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Literary Challenge #61 : The Final Battle

pwecaptainsmirkpwecaptainsmirk Member Posts: 1,167 Arc User
edited April 2014 in Ten Forward
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:

Today we start the two-week run of the sixty-first Literary Challenge: The Final Battle with a special shout out for this topic to 'moonshadowdark' for posting this idea from our Player Suggested Topics thread.
The Final Battle

This is it. Everything has brought you to this moment. Repelling the Borg Collective, taking the Dyson Sphere, fighting the True Way and New Dominion. All of it has led you here, to this empty space. The Iconians have sent a message. They are ending this. You and your crew have been chosen to lead the forces of the Klingons, Romulans and Federation. The Iconians, Undine, Solonae will be coming through soon enough. This is the final battle captains. Write a log about your feelings of leading the charge or write how the battle turns out. Who wins? Who survives? Who do you lose in the process? It's time, Captains. Prepare for the Battle of STO!

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!!**
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  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    This is something of a humorous story. Mad props to moonshadowdark, who came up with part of the Admiral Quinn/Lieutenant Davis dialogue.

    This is NOT coterminious with my other stories. A sort of funny side-story, if you will, not meant to be taken seriously and not effecting the main timeline of my stories.
    USS George Takei (Avenger-class battlecruiser). Location: Earth spacedock. Sol system.

    Captain Nemesis unit designation Three looked at the viewscreen, and the gargantuan Elachi/Iconian attack fleet pictured on it. And smiled.

    "Sir?" asked Commander Azip Shran, first officer and ex-MACO trooper. "Reinforcements are thirty minutes away. It's just us, the Goliath, and the Iliad. Orders are to prevent the Iconians from taking Earth."

    "Awesome."

    "Sir?"

    "That Iconian command cruiser, the flagship. It's marked Glorious vengeance of the invincible glory of the inevitably victorious might of the Inevitable wrath of the invincible sword of Supreme High Lord Inevitably-Fated-for-Greatness. It's SHLIFFG and his guys again. I owe that guy a painful death."

    "Sir, that command cruiser is three times the size of the Goliath, and that's a Voth Bulwark-class! There's a fleet of...five thousand Elachi ships, including sixty dreadnoughts, with battleship and escort support craft, and six hundred Iconian ships--mostly dreadnoughts, too. We can take some of the Elachi ships, especially with Goliath, and Iliad can use the Shohl Maneuver to cut a trail through that fleet, but that Iconian command ship is easily the size of Earth Spacedock if not larger!"

    "Can you locate its Omega Core?"

    "...yes, sir."

    "And if we ram right through it, releasing a pulse of Omega antiparticles, can we prevent them from detonating?"

    "...yes, sir, but even if we could do that, the breach and the matter-antimatter reaction would rip that ship apart with us inside."

    "Awesome. Ready the anti-Omega device, detonate it on my command. Computer, transfer helm controls to manual, play music selection Three pi alpha, and turn lights to red."

    "Sir! Are you insane?!"

    Three turned and grinned at the Andorian woman. It was altogether too cheery.

    "Yeah. We've established that, with me doing stunts like the living grenade and the unit cannonball. Gamat'Elon, hail the Iconian flagship GVOTIGOTIVMOTIWOTISOSHLIFFG."

    "...on screen, sir."

    "Awesome." Three grabbed the joystick. "Hey, Supreme Idiot Lord Your-mom-f***s-algae! You there?"

    The slender, mustachioed face of the Iconian SHLIFFG (abbreviated for convenience) appeared on the viewscreen with an evil sneer.

    "You! Pathetic, inferior servitor being! How could you possibly survive the glorious might of my telekinesis?"

    "Well, ***hat, it's because Pure Awesomeness knows no bounds, and I owe you a painful death or seven." Three rammed the joystick forwards. The George Takei sped for the Iconian command ship like a bat out of hell. "Oh, and one thing you didn't account for?"

    "What?" asked the Iconian, clearly confused.

    "THIS! IS! STAR TREEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!"

    George Takei launched a tachyon pulse, momentarily dropping the behemoth cruiser's shields. Three struck a pose and shrieked with glee. A torpedo volley up the tubes of the ship's planet killer caused a rather dramatic explosion, ripping open the front of the hull. Commander Azip Shran held her breath, closed her eyes, and pressed the "release" button as the battlecruiser sped for the Omega core.
    Three days later. Starfleet Command.

    Fleet Admiral Jorel Quinn was having a rather bad day, which was interesting considering that the universe was freshly saved from Iconian domination.

    "Okay so, explain this again, lieutenant. She actually put the ship under manual control and RAMMED the Iconian flagship?"

    "Yes, Admiral."

    "She RAMMED it."

    "Yes, Admiral."

    "And for some strange reason, she managed to cut through it like it was soft cheese and the Iconian ship was destroyed while her ship was unscathed."

    "Yes, Admiral."

    "That doesn't seem physically possible."

    "We actually have a recording from her Engineering staff who said the exact same thing."

    Lieutenant Thomas W. Davis pressed a button on his PADD. The voice of the Tellarite Commander Belkrab (chief engineer, USS George Takei) was clearly audible.

    "THIS DOESN'T SEEM PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE! THIS DOESN'T SEEM PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE!"

    Davis tapped his PADD again. Fleet Admiral Jorel Quinn rested his head in his hands.

    "Oh, my god..."

    "Sorry, sir."

    "Why the hell couldn't a SANE captain save us? I mean, she's great, and obeys my orders to the letter, and all, but...damn it, man, she's completely insane!"

    "Yes, sir."

    "Damn it. Any casualties?"

    Davis consulted his PADD. "None, sir."

    "No way."

    "Two men injured on USS Ragnarok, one broken leg on the Iliad. Otherwise, only enemy casualties."

    "How..."

    "She said something about a Captain Picard Nature Of Humanity speech. Said she wasn't sure if it had worked until about halfway through the fight."

    "I think my head is going to explode."

    "Sorry, sir."

    "Well, at least there's only one of her. Heh, probably always will be, too. What are the odds that another woman will appear in a beam of blue light out of the sky and break a hole in the floor of a shuttlebay?"

    Davis watched in horror over the Admiral's shoulder and through his soundproof window as a hulking, dark-haired woman in a black bodysuit with a strange symbol--like a wheel with a slice removed from it--appeared in a blue beam of light that seemed to come out of nowhere, crashed into the floor of Starfleet Command's shuttlebay, and caused a rather large crater.

    "Um...sir..."

    "I know, right? The chances are about as good as my window exploding for no reason right about now..."

    The window exploded and Davis ducked for cover as some trigger-happy idiot shot off a shuttle's phaser, causing an explosion that blew the woman up and through the window. When the dust cleared, Davis peeked up hesitantly to see the huge woman raising a struggling Fleet Admiral Quinn into the air with an easy hand.

    "I am Nemesis," said the woman in a voice as cold as Andoria's poles. "Where the hell is my clone?"

    Even through her iron grip, Admiral Quinn managed a scream of...well, something.
    0000000000
    Here's another one. Again, has no effect on the continuity of my other fics, but this one's more serious than the other one.
    Hate could scream.

    Odd, that. Apparently most people's hatred didn't have an actual voice.

    Vice Admiral D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu clutched the arms of her chair with a white-knuckled grip as her hate screamed in the voice of her lost love. On the Vengeance's viewscreen, the assembled fleet of the Elachi and the Iconian Empire waited before Mol'Rihan.

    "First Omek'ti'kallan?"

    "Sir?"

    "How about you lead us in a Jem'Hadar war chant? Zel, call Engineering and tell them to prepare the Armageddon Device."

    "Yes, sir," said the Breen with some trepidation. D'trel looked at Omek.

    "I am First Omek'ti'kallan, and I am dead. We are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives! Praise Odo'ital! Praise His glory! Victory is life!"

    "Hail the fleet."

    "Channel open," said Chief Science Officer Nelen Exil.

    "Attention all ships. This is Vice Admiral D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu, commanding officer IRW Vengeance. We're going to use the antimatter singularity on the Iconian fleet in a suicide run. The subspace blast should take out their fleet without serious damage to Mol'Rihan. Goodbye. Exil, shut that off. Zel, full speed ahead."

    Kill them, screamed her hate in Adani's voice. Kill them all!

    Vengeance surged forwards, Omek quietly singing the Hymn of Glorious Odo'ital's Victorious Wrath.
    Iconian flagship.

    Indomitable Grand Supreme High Emperor Invincibly-Wrathful-one-who-is-Inevitably-Fated-for-Unforgettable-Glory-and-Might threw back his mustachioed head and laughed maniacally as the little warbird streaked out of formation.

    "High Lord Fated-for-a-Glorious-Life, lock all weapons on that Romulan ship. Prepare transphasic chroniton torpedoes. Eliminate the servitor scum!"

    "Yes, O Indomitable Grand Supreme--what the???"

    "What? What happened?"

    "They disappeared from sensors! Why, in the name of the Ten Fates whose inevitable fingers turn the Thuribles of Destiny, would they cloak now?"

    "Flanking maneuver?"

    "No, that ship isn't powerful enough to do that alone, and more cloaked ships would cause interference we could detect."

    "Decoy?"

    "No, O exalted one. I have no idea."

    "Ready all weapons. Antiproton turrets, tetryon pulse cannons, nanite disruptor beams, transphasic chroniton torpedoes--EVERYTHING! As soon as they decloak, fire! Annihilate them!"
    The Vengeance. Bridge.

    "Alright," said D'trel quietly. "We've only got one shot at this. As soon as we decloak, they'll kill us. Is the device ready?"

    "Daysnur here," came a voice over the intercom. "It's ready. We sure this'll work?"

    "The scientists say so. And we're pretty sure the Iconians don't know about it, either; we took all of our most paranoid precautions with this. Alright, load the device into one of the torpedo tubes."

    "All done, sir. We're ready to fire on your command."

    "Excellent. Omek?"

    "Sir?"

    "Transfer weapons controls to my console. I'm going to ram this thing down their throats."

    As the Armageddon device left the torpedo tube, the Vengeance was forced to decloak for only a couple of seconds. It was, however, enough.

    So this is how I go, thought Vice Admiral D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu as the Iconian flagship lit up with weapons fire. She wasn't scared, for some reason. No, she was...at peace. Funny, that.

    As the first Iconian torpedo, fired a little early, impacted with the Armageddon device, causing it to detonate instantly, D'trel realized that, for the first time in over sixty years, the hate was gone.

    The detonation ripped through the Iconian flasghip, tearing it apart and pulling the pieces into the singularity's gravity well. Elachi ships fired subspace waves at the Vengeance. Jak screamed something from Engineering.

    Never thought I'd go out this way, thought D'trel. But damn it, this is a good way to die.

    Then the shockwave from the antimatter singularity's explosion hit the little warbird at the same time as the Elachi weapons and the Iconian torpedoes, and everything went black.
    First Omek'ti'kallan awoke. This alone was unusual enough.

    Even more unusual was the faint electric shocks to his legs. He looked down (painfully) and saw that this was because his legs were embedded in a bridge console.

    Omek moaned, whispered a prayer of thanks to Odo'ital, and hauled himself from the console. A computer-scrambled whimper and a slight shift of motion announced the awakening of Subcommander Zel, who was embedded in the remains of the viewscreen.

    "Praise to Odo'ital. Praise His blessings, praise His might." Omek tried to stand, but found himself unable to do so.

    A clanking sound came from a Jefferies tube, and a grate hit the floor with a loud clang. Second Daysnur rolled out and hit the floor with a crash and a curse.

    "Second. We are alive."

    "Yeah. Not sure how the hell that happened, but Jak has a few theories." Zel peeled xirself from the viewscreen and slipped to the ground with a crash and a groan. "You check the Admiral, I'll see if I can get that debris off of Nelen Exil."

    "Good idea, Second. Casualties?"

    "Uhlan D'vax was hit by a plasma leak, killed instantly. Lieutenant Korath was thrown across Engineering and broke his neck. We're searching the ship now. Last I checked the guys in Sickbay were still out cold."

    "Praise Odo'ital," said Omek. "May He light the way to glory for our dead with His glorious light. May His will come to pass and His name be praised!"

    The Admiral's body was tangled with the remains of her chair. Omek used a laser saw that Daysnur had brought with him to very, very carefully cut apart the twisted metal to get at her.

    She was alive.

    Omek nearly wept right then and there, cradling her lithe body. Her heart was beating, she was breathing; despite the blood and bruising, she was alive.

    Her legs were twisted the wrong way, though. And her back looked...bent, perhaps a little farther than was healthy.

    "I am taking the Admiral to Sickbay. How is Third Exil?"

    "He's fine. Banged up, broken ribs, but alive. How's...oh, no."

    "Stay here! Get the bridge crew awake, keep sending out search parties. I will take her to Sickbay!"

    Daysnur took a step for Omek, tears in his eyes. Then he shook himself and nodded, turning back to the wheezing Voth.

    "Be quick, Jem'Hadar."

    The turbolift was working, barely. It seemed that emergency power and life support were online. First Omek'ti'kallan sang a hymn of praise to Odo'ital as the turbolift lurched slowly down.

    Subcommander Jak was fiddling with some rather disturbing glowing batteries and an EPS conduit when Omek walked into Sickbay.

    "OK, try it now!"

    There was a slow hum, and the ship flickered to life.

    "Yeah, baby! Work with that, get the core back online ASAP! Oh, hey, Omek, how's the--oh, no."

    "I believe that her legs are broken, but she is alive. Subcommander Viasa!"

    "Yeah?" The Reman doctor took one look at the Admiral and swore. "On the biobed, now. Her legs are broken, looks like her back, too. Omek, back to the bridge; Jak, engine room. I need to focus to have a chance of fixing this."
    D'trel woke up.

    Odd. She'd been ready to die. Hell, everything had gone black.

    "Lie still, sir," said Viasa as D'trel tried to rise. It hurt. A lot. But not below the waist, which was odd. "You broke both your legs and severed your spine."

    "The crew?"

    "Ten confirmed deaths. A bunch of injuries, but none as serious as yours, sir. Whatever threw us for a loop, it hit us hard. We're damn lucky we came out as well as we did."

    "We were within the blast radius. Elachi subspace waves were about to hit us. There were Iconian transphasic chroniton torpedoes closing in. How are we still alive?"

    "No clue, sir. Don't try to sit up."

    "How bad is it?"

    Viasa sighed.

    "Your legs should heal, sir, but...you broke your back. You'll be extremely lucky if you ever walk again."

    "Fine. What about the fleet? Mol'Rihan?"

    "No idea. Astrometrics is working on finding out where we are. Omek has the Bridge."

    "Good. Elements, I hope we won!"

    And for the first time in decades, D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu grinned and chuckled.

    "I wouldn't worry about that, sir. The last video we have from the viewscreen shows the Iconian fleet being torn apart and sucked in by the device. You did it, sir."

    The Rihannsu woman lay back, smiling faintly.

    "Yeah. I guess I did."
    IRW Vengeance bridge.

    First Omek'ti'kallan was admiring the freshly-repaired viewscreen when five D'deridex-class warbirds and a Scimitar-class dreadnought dropped out of warp and powered weapons.

    "By the grace of Odo'ital, may His name be praised! Is the cloak online?"

    "No, sir!" shouted Daysnur. "We need another hour, at least!"

    "Subcommander," said Zel nervously. "We are being hailed by the dreadnought!"

    "On screen. Praise be to Odo'ital, may His light shine upon all."

    A Rihannsu face, hawklike and brown-eyed, with pale brown hair and faint forehead ridges, appeared on the viewscreen in a Republic military uniform.

    "Unidentified warbird, this is RRW Vindication. You are violating the space of the Rihannsu Republic. Please identify yourself immediately or we will open fire!"

    Omek shot a look at Daysnur, who mouthed Alias.

    "I am First Omek'ti'kallan, and I serve Admiral Do'eth ir'Virinat at the orders of glorious Odo'ital, may His name be praised and His will come to pass. The Admiral broke her legs and is in Sickbay at the moment. What of Mol'Rihan? How fared the battle against the Iconians?"

    "Liar. Your ship's transponder codes match none in my registry, and your commander apparently doesn't exist. You have ten seconds to give me a reason to not shoot you."

    Daysnur was making frantic gestures. Omek'ti'kallan tried his best to interpret them.

    "We surrender."

    "What?"

    "We surrender. Please prepare to beam us aboard. The Admiral is in sickbay, please be careful with her."

    "Give me one reason why I should trust you to not try to take my ship when I beam you aboard."

    "That is a Scimitar-class dreadnought warbird. You have more than five times the crew of our ship, and we have many injuries."

    The Romulan woman sighed.

    "Point, that. Alright. First Omek'ti'kallan, I, Adani ir'Aethra tr'Harvannsu, do hereby accept your unconditional surrender, and do hereby promise to treat you and your men as directed by Republic prisoner guidelines. Please prepare to be beamed aboard."

    Daysnur, wide-eyed with shock for somne reason, opened his mouth to say something, but then he and everyone else on the ship disintegrated and was beamed out.

    Omek, Zel, and Nelen Exil materialized on a transporter pad on the bridge of the dreadnought. Adani ir'Aethra was standing in front of them with her arms crossed.

    "Alright. Down to business. What the hell are a Voth, a Breen, a Jem'Hadar, a bunch of Klingons, a Nausicaan, and a Lethean doing on a purported Republic ship?"

    "The Admiral is a Republic liason to the KDF. As for myself, I am under orders from Glorious Odo'ital, may His glorious light guide us through our troubles, to serve the Admiral. Zel...respects the Admiral. Xe will not say why xe joined up with us, not even to settle Daysnur's betting pools. Subcommander Exil is a Voth defector, stationed on the Vengeance both for relative safety and to put his expertise to use."

    "Huh. Sounds--oh, hang on." Her communicator buzzed. "Yeah?"

    "Satra here, Vice Admiral. The injured Rihannsu has a broken back, but she's awake. You'd better come on down and talk to her, sir. The Lethean insists that you do so, quickly. He's rather agitated."

    "On my way. Security, send a team to Sickbay just in case. You three, follow me."

    They entered the turbolift, and the doors hissed shut.

    "Oh, and Satra? Can you double-check the woman's name? She's coming up as a total blank on our databases."

    "She told me when we beamed her aboard, sir. It's D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu."

    "Satra? Tell me something."

    "Yes, sir?"

    "Do you want me to space you?"

    "Sir?"

    The Romulan's voice was frigid and her teeth were grinding.

    "Do you want me to space you? Or are you just stupid, to think that I'll believe that that's her name."

    "Sir? She told me herself, that's her name!"

    The Romulan snarled. "In that case, I'm going to kill her. D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu has been dead for over sixty years."

    The doors hissed open, and she stormed out. Omek followed, the Voth and the Breen stumbling after him.

    "Commander, I can assure you that that really is the Admiral's name. She used it before we flew the Armageddon device into the Iconian fleet, and half the Republic must know that "Do'eth ir'Virinat" is an alias by now..."

    "You flew--epohh dung! The Proconsul vetoed that idea when I suggested it! Let me guess, you say that you one-shot the entire Iconian fleet?"

    "Well...that is what I saw, before the explosion..."

    "Heh. It might've worked that way, you know, if someone had done a suicide run. As it was, we were lucky your Odo'ital showed up with a Dominion battle fleet in a flanking position on the Iconian command ship about halfway through the fight. Satra, what the hell is...oh, Elements."

    She stopped so fast that Omek, trotting right behind her, tripped over her foot and crashed to the floor.

    Which gave him a perfect view of the most singular mix of expressions on the woman's face as she saw the Admiral.
    "It's certain," said the other Nelen Exil, to the conference room, Vengeance crew on one side and their doubles on the other. "They are from another universe. Quantum resonance scans show that they and their starship are from a slightly parallel universe, mostly the same as our own."

    "Except in our universe," said the Nelen Exil who Omek knew, "Admiral D'trel was the one who escaped Hakeev's guys in that raid. In this universe, she kept her balance, overpowered Admiral Adani, and forced her down the escape shute, then was captured and tortured to death by Hakeev and his goons. Due to Admiral D'trel's inherently more fiery personality, she was more willing to disobey Proconsul D'tan's orders in the recent battle. As near as we can figure, the combination of random subspace-warping and chroniton effects moved the Vengeance into this parallel plane of existence."

    "Which is great for the Admirals," said the other Voth, "who get to have each other again and get a vacation on Qo'noS, because the Klingons see the doomsday suicide run as a glorious act. We get a vacation on Risa, the Republic gets a mild headache because of the whole timeline-twin thing, and D'tan gets a bunch of help fixing what little damage was done to Mol'Rihan. D'tan said that he didn't want to see ANY of us on Mol'Rihan for a month. Other Omek, Odo says congratulations, orders you to enjoy yourself, and says that he'll congratulate you in person when the month's up. Any questions?"

    The various aliens looked at each other. Then the Vengeance's Daysnur spoke up.

    "Nah. Let's leave the questions until after Risa."

    And with various cheers, laughs, and shouts of "Damn straight!", they all surged out of the room in a scrum.
    Founder and Grand Vizier of the Glorious Regime of Sovereign Ba'al. Hail Ba'al!
    Baal%20prop%20pic%208_zpsqaptvpnu.png
  • lorelei5lorelei5 Member Posts: 6 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    This is my first literary challenge entry - and first post in these forums! It was written as free-association writing to capture, as realistically as possible, the brief log entry of a burdened captain. I post it here without edits:
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Captain’s Personal Log

    Who knew space could be so empty. Once can escape one’s home world and explore the unknown but time and again the problems we seem to escape always return. Poverty, disease, hatred, war.

    Above all, it is always war.

    We fought back the Borg at long last and never had I felt so relieved. Then battle after battle with the True Way and New Dominion saw silence once more resonate throughout this space. We were prepared for peace yet here we wait: Federation, Klingon and Romulan fleets, depleted, exhausted and side by side. We started with thousands but are left as battered dregs. Who knows how many are on their way to face us. Or if our reserves will arrive on time.

    Perhaps my teachers were right for scolding me reading those old Earth tomes as a child; reading about great wars that levelled cities and brought nations to their knees. That left both men and machine in ruins over and over again. There are no nations here, only worlds. No treaties this time, only one bargain: billions of lives for thousands of lives.

    No one wins a war.

    I wish I could find words to tell the crew to somehow make it easy for them, but it should never be easy. If war was easy people would not die. Our enemies have the advantage of us. They can retreat but we cannot afford to. We cannot go down fighting because our peace depends on this final victory. The Iconians refuse to listen to our words. There is nothing left to say when they wish to conquer us.

    The burden of hundreds of ships and their crews weigh heavily even in space. War in this pitch darkness is no different to the centuries of war on Earth. I feel sick to my stomach. Perhaps it is fear or accepting my fate. There will be blood on my hands no matter what I do. I will lose men and women no matter what actions I take. I have to laugh at my fate: Only defeat could relieve me of the burden.

    I must be strong.

    I have to lead them as willingly as they follow me. I must trust them as much as they believe in me. In a matter of hours the fate of more than one species will be decided. Sitting here, gazing across at my uniform I realise it seems worn and faded. The colour has faded a little through so many years of wear and tear. My mind and body sympathises. What would the crew think seeing their leader in rags?

    How strange I could be so vain at a time like this.

    Let me take one more look at the trivial and insignificant before it all ceases to matter. I may not have another chance again. I have to remember what we fight for.

    Red Alert.

    Here they come.
  • shadzswordshadzsword Member Posts: 34 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Captains Log;

    I have received news from New Romulus informing me of a dire situation, though their understatement of the situation cannot be explained by mere words alone.

    We are proceeding to the coordinates provided by Joint Command at maximum warp, which we will reach in nine days, and are to join, and lead, the armada made up of thousands of ships loyal to the Romulans, Federation, Klingons, Cardassians, and even our allies in the Gamma Quadrant have send their forces to fight with us. Wee all know what the cost of victory is, and it is a mere sacrifice compared to defeat.

    I have enjoyed my time with the Klingons as they think much the same as I...duty, honor, loyalty.....I have spent much time pondering if I was meant to be born a Klingon as my heart lusts for battle, yet upholds the words of Kahless and the Heart of Virtue, as it had long before the alliance.

    To this day, I have forged bonds with many species I never thought possible, Klingons, Remans, Orions, Nausicaans....All of which serve my ship, serve me. But why? Why an unknown Romulan? Better yet, why has Joint Command found it in the best interest of all species, known and unknown to us, for me to lead a task force into this battle?

    I doubt I will ever understand, and I personally don't think that I really want to know. To my crew, my name is like the sword of Kahless, powerless in reality, but has more power over the heart and mind then one can even begin to comprehend. I know this to be true for as I was making my rounds before what could possibly be the end of our lives, I overheard the crew sharing a toast in my name.

    "To Honor! To victory! To Angelus! To death!" They all chanted, but why me? What could possibly make them respect me so much? I have brought my crew great honor, yes, but I have also condemned so many of them to their deaths in the name of science, conquest, expansion....yet this is just an emotion which my Vulcan brothers have cast aside, and which now gives me a new respect for them and their ways. Now I too must shield my mind away from these feelings of doubt, or life as we all know it may quickly come to and end.

    My first officer has informed me that when we arrive at our destination, we will be hosting a meeting with the ambassadors from New Romulus, the Klingon Empire, and New Romulus. I have ordered my chief of security to move all nonessential personnel to the lower and aft decks, so that scuffles or assassination attempts on Federation personnel do not occur on my ship. The last thing needed right now is for them to walk upon my ship, but it is for the greater good.

    A young warrior approached me the other day asking if it was possible that the Preservers would have knowledge of the Iconians, so I have tasked him with contacting Defera, and requesting their help. They had quickly agreed to study the archives left for them, and talk to the Preservers who have remained awake, about the Iconians. As of 02:00 hours today we received a message back from Defera, the Preservers know much about the Iconians and are willing to share the knowledge with us. They have asked for me to see them personally and I have agreed that once this meeting is over I will attend to them.

    I hope for the safety of all races involved, the Preservers will have the information we need to defeat the Iconians once and for all.
  • sirboulevardsirboulevard Member Posts: 716 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Admiral Brendan Stevens was left agape when he read the report from Qo’noS.

    “I had a suspisicion when we encountered that previous Planet Killer at Imaga,” he said. “Neutronium hull, antiproton weaponry, incredibly difficult to take down. All signs of Iconian creation.”

    “Well the Klingons did take it out,” replied First Officer and Chief Engineer Kikyo Miyazaki. “If a few minutes too late. Wish we had some of those Har'Pengs right now.”

    The destruction of Qo’noS was not something the crew was taking lightly. The Iconians didn’t need a doomsday machine to wipe them all out. It merely meant it went from being done quickly to be done the long way.

    “ I still don’t know why Starfleet didn’t send us out to face them,” Stevens reacted.

    “I can answer that,” said a familiar voice from the turbolift.

    Admiral Jorel Quinn walked solemnly onto the bridge.

    “Admiral on deck!”

    “At ease, Miss Miyazaki,” Quinn responded. “Right now, I don’t think anyone needs to be more stressed out.”

    “Sir, you wouldn’t have come aboard for no reason,” Stevens said.

    “Your right.” Quinn pushed a PADD into his hands. “Read this.”

    Stevens’ eyes were bulged more than ever when he read the bad news.

    “… The Federation council… has desolved,” the words choked out of him.
    “After Ambassador Worf condemned the Federation for refusing to send assistance, even evacuation ships to Qo’noS, several councilors began to question the reasoning for the refusal.”

    “Which was?” Stevens asked nervous, almost knowing what the answer would be.
    “Starfleet General Order One.”

    “Dammit to hell!” Stevens snapped. “They invoked the Prime Directive on an invasion of Klingon space by the Iconians!?”

    “President Okeg cited that involving ourselves in this battle would be interfering in the internal relations between the Klingon Empire and the Iconians,” replied Quinn calmly. “Ever since Megara, he’s been… keen on upholding the directive.”

    “The Raptor in the Palais strikes again, eh?” Stevens snarked. “He’s a fool! The Iconians are not just a threat to the Klingons. They’re on their way here to Earth aren’t they?”

    “Yes,” said Quinn.

    “And the Federation is technically just Earth now.”

    “I’m not sure one planet counts.”

    “Why did the other member worlds leave? Don’t hold back. I want to know this.”

    “Councilor Troi-Riker of Betazed cited our refusal to help the Klingons as a lack of empathy or care about other races. She then asked that if one of the Federation worlds, which all still have independent local government and territories was attacked, if Starfleet would deem that an “internal matter” as well. Needless to say, there were enough angry people on the council floor that they all walked out.”

    Stevens collapsed in his captain’s chair. Fear had driven them away. Fear of being left alone, that the Federation couldn’t help them.

    “That’s not all,” Quinn continued.

    “Of course not…”

    “Worf added as he stormed out that the Klingons will not send any ships to assist Earth when it is attacked. Procouncil D’Tan quickly followed suit, citing that if the Federation is incapable of providing humanitarian aid to stop the deaths of an entire planet, then this is not an alliance. The Cardassian Ambassador left after both of them, saying nothing.”

    “We really are alone in this,” Stevens solemnly whispered to himself.

    “Indeed. And that’s why I came aboard. Lt. M’Rai, please open a shipwide channel.”

    “Frequency open, sir,” said M’Rai.

    “Attention all personnel of the U.S.S. Misawa: As of this moment, any non-human member of this crew will be permitted to leave the ship and return to their homeworld. No charges of defection or abandoning duty will be considered for any member who wishes to do so. Admiral Quinn, out.”

    Quinn looked around the bridge for a moment. No one budged.

    “Well?” The Admiral asked sincerely.

    “With all due respect, sir,” M’rai responded. “No one is going anywhere. Our loyalty is to Starfleet, and the ideals of the Federation, even if the politicians have turned their backs on it.”

    The admiral smiled quietly. He nodded, walked to the transporter pad at the back of the bridge.

    “Your crew is to be commended,” he said. “Like many others, they’re not leaving. I hope it is not their doom. Chief, energize.”

    After the Admiral had departed, Miyazaki turned to her old friend and CO.

    “Admiral… Brendan, what now?” Miyazaki questioned.

    “Now, we wait. In a few hours the Iconians, the Elachi and the Solanae will be here with their fleet. I do know one thing, we will be victorious,” replied Stevens.

    “How can you say that?”

    “Didn’t you ever read up on the Temporal Cold War?” Stevens asked.
    Miyazaki shook her head.

    “You should already know the answer from those Temporal Vessels that have shown up in this era. Our races will live on, the Iconians will lose. But, I remember something that a certain time traveler told Commander Tucker of the NX-01 Enterprise: ‘Earth is still there… in a manner of speaking.’ Today is the day Earth dies, but Humanity and the races of the Federation live on. Curious though, he spoke of the Federation as it still exists… I wonder how that happens…”

    2 weeks later:

    Brendan Stevens awoke in his bed alone, his lover having died evacuating civilians from Seattle during the glassing of Earth. The planet, 60% glassed was now no longer a home for over 10 billion humans. While a new team of terraformers were convinced the planet could be restored in a few hundred years, for now Humans had found a new home, and they weren’t alone.

    On this beautiful summer morning, Stevens opened the curtains in his new apartment to look upon the streets of Mol’Rihan – New Romulus. He recalled, fresh in his mind, the terror in Va’Kel Shon’s voice when said “Starfleet Command, we have engaged the Iconians,” Stevens’ own shock at the sudden arrival of the joint Romulan-Klingon Fleet, his slight bemusement that Shon had personally kicked Obex off the half destroyed Golden Gate Bridge. He recalled the tears when D’Tan hailed the fleet and said the following speech:

    “People of Earth and the Federation, your Romulan friends are saddened by your incalculable loss today, as we are to our brothers of the Klingon Empire. We too, were people without a home. The loss you feel today, the loss of the loved ones and the place to call home will be felt by many for years to come. It is only fitting that we, the only others who understand your pain offer you what you need most. You have spent the last few years helping us build a Mol’Rihan, New Romulus. Today we offer our homes to you, Mol’Rihan will also be a Mol’Qo’noS and a Mol’Terra. We cannot stand by and watch our neighbors wander the galaxy, homeless and dejected as we once were. You helped us build our home, let us share it with you.”

    Brendan also remember hearing the next day, that it was Sela of all people who insisted the Romulans and Klingons fight the Iconians at Earth. Her condemnation of the Klingons as cowards who would willingly let another race die because they refused to help them, that the path of honor meant they should do what Starfleet could not. Her rage at D’Tan’s unilateral action, refusal to stop those who had betrayed their people and destroyed their home as they took another race’s. When he saw the recording, Sela, still in a medical gown, furiously condemning the cowardly actions they had just taken, inspiring even people opposed to her as Tovan Khev and Kerekek, was utter stunned by the humanity in her words, whereas before he thought her soulless.

    Now, looking out over Mol’Rihan, he thought of the Captain’s Oath and thought how much it applied right now…

    Here they were, deep in space, the final frontier, continuing to exist and voyage among the stars, exploring this strange new world they had settled on, seeking a new life and creating a new civilization. And most definitely, boldly going where none of them had gone before: being united in search for a future.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    TRIBBLE Hydra! Hail Janeway!
  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    EDIT: Please ignore this post. Forgot that only reduxes allow multiple separate posts.
    Founder and Grand Vizier of the Glorious Regime of Sovereign Ba'al. Hail Ba'al!
    Baal%20prop%20pic%208_zpsqaptvpnu.png
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 8,211 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    URGENT -- URGENT -- MESSAGE BEGINS

    Starfleet Communication Service
    Notice #4783906
    Security Classification Secret/Red

    From: Fleet Admiral T'Nae, Starfleet Command, Earth

    To: Republic Fleet Command, Mol'Rihan
    Klingon High Command, Qo'noS
    Cardassian-Dominion Joint Command, Deep Space Station Nine
    Admiral Grunt, USS Ferenginar
    Vice Admiral Jonathan Sills, USS Hans Asperger
    Vice Admiral Nniol tr'Keiniadh, RRW Emerald Soul
    General Malthit, IKS Ch'Bug

    For Fleet dissemination as required

    As you are aware, the completion of the Iconian gate disruption network last year by the Republic fleet has prevented either the Iconians or their Undine puppets from opening interspatial gates within the territory controlled by the New Alliance. All approaches to our shared spaces must now be made through standard warp travel.

    Long-range sensors have detected a large Iconian-Undine fleet massing at the edge of former Borg space, in the Gamma Orionis sector block. Intelligence indicates that they intend to use the transwarp hub originally constructed to service Task Force Omega to transit their attack fleet directly to Sirius sector block, from there to attack the core worlds of the United Federation of Planets, most probably Vulcan and/or Earth. Accordingly, we are hereby invoking the terms of the Khitomer Treaty of 2434 to request and require the assistance of all available craft from UFP Starfleet, the Klingon Defense Force, and the Fleet of the Rihannsu Republic to defend against our shared enemy.

