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ULC #38: Stardust, Entry Thread

aten66aten66 Member Posts: 653 Arc User
This is the entry thread for ULC #38:Stardust

Forgoing the normal pleasantries, please be respectful and kind to entries and their entrants.
Say that five times fast…

‘Only Ashes Remain’ by @patrickngo

Your ship receives a distress call from a distant colony that is under attack, but for reasonsl arrives hours or even days late.
They called for you, they trusted you to come, and you got there too late.
Everyone is dead.

How does this affect your crew, your Captain? what will you do now, what will your report say, and how will this impact your captain's relationship with their respective high command?

"Journals of the Past" by @takeshi6

A captain in the 25th Century discovers the journals of a great-grandparent, one who lived in the 23rd century, and reads about one of their exploits in the year 2270. Were they a war hero in a great conflict? A diplomat who secured peace or an alliance? Or were they a covert operative, doing things no one else could? And is the tale told in the journal a unique perspective on a widely-known historic event? Or is it something so classified that the journal is the only written record, that shows a take on history that, while true, vastly differs from the official tales?

Write the story of the adventure from the perspective of the ancestor, using the journal reading as a framing narrative.

‘History 101, Subject: You’ by @k20vtec

You are a great captain/admiral/general/whatever, blasting enemies left-and-right, whopping asses across the quadrant, saving the galaxy time and again, other things you have done etc etc etc. Whether you are an explorer, a scientist, a brilliant engineer, a warrior, or a strategist, you've left marks in the galaxy, big or small. You’ve helped in shaping it's future.

And as with most famous historical figures, you will no doubt end up in some boring textbook. So how will you be depicted in that book? A famous officer? A honorable warrior? Engineer and creator of a new important invention? A scientist dedicated to knowledge? Rough-and-tumble soldier? Will you have pages dedicated to you, or just a small footnote of interest?

And by pure coincidence (*cough*laziness*cough*) this is also going to include the next ULC Annual Prompt, #8: Improbability

‘Hard Facts’ by @Danqueller

In the course of your current mission, the transporter has mysteriously brought up a strange object that appears to be a rock, even though none was around the Landing Party when it beamed back to the ship. Analysis of the object is very difficult as it seems to reflect all active sensors away from itself. Is it a life form, or just a rare mineral sample? How can you find out? Was the appearance of the object an intentional event, or just clumsy finger work on the part of the Transporter Operator? Write a Captain's Log describing your analysis of the object, and the result of this incident.

As usual, no NSFW content.

The discussion thread is here.

The LC Submission thread is here

Index of previous ULCs (click ULC 31 for earlier entries):
Index of previous ULC Annuals:
  1. Identity Problems
  2. Rouge
  3. Firstborn
  4. Foolhardy
  5. Dependency
  6. Breadcrumbs
  7. Sunspots


  • aten66aten66 Member Posts: 653 Arc User
    History in the Making

    Subject: Ghestia Zinuzee

    Known Aliases: Ghestia Zidire, The Silenced One, the Outcast Guardian, Honored Warrior, Butcher of Tarakis IV.

    Species: Trill, Joined Symbiote

    Birthplace: The failed colony world of Kurl.
    Year of Birth: 2237
    Year of Joining: 2257
    Year of Death: 2270

    Previous Hosts: Araxis, Karis, and Sardia.
    Current Status of Zinuzee Symbiont: K.I.A. (See Attached File; Caleb IV).

    Ghestia Zidire was born to Karis and Selin Zidire, on the failing Colony world of Kurl. The Federation attempted to assist Trill Colonists in establishing a colony on the planet, before evidence surfaced resulting in the discovery of the ancient Kurlan civilization. While the already established colonists were unable to be moved right away, it became apparent that they would be unable to sustain themselves due to a viral agent infecting the water sources throughout the planet. While Starfleet Medical attempted and failed to find a cure for the viral contagion, they were able to discover why only a small population of the Trill population suffered from the disease; the virus only affected Joined Trill and their Symbiont’s.

    While Ghestia was born on Kurl during the evacuation of its colonists, she grew up on Trillus Prime in the costal city of Tear’c. Originally aiming to grow up to be a Doctor in the city of Gheryzan, things changed in Ghestia’s fourteenth year, with the death of Karis and Selin Zidire in an unfortunate accident. Becoming a ward of the state, the orphaned Trill chose to change her path and take charge of her life, wanting to fulfill one of her parent’s lifelong dreams and leave Trill for the stars. Unfortunately being tagged by the Symbiosis Commission as a potential Host, another path was opened to her that she had never considered before. Figuring she could do both Ghestia Zidire went on to be approved for Symbiosis, and was later joined with the Zinuzee Symbiont in the year 2257.

    Going on to join the Starfleet exploration movement that boomed in the late 2260’s, she was posted to the Starfleet Pioneer-Class vessel, the U.S.S. Carbon, under the command of Captain Garret, before the promotion of Garret’s former Tellarite Science Officer Panl to command of the ship. Ghestia served as Panl’s First Officer, until her death at the Battle of Caleb IV.

    Like all men and women who died that day, Ghestia Zinuzee will be remembered for her tragic sacrifice, included among the three ships lost to the Klingon Empire that day, but she will also be remembered for being one of the men and women who gave their lives to ensure the Federation would not face such defeat a second time. Sacrifices not forgotten by those that survived that day.

    “Some light reading before bed?” Gregs asks his wife, kissing her on the cheek before staring down at the P.A.D.D. on her lap, “Well, I didn’t know you had family outside of your parents...” Zinuzee chuckles and swats her husband on the shoulder.

    “It’s surprising, actually, my mother always said Starfleet service ran in the blood, but I wasn’t aware why she said that,” Zinuzee states, “It seems she’s my great-great aunt or cousin, apparently my own great-great Grandfather was living on Trill at the time, which is why they returned to Tear’c then.” She sets the P.A.D.D. down on the side table and moved to rest her head on her knees. “It’s funny, really, because I know what she was like, how she influences me today too...” she states, “My... memories, may be of another person that looked just like her, who was probably just as happy to live as she was... she never lived to pass on her knowledge to another.” She grasps her stomach, and feels the pulsing of life beneath her palms. “With all this going on, with the Tzenkethi now, and the possibility of the Son’a,” she wrings her hands into the bedsheets and looks up at Gregs, who is readying himself for the night, “Will I- will we, get to tell our children how we lived, or will we just become an epitaph in history?”

    Gregs finishes putting on his night shirt, before sliding into bed next to his wife, and bringing a hand to her cheek with a smile. “You’re going to be fine, Zee, we’re going to be fine,” he assures her, “We’re going to have two daughters, then in a couple of years we’ll have a son, maybe a house overlooking San Francisco Bay area, or even be adventurous and help out at the joint colony the Lukari and Kentari are venturing into forming...” He kisses her on the lips and pulls away, before adjusting his side lamp and grabbing a book from the top of his drawer. H.G. Wells The Time Machine, marked and dog-eared from use, was what he chose to read tonight.

    “Yeah, and who knows, I may not have ever met you if she had survived that battle,” Zinuzee states in return, “But it sure would have been nice to learn more about her.. she died so young at the time, and she was only thirty three...” She sighed then shut off the device, before setting it on the drawer next to her and settling into go to sleep. “Don’t stay up too late, Captain, we’ve both got early shifts to wake up to tomorrow,” Zinuzee states, “We should be meeting up with the Erbium and her Captain tomorrow, since we’ll be passing off our sensor data so they can continue patrolling the Gon’cra Sector, then we rendezvous with the Caeclia to transfer some colonists to their new neighborhood...” She yawns as sleep begins to take her, and Gregs smiles and nods, but keeps on reading his book.

    U.S.S. Carbon, Caleb IV

    Inhaling smoke and stumbling into the wall, as another volley of torpedoes hit the ships hull, a lone ensign in blue dress stumbled through the corridors. Coughing, she tries to cover her face with her arms, revealing decorated skin patterns running up her hands like tattoos, but were quite natural for her people. Fire suppression systems were already at work behind her, but any number of things could have already taken place and damaged critical systems to the ship’s shields and other vital functions. Suddenly she feels the deck under her feet warp below her, as she’s tossed clear into the turbolift she was heading for. She can tell just from being unable to move, she must have a cracked rib, and possibly a broken vertebrae from the loss of feeling in her legs. The hole where the floor was was massive, and the fire spreading towards her was surely a sign she wasn’t going to make it. “Funny, I knew Karis always wanted to go out in a blaze of glory... but that *cough* wasn’t my plan...” she says to herself, “Never thought...this would be...the end...”

