Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 28
# 21
04-13-2013, 05:41 PM
Well, I'm impressed by your choice for the last round, so I suppose I owe you a little something out of the ordinary.

It was stardate 87001.4.

The Lewis & Clark had been ordered by the Old Man to pick up a "special delivery" from a research station in the Xarantine Sector, in the R735 Gamma system.

Now, I think I've already mentioned we had made a career of doing odd jobs that command saw fit to spare typical Starfleet crews from. And Admiral Quinn, the Old Man, knew, however many ships we'd had shot out from under us from over the years, the Lewis & Clark being our most recent, we were good at what we did.

One of those things was collecting special deliveries from out-of-the-way research stations, so I had an inkling of what we were in for. Or so I thought.

About three hours out, we received a distress signal from the very system we were hurtling towards. It was too garbled to understand, mangled by layers of jamming.

We contacted command and it was the Old Man himself that answered us. The package we were after was of supreme importance, something that could end the war with the Klingons once and for all. He couldn't say more, even on a secure channel. It was a level of caution I hadn't heard from him before, and I have to admit it rattled me.

The only other ship was two days away, and so I ordered us to maximum warp.

Now, entering a system under attack from an unknown enemy takes a fair bit of thought. Luckily, we'd gained some experience in the matter.

A rookie would head straight in, skimming the ecliptic, and get blown out of the sky for their trouble. A more practiced hand might try to drop in from 90 degrees above or below. And that could work if whoever were trying to kill them were relatively new to spaceflight and not yet used to thinking in three dimensions. 45 degrees is a craftier option, but a hardened enemy would be waiting.

We came in at 32.7 degrees.

We'd done our best to mask our warp signature--another handy skill we'd picked up--and made it all the way to the station on the fifth world out with only a few fleeting contacts slipping by at extreme sensor range.

We arrived at an ordinary looking planet, without sign of an invading force and no subspace transmissions. Which meant only one thing.

It was the Klingons.

Of course, it might have been the Romulans, too. But, eventually, you get a sense about these things. And it had been at least 20 minutes since a Klingon had shot at us, so it seemed about time.

Besides, during those days, no matter where we went or what we did, it always came back to the war with the Klingons.

We didn't have to wait long for four birds of prey and a Negh'Var to decloak.

We'd faced worse odds on a few occasions and come out alright. But combat can be a funny thing. There's always the issue of luck and, as I've said before, luck can be ugly.

At the end of it, we survived, but just barely. We lost warp power and impulse output was down to 25 percent. Communicating with anyone that couldn't hear us shout was impossible, and save for a single torpedo launcher, our weapons were all offline. Even if they hadn't been, our sensors were in shreds.

And 34 of my crew were dead.

About the only thing working on board were two replicators and one transporter room, so our only option was to beam down to the station. Despite the usual objections, I insisted on coming along.

I expected to see an army of Klingons as soon as we materialized, but instead, there were three of the station's scientists, each with a phaser rifle slung on their backs and one or two pistols stuffed in the belts of their jumpsuits. Behind them, a Klingon warrior was slumped against a wall, an ugly black burn from his right shoulder to his left hip.

It was a sad thing that I didn't even blink at the sight of the body there. Instead, I asked directly about the package we'd come for.

Without much of a word, one of the researchers led us down a series of halls to a heavily armored door. She typed a code into a pad on the wall, and the door slip open with a heavy groan. I took a step into the room beyond.

It was empty.

I reacted the way that any sensible person would. I started to laugh. I kept laughing until tears were running down my cheeks.

I could half feel the strange looks from behind me from my crew that had accompanied me down and from the lone scientist who'd lead us here. But in that moment, there was only the sound of my laughter echoing in the huge empty space in front of me.

As I was to learn on the long, slow trip out of the system, there never was any special delivery. And the researchers at the station weren't researchers at all. They were Starfleet Marines. The entire place had been established as a ruse, as was our mission there, to lure the Klingons' attention away from an assault on a strategic system in the Archanis Sector.

Like most things in those days, that assault turned into a stalemate.

Now, I think that in every life, there comes a moment when everything changes. I suppose there are a lucky few of us that leave the same world we're born into. But for the rest, we live on shifting ground.

I know, I had my own history of mischief, of pulling the rug out from under the feet of those around me, of practical jokes. And I'd settled into a Starfleet career of misdirection and subterfuge. But, for the first time, as I stood in that doorway to an empty room on an unremarkable planet in an otherwise unimportant corner of the galaxy, I wondered if those decisions had been the right ones. I wondered if the Starfleet I was now part of was the same Starfleet I dreamt of joining as a child. I wondered what the war with the Klingons had done to us, to me.

Like anyone at my line of work, I didn't let those thoughts trouble me for long. As we limped back home, it was easy enough to get lost in the work.

Seven of the crew had asked for burials in space, and so we conducted a series of ceremonies. For the rest, we turned cargo bay two into a makeshift morgue.

But, after that, the banter was gone from my talks with the Old Man. I briefed him on events, and at one moment I thought he might be on the verge of an apology, but then we were back to trading in formalities.

Even later, it would all become clear that those few moments of laughter would lead down a road away from everything I knew, to this very place, here and now.

But that's a story for another time.

For the moment, now, I think we should instead discuss your plans for the next round.

Last edited by fu11ofstars; 04-13-2013 at 05:55 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 208
# 22
04-14-2013, 08:50 PM
USS Scylla, 0745 hours

"the feed lines from the main deuterium tanks come in there, the tanks themselves are on deck 11. We've made a few modifications that the Captain suggested that have increased the output by fourteen point six percent."

The eager young ensign followed along behind chief engineer Vran Pyrl, making notes on a padd "I didn't think the Akira class could be boosted past eight percent, they were already pretty high output from what I understood...and what is fuzzy lump on the injector housing? Is that a Caitian? And is she naked?"

Chief Pyrl looked up and sighed, the big Andorian shaking his head "That's the Captain, it seems she fell asleep there last night." He walked over to a device in an alcove in the wall that looked like a smaller version of the ships warp core."this should wake her up"

"is that off a type six shuttle pod?"

