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Old December 7 2012, 01:42 AM   #76
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"


Thanks. Your comments and insights are always welcome. When I thought more about the Burning Claw crew and Nadeen especially, I just couldn't see her taking orders from Gedrik for long. I think she sat back, got a feel for the situation and when the opportunity presented itself, she took it.

Throwing Helen on the team I thought was a good way to get back to that struggle between her and Tai which I had moved away from as I started writing or fleshing out the other characters.

I liked Shashlik but when I started looking at it, she was a redundant character when I've got a guy like Tai on the ship, even if he is an executive officer now. Plus I had already taken away the person Shash really wanted to get revenge on already, IMO, and that was Deoch. So removing her I thought made sense from a story and character perspective and I am glad that it has shocked-hopefully-some readers.

Erickson is Intrepid-class. I was toying with the idea of making the Erickson crew analogous to the Voyager crew but that mainly resulted in Tim French (Tom Paris). Also A'nurd is somewhat inspired by Neelix. And there's the female captain. Though I had created Erickson and Wyoma as largely throwaway characters for an old story and I can't remember if I was planning any Voyager homages at that time. I did get to put in the Hazard Team and a few other mentions.

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Jov’k Tholis
Calcite-class battlecruiser
Caldera Expanse

Narskene skittered onto the bridge, hir eyes flashing as s/he took in the scene unfolding on the main viewer. A massive whipcord of twisted cosmic energy lashed into the planet Caldera slicing it two before the planet broke apart in large chunks. S/he stood in stunned silence, along the rest of hir crew, as the terrible hand of fate had swept the planet and what had been the life there to the astral winds like so much dust.

Slamming into the planet had not slowed the energy ribbon’s course. It was headed right for them!

“Reverse engines!” Narskene was so frightened that s/he didn’t use telepathy. Jaskeel, at the helm, clicked a rapid reply and the ship jerked around, engaging the warp engines seconds later.

“Full warp,” Narskene spoke again, hir eye on the screen and the quickly advancing ribbon. “It is gaining on us!”

“It will overtake us if we continue on the present course,” Jaskeel replied, also forgoing telepathic communication.

“What are the physical dimensions of that anomaly?” The weapons officer asked. Narskene turned to pin the lead scientist with a scalding stare. The science officer quickly replied.

Narskene next turned hir withering gaze on the weapons officer. “Well, Kokara?” The weapons officer calmly met hir captain’s burning eyes.

“If we can’t outrun the anomaly, perhaps we can fly above or below it.” Narskene nodded, appreciative of the logic of Kokara’s suggestion.

“Make the necessary adjustments Jaskeel,” s/he commanded without asking if it was feasible. With a more deliberate pace, Narskene left the bridge. Once inside hir domicile she collapsed in a shivering mess of jointed limbs, her entire frame quivering.

S/he wanted to project an air of confidence, but s/he really didn’t want her crew to see how badly she was rattled. Even if they survived, the secret that the High Magistrates had ordered hir to protect at all cost.

It was all s/he could do to keep her mental guards up while the bridge watching the destruction of Caldera. Narskene knew exactly what had caused the extinction level event and the Federation and the other quadrant powers would figure it out as well once they came to investigate what befell the Calderans.

The best way Narskene felt s/he could salvage the situation was to first survive and then find the culprits responsible for the cataclysm before anyone else did.
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