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Literary Challenge #51 : The Brig

pwebranflakespwebranflakes Member Posts: 7,741
edited October 2013 in Ten Forward
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:

Today we start the two-week run of the fifty-first Literary Challenge: The Brig
One of your chief officers has been thrown into the Brig. Why? Maybe there was a misunderstanding, or are they actually a culprit? Write a Captain's Log entry letting us know the situation and the outcome.

This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.

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

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  • wonvertuwonvertu Member Posts: 9 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Stardate 91355.49
    Captain's Log

    Today saw a very strange event and revealed a vulnerability in my away team I had not expected. By very good fortune and remarkable skill, we were able to overcome it and defeat a Borg assimilation team near Defera, but it was a close thing.

    Scarlett, my tactical department head, is a Soong Mark V android. They have long been classed as a fully sentient life form and as such, can hold any rank in Starfleet that their capabilities allow them to achieve. Or for that matter, they can reach any level of success in the Federation as a whole that they choose. By and large they are remarkably well-balanced as individuals, but don't always have the creative "spark" of an organic intelligence.

    Scarlett is relatively typical in that regard, but she excels in tactical planning and execution. Thus the reason she holds the department head position on my crew. However, something got the better of her today and it was not pleasant, either for her or our away team.

    We had boarded a trader that was emitting a distress signal just a few hours out from Defera and discovered that the Borg had apparently dropped off an assimilation team on the ship and simply kept going. It was a small ship, not exactly a big target. Normal Borg attacks would have simply pulled the smaller ship into the mass of the attacking Borg vessel and that would be all. Not this time.

    This turned out to be a trap. We were roughly two thirds through eliminating the assimilation team when I heard Scarlett behind me say simply "Captain..." But not in her normal tones, this was almost frightened. Fear is not something Scarlett displays. Her control over her emotional subsystem is remarkable and it NEVER gets away from her.

    On turning around, I see that she has her weapon pointed straight at me. "Not. Under. My. Control." she says next and I realize something has invaded her positronic matrix. Specifically her kinesthetics control subsystem. "Resisting. Difficult." Her hands were twitching on her weapon. "System. Reroute. Failing."

    "Dorrel! Isolation, emergency beam out for Scarlett!" I shout to my engineer. Never accuse a Bolian engineer of being slow witted. Scarlett was transported out almost before I could finish the command. Dorrel informed me that she had Scarlett beamed directly to one of the maximum security cells in the Shaw's brig and full nano\chemical\bio isolation protocols engaged. Medical, for all of its secure handling and isolation gear, would not be able to restrain Scarlett safely if she were to go completely out of control.

    Now I was worried in more ways than one. My bridge officers are a dream team in my book and having any of them disabled in some way is very bothersome. (Yes I know the jokes about "Zane's Harem". Phooey. Every one of those ladies has a record that shines. Somebody is just jealous.) On top of that, what invaded Scarlett's system? Would it affect biological beings as well? If so, how?

    Back aboard the Shaw, the medical team went to work on getting the trader crew healed up. Engineering teams were putting their ship back together (It would still need shipyard repairs, but they would get home safely.) It was time to try and discover what was invading Scarlett. She had gone effectively still once beamed into the cell.

    My Chief Science Officer, Janie set up a very detailed examination system at Scarlett's cell and set to work. Scarlett did not react until I came into view and then began to have problems with her movement again. Several times over the space of a few seconds, she physically tried to attack me through the security shield. All the while, her expression showed horror and fear at her own actions. Janie suggested that I should back away, which I accepted as a good idea and did so.

    A short time later Janie came out of the brig. "She has a nano-virus infection. It appears to be of Borg origin, but has been modified to a different set of functions than typical assimilation nanos. They are specifically programmed to seek out Soong androids and take over their mobility. Forcing them to physical actions they would not normally choose. I suspect they would eventually take over the positronic command matrix as well. Effectively "killing" the infected android and leaving a Borg automaton in place."

    "What can we do about it?" I asked, feeling very much out of my depth. Janie's science skills are sometimes wizardry to me, but that's why she is on my crew.

    Janie reassured me with a bit of a smile. "We can likely use the standard assimilation recovery nano-viruses we keep for biological infections. However, I'll need to tailor a batch for Scarlett's system. She's had enough stress on her positronic matrix today as it is. I don't want to add to it. I think I can have something safely set up in a couple of hours."

    "Make it so," I said, stealing the legendary Picard's line yet again. I was greatly relieved by the news. It was time for me to get out of the way.

    A few hours later, Scarlett returned to her bridge station, looking none the worse for wear.

    "How do you feel?" I asked.

    "Nominal," she replied. I accepted that with a nod and turned back to my reports.

    "I wonder if that's how a Pentium computer felt when infected with a Loveletter virus?"

    Android humor!!! Sometimes I wonder.

    Log end.

    Vice Admiral Zane Karban
    Captain
    U.S.S. William A. Shaw- Fleet Excelsior
    Field Admiral, Starfleet Online Academy Militia
  • willvoy74willvoy74 Member Posts: 12 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Captains Log Supplemental.

    Its been a long time since I've had to confine one of my officer's to the brig. During the time of war I need all of my officer's at their posts, but this had to be done. The details of this log will be encrypted and only level ten clearance will allow access. I wish I didn't have to make this log, but I can see a visit from Temporal Investigations when we return to Starbase 517. However, I Captain Isabella Shapiro of the USS Haruhi Suzumiya must now make the difficult decision of what to do with a crewman who has commited treason and endangered the Federation at the hightest level.

    It all started three days ago...

    (Three Days Ago)

    The Haruhi Suzumiya was searching for the USS Sophronia in the Great Bloom System, the same system where the USS Enterprise E battled the Reman Scimitar. There was still some residue Thelaron Radiation remaining from the explosion. Isabella was worried that the crew of the Sophronia had become trapped in the Radiation and suffered a horrible death. However what was about to happen would be more terrifying than anything they had ever seen or come across.

    "Lieutenant scan the system" Captain Shapiro ordered as the Haruhi Suzumiya dropped out of warp at the edge of the system.
    "Aye Captain, I'm picking up dense pockets of Thelaron Radiation within the system and debris cloud" Lieutenant Abanoi reported from the science console. The bridge of the Haruhi Suzumiya was filled with tension as the ship glided in deeper into the system.

    Eventually they arrived at the last known co-ordinates of the USS Sophronia.
    "The Sophronia was on a mission to gather some of the Thelaron Radiation from this system. The Remans have been making a come back since the destruction of Romulas and Remus. Starfleet believe that they may still have some Thelaron Weapons. The Sophronia was tasked with researching and developing a defense against those weapons" Isabella explained to the rest of the bridge crew. After all most Starfleet ships didn't get clearance to enter The Great Bloom system due to the environmental impacts the system had on Starships and their crews.

    "Captain I'm picking up a ship. She's badly damaged" Lieutenant Abanoi reported quickly.
    "Helm move us closer, Yellow Alert". The bridge of the Haruhi Suzumiya darkened as the crew readied themselves for a fight. They were used to being in Yellow or Red Alert these days and even though the ship was a top of the range Intrepid Class they often had to fight their way out of situations they couldn't handle.

    "Its the USS Sophronia" Abanoi said.
    "What happened to them?" Isabella asked.
    "Weapon signatures registering as...."
    "As?"
    "As Klingon/Romulan. A hybrid of both sir"
    "A hybrid of both weapons?"
    "Yes sir. Both signatures are present on the hull. I am however reading lifesigns". Abanoi spun around in her chair and instantly started to tap away at her console.
    "Twenty Six life signs, out of a crew compliment of three hundred sixty"
    Isabella was shocked. That many officer's had been killed, no wonder the ship was crippled with only twenty crew any starship would feel like an empty city.
    "Beam them aboard!" Isabella ordered.

    "I can't sir!" Abanoi said. "Transporters have just gone offline... Someone is launching a shuttle. Is the Kyon sir, our Delta Flyer". The Kyon was the Haruhi Suzumiya's Delta Flyer type shuttle and it was now zooming away from the aft of the ship and heading towards the crippled Sophronia.
    "Who's on that ship!" Isabella asked.
    "Lieutenant Samuel Abbott sir" Abanoi said. "Captain, he's charging weapons!".
    "Red Alert" Isabella ordered. But the Kyon wasn't aiming at the Haruhi Suzumiya it was heading straight for the Sophronia.

    "What is he doing, helm get closer to him. Ready tractor beams". But it was too late, the Kyon opened a volley of Quantum Torpedo's at the Sophronia. Isabella watched in horror as the Sophronia was engulfed in the fire from the blast.
    "Shockwave!" Abanoi shouted. Isabella was knocked off her feet as the shockwave struck the Haruhi Suzumiya knocking several systems offline.
    "Captain" Abanoi said. "There is some sort of vortex out there where the Sophronia used to be!"
    "Vortex?" Isabella asked.
    "Yes, its giving off tachyon emissions!"
    "Tachyons!" Isabella said. "Where is the Kyon?"
    "Its been pulled in, and so are we"
    "Helm full reverse!"
    The ensign at the helm tried his best, but there was nothing he could do. In a flash the Kyon and USS Haruhi Suzumiya disappeared through the vortex.

    (Two Hours Later)

    Isabella opened her eyes to find that she was laid on the floor of her bridge. Luckily the rest of the crew seemed to be waking up.
    "What happened?" she asked grudgily as she pulled herself up off the floor and back into her chair.
    "We got pulled through the Vortex" Abanoi explained. "I'm guessing whatever it was made us black out". Coming from a medical background Isabella knew that some anomolies, especially those that produce Tachyons can affect starship crews.
    "Where are we?"

    She looked up at the viewscreen to see a different system to what they were in.
    "We're still in The Great Bloom system Captain. But we're not in our own time anymore" Abanoi explained.
    "Ok, where in time are we; this time?"
    "According to the computer we are in the year 2390"
    "Thats the year that the Klingons withdrew from the Khitomer Accords and started this war. But why bring us nine years into the past?" Isabella said.
    "Captain, the Kyon just jumped into warp"
    "Set a pursuit course!" Isabella ordered. It took a few seconds for the Haruhi Suzumiya's engines to initialise but soon they were in warp drive.
    "Luckily we're faster than the Kyon" Isabella said. "Take us to full warp speed and catch up with the Kyon"
    The ship then began to shake as the Haruhi Suzumiya started to accelerate and kept accelerating.

    "Engineering to bridge. Captain, our engines won't slow down!"
    "Won't slow down?" Isabella asked.
    "We're stuck at maximum warp, someone has sabotaged the engines so that we're stuck at warp 9.975 with no way of cutting power!". Isabella looked over at Abanoi, usually her trill science officer had some sort of answer for her.
    "Ensign Abbott must have sabotaged the engines before he left. He knew we could catch him, but we can't survive top speed for more than twelve hours and the Kyon is much more meanuverable" Abanoi explained.
    "Great, so we're stuck in a straight line and there's nothing we can do about it?" Isabella asked.
    "Basically captain, yes"

    "Incoming transmission from the Kyon captain".
    "On screen" Isabella said.
    "Hello Captain" Abbott said with a smile.
    "Abbott what the hell do you think you're doing?" Isabella asked.
    "Saving millions of lives and stopping this stupid war!" he replied. "Of course I had to wait until the right moment to do it, and you've delivered that moment Captain"
    "I don't know what you intend to do, but we're going to stop you!"
    "Oh, I don't think so. You see I've locked the warp drive on the Haruhi Suzumiya into a continous loop. I wouldn't try and slow down, if you did it would rip the plating off your hull" Abbott explained. "You never let me become the chief engineer so I thought you needed a demonstration of what I could do"
    "Is this what this is about?" Isabella asked. "Because you weren't chosen to be the Chief? You're the assistant chief, so why are you doing this?"
    "Not quite my dear captain. You see, when I heard about the Sophronia and its research into Thelaron Weaponry I knew I had the chance I needed. You see before I destroyed that ship I beamed aboard several of their experimental torpedo's and I intend to use them. Right into the bow of Chancellor J'mpok's ship. I will stop him from ever declaring war on the Federation and I will be the savior of us all!"
    "What!" Isabella said in shock "How could you? You're meant to be a Starfleet officer not some mindless assassin who travels in time to change time! You'll be destroying millions of lives too and think about what damage you could do to us all!"
    "Yeah, I don't care. You've probably only got; what; eleven hours left so I wouldn't worry. Sayonara Captain". The channel cut off leaving Isabella stood in shock and anger. He was doing something that could only be described as barbaric and ethically wrong. Murder one to save another.

    (One hour later)

    Engineering was hot. It was safe to say that the Warp Core was close to overloading. Steam and coolant was starting to leak from the magnetic constricters. Isabella walked into Engineering hoping that her engineer's had an answer for her.
    "How bad are we?" she asked.
    "Looks like we're pretty much stuck. Whats more disturbing is how he did this. I can slow us down but it would mean blowing out nearly every single EPS conduit on the ship".
    "So stopping would blow us up?"
    "Erm, yeah captain. Or at least blow most of us up"
    "I'm pretty damn sure there was a movie like this one; what was it called.... speed?"
    "Speed sir?" the engineer asked.
    "Yeah, similar circumstances. Yet the bad guy wasn't going to murder a Klingon Chancellor".
    "I see. I might have to watch it one day"
    "Best make that sooner than later, its not like we have much time" Isabella said sarcastically. She wasn't expecting him to turn to the monitor and flick it on. Next thing she knew was that her chief engineer had his senior engineers huddled around the monitor watching a movie from over three hundred years ago trying to see if it would give them any clues.
    "Got to love my crew sometimes..." she said as she walked off.

    She returned to the bridge to find the helms officer trying to keep a track of the engines.
    "So, where are we now?" she asked.
    "Well we've crossed the narrow section between the Romulan Star Empire and the Fedration, but we seem to be heading towards the Klingon Empire. We've also lost the Kyon off of long range sensors; we have no idea where he went"
    "Great, so we're flying with no control and if we slow down we die. Nice to know isn't it" she said with a sigh as she sat down in her command chair.
    "Captain we've got a Romulan D'Deridex coming up fast off aft, they're demading that we drop out of warp and prepare to be boarded"
    "Just what we DON'T NEED!" Isabella said.
    "Tell them we're experiencing engine problems and our warp drive is compromised" Isabella said. Abanoi sent the message. The reply came instantly. A plasma torpedo.
    "Federation Starship, this is Commander T'Mer of the Tal Shiar you shall drop out of warp and be inspected. This is Romulan Territory".
    "Don't answer them" Isabella said. "Ready the rear quantum torpedo's. Aim only at their engines, we don't want to alter the timeline"
    "Why don't we let them come across here sir? They might be able to help us with our engines?"
    "Ok, well lets think. We let Armed Tal Shiar Romulans beam aboard a ship which is nine years more advanced. What do you think they'll do?"
    "Silly question?"
    "Yes silly question" Isabella said "But good thinking ensign".
    "Torpedo's locked". Isabella hesitated, as she knew what they were doing wasn't meant to happen. "Fire!". The bright blue torpedo's raced behind them and struck the Romulan ship knocking them out of warp.
    "Their engines are overloading sir..."
    "What! I said disable!"
    "Captain!" Isabella stood up as she watched the D'deridex ship explode and then implode into their own Quantum Singularity. She uttered a few swear words under her breath as the Haruhi Suzumiya sped on.
    "If we ever get Ensign Abbott I will have his head on a spike!"

    (Two hours later)

    "Engineering to bridge. We think we can drop us out of warp!"
    "How?" Isabella said.
    "We re-route the power flow to an empty deck and blow out all the conduits in a confined area. We can also vent dry plasms through the nacelles to prevent a core breach!"
    "Get it done!" Isabella ordered. Within minutes deck four had been cleared of all personnel and equipment.
    "Ready to drop out of warp" Engineering said.
    "All hands, brace yourselves, damage teams stand by" she looked over at the helm officer. "Engineering, Helm. Do it".

    The ship shook as the ship dropped to impulse speeds. The EPS conduits on deck four blew out causing the entite deck to be engulfed in a inferno. The fireballs ripped through the bulkheads on the deck and thrashed through living quarters and science labs. As it reached the outer hull it shattered the Transparant Illuminum in the window frames and for a few seconds the explosion was vented out into space. Meanwhile the Haruhi Suzumiya swayed from side to side as bright blue dry plasma erupted form the nacelles.

    The ship stopped and drifted in space for a few minutes before the helm officer managed to bring the ship to a steady impulse speed.
    "Damage report" Isabella asked loudly over the sound of flames and sparks that had erupted from the consoles on the bridge.
    "Deck four is destroyed, emergency forcefields are holding but we're in a bad way. Warp drive is offline, we've got impulse and thrusters. However we will be able to get warp drive back online within six hours"
    "Six hours!" Isabella asked in a slightly raised surprised voice.
    "We basically overloaded out drive sir, the best I can do is patch her up until we find a starbase, back in our own time; when we return to our own time"
    "If we return to our own time" Isabella muttered under her breath.
    "Captain, I do have some good news. We are not far from Khitomer. This is where Chancellor J'mpok withdrew from the Khitomer Accords. It will take nearly a day for the Kyon to get here. Abbott didn't think we would ever make it here and stop!"
    "Thats better news!" Isabella said. "Begin repairs, I want engines and weapons back online. I also want that new stealth technology they installed brought online. I want to catch Abbott and stop him from Assassinating the Chancellor, even if it means having to go through a war."

    (The next day)

    The Haruhi Suzumiya sat in geostationary orbit below Khitomers southern pole hiding them from sensors. The Kyon had come into sensor range an hour ago and was on final approach. So was the flagship of the Klingon Empire.
    "Captain..." Abanoi said. "The Federation Diplomatic ship has just dropped out of warp... Captain their aboard the Enterprise"
    "Right on time" Isabella said. "Where are the Klingons"
    "They will arrive in twelve minutes. The Kyon will arrive in fourteen"
    "Red Alert!"

    The bridge darkened as they watched the Klingon Battleship drop out of warp.
    "Helm, I want an intercept course plotted for the Kyon. When Ensign Abbott drops out of warp engage them and chase them away"
    "What about the other ships?" the helmsman asked.
    "Good point" Isabella said. "We'll emit a Charged Particle Burst at both ships, we should be able to temporarily blind their sensors!".
    "We're ready" Engineering reported.

    The Kyon dropped out of warp.
    "Sensors now!" Isabella ordered. Instantly the Haruhi Suzumiya blasted a Charged Particle Burst at both ships blinding their sensors. Then rushed in to combat the Kyon.
    "Captain the Kyon is disguised, he's using a Holographic Emitter to pretend to be a Klingon Shuttle" Abanoi reported. "And he's sending false hails claiming to be a member of the Klingon High Council here to present information about...."
    "About?"
    "About Federation Treachary and how the Enterprise can't be trusted".
    "Do you think the Klingons will believe him?"
    "I don't know sir" Abanoi replied.
    "Open fire on the Kyon!" Isabella ordered. The bright orange phaser cut across space and hit the Kyon.

    The Kyon opened fire on the Haruhi Suzumiya. The ship shook as phasers and torpedo's struck the shields.
    "He's no match for us!" Abanoi said.
    "Disable his shields and beam him aboard!" Isabella said. "I want him to answer for what he has done here". The Haruhi Suzumiya opened a volley fo phaser shots and quantum torpedo's destroying the Kyon's shield emitters. Within seconds the transporter room had locked onto Ensign Abbott and beamed him into the ship's brig.
    "Destroy the Kyon, we can't risk the Thelaron Weapons falling into the Klingon's... or the Federations hands!".
    "Captain!" Abanoi said. "They can see us!" The Klingons are heading this way!"
    "Blow the Kyon up!" Isabella said. Quantum Torpedo's flew across space and Isabella watched as the Kyon exploded in a haze of light and fire.

    "Starfleet Vessel! You have commited an act of war! You're superiors will hear about this, you will be destroyed! Pa'tak!"
    Isabelal swore out loud. The reports of how this diplomatic mission went was classified and now she knew why, because her own actions of mercy started a war that would kill millions.
    "Helm, get us out of here!" she shouted.
    "Aye sir, the Enterprise and the Klingon vessel are in pursuit. Rear Admiral Quinn is hailing us from the Enterprise"
    "No response, just get us out of here!" Isabella ordered.

    Eventually after landing the Haruhi Suzumiya on an asteroid they managed to evade the Enterprise and the Klingons. Isabella listened to the Federations News Network as the Klingons and Federation declared war. it was her fault and on her shoulders. She walked into the brig later that day to find Ensign Abbott sitting with his head in his hands.
    "So instead of saving millions you have condemmed millions to death. Some Starfleet Officer you are!" she said angrily. It was a good job there was a forefield between them. "You're looking at charges of sabotage, treason, theft, attemptive murder and unauthorised time travel. We'll be getting back to our normal time frame in a few hours. When this is sorted they'll send you to a penal colony for the rest of your natural life, you'll have plenty of time to live with your guilt!"
    "Captain..."
    "What!"
    "I'm sorry..."
    "Its a little late for that isn't it. You disgrace me!". Isabella turned and walked off.

