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Unofficial Literary Challenge #17: STO Thanksgiving

starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,673 Arc User
edited November 2015 in Ten Forward
Welcome to the seventeenth edition of the Unofficial Literary Challenge: "STO Thanksgiving"! This month we're doing some lighter fare because last month was all doom and gloom.

Prompt #1: "What Are You Thankful For?"
Thanksgiving is a North American holiday that originated as a combination of harvest celebration and religious festival. Earthlings still celebrate it in the 24th century, but what did the nonhuman citizens of the Federation or neighboring states make of it? And most of all, what are they thankful for?
* * *

Prompt #2: "Sheer Boredom" by @worffan101
Your ship is stuck on a perfectly ordinary patrol mission in which absolutely nothing at all has happened. The tension is metaphorically killing you, and the crew is stupendously bored out of their skulls.

How do you deal with this crippling boredom?
* * *

Prompt #3: "Out of the Game" by @antonine3258
Your captain is prepping for a potential long-term mission (exploration, deep strike, colony fleet) that could last several months. Time to update the bridge roster? What are they bringing? What contingencies are they preparing for on the journey? What do they hope or fear to face?

What is happening with their relationships with such a long-term separation, and what would happen if the mission is scrubbed after all this work?


As usual, no NSFW content.

The discussion thread is here.

Index of previous ULCs:
  1. The Kobayashi Maru
  2. Time After Time
  3. The Next Generation of Tribbles with Darkest Moments
  4. The Return of the Revenge of the Unofficial LC of DOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!
  5. Back from the Dead?
  6. Gods of Lower Decks in Wintry Timelines
  7. Skippy's List: Starfleet Edition
  8. Revisit to a Weird Game, One of One
  9. In Memory of Spock
  10. Redux 1
  11. Delta Recruit
  12. Someone to Remember Them By
  13. In A.D. 2410, War Was Beginning
  14. The Sound of Q-sic
  15. Stand for the Crew
  16. A Future That Many Will Never See
"Two ways to view the world, so similar at times / Two ways to rule the world, to justify their crimes / By Kings and Queens young men are sent to die in war / Their propaganda speaks those words been heard before"
— Sabaton, "A Lifetime of War"
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Comments

  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited November 2015
    Author's note:These are the events prior to ULC 15, which were not transcribed at the time of writing, so as to keep that entry on topic and to a reasonable length, but they were scenes which I was aware of, and would have written, had I been working on a longer entry. As such, I don't consider this so much a 'prequel' as a 'catching up with events'...

    Prompt 3: Out of the Game

    R H A P S O D Y . I N . B L U E . ( A N D . G R E E N )



    Captain's personal log, Stardate [REDACTED],
    I've heard it said that, 'Romulans are creatures of duty'.

    I was always raised to believe that the common goal of the state, outweighs any personal ambitions. Obedience, discipline and loyalty, were the basic tenets instilled in me by my uncle and my parents: that a Rihanha must not hesitate to give her life if it will benefit the whole people and the Empire.

    The Empire is no more. I am a Federation citizen. I have now lived the majority of my life as a Federation citizen. And I wear a Starfleet uniform. But the principles upon which my career was built, and the forces which continue to guide it, remain true to the lessons of my youth. Some may consider me a traitor to my people. I disagree: I
    am the legacy of Romulus.

    Once more, the universe is taking me from a place I am settled, to put me in another. The motif of my life, it would seem...

    I can understand why Admiral Janeway authorised my transfer: I'm a trained MACO sniper with a career of tactical engagements behind me. It makes sense that I'm being called on again to serve as a soldier, rather than as a commander -- to have ground rather than decking beneath my feet.

    I may be a Federation citizen, but I am still a proud Rihanha and shall always serve in a manner befitting one. Especially as I know that this mission will be an important one, even if it is only temporary. This mission has the potential to have ramifications felt across at least two quadrants.

    James Kirk once said: "What you do here will ripple throughout history." Rare for a Terrhaha to so emote the ethos of the Rihansu, and ironic that history frequently made him an adversary of my people. He would have made a good Rihanha.

    It reassures to know that Admiral Cheliss must also approve of my qualifications to command the
    Xiphos' MACO complement, or he would have blocked the transfer. Both he and Admiral Janeway must feel that I can be of use in the Delta quadrant for the transfer to have been approved. So I shall serve: With obedience, discipline, and loyalty to my chain of command.

    On a personal level, it will be good to see Hugo -- I mean Vice-Admiral Danner -- again. The last time was -- no, not Chanos' court-martial, but when he lead the mission to end the assault on the Academy... He's been a captain for a fair time by Terrhaha standards, and deserves the promotion and the new command.

    If I allow myself to acknowledge it, I sometimes felt that I merely inherited this command. But I would still like to think that I embraced the role with every fibre of my being -- that I made a difference to the lives and careers of those who have served under me, rather than simply going through the motions and coasting. But I can't deny, this ship hasn't felt the same since it was grounded on Pentaxia.

