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Old October 28 2013, 01:23 AM   #16
Gibraltar
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Well... hell, that could have gone better. Seeing personal loyalties pitted against those to the service is never pleasant, especially with so many lives hanging in the balance.

Tragic all the way around.
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Old October 28 2013, 07:12 PM   #17
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

This is like a train wreck in progress and just like a real one it's very difficult to look away.
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Old October 28 2013, 11:16 PM   #18
DarKush
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Hey guys,

It gets worse. Heh.

************************************************** ******************

Main Bridge
USS Shuttlesworth

“Gods no,” Captain Ottah shook his head. On the viewer, the Baltimore had engaged Ariane, lobbing a fusillade at the smaller, Saber-class vessel. Deceptively compact, Sabers were loaded with armaments and Rhizzo gave back in kind. The darkness of space exploded in a violent clash of colors between the two starships. Along with the Shuttlesworth, K’mpec and Empress floated idly, unsure what to do.

The Edoan looked to his first officer to get her take, quickly remembering that Janice Hsiao was leading the joint rescue mission to retrieve any Narcissus survivors.

He wondered what the rescue teams, culled from the various starships’ personnel, would think if they returned to see their respective starships dueling or even worse, one or more of the taskforce ships destroyed by a fellow Starfleet vessel.

Lt. Commander M’Reah, the woman occupying Hsiao’s seat, looked as perplexed as he must have. The dark gray furred Caitian flicked her golden eyes and shook her head in a gesture nearly mirroring Ottah’s. “What do we do sir?” The woman asked, clearly not comfortable with being thrust into such a pressure cooker.

Normally the ship’s Science Officer, M’Reah thought that every problem could be solved with the scientific method. But Ottah was as dumbfounded as she was to find a way to apply the venerable process to this situation.

“Move to engage the Ariane,” he said eventually. The sooner Rhizzo was subdued, the sooner they could return to their mission. The deck plating trembled slightly as the flight control officer quickly changed the ship’s course. The nimble fingered Nuvian ensign whipped the Nebula-class ship around like a shuttlepod.

“But sir,” Lt. Zaiden spoke up. The Acamarian Security Officer was never at a loss for words. Normally Ottah encouraged it. Normally. Ottah swiveled his head around to glower at the man who stood at a freestanding aft terminal. Not sensing the change in the captain’s mood, Zaiden continued, “Baltimore was the aggressor. They fired first. Shouldn’t we move to intercept them instead?”

“Captain Thelius was only trying to prevent a greater aggression from Commander Rhizzo,” Ottah calmly responded, reining in his frustration. “We can’t allow Ariane or K’mpec to use subspace weapons against the Kothlis’Ka. It would violate everything we stand for.”

“The captain is correct,” Lt. Commander M’Reah said, her voice hardening, “Now target our weapons on Ariane and prepare to fire at the captain’s’ order.” Ottah turned back to the woman and gave her an encouraging half-smile.

The smile crumbled seconds later as the bridge shook violently. “What was that?” M’Reah asked, but Ottah already knew.

“We’ve just been fired upon,” he answered before Zaiden or the Operations Officer could.
************************************************** ***********
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Old October 29 2013, 06:46 AM   #19
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Holy crap!

This doesn't seem to bode well... for anyone...
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Old October 31 2013, 02:01 PM   #20
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Very well written, yet difficult to read (from an emotional standpoint). Great work, DK! I think the "train wreck" analogy may prove correct.
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Old November 1 2013, 02:13 AM   #21
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Admiral and TLR,

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you are both enjoying the story so far. With the fate of this taskforce mostly a forgone conclusion I thought it would be neat to go back and attempt to make this doomed group more alive and resonant for their successors in "The Quality of Mercy" while also building a little on the Kothlis'Ka.

************************************************** ***********

Main Bridge
USS K’mpec

Captain Kenji Tanaka didn’t know what shocked him more: the order he just gave or the fact that it was carried out. A line of phaser fire from the Akira-class heavy cruiser had stitched across the primary hull of the Shuttlesworth; not enough to damage the larger Nebula-class explorer, but enough to send a message.