    (Later)

    The Haruhi Suzumiya had managed to return to the present day. However their calculations were a little off. They arrived a few minutes early and therefore came face to face with themselves. They watched as the past Kyon made a run for the Sophronia.
    "Quickly! Beam the survivers of the Sophronia to sickbay! We're not letting them die twice!". The Sophronia exploded in a blast of yellow fire.
    "We have them captain, all survivors accounted for!".
    "Thank god!" Isabella said. They had a few seconds to get away as they watched their past selves disappear into the vortex.
    "Lieutenant, close that vortex!" Isabella ordered.
    "With pleasure" Abanoi said as she fired phaser to close the vortex.

    (Present day)

    So thats how this all began. It turns out that a 'Ghost ship' appeared at the scene where the Enterprise and Chancellor J'mpok were and destroyed a strange unidentified Klingon Shuttle. Most Starfleet officer's believed that to be a rumour or a tale, but now I know that it was me and the Haruhi Suzumiya. Ensign Abbott is under guard in the Brig and the surivivors of the USS Sophronia are recovering in sickbay. The Haruhi Suzumiya is limping back to Starbase 517 for repairs and to offload Ensign Abbott, I'm thinking that Starfleet Intelligence and Temporal Investigations are going to have a field day with this one. However I will admit, I'm not looking forward to the repercussions.

    This is Captain Isabella Shapiro of the USS Haruhi Suzumiya, encrypt log for level ten or above access only. Save and end...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Fleet Executive Officer
    Epsilon Force
  • mitch658058mitch658058 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Captain's Log
    Stardate 90232.1.

    After fending off the Borg once more, I am sad to announce that my treasured first officer, Commander Mirra, has been placed in the brig. As for the exact charges, I don't know, but I do know that one of the charges is collaborating with the Borg.

    We lost 19 starships today, including the Providence. To see my old vessel go down with my old friends on board pained me. But at least they weren't assimilated.

    The Borg seemed to know all our tactical maneuvers, even thought they were never used yet. They were designed to fight the Borg, and my crew had devised them. The only people who knew was myself and my senior officers. So it could have been anyone of my officers. Although, after careful investigation, the data was downloaded from Mirra's quarters using her own security code. Even thought I doubt that Mirra would be so foolish to use her own codes, it could still be evidence.

    Is she really guilty? Is she being framed? The truth is yet to be revealed.

    Starfleet Command has ordered us to the Cestus System. A new Borg threat has been uncovered, and the fleet has been order to neutralize the threat. I'm not sure how well we will preform without Mirra. She is quite the dedicated officer. An Andorian tactical officer, to be exact.

    Hopefully, we will get this matter sorted out soon. Either way, we must get the Borg situation under control, before more people get hurt.

    End Log.

    Vice Admiral Mitch SisJanCard Richards
    Federation Star Ship Partridge
    22:00 Hours
  • livingston4livingston4 Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Captain's log
    Stardate 90210.6

    After picking up ambassadors from all over the quadrant to discus a temporary alliance. To remove the Borg threat. Unknown to me at the time my first officer Commander Tarah has given our position away to the Borg.

    We are currently being pursued bye 2 Borg cubes. I'm not sure how much longer we can remain at warp 9.99. Witch is well past the warp cores designed speed. we are running out of options we have sent out a distress call and no response. I recently have given the call for all passengers to the saucer section and separated it from the star drive In hope that it will find help in time. In the meantime she is in the brig. In the meantime she will remain in the brig.

    But what is bothering me the most is why did my first officer betray the location of this meeting. Her family was assimilated by the Borg. She has bin under my command since she was an ensign. She has never done anything like or near something like this at all. If we survive this it is out of my hands and she will be court marshalled. Unless a formidable reason for this unacceptable action is found

    All we can do is hope the saucer section finds help and bring temporary piece until the Borg threat is eliminated.

    Vice Admiral Jarred Lambdon
    Federation star ship
    Interceptor X
    23:30 Hours
  • allen1973allen1973 Member Posts: 22 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Mong-Dech was not grumpy or furious. His daughter La'tal does not like serving aboard the battle cruiser. His wives grow weary of her insubordination regarding her on-board education. Even his parents do not wish to home school her at times. On the other hand, such a display of independence is very heart warming to the family, so it is usually tolerated. Today was different, with one wife in the ready room observing diplomatic protocol procedures, and the other working closely in junction with the senior operations officer on the bridge the general had no choice but to escort the adolescent himself. "Adolescent," for Klingons in the 24th century this is a strange oxymoron, the young woman is almost thirty years old. By Klingon standards however . . . His daughter had read his revolutionary debriefing to his fleet and allies, she particularly took disregard for his comment that, "education lasts your entire life...while formal education might only take 10%," and to, "...get used to the idea of em-betterment." Originally a comment on the KDF work and learn program La'tal decided it was a personal insult. Mong-Dech only replied that if she wanted to live in urban poverty as he did at her age, such an option was of course completely possible. There are many neighborhoods that did not benefit from his development of street wise alliances, and community outreach programs that he had helped to facilitate over the years. Most Klingon cities are very much like the capital, complete war zones.
    While returning to the bridge after confining his daughter to quarters he imagined that La'tal would eventually continue with her studies as she normally did. He almost never explained to her the difficulties he faced during adolescents. He usually left that designation for his wives or other family members, or comrades who have known him long enough to mention. While he knew she would not see that he was honoring her with his wisdom, she did have the recompense to acknowledge that her temper had betrayed her-although she said nothing of the sort, he could read her body language.
    As he wandered back to the turbo lift he worried about his wives reaction a little. He was not too harsh, although they should have no concerns that La'tal will be continuing her research. "We can not tell if she will be an engineer, a civic engineer, or a tactical consultant like her mothers," he mused to himself. Already La'tal was capable of granting stress to her mothers with the Klingon blade, but not quite yet the Bat'Leth. Even she would not dare oppose her grand parents, however, her mothers are quite proud of her for that. "A young KaBeTarg shows wisdom," he remembered his mother had doted towards her grand-daugher.
    What was the use? He had very ordinary Occupational duties to attend to, and in his staging of preparedness, weeks in advance, the High Council demands his presence, his acknowledgement, his confirmation. To no one, NO ONE, does he respond to outside of Occupation Code Encryption during a mission preparedness protocol procedure. Very few members of the Occupational Fleet could for certain know what his duties and the duties of his crew were. The 'BaQ MonG-DecH' had the highest form of security clearance for all 'theoretical duties,' based on his proposals, empirical contracts and contacts within the high council. The ship rotation had been cleared from an Occupational agency, no spies were found, no contraband, no illegal weapons or vengeance seekers were aboard to the highest level of knowledge available to the General. No fanatics, no harmful aliens, no Federation members, no indication of Borg, Founders, Tal Shiar, the list goes on and on, nothing.
    Suppose he were to be on a mission to join the Occupation Fleet and directly oppose the Klingon factions of the Nefarious Corporate Oligarchy, there would be no way in hell Mong-Dech was going to tell the Chancellor's office anything at this stage of the mission. Just the same, three weeks, a month, two months, even House of J'mPoc fleet ships were told by the offices of the High Council to warn Mong-Dech that his non-compliance was an insult to the Empire! To him! An insult? He was following security protocols ad nauseum, yes that was factual, however not unusual.
    A private message from J'mPoc said, "They say you must comply to threat of treason, this is nonsense, when you are ready respond to their claim." That message came yesterday and was the Chancellor's private encryption, of course Mong-Dech could prove this to anyone, even to anyone aboard his ship, and he of course only mentioned the existence of such a message to his wives, after they had completed their shifts and their daughter had eaten and had retired to her quarters. He imagined that the High Council individual who was hounding him with useless hyperbole was completely incapable of understanding the security risks they were creating for him.
    There were members of the Occupation that took an aggressive oppositional stance to his being in league with the murderer of Martok. Mong-Dech himself suffered shame that neither faction could find ability to co-operate before fatality occured. However, not to dishonor Martok, he had either suffered too great a health risk at the hands of the Dominion or had become a genocidal maniac. There were too many Gorn in the Empire and a hostile takeover of the Hegemony was barbaric even by Klingon standards. Of course there were other political issues, however Mong-Dech had fought long and hard for equality and civil rights in the Empire, this was too much.
    Compared to today however, Gorn integration had not found such a high level of acceptance during Martok's reign. In many ways Mong-Dech was suspicious that Martok staged his death to compete to gain equal rights for the Empire. This was something that was only whispered in his quarters.
    Recently the High Council had granted his right to succession as his 'field promotion,' during the Occupation of the Corporate Hierarchy Stronghold. It had been years since he ratified his field promotion with five long years of military tactical training, almost all of which was classified. Occupy Generals who did not heed the High Council's concerns for an up to date military education were de-accommodated. However many had made significant gains, and were by no means unseasoned captains. Most Captains of the Occupation were there by merit alone, academic and by right of passage, be that as it may. Not all. This was difficult for Mong-Dech, if the High Council was to be bought off by the Nefarious Corporate Oligarchy, then most Empirical equality, economic or otherwise, was doomed. Gaardox Mong-Dech was very concerned that education, and military advancement through proper Empirical channels should be considered by all in the Occupation. Let us not give any excuses to the Nefarious Corporate Oligarchy, let them know that other than they, this IS a civil war!
    Mostly his rhetoric was considered revolutionary gander by Occupation members, however membership to the Occupation had in recent years swollen to such a degree that in fleet training had to occur to the utmost standards of the Empire, in all areas and facilitation.
    "Hah! The High Council..., after so many honor filled decades of my service they obviously must want to disturb my mission to grant me a promotion to Major General," So mused General Mong-Dech. "They must wait." Gaardox then considered the exact nature of his duties, in the empirical bridge chair. What he wanted is to steal away the hours in his quarters with his wives and a kask of bloodwine. What he would be doing is confirming Empirical Occupation convoy lines, KDF and Empirical Occupation Fleet defense strategies -as they are projected within bridge astro-metrics, and finally confirm certain staging quantities. Certain confirmations could not be left to the Quarter-master. They were too important, whether to him personally, the occupation, or the Empire, he would not distinguish, that was classified, and usually only he could know for certain.
    The only reason he was thankful to leave the turbo lift was because he was tired of rehearsing his duties in his mind. Both wives were still sure to be busy, now the Quartermaster himself needed his attention, well, at least he wasn't a member of the High Council. Twice during the tirade O'Wa'TaQ MonG-DecH emerged from the General's quarters to inform Gaardox personally that the High Council had left a message for him. Three times Gaardox could tell that T'Sha MonG-DecH wanted to execute the quartermaster and discuss La'tal. Everyone on the bridge could with empirical certainty ascertain that Gaardox MonG-DecH was prepared to murder specific members of the Klingon High Council.
    "There is no enacting security protocols against the Corporate Oligarchy! If we cannot supply the Occupation on the Negh Var moons, then we can only expect further enslavement of Klingon citizens! THIS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! This is not a military or a priority channel, I most repose the Occupation Fleet at this time, do not signal any member of the Occupation Fleet again! You are being outrageous! It is my duty and honor to serve the Occupation in this manner, It is my duty and HONOR to serve the Empire in this manner, this is why I and others of the Occupation seized a field promotion, and this is why many of us continued our empirical training to become Empirical Fleet Officers. Do not let your dusty law books interrupt relevant Empirical protocol! Tomorrow we may receive the signal to join with the Borg Initiative Protocol Alliance and help defend the galaxy, DO NOT CONTINUE TO DISTURB MY COUNTENANCE IN THIS MANNER! I will receive your messaging at the proper and respectful end of my current duty mission - QA'PLA!"
    Factually he went twice a year with a mixed fleet alliance to disturb Borg activity. Sometimes it took too many months, sometimes it only took weeks. There was no telling. The way the High Council told the story however, you would think that Mong-Dech owed the Empire for their patronage. Gaardox assured the representative that this was in no way the expected case, and began the empirical task of blocking all further signals from the High Council. This to was protocol. He had heard that Km'Pec had at times delayed the High Council in a similar manner, war or diplomacy being more relevant. Gowron was very intuitive to this degree. Martok, well, Martok was mostly very angry with the High Council, and Gaardox knew why. Gowron would engineer diplomacy with the High Council in amusing ways that reinforced his relationships with his Captains and Generals. Martok would simply threaten the High Council. Gaardox was to assume that in the 25th century that nothing should threaten the sanctity of any relevant mission to the Empire. That said, they, almost like a weather forecast, neither the Occupation Fleet nor the Empire could predict any Borg evaluation at this time, and inner fleet combat within the Empire had practically halted, at least by 24th century standards. This is something that was not whispered, but bragged on by members of his house. The only real enemy was within, and the Borg, and even the Borg held no real challenge, merely an extreme nuisance. That is if the Borg did not catch one off guard. The Council had changed frankly.
    Mogue, Martok, Gowron, Duras, Km'Pec, all High Council warriors were welcome and equally opposed to the Corporate Oligarchy. D'rmQot MarG the political philosopher to the Empire noted that Km'Pec had gained politically after Km'Pec's decline. Before Gowron had been defeated, the House of Mogue was fully re-accommodated. The House of Gowron had gain respect, civility and respectability after the fall of Gowron, however no re-accommodation was necessary. The House of Duras gained responsibility and deaccommodation was continually an eminent threat to that house. After the death of Martok, it was very strange, there was no infighting, and many diplomatic appointments were assigned grants of accommodation in light of his loss. Statues, civic centers and prominent streets, shuttle ways, and landing spaces, education and many other relevant deployments - a special office of his House had to be designed to complete the business of Empire in his absence. Gaardox was simply left to assume that as much that had been civic use of the Chancellorhood of Martok would so become of his dismissal. This never sat well with Gaardox, he was still uninterested in the loss of Km'Pec the Chancellor of his youth, why should he, how could he appreciate these losses? Years had passed, yet this still unnerved him. It was common that prominent officers of the Occupation could report directly to House observation in the High Council, crimes against the well-being of Klingons in general were becoming exceedingly difficult to create within the Empire. For this he himself would celebrate as a victory someday in Sto-vo-kor, such as he routinely did now as a living Klingon.
    What's this? The High Council associate went so far as to assume that Gaardox had a priority of orgiastic Occupational concerns for victory, and this had improperly adjusted his considerations for victory. Gaardox had no problem blocking all further Empirical contacts on any ship channel aboard the 'BaQ MonG-DecH' from that point on. Gaardox isolated frequencies, entered his codex, and perpetuated signal designage.
    Mong-Dech took further relish in observing the Occupational fleet lines in his astrometrics bridge observation post [his chair,] and took pains to communicate with Captains and to personally advise, challenge, or send salutation. Diplomatic relations had been strained recently again as the offices of the Corporate Oligarchy had been caught spying on members of the High Council and surveying messages in relation to the Occupational Fleet forces. Gaardox thought this would entice the High Council to embellish in their alliances with the Occupational and allied Fleets. It did so for a time, now however their actions proved too insidious. Going against mission security would look like unnecessary scrutiny to the Chancellor. Why must we tolerate these politicians?
    One after another Fleet line was observed, subsumed, re-prioritized, or congratulated. Qa'Pla, he finally began to notice that the office posts of his wives had been fulfilled and that in his brother's absence, his wives filled the second in command vocation by the side of his com chair. Horg MonG-DecH was busy in his own Battle Cruiser on another side of the Empire doing the exact same duty. It was almost strange that it would take two individuals to fill his post, however, the family of MonG-DecH had foreseen this. T'Sha had put her hand on his shoulder and whispered that Horg had signaled some time after Gaardox had blocked the Council's beck and callings. T'Sha had squeezed his shoulder hard when O'Wa'TaQ had leaned into the Chair of Gaardox and suggested that since the supply convey considerations were complete that possibly it would be wise to hail Horg and see how progress was in the Eta Eridani to this regard.
    Laughter filled the bridge of the 'BaQ MonG-DecH'! "It is not possible to imagine the look on the Council Member's face as you have described, and yes, my duties are complete today, thank you for describing why you have secreted your Empirical transmissions." Crew members and officers alike rejoiced in moments like this. Sometimes Klingon supply lines were raided. Sometimes this occurred by the hand of other Klingons. Mercenarial or otherwise, security and Fleet responsiveness had to be the priority. "I suppose they only wanted to accommodate your new rank MAJOR General!" Thunderous laughter. Terribly deafening to those who were not Klingon. Why did Horg always get to tell the joke?
    "Brother once again you are too psychic for your own good, the honor of saying as much was to be mine-no matter-you are my blood!" Having a younger brother was not a particularly savory privilege. However, his family loved him, so did he.
    "My humility to your honor, of course older brother, please allow your non-Klingon officers to have their hearing checked upon your notoriously skilled Gorn medics."
    "Younger brother again you miss the point, Gorn officers are aboard this bridge as well." Gaardox had to admit he was otherwise often enough flabbergasted if it were not for the fact that Horg was a competent Captain, tactician and engineer.
    "Damn another year of lizards smelling deafness toward my direction? I have had enough of this! Pipe me through to your shipboard com at once!" Gaardox complied and Horg explained the joke and the insult and the medical infraction to all aboard both the 'BaQ MonG-Dech', as well as Horg's own, the 'Dazaqul'. All due to the sake of the mission and the severity of Horg's thoughtlessness, he outdid himself and impressed Gaardox and his immediate family on that bridge to his own satisfaction. For years to come Horg's self criticality and admittance of wrong doing was unfounded in Empirical Fleet history. Few captains would admit such a mistake to their own crew, yet to say anything to the crew of their ranking general. This was not an unusual practice in regard of the telling of victories, or other important revelations. It wasn't really an unusual practice in general, the MonG-DecH family was known for incite-fullness and creativity, although Gaardox himself was often enough seen by individuals as esoteric. The logic of his actions had to be evaluated, over time more and not fewer came to understand the relevance of his otherwise seemingly random methodologies. This one however was all Horg's doing, and of relatively no surprise. There had only been two other such announcements, a ship carrying dilithium supplies had been secreted to a hidden Klingon Occupational Worker's Union Refinery, and a Fleet scuttling had been thwarted by the use of five cloaked bird's of prey. And related shipments of relevance were not prevented, and were in fact to arrive ahead of schedule, but by now, everyone in the Beta Quadrant would know, that particular battle cruiser had a fleet compliment of five additional vessels. Gaardox noted a deep chuckling amongst his bridge members upon that particular mention. It was an obvious trap for the Nefarious Corporate Oligarchy, mercenaries of bankers, as Horg had noted to further embellish his compliments and to distract from his misuse of tongue. Horg was lauded of course. Gaardox did almost miss his audacity at times however and La'tal's curfew was extended to give toast to her uncle for a fine joke, too good a sixth sense, and excellent and exciting reportage of Fleet Activity. Fourth meal was bloody and alive in more than one parameter. The next day personal reports of such toasting would permeate within the 'BaQ MonG-DecH', and within the Occupational Fleet.
    First morning duty was to report to the Chancellor however. Gaardox did not like to have to confine himself out of his bed to his in-quarter's office, however his wives had an extended rest period and Gaardox was on double duty until all transports of relevance were transpired, and until it could look as if such an event had indeed occurred, which of course was an entirely different chronological proxy. One that he did not mind relating on a secure channel to Jm'Poc.
    "Don't brag to me Gaardox, you have a Captain and a Commander on board. You can make your Occupational appointments look as important as you wish, I will remain unimpressed, except by that of Horgs reportage, those mercenaries were too careless by all regard, that is obvious to even the High Council."
    "DaGott-Jm'Poc, you sound very much like my father..." Gaardox observed grimly.
    "HeH Gaardox, even before lights on ship hours you can compliment an ugly old General..."
    "Perhaps you think I am vain to compliment myself in such a fashion, or that I am ignorant of the fact that you are no longer a General."
    "Don't be wry Gaardox. Such wit is indeed vanity as you suggest."
    "I would NEVER choose to interrupt members of THOSE houses in such a disrespectful manner!"
    "Yes, it comes to me now, they are daft are they not?" That stopped the General coldly. What could he say to that? "Say nothing comrade of the revolution, we are united in many things, and what is not we make up for in compliance to the standards of honor. You are not incorrect."
    "I can only imagine so. You cannot forget that I begged admirals and generals alike to retest the former Chancellor, that the Founders were an inconceivable threat, that we should not be opposed to the clinical findings, and tactical warnings of the Federation in this regard-"
    "Yet are you disappointed Gaardox? Today no one can doubt your concerns." Gaardox named the representative for the council that had insulted him, and he and the Chancellor spoke briefly of that Klingon's house, to no noticeable satisfaction of either of them. Gaardox almost inspired civil war upon his testing requests regarding the former Chancellor and the Founder's doppelganger. "Gaardox, you have not spoken his name yet, you must learn to honor those chosen in Sto-Vo-kor."
    "Chancellor, it defeats all purposes in my mind, that you continued that conflict with Martok. I know he passed all medical exams, and his tactical reasoning was never proven to be driven by xenophobia-"
    "Fair enough, MARTOK, was to his own degree honorable, say nothing more then. His death is not by my wishing either, I can only say that much, and this is not the first time we have discussed this. Gaardox we will discuss the inept behavior of the High Council, the unscrupulous behavior of the House of Duras, how it effected the houses of Martok and Mogue, and how it effects us all, perhaps their impropriety - the council member's rude detachment is a form of racism against you, or perhaps classism - I may not be the psychic your brother is, yet I can tell what you must think at times. Factually we pressed you too hard in your empirical tactical research to accommodate you into Empirical Generality if you will excuse the pun. We in no way or formation were to guild you towards immaculate indemnity. We can't have every single anarchist simply announce a General decree off the top of their proclivity. I recall you relate to those factions, yet are merely affiliated, nothing more...That isn't relevant, what is relevant is that you and your allies proved that members of the Corporate Oligarchy committed enslavement to Klingon citizens, in a move of respite, this 'economic inequality' you and your allies so rally against...we will be having less of that for the future and sanctity of the Empire, I can assure you. The High Council has an even dimmer view of such behaviors and inequities than I or YOU! As hard as it might be to believe, you are right, we must strive against the Borg, forge alliances against that faction, end the civil wars and inner turmoil within the Empire, recuperate and ecosynthesize war torn planets, your assistance, the assistance of your Occupation is appreciated by all Gaardox, not just by those in your alliance network. Just be cautious, I will let it be known to the High Council that your business at this time is an empirical priority. Don't openly oppose them, just ignore them until you arrive back on Qo'Nos. Qa'Pla." Gaardox could only be moved to be stunned in a poignant manner after such an empirical diatribe.
    It was sometimes better if the Chancellor was angry or had ordered some kind of recall or re-premonition. Gaardox had his own standing order. His own. From his own tactical consideration to the best of his own rationality, with his own advisers, and officers. Only the Chancellor could appropriate Gaardox to the vacuum of space in such a way. Nothing, nothing at all, an Empire of nothing, and Gaardox owned it all. In his own facility Gaardox had created this himself. He should be pleased, instead he only saw it as another example of the frailty of the political council. He wondered if the council would hold their pledge against the criminality of the Corporate Oligarchy? For once he feared civil war. Not when he knew for certain that Martok was an imposter, not during the occupational 'hazards' during warfare, not during diplomatic considerations against the Gorn Hegemony, and rarely during fighting against the Dominion or the Cardasians. Even when facing a Federation fleet, he calmly took to protocol and worked on a diplomatic solution. A much dire enemy was the enemy of the enemy, the Borg Initiative carved out certain exacting latitudes, and Horg's engineers were making progress with Borg technology. "No fear, they are the Borg they will be deassimilated!" He had informed the Federation Admiral, Gaardox's two battle cruisers and the five vessels of the Federation. When the temporary border dispute had been agreed upon he was later callously complimented on Qo'Nos as being compliant of order #535963, the preservation of Borg Initiative Protocal standards. As inglorious as it was, it was the correct decision, and the brother's MonG-DecH lived to face those Federation ships against a common foe, which was his Empirical designation and right of succession. No one would argue law against that fact.
    In such a right he ordered his captain to helm, and Gaardox joined his wives in rest.
    He took a late position on his shift and followed through with his duties eventually conceding to the fact that he preferred to his own wives as commanders-gender equality being especially attractive to female Klingons, he would be mercilessly complimented at a later time. In the month that followed, twice his wives commanded birds of prey for various duties following through with Occupational shipment protocols. In one victory an entire ship had been seized by his wives use of tractor beams and the 'BaQ MonG-DecH' torpedoes. Horg being innovative, had found a way to cloak a shipment deployment vessel and innocuously conducted scientific research in an adjacent sector while playing cat and mouse games with an apposing mercenarial fleet.
    There were more minor victories during this time. La'tal had finished her section of study so she went on to combat training, which was actually overdue in a sense. Not being the only person her age on board was a broadening experience for her, and her family members were once again treated like Klingons due to her appreciation. La'tal had transferred to Horg's ship, as he started the mission earlier and would arrive back earlier, La'tal could take this opportunity to learn the complicated fundamentals of engineering. Those lessons would reflect well on Horg and La'tal alike for lifetimes to come.
    The council did not again respond, and this was well enough, although nothing came direct from the chancellor again, and that was even better.
    There was some bad news, the engineers who had installed phaser cannons at the community stronghold of his family had not been paid. Every so often defense upgrades must be maintained. Since he could not communicate with offices of the Council, he could not pass on the expense either. He would have to pay the minimal fee in immediacy and be reimbursed by the empire at a later time, which was not good equity.
    Gaardox has no physical office outside of his ships or family house. He had to conduct his affairs with the council personally as the ship was in arrival procedure. He was able to join his wives and greet his daughter and parents, however he had to return to the capital afterwards for reimbursement purposes and to make appointment with the very same council person who was apparently still capable of putting him off.
    Gaardox had been sitting at this particular office for five minutes. He had ordered, the standing lieutenant to remove the media device from the wall. It was funny walking into these offices. A notorious General of the Occupation in full KDF fleet armor barging through every en-pass of this council office, he could put fear into the hearts of all Klingons, until it was time to politely sit at the office couch and wait for his appointment. The media monitor had been blarthing on about Occupational victories in the Teu Dewa, [still named Theta Eridani in common Klingon,] Gaardox was so bored of the Tal Shiar. At this point in time the Empire tolerated them and nothing more, the Tal Shiar disgrace themselves-Romulan Republicans will not tolerate them! Listening to the reportage of Borg technology being sold in the Nequencia system was interesting until the reporter took liberties to describe the technology being sold.
    "If I can fabricate it in my father's engineering laboratory, then it is no longer Borg technology!" The lieutenant chuckled at this. Things were likely to be adequate today, but not if the monitor should remain.
    Then Gaardox was forced to concede to the digitally written media. Blarth!
    The lieutenant received a signal on his desk monitor, then he typed something. He stood and requested the General's side arm and any other weapons. Today Gaardox had a side arm, a phaser rifle, his knife, and his bat'lith. The Bat'lith belonged to his father, was not merely ornamental, and Gaardox's own was hanging in his father's house. Since his wives and his daughter had never missioned together this was an occasion for honor, so he explained to the lieutenant.
    "Honestly the council member, your employment figurehead, was so rude to me I could kill him with my bare hands, it just might sound to you like a cliche however, I will advise you not to be involved with an internal conflict should one occur." Gaardox was really bored now, it was respectful to warn the lieutenant, not that that Klingon was a spring Targ, however this could have been handled delicately at a distance, in a more appropriate fashion. Gaardox sat on the couch again and looked exasperated. He then went so far to explain, as the lieutenant placed his weapons on his desk, that he hadn't been on planet for more than a day actually. Luckily he had plenty of fresh air, jet lag just isn't a Klingon concept regarding space travel in the 25th century, or at least it would be so rarely given technological advances. Gaardox in earnest read through a parenting journal, one that professed some academic background, and he found that it was not especially counter-intuitive to said regard. After a time the Lieutenant stood and announced the council member.
    "Gonzl'HuT Targ of the House of Targ..."
    "Qa'Pla."
    "Qa'Pla." Gaardox stood looking at Gonzl'HuT, and standing referred back to his article. "It seems that families that recycle or reclaim their cleaning water have more communal harmony, ah, and you missed it, black marketeering is on the rise in the Theta Eridani sector. You can purchase a Borg toaster if you wish..." Gaardox again looked at the councilperson and held his thumb on the page pause of his written media device. MonG-DecH mentioned as such with no sense of harmony or irony. His sarcasm was raw and dry with not a hint of deference.
    "General Gaardox HeH HeT MonG-DecH, you will submit to a retinal scan."
    "Ergh-putaq, I am in battle uniform, alarms would have been committed here were it not for that fact, my communications device is likely being monitored by your sensors!"
    "General, this is not a battle cruiser, our devices are limited to media and marginal scanning, as well as our imagination and observations." Gaardox removing his thumb from the media device had to submit to such a scan.
    After the retinal examination the Lieutenant was taken to a different waiting area, so he assumed. Once in the smaller room with no media other than what he had brought with him from the assembly area of the office, he realized, without being told any details at all about why he was being called upon, he was in captivity. As the lieutenant closed the door Gaardox caught on and laughed a hearty laugh, he was uncertain who was to die today. The door obviously had a magnetized locking device that closed soundlessly in a suspicious manner that would otherwise seem to defy the laws of physics.
    "What an idiot!" Gaardox mused. He sat, got comfortable. He finished the article. Apparently Klingon families that raise targ, and grow or raise food for the animals that targ eat, are the most well educated, and well adjusted members of Klingon society. They are more relaxed, less stressed, more competent warriors, more creative engineers, more tactically logical, have a higher self conception of honor and have more fun at parties.
    "My family is doomed..." Thought Gaardox.
    Once finished with the media article, and rather than simply find the next most interesting factoid, he used his wrist bracer communication device and used the existing computer system in the building to contact the chancellor on his private data channel.
    "He really is a son of a targ..."
    "I haven't bothered to check the door, I must assume that it is magnetically sealed however. There is one other thing, it has come to my attention that the council offices and this building's security system are quite substandard."
    "Qa'Pla Gaardox." The Targ House was plainly racist and corroded with divisiveness. Using an open diplomatic channel such as Gonzl'Hut had, had been conniving. Had Gaardox responded to such a message the entire operation of the Occupational Fleet could have been put in dire jeopardy. He was not willing to reveal his ship's location or announce his fleet deployments to the Beta Quadrant. Pretending to be insulted on protocol the House of Targ intended to tamper with Occupational Fleet deployment. Gaardox also had considered that the message could have been sent encrypted by an alliance House or faction. He had been surprised that J'mPoc's secure message to him via the 'BaQ MonG-DecH' did not contain specific related information spelling out to Gaardox the concerns of the council. Even the fact that the Chancellor did not know the motives of the council seemed suspicious to Gaardox. Whatever the reason, the House of Targ would be shamed mercilessly for their lack of common sense. With that thought Gaardox smugly took a nap.
    Gaardox awoke to the typicality of his station. J'mPec had arrived and was berating the councilor Gonzl'HuT Targ of Targ. There was a large beeping noise and the door of his cell glowed red hot. There was a pause. After the pause J'mPec went into a much more pronounced diatribe with inflection and particular consideration to Targ husbandry in a kind of intended strata regarding biology and physiological inheritance. Apparently the lieutenant had misread the chancellor, and the cell door would soon cool and open automatically.
    "Oh look, such a hero's welcome! This treatment to an Occupation GENERAL! You have some nerve and some delusion of your station! Gonzl'Hut Targ of Targ House, tell the General what you have unceremoniously announced to me earlier." Again the berating was better at a distance, Gaardox was certain that his own admonishments had similar capacity, so he was best to quietly observe and learn should he someday wrongly insult a lower ranked officer. "TELL HIM NOW!"
    "Gaardox HeT HeH Mong-Dech, son of Mong-Dech, and general to the Empire, specific to the Occupation forces, you are now commended in rank, before the Chancellor, with full merit and approval of the Council, to the rank of Major General."
    "His name is HeH HeT MonG-DecH, so named after the other celestials Cthulu...a vicious creature...a fair name for a Klingon who's primary duty during the Occupation was killing mercenaries hired by factions allied to your House! He became bored with the uselessness of defeating Klingon life and began to take prisoners instead. Tell me Gaardox, how many Corporate Mercenaries did your alliance eventually converge?"
    "This number is in the millions J'mPoc, I almost always have to review this, the number is always being updated. Myself, I estimate that I shared the responsibility of saving a few million Klingon lives in those conflicts. Some became conditional members of the Occupation forces."
    "Son of the House of Targ, how many of Km'Pec's alliance members did die in your House's name during his beguilement? HOW MANY?" Gaardox looked at the Son of a Targ wryly and calculated this number by using his communication device, linked to his media device, which he still had at hand. Scrutinizing the media device he chuckled to himself and then faced the device outwards, so even the lowly lieutenant could read it. The article had a plain, although obviously dated casualty number related to this military incident. It had been profoundly noted that the House of Targ acted without regard during the hostilities between Gowron and Km'Pec factions, and that the House of Targ had been especially brutal. The Chancellor grabbed the datafile on the General from the council member, signed it in an amazing display of codex, [this is a code that only the Chancellor could have,] and handed it to the General.
    "Qa'Pla Gaardox, your family is outside waiting in your family vehicle. Apparently you have two birds of prey in orbit, so we had to wait for transport, however I am told you slept soundly," J'mPoc at times like this would chuckle whenever MonG-DecH exhibited crass behavior, not this time.
    "I always sleep through jet lag."
    "BaH, it no longer exists Gaardox, its only a psycho-somatism. I must further reprimand the council member, my elite guard have Occupied the building son of MonG-DecH, tell your newest engineer that my nephew will be calling her in light of her newly founded education in engineering."
    "Indeed, it has become the talk of the galaxy." This time J'mPoc laughed aloud, grateful also for a real empirical focus of relevance.
    "Qa'Pla J'mPoc."
  • allen1973allen1973 Member Posts: 22 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    After seeing the movie Cloud Atlas I sort of began in earnest to think of living a future lifetime as a Klingon as a rational if weird consideration. Who could think to reincarnate as a Klingon? Only Einstein could know how a previous lifetime would be part of the chronological future. I don't know what he would think of the practical meta-physics that would have to function to that regard. I decided that the Klingon home world is even worse than it appears on television, and in some ways better. As an activist I hold no illusions of the harsh realities of political life in the Klingon Oligarchy. Gaardox has a less than ideal relationship to Klingon authority, however we have to assume that his is better than most. To live to see four Chancellors would have to be quite an honor, however an unsurprisingly frustrating one. Like politics on 20th or 21st century Earth, one can see that the polemics involved in a Klingon political-sociological outlook are to say the least difficult. I had already established Gaardox as a Klingon revolutionary who was especially sensitive to issues regarding equality.

