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Old December 17 2010, 10:53 PM   #211
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

FleetCaptainFrost wrote: View Post
Woo hoo, he's back!!
LOL! Hope that means you enjoyed it! And yes, I'm back!
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Old December 17 2010, 11:29 PM   #212
kes7
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

You know what? Isaporeai Hyps'rat is really gross. The slick, fleshy walls, the orifices and openings, the sucking, squishing sounds. Ewww. You do an excellent job describing it all, too.

I liked the pairings we saw here. Qwert/Lkim and Gemma/Prin all played really well off of each other. Great character moments. I especially liked Gemma and Prin's mutual respect and understanding.

I also loved the section with Ianto. It was fascinating to see him allocating his program to all those different tasks, and they served as an excellent reminder of what else is going on "offscreen," too.

Very cool chapter, can't wait for more!
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Old December 19 2010, 02:24 PM   #213
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

New chapter!!

Poor Prin, being in command sometimes feels great but ordering people to become kamikaze is not the nicest commanding duty.

Can't wait to see Qwert in action
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Old December 20 2010, 01:56 PM   #214
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

kes7 wrote: View Post
You know what? Isaporeai Hyps'rat is really gross. The slick, fleshy walls, the orifices and openings, the sucking, squishing sounds. Ewww. You do an excellent job describing it all, too.

I liked the pairings we saw here. Qwert/Lkim and Gemma/Prin all played really well off of each other. Great character moments. I especially liked Gemma and Prin's mutual respect and understanding.

I also loved the section with Ianto. It was fascinating to see him allocating his program to all those different tasks, and they served as an excellent reminder of what else is going on "offscreen," too.

Very cool chapter, can't wait for more!
Hi Kes!

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad I grossed you out with Onyx Station, that was (and is) entirely the goal here - I really wanted this to seem more alien than a lot of what we are used to. The grossness factor just adds to it, I hope.

The two pairings here are seemingly obvious ones, but in the case of Prin and Turner, a neccessary one. Both of these women have close relationships to Ba'el and have lots in common, but also have an inevitable capacity for conflict. I'm quite intrigued myself to see where their relationship may lead.

Glad the Ianto scene worked - I was worried about how well it would work, so it's reassuring to know that it did what I wanted it to.

More coming in a couple of days!
Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
New chapter!!

Poor Prin, being in command sometimes feels great but ordering people to become kamikaze is not the nicest commanding duty.

Can't wait to see Qwert in action
Thanks for the comment Gul Re'jal. Means a lot to see how excited you were at a new chapter!

Yes, Prin is in sort of a quandary, enjoying the opportunity to command this ship but hating the sequence of events that have led her here so far.

As for Qwert, we'll be seeing more of him "in action" in the next few chapters!

Thanks again!

Joel
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Old June 19 2011, 09:20 PM   #215
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Chapter 23

Doctor Andrew Keene, who had once been known as L’goth, made his way through the chaos aboard USS Redemption, hand keeping a firm grip on the hypospray he had hidden in his pocket.

A sudden shake sent him stumbling into the far well, where he remained for a moment, waiting for the shock to fade. A few minutes before there had seemed to be a respite while the ship rested. The battle raging around them had fallen away, but now it seemed that the ship had thrown itself back into the fray.

The battle had already slowed him down in his mission. As he had made his way from sickbay to Jasto Dax’s quarters, he had been forced to use the stairwells after Security prevented access to the turbolifts for anyone without at least a Level 5 security clearance. As he had hurried down through the decks, he had been forced to stop again and again to stop poor whining Federationers.

Maddening. More than once, he had thought about throwing off the white coat.

The ship shook once again, the bulkheads crying out around him. Keene’s blood sang out in response, humming with battle lust. More than anything, he wanted to be in the middle of it. Some parts of his heritage he was finding harder and harder to deny. There were days – days that came more and more frequently recently – when he wanted to throw everything to the wind and embrace who he truly was. And his mission be damned.

He focused on the corridor ahead, forcing himself to concentrate. There were more important things at stake here.

He was only a few minutes away from his prey’s quarters. After the last crewmember who had begged him for help, cradling an arm with a vicious plasma burn, Keene had moved into the less frequented corridors.

Now, turning the corner, he saw Dax’s quarters, easily identified by the two security guards stood outside. A human and a Romulan. Keene spared another thought for Federation madness – even with the ship stuck in the middle of what seemed to have turned into a war zone, they still spared these two warriors for what amounted to little more than babysitting duty. Sarine should have ordered the Trill phasered and be done with it.

It would have made his job that much easier.

Both security officers looked up at him as he approached. Keene forced himself to breathe in and out irregularly, bending over and holding his stomach as if he had been running. Make yourself look as feeble as possible. A hard lesson for a Klingon to learn, but one that his instructors in the Imperial Security Committee had taught him all too well.

“I- I- I’m here to relieve Doctor Malok,” he wheezed.

The human – the superior officer according to his arm pips – nodded, standing aside. The door slid open.

Keene slipped inside. Malok towered over two prone figures – Jasto Dax and the Vulcan navigational officer, Q’sar. Keene spared the pointy eared youth a glance – his briefing materials had included few mentions of him, though they had raised a number of question about how he had come to survive the Dominion’s last assault on his home world. Every other Vulcan on record had succumbed to the Sickness. Why this boy was different was a mystery no one – not the human who had taken him in, not the Romulans who had studied him, nor the Klingons who had spied on him – had been able to fathom.

Malok turned at the sound of the opening door, his lips drawn back in a snarl of frustration.

