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Bry_Sinclair January 17 2013 02:14 PM

Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
United Trek: Refugee Crisis
Star Trek: Border Cutter Silverfin


Bright New Day
By Brydon Sinclair



Chapter One


Landing Pad, Kazon-Degra Mining Camp
Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
Day of Kraad, 31st Year of Liberation (July 17th, 2377)

Jal Mekhad wiped the sweat from his brow. He loading up one of the shuttles with several tons of cormaline, with loaders that were well past being useful, so it was tiring work—especially with the relentless sun beating down on him. It was still early, but the heat was already well past comfort levels, whilst the coarse dust whipped across his sunburnt skin. The barren rock was a miserable place to be but over the last ten years, eighteen different Sects had laid claim to the planet, each one wanting the mineral wealth the planet held. They fought and killed for that wealth, but as far as Mekhad was concerned it wasn’t worth it.

When another Sect came to claim it, he wouldn’t lay down his life for the ball of dust. He saw little in the way of money for all the work he had to do, whilst there were no women to take his pleasure in, or worthy enemies to fight. It was barren and coarse.

As he loaded the shuttle, he couldn’t help but think about how his life would be if he simply got in the ship and took off. He could fetch a good price for the cormaline, which he could use to buy a supple woman, then see if any other Sect would be willing to give him a better cut—especially if he gave them the Degra defences of the camp, with the understanding that he would never set foot on the rock again.

It was more than a little tempting. But he thought about it every time he loaded up the shuttles by himself, though had yet to take any action. If he even attempted to take off without the permission of the Maje, one of their ships in orbit would shoot him down before he even had a chance of powering up the warp core. Until there was some kind of distraction or he found some way to slip around their orbital ships, it would remain a fantasy more than anything tangible.

There was a grinding whine from behind him, so he turned to look at the old loader. The planetary conditions and the sheer volume of work it was expected to accomplish had taken their toll on it. Mekhad crouched down to try and see what the problem was, but couldn’t see anything, so gave it a short, sharp kick. The loader died, groaning under the weight it had suspended halfway to the shuttle’s cargo hatch.

He let loose a torrid of curses as he kicked it again, and then a third time. None of it had any affect. Rising to his full height, he had to finish off what the loader couldn’t and lug the case of cormaline inside. Before he moved he noticed a solitary figure walking towards him for the dune sea. It was not a Kazon, their size and build was all wrong, besides he knew no one in the camp crazy enough to venture away from the settlement, to do so was to invite a long and painful death.

As the figure got closer he saw it was an old woman, with short grey hair and large, pointed ears. He knew of the Ocampa, the weakling species who lived beneath the surface, where the only source of water was located, but it had been a long time since he had seen one. When the Degra first seized the planet from the Kazon-Vakk, they had a couple of Ocampa slaves, a male and a female. The Degra had put them to work, that was if having them retrained in the barracks could be considered work. A smile spread across his chapped lips as he remembered hearing their whimpers and screams at every hour of the day and night. They had only lasted two weeks.

He drew his disruptor and moved away from the shuttle. It would have been strange enough seeing a Kazon coming from the desert, but an Ocampa made even less sense; they were weak and feeble.

“What are you doing here?” he challenged, squaring his shoulders and puffing up his chest. He was already an imposing man, especially compared to the frail looking woman, but he wanted to put her in her proper place from the beginning. If he brought her into the camp, he would earn some more respect from the others—after all he was providing them with a new means of entertainment.

Her pace was steady, unhurried and she showed no sign of being intimated by him, which riled him up. Who was she to disrespect him? But as she neared he noted that her skin was pale—too pale for someone who’d spent any time under the scorching sun—with a tinge that made her look sick. She probably won’t even last two days in the camp, he determined, smirking.

Raising his disruptor he aimed in at her head. “I said; what are you doing here?”

She stopped not fifteen meters from him. Her big blue eyes glanced over him as though he were little more than one of the sun-bleached rocks; her manner remained relaxed, even with his weapon pointed at her.

He thumbed the power level up. “I won’t ask again!”

“I’m here to help my people,” she said, her soft voice almost lost in the hot winds.

“Yeah?” he sneered. “Just how are you gonna—”

She just waved her hand towards him and Mekhad found himself flying backwards through the air. His mind could barely comprehend what was happening before he crashed into the shuttle, the air knocked from his lungs as the back of his head cracked against the metal hull. There was a bolt of pain through his body as he dropped to the dusty ground, and for the briefest of moments he blacked out.

When he came to, he could barely focus but did find the woman crouching right in front of him, looking at back of his bloody head then fixed her eyes onto his.