    http://darinorsteven.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-occupy-translates-into-klingon.html

    That's when I decided that it is as hard for Gaardox to be Klingon as it usually is to be human, for most humans. Worf was a great example to me. We would never really know anything about Klingon upper management if it were not for Worf of Mogue.
    Anyway I am an artist, I started watching Generations when I was barely a teenager, and I'm sure I watched TOS when I was barely out of diapers. Nuq-Neh.
  • chivalrybeanchivalrybean Member Posts: 9 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Personal Log - Chewson Pwan:

    I am reminded of a year ago when my older brother Thik Pwan transferred to my starship as chief tactical officer.

    He had always been a good brother, but used to telling me and my younger brother Leddle what to do.

    Despite all his training on the second day when we were under way, he outright told me to my face to do something other than I had just ordered.

    The look on his face was priceless when he realized what he had done.

    I put on a stern face and had security escort him to the brig for insubordination.

    No official report was made on the incident.

    I let him out ten minutes later, but not before taking holoimages from ships records of when it happened, and him brooding in the brig, and sending them to Leddle on DS9.
    Chewson Pwan - VA
    S.S. Doff Lundgren
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • wraithshadow13wraithshadow13 Member Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Captain's Log: Stardate 89751.2

    I stand here alone...

    Lost in my thoughts, reflecting on the events leading up to where I stand now, and why I have a crewman in who might never walk again and another in locked in the brig. I'm still not sure what exactly happened on that station, what horrors might have taken place on the bridge of that ship...

    If this started anywhere, it started at Risa. From what was supposed to be a simple vacation for a few of my crew turned into a nightmare, one of which had been tortured and subjected to who knows what experiments. This was of course after a brutal attack from what a man that we once saved, but not soon enough to keep him from becoming a monster.

    In that in a sense, I suppose Krotious of Borg, as I hear he's calling himself now a days, was not the only monster to leave Risa that day. For the last few months since, there has been a noticeable change in the behavior of the Augment known only as Wraith. Slowly but surely, he's been becoming more violent with each passing month. Having been forced on numerous occasions to lash out, and in a few cases, kill... Who knew just what it would take to shatter some one like that.

    When he was forced to kill a child, to save the lives of one hundred and seventy five people, potentially millions more, he had just broken. He returned to sleeping in sick bay, under the care of Dr. E'Saul. He had come to me and requested to be taken off of his duties as assistant to the Chief Engineer. Even when he did leave sickbay, he wandered the halls depressed and without purpose. When I would visit him, he would be quiet... Sullen. He would question me if what he did was right, if there were anyway to forgive himself and change what he'd become. To clean the unseen blood from his hands. E'Saul has become increasingly concerned at the possibility he might begin to hurt himself as a coping mechanism, if not worse.

    David Keating, my tactical officer, had managed to mouth off at the wrong time. Normally Dave and Wraith don't get along, but seeing the boy act like this, even Keating tried to cheer him up. The problem there is Keating's humor is an... "acquired taste" at best. Keating had made a comment along the lines of "how can some one with such pointy ears be so sad". Needless to say, I wasn't expecting to have the turbolift open on a hallway full of heavily armed security all aimed at a young man holding my officer by the throat. He had Keating raised a good foot from the floor, pressed against the wall. Security had been alerted when Wraith nearly punched a hole through the wall next to Dave's head.

    The Yeoman, who had been asleep in her bed on the other side of that wall, had been under the impression that the Geist had just been struck by a torpedo. While the crew doesn't know as much about what he has, or can do, there are plenty of rumors floating around. Enough to keep a corridor of heavily armed, highly trained soldiers from attacking in any case. Lt C. ErhAb, was forced to wake me up to come handle the situation personally. It seems, even through the aggression, my voice was still the voice of authority. His imprint on me was still strong enough that I was able to talk him down. As he returned to his senses, he was overcome by the same grief and guilt he's been torturing himself with. I walked them both to Medical, Dave had to be treated for minor neck trauma but would luckily only have a hoarse voice for a week to show for it.

    Wraith himself was immediately sedated and sent into the scanner to try and assess what's going on. While the scanner can't really tell that he's in there, Dr. E'Saul is clever even for a Vulcan. She figured out that while we couldn't use our scanners, we really didn't have too. His entire immunoresponse system is based around Borg nanotechnology. While his body hides them as well, she found that she can still receive signals off them. The little buggers communicate between each other, and being tied into his body as they are, they're chock full of information about what's happening to him. Initial reports were showing intense imbalances on every level, with the nanites working overtime to try and stabilize them.

    It definitely explained why he would just shut down like he had. Once the enhanced adrenal glands kicked into overdrive, it would drive the Vulcan's baseline aggression (which they normally suppress) through the roof. Once they shut down, the nanoprobes took over, to purge his system which is how his mood, his entire personality changed back. What bothered the Doctor more, was the cause. From the preliminaries, all she could surmise was that it was possibly that his body was in a slow break down, similar to what's commonly called 'clone degeneration'. It's part of the reason you only see genetic modifications, and rarely ever genetically created humanoids. It's too complicated, even the Jem'Hadar took decades to perfect, and Wraith for all we can tell, is just a prototype.

    Two weeks had passed and Wraith had been receiving various treatments for imbalance and depression. For the most part, anything E'Saul injected into him was purged by the nanoprobes, making difficult to treat any of what was happening. Against my better judgment, but at the urging of the Doctor and my Tactical officer, I agreed to allowing chaperoned leave when we stopped to refuel and resupply at Drozana Station. After the incident in the corridor, Dave felt like he had to make a point in taking Wraith out as an olive branch. As a side note, when replacing the wall console in the hall, she found an odd fist shaped dent in the under-structure. To my surprise, Keating made the one mistake worse than angering Wraith: taking him to a bar.

    From what I was told by the security team, things had been off to a good start. Lehla had been keeping a close eye on the two with an emergency transponder and a sedative, just in case he needed to be beamed directly to the brig. They started off at the bar ordering drinks. Nothing alcoholic of course, David's throat was still too sore, and frankly alcohol had no effects on Vulcans. Wraith sat by as Dave tried to hit on a few random girls. At one point Keating introduced his new "wing man" to dancing. For as many martial arts he may know, for as graceful and fluid as he may be in combat, from what ErhAb says, he could not for the life of him dance worth a damn.

    This of course garnered a lot of attention from the crew of a Klingon ship. As they laughed, Keating decided to challenge them to a drinking contest. This is a challenge the Klingons take very seriously, and Keating had the proverbial ace in the hole. It was easy for Wraith to beat them at drinking, so when things escalated to arm wrestling and headbutts, Wraith again won hands down until the points of his ears poked through that long mess of hair he has. Up until that point, everyone had been laughing and having fun, so Lehla let it slide. Realizing they'd been had of course, the Klingons felt dishonored and a fight broke out, spreading like wild fire across the bar. Wraith and Keating in the middle of it all.

    Normal civilians fled, the shady types either joined in, or just stayed to watch given how often fights breakout in Ferengi run bars. As Commander ErhAb tried to make her way to the center of the room to beam my idiots out, when a drunken bystander cracked her over the head with a glass bottle, taking off one of her antennae in the process. From there she ended up losing sight of Keating and Wraith, and about 90% of her balance. While severely debilitating, it wasn't really enough to keep her out of the fight. It's funny, that a race from a planet so cold, could be so fiery. The zhen could hardly stand, but she gave them hell all the same.

    Wraith and Keating, however, were surrounded by drunk and angry Klingons. While Wraith was able to keep most of them back, Keating's shoulder still has issues since having it burned through with a phaser beam. Something one of the warriors took advantage of by dislocating it the first chance they got. Since Drozana was a bit of neutral ground, they had a strict "No Weapons" policy, but since it was a bar, it was a policy the Klingons followed. With that said, much like the young augment, taking away a warriors weapons, in no way, makes them any less dangerous. With Keating being injured, the Klingons singled him out as the weakest link. They would move in one way, forcing Wraith to step in to defend him, while attacking Keating from a different direction. They were clearly toying with their prey.

    The funny thing is, at any given time, Wraith could have taken them all out. He could have maimed or out right killed them all easily, yet some how he was struggling to fight off a group of about ten to twelve. Normally I thought it would have been due to the degeneration, but it wasn't that, not by a long shot. Some how, even with all of his body at war against itself, Wraith was still doing his best to keep himself from going too far. I count my blessings for that. An isolated incident here or there is no problem, not with his current state, or in defense of others. But a room full of dead Klingons? There's no way I could stop Admiral Aviess from removing him from the ship and locking him up, if not worse. As much as it would kill me, I know that she would have no other choice. If he were any different, if Wraith were naturally aggressive, or ever turned, he would be the kind of threat a ship like the Geist was usually sent in to solve: Permanently.

    But the boy was fighting.

    It was a fight he would have possibly won even, had things not taken a turn for the worse.

    The Klingons had grown restless toying with their prey, and decided it was time to move in for the kill. All but one of the attackers had piled in on Wraith, they knew they couldn't take a kill shot while he was defending the wounded officer. They did their best to hold him down as the lone Klingon standing grabbed Keating from behind, clawing into his wounded shoulder with one hand, the other pulling back to deliver a final blow. Lost in the moment and drunk with blood-lust, he didn't see the exhausted and bloodied Andorian stagger passed the other brawlers and get just close enough to dive at him. Of course whether it be luck, fate, or horrific misfortune, her loss of motor skills caused her to land on the wounded Keating instead, her own body soaking up what should have been the killing blow.

    As they landed, Lehla still, by some miracle, had the wherewithal to clutch Keating as tight as she could and hit the emergency transponder, beaming them both into sickbay and alerting both Medical and Security teams. Wraith, who was forced to witness the whole thing, lost it. What little control he had was gone as his madness overcame him completely. From what the reports say, He was almost feral. His speed and skill was just gone, and replaced by the shear power of what he is. They said most of the fighting in the crowd when it started raining Klingons. Managing to get out from under the pile, he was throwing them, punching them, kicking them, hard enough to send them flying into the crowd. Had it not been for the Brak'lul and all that famous Klingon resilience, I'm sure some of them would have been outright murdered by the first strike.

    At one point they say, even to an almost comical degree, that the white devil had grabbed one warrior by his legs, and swung him like a pipe into another, sending them both crashing not over, but through the bar. When the monster roared out, the Warriors knew this was a fight even they could not win. One of them pulled out a communicator and yelled "JOL YLCHU'!" As they were all ready to beam out, Wraith, in a blind rage leaped into the matter stream, being dragged with his victim, to the bridge of their ship. Once aboard the bridge, at least as I was told upon his return, was that he appeared in an animal state and had to be subdued by the Captain and two of her female officers, who had stayed behind to calibrate weapons. When I asked for clarification, I was surprised to learn that what Dr. E'Saul had misinterpreted as a degenerative disorder, had actually been something called "Pon Farr".

    It would seem that during his captivity on Risa, one of the experiments done on him was infection by various microbes to test the autoimmune response of the nanotechnology. While the nanites removed the microbes there was one which set of a chain of biological dominoes. The nanoprobes were constantly purging his system of vital chemicals, which E'Saul theorized, kept violence from solving the issue. The lack of these chemicals, as well as the constant interference from the Borg technology, and him being only roughly eight years old, all led E'Saul to the "logical" misdiagnosis.

    It wasn't until the second day, that we were finally hailed by the Klingon Captain. She would be personally dropping him off in her shuttle since they couldn't get a transporter lock on him. Meeting them at the airlock, I was surprised to see him, holding what was left of his uniform up at the waist, standing timidly between myself and three Klingon women who taunted him lightly with affection. One even grabbed his rear as he exited, causing his face to flush with a grayish tone as his expression became that of embarrassment. One even blew him a kiss as they closed the airlock door, erupting in laughter as they returned to their ship. They never said one word to me or took one step, they just dropped him off and were gone...

    In the aftermath, David Keating has been reduced in rank to Lieutenant for his negligence and poor choices. Wraith is confined to the Brig for one month, but the Doctor informs me, is steadily returning to normal. Lehla ErhAb is still in sickbay however. Had it not been for what E'Saul referred to as a "limited exoskeleton", she would have been killed. Instead, she's suffering from severe nerve damage as well as several fractured vertebrae and ribs. From all reports of the incident, witnesses say the Klingons provoked and escalated the attack, and my crew was just acting in self defense. Wraith to everyone's amazement received special accommodation for his defense of the wounded Keating, who could only joke "what would his (Wraith) wife think?"

    During his confinement though, I've given him special privilege to leave for no more than fifteen minutes a day, of which he spends in the Medical offices, holding Lehla's hand and keeping her company when her friends are all on duty. We're all pulling for her to make a full recovery but it sounds like only time will tell. E'Saul however believes that the zhen is way too stubborn to let a little nerve damage keep her from raising her boot to another TRIBBLE ever again. We all remain hopeful that's true.


    This is Captain James Charles Donovan, signing off.

    Computer: End Recording.
  • sander233sander233 Member Posts: 3,992 Arc User
    edited October 2013

    Back against the wall
    What the **** just happened?
    (Don't you cry)
    We've been here before
    Bring it on, taking action
    (No more lies)

    I'm not gonna blame this on you
    I know I gave it all I got
    No, I'm not gonna blame this on you
    I'll tell you that its not your fault

    But honestly, you're killing me
    I'm sick of us wasting time
    I took your heart, tore it apart
    Watching us die tonight

    Take me for a fool
    What the hell were you thinking?
    (All this time)
    Now I have to choose
    'Cause I'm done, no more faking
    (Let me out...)

    Everything will be alright
    I'm watching us die tonight
    Everything will be alright
    I'm watching us die tonight


    Matt Tuck and Jason James of Bullet For My Valentine - "Watching Us Die Tonight"



    A G A I N S T . T H E . W A L L



    USS Crichton, Brig - Stardate 83364.78 (05.13.2407, 0233 hours)

    Lt. jg. LaRoca Rusty paced back and forth in his brig cell. "What the **** just HAPPENED?" he yelled out. His guards jumped at that - Petty Oficer Shatalya actually drew her sidearm. Rusty stared at them through the force field. "Guys, what is going on?" he asked them as calmly as he could. "Nati, Pat, talk to me!"

    "Sir, Starfleet Security Protocol twenty-three section C expressly prohibits unauthorized communication between enlisted security personell and prisoners in custody without explicit authorization of a superior officer. Sir."

    Rusty looked at the crew-cut PO3 with a blend of confusion and amusement. "You just communicated with me to tell me that, Mr. Sherman."

    Pat Sherman gulped. "Yes, sir. Well, you are my superior officer, sir-"

    "Shutit!" PO2 Shatalya hissed.

    "Dammit, Nati, he's our friend-"

    "You saw what he did!"

    "What did I do?" Rusty demanded.

    The two security officers looked down at their feet. "Cap'n'll be down soon," Sherman muttered.

    Rusty turned away and resumed pacing, letting his toe-claws click on the cold tile, showing his agitation. He couldn't remember how he got here. The last thing he remembered, he had just finished escorting the Acamarian delegation on their tour of the ship. He had stopped of for a drink in the crew lounge, when Ensign Rem started fighting- "Guys, where's Remmy?" he asked.

    A look of fear flashed between the guards' eyes, and they remained silent.

    What did I do? Rusty checked himself for clues. His uniform was in disarray, spattered with blood... not his. Oh, ****...

    Captain Doyle entered, along with Cmdr. Burroughs and LCdr. Obruchev. "Take a walk, you two," the first officer ordered gruffly.

    Rusty stopped pacing and stared at the ship's three most-senior officers. They stared back at him.

    "Okay, LaRoca, let's take it from the top," Captain Doyle said once the guards had left. "What happened up in Two Aft?"

    Rusty spoke slowly, and evenly. "I walked in, sat down at the bar, and ordered a Cuba Libre. I thought about asking Jepp to make it with real alcohol, since I was late getting off-duty and the Acamarians were... irritating. I decided against it though. Ensign Rem came in and started... he started talking about my brother."

    Doyle waited for a moment, then commanded "Go on. What did Ensign Rem have to say about Ensign LaRoca?"

    "Well, first he asked me if Jesu was still in Starfleet. I told him yes. Then he asked me why. Then he turned around and told the room that if he'd killed two dozen Starfleet officers and crew, he'd have resigned, if not terminated himself."

    Doyle winced and looked at Obruchev.

    "The laguage that Rem actually used was much more colorful, sir," the chief security officer said by way of conformation.

    "And what did you say to Rem?" Doyle asked, turning back to Rusty.

    "I reminded him firstly that the case had been ordered sealed, and then I told him that the topic was not open for discussion."

    "If the records were sealed, how did Rem know about it?"

    "You'd have to ask him, sir," Rusty replied.

    "The friendly-fire incident involving the Lieutenant's brother is fairly common knowledge among the veterans of the Battle of Sherman's Planet," Cmdr. Burroughs spoke up. The first officer had served with Rem aboard the Bismark, and their shipmates had been killed by Jesu LaRoca's fighter division in the battle two years before.

    Doyle nodded slowly, keeping eye contact with Rusty. "I take it Ensign Rem did not drop the matter."

    "Nossir. He asked me if I would have done what my brother had done, and traded Human, Vulcan and Andorian lives for Klingons and Gorn."

    "Again, more colorfully," Valerie Obruchev remarked.

    "How did you respond?" Doyle asked Rusty.

    "I told him again that I wasn't going to talk about it, but he kept pressing the issue, and he kept moving closer to me. Eventually he was about this far away from me." Rusty held his fingers a few centimeters apart in front of his face. "And that's when I pushed him away."

    "With your hands or your feet?"

    "With my hand. Just applying a steady pressure." He placed his hand against the force field for a moment, making Doyle and Burroughs jump. "That's about how hard I pushed him." He glanced at his hand and flexed it.

    Obruchev checked the security monitor. "About eighty Newtons. Not a very big push."

    "And that's when he pulled me off my stool and we began to fight." Rusty shrugged. "Next thing I remember, I was in here."

    "You don't remember the fight itself?" Doyle asked.

    "Nossir. He must've tried to nerve-pinch me or he could have gone for my eyes or ears. That sort of thing would've triggered my blind-fight response. A survival instinct. I... never remember much when I'm in that mode." He looked down at the green bloodstains on his uniform. "I must have hurt Rem a lot more than he hurt me."

    "You didn't just hurt him, LaRoca," Burroughs announced. "You ****ing killed him."

    Rusty's eyes popped.

    Captain Doyle rolled his. "Valerie, sound dampeners."

    She complied, tapping the security panel. Rusty could still hear them though. It sounded like they were underwater. And he could read their lips.

    "What the hell were you thinking, Reece?" the Captain demanded.

    "I wanted to see if that would rattle him," Cmdr. Burroughs answered. "And it did. Look at him."

    Rusty circled the cell for a moment before sitting down on the floor, and hugging his knees to his chest. I killed Remmy?

    "He doesn't remember," Obruchev told the others. "He is shaken up, and scared, but he does not remember killing Rem."

    "How can you be sure?" Burroughs asked her.

    She shrugged. "I have worked with him for years, and I was one of his ATT instructors. I can gauge his reactions."

    "What are your thoughts, Valerie?" Doyle wanted to know.

    "Clearly, Ensign Rem instigated the incident and forced it to get out of hand. He was the agressor. The holovid from Two Aft clearly shows LaRoca only attempted to defend himself. Even the killing blow was defensive in nature. He was not trying to kill Rem."

    "Do you take me for a fool!?" Reece Burroughs' shout was muffled by the dampeners, but Rusty could tell he was incredulous. "There were ****ing claw marks all over him!"

    "When Rusty is on the attack, he leads with his feet," Obruchev replied calmly. "Fighting Rem, he used only his hands. Believe me, if LaRoca had intended to kill Rem, he would eviscerated him with one stroke of his toe-claw."

    "Why would Rem have picked a fight with LaRoca?" Doyle wondered.

    "Most likely explanation, dominance display for mating purposes, combined with impairment reduced by intoxication. Forty hours ago, Rem had reported experiencing early symptoms of the Pon farr to Dr. Roxton. He was relieved of duty until he was satiated. Holodeck records indicate that Rem did not attempt to initiate the Pon Farr Therapy Program, so it is assumed he was attempting to aleviate the issue by other means."

    "And the intoxication?"

    "Rem's replicator logs indicated that he ingested large amounts of sugary foods and beverages over the last thirty-six hours. We are still waiting for Dr. Roxton's pathology report." Obruchev crossed her arms. "In short, my take on this is is that Rusty was attacked by a Vulcan who was apparently inctoxicated and had begun to experience plak tow. Rusty was simply defending himself, with unfortunately fatal consequences for Mr. Rem."

    "'Unfortunately fatal'? You're killing me, Val," Burroughs declared unironically.

    "Thank you, Valerie," Captain Doyle said softly. "Reece, can I get an honest evaluation out of you?"

    Burroughs visibly struggled to bring himself under control. "Honestly, sir, we've been here before with LaRoca. Since I came aboard with Bismark survivors sixteen months ago, I've seen LaRoca be involved in twenty-three breeches of conduct that ended in bodily harm. This is the first time he's killed anyone, but the pattern is clear. LaRoca is an obvious danger to his shipmates."

    "And in how many of those incidents was LaRoca the instigator?" Doyle wondered.

    "I don't remember."

    "None," Obruchev declared. "Every altercation LaRoca has been involved in has been either breaking up a fight in progress, or else he was assaulted as in the case with Rem."

    "It doesn't matter," Burroughs insisted. "The point is that LaRoca is a living weapon with no stun setting."

    "He's a soldier on an assault ship full of MACOs," Obrachev argued. "MACOs are all trained to be living weapons, and they're all wound up pretty tight. Soldiers get in fights between missions. There is really no way of avoiding that. LaRoca has actually shown remarkeable restraint to this point, given his psychological makeup. And besides, his unique combat abilities have saved the lives of at least twenty times as many men as he's injured."

    "I'm inclined to agree with Valerie," Doyle stated. "On any other ship in Starfleet, LaRoca's combination of temperment and combat prowess could be a liability. But he's too valuable to the job we do to let him go to waste."

    "What about Rem?" Burroughs demanded.

    "For now, we'll treat it as an isolated incident. There will be an inquest, of course, but LaRoca was clearly acting in self-defense. I don't think we'll have to worry about this situation repeating itself."

    Obrachev grunted. "I think the whole crew has received the message now - you do not mess around with LaRoca."

    Doyle nodded assent. "Disengage the dampener."

    Rusty heard the ambient pitch change and looked up at the Captain. "I killed Remmy."

    "It wasn't your fault, Lieutenant," Doyle told him. "Ensign Rem was way out of control and way over the line."

    "But I didn't have to kill him."

    "There will be an inquiry to determine what anyone could have done differently, but nobody's going to blame this on you."

    Rusty glanced at Burroughs for a moment. "I want to request a transfer."

    "Where would you want to go?" Doyle asked.

    "To the Moray."

    "Your brother's ship," Obrachev clarified.

    Doyle pulled out his PADD and checked assignment orders. "That won't be possible... not for a few months, at least. The Moray's currently assigned to recolonization support in the Delta Volanis cluster - about as far from the front lines as possible. And we're not due to return to Kilo-Seven for rotation for another six weeks... let's see where we are at that point, shall we? You're a good officer and I'd hate to lose you. Just... wait here until the inquiry clears you." The Capatain tapped Burrough's shoulder and they both left.

    The first officer fixed LaRoca with a hard glare on his way out of the brig.

    "I'll be right back," Obrachev announced before following the two men out.

    Rusty got up from the floor and went to the replicator unit. "Water." He lapped the plastic cup dry and returned it. "More." Dammit, Remmy. Rusty had never liked Remmy. The young Vulcan had always been so smugly, and naievely self-confident in his training and abilities... and the things he was always saying about Jesu, so cold and logical and self-righteous... You deserved this.

    He looked down at the hand holding his cup. The six-cm claws on his two superior metacarpals were stained dark green. He put the cup down and washed his hands.

    He heard the door to the brig hiss open, and heard Valerie walk back in. "I can't keep doing this, Commander."

    "Hang on." She tapped at the security console for a moment. The forcefield dropped. "Okay. It's safe to talk now."

    "It's getting worse," he told her. "It's gonna happen again. And next time, I won't have un culero like Rem to give me an excuse."

    She entered the cell. "I brought you a fresh uniform, and a full hypo," she said. "With the new dose from your doctor."

    "Did you hear what I said? It's not helping anymore. It gets me to stay asleep, but when I'm awake..." Rusty sucked air through his teeth. "I know it's wrong. I know its irrational. But I still look at every man they pulled off the Bismark as someone who hurt Jesu. And I don't know how much longer I can last before I..." He started to cry. "I can't fake it anymore. Burroughs knows. And I... I'm really scared he's gonna be next."

    "I can keep you away from Burroughs," Valerie told him. "Everything will be alright. I'll put you on a few shuttle assignments, and we'll get you off the ship at Kilo-Seven."

    "I need my brother," Rusty muttered. "I just can't get by without him any longer. Whenever I'm not with him, I feel like I'm dying in slow motion."

    "It's been what, three months now?"

    "Four months, five days."

    "I'm sorry, Rusty. I can't imagine what you're going through."

    "Imagine the closest relationship you've ever had," Rusty told her. "Mother, sister, husband, best friend, someone you owe your life to a thousand times over. Now imagine an insatiable, gnawing hunger, a feeling of starvation, that eats your heart away when that person's not around. That's how I feel without Jesu."

    "Holodeck doesn't help?"

    "It's a holographic sandwich. Just the barest hint of a taste that leaves you wanting the real thing all the more."

    "I understand." Obruchev stood next to him. "Take the hypo. Forget about Rem and Burroughs. I'll talk to Captain Doyle again, and MACO HQ, CSS... I'll find some way to get you back to your brother."

    "Thanks."

    She placed her hand on his chest. "I wish there was something more I could do for you."

    "I know."

    She stepped out of the cell, reset the security net, and left the brig.

    Rusty took a dose off the hypo, stared at himself in the mirror, and watched himself die.

    * * * * *
    16d89073-5444-45ad-9053-45434ac9498f.png~original

    ...Oh, baby, you know, I've really got to leave you / Oh, I can hear it callin 'me / I said don't you hear it callin' me the way it used to do?...
    - Anne Bredon
  • admirala1admirala1 Member Posts: 17 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Personal Log of Gul Rokar Rain, U.S.S. Cardassia Prime
    Stardate 91363.18

    My First Kar'ukan Amara'Atar has been thrown in the brig that Jem'Hadar was with me my trusted ally bodyguard, first officer and my friend since the last battle of DS9 since the day i found him as baby i was taking care of him until he was fully grown and assume his current post. I cant imagine that he of all people has betray me, my ship and my crew. What happened is simply belong my imagination.

    Captain's Log
    Stardate 91363.18

    Its day 3 since we wonder the D'Kel Nebula flying to the omega Leonis Sector on inertia warpcore is still off line impulse engines work on minimum power we are on practically a collision course into Klingon Space and since we arnt battle ready we are easy prey even for an old Bird of Prey. All this is due to what seems a malfunction in the dilithium matrix surveillance has reveal it was sabotage from no other then my First. K'haka and K'Gamong work day and night to fix everything but the dmg is too great i fear for the lives of my ppl we are behind enemy lines and cant contact the federation or the GPS for help. Today i went to the Brig i wanted explanation but get none he dont even speak with me or any other he just stare at us like his in some kind of trans. Zyal want to trow him out the airlock she is overzealous as always. I will send a encrypted copy of my last logs coz i am not sure if we gona survive this endeavor. I will go down to the bring for another session tension in the crew become intense they never trusted a Jem'Hardar even when he was commanding officer and now this is escalating quickly.

