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Fanfic , "Myrmidons" by Patrickngo, Starswordc, and Knightraider6.

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  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    A cry for help, a distant whisper
    A foreign nation calling our name
    Sent to hell, to reach for heaven
    To serve in dark, as light in the black

    Sent into battle to aid strangers in need
    Gain independence, our forces will lead
    Final solution when all others have failed
    Liberation is coming our path has been laid

    We remember the fields, where our tanks held the line
    We remember our brothers in arms

    When the war has been won
    And our march home begins
    What awaits has not yet been revealed
    What was won? What was lost?
    Will our deeds be remembered?
    Are they written on stone or in sand?

    Marching ashore, our target awaits
    Facing resistance, forces driven by hate
    Protecting civilians, while fired upon
    Rules of engagement, our restrictions are gone

    We remember the sea, where our ships broke the waves
    We remember our brothers in arms

    Leaving home, set to sea
    Was this really meant to be?
    See the shore of our home fade away
    Facing blood, facing pain
    Have our brothers died in vain?
    Many lives has been lost on the way


    Sabaton, “Light in the Black”
    Music by Joakim Brodén
    Lyrics by Joakim Brodén and Pär Sundström
    Sanjit Kaur, SDF Kukri.

    Well. Far be it from me to be the bearer of bad news, but. I’ve got some. Transit through the wormhole was weird, but I’ll sort that out later. Right now I’ve got my own mission as well as Admiral Kanril’s to deal with.

    Aaron has the bridge while I step back through the hatch. The compartment just aft of the bridge isn’t guarded, at least visibly. Those inside, well they know I’m authorized, the door opens before I can reach it.

    The Admiral would probably not be happy if she knew of my passengers. Fortunately she doesn’t suspect. Would have been a hell of a lot easier had Chernkov and the Vancouver not gotten in over their heads during the attack on Bajor… but I know better to be angry at her for that. God knows I’d have done the same. It’s what we do. We defend. “Sorry Doctor, I wasn’t able to ask her about Nung.”

    “I didn’t think you’d be able to bring it up to be honest without raising questions about why we wanted her,” the human-looking one in the compartment replies, the space filled floor-to-ceiling with ELINT and ECM gear that I have as much clue how they work as a caveman would know what to do with a disruptor. Apt metaphor, though I keep it to myself, as the creator of much of this gear technically is a caveman. Well, Homo neanderthalensis to be accurate.

    Dr. Thag Rockstone shrugs, his low browed face outlined by a black shaggy beard. “Nung is on the Bajor. While it would be nice to have her help—”

    “But asking for it, raises other questions. Questions that I do not think you or I want to answer at this time.” My other guest, is technically a guest of my government. Back when Earth was foaming at the mouth for our augmented blood, the Cardassians were some of the few who stood up for us—their ambassador paying with her life. We remembered. And when they asked for our help, we responded. Both at Goralis, and today. Of course, Ambassador Garak was supposed to be on the Vancouver… but best laid plans etc.

    “Questions I can’t even answer if I wanted to,” I grump. I don’t know the details. Just that the Cardassians wanted to look for something in the Gamma Quadrant, that related to the recent attack on Bajor-but they did not at the moment want it to be known they were poking around. All I do know is the gear tied in with better gear on the Vancouver-with that out of the picture, that meant Dr Rockstone had to get involved personally. I could tell he wasn’t happy. But then not many of us were. We’d all seen the elephant, there wasn’t any lure or glory to be found. Just a job that needed to be done.

    “The good doctor has been attempting to educate me on the systems, I am sorry to say that the technical aspect of such things is far over my head.” I liked the Cardassian. He had a sense of humor that reminded me at times of Colonel Travis, as well as similar weaponized sarcasm.

    “Any luck on those signals now that we’re past the wormhole?”

    “I’ve got multiples, “Thag replied. “Couple strong Queta band signals, similar to the one your people and Nung disassembled.” He nodded to Garrak. “Few others, steady pulses—may be timing signals, could be something else. Can’t really get a good idea where it’s coming from until we can drop an array or two and get a better picture of things.”

    Something else that I can’t talk about. The Okuda-Rockstone sensor gear is far better than the Terran Empire copies that we have on the ships we captured-and probably better in some ways than the latest Starfleet gear. Of course part of that is due to the processor, which is currently looking like a loaf on top of one of the consoles.

    Cheshire is something else I don’t know what to make of. She looks like a cat, acts like one-yet is also tied in quantumly with something massive. I’ve seen a few AU rating AI’s. Dr Okuda’s cat makes some ship computers look like slide rules. When it’s not acting like a cat. I asked about the physical body once, was told that it was a variant of a cybernetic lifeform node. Whatever that is. “How far out do we need to be to start deploying the arrays?”

    “I’d get a few light years out,” Thag answers while looking at the screen. “They have a very low albedo, and they’re just passive. Odds are our allies won’t detect them, nor will the Dominion or the Hur’q.”

    For not the first time, and probably not the last, I’m annoyed. This would be so much easier if I could inform the Admiral. “Gotcha,” I reply. “Just let us know when to drop em.”


    Kanril Eleya, Combat Information Center, USS Bajor, Mission Clock D1 plus 12 hours…

    Seeing technical improvements? Gratifying. In the space of twelve hours since passing the Celestial Temple, we’ve got a corridor 12 light years wide and 30 deep that is, by Starfleet standards, practically under real-time surveillance.

    The tech itself still isn’t that advanced; the synergies that the MCDF radiomen worked out under Wahlberger’s direction, however, is something we’ve never really had. Starfleet didn’t invest in it, and I know the Klingons didn’t.

    They should have; we’re lucky we’re getting the benefits. My war room is probably the most advanced one in Starfleet right now, and if this were an invasion, we’d know where every Jem’Hadar ship, garrison, and base is within a strategically significant area.

    We aren’t here to invade, but just showing this kind of tactical edge could really strain relations with the Dominion…

    “Good thing we’re not showing our allies this,” Amanda Nung echoes my thoughts from the console she’s camped-and-claimed in my Intelligence section.

    “Explain?” my official Starfleet Intelligence officer asks.

    Amanda shrugs. “We did the same trick to the Penties, only we didn’t have so many drop-sats and ours were pretty primitive compared to these modded class-five probes. Scared the p*ss out of them to find out we had the ability to target their urban shielding at long range, or worse, could sell that info real-time to their enemies. It was the needle at their neck that got them to back off…or so the rumour says.”

    “They didn’t back off for that reason.”

    “I said the rumour claimed it, I know better—something like this is a pretext for invasion, not an invasion-stopper,” she says. “But if we were intent on invading, there’s four key targets in the sector we’ve got real-time data on right now, including presence and movements of potential reaction forces. It would be a cakewalk even Kagran couldn’t f*ck up.”

    “How would you counter it?” I ask her, curious to see what Amanda would dream up.

    She scratches her chin. “Spoof signals, decoys. Either to look bigger, or to hide forces-but you have to be aware of it and know where the sats are for that to work. Given we know this exists, it’s a good idea to spoof it all the time. I think maybe the Romulans would be tougher to crack than the Jem’Hadar on this end. Can I ask you a question, Mum?”

    “Shoot.”

    “Where’d you come up with this?”

    I chuckle and put an image up. “I didn’t: M’Karret and Thag Rockstone did, years ago. Back when the Klingons first invaded, one of K’Ragh’s major raiding objectives was knocking out our early warning nets and comm satellites so we couldn’t coordinate. Once Alcott took over, we started planting these as replacements—one of my objectives with Operation Backblast. They’re smaller and harder to see than a normal satellite—they don’t last as long, but they’ve got a way-smaller sensor cross-section.”

    Amanda slowly nods. “‘If you can see them, they can see you,’” she quotes.

    I flick an index finger at her. “But that’s not true for passive sensors. So you put a stripped-down sensor package from a Class Two into a Class Five hull for the loiter time, then drop the thing and leave in sleep mode unless the subspace sensor trips, and then it listens and analyzes until it has some idea of what the warp field is and where it’s going, and sends that on a tightbeam to HQ.”

    “So all you did was swap out the subspace radio for QT, then?”

    “More or less. This actually works better in some ways—you can’t use a tightbeam if you don’t know where the other end is, so one-point-oh only works if the other end is a station.”

    There are five large ‘server stacks’ brought with the MCDF contingent, Peri had intended this. The ‘server stacks’ handle the load from hundreds of QT transceivers, putting the data through compiler programs so that the tiny, thin data pipes of individual systems can be turned into a coherent picture. It’s a lot more complicated and space-demanding than a similar Starfleet or Klingon TacNet, but the obvious drawback is accounted for by the equipment—which now includes a spare AU-23 processor just to handle the information throughput.

    “Dahak’s online,” Amanda announces, referring to Peregrine Wahlberger’s ‘slicer handle’ from before she left the Federation ahead of an arrest warrant, “and I’ve got a ping from Skynet back home, chatroom’s open if you want to talk, mum… Remember etiquette—you need a handle.”

    “I’m not a slicer.”

    “Yeah, but you’re linked in with Skynet, and she’s invited you, it’s manners. Pick something from speculative fiction or something.”

    “This system’s isolated from the ship’s data system?” I ask.

    “Of course,” Amanda says, “the only way to interface from the stack to the USS Bajor is by meatware interface, someone would have to physically input the data.”
    Skynet: an anonymous handle’s not necessary-by the way, you forgot to turn off the audio pickup, Charliebradbury3. Very sloppy from such a promising young person.

    Skynet: Hello, Admiral Kanril.

    “Okay, I get ‘Dahak’ and ‘Skynet’…but who’s ‘Charlie Bradbury’?”

    “You didn’t read the Winchester Diaries series of youth novels, ma’am?” Intelligence Specialist Ta’alla, on loan from Starfleet Intelligence as part of the signals intelligence group, asks rhetorically. “Let me guess, never heard of Harry Potter either?”

    “Heard of it, yes. But I mostly read classic sci-fi on my off-time.”
    Dahak has joined the room!

    Dahak: Hi sky, you got the packet I sent?

    Skynet: I did. The programming architecture is very intuitive, I assume the source code was written by a hive-species?

    Dahak: right in one. Can you crack lingua off it?

    Skynet: Cracking is the easy part. Hard part is translating referents to deconstruct the language that’s being used. They’re definitely non-humanoid. If I still had some of the access to the Collective, I could probably find an analogous starting point-maybe. Working out lingua for non-mammalian is tough without common points of reference, but I’ve managed so far to get a few indicators of combat orders-they aren’t linked, they use communication and they’re individuals, that much i can be sure of, these bugs you’re after aren’t a hive-mind, but they did evolve from a hive species.

    Dahak: anything else?

    Skynet: Angry. They’re angry, and unless it’s some kind of truly alien psychology, like one that nobody’s been in contact with, they may be insane, I’m going to pump the transcription over the link, should take about twenty minutes.

    “That long?”
    Skynet: Data pipe’s narrow, and there’s a LOT of information.

    This is the point I realize just how little the admirals at Starfleet Headquarters understand the assets they arranged for me. “Are the Klingons using systems like this?” I ask.
    Dahak: KDF is waiting for the Federation’s project. The Border Fleet uses it, but they’re under K’Ragh’s influence, most of the Klingon Houses want threedee visual and holographic capability before they’re willing to adopt,and there’s also the reciprocity terms in the Khitomer agreement, and licensing’s a tangle because Teller Datasys and Evans Industries have the rights tied up. Currently Teller’s got contracts with members of the 77th fleet, Bajoran militia, and of course the MCDF. trial usage by the major powers is kinda tied up in red tape. Starfleet’s still excited by Nokia’s promises and the Empire’s ruling body wants what Starfleet’s buying, while the Romulan Republic has bought several hundred units, but let no formal contracts.

    Dahak: when that changes, you’ll know it, because I’ll be able to afford to buy a Starship, or a moon or something without having to sell off all my shares.

    K’Ragh would pop for the technologies. Right now, I’m glad he’s on my side—the Klingons don’t generate that many intellectuals, and between him and B’Sanos, they had Starfleet on the ropes for eight years, even when he wasn’t present.

    The download channel is still flashing red, and the data transfer is slow, compared to a subspace carrier wave—but that’s assuming in-the-same-system ranges. We’re in the Gamma Quadrant, and ‘Skynet’ is on Moab III way over in the Beta.

    “I take it you’ve been following Nokia’s progress?” I ask mildly.

    Nung shrugs, and on the chat-box…
    Dahak: They’ve got a working prototype, but it still weighs more than a whole bird of prey and takes up the entire mid-deck level on the Galaxy they’re testing it on. Transporter and Holographic signals, but it eats power like an overcharged warp core.
    Post edited by starswordc on
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    Danjha Theed, MCDS Phan Minh 15 days in the Gamma Quadrant...

    “I’m picking up distress calls ahead, ma’am, and there’s a hell of a lot of noise on the channel, sounds rough.”

    My best guess? The Hur’q have finished levelling the Karemmans’ colonies, and gone for the heart.

    “Don’t respond yet, take us to cloak and increase speed to warp nine.” I order it, it puts us out ahead of the early warning net, but the projections were wrong. “Message the fleet by QT, text only.”

    “We’ve got a response from the Colonel, mum.”

    “I’ll read it here.”
    Authorized.
    Conduct Surveillance,
    Don’t get caught, don’t get killed.

    “What are we going to do when we get there?”

    “Standard S.A.L.U.T.E. report in Starfleet format.” I tell him, “And we’ll do our jobs.”


    CIC, USS Bajor, Amanda Nung…

    It’s the same damn signal as Bajor, the doppler shift in subspace even tracks.

    “What’s this?” I should know the midnight shift Ops officer’s name, but for some reason I just don’t.

    “Signal parsing.” I state, “This is what the Phan Minh is picking up from Karemma, after a few hours of signal re-compression, mostly compensating for doppler shift and interfering spectra from stellar bodies between here and there.”

    “So you’re parsing old signal?”

    I shake my head, “I already did the algorithm, this is current as of twenty minutes ago local Karemman time, I’m trying to pin down probable geographic within a thousand kliks, triangulating it from some of the snoopers our guys have been laying and the signal strength from the Phan Minh’s approach.”

    “You’re trying to hoop the source from more than a week out?”

    I shrug, “It’s a living, sir.” I know, right? I should be nicer, but the Admiral her own self cut my orders to come with, and got the Militia to sign my TDY.

    Damned if Amanda’s gonna f*ck that up.

    “The Admiral needs to be informed.” he says.

    “Right, go ahead and disrupt her sleep-I’ve got work to be doing here, sir.”

    “Warrant, you’re on sixteen hours-”

    “Energy drinks.” I tell him, “I’ve got this.” He touches my shoulder and I damn near jump out of my skin, catch myself half-way to standing with my fist clenched.

    He backs off, “Hey...okay, I’ll go tell the Admiral…”

    Dammit, lost my place, gotta start all over again, phekk’ta distractions!

    Kanril Eleya, Admiral’s quarters, USS Bajor

    My instructors at Starfleet Academy used to talk a lot about ‘work/life balance’. In practice it’s harder than it is in theory. Especially sleep. It feels like I just laid down when the chime sounds and I’m waking up.
    02:39
    02:40

    “What is it??”

    “Admiral! You said to inform you immediately if a Queta band signal was detected!”

    Gaarra’s ahead of me getting out of bed. “When? Where??”

    “Karemma, sir.” the Lieutenant averts his eyes before I roll out of my covers.

    “Alright, dismissed, we’ll be along shortly.” Gaarra tells him, and the younger man flushes and flees.

    “I need to have maintenance fix the locks.” Gaarra grouses, helping me to get dressed.

    “I did say ‘immediately’.” I remind him sheepishly, “I didn’t think they’d stay that well trained.”

    He chuckles.

    It takes us fifteen minutes to get cleaned up, by then, Sheri’s meeting us in the corridor to the turbolift, she’s got hot coffee and some kind of sweet roll from the dreams of the prophets.

    “Where’s your sidekick?” Gaarra asks, referring to Nung.

    Sheri replies, “her bed hasn’t been slept in, and she hasn’t changed her clothes since yesterday.”

    CIC is a hurricane when we get there, intel specialists, Astrometrics personnel, and ops crew from all three shifts are rushing about, some of them still in their sleep-clothes, or only partial uniform.

    Nung’s crouched over her console, with her hair a mess and a sort of ‘social void’ around her like some kind of personal forcefield, one marked by empty squeezebottles and ‘soldier candy’ (Field Ration number Eighteen, if I remember right) wrappers scattered around her. Her uniform has dark sweat-streaks and stains and she’s sipping something red and caffeinated while streams of numbers cover her screen.

    “Is it?” I demand as soon as I’m close enough to speak to her without shouting.

    Nung nods, and looks up, “It’s the same signal as Bajor.” she tells me, “Only two or three points of differentiation, but the frequency and modulation are the same, and the Karemmans themselves are screaming for help from their Dominion protectors, because they know a swarm’s less than two days out and coming fast.”

    “Turn over your console, go to your quarters, shower and get some sleep. we’ve got this now, I need you in fit condition tomorrow.” I order her. I know how Amanda works. I saw every psych report on her while she was in fosterage, her school reports, the surveillance by Bajor’s government officials and officers of the court. As her sponsor, it was included in my regular briefings. If I don’t lay it down now, she’ll get further carried away-if she were an athlete, she’d need a trainer to hold her back from injuries, and in the ‘realm’ where she excels, she’s like an athlete with an obsessive streak. The problem with those, is that they burn out spectacularly without someone actively moderating their competitive urges.

    “Mum-” She’s exhausted, hyped on stimulants, and has that glazed look in her eyes.

    “I gave you an order, Marine.” the term is deliberate-reminding her of where she’s come from and how far she’s travelled.

    “Aye mum.” she gets up and hands off to Specialist Zuyle. As she passes, I get a whiff.

    “Definitely shower, and when you've had your eight hours of sleep, you’re going to spend an hour with the Counselor-I don’t need you burning out on me.”

    Then I turn to our Intel officer, “What’ve we got?”


    Sheri Walford, Main Engineering…twelve hours later

    I knew Starfleet does warfare differently. I knew it, and even got ‘trained’ by instructors on the differences, but…

    Come on. Seriously? We’re going into a battle, and everyone is still in shirtsleeves.

    Well, not everyone, but for f*cks sake, people, entropy exists.

    “What are you doing, Walford?” the Chief Engineer’s asking me, as I check the deployment seals on my skinsuit.

    “We’re going into a hot situation, sir. I’m taking precautions,” I tell him, scooping up my helmet, and clipping it to my belt. “There’s jack squat I can do for the Admiral right now, so she let me join the DC teams.”

    DC is ‘Damage Control’. Everyone is responsible for DC, that’s doctrine even with the klingons, but Starfleet does a lot of relying on automatics, and relatively few crewmen are actively trained and drilled in damage procedures where the SI fields aren’t ready to pop in.

    Thankfully, Admiral Kanril has the same idea ‘we’ do—being ready to lose atmo and major systems and fix it on the fly, even if she vetoed depressurizing the outer compartments ahead of time.

    Now hear this, all hands,” Gaarra's—Captain Reshek’s voice comes over the intercom. “Decompression protocols are in effect.”

    I turn to the ChEng. “See, sir?”

    The Bolian gives me a dirty look, and heads off to go get suited up, muttering about ‘never needing it before’.

