Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges!

Today we start the two-week run of the eighteenth Literary Challenge: The Academy Days
Tell us a story from your days at the Academy. Maybe it was your favorite moment, the most embarrassing moment, or it could even be both! What happened? Did it help influence who and where you are today? Do you wish you did something differently? Let us know through a personal log entry.

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!!**
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 Gone Old School
05-01-2012, 06:51 PM
“…And THAT was how I ended up passing my Academy piloting class after the first field test.”
Admiral Rygobeth Lerginas laughed. Sokek, his Vulcan helmswoman, had just told one of the best Academy tales he’d ever heard. I suppose a backflip would do that…
“How about you, admiral?” Sokek asked him. Several of the other officers at the table nodded. “I’ve never heard you tell a story about your Academy days.”
Rygo took a sip of his ale. He thought back… he had been through the Academy three different times, as a tradition (a sojourn from Starfleet every few decades, then through the Academy again to freshen up; to break up an otherwise centuries-long career). Then he thought of one of his best moments at the Academy, his very first year.
“Well,” he said, “I suppose it’s about time, then.”
”This was back in 2315, only a year after the Achilles brought my parents and I to Earth. I was a freshman in the Academy, and since the only other examples of my species in the quadrant were my parents and I, there was a fair bit of… oddity… between my fellow students and I. There was one student, a particularly argumentative Andorian named Sh’Tak. We butted heads almost instantly…”

“Something FUNNY, cadet?!” The instructor, a Human that would backhand you if you called him anything but “Sir”, was redder than a Saurian.
Sh’Tak went rigid instantly. “N-no-“ he stuttered. Sir was in his face in a nanosecond. “I DON’T SPEAK ANDORIAN, CADET! TRANSLATE INTO SOMETHING COHERENT! Now, WHAT’S FUNNY?!”
“It’s just- well, Sir, it’s that Redskin over there. I- I thought he looked kinda funny.”

“Of course, I got steamed at that.” Raydza, Rygo’s Science officer, went wide-eyed. “You had a TEMPER, sir?” Rygo smirked. “Oh, DID I… and did HE set it off…”

Rygo was next to Sh’Tak. “Is that so, blue man?” Rygo used his race’s natural telekinetic power to shove Sh’Tak straight into Sir’s rock-wall-of-a-torso. That set the instructor off. “YOU GOT A PROBLEM STANDING STILL, CADET?! YOU are disMISSED! You’ll get a call from the disciplinary board soon.” Sh’Tak walked briskly out. He didn’t say a word, but he sent one of those if-looks-could-kill-you’d-be-dead glares at Rygo. Sir wasn’t the only one fuming.

“So, he got to stay after with Sir, but we still butted heads for a while. One day, I pushed a little too hard, and I suppose he decided it was time for some payback. We got our Spring Leave. I went off to Tokyo, to spend some quality time practicing judo. I’d barely taken it up, but it came like breathing to me. By now, I’d already become something of the gymnast I am today, but when I got back to the Academy, Sh’Tak and about a half dozen of his buddies looked me up pretty quick…”

“Hey REDDIE!” Sh’Tak’s voice echoed down the hallway, which was otherwise deserted. Rygo turned around and saw him, along with a trio of other Andorians and a pair of humans. “You ready for your BEATING?!”

“That’s insane, said Sokek. “Didn’t they know campus security would be on them in a heartbeat?” Rygo smiled. “Sokek, this was 2315. They were a little more rough-and-tough back then. I think that was a bit of Admiral Kirk’s cowboy diplomacy rubbing off on the place as his legacy. They didn’t usually expel for a brawl, perhaps as an honoring of some races’ sense of dignity.”