    Ships responding will be detailed to newly created Task Force Iconia. All Starfleet craft will be under the direct command of Vice Admiral Sills. All Republic craft will be under the direct command of Vice Admiral tr'Keiniadh. All Imperial craft will be under the direct command of General Malthit. Overall command of Task Force Iconia, and command of any responding craft not subject to Federation, Empire, or Republic, will fall to Admiral Grunt. Rally point for Task Force Iconia will be Wolf 359, due to its proximity to Federation core worlds.

    Iconian-Undine insertion into Federation space is expected approximately Stardate 99574.6. All responding craft are requested and required to assemble at Wolf 359 on or before that stardate.

    May fortune favor our Fleet.

    MESSAGE ENDS


    SUPPLEMENTAL MESSAGE

    FROM: Fleet Admiral T'Nae, Starfleet Command, Earth

    TO: Admiral Grunt, USS Ferenginar

    Admiral, it would be illogical to deny our mutual antagonism. For myself, I have always found your demeanor to be insufficiently respectful and unsuited to a military heirarchy such as that of Starfleet. Were we not in constant turmoil since the events of 2401, it is doubtful you would have been accepted to Starfleet Academy, and certain that even if you had, you would never have risen above the rank of Commander.

    However, it would be equally illogical to ignore the fact that despite all this, when situations have been desperate, you and your command crew have always found some way to turn matters in your favor. It would be sensible, then, to employ your talents in defense of the Federation, given the level of desperation indicated by the approach of the previously-referenced attack fleet.

    Know therefore that while we may not like each other, I know that I can trust you to carry out your orders, and to interpret them... creatively in order to stop your opponents. This is why you are being placed in ultimate command of Task Force Iconia, and hereby ordered to prevent the enemy from destroying Earth and the other Federation core worlds. I recommend that you employ the talents of Mycroft and Twelve of Fifteen, formerly Captain Shelana, to coordinate your forces to greatest effectiveness.

    Remember that without victory, there can be no profit.

    MESSAGE ENDS
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • mli777mli777 Member Posts: 90 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    (Pretend this was a stray transmission intercepted from a temporal anomaly)

    Vice-Admiral's Personal Log, Stardate: [DATA EXPUNGED]

    It is hard for me to describe the storm of emotions trying burst out as I record this log. It seemed that the lives of so many, and the fate of this Galaxy will be decided in mere hours. If this is my final chapter, let it be said, that the U.S.S. Canada and the members of Foxtrot Squadron, Canadian Starfleet Regiment have performed with excellence, professionalism, and served to defend the Core Principles that the Federation was founded upon. And whether we succeed or fail, I intend to have the Iconians, Solonae, and Undine feel the wrath of this alliance, and that they will take so many losses that they may falter and stumble.

    All civilian personnel and non-critical officers and enlisted remain at Spacedock, working with the Sol Defence Force in case this battle does not end well. My children and my wife are now with family in Vancouver, Canada; I hope to see them once more.

    It moves me to see the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Republic decided to work with us once more to face this common enemy. No matter our tumultuous pasts, it is time to take the fight to the enemy, who have become desperate, after we had turned the tide.

    To quote a verse from the Good Book "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

    End log.

    _________

    Vice-Admiral Lee walked onto the bridge, as Captain(N) Tarah Ovlam bellowed, "Atten-tion!"
    All crew members and officers stood at attention and saluted, with the Vice-Admiral returning the salute. Along the ceiling, the Canadian Flag hung proudly, along with the flags of the Canadian Forces that existed centuries ago. Many members of the crew now wore the service dress uniforms of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force, with MACO and Security officers dressed in the uniform of the Canadian Army. While stretching Starfleet uniform regulations, the crew felt that with a good chance that this may be their last battle, lets go out with a bang, regulations be damned! Lee himself was donned in the Uniform of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which bore the rank of Air Marshal.

    On the viewscreen, he could see the various starships forming up around the Canada. Every ship assigned to Foxtrot Squadron, from the giant Galaxy-X-Class Dreadnought U.S.S. Valiant to the ancient Constitution-class U.S.S. Vancouver, from the ginormous Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier HMCS Bonaventure to the Akira-class U.S.S Vimy Ridge, and from the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship HMCS Haida to the Odyssey-class U.S.S. Kanata (his alternate Flagship), were here. Fitted with a variety of weapon and engineering systems, Captained by many officers that had served under him, they were poised for this battle to end all battles.

    Alongside the Canada were RRW Lleiset and the IKS Bortasqu, with the U.S.S. Enterprise also present. The three Captains had rather stormy relations with one another, but all were able work with Lee. Commander Tiaru Jarok was a close friend of Lee, working together on several occasions. Captain Shon was also an old friend, with Shon helping the Canada when it retook Deep Space Nine. While Captain Koren had a rougher history with Lee, it was through Ambassador Worf that they were able to work together.

    The war between the Alpha Quadrant and the Iconians (plus servitor races) had been costly, with many outlying worlds turned into warzones. Deep Space K-7 was badly damaged during one battle, and Drozana Station was abandoned. Hundreds of ships on both sides were destroyed in this galactic scale siege. The Romulan Star Empire had split again between Iconian collaborators and isolationists, and many of their worlds were destroyed. The Romulan Republic lost many ships during a surprise raid on their Flotilla, but the flottila flagship survived, but badly damaged.

    The Federation lost several worlds, though by fortune, non of the core systems were attacked. The worse hit was the attack on New Washington, where the Iconians revealed the long-suspected connection to the Planet Killers. Billions perished when that system was destroyed, though soon after, a covert operation managed to find and destroy the Iconian facilities making new planet killers for the War.

    The tide had turned at the Battle of New Amsterdam and the Battle of New Toronto, where several Iconian fleets were defeated after weeks of constant battle. After that, many of the worlds still intact were retaken, and the allies pushed the Iconians back, back to their staging areas. From what Lee had heard, Section 31 and allied intelligence organizations had found some way, likely morally questionable, to cripple the Iconians, turning their own viruses, their own devices, against them.

    It was thus that the Iconians apparently were making one last attempt to defeat the Alpha Quadrant and enslave all.

    As Vice-Admiral Lee sat in the Captain's chair, Commander Phall'mon Ovlam, Canada's Tactical Officer and Tarah's twin sister, reported that all ships were checking in.

    Several ships of the allied forces warped in, including a small Squadron of Federation and Romulan starships, led by Commander Rena Shyk, also part of the Canadian Starfleet Regiment.

    Half-an hour before the Iconians were expected to arrive. Lee opened a channel across the ship and his squadron.

    "Attention all ships, this is Vice-Admiral Lee. I want to say it has been an honour and a privilege to have served with all of you. Whatever the outcome, whether we survive or fall, let no one forget our actions today, let no one forget Foxtrot Squadron."

    He ordered the channel to change to just the Canada. "Ladies and Gentlemen, General Quarters, all hands report to your battle stations. Yellow Alert."

    Soon, across the ship, the remaining crew moved towards their stations, with the torpedo launchers loaded up, all beam array banks ready to be energized, all MACO and security personnel armed and ready.

    Then it began. Someone then caused all displays across the ship to show a Canadian flag flying in the wind. No one knew who started it, but throughout the ship, the crew,
    no matter their species, no matter how they came onto this ship, began to sing. From Engineering to the armoury, to the sickbays up to the bridge, people began to sing. It was not the anthem of the Federation, nor some of the songs popular on the Subspace network. It was a bilingual song that in 1980 officially became the National Anthem of Canada.


    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    USS Canada
    N.C.C. 171867
    Sovereign Class
    Saint John Fleet Yard
    "A Mari Usque Ad Mare"
  • duneczan3duneczan3 Member Posts: 29 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Dyson Spire 1138
    Task Force 42 ‘Spacebattles Fleet’ Fleet Holding


    “So they put you in charge of this mess?”

    “Apparently so.”

    “By the Spirits, why

    “In my career, I have made many enemies, from shapeshifters to megalomaniacs, to alien gods, to extradimensional entities, to very short men with really big guns. I think they have had enough, and are conspiring against me.”

    “By somehow convincing their enemies that you are the one best suited to get everyone killed.”

    “Exactly. I imagine large amounts of Romulan Ale were involved.”

    “Not Aldebaran Whiskey?”

    “No, it can’t be involved.”

    “And why not?”

    “Because it is green.”

    KDF Lieutenant General Nasaera Olaraen looked askance at her companion. The Orion woman quirked an eyebrow. “You’re joking.”

    “I never joke about whiskey. Ever.” Starfleet Acting Vice Admiral Kelvena Hasegawa replied in a deadpan. The two of them stood on the spires balcony, overlooking the assortment of ships gathering below. The four massive bulks of an Obelisk carrier, two slightly smaller Vo’Quv carriers, and the imposing form of a Bortasqu’ tactical cruiser. Among them also sat two Ambassador class cruisers, a Nebula class cruiser and two Haakona warbirds. A number of shuttles, transports, tugs, fighters, drones, and birds of prey flitted between them all.

    “So you’ll be commanding from the Exodia then?” Nasaera asked, indicating the alien looking Obelisk.

    “Ah, no. I’ve put my…abnormals in command of it.”

    Nasaera blinked. “…Ab…normals?”

    “Amman’Zun is in command. I think the Dominion bred him for command; he takes to it easily enough. His first officer is Tran. Nelen Exil is the chief science officer aboard; I believe he’ll have fun figuring out how everything works without large, angry, heavily armed Paleolithic religious fanatic breathing down his neck. Assisting him is McMoy and One of Zero.” Kelvena looked at her old friend. “Don’t ask about that one.”

    Nasaera shook her head and pinched the bridge of her nose with her free hand. With her other, she downed half the glass of cognac she held. A Jem’Hadar émigré, Breen and a Voth renegade, the somewhat mad hologram she’d once encountered and a rogue Borg. “You know that conspiracy against you? With the crew you’ve gathered, and the friends you have, thank you for that intel on the Undine by the way, Intelligence just loved hearing about one of them infiltrating the Tal Shiar, I can see why people want you dead. So what’ll you be commanding from then, if not the enormous target?”

    “I will face the enemy has a true representative of Starfleet: Inside Ben Sisko’s Pimp Hand.”

    Nasaera wasn’t able to keep herself from spitting a spray of her cognac out into the gusty atmosphere of the spire. “The what

    Kelvena had the gall to shrug nonchalantly. “I work with crazy people. It’s the Nephilim, my Defiant

    “Oh yes, that makes much more sense.” She turned away from the balcony and walked towards the center of the chamber. “Just show me the plan woman.”

    At the controls, Kelvena changed the central hologram over to a tactical map. A large number of warships were represented by factional colors and icons indicating assault groups and task forces. “Basically, the Iconians chose this place here,” the map showed a spot somewhere beyond both Voth and Allied controlled areas of the Solanae Sphere, “as the place of the final showdown. It’s obviously a trap.”

    “Obviously,” Nasaera agreed.

    “So I tasked Captain Shon and the Enterprise to be at the forefront.”

    “That’s an interesting choice. I thought you hated him?”

    “Hate is a strong word. I do not hate him. I just want to slam his head into a bulkhead every time he talks about war and warlike features. Anyway, in this role I figure he’ll either do brilliantly, or the high position will swell his ego to such immense proportions that it’ll collapse in upon itself, thus creating a black hole that will just solve all our problems by sucking them into oblivion.”

    Nasaera couldn’t help but smirk. “I like it. Whose second down the line from him?”

    “Koren.”

    “Oh she’ll just love that.”

    “I figure the two of them will keep each other in line.”

    “Or kill each other.”

    “Which is one way of keeping each other in line. At which point Commander Jarok takes command and sanity comes to the universe.”

    “And where will you be, oh fearless leader of mine?”

    Kelvena tapped another command into the hologram, which shifted a great distance away from the battle. “Here. Sipping tea.” Nasaera simply stared at her. “I’m serious,” she said, feigning innocence, “it’s a perfect plan. If it makes you feel any better you and the others outside will all be there with me.” Nasaera still stared, though it was now turning into glare. “Oh fine. We’re here away from the fight because of this.” The image zoomed out, showing exactly where within the sphere they’d be.

    “Ah. Aha,” the Orion general replied as realization dawned on her. “Clever. So you think this is the real target?”

    “Most likely. If I’m wrong I’ll probably be tried for treason and cowardice in the face of the enemy, but hey at least there’s one thing to keep me warm at night.”

    “We’ll all be hanging there next you.”

    Kelvena beamed at her old friend. “So you do understand!”

    Nasaera point at her and shook it with slightly-mock rage. “One of these days…why am I even friends with you…fonging…a great fonging…”

    **************
    Several Hours Later

    The same ships that had once stationed themselves outside of an allied spire once more sat in formation, this time above yet another spire, one of the largest within the sphere itself. This time, sitting at the van, almost insignificant due to its companion ships, was the small Defiant class warship, the U.S.S. Nephilim, that served as the flag of the fleet.

    “What do you think Omery?” Kelvena asked her first officer. The Trill woman, who also served as the ships chief medical officer, merely shrugged. “Your confidence is refreshing. Really.”

    “It’s as decent a plan as any I suppose,” she said in reply.

    “Aren’t you supposed to bring some wisdom of many weighted years out in times like this?”

    “Pride goeth before a fall?” She shrugged again. “You want a war council, find a Dax host. I lived more erudite lives before this one.”

    “Ships approaching at high speed,” T’Par, chief tactical officer, interrupted. “Classes currently unknown, but they’re big. Dreadnoughts.”

    “Red Alert. Tell the carriers to launch, and get the Nerim siblings to separate their ships, but remember to keep everyone from attacking first. Who knows, maybe they want to parlay.” She got looks that said nobody believed that was going to happen, and really, she thought so herself.

    And then they arrived. Elachi Sheshar dreadnoughts, Solanae Obelisk carriers, even Undine Tethys dreadnoughts and what looked suspiciously like Fek’Ihri Drek’Hi dreadnoughts. And at their center… “It’s the Obex,” Omery said, in a small, awe-filled whisper. They’d encountered the massive Iconian dreadnought on several occasions, and none of them were good memories.

    Look Upon Us And Tremble The words appeared on the Nephilim’s main screen, in addition to being spoken through the ships communicator, the universal translator first catching what sounded like waves crashing against rocks before translating it.

    “Sure, okay,” she said in the most ambivalent tone possible. If she was expecting a reply, she didn’t get it. If they were expecting a reply, she was certain that wasn’t it. “The channels still open, yes?” When she got an affirmative, she went on. “Now, it’s not like I’m not terrified or anything. I am. But you see, I’m in a rather precarious position, in point of fact, we on this side all are. A technologically and most likely numerically superior force tells us that we are going to end this, right here, right now, and we know we’re in trouble. When faced with the inevitable, our choices are few: Fight, die, or surrender, and they’re not exactly mutually exclusive. So, clearly, we can be terrified but still not really give two figs about your threats.” She looked at a secondary monitor. The Iconians and their allies hadn’t made a move yet. Strange. Maybe they were listening to the idiot human talk for the fun of it.

    “And so we come down to this,” she continued. “I can’t really speak for the Klingon Empire, or the Romulan Republic, or even the rest of Starfleet. I can, at the least, speak for the rest of my fleet, and not just the paltry few gathered here. We are the 42nd Task Force of Starfleet’s Joint Special Operations Command, in alliance with the roguish and somewhat impoverished House of Kier. We are otherwise known as the Spacebattles Fleet because we can most often be seen causing numerous enemy explosions without a care in the world. We have faced off against the Borg, and the Tholians, and the Mirror Universe. We have taken on the New Link, Cardassian warlords, and even a time-lost fleet of Dominion ships. We have fought off the Elachi and the Undine and the Voth, and even you on occasion. On some primitive worlds, we might even be considered gods.

    “Contrary to popular belief, we do not, in fact, consider ourselves gods. We did, however, borrow their smite button.” She touched the screen attached her to command chair. Immediately, alarm klaxons began blaring across the bridge in a more desperate tone than simply Red Alert. On all screens but two, omega symbols appeared. She knew that this was being repeated across the ships in her small fleet. And maybe even on the ships facing off against them.

    What Is It You Do

    She smiled. So they were paying attention. “You know, there’s a bunch of crazy folks in my task force. Insane asylum escapees the lot of them. We don’t really have a fleet motto, but we do have a few tenets we follow. First among them: Explosions fix everything. Second: Ram them until they give up. Third: There is no such thing as overkill. Fourth: If it’s not moving at c-fractional speeds, it’s not dangerous enough to warrant discussion. I like to consider myself to be the sanest among them but…that’s really not the case. At all. I just happen to have a better handle on my insanity.

    “What I do, Oh Terrifying Galactic Overlords, is set my insanity free. A Voth scientist once told me he believed that no one should have control of the power this sphere is capable of. I whole-heartedly agreed. So I tasked three rather capable officers who have an obsession with this sort of thing to figure out how to end this whole dire situation in the way that most represents what it is we stand for. They’ve had a long time to figure out how this sphere works, and with the research that same Voth brought back with him, we have ourselves quite a bit of knowledge. Including how this things power systems work. And what they’re tied to. The star at the center of the sphere is kept in check by a rather sophisticated and infinitely fragile system of checks and balances. One wrong calculation and the whole thing goes nova. Additionally, there just so happens to be a rather large Omega reactor right below us, most likely the same one that keeps the aforementioned star from going boom. Thirdly...thirdly we’ve had enough experience with your very own gateways that we can, with a little work, make them all react at the same time. For instance, setting one particular gateway to send a burst of energy to all the other ones. Work that was completed a short time before this whole mess started. And with one, simple, press of a button, we can set this whole catastrophic chain of events into motion. A button I just pushed.”

    We Have Studied Your Kind For Longer Than You Have Lived. You Are Weak. You Are Incapable Of Such Actions

    “Ah, but you see, you’ve studied normal people. I’m not normal. I’m insane. You see, you don’t know the fifth tenet of my fleet: Mutually Assured Destruction is always a viable solution.” Kelvena smiled. “Your move.”
  • lorelei5lorelei5 Member Posts: 6 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Sorry, didn't mean to post this here. Ignore and carry on with your regular scheduled reading...
  • icerose20icerose20 Member Posts: 17,642 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Above New Romulus, 5 years after the sacking of Virinat

    A small fleet of ships flagged Romulan Republic orbited the planet, waiting for a signal from the outer reaches of the system to tell them the final battle will commence in the Romulan civil war. Cmdr Awnya sat in the captain's chair of the RRW Antonina, a refitted Defiant class that was gifted to the Republic from the Federation before the coming of the Iconians. She sat in her chair, reminiscing when Flotilla gave her and her crew the Antonina. Half the crew was elated, the other half wanted to throw up, still they did all they could to make the Antonina the most feared ship in the Flotilla, even more the Lleiset. And now, the Antonina would do the final measure of courage and sacrifice. 5 years earlier, She and Toven took off from Virinat in a barely warp capable T'Liss warbird, protecting the refugees from a Tal Shiar attack. Now it came full circle for her. All she wanted was to find the peace of innocence lost on Virinat. For her, the peace long sought was found as the signal came in.

    "Lleiset on the line, Commander." Said Satra.

    "On screen"

    The view screen showed a weathered face of Tiaru, captain of the Lleiset, and rival to Awnya. "Looks like the Tal Shiar got marching orders to finish us. Picking up Iconian, Elachi, and Tholians inbound as well. 2 thousand ships, looks like they have no clue. "

    "Our first intelligence victory in this fight, and it will be our last." She laughed a little and shook her head. "Let Toven know to times up. Shut down the gate, our time is up."

    "It seems that the Emperor wants to this personally. I am surprised that the Iconians didn't do what they did to Sol and Qo'noS." said Tiaru.

    "Good, I'd hate to think that this party would happen without the guest of honor. Meet you on the other side, Captain." saluted Awnya.

    "May the elements watch over us." As Tiaru closed the channel.

    "The task force has slowed to impulse, Awnya. I hope this will works."

    "We will know soon enough, Satra. "

    "Its Hakeev."

    "Put him thru." As Awnya sat down. She the put in a command in her command PADD.

    "Admiral, stand down and accept the Iconians regime, and your death will be swift."

    "Tired of the dance, Hakeev? Because I am." She then pushed a button and every sensor on every ship lit up. Subspace collapsed around Tau Dewa solar system.

    "You idiot, we can beat you without subspace. "

    "Sir, large pulse of high energy neutrinos are being detected."

    "From why??" Asked an irritated Hakeev.

    "Tau Dewa, Hakeev." Deadpanned Awnya.

    Tau Dewa was now growing significantly brighter and larger as it dawned on the Invasion fleet that the central star was detonated into a supernova, and they were dead.

    As the energy of the star collapse got closer, Awnya smiled one last time. "You never understood, Hakeev. We do not bend knee to ANYONE ANYMORE. We sent refugees to 2 planets, one somewhere, the other to an alternate universe that you will never know of. The Republic shall not die here, just you."

    As the energy blast engulfed the view screen, Awnya prayed to the Elements that It all would work and that Toven knew she loved him.


    Awnya woke up from the dream, panting excessively. She then looked around her cabin, and assured it was the Antonina cabin. She got up and looked her computer, the time stamp was 2 years from Virinat. She slumped on the floor and sobbed. From relief as much as sorrow, it was all a dream. She hoped it was all a dream. She then heard a beep from her miniPADD on the nightstand. She went over and grabbed it. It said it had some mail sent from an unknown sender. She wondered who is was from, so she opened it. It was a video file. Playing it, she saw a balding human male standing with a old microphone in his hand. He was somewhere with alot of people standing around waiting for something to happen. The man steeped forward and said these words.

    "It's going to be cold. It's going to be grey. And it's going to last you for the rest of your life."


    Fixed errors
    Ancient Griffon insult

    That one is so stupid, he lost a Rock/Paper/Scissors game to a Pony.
  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    LOWER DECKS

    Even before she reached the plasma relay room on deck twelve, Cadet Daniella Vorkuta could see the telltale cerulean glow of active holographics.

    "What did you do to get yourself stuck down here?" she asked, poking her head into the work area, which was little more than a nook composed of a series of relays and control consoles nestled against the gentle upward curve of the ventral hull.

    Looking away from the massive holographic projection which duplicated the feed from the main viewscreen, Cadet I'K'rR'r c'r'nai stopped idly flipping her tongue from the tip of her nose to her chin, reached out for the PADD her roommate held out, made the required power transfer, then looked back to Daniella.

    "Remember how there was the red alert drill at oh one hundred? And I was already gone before you woke up?"

    Daniella thought back. She had been roused from a deep sleep by the claxon of a red alert, and nodded, remembering how her roommate had been already gone from their quarters.

    I'K'rR'r sighed.

    "Well, I cut a few corners in reporting for duty," she admitted.
    ******

    "Captain on the bridge!" I'K'rR'r shouted from her station as the turbolift doors opened, and Captain Ael t'Kazanak strode onto the bridge.

    Seemingly unpurturbed by the red alert, the Romulan gave her a scathing glance with a raised eyebrow, before continuing toward the main command area.

    "Report?" she enquired, making her way towards the command chair, which was swiftly vacated by her Bolian tactical officer.

    "Time elapased ninety seconds, Captain," Chanos replied calmly, his hands clasped loosely behind his back.

    Ael smiled and nodded.

    "Excellent, Commander," she said appraisingly. "Stand down from red alert, and resume patrol course."

    Glancing around the bridge, Ael's gaze returned to I'K'rR'r, who stood operating an open console to port, clad only in a white sports vest and briefs and her uniform boots.

    "Cadet, please join me in my ready room," she said evenly, before leading the way to her sanctum.

    Ael leaned back in her chair as the doors sighed closed behind I'K'rR'r. Her lips pursed as she read something on her desk monitor.

    "I admire your earnestness in reporting for duty with all haste, Cadet," Ael said. "According to the performance log, you were the first off-duty officer to report to their post by forty seven seconds, so I will be entering a commendation for original thinking onto your record," she paused, sighing wearily. "However, regulations do state that an officer report for duty properly presented in correct uniform."

    "I'm sorry, Captain," I'K'rR'r said, holding herself at attention.

    "General Order thirty four insists that I display extreme tolerance to cultural practices which do not endanger the ship, and while I am aware that your people have no social compunctions against appearing in a state of undress," she paused, before glancing her desk monitor, and raising an eyebrow. "Claire has already had to delete nine unauthorized holocaps of you from personal allocations on her mainframe."

    I'K'rR'r's face and upper chest flushed a deep magenta, and her face wrinkled in mortification.

    "People took pictures of me?"

    Ael nodded.

    "And I can assure you that they will be spoken to about that," she said sternly. "However, even though SH/ARP policies have existed for over three hundred years in Earth's militaries, as much as it loathes me to admit it, abuses still can and do occur. Sexual assault is a criminal offense that has no place in Starfleet. It degrades mission readiness by devastating the crew's ability to work effectively as a team."

    I'K'rR'r frowned in confusion.

    "But no one's touched me, Captain," she said. "No one's done anything, well, other than sneaking pics, that is..."

    "That may be so," Ael replied tensely. "But as the Humans say, all it takes is one rotten apple to upset the cart... Your current -- comportment -- as well intentioned as it was, is a failure to follow a standing regulation, could be considered a provocative gesture, and is generally conduct prejudicial to Good Order and Discipline and service discrediting. Another captain might even choose to have you court martialed for reporting for duty thus!"

    I'K'rR'r's face fell, and for a moment, Ael thought the young Pentaxian was going to cry.

    "However," she continued, her tone softening. "I appreciate that your actions were inspired by the genuine desire to excell at your duty, not merely engaging in some anarchic fit of clothedlessness. This the first time you have been woken up by a red alert call to battle stations?"

    I'K'rR'r nodded.

    "Yes, ma'am, it is,"

    Ael reached out and tweaked the Verticoli hairbrush on her desk, watching the ivory-colored ovoid spinning like an off-axis moebius strip as she weighed her options. Looking up, she cooly met the girl's worried eyes with her own.

    "It is for that reason alone, that I am not going to impose a court martial, nor the fourteen days extra duty that a non-judicial disciplinary would ordinarily impose for such a breach of regulations."

    "Aye, Captain," I'K'rR'r replied. "Will that be all, Captain?"

    Ael slowly shook her head.

    "No," she said. "For the remainder of your duty shift, you will report to the plasma relay room, and will stand the shift in full EVA suit. The time required to be fitted into the suit prior to reporting for duty, as well as seeing it properly stowed after your shift, will serve as a reminder to take the time to be properly attired in future. Dismissed."
    ******

    Daniella stared open-mouthed at I'K'rR'r, trying not to laugh.

    "Well that -- explains a lot," she remarked, looking about the relay room, and the gloves and helmet of the EVA suit which sat on the deck, creating the holographic display via a modification of its HUD projector. "Shouldn't you have them on?"

    I'K'rR'r's shrug was almost entirely concealed by the upper section of her suit.

    "Regulations prohibit the use of sealed EVA suits on board a Federation vessel except in the event, or imminent danger of, decompression or similar failure of the lifesupport. Something to do with wastage of a consumable commodity, I think."

    "Well, I'd better get back to engineering before Commander Bowen reports me AW-,"

    "Attention all hands, this is the Captain," intoned the voice from the intercom. "We have been ordered to Wolf 359 to engage the Iconian forces which have encroached there from transdimensional barriers. All hands to battle stations, I repeat, all hands to battle stations!
    ***

    There were no more hand-delivered PADDs, just direct demands via console, which took almost all I'K'rR'r's attention just to keep on top of, redistributing power to maximise the efficiency of the Federation warship.

    As they arrived at Wolf 359 and rendezvoused with the fleet, a momentary glimpse out of the porthole beside her had shown the battlespace filled with representations of all the Iconian's underling races: Elachi, Solanae, Undine and even Fek’Ihri dreadnoughts. An elemental fear had chilled her at the sight of the amassed ships, then, the view was blotted out by indigo hexagons as the ablative generators were activated, wrapping the ship in an indestructible shell.

    Soon, tremors could be felt through the deck, impacts and assults by all manner of energy weapons, and it was all I'K'rR'r could do to keep power suitably channelled. With the ablative generators engaged, there was no need in transferring energy to the shields, instead, that was shared between the phaser banks and the ablative generators.

    A massive concussion barely inches from the cadet's head made the relay room ring like a bell, and I'K'rR'r was violently thrown sideways as the ship lurched beneath her, cracking her head against a structural bulkhead hard enough to make lights dance in her peripheral vision, but fortunately not breaking the skin. Reacting on instinct, I'K'rR'r scrambled for the helmet and gloves of her EVA suit, wondering if something had physically collided with the ship. Intellectually, she knew the ablative shell was essentially indestructible, but that did nothing to change the very real knowledge that there was less than three meters of material between her and the vacuum of space should the ablative generators fail, and as she locked the helmet into place, her visor momentarily fogged, before the atmospheric recyclers could compensate for the warmth of her breath.

    As her vision cleared, the ship was stuck again, this time slamming I'K'rR'r against the low ceiling as the artificial gravity went off-line, and it was then, that she heard the telepathic cries of the enemy in her mind, terrifying her to her core.

    THE WEAK SHALL PERISH

    I'K'rR'r had hated the zero g training at the academy, but refusing to vomit in her suit, she activated the maglocks of her suit's boots, feeling herself pulled firmly back to the deck and her master console.

    Ignoring the feelings of nausea which churned in her stomach, the young Pentaxian called up damage control feeds, and saw that the loss of gravity was due to a disruption of the EPS grid feeding the gravplating, nothing which she could actively repair, other than rerouting power away from the damaged conduits, so they could be safely repaired.

    With trembling fingers, she called up live sensor log feeds on her auxilliary monitors, and yes, those had been collisions -- Fek'Ihri fighters had rammed the Vanguard, detonating harmlessly against the ablative shell, which had absorbed the impacts with no more than transfers of momentum, which had shifted the Starfleet ship beyond the inertial dampening field's ability to compensate for.

    Looking to her holographic viewscreen, I'K'rR'r saw the dizzying vectors of attack pattern tau, as Lieutenant T'Natra pitched and rolled the ship as if were a single-person fighter, keeping as many targets in active range as possible, while presenting a minimal profile to attack.

    On a secondary monitor, I'K'rR'r read the transponder IDs of other ships within range, Athena, Ferenginar, Solaris, Endeavour, Enterprise and Tamurlaine, and allowed the names to reassure her -- good ships, with capable captains and skilled crews, and the cadet felt the fear in her subside, replaced by an optimistic confidence. Maybe they would live through this afterall.
    909d7cda93335d83bb43d3459b4dfcd5_zpsayiqcsfi.jpg
  • destroyer831642destroyer831642 Member Posts: 58 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    (Misposting)
    9621eea4-a1f5-4e30-bb61-da044da2a5a7_zps2t6tasgd.png


  • grylakgrylak Member Posts: 1,572 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    The Viper passed through the Jouret Gateway, entering the Solonae sphere. A fleet of hundreds of Starfleet, Klingon and Romulan ships were present, with more passing through the gate. Recon posts indicated a massive fleet was heading towards the sphere at high warp. Even the Voth had promised to send ships to help defend 'their' sphere. The Enterprise, Bortasqu and Lleiset were present, each one in command of their respective faction fleets. Admiral Walker had promised reinforcements, but they were still some time away. They were to hold off the enemy fleet here. The plan was to bottleneck them in the Sphere's doorway, with a last minute defence of blowing up the Jouret gateway if needed. It was pure desperation, but that was what it had come to.



    Talaina was anxious as she saw the fleets on the viewscreen. There hadn't been a military buildup of this scale since the Battle of Cardassia at the end of the Dominion War. She hoped there wouldn't be the same level of casualties, but that was a hope for the foolish. The Bridge was unusually quiet, everyone was on edge. Ttorkkinn was monitoring his sensors, Xui Li was checking ship readiness, T'Fon was scanning for anything unusual and Jenna was checking the impulse engines were beyond peak efficiency. She was only twenty three. Her entire life was ahead of her. Talaina hoped she would get to live it. Jenna turned from her console. "Incoming message from the Enterprise."
    "On screen."



    Captain Shon appeared. "Ok everyone, we all know why we're here. Long range sensors indicate Iconian power signatures. That means highly advanced technology. We have to hold the line here. For the sake of not just our homes, but for every home in the galaxy. You all have your orders. Watch each other's backs. Keep your targets concise and focused. And we will get through this. Good hunting."


    Talaina let out a slight grunt. The Viper was assigned to a pack of six Defiant class ships, who were ordered to make surgical strikes in the enemy lines and sow confusion amongst them while the cruisers took advantage of the confusion and sliced them apart. T'Fon's sensor console beeped. "Captain, more ships coming through the gateway."


    They watched as another two hundred Romulan vessels emerged of every class. A Romulan female appeared on screen, with the other flagship captains in the other quarters of the screen. The Romulan female spoke first. "This is Commander D'Elon, leading the forces of the Romulan Star Empire. We are here to lend our aid to this battle."

    "Commander D'Elon, we welcome your help." Shon commented. "We need all of it we can get."

    "Commander Jarok, I see you have taken to the Lleiset well."
    "Yes COmmander D'Elon. Perhaps once this is over, the Romulan Republic and the Star Empire can come together in unity."

    D'Elon chuckled slightly. "Do not misunderstand Jarok. The Republic is still an illegal government. But you are Romulans. The Star Empire will protect you. But not follow you."

    Captain Koren butted in. "Perhaps you PataQ's can discuss politics some other time? We do have a battle to fight."
    "Koren's right." Shon replied. "Commander D'Elon, have your ships provide cover for the other fleets. Aid where you can."
    "We'll do what we can."
    "Today is a good day to die."

    With Koren's parting words, the officers all dissapeared off the screen. All they could do was wait. It only took four minutes.








    The Dyson Sphere's exterior doors blasted inwards. Thousands of Iconian probes flooded in, firing electrical beams everywhere. The Viper dodged them and returned fire. A singular mothership moved into the door, stopping in the centre, blocking it. Phaser fire and torpedos spammed everywhere. After a few minutes, the fleet was moving into an attack formation, closing in on the Iconian ship. T'Fon shouted over the noise.

    "Captain! Detecting a large surge in subspace. A rift is opening behind us."
    "On screen!"



    A rift opened behind the combined fleet. An Elachi fleet came through, firing crescent cannons at everything in sight.

    "Helm, bank us around. Tac, torpedo spread! Disrupt those lines!" The Viper turned sharply and unleashed her full fury at the incoming ships. Two smaller escorts erupted in a fireball as Viper sped through the wreckage, firing again. Another surge in subspace energy indicated more coming through the rift. Jena's eyes widened as she let out a string of curses. Everyone barely holding on as Viper banked shraply right and down, skimming mere metres from the pylon of the Elachi station that had just appeared in front of them. Ttorkkinn fired another spread of torpedos, but they did no damage to the station. As Viper pulled away from the station, they saw there were at least four of them, with more coming through. Talaina knew this was going to be a tough fight.





