Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
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# 1 The Chase (story)
07-12-2013, 01:05 AM
Glossary of Orion Terms:

Ohn'Gallau (N) roughly translates as a combination of "rogue slave" and "Apostate", to be pronounced "Ohn'Gallau" is to be hunted as a traitor to the Orion Race.

A'Bolleth (N)-Manumissionist, a criminal in the eyes of Orion law, translates as "One who breaks the chains of others".

Stav (Adj)-Means "Good" or "Loyal", also used in celebration.

The Good Masters (Proper Noun)- the ancient race that shaped the Orion people into the culture they are today, once a dominant force in the Galaxy, The Good Masters promised to return and reclaim their rights and property-this cult supplanted the worship of ordinary gods some ten thousand years ago.





Prologue

"Welcome, nice to meet you,
We've been waiting for so long,
In the hope that you'd drop by our little store.
We may not be accessible
To everyone, it's true,
But we've got everything you want and more...


-Tom Smith, "Hellraiser"

"A Key, A Door, An Opener of the Way."

-Prophecies of Thoros the Orion, Verse XXI, Paragraph 9, Line 4.

SS Ornadar, Gamma Quadrant, Zulu sector, August 11, 2399...

"Drake?" Andrea McGivens rolled over in the half-empty bed, and stared at the back of her lover. "Drake, honey? what's wrong?" she asked.

"My first wife was Bajoran, did I ever tell you that?" he replies, "We had a daughter-I don't know what's become of her." Something glows in his hands. "My second wife was Human, you've met her, and my daughter Elizabeth..." he still hasn't looked up.

"Drake, you're scaring me." she insists, walking lightly to his side.

"It's a diagram." he said, looking up, finally, "It's what we came here for."

"I know...that Mesaana woman paid us in advance." Andrea said.

"So she did." He smiles. "I suppose I should return her money to her, because I think I figured out what it's for...and I know it shouldn't be given to an Orion."

"What is it for?" she asks.

"It's a gateway to wonders." he said, "maybe even redemption." Drake Tran's eyes reflected the light emitted by the strange alien artifact.

"Come to bed!" she insists.

"of course, dear one..." he tells her, setting the box aside. The glow fades in the cabin.

He stands, and she beholds the webwork roadmap of scars across his body as he takes her in his arms, kisses her one last time.

The greenstick sound of the murder doesn't leave the Captain's cabin.

The next morning, Captain Tran takes his ship through the wormhole in the first leg of his journey home.

On the way, the small commerce-shuttle stops at Deep Space Nine, where in a few hours, the body of Andrea McGivens will be found, tucked into a holosuite at Quarks where the environment was set up as a honeymoon getaway.

In spite of the many stories, Starfleet Security is NOT incompetent...mostly. Tran's flight plan reveals no trace of him, or his ship, but at a commerce port on Seltris III, they find the corpses of the five contract spacers who were signed on to his Gamma Quadrant expedition.

Forensic evidence shows he is the killer, and a minor manhunt begins, leading from the Beta Ursa bloc, to the Sirius block, terminating on a deserted moonlet near the Klingon border, where Tran's ship is found, decompressed, with his smiling body flash-frozen in the airlock, eyes bulged out and skin frosted from exposure to hard vacuum. The ship's log is wiped clean, and there is no sign of whatever it was he was carrying.

With the inquest showing only circumstatial evidence and the dead bodies of two Orions, a Ferengi, and a wanted criminal for victims, his next of kin are informed of his death 'by misadventure'.

and the matter is considered closed. Life goes on, people live, die, get married or divorced, families join and split...


And Mesaana Dial continues to pay for 'tips' regarding the last contract taken by Drake Tran...




IKS Val'Gyr II, Regulus sector bloc...1 week after the events on Eryphis Station...

"...and that brings us to this." D'Moj sighed, "There's a reason she never found it."

The holoimage of the artifact hung over the briefing table. "That." Warrant Officer Ngoc Trung asked, gesturing at the device.

"That." D'Moj agreed.

"We're going where?" Ngoc asked.

"We've been given clearance by the High Council to visit the Orion Homeworld-what's left of it." she said, "Since that clearance wasn't something I asked for, you can call it a mission in the nature of a thinly disguised order-which is how you got a promotion instead of a ride to the Academy on Qo'Nos for a two-year crash course in something you're already competent at."

"Wouldn't a team of Archaeologists be more appropriate?" Lt. B'Tama asked, "this being a combat ship, after all."

D'Moj nodded, "They would...but we're racing Orions in their home turf, Temek and Vishka have already noted that one of my cousins seems to be pulling the Cults together in the region, organizing them-they think there's something in the area, we're supposed to get to it first, and keep it out of their hands by any means available."

"...and they don't want any of the exchange officers going home just yet." Kobor said bluntly, "Isn't that also true, Colonel?"

D'Moj shrugged, "I don't know...so far there is no news from Moab...or New Saigon, not since the orders arrived yesterday."

"I'll be good." Ngoc said quietly, "I can guess that they're concerned the lot of us would up-stakes and run home in the event of a catastrophe."

"It's not without a precedent, Ngoc." D'Daku, the Ops officer, said calmly, "Especially with half the Orions in the fleet in open rebellion. Humans are...notorious, and your folks are known to be rather attached to your homeworlds."