“After you leave this place, never return,” she told him, a cold and hard edge to her voice. “If you, or any other Sect, attempt to claim this world as their own again, you will bring the consequences upon yourself.”

“Whaaat...?” he slurred.

The Ocampa merely stood up and walked towards the camp. He tried to focus on her, feeling around for his weapon—he wasn’t about to let her just walk away. But as he watched her move away, he must’ve been feeling the effects of the blow to his head, as he could swear that she began to glow, brighter than the unrelenting sun that beat down on him. He had to shut his eyes as it became too much for him to look at.

When he opened them once again, it was cold. The sudden drop in temperature made him shiver and huddle his body in a tight ball on the smooth metal floor. Confused, his head aching, Mekhad looked around and found himself on the deck of a cargo hold. All around him were prone bodies, only a few of which were starting to stir. He saw a few faces, enough for him to know that they were all from the camp.

“How...?” he asked the quiet room, his voice echoing.

*Never return!* the Ocampan woman’s voice rang in his head.

* * * * *

Abandoned Settlement
Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant

Nothing had changed. The place was just as she remembered it to be. Her heart ached at the memories she held of the camp, the abuse she had suffered at the hands of the Ogla, the pain and torment she had endured.

I saw the sunlight, a small voice whispered in the back of her mind.

She looked up at the sky and felt the familiar sun on her skin, but it no longer felt warm to her. It was cold, as cold as the blackness of space. She remembered the first time she had emerged onto the surface and seen the dazzling brightness; it had moved her to tears. The awe and joy that had filled her at the moment had been short-lived, as to see the sun was to invite pain and misery into her life—until she’d been saved; whisked away to a new life, a new place, and new friends who she had cared for deeply.

She had been lucky. All those beneath her feet wouldn’t be. There were no heroes to come to their aid, no courageous individuals who would risk all for a stranger. If no one would be their saviour, then she would need to be.

Even from far away she had felt their anxiety and worry. None of them were ready for what was inevitable, most still clung to the old ways, thinking the Caretaker would return and guide them once again—they couldn’t accept the idea that he was gone. She didn’t want to fill that role, they needed to learn not be led, determine their own future not have it dictated to them.

They would need others to help her, to teach them. She couldn’t do it alone.

* * * * *

Sanctuary, Ocama City Station
Dynae System, Delta Quadrant

Tanis had woken up that morning with a feeling he couldn’t quite describe. It was a sensation of anticipation, as though even the molecules around him were paused, waiting for something to happen. However, he couldn’t place his finger on exactly what the impending event might be. He had tried to shake it off and carry on with his day as normal, but as he went about his routine, he couldn’t help that notice everyone else seemed a little bit off. Worried, he had started to look into it, asking those around him if they felt it too. Each and every single one of them said they did, but like him they didn’t know why. It was as if an event of great significance had burrowed its way into the collective subconscious of the people.

As their leader, Tanis was determined to find out what had gotten to his people, so he had started going around the City Station, talked with all those he found and discovered that all of them, from younglings to elderly, all felt the same thing: something is coming. From the market place to the hospital to the reactor chamber, they all shared the feeling.

With nothing showing on their scans and the City Station’s doctors unable to offer an explanation, Tanis had retreated to his private Sanctuary—a room shielded from all the sensors and minds onboard, he was offered total solitude, which was what he needed to reach out and make contact with Her. The Sanctuary was a perfectly spherical room, the curved walls smooth and polished to a gleaming finish. He had entered and stepped onto the dais, then sat down, cross-legged, and held his hands out before him upturned. As the dais rose up into the centre of the room, supported by an intricate system of anti-gravs, he took deep breaths, quietening his mind and opening himself.

*Susperia,* he sent out telepathically. *Susperia, please help me. Something is happening. We all feel it, but no one knows what it is!*

There was silence for a long moment. The pause made him worry, as She always responded quickly to him whenever he needed Her.

*Susperia?*

*She...is...returning...* was the raspy response, as though She was winded and couldn’t draw a breath.

*Who? Who is returning?* he asked, his worry building towards panic.

*The girl...such power, such strength...more than I could ever have imagined...*

*What girl?*

*You...know her...*

Tanis paused and racked his brain, trying to think who She could have meant. There were lots of females, of all ages, on the City Station, his wife and daughters among them. A memory flashed before his mind’s eye, the image of a young Ocampa, with short blonde hair, large innocent eyes and a smile that brightened her entire face.

*Kes.*

*Yes...she is—*

*Here.*

The voice was soft, but he could feel the strength deep within it. He knew it to be the young woman he had met four years ago, but it was also so different; haunted. Tanis could feel her presence, as though she were standing all around him, as her mind probed his own. She was so strong that he could no longer feel Susperia—something he had never thought possible.

