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Former PWE Community Team Lead
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,046
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges!

Today we start the two-week run of the forty-fourth Literary Challenge: Down the Rabbit Hole
While on patrol in the Pelia Sector Block, an undocumented wormhole opens off the starboard bow of your ship...
This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.

The rules may change from one challenge to another, but I'd like to remind everyone what the base rules are. These may grow as we move on, so also feel free to give feedback!
  • Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky the challenge and let you make your entry.
  • There are no right or wrong entry.
  • The background story, questions I ask, and format requested are only to serve as a platform that you can start your writing from. Feel free to change up the back-story or the way you deliver, as long as the entry stays on topic of the original challenge.
  • Write as little or as much as you would like.
  • Please keep discussion about the entries in the appropriate Discussion Thread.
  • In the Discussion Thread, feel free to write what inspired you and what your thoughts on the topic are.
  • A few other important reminders:
    • Please heed the rest of the forum's rules when submitting your entry! All of them apply to these posts.
    • Each poster can have one entry. Feel free to edit your post to fix typos or add/ remove content as you see fit during the next two weeks.
    • After two weeks time, the thread will be unstickied, as we move on to the next challenge.
    • We'll have two threads: One to post the entries in and one to discuss the entries. **Cross-linking between these two threads is acceptable for these challenges ONLY!!**
Brandon "BranFlakes" Felczer | Former Community Team Lead for Perfect World Entertainment

Last edited by pwebranflakes; 06-11-2013 at 08:45 AM.
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 15
# 2
06-11-2013, 09:29 AM
While on patrol in the Pelia Sector Block, an undocumented wormhole opens off the starboard bow of your ship...

And Perfect World's Star Trek online sever gets unexpectedly suck into it & pops out a moment later Perfectly stable & bug free..... The End



Yes this is a fairy tale & you asked for it!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 114
# 3
06-11-2013, 10:07 AM
Commander Rose Sharon
USS Robert April

I imagined my fingers sinking into pale flesh - the rip as I pulled organic tissue away from twitching mechanical parts, the way the drone writhed and the stink of its fluids in the air, the scream of red alert sirens in the air as I rolled away and watched its own self-destruct systems tear it apart in a sizzle of protonic implosion.

"Are you sure you're all right, Commander?" It was looking at me again, and what was worse Karatek was looking at me too. I can't take another medical leave, not again! Last time I spent three freakin' weeks in my niece's apartment back home, listening to jalopies rattle by outside and wishing I was back in space - if I wanted to be some ground-bound nothing, I wouldn't have joined Starfleet!

"Oh, I'm fine, fine," I said, putting on a smile that was all shiny white teeth. "I'm just still on edge from you just poppin' out of space right in front of us like that. We were expecting Undine," I went on, putting just an extra beat on the word to cover the Species 8472 that's crawling around the back of my mind like a cockroach. "Not Borg." I saw the admiral's falchion on the wall behind him and managed not to think about picking up that blade and driving it right _between_ those augmented vertebrae, using all that strength they gave me to pry and pry and pry until it was all done.

It nodded. "I understand. This sector's close congruence with fluidic space does make travel extremely hazardous. If not for the damage to our wormhole drive, we would have bypassed this entire area of the Alpha Quadrant." And then it talked some more, its servos clicking and its one eye on me as it paced the Admiral's ready room, and I wished to the Book I was down in the engine room and not in command. Not having to talk to it.

"Yeah, what a shame. So, what's got you on our turf?" Back in my quarters is my mama's old heater, the Colt 1911A1 .45 she gave me when I went off to the Academy. I've used it on the Borg and it works _real nice_. I looked at Karatek again, and maybe it was his voice in my head, or just that look of worry on that ugly mug of his, but I managed not to stop thinking about the gun as the ex-drone kept talking and talking.

"When our colony received word of the Collective's return to the Alpha Quadrant, our leader dispatched the Spartacus to offer what aid we could to our allies in the Federation. While much of our information on the Collective is obsolete, we do have a unique intelligence on the Borg shared by few others." And it looked at me like I had anything in common with a pale-faced walking corpse like him! I mean, like it!

It was Jenni who took over, bless her, girl could talk her way out of anything. She started talking it up with the ex-drone about their little colony - some cube that broke off from the Collective en masse about forty years ago and settled at the edge of the Delta Quadrant. They've tried to stay out of history, but now that the Collective is back, they want to start pullin' their weight. Good for them, I guess.

And so I looked him in the eye and I make myself say, "The Collective does know what happened to you guys," swallowing the Tactical Cube 1004700 that's at the back of my tongue, "are you sure you're safe taking that risk? Nails that stick up get pounded down."

"Offering our aid against the Borg does expose our community to risk," he agreed, "but the risk is even greater if the Borg should overrun the Alpha Quadrant. We must all stand together against the threat of the Borg." And he gives me this _look_, and actually smiles at me.

And so I managed to shake his hand when he leaves - with the April's commcode, he and his little ship will be able to head right to the Sirius Sector without running into the automated defenses, or getting a sector-wide Red Alert scrambled on their metal keesters. I even sat there on the bridge, my fingers digging into the command chair, and watch them open up another wormhole and fly out of our hair.

A place where the Borg can do something right. I don't even know anymore.

Last edited by cosmonaut12345; 06-11-2013 at 10:23 AM.
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 12
# 4
06-11-2013, 10:24 PM
Down the Rabbit Hole

Stardate 91035.12:
Captains log


While on patrol in the Pelia Sector Block, an undocumented wormhole had suddenly appeared off the starboard bow of the Abigos. Eager to investigate, I hold off on our standard patrol route to take a closer look.

"Well, it's definitely different then from the Bajoran wormhole captain, but sensors aren't able to detect if it's stable or not. In fact, sensors can't read anything inside of it, it's like a wall."
Captain Nixon leaned his chin into the palm of his hand, imagining where it could possibly lead. The sensors seemed unwilling to make heads of anything going on inside, and jumping right in would be an unnecessary risk to the crew. "I guess the only alternative is a probe..." he thought.
"Buuren, launch a class-4 probe that's set to return back after 3 hours. We're going to see what's in there."
"Yes sir."
Nixon watched as the probe streaked across the view screen and spiraled down into the wormhole -- and then suddenly back out and back towards the ship.
"Buuren, I said three hours, not three seconds." Nixon said calmly.
Buuren quickly read through the probes defined configuration logs, wondering where he went wrong
"That wasn't supposed to happen," He spun around towards the captain, "The computer shows here that it was programmed for 3 hours indefinitely."
"Run a diagnostic, it's prob --
There was a small confirmation beep at the commander's console, interrupting Nixon.
"What is it commander?"
"Uhh captain, I don't know how, but the probe is reporting back data." Buuren spun back towards the captain in surprise, "Three hours worth of it."


Stardate 91035.36:

Captains Log:


When investigating the probe telemetry, we had a guest show up, a Ferengi trader that was probably more interested in the wormhole then trying to pawn off stolen goods."

"Ahh it's good to see you hoomons! I just happened to notice you in the sector and decided to drop in to say hello." The overbearing Ferengi said.
Nixon could easily see past the Ferengie's shallow lies and knew he was here for the wormhole.
"I do not wish to trade with you right now, but you are welcomed to stay around if you wish." Nixon said sincerely, even though he wished to be just as shallow as the Ferengi.
"Ooh, I will captain, believe me. Say, would any of you mind trading, I have some lovely treasures that I'm sure your" -
"I said that I do not wish to trade." Nixon said sternly.
"-that I'm sure your creeew, wouldn't mind?" Continued the Ferengi where he was interrupted.
"10% of the profit would be going to charity. Think about it captain, It would go a long way for the poor little boys and girls starving right now."
It would fall a long way through your pockets before it makes it there too, Nixon thought to himself.
"Besides, your not on any pressing tasks right now. Just a lone star ship full of bored people." The Ferengi finished up.
The Ferengi was right about bored people. Starfleet had the Abigos on patrol duty for two weeks straight, and people were growing bored.
"Fine, but only if you allow us to scan your ship first before making any trades."
"Well go ahead, I"m not stopping you." The Ferengi said, spreading his arms open while laughing.
"A physical scanning." Nixon reconfirmed.
The Ferengi's laughter stopped and his smiling face turned upset.
"How about I just bring over select items from my cargo that I know you Hoomons, Vulcans, and Klingons would like, hmm?"
Nixon thought about the offer before coming to a final decision. Wondering what the Ferengi was hiding on-board the ship that he didn't want him seeing.
"I can live with that." He said while eying the Ferengi, "But we will beam you aboard at anytime, just let the transporter room know."
"I'll be seeing you soon captain." The Ferengi said shortly before the view screen blanked out.
Nixon rubbed the temples of his head then leaned back in the chair with a sigh.
"Buuren, what do you have on the wormhole?"
Buuren poked a few commands into the console, taking control of the view screen. A third dimensional layout of the wormhole from inside slowly rotated over from a diagonal perspective.
"From what I've gathered so far, the wormhole seems to be a passage into another reality, however it seems that time there is much slower than time here."
"Hold up, if time there is slower than here, then how did three hours pass by in a matter of seconds for us?" Nixon asked, wondering just how that would even be possible, if possible at all.
"Well, the passage of time in the wormhole is 721% faster than from our own time, but then the reality on the other side of it seems to be 15% slower relative of our time. Also the time is never exact, it just drifts."
"I guess we won't be able to use it for anything then." Nixon said, hoping that it would have lead to elsewhere then to some time twisting universe.
A small notification sound beeped from the touch pad on the side of the captains chair followed by a message from the transporter room.
"Captain, The Ferengi is here."
"Alright, tell him that I'll be meeting him shortly." Nixon said, rising up from his chair and straightening his uniform.
"Aye sir."
"Commander, I want you to report your findings to Starfleet, we'll hold out here for now and wait for further commands. You have the con, meanwhile, I have a Ferengi to deal with."

Stardate 91035.44:


"Captain, we found 4 pleasure holo suites, 2 lava lamps using modified disruptor battery cells, and a Tribble among the Ferengi's treasures." Said the transporter chief, stealing a harsh stare in the Ferengie's direction.
"I said you can call me Keruko!" The Ferengi said from behind two security officers on the transporter pad.
"Beam them back to his ship chief."
"Aye sir."
"Oh-ho come ooon, they weren't dangerous. The Tribble was fixed, and the lamp batteries were brand new, and what's wrong with a few pleasure holo suits?" The Ferengi said as he tried to slip around the security officers.
"At ease men, your relieved... for now." Nixon said as he stared at the Ferengi, Keruko.
"Captain, if I didn't know any better, I don't think you trust me."
"No, I don't." Agreed Nixon.
"Ohh it was an honest mistake! I'm used to dealing with less disreputable people. A few disruptor powered lava lamps can easily slip my mind."
Nixon wandered over to the Ferengi's merchandise that was scattered out on the floor.
"So, what are you trading with my crew?"
"Well, see for yourself." The Ferengi bent over to pick up a glass prism which quickly changed color from his touch. Noticing Nixon's interest in the object, Keruko described it before he was asked. "It's a Mood Prism. I picked it up from a Risian tourist that was in need of something, I don't really remember. Here, take it, you can have it."
"Nah, that"s alright. Maybe you could sell it for some profit with one of my crewmen."
"No really. It's perfect for you, take it." Keruko insisted.
"Ferengi don't give away their merchandise without expecting something in return." Nixon pointed out, suspicious of the Ferengi's scheming.
"Well I'm trying to just be a friend, but if you insist on denying that, then alright."
"A friend?"
"A business friend. I don't have very many federation business friends as it is already. You could probably be profitable."
"Possibly." Nixon said, taking the mood prism form the Ferengi.
The Ferengi smiled, showing the rows of his small sharpened teeth.
Without any warning, the ship violently shook, sweeping Nixon and Keruko off the ground and onto their backs. The lights winked out and momentarily sent the room into complete darkness before switching back on.
Nixon quickly hopped up off the ground and tapped his comm badge for the bridge.
"What's going on up there commander?"
"The Wormhole just grew in size and is pulling us in sir!"
"My ship!" Keruko yelled from behind.
"Can you pull us out commander?"
"No sir, we were caught by surprise and it damaged the impulse drive."
"My ship! Beam me back to my ship! Get me out of here, we're sinking!" Keruko screamed in terror.
"It's too late for the Ferengi's ship, it's already in the event horizon." Buuren said from Nixon's commbadge.
"Nooo! My riches, my latinum!" The Ferengi cried out before collapsing onto his knees crying.
"Can you bring us hard-a-port and warp out?"
"No sir, there's already enough gravimetric stress on the hull, going to warp would tear us apart."
Nixon couldn't think of anything else to say, no ideas, no way of escaping the inevitable. He figured that since the probe had managed to come back undamaged, that it could be possible for the Abigos and her crew to survive going through the wormhole, but then again he had no idea if things inside the wormhole could have changed for the worst since it randomly grew in size and gravitational pull.
"If we make it through this commander, then I'll see you on the bridge."
"Yes sir."
As the Abigos drew closer to the Wormhole, it sped faster and faster towards its fate. Like the probe, the Abigos spun around the Wormhole like falling into a great bowl with a bright purple center.