“That’s a bad idea for you, Sh’Tak,” Rygo said back. They were barely twenty meters apart. This was the Arboretum wing, so the windows were open at the time. A branch from a nearby tree stuck in. The cogs in Rygo’s head turned. “We’ll see, won’t we? You’re about to get a lot redder, Lerginas!” Sh’Tak and his posse charged. Rygo ran; not away, but to the wall opposite the window (to his left) He jumped, pushed of it, and grabbed the branch. He swung on it, slamming twin-heeled into one of the humans. He pushed off the human as he fell, toward the group. He grabbed one of the Andorians with his left hand as his inertia carried him past, behind the posse. He landed with the Andorian in a head lock, and used his right leg to pull the Andorian’s out from under him, pushing him straight into the ground. He did a somersault over him as a second Andorian swung at him with what looked like a nasty right hook. He grabbed the punching forearm with his left hand and pulled the Andorian into a full-speed collision with Rygo’s red right fist. It connected squarely at the base of the jaw, and Rygo brought the fist up. A human came at him with a chop-looking move. He grabbed the human’s elbow with his right hand, stomped at the side of the ribs with his right leg, and pulled. This dislocated the human’s right arm. He moved his leg, allowing the human to hurtle at him. He continued his pull with his left, right-elbowing the human in the nose. He then quickly grabbed the human’s left thigh with his left hand and the left side of the ribcage with his right. He threw the human at the other human and two Andorians, who were trying to rush him all at once. Now with a load of unconscious (and rather large) human on them, they went down and were pinned for a few seconds.
Sh’Tak came up with a jab aimed square for Rygo’s abdomen. Rygo deflected it up and to his left, offering the same attack with his right. This was blocked, and Sh’Tak tried to take Rygo’s legs out. Rygo, having none of that, grabbed Sh’Tak’s right arm with his left hand. He felt his left leg slip, and used it to his advantage. He pulled Sh’Tak with him, using his left hand to flip Sh’Tak over him. He thudded onto his back, while Sh’Tak landed on his head with a low crack that left him dazed. The last human was up now, and tried to take advantage of the situation. As he reached the prone Rygo, the red-skinned male hurled a telekinetic bolt at him. This sent the unprepared human flying into the wall behind him. His head hit hard, and he crumpled to the floor, out cold. Rygo jumped to his feet and roundhouse-kicked the Andorians, who’d just gotten out from under the human and were starting to rise. They went back down and stayed there.
Sh’Tak was back up. He charged with a right hook. Rygo grabbed his forearm with his left hand, grabbed Sh’Tak’s throat with his right hand, and took out Sh’Tak’s left leg, forcing Sh’Tak to the ground. “Now,” he said to Sh’Tak, “do you see why this was a bad idea?” Rygo smiled. “You’re lucky; I was in a good mood. Otherwise, that would have hurt more. Cross me again… and it WILL.” He released the Andorian’s throat and hauled him up. “Call a medic for your pals. They might need one.”
…”And then I walked away, to my quarters. After that, Sh’Tak and those other guys decided that they did NOT want to have me as an enemy. Sh’Tak was one of my best friends through our careers. He died, though, commanding a ship in the Battle of Bajor, back in ’74. The others retired.” Rygo swigged down the last of his ale and sat back, smiling at the dozens of faces in the mess hall that had stopped to listen to the story and were now in total shock.
“And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how rival students were dealt with in the old days. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time I went to bed.” He rose from the table and walked out of the mess hall, leaving an officer’s table full of startled Bridge crew and a galley full of slightly scared officers.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-04-2012, 12:39 PM
Aboard the Prometheus class vessel U.S.S. Trombe, Amuro Ray is looking over the reports from his senior officers of their latest assignment to patrol the core sectors of the Federation. As he looks over these logs he begins to reminisce about his days at the academy. The memory sitting foremost on his mind is the day he took the Kobayashi Maru simulation for the first time...

"Captain, sensors are indicating 3 klingon vessels surrounding the Kobayashi Maru. Signatures match ships of Bird-of-prey configuration."

"Hmm" Amuro said, stroking a goatee he grew as a result of losing a drinking game the previous month "Options, number 1?"

"Well, as long as those birds-of-prey are firing on us or the Kobayashi Maru, transport is out of the question, if we could somehow divert their attention away from us or remove the shields from the equation using some other means, we may be able to attain at least a partial transport." Jelun said.

"Nuzuri, any thoughts?"

"I see where Jelun was going with the shields, but its simply not an option! Miranda class vessels are hopelessly underpowered for current shield extension technology. Hell, our own shields would buckle within minutes if we engaged those ships in a firefight." Nuzuri barked, barely looking up from the conn.

"Damn! Well, we should try diplomacy first, its only right that we play fair. Open a channel-"

The doorbell for Amuro's ready room dings repeatedly, followed by a thump on the door itself.

"Come in."

"Amuro, I've been trying to get a hold of you for half an hour!" Zazhid said, looking worried. "You seem tense, what's wrong?"

"Oh, I just got to thinking about the day we met" Amuro said, with a smile cracking his calm facade.

"That was a beautiful day... How did your first Kobayashi Maru sim end again?" Zazhid asked.

"With all hands lost, taken down by a lucky torpedo shot between the nacelles." Amuro sighed.

"C'mon, cheer up! We both know that day ended far better than that" Zazhid replied with a suggestive smile on her face, brushing her hair to one side.

"Now that's not fair!" Amuro joked "You always come pick me up. When can I get the chance to pick you up for a change?"

There was a slight pause of silence in the room, then Amuro suddenly realised what he had just said, and not surprisingly, began to turn a shade of vibrant red...

"Thats... not how I meant to say that" Amuro blushed.

