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Literary Challenge #7 : The Best and Brightest

SystemSystem Member, NoReporting Posts: 177,985 Arc User
edited October 2013 in Ten Forward
Hello and welcome to our writers challenges!

Today we start the two-week run of the seventh Lit Challenge: The Best and Brightest

As you return back home from your last exhausting space commission; you are being hailed by the Academy. The High Command has selected a group of Cadets to get hands-on experience on board your fine ship.

This one is very open:
  • You can write from the point of view of a Cadet on your ship; the group as a team or even just variations of this, such as in Log entries. Are they frightened? Excited? Bored?
  • You may also write about your captain or officers as they try to handle the Cadets. Do you feel they are they competent? Are they not showing enough honour? Are they too eager?


This is the writer's thread.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an index page of previous stories HERE.




The rules may change from one to the other, but I'd like to give a quick recap each time. These may grow as we move on, so feel free to also give feedback!
  • Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky a subject and have at it.
  • There are no right or wrong entries. If you write 500 words of 3000: Write what inspired you and what your thoughts on the topic are - with one tiny mention:
  • Please heed the rest of the forums' rules when submitting your story!
  • Each poster can have one entry per character. Feel free to edit you post however to fix typos, add stuff or remove stuff as you see fit during the next two weeks.
  • After two weeks time, the thread will be locked and unstickied. If you wish to write on this topic after this time, there will be a place for this in the "Latecomer" thread.
  • We'll have two threads: One to post the stories, one to discuss the stories. *I will allow cross-linking between these two threads!!*
  • I will index your story by name and title (if you have one) for future reference.
Post edited by Unknown User on

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  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Vice Admiral's Personal Log
    Stardate: 86505.4
    Location: USS Huntsville
    NX-935024-F

    The cadets have departed after a two-month training exercise. What started out as having them do basic intern work turned into an interesting ordeal. One of them, Fodar, about lost it when the ship went to warp the first time. I'd never met someone who joined Starfleet and was afraid of space travel. That Bolian will have to get over that if he is going to have a successful career. He was a great medic and knew his material well. It's no wonder Starfleet wants to expanded their EMH program. None of their doctors actually like being in space.

    Another of the cadets, a Vulcan named Sobek, was as professional as they come. Although I think there may be an underlying mental issue with him. When we first encountered the Remans, he had an almost bigoted attitude concerning them. He kept questioning my support of a "lesser species." I recommend Starfleet do a little more investigative work on him. The Vulcans aren't the only species with pointed ears and green blood.

    The third an final cadet that was sent to my ship was an Aenar named Liloh D'shov. She was brilliant in the engine room. She could almost tell ahead of time when a problem would crop up. She was also very capable during the field exercises. She was always the fastest when it came to deploying turrets and support drones. I'm so impressed with her I have asked her to join the crew. I gave her a field commission and she will take her final classes here on board. I'm glad Ensign D'shov was part of the group. She has a great career ahead of her.

    Overall, I am glad the ordeal is over. This is an Admiral's ship and my crew is hand chosen by me. I'm not fond of having novices on board.

    End Log.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Soriedem entered the conference room, walked over to his seat at the head of the large table, and sat down. He was silent for several moments as he collected his thoughts and prepared to give his bridge crew our latest orders.

    The officers onboard the Debris Cloud watched their Captain in anticipation. He seemed apprehensive and concerned. It was a look that they were unaccustomed to seeing in their Commanding Officer. As the silence drew out, their nervousness increased exponentially. They shot glances at each other, as if prompting each other to say something.

    Audria finally took the initiative to find out what is troubling her mate. “Soriedem, what is going on? What orders did Starfleet Command have for us?”

    Soriedem looked up and felt the worry on Audria’s face. He cleared his throat, and said, “Alright. Starfleet has ordered us back to Earth.”

    The room erupted in a quiet murmur. Getting called back to Earth for any reason was never a good thing. The low din quieted down, when Soriedem continued. “We are to report to Starfleet Academy to pick up a fresh batch of cadets.”

    “Cadets!” Rymor cried out as he slammed his fist on the table.

    Coujoyquu leaned back in his seat and sighed heavily.

    Shmullus held his hand up to his face and shook his head.

    Fausto rose from the table, walked to a nearby wall, and stopped. He stood there mumbling to himself.

    Drem bowed her head and whispered a prayer to the prophets.

    “I can see that you’re concerned about these orders. I am too.” Soriedem looked down at the Padd lying on the table. “We’re slated to pick up five cadets. Command assured me that the incident with the last batch of Cadets was a fluke and would not happen again. They have taken steps to prevent it from happening again.”

    Audria looked around to the other officers in the room. She didn’t understand their reaction. “What’s going on? On Tobarrus, the addition of new cadets to the crew is an exciting time.”

    “I remember those days. I got excited about taking on cadets as well.” Soriedem looked away and fought back the emotions that welled up within him. He turned back to his mate.

    Fausto returned to his chair at the conference table.

    She read the story in the lines of his face, as Soriedem began to describe the events that led to the crew and his dour attitudes.

    “A few weeks before we rescued you from the Borg, we had received our orders to take on a fresh group of Cadets. We had already studied their Academy records and determined them to be raw and malleable; just the way we like them. We had assigned their duties and were already planning and plotting their initiation.”

    A smile crossed Soriedem’s face at the thought of the initiation prank that they had planned for the cadets. The initiation prank was a Tobarri tradition that Soriedem carried over when he joined Starfleet. It provided an opportunity for the crew and cadet to create lasting bonds with one another.” Then, the smile was gone and a great sadness fell.

    “When we reached Earth, I took a shuttle down to the Academy to inspect the cadets personally. We were picking up a Bolian, two Humans, and a Caitain. They stood at attention outside Building Two. With my hands clasped behind my back, I slowly paced back and forth as I scrutinized them, and gave them my welcome aboard speech.”

    Audria laughed, “The same one you’ve told to every cadet that joined your crew for the last 20 years?”

    Soriedem nodded and continued with the story. “Cadet Rotbar, the Bolian, was relaxed and I had to remind him what standing at attention meant. Cadets Linda and Bill Stempson were a pair of fraternal Human twins that came from a long line of Starfleet Officers. Sh’raz, the Caitain, was so stiff that even his tail stood at attention. I shook my head and had to tell him to relax before he sprang something and had to spend the rest of the voyage in sickbay.”

    “I turned away from the cadets to speak with Commander Achloo, their former CO. We chatted quietly for a few minutes about nothing, while the cadets stood motionless behind us. I looked over my shoulder, dismissed them, and told them to report to my shuttle in one hour. I turned back to Achloo to continue our small talk, when I heard Rotbar begin a futile attempt to apologize. I swiftly raised a hand, cutting him off, and told him that he was dismissed. Achloo and I walked away to have a drink at the 602 Club.”

    Soriedem swallowed the lump in his throat to no avail. His gaze sought the faces of his crew. He could tell that the story was difficult for them to sit there silently listening. He considered dismissing them for the time being, but decided against it. It was important. We needed to remember the cadets and the crewmen that we had lost.”

    He continued. “When I returned to the shuttle, the cadets were lounging around the shuttle awaiting my return. They snapped to attention when they saw me draw closer. I ordered them to stand down. Cadet Linda Stimpson took the helm and began piloting the shuttle towards the Debris Cloud in orbit. Her sibling, Bill, took the second seat. Sh’raz manned the science station, while Rotbar took tactical. I stood at the doorway to the aft compartment and observed the crew of hopeful cadets perform their duties with enthusiasm and vigor. After a few minutes, the Debris Cloud was coming into view through the shuttle’s panoramic window.”

    “I contacted the shuttle bay and ordered them to disable the automatic docking procedures. I wanted Linda to fly the bird on manual control. She expertly lined up the shuttle bay doors through the shuttle’s window. As the blast doors opened, she reduced speed and adjusted her angle of approach. The shuttle glided into the shuttle bay. She reversed thrusters, coming to a complete stop, and gingerly set the small craft down on the deck in one of the smoothest landings I have ever experienced.”

    “We disembarked the shuttle craft, where a few of my officers were waiting for us. I approached Lt. Commander Vox, a Ferengi Officer, and ordered him to give the cadets a tour of the ship and show them to their quarters. Vox nodded and led the Cadets away. Standing with the rest of my officers, I watched them leave. Little did I know that it would be the last time I would see any of them alive.”

    “We still don’t fully understand what happened. But from internal sensor logs and eye witness reports, we have an idea of what had occurred.” Soriedem looked down at his hands and released his white knuckled grip on the Padd. He had not realized that he even picked it up.

    Concern distorted the sweet features of Audria’s face, as she prodded him for more information. “Sori, tell me what happened to them?”

    “Vox led the cadets on the tour of the ship. They started in the lower decks of the ship and made their way towards the bridge. They had stopped by Engineering and sickbay. Drem had her hands full taking inventory of the new medical equipment that was being installed and postponed their crew physicals.”

    Soriedem looked over to his doctor. “I know you still blame yourself for what happened. I know how you feel, but you shouldn’t blame yourself.“

    Drem objected to his words of reassurance, “If only I had followed protocol and gave them their physicals right then and there, those cadets and 20 members of our crew would still be alive. Instead, I was fiddling with a new toy rather than doing my job.”

    Soriedem cut her off. “There’s nothing you or anyone could have done. Besides, ultimately, it was my responsibility.”

    An expression of shock and disbelief warped Audria’s face. “20 crewmen and the cadets died? Why haven’t you told me this before? What happened next?”

    Turning back to his mate, “I still haven’t fully come to terms with it. It was too difficult to remember,” Soriedem replied softly.

    He cleared his throat and continued with the story. “Vox took them to the mess hall. At that particular time, it was crowded with off-duty crewman. That’s when Rotbar stepped towards the center of the room, spoke the words ‘DaHjaj jIH Hegh tlhej quv vaD tlhIngan wo’’ in Klingon, and detonated a high yield explosive that had been implanted within him. Rymor translated the phrase as “Today, I die with honor for the Empire…”

    Rotbar had been one of several Klingon agents that had been surgically altered to infiltrate Starfleet Academy. Luckily, he was the only one that was able to complete his mission. After the incident, all cadets were rescreened, and dozens of Klingon agents were apprehended. Apparently, it was an attempt by the Klingon High Council to create chaos within the Federation by casting doubt on the Academy’s ability to resupply our ships with crew while striking at the heart of our fleets.”

    “The Debris Cloud spent the next three weeks in space dock undergoing repairs. Once, they had been completed, you had notified me through the t’O that the Borg vessel you were assigned to had entered the Alpha Quadrant and was en route to Cestus.”

    Audria didn’t say a word. She rose from her seat, approached her husband, and softly touched his hand. Soriedem stared at her hand on his. He took a deep breath, and looked back to his officers. “Alright. We’re getting five of the Academy’s best and brightest. Any ideas for their initiation?”
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    The U.S.S. Yorktown was in Earth spacedock, shuttles were constantly on the go. Repair equipment was being moved. The left nacelle was being taken apart. Signifigant damage was seen along the pylon, and damaged plates were being hauled away to make room for new replacements. Disruptor scarring was seen over the saucer and hull, portions of the hull were missing from torpedo explosions, and repair crews were seen diligently working to return the ship to operational standards as quickly as possible.

    Captain Tarrak sat in the lounge, looking out the window and watching Work Bees and crews in EV suits outside. He reached into his pocket to check his watch, it was nearing that time. Commander Andretti would approach him, the woman had served by his side for over two years now as his first officer, and she had a PADD in her hand.

    "Well, Captain... the new recruits are on their way here." She said almost nervously, looking at the vulcan who seemed lost in his own little world.

    He'd turn to her and give a small sigh, "I don't like this, Maria." He said simply.

    She offered a small, comforting reply, "You were a cadet once, too. Tarrak, I know you don't like this... but this is what these cadets have been training for. We lost a lot of good men and women in the Neutral Zone, I know... these people won't be able to replace them. But they do have the certifications that make them capable. Combined with the survivors of the Ardent, and the transfers from Earth Spacedock... I think we'll be fine, sir." She offered a reassuring smile.

    Tarrak was ready to reply, until five men and women in their cadet uniforms walked through the door and approached the two commanding officers. They stood up straight in perfect posture and saluted.

    He gave them a nod of acknowledgement, "At ease. You know who I am. I am Captain Tarrak, this is Commander Maria Andretti. Let's start with introductions, shall we? Tell me a little about yourselves."

    He nodded to the end of the line. "Let's start with you, miss."

    The young andorian woman nodded, "Ensign Vehl, sir. I'm supposed to, um, be one of your gunnery officers. I don't know what to say, sir. It's an honor to be given this assignment." She smiled enthusiastically.

    Tarrak nodded in approval, then looked to the next man after her. He was a short bolian, not looking any older than 17 years.

    "Ensign Gell, um, sir. Just, um... a junior science officer. I'm, um... a botanist, and -- um... um..." Tarrak waved a hand.

    "Relax, Ensign. You're a botanist, that's fine. Our botanical lab could use some careful attention. I'm pleased you'll be joining us." He nodded. Then looked next to him. Another, much larger man.

    "Sir. Ensign Gessh." The caitian nodded with a bit of a purr. "Security Officer. I've been trained in investigations for three years now. I've received third-grade certification in Type 3 Phaser Rif--..." Trailing off when the vulcan waved his hand.

    "That'll do, Ensign. It'll be interesting to follow your career, I'm sure." He looked quickly over to the other two, a young man andwoman who were trying not to laugh, but failing.

    "Is there something amusing, you two?" He replied dryly. Clearly not amused.

    The man spoke up, "Heh... heh... no, no sir..." Clearly feeling guilty for laughing. Tarrak only shook his head, "You two were clearly laughing about something. Please inform me. Now." He seemed to order.

    "Um, sir... just. Ensign Gessh, sir... just thought he was taking the introduction a little too seriously, uh, sir..." He gulped afterwards. The woman likewise straightened up.

    The caitian growled at them both, "It is an honor to serve on the Yorktown, you fools. You are disrespecting not only me, but everyone el--..." He found himself cut off again by Tarrak, "Enough."

    The vulcan stood up from his chair and approached the five cadets. All of them standing at attention.

    "You should take this seriously." Looking to the two humans who were laughing. And looking to the Caitian with a nod of respect.

    "Why are you here, if not to take your duties seriously? This is no passenger liner... this is not a pleasure cruise. I lost thirty men in the Neutral Zone four days ago." He watched the fear rush through the faces.