    Some of the guys from Base Alpha are already manning reaction posts and waiting for the actual Starfleet crewmen to get back from putting on their space-undies.

    I really miss having a Mark suit right now. Starfleet’s EVA suits are pretty good, but it’s so thin.

    “Thought you’d be upstairs with the Admiral, Walford.” Gunnery Sergeant Kova, an Ethnic Klingon from Ty’Gokor’s ‘dockside’ districts who immigrated to Cold Butte back in ‘12, grins at me.

    “They don’t need me in the war-room getting in the way, Gunny,” I tell him. “You guys got what you need?”

    “Toolsets, system maps, extra cells for the portable SI gennies, yeah, we’re good.” he tells me. “Think we’ll need it?”


    I shrug, “Admiral’s got a good plan going, the ship’s got good weapons ops, and we’re not going in blind, so no, I don’t think we’ll need it-but it’s better to have it an’ not need it, than to need it, an’ not have it. You know how it goes, Gunny.”

    My PADD pings, and the Admiral’s got orders for me.

    “Your mistress calls,” the Gunny grins at me, showing filed teeth.

    “Right… success.” I grab his forearm, and he grabs mine.

    Qapla’!” he says, and we bump foreheads.

    It’s almost flirty for him, if he didn’t like boys, I’d think he was flirting with me. “Take care, bro.”

    She’s directing me down to the barracks deck near Deflector control, to check on one of the other platoons, seems there’s an argument…

    Yay.

    Barracks Deck, five minutes later…

    Two Marines have a third subdued on one side, and on the other, there are two Security officers holding back a large framed, handsome guy with dark blonde hair and Ensign’s pips.

    There’s blood on the deck and both men have bruises. Neither of them is in pressure gear.

    Sgt. Megaira Chi’en has her helmet off, she’s in the face of the enlisted man, and a medic is checking over the starfleet guy.

    “What’s going on here?”

    I’m in the uncomfortable position of outranking everyone but Ensign Roberts, who’s getting checked by a medic.

    “Hoan and Roberts.” Meggie Chi’en tells me, “Fist fight in barracks, both are away from their duty station.”

    “Where’s the Ell-Tee?” I demand of the NCO.

    “She’s currently up-country in the CIC ma’am.”

    “Okay, short form, what happened?”

    “Off the record? Probably a lover’s quarrel.” Chi’en suggests, “we heard the commotion while we were checking on equipment lockers and looking for Hoan.”

    I look at Hoan, he’s trying not to look at Roberts, who’s trying not to look at him.

    Something’s up.

    “Secure the prisoner, I need to call the boss.” I snap, I reach over and tilt Hoan’s chin with my fingertips until he’s looking me in the eye, “explain.”

    HIs jaw flexes and when his eyes hit Roberts, there’s hate there. “I decline” he tells me.

    “You know Lung’s gonna stripe your hide off for this?” I tell him, “YOu talk, maybe she’ll back off.”

    “I decline to answer, Sir.

    Phekk.

    “Chief, Doc, escort Mister Roberts to sick bay please, I have to inform his Division officer and my boss, and the Captain, and Leftenant Lung, about this...incident. Sargeant, escort Corporal Hoan to the cells and get Corpsman 34 to check him over. I want drug tests.”

    “Aye mum.”

    This is so goddam screwed up.

    “Who witnessed this?”

    Four hands raise…

    “Alright guys, no talking about it until the investigating officers get here.” I tell them, taking their names and service numbers down on my Padd, “You’ll be called to question, remember you’re Marines, so no holding back on what you know or saw, because Lung’ll take your skin off your backs if she finds out you collaborated or made TRIBBLE up, and I don’t think the Admiral’s gonna stop her.” for the Petty Officers helping Roberts to his feet, I add, “Regulation 231 applies, until the Admiral or Captain Gaarra override it with their command positions.”

    One of the Starfleet guys looks at me, “What’ll happen-that whole thing about reglation and skin?”

    “Striking an officer is good for a minimum of fifteen lashes and thirty days confinement with bread and water rations-unless it’s justified.” I tell him, “Hoan’s refused to speak in his own defense, if it’s because the man he struck is still in the room, well, that’s permissible, but if it turns out he doesn’t have a defense, they’ll probably tie him up over there-” I point at a structural pillar, “and he’ll be struck repeatedly using a whip and someone will have to count it out aloud in front of the Company, then they’ll toss him in a brig on short-rations with no positive actions for the next month when he’s not on duty..unless he takes the option of a courts-martial, where if he’s convicted, it’s a dishonorable discharge and possible jail time.”

    Sometimes, it’s nice to freak the ‘normies’ in Starfleet. The Petty officer looks at me like I sprouted a new head…”You’re..not kidding?”

    I shake my head, “Most guys take the lashes.” I tell him. “Service in the corps is voluntary after all. Any one of those marines can leave at any time, except in combat. They just have to request it...oh, and you CAN’T leave if you’re facing pending charges for crimes-for that, you have to be excised.

  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    [out of story]

    One of the elements I haven't been good about getting across in these stories, is that MCDF isn't a "Draftee force", and a lot of their systems are in place to 'encourage' people who aren't a good fit to leave whenever it's convenient to the service. Meaning that one element of the harsh discipline they use, is to 'encourage' people who are sensitive to resign/quit, which even enlisted can do.
    This also has a secondary impact on soldier psychology-the Esprit d'Corps or sense of belonging to an Elite force is reinforced by the knowledge that one can quit, and enduring harsh discipline is part of that, particularly when one is quite able to leave. the "Social leeway" and tolerance for 'soldier vices' is also part of that system.

    "Soldiers Vices" include, but are not necessarily confined to:

    Gambling,
    loose sexual morals (but not between tiers of rank, though this is often winked at), Mind that r*pe is a hanging offense (It's gotta be consensual, and manufactured consent is NOT okay).
    Drinking (but not being unfit for duty)
    Brawling (but not excessively-if someone is unfit for duty, it's "Assault" and subject to rough discipline).
    Foul and offensive language,
    rude jokes
    insensitive rude jokes
    racist/sexuality-phobic/bigoted jokes and humour and other 'impolite and immoral' behaviours so long as they do not impact unit morale and discipline or cause a seditious or treasonous state in the ranks.
    Griping (If griping is done over orders in a crisis situation the griper better either be executing those orders, or have a significantly better option available to offer, and success in that latter case is the only path to forgiveness-you can 'take initiative' but if your initiative fails, you're likely looking at a court-martial. success is, after all, about winning,and winning is better than losing.)

    By comparison, Federation and even Klingon units tend to be more 'morally restricted' (or to use modern terms of the 21st century, "Politically correct") But then, the UFP doesn't have corporal punishments or execution as part of the standard menu of disciplinary items, and Klingons have to keep political matters firmly in mind even at the level of a Bekk, while MCDF personnel are expressly forbidden to interfere with politics and are expected to be Apolitical in their duties (though they are permitted to cast their votes as full citizens, they are NOT permitted to participate in organized political activity, including party memberships or contributing financially to political campaigns, attendance at rallies, etc.)

    as mentioned in "Come the Fall" MCDF personnel are also expressly forbidden to deploy as civilian law enforcement on home territory-they're literally forbidden by law, constitutional and charter, to assist in quelling riots or insurrections outside of a declared state of civil war.

    This, also, is a factor in the tendency to have a bit of an 'ego' when comparing themselves to other nation's services.

    by contrast, the "Homeland Security Force" raised by the Odelaw government during the recent civil war does not maintain either the harsh discipline system, nor harsh restrictions on political activities and political membership, and does NOT permit 'at will' resignation outside of combat for enlisted, maintaining instead a fixed period of enlistment for enlisted, and an 'at will' resignation system for officers above pay grade O-2. (Paygrade O-1s have a fixed six year term upon commissioning, and it's 'up or out', with a 4 year window for promotion to O-2, Six for O-3, and eight for O-4, with eight years added for each paygrade.) HSF models their disciplinary system on Starfleet's uniform code. Notably, the HSF has a more 'top down' approach with regards to initiative and obedience, in spite of a less brutal penalty system for breaches of discipline.

    HSF Ranks:
    E-1; Recruit Basic
    E-2: [specialty] 3rd Class
    E-3: [specialty] 2nd Class
    E-4: [Specialty] 3rd Class
    E-5: Petty Officer 3
    E-6: Petty Officer 2
    E-7: Chief Petty Officer
    E-8: Senior Chief Petty Officer
    E-9: Master Chief Petty Officer
    E-10: Senior Master Chief Petty Officer of the Fleet

    W-1 Warrant Officer 3rd class (specialist or pilot rank)
    W-2 Warrant Officer 2nd Class
    W-3 Warrant Officer 1st Class
    W-4 Chief Warrant Officer

    O-1: Ensign
    O-2: Lieutenant Jr. Grade
    O-3:Lieutenant
    O-4:Lt. Commander
    O-5: Commander
    O-6: Captain
    O-7: Commodore/Fleet Captain
    O-8: Rear Admiral (currently 1 such officer serving)
    O-9: Admiral (Theoretical, there are no fleet admirals) Commandant of the Corps
    O-10: (Theoretical) Fleet Admiral (there are no fleet admirals)

    Notably there are slight differences in HSF ranks from Starfleet.

    MCDF Ranks:

    E-1 Boot (typically grunt infantry)
    E-2 Private
    E-3 Lance Corporal/[Specialty] 3rd Class
    E-4 Corporal [Specialty] 2nd Class
    E-5 Sargeant[Specialty] 3rd Class
    E-6 Staff Sargeant
    E-7 Gunnery Sargeant
    E-8 Master Gunnery Sargeant/Sergeant Major (Depending on role)
    E-9 Sgt. Major Division level
    E-10: Sgt. Major of the Corps

    W-1 Warrant Officer
    W-2 Chief Warrant Officer
    W-3 Senior Chief Warrant Officer
    W-4 Master Chief Warrant Officer

    O-1: Lieutenant
    O-2: Lieutenant senior grade
    O-3: Leftenant
    O-4: Major
    O-5: Lt. Colonel
    O-6: Colonel
    O-7: Field Colonel
    O-8:(Theoretical) General
    O-9: Commandant of the Corps (Unique)/Commodore (Only one person holds this rank at any given time throughout the organization.)

    MCDF [Specialty] ranks;
    Certain ranks fall 'outside' the normal chain of rank;

    Corpsman: uses insignia of Enlisted ranks
    Doctor: Officer ranks.

    Radioman; ranks from E-3 upward. (No trained radioman is at rank E-1 unless rank has been withdrawn due to disciplinary action).

    Aviation Crew: Ranks from E-2 to E-5.

    in these cases, promotion above E-5 shifts to Warrant Officer path, with E-6 equivalent being a Warrant Officer 1. Enlisted specialties cap out at Warrant 4, after which a Warrant can petition to enter Officer rankings at O-3 with sufficient educational fortification.

    Warrant Officer Aviators are Pilot and must hold the "Coxswain" qualification (open to enlisted above E-4, a prerequisite for Warrant Officer status in aviation. A "Coxswain" in modern parlance is a naval term denoting qualification for the control and command of small boats, landing craft, etc.-given the MCDF's use of fighter/shuttle scale vessels this 'job' is almost a rank unto itself, a Warrant is considered qualified to command a 'carrier model' or 'mini-bird-of-prey', the sort that are somewhere between a runabout and a proper bird of prey frigate and operate from carrier decks.)

    MCDF Personnel are required to complete full infantry advanced school level training before attending their 'advanced school' or MOS training.

    Promotion points are awarded for education, specialist schools, and based on unit and role as well as performance in the field. MCDF promotes based on points systems and personnel are encouraged to be competitive in pursuing extracurricular points via distance education and skills development during 'downtimes' between combat operations and/or during lulls in deployment.

    Okay, just so's y'all can keep up with the stuff I don't have room or time to go into.
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    [out of story continued]

    Notably for this era, The MCDF and MHS forces rely heavily on Enlisted ranks to fill roles normally filled by Junior officers in Starfleet or the KDF.

    Notably within the structure as presented here, the Commandant of the Corps can theoretically be outranked by a Fleet Admiral, if such rank and role are approved by the full Assembly of the Moab Confederacy (both sub-governments have to agree on the appointment.)

    Operationally, what this results in, are O-3's commanding assets considered by KDF or Starfleet to be appropriate for Officers of O-5 and above, and O-5s filling the same role that officers above O-6 in Starfleet or the KDF would be in command of. (cruiser level starships, 'Wings' of Bird of Prey, smaller task forces and equivalent bodies of troops.)

    Note of Clarification: Aviators above W-4 rank are Officers first. Wing command is an O-3 and above role among the fighter units. (a wing is comprised of 2 six ship squadrons.)

    A Corpsman who's above W-4 is "Doctor" and holds an Officer rank.

    'Corpsman' is equivalent at lowest ranks to a Starfleet Nurse or field medic, only with qualification in trauma surgery.

    "Doctors" are often engaged in research or teaching/training positions. Grunt medical work is generally handled by Corpsmen of appropriate experience and education.

    "Radioman" in the MCDF is equivalent to a Starfleet Communications officer in terms of training and responsibilities, Radioman training school is considered one of the most stringent and challenging fields and extends to tasks usually employed by a number of specialties in both Starfleet and the KDF, including electronic warfare, communication, 'slicing' or 'hacking' of enemy systems...it's a very technical field, and MCDF only allows the top 99th percentile ('one percent') of applicants to apply, washout/re-cycle rate is close to seventy percent per quarter for the approximately 12 months per class of applicants. Final standing at graduation is an influence for assignments based on demonstrated aptitudes and inclinations.

    Entry into MCDF service requires passing a series of psychological, mental acuity, creativity and raw intelligence tests similar to (and partially derived from) Starfleet Maco-Delta (Special forces) and Starfleet Academy batteries. Candidates are screened for learning capacity, flexibility, situational awareness, fortitude, 'aggression factors', will to prevail, and mental stability/adaptive factors, as well as being subjected to a battery of 'situational aptitude' testing to determine best MOS (military occupational specialty) fit.

    After basic training trainees are separated to their MOS schools, except in the case of potential officer candidates, whom are forwarded to Ty'gokor for basic officer education under the Klingon system on a space-available basis. because space is not ALWAYS available for allied training programmes at KDF War Academy Ty'Gokor, the majority of serving officers are drawn from the Enlisted ranks after demonstrated ability is shown via the points system with a few 'import' officers (immigrants) or prior Starfleet/KDF service officers whom are able to pass the screening examinations.


    Entry into MHS service follows the standardized procedure for Starfleet, (since that organization provided the bulk of training and doctrine for the organization when it was first structured). It is typically easier for an MCDF senior enlisted (E-5 or above) to enter MHS as a junior officer now that the civil war is over.


    Notably, in spite of heavy emphasis on mental fortitude and adaptability, the MCDF has, in the past, suffered from a significant organizational problem with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and discharges have an unusually high suicide, domestic violence, and violent crime rate, along with drug abuse, depression, and 'inability to adapt to civilian life'.

  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,215 Arc User
    So, MCDF discipline and conduct is modeled fairly closely on the Terran Federation Marines from Heinlein's Starship Troopers, aside from being able to vote (and there you've used the modern US military model, where you're apolitical outside the voting booth, and appearing to favor a particular candidate or proposition to the press while in uniform is strictly verboten).

    There are certainly worse models to use...
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  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,623 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    That's true to a point, @jonsills. But there's a few problems.

    The MCDF has quite a few similarities to the Bajoran Militia (formally the Militia of the Republic of Bajor), which despite the name really is a professional volunteer military rather than "as-needed" civilian and reserve call-ups (Admiral Alcott helped set up several of the latter in the border planets during the Hromi-Archanis War, my in-universe name for the Federation-Klingon War, initially under the martial law declaration but later legitimized by CARA). They both have their roots in an "everything and the kitchen sink" ragtag resistance philosophy, and both are more willing to use tactics normally considered too brutal for Starfleet, but like Starfleet the Militia's role is ultimately defensive: they're a response force and a deterrent to attack, albeit they're more militarized than Starfleet and freer to conduct reprisals (with the caveat that they decommissioned their space fleet for about fourteen years until the Iconian War forced them to bring it back).

    The legacy of Son Tay, as the authors of Three Decades of War noted at the end of Spiked, is that the MCDF became focused on high-risk, high-reward strike missions, which meant casualty rates their elite but small force and population base couldn't sustain: Bajor's capital province alone, an area roughly the size of France and Germany together, has more citizens than the entire Moab Confederacy at the time of this story, and they have a couple of dozen offworld colonies besides. The legacy of the Occupation is that the Bajoran Militia concentrated on defense in depth, conservation of manpower, and maneuver warfare at the squad and platoon level, since, while artillery and air/orbital support are nice to have, light infantry and Humvee-equivalents are more likely to be able to escape and hide if the worst happens.

    The Bajorans also had a lot less to prove than the Moab Confederacy politically. They basically made their point when they drove the Cardassians off Bajor without any overt Federation assistance (tribble you very much, Prime Directive) -- only then inviting the Federation in to help with reconstruction -- whereas the MC started and remains in a precarious political position. They went out of their way to antagonize the Federation as much as they could without actually attacking them militarily (notwithstanding springing Janey Qua in Spiked, which officially never happened), but their primary ally considers them about as inconvenient as, if you'll pardon a possibly touchy real life comparison, many in the US consider Israel or Saudi Arabia. IOW there's a significant faction of the Empire's political elite that wants to either cut the Moabites loose or fully annex them, for various reasons. So the political objectives came to overshadow military practicality, with the MCDF being thrown into basically every little brushfire spat the Empire found just to maintain the status quo. Which means outsize casualty and PTSD rates per capita. The "deal with it or leave" attitude Patrick mentioned would, if anything, only exacerbate the problem.

    So, ship for ship and man for man, MCDF troops may be better fighters (allowing for the fact that their ships are mostly Klingon and Gorn hand-me-downs), but Starfleet has a better organization.

    The Romulan Republic could have gone that way, but D'Tan had a much better sense than Elizabeth Tran or her immediate successors of what his galae (properly translated as 'aerospace fleet', not 'navy') was actually capable of and chose to play the Empire and the Federation off against each other instead, which as a side effect helped bring about the end of the war. This gave him the breathing room to actually set up a properly functioning state, much as the Federation provided for Bajor in DS9. (Granted, D'Tan had a positional advantage Tran didn't, that being coming in from outside as a neutral party instead of having to secede from one side first.)

    On an unrelated note, Bajor's political leverage comes mostly from the wormhole, which may not continue to hold as quantum slipstream drive advances (if it were more reliable and longer-lasting, the speeds demonstrated in VOY: "Hope and Fear" could get you from one side of the galaxy to the other in two weeks). That's a big part of why First Minister Kalin took the actions she did: Bajor's an important world now, and she wants it to stay that way, so she's building political alliances ahead of time.
    patrickngo wrote: »
    By comparison, Federation and even Klingon units tend to be more 'morally restricted' (or to use modern terms of the 21st century, "Politically correct") But then, the UFP doesn't have corporal punishments or execution as part of the standard menu of disciplinary items, and Klingons have to keep political matters firmly in mind even at the level of a Bekk, while MCDF personnel are expressly forbidden to interfere with politics and are expected to be Apolitical in their duties (though they are permitted to cast their votes as full citizens, they are NOT permitted to participate in organized political activity, including party memberships or contributing financially to political campaigns, attendance at rallies, etc.)

    as mentioned in "Come the Fall" MCDF personnel are also expressly forbidden to deploy as civilian law enforcement on home territory-they're literally forbidden by law, constitutional and charter, to assist in quelling riots or insurrections outside of a declared state of civil war.