Tanaka wasn’t going to let Baltimore and Shuttlesworth gang up on Ariane and force Rhizzo to back down, especially since he thought she was the only one making sense. None of the other captains had stared down the gun ports of a Kothlis’Ka attack cruiser. And Erasia had proposed taking on an entire armada and with their hands tied to boot!

None of them truly could fathom what they were up against. And if they wanted to at least have skin in the game, they needed to use more powerful weapons, and subspace weapons were the most lethal in their arsenal.

“Send Captain Ottah a hail,” Tanaka found his voice again. Though he cleared his throat before adding, “Next time the gloves come off.” In response, the Shuttlesworth halted its advance on the Ariane and slowly turned to face the K’mpec.

Behind the triangular tactical pod on Shuttlesworth’s superstructure, Tanaka could see Baltimore and Ariane trading shots, both ships unwilling to give ground. Empress had remained off to the side. Kenji imagined he could feel Erasia’s indecision through the void. Shuttlesworth continued to advance on them, the large saucer of its primary hull was starting to blot out the raging battle.

“Sir, should we utilize evasive maneuvers?” Lt. Commander Mehita asked.

Tanaka shook his head, “No,” he said. “We’re holding our position. We’ll make Shuttlesworth either ram us or blast through us.” The captain was certain Ottah wouldn’t do that. The Edoan was a decent fellow, and he hated putting him in this position. But if Shuttlesworth relented, it might force the more hardnosed Thelius to give up.

It didn’t seem like Captain Erasia was going to be a factor in this dust up. And that might have been for the best. Perhaps the Efrosian was merely the only adult still left in the room and was allowing the children to throw their tantrums. So far no one had gotten hurt.

Kenji had noticed that while a flurry of shots passed between Ariane and Baltimore, they were all low-yield. Even the volley he had ordered be fired at the Shuttlesworth had been depowered. Despite Tanaka’s verbal threat, he wasn’t sure if he could really carry it out if Ottah pushed the issue.

Kenji was hoping that the Edoan would back down instead of calling his bluff. As if reading his mind, the young Gnalish male at the operations console called out, “Shuttlesworth is still advancing.”

“But they are not charging their weapons,” Lt. Retha said from the tactical terminal. The Kamorian had also divined his thoughts it seemed.

“Damn peculiar,” the chief engineer grumbled from an aft auxiliary engineering panel. Tanaka glanced back at the hulking, hirsute Gumato.

“No, it isn’t really,” the captain rejoined. “He doesn’t want to hurt us anymore than we do him.”

“He’s hoping we back down first,” Lt. Commander Mehita chimed in.

“So it’s a game of chicken huh?” The ensign at flight control quipped before quickly reddening at her interruption. Tanaka merely smiled.

“Right you are Ensign Langdon,” the captain said, grateful for the opportunity to smile, if briefly. Looking back at the main screen and the oncoming Shuttlesworth, he wasn’t sure if he was going to get another chance to do so.
************************************************** ************
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Old November 3 2013, 06:00 PM   #22
CeJay
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Oh, good, they don't want to hurt each other. All is well then until the kid gloves come off and somebody steps over that line. And if cooler heads don't prevail soon, that line's gonna be a distant point in the rear view mirror.
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Old November 3 2013, 07:19 PM   #23
DarKush
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

CeJay,

Meet the cooler head.

************************************************** **************

Main Bridge
USS Empress

“Tanerasia Ni-Inguyokaii,” Chief Thav’s voice thundered, shaking her loose from her complacency, “You’ve got to put a stop to this,” the hefty Andorian added. He was halfway out of his seat at the auxiliary aft engineering console.

Despite the circumstances, Tan smiled. “No one has called me by my full name since I was a cadet.” Tan had decided to shorten her name, breaking apart her first name because she thought it would be easier for others to pronounce. Her Academy instructors doubtlessly thanked her, Tan imagined.

“Perhaps that’s because you haven’t frinxed up something as badly since,” Thav blistered.