    Suddenly she hears voices coming from behind her, along with heavy pounding on the door. She can’t speak, she’s getting too woozy and her voice is failing her, and she doubts she could speak over the ringing alarm anyway. Oh wait, that’s just in her ears, because that doesn’t sound like the red alert klaxon. Suddenly she feels an arm, then two, grasp around her shoulders and waist, and she feels herself being pulled into the turbolift. Except she can’t have been, because she knows the blast dented the lift doors, she should have heard them prying it open, but the doors are still closed and the dent undisturbed. She looks up to her savior, and smiles at those brown locks of hair and skinny frame. “Ensign Hunter?” she asks, “How?”

    “Don’t worry about it right now lieutenant., just rest and by the time we get you patched up, everything will be fine,” the normally red shirted crewman states, before pressing something into her neck, “Believe me, what happens next is better than the alternative.” Whatever else he was saying was lost to the tired feeling overtaking her, the ice creeping through her veins. It seems she didn’t have to wait for the ship to blow up under her. In fact, she didn’t have to feel it coming at all. But that damn light wouldn’t let her sleep...


    Opening her eyes to the bright lights of a hospital, Ghestia Zinuzee awoke to the feeling that everything was wrong. For instance, when her eyes landed on the chart opposite her bed, she knew her name wasn’t ‘Minerva Khlesty’, and she knew she wasn’t in any Starfleet Medical of the 23rd Century. And yet she knew this was definitely Starfleet Medical, even if it wasn’t one she recognized. Suddenly a woman walked in smiling at her. “Good morning Lieutenant, glad to see you’re recovering from the genetronic replication, the damage had almost been too severe,” the nurse states, “Thankfully Doctor Smith was able to take over an finish the procedure, without her help we very well may have been too late to help you!” Ghestia blinks, then closes her eyes and decides to sleep whatever horrible dream this was away.

    “Oy, don’t sleep too long, they’re going to discharge you soon, you git,” a new voice says, entering the room in a leather jacket, with her hair pulled back in some odd fashion, “What’s a crew going to do without her Captain?” Ghestia opens her eyes and lurches up to stare at the chocolate skinned newcomer, with wide open eyes.

    “Captain?” she squawks, “Who to the what now?”
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,898 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    Something to tide me over while I outline what I'm writing for the main prompt.

    EDIT: Minor edit to fix a factual error.

    What She Fought For
    There's no sense, the fire burns
    When wisdom fails it changes all
    The wheel embodies all that keeps on turnin'
    Blood red skies, I feel so cold
    No innocence, we play our role
    The wheel embodies all, where are we goin'?

    All in all you'd expect the wise to be wiser
    Fallen from grace and
    All and all I guess we should have known better, 'cause

    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    No, we're not in paradise
    This is who we are, this is what we've got
    No, it's not our paradise
    But it's all we want and it's all that we're fightin' for
    Though it's not paradise

    You and us, or I and them
    There comes a time to take a stand
    The wheel is watchin' all that keeps on burnin'
    The venom works, it's like a curse
    A Trojan horse, when will we learn?
    The wheel embodies all, that keeps returnin'

    All in all you'd expect the wise to be wiser
    Fallen from grace and
    All and all I guess we should have known better, 'cause

    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    No, we're not in paradise
    This is who we are, this is what we've got
    No, it's not our paradise
    But it's all we want and it's all that we're fightin' for
    Though it's not paradise

    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    No, we're not in paradise
    This is who we are, this is what we've got
    No, it's not our paradise
    But it's all we want and it's all that we're fightin' for

    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    No, we're not in paradise
    This is who we are, this is what we've got
    No, it's not our paradise
    But it's all we want and it's all that we're fightin' for
    But it's not paradise

    What about us? What about us?
    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    What about us? What about us?
    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    What about us? What about us?
    What about us? Isn't it enough?
    What about us? What about us?
    What about us? Isn't it enough?

    — "Paradise (What About Us?)" by Within Temptation, feat. Tarja Turunen

    War and Peace: The Rise of the Pax Galactica
    By Dr. Sarya Keer, PhD, Antero Jaska Seppä, and Captain Shad Black Eagle Eleya

    Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America, United Earth
    1st Ed. 2560
    2nd Ed. 2575

    Appendix 4: Federation Starfleet Figures of Note

    Fleet Admiral (ret.) Kanril Reshek Eleya

    Vital Statistics:
    • Species and Gender: Bajoran female (Kendran ethnic group)
    • Born: 22 May 2380 Earth Standard, Priyat, Kendra Province, Republic of Bajor
    • Died: Of natural causes, 7 October 2519 Earth Standard, Kendra City, Kendra Province. Interred at Reshama Sanctuary, Priyat, Kendra Province.
    • Parents: Kanril Torvo (father), Kanril Shora (mother)
    • Siblings: Armen Teran (sister)
    • Spouses: Captain (ret.) Reshek Gaarra (husband, married 2410)
    • Children: Lieutenant Junior Grade Reshek Torvo (son, 2416-2441), Reshek Tano (son, born 2418), Lieutenant Commander (ret.) Reverend Reshek Bareil (son, born 2420), Captain (ret.) Reshek Inasi Taryn (daughter, born 2421)

    • Federation Medal of Honor
    • Order of the Bat'leth (Commander Degree) (Klingon Empire)
    • Shield of St. Gra'toth (Union of Allied Sabek States)
    • Christopher Pike Medal of Valor, two awards
    • Karagite Order of Heroism
    • Justicar Dragan Medallion with "X" device (Federal Republic of Benthos)
    • Grankite Order of Tactics, six awards
    • Starfleet Superior Service Medal with "V" device, two awards
    • Starfleet Space Forces Commendation Medal, three awards
    • Silver Cross with combat sigil (Republic of Bajor)
    • Starfleet Space Forces Expeditionary Medal
    • Archanis Cluster Campaign Ribbon with "V" device
    • Hromi Cluster Campaign Ribbon with "V" device
    • Vaadwaur War Campaign Ribbon with "V" device
    • Iconian War Campaign Ribbon with Mockingbird Device
    • Borg War Campaign Ribbon with cluster and "V" device
    • Purple Heart, five awards
    • Sharpshooter, Phaser Pistol Ribbon
    • Sharpshooter, Phaser Rifle Ribbon
    • Unarmed Combat Mastery Grade 3 Ribbon
    • Knife Combat Mastery Grade 4 Ribbon
    • Designated Marksman Badge
    • Military Assault Command Operations Patch
    • Three command stars
    • Commodore's wreath

    Captain Shad Eleya's editorial:
    I described Admiral Kanril Eleya in a childhood essay as "a woman of many extremes", and I still believe that the case. With a list of reprimands and NJPs almost as long as her fruit salad, my great-grandmother remains a deeply controversial figure more than five decades after her death and burial with full military honors. Early in her Starfleet career she became infamous for planting improvised bombs to protect civilians while marooned on Gamma Hromi IV. When the details of the Battle of Iconia in 2410 were made public, there were calls for her prosecution for crimes against sentience as principal planner of the operation to destroy the Herald Sphere, and the next year she intervened in a nuclear war on the planet Volante, utterly destroying the strategic nuclear forces of the warring parties with a precision orbital bombardment. Her court-martial and acquittal in the latter case led to a wholesale revision of General Order 1 over the next several years to clarify the guidelines for probable planetary extinction scenarios. As a person, by all accounts she could be incredibly self-righteous, seemingly heedless of danger, and quick to seek the most direct solution to her problems. And I'm told her skill with foreign languages most often lent itself to a fluency at vulgarity liable to burn the ears off an entire platoon of drill instructors.

    The controversy she elicited in public life appears to have been matched only by her ferocious and unwavering love for the spacers under her command. Even after her promotion to admiral and eventual appointment by President Walishah zh'Thane to Commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet, she was regularly seen in undress blacks sharing a brew with crewmen of all rates and ranks returning from the frontiers. And my grandmother, who served concurrently, told me that she seemed to feel every wound, every death within her chain of command as if it were hers personally. Later in her life she also became known as a trainer, as many officers would go on to command in their own right after tours aboard her ships or in her fleets. And we can't forget her impassioned testimony on behalf of a former subordinate in United Earth v. Rachel Connor, the case that led to the striking down of most of Earth's anti-Augment laws.

    Forged in the wars that birthed the 25th century, she carried a deep hatred for the Klingon Empire for much of her life. As a rule, few things raised her fury quicker than attacks on innocents, and in her four years spent battling them and their allies in the rimward colonies, I believe she saw more than her share of that. It's said that Chancellor Worf's repudiation of the Treaty of Ter'jas Mor and extraditions of Klingon and Orion war criminals to the Seldonis IV Tribunal went some way to redeeming the Empire in her eyes, but I doubt she ever fully forgave them.

    I know she never forgave the Borg, not for millions slain or enslaved at the Battle of Vega where Kanril inherited her first command, and certainly not for the death of her son Reshek Torvo, my grandmother's brother, at the Battle of Dahak almost four decades later. I wonder if she felt the final destruction of One of One, and with it the liberation of almost fifteen billion surviving drones, was absolution for having released her from her imprisonment to begin with.

    I don't know whether she was right to do everything she did. I often wish I'd had a chance to know her, to ask if she really felt she was right: she never wrote any memoirs. Always more comfortable in the field, with space beneath her, than fighting budget battles in a boardroom, she returned again and again, often with her growing family left at a nearby base, to command increasingly multinational fleets. And despite her reputation as Starfleet's fightingest admiral since James Tiberius Kirk, she could make peace as well: on her own she forged cooperation with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance of the mirror universe, and when the Federation sought peace with the Vaadwaur Supremacy, it was her they chose to deliver the offer. When it was learned that Herald survivors had established a state of their own near the Galactic Core, she pushed hard for outreach.

    Ultimately, the death of the Borg Collective at the hands of a combined Galactic Alliance fleet under Admiral Kanril Eleya's personal command birthed a peace the galaxy had never known: there hasn't been a major war in the explored regions of the galaxy since the collapse of the Dominion in 2472. We remain vigilant against the possible return of the Iconians, or the discovery that the Borg had hidden a secondary processor somewhere, or of Undine renegades opposed to their Conclave of Tribes. But for more than a century now the peoples of the United Federation of Planets have once again looked to the farthest stars of the visible universe with hope and anticipation rather than trepidation. I've been to the Pegasus Galaxies and the Magellanic Clouds on exploration missions many times now. They're filled with great and strange peoples of forms most bizarre and most wonderful, peoples so like us. We've had our troubles, but we've made great friends, too.

    And I think she would've wanted that, for all her sweat and bloodshed, torpedoes expended and worlds burned, the loss of friends and her own child in battle, to have meant something in the end.
    Post edited by starswordc on
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,898 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    Sound the Alarm
    A Masterverse Story by StarSword-C, with Patrickngo

    Darkness flees the rising sun
    The village lies ahead
    It will wake to a new day soon
    Soon they’ll all be dead
    We came in cover of moonless night
    Fifty men at arms
    Now at first morning light,
    The church bell sounds the alarm

    Sacrifice to gods of old
    Bleed them of their lives
    Fresh blood on our swords
    Gods of war arise

    Sacrifice to gods of old
    Bleed them of their lives
    Fresh blood on our swords
    Gods of war arise

    Hear the tortured screams
    Shattering the air
    They awake from soothing dreams
    Into their worst nightmare
    Fire sweeps their homes
    They feel the dragon’s breath
    Consuming and destructive flames
    Agonizing death

    Some seek shelter in the church
    A refuge for those with faith
    But we know how to smoke them out
    A pyre will be raised

    But those who choose to stand and fight
    Will die with dignity
    For the unfortunate few who survive
    Waits a life in slavery

    The day draws to an end
    The night comes dark and cold
    We return to our ships
    With silver, slaves and gold
    We gave them agony, as they fell and died
    The gods have granted victory
    For our sacrifice

    The day draws to an end
    The night comes dark and cold
    We return to our ships
    With silver, slaves and gold
    We gave them agony, as they fell and died
    The gods have granted victory
    For our sacrifice

    — “Gods of War Arise” by Amon Amarth

    Captain’s Quarters, USS Kagoshima NCC-91855, on patrol in Archanis Sector. 16 October 2406.

    I’ve had this ship for two months now and it still feels wrong. This stateroom, the Chair on the bridge, they belong to a dead man. I feel like I can still smell Commander Alfred Detweiler on the sheets even though I know they’ve been washed half a dozen times since Vega IX.

    That conversation with his husband and sons a month ago made killing a Borg cube look easy.

    And then, looking out the viewport at streaming stars I can still barely name, I’m reminded of why we’re out here in the first place. Damn the Klingons, and damn Admiral Menninger, too. I’m glad that brain-dead b*stard got replaced, I just hope the new guy is actually willing to listen.

    And of course, dead last, there’s the biological component to my problems. It’s lonely up here at the top, and I don’t care what the scientists say, it takes two to tango and even a holodeck is one-half at best: somewhere in the back of your mind you always know it’s not real. Doing it with a real person is more fun.

    Well, there’s more than one way to relieve stress. I don’t have to be on the bridge for another hour so I think about grabbing a book, but I’m jolted out of my thoughts by the red alert siren going off. “All hands, man your battle stations. Repeat, all hands, man your battle stations. This is not a drill. Captain Kanril to the bridge.

    I snatch my gunbelt with the scabbarded bayonet off the shelf where it sits next to my copy of The Lord of the Rings, quickly belt it on and zip up my jacket, then bolt out into the corridor. Crew are rushing down towards me; somebody bellows, “Captain coming through, make a hole!”

    “Thank you!” I shout back, rushing to the turbolift as goldshirts and redshirts stand against the bulkhead. “Bridge!”

    Up two decks, the light cruiser’s cramped command dome, I spot Tess getting out of the center chair. “Captain on deck!”

    “Carry on. Talk to me, Tess.”

    “Traffic buoy in the Rabaul system picked up an anomalous warp signature. Queried it, no response, but nothing friendly, for certain: buoy went dark seconds later, and Lieutenant Tislon”—she gestures to the pretty brown Trill at comms—“is pretty sure comm traffic from the Turtle Bay colony is being jammed.”

    I snap my fingers at the other Andorian, the one at Conn. “Crash, fastest possible course to Rabaul. Tislon, get me K-7, get our data sorted for transmission.”

    “Yes, ma’am!” the two of them chorus.

    Damn it all again. Crash is one I’d rather not hear that from, we’ve known each other too long, and way too well, but I was senior to him by all of three minutes so the glorified tailgunner got made the acting captain.

    “Captain, Admiral Alcott for you,” Tislon announces.

    I nod confirmation and he appears on the screen. I was halfway across the sector during the change-of-command ceremony; this is my first time talking to him. One thing didn’t come through in his dossier: those hazel eyes look like they’ve seen a lot. “Admiral, I have reason to believe Turtle Bay has come under attack. Affiliation unknown, force unknown, and I have no direct contact with local authorities. I intend to scout and render aid if possible. I’ll report back when I know more.”

    Understood, Captain Kanril. USS Nazareth and Leran Manev have picked up the same telemetry. They’re on a converging course and should arrive ahead of you.

    Two tactical escorts. Well, that’s something. Better than we had at Gamma Hromi IV, anyway. And I know Nazareth’s skipper pretty well: Jarkko can handle himself. “Understood, sir. Kagoshima, out.”

    I check the clock. Phekk, two hours flight time. We’re already at official maximum warp, but... “Bridge to Engineering. Bynam, do you think you can speed us up a bit?”

    Well, I know Commander Nagumo never really pushed the envelope. How does warp 9.9986 sound? I think I can make her do that if we go to 110 on the main reactor, but I wouldn't recommend it for more than a couple hours.

    “Crash, recalculate that for me, please.”

    “The other ships started closer, we’re faster. We should get there at about the same time.”

    “Go for it, Bynam.”

    I’m on it. Engineer out.

    “All sections report ready for action, Captain,” Tess announces.

    I glance at the timer on my PADD. Five minutes, forty seconds. Better than last time, but we have to get faster.

    “T’Var?” I address my operations officer. “Send down to the galley for some soup, sandwiches, and hasperat.”

    “She wants to eat at a time like this?” somebody mutters behind me.

    “I’m hungry,” I answer the offending crewman without turning around, “and I don’t know when we’ll get another chance. We only shaved fifteen minutes off the trip, there’s not much else to do, anyway.”

    Rabaul System, one minute out from Rabaul III.

    “Confirm four active warp cores,” the sensor operator announces. “I make it three light ships, probably older birds-of-prey, plus one cruiser-weight. And it’s a sure thing they know we’re coming. I can’t confirm anything more specific, the jamming’s too thick.”

    “Still no word from Turtle Bay, ma’am,” Tislon adds.

    Damn it again. Biri’s sister picked a great month to get married… “Mäkinen, Bardak, you getting this?”

    Roger that, Kagoshima,” the Benzite on the Leran Manev confirms.

    “Exiting warp in five, four, three, two, one!”

    The starfield redshifts and a blue proto-garden world inflates into view. Looks inviting, but the atmosphere’s got so much CO2 it’s barely breathable and the temperatures make high summer back home look balmy. Lots of mineral wealth, though, which explains both the hab-dome colony and the four KDF ships in orbit.

    I zoom in and swear disgustedly under my breath. Three of the ubiquitous B’rel-class birds-of-prey and a Orion Brigand-class cruiser, versus my Shi’Kahr-class light cruiser and a pair of São Paulo-class escorts. That’d be close to an even fight, if they weren’t running for minimum safe distance. “Lieutenant, open a hailing channel.”

    “Channel open.”

    I bellow into the mic, “eleya HoD, torvo puqbe’ jIH. chun chot pong wa’SanID ’ach may’ quv Haw’ SoH! SuSuvwI’pu’qoq! yu’lu’meH jIH nuchna’! tuqmeyraj SuquvHa’!” I think for a moment, then add, “Sa’HutDu’raj lInga’chuq targhmey!

    “Ouch,” I hear Chief Harbert mutter from somewhere behind me. I make a slashing motion across my throat and the Trill JG, now blushing rather furiously, ends the transmission.

    Ahead, two of the B’rels cloak, while the Brigand’s captain hits the fuel burn to maximum warp.

    B’rel three turns as if to engage. Whoever they are, they last about thirty seconds against Nazareth. “Splash one. Thanks for the setup, Kanril.

    “Copy that, good shooting, Mäkinen.”

    We’re faster than that cruiser. Permission to pursue?

    “Negative, we’d never overhaul before they make it to New London. There’s a Negh there.”

    ... Yeah, I didn’t think so, either. Perkele. Taking your wing, Baby K.

    I always cringe when I hear that callsign. Technically it’s for the ship, not me, a joke at the USS Khitomer’s expense, but I know damn well I’m young for a CO.

    “What the frak was all that yelling about, Captain?” Tess asks aloud.

    “Venting, mostly, but I thought maybe I could p*ss them off enough they’d break discipline and, well, do exactly what that one guy did.”

    “You know, ma’am, if I was in charge of those ships, I would’ve run, too. A fair fight’s the last thing any decent commander wants.”

    I grunt in derision, but I know she’s right. “That wraithspawn K’Ragh is several steps above ‘decent’, he’s been two steps ahead of the phekkwits back at base this entire phekk’ta war.” I sigh. “Conn, set course for the planet. Let’s see if there’s a damn thing else left to do. Petty Officer, try and ID those ships, and get me a scan of the planet.”

    As we close to within 100,000 klicks, the first-class at sensors quietly gives me the report I dreaded. There’s no one down there left alive.
    Post edited by starswordc on
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,898 Arc User
    Geosynchronous orbit above Turtle Bay, Rabaul III colony.

    “There were forty thousand people down here,” Lieutenant Jaska, my security chief, remarks quietly as she pans her helmet camera around. The urban dome’s been split open, and the area still smokes from burning plastics and is spattered with several colors of blood. I can practically smell it. It looks like what happened on Nuvok, a human/Vulcan joint colony that fell back in 2403. Fewer people, and penned in, but the same outcome.

    Way too much the same. I saw a pattern to the bombardment: afterproduct trace showed the orbital shelling had been used to confine areas, dividing and driving the people on the ground. Every bridge in the twenty kilometer area around the main settlement was blown to bits, the surface buildings were hammered down, and then disruptor fire had opened the roofs of disaster shelters. Systematic mass murder.

    Signs of small-arms fire, Captain,” the security officer leading the second fireteam reports, pointing it out. The rubble is pocked with disruptor blasts, but no phasers.

    Turtle Bay was a category 3 colony… but…

    Look at this.” The slagged junk of a Klingon-manufactured air-defense turret sits near what looks like a municipal building. It’s half-melted, frozen in an elevated position, and there are bodies nearby.

    Human,” someone says. The screen displays the tricorder readout over the charred corpse slumped in the control chair.

    Got an Andorian, a thaan,” a third-class adds from off to the right; Jaska heads over. “Older, took one in the head. Hey, he’s got an Imperial Guard tat.” He pulls the dead man’s age-spotted cerulean arm into view, showing a blurred drawing of a black-suited humanoid amid a descending fireball, with ornate Imperial Andorii script on a ribbon beneath.

    “92nd Laikan,” Tess translates. “My zhavey is a grenadier in that regiment. The bit below that roughly translates as ‘feet first through fire’, so he’s an orbital droptrooper. Looks like he was at AR-558, too, that should narrow it down.” There’s the broken shell of a Klingon disruptor rifle nearby, a mark four or five, based on what’s left of it. “They tried to put up a fight…”

    He turns away from that to see something worse. A thirty-something woman with mousy brown hair, wearing a black shirt and trousers, is slumped against a low stone wall, a disruptor blast in one leg and with a knife left in her gut, a bolt-action slug rifle lying next to her. It’s one of the few styles of weapons that’s actually legal under the Maquis Act. I even recognize the make: an 8.5x62mm hunting rifle made by an outfit in Dahkur Province. My uncle had one.

    Then the camera moves closer and gets a shot of her face. I reel away and throw up on the deck.

    Harbert helps me back up. “You okay, Captain?”

    “She looks like my younger sister, Chief,” I finally manage to growl.

    I push him off and straighten my jacket. “Ensign, let me see the knife, please.” She reaches out with a gloved hand to remove the knife, while I try not to look at the young woman’s face. The knife seems hand-forged, with a spiderweb of gold filigree in a bone handle, and a forked, razor-edge durasteel blade.

    I know that knife. Seven years ago, one just like it gave me the scars on my face and belly. But that matron’s dead, I saw her get blasted through the gut by another Militiaman before I lost consciousness. So it must’ve been either a member of the same trading house, or they work with the same smith. I make a note to request the records from Militia archives.

    “What’s that burned building behind her?” Ensign Hraxx wonders aloud.

    I zoom out on the camera and my lips pull back in a snarl. “It’s an Episcopal Church,” Harbert says, giving voice to my thoughts. “Damn it, her clothes…”

    “She was the priest,” I finish.

    The security teams continue the sweeps, finding a pair of obsolete shield generators where they’d overloaded, more bodies, and more ‘contraband’ weapons.

    They also find Orion bodies, a lot more than I expected, with gunshot wounds, disruptor burns, stabbed, clubbed, hit with flagstones and farming tools. No, the poor b*stards of Turtle Bay didn’t surrender, they fought to the death. The Militia E-5 in me swells with pride. And fury.

    By sundown I’ve seen more than enough, but I keep the ground team working until late the next day. Sleep doesn’t come easily, wracked with nightmares worse than the week after Vega.

    “No kids,” Jaska reports that evening, “and the colonist bodies we’ve been able to identify are all adults, mostly male.”

    “Dirty for a slaving raid,” Tess snarls.

