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Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 20
# 11 Desperate Measures
07-12-2012, 06:58 AM
Admiral Zot Olio of Starfleet Intelligence looked out at the USS Stellar Drift moored against the docking ring of Starbase 47. Work bees zipped across the Luna class starship?s exterior trying to patch up what they could of the damaged space frame. The breakdown of the diplomatic negotiations with the Klingons had been costly. The Stellar Drift had been one of twelve ships that he had personally sent out, and had not left the front lines for more than three months.

He turned his gaze to the younger human woman starship commander who stood a few feet away, sipping on coffee. She still held her broad, muscular shoulders up straight, but the fiery cobalt blue eyes set underneath her hard brow seemed weary, and even almost defeated.

?I read the security brief.? Vice Admiral Kim Sharp said. Her tone was even, yet quiet. She brought the mug of coffee to her thin lips and sipped, not taking her eyes of the ship.
?The good news is that the Klingons are just as worried as we are. It might calm things a little.?

Kim shrugged. ?I?d prefer if the Klingon War Machine keep throwing assets at us. We took down four of their warships in the Dentan system, and all they did was dent my hull a little. If the Klingons want to bankrupt themselves in a pointless war let them.?
Zot frowned. He recognized that flicker of hatred in Kim?s eyes.

?At the same time you were having your glorious victories, we lost the Halpern, Sun Dog, and the Richmond. Seems an even trade to me.?

Kim sighed. ?You know what I mean. I don?t want to lose anyone more, and you know that, but negotiating with the Klingons just seems to get us nowhere. They do understand the price of war, and when they start running out of resources to build more ships, or lack bodies to make up a proper army then they will be interested in talking. With respect, Admiral, you?re not out there anymore. It?s easy to look at a table and shuffle around little chess pieces, but it?s us out here actually doing the fighting. It took four ships to bring down the Sun Dog. That means four less ships defending the rest of their line. Knowing Captain Maret, I can speak for the crew of the Sun Dog that they can keep coming all they want and we will be more than happy to bloody their noses.?

The Admiral chuckled and turned his back to the window, leaning against the railing. ?This won?t be an easy mission. There is something else, too, which is a reason why I wanted you.

?When was the last time you heard from your wife??

?Two days ago, why??

Admiral Olio reached into his pocket and handed Kim a PADD.

Kim frowned as she read the report. ?We have solid evidence that the science team, and Bravo Team agents may have been captured on a forward expedition to Nukara Prime including Colonel Sevak Sharp of the V?Shar. All communication attempts have been unsuccessful.?

?Why wasn?t I notified before this?? Kim asked, frowning.

?I can?t answer that. It?s important not only that we get your wife back, but those scientists as well. The last report we received from them is that they found something that could change everything. We?ve had no success in locating them, but your telepathic bond with Sevak could lead us to them.?

Kim?s mind raced frantically, and Zot seemed to fade into the background. She tapped her communications badge. ?Sharp to Lieutenant Commander Thol.?

"Thol here." Came the reply of her Andorian Operations officer.

"Make preparations to get underway immediately."

"But Sir?"

"No arguments, Commander, just get on it. I will brief you and the rest of the senior staff when I get there."

"Aye Sir." Came the hesitant response.

"Stop for a moment!?" Zot shouted.

Kim paused and looked at him.

"If you had read the rest of the report, you'd know the Resolute and the Rhododendron are to be assisting you. You are also in no condition to go back out there. You?ve got major structural damage along your outer hull, half your EPS power conduits are fused, a third of your crew is in sickbay, and your Chief Engineer is still out on maternity leave.?

"I'll manage. Send what you can from the starbase that are qualified to work aboard starships. As for your daughter, Ensign Hill has been doing a good job filling in, and part of me is glad Ziri is not here."

"Kim, this is an order. Don?t take your entire ship down by playing the hero. We have to do this delicately."

An icy glare from the starship commander made him pause.

"Respectfully, sir, my wife is not a chess piece."

Zot frowned in annoyance at Kim and tapped his comm badge. "This is Admiral Zot Olio. You will belay that last order."