*What are you doing here?* he asked, his voice sounding weak even to himself.

“I’ve come for you.”

His eyes shot open and he found himself staring into a face that was both familiar and different. The hair was the same style, but all the colour had long since drained away, her eyes were still large, but they were now cold and hard, her lips no longer smiled, and her face was heavily-lined—far more than it should have been for a woman of six.

“What do you want with me?” he asked. He wanted nothing more than to turn and run away, but the fall from the dais would definitely break a bone—if not his neck—so he was trapped.

Kes’ eyes never left his. In them he could see anger, despair, loneliness, but there was also the faintest hint of hope as well.

“I’m here for all of you,” she told him.

Suddenly, she raised her arms parallel to the dais and her head snapped back, as a brilliant light emerged from within her. Tanis could only look at it for a second, before it became too bright and he had to shut and shield his eyes. But even through closed lids, he could see the brilliant warm light that emanated from her.

*What’s happening?* he cried out to her.

*It is a new day,* she told him.

* * * * *

DarKush January 17 2013 10:24 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Bry,

Off to a great start! And welcome to the club.

Gibraltar January 18 2013 09:29 AM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
And thus did Kes lead them... to where?

A riveting beginning, Bry! Can't wait to see where this tale goes.

Bry_Sinclair January 18 2013 01:50 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
The Second Coming of Kes, and with her abilities you know it'll be bad-ass :)

Working on the continuation now. We'll all find out together where things end up going.

CeJay January 20 2013 05:14 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Liking this idea quite a bit. I always wondered what happened to the Ocampa and Kes specifically. Now as a darker and crazy-powerful being she's got a real chance at helping her people. It makes sense to me that that would be on her list of things to do.

Only thing I wasn't quite clear about is Tanis. I thought he was the evil Ocampa in league with Susperia. How'd he get to the Ocampan city? Admittedly it's been a while since I've watched the show. This might all get explained as we go along.

Bry_Sinclair January 20 2013 09:10 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
I'll be answering how Tanis gets involved soon.

The timeline of the story will cover a month or two, there is quite a lot for Kes to do, whilst back in the AQ life goes on as normal for the Silverfin.

Working on the next installment now, hopefully have it done by the end of this week, if not before.

Bry_Sinclair January 24 2013 05:53 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Chapter Two


Engineering Deck, Boslic Freighter Zoyrajj
Talarian Border, Alpha Quadrant
Stardate: 54560.2 (July 24th, 2377)

“Gun runners,” Kolanis Daezan grumbled. “Why do we always seem to intercept gun runners?”

Amorin glanced at the Ops Manager, a small smile obscured behind his breather mask, as disruptor beams and plasma bullets blasted holes into the bulkheads he and his team were using for cover. As the advanced boarding team, they would be the ones who would be taking the brunt of the assault, but their mission was also crucial in securing the rest of the ship.

Whilst on standard patrol, the U.S.S. Silverfin had come across an Boslic freighter acting oddly. After hails had been ignored, the cargo ship had made a desperate attempt to flee, but the cutter had pounced, catching them off guard with a rat-trap torpedo that collapsed their warp field and weakened their shields—enough for them to punch a transporter beam through—so Amorin led a team onboard in order to shut the freighter down and begin detaining the crew for questioning.

The lead team was always a tough job, as they would face the fiercest opposition, so the chances of injury were high. Fortunately, his team were experienced and well-trained. Aside from himself and Daezan, there was also Master Chief Syva, Crewmen Johl, Mycroft and Blue. The security detail were tight knit and meticulous in their duties, considered probably the best team onboard—not surprising, seeing that the Syva was their leader.

He looked at the Chief of the Boat. “Options?”

“I recommend that we split up, three two-man teams. One remain here and maintain the illusion that we are still pinned down, the other two should attempt to circumvent this junction and find a way to outflank them,” Syva stated, gesturing down the two perpendicular corridors the team has taken shelter in.

Looking up and down the corridors for a moment, he nodded. “Kolanis, remain here and give us as much cover fire as you can. Master Chief, you take this corridor. I’ll take the other. Keep secure comlink open and check your targets, the last thing we need is a friendly-fire incident.”

“Johl, remain here. Mycroft, you’re with the Commander. Blue, with me,” Syva added immediately. She was splitting her people up to spread out their skill sets, keeping K8 Blue with her as the Nasat was the newest to the team, whilst both he and Daezan had the more experienced enlistees with them—a logical approach.