Stardate 91035.49:

Nixon could feel the slight tug of gravity spin around him in the wrong directions as the ship spun into the wormhole. It was almost enough to throw him off his balance and was odd getting used to, but Keruko, who had followed him into the turbolift before he realized it, held for his life against the railing in the turbolift.
"I'm going to be sick!" He yelled.
The turbolift doors parted, revealing the calm and collective order of the bridge. Even when facing possible death, the ships crew was well trained in dealing with moments such as these.
"Captain, we're inside the wormhole." Said Commander Buuren without taking a look off of his stations panel.
"Why are we spinning?" Keruko asked, noticing the display on the view screen slowly spinning.
"There's a gravimetric current, I'm trying to compensate the environmental controls for it."
"How long until we're on the the other side commander?" Asked Nixon as he took his seat in the chair.
"10 minutes sir."
"Can't we just turn around and go back the way we came?" Keruko asked.
"No, the gravity is too strong for us to leave right now. We'll have to wait it out on the other side before we can turn back."
"But what if it doesn't go away? We'll be stuck here!"
"We are well aware of the situation Keruko, we can hear about our doom some other time, but right now we're busy." Nixon said, hopping the Ferengi would stop talking.
Amazingly it had worked. The Ferengi hadn't said a word, just sat on the steps leading down into the helm stations, probably thinking about the loss of his ship and his latinum. Nixon sat, thinking hard into everything that was happening. It had reminded him of a similar event that he had read up in Starfleet academy. The U.S.S. Voyager was pulled into a spatial funnel and barely unable to escape. This scenario seemed similar in some aspects, but was also totally different.
He did want to see what was inside, but not like this.
"Captain, we're coming up to the exit." The commander notified.
Nixon shook his head out of the daze he was in and the Voyager reports he had read late into the nights during the academy.
There was no visible exit, it just came up suddenly. The reality that the probe had detected was very different then from the time and space he knew. There were large bright pink and purple hills of light that slowly changed, like sand slowly being blown away. Stars were here too, but there was also a drifting web of bands made of some unknown energy that pulsed different colors that had everyone's attention.
"What is the casualty reports Soibe?" Nixon asked without removing his eyes from the view screen.
"There are no casualties or injuries sir."
"Good. Commander when will we have impulse?"
"I'm not sure sir. Engineering is working on bringing impulse back online. Captain, scanners are showing a ship in here."
Keruko's head quickly shot up from the floor in the commanders direction.
"What kind? Is it mine!?" He asked, almost pleading.
"I don't know how, but your ship is in one piece Mr.Keruko." The commander acknowledged.
"Yes! Oh thank the divine treasury, my fortune is spared!" The Ferengi cheered.
"With such a small design, I guess I'm not surprised that could have survived the trip here. I doubt the gravity had hardly any effect on it." Nixon complemented.
"And you're large Federation starship is marooned!" The Ferengi laughed obnoxiously.
"With the gravimetric forces weighing down on the return trip back, I highly doubt anything, much less a shuttlecraft, is going to be capable of making it back through the wormhole on impulse." Said Commander Buuren, sounding a tinge upset at the mocking Ferengi.
"We'll just have to see about that." Keroku taunted. "Welp, I'm sorry to leave this party so soon everybody, but I have places to be!"
Keruko quickly left the bridge in a good mood and humming a cheerful tune to himself.
"Transporter room!" He barked at the turbolift followed by devious chuckle right as the doors closed in.
"Any ideas?" Nixon asked aloud.
Nobody said a single word, the bridge was suddenly quiet without the Ferengi.
"I doubt there will be anyway out for us if the Ferengi's ship doesn't make it sir." Buuren mentioned.
"Then I guess we'll have to wait and see."

The Ferengi wasted no time in leaving the strange reality. He was eager to return back to the space he knew, a place where he made profit in the bold life of a Ferengi Trader, Merchant, and Smuggler. The ship seemed hardly touched aside from a slight amount of hull stress, but that had been because the shields were down and structural integrity wasn't really enforced during the period he was on the hoomon Federation vessel.
At full impulse he shot off straight into the wormhole. Everything was going fine for several minutes. The nauseating gravity shifts was only a minor inconvenience that he didn't really care much for anymore, as long as it meant progress. Then things started to slow down to the point that he was stuck in place as the gravimetric forces became stronger. The ships impulse drive was already at full speed, there wasn't anything else that the Ferengi could do. Warning lights and sounds lit up like a dabo table across the control console as the ships systems were buckling under the stress.
"Noo!" He yelled as the ship gave into the wormhole and fell all the way back to the Abigos."

"Well that was quick." Nixon mused as the Ferengi ship was spat out of the wormhole like a broken toy.
"Hail Keruko commander."
There was a short wait for a reply, but the Ferengi did eventually come around to answering.
"What do you want captain?" The Keruko groveled, looking deflated compared to the happy Ferengi that left only moments ago.
"To work together Keruko. There's no other option."


Stardate 91035.72:
Captains Log


Engineering has successfully brought the impulse drive back online. So far I've gathered the bridge crew in the conference room to come up with a plan for us to leave this strange place.

"This is where we suggest any and all ideas right now, even if it doesn't sound possible." Nixon said aloud at the head of the Conference Table. "So far we already know that our exit out of here is the wormhole."
The Conference Room was just as quiet as before when Nixon asked for any ideas on the bridge.
"I say I dock my ship in your hangar bay and we charge full impulse into that wormhole." Keroku suggested half heartedly.
"The Abigos won't be able to stand up to the grav" - -
"Gravimetric pull, yea yea. You know, I think you like using that word." Keroku said, interrupting Buuren.
"The commander's right, It only gets worse near the end of it too. Brute force won't be able to win it for us this time I'm afraid." Said Lieutenant Shoy, the ships tactical officer.
"I believe that we might have some chance if we dodged the stronger currents in the wormhole back."
"We could tack like a sailboat moving into the wind." Buuren included.
"That might work, there's plenty of space inside the wormhole itself to maneuver around the stronger currents if we need." Said Nixon.
"Alright, like I said. I'll dock my ship in your hangar bay and we'll charge into the wormhole."
"We're not charging into it Keruko, were... zig zagging and dodging currents." Shoy corrected.
"Ok, well either way I'm docking my ship, right?"
"Hmm, you did try to leave us behind. What do you say captain?" Buuren teased.
"Oh now, that was different. I couldn't fit all your crew on my small little ship, there's just not enough room." Keruko said, looking around nervously. Not sure if to take Buuren's suggestion serious or not.
"Before we put this plan into action, does anyone else have a different idea?" Nixon asked, standing up from the conference table head seat.
"No." Everyone replied.
"Then lets get to work."
As the bridge officers left the room one by one, Keroku was the last remaining.
"What is it." Nixon asked before leaving the room too.
"You still didn't answer my question, can I dock my ship?"
Nixon stood for a moment, trying to look as if he was thinking of the Ferengi's fate before making a final decision, even though he knew his answer already.
"Yes, but you'll owe me someday, alright?"
"You have a deal." Keruko grinned.


Stardate 91035.9:

"We're set to go captain. I have the ships sensors calibrated to detect oncoming gravity currents that we need to avoid." Said the Science office, Doled.
"The Ferengi's ship has successfully docked in the hangar bay captain." Informed Shoy.
"Alright, Buuren, bring us about to the wormhole entry and take us in. Doled, keep Buuren updated with the oncoming currents and the optimal coordinates to avoid them. I don"t want one of the currents hitting us." Nixon ordered.
The Abigos plunged into the center of the wormhole with hardly any effect from the gravity currents.
"We're only in the easy part for now sir, it's going to become rough with stronger currents the further we go." Said Doled without taking an eye off of his station.

As the Abigos traveled deeper in into the tunnel of the wormhole, the currents were becoming stronger with each pass and the progress growing slower. The ship zigged and zagged then weaved in and out of the stronger currents that would have sent the ship all the way back to where they started from.
With a few minor sensor miscounts in coordinates, the ship was barely caught a few times and carried back a short distance before Buuren would make a quick save.

"Captain, were coming up on the entrance of the wormhole, we're on a twenty kilometers from it." Buuren announced in between the process of weaving through passing gravity currents that were more of a serious danger now than before.
"It seems as if the wormhole is becoming highly unstable too, I don't think we're going to have another chance at this if we don't make it." Doled warned.
"We're going to make it Lieutenant." Nixon said, wondering if he was right. All that mattered was bringing confidence to the crew right now, or lest they might fail without it.
"The ship isn't moving captain, we need more impulse power to break even with the current." Said Buuren.
"Engineering, we're going to need more power. Transfer all weapons, shuttlecraft, and backup battery power into Impulse." Nixon said into the chair comm.
With the added boost into Impulse power, the Abigos broke even with the current, but only enough to slowly inch its way through the brunt of the gravimetric currents that zipped by the hull.
There was a sudden loud bending sound that left an eerily reverberating echo throughout the ships decks as it was being pulled from behind.
"Captain, structural integrity is reaching dangerous levels. Decks 12, 13, and 14 have hull breaches. Emergency shields are successfully activating to patch them up, however the shields won't hold out for long without emergency battery backup power." Doled said aloud over the bending and grinding of the hull.
The bright purple center of the wormhole entrance suddenly vanished, bringing to view the welcoming site of stars in a familiar world. From the sudden lack of resistance, the Abigos lurched forward, far from the wormholes reach.
Nixon leaned back once again into his chair, the rising tension draining from him.
"We made it!" Announced Doled, surprised that they made it out of the wormhole in only one try.
"And just in time too sir, look!"
The view screen changed to a view of the ships stern, showing a grand view of the wormhole which had grown three times in size since the last time Nixon had seen it. This time though, it wasn't growing, instead it was rapidly shrinking down.
"I wonder if we caused that somehow?" Buuren thought aloud. "I mean, what are the chances of a healthy and stable wormhole suddenly appearing right before you, and then vanishing all in the same day?"
"I would say very slim." Said the captain. "Doled, how long were we in there for according to the set times in neighboring relay stations?"
"We've only been there for a few minutes."

The bridge watched as the rest of the wormhole winked out of existence forever, pondering the scary possibility of disappearing with it.
The moment of silence was suddenly interrupted by the offending face of Keroku and his loud voice.
"Captain, when are you going to release my ship from the hangar? I would like to be on my way now, I have an important shipment to make with the Romulans and you're keeping me in here?"
"I figured you would be thanking me for saving you back there Mr.Keroku, and all you can do is demand I let you leave at once?" Nixon teased as he twirled the Mood Prism around in his hand.
"Well none of this would have happened if you hadn't of found that wormhole in the first place."
"Fine, fine, you can go. But if you're smuggling illegal goods" --
"Captain relax," said the Ferengi in his same shallow lies, "I have nothing of the sort. Just medkits and food is all."
"Right." Nixon exaggerated shortly before giving the hangar bay authorization to let the Ferengi go.
"I'll see you around captain, we're still business partners you and me." The Ferengi reminded with a toothy grin.
"I thought it was business friends." Nixon corrected.
"Yea, something like that."
The View screen winked out and back to the Pelia Sector star system as the Ferengi took off into warp. Nixon knew it wasn't the last time he would be seeing him, and plus the Ferengi was in debt to him for saving his life back in the wormhole.