He turned to face his commanding officer of Combat Support, and his long time friend. “Firstly Vice Admiral, you are not in command of this unit or this station, I am. I don’t care how many medals are on your chest, you take orders from me. You may request additional officers, and if I feel it is in our best interest, I will grant you additional personnel. I am also not simply going to bypass Starfleet transfer order policy simply because you suddenly have a more personal interest at Nukara Prime. Secondly: You are not the only officer in this war, and certainly not the only officer with family in the line of fire. May I remind you that my youngest daughter is an officer on your ship, my daughter-in-law is a ship captain under your command, and my two oldest sons are currently serving on the front lines. One of them is a MACO that just got out of Starfleet Medical yesterday.

“Do not lecture me about duty and priority, because those ‘chess pieces’ as you so eloquently put it also includes my own flesh and blood. The task of the rescue assignment does not come from me, but from the highest level of Starfleet Command. You are merely my recommendation, based on your combat experience, and the fact that you may have a way of locating one of the captured officers that is more effective than the current methods we have already tried. We have been friends far too long for you to be making wild claims such as the ones you make now.

“Any further attempts to impugn my authority, slander me, or disobey my orders will result in me addressing you as ‘Yeoman’ the next time we see each other. Is that clear?”

Kim nodded sullenly and sighed, feeling a combination of defeat and frustration. She stared into Admiral Olio's eyes.

"Don't do it, Kim." He said with caution. "Your only ticket onto Nukara Prime is with us."

She reached up and took her communicatior badge from her chest and felt his hand on hers.

"Don't. I have another plan for you."

Last edited by stellardrift; 07-12-2012 at 11:34 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 147
# 12 Redemption, part 1
07-15-2012, 08:01 PM
As the countdown on the forward view screen wound down, Captain Carter sat in silence, mindlessly rubbing his goatee. When it reached zero, he calmly asked his Operations officer a familiar question. "Is Lieutenant Parker on board yet?"

Glotz, the Denobulan officer, replied. "No sir. Transporter Room Two reports all personnel except Parker have returned from leave at K-7. Your orders?"

"He's late. Lock onto his combadge signal and beam him into the brig. Disable his combadge. Tell Security to leave the brig and ignore all his pleas over the intercom. I'll wander down and release him once I come up with a good lecture on how xenobiologists are always expendable.

"Mr. Simeon, break orbit and head towards Nukara Prime at warp five. Senior officers are to meet in the main conference room in thirty minutes for a briefing." With that, he got up and headed towards his ready room.

Alone, Carter broke the stern expression with a wide smile. "Parker brings so much energy to the team that I can't tear him down as much as he deserves." And I'm talking to myself again. What does that say about my stress levels these days?

He sat behind the desk and tried to relax. "Computer, begin recording. Captain's log, supplemental. After receiving less-than-exciting orders from my favorite admiral, I decided to hurry over to K-7 and give the crew twenty-four hours of surprise shore leave. Most of the crew thought I was just being my good old nice self. They don't know that Starfleet gave us 72 hours to report to Nukara Prime, where they fully expect all hell to break loose.

"Admiral Farber continues to give me unpleasant assignments. Is this because of our failed relationship back at the Academy twenty-something years ago? Her promotion to admiral after the Borg/Caeliar incident seemed well deserved, but now I wish she was still a peer so that she couldn't hand me death sentences over and over again.

"Anyway, Starfleet has detected tears in subspace near the Nukara system. They are pretty sure these are not rifts into fluidic space. Instead they look like they were made artificially, and recently. We need to find out who did this and why.

"The rumor mill says that the Tholians have been creeping around the area. This of course makes no sense whatsoever. True, Nukara Prime is a Class Y planet, but it's ridiculously far away from their territory.

"The talking heads in San Francisco think that it is best to send a science vessel instead of something with a lot of firepower. That way we can claim ignorance about the Tholians and simply explore - and of course call for reinforcements when we get shot at. Our lovely U.S.S. Avalon fits the bill perfectly.

"Now I'm off to drag Lieutenant Parker out of the brig. I threw him in there because he was late to return from shore leave. Instead of killing his dismal career, I have a plan to redeem it.

"Computer, end recording. Encrypt and send to K-7, encryption protocol Epsilon Eight Six Seven Gamma." I slight tone indicated that the recording was through. "Have I received any messages from my wife?"

"Negative."