“What took you so long?”

Keene suppressed his instinctual reaction, forcing an apologetic grin instead. Damned humans and their constant need to apologise. “I’m sorry, Doctor. With the turbolifts out, I…”

“No matter.” Malok cut him off with a wave of his hand. Keene felt his lips drawing back and dropped his gaze to the floor to hide it. His fellow Klingon turned back to his patients. “They seem to be stuck in what appears to be a recursive cerebral event. Their vitals are stable, but their brain patterns are stuck – joined together in some kind of cohesive feedback loop. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

As if you could have ever seen a mindmeld before, Keene thought sourly. Outwardly, though, he nodded, accepting the tricorder Malok held out to him. He scanned the readings without really paying attention to what they indicated.

“I see,” he lied. “I’ll keep an eye on them. I imagine you want to be informed if there is the slightest change?”

Malok nodded, his eyes still fixed on both men. “Yes.” He shook his head. “Maybe I should stay. I’m sure Doctor-“

“No!” When the doctor finally turned away from Dax and Q’sar, eyes wide in surprise, Keene realised he may have sounded a little frantic. He forced his voice to calm. “No. You are needed in sickbay, Doctor. Your presence will have… A calming effect. On the others.” He was waffling, but he would say anything – anything - to get the damned fool out of there. “I can take care of this. I promise, I will contact you the moment anything changes.”

Before Malok could come up with any other reasons to contradict him, the ship shook, more violently this time. Both men were thrown to the deck amidst the flotsam and jetsam of Jasto Dax’s personal effects. Keene only just managed to arrest his fall with one hand, narrowing avoiding crushing the vial of poison beneath his body.

The ship continued to shake. Once it stopped, Malok was up before Keene was. He walked over, offering his fellow doctor a helping hand. Though Keene hated to, he accepted it, brushing himself off as he stood.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” A secondary tremor ran through the deck. Malok looked up, then sighed. “I suppose you’re right. My place is in sickbay.”

He turned, walking over to the bed and studied the two men for a moment. Keene watched him go, trying not to urge him on. He only relaxed when Malok gave a heavy sigh and turned away. “You will tell me the moment anything changes?” he asked, meeting Keene’s eyes.

“You have my word.”

The larger man grunted, but Keene’s promise seemed to have mollified him a little. Just leave you old bastard! Malok took his time gathering his coat, shrugging it over his shoulders. “I will check in with you in an hour.

If we’re all still here by then, Keene thought as another quake seized the ship.

Malok nodded and pushed past him. Keene caught a glimpse of the two security officers through the open door, and then the other doctor was gone. Leaving him alone with Dax and Q’sar. Finally. He had started to wonder whether Malok would ever leave.

Now that he was alone, Keene reached into his pocket and pulled out the hypospray and the vial. He held them in his hands for a moment, fingers wrapped firmly around them in case they were hit by another barrage.

This is it, he thought. This one last thing and I can get on with my mission again. That bitch Williams won’t have anything else to hold over me. He breathed in and let out a deep sigh of relief at the thought. He would have to start thinking about taking care of Williams. Permanently.

First, though… Charging the hypo, he stalked over to the two sleeping officers.

X

“Tishara squadron, fire at will.”

Prin glanced into her viewfinder, the Laurentii voice echoing across the bridge comm. system. Seven small craft – what the pilots of Starburst Squadron had begun tagging as tadpoles – squirmed out of formation, leaving behind trails of emerald energy as they attacked the first wave of enemy vessels.

Not that anyone can really tell who is an enemy or a friend out there, Prin thought. How the hell did we end up in the middle of a civil war?

The Laurentii commander’s order had come one second too late, she saw. The Laurentii fleet opened fire, destroying several of Tishara squadron’s fighters in a squall of brilliant rays too swift to follow. The remaining tadpoles retaliated in kind, expelling wave after wave of viridian fire at the centre of the Laurentii curtain. Prin fought not to flinch at the sudden destruction, maintaining her impassive mask as Redemption and her allies entered the fray.

“The Shyraztarai is taking heavy fire,” L’wynd barked. “I’m not sure how long they’re going to be able to hold out.”

Prin glanced at the upper leftmost screen of the five she had hovering in the air around her. She saw immediately what her tactical officer was talking about. The Shyraztarai, one of the Behemoths protecting the Federation ship, hung above them in the formation. Two enemy Behemoths and a varied handful of smaller vessels seemed to be focusing all of their fire on her.

“Lieutenat, contact our allies,” Prin ordered Barani. “Tell varec Kh’ylat on Oerdonna to move some ships to support the Shyraztarai.”

“Aye, sir,” the Ops officer responded. “Five tendrils are moving in to intercept.”

Prin saw them on another of the screens. Not sure how much good they’re going to do.

Turning her head slightly, she caught L’wynd’s eye. “Tell Starburst Squadron to stay close. We may need some protection from incoming fire.”

Prin’s heart clenched as the Crystat officer relayed the order. She was almost certainly keeping those men and women safe only to send them to their deaths later. She refused to think about it, though. Not now. She had to concentrate on the bigger picture – getting her ship into a position to launch the shuttle. Get her people out.

This is a hell of way to end a diplomatic mission, though.

Prin saw it happen a moment before L’wynd shouted from behind her.

“Captain, Shyraztarai is breaking up!”