Last edited by morkintash; 06-12-2013 at 01:31 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,583
# 5
06-12-2013, 09:00 AM
Literary Challenge # 44: Down the Rabbit Hole

Observation

Stars swirled beyond the transparent aluminum cockpit as Ensign Todd Mitchell threw the Manta-class star fighter through a series of tight manoeuvres.

"How's she handling?" asked the disembodied voice of Claire, the photonic interface for the USS Valkyrie's AI.

Of course, the single-person fighter had no room for a second person, but Claire had downloaded an avatar of her program to a mobile holo-emitter, which was afixed to the upper sleeve of Mitchell's low-level pressure suit, providing her with a realtime presence aboard the fighter.

"Inertial dampeners are still lagging," Mitchell replied with more than a hint of frustration in his voice.

Since his repatriation from Mu'Na, he had spent almost every off-duty hour in the shuttle parking bay on deck five, rebuilding and repairing his fighter, replacing hull panelling and internal systems with a steady competence.

Rather than requesting assistance from Lieutenant Commander Meliden Bowen, the Valkyrie's chief engineer, Mitchell had instead enlisted the assistance of the computer library access information retrieval engram, and an unlikely friendship had developed between them: Mitchell craving companionship following his months of captivity in the Mu'Naii prison, Claire keen to exercise her integration subroutines and develop experiences outside of those programmed into her matrix, or which the ships sensors fed directly to her processors.

"I thought pilots liked to get a feel for what they were flying," Claire remarked dryly.

"There's a difference between a feel and being slammed around a cockpit," Mitchell replied. "I'm probably going to have internal injuries by the time we get back in the shuttle bay."

"So inertial dampeners and the impulse manifiolds need further attention," summarised Claire. "I've allocated the resources, and they'll be ready for when we return."

Rather than replying immediately, Mitchell scowled at the sensor readings, then tabbed the intercom.

"Mitchell to Valkyrie: I'm picking up an elevation in the proton count, as well as an increase in neutrino emissions," he reported. "Are your sensors reading anything?"

"Confirmed, Ensign," came the reply from Captain Amanda Palmer. "It appears to be the accretion disk of a wormhole. Transmit the coordinates and return to the Valkyrie, I don't want you getting pulled through."

"Understood, Captain," Mitchell replied. "Reversing course and transmitting coordinates now. ETA ten minutes."

***

"Approaching the coordinates now, Captain," Ensign T'Natra reported crisply from the helm of the USS Valkyrie.

"Bring us to a full stop, Miss T'Natra," replied Captain Amanda Palmer, as the streaks on the forward viewscreen resolved into constellations and stars.

"Aye, Captain, now reading full stop," stated the Vulcan navigator.

"Are sensors registering anything?" Palmer enquired.

"Aye, Captain," replied Commander Brandon Mayer from the ops console. "Detecting elevated neutrino emissions off the starboard bow. The wormhole should manifest within moments."

"Prepare a class four probe, and launch as soon as the event horizon resolves," Palmer said, rising from her command chair and heading towards the turbolift at the rear of the bridge. "Commander Chanos, you have the conn."

"Aye, Captain," acknowledged the Bolian tactical officer, turning his console over to his deputy, Lieutenant Arlandria Chambers, and moving to the command chair as Palmer entered the turbolift.

***

Lieutenant Will Mayer looked up from his console, as the doors to astrometrics opened.

"Probe telemetry is coming through now, Captain," he reported, as Palmer moved to stand beside him.

"What can you tell me, Will?" she asked, her gaze drawn to the massive viewscreen.

"Nothing out of the ordinary," replied the dark-haired astrophysicist. "Neutrino emissions, gravitons and some anti-protons."

"Stellar cartography has matched probe telemetry, Captain," reported Ensign Tilly Campbell-Black from a side console. "The probe is in orbit of Barzan II."

Palmer tilted her head quizically toward the young officer.

"It would appear that the Barzan wormhole has finally stabilized and stopped spinning," she mused.

"We might be able to stabilize this terminus with a series of verteron emissions," Mayer proposed.

"Not quite yet," Palmer decided. "We need to observe the wormhole's behaviour first, and ascertain if, and how frequently the wormhole shifts, or if one or both ends are now fixed."

"Aye, Captain, I'll begin correlating the information as soon as more is received," Mayer assured the captain.

Last edited by marcusdkane; 06-16-2013 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Additional material
Ensign
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 28
Doutra sat up straight as she awoke from her nightmare. Her heart was pounding, cold sweat ran from her head and the gut wrenching emotion of fear was only slowly ebbing away. She was still gasping for air as the person next to her in her bed stirred awake. Despite him being half-asleep still, he knew the routine and was already massaging her shoulders. His soothing hands calmed her down as the feeling of dread went away.
"It's alright." Tovan said and held her close." It's alright Do, I'm here."
She placed her hand on his and took a long, deep breath.
"You alright?" he asked, to which she nodded." Where were you this time?"
"It wasn't Virinat." Doutra replied." It was a different world. The sky was green, it had three suns. I think. There was smoke, fire." She shook her head. "A horrible screeching sound, things flying overhead. Other people like me running, screaming.." she left the dying unsaid.

Tovan placed his hand under her chin and turned her head so she could see into his warm, brown eyes. She smiled as she strayed his green war tattoo above his right eye before she kissed him deeply. A long moment later both broke the kiss.
"Thank you." she rested her head on his chest." I Wouldn't have done this without you."
"What I'm here for..." he kissed her head and held her in his arms. He opened his mouth but the communicator went off." Captain, this is Z'nod." A gruff voice said on the other end. Doutra shook her head with a smile and took it up." What is it Z'nod?"
"Can you report to the bridge, I think there is something you should see."
"On my way." She replied and tossed the bed sheet away and began to dress in her uniform.
"You mind if I sit this one out?" Tovan smirked as he leaned back.
"Get dressed, Centurion Khev." she teased as she threw his uniform at him." Lest I court martial you."
"Aye aye, Captain." He chuckled and dressed as well.

The duo got on the bridge as the Officer of the deck turned around to face them. Despite being a part of the proper crew, Z'Nod preferred to wear his dark blue outfit with a long cloak with the only symbol of his allegiance to the Romulan Republic hanging around his arm. Doutra knew the Remans were a though, prideful and stubborn people and having her crew of mostly Romulans listen to his orders was hard enough. After all it had not been to long ago that Remans fought and worked for the Romulans as slaves and if it weren't for D'tan and Obisek's friendship there may have been war between the two former inhabitants of Old Romulus.
She was glad she managed to persuade him to have at least the symbol on, early days she thought.
"Captain, we picked up something on sensors."
"Show me." Doutra said as she took her seat in the captain's chair. Z'nod motioned to the science officer who showed what they found on screen.

It was a large gaping hole in space which seemed to swallow the stars themselves with large blue circles around it which gave it a magnificent, yet a fearsome beauty.
"An wormhole, Captain." Z'Nod stated." Neither the Republic nor the Empire have found this one before in the Pelia Sector Block."
"Get me Srri-ook." Doutra said." I want to hear for myself if that's true."
"Aye captain." Z-nod bowed and made the call to their Gorn Science officer who served with them on the R.R.W. Spirit of Virinat as an ambassador of sorts for the Klingon empire. Commander Gorvar suggested the man himself, and Doutra could not deny the Gorn who stuck out his scaly neck for the Romulans during the Khitomer debacle.

An moment later, a grouchy and angry looking Gorn entered the bridge. Unlike Gorvar, who was large and well build, Ssri-ook was a smaller Gorn who was light and lithe. There were at least two sort of casts on the Gorn homeworld she read. One were soldiers, like Commander Gorvar and the famous General Ssharki and others were the tinkerers like Ssri-ook. He also seemed quite twitchy compared to his more stoic looking brothers.
"Yes, yes what is it?" he hissed." Was busy sleeping, had double shift."
Z'nod motioned to the screen which made Ssri-ook's eyes as large as saucers." You knew about this?"
"No, no no no. Would prove valuable military resource for the Empire." He rubbed his clawed hands together before he began scanning on his console." Found something." He paused." Something coming through portal. Something big."

The bridge crew looked on as a heavily damaged ship jumped through the wormhole. The ship was a bird of prey and guessing of the damages all over the ship it meant it barely survived a struggle.
"Mogai Heavy Warbird." Tovan turned to Doutra." Tal Shiar, Captain."
"Red alert." Doutra said calmly as the lights of the ship fared red." Shields full, weapons armed."
"Permission to obliterate the enemy?" Z'nod asked.
Doutra thought for a moment before she glanced to Ssri-ook. "How badly damaged is it, Ssri?"
"Shields barely operational, one phaser bank operational." the Gorn gave her a feral grin which showed his rows of pointy teeth." Engines down."
"Life signs?"
"Thirty Romulan, one unknown. Easy pickings." Ssri-ook declared.
Doutra nodded and stood up." Gather the boarding parties and scramble the Scorpions, we're going in. Z'nod, Ssri-ook you are with me. Centurion Khev you have the bridge. I want those shields down before our shuttles have warmed up. We're bringing this ship in for the Republic."
"We are being hailed by the vessel Captain." He looked at Doutra." They are asking for our assistance. They think we are one of them. You want us to reply?" Tovan asked as Doutra and her two crew men entered the turbo lift.
Doutra smirked and said before the doors closed in front of her." Hail the Tal Shiar and tell them tghe people of Virinat are coming for 'em."
Tovan smiled back and nodded." Aye aye, captain."

The Spirit of Virinat decloaked near the wormhole and immediately opened fire on the damaged warship. The Spirit' Scorpion fighters went first and easily took care of the Scorpions the Mogai launched while the five shuttles followed suit. They dodged the half-baked phaser attacks while the Spirit took down the Mogai' shields. Immediately the boarding parties teleported inside, led by Captain Doutra. The few security personel left in the ship were overwhelmed by a deadly combination of angry Virinat survivors and Remans who waited a long time to avenge the crimes committed by the Romulan Star Empire.
Doutra fired her assault rifle as she took down a Uhlan who tried to run to his comrades inside the room which housed the unknown life sign, probably an prisoner. Ssri-ook jumped inside and let his feral anger loose upon the survivors as Doutra ran over to a stasis pod in the middle of the room. The window was still covered in ice which meant the Tal Shiar just picked up the stasis pod from space. Doutra wiped her glove over the glass to see what was inside.
"Captain, this is Z'Nod. We have control over the bridge." The Reman said over the com.
"Captain, this is Virik. We captured the engine room." One of her Uhlan's said." It might take some work but I think we can get this bird up and running in no time."

But none of that registered to her when she saw what was inside the stasis pod. It was a male. Tall. An humanoid creature with red skin, blue hair and white spots just like hers. she looked at the Gorn who looked just as puzzeld as she was. Now Doutra knew she was not the only one of her people anymore.

Last edited by gorvar1; 06-13-2013 at 06:01 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,906
# 7
06-12-2013, 02:47 PM
The maw of the wormhole gaped open and inviting: the swirling periphery also pulsating in a mesmerizing rhythm. The core of the storm was a very bright white, illuminating the black space around it. The Solaris was washed in the brightness of the opening even thirty thousand kilometers away from the celestial event. Inside the bridge, the crew watched the scene through the main viewer. Only the Science Chief, a Trill named Omazei looked toward her console in concentration. Data streamed on various screens revealing various telemetry.

"Omazei, anything?" Kathryn did not look away. Several minutes passed since the second probe was launched. Its intent was directed into the center of the wormhole. The first probe was still in a circuit collecting data about the periphery.

Omazei's fingers were in dedicated motion across the console, small beads of sweat dotted her forehead. "There is more than enough information to keep astrometrics busy for days."

Kathryn, not satisfied with the cryptic answer, walked up to the Science station and started staring at the readout. Having a strong background in astrometrics before her Captaincy, Kathryn's review of the data surprised her. She quickly excused Omazei's answer and let the Science Chief do her job.