"Very good Ensign, it was salvaged and deemed unrepairable, so the Captain turned it into a coffee maker." Chief Pyrl said as he powered the device, the magnetic bottle in the drive compressing the coffee and injecting it into what had once been the intermix chamber, the scent of the brew filling engineering.

"but..that...that's insane Sir."

"How long have you been an engineer Son?"

The Ensign stammered "I graduated from the academy last month Sir."

The chief just grinned as he placed a mug under the output of the coffee engine, filling first his own then pulling the Captains mug off the rack, with the name 'Dr M. Schrodinger, Aperture Warp Division' in blue letters, filling hers as well. "If it works, it's not insane. And it makes the best damn coffee in the quadrant."

He looked at the name on the side of the mug "Schrodinger? That's not exactly a Caitian name is it?"

"I was adopted, thanks chief!"

Squealing like a little girl when your Captain seemingly appears instantly behind you is often not the best way to introduce yourself to your new commander but he recovered fairly quickly, snapping to attention. "Ensign Tokage reporting for duty Captain." he stammered, trying desperately not to look below her face.

"Nice to meet you Ensign, I see the Chief is giving you the tour, welcome aboard. Oh, also Chief? We're still having that replicator issue with uniforms disintegrating when exposed to an EM field."

"I hadn't noticed Captain" he said diplomatically. "But I'll get on it."

She refilled her mug and smiled "Also the intermix was a bit off, got it re-calibrated before I dropped off, I think we're having another injector going south on us-" she stopped in mid sentence as the lighting changed, Red Alert klaxon blaring. She reached for her combadge out of reflex then growled when she remembered it was with what was left of her uniform, instead hitting the panel on the wall "Bridge , Schrodi, what's up Corspa?"

Her first officer responded "We've received a priority one distress message from the Mirfak system. There is a Federation research center there that is under heavy attack."

"I've never heard of anything at all there."

"there's nothing in the computer about it either, in fact when we tried to access system information, everything but the name was redacted, flag level or higher."

"Lovely, what's our eta?"

"Fourty three minutes at warp 8, being we were allready out in this part of the middle of nowhere. next closest ship is the USS Agamennon, but she?s nine hours away."

"Alright, I'll be on the bridge as soon as I get cleaned up."

Twenty minutes later, she wasn't clean clean, but good enough, at least the engine grease was out of her light tan fur. She was short for her species, less than two meters, almost looking leopard like with light spots "What do we have?"she asked Corspa as she entered the bridge.

"I believe the English phrase is not a damn thing" she replied, looking frustrated at the terminal. "Everything is classified, even a system survey from seventy years ago." she said, her antennae turning a lighter blue the way they did when she was upset.

She sat down on the captains chair "ETA?" she said as she pulled up the system info on her own monitor and typing in her command authrorization. "nuts..it won't tell me anything either, Rear Admiral or higher clearance needed. I hate going in blind."

"myself as well Captain, eta is eleven minutes-wait. We're picking up something on sensors, it's a damaged Federation shuttlecraft, just out side of the system. Captain, it seems the emergency signal is coming from that."

"Curiouser and curiouser, bring us in closer and hail them, maybe they have a damn clue whats going on around here."

It was only a few moments before they were in communication range "Hailing the shuttle , that's odd, it seems to be using an unfamilar encryption sequence..."

Schrodi's ears perked up at that, and looked over the console as well. "It's using some kind of..oh damnit, I've seen this signal before.."

The scarred wounded human on the viewscreen didn"t look any happier either as he got a look at who was responding to his emergency alert. "what are you doing here, I thought the Agamenon was supposed to be in this sector?"

The caitian just smiled, showing more teeth than she usually did to humans as this tended to unnerve them, but the section 31 agent was on her 'unnerve or annoy' list. "nice to see you too Drake. We found a planet that a Galaxy class ship was better equipped to survey than we were, so Captain Evans went on to look it over while we filled in on her patrol route-and yes we cleared it with command."

"Fine, I don't have time to argue. There's a Gorn assault group attacking a research station in the system-"

"What are they researching?"

"You don?t need to know that."

She rolled her eyes "Fine. if your shuttles moveable, bring it aboard otherwise we"ll beam you over. Corspa? have security on standby for an assault, and someone wake up medical, tell Dr Emudia to prepare for possible casualties."



Mirfak system, 0915

It was a good system to sneak into. There was a large asteroid belt, with hunks of rock and ice far bigger than an Akira class ship like the Scylla to hide behind. Oddly enough though, there were no Gorn, at least none attacking the antique, no ancient station in orbit of the systems sole planet. There was wreckage of several Gorn cruisers however, looking as if they were plastic toys melted by a child with a magnifying glass.

"What the hell happened to them-wait, I don't need to know" Schrodi growled , glancing over at the black uniformed human on her bridge, his wounds bandaged and in fresh clothes.

"you're learning" Drake smirked "But it seems we have a bigger problem. there?s several dozen Gorn on the station, as well as the scientists working on the project."

"Well whatever it is, it melted duranium as if it was putty-usually anything high enough temperature to do that would vaporize the less dense understructure, but in this case it hasn't, so I'm thinking some sort of new wonder-weapon that can generate stellar core temperatures on a given target without damaging what you don't want damaged. Warp cores should have gone, yet on that one, it's untouched." she said pointing at one of the ships on the screen.

Drake said nothing, as she sighed. "Right, well it's obvious by now that this has gone from an attack to a hostage situation. Are we in danger from your new toy Drake, or can we come in closer?"

"if the, no. it's damaged" he said looking at the station "So they can't use it against us."

"right, bring us in and hail them."

That took longer than they thought, either the Gorn couldn't figure out the communication systems on the hundred fifty year plus old station, or they were damaged. "Ra'wiq Sara, my forces are holding this station. Hostages we have, will eat if you do not transmit computer security codes!"