    A third of my crew dead, killed not by a fightable enemy, but by the incompetence of another. Their aehallhir still walk the corridors, still stand posts. And not just the crew members, but Siri too. I know that even when the ink has faded from my face, I will still mourn the loss of my dearest friend. A hurt too visceral and raw to ever forgive or constrain by the limits of ritual. My mnhei'sahe will never allow me to, as the Terrhasu say, 'forgive and forget'. Not for the death of someone who supported me after Bernardez' violation... Not for someone who would have fought to the last for life had she been capable, as she fought for the emancipation of her people from monarchic rule. Without her, this ship has simply become a place occupied, the corridors now lonely during my runs. Not the home she made if feel like.

    It reassures to know that I'm leaving the ship in good hands. I don't know Romax'tansky ch'Ehra personally, not even by spoken reputation, but his service record speaks volumes: Like myself, a security officer by training, even if not a MACO. Someone who worked his way up the ranks, serving aboard the
    Endeavour and the Vespira, before a stint in Internal Affairs. This, is someone who respects the rules like I do. Who lives by the rules as I do, and who hates the accommodation of the unfit as much as I do.

    I earned my uniform and my rank by meeting every standard asked of me. Facing every challenge set before me. And overcoming them all. I never had to undertake modified training to gain eased qualifications. No one had to issue me a pass because equality said that the unequal must be treated equally.

    According to the stories my uncle told me about the old days of the Imperial navy, when the Federation and the Klling'hannsu
    feared our people, such inadequates would never have been tolerated. The standard was the standard. No more, no less... But of course, if they were Rihansu, their parents would have left them to the elements at birth. Kinder to their aehallhir to end their days quickly, than to allow them to suffer a lifetime of shameful inadequacy as a burden to others...

    Yet as much as the corruption, incompetence and malpractice that still permeates areas of Starfleet sickens me, it reassures me to know that there
    are still those who still hold a standard and expect others to meet it, rather than lowering their expectations... This Captain ch'Ehra is clearly such an officer. His time in Internal Affairs and aboard the Arcadia makes for fascinating reading, and I can see why he earned the Maxima, a command of his own, and now command of the Vanguard, however temporary it may be...

    In the dimly lit tranquility of her quarters, Ael stood facing the mirror in her small bathroom, her uniform's violet-grey bamboo singlet leaving her arms bare to the shoulders, while in the adjoining living area, her uniform's jacket and undershirt hung over the armrest of a low slung couch. Picking up an elasticated hair-tie, she ran her thumbs along the sides of her skull, pulling the scalp-section of her hair up into a topknot near the crown of her head, before reaching out and taking up the clipper. With quick, deft strokes, she moved the device across the sides and back of her head, causing thick swatches of her shoulder-length hair to drop away, leaving precisely trimmed stubble in its wake. Long enough to mask the skin of her scalp, but still short enough to feel like soft bristle.

    Taking hold of the base of the topknot with her thumb and forefinger pressed to her scalp, she ran the device across the edge of her hand, shearing through the mahogany-colored plume. Deactivating the clipper with her thumb and tossing it down, with the other hand, she hooked a finger and pulled the hair-tie out, then violently shook her head side to side to clear any stray strands. Reaching out, Ael picked up the ovoid form of her Verticoli and pulled the whale-bone hairbrush through her hair, barely feeling a hint of drag, as the precisely shaped bristles smoothed and further refined her cut into its customary part over her right eyebrow. The dark wing both followed and covered the frontal ridges of her forehead, and scrutinising her reflection, she was satisfied that her vision was unimpeded. It was a practical haircut. A soldier's haircut. One which would not tangle or interfere with the helmet of either an EVA suit, or combat armor. One which would not get in her eyes if it got wet, nor afford an opponent an efficient grip in hand to hand combat.

    On the sofa, the comm-badge on Ael's uniform jacket chirped, and reverently returning the Verticoli to the shelf of the vanity unit, she moved to tap it, before lowering onto the edge of the sofa.

    "Go ahead," she said, dusting some stray hairs from her shoulders.

    "The Paladin has entered range, and is signalling that the Admiral's party is ready to beam aboard," Lieutenant Lee Roper's voice informed her.

    "Thank you, Mister Roper," Ael said. "I'll be there momentarily."

    Standing, she slipped on her undershirt and jacket, secured them, and left her quarters.

    * * *

    Ael entered the transporter room to find Executive Petty Officer Kam Zubairi already present and standing at ease, before coming smartly to attention, "At ease, Mister Zubairi " she said, before turning away from the Bolian, to face Master Chief Petty Officer Mu'awiyah th'Shaan, who was finalising the settings of his console.

    "The Paladin is now confirming ready for transport, Captain," the Andorian reported, raising his eyes to meet Ael's, his antenna remaining tilted down toward his console.

    "Thank you, Master Chief," she acknowledged with a crisp nod. "Energise."

    Light shimmered and swirled above the transporter platform, before coalescing into three humanoid forms of various heights.

    Ael immediately noticed the warm, relaxing scent of Deltan pheromones diffusing into the room, and unconsciously, she took a deeper breath, feeling calm suffuse her body. The floral fragrance chasing away a tension she had not even realised she felt, until she became aware of its absence.

    The muscular Deltan lieutenant smiled cordially, but following protocol, he made no move to introduce himself or otherwise engage in conversation, merely stood at ease on the platform.

    Ael's gaze then went to the stocky, porcine form of Admiral Kauat. She would normally have anticipated some barbed remark from the Tellarite, but he was apparently also soothed by the pheromones into behaving in a less abrasive manner.

    "You punctuality is impressive, Captain," he said, stepping down off the transporter platform.

    "Aye, Sir," Ael acknowledged, casting her scrutiny toward the third figure, a tall, athletic Andorian, with a shock of thick white hair which hung just over the tops of his ears and uniform collar. Within regulation, but longer than Ael would have expected.

    He had the cold, hard demeanour of a hunter, and even without the confirmation of his name, Ael would easily have told his chan gender from his harsh, chiseled bone structure. He had an air of unmistakable Masculinity about him. Gravitas and presence. What the Rihansu called draese, what the Terrhasu would have called 'a man's man'. A simmering, competent self-assurance radiated from him which was impossible to miss.

    This is someone I can entrust my ship to... Ael realized with certainty.

    "Captain t'Kazanak, permission to come aboard?" he asked, his tone laconic, almost bored, but given focus by his clipped Andorian accent.

    "Granted," she replied, as he and the Deltan stepped down from the platform and stood before her beside the admiral. At maybe twelve centimeters taller than her own one point seven three meters, Max looked down on Ael with both his eyes and antenna. "Although I wasn't informed of the size of your party," she said, her eyes once more flicking toward the Deltan.

    "This is my communications officer, Lieutenant Lyonn," Max clarified.

    Lyonn continued to smile amiably, and nodded in acknowledgement, "Captain," he offered in greeting, receiving a curt nod in return from the Romulan.

    "Lieutenant," Ael replied, before addressing herself to Max once more. "The Vanguard's AI has always handled communications, and other ship-board functions."

    Max's expression remained one of cold inscrutability. "I like to keep organic officers at a post as much as possible," he countered. "Systems can and do fail at the most inopportune moment, Captain, as you are no doubt aware. Systems errors do not incapacitate the living..."

    Despite the calm created by Lyonn's pheromones, Ael bristled sightly. She felt obliged to defend the AI's efficiency, but was only too aware of how a massive systems failure was the cause of the Vanguard's grounding, and the subsequent losses of lives. She couldn't fault Max's statement. Instead, she simply nodded, and gestured toward Kam.

    "Petty Officer Zubairi will arrange quarters for you, Lieutenant, as well as guest quarters for yourself, Admiral, if you'd care to freshen up before the transfer?"

    "That would be appreciated, Captain," Kauat said, before they walked into the corridor.

    * * *

    The mess hall had been re-organized to a formal space, where interested members of alpha and gamma shifts stood in rows, with the ship's heads of department occupying the front row in their grey and white dress uniforms. To one side of the raised staging area's podium, Ael and Max stood in readiness, with Admiral Kauat a step behind and away from the podium,

    In the gold-shouldered dress uniform of an enlisted officer, Kam Zubairi stood behind the podium. "Ship's company, Parade Rest!" the Bolian officer ordered. "Welcome to this afternoon's change of command ceremony, for commanding officer of the Federation starship Vanguard. I'm Chief Petty Officer Kam Zubairi, and will be your master of ceremonies for this event.

    "The change of command ceremony is a long standing tradition, and is the formal process by which a new commanding cfficer relieves the previous commander of responsibility for a starship. The ceremony offers an opportunity to gain appreciation for, and observe the authority and total responsibility of the commanding officer.

    "Moreover, the position of commanding officer requires great trust and unwavering loyalty from the crew, and the ceremony ensures that all hands recognize the transfer of command and render proper obedience to the new commanding officer.

    "The personnel inspection by the present and future commanding officer is a traditional element of the change of command ceremony. The process of relieving command is a complex and comprehensive one. The responsibility and accountability of all elements of the command includes assigned personnel. The honor of trooping the line, carries with it the added dimension of assuring proper appearances and military bearing of the ship's personnel prior to the transfer of command."

    Moving out from behind the podium, Kam faced the assembled officers, and snapped, "Prepare for inspection!" As the officers all stepped to, the Bolian turned back toward Ael, gave a formal salute, and declared, "Captain, ship's company are ready for inspection."