Ngoc nodded, "Point made...but that's being in the service, you wait for news and hope it's not the worst news." he said it quietly, a grim empty look in his eyes...


End Prologue
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Last edited by patrickngo; 07-12-2013 at 01:21 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 2
07-12-2013, 02:38 AM
...all my work and endless measures,
never seem to get me very fire.
Walk a mile to move an inch now,
even though I'm trying so damn hard...


-3 Door Down, "Duck and Run"


Digsite Absalom, somewhere in the Gamma Quadrant near the Dominion/Federation exclusion zone...

Professor Akorem Tarel stroked her earring, and flicked dust from the panel of an artifact of smooth, nearly featureless crystal embedded in some sort of alien polymer. "looks like a vid screen." Her chief assistant said.

"Looks can be decieving." Professor Akorem said, carefully recording the placement of the strange device with a high-resolution scanner. "Based on accretion of regolith, I'd say this particular hulk's been buried here for..oh, fifteen thousand years or so?" she said, "Yet there is no sign of corrosion, and once you get past the breach in the hull, it could've slipped the yards last year."

"Like the rest of the site, then-fifteen to twenty thousand years old?" Alenis, her top grad-student, asked.

"I'd say so...if the buildings weren't built on top of it." Professor Akorem said, "I think it's lunch time now." she stood up, and walked to the entryway, "Besides, we've got a conference call with the Board in three hours, and an inspection from our Dominion Hosts scheduled for the afternoon."

"Do you think they'll really pull our permits?" Alenis asked, dusting his trousers off.

"The Dominion might, or they might extend us another month-depends on what they think of our find, and whether they decide they want us off of it." she stated, "We're not here pot-hunting, but if the Founders decide this is of 'valuable historical and/or military value' to the Changelings, you can expect the Jem'Hadar and that nice Vorta to show up with the eviction notice-backed with energy weapons and torpedoes if they feel it necessary." she didn't say it with any bitterness-there was no point in being bitter.

Things would just be, as they were.

"The Vorta seemed to be pretty enthusiastic about our project when it was Bajoran and Cardassian skeletons in the upper layers." Alenis said.

"Yeah...but Mothu's been pretty enthusiastic every time I met him-still doesn't mean he won't sic those walking killing-machines of his on us if he feels it's in the interest of his gods." Akorem reminded her student. "Of course, OUR permits are in order-but anything can turn us into persona-non-grata this side of the Wormhole, and help from Starfleet's a week and several hundered hours of negotiation away if we get into trouble...so let's mind our manners, eh?"

"What do you suppose the Dominion was angling for when they consented?" Alenis asked, "It's not like they particularly Like 'solids' from the Alpha Quadrant poking around on dead worlds along their borders..."

Akorem shrugged, "Not sure. I think it might be the H'urq ruins nearby and the Klingons, or it might be-" she was interrupted as they exited the cavern into the dull orange sunlight.

Across the valley, they could both see it- a Jem'Hadar ship, parked beside a Yellowstone class Runabout sporting Starfleet markings.

"What in the name of the Prophets-?" Alenis asked, wide-eyed.

"Whatever it is, it's no good." Akorem said, "Mothu's early, and someone from OUR side of the Celestial Temple's already found a parking space."

"So...we're being ejected?" Alenis asked.

"Yeah, hot showers and fresh Hasperat, right?" Akorem spat in the dust. "Let's go greet our visitors and find out how bad the situation is."

"You are SUCH a ray of sunshine." Alenis said.

"Yeah." Akorem grumbled, "I'm a real treat..."



Scene 2

I hear the roar of a big machine
Two worlds and in between
Hot metal and methedrine
I hear empire down
I hear empire down


-Sisters of Mercy, "Lucrecia"



USS Suharto, Regulus Sector Bloc, near the border of the Orion Sector...

"You can't Do this SIR!" Commander David Long stared in the direction of the airlock door, "You're not in your right mind!" he started beating on the inner lock door.

Captain David Huntington looked to his lover, Eiral Mesaana, "Seems someone thinks I can't do what I must on my own ship!" he said lightly, and he looked at the rest of the command staff, "what do you all think?"

"He did try to sneak a message out, sir." Lt. Commander Ed Davillar pointed out, "I think he'd try it again. He's not worthy of a collar."

"So true." Huntington said, "Eiral? it was your Courtesan he spurned..."

"While it would be a kindness to break him to the collar, we have little time." the Orion Matron said, "Space him, let him join his fellows on the long walk home, erased from the book of life and the ledgers of the Masters."

Huntington nodded, and pressed the purge.

Then, he stepped forward, and pinned a commander's rank to Davillar, "You're my new executive officer, Mister Davillar...congratulations on your promotion."

"Thank you sir." the Earthman said, "I suppose it's time to get back to business."

"Very true, well, it's been a fun week of court-martials, but we have a mission...Would our beneficiary care to state her next objective?"

Eiral Masaana smiled sweetly, "Gather with my fleet at the coordinates we agreed upon, from there, we will conduct the search." she said, "Time is of the essence, I presume this is a swift vessel?

"The Suharto is an Odyssey class ship, Milady, we're the fastest thing in the Fleet." Huntington said with pride, "Now fastest thing in YOUR fleet."

"Excellent."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Last edited by patrickngo; 07-12-2013 at 02:42 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 3
07-13-2013, 09:54 PM
Digsite Absalom...