"Commander Michelle Schrodinger, commanding USS Scylla. I must see the hostages before any decision can be made."

There was a moments pause on the other end, then the viewer switched. There were a half dozen battered and bruised scientists, bodily chained to support pillars. Corspa gave a nod to the captain, that matched the number of friendly life forms. "Very well, they must be entered manually. I will beam over in a moment."

Fortunately she had her finger on the mute button, for as she expected Drake erupted in fury "NO! They will transmit that data to their forces, you?d be just giving them the cascade device!" Fortunately she also had her security chief come to the bridge as well, the short Tellarite easily holding him in place. "The captain knows what she?s doing, unlike you stinky.. You wouldn't know the truth if it bit your smelly ass."

Drake was incoherent with rage as the Ra'wiq replied "you have five of your minutes, otherwise my crew become hungry."

"Wouldn't want that" Schrodi said as the screen went back to the view of the nearly derilict station. "You can let him go now Ponta." The security chief let go, looking down at her hands "I'll have to get these sterilized now after handling him."

He whirled on Schrodi "Commander you are committing treason against the Federation, you don't understand the gravity of the situation!"

She just smiled, her tail swishing "Oh I understand more than you think" she said, tapping the com "Chief Eng? Meet me in transporter room one with the boots from my eva locker."



four minutes later.

Five angry Gorn were never a good thing to see when you arrived anywhere. Neither was finding out the replicator bug with the uniforms also had issues with the transporter. One of the Gorn troopers had reached for her communicator when she arrived only to have to bend for it, fumbling as it bounced off the deck amidst the dust that used to be clothing. "Really need to get that fixed" she muttered to herself as she was led into the stations control center clad in her underwear and bulky boots. The hostages looked like they had seen better days, but seeing a almost naked caitian led in was definetely not what they expected, nor what the Ra'wiq did either.

"what is the meaning of this?"

Schrodi did her best to look cowed, her ears back as one of the Gorn volunteered "She is unarmed Ra'wiq!"

"Yes, I can see that, but now I have to look at this..mammal." he turned his back "Unlock the computer system or the hostages, and you, die!"

she glanced around one more time, then shrugged as if in resignation. The hostages were secure, and there was a reason why they didn't build things like they used to in some cases... "Coming right up" she says as she tapped a couple keys on the console.

"What are you doing, I can not read that!"

"The code is in Caitian, there aren't the right letters in standard."

That seemed to either molify or confuse him as she tapped out a sequence. "There, unlocked, I just have to hit the final key" she said as she planted her feet,an unavoidable hum coming from the EVA boots as they locked to the deck plates. "Activate."

Gravity reversed suddenly, one second the deck was down, then the ceiling was. The Gorn troopers flailed and yelled as they plunged towards the ceiling four meters overhead, landing with crunching thuds. A second after that, the graviton field switched ninety degrees, pulling them screaming across the ceiling to the far wall, away from the also screaming but fortunately well secured hostages. three seconds later the field flipped again, pulling them and everything else loose back down towards where the floor was, blood, broken disruptors, and vomit filling the air. the yells started to taper off as the graviton generators cycled the field every two seconds until there was a large bang from under one of the floorplates, cutting the gravity off completely.

She unlocked her boots and kicked off the deck, trying to avoid the worst of the mess as she went to check on the hostages.



One very long shower later.

her fur was still damp, but she was clean again, and this time her uniform wouldn't fall apart. She hoped. The survivors of the Gorn attack were just as non communicative as Drake was about what they were after, but that wasn't her problem. Nor had any of the Gorn survived either, she had probably let the bouncing go on a bit longer than she should have. There was a knock on her ready room door "It's open."

Franklin Drake looked a lot more like his usual smirking self "I talked to the scientists, sadly we lost Dr Carroll, he was the brains of the project, but the Gorn did not manage to get anything useful. I also" he said, looking as if he swallowed a bug "want to apologize. That was a brilliant piece of improvization you did to take out the Gorn."

"Just be glad you hide your labs in stations that should have been retired a hundred years ago Captain Drake, anything more modern and that wouldn?t have worked at all."

He actually smiled at that "Well we work with what we have. Anyway, of course this doesn't go into your official log."

"of course not" she replied, frowning just a bit. it looked like there was dust on the front of Drake's uniform..or deconstructing fibers. "Anyhow this is where you tell us to get lost, right?"

"Yes, my superiors are inbound, and it would be better for everyone if you were not here when I reported to them, nothing against you or your crew of course Commander, you're just not cleared for this."

"Don't forget your shuttlecraft then, though one of my techs looked it over, it's good to get your back to the station, but I wouldn't trust it past that."

"It belongs to the station anyway, I'll be beaming over to the ship when it arrives."

She nodded, seeing a few small flakes fall off his sleves..yep, they still haven't had time to fix that replicator uniform bug. "well then,until next time" she said. He nodded and left her office, heading for the turbolift. She followed him out, sitting down. "is he off my ship yet?"

"his shuttlecraft just left, and we've got something inbound on long range sensors."

"Get us out of here." she said, tail tip twitching. "I don't want to be within ten light years of Captain Drake when his uniform disintergrates when he beams over to report to his bosses."

Lt Commander Corspa made a face "Thank you for that lovely mental image Captain, course laid in. Commencing getting out of here." she said as the Scylla went to warp.

Last edited by knightraider6; 04-14-2013 at 09:27 PM.
Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
# 23 My Version so far
04-15-2013, 11:52 AM
Hey Guys

This is mine so far, More is on the way

Crewman: Kittel, Cathryn Rennae
Authorisation Code: 82DE6

Acting Captain?s Log

*Voice is Shaken*

The Captain?s in Major Surgery. He took a hit? For the good of the Crew. The Station. The Ship. HIS Ship. He always did put the ship first, loved it to pieces. You should have seen his face when he got command of it. A mirror Assault Cruiser, brand new out of Utopia Planita, painted with the Terran markings. It was up to him to name it as well. He chose the perfect one. The I.S.S Alexis. Beautiful she was, Though not as loved as she is now, by everyone. The Crew?s holding its breath. It?s like a Borg vessel in here at the moment, everyone?s praying for Captain Edbetter to live.