    This, also, is a factor in the tendency to have a bit of an 'ego' when comparing themselves to other nation's services.

    by contrast, the "Homeland Security Force" raised by the Odelaw government during the recent civil war does not maintain either the harsh discipline system, nor harsh restrictions on political activities and political membership, and does NOT permit 'at will' resignation outside of combat for enlisted, maintaining instead a fixed period of enlistment for enlisted, and an 'at will' resignation system for officers above pay grade O-2. (Paygrade O-1s have a fixed six year term upon commissioning, and it's 'up or out', with a 4 year window for promotion to O-2, Six for O-3, and eight for O-4, with eight years added for each paygrade.) HSF models their disciplinary system on Starfleet's uniform code. Notably, the HSF has a more 'top down' approach with regards to initiative and obedience, in spite of a less brutal penalty system for breaches of discipline.

    I would also point out that, unlike the MCDF, Starfleet (as well as the Bajoran Militia) is an internal police force just as much as an external defense force, which goes back to the Horatio Hornblower IN SPACE! ancestry of space opera: Starfleet has to be the law where no other law exists. In some ways they're also less restricted: there are things you can't do under the SCMJ, e.g. endorsing political candidates or attending rallies and the like in uniform, as we saw with Ben Sisko when Kai Winn was running for First Minister in "Shakaar". But if you're not in uniform and it isn't "damaging to Starfleet operations" (bigoted jokes would fall here, or ought to if the officers are enforcing the rules properly: some things get more of a blind eye turned to them than others), you're probably covered under Federation Article I, Section 1 (equivalent to the Bill of Rights). That having been said, Starfleet personnel tend to be a better-behaved bunch in general, which is partly due to recruiting older, better-educated personnel and having enough officers to supervise them properly, plus the fact they have significantly better mental healthcare (ship's counselor isn't a senior staff position for nothing).

    Other "soldiers' vices" tend to be monitored but tolerated, fraternization most of all: what happened in Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek: Titan with Will Riker captaining the same ship his wife is stationed on (or here, with Eleya sharing a bed with her flag captain, regardless of the fact they're engaged) would almost certainly never happen in the MCDF, never mind a real life military force.
    "Two ways to view the world, so similar at times / Two ways to rule the world, to justify their crimes / By Kings and Queens young men are sent to die in war / Their propaganda speaks those words been heard before"
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  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    Kanril Eleya, Wardroom, 20 minutes later.

    “…Flogging?” Gaarra kind of looks astonished. “Seriously, they still use corporal punishment?”

    Leftenant Lung shrugs. “It works for minor offenses. There’s fighting in the barracks here, which is simple assault under Starfleet’s uniform code. Thing is, we can operate without Corporal Hoan, but it’s better to have him ready for duty, and your man’s already gotten fixed by your Medical people. Regulation exists for the maintenance of good order and conduct. When regulation fails… punishment and corrective actions are necessary to prevent the spread of rot in the unit.”

    It’s almost pre-liberation Cardassian—only the Cardassians saved their brutality for their victims, and the Confederates seem to dole it out to their own people.

    “Have you ever done it?” Gaarra asks.

    She shrugs. “Done it, had it done to me. The stripes hurt for a bit, and they sometimes leave scars, but with a good analgesic he’ll still be fit to serve, and the humiliation of being flogged in front of an assembly should curb any further incidents, while reminding the men that such breaches of discipline are not tolerated.”

    “What is Corporal Hoan’s defense?” I ask. “What’s his justification for striking Ensign Roberts?”

    “We doing a summary here, Mum?” Lung asks, turning to me.

    And here’s the downside of the messy command situations I keep finding myself in: figuring out who has jurisdiction over what when it’s internal to the force. Even though Bajor is Gaarra’s ship—now—the Marine contingent is a different chain of command, just like if it was MACOs or a carrier wing. They answer to the battalion CO, who answers directly to me. “I haven’t decided yet, Lung. Please answer my question.”

    “Okay, he’s refused to speak in his own defense, and Roberts has also refused to speak, but it’s rumoured that the two were… you know. Getting intimate for the past two or three weeks.”

    “Aw, ye’phekk maktal kosst amojan,” I curse, loud enough to cover over most of what Sheri blurted out in Viet. We don’t have time for counseling appointments. We’re less than six hours from entering combat.

    Gaarra sighs. “Separate them. Separate cells in the brig for now; we’ll sort this out after the fighting.”

    It’s a sensible approach. “Seconded. Commander Korekh, you and Commander Belmont will coordinate with 3rd MEF JAG to investigate this incident. We’ll convene a board of inquiry after this action. For now, both men need to be secured.”

    “Aye mum,” Lung tells me, while Gaarra nods to Dul’krah, who turns on a heel and marches out.

    “They were both away from their assigned duty stations… and Chi’en called it a ‘lover’s quarrel’ in the recording,” I note.

    “Yes mum,” Sheri agrees. “Either way it’s a serious, possibly felonious, breach of discipline. And not testifying is also a charge under Marine Regs—once you’re in, you don’t get the option of not reporting a crime you’ve witnessed or been the victim of.”

    “What’s the penalty?” Gaarra asks, probably expecting to hear some over-the-top draconian punishment. After all, flogging? I knew they did it, at least when Sheri and Nung and the other Yoann Teena kids were in, but I’m not sure my flag captain caught that memo.

    “Commanding Officer’s Discretion, sir,” Sheri tells him. “Generally it’s a minor infraction, depending on the severity of the crime and the reasons for refusing to report it, could range anything from a mark on the record and loss of promotion points, to execution as an accessory in the case of actual war crimes against civilians.”

    Gaarra frowns. “And fraternization?”

    “Sexual relations between officers and enlisted personnel are expressly forbidden,” Sheri answers. “Typically internally it results in demotion for the officer and flogging or cells time for the enlisted, followed by a transfer to separate them.” She pauses to think. “I’m not sure how it would apply in this situation, but I know Kat Lung. Given that two personnel are out of action and have to be guarded? She’s gonna want to add it to the pile of charges against Hoan.”

    Gaarra turns to me, and I know what he’s thinking. Ensign Roberts is under his jurisdiction, there’s no disputing that. Officers aren’t allowed to sleep with enlisted in Starfleet, either—although for that matter, since I’m Gaarra’s direct superior I’m really not supposed to be sharing a bed with him, either, betrothal bracelet on my wrist or not. One of the side effects of Starfleet’s tendency to sometimes go out for months or years at a time between friendly ports is that it’s impossible and frankly unkind to try to keep people from trying to satisfy basic biological urges, so our unwritten policy going on three centuries has been to turn a blind eye to fraternization, unless it spills over into duty hours… which this has. So I give Gaarra my nod and he turns back to Lung. “I’ll take the recommendation of the board as far as Ensign Roberts. If they don’t charge him, I’ll handle it with a captain’s mast.”

    “What does that entail, sir?” Lung asks.

    “You call it NJP,” I explain.

    “And it depends what he tells me. Probably I’ll shut off his holodeck and bar privileges and confine him to the ship for a couple months.”

    She seems a little taken aback by that pronouncement. “… That’s it? Sir?”

    He spreads his hands. “We don't discipline our people physically, Lieutenant Lung, and our general approach to personnel matters—and this is the phrase an ROTC instructor gave me—is to treat spacers like adults who ought to be capable of resolving their own personal problems, or asking for help when they can't. So yes: first offense, that’s it.”


    Danjha Theed, MCDS Phan Minh, Karemma system. 15 June 2415. Mission clock D plus 136 hours.

    chúng tôi đã bước vào địa ngục,” Warrant Perfidy Aurelius mutters. “You could get out and walk on that.” She’s a recent pickup—walked up to us while we were docked at DS9 and asked to join the crew instead of continuing home from Goralis. The re-enlistment paper took less than 20 minutes. Her degrees from Goralis and continuation ed hooked her warrant that quick, too—not bad for an ex-E-4 Wizzo (WSO, or ‘weapon system operator’) off a stripped carrier B’Rotlh. (That’s the version meant to operate off a carrier deck—I doubt anyone, even the Klinks, would try to turn a Baby BoP into a carrier…)

    “Keep the emissions down, and maintain course.” In ancient days, when navies contested over oceans of water, what we’re doing had a term.

    ‘Run Silent’.

    “Any tachyon overspray?” I ask my loaned Starfleet officer. “Do they have active measures out?”

    Nat Orvanova’s an Earthie, but I don’t hold it against her. Fact is she’s probably a bad fit for Starfleet given what I’ve seen of them: she isn’t afraid to be offensive, and she’s got a thick skin.

    “Это много кораблей.”


    “Yeah, lots of ships, from the Dominion, and the Hurkies… so why aren’t they fighting?” It’s true, the Jem’Hadar units are avoiding contact. The Karemman forces are basically being overwhelmed with sheer numbers, and the Dominion isn’t doing f*cking sh*t.

    “Text send to Taskforce Lead, Request instructions. Attach the simplified tac plot and 2D imagery,” I order.

    Nat turns and looks at me. “Those people are dying down there!”

    I nod. “Yeah… and we can both count. Orders are to avoid contact. Even if we went in all-guns-blazing we’ll last less time than those converted freighters.” I light a cigarette. The filters can f*cking labor, it’s not like anyone in this job lives long enough to worry about cancer. “Orvanova, you mentioned subspace in this area’s particularly… what was it you called it?”

    “‘Sturdy’,” Orvanova fills in. “Few anomalies, almost textbook ‘flat’ five-dimensional topography.”

    Smooth waters, means if we move around too much, we’ll likely give a hint.

    Mines.

    “Do we have patterns for O’Brien mines?”

    “What are you thinking, Captain?” Nat insists on using ‘Captain’ with me. It’s so Starfleet it’s cute.

    “Slow the invaders down some, maybe create enough disruption to get that Dominion task force off their collective TRIBBLE, or make it easier for our task force to relieve the planet.”

    “Kind of a rough test of the improved cloaking system,” Belthanna, son of Kirok (and don’t dare go forgetting that!) grumps.

    “We’re flying a testbed, might as well see if the gear works… Besides, do you really wanna live forever?”

    I’m being flippant because that’s what they expect, but if my ChEng was up here, his nose would tell him exactly how close I am to pissing myself and hiding in the corner. “Just in case, all hands prepare to decompress for battle, helmets on people.”

    We can’t just dump atmo and stay cloaked, so it gets sucked into storage tanks. We depress for combat, because it works. A lot of our heads-up and augmented reality helmet interfaces exist, because being blown out into vac, or being burned alive are bad options you can limit by already being in a protective suit and not having shockwave and fire-carrying sea-level air pressure in your decks when something like a plasma lance hits.

    It’s something Starfleet hasn’t done since the Romulan wars, but it’s worked for our bunch since independence.

    “Mines are set, warheads being fueled, Mum.” Perfidy tells me.

    “All hands, depressurize for combat, helmets down, sound off to your section or deck.” A series of greens light on my HUD, showing the crew are ready.

    “Let’s go to war.”

    “Captain! Shouldn’t we wait?” Nat’s voice is tinny over the helmet speakers as the atmosphere is pumped to the storage tanks on the Dorsal.

    “People, Ms. Orvanova, are dying now. The taskforce is five hours forty minutes out, and all we’re doing, is minimalist interference. Do your job right, and we won’t be engaged, but if we are, I’m not going to lose unnecessary people, clear?”

    “Crystal.”

    If the upgraded cloak works like it’s supposed to, and keeps us covered while we’re laying mines, and if the O’Brien mine patterns we got from the Feds are, in fact, any good, we won’t be turning this fight, but we’ll at least do damage and slow them down, and still get away clean.

    Still… “Stonk Morath’s fist torps in the fore tubes, rig for area detonation. Engineering, stand by for maneuvering. Miss Aurelius, prepare mine pattern Beta three, and torpedo spread omega one.

    “Targets?”

    “On your HUD, and at your discretion, but try to get it close. Nat, see what you can do with those countermeasure consoles to spoof them in case the f*cking ‘advanced’ cloak turns out to be a piece of sh*t.”

    Well, we’re not running silent anymore, we’re about to make a whole lot of ‘noise’. Tricobalt/Trilithium warheads do that.

    Even if we succeed, this is going to suck.
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    Kanril Eleya, aboard USS Bajor

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    The data from the Phan Minh is coming in, and under her breath, Nung is cursing in at least three languages.

    “What’s their breakage?” I interrupt her subdued fit.

    “Minor so far, but that’s because the bugs break off as soon as she’s at about twenty light-seconds from the planet, and go back to sieging it.”

    The information from the bird-of-prey’s sorties is revealing a lot about the enemy, though.

    I can almost grasp how they are thinking.

    They want something specific on the planet, and they want it bad.

    “I take it the ‘advanced’ cloak isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

    Nung shakes her head. “Nope, it’s fine, and then, it’s not fine—the mod for letting a ship fire while cloaked apparently flickers the effect long enough for enemy ships to get a target-trace on it, and I think it’s a fundamental defect. It’s taking too long to stabilize the cloak between passes.”

    “Comms,” I order, and Nung hands me the handset for the QT transceiver. “Phan, Flag. I’ve seen enough. If you can’t jump out of where you are, go atmo and find a hiding place.”

    “Phan copies, Over,” she sends back.

    “Good thinking with the minefield. Flag out.”

    Sheri turns to me. “You really think we can take a Hur’q fleet that size?”

    “I think we can, and I think we have to.”

    You saw the same sims I did, right, ma’am?” Iris sends from the Sierdegardt.

    “Don’t worry, Captain, I have a plan.”

    Which means we’re either completely doomed or about to see another V’Shek,” Tess remarks from the Tsushima, giving me a knowing grin on the screen.

    “O ye of little faith,” I rejoin, grinning right back. “There’s a trick I read in a book years ago I’ve been dying to try. Cadet Walford!”

    “Ma’am!” She whirls from the computer screen she’s been peeking at over a petty officer’s shoulder and comes straight to attention.

    “Pop quiz,” I announce to her, gesturing at the plot. “Our scenario is thus: we have a numerically superior enemy, and assume for the moment they have near-enough offense and defense parity, ship for ship.” They really don’t—in the first few engagements Allied forces managed a twenty-to-one kill ratio or better—but it never hurts to pretend they did. “Withdrawal is an option, but not preferred: we’d be abandoning civilians and one of our own ships to the enemy’s tender mercies. What do you do?”

    “Well, we… we figure out how to compensate for their numbers, right?”

    “Correct: either directly neutralize their numbers or turn them into a liability. And how would you do that in this system?” I very carefully emphasize the last word. “Consider all your resources, please.”

    “Well… I can think of a couple ways to brute-force it but… no, we don’t have enough ammo an’ they’d kill most of us…”

    Then, I can practically see the light turn on behind her eyes. “Ma’am, you like to use the, uh, the environment and the terrain against your enemy, don’t you?”

    “I do indeed. Keep going.”

    “Can I have the remote, ma’am?” I hand it over and she highlights a ring of asteroids between the sixth and seventh planets. “We could lure them in here, break up their big swarm into little swarms we can bite off easier.”

    “Defeat in detail. Ordinarily not a bad idea, except…”

    “… Except they disengage and go back to the planet if you get too far away.” She frowns.

    I smile at her. “Don’t worry, you’re pretty close. Can’t get them to come to the asteroid belt, so…”

    “… So we bring the asteroids to them?

    “Full marks, Cadet. Captains, how do you feel about a little relativistic grapeshot?”
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    Danjha Theed, MCDS Phan Minh…

    We’re hit pretty bad. “Orvanova, tell me you can get the cloak up.”

    “Nyet.”

    We’re going to lose the backup controls pretty soon. I have to make a decision here.
    “Can we survive re-entry?” Our Starfleet Liason asks me.

    There’s a wall of Hur’q between us and free space, and they’re pacing our course with those damn swarmers. Of course, she wants to ground on a planet.. “Engineering?”

    Over the qc our Karrank][‘p engineer snarls something affirmative.

    “Helm, take us down…” I look at the last scan-plot we took, “Here-this bay, the seas here have salts that should block most forms of scanning and targeting from orbit.”

    “A water landing? Are you insane?”

    “A little, we’ve still got sealing in critical decks, grounding on the surface just makes us a bigger, stationary target. Smugglers do it all the time. The Bay is near a major city, which means we might be able to get repair supplies, but the port’s already knocked out.”

    “And it’s near the source of those transmissions.”

    “Maybe knock out the transitter, they’ll leave like they did at First Bajor?”

    “Maybe. We can’t do it from the air, so we’ll have to go in on foot.” I TRIBBLE hate planetside duty...but this feels like the right call.

    “Bring us down, Helm, smooth…”

    Of course, half the outer decks of the ship flood as soon as we touch down on the water, and the Cloaking systems will have to be rebuilt if-and-when we surface again, but integrity holds as we sink down to the muddy bottom, bellying down with thirty meters to the surface.

    “Engineering report?”

    It scrolls. We’ve got pressure sealing in the central core of the ship, engineering and transporters still have power, there’s even enough remaining life-support to keep things going for a few weeks, but we’ll have to get a tractor beam or a crane to lift the hull if we can’t dry in the grav polarizers on the ventral side.

    “Warrant Aurelius, assemble your marines, we’re going ashore, objectives are to link up with whatever government forces are nearby and conduct a search for the Queta-band transmitter that’s got our opponents so hot to take this planet.”

    “Aye Mum.”

    “Everyone else, the word is ‘limited’-our life support is limited, our structural integrity is compromised, everyone who isn’t Engineering rated is ordered to suit up and form up with the Marine complement, including myself and all officers...except the Chief and anyone qualified to actually physically carry out repairs to the ship-the air’s limited, power’s limited, and supplies are limited-we are going to need help to get our ship off the bottom of this bay.”

    “Unship weapons crates?”

    “Yeah, and anything we can’t use we give to the locals-because they’re going to need it.”

    Twenty minutes later, we’re able to use the dorsal transporter room to move a battalion’s worth of gear and a short company of Crewmen and Marines to the surface. Technically we’re all Marines now we’re on the surface, but ship’s company tend to have lots of specialist roles that grunt infantry don’t have.

    We materialize in an open area, but the sounds of chaos filter through external audio pickups, and the smoke announces it-we’ve beamed into a battle-zone.

    it's distant enough most of my marines can put on their powered armor, cycle it up,and establish a local tacnet.

    “Which way to that source?” I ask...




    Sanjit Kaur, SDF Kukri.

    Action has been slow for us. Which is good, we’re supposed to be doing sneak and peek for the Admiral. Which fits in with our other mission as well. The bridge door opens and a small grey cat saunters out, hopping up on the arm of my chair.

    “We’ve got something.” Cheshire says. “Uncle Thag and Mister Garrak are nailing it down, but it’s the same lure frequency as on Bajor.”

    “Does anyone else know this yet?” I ask. The bridge crew is used to cheshire by now-but then she was around when Okuda and Okuda-Sander did a lot of the refits for us and on the Vancouver before we left Denali. Her coming with us wasn’t something I planned on,but Alice has a thing about going back to space, and Mrs. Alice may be wanted still by Section 31 for something.

    “The Bajor might. I doubt it though. It’s not something that can really be detected actively, and Starfleet is all about building more and more powerful scanners. They never just listen quietly.” Cheshire stretched, and instinctively I reach out and start scritching along her back, I know the fur is fake but it feels real. So do the happy purrs. “Do you want us to let them know?”

    “Can you do it without them knowing who is giving them the info?”

    The cat rolled her eyes. “Colonel, please.”

    K’tar at helm chuckles. Half-Klingon, half-Denali, all smart TRIBBLE. I just shake my head. “Never mind. Are we in range of tacnet?”

    K’tar answers, “Negative.”

    “Disengage it, engage cloak. Where do we need to go, kitty?”

    “Karemma.”

    K’tar is already plotting the course. “ETA 23 minutes at slipstream, 2 hours ten minutes at warp.”

    I hear the door open again, and can tell by the sound of the rustling of the heavy coat he wears it’s Garak. “Well, Ambassador, your recommendation?”

    “We need to find this lure, and shut it down.”

    My thought also. “Do we tell the Admiral?”

    “No, I don’t think so. Not until I’ve verified a few suspicions.”

    Cr*p. Life was so much easier just being a sergeant, all those years ago. “Okay then. Bring the ship to condition one. Mister K’tar, engage warp. Slipstream is faster… but is noticeable as well.”

    Garak nodded with approval as the hum of the ship changed, the stars streaking on the viewscreen. This could go very badly if things go wrong…
    Post edited by patrickngo on
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    Danjha Theed, Karemma surface.

    “Didee-mao!! Go! Stupid civilian!!” Under stress with the translator chips fried, our team linguist is alternating between half-learned ‘Dominion Common’ trade language, and Vietnamese cursing and shoving.

    I was a pirate preying on shipping when Fek-Day happened. Not the big stuff, not slaving, just little jobs with a little crew. Half the time the work was actually legal, from a certain point of view… but most of my crew now, they saw it first hand, or wound up in the service during the three months of war reclaiming Moab III’s cities from the Fek’Ihri.

    Funny how that seeps into your pores, even when you weren’t there for it, just from contact.

    Perfidy’s squad are working with some kind of local law-types, and we’re keeping the hordes of insects from this particular knot of civilians, while working our way to the urban shelters.

    “I didn’t sign up for a hopeless battle, Captain!” Nat bellows and cuts loose with a stream of phaser-support fire.

    “Neither did I… Grenade out.” We duck behind the wreckage of a civil transport vehicle—something like a monorail car built to follow paths in the streets. This one had been torn open like a ration packet.

    Karemman corpses smell like everyone else’s.

    My security goons are in full armor, and playing ‘tank platoon’ covering the civvies who could still walk.

    A tall building, maybe a hundred stories? Is collapsing in on itself less than a klick west of us.

    “You know what I hate most about this?” I yell.

    “What?” Nat answers.

    “This unending sky, it’s like the roof of the dome’s just…breached. And all this fire. It’s not natural to be out in the wide open like this without a helmet!!”

    “No dome!!”

    “I know!!!”

    A group of civilians is running up a side street, with a mass of bugs behind them.

    Nat’s trying to hold off an avalanche with a firehose to my left, further left, the locals are cracking and my goons in their suits are trying to keep a lot more potential victims from becoming victims…

    I prop on the hot metal and ceramic of the wrecked bus, and start steady-firing over the heads of the panicky group approaching from the west, picking at the swarm that’s chasing them.

    “Incoming!!”

    I’m firing, they might make it…

    “Mum, we gotta go now!

    The line’s breaking on our east flank, the locals put up a fight, but they’re not soldiers, not really.

    “But the people!” My heart’s in my feet. I see kids out there…

    “We’re out of ammo and out of time, ma’am, gotta go now!!” Perfidy’s grabbing me—she’s in power armor and I’m not. “It’s too late for them, I’m sorry.”

    There’s a blinding, shattering pain, and the world goes dark, saving me from seeing what happens next…
    * * *

    I wake up with a pounding headache looking up at a carved ceiling of rock. A reassuring ceiling, covered in some kind of spray-sealant just like home.

    A Karemman nurse? Is here and she’s changing my IV bag. “You’re awake!” her speech is passable Ferengi.

    “Where..?” is about all I can get out.

    “You’re safe, Captain… for now, at least. Though for how long is an open question,” a voice with the accent of Ferengi says in English. I look over, and see a dapper, well-dressed Ferengi whose face is one of the most famous.

    “My crew?”

    “Recovering.” he tells me. “As far as we know, your ship is still hidden, but you won’t be able to make it past the blockade.”

    “Kinda why we… grounded.”

    “And here, I thought it was to rescue me.

    “Didn’t know you were here, sir.” I feel a little better. “What’s the bill?”

    “Not my establishment.” Quark tells me, “They’re being really generous, apparently saving a few hundred civilian lives is worth it. Who knew?” he says it with irony and a smirk.

    That’s when the guilt hits. “Couldn’t save them all…”

    “Nobody can.” he tells me, “but you tried. We’re only safe for a little while, these Hur’q, they’re burrowers.” He tells me.

    “Defenses…” I try to sit up, and the world goes turvey.

    “Your people are working with the locals to secure the bunker.” he says, “you need to rest. You took quite a hit.”

    The nurse clucks something in the local language, and Quark answers her, and then, she feeds something into the intravenous tube and everything grays out…

    When I was born the seed was sown
    I will not obey, my life is my own
    Battle those, who wish to enslave me
    Expose the lies, that enrage me

    I don’t believe in heaven, I don’t believe in hell
    Never joined the herd, could not adjust well
    Slave master, it’s not for me
    I chose my own path, set myself free

    I, I go my own way
    I swim against the stream
    Forever I will fight the powers that be

    I, I go my own way
    I swim against the stream
    Forever I will fight the pοwers that be
    The eagle flies alone

    Reject the system that dictates the norm
    This world is full of lies and deceit
    I have felt betrayal, cut so deep
    Suffered defeat only to rise again

    I, I go my own way
    I swim against the stream
    Forever I will fight the powers that be
    I, I go my own way
    I swim against the stream
    Forever I will fight the powers that be
    The eagle flies alone

    Alone!

    I, I go my own way
    I swim against the stream
    Forever I will fight the powers that be
    I, I go my own way
    I swim against the stream
    Forever I will fight the powers that be
    The eagle flies alone


    Arch Enemy, “The Eagle Flies Alone”
    Songwriter, Michael Amott
  • brian334brian334 Member Posts: 2,180 Arc User
    Very dense, and intense, writing style. First Person is a difficult mode for me to read because I keep identifying with the characters; however, they are many and in my head they all kind of blend into a single voice. It also personalizes things to the point where I really care about them.

    Exceptionally well done, and I'm getting better a separating characters. Nung's very distinct voice tends to stand out the most, in my mind.
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,623 Arc User
    brian334 wrote: »
    Very dense, and intense, writing style. First Person is a difficult mode for me to read because I keep identifying with the characters; however, they are many and in my head they all kind of blend into a single voice. It also personalizes things to the point where I really care about them.

    Exceptionally well done, and I'm getting better a separating characters. Nung's very distinct voice tends to stand out the most, in my mind.

    Yeah, I was a little hesitant to do it that way: usually I only write Eleya in first person, which had a specific thematic reason for it when I created her. She's meant to be passionate and a little (okay, a lot) impulsive, doesn't always think ahead, and writing her in first person present tense made it easier to bring in a stream-of-consciousness feel to it. To contrast, I tend to write my Romulan character Morgan t'Thavrau in third person past tense, with generally more flowery prose, as a subtle way to get across her opinion of herself and her culture (she's an aristocrat by birth and Romulans are often pretty prideful to begin with).

    Generally in this story, the primary characters are Eleya, Sheri, Peri, and Nung, who are similar in a lot of ways. We've tried to make the transitions obvious with the headers, at least, although it's difficult making the characters "voices" distinct enough. Eleya, who is 35 now and has been in uniform in one capacity or another for close to 17 years, is kind of the Team Mom, her passions and "need to be a hero" moderated by experience. Nung on the other hand is a lot like Eleya was in her youth: coarser, more headstrong, takes too much on herself (and serving nicely as a proxy for the Moab Confederacy itself).
    "Two ways to view the world, so similar at times / Two ways to rule the world, to justify their crimes / By Kings and Queens young men are sent to die in war / Their propaganda speaks those words been heard before"
    — Sabaton, "A Lifetime of War"
    9MUythl.png
    (Vaporware thanks to Foundry shutdown. Thanks a frakking bunch, Cryptic.)
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    [out of story]

    One of the reasons I went with so many first person views, was in the nature of an experiment. There's an old saw about how everyone is the 'hero of their own story'. to get Kanril right, requires first person scenes-Starswordc's done such a good job of making her more complex than what would be visible on a screen, it's almost required. At the same time, Amanda Nung's major conflict also requires a first-person view, imho, she's likely to be the one of all our main cast who goes through the most major change.

    it was important for her to have that inner monologue.

    from there, it just kind of mutated-the story is (weirdly) easier to write first-person with most of the major scenes. This is a pretty heavy departure for me-in prior collabs with Starswordc, we've kept the 'first person view' to Kanril Eleya because without it, you only get part of her story-and not necessarily the BEST part.

    this time, that seems to have extended onto most of the major cast. In a sense, you're getting multiple stories happening all at once, (or at least glimpses of them), to create a whole.

    To give all y'alls some idea of what this has done, I split the story in google once to 'trim it down' and that was at 175 pages. the 'main document' is now over 300, and there's still material shaping in the follow up. This may be bigger than "Road to Ruin", the epic collaboration with Sander_233 from a few years ago.

    and that doc doesn't include the 'world building' materials I added here a few days ago (but oddly, does include a third doc, filled with unit assignments and major characters.)

    Parts I should've done, but chose not to do 'on screen' include the mission to rescue Kai Opaka. It's going to be referenced, but I honestly couldn't do a better job than Cryptic did with that and still have the outcome Cryptic had-it's a nice, tight story as it sits, which is actually pretty rare for an MMO's storyline mission.

    I also kept the story to Cryptic's format, and had the Klingon Empire taking a distant back-seat, in this case using a client state (the Moab Confederacy) as a proxy for their involvement, and I did it without giving a good reason beyond "Politics". I may explore what those politics are in another story, but not in this one-at least, not yet.

    This isn't to say Martok isn't running around with his volunteers, just that they're not a major part of this.

    [/out of story]
  • brian334brian334 Member Posts: 2,180 Arc User
    I rather like the effect. It's not the easiest mode to write in, and that impresses me. It's also a personal issue I have with identifying with the characters that makes it difficult for me to separate who's doing what sometimes, but I am growing into the characters and they are getting more distinct. That part is not a criticism of your style, but of my inability to shift gears and keep up. I'll get there!

    My biggest problem is that the characters are easy to empathize with, and easy to like. They aren't perfect superheroes, nor are they villains. They are our friends, co-workers, our brothers, (sisters,) in arms, and I find them too easy to love, character flaws and all. I'm going to hate you when one of them takes one for the team.

    But the story is well crafted, and intense, and I am loving it so far. Keep up the good work, and I'll do my best to keep up too!
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    Dhiemn tr’Mrian, Ch’M’R Shavokh, entering Karemma system.

    “All sections report secure for action, rekkhai, Erei’Riov t’Hei intoned in High Rihan. “Our crew honors the name of this warbird.”

    “Acknowledged, Ih’hwi’saenhe,” Riov tr’Mrian said to his XO, his eyes fixed to the plot as the Shavokh flew to rejoin the main force.

    T’Hei stood there silently for a moment, then: “What did Riov Phohl mean, ‘another V’Shek’?”

    Tr’Mrian snorted and pulled up a history file on a secondary screen. “November 2406, not long before the declaration of the Republic. There was this massive dilithium explosion in the V’Shek system, the entire KDF 47th Cruiser Squadron was completely obliterated. The light from that blast should be reaching ch’Mol’Rihan about the time my children have children.”

    “What in Areinnye happened?”

    “Kanril Eleya happened, or at least that’s what the citation on her second or third Grankite Order of Tactics says. She lured Enriov Ch’tang into the asteroid field and… just blew them up. Then she shot down the two ships left guarding the supply base, looted what she could carry, and pounded the damned thing to glass from orbit.”

    “Sounds practical.”

    He eyed Verelan t’Hei. She was young, even by the low standards of the Rihan Republic Fleet, the daughter of a hlai farmer from Ssuvat driven to take up arms against the Elachi and their backers. He approved. Born of a rabble of militias and separatist groups, the RRF was a fully professional force now, whereas the Imperial Fleet he had came from had long been subjugated to the whims of the nobles, to say nothing of the Tal’Shiar’s commissars, who could have good women and men spaced at a whim.

    His attention turned to the khaki-clad human-Klingon cross at a secondary console. “Radioman Joselewicz, what would your thoughts be, is that ‘practical’?.”

    “Well, Sirrah… It worked. The mission was accomplished with minimal casualties to her forces, right?” The young woman blinked amber eyes under her heavily ridged brow, “The KDF forces were clearly undisciplined and outmaneuvered by a superior opponent.”

    “Undisciplined?”

    “It’s in the record, Sirrah. Kanril’s troops drew off the main defensive force into a chase that left their base relatively unguarded, then defeated them. The enemy commander let his cruiser be isolated from their escorts, and let his line straggle, failed to coordinate with his subordinate forces and flunked the job.” She shrugged. “It’s all right there in the cite you brought up—the Klingons lost that base by not doing their jobs sirrah.”

    “Interesting, why do you say that?”

    “He was out of position when he was brought down, and he was isolated. Given how far out of position I’d guess he took a bait, sirrah—got kill-crazy and forgot his mission, chased a lure out got surrounded and boom, big pretty lightshow. Our KDF allies have a lot of that kinda problem—they get fixated on winning the engagement instead’a the mission, sirrah.”

    “Were the forces adequate?” he pressured her. “To defend the base?”

    “Shoulda been.” She chewed her lip. “Sirrah, yes sir. Klinks had her outnumbered three to one, with two Vor’chas to a Shi’Kahr CL and four ‘scorts. With force multipliers from the base? Frontal attack would’ve made Son Tay look bloodless. She’s good, the Admiral, though the kinda Noble-borns in Third were bad enough to make her better by proportion.”

    “How so?”

    “Officers set the standard, Sirrah. If your officer is disorganized, or vain, or petty and you’re a Klingon? So screwed. So will the command be—even with strict regs, an unprofessional leader leads to unprofessional troops, unprofessional troops leads to defeat, because it goes both ways--it’s why th’ NCO corps is so important, works to mitigate the impact of bad commanding officers by preventing the spread of rot, Sirrah.” She shrugged. “Klingons’re like Starfleet, or the old Romulan Empire—lots of officers, lots of lower enlisted, not many NCO’s. Your Republic’s better, but then, the Klinks sent some of our best to help train you guys, and Obisek had the right idea, so our advisors on Cadre Duty tried to work from his stuff more’n the KDF’s standard book.”

    He nodded, pleased with the young woman’s answer. “What were you before you put on that uniform?”

    She closed her eyes. “Dirt farmer,” she said. “Equatorial region on Cold Butte, we were mainly doing grains and fish, sometimes fruit if the trees didn’t get frost too bad. Dad temped with one of the mining outfits up north during the winter months, mom sells crafts. What about you, sir?”

    He smiled. “The Fleet was the family business. My father died on the Warbird Predator at Narendra III, my mother and sisters when…” His smile faded. “When the homeworld was destroyed.”

    “Sorry I asked, sir.”

    He shook his head. “No harm done. I doubt there’s a Rihanha or Havranha alive who didn’t lose someone back then. ‘Temped’?” he queried after a moment.

    Dil mining’s dangerous work. Dad was a qualified blaster and a fireman, so he pulled a good wage on the off-season until the accident. Said accident meant Jo goes to enlist instead of doing University. Since my scores were up there, I could get MOS as a Marine Radioman instead of Army reserves or Homeland Sec. It’s an extra thirty Darseks per week and a better promotion points rating, plus dependent benefits for family members.”

    “Benefits?”

    “Medical, mostly, and about half my pay gets banked back to the family.” she shrugs, “We’re not post-scarcity like the Feds, bills to pay, you know? And Dad’s care is expensive. Some damage they can’t fix...”

    Tr’Mrian’s frown didn’t shift. “What happened?” Mining accidents aren’t exactly new, but even in the Empire, they rarely, if ever, resulted in someone being too injured to work on the long-term. Such accidents usually resulted in a binary choice of ‘dead’ or returning-to-work after a short convalescence. Parents should sacrifice for their children, not children sacrificing for their parents!

    “ColDev supplied defective integrity gennies in Lindblad Sixty-One on the East slope under the glacier, and they were so bad they left them there when the Feds yanked the industries. Dad got caught in a slide, had some of his head crushed.” She froze up, just long enough that tr’Mrian caught it. “O2 deprivation in tailings, the paramedics revived him… kind of. He’s a forty-seven-year-old toddler now, and he’s gonna be one until he dies, but he was one of the lucky ones…” A tear slid down her cheek. “A hundred sixty-one people didn’t survive it, including twenty people from the rescue teams. Most of them froze before they suffocated in the tailings mud. Our family got profit-shares out of the settlement and dad’s got a retirement, but Lindblad Glacier’s too dangerous and the guild won’t let them operate in summertime now—the ice is rotten and the vein’s too deep under it.”

    No government regulations. This really showed it: the site was closed not by a responsible government, the negligence that cost so many lives was not punished by the law, and a cheap, callous payment—one that could not be redeemed—was the only justice?

    “If that had not happened… where would you be?”

    She shrugged. “I was gonna major in Planetology at the U, after high school. Maybe minor in Botany or Horticulture. But that wasn’t gonna be, because reality. The Service ain’t bad, and it’s got a lot of respect, and the pay’s good. I could’ve done worse. The tech education’s pretty good, and I got berthed here with you guys on my language skills.”

    You could have done so much better though…

    Obisek was rumoured to have called the Moab Confederacy an army with a poorly designed state wrapped around it. Some of his colleagues had said less complimentary things.

    There, but for the grace of the Elements, go we.

    Tr’Mrian took a moment to check systems on his tablet but quickly resurfaced at an irate outburst from Jo. “How would you know so much, you’re just a common flier!” a sublieutenant scoffed at her in return.

    “As were the Riov’s mother and father, Erei’Arrain tr’Sethi,” t’Hei snapped at him. The junior officer had the decency to quail before the XO’s black expression.

    Tr’Mrian stifled a chuckle before turning back to the radioman. Subcommander t’Hei was shaping up nicely… “I am curious, though.”

    She shrugged it off. “Continuing Education. There’s only so many chickensh*t inspections and boot polishing parties you can hold on a ship with six months’ spares crammed into every available space. This trip’s the first time in the last three years I’ve been able to just do my job and sit still without another four to six hours of homework, coursework, study, or Gedanken Lab meditation before I can rack out.”

    “Gedanken Lab?” Centurion Niranuk repeated.

    “Thought experiments, you know, like simulations, only you’re doing it with calculus instead of a holodeck,” she said uneasily, as if she were ashamed to admit to doing the coursework ‘the hard way’ in a universe where much of that ‘manual’ work was done with advanced machines. But then, we do it, and did it even with the extensive resources of the Empire. Only the Federation is willing to give every schoolchild access to holosimulators, and the quality of their students leaves some to be desired when it’s the fundamentals.

    “I should be studying when my shift’s over, I was already behind the guys in Charlie company on differential warp theory classes, and my marks on Milhist 305 are only in the fortieth percentile for the Battalion. Means I’m down on promotion points for E-5, even with perfect scores in Languages and Interstellar Relations, that puts me below cut-down… But the damn classes are boring.
    Post edited by starswordc on
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    Kanril Eleya, USS Bajor, 20 minutes from Karemma system…

    “What the hell is wrong with you people?” seems like a really silly question, but it’s the first question that comes to mind, looking at the data dump from the Phan Minh. They grounded at the bottom of natural harbor, then took shore parties to the surface to help evacuate civilians.

    Including their command staff, leaving only a skeleton crew of lower enlisted and their engineering chief, a Karrank}{‘p male past the age of fertility in command. Karrank}{‘p are notoriously difficult to deal with, their whole species look like six legged badgers and they have the manners of an upset hara cat, which still manages to come through even with the best universal translators.

    The casualty telemetry from their implants shows that the Phan Minh’s crew is going to be a hell of a lot smaller. We’re still out of range of normal communicator signals, at least if we want to avoid giving away their position.
    Lt. B’kkrr’hak#t: com signal from Major Theed is currently offline, but bounce to operational personnel says she’s being treated for her wounds by locals. Lt. Orvanova is also being treated for her injuries, CWO Aurelius is in command of the surface detachment, and has requested extraction resources be devoted to a High Value Person we didn’t get briefed was here. If we had been briefed, maybe the major would have focused on extracting him, instead of trying to defend several thousand screaming hominids with small arms and light support weapons.

    Have to admit, his writing is clearer than any speeches I’ve ever had to listen to from his kind, or anything I’ve had to try to understand from their traders.

    “Ask him if a transporter lock can be established,” I tell Nung.
    Lt. B’kkrr’hak#t: Tried. Lock-no-good, too much interference at the site, they would need to be brought closer to the surface. Here are the coordinates as best we can tell…penetration scans and seismic readings suggest upper chambers may be accessible to a team beaming in-but the HVP and our wounded are in a deeper section of the site, mixed with wounded civilians. I’m down to enough crew to keep the ship sealed against seawater and the power going, until I have more crew, I can not even contemplate a rescue operation from this location, and enemy air-cover prevents lifting out of our hiding place.

    “Inform Chief Warrant Officer Aurelius that help is on the way, and that I expect her and her remaining Marines to remain alive until we get there.” I’ve made up my mind, I know what we’re going to do.

    “And Leftenant B’kkrr’hak#t, maintain your position until you are relieved.”
    Lt. B’kkrr’hak#t: Orders understood, den mother. Compliance.

    “That’s a term of respect they don’t hand out lightly,” Gaarra comments, looking at me. “His species are allied to the Indie side of the Moab Confederacy, and they don’t refer to Debbie Mac with that term.”

    ”What do they call her?”

    “Things you can’t print in family friendly articles,” he tells me. “A Tellarite friend of mine considers it to be some of the best humor in the quadrant, but even he has been offended by some of their terms for Human leaders, including their allies on Cold Butte.”

    “Nice.”

    “Admiral, what about those Dominion ships Danjha mentioned?” Ta’ala puts in.

    I turn back to the map, and briefly watch the markers for our fighters and shuttles fanning out ahead of the fleet before zooming in on the Dominion squadron marked in purple. “We have authorization to be here from one of their heads of state, and that’s one of their planets under attack. They can either help us, or get out of the way.”

    “You really think it’s that simple.” It’s not a question.

    “We’ll see soon enough.”
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    MCDS Saskatoon Hills…Lt. Colonel Peregrine Wahlberger

    …relativistic grapeshot?” The audio pickup had made the Admiral’s tone sound like she was trying to be funny, but I remember we used it once, when Moab III was under siege and I was Ngoc Trung’s WSO.

    “CAG, remember how we hit the Orions when they had that fleet over Moab?” I ask.

    Dinh Van Toc is too tall to be as good a fighter pilot as he is, and he’s too Caucasian to have the ethnic vietnamese name he’s got-but while he’s tall, and blonde and looks outright Nordic, he’s also a professional and the second or third best pilot I’ve ever seen. Ngoc was ‘The’ best, at least as far as I’m concerned….but Dinh’s good, and if he wasn’t married I could get into all sorts of trouble with him-in my fantasies.

    “I remember, I was on the Stephany as a deck-hand, but we used tractors to push mining slag at an oblique through their orbiting formation at high-fraction C.” see? He thinks well.

    But he IS married, and Greta’s downright nice, so the claws stay in. dammit, I need some R&R...somewhere cheap and anonymous and clean.

    “Think it might work here?” I ask.

    He frowns. “It’ll screen us good, but there’s Dominion ships parked in orbits that overlap with the backstop for a shot like that, unless you want to plaster the planet too.”

    Officer time? No, not yet. It’s time to put on my scientist hat.

    “I think we can do it…without hitting our purple scaly ‘friends’.” I tell him. “Remember, give a man a relativistic rock and he can crack a planet, but you teach him the maths, and he can crack planets—”

    “—all d*mn day. Why you asking me?”

    “Because to do this needs lots of singleships,” I tell him. “Since we don’t have mining rigs, that means fighters and shuttles.”

    Part of me is already working out the geometries and orbital trajectories.

    I send my ongoing plot work straight to the Bajor over the subspace link, everything we know about where the ships, mines, and the dominion’s blocking force is fed in.

    The plot is a multi-angular attack, more or less giving a stream of clusters coming at the planet from a series of angles that intersects with the larger portion of the swarm.

    “Think your boys can manage those flight paths?” I ask him.

    Dinh frowns, studying my plot. “Yeah…yeah, we can do it. We’ll need help though-the Shuttle wing from the USS Bajor, the Nighthawk’s runabouts, and if our Romulan colleagues can spare a few of those Scorpions, we should be able to manage the spread without stripping the upper atmosphere or creaming sites on the ground… but it’s gonna be close, especially if we also have to manage rebound for debris being sent by the bigger ships.”

    “Worst case?”

    “Worst case, a spread goes wide, and if it doesn’t result in multimegaton energy releases on the ground, it’ll dump EMP to fry civil electronics and power grids. Second worst is some spectacular aurora effects for the next twenty years or so from the disrupted magnetic field.” he tells me, “Kinda like what they were seeing over the southern hemisphere for the first six months after Independence… I’m sure the Admiral’s tactical people can refine it, but this is a workable plan assuming we’ve got time for the setup.”

    I send the result to Kanril directly. The ‘fun’ of this job— I’m managing a man-made (okay, woman made) natural disaster. Whee! I think i’m gonna be sick if this goes wrong…
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    Kanril Eleya, CIC, USS Bajor.

    Peri’s come through on another one. It’s a definitely refined version of what I’d proposed, even down to having shuttles ‘managing’ the spread to prevent ‘friendly fire’ on the Dominion’s task group that’s apparently been sitting this out.

    “You know, it’s nice having a Carrier boss who gets me,” I comment. “All task force ships are to release shuttle and small craft assets to support this operation. Everything that can fly and run a tractor beam, per these dispositions.”

    Even Gaarra looks at me funny. “All of them?”

    “All of them,” I tell him, “and anything that can’t run a tractor beam had better be flying escort on the ones who can.”

    “Yes, ma’am,” he assents this time, and clicks the intercom control on his seat arm. “Bridge to Flight Deck, prepare the wing for launch ASAP. Crew briefing to commence in five minutes.”

    I check the map on my PADD again. The Phan Minh crew is grounded and in a defensible position—except for the fact the damn bugs are burrowers—and we’re four hours out. And unlike what Moab had when the greenskins hit them back in ‘06, the ships we’re using are warp-capable. Still takes time to get the rocks to Karemma’s orbit but less the than last time they tried it.

    Still, it’s insane. It throws centuries of naval warfare doctrine out the window.

    I love it.


    giường của góa phụ (Bed of the Widow), To’Duj Mk XIV (modified) fighter, Karemma system asteroid belt.

    Marne, come port three degrees up angle one, and drop your acceleration by half a gee, your load’s off-course.” Major Cecily “Sissy” Phan was a CAG without a deck of her own, commanding the dispersed-across-six-other ships Marine Squadron VF-22. The Starfleet ensign on the other end was probably two years older, but she’d earned her oak-leaves in active service, and the greenie on the other end of the comm was, in her opinion, ‘cherry’.

    ”Understood.” The kid sounded nervous.

    “Then do it.” she snapped, “I’m not gonna fill out the ‘sorry your kid is dead’ message because you tried to hot-dog this.”

    The first time she’d done this, she’d been flying in a mining singleship, the targets had been “Homeland Security” mooks in hand-me-down starfleet hulls, and it was a defense operation in Cold Butte’s Oort Cloud, half a light-hour from the planet.

    This time, she had a purpose-built fighter-shuttle.

    “How’s our field genny doing, Toni?” she asked her back-seat ‘weapons system operator’ or Wizzo, Sgt. Antonia Pfiel.

    “We’re still in yellow, mum, number two emitters showing strain.” Toni told her.

    “Compensate?”

    “I’m working on it, but the breaker keeps popping on that EPS run, I think we might be past the sell-by date.”

    “Switch to suit life support and redirect the power for now, Toni.”

    “Switching over.”

    On Cecily’s heads-up, the course correction to Marne’s course was showing an over-correction in progress.

    Marne, what the f*ck man? Back off your accel and get your load under control!” she resisted the temptation to have her back-seater run a hack on the Yellowstone-class shuttle’s controls to take it over by remote.

    it’s like these guys never worked a belt or a yard before. she sighed and muttered curses under her breath, “Toni, number three-one shuttle from USS Tsushima, what is their technical status? Are they f*cking up because of the pilot, or are they having technical difficulties?”

    “GImme a sec…”

    Starfleet’s protocols have prefix codes to prevent someone from hacking the controls of their ships, but Transponder data can be ‘tickled’ to get a readout from their standard maintenance and monitoring systems.

    “Got it...ma’am, data on tab sixteen?”

    Cecily willed the display to show it. “F*ck. whoever their deck-chief is on the Tsushima’s going to get my boot up his or her *ss…” she switched channels, “Marne, repolarize your tractor to repulse, and head back to the barn, you’ve got massive faults in your plasma flow to your number two nacelle and the goddamn nanny-state f*cking software is compensating instead of alerting you… and when you get there, lock your crewchief at attention and chew them a brand new anal opening for slacking on that—and your security chief for leaving the f*cking factory backdoors in your prefix Eyedent software!”

    But Ma’am—” The kid sounded distressed.

    No. Don’t ‘but mama’ me, get your *ss to the barn before your goddam engines fail. I would love to wring the neck of the sh*theads at Yoyodyne that must’ve let that slip out of the factory. First rule is ‘no unnecessary casualties’. I’m chopping a copy of your system logs to your Starship now. Get your butts home—you’re not mission capable in this state. I was assigned sheepdog for this section of the line, and if your CO wants to argue my call, she can do it with you alive.”

    That won’t be necessary, Major,” Captain Phohl’s voice came over the channel. “Runabout Marne, you have your orders.

    She watched the tracks separate, and the damaged shuttle limp back toward the main body, and muttered a prayer that the warp engines would survive the strain.

    “Close up the formation, folks.” she said on the general channel.

    Behind her, Toni snorted. “You’d let our guys stay.” she said.

    “It’s different, those two are natural-borns.” Cecily told her, “Risk is too high, and they’ve got families back home who wouldn’t understand them dying in a f*cking accident that could’ve been prevented by good Preventative Maintenance.”

    It wasn’t really that she was lying, except by omission. one of us could handle it without as many mistakes. In her opinion, one increasingly common among identified ‘AA’ personnel, was that natural-borns were both too valuable (for genetic diversity) and just not prepared enough to be relied on for the dangerous end of the business. not that we should stop them, but someone has to manage the stupid risks they take, and I can this time.

    “What’s the Gee-loading on our gravel, Toni?”

    “Holding at fifty two gees, we’ll have it up to .98c in fifteen minutes.”

    “All ships, maintain your formation for fifteen mikes and wait for the release order, then break vector as you release-no reason to ride the rocks in, acknowledge!”

    “Which barn’s ours, Mum?” Toni asked.

    “We’re still landing on the Sierdegardt.” Cecily told her, “we’re not scheduled for rotation to another ship for a few more weeks, and Captain Michaels isn’t too shabby a host for a Homeland Sec officer.”

    “Oh good, there’s this guy down in Engineering—”

    “I don’t need to think about that, Toni, unless he’s got a cute O-4 for a wingman.”

    The swarm was still too distant for a clear view, but there were glitters and sparks for the observant.


    Starfleet Yellowstone-class runabout Aisne...

    “This is f*cked, they just sent T’reier and Glasko back to the barn.” Ensign Parador griped, “That’s a lot of tractor power we don’t have.”

    “Firepower too. What the f*ck were they thinking, putting a Mobie in charge of this line?” Ensign Parve’ said with a nod.

    You guys know you’re on an open channel?” Lieutenant Hasseldoffsen’s voice came over the mic. “Mute your mic if you’re going to TRIBBLE. It was a good call, Marne’s showing technical problems in their primary and auxiliary power systems.”

    “But sir—”

    I’d make the same call in her shoes, so would the Captain. Now shut up and soldier.

    “Aye, sir,” Parador reluctantly acquiesced.


    Runabout Piave...

    Lieutenant Halvard Hasseldoffssen glared at the comm panel for a moment, then switched to the situation data screen. The other runabouts from Tsushima were basically spread out through the formation as primary tugs, but the ‘wing’ command was on Major Phan—in her ‘lap’ as it were. It was a spread he didn’t personally agree with, but the captain made it clear this was Admiral Kanril’s call—the MCDF’s wing-leaders were given the job, not Starfleet’s, and Captain Phohl had underlined that it was his job to make sure his people did their job.

    Even if it means working under psychotic rebel ‘officers’ that should still be in the Academy instead of commanding troops in the field.

    But Major Phan did make the right call here. And that just rankles more.

    The timer ticked down, as his second-seater adjusted the tractors. “Piave to Tsushima, Has Marne docked yet?”

    ”Negative, Piave, we’re tracking their course and they should make it in soon.”

    “DId you see their telemetry?”

    Looks like a software bug from here according to Chief Threpp, we’ll know more when they’re secured in, Over.

    He turned to his second-seater, “Run a short level 5 diagnostic.”

    “Aye sir.”

    He realized why he was angry. I’m angry because we got showed up by a colonist… He took a deep breath. And because I suddenly don’t trust the Chief to do his job.

    He adjusted his angle slightly to maintain interval with one of the older Danube-class runabouts off the Sierdegardt.

    “When did I get rigid?” he muttered. The feelings weren’t what Starfleet teaches in the Academy, and his professional soul was burdened by them.

    Somewhere in his mind, the little voice of his father whispered, Do better.

  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    [out of story-for new readers and long suffering readers...]

    We had to take a post down, because it was out premature and lacked key ellements ( I do make mistakes from time to time even with the aid of 'posting assistance' like using a proper word-processing programme).

    So...

    Let us do more background (stuff that's been covered in prior stories, but you may not have read them)!

    Project: Siegfried

    Dating back to the worst period of the Federation/Dominion war of the 2370s, and the tenure of Admiral Leyton (whose attempted coup is rightly a major chapter in Starfleet's Ethics classes even to the 'present' day of 2415), this was a 'black budget' project that violated several standing laws in the United Federation of Planets as well as violating the laws of United Earth.

    "What could this horrible thing be?" you might ask. *(you might, if you're curious, if you haven't read the previous stories in the setting, if you just want to let me ramble...)

    Simply put, it was an attempt to answer the Dominion's ability to mass-produce trained personnel as fast as they mass produced ships, weapons, and explosives. (Which is to say, very fast in deed.)

    The Siegfried soldier was a human answer to the Jem'Hadar, approved by Admiral Leyton and funded as 'medical research' initially-at a price suitable for building multiple starbases.

    Experts were recruited, and sealed archive files were opened. In a society with literally trillions of sentients, it wasn't hard to find suitably skilled, yet completely amoral and unethical, scientists to staff the project.

    Experts were sought in the fields of Psychology, Biology, Genetics, Neurosciences, and reproduction/human growth, along with experts in Education and childhood development.

    It is unknown how many Embryos were created, but we do know (in setting) that the programme was designed to be long-lasting, and that several respected Sociologists were also involved, primarily in designing the 'Socialization' mechanisms.

    Remember, the good admiral was already breaking any number of laws when he formulated and approved this operation.

    The embryonic material was sequestered into four groups;

    AA- the AA Embryos were to be artificially grown and rapid-aged, with their mental and psychological programming done mostly in-utero (or in-cannistero, as notable AA subject Nola Tan-Evans would later put it in her memoirs). As wholly 'artificial/artificial' entities, the designation "AA" was meant to demonstrate the ability to mass-produce replacement personnel for Starfleet to fill a variety of roles focused around front-line conflict with the Dominion or other enemies of the Federation.

    AB-was the "Long term science" end of the project, placing augmented embryos into "Natural living situations" to track development and secure the project against the possibility of the sort of narcissistic sociopathy and psychopathy noted in the original augmentation process that produced Khan Noonien Singh and the Eugenics wars. AB's were placed in family units selected at random, whom were not informed of the origin, by means of Fertility clinics and other clinical situations. For the most part, this placed them in relatively loving and nurturing homes, but most importantly, placed them in a position to be monitored long-term by unconnected medical personnel and above-board bureaucratic agencies with back-channels provided to agencies involved directly in the project. While aging and growth were accelerated for AA personnel, AB personnel were permitted to grow and develop 'normally', though with close monitoring.

    BA-Normal personnel treated with the memory/skill imprint technology to rapidly prepare them for deployment as soldiers in the predicted long term Dominion war. Essentially this is a form of brainwashing based on a recovered piece of tech used by an alien race for criminal punishment, implanting years of training and experience in a few seconds. BA project materials were finished too late for Admiral Leyton to make actual use of them, and were believed lost when the programme was shut down.

    BB-the Control group. Ordinary personnel monitored to act as a baseline for evaluation of AA, AB, and BA personnel.

    There were three sites designated for field testing of Project: Siegfried.

    Site 1. The Starfleet mental hospital complex orbiting Europa was tasked with both group Zero AA production and with testing BA conditioning systems.

    Site 2. Devil's Canyon on Moab III was one of the larger sites, intended to test all three (AA, AB, and BA) systems. Moab III was chosen due to the largely human population, high local infant mortality rates, large number of birth defects and other concealing traits in the populace, and its relative safety from the front lines as a border world with the Klingon Empire during a time when the Empire was at peace with the Federation.

    Site 3. is currently unknown but suspected to be located on, or near Alpha Centauri, with a primary mission focus on AB development and integration with civil society, as even a very LONG war eventually would end, and integration with the mainstream human population of the Federation was considered a priority by both the Project Lead, and Admiral Leyton.

    After Leyton's arrest and conviction, the project was officially shut down, most of the accessible materials (Particularly the Europa site) were dismantled or destroyed, and everyone official thought the programme was over.

    Turns out, that 'nope', the project was not over, as rogue elements inside the Federation civil service and Starfleet kept portions of the project going for over a generation, in secret, including the placement of AB children into childless families throughout the human sphere of the Federation.

    AB's and AA's can be identified by a genetic scan-if one knows what to look for, as a serial number and property mark are encoded into the subject's inactive or 'junk' DNA.

    The site 2 facility on Moab III was manned by members of the project that were not caught, or identified, during Leyton's trial, and continued their efforts primarily due to the conditions and population of Moab III, a human colony with a rather complicated past. The situation on Moab III made for an ideal continuing trial of AB genetics, and a humanitarian argument (when viewed with a certain level of twisted ethics). 15% of the Moabite population does not routinely survive to the age of 40, due to a widespread genetic defect termed "Degenerative Nervous Sheath Annihilation Syndrome"-this is a byproduct of late 21st century genetic modification executed by the original colonists to help adapt them to Moab III's harsh conditions during the long period of isolation from Earth. it was, at the time, untreatable, and when combined with a local morality that insisted on large families to offset the high death rates both for infants and adults, made slipping AB's into the local gene pool relatively easy.

    Note this is incredibly illegal in the Federation, Parents who seek to use eugenic augmentation on their children often face severe legal penalties and even imprisonment, and aside from the Bashir precedent, most augmented markers are good for a lifetime in hospital confinement if identified.

    The use of fraudulent "Fertility treatments" to slide these 'mockingbirds' into civilian populations is, obviously, a scandal in and of itself.

    When Moab III, New Saigon, Cold Butte, Arluna, and Berun's World (a group of colonies in the Hromi Cluster) seceded from the United Federation of Planets, the director of the Devil's Canyon site (Dr. Katherine Mulvaney, Ph.D. in Education and childhood development) was among the leadership of the secession, and provided a conduit to rapidly boost the nascent MCDF into a viable existence as part of Governor Elizabeth Tran's efforts to avoid that world being annexed directly by the Klingon Empire.

    AA personnel were placed in mass production extremely quickly, with many being ready for Operation: Son Tay (the prisoner rescue into Undine fluidic space that recovered 300 Federation and Starfleet personnel).

    Allegations that will be made on the floor of the Federation Council include the claim that the MCDF was a 'black operation' by Starfleet aimed at the intrusions by Species 8472, as well as (rather ridiculously) aimed at sabotaging the up-to-then successful Klingon military operations against the Federation.

    Those are false allegations, of course, though Starfleet Intelligence and the secret society known as "Section 31" were caught trying to seize control of Project Siegfried materials and personnel by covert means, which in turn resulted in the destruction of Site 2 on Moab III in 2412.

    Without the Devil's Canyon site, personnel replacements have suffered significantly both in terms of rapidity, and quality, though MCDF still maintains a high standard for recruits.


    Siegfried Personnel-alterations of note;

    1. improved immune response and general 'baseline' fitness is within human tolerances, but tends to trend to the upper end of 'baseline' human ability, including but not limited to physical hand/eye coordination, pain resistance, and raw endurance.
    2. High-baseline intelligence potential and brain plasticity is enhanced, this tends to lean toward enhanced learning and skills retention. While still within 'human' limits, the 'low end' is at the upper quarter of human potential.
    3. improved 'aggression factors' and increased resistance to adrenal overdose, a rebalanced 'fight or flight' response favoring 'fight' over 'flight' and nearly eliminating the 'panic freeze' instinct.

    Additional differences (notable from partial recovered records);

    1. Officer Phenotypes tend to have improved cognition and empathic interpretation (the factors believed to be key to 'charisma' in humans).
    2. Soldier phenotypes tend to have improved physical stamina, a tendency toward more efficient digestion and increased muscle, bone, and nerve development, along with a slightly enhanced healing and self-repair ability.

    There are suspected to be between 40 and 150 thousand Siegfrieds scattered throughout the Federation, both AA and AB types.

    Known AA quantities are estimated by experts to be between 25,000 and 40,000. All known or identified AA personnel are either serving members of, or veterans of, the MCDF. AB personnel have not yet been identified by Starfleet's Inspector General, but a number of suspects have been identified both within Starfleet, and in the MCDF.

    Starfleet IG has identified the following personnel as 'high probability' AB augments;

    Lt. Colonel Peregrine Wahlberger (MCDF-wanted for violations of the Federation Security Act since 2406.)

    Former Captain Janice O'Neill Qua (Deceased, former Captain, USS Nixon, former Commandant of the Corps, MCDF, convicted in absentia of treason and sedition against the United Federation of Planets)

    Cadet Phoebe Kian (starfleet academy)

    Captain Chien Hsu Lien (Deceased, USS New Jersey, Voth conflict)

    Commodore Anh Cu'ong, MCDF (currently serving as Commandant of the Marine Corps)

    Major Timothy Knowlton, (MCDF, current service)

    Captain Sally Nichols, (Deceased, USS Donoho, Borg Incident, Defera)

    Captain Arturo Taylor, (Deceased, USS Mushikohara, Vega incident)

    Notably, investigations have stalled on identifying Siegfried subjects outside of Starfleet, and the list above is only Starfleet Inspector General's 'best guesses'.


    The following are confirmed AA personnel;

    [Redacted by order of the 414th United Federation of Planets Circuit court pending.]





  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    Starfleet Intelligence Profile: Moab Confederacy worlds, Cold Butte

    Cold Butte is a barely-class M world orbiting a slightly dimmer star with an orbital period of 371 days, one moon, and a surface water content of 81%.

    Average Global temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius, with equatorial regions reaching as high as 25 degrees celsius during high summer.

    This world is locked in an ongoing ice-age begun sometime around 250,000 years ago, and would be notable for nothing, if not for the discovery of relatively easy access to valuable post-transuranic elements in the planetary crust, as well as the presence of a number of mid-to-low grade Dilithium Ore veins.

    Cold Butte was settled as a mining colony in august of 2278 by independent or 'wildcat' miners, with the major settlements being along the relatively warm 'tropical plains'. The actual minerals are beneath the ice, and while dangerous, the strikes are relatively easy to reach, with an average purity of 15-20%, which does not compare favourably with the mines on Corridan IV and other major mining worlds, whose average purity of dilithium ore is closer to 40-60 percent.

    Attempts by the Klingon Empire to annex Cold Butte were foiled by the planet's climate, and the sheer amount of frozen water that has to be tunneled into or removed to reach the beds of valuable minerals, though the Klingons did manage to gain a foothold here under the Organian treaty and later Treaty of Khitomer, it was never a 'popular' destination for anyone, and population world-wide has hovered at around 20 million.

    Notably, during the Dominion War, settlement briefly increased and Cold Butte became something of a 'safe port' for 'free traders' and other semi-legal entities, serving briefly as a transshipment point for under-the-table aid to the Maquis and a safe fallback for Discommended Klingons.

    Capital: Yellowknife

    Government Type: Parlaimentary Democracy with an elected Governor.

    Governors serve for a maximum of two five year terms, and nomination is mandatory-once nominated, citizens are required to run for the office. (This is often used as a technique by businessmen to force a rival that is too successful temporarily out of business, as serving officials have no access to, nor control of, their commercial and financial interests until their term in office is concluded.)

    Current Governor:
    Debra Anne MacAulliffe, (age 40, mother of three, former (and future) head of MacAulliffe Minerals and Mining).

    Colonial Development Rating: Class 3 colony (Limited industrial development permitted, forbidden to form organic militia or military, all police functions are to be routed through the United Earth/United Federation of Planets office of Colonial Development.)

    Reasons given for Secession;

    Class 3 status. Interference by the Interstellar Ecology board, official corruption perpetrated by Colonial Development's overseers, frequent pirate and slaving raids prior to the outbreak of the Klingon/Federation war, high taxes, official interference in the internal affairs of the population, restraint of trade, and finally, the attempted forced relocation of 'born on' Cold Butte citizens by Office of Colonial Development approved in 2404 by the oversight committee from the Federation Council. (this relocation would have stripped them of their land and mineral claims on Cold Butte after six months away, allowing the Overseer to redistribute what turns out to be some rather rich mining claims to contractor entities based on Earth and Alpha Centauri.)

    Military Spending: Ridiculously high. Cold Butte's defense budget is 2% of a GDP fuelled by the mining claims 'opened' after independence, which has made it the major supplier of Raw and Refined Dilithium in the Hromi sector, as well as a major manufacturing and technical research hub.

    Notable Economic/cultural elements: Cold Butte's government is effectively smaller than the normal size, with very little development in terms of official regulatory agencies and a very small proportion of career bureaucrats. What agencies exist, include a tax office, which doubles as an Election board, an audit agency focused on preventing monopolistic or duopolistic systems from occurring, and a fairly functional court focused on criminal law and constitutional justice under Cold Butte's original charter of settlement. There is also an agency to mediate labor and intercommercial disputes, a department of education, and a Patent office.

    Many of the functions taken as 'ordinary' in the Federation are simply not carried out by government, and as a result, some functions are managed by extragovernmental entities which are in turn overseen by the government. In this relatively free-wheeling or anarchic setting, very few rules are in place regarding environmental protections, supervision and regulation of scientific or industrial development, or social welfare. (in fact, Cold Butte lacks entirely a 'social welfare' agency, criminal acts are treated instead as crimes, and nongovernmental charities are left alone to assist the unfortunate.)

    Economic structure: Capitalist/barely regulated

    Money: Klingon Darsek, Orion Quatloo, or Latinum.

    Credit Rating: surprisingly good.

    Known alliances:

    Cold Butte has financial alliances with the following entities;

    1. Klingon Empire; several minor Houses trade extensively here, and long term commercial ties with House Woldan, House S'kopa, and House Methos are in place.

    2. Denali-this independent world has a mutual defense pact directly with the people of Cold Butte, as well as deep trade relations.

    3. The Ferengi Consortium-while the Ferengi ARE members of the Federation, they maintain trade and other agreements with the MacAulliffe Regime.

    4. Bajor-Relations with Bajor are good in spite of Bajor's membership in the United Federation of Planets, this is in part due to Kalin Tala's Nationalist regime.

    Notes; in some ways Cold Butte is more properly a 'federation world' than they are prone to admit, the political differences notwithstanding, enumerated rights are fiercely protected for individuals and there is a certain amount of 'extralegal' cultural similarity with Federation worlds along the Hromi sector border, even post-secession. Their military focus on protecting trade lanes extends to rendering assistance to border worlds nearby regardless of alignment, winning them something of a good reputation in the cluster.

    Probability of Re-absorption:
    Cold Butte's populace is still resentful over decades of what they see as 'economic and cultural suppression' by the United Federation of Planets, as well as over the apparent intent by said body (at the urging of the Colonial Development Agency) to abandon them and take their world for the profit of another. Probability of successful reabsorption into the United Federation of Planets sits at 35%, with a low point of 15% after Starfleet Special Operations were caught trying to rig the elections and rogue Starfleet officers attempted to overthrow the elected government by force of arms.

    Relations with J'mpok's administration in the Klingon Empire are somewhat warmer than Cold Butte's views on the Federation, but the Klingon Empire doesn't want the place-at least, not currently.

    Industrialization on Cold Butte sits at a relatively high level, with immigration mostly consisting of human and Klingon settlers, a significant minority population of Letheans (who find the climate to be comfortable and enjoy the ability to operate without shaving their feathers), and similar races. Much of local industry has moved to the 'belts' and Cold Butte has an extensive network of shipyards and other support facilities scattered throughout the system.

    During the Moab Civil War, Cold Butte served as the "nationalist/Independence" capital in opposition to the "Reconciliationist" capital on Moab III.

    Currently Debra MacAulliffe is opposite First Minister Donald Odelaw (Moab III) in a joint "Unity" government of the Moab Confederacy (5 worlds again). Common topics of local debate include if, and in what way, the four worlds that seceded plus "Base Alpha" (a colony world) will rejoin the United Federation of Planets.

    special note: in both the UFP and Klingon Empire, there is a loud minority that believes 'humans should be living under the Human government'-and this minority defines the United Federation of Planets as the only legitimate Human government.)
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    Technical Analysis; MCDF Powered combat armors

    In 2375, Starfleet Logistics Division put out a request-for-proposal for an infantry assault EVA suit for use in potential front-line combat service, employing lessons learned in the recent Klingon/Cardassian and Dominion Wars.

    There were fourteen designers competing in a series of proposals and field trials. The Lockheed/Martin LM-724 "Silverback" MACO armor was the design adopted, and this is important to this article only in that there WERE other competitors, and one of them made it to the final round before Starfleet Command selected the Silverback.

    MACO_Armour_Full_1517905052.png

    The 'final loser' was developed by a much, much smaller company located near the Klingon Border, and for a time, it seemed to observers to be something of a 'David and Goliath' situation. Lockheed already had literally hundreds of Starfleet contracts under their corporate belt as a subcontractor on Starfleet's 'short list' since the development of the NX series starships by the United Earth Space Probe Agency in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries, and had a governing board that included two former Admirals from the Logistics command, as well as numerous other retired officers throughout the corporation with connections deep into the procurement structures of the Federation and its government.

    The small 'upstart' firm, "Lee Ngo and Sons Ltd." out of the city of Ia Drang on Moab III, had none of these advantages-at least, at first look. It was a 'startup' firm, mostly-family-owned but with several employees who'd served on the front lines in the Cardassian conflict, as well as former Starfleet Special Operations personnel whose service records still have more redacted sections than text.

    The "Runner Up" design, designated "XS-002" in the official trials reports, came with a series of innovative ideas that were 'encouraged' at first, but then abandoned as Starfleet Command adjusted the priorities they were looking for in a new multipurpose combat uniform.

    XS-002:

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    however, the innovative features of the XS-002 armor design were considered to be insufficiently advanced for Starfleet's needs, and the design had some basic flaws that MACO command were unwilling to accept for a standard issue augmented armor, among those the need for precise custom fitting, the high expense of non-replicatable materials used in the in-built shielding and inertial dampener, and the relative newness of the manufacturer to the Military contracting scene. In short, it was 'the first runner up' but Starfleet Procurement were already decided on the Lockheed Silverback prototype by the beginning of the final round.

    Lee Ngo's firm was, rather predictably, driven to bankruptcy by this decision, and they were bought out by their silent partners, and renamed "Ngo Industries". this company would adapt the failed prototype for sale to asteroid mining and industrial companies throughout the Hromi Cluster until the late 2390s, when Federation Officials issued a "cease and desist" order citing the possible paramilitary applications of their technologies and restrictions under the Colony Act of 2371 (aka "The Maquis Act" restricting access to 'military grade technology' in areas administered by the UFP's Colonial Development Agency).

    In 2403, under Emergency Powers the Colonial Development Agency confiscated all industrial grade tooling above 21st century levels from worlds in the Hromi Cluster deemed 'in danger of Klingon conquest'. This included much of Ngo Industries' physical plants on New Saigon, Moab III, and Cold Butte, but when Starfleet Security visited the sites, most of the tooling was found to be worn out or destroyed, with appropriate insurance claims already on file with Harrod's of Alpha Centauri. The intact machinery was taken under court order.

    So, how did they go from bankrupt, to mass-production, and from a failed prototype, to a functional, military grade weapon system as witnessed in action at Goralis 11 in 2411?

    The Independence Movement years; 2402 to 2406

    The Ngo family never quite got entirely out of small manufacturing even after the bankruptcy caused by failing to obtain the Starfleet/MACO contract. Side businesses, such as repair components for shuttles and mining craft, consumer duotronics, and small, 'knock off' scale production of obsolete or outmoded systems common in the border areas kept the company solvent enough to pay their employees and remain in buisiness after the partnership buyout in 2395. during that period, Lee Ngo, former owner and former head, continued to refine his conceptual designs.

    While any rational review would show that the XS-002 suit design lost to the Silverback in a fair series of trials, Ngo believed that the procurement process was corrupted and the results were manipulated to favour an Earth-based corporation, and that his work would be vindicated eventually-even if that work meant breaking away from the United Federation of Planets. He became an adherent of "Colonial Independence" and a quiet, if staunch advocate of secession and localist nationalism.

    Naturally, to a paranoid mind, the eventual actions of the Colonial Development Authority in confiscating technologies was inevitable. to this end, he developed not only his armor, but means to produce it using "lower tech" methods, which were then disseminated to other, like-minded people in the cluster, most often as 'softpatches' to commercial grade production and processing equipment, 'repair kits' and the like.

    His fears were confirmed by Government action in 2402, with the beginning of 'de-industrialization' and starfleet's short-lived "Demilitarized border" strategy done in hopes of placating the Klingon Empire while denying them most of the fruits of their wave of conquest begun in 2399.

    Waves of Independence-2406 to 2410
    In 2406, five worlds in the Hromi cluster;

    Moab III
    New Saigon
    Cold Butte
    Arluna
    Berun's World

    declared themselves independent and immediately entered into talks to ally with the Klingon Empire. This move was seen by Klingon officials as a repudiation of Federation and Starfleet policies that had angered many in the Empire, including the condemnation of the Gorn invasion and refusal by the Federation Council to listen to warnings about Undine manipulations. It was a propaganda windfall for the Klingons, and as such, the Chancellor rammed through recognition of this 'proto-state', a move that briefly confused Federation analysts as, instead of conquest, the Klingons adopted the breakaways as a protectorate and ally, and several Great Houses (Notably; Woldan, S'kopa, and Duras) moved to provide materiel and military advisory aid to the fledgeling nation, including a significant (for the Empire) economic 'jump start' programme, low cost loans, and credit support to get the damaged local economy, (particularly the local military grade production) up and running.

    Notably, this was a move more based on the Empire's decision to frame the Hromi cluster invasion as a combination of liberation for ethnic Klingon enclaves, and as an intervention to secure the border against what was being declared a 'corrupted and suborned' Federation and Starfleet by evicting the UFP from what had been historically a Klingon zone of influence. (This was all just talk, of course-everyone knows it was really a land grab and a chance to murder people. Just ask any Federation official at the time!)

    Ngo industries got into this 'bigger pie' with a vengeance, producing light, military grade equipment for the still-forming "Moab Confederacy Defense Forces", (mostly lightweight sensors, unpowered body armors, small arms, and infantry weapons.)

    In 2409, shortly after the successful raid on an Undine prisoner processing facility that revealed how deeply the Federation was penetrated by returning three hundred Starfleet and Federation prisoners-of-undeclared-war at the Risa peace talks, MCDF recieved the culmination of Lee Ngo's decades of work.

    The Mark One Alpha One;
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    This armor provides both strength augmentation, and an inbuilt protective shielding equivalent to the current MkXIV Silverback armor, but adds an inbuilt inertial dampening system, a significantly better inbuilt sensor array, a basic (somewhat inferior) medical support pack, full environmental sealing, and inbuilt digital camouflage.

    It only costs about the same as 30 or 40 of the Starfleet suits per unit, or the equivalent EC cost of a Yellowstone runabout. The downsides include an extremely individual fitting that requires a minimum of 10 hours when first fitted to adjust (once adjusted the armor only requires 10 minutes to don-with assistance.) Suit battery life is up to 400 hours, and wastes are recycled.

