Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11 Rite of Redemption - Part 2
04-06-2012, 05:16 PM
Korrath walked over to the slab he used for a bed, closed his eyes, and spoke softly to the gathering spirits. “Korrath of the House of Madakor dishonored himself, his house, and the Empire during the month of HovpoH 233988 when he encountered a barely warp capable nov vessel entering Klingon space.” Korrath loosened the cuffs of his tunic, one and then the other. “He fired on the vessel and destroyed it without warning.” He loosened his collar and slowly began to work the buttons that held his tunic together. “When he reported the deed to the High Council, a salvage vessel was dispatched to scavenge whatever they could find in order to learn more about this new threat against the Empire.” With the final clasp undone, Korrath shed his tunic and dropped it onto his concrete mattress. “They were no threat. They were not aliens. They were Klingons!” Korrath turned towards the altar, opened his eyes and began to speak faster. “A lost colony, believed to have been destroyed during the Hur’Iq invasion had somehow survived. They rebuilt their colony from nothing.” He stepped towards the altar. “It took their descendants hundreds of years, but they rediscovered warp travel and a means to return home to Qo’noS.” He reached the altar and knelt down. “Korrath of the House of Madakor brought dishonor upon his house for his actions that day.” He picked up the sanctified dagger and held it over the bowl. “His blood runs through my veins.” With his other hand, he clenched the blade tight and allowed the blood to drip steadily faster into the bowl. “I am free of his dishonor and resolve all honorable warriors of our bloodline of sharing his fate.” Gripping the blade tighter, he slid the dagger from his clenched fist. “Take your place in Sto’vo’kor where you belong!” He slipped the Dagtagh into the bowl and used it to mix its contents.

The room became quiet – too quiet. He was suddenly aware of his warrior’s heart beating in his chest like a drum. Now was the moment of his decision. If he continued with the Rite of Redemption, he would restore the House of Madakor to honor at the cost of the House of Korrath. His house was small and short lived, but it was his. Everything that it had, he had achieved through determination and hard work. However, the House of Madakor was a noble house with a history that goes all the way back to the time of Kahless. At the peak of its power and influence, it even had a seat on the High Council, but that was a long time ago. He had already released his ancestors from their burden; he could stop and just walk away. By doing so, however, he would be no better than his name sake. He must do the honorable thing. He must restore the House of Madakor.

Korrath began chanting, singing the song, and pounding his fists on the altar. He stared into the contents of the bowl as he did this and watched the ripples form, collide, and splash about. When the song finished, he picked up the bowl in one hand. He slowly began to pour the contents over the filth covered bat’leth and began to wipe away seven generations of dishonor with his free hand. Slowly the inscription on the blade became visible. Once it was clean and its message became clearly visible, he set the bowl on the ground beside him. He turned the blade over and repeated the process until its message was also visible. He brought the bowl to his lips and drained the remainder of its contents. He rose to his feet, picked up the blade, and hung it back on the wall. It was done. The House of Madakor had been redeemed.

Korrath went to his bed, picked up the tunic and dressed himself. He returned to the altar and glimpsed the inscription as the candle light seemed to make the words glow with an internal fire. He read the words silently to himself. With a smile, he blew out the candles, snuffed out the incense, and left his quarters. As he made the short journey back to his ready room to continue checking his crew’s tax forms, he repeated the words aloud: yIyep maDaqor tuq! quvwIj yIQan! – Be careful, House of Madakor! Protect your honor!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
04-06-2012, 08:26 PM
U.S.S. EUROPA (NCC-80104)
ZENAS EXPANSE
STARDATE 86143.3


"I hate A.E. Hodgkin," Sanara Draz declared as the turbolift doors closed and the car began to move. "Him and his stupid, stupid law." The other passenger said nothing, but a delicate raised eyebrow prompted the captain to continue. "It doesn't make any sense."

"As a general principle of biology," T'Mera began, but an agitated Sanara cut her off.

"Biology, fine, sure. If there's one universal truth about life, it's that it finds a way. It tries everything - that's IDIC for you - and goes with what works. And since physics is physics and chemistry is chemistry, most life - say, in a tide pool on a Minshara-class planet - ends up looking at least vaguely familiar, and that's before we bring the Progenitors into it." Sanara began to pace in the small space as the decks hummed by. T'Mera, recognizing that her captain was in an illogical state, remained tactfully silent and let her rant on.

