen. The bridge crew fell silent in shock at seeing their leader on the bridge of another ship.

...Baako double checked his sensors and was the first to speak. “Admiral, I…my scans show you in engineering. How did you?”

...“No time to give you all the details, but that man in engineering is not me. It’s not even a man. It’s an Undine agent.

...“An Undine?” said Jenne in shock. “How, when?”

...Tanara raised his hands, acknowledging her confusion. “I’ll explain it all soon, I promise, but right now the entire ship could be in great danger. Beam me to the bridge.”

...“Yes sir.” A few moments later after a shimmering of blue light Tanar was standing back on his old bridge. It felt good to be finally hope, but now was not the time to reminisce.

...“Baako, get your team together and head down to engineering as fast as you can. There is still a telepathic link between myself and the Undine. I’m not sure how much he knows, but he will know I’m close. He will be in engineering for a reason and it won’t be good for us. No one down there will suspect a thing; for all we know he could overload the warp core before anyone has time to realise.”

...“Yes, sir, understood.” He replied sharply. He left the bridge and Tanar began to follow before he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Jenne.

...“Sir, please let me come with you.”

...He shook his head, no Commander. I may need you up here at a moments notice. Don’t worry I’ll be okay. He smiled at her and she nodded reluctantly. She knew her place was at the admiral’s side but she would not disobey his orders.

...The doors to engineering slide open smoothly. Everything inside seemed normal enough. Half a dozen engineers scurried about their daily duties. Chief Engineer Phlax was standing over a diagnostic console that had wires and circuits sprawled out around him. Baako quickly moved into the large room, while the admiral waited outside.

...“Phlax.” he said sharply.

...“Ahh, Lieutenant,” replied the denobulan, not looking up from his work. “im a little busy right now, one of the EPS conduits has been…” he cut himself short as he glanced up to see Baako was accompanied by two security officers both armed with phaser rifles.” What’s going on?”

...“Have you seen the Admiral?”

...“Not since yesterday, why what’s happened?” he asked, concerned at the question.

...“Internal sensors said he was in here.” snapped the Klingon, looking around.

...“Baako, he’s not here I would have noticed, now please what is going on.”

...“All in good time,” commander replied Tanar as he entered the room. “Computer seal the room with a level 10 forcefield.” The computer chimed in response and the doors sealed. “Everybody stay exactly where you are.” He ordered, causing everybody to freeze into place.

...“Sir, I can begin looking for the Undine. He must be in one of the side rooms.”

...“Not necessarily, the computer scans our combadges not the person. Computer locate Admiral Tanar.”

...“Admiral Tanar is in engineering.” Replied the female voice of the computer.

...“How far way from my location?” he asked.

...“Eleven point two metres, on a forty two degree angle.” He looked slightly to his right. A young woman was standing by a console, with a PADD in her hand. They moved towards her slowly, weapons raised. She was shacking with fear. Tanar knew something was not right. He could feel the undine in his mind. He glanced over ger shoulder and saw a glimmer of light. It was another combadge. He grabbed it and placed it back on.

...“Damn it, he not here.” The ship suddenly shock violently. Tanar to the bridge, what’s going on?”

...Commander Jenne’s voice answered. “Sir a quantum singularity is forming. Wait, I don’t believe it we are the ones generating it.”

...“Shut it down.”

...“We can’t sir, someone has overridden us. From deflector control.”

...“Beam us there now.” He demanded.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
09-27-2011, 02:12 AM
...The energy beam of the transporter dissipated and Tanar gathered his bearings. He was directly outside deflector control. A young ensign lay dead at his feet and the door has been forced open. He and Baako moved slowly into the room, flanked by the two security officers. A young cadet, a caitian female was working a control console in front of them.

...“Step away from the console now.” Demanded the admiral.

...“Tanar,” she purred, a sinister quality to it, not normally present in caitians. “I knew you were close. A few more days and my plans would have been complete, now I have had to accelerate them.”

...“I said step away now.”

...“It's too late, the rift is open and soon your ship will be pulled into fluidic space.”

...Tanar fired his phaser rifle square into the back of the caitian imposter’s back. The creature howled in pain for a moment but continued to work on the console. Baako also discharged his weapon. The bright orange pulse sailed across the room and struck the creature in the back of the head. It cried out again before beginning to change in front of their eyes. Its fur melting away, while its brown skin shimmered into a grey leathery skin. Quickly the small female form was replaced with the giant frame of the Undine. It spun around and launched itself at the four men. They all fired in unison and sent the undine hurtling back from the force of the blast. A second volley was fired as the creature began to stir, followed by a third. It crumpled to the ground, twitching at the deadly salvo of energy was too much for it to withstand. Final it was slain.

...A sense of satisfaction filled him, despite his Starfleet training to respect all life. Today was no time to worry about ethics. Tanar wasted no time. “Baako, shut down the portal.” he ordered.

...“Yes, sir.” He replied. After several minutes he turned back to the Admiral. “It’s done.”