    There are two major flaws in the Mark One design that have plagued it since the original XS002 prototype.

    1. Transporter lock and signal issues-the suits 'don't play well with' transporter buffers or beams, resulting in inaccuracies that require either a large, cleared area when beaming down. Materials in the armor compsites resist beaming up, requiriing that an extraction of these suits demands the use of a shuttlecraft.
    2. Heat exchangers. while durable, the heat-exchangers on the Mk1, 2, and 3 versions of the suit are comparatively fragile (though typically damage that will put the heat exchanger out of operation are likely to be fatal to the man in the armor.)

    The Mk1 suit contains an operations software extrapolated and developed from the immediately-post-dominion war RFP issued by Starfleet, modified by Klingon experience in the Gorn and Klingon-Federation conflict,and again modified after the Fek'Ihri invasion of the Moab system and destruction of Ngo Industries founder on New Saigon (along with the loss of that world).
    to this end, it contains (in distributed form) more sensor and processing circuitry than Starfleet's MACO units determined would be necessary or even desirable, and an inbuilt electronic warfare suite deemed more suitable for use by a shuttlecraft. Suits are 'linked' via a compact 'tacnet' system, enabling them to make use of the thousands of 'pinhole' microsensors spread over the entire surface of the suit, as well as linking to drone, shuttle, and even starship sensors using a networked structure.

    This enables suit units to create a 'look through' approach to combat reconaissance and targeting, as well as linking targeting between suits in the same unit. These capabilities were and are seen by Starfleet MACO and Klingon Yan-Isleh (Honorguard) units as being "too much trouble" for the bulk of mission types, (KDF has, however, purchased the design in small batches for specialist missions.)

    "Information Glut" is considered a problem and the bulk of the 90 day training period for 'Suit troops' is focused on information management and presets to enable an operator to make use of the multifunction displays, unit coordination software, and personnel management functions. Notably, this precisely matches the original contract's original requirements (Modified during the trials period in the late 24th century as many of these were considered redundant functions by Starfleet MACO and Procurement departments.)

    Notable usage:

    During the battle of Goralis, 11 MCDF Marines (one squad) in conjunction with a company of Starfleet ground forces (120 effectives) held off over 5,000 Fek'Ihri at the battle of Damar city for 20 hours, inflicting a massive kill ratio on the invaders and securing the only intact disaster shelter until the Cardassian 11th Order's ground forces were able to relieve the survivors. out of that 11 man element, only 2, one of them the Medical Corpsman assigned to the MCDF Marines, survived, but zero civilians in the bunker itself were even harmed by the attackers. The Starfleet ground force unit, and a unit of Denali Home Guard that were also present, suffered significant casualties during the long engagement. Recordings of the battle were broadcast by Cardassian media in defiance of a Starfleet ordered information blackout.

    Also during the battle of Goralis, a battalion of suited marines conducted an assault in cooperation with Starfleet MACO on an Undine "Planetkiller" type device while in space, the Marines conducted a ship-to-ship hull-boarding action and secured landing zones for Starfleet Maco troops from the USS Tiburon, then broke through the shielded and armored hull of the Undine vessel by utilizing antimatter breaching charges to split a half-kilometer break in the Planetkiller's outer and inner hull. This action cost the lives of over 100 armored marines, a cost in fiscal terms equivalent to the purchase of a single Sovereign class assault cruiser. Notably, they destroyed the Planetkiller from the inside using (again) compressed antimatter fullerine charges.

    Current Deployment:
    Starfleet Intelligence and field observers have noted that with the MkIII model (the latest version) MCDF has found, at last, economy of scale with the design, bringing subjective production costs in line with Honorguard or MACO Mk. XIV models in use by Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Forces. These armors make up the backbone of MCDF infantry units and a variant is utilized for shuttle crew and fighter pilots, as well as a much-reduced version for starship crewmen (because MCDF likes to fight their ships with outer decks depressurized to limit the spread of damage and speed in-flight repair.)


  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    [out of Story continued]

    (Excerpted from: Starfleet Intelligence Review Quarterly, June 22, 2415)

    ...Standardized weaponry is one of the hallmarks of an organized, professional military force. The Federation Phaser or Klingon Disruptor are considered to be 'signature' weapons types, even with similar weapons in use by other forces in the galaxy.

    For smaller nations, these are often imported, or if they have the capability, copied. In the current era, however, directed energy weapons, whether Phase, Plasma, or Disruption based, form the core of small arms and equipment in most organized forces in the known galaxy, with almost no exceptions. Typically, older, cruder technologies such as projectile-based weapons are more the province of unorganized ad-hoc or paramilitary forces. (Exceptions do exist, such as the TR-116 series designated marksman weapons, or the electromagnetic-powered coilguns and railguns used by the Sheliak.)

    Energy weapons are, therefore, like firearms before them, considered to be a standard for any standing military force.

    Unless we're talking about the Moab Confederacy Defense Forces or Denali Home guard. Those forces still issue chemical-propellant projectile weapons as standard arms to front line forces.

    (author's note: both the Denali Home Guard and MCDF also issue energy based weapons-Denali forces have a nice selection of Phaser-derived small arms in inventory and at-commander's-discretion issue, while the MCDF's secondary standard issue are copies of the Klingon disruptor designs, particularly the rather superb pistol and carbine variants.)

    Why is this important for an officer in Starfleet to know and understand? because thanks to the revisions to the Khitomer Agreements of 2411 and the Base Alpha treaty that ended their little civil war, Moab forces may be coming to your sector as allied units.

    MCDF utilizes a selection of chemical-propellant small arms to probably the widest degree of any 'nation' with warp capability of their size, this is derived in part due to the severe arms restrictions imposed on UFP colonies after the Maquis Act of 2371, which had a loophole permitting the ownership of chemical propellant firearms but outlawed energy weapons more potent than a Mk 1 "Police" stunner (a phaser variant with no higher settings, popular with security forces for domestic policing roles) in the hands of non-Starfleet personnel.

    These are the common types of firearm you, as a Starfleet Security officer, may encounter in the hands of MCDF personnel that you should be familiar with.

    1) the 11.25mm pistol. This will tend to be a locked-breech firearm firing an 11.25 milimeter bullet at approximately 300 Meters/second velocity. It has an internal, detachable magazine capacity of between 7, and 14 shots and a reliable range of 150 Meters under ideal conditions. (Typical ranges are closer to 20 meters) at just over 1 Kilogram in weight, it is considered somewhat 'heavy' even by the standards of primitive firearms. The bullets it fires are subsonic, and the weapon can be equipped with a sound suppression device at the muzzle end. These weapons are issued to all personnel as a primary backup. MCDF marines carry these pretty much everywhere, and older security software may overlook their presence, requiring a manual search at checkpoints. The 11.25mm pistol is capable of firing the same ammunition as their standard carbine, and will fire all known specialty ammunition types. (set your tricorder to look for radioactive trace)

    2) The 11.25mm carbine, aka "The Delisle". This silenced weapon fires both single-fire, and three round bursts. The majority of the 1.1 meter length is taken up by a large mechanical sound and flash suppression device, and the magazine capacity is 30 rounds arranged in a vertical stick configuration (rounds are stacked in staggered formation). The Delisle is typically used for boarding or storming operations, and has a built in integrator sight that links to MCDF standard helmet displays, along with a vibration-dampening structure and integrated harmonic balance to reduce felt recoil to near-energy-weapon levels of felt recoil. Delisles are commonly used in conjunction with "Black Omega" type ammunition (detailed later).

    3) the Designated Marksman Rifle-the 10mm bore of the DMR is deceptive, as it fires a 6mm flechette at approximately 1000 Meters/second. This weapon is used in sniper roles and is similar to the TR-116B DMR issued to Starfleet MACO forces. The MCDF's DMR is approximately 500 grams heavier, and has a perceptible felt recoil. It is also capable of firing a full-bore 10mm round of the "Black Omega" configuration, but this round has a much more reasonable 500m/s muzzle velocity and a significantly reduced range and penetration against hardened targets.

    4) 12.7mm tribarrel machine gun. Equivalent to similar crew-served weapons in use by KDF and Starfleet assault forces, the 12.7mm tribarrel is rarely encountered in the hands of 'non suit' (unarmored) elements, as it requires a significant amount of ammunition that is quite heavy, as well as bulky. This weapon is mainly used in the "Door gunner" role on landing or assault shuttlecraft, or as a light mount on vehicles.

    Specialized Rounds you are likely to encounter, or hear about...

    1) "Black Omega"-probably the MCDF's most questionable decision, this ammunition type is optimized for use against shape-shifting opponents and regenerators, such as Species 8472, Dominion Founders, and similar beings that are otherwise resistant to penetration, shock, or similar damage. Black Omega bullets consist of a neutron-barrier between the outer jacket, and a core of metallic Uranium. Not depleted Uranium, but Metallic uranium. This makes these weapons a type that is close to a violation of the Seldonis IV convention (currently being debated as an outright violation, but the debate is, as of this writing, still being argued in committee). Black Omega rounds have been shown to be effectively lethal on Undine (Species 8472) with as few as one bullet, with gross maiming and crippling injuries to Undine on non-center-mass hits, effectively preventing the Undine from 'shifting the injury away" due to the radioactive material penetrating their flexible outer skin. (their bodies have been shown in tests that may violate the Seldonis accords, to be unable to eject the fragments autonomically). 'Black Omega' is named for the first 'export' testing done in the Gamma Orionis sector by KDF-assigned MCDF personnel loosely attached to "Task Force Omega".

    2) "Blue Tip" blue-tip munitions are common on the open market on Moab III, and are optimized to exploit the high acidity in Fek'Ihri physiology by introducing an aggressive caustic material. These were also used against Pentaxian forces during the short 'colony war' on P'nj'n, a Pentaxian claimed world on the border with the Hromi Cluster that the Moab Confederacy lost a bid to claim for a sixth colony site. Blue tips were developed specifically in response to the Fek'Ihri invasion of Moab III and the revealed resistance to standard energy weapons (Klingon disruptors, Federation Phaser, and Dominion Polaron). Wounds from a hit by a "blue tip" tend to be explosive, as the inner jacket material reacts to acids and water, wound channels are well in excess of those caused by inert metal or ceramic slugs, and present a secondary poisoning effect that makes treatment difficult for medical personnel. due to the light weight and low inertial retention, these are poor penetrators against even light armor plate at ranges past 10 meters, and thus, may be employed in situations where penetration presents a more significant threat, such as in soft-skinned shuttlecraft or non-hardened buildings in close proximity to civilians.

    3)"Dust Tip" bullets are a marvel of engineering-they're magnetic, making them somewhat easy to detect. "Dust tip" bullets are mini-grenades containing a trigger fuse, which cracks the magnetically balanced fullerine 'bottle' surrounding an atom of anticopper (antimatter atoms that follow the configuration of copper) forming the core. These are typically considered 'anti armor' or anti-materiel rounds, and come in 10mm 'slug' or 12.7mm sizes.

    4)Coppertops; Slug rounds, a core of tungsten/bismuth alloy wrapped in a soft copper jacket. This is a 'basic round' for issue in non-specialized situations and sold as both hunting, and self-defense in a variety of diameters and loadings.

    5)Fiber-tipped salute blank; this is a bullet type developed for ceremonial use in service rifles and pistols, but it has gained something of a notorious reputation as a suicide round preferred by personnel seeking to end their life, an unfortunately too-common occurrance after the ground battles that removed the Fek'Ihri incursion. Psychologists with Starfleet Medical note that soldiers and marines that fought in the ground war tend to have some of the most radical and severe post-traumatic-stress disorders of any human military personnel in history. Suicide rates among discharged veterans peaked in 2413 at over ten percent of "Fek Day" survivors, and the MCDF has a strict 'no weapons' policy on all latrine and shower facilities that remains in force to this day. Security officers that find a "Salute blank" on MCDF personnnel not conducting parades are advised to secure the Marine (or former marine) and place them on suicide watch until they can be cleared by a qualified mental health professional.

    Common issue Energy Weapons

    Officially, the MCDF's "Standard" weapon is the Klingon Disruptor rifle, model of 2402, updated with slightly improved sights and long-range beam-pattern compression, resulting in a high-density beam. This model should be familiar to you if you have completed your Academy training in security and weapons technologies.

    the official sidearm is the KDF Disruptor pistol, also of familiar configuration and type. Notably, these weapons comprise roughly 70% of MCDF issue, but are often left in armories or kept as a 'fallback', the troops preferring their projectile systems over the more advanced weapons. This should come as no surprise, considering that the largest loss of life in the Moab Confederacy itself, (120-plus million casualties, the destruction of an entire colony world's biosphere, and all this in less than six months) was inflicted by an invader that proved resistant to energy weapons!

    Typically in joint operations, MCDF personnel will still grab their preferred hardware, except in cases where that hardware is blatantly and explicitly forbidden by the acting joint commander. It is important to note, however, that they have a noted tendency to insist on retaining at minimum the pistol as a backup. Commanders are advised to consult with Starfleet or Joint command before attempting to prevent this...

  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    [out of story item again...gawd i can't wait for the 14th.]

    Excerpted from A paper on Non Humanoid politics and the CARA debate a paper written by Cadet Lieutenant Phoebe Kian at Starfleet Academy in 2415...

    The Karrank}{'p, the Ssn'thp, and others..

    The United Federation of Planets is, like much of the galaxy, dominated by races that share a common general shape and physical layout. There are very few races that do not-the most senior of those being the Medusan species. Of the non-humanoid species, there are 11 which are insect-derived, 7 that are non-humanoid reptilians, 19 avian species, and four mammalian species that do not follow the upright humanoid pattern.

    of those four, the two that tend to create the greatest consternation in the Federation Council are Ssn'pth Herd, and the Karrank]['p, or 'Great burrowers'.

    The Karrank]['p are hexipedal burrowers, most often compared both in appearance and temperament to Terran Wolverines or Honey-badgers. Structurally, their species trends toward a matriarchial organization, with females dominating the fields of politics, research, Literature, Economics, and Theoretical studies. (Males tend to be predominantly mechanics, warriors, engineers and laborers). they average between 50 and 75 kilograms for males, with females reaching up to 100 kilograms during their reproductive years, and they are frequently mistaken for non-sentient animals by those that have not met or heard of them. Their notable accomplishment prior to Federation membership, was annihilating an Orion slaving colony on their homeworld using thermonuclear weaponry.

    They built their first warp-capable ship some ten years later, and joined the United Federation of Planets in early august of 2361.

    Karrank]['p spread out into their home system rapidly after removing the 'squatters' and established a reputation for being extremely protective of their territories, the negotiations with the United Federation of Planets dragged for more than two decades, as this race was (and remains) unwilling to sacrifice their domestic military force-projection capability due to several centuries of abuse by alien invaders.

    Their 'behaviours' are best understood by members of the Federation race that finally convinced them to join, Tellarites.

    This should suggest to you the disposition of these beings. If not, consider that universal translator designers have had to spend years perfecting an algorithm that handles their command of invective, and Starfleet has only recently allowed a small clutch (fifteen, spread across nine starships in the fleet) of Karrank]['p personnel to join, this due to policies that make what passes for 'polite conversation in a mild tone' among them an exercise in dealing with insults, epithets, and obscenities.

    why would the federation want them? because they're gifted technicians and traders, with an inventive streak possibly exceeding that of Humans, and aggressive deal-makers of the sort that tend to be admired by mercantile races such as the Ferengi.

    They just don't make very good diplomats. they DO, however, make exceptionally good products. Reputationally, the Karrank]['p are exceptional craftsmen, their products are made to be inherently durable, attractive to most sensibilities, light-weight, and powerful. an example of this, is to examine their locally made starships, which are optimized for the purpose, with powerful-for-the-size warp engines, superb sensor arrays, and highly effective shielding, while occupying the minimum external volume relative to their mass. these would be a major export item, if not for the interior. see, it's built for a race that 'stands' on four legs at just under one meter tall, and one meter wide, with rounded corridors. (Imagine a starship whose entire pressurized non-cargo volume is made up of Jeffries tubes between rounded-edged chambers lined with toeholds and instrument panels curved to match the walls.)

    Fur colours come in gray-and brown patterns most commonly, the eyes are set behind a muzzle that is structurally incapable of speaking Federation English or Klingon dialects, (or any dialect that requires a humanoid palate to pronounce), with blunt, stubby tails. The lower four limbs most often serve as legs, with the upper limbs, slightly less muscular, serving as the primary hands. Karrank]['p are able to do some manipulations with their 'feet' as well. on the hindmost legs {a pose of respect for their 'two-legs' colleagues that is painful to adopt} they 'stand' at about one point five to one point nine meters. Their communication among their own kind is extensively non-verbal, with postures, scent glands, and gestures making up a great deal of their native vocabulary, the spoken vocabulary ranges from the low end of human hearing down to near subsonic levels, and is often accompanied by hissing, spitting and growling, which when combined with the array of sharp teeth and quivering whiskers, is often mistaken on first contact with a threat display (which is what it evolved from, so kudos to the xenobiopsycholinguists out there.)

    this accounts for much of the tendency toward translated invective, and contributes to a racial reputation for insensitivity and rudeness far and beyond the reputation of the Tellarites. (a reputation not aided by their first interstellar contact with another species, which they resolved using thermonuclear detonations, nor the second, which involved using mass-drivers and plasma-phase weaponry...The Klingons did not attempt a second contact until after they joined the UFP, and it's still considered inadvisable to surprise the Den Guards by showing up in their star system unannounced.)

    In their treaty of annexation, the Great Burrows retained some sovereign rights, including the right to their own defensive force (arguing, quite rationally, that Standard starfleet-specification equipment is ill-adapted to their build and physiology, and their ships don't make good vessels for humanoid crews unless said humanoids are exceptionally okay with such low ceilings and tight confines.)

    Politically, the Great Burrows are more of a loose confederation of clans and communities held together out of mutual interests, and their domestic politics, to an outsider, are byzantine, complex, and often anarchic, with individual communities making or refusing contacts seemingly at random and the central government having little power within the system beyond that necessary to maintain the military and establish (and enforce) a loose code of basic 'ground rules' for running the economy and conducting contact with others.

    The strongest political 'presence' is a body that translates as "They gather to argue wastefully and are too full of themselves", this parlaimentary body is comprised mostly of females, and led by "The Great Den Mother"-a position of respect that is selected by a process xenosociologists have yet to fully comprehend. The current "Great Den Mother" is a female whose name translates as "burned and ugly tail", a female beyond her breeding years with a pelt that is mostly gray due to age, and several dozen offspring scattered across their system in homestead burrows, and the nearest anyone has been able to come to why she was selected, is her previous career as an experimental scientist.

    typically in the Federation Council, the Karrank]['p representative acts as almost a de-facto leader among the non-humanoid member races, arguing and organizing to insure that new laws don't impact member races that are non-humanoid too severely, but in recent years, they have dabbled in "Two legs politics", co-sponsoring the CARA act with the Bajoran and Cardassian delegates, and standing up for the breakaway Moab Confederacy with the mantra "Race doesn't decide politics!"

    Their most frequent recent opponents in the debate over the Moab Secession, are...

    The Ssn'pth.