*Bursts into tears, recording cuts, Voice is now solemn and controlled*

This day started out like any other, Lotar trying to ?play it cool? with Ciara, Monty taking a trip to Engineering as a warp coil had just vaporised (Not a good sign, I admit). Tek, Concentrating on the last concert (for a Breen, he had a good music taste). Three of Eight had just arrived from his quarters, which were modified to allow him to sleep away from the collective, and was just settling down into his chair. Then the Transmission arrived. The Captain was off of the bridge in his ready room at the time so I had to take it. I issued the command casually ?On Screen? and Admiral Zzvek popped up. Instantly I Straightened my uniform out, Sat up Straight and answered in my most formal voice. ?Good Morning Admiral?
?Good morning Commander Kittel? he Chirped (We?d been friends in the academy, Long Story)
?How may I help you Sir?? I questioned politely
?I Need to speak to Captain Leadbeater?
?Certainly Sir, Is this a Private call??
?Yes it is?
?Then I?ll patch you through to his room?
?Thank you?
I leant over to the panel in the captain?s chair, pressed the Comm button and spoke clearly ?Captain?
A groggy ?what?? came back over the channel.
?Admiral Zzvek wishes to speak privately?
?Patch him through?
?Understood Captain? I turned to Admiral Quinn ?Goodbye Admiral?
His voice boomed back ?Good day Commander? and the transmission ended.

15 Minutes later, Edbetter appeared at the ready room door, his face solemn and tired. He obviously rushed to get up from bed. ?Good Morning Captain? I said light-heartedly.
?Good morning Commander? he grated through clenched teeth
?Permission to drop Formalities Sir?? I questioningly asked
?Permission Granted?. He heaved a sigh of relief.
?Did the Admiral want anything??
?He did in fact, We?re taking a trip to Xendi Starbase 9?
?Does that mean we get an early vacation?? I said Sarcastically
?No, there?s actually some Xindi there, A few frigates apparently?
?Nothing out of the ordinary then?
?Nothing at all?. He gave me a Hard Stare. I could feel his gaze press down on me like a tonne of bricks. So I stared back, And he kept going, and going, and going, and going? and going, until Three pointed out I was in HIS seat and I promptly moved. ?Thanks Three? he yelled over his shoulder
Three replied ?Sir I don?t like?? But the captain cut him off
?Where?s Monty?? He turned to Ciara who was at the Engineering console.
?Monty?s down in Main Engineering fixing the vaporised Warp coil, She shouldn?t be long?. Ciara didn?t even look up from her console.
Edbetter muttered ?I knew it was a bad idea to make my Helmsman my Chief Engineer?. He turned to the console by the side of him, pressed a button and spoke ?Monty, my beloved pilot, how?s the coil replacement going??
A Muffled ?Almost there? came back followed by a clang. Edbetter raised an eyebrow ?everything ok??. All of a sudden, Monty appeared on the Bridge out of the turbo lift ?Everything?s fine, I?ve got my best Engineer on it?. She gazed around at astounded faces and snapped ?What?? and Walked smoothly to her chair.
Edbetter turned to me and said ?please instruct our Helmsman to our course Catheryn?
?Will do, Monty, Lay in a course to Xendi Starbase 9?
?Got it, Co-ordinates locked in, Standing by?
?Awaiting your orders Captain? I said monotonously
?Let?s get underway, Take her out, Maximum Warp?
?Aye Sir?
The View screen blurred and then cleared as the Alexis went into warp. All you could see was starry streaks in the vast blackness of space

?We?re about to Approach the Station Captain? Monty chimed
?Shields up, hailing frequencies open? Edbetter barked.
?Shields are up Sir and We?re open to communication? came a voice from behind us, Lotar?s to be precise. All of a sudden, the Alexis? warp cut off and the ship made a grinding noise. All heads turned to Monty. ?What?? She said Irritably ?If something goes wrong it?s my fault is it??. Edbetter nodded. She Sighed ?I?ll fix it later, Anyway, two Xindi craft in sight of the starboard bow, manuvering in on impulse?.

The Alexis jolted as the impulse engines engaged and the ship drew ever closer to the two Xindi craft. ?Captain, incoming transmission? Lotar informed Edbetter.
?On Screen? he replied. A Xindi crewman appeared on the view screen. ?I am Captain Leadbeater of the I.S.S. Alexis. May I ask what is your business here??
The Xindi captain replied ?I am Commander of this Vessel, I am here to take this station for my own?
?I?m afraid I can?t allow that, why do you want this station??
?They stole from us, a very rare piece indeed?
?What is it they stole??
?I cannot disclose that information to you, we will leave when done?
?Can we assist in any??
?Multiple warp signatures detected captain? Three of Eight interrupted.
?Shut the comm channel, who?s are they?? Edbetter exclaimed as the screen showed the incoming ships.
?Two Xindi Battleships Incoming!? Three shouted
?Call, for backup, Get as many??
Edbetter was interrupted by Three again. ?Three warp signatures incoming, Federation Ships!?
?Identify?
?The U.S.S. Enterprise, the U.S.S Excalibur and the U.S.S Scorpion?
?Open friendly channels?
?Channels open?. Three faces suddenly appeared on screen.
?Edbetter, We heard you could use a hand? Shouted Captain Shon
?I appreciate it, If we diffuse the situation, I owe you a drink? He glanced at the other two faces. ?You too Kira and Hirsya, nice to see you after all this time?
?Zzvek told us you may need a hand from how? Lacsidaisical you were this morning? Kira said
?Shon, Kira, Get the Battleships, Hirsya and I will get the Frigates?
"On it" All three said simultaneously.