Gripping his phaser carbine tightly, he flexed his shoulders trying to give his arms as much movement as possible in the body armour—he always hated wearing the stuff, but after it had saved his life on at least four separate occasions over the years he was willing to live with it. He looked at Johl and Mycroft and signalled that they would be cutting across the corridor to the other side, which meant having to cross the barrage of energy beams and pulses; they both nodded and got into position. With Daezan and Syva providing covering fire, Amorin darted across the corridor to cover, managing a quick glance down the passage to where the Boslic had erected their barricade. After a second to get into position, he joined the others providing covering fire, allowing Johl and Mycroft to join him.

As soon as they regrouped, Johl took his place at the edge of the bulkhead and opened fire. He looked over to Daezan and the others, just to see Syva and Blue head off down the corridor.

“Keep them busy,” he said to Johl.

“Aye sir,” the Napean guard replied, firing off another couple of shots before ducking back.

Amorin sprinted down their corridor, faster than many would have thought for someone his size, his natural sonar allowed him to pick up on Mycroft a little over three meters behind him. Having grown up in a place with little light, his species’ natural abilities to detect heat and energy signatures in total darkness often proved useful in his line of work. Which was why he knew the next intersection was clear and kept up his pace, Mycroft keeping up without hesitation.

They were halfway down the corridor when the ship rocked, tipping them into the bulkhead. There was a moment’s pause as they quickly swept the corridor, then looked at one another.

“Is the Silverfin firing on us?” Mycroft asked, dismayed.

“Rat-trap detonation in close proximity—I’d say six hundred meters. Too far away to do any real damage, but enough to keep them off balance until we can shut them down.”

“Then we’d better get moving—before they decide to switch to photons.”

Amorin smirked to himself before carrying on down the hallway. He had to check his combat scanner to get a look at the deck layout. The central corridor, where Daezan was still taking fire, was parallel to him, but there were several meters of ship systems and support equipment or storage rooms between them—none of which gave them access to the barricade. Unfortunately it looked as though the corridor they were in would only lead down to the cargo deck. He could only hope that Syva was having better luck, as the only way they’d be able to get through, was if they made a door—which they wouldn’t be able to do fast enough without alerting the Boslic. As good and effective as the phaser carbines were, they still had limitations.

But it does have a type-k12 sarium krellide power cell, he suddenly remembered. If set to overload, it packed a considerable punch—more than enough to blast a hole through the nillirium allow that the bulkheads were made of. We just need to get close enough to the barricade, to use the concussive force to our advantage, but not so close as to kill any of them, he determined.

Studying the scanner attached to the forearm of his armour, he saw that they would be reaching the barricade in six meters and just three meters past that point there was a storage locker. Running a quick calculation through his head, he determined that it would work. As they neared the hatch, he slowed down. Mycroft did the same, raising his weapon and standing ready for attack.

“Wait here,” Amorin ordered, stepping into the locker and crossing the compact room to the far side. Through the metal he could sense the body heat of the ten Boslic, as well as the energy output of their weapons just a couple meters away. Unstrapping his weapon, he opened up the outer casing and began to adjust the carbines power cell, setting it to overload—a process that would take ten seconds. Once he had the weapon rigged, he lodged it into place against the bulkhead then opened up the secure comlink.

“All teams, I have a plan to cause a big distraction as well as thin out their numbers. Syva, keep your distance. Kolanis, stand ready.”

Both teams acknowledged. Inhaling a deep lungful of the gases the breather mask provided him, he pulled the trigger and darted for the exit, calling into the comlink, “Fire in the hole.”

He leapt back into the outer corridor and took cover on one side of the hatch, Mycroft already doing the same opposite him, and drew his type-II phaser. The countdown from ten seemed to take much longer than he’d expected, but there was no missing the explosion. It was short and sharp, making the deck shake under his feet.

He slapped the access panel and the hatch opened, thick grey smoke poured into the corridor, but he stepped into the blackened room unaffected by the smoke. Opposite the hatch was a small opening into the central corridor, through which he hear lots of panicked shouts and an increased amount of Starfleet phaser fire. He was crouched into a firing position before Mycroft was able to make it into the room, coughing from the smoke. From within what remained of the storage locker, they added their own weapons fire to that of their teammates.

Within fifteen seconds after the explosion, everything went quiet in the corridor. Due to the explosion, he couldn’t rely on his natural abilities, so he had to consult the tactical scanner for a sweep of active life-sign. The scan still showed ten Boslic, but they were all prone and motionless, the readings showing all of them to be unconscious.

“We got them all,” he called into the comlink. “We’re coming out, so hold your fire.”