"...actually, Professor, the Founders are somewhat reluctant to interrupt your good work." Motha the Vorta said, placing his glass on the folding table.

"But?" Professor Akorem Tarel brushed a stray strand of her light-brown hair aside, "I hear a 'but' in your opening statement."

"But there is a Treaty to consider, and your licnense is set to expire in a few days. With representatives of Starfleet here, renewal of your site's access is...doubtful-we are not in the business of creating un-necessary conflicts, you understand?"

She turned to look at the silently waiting Starfleet officer. "What's your part in this?" she asked, "I was told I had a free hand by the Ministry of Antiquities, and we were on the verge of getting a Renewal notice on this site!"

"Professor Akorem, you're an expert on H'urq and Iconian artifacts and sites." the Federation's man said, "right now, frankly, we're turning over every possible rock that might be hiding someone who knows anything about them..." he nodded to the Vorta, "and the Dominion agrees with Starfleet's needs in this."

"WHAT? Prophet's Name HOW is...why?" she was aghast.

Motha gave a brief smile, "Professor, you came here looking into a site belonging to an extinct species that had contact with early Bajoran, Pre-Cardassians and Klingons...but that race is no longer...extinct..or so it would seem. While the Founders have enjoyed your reports and data immensely, the Dominion has no interest in being dragged into another Alpha Quadrant conflict."

"Okay, I get it-you're kicking me out at his request-but could someone stop dancing around the question of what you're both on about?" Akorem demanded.

"Are you familiar with a little rock in the Eta Eridani sector named Moab III?" the Starfleet man asked.

"Yeah, After mom left him and took me with her, my father settled there about fifteen years before he went crazy, killed his crew and died." she said, "Why?"

"Well..they found an Iconian gateway-and someone opened it...at least, that is the current reports from Starfleet intelligence-when they did, they unleashed an invasion...we're not sure how many millions are dead tonight from that, or how many more are going to die before the invasion is contained.."

"That sounds like a military problem, I'm an archaeologist. You need a soldier-and those are, frankly, common these days." Akorem snapped.

Motha looked to the Starfleet man, "Show her." the Vorta said.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Last edited by patrickngo; 07-14-2013 at 11:56 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 4
07-14-2013, 12:45 PM
The Orion Homeworld, Sirius sector space near the Eta Eridani sector border...

From orbit, it was earthlike down there-if you didn't pay attention to the sickly yellow colour of the clouds, or the gray, sludgy tint of the oceans, or the utterly geometric shape of the coastlines.

"...at the height of our civilzation, five thousand years ago, there were nearly one hundered billion people who lived here." D'Daku said. "Now...it's uninhabitable."

"Why so many? Usually when a civilization gets interstellar travel, populations drop." Ngoc Trung, the human helmsman, pointed out.

"Power, respect-finances." D'Daku shrugged, "at our height, mister Trung, we were the power of the Alpha Quadrant, and the Homeworld was the centre of an empire spanning from Alpha Centauri to Tau Dewa to the world known to the Klingons as N'Vak, and over to the edge of the Beta Ursa block...and beyond." The Orion engineering officer brushed her fingers across the image, "That was before the beings the Klingons called the H'urq...broke faith with us, back when the Cardassian people went by a different name, and worshipped a sun-god, and the ancestors of YOUR people were still shivering in ignorant darkness."

D'Moj came out of her Ready room and on to the Bridge, "Well, Cousin?" the Orion captain of the IKS Val'Gyr II demanded.

"If the archive exists, it will be on the lowest levels." D'Daku said, "Protected from the weather, the atmosphere at those depths is probably anoxic, we'll need to be using environmental suits with portable oxygen."

"That assumes it is not flooded out, and assumes we make our landing close enough to reach it." Ngoc pointed out, "I mean, this is the dead husk of a class-M world..."

"I'm reading inbound vessels at high warp, Colonel." B'Tara, at the sensors, announced.

"Engage cloak, let's see who else has come to this place." D'Moj ordered.

The familiar forms of two Frigates slid out of warp nearly 3 AU from the planet, and assumed a patrol-sweep formation.

"I think they know we've been in the area." D'Moj observed.

"OR they are preparing for the arrival of others." Ngoc said, which drew the attention of the senior officers, "I mean, that's how we'd do it-send in a scout force to secure the zone, then bring in the heavies to support the search on the ground."

"I love how your mind arrows in on the most practical, as opposed to paranoid, explanations. Your optimism is quite amusing at times." D'Moj said, "Those are Orion ships-from..." she checked the transponder codes herself, "The Masaana syndicate-Mother wouldn't use three ships if one could do the job, I doubt whoever's running the family business now would be any different."

"Priorities." D'Daku said, tugging at her shirt-she'd adopted non-traditional styles since Eryphis, with a fondness for clothing similar to the Moabite shirt-and-pants-under-jacket styles. "Grandmother would send three if she thought it was vital, or if she feared competitors."

"Us?" Ngoc asked.

"Hardly-but I would expect the Cult has operatives still in place on Qo'Nos." D'Moj agreed, "Which means they either expect us or someone else."

"incoming." B'Tara announced, "Passives show a large warp signature-active sensors too. Estimate four minutes before we can get it on the telescope."

Ngoc turned back to his helm, and watched the smaller tracks, carefully manuevering to avoid their active sweeps.

"Odyssey class." B'Tara announced, "Federation ship, she's taking up position with the frigates...you were right, Ngoc, those were the reconaissance clearing the way..."

D'Moj swore creatively as the bulk of the Federation's most advanced heavy cruiser appeared on long -range passives.

The flotilla shifted formation, and the Odyssey moved into transporter range of the surface, over the larger of the three main landmasses.

"They're looking in the wrong hemisphere." D'Daku said with a laugh. "Wrong side of hte planet, wrong urban zone!"

"What makes you think that?" D'Moj asked.

"I'm a student of our history and our Culture-where would your mother put something valuable?"

"Genuinely valuable, or cosmetically valuable?" D'Moj asked.

"Genuine value-something she had to protect?" D'Daku said.

"Nowhere she would need intrictate alarms to keep out the unwary." D'Moj said, "She would place it somewhere unexpected...and keep a dummy in the safe."

"Thoros liked mountains..." Ngoc said it first.

"How do you know that?" D'Daku asked.

"Been studying since some of YOUR folks messed with my thinking bits." Ngoc confessed, "trying to figure out what they did to me, and why they did it-the what's a lot easier, the Why has me confused as all hell."

D'Moj studied the orbits, studied the ground maps...

"Here." she pointed at a knob of urban landscape crusted with yellowish snow. "it's Here..."

"Or your Mother thought it was." D'Daku pointed out, "Masaana Di'al may not have right-she never saw the Archive herself..."

"We have to start somewhere, now, we also have to figure out how to get down there undetected, and get out again."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 5
07-14-2013, 02:21 PM
Episode 2, Ashes

...Would you let it go?
Oh,
Would you let it go...
They cannot, in this morning...
of my life, show me how the Gods Kill..


-Danzig, "How the Gods Kill"


USS Suharto, in orbit over the Orion Homeworld...

"Analytics, what do you have for me?" Captain David Huntington's bridge was a picture of perfect Starfleet order. Of course it is, and if Starfleet Command knew what we were doing, it would be a poster of mutiny as well... Huntington mused.
The Android "Analytics" was a Daystrom-Soong advanced model, unfortunately for the future of the Federation, it inherited more of it's predecessor Lore than it's parent Data...at least, ethically.

"The urban areas extend into the planetary crust several kilometers, sir. The preservation is quite remarkable, and probably due as much to this world's lack of a large moon as they do to the advanced construction techniques used to build them."

"That's...nice...what about clues to find our objective?" Huntington demanded.

"There are several zones of high sensor refractivity indicating superdense materials suitable for long-term storage in this area, an Archive such as your Orion contact has described would certainly require long-term high-density construction to preserve anything of value, especially anything as valuable as this archive...also, I am reading power signatures in the lower levels indicating some systems may still be functional." Analytics said, "I would set the probability of finding what we are after at well over fifty percent."

"How many sites have you detected that might be what we're after?" Huntington asked.

"Fifteen, sir, in this contintental landmass alone." the Android officer said.

"I guess we will be sending multiple away teams then..." Huntington said, "How's the air down there?"

"It is unlikely that it remains breathable, Captain, and I am reading high levels of radiation down there as well-we will need to equip the away teams with radiation and toxin-specific protective gear-at least for the biological personnel." the Android recommended.

"I see..." Huntington keyed a channel to the ship's armory, "Mister Whyte, I'm having Analytics send you our initial atmospheric and conditions surveys, we'll need one hundered and fifty environmental suits replicated to equip the away teams for fifteen locations on the planetary surface."

"Ten man teams?" Analytics asked.

"I like to be prepared-if there is power, there are likely defense systems, while we may have some of the access codes, we're after something that is several thousand years old-those codes may not be valid and I like to cover all my bases." Huntington said, "in the meantime, I want personnel rosters for fifteen teams of ten men, a transport-down and rotation schedule, and a coordination plan from all department heads that doesn't make us vulnerable."

"Vulnerable to what?" Kala Meressa, a Bajoran follower of the Pah Wraiths, asked.

"The Klinks are sure to come out here in force, Miss Kala, sooner or later thanks to the events at Eryphis, someone on Qo'Nos is going to send out an expedition-if they haven't already done so, also there are...others who may have an interest in our objective, and of course, if Starfleet Intelligence knows we're off the grid, we'll need to defend against that as well-all of which means we need to be in, get what we're after, and get out fast." He tapped his command chair, "All in all, the ability to defend the ship if we're surprised, or to escape..."

"But wouldn't Admiral-" Kala began, but Huntington held up a hand, stopping her mid-sentence.

"Don't use that name, even on OUR bridge-there are always ears that can hear." Huntington ordered.

"Aye sir."


David Huntington stepped off the bridge and into his ready-room. He had other reasons to suppress discussion of the Admiral. The Good Masters' agent at Earth Space Dock mustn't be revealed too soon, and how much control would I have over them if they found out I was an active collaborator with the Undine? He sighed. It had been so much simpler at the conditioning facility, the Good Masters would come, and drive the borg away. David desperately wanted the Borg driven away...he'd seen them up close on Defera, he'd seen what it took to slow them down. He knew it in the depths of his heart. There could only be stopping them with what had stopped them before-the Undine had shown him what it would take.
The Masters could stop them, so to save everyone...everyone must be taken in-and that means everyone must be broken to the Good Masters.

Better slavery, than extinction or assimilation...
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 6
07-14-2013, 09:14 PM
Di'hava-N, Titular-english equivalent is "Master's Temple" or "Monastary".

I hear the roar of a big machine
Two worlds and in between
Love lost, fire at will
Dum-dum bullets and shoot to kill, I hear
Dive, bombers, and
Empire down
Empire down


-Sisters of Mercy, "Lucretia"


IKS Val'Gyr II...

"They call this uninhabitable?" Ngoc asked, looking over the sensor plots. "It looks like downtown Nha Tranh on a cloudy day."

D'Daku shrugged, "when it was abandoned last century, the levels were a LOT higher." she said, "and the oxygen levels are a bit low."

"Radon count's high too...but compared to the whole 'we have to leave it' reputation, this place isn't much worse than Moab..." Ngoc shrugged as Mary Moriarty hit him with another injection.

"'tis a matter of Relative hazard, Cox'sn." Dr. Moriarty said, "Thy people hath adapted t' levels of toxicity tha' pose genuine threat to others, nae to mention thy parasite problems-Th world below thee may no' look so bad to thee, but by other standards, 'tis a righteous bad place."

"Filter masks, rebreather, and reinforced uniforms." D'Moj said, "we need to travel light down there."

Ngoc nodded, "Goggles." he said, "There's some corrosive **** in the atmosphere, we don't need to be blind down there."

"No eating the local fungus." Moriarty cautioned, "Or anything Else that catches thine eye."

"What makes-oh...yeah." Ngoc nodded, "I'll be good, I doubt there's anything down there still alive that isn't treyf as hell."

B'Tama and the rest of the assault squad walked into the transporter room. Ngoc stood up on his tip-toes and gave the Klingon Marine a kiss. "Wishing me luck?" he asked.

"Coming with you." she said, "while there don't seem to be any large lifeforms down there, the presence of a hostile ship in the same system means you need flank security, dear husband."

Ngoc pulled on his pilot's jacket, and checked both his disruptor, and his own personal pistol. "Full charge, plus seven in the magazine and one up the pipe." he said.

"Blade?" B'Tama insisted.

Ngoc pulled out a sawback fighting knife, she took it and gave it a careful once-over. "Two grams light in the hilt." she said, "You can compensate?"

"Yeah, and I've got the D'ktag too." He displayed the kidney-sheathed Honor knife, then pulled his jacket back down.

Then, he checked over her goggles and mask, examined the other protective gear, and did a once-over on her Disruptor carbine and grenade satchel while Dr. Moriarty administered the hypospray injections that would minimize the damage from the various known pollutants in the planet's environment.

Colonel D'Moj showed up last. "Everyone ready?" she asked. The five took the stage, "Kobor, Energize."


The ship's interior faded into a windswept ruin of half-devoured buildings, some of them still faced with their hard crystalline outer decorations.
"Welcome to the Shining City of Alshathor." D'Moj said, "We are standing in the grounds of the Di'hava Masaana."

Ngoc and Dr. Moriarty drew tricorders at nearly the same time, each scanning for something slightly different.

"We're standing on a supported floor." Ngoc noted, "Cavity below us is twenty metras deep."

Moriarty grunted at what she saw, and fondled her 'bag of tricks'. "This whole area is artificial." she stated, "thus, tis nae surprise it should be hollow."

"You look thoughtful." B'Tama said to the Doctor, "That usually bodes ill for someone."

Mary sighed, "I'm detecting higher life-forms moving in the deeps." she said, "at least mamalian level, large animals."

"so much for the planet being deserted." Ngoc muttered.

D'Moj waved them to follow, and the team assumed a staggered-order combat march.

The entrance to one of the flanking structures was blocked by a chunk of crystal nearly the size of the Val'Gyr II itself. The material was curved, hard, crystal smoked by corrosive winds and frosted where it was exposed.

"We have to get into there." D'Moj stated, "Preferably before it rains again."

"You know, I think we found a place more disagreeable than your homeworld." D'Daku quipped to Ngoc.

"Could be." He said, "but then, my home is a nice place, really." He put the tricorder away, and motioned to B'Tama, "Got any Blastex in that bag of yours, my love?"

"I have a few kilos, why?" she asked.

"Because this crystal's refractive as hell, but the wall it's sitting on is pretty much 'crete and granitic brick, I might be able to punch a hole through the side..."

"Making a magic door-opener?" D'Daku stepped over to where the human squatted, examining the structure.

"Well...I estimate we'd be hammering this thing for hours with disruptors-or we can use shaped charges and make a big hole." he said, "Material looks like it's good against energy, but not concussion..."

B'Tama handed him three blocks of Blastex, and he handed back one-and-a-half, then started kneading the clay-like substance.

"Makes me think they had high-tech for a LONG time." he mentioned.

"Oh?" even D'Moj was interested now.

"Yeah...see...the material substrates I read on the tricorder say this wall's got some nasty resistance to charged particles, a good bit of refraction against phased neutrons, but only decent resistance to a good, hard whack with something heavy-Disruptors and Phasers would skitter all over it like a warship hull...but it's brittle like baked sucre-candy, it relies on sheer mass for kinetic absorption." He patted his jacket's pockets, and came out with a small, hook-like detonator cap, which he embedded in one of the cake-like forms he'd shaped.

"Where did you learn?" D'Daku asked.

"Kobor's thumbnail demolitions course." Ngoc said, "Supplementary stuff...okay, we're not going to want to be in the backblast...honey, can I have one of your photon grenades?"

"What's that for?" D'Moj asked.

"bell-shock-the blastex-this much of it, at least, needs a standing wave not to blow debris back at us." Ngoc said, adjusting the grenade's blast pattern before arming it.

"Okay, let's go get under something solid-remember, if you see me running...try to keep up!" Ngoc jumped to his feet, and dashed across the courtyard at an angle to where another large piece of crystalline dome lay over a shattered wall.

The rest of the team followed.

Boo-whup-BOOM!!!!

The blast was low-toned enough to feel more than hear.

The grounds rang like a gigantic bell, reverberating through their feet.

"My husband can cook!" B'Tama exclaimed.

"Well...if they didn't know we were coming, they do now." D'Moj quipped, "Let's go meet the locals."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 7
07-16-2013, 01:46 AM
USS Bradbury, NCC-451F, bound for the Wormhole...

"Professor, I trust your accomodations are comfortable?" Captain Lewis McLain asked.

Akorem Tarel just shrugged, and tabbed through another stack of reports, "It's fine, I guess." she said dully, "Some of this looks like it's pretty classified."

"That's probably because it is, Professor." He walked over to the unused bed, and sat down. "You do look like her...and like your father."

"That person is not up for discussion." She looked up from the reader, and brushed a length of her hair from her eyes, "I don't care what they told you about him, he left us...a long time before mom got the divorce."

"Sorry...just..." McLain sighed, "It's like old times, I almost expect that crazy friend of his to show up."

"Uncle Ricky's never showing up again, though, is he?" she almost spat it, "Starfleet made sure of that-sending him to fight the borg at his age!!"

"He volunteered-" Lewis started.

"He Always volunteered." Akorem said vehemently, "Every time, every place, every war, every disaster. Dad would wave a finger and there would be Uncle Ricky, off on another stupid and dangerous crusade, Meru and I..." she stopped, "what're you laughing at?"

"You sound like your mum." Lewis said, "besides, If I recall, Enrico didn't come when your father went into the Gamma Quadrant that last time."

"It wasn't another war, Captain." Akorem said, "Dad shouldn't have been there either-what else do you think set him off? made him crazy? He was always one step off from cracking, it's why..." she stopped, "you were there, I finally recognize you-you were there on the Tiburon when he came back."

"He settled down...before the end." McLain said, "You have a sister, you know...well, half sister, anyway..."

"She's just like Dad-I read the news, Captain-what a wonderful family I have-my father, the mass-murdering psychotic who killed himself with a smile on his face, my sister, the Rebel reviving a memory of a movement that should have stayed dead..." her tone turned mocking, "What a Delightful family tree I have! Murderers, thugs, rebels and Lunatics."

Lewis frowned, "bitter much?" he asked.

"a bit." Akorem said, "Meanwhile, I think I'm starting to get a grasp of some of these samples-especially the ones from Site Echo and Site Jeroam..and you know what?" she asked.

"What?" Lewis asked.

"I need to go get brain-bent." she said, "Is there anything to drink on this tub that isn't neutered, non-alcoholic, non-intoxicating, replicated swill?"

"Um...no." Lewis said, "Seriously, why-"

"Okay, how about drugs then?" she asked. "We're about to transit the wormhole and I do not want to do it sober!"

Lewis stood up, "I...I'll see what I can do." he said, shaken, and walked out.


In the corridor, Lewis spoke up, "Ahab." He turned to look at the LCARS display in the corridor, and a dapper-looking fellow in eighteenth century sailing garb appeared on the display.
"What do you need, sir?" Ahab asked.

"Medical condition monitor on Professor Akorem." Lewis said, "She's depressed and has asked after some rather...odd things-also warn the Doc she may try to get her hands on pharmaceutical intoxicants."

"I was monitoring the conversation, you're sure you want me doing that?" Ahab asked.

"Dead certain-check her personal file from the Banta province girl's academy dated fifteen years ago." Lewis said, "and schedule her for addiction screening, I want to know what her current flavour is."

Ahab frowned, "Attempted suicide by overdose..."

"Yeah." Lewis said, "Why are the smart ones always so damn self-destructive?"

"She could actually BE clean, you know." Ahab pointed out, "I mean, she's managed to make it to almost-forty and is a leading mind in her field..."

"that woman I just walked into is one push away from turning into an Ophelia." Lewis said, "I guess it's good she has no 'Hamlet' in her life."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Last edited by patrickngo; 07-16-2013 at 01:59 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 8
07-17-2013, 01:03 AM
Orion Homeworld...

The first twenty meters past the wall were down a ruined lift-shaft. The floor glowed with a soft, yellow light that suffused the chamber under the courtyard. Statues, ten meters or more in height, flanked the room. Each was an idealized Orion twisted and perverted with strange implants and surgical openings. They were both compelling in their beauty, and yet disgusting beyond easy description-tentacles and soft flesh, carapace and filaments erupting from openings no humanoid could survive for long.
Everywhere, a motif of chains and bondage.

"Someone has some serious kink issues." Ngoc said quietly.

"The Masters' gatekeepers." D'Daku said, "I can recite some of their names..."

"The equivalent for your people would be 'angels', Ngoc-messengers of a god." D'Moj said. "At one time, every Trading House maintained a shrine like this one, where the chosen would be brought to recite the names of the Great Servants, hoping to join their ranks."