---

Parker sat in his cell, thinking about how to spin his story. Yes, he knew he was cutting it pretty close, but he was just trying to make the most of his time - and then the lights went out. The emergency lights came on, giving the room a dark red hue. Then the familiar sound of automatic doors opening confirmed his suspicions. The Captain sure understands theatricality.

The silence was broken by a soft voice. "Your career is sinking fast, and the warning signs are everywhere. Most folks your age are at least full Lieutenants, while the exceptional ones are Lieutenant Commanders. But here you are as a Lieutenant junior grade, sitting in the brig, wondering when I'm going to confine you to quarters. The only thing remarkable about your career is that your commanding officers have put up with your antics. What's your excuse this time?"

"No excuse this time, sir." His calmness is disarming me.

"I'm not here to sink your career. You are half-hearted in your duty and enthusiastic about your social life. You are more popular than the entire senior staff, combined and multiplied by three. I think it's time for you to make a choice - keep being a worthless officer, or grow up and put things in order. Are you ready to make a choice today?"

The air circulating through the room was the only sound. "I'll take that as an affirmative. So here's what I am going to do. We're only a few hours away from a challenging assignment, and I will need your services. You might even get to meet a few Tholians while you are at it."

"Sir, if that's your way of inspiring me, I think you need to take a psychology class or two...with all due respect."

"I'm serious. We're investigating Tholian activity today, and you are on the team. If you excel, I'll put you in to become a full Lieutenant. If you disappoint me, I'll see to it that you scrub plasma conduits with your toothbrush until I find somewhere to unload you. Do I make myself clear?"

---

Commander sh'Raul's act prior to a staff meeting was well-known - as the ship?s counselor, he figured it was his duty to verbally discuss the life of whichever officer who comes in last. This made for some interesting situations since his ideas were usually interrupted by the arrival of the person being analyzed. The senior staff knew that being late meant having your life publicly debated.

Now sh'Raul circled the conference table, waiting for the captain to arrive. "He's usually not late to his own meetings. Did he take any time for himself during our stop at K-7? Is the pending divorce interfering with his ability to lead?"

Chief Engineer Jarvis replied. "Counselor, if you want to pick his brain one-on-one, just say that he's late for his periodic meeting with you. He doesn't try to keep his meetings straight. I pull that on him at least once a quarter and he has no clue."

The doors opened, with Captain Carter and Lieutenant Parker entering the room. "Before you all "but sir" me, I invited Parker to this briefing, so be quiet. I've hinted that we are doing some cataloging in the Nukara system, but now it's time for the whole story."

Taking a seat, the captain continued. "The Tholians have likely set up shop there, and in the process, subspace is being mangled up. We're going in to see the sights, find out why the Tholians are there, and either make peaceful contact or run away as fast as possible. We're not at war with them, and it's not going to start on my watch. Here's how it's going to be done..."

---

The wreckage of Tathene's ship was slowly drifting through the Nukara system. Multiple hull breaches and a gutted engineering deck ensured that the survivors were not in the best of moods. The general mood in the telepathic link was a mix of regret and sadness.

The Relane and our lives may be forfeit, but our duty is accomplished, Tathene told the survivors telepathically. All we can wish for now is a quiet death before Starfleet's curiosity peaks and they swarm here.

Last edited by superhombre777; 07-15-2012 at 08:10 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 143
# 13 The Tholian Encounter
07-18-2012, 02:13 PM
Mooni stepped onto the bridge of his freighter, the IKS Qu'Sab. The human was seated in the co-pilot's chair with his feet propped up onto the forward console. Mooni stepped to the pilot's seat beside him and checked its status. The ship was flying on autopilot and it was off course. Mooni tapped the controls and determined that they were going to be late for their rendezvous with the House of Caspian's Starbase. Mooni turned to his first officer, and asked, "Double-U, why are we flying on auto-pilot?"

Wilson Williamson hadn't moved or acknowledged Mooni's arrival to the bridge. His fingers were intertwined and resting on his chest and rose and fell rhythmically with his shallow breathing; his eyes were closed as he made a strange snorting and wheezing sound. He was asleep.

Mooni rose to his feet and stepped between the pilot and co-pilot's stations and glared at his first officer before kicking his chair hard enough to knock Double-U out of it. Wilson hit the ground hard, and grunted in surprise as he looked around himself. He stopped when he saw Mooni's boot tap the ground impatiently next to his head. Double-U looked up, and stared in to Mooni's cycloptic-visage; the dark veins beneath his pale flesh throbbing in annoyance. "Mornin' Cap'n," he said with a nervous smile.

Mooni shook his head in disappointment. "Did you know that we're more than 6 light years off course?"

"What? Are you sure?"

Mooni scowled at him without a word.

"Nevermind, I shouldn't have asked," Double-U replied getting to his feet.

"Do something about it, before I decide to show you to the airlock. Do we understand each other?"

"Yes, sir!" Double-U replied as he took his seat and set a new course through Eta Eridani to the House of Caspian Fleet Starbase.

Mooni turned and headed for the door. He decided to take out his aggravation with the human on the punching bag in the freighter's make-shift gymnasium. He tapped the door control and was about to step through, when the sound of a sensor contact caught his attention. Mooni slipped a finger under his eye-patch and fingered crater that his right eye had once occupied many years ago.

"What is it?" He asked as he turned and began walking back to the pilot's chair.

"It's a Tholian Recluse Battleship!"

"Has it detected us?" Mooni asked as he took his seat, and began pounding on the console. He deactivated the autopilot and took control of the ship.

"It's adjusted its headin' and is comin' straight for us," Double-U replied.

"Hail the House of Caspian and request immediate assistance!" Mooni ordered as he dumped every kilowatt of power into the freighter's engines and gunned it.

Double-U did as he was told and gripped the arms of his chair, as the ship began to vibrate as it slowly climbed to Warp 6.5. As it continued to gain speed, the shaking became more and more violent. Wilson didn't like it, and struggled to hold down his lunch.

"Keep an eye on the starboard plasma manifolds. Tell me if they start overheating," Mooni called out.

"They've been in the red, ever since you took the big chair, Cap'n," Double-U replied. "50,000 and climbing."

Mooni didn't like the sound of it. He knew the starboard manifold had been giving them trouble for the last 3,000 light years, but he was hoping to get another 2,000 out of it before failure. This little encounter just accelerated its demise. They would be lucky to get another 15 out of it. "Bypass safety protocol Epsilon and dump liquid coolant into the manifold's containment housing. If we don't get its temperature down fast, we may lose the whole nacelle."

Fear distorted Double-U's face as he worked the console. It was a risky move that would certainly bring the manifold's temperature down fast, but it would have the secondary effect of creating micro-fractures in its housing. Once containment failed, all they really had to look forward to was the explosion, the loss of their nacelle, and possibly even the destruction of their ship. "It's working," the panicky first mate called out. "The temp is falling fast. 30,000 ... 25,000."

"Good," Mooni replied as the shaking began to subside and the ship continued to inch towards Warp 7. "Any response from our hail?"

"Not yet."

"What's the status of the Tholians?"

Double-U tapped his console and brought up the sensor reading. "They're definitely comin' this way. They're matchin' our course adjustments and gainin' speed to boot. They'll be on us in five minutes."

The console to left emitted a series of beeps. Double-U silenced it with a tap of his console and brought up the incoming message. "We're receiving a hail from the Tholian vessel."

Mooni shook his head in disappointment and stated more to himself than to his first officer. "What the hell do they want?" Double-U shrugged in response. Mooni continued, "Put them on screen."

The view screen changed from the streaking starscape of high warp travel to a heat rippling view of an angry Tholian Captain. It screeched and chirped, before the universal translator kicked in with a female voiced translation that seemed to play down the anger of the Tholian's actual emotional state.

"Klingon vessel, you've violated our space," it said. "Drop out of warp and surrender your vessel and cargo to the Tholian Assembly. Resist us and your lives will be forfeit."

"They're powerin' up their weapons."

Mooni muted the viewer as he asked, "What's the status of their shields?"

"They're still down."

The revelation didn't make Mooni feel any better. "Obviously, they don't consider us a threat." The sesquicentennial freighter wasn't a threat to any vessel, let alone a Tholian Recluse Battleship. Mooni considered his options, but found that he had none. If they continued to run, the Tholians wouldn't hesitate to destroy them. If they stopped and surrendered, their fate would be equally unpleasant when the House of Caspian learned of their failure, assuming that they managed to survive the trip back to the Starbase in escape pods.