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




    The battle had raged for an hour. Heavy losses had been inflicted on both sides, but the Elachi were winning. The Iconian ship, still blocking the door, had unleashed more probes that were interfering with ship systems. The Romulans and Shon had called for a retreat back to the gateway, and they were getting through as quickly as they could. The Klingons were fighting to the death in typical style, and seemed to be winning most battles. Viper was on the far side of the Elachi fleet, helping a wing of Bird of Prey's tear through the lines. The ship was trailing plasma from a nacelle, smoke filtered through the Bridge casting a hazy dusk over everyone. Ttorkkinn shouted over the noise. "Enterprise is holding position at the gateway. They are giving cover for those who are still yet to get-"
    "CAPTAIN!" T'Fon interrupted. "We're picking up a large Gravametric surge outside the Sphere. Readings are consistant with a Quantumn singularity."
    "What?" Talaina was battered from fighting off the boarding parties. She stepped over the dead Elachi at her feet. "More Iconians?"
    "Negative sir. Readings suggest-"

    He was then cut off as a blanket communication was directed into the minds of everyone. A member of Species 8472 mentally shouted at them. At everyone in the Sphere. "You have invaded our realm for the final time. You have tricked us for the final time. You will ALL PERISH!"


    As Talaina held a bloodied hand to her head to help recover, she looked at the screen. The Iconian ship was developing an orange glow from the rear. It spread over the ship, small explosions rippling along the hull. Was it 8472? Had to be. Nothing the Allies had fired at it had caused any damage. A blinding light filled the bridge, cutting through the haze as the vessel was consumed in fire. Before the fireball had even finished, bioships darted through and began exterminating everything. The Elachi ships started to loose focus, becoming disorientated as they attempted to respond to this new threat. Captain Shon's voice came over the conn. "I think we need to withdraw. All ships, get back to the gate. NOW!"


    Viper was struck on the port nacelle, sending the ship into a corckscrew and everyone to the deck. An Elachi ship was closing in, firing crescent's at them. A Bird of Prey flew between them, taking the hits. It spiralled around and opened fire with it's disrupters, forcing the Elachi to break off. As they turned towards the station, a bioship incinerated it, flying past and firing at the Klingon ship. They flipped over, barely escaping the blast. The bioship continued on, firing at a Negh'Var. As the cruiser exploded, the bioship turned slowly, joining an attack run on one of the stations. The six bioships caused heavy damage, igniting the power core and seperating out as the station was destroyed. Ttorkkinn had made it to his console. "That Klingon ship saved us. Our shields are gone."
    "Can you get them back online?"
    "No. I mean they're gone. Our shield generator is missing. Lost in a hull breach."

    "Dammit. Get us to the gateway. We need to withdraw."


    As Viper limped towards the gateway, the Bird of Prey that had saved them took up a flanking position, escorting them back. Cracks started forming in the shell of the Dyson Sphere. Even at this distance, what appeared to be molten metal seeping through the landmass could be seen. Large eruptions, akin to the most powerful volcano, burst forth, causing chain reactions across the hull of the sphere. Xui Li was aghast. "What is happening?" Both of T'Fon's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "It appears the Undine have fired multiple versions of their planet destroying beam at the sphere. The entire construct will implode in a matter of minutes."

    That was all Talaina needed to hear. If they were caught inside when it imploded, they would die. Along with the star. Not to mention the Omega molecules. "Get us to that gate. NOW!"



    The ship groaned as her engines were maxed out, inertial dampeners struggling to keep up with the manoeuvres Jenna was forced to pull to avoid the bioship beams. An Elachi cruiser dropped into view, blocking their way. The Federation ship and the Klingon ship both corckscrewed either side of the ship, skimming past it, pushing against hope to outrun the weapons. A crescent clipped the back of Viper, flipping the ship into a dive. Talaina felt her shoulder crack from her impact on the floor. Growling at the pain, she pushed herself up. A fire had broken out on the Bridge and fire supression systems appeared to be offline. It was making it impossible to see. "JENNA!" There was no reply. Struggling to her feet, Talaina staggered towards the helm. Jenna was lying on the floor. Dead? Unconcious? Talaina hoped for the latter, but there was no time to check, as the Elachi ship that struck them was exploding, a bioship darting through. They had Viper dead in it's sights and helm was being sluggish. Try as she might, Talaina couldn't right the ship's spin. The smoke was too thick to see the viewscreen, all she had was the sensors on the navigational array. She watched as a beam was fired at them. She would meet her end with dignity. With honour.




    Or not. She watched as the Bird of Prey that had been escorting them flew into the path of the beam, taking the hit directly on their port wing. The sound of Klingon transporters could be dimly heard over the noise as Talaina watched the remaining part of the Klingon ship ram the bioship, destroying both vessels. A gruff male voice spoke from behind her.


    "Captain Kazzur. I'm Captain Bravok. My crew will take control now."


    Talaina turned to see a crew of mostly scantily clad Orion women, one older Klingon male in a long black coat, bondalier and shoulder pads, an eye patch bolted on his left eye, a fat Gorn and an Andorian woman in a black long coat taking positions on the Bridge. Talaina staggered towards the Klingon as an Orion took the helm.


    "Captain Bravok. Thanks for the help. Starfleet has called for a retreat through the gateway."
    "Yes Captain, I'm aware of that. N'Nesh is taking us there now."


    The Gorn had extinguished the fire and was using his bulky hands to waft away as much of the smoke as he could. The Andorian woman met Talaina's gaze briefly, nodding solomnly before returning to the weapons console. Battered and broken, Viper flew towards the gate, Enterprise launching a volley of torpedoes over them. The shell of the Dyson Sphere began breaking apart, launching land and metal upwards. Structural integrity was lost as the Omega particles detonated, creating a shockwave that spread out quickly. Viper slipped through the gate as Enterprise turned, the blastwave reaching the star and triggering a supernova.









    Viper rushed into the Jouret system, Enterprise moments behind. The instant the flagship was through, Shon demanded the gateway be closed and destroyed. Explosions ripped through the gate, some of the shockwave from the supernova reaching through before it was closed. Enterprise took the full brunt of the blast to protect the rest of the fleet, tearing the rear of the ship apart. Trailing smoke, it drifted away, to be locked in a tractor beam from a couple of Romulan ships. Talaina breathed a sigh of relief. It was over. For now. But at what cost? The loss of the Jouret Gateway. The loss of the Solanae sphere. And the destruction of subspace for who knows how far. At least the detonation was in the Delta Quadrant. Talaina collapsed in her chair, exhausted. Bravok asked his crew for status updates, but Talaina wasn't listening. They were getting medical aid to the crew, and that was the only thing she was worried about. N'Nesh spoke up from the helm. "Captains. We're being hailed."

    "On screen." both Talaina and Bravok replied. Shon appeared on screen. "Well done everyone. I realise we lost the sphere, and we lost many lives, but we stopped the Iconains and the Elachi from reaching the Alpha Quadrant. We should make our way to New Romulus for repairs."


    "Captain, massive subspace surge detected." The Andorian woman said, the tension clear in her voice.



    From subspace, a fleet of Solanae carriers appeared and began launching swarmers. But before they were able to launch more than a single wing, a fleet of Galaxy X Dreadnoughts decloaked in a line. Each one fired their lance in unison. The carriers didn't stand a chance, each one igniting. Admiral Walker appeared on screen. "Sorry to be so late. These old things don't exactly move quickly. Get the remains of the fleet to New Romulus, we'll mop up here."


    As the remains of three fleets limped towards New Romulus, the Galaxy X's unleashed hell on the Solanae.




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




    The air was warm. A little too warm for Talaina, but at least the gentle breeze made it tolerable. She hadn't been to New Romulus since the Sentinel was assigned here as part of the task force to help set up the initial infrastructure. The Romulan Republic had made some impressive advances with the city in that time. She stood on the bridge looking over the river that made it's way from Vastam Peaks. One of those multi legged water creatures was down in the valley, splashing about. Hearing footsteps, Talaina turned and smiled. The Andorian woman from the Klingon ship was approaching. About ten years older and showing it, with her hair arranged in an elaborate yet elegant style, Tallara also smiled as she approached. Her earring caught the sun, prompting a squint from Talaina. This left her unprepared for the tight squeeze Tallara gave her little sister.

    "Talaina! It's been too long! How've you been?"

    Talaina's shoulder was still a little sore from where the medics had healed the broken bones. But she wasn't going to let that ruin this happy moment. "Sis! I've missed you. Six years is far too long."
    "I know, but I've been busy."
    "Mum was worried about you. Last anyone had heard, you were just drifting from planet to planet. I heard rumours you were on a Klingon ship, but no one seemed able to confirm it."
    "Weird, I know. You'd think someone would remember seeing an Andorian with a bunch of Klingons and Orions. Listen, you have to tell me all about what's happened. Last time we talked, you'd just made LT."
    "It's Captain now."

    Tallara squeeled in delight. "Eeeeeee! Congrats Sis!" Tallara gave her another squeeze. "That little pocket rocket was your ship?"
    "Indeed. Been her Captain for...... about three months now."
    "Ack! If I'd known, I'd have thrown you a party."
    "I tried to contact your ship. See if I could actually track you down, but comms couldn't get through."
    "Three months ago? I think we were deep in Cardassian space then. Probably why you couldn't get through."
    "Cardassian?"
    "Oh yeah. Some hit and run raid on a Ketracel White facility. You know how it goes."


    The voice of Bravok interrupted from behind. "You're not giving up Imperial secrets, are you?" Tallara turned and frowned at her Captain, replying very sarcasticly. "No Sir. OF course not Sir. Never Sir." Bravok just grunted. "We lost the Felkhr's Heart, but we can commission a new one when we get to the Praxus. Until then, we'll hitch a ride on the Imperial Bloodfest. Laska and N'Nesh are just finalising things for transport. We leave in ten minutes."


    Tallara nodded, then looked at her sister. "Talaina, your ship was badly beaten. I don't suppose you fancy hanging around for a few weeks? We've got so much catching up to do."

    Talaina loved that idea. "We were just going to help with Viper's repairs. But it has to be towed to a Federation starbase first. I can take.... some time off." She grinned at how things were going. Bravok cleared his throat and stepped forward. "Tallara. You are an officer on my ship. You will not fraternise with Federation dogs." Tallara instantly backhanded Bravok and followed it with a palm strike to his face. "That's my sister. No one insults her." Bravok rubbed under his nose, noting the trickle of blood that spread across his finger. "If we were in the KDF, I'd have your commission for that."
    "Good job we're just a bunch of rogues then, aint it? I told you when I signed on. I have no loyalty to the Klingon Empire, or the Federation. My loyalty is with you. And before you, my loyalty is with my family."
    "Huh. You were the one to convince me to save their ship. Very well Tallara. I'll grant you this leave. You know how to contact me when you need to."

    As Bravok turned to leave, Talaina stepped forward. Snapping to attention, she placed a fist over her chest and bowed. "Captain Bravok. My crew and I owe you our lives. We thank you for the rescue. I hope one day we can return the favour."


    Bravok returned the salute, then walked away. Tallara looked back to her sister. "So tell me, are you still friends with that nice Stunshock fella?"
    *******************************************

    A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'
  • squatsaucesquatsauce Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Captain's Log - USS Tempest

    This will be my last entry. Of nothing am I more certain. I cannot, will not, divulge the details of what will transpire if all goes according to to plan even now, but I will record the last workings of a mind unburdened by frantic necessity.

    I leave behind no friends, only beings who's repulsive, cloyingly-scented physiologies and madness-inducing psychologies have merely managed to sully my existence only slightly less then they enriched it. I don't know if these long acquaintances will survive, either, as most of them will be fighting for their lives in only a few hours. To those that do survive, however, know it is my wish that you continue to pursue your idiot fancies and feel as much joy as your translucent, grub-like bodies can contain. I will no longer be around to be sickened by it.

    I leave behind no family and, indeed, a race that will almost certainly be indifferent to what I will do here. As they should. I had hoped to end my life as all Arkathian Secondary Male morphs do: eviscerated by the artfully-sculpted maw of a great and powerful Primary female. Alas that this will not be so. No Arkathian juvenile will contain any trace of my spirit, my essence, my genes, or my spite. I will pass from memory as yet another burned-out husk of chitin as so many have before me.

    I do take some measure of comfort in knowing that I will likely be consumed by a force far more transcendent and terrible. Life may even spring from what remains. We will find out soon enough.

    So, now, I commit my final thoughts to posterity. May they know the uneventful, undisturbed existence Starfleet never bothered to grant me.


    "Computer, end of log. Transmit to Starfleet." Khas clattered his mandibles together in disgust. He had almost felt an emotion. It was probably best that he would die before falling any further into that particular madness. Still, that reminded him of something.

    "Computer, status on the crew's last messages?" He rasped out, a bit impatiently if he was to be completely honest. Humanoids took forever to get around to acknowledging the harsh reality of mortality and tended to sputter and ooze interminably whenever the subject came up.

    "Ninety eight percent." The computer chimed back, as placid and imperturbable as always. Khas nodded to himself. That would do. He carefully lowered his bandoleer over his upper thorax, flag admiral's pins gleaming softly in the dimmed light of his suite. Khas took a moment and slowly blinked each eye in turn and concentrated on the shimmering thought contained within his mind. Without another wasted moment, he moved fluidly out of his quarters and to the bridge.


    ***********


    Things hadn't gone well. The campaign to secure the Solonae sphere from the interloping Voth had taken two tense decades. The Romulan Republic, Federation, and Klingon Empire had very nearly come to blows several times over various petty internal conflicts and would almost certainly have gone to war with each other were it not for the threat represented by the Iconians, their Solonae allies, and their Undine pawns.

    Even with the technological advances the sphere allowed for, the bulk of the fleets gathering here were still made up of vessels built on more traditional technologies. They numbered in the thousands. But they were fractious, mistrustful, and could not ever be enough. Their enemies possessed the industrial base to erect fortresses around stars. The combined industrial output of the Alliance could hardly put a dent in that.

    Khas however, had a solution. It would be costly, immensely so, but should put a stop to any mass incursions from the Solonae or Iconians for a long time. So, cloaked in a much more conventional battle plan, the Federation sold the idea to the Klingons and the Romulans. Khas, whose unconventional approach to warfare had impressed the Remans and who's furious tenacity appealed to the Klingons, was put in overall command. Now, they just needed a miracle.


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


    "Admiral, Jenolan Overwatch 2 is reporting incoming contacts. Undine vessels. 832 total, 522 of which are of cruiser displacement or greater. All gate task forces report ready."

    Khas nodded at the rather grim-faced ensign and double-checked his fleet distribution and the positions of the enemy contacts. The Undine were worrisome on their own and they outnumbered the alliance fleets at the Jenolan sphere's inter-sphere gate, but the Federation still possessed the schematics for the specialized torpedoes Janeway's crew had constructed all those years ago. Thanks the Romulan's constant tinkering with Borg technology, they also possessed enough nanites to go around. That should help even the odds considerably.

    "Order Federation Taskgroups 1 and 2 are to meet them head on. Klingon Battlegroups 2, 5, and 9 are to harry the flanks whenever they can and try to sow some disorder. Republic Sublfeet 4 is to engage from behind once the Undine are committed."

    "Orders confirmed admiral."

    Khas clattered his mandibles together. A human would be more keenly aware of the lives he was spending like currency in this battle, but Khas was Arkathian. As far as he was concerned lives WERE currency. But it was still irksome to wait.

    "Ensign, open a channel to the USS Shimmering." There was a pause before the greying, smiling face of Captain Tarayl greeted him.

    "Hey, you horrible old insect. Why are you bothering me? I'm busy living in mortal fear for my life here."

    "As always, you candor disgusts me. Battle has been met." Khas rumbled. Tarayl's smile fell a bit. She nodded slowly in response.

    "Then you mean to go through with it? We may yet be able to hold them back you know. There's room to hope."

    Khas effected an awkward shrug. "Perhaps. I am not a creature built for hope. I will leave hope to you, but...make sure our taskgroup force is ready to go all the same."

    Tarayl nodded, almost gently. "Aye aye, Admiral." she said before cutting off. Now for more waiting.


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

    The battle for the Gate was a nightmare. Khas watched the data being fed to his console with the intense focus of a master engineer corralling an unruly mechanism. The Undine had suffered badly, but continued to pour in from wherever the Undine were keeping their reserves. The task groups at the gates were smaller, more agile vessels unsuited to protracted combat. Losses for the Alliance were already at close to 50% and rising. It was time for stage 2.

    "Issue the fallback order. Those that make it through the gate are to make best speed to their rallying points. Tell Overwatch 1 to give the signal when the time comes and run like hell."

    Overwatch 1 was a small, experimental Romulan recon vessel operating with a new variation of their cloaking technology. It's job was to sit and watch, silent and undetected until the Iconians gathered in force. it never acknowledged the order, however. Any transmission on its part would give it away. Khas simply had to trust they'd remain hidden.


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

    The enormous gate linking the Solonae and Jenolan spheres flared to life and started spewing out burnt and broken ships. It could have been disabled, true, but the Iconians would have just used some other distant gate that the alliance wasn't currently aware of. And it would have denied the Alliance the opportunity to hit the ephemeral, enigmatic invaders right where it hurt most.

    Khas watched the distant flickers of light tumble and, occasionally explode. They seemed so far away. He focused the display on what appeared to be an old-style Romulan T'Varo being desperately towed to safety by badly-mauled Federation Centaur frigate. He read the transponder signals and rubbed at the spikes of chitin jutting from his lower mandibles.

    "Lieutenant Burnside, will the USS Miskatonic clear the minefield by the designated time?" Khas hissed.

    Burnside, an older human with rather pronounced sideburns double-checked an indicator. "They'll miss the clear-off point by...fifteen seconds at this speed."

    Khas rumbled. Lives are to be spent...but not that cheaply. "When I give the order, activate only the inner ring of mines. Try to give them time to get out before activating the remaining mines."

    Burnside nodded in acknowledgement and returned to his displays. Khas stood up and cut into the fleet-wide comm net.

    "All taskgroups. This is Admiral Khas Ker'at. The Undine are coming through the gate. Be prepared to engage anything that clears the minefield. Remember, we must, must get them to commit their more powerful vessels to the offensive. Don't let Death take you until you've fed it a few Undine first."

    "All groups report ready, admiral." Chimed the grim-faced ensign.


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


    For a while, there was only the cold accountancy involved in tallying up the screams of the dying and the momentary flashes of destroyed vessels. The minefield did its job well enough, hampering the Undine advance, though without destroying many of the powerful Undine vessels. The Undine themselves fought ferociously, clearing paths through it with their powerful main cannons, but their more tenuous tactical situation and susceptibility to the specialized torpedoes the alliance had brought along meant that they would falter without reinforcement.

    Which came through the gate almost on cue.

    The Undine's reserve of heavy warships came pouring through along with what appeared to their Solonae counterparts. Not much longer, then. The tide started to turn.

    Khas stood up from his command chair and clicked his way around the bridge like a caged spider. "Dreadnaught groups 1, 2, and 3 move in to support the front lines. Fighter reserve, give them some escort and try to keep the heavy ordinance of them as they close in. Reserve group 4, move in to support Subfleet 6, they're starting to falter. Hrm. Taskgroup 15, let's move out."

    The ships of Taskgroup 15, a motley collection of recovered and refitted non-Federation vessels, moved almost in unison, arrowing into the heart of the fight. For all intents and purposes they looked like a thrown-together mob. None appeared less threatening than the USS Tempest herself, a gutted and patched together Tholian Orb Weaver recovered from who knows where.


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

    The fight grew to a fevered pitch. Losses were starting to mount, especially among the Alliance's lighter support vessels and older cruiser hulls. The Alliance vessels desperately tried to hem in the growing mass of heavy, advanced warships coming through the gate and were barely holding their own. The Solonae vessels had proven especially robust, requiring multiple battleships to bring down. It was a battle of attrition the Alliance was going to lose unless something changed.

    Task Group 15 had already lost two of its fifteen vessels to the frantic scrum. It was honestly a miracle the Tempest had survived, but its deployment was necessary for the ruse that he was about to pull on both the Iconians and his own allies. They needed to be close to the gate and they needed to be a low-priority target until it was too late. Just another few moments...

    "Sir, message from Overwatch 1." Ensign Grim-face (Khas couldn't recall the Ensign's real name) declared. "It says "Barbarians at the Gate."

    Khas rumbled. "That was unnecessarily dramatic. I just told them to tell m when the Iconians started forming up. Task Group 15, form up on me. Transfer command to Rear Admiral Shanda V'ral."

    "She's dead, sir." Lieutenant Burnside said quietly.

    "Subadmiral R'ath, then. Tell him to send in whatever reinforcements we've got to the lines. Task Group 15, we're punching through."


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


    The last charge of Taskgroup 15 was into the very teeth of hell itself. It lasted for either an eternity or two minutes depending on who you asked. One by one, the Tempest's converted escorts were brutally cut away by the withering fire of the vessels still coming in through the gate. Within moments only it and an almost miraculously undamaged Shimmering remained. They hit the transition point at full impulse, heedless of any ships that might be coming through.


    "We're through, Admiral." Lieutenant Burnside intoned. He had taken the grim-faced Ensign's station. The ensign himself lay bleeding to death on the floor nearby. An injection of painkillers to ease him on his way to death was the only sop to medicine the situation would allow for.

    "Status?" Khas barked, his own carapace painfully broken and oozing.

    "There are...thousands upon thousands upon thousands of ships here sir. The computer can't keep trac of them all. Solonae and Iconian. Sir..."

    Khas groaned in pain. "We were never going to be able to stand up to them ship to ship, Lieutenant. That is why we are here."

    Burnside nodded. "Aye. We've got incoming, though. Another wave of reinforcements heading for the gate. ETA thirty seven seconds. Another Solonae warship's moving away from what looks like the wreckage of Overwatch 1, ETA thirty nine seconds."

    Khas tapped his comm badge. "Tarayl. You know what we must do."

    Her oddly accented voice drifted back. "Of course I do. I always knew you'd be the death of me, you horrible old bug. We'll stall 'em as best we can. Do your thing."


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


    A Tholian Orb Weaver is an enormous vessel. The Tempest had only a skeleton crew, so a great deal of its internal space had been hastily converted to house a rather nasty bit of old, forbidden technology, protected by additional armor plating and redundant internal shield generators.

    A Dyson sphere is far, far more vast. At its heart is a star exerting a great deal of force against the thick shell of the sphere. Destroying such a construct is no easy feat. However, one could do so if they possessed a device that could create a self-propagating wave of exotic energies that would reduce all matter it came into contact with into sub-atomic particles. Such a wave should be able to propagate through the thin atmosphere that permeates a Dyson sphere and work its terrible effects on the numerous ships currently plowing through it. Khas knew this because he studied the math for weeks, along with some plans quietly forwarded to him from the Starfleet sealed archives.

    There was little for Khas to do now. He watched, incapable of remorse or sadness, as the Shimmering and its ever-smiling commander imploded under the concentrated fire of the Solonae vessels. She had done her job, though, and Khas had enough time before they'd catch up to him.

    Then he turned to watch the timer on his console that was counting down to the launch of the enormous torpedo contained within the Tempest's starboard hull.

    The ship slowed a bit, reaching it's optimal velocity, and a button push blew open a heavily armored blast door on the starboard hull. Khas nodded to Burnside, who slowed the ship down suddenly, a move that sent the enormous torpedo, labelled "Genesis Mk IX"sliding towards the inner surface of the sphere.

    The oblong shape drifted towards the idyllic green woodlands below. It impacted without much fanfare before exploding into an ever-growing web of glowing traceries that sped across the surface below. Khas didn't turn the ship around. There wasn't any point. They couldn't escape it anyway. Fortunately, neither could the Iconians, he would wager. They'd have a handful of seconds before the transference wave would render them all into so much life-giving dust.

    The energy wave tore through the atmosphere towards his battered ship, a vast, all-consuming ball of fire. Khas' last thought as it tore his vessel to shreds was tired, weary, and grateful.

    Finally.
  • allen1973allen1973 Member Posts: 22 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    We count on our diplomats, we count on Klingon engineers, our enemies fear us!

    Mirror Universe factions became allies in light of the joint oppositional forces...we had little time to respond to this, the fighting was beginning soon. In the middle of the battle the Borg arrived, it was made clear to us that the Borg were especially vengeful towards the Mirror Universe factions...The true way, we were to understand had decided to use their influences to create additional disaster, in hopes of gaining new territorial grounds had betrayed the Local Stellar Alliance to Borg. However it had become clear that external influences would not appear in this conflict as Romulan, Starfleet and the Empire had been contacted by their temporal futuristic forces, the upside to this would be that there would be no Tholian involvement, yet Sheliac, Klingon, Denubulan and Canis Majoran diplomats used their treatises to include the Hirogen, who naturally detest the Borg, and are the most likely to enjoy the spoils of war. Likewise the Sheliac and Canis Majorans, along with an external allied Delta Quadrant network via Admiral Janeway and "Voyager," are defending this causal vortex between the local stellar neighborhood, and the Delta Quadrant.
    Lindonians, Tromedians, Argonians, Benbesians, Rozellians, Tellaxians, and many others have joined our conflict, although the oppositional forces have entered the causal vortex, both sides and the interior is completely defended by ally forces. Hirogen and Large Klingon ships seem to be defending the causal vortex with impunity, all may enter, the Axis may not leave! A joint task force has endeavored to defend the Delta quadrant. The Iconians simply believed that they could transpose the frequency of the causal vortex to that of the Mirror Universe, frankly it was the Mirror Universe forces that had been planning this particular strategy, from a defensive position, however their motivations have never been made clear to alliance factions, it was assumed that on their side of the universe they were enslaved by Iconians, little else of their motivations are known. Our temporal forces warned us to trust this alliance on this occasion-who are we to argue? The Sheliac and the Endine are, as it turns out, ancient enemies, and naturally of their historic relationship, nothing is known. The Elachi, in this rare event are being out matched by the Romulan Star Empire, who still owe us defensive right by way of the Borg Initiative Protocal, which at the moment is still being honored, however there is a notable tension between Romulan factions. Many Romulans want revenge against the Elachi, this situation hopefully will not require mitigation.
    All allied forces have been appraised of the short comings of the Borg initiative Treaty. Hopefully the spoils of war will be left to the Hirogen and the Klingons! One problem will be explaining that the Dyson facility will be of yet not welcome territory to the Star Empire due to their xenophobic and civil rights issues...and it is the wish of the alliance that the Star Empire not find alliance with the Voth either!
    Our diplomats who have left for the Delta Quadrant to persuade the Voth that Axis empowerment will endanger the balance of power in the galaxy, have not yet returned. Delta Quadrant officials have stated that all is well with that diplomatic envoy, however this war has already lasted a week and we have begun to hear rumors that the True Way factions have aligned with the Breen! And yet anomalies in territories known to have regular military commitment against the Tholians have been sighted regularly. Our hopes are that the Temporal forces from the future are making their marks to defend us in real time. If the diplomats return with Voth reinforcements, as now there is a cease fire within the sphere, this may well create new peace in the Delta Quadrant and strike a new blow to Axis control. Convincing the Voth to go against their heritage of secularism will not be easy, however, many separatist Voth who have worked with alliance forces since the Dyson conflict began have also joined the diplomatic envoy. 5/6ths of alliance factions are here defending the causal vortex, while a make shift reserve fleet is always on home defensive duty within our local stellar neighborhood. It is enough for now, however for now there are no scheduled shore leaves, and the academies are on accelerated defensive education for reinforcement purposes. This occurred with some frequency in earlier Borg engagements and during the war with the Klingons against Cardasian and Dominion forces. Our best estimates tell us that making the enemy retreat would likely occur simultaneously to an expeditionary Voth military engagement.
    We count on our diplomats.
    Klingon engineers have developed anomalous detection mines, which, using technological fusions of Romulan, Cardasian, Ferengi, and Borg design philosophy creates a quantum harg-peng transphasic pulsewave shield generator that within seconds, albeit sometimes several minutes closes Borg and axis rift anomalies. This defensive strategy, if nothing else has had a devastating effect on the enemy. So far it is estimated that around 15% of the mines enter the rift and emerge on the other side of the Mirror Universe, which creates meta-static transphasic shockwaves that likely are decimating our enemies, or collapsing their wormholes offering our enemies zero trajectory.
    Klingon High Command along with JmPoc have decided that the science fits the crime, although at worst it depowers enemy ships with a high impact internal implosion, which often creates a temporary anomaly. In one case however a bird of prey was pulled into the gravitational rift at high velocity by an engaged detection mine, it is thought in such an instance that the existing wormhole would simply collapse, a terrible, if honorable death.
    We count on Klingon Engineers.
    Section 31 along with the House of Targ, the House of KaPeng, and the Dalshi Romulan New Republic Task Force, have instigated deborgification tactics that involve smaller more maneuverable ships and some of our Borg allies as well. It is the alliance's request that the Tal Shiar save their energies on the Elachi, which is naturally a reversal for them to agree with us on anything, frankly, yet Starfleet, The D'Tan Contingency, and the High Council have made a secret augmentation to the Borg Initiative Protocols, possibly threatening legal viability for previous Elachi strikes against alliance factions, whatever the case... The smaller task forces have begun to massively deassimilate Borg cubes on an individual ship to ship basis via a previously secret and unknown project now notorious to the axis as "The Hue Effect." Gravimetric Hull Plating allows smaller ships to use transphasic co-oscillation with special pulsonic shield emitters that create a Borg vengeance enigma. However some Borg prefer the Bonsai maneuver as an offensive strategy, to the dismay of secret forces who have polarized to the hulls of such Borg vessels. In some cases due to Borg volatility it is best to beam inside Borg craft in order to disable it from within without use of "The Hue Effect." The strategy however is working.
    One final note, the Borg are also fighting the Endine, the Solinae, and the Elachi. The Borg are not fighting the Iconians, regrettably enough, however our understanding of Iconian technology is at a point where our aggressive aptitude is enough to give the Iconians pause - They fear us!
    Our enemies fear us!
  • captclazoruscaptclazorus Member Posts: 377 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    "What Will Be"
    Captain's Log, Stardate: 94853.2
    The Renaissance has been chosen to lead the fleet to combat the Iconians and their servitors. After centuries of manipulation and instigated war, this mysterious Third Party is going to finally attack and attempt to destroy the Federation. From the time Enterprise (NX-01) made contact with the Elachi three hundred years ago, if not before, the Iconians have been interfering with the Federation. From everything from the destruction of Praxis, the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI, the annihilation of Kzinti, and the nova of Hobus, these demons have been responsible. Now the Federation is facing its greatest enemy in a war 200,000 years in the making.
    The Iconians tried to tear the galaxy apart with war, but the common threat has pushed us closer. The Galaxy must join together, or fall to these hiding devils.
    This war would be the deciding factor for the Federation. The Iconians are more insidious than just staging war, they want to tear each government apart with civil war. Though the Council denies it, Section 31 exists. Citizens have grown angered and if they get confirmation of its existence, it will be complete anarchy. With every clandestine mission to prevent Iconian threats, the organization grows stronger. They may soon grasp control of the Federation.
    The Federation has three possible fates. Either we shall be torn apart by this enemy and be conquered, come out of this war with complete and utter corruption, or we shall use this incident to purify our government of this horrible stain.
    The future is in our hands. The Iconians are bound to come. Today, we find our destinies. Today, we decide tomorrow.

    I stood on the bridge, grasping my hands in front of my face. I drank earl gray tea I created using the replicator on the arm of my chair.
    It was time. Before us, the Gateway at the Dyson sphere lay waiting. It buzzed with energy. Forms and shapes grew within it. The Iconians approached.
    Along side, the Enterprise, the pride of the fleet stood. And with us, the Kirk, the Phlox, the Missouri, the Excelsior, the Trevin, the McCoy, and many more.
    We were all about to undergo the greatest battle of our lives.
    To be continued...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "Star Trek: Rubicon" Season 1, Season 2 A new era, a new time, a new crew, a new ship, a new mission...
    "I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again."- Jean-Luc Picard
  • jonnaroslynjonnaroslyn Member Posts: 50 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Joanne still isn't exactly sure how she got here. Oh, she knows the technicalities of it - one and a half weeks of strategic meetings and tactical engineers shaking their heads at the Mutabor - but why she was chosen to lead Starfleet's forces into this battle remains a mystery to her. She's a physicist, for heaven's sake, and the Mutabor isn't what you'd call a bruiser by any definiton. She's heard the rumours, of course. Bitter captains of massive war ships whispering about there having been a lottery, and it's simultaneously the stupidest and most offensive thing Joanne has ever heard.

    It's all part of the plan, if the sparse information she has received is anything to go by. There's an official plan, which has probably leaked to the enemy forces already, and another one, that only a handful of people are privy to. One of them is her first officer, and Joanne is about eighty percent sure that Commander Corspa Eide is the one who came up with it in the first place. Joanne has needled her for more information, obviously, but she's been met with a stony silence that is quite unsettling from someone she's been friends with for over ten years now.

    Then again, nothing about the whole situation is particularly reassuring. They've known it would happen for a while now, but that doesn't mean that they were prepared for the message Command sent out almost three weeks ago. Everything since then has been a blur, from announcing to the crew that they had been tasked with leading the vanguard, to hearing about all the millions of people that had been evacuated, to this. Four hours out from an empty region of space and what is probably going to be her death. It's not that Joanne thinks the situation is hopeless, but basically everyone she's talked to in the last couple of days has commended her and her crew in a way that makes it pretty obvious that they all think it's a suicide mission.

    Then again, Joanne thinks, looking down at the PADD containing her orders for about the hundredth time, that is what it looks like. It's all common practice, really, sending in a small group of ships first to weaken the enemy's defences, but with the battlegroup Joanne's been given, it's like they're not even trying. Granted, they're all good ships, able to hold their own in a fight, but not in what's shaping up to be the final, decisive confrontation between the greatest powers in the galaxy (not counting the Borg, which Joanne is eternally grateful for). Heavens, she knows for a fact that one of the captains was awarded a medal by the Diplomatic Corps just last month!

    Joanne puts down the PADD and turns her head to look out the window of her ready room at the stars streaking by. She rubs her face, rakes her fingers through her hair and absent-mindedly fiddles with the Vice Admiral pins on her uniform collar. She hopes her mothers are safe. She hopes the weapons upgrades that were practically welded last-minute onto the hull won't fall off the moment she gives the order to fire. She hopes that whatever Starfleet have got up their sleeves is going to work. She glances down at her PADD, at the one line in her orders that hints at something more, something that will save all their lives.

    T+12, or at discretion of Fleet Admiral Juana Gal
  • aten66aten66 Member Posts: 639 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    The Iconian Factor
    ***

    Sometime into the Far Future...
    Tactical Assessment of the Federation:
    Base Location: Sector 001,
    Dominant Species: Human,
    Ruling Government: Federation,
    Home System of Operation: Earth, Humans Home World.

    Current Allies: Klingon Defense Force, Romulan Republic.

    Current Enemies: Undine Servitor Faction, Elachi Servitor Race, Solanae Servitor Race, Tal Shiar Servitor Faction.

    Neutral: Dominion.

    Assessment: Tactical Threat along with other Alpha and Beta Quadrant Powers.
    Reassessment: Maneuver Servitor Races and Factions against the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan Republic Worlds.

    Our Race IS Dying, We Must Survive, We Must Plunder Their Worlds For Ourselves.
    A metallic planet-shell, created a millennia ago through the deaths of countless worlds and lost cultures, subjugated by an ancient, and powerful force, was located in the void between galaxies. After centuries without use, undetected by anyone outside the void, even by its creators, it had slumbered undisturbed. Millions of automatic systems began to jump to life as a single Gateway activated. The Gateway suspended the travelers for ten point three seconds prior to arrival, to identify the most suitable artificial atmosphere for its new hosts.

    The Gateway spat out the Joint-Alliance scientific survey team, consisting of a duo of Humans, a Klingon, a Ferasan , a Romulan and Reman Scientist, as well as four Reman Resistance Officers, a group of six M.A.C.O Elite and four Klingon Honor Guard soldiers.

    With the reawakening of the Sphere, it also opened a long forgotten stasis structure within a single Iconian ship far within the bowels of the once-dead sphere.

    ********

    Onboard the Iconian Ship, The Atax:
    [Kandar se, kandar ere, kandar more, kandar sete, kandar ne, kandar qetar, kandar jet, kandar piqe...]

    (Translated from Iconian to English)

    [Stasis Device has finished reanimation process, starting reactivation sequence...
    Complete.]


    A that a dark red, see-through hand with dark black armor sculpted to the arm, pushed open the door to the crypt like structure of the stasis device. It was awake, and it was in for a rude awakening.

    [Master, intruders detected, non-aligned with the Iconian Protectorate; recent updates to the mainframe with the reactivation of the gateway network cite these intruders as enemies, immediate termination is authorized]

    [Do nothing computer, non-lethal protocols will be enough, I wish to inquire information from these beings of galactic affairs, confirm orders accepted.]

    [I'm sorry master, but with the recent update, my intelligence protocols have been updated, and I've been authorized to supercede your commands, so that the Iconian Empire can take this base for its efforts in its galactic affairs; please do not attempt to sabotage me, or I will be forced to kill you before the Empire can claim this sphere.

    ********
    20 minutes later...

    The last drone dispatched the final Reman Guard that was left alive, the only survivor of the brutal massacre that had begun twenty minutes ago when the Iconian Computer A.I. activated the internal defenses.

    The Reman was ten feet from the Iconian Gateway that was the entrance to their tombs, but it wouldn't have mattered if he survived to activate the gateway home, as the gateway activated no less then ten seconds later to reveal an Iconian walking through the gateway. The Iconian surveyed the space in the sphere, turning to the ancient computer system near the gate, to read of the sphere's contents. If an Iconian could show a smirk, if it didn't already feel as superior as it did, this one would be showing a Cheshire grin.
    Projected Holding space of Sphere: 1,000,000 Dreadnaught-Class ships.
    Current Ship Status: Four Iconian-Class Dreadnaughts, 100,000 Elachi Qulash Frigates, Twenty Sheshar Dreadnaughts , Six Neutronium-Plated Planet-Killers. Experimental Dreadnaught Prototype: Atax, equipped with a miniaturized Psionic Enhancer/Control Device for planet wide contact with friendly/hostile species.

    This would change the flow of the current war against the Alpha-Beta Quadrant Alliance. The Iconian Empire will survive.

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

    Starfleet Academy, Earth 2434

    It was a foggy San Francisco morning, with a chill in the air; it was fifty-nine degrees, uncommon and unusual for a standard May on Earth, but not unheard of in the San Francisco area of late. It was barely 6 O'clock in the morning, and only bi-luminary species or the common stray domestic pet was up at this time of day. The Starfleet Academy in all it's stunning glory looked majestic, even with its points and hidden crevices shrouded by the morning fog. The air fogged the glass windows of the academy main building, hosting the famous Club 602 and its many bartenders.

    On the foggy windows though, one could see the many fingerprints of the people who visited this hall the night previous, as more people still with various drinks, hot and cold, still sit at the tables and ponder their morning affairs. With all the fog on the windows, you would think seeing a reflection the glass would be difficult, but it wasn't for me. I sighed and reflected on what had happened in the past three days.

    I had ordered an Earl Grey tea, asked for Saurian Brandy to be added, and sipped at the hot drink, as it began to chase the chills of the cool morning away from my tired figure. I was so busy enjoying my drink I hadn't noticed the broad figure of Sharvan slip into the chair across from mine. "Your an oddity, captain, you know that?" He said, "Your the only Professor here at 6:30 in the morning, and only to drink tea?" I shrugged off the look, and focused on the apprehension I could see in his eyes.

    "Hello little brother," I said looking at him while sipping my tea, knowing what he was here for, "I've retired Sharvan, what could the top brass want from me?" He blanched, confused at my statement, then became stony faced once more.

    "So you've realized something's off I guess, huh?" he said it as a question, but posed it as more of a statement. He turned his head up, looked around, then slipped something from his pocket onto the table we shared. "Sorry, this device will keep any unauthorized ears from listening in," he told me with a slight look of nervousness, "I'm sorry I couldn't tell you, but this is top alliance class secrecy levels I'm working with here." I merely stared at him with a look of impatience. "The Iconians are back Gregs, I've been cleared by Section 31, Klingon Intelligence, Romulan Republic Intelligence, and a few other of the quadrants intelligences, to create a task force," he pauses, "More specifically, a small group of people to lead the Alliance into battle, any who have had contact with the Iconians, gateway technology, Elachi, or Solanae and lived to tell the tale."

    I look at him like he is crazy, maybe he is. "I can't Sharvan, and you know why!," I say to him. He looks, down at his crossed hands. "I have Zel, Cann, and little Xavir to look after, and my wife wouldn't like to find out I died from a Federation representative," I yell, "Why should I die because of the Iconians, why me, when so many others have fought against them and been successful?" He looks me in the eye, and I can tell that what he is going to say next would be the truth; it's the same look I give.

    "Gregs, your the only one who is left, everyone else has been systematically incapacitated or killed in strategic strikes against civilian or military ships," he says, "And there is more Gregs, they're right on the Romulan Border, latest intelligence reports that an Iconian force of 50 ships spotted around the remains of Romulus and Remus, among them were Elachi vessels, Tal Shiar vessels, an inactivated Planet-Killer, and lastly an Iconian ship, named the Atax."

    I was concerned by this report, and decided to act on this. "Sharvan, could you leave the device here...I need a moment to call my wife, and talk privately," I say to my younger twin. He nodded and left the table, bringing with him a cup I didn't notice I drained while we talked. I brought out my personal communications P.A.D.D., and activated the video conferencing feature, to which my wife answered in our house outside San Francisco, along with the a sleepy looking six-year old in her arms.

    "It's a good thing Xavir already woke me up because of a nightmare Gregs, or I'd be cross with you for calling me at six -she looked away for a second- forty seven in the morning," she said, before she noticed my grim face, "What's wrong?" I proceeded to tell her all that Sharvan had told me, along with my decision, and she looked like she was about to cry. "Gregs, why do you have to have such a strong sense of duty...I can't stop you, but I can only tell you...come back home safely," she says, "Wait on the line a few... let me get Zelandra and Cann up so they can at least know... just in case."

    She brought back the 14 year old twins with her and after a tear filled 'see you soons' I turned off the P.A.D.D. and went with Sharvan to fulfill my new mission.
    ********

    24 Hours Later

    Six sectors had been set up, two in the Jouret System, both near the Iconian Space Gateway, one at Quo'nos, one at Earth, and one at Mol'Rihan, and a final one to lay in wait at DS9 between Bajor and the Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant.

    Now was the time for me to go over the ship roster.
    Alliance Ships:

    Federation:
    16 Vesta-Class Starships
    30 Chimera Heavy Destroyers
    6 Galaxy-X
    6 Avenger-Class
    6 Solanae-Class Dyson Destroyers
    200 Constellation-Class
    50 Odyssey-class Ships
    150 Galaxy Class Cruisers

    Romulan Republic:
    100 D'deridex Warbirds
    10 Aves-Class Dyson Destroyers
    200 Light T'Varo Warbirds
    12 Scimitar Warbirds
    20 Khnial Borg Ships,
    20 Tal Shiar Adapted Destroyers, Llaihr-class

    Klingon:
    30 Bortasqu' Class ships
    60 Vo'Quv-Class carriers
    25 Nov-Class Dyson Destroyers
    45 Negh'Var-Class Heavy Battle Cruiser

    Recovered Enemy Ships:

    15 Hirogen Apex Heavy Battlecrusiers

    100 Breen Chel Grett Warships

    120 Tholian Widows
    35 Tholian Recluse
    15 Tarantula

    500 True Way Jem'Hadar Attack Ships
    25 Reclaimed Jem'Hadar Dreadnaughts

    95 Obilesk Carriers
    60 Monbosh Destroyers
    1 Iconian Ship: Obex

    The Obex, our secret weapon, an Iconian ship I remember wresting from the grasp of the Iconian captain, having to kill or be killed in that situation. He didn't like that, but I think the darkness of space really suited the Demon of Air and Darkness, though I don't know how much air he would have. The Iconian ship had been searched, dissected, and reengineered for over twenty years, its technology shared between the Alliance powers, advancing all sharing powers closer in understanding of the Iconian Empires plans of galactic domination, as well as being able to closer match their weaponry and power, though we were still out of our league.

    *******

    Latest intelligence reported that a huge fleet of Iconian and associated ships were just past deep space scanners, and a Romulan scouting force was dispatched, but only one returned, badly burned and warped by weapons fire. Reports show a space gateway, almost near activation, and who knows what it could do or where it could lead to.

    Red alert klaxons blared to life as subspace messages came in from the reporting sectors.

    "All sectors are compromised, I repeat, all sectors are compromised, Iconian signatures are forming within sector limits, I repeat six space gateways have formed out of subspace depositing Elachi and Planet Killers, and subspace links show it leads to the active gateway outside the Romulan border, I repeat..." the subspace message said, "Eleven light years from Bajor, six light years from Qo'noS, ten light years from Earth, Mol'Rihan and the Jouret system is swarmed with Elachi... I repeat all sectors compromised, hold attack formation." The crew looks to Captain Son'aire, and he merely sits in the Oregon's Captain's chair, his hands folded and a smile on his face.

    "Good, it's happening all according to plan."

    *******
    1 Hour Later

    Outside the battle was raging, Elachi ships swarmed the Alliance fleets placed to battle the gateways, Iconian Dreadnaughts had appeared in five of the six sectors, each protected by a mix of Solanae Obelisk Carriers and Elachi Sheshar Dreadnaughts. The Planet Killers were the main enemy at the moment, cutting away at swaths of Elachi and Alliance fighters, though Alliance ships were holding the best they could against the larger enemy fleet.

    "Captain, Tholian recluses, and swarms of Tholian Widows and Mesh Weavers are appearing out of... subspace..." said a lieutenant at the comm station, "...as well as various dozens of Voth ships, who appeared to have generated the subspace bubbles, and all are converging on the Planet Killers...Planet Killers in every sector have been neutralized, and Elachi ships are converging on Iconian-Class Dreadnaughts to protect them, especially in sector 3, Mol'Rihan, around the Atax." Captain Son'aire stood up from his chair.

    "Good, now lets hope Gregs' can finish his half of the mission," Captain Sharvan Son'aire says to himself, "He's our last ditch hope."

    *******

    The dark and lithe shape of the Iconian ship Obex as it flew past stars and planets against the blue glow of warp speed could be called fearsome. The ship had been docked in the Mars Ship Yards as it was prepared for a one passenger flight crew. Now it began its journey at warp to reach its destination, using its in-board subspace jump system to jump light years closer every few minutes.

    *******
    Aboard the Atax

    The Obex was on the Iconians view screen, and the Iconian watching its approach knew it had no Servitor race or Iconian onboard, but a weak pretender who thought it could make a difference in this war. [To all Servitors do not attack the Obex, let it through so we may reclaim it, that is all,] the Iconian then turned back to the screen. Let it come.

    *******

    The ship approached New Romulus, avoiding barely the warzone around it, and made it to the outer ring of the Elachi barrier around the Atax, and was alowwed in. 'So they already know I'm here then eh,' Gregs thought to himself, 'Well, it may be a trap, but I know I can still make a difference.'

    *******

    Ten Minutes Later....

    I was thrown roughly into an Iconian prison cell, at the feet of another prisoner in the shadows. I got up, looked outside the force field and then turned to the being in the shadows, as only its red and black legs were showing in the purplish glow of the artificial lighting. The Being stood up to reveal a slightly smaller Iconian male, not too unlike the one I had faced before, less menacing and threatening then the one in control of the Obex. "Kersae, Sone Tren Kante, Ve Ken Da'ne..." it began to say, though it was merely gibberish to me. I accessed my telepathic powers, augmented the language portion of my brain chemistry, and scanned the Iconians mind. "...It is good to know that you can know understand me now telepath, though had you merely asked I would have prepared myself for such an intrusion," the Iconian spoke to me, "Now, how is the battle faring for your people; for the Iconian Empire seems to be ruthless conquerors now, instead of the kind protectorate I once knew generations past." I began to spin my tale, from my life here in the Alpha Quadrant to my experience with the Iconians over the years.

    ******

    Onboard the Obex

    A single computer activated as the Atax began to scan the ships library for any useful information the lost ship had gained, no matter how outdated it was. Inside this computer was a Artificial Intelligence Computer Virus, reengineered from the Iconian Super Virus that could disable ships, though this one was to disable Omega Molecule powered ships and spread over subspace to any others in the vicinity and even spread across the Quadrants, leaving only life support aboard the ships intact, while making inert weapons and shields. Now this program was active, and ready to spread to the Iconian Fleets across the quadrants.

    *******

    The Iconian prisoner was equally open about his people of the past, stating how once they were a protectorate, keeping young species from influencing other planets and civilizations, and if need be, remove hostile species that could threaten the development of life across the quadrants. He talked of how ancient Iconians were once conquerors, choosing to be gods among lesser beings, influencing them to help in the construction of Dyson Spheres, the Solanae for example be one such society, until Organians chose to intervene, setting them instead on the road to becoming the protectorate. It was said though, when the war against Iconian began 200,000 plus years ago, that it was started by a small faction hoping to become gods again, only to cause the very war that made their species extinct. And it seemed the very Iconians who started the war, were the only ones left, the Iconian Protectorate now an Empire, and once more conquerors instead of the explorers who created the Iconian Gateways.

    Suddenly the ship rocked, the force fields around the cell going down, and resulting in freeing both I and the Iconian man, I found out named Mar'An, who was a scientist in the Dyson Sphere he was cryogenically frozen in. "Did you do this Gregs," he asked. I nodded and proceeded to tell him of the Iconian Virus the Alliance reengineered to attack the Omega powered ships. Both he and I removed ourselves from the cell, to face a horde of Elachi, I moved to grab a stray weapon. "No Gregs, don't give them a reason to attack, with me as your companion, they dare not attack one of their gods," Mar'An says, "They will not attack unless ordered to by their captain." Both he and I made our way to the bridge, the Iconian Virus recognizing me as an authorized user, powering the ships equivalent of turbolifts to allow us to reach the bridge. There we were met with a near empty bridge, save the Iconian Woman facing us with a bulky tiara like device she was placing onto her head.

    "Your too late weak pretender, I have finally have had enough time to activate the mind control device to take over not only this planet, but your puny fleet of ships attacking our servitors," she said with an evil laugh, activating the device, "What... I should.. I should feel the billions of minds, but I feel nothing at all.. an emptiness, what trickery is this!" The Iconian woman brings up her own weapon, only to not fire any shots from the Omega powered device.

    "I'm sorry Kan'Se, the device is not useable by you, it was not meant to conquer worlds, merely to pacify the genocidal, not control the innocent," Mar'An says, "Your attack was futile, your weapon is useless, surrender now and be spared the death you so deserve." At this the Iconian woman collapses onto the deck.

    "My people... doomed... I failed them, they're all dead now, because of YOU!" she says yelling at Mar'An, "Had YOU not the resources we needed WE wouldn't have failed, you tricked me, I.. I failed." She was weeping, or its equivalent for an Iconian, and Mar'An put her in a pair of Iconian arm cuffs. He walks to a console over on the ship, and opens a subspace channel to all Iconian, Elachi, and Solanae ships across the quadrants.

    "To all Iconian and Servitor ships across the battlefield, you have lost, the virus targeting your Omega generators will have surely been affected by now, and all but life support have been taken offline," he says, "Servitors will stand down, Kan'Se has surrendered to Federation Officer Gregs Son'aire, the Atax is now under my command, the Iconian Protectorate now controls any Servitor or Iconian Ships who can hear me, the Empire is no more, we must rebuild, but not as conquerors." At that he ends the message, and merely sits in the captains chair, waiting a response.

    *****

    The fighting had stopped once all the Iconian ships were disabled by the Omega Virus, and once Mar'An's message was relayed over subspace all Servitor races immediately ceased fire on Alliance ships and vice versa. The remaining Iconians among the other Iconian Dreadnaughts chose to surrender themselves to Mar'An and relieved control of the ships to Alliance personnel with Servitor species that could operate the crafts.


    The loss of life on the Alliance side was in the millions both military and civillian. Parts of Qo'noS was scorched black by ships that had escaped destruction before the cease-fire was called into effect, agriculture was sure to be affected because of the land that was destroyed, and First City shaken, but not harmed. Earth was blackened as well, London was on fire, Africa a pit of black, acidic, charred earth, parts of the east coast on the North American continent was in ruins by hurricanes and tornadoes created by the Elachi ships, and Global Flooding would be an issue as the artic caps were a third of the way melted by intense weapons fire from both sides. Mol'Rihan was mostly unscathed in its bulk, already healing from help in its already irradiated state, plant life actually enriched by the exotic energy the Elachi weapons use. Any displaced personnel from affected planets were offered a place on Mol'Rihan until they rebuilt, or for permanent residence if so desired. Risa offered its technology on terraforming to help the affected planets heal.


    Gregs chose to remain with Mar'An and the Iconians, including Kan'Se, and acted as informal diplomat between the newly reformed Iconian Protectorate and the Alpha-Beta Alliance. Perhaps, just perhaps in time, the Iconians could learn to trust others again, then they could possibly thrive once more as flourishing species, maybe not now, but in the future.

    ********

    Sometime in the Far Future

    The classroom was full of beings from across the Alpha and Beta Quadrant; Human, Klingon, Vulcan, Trill and more were still flowing into the large university classroom. Exchange students were mixed in with the group as well, Ocampa, Talaxian, Krenim, Tholian, Voth, Romulan, Reman, Ferasan, Caitian, and even a few of the rarer Breen and even a few Tkon in recent years. All were hushed when the teacher had approached the podium, all ready to take notes.

    "The Earth, home to the Federation, Qo'noS, home to Klingons, Vulcan, Fersa, Tellar, Cardassia, Mol'Rihan, the Alpha Quadrant, the Beta Quadrant, all home to what you may remember as the Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Republic, all main powers in the Alpha-Beta Quadrants," he activates a holoprojector in the middle of the room, showcasing these very planets in real time. It focus' then changes to a smaller, dark planet, filled with storms and violent weather all localized to the northern and southern poles, while ships are seen going to and fro against the planet. "This planet may be strange for a few, but may seem similar to those who read the assigned history chapters for last night, and may draw attention to those who've read ahead to tonights assignment," the professor says, "Iconia, home to the once dead Iconian Empire/Civilization over 200,000 plus years ago, and now it is revitalized some centuries after a galactic war that took place some two centuries ago." He moves to show an Iconian Dreadnaught, powered by the no longer secret Omega Molecules. "This ship, was the Atax, the undoing of the Iconian Empire, built by the Iconian Protectorate and piloted by one Kan'Se, leader at the time of the remaining Iconian Empire, some two hundred thousand strong, not counting the Servitor races they employed at the time," he continues, "Mar'An, the Iconian who found the once-thought-dead Tkon, the Iconian that rebuilt the Empire and restructured it into the Protectorate, and the first Iconian that was allowed entry into the Federation was a great being, he was a personal friend to those lucky enough to know him, an amazing scientist on Dyson Spheres, and a great politician, bringing the Iconian-Tkon alliance into the Alliance." He looked around at the young faces, and it reminded him how old he was, then a young cadet raised his hand.

    "Sir, how do you know all of this, if I may ask," the young Tkon asked, "You say these things like you were there, but that was two hundred Terran years ago, how is this so; was an ancestor there at the battle?" The speaker looked at the young face, then recognized him as a young Tkon/Iconian, Shran, who had recently transferred from his granddaughter's class on Xenoscience to focus on Archeology instead of Chemistry.

    "Well, since you are new, and were once a part of my granddaughters class, I can tell you I'm a bit of an oddity to the university," he removes his glasses, to wipe them clean, "My name is Gregs Sharvan Son'aire, Captain of the U.S.S. Oregon, Star Breaker, and my final vessel the Obex, and I'm a bit of a temporal and genetic anomaly among the Federation." He puts on the non-functional glasses, then turns back to the chalkboard behind him. "You see, I was there at the battle, and I was a friend of Mar'An, and later of Kan'Se after she changed her views, I was the one who ended that battle over two hundred years ago," he says, "But you see I've been quantum entangled with this universe, to live as long as the very universe will, by an entity known as the Q, for a very old crime I committed a long time ago, which I must - and will- make penance for, one day." He sits down in his chair, then looks to the star chart. "But that's neither here nor there, and I have nothing to regret anymore, and neither should you concern yourselveswith my current condition," he says, "Now to continue on with Quadrant History, tonight I wish for you to all read the chapter on how the Iconians rediscovered the lost outpost of the Tkon, hidden from the rest of the universe in the Spore Nebula of D-Star 56-A-9807 of the Andromeda Galaxy...you'd probably know a bit about this Shran..."
  • squatsaucesquatsauce Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    This Is Deleted
  • amurorx0amurorx0 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Hours... Days... Weeks... Time has lost all meaning now. We have been fighting the Iconian fleets for what feels like an eternity, not unlike that first fall through the abyss after being cast through the schism.

    We had brought to bear the combined fleets of the Federation, Klingon empire, and the Romulan Republic. 2000 vessels...


    ...not enough.

    We are broken, reduced to a few scrappping bands of resistance: a dozen or so federation ships, focused around my Alteisen Riese, Odyssey class. 2 Galaxy class; 3 Vesta class; Char's Atrox, the Ra Cailum; Amuro's Defiant class, the Gespenst and a few fighters interspersed between. They were scrambling to hold on to the gateway.

    A handful of Klingon battlecruisers were huddling around an apparent prototype ship, registry ping designates the ship as 'I.K.S. Sazabi', it's captain is the illegitimate offspring born after my encounter with a rather obnoxious member of a species who call themselves 'Chobe'

    The Romulans were hit hardest, reduced only to one warbird, commanded by my son, Peewee. He hasn't forgiven me for what I did on Barza, and I can't blame him for it, considering I haven't either. Who could forgive genocide?

    Even the machines I have built are close to falling apart in this massacre of a battle.

    The ominous creaking of bulkheads breaking split the battlefield, "Oh ****, there goes another battlecruiser!" Cried out the remaining bridge crews.

    "Kyosuke!" I barked in communication to my ship, "Polarise the hull and pick up those life pods. Get them through the gate and stay there! No more deaths on my watch, understood?!"

    "Aye, ma'am." Kyosuke responded, closing the channel.

    I hailed the flagship, Gespenst "Amuro, we are getting our butts handed to us here! What's the ga-" I was interrupted by a flash as the last Romulan vessel was going critical "PEEWEEE!" I cried out.

    Flashing through my mind was all my experiences with my baby Peewee: His birth, raising him on Barza while fleeing the military, the pain of knowing I'd never see him again after being cast into the schism, finding him again in the brig on New Romulus, above all I remember the lullaby I sang to him:

    #Oboete masu ka?
    Yogiri mau sora no shi-ta
    Ookii na yume wo Kikasete kureta koto

    Dare mo ga mina
    Otona ni naru kawari ni
    Taisetsu na mono wo Okizari ni shi-te shimau#


    "Cagalli!" Amuro roared over the tight-band radio "We can't hold the gateway much longer. I'm ordering a full evac from the sphere. Fall back, providing cover where needed."

    "I have an alternate solution. Remember the results of the test after you asked me how much I weigh?" I respond.

    "I don't have time for games, but I remember." Amuro sounded puzzled.

    "I'm going to switch them off entirely. Get everyone out asap, I'll try to stall as long as I can." I said, fighting back the tears and rage.

    "Do what you must. Godspeed, Cagalli. Ray, out" The channel closed.

    The remaining ships limped out through the gateway, while being covered by the Ra Cailum and the Gespenst.

    "This might be the end, bud." I said, tapping the controls of my RV. "This part I have to do alone. Computer, lay in intercept course for Ra Cailum hangar deck, 15 second delay. Deliver following message to Char on execute: Char, if I do not return, keep this machine in storage, no-one can be allowed to retro-engineer any of its systems. ANY of them."

    "Open hatch. Engage subroutine"

    "Acknowledged" Droned the onboard computer's voice as the hatch before me hissed open.

    I kicked away from the RV, activating my RCS thrusters to drift towards the amassing Iconian fleet, barely scathed by our ruined forces.

    Tapping away on my wrist console, I hailed the lead Iconian ship.

    "You think you've won, don't you? Think again. I've seen you're archives on the sphere. I've data mined your ships capabilities, your techniques, and I find you laughable.

    You hide behind smoke and mirrors, you bluff and use bravado. The only technology you have employed is a jumped up transporter.

    I built a better one.

    You believe all are beneath you, but you are so wrong. The combined fleets you have decimated are your equal at the very least. They saw past their differences and stood side by side to take down a tyrannical foe.

    You have been found wanting, and you have missed something oh so important."

    The Iconian commander interrupts, "And what might that be, Andorian?"

    "I'm not Andorian." I rebuke, a smirk briefly splitting my stern facade "I am not of this universe. Beyond this space, beyond fluidic space, lies so much more. Many realms with races which you are to them as a terran ant is to you.

    I am banished from my own world for decimating armies who sought to use me as a tool for total domination. My crime, destroying the combined military might of Barza, to free all from their tyranny.

    I have travelled countless worlds, met many who thought them above all others.

    I have struck them all down.

    You have watched this galaxy over the ages, look up recent events relating to the Q Continuum, Terran communications history around the late 20th/ early 21st century. You'll find a curious little piece which I left behind by mistake.

    A legend, told by a childrens show which refers to a tantrum I had when my machine broke down:

    #hengenjizai tenmagedou yami no kehai ga semaru
    mondoumuyou nasakemuyou ikki ni keri wo tsukero!

    kiseki no PAWAA ikari no SOURU arashi to tomo ni raimei no naka
    KAWARE! KAMI NI NARE!#"

    The gravitic compensators de-activated. No longer dampening the gravitic forces of my body, the entirety of the Iconian fleet lurched closer, the Sphere beginning to crumble.

    I could hear the Iconian commander howling orders to his subordinates to try and escape my pull, but it was too late.

    They will yield, or I will crush them all within the contorted remains of this sphere.

    "#tatakitsukero! sono kobushi wo uchikudake! aku no yabou
    ankoku no kumo wo fukiharae!!

    hoero! asu no sora e kagirinai yume wo misete
    arehateta sekai ni kibou wo

    inishie no kami no waza ni atsui yuuki wo komete saikyou no keshin wa tatsu!#"

    The iconian flagship cried out in steel agony. Buckling from the tidal forces between myself and the star below.

    "You cannot de-" The iconian commander was cut short by his ship succumbing to the pressure, crushing down to the size of a small sports ball.

    "Gravity's a *****" I smirked. Once more tapping on my wrist, I broadcast to the rest of the fleet "Basically... run."

    I drifted over to the gateway, hoping to be able to pass through in only an EVA suit.

    Unfortunately the gateway emitted a powerful pressure wave, denying me passage as my RCS thrusters were just too weak.

    "Need a ride?" Amuro chirped over the comm.

    "Yup, and some lunch." I said.


    I stepped into the mess of the Ra Cailum, the only ship in the fleet with sufficient capacity to convey the shipless back to their respective commands.

    I collected a small tray of food and sat down an empty table.

    "How are you holding up?" Amuro asked as he took a seat opposite me.

    "I just watched my son die. How do you think I feel?" I retort, disgusted.

    "About that..." Amuro trailed off.

    "Hi, ma" Peewee mumbled, taking the seat next to me.

    "Peewee!" I cried. "Amuro, you are such a ******* at times."

    "Well, I'll leave you two to catch up." Amuro said, getting out of the chair "I'll handle the mission reports, but I'll need you to fill in the blanks after we fell back. And go see Char, yeah? He want's to talk to you about some cargo you forced aboard. Something about a bill for a new hangar door."

    "Later" I said, tears still streaming from my eyes. "I have a lot to catch up on."
    Ikuzo, Trombe!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • azniadeetazniadeet Member Posts: 1,863 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    A Place Among the Stars


    The brakes on city bus 29 squealed as it lurched to a stop. The narrow double doors folded open allowing a young woman to cautiously step off to the sidewalk below. She reached into the pocket of her long grey wool coat and extracted a ruffled scrap of paper "251 west 139th street, apartment 4" she read its lone scribble aloud with a British accent. Looking around at the addresses on nearby buildings, she stepped forward, nearly bumping into a passerby. "Excuse me." she apologized.

    He shot her a curious look. It was Harlem, 1963, the lone blonde girl certainly looked out of her element. He pointed to a nearby door, "251 is just over there, ma'am." The tall black man had overheard her rambling. She couldn't help but momentarily envision the man with pointed ears and eyebrows.

    She did a double take before smiling softly, "Thank you, sir." She moved on her way toward the building. She walked inside the apartment, up the stairs to the second level. She found apartment 4, and knocked on the door.

    The door cracked open, a man remained obscured on the other side, "How can I help you?" he stated with a meek, if curious temper.

    "My name is Anne Reece, I wanted to talk to you about a story."

    ---

    "Captain?" Atom tried to get Aznia's attention, "Captain??" he raised his voice dispassionately.

    "I think she's in contact with the prophets, Atom. That is a Bajoran Orb." En'thaas responded. "At least I hope she is."

    Aznia continued to stare blankly into the orb. The glow of the alien object filled the quiet cavern.

    Hours earlier, the Federalist retreated with six other Federation ships into the Gamma quadrant. Traditional warp travel in most of the Alpha quadrant had been rendered impossible as Omega particle detonations cascaded in sectors from Tau Dewa to Eta Eridani. Species 8472 and the Elachi had developed some alternative means of faster than light travel, which gave them free reign to decimate worlds across known space. Qonos, New Romulus, Vulcan, even Earth... The Federation was in ruins. Loss of life tolled in the tens of billions. A coalition of surviving ships made a final stand at Deep Space Nine, and as the attacking forces approached the weakened survivors, a last retreat into the Gamma quadrant became necessary for survival.

    When the Federalist led the survivors through the wormhole, Aznia guided the fleet to the Merik system. She led an away team to Merik III and proceeded into a secluded cavern in a mountain range on the southern continent. She acted as if she'd been possessed, with a singular obsession drawing her to these caves. Her crew was concerned with her behavior, but given the events of the last few weeks, it was the least of their concerns. They trusted the Captain. At the end of the tunnel, the away team found their path obstructed by rocks that had caved in. Aznia summoned every ounce of her strength to begin moving boulders. Her crew was surprised as her petit frame lifted boulders at least two-thirds her own mass. She was clearly on a mission, but no one knew what it was, not even Aznia; she simply knew she needed to move these rocks. It was a short time before the team uncovered an ornate box buried in the stone. Aznia lifted it out of the rubble and set it gingerly on the floor of the cave. She knelt beside it, opened its doors, and disappeared into the glow of the orb within.

    ---

    "Oh... please... just go away." the aging black man disregarded his visitor, aiming to shut the door in her face.

    "Please! ... Please Mr. Russell." Anne pleaded, jamming her toe in the door frame. "Your stories have meant so much to me!"

    Benny Russell sighed. "What do you want? An autograph? How did you even find me??"

    "It's about Deep Space Nine... the Federation... the future. I need your advice."

    Benny's tone changed, "Deep Space Nine? How did you?? ... Never mind. Move your foot, I'll let you in." his tone resigned and softened. He shut the door, unchaining the lock. The portal reopened, and Anne stepped through. "Take a seat." he gestured to his couch.

    "Mr. Russell, I just want to let you know how much of an influence you've been to me as a writer." Anne was effusive in her praise. "I want to show you something..." She reached into a satchel she'd carried with. She removed a manuscript and set it on a coffee table.

    "Hold on a minute." Benny was confused, "My Deep Space Nine stories were never published. How did you ever read them??"

    "My father was Edward Reece." Anne watched as Benny recalled the familiar name. "You sent him a personal copy of your Deep Space Nine series several years ago."

    "Edward and I were colleagues for many years. We exchanged correspondence several times and critiqued each other's stories. I was sorry to hear of his passing."

    Anne nodded sadly, "After he died, we found your stories in his office. I found myself so inspired by your Captain Sisko, that I began to write another series sharing that universe you created."

    "Are you a science fiction writer too?"

    "I've had my stories of time travel published a few times..."

    "Time travel... just like your father!" Benny grinned.

    "Just like my father." Anne resigned to the fact. "But your Trek through the Stars inspired me to take a new path. People need to read this. I would like to do everything I can to get these stories all published; but I wouldn't do so without your blessing."

    "I tried to get these stories published ten years ago. I ended up doing time in a mental asylum for my trouble." Benny removed his glasses, rubbing the bridge of his nose with two fingers. "People aren't going to accept that vision of the future." he suddenly recalled a story he'd read weeks prior, "You said you write time travel stories?"

    "That's right." Anne smiled.

    Benny rushed over to a bureau in the corner. He reached into a drawer on the top tier of the desk, retrieving a small science fiction magazine. He paged through to the middle of the issue, "I read this story last month, 'The Backstep' by A.C. Reece."

    "That's one of mine." Anne nodded, "Did you enjoy it?"

    "I did. Your father would be very proud of such fine work. I should've realized you were his daughter when I read the story."

    "...or at least his son." Anne quipped, "I've still yet to get any work published with my full first name."

    Sadness washed over Benny's face, "Like I said: all this time, and people still aren't going to accept a better vision of the future."

    Anne leaned forward in her seat to assert herself, "We need to show them what kind of future it can be. They can't accept it until we create it."

    "Well..." Benny took a seat in a chair beside the couch. "...it couldn't hurt to take a look at the future you've created." They began to read the manuscripts together.

    ---

    "Walesa to Atom," a fuzzy communicator signal came through.

    "Go ahead, Commander." the Android tapped his insignia badge.

    "We've received a communication from the Dominion. They've agreed to help us blockade wormhole to make a stand against any Undine or Elachi ships that might try to come through." She spoke with urgency to finish this mission, "We need to leave and meet them there. Has the Captain finished her mission?"

    "No. She appears to be in the midst of a Bajoran Orb vision. I suggest we continue here."

    "We'll beam a subspace communications array down at the foot of that cavern. You should be able to link your communicators into it, and remain in contact with the ship. Let us know if anything changes."

    "Aye, Commander. Atom out."

    The channel closed, En'thaas looked up from his tricorder at the Android science officer, "I'm not fond of the notion of spending the rest of my life on this rock."