    I make a face. “It’s more than that. Someone is sending a message.”

    Deep Space K-7. 33 hours later.

    “Admiral Alcott, with all due respect, this is the third time in four months I have gone after a distress signal and seen nothing but burned farms, brutalized civilians, and greenskin *ss as they run back to cover! I am sick and phekk’ta tired of this, sir!”

    “So what do you want to do instead, Commander?”

    I’m stunned. He actually asked the question. Meningitis never did.

    For the moment I ignore the calculated dressing-down of him not addressing me as ‘Captain’, and brush a stray lock of hair out of my face while I get my thoughts together. Finally: “I want to start equipping and training the colonists to properly defend themselves. The Rabaulans fought back tooth and nail, it reminded me of stories of the Jem’Hadar massacre of New Bajor. If what I saw at Turtle Bay and on Gamma Hromi IV is any indication, and with what the Klingons have done with the Moabites, these people have the motivation in spades to mount an effective defense, all they need is the means. I want them to be able to hold off an attack at least twice the size of that one long enough for us to properly reinforce them.”

    The Admiral gives me a hard look, but he has a great poker face: I can’t tell what he's thinking. “It sounds like you've thought a lot about this, Captain,” he finally says.

    “A week marooned on a colony with nothing but you, the enemy, and a couple million terrified civilians teaches you a few things. I took an unscientific poll when I was on Gamma for, uh, operational security purposes.”

    “Was this before or after you started planting roadside bombs?”

    “During, sir. May I please finish my thought?” He nods. “About a third of the folks my people asked were pro-Klingon—or perhaps anti-Federation is a better term, they didn't necessarily like the Klinks either. Another third were solidly in the ‘stay’ column, and the rest of ‘em just wanted the damn thing over and done with either way so they could get their lives back. That's pretty typical for independence movements according to what I've read. But they all had two things in common: they all hated the Orion Syndicate and they were all willing to fight for their homes.” He whistles quietly. “Sir, the original version of my and Captain Detweiler’s report on the incident is still on file in your mainframe. I respectfully recommend you review that version, particularly the personal comments your predecessor and his drinking buddies at ColDev cut out of the version that made it to Starfleet Command.”

    “You’re coming close to Article 89 with that comment, Commander.”

    “Sir, I know what I typed, and I know what got sent upstairs. Two plus two equals four. Anyway, do you realize how badly we had to phekk up to make Moab and the rest of them think the Klingon Empire was a better choice?”


    “Take it from a simple field officer, sir: they’re winning the hearts-and-minds war because they’re showing up. Maybe it's a cultural thing, sir: you see rebels, I see regular people at their wits’ end. If we want to win this we have to prove we can do it better and cleaner than the other guy.”

    Alcott actually chuckles at that one. “Who said I saw rebels?” As I try to pick my jaw up off the floor, he pushes a PADD across to me, adding, “You may have to wait on that other guy. Starfleet Intelligence has B’Sanos of the Second Fleet’s CruRon 11 out of action, and we’ve confirmed that K’Ragh, son of Dward and a real son of a TRIBBLE, went down over Ker’rat while fighting the Borg. As in it’s been thoroughly confirmed: Ambassador Worf attended his funeral. That’s two of their best down and out—Intel says the IKS Dorimar had to be scrapped after tussling with the Borg over N’Vak.”

    “I know the names, sir. Huh, the Borg as the great equalizer, who saw that coming?”

    “The fact that you, La Roca, and Jay Yim got out of Vega with your skins intact and those two didn’t probably says something, but I don’t know what.”

    Then something else hits me. “Prophets, hang on a second. If K’Ragh’s been missing in action for two months, he can’t have ordered the Turtle Bay attack.” The Admiral nods, smiling.

    Could that mean he didn’t order the other ones either?

    Have I been hating the wrong person all along?

    “It also means K’Lag’s got to rely on his own brains, at least until his pet genius gets on his feet again, and they’ve lost their master raider entirely. We might be able to do more than just react, between losing those two, and the High Council putting K’Hugh, son of K’lek in command of their Third Fleet on the coreward front…” The Admiral grins ferally. “It’s like f*cking Christmas.”

    “Well, well. I guess it’s true what I read about military regimes, sir: they're scared of their militaries. I think I can I offer some ideas, sir.”

    “Go ahead. I especially want to know how you plan to get around the Colonist Act.”

    “Okay, here’s what I’d do in your place, sir. First off, I want to cut Starfleet Operations and ColDev completely out of the chain of command, deal with it entirely inside Starfleet Command’s jurisdiction.”

    He squints at me. “How?”

    “Well, by virtue of your position, sir, you have the authority to issue battlefield commissions and enlisted warrants, and to reactivate retired personnel. I propose to make our planetary guard units Starfleet Ground Forces Reserve on paper. That means they’re Starfleet forces and therefore technically not covered by the Maquis Act. We plant a company to a battalion of regulars, not Starfleet Security, on each planet to train and equip, fitted out with armor and proper surface-to-orbit artillery, and assisted by any local retirees or reservists willing to come back in. Hell, we found a former Andorian ODT manning ack-ack in Turtle Bay, who knows what gems we could dig up?”

    “Where do you plan to get the anti-orbital guns? That’s not standard Ground Forces gear.”

    “Well, it just so happens I have an acquaintance in the Bajoran Ministry of Defense. My former CO, retired Colonel Karryn Retta, is the Undersecretary for Procurement.”

    “Seems like a big ask; how well do you know her?”

    “I’m grasping at straws, sir,” I admit, a little sheepishly. “But Colonel Karryn at least cared enough to write me a letter of recommendation to Councillor Nas for my appointment to Starfleet Academy, and I know First Minister Arvel is sympathetic. The guns I’m talking about are self-powered and designed for ruggedness and rapid deployment, and I can personally vouch they’ll one-shot a bird-of-prey or similar: I saw them in action against renegade Jems once.”

    He nods slightly. “Interesting legal theory. I also note it gives the minutemen protection under the Seldonis IV Convention—”

    “Whatever that’s worth,” I mumble. The Klingons refused to sign the thing even after the Cardassians did.

    “—and conveniently pre-poisons the well in the event of more defections: the Klingons can’t trust them either, and might even react poorly to their ‘act of dishonor’.” He takes a couple notes on the PADD. “Okay, Kanril, let’s pretend I’m convinced your space-lawyering won’t get us both arrested. That’s defense, what about attack?”

    Now I’m grinning like a madwoman. “I want to form some of our light units into a flying column and start lightning raids against Klingon positions all along the front and if possible behind the lines. Say five, six ships per element. Scout, smash, report intelligence, draw heavies down hara cat burrows.”

    “Basically what their raider squadrons were doing to Menninger, then,” he notes.

    “Pretty much. The Klingons had to deal with pirate raids during the Gorn War but I’ll bet my commission they won’t be expecting it from us. I want COs with records of adaptability, insubordination, and balls, guys and gals who won’t hesitate to go for the jugular, especially mustangs, nonhumans… No offense, sir,” I add belatedly, my cheeks burning.

    “None taken.”

    “Colonials, too. I also definitely want Jarkko Mäkinen in my squadron, by the way.”

    “Gunning for commodore?” he deadpans.

    I chuckle. “Anyway, if they take the bait and shift forces to reinforce along the lines, step three. We hit Ganalda Station with the entire Third and Fifth Fleets, blow it clear back to Qo’noS with a couple asteroids dropped at fractional-c velocities, and run like hell.”

    He whistles softly. “You really have been thinking about this a while.”

    “Well, I could say I told this to Admiral Menninger until I was blue in the face, but really I loosely based it on Militia plans for a hypothetical war with the Federation. Back when we still had Space Arm, I mean. Klingons are trying to out-Starfleet Starfleet, I figured some of our stuff might work on them, too.”

    He gives me a funny look, like he’s mildly dismayed but not surprised we have them. Finally he says, “You were a junior noncom, how—”

    I snort. “It’s ‘NCO’ in the Militia, sir, and it’s not like any of that was classified. The frigate I was on flew in war games against DS9 forces a couple times. The raiding, we sort of borrowed from the Klingons during the ‘73 war, but we were going to use fewer ships and more saboteurs.”

    “Mmph. Ganalda Station may be too tough of a target, and a fractional-c drop has a strong potential of hitting the civilian population on the planet below it, especially if it’s deflected by enemy fire.” I squeeze my eyes shut, wincing. Phekk me, I didn’t even consider that, or the debris. Rookie mistake. “And with the Borg still around we may not want to completely obliterate their command center in Eta Eridani, but you’ve given me another idea.” He scrolls the map further up-spin, towards the Alpha Quadrant line. “There’s a POW camp on Cursa IV. Mostly rank-and-file, the important ones get staged there then transported to Rura Penthe.” I shiver at the thought: but for the grace of the Prophets at Gamma I’d be there right now myself. “If we can draw off their forces as you suggested, we can liberate the camp. As you said, war is political as much as martial.”

    “Get a victory that at least looks big, put egg on ColDev’s faces for once, and get our spacers back. I like that plan, sir.”

    Will wonders never cease: an admiral who actually knows his *ss from a hole in the ground. Girl could get used to this.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • knightraider6knightraider6 Member Posts: 370 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    Prompt: Only Ashes Remain

    USS Kongo, NCC 1710. Stardate 2258.39

    The waiting was the worst part. They weren't even supposed to be in this sector, they were outbound to join the rest of the fleet in this sector in the Laurentian system. Held up by maintenance delays, the Kongo late heading out-thus they were able to change course towards Vulcan when communications were lost. Still, they wouldn’t be the first ones there, Enterprise was leading a task force from Earth. The Kongo was the first of the block-30 Constitutions, some of the new systems tended to be, well, problematic. Despite having been launched almost 18 months ago, they still had yard techs on board. Fortunately by now most of the design bugs had been caught and squashed. Enterprise, the next ship in the class despite it having been laid down first, was fortunate that the Kongo had already had most of the major issues with the block 30 design.

    Captain Marsilla McKnight was envious of Captain Pike in a way. While it would be nice to have a ship that worked right out of the dock, even more so to be the plankowner of the Flagship of Starfleet...She’d worked hard along with her crew these last 18 months. They’d exorcised most of the gremlins, well minus the still annoying issue of the strange odor on deck 11. They’d get that sorted out eventually-of course the fact that her sense of smell was stronger than humans..maybe it was just her. “ETA to Vulcan?” she checked, her long fluffy tail curled around her back legs.

    At the Helm the pale Vulcan helmsman, Lt T’lara checked her instruments “thirty one minutes, six seconds at our present speed. The Enterprise group should have arrived approximately eleven minutes ago.”

    The Captain nodded “any communication from either Vulcan or the Enterprise group?”

    “Nope,” Lt Ed Stein replied from the communications station. “Subspace is still full of some kind of distortion, I’ve got nothing Sir.”

    McKnight stood on all four legs, as she ran a hand through her light blue hair, absently rubbing the ear that was nearly severed during a fight with Klingon raiders a few weeks ago. It was healing, but itched. She was at least as of 2258, the only hexaped in Starfleet, and one of only a handful known in the quadrant. Standing only five feet tall, she was able to double that if she stood on her back legs, her ‘paws’ able of grasping and climbing. She walked over to the com station, looking at the display. “That is weird.”

    “I know Sir”, Stein replied. “It’s some kind of frequency resonance-” he blinked as it cut out as suddenly as it had appeared “and now I’m getting a signal. It’s from the Enterprise. They’re…” he blinked, wide eyed “They’re calling for an immediate emergency evacuation of Vulcan.”

    “...What?” The captain's gold colored eyes were as wide as the Lieutenant’s

    “That’s all I’m getting so far Sir, I’ll see if i can get more.”

    Marsilla turned to the Sciences station, the Andorian science officer was already peering into the gooseneck viewer on her console as she adjusted the ship's long range sensors. “I don’t have any-wait...this can’t be right..”

    “What Can’t?”

    “I’m picking up a massive gravity fluctuation, as if a singularity was forming..” Lt Zelah adjusted the sensors in frustration. “We’re still too far out and moving too fast for anything more detailed Captain.”

    The cannidtaur turned towards the helm “ETA?”

    “Twenty one minutes Sir…” Lt T’lara did not look upset-but Marsilla had been around enough vulcans to know she was. The Lt was due to be married on her next shore leave, her fiance taught quantum physics at the Vulcan Science academy. For that matter..her own adoptive family was on Vulcan at the moment as well.. She forced her ears back up and forced herself to be calm. The XO on the other hand, she didn’t fool.

    “I’ll head to engineering Captain,” Lt Commander Sytav said as he stood. “Between the chief and me I think we can squeeze a bit more speed out of her.”

    Captain McKnight nodded as the tall mutton chopped Andorian headed into the lift at almost but not quite a run. She didn’t ask for an ETA again, instead pulling it up on the arm of the couch that was to one side of the center seat-easier for her to use than the normal chair, one of the few modifications they had made for her species. Nineteen minutes.

    “Anything from the Farragut, the Hood, the Wolcott or any of the other ships with the Enterprise?” She asked.

    Ed ran his hand over his bald head-he started losing his hair before he finished his plebe year, and figured why fight it. As they neared the system he was getting more signals since the mysterious jamming had stopped. “Not...so much Sir” he said, feeling ill.

    “What do you mean?”

    “I’m getting a signal for the emergency beacon for the Farragut..life pod beacons for the Hood...i’m starting to get some civil traffic...inter system shuttles and civil freighters...it’s all confused though, doesn’t make any sense.”

    She let her frustration show, as she barked “WHAT DOESN’T?

    Lt Stein looked at the captain-the normally olive skinned human, almost as pale as the near albino Lt T’lera. “They...they’re saying Vulcan is gone Sir..”

    USS Kongo, Vulcan System. Stardate 2258.50

    The one good thing about being busy...is you didn’t have time to think. They’d arrived several days ago right after both the Enterprise, and the Narada had left-leaving nothing but the shattered remains of the Starfleet task force, and several hundred small ships-many not designed for more than a short hop that had managed to get off the planet before it was destroyed. Still...some called the Vulcan’s endangered species now, and Marsilla sadly had to agree with them.

    The Kongo was stuck as well-even if they hadn’t been tasked with assisting refugees, retrieving life pods, and doing anything to keep their minds off of the horror of six billion beings erased in an instant. Lt Commander Sytav had managed to get another 15 percent speed-with the unfortunate side effect of blowing out the Dilithium crystals. Yet another block 30 bug that was due to be dealt with, eventually.

    The number of refugees was pathetically small. Just over 10,000 managed to make it off planet before it imploded. True there were other colony worlds, and vulcans on ships elsewhere...but it was still a fraction of the population. And worst of all...none of the crew had any family that made it out.

    Her own family as well were gone, the only family she had known. Admiral Tammy McKnight had found her as an infant on a derelict ship, the ship’s complement dead, and adopted her despite Marslla not being even close to human. She was the only one of her kind ever discovered. Now...Marsilla was even more alone than she’d ever been.

    There was a tone at her cabin door. “Enter.”

    The XO was there, with the daily status reports. By now, Tellarite and Andorian merchantmen were insystem as well, as well as a Caitian carrier that no one could pronounce the name of. The USS Kearsarge was due in another six hours as well. Now the constant busy was wearing off. At least there was some good news-the Enterprise had managed to destroy the ship that had destroyed Vulcan, and attempted to do the same to Earth. “We should have warp capability back in another couple of hours Captain. That Caitian carrier that arrived a few hours back had spare Dilithium.”

    “Well that’s good. Hopefully now they’ll realize the Yoyodyne Mk2 injectors are garbage and we can get rid of them. How’s the search for survivors of the Task force going?”

    She didn’t even have to hear the answer, she could see it in how his antenna drooped. “It’s turned more into recovery...any that had made it into life pods, have been rescued. Also the Caitian ship had a big enough hangar bay that the last few shuttles have been recovered there.”

    Marsilla nodded. “We have a total count? I can add it to the report to Command.”

    “10,310-correction, 311. There was one birth on one of the shuttles that made it off planet.”

    She sighed, looking at the report she was supposed to finish for Admiral Marcus on this debacle..”one down, six billion to go.” Shaking her head, she put the report out of her mind for the moment. “How’s the crew holding up?”

    “About as well as can be expected, Lt T’lara insists that she’s fit for duty,”

    “Does Doc Geary agree?”

    “She does, for the moment. Vulcan’s don’t grieve publicly...even with all this.”

    “True. if for nothing else, let’s keep treating the Vulcan crewmen the same as we did before if the doc agrees.”

    “Aye sir...how are you holding up?”

    That caught her short…”half torn with fury that Kirk killed the TRIBBLE that did this, and I couldn’t, and half ready to tear the walls down screaming over losing mom.”

    Sytav nodded, and tactfully didn’t mention the damage to the walls in her cabin, as if the walls were clawed. He’d get maintenance to touch that up the next time the captain was on the bridge. “Understandable, I know how it feels to lose close family. If there is anything I can do to help” he said, not as the xo, but as her friend. “Just say the word.”

    Marsilla just smiled sadly. “Thanks, that means a lot to me. Right now though, I need to get this report done for Admiral Marcus before he starts calling again wanting to know why our engines failed again.”

    “Tell him if Fleet would quit using the Yoyodyne TRIBBLE, we’d be fine.”

    She just laughed “Can I quote you on that?”

    “Oh sure, I want to get transferred to Delta Vega anyway.”

    Marsilla smirked as her XO left, then sat down on her haunches at her desk, and went back to her report. She’d grieve later-right now she had a crew depending on her.
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier." R.A.Heinlein

    "he's as dangerous as a ferret with a chainsaw."

  • k20vteck20vtec Member Posts: 506 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    Let me try :P:

    United Federation of Planets Science Comission special record archieve Planet Al Shahal, section.185768 subsection 1863282 file #82506315
    Note: This file require access authorization level 8.

    Processing authorization code...
    Comeplete. Access granted-

    Project:Chronowatcher personnel Adam Moghur's Recording log. Local date 2288. Please note that the following report does not necessarily follow chronological order. I just pieced together what I can find.

    Right. I finished the investigation regarding Masaki Alva O'Yang just yesterday. From what I got from, well apperently they says they dont exist yet, apperently a case of a disappearance of a Starfleet junior officer seems to be connected to my field of work.

    Lieutenant O'Yang's encountered some kind of temporal anachronisms it seems, I dont know much about that, those mysterious spooks didnt said much to me. Anyway, that was how he was dragged in the mess of temporal mechanics. Funny enough, it was on K13, yep that, K13, when it happened. And from the classified records I have to pry out of Starfleet Intel agent's hands, he was one of the responsible too!

    Anyway, leaving K13 for my co-worker Tosa. I picked up a trail from some Andorian big-shot about O'Yang. Apperently our man was on Kirk's Enterprise no less, during the Babel talks. He had a contact inside the ship that got him in and helped him doing... whatever that is. It seems it was successful.

    Now here is where it got strange, and weird. Guess it is to be expected in my line of work. Anyway... He, along with the ship he served in, the USS. Frontier was involved in the chaos that was Caleb IV. Now the official record was that everyone on board is most likely vaporized, but from a report that came from Starfleet Intel, things are more complicated than it looks like.

    After Starfleet Intelligence picked up some crazy chatter around Galorndon Core it seems our friend popped up again. Apperently he was involved with the Romulans failed attempt on Doomsday machine. How the Romulans can try to control it is anyone guess. The important thing here is that he is involved, after his apperent death. From the Romulan logs, the sensors on the planets meeting hall caught someone's lifesign, a wounded so presumbly shot lifesign, matches O'yang's own biosignature.

    Of course this is very vague lead that might not even be real, not to mention how he could be there after he died in Caleb. Now I know the Intel loves use "officially dead" agents, and, well I wouldnt be surprised O'yang worked for them. However the Romulan chatter also include some weird chroniton surge and slight space-time distortion, which lead me to believe this incident have something to do with temporal travel. Like I said, its vague, but I have to include everything I can find.

    Oh right, there was a lead on Drozana about triolic waves and strange chroniton concentrations, although I cant really confirm this. Well one thing is certain though, if that lead was correct, O'yang was in Dorzana before K13-thing happened. Was he there on leave? Or was he fiddling with time again I dont know.

    Well whatever the hell happened its probably epic and classfied. So no way I will ever find out. Perhaps in the future, when these records and more are released people can finally understand what is going on, whatever O'yang was doing will be known too, but I doubt I'll live that long. For now, the chapter is closed on him and on this case.

    Moghur out.

    End log

    Hast thou not gone against sincerity
    Hast thou not felt ashamed of thy words and deeds
    Hast thou not lacked vigor
    Hast thou exerted all possible efforts
    Hast thou not become slothful
  • hawku001xhawku001x Member Posts: 10,277 Arc User
    edited August 2017
    The Bortasqu'-class I.K.S. Masamune rotated around in space, to take aim at its vicious opponent: a Kolasi-class destroyer commanded by a Nausicaan named Tog.

    "Your reign of terror ends here, Tog," declared Captain Deloss, the Gorn and Klingon Defense Force commander of the Masamune.

    Tog appeared on-screen in response. "The only terror I wish to convey is to the likes of you, Gorn! The Klingon Empire will see that we Nausicaans are the superior race, and will award us thusly!"

    "Like, what do you even think they'd do for you? Trophies? Table seating preferences at the fleet parties?" Deloss interjected, genuinely perplexed.

    Captain Tog sputtered, unsure himself. "Shut up! The point is, Gorn are weak! Except for that rock-throwing thing! That is actually quite impressive." He disconnected and continued firing upon the Masamune.

    "Sir, we're also getting a priority distress call from the planet Raatooras," reported Liss from operations. "Apparently it's under a global threat and risks destruction."

    Deloss was taken aback. "That conquered monstrosity? I'm pretty sure Captain Sigon maintains them under his jurisdiction. Forward him the signal and we'll follow up as soon as we can." He watched as Liss nodded. "We, on the other hand, have to make a stand for humanoid-reptile-kind! Not the other kinds, though."


    Meanwhile, the Kurak-class I.K.S. Baetal sat in orbit of Earth while Captain Sigon and his crew celebrated as guests within 602 Club at Starfleet Academy.

    "You, you are the Klingon!" shouted a very drunk Lieutenant Commander Gozer as he put his arm around a deadpanning Sigon. "Am I right? Your wrinkled forehead isss like no other!"

    Sigon released himself to visit more of his wasted crew. He was the only one sober. "Why did I quit drinking?" he questioned himself before recalling the reason. "Oh, right. All the dishonor I wrought."

    "Don't forget," came Chief Engineer Poroka, who also put her arm around him. "You are the designated driver to get us all home! Also, you have such an attractive nose. There, I said it! Ha! Being on this weakling planet brings out the strangest parts of us!"

    He released himself from her, as well, as a communiqué over-air rung through. "Battlecruiser Baetal to Captain Sigon. This is Tenogh. We're getting a distress signal being relayed about Raatooras under threat. I believe a malevolent entity is attempting to annihilate its occupants."

    "Ugh! You know, you couldn't have picked a worse time," Sigon flung his arms. "The crew is completely tossed. How are you?"

    Tenogh replied, "I had a glass of Blood Merlot before my shift. It was paired with Cheese Targ."

    "How is everyone on my crew alcoholics? Is it the constant wars we have with pretty much everyone?? Never mind. Send it to Captain Kronen, and we will catch up. He's been all over recent events anyway, almost like it was his turn or something."


    The Birok-class I.K.S. Dragunov sat, landed, on the planet Takar in the Delta Quadrant, where Captain Kronen, a Klingon Defense Force officer and Ferasan, stood before a crowd of Takarians at the ramp to his ship.

    "Fellow humanoids," opened Kronen, "I am neither your Holy Sage, nor your Holy Dissident. Perhaps I'm a third thing, though? A Holy Master or Prophet of some kind? Don't hold back your suggestions."

    Commander Red gave him a disapproving look. "You know, we could just go?"

    "And leave these poor, helpless worshippers to no priest or cleric of some kind? We have a responsibility!" he declared, seconds before his first officer's PADD rang off a notification beep.

    Red checked his device. "Captain, it appears the Jenolan Dyson Sphere has relayed a distress transmission from a planet back home. Apparently, a real Great Sage has taken possession."

    "Like, the real gods from this world?? Whoa! We have to check it out— I mean, help its inhabitants and what not. Unfortunately, getting there will take some time, considering how far out we actually are."

    The Klingon looked at him again. "I told you this Quadrant was a Quadrant of misfortune and complete absurdity."

    "You said it passively, so it doesn't count!" countered Kronen. "Let's go. I'm just disappointed I will miss the fire-log thing they do. Oh, to be a figurehead of any kind."

    The two ran back up the platform, retracted it, and lifted the Dragunov back up into the atmosphere. Several Takarians dropped their fire logs in grief and sadness of their departure.


    Later— much, much later— the Dragunov dropped warp at the planet Raatooras where they received the deity-hail of the Sage that had taken over the planet below.

    "This is the Great Sage, merged with the form of the Arin'Sen known as Hemly," came a visual on the view screen from the planet below. "This planet has been cleansed."

    Kronen threw his hands up. "Damn! You couldn't have waited for us? We had to reroute through a Dyson Sphere. You know how many Ferengi salesmen are in that thing now? Those back-hunchers infect anywhere there's a connecting port."

    "We're late, aren't we?" came the hail from Captain Deloss as the Masamune dropped warp. "I put Gorn pride first and you Captains couldn't follow through for me? Well, it's not surprising since I once had Kagran hold a sandwich to which he then sent off to war."

    Then the Baetal arrived with Captain Sigon. "Noooooo! We had so many memories conquering this world every year!" he cried. "Like the time we did whilst dressed in Fair Haven attire."

    "None of us are looking good right now," argued Kronen.

    The Arin'Sen entity gaped. "Such a dysfunctional team. You must now deal with the consequences of your inaction! This is Sage advice: a natural expository of my kind, despite all disaster being caused by a Sage; me, to be specific," it declared. "Now, I must find the rest of my Sages to brag about what I've done! Sage out!" He then disappeared in a flash of energy, leaving the three Captains to their barren world.

    "Well, it's not like the Empire really cared for this place," Kronen suggested. "And I got to meet another god, so there's that."

    Deloss chimed in. "How about this? We pretended this never happened."

    "I like it. Subtle. Simple. Easy to not-remember," answered Sigon. "Like the time you and I forgot about our fight with the Devidians."

    The Gorn erupted. "You know that's not how forgetting works! We have to purge the Klingon Empire database of this world, and possibly the Federation one too."

    "Very well, gentlemen," Kronen continued. "We work to erase any notion of Raatooras, even if it means editing it out of Memory Alpha, that pretentious, well-informed databank maintained, remotely, by basement-dwelling 30-something year olds living with their mothers. That'll be Sigon's job. Good luck!"

    The two other Captains agreed and disconnected. There would be much work to be done to protect each of their secret shames forever. Secrets they would take to their graves.
    Post edited by hawku001x on
  • cmdrscarletcmdrscarlet Member Posts: 5,137 Arc User
    A Quiet Fate - Prompt 1

    Solaris burst into the system and instantly traveled at a relaxed speed of sixteen thousand kilometers per second …

    “Transwarp completed, Captain.” Lieutenant Ian McKinnon tapped on the helm console preparing the ship to handle inter-system travel. He wore thin gloves when on deck to pilot the ship. It was a quirk Kathryn learned to appreciate over the years.

    Interrupting her own musings, Kathryn turned her attention to the main view screen. The tension on the bridge grew. Standing, she queried, “how soon to Delphi Station?”

    The outpost had been built on the outer fringes of declared Federation space toward the galactic rim. It’s primary mission was meant to research the Galactic Barrier phenomenon. Two days ago, Solaris received an automated distress signal through subspace. Kathryn’s concern was that the time stamp on the message was two days older than when it was received. With the station being so remote, Solaris was the closest ship to respond. And with the message mysteriously being “old”, Kathryn redlined the Transwarp Drive.

    The Science Chief responded, “At present speed, five minutes.” Omazei, a female Trill, was the second-longest serving Senior Officer on the bridge with Kathryn. She turned to look at the main screen, confident she would not miss new telemetry. “Long-range visual is available.”

    “View and magnify image,” Kathryn ordered.

    As the scene shifted from a blurry star-field to the Starfleet outpost, everyone on the bridge gasped with surprise and terror.

    Two Hours Later, Deck 16, Cargo Bay 4

    Four more bodies materialized on the transporter pad. The cargo bay had transformed into a makeshift morgue as the station crew was too numerous to be housed elsewhere. Chief Medical Officer Annika Kramer also wanted to preserve the dead in their already frozen state in order to conduct autopsies. Wearing an environmental suit and waving a tricorder, she was crouched over a previously delivered crewperson. A yeoman stood nearby with a PADD, entering information relayed by Doctor Kramer.

    Standing in the cargo bay, wearing her own suit, Kathryn somberly looked upon the grim scene. Forty-seven crew were found floating outside their remote outpost. Initial scans did not reveal they were attacked from external sources and the station itself was not damaged, although the docking port doors were open, exposing the station to the vacuum of space. With the four recent arrivals, the station’s crew was accounted fully in the cargo bay.

    Behind Kathryn, the decontamination chamber cycled and First Officer Anthi Ythysi stepped into the cargo bay. The tall Andorian stopped next to Kathryn and presented a PADD wrapped in a protective sheath. Standing at attention to respect the dead, she reported, “The station team reports no structural damage to the station at all. The team leader hopes to have more news within two hours.”

    Kathryn accepted the PADD and scrolled through data already abridged by the XO, more to distract her from the scene in the cargo bay than to question Anthi’s summary. “Out of curiosity, does any of the crew have family from the station?”

    “No, sir.”

    “Good news, I suppose.”

    Anthi stood silent in response, which was typical for her, much to Kathryn’s esteem. Andorians were not known to be verbose, and for moments like this, only duty would help solve the puzzle of the station’s demise.

    Annika walked up to the pair of officers. “Captain, I’m not finding definite answers here. Although I have not examined the four that just arrived, it’s a sure bet they’ll have similar conditions as everyone else: extreme levels of Adrenaline, Norepinephrine and Cortisol.”

    “Those are stress hormones,” Kathryn declared.

    Nodding, Annika continued. “Everyone on Delphi Station was under extreme duress of some kind. My educated guess is that they were under fight or flight conditions. There is no physical trauma like you’d expect from explosive decompression.” She sighed. “Unless a more immediate cause is determined, I’m leaning toward a dreadful conclusion: mass suicide.”

    Kathryn looked to the report about the fully intact structural integrity of the station. The equation was looking bad. “Personal logs will need to be reviewed, if there are any of course.”

    Annika huffed in her suit as she looked to the transporter pad. “I’ll finish here soon and send my report.”

    Kathryn turned her suit to face Anthi and nodded toward the decompression chamber as a sign to exit. “Let us leave Annika to her work.”

    “I’m sure she would enjoy not being watched, sir.”

    Several minutes later, leaving Cargo Bay 4 …

    “Any news on why didn’t we receive the distress call in time?”

    Anthi looked to Kathryn as they walked toward a turbolift. “Omazei completed a level one diagnostic of the transceiver and subspace communication logs. All systems are functioning as expected. She does have a reasonably plausible theory and it involves the Tyrant Star Cluster.”

    Kathryn abruptly stopped, clearly surprised by the comment. “It’s due to return?”

    Nodding, Anthi continued. “It already did. As you know, the stellar phenomenon appears randomly at the galactic rim every one hundred years. Telemetry revealed the Cluster appeared approximately twenty light years away from the station … four days ago.”

    Kathryn raised a hand to her chin as she collated information about the tragedy at Delphi Station. “The time stamp on the distress signal was four days ago.”

    “Indeed. The graviton shock wave created from the Cluster’s sudden appearance in our reality also caused a time dilation in subspace. This best explains that while the message was sent four days ago in real time, we received the message two days ago”

    Saddened by the revelation, Kathryn decided to continue walking as the information swirled in her head. “The crew asked for help, and no one would have heard them.”

    Anthi followed her Captain in muted agreement.
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