Last edited by edinator96; 04-21-2013 at 08:33 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,209
# 24
04-16-2013, 12:39 AM
Star Trek: Online
Tales of Alyosha Strannik

"The Interdictor"




"We're two days out from Deep Space 11 at Warp 9.5," Captain Sengupta was saying in even British tones as devoid of accent as the American accent I had been taught. "We do not expect you to engage the Tal Shiar alone, however." Sengupta turned to his helmsman to issue a command. "Lay in a course for Deep Space 11.

"We will see you presently. Sengupta out."

He turned again the instant before the channel went dead. "Engage slipstream."

Oh my Lord, he hasn't been cleared!

"Nyet!" Horror animated my human features; the tension throughout my body and the preparatory boost to my telekinetic cortex, however, was quite real. "Do not engage superwarp--repeat, do not--"

Sadness rolled like a wave from my first officer--a deliberate telepathic push. "They've already gone to slipstream, sir. Their intention seems to have been to emerge at the same time as we arrive at Warp 9."

I turned to Ensign Mirrsh. "I want Warp 9.5 as long as you can sustain it."

"Sir," the Saurian helmswoman advised, looking up even as her plum-black fingers keyed in the computations, "that will have us arriving approximately fifteen minutes ahead of the Indomitable. We will be without tactical support against an unknown number of Romulans."

"I'm well aware of that," I responded--rather snappishly, but under the circumstances...

I tapped my commbadge. "th'Valek, Temm, ch'Sherrin, N'Vek--report to the wardroom on the double. We have a serious problem on our hands."

And if we couldn't find a way to solve it--Captain Sengupta and the Indomitable were almost surely headed for a fiery demise.



Five minutes later

"As you know, we just received a distress call from Deep Space 11. We were already en route to deliver information to the station about our recent encounter with the Borg. What I have not been at liberty to share until now is the purpose for DS11's requesting that information. What they were after was less Borg tactical information and more...superwarp impact data. There are very few live sensor scans of such events, and they needed that data. The reason is...they have developed a prototype transwarp interdictor.

"If the Tal Shiar force has consolidated its control of the station...they could have the interdictor. And they may be planning a test on the Indomitable. That's why we're risking arrival at the station without cruiser support."

"Begging the captain's pardon," the Romulan chief of maintenance interrupted, "but may I ask what sort of device is in question here?

"This does not leave this room," I emphasized. No matter what the Romulan reputation...I had very personal grounds upon which to trust the Mol'Rihannsu technician. "But I'll allow Commander Temm to explain the general principle." Succinctly, I almost added. But Temm had to know that, under the circumstances.

The Bolian chief engineer stood. "In theory, a transwarp interdictor could be used when the beginnings of a slipstream or non-gated transwarp aperture was detected, to collapse the end of the corridor just as the ship was about to come out of it. At those speeds, there'd be no way to brake or do any sort of controlled egress. The targeted ship would break up immediately on impact and the explosion would propagate at superwarp speeds. Not enough to do a Hobus and wipe out everything in its path--"

"Excuse me?" N'Vek hissed.

"Ahem..." Temm blushed...or...well...azured. N'Vek didn't look much calmer--or feel like it either, to judge from his neural output. "Unfortunately from a technical standpoint--though on a nearly microscopic level compared to Hobus--the comparison holds. The effect would be enough to destroy unshielded ships, stations, and satellites too close to the explosion."

Lieutenant ch'Sherrin crossed his arms and glowered. "The Borg would adapt to that thing in a snap. Maybe already have, if someone else has thought to try it. But the uses in conventional warfare--or terrorism...they're enormous. Just imagine what the Tal Shiar would do..."

"The Indomitable will become their proof of concept if we don't stop them," I said. "There's no countertechnology out there. We have an hour to invent one. Or a way to at least detect the thing so we can destroy it. ch'Sherrin, start preparing a surgical strike team to go after the interdictor and retake or destroy it."

"And what about potential hostages?" Thraz softly asked.

I aimed a telepathic 'broadcast' at Thraz just as he had at me. There were no words but the emotions made it clear: I have no wish to do this--but I see no other way.. "I'm afraid the results of losing the interdictor would disrupt the balance of power galaxy-wide. It could even lose the Federation a war. Or more than one war. The hostages will have to be second priority to securing the interdictor.

"I'll want you to work with Temm to find a way to detect or counteract the transwarp interdictor. Lieutenant ch'Sherrin and I will work on the battle plan. We'll reconvene in an hour. That leaves twenty minutes until we arrive. N'Vek...you'll also be with me. Dismissed!"

I caught N'Vek's eye on the way out. Once everyone else had exited, I gently asked him, "Are you going to be all right, supplying tactics against your own people?"

The Romulan Republic exchange crewman fixed me with a long, resigned look. "They forfeited any claim to being true Rihannsu when they crawled in bed with the Iconians. Still...I appreciate your consideration."

"I couldn't help some concern given that your people have...shall we say...far more redeeming characteristics than my species." And I also couldn't help the bitterness that crept into my voice at the mention of other Devidians.

"I should also add," N'Vek reminded me, "that any actions against the Tal Shiar will be strongly supported by Obisek. I will not report the classified details of our objective, but I am sure he will celebrate the demise of our mutual enemy."

His hand reaching reflexively for an honor blade that, out of deference for Starfleet sensibilities, he did not wear on duty, N'Vek bowed.



We made our first drop out of warp just outside the heliopause of the system primary, in hopes that the star would obscure our energy signature long enough to do what we needed to do.

"Signal lock established," ch'Sherrin announced. "Beginning uplink with station systems."

"Any signs the Romulans have spotted us?"

"Negative. Our sensors--and station sensors--show no change in Romulan activity patterns."

"Th'Valek--any signs of tampering with the station computer?"

"Numerous logs indicating unauthorized access, sir. Unable to determine if they accessed any of the classified data."

"Then we'd better assume it is compromised before we take control. Disconnect your console from the main network; we can't have them piggypacking a virus on the station's return signal and shutting us down. Initiate as soon as you've disconnected."