    "While this planet has a breathable atmosphere, unfortunately there is no flora or fauna on the surface. We also have yet to detect any drinkable water." The Android was very matter of fact. "There is still time to have the Federalist beam you up."

    "No, I'll stay here with you and the Captain. This mission needs to succeed one way or another."

    ---

    "She was somewhat inspired by your character Dax." Anne explained her Captain. "I imagined a character who was cast in the shadow of a truly great man, but becomes conflicted with her own aspirations and drives: struggling to succeed in his world. Your Trill species presented a unique angle on that motive. A female captain may be controversial- but with the experiences and memories of an established male captain, I think I'm giving the reader every reason to accept her. They'll be drawn in, then they will discover that she is very much her own person."

    "I can see where you've pulled that kind of inspiration from. The best characters are drawn from within ourselves like that." Benny nodded approvingly.

    "I just don't know how we can end this." Anne moved forward in the story. "I've began to write the end as a cataclysm. A way to close this book once and for all. But it doesn't feel right."

    Benny thought about it for a long moment, "This is a story of hope. Of course these people will see their challenges, but my stories inspired you to write the next generation for this universe. I'd like for you to inspire someone to do the same and leave it open for the future authors to pave the way to their own brighter tomorrow."

    Anne was torn. She remembered her father's writing style emphasized importance on giving the reader closure. Her stories about time travel always worked to close a predestination paradox or end where they'd begun. But this was a departure. Maybe it was a time to let old habits die.

    The dead bolt on the apartment door unlatched, the door opened, and a woman walked in with a bag of groceries. She stopped and met eyes with Anne. "Uh... Hello there."

    Benny and Anne both stood up. Benny quickly moved to take the groceries off the other woman's hands "Anne Reece, I'd like you to meet my wife Cassie." He said as he carried the bag in toward the kitchen "Cassie, this is Anne, she's Edward's daughter. She came to talk to me about Deep Space Nine." he passed through the door, leaving them together in the living room.

    Cassie's attention shifted back to Anne, "It's nice to meet you, Anne. I was sorry to hear about your father, Benny was very upset when we heard the news."

    Anne smiled softly, "Thank you. I want to apologize for bringing my work to your home. I couldn't find another way to reach you."

    "Ever since Deep Space Nine was left unpublished, Benny has separated himself from his past work as a writer. This is the first time I've seen anyone talk to him about his work in years." Cassie sounded almost relieved that her husband was acknowledging his passion again, "Would you like to stay for supper? I'm making a meatloaf tonight."

    Anne grinned widely, "I'd love to. Thank you very much."

    Benny walked back in the room, "Where are you staying, Anne?"

    "I just got in town this afternoon. I was going to find a hotel this evening."

    "Nonsense. We have an extra bed in Benny's writing room." Cassie interjected immediately.

    "Oh, I'd hate to impose."

    Cassie cut her off. "It's no imposition. I'm glad to see someone use the space for a change." she shot a look back at Benny to suggest he begin his writing again.

    Anne smiled graciously, accepting their offer.

    ---

    The Federalist stood guard at the wormhole alongside the survivors' convoy and the Dominion fleet. The stand would be made here, and everyone held out hope that the prophets would somehow do away with the Undine-Elachi fleet. Tension was high as the crew waited to see how the events of the next few moments would play out. The fate of the entire galaxy seemed to rest in their actions.

    "The wormhole is opening!" Quallo shouted across the bridge.

    Walesa sighed, "It looks like the Captain's mission was no success... Send a message back to the away team. We're engaging the enemy. All hands to battlestations, red alert!"

    The Undine and Elachi ships flooded through the wormhole as a torrent. Every color of energy fired across space as torpedoes ripped through shields and hulls. The conflict was intense, and the Undine allied forces took heavy losses. The enemied just continued to push through the wormhole. The Federalist was one of the last ships to remain on the Federation side.

    "Can we do something to close the wormhole??" Walesa shouted to her bridge crew for ideas.

    Chief Engineer First of Eight piped in from the aft engineering station, "It would take a vast amount of energy... perhaps if we breached the core exactly at the mouth of the wormhole."

    "Can we go into multi vector mode and evacuate everyone into the alpha module?" Walesa inquired.

    Quallo mournfully answered "Multi vector systems are offline."

    "Take the ship in." Walesa ordered, "All hands to emergency escape pods, abandon ship!"

    The bridge crew scrambled, Walesa decided to go down with the ship and assure the plan succeeded. The ragged ship weaved itself through the battle and readied the destruct sequence. Once the ship was in position and the crew was evacuated, Walesa looked down at the control pad on the arm of the Captain's chair. The self-destruct sequence was armed and could be activated at the push of one button. She hesitated for just a moment...

    ---

    After supper, Anne retired to Benny's modest writing room. She continued to write her apocalyptic ending for a short time, but couldn't bring herself to pen down the destruction of the Federalist. She sighed for a moment before resting her face in her palms. At that moment, she realized that this was likely the desk where this story began. She imagined Benny writing down the first tales of Ben Sisko, she remembered a story with its genesis at the very wormhole that she prepared to destroy. It was a full circle. It was a predictable style that she felt too tied to.

    Anne set aside her story, and jotted down the day's events in her personal journal. She logged the generosity and kindness of this family of strangers she'd visited unexpectedly. She told herself the tale of her struggles with expectations and ambitions. She yearned to be her own person, but she also yearned to honor the people who made her the person she was. She poured her heart out into her diary with a fervor that she could not find within the end of her Federalist story.

    She looked at the bedroom door, and saw the flicker of an open flame glowing across the bottom of the portal. She grabbed the ending of her story... and stormed out of the room to find Benny sitting by firelight, writing down a few new ideas on a clipboard.

    Benny looked up, "It's the first time I've thought about writing in some time, Anne." he admitted, "I want to thank you for stoking the flame inside me."

    Anne was visibly frustrated over something. "I really am glad I was able to do that. Because I can't seem to do the same for myself." She tossed the ending of her story into the fireplace. "At least I can stoke this flame."

    "Anne, no!" Benny pleaded, a moment too late. "We could've gone over that. There was no need to destroy it." he preached mournfully.

    Anne stared into the fire as her apocalypse dissolved in the flames. "My heart... wasn't in it. I need Aznia to live on. I need hope for the future. Right now, I find more passion in writing about the present!" Inspiration suddenly struck Anne. "The present..." she gazed back toward the writing room.

    "What's your idea, Anne?" Benny's intrigue was peaked.

    "This." she retrieved her diary, "You, Cassie, your home, your kindness, this crazy adventure I've taken to get your blessing and ask your advice. The search for passion to write. The love of my stories. Inspiration! This is all inspiration. This is what I need." Anne transcribed the last day's worth of stories from her diary onto the Federalist manuscript.

    Benny was fascinated, "So you're making yourself- the writer- a part of the story!? I like it! You could tie that as an Orb experience, like the ones Ben Sisko had!"

    Aznia wrote as much down as quickly as she could, loving the inspiration.

    Benny spoke again, his tone soured slightly, "...you know, if you write this part as yourself, you'll be exposed as Anne and not just A.C." he was sad to reiterate the implications of that.

    "Be damned the consequences." Anne put her foot down. "I'm going to write my own story whether it gets published or not. I'm going to be my own person whether I'm accepted or not!"

    Benny and Anne smoothed out the story through the night. By morning, they were ready to send it off to the editor and publisher.

    "I'm proud of you, Anne." the older man smiled widely, "You've reminded me of the spirit I've been stripped of for so long. You've got a tough road ahead of you. Just never give up. If you affect just one mind, the future can still live on."

    They mailed the story off, and Benny escorted Anne to the bus stop. The number 29 pulled back up to the curb. "This is my ride, Benny. Thank you for everything."

    The two friends hugged. "Keep in touch! Keep writing! I'll do the same." Benny smiled as proudly as he could.

    Anne stepped on the bus, as the bus doors slid shut her story ended where it began. The West 139th Street scenery outside suddenly transformed into an alien cave. Aznia found herself kneeling before an orb, so she pulled the doors on its box shut. She took a moment to gain her bearings. Looking up at Atom and En'thaas, their concerned faces seemed out of place. She knew the gravity of the situation, but she also knew that everything was different now- she knew the ending she'd written. "Deet to Federalist-" she tapped her badge.

    Atom interrupted, "We lost contact with the..."

    "Walesa here, Captain." the responding signal cut off the Android.

    Atom and En'thaas looked at each other stunned. They presumed the Federalist had been destroyed when contact cut off abruptly.

    "Status report?" the Captain responded to her first officer.

    "I'm not sure how to explain this. We've ejected escape pods, but I see no evidence that we were ever in a battle. The Undine apparently never attacked us." Walesa was baffled. "I also think... I was visited by the prophets."

    "I know." Aznia responded. "I can explain everything once I'm back aboard. Everything will be fine now. Prepare to come pick us up as soon as you've reintegrated the escape pods."

    ---

    Beaming back aboard the Federalist, Aznia carried the box that contained the Orb of Inspiration. Walesa met her in the transporter room.

    "I'm very confused. I was about to destroy the Federalist to close the wormhole, but I had a vision of a Starfleet Captain in a 2370s uniform. He told me that it wasn't time for the end. When I awoke, there was no sign of Species 8472, and no sign of battle damage. The debris of the Federation and Dominion ships was gone too."

    "That battle never happened, Commander. The Undine never invaded. The omega particles never decimated our quadrant. That vision was dissolved away in the flames stoked by the dreamer."

    Walesa looked at Deet like she was speaking another language. "Why do we remember it then?"

    "Don't worry. Nobody else does." Deet smiled coyly, "It's just not time for the end."
  • wraithshadow13wraithshadow13 Member Posts: 1,533 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Marleen had been his strength, his hope, and the one thing that kept him looking toward tomorrow, so it was tearing him apart to see her like this. She was dying, and for all the doctors, treatments, and advanced or illegal technologies at the fingers of Section 31, and yet she was still dying. The condition had spread to most of her body, slowly consuming her from the inside out. He could feel her depart. He had been holding her hand for hours, but as she slipped away, his heart felt like it was slowly being pulled away with her. He gripped tighter, in hopes that he could keep her just that much longer or at least be taken with her...

    He snapped too, his abdomen still bearing the scars of Krotious' bladed fingers. The wounds were mostly healed, but being Captain didn't put him at priority, not for something like triage. Dr. E'Saul had made the logical choice, treating his wounds until they were no longer life threatening, then moving to the next patient. The ship shook, lightly, and Captain Donovan tried to pull himself to his feet.

    "Gah!"

    "Captain!" Fizi cried, as she ran over to help keep him from hitting the deck.
    "Status report."

    "Captain, you're still hurt, you're in no condition to-"

    "Status report, Nurse Pruz..." he pushed through the pain. The young nurse, bit her lip for a moment before responding.

    "Not well, Sir. Commander T'Pal is on the bridge. The ship is segmented and not doing well. The... the wounded keep pouring in, and that's just on Alpha, things are a little worse on the other sections without access to sickbay."

    "Casualties?"

    "Twenty dead, another twenty-two wounded, eleven unaccounted for. Wraith is in quarantine."

    "Quara- arhh... What do you mean Quarantine?" He clenched his stomach as he said this, leaning hard against the medical bed.

    "What ever happened Krotious hit him with, it's shut down his nanoprobes. His entire immune system is just gone."

    "Gone? But that would mean-"

    "Precisely Captain," Dr. E'Saul finally chimed in. "His Body is tearing itself apart from the inside out. Without the Borg technology holding him together, all of the enhancements that make him unique, are no longer capable of coexistence."

    "Can you do anything?"

    "I... I cannot. At his current rate of deterioration, he has about a week. Without the proper equipment, there is no way to reestablish his nanites, and given our current situation, I am not even sure if the force field will even hold long enough to keep him from succumbing to any microbe that would normally pose no problem."

    "I need to be on the bridge."

    "But Captain, you can hardly-" the nurse's objection was cut short by the Doctor, injecting the Captain with a hypospray.

    "Against my better judgment Captain. This will help ease the pain, but your abdomen still needs further treatment. In your current condition, I would not suggest taking on a superior enemy in close combat." She looked to the nurse, simply stating "when treating humans, you will find that they are almost as stubborn as treating a Klingon. In situations like this, they are more so. As long as he can do the job, there is no standing in his way."

    "Yes Ma'am." Fizi smiled.

    Captain Donovan shuffled over to the quarantine field, peering in to see Wraith, laying there dying. For all of his strength, his hope, Wraith's body was tearing him up slowly. With all of the advanced technology on this ship, there was no way to save another person. All lost to the genesis device...

    He made his way, painfully, to the bridge.

    "Captain on deck!" Keating bellowed, his eye covered in a make shift bandage.

    "Captain?" Commander T'Pal sounded slightly surprised. "Are you fit enough to resume command?"

    "Of course not, but that ship can't be allowed to keep that device, not when we still have breath." He grunted again, taking his seat, tapping the console on his chair. "How are we doing?"

    "Not well, Captain. Our weapons are useless against the carrier, and the fighters are slowly overwhelming us. Evasive maneuvers are the only thing keeping us from being destroyed by the main ship's weapons." She furrowed her brow as she paused, the ship shaking again for a tricobalt explosion close to port.

    "What is it Commander?"

    "While you were incapacitated, we received a communique from the strike teams. They have been all but destroyed by Krotious."

    "His ship opened fire on the station?" Donovan asked, puzzled.

    "No Captain. Not only was he on the station, but he was in several places. Before the transmission was cut, the Commander, made it sound like Krotious of Borg was the entire invasion force. Each one slightly different, but Krotious none the less."

    "How the hell is that even possible?"

    "I believe that we have a possible answer, Captain."

    "Agreed. While Mr. Sabin and I have been handling a few extra duties, we've hypothesized that he was able to do this with his ship." Simon Edison said, tapping his console.

    "His ship? Have you identified it?"

    "Indeed Captain," Mr. Sabin added, "Lt. Ker'paH was helping treat the wounded when she saw the ship from a window. She identified it as a Kar'fi Carrier from Klingon legend. It was used by 'evil spirits' from Sto'vo'kor. Further analysis showed that this ship might have been made from the Carrier he stole from the Solanae."

    "We believe that he has retrofit the ship and it's advanced technologies to fit his needs. It is more than likely, he's modified the ships ability to travel through subspace into a way to travel between dimensions, collecting his alternate selves."

    "That doesn't make sense though... What reason would he have for that?" Captain Donovan asked, as another console blew out.

    "He needed an army of himself?"

    "Do not be ridiculous, Lieutenant Keating. He already had a crew, and there is no guarantee that his alternate selves would share his skewed vision." T'Pal stated. "Even then, I doubt they would be willing to undergo his 'unique' assimilation."

    The Captain paused a moment.

    "Perhaps they didn't have a choice..."

    "Captain?"

    "Project Scorpion..."

    Nobody on the bridge said a word. While the senior staff knew of the Section 31 ties for the Geist, only Captain Donovan had clearance for the files.

    "Years ago, during the Voyager incident, Captain Janeway and her crew helped developed a weapon capable of assimilating on a massive scale."

    "Why would this station be making weapons of mass destruction? Why would Voyager-"

    "It's not a weapon," Donovan said, interrupting Simon Edison. "at least... it wasn't supposed to be. Over a century ago, there was a project known as Genesis. A private team of scientists had developed a device capable of nearly instantaneous terraforming. For various reasons, it failed and the project had been dropped until about ten years ago. Trying to recreate Project Genesis had been restarted, resulting in total failure." The Captain choked on his words for a moment, before continuing. "A few of the lead scientists developed abnormal growths. Given the nature of Genesis, the growths spread quickly and incurably. Within two months, there were no survivors. From the files Admiral Aviess sent us on this station, they were trying to use the Borg technology to control the reactions better, as well on an exponentially larger scale. No matter what, Krotious can't be allowed to leave with that weapon. Are all of the transporters working?"

    "Yes, Sir."

    He began explaining a plan as another wave of fighters launched. The three sections of the U.S.S. Geist weaved through out, trying to avoid the heavy tricobalt torpedoes. Again, the segments made a bee-line for the Kar'fi Carrier, but this time the fighters backed off, just as Captain Donovan had anticipated. The three sections locked onto the ship with tractor beams, driving it hard into the side of the station. The Kar'fi, as expected, had been undamaged, due to its advanced shielding. As the fighters began to come about, the beta and gamma sections latched onto the station using the magnetic docking clamps, pinning ship to the station. The Alpha section initiated emergency beam outs of the other two, as well as any remaining crew from the star base.

    "Is everything ready?"

    "Aye Captain." Chief Fine said, tapping the last of the the commands into the engineering console on the bridge.

    "Initiate sequence. Helm: get us to a safe distance, maximum warp."

    As the Alpha section of the Geist warped out, the remnants of the transwarp drive activated, causing massive systems failures. The overload sent both the secondary and tertiary into breach, taking the station with them.

    "Warp us back in, now!"

    "Aye, Sir."

    "Status report on the Kar'fi?"

    "Their shields are down, hull is at 25%. There isn't even debris left of the fighters."

    "Bring us in, we need transporter lock on the device. After that, we come about and send this TRIBBLE straight to Gre'thor. Pull all available power to the forward arc."

    The ship did as such, pulling around for a second run. Before the first shots were even fired, a rift had opened and a second ship had positioned itself between the two combatants, taking the full brunt of the attack.

    "The Iconian vessel is unphased, Sir." Keating reported.

    "We're receiving a hail Captain. Text only."

    "What is it?"

    "Instructions. From the look of it, they are challenging us to a fight?"

    "What? Why not just attack us and get it over with?"

    "This is on a much larger scale than just two ships, Captain. The orders specify that it be a final battle between our alliance with the Klingons and Romulans, and their fleet consisting of Iconian, Undine, and Solanae ships."

    After transmitting, the Iconian ship pulled forward, dragging the damaged carrier through the anomaly, leaving what was left of the U.S.S. Geist to be towed home. Upon arrival, all crew members were rushed to Starfleet Medical to be treated properly.

    "And Wraith?"

    'He's stable for the time being, but Dr. E'Saul is unsure about his immune system. If she can't replicate the programing of his original nanoprobes, then he might not make it to the end of the month. At least being here, will ensure that he lasts longer than the few days he had on the ship." Admiral Aviess said, handing James the data P.A.D.D.

    "What about the Geist?"

    "For the time being, it's been destroyed. With how badly damaged the remaining segment is, there is no point in trying to repair it."

    "Have you read the Iconian invitation?"

    "I have, and preliminary talks between the higher ups seems to be unanimous. We're sending in the fleets. The Romulans and Klingons will be sending ships, as well as delegates and Generals. Given how big of a pain you've been, the message specifically names your as our 'Champion'. Once you and your crew are ready, we'll be transferring you to a new NX class ship to begin training."

    "But their ships are more advanced than most of the ships in the fleet, what chance do we stand?"James' voice wavered slightly. Aviess wasn't sure if this was due to the events of their last battle, or the pain meds, but she frowned before going on.

    "We'll be testing putting you on a Chimera."

    "You've gotta be joking, those are the ugliest ships in the line."

    "Aesthetics aside, it has everything we need to build a new test platform. We'll be routing several new systems into the design, the phasers alone will be routed through several subsystems allowing them to enhance shield regeneration rates, as well as other power levels. This will augment the damage as well as survivability by a factor of three."

    "What do you make of the Undine?"

    The Admiral sighed.

    "We're not sure how they fit into all of this, but the Klingons have evidence that they might have been used by the Iconians... Tricked into believing that we had built the Dyson Spheres specifically to attack them. Project Scorpion is being revisited as a weapons project. Admiral Janeway is heading up teams to integrate nanites into our offense against the Undine, but there is no word yet on how this will affect Iconian systems. The Solanae is still iffy, as we dig through the Dyson spheres. The tech is advanced, but we're slowly picking up on it."

    "Admiral. Jolene... How could you? Genesis?!? After what happened to Marleen? After what happened to others on her team? Honestly, Jol, how could you?"

    She sighed heavily again. This was going to be a long conversation that she had hoped to never have...
  • ironphoenix113ironphoenix113 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Admiral Bryan Valot gripped the edge of the Athena's strategic display nervously. The hologram showed thousands of warships shifting positions and getting into formations, each under his direct command. He had been chosen to lead the fleet, the most massive ever assembled in the alpha quadrant's history, even moreso than the fleet assembled to take Cardassia at the end of the Dominion war. Several other flag officers of the fleet stood in the strategic command center with him, aiding him in planning the battle. One, a Joined Trill woman named Abonay Dirom who was a General in the Klingon Defense Force, decided to speak up.

    "Are you sure this plan will work?" she said, eying the images of several Klingon warships.

    Bryan shook his head slowly. "No, I'm not."

    "Then why should we use it?" One of the other Klingon Generals asked.

    "Do you have any better plans?" Bryan snapped suddenly, causing the Klingon to back off a little.

    After a brief pause, Admiral Selana Da'is, Bryan's Romulan half-sister spoke up. "Much as I am loath to suggest this, all of the Romulan Republic's Flachion class dreadnoughts are armed with Thalaron projectors. In theory, we could bring our ships into a line and all fire the pulses when the Iconian fleet comes into range."

    Bryan pondered the idea for a moment, before feeling sick for considering it. "The Iconians might have the technology to block Thalaron blasts, so I'd rather leave that to be our last resort."

    "You can't actually be considering using Thalaron weapons, Admiral Valot!" Admiral Tobin, a Trill that had been assigned to the First Assault Fleet to serve as a strategic adviser to Admiral Valot, shouted. "You know full well that their use is banned by the Federation!"

    Bryan looked over at the Trill. "What would you rather?" He said, a dangerous edge to his voice. "We fight the battle conventionally, lose, and the end result is a protracted war that could see the destruction of the entire Alpha quadrant, or would you rather us break a law to prevent that in the event we can't win this conventionally?"

    "So, the ends justify the means?" She replied, looking pale.

    Bryan nodded. "I'd rather have the taint of Thalaron weapons on my hands as opposed to the blood of trillions."

    Tobin shook her head. "Very well," she sighed.

    "All right. Let's go over the plan one more time," Bryan called. "The vanguard force, consisting of roughly one-fourth of our fleet, most of which will be cruisers, battleships, and dreadnoughts, will begin the battle by engaging the main enemy force. After we have the enemy distracted, we will signal the rest of the fleet to decloak or halt the masking of their energy signatures and charge in, flanking the Iconian forces. From there, the battle will likely descend into a full scale melee. Keep with your individual squadrons, watch for collisions, and watch your fire. We will likely be outnumbered, so we will be able to use that to our advantage. Keep moving, and try to stay within their formation. With luck their numbers will make it more difficult to respond in close quarters combat. The battle will be at approximately 0830 tomorrow. Head back to your ships and get some rest. Good luck to you all. Dismissed."

    The other officers filed out of the room one by one. Bryan knew that come would likely not survive tomorrow, and the thought sickened him slightly. After pausing to look at the display once more, Bryan stepped out of the room as well and walked thought the halls. Eventually, he found his way back to his quarters. His Joined Trill first officer and wife, Ibalei Zizania, was already there waiting for him. Her jacket was laying on the chair she was sitting in.

    "Hey there," She said, continuing to look out of the window. "How'd it go?"

    He sighed heavily. "Everyone knows the plan. Now, we just have to count on them to follow through with it. And hope that it works."

    "You have doubts?" The Trill woman said.

    Bryan nodded, easing himself into the chair next to Ibalei's as he removed his own jacket. "For one, we'll likely be outnumbered. Also, the Iconians are vastly more technologically advanced than we are. We haven't had enough time to really study the Obelisk class that we acquired from the Solanae Dyson sphere yet, so we still don't have a full grasp on the Iconian's strengths and weaknesses."

    Ibalei reached over and touched his hand. "I know that, no matter what happens, you'll do the best you can. You're easily the best tactician Starfleet has, so I am confidant that, if there were only one person in the entire universe who could win tomorrow, that it would be you who would lead us to victory."

    "I wish I shared your confidence," Bryan replied, looking down and shaking his head slightly.

    Ibalei kissed Bryan lightly as she shifted into the chair with him. "You can do this Byran. All you have to do is give the word, and we will all be ready to fight and win."

    They both sat in silence for a few minutes, watching outside as the stars gleamed in between the hulls of the numerous warships in the fleet. They were as ready as they'll ever be. The only thing they could do was wait and hope that they would live to see the next day.
    *******

    "Admiral on deck!" Justin called out as Bryan stepped out of the turbolift and onto the bridge.

    Looking around, he saw most of the crew were already at their stations. Bryan walked over to his own chair and sat down.

    "Are you ready Ibalei?" he asked, looking to the chair to the right of his.

    "As ready as I'll ever be," She commented, looking at the viewscreen.

    He shifted slightly, beginning to slouch in his chair. "Athena," he called, "How long until the Iconian armada arrives?"

    The ship AI's holographic avatar shimmered to life near Bryan's chair. "Their ETA is about thirty minutes, sir," she replied.

    Bryan looked out of the bridge windows to the surrounding ships. The vessels that were to serve as the flanking force had already left the formation and were in position further out, leaving only the ships that were going to serve as the advance guard holding position. He recognized several of the ships he had fought along side ove the course of his career, the Vanguard, Enterprise, Kirk, Renown, Bremen, Defiant, Valhalla, and Dyson, all of which were excellent ships, with capable crews and skilled captains.

    "Open a channel to the rest of the advance guard," Bryan called.

    "Channel open, sir," Athena said.

    "Attention all ships in the advance guard, this is Admiral Bryan Valot on board the U.S.S. Athena. The Iconian fleet will be arriving in about half and hour. Sound red alert and be ready. Our battle plan will be as follows: We will begin the fight be engaging the Iconians at long range with lance, autocannon, quad-cannon, or other axial heavy weapons. After the artillery barrage concludes, fighter squadrons will move in the engage and destroy enemy fighters and harrass the enemy capital ships. Finally, once the fighters have completed their attack runs, the capital ships will move in to engage the Iconian fleet. Once we have them distracted the remainder of our forces will attack the Iconians in their flank, hopefully giving us the advantage. Remember, you are the only thing standing between the Iconians and the entire galaxy. Never before have so many of us come together for a single cause. But never before have we faced an enemy this powerful, this determined. The Iconians will not show any mercy, so we will give them no quarter. They will terrorize the populations of everyone represented here today. We will stand firm in the face of that terror. They will keep advancing until our last cities fall, but we will not fall. We will prevail. Each and everyone of you will be remembered for your actions in the coming battle. Stand fast, stand strong, stand together. Admiral Valot, out."

    "Nice speech," Ibalei quipped.

    Bryan nodded. "Let's hope it makes a difference. Sound red alert!"

    "Red alert, aye sir," Ibalei replied, tapping a key on her console. "Attention all hands, this is the First Officer. Red alert, all hands to battle stations. Red alert, all hands to battle stations. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill."

    Bryan sat forward in his chair. Crew began to scramble onto and off of the bridge as they all prepared for the battle they knew was coming.

    "All stations report ready, sir," Iablei commented, a few minutes later.

    "Just in time too," Bryan replied, gesturing to the viewscreen.

    There was an uncountable number of flashes as the Iconians and their allies warped into the sector. If he had never before felt fear, Bryan certainly felt it now, as the enemy's ships continued to warp in. He closed his eyes for a moment, picturing the many trillions of lives that now depended on him succeeding here and now, at this final battlefield. His entire career counted on this one, key moment. All of history would look back and see his actions.

    "The plan will work, Bryan," Ibalei said.

    Bryan reopened his eyes with a renewed fire. "Of course it will. The Iconian threat ends here."

    The Iconian fleet approached at impulse power, confident in their numerical advantage over the forces of the galaxy. Bryan looked around at his bridge crew. Some looked angry, others confidant, and still more almost sick with fear.

    "Sir, they're stopping," Athena said, her hologram looking slightly puzzled.

    Bryan stared straight ahead, his eyes narrowing.

    "Incoming hail, audio only, being broadcast to all ships in the sector."

    "Put it through," Bryan said.

    "Look upon us and tremble," a distinctly alien voice hissed through the intercom.

    "Hostile ships are advancing again!" Athena said. "Faster this time."

    "Artillery weapons, at the ready!" Bryan called.

    Suddenly, a part of nearly every ship in the vanguard force began to glow as every ship in the fleet charged their most powerful weapons, even as the Iconians continued to approach the fleet in a single, implacable wave. Bryan narrowed his eyes once more.

    "Fire!" he yelled out suddenly.

    The entire fleet lit up as a massive number of beams, heavy torpedoes, and cannon blasts erupted from the ships. Numerous ships in the Iconian fleet were ripped apart by the onslought of fire, but they continued to advance in spite of the losses.

    "Fighter wings, engage!" He called out again.

    "Aye, sir, all squadrons moving to attack," the leader of the fighter groups replied.

    Hundreds of small shapes darted at the Iconian fleet, and smaller beams, torpedoes and cannons lashed out from the, striking the Iconians. Several ships were damaged by the onslought, and the fighters turned around to make another pass. Suddenly, the Iconian fleet lashed out with their own weapons. Many of the fighters managed to evade the onslaught, but several were not, and those who couldn't were quickly cut down, causing Bryan to wince as he thought of the pilots he had just sent to their deaths. Looking back up once more, he readied himself to fight the hardest battle of his life.

    "All ships, engage!" Bryan yelled.

    The Alpha quadrant's fleet charged forward at the Iconian's vastly larger armada. Multi-colored beams arced across space as the two fleets closed to point blank range. The entire sector exploded into chaos as the final battle truly began.
    *******

    Several hours passed, and the two fleets were still locked in their deadly duel. Ships exploded, illuminating the night sky. The flanking force had already long since engaged, and there was little to no hope for reinforcements. despite putting up the most ferocious fight of their lives, the allied forces were slowly being pressed back. On his bridge, Bryan was up and waling around the bridge as he observed the battle around him. He called out orders to both his crew and the other ships in the fleet as he spotted opportunities to gain ay advantage, but in spite of his best efforts, they could not push the Iconians back.

    "Sir, the left flank is starting to collapse," Selana called from the R.R.W. Aquila.

    "Fighter squadrons alpha through echo, carrier groups delta, beta, and omega, assault squadrons gamma, iota, hermes, and apollo, move to the left flank and shore up the defenses there. Battle groups delta throught foxtrot, move into the center to fill the gaps left by the other groups," Bryan called with rapid-fire speed.

    "Sir, port shields just failed!" Six yelled from her station.

    "Reroute emergency power and polarize the hull. All hands, brace for-"

    A massive explosion cut him off as a transphasic torpedo slammed into the neutronium armor just under the bridge. Picking himself up off the deck Bryan quickly surveyed the damage when he looked over and saw Ibalei laing on the floor bleeding next to her chair. Bryan felt a twinge of pain in his gut, but he knew that he had to keep fighting. He moved back to his chair and tapped the intercom button.

    "I need a medical team on the bridge, the first officer is down," he called, concern creeping into his voice. "I repeat, the first officer is down."

    "Aye, sir," Syiseda, the chief medical officer on the Athena, replied. "Medical team is on the way."

    Bryan turned his attention back to the battle. "Six, how much longer until you can get my port shield back up?"

    "Now, sir," the Borg woman replied.

    Outside, the left side of the ship shimmered as the shield came back online.

    "Six, reverse shield polarity."

    "Yes sir."

    The shields began to glow a dull orange as the began to turn the Iconian's weapons fire into additional shield strength. The Athena continued to engage, turning and weaving through the battle, pahsers arcing out in every direction, and the occasional quantum torpedo sailing from its tube. All around, ships exploded with a brilliant orange fire or a bright green shockwave from a microsingularity as the battle continued to rage. As strong as the combined Federation, Klingon, and Romulan fleets were, they slowly began to falter against the seemingly implacable tide of Iconian, Elachi, Solanae, and Undine warships. Just as the battle began to seemingly draw to a close, however, the unthinkable happened.

    "Sir, multiple new contacts," Athena called. "IFF identifies them as Federation, Klingon, and Romulan Republic, sir!"

    "Athena, this is Admiral Quinn on the U.S.S. Odyssey," the Trill called. "I thought you could use some assistance, so I gathered what ships I could and sent them here. We are at your disposal. Just tell us where you need us."

    "Odyssey, this is Admiral Valot on the Athena," Bryan replied. "Glad to have you here. We could use some support in all sectors of combat, so take your pick."

    "Roger that," Admiral Quinn replied. "All ships, engage at will."

    Hundreds of fresh warships joined the fight, driving into the Iconian's flank, ripping many of their ships open with their first salvos before joining the melee themselves.

    We might just get through this after all, he thought to himself, smiling slightly.
    *******

    Bryan walked into the Athena's sickbay, which was full to bursting with injuries from the battle.

    "How is she, Syiseda?" Bryan asked the Betazoid woman.

    "A couple of bruised ribs, a few minor lacerations, and a broken wrist," she replied. "I think she'll make a full recovery, dad"

    "That's goo-" Bryan stopped short, realizing what Syiseda had just called him. "Wait, what did you just say?"

    "Congratulations Bryan," She said, smiling slightly. "She already knows if you want to go talk to her."

    "Are you sure?"

    "Bryan, I'm a doctor!" She said, obviously exasperated. "I wouldn't have told you if both me and my staff had made sure."

    "Point taken," Bryan replied.

    He walked over to the bed Ibalei lay on. Even in the midst of the weight of the losses from the battle, he still managed to smile a little bit.

    "Hey there," the Joined Trill said. "I take it from that smile Syiseda told you the news?"

    "Yeah," he replied. "She did. A little hard to believe, isn't it?"

    She sat up and smiled a little herself. "It's nice to have something that we can be happy about even in the midst of all of this." She gestured around the room, motioning to all of the injured crewmembers.

    Bryan nodded. "I guess this means I'll need to find a replacement for you then," He said thoughtfully.

    She smacked him lightly. "I'm not going to be out of action that quickly."

    "Point taken," Bryan replied, rubbing his head where Ibalei hit him. "At any rate, Ibalei, I need to get to the SCC to make my report to allied command. Before I go however, I want to make you a promise."

    "What promise is that?" She asked.

    "I promis you that I will be a better father to our child than mine was to me," He replied, his voice deathly serious. "No matter what, I will always try to support them in what ever they choose to do. I promise."

    She reached up with her good arm and touched Bryan's cheek lightly. "I know you will," She replied smiling. "You're an amazing person Bryan, and I have no doubt that you will be an excellent father."

    Bryan smiled slightly as well. "I'll see you soon, Ibalei." With that, he strode out of the room, thinking about all of the blood that had been spilled not several hours before. They had won, but the cost had been high. Despite the losses however, Bryan knew that they were not in vain, as they had saved the galaxy from a threat greater than even the Borg. Now, his child would grow up in a brave new world, one free of the threat of the Iconians.
    Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
    Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
    Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
    Join date: Some time in Closed Beta
  • destroyer831642destroyer831642 Member Posts: 58 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    “Captain’s log: Stardate 91818.86

    The Calico Jack is back in Earth Spacedock after getting repairs after the battle with the rogue Betazoids and the Bismarck. We are preparing to engage the Mirror universe forces when we are re-stocked at ESD. Word from Starfleet is that the Mirror forces are attacking Vauthil Station, Obisek is also…”

    Suddenly the entire ship went dark, Des stopped talking, then a deep, menacing baratone voice came over the comm. “Ahh, Admiral Roberts… you have proven yourself to be quite the officer, defeating the Borg, taking the Dyson sphere, saving the Federation, going wherever you are needed, that is all well and good…but the game ends now. You, and your Federation have been a thorn in our sides for too long, but now the pieces are in place…and soon the galaxy will once more be ours.