The Efrosian winced. “You’re right,” she said, her tone and countenance sobering. She tugged down on her tunic and reappraised the scene before them.

Ariane and Baltimore continued their slow dance, while Shuttlesworth trudged toward an unmoving K’mpec. A riot of fear, desperation, and ego were all raging before her.

Things had broken down so quickly it had taken her by surprise and overwhelmed her. For too long, all Tan had been able to do was watch in sick wonder as the intercept group turned their phasers on each other, a mini-civil war over the desire of Commander Rhizzo and Captain Tanaka to use banned weapons.

The captain imagined that Captain Landau would not have allowed things to devolve to this point. In fact, it’s doubtful that Rhizzo would’ve ever bucked the venerable captain.

Landau had a respect that Tan had not earned. Perhaps it was time to change that situation. “Mr. Sheppard,” she put on her best command voice. It was a tone that would brook no debate. Because Tan realized she had to win back her crew in addition to commanding the respect of the rest of the intercept group.

“Aye captain,” Sheppard quickly replied. Tan glanced at the man. He was on the edge of his seat. He had been chomping at the proverbial bit to get involved. The Efrosian tried to ignore the doubt glinting in the human’s eyes.

“Get me the prefix code overrides for all of those ships,” she ordered. “It’s time to put the children in their corners.”
************************************************** ************

Ready Room
USS Empress
Five Hours Later…

“You have no right!” Commander Rhizzo thundered. Captain Tan Erasia leaned back in her seat, and took the woman’s outburst in stride.

“You can’t seriously have just said that right now,” she replied. Then she leaned forward, propping her elbows on her empty, polished desktop. Her expression hardened. “You’re self-righteousness rings a bit hollow since my away teams are removing all traces of illegal subspace weaponry from your armories.” The other four ships in the intercept group hung idly in space, their weapons and shields deactivated.

Tan had locked out the ship’s commanders from changing the prefix codes once Empress had taken control of them. And she would remain in control of the weapons and defense systems until Commander Sheppard confirmed that all subspace weaponry had been confiscated. Out of a sense of fairness, Erasia kept Baltimore and Shuttlesworth on the hook as well until the situations on both Ariane and K’mpec were secure. Captain Thelius had already made his displeasure well known, and Captain Ottah had been too gracious to do so, but Tan didn’t care. It might have taken her a bit too long to respond to the fracas, but once she did so, she moved swiftly and decisively.

“Captain, I still think this is a mistake,” Captain Tanaka said. At least the human, standing beside the still fuming Rhizzo, was contrite.

“Kenji you can think what you like,” Erasia shrugged, “but you should be pleased that I am letting you both keep your tricobalt devices.”

“This is outrageous!” Rhizzo threw up her arms. Her jowly, wrinkled cheeks, jiggled at the sudden, violent movement.

“And your instigation of this melee, that wasn’t?!” Erasia stood up, planting her hands wide apart on her desk, her pale blue eyes shooting disruptor beams at Rhizzo. “Give me one good reason not to still install Commander Atwell in command of your vessel?!”

Tan was at least happy to note that the man hadn’t received any serious injuries after he had been shot by Rhizzo’s security officer while acting on Erasia’s orders to replace the rebellious Rhizzo.

“Captain,” Tanaka said quietly, yet firmly, a voice of reason. “Despite her temper and rashness, Commander Rhizzo is one of the best strategic minds we have. She was instrumental in stopping the Dominion from taking the Kabrel system, and she received a Star Cross for her actions during the Talarian Incursion.”

“I know her service record,” Erasia snapped, still miffed at Rhizzo’s haughty attitude. For her part, the Zakdorn wasn’t backing down. Rhizzo glared right back at Tan, with her arms crossed tightly across her chest.

“To be blunt, we need her for this fight,” Tanaka said, “Whereas we might survive seconds against the Kothlis’Ka, Rhizzo could get us minutes, and that might help us change the tide of battle.”