Dragging the screen from the lower right to the centre of her view, she saw the tendril ships pull away. The Behemoth had begun to shudder, her tail and flipper like side protrusions flailing wildly. Liquid spewed into space from gaping wounds, while the enemy fire flayed more and more flesh from her haunches. Though she felt sick to her stomach, Prin couldn’t look away. Those are living things out there, she thought. Their technology might be advanced, but do we really want a treaty with a people who can throw living creatures into battle like this? She shook her head.

The Behemoth’s death throws ended in a series of explosions, the metallic modules embedded in her body cracking and leaking fire. By the time those flames died, Shyraztarai was a corpse.

Loka moving in to take her place,” Barani said, her voice subdued. Prin could hardly blame her.

Dammit. They were getting slaughtered out there. If only they could get some kind of opening, something that would allow them to punch through the line of Behemoths… Prin was starting to worry that the only way that was going to happen was if the Laurentii made a mistake. She couldn’t depend on that. She needed a plan.

The problem was, she couldn’t think of one.

X


Hypo loaded, Keene stopped above Jasto and Q’sar. He stood there for a moment, waiting for a lull in the rocking of the ship, and studied the two men. Jasto’s face was lined, his lips tight and scrunched downwards in a frown. Q’sar, though, looked serene. The only sign of his distress was the rapid flickering of his eyes behind their lids. Both men were totally helpless.

Keene smiled.

Steadying the hypo, Keene lowered it until it pressed against Jasto’s neck. He took a deep breath, ready to depress the button and inject the poison as soon as Redemption stopped shaking. His finger was shaking from the tension.

The shaking eased.

“What are you doing?”

Keene’s whole hand jerked upwards. His finger depressed the hypo’s activation stud, but the hypo had already moved away from Jasto’s skin. He spun.

Standing in the doorway, phaser in hand, Doctor Malok glared at him. When Keene failed to answer, he spoke again.

“I asked you a question, doctor. And you’d better have a bloody good answer.”
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Old June 20 2011, 05:08 AM   #216
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

It's been some time since the last chapter, so glad to see this one up

Prin better think fast about that plan. And I understand her feelings about the living ship--I felt sorry for it, too Just like horses in Earth's past; what did they do to deserve being slaughtered on a battlefield?
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Old June 22 2011, 09:20 PM   #217
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
It's been some time since the last chapter, so glad to see this one up

Prin better think fast about that plan. And I understand her feelings about the living ship--I felt sorry for it, too Just like horses in Earth's past; what did they do to deserve being slaughtered on a battlefield?
Thanks Gul Re'jal. It has been a long time!!! Yikes!

Prin is nothing if not resourceful, but whether that will be enough when faced with the might of the Laurentii... We'll have to wait and see.

I felt it was important to point out that no matter how powerful the Laurentii tech is, it is still based on living beings, and Prin seemed the best person to bring that out.

Thanks for your comment! More coming soon!
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Old July 9 2011, 09:26 AM   #218
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Wow, this mission is quickly spiraling completely out of control! Given their technology, the Laurentii falling into civil war could spell disaster for much of the quadrant, and would likely sound the death knell for the recently reborn Federation.

And Keene/L’goth came sooo close!

Literally anything could happen next…
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Old July 9 2011, 09:43 PM   #219
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
Wow, this mission is quickly spiraling completely out of control! Given their technology, the Laurentii falling into civil war could spell disaster for much of the quadrant, and would likely sound the death knell for the recently reborn Federation.

And Keene/L’goth came sooo close!

Literally anything could happen next…
Gibraltar,

Thanks for the comment. Glad to see you're still following this, was a bit worried that the time since my last post would have turned people off. I'm hoping to post the next few chapters a little more regularly!

Yep, things are spiralling out of control all over the show. And the situation with Keene is far from resolved.

Thanks again for the comment!

Joel
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Old July 9 2011, 09:57 PM   #220
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Chapter 24

USS Redemption
Jasto Dax’s Quarters


“Please, doctor, this isn’t…”

“Ensign Chin, please join us.”

Keene’s eyes narrowed as the two security officers stepped through the door and joined them in the room. They had their hands on their phasers, though they hadn’t drawn them yet. Keene couldn’t believe that he had been so easily caught out. Why by Kahless had the old man come back?

“Is there a problem, doctor?”

“That is what I’m trying to ascertain. I found Doctor Keene administering some unknown compound to my patient.”

“A simple mental booster to try and break through the telepathic link,” Keene said quickly, spreading his hands in as unthreatening a way as possible.

“I asked you to watch them, doctor, not administer medication.”

“Yes, but I…”

“Can we see that, please doctor?” The human security officer took a step towards him, holding out a hand.

If he gave them the hypo, it would only take them a few minutes to ascertain that it wasn’t what he had said it was. Keene was running out of options. Damn Astrid Williams, damn Jasto Dax and damn Malok, son of Karana. Damn them all to the nine hells!

He had no other choice. He was going to have to fight his way out, find some unsuspecting victim and use the machine to change his form again. It was the only way to continue his mission. Any chance of replacing Kalara had vanished when Williams pulled her little stunt anyway.

Focusing again, he allowed his shoulders to slump. He held the hand with the hypo out towards Chin. “Of course. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause so much trouble. I only wanted to help.”

The young security officer came forward, reaching out one hand to accept the hypo, his other hand hovering on the butt of his phaser. Keene waited until the man’s fingers had almost touched the smooth surface of the hypospray before making his move.

Years of training in close combat kicked in. One step forward. Chin’s wrist grasped in his own hand. A snap of his shoulder, bringing the other man forward and around. Hypo up and pressed against the skin on the man’s neck. A second later and he had the security officer securely in his grasp.

“Stop right there,” he snapped, eyeing the other security officer and Malok. The younger officer’s hand had been reaching for his comm badge, but when he saw the hypo against his superior’s neck, he froze. Keene smiled. Children. He could feel Chin’s heart beating through his own chest, the man’s breathing coming in erratic bursts.

“What do you think you are doing, doctor?”

Keene allowed himself to sneer. “My job, shuvoth'shu.”

Malok’s eyes widened at the insult. “What did you say?”

“You heard me, shuvoth'shu. I know what you are, what you’ve done. You’re a traitor to your race, dressed in your white coat like a lamb.” Keene showed his teeth. “I may have filed my fangs to pass amongst these humans, but I still have fangs where it counts. In my warrior’s heart.”

“You,” Malok barked. “You were the one? You betrayed the ship to the Klingons?”

“I betrayed nothing. I gave our people a glorious victory.”

“You killed thousands!”

“I would kill millions if it meant that the Empire could take its true place in the galaxy. Not as human lapdogs. As masters.”

“You’re insane,” Chin hissed.

Keene dug the hypo into his neck. The other security officer, the young Romulan, had been edging around the wall. Keene turned to him, his finger hovering over the activation stub.

“You’ll never get out of here alive,” Malok said. “Where could you possibly hope to go?”

“You know what,” Keene replied, “you’re right.”

Before any of them could react, he activated the hypo. Chin’s body went limp immediately. Before the security officer’s eyes had time to close, Keene had his phaser out of the holster, firing at the young Romulan. The inexperienced officer tried to dart out of the way, but Keene’s years told. He tracked left, knowing exactly where he would head. His phaser beam took the man in the chest, felling him.

Almost immediately, an alarm sounded. Unauthorised weapons fire. Keene barely had time to register the sound before he felt a great weight bear down on him, carrying him to the floor. Malok roared, bringing his fists down towards Keene’s head. Keene brought his own arms up, blocking the blow, and kicking upwards, catching the bigger man a blow to his groin. With another roar, the Klingon doctor rolled away.

Keene jumped to his feet, spinning to give Malok a round kick against the temple. The doctor roared again, going down and staying down. Keene walked over to him, kneeling down on either side of the man’s bulky chest. Malok groaned, trying to get up, but Keene easily kept him pinned to the floor. With both hands, he reached down, grabbing Malok’s head. He leaned down.

“When the Empire gains the Laurentii technology, we will be unbeatable. We will sweep the galaxy of men like you. I will personally make sure that your family follow you to Gre’thor.”

With a savage twist, he broke Malok’s neck.

Getting to his feet, brushing away blood where Malok had hit him, Keene looked down at the man. He had been a worthy opponent, but no man who betrayed his Empire could hope to reach Sto’vokor. His soul would burn in Gre’thor.

The alarm still sounded, but so far no security officers had arrived to investigate. Too busy with the battle. He exchanged Chin’s phaser with the one in the dead Romulan’s holster. He might need a weapon and it would take them a few minutes to realise he had switched them. The longer they spent tracking the weapon he had used, the more time he would have.

Casting one last look at the room, his eyes fell on Dax and Q’sar. He hesitated for a moment, unsure whether to shoot them both dead. Then he turned away.

Whatever happened, he was going to have to abandon the Keene identity. Which meant not even Astrid Williams would know who he was. He allowed himself a smile as he stepped out into the corridor, looking both ways before turning left and heading towards the nearest emergency access tubes. And if she wanted Jasto Dax dead, she was going to have to do it herself.

Bridge

“Commander, we’ve got reports of phaser fire on Deck 9, Section 13.”

“What?” Prin turned away from the battle for a moment, staring at Barani. “What kind of phaser fire?”

“Starfleet issue. One burst. It… It seems to have come from Lieutenant Dax’s quarters. Security personnel assigned to him are not responding.” A beat. “Nor is Doctor Malok.”

Not now, Prin amost groaned. She shook her head. “Lieutenant Vareen, handle this. Tell your people that Lieutenant Dax may have escaped custody. He is to be considered armed and highly dangerous.”

“Yes sir.”

As the tall Xindi woman headed for the turbolift, Prin dismissed the problem, turning her attention back to the ongoing battle. Redemption was down to one Behemoth, who was currently battering its way through the swarms of smaller Laurentii vessels keeping them from Onyx Station. Any moment now, the hole would open and Redemption would need to be ready to slip through.

To face the four Behemoths waiting for them on the other side. She couldn’t worry about the unexpected phaser fire now. She had to trust her people to handle it.

Still, she couldn’t help a tiny part of her from worrying what sort of damage an insane Jasto Dax could do with a phaser, loose on her ship.
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Old July 17 2011, 02:41 PM   #221
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Holy Hell! Could you have a bit more nail-biting action and suspense in this update?! Terrific stuff, though I was sad to see Malok die. At least he went out fighting like a warrior.

This story has plots within plots, battles within battles…
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Old March 7 2012, 11:09 PM   #222
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Chapter 25

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)


Qwert settled against the wall, breath coming in a harried rush. He had scrambled his way through the maintenance veins as quickly as possible, though that wasn’t very fast anymore. His arms and legs ached.

Once he had his breathing under control, he reached forward and pressed his fingertips to the control boil next to the nearest opening. Lkim had explained how to use them as best he could, but Qwert still felt uneasy as the protrusion opened up. He felt warm, pulsing flesh encase his hand up to his wrist. The flesh sucked at his fingers, sending shivers up his arm.

If this doesn’t work… Lkim had not been sure whether the station would react to him considering that he wasn’t Laurentii. Qwert had decided to take the risk – it was more important to have Lkim in place to create a diversion. He just hoped he had been right.

With a wet smacking sound, the flesh wall in front of him drew back, creating a small opening. Qwert was so surprised that for a moment he forgot Lkim’s instructions. He remembered just in time, grasping the small nubin of flesh beneath his fingers, twisting it. The opening stopped growing.

Qwert peered through. He was lower down than before, just above Laurentii head level. Lkinym and his band of priests were in front of him, a few feet away. From here, he should have an easier shot at the enemy kruin.

Twisting the nub again, he forced the portal to close further. Once it was the size of an eyehole, he allowed himself to sit back and relax. Now all he had to do was wait for Lkim to do his part.

Shuttle Picard

When hologram-Ianto saw the Behemoths reach weapons range of Redemption and felt the bridge begin to jerk and shake around him, shuttle-Ianto brought the sublight engines online, guiding the snubnosed shuttle Picard out of the bay and into open space.

Immediately, his shuttle self was forced into a sudden evasive manoeuver to avoid an incoming Laurentii fighter. (0.01% of his mind trawled the incoming communications from the fighters that were scrambling around him and tagged the fighter as a tadpole). He flipped the shuttle on its back and passed between two bolts of energy, his instinctual reaction ten times faster than any non-positronic pilot could manage. Moments later, the tadpole vanished in an explosion of flesh and blood and metal and fire, destroyed by one of Starburst Squadron.

“We’ve got your back, Picard.”

Ianto activated the comm system. “Thank you, Starburst Leader.”

“Now what do you say we get on with this before my people get spaced?”

On Redemption’s bridge, hologram-Ianto smiled. “With pleasure.”

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Lkim, havac of the Laurentii Hegemony, warrior in the service of the holy Seefu, the general who had subdued the Hrud, the Kanasi and the Loos during the sacred crusade that had carved the Laurentii a place in this galaxy, crouched in the bile of the maintenance veins, wondering how it had come to this.

In all his years, he had never expected that one day he would be fighting with heathens against his own people. Of course, he would never have imagined the sacrilege and blasphemy that he had witnessed hours before in the kruin’s chamber. He had always known that Lkinym was an ambitious man and that he scorned Asuph’s decision to overlook him as his successor. Nevertheless, to go to such lengths…

Looking through the small portal, Lkim waited to see a similar portal open on the other side, confirming that Qwert had reached his position. He hoped that the strange old man would be able to use Ispaoreai Hyps’rat’s hussard’s. In all probability, he would. After all, it had been designed by the gods in such a way as to grow to embrace any of the races that the Hegemony welcomed into its fold.

Idly, he wondered whether the Federation would ever step into that embrace. Kruin Asuph had been so determined to get his hands on the Sarine that he had been willing to do something the Hegemony had almost never done in its history – ally itself with another group of races without embracing them into the greater whole. Now that he was gone…

The first step is to stop Lkinym’s insane war, Lkim told himself. Then we will see.

Across the way, he saw the portal open. He felt a surge of relief, followed by panic as the portal continued to open. For a moment, he feared that Admiralqwert had lost control, but gradually the portal slowed, then stopped. He could just about make out the man’s bald head and overlarge ears, then the portal closed again.

Lkim breathed a sigh of relief. The Ferengi had done it. Now it was his turn. Gripping the claw-like kasuistar in his hand, Lkim leaned forward and prepared to fire.

Shuttle Picard

Now comes the hard part, Ianto thought.

The Redemption-bound Ianto, the one that had transferred himself into the main computer of the starship to survive the destruction of his android body, reached out to act as a fulcrum for all of the other facets of his being. Creating a link between himself, the hologram-Ianto on the bridge and the shuttle-Ianto juking and diving through the masses of tadpoles trying to stop him reaching the station, Ianto fed the information streaming from Redemption’s much more elaborate sensors to his avatar aboard the shuttle.

The link-up and the instantaneous transfer of information took up most of Ianto’s remaining processing power. What it allowed, though, was for him to constantly cycle the frequency of the electrical field surrounding the shuttle’s torpedoes, notably the three containing the Borg nanites. It had been agreed that it was better to fire a full spread at the station, both as a distraction tactic and insurance against the station destroying the incoming warheads.

With the frequency cycling almost instantaneously to that being emmitted by the station and picked up Redemption’s sensor array, Ianto homed in on his target.

Hornet Fighter

Her people were being slaughtered.

Turner flipped her fighter through a series of dives and barrel rolls, her stomach dropping despite the artificial gravity generators that hummed in the fuselage behind her. She narrowly avoided the fire from an oncoming tadpole, then brought her ship around in a sudden snap roll. The pursuing tadpole was directly in her sights. She tightened her finger on the trigger and the enemy ship vanished in a splatter of fire and flesh.

Every time she killed one of them, she felt her stomach tighten. It was one thing to destroy a machine of steel and plastisteel, it was something else to destroy a living creature. Never mind that creature was trying to destroy her too.

She shook her head. She checked her screens and saw that two more of her people had gone, their fighters destroyed, in the time it had taken her to take care of her pursuer. Five now. Andrews, T’shak, Krim, Covak and Lawrence. Fuck it.

Slipping out of range of another attacker, she searched for the shuttle. It had managed to survive the maelstrom, her fighters keeping the enemy tadpoles off it. It was almost there.

Come on, you bastard, she thought as she destroyed another tadpole, her own fighter shaking as she was caught in the crossfire between two more. Finish it!

Shuttle Picard

It took Ianto 0.0001 seconds to recognise that he was within range of the station.

He allowed himself an extra 0.0018 seconds to confirm that the current shield frequency would hold long enough for his barrage to get through.

He took 0.00025 seconds to decide that the Redemption-bound Ianto’s analysis of the frequency pattern should allow him to discern three supplementary frequences just in case.

0.00200 seconds later, he had finished realigning the frequencies of his torpedoes.

0.00327 seconds after entering range, the Ianto-shuttle mind activated the launching sequence.

The torpedoes would take over five hundred times as long to reach their target. But they would be primed and ready.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Once he was in position, Lkim nevertheless waited for a few minutes until one of the soldiers moved out of range of Qwert’s position. It would be no good for him to create a diversion if one of those soldiers immediately began covering the walls and ceiling in search of another shooter.

The moment the soldier had moved on, Lkim sighted along the claw weapon. Qwert had explained his plan: take out one of the priests on your side and the soldiers and the priests will automatically scramble to protect Lkinym on that side. Within a few seconds, they will realise how stupid that is and they will spread themselves out. But those few seconds should be more than enough.

I hope you’re right, Lkim thought. Closing one eye, he made sure he had the priest firmly in his sights, and then he fired.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

The burst of green energy exploded from the far wall, lighting the kruin’s chamber in flickering emerald flames, engulfing one of the priests on Lkinym’s far side. Qwert tensed as Lkim’s attack birthed chaos, the Laurentii soldiers leaving their posts to converge on the soon to be kruin, while the priests screamed orders in the Laurentii’s strange tongue.

As he had hoped, the initial reaction of both the soldiers and the priests was to protect Lkinym’s other side. The group moved away from him, giving him a relatively clear shot on the usurper.

Just like Tindan, Qwert thought, remembering his assassination of a Vorta on Golan IV. I’m only going to have a few seconds, though.

Bringing the Laurentii claw weapon to bear, he brought Lkinym into his sights and prepared to pull the trigger.

Hornet Fighter

Turner pulled out of the corkscrew, exploding out of a mass of five tadpole fighters just in time to see the shield around Onyx Station erupt into brilliant white light. Her heart leapt at the sight and she checked her screens. Flipping up on one wing, she fired at one of the enemy fighters, vaporising it.

Did they get through? Did they get through?

Her questions were answered as her sensor package chimed. She allowed herself to relax.

“Package delivered,” she announced over the comm. system. “I repeat, package delivered.”

As her pilots shouted their happiness, she took a deep breath. Now we get out of here.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Mere moments before he pulled the trigger, the whole station shook beneath him. Qwert was thrown to the side. The jolt forced his finger back against the trigger and an eruption of heat and light exploded towards Lkinym.

He fell to the floor, the wall blocking his view of what had happened on the other side. He scrambled back to his feet within moments, only to be thrown to one side again as the station shook once more.

What is happening?

When he finally managed to get to his knees and peer through the opening, he realised that something had gone terribly wrong. Lkinym was still standing, looking down at one of the priests lying prone at his feet. On the other side of the kruin’s chamber, a group of Laurentii soldiers were dragging Lkim out of his hiding place.

And another group were heading straight for him.
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Old March 11 2012, 07:09 PM   #223
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

I'm delighted to see this story back, and just as breathtaking as when you last left off! This is a chaotic, nail-biting battle with enormous ramifications for the newly reconstituted Federation.

Welcome back!
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Old March 11 2012, 10:47 PM   #224
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
I'm delighted to see this story back, and just as breathtaking as when you last left off! This is a chaotic, nail-biting battle with enormous ramifications for the newly reconstituted Federation.

Welcome back!
Hi Gibraltar!

Thanks so much, I'm glad to see that someone is still reading this. A few more chapters left and I will finally have Volume 3 completed.

Trust me, this is going to get even more nail-biting before the end.

Cheers and good to be backed!
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Old May 24 2012, 04:55 PM   #225
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Chapter 26

Bridge
USS Redemption


“Package delivered. I repeat, package delivered.”

As Commander Turner’s words echoed around the bridge, the crew gave an audible cheer. Prin allowed herself a single, heartfelt sigh of relief. She had followed Ianto and the shuttle as it weaved its way through the Laurentii lines, had watched the torpedoes arrow towards their target, but she hadn’t allowed herself to believe until she received confirmation.

She allowed the celebration to continue a moment longer, and then spoke over the excited voices, bringing her people back to the task at hand.

“Status of the Laurentii forces, Lieutenant.”

She was pleased to see that Barani was still concentrated on the situation at hand despite the euphoria sweeping the bridge around her. Almost hidden behind the whirling holoscreens that surrounded her, she shook her head. “The Behemoths are still coming, sir.”

As if to confirm her words, the ship shook violently, followed moments later by alert sounds coming from one of the nearby engineering stations. The ensign manning the post called out.

“Major damage to our rear hull plating, Commander. Shields out over three sections.”

Prin glanced back to see a Behemoth bearing down on them, guns blazing. The image flickered as the creature’s weapons fire interfered with Redemption’s rear sensors.

“Casualties?” she called out.

“Unknown.”

This is far from over, she thought. Time to speed things up.

Looking forward at the station, she tapped her comm. badge. “Prin to Kane. Tell me you have good news.”

Main Engineering

Down in engineering, chaos reigned. Officers with engineering gold running across their shoulders and down the fringes of their arms ran from station to station, fighting brush fires as they flared up, trying to help the ship’s systems handle the stresses of the battle.