    “What do you mean? Who are you? What are you talking about?”

    No response…

    “Hello….HELLO?”

    Suddenly, Comm channels began lighting up all over the place, from New Romulus, to Qo’noS to Earth. Massive surges of energy all over the place. Reports of Undine, all over, and of massive weapons, then silence…

    The crew of the Calico Jack rushed to battle stations. But everything had calmed. Then, over every comm channel in the galaxy came that same voice, “Thus is only a fraction of our power. You have 24 hours to surrender or you shall all perish in fire.”

    Comms were once more ablaze trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Admiral Quinn hailed Vice Admiral Roberts, “What the hell is going on, Roberts?”

    “I’m guessing the Iconians, sir, they talked about re-taking the galaxy, and I certainly would not put this past them, it seems they are preparing their endgame.”

    “Wait, the Iconians? Why would you…”

    Suddenly a flash crossed Des’s mind.

    “Hold on a second, Admiral, helm, Hail Commander Kaol of the Solinae Dyson Sphere.”

    “No response sir.”

    “Try again.”

    “Still no response…”

    “Admiral, I think the Iconians are making a push for the Solinae Dyson Sphere… and if the Jenolan Dyson Sphere could be moved instantaneously then… Oh God… Nelen was spot on…”

    “Vice Admiral, what are you going on about?”

    “Nelen was exactly right! They are using the Dyson Spheres to hold entire fleets of ships, then transporting the Dyson Spheres to wherever they are needed!”

    “This... this could be catastrophic! Not only the loss of Solinae and Jenolan, but... the entire galaxy... We had better get in touch with New Romulus and the High Council.”

    "Agreed, Admiral."

    They did just that and came to the same conclusion. They scrambled whatever forces they could…the entire galaxy was facing its greatest threat ever... Admiral Roberts sat in his ready room, thinking of what they could possibly do to help beat this threat. “If they are going to be using the Dyson Spheres…and they can transport them anywhere in the galaxy…how are we going to…wait…we know where two Dyson Spheres are…what if…what if…All Senior staff to the briefing room, immediately, I may have a plan…”

    Everyone rushed to the briefing room. “Alright, I’m sure you are aware of the Iconian threat…but there might just be a way we can win...it all depends on one thing. Nelen…do you think we can send a wide-range self-destruct command throughout the Dyson Sphere network?”

    “It is unlikely, given we don’t know how many Dyson Spheres there are.”

    “Maybe we could send it through the gateways…we know where they are…”

    “Yes, but we don’t know which ones lead to the Dyson Spheres and even then, they are likely to be heavily guarded…”

    “Maybe we do… remember, the New Romulus gateway lead to the Solinae Dyson Sphere…and there, there was a hub of some kind, which I used to activate all of those gateways…maybe…just maybe, if we can get back there, we can destroy all the gateways at the same time…”

    “But that will not stop the Dyson Spheres…” Tugo pointed out.

    “You’re right, it will stop them from moving from sphere to sphere…but it will not stop the spheres altogether…”

    “And the Solinae hub is trashed…” Nelen pointed out…

    “No, it's not Nelen, we were simply forced out by the Iconians…”

    "But I thought you said that you found the destroyed hub with Admiral Tuvok."

    "No, no, no, we found a destroyed...station...near the SUN!"

    “What’s going on, captain?”

    “The Solinae station is destroyed…but what of the Jenolan?”

    “We don’t know…”

    “That uncertainty could be our victory right there…if we can use the Jenolan’s Station to transmit a self-destruct sequence to the other Dyson Spheres, disguised as a transmission, we could destroy them all in one fell swoop.”

    “That is, if the Jenolan Station is still functioning.”

    “That hope is our saving grace. Now…before any of you leave your seats…I’m going to require a blood test from each of you to make sure none of you are Undine Infiltrators, because if that station is destroyed, we are fighting for a lost cause. The Klingons…the Romulans…The Federation…will all be wiped off the map.” All of them did as was told…none of them were Undine.

    The Calico Jack hailed Admiral Quinn, “Admiral, what’s the situation with the Klingons and the Romulans?”

    “They are scrambling all ships to face the threat.”

    “Have them all meet me in the Jouret system.”

    “WHAT???”

    “I may have an idea on how to beat the Iconians!

    “You don’t honestly think they will…

    “It’s the only way, Admiral.”

    “But what about…”

    “Send 7 ships to cover Vauthil Station.”

    “Well…you’re looking very sure about this, Roberts... If you were anyone else, I would say you are completely insane…but…hell, I’ll put you in to both Jm’pok and D’tan.”

    Suddenly, both the high chancellor of the Klingon Empire and the leader of the Romulan Republic each stood before him, here was his time to give the biggest pitch of his life…and he was not known for being a salesman.

    “Esteemed leaders, I come before you today…”

    “Get on with it, you miserable To’ba! The Iconians are at our doorstep!” Jm’pok interrupted with his usual gusto.

    “Yeah, nice to see you too, Jm’pok. Anyway, I have a plan that could bring us victory in the coming battle…but I need all available ships you can muster, even those defending the homeworld, this plan is risky, but it is really our only hope.”

    Jm’pok nearly spit out his bloodwine, as he couldn’t believe what he was being asked to do, by a human no less! D’tan, though still cool and collected as always (for a Romulan) was also equally distressed.

    “Let me explain…” and he did, Jm’pok was not impressed, and neither was D’tan,

    “So, you would have us abandon our homeworlds for your little scheme, which still even then, only has a very slim chance of working?”

    “I’m unfortunately with the Chancellor on this one.” D’tan replied, “It makes no sense for us to abandon our homeworlds in one risky maneuver, which even then, only has a slim chance of working.”

    Des was about to get cut off entirely, he had to make his next words count... “What alternative is there? If you don’t commit all your forces to this plan, than it DEFINETLY will not succeed. We will be facing not one, but two solar systems full of enemy forces. But if we all just hang back and defend our homeworlds...we DEFINETLY will not succeed, we will be overwhelmed almost instantly… So, let me ask you this. If we are going to die, why not do it in one final strike which has the smallest possibility of victory, than succumb to inevitable defeat?”

    They thought about it for a few seconds, then Jm’pok threw down his bloodwine, stood up and declared, “Then if we are to die, then let us die as Klingons! We will join you!”

    D’tan then spoke, “We Romulans are no strangers to fighting, we fight to save our new home… We will not be subservient to anyone! We must fight for our ability to remain free from tyranny, whether it be from the Tal Shiar or from the Iconians! We will meet you in the Jouret system!”

    The transmission ended, Des sat back down in the Captain’s chair, practically exhausted from making that pitch. Admiral Quinn came back over the comm, “Roberts, I don’t know how you did it, but the Klingons and Romulans are heading for the Jouret system! Starfleet will join you!”

    “Thank you, Admiral! Helm! Set course for the Jouret System, maximum Transwarp!”

    “Aye, sir!”

    The Calico Jack rushed to the Jouret system, and arrived on the outskirts of the Jouret system so that they would not crash into the over 3 million ships that were present there, “Hail everyone.”

    “H-h-hailing, Captain.”

    Before he knew totally what was happening, 3 million captains looked him in the eye.

    “Klingons, Romulans, and Captains of the Federation. Today we fight for the possibility of life. Today we fight for our freedom, today, we fight to prevent an ancient power from rising once more…I know you all sacrificed a lot to be here, I know we have had our squabbles, but in order to survive, we must put those behind us and FIGHT! Our enemy can bring entire Solar systems to bear against us! But we must not tarry in the face of this enemy! We must fight! Muster your courage, then, brothers and sisters! We march to war! We march for our very survival!” The captains gave a rowdy cheer and prepared to enter the Jouret gateway.

    Des thought to himself, “Resistance is going to be toughest getting in, so we must come in with overwhelming force to prevent them from bottling up the gateway.”

    “Carriers, once we get through the gateway, launch all fighters! Furthermore, before we go in, we should have 100 ships fire a simultaneous torpedo spreads through the gateway, so that it will not be blocked when we charge in.”

    “Aye, sir!”

    The torpedo spreads were primed.

    “Cruisers go in first to absorb the incoming fire, then science ships to keep them from overwhelming the cruisers, then Escorts to take them out.”

    “Right, sir!”

    The gateway was opened, then, from the cruisers, the torpedo spreads went out, they waited…

    “GO, GO, GO, GO!” Des called out, waiting for any warp cores to breach before entering, then immediately, 1000 at a time, because the gateway was THAT big, the cruisers charged into the Solenae Dyson Sphere. Beams blasting whoever got in their way. The Iconians were caught completely off-guard. Left and right, exploding ships, the ripple spread throughout the Iconian lines, but the Solenae Sphere was still filled with Iconians, and they were beginning to regain their footing, and were beginning to deal some real damage to the cruisers, the Iconians were so many they blotted out the sun. Then the Science ships came in, though they were more vulnerable, they helped the cruisers take out the Iconians... up to this point, Des was amazed, everything had gone off without a hitch so far, only a fraction of the force was in, and they were already winning, but he of all people should know how quickly a battle can change. The alliance ships plunged deep into the Iconian lines, but then they met an old foe…the Undine… The power of the Undine was starting to take its toll on the ships. Their planet-destroying lasers being the main problem, they would just point it down the line and shoot, taking out almost anything in its path. While they, too were being cut down with ruthless efficiency, they were doing just as well, but then the Undine became fewer and fewer, and the ships coming through the gateway became more and more, the wall of enemy vessels began to buckle, and bend, and bend, then finally, the Escorts came in, and began assisting the cruisers and shattered the wall of enemy ships impeding their progress, Des led the Escorts in himself, and looked at the carnage, for a brief moment, he was almost sorry, for them, but they were still fighting a battle, and unfortunately, things began to sour again. The Iconians were bringing in reinforcements from other Dyson Spheres into the Solinae! Des noticed this, and had to stop it somehow, but he needed the gateway to get into the Jenolan Dyson Sphere… they could send in one ship alone, but it would need Cloaking Technology, and not just any, the best. Des then asked, over all Romulan Channels something that he never thought he would have to say, “Does anyone with Romulan Cloaking technology want to go on a suicide run?”

    A silence fell over the comm, and then one Reman Vessel, the I.K.S. Kutusov, a Ha’apax Advanced Warbird, responded, “Yeah, sure, why not? I have nothing to lose.”

    “Then come with me.” Des also spotted two Scimitar-class warbirds coming through the gateway, The Lance, and the Zion, “Helm, Hail the R.R.W. Lance, and the R.R.W. Zion.” They appeared onscreen. “I’m going to need you to cover for the Kutusov as it enters the gateway.
    When you go in, give off one of your thalaron…eagle…spread…destruction…thingies…”

    “Thalaron pulse.” The captain of the Zion said.

    “Yes, that. We’ll cover you while they are deployed. After you’re done with that, go in and give ‘em Hell. Keep cover for the Kutusov while it takes out the rest of the Dyson Spheres.”

    “Of course, Captain.”

    They left the screen, when Janna, a Romulan who had only been with the crew for 7 months, spoke up, “Captain, you are sending them to their deaths!”

    “It is unfortunate that this sacrifice becomes necessary. But is not sending two to die greater than letting trillions die? They knew what they signed up for.”

    “But Captain, didn’t Captain Picard’s encounter with the Ba’ku clearly…”

    Des got up from the captain’s chair, and went over to her immediately, a look of icy rage on his face, “You will never bring up that mission in my presence again, is that clear?”

    “Y-y-yes, captain…”

    “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…” Des then, for the briefest of moments, paused with an puzzled look in his eye, “Computer, personal note. Do the WANTS of the many outweigh the needs of the few?”

    The computer beeped a few times before saying, “Note recorded.”

    “Alright, back to the battle. Helm. Bring us to the gateway.”

    “Aye captain.”

    “Be prepared for solar radiation.

    “Aye, sir.”

    “Also, helm, Hail the I.K.S. Blood N’ Guts.”

    “Hailing.”

    Calico Jack to Blood N’ Guts, come in, Blood N’ Guts.”

    An aging, overweight Klingon came onscreen.

    “Des’t, you have temporary command of the armada while I am gone.”

    “We’ll be done with this battle before you get back.”

    “Thanks, and Des’t, Please don’t say…”

    “Come, friends! Today is a good day to die!”

    Des facepalmed, “That…”

    They took off toward the sun at full impulse, quickly following the Lance, the Zion, and the Kutusov. The Kutusov was already cloaked, and the Lance and Zion were just outside the gateway, “Helm, take us in with the Zion and Lance. Kutusov, do not enter the gateway until you receive the all-clear from me, and maintain radio silence until you reach the target.”

    The transmission was a bit static-y because of the close proximity of the sun, “Ye….ir…”

    “I’ll take that as a yes. All hands, prepare for battle, as if you weren’t prepared enough already. Launch all shuttles.”

    “Aye, sir!” and they entered the gateway. The Zion and Lance went in first. Followed quickly by the Calico Jack. The Sphere was COVERED with ships, the sun was blocked entirely, be they Iconian, swarmers, or Undine, everything was nearly dark. The Lance and the Zion both deployed their thalaron weapons, a greenish hue began to show around them, the enemies nearly instantly identified them and began firing.

    “Activate torpedo point-defense system!”

    “Sir, are you sure we have that many torpedoes?”

    “Let’s do what we can! Fire! Fire Cannon spread! Keep the attention on us! Brace for impact!”
    The enemies began training in on the Calico Jack and its shuttles. 6 seconds left… the longest 6 seconds of his life.

    “Activate hazard emitters! Tugo, reverse Shield polarity!” He thought to himself, “Just a little longer, baby, just a little longer.” “Kafruss, what’s our status?”

    “Breaches on decks 4, 5, and 8, and we’re leaking plasma!”

    “Dammit.”

    3…2...1…

    The Thalaron weapons activated, eviscerating all enemies in range.

    “Helm, take us back. Lance, Zion, keep cover, keep fighting.”

    The Calico Jack emerged from the gateway, and the Kutusov rushed in.

    “Helm, take us to the spire, where our former base was.”

    “Aye sir!”

    They rushed to the spire. There, they met another ship, a Klingon ship.

    “Captain, we’re being hailed by…the Bortasque’

    “Onscreen.”

    “Admiral Roberts, so we meet again.”

    “What’s your point, Koren?”

    “Ahh, you are becoming more like a Klingon each time we meet. I like that. We wish to accompany you as you take out the gateways.”

    “Your assistance is greatly appreciated.”

    “I will bring along my most capable bridge officers.”

    “I will do the same.”

    “I will see you there.”

    They cut the transmission.

    “Wisel, Kafruss, Temata, Sek. Transporter room.”

    They had done this so many times that he didn’t have to say more.

    “Takerra, you have command.”

    “Aye, sir.”

    They rushed to the transporter room and beamed over to the giant room where they found the hub last time.

    “Be careful, that’s a long way down.” Des said.

    Des turned and saw Captain Koren and her troops beam down.

    “So, Roberts, we meet again.” Koren was significantly smaller than Des, but that just meant higher density of fight.

    “Let’s go, we don’t have time to lose.”

    They rushed through the winding paths, and eventually made it back to the point they were at.

    “Wisel, plug in and send out a self-destruct message to all Iconian Gateways.”

    “Aye, sir.”

    Then Des thought, hard…and then realized he had made a grave miscalculation.

    “WISEL! STOP!”

    “Aye, sir, the message has not been sent yet.”

    “What is the meaning of this?” Koren questioned Des in a rather angry attitude, (as if that was any different from normal)

    “I’ve made a grave miscalculation. If we shut down the gateways now, we’re stuck in the Delta quadrant. If we destroy the Dyson Spheres before the Gateways, we’re dead. We have to destroy them almost simultaneously.”

    “What? Why didn’t you think about that earlier?”

    “It just never came up.” Des tapped his combadge, “Des to Kutu…Dammit!”

    “What now?” Koren asked again.

    “I told him to maintain radio silence until he reached his objective.”

    “That could be hours!”

    “Time we don’t have. Sek, Kafruss, Wisel, Temata, set up a defensive perimeter.”

    Koren told her officers to do much the same.

    They waited…and they waited, for what seemed like forever.

    Meanwhile, The Lance and Zion had both been destroyed. The Kutusov was now flying alone…
    Detus commanded in a soft voice, “Grogos, divert power from everything to the cloak and to the engine.”

    “Even Life support, captain?”

    “Even life support, we can’t be caught.”

    “Aye, sir.”

    Detus was very distrustful, it’s amazing he got to be captain at all. Despite being part of the Romulan Republic, he despised Romulans and only kept one around for…enjoyment… and another as his personal…servant… other than that, he had no Romulans on board his ship, he even gave up the R.R.W. Designation in exchange for an I.K.S. designation, he couldn’t stand them. The Tal’Shiar took everything from him, and had despised his species for millennia…now, it was time for payback…on ALL of the Romulans…but even payback must wait when the ENTIRE galaxy is at risk. They waded through the thick cloud of enemies, barely missing each one, it felt like it took at least a half-hour to wade through it all. “Tovan, get me a Raktajino!”

    “Y-y-yes sir…” Tovan said in fear.

    A few minutes later, Tovan appeared on the bridge.

    “Y-y-your…R-r-r-raktajino…s-s-s-sir…”

    “Thank you Tovan, you might live yet.”

    Detus took a sip of the Raktajino, just as the sun appeared out from behind the enemies. They were not far now. When they were in range, Detus gave the Order. “Grogos, Nallmos, Rshlilk, Veril, To me! To the transporter!”

    They rushed to the transporter. The Kutusov beamed them over, this attracted some views from the Iconians and Undine, but the Kutusov was so close to the sun, the Iconians and Undine were blinded by the rest of the radiant light, which completely covered it, cloak or none. Detus and his Bridge Officers rushed into the Jenolan hub. Fighting past defenses with ease, until reaching the center of the station.

    “Rshilk, do you think you can find what the Human speaks of?” Rshilk was a Gorn of high class, his family were nobles in the Hegemony before the Klingons attacked. He only kept his status because of his proficiency for both software and hardware.

    “I might be able to…HA! Here it is! We have it!”

    “Detus to Des, we are here and we have found what you require.”

    “Thank God, Detus. We’ve hit a bit of a snag. Is there a gateway near you?”

    “I don’t see one.”

    “Dammit. We’re going to have to set our destruction on delays, to make sure we don’t remain stuck here when this thing goes off.”

    “Agreed. Rshilk, set it for a 10-minute delay.”

    “Ten minutes? Do you think you can get out in time?”

    “We have transwarp drive, and there’s an opening in the Jenolan Sphere, if you recall from that Undine Planet-killer.”

    “Ahh, yes, so THAT’s how you plan to get home.”

    “Should take me a day or two.”

    “See you when you get here, you should be able to arrive to a heroes’ welcome!”

    “I’ll hold you to that, Des.”

    Des directed to Wisel, “Wisel, 10 minute delay on the self-destruct, this gateway should be able to return us to our respective ships.”

    “Aye captain.”

    Detus, in the Jenolan sphere tried to contact the Kutusov, “Detus to Kutusov, come in.”

    No Response.

    “Detus to I.K.S. Kutusov, Come in, Kutusov.”

    Then, a familiar voice came over the communicator, “The Tal Shiar may not have been right about much, but they were right about you Remans, you sicken me, Detus, I will not let you keep us as your slaves any longer! I have taken over the ship, and am prepared to leave with it. As for you…burn in whatever pit you crawled out of.”

    “Tovan, you TRIBBLE! You…you…”

    “Are getting PAYBACK…sir…”

    Rshilk was frantic. “We’re going to die, we’re going to die, we’re going to die!”

    Detus instantly pointed a disruptor in his face. “Yes, we are…now quit whining about it.”

    “If I just…”

    “If you try to do anything to stop the self-destruct there will be less of you than there will be of this sphere when it blows.”

    Rshilk was paranoid, he looked around the room, trying to lash out at someone, then, he took down the force field in the floor, and…threw himself into one of the beams.

    “Good riddance, the coward, Veril, Darling, would you kindly restore the force fields before this Dyson Sphere destructs?”

    “Gladly, my dear.”

    Veril re-established the force fields in under 5 seconds.

    “Now, is anyone else feeling in a cowardly mood?”

    “No, no, sir! We are glad to die for the Empire!” The two Nausiccans responded.

    “I thought so.”

    Detus took a seat on the floor, with Veril, and they looked outside at the beauty…the stations lights began to glow red, explosions all over, the Nausiccans trying to get out desperately, but to no avail.

    Des and Koren saw the explosions in their dyson sphere start a-ways off.

    Wisel spoke up. “The Delay is established, Captain. I would advise we, as you say, get the hell out of here.”

    “That’s a very wise observation Wisel. Des, Koren, and their crews rushed back to their own ships, Des made the call.”

    “All ships, now hear this! We have completed our objectives! All ships, set course for the gateway as fast as you can! I repeat! Break off all combat and retreat through the gateway!”

    The allied ships all made a bee-line for the gateway, some arriving faster than others, The Calico Jack stood at the entrance. He saw that no more ships were coming and the enemy were fast upon them. “Helm, into the Gateway!”

    “Aye, sir!”

    They proceeded through the gateway, less than a minute later, the entire gateway crumbled in a heaping wreck. When Des got to the other side, what he saw was troubling indeed, the system was significantly less crowded than before, while before, there were over 3 million ships, now, by Des’s estimate, the number was less than half that.

    “Casualty report.”

    “I…I don’t know…”

    “Hail everyone.”

    “We made it…we won…I hope… we won’t be able to see the explosion from here, but they should be gone. We did our duty, our comrades would be proud of that…”

    The other ships set course for home to get repairs and prepare for other missions. Des, and the crew of the Calico Jack…just sat in the Jenolan system… he refused to take any hails. He got the unofficial casualty report the next day…only 1.2 million ships survived the battle, as there had been over 3 million to start with…1.8 million ships, lost with all hands… “Unconfirmed reports say that…” he saw the number, and put down the report, around 2 BILLION…lost… “and we won…” The massive loss of life lay heavy on Des. “Helm, set course for Earth, Maximum Warp.”

    Des gave command to Takerra and went to his Quarters to check on his children, both Human-betazoid hybrids, his son, Des Troy Roberts LXXXIV, and his daughter Jemma Roberts. They were only 3 months old, and Des sat there next to their crib and watched them play. happy as always, but when they saw him enter, their faces drooped to one of confusion, almost. Kengla went right behind him.

    “I don’t see what is wrong with you, we won.”

    Des was playing with the children, but still distraught, “2…billion…dead…I’m amazed you didn’t break down yourself…2 billion…”

    She paused…”they knew what they were doing, Des. That’s why they signed up for Starfleet.”

    “To die in the Delta Quadrant Millions of lightyears from home? What will their families think?”

    “They will be distraught, just as you are. But they will get over it.”

    “Will they…will I?”

    “Just because you led them doesn’t mean…”

    “No, it does. I led them, If I hadn’t lead them, they wouldn’t all be dead!”

    “If you weren’t there…they would.”

    “But.”

    “No ‘but’s.” Kengla left the room to leave Des in peace

    Des read through the casualty list again, “R.R.W. Lance, R.R.W. Zion, I.K.S. Blood N’ Guts, I.K.S. Kutusov. Died or missing with all hands.”

    Then he remembered something he heard from his father, “Des, a wise man once said, ‘It is good that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it.'”

    He thought about those words for the rest of the day.
    9621eea4-a1f5-4e30-bb61-da044da2a5a7_zps2t6tasgd.png


  • captclazoruscaptclazorus Member Posts: 377 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    "What Will Be" Part 2
    Phaser blasts flew through the area. Iconians took damage and Starfleet took more. Our fleet had lost three ships so far. But we pushed forward. We came closer to the gateway. Elachi and Solanae ships died much more quickly. Dyson-class starships approached from behind as well as Armageddon-class and Omnipotence-class. The Federation had invested time into making equivalents of Undine and Iconian technology. I knew that equivalence with the Iconians was at this point, almost impossible. But these huge vessels fought on. Gaping holes had been punctured in the Renaissance. We continued forward.
    "Don't back down, helmsman," I said. I hoped to inspire determination into my crew.
    My Excalibur-class vessel pushed forward. The Renaissance-A fought on. A piece of the wall exploded, shrapnel resonated from it. A chunk of debris struck my operations officer, and the Bolian Borg was knocked backwards. Seeing the event happen so quickly, I bent on impulse to help him. It was no use. He was dead.
    The starship made it to the mouth of the gateway. The McCoy and the Trevin were close behind. We traveled into subspace.
    Once there, we saw the expanse of eerie bridges overlapping in a very strange place in the universe. We fired torpedoes to destroy some bridges, but others we couldn't avoid crashing through.
    A myriad of Iconian vessels swarmed in the place. We continued to fight, realizing we may die. As we drew nearer, I felt vibrations stream through me. I felt myself grow neutral. I was in a transporter beam!
    I saw a new room appear and many others materialize, each of them a captain of a ship in the Allied Fleet. My friends, Kelten, Joe Penbrooke, and T'Pomme, were there. A shadowed figure stood before.
    "Let us observe how a leaderless fleet will continue in battle," a voice that sounded like gravel muttered.
    "Identify yourself," I shouted.
    The crimson skinned, black pupiled and eyed Iconian stepped forward. Crests of bone and scales grew up past their ears. "I am the Iconian Emperor. I am the one that is behind it all." His ebon black uniform shined in the precious light. "I have been lying in wait for centuries. Waiting for the destruction of the Federation. I have wanted its demise. Now I have it." The throaty voice uttered.
    "Don't you realize that we can beat you! We have overcome your barriers of deception and warfare and are now united against you. More and more governments have joined the Alliance. Until every last starship in the Alpha and Beta Quadrant is gone, we will not give up," I declared.
    "You truly believe so?" the Emperor asked with disdain in his voice. "Do you even consider the collateral damage?"
    "What do you mean?" I stared deep into his Tartarian pupils. They reached to grab you and pull you in like the Great Pit from ancient Earth Mythology.
    "If you find the core control system for the gateways, and it is destroyed, all gateways so too shall be!" the Iconian shrieked.
    "And?" I did not know what he was threatening us with. "Wait a moment..." a look of shock certainly crossed my face. "The power the destruction one of those things could do if destroyed-"
    "Hundreds of them all across the galaxy. Hundreds of worlds destroyed. Quadrillions of species extinct. All the Strange New Worlds that won't exist.
    "So, Captain, the galaxy is either ours, or no ones!" he shrieked.
    I felt for my tricorder at my side. I scanned the facility we were now in. "The Core Control System, it's in this building!"
    I focused all of my telekinetic ability. I aimed them at the Emperor. He was shoved back and fell to the ground.
    "Come on," I shouted to the others. We raced to a door. Using my vast knowledge of Iconian technology, I TRIBBLE it.
    We found our way to the Gateway Controls. For many minutes, I studied it. "I know what I can do." I stared back at my fellow Starfleet officers and felt remorse. "But it will mean we must fulfill our final promise to the Federation.
    "I can draw all power from the gateways, which will shut them down. Once the energy is built up in here, it won't stay in place for long. We can all sacrifice ourselves, and release the energy, destroying everything in this honeycomb of subspace. The Iconians would be eradicated, but so too would we."
    Kelten glanced up at me. "The logical thing to do would be to do it. We must protect the Federation." He walked beside me up onto the platform next to the controls. From those controls, the Iconians had been deciding connections to make between gateways for years. Now, it would be destroyed. "It should seem that we could use the controls to make a subspace rift and escape before the explosion with the fleet."
    "Indeed," I looked at calculations he had input. "Let's do it!"
    A glass cylinder began to fill with Iconian energy. It grew extremely large. Penbrooke sent out a hail to the fleet alerting them to the situation. They would soon lock on to our signal.
    It was time. I released a bit of the energy to make a rift. The rest of the energy destabilized. One by one, Starfleet members dematerialized.
    The Iconian Emperor approached from the corridor. "You will never be able to escape our wrath!"
    "You've lost this war. You will never return to the Milky Way." I, too, vanished. The energy poured out and destroyed the building.
    The fleet returned to a space a few AU away from the Dyson Spheres. A splash of energy poured out after we had escaped. The rift closed in the instance.


    Let us allow the history of the future to decide the rest.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "Star Trek: Rubicon" Season 1, Season 2 A new era, a new time, a new crew, a new ship, a new mission...
    "I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again."- Jean-Luc Picard
  • moonshadowdarkmoonshadowdark Member Posts: 1,899 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Previously on Star Trek: Sierra...

    "You are being hailed, Captain. Priority message from Starfleet."

    Elijah looked up at the ceiling, his attention divided between the com and Tiberius. "We can't have messed up the mission yet. We haven't even left dry dock yet!"

    "Sir, it's...Admiral Janeway."

    ****
    "Captain Lowe, you remember Rear Admiral Tuvok." Admiral Janeway gestured to the Vulcan at her side. Elijah averted his gaze as he shook the man's hand, remembering the actions that occured during the Dyson Sphere incident.

    "Rear Admiral. This is my first officer, Commander T'Luminareth." Elijah quickly said. T'Lumi shook Tuvok's hand, her face as emotionless as his own.

    ****
    "What do you mean, Risa is gone?" Elijah stated, alarm in his voice. Janeway pressed the small remote in her hand and a holographic image of a debris field appeared overhead.

    "This is all that remains of the Risa system. Every planet was obliterated. Even it's star was destroyed." she stated. T'Lumi gazed at the image, a look of intrigue on her face.

    "Could it have been another Planet Killer?" she asked. Janeway shook her head.

    "There was no sign of one. Sensors didn't pick up any anti-proton emissions in the debris. What they did find is what concerns us," she said, leaning forward, "We found traces of Omega particles. Whoever did this has apparently discovered, stabilized and weaponized the Omega, and somehow managed to get it into the system and out without being seen."

    ****

    "Admiral Janeway! Incoming message across the subspace frequencies, all channels." the comm chirped. Janeway tapped her badge.

    "Patch it through." she stated. A shrill screeching noise blared over the comm. Elijah, Janeway, T'Lumi and Tuvok immediately threw their hands up over their ears to muffle the noise. The universal translator quickly went to work and before long, loud but understandable words began to fill the air. A deep velvety voice spoke, it's commanding tone evident.

    ATTENTION, LESSER LIFEFORMS. ALL THAT YOU KNOW IS NOW AT IT'S END. YOUR TRUE MASTERS HAVE RETURNED. LET IT BE SUNG ACROSS THE STARS. ICONIA RISES FROM THE SHADOWS ONCE MORE. SURRENDER TO US AND YOU WILL BE SPARED. DEFY US AND YOU WILL BE PUNISHED.

    Elijah looked at T'Lumi, horror dawning across his face. She returned his fearful gaze with eyes wide in alarm. Janeway had a grim look and even Tuvok looked fearful.

    ****

    "The Klingon Council and the Romulan delegation have agreed to join forces with the Federation against the Iconian threat." T'Lumi reported, reading the news from a PADD. She handed it to Elijah, who skimmed the contents.

    "Wow. The Enterprise, the Mogh, R.R.W. Vigilance. Lot of veteran ships on the front line. Which taskforce are we going to be a part of?" he asked, swiping through the PADD. T'Lumi shifted uncomfortably in place.

    "We're not in any taskforce, sir." T'Lumi said. Elijah looked up with astonishment.

    "Don't tell me we're being benched. We HAVE to fight. I can't just drift through some nebula wondering if Earth is going to be there when we get back." Elijah said. T'Lumi shook her head.

    "No, sir. The reason we're not in any taskforce is because we're LEADING them."

    ****

    "Computer, Locate Two of Three." Elijah said, tapping his combadge.

    "Two of Three is not aboard the ship at this time."

    ****

    "So...the prodigal queen returns to us." The Collective said in unison. Two gazed up at the bio-mechanical bust that was the current Borg Queen, her spinal column swaying gently as she was lowered into her mobile platform. She smirked wickedly as her body connected with her. She stepped forward and placed a hand gently on her former protege.

    "What brings you back to the Unimatrix? Have you come to take my place? Become what you were designed to be since the beginning?" she said, malice in her eyes. Two raised a hand and removed the Queen's from her body.

    "I have come to ask...to ask a favor." Two said hesitantly. The Queen let out a soft sigh of disappointment and strutted to the main core. Two followed, a step behind.

    "I want you to send aid to the Federation. Species 5618." Two said. The Queen let out a mocking laugh.

    "Species 5618? Why would we help them?" she questioned.

    "Because Species 47 has returned." Two stated. The Queen stopped in her tracks and turned to Two. She looked puzzled.

    "Species 47. A designation that has not be uttered since the first Cube. Even iif Species 47 exists, why would we get involved. They pose no threat to the Borg. We will assimilate them." The Queen stated with a smug tone. Two's eyes narrowed.

    "We cannot let them fight Species 47 alone. Please, help them. I will do anything. I will..." Two's voice faded. The Queen turned, grinning evilly.

    "You will what, Two of Three?" Two looked down at the ground in defeat.

    "I will rejoin the Collective. I will Ascend." she said bitterly. The Queen placed a hand on Two's face. "Say again, my auditory implants must be tuned improperly."

    Two sighed and looked into the face of the Queen.

    "I will become Queen."

    ****

    "Sir, Sensors are picking up a distortion is space. A rift is opening up ahead." Viran'Adar, reported. The Jem'Hadar warrior looked at Elijah from his tactical console.Elijah nodded.

    "Onscreen." he ordered. Viran nodded and brought up a view of a large red anomaly ahead of them. The rift pulsed, it's massive size taking up most of the scree and seemed to go on forever. A small beeping noise took Viran's attention.

    "Captain, sensors are reading a massive wave of ships. Elchi....Undine....Solanae...and some sort of massive energy signature in the rift. Unknown origin." Viran reported. Elijah placed his hands over his mouth, contemplating the situation.

    "It's likely Iconian. T'Lumi, send out a message to the ships. We'll need to be careful with the fight. Target the ships and remodulate shields every few seconds so the Soalnae don't board our fleets. Undine are high priority, the Ela-"

    "Sir! Massive spike in Omega ahead of us! They're firing the weapon!" Viran yelled. Elijah bolted up in his chair.

    "Lumsi, evasive manuvers! Get us out of the way! Red Alert! T'Lumi tell the fleet to scatter and regroup!" he yelled as the alarm blared. He looked at the screen as the rift flashed and a bright purple beam issued forth. The ship shook violently as the energy barely scraped by them.

    "Damage report!" Elijah yelled.

    "Shields are stable. It barely missed us....Captain....the beam hit the Enterprise...tore through their shields....Captain Shon and his crew....they're dead...." T'Lumi said, her voice shaking. Elijah looked at her, shick on his face. He slowly turned to the screen and hung his head. He sat silently for a few seconds.