All three knew it was unlikely, but Tan nevertheless conceded the point. A few more minutes might impress upon the Romulans and Tholians how fierce the Starfleet crews fought to protect them. While that might matter little to the policy makers on Romulus and Tholia, it could endear them to the general populaces. And Tan realized that was better than nothing.

Not looking at Tanaka, Tan kept her focus on Rhizzo. “You better be glad I trust Captain Tanaka’s judgment, despite all that has happened.” She stood up, and the tension began to drain from her muscles. Still looking at the Zakdorn, Tan’s gaze softened, and became searching, imploring. “Sometimes it’s not winning the fight that counts; it’s how we conduct ourselves while fighting it. And if we are going into an impossible situation, I would rather leave this galaxy knowing that we upheld the principles we swore to give our lives for in the first place.”

“What good are those principles if they do nothing to stop that armada?” Rhizzo rejoined.

“Gilma, we don’t know if that we don’t have enough extant firepower to stop the Kothlis’Ka,” Tanaka conceded, and Erasia nodded in agreement.

“Kenji is right,” the Efrosian said, “We don’t know if our weaponry is enough to stop them without resorting to illegal armaments.” Pausing, she drew herself up to her full height and looked them both in the eye before adding, “But we’re going to find out.”
************************************************** ************************

Last edited by DarKush; November 3 2013 at 08:04 PM.
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Old November 3 2013, 11:45 PM   #24
CeJay
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Well done, Eraisa, first crisis averted. Now off to the next one which is going to make the first appear like child's play in comparison.

I was almost hoping that this mini rebellion would have had a greater impact. If it had, the likely upcoming defeat could have been explained away more easily. No more excuses now.

Oh well, I suppose there are always those subspace weapons if things don't work out this time around ...
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Old November 4 2013, 12:47 AM   #25
DarKush
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

CeJay,

I did toy with having Ariane and K'mpec break off and go after the Kothlis'Ka by themselves (and they still might). However as I was writing this rebellion I thought I was putting Erasia in too much of a bad light. I wanted to reestablish her as being back in control and capable of pulling the reins on her rowdy subordinates.
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Old November 6 2013, 02:48 AM   #26
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

I want to thank Gibraltar and Galen for their input in the following scene. Without Gibraltar's questions and information and Galen throwing out a possible scenario, this scene wouldn't exist.

************************************************** *************

Ready Room
USS Shuttlesworth
Seven Hours Later…

“I wasn’t expecting to talk to you so soon again Captain Ottah,” Captain Erasia said with a slight smile as she crossed the threshold. The Edoan weakly smiled back. He stood up from his desk and awkwardly extended his torso appendage in her direction. The man’s other two arms held personal display devices. Tan took the proffered hand, feeling a pang of jealousy that she wasn’t born with a couple extra limbs.

After her exhausting half-discussion/half-chewing out of Captain Tanaka and Commander Rhizzo, Tan had brought both Captains Thelius and Ottah to her office. Most of her ire in this instance had been directed at Thelius. Though she appreciated the saturnine Andorian taking her side in the contretemps, he had acted without her approval, a disregard for the chain of command nearly as grievous as Rhizzo’s rebellion.

Ottah’s bunched shoulders and pinched expression told Tan that she was about to get some payback. She waited patiently while the Edoan searched her face as if divining clues or motives.

“When are you going to dispense the Alpha Weapons?” The man eventually asked.

“What are you talking about?” Erasia asked, “What are ‘Alpha Weapons’?”

Her reply made Ottah stand up to his full height. His expression hardened, his yellow eyes burned like suns. “Captain Erasia, I hoped that we had established strong enough bonds of trust, despite the recent misfortunes, to move beyond such deceptions. Certainly you weren’t planning to hoard all of the armaments yourself.”

Tan shook her head and blinked rapidly several times as she tried to process exactly what the man was asking her. “Ottah I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“While checking with my first officer on the progress of the rescue mission, I informed her of recent events here,” Ottah said, his gaze still brimming with skepticism. “Commander Hsiao said she was shocked that things would devolve to the point where Rhizzo and Tanaka felt the need to create subspace weapons since we had Alpha Weapons in our possession.”