“Copy that,” Daezan confirmed.

Emerging into the central corridor, he looked down at all the stunned smugglers—most of who would be indentured slaves, forced to do as their owner commanded, though that didn’t mean the Border Service team could show them any leniency when they were being shot at. He looked back down the hallway and saw Daezan and Johl heading towards him, weapons up and making sure to sweep every alcove they came to.

From behind him, Syva called, “Commander, we have clear access to the engine room.”

He turned towards the Vulcan Master Chief as she emerged from another corridor, then led the rest of the team down towards her, her hand phaser held in a tight grip as he readied himself for storming the engineering compartment. From there, they would have total control of the ship and could bring this engagement to a quick end.

Once the team was reassembled, he looked at each of them to ensure they were ready. Confident they were, he nodded to Blue who stood by the door controls. One of her pincers tapped the panel and as the doors swished open, Amorin led his team inside.

* * * * *

Ward Room, U.S.S. Silverfin
En Route to Star Station Freedom, Talarian Border

Though it hadn’t been planned, it looked as though the half of the senior staff had reached the ward room at the same time for dinner. It had been a tough day for several of them, with boarding the freighter not five hours earlier. Fortunately, they’d gotten through the situation with no injuries, which always made Tunde Mbeki breathe easy. Being on the Silverfin for five years, he had healed numerous disruptor burns, broken bones, torn muscles, internal haemorrhages—even delivered two babies who’d been conceived onboard—but he never got used to seeing his friends getting injured. His happiest days were when he saw no one in sickbay but the corpsmen.

That wasn’t to say he hadn’t been busy. After the freighter had been secured and locked in a tractor beam, he’d had the twenty-one crewmembers to check over. All but three of them he had checked over in the brig, ensuring they weren’t carrying anything potentially harmful to the crew, as well as making sure they were healthy. The other three were all under armed guard in sickbay, secured under restraining fields. They had been injured when Amorin had chosen to knock through a wall, but with just a concussion, five broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and two punctured organs between the three of them, they had gotten off pretty lightly.

Amorin was sitting with his back to the viewports, enjoying a sealed mug of something Mbeki couldn’t pronounce. Since the Benzenite couldn’t eat with his breather mask on and couldn’t survive in an M-Class environment without it, he ate his meals in his quarters, where his standard atmosphere could be pumped in, but he could enjoy some liquid foods and drinks from Benez’ahn by way of specially designed straws that he could connect to his mask. Mbeki sat opposite him, finishing off his bowl of plomeek soup with gespar bread (he’d been feeling in the mood for Vulcan all afternoon).

A few seats down, Daezan and Lieutenant Commander Ling-Na were eating and chatting quietly. After they had brought the freighter under tow, heading for Star Station Freedom, the two of them had begun to go through the crates of weapons onboard. It had mostly been small arms and explosives, nothing ship-mounted, so their wears could have been going anywhere. Meanwhile, Syva had been questioning the crew but gotten nowhere—none of them were willing to say a word, not even to confirm their own names. The Master Chief was still at it, using all of her Vulcan mind tricks on them, but their silence was trying even her near-infinite patience.

The only others not accounted for were Captain Leijten, Lieutenants Llewellyn-Smyth and th’Shaan—though knowing each of them as he did, Mbeki guessed they’d be in the ready room, gymnasium and workshop respectively. One thing he’d learned during his years onboard was that many of the crew were creatures of habit, following the same routine each and every day where possible, which he could understand, since a lot of the work they did was spur of the moment (distress calls, emergency alerts, tip offs) most of the time they didn’t know where they would find themselves or what they’d be facing—so some found any kind of routine to be a comfort.

He looked up at the First Officer. “So how long until we get to Freedom?”

“Since we’re restricted to warp four with the freighter in tow, we’ll get back in four days. Why are you so eager to get back?”

Mbeki shrugged. “I was checking the drug store and noticed we’re low on a few things. I was just thinking this might be a good time to resupply.”

Amorin’s brow furled. “I hope we’re not running low on anything serious.”

Mbeki shook his head. “It all the typical things we have to restock every four months, but we’ve been on more calls than usual this month so they’re lower than I’m happy with.”

“Get the list to Chief Tarsev, and I’ll make sure the requisition is approved and waiting for you by the time we arrive.”

“Glad to hear it.”

They returned to their comfortable silence, Amorin returned to his datapad and Mbeki to his soup. He was just mopping up the remains of the soup with a piece of bread as Daezan and Ling-Na left, their conversation about the weapons haul continuing. The whole thing had Mbeki perplexed. True, as ship’s surgeon he wasn’t up on the latest intelligence reports and knew nothing about smuggling, but he had spent years studying how to observe behaviour to understand the psychology of others.

“Why would they do it?” he suddenly asked the now quiet room.

Amorin’s goggled eyes peeked over the top of his PADD. “Who do what?”

“The Boslic. Why would they risk smuggling hand weapons here, so far off the shipping routes that it just screams ‘suspicious activity’?”

The Benzenite set down his PADD and mused on the question. “I’m not sure, Doc. This time last year this region was only lightly patrolled, but following the Incursion five months ago with our reinforcements, no region is being left lightly patrolled anymore. Maybe this is where they’ve had luck smuggling contraband before, but were only caught because of our new routes.

“Or maybe,” he continued, “they were just trying their luck.”

“But why small arms?”

“In the grand scheme of weapons smuggling, a dozen crates of handheld phasers is better than two ship-mounted disruptor cannons. They’ll serve time for violating Federation law, but a lot less with what they were carrying than heavy weapon components.”

It was Mbeki’s turn to do some musing. “Saying it like that, it almost sounds as though they were testing us—seeing where we were still vulnerable.”

“A strong possibility. I’ll let the Captain know about your concerns, Doc. She can then punt it up to Admiral T’Rona for her to focus on. It might put a rush on the new reconnaissance sensor arrays we’ve needed along the border for the last five years.”

Mbeki chuckled. “The Border Service brass loosening the purse strings? I’ll believe that when I see it.”

Amorin let out a throaty laugh of his own. “This job is our calling, Doc; we don’t do it for the money.”

“Sometimes I worry about our sanity, Amorin.”

“No need to worry about mine, it and I parted ways some time ago.”

* * * * *

Bridge, Frigate Deskott
Hedakas System, Talarian Border

Major Tohr Inahk drummed his fingers on the armrest of his chair, glowering at the forward monitors. The three large screens displayed a variety of different information; the portside had a sensor grid on it as the Deskott ran continuous scans of the border, the central had a visual of the star field before them stretching from Republic space into the Federation, and the starboard monitor showed the ship’s current status. Everything was running smoothly, including their sensors, but they had yet to detect anything.

The freighter was now four hours overdue. Inahk knew that meant only one thing, it had been intercepted and either seized or destroyed. That would mean this route was no longer viable as a means of securing weaponry. He could only hope that the Boslic kept their mouths shut, the last thing they needed was for the Starfleet Border Service to become even more focused on their activities.

Only six months ago, he had been a Fleet Colonel. He had been the man behind their attack on the Federation border, having studied it for years, their deployment and strengths, patrols and positioning. The Starfleet forces had grown weaker and weaker, the cutters assigned to monitor the frontier had depleted to a third of their previous number, and after the Dominion War the bulk of the Federation fleet had been assigned to other more important areas. He had supported their rearming campaign, as it would play an important part in his plan, which he’d taken to the Militia Command with the support of as many of his peers as he could gather—all of them eager to claim glory and honour in their new war with the Federation.

It had taken two weeks of hard fighting with the upper echelons of the Militia for them to finally all agree, but once he had their support he had begun to muster his forces. Then he had led the attack. At first everything had gone exactly as he had planned, the Border Service had crumbled under their advance and the Republic had laid claim to more space than he had thought they would in the first days of the invasion. But they had been better organised than he’d ever expected, with Starfleet mustering its forces faster than he’d predicted.

His forces had held out against the ever growing enemy fleet, as they tried to fortify their positions and strengthen their frontlines—which had been his undoing. With their supply lines weakened, Starfleet had attacked their base in the Hedakas System (where his ship now sat), crippling their ability to hold their new boundaries, whilst Starfleet was able to outflank them. Their invasion fleet had crumbled, and they had been forced to withdraw back to the former frontier of their territory. His plan had done nothing but cost the Militia losses in ships and men, tipped off Starfleet to their new armament, and seen him demoted two grades to Major for his failure.

It was the last point that stung the most. He had worked hard to get to Fleet Colonel, which had seen him commanding one of their most advanced warships. But now he was reduced to a frigate and monitoring the border, ready to defend against any Orion attacks, all his power and authority had been stripped from him. He would do anything to regain his former position, but it looked as though the Militia Command were doing everything possible to keep him from that.

The bridge of the frigate was a standard layout, with the monitors at the front of the deck, his command chair at the back, with auxiliary consoles on both sides, whilst the four primary stations were directly ahead of him, arranged two-by-two (weapons and helm before him, then sensors and communications between them and the monitors).

He looked at the sensor operator, Officer Rohan. “Anything?” he demanded.

“Negative Major. All scans are negative for the freighter,” the young man replied instantly.

Inahk thumped his clenched fist on the armrest. “If they’re not here by now, they’re lost. It looks as though the Border Service is being more vigilant than previously,” he said, more to himself than anyone on the deck. “Helmsman, break orbit and return to Outpost 47. Warp factor six. We will have to report the situation to Command and await new instructions.”

“Course plotted.”

“Initiate.”

* * * * *

CeJay January 26 2013 10:01 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
The good folks on the Silverfin are at it again. Keeping our borders safe from vile criminal gun runners and the like.

But this action looks a little more sinister if the Talarians are involved. These guys are bad news and Silverfin better watch their back.

Gibraltar January 26 2013 11:04 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
A terrific boarding action by Silverfin’s crew, surely a credit to the Border Service’s training.

Interesting to see the Talarians are still at it, considering the drubbing they eventually suffered at Starfleet’s hands. However, the ‘Little Cousins’ have never been ones to give up once they’ve set their mind to a course of action. After all, they let the last grudge simmer for two decades before lashing out.

Too bad they’re still having trouble with the Orions, though… pissing off the Syndicate is never a good idea. :evil:

Fantastic work, keep it coming!

Bry_Sinclair January 26 2013 11:40 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Thank you both.

I've never actually done anything for the Talarians but thought it was about time to start, as I have a few ideas for them in the future.

Plus, any time I can make things a little sinister I'll always go for it :evil:

Working on the next installment now. I think it'll be focusing on the Ocampa for a few chapters, so this was really just to show my Border Dogs doing what they do best. Now I just have to explain whay role Tanis and his colony will have in Kes' plan, her return home, and the fallout from her actions in chapter one.

Hopefully that's enough of a hook to keep people reading :)

Bry_Sinclair February 1 2013 12:43 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Chapter Three


Administration Centre, Ocama City Station
In orbit of Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
74th Day of Zei (July 25th, 2377)

The walls of the Administrations Centre had been set transparent, allowing all those who worked from the dual-level facility to look out into space without obstruction. It had been over a week since their view had changed from nothing but stars, to being half dominated by the planet they now orbited. It hadn’t taken the sensor operators long to determine they were back at the Ocampa homeworld, but they were baffled as to how it had happened—all they knew was that it was because of some kind of energy wave.

Tanis knew who was responsible; he just didn’t know how she had managed it. Kes was more powerful than any Ocampa he’d ever known or read about. It was because of that fact that when she asked to rest, undisturbed, in the Sanctuary, he had consented. Even since the day she had returned and locked herself away he had been calling out to Susperia, asking for Her guidance and help to understand what had happened to Kes; but She had never answered him. Others had tried as well, even concentrated in groups of various sizes, but no one could contact Susperia. He could only suspect that Kes was keeping them from making contact, though he didn’t know how she could deflect or suppress their calls.

Her power truly awed and terrified him.

Since they had arrived in orbit of their former homeworld—a place no one on the station had ever seen let alone set foot on—they had stayed onboard the City Station. No attempts had been made to contact the inhabitants underground, whether telepathically or otherwise, not until they knew more of how they had gotten there and why they had been brought to the dead world. It fell to Tanis to try and figure out how, which meant he had to confront her. To say he was scared didn’t even scratch the surface of how he felt.

He stood on the upper level, looking down at the planet below, taking in every dry ocean and riverbed, the barren land devoid of even the faintest hint of greenery. Looking at the world his forebears had called home, he had to wonder why more Ocampa hadn’t left when they had the chance.

*Tanis,* Kes’ voice filled his mind.

He knew she was close by. From behind him he heard a door open and turned towards it, in time to see her standing there. She looked older than before, her wrinkles deeper, her hair a little whiter, her frame slighter, but despite how she appeared on the outside there was no disputing the power that radiated from her.

The others in the room stopped what they were doing and watched as she entered. Though he couldn’t sense them, he knew they would be speaking telepathically between themselves. Some would recall Kes from the brief time she visited, others would know her from what he remembered, then there were those who would know her from what she had done to them a week ago. Like him they were intimidated by the woman.

“Kes,” he said giving her a polite smile, trying to sound pleased to see her.

She came to a stop just a few meters from him. Her large eyes sought out his, where he once again saw the conflux of emotions—once there had been peace in those eyes, all he could see now was chaos. He could only hope that she had it under control or else they would all pay the price.

“Why have you brought us here?” he asked, taking the direct approach.