"Thats ok. We know you have plenty of opportunities for that. Anyway, you're needed on the bridge. We're being re-assigned to DS9 again, something about Omega Force. I tried to get more out of the admiral but he said it was above my clearance." Zazhid said as she wiggled out of the ready room.

"Oh well, back to work..."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-04-2012, 04:15 PM
Stunshock stepped out of the turbolift, onto the bridge of his old ship.

“Captain on Deck!” A voice shouted.

“As you were.”

Stunshock moved around the bridge, looking at the cadets as they prepared their consoles. The old Constitution refit class had been retired, but was pulled out of mothballs as a training vessel. It was a common practice, one that had been done since the days of Kirk. Stunshock placed his long clawed fingers on the back of his command chair, remembering all the adventures they had together. He could still hear his command crew working as one. Emony giving sensor readings from her science station, Talaina recommending a cautious plan of action, and Bosip grumbling about how they couldn’t do what they needed to do, but he would find some way to break the laws of the universe and do it anyway. They all stayed with him as they were assigned to the Sentinel, currently all off on shore leave. But this ship was the one that meant something to him. You never forget your first command.

A shower of sparks and some curses from behind him caused Stunshock to spin quickly. A cadet had somehow exploded the science console, and had landed on the floor. The other cadets started laughing, and the cadet who hurt himself rubbed his elbow, visibly upset.

“Enough. As you were.”

Stunshock walked over to the cadet and offered him a hand up.
“S-sorry sir. I w-w-w-was trying to g-g-g-get the sensors calibrated and something h-h-happened.”

Stunshock cast a quick glance at the console.
“You neglected to activate the power safety triggers before you initialised the sensor array. The DarkFyre is an old ship, and uses different tech to modern vessels. Remember to always familiarise yourself with consoles if you can, before you use them. The entire sensor array will need to be replaced.”

“Y-y-yes sir. Sorry s-s-s-sir.”

“That’s Rowdy. Always screwing up.”

Stunshock looked over at the cadet’s classmate.
“Enough. We all make mistakes. The trick is to learn from them.”

Rowdy got to his feet, but Stunshock could tell he was not happy. He was kicking himself for making such a mistake. Stunshock stroked his beard.

“Comm, tell Drydock we need a replacement sensor array. See if one can be pulled from another mothballed ship. Cadet Rowdy, a word in my Ready Room.”

Stunshock walked across the small bridge and into his old office. It was empty, barren, all of his stuff having been moved out. But a chair still sat behind his desk. Stunshock sat down, the cadet nervously standing at attention on the other side.

“At ease cadet.”

As Rowdy relaxed, Stunshock took in the cadet for the first time. A human male, young, only about 20ish, or so he figured. He could never tell human ages. He had curly red hair, freckles dotted his face.

“I-I-I’m sorry about...”

Stunshock held a hand up, stopping him.
“Everyone makes mistakes. As I said Cadet, the trick is to learn from them. If you learn from them, you will become a great officer. Even I made serious mistakes back at the Academy.”

“Really Sir?”

“Oh yes. Don’t tell any of the other cadets out there, but I remember when I first went on a training cruise like this one....”

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

It was the first time he had stepped onto a bridge of a Federation ship. Oh, he had been on plenty of ships, but always as a passenger. They were on an old Ambassador class ship, and Stunshock’s class was taking over the current shift. Stunshock walked up to the Bolian at the engineering station who stretched and yawned.

“Oh, time to switch?”
“Yes. I relieve you.”
The Bolian stood up.
“I stand relieved.”
Stunshock sat down at the console and checked the energy readings. The warp core was running within parameters. EPS grid was transferring power correctly. He quickly checked where they were. They had entered an asteroid field. He couldn’t tell anything else without accessing the sensors, which he was not meant to do. He sat, watching the power flow indicators blink steadily at him. Stunshock looked over his shoulder to the Captain of the Watch. He was over by the science console, talking. Stunshock turned back to his console and rested his chin in his hand, eventually his mind started wondering, thinking back to that interesting Andorian he met the other day. There was something about her. Maybe he would meet her aga-

The lights on the bridge went out, breaking Stunshock back to the present.
“What happened?”
Realising the Captain was talking to him, Stunshock took a moment to snap to attention, checking his console in the dark.

“Errr.... I’m not sure. Main power looks to have destabilised for some reason.”
“Get it back.”
“Yes sir.”

Stunshock worked the console, adjusting the flow regulators. He realised he must have hit some controls when he started day dreaming. Woops. He would have to watch that in future.

“I think I’ve got it sir.”