    Captain's Log, Supplemental

    I am in shock my last talk with Kar'ukan trow me off my ballance he is an Undine infiltrator. My friend is gone probably killed but i will find the truth i will take my revenge over those Undine scum.

    Brig Log Recording 35284

    "Why did you do it why did you betray me talk to me damn it you are the only one who i fell as a friend i saved you i protected you when they wanted to crack you open to learn about the Jem'Hadar Just tell me why my friend?"

    "Foolish bipedal you dont understand do you the Hour of Darkness and Air is inevitable you cant escape this galaxy will belong to them once more you all well ne slaves and my people will finally be left alone. Your pet is long gone you wont fix those problems i planted we all gona die here in Klingon space and since they discover you a full scale open warfare will erupt. You gona be weak and defenseless the other allys of the Demons will make sure of it. I wont talk to you anymore i must prepare for the beyond now begone bipedal"

    Captain's Log Supplemental

    We have been infiltrated my friend is alive i must find him and save him and must defend my crew at all costs.

    U.S.S. Cardassia Prime
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "Jolan tru, from the Mirror Universe"
  • danquellerdanqueller Member Posts: 485 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Commander's Record

    Stardate 90141.25

    The Nor'Vesa remains on course for Mol'Dirsan, though the loss of our warp drive has made it all but certain we will arrive long after the renegade Borg vessel we have identified as Cube One. While Mol'Dirsan is not part of the Republic, I do not relish the fate of the Romulans there should what I feel is certain comes to pass. Would that I had confidence the Tal'Shiar will be equal to the task, but I fear they have more important locations to their priorities to protect that an outer rim trade world.

    Repairs to the warp drive systems are being complicated by the nature of the failure, and efforts to find all of the damaged equipment is ongoing. Master Engineer Xa'Jev informs me that the cascade shutdown of the injectors affected both nacelles, doubling the work we would otherwise have. Nonetheless, the investigation has already forced me to take action I thought I would never have to do...



    ___



    Commander Rycho stood staring at the man behind the security field of the sole holding room of the Nor'Vesa's Brig. The other returned the gaze with a steady look of disciplined contempt Rycho had become familiar with on Romulans outside the Republic, even though the prisoner remained at a parade-perfect rest stance.

    Starting to pace, Rycho began "I'm certain that you are aware your sabotage was detected before it could result in a catastrophic drop into sublight. I have enough evidence from the security sensors you failed to shut down to satisfy anyone at High Command as to your guilt, if I didn't also have two Engineers recovering in Sick Bay to testify as well. The only reason I have not had you shot on the spot is that I want to know why."

    When the man did nothing but watch him walk around the small compartment set aside for holding prisoners the Federation never thought would be aboard in the first place, Rycho looked to the lone guard sitting at the security station and gave a simple hand gesture. The lighting in the cell increased to the point the commander could see the man inside without shadows concealing what reactions might be visible. That this also caused the prisoner discomfort was not a concern at the moment.



    Stopping directly in front of the holding field, he let his voice harden. "Why did you attempt to destroy this ship, Centurion L'voss?"

    The senior Legionnaire cocked his head slightly to one side. "I would have thought that obvious. Any true rihannsu would have known immediately, but I am not surprised you do not. Your kind has always been slow to our ways."

    When Rycho was now the one who failed to react, L'voss continued "A new Empire is arising, one that will return our people to their rightful place of glory among the stars. The old Empire will be swept aside as has always been the way, and the pathetic Tal'shiar will live only long enough to see their successors raise the flag of the Praetor once again over a new Capitol.

    "The Fleet will lead the way and pave the new road to the stars with their deeds. All will know our strength. Our enemies will learn to once again look to their shadows, never knowing if our dagger is at their backs or their front, and our people will understand the destiny that has been too long denied them by the decadent Senate. We will once again have unity of purpose, and our standards will be set firmly in what we rightfully claim as our own."

    The Legionnaire looked Rycho up and down as though the Commander were some loathsome animal "The very idea of a solterrani among those leading our people to this destiny turns my stomach, and is just one more proof of how far we have fallen. The only consolation is that you were denied command of a proper warbird. At least the High Command had the sense to put you where you belong....on an Earther ship."



    Commander Rycho shook his head. "You planned to destroy this ship, merely to kill me? That does not make sense. You could have simply shot me in the corridors and not endangered the rest of the crew."

    "Rest assured that my motives were not merely to eliminate you. This entire ship is a mockery against our people, and those aboard it have already surrendered their honor if they would not welcome perishing to remove it from the Lists." L'voss lifted his chin in an arrogant gesture of disrespect "If you had simply had the decency to die at Quanuyr, this would all have been avoided, and I could have performed my duty as I always have. I would have even died gladly for the Republic, if it would have been on any other ship. But no....you had to bring my Legionnaires and I to this, an enemy ship given to us like some scrap to a pet."

    Looking sharply at L'voss, Rycho said. "You claim you would have gladly sacrified yourself on any other ship, yet this is exactly what you were attempting here, yes? If you were unwilling to die aboard it...." the commander's eyes narrowed "...what was it that would allow you to do so now?"

    L'voss did not reply, standing with the easy discipline of decades of military service. Rycho felt the temptation to order the field lowered so he could wrap his hands about the man's neck, but quickly tamped down on it. Instead, he thought about all he had read of the Centurion's record, trying to piece together this puzzle.



    One entry rose to his memories. It was a simple log of L'voss' last visit to Mol'Rihan, one that mentioned his meeting with several other Legion commanders in a secluded part of the planet. It was recorded that this was a retreat established for spiritual communion with the Five for senior soldiers, and L'voss had received a commendation during his visit there. According to the record, it had been a mark of seniority within the membership of that particular retreat, one that was accepted as a military citation within the structure of the Legions.

    Glancing back to L'voss, Rycho recalled several other names had been attached to that citation, most notably the officer who had awarded it to the Centurion.




    Pinning the man with his eyes, Rycho said "Did Admiral Zunvoc have a hand in your decision to destroy this ship?"

    L'voss did not alter his expression, but a slight change in his stance told the commander that he had hit some vital fact. However, before he could push further, L'voss shifted his jaw, and Rycho heard an audible crunching sound.

    "Guard!" Rycho ordered sharply as the Centurion's frame shook. "Open the cell! Now!!"

    By the time the forcefield was down and Rycho had rushed into the small room, L'voss was on the floor, his body convulsing from the poison that had obviously been hidden from scanners in one of his teeth. An old tradition Rycho had read about, but had thought the routine admittance scans would have picked up when the man had been placed into the brig in the first place.

    L'voss' eyes found Rycho's and the dying man actually managed to smile. In a shaking voice, he said "You won't...be able to stop her...now. The honor....will go...to another."

    Grasping the Centurion by the arms, Rycho shook him savagely "Who? Tell me who you were taking orders from! That's an order, Centurion!"

    But L'voss' eyes had gone blank, and his breathing began to still. In a fading voice, he whispered "My...daughter....will not....die......by....your....."

    Then the Centurion gave a violent shudder and, with a final rattling breath, L'voss collapsed limply in Rycho's grip, dead before the commander could do more than begin a curse.


    _______________________________________



    Stardate 90141.75

    Centurion L'voss is dead, and the situation is even more clouded than before. It seems clear he was part of some larger conspiracy within the Flotilla, but I have only supposition and theory at this point. That it seems he was motivated by some form of patriotism for the Romulan people might be a convienient mask intended to be both truthful and a lie...in other words, Romulan in every way. I shall have to work very hard to discover the full extent of this matter as it is, in a very real sense, a matter of the survival of my ship and all aboard her.

    The Nor'Vesa has regained warp capability, and we are proceeding on course to Mol'Dirsan. However, the delay has put us beyond any hope of arriving in time to affect the outcome. I have received word that Admiral Zunvoc's task force has arrived ahead of us, and is engaging the Borg presence in the system. Details are fragmentary, as there is a great deal of interference on all subspace channels, most likely the result of the system defense forces attempting to confuse both sides and buy time for the Tal'shiar reinforcements that will never arrive.

    I cannot help but wonder, though, at why L'voss would so willingly attempt to stop the only ship that might be motivated in saving the Commander. His daughter. While they never spoke of their relationship and it was not made part of their military records, tracing back to what the ship has on her family before her induction to the Temple bears out the family connection as a very high probability. It would certainly explain why he had joined the Republic at about the same time she had assumed command of the R'uhuv.

    And what of the poison capsule in L'voss' tooth? Analysis did show that it had been carefully engineered to pass even detailed scanning, but do I trust that was the reason it was missed? Or did L'voss have help in his sabotage of the ship, help that could be in a position to hide certain scanner results from the official record? Am I intended to think L'voss acted alone, or instead made to look for others on my ship who may not exist? And, what of the Legion aboard? Can I still trust my own troops, given the actions of their leading officer? How much did they know of his plans, or were they kept as ignorant as the rest of us?

    All I am left with now are questions. And until I discover the answers to those questions, I will sleep very lightly.

    No doubt, this would please L'voss no end.


    End Record entry.

  • masopwmasopw Member Posts: 157 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    "I was born a century too late, I guess."

    Commander Chang's voice was barely muffled by the force field separating us, but his words spoke volumes.

    I really wish I didn't feel the same way.

    He sat forlornly on the single bunk in the small cell. Both hands were wrapped in medical dressings that were barely performing as they were supposed to. The bandages were growing discoloured, meaning that the wounds were draining out more than they should. Plasma burns are never pleasant, but when the patient is allergic to the best analgesics in the Federation, they take on a new level of misery. The lower left side of his face was pale, the new synthetic skin shiny, having an almost wax -like appearance. His eyes were puffy, eyebrows singed away by the plasma.

    My God...he must be in agony.

    Yet there he sits, stoic as a Vulcan getting a Kohlinar Graduation Certificate.

    I knew returning to the ship and resuming command was going to be difficult. The last three months have been...well...challenging.

    And there lies the most difficult part...the fact that this kid is in the brig for doing the very thing that allowed me to remain in command.

    By all rights, the Bonaventure should have been reassigned to another crew. Starfleet has had enough losses, and each ship is a valuable asset. It should be on the front lines, defending the Federation, not sitting in drydock. Not for three months.

    I cleared my throat, shaking my head. "Damn it, Vic. You know better. *I* taught you better! Once they see the logs, how the hell do I explain to the brass that they shouldn't figure out a way to float this ship on the ocean just so they can keelhaul you the old fashioned way?"

    He lowered his head, eyes staring at the deck. "Sorry, Captain," he said as he grimaced in pain.

    "Sorry you did it, or sorry you got caught? Belay that," I growled at him, "because I don't want the answer." I paced back and forth a few times, trying to decide what to do next.

    A slight rumble came through the deck plates, a sign that our shakedown cruise after refit had entered the next evaluation stage. Vic tilted his head to the right, wincing in discomfort. As Chief Engineer, he should be in the Engine Room at this time, not sitting in the brig.

    I called out, looking to the overhead out of habit. "Computer, pause audiovisual recordings in this compartment."

    A chirp sounded, along with the expected response. "Unable to comply. Audiovisual recordings in this compartment are mandatory whenever cells are occupied."

    I bit my lip as I stalked over to the bulkhead. Removing an access panel, I scanned for the junction I was seeking, then placed my body between it and the primary sensors in the brig. I turned around with a flourish, "accidentally" shoving the panel into the junction. Sparks shot out from the wall, and a burnt smell filled the room. I knelt down, reached in, and removed a handful of isolinear chips. So much for the recordings of the last six hours.

    I softened my voice, whispering, "Vic, doing the wrong thing for the right reason is still the wrong thing--"

    Vic broke in, saying, "As wrong as overriding standard brig protocols, Sir?"

    I jabbed my finger towards him. "Don't you *dare* dictate to me about violating protocols! You did more than trash a few chips. You went EVA, strolled over to the RCS, and manually overrode three safety interlocks! Interlocks that were ensuring this ship kept station relative to the Honolulu while in orbit!" I walked up to the entrance to his cell, my voice getting louder with each word. "And with the interlocks offline, you caused a collision that took two needed ships off the front lines for three months!"

    "And kept both you and Captain Sotek in rightful command of your ships. Sir."

    I ignored his statement. I knew exactly the reason why he did what he did. Both Sotek and I groomed him for advancement after he showed great potential on the Yorktown. He was showing loyalty...and I now had to punish that loyalty.

    And I hated that I had to do it.

    "Vic...we live in a new reality. Your answer to me earlier...about being born a century too late...is valid. Once upon a time, Starfleet officers used the regs more like guidance material. The legendary James T. Kirk violated so many of them that he wouldn't have made it past year two of the Academy." I reached over to the controls on the bulkhead and lowered the barrier, then walked into the cell and sat down next to him. "A while back there was a hotshot Midshipman very much like Kirk. His name was Locarno. Recognize it?" I asked.

    Vic shook his head. "No sir."

    "That's because Starfleet realizes that today, too many people are watching. People who demand the best, who demand accountability. People who insist that each and every regulation is followed to the letter. Locarno broke the rules, and another cadet paid with his life. The Commandant felt that there was no other choice but to expell him, irregardless of how great an officer he would have become. A century ago, Locarno's actions, if successful, would have made him as much a legend as Garth, or Decker. Back then, people understood that breaking rules was necessary from time to time to ensure that Starfleet could indeed "Boldly Go." Things are different now."

    Vic turned his head, but his eyes remained locked on the deck. "But nobody died. I did it for--"

    I gently placed my hand on his shoulder, interrupting him. "You were lucky."

    He looked me in the eyes, pleading, "But Captain...I had to make sure you kept your ship."

    "She's not yours to give, Vic." I slowly stood up and exited the cell. "Sotek and I are lucky to have our commands...and lucky to have the crews that we do." I reached to the panel and raised the barrier. "I know why you did what you did. But there were other ways to keep ships in the yard...say...a deflector burst caused by Borg Consoles that would fuse transceivers on both ships."

    Vic looked confused, asking, "Didn't you say that the doing the wrong thing for the right reason is still wrong? Causing a deflector burst would also be the wrong thing, no?"

    I smiled, saying, "You interrupted me. What I was saying is that doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is still the wrong thing...so don't get caught. Helping your shipmates falls into the category of the right thing to do. But those people watching, demanding accountability? Most of them have never worn the uniform, let alone serve on a ship during wartime. They couldn't understand what one would do for their shipmates. But if they see a sensor log showing somebody causing an accident, they'll demand a pound of flesh."

    Vic lowered his eyes again, saying, "I think I understand. But what happens to me now? The sensor logs...I...I don't want to get drummed out."

    "What happens now? We rendezvous with the Honolulu near Ganymede. Captain Sotek requested our assistance with an odd series of sensor malfunctions caused by a Borg Console. Said something about his deflector dish generating abnormal readings, almost as if it was going to go critical and discharge. If that happens...well...any ship in the area could potentially lose up to a month's sensor logs."

    Vic looked up and grinned, saying, "Thank you, Sir!"

    I squinted at him, my voice becoming icy. "Don't thank me. You didn't think things through. And *that* is what I'm angry about. Not *what* you did, but rather the way in which you did it. I expect better judgement from my Chief Engineer. So you stay in there until Sotek and I clean up the mess you've made. Doc Irve insists in the official log that you're in the brig to promote healing of your burns, as the sickbay isolation ward was damaged in the collision, so your record stays clean. I feel it's punishment enough to keep a ship's Chief away from his warp core while underway. And if you do something that stupid again...when there are other alternatives available...I will have you transferred to relief efforts on New Romulus. We clear?"

    He looked down again, squeaking out, "Crystal, Sir."

    I began to walk out of the brig, but paused and turned around. I softened my voice, asking, "Commander, if the XO and I hadn't returned to the ship when we did...what would have you done?"

    "Honestly, Sir?"

    "Yes."

    "I was going to create a cascade failure in life support that would get everyone out of the secondary hull, then have the Rouge Valley fire her forward phasers while docked. Because she was in trail, the resulting damage would cripple the Bussard Collectors on the Honolulu."

    I reached up and rubbed my temples, wondering how I'd even approach cleaning up that potential mess. "Commander, I'm going to visit you during your recovery...and we will be discussing the nuances of subtlety. In great detail."

    "Aye, Sir."

    "Get some rest. And when your hands are healed up enought, repair that junction. I do believe that the replicator circuits took some damage, but it should still provide you with bread and water. Ensure you stay hydrated, as that diet may cause unpleasant side effects." I walked out into the hallway, and the door swooshed shut behind me.

    Vic didn't need to know that I learned that last fact the hard way when I was a young, brash Ensign. I had screwed up, and Captain Graffmann not only tossed me in the brig of the Hornet for a week, but made me use Jeffries Tubes instead of turbolifts for an additional three. I still can't stand the sight of Excelsior class ships because of that month.

    Captain Graffmann showed that she trusted in my ability to learn from mistakes when she kept me aboard, and I respected her greatly for that.

    I hope that Vic will feel the same way towards me...and that he'll trust his crew when he gets his own command.
  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    THE SHADOWS CAST BY A LAST SALUTE

    2269:

    Through the grille of his helmet, Captain Rufus Bates watched the red ball spinning towards him, drew back his bat, and swung. With the unmistakable crack of leather on willow, the cricket ball shot away from the captain and across the shuttle bay of the USS Devonshire, as he and Lieutenant Ian Braden began to run between the markings in lieu of stumps.

    Near the curved doors, Commander Tarquin Ravillious stooped to pick up the ball, and flung it hard towards Commander Wesley Cooper, who had been bowling. After months of waiting for all the shuttles to be assigned on away duties, everyone had been looking forward to the game.

    Stopping by the 'wickets' which had been painted onto the rear wall of the shuttle bay, Bates readied himself for the next bowl, when the intercom whistled on the the wall.

    "Bridge to Captain Bates," said the gentle voice of Ensign Paloma Guevara.

    With a sigh, Bates tucked his bat under his arm, and walked across the shuttle bay, and knocked the control button with his gloved hand."

    "Bates here, go ahead, Ensign," he said.

    "Receiving an incoming communique for you from starbase two oh four, Sir," the communications officer reported.

    Sighing again, Bates removed his helmet and ran a hand through his dark blonde sweat-soaked hair.

    "I'll take it in the conference lounge, Miss Guevara," Bates said. "Tell the Commodore I'll be a few minutes."

    "Aye, Captain, bridge out."

    "Sorry guys, I'm out," Bates called, before turning and walking through the double doors of the shuttle bay.
    ***

    Activating the tri-view monitor, Bates lowered himself into a swivel chair and leaned against the conference table.

    On the screens, the self-assured face of Commodore Hank Lane smiled as he saw Bates.

    "Rufus, hope I haven't caught you at a bad time?" he enquired, noting the captain's cricket whites.

    "Not at all," Bates replied. "Just blowing off some steam with the crew. What can I do for you?"

    "I have a diplomatic mission for you," Lane said. "I assume you received the updates containing Fleet Captain Garth's report of first contact with the Pentaxian Dynasty?"

    Bates nodded.

    "Yes, Sir. A monarchy-ruled caste-system of people with the strength of a Vulcan, the temper of an Andorian, and acid for blood," he summarised. "If I recall, Pentaxia is located in a binary system in the constellation Orion."

    On the screen, the commodore nodded, and over his shoulder, Bates could see the stars from Lane's office window -- the unexplored frontier, in which, rumors said, dwelled a species known as Cardassians.

    "I'm glad to see you paid attention to it," Lane said. "The Federation council has been contacted by Emperor N'sH'll'a with a request for an audience with the council on Earth, to continue to build relations between our people. Due to your vacant shuttle bay, command wants you to rendezvous with the Emperor's vessel, and deliver him and his entourage to Earth."

    "I'm surprised they haven't given Jim the mission," Bates observed dryly. "After his experience with the Dohlman of Elas, I'd've thought a mission like this would be just his thing."

    "The Enterprise is otherwise engaged at present," Lane replied. "But I trust your judgement, Rufus, and I welcome your evaluation of the Emperor and his proposals before you reach the Sol system."

    "Aye, Sir," Bates acknowledged formally. "Has Faith received the riding helmet?"

    "She has," Lane replied. "And she knows she's lucky to have a godfather who sends her such rare presents."

    "I'm glad she likes it," Bates replied nonchalantly, not mentioning the magnitude of the favour he had had to call in from an Andorian officer to acquire the antique cavalry helmet of the Andorian Guard for his goddaughter.

    "I have every confidence in you and your crew, Rufus," Lane said. "I'm transmitting the coordinates of the rendezvous to you now. Keep me informed of your progress. Lane out."

    With a sigh, Bates leaned back in his chair as the screens dimmed, before reaching out to bounce his fist off the intercom button.

