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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,041
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges!

Today we start the two-week run of the twenty-third Literary Challenge: Tholian Encounter, Part I

An old enemy has reemerged and taken interest in a system in the Neutral Zone. Interspatial rifts have been discovered on Nukara Prime, a demon-class planet in the Eta Eridani Sector Block, and now the reclusive Tholians are intent on claiming the world and its secrets for themselves.

You are given an assignment to investigate what is happening on the planet's surface, and to intervene if necessary. Write a Captain's Log entry letting us know about the plans you are undertaking to prepare your crew for this assignment.

NOTE: This is Part 1 of a 2 part Literary Challenge. Feel free to participate in just this one, just the next one, or both. Part 2 will deal with reporting in on your experience while down on Nukara Prime.
This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.

The rules may change from one challenge to another, but I'd like to remind everyone what the base rules are. These may grow as we move on, so also feel free to give feedback!
  • Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky the challenge and let you make your entry.
  • There are no right or wrong entry.
  • The background story, questions I ask, and format requested are only to serve as a platform that you can start your writing from. Feel free to change up the back-story or the way you deliver, as long as the entry stays on topic of the original challenge.
  • Write as little or as much as you would like.
  • Please keep discussion about the entries in the appropriate Discussion Thread.
  • In the Discussion Thread, feel free to write what inspired you and what your thoughts on the topic are.
  • A few other important reminders:
    • Please heed the rest of the forum's rules when submitting your entry! All of them apply to these posts.
    • Each poster can have one entry per character. Feel free to edit your post to fix typos or add/ remove content as you see fit during the next two weeks.
    • After two 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!!**
Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 19
# 2
07-10-2012, 07:06 PM
...and with that, the Inhabitants look up at the dark Aldebaren sky and see an unusually large red streak followed by a massive explosion. They've spent most of the night watching the stars dance in the colors of green and red, but this is the first chance they'll have to touch one.

A small but fool-hearty group converges upon this fallen star, planning to make peace with it. The initial feel of lightheadedness becomes an all-out nightmare as the ship's escape hatch vents and out comes a being with pincer legs, throwing energy blasts at everything moving. Despite obviously being injured from the crash, the creature has no problems obliterating the group.

Kilometers away, a careful observer returns to his village to warn them... "THE SPIDERS FROM MARS ARE COMING!"
Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
# 3 new content
07-10-2012, 07:57 PM
Captain mule1@p1cardr0ll stared intently at the planet below. Although ordinarily these orders would come directly from Starfleet, instead he would be taking orders from his fleet commander. He's started to have second thoughts about this fleet that Starfleet has assigned him to. Apparently, it was one of several hundred that would be gathering outside the Nukara System in order to investigate the presence of both the Tholians and multiple interspatial rifts.

Captain mule1@p1cardr0ll opened his PADD and began to dictate.

"Captain's Log, Stardate 1337900.1. I think. The Stardate indicator seems to be broken, again...computer, what is the current Stardate?"

[THE CURRENT STARDATE IS 13373.141592653587...]

"Nevermind," mule1@p1cardr0ll sighed, and began again.

"Captain's Log, Stardate...today. Starfleet has dispatched the USS IrTehWINRARZ to Nukara Prime, a Class Y planet in the Neutral Zone. We believe that there are interspatial rifts of some sort forming there, and we believe the Tholains are either involved or will BE involved."

"Since this is a new development, Starfleet has mandated that we keep quiet about this development for a time; it will be just me and my fleet for now. Additional reinforcements will be standing by, but hopefully we won't need them."

The door chimed, and his fleet commander entered: soapymctav@cod4evah.

"lol u rdy 4 teh tholeanz" soapymctav@cod4evah said incoherently.

"Uh...what?" mule1@p1cardr0ll said, caught completely off guard by his fleet commander's completely nonsensical...language, if you could call it that.