"What do we do, Cap'n?" Double-U asked with fear making his voice sound even more shrill and annoying than usual.

"Shut up and let me think a minute," Mooni replied as he worked the console in front of him. He brought up their cargo manifest. Perhaps they were carrying something that could slow down the Recluse just long enough for them to reach their destination or for help to arrive. However, they were only carrying food stuffs. He considered throwing the crate of live gagH at the Tholians, but doubted that their stench would bother them as much as it bothered Mooni. It was looking a bit more hopeless.

Mooni returned his attention to the Tholian on the view screen. He enabled audio. "We're sorry for the misunderstanding. We didn't mean to violate your territory. Could we reach some sort of agreement that will allows both us to leave here today with our ships intact?"

The Tholian responded with a harsh series of clicks and screeches before the screen when blank. Mooni didn't need to wait for the translator to tell him that his request was denied.

"They're targeting our engines!? Double-U cried out, as the console behind him exploded in a shower of sparks.

"Taking evasive maneuvers," Mooni replied over the din.

"If we survive this, I want to renegotiate our contact."

Mooni glared at his first mate, and said, "Fat chance of that."

Another explosion rocked the ship. "Engines are offline," Double-U admitted with obvious defeat in his voice. "The Tholian vessel is coming about."

The ship jolted when as a tractor beam grabbed hold of the Freighter. Mooni jumped from his seat and grabbed the pulse-wave rifle from weapons locker next to door. "If they try to board my ship, they're going to have to get through us first."

Double-U reluctantly got up and followed Mooni to the locker. Before he took the rifle from Mooni, multiple beeps emitted from the long-range sensor console. Double-U returned to the co-pilot's seat and examined the sensor display.

"What is it?" Mooni demanded.

"We've got three sensor contacts coming this way at high speed."

"More Tholians?" Mooni asked as he stepped toward sensor console and looked over Double-U's shoulder.

Double-U replied, "They're coming from the opposite direction. It's the Klingons! They're weapons are hot and will be dropping out of warp in ten seconds."

Mooni had never been so glad to see three Klingon warships heading straight for them at high velocity. "Are they from the House of Caspian?"

Double-U tapped a nearby control and the sensor read out displayed additional information about the incoming vessels. "Confirmed. It's the IKS Op'era, the IKS Liathsub, and the IKS YoboH." He turned to Mooni with a huge grin of relief. "They're not alone either. We've got two more ships on their heels, more vessels from the House of Caspian."

Another jolt rocked the freighter as the tractor beam disengaged. Mooni climbed into the pilot's chair and set a course away from the battle that was erupting around them. The ship's engines revved up as the freighter jumped to warp. Fifteen minutes later, they were back in Klingon space and were approaching the House of Caspian Starbase.

"Hail the station and request permission to dock," Mooni ordered.

Double-U did as he was asked. "They're requesting to talk to you."

"Put them on screen."

When Tobeka, their primary contact for the House of Caspian, appeared on screen, Mooni knew that she wasn't happy. "What in the name of Grethor did you do to antagonize the Tholians?"

"We didn't do anything. They claimed that we violated their space," Mooni explained as he transmitted the sensor records and communication transcripts. "But we don't have any record of Tholian space reaching this far into the neutral zone."

Tobek frowned as she said, "Neither do we. According to your sensor records, the Tholian Battleship originated from the Nukara system. There's nothing there, but a demon-class planet. We'll send the taskforce that rescued your ship to investigate. Now, dock your ship and unload your cargo."

"Gladly," Mooni replied.

"And Mooni, if the GagH is dead, you will wish that we had left you to the Tholians."

Last edited by soriedem; 07-18-2012 at 02:29 PM.
Former PWE Community Team Lead
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,046
# 14
07-24-2012, 03:36 PM
Great stories! I hope you all participate in part 2 (out in a few minutes) so we know how it ends for your crew.

If you have not had a chance to participate yet, feel free to still post your story. I am going to unsticky this as I prepare to post #24.

Cheers,

Brandon =/\=
Brandon "BranFlakes" Felczer | Former Community Team Lead for Perfect World Entertainment
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