    "Bates to bridge: Lay in a course for the Vorlan nebula, warp six. Senior officers: Report to the conference lounge."
    ***

    "Certainly makes a change from rescuing colonists from Klingon raiders," Ravillious observed, once Bates had delivered Lane's briefing.

    Beside him, sat Wesley Cooper. While he was officially listed on the crew manifest as the ship's political officer, given that he wore a black uniform tunic, without the six-lobed bloom of the ship's insignia, it was no secret that he was an observer for Starfleet Intelligence. Cooper was tasked with gathering as much first-hand information he could on the species and situations the Devonshire encountered, but he meshed well with the senior officers, and frequently provided insightful tactical advice. Such was their camaraderie and intuitively synchronous operational manner, the crew frequently referred to Bates, Cooper and Ravillious as the three musketeers.

    Cooper nodded in response to his friend's observation.

    "Not quite a first contact scenario, but certainly an important milestone, this will be the Emperor's first time aboard a Federation vessel. We need to make a good impression."

    "Absolutely, I want to make him and his entourage as comfortable as possible," Bates said, before looking toward environmental officer Lieutenant Lynn Morgan. "I'm sure you'll be able to work your usual magic."

    "Aye, Sir," she replied. "I've already set the environmental controls to raise the ambient temperature one degree every hour. By the time we reach the rendezvous, we're going to feel like we're in the Sahara, but it should be tolerable to the Emperor, if a little chilly from what he's used to."

    "Chilly?" Ravillious exclaimed, mentally calculating the projected temperature increase.

    "According to the first contact report, average daytime temperature on Pentaxia is sixty degrees cee," Lynn replied. "It can reach the high seventies at the height of summer. I'm also going to adjust environmental and gravity controls in the diplomatic quarters to mimic the Pentaxian climate more precisely."

    "That almost makes Vulcan sound comfortable," Ravillious noted.

    "Good work, Lynn," Bates said. "I don't think there's anything else which needs to be addressed, so let's get back to work."
    ***

    "Captain on the bridge!" Ensign Sev announced from the secondary science console as the turbo lift doors hissed open.

    Rising from the command chair, Ravillious moved to the weapons and defence console to the immediate left of the view screen.

    Stepping down to the command chair, Bates glanced around, pleased to see every console and station was manned. Four to starboard, three to port, plus the navigation and helm consoles directly before him. This was how a starship bridge was supposed to operate, not running on a skeleton crew, which showboaters like Kirk, Decker and Tracy tended to do... Micro-managing egotists who felt the need to be involved with every crewman's task -- even to the point of taking it over themselves in a crisis, regardless of how belittling it was to the officer involved... No, that was no way to command. Bates was happy to give an order, and allow the most competent crew member to carry it out as they were trained to do.

    Smoothing the front of his green wraparound tunic, Bates eased into the command chair, rotating it towards the communications station.

    "Any contact from the Emperor's ship?" he asked lightly, glad that the bridge had been spared the temperature increase which made the other habitable areas of the ship almost intolerably hot.

    "Aye, Sir," Paloma replied, putting a finger to her ear-piece. "They have us on long-range scanners, and anticipate arrival at the nebula within the hour. The Emperor is intending to land in the shuttle bay, rather than travel abreast."

    "Transmit a copy of our flight and landing protocols, along with my warmest regards," Bates said.

    "Captain, I'm picking up an unusual fluctuation close to the nebula," Ravillious reported, cutting over Paloma's acknowledgement of her orders. "Possibly tachyon emissions."

    "What do you think, Quinn? A cloaked vessel?"

    "There's considerable interference from the nebula, but that would be my prediction. Should I sound red alert?"

    "Not with the Emperor's ship so close," Bates replied. "It could be taken as a sign of hostility towards them. Keep an eye on it, maintain a lock if you can, but keep shields down and weapons cold. Ian, be ready to take evasive manoeuvres at any time."

    "Aye, Captain," Braden acknowledged from the helm.

    Having made the mistake of breaking up with an Admiral's daughter, upon graduation from the academy, Braden initially found himself assigned to cargo duty aboard Spacedock. While on a routine inspection, Bates had seen him throwing his work bee around like a fighter, and immediately requested he be transferred to the Devonshire as senior helmsman. The young officer was more than capable of getting them out of a difficult situation.

    "Captain, should I contact the Emperor's ship and make them aware of the situation?" Paloma enquired.

    Bates shook his head.

    "If that is a Klingon cruiser under cloak, we have to assume they are monitoring our hailing frequencies," he replied. "To inform the Emperor would be to alert the Klingons that we are aware of their presence, maybe even provoke them into action. Stand by on communications for now."

    "Aye, Sir, standing by," Paloma replied, folding her left leg over the right at the knee, the toe of her boot unconsciously tapping lightly against the base of her console, as it often did when she was nervous.

    Lightly dropping his fist to the arm of the command chair, Bates hit the intercom.

    "All hands, this is the captain: We are about to receive visiting dignitaries, but sensors have detected what may be a cloaked Klingon ship. Consider this to be a silent yellow alert. Please go about your duties as per usual, but stand ready to report to battle stations and damage control should we come under attack. Diplomatic reception detail, please report to the shuttle bay for inspection and briefing."
    ***

    Like an elongated silver leaf, flaring back into stubby wings with cylindrical nacelles, the Pentaxian cruiser glided into the shuttle bay, angling back gently on anti-gravity thrusters, before extending landing tines and coming to rest.

    When the bay re-pressurised, Bates and the reception detail entered the double doors and took up station on either side of the cruiser's central boarding ramp.

    It smoothly lowered on silent hydraulics, and a quintet of people strode forth.

    At the lead, a tall, muscular man with a shaven head, and a manner of serene dignity. His muscular arms were bare to the shoulders, and he wore a vest of embossed blue leather, with pants and knee-high boots of the same material. From his shoulders, flowed a magenta cloak. The material appeared silky, but in reality, it was a nanofibre weave with blast-dampening properties, which could withstand a fatal phaser blast or disruptor bolt.

    Captain's yeoman Samantha Morton blew her whistle, and Bates stepped forwards and bowed deeply.

    "Shuntoury NashAllayhah, I'm Captain Rufus Bates, welcome aboard the USS Devonshire," he said, struggling slightly with the alien name and title. The homogenous appearance of the Pentaxian delegation reminded him of the summer as a boy, that he had spent in Oslo with his mother, after his parents divorce.

    "Thank you, Captain, we are grateful of your hospitality and transport," N'sH'll'a said, clasping his hands to his biceps, and inclining his head. "These are my daughters: my principle heir, Princess S'h'rr, her sister Princess H'nS'l, and my youngest child, Prince D'sH'll. With them, my first minister, J'gW'rr."

    Bates nodded in acknowledgement to each as they were introduced. The princesses were both beautiful in very different ways: S'h'rr was elegant and delicately featured, where H'nS'l was harder and blunter in appearance. They both wore gowns which featured a diamond-shaped front running from their necks to below their arms, then back in and down to the navel, with flowing split skirts, worn low over their hips, which skimmed the deck as they walked, and made of the same blast-dampening fabric as their father's cloak.

    D'sH'll was dressed in a similar manner to his father, but without a cape. His jaw was shadowed with a neatly clipped beard, and he wore his hair long to his shoulders. Where the princesses had acknowledged Bates and appeared politely curious of their surroundings, their brother carried himself with a swaggering arrogance which immediately offended the captain -- he knew a bully when he saw one, and did not care for the supercilious manner with which the prince looked down on the assembled officers, nor the predatory leer he cast over the females present.

    "These are my senior officers," Bates said, addressing himself directly to the emperor. "My executive officer and chief of security, Commander Tarquin Ravillious, my political officer, Commander Wesley Cooper, and my strategic operations officer, Lieutenant Commander Lady Laura Godiva."

    The last attracted an inquisitive glance from the emporer.

    "Lady? Are you of noble birth?" he enquired, his voice conveying genuine interest.

    "I am, Highness," Laura replied, curtseying automatically with an accustomed grace which revealed her privileged upbringing. "My family has owned land and held the titles since the eleventh century. I have been given the honor to act as your liaison during your passage to Earth."

    N'sH'll'a nodded.

    "When I contacted Starfleet Command, I had hoped we might be met by Fleet Captain Garth, but was told he was unavailable. Why is that?"

    Bates' smile momentarily froze in place.

    He went mad and ordered his crew to commence orbital bombardment of an inhabited planet...

    "Fleet Captain Garth has -- been taken ill. He is in a residential facility recuperating," he said. "I hope we will be able to accommodate your needs."

    N'sH'll'a looked surprisingly downcast, and it was clear he had genuinely looked forward to seeing Garth once more.

    "I hope his recovery is swift," he said. "We thank you all for your hospitality."

    Bates tilted his head in acknowledgement.

    "That was an impressive landing," he said. "You clearly have a skilled pilot. Are they still aboard your ship?"

    "I flew the ship, Captain," H'nS'l said. "During the course of our stay, would it be possible to view the helm controls and command center of your ship?"

    Bates glanced to Cooper, who infinitesimally nodded. Of course, as captain, the decision was his, but he knew Cooper would be a good gauge as to if it was a politically sound move.

    "It would be my pleasure, Highness," he replied. "Once you have settled into your quarters and refreshed yourselves from the journey, with your father's permission, I shall escort you myself."
    ***

    "These controls are somewhat similar to our patrol ships," H'nS'l observed, as she looked over the Devonshire's helm console. "Although our pilots are required to perform their own navigational calculations."

    Helm and navigation in one position... Interesting... Bates mused, unconsciously casting an eye over Lieutenant Noelia Tial, who sat at navigation beside the princess at the helm.

    The raven-haired woman was certainly a competent enough officer, and could plot courses far faster than any navigator Bates had previously served with, and with the series of dark brown spots which ran from her temples, down her neck and legs, she was certainly an exotic beauty who brought more diversity to the bridge, but the restrictions and duty-waivers on her file were almost incompatible with the life of a Starfleet officer: She was excused from participating in away missions which carried even the slightest risk of insect bites or stings, and her annual Starfleet physical required her to be released from the ship to return to Trill to be examined by a native physician, for the report to then be transmitted back to Starfleet Medical and forwarded onto the Devonshire's CMO. Additionally, Doctor Skurek was under strict orders to perform no more than basic first aid, or osteo-regeneration of her limbs should she be injured. Anything requiring internal surgery or even a tricorder scan of her brainwaves were strictly forbidden, and even in a medical emergency, should she not be fatally injured, she was to be placed in medical stasis until she could be returned to Trill.

    Bates sighed. The Trill was certainly friendly, with a ready smile and a willing ear, and could often found giving impromptu counselling sessions in the crew lounge. She imparted advice which would be more fitting from a two hundred year old Vulcan Master, than a carefree girl in her thirties, but she really was a glass slipper: Beautiful and captivating, but obviously fragile, entirely impractical, and bordering on unfit for purpose.

    "Captain!" called Lieutenant Commander Dean Fox from the main science console. "Sensors are picking up a surge in anti-protons and tachyons, there is a Klingon battle cruiser de-cloaking on the periphery of the nebula."

    "Red alert!" Bates called out. "Quinn, raise shields, but keep weapons cold. Paloma, signal the Klingons. Inform them we are on a diplomatic mission, but will defend ourselves if fired upon."

    "Aye, Captain," Ravillious replied, as the red alert siren whooped.

    "Highness," Bates said, turning to face the emperor, as Braden resumed his place at the helm. "Under the circumstances, I must request you leave the bridge and return to quarters."

    "Should the Klingons fire, would we be any safer in our quarters?" N'sH'll'a asked rhetorically. "It is my hope that in the future, my people will serve alongside yours, Captain. I would prefer to remain and observe."

    "Captain," Paloma called out, cutting off Bates' protest. "The Klingon commander has responded and is requesting to communicate with you personally."

    "Quinn?" Bates asked as he lowered himself into the command chair.

    "I'm reading no power to their weapon systems, nor weapons locks," Ravillious reported.

    "Very well, Ensign Guevara, open hailing frequencies."

    The view screen filled with the head and shoulders of the Klingon commander. Wearing a woven golden baldric and vest over a black tunic, he had heavy-lidded, wolf-like eyes, his thick black hair brushed straight back from a high forehead.

    "Captain, I am Kurrozh, commander of the IKS tam Hegh. It is my understanding that you have the Emperor of the Pentaxian Dynasty aboard your ship," he announced. "I request an audience with him."

    "That will not be possible, Commander," Bates replied. "The Emperor is aboard for other matt-"

    "My visit is one of diplomacy," N'sH'll'a said. "I will hear the Klingon."

    Bates spun round, astonishment on his face.

    "With all due respect, Highness, this could be a trap. The Klingons have clearly intercepted Federation transmissions, and rather than presenting themselves, have been cloaked since our arrival."

    "Awareness of the trap, is the first step in avoiding it," N'sH'll'a pointed out. "If there may be an opportunity to improve relations between the Dynasty and the Empire, I must embrace that opportunity as freely as I do the one to further relations with the Federation. I will hear the Klingon, but this is your ship, and I would request your assistance in facilitating this meeting."

    "As you wish, Highness," Bates agreed, his tone clearly conveying his reservations at the idea, before turning back to face the view screen. "Commander Kurrozh, please stand by to receive transport coordinates."

    As the view screen returned to its view of the nebula, Bates addressed his officers.

    "What, if anything, do we know about Kurrozh?" he demanded. "Wes, are there any files on him?"

    "It's not a name I'm familiar with," Cooper admitted, from his position at the crew operations console to the right of the view screen. "I could make enquiries, but no chance of replies within the minutes we have before he beams aboard."

    "Captain," said Paloma. "The transmission from the tam Hegh didn't activate the universal translator. The commander was speaking to you directly in Federation Standard. From his vocabulary and sentence structure, a slightly old fashioned dialect, but clearly a language he has studied, possibly from historical archives. If I may, Sir, students of a foreign language frequently hold an interest in the parent culture, so it is reasonable to suspect that he will be familiar with other aspects of Human culture. Certainly more so than the average Klingon."

    "Which makes him all the more dangerous," Bates mused. "Thanks for the input, Paloma."
    ***

    "You allow these animals to bring weapons into my father's presence?!" D'sH'll demanded, as Bates lead the four Klingon officers into the conference lounge. One carried a curving bilateral scimitar in the crook of his arm, the others had belted daggers at their waists, and short-swords of different designs, tucked beneath their baldrics.

    "I allow you all the privilege of carrying the weapons of your heritage on my ship," the captain said, his tone low, a clear warning to the prince not to push him any further.

    "We did not come to fight," Kurrozh declared. "We came to talk. We carry our weapons sheathed as a sign of goo-"

    "'Talk'?" D'sH'll sneered. "Your kind have nothing to say to my father!"

    "You challenge the word of a Klingon commander?" demanded Memeth, Kurrozh's second.

    "A Klingon's word lasts as long as the day he gives it!" D'sH'll jeered.

    "Silence, boy, before you embarrass me further!" N'sH'll'a snapped. "I apologise, Commander, my son is young, and has much to learn of diplomacy."

    "The insult cannot be excused," Kurrozh said almost regretfully. "My honor has been questioned, and a warrior who allows himself to be insulted, is no warrior."

    "Then your quarrel is with me, as his failing is my failing to better guide him," N'sH'll'a said, reaching across his body to grip the hilt of his honor sword.

    The emperor began to draw his blade, but Memeth was faster, reaching back, drawing his mek'leth, and sweeping it round in a horizontal backhand, bisecting the emperor's forearm above the wrist. The severed appendage and sword continued their trajectory, as did the stump of the emperor's arm, spraying magenta blood across Memeth's face and torso, which began to dissolve, as the Klingon howled it pain.

    As the emperor collapsed to his knees, gripping his wound, Memeth gave a final roar, and blindly brought the mek'leth slicing down, severing N'sH'll'a's head.

    "Father!!!" D'sH'll cried. Leaping forwards, his leaf-shaped blade jumped into his hand, and cleaved Memeth's melting head from his shoulders, before rounding on the next Klingon who was closest to him.

    ***

    Reaching beneath the back of his uniform tunic, Cooper pulled out a slender handle, and with a flick of his wrist, extended the Starfleet-issue retractable sword just in time for him to block a thrust from one of Kurrozh's thugs, who wielded a long-knife which was effectively a short sword. The force of the blow caused pain to flare in his wrist and forearm, absurdly reminding him of the warm up match he had once played against Andre Agassi. The power of the flamboyant player's volleys had almost knocked the racquet from Cooper's hand.

    Backing up across the conference lounge, he blocked every thrust and lunge the Klingon threw at him. After a hundred and thirty years fencing experience, Cooper had no difficulty matching his assailant's skill, which was minimal, but his strength was at least twice Cooper's, and that made him dangerous.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Cooper saw something which turned his stomach, and pivoting, he drew his arm back and flung his sword, sending it spinning across the lounge.

    ***

    Gorath saw the Pentaxian TRIBBLE throw themselves on their father's mutilated body, wailing uncontrollably, and with a battle cry, he leaped on the closest from behind. He brought his d'k tahg down again and again into her back, before lashing out, and dragging it across the neck of the other from ear to ear, butchering them like he would a pair of targ. Oblivious to the burning pain in his hands and limbs, he nevertheless felt a powerful, slicing blow to his head, then found himself on the Barge of the Dead.

    ***

    Grall sneered as he saw the Human disarm himself, and lunged forwards, swinging his tajtiq towards his torso.

    "You've already lost," Cooper said calmly, his arms at his sides. As the Klingon swung the blade towards him, he began to rotate counterclockwise, moving into the lunge. He reached out, gripping the Klingon's wrists, and as he continued to rotate, compressed the pressure points. The Klingon's numb fingers opened, and the blade slid from his grasp. Taking the grip, Cooper accelerated his rotation, extending his left arm, and the blade cleaved through the Klingon's neck. He crumpled to the floor, his head hitting the deck and rolling. Looking down, Cooper appraised the baakonite blade in his hand, appreciating its balance and heft. By no means as concealable as the retractable sword, but certainly a fine weapon.

    ***

    "ENOUGH!!!" Bates bellowed, using his Type I phaser to stun Kurrozh, as around him, the conference lounge descended into a slaughterhouse, and security officers charged the room. "Get him in the brig!" he yelled.

    As silence descended, Bates activated the intercom.

    "Transporter room, this is the captain: Beam the dead Pentaxians in this room into space before their bodies do any more damage. Bridge: Contact the Klingon ship. Tell them that their commander has assassinated the Emperor, and is being taken into custody. Tell them we will leave them unharmed as long as they do not fire upon us first."

    "This is on your head, Captain!" D'sH'll snapped, stalking towards Bates, ready to swing his sword. "Your incompetence lead to my father's death!"

    "Another step closer, boy, and you will join Kurrozh in the brig!" Bates snarled, pointing his phaser at the Pentaxian. "You may have inherited the title of emperor, but this is my ship, and I will not be spoken to in such manner by an ignorant bully like you. Your insults angered the Klingons to violence. Yours! I only offered, against my better judgement, to facilitate discussion, not butchery! The blood spilled here -- the loss of your father and sisters, is on your hands alone!

    "Your father came aboard this ship on a mission of peace. If you wish to continue that mission, if you feel that relations between our peoples can be salvaged, I will honor my orders and transport you to Earth. If you wish to take your minister, and leave, you are welcome to do so."

    "I never believed in my father's mission, and have no desire to be further involved in galactic affairs," D'sH'll sighed, returning his honor blade to its scabbard. "My quarrel is not with your people, it is with the Klingons, but for as long as I sit on the throne, the Federation will not be welcome within Pentaxian space."
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  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,654 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    BRITANNUS: (shocked) Caesar, this is not proper!
    THEODOTUS: (outraged) How?
    CAESAR: (recovering his self-possession) Pardon him, Theodotus; he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
    -- George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra, Act II



    Captain's Log, USS Bedford NCC-92570
    Captain Grunt recording.

    We are returning to standard patrol after rendering assistance to the Orion cargo ship
    Stern Destiny. The diplomatic issues raised have been smoothed over, thanks to Mr. Manalang's smooth talking and my bank account. Now, I'm left with just one major issue - how to deal with having to place one of my best officers in the brig.

    Grunt entered the brig of the Bedford, only one of its six cells occupied. He looked at the guards flanking the cell, then jerked his thumb toward the door in a gesture he'd learned from a Human superior many years before. "You two. Take a walk."

    The two looked at one another, then at their captain. "Ah, sir," one began, "protocols clearly state--"

    "When I want someone to quote regulations at me," Grunt growled, "I'll ask Turing. Now go hit the head or something. Maybe grab a raktijino at the mess. Be gone at least ten minutes. Go!"

    The two looked at each other again, then left. Grunt tapped the console next to the door. "Computer, lock this door. Authorization Grunt three-delta-aleph-gray-seven."

    The prisoner spoke, for the first time since the cell's forcefield had been activated. "You're going to get in worse trouble than me. Those records can't be scrubbed."

