RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,392
Posts: 5,358,331
Members: 24,627
Currently online: 538
Newest member: space2050

TrekToday headlines

Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar Online Debut
By: T'Bonz on Jul 31

Warp 5.0: Trek Toward Sci-Fi’s Golden Anniversary
By: T'Bonz on Jul 31

Takei To Host Pittsburgh Symphony PNC Pops’ Sci-Fi Spectacular
By: T'Bonz on Jul 31

Kurtzman In Mummy Talks
By: T'Bonz on Jul 31

The Gene Roddenberry Project Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Jul 30

Moore: No Deep Space Nine Regrets
By: T'Bonz on Jul 30

Pegg Star Wars Rumor
By: T'Bonz on Jul 30

Borg Cube Fridge
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

Free Enterprise Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

Siddig To Join Game Of Thrones
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Fandom > Fan Fiction

Fan Fiction Other forums talk about Trek. We make it.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 30 2012, 04:50 PM   #136
CeJay
Commodore
 
CeJay's Avatar
 
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

At this point I am torn on the raid on the En-Il-Que (what a cool alien name, btw). The plan here is to cripple their war machine and prevent them from heading towards the Federation. To fight them over there, in order as not to fight them at home, to borrow a Bushism. But what if this plan backfires? Maybe this will motivate them to chase down the Federation to get their revenge. Especially since they'll suddenly have to face a Federation-aided resistance movement.

But you gotta love the scope of these decisions which are not easy for any man to make. Good thing Sandhurst is bigger than life at the moment. Or at least that's the impression one could get.

This is exciting stuff.
__________________
Visit StarEagleAdventures.com for original fan-fiction e-books for your preferred e-reader.

Now with a complete United Trek story archive.
CeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 1 2013, 01:20 AM   #137
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
Gibraltar's Avatar
 
Location: US Pacific Northwest
UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 6 continued)

Chapter 6 <cont'd>

Main Bridge, USS Europa


A hover-chair would have been far easier than clomping awkwardly through the ship in an exo-skeletal support frame, but Worf, son of Mogh had never one to take the easy path.

The severe injuries he’d sustained in the attack on Galaxy had been treated with the most advanced Federation medical techniques and technology possible. Though Worf would regain full mobility in due time, as his body healed the exo-skeletal frame would allow him some semblance of his previous mobility.

The aft turbolift doors opened to Europa’s bridge, and Worf moved slowly out of the car to the subtle whine of articulated pneumatics.

Lar’ragos was standing at the Tactical arch, speaking quietly with Brett Lightner, and turned to observe Worf as he approached.

“I’m sorry, Commander,” Lar’ragos announced gravely as he stepped forward. “We have a strict no petaQ’s policy on board. I'm afraid you’ll have to leave.”

A grim smile creased Worf’s scarred face. “I believe you forget your place, El Aurian. If you flap your disobedient tongue in my direction again, I’ll gladly beat you senseless with my bare hands. After you have sought adequate medical attention for my depredations, I will require you to proceed immediately to the nearest replicator, and make me a sandwich.”

Lar’ragos burst out laughing and Lightner just looked confused and a little terrified as Pava and Worf clasped each other’s forearms in a gesture of camaraderie. Lar’ragos looked to Lightner, making introductions and adding, “Commander Worf and I first met at Starfleet’s Mixed Martial Arts tournament on Andoria in ’62 when he was just a green ensign, fresh from the academy.”

“On that occasion, Lieutenant Lar’ragos bested me in the ring, something that had never happened during my academy career.”

“You made up for it eight years later,” Lar’ragos noted amiably. “You beat me like an insolent targ in ’70. It took them a whole week to fuse my teeth back into my jaw.”

Worf shrugged to the extent that the exo-frame would allow. “You should not have led with your face.”

“So noted, sir,” Lar’ragos allowed, still smiling. "I see you still haven't got the hang of trash talking, though. You can't say I didn't try to instruct you in the finer points of that ancient artform." He nodded towards the ready room door. “The commodore is awaiting your august presence, Commander.”

Worf made a show of sighing as he ambled around and began moving for the ready room. “When I am healed, I demand a rematch, El Aurian. I will club you like a nest of helpless Yetrian hatchlings.”

“I look forward to it, sir,” Lar’ragos replied as Worf pressed the door’s annunciator. "And brush up on the trash talking. Less formal, more personal. Perhaps include some off-color remarks about my mother. You still sound like you're threatening me and the next five generations of my offspring on the floor of the High Council chambers."

After Worf had entered the ready room at Sandhurst’s behest, Lar’ragos turned back to Lightner, finding the younger man eying him skeptically.

“Problem, Lieutenant?” Lar’ragos asked.

“You let him win when you fought the second time, didn’t you?”

“Not hardly,” Lar’ragos said with a frown. “I tried everything I could think of, but despite my being faster than he was, nothing worked. It was like trying to pummel a duranium sculpture into submission with my bare hands.”

“But you…” Lightner waved his hands around in front of him in a comically inaccurate mime of hand-to-hand combat. “You do that thing where you know what’s coming. How could you lose?”

Lar’ragos gave Lightner the same patient smile a parent might give a befuddled child. “You’re confusing knowing what’s coming with being able to do something about it. When the blow you realize is on the way arrives with the force of a sledgehammer, there aren't a whole lot of options.”

*****

Worf stood briefly at attention until Sandhurst had come around the desk, ordering him to ease and shaking his hand warmly. “Commander, I’m pleased to see you up and around again. Please, have a seat.”

His guest sank gratefully into the offered chair, somehow managing to maintain his warrior’s bearing despite the medical prosthesis.

“Can I get you something to drink, Commander?” Sandhurst asked, moving to the replicator station.

“No, thank you, sir.” Worf replied.

Sandhurst procured a pungent smelling cup of his favorite Rigellian spice coffee and returned to his seat behind the desk. “I deeply regret the crimes that were committed upon Galaxy’s crew, Mister Worf. One of my top priorities is finding out who carried out that attack, and making certain they meet justice. Despite that horrific attack, the mission must continue, however.”

