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Old December 2 2012, 11:42 PM   #73
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"


As always you have my thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked Shashlik's death scene. I got the idea from one of the Fate of the Jedi novels. It was such a cool way to dispatch a person that I thought it would work for this story.

Ramlo is still left aboard The Burning Claw, and pirates are people too. Though I don't know how merciful the Erickson crew would be when they find out what happened to their colleagues.

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USS Erickson

Commander Donar slowly walked down the row, eyeing each member of the assembled Hazard Team. The team had been a concept that Lt. Shashlik had suggested, and which Tai had wholeheartedly supported. Though the Kaylar had taken her inspiration from the Voyager logs which detailed how their security chief, Lt. Commander Tuvok had created the Hazard Team to deal with the Delta Quadrant’s myriad threats; the concept also reminded Tai of Starfleet Special Missions.

Looking at each determined soldier, the Angosian nodded with approval. Lt. Shashlik had very good judgment. The biggest drawback, besides her absence was that of Lt. Zaylen, who was blocked from joining the rescue mission by Dr. Narsan. They were six strong. Two humans, a Farian, one Bolian, a Dimoran, and a Tiburon made up the team.

Each stood at rigid attention, bedecked in special black and gray hazard suits that were equipped with tactical eye displays, universal power adapters, personal transporter buffers, and other cutting edge devices. Each also bristled with a variety of weapons, some not Starfleet standard issue.

Donar paused and patted the Klingon tetyron Gatling gun slung off the shoulder of the beefy Bolian. Looking down, speaking more to the gun than he was its owner, Tai murmured, “I haven’t seen one of these things in a long time.” The man beamed with pride.

“I saw these chew up many a soldier during the Tarsian War,” Tai coldly remarked, “Stow the pride Ensign Lott. This is not a prize, or toy, its weapon of war. It kills, nothing more.”

The younger man quickly swallowed his smile. “I’m sorry sir,” he said. Even though the man’s hue was deep blue he was as green as an emerald Orion.

“It’s alright,” Tai said, more gently. He patted the man on the shoulder. “Just being an old warhorse is all. I was eager like you once…wanted to test out all the weapons in the armory until I really got that chance. It wasn’t quite as much fun as it was in practice.”

“I…uh…see sir,” Lott awkwardly replied.

“No you don’t, but you will,” Donar ominously warned. He moved on past the chastened youth. “Lt. Brocc, is the team ready?” Brocc would be serving as Donar’s second-in-command if the hazard team had to be activated. The small, hirsute Dimoran stepped forward. He reached up to Tai’s navel. What the sapient lacked in height, his sniper skills made up for a thousand times over.

“Aye sir.” He replied, his whiskers twitching in likely eagerness. Donar looked at the group again, and nodded his acceptance.

“I believe you’re right Mr. Brocc,” he said. Before he dismissed them, the armory door swished open. Lt. Commander Norrbom sauntered in. Tai wasn’t the only one looking at her quizzically.

“You got a hazard suit in my size?” She asked, with a smirk. Before Donar could respond, the operations officer added, “And if you ask me my size, you won’t live to regret it.”
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The Great Tide roiled with anger…and anticipation. Hope, most of all, awaited Fear’s return. Not only did Hope want to castigate Fear, but he also wanted to believe that Fear would return with the device or at least found some way to dispose of it safely.

Even though Hope knew that destroying the Romulan vessel a century ago had been the prudent thing, guilt still ate at him, over any loss of life. Hope couldn’t accept that all gentlebeings couldn’t be reasoned with, with enough time, patience, and respect.

Perhaps it was a foolish notion to expect such behavior from aliens, when even half of his kind didn’t exhibit such probity. Even now the fearful stood apart from the hopeful, cleaving a divide between them of barren rock that Hope didn’t know could ever be traversed again.

It might take decades, centuries even, of contemplation and then argument to restore the Great Tide. But it might be better if the hopeful just left their paranoid kindred to stew in their own isolationism.

The thought had barely surfaced in his consciousness before it was snatched and spread across the entire group. The great expanse undulated in rapid agreement. Hope was barely conscious of it before he felt himself lifting, as part of the great sliver of the tide. Beneath them, the fearful roiled in disbelief and contempt. Perhaps it was better to leave that morass after all.

The hopeful coiled together, forming a great spire, kindred beneath Hope taking on the shape of nacelles. Once they were free of the planet’s pull, they would imitate a warp reaction and soar among the stars.

The hopeful had just broken from the embrace of their home when they buffeted by astral winds strong enough to almost disperse them. The coil held together, forming solar sails to harness as much of the wind as possible. It was rough going.

The coil morphed into a sturdier facsimile, mimicking the Starship Pacifica, and the pelting against their skin was much less thundering. Hope rose from the new deck of the hastily formed bridge, taking on the guise of the barrel-chested Captain Terrell. Other hopefuls had taken on the guises of Terrell’s crew.

“Investigate those winds,” Hope requested of the science officer, now pale skinned, green-eyed, and with a bald elongated head. The subordinate nodded, looking down into the scope jutting up from his console.

“Captain,” the troubled science officer said, seconds later.

“What’s wrong?” Terrell’s brow lined with concern.

The science officer shook his head, “It’s…too late…the subspace fracture will reach Caldera in less than a minute.”

“Subspace fracture?” Terrell’s countenance began to melt.

“Once the fracture impacts the planet…Caldera will be destroyed,” the science officer said.

“We must return,” Hope declared.

“To warn the others?” The science officer still retained his alien form. “To help them escape?”

“No,” Hope replied, shaking his head, knowing there was no time, “To die with them.”
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