"Some angels." Ngoc commented, "I take it the lift-shaft wasn't the main entrance though."

"Entry was usually at ground level." D'Moj said, "The Archive, if it still rests here, would be several hundered meters below us, in the old days, this place would be cared for by a staff of special slaves-slaves that would never be sold, who were bred for the purpose of guarding and maintaining the shrine, the Archive, and the Trading House's reserves of wealth."

D'Daku set up a transport enhancer relay near the centre of the room, then replicated and assembled four turrets around it with a power supply.

"Turrets?" B'Tara asked.

"Perimeter security-someone's maintained the glowstone tiles." D'Daku said, "IF there are descendents of the maintenance slaves, you have to wonder what they've been eating all this time..."

"Large, mammalian lifeforms." Mary Moriarty said, "I expect we'd best hope they're afraid of fire."

The team exchanged glances, and checked weapons again.



Far side of the planet...145 meters below the surface...

Jason Whyte slashed into the leaping creature with his bony fingers and it let out a shriek of indignation. Part of his brain registered the creature as nothing more than a slightly emaciated Orion female, but there was no native intelligence in those eyes, not even as he ripped her heart from her ragged, naked body.

With practiced hands and three phasers, he finished off the other degenerates in the chamber, leaving only the unfortunate Team 4's survivors screaming in agony around the room-they had been somehow paralyzed by the Fem's pheremones, while the males in the nest had begun eating them...alive.

Bones and bone fragments crunched under his boots, as he went from victim to victim-the worst wounded were put down, the least were given medipaks.
With his free hand, he keyed his communicator, "Whyte to Suharto, I found landing team four's location..they were ambushed by primitives...cannibals, several of the landing party were too damaged to save."

"Did you manage to take any prisoners, Mister Whyte?" Captai Huntington's voice asked.

"NEGATIVE on prisoners-I doubt we could extract anything of use from these...creatures." Whyte said, his lower-right hand holstered the phaser, and brought out a tricorder, which he used his upper right hand to operate. "Genetic degradation, possibly centuries of inbreeding as well." He added, "There are some fascinating objets'd'art in the upper levels, compelling work."

"We'll have to catalogue some of the pieces for transport, then...how did the team get into this position?" Huntington asked.

"I would suspect mutations of the natural Orion Pheremonal abilities-so far most of the survivors seem...out of it, stunned or drugged." Whyte smiled again, "It failed to effect me but then, I'm not a carbon-based form with humanoid biology TO effect."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 9
07-17-2013, 02:41 AM
Masaana Di'hava site, 70 meters down...

"Stinks." Ngoc said, "Smells like unwashed ass, rotten turds, and bad urine." He pulled a hot-flare and ignited it.

"That would be a high concentration of pheremones down here-masks people." D'Moj instructed, "Mary, what's our atmo count?"

"They're getting fresh air from somewhere." Mary Moriarty's voice was muffled under her rebreather.

Something skittered in the darkness of the corridor ahead of them.

"I have movement ahead." B'Tara announced, and cycled her Disruptor from 'standby' to 'ready'.

"These slaves, they'd be keyed to a pheremone, wouldn't they?" Ngoc asked, "I mean...specifically, right?"

"Even mother's records weren't that detailed, but it seems likely." D'Moj replied, "Why?"

"Because I've got movement parallel to ours-above and below us, as well as in front of us on my sensors." Ngoc said, holding his tricorder left-handed, "They're staying back about five meters."

The tunnel branched, one arm going straight, the other down and to the left.

"Gallau'on ka gaale thru ssevisss, Gallau'on!" the chant suddenly echoed around them, repeating, with slight variations.

The voices chanted with keening, desperate intensity. The intensity rose in volume as thumping-like drumming of a discordant beat, and an eeeeeeeee sound echoed around them from all sides.

"What are they saying?" B'tara asked tensely.

"The Master returns, good meat, Master." D'Daku translated, "It's a corrupted dialect, and I can't be certain..."

"They're ringing the dinner bell." Ngoc said, "either we're the entree, or the guest of honour-maybe both."

The corridor they were descending widened into another underground plaza, but this one was occupied by furtive shapes just outside the circle of light from the torch.

"I thought this place was supposed to be uninhabited-uninhabitable, even." Ngoc's right hand strayed to his sidearm, and drew it.

the natives pressed toward them in a mob of all shapes and sizes, all of them a cruel mockery of the image of Orions. Dank, rotten meat smells joined the sewage and body odour, and three of them danced freakishly-the moves of the Seduction Dance somehow more sinuous and yet a mockery by some demented choreographer.

The drumming intensified, and the keening voices of the children announced their hunger...
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,731
# 10
07-18-2013, 02:22 AM
Episode 3, "Corruption"

The things you want are found beyond doors
More obscure than mine,
But they will open if you have the proper key.
The pleasures of the ages
And the tortures of the damned
Are at your fingertips for just a modest fee.


-Tom Smith, "Hellraiser"


Deep Space 9...

"Where did you get this book?" Akorem Tarel was livid with rage.
"Professor-it's not what it looks like." Alenis Morio raised his hands in an instinctive defensive posture.
"Really? 'The Crime of Love'? a Pah Wraith screed, where did you get it?" She demanded again, "More importantly, who gave it to you? do you have any idea..."