Worf nodded soundlessly, his hooded eyes taking in Sandhurst, appraising the man and seeking to discover if the commodore met the measure of his words.

Sandhurst took a sip of his coffee before explaining, “The task force desperately needs a forward operating base out here, some place we can refuel and rearm between intercept assignments. I trust you’ve read my proposal for Galaxy’s saucer that I sent you?”

“I did, Commodore. I agree with your assessment.”

“I’m pleased to hear that, especially since I’m considering you for the command of what will henceforth be named Galaxy Station.”

The big Klingon looked uncertain, as if not daring to hope Sandhurst’s words rang true. “I intend no disrespect, Commodore, but it was my understanding that I have been barred from ever receiving my own command.”

“Ah, yes,” Sandhurst nodded. “That unfortunate business involving your wife during the war.”

“Yes, sir.”

“If I recall correctly, you chose to save her life rather than make the rendezvous with a high-ranking Cardassian turncoat, someone in possession of invaluable intelligence regarding the Dominion that could have shortened the war.”

“Yes,” Worf repeated, his voice strong and clear despite the damning accusation.

Now it was Sandhurst’s turn to turn a critical eye on Worf. “And if you had to make the same decision again, knowing what you do now?”

Worf sat in silence, giving the question serious deliberation. After a time, he responded, “I only had three more months with Jadzia after that mission before she was killed. Knowing what I do now, realizing what that decision would mean to my career… I find that I would make the exact same choice. Even if it meant having only another single minute with her, it would have been worth it.” As he said the words, Worf knew he was condemning himself and forfeiting any chance at someday achieving his own command.

Sandhurst continued to observe Worf for a moment, mulling over the man’s answer. “You know,” he said finally, “I find it strangely refreshing to hear such an answer from someone to whom that question is more than simply a hypothetical academy command-ethics exercise.”

“Sir?”

“You’ve been there, Mister Worf. You’ve faced that decision head-on. You’ve made the hard choices and suffered the consequences. May I trust that you learned something about yourself in the aftermath of that experience?”

“I did, sir. I have learned the boundaries and limits between body, soul, and duty.”

“I’ve been there, too, Commander,” Sandhurst remarked. “Not those exact circumstances, but I’ve been forced to stare into the abyss as I washed my hands in the blood of others. Those stains… they never come out.”

“No,” Worf agreed in a low voice. “They do not.”

Sandhurst offered a humorless smile, the same one might offer when delivering uncomfortable news. “Well then…”

“Thank you for the consideration, Commodore,” Worf said, struggling to rise. “I am honored.”

“I have not dismissed you, Commander Worf,” Sandhurst replied in a surprisingly moderate tone.

The whine of gyros and the gentle hiss of pneumatics accompanied Worf’s descent into the chair once again. “My apologies, sir…”

“You’ve served with distinction as a Starfleet officer, a Klingon warrior, and in the Federation’s diplomatic corps,” Sandhurst observed. “You’ve been faced with a stark choice between your oath to the Federation and your loyalty to your Klingon heritage on more than one occasion. Except for the one notable exception which we’ve already discussed, you’ve always adhered to your oath to defend the Federation.”

Sandhurst took a long sip from his beverage, his eyes seeming to drill into Worf’s with an intensity that the Klingon had to admit he was not completely comfortable with. “One might argue on that occasion, you were upholding a greater oath than the one you made to Starfleet.”

As he reached into a drawer of his desk, Sandhurst announced, “Commander Worf, I hereby appoint you commanding officer of Galaxy Station, as well as the newly christened Defiant-class escort USS Kor, which will be arriving in system on its warp-sled in three weeks.” Sandhurst passed a data padd across the desktop to Worf. “Your orders are contained in here. Galaxy’s saucer is due to arrive in two weeks. You have a great deal of work cut out for you, Commander.”

Words escaped Worf for a time.

Sandhurst filled the vacuum. “Lt. Commander Pell Ojana will be your executive officer, and I’m sure you’ll find her a formidable presence, to say the least.”

Worf finally began to reassert himself. “Thank you, sir.”

“No thanks are necessary. You have glowing recommendations on your record from Captains Picard, Sisko, Shelby and Scott, as well as Admiral Ross, multiple members of the Federation Council and Chancellor Martok of the Empire. Where I’m from, that counts as a pretty decent résumé."

Sandhurst smiled broadly as he lifted his coffee mug in a toast to the commander. "I’m rather late to jumping aboard the Worf bandwagon, but I’m pleased to have finally been given the opportunity to join.”

*****
__________________
ST: Gibraltar - The complete series at Ad Astra: ST: Gibraltar
Proud member of United Trek

Last edited by Gibraltar; January 1 2013 at 11:30 PM.
Gibraltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2 2013, 12:10 AM   #138
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
Gibraltar's Avatar
 
Location: US Pacific Northwest
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Galen4 wrote: View Post
Well...so much has gone on.

Personally, I have to agree with the notion that Sandhurst isn't fully in his right mind. Nothing wrong with taking charge, but promoting himself to commodore seems more than a little odd, especially since no rule on the book calls for such an action, even if Sandhurst were next in line for command of the taskforce.

Pava is a terrible choice for XO. I like the character, but I don't trust his judgement where Sandhurst is concerned. I fully agree with Pell's reservations on this one.

Is the merciless attack on the En-Il-Que justified? I'll have to read more.

Thanks for keeping me guessing, great job all the around!
Thank you for the praise. Yes, Lar'ragos is a controversial choice for XO, given he and Donald's background.

CeJay wrote: View Post
At this point I am torn on the raid on the En-Il-Que (what a cool alien name, btw). The plan here is to cripple their war machine and prevent them from heading towards the Federation. To fight them over there, in order as not to fight them at home, to borrow a Bushism. But what if this plan backfires? Maybe this will motivate them to chase down the Federation to get their revenge. Especially since they'll suddenly have to face a Federation-aided resistance movement.