    "We're at war, here. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner we will be able to proceed. What do you think we will be doing when we return to the Neutral Zone, ensigns...?" Looking to the two humans.

    "Rodriguez." Said the woman. "Fields." Said the man. Each of them speaking it as if they were back in the academy.

    "Sir. Killing some klingons and spacing some nausicaans, sir." Fields replied cooly.

    Tarrak raised an eyebrow curiously. "Eager to go to war, ensign?" The vulcan replied.

    "Just wanting to get some payback for everything they've done so far, sir." He licked his teeth. Tarrak only shook his head.

    "Noone should want to go to war... people die. Families are devastated. The Federation is a faction of peace. We only go to war if we have no other options. Remember that. The next person who dies on this ship could be one of your friends. Or you." He pointed a finger at him, then moved to the rest.

    "All of you. Now... your days at the academy are over. We're going back to the Neutral Zone once our repairs are complete. Commander Andretti, how long will that be?" He spoke aloud, not even looking at the woman.

    "Nine days, sir." She spoke up.

    "You have nine days to get your acts together. I'm not your instructor, I'm your captain. You'll learn by observing and taking the cues of the other officers on board this ship. In nine days we're returning to the Neutral Zone and we're going to hunt down the IKS Gha'tarv. If you can't take this seriously, I recommend you put in your transfers now. Just remember, there's not going to be any safe postings. If you think you'll be safe on a starbase, I recommend you read the details regarding the fate of Starbase 24."

    The ensigns looked very worried, very afraid.

    "You'll report to your superior officers. Commander Andretti will read those reports several times a day. I'm keeping an eye on you. You may be acting ensigns... but once we're through with the Gha'tarv, we're returning here. You five cadets can either work as part of this ship, as part of a team... or you can return to the academy with negative notations."

    He turned to Maria and gave her a nod, before looking back to them.

    "I recommend getting acquainted with the workings of a Sovereign-class starship, and getting to know who you'll be working with for your hands-on experience. As the ship is undergoing repairs, I will be appreciative of any extra help you can offer the crew. Dismissed. All of you." He said coldly before turning back to the Commander, hearing the cadets walk off out of the lounge.

    "I think you scared them, Tarrak." She replied a bit sadly.

    "They should be scared, Maria. This is no place for cadets. Acting ensigns or not... they're going to be in danger. Try and make sure they understand that. They're in your hands now." He put a hand on her shoulder before turning back to the window, to look back out toward the repair crews -- while Maria would take her PADD and walk off to deal with the rosters.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Title: "Above and Beyond"

    Well, no, I haven’t yet been back to the Academy since I was a cadet. I believe, owing to the trouble that Grace and I raised while in attendance, there’s a standing order to incarcerate me if I ever set foot there again. Still, I’ve been getting curious about the old place, and the brig is as good a spot as any to start reminiscing.

    Speaking of cadets, that puts me in mind of a story.

    This happened aboard the USS Alliance, which was my third command. We’d lost the Ardent to the Klingons. Even though we managed to coax her back to a starbase after the fight, she was never fully spaceworthy again. Currently, she’s a museum ship in orbit around Mars. I’ve visited a few times, and said hello to my old friends down among the deuterium storage tanks.

    The de Valera met a less happy end. We had to scuttle her after a punch up with a few Romulans, though she gave as good as she got.

    So, sure due to some bureaucratic mistake, they gave me another ship. The Alliance was one of those four-nacelle starship that seemed to be in vogue once upon a time. The extra nacelles were, I was told, supposed to make them faster and easier to manoeuvre, but, in fact, keeping those four sets of warp coils synchronised was like balancing a bucket of water on your head while jumping up and down in a shuttle that just hit a patch of turbulence. Far from being nimble, she turned so slow that I considered making the captain’s chair recline, so I could nap while we came about.

    A few weeks after taking command, I encountered what I could only interpret as another lapse in judgment at Starfleet Command. We were ordered to take a group of cadets with us on our first mission back into Romulan space.

    Now these were not your ordinary cadets. They had elected to delay graduation—which already made their sanity suspect—to attend the Advanced Tactical Training programme. They’d all expressed a particular interest in intelligence work—again, ironic considering their decision to remain in school.

    Now, I’m not in Starfleet Intelligence, though I suppose I’d be telling you that even if I were. No, but, early on in my career, I did find that I had a special talent for…oh, let’s say, situations that required some discretion. It’s true, we had to sometimes associate with some unsavory characters and occasionally bend the rules, but we always did what we had to do.

    At first, they seemed like a promising batch, the cadets that came aboard, if still a little undercooked. There were seven of them in all, from all three departments. They were all bright and curious and seemed to be impressed by us all. And four were lasses that were prettier than any captain had a right to expect from his crew.

    And yes, before you ask, I gave in to enjoying a little of their idolisation. I’ll admit it—I’m a sucker for an easy, lilting laugh at one of my jokes. I’m only human, now.

    The troubles started our third day out. We’d just begun gathering some data of a sensitive nature and a Romulan ship had started shadowing us, flickering on and off our sensors. It uncloaked just long enough for us to know they were there. But it took no action against us, so we went on about our business, though a little more cautiously.

    I suppose I believed that, day by day, the pressure of the situation might have worn on our cadets. It’s one thing to face a tense situation in the gentle embrace of a holodeck, but another to do it out in the real cold of space, staring down an actual plasma torpedo tube. I think we were all waiting for them to crack.

    But they didn’t.

    Instead, I started to hear angry murmuring about their cheery helpfulness. One of them found a way to improve the protocols governing the four-fold warp field integration that actually did make us a bit more nimble. Another diagnosed a stubborn case that my CMO had been puzzling over for days. A third proposed tweaking the phaser targeting subroutines that improved our accuracy by a couple of percent.

    When the Romulan finally did make a move, two of the brightest of them found a way to disable their ship without them knowing we had a hand in it.

    I could sense the horrified realization among the crew that these cadets did our jobs better than we could. And, of course, we handled it in the way you’d expect of highly trained, seasoned, and professional Starfleet officers.

    That night, while they were asleep, we beamed them into the holodeck, where we’d simulated an all-out Borg attack, just to scare the wits out of them.

    Naturally, it didn’t work. Within a few hours, they’d found a way to neutralize the Borg and discontinue the programme. But then, I’d seen that coming.

    I’d set up a series of 13 nested programmes that began with the Borg simulation and ended with a variation on an ancient video production I’d provisionally called “Survivor: Rura Penthe.” It was all originally meant for my Chief Engineer, but I’d been convinced that desperate times required appropriate measures.

    We set up a screen in the lounge that displayed a feed from the holodeck. The crew dropped by to visit and watch our cadets in increasingly ridiculous situations. It took them nearly 24 hours to get out, after which time, we began to show highlights of their more entertaining adventures.

    Well, yes, I suppose that wasn’t the kindest thing we could have done. And I’m not happy to admit it, though I take some measure of pride in the holodeck simulation. To be sure, it was among the least cruel suggestions regarding their fate that came up in conversation.

    And, I like to think that they did learn a few valuable lessons. Something about teamwork, I suppose, though that’s not one of my strengths and I shouldn’t be instructing anyone on its finer points.

    Instead, I’ll say that they discovered that skill will only take you so far, that the real world doesn’t always respect the refined, precise talent you’re so highly praised for by your professors. Sometimes it’s the blunt instrument that does the most work, particularly the dirty work that’s often left to people like us. What matters is that the job gets finished, whether you go above and beyond or under and out.

    It’s unfair, I know, like so much else in the universe. And I’m saying all this as someone who goes out of his way to put a little flourish into everything he does, which makes it even more unjust. Maybe that’s the real lesson. Or I maybe I’m just trying too hard to justify a mean-spirited indulgence.

    Now, why do all my stories seem to end so ambiguously? Clearly, I still have too many of my wits about me and am thinking a little too deeply. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to that.

    So, what do you have in mind for the next round?
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Krovennan had just relayed the news to his senior staff, the collective annoyances of the fourteen men and women seated in front of him in the Conference Room weighed upon Krovennan, they had been given the most nightmarish job for a Deep Space Warship.

    Cadet Duty.

    The crew had different external symptoms, but the exasperation was all the same. Dorryd, the only Bajoran and the ship's Helmsman was the first to speak.

    "Does one of the Admirals hate us or something? Or did someone hang a daycare sign on the outside of our ship?"

    Kel, the Breen refugee, muttered something short in his mechanical voice, it was not known what exactly was being said, but Krovennan knew from it's tone it was not something family friendly. Tallasa was the next to speak.

    "So what do we do? We can't fight other ships and babysit a bunch of Cadets at the same time. Most of them probably havent even seen a space abttle outside of tests."

    Krovennan thought silently for a moment, no options came out immediately, but a minute or two later, Krovennan had an idea. A few taps on the wall console in the Conference Room and a map showing a route appeared on the screen, this route showed seven different waypoints that crwould make them cross fifteen star systems.

    "This route is a patrol route that we were asked to undertake if we could, the jouney will take one week and conflict, though expected, should be of little threat, what does everyone say to a little trip to test out our new guests?"

    There ws a look between the officers before hands started being raised as a sign of agreement, before long, all hands were raised.

    Two days later, Krovennan stood in the Shuttlebay of his vessel, Tallasa and Kri'gak were to his left, Drehera and Gyzit to his right. A Runabout approached the forcefield seperating the party from space and passed through it with barely a whisper, as the small craft came to rest in the Shuttlebay, Krovennan tensed for a moment, he had to scrutinize everything about these Cadets to gain insight into how fit they were for Starfleet duty.

    It was going to be a long week.

    The Runabout's doors opened and out stepped a female Ferengi, Gruturu, one of Krovennan's senior staff and widely regarded as the best small craft pilot onboard the ship. Gruturu stepped down the walkway from the Runabout and stood to attention by the walkway, Gruturu looked to Krovennan, who nodded as a sign for her to carry on, Gruturu nodded back and faced forward before speaking.

    "Cadets, front and center!"

    Five Cadets walked out of the Runabout, the first was a male Vulcan, Krovennan had read the files of the five they would be working with, this was Sormek, a possible future Medical Officer, he would be working with Drehera, Sormek stood to attention as Gruturu's call demanded, but Krovennan noticed him seeming to glance about the ship with an almost unapproving glance.

    Next to arrive was Melissa White, a young Human Female who was interested in Engineering, she would work with Gyzit, she seemed the opposite of Sormek, swaggering down the walkway to stand far too casually to not stick out in contrast to Sormek and Gruturu behind them, she also seemed to have a grin plastered on her face, records had shown she seemed more focused on flirting with whomever caught her eye than the job in hand. Gyzit would have to keep a very close eye on her.

    Third came a Trill Male, Jomar, showing aptitude in Security applications, he would be working with Kri'gak, Jomar seemed nervous, too nervous in fact, he stood to attention so stiff Krovennan was beginning to wonder if he was going to strain something, Kri'gak would not be happy to have such a nervous wreck under his command.

    Next came an Andorian Female, Shliin, she stood to attention normally, but Krovennan saw a small curl of an arrogant grin of self superiority on her lips, she was regarded as a possible MACO Commander, Tallasa would be working with her, though Krovennan wondered if these two would come to blows, Tallasa hated arrogance and according to her records, Shliin had plenty of that to go around.

    Lastly, an extremely bored looking Human male stepped off almost reluctantly, walking towards the others like a Borg Drone, all echanical necessity, no real want to do anything, this was Krovennan's responsibility, Jeffery Kalinzi, studying to be a Commanding Officer.

    Krovennan saw an extreme reluctance to be here in Jeffery's gaze at him, Krovennan knew he would be tough.

    Krovennan dismissed Gruturu and inspected the five Cadets, listing what would make them difficult, one wascondescending, another was an easily distracted flirt, another looking ready to have a heart attack, another was arrogant, and the last one seemed like he would be unwilling to do anything of remote use. The five Cadets stood in front o f the five batle hardened veterans as if they were prepared to face off against their new mentors right there.

    Krovennan knew this was going to be a difficult week.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    ...Cadet M’run, a caitian female stood to attention as the admiral walked by. She had heard tales of Vice Admiral Tanar and the acts he had performed in his short but illustrious career. Many an admiral had walked past here on the grounds of Starfleet academy but none seemed as majestic as the young Cardassian man that now passed within a metre of her. She found herself at a loss of whether to speak or not, before her mind had made its decision, her mouth had decided to take action.

    ...“Admiral.” she said softly. He did not make eye contact nor did he respond, causing M’run’s heart to sink slightly. She should have stayed silent, a man as great as Tanar does not speak with lowly cadets. Then just as her disappointment started to grow in her stomach, she noticed that the admiral had stopped moving. He was just standing in the corridor. As she watched him standing there she could not help but feel that he seemed so alone, so isolated.

    ...“Walk with me cadet” he said. She stood for a second too long, wondering if another cadet had entered the hall. When she realised that they were the only two in the corridor she began to move gingerly away from the wall, wondering if she would have been better to remain silent. He resumed his brisk walk and she stepped up the pace to keep up with his long strides.

    ...“What’s your name cadet?” he asked quietly, still not looking at her.

    ...“M’run sir,” she replied quickly. There was a pause, stupidly she decided to fill it. “My friends usually just call me ‘M’.” She rolled her eyes, get a grip, the admiral does not want to know what your friends call you, she thought to herself.

    ...“I see, well then cadet M’run, just out of interest, what are you doing on my ship?” The question completely threw her off guard.

    ...“Well, sir…I…I” She took a deep breath and quickly regained her composure. “The academy thought would benefit from some first hand training aboard a ship.”

    ...“Why you, why this ship?” he asked sharply.

    ...“I am top of my class in both astrometrics and astrophysics.” she said, a hint of pride seeping through. I have several more exams next month and the practical experience will serve me well. Perhaps when I graduate I can serve on Relentless, errr. If you’ll have me sir.” She winced at her own presumption.

    ...The admiral remained impassionate. “Whom do you report to?”

    ...“Lieutenant fields, sir…in stellar cartography.” she replied, starting to wonder why the interest in her. There was a long pause as they made their way into a turbo lift.

    ...“Deck four.” said the admiral to the computer. It chimed in response. After another pause the admiral spoke again, still not making eye contact. “I have need of your services cadet. I believe you are a perfect candidate.”

    ...Her eyes lit up. A perfect candidate for what? she wondered. Her class mates would be so jealous of her. “I’ll do anything you ask sir, may I ask what I am a candidate for?”

    ...“All in good time. Everything has its correct time cadet, you just need to choose the right moment” he said somewhat cryptically.

    ...The turbo lift came to a stop and the doors slide open with a slight hiss. They both made their way down another hall way for about twenty meters before stopping outside a door. M’run could see it was his quarters. “What I have to say is not for prying ears. It is a matter most delicate.” He said calmly.

    ...“Of course, sir.” They entered the room. It was surprisingly cold in the room. M’run had knew that Cardassians liked the heat. Despite her fur, she also preferred the heat compared to what most humanoid species find comfortable. The door whooshed closed and the admiral locked it.

    ...She had never been as excited as she was at this moment. She had expected her time aboard Relentless to involve scrubbing plasma exhaust manifolds and now she was in the Admirals quarters, presented with a very special task. Her mind began to race as if exploring a galaxy of potential that now lay at her feet.

    ...She turned on sharply her heels, a huge grin breaking out across her face, her fur standing on end. The shock of seeing the phaser pointed at her, was only slightly less than the shock of the compressed energy beam striking her midriff. In an instant she was dead. A bright future snuffed out by the cold reality of war, and the undine was under no illusion; this was a war and one its people had to win. While it took no pleasure in killing, it new the measures were necessary to protect its people from the ruthless Federation.

    ...Her killer moved towards the crumpled remains of the young cadet. He pulled a small cylindrical device from his belt and scanned the body, before placing the device to his leg. He felt a sharp stab as it was injected into his muscle. The form of admiral Tanar began to twist and change; fur erupted from every pour of his skin, his ears rose up, while his scales melted way. The pain was intense but fleeting. He, now a she, turned and looked at a mirror on the far side. The transformation was successful. The form of M’run towered over the real body that lay on the floor. The Undine spy took the phaser and changed the setting to maximum before vaporising the body. It had carefully disabled the weapon detection system the day it assumed the admiral form. It could never be sure when it might be required to take another form.

    ...The real Tanar had escaped, it was sure of it and the faint telepathic connection that it had used to scan his mind could feel him drawing closer. His old form was no longer safe, but this cadet, this unknown caitian would prove the perfect cover.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Three days had passed since the Blacksabre-E took on five Cadets, there mission so far had been uneventful, filled with sensor readings of nothing and analysis of rocks and nebulae as they passed, Krovennan, Tallasa, Gyzit, Drehera and Kri'gak each had worked with their Cadets to the best of their abilities, showing them what their stations demanded of them and how best to achieve the most efficient and best result.

    Krovennan had called in the four others to the Conference Room, he wanted to see what the others had discovered about their new apprentices over the past week, he coud see from the tired eyes of his senior officers as they sat down that it would not be overwhelmingly positive. He decided to start from the end of the table and work his way in.

    "Kri'gak, how is Jomar doing in Security?"

    Kri'gak sighed weightily before speaking, being a Klingon, Kri'gak was not incredibly patient, even when he was patient by Klingon standards.

    "The boy is ready to panic at the drop of a hydrospanner, on the first day I gave him a stunning Phaser in case he required to use it, he drew it seven times in the space of a few hours over nothing, at one point he shot an Engineer who was rushing over to talk to me, apparently, Jomar thought he was about to attack with a dangerous weapon."

    "I'm guessing it was not a dangerous weapon?"

    "No sir, it was a Flux Coupler."

    "And the Engineer?"

    Kri'gak seemed unwilling to answer, so Drehera piped in.

    "When he fell he hit his head against the floor, he has a concussion and lost a lot of blood, he will be off work for the rest of this mission, at least."

    Krovennan could not see Drehera's normally blind eyes thanks to her Omni-Visor, but he could see her slumped shoulders and slightly tilted head, she was just as exhausted as the rest of them.

    "So Drehera, what about Sormek?"

    At the mention of Sormek, Drehera slumped even more before she replied.

    "In terms of qualification and knowledge he is gifted, but he is insufferable."

    "How so?"

    "I have found him scrutinizing every part of the Sickbay, especially the staff, if he sees anyone make the slightest deviation from perfection, he is on them with a conceited rant on Starfleet protocol."

    "How bad is he?"

    "Terribly, I hardly think coming into the Sickbay with a slighlty ruffled shirt warrants what he gave the crewman, especially since he had been in surgery all night with only half an hour for a rushed sonic shower. And his bedside manner is even worse, he is condescending to my patients and has no sense of tact."

    "I see, thank you Doctor, what about you Gyzit How is Melissa White faring?"

    Krovennan looked over to Gyzit when he got no answer, to see Gyzit had fallen asleep in exhaustion, a mild slap of the table from Krovennan jerked Gyzit awake, who apologised before talking.

    "Cadet White definitely knows her way around the Engine Room, but it seems her reputation precedes her. Let's just say I don't trust her in a Jeffries tube with someone."

    "That is it?"

    "Well no, she also has a tendency to let her "behaviour" impede her performance, she nearly caused an EPS Conduit she was working on with me to explode because she could not keep her eyes off Crewman Cooper when she should have been keeping the flow stable."

    "I see, thank you Gyzit."

    "Sir, may I be excused, I fear that the trials of the past few days are going to cause me to collapse without sufficient rest, which I will not get before my next shift otherwise."

    "Very well, you are excused."

    As Gyzit walked slowly out of the Conference Room, all eyes fell on Tallasa, she had been silent this whole time, and she knew she was next, Krovennan was the first to break the silence.

    "Tallasa, how is Shliin shaping up as a MACO Commander?"

    Tallasa seemed to tense up, everyone knew Sliin's aparent arrogant streak would annoy Tallasa the most, the tension was almost palpable before Tallasa spoke.

    "Shliin has shown marksmanship, but that is nowhere near as remarkable as her attitude, she seems to believe she is the best at everything she sets her eyes upon, and makes sure everyone knows it. On the firing range she completely demoralized a nearby Crewman who missed one shot, I swear I saw the young man flinch under it."

    "She was that bad?"

    "I'm amazed she isn't worse, she constantly questions the aptitude of senior officers, including me, for the most minor of things. If she is going to lead, she's gong to have to learn humility and to not rip everyone around her a new one every time the slightest hiccup is made."

    "I think it's safe to assume Starfleet gave us these Cadets to get them away from them. On file they are excellent, in real life though..."

    Drehera interjected Krovennan before he could complete his sentence.

    "Wait, what about Jeffery Kalinzi? How is he faring as a Commanding Officer?"

    Krovennan lowered his head at the mention of the young Human, he stood up and breathed in before speaking.

    "Jeffery does not have arrogance or confidence issues, he simply refuses to do anything required of Command, when he finally gives an order, it is one that requires the least amount of work from him and is usually vague and as such those under his command are confused as to what to do, I put him through the Kobayashi Maru test, he just sat there, he said that he deduced the whole ship was dead anyway, so why fight it?"

    "He is that bad?"

    "Yes Drehera, to make matters worse, if someone comes to him with news, he merely shrugs and dismisses it, he has no drive to command, or any drive for anything, the problem is I can see from his test scores there is a huge intelligence behind that thick skull of his, but he refuses to try."

    The four in the Conference room all collectively sighed and sat in silence for a second, krovennan stood up and paced the room, thinking of what to do next. These Cadets were the future? If so the future was bleak, none of them had ever been in a real combat situation, and the Federation was to entrust their legacy to these people?

    "We'll continue as normal as we can for the rest of the mission, four more days, the Cadets we will have to live with, Starfleet wants our recommendations, if I see no improvement, my recommendations will be to send them back until their disposition approves. Dismissed."

    Krovennan watched as the three others left, probably to do the same as Gyzit, he doubted he would see change, but things would have to unravel themselves as time went on, what these Cadets did in the next four days would determine their future with Starfleet.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    The five Cadets had been on the Blacksabre-E for a week now, despite being reminded of their position if they did not improve by their respective mentors, they continued as usual. It was now the end of the final day of their tour, the Blacksabre-E would be heading back to Earth to drop off the Cadets, who were being sent to their quarters, due to a lack of guest quarters on the warship, the two women and three men were put in two room adjacent to each other.

    "So we head back to Earth tomorrow? I wonder if some of the crewmen will remember me."

    Shliin rolled her eyes at Melissa's comment, the Andorian was by far the tallest of the group, dwarfing the Blond Human, Shliin removed her boots in preparation to sleep as she replied.

    "They say we'll be sent back to the Academy until we get an attitude adjustment, They'll be holding back one of their best, I can outperform any of these so called "Elites of the Federation" the Vice Admiral scrounged together in anything."

    Shliin walked over to the bathroom and pulled out the sink to splash water on her face, Melissa was busy posing in the mirror.

    "Melissa, no-ones going to see you in your sleep, is the preening necessary?"

    "It makes the preparation in the morning easier."

    "You keep telling yourself that, I'll probably be asleep by the time you are done anyway."

    "I wonder how the boys are dealing with this."

    "Will you stop thinking about men for two minutes? Besides, if they have any sense they won't care, even Jomar will wise up to it eventually, hes not that big an idiot."

    Meanwhile, next door to Shliin and Melissa, the three male Cadets were winding down for the night as well, Sormek was meditating on the floor, Jomar was pacing around the room nervously, and Jeffery Kalinzi was reading a novel on a PADD.

    "Jomar, you are interfereing with my meditation, I would ask you to stop pacing around this room."

    "How can I Sormek? The Vice Admiral is going to recommend we all get sent back to the Academy, I'll be lucky if I don't get thrown out."

    "How do you arrive at that conclusion?"

    "I doubt Commander Kri'gak is impressed with my performance."

    "Well you did severely injure a crewman, and have proven to be easily intimidated and prone to fits of illogicvcal panic, I would not be suprised."

    "Oh yeah, you are a real help, you ever consider training to be the ship's counsellor?"

    "Sarcasm does nothing to alleviate the situation, the same can be said of pacing the room. I was merely telling you the facts of your situation."

    "Facts or not, what do we do if we are sent back?"

    Jeffery looked up from his PADD at the two, apparently he found the conversation more interesting than the novel.

    "So what? We'll just do the tests again and get sent to another ship until one of them passes us, I found the test easy."

    "Well I didn't Jeffery, I found the tests difficult, I couldn't focus."

    "Could have your tendency to panic at the slightest amount of pressure have anything to do with it?"

    "Your not helping Sormek!"

    "Jomar, Sormek, stop already, we should get to bed, can't be tired for our group scolding with Melissa and Shliin from the Vice Admiral."

    The trio headed to their beds, the three males were roughly the same size with a inch or two of difference either way, Jomar being the tallest and Sormek being shortest, though even Sormek was half a head taller than Melissa.

    Three hours later, a shaking awoke all five Cadets, for a moment each Cadet thought they had imagined it, until a second, more violent shake jarred the Cadets out of their drowsiness, Jomar's first reaction was to grasp the sides of his bad in panic, the other four simply clambered out of their beds and found something to grab hold of as a third shake resounded, this time accompanied by an explosion.

    "Sormek, what is happening?"

    "I do not know Jomar, it would be best to stay where you are for the time being however."

    "No Sormek, Jomar, get up, we need to find out what this is."

    After Jomar pried himself from his bed the three Cadets made their way to the door of their quarters, as soon as it opened a group of heavily armed crewmen ran past, moments later the door to their left opened and Shliin an Melissa poked their heads out, the two groups made eye contact before Jefferey spoke.

    "Shliin, what is happening?"

    "I don't have a clue, but it doesn't look good, we should get dressed and find out."

    The two groups returned to their rooms and swiftly dressed, just as they both came out Krovennan's voice rang out over the intercom.

    "Attention all decks, an Orion Raider taskforce has attacked this ship and are preparing boarding parties, our shields cannot hold out forever, assume battle stations!"

    The group looked to each othr in shock, they were told that there would be little to no conflict on this journey, why were a force of Orions poised to overwhelm them? Shliin was the first to speak.

    "We need to get out of here, our quarters would be a priority target and just standing in this corridor isn;t going to be all that safe either."

    "Then what would you suggest we do?"

    "I'm thinking Sormek, give me a minute...The Jeffries Tubes, we can hide in them."

    Shliin walked towards a Jeffries Tube next to them and opened the panel, she ushered everyone in before closing the door behind them. The Jeffries Tubes were dimly lit, all available power was going to weapons and shields to maximise combat efficiency, so the grouo made do, all around them the sound of Orion transporters and weapons fire from both sides wer e heard, as well as a couple of cries from those who weren't so lucky, Jomar was a sickly white colour now a the group reached a junction, just before they rounded the corner they heard Orion transporters, Shliin signaled to be quiet as she heard a mixture of male and female voices, a female apparently the leader of this group.

    "Are the rest of our forces distracting the crew?"

    "They report they are engaging the Federation on every deck, they have no idea we are here."

    "Good, lets get started, you take the charges and plant them in the Engine Room, you two go Sabotage their weaponry, you three come with me, we are going after the Commanding Officer, they can't stop all three groups from doing their job. The rest of you go and help out our forces, you have the heavy weaponry."

    There was a string of "Yes Ma'ams" as the Orions were given their jobs and began crawling through the Jeffries Tubes, thankfully missing the Cadets, who waited to make sure they were gone before crawling into the junction and standing. Jomar looked ready to faint, the others were silent until Melissa broke the silence.

    "Now what? They are going to destroy the ship in three different ways and the crew won't be able to stop them."

    "Logic dictates that, armed with the knowledge we have of their plans, we should split up and tackle these problems simultaneously."

    "Good idea Sormek, ok, Melissa, go to the Engine Room and stop those charges, Jeffery, you should go to the bridge and back up the Vice Admiral, Sormek and Jomar, go out and stop those heavy weapons and tend to the wounded, I'll stop them sabotaging our weapons."

    As the group began to split up, Sormek noticed Jomar standing still, face as white as the walls and looking like he was about to vomit and faint, Sormek approached him.

    "Jomar, we have a mission to do, we must carry it out."

    "I can't do it, I'm too afraid, if I go out there, it is one false move and I die."

    "Jomar, I should not have to remind you that if even one of the Orion's plans succeeds we will all die, I realise that I may not be a...supportive individual, but I cannot do this alone, can you be brave for this occasion Jomar?"

    Jomar shuddered for a minute before looking up at the Vulcan.

    "Ok Sormek, I'll do it."

    "Good, let us get moving."

    As Jomar and Sormek went in pursuit of the heavy weapons, In the Engine Room, a firefight was currently in progress between the Engineering staff and the Orion taskforce, the leader, a female, held the charges, she needed to plant them around the Warp Core because of their low yield, or they would be less than useless.

    An Orion fell to a Phaser Blast while two more were frozen in place with Gyzit's Breen CRM 200, until the female had an idea, she removed a charg, set it for three seconds, and lobbed it through the doorway the group was using as cover, the charge bounced once before detonating in the midst of the group, Gyzit was thrown against the wall with most of the staff, no-one seemed dead but many were injured or unconcious.

    The last few standing were picked off by the Orions before the female walked casually into the Engine Room, Melissa finaly arrived and peeked around the corner to se the Orion alying the charges. Gyzit, who had kept consious, hefte his weapon and pointed it at the group, the Orion Female spotted Gyzit and leapt out of the way before he fired, the three Orions with her were frozen in place, hyzit dropped his weapon as soon as it stopped firing, his strength run out, the female Orion kicked the weapon away from him before goin to a console to deactivate the blast shield that had been erected around the warp core.

    As she accessed the console, she found she needed a code, she walked over to Gyzit, releasing her Orion pheremones to try and make him more suggestible.

    "Would a strong man such as yourself be a dear and tell me the code for shutting off the blast shield?"

    "Madam, I would rather shoot that core myself than help you in any way."

    The Orion female pouted, she knew she had the upper hand in this, she failed to notice Melissa crawling out silently as the Orion continued to try and persuade Gyzit, Melisaa grabbed a depleted Phaser Rifle, wielding it like a club, she charged the Orion, yelling at the top of her lungs. The Orion was initially startled, but found it easy with her pheremones negative effect on Melissa to grab the rifle from her grip and toss it aside. The Orion proceeded to reach out and grab Melissa's throat.

    "Come now silly girl, did you really think that would work?"

    The Orion threw Melissa aside, the Cadet slamming against a wall and lying on the floor in pain.

    "Now where were we?"
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Meanwhile, The second group of Orions, this time only two males, had snuck by th Federation crews to reach a maintenance shaft for the weapon's systems, one orion pulled out more charges, if detonated, the ship would lose weapons, two charges were placed on the steely pipes that covered one of the walls.

    "Ok, that should be it, get ready to detonate."

    "I wouldn't bother, you two aren't going anywhere."

    The Orions looked to the source of the voice, Shliin stood in front of them, a look of steely determination on her face, the Orions were not amused.

    "A Cadet? Your sure of yourself aren't you?"

    "Think you can take on the world do you?"

    "No, I used to think i could, but I've realised I have limits thanks to this little wake up call you and your friends provided, you two however, I can definitely take on."

    The two Orions engaged Shliin, the cramped space there was only room for one at a time, the first Orion producd a cruel looking knife and atempted to stab Shliin, but Shliin was strong, and took a hold of the Orion's wrist before he could bring the knife down on her. Shliin slammed the Orion's hand into the wall twice before he dropped the dagger, she then proceded to punch the Orion in the gut before delivering a right cross to his jaw, the Orion spun round to fall on his face, allowing the second Orion to come in.

    This Orion was better in combat, and brawled with Shliin for a good half a minute, the first Orion managed to grab his knife, waited for Shliin to come close enough, and then stabbed her in her left leg, Shliin grunted in pain beofre the second Orion took a hold of her right arm and pulled it out straight, slamming his free arm's elbow into the bone, breaking it almost instantly, Shliin howled out in pain and fell to one knee, thinking fast, Shliin punched the first Orion unconcious, and reached for the knife in her leg.

    the knife's removal was agony, but she got it out quickly, before the Orion could react she stabbed him in the neck with the weapon, as Shliin collapsed beside the two Orions she grasped her arm in pain, the other would not wake up for some time, so for now, she was safe and proceeded to clutch her arm in pain. After a minute she began to chuckle.

    "They don't prepare you for this when youre visiting a ship for a week."

    Elsewhere, Sormek and Jomar arrived on the scene of a brutal fight, the crew were being decimated by some kind of mobile hover turret, the Orions laughing as the crew were pinned down or mowed down by the weapon's covering fire.

    The two Cadets quickly rushed to the crew hiding behind a table from the adjacent room , thankfully the table was strong and was holding against the Orion weapon, Sormek immediately started tending to the wounded, he had no time to chastise anyone for mistakes, he had to focus.

    Jomar took a hand phaser from a weapons crate next to him and began firing, his shots were wide, his hnads were tembling and fear stpped him from looking beond cover long enough to take proper aim.

    "Sormek, what do we do?"

    "We have to incapacitate the Orion weapon, and then the Orions themselves. Find it's weakness Jomar."

    Jomar saw a reflective pillar and used it to see around the cover, the weapon itself was rock solid, but it was controlled by an operator standing behind it, if he could destroy that, the weapon would be useless. Jomar thought and thought as the Orions got closer, then he had an idea.

    "Everyone, move back, I have an idea."

    Sormek looked sceptical as Jomar hid behind a pillar, but nodded and with the help of the remaining crew that could stand, began dragging the wounded back, a couple of crew dragged the cover back as well, the Orions laughed ever harder at their enemy and their apparent retreat, the Orions pushed forward ever harder, but faile dto notice Jomar wa left behind.

    Jomar clutched his Phaser tightly, he knew he could die with this move, but he was out of options, he waited until the Orions started to pas him before he ramped his Phaser to full power, turned around and fired, screaming at the top of his lungs he vaporised the operator of the weapon, not waiting a second, Jomar began sweeping the weapon outwards, catching three other Orions.

    When the Phaser brunt itself out, Jomar relaxed for a moment, but was brought back to fear when one remaining Orion charged his rifle and aimed it at Jomar's hea, just as Jomar though he was about to die, the sound of a Phaser rushed past his ears, as he looked, he was the Orion on the floor, dead, as he looked back, he saw Sormek with a Phaser pointed at where the Orion once was.

    "S-S-Sormek, I-Idon't know-"

    "Your welcome Jomar, now help me with these wounded in case more Orions appear."

    Jomar nodded and begun doing what he could to help, he felt a smile appear on is face, perhaps there was no point in worrying so much.

    Meanwhile, in the Engine Room, the Orion female had finally managed to break Gyzit through pheremones and torture, causing him to spill the code for the blast shield, as the blue field dropped with an audible sound Melissa awoke, saw what had happened, and tried to see what she could do, she felt a Rifle behind her, thinking quick, she strained to turn over and gra the weapon, just as the Orion was ready to detonate the charges.

    "Hey!..."

    The Orion lifted her head to see Melissa with a Phaser Rifle pointed to her, the Orion could not react before Melissa blasted a hole in the Orion's chest, the Orion died instantly, unable to detonate the explosives, they were harmless now.

    "...Don't call me "Girl"."

    Gyzit was barely concious, Melissa simply dropped the rifle and drifted into sleep with the hum of the Warp Core as her lullaby, the last thing she thought before going unconcious, was how much time could be saved if she stopped her evening make up sessions and went to sleep eairlier.

    Back on the Bridge, Krovennan and his crew struggled to fend off the Orion vessels, they had encirlced the Blacksabre with the larger ships, while the smaller ships moved in for the kill, but Krovennan would have none of it and continued to outmaneuvre them.

    Krovennan heard the Turbolift approaching and turned around in time to see a group of Orions lead by a female, obviously high in rank because of her extravagant garments, Krovennan shouted an order to fire, but the group of Orions quickly fired with stun weapons, incapacitating the Bridge crew before they could react.

    Krovennan pulled out his Manna'gahr and charged the leader, Krovennan raised his weapon to shield him from the shots of the Orions before charging the female, swiping at her only to catch one of her guards as he leapt in front of her instead, before Krovennan could strike again the Female lashed out with her nails, scraping Krovennan's face, Krovennan fell to his knees, feeling weak and drowsy, the Orion's nails were obviously laced with some form of poison.

    "This is it? This is the skill of the Blacksabre-E's crew and their mighty Vilscaran leader? It is laughable, but I suppose you will all make good slaves on our markets, except you Krovennan, no, I'm not giving you any chance to escape, you are going to die today."

    "Heh, if you want to kill me, why not just do it and spare me your inane prattling?"

    The Female grinned before slapping Krovennan hard, Krovennan barel moved and proceded to spit blood on her garments, which she took particular offense to. The female held out her hand and she was given a pistol by her soldiers, the Orion pointed the weapon at Krovennan. ensuring he would not be vaporised, this woman wanted a trophy.

    Just as the female was about to fire, Jeffery Kalinzi appeared from the second Turbolift, wielding a Phaser Rifle, Not wasting a moment, Jefferey fired at the group of Orions, the group was close together, and could not bring their guns to bear on the Cadet in time, in one volley of shots, the Orions fell, the female turned her pistol from Krovennan to strike Jeffery, then Krovenna surged upwards, roaring as he slammed his Manna'gahr into the Orion.

    The weapon bit deep into the Orion's stomach, as she dropped her pistol, shocked and in agony, Krovennan ripped the weapon from her before swiping higher, decapitating her in a single swipe, the Orion's ody fell instantly, and Krovennan fell to one knee from the poison. Jeffery dropped his weapon and inspected the Vice Admiral before tapping his combadge.

    "Medical team to the Bridge, Emergency."

    Jeffery felt the ship shudder, the Orions were still firing, without any other options, Jefferey sat in the Captain's chair and wuickly punched in an automated attack patern and course, the ship lurched forward and banked around the vessels, sending weapons fire at whatever it could hit, soon after, a fleet of Federation ships warped into the area, the Orion ships scattered in the wake of the overwhelming force and went to warp, the remaining boarding parties surrendered.

    As a Medical team arrived to attend to the Bridge crew and reinforcments and repair teams beamed in from the new ships, Jefferey looked down to the chair he was sitting in, he looked to krovennan, who nodded in approval at him, Jefferey grinned, turns out being in the big chair wasn't so bad after all.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Two days later, the repaired Blacksabre-E was in orbit of Earth, Krovennan stood in front of the five Cadets who had saved everyone on the vessel, Shliin was sporting a cast over her arm, but her arrogance was gone as she stood at attention, Jomar stood to attention calmly and confidently, Melissa White stood to attention with a face showing her newfound focus, Sormek stood to attention with admiration for all around him, Krovennan was impressed with them all.

    Jeffery however, he had imporved the most, the bored Cadet who had no drive now had a burning passion to do all he could do as best as he could, and stood to attention with the pride he deserved.

    "Cadets, you have come a long way since when we first met, and now it is time I told you of my recommendation to Starfleet, in light of your recent endeavours, I have seen a performance I strive for in all my crewmen, therefore, my recommandation is that all five of you are given a field commision, you are no longer Cadets but now Ensigns, you each deserved it."

    The group looked to each other with glee, Melissa raised her hand as if to speak, and Krovennan nodded in approval.

    "Vice Admiral Sir, where shall we be stationed?"

    "Well Melissa, the attack was costly, many good crewmen died, so I am in the market for some new Ensigns, and I have more than five spaces to fill."

    "Sir, you don't mean..."

    "I do Jomar, you shall all join the crew of the Blacksabre-E and will be assigned jobs suiting your studies, welcome to the Blacksabre Ensigns, if you will head to your rooms, you will find new uniforms and the locations of your new quarters."

    Krovennan saluted the Cadets, who saulted in unison as a response, Krovennan dismissed the group and watched them walk out with the dignity of Starfleet Officers.

    "I get the feeling the future of the Federation is in good hands from here on."
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    “Repetition”
    by Captain Tim Kingston.

    Captain Tim Kingston sat quietly in his ready room, proof-reading his latest mission report to Starfleet Command. The USS Elsternwick's mission to the Chiron system had succeeded in gathering intelligence on Obisek's Reman insurgents who fought against the remnants of the Romulan Star Empire. The data would assist Command in reassigning border patrols around the Romulan-occupied systems, in addition to identifying possible targets for Reman strikes. As he came to the end of the report, he placed an elbow on the desk and inadvertently sent a PADD clattering to the floor. As he reached down to collect the device, his door chimed.

    “Come.” Kingston sat back up in his chair, looking towards the door as he placed the PADD down on the desk. The Elsternwick's Saurian Ops officer came and stood before the captain, looking quite exhausted. “Well, Lieutenant D'Lesch, what have you got for me? It better not be another intelligence report, as I've already finished the mission report.”

    D'Lesch shook his head tiredly. “No, sir, but you do have a communique from Admiral Quinlivan at Starfleet Command. It's already been routed to your terminal.”

    “Thank you, Lieutenant.” Kingston gathered the remaining PADDs before him and stacked them neatly beside the terminal “Do we have an ETA for Earth yet? I'm eager to visit family.”

    D'Lesch nodded his black and red-mottled head. “Yes, sir. Lieutenant Vem reports that we are due at Earth spacedock within 15 minutes, barring local traffic. Commander Ta'lis has the Conn at present, but I can notify you as soon as we enter the Sol system.” The Saurian allowed himself a small but cheerful smile. “I don't envy the mission report you had to write. I know how many transmission logs and intelligence reports you must have gone through.”

    Kingston sat himself down into his chair and closed the report on his terminal so he could access the comm channel. “Of course you do, D'Lesch. You were the one who provided all of them. Good work, Lieutenant.” He smiled in appreciation at the Saurian. “Dismissed.” Kingston ran his right hand through his hair as D'Lesch turned silently and left the ready room. A few moments later, the captain's terminal flashed the logo of the United Federation of Planets, followed shortly thereafter by the taciturn image of Admiral Wayne Quinlivan.

    Despite the expression of the Admiral, Kingston answered the communique with a broader smile than he had worn all day. “Admiral, it's always a pleasure to see you. How have you been?”

    “It's good to see you too, Captain. I am well, if more than a little too caffeinated for this time of the evening.” Admiral Quinlivan sat at his desk, nursing a steaming cup of coffee, which he sipped from casually. Something of a traditionalist of sorts, the Admiral wore the standard uniform from the 2390s, a tradition that Kingston and his crew also honoured. While Indian in ethnicity, Wayne had grown up in Australia and still maintained his accent despite working extensively in San Francisco at Starfleet Command.

    “I believe I could do with a good brew myself, actually,” Tim conceded.

    The admiral took another sip. “Well, I think you'll need it. As soon as you report to Earth Spacedock, I have some passengers for you to pick up.”

    “Passengers, Sir?”

    Admiral Quinlivan nodded. “Alpha Squadron, specifically. I've been working extensively with Starfleet Academy to expand the curriculum in line with the current state of the galaxy, and I want you to take these cadets on board for ten days and put them through the paces. These kids are meant to be the best the Academy has to offer, so I expect you to take good care of them.”

    Captain Kingston's face twitched at the suggestion of the mission, but ignored it as well as a growing sense of resentment within him. “Very well, we'll do what we can. Please send the relevant information through to my XO on which cadets we'll be bringing on board. “

    “Good, I'm glad to get that out of the way.” Admiral Quinlivan's face visibly softened. “It's been a while since we last talked, much less met up with each other, since it's very rare for you to be in this part of the galaxy of late. I try to keep up with your reports. The Romulans, the Breen, the Devidians... It almost makes me miss being in space myself.” With a touch of seriousness he added, “You could probably do with making a few less enemies when possible, you know.”

    Kingston nodded. “I know what you mean, but we have a fine ship and a fine crew.”

    Admiral Quinlivan smiled at the mention of the crew. “I trust you have been taking good care of my nephew as well. How is Paul?”

    “He's good, but understandably eager to get back to Earth. It's been a while since he's seen you too. We're both so glad you could make it to the ceremony.”

    “Wouldn't have missed it for the world. When you both get a chance, we'd love for you to visit for dinner. Give us a chance to catch up properly.”

    “I'd really like that, Admiral.”

    “Good. Take care of those cadets, Tim.” Admiral Quinlivan reached forward and deactivated the commlink, ending the call. Captain Kingston was left staring at the screen, the last comment about the cadets stirring some dark force deep within him. Before he could calm himself, he struck at his screen with a single, mighty thwack, leaving the terminal utterly destroyed. Recoiling his hand in shock, he saw that he had injured himself in his moment of rage.

    “Why....” Tim shook his head, trying to regain some semblance of composure. He stood up and walked to a nearby bookshelf, retrieving a small first aid kit and applying a dermal regenerator to his injured hand. Once healed, he tapped his commbadge. “Kingston to D'Lesch. Can you send someone up from engineering for me, my terminal seems to be having issues.” D'Lesch responded with acknowledgement, and without asking any questions much to his captain's appreciation.

    Kingston sat back down at his desk, staring at the broken screen, unable to come to terms with the spotaneous violence. A comm from Commander Ta'lis, his Vulcan XO, broke the silence. “Captain Kingston, we'll be entering Sol momentarily. Standing by to be relieved.”

    Kingston sighed, tapping his commbadge and responded, “On my way. ”

    * * *

    Commander Paul Kingston met up with the captain in Transporter Room One. On Ta'lis' orders, Lieutenant D'Lesch had contacted Starfleet Academy and organised for the selected group of fourteen final year cadets to beam aboard with temporary quarters ready and waiting for them. Kingston appeared more agitated that he'd normally allow himself to appear in public, but it seemed that neither the transporter chief or the gruff security chief Lieutenant Commander Isaak seemed to notice. The Breen security officer was still becoming more familiar with humans, however since his recent defection to Starfleet. The agitation, however, didn't escape Paul's attention, who noticed the captain rubbing his right hand repeatedly. The red-haired chief engineer decided it best not to discuss it with the captain openly in front of other officers.

    The cadets were to be beamed up in two groups of seven. The first group of seven re-materialised on the platform and shuffled into the room, awaiting orders. The cadets looked like a mixture of coiled springs and awe-struck Pakleds. The group chatted in hushed whispers before realising the captain stood before them and suddenly snapped to attention. The second group were more immediately aware of the officers in their presence, joining their comrades and standing at attention. All cadets were wearing the recently-issued standardised cadet uniform, reminding Kingston briefly of old Marine holovids in his youth. From the first five, a young brown-haired male in his early 20s spoke up. “Captain Kingston, Cadet Cartwright requesting permission for Alpha Squadron to come aboard the USS Elsternwick, sir.”

    Kingston looked from each fresh, determined young face to the next. He tried to recall each of the cadets names from the information provided to him by D'Lesch, and what little biographical information was recorded in the dossiers he skimmed through. One of the cadets even hailed from his native region in Australia, Cadet Welsh. Their enthusiasm both spoke to his optimistic nature, but also served to stir his anger from his ready room.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Captain Kingston kept a serious expression as he spoke to the cadets before him, his voice full of purpose. “Permission granted, Alpha Squadron.” Gesturing first to Paul and then Isaak, Kingston continued. “Firstly I'd like to introduce my chief engineer and husband, Commander Paul Kingston. Next to him is the Elsternwick's chief of security, Lieutenant Commander Isaak. Commander Ta'lis, the XO, is currently on the bridge, but you will meet him soon enough. If you follow Isaak here, he will lead you to your assigned quarters and brief you on some of the battle drills that you'll be running during your stay. Dismissed.” Kingston nodded to Isaak, who promptly turned and led all of the cadets out of the transporter room in silence.

    As soon as the doors closed, Paul turned to Tim and glared at him. Understanding the expression, the captain turned and addressed the transporter operator. “Chief Morony, please excuse yourself. We'll be out shortly.” As soon as Morony left the room, Tim let out a breath he didn't know he held and turned to Paul. “Fine, out with it.”

    Paul shook his head. “You know, you could have cut the tension in this room with a plasma torch.” (an engineer would use a more engineering tool rather than a medical one)

    Tim moved over to the transporter platform and sat down, adjusting his command tunic as he did so. “I didn't know you were half-Betazoid.”

    “Yes,” Paul replied sarcastically, “because one needs to be have telepathic abilities in order to demonstrate any type of emotional awareness and empathy.” Paul walked over to the pad and sat down on the left of Tim. “Why don't you try telling me what's really the matter? There's something more to this than you're letting on, and I can tell it's eating you. Is it being back in Sol?” Paul placed his hand on Tim's left knee and squeezed reassuringly. “Talk to me.”

    Kingston's first instinct was to pull away, but Paul's firm hand told him that he wasn't going anywhere until he talked this through. Resigning himself to the situation, Tim reflected on the last few hours and the emotions assaulting him. The anger and the resentment that followed after being given the assignment had surprised him. “Ok, so I seem to have been a little irritated lately.”

    The chief engineer's auburn eyebrows darted up in surprise, followed by a sceptical expression. “Irritated? Yeah... you say that like the destruction of your ready room terminal was just an accident. So, do you want to explain that?”

    “How did you find out about the terminal?”

    “I'm the Chief Engineer. This may be your ship but I keep it flying, and part of my job involves assigning maintenance details.”

    Kingston nodded slowly and leaned against Paul. “It was anger, rage unlike anything I've felt in such a long time. I could feel it flaring up again as soon as Alpha Squadron beamed up. I can't remember reacting like this before to Academy graduates posted to the ship, so I feel like I'm at a loss. I don't want to have to step down, but I can't keep letting these emotions interfere with my duties.”

    “Look, I don't pretend to understand psychology. Give me an engine any day!” Paul flashed a smile. “If I've got a problem with the warp core, I break the problem down to the basic components. What do you know about your situation? What does it tell you?”

    The captain paused in contemplation and stroked his beard, collecting his thoughts. “Well, I guess the first thing to look at is the emotional overreaction. The anger and, ah, subsequent destruction of property is obviously a disproportionate reaction to the stimuli of the mission, so therein lies the trigger.”

    Paul nodded in response, and motioned for Tim to follow the thought through. “Okay, that's getting a little bit out of my field, but what does that suggest to you?”

    “Well, anger is often used to compensate for or mask feelings of anxiety or fear,” Tim replied.

    “You're afraid of a bunch of cadets? Tim, you've faced off against the worst side of the galaxy has to offer: Undine, Klingons, Hirogen, Romulans and Breen. You've even stood toe to toe with the Borg!” At the mention of the Collective, he saw Tim left eye twitch. “The Borg?”

    The memories flooded through Tim. In their final year at the Academy, Tim and Paul had been aboard the USS Caulfield as part of a cadet placement assignment when the ship had come across a derelict Borg sphere near Risa. A trap, several crew were captured and assimilated, including Tim.

    Tim stared straight at the floor in front of him, studying the patterns woven into the synthetic floor covering. “I think so. It's been so long since the last of the implants were removed. I don't even dream about the Collective any more. I thought I was past this. I thought it was over.”

    “That's what this is really about, isn't it?” He touched Tim's shoulder. “You were assimilated into the collective for 72 hours before the crew of the Caulfield would listen to me about my plan to get you out of there. If I wasn't just a cadet, they may have listened to me sooner. I kept thinking at the time, 'what would Captain Kirk do?' I should have found a way.”

    “You're the reason I'm here today, Paul, and not a drone. You saved me. You rescued me when others had already given up. And now here I am, treating these cadets appallingly and destroying Federation property because I still have some unresolved issues.” Looking up at his engineer, he asked finally, “It's time I make an appointment with Counsellor Tiran, isn't it?”

    Paul stood up answering, “Yes, it is.” Extending a hand which was then accepted, Paul helped his captain to his feet. “I also think it's time you contacted Isaak and amended the schedule for the cadets. You can't let what happened to us when we were cadets affect Alpha Squadron, or let it interfere with your other duties. I still can't believe you wanted them to run fifteen battle drills while they were aboard.”

    Captain Kingston looked sheepish. “You're right. I'm sure we can find something more fitting for the cadets. After all, the last thing I want is to chase someone out of Starfleet before they've even graduated. The universe is a dangerous place, but we can't let that fear overtake us or we will miss out on all the beauty all around us.”

    Paul nodded at this, and walked beside Tim as they exited the transporter room and headed to the nearest turbolift. Paul entered the turbolift car but stood in the doorway so that Tim couldn't enter. “Now, make the appointment with Tiran or I'll tell the admiral on you.”

    Kingston seemed surprised at the mention of the admiral, more so than the reminder about the Andorian counsellor. “I didn’t know you’d been speaking to the admiral as well. When did you last talk to him?”

    “He contacted me just before I came down to the transporter room. He was concerned about you, said you looked agitated. Told me to take care of you.” Paul held Tim’s cheek briefly. “You handle the cadets, Captain. I’ve got a warp core to detail before dinner tonight. Just, uh, keep them out of engineering for as long as possible, ok?”

    Captain Kingston nodded solemnly. “I’ll do what I can.” Tim smiled lovingly at Paul. “You continue to be the brightest star in my heavens.” Paul blushed profusely and let the turbolift doors finally slide shut to prevent further embarrassment. Kingston decided to take the next turbolift to the forward observation lounge for some quiet contemplation, followed by a small social gathering to let the cadets of Alpha Squadron meet the rest of his senior officers.

    History doesn't have to repeat, he mused.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    Kham’s fingers tensed around the grips of his bat’leth as the harsh battle alert lighting and klaxon of the I.K.S. Sor'nuk’s transporter room dissolved and was replaced by the blaring red alert of the small Federation research station’s control center. Eyes locking on the first target that appeared (a Starfleet security officer that was just beginning to turn toward the threat of the Klingon boarding party), Kham charged the half-dozen or so strides separating them to swing his blade in a low arc at the human’s pivot leg. The blade hooked behind the human’s knee, pulling it up and out and leaving his weight unsupported. As the human sprawled to the deck on his back, Kham shifted his grip as the bat’leth reached the apex of its arc and brought it slashing down with finality, noting only briefly the human's look of surprise and fear as it was quickly extinguished.

    Turning his attention to search for new opponents, Kham spotted what he presumed was the Federation’s officer in command through the phaser and disruptor fire. Two strides brought him to a low railing, easily hurdled. The sting of a grazing phaser beam ran across his back as he ducked his shoulder to knock aside another security officer partially obstructing his path. The Federation commander had noticed his charge, bringing his phaser around to fire. Kham felt the blast hit him squarely in the chest and almost staggered, but his armor and natural Klingon toughness served him well.

    Before the officer could get off a second attack, Kham swatted his weapon arm away with the bat’leth’s blade, then let the blade edge drop to bring the blunted back edge up with jaw-cracking force. Flipping the blade edge back up to deliver the killing strike, Kham found his weapon rendered suddenly immobile as a large, scaly green arm reached over his shoulder, arresting his attack. Kham turned and growled at the immense Gorn as the Federation officer dropped nerveless to the deck, and wrenched his weapon away with a jerk. The fighting was over, and the small boarding party now held control.

    “Thank you, Lieutenant Rssilt.” Both Kham and the Gorn turned toward the voice of Meela Pahar-dha, captain of the Sor’nuk, as she sauntered across the control center, holstering her sidearm. The Gorn nodded and stepped back as Commander Pahar-dha approached, the red emergency lighting flashing harshly off the green skin of her face… and neck... and shoulders… and…

    Kham shook his head quickly to clear it as the Orion stopped mere centimeters away, glaring up at him with steely eyes. “The dead do not provide us with their security codes, Cadet Kham; security codes we will need to access the valuable research in this station’s computer core. Think on this as you are collecting the phase modulators we came for. Report to me on the bridge of the Sor’nuk once they have all been secured in our holds.”

    Pivoting on her heel, Commander Pahar-dha walked toward the unconscious Federation officer as she issued orders to the remaining members of the boarding party, some of whom were already moving to comply before she even spoke. “Lieutenant Rssilt, locate and secure the researchers. Bring the senior scientist to me here, and transport the others to the brig. Sergeant Prexay, start cracking those files open and begin transmitting them to our vessel. Cadet B’Etara, get over here and revive this man.” A husky note began to enter her voice as she knelt next to the Federation officer and Kham’s fellow cadet rushed to join her, tricorder and hypospray already out.

    “I want to have a few words with him.”

    Kham stood unmoving in the sudden whirl of activity until his captain rounded on him again. “Dismissed, Cadet. Stop wasting time.” With a clenched jaw, he turned and stalked out of the room.
    ***

    Various members of the bridge crew were reporting completion of their tasks and readiness to depart as Kham stepped through the doors from the corridor. The captain was settling herself in the command chair when a warning sounded from the weapons console.

    “The Federation vessels are dropping out of warp, captain. Distance 15000 kellicams.”

    “Set course 215 mark 40, one half impulse.”

    The bird-of-prey began to swiftly come around under the helmsman’s deft controls.

    “Deploy cloaking mines and engage the cloaking device.”

    Mines tumbled off the Sor’nuk’s launchers and began to disperse as both they and the vessel began to shimmer and vanish.

    “New course 108 mark 5.” The captain leaned toward her weapons officer. “Are the Starfleet vessels following us, Tran?”

    The renegade Breen’s helmet shook, indicating the negative. “They are all proceeding to the station at full impulse.”

    Commander Pahar-dha gave a satisfied smile. “Take us away at full impulse. Once we have cleared the system, plot a course for Ganalda and engage at maximum warp.”

    “We are going to flee the battlefield rather than engage?” Kham asked, unable to keep the distaste out of his voice.

    “Does someone here challenge my authority?” the Orion asked. A sudden icy silence fell over the bridge. Kham glanced quickly at the other members of the crew, searching their eyes for any sign of agreement or sympathy, but saw none. Most, including his fellow cadet, kept their attentions focused on their consoles, studiously ignoring him. Rssilt was eyeing him in a manner not unlike he had seen the Gorn eye dinner in the crew’s mess.

    Kham set his teeth and spoke. “Yes. It is dishonorable to run before these Federation dogs.”

    “Those three vessels have more than ten times our power. And I already have everything I want from this system,” the captain retorted. “We would have been clear of the system before they arrived had you loaded those phase modulators swiftly without needing additional prodding.”

    “I am a Klingon warrior, not a freight hauler’s assistant!” Kham bellowed.

    “So following my orders is beneath you?” Commander Pahar-dha rose from the command chair to face Kham, hands placed on her hips. “You are serving on a bird-of-prey. There are not enough members of this crew for anyone’s honor to be offended by performing any task. But if you insist, walk with me. No need to distract anyone else from their duty to settle this.”

    Kham was not sure whether it was his anger, or the sight of the Orion’s weapons swaying at her hip which had distracted him, but he noticed that they had not turned to the turbolift after exiting the bridge when he walked directly into a containment forcefield. Commander Pahar-dha turned and addressed him.

    “You are a skilled, and obviously proud, warrior: hungry for glory. However, I do not have the time, patience, or inclination to contend with your over-developed sense of honor any further. Goodbye, Cadet.”

    The Orion pressed her finger to a console on the wall. Kham heard a latch open and felt himself swept up in a roar of rushing air.

    The last thing he saw was the Sor’nuk jumping to warp.
    ***

    Captain’s Log:

    The Sor’nuk has docked at Ganalda station, where I have delivered the captured phase modulators to one of my contacts in the Syndicate for reasonable compensation, with the exception of the units which my engineer has tied in to our weapons systems. Preliminary testing indicates we can expect a minimum 25% increase in peak power once calibrations are completed.

    I have reported the death of Cadet Kham to the academy, along with an account of the action in which he was killed, battling Starfleet security in hand-to-hand combat when the station’s corridor depressurized, venting him and his opponents into the void. I have also sent the academy a request that Cadet B’Etara be assigned to the Sor’nuk once her course of training is complete. She has shown herself to possess considerable talent, as well as the flexibility I value in a member of my crew.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    "A Letter Home"

    Second-year cadet Orodgwi Met, dropped her PADD on the chair near the door of the quarters she shared with one other cadet. Her roommate was not here right now – out on a “hot date” as her roommate had put it- and Orodgwi planned to take advantage of the privacy.

    She removed her overtunic and kicked off her boots then collapsed on her small bed. She rolled over and propped herself up on one elbow, tapping in her access code on a small portable terminal on the nightstand. “Computer, record for later delivery.” “Recording, “ the terminal chirped in its pleasant feminine voice.

    “Nyozi, it’s your little sis. I just got back from the U.S.S. Resolute! You were right! Those Nomad-Class Star Cruisers are immense! They gave us a tour of the ship-well the high points at least. We visited each major department and met with the command staff. It was so exciting!” Orodgwi caught her reflection in the shiny black surface of the terminal and realized she was grinning like a idiot, flushed a deep cyan. “Computer, pause.” Bolians are known for their good humor and infectious smiles but even by those standards she felt like she was being unseemly. She had won a tour of a starship – along with 14 other cadets - not the Federation Medal of Valor. She rolled over onto her back and put her hands behind her head, feeling the smoothness of her scalp and crossing her legs at the ankles. She concentrated on taking deep breaths and calming herself. “Computer, continue.”

    “We were greeted in the shuttle bay by the First Officer, Commander ShalanTora sh’Firal, a light-blue-skinned (lighter than us even!) Andorian with relaxed antennae; but she was unlike any Andorian I’ve ever met! For one thing, she was smiling…and funny! I’ve never heard an Andorian tell a joke before! I can’t remember it because I was so surprised but I remember everyone laughed! She had such an easy manner but you could tell she was well-respected by the crew. I found out later she was raised on Earth…by two parents. No wonder she was so unlike any Andorian I’ve ever seen. She gave us the usual ‘welcome aboard’ speech and an overview of where we would be going on the tour. I was so excited I think I missed most of what she said! We were split up into three groups of five so we could move about the ship with a minimum of disruption to its functioning.”

    “First stop for my group was main engineering. It’s huge! You could run a Rujian Steeplechase around the exterior! The warp core was a massive pillar of contained energy throbbing like a gigantic heart…here I am telling you about a warp core! You’re the engineer in the family! You know what a Star Cruiser’s warp core looks like! Anyways, we met the Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Marissa Lassiter. Get this, she’s a Borg! Okay, a Liberated Borg. Well, a human who was assimilated for three years and rescued from the Collective (by her current captain, no less)! You know what I mean! I don’t know what the Culturally-Sensitive term is. Anyways, she really stood out. She still had that bleached out skin and hair you see in the vids and her her eyes had reflective sheaths. You never knew exactly who she was looking at! She spoke with a weird cadence, too. She hesitated before every name and pronoun as if consciously selecting them from a menu dropdown only she could see (that may very well be the case. Some L.B.s keep quite a few of their implants). She gave us an overview of engineering’s functions (nothing you couldn’t get out of a textpad) and a short foot-tour.

    She also introduced us to her Assistant Chief Engineer Lieutenant Emelar Zepan, who finished the tour. What a dreamboat! He’s Betazoid! You know how I love those large, dark soulful eyes of theirs! I think all the female cadets fell in love with him and his wavy chestnut hair by the end of the tour! I think he could tell, too. He avoided direct eye contact except when directly answering a question, keeping his attention on the terminals and machinery around us. His dedication and expertise was clear. He seemed rather flustered by the end of the tour but that just made him cuter!”

    “We were escorted to one of the large gymnasiums on the crew deck next. Everyone was confused until we saw a group of crewmen in workout togs scuffling on padded mats at the far end of the room. I was surprised to see that all the crewmen were attacking one person. A woman! Barely more than one-and-a-half meters tall, her muscles were like coiled steel under her skin. She has very short brown hair and tanned skin. She employed an efficiency of motion and precision of technique I have rarely seen outside of martial arts exhibition matches. When the last person had been thrown out of the dueling ring, she finally stopped; coming to attention and bowing to her opponents who all jumped to their feet and returned the bow. One of her former opponents tossed her a towel as she dismissed them and she dabbed at the sweat on her face and arms. It was then I noticed her scars.”

    “Her arms and exposed midriff showed a map of thin, white scars; she even had a scar running down the left side of her face; it made her look rather scary actually. With the advancements in cosmetic procedures in modern medicine, it’s rare to see someone with any scars let alone as many as she had. I think she caught me staring or maybe we were all staring; you could have heard a pin drop (why humans would be dropping pins in quiet rooms I’ll never know but it’s one of those phrases you pick up at the academy) because that’s when she said, ‘Each one is a lesson. A lesson I will never forget and I started learning at a very young age.’ She then looked up and I saw the nose ridges that marked her as a Bajoran. She said her name was Lieutenant Commander Gelon Treya, head of ship security. I remembered that Bajorans traditionally give the family name first; it was an old tradition but many Bajorans in Starfleet had abandoned the practice, not this one though.

    She gave us a blow-by-blow rundown of the fight we had just witnessed. Outlining the mistakes each attacker had made and how she had countered their attacks. She then took a few steps towards us, head lowered conspiratorially and I’ll admit I had to fight the temptation to step back; her forceful presence belied her small size. She surprised all of us then by explaining all the mistakes she had made (there weren’t many and we had not caught any of them) and how close the fight had come to going against her a few times. I was impressed by her humility and it softened her a fraction in our eyes. I could see she was a hard woman but at her core you could tell she just wanted to make the security personnel under her command the best they could be so they’d have the best chance of going home to their families after their tour was up. I’d heard of Bajorans’ strong sense of family and it was clear she considered her security staff her extended family.”

    <continued in next post>
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    "A Letter Home" (Part Two)

    “After that intense display of martial prowess, it was almost a relief to head to Sick Bay and meet the Chief Medical Officer Commander Karisa Bennet, MD. A human woman of perhaps 40 earth standard years, she wore her pale blond hair up in a matronly bun but her smile was genuine and showed in her dark blue eyes. She showed us around Sick Bay and even let us sit in on a diagnosis of a current patient. I could tell she was a very nurturing woman but when I commented on her motherly manner, she got a sad look in her eyes, stuffed her hands into the pocket s of her blue lab coat and had to excuse herself to her office. I felt really bad! I meant it as a compliment! There was obviously a story there but we were not going to hear it today.

    It was then that I met her associate Dr. Niazna Ret, another Betazoid! Unlike hunky Lt. Zepan in engineering, she was a slightly-built woman in her mid-twenties with pale skin and short, raven-black hair that matched her eyes. She explained that her telepathic talents helped greatly with diagnosis and treatment as she scored very high on empathy tests, being able to ‘align her nervous system’ with her patients and actually feel what her they were feeling. That seemed a rather ‘touchy-feely’ way to describe things but I was then informed that she was also the ship’s interim head counselor and it made a little more sense. Another member of the group inquired after the fate of the previous counselor (ship’s counselors are usually command rank officers and we could see by her rank pips that Dr. Ret was a lieutenant). She smiled politely but did not answer the question, directing us instead to one of the nearby science labs for our next stop. As we left, I noticed her knocking softly on the door to Cmdr. Bennet’s office and then entering.”

    “This was what I had been waiting for the whole tour! In the science lab we had been directed to, we found the Chief Science Officer, Lieutenant Commander Oslad Met. He’s a Bolian like us, Nyozi! When he introduced himself, I got some wide-eyed looks and ribbing about ‘family connections’. Lt.Cmdr. Met then explained that Met was a rather common Bolian name, ‘It’s like Smith,’ he stated matter-of-factly. This elicited several ‘ohs’ from the other members of my group. Evidently that was all that need be said. I need to remember that the next time a Terran asks me about our family name!

    Lt. Cmdr. Met was tall and in surprisingly good physical condition with rich azure features. Bolians love to cook and to eat, males especially, and this has led to a certain doughtiness that has become a bit of a stereotype. Lt. Cmdr. Met was as fit as any Bolian I’ve ever met (no pun intended!). He admitted that the captain placed a great value on personal physical fitness and even showed us a picture of himself when he had first transferred aboard. He looked much more ‘typically Bolian’ let’s just say back then. He explained that he held advanced degrees in more scientific fields than I could easily remember and was a medical doctor as well(!), serving as field medic on many an away mission! He explained the scientific mission of the Resolute and it’s incredibly extensive scientific facilities. I’ll admit I was overwhelmed.

    He also introduced his Assistant Chief Science Officer Lieutenant Riryr zh’Ossadiph, an Andorian female with pert, forward-leaning antennae and darker blue skin than Cmdr. sh’Firal (I looked it up later; zh’Ossadiph’s from an equatorial region of Andoria where the ice sheets are thinner and there are more surface colonies. Evidently Cmdr.sh’Firal’s lighter skin tone is indicative of some Aenar heritage and might even have be cause for some prejudice had she grown up on Andoria or one of its colonies). She acted just how I had expected an Andorian to act – passionate, somewhat aggressive around subordinates (which included us, of course) and stern. She answered our questions in concise, slightly- impatient sentences that made me wonder if she was being charged by the word. When Lt. Cmdr. Met gently chided her on her brusqueness, she explained that we were the third group she’d had to do this presentation for and evidently being asked the same questions repeatedly was a pet peeve of hers.

    When she had answered the last of our questions, Lt. Cmdr. Met took up where he had left off, sharing some of his most interesting away mission experiences (okay, interesting for a science officer, so of course, I was rivetted)! I’ll admit that I was starting to forget about handsome Lt. Zepan by the time he was done with his ‘spiel’ (as he put it, a distinctly un-Bolian term)… then he showed us pictures of his three co-spouses and five children! Why are all the good ones taken, Nyozi?”

    “Last stop on our tour was the main bridge. Normally, they’d never let us on the bridge of an active starship but we were in earth standard orbit and many of the crew were on shore leave anyways so our presence would a minimal disruption.”

    “Holos and printouts of the main bridge of a starship don’t do it justice. You can feel the power coursing through the deckplates! More so than even main engineering! As we entered the bridge from the main turbolift, we were greeted by Cmdr. sh”Firal again, who stood up from the command chair. A moment later the doors of the captain’s ready room whooshed open and out strode the man himself!

    Admiral Jarek Armstrong is one of the tallest humans I’ve met – over two meters! Muscular, broad-shouldered and fair-skinned but with a ruddiness that suggested recent prolonged sun-exposure; blond hair, parted on one side; a trim beard; and pale blue eyes that conveyed both a great personal strength and a world-weariness that belied his otherwise rather youthful appearance. He looked to be in his early 40s but that was only his biological age. His record was still largely confidential or heavily-redacted (I ‘bribed’ one of our best computer-cryptology cadets with one of mother’s prize-winning Bolian soufflés to get me some advance information on the captain of the Resolute but even he was stymied by the security on Armstrong’s file), but it was known he was much older than he looked having been revived from cryo-suspension aboard one of the Terran sleeper ships that left Earth before the third ‘World War’ that nearly exterminated their whole species (I still marvel at how such a prosperous and successful species as humans was once so brutal and savage). He’d audited many of the courses at Starfleet Academy, his prior military experience allowing him to bypass the full curriculum but I found his presentation on how he had encountered a post-Eugenics War Augment in Eastern Europe during the early 21st century. His pre-cryo record after that was still classified.