“I really don’t know what these Alpha Weapons could be,” Erasia answered honestly, her exasperation straining her voice.

“Janice said that select starships, among the overall taskforce, were given incredibly powerful weapons such as subspace fractal inversion fields, zero-point singularity initiators, and protomatter bombs,” Ottah’s look was damning. Tan was certain hers was horrified.

“Oh gods,” she shook her head, “Don’t tell me Starfleet has actually devised such weapons?”

After a few tense, silent moments Ottah said, “I know you are a skilled medic, but there’s nothing in your service record that said you were an actress. I believe you knew nothing about these doomsday weapons.”

“The question I have is how does your first officer know about them?” Erasia asked. The tension she felt at being accused by Ottah had shifted to anxiety about being left in the dark.

“She’s an acquaintance of the chief strategic operations officer aboard the Galaxy,” the Edoan explained. “He told her about these weapons and she trusts him.”

“I don’t get it,” Tan admitted. “Why equip some ships but not all?”

“Or why equip any with weapons this destructive?” Ottah added.

“We can be certain that neither Tanaka nor Rhizzo have any of these weapons,” Erasia reasoned. “If they did, neither would’ve been so sanguine about creative subspace weapons. Further, Ottah if you had these armaments, you wouldn’t be questioning me about them.”

“But what about Thelius?” Ottah asked, his expression becoming ominous. “Could he possess these arms and not tell us?”

“If so, maybe because he isn’t authorized to do so,” Erasia said, wanting to give the querulous man the benefit of the doubt. “Whoever could authorize these weapons doubtlessly has the power to order Thelius or any other ship commander to be silent about storing them aboard their ships.” Ottah nodded in agreement.

“Should we ask him?” The Edoan ventured.

“I don’t think he would tell us,” Erasia admitted.

“We could scan Baltimore?” Ottah offered.

“I’m sure that precautions were already taken for that probability,” Tan reasoned.

“Well there is another possibility,” the Edoan’s shoulders lifted slightly before slumping. “That the Alpha Weapons were aboard Narcissus.”

“Possibly,” Erasia thought, as she stroked her chin. “Though it begs the question why Captain Landau didn’t use them against the Kothlis’Ka?”

“I have no clue,” Ottah confessed. “Perhaps the armada attacked before they had the time to respond?”

“There is that,” Tan conceded, “though there is another possibility we haven’t considered,” she said, her expression darkening. Ottah looked at her askance.

“None of our ships were given Alpha Weapons,” Erasia answered.

“I hadn’t considered that,” Ottah said, shaking his head, “But why? Even though we are closest to the Alpha Quadrant, we could still face impossible threats,” he gestured, not needing to spell out the present situation facing them.

“Maybe Starfleet Command had the same concerns I had, about using such weapons near the Tholians or the Romulans,” Erasia offered, not quite satisfied with the answer. These weapons conceivably did not violate any accords and they could give them a fighting chance, though at a terrible cost.

Ottah shook his head and looked down at his desk. It was the most dejected Erasia had ever seen the man. “I fear that we might never know the answer.”
************************************************** ************
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Old November 10 2013, 08:46 PM   #27
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Well, this is interesting, isn't it? Why didn't this IG get the Alpha weaponry? Or did they and it's just that these guys weren't told about it?

Either way, something's up and I'm sure the answers, should we ever get them, won't be pretty.
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Old November 11 2013, 01:44 AM   #28
DarKush
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

CeJay,

Very good question about why IG-4 wasn't given Alpha Weapons. Or were they?

************************************************** ****************

Main Bridge
USS Empress
Six Days Later…

Captain Erasia shared her first officer’s skepticism, but she plunged ahead anyway. “Kothlis’Ka armada,” she said, her voice clear and strong, “In the furtherance of galactic peace we ask that you alter your course.” She directed Commander Sheppard to transmit an alternate heading and waited calmly for a reply.