But you gotta love the scope of these decisions which are not easy for any man to make. Good thing Sandhurst is bigger than life at the moment. Or at least that's the impression one could get.

This is exciting stuff.
Sandhurst is trying to stay on mission, and keep his head in the game despite the distractions of the Baron, the rogue Masada, and everything else that's keeping TFV from fulfilling its mission.
__________________
ST: Gibraltar - The complete series at Ad Astra: ST: Gibraltar
Proud member of United Trek
Gibraltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2 2013, 01:22 PM   #139
CeJay
Commodore
 
CeJay's Avatar
 
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

I can't fully explain why but I'm not a huge fan major of canon characters in fan fiction and I almost find myself wishing that Scott had survived intact and taken over Galaxy Station instead.

Having said that, I do like the developments here as a whole. I like the idea of a semi-permanent Starfleet base to coordinate Vanguard from the ground and I'm looking forward to see Pell butt heads with Worf as I'm sure she will at some point down the line.
__________________
Visit StarEagleAdventures.com for original fan-fiction e-books for your preferred e-reader.

Now with a complete United Trek story archive.
CeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4 2013, 08:46 PM   #140
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
Gibraltar's Avatar
 
Location: US Pacific Northwest
UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 6 continued)

Chapter 6 <cont'd>

Sandhurst called the meeting in Europa’s observation lounge to order. Present were the senior staff, as well as Commander Worf, while Captains Lobanov, T’Ser, and Lt. Commander Kircheis were attending via holo-presence, their avatars seated at the table by means of their ships’ own holodecks and the conference room’s emergency medical holo-emitters.

“Our long-range reconnaissance probes have provisionally identified the next incoming transient formation. This one consists of one-hundred thirty-eight separate vessels of various sizes ranging from about the size of a Defiant-class up to ones measuring nearly a half-kilometer in length.”

Sandhurst toggled the interface in the table’s surface, calling up a display on the viewscreen set into the inner bulkhead. Cross-sections and corresponding analysis of the long, vaguely cigar-shaped alien vessels scrolled across the screen.

“Our comms intercepts from this group indicate that they self-identify as the Ferou. Their armaments appear quite advanced, to include some manner of interphasic missile weapons that we believe may be able to thwart standard shielding.”

“Like the ones the Amon used on In’Drahn station?” T’Ser posited.

“Very similar,” Sandhurst replied. “Perhaps even identical technology copied or stolen by the Amon.” Turning back to the viewer, he continued, “Cumulative life-readings from the fleet indicate some eight-hundred thousand individuals residing aboard these ships.”

The viewer pulled back to show a two-dimensional rendering of the sector, showing the course of the flotilla. “They’re proceeding at Warp seven-point-two, which is the fastest sustained speed we’ve seen yet from one of these groups.”

Lobanov inquired, “What’s the Ferou’s ultimate IP with the Alpha Quadrant?”

Lar’ragos, who still held the position of TFV’s chief Strategic Operations Officer, fielded that question. “We project their course will have them skirting the Romulan border and then plunging headlong into the center of the Tholian Assembly.”

That brought a round of whistles and groans from around the table, as all the officers present were familiar with the Tholians’ rabid territoriality and xenophobia.

“We’ve developed a baseline translation matrix for their primary language,” Lar’ragos continued. “We’ll begin transmitting the standard warnings regarding their upcoming entry into the Alpha Quadrant, to include some saber-rattling on behalf of the Tholians.”

Counselor Liu remarked, “Now we’re making threats on the behalf of other governments?”

Sandhurst looked sidelong at Liu from the head of the table, a wry smile briefly taking shape on his lips. “It seems only sporting to let them know about the proverbial hornets’ nest they’ll be kicking over should they blunder into Tholian space.”

“What’s our analysis of their place on the diplomatic continuum?” Kircheis asked.

“That’s been hard to determine thus far,” Lar’ragos responded. “Our scans of their vessels haven’t turned up much in the way of combat-related damage indicators. So, either they go out of their way to avoid conflict, or their weapons and defenses are superior enough that nobody gets close enough to hurt them.”

Worf inquired, “Do we have any intel on this species from the database downloads we extracted from the Voranti?”

Shanthi, who’d spent weeks pouring over the information culled from the Voranti since Europa’s brief boarding action against one of their ships, addressed that. “No, sir. There are references to numerous other species involved in the exodus, but the Ferou aren’t among them. Given the disparity in the speed of the formations, it’s likely that the Ferou have only recently caught up to the Voranti and En-Il-Que.”

“And speaking of the En-Il-Que,” Lobanov interjected, her tone blatantly disingenuous, “what is the three-A on your raid against them?” The acronym stood for After-Action Assessment, an estimate of the total damage to an enemy’s military assets and infrastructure.

If Sandhurst took offense to the senior captain’s tenor, he didn’t let on. Rather, he turned to address her. “Based on our initial estimates, supported by the recon probes we left in-system, we destroyed a total of eight capital ships and seven more support craft. We neutralized fifteen orbital weapons arrays, wrecked a defensive outpost, and completely annihilated their main shipyard and their primary orbital docking facility.”

He turned back toward the viewer, typing in commands to call up a diagram of the DL- 40637 star system. “As you can see here, the cloaked mines we deployed during the raid have resulted in sixteen detonations, costing the En-Il-Que a further five ships destroyed, and four more crippled, two of which had to be scuttled.”

“Aren’t you forgetting to mention that the En-Il-Que have begun mine-sweeping operations utilizing shuttles manned by Deobeen hostages, Commodore?” Lobanov added frostily.

Sandhurst met the captain’s gaze without flinching. “No, I did not forget to mention it. That fact, while unfortunate, is of no consequence. Our mission was to deal a sizeable enough blow to the En-Il-Que that their ability to depart the system en mass would be compromised. The mission was a success.”

Lobanov was undaunted, and replied acidly, “So, we’ve now stranded a hostile aggressor species in the system with the people they’ve conquered. Did it not occur to you that your attack may have turned a brief foraging effort into something akin to the Occupation of Bajor?”

“That is also not my concern, Captain,” Sandhurst answered matter-of-factly. “The En-Il-Que had already attacked and occupied the Deobeen’s system. We have ensured that for the time being, they will continue to remain there, minimizing their threat to the Alpha Quadrant in general, and the Federation specifically.” He sat back in his chair, his expression unchanging. “If you are unable to cope with the operational necessities of this assignment, Captain Lobanov, I can easily reassign you to something more in keeping with your comfort level.” He picked up a padd and made a show of tapping idly at it. “I trust Lt. Commander Zedo has everything necessary at hand to seamlessly take the helm of Giacobini?

Lobanov’s expression hardened. She’d clearly been unprepared for this upbraiding in the presence of her fellow captains. “That will not be necessary, Commodore.”

“Very well, then.” Sandhurst set the padd down, gazing around the table to look at each of the captains in turn. “Europa will proceed at transwarp to make First Contact with the Ferou, following our warning broadcasts. Valiant and Giacobini have received new orders to begin looking for uninhabited Class-M worlds in this and the adjoining sectors where we might settle anyone who’s willing. They’ll begin that assignment as soon as Galaxy’s tow to In’Drahn is complete. Meanwhile, Gallant will begin laying cloaked mine fields in the path of the incoming formations. Hopefully, they will not be needed.”

Again, Sandhurst looked around at the assorted faces of the Starfleet officers. “Is there anything for the good of the order?” No one gave any indications of a desire to speak. “Very well, then. Let’s get to it.”

*****
__________________
ST: Gibraltar - The complete series at Ad Astra: ST: Gibraltar
Proud member of United Trek
Gibraltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5 2013, 02:20 AM   #141
CeJay
Commodore
 
CeJay's Avatar
 
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Things are getting a bit catty, aren't they? Lobanov makes some decent points but Sandhurst's are slightly more relevant when considering the bigger picture. I think the issue here is that neither of these two is doing a very good job at communicating their points across with the appropriate sensitivity.

As for this new wave of refugees, any chance we'll meet a peace loving culture for once? Oh wait, we already did. They were called the Voranti. Hmm, I wonder were Ramirez is hiding herself these days ...
__________________
Visit StarEagleAdventures.com for original fan-fiction e-books for your preferred e-reader.

Now with a complete United Trek story archive.
CeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2013, 07:26 PM   #142
Count Zero
Yeah, I know...
 
Count Zero's Avatar
 
Location: Land of Awesome
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

I have a feeling Sandhurst's current course of action will end badly.
__________________
"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
Count Zero is online now   Reply With Quote
Old January 26 2013, 01:11 AM   #143
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
Gibraltar's Avatar
 
Location: US Pacific Northwest
UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 6 continued)

Chapter 6 <cont'd>

Engineering Support Deck, USS Europa


“I hate to say this,” Lar’ragos admitted, “but under the circumstances my duty demands that I ask if you’re absolutely certain of the veracity of what you’re telling me?”

“Completely,” Ashok answered in a low voice, or as low a voice as the giant was able to muster.

The pair stood at the safety railing on Deck 13, looking down on main engineering from two decks above where the new reactor chamber thrummed with energy.

Lar’ragos’ expression grew hooded as the engineer’s assessment served to corroborate his existing suspicions. “Let me see if I have this straight. You’re saying the new engine can’t possibly be generating enough additional power to accelerate us to transwarp speeds?”

“Not precisely,” Ashok clarified. “The new warp core produces significantly more power than Ra-Havreii’s original design, some twenty-seven percent more. However, that increase is still insufficient to propel the ship to the velocities we’ve seen demonstrated.”

“How are we doing it then? Happy thoughts?” Lar’ragos fumed, his tension mounting.

“I originally believed that the modifications the commodore had made to the navigational deflector were serving to ‘slide’ the ship into transwarp space, something akin to how the shape of a wing creates lift in a Class-M atmosphere. My recent evaluation of the new core’s functioning now leads me to believe this is not the case.”

Ashok stepped over to an auxiliary engineering console, bringing it to life with a touch of his hand. “The power output of the core is several orders of magnitude higher than what the combination of the constituent matter and anti-matter elements should be able to produce, no matter how creative the dilithium sequencing.”

A cross section of Europa appeared on the screen above the console, highlighting the ship’s main navigational deflector. “My assessment of the energy ‘footprint’ of the new configuration indicates that the power generated in the warp core is actually being shunted into the deflector, which is creating a tertiary graviton beam whose presence is being masked by the deflector’s primary output.”

Lar’ragos blinked. “If that’s where primary warp energy is being diverted, what the hell powering our warp nacelles?”

A simulated beam lanced from the deflector cross-section, striking an unremarkable point out ahead of the ship.

“This graviton beam is tunneling into subspace, though I’m unable to ascertain precisely how far into the strata it’s penetrated.”

The graviton beam was suddenly enveloped in a larger discharge, this one emanating from the point at which the graviton beam lanced into the subspace domain. The enveloping discharge traced back along the length of the graviton beam like an energetic sheath to be absorbed by the deflector dish.

“This is where the power comes from to propel Europa to transwarp velocities,” Ashok explained.

“We’re funneling energy from… subspace?” Lar’ragos asked.

“It would appear so,” Ashok answered calmly. “I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this technique is very similar to how Commodore Sandhurst explained Amon power generation methods. They are believed to siphon their power from the barriers between subspace dimensions that are comprised of pure energy.”

Lar’ragos let out a long sigh, leaning his back against the bulkhead as he worked to come to terms with this revelation. “How did we not know about this before? Wouldn’t a basic systems diagnostic have uncovered this setup by now?”

“Lieutenant Shanthi has discovered that the ship’s diagnostic subroutines have been compromised by invasive programming. In fact, it appears nearly every computer-related system onboard has been subjected to very minute, highly precise software modifications designed to give off false readings.”