The lights came back on.
“Good. Find out what happened.”
“Yes sir.”
But before he could even confess, the lights went out again, and Stunshock felt himself lift up out of his seat slightly. He recognised the feeling as zero gravity. This seemed quite a problem. His silver eyes tried to focus in the dark, not even the glow of consoles to help this time. He heard the voice of the Captain.

“Bridge to Engineering. Report.”
“An EPS capacitor behind the bridge fused, causing power disruptions across the ship. We need to replace that capacitor before we restore main power.”
“How long?”
“A few minutes. The trouble is getting up there. It’ll take a while, unless you send one of the cadets.”
“Cadet Stunshock. Check the equipment locker and replace that device.”

“Yes sir.”

He was uncertain, and it was clear in his voice. But he grabbed the side of the console and pushed himself towards where he thought the locker would be. It was only a small bridge, it should be three consoles along and down the corridor, on the left. He bumped into someone, apologising, pushing himself on in the dark. There. The corridor, right where he thought it was. He fumbled in the dark until he brushed a keypad. Ah, ok, there it is. Would it open? No, of course not, power was offline. It was times like this he was glad his species had such long slim fingers. He felt the wall for the door seam, pressing his fingers in and forcing the door open with a grunt. Entering the locker, he bumped into a wall. Rubbing his nose, he reached out, feeling the wall. How odd. The locker should be bigger than this. Had he gone in the wrong door? Maybe he got turned around on the Bridge when the lights went out? He brushed against something, and suddenly a console at waist height lit up. Before he could react, he heard the door shut behind him and the entire room shook. The sound of a cushioned blast from beneath his feet was followed instantly by the room moving upwards. Light glared in through a window, forcing him to shield his eyes until they adjusted. He blinked quickly, clearing the spots from his vision. He pushed his face up against the window. Asteroids were floating around him, and nearby was a star providing light. He looked down and saw an Ambassador class ship floating in space, her nacelles dark, all lights off.


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

“It took them three hours to restore power and recover me from that escape pod. So you see Cadet, the more mistakes you make now, the more you learn. That day, I discovered the importance of always being alert at your station. My classmates never let me forget it. I had the nickname Blackout Pod for the rest of my time there.”

Stunshock chuckled.

“You understand what I’m saying cadet?”
“Yes Sir. Don’t let mistakes stop me.”
“And don’t let your classmates bully you. Laugh with them, at yourself. Now get back out there and see if the sensor array has been replaced yet.”

Stunshock watched the cadet leave the ready room, then smiled and turned to look out the window, thinking about some of his other ‘lessons’ from the Academy...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5 In the Blink of an Eye
05-08-2012, 08:47 AM
In the Blink of an Eye

It's so bright. It's all just so bright.

I feel... sensation, pressure on my shoulder, on my skin?



A familiar word... words?


If the ringing would stop (why is everything ringing) then I could better hear. Why would someone be ringing... it's Saturday, there should be no bells.

The pressure on my shoulder... pain? Knives? Not knives, fingers strong and burrowing into my skin.


Not burrowing, trembling. I almost recognize the word now.

So bright, so loud. Was I swimming? I feel... wet. Warm.

I feel.


My name. Loud. Terrified. Not so bright anymore. Day replaced by night.

Erin is standing in front of me, arm extended, hand on my shoulder. So wet.

The wetness, water in my eyes. I try to wipe it away but can't. Why is that?

Erin is standing in front of me, shadows (and worry?) dance across his face. Erin is the reason I made it past my third year. He alone got me through Advanced Warp Theory. I'm a Counselor, I make people go. I leave the ship to others more qualified.

Erin. Trembling. Dirty?

Erin stayed up late studying with me almost every night for months. Tellarites do not make for good teachers. The tutoring was helpful though I think towards the end Erin may have been hiding. She broke his heart. I think... I think I mended it, at least a little.

He was my first.

Why can't I wipe my face? Dripping. Sweat? The ringing, echoing throughout the room. Weak, feeble.


I look past Erin. A large display flashes red. Words lost in the smoke. Smoke? I realize it's hard to breathe.

My breath is shallow, I'm gasping. So wet.

I hear the screech of metal tearing at metal. My head swivels. Academy Security forces poor through the partially open door to the wrecked commissary. Lunch. We were having lunch. I was telling Erin how I got that little scar he liked so much. Don't drink at an animal preserve I told him. And for pity’s sake, don't moon the Sehlat.

We were laughing. We were laughing and then I'm here, choking and wet.

The security men were bellowing orders. Now that's a job for a Tellarite. You can yell all you want and be as rude as you like. Nobody will disagree when you have a phaser at your side. But not a Teacher.

“Set pattern enhancers.”

“I want that field generator on line.”

“Tag the stable ones for transport.”

“The Breen.”

I caught the glimmer from the other side the room, red light dancing across all the gemstone's facets. What a pretty ring. Familiar.

Class of 2375. It was a fine ring, feminine in it's lines. A delta ringed with sapphires. A monument to my time here. A symbol which showed I can overcome anything, even a cranky old Tellarite. And it was across the room. On a hand attached to an arm attached to...

I laughed. I had to laugh. A raspy, hoarse, wet laugh. I liked that ring. I liked the man whose trembling hands held up my tattered body.

The klaxons wail began to wane. I was suddenly so tired. So very tired.

Another man stood over me silently sweeping a tricorder from side to side, his head soon mimicking the action in turn.

“I'm going to close my eyes now Erin.” My voice was stammered, weak, alien to my ears. His mouth moved, lips curled, but only in silence. “It's ok. Really.”

“I'm just... going to... close them... for a little...”
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6 Trial By Fire
05-09-2012, 07:13 AM
“For me it was about acceptance.” Commander Sevak Sharp looked over at the new, young head nurse that had now been trapped on this planet with her for going on four days. She turned her attention back to the flames. The cold mountain air bit through her uniform, sending a chill through her core.

“My family in recent generations has become somewhat of an outcast house among my people. I suppose when I look back on it now, the part about me wanting to rebel against my parents’ desires for me to attend Starfleet Academy was firmly cemented in my family’s core values of following a different path than anything else. From a logical perspective, it made sense to me to sort of reconnect with the Vulcan people. We had spent so much time on Earth, living amongst Starfleet, and the rest of human society, I felt out of touch with them.

“I think they were surprised when I applied to the V’Shar academy. It wasn’t easy getting accepted either, but I wanted to understand life among them.”

“It sounds like an interesting experience.” Lieutenant Zoetha Lass said. A small smile crossed the Ocampa’s lips and she looked over at the Stellar Drift’s First Officer.

Sevak shrugged, flashing a green eye at the new head nurse. “It was eye opening to say the least. My family believes a different philosophy than what is accepted in Vulcan society. My father taught me as a child to embrace my emotions, and learn to control them instead of striving to suppress them in favor of total, emotionless logic.

“No doubt you know that Vulcan society embraces the idea of total logic without emotion. Learning to adapt to their way of life was difficult at first, especially in a military training environment. There were a few instructors of mine that thought I shouldn’t have been there. One even talked to Starfleet to try and have me transferred.

“The day that changed it for me came in my second year. One of my commanding officers came to me during field training, and told me that the V’Shar was creating a forward serving reconnaissance team to work alongside Starfleet Intelligence and the Bajoran Militia. The officer in charge of putting the team together had mentioned he wanted me. Curious, I agreed and left the academy and went to a new training facility. I can’t say where it is.”

Sevak gave Zoetha a small smile. She held her hands up in front of the flames, soothed by the warmth.

Zoetha smiled in return and leaned back against the stone she sat on. The smaller woman turned her head to the stars and gazed at them.

“It was very difficult. Not only did they teach me the value of suppressing my emotions, but how not to have them at all, and I don’t mean through meditation or any of the other rituals that my people practice. We would run survival scenarios where we would be trapped on some deserted planet with nothing for weeks on end, put into mock interrogations that were almost as brutal as the real thing. The one thing that stood out was a combat training scenario during my second week.

“As a youth, I had a fear of fire. I would have nightmares of being caught in a burning building, or trapped in a burning compartment on board a starship. We would go over to a friend’s house and they would have a barbecue, or torches lit for decoration and I would sit as far from them as I could.

“We were practicing an urban combat scenario and I remember something went wrong and the building we were using caught on fire. Several of my fellow trainees were trapped inside—“

“—It was like your nightmare had come to life.” Zoetha said.

Sevak nodded. “But, all I could see in my mind were those people who had become my friends living that nightmare. A switch had come on and every irrational emotion I had felt before about fire wasn’t there anymore. I managed to save most of them, but two died from smoke inhalation.

“I went on to serve in numerous very difficult campaigns after I graduated, most of them during the Dominion War. I would always remember that day, and what it was like to be in that building, the flames all around me, singeing my skin, and whatever fear or nervousness I had would be gone.”

"I wish the ship would hurry up and find us." Zoetha said to the stars.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7 Chep visits Dax Hamilton
05-10-2012, 02:52 PM
Dax Hamilton’s Pesonal Log. Stardate:56366.82

Hi Dax. It’s me Chep. That’s right. I found your personal log. You need to learn to hide things better. I just found it on your desk with a stack of other PADDs. It’s hard to keep a secret, if you don’t try and hide them better. By the way, you’ve misspelled Heisenberg in your paper on the history of transporter technology for Professor Haja’s Engineering course. You better proof read it before turning it in. You know how’s he a stickler for spelling and grammar. I also found those letters from your mother. Would it hurt you to send her a subspace message every now and again? She misses you.

It’s not my idea of a good time to just sit here watching you send subspace messages to Lynya and Sema. The least you could do is include me in the conversation for crying out loud. Next time, I’m bringing that tricorder Cortak rigged to play those ancient human video games. I can’t get enough of the one with the marshmallow gobbling cheese wedge. Uhm, what’s it called again? Pac-Man …

Gawd! I’m so bored.

You’ve been gone for twenty minutes now. I’m not sure where you went. You told me that you had to run out for a minute. I thought you were going to grab some pizza from that restaurant down the street, but it doesn’t take this long. I just hope you don’t forget the sausage. Knowing you, you’ve probably ditched me to meet with Lynya again. It’s always about Lynya with you. Sure, she’s cool but you really need to get a grip, man. She’s way out of your league.

You know what else? I’ve seen garbage scows that are tidier than your dorm room. I suppose it could be Cortak, but for it to get this bad ... I think you may have a hoarding problem. I got lost on the way to the bathroom, going through the labyrinth of boxes, debris, electronics, articles of clothing, food in various stages of decomposition, dead things, and more that I’m afraid to even go near. Not to mention that I have been kicking stuff out of my way ever since I arrived and I still haven’t found the floor yet. I’m sure it’s down there, but I’m afraid of what I might find along the way. Maybe a call to the archeology department is in order. I don’t know.

However, I have identified several bacterial colonies and few that I’m sure represent a new species or two. I may have to write a paper on the accumulative propagation of bacterial colonies in young adult living spaces. You could be my first test subject. What do you say?

Holy crap! What in the hell was that? Do you have a wild animal in here? I don’t know what you’ve got living in here with you, but I just saw it crawl out of the corner and burrow into the mess. I’m actually afraid to set my feet on the ground now. If I ever make it out of here alive, I’m going to have the Academy condemn this room. It’s a health hazard.

Dax! Where the hell are you? Where’s a phaser when you need one? Dax! I’m going to kill you when you get back here. Daaaaaaaaaaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-11-2012, 12:19 AM
Captain's Log: Stardate 88332.4 Standard Communication to Admiral Aviess

It's been four weeks since we unexpectedly made first contact with the Zefranites. We've been planet side during the diplomatic talks as my crew handles security and I've been made the unofficial ambassador until a suitable replacement can be determined from the Diplomatic Corp. During the down time we've been lucky enough to be granted shore leave for the crew as well as implementing a few enhancements suggested by the Zefranites which increased efficiency shipwide. While all this was going on I decided to continue Wraith's standardized Federation training. Commander T'pal stated that she has no more to teach him as he soaked up the tactical training like a sponge as well as giving her a run for her latinum with hand to hand training. As for ship wide duties, he's been enjoying his time in engineering helping Chief Fine and she says he's picking it up slowly but he is doing well. Dr. E'Saul volunteered to handle the Sciences since I needed Mr. Sabin during the efficiency upgrades.

Needless to say science isn't the boy's strong point. It's been testing even E'Sauls legendary Vulcan patience. I couldn't help but laugh during her report which I'm sure didn't help the frustration she was probably hiding. It reminded me of my days at the academy. It was the first year Admiral Janeway had started teaching. It was about a year after she had made Vice Admiral, '79 I think it was. She'd basically been given the keys to the kingdom as it were after she'd brought Voyager back through the Delta Quadrant so when I'd found out one of my required science classes was instructed by the Admiral herself I was ecstatic. An enthusiasm that didn't last long. For all the science students she was the greatest teacher ever, and while she herself had a great patience we'd butted heads from the get go. Much like Wraith I'm not much of a of a science guy. Maybe that's why you suggested so many Vulcans for my senior staff. It wasn't until she'd reached the subject of the Borg that the tension had really come to a head.

Much like E'Saul and Wraith, I was determined not to fail as a student and just as much as Janeway was unwilling to give up on a student. It doesn't help that their personalities are so different. E'Saul is a religious Vulcan... well as close as Vulcans can get to religious, as well as being sworn to heal. He's a genetically engineered soldier. Common ground was never something these two would achieve. The longer they were together the more it reminded me of the constant arguments that would be had over various approach and combat tactics. The heavier debates came over drone reclamation, or "liberation" as she called it. She'd even claimed that her first officer had come across a village of Drones that were been disconnected. Every thing StarFleet was teaching, every bit of reading material from Picard to Amasov to even personal logs of survivors at Wolf 359 had all stated it to be impossible. There had been only two known cases of saving a person from full assimilation. Neither survivor came out with out permanent damage though. One still bore visible implants and the other retained minimal contact to the Nueral network when in close proximity.

I'm a Tactical officer, even in those days I showed promise for strategy and engagement tactics. The Borg had just made an attempt at Earth six years before so as a precaution they were still teaching Borg defense. I soaked in all I could so when the Admiral voiced her opinion on how "archaic", I belive she said, these teachings were. Mine was the strongest voice in it's favor. We would argue constantly in class and out. She was surprisingly stubborn for a younger Admiral, more so before she'd had her coffee. You'd think she'd used it single handedly to defeat the Borg. It wasn't until a Drone had been brought into a lab on campus from a recent Borg incursion that we'd respect one another. The Admiral had hand picked her team to "liberate" it from the collective and the Class was allowed a rare observation to grant insight into the borg. Things were going according to schedule when the drone managed to activate. It had already adapted to phasers from the incursion so the safety protocols were easily bypassed and the security team infected. As the Drone went after one of my classmates I was able to... disable... it with a pointed set of forceps I lodged into its neural cortex.

In the end it was my "archaic" tactic and quick thinking that stopped the drone when all of her safety measures failed but it was her science team that had saved the infected from full on assimilation. The event had left us both humbled. While we never did manage to like each other, we left that lab with a mutual respect. I can only hope that these two can at least achieve that. Unfortunately for E'Saul, she's also the ship's counselor so neither of them can really go to the office to vent frustration. After it's all said and done though I'm glad I was wrong in part. Up until a certain stage assimilation can be reversed, passed that point there is no salvation due to advancements in assimilation technology. I happen to have three liberated officers on my ship, one of which is Chief Engineer Fine herself. With the recent Borg activity on Defera there have been a lot of lives saved and families reunited. The Science behind it was thanks to the Admiral and her crew while the Tactics of Captains like myself continue to ensure they won't be re-assimilated. On a Personal note I'm looking forward to returning to the frontline. I'm not the diplomatic type, and once we're done with the upgrades Sabin can resume training and I'm sure E'Saul would appreciate that as well.

To this day I occasionally send the old bat a Fruit basket or something when ever her teachings help my ship and my crew. I never explain the reason, and from what friends at command say, "it drives her nuts trying to figure it out".

Captain James Charles Donovan

End Log
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-14-2012, 10:31 AM
"What was it like?"
I sighed inwardly. Really, I should have expected this question. I probably should have been asked it a long time ago. Well, this question and one other.
"Aren't you going to ask why I left the Empire when I did?"
Vramek smiled, sharp teeth gleaming in the comfortable, dim light of my ready room.
"No. A chance to escape from our Romulan cousins ... any Reman would take it, especially back then."

I nodded slowly, thinking back to the war. I was young then, not that the Romulans cared. When the Dominion came the only thing that mattered to them was that I could carry a disruptor and die instead of one of them. But I hadn't. Barely into my first decade of life I had fought, avoiding the deaths that slowly eroded my unit over time, until that last stand on Benzar's second moon. Then ... everyone had died. Except me. A Starfleet ship, falling back from that first, abortive attempt to retake the planet, had spotted me, beaming me up as they ran from the Jem'Hadar. There were few chances for me to be returned to Imperial forces and ... I didn't want to go. The crew of the ship, the USS Hornet, were happy enough to have another soldier on hand and, for the rest of the war, I stayed on the little Saber Knowing that I would go back to the mines, Captain Hewan decided to sponsor me for acceptance at Starfleet Academy.

I nodded to Vramek. Unlike me, he had been caught in the ruins of the Romulan Star Empire until recently, joining us after our assault on Brea.
"It was ... incredible. Not as perfect as the Federation would have you believe, but ... after the mines and the troop ships, Earth was ..."
I found myself unable to finish that sentence, my mind flashing back to the day when I had stepped onto Earth's surface for the first time, seeing Starfleet Academy under the harsh, bright light of Sol, the ruins left by the Breen attack standing behind it, crawling with the reconstruction effort.

"It was nice at night," I told him. "Quiet, calm. And that sun of theirs was out of sight. Earth is a nice planet. The people ... mostly. There were some who distrusted me, who associated me with what little they knew of the Romulans. " I sighed. "Even more annoying were the ones who pitied the poor little Reman girl who had escaped her savage life." I rolled my eyes. "They could get ... tiresome. But most at the Academy kept their distance." I paused, thinking back to my second year. "Most."

I still don't know what started it, but hurrying along the corridor to avoid arriving late for Linguistics again, I had tripped. Rising, I saw a smirking blue face looking down at me. I doubt even Thryiss knew why she enjoyed tormenting me, but after two years ... my patience was thin. Thin enough that I had swept my leg under her feet and taken hold of of her hair before she knew what was happening. The only thing that stopped me from smashing the smirking face of hers into the wall was a small hand on my arm.

While I had grown accustomed to most of the species in the Federation, there was ... there is one that still has an effect on my. Glancing down at the owner of that small yet strong hand, I experienced that odd feeling I still get whenever I meet the eyes of a Vulcan. They are so similar to us, yet ... so vastly alien at the same time. Yet, they are what we once were. I knew that Sanak couldn't stop me if I wanted to give Thryiss the beating she had earned over the last two years, but those large dark eyes of his ... I never could refuse them.

A smirk appeared on Vramek's face for a moment, but I refused to comment on it.

"You crazy b-" Still having hold of Thryiss' hair, I gave the Andorian a tug, encouraging her to keep her mouth shut.
"If I was crazy," I told her. "You would be dead. Vulcan help or not."
It wasn't until that night that I saw either of them again. Standing out in the grounds, with Earth's moon providing a comfortable amount of light, I found myself watching Thryiss as she walked between the canteen and the dorm. Behind me, I heard soft footsteps approaching, the warm, faintly spicy scent cutting across the more distant smell of the food the Andorian had been eating.
"Why dd you stop me?" I asked Sanak, not turning around. "That would hardly have been the first time either of us had fought."
"True," he replied quietly. "But you are better than that."
"Am I?" I watched Thryiss enter the dorms. For a while we were silent, although silence is a relative term with the constant rumble of San Fransisco in the background. "Despite my ancestry, I am no Vulcan. I cannot suppress my anger, my passions."
"Neither can I."
That had definitely not been what I had been expecting to hear. Turning, I saw Sanak standing there, looking at me with more intensity that such a small, slim man should be able to contain.
"That is a common misconception," he continued. "Vulcans do not suppress their emotions. But we do not allow them to control us, either. We feel just as strongly as you do, but we acknowledge those feelings and move on. Acting on them ... displaying them openly is rarely logical or worthwhile. Thought is preferable to feeling in most cases."
"You want me to become more Vulcan?"
"Not entirely, no. I merely suggest that it may benefit you to master your ... passions, instead of allowing them to master you. It would take some time to achieve this control, but I believe it would benefit you greatly, both as a Starfleet officer and as a woman."
Considering how many fights I got into - usually with Thryiss or some of the less intelligent locals - he was probably correct. If my anger continued getting away from me, I might not reach graduation. And the prospect of spending more time with Sanak had an appeal all of its own.
"I never liked the idea of having any sort of master," I told him after a few moments. "Even if that master is my own emotions."

"The thing about the Federation is that you do not remain as you were," I told Vranek. "There are so many different people, so many ideas, that you find yourself adopting some of them, becoming something ... someone you never thought you would. And changing them in return."

Later, when Vranek had left, Arrhae found herself looking at a small, dented piece of metal. A simple piece of bronze, it had been formed into the shape that the Vulcans used to represent their concept of infinite diversity. Sharply remembering the little chain it had once been attached to and the slender tanned neck it had been worn around, the Reman closed her eyes, fighting to keep her breathing slow and measured as the memories came back of that day on the Ural, when the torpedoes had hit the ship. They had been transporting food and medical supplies when some STUPID ROMULAN had- Arrhae clamped down hard on that thought, her fingers digging into her desk as the familiar old rage washed over her, the fury draining away as suddenly as it came as those events replayed themselves in her mind, of the hull breach and the shocked look in Sanak's eyes as the bulkhead behind him ceased to exist, the feeling of decompression and terror as she had tried to grab him, succeeding only in grasping the IDIC medallion he wore. Of how that little chain had held him for just a moment as he looked at her, before snapping, leaving her with her legs trapped under wreckage as the emergency forcefields finally activated, seconds too late.
For a moment, a dark voice in her head reminded her that her crew, especially Vranek, would not object much if she went looking for a Romulan warship. There almost certainly was one somewhere nearby where it shouldn't be, in a place or doing something that would give her an excuse to attack. Maybe even the ship that had attacked the Ural was still out there ...
"No." She lowered her head to the desk, refusing to give in to her feelings. She was angry - furious - but what would such an action actually accomplish? Nothing that Sanak would ever approve of, nothing that was right. Rage over what had happened, for what had been taken from her, that was right. Inflicting the same on others? No. She was angry, but she would use her rage instead of letting it use her.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-15-2012, 05:18 PM
Wow! Some of you had some fun times at the academy Thanks to everyone who participated!

I am going to unsticky this thread as I prepare to post challenge 19. Feel free to still submit your story if you have not done so already!


Brandon =/\=

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