Per Commander Rhizzo’s suggestion, the taskforce had formed into a diamond slot formation, which greatly increased the breadth of the thoron shield encapsulating them all. Empress was the lead ship and Ariane brought up with the rear, with the other three in the middle. Erasia could hear its steady thrumming overriding the normal buzz of the main bridge, but not eclipsing the pounding of her heart.

Long-range sensors brought the armada into full view and it felt too close for comfort. The alien armada was vast, with the 15-kilometer seedships dominating the center and protected by attack cruisers and destroyers, each bristling with what were assuredly weapons. However Tan noted that the Kothlis’Ka aesthetic seemed to favor sharp edges and the some of the ships might have looked more aggressive than was their function.

The intercept group was trailing the massive fleet, and was just within communications range. Tan hoped that they weren’t in range of the neutronium ammunition. Flanking the taskforce was the full complement of unmanned warp combat vehicles each ship possessed. Slightly bigger than Type-7 shuttlecraft, each warp vehicle boasted two type-X phasers, 40 quantum torpedoes, and five tricobalt devices.

The warp vehicles filled out the taskforce immeasurably and made Tan feel a tad more confident. She was also mollified that the unmanned vehicles meant fewer casualties.

Heeding Tanaka’s advice and against the knot of distrust in her gut, Tan had placed Commander Rhizzo in charge of operating the warp vehicles. Erasia conceded that the woman’s skills in tactics were enviable.

In the event that Ariane was unable to direct the warp vehicles, Empress would take over command duties. If Empress was impaired, the vehicles’ artificial intelligence fail safes would activate and the vessels would continue the fight without a guiding hand.

Still waiting, Erasia glanced at the Arkarian manning the tactical console. She nodded at the young man and his returning smile was confident. Despite herself, Tan wished that Katrina was at tactical; as did Lt. Moeller without a doubt. Katrina had not been pleased when the captain had broken the news to her that she would she would be joining the Narcissus rescue mission.

Each ship was supplying a senior officer and Commander Sheppard had balked, and Tan felt guilty about thinking of sparing Thav by sending him, and Segen would’ve given Commander Hsiao too many headaches, so she had selected Moeller. The rescue mission would need the best security officer among the taskforce and Tan was certain that that was Lt. Moeller.

The woman had put up a fight, at first, but reluctantly accepted the inevitable. She had hand-picked Lt. Quim to replace her. The man’s demeanor and bearing thus far seemed to be another indication of Katrina’s good judgment.

“No response to our hail,” Commander Sheppard said after an interminable time. “Shall we try again?”

Tan’s two stomachs roiled. She patted them both while smoothing the front of her uniform. “Yes, once more.” She really wanted to resolve this peacefully. “Open a frequency.”

“Frequency open,” Lt. Aarti’s voice was tight, and lacking its usual mirth. Erasia could imagine that the woman wasn’t just thinking about her own life and that her colleagues, but that her entire bond group, including Thav, was aboard the Empress. The quartet had struggled to produce offspring and it was very likely that none of them would get the opportunity.

It would be a profound loss not just to Starfleet but to the Andorian people who were suffering a severe population decline. Each Andorian life was even more precious than before and many Andorians looked on procreation as a patriotic duty.

Tan had had her reservations about Thav and Aarti’s plan to bring the other two members of their group aboard Empress. On some level, her dark imaginings had envisioned them running into something like the Kothlis’Ka. But neither Andorian had listened to her.

Both Eirwen and Neva had been welcome additions to the civilians working and living aboard Empress. The captain hated leading them to their deaths too.

“Kothlis’Ka fleet,” Erasia reined in her flagging hopes and put as much strength into her voice as she could. “The new heading we provided you will help you avoid encroaching into sovereign territories and will decrease the chances of misunderstandings or hostilities.”

“Like the misunderstanding of them blowing the Narcissus to hell,” Sheppard murmured, just loud enough for the captain to hear. She frowned at him.

“Kothlis’Ka armada,” Tan tried again, “While we might be able to accept that a miscommunication resulted in the destruction of our fellow ship the Narcissus. That you were perhaps acting out of self-defense, such comprehension will not be shared by the Tholian Assembly or the Romulan Star Empire.” Her stