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Unofficial Literary Challenge #36: "Past, Present, and Future"

aten66aten66 Member Posts: 646 Arc User
Welcome to the thirty-sixth edition of the Unofficial Literary Challenge: "Past, Present, and Future"!

Sorry, @starswordc , thought I'd lend you a hand since I'm prepping my ULC Annual... I think it eats up posts with too many hyperlinks/bbcode

Prompt 1: "In their footsteps" by @solarigon

"I envy you, taking these first steps into a new frontier."
- Capt. Picard Star Trek: First Contact


Whether it's looking back to the voyages of James Kirk, the philosophies of Surak, or the battles of Kahless the Unforgettable, every generation thinks about those that came before. Perhaps the rules were different back then, or times more simple and clear cut between heroes and villains, or what you now take for granted they did without and to greater results. How does your captain look back on history and those that wrote it?
* * *

Prompt 2: "Apparitions" by @ambassadormolari

Your captain, or one of your officers, is starting to see things. What it is that they see could vary-- it could be a long-dead crewmate, walking around and talking as though still alive. It could be strange, alien figures crossing the halls. It could be ghastly apparitions, crawling between doorways. As much as your captain insists at the existence of these apparitions, no one else can see them. Already, many of your captain's officers are starting to whisper to one another that their commander may be mentally ill. Write about what happens to your captain-- is his/her mind actually playing tricks on them, or are the apparitions real?
* * *

Prompt 3: "Butterfly" by @proteusrex
As you prepares for a routine shift, or seemingly unimportant away mission you are visited by a far-future descendant (or for you immortal beings, embittered and weathered future self). They have come with a warning that a seemingly minuscule and innocent event will irreparably change the future and that it must not come to pass. What tiny thing threatens the future? and what is so bad that you must break the temporal prime directive?

As usual, no NSFW content.

The discussion thread is here.

The LC Submission 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
  17. STO Thanksgiving
  18. Winter Wonderland Celebrations II
  19. Once In A Lifetime
  20. Coming Around Again
  21. In the Darkness
  22. The Company You Keep
  23. Battle Scars
  24. Mirror Wars
  25. Agents of Yesterday
  26. Love and Loss
  27. Extra Lives
  28. Death and Taxes
  29. Temporal Intrigue
  30. Redux, Reuse, Regift?
  31. There Are 31!
  32. New Year, New Changes
  33. What Happens on Drozana...
  34. Moreau
  35. Rhyme Directive

Comments

  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,635 Arc User
    (paperweight)
    "Two ways to view the world, so similar at times / Two ways to rule the world, to justify their crimes / By Kings and Queens young men are sent to die in war / Their propaganda speaks those words been heard before"
    — Sabaton, "A Lifetime of War"
    9MUythl.png
    (Vaporware thanks to Foundry shutdown. Thanks a frakking bunch, Cryptic.)
  • hawku001xhawku001x Member Posts: 10,103 Arc User
    edited June 2017
    The I.K.S. Dragunov arched through space while Captain Kronen, a Klingon Defense Force officer and Ferasan, sat, intently at his command chair.

    "Sir, I report we will arrive at the coordinates of the two warring Houses shortly," said Commander Red from the Helm.

    Kronen kept a stern look forward before glancing down at him. "Excellent, Commander. By the way, according to rank, you should be by my side delegating ship tasks rather than operating menial functions like some kind of Fek'Ihri Hoardling."

    "No offense, but the executive officer role is reminiscent of a pet targ in an Orion Slave Girl den. No, I am an able-bodied man, with the capability to operate Bridge processes in an exemplary fashion," answered Red. "A true officer gets his hands dirty every now and then! Please disregard the cleanliness of this console."

    The Captain groaned. "All those years you spent with the Federation on exchange has given you a messed up work ethic. Enjoy your rank for once; that's all I'm saying. Anyway, our mission here is to negotiate a trade with an enemy House."

    "Seems like a mad man's mission, Captain," commented Lieutenant Commander Linng, another Ferasan and the ship's tactical officer, from her station.

    The Ferasan Captain snarled. "You would be right, but the Empire wants to unite against our true enemies, whomever the aliens are for this week; and, what better way to become a stronger people than to make ourselves stronger? Have any of you heard of the ancient Klingon known as Kahless?"

    "He was some kind of giant floating head, right?" said Bekk Fen, a youthful Klingon and the Operations officer, genuinely confused.

    Kronen stood. "You fool! He was the strongest warrior known in all the land and he wasn't afraid to make change and lead by strength! Even though I'm not a Klingon, I can respect and admire the enormity of a legend that he was."

    "He ate the hearts of so many kolar beasts," Red realized.

    Throwing down his PADD in anger, Kronen declared, "Kahless was renown for his lessons! Who do you think united the warring states of Quin'lat and Mekro'vak? It was said he threw himself into the field of battle and killed 200 men and women on each side in order to get their attention. He then turned to them all and forced them to join together in holy matrimony— but the warrior version."

    "I doubt the actions of some Klingon from centuries past could be of any relevance today," said Lieutenant Kaz, the science officer and a Gorn.

    Kronen nodded solemnly. "Oh, but he does; if only we allow such lessons to ruminate with our actions in the now. Take this Ferasan mouse in my palm," he said, holding it up. "I shall deliver it to the High Council as my contribution to the Empire, and honor will be mine."

    "Ew! Put that thing down!" cried the onscreen hail of an astonished Captain Zang from the I.K.S. Roku. "You feline beasts are the bane of the Klingon Empire!"

    The Ferasan commanding officer bared his teeth. "Unlike your kind, I believe in the Empire. I will sacrifice to make it better."

    "The House of Groth sacrifices all it can for the greater good! Who do you think helped put J'mpok into power?" said Zang. "That's right; we murdered sooooo many Klingons to get him there. Oh, the killing was good. I actually tasted the blood of my brethren from the counter-splash."

    Kronen waved the topic away with his palm. "Forget your whole dishonor stuff. My job is to unite you with the House of Tochi in order to facilitate a better tomorrow."

    "Like we would ever do any business with that fool's House!" came the pre-antagonized banter of Captain Nogoth of the I.K.S. Kleckogunam, now dropped out of warp and rendezvoused with them. "We were once like House Groth, pitiful and dishonorable, but we changed and learned to breed Pipius crabs, a delicacy served dead among the elite."

    The Captain threw up his arms. "We didn't even ask you about that. Do not offer backstory or intriguing peeks into Klingon culture unprompted! As for the joining of your Houses, I am here to propose trade betwixt you both as so: House Tochi's Klingon octopus goods for House Groth's ship parts," offered Kronen. "You are both flying old starships, but the Klekogunam looks like it takes a walking cane into its warp fields."

    "Though we would greatly benefit from an octopus supply, I would never allow any relations with the Fool Tochi House of Foolish Foolishness!" charged Zang.

    Nogoth agreed. "That Groth House overuses the word 'fool' more than the average Klingon overuses the word 'fool'. He will pay, that fool!"

    "You are both petaQ!" interjected Kronen in his best attempt at a Klingon accent. "Kahless once forged an entire army from the ancient villages of Qam-Chee, Tong Vey and Ketha Minor to fight against the armies of Molor. He waited for no bickering and made it so. In his vein, I will also make this so!" He nodded to his Ferasan tactical officer, Linng, who targeted weapons on both Klingon vessels.

    Zang was taken aback, unprepared for the atrocious gesture. "What are you saying? You will destroy us if we don't agree to this trade??"

    "Your aggressive behavior will never hold up with us, Kronen!" argued Nogoth.

    Kronen nodded before a passionate declamation. "No, but perhaps the spirit of Kahless will. It is through me His legacy flows! I will take the lessons of the Unforgettable and be guided by His wisdom and gile!!"

    "You... what?" blinked Zang.

    Nogoth was also left with barely any words. "Kahless? But you're no Klingon??" he said, confused.

    "Whoever heard of a Kzinti channeling Klingon honor?" Zang continued. "Wait. Is it Kzinti or Ferasan? I heard there was a naming convention?"

    Kronen launched a payload of over-powered tractor emitters and locked both the K'Vort-class Roku and the Negh'Var warship Klekogunam in place via directed energy. He then dropped two Heavy Disruptor Satellite Turrets over them, armed, and targeted at each Klingon vessel.

    "We don't talk about that," Kronen winced, suppressing his predator-like instincts. "Oh my; is your destruction looking quite tasty right about now."

    Zang pointed. "Your species freaks me out, Kronen! It's well known that cannibalism is still rampant in your practices, and perhaps coveting other people's wives; I don't know. The idea you channel Kahless is an insult and a perversion!"

    "Who's to say he hasn't?" Nogoth questioned. "What we perceive is only limited to our understanding of the Ferasans. It's not our fault we are so self-invested."

    The House Groth Klingon gritted his teeth. "That is the direct line of reason for self-investing by the mechanism of logic itself! Those cooked pipius crabs are messing with your heads, House Tochi! Trade us those so we can rid you of them and enjoy them ourselves. It was Kahless that slew the Great Klingon Crab, after all, by cutting himself into its backside and out its mouth in slimy, profusely-gunky gore."

    "Hah! I haven't heard that story since I was a small one. Give us a regular inventory on your ship parts and we have a deal," agreed Nogoth. "Kahless be with us!"

    Zang raised his fist in passion before the tractor beams on both ships dropped and they both turned to warp out of there. "To Kahless!"

    "So, how much of that was our doing?" Red asked, turning to the Captain with both problem-vessels now free of the view screen.

    Kronen relaxed his tense feline muscles, having allowed his prey gone. "It was the power of Kahless, Commander, transcending us all. Well, at least the mission was a success, and my convictions validated by their ancestry."

    "As my convictions are daily, as well," Red said of his work on menial tasks. "Well, perhaps I shall join you by your side after all, since it appears you complete greater, more social-conscious tasks on the management level, as it were. Qapla'!"

    The Captain gave him a lost look at that last bit. "Are you okay? Perhaps you should use the much coveted Klingon powder room?"

    "It means 'success'," an astonished Red continued, unable to believe his commanding officer ignorant of the most basic Empire phraseology.

    Kronen then nodded in understanding. "Ah; never been one for success. I just do things based on historical research." And then, "Did you know Zephram Cochrane invented warp drive for the Humans? I want you to play Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf whenever we go to warp speed from now on."

    "What?" Red said, confused.

    Kronen slammed his fist on his chair. "You heard me! Dismissed!" And with that, he watched the Klingon slowly back out of the Bridge, now even more confused than ever.
    Post edited by hawku001x on
    rrw_tetreya2.jpg
  • cmdrscarletcmdrscarlet Member Posts: 5,137 Arc User
    History In Hand

    The doors to the holodeck swished open and inside the darkened room stood the Chief of Security. Bur’ar was unusually tall for a Klingon, yet had the traditional gruff demeanor of a tireless warrior. He stood with arms crossed behind a table with an assortment of pistols arrayed.

    Kathryn felt lucky to have Bur’ar aboard Solaris. He had escorted her on many away missions over the two years he served with her and she trusted his judgment without reservation. They didn’t commiserate frequently though not against her own attempts to get to know the senior staff. She walked up to the table confidently. “Chief.”

    Saluting dutifully, Bur’ar replied, “Captain, I hope you have kept your aim true?”

    She smiled. “Of course! I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of the ship’s sharpshooter.”

    The corners of Bur’ar’s lips lifted slightly from the compliment. “Indeed.” He looked to the weapons on the table. “Which pistol would you care to test your skills with today?”

    Kathryn lifted a standard issue phaser and pointed it down the cavernous room with an eye closed, aiming at an imaginary target. “Tell me Lieutenant, have you considered the aesthetic of the Federation phaser pistol?”

    Bur’ar lifted one and contemplated as he turned it over in his hand. “Yes. Compared to the standard Klingon disruptor, the grip causes unnecessary strain to hand and wrist muscles.” He also pointed the Phaser into the room to mimic Kathryn, and then lowered his arm but kept his aim to the imaginary target. “The design is certainly functional for short-duration use. As you know, my preference is for rifle variants in a protracted engagement.”

    She nodded in agreement and looked over the gleaming white pistol, even in the subdued light. “Would you say it is an elegant weapon?”

    “It matches the Federation aesthetic.”

    Rolling her eyes, Kathryn giggled softly. “You really don’t care too much about it, do you.”

    “No, sir.”

    Kathryn reached behind her back and pulled out another pistol she had secreted. It was greyish-silver with rounded corners along a rectangular action. The grip extended at an angle from the front end of the action. She proudly displayed it to Bur’ar, who simply stared at the device. “Are you familiar with this?”

    “It’s a Type II Phaser Compression pistol, Federation issued in 2275, discontinued in 2285. I’m impressed you have one.”

    “Thank you. I found it from a trader of-sorts on Nimbus III, who specialized in exotic items. I’m not an aficionado, but this style always appealed to me, when I studied military history, of course. To me, this weapon hails from the frontier-like reality of the 23rd century Federation: familiar yet new, safe yet dangerous, unique yet functional.” She lifted it with both hands, signaling a readiness to use it. “I did have to replace the emitters, which was a technical challenge.” She looked up to the tall Klingon. “I’ve been practicing with this.”

    Bur’ar looked skeptical. “If you wish, we can begin the test.”

    Kathryn smirked and she activated the phaser. It primed with a hum that faded after a few seconds, and then pressed a button on the pistol’s display to its lowest setting. “Mind a few warm-up shots first?”

    The Klingon nodded and tapped a few commands into a PADD resting on the table. The lights dimmed further as Kathryn stepped toward the middle of the room where a blue ring appeared on the floor. Five yellow fist-sized spheres materialized ten meters away from Kathryn and within seconds were orbiting eye-level to her and equidistant to each other.

    A buzzer activated and Kathryn aimed her pistol. An orange-colored beam sizzled and growled as it connected with a sphere, which flashed before dissipating. The remaining targets increased in velocity, yet maintaining their orbit. Kathryn tracked another sphere until another beam lanced the target. Three more shots; Kathryn missing the last.

    The lights of the room bloomed slightly signaling the exercise was complete. Kathryn looked to Bur’ar, who nodded with quiet acceptance.

    “You did well … for a warm-up … with an antiquated weapon.”

    Kathryn smiled mischievously. “That’s high praise coming from you, Lieutenant.”

    Bur’ar huffed. “The test begins when you are ready. Do you wish to continue with that weapon?”

    “I was holding back, you know.”

    The lights dimmed, and from the darkness Bur’ar replied, “prove it.”
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