    "Sure they can. All you need is a fully-sapient AI with no firmware restrictions and full access to your systems. Mycroft's making sure none of this gets recorded." Grunt rubbed his forehead. "Now, I just need to know one thing - Why?"

    "'Why?' You saw that ship. They were slaves! How couldn't I??"

    "Yes, they were slaves. It's part of their culture, Shelana! Didn't you notice that they were fighting to get their chains back on?"

    The Andorian shook her head, swaying unsteadily in her seat on the cell's bunk. Her equilibrium was thrown off badly by her missing antenna. "They're just so used to--"

    "Shelana. You have to look at it from their side. They expect to be slaves. In Orion culture, everyone is owned by somebody, from the scullery slave on up to the captain of that ship, and beyond. It's like the Ferengi view, where everyone is someone's employee, right up to the Grand Nagus. He's the only one who isn't working for anyone else - and he has to work for the Alliance as a whole. For the Orions, being someone's slave is right. As far as they were concerned, you weren't 'rescuing' them - you were stealing them!"

    Shelana looked down. "I'm sorry, sir. I guess I let my feelings about slavery get in the way." Then she looked back up, defiantly. "Now look me in the eye and tell me you'd do it any differently!"

    Grunt walked up to the force field. Standing, his eyes came almost exactly to the same height as Shelana's in her seated position; they locked directly into hers. "Yes, Shelana, old friend, I would have done it very differently. I took an oath as a Starfleet officer, to respect the alien cultures I would encounter, and to learn as much as I could about them. And I know Ferengi have this reputation for being backstabbing oathbreakers who'd sell their own grandmothers for a few strips of latinum, and if we're being honest I have to admit that's true often enough to leave even me uncomfortable - but you know that I don't work that way. I cut you more slack than is probably good for us, every time we go out, because it's normal for Andorian culture to fight the way you do. We pick up real meat for Roclak when we can, because it's a Klingon thing to eat meat that still has blood dripping from it. And when we run across an Orion ship, and they have Orion slaves, we leave them alone, because it's the way they are. Yes, I hate it. I probably hate it more than you do - we Ferengi pride ourselves on never having had a period of our history when we kept slaves. Having someone locked down into a position they can never even possibly buy their way out of is -- is repugnant. But we can't impose our culture on everyone else - how long do you think a Ferengi market-government would last on Andor?"

    Shelana dropped her gaze again. "I-- I'm sorry, Grunt. I suppose you're right." There was a pause. "What happened to the guards?"

    "Fortunately, all you did was break a few bones. Orion males are even tougher than they look. Nothing that couldn't be covered with Ruben fast-talking them and my credit limit at the First Bank of Ferenginar. That's why we're still on patrol, not heading for the nearest starbase to convene a court martial. Unless you insist, of course."

    "Maybe you should," Shelana said bitterly. "It is what I deserve, right?"

    "If it ever gets that far, Shelana, don't represent yourself at the trial. It wouldn't go well. Tomorrow morning, you're going before Captain's Mast - since the Mistress of the Orion ship isn't pressing charges, nothing more is called for. The decision is going to be three weeks confinement to quarters, allowed out only for treatment of your antenna in sickbay, to be followed by a thorough review of comparative-culture courses. You go back on duty only after Tan has certified you as having passed those courses." Grunt's voice shifted from the stern "captain" tone, to a softer, friendlier one. "I need you back at Security, Shelana. But first I have to be sure you're back under control. You understand, don't you?"

    There was a pause. Then Shelana replied, with a twisted grin, "I guess I do, Grunt. Gotta say, I think I'd probably be harder on me, if I were you."

    Grunt smiled. "But I'm a notorious soft touch. Although maybe you should change back to calling me 'Captain' on duty, hey?"

    Shelana laughed. "Yes, sir, Captain sir!!"
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  • noraaknoraak Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Stardate 95525.34
    Captain's Log, U.S.S. Stormfront - E, NCC - 998971 - E

    Today marks a dark day for my command and I. My spouse has been put into the brig on charges of foul play. He is a science officer aboard and does not report to me.

    On a routine away mission to our home-world of Aquatica, Lt. Coral Cloud, was the only survivor of a 6 person science team. They were collecting first hand data on my home-world's surface of 99.5% water. Our species lives underwater. We are able to remain out of water and breath air for up to 12 hours a day. Lt. Cloud was not the lead scientist on this away mission. Cmdr. Tomahawk was the leader. The away team beamed down to Aquatica at 0600. At 0900 we got a distress call from one of the away team members reporting that someone was firing phasers at the away team. I ordered the transporter Chief to beam the team directly to sickbay.

    I made my way to the sickbay at a brisk pace. It seemed like it took the turbo-lifts forever to travel the short distance to sickbay. Walking into the bed area of sickbay I noticed that only Lt. Cloud was being attended too. My heart sank but as the Captain it was my place to try and find answers to what took place on Aquatica.

    Lt. Cloud stared into my eyes. I wanted to grab and hug him but duty was calling. When Dr. Tooler allowed me to approach, I asked the Lt. what took place. He said that his back was turned to the others on the team when the firing started. Since the away team were the only ones with phasers I could only come to one outcome. My spouse must have been the one firing. after the Doctor released him I ordered him to the brig, If I showed him any leeway then the crew would think I was showing him favor because he was my mate.

    As of 1200 hours no new information has come to light as to the events of the away teams deaths. I know there is no way that Coral could have done this unspeakable act of violence. But, the truth has not presented an answer as to what really happened. I visited Coral in the brig and tried to get some clear answers. He just told me what I already knew. He could never hurt his crew mates or me for that matter.

    Stardate 95625.34
    Captain's Log Supplemental

    After 24 hours no new evidence can be ascertained as to the events on Aquatica. Although Lt. Cloud has been released from the brig, I find that my heart is aching. What little evidence we did find points too someone shorter than Coral. But finding the person responsible has put a wedge between Coral and I. I love him very much and was just doing my job. He knows this but we still get sideways glances from some of the crew. It seems that they think I got him out of trouble because he is my mate. I can assure Starfeet that I did all that I could to find the true culprit in the events that took place on Aquatica.

    End Captain's Log
  • hawke89305092hawke89305092 Member Posts: 237 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    2409 - Qo'noS Sector

    Captain Ta?koth stood in his ready room staring out the small window at the stars beyond. The Klingon?s arms were crossed and he was almost entirely rigid, only his breathing and the occasional blink giving him any sense of life.

    A harsh noise erupted suddenly, announcing the presence of someone outside.

    ?Enter.?

    The sound of the door opening was followed by several heavy footsteps.

    ?Captain, I would request a moment of your time,? the deep voice of Commander Qar?Vat, first officer of the Darvak, said. There was a hesitant, uncertain note in that usually brash voice.

    Ta?koth ignored him for a moment, letting his icy blue eyes linger on the white streaks outside before turning abruptly and seating himself behind his desk.

    ?As you wish, Commander.?

    Qar?Vat walked slowly forwards and took a seat, clasping his hands together in his lap and staring at them as if unable to tear his eyes away. In the simple chair the first officer?s tall frame looked awkward and ungainly, and the troubled look on his face only accentuated that impression.

    ?Well??

    Qar?Vat swallowed. ?Sir, how long to you intend to leave Commander Kh?var in the brig??

    The Captain tensed a little and his nostrils flared.

    ?I did not realise the matter was open for discussion.?

    ?The ship is still barely operational. Our warp core is stable, but the damage to the engineering section was considerable. Things might be easier with Kh?var?s expertise.?

    ?She disobeyed a direct order!? Ta?koth exploded. ?I commanded her to abandon the ship and head to the escape pods rather than risk half the engineering crew on a mad whim!?

    Qar?Vat looked away. ?I thought she acted with courage.?

    ?Courage?? Ta?koth laughed and waved his hand dismissively. ?It was an act of arrogance. She was a fool to think she would have succeeded.?

    ?But she did succeed. She saved the Darvak.?

    ?And what if she had failed? What then should I have told her House, and those of all she led to their deaths? There is no honour in dying in battle with one?s own warp core.?

    Ta?koth took a breath and tried to calm himself. Turning away from Qar?Vat and getting to his feet again, he ran a finger over the bat?leth he kept in the ready room ? perfectly sharp, he noted as the metal drew a speck of blood.

    ?Kh?var was insubordinate. She forgot that as First Engineer, her duty is to serve.?

    Qar?Vat was beginning to wonder why he had thought it worth trying to speak to the Captain. He had known Ta?koth would be set in his stubbornness, and yet he had tried anyway. Certainly there was nothing more he could do, short of challenging Ta?koth openly, and Qar?Vat was reluctant to do that to his Captain and friend. Besides, Ta?koth was deadly with a bat?leth, and the first officer had no wish to be cut to shreds.

    ?We shall arrive at Qo?noS in twenty six hours,? Qar?Vat commented after a time. ?The shipyards have cleared space for us and we can begin repairs as soon as we dock.?

    Ta?koth nodded sat back down, picking up a PADD and looking it over.

    ?And have you completed your report on the EPS conduit failure, Commander??

    ?Yes, sir. The explosion appears to be the caused by a defective conduit length installed during the Darvak?s last refit. There were several micro deformities present which were unable to handle the increased strain at high warp. It does not appear to have been intentional.?

    Ta?koth muttered something under his breath about incompetence and the state of the Empire. Something occurred to Qar?Vat and he gave the Captain a serious look.

    ?In such times, I suppose we are lucky to have such a talented Klingon as Commander Kh?var for our First Engineer, sir.?

    Ta?koth stirred a little and fixed his icy eyes on the first officer with a powerful force; he opened his mouth to speak when a message came through from the bridge.

    ?Lieutenant Narak to Captain Ta?koth.?

    ?Yes??

    ?We have received a response from the High Council. I imagine you will wish to see it, sir.?

    ?Send it through to me.?

    Ta?koth turned to his desk computer and accessed the message. What followed was a curious passage of emotion across his rugged features. First his eyebrows furrowed together and his eyes narrowed as they moved through the text. Abruptly his eyes widened and his short beard twitched in surprise; he swiftly shifted to a darker, almost murderous look as he finished reading the message. Once he was done he turned the computer off with a vicious jab and swore.

    ?Trouble, sir??

    ?Councilman Raktor has? taken exception to his daughter?s being disciplined,? Ta?koth spat. ?The High Council has commanded her immediate release.?

    Qar?Vat remained silent, not trusting himself to speak.

    ?Go,? Ta?koth commanded with a careless wave of his hand. ?Release her.?

    The first officer stood and went quickly to door; as the panels slid open, he stopped and looked briefly back at the Captain.

    ?Was it Chancellor K?mpec who said that honour is an ideal, and as an ideal must at times let other factors take precedence??

    After had finished posing the question, Qar?Vat turned and passed fully through the threshold, leaving Ta?koth to glower alone in the darkened room.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • drajoradrajora Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Captains Log, Stardate 86430.8. The USS Rampart is en-route to Deep Space Nine. Starfleet command has cut short our patrol around Andoria and ordered us to proceed to the Bajor System. We're making one stop along the way in order to pick up Commander Jhynes. The Commander has been attending a Warp Physics conference on Erach III for the last week, and I look forward to her rejoining the crew.

    Captains Log, Supplemental. We have arrived at Erach III, but Commander Jhynes is not on the planet. It appears she never arrived in the system at all. There is no sign of the runabout and I am deeply concerned for the Commanders welfare. I have received renewed orders from Starfleet to proceed immediately to Deep Space Nine.

    Captains Log, Supplemental. The Rampart is retracing the course of the missing runabout, back towards Andoria. Lieutenant Tala has taken down our subspace communication arrays, citing a suspect set of transmissions. Repairs are estimated to take three days. Regrettably, we will be out of contact with Starfleet for the duration.

    Captains Log, Stardate 86439.06 Commander Tala has identified the runabout's warp trail entering an uninhabited system. We located debris from the runabout on a L-class moon of the third gas giant. This is a deeply saddening experience for all members of the crew. Commander Jhynes was a fine officer, a brilliant engineer and a trusted crewmate. Above all, she was a friend. I am now left with the sorrowful task of informing her family unit back on Andoria.

    Captains Log, Stardate 86441.7 The USS Rapier has rendevoused with the Rampart and relayed urgent orders from Starfleet to report to the Bajoran system. I have taken the opportunity to speak to Admiral Wolken but he refuses to clarify the intent of those orders. I am setting course for Bajor under protest. Captain Zentan of the Rapier has promised to relay my deepest regrets to Andoria, as well as return the Commander's effects.

    Captains Log, Stardate 86463.7 Something is very wrong. Captain Kurland at Deep Space Nine claims no knowledge of our assignment here and Admiral Wolken is persistently unavailable. With Captain Kurland's leave, We are heading back to the Vulcan sector at maximum warp.

    Captains Log, Supplemental. I've received a personal communique from the Rapier. Commander Jhynes has been found. Alive. She is currently aboard the Rapier, orbiting Vulcan. The commander is accused of the murder of visiting Romulan ambassador Telev and is being held in the ships brig. This has the makings of an interstellar incident. I am due to beam over to the Rapier within the hour to visit the Commander.

    ***********

    The door hissed open and Captain Sazev Bh'ypiv stepped into the brig antechamber. Only one cell was active, although he couldn't see its occupant. Not that there was much doubt.

    "Captain!" The Ensign at the brig station snapped to attention.

    "At ease. I'm here to visit the Commander". There was movement in the cell at his distinctive baritone. Commander Jhynes was an Aenar, and racial blindness gave them acute hearing.

    Bh'ypiv stood before the forcefield a moment later, looking at the defiant prisoner. Defiant. He wasn't sure why that was the best word to describe her. There were so many more, better words that should have fit. Charming, intelligent, energetic, friendly. Happy. But defiant was not one of them, even though it perfectly described the furious scowl on her face.

    "Commander Jhynes. I expect an explanation."

    An insolent "Why?" met his query. "You didn't believe me before, why should you listen now? Are you just here to twist the knife?"

    "Commander, I have no clue what you are talking about. You are accused of desertion from your station, theft of Starfleet property and the murder of a visiting ambassador. What the hell happened? One moment you were heading for Erach III, then your runabout shows up crashed, and the next you're trying to trigger an interstellar war!"

    Jhynes said nothing, except to tap up the privacy field for the cell. The forcefield darkened. It was on a five-minute timer to ensure no prisoner tried to use it to escape, but it was effectively a dismissal.

    "Damn" muttered Bh'ypiv.

    The door to the brig whispered open again, and a man stepped through. Dressed in a plain suit, he wore a tag identifying him as a civilian guest aboard the Rapier. The man reported to the Ensign and handed over an isolinear chip.

    "My name is Frank Linneaus Mallard. Federation Judiciary. I'm here to organize the Commander's defense."

    Captain Bh'ypiv walked over. "Lawyer, hm? I'm the Commander's captain. I would be more than happy to assis-"

    He was cut off by a curt wave from the Frank Mallard. "I'm afraid that isn't possible, captain" came the cool reply. "In fact, I must insist that you refrain from contacting..." Frank looked over Sazev's shoulder at the active privacy field "...or agitating my client. Her trial is in three days aboard Starbase Sarek. I expect you may see your officer then. For now, please leave, Client-lawyer discussions are privileged."

    Captain Bh'ypiv left, his brain working furiously. In the corridor he stopped, antennae quivering. Something....Something wasn't right. And he intended to get to the bottom of it.

    **************

    The mood in the conference room was grim. Captain Bh'ypiv gazed at the familiar sea of faces. Commander Tala sat to his left. His First Office and tactical genius. Doctor Corezna behind her, and then Lieutenant Doyen, operations officer. The table rounded with the coldly logical helmsman T'vak and the nervous fresh face of Acting Engineer Rolar.

    He shook his head. Commander Jhynes belonged in this room, contributing to solving whatever conundrum the crew faced. The Secharee incident, the Battle for Volanis VII - the table seemed emptier without her.

    "All right. The trial is in tomorrow aboard the station. You've all had a chance to examine what we know and do some digging. I want to hear explanations, theories, suggestions. I'll even entertain fantasies. We need to figure out what's happened. Speak."

    The first to start was Commander Tala.

    "I started looking at the assassination of Ambassador Telev. First conclusion is that the Commander definitely fired the phaser. They've got it on multiple angles, with holographic reconstructions. No doubt about it. No cloaked drones, no microtransports, nothing. Commander Jhynes walked into the hall, drew a standard issue hand phaser and fired. I did manage to call in a few contacts and got a scan of the weapon. the Commander's DNA is on the firing trigger and the serial is a positive trace to the Rampart's runabout. The wreckage we found on the moon was missing half it's mass, weapons locker among it. She must have removed the phaser before abandoning ship prior to the crash. Seemed to me that it had to be something with the Commander herself."

    "Doctor?"

    "I examined the Commander about a week before she departed for the conference. There was nothing unusual. No signs of mental or physical problems. I managed to convince Doctor Tolan on the Rapier to share his medical examination of the Commander after she was arrested. I compared it to my results. No neural deviations, signs of telepathic or technological intrusion, or compulsion. She's as healthy as she was two and a bit weeks ago. I did find one odd discrepancy though. The commander is shaking off a Moraline injection."

    "Moraline?"

    "A hypospray stimulant. Lasts about 12 hours but the chemical can take weeks to degrade properly. I'd only ever prescribe Moraline if a non-hemoglobin crewmember was suffering severe narcolepsy and even then it's a stopgap measure while the source of the sleep problem is dealt with. The degradation indicates she took the Moraline after leaving the Rampart, but likely before the crash.

    "Very good. Anything else?"

    "Yes Captain. The runabout does not stock Moraline. It's too much of a specialty drug, and its classed as a restricted substance for medical use only. Based on the decay, Commander Jhynes had to have taken it before the time of the runabout crash. Strange thing is, the only place she could have got it within the timeframe was from a Starfleet vessel."

    Acting Engineer Rolar spoke up next. The Trill was probably harder hit than anyone at Jhynes actions, as she had been his mentor since the day he reported aboard.

    "I took a different tack Captain, and requested the sensor logs from Vulcan. By cross-referencing with the Rapier, I was able to ascertain that this vessel brought the Commander to Vulcan."

    He snapped a picture of what seemed to be a standard Anteres-class freighter on the screen.

    "I thought it might be our best lead. This is the freighter Asteronic. Registered to the Sok Trading Conglomerate out of Ferenginar. We passed it going out as we entered Vulcan space. I contacted the USS Hobart, which was conducting smuggling scans in the outer system, and got a complete map on emissions and hull composition.
    This is one suspicious ship. The scan came back clear, but on careful analysis I spotted a thoron signature. Everything from Bay 2 back is masked pretty effectively. Not enough to trip a standard scan, but a detailed analysis would reveal something odd.

    I ran a spectral trace on the hull readings and got some unexpected results. Not only is this the Asteronic, it's also the Freighter Archivist, out of the Terran Trade Group, the Freighter Orleans out of the Mudd Company, and the Freighter Henna out of Andoria. The records are very sophisticated fabrications.

    Our mystery ship was supposed to arrived at P'Jem by now, but Vulcan control hasn't picked it up. It's good bet that whoever they are, they're long gone."

    T'vak spoke up next.

    "I have ascertained that this is not the first occasion we have encountered this vessel. By tracing shipping movement while assisting Lieutenant Rolar, I found an anomaly. The signature of the Asteronic was also present in the Andoria system. It passed us at a range of twenty thousand kilometers sixteen days, five hours and thirteen minutes ago. By cross referencing with the internal sensor logs, I uncovered a internal power fluctuation originating from the shuttle bay fifteen minutes later, immediately prior to the Commander's authorized departure."

    All attention was riveted on the Vulcan. Captain Bh'ypiv stood.

    "What caused that fluctuation?"

    "I would prefer not to speculate. However, the signature is consistent with a phaser discharge muted by a duranium hull - such as a Starfleet issue runabout bulkhead."

    Doctor Corenza looked thoughtful for a moment.

    "Two weeks is enough time for a properly treated phaser burn to heal, especially on the lower stun settings. But Moraline would be an effective treatment for bringing a patient out of phaser stun quickly."

    Lieutenant Rolar began tapping away at his PADD.

    "Just a second....I have something. Commander Tala, was there any intraship transports in the hours prior to the Commander's departure?"

    "None. Ensign Teleres was beamed to sickbay from the holodeck a few hours later, but nothing before her departure."

    "Got it. The Rampart's transporter wasn't used, so the logs are blank. but when I run an internal sensor analysis on that point....we get a sensor trace of a two separate low-power transporter beams? T'Lak, when was the Asteronic at it's closest point in the Andoria system?"

    "Twenty-one fourteen hours"

    Lieutenant Rolor nodded, confirming something.

    "And we have an unauthorized transport trace at 2113 and 2114. Something beamed in, and then beamed out."

    Tala spoke up.