...“Good work, now let’s-” he never got a chance to finish his sentence. The scream of the young ensigns as the creature lashed at their chests was gut-wrenching. It had regenerated some of its wounds and risen to its feet. Baako and Tanar were trapped. Baako aimed his weapon but was knocked clear from his free and sent crashing into a bulkhead before he had chance to fire. Tanar dived out of the way of a second swaing of its massive hand and aimed his weapon at the creatures hind leg. He fired on maximum setting causing his leg to vaporise. The creature fell to the ground in agony. Tanar readied his weapons at its head.

...The weak shall perish. It screamed in his mind, telepathically.

...“I could not agree more.” he said coldly, as he fired the killing shot. The creature partially vaporised leaving only a partial husk of skin, bone and other alien residue. He turned to the two security officers writhing in pain “Sickbay, two to transport now.” He said tapping his combadge. They beamed out shortly after.

...“I’ll say this for them,” growled Baako, rubbing his head. “they’re tough opponents to kill. I wonder why they wanted this ship so badly. They can open a rift to our space anytime they want. What could they want with us?”

...“What ever it was it can’t have been good for us. Let’s hope we never find out.” He helped his fallen comrade to his feet. “Go check on your men.”

...“Yes, sir.” The com link chimed again.

...“Jenne to Tanar, respond please.” A sense of fear was in her voice.

...“I’m here Jenne, I’m fine.” he said wearily.

...“Glad to hear it, sir,” the fear now swept away by relief. “The rift has been closed and I detect no undine vessels. Captain Grak would also like to speak to you.”

...Tanar sighed. Haven’t I been through enough? “Tell him I was killed, and will be unable to speak to him for the rest of his life.” He heard the laughter from the crew through the comlink. “Yes sir, understood.”

...He scratched the back of his neck and looked around. He was finally home and would enjoy sleeping in his own bed tonight, although he knew this was far from over. The undine were nothing if not persistent. They wanted something and it was only a matter of time before they would try again. The next time they might not be so lucky, but that was for another day. Today, he planned to sleep for a very long time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20 Replacements
09-28-2011, 06:51 AM
The blue and white poker chip skipped across the green felt and clattered into the pile at the centre of the table.

Lieutenant Commander Tharg N’Freem drummed his long red fingers over his cards. “So, Commander, how are the replacements managing?”

Jaro Antar smirked, “They’re barely kids, and greener than this table cloth. Cadet McCluskey knows his numbers and managed not to break anything in the last maintenance cycle but I swear he’s never shaved.”

Lieutenant Varis Sharla, frowned and flicked a chip into the pile, “Heh, you got lucky I had T’nela quoting regulations at me half the day because we don’t stack our Phaser rifles the way they do at the Academy Range. Then she found the Type Three the captain brought back from Drozana Station and went weak at the knees.”

Jaro stifled a chuckle.

“Vulcans do not ‘go weak at the knees’,” asserted Commander T’Lara. “However Cadet T’nela’s interest in antique firearms is on record. Her interest is therefore not out of character.”
T’Lara calmly placed a chip on the pile, her face an impassive mask of logic. Her eyes remaining fixed on the pile. “As it is I am sure I will not need to change the armoury codes to prevent her sneaking in as I did for a certain young ensign.”

Varis blushed and buried her face in her hands. “Ugh! You’ll never let me live that one down.”

Tharg reached out a long arm and patted Varis gently on the shoulder. “You looked so cute curled up with that phaser rifle.”

“Not funny,” came the response from behind the hands.

“Indeed, it is not.” Observed Lieutenant Commander B’toria as she removed a pair of chips from her stack and added them to the pile. “Some Klingon warriors will often sleep with their weapons so they are always ready for battle.”

“Is that why your intern in Deflector Control is never seen without a class two tricorder?” asked Jaro, in a tone that implied he suspected the habit had been some kind of parallel enforced by the Klingon scientist.

“Cadet Holun’s ship encountered a phased space incursion before he joined the academy. He and a small Betazoid child were the only survivors.” Replied B’toria her fists clenching and unclenching on table surface. With a tone bordering on awe she continued, “It takes great courage to board any ship after witnessing such horrors. If the trivial presence of a tricorder aids him in that battle then I will allow it.”

"Don't coddle him too much Bee', we're hardly on a pleasure cruise." chuckled Tharg.

“Listen to us.” Observed Jaro, “We sound like a bunch of old Vedeks.”

“Mr Jaro,” said T’Lara as she placed her cards face down on the table, “If I had an ego to bruise, I would point out that I am sixty two and not nearly venerable enough to be considered an ‘old Vedek’.”

Tharg grinned broadly, displaying an array of pointed metallic teeth. “Remarkable! Personal insecurity, vanity and humour in one go, but without a flicker of actual emotion. You’re getting rather good at this Commander.”

T’Lara nodded in acknowledgement to the diminutive red-skinned helmsman.

“The Commander has been studying Tuvok’s treatise on interacting with emotional species.” Explained Tharg. “Tuvok theorises that communication with emotional species is easier if a Vulcan adopts a certain degree of emotional pretence based on observed behaviour. Ambassador Venik could manage a passable Klingon before the war started.”

“So was that serious just now or what?” asked Jaro a little nervously.

“I am always serious Mr Jaro.” Said T’Lara blankly as Tharg desperately tried to smother a fit of giggles.
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