Minutes passed. Both Kathryn and Omazei silently looking at the data with Kathryn more as an observer. Another minute passed when First Officer Anthi Ythysi walked up and quietly cleared her throat. "Captain, is there anything we should be concerned about?"


A few seconds passed and Kathryn had to force herself to look away from the screens. "No. Not yet. Maybe not at all." She looked back at Omazei and said, "Is that really what I think it is?"

"I think so Captain."

Anthi crossed her arms, her Andorian temperament under the surface. "What do we think it is?"

Kathryn stood and faced her XO then looked to the bridge crew. "Out there is a portal to another universe."

Karl Melango, the ship Security Chief stood and said, "What kind of universe?"

Omazei responded, "As you know, with the revelation of the Mirror Universe, the idea of existing Multiverses is obviously no longer fiction but fact." She paused and pointed the viewscreen. "This wormhole is leading to a new universe ... an 'anti-verse'. Visually, everything is in negative: space is not black, but white, stars emit black-light. Everything is the same, scientifically speaking ... it just looks different."

"So, is there another Solaris on the other side?" Chief Engineer Thel Ythysi spoke up but didn't look away from the viewscreen.

"Possibly, but not probably," Omazei responded. "More research is needed but the probe does not detect another ship. I can't postulate anything beyond that."

Kathryn stepped toward her command chair. "Omazei, catalogue this location. Send your findings to Starfleet and launch a third support probe. Set it to transmit back to us. Karl, set a class two special warning marker. If this wormhole becomes stable then Starfleet needs to send its best. We have a patrol to complete and we are not in the best space to sit and wait. If the wormhole collapses then at least we have something. Morgan, set course back onto the patrol route."

"Aye, Captain." Morgan Kell tapped some controls on the navigation console.
Kathryn S. Beringer - The Dawn Patrol

Solaris build - Veritatum Liquido Cernene

Last edited by cmdrscarlet; 06-18-2013 at 09:17 AM. Reason: Clarity of dialogue
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 420
# 8 Running The Machine
06-12-2013, 05:27 PM
-

The ship sped on.

Looking up from the display at his post on the Bridge, Subcommander Tosik listened to the engines for a moment. Normally a deep rumble barely registering on the ear, they now roared with a sound he would have expected from a set of ground power turbines racing beyond their maxium rated revolutions, and Tosik knew that the similarity was not that far off. He could well imagine the forces straining on the engines as they were called upon to generate more and more speed, for periods well beyond what had ever been expected of them.

Shaking his head, he turned to look his Commander. "I must again caution that we are in danger of serious drive failure. Despite what the Master Engineer claims, these are hardly factory-new engines, and trusting them to hold up at these speeds for anything but a short sprint is tempting the Elements."

She nodded, displaying no emotion as she returned his gaze without sign of the concern she had to share. That self-control is what had first impressed him when he had arrived aboard the ship, and now it steadied the crew around them as she replied. "Your concern is noted. However, our options are limited at this point."

Tosik gave a deep sigh as he turned back to his instruments, knowing exactly how right she was. They had been tasked with tracking a Borg tactical Cube under cloak as part of their liason with Starfleet, with the Republic hoping to reap the benefits of discovering a Borg logistics node in the Pelia Sector that their Federation allies had not found yet. The R'uhuv had executed this mission perfectly, and settled in for what seemed would be an extended period of tailing their unsuspecting quarry back to it's base. All had gone according to plan.

Until a previously unreported wormhole had opened up right off their starboard bow. The sudden appearance of this event halted the Borg Cube in its tracks, and they had likewise come to a halt, fearing their drive emissions might be detected if they passed beyond the Cube. Tosik had thought there could not be a more serious situation for a cloaked Romulan ship than to have a Borg vessel gain enough of a sensor trace to lock onto it with one of their tractor beams.

That is, until he saw what emerged from the wormhole.

He called up the latest data from his sensors on the huge ship that had wasted no time in destroying the Borg Cube with a single, devestating beam that seemed to consume the very matter of the Borg ship and turn it into the source of unbelievably violent explosions that the formidable adaption capabilities of the Borg never had a chance to counter. As they had watched the Cube rip itself apart, the unknown ship had swung slowly towards their own position, and it had not required a detailed observation period to realize that the massive vessel was not hindered in the least by their cloaking device.

Even their attempts to run had proven ineffective. Their ship was hardly the latest in stardrive technology, and the other ship had quickly gained on them shortly after they had gone to warp speed. Only by dropping out of warp suddenly had they eluded capture, as it seemed the larger vessel's manueverability did not match its abilities in outright speed, and their flight had become a series of near-miss encounters as the larger vessel kept overshooting their track.

Now looking at the readings from the latest pass, Tosik called up a datafile he had been analyzing before their pursuer had once again overtaken them. Comparing the two sets of information, he nodded to himself and reported "Confirmation on unknown vessel. This type of ship has been encountered by both Starfleet and Klingon Defense Forces, with multiple engagements on file. Starfleet designation is listed as 'Planet Killer', subreference 'Doomsday Machine'. Threat level highest."

The Commander did not say anything for a moment, then spoke carefully. "'Planet Killer' does not sound appropriate for Starfleet ship classification policies. What race uses these ships?"

"No race." Tosik read more of the file, his alarm growing "These are automated weapons capable of destroying planetary systems and using the debris as fuel. Data indicates the beam is composed of...absolute-pure antiprotons??" he frowned in disbelief. Such a composition was beyond the abilities of any known race, and would produce a beam that could not be stopped by any material means. Indeed, the crude anti-protons generated by the anti-matter/matter systems of other races were of such devestating capabilities that they were used in photon torpedoes and tricobalt devices.

The Helmsman looked over, and a look of curiousity grew on the Human Augment's face. "That is, indeed, quite impressive, and explains the ease with which it dispatched the Borg. Our own shields will likely only stop a few such strikes if we angle them for deflection hits, so I don't recommend we try a head-on attack. But the vessel must have its own shields, or it would be mutually destructive to have two of them meet. What of those?"

"No shields." Tosik shook his head in amazement. "The weapon is encased in layered neutronium to a depth of...." the Science Officer's voice trailed off as he re-read the data.

"Subcommander?" the Commander prodded after he had been silent for too long. "What depth to the armor?"

"Indeterminate, but at least tens of meters thick!" Tosik's voice was awed "Commander, this cannot be! We can barely manufacture a millimeter thick coating of this type of matter for the strongest of hullmetal, and that can only be done in special orbital yards where the great mass of such material can be handled. With the described level of neutronium, the vessel would have the mass of a typical solar system, and the gravitational pull of a dead star!"

The Commander looked at the main screen, where the cone-shaped Killer was again turning towards them. "And yet, it does not. We must concern ourselves with more pressing matters, however. How many of our plasma torpedoes will be required to breach that hull?"

"Commander, that is an impossibility." Tosik turned to look at her. "Neutronium of that level has no known method of being penetrated. No weapon known could do what is required, and I don't think even a nova would do more than make that ship glow in space."

The Commander sat in her command chair, staring at the image of the Planet Killer growing once again. For long moments, she said nothing. Then she looked around the Bridge. "We cannot fight. We cannot run. We cannot hide. We can dodge, but only until it adjusts its own attack pattern to anticipate one of our evasions. Suggestions?"

Tosik searched his own brain, looking for some trick of physics that might turn the tables. Perhaps something that would force neutronium to dissolve? Not likely. Use the ship's deflector array to generate a subspace field to attempt a disruption of whatever drive system the Killer utilized? That seemed possible, but would require too much time to set up, and would almost certainly require many attempts before any success. No, that way would only provide just as many chances for the weapon to destroy them.

Before Tosik could go further down his mental path, the Helmsman cleared his throat in the way that always seemed to Tosik to challenge the authority of the Commander. As all eyes turned to him, the Human smiled grimly. "If we cannot dodge forever, perhaps what we should ensure is that we only need dodge once...."

__________________________


The R'uhuv ran once more, but this time with a purpose. The small warbird flew across space with warp plasma streaming from its overtaxed nacelles, small arcs of energy lancing across the hull as random charges were induced across the ship.

On the Bridge, Tosik held onto his console as the inertial compensators failed to counter all of the forces acting on the ship. First one way, then the next, the crew were pulled by the small changes in course that kept the Planet Killer following them from a direct interception, and thus kept them alive for the next few minutes.

Looking up, he saw the strobing icon on his display that he had been waiting for, and called out "Target ahead. Zero-one-five mark two three! Contact in two minutes!"

"Good! Very good!" Helmsman Rycho grinned as though he were enjoying the race, and Tosik would not discount that possibility. The Augment always seemed to treat any challenge as a personal game, and this plan of his certainly had the hallmarks of the Human tendency towards gambling. "Commander, I will require authority to act without your order on the final turn, as it will be too short a time to ask your permission. Do I have this?"

"Carry out your orders, Centurian Rycho." The Commander said, watching him carefully "You have full authority to act as necessary until this ship has completed the maneuver."

Tosik shook his head, not liking the smile of the Helmsman as he set the ship on the final approach to their goal. The Human had just been given more power than he had ever had aboard the ship, and Tosik wondered how much that would change the strange dynamic between the Commander and the Augment in the days to come. Shrugging at last, he decided he would worry about it then, assuming they had those days coming.

One minute passed, and it seemed the plan would at least be executed correctly. If it would work would be the will of the Elements. Then without warning, the Planet Killer surged forwards with sudden speed, blurring on Tosik's screen as the distance readout dropped to zero in a fraction of a second.

The ship veered wildly as the Helmsman reacted with unbelievable reflexes, his laugh of victory seeming out of place until Tosik realized the Planet Killer had passed above them and already reached the place they had wanted to send it.

The Planet Killer was just beginning to turn again when it vanished back into the wormhole it had emerged from.

As he watched the wormhole destabilize from the uncontrolled entry of the massive weapon and then disappear completely, Tosik found he had to sit back in his chair to breath again.

Looking around the Bridge, he saw that even the Commander seemed to have given herself leave to relax from normal conduct. Sitting back in her own Command Chair and giving him a small smile, she nodded and said "Science Officer, please scan our immediate area and confirm that the wormhole has not reappeared. Then make a full systems report and bring it to me when you have it. Ensure Engineering is especially careful in inspecting the engines for damage."

She stood, and said to the rest of the Bridge. "Well done. We have once again proven ourselves the equal of the Federation and the Klingon Empire in facing and defeating a foe they themselves have been tested by. Let our Glory be known in the Log, Subcommander!"

As Tosik nodded the order, he watched the Commander turn towards her Ready Room. Before entering, she ordered "Now, back to our original mission. Find me another Borg ship, and please don't lose it this time."

-

Last edited by danqueller; 06-13-2013 at 03:14 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,997
# 9 Status
06-13-2013, 03:32 AM
Stardate 85866.3, IKS Herdthinner, Pelia Sector...

Commander of Scouts had no name. He had a service number courtesy of the Klingon Defense Force, and a Rank, but no name. Among the less tradtional Lowland clans of Ferasa, the practice of earning names had fallen long out of favour-a concession to the Klingons who held dominance over his race, but among the Mountain Clans, the Traditional Clans, a name had to be earned and given.

Without a name, among the Mountain Clans, there would be no honour to the Family, and breeding rights would be restricted to the lesser or the least-a harsh reality to face.

Commander of Scouts stood beside HIS Captain, Kurn of House K'Lek, who called him 'scout' in the way that Klingonoid beings, with their dim hearing and weak eyes nicknamed everything that had no proper name.

and Commander of Scouts tolerated this treatment, for he was a Warrior first, last, and always.

And holding the rank would, if nothing else, elevate his future offspring's chances to earn the honour of at least a Partial name among the Mountain Clans.

"What do you think, Scout?" Captain Kurn asked, "Is it worth the effort?"

"They are enemy ships." Commander of Scouts said, "Freighters, but Federation registry, and their escort is...careless...too careless."

"Too Careless?" Kurn asked, looking at his Ferasan first officer, who licked his lips and nose. "Explain."