"k we r thar already n we ned 2 haev teh flet mrks" soapymctav@cod4evah continued. "sci furst" he finished, and then magically vanished off of mule1@p1cardr0ll's ready room.

mule1@p1cardr0ll stared at the vacant spot his fleet leader once occupied, and continued dictation. "I'm also hereby filing a formal complaint on my fleet commander for behaviour unbecoming of a Starfleet officer. In any case, however, I'm simply going to have to put up with it since we'll be arriving at Nukara Prime within the hour."

"I just hope my crew and I can keep things under wraps for the mission's duration, as Starfleet has instructed."

===

As the USS IrTehWINRARZ disengaged its warp drive, however, the situation was anything but quiet.

"so u herd teh tholeans r hear nao"
"flet starbaes hear i coem"
"i r teh pwnaeg wit [MACO Phaser Battle Rifle Mk XII]"
"lol honur gard iz betar"

mule1@p1cardr0ll stared at his viewscreen. Nearly all of Starfleet's ships were gathered around Nukara Prime like moths to a bonfire. To make things even worse, the Klingons were here, too!

This was going to be a long mission...
Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
# 4
07-10-2012, 08:00 PM
captins log, suplemental, i have been in orbit of nakara prime now, our skanners, are having a hard time penitrating the atmosphere. although we are all excited to see what is in store for us, we are a little, sceptical for what is to come. the away team reported back that, the dark ominous sky stared into there soals, and raged there bodys with fear of what is yet to come.. that really wasnt reasuring when they returned. A task force is headed this way also, should be here in 2 days. as for now the USS Eagle is the only ship near this dangerous planet. i am delighted to be her captian. (over the comm) "captian to the bridge, something is launching from the planet" (starship shakes with anger, the red alert sighren engages).........
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,849
# 5
07-11-2012, 01:08 AM
Captains log, supplemental: Command has again denied my request to bombard the planet from orbit. I don't know what they expect to find here but they cited "scientific possibilitys" at the reason this time. I don't understand why I was ordered here if the goal was to just look at the planet. I am a military commander, in command of a military vessel, I do not travel the galaxy to look at it. The Star Empire wasn't designed to simply see the galaxy. Regardless, I have ordered extra red alert drills and a full inspection of the weapons and shield systems as well as ordered ground combat readiness training. When this goes south we will be ready.
As a time traveller, Am I supposed to pack underwear or underwhen?

Not everything you see on the internet is true - Abraham Lincoln

Last edited by disposeableh3r0; 07-11-2012 at 01:18 AM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 54
# 6 For The Honor
07-11-2012, 05:40 AM
In Game: Davis@Captainphase
Fleet: Hammer Squadron
Twitter: News@HammerSquadron
Site: HAMMER SQUADRON

[Captain]: "Captains log, star date [date], A Federation listening post on the border of the Eta Eridoni system has picked up a faint distress signal from a Klingon ship. While all attempts to hail the ship go unanswered, the Federation has ordered the USS [ship name] to investigate and report our findings."

[Conn]: "Entering the Eta Eridoni system captain"

[Captain]: "Analysis [Tactical officer]?"

[Tactical]: "Sir, the Klingon vessel is in synchronous orbit of Nukara Prime. Registry shows it as The Par'tok, a cargo ship."

[Captain]: "Set course to Nukara Prime, maximum warp. [Tactical] are we close enough to scan for Lifesigns?"

[Tactical]: "Sir, the ship appears to be empty. No crew"

The captain looks to his first officer with a concerned look on his face. Why was the cargo ship here, where is the crew....

[Captain]: What do we know about Nukara Prime?"

[Science]: "Demon Class, a type Y planet. Due to thermionic radiation, planet cannot sustain life."

[Captain]: "Class Y, correct me if I am wrong, but thermionic radiation also extends to low orbit of the planet too, how is the ship able to remain where it is?"

[Science]: "Unknown Sir"

[Captain]: "Time to intercept?"