The XO looked dumbfounded. “Is it possible that this is the work of a foreign entity?”

Ashok lowered his head as he delivered the unwelcome news. “Very unlikely, sir. Shanthi has been attempting to diagnose the full scope of the re-coding, and it’s his opinion that only someone with a detailed knowledge of Starfleet engineering protocols could have carried this off undetected for such a time.”

Lar’ragos closed his eyes. “And if you and Shanthi suspected this, why am I hearing about it only now?”

“Counselor Liu is actually the one whose suspicions spawned the investigation, Commander. We initially believed that you were directly involved, and that Sandhurst had pursued the commodore’s position and then transferred Captain T’Ser to avoid her uncovering his plot.”

The El Aurian wheeled around to face the Bolian, his face tight with barely restrained emotion. “And why do you think that I’d have had anything to do with such a plan!”

Ashok was unimpressed with Pava’s anger and answered simply, “You have always been fiercely loyal to Sandhurst, and given your prior lack of… restraint, it seemed reasonable to conclude that you were elevated to the XO’s position in order to secure control of the ship.”

“What made you change your mind?” Lar’ragos asked after a moment.

“We had no choice,” Ashok replied. “If Sandhurst is still being controlled or influenced by the Amon, that makes him remarkably dangerous. You are the only one of us who might be able to talk him out of this destructive course, or if necessary, outfight him.”

Lar’ragos pursed his lips thoughtfully at that. “This is a good start, Lieutenant, but if I’m going to challenge his authority, I’m going to need more than suppositions to back my play.”

*****

Main Bridge, USS Europa

“We are secured from transwarp, sir,” Lightner called out.

“Full scans, Mister Shanthi,” Sandhurst ordered.

The waxing crescent of a ringed gas giant lay before them, its atmosphere a banded mix of blues, greys and assorted shades of white. Europa had taken a brief detour from their intended intercept with the Ferou to investigate the status of the Amon cube which had gone to ground here some weeks ago. Two of Europa’s own stealth recon probes had been dispatched to keep watch, as well as one of TFV’s long-range advanced surveillance probes.

None of the reconnaissance assets had detected any activity in the gas giant’s rings where the Amon ship had sought refuge, presumably to conduct repairs unmolested.

Shanthi scanned the vicinity of the gas giant, working his way inwards with increasingly intense sensor sweeps until he had accounted for every square meter of the ice and meteoroid rubble that comprised the rings.

“No sign of the Amon craft, Commodore,” Shanthi reported at last.

Sandhurst’s expression tightened. “Something the size of a Borg cube doesn’t just wander out of a star system without someone noticing, especially not the focused sensors of multiple probes,” he fairly growled, his voice laden with unaccustomed disappointment.

Shanthi shrugged apologetically. “Nevertheless, sir, there’s no indications of the cube here or anywhere else in this system.”

“Sir,” Lar’ragos spoke up from the Tactical console. “It’s possible the other Amon tribe utilized whatever technology brought the ship here from the Large Magellanic Cloud to forcibly recover the cube.”

Sandhurst nodded reluctantly. “Maybe.”

Liu glanced back at Lar’ragos from his chair to the commodore’s left, something unsaid passing between the men via facial expressions. The counselor turned back to address Sandhurst. “We still know very little about Amon capabilities, sir. Wherever they’ve got to, I’m sure it won’t be the last we’ve heard of them.”

“Undoubtedly,” Sandhurst muttered distractedly before looking to the Flight Control station. “Mister Lightner, resume our course to IP with the Ferou at transwarp.”

“Aye, sir. Course plotted and laid in.”

“Engage,” Sandhurst instructed.

The system fell behind them in the hyper-relativistic tunnel of swirling light.

*****

Jefferies Tube Junction Delta-41, Deck 15, USS Europa

“Well,” Liu said dryly, “this is cozy.”

Ashok was even more uncomfortable in the Jefferies tube junction, given his size, and merely stared at the counselor with unmasked irritation.

“Can’t be helped,” Lar’ragos answered as he clambered into the junction from the other direction, sealing the hatch behind him. All three men were missing their combadges, and a device unfamiliar to Liu sat in the center of the claustrophobic compartment on a small tripod. “It’s the only place aboard where I thought we’d be reasonably secure from prying eyes.”

Ashok added for Liu’s benefit, “The primary warp plasma conduits run directly beneath us, which makes internal sensors non-functional here.”

Liu nodded, looking somewhat relieved at the news. “So… I’m guessing there’s more to the story of the missing Amon than the sensors might indicate?”

“Another link in the chain we’ve been observing, Counselor,” Lar’ragos replied heavily.

Liu frowned. “No, don’t tell me. More computer hi-jinks?”

“Yes,” Ashok confirmed. “We found indications the sensor telemetry from all three probes stationed in the system had been tampered with.”

“Meaning?” Liu prompted.

“It appears that the probes were compromised, likely to allow the Amon cube to depart the system undetected.”

“That revelation, along with the inconsistencies in the new transwarp drive and the modifications to the bussard collectors and EPS subsystems draw a pretty damning picture,” Liu summarized.

“Wait,” Lar’ragos said, holding up a hand. “What EPS modifications?”

“An auxiliary EPS line from engineering to the commodore’s quarters has been adjusted to an unorthodox configuration to carry power on an unusual frequency,” Ashok explained. “The line draws power from a newly modified quantum-matrix filtration buffer installed in the warp nacelles’ bussard collectors.”

Lar’ragos’ jaw tightened. “Any ideas as to why?”

Liu’s stare of disbelief was impossible to miss. “Commander, you can’t be serious. You know exactly what this is! He’s jerry-rigged the damn bussard collectors to draw in the energy signature the Amon feed on, and then has it delivered to his quarters via the EPS system.”

“I can’t accept that!” Lar’ragos blasted back. “If he were still feeding on that energy, it would show up in his medical scans.”

“Would it, Commander?” Ashok injected. “We believe he’s already compromised multiple engineering systems to include communications, not to mention whatever he’s done to the probes that were supposed to be observing the Amon cube. How difficult would it be for someone of Sandhurst’s abilities to alter the medical diagnostic sensors and the LMH’s programming?”

Liu pressed, “Before she left for Valiant, Captain T’Ser told me that Sandhurst was still exhibiting physiological signs consistent with exposure to the Amon life-essence energy, enhanced strength, for one.”

Lar’ragos’ legs gave out, depositing him on his backside in the cramped junction with his back pressed against the wall. He cradled his head in his hands, his elbows propped on his knees.

“Pava,” Liu said gently but insistently, “the changes to the bussard collectors were made before the attack on the En-Il-Que. All those people we killed… he was feeding off of them. That wasn’t a raid, it was a hunting expedition.”

An aching silence followed that both Liu and Ashok were unwilling to challenge as Lar’ragos struggled to find his emotional equilibrium.

“We can’t allow this to continue,” the XO said finally. “He could turn First Contact with the Ferou into a blood-soaked tragedy.”

“What do we do?” Liu inquired.

“Confront him,” Lar’ragos answered heavily. “In force.”

*****
__________________
ST: Gibraltar - The complete series at Ad Astra: ST: Gibraltar
Proud member of United Trek

Last edited by Gibraltar; January 26 2013 at 10:56 PM.
Gibraltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26 2013, 02:36 AM   #144
Cobalt Frost
Captain
 
Cobalt Frost's Avatar
 
Location: seduced by The Coolness in Phineas & Ferb's backyard
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

WOW!
__________________
Damn the resonance cannons, full speed ahead!
Cobalt Frost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26 2013, 05:32 PM   #145
TrekkieMonster
Commodore
 
TrekkieMonster's Avatar
 
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Holy crap!!! I mean, you gave us hints that Sandhurst was exhibiting lingering after effects of his time with the Amon, but I had no inkling that he was actively pursuing such a ... "perverse" course. The life essence is clearly akin to a highly addictive drug - only several orders of magnitude more powerful - the need for which is driving Sandhurst to extremes he would otherwise never even consider. Still, I can't help wonder whether he's fully conscious of what he's done (assuming, of course, that it is him who has done these things). We've already seen that he created the new engine design in a mental state in which he was not fully in control of his faculties, and he seemed to be surprised that Europa didn't find the Amon cube in the gas giant's rings. Perhaps there's something on a more subconscious level going on here .... Regardless, you've given us quite a lot to chew on here. Looking forward to the next installment, even more than usual.
__________________
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind -- Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. "Dr. Seuss")
TrekkieMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26 2013, 09:58 PM   #146
CeJay
Commodore
 
CeJay's Avatar
 
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Mutiny? On a Starfleet ship? Unheard of. Unless of course you count all the other times it has happened.

We've all known something's up with Sandhurst ever since he came back from the Amon. He's a changed man, for sure. But is he, consciously or subconsciously, under their control? The evidence appears to be in but I'm not yet ready to join the lynch mob.

I'm curious as hell to find out what happens next though.
__________________
Visit StarEagleAdventures.com for original fan-fiction e-books for your preferred e-reader.

Now with a complete United Trek story archive.
CeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28 2013, 03:19 AM   #147
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
Gibraltar's Avatar
 
Location: US Pacific Northwest
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Cobalt Frost wrote: View Post
WOW!
Indeed!

TrekkieMonster wrote: View Post
Holy crap!!! I mean, you gave us hints that Sandhurst was exhibiting lingering after effects of his time with the Amon, but I had no inkling that he was actively pursuing such a ... "perverse" course. The life essence is clearly akin to a highly addictive drug - only several orders of magnitude more powerful - the need for which is driving Sandhurst to extremes he would otherwise never even consider. Still, I can't help wonder whether he's fully conscious of what he's done (assuming, of course, that it is him who has done these things). We've already seen that he created the new engine design in a mental state in which he was not fully in control of his faculties, and he seemed to be surprised that Europa didn't find the Amon cube in the gas giant's rings. Perhaps there's something on a more subconscious level going on here .... Regardless, you've given us quite a lot to chew on here. Looking forward to the next installment, even more than usual.
Therein lies the big question... and Pava's conundrum.

CeJay wrote: View Post
Mutiny? On a Starfleet ship? Unheard of. Unless of course you count all the other times it has happened.

We've all known something's up with Sandhurst ever since he came back from the Amon. He's a changed man, for sure. But is he, consciously or subconsciously, under their control? The evidence appears to be in but I'm not yet ready to join the lynch mob.

I'm curious as hell to find out what happens next though.
I don't think anyone's mentioned 'mutiny'... at least, not yet.

Thank all of your for commenting!
__________________
ST: Gibraltar - The complete series at Ad Astra: ST: Gibraltar
Proud member of United Trek
Gibraltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28 2013, 04:24 PM   #148
Tribble puncher
Commander
 
Tribble puncher's Avatar
 
Location: Lexington, KY
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

This was the last thing I expected, My interest in this story was starting to wane after the introduction of "Super Donald" and his invincible Voyager like Starship. But with this latest twist...you sir...((wags finger in your direction George McFly Style))...have made me a believer, I shall never doubt you again....forgive me
Tribble puncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4 2013, 08:51 PM   #149
Kyhrk
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Location: Iowa, United States
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

Oh Damn. This is getting interesting. Its stories like these that keep me interested in you folks from United Trek's work.
__________________
Nausicaans are cool!!

So many races have bad reps in the Star Trek Universe why not show some of them actually working for the Federation. Thats the Undesirables for you.
Kyhrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5 2013, 02:49 AM   #150
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
Gibraltar's Avatar
 
Location: US Pacific Northwest
Re: UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths

UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 6 continued)

Stellar Cartography, USS Europa


“Impressive,” Sandhurst murmured as he observed the magnified image of a Ferou colony ship via the enhanced holography of the Stellar Cartography Lab’s cavernous viewing chamber.

“They’re advanced, that’s for certain,” Shanthi noted, gesturing to an accompanying text breakdown of the Ferou’s hull constituents. ”This is a duranium-analogue, but it’s been enhanced with some kind of sub-structural crystalline lattice. It’s similar to Starfleet’s latest generation of ablative armor, but with significantly higher density. I’d guess they could take an unshielded photon torpedo strike without a hull breach.”

“Weapons?” Sandhurst inquired.

“Some kind of high-energy collimated beams,” Lar’ragos replied from where he stood next to the commodore. “Their maximum yield is approximately sixty percent more powerful than that of our Class-XI phasers. They appear to have some manner of missile or torpedo-based standoff weapons, but the launchers are heavily shielded and resistant to our scans. Just based on what we’ve observed from their other weapons and defenses, I think I’m safe in saying we wouldn’t want to take a hit from whatever it is they’re fielding.”

Sandhurst bobbed his heat curtly in acknowledgment of Pava’s assessment. “Have we observed any overtly hostile actions by the Ferou against any local species or others among the nomadic groups?”

“None,” Juneau offered. “In fact, we recorded an instance of a Ferou ship rendering assistance to a Voranti vessel that must have fallen behind the Voranti formation some months ago. It looked to us like the Ferou helped get their warp drive back online and then sent them on a course that will have them rendezvous with the rest of the Voranti formation in less than six weeks.”

“That’s a positive sign,” Sandhurst said hopefully. “Let’s pray they’ll be open to talking with us and discussing options.” He made a few notes on a padd before looking around at the assembled officers. “Any other updates?”

If Sandhurst noticed the guarded looks exchanged by his officers, he didn’t mention it.

Ashok, who had been silent until this point, finally spoke. “And if the Ferou are unwilling to communicate with us or cooperate in our plans to divert them or see their species settle on a Class-M world in this sector, sir?”

Sandhurst’s expression was one of reluctant resolve. “In that case, Lieutenant, we’d have to review our options.” He nodded to the others, “Alright, then. Keep up the good work.”

Lar’ragos followed Sandhurst out of the compartment and fell into step beside him in the corridor. “We need to talk, sir,” he said in a quiet voice.

“We are talking, Pava,” Sandhurst noted wryly as he stepped to one side to allow a crewman heading in the opposite direction to squeeze between them.

The El Aurian’s voice took on an edge Sandhurst had only heard a handful of times in the past, all of them life-or-death situations. “Respectfully, sir, this is serious.”

Sandhurst dipped his head, acceding to his friend’s wishes. “Very well. Where would you be more comfortable, my ready room or quarters?”

“Your quarters would be fine, sir.”

The two men proceeded in silence, Sandhurst sensing Lar’ragos’ accumulated tension as the smaller man almost seemed to buzz with repressed energy.

The door to Sandhurst’s quarters slid open at his approach. The commodore unzipped his uniform jacket and tossed it onto the couch as he entered. As he turned to engage Lar’ragos, Pava instead made a beeline for the replicator, ordering a black cup of coffee that appeared in the delivery slot.

As he brought the cup to his lips, a firm hand on his forearm interceded. Lar’ragos started, not having seen or even perceived Sandhurst move the three meters from the door. He slowly lowered the cup, setting it atop the nearby dining table. “That answers my first and second questions,” Pava said coolly.

Sandhurst’s expression was neutral. “How long have you known?”

Lar’ragos turned to face him, his eyes searching Sandhurst’s, probing for any sign of the man he’d once known so well. “We’ve been putting the pieces together for a few days, now. Despite the evidence, I didn’t want to believe it was true.”

Sandhurst nodded understandingly. “I know, and I’m sorry I kept it from you, Pava. The truth is… I am Amon, by choice.”

“Liu and I believe differently,” Lar’ragos countered. “The life-essence is addictive, and it alters both your biochemistry as well as your neural pathways.”

“I don’t deny that,” Sandhurst replied. “After the last of the energy was flushed from my system, I found that I couldn’t stand being the ‘old’ me. I felt slower and more feeble, both mentally and physically. As it turns out, in the midst of my creative fugue, I added design elements to the new drive that would enable me to reclaim my place among the Amon.” He raised his hands, palms up in a gesture of futility. “And so I did.”

“The attack on the En-Il-Que,” Lar’ragos said pointedly, his tone dripping with contempt. “Was that just to fill your chalice with life energy? Is that why you showed no consideration for the innocent Deobeen killed in the strike?”

An ironic smile spread slowly across Sandhurst’s face. “You can’t be blind to the hypocrisy of that accusation, coming from someone with hands as stained as yours.”

“No one is more aware of my sins than I am,” Lar’ragos replied acidly. “Answer the question.”

“That sounds suspiciously like an order,” Sandhurst uttered, his tone conveying strong disapproval. “I don’t take orders from you, Commander.”

It took an achingly long moment for Lar’ragos to back down and concede the point with a brief nod. “My apologies, Commodore. Please answer my question, sir.”

“The attack on the En-Il-Que was necessary and appropriate to the circumstances, and if I recall correctly, it had your full support.”

“The fact that you’re feeding off of the—“

“Irrelevant,” Sandhurst barked, cutting him off. “You’re accusing me of butchering sentients for no other reason than to fill my stomach. That’s completely false. The En-Il-Que were preparing to send a recon expedition in force to hunt for more targets of opportunity. We couldn’t allow that. The fact that I made use of the energy shed by their fatalities was a beneficial byproduct of the raid, it was not the goal of the attack. The Amon do not kill merely for the sake of feeding.”

Lar’ragos reached into his uniform jacket to produce a compact padd which he tossed to Sandhurst. “Tell that to the two-and-a-half million Federation citizens in the Ganopus system that your friends slaughtered two weeks ago, sir.”

Sandhurst set the padd aside without reading its contents. “I’ve already been apprised by Command,” he said. “My tribe didn’t do this. In fact, they’re the only people who can help us bring those who did to justice.”

“Your tribe,” Lar’ragos echoed in disbelief. “Can you even hear yourself? You can’t hold dual loyalties, sir, not in this instance!”

“I’m Amon,” Sandhurst repeated, “but I’m still a Starfleet officer. My loyalty and oath to the Federation are still intact.” He stepped towards Lar’ragos. “You can read people, you can see into the truth of things. So… do it. Sense me. Reveal me as the fraud you believe me to be.”

“I can’t!” Lar’ragos blurted suddenly. In response to Sandhurst’s skeptical look, Lar’ragos elaborated sheepishly, “I can’t sense anything from you when you’re like this.”

“Like what?”

“When you’re Amon,” Lar’ragos spat, as though forcing the admission through clenched teeth.

“Pava,” Sandhurst answered in a surprisingly gentle tone, “I realize that every instinct you have must be screaming right now that I’m under the control of an alien force.”

“You’ve got that right.”

“I can only ask you to believe me that I’m the sole individual in control of my actions and decisions. I have never been sharper or more focused. I’ve never been in a better position to balance the operational needs of the task force with our duty to uphold the Federation’s values.”

Lar’ragos folded his arms across his chest, and now it was his turn to appear incredulous. “You’ve made significant, secretive modifications to the ship’s computers and software, in addition to unauthorized alterations to the nav-deflector and bussard collectors. We also suspect you’ve tampered with the telemetry of the probes we sent into the Dalikar system to monitor the Amon cube.” Lar’ragos opened his arms expansively. “Now why would you think any of that would give me cause to suspect your motives?”

Sandhurst met his friend’s gaze with unwavering conviction. “If I’d informed you of my intent to make those modifications, you’d have stopped me.”

“All of which should have been an indication you’d wandered into dangerous territory, Commodore.”

Sandhurst moved behind his desk, taking a seat. “I can understand and appreciate your concerns as my XO, Pava. I am presently working with my tribe to locate the Amon responsible for the attacks on Federation and Klingon worlds. Once we’ve found them, my tribe and our intercept group will strike hard and fast to excise the rogue element.”

“It’s a good plan, sir, and under different circumstances I might entertain it,” Lar’ragos said, stepping toward the desk. He took a breath before stating, “I regret that given the information I and the other senior staff have uncovered, I must place you under arrest on the charges of Conduct Unbecoming and Failure to Obey Order or Regulation.” Lar’ragos’ hand moved toward the miniature phaser holstered in a pocket at his waist.

Sandhurst’s face took on a sober mien, his eyes growing flinty. “Don’t do this. Starfleet can’t stand against the rogue Amon tribe alone.”

“I’m sorry, Commodore,” Lar’ragos answered regretfully. “That’s beyond the scope of my position. Given the circumstances, I’m compelled to carry out my duty.”

The door slid open to admit two security personnel, and Sandhurst could make out the presence of at least two fully geared Marines in the corridor beyond.

Sandhurst nodded despondently, moving to touch a finger to the computer interface set into his desktop. There was a faint null-function buzz from the interface and then… nothing. Sandhurst looked slightly perturbed.

“I’ve taken the liberty of having Lieutenant Ashok manually disable all transporter functions, sir,” Lar’ragos announced without a hint of satisfaction. “Given your abilities, I figured you’d have planned for such an eventuality.”

A wry grin, tinged with sadness slowly formed on Sandhurst’s lips. “Well played,” he murmured as he closed his eyes and touched another of the controls.

A brilliant, blinding flash surged from the cabin’s lighting fixtures just as Sandhurst shot from his chair. As he rose to his feet, he grabbed hold of the underside of his work desk, tearing it free from its fasteners and throwing it into the air, tumbling end over end.

Lar’ragos’ eyes slammed shut in response to the flaring lights, even as he sensed the rush of air from the upset table and moved to drop beneath it. The spinning desk arced over Pava’s head and the lip of one edge caught him in the back of the head as the desk began its descent. The impact sent him sprawling forward, the compact phaser flying from his grasp as Lar’ragos threw his arms out to try and break his fall.

Sandhurst moved through and past the two security specialists, throwing open-palm strikes into both their sternums that sent the two crashing bodily into the bulkhead on either side of the door.

The first Marine was just starting to raise her phaser sidearm as Sandhurst emerged from the cabin and plowed into her. He drove a fist up into her chin from below, delivering a devastating uppercut that sent her off of her feet.

Her compatriot swung the butt of his phaser rifle at the attacking blur, striking Sandhurst a glancing blow to the shoulder. In response, the commodore grabbed the Marine by his bulky armored breastplate and threw the man six meters down the length of the corridor. The Marine slammed into the seam where the ceiling met the floor as his rifle and dislodged combat helmet tumbled further down the carpeted passageway.

Sandhurst turned to sprint down the corridor only to see a forcefield snap into existence in front of him, blocking his escape.

“That’s… enough,” Lar’ragos called out from behind him, one of his security team’s full-sized phasers gripped in his shaking hand.

Groans filtered into the passageway from Sandhurst’s quarters as Lar’ragos limped into the corridor. He gestured for Sandhurst to lay down. “On the deck, now!”

“Are you certain a stun discharge will prove sufficient should he resist?” Verrik’s voice issued from further down the corridor as the Vulcan stepped out from the nearest intersection, phaser in hand.

Lar’ragos spared the security chief a brief glance before fixing his attention back on Sandhurst. “I’m hoping he doesn’t force the issue, Lieutenant.”

Sandhurst lowered himself slowly to the deck, eyeing the other two men warily.

“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to, sir,” Verrik offered as he sent Lar’ragos crumpling to the floor with a burst of stun energy.

The Vulcan looked dispassionately down at Sandhurst. “Commodore, if you’d like to make good your escape, I’d advise you to follow me.”

*****
__________________
ST: Gibraltar - The complete series at Ad Astra: ST: Gibraltar
Proud member of United Trek
Gibraltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.