"We have intercepted traffic that insists there is a hostile presence-a Borg presence, in the system, Kurn'K'lek-Captain." Commander of Scouts replied, using the style of his people-something that the Klingon and Gorn crewmen often found amusing.

"Quite right. This looks like bait for a trap." Kurn said after a moment, "Science officer, shrouded scan, are those truly freighters or are they what our opponents call 'Q' ships?"

"Their movement indicates more mass than they should have for mere Freighters, their impulse drives are running at a very high power for their rate of accelleration." Science Officer was a lowland Ferasan, her public name was actually 'K'rrana', but since the Mountain Clanner had joined the crew, she had to chafe under traditional restrictions that were humiliating-being addressed only by her position or her rank on the bridge.

"Those are the prey, then." Scout Commander said, "Federation combat-modified freighters, designed to lure unsuspecting raiders into a trap."

Kurn smiled, "I concur...battle stations, charge weapons and transfer control to my console, Scout Commander, plot a decloaking strike and put it on my display."

Scout Commander typed in a series of adjustments, both to engine power, and weapons systems, along with a set of preplot course changes designed to hit the armed enemy ships.

"I'm picking up Neutrino emissions, Captain!" Science Officer suddenly announced, "also random particle bursts near the targets..."

"On screen." Kurn ordered, "Scout, your evaluation?"

Scout Commander dialed in a series of readout feeds directly off of Science Officer's station, and overlaid it on his attack plan.

"The source is coming from off the enemy's port bow, approximately twenty thousand Kellikams, and it is intensifying-do we break off the attack?"

"No. Execute battle plan, if this is another ship, we must get it scanned and recorded to warn the rest of the Fleet." Kurn ordered.

"Executing." Scout Commander stated.

They began the attack run.

Scout Commander had interpreted the scan data differently than Science Officer had-he noted where the 'cargo' holds seemed to have extra doors, where he would put targeting arrays, launch points for warheads, and most importantly, phaser strips.

The bird of Prey dropped her cloak at full engine power, and cycled disruptor beam and cannon fire to strip the first enemy ship of his weapons.

Kurn in turn used this preplanned data with the flawless efficiency of a Warrior Born, and the enemy's deception was met with disruptor and torpedo fire, jackhammering into systems intended as a means of ambushing, rather than coping WITH the ambush.

The enemy responded in kind, hammering the old Ki'Tang class ship with whithering return fire, and with linked fire from the other 'Q' ships.

The bridge boomed and echoed as grav-plating flickered and integrity fields thrummed.


The first false freighter tumbled as it died in the silence of space, but they were outnumbered, and out-gunned. A flash hammered the bridge itself, combined energy and projectile weapons striking with uncanny precision to tear a rent in the hull of the bridge, and shining actinic light across the Captain's station-Captain Kurn howled briefly as vacuum sucked away air-only to be stopped midway when SI fields activated.

Not, however, before the Klingon's body tumbled outward into the revealed starfield.

Scout Commander leapt across the bridge to the captain's helm, and started working with the savaged console to restore backups. "Engineering, Maximum power to shields and engines, new course Thirty six by one twenty eight by forty." Scout Commander snarled into his mic.

"We can't cloak." Science Officer observed.

"I know. We have to out manuever them." K'Tirr said, and looked up.

"What is That?" A gigantic torus of light shone through the tear in the hull where the bridge monitor had been.

"Wormhole." Science officer told him, adding, "The prey are falling back from it..."

"Do we have communications?" Scout Commander demanded.

"um...yes, from the same direction, we are recieving a distress call from...from the Emperor's ship, Scout Captain." Science officer announced.

"Then, that is where we must go." Scout Com- no, not anymore! Scout Captain turned to his scientist, then to the engineer-a Gorn, and then to the only Klingon left on the bridge, a Leutenant. "Engineer, we are going through that worm-hole. Get whatever team you can to slap a patch on our broken hull, we have more important business than raiding shipping."

"Yes Captain." the Engineer hissed.

The Leutenant fingered his D'Ktag, but remained at his station, as Scout Captain favoured him with a ferasan Smile, displaying the long killing fangs of the Mountain Clans of Ferasa-framed in the lynx-like features that distinguished them from their lowland cousins. "Do you wish to challenge my authority, Klingon? or come to the aid of your Emperor as you know you ought?" He asked.

"I serve the Emperor." Korag, son of Kurn, said stiffly.

"Then see to your post-I want full weapons systems ready for whatever we find on the other side of that worm-hole." Scout Captain told him.

"we are heavily damaged." Engineer observed.

"That hole won't stay there forever, we must go through it while it is here." Scout Captain said simply.

"Engaging warp-wings then...we should be able to cross that barrier in two minutes." Engineer said, "assuming, that is, that we survive the transit."

"Science officer, do you have any information that might aid us in making that transition?" Scout Captain demanded.

"Yes, I am remodulating our deflectors to ease our passage through..." Science Officer informed him.

"One minute." Engineer stated.


And down the hole they went.

Somewhere Else...two hours later.

"The battle is in progress, Scout Captain...I read a K'Tinga, and two Hegh'ta in addition to the Emperor's Negh'var and a full score of...Breen? warships."

"condition of allied ships?" Scout Captain asked.

"The K'Tinga is squawking warp-core warnings, and deploying escape pods, The others are...well, the Emperor's ship seems to be functional-for the moment, but the escorting Hegh'ta vessels are showing severe battle damage."

"Weapons, charge up, Engineer, our Cloak system is active?" Scout Captain asked.

"Yes Captain." the Gorn hissed.

"we may die, but we will die with our honour." Scout Captain said, "We will Engage the largest hostile vessel first, if we survive that, we can aid the Emperor in mopping up the smaller craft..."

"Why the enemy's cruiser? the frigates are the more immediate threat!" Korag asked.

"Because the smaller vessels are not strong enough to take the Emperor's flagship alone-they require that Chel'Ghett to provide them covering fire and shield support. We kill him, they will be forced to withdraw-or if they do not, they will die semi-honourably." Scout Captain stated, "Range?"

"Five thousand Kellikams, the Cruiser seems focused on the Emperor's flag vessel..." Korag said.

"Good, bring weapons charge to three hundered percent, and load a tight spread volley through the fore torpedo system, proximity and impact detonators only."

"Nothing fancy this time?" Science officer asked.

"Only if you have somethign fancy to add." Scout Captain told her, "DO you have something to add?"

"Tachyon beam pulse is ready off the forward deflector-it may help with their shields..." she told him.

"At least we have patching over the hull here." Scout Captain observed, "Disengage Cloak on my mark...mark."

The displays turned from red to yellow, and Scout Captain fired all weapons from his own console.

The Breen cruiser's attentions were focused on protecting the smaller, harder to hit frigates chewing at the Emperor's flag-vessel, and this strained her shields and power systems. The combined volleys from cannons and turrets firing at double-rate and the deep burst damage from overloaded heavy disruptors slammed her shielding to the breaking point-just as the tight spread of torpedoes hit her hull at the point Scout Captain determined her warp-core had to be in order to fit the asymmetrical shape.

they flew through the resulting explosion with the crew braced for impact, re-cloaked in the shining waves of energy from the enemy cruiser's death, and turned to face the next target-one of three enemy Frigates.

"Weapons power?" Scout Captain demanded.

"Still at fifty percent, but rising." Korag told him.

"Load another salvo in our torpedo launcher-Science officer, status of the Emperor's Vessel?" he demanded.

"Shield systems portside are down, she's taken a beating and I read uncontrolled fires on four decks." Science officer announced.

"Downed shields...means they probably have a boarding party or three on that ship." Scout Captain surmised, "Ready to engage the secondary targets, one at a time if possible, begin with the outliers, no reason to give our prey more warning than they already have."

"who would-why would there be Breen here?" Science officer asked idly.

"You have a fix on our position?" Scout Captain asked...


---

"...Sanek system, which means we've travelled a very long way through that wormhole." Science Officer stated, "We are decidedly not in Pelia Sector any longer."

"Well...I guess we will worry about how to explain that when the Emperor demands an explanation..." Scout Captain mused, "Status on the other KDF vessels in the area?"

"IKS Y'Ton is still operational-she is with the Third Reserve, under command of Major D'Moj, but the Cruiser Bat'leth and the IKS Baugh are no more, and obviously, the IKS Balth is still barely holding them off."

"Transmit my compliments to Major D'Moj, and ask if they care to coordinate our efforts, meanwhile, hard to port, increase engine power by twenty percent and begin overcharging the disruptors, we're going to take that Frigate right over...there" Scout Captain ordered.

it was almost predictable, the Breen vessel started banging away with active sensors, revealing a build up in graviton charge-they were readying tractor beams.

"Five thousand Kellikams! Decloak!" The Herdthinner rippled into view of the breen frigate on a shower of bright, eye-searing light from her disruptor banks and cannons.

The Breen ship's commander locked on with tractor-just as the volleys slammed his shielding away and paved a path for a cluster of Photon Torpedoes to meet with his bare hull.

The T-beam vanished as its source evaporated, and Scout Captain hauled the yokes around, bringing her through a snap-roll and into an immelmann manuever that lined up a second breen ship in her gunsights.

The breen reacted as any rational being would, they engaged their tractor-beams and fired off a heavy torpedo unique to their particular engineering culture.

Unfortunately for them, the IKS Y'Ton, a Hegh'Ta class loaded with heavier weapons, came at them from their now-unprotected flank, smashing the small Breen vessel like a bottle of Sshrowwl under a forgehammer's blows.

For the next few minutes, the two Birds of Prey systematically wiped out the Breen who lacked wit to flee, until only the Emperor's flagship remained.

"Prepare for boarding actions, Engineer, you have the conn." Scout Captain announced, "Try not to get the ship killed if the Breen rediscover their courage."

"We're being hailed by Major D'Moj." Science Officer announced.

"um...on my terminal, since we no longer Have a screen." Scout Captain ordered.

The face was unexpected-green, female, Orion.

"Good fighting, Scout Captain." the Major said over the link. "What fleet sent YOU?"

"Um...we were responding to a distress call. We're normally assigned to 11th Fleet's scout section." Scout Captain replied.

"That's...sweet Maker, that's all the way over in the Pelia sector!" the Major said in open surprise, "were you in for refit?"

"Negative, we...fell down a wormhole." Scout Captain told her.

"Whatever-I am prepping to beam aboard, we have reports of breen on the ship." the Major said.

"Then we will coordinate-I will bring a team to assist in suppressing them." Scout Captain told her, "IF you feel it would be of use."

"well...we're on an actual mission to speak with the Emperor, so I'll take that offer-you focus on suppressing the Breen and clearing our path."

"Agreed." Scout Captain used the klingonoid 'nod', "See you over there."

"What about the Y'Ton?" Science officer asked, joining Scout Captain and three Bekks at the transport pad. "They were supposed to be here-something about fighting a new threat to the Empire, and needing to consult the Emperor directly."

"We are their backup." Scout Captain stated. "We weren't supposed to be here, but we are."

Science officer joined him on the pad, and the transporter energized...


------------------
To have a name is to be someone,
to be important, to have status.
The Nameless are uncounted millions,
only the BEST have a full name...
Our names come to us from our Heroes.
Listen now, to the tale of K'Tirr Raollriit,
the unconquerable one, the last Ferasan Warlord,
who fought the Klingons until they offered us,
the children of his followers, power over our
destiny...


-Mountain Clan Ferasan Naming ceremony, verse one.


"The Ferasan word-among the mountain clans, for 'Alien'...they have two words.
ONE is "Klingon". The other translates as 'food that talks.' They are our most barbaric cousins. They are accursed, you see-monstrous and vicious."


-H'rrakrawwl, Caitan sociologist, explaining some of the cultural divides that separate Caitan from Ferasan.



IKS Balth, Engineering Deck...

The Breen like it cold-this bothered the Klingons in the boarding party far more than it bothered Scout Captain, his muzzle sticky with alien blood, his claws dipped in Breen fluids, he smiled again-the smile of a Ferasan is not a gesture of friendliness-it is the display of fangs-and the mountain Clans held on to their fangs, kept clean and polished with careful dental treatment. He licked blood from the fur on his hands, and from around his muzzle, tasting the Breen's fear.

"Advance." Scout Captain ordered. Science officer, being from the more civilized lowland tribes, did not, as her captain did, indulge in releasing the fury, did not taste the spoor of fear from their foes, nor tear their foes' flesh with tooth and claw once the range had closed.

The Ferocity of the mountain clans was what made the Klingons respect them, it was what allowed the 'primitive' minority on Ferasa easy access to the Klingon military.

He hunted, leaving his boots behind-they were in the way, as he moved with oily speed through frozen decks, his ears-feline ears, swivelled to seek out heartbeats, and breathing sounds, speech and clicks of equipment, and when he found them he stalked them...

Three Breen were trying to force a terminal in the Engineer's office.

Claws tore the armored helmet from the one standing guard, and disembowelled him with feline speed, then Scout captain leapt and came down on the biggest of the remaining two-latching with his hands and raking with his feet, literally running through the breen's torso in a shower of blood and gobbets of flesh while the smaller one released the smell of their alien urine, and tried to flee the sound of it's screaming comrade.

Scout Captain unleashed a hunting roar, and the breen ran right into the fire-triangle of the ambush.

Not that he, himself had forgotten weapons...not hardly-but fear is a powerful tool, and humanoid species, no matter their sector of origin, still live with certain primal fears that could be exploited...

Three more such ambushes, and the breen were in a collective panic, they gathered in an open area with good sight-lines, and set up a perimeter well designed to protect from a wild beast.

Unfortunately for them, beasts are not particularly clever, but Ferasans and Klingons are.

"Use grenades." Scout Captain ordered, "Then lay down a pattern of fire to herd them and force them to keep their heads down."

The slaughter opened a path to the engine room, which Major D'moj's team had already secured.

"You look a sight." the Orion said, she wasn't dressed like an Orion-she wore leathers from neck to toe, bulky and utilitarian.

"Had a snack on the way in." Scout Captain joked.

"Obviously-we're going up to the Bridge level, you think you can put some shoes on?" she asked, "it's the Emperor, after all."

"yes, Major D'Moj." Scout Captain replied. Science officer handed him his boots with an amused flick of her left ear, and tail, she also gave him a handiwipe to use before putting them on. While he was busy, she treated the thousand minor cuts and wounds he'd accumulated. Scout Captain purred appreciation, but only recieved a sniff in return from his science officer, a reminder that there would always be a class divide between the technically sophisticated lowlanders, and the Mountain-dwellers.

"Two pronged attack again?" Scout Captain asked.

"No. first of all, there is only one working turbolift, and it would take you too long to go up the tubes. secondly, your warriors still have unused munitions, and third, you had the wit to bring a science-officer, we're probably going to need her to support the assault."

"Understood."

"also, I don't need you throating everything you see or 'snacking', Scout Captain-this is Kahless' ship. Try to control your...urges." D'Moj ordered.

"It was just a tactic to frighten the enemy-those at the command level are unlikely to be so easily...frightened." Scout Captain stated.

"Keep that in mind. disruptors and blades...though I suppose your claws might be effective."

The team boarded the turbolift...

-------------

Command Level

In spite of the Orion Major's warning, Scout Captain wound up tearing several breen apart on the way from the lift, to the Bridge deck-it was fast, and the way it got the enemy's attention allowed the rest of the force to make it through relatively unscathed-only three warriors dead, and only superficial wounds to the rest.

Kahless himself was everything the legends held him to be-unflappable in battle, wise, a natural leader that even Scout Captain, whom had met many Klingons, would follow in an instant. Truly a Chief of all Chieftains, a Lord of Lords, a warrior's saint.

"You have done very well." Kahless told them as the last Breen lay moaning and dying, and the Klingon crew commenced removing the bodies and returning the ship to full operation.

The Emperor stepped aside, and spoke with D'Moj, her Klingon first officer, and another Klingon from the ship's company. Scout Captain heard the entire conversation...but it was irrelevant. He wanted to get back to his ship, to get the gore and the blood out of his gray and black fur, to be clean again.

After a bit, the Emperor dismissed the Major, and turned his attention to Scout Captain, Science Officer, and their remaining Klingon Bekk.

Scout Captain knelt in a posture of respect, eyes down and ears forward.

"Stand up, let me see you." the Emperor said, pointedly at Scout Captain in the dialect of Trade.

"What is your Clan, Ferasan?" The Emperor Asked.

"I am from the Many waters clan." Scout captain said, in Klingon, respectfully.

"What is your Name?" the Emperor asked.

"I have no name, for I have not earned one." Scout Captain told him.

"Not even a Partial Name?" Kahless asked, "You command a ship of the fleet."

"I have a service number and a rank, but I have not earned so much as a partial name." Scout Captain told him.

"you...remind me...of someone I...I knew, I met, in battle. same humble manner, same mad courage, same...same markings even. K'Tirr. You look like K'Tirr."

"I am deeply Flattered, Dominant one." Scout Captain said, "but K'Tirr is a treasured name, none has carried it since..."

"Since my day. I know. A name can only be given by a Clan Chief...but I am chief to all the Clans, am I not?" Kahless asked.

"Yes, Dominant one, ever since you defeated K'Tirr Raoullrrit in a single combat that ended the war." Scout Captain said, "You were his only defeat, and you pronounced him undefeated over his dead body."

"You know your traditions and your history...now know this-I expect you to do your utmost to live up to the honour I am about to impose upon you-a name is more than a source of respect, it is a statement of responsibility to all who look up to you. You are now K'Tirr, you have the partial name K'Tirr, your records will show it by the end of the day, by the end of the week, all of your people will know that you are K'Tirr, you will have to earn the rest of a full name, but this I give you as your charge, your duty, and proof of your honour...now, return to your ship, and show the universe what I see in you, live up to your Name."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

Look into Vanilla PvP if you're tired of the endless pursuit of grind, utterly unbalanced selections of geardo-inspired traits, and generally unbalanced and careless 'development' made mostly to turn this game into a second job.

Last edited by patrickngo; 06-14-2013 at 12:48 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 239
# 10 Relics in a Rabbit's Hole
06-13-2013, 09:51 PM
*Final Draft*
Captains Log
Stardate: Unspecified

After leaving the Zemet System in a routine patrol through the system to check for Undine activity, the U.S.S. Oregon has found her self adrift after hitting an unexpected ion storm. Repairs are on their way and my Chief Engineer Chassidy tells me that they are going at spectacular rates to fix the damaged systems. Though my Chief Science officer Zinuzee has said an unusual subspace anomaly has opened on the starboard side of the ship. I have ordered her to meet me in my ready room to relay this new information.

*****
Zinuzee seemed uncomfortable as I poured some Saurian Brandy into my glass of Earl Grey. "I'm sorry Commander, do you want a glass of Earl Grey tea?" I asked her, "I add the brandy for a kick to get the workday moving." She merely gave a stressed out smile, crooked at the fact I wasn't taking this seriously. She chose to move on after the awkward silence filled the room.

"Sir it seems that a wormhole has opened off of the starboard side of the ship" reported Zinuzee, "it appears that the ion storm has reacted with the unstable portals into Fluidic Space, to open this new wormhole." She grabbed her P.A.D.D. and brought up a probe telemetry to the view screen of the captains cabin. "We've sent multiple probes through since the wormholes opening, and each time we've got reports from across multiple sectors from other federation spacecraft, even from our Romulan allies in the Tau Dewa Sector" she continued, " I suggest we send a two manned shuttle to check out the properties within, as we have observed that a main cavern like hub is at the center of the anomaly, before the probe is spit out of subspace into real space."

'Ahh, Z, always one to get to the point quickly,' I thought to myself, before I swished my tea in its cup, 'I shall have to tell her to visit the counselor to make sure she relaxes enough.' I took a swig of my tea and brandy, and swung my chair to face my fish tank
I was wondering what she thought of my actions, so I decided to 'ham it up' by expressing a face of contemplation. I could see in the reflection of the glass I got what I wanted. She looked dejected, almost like she thought I was purposefully ignoring her, and when I couldn't take it anymore I cracked a smile. "Lighten up Z, I know your looking for recognition for your work, and you've done a fine job, but I need a little more Lexis in your attitude, not Zinuzee. Her face blanched in utter shock, before looking down and recomposing.

"Yes sir,' she said, her voice quivering a bit in tone at 'sir', showing something of exasperation. Her face took a more cheerful expression as she let a little more of her hosts emotions into play. She stood up and stretched for emphasis, like she hadn't had control over her actions. "Thanks a lot love-muffin, I forgot how demanding miss stick up her..." I would have let her finish that sentence but under the immediate circumstances I couldn't let her be in control.

"Now Lexis, I can't have you have complete control, just cause Z is sulking doesn't mean I'm letting a newbie have complete control over scientific data" I said absolutely serious at my personality deficient science officer/friend. She pouted but let control over the mind slip back into the control of Zinuzee, her bonded Trill symbiote.

"You wonder why I only let her out at parties..." she muttered towards me.

"Really? I thought that was because you have very little friendliness, being from a war driven universe and all that," I said nonchalantly, swirling my hand in the air for emphasis. She merely 'hurumphed', and pulled a stray hand of her brown hair behind her ear that had shaken loose from the perky girls earlier good-natured rant. "I'll think about your suggestion, but I can't let two officers be stranded in the Delta Quadrant because of my recklessness over this uncharted wormhole of wonder," I continued, "I also want you two to have a serious conversation with counselor as of 0700 hours, dismissed." I waved my hand and Zinuzee Lexis departed from my ready room.

*******

"Down, down the rabbit hole we go..." I muttered at myself, looking down at the maw of the wormhole, its eerie, blue glow shining onto the dark deck of Ten Forward. I sat at a table sipping a fresh cup of Earl Grey, this time with honey instead of brandy, and drifting between sleep and the waking world. A child shrill laughter filled my ears, and I jerked around looking at the dark corners of the mess hall to search for the source. I knew no children would be awake at these hours, let alone be allowed here without permission from there parents, or me. I saw the glint of two eyes in that shadows, and rubbed my eyes to focus again, and all I saw was the lone bartender shining the glasses, with the glow of the wormhole reflecting off the glass. But I swore, before I looked away, the glint of wise, yellow eyes and the glint of purple cat-eyes staring back at me.

********

I had taken Z's request into consideration and the next day decided to send both Zinuzee and my third in command, Anitara, a New Romulus Commander I recruited from my Embassy, into the wormhole. That was over three hours ago, and I was officially flipping out after their two hour curfew passed. I had decided to take my personal shuttle, the U.S.S. Cordius into the vortex.

*********

I was amazed at the colorful swirl of the vortex as I entered, reds, greens, blues, and purples divine all meshed together in a rainbow cascade of swirls. I was fooled by the pretty colors and swirling waves of energy and lured into a false sense of wonder, only to be horrified by what I saw next. Once I had gotten through the long tunnel in the blink of an eye, I found myself in the center chamber of the anomaly, a giant, cavernous, walled off space within the center of this unstable vortex. In this space sat the dead hulks of over twenty different ships of various and unknown design to the Federation and any other galactic power, as well as some not seen in centuries, but what drew the eye was the giant hulk of a twenty-second era Federation space station at the center. I had seen depictions of many space stations from various species across the Federation and could tell from my academy days it was an early terran design, one probably lost in the era of expansion in the early Federation days.

I breathed in at seeing the dead remains of these relics from across the known universe. Tholian, Trill, Saurian, Bolian, an early Suliban Cabal ship, one I could identify as Kobali, Deltan, and even a Borg Probe to name a few of the recognizable species. Then I saw one that intrigued me, for I hadn't noticed it at first docked with the Borg Probe, something reported to me from my allied contact within the Romulan Republic, Ace Chernok, as a mysterious and dangerous species. An Elachi Frigate, partially adapted from the Borg Probe's nanite probe system, but largely retaining its individuality. I had scanned it and stored data for further research and as proof of this reclusive enemy.