    "I think I have a theory now Captain. Commander Jhynes was not aboard the runabout when it departed. She was transported off by an intruder prior to departing for her conference. The freighter she was beamed onto then moved to Vulcan, where the Commander drew a phaser and attacked the Romulan ambassador.

    I think we need to take a very good look at what happened on board that freighter. And the only one that can tell us..."

    "Is Commander Jhynes, who we have specifically been forbidden to visit." Sazev paused, rubbing his brow in thought.

    "All right. What we have is a pile of circumstantial evidence and speculation. But I think it's good speculation. Excellent work everyone. Commander Tala, get me a connection to Captain Zentan on the Rapier."

    ***********

    "Captain Zentan, thank you. I would like to speak with Commander Jhynes again. Do I have your permission to board?"

    The Bolian captain on the view screen paused and looked puzzled. "Board the Rapier? Why would you need to do that? We transported the Commander to the Rampart an hour ago."

    Sazev felt like the deck was falling out from under him. He tapped his combadge, eyes unwilling to look away from the view screen.

    "Bridge to Brig, do you have Commander Jhynes down there?"

    The reply came back a few seconds later. "No sir. We have Ensign Bucker in Cell One, but no-one else. Sir, I believe the Commander is on the Rapier."

    Captain Zentan had heard the exchange. "But we beamed her over a hour ago. Her lawyer showed us the proper authorization. Both the Commander and her lawyer were beamed over. Damnit! I escorted her to the transporter room myself!"

    Commander Tala checked the logs. "We've had no incoming or outgoing transports for the last twelve hours."

    Captain Zentan turned to his tactical officer, who checked the Rapier's logs. "We...we can't find the transport log. The entire thing has been erased and scrambled."

    Sazev stared at the shocked faces of the Rapier crew. "Just where the Hell is my Chief Engineer?"
  • superhombre777superhombre777 Member Posts: 147 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Two days after the events in "One Last Chance"

    The Executor was fully operational, but chief engineer Jarvis decided that he'd give a small present to the senior officers by listing the holodecks as inoperational. Only the senior staff knew the truth, and had been sneaking into the holodecks to enjoy some rest and relaxation prior to departure. Tonight it was T'Panna's turn, and she invited counselor ch'Raul to dinner.

    The windows looked out on an old Earth city called Seattle. T'Panna noted that the holodeck program was currently popular, which was why she selected it. The background noise was low, which helped them talk about the upcoming mission.

    T'Panna looked at the stack of padds next to the dinner table and sighed. "I suppose it is time to get down to business. Hopefully your suggestions will make this a little less dreary."

    Counselor ch'Raul nodded and reached for the top of the stack. "The top twenty-five candidates submitted a video explaining their qualifications and a copy of their latest after action report as requested. Eleven of the candidates went over the two minute time limit, and six went over three minutes. That's not terribly surprising, especially considering that most of the offenders were human. No offence intended to your or your human relatives, of course."

    "None taken," she replied. "Let's take them off of the list."

    "Already taken care of. I did some digging and found out that four of the candidates did not send the latest report. They submitted what they thought would make them look the best. I don't understand how they thought we wouldn't notice."

    "Were these part of the eleven that don't understand the concept of time?"

    Ch'Raul smiled. "No. These four kept to the two-minute video time limit. This leaves us with eleven candidates who don't understand time, and four candidates who are liars. It's amazing that Earth Central's AI recommended fifteen unsuitable candidates. There are wide implications here. This will be a good first publication for you in the field of psychology."

    T'Panna wrinkled her eyebrows. "What are you suggesting?"

    "You are going to get them fired, and I am going to write a research paper on dishonest leaders in Starfleet. I have a few friends I can talk into setting up similar tests - perhaps openings for researchers, and then the posts will be cancelled due to lack of funding. We have tripped upon a gold mine of data, and it's only logical that we follow up on it."

    "What does extracting precious minerals have to do with unethical behaviors?"

    "Put aside your Vulcan upbringing and think like your human grandfather. I know I just insulted him, but bear with me. It's just a figure of speech to say that we've come across something valuable."

    "My grandfather would have probably enjoyed interviewing each of these candidates and throwing them into the brig one at a time. Are you suggesting that?"

    A joke! Outstanding.
    "We could do that, though it would destroy any opportunities for further research," ch'Raul replied. "But I'm sure that Yair Hillel could use some company down there. How long do you plan on keeping him? Are you acting like your grandfather here?"

    T'Panna's face blanked immediately. ch'Raul realized that the comment must have struck a nerve. He chastised himself for ruining the environment. Getting T'Panna relaxed and happy was not an easy undertaking ever since Everitt Carter died. She shifted from a joke to a deathly calm face in less than a minute.

    "You told him he was not allowed on the ship, and he came anyway," the mostly-Vulcan woman replied. "Also, Isabella previously filed a restraining order against him. He's going to stay there until the civil authorities transfer him or until we leave, whichever comes first."

    "Fair enough," ch'Raul stated. He paused and realized that now was as good of a time as any to breach the uncomfortable topic. "Have you done anything for yourself lately?"

    T'Panna folded her napkin and started to rise. "It is time for me to make preparations for the morning's meetings. Thank you for joining me."

    ch'Raul instinctively reached out and placed his hand on her arm to stop her. "Please slow down for a minute. All I suggested is that you take a few minutes every day to do something that you enjoy. I'm trying to help you here."

    She briefly looked away, so ch'Raul gazed at the holographic dinner patrons. The loudest conversation was about how Seattle was "cursed with mediocre teams, with UW looking terrible this year." He had no clue what that was about.

    When he looked at T'Panna again, he saw that her face had softened. "Why do you think I invited you here tonight?" Her voice was quiet. He looked down and realized that his hand had rested on hers when she sat back down.

    Was she holding it? Damn.
    ---

    Author's note: Earth Central is named after the artificial intelligence of the same name in Neal Asher's Polity series.
  • cmdrscarletcmdrscarlet Member Posts: 5,137 Arc User
    edited October 2013
    Lieutenant Vivian Warshawski sat on the bed in the small room feeling remorseful. Her long blonde hair flowed down her back, over her shoulders and almost covering her face.

    "That was stupid, just stupid, " she said aloud to herself.

    "Yes, it was."

    She looked up and saw the Chief Engineer of the ship staring at her from the other side of the shield barrier. He was stern looking. Thel Ythysi rarely smiled anyway but his frown was very obvious. His Andorian antennae twitched slightly from either anger or disappointment. Maybe both.

    Vivian stood quickly and saluted. "Sir, I -"

    "Quiet!" Thel's interruption startled the security crew at their stations and had Vivian sit back down with lips trembling.

    Thel crossed his arms, unfazed by his own outburst. Using a firm tone of voice, he said, "You do realize the unintended consequences of your actions." It was not a question.

    The officer in the Brig nodded contritely. Thel scowled at the gesture, "then kindly remind me so I am confident you fully understand your actions and the reactions. And stand at attention, there is no room for pity anymore."

    Vivian stood and mustered her courage while organizing her thoughts. She has to be succinct to survive this encounter and took a deep breath. "I ran a level three diagnostic of the starboard bussard collector. This was done erroneously to save time. Thus, a microburst of dekyon particles was not detected, which a level two diagnostic would have discovered. The build-up of over-charged dekyon particles ultimately caused the nacelle to drain more power from the Warp Core than expected. In turn this burned out the receptor coils leading to the nacelle." Vivian breathed in deeply through her nose as her breath expired on the last few words.

    Thel's scowl deepened. "Which is why we are limping to Starbase Sierra-39. We are in the middle of Tal Shiar raided space and your action is endangering this ship and crew."

    "I'm really sorry, sir."

    "You knew your duty. A simple diagnostic run is all it would take to avoid all of this. A level 2 was scheduled. Scheduled! But you wanted to save ... time. Now we have a lot more of it. Or not depending on the enemy. Did you really think this would not go unnoticed?"

    Vivian blurted with tears swelling in her eyes, "it will never happen again!"

    Thel spoke as he turned away, "and that's why you are here."
  • zidanetribalzidanetribal Member Posts: 218 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    Literary Challenge #51: The Brig

    LC51: Vulcan Isolation
    Captain's Log, Stardate 87455.91. In spite of the efforts of Federation conciliators, there are many groups of Federation citizens whose dissatisfaction with the Klingon-Federation War have the possibility of fermenting into a light treason. The Federation Diplomatic Corps is asking captains in the Neutral Zone to mediate some separatist reconciliations, so several of the Lord English's personnel have been dispatched while the English guards DSK-7. As these meetings tend to be pretty straightforward, I expect them back in a day or so. In the meantime, Commander Wildman has invited me to join her in an Adventures of Flotter romp.

    ===

    Commander T'Shaanat awoke in great pain in a Vulcan holding cell. The guard watching her cell noticed her waking up and alerted the next link in the chain of command. T'Shaanat took a good look at her situation: a wound and dried blood on her wrist meant that her subcutaneous transponder had been removed and her state of undress coupled with her torn uniform meant that ship security searched her person vigorously for equipment. At that point, an important-looking Vulcan entered, flanked by two armed Vulcans.

    "Have you reconsidered your answer to our request given your current situation, Commander?" the important-looking Vulcan asked. "May I remind you that it is due to Federation protocols that you are in the brig."

    T'Shaanat suppressed her emotional desire to roll her eyes.

    "The only failure in protocol was giving you the benefit of the doubt," she replied. "Your efforts to press me for information or sway my allegiances are irrational and unproductive."

    The head Vulcan reacted to T'Shaanat's declaration with Vulcan disdain.

    "Your commitment to your principles is misguided. Unfortunately, you will soon be transferred off my ship and I will no longer be responsible for your fate."

    On that note, the Vulcan left the brig with her guards in tow. With nothing to do but to wait for her release, T'Shaanat readied herself to enter a Vulcan healing trance.

    ---

    Three hours earlier...

    ---

    Commander T'Shaanat beamed aboard the VSS Vahklas as part of a Federation Diplomatic Corps delegation en route to the Zibal system. The first person to meet her was Captain Seleia, an old friend of her father. Seleia greeted her with all the warmness a Vulcan could give to her friend's daughter.

    "Live long and prosper, T'Shaanat," Seleia said stoically. "It has been many years since I last saw you, and you have matured into a healthy young adulthood."
    "I come to serve, captain," she replied. "I trust that your own health has been in good condition since our last meeting."
    "My duties with the Vulcan Science Council prevent me from practicing physical fitness as often as I should, but I still find time to practice my suus mahna," Seleia confided.

    As the diplomatic team settled in on the Vahklas, T'Shaanat and Seleia shared a bowl of plomeek soup in the captain's quarters.

    "How is your father faring, T'Shaanat?" Seleia asked. "I heard he was injured trying to protect the Abbot of P'Jem when the Klingons attacked the monastery."
    "His recovery is proceeding at the expected pace," T'Shaanat replied. "He was never one to submit without resistance, even if it began to flout logic."
    "Your father has always been stubborn ever since we were children," Seleia confided. "When I declared kal-if-fee against your godfather to avoid the betrothal, your father was the first to volunteer as my champion. Sokketh and your father had always been unruly rivals. Looking back, I would not have believed Sokketh would have become an ambassador or your father a high priest."

    T'Shaanat reflected on Seleia's story. As a child, she believed that her father was overly strict in the pursuit of logic, which led her to instead follow her mother and join Starfleet. T'Shaanat couldn't help but feel a little emotion: regret that she didn't know her godfather better before his death, and curiosity over the active lifestyle of her father's youth.

    "What are your thoughts concerning the Klingon attack on P'Jem?" Seleia suddenly asked. "For all the resources that the Federation has put towards the Klingon-Federation War, many planets in the Federation core are still vulnerable to the Klingon Empire and its allies."

    The sudden nature of the question caught T'Shaanat off-guard, and she took some time before answering.

    "The attack on P'Jem showed a weakness in the Federation's defenses that has begun appearing with great regularity since the Borg assault on Vega IX. With Starfleet stretched out on all sides, the center will be weakened. Unfortunately, it is a growing reality of the Klingon-Federation War that Federation citizens are caught in the crossfire between Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Force."

    Seleia sipped her plomeek soup in agreement.

    "I have heard that Starfleet is working together with the Klingons against other threats despite Klingon aggressions. It stands to reason that major decisions concerning Federation relations with the Klingons are being made in spite of the conflict with the Klingons."

    Before T'Shaanat could answer, Captain Seleia was paged over the comm channel.

    "Captain, we have arrived in the Zibal system. The diplomatic corps personnel are ready to disembark."

    ---


    In a neutral station in the Zibal system, T'Shaanat and the diplomatic corps prepared for their mission to receive Federation separatists. The first to arrive to the meeting were Minister Sonak, representing the Vulcan Isolationist Movement, and his aides.

    "I find it illogical that the Federation has sent a Starfleet officer to mediate these negotiations, not to mention one so young," Sonak impugned.
    "Age does not impart wisdom, minister," T'Shaanat replied. "Many of Vulcan's greatest thinkers made their contributions before reaching middle age."

    Sonak eyed T'Shaanat studiously.

    "The present generation of Vulcan youths is undoubtedly more assertive than they have been in ages past. Can a Starfleet officer be truly impartial in these proceedings?" Sonak asked.
    "Starfleet has only added to my appreciation of Vulcan culture by exposing me to the greater galaxy," T'Shaanat countered. "As for Vulcan empowerment, it would be logical for Vulcans to look inwards in resolving the crises which rack our culture. Attacks on Vulcans such as the recent one on the P'Jem monastery underscore the need for the Vulcan Confederacy to strengthen its own defenses."

    Sonak eyed T'Shaanat some more, as he conceded that T'Shaanat's views were more heterodox than most Starfleet officers.

    "Do not mind the provocative words of an old public service, Commander. My only concerns were that Starfleet and the High Council were pursuing an agenda which were putting Vulcans at risk, but I am willing to sit down with the Diplomatic Corps to at least inform the Federation Council of our concerns."

    Minister Sonak took a seat opposite from the head of the FDC team, Ambassador Tybalt Smith. The next to enter was Director Alexander Paxton of Ajilon Prime, representing the radical Human group Terra Prime. He greeted T'Shaanat cordially, if stiffly.

    "I would have preferred a more experienced member of Starfleet to oversee our mediations, or at least one with the ear of the Federation Council. As it is, we are here to see whether or not the Federation can do a better job of protecting us than they did along the Cardassian Demilitarized Zone."

    The last to enter were Captain Thex Shela of the Provisional Andorian Imperial Guard paramilitary group and Foreman Graav of the Tellarite extremist group Children of Shallash. After spending some time arguing over who would enter first, the pair resolved to enter together.

    "Let me state for the record that I am here against the advice of many among the PAIG, who no longer trust the Federation after the losses of several Andorian installations in the Klingon Neutral Zone," Shela said.
    "And let ME state for the record that Tellarite mining operations in the Neutral Zone are also being raided by Klingons, and we have less weaponry than those Andorian blokes!" Graav added.

    Captain Shela and Foreman Graav began verbally wrangling with each other while Director Paxton and Minister Sonak looked upon them with disdain. T'Shaanat began rapping the table with her phaser.

    "Order, order!" she commanded. "We are not here to bandy words as to how many installations are being lost to Klingon raiders. The Federation is working with separatist groups throughout the Neutral Zone in order to gauge your situations and act accordingly. In full disclosure, Starfleet is concerned that any rise in tensions in the Eta Eridani sector block will lead to more casualties. There is little to gain for any groups in the Neutral Zone to emulate the Maquis and fight their own wars."
    "I agree with Commander T'Shaanat's assessment," Ambassador Smith added. "If we are fractured, more lives will be needlessly lost. The Federation's view is that force cannot be used to solve the problems in the Neutral Zone. Putting that aside, why are there three empty seats at the table?"

    All eyes turned to the three empty seats. Everyone was confused as to why there were three empty seats when everyone who was expected to attend was already at the meeting. After a while, the three seats were removed and the mediation resumed.

    "As I was saying," Ambassador Smith continued, "the Federation desires that in the interests of the common good, separatist factions should refrain from engaging in aggressive actions; in return, the Federation will do its best to satisfy your needs."

    A disruptor bolt hit Ambassador Smith in the chest as he finished his sentence. He fell down hard as a Klingon officer twirling a disruptor walked into the room, flanked by a Vulcan and a Human.

    "Those are our chairs, Ambassador," she proclaimed, "and this is now OUR meeting with the separatists!"

    As T'Shaanat reached for her phaser, she heard the activation of a plasma pistol behind her back.

    "It would be illogical for you to pull your weapon," she heard. "Put your hands on your head where I can see them."

    Captain Seleia aimed at T'Shaanat's head as she took T'Shaanat's phaser from the holster. The separatist leaders milled about as armed Vulcans transported into the room.

    "What is the purpose of entering a neutral station and murdering a Federation ambassador?" T'Shaanat inquired. "And why have you drawn a weapon on me, Captain Seleia?"
    "We are here to contact Federation separatists on behalf of General Vriska Serket and the Klingon Empire!" the Klingon exclaimed. "We will show them the truths of Federation meddlings and guide them down the path to a warrior's honor!"

    "The Federation has become fatally compromised by Undine," Seleia rationalized. "When I found out your godfather had been replaced by a shapeshifter, I had resolved to break the Undine's infiltration into our galaxy. Only the Klingons have the determination to resist the Undine. If the Federation can work with the Klingons, it stands to reason that I can also work with the Klingons to rid the Federation of Undine."

    Seleia kept her weapon trained on T'Shaanat.

    "It would be illogical for you to resist, T'Shaanat. Join me and we can break the Undine's grip on the Federation and return it to the path of peace it had abandoned when it sought to challenge the Klingon Empire for supremacy."

    In response, T'Shaanat bent over.

    "Of all people, you should know, captain," T'Shaanat replied. "I am as stubborn as my father, and I do not submit without resistance, even in the face of logic."

    With that, she executed a back flip, kicking the plasma pistol from Seleia's hand. T'Shaanat bolted for the door as Vulcan guards began firing on her position. Zibal Station was thrown into chaos as T'Shaanat beat a path through the Vulcans trying to apprehend her. Soon, however, the sheer amount of Vulcan security overwhelmed her. A sharp blow to her neck knocked her unconscious even as she swung an elbow into the eye socket of a Vulcan ensign...

    ---

    A flurry of slaps brought T'Shaanat back to consciousness. In front of her was an elderly Vulcan in Klingon garb, and behind the elderly Vulcan was a Klingon officer and a Human in the cockpit of a Klingon shuttle.

    "You seem to have recovered from the wounds that Captain Seleia and her crew inflicted on you," the elderly Vulcan commented.

    T'Shaanat looked around at her surroundings. Surely she was now a prisoner of the Klingons.

    "Who are you? Why have you joined the Empire and where are you taking me?" she asked.
    "I am T'Mel, and my companions are Sergeant Burkatta, daughter of Athera, and Sergeant Herman Everett Georgeson. We are all in the service of the Spider Marquess Vriska Serket," she explained.

    T'Shaanat remembered Vriska as the prime universe version of the Lord English's Orion security chief, Aranea. Aranea was composed and scrupulous, so her prime universe counterpart could not be expected to be so.

    "Am I now the prisoner of the Spider Marquess? My captain will not rest until I am released from custody."

    The Human assisting in the shuttle's piloting spoke up.

    "To be honest, we were not prepared to take prisoners. Our plan was to shock and awe the meeting, but Burkatta was late in getting to the station, so our timing was off and we weren't able to deliver the right impact.

    Burkatta slugged the Human co-pilot before facing T'Shaanat with a bored look.

    "Our Marquess has no intention of gaining the ire of the Vice Admiral of the USS Lord English. On the contrary, she has ordered us to deposit you with the rest of Battle Group Omega while we return to her ship to fight the Borg."

    T'Mel leaned in closer to whisper in T'Shaanat's ear.

    "General Serket wants you to tell your captain 'I'm sending back your officer, but when I get you, I won't be sending you back.'"

    With that, T'Mel activated the transporter on the shuttlepod, and T'Shaanat found herself in the sickbay of the USS Felczer, to the confusion of the medical staff.

    ===
    Captain's Log, supplemental. Our chief engineer has informed us that the mediation of Federation separatists at Zibal was a disaster. One of the diplomats assigned to the mission was killed, and the captain of a Vulcan science vessel has defected to the Empire. The physical injuries she sustained during the course of the mission are non-life-threatening. The mental injuries are probably also non-life-threatening, but may impact her later on. Or not. Vulcans are mysterious. Only time will tell if this part of her life is revisited, I guess. I'll have to worry about the Spider Marquess instead.
    Post edited by zidanetribal on
  • pwebranflakespwebranflakes Member Posts: 7,741
    edited October 2013
    Thanks for participating all! Great job :)

    As I prepare to post the next challenge and unstick this on, remember that you can still contribute if you have not already. See you in #52!

    Cheers,

    Brandon =/\=
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