"I'll even buy sociology, up to a point. Carbon life tends to have certain needs, certain drives, and that shapes the kind of social units it forms, how it thinks, language - that's how the UT works, of course. Okay."

"Dr. Hodgkin never presented his conclusions as anything more than a theory," T'Mera placidly reminded Sanara. "Nor did he apply them to anything but invertebrate life forms. Others who came after him were responsible for extending and popularizing his work."

Draz had reached the wall, and now whirled on her science officer, eyes flashing. "Of course! Because it was the only way they could explain why they kept finding pre-warp planets scattered across half this galactic arm with similar cultures, similar history, even similar art and fashion! Which is insane!" She flung her arms wide. "All those variables and possibilities... you might as well expect the molecules in a nebula to spontaneously organize themselves into a chocolate sundae!"

"It is... improbable," T'Mera acknowledged. "However, it is illogical to place blame for the existence of anomalous data on the author of a theory which attempts to explain it."

"I know," Draz admitted with a sigh, shoulders slumping. "But that doesn't change the fact that we're about to meet two space explorers from the Eternal Kingdom Under Heaven, who speak excellent Mandarin."

"Indeed. I am curious why you did not ask Lt. Wen to accompany us." T'Mera was one of the few officers aboard who did not habitually call Europa's security chief by her nickname, "Lieutenant Mike."

"Let's just say that this is a situation that calls for diplomacy, and Michaela... isn't really the diplomatic sort." Sanara turned to face the doors, adding over her shoulder after a moment, "I don't get why it always seems to be Earth, either. I mean, it's a perfectly nice planet, but..."

"Several proto-Vulcanoid societies have also been discovered, which do not seem to be connected to lost colonies or the Romulan migration," T'Mera pointed out. "The inhabitants of Mintaka III, for example..."

This time, T'Mera was interrupted by the arrival of the turbolift at Europa's main shuttle bay. The cavernous space was just large enough to contain their guests' craft, a long sleek shape in white and silver-grey and pale gold; it somewhat resembled a Klingon bird of prey, with warp nacelles at the tips of its raised wings. It looked quite graceful for such a relatively primitive vessel - when Europa detected it and altered course to pull alongside, it had been crawling along at a mere Warp 1.7 and would not have reached its target star for several weeks. The crew had already disembarked and were looking around the bay, turning their fishbowl helmets this way and that. They stopped and turned as the two Starfleet officers, both clad in science blue, approached.

Sanara took a deep breath and smiled with lips closed, holding up an empty hand. "I'm Captain Sanara Draz. On behalf of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, welcome aboard the starship Europa. This is my science officer, T'Mera." She gestured to the Vulcan, who nodded to both of them. "I think you'll find that you can breathe our air just fine, if you'd like to get out of those suits. Don't worry about contamination or infection; our medicine is fairly advanced."

The two explorers exchanged a look between them, then reached up and began to unfasten their helmets, eventually lifting them off to reveal two very human-looking faces. Both were male, with golden-tan skin and short dark hair. Sanara was conscious of how strange they must look to these not-Chinese, between her golden hair and Trill spots and T'Mera's subtly olive complexion, swept eyebrows and pointed ears.

"Thank you for your gracious hospitality, Captain. I am Pilot-Commander Jiang Chao Fai and this is Engineer Peng Quon Ru. We greet you as envoys of His Divine Majesty the Emperor." They both bowed low at the waist, and Draz and T'Mera imitated the gesture.

"And this," Quon Ru added with a wave, "is our humble... starship? She is the Great Celestial Bird, fifth of her kind - an auspicious number." He smiled, and Pilot-Commander Jiang nodded and chuckled, probably already imagining the report he'd make to his Emperor.

Sanara's brows drew together, and she checked the PADD that she'd been carrying at her hip. The actual word that Peng had used was fenghuang, and the UT had done its best to render a term that was either a proper noun or (she now saw) a mythological referent. The PADD, linked to Europa's LCARS, helpfully provided additional information and even a few images.

"Phoenix," Sanara repeated with a sinking feeling. "Your ship... is called the Phoenix."