I had scanned the anomaly for the my officer's shuttle and found it docked to the old husk of a starbase, I set the shuttle to dock with the space station, hoping to find my missing crewman before I had an ulcer from all this stress.

**********

The first thing I noticed was that it was dusty, and that it was dark. I hate the dark, more then a Orion Slavers guild, more than Nauscians, more then a Borg Cube, more than a battalion of Klingon Warbirds, I hate the freaking dark; the only thing I hate more then darkness, is when my weapons are in the hands of a nit-wit. I don my trusty headlamp, secure my Tsunkatse Falchion, and turn on my headlamp to light my way in this dark epitome to a lost era. I traced my way to the Z and Anni's shuttle, and followed the dust laden footprints they had made on their own journey in this station. I traced them to a children's containment facility, a children's playroom filled with books, something unique to a station of this era. I noticed two books taken off of their shelves, both open on the table, one facing down and one facing upwards towards the ceiling, though it was moved and put back down in a different spot. A little blonde girl was shown on the cover, and anthromorpic animals were shown as well, and for once I recognized the book before me. But in a flash of light so blindingly, I dropped the book, and was drawn into a black void on nothingness.

***********

I woke up to a splitting headache as the sunlight shone onto my face through a dense amount of purple tree limbs. It took me three seconds to realize I said that the tree limbs were purple. 'What the heck?' I thought to myself as I sat up and got closer look at my surroundings. I saw that I was in a clearing of trees, the ground was covered with green and orange leaves from the purple trees, and blue shrubs I hadn't noticed at first.

"Good to see you are awake captain, I was afraid you had been affected more then we were by the transportation effect," said an unknown voice, one that I had fuzzily recognized. I tried to talk but a wave of dizziness overcame me, as I attempted locate the voice. "It's ok captain, you may be disoriented because of your telepathic abilities, being in-tune with reality and all that," said Anitara, "I know Zinuzee had trouble adjusting without Lexis with her." It took a second to comprehend that. "Don't worry captain, they're not dead....just not...normal." She looked at me and smiled at my clumsy attempt to stand that failed when fell back. "Though nothing in this place is normal, is it cap, since the trees are purple and blue, not to mention all the strange critters running around" She said smiling a beaming smile, before looking up the hill behind us at two approaching figures.

"Hello, silly~billy is awake now?" said one voice. I looked at the two bodies as they approached closer to the crude encampment I finally noticed built around me.

"Be quiet Lex, he may not know yet," said the second stranger. I thought both voices were familiar but couldn't place it. "Captain, it's us, Zinuzee and Lexis," said the second stranger. My eyes bugged out at the short, ginger colored haired lady in front of me. She was the same height as Lexis/Zinuzee, with a shorter hairstyle and the obvious change of clothes, favoring a classic and popular red and white robe over the Terran Empire clothes Lexis/Zinuzee wore. "Captain, umm, our best guess is that this anomaly, whatever it is can't distinguish between host and symbiotic organisms, and here I am in humanoid form," She blushed as she said this, obviously taking enjoyment in the freedom from a joint personality filled body.

"Wow," was all I could say, "Umm, is this permanent." She looked gloomy at this and shook her head and shrugged signaling she didn't know.

"Well she is enjoying it while she can *giggle* " said Lexis grabbing onto Zinuzee's arm in a friendly way.

"Sir, we believe you've seen the graveyard in the center?" this was Anitara who said this. "We believe that somehow the space station is at the center of this mystery." She looked to the other two and they both shook their heads in conformation of something I didn't know. "And we've found a settlement of some of the ships," she continued, "We've made contact with the survivors of the ships, as well of what's going on to some degree."

"Lead the way," I merely said and followed the party of girls over the hills and through the woods.

**********

They led the way to a hap hazardously built circle of structures that were rummaged and refined in patches. Overall it reminded me of an old earth Shantytown where poor humans had once made towns for themselves to congregate in. We were met with a welcoming group of a Kobali female, Saurian male, and a Trill woman, though many other species milled about in an automated way like it had been a repetitive task for awhile. I was surprised to see that, though many of the people had a sunken and depressed look on themselves, they showed no signs of malnutrition or any damage to themselves. "Welcome to our house of cards that we call home Captain Son'aire, and we hope you feel it will soon be your home as well," she said, "We've had so few soldiers left after the last raid from the Black King and his Phantom, the only person who has stood a chance is the Ace of Hearts, a rogue warrior that escaped the Queen of Hearts and her Cards before she could turn him." I was puzzled at her terms of speech, but one look at Anitara told me not to mention it, and that she would tell me later.

"Ok, umm, I'll think about this, but I really need to catch up with my crew members," I continued, "Is there anywhere I can rest after this long day and take this all in?" The Kobali looked at me unsure, then quickly smiled and told the Saurian to show me to a guest quarters on the outer fringe of the establishment. What I heard before I left was familiar.

"Oh dear, oh dear I'll be late and the queen will have my head." she said, before the Kobali woman left in a rush. Once at our residence, I calmed down a bit, and asked my crew what the heck was going on.

*********
Zinuzee sat next to me, while Lexis sat in the chair next to the bed, backwards in her typical fashion, while Anni stood in the center of the 'room' ready to regal me with this new tale. "It all started with a girl, this little blond girl was the sole survivor of an early federation space station that was attacked by Romulan forces in the early days of the Romulan-Earth War, with one other survivor, the so called 'Queen of Hearts' who has recruited many of the survivors, Saurian, Trill, Klingon, even the Kobali woman we met, is on her side," she continued on, "The Kobali woman is a mediator, one who is protecting the interests of the Queen and keeping the settlement neutral in the conflict." She sat down contemplating how to continue.

"Oh, oh, me me!" said an excited Lexis, "I'll explain the plot hole to you Captain!" I merely raised my brow at her choice of words, while Zinuzee rolled her eye's at her other half. "So the space station fell into this wormhole, and the Queen was in a boarding party that had attacked the station, so she, like, survived and all that, though none of the other humans or Romulan, like, survived," she took a deep breath before continuing on, "So rumor has it she found the little, blond girl crying in the children's library, while the space station was being rocked and destabilized from open tearing and damage from the Romulan, and she was crying over an earth, book, 'Alice in Winter land', or something like that..."

"Wonderland, you dolt, a terran author named Lewis Carroll wrote it," said Z, annoyed at her lack of education in fine arts.

"I'm familiar with a poem of his, but the rest of his written work escapes me," I said. Lexis pouted at being interrupted, and began to be in a foul mood. Zinuzee chose to continue after Lexis started pouting.

"So this girl is crying at all the death, while the Romulan is left in confusion as she began to show compassion to this lone girl," she continued, "Then the shaking stopped and an unearthly glow occurred, and a celestial being, think Q, appeared in front of them, and took them into this place, modeled after the book." She looked around the room, no point of interest arousing her curiosity, and returned her gaze to me after sighing. "They think the being reacted on emotion, creating a world of joy for the girl to forget her sadness, and a new life for the Romulan officer, to watch over the girl and protect her. They never found the being again, it disappeared, but before it left, it told the woman and the girl that many would come from far and wide through the wormhole to this place of care-freeness, safe from the war beyond offering new life to those in its embrace. And many did come, lost ones who were welcomed under this woman's ruler ship, warriors and princes popped up, to keep peace in this new system. The creature didn't count on the Borg stumbling onto this place. There was a new war in this place and many died, some assimilated, and now the Borg threat is dead, though pockets of them show up form time to time. The most notable is under the ruler ship of the Black King, a madman who came to this world, said to rule a fearsome creature of the dark woods that came with the Borg."

"An Elachi,' I stated, and all turned to me confused at this. I chose to tell them my sighting of the Elachi Frigate that was partially assimilated, and said that this beast could be an assimilated piece of their technology. "We don't know much except from the occasional Romulan Republic reports of their forces, but even so we know very little." I said this and everyone agreed with me.

"One thing is for sure sir," aid a new voice form the doorway. I turned to see the a figure decked out in armor with an ace imprinted on his breastplate over a red heart. He went to remove his helmet and I was shocked to see a familiar face.

"Ace Chernok, you skittery Epohh, you!" was my reply, jumping up to hug the younger man, my friend, who has saved me on more then a few times.

"Good to see you, you old Federation Dog," he said laughing heartily, "It's good to see you are here to rescue these fair maidens and their fair protector, and slay the evil monster."

I laughed at him, and took his words in delight. "How did you end up here?" I asked, " It seems strange to find you here with us as well, it is just to coincidental, is it not?"

"I was checking Elachi subspace activity, and I stumbled upon this wormhole in my research shuttlecraft, and could not escape its pull when I tried to leave, for my shuttle was not meant for subspace travel," he continued, "I learned of these peoples plight, and offered to help, but was forced to work for the Queen. I chose to leave her rule and protect these innocent bystanders, and here you find me now." He looked around, looked outside the open doorway, and shut the door behind him. "I believe that this girl, the same blond girl, was put away because she threatened the King's rule, and disagreed with the Queen's choice for war instead of peace, and was put in this maze for her own protection," he said, "I believe she could be the key to ending his threat to this world, I believe she knows where the entity is and is in contact with it."

"Where is this maze?" I asked him, my interest piqued at this maze. He smiled at me and seemed to take delight at this.

"She resides at the center of this maze, the maze itself resides outside the castle, open to all to enjoy though very few that do have returned to their families and those that have, have suffered the Queen of Hearts wrath," he smiled, looking at me, and continued, "And I believe you could be the best chance we have at finding her." I was confused at what he meant, but when he pointed to my sword at my back, I was even more puzzled. "Your the only one whose weapon, energy based or not, has stayed with them and it might mean you've found special favor with the entity. You can find her Gregs Sharvan Son'aire, you are our hope to end this madness."

*********

I stood before the maze and the dark sky, that loomed only over the maze and not the rest of this 'Wonderland'. 'Ah ha ha, are you so sure you wish to go in there my friend, I do believe not everyone wishes to end their lives on account of the Queen's wrath, especially by searching for the one she respects the most." said a voice I didn't recognize. I turned around, seeing nothing but empty air and a few wind blown leaves. "You won't find me that easily my friend, but *rumble* maybe I can trust you?" said voice, then a shimmer could be seen and the voice was revealed to be a Suliban, one that I assumed belonged to the Suliban Cabal cell ship outside the station. I knew that this one was dangerous, he still most likely had the genetic modification from Temporal Cold War incident of the 22nd Century, and as such had an array of deadly and illegal mutations that could kill me at any second. "Don't worry, I won't kill you, I'm no longer part of the Cabal, I've been thought dead longer then you've been alive child, I know my cabal failed, you're wariness is proof of that." he said smiling a crooked and deranged smile, a Cheshire grin, showing his time within this time-locked planet has affected his sanity.

"Why should I believe your word Suliban?" I bravely put forth, even with the insane sociopath inches from me. He merely smiled as a response, waved and disappeared with his camouflaging abilities. "Well, curiouser and curiouser this gets now." I said walking into the gloomy maze. The maze hedges miraculously parted to show me the way straight to the heart of the maze. "Well crud," I said sitting down on a nearby rock, "It's official, I've gone insane." I hung my head and propped it in my hands, looking at nothing I began to talk to myself, to straighten things out

"I understand the Kobali, Ace being here as well, Zinuzee getting a body and enjoying it, I could stand the weird planet, the mad Suliban, even that there are Borg on this planet, and a mysterious 'Beast' under the control of this Black King, heck even that Tholians, Xenophobes, were helping a Romulan woman who is the 'Queen of Hearts'," I continued, "But when a hedge, not even one that talks, but a plain old hedge, mysteriously and miraculously open up to show me the way, I know I must be a few Tribbles short of a Zoo." Wow, that had felt so much better once I got that out. I picked myself up, dusted off my trousers, picked up my sword, and headed straight to the center to meet the girl who could save us all.