    "Elijah, I..." T'Lumi's voice faltered. She made her way around her station and sat beside the man, a hand on his shoulder in comfort.

    "Full impulse."

    "Captain?" she asked. Elijah slowly raised his head. His eyes were aflamed with determination.

    "We're taking the fight to them." he said, standing up and taking a few steps forward.

    "Full impulse. We're going into the rift."

    And now, the conclusion.
    "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"

    -Leonard Nimoy, RIP
  • cmdrscarletcmdrscarlet Member Posts: 5,137 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Solaris banked around the shattered dedication satellite at Wolf 359. Bright beams followed him and impacted against the debris between the Federation ship and the shooters. Once the sleek Excelsior Refit-class ship appeared from the other side, return fire laced from the saucer section, followed by a salvo from missile pods within the hull. Shileding from Fek'Ihri and Elachi ships lighted up against the barrage, some beams finding their way past the energy defense fields, then missiles slamming against unprotected sections. Internal explosions sprayed metal away from the ships, adding to the growing flotsam of the battle space.

    Accelerating, the Federation vessel flew between the conglomerate of enemy ships and vented a green-colored cloud from the nacelles while firing broadsides of orange-yellow beams of havoc. At point-blank range, Solaris raked destruction across multiple ship prows, the gas infiltrating the interiors and killing crew, slowly crippling the enemy further.

    "Well done, McKinnon!" Kathryn could barely contain her excitement from the command chair, her knuckles white against the arm rests. She sat at the edge of her seat as she heard the crew around her execute the attack pattern flawlessly, but it was her Helmsman that made it all come together. "Aye, Captain" was his response. She looked around the bridge: red warning lights flooded the room, every console lit up like Christmas trees revealing information in real-time and everyone was sweating from the prolonged combat. Glancing toward S'Rel's station, Kathryn looked at the damage report display of her ship above the Vulcan engineer, pulling a stray strand of hair back into the bun on her head. Not too bad, she thought to herself before returning to the main viewscreen.

    As the ship turned away from the exploding wreckage, the stars slowly streaked past. Kathryn noticed a burning Federation escort in the background drifting away from the battle. "Tactical, identify the vessel on the viewscreen."

    Karl Melango looked up, then quickly tapped against his console before responding. "USS Rodimtsev, Matthew Calgar as Captain. Sensor scan reveal all escape pods released, but one life sign aboard."

    Kathryn's eye's widened. "McKinnon, turn to intercept the Rodimtsev. Anthi, patch me through, audio only."

    As the static cleared from the speakers, a male's voice was coughing. "This is Captain Calgar of the USS Rodimtsev, who is calling at this dreadful hour?"

    "This is Captain Beringer of the Solaris, can we assist?"

    "No, I planned to ram an enemy when it gets nearby, I sent my crew packing after the cannons became disabled."

    Kathryn looked to S'Rel. The Vulcan shook her head. Data scrolled at Kathryn's chair of the escort and she knew it wasn't flying anywhere. An idea sparked and she needed to see if it would work.

    "Captain, you'll have to forgive me later." She motioned for the line to cut. "Omazei, transport him off that ship."

    "Aye, Captain." The Trill tapped a few keys. Moments later she reported Calgar was causing a ruckus in Transporter Room 3 and was on his way to the bridge.

    Smirking, Kathryn turned to her Chief Engineer. "Thel, can our tractor beam tow the escort at high turn velocity?"

    The Andorian nodded, "it could be done but the emitters might burn out at the attempt."

    Kathryn smiled. "Good. Capture that ship. Mr. McKinnon, once the Rodimtsev is one thousand meters from us, plot a course back into battle and get us to the nearest battleship."

    "Aye, Captain." Ian's fingers danced across his console as the hum of the tractor beam mingled with the thrum from the quad impulse engines. The damaged escort was washed in the blue of the beam and was pulled toward Solaris. At the designated range, both ships turned back toward the fray.

    The doors to the bridge opened and Matthew Calgar stormed through. "Captain, I demand to know what you are doing!"

    Kathryn motioned to the empty seat on her left. "Welcome aboard Captain Calgar. The Rodimtsev must have been a fine ship for her Captain to stay aboard. Sensors revealed she was dead in space, but she has not used her last breath yet."

    Calgar sat down and scowled as her surveyed the bridge, then quickly took the seat offered. "What do you mean?"

    Kathryn looked forward. The viewscreen showed a large Voth dreadnought ahead. "Ian, come about positive z-axis forty-five degrees, impulse at seventy-five percent. Make a parabolic arc toward the dorsal side, then turn to face." She looked at Thel, "is the tractor beam holding?"

    "Aye, Captain"

    "We need a diversion. Omazei, hail the nearest Federation vessel."

    The line opened. "This is Captain Ael t'Kazanak of the Vanguard. This is not a good time to talk."

    "Pardon the intrusion Captain. Would you mind getting the attention of the enemy at bearing four-two-four mark four-seven? I have a surprise for them."

    Ael looked toward a tactical display. "Acknowledged." The screen switched to viewing. The Vanguard changed course and expelled orange beams and torpedoes toward the dreadnought. In return, dark red lances missed and found their mark against Federation shielding. The two ships exchanged fire for a few seconds before the Vanguard turned away, fulfilling the role. The dreadnought slowly turned to follow.

    Calgar looked to Kathryn. "You don't seriously plan to do what I think you are planning to do."

    "Again, I'll have to apologize later. Ian, accelerate to full impulse, prepare attack pattern sigma. Thel, set tractor beam to full. On my mark, cancel the beam."

    The two acknowledged as Calgar sat back into the chair. Solaris lurched forward, dragging the helpless escort behind it. As the Voth dreadnought turned, its dorsal side was fully exposed to Kathryn's charging vessel. Bright orange beams belched from every emitter available with missiles erupting from tubes, each shot weakening the Voth shield facing until it collapsed from the weight of fire.

    At her command, the Excelsior-class ship turned away within several kilometers, the tractor beam silenced and the escort ship continued on it's destructive trajectory. Antiproton beams fired into both ships. The escort slammed into the Voth ship near the engines, it's hull buckling from the kinetic impact.

    "Come about, burn that ship from below," Kathryn whooped.

    Solaris arced toward the Voth vessel whose guns were silent. As phasers fired into the crippled ship from below, more beams, both green and teal-colored, came from nearby ships as allies discovered weakened prey. The dreadnought's shields failed visibly from the onslaught, then beams and torpedoes tore into the hull. It bubbled before exploding and Allied vessels scattered from the debris, each resuming the battle against other foes.

    ---

    [url=http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showpost.php?p=14310291&postcount=32[/url]In the future ...[/url]

    The Klingon's eyes widened. "By Martok ... that was you?!"

    Admiral Calgar frowned toward Kathryn who was grinning behind a wine glass. "That was a fine ship you destroyed, you know. They may have been able to salvage the Rodimtsev."

    Kathryn shrugged. "We'll never know. So I'll say it again with witnesses this time, Admiral Calgar: I'm sorry."
  • ambassadormolariambassadormolari Member Posts: 709 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    On Stardate 85571, the end came.

    The civilizations of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants had known it was coming for quite some time. The whispers, prophecies and doom-filled tales had become too persistent, too frequent to ignore. Everything had kept coming back to the same, repeated, irrefutable truth. They were returning. The Demons of Air and Darkness were returning.

    Even so, when they came, the surprise and force of their attack left the galaxy reeling.

    Portals opened instantaneously all across the known galaxy, spilling out ships in their hundreds of thousands over countless worlds. Elachi, Solanae, Fek'lhri, even Undine...the servitors of the enemy were without counting, and their ships polluted the pristine darkness of space with their numbers. Bolarus IX was the first to fall, overwhelmed by the dizzying number of invading ships that into orbit around it. Those few Bolians who were not slaughtered in the first day were rounded up and used as living fodder and genetic material for their conquerors. In a heartbeat, more worlds fell in rapid succession-- Tellar, Risa, Betazed and Rigel IV were all lost in a single day of carnage. By the time the Federation even realized there was an attack going on, the attacks was spread. Ferenginar, Lysia, Tamaria, Ktaria and the Sheliak Corporate all fell within days of one another, their populations all but exteriminated and their worlds left burning. The enemy did not stop, did not pause to harvest resources or to set up governments on these conquered worlds. They seemed only intent on spreading as much carnage and terror as quickly as possible.

    Cardassia was the next to fall, her fleet overwhelmed and left burning in orbit, before titanic planet-killing energies wracked the world itself. The enemy reduced Cardassia to cosmic debris in a single day, snuffing out the once-glorious Cardassian civilization in a heartbeat. In a cruel twist of irony, Bajor suffered the same fate on the same day as portals opened up around it, twisted mirrors of the majestic wormhole that the Bajorans worshipped. Deep Space Nine was overwhelmd, and vanished in flame as the world below it screamed its last.

    Against this attack, there was no respite, there was no ability to fight back. The enemy did not cross interstellar gulfs with great fleets whose movements could be predicted. They simply appeared, emerging from swirling wounds in the fabric of reality, screaming down from orbit or materializing into packed streets and killing all who came before them. Against terror such as this, there was no defence, no hope. Even as Starfleet consolidated its forces near Vulcan, the enemy struck Earth itself. The defenders of the Federation capital fought bravely and desperately, but they were outnumbered against a foe that knew neither fear nor mercy. After days of intense fighting, it was over. Earth was left as nothing more than a blackened, burned rock, its population dead, and the remnants of Earth Spacedock and much of Starfleet hanging in orbit around it in a mass grave.

    As the onslaught continued unabated-- as Khitomer, Ferasa, Terjas Mor and Rator III were all annihilated-- the allied powers of civilized space resolved to make a final stand. The remaining fleets of the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Republic all resolved to gather their forces and meet the enemy around New Romulus. New Romulus, where the whole ordeal had first begun with the opening of the enemy's gate. New Romulus, where, all credible intelligence reports confirmed, the Iconians would make their greatest move, and the final hammer-blow would fall.

    It was the greatest alliance in living memory, the greatest gathering of ships since the blood-stained days of the Dominion War. Thousands of ships stretched in great, majestic battle-lines across the Mol'Rihan system. Shoals of fighters swam around the swan-like shapes of Federation cruisers. Birds-of-Prey lurked in cloaked wolfpacks amongst the asteroid fields, while Klingon Raptors and battlecruisers sat with their weapons emitters primed and ready. Titanic warbirds anchored the line, looking like grand predators about to swoop out into the stars. The planets and major asteroids of the system were turned into fortresses, ringed by defensive stations, turrets, and minefields.

    Famous ships like the Enterprise, the Bortasqu, the Kang and the Lleiset all stood among the Allied ranks on that day, along with less famous, but still noteworthy, ships like the Solaris, the King Estmere, the Valg'yr and the Seruk. The odd ship captured from the Dominion, Voth, Elachi or even Fek'lhri was pressed into service and sent onto the battle-front. Even Admiral Tuvok's task group of advanced Dyson-tech ships arrived, ready to use the enemy's own tools against them.

    On those thousands of ships, last rites were given, prayers were muttered, battle-songs were sung, and final goodbyes were said. Every man, woman, and mono-gendered entity on those ships knew what was at stake, and was determined to fight like never before, to achieve victory at any cost.

    It would not be enough.


    *****


    The first portal opened at the edge of the system, a yawning red maw of a wormhole that opened up and seemed to suck hungrily at space. Then another portal opened, and then another. Within a minute, thousands of portals had winked into existence all over the Mol'Rihan system, with more and more opening with each passing second. From those countless yawning mouths, the enemy came pouring forth.

    Thousands upon thousands of ships vomited forth from the portals, a dizzying riot of shapes and colours that jarred the senses. The red-finned shapes of Fek'lhri ships shrieked forth on currents of red balefire, flying alongside the insidious, weavil-like shapes of Elachi warships. The twisted, organic shapes of Undine bio-ships came pouring out like predatory fish scenting blood, while further behind came the vast, leviathan-like shapes of Solanae dreadnoughts, clouds of Swarmer drones filling the spaces between ships like locusts. In mere seconds, thousands of enemy ships had entered the Mol'Rihan system from dozens of different points. Within minutes, those thousands became millions.

    Within seconds of the enemy's arrival, fire was exchanged, and the battle began in earnest. Firefights raged on a battle-front several hundred thousand miles across, searing bursts of particle weapons crisscrossing the inky blackness in a dizzying kaleidescope. Every so often, that kaleidescope was accentuated by a bright flash, an expanding pocket of superheated gases, a brief spark of flame in the cold void. Across every stretch of the Mol'Rihan system, in the shadow of every major planet, the ships of the Alliance fought desperately against the incoming tide of invaders.

    Scores of ships and thousands of lives were lost in the first few seconds of the maelstrom. The Federation starship Relentless was the first to die. A proud and mighty Galaxy-X dreadnought, the Relentless had been anchoring the centre of her battlegroup, weapons primed and shields raised, as a mass of Undine and Solanae ships approached. The Relentless deadly phaser lance was primed to fire the moment the shooting started. That lance remained dormant and inactive, as a Solanae weapon-code ravaged the Relentless' computer cores, deactivating weapons, shields and life support in a heartbeat. The ship's crew didn't even have time to die from asphyxiation before the Relentless was cored by an Undine antiproton burst, and blew apart with enough force to shred a surrounding squadron of frigates.

    Even in the cold of space, the heat given off by so many energy discharges at once was an almost palpable thing as ships fired, blazed and died within seconds of one another. The Hermes-class Kyzor found itself in a furious duel with enemy fast escorts, and managed to take out three Elachi frigates before being hunted down and obliterated by Undine cruisers.The Ambassador-class Kon Tiki, burning inside and suffering multiple hull breaches, drifted forward grandly, its phaser batteries swatting away Swarmers left and right, before suffering a calamitous core breach that took an Elachi cruiser out with it. The Romulan Venator, a proud D'deridex warbird, was critically stricken by antiproton beams and imploded in a singularity core meltdown, forming a miniature black hole that pulled in friendly and enemy ships alike.

    Not everything went the enemy's way, however. The Avenger-class Shallash, crewed by vengeful Tellarites, led an attack group deep into a cluster of Undine ships, phasers and torpedoes blazing as it killed bioship after bioship. The I.K.S. Kortus, a battered old Kamarang-class battlecruiser, earned its share of honour that day, taking on and defeating a much more powerful Fek'lhri dreadnought. The famous Caitian Redclaw squadron demonstrated why they were the greatest fighter pilots in the Alpha Quadrant, blasting their way through countless Swarmers and even bringing down an Elachi battleship.

    On the spinward front at the edge of the system, cunning tactics by the Romulans momentarily confused the enemy, leaving them chasing warp-ghosts and shadows left by singularity cores. The confusion cost the enemy dearly, as dozens of ships were lost to this counter-attack. The Romulan Republic's flagship, the Lleiset, led a spearhead of no less than ten Scimitar warbirds into the enemy ranks, spitting emerald fire from their plasma weapons and leaving countless burning hulks and scattered fields of debris in their wake.

    Even as the battle around them raged, allied science vessels did what they could to seal the portals from which the enemy poured, diligently pouring verteron counter-pulses into the swirling rifts even as they came under fire. Several of Starfleet's best science ships, such as the Daystrom, the Turing and the Morah, were obliterated by fire along with their escorts. Many others carried out their missions successfully, closing rifts just before they were hunted down and destroyed by the enemy, closing vital rifts in their final, dying moments.

    It didn't matter. Although scores of rifts were closed, hundreds more soon opened in their place, spilling more ships out from subspace. No matter how many enemy ships were destroyed, more arrived to take their place.


    *****


    "HIv!"

    The moment the command was barked across the TacNet, the Klingon attack squadrons made their move. Hundreds of Birds of Prey decloaked and swooped down upon the enemy fleet in a single, synchronized attack, darting between capital ships and coming in behind enemy attack craft as they filled the void with disruptor fire. Countless enemy ships were caught by surprise, and in the first few seconds of the attack, hundred of vessels blistered, burst and died before they could even return fire. Even as the Birds of Prey sowed chaos, heavier Raptors, battlecruisers and heavier ships decloaked in their wake, mopping up the stragglers left by the initial onslaught.

    Even as hundreds of the enemy ships were destroyed by the Klingon counter-attack, more soon arrived to replace them. More and more portals opened, disgorging more ships to replace the ones lost. Where once they were driving the enemy before them, the Klingon spearhead soon found themselves fighting for their lives against waves of fresh enemy ships, outnumbered and cut off on all sides.

    Many brave deeds were made that day, each worthy of a song. But they would be songs no one would ever hear.

    *****

    The I.K.S. Notqa' shuddered violently as it took another pair of direct hits, the klaxon blaring hatefully in Lynathru's ear. On the view screen, one of the other Birds of Prey in the Notqa's squadron took a pair of torpedoes to the stern and burst apart in a tremendous ball of superheated gas, momentarily washing the screen with flame.

    "Report!" Lynathru barked. He could smell something burning here on the bridge. That was never a good sign.

    "Shields at thirty percent!" Rresh shouted from his console. "We have a hull breach on deck two, and--"

    Rresk was cut short as the ship shook again. A diagnostic console chose that moment to explode, flinging an unfortunate Bekk across the room in a mangled, charred heap.

    "We've lost the Qa'rol and the Kor'bak!" Farra shouted from Tactical. "Captain, I'm not reading any ships left from our squadron. We're the only ship left!"

    On the viewscreen, a cluster of Solanae swarmers buzzed into view, spitting angry red antiproton beams. Emerald disruptor bolts shot out in return from the Bird-of-Prey and swatted a few Swarmers out of the sky, but the ship still shook again as the enemy hammered her.

    "Well, so much for our glorious attack run," Lynathru muttered to himself as he leaned back against his chair. "Engage cloak! We'll retreat back to the main battle line and come around again for another pass--"

    A dry hiss from Rresh cut Lynathru short. "Captain," the Gorn Engineer said, "that last hit disabled our cloak!"

    Next to Lynathru, Kovar burst up from his seat. "WHAT?" the old Klingon roared. "Get it back online, you overgrown newt--"

    The ship shook again. In the background, something exploded, violently, with a flash that left Lynathru temporarily blinded. There were screams, and bodies flung outwards.

    Biting back a curse, Lynathru blinked his eyes furiously, trying to get him working again. As his vision finally cleared, he noticed Kovar now lying on the deck before him. A large girder had impaled itself in the old Klingon's chest, and blood flecked his wheezing mouth.

    Lynathru cursed, loudly, as he knelt down next to his First Officer, before slapping at his comm badge. "Medical team to the bridge!"

    It was only then that he remembered that Sickbay had been on Deck Two, which had been opened up to space several hit ago. It wound up not mattering: with a final wheeze, Kovar's eyes finally rolled back. The old warrior was dead, and Lynathru realized he was a lot sadder than he thought he would be about that fact.

    "Captain!" The shout came from Sadra at conn. "We have enemies on all vectors! I can't shake them!"

    The ship shook again. Gritting his teeth, Lynathru stood back up. "Then don't," he growled. "Initiate attack pattern alpha. Overcharge all prow cannons and our dorsal turret. Take us right down their throats!"

    He had never ever thought he would hear himself say those words. He had always hoped of living to a ripe old age, attaining immense wealth, and dying in bed while being pleasured by dozens of attractive humanoids. He had always known that he might instead die in battle, in the service of his Klingon overlords, but he had never once figured on dying like a Klingon, going out in a blaze of glory while charging headlong into oblivion. If he were a Klingon, he knew, he'd be thrilled right now. As it was, all he felt right now was severe Orion annoyance at the enemy that had denied him a more comfortable end.

    The Notqa surged forward, its engines almost howling as it dove headlong into the fray. On the viewscreen, space was practically filled by darting enemy ships and flashing weapons fire, and the unceasing emerald daggers of his ship's disruptor bolts. In the next five minutes, Lynathru lost count of the number of ships the Notqa killed in its last flight. An Elachi frigate was shredded by disruptor bolts and left a drifting, burning wreck. An Undine cruiser was gutted by a high-yield plasma torpedo and left to burn in space. Countless Swarmers shattered and exploded after a scatter volley swatted them aside.

    It was only when the ship shook and stopped, and Farra informed him that their left wing had been sheared off by a direct hit, that Lynathru knew it was over. On the viewscreen, the titanic shape of a Fek'Ihri Dreadnought loomed into view, propelled forwards on red balefire as it spat antiproton beams down at them. Around Lynathru, the ship shook and shuttered in its death throws, his bridge crew slowly but surely dying as the bridge came apart all around them.

    He stood up grimly, drew his twin disruptor pistols, and prepared to utter the foulest of curses as Fek'lhri began to beam onto his bridge.



    *******

    On the R.R.W. Aen'Temar, Commander Ta'nara Veral had problems of her own. Her Mogai-class warbird had been diverted from the edgeward front to assist the allied science ships closing portals near the fifth planet. Already, the TacNet was a chaotic mess of screams and dying cries. She had ordered it shut off-- she didn't need distractions right now.

    "Attack Pattern Sh'arien, mark. Fire at will." The command was firm, smoothe and calm. Even in a situation like this, Ta'nara surprised herself at how calm she could be.

    The winged, blade-like shape of the Aen'Temar shimmered as it uncloakedTa'na, swooping down on the packed battle-line like the predatory bird it emulated. Shrieking bursts of plasma fire tore into the enemy ships-- two Elachi frigates were annihilated in an instant as the Aen'Temar caught them by surprise, and a nearby cruiser only barely had time to about-face as the Romulan warbird swooped towards it. A few beams of sickly yellow energy lashed out against the approaching vessel, but the answer quickly came in the form of a thin beam of white-blue that lanced from the Aen'Temar's nose. In an instant, power began to flicker across the Elachi ship as as the subnucleonic beam did its work.

    The enemy ship was floating, dead and lifless, as the warbird swooped past it. The Elachi on board didn't have long to reflect on their surprise before they, and their ship, were annihilated in a searing ball of green flame as a plasma torpedo struck home.

    "Enemy ship down, Commander!" shouted Centurion Taliv at Tactical. "We're clear for now!"

    Ta'nara gave a measured nod. On the viewscreen in front of her, all that remained were the allied science ships, all of which looked badly battered. The closest ship, a Federation Intrepid-class, was leaking so much oxygen and fire that Ta'nara would have been amazed if anyone was left alive on that thing. In the background, one of the countless portals swirled, a red gyre that slowly grew larger and larger.

    "Open a channel to the science ships." Without even waiting for confirmation that the channel was open, she spoke up. "Federation vessels, this is the R.R.W. Aen'Temar. Continue destabilizing the portals-- we will cover you as best we can."

    A crackle of static erupted from the other end. "Negative...can't...ntinue..." a distraught-sounded voice could barely be made out saying. "Our main deflector...damaged, an....ther ships...crippled as well..."

    The transmission gave a strangled buzz and died at this point. On the screen, the Federation Intrepid began to apart in tiny puffs of flame, before finally disintegrating in a great cloud of fractured metal and escaping gases.

    Ta'nara edged forward in her chair. "Report!"

    At ops, Nalae did a quick diagnostic. "That ship just suffered catastrophic superstructural damage, Commander." She shook her head. "I'm not reading any survivors."

    "All of the other science vessels in this group are indicating severe damage," Ziala added from the Engineering console. "Commander, it looks like the majority of them have been had their main power grids disabled."

    Ta'nara frowned. Already, her mind was racing through a number of possible effects that could disable ship systems. Energy dissipators, tachyon power drains...the viruses that the Iconians had been known to use. "Can you pinpoint the source?"

    Ziala shook her head. "Negative, Commander," the Reman engineer replied.

    That wasn't good: those science vessels were needed to close the portals. Already, on the viewscreen, the closest portal was swelling to an uncomfortably large size. "Any way they can restore power?"

    "Yes, Commander," Ziala said, "but it will take hours."

    Ta'nara's hand clenched tightly around the armrest of her chair. There was nothing else for it, then. They didn't have time to deliver aid or technical support to those science vessels-- those portals needed to be closed now before more enemy reinforcements could come through.

    "Bring us into an optimal distance in front of that portal," she ordered. "Redirect all auxiliary power into the main deflector and use it to channel a reversed verteron pulse into that portal. I want full ECM countermeasures in place in case whatever disabled those ships hits us."

    She noticed her crew give her a few concerned glances. To their credit, though, none of them spoke a word to contradict her. They were all veterans of the conflict with the Tal Shiar and the Elachi, and they all knew what was at stake here. It was the same, unspoken agreement that had seen them through their toughest missions against the enemy. It has to be us. There is no one else. Slowly, the Aen'Temar[//i] glided towards the swirling portal, and for a moment the viewscreen was lit by a bright flash as a blue-white beam shot out and seemed to disappear down the portal's swirling maw. Almost immediately, the portal seemed to start diminishing.

    They all knew the risks they were taking. Alone and unsupported, the Aen'Temar would be easy pickings for any enemy ships in range. It came as no surprise to Ta'nara, then, when the Tactical console began to beep rapidly.

    "Commander," Taliv cried out, "we have Undine inbound!"

    No sooner had Taliv said this when the bridge rocked violently. On the viewscreen, several twisted, organic shapes flew past, spitting arcing yellow beams down at thim. The ship shook again, lights flickering from the impact.

    "Return fire, full torpedo dispersal and beam arc!" Ta'nara ordered. "Ziala, keep our shields up!"

    On the viewscreen, one of the swooping Undine ships was struck by a plasma beam, and veered left as the teal energy washed against its shields. In reply, however, the Aen'Temar shook again as more and more energy bursts hammered it.

    "Shields are at sixty percent!" Ziala shouted.

    At conn, Centurion Lorek wheeled around to face Ta'nara. "Commander, we need to make evasive manouvers! We're a sitting target out here!"

    "Belay that," Ta'nara almost snapped in reply. "We need to prevent more of their reinforcements from coming through. That takes precedence over everything, Centurion, even our own safety!"

    As though to accentuate the point, the Aen'Temar shook again, sparks erupting from one overloading power conduit.

    "Shields at forty percent!" Ziala exclaimed.

    At this rate, Ta'nara knew, they wouldn't last another minute-- and they needed more than a minute to finish closing that portal. "Ziala, reverse shield polarity to ward off some of that damage!" she ordered. "Also, diffuse our excess core energy to initiate a warp shadow dispersal around the ship! Nalae, initiate photonic decoy system!" Let's show the Undine they aren't the only masters of subterfuge.

    The moment Ta'nara gave the order, the Aen'Temar's singularity core pulsed, her external holo-emitters hummed to life, and the next thing the Undine knew, six Mogai-class warbirds appeared to decloak all around them, swooping in on attack vectors.

    Ta'nara could almost imagine the creatures shrieking in alarm as the Undine ships scattered, taking evasive manouvers and pot-shots as they broke off to deal with this new threat. It would take them a few vital moments, she knew, to realize that these ships were sensory tricks. A few vital moments that her ship would need to close the portal and escape.

    "The Undine are distracted for now, Commander," Taliv confirmed, looking suitably relieved. On the viewscreen, the portal shrank further and further, looking like some sickly flower that wilted under the unceasing verteron stream.

    "Good," Ta'nara breathed. "Maintain the illusion for as long as possible." A small part of her contemplated scanning the Federation ships for survivors, and, if the opportunity allowed, beaming them aboard. She quickly perished the thought, knowing it would put the Aen'Temar in more jeopardy than it was in already. In war, there are always necessary casualties.

    There was another set up beeps, this time from the Ops console. Centurion T'Vex turned to face her, his usually pale face now an almost deathly white. "Commander...we just got word from the fleet," he said. "The Lleiset...the Lleiset has been destroyed, along with most of our primary attack wings. Enemy ships are now strafing the surface of Mol'Rihan itself."

    A silence fell over the bridge at that point. The Lleiset, the pride of the Republic's fleet, crewed by the best of the best...if the Republic's flagship had just been destroyed, and if their homeworld itself was being attacked...

    Ta'nara gritted her teeth and focused back on reality. "Maintain the verteron pulse," she ordered, her voice almost narrowed into a hiss. "No matter what happens, we are NOT stopping." In her mind, the mantra repeated again. It has to be us. There is no one else.

    True to form, her crew masked their sorrow and carried on with their duty, acting with the quiet discipline that Ta'nara had worked hard to instill in them. The silence was broken, though, by Nalae at the science console. "I'm reading a cascade reversal in that portal, Commander," she exclaimed. "It's closing!"

    As Ta'nara watched, the portal began to shrivel and die in front of her, even as the Undine duelled with illusory warbirds all around it. For a moment, she almost allowed herself a grim smile.

    And then, all of a sudden, the lights flickered and died, and everything on the Aen'Temar's bridge shut down all at once.

    Ta'nara shot to her feet, glad that her crew couldn't see her shocked expression in the dark. "Report!"

    Ziala was fiddling with the erratic lights of her console. "Commander, we've lost main power!" she cried. "We're down to a few dregs of auxiliary! Something...something went right through our ECM defenses and shut down all of our primary systems from within!"

    Ta'nara's teeth clenched together. Iconian viruses. Even our best defenses are useless against them. "Initiate a memory dump, now!" she snapped. "I want our main power grid back online two minutes ago!"

    "Commander..." Nalae's voice spoke as a hushed whisper. "The portal is opening up again. Something...something is coming through..."

    Slowly, Ta'nara turned back to the viewscreen. Nalae was right. The portal was opening again, swelling back to an immense size in the space of a few seconds. And something was coming through-- something gigantic, and looking like a sickly fusion of technology, organism, and ectoplasm. And it was coming right for them.

    In the last few moments of her existence, Ta'nara could only stare at the enemy as it emerged from its hell-dimension. In those last few moments, to her credit, she didn't allow her crew to see how afraid she was.



    ********


    On bridge of the U.S.S. Archimedes, Arkos Nair watched, numbly, as Hell opened up on the viewscreen.

    He didn't believe in Hell, or Gehenna, or Hades, or whatever-the-tides sentient beings called it. He was a rationalist, an atheist, and proud of the fact. He knew that there was no pit of unfathomable evil at the bottom of the universe, no realm of eternal torment awaiting sinners after death. He knew these for the fictions that they were, and understood that the universe could be a cruel enough place on its own without any sort of eternal damnation. And yet, as he sat transfixed in his command chair and watched the swirling, red maw of a portal opening up around New Romulus, he knew, on some deep, instinctual level, that he was looking at the gate to Hell.

    It was impossible. His mind balked at the sheer, improbable size of the portal, and struggled, and failed, to calculate the power output that would be needed to open or maintain something of that size. As his mind struggled, the blue orb of New Romulus dimmed, its oceans steaming and its continents blistering. And then, before he had even registered it had happened, New Romulus was gone. In its place was the ever-expanding red maw, widening further and further like a bloody wound in space. He stared, entranced, at the crackling energy that played around the whirling strata of this wormhole...and at the endless mass of shadow that danced at its centre.

    He was about to ask Sann for a sensor report, when he remembered that she was dead. Sann, K'Nera, Adim, Brax, Farim...all of his senior officers were dead at their posts, fried by electrical surges, impaled by shrapnel, or asphyxiated by the toxic fumes that now permeated the ruined, flaming bridge. The entire crew was dead after the ship suffered catastrophic damage. The Archimedes was floating dead in space, damaged beyond repair, listing on what few dregs of life support and power it had left. Around it, the once-grand Allied fleet burned in space. Only he was left, sitting uselessly on his chair, unable to do anything.

    "There are many endings," said a voice to his side. Admiral Quinn stood, straight-backed, to the side of the bridge in full dress, seemingly oblivious to the flames that danced around him. "This is but one, but if it is, it is THE end."

    Arkos turned and stared numbly at Quinn, but before he could even question what the supreme commander of Starfleet was doing on his bridge, he realized the Admiral wasn't alone. Dozens of figures were standing on his bridge now, forming a semicircle around him as they stared down solemnly. Some of these people were still alive, though some Arkos knew for certain to be dead.

    "The door has been opened," said B'Vat, looking as he did in the distant past. "The key has been stolen."

    "What is unlocked can never be closed again," said Admiral Janeway, the old Terran woman giving Arkos her usual grandmotherly frown. "The current can no longer be stemmed."

    Arkos stared up at the figures and blinked. For some reason, it didn't bother him that these people, living and dead, were all gathered here on his bridge. Somehow, this all seemed to make sense.

    "Why are you showing me this?" he asked. "Why me, and not someone who can actually stop it?"

    Uncle Syrkhu stepped forwards, looking as hale and healthy as he did when he was alive. "If the shell dies, so too does the formless within," he said. "The plane of the physical, and the plane of our existence, are tied by fate."

    "You are but one finger of a hand," said Arkos' Mirror Universe self, clad in his priestly disguise of a Telvenar's robes. "But the hand must be made to act."

    "You've shown me what happens if we act!" Arkos snapped. "And it isn't enough!" He stood up to face the figures who were now crowding around him like a mob. "Tell me, what must I...what must we...do to prevent all of this from happening?"

    For a moment, the figures were silent. Then, as one, they all took a step back, allowing a figure from the centre of the group to step forwards. It was then that Arkos realized he was no longer standing on the ruined bridge of the Archimedes, but in an endless expanse of pure white light. He also realized, then and there, that he recognized the figure approaching him-- a tall, dark-skinned Human wearing the black and red of Starfleet.

    "The pitch has already been thrown," said Benjamin Sisko as he held a small, spherical object in his hand towards Arkos. "The baseball is already in motion. But you...you need to make sure that the right people are there to bat it."


    ****


    Arkos' eyes opened.

    For the first few seconds, he blinked. Everything was different. He no longer felt the heat of the flames on his skin, heard the sound of dying klaxons in the background, or felt the coppery, chemical tang of smoke on his mouth. He felt the briefest surge of panic until he realized where he was.

    "Captain?" Lieutenant Farim Meru, conn officer of the U.S.S. Archimedes, knelt down next to Arkos, worry evident on her Bajoran features. "Are you alright?"

    Behind Farim, a pair of robed Bajoran monks were looking down at Arkos with equal parts concern and confusion. A small crowd of civilians had also gathered, all curious as to what a Starfleet officer was doing lying down in the middle of a public area.

    Arkos' mouth felt numb all of a sudden. "I..." He turned back to the object in front of him-- an ornate bronze box that towered above him. Flashes of memory came back to him now. He had been on shore leave on Deep Space Nine along with the rest of the Archimedes crew, and Farim had invited him to visit one of the Bajoran temples. At first he had politely dismissed all of the tenets and rhetoric of the monks there, but then Farim had dared him to kneel before one of the altars in the temple. An altar which, Farim had said, containd something called "the Orb of Possibilities."

    "Where...how long..." Arkos fumbled drunkenly with his words. "How much...time has passed?"

    "What?" Farim blinked in confusion. "Only a few seconds, sir."

    "He's had a vision," one of the monks suddenly whispered. "The Prophets have granted him an orb vision!"

    Farim's eyes widened. "Sir, is this true?" Her voice had a hushed, almost reverential tone to it.