"It's mine, okay? Why are you so upset, it's not like you believe in the Prophets..." he countered, finding his spine.

"I believe in wormhole aliens, I believe that some of them are not friends of Bajor, and I believe in history, Morio. Gul Dukat resurrected that pathetic cult to try and destabilize Bajor in the middle of a war." she hefted the volume, "So, who gave it to you?"

Morio flinched, "it was in the collection of evidence from the Bradbury." he told her, "Part of the effects they brought with them..."

She cooled a bit, "My father's effects?" she asked.

"Not his, but one of his crew-the woman whose body he dumped on the station." LT. Commander Bryan Cecil's voice cut through the tension between Teacher and Student. "Part of the closed file, Captain McLain was holding it until you could find time to have a look...Starfleet Intelligence was it before that."

"For over a decade? Really..?" Tarel asked, "You People...what else did they find that never made it out of a secure holding area?"

"Come and see, Professor." the Starfleet man said, "We've got most of the stuff secured in a protected holding area."

She motioned for Morio to follow, and they travelled a short distance down the docking ring to a storage hold guarded by some rather well-armed Starfleet officers.

"How long has this material been here?" she asked.

"We shipped it in two days before the Bradbury crossed the Wormhole to bring you back." The Bradbury's science officer was waiting inside.

Akorem examined the collection of junk carefully, and began separating certain pieces.

"Orion...Orion...H'urq, Orion...sixth generation of the Thoros ascendency-about two thousand years ago...H'urq, pre-Kahless, roughly five thousand years old...now this is interesting." she groped out a geometrically balanced shape, "Dodecahedron, possibly a puzzle box, looks...like something from MY site in the Gamma Quadrant."

"That one has been confusing the lab boys." LTC Terdiak said, "we're not sure what it does, but it absorbs a hell of a lot of energy most of the time..."

"Have you just tried opening it?" Akorem asked.

"um...opening it?" Terdiak said, "No, there don't appear to be any seams..."

"Close your eyes, and feel it." she said. "Soft points, see?"

The Betazoid's eyes glazed as she began manipulating the structure, when suddenly-alarms began sounding.

she stopped.
"What's wrong?" she asked.

"I'll find out..." Terdiak hit his communicator, the answer back was rife with swearing, but Akorem picked up terms like "Gravitic shifting", "Unstable Radiation emissions" and "Neutrino Flux".

"I think we're going to need a better lab to really figure out what this is...somewhere far from anyone who might get hurt." Akorem suggested.

"I think we know a place, the Captain's going to need to clear it first..." Terdiak said, "Mind putting that one back?"

"Not at all." She said, "pack everything-document it first, then seal it, we'll check it out in a secured location."

"that item was emitting a hell of a lot of power-well, emitting is the wrong term, I'm getting reports of sudden,massive stress fractures in areas of the Station..."



My eyes **** out lies
I only kill to know i'm alive
So what? so what?
Die! die! die! die!


-Ministry, "So What?"

120 meters below Masaana Di'hava...

The crowd rushed them, and Ngoc found the answer to the ancient question- "You have a gun, and you're faced with the choice of shooting a woman, or being killed, what do you feel?"
The Answer was "Recoil." He felt the recoil eight times in a row, swift, sudden shots and the smell of cordite, burned sulphur, and the tang of blood in the air. Somehow, the sounds of each brass striking the tiled floor clinked over the sound of the degenerates drumming, keening, wailing cacophony.

the slide locked back, and he dropped the service pistol's empty magazine, slapped a fresh one in, and drew a disruptor with mechanical efficiency, while the air around him turned brilliant green with the flurry of Disruptors from the other four.

For a few more seconds, the mob of cannibals continued their rush, and he felt recoil four more times-this time only to his right hand (Disruptors don't have recoil...).

"Gallau'On, VESHA!!!" and the mob flowed backward from them, leaving corpses, some burned, some half-dissolved, some with gaping holes in places most humanoid beings die from rather quickly.

"What was that?" Ngoc asked.

"They just called us 'Death masters'...I think." D'Moj said, "Or maybe it was 'killer masters'..."

"No, it was 'Master killers'-as in someone who kills masters." D'Daku said, "I think it safe to say we're off the menu...for the moment."

one of the wounded dancers crawled toward them, repeating, "Vesha..veshaaa..." in a slick of her own orange blood.

compared to the mob-rush riot of the previous seconds, this one pathetic victim paralyzed Ngoc, as she crawled closer, revealing pointed teeth and strange tattoos...

"Veshaaa...Veshaaana gol On'Gallau?" the creature was nearly touching his boot, eyes fixed on the gun, not the disruptor.

"On'Gallau, Sil A'Bolleth?" the wounded girl...my god she IS a girl... part of Ngoc's mind jabbered at his frozen hands. "Sil..hhhh...A'Bolleth, K'a dasai?"

"Shoot her." D'Daku said, "She wants you to end her life...end her slavery, she knows you're free."

"Stav On'Gallau, Sul A'Bolleth, Sil?" the thing begged.

Ngoc felt recoil once more, and the plaza echoed with the thunder.

"I hate my people sometimes...scratch that, I hate my people all the time." D'Moj spat in the silence. "WE did this...to our own kind."

Ngoc recovered the empty magazine, and his brass, as the mass of inhabitants just seemed to fade into the murky gloom, away from them. "Let's go get this over with." he said, "Before I puke."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
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