*********

It was a long and boring journey to the center of the maze, and I would not regale you with the tale of how long it was, but it was many hours of walking for how huge this maze was. 'Thank you magical maze, you were a great help once I got to the center,' I thought wryly, 'You lead me to the center, and I end up getting lost.' I finally rounded a corner when...*WHAM*... I had hit a moving object, preferably a bus or old style locomotive, and what I found was strange. I was lying on my back on the ground, dazed and confused by what hit me and the fact I wasn't dead yet, and found something, no things licking my face. I pushed them away and sat up, covering my eyes as the suns glare had blinded me, and once they adjusted, found myself looking at a Targ pup and Sehlat cub, barely to my knee, looking at me.

"T. D., D'om, where are you?" shouted a close sounding voice of a girl. Then further down the maze hedge, turning the corner was a blonde girl in her early teens, and she approached me and my two new companions. "There you are you silly things, I thought I lost you my friends," she exclaimed joyously, "Oh, who have you found in the maze?" She looked at me curiously and then turned to scold the two creatures. "You know the queen doesn't want me to see anyone!", she said in a scolding tone before turning to me in a sweeter tone, "I'm so sorry my friends have bothered you, but we must leave now, thank you and have a jolly good day!" She cheerfully turned around and started to skip down the maze, before turning around puzzled that her friends did not follow her. The Sehlat followed the girl and pawed at her harmlessly, while the Targ pup yipped at me at tugged at my pants to come to the girl. "D'om stop biting that man, and T.D. stop pawing me, you little rascals, stop it now." She started to walk away but stopped when both animals stood in her way. "Fine, I'll see how different he is then the rest, though I still don't know what I could do..." she trailed of in her sentence, biting her fingernail in thought, before turning to me. "I don't know what these two think about you, but they seem to think you are different then the others who have come searching for me, so what is your deal," she said impatiently, her hands on her hips, and her foot tapping on the ground.

I decided to tell my tale of how I ended up here, how I met my friends, that I had access to weapons to slay the 'Jabberwock', as the girl called the phantom beast, and that I had strong support from my friends, and experience on my side. "That is why I believe we could stop the fighting, capture the Black King, and save this world from misplaced tyranny," I told her to finish of my tall tale.

"Fine, the name's Alyiss by the way," was all she said, before gesturing to her pets to follow.
*********

After a few hours of strategizing, making makeshift weaponry, and laying out a plan, we found ourselves on the edge of a dark forest, the so called lair of the Black King. I thought the forest fit him, an old decrepit castle was said to lay in the center of the dark forest of English oaks, black oaks, black cherry trees, and towering redwoods, though each were different colors than their earth counterparts, with leave colors hosting hues of oranges, reds, yellows, blacks, and blues. "Time to go in," said Lexis with a grin.

*********

A lithe, pink form with yellow eyes darted quickly from the underbrush that they were hidden in, watching the retreating form of the ill-fated heroes slowly lose shape among the dark overhang of colorful and dark trees. If one was watching they could see it head straight for the castle of the Queen, to warn her of the loss of her citizens.

**********
We began walking, when a mile in it began to be so thick, I swore I could see eyes reflecting red in the shadows, and when I turned to look back I swore I saw purple eyes and a Cheshire grin. 'No, no, your just getting paranoid, it's dark and your eyes are playing tricks with the color of the leaves. We kept on walking through the dense thicket, wary of the howls we heard.

*********
2 Hours later...

We came upon a split in the road, where a hooded figure lay resting at the fork in the road, under a signpost showing 'Hard' and 'Easy', each respectively to the left and right roadway. The hooded figure's face was shrouded and useable by light or torch, and the figure wore a robe of tattered brown, though ribs were shown beneath his rags. "Beware the easy path that is chosen, take the hard path, for the riches it rewards are beyond a king's wealth," said the hooded figure, pointing to the easy path. We looked at each other, Lexis, Zinuzee, Ace, and Alyiss, then to me, unsure of which path to take.

"The left!" shouted Lexis with glee, "He said to take the Hard path, so why not?"

"But he gave it in a riddle, isn't that strange?" asked Zinuzee. She began to argue with Lexis as to the answer to this riddle. Ace meanwhile examined the signage after he politely asked the robed and hooded figure to move where he was being sniffed by both T. D. and D'om. I chose to look at the hooded figure, before turning to ask Alyiss' opinion on the matter. She was staring at a cracked teapot on the side of the road, bending over to examine it, picking it up, and looking inside of it, startled she dropped it, and a mouse scurried away, opposite the way she picked it up, into the forest. I chose to follow her as she went after the mouse, determined to see where the odd creature went. What I saw was a path, hidden by overgrown weeds and bushes, well walked by other's in the past. "Over here," I called out to the other's, but no response was given.

"I'm sorry Gregs, but no one may follow you now, it is merely you and young Alyiss that may go beyond the gatekeeper's watchful eye, for you chose the hard path, not traveled by others, instead of being led astray by the easy way, following a signpost designed to trick others into winding back to the edge of the forest," said a voice I didn't recognize. It was figure in a black robe, black pauldrons on each side, and a face obscured by a metallic mask covering it's entire face. The ears were Vulcan, or Romulan, though it was an impossibility, as the last Romulan was the Queen, while there were no Vulcan ships outside the space station. "Don't worry, I'm not the Black King, but I can say you've met him already, and he has it out for you my friend," he chuckled at 'friend', "Friend, such an amusing word, I hope we are friends Son'aire, you may be the last chance for my freedom." And with those cryptic words he stepped into the shadows, and disappeared from sight. "She's just beyond the hill Son'aire, she needs you" were the haunting words that ringed in the air as he left.

"Gregs!" shouted Alyiss, and I was aware she was over the next hill. I ran to meet her, afraid of what I might find.

*********

Standing seven feet 5 inches, over the small, teenage 5 foot 2 inches of Alyiss, stood the towering form of a partially assimilated Elachi Commander. It made guttural sounds as it reached for Alyiss, it's assimilated hand looking sickly, pale, white tinted green by the Borg nanoprobes running through it's veins, before not being there after a quick slice from my blade. The monster roared in pain, it's one eye closing, the other frozen open by the drone eye piece emitting the classic, ever-present, green laser guidance system they used. Metallic plates covered they body of the Elachi as Borg replicative nanites had began to eat away and replace organs for efficiency, I saw this happen as it replaced it's severed hand. The Elachi was sickly looking even from the reports given by the Romulan Republic, seeming a gray-ish, white in totality, and from what I could guess, it's system kept rejecting the nanites, while the nanites kept repairing these rejected components.

"Run Alyiss," I told the scared girl, frantically, "Run far away, go over the hill!" She complied and I saw her form disappear over the hill. "So your the Jaberwock ehh?" I said, "Well, let's see how you fare against me beast!" I began to parry the beast's swift attacks, and then it's eyes closed and energy swirls began to occur. I swung my sword into the ground, trying not to get swallowed by the vortices. "You know, I read about the Jabberwock once," I told the hulking Elachi, "How the Jabberwock was a terrifying creature, who's claws could kill, and jaw tear you apart." I began to hack at the beast's body, doing no damage to the metal plates. "And the one thing I remember?" I asked the beast. The beast tilted it's head, studying me as to my next move, while I myself was desperate, huffing trying to return breath to my lungs. "It was killed pretty easily by a knight," I said delivering my last blow to the Assimilated Elachi, " 'The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!/He left it dead, and with its head/He went galumphing back....' Maybe it's something you can tell your King" The body finally went still, and the head rolled away, before the whole of the beast turned to dust and was blown away. I turned away and went to follow after Alyiss, who went to rejoin the rest of the group.

**********

"Where did you go sir?" asked Z, always curious as to my doings, "We went looking for you for a hour, but couldn't find you?" I smiled reassuringly, and went to comfort the shaking form of Alyiss, being cradled by the sympathetic and motherly form of Lexis. I stood over her, leaned down and hugged her, before righting my stance and leaving the dark, crowded forest for the light open sky.

***********

Just outside the edge of the dark forest.....

Alyiss stood behind us wary of the shadowy forest, as our group set up a camp for the night, it was twilight, and a roaring fire was needed to beat the cold. "Ahhh!!" a scream was shouted outside or warm circle. We all stood alert, my friends makeshift weapons drawn, my sword in hand, looking towards where the cream was heard. A limp form was seen outside the crackling light thrown towards the shadowy forest, and whimpers were heard from the Targ pup and mews from the Sehlat cub surrounding the form. We drew close and saw it was Alyiss, limp from fright, from an unknown terror.

"I warned you against finding the girl, you've undone all I've worked for..." said a whisper in the shadows. Suddenly a flash of gigantic teeth and sharp, long nails were in front of my face and I jumped back but did not scream, though my heart beat incredibly fast. "I warned you, and you fought the beast, you are my enemy now, Gregs Son'aire, you have not seen the fear I've given this girl over the years," the voice of the Suliban was now clear, "She must stay here! I have nothing left, if she leaves, this all goes away!" The Suliban revealed itself, gesturing towards me, purple eyes gleaming in the fire light. "She will end this world, kill it, if she awakens the entity, it will find us in here, it will see the damage the Borg caused, it will cleanse this world for her," his rant continued, "I cannot leave, this is my home! She must stay, or she must die!" He began to rush towards Alyiss, arms and nails extended to kill, before a shadowy blur blocked him from killing Alyiss. The flash of silver from the firelight revealed the masked man I met in the forest, any harm from the Suliban gone in his one sacrifice. "What! You ...you.." the Suliban trailed off on fear, his murderous rage quenched by the fear at seeing the masked man. The mask dropped from his face, revealing the form of a Romulan officer, though changed drastically, for half the face was that of a Borg Drone, the eye piece shining red in the night. The Romulan smiled, before knocking the Suliban unconscious.

"Halt in the name of the Queen!" shouted a voice far off away from the fire. We all looked to see a pink Kobali, the same one from earlier, surrounded by the alien clicks of Tholian guards, standing near the fire. "Do not harm the Suliban...my Lord!" the Kobali said, before she knelt before the Assimilated Romulan man. The man walked across the length of the fire, dragging the Suliban, tossing him to the Tholians, and tapped the Kobali's shoulder.

"Rise my loyal assistant, the Black King must be taken to the palace, he is merely confused and lost," he said gently, "I have returned from my self-exile, and I have Gregs Son'aire to thank for it." He turned to face the crowd of soldiers to address them. "He slayed the 'Jabberwock', he freed me from having to forever guard the beast in fear of the Borg's return, and he and his friends our new heroes," he said, "Let us return, now, to our palace, and celebrate."

********

We learned the story of the King of Hearts, a tragic one indeed. He came long ago to this land, a spy among many ships, who once trapped in this land changed his life around. He wooed the Queen, married her, and ruled this land for a while before the Borg came, and when they came with the Elachi, they could not escape from this pocket world with all their technological prowess. Locked away from the collective they splintered, some freed themselves, while others adapted and destroyed, assimilating others. The King tried to end this war, was assimilated in return, but before he became one with the Borg, the last of the collective died. Those Liberated Borg that remained, freed him before he was killed, some chose to leave to parts unknown, while he chose to remain in the forest, learning of the Assimilated Elachi and becoming eternal guardian to protect the world from this deadly creature. Now he could return to his people.

We eventually dealt with the Black King the Suliban, named Skar'Tar, ex-advisor to the King and Queen, and had a great party and celebration, then we tried to find a way home. We talked it over, wanting to figure out a way to contact the Entity, we decided to travel around the land trying to find any mysterious object or unknown corner we could utilize. We eventually stumbled upon a cavern, the very cavern the Elachi guarded, and found a book, a small, dusty, worn book on top of a stone table. We knew this was the portal to the subspace anomaly, a tether between worlds as it were. We left all we could in knowledge of our world, departed with tearful farewells. And then we went home.

********

We retrieved our shuttles, combined the tractor beams of our shuttles and towed the Borg and Elachi ships outside the wormhole. We were greeted with three vessels, the U.S.S. Oregon, I.R.W. Nausci'lint, and U.S.S. Gea. After returning to the Oregon, we all fired on the two ships, decimating them so no trace of the technology remained.

After aligning our reports, Ace and I parted ways, we had things to go do, and new planets to explore.

End Log

Last edited by aten66; 06-21-2013 at 10:12 PM. Reason: *6/21 Final Draft*
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