    Returning the salute, Ael turned toward Max, "Sir, will you please accompany me on an inspection of the crew?"

    The Andorian nodded, "I will, Sir," he replied, and together, they stepped down from the stage and approached the line of the ship's heads of department. The first, was the gargantuan rock-like form of Commander Pok Raban. The Brikar extended his massive rust and sand-colored tridactyl hand.

    "Commander Pok Raban, Captain," he said. "Executive officer and senior tactical officer."

    With a nod, Max accepted the handshake, his hand disappearing within the Brikar's grasp, before he moved down the line, each officer introducing themself in turn.

    "Commander T'Reya, Senior Counsellor,"

    "Commander Heath Fletcher, Chief Engineer,"

    "Doctor Benjamin Kincaid, Chief Medical Officer,"

    "Lieutenant Commander T'Natra, Senior Navigator,"

    "Lieutenant Lee Roper, Operations Manager,"

    "Lieutenant Kristen Laing, Chief Science Officer,"

    "Lieutenant Macy Nguyen, Senior Security officer,"

    "Lieutenant Adam Rivera, Senior Armory Officer,"

    "Lieutenant Tilly Campbell-Black, Senior Stellar Cartographer,"

    "Lieutenant Rana As-Saleh, Senior Geologist,"

    "Lieutenant Florian Heiber, Senior Botanist,"

    After greeting the last officer, Max and Ael walked back to the stage, where Kam began to step back and to the side of the podium, as he spoke.

    "It is now my pleasure to introduce today’s presiding official, Admiral Kauat, commanding officer of starbase Waystation Five."

    With a grunt, the Tellarite approached the podium, as Kam took up position to the side, hands loosely clasped behind his back. Resting his hands on the podium, and glaring out at the assembled officers from beneath his eye-folds, Kauat began:

    "A new commanding officer often brings changes, but the mission, the purpose which we all serve as Starfleet officers, remains. This is a crew which has seen trials and tribulations and served with valor. I see no reason for that to change."

    Glaring once more at the assembled officers, Kauat gave a non-verbal grunt of satisfaction, before stepping back from the podium once more.

    Stepping forward, and nodding to the senior officer, Kam returned to the podium.

    "Thank you, Admiral," he said. "The incumbent commanding officer, Captain Ael t'Kazanak, will now read her orders," As Ael approached the podium, Kam said, "Ship’s company will stand to attention during the captain's recitation."

    Placing the PADD she carried on the podium, Ael's eyes briefly flicked down to the device, then she looked up to the assembled crew, and began to speak.

    "From: Vice-Admiral Kathryn Janeway, Starfleet Command, Department of Personnel, to Captain Ael t'Kazanak, commanding officer, USS Vanguard.

    Upon relief, detach and report to Earth Spacedock One, for transfer to USS Xiphos to assume command of Bravo Sierra MACO detachment." Looking to Kauat, she said, "Admiral, I am ready to be relieved, Sir."

    The Tellarite nodded once, "Very well, Captain," he acknowledged, before Kam spoke again.

    "It is now my distinct honor to introduce the commencing commanding officer, Captain Romax'tansky ch'Ehra, who will declare his orders."

    Glancing at his PADD, Max walked to the podium, and read.

    "From: Vice-Admiral Kathryn Janeway, Starfleet Command, Department of Personnel, to Captain Romax'tansky ch'Ehra, commanding officer USS Maxima.

    Detach and report to USS Vanguard, for assignment as commanding officer."

    Turning to face Kauat, Max saluted, "Sir, I request permission to relieve Captain t'Kazanak as commanding officer of the Federation starship Vanguard."

    "Very well, permission granted," Kauat allowed.

    Max shifted slightly to directly face Ael.

    "I relieve you, Captain," he stated.

    "Very well, Captain," Ael replied. "I stand relieved."

    Looking back to the admiral, Max stated, "Sir, I have properly relieved Captain t'Kazanak, as commanding officer of the Federation starship Vanguard."

    The Tellarite nodded, "Very well," he acknowledged.

    Kam approached the podium once more.

    "Ladies, gentlemen, and otherly gendered species, I would like to introduce the Federation starship Vanguard's commanding officer, Captain Romax'tansky ch'Ehra."

    There was a gentle rippling of clapping, as Raban walked forward and stepped up onto the stage, before saluting Max. "Sir, I report for duty."

    Max returned the salute, and turned toward the assembled officers.

    "I'm sure I speak for everyone present when I wish Captain t'Kazanak safe passage and clear horizons in her new assignment. With the exception of the assignment of Lieutenant Lyonn to the role of communications officer, all standing orders, regulations and instructions remain in effect."

    * * *
    Post edited by marcusdkane on
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  • hawku001xhawku001x Member Posts: 10,162 Arc User
    edited November 2015
    The Steamrunner-class U.S.S. Tsunami tractor-beamed a distressed starship out of a decayed-orbit above the undefined world of Raatooras.

    "Will you be alright?" Captain McCary, upon the Bridge of his ship, hailed and asked.

    A pale, forehead-ridged Arin'Sen refugee named Tobias replied, "We will now, thanks to you. That's the last time we attempt a one-ship Kolvoord Starburst when leaving orbit."

    "Seems like you could have just left normally," McCary suggested.

    Tobias nodded. "Alas, we are victims of pomp and circumstance," he replied seconds before a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaked off his port bow and shot his ship down.

    The Tsunami crew watched in horror and shock as the Arin'Sen ship went careening back into the planet's atmosphere.

    "Talk about going on and on like some Betazoid sacred chalice owner. Well, they're crashed now," said the Klingon commander of the Rotog, after his image blinked on screen. "By the way, I am Captain Sigon."

    Wide-eyed and in shock, Captain McCary blurted, "What the hell, man?? We were just saving them??"

    "What? Why? This world is currently being conquered by the Klingon Empire."

    McCary crossed his arms in distracted realization. "Well, that explains why it wasn't appearing on the shared galactic map."

    "That map is too confusing! Earth is in the Beta Quadrant? I just don't get it. Also, what is the deal with your forehead? Your ridges look Klingon?" Sigon noticed.

    The Captain nodded. "I'm one-fourth, but, like most part-Klingons, we don't like to acknowledge it, except when forced into the Day of Honor by a Talaxian or need to explain why we get angry. I mean, it's an exclusive trait, am I right?"

    "I can't tell if your tone is sarcastic or naiveté. But, in the spirit of surviving the Iconian War, and for allowing our forces to be ordered about by the Kagran officer of unbelievable rank, I would like for you to join us at the tlho' poH Feast!"

    McCary hesitated. "Well, I am keen to learn more about my mysterious culture, which everyone keeps saying is the least mysterious of them all by now. So, yes; I will join you."

    ---

    Down on the planet, in an open square within a city center that was outfitted with dinner tables, food, and eating-Klingons, Arin'Sen slaves were being recruited and forced to truck barrels of meat and wine to jovial, indulgent-stuck war-mad invaders.

    "Welcome to the Feast!" Sigon opened, just after Captain McCary and two of his crew beamed in. "So, targ's out of the bag, we've annexed this planet before. You see, tlho' poH Feast commiserates a time of thanks and non-secular worship, to express what we Klingons are most thankful of."

    Lieutenant Commander Deborah asked, "And what's that?"

    "Our tradition of cultural imperialism! You see, every year we return to this planet as a family, conquer it, and have a feast!"

    McCary tossed his arms up in disappointment. "How could you ever think we'd be okay with that?"

    "Because we're allies? Don't look at me. It was the Iconians that brought us together." Sigon slapped him on his back. "Now, come have some traditional blood stuffing and blood pie!"

    Commander Morris turned to them. "He's got us there, Captain. Besides, I wouldn't mind trying the blood taters, to be honest."

    "Fine," McCary said, noticing a lone Arin'Sen kid scanning everyone from the sidelines. "Just don't let things escalate into genocide, no matter how natural that may come to us."

    ---

    Following the kid through an Arin'Sen communal area, into a poorly managed living district with tents and huts, McCary entered an unlit home where the kid delivered his scanner to his father and sister.

    "Hah! Found the rebellion, and all it took was luck-based detective work," McCary opened. "Sorry about barging into your home, by the way."

    From a dimly lit table where the two adults were, the daughter, Celecc, replied, "Well, of course there's a rebellion! The Klingons force us to rebuild our economy year after year, despite every now and then a small portion of us are able to escape via spaceship."

    "Uh, yeah," McCary added, nervously, while trying to avoid eye contact.

    The older man, Hemly, grumbled. "The time for Arin'Sen rebellion is over; vengeance must be taken, then repurposed, refitted and taken again."

    "Father, that's not who we are! Our people rebel in our own, passive way and we should be proud of that," urged Celecc. "Just yesterday, I sneered at a Klingon, albeit so subtle they thought they imagined it, but my point was made."

    McCary watched as Hemly got up, whipped his chair to the floor and left the tent. "So, you were just collecting data for passive-aggressive terror attacks?" McCary asked.

    "Never mind our brilliant strategies! The old man acts weird every year at this time; always going off to the caves, alone, hypothesizing our rippled forehead physiology allows us to commune with spirits or something," Celecc explained, trying to cover her forehead.

    The kid spoke up. "Papa made it work. Papa is the Sage."

    "Whoa, an arbitrary statement with no context," McCary realized. "That's precisely the motivation we need to 'explore' more into this, if you catch my word usage."

    Deborah nodded, confirming that she did.

    ---

    "Do you think that kid's one-off claims about his old man are true?" Deborah asked as she and McCary stepped into the dark caves, beaming flashlights all around.

    McCary shrugged. "They're a people who exist so another species can be thankful, therefore a higher power may not be so out-of-the-question, necessity-wise."

    "--INTERRUPTION BY LOUD SHOUTING!?" shouted Sigon as both McCary and Deborah became surrounded by his Klingon crew. "You've allied with the enemy in an instinctive repulsion against Klingon kind!"

    McCary replied, "More to the point that I realized what I was thankful for thanks to you-- which, in itself is a separate thanking, thank you very much."

    "Don't thank me: Thank your pitiful appreciation for Federation values, which you clearly desire to express through action, like some kind of action-value paradox," Sigon cursed just before spitting in disgust. "What you fail to realize is that every year we must fight the Sage which spawns in this cave, and threatens to destroy this planet and its people."

    They both turned as a hovering, glowing version of Hemly floated over and opened non-corporeal eyes at them. "This land has been disturbed by intruders. The Takarian people bare no witness!"

    "Wait, those are the people DiaMon Cide enslaved that one time? Their Sages went missing from the Delta Quadrant eons ago?" McCary hesitated before turning to Sigon. "Captain, this creature is antagonized by historical misconception!"

    Sigon replied, "Well, duh'gh! That's our version of 'duh' by the way."

    "Cleansing by means of extermination!" the modified voice of Hemly declared abstractly as he began flowing bands of matter destructive energy.

    McCary stole a bat'leth off a distracted Klingon and began hacking into the fused, part-corporeal entity. "Hey, my mother gave me that!" Klingon Engineer Poroka complained.

    The other Klingons joined in and, minutes later, the Sage left Hemly's body. Hemly fell to the ground, bleeding and in pain. "Well, it's about time," McCary said to the Klingon Captain, by way of some sort of resolution. "I was wondering when we'd discover a real reason behind all this. It's not justified, but at least there's some level of honor in all these horrors of late."

    "The what in the what-now?" Sigon replied, having been busy biting the head off an Arin'Sen sewer rat.

    Then, Hemly groaned as Poroka helped him to his feet. "Uggh. Same time next year?" Hemly managed to croak.

    "We wouldn't have it any other way. Qa'pla!" Sigon saluted.

    At those comments, McCary's jaw dropped. It was apparent the warrior class was working with the Arin'Sen to use the Sage for their own devices. McCary interrupted as Hemly began limping his way out of the cave. "Uh, what? Are you saying this whole yearly invasion thing is just some kind of interdependent role play??"

    Sigon hooked his bat'leth to his back somehow. "This is more than your simplification hullabaloo. We Klingons covet our reminiscings of real battles, and the Takarian Sage maintains that through authenticity. Like the Sage himself, memory is what motivates us."

    "Except in completely different ways! The only justifiable resemblance here is theme?"

    The warrior grasped McCary's shoulder in camaraderie. "And that has always been good enough for a Klingon. Come! We will feast on blood bread sticks!"

    ---

    Later, McCary, Deborah and Morris sat at a table in the town square with the Klingons, as large volumes of blood-based food were placed down right in front of them by lower-class Arin'Sen servers.

    "This feels wrong?" McCary hesitated in cognitive dissonance, seconds before taking a bite out of his Klingon bread stick. "Pass the blood butter?"
    Post edited by hawku001x on
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  • grylakgrylak Member Posts: 1,572 Arc User
    Prompt 2:

    Captains Log. The Tesla is on routine patrol among some of the inner worlds of the Federation. Although there shouldnae be much trouble in this sector, there is still potential for distress calls and spatial anomalies to crop up, which suits me fine. The Tesla is only a small ship and she ain't capable of dealing with border skirmishes. So far, we've patrolled from Sol to Sierra 39 without so much as a blip. We are closing on the P'Jem system where I hope it will be another quiet hour.


    Imzavia sat in her chair, watching the stars fly past on the viewscreen. She was still a fairly new Captain, but felt she was getting into command nicely. To her right, Emony chuckled, prompting Imzavia to look over. "Something tickled yer funny bone?" Emony was leaning over her chair panel, reading the screen. She brushed some of her shoulder length brown hair behind her ear, exposing her spots with a smile. She had recently started wearing her hair with a fringe that seemed to curl half way down her forehead, and it complemented her features nicely. There was a glint in her eye as she replied.

    "Just reading a letter from Amy. She's telling me about a funny incident between a Tholian, a Pakled and a Tellarite at the last conference she was chairing."
    "Ah. That does sound like an... interesting group."

    Imzavia looked around the Bridge again as Emony went back to reading. The Betazoid looked at her nails and started rubbing the middle nail of her right hand against her thumb nail. It was starting to fray a little. She would have to file that down when she got off duty. From the helm, Jose spoke up. "Approaching the P'Jem system Captain."
    "Drop us to Impulse and take us to the edge of the planatary orbits."

    The Nova class ship flashed into the system, her warp engines fading to a dim glow as they powered down. As they were near the outermost planet, the Tesla glided over, slipping into a high orbit. "Anything on sensors?" Emony had switched her panel to a sensor readout.
    "Nothing unusual on sensors Sir."
    "Peck?" The tactical officer scratched his beard as he reported there was nothing to report. The monastary appeared to be fully intact with the correct number of Vulcan lifesigns. There were no other starships within sensor range and there were no distress calls.

    "Alright everyone. We'll hold position here for an hour before we set course to the next system."

    The Bridge fell quiet, except for the beeping of consoles and the background hum of the warp core. Imzavia could sense the boredom of her crew. Sure, they wanted something to explore. Something to do. But not every ship could be an Enterprise. They were doing an important, if menial task. And one never knew when or where a ship may need rescuing. Imzavia looked over as Emony got to her feet and walked over to the Science station. There was some mild curiosity coming from her. Imzavia got up and walked over to her. "What is it?"
    "Sensors picked up something. It could be nothing more than radiation from a solar flare, but I want to make sure." Imzavia waited patiently while Emony refined the sensors. "No. No, it's just a radiation spike from a solar flare. Nothing out of the ordinary. It's already fallen back to normal levels."

    Imzavia tapped the edge of the console and walked back towards the centre of the Bridge. She looked around at everyone trying to make busy work. But even that was proving fruitless. Finally Peck said something.
    "Captain. I'd like to take this time to refine our targeting systems. When we fought those Tholians in that uncharted system, I noticed their calibration was off slightly."
    "By how much?"
    "Zero point four seven percent."
    "Och. That's nowt ta worry about."
    "It could mean the difference between striking a targeted system, and striking the hull."
    "I somehow doubt that."
    "Ok, maybe that's an exageration. But I still want to calibrate them."
    "Do you have to take the systems offline ta do it?"
    "No Sir."
    "Then go right ahead."
    "Yes Sir." Peck happily started typing away at his console, like he was writing the next great novel. Imzavia walked over to her chair and sat down, Emony having already returned to her seat. "You've been out here before. Tell me Commander, is it always this quiet?"

    Emony thought carefully about her adventures on the Sentinel before replying with a wry smile. "If we're lucky Captain. If we're lucky."
    *******************************************

    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'
  • grylakgrylak Member Posts: 1,572 Arc User
    Prompt 1:

    The wind gusted around K'hotiim as he simply stood stoic on the grassy hill. The illigal human settlement was burning nicely. As S'ag and Toshme came out of the one non burning hut, K'hotiim started using his tongue to pick at his teeth. There was a small piece of meat wedged between two, and it was annoying him. S'ag stopped in front of him and saluted. "All humans have been executed. The settlement's buildings are being destroyed and their supplies have already been beamed back to the ship. "
    "Excellent S'ag. Return to the ship. Toshme and I can finish up here. We will report to High Command that the humans will not be invading Imperial space again soon." S'ag saluted again and hailed the ship. As he dissapeared in the red light, the Orion woman bounced over to the Gorn. She started going around him in circles, only stopping when he raised an arm to point at the non burning hut. She swung under the arm and clung to it like it was a set of monkey bars.

    "Why is that building not burning?"
    "Because I think I know why there was so little resistance. You know, other than them all being farmers caught with their trousers around their ankles." K'hotiim looked down at her, waiting for her to continue. "If I'm reading the signs right, they were all celebrating. Something called Thanksgiving."
    "Thanksgiving?"
    Hmm mmm. Yep. Indeed. Thanksgiving."
    "And what exactly does this Thanksgiving entail?"
    "Follow me." She winked before dropping off his arm and skipping into the house. K'hotiim sighed at her antics and followed his mad Engineer. Inside the building was a table with a feast laid out on it. Some kind of cooked bird was in the centre, and lots of vegetables surrounded it. There was some strange diorama with people in little black outfits sat around the table to the side. "I cross referenced large meals and those ornamants with Terran traditions. It came back with Thanksgiving. Apparantly, it's some archiac ritual dating back to the 1800's where some colonists arrived on a new shore and got hungry. The locals took pity on them and shared their food. The colonists gave thanks, everyone had a good time and a couple of days later, the colonists killed the locals and took all their land."

    K'hotiim blinked and looked slowly at Toshme. Really?" She just shrugged impishly.
    "That's what the database says."
    "Terrans never truly change." K'hotiim picked up one of the figures and started inspecting it. It was crudely made out of clay. It looked like a child had made it. Some random terran male in a black outfit and a black hat. He couldn't get any more than that from it as the figure promptly shattered with the slightest pressure from his thumb. "Not very well made. Sometimes the similarities between the Terrans and the Klingons frighten me."