[Conn]: "17 minutes Sir"

-:Fade out :-
Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
# 7 Captains Log
07-11-2012, 07:09 AM
Captains Log:We have arrived at Nukara Prime.My scince officer scanned the rifts,and they had energy similar to Iconians gates that we scanned before this.I contacted Starfleet Command and I asked permission to go with an away team.But they said that the planet cannot sustain life,and I only have one EV suit.Now we are perfoming a complete scan on the planet surface.My science officer asked me to beam down,but I denied.It?s too dangerous do this alone.Contacting another ships now.END OF THE TRANMISSION.
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,237
# 8
07-11-2012, 08:51 AM
Captain's log: Stardate 86524

The U.S.S. Jupiter has been ordered to the Nukara system to investigate the report of a Tholian incursion near the Y class planet Nukara Prime. Communications with the Federation scientific outpost on the planet have been jammed. Long range scans recorded by the scout vessel Equinox picked up subspace disturbances on the surface of the planet before their investigations were cut short by Tholian ships that moved to intercept. Fortunately the Equinox was able to escape with minimal damage.

Starfleet has requested the Jupiter due to the advanced scientific and tactical capabilities of the Odyssey class to assess the nature of these disturbances. Our diplomatic credentials should allow us safe passage through the Neutral Zone, but the bureaucracy of the Klingon Defense Force has been known to "misplace" paperwork on occasion so we are proceeding at Yellow Alert. Of course the Tholians may not be expected to honor diplomatic credentials in any case.

The ship's database has very little current information about Nukara Prime. We know that its atmosphere is inimical to most humanoid life and the extreme surface temperatures are too high for personal shields to provide protection for more than a few moments. I have asked the Chief Engineer to insure that we have an adequate supply of certified environment suits in case the situation calls for an away team.

Nukara Prime is an ideal habitat for the Tholians if it were not for the fact that it is at a considerable distance from their established borders. The Tholians are not known to frequently venture beyond the limits of Tholian space, and this unusual behavior is cause for concern.

It is probable that the Tholians have also detected these subspace disturbances and are themselves conducting some kind of investigation. It is also possible that Nukara Prime is a forward base for a new Tholian offensive into the Neutral Zone. Even more unsettling is the possibility that the Tholians themselves are somehow responsible for the disturbances. Starfleet Intelligence is working to clarify the situation, but it is unlikely that any useful data will be received before the Jupiter arrives at its destination.

There are many unpleasant rumors about the Tholians circulating through Starfleet ranks. When dealing with a species as secretive and xenophobic as the Tholians, it is an understandable if unfortunate reaction. I have sensed the disquiet of the crew's mood and asked the ship's counselor to do what she can to improve morale and dispel the more lurid rumors having to do with Tholian treatment of prisoners. It is a fact that Starfleet can not confirm any instance in which Tholians have ever taken or returned any prisoners, alive or dead. I do not envy the counselor her task.

Vice Admiral G'eek, out.

Last edited by bluegeek; 07-11-2012 at 08:54 AM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 47
# 9
07-11-2012, 11:47 AM
Captain's Log Stardate 071120.12 We received orders from Starfleet to patrol Nukara Prime, located within the Neutral Zone, or what's left of it. It has been reported that Interspatial Rifts appeared on the planet some time ago, and we have been sent to investigate.

Upon arrival to the system, we discovered a fleet of Tholian's already orbiting the planet, and Tholian lifeforms upon the planet's surface. This is strange indeed, as the Tholian's have not been seen since the days of Captain Kirk, some 200 year ago. All attempts at contact with them have been futile, and recent orders from Starfleet regarding this new predicament tell us to stay on the outskirts of the system while we wait for further instructions.

Captain's Personal Log Stardate 071120.12 I must admit I am a little hesitant to engage the Tholians, and my hope is that we can solve this peacefully. We have been at war for nearly two years now, and more and more threats continue to arise, with no end in sight. The destruction of Romulus seems to have created a ripple effect that does not appear to be slowing down. First, the Klingon's attempted to take control of Romulan Space, which led to war with them. Personally, I felt a conflict of interest when asked to not only protect Romulan Space, but also attack those of what I consider my homeworld. I may not be Klingon, but I spent most of my years there, and there is still a part of me that cannot forgive the Romulans for killing my mother. However, I am of Starfleet. It has been my dream to follow in the footsteps of my father, who joined Starfleet, and became an ambassador to Qo'nos. It is both a duty and an honor to serve Starfleet and the Federation as captain of the USS Camelot.