Jiang blinked at her. "Yes, I... suppose you could say it that way."

Draz turned and, muttering dire curses on 22nd century biologists, began to gently beat her head against the nearest shuttlecraft. Their guests looked on with concern, finally asking T'Mera, "What is the meaning?"

"It is a relaxation exercise," the Vulcan replied without hesitation. "I have often seen the captain engage in it after speaking with our chief physician."

"Ahhhh," the taikonauts sighed in unison, enlightened.



(apologies for any errors with the pinyin.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
04-09-2012, 07:43 PM
Captain's Log, USS Gotham, Lost Fleet of the Valkyrie. Captain Hexadecimal recording.

Supplemental entry.

Our search for the renegade Romulan Admiral Futara was interrupted by a most irregular occurrence. Our search of the Theta Epsilon had progressed for three weeks with no sign of the Admiral or her ship. On the beginning of our fourth week in the sector we detected a warp signature coming from the Signis system 42 light years away. As we approached the system it became apparent that the warp signature was not Romulan, in fact there was no match at all in the Starfleet database.

We arrived in the Signis system quickly. We followed the warp signature to its source and found it originating from an small unidentified one man craft. Initial scans found no matches to its configuration. As our scans progressed it quickly became clear that the ship was in fact a testbed, a prototype for a warp speed craft. Per procedures we sought its planet of origin and began cultural research to prepare for First Contact. What we found surprised us. The people of Signis were in fact a diverse group of well known species from across the galaxy. Human, Klingon, Romulan, Kazon, Hirogen just to name a few. Further investigation found that all were heavily modified by cybernetics.

We were further surprised when it was we who were contacted first. The hail came from the planet's central nexus, their governing body. The message was brief. "Welcome Starfleet Vessel," followed by a set of coordinates.

We were hesitant at first. Confusion delayed our response. My first officer, LtCdr Hesmond, was suspicious. "Captain, too much about this seems too convenient. We arrive just in time to witness a 'first' warp flight only to find a welcome mat rolled out for us like they expected us. My gut is screaming trap." Her considerations were logical if emotionally reinforced. After further deliberation and some heated debate and shouting from one of my junior officers a decision was made. We would accept the invitation.

The transport coordinates placed us just outside the central nexus, a large structure of various geometric shapes arrayed in a surprisingly stylized manner, dominated with a massive pyramid. Much of the area's architecture was constructed in simple geometric shapes. Squares, cubes, isosceles and right triangles, octagons, and rectangles. I was surprised to see how often the golden ratio was apparent in their architecture.

We were greeted by a large party comprised of the representative members of the Nexus. Their leader, the Hegemon, was first to speak. "Greetings and welcome to Alpha. I am Dionmera, Hegemon of the Nexus. You have questions no doubt." We certainly did. Many questions were asked as we were given a tour of the Nexus. Chief among them about their people's origin.

The Hegemon was very cooperative, he and the people of Alpha had once been a part of the Borg Collective. Their ship was disabled in an EM storm and crash landed into the planet over a century ago. The surviving drones, separated from the Collevtice, were divided into two camps. One containing those who regained their individuality and one who wished to maintain the hive mind. They fought for a time, nearly destroying each other. In the end they exhausted the resources salvaged from the wreck of the cube. Realizing this the two sides came together and compromized. Once the two factions were reconciled they began working together and Alpha was founded.

Though much of the original Borg technology was lost in what they call the war of reconciliation, they retained the collected knowledge the Borg. They knew that once their first warp flight was made contact would swiftly follow.

It is my opinion that the people of Alpha be considered for immediate Federation membership. The collected knowledge and resourcefulness of this colony of liberated Borg would be an invaluable resource.

We completed our encounter with the people of Alpha and left in high spirits. Our search for Futara will now continue.

End recording.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14 To the Unknown
04-13-2012, 02:41 PM
(rushed the ending, just couldn't do more with a broken hand. I hope it is enjoyable to read.)