    For a few seconds, Arkos couldn't speak. Whatever words gathered in his throat simply failed and died. It was impossible, he realized, to find words that could convey the sheer horror of what he had just seen. Of what he needed to prevent.

    "What...is a baseball?" he finally managed to say, before toppling over and passing out.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • danquellerdanqueller Member Posts: 481 Arc User
    edited April 2014
    ____________________


    Commander's Journal



    It seems the most dependable thing a commander may count on is that things will not happen when it is convenient or planned for them to happen. This applies to both normal operations of the ship as well as larger affairs governing the use by the agency that built, operates, and authorizes the actions of that ship.

    So it has happened to us all.

    Almost two days ago, all known galactic governments in the Alpha Quadrant received a subspace message on all channels. That transmission informed us all that the Iconians were asserting themselves as the ruling power in this section of space based upon their ancient claim to this galaxy, and gave us fifty standard ahn to surrender our forces to their control. Failure would be met by conquest instead of subjugation, destruction instead of enslavement.

    It was, perhaps, their ignorance of how far the races of the galaxy have progressed that the transmission of this message in a simutanous fashion also meant those who they sought to cow into servitude might triangulate the origin point of that signal, and put aside their differences for a time to deal with a threat to them all.


    Perhaps.


    As the Republic Flotilla mobilized to join the forces of the Federation and Klingon Empire in forcing an end to Iconian actions against us all, I was taken aside by Senator Harov to an empty room in the Command Center. How did he know of my true intentions? Did he also suffer from divided loyalties? Or, was it simply that I was the only commander in the briefing who was not rihannsu?

    Regardless, I heard him out, my heart falling with each word. For so long, I have strived to achieve position within the Flotilla, and now words from an old man's lips put me to the task I had so secretly accepted when I left the custody of my Tal'shiar handlers. In many ways, I had hoped I would never have to enact my mission, for I had come to enjoy my place in the New Republic.

    All that is ashes now. My duty awaits.


    I have sent the transmission, with the information that will almost surely result in my execution, should the Republic exist after today. You who read this after my fall, know that I do this only because there is no other choice for me.

    I am who I was designed to be.




    End Recording.





    _______



    "Forward shields down sixty-two percent!"

    "The General's flagship is hit! It burns! Kru'Ghah belev' a'gekk!! Forwards!!"

    "That beam just passed throught the Detroit's shields like they weren't even up! Evasive action!"

    "More enemy ships coming out of subspace at two-one-seven mark four! Identified as Undine!"

    "Heavy damage on the T'ressiv! Our core is in imminent danger of collapse! For the glory of the Rep......"




    The subspace transmissions tell the tale plain enough. The battle is joined, and the forces involved are fully engaged. Many will die this day, far from the worlds whose fate might be decided by their struggles. Others will live, but in what new order of things?

    It does not matter to his mission. His task has already been set.

    He looks to the main screen, seeing the slowly turning planet displayed there.

    The timing must be correct. Too soon, and the orbital defenses will have a chance, small as it might be, to react. Too late, and the fleet will reveal itself too far into the interlaced grid of sensors, weapons, and shielding, to chance anything but a devastating first strike. If they are to accomplish their mission and take the planet intact, then the cloaks must be dropped.....

    His hand gives the command.





    In close proximity above New Romulus, starships styled as swooping birds-of-prey suddenly appeared, their cloaking fields dropping to reveal the hulls within. Sleek Mogai class ships stood off the larger D'deridex and D’ridthau class warships, all of them dwarfed by the massive hulls of six Scimitar class dreadnaughts.

    Aboard her flagship, Colonel Favra nodded approval as the ships of the Tal'shiar fleet took station without delay, the weapons already locking onto whatever the sensors aboard each ship found offensive to their penetrating beams. It had not been easy to take the place of Hakeev after the former had failed so spectacularly in the mission given to them by their masters, but she had managed to avoid the fate of those who had stepped too quickly to fill his place. Now, these were her ships.



    The Scanning Sublieutenant turned away from his console, saluting her before reporting "As was expected. No warships are present, my Commander!"

    Standing from her judgement seat, she gestured to the Communicator Centurion, awaiting only a moment before speaking on the subspace radio channel that would carry her words to the upstarts on the planet before her.



    "To those who have rebelled against the Rihannsu and the Star Empire, I now bring the will of the Tal'shiar. Your pitiful delusion that you could set yourself apart from your proper place and turn your backs on your people is at an end."

    Pacing slowly to allow her complete confidence in the situation to be obvious to those she addressed, she continued "Your ships are far away, as was intended, fighting a battle that has no true meaning. They cannot save you. My ships have all of your meager planetary defenses targetted. They cannot save you. On my command, your world will burn, and your foolish resistance to our authority will be at an end.

    "You will surrender at once, or that command will be the next thing I transmit following this message."



    Taking a breath, Favra allowed a small smile to cross her face. "Do not think that yielding to our rightous authority will mean death. Our allies have assured us they have a place for you in their restored Empire, a purpose greater than your insignificant Republic could ever hope to achieve. A new road to the stars, paved with the gifts from those who tread them long before our race arose! A glory fit for our race will finally be ours!"

    Looking back to the world on the viewer, she dropped the smile as easily as she might a ration wrapper. "You have five siuren to accept your proper place."


    "That will not be necessary.” a man’s voice said over the speakers around the Bridge, a note of satisfaction obvious even as she saw the unmistakable outlines of a Republic Ar’kif warbird decloak between her own ship and the world beyond. “I already have an answer awaiting you.”






    Momentarily thrown off-balance by the appearance of the other ship so close to her own, Favra stared at the image. How it had come into such a position without being detected was only the first of several questions that raced through her mind as she tried to evaluate how this changed the situatation. The second question followed the results of her internal calculations on that matter.


    Was this commander mad?


    "You may think your little display impressive, but I assure you that it changes nothing." she said, pausing a moment to note that the other ship was, indeed, merely sitting motionless relative to her own forces "One warbird is hardly a threat to a fleet such as I command. It only encourages me to suspect those on Mol'rihann are about to voice a rejection of my generous offer.

    "That would be a fatal choice."



    Silence stretched as the other ship defiantly remained between herself the the planet. It was clear the other commander was playing for time, perhaps hoping the Flotilla would return if her own fleet remained in position long enough while they traded conversation. That would be the way of the Federation, but rihannsu were not so foolish.

    "You have three siuren. Do not assume I will hesitate a moment longer."



    _________




    He sees the confrontation play out before him, still safe from detection from friend or foe. It does not matter to one, for they know he is here. For the other, however.....

    Again, he looks to his crew. They know the danger they are risking, not for the first time. But this time, there will be no convenient excuses, no careful reasons to push aside the truth of what they are doing. It will be far too visible, too obvious even to those who will want to plead their case. There will be no more bridges unburnt.

    An inward sigh is all he allows, straightening in his chair. His eyes meet those of his most trusted officer, sharing the knowledge of past moments too like this for comfort. A nod from that other is all he seeks, and he receives it without reservation.



    Almost time for the final move on the chessboard.



    ______



    The massive shape of the Iconian Warshroud slipped out of subspace just behind Favra's flagship, dwarfing even her ship's impressive bulk. More mobile base than starship, its shadow fell on almost an eighth of the Tal'shiar fleet before it, and the ships moved to cluster closer still.



    Colonel Favra was not pleased at this turn of events, and became even less pleased when the holographic form of the Iconian appeared before her. Looming over her, it gave a displeased hiss before speaking.

    "Our patience with your petty desire to dominate your kin is at an end. The diversionary battle arranged for your benefit will not last and your delay tests our tolerance of your desires. We require only the gateway intact. You will now act to provide it to us."

    Swallowing both her reflexive desire to issue a harsh denial and the fear engendered by her witnessing of what these beings had done to others who resisted their commands, Favra stood and gave a slow bow. "Master, our people require unity again if we are to serve you fully. Destroying those on the planet will only cause the fractures in our society to harden, while forcing them to rejoin with the Empire will show those with...unwise thoughts that rebellion ultimately ends in failure. Also, there is the matter of the planetary defenses. While we have all known combat locations targetted, there can be little doubt others exist...."

    The Iconian cut the air between them with an angry gesture. "The great engine has extended its influx shield around your fleet. The planet's defenses are of no import. You will now deliver this planet unto our control, or we will examine if the Tal'shiar are truely as grateful and loyal for the gifts we have provided as you have claimed."




    When the image of the alien had faded, the Colonel stabbed a finger at the communications key on her judgement chair. "I have no more time to await. You will reply now."

    The voice of the Republic commander replied at once. "Indeed. I am quite impressed by your 'allies', though I must wonder...what would the effect of a plasma torpedo upon its hull be?"


    Mad indeed!


    "My masters have already encompassed our fleet within their fields. They are impenetrable by such weaponry, and, as you are outside that field, your resistance is pointless!" Favra shook her head "Your only hope and that of your world is to accept the fate the Five have determined for you. Surrender, or die!"

    "Ah, but I want to be clear on exactly how hopeless my situation is." the other's voice said, impossibly sounding confident and....was that smugness? "Nothing outside the field of your masters can pass through to damage your fleet?"

    "Yes, that is correct."

    "And, your entire fleet is within that field, so I cannot attack them from where I am?"

    "Yes, yes....there would be no point, otherwise!" the Colonel no longer cared if that commander was insane or not...he had exhausted her patience. " Is there a point to this??"

    "Assuredly." The man paused a moment, and Favra had the unmistakeable vision of his face smiling on the Bridge of his doomed ship. "With your fleet so close together, there is indeed no way for me to engage any one of you without taking fire from all. Even if I could penetrate whatever that field is. Yes, I admit that you have rendered any resistance from my ship or the planet a hopeless task."

    Then the voice turned into a whisper, as though he were sharing a secret with her. "But, did you know that, before this all started, a Senator on New Romulus actually told me of your plans? You might know of him, since he was supposed to be your agent."

    A chill suddenly passed through her, only growing as she heard him continue. "And do you know what he said to me? He said...'We of the rihannsu have one tactic that has defined everything about our stuggles. Our ships, our culture, and even our souls are bound by one truth that has become the foundation of our conduct of any conflict.

    " 'The highest art of war among our people is that of taking our enemy unawares of any threat until our blade is already sinking into their back.' "





    Colonel Favra had time to note the strangeness of the ship that decloaked without warning on the far side of her fleet. It was clearly part of a Federation Galaxy-class starship, yet it appeared to only be the half that mounted the warp engines. Even more curious were the gold markings visible across its hull, making it almost seem like a ship of the Rihannsu, a bird of prey swooping down upon....

    Favra's mind suddenly snapped into action with a memory, that of an Intelligence briefing some weeks ago dealing with new modifications to certain Galaxy-class ships. Those with three warp nacelles, as this one was. It was about the unique weapon on these ships....

    "Escape manuever one!!" she cried to her crew, not bothering to hide the sudden alarm that flared throughout her being. "NOW!!!"




    Her ship pitched wildly, falling away from the fleet even as the front of the Federation ship suddenly glowed with building energy. As she clung to her seat, the massive phaser weapon discharged in a wide cone of destruction that enveloped both her own fleet and the Iconian Warshroud. Her ships held their own, their shields in place to take the fury of the attack.


    The Iconian, however, did not.


    Its field far extended around the fleet, the attack lauched within its boundaries found no such barrier between it and the alien construct in its path. In an instant, matter tore apart under the barrage of high-energy phased particles and photons, rending open the huge shape of the Warshroud as though it were a mere cloth caught in a firestorm. More, the frequency of the sweeping cascade of destruction had been carefully chosen, and it reacted against the unique material of the Iconian, causing far more damage as parts of it were actually sent back into subspace. Sections peeled away, bulkheads flew apart, and somewhere inside the kilometers of construct, the attack met the beating heart of the battlestation.


    A second flash of blinding light exploded out from the rent Iconian, striking shields already weak from the prior blast. In an instant, half of the Tal'shiar fleet was sent tumbling away, their broken hulls twisting in the shockwave that spread debris and radiation outwards and across those of their fellows who were outside path of that incomprehensible energy discharge.


    In confusion and attempting to regroup, no one in the fleet noticed what else was occurring until the lone Republic ship opened fire, its plasma torpedoes impacting before the remnants of the Tal'shiar could react. A Mogai warbird staggered, then began to come apart as it fell away as a burning hulk.



    It was too much.



    Later reports would cite Colonel Favra's Second-in-command with issuing the orders to retreat, the Colonel having been rendered unconscious by the initial impact of the attack. Sensor records showing the arrival of a ragtag group of warships did little to blunt the harsh penalty laid upon him, especially when further analysis of those records revealed that several of those ships were civilian craft.

    The Iconians then demonstrated that they had their own ideas of how to punish failure, and the Tal'shiar, long masters of interrogation and subterfuge, learned that they, too, could still know fear.

    ______



    Commander Rycho stood at attention before Proconsul D'tan, his eyes kept at the respectful distance over the other man's shoulders despite the stern presence of Admiral Kererek seated to D'tan's right side. The silence since the last question had gone for almost a full minute, both of the seated men only staring at him with expressions he could read without needing to look.

    Finally, the Proconsul leaned forwards. "Commander. You have admitted to providing command access codes to the entire system defense network to Admiral Verne, an officer who the Federation suspected and we now know still serves the Terran Empire, a known enemy of the Republic and all of the Alpha Quadrant. The sensor records on the dreadnaught under his command make that clear beyond any doubt. Further, your disregarding of your orders to deploy with the rest of the Flotilla is also not in doubt, no matter what the outcome of that decision might have turned out to be.

    "I want to know why you did all of this before I pass judgement."

    Finally lowering his eyes to meet the older man's, Rycho answered "Had I not taken control of the defense network, I knew the enemy would have likely been detected and engaged by some part of it before they reached the place I had chosen to meet them. I could not risk that they might become hesitant and break their fleet into sections. Also, had I not done so, it is certain the Tal'shiar ships would have been fired upon before we were ready to engage them.

    "I gave those codes to the Admiral because my ship would be in direct line between the enemy and their goal, and I could not thus risk transmissions of any kind. It had to be from someone away from their sensors, even under cloak."

    Giving Rycho a hard stare, D'tan asked "But why Admiral Verne? If you had explained this to Admiral Kererek...."

    "I had already discovered one Tal'shiar operative was within our ranks. I was not about to risk another learning of my plan. In this, Admiral Verne was both capable of being contacted, and had the ship needed to seal its success. "

    Admiral Kererek looked at Rycho with a penetrating gaze before speaking. "I know those I put in command of my ships. I know them very well. It was not for fear of discovery that you did not come to me with this. You had another reason."

    After a moment, Rycho nodded. "Had you learned of this attack, you would have recalled the Flotilla, and the Tal'shiar would have learned of it through their spies. They would have aborted their attack, and not come at all. They would not have suffered their losses here, and would have know it was I who brought them to it.

    "And that, I would not allow."

    D'tan stood and for the first time showed some of the anger seething within. "You would not allow? You?? Upon what right did you claim such power to decide that?"

    Rycho met the Proconsul's eyes with cold determination. "The right that the rihannsu have claimed for themselves for centuries. The right I have claimed as mine from the day I escaped the Tal'shiar and came to the Republic."

    "What right?" D'tan demanded, his hand slamming onto the desktop with a sound that reverberated off the walls.

    But he was rihannsu, and so knew the answer. Knew it before Rycho spoke it in a voice both cold and alive with rage.



    "Vengence."


    ______



    Commander's Journal Supplimental




    The Thur'Vas is on course for the Nimbus system, where she will conduct a full scan of the system for any evidence of Iconian incursion. Reports indicate there might have been a sighting of a ship matching what we have seen of their craft, though the source was a freighter of no great reliability. Still, it is a place to send us for a time.

    I retain command, though I have been reduced in rank to Subcommander once again. Since I fully expected to be discharged into imprisonment or worse, this is not an unwelcome outcome. It seems my superior abilities are still too useful to the Republic to be cast aside, even in the face of my actions.


    I regret nothing. I have fulfilled my oath to see myself revenged upon the Tal'shiar, and such a loss as they suffered at my hands will not soon be mended. It is enough.


    As for Admiral Verne, I do not forget what he and his crew have sacrificed for my vengeance. Even if they claim it was to stop the Iconians, it does not change the fact that their actions enabled my victory. For those actions, they are now regarded with great suspicion by the Federation, their ties to the Terran Empire now made manifest in many minds. Even fleeing to the Omega Squadron may not be enough to appease their superiors this time, and I must conclude it is only a matter of time before Starfleet places them under arrest.

    We shall see about that.



    In any event, our mission is not complete. We have a task still before us, and I will not delay it to chase phantoms in a system filled with the refuse of three empires.


    Our work is not done.



    End Recording.




    _____

  • zidanetribalzidanetribal Member Posts: 218 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    Literary Challenge #61: The Final Battle

    LC61: A Rather Crude but Generally Decent Man Goes to War
    Captain's Log, Stardate 191210.41. After so long, the plans of the Iconians have come to a head. Starfleet Command has ordered all ships to the Procyon system to prepare for their oncoming invasion. As the Enterprise has not reported in from its mission into the Iconian subspace, it falls to the Lord English to lead the defense force at Procyon V, where the Iconians have sent a clear message as to their intentions of conquest. The more idealistic of us have named Procyon V "Demon's Run" in the hope that we defeat the "Demons of Air and Darkness" at last.

    ===

    Vice Admiral Theo Taylor straightened his uniform as he looked at the viewscreen. In the orbit of Procyon V, he could see giant spheres pulsating space-distorting gravimetric energy around the planet. Romulan Intelligence had picked up their signatures a few days before when they suddenly appeared in the system. Theo Taylor had studied pre-Federation history at the Academy and knew from sight that these spheres where near-identical to the ones that Captain Jonathan Archer of Enterprise NX-01 encountered in the Delphic Expanse. He turned to Thanme, his Tamarian first officer.

    "Thanme, what do you make of this?"

    The Tamarian first officer shrugged.

    "Sokath, his eyes covered, "she replied. "Pandora, her box unopened. Whiplash, twirling his mustache."
    "You're right; whatever this is, it's probably going to be bad news," Taylor replied. "Mr. K'Gan, what is the status of the task force?"
    "USS Ferenginar's first officer has reported that her captain died late night on the operating table," the Klingon security officer replied. "Trombe and Federalist are operating on skeleton crews, and Mutabor is still without main deflector or shields. As for the rest of the task force..."

    Taylor's brow furrowed. Mutilated sheep were going up against a wolf with multidimensional teeth and a stomach bigger than the known universe.

    "Does Starfleet Command have any news of Enterprise?" Taylor asked.
    "None," K'Gan replied. "If she isn't here now, she won't be here at all."

    Taylor swore under his breath, cursing the antennae of Enterprise's captain. The absence of the Federation flagship would be sorely missed. In the intersections of the spheres' gravimetric energy he could see a growing number of ships: Elachi, Solanae, Quarren, Fek'Ihri, Hur'q, and so many more. Each gravimetric shockwave emitted affected more of the system and revealed more and more ships. K'Gan had calculated before that at current rates, the Procyon system would be enveloped in the space distortion in five hours; the Sol system and the rest of the Federation would fall within the week. Taylor made his decision.

    "Thanme, inform Admiral Valot that-"
    "Aleema, at the supernova!"

    Taylor turned to see a ship come out of a rift in front of his ship. Unlike most ships which came out of spatial rifts, this one was definitely not related to the Iconians, as it was not firing its weapons. K'Gan worked on his console frantically.

    "Admiral!" he stated. "A ship has come out of a spatial rift in front of us! It's a Federation model!"
    "Ye gods! Is it Enterprise?"
    "The configuration isn't Universe-class, Admiral," K'Gan reported. "I'm getting a visual on the registry. NCC, 9, 9, 4, 1, 3... A."

    Taylor's bridge crew looked on in surprise as K'Gan finished talking.

    "USS Lord English, Admiral."
    "Lord English," Taylor uttered agape. "just like us. But they disappeared so long ago..."

    Universe-class USS Lord English, NCC-99413-E, command vessel of the Procyon V task force, had witnessed the appearance of its predecessor, Odyssey-class USS Lord English, NCC-99413-A, missing for almost 150 years, and the full force of the realization froze Taylor in his tracks. Thanme recovered her composure first.

    "Rai to Jiri, at Lungha!" Thanme commanded, ordering hailing frequencies opened.

    On the Lord English-E's viewscreen, a frustrated Human vice admiral was shouting orders and trying to get a handle on the situation.

    "-k did we end up in the 26th century?" said the admiral.

    ---

    In the 25th century...

    ---

    "Trans-dimensional rifts opening!"

    When Admiral Lee was young, he used to frequent amusement parks in his native Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was especially good at the Whac-a-Mole arcade game as he was more than agile enough to take down even the fastest mole. However, there were only five moles that popped out of the same five holes, and they weren't firing weapons.

    "Incoming torpedoes at 8 o'clock low!
    "Evasive maneuvers and brace for impact!"
    "Port shields are at 10% and won't take any more damage!"
    "Casualties reported on decks 15 to 17!"

    From all directions, USS Lord English was being assailed by weapons fire from Mirror Universe ships. For every five Terran starships the crew destroyed, a sixth one appeared to fire on the English. Shields were worn down from the countless fire and more and more torpedoes began impacting the hull. On the bridge, Admiral Lee struggled to keep his ship together amidst the chaos.

    "Fire phasers at will and execute Attack Pattern Beta," he commanded. "Deploy all tactical, engineering, and science teams to man emergency posts."

    A photon torpedo rocked the ship. Lee's first officer Commander Kay Taylor reported bad news from her station.

    "Admiral, we've suffered damage to our warp engines," she explained. "If we don't withdraw now, we won't be able to withdraw at all."
    "We need to continue to buy time for Obisek to kludge up his anti-tachyon pulse," said Lee. "If the Terran Empire takes Vauthil Station, they can easily attack systems all the way to Jouret, and Lord knows we can't have the Terran Empire have access to Solanae technology."

    The Lord English fought valiantly, but the mirror ships kept coming, and soon the ship was cut off from the rest of the task force. Every effort it attempted to break the enemy lines forced it farther away from the station.

    "We've lost contact with USS Galaxias and IKS Klang," Kay Taylor reported. "The Khazara and Arca Solis are attempting to repower Vauthil Station and will not be able to reach us."
    "If we stay out here, we'll be torn apart," Lee observed. "We may have a better chance of survival if we can get into Vauthil Station's weapon range. I want all power to the engines and for the hull to be polarized. On my mark, punch the throttle and don't stop until we can touch Vauthil."

    Even before the Lord English could move, however, things began going wrong. A photonic shockwave torpedo crashed into the English, sending it into the path of a Terran Typhoon battleship. In self-defense, the Typhoon activated Tractor Beam Repulsors, sending it into the path of another Typhoon, which was destroyed at that moment by Vauthil Station's spinal lance. The shock of the battleship's destruction disabled the last of English's power systems, and the ship was plunged in darkness as it tumbled through space. Soon, however, the ship regained power and the crew of the Lord English started to regain their bearings. The relative silence which now surrounded them seemed eerie in comparison to the earlier battle.

    "Status report!" Kay Taylor ordered. "I want all departments to report in!"

    From the reports coming in throughout the ship, it became apparent that whatever just happened caused the enemy fire which had menaced the ship for the last ten minutes to stop. The bridge returned to operation, although the viewscreen remained dark and the blast windows closed.

    "T'Shaanat, can you get power back to the bridge?" Lee asked. "I want to know what's happening right now and whether or not the ship is in danger."
    "We are working on the situation, admiral," the Chief Engineer replied, "but we are getting some rather concerning readings. Kira in the science lab has more details."

    Soon the Klingon Chief Science Officer paged the bridge.

    "Admiral, I have some good news and some bad news," she reported. "The good news is that we are no longer under attack by the Terrans. The bad news is that we are no longer at Vauthil Station. In fact, we are no longer in the 25th century. We seem to be a century or so in the future."

    Power came back on to the Lord English; outside the bridge viewports, a massive disc with tapering nacelles filled up the view, while a young Human and a Tamarian appeared on the viewscreen.

    "I want all the senior officers in the observation lounge immediately. How the f-" Lee exclaimed, unaware of the viewscreen.

    ===

    Despite being in no shape to care for themselves, the Procyon V task force was more than willing to assist the Lord English-A in its repairs; it helped that even the smallest of the 26th century ships dwarfed the English in size. Inside a cargo bay of Lord English-E, engineering personnel made up of a plethora of different species worked on stabilizing the damage on English-A, while thirty decks up, Theo Taylor met with Lee in the E's sickbay.

    "I'd welcome you to the 26th century, Admiral," Theo Taylor admitted, "but the 26th century is not a welcoming place, and it would be in our best interests to find a way to send you back."
    "Well, Admiral Taylor," Lee replied, "I'm not too psyched to go back, but at least this gives us some time to catch our breath."

    A Hirogen medic went over to Commander Taylor and scanned her over with an unfamiliar tool; a Voth doctor conferred with Commander Taylor over something that Lee couldn't hear. The two medical personnel drew Lee's attention.

    "So, Hirogen and Voth are now members of the Federation in the 26th Century?"

    Admiral Taylor sighed.

    "A lot of species have joined the Federation, but nowadays it's more out of desperation than willingness. Federation membership has lost most of its prestige over the century."

    Theo Taylor sat by the biobed to monologue.

    "I suppose the end began after the Terran attack on Vauthil Station. Although the task force eventually drove off the Terrans, they were unable to destroy the enemy dreadnought in a timely fashion and Captain Obisek was killed when the dreadnought rammed the station. Without Obisek's leadership, the Remans grew apart from the Romulan Republic, and the Romulans were forced to compensate by curtailing their actions, including recalling their flagship Lleiset to New Romulus."

    At this point, Commander Kay Taylor had been treated for her injuries and came over to check on Lee, who silently gestured for her to listen to the story. Theo Taylor's demeanor became more and more depressed as he continued speaking.

    "Without the Romulan Republic to act as middle ground, Dyson Joint Command split between Federation and Klingon camps, which made unified resistance all but impossible when the Undine invaded the Solanae Dyson Sphere.
    Things came to a head after the allied zone fell when the Federation destroyed the Jouret Gate to keep the Undine from swarming into the Alpha Quadrant, trapping a Klingon War Fleet on the other side. You've fought in the Klingon War of the 2400's; you could imagine how the Klingon Empire reacted to that."

    Lee nodded. It wouldn't take much to provoke the Klingons into another war and abandoning their warriors to certain death would do that.

    "So what happened after the Undine attacked the Solanae Sphere?" Lee asked.
    "Terrible things," Theo responded. "The Federation-Klingon War which followed the destruction of the Jouret Gate lasted another five years and laid much of the Alpha Quadrant to waste. In the meantime, the Iconians had been making many galactic entities into servitors that by 2425, we learned first-hand just how futile our fighting had been. The Elachi had destroyed the Romulan Republic by 2444, while Qo'noS had been conquered by a combined Hur'q-Voth task force in 2469. Earth remained until 2499, when the Solanae jumped a Dyson Sphere into the Sol System and stole the planet."

    Theo's eyes misted over; Lee saw that Kay's eyes were also starting to tear up.

    "Since then the Federation has been fighting a losing war, trying to attract those who still have hope that the Iconians can be defeated, while moving civilians from planet to planet to prevent them from being subsumed into the servitor workforce. Now we're at Procyon V, trying to prevent the entire quadrant from being subsumed into Iconian subspace. We've picked up gravimetric readings from spheres around the planet corresponding to another of the Iconians' servitors and we're going to launch a suicide mission to prevent them from expanding their territory. I have no faith in our survival or the success of this mission. But I do believe I have found a way to win."

    Theo Taylor stood up, fire in his eyes. The intensity put Lee and Kay Taylor aback.

    "Great-Grandmother always talked about a sister of hers which had served on a USS Lord English back in the early 25th century; I grew up learning about that ship and how it had found itself foiling time and again the Iconians' plans. Now I believe my entire life has been created to lead up to this moment! If I can send you back to Vauthil Station at the same instance you disappeared, the timeline can be rewritten so that the Alpha Quadrant alliance won't be destroyed, and the Iconians won't be able to exploit the destruction and conquer the Alpha Quadrant. I know that the Temporal Prime Directive prohibits me from changing the timeline so, but I've always believed that the timeline was already changed once you disappeared. So, can I count on you two to return to your time and save the Alpha Quadrant?"

    Lee looked at Theo Taylor. His glare was burning a hole in his forehead. He pondered the idea of returning to his time; it would be in the best interests of his crew to at least try to get back home, and saving the Alpha Quadrant would go a long way, but could he betray the Temporal Prime Directive? Suddenly, a gravimetric shockwave rocked the Lord English-E, knocking out much of its power. In the darkness, several white-skinned bald figures with flat noses appeared on the ship, attacking personnel and disrupting systems.

    "We don't have time for your reply, Admiral Lee!" Theo Taylor shouted. "The Sphere Builders have started their counter-attack! We need to get you on your ship!"

    ---

    Running down the corridors of Lord English-E, Theo, Kay, and Lee rushed back to the Lord English-A as Sphere Builders engaged in battle with the Starfleet crew. Weapons fire from outside began strafing the ship as Fek'Ihri and Voth ships began appearing out of subspace. Power began failing throughout the ship; entire sections were being destroyed and crewmembers sucked out into the void. Avoiding much of the fighting, Lee and the two Taylors made it to the bridge of Lord English-E, where they met Commander Thanme and Ensign K'Gan.

    "Admiral!" K'Gan stated. "The other ships in the task force have been captured or destroyed by the servitor attack! We are the only ones left; requesting an immediate retreat back to Sol to ask for more reinforcements!"
    "No can do, K'Gan," Theo responded. "If we leave Procyon now, we can't be sure if the temporal rift the A's came through will still be there. We have to get them back now if we stand a chance of saving the Alpha Quadrant."
    "Kadir, beneath Mo Moteh," Thanme stated. "Shaka, as the wall was falling."
    "I know that this plan is most likely going to fail," Taylor said, "but if we try nothing, we die for nothing, and the Iconians will have won indefinitely."

    Theo turned to Lee.

    "If you can guide your ship into the rift, I'll be able to cover you from the E," Theo stated. "If all goes well, you will be back in your time before you know it."

    Lee began to reply to Theo, but at that point, another explosion rocked the bridge. Solanae and Elachi ships had finished off the remainder of the Procyon V task force and were firing on Lord English-E. Different servitors began beaming onto the ship, and a Sphere Builder materialized behind Theo, impaling him with her hand. Although K'Gan headbutted the Sphere Builder and Lee finished her off with his retractable karambit, it was too late for Theo, who fell to the floor dead.

    "Shaka, when the walls fell!" Thanme cried out. "Kiazi's children, their faces wet!"

    More and more servitors beamed into the ship. Other Sphere Builders, Hur'q, and Quarrens attacked the bridge, which devolved into a melee. With the Lord English-E falling apart, returning the A to the rift seemed like an impossibility. Lee attempted to contact the English-A on a console; after seven seconds he was able to input the correct commands.

    "Admiral!" Chief Engineer T'Shaanat cried over the com channel. "The cargo bay of the future vessel is under heavy attack! We are currently fighting off Elachi and Fek'Ihri combatants!"
    "I need you to get the ship out of the cargo bay, T'Shaanat!" Lee responded. "Once you're free, head to the rift we came here in!"

    Lee turned to K'Gan.

    "Hit the button that blows the doors to Cargo Bay 7!"

    K'Gan did so; the Lord English-A was blown out in an explosive decompression and made its way under fire to the rift. Lee turned to Thanme and Kay.

    "Kay, I need you to beam to the ship immediately to take command. Thanme, I want you to beam me back to my ship once it reaches one kilometer from the rift. I won't brook any disagreement, because if this works, none of this will have happened.

    Kay saw the same fire in Lee's eyes that were in Theo's eyes and saw further argument was useless.

    "Admiral," she proclaimed. "If you don't return to the ship once we hit one kilometer, I'm turning it around and rescuing you."
    "Yeah, yeah," Lee said as she dematerialized off the E's bridge and onto the A's bridge.

    More and more servitor ships poured out of the subspace rifts around the spheres. Many of the ships targeted the Lord English-A and attempted to destroy it, only for their shots to be blocked by the English-E's bulk and destroyed by the E's weapons. Soon, the A reached two kilometers away from the rift.

    "We're almost done here, ladies and gentlemen, but now it's crunch time," Lee told the E's bridge crew. At that point, an Iconian Dreadnought slipped out of subspace and caught Lord English-A in a tractor beam. On the viewscreens of both Lord English's, an Iconian face appeared, shrouded in darkness.

    "Do not resist your fate. All will become servitors. This is the destiny of all."

    As the Iconian dreadnought powered up its weapons, Lee took control of the English-E and pushed its engines to full. The massive Universe-class vessel rammed the Iconian ship, breaking the tractor lock on the A. In retaliation, the dreadnought pounded the E with all its weapons, causing much of its saucer to disintegrate to fine particles. Lee shouted a last message to Kay over the viewscreen.

    "This is it, Kay! Save our future!"

    The Lord English-E exploded under the withering fire of the Iconian dreadnought and was lost with all hands; the force of the E's warp core breach propelled the Lord English-A into the rift, and back into its own time.

    ---

    "Hey, it's you again."

    Admiral Lee found himself on a Wells-class Timeship. He began to feel some disorientation as a well-dressed captain approached him.

    "Where am I?" Lee asked. "What am I doing here?"
    "You keep getting into temporal shenanigans, Admiral," the well-dressed captain replied. "This has been the second time you've found yourself on my bridge, you know. If you keep appearing like this, I may need to give you a room on the Pastak."

    Lee attempted to question the captain some more before he disappeared off the bridge.

    ---

    The Terran Empire flagship ISS Stadi had suffered grievous damage in its assault on Vauthil Station. Having lost weapons and shields, the Captain of the Stadi ordered ramming speed to destroy the Remans. The dreadnought lurched forward and barreled towards the station as it tried desperately to target the ship with its remaining weapons. As the Stadi closed to within one kilometer, the Lord English successfully returned to its timeline, with Admiral Lee on board.

    "Now! Tractor beam repulsors!"

    The Lord English pushed the Stadi off its suicide run and into open space, where it was demolished by Vauthil Station's plasma Spinal Lance. Once the sensors were clear of enemies, Obisek hailed the Lord English and the other defenders.

    "Thank you, my allies. Without your help, Vauthil Station would have been lost."

    Lee opened hailing frequencies in response.

    "Don't mention it, Obi. I'm sure you would do the same for anyone else in the Alpha Quadrant Alliance."

    ===
    Captain's Log, supplemental. We have won a great victory today. The extra-dimensional invasion was stopped in its tracks, and the Federation was spared a war which would have brought untold suffering among its citizens. The Lord English has distinguished itself with great distinction during the battle to the point that Starfleet Command wants to commend the crew in a public ceremony at Earth Spacedock. Admiral Valot has declined to rename Procyon V "Demon's Run" but has given me special dispensation to award my crew the title of "Good People". I will take this opportunity to visit Aunt Kay and Fleet Admiral Lee to tell them of the good news.
    Post edited by zidanetribal on
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