    His record since revival was an open book though. He’d shot up the ranks as many had since hostilities with the Klingons had resumed and new confrontations with the Borg, the Cardassian True Way, the Romulan Empire remnants, and even the Undine became more commonplace. He was definitely a ‘lead from the front’ commander like captains of old but also a talented engineer having served several rotations at the Utopia Planitia shipyards contributing to the very class of ship we now were touring (when I mentioned this, the admiral - who preferred to be called captain aboard ship except in formal situations – was quick to point out that hundreds of engineers were on the Nomad team and he gave most of the credit to a ‘Captain Logan’ who he obviously held in great esteem). He ably described the functions of the bridge stations, sometimes relieving the crewman at the stations to show us something specific. He became more animated as the tour proceeded. He especially appreciated insightful or unusual questions and answered them at length.

    I could not help but notice that Cmdr. sh’Firal was watching her captain closely with a small contented smile on her face as he interacted with us. She did not see me watching her at first. When she did, she blushed slightly, her cheeks momentarily darkening and made a friendly ‘eyes front’ gesture with one hand, turning me back to where Armstrong was describing the energy output of the phaser banks and explosive yield of the quantum torpedoes to a tactical cadet with much enthusiasm. I wonder if the captain knows his First Officer is in love with him?

    After our tour of the bridge, the admiral invited all 15 of us to dinner at the officer’s mess. They even had Bolian dishes! The captain credited Lt. Cmdr. Met with educating the mess hall staff in the finer points of Bolian cooking. It was the best meal I’ve had since my last trip home!

    I’ve made up my mind, Nyozi! If I have anything to say about it, I’m going to serve on the Resolute when I graduate. What I’ve seen of the crew and facilities, I could hardly do better! Kiss mother, mother and father for me since you’ll see them before I will! All my best, Gwi. Computer, end recording.”
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited August 2011
    The Mixture of trepidation filled the forward seating area of the transport shuttle as the Cadets peered for a better vantage of their First Real post academy ship.
    The Crew Chief Stood Boots secured to deck plating ..

    Until you sign in to my Ship you are still Cadets.. Stay seated and secured in. Helm pass by Approved.

    Stern to Bow Please Mr Philips.

    Aye Pass-by it is ...Passives scanning us Chief.

    Steady on helm. Re Enter the Security Codes IFF>

    Hands off Weapons.. Pilot Codes now. MArk.

    [muttering I hope they don't think your a undine and shoot us prencie.. not before they scan your holo emitter suite jackson]

    Steady - Passengers will Turn off all non-life support powered devices the Boats Security Chiefs an edgy cuss. Well i'm waiting hold you hands out show me. Good good. Remember your Academy Security briefings.. no unauthorized transmissions..no absent from post no selling your watch to a EMH..

    STop tugging me out this isn't Xenobiology class this will keep you in one piece.

    Aye Chief MAx.

    That's MAximo to you..[thin smile]

    Their she is the "Black Swan" Vulcan Experimental LLR .
    Remember no Polemic Soup jokes Skipper likes to wear a belt sword that's Commodores Progressive.
    EXECS an old SChool Ancient General. The 2nd Officer is Chief of the SCI LAB Research Pod..
    You'll like Izumi.. but look out for the Admirals Bodyguard Alita.. shes one mean cyborg.X.
    and if you get the Cleaning detail for the Admirals Stateroom.. NEVER mess with the GEnie's Lamp.. Ever.

    Tomi That means you .. No experiments of the Private artifacts without Supervision. Your Skippers a MAster GRAD loves LOw E training so remember what MR Worf said before he went to help MArtok from your academy days.

    Skipper the Shuttles passing by showing off the ship international biometric scanners indicate a heightened level of body alertness.. Probabilities match Academy Parameters and health.. !One Holometer experimental with Cadet Midshipman Tomi.

    Skipper: Very well sealant clearance for docking start up procedures Arm the Cyber Sentries in Hangers Decks Turn out the Gold TEam Space MArine Security TEam and eval their screening.

    Aye Sir.

    I want them to learn first thing for BLACK OPS the ship must be respected and kept safe secure..
    CArry On.

    At once sir.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited September 2011
    ...The Relentless dominated the view screen as they drew ever closer. Captain Grak sank back into his chair, a quick glance to Tanar, who had positioned himself out of the way, before ordering ops to open a com channel.

    ...“This is captain Grak of the Endeavour, please respond.” There was a moment of silence before the image of an Andorian female replaced the ships view.

    ...“Captain Grak, an unexpected pleasure. How are you?” asked Commander Jenne.

    ...“No time for pleasantries now Commander.” he snapped in typical Tellarite fashion. She smirked slightly trying to remember when he ever had time for them. “Where is the Admiral?”

    ...“Admiral Tanar is in his quarters I believe, I’ll tell him you wish-” she began.

    ...“NO, no that won’t be necessary. Can you be sure he is in his quarters?”

    ...“Well, yes but I can get the computer to check. What’s going on cap-”

    ...“Do it.” he barked. Jenne could see the tension in his voice, even more so than when she last met him. He had been overly rude then, even for a Tellarite. She always wondered how the Admiral and he had never killed one another in some form of gladiatorial combat. She would have gladly used her favourite ushaan-tor blade if it had been to hand after he had referred to her as a ‘scrawny, sickly blue female’ many years ago. Yet now there was something else in his voice, almost fear. She nodded to Lieutenant Baako, a Klingon, at tactical to check on the Admiral Location.

    ...“Odd,” he replied. “The captain is in Engineering.”

    ...“No he isn’t.” replied Tanar, now appearing on the view screen. The bridge crew fell silent in shock at seeing their leader on the bridge of another ship.

    ...Baako double checked his sensors and was the first to speak. “Admiral, I…my scans show you in engineering. How did you?”

    ...“No time to give you all the details, but that man in engineering is not me. It’s not even a man. It’s an Undine agent.

    ...“An Undine?” said Jenne in shock. “How, when?”

    ...Tanara raised his hands, acknowledging her confusion. “I’ll explain it all soon, I promise, but right now the entire ship could be in great danger. Beam me to the bridge.”

    ...“Yes sir.” A few moments later after a shimmering of blue light Tanar was standing back on his old bridge. It felt good to be finally hope, but now was not the time to reminisce.

    ...“Baako, get your team together and head down to engineering as fast as you can. There is still a telepathic link between myself and the Undine. I’m not sure how much he knows, but he will know I’m close. He will be in engineering for a reason and it won’t be good for us. No one down there will suspect a thing; for all we know he could overload the warp core before anyone has time to realise.”

    ...“Yes, sir, understood.” He replied sharply. He left the bridge and Tanar began to follow before he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Jenne.

    ...“Sir, please let me come with you.”

    ...He shook his head, no Commander. I may need you up here at a moments notice. Don’t worry I’ll be okay. He smiled at her and she nodded reluctantly. She knew her place was at the admiral’s side but she would not disobey his orders.

    ...The doors to engineering slide open smoothly. Everything inside seemed normal enough. Half a dozen engineers scurried about their daily duties. Chief Engineer Phlax was standing over a diagnostic console that had wires and circuits sprawled out around him. Baako quickly moved into the large room, while the admiral waited outside.

    ...“Phlax.” he said sharply.

    ...“Ahh, Lieutenant,” replied the denobulan, not looking up from his work. “im a little busy right now, one of the EPS conduits has been…” he cut himself short as he glanced up to see Baako was accompanied by two security officers both armed with phaser rifles.” What’s going on?”

    ...“Have you seen the Admiral?”

    ...“Not since yesterday, why what’s happened?” he asked, concerned at the question.

    ...“Internal sensors said he was in here.” snapped the Klingon, looking around.

    ...“Baako, he’s not here I would have noticed, now please what is going on.”

    ...“All in good time,” commander replied Tanar as he entered the room. “Computer seal the room with a level 10 forcefield.” The computer chimed in response and the doors sealed. “Everybody stay exactly where you are.” He ordered, causing everybody to freeze into place.

    ...“Sir, I can begin looking for the Undine. He must be in one of the side rooms.”

    ...“Not necessarily, the computer scans our combadges not the person. Computer locate Admiral Tanar.”

    ...“Admiral Tanar is in engineering.” Replied the female voice of the computer.

    ...“How far way from my location?” he asked.

    ...“Eleven point two metres, on a forty two degree angle.” He looked slightly to his right. A young woman was standing by a console, with a PADD in her hand. They moved towards her slowly, weapons raised. She was shacking with fear. Tanar knew something was not right. He could feel the undine in his mind. He glanced over ger shoulder and saw a glimmer of light. It was another combadge. He grabbed it and placed it back on.

    ...“Damn it, he not here.” The ship suddenly shock violently. Tanar to the bridge, what’s going on?”

    ...Commander Jenne’s voice answered. “Sir a quantum singularity is forming. Wait, I don’t believe it we are the ones generating it.”

    ...“Shut it down.”

    ...“We can’t sir, someone has overridden us. From deflector control.”

    ...“Beam us there now.” He demanded.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited September 2011
    ...The energy beam of the transporter dissipated and Tanar gathered his bearings. He was directly outside deflector control. A young ensign lay dead at his feet and the door has been forced open. He and Baako moved slowly into the room, flanked by the two security officers. A young cadet, a caitian female was working a control console in front of them.

    ...“Step away from the console now.” Demanded the admiral.

    ...“Tanar,” she purred, a sinister quality to it, not normally present in caitians. “I knew you were close. A few more days and my plans would have been complete, now I have had to accelerate them.”

    ...“I said step away now.”

    ...“It's too late, the rift is open and soon your ship will be pulled into fluidic space.”

    ...Tanar fired his phaser rifle square into the back of the caitian imposter’s back. The creature howled in pain for a moment but continued to work on the console. Baako also discharged his weapon. The bright orange pulse sailed across the room and struck the creature in the back of the head. It cried out again before beginning to change in front of their eyes. Its fur melting away, while its brown skin shimmered into a grey leathery skin. Quickly the small female form was replaced with the giant frame of the Undine. It spun around and launched itself at the four men. They all fired in unison and sent the undine hurtling back from the force of the blast. A second volley was fired as the creature began to stir, followed by a third. It crumpled to the ground, twitching at the deadly salvo of energy was too much for it to withstand. Final it was slain.

    ...A sense of satisfaction filled him, despite his Starfleet training to respect all life. Today was no time to worry about ethics. Tanar wasted no time. “Baako, shut down the portal.” he ordered.

    ...“Yes, sir.” He replied. After several minutes he turned back to the Admiral. “It’s done.”

    ...“Good work, now let’s-” he never got a chance to finish his sentence. The scream of the young ensigns as the creature lashed at their chests was gut-wrenching. It had regenerated some of its wounds and risen to its feet. Baako and Tanar were trapped. Baako aimed his weapon but was knocked clear from his free and sent crashing into a bulkhead before he had chance to fire. Tanar dived out of the way of a second swaing of its massive hand and aimed his weapon at the creatures hind leg. He fired on maximum setting causing his leg to vaporise. The creature fell to the ground in agony. Tanar readied his weapons at its head.

    ...The weak shall perish. It screamed in his mind, telepathically.

    ...“I could not agree more.” he said coldly, as he fired the killing shot. The creature partially vaporised leaving only a partial husk of skin, bone and other alien residue. He turned to the two security officers writhing in pain “Sickbay, two to transport now.” He said tapping his combadge. They beamed out shortly after.

    ...“I’ll say this for them,” growled Baako, rubbing his head. “they’re tough opponents to kill. I wonder why they wanted this ship so badly. They can open a rift to our space anytime they want. What could they want with us?”

    ...“What ever it was it can’t have been good for us. Let’s hope we never find out.” He helped his fallen comrade to his feet. “Go check on your men.”

    ...“Yes, sir.” The com link chimed again.

    ...“Jenne to Tanar, respond please.” A sense of fear was in her voice.

    ...“I’m here Jenne, I’m fine.” he said wearily.

    ...“Glad to hear it, sir,” the fear now swept away by relief. “The rift has been closed and I detect no undine vessels. Captain Grak would also like to speak to you.”

    ...Tanar sighed. Haven’t I been through enough? “Tell him I was killed, and will be unable to speak to him for the rest of his life.” He heard the laughter from the crew through the comlink. “Yes sir, understood.”

    ...He scratched the back of his neck and looked around. He was finally home and would enjoy sleeping in his own bed tonight, although he knew this was far from over. The undine were nothing if not persistent. They wanted something and it was only a matter of time before they would try again. The next time they might not be so lucky, but that was for another day. Today, he planned to sleep for a very long time.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited September 2011
    The blue and white poker chip skipped across the green felt and clattered into the pile at the centre of the table.

    Lieutenant Commander Tharg N’Freem drummed his long red fingers over his cards. “So, Commander, how are the replacements managing?”

    Jaro Antar smirked, “They’re barely kids, and greener than this table cloth. Cadet McCluskey knows his numbers and managed not to break anything in the last maintenance cycle but I swear he’s never shaved.”

    Lieutenant Varis Sharla, frowned and flicked a chip into the pile, “Heh, you got lucky I had T’nela quoting regulations at me half the day because we don’t stack our Phaser rifles the way they do at the Academy Range. Then she found the Type Three the captain brought back from Drozana Station and went weak at the knees.”

    Jaro stifled a chuckle.

    “Vulcans do not ‘go weak at the knees’,” asserted Commander T’Lara. “However Cadet T’nela’s interest in antique firearms is on record. Her interest is therefore not out of character.”
    T’Lara calmly placed a chip on the pile, her face an impassive mask of logic. Her eyes remaining fixed on the pile. “As it is I am sure I will not need to change the armoury codes to prevent her sneaking in as I did for a certain young ensign.”

    Varis blushed and buried her face in her hands. “Ugh! You’ll never let me live that one down.”

    Tharg reached out a long arm and patted Varis gently on the shoulder. “You looked so cute curled up with that phaser rifle.”

    “Not funny,” came the response from behind the hands.

    “Indeed, it is not.” Observed Lieutenant Commander B’toria as she removed a pair of chips from her stack and added them to the pile. “Some Klingon warriors will often sleep with their weapons so they are always ready for battle.”

    “Is that why your intern in Deflector Control is never seen without a class two tricorder?” asked Jaro, in a tone that implied he suspected the habit had been some kind of parallel enforced by the Klingon scientist.