Captain J’soph sat at in a chair that he just could not get used too. It had been two month’s since the TESLA was docked at Starbase 397 for major repairs. Starfleet had chosen this time while the ship had to have a near full overhaul of parts to refit her with Thunderchild class starship components. J’soph not being one to sit idly by had requested for a temporary ship to command. The Intrepid class starship MERLIN was dispatched from dry dock to serve this purpose.
Looking out the windows of his ready room J’soph tossed a data pad on his desk. The reports from Starfleet had the TESLA behind schedule due to shipping lane attacks by the Klingons. He had commanded the MERLIN for two months, and as fine as a Science ship as she was, it just wasn’t his ship.
“Computer…”
The soft toned voice of the Caitian Vulcan captain sang out in the silent office. His eyes kept transfixed on a large M-Class world, it was a mass of mountains, with small sea’s and long winding rivers. One of three planets in a solar system all of them being M-Class worlds.
“Computer Online”
The Captains ears twitched for a second when the ships melodic voice chimed through the silence and his thoughts.
“Open Captains Log April 8th 2409 Earth standard time 1523 hundred hours. We have been on patrol near uncharted space for two weeks now. I have taken some time to explore a unique star system that I have dubbed the Trinity system. The system contains nine planetoids. The unique quality of this system is that each of the nine planets are in groups of three in the same stable orbit around the systems star. We are currently in orbit of Trinity One, a planet in the second cluster; all three planets in this grouping are M-Class. Trinity one is a mostly mountainous planet with no oceans, though many small sea’s and large rivers. There are signs of a civilization once inhabiting the planet. I am current awaiting permission from Star Fleet to fully explore this system. There is something about it that oddly seems to call to me. It is hard to put into any words, other than just a feeling that I belong here… Computer end Log.”