    Imagine an indian elephant, now, divide the trunk...now divide the two trunks into four limbs each, bifurcated twice over to give eight prehensile tendrils anchored to a sensitive-faced quadruped that weighs in at adulthood at something over 1000 Kilograms, with blunt, post-like feet, a diet that consists of grasses, insects, fruit, and small meat animals.

    Now give this creature a measured intelligence quotient of 240 on the 300 point scale, a long and complex history, and warp travel.

    there you go, the Ssn'pth are one of the newest races to join the United Federation of Planets, first contact having happened in 2402, with membership expedited in 2406. the Ssn'pth are gender-egalitarian herd beings, with local rule by a mated pair in a system similar to many monarchial structures. Their primary drive into space came from needing more land-they are excited colonizers and deeply oriented toward community and conformity, having developed a social welfare system before they developed nuclear fission, and a cooperative culture that abhors open conflict except in direst need.
    in simple terms, everything that was made to conflict with the Karrank]['p's conflict driven, individualist culture.

    Starfleet is currently evaluating a starship design that can accomodate Ssn'pth crewmen, given their exceptional physical size and non-humanoid locomotion, however the USS Nixon's decks have been reinforced and provisional crewmen have joined the vessel's complement in the security and engineering departments. (USS Nixon is a Sovereign class bloc 2 that was scheduled for decommissioning, it is also the ship that made first contact, and thus, has been kept in service with structural updates as a diplomatic symbol. Current thinking at Utopia Planitia is to recommission several retired Galaxy and Ambassador class vessels to handle the predicted influx of eager Ssn'pth recruits.)

    Politically, the Ssn'pth delegation tends to side with the majority of the Federation Council, and to argue the conservative viewpoint that 'races should stick together' and that 'everyone should want to join the Federation because it is the successful herd.' (I'm not making this up, guys, this is exactly word-for-word and in-context, what their rep said during the debate on CARA.-Pheobe Kian)

    This isn't to say they don't debate their positions-they do. They like to do it while hips-deep in mud and bathsalts. and this isn't to claim they're not warlike. They have a history full of wars-mostly wars of conquest before spaceflight in which the losers are assimilated into the winning herd, integrated by interbreeding. (See: First contact report, Ssn'pth herd, USS Nixon logs, Cdr. Janice O'Neill-Qua)

    The Ssn'pth delegation is the strongest non-humanoid voice in support of forcibly re-annexing the Moab Confederacy worlds, advocating for both economic and military sanctions to compel the 'rebelling colonies' to accept Federation rule, as their culture abhors the idea of secession and they consider 'going rogue' to be something akin to both insanity, and a danger to cultural stability.

    This has made them rather popular with several humanoid member species, and spiced up debate recordings when squaring off with the member-races that have voted abstention or in opposition to military action against the Confederacy. (this notably changed when MCDF troops saved the Federation starbase at Betazed from a surprise Undine attack, and again when several thousand of my former comrades were sacrificed to save Goralis from an extradimensional invader. NOW, they're advocating it with more of a 'humanitarian' (is that the right word?) spin, the tone of which is 'Bring them back into the herd where they can be cared for'.-Phoebe)

    [Examiner's note: I sent this back to her and told her to try again. Kian's got the basics grasped, but her dyslexia and her lack of interest in the subject combine to make the bulk of the rest of the document borderline unreadable. I do not care if she's a gifted mathematician, or that she's a proven and dedicated fighter. to pass this course, she has to do better in handling the diplomatic and procedural necessities expected of a Starfleet Officer Candidate. That said, several of her observations ARE on-point, but the side-dialogues have to go.-Vandermerwe]
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,215 Arc User
    About the only species I can think of that could work comfortably aboard a Karrank]['p themselves, would be Horta. Are Horta considered a sapient species in the Masterverse?

    The Ssn'pth are clearly inspired by the fithp in Niven and Pournelle's Footfall, although with a lot less semi-mystical baggage and ancestor worship (well, that and the fithp, while respecting their females, tend to keep them protected at all costs, being unwilling to risk the potential reproductive future of the Herd against the dangers of space and aliens).
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    jonsills wrote: »
    About the only species I can think of that could work comfortably aboard a Karrank]['p themselves, would be Horta. Are Horta considered a sapient species in the Masterverse?

    The Ssn'pth are clearly inspired by the fithp in Niven and Pournelle's Footfall, although with a lot less semi-mystical baggage and ancestor worship (well, that and the fithp, while respecting their females, tend to keep them protected at all costs, being unwilling to risk the potential reproductive future of the Herd against the dangers of space and aliens).

    Yeah, Horta are known sapients since "No Kill I" and there have been implied moves in the game to make them a member race. I kind of suspect the Horta, if they participate in the Federation's government as members, are more aligned toward the Ssn'pth's politics than the Karrank]['pta', though I could be horribly wrong in that speculation, being as both races have a similar difficulty communicating clearly with humanoids due to simple biological limitations (the Ssn'pth don't have the same problem,their mouths and palates are more flexible across the necessary range.)

    and yeah I only BARELY filed the serial numbers off when I stole the Fith'p and turned them into the SSn'pth. but I stole the Karrank% from David Brin with even LESS of a serial-number filing, (though I did make them more badger like and six limbed instead of four, and fabricated their culture whole from a 'what would a badger be like?' perspective.)

    While some might claim the Caitans as felinoids aren't humanoid, they're significantly MORE humanoid than these races-I wanted to poke at IDIC by showing some meaningful aliens in the UFP (meaningful being "We really mean it, they're not like humans!")

    I also kind of stole a bit of a riff from TNG's "The chase" by suggesting that there ARE intelligent races that aren't spawn of the Progenitors, but something evolved on it's own. (Notably, if you look at Phoebe's cheapass demographics note, only four mammalian species of genuinely non-humanoid origin sit in the Federation council, while the majority of intelligent sophonts NOT evolved from the Progenitors are insectoid or reptilian. She missed the Xindi aquatics, of course-the Xindi have a monoculture that is quite varied species wise and it would be easy for her to do the human trick of bunching them together with their progenitor-spawn 'cousins', since those are represented by a single representative, in effect PROVING the falsehood of "Race determines politics" in practice.)




  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    [more out of story material...]

    Excerpted from Politco Quarterly, July 22, 2413.

    Moab III and New Saigon

    situated in a binary star system some 11 Lightyears below the galactic 0 z axis, partially shrouded by a small nebula, and signal locked, the Hromi 13 binary system is hardly the place where you would expect to find two Class-M worlds in relatively close proximity. Indeed, there is only really ONE proper 'world' the other being a temperate-zone oriented moonlet orbiting a gas giant in the same system. Certainly early exploration missions by the Klingons, and Starfleet, did not bother to look here until fairly early in the 23rd century, and then, only because of a garbled radio message picked up by the USS Challenger (NCC 1781) during a recovery patrol following the Klingon retreat postwar.

    certainly nobody expected to find an Earth colony, much less an Earth colony so significantly removed from current events as to be completely unaware of the existence of the Klingon Empire, much less that there had been a war.

    You see, Moab wasn't settled at nearly the same point in time that most Federation, or even United Earth outposts had been established in or even near the Hromi Cluster.

    The colonists left earth among the first wave of 'boomer' colonists, less than five years after the departure of the Terra Nova colonist group. Their convoy vanished roughly three days after clearing Sol system's Oort cloud. UESPA (United Earth Space Probe Agency) and the Vulcan high command were unable to locate so much as a single trace of the eleven ships that broke orbit, loaded with 'freezer' colonists bound for the relatively safe Alpha Centauri terraforming project, a private group that had managed to raise enough funds to leave earth without official assistance.

    They were simply 'gone'.

    That was during the first "warp boom" era, late in the 21st or earl in the 22nd century. (accounts and records vary on the actual launch date, with Vulcan records listing it as October of 2104). This colony group was comprised of a collection of groups and individuals that held beliefs not in line with the common culture of the United Earth, with such variables as the descendents of former Israelis driven from the middle east during the World War, anticommunist and Christians from south-east asia, surviving members of the now-outlawed LDS church from middle north america, and others whose views and beliefs were no longer considered acceptable under Earth's new, inspired, unity-political, cultural and religious dissidents who for various reasons held a grudge against United Earth's government, unified culture, and official policy of enforced moderation.

    They were leaving, they weren't intending to ever come back, and here, were their descendents, Hundreds of Light Years away from a world the ships they'd boarded in the early 22nd century barely had the fuel to reach.

    How they had gotten there wasn't as remarkable as the claims of those descendents, once a team of linguists had managed to decipher the pastiche-language of mixed Viet, H'mong, Hebrew, and English words, because the colonists, whom best estimates placed at 140,000 individuals at departure, were nearly one hundred fifty million strong and recovering from a 'dark age' tech slide-the locals claimed to have been on "Moab" for more than three centuries, which would have required them to leave Earth during the age of Steam.

    Initially, these claims were discounted, but recovered artifacts, the presence of cemetaries and established cities on the planet, while small, bolstered this claim, while simultaneously confirming that this was a group that left earth in the early 22nd century.

    Logs recovered from MS Evangeline, one of the damaged colony vessels preserved by the residents as a museum, were analyzed and the best guess by STarfleet, was that an accidental wormhole effect (an effect caused by unbalanced warp engines) happened to somehow intersect with an actual, naturally occurring, wormhole somewhere around 2 to 3 light months outside Sol's Oort cloud. These brief, random events have been known, in the early period of Earth's warp-drive development, to cause similar such occurrences, and the displacement in time, as well as space, is a well documented side effect in warp theory.

    at the time, with the Federation still hurting from the savage attack of Kol's invasion and the billions lost to Klingon aggression, finding a "Human world" populated by the descendents of earthmen was too good an opportunity for the United Federation of Planets (and specifically United Earth) to pass up-unlike Terra Nova, the culture on Moab III was recognizable to a certain extent, their secondary colonization of the moon of New Saigon was also a bit of a windfall, Moab was declared to be an Earth Colony, and diplomatic moves were initiated to bring them into the United Earth's fold once again.

    nearly all of these initially failed, though rarely violently, and with word of the savagery of the Klingons invasion of Federation space, the Moabite people were convinced (along with the offer of medical assistance) to permit the United Federation of Planets to annex their star system.

    The offer of medical assistance WAS a significant factor in this. The Moab colonists, arriving in broken ships in a binary star system, had been forced to land on the 'best candidate' planet, or face dying slowly as equipment failed. Among the refugees were scientists formerly employed by warlords on all sides during the third world war, and some of them were...not the best geneticists? attempts to help adapt the population to their new home's harsh conditions resulted in long-term impacts, namely the accidental introduction of a heritable defect-Degenerative Nerve Sheath Annihilation Syndrome.

    the need to reproduce rapidly also meant that the bulk of the colonists faced various early hardships, including at least one severe famine when earthlife based crops experienced chained failures, forcing an adaptation to find some way to eat a local biosphere that is actively poisonous to earth-descended animals. (The solution became known as "Meyer's cookbook" and is loosely structured and based on Kosher dietary practices, and heavily based on Dr. Abraham Meyer's analysis of local biochemistry-Dr Meyer's work kept the colonists alive long enough to become firmly established and forms much of the basis of Moabite cooking and dietary habits to this day).

    Let's get something very clear here; Moab III's orbit is over 700 earth days long, it orbits a pair of main-sequence dwarf stars, meaning the local background radiation is borderline dangerous at sea level, the planet is a high-gravity world rich in trans-uranic minerals, and the water, biosphere, and even at times atmosphere is polluted by Earth standards.

    infant mortality was exceptionally high, so Moabites tend to favour lots of children, in hopes that a few will survive to adulthood, and early adulthood because for much of their post-colonization history, lifespans were significantly shorter than they had been on Earth.

    Lingual and cultural drift was inevitable, and when you add in the presence of aggressive microbial parasites, strange diseases, and hellish conditions, it was a wonder that USS Challenger found anyone at all, particularly several centuries after they'd arrived on a world that nobody in the United Earth, much less the Federation, would have authorized so much as a long-term mining colony.

    But they tamed it. By the time Challenger found them, they had adapted-they had adapted to hellish conditions, they had adapted to shortened lifespans, they had adapted to high infant mortality.

    Adapting to Federation rules? not so much. that proved to be a significant problem for the following decades and centuries. Culturally, the moab colonists and their sattelite colony on New Saigon, found themselves in the situation of having accepted 'a hand' from people who did not respect their culture as being theirs, who did not respect their religion, nor their perceptions of value, but instead embraced, and succeeded at, things they had for a great many generations viewed with apathy, antipathy, or outright suspicion.

    Things did not go well for the governor appointed by United Earth (later the UFP's) Colonial development Authority, one Ibn Anwar Al Masoud. his term was eventually cut short and, with the CDA placed under UFP jurisdiction as a sub-department of Starfleet, a Vulcan Commander named Survok was appointed. Vulcan administration is inherently pragmatic, and Governor Survok was well acquainted with earth's history, and as such, he managed to quiet what had been a nascent rebellion and bring the colony more or less into line with Federation practices.

    Unfortunately, his tour was the first, and last time an appointed Governor (viceroy) was able to leave office more popular than when he entered. the claim in the Federation council that "Humans should govern human colonies" and the transfer of CDA's offices from STarfleet to a separate agency, made a similar appointment politically impossible. subsequent Oversight Officers would labor under a pall of unpopularity, local hostility and in several instances, brief periods of outright rebellion until the 2350s. Appointment to oversee Moab III was considered something of a 'career death sentence', though violent assassination attempts ceased during the late 2280s, strikes, protests and similar civil disobediences were almost an annual event, with occasional riots during particularly poor administrations. in the 2350s, Moabite personnel started entering Starfleet, first in a trickle, and then, a minor flood as the Cardassian conflict heated up and ground troops, lower enlisted, and similar recruits became increasingly needed for the front lines.

    This quelled much of the more open unrest, as if it had 'opened a tap' to let the violence out safely. by 2367, Moab was considered a less...uncomfortable...posting for officers of the Colonial Development Agency, with a growing local economy feeding trans-uranic minerals and other difficult or impossible replicate materials into Starfleet's industrial base. As the Dominion War kicked off, Moab's population volunteered for service at higher rates than most human worlds outside of Sol system, and patriotism seemed to be taking root there.

    To say this was an illusion is an oversimplification. The people of Moab and New Saigon were perfectly happy to be left alone and even happier to feel useful, and Starfleet was 'hiring' at record levels during the Dominion War. Their local martial traditions and willingness to accept risks made them a fairly good force to use against the Jem'Hadar, Breen, and other Dominion aligned forces, and by comparison with their homeworld, even the very rough conditions endured by Starfleet and Klingon forces were better than 'at home'.

    This came to a grinding halt when the war ended, and CDA began enforcing the Colonial Act of 2371, effectively disarming the native proto-military formations and installing a policing and security force from off-world to prevent 'another Maquis situation'.

    Resentment began building immediately, but did not come to a head until Starfleet, under presidential order, began dismantling the local industries for relocation behind 'the safe line' in 2402-2404. In 2406, Moab III, New Saigon, Cold Butte, Arluna and Berun's World, a group of colonies loosely scattered near the advancing front line of the Klingon 2nd Fleet, declared secession and independence from the United Federation of Planets, allied themselves with the Klingon Empire, and began building their local militaries, industrial bases, and preparing to fight wars.

    The Klingons, for their part, encouraged this.

    The lesser known or understood history is that Klingon prisoners of war, klingons from discommended Houses, and Klingon traders, settlers and adventurers had been settling on Moab III, first under the Organian treaty, and later the first Khitomer Accord. each of the worlds that declared their secession, have significant minority Ethnic Klingon populations. Officials in Paris failed to consider this when the first signs of domestic trouble began manifesting once again on Moab III and the other worlds in that stretch of the border.

    The Empire, did not overlook this detail, and thus, made early contact with separatist leadership before independence, providing initial military aid to several worlds along the border who felt they'd been treated poorly by Federation governmental agencies.

    This situation was aggravated significantly by the same conditions that led policy makers in Paris to believe that things had settled down in the 2370s. Namely, Starfleet's forces had been stretched to the brink by the Dominion conflict, patrols had, subsequently suffered and piracy, slaving and similar attacks by non-governmental actors rose in the cluster as a result...and under their treaty obligations, the Klingons were just as often (and somewhat more successfully due to the proximity to their home systems) responding to distress calls, weakening Starfleet's position as "protectors". (The Empire often used training units or minor House units for this task, but given the much shorter necessary radius of action, this still meant that Federation units took longer, and were often unavailable to respond.)

    Nonetheless, Federation Patriotism was not dead by 2406. what it was, was very, very badly bruised, and while many natives of Moab III still supported UFP rule in principle, even those felt that it should not return without significant reforms. After all, the Klingons only demanded taxes, and were fine with letting them arm themselves against a hostile universe, the Empire wanted (at least in the zone controlled by General B'Sanos of the 2nd fleet) contributing allies, not slaves that had to be watched every second.

    The governorship of General B'Sanos (Alhena sector to Ganalda station) can be said to have been the "honeymoon period", the restored industrial economy on Moab III and rearmament and reconstruction of their military provided a wellspring of prosperity to a world that had been almost crushing in its poverty for nearly a century, the rising tide shifted fence-sitters away from rapproachment with the UFP and Nationalist/Independence politics began to dominate.

    And then, The Fek'Ihri struck the Moab system, destroying New Saigon (80 million dead), and inflicting over 20 million casualties on moab III itself before they were rooted out.

    the brave sacrifice of Starfleet, as well as Klingon officers aiding the breakaway colonists against this invader re-lit the fires of Pro-UFP sentiment. the Election of 2411-12 was the watershed in some respects, save one; someone in Paris got impatient and tried to rig it for the Reconciliation Coalition, a coalition of political groups whose stated goal, now that the war was over, was to return Moab III (and the other seceding colonies) to the United Federation of Planets.

    The civil war that resulted ran from 2412 to...well, as of this writing in 2413, it's still going on.

  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,215 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    <slaps head> Of course the Karrank]['p are reimagined karrank%. My excuse for not noting that is that there are so very *many* sophonts in the Five Galaxies, and they're not as physically weird as the g'Kek or the Jophur (or the poor traeki, who the Jophur used to be before Uplift).
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    jonsills wrote: »
    <slaps head> Of course the Karrank]

    :D you're one of the few here who might have caught onto it, and DID catch on to the Footfall reference.
    Post edited by starswordc on
  • brian334brian334 Member Posts: 2,180 Arc User
    edited November 2018
    patrickngo wrote: »
    jonsills wrote: »
    <slaps head> Of course the Karrank]

    :D you're one of the few here who might have caught onto it, and DID catch on to the Footfall reference.


    Footfall was an awesome homage to Sci-Fi tropes. Do your Ssn'pth drop troops wear elevator shoes and descend on paper airplanes?
  • patrickngopatrickngo Member Posts: 9,757 Arc User
    brian334 wrote: »
    patrickngo wrote: »
    jonsills wrote: »
    <slaps head> Of course the Karrank]

    :D you're one of the few here who might have caught onto it, and DID catch on to the Footfall reference.


    Footfall was an awesome homage to Sci-Fi tropes. Do your Ssn'pth drop troops wear elevator shoes and descend on paper airplanes?

    I don't think I can get away with THAT much, lol...though it would be funny...
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