    “Cadet Holun’s ship encountered a phased space incursion before he joined the academy. He and a small Betazoid child were the only survivors.” Replied B’toria her fists clenching and unclenching on table surface. With a tone bordering on awe she continued, “It takes great courage to board any ship after witnessing such horrors. If the trivial presence of a tricorder aids him in that battle then I will allow it.”

    "Don't coddle him too much Bee', we're hardly on a pleasure cruise." chuckled Tharg.

    “Listen to us.” Observed Jaro, “We sound like a bunch of old Vedeks.”

    “Mr Jaro,” said T’Lara as she placed her cards face down on the table, “If I had an ego to bruise, I would point out that I am sixty two and not nearly venerable enough to be considered an ‘old Vedek’.”

    Tharg grinned broadly, displaying an array of pointed metallic teeth. “Remarkable! Personal insecurity, vanity and humour in one go, but without a flicker of actual emotion. You’re getting rather good at this Commander.”

    T’Lara nodded in acknowledgement to the diminutive red-skinned helmsman.

    “The Commander has been studying Tuvok’s treatise on interacting with emotional species.” Explained Tharg. “Tuvok theorises that communication with emotional species is easier if a Vulcan adopts a certain degree of emotional pretence based on observed behaviour. Ambassador Venik could manage a passable Klingon before the war started.”

    “So was that serious just now or what?” asked Jaro a little nervously.

    “I am always serious Mr Jaro.” Said T’Lara blankly as Tharg desperately tried to smother a fit of giggles.
  • Archived PostArchived Post Member Posts: 2,264,498 Arc User
    edited October 2011
    Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454917.4.
    This is typical. I finally get a chance to get out into the field and away from the academy, and where do I end up? The Nightingale, under Vice Admiral Jinx. By the stars, she is one tough taskmaster. I've been aboard the ship for 3 days now, and so far have been involved in:

    Weapons maintenance drills,
    Battle maneuvre drills,
    Evacuation drills,
    Simulated attack drills,
    Piloting lessons (although I'm rather impressed. The Vice Admiral has one of those Delta Flyers, and a Captain's Yacht. Not that she would ever let me fly that),
    and, oddly, cooking lessons. Why cooking lessons? Isn't that what the replicators are for?

    The next few weeks are going to be hell. I can tell.

    ====================

    Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454920.4.
    Well, today was interesting. Apparently the Nightingale has a slightly modified holodeck to allow for live fire exercises, and the Vice Admiral took me there personally to see how my weapons training was coming on. I thought we had seen a lot of types of weapons at the academy, but a phaser minigun is new to me. I only got to use that one a litte, which is a shame, because it was great fun. Still, 9 out of 10 shots hitting the bullseye, the MOVING bullseye, and I have POTENTIAL???

    I am very impressed with the range of weapons on board the Nightingale, and most of the crew have accepted me now, even if they do still treat me like a kid. I suppose in some ways I am, compared to them. Still, I'm not too sure what to make of the Vice Admiral. She says very little to me, just watches me, appraisingly, I guess. Oh, she'll talk if she is teaching me or testing me, but outside of that, almost not a word.

    ====================

    Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454921.7.
    We've received a distress signal in the Badlands. We will need to take shuttles in to find the source though. There is too much interference for sensors to work properly. The Vice Admiral has ordered me to go along too.

    Supplemental:
    When I was ordered to go along, I wasn't expecting this. I am in the Captain's Yacht, and learning a lot about piloting from the Vice Admiral. I've also had my standard issue phaser taken away from me, and replaced with some kind of phaser shotgun affair. I was tested with this a few days ago, and it's not my best weapon, which i suppose is why I have it.

    The signal came from a runabout from DS9, I'm told. It was in the Badlands to do some trading. I'm betting it was the Ferengi running Quarks trying to smuggle something past Federation customs. It was attacked by True Way ships. True Way cruisers, and we are going flying in there in a tiny shuttle. Oh, God, we're going to die...

    ====================

    Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454922.1.
    Well, I was wrong about dying. So far at least. We've landed on a tiny moon around a huge gas giant. The Vice Admiral's officers that came with us are out scouting now, leaving just me and her in the Yacht, the Symbiont, it is called. I wonder if she has one. A symbiont I mean. She is Trill after all. She is pacing. I think she would prefer to be out there, doing the scouting herself, instead of stuck in here waiting for the comms to go off and her officers to report.

    ====================

    Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454922.4.
    Ok, we're off. Commander Mat (a Breen of all things!!!) found the Runabout, so we are going over there to help find the passengers.

    ====================

    Cadet Maurus, personal log. Stardate 454926.8
    4 days! 4 days we were stuck there. Next to no rations, and the only tools and equipment we had were the items we took with us. Hang on, I'm getting ahead of myself here.

    We found the Runabout, and by the time the Vice Admiral and I got there, Commander Mat had tracked the runabout's crew into some caves not far from where it crashed. It had taken some very heavy damage. The pilot must have been good to get it down intact. The Vice Admiral put me on point with Commander Mat as we started into the caves. There didn't seem to be much life around other than us, although we did see the occasional critter. They looked like they were part lizard, part rock, and for all we could tell, fed off the walls of the caves themselves.

    A couple of hours into the cave system, following the Vice Admiral's tricorder readings, we ended up in a cavern which had a lake in the middle, and a waterfall streaming down one side. I wasn't expecting to find water here. Even more surprising, I wasn't expecting to find a Ferengi and a Cardassian here either. the Vice Admiral spread us out to keep an eye on the various exits from the cavern while she went and talked to the two we had found here. It seems they were the occupants of the Runabout. The Cardassian was some kind of spy, what a surprise, and had been feeding information about the True Way to the Ferengi so they could both make some credits war profiteering. But, their last deal went bad, the True Way discovered the spy, and they had to escape. Fortunately, they were able to get into the Runabout the Ferengi was flying, and get off the True Way cruiser they were being held on. I didn't ask how. That's for Starfleet Intelligence to know.

    Once the Vice Admiral had finished talking to them, she gave the order to pack up and get ready to move, but at precisely that moment, the caves around us started shaking and rocks fell from the ceiling. No-one was seriously hurt though, just a few scratches and bruises. Unfortunately, when we started back out, we quickly discovered that we were trapped in here. There had been a cave in.

    Over the next few days, I learned why the Vice Admiral had insisted I take cooking lessons. I guess she had been in similar situations before and wanted to make sure I was prepared. Still, there is only so much you can do with rock lizard, so by the end of the 3rd day we were sick of the sight, smell and taste of them. We eventually found our way back out of the caves, and from there back to the Symbiont. We got back to the Nightingale as quickly as possible, and just in time too. It seemed that the True Way cruiser was out searching for the spies too. But, the Nightingale has a cloak, and a LOT of firepower, so it really wasn't as much of a threat as I thought it would be.

    Now, we are on our way back to DS9, to deliver a Ferengi and a Cardassian back home, then we are off back to Earth to return me to the academy.

    Shame really, I have come to like this ship, this crew, even the Vice Admiral.
  • zidanetribalzidanetribal Member Posts: 218 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    Literary Challenge #7: The Best and Brightest

    LC07: Lord English Sketch
    Captain's Log, Stardate 85482.36. Due to continued crew attrition as a result of enemy action, the Lord English is taking on a new complement of personnel. Among them will be Starfleet Academy cadets on the Academy Abroad program. These cadets will get a little exposure to life on board a starship for class credit; with any luck, they won't be exposed to the more violent aspects of life on board a starship too soon.

    ===

    "I'm finally finished!"

    Cadet Juno Poplar Inselart finished moving her belongings to her side of her quarters on Deck 8. She had never been out of the Sol System before; even studying at the Academy, she always took a shuttle back to her home in New Berlin. She began missing her parents and her dog, Barklay, more than ever, now that she only had a small terminal connecting her and her family. Before the full force of her malaise brought her to tears, however, the door to the cadets' quarters and a blonde-haired Bajoran walked in with a pot of brine.

    "You're just in time to make hasparat!" she said.

    ---

    "So you're a sophomore at the Academy too?" the Bajoran asked while stirring the brine.
    "Yes. My name is Juno Inselart, and I'm in the Sciences School," she replied while folding hasperat. "Are you my roommate?"
    "Sure am. I'm Garaze Rela, and I'm a sophomore on the tactical track. I've only been on this ship a month. Can you pass me that hasperat when you're done?"

    Juno passed her a wrapped hasperat before starting on another one. Rela stuck several skewers through the hasperat before placing it in the brine. She then added a cup of live gagh before bringing the brine to a boil, driving the gagh to burrow into the hasperat. Juno stared wide-eyed at the Bajoran's avant-garde cuisine.

    "I like fusion cuisine, you see," Rela explained with a grin. Juno decided to ask a different question rather than focus on the squirming of the gagh.
    "So why did you come onto the ship so early?" she asked. "It took me a long time to decide on Academy Abroad because it would have been harder to go home if I was travelling all the time."
    "Well, I was thinking about how often I'd be able to go back home if I was Academy Abroad," Rela answered. "so I signed up to Abroad on the Lord English because one of its ports of call is Deep Space 9. From there it's a shuttlehop back to Dahkur Province."

    Juno marveled at her roommate's canniness. Soon, the hasperat was finished and the two cadets partook of the meal. To Juno's delighted surprise, the gagh-hasperat was spicy and crunchy. Rela put two more hasperats in bowls and gave one to Juno to carry.

    "Hey," she said to Juno. "Can you help me carry this to the room down the hall? The two juniors there helped me a lot when I moved in, so I want to return the favor with food."

    The two sophomores moved down the hall, taking care not to spill brine on the ship's carpeted floor. Along the way, they encountered a young Klingon female working on a wall console.

    "Well! If it isn't the new cadets!" she said.
    "Hello there!" Rela said. "I'm Garaze Rela and this is Juno Inselart. She just moved in today as part of Academy Abroad's science program."

    Juno waved with her free hand.

    "Science, eh? Well then, I'm in the science department too, so we'll be working together often. My name's Kira. I'd like to chat, but I have many things to do, so I'll see you later."

    With that, Kira and the two cadets parted ways.

    "She doesn't seem that much older than us," Rela said. "I wonder if she's a cadet like us."
    "I hope I get along with her, since she seems so friendly," Juno replied.

    ---

    Eventually they reached their destination, where they found a sign on the door reading:
    Nobody is home to receive gifts.

    Juno glanced at Rela, who had a big grin on her face.

    "That must be Idouna's work. She must have picked up that she was coming."

    Giving a bowl of hasperat to Juno, she fished in her pockets for emergency door activators. Inside the room, a voice could be heard.

    "Rela! You don't really need to come in with worms in food!"

    With a burst of strength, Rela pulled open the doors to the cadet quarters and was instantly smashed in the face with a pillow. Juno stared wide-eyed at the crimson-haired Betazoid as she turned her gaze from Rela to Juno.

    "Oh! You must be Rela's new roommate!"

    ---

    "My name is Idouna Stadi. I'm a junior in the science program of Academy Abroad."
    "Wow, I'm in the science program too! I'm Juno Inselart, a sophomore."
    "Nice to meet you, Juno, I hope we'll find ourselves working together more often."

    Juno and Idouna sat around a floor table of intricate Betazoid design while Rela consumed one of the bowls of hasperat. Idouna could feel Juno's anxieties and set about reassuring her.

    "Don't worry about spending time away from home, Juno. The community aboard the Lord English is very helpful and you can ask any of us to help you get settled in."

    Rela looked up from her hasperat.

    "Some of the cadets in my class were a bit put off when I said I was going to the Lord English, though. Apparently there's a reputation that Lord English attracts the Academy's misfits because the ship captain's so lax. That's so rude of them, don't you think?"
    "I... did not know that," Juno replied with a shocked face. Idouna could sense Juno's confidence slipping and changed the subject.
    "Juno, did you meet up with the head of the science department?" Idouna asked. "I think you have to check in with her so that your course credits are fulfilled while on board the vessel."
    "Oh! I didn't know that," Juno replied. "Who is the head of the science department and where should I find her?"
    "She should be in the science lab, I think," Idouna replied. "I think her name is Commander Kira. She's a Klingon not much older than I am and... wait, did you already meet her?"

    Idouna didn't need to be a telepath to sense Juno's sudden realization or her embarrassment. Juno covered her head with her hands with the knowledge that she missed the chance to make a good first impression.

    "Well, well, first impressions aren't everything," Idouna replied reassuringly. "If you ever need anything you can always come to me for help."
    "And if I ever need anything, you can come to me to help!" Rela shouted triumphantly, getting another pillow upside the head for her troubles. Juno giggled. Life aboard Lord English might be cozier than she thought.

    "Look at the time," Idouna said while glancing at her watch. "I should be preparing some food for my roommate, she should be coming back right now."

    As if on cue, the door to the cadet quarters opened and a blue-skinned Saurian covered in blood with two swords walked in. Juno yelped.

    "B-b-bl-blood!" she cried.
    "Wait, Juno, it's fake blood!" Idouna said. "Salin is part of the Lord English's drama club."

    However, it was too late. Juno had already fainted.

    ---

    When Juno came to, she found herself in her room surrounded by Rela, Idouna, and Idouna's Saurian roommate, Salin. Salin was extremely apologetic.

    "I'm truly sorry about that," she said. "The drama club was finishing up practice of an old Earth drama. It's about soldiers trying to defend their city from giant creatures trying to eat them."
    "It's OK," Juno replied. "I was just shocked when you came in, but I'm better now."

    Juno looked around her room. Rela, Idouna, and Salin were tidying up Juno's half of the room.

    "You-you don't have to do this, everybody," she cried. "I can handle cleaning up my room."
    "Don't worry about it, Juno," Rela responded. "We're all in this together, us misfits of the Lord English."

    The grins from Idouna and Salin reassured Juno of her new friends' honest intent.

    I thought that I wouldn't be able to take living away from home well when I first came here, she thought to herself, but now I think I'll enjoy the chance to start living independently.

    Juno left her bed and joined the other cadets in cleaning the room.

    ===
    Captain's log, supplemental. The Lord English has finished the transfer of cadets and is ready to break orbit and go off into space. All stations have reported nominal conditions; everyone we expected on the ship is aboard the ship. As the first order of business, I have ordered the Lord English into the Delta Volanis Cluster for an easy exploration mission to ease the new cadets in. I hope we'll see more of them in the future.
    Post edited by zidanetribal on
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