J’soph stood straightening his tunic before moving across his ready room to the bridge. The doors parting before him; showing Commander Wolf leaning over the CONN; the bearded human stood addressing his Captain.
“Sir we are getting some very interesting scans from the planet. I request permission to send down a preliminary survey team.”
J’soph moved taking his seat at the center of the bridge, leaning his head back with eyes closed for a moment. Leaning forward he was about to speak.
“Captain picking up a warp signature two parsecs from here. Sensor readings do not match up with any known ship configuration. I believe this could be a first contact situation sir.”
The feline Captain looked over at his operations officer with a pleased smile. Finally speaking up he spoke clearly to his bridge crew.
“It looks as though we will have to put off exploration of this star system for a little bit. Mr. Conner lay in course for this new arrival. And everyone remember your first contact protocols.”
Commander Wolf took his seat next to the captain as several crewman chimed ‘aye sir’. Looking at a read out on his personal command panel Wolf spoke with his normal Cajun accented tones.
“Eta to our possible first contact?”
Ensign Conners scanned over his panel checking readouts before answering. The young crewman was still fresh from the academy, and had a constant habit of rechecking everything before speaking.
“At max warp ten minutes sir.”
J’soph chuckled softly watching the junior officer before standing moving to stand just off to the right of the conn.
“Best speed then Mr. Conners.”
The MERLIN streaked off into the starry scape after breaking their orbit. In the short span of minutes till they would be dropping out of warp the captain took his time to walk around the bridge checking on each station. He had a very hard time of trying to sit still with nothing to focus on. The ten minute trip seemed to stretch out for him, till Conner’s called out that they would be dropping from warp.
The graceful lines of the MERLIN stretched out of warp coming to a slow halt only a few ships lengths from the unknown craft. J’soph ordered for the unknown ship to be placed on the view screen. The star scape changed near instantly to the image of a ship that could easily be called a bat. It was at least the first thought that hit the captain’s mind. He had found a fondness for the small Earth mammal, and this ship reminded him greatly of how one of those animals looked while in flight. The wings where swept forward, though showed that they folded back in on themselves to become greatly compacted. The body was short with a rounded nose and makings of a small bridge. The overall size of the craft was; little more than double of a runabouts. Standing in the center of the bridge J’soph draped his hands behind him.
“Open a channel all bands. This is Captain J’soph of the United Federation of Planets Starship MERLIN. We are peaceful explorers, and would like to make contact with your people.”
J’soph turned to his communications officer with a questioning look.
“They are receiving us sir. Our sensors show that they possess I be-it older, but comparable communications technology to ours.”
The captain nodded and, continued to stand there waiting. The time drew on for several minutes before the communications officer spoke again.
“They are replying sir; I am attempting to match their viewing frequency. The universal translator is working so we should have no problem. Showing that their language is similar to… Caitian sir.”
The view screen switched showing a small cockpit as a furred hand moved a screen adjusting it to face the crew of the smaller ship. J’soph took a steady step forward his eyes widening somewhat.
“You… you are Caitian?”
The small crew on the other side, many of them looking as though they could be cousins to J’soph and the other Caitian bridge crew members. Many of whom were standing with shocked expressions pasted to their faces. One of the unknown Caitians moved a step forward speaking with a shaky voice.
“We are the crew of Fates Hand, are you the people of Legend?”
J’soph cleared his throat, taking a moment to collect himself. Looking around the crew of his bridge giving many members stern looks to sit back down and take their stations.
“I am Captain J’soph of the U.S.S. MERLIN, representing the United Federation of Planets. I must say that I would have never thought in my life to encounter people of my race this far out in the Galaxy, so far from the homeworld. I would like to speak at greater length with you, face to face if possible. Would you like to come aboard, or should I come aboard your ship?”
The Caitain captain looked taken aback for a moment, showing his emotions and thoughts rather well. Looking around his crew for a moment before speaking, clearing his throat.
“We have many questions as well, I think your ship would have more space to talk. How shall we dock with your vessel?”
Looking to his first officer, J’soph thought for a long moment. Before turning to take his seat once more.
“Commander Leso do you think their ship will be able to land in your main shuttle bay?”
The young Betazoid commander thought it over for a minute, then checking her instruments nodded to the captain.
“Yes sir” her husky deep voice filling the bridge for a moment. “I do believe if we dial down the tractor beams we should be able to land them within the cargo bay.”
The Captain nodded in approval before turning back to the view screen looking at the commander of the small crew of the other ship.
“We will tow your ship into our shuttle bay if that is okay with you… I do believe I have neglected to get your name.”
“En’shun, I am first seat En’shun. And yes it would fine. I look forward to meeting you aboard your ship.”
J’soph stood straightening his tunic then spoke softly letting his voice fill the space of the bridge.
“I look forward to hosting you aboard my ship, I shall meet you personally once your ship has landed. MERLIN out.”
The screen shifted to the view of the small craft as the MERLIN repositioned to receive the other vessel. J’soph turned walking towards the turbo lift giving out his orders along the way.
“Commander Leso, coordinate with our guest on landing their ship, help them in any way you can. Commander Wolf, if you would have a detachment of crew prepare the mess hall for our guest, see that everyone is on their best behavior. I can speak for the people from Cait, but these Caitians… are still a mystery. Computer, main shuttle bay.”
The turbolift doors shut on the captain leaving the crew of the bridge to their task.
“Captains Log. We have spent three days among the Caitians of Sekma. After reviewing their history logs, I have found stories pertaining to the Trinity System. It seems that three feline races evolved on the three worlds. Ruled over by an ancient alien race they called the Pre’reg. This race was devastated by a civil war that left the three races home worlds devastated. As a last act of leadership, they moved the surviving members of each race to a new home world a few system away. Though I also believe they moved enough to two colony worlds. Yet in this instance the three races have formed a working cast system world that for all I have seen is just and fair. Among them are Ferasans, Kzinti.
The Kzinti, in federation space are among a long standing warring people near Klingon space, along with the Ferasans. Each have been opponents of the federation and Klingon empires in the past. Though now only the Ferasans remain in great numbers, as protectorates of the Empire. It was a shame that the Kzinti home world was destroyed in the Genesis crisis decades ago. What remains of their race had migrated to Cait. It will be good news to deliver to them that they are not alone or the last of their race. I see a long beneficial relationship between the People of Sekma and the Federation. The MERLIN will be returning to the Trinity System to begin full archeological exploration of the three M-Class planets, with teams of historians, and researchers from Sekma joining us.
On a personal note, in these times of war and strife, I am proud once more to be an officer in Starfleet. And to be seeking out the unknown in the universe… Computer End Log.”
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
04-17-2012, 03:27 PM
Some great first contact stories, Captains! Thanks for participating and keep up the great work!

I am going to unsticky this as I prepare to post up challenge #17, but feel free to still submit your story if you have not yet and would still like to.

Cheers,

Brandon =/\=
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