Kane ignored the cacophony of voices, concentrating on the telemetry from the shuttle Picard as they flickered across the work station in front of him. He had seen the torpedoes launch moment before, but waited for confirmation before he attempted to commune with the nanites that should now be spreading through the Laurentii station.

Just as the sensor screens turned yellow to indicate that the nanites had been activated, the comm. channel chimed and he heard Prin’s voice.

“The nanites are active, Commander,” he responded, double checking the telemetry. “Active and transmitting on the expected frequency.”

A beat. “Are you ready to proceed?”

“Yes, commander.”

“Good luck, Kane.”

The comm. channel closed with a hiss of static. Kane turned to the three officers stood waiting. He had chosen each of them individually to assist him. All three were members of his homehive, the smaller collectives most of the Free Borg now preferred. He glanced from Suzanna, the blond-haired human woman, to Kreel, his Tellarite brother, before settling on Leyeta. The Bajoran and he had been part of the same hive since their birth. They had grown close to such a degree that their connection often seemed to extend beyond their shared consciousness.

“You know what to do?” he asked them, his eyes resting on Leyeta’s face last. He detected a flicker of nervousness behind her usual cold exterior.

They nodded as one and their voices echoed in his head. We will monitor your lifesigns and disconnect you from the collective if the alien mind begins to overwhelm you.

Good, he responded in kind. Hearing them like that was as comforting to him as a favourite chair might be to a human. It was the essence of what it meant to be one of the Free Borg. It has been an honour to share your minds, my family.

The honour was ours.

Sharing one last lingering glance with Leyeta, Kane turned back to the work station. He accessed one of the programs he had transferred over from their sentinel craft’s mainframe and loaded onto Redemption’s main computers. Once it was nestled in the core systems, he activated his tubules with a thought, spearing the console in front of him with a splash of sparks. Immediately, pure information flooded his cybernetic synapses, washing him clean with virgin data.

He ignored the agreeable sensation of interfacing with a computer, concentrating instead on the program he had installed. Accessing its inner workings, he entered the command code and allowed it to upload itself into his cortical nodes. The program was of ancient design, a core system pathway that dated back to the very birth of the Borg nation. Though it didn’t have a true name, Kane had always called it the First Protocol.

Within the Free Borg, this computer program was almost as hallowed as the scriptures of Kahless were to the Klingons. It contained the very essence of the Borg. A program designed to allow for the interfacing of minds. The neural interlink that created the Borg hivemind.

With the program secured within his own cybernetic parts, Kane sought out the frequency that the nanites Ianto had deployed within Onyx Station were transmitting on. Finding it, he used the collective voice of his homehive to reach out towards the living station.

He found it straight away, an immense presence unlike anything he had ever encountered before. There was consciousness there, though not as Kane had ever conceived of it before. As his senses extended to immerse themselves in those of the station, he felt and heard the steady throb of the station’s internal systems – the quickened beat of its vascular nodes, the constant give and take of its maintenance veins, the instantaneous flow through its cortical hubs. Thoughts flickered, broken and distraught.

Onyx Station was in pain.

Kane reached out to relieve it.

We are the Borg, he told it. We wish to commune with you, to salve your biological and mental pain with our own distinctiveness. Our minds and consciousness will grow and adapt to service you, to make you one with us. Resistance is futile, only the one matters.

The words were caught up by his fellow Borg, echoed and refracted and increased and augmented, until they turned into a veritable chorus that echoed across the vast distances separating Redemption from the station. As the nanites spread further through Ispaoreai Hyps’rat’s systems, Kane felt their consciousness merge with that of the station, pulling it slowly but inexhorably into their homehive.

The transition took a brief moment and then all of them shared in Ispaoreai Hyps’rat’s magnificent mind. All of a sudden, their homehive seemed to have increased a hundred-fold. At the same time, the pain and confusion in Ispaoreai Hyps’rat’s thoughts faded, soothed by its newfound family.

Kane felt a distinct thrill at the sensation – this was what the Borg were made to do. For a single instant, Kane found himself fighting against the pull of his instincts, the instincts of the Borg, to continue this work. With the power afforded him by the Hegemony station, he and his homehive could ressurect the galactic collective. They would be unstoppable, able to share the peace that they had provided to this poor, damaged mind with all of creation.

Before he could entertain more than the glimmer of this dream, he heard Leyeta’s voice in his mind. She spoke to him on a single channel, cutting out the others.

We are the Free Borg. Our distinctiveness makes for our unity. Our strength. Resistance is futile. The many matter.

The words cut through Kane’s sudden thirst and he sobered. Mentally shaking his head, he sent a reassuring nudge back down the connection he shared with his friend.

Turning his attention back to Ispaoreai Hyps’rat, Kane once again embraced the station’s thoughts and spoke directly to its primitive mind.

You are one with us. We are the many. Now, please, help us.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Qwert just had time to release the claw weapon before the closer of the Laurentii guards reached the wall behind which he was hiding. Two sets of hands forced their way through the hole he had made in the station wall, taking hold of his arms in viselike grips.

He tried to pull free, knowing it was useless. The guards, eye-strips rippling with red, orange and golden shades of anger, dragged him out and down to the spongy deck.

With one guard holding his left arm and the other stood behind him with a claw weapon pointed at his back, Qwert was led over to Lkinym and the priests. He had an unobstructed view of Lkim as he was also forced to join the renegade havac. Guards had spread out to every corner of the chamber, eyestrips blazing white as they accessed what Qwert assumed to be higher spectrums of vision in search of other assassins. Unfortunately, he knew very well that they wouldn’t find any.