“It is time to heal the rift between our people, Tanis. You are few in numbers, but advanced in the way of technology and abilities. Those beneath the surface are great in number but lack what you have gained. They have been with the Caretaker for over six years, rationing what they have in the way of power to make it last as long as possible, but it is now coming to an end.

“But they are not ready. They have made no effort to develop on their own, identify their own sense of self. Many still cling to the hope that the Caretaker will return and they can go back to their previous lives.”

“So you abduct us to help them?” he challenged, knowing that he was playing a dangerous game.

She surprised him by smiling slightly. “Would you have come if I’d asked?”

“No,” he told her. The Ocampa on the station had left their homeworld far behind generations ago, to the point where they had no sense of connection with them—many actually looked upon them with a feeling of pity, they’d been made little more than simpletons, blindly following their ‘caretaker’—who had left them weak and hollow. The Ocampa he was responsible for would never let themselves be taken in so completely, made into pawns of another being.

*Are you sure about that?* Kes asked, her expression calm and neutral.

He scowled at her. *I am. We are free of your Caretaker, your blind obedience. Our lives and our abilities are our own.*

*Except for Susperia.*

*She freed us!* he protested.

*Then why does she still rule over you? Why hasn’t she left you alone to continue your self-exploration?*

*What makes you think she hasn’t?*

*Because I can hear all of your people crying out for her—the same way many of my people below still call out for the Caretaker. You are enslaved to her and you don’t even realise it.*

*That...that’s not true!*

*That is for you to learn on your own.*

“You’re keeping us from contacting Her,” he exclaimed aloud, drawing looks from the others in the Administration Centre.

“Yes,” she replied simply.

“Why?”

“She is using you Tanis, she is using all of you,” she told him, her voice was quiet but beneath it was a note of strength he hadn’t heard before. “You need to learn to stand on your own just as much as the others do.”

“What gives you the right!?” he demanded, his tone hard and cold.

“I just want to give all of our people their freedom. From the Nacene, the Kazon, from anyone who denies us who we are, where we are from and what we can become.”

“Susperia has showed us what we can be—”

“She has showed you what she wants you to be, Tanis. For her own purpose—whatever that may be. Think of what more you could become if you were left alone to learn more.”

He sneered at her. “You want us all to become a mirror image of you!”

Kes finally broke eye contact and looked away for a moment. For the briefest of instances she looked so frail and weak, he thought she would fall to the floor under her own weight. But it lasted barely a second before she looked him in the eye once more, her strength and conviction restored once more.

“No one should become what I have, Tanis. They will lose everything that made them who they were until there is nothing left but the power. It is no life.”

In that moment he could see the loneliness and pain in her eyes. He could see in her all that she had lost as her powers had grown, until they were all that remained—the sweet young woman he had met wasn’t even a memory. In achieving the power that terrified him, she had lost everything that had made her who she was. It was such a great loss; he didn’t know how she could endure it.

Kes took a step closer to him, lowering her voice to barely above a whisper. “Please Tanis.”

Slowly she extended her hand to him. He looked down at it and then back at her aged face. There was something so earnest in her voice that weighed on his heart. She wasn’t the person he had known, she wasn’t someone he could say he did trust, but he could see that she was someone in pain. She was in need of help and asking him for it.

Was she right about Susperia using him and his people? Was Kes herself not just seeking to use them herself? Was there something to be gain be unifying the Ocampa? If there was, what would it be? Where would it lead them?

There were too many questions that he couldn’t begin to answer. But a part of him wanted to try. Before he could change his mind he reached out and took her hand, which was cool to the touch. A faint smile tugged at her lips.

The Administration Centre rippled and then he found himself somewhere new.

* * * * *

Galen4 February 2 2013 05:36 AM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
To echo what I said back at the UT forum; this is an intriguing idea. I'm even more sold at this point in the story. You're weaving some plot threads that will no doubt come together in a spectacular fashion.

Good all around, Bry.

CeJay February 3 2013 09:49 PM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Well that sure helped explain a couple of things.

Kes has undergone an interesting transformation and I'm eager to learn what this might mean for her people.

Gibraltar February 4 2013 09:03 AM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
Kes has become god-like, or at the very least, Q-like.

How might a people long dependent upon the help of deity-like figureheads like the Caretaker come to see someone of Kes' power?

This... should prove interesting.

Bry_Sinclair February 4 2013 09:26 AM

Re: Refugee Crisis: Border Cutter Silverfin - "Bright New Day"
 
I'm not sure just how extreme her powers have become. What we saw in "The Gift" and then again in "Fury" showed that she had some major power. Some of the story does depend on her having some pretty major power, hopefully I can work it in to be believable (but that is the joys of working with science fiction).


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