While the war with the Klingon's has slowed, we are only at a cease fire, and under a very tense alliance as we currently deal with the greater threat of the Borg, which continue to harass the Alpha Quadrant. If we do not put a stop to their madness, their desire to "perfect" life by assimilating it into their hive, then they will over take us all, and there will be no life, only machines, machines without freewill, without purpose or desire.

There is also the underlying current of continuing to deal with the Iconian threat, which we are still as unsure of today as we were yesterday. We do not yet know there full plans, and they have yet to fully reveal themselves. So I must wonder; are the Tholians only another pawn that has been moved by the unseen hand of these so-called "Demons of Air & Darkness," much like the Undine were? If so, what part do they play?

Klingons, Romulans, Borg, Undine, Iconians, Breen, and now possibly the Tholians?
One can only wonder; one can only prepare so much; one can only handle so many threats. If Starfleet is not careful, we will have ourselves spread so thin, we are liable to break.
United Federation

Apprentice 1st Class LifeofMessiah
Jack@LifeofMessiah: Vice Admiral Tactical Escort
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 145
# 10
07-11-2012, 11:51 AM
Captain's log, supplemental.

Vice Admiral Kane reporting to Nekkara prime, following the discovery of inter-phasic rifts that match the Tholian rifts.

The U.S.S. Foundry, a Caitian Atrox class carrier, has warped into the system and begun to launch fighters and prepare away teams for responding to the Tholian incursion.

I missed my Odyssey class U.S.S. Daystar; no sooner had I broke her in, when Starfleet asked me to take command of one of the new Caitian carriers our feline member species home defense force generously contributed towards the war effort.

She was definitely a beautiful ship, just not what I was accustomed to.

The thinking was, the tactics of a prolonged conflict with any of our enemies demanded we take more care not to lose more ships than necessary; fighters allowed for ranged albeit riskier engagements, allowing for breathing space between our ship and the enemy.

In theory.

But the KDF had more experience at carrier warfare than we did, the trick was to upgrade the effectiveness of the fighters weapon payload, make every close range strike hurt. The worst part of commanding a carrier, was having to leave fighter pilots behind if we were forced to withdraw.

Some people push for more auto or remote drone AI fighter units to reduce the risk of casualties, but the counter argument was advances in computer warfare allowed for the chance to hack and control a drone and turn it against us.

On a personal note, the last time I spoke with T'kayla, a time agent from the 31st century, who has had recurring encounters with me and my crew, she stated that the next encounter we would meet at would involve the Tholians.

I hate temporal paradoxes, but she mentioned some sort of "Anti time war" was beginning, and that the Tholians played a large part in this.

We prepare to gear our troops in armored EVA suits and beam down supplies and basecamp equipment to repel these Tholian intruders.

"The sporadic interphasic rifts across the surface are difficult to scan and isolate" My beautiful Vulcan wife, and science officer, T'Pon, notes.

"The rifts seem to share temporal and spatial properties.". I nod and watch as several Starfleet ships warp in to help this situation as we did, preparing to seal off the planet from outside interference and begin a very difficult campaign to remove the Tholian threat.

"That figures" I mumble to myself as I watched the view screen. "Half the ships incoming are Odyssey class..damn I miss the Daystar.

At least 50 Federation ships have responded to the Tholian threat, and nearly as many Klingon Warships as well. Luckily, they were honoring the temporary cease fire the Borg Invasion triggered, and seemed to be preparing to gloriously die for all of us.

Which was fine by me! Of course I reserve such statements to thoughts, for the sake of diplomacy..for now.

Having a Klingon ex wife makes one have a more rich hatred for the KDF than an average Starfleet officer may develop. Thankfully, my young adult daughter by that union, Khayna, a Starfleet science officer now, inherited my better traits.

"Well, this is where the fun begins!" I say...

Last edited by chooch99a; 07-14-2012 at 02:44 AM.
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