We were it. And we failed.

Allowing himself a small smile, he winked at Lkim. “Looks like things didn’t go quite according to plan.”

The havac’s eyestrip blazed blue and he made a huffing sound. Good man. Keep your sense of humour. Never let them see you sweat.

“On your knees.”

Before he had a chance to tell Lkinym that he could kiss his lobes, the guard kicked out at Qwert’s leg, forcing him down on one knee with a gasp of pain. From the sound Lkim made next to him, he guessed that the same thing had happened. Looking up, he saw the pure red suffusing Lkinym’s eyestrip. Well at least I pissed you off.

“Fools and old men?” Lkinym sneered. “This is what my enemies send against me? You should have joined me, Lkim.”

“And be part of this travesty? I would rather die.”

“That can and will be arranged, old man. Your generation is done. We will no longer bow down before heretics and foreigners. It is time that we regained our birthright, what was promised to us by the Holy Seefu when they brought us across the Great Emptiness. This galaxy should be ours.”

“That’s exactly what the Dominion thought,” Qwert replied. “Look how that ended for them.”

“The Dominion were vain. The Dominion were heretics. Their false gods could not help them, but the Seefu shall carry us to victory on wings of fire.”

Qwert could not tell whether Lkinym actually believed what he was saying or whether he was simply saying exactly what the priests wanted to hear. Either way, he had heard enough.

“If you’re going to kill us, then kill us. I have no more time to waste of idiots like you.”

Lkinym snarled, his eyestrip turning a murky grey colour, and he took a step towards Qwert with an upraised arm. Before he could strike him, though, one of the priests called his name. Lkinym hesitated, then turned to see what the priest wanted.

A wave of grey was spreading through the network of veins that covered the kruin’s chamber. Green, purple and blue liquid lost their colour so quickly that Qwert barely had time to realise what was happening before it happened. The light faded, leaving the chamber draped in twilight shadows.

The grey spread into the brainchamber and up into kruin Asuph’s body. When Qwert saw a dark protruberance erupt from the dead kruin’s cheek, he suddenly realised what had happened. A chill ran down his spine.

Ly’et, what the hell have you done?

“What have you done?” The words, echoing his own thoughts, snapped him out of his reverie. He turned to see Lkinym bearing down upon him, his eyestrip flickering between angry red to terrified white. “What have you done?”

Before Qwert could reply, Lkinym’s fist came crashing down against the top of his head, sending him sprawling to the deck. He felt it give beneath him, but it still didn’t protect him from the strength of impact. His ears rang and he suppressed a shrill cry of pain.

Lkim gave a shout, struggling against his own guards, as Lkinym kicked Qwert in the stomach and chest. Qwert felt something give in his chest and pain flared. This time, he couldn’t hold back a scream.

Hands reached down, gripping his shirt and hauling him to his knees. He looked into Lkinym’s black eyestrip and saw his own face, bloodied and dirt-ridden, reflected back at him.

“What did your people do?”

Qwert forced a smile, seeing his sharp tiny teeth in the mirror-like eyestrip. “Checkmate.”

Lkinym screamed in wordless fury, throwing Qwert on to his back. Reaching out, he grabbed one of the claw weapons from the nearest guard and pointed it at Qwert. “You will tell me how to stop this or I will-“

“Kruin Lkinym. The shield is gone.”

“What?”

Lkinym turned away, his arm dropping. The priest who had spoken had moved over to the protective shield that the brainchamber had erected to keep them out. His hand was moving in and out of the space where the shield had been. Nothing.

The Borg nanites may have taken over the station, but they had also dropped the station’s shields. Qwert thought he finally understood what Prin Ly’et was doing, but the price they might pay for it was too expensive by far. She’s saved us, but she’s doomed the Hegemony.

Lkinym turned back to him, an exulted smile spreading across his lips. “You have given me control of the station, Federation.”

For once, Qwert had nothing to say.

Bringing the claw weapon to bear, Lkinym sighted down it. “For that, I will grant you a fast death.”

Even as Lkinym tightened his finger on the weapon, Qwert felt a tingling in his belly, spreading quickly through his arms and legs. The transporter effect obscured his vision, but he still had time to hear Lkinym shriek his fury along with the whine of a Laurentii weapon before the kruin chamber vanished around him.

Transporter Room 5
USS Redemption

Qwert materialized from the transporter beam and felt the reassuring warmth of a Federation transporter pad beneath his back. Reaching up, he placed a hand on his chest, terrified he was going to feel an open wound from Lkinym’s weapon’s blast.

Nothing. Nothing but his uniform, still viscous from his journey through the station’s maintenance veins.

“Transporter Room 5 to sick bay. We have a medical emergency down here!”

Qwert was about to reassure the technician that he was fine when he heard the groan from beside him. He turned his head, terrified of what he was going to see.

Colin Groves sat on transporter pad a few metres away. His clothes were covered in gore and he had a number of scars and bruises on his cheeks. A claw weapon still hung from his left hand. The expression on his face was stunned and horrified.

Ambassador Benjamani’s head was cradled in his lap. Her uniform jacket glistened with the wet sheen of her blood, which oozed from the open chest wound. From the charring on her uniform and visible skin, it had been inflicted by a Laurentii claw weapon.

One look at her wide, staring eyes told Qwert all that he needed to know. Sick bay would not get there fast enough.

Benjamani was already dead.
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