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Old January 1 2013, 03:21 PM   #99
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"

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The Burning Claw

Lt. Ramlo had felt the deep rumbling of thunder before the lighting struck. Pitched from his chair and slammed against a bulk head, the Arkenite’s head split open like a grape. There was a brief moment of blackness before the science officer awakened to a thudding, heavy pain in his cranium and blinding blood seeping into his eyes.

He blinked maddeningly, unable to will his hands to wipe the warm crimson fluid from his eyes. Strangely, even though Ramlo knew he should be in agony, the only pain he felt was in his head. The rest of his body was numb.

Taking stock of his situation, his neck creaked as he looked around. His body was a twisted, jangled mess, his legs crushed beneath a bulkhead. He was certain there was severe internal damage, but he could feel none of it. The lab had also been wrecked. His console and the control it had afforded him were both now slag.

What happened? He wondered. Had Erickson fired on them? But why? Had Nadeen somehow reasserted control? Impossible, he surmised. It must be someone else, his thoughts darkened, a third party?

“Who could it be?” He muttered, his speech slickened by the blood that bubbled up in his mouth and dripped from his lips. “Why?” He asked, his eyes shifting to the likely reason. “No,” he mumbled again.

A blinding orange light enveloped the polaric ion device, which miraculously had not been harmed during the barrage. In less than a second the device was gone, absconded, and in the hands of whomever had attacked the Burning Claw.

“Erickson,” he remembered. The ship, his friends, they could all be in danger. He tried to move his arms, to force them to remove the metal that had pulverized his legs, but they wouldn’t respond. “Computer,” he said, waiting in vain for the modulated, emotionless reply. He grimaced, realizing he wasn’t on the Erickson, and now would likely never be again.

Ramlo was still grappling with that dark thought when the final darkness rode in on a blaze of plasma.
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Jov’k Tholis
Calcite-class battlecruiser

“The Federation starship is moving to intercept, they are charging weapons,” the Sensor Officer informed Narskene. The Tholian commander looked at the battered Starfleet ship, slowly moving to block their advance. But it was too late.

The ship they ostensibly were moving to protect was now debris. Narskene knew that the High Magistrates would want hir to be thorough in removing all traces of Tholian origin of the polaric ion device, and s/he could take no chances that data to that effect was residing within that decrepit freighter’s computer banks.

“Should we target the Federation starship?” The Weapons Officer asked, not hiding hir eagerness. The Weapons Officer carried the memories of hir forebear who had participated in the expansionist programs in the mid-23rd century. S/he longed to take on the Federation directly, to test hir mettle as earlier generations once had.

“Scan the Starfleet vessel for any polaric ion energy signs,” Narskene replied instead. Though s/he knew hir orders, the commander was reluctant to take a step that could be considered an act of war. And s/he wasn’t as confident in hir ship’s ability to destroy the Federation vessel completely enough to escape free and clear. Narskene was content to avoid a conflict and let the politicians of both nations argue over the reasons for Jov’k Tholis’s mysterious appearance in the Caldera Expanse.

“There are no traces of polaric ion energy aboard the Starfleet ship,” the Sensor Officer replied. S/he paused a beat, “The Federation vessel is hailing us again.”

“Ignore them,” Narskene said, “And set a course out of this expanse and back toward Assembly space, highest speed.”
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