    Toshme had picked up a carrot and was nibbling on the thin end. "What do you mean?" K'hotiim gestured around the room. "The symbolism. The flags. The holding on to ancient traditions that have no bearing on the present."
    "To be fair, I don't think many Terrans actually celebrate this anymore."
    "I don't think they celebrate anything anymore, except for the start of a new year."
    "Still, some people evidently still care about the past. Just like our bumpy headed friends."
    "Hmmm. There is one difference. Terrans love to cook their food." K'hotiim picked up the large cooked bird in the centre of the table in one claw. "A Klingon wouldn't be caught dead eating this." He sank his teeth into the side of the bird and tore a great chunk out. His chewing slowed to a crawl as he looked at the bird in his hand, pure vile disgust on his features. "What. Is. This?"

    He spat the food onto the floor and dropped the bird. Toshme walked over, grabbed the back of a chair and swung it around. She jumped onto it so she could be eye level with him. "If they stuck with the traditional animal, it's called a turkey."
    "It's bland is what it is. No taste. No texture. Pathetic, even by Terran standards."

    Toshme gently rubbed the underside of K'hotiim's jaw with her palm. "Let me try." She carefully plucked a piece of turkey from K'hotiim's teeth and popped it into her mouth. She made a big show of thinking it over before a large gulp was met with a dissapointed "Meh."
    "Come, let's finish up here."

    Toshme gave him a quick peck on the snout before jumping off the chair sideways and going into the kitchen. This settlement seemed to be using natural gas to power itself. She did what she had done in the other huts. She disconnected the gas mains and let it flood into the house. She was about to look for a match in one of the drawers when K'hotiim grabbed her arm and forced her towards the door. As he did, he took a grenade off his belt and dropped it in the door. The heat and noise from the explosion ripping the hut apart washed over the pair, who simply continued walking without breaking stride. Away from the flames, K'hotiim finally released her and signalled the ship to transport them up.

    "When we get back to the ship, we are removing all reference to Terran customs in the database. This is getting stupid now."
    Toshme just pouted, her mockingly dissapointed "awwwww" blending with the whine of the transporter beam.
    *******************************************

    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'
  • cmdrscarletcmdrscarlet Member Posts: 5,137 Arc User
    edited February 2016
    Endangering the Mundane - Prompt 2

    Kathryn looked from the PADD with raised eyebrows to the two officers standing relaxed before her desk. The blonde female was relatively young wearing Science department colors on her uniform. She was lithe and her long blonde hair was styled with extra volume. The Vulcan’s short midnight black hair was a stark contrast to her uniform’s Operation yellow highlights on an otherwise traditionally black-colored uniform. Sitting, Kathryn put the PADD on her desk and crossed her arms, yet smiled approvingly as she reclined her chair.

    “This is a great idea. Why not?”

    Counselor Harrington’s smile seemed to brighten the room.

    S’Rel’s typically neutral affect almost turned to grimace from the Captain’s judgment and cleared her throat indicating she was about to speak next. “Captain, we are currently on a system charting mission. This event would be a distraction from duty.”

    Christa rolled her eyes slightly. “That is fully appreciated. From what I can tell, the Astrometrics teams are the ones doing most of the work and I’m sure they are relishing the experience. All fun and no play make Starfleet a dull -”. She shrugged searching for words, and then settling on the most obvious. “Fleet.”

    Swiveling her chair toward the windows, Kathryn mused further on the arguments presented as she absentmindedly rubbed a finger against the rank pips on her collar. Solaris was resting at the second Lagrange point of the largest planet in the current system. As such, there was not much to see. Not being in motion for a few days while various probes and shuttles were used for deep-data scans and measurements did have some crew members itching for duties beyond expectantly mundane tasks. Although times like these are a part of the ‘job’, it was true that Astrometric personnel were the busiest. Even Kathryn caught herself looking for something official to do on occasion. At least her list of things-to-do-when-nothing-else-was-happening was getting shorter.

    Kathryn looked to S’Rel. “Your advice is always appreciated, yet I think a little distraction will be good for moral.” She then looked to Christa. “At the same time, the crew needs to stay focused on their duties. This must not have a time frame that will force decisions to be made that could endanger their original task and ultimately the ship. I don’t want discipline to falter because of this.”

    Both officers spoke at the same time. “Yes, sir.”

    “Christa, with that said, I’ll leave the details up to you. Make sure the Duty Leaders understand the importance to follow-up on their teams as scheduled and to reign in anyone having too much fun. Finally, I request that anything making the list not involve EVA.”

    “Yes, Captain.”

    Kathryn saluted from her chair. Christa and S’Rel saluted and left the room. The doors stayed open as Anthi walked in. Looking over her shoulder, she pointed a thumb to the door and asked, “what was all that about?”

    Kathryn stood and wore a wry smile on her face. “Ever been on a scavenger hunt before?”

    Post edited by cmdrscarlet on
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