Thraz opened up his console and pulled a series of network cables and isolinear chips--only those running directly to the comms relay stayed intact. "Remoting into base defenses now. Initiating in three--two--one--"

"Full impulse! Now!"

The Chin'toka leapt into action as two planets away, the remaining automated defenses of Deep Space 11 let rip once more on the Tal Shiar. Once our impulse burn was complete, we arrived to a scene of...

Pandemonium.

Nimble as DS11's computers were, there were still times when it looked as though the station's phasers and torpedoes had locked onto us instead. The Tal Shiar didn't know what to do--they'd been sure the station was subdued and now...well, it had conspired to provide cover fire for our arrival.

An ungainly D'Deridex angled to broadside us. The Chin'toka came about. They surely expected canon fire, but then--

"Subnuke!" I crowed: subnucleonic beam--a 'science specialist's toy' I'd had installed aboard the ship as soon as I took command. Bet you didn't think a little escort could do that!

The directed radiation charge ripped from our deflector dish, bypassed their shields, and tore right into their systems, wreaking havoc upon data and power transmission conduits. Lights flickered across the gargantuan vessel as it struggled to shunt power to critical systems.

Two Mogais squared up on the Chin'toka next, placing themselves between us and the D'Deridex. Two more continued picking away at DS11's reawakened defenses. Lieutenant ch'Sheriin never even looked up from his display at their approach, so involved he was in coordinating the Chin'toka's defenses with the station's.

"Find the weak points of the D'Deridex! And..."

I watched the battle play out onscreen. Nine minutes and the Indomitable would attempt normal-space ingress. There had been no countertechnology. No detection method found. No way to accurately duplicate years of classified Starfleet research in an hour. The only hope--to destroy everything in the system, and with the station slowly wearing down from the Mogais' strafing runs--

Those turrets--major base systems--they should've gone down by now! DS11 isn't a defense outposts--how could they be holding up this long--

"It's on the station!" I nearly catapulted from my seat. "They're pulling their punches against the station--that's why. We've got to get the strike force over there now

"And drop our shields in the middle of battle?" ch'Sherrin yelled. Not the time to be arguing his captain's orders.

"Lieutenant!" I shot back in an icy tone that reminded him of that fact. But there wasn't time--nor was it appropriate--to press the point any further. The Chin'toka rocked from a salvo of heavy plasma torpedoes from one of the Mogais. "We can't take a chance on launching shuttles through this.

"Strannik to Temm! Polarize hull plating now. th'Valek, deploy energy-scattering field." Then I signaled the transporter room. "Prepare to deploy! Your objective is the station. On my mark--"

I turned to face ch'Sherrin. "Initiate a three-second shield cycle. Three--two--one--drop shields--now!"

I wished I could go with them. But the truth was underneath my sturdy human appearance, I wasn't built for heavy combat. My telekinesis was a great help, true, but to use it too much would blow my cover as a human irrevocably. And if I got stunned, went unconscious and slid out of phase--my skin crawled with a faint electrical current to think it. All I could do was pray for their success and act as best as I could to hold the Tal Shiar off until the strike team shut down the interdictor...



Two days later

We were seconds early--and seconds too late.

The Indomitable arrived just an instant after the strike team found the interdictor. I shouted for them to blow the damned thing, just as I'd cried out for Captain Sengupta to abort slipstream--they had to have already been doing so, my cry of visceral alarm notwithstanding. But I couldn't help it.

The slipstream tunnel had stopped collapsing and tried to stabilize--but the opening was too small, too chaotic. The Indomitable shot out...and clipped its starboard nacelle on the edge. Warp-core breach iin progress from the surge caused by the impact, Captain Sengupta had ordered all hands to abandon ship and then set a course straight for the D'Deridex, whose own systems were just starting to come back online--

The dual core breaches had created a massive explosion followed by the implosion of the Romulan singularity drive--a writhing, undulating sort of explosion that seemed to pulse forwards and backwards in time, a terrible miniature Cepheid variable which generated a shockwave that took out two of the Mogais and cast the other two adrrift.

Likewise the Chin'toka and DS11 suffered heavy damage, though the casualties there--and here--paled in comparison to the Indomitable. Of a crew of 847, only seventy-eight had made it to the escape pods and cleared out of range before the catastrophe.

Captain Sengupta went down with his ship--as did so many other brave beings.

Comsat logs revealed that the Tal Shiar never successfully got out a signal announcing the particulars of the transwarp interdictor to their comrades in other systems. The interdictor prototype--destroyed, and the data secured.

But at such a cost.

The Vesta-class Chalcedon has been pressed into service as a warp tug, thanks to Starfleet's wartime logistical difficulties. Its own tractor beams and those of its Danubes are acting in concert now to pull us to 39-Sierra for repairs.

Captain T'Lenn is trying her best to assure me that I couldn't have anticipated Starfleet's decision not to brief Sengupta in on the full situation. That we'd done the best we could in light of the situation. In an uncharacteristic dose of nearly-open resentment I'm sure I would have sensed had I been in the same room with her, she came close to calling out the admiralty as incompetents for not inserting some sort of automatic warnings into our ships' computers like the ones triggered in the event of certain other highly classified directives.

It doesn't help now as I stand here in the Chin'toka's sickbay--they're mostly our people by now, as the Chalcedon's facilities were better equipped to handle the mass casualties from the Indomitable and DS11.

A word spoken sooner on my part, I keep thinking, and so much of this bloodbath could have been averted.

I can do little to help the injured. And some I shouldn't assist, lest I cruelly prolong their suffering instead of offer mercy. Occasionally I can help pull someone back from the brink. But not today.

All I can do now is place my hand on Ensign Gabaren's head and surreptitiously supply her with just enough extra neural energy for her to hear the entirety of the Bajoran equivalent of last rites.

When I withdrew contact, I shut off every one of my body's photoreceptors, plunging myself into total darkness. And though it wasn't my natural means of expressing it, those around me understood when they saw the image of their captain standing there, stock still, with closed eyes and his eyelashes wet with the appearance of a barely-suppressed outpouring of tears.
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Last edited by gulberat; 04-16-2013 at 10:43 AM. Reason: typo fix
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 178
# 25 Necrohol
04-16-2013, 02:24 PM
LC41: Necrohol

Quote:
Captain's Log, Stardate 86998.99. The Lord English is responding to a distress call near one of
the more neglected corners of Federation space. The last known visitor to the region was USS Enterprise-D, responding to the destruction of Delta Rana IV in 2366. Now Lord English is delving into the region of space locals call "The Husnock Necrohol" after its vanished residents.
===

"How much information do we have on the situation?"

The senior crew of the Lord English sat around the observation lounge table as Chief Engineer T'Shaanat brought up a presentation on the main viewer.

"The signal is coming from here," she said as she pointed to a spot between the Tholian Assembly and Sheliak Corporate, "far from any star system, although there is a high concentration of trianium particles in the area, indicating heavy use of fusion reactors. It is close to Tholian space, and a Tholian vessel is approaching it at maximum warp, although it's still a few days away."

T'Shaanat then highlighted a large swatch of unclaimed space around the area where she pointed.

"The area where the signal is located is known as the "Husnock Necrohol" by various sparefaring parties. According to data gleaned from Tholian and Sheliak databases, the Husnock were a savage species known for ultraviolence, having conducted destructive raids on the border colonies of both factions for millenia until their sudden disappearance in 2366. Neither the Tholians nor the Sheliak seem eager to move into the territory, and there are rumors that the entire region is haunted by the vanished Husnock."

Chief of Operations Kovat Vystan brought up a video of an elderly human female scientist amidst a backdrop of explosions and weapons fire. Although she seemed to be speaking, no audio could be heard.

"Systems engineers have cleaned up the distress call as much as they could, but the audio portion of the call seems to be lost," he explained as he zoomed in on the face of the female scientist. "Facial recognition identifies the message sender as Dr. Kila Marr, a xenologist whose last known project was researching a crystalline entity with the Enterprise-D in 2368. After the mission's failure, she was unable to find work in the Federation; she dropped off of the map during the Dominion War."

Kovat then brought up a classified Starfleet Intelligence file on Dr. Marr, listing her skill sets and activities.

"Judging from the limited data on Dr. Marr's activities within the past fifty years, Starfleet Intelligence believes she's using the research she gathered on the crystalline entity to create graviton-based weapons powerful enough to shatter hulls. SI wants us to secure Dr. Marr as soon as we can. The primary concern is the Tholians; Marr's research could prove highly effective against Tholian warships, and SI believes the Tholians know this too. The Tholians must not get their hands on Dr. Marr's research, or else it will give the Tholians an insurmountable advantage."

At the end of the presentation, Commander Kay Taylor summed up the situation.

"Whatever Dr. Marr's transgressions are, we as Starfleet officers are tasked with rescuing those in need, no matter what the situation calls for, not to mention the risks to the Federation if Dr. Marr's research falls into enemy hands. The Lord English is crewed with the most adaptable and daring crew in Starfleet, as per Admiral Lee's instructions, so even with the little information we have, Admiral Lee and I are confident that we will be able to take anything on. Report to your stations at 0900 hours and be ready for anything. Dismissed."

As the senior officers filed out, Taylor nudged Vice Admiral Lee, who had been napping in the corner.

---

The Lord English arrived at the coordinates of the distress call. A grotesque space station shrouded in fine particles and copious amounts of radiation greeted the ship as a single shuttle angled towards the station at half-impulse. On board the shuttle, the Android systems engineer R-66Y conferred with the Tellarite assault squad officer Lieutenant Dlad and the Trill Nurse Emunai. The fuzzy picture of Chief Technician Newa began briefing the team over the comm channel.

"The heavy amounts of hyperonic radiation in the area will prevent us from beaming you off in an emergency. Most of the station is damaged, you'll have to find an airlock to dock with to enter. Lifesigns are erratic, as are power readings; the radiation leakage from the station is interfering heavily with sensors. It'll take ten minutes before any other shuttles reach the station if you're in trouble."

Further communication ceased as the shuttle entered the plume of radiation which surrounded the station. Lieutenant Dlad swore mightily as the shuttle docked with the station.

"Krognik's ass! What kind of human witch would get us sent to a forsaken station in the middle of nowhere?"

R-66Y was the first to exit the shuttle. Unfolding his tricorder, he quickly took stock of the situation.

"The atmosphere is a stable Class-M, but there are no signs of life of any sort. There's a strong probability whoever attacked the station left with the scientists."
"Phinda's tears!" Dlad replied. "We got here too late."
"Lieutenant Dlad," R-66Y replied, "although we are unable to secure Dr. Marr and her team, we may still be able to secure her research, per our orders. I think we should try to access the main computer."

The away team moved unmolested through the station, pausing only to note the occasional suspicious stain and gash on the station's corridors. There was no sign of the station's crew. Soon they entered the computer core room. Devices of Federation origin were connected to the core, so it took only seconds for R-66Y to compress the core's contents and transfer the data to his tricorder.

"Computer, please access the logs of Dr. Kila Marr in chronological order," he said as the transfer finished.

Quote:
Log of Dr. Kila Marr. Ever since the outbreak of the Klingon-Federation War, I've been having to stay one step ahead of Starfleet Intelligence agents. They must think I'm a danger to the Federation because I won't play by their rules anymore. But the true danger is still out there. I've heard through the grapevine that the Tholians have found another Crystalline Entity, and that they're plotting to breed them like some massive attack dog! The Federation may not care, but I won't have another mother lose their son like I lost Raymond.
Quote:
I've hired a few Orions and Hirogen from a slippery Ferengi called Madran. We're heading to a region of space near the Tholian Assembly to keep watch. Sten is worried that the Orions and Hirogen will make off with our research, but that's just Vulcan pragmatism on his part. Pitting the Orions and the Hirogen against each other will buy us some time while we figure out how to turn the graviton beam into an one-hit knockout. We're taking residence on an abandoned space station that Matron Deshni says was owned by a dead race called the Husnock.
Quote:
The Orions have been antsy. They think the dead souls of the Husnock will consume us for disturbing their slumber, and the Hirogen are getting fed up. Sten think we should-
"Will you get on with it, you rustbucket!" Dlad exclaimed in exasperation. "We don't need to know everything about Dr. Marr!"
"Computer, please access the last entry in Dr. Kila Marr's logs," R-66Y replied in apology.

Quote:
I wouldn't have believed it, but there's no other explanation. The Husnock are back, just like the Orions said, and they've taken possession of the Hirogen! Matron Deshni has already been ripped in half by Alpha Kinon, and the rest of them are advancing on the computer core! I've given Sten what little data we have on graviton weapons, but I don't know where he can go. The station is swarming with grotesque Hirogen with pieces of metal in their skin ripping Orions and my research team apart with their bare hands and teeth! The Federation has to know! The Husnock-
"Husnock? What are the Husnock? And where is anyone? Did the Hirogen take them as trophies?" Nurse Emunai asked.
"I wouldn't put it against those bastards," Dlad responded, "but even if they took everyone off the station, they would have left something behind, a limb, or a bone, anything they didn't find worthy prey. The Hirogen aren't this clean. We haven't even found a corpse."

As if on cue, a powerful impacted rocked the station. The corpse of researcher Sten fell from the ceiling, shaken loose from its bonds, and landed on Nurse Emunai. Most of his skin and musculature were bitten off, and a small PADD fell from his hands clenched in rigor mortis.

"Krognik's scrotum!" Dlad exclaimed in surprise. "This pointy-ear's been eaten!"

Without missing a beat, R-66Y picked up the PADD. He quickly ascertained that it was Dr. Marr's graviton beam research.

"We have what we came for, let's get out of here," he stated, as he moved Sten's corpse off of Nurse Emunai. "I believe the station is about to collapse."

Dlad stared at a figure behind R-66Y.

"I don't think it's the station's fault. Look!"

A scarrified Hirogen with metal shards sticking out his body crashed into the viewport above the computer core room. A crude device attached to his wrist began blinking rapidly. R-66Y's android brain recognized it for what it was, and uttered a short statement.

"It's a bomb."

The resulting explosion decompressed the entire room, blowing Dlad, Emunai, and R-66Y into the vacuum. Lieutenant Dlad and Nurse Emunai slowly suffocated in the vacuum of space, but there was nothing R-66Y could do about it. He noticed that the destroyed hull of a Hirogen Seeker Frigate near the station, which was quickly fading from view.

As R-66Y cleared the radiation surrounding the station, he was greeted with a peculiar sight; Lord English was being attacked from all directions by an odd collection of ships in disrepair. Hirogen, Orion, and Cardassian ships were sending shuttles and attempting to ram Lord English. A grotesque vessel that R-66Y had never seen before was pummeling the ship with antiproton weapons; R-66Y noticed its design drew parallels to the station he and his team were so unceremoniously ejected from. With his trajectory bringing him near the stricken Lord English, he was able to snag a hold of a section of damaged hull plating and re-entered the ship through a ruptured cargo bay door. He quickly hailed the bridge.

"Admiral Lee, I have secured the data, but I'm sorry to say that Lieutenant Dlad and Nurse Emunai didn't make it."

In response, Lord English lurched as it hit warp speed, leaving the station and the Husnock Necrohol behind.

---

Back in Federation space, Admiral Lee sat down with R-66Y. His arm was in a sling and his uniform was torn up. R-66Y began inquiring as to Lee's injuries.

"Admiral, have you seen a doctor? You look like you need immediate medical attention."

Lee waved R-66Y off with his good hand.

"My injuries aren't as severe as some of the others on the ship, Robby. While you were on the station, we were jumped by a whole slew of starships which proceeded to ram us repeatedly. We kept getting boarded, and it took us a hell of a fight to even start pushing them off. Most of the crew are in sickbay with bites and cuts. What in Heaven's name were those things? They looked like some of the species we're familiar with, but they were all cut up with shards of metal all over. I should have paid better attention at the briefing."

In response, R-66Y handed over his tricorder and the PADD he recovered.

"We couldn't retrieve Dr. Marr, and the little information we were able to get from her research shows that it was not as advanced as Starfleet Intelligence thought. However, what I gathered from her logs is that she believed the Husnock had somehow returned and that they are the ones responsible for the attacks we've suffered."

Lee rested his chin on his good hand as he mulled the revelation over. After a time, he spoke again.

"In any case, it's Starfleet Intelligence's problem now. I'll focus on sending condolence letters to the families of Lieutenant Dlad and Nurse Emunai. If the Husnock really have returned, we may be in quite some trouble. I'll forward what we have to SI, Robby. You can go back to your duties."

===

Quote:
Captain's Log, supplemental. We are meeting up with Admiral Starfyre of the USS Fermion to offload our wounded. Our rescue mission into the Husnock Necrohol has failed tremendously. Dr. Marr has not been recovered, and the data we have is not the prize Starfleet Intelligence wanted. The Lord English has lost 147 crew members in the melee, and the only thing we have to show for it is the knowledge that the Husnock Necrohol may not be as empty as we thought. With the Federation-Klingon War raging, it may be some time before Starfleet can act in the area again. I only hope that nothing bad comes out in the meantime.
http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?p=5629511#post5629511

Literary Challenges Entries- Star Trek Online: Lord English
Dramatis Personae of Star Trek Online: Lord English

Last edited by zidanetribal; 05-11-2014 at 12:55 PM.
Former PWE Community Team Lead
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,046
# 26
04-16-2013, 03:17 PM
Another great turnout, and another set of incredible stories! Nice work, Captains! I hope you choose to participate in the next one.

Speaking of the next one, I am going to unstick this as I prepare to post up #42. As always, if you have not had a chance to post your entry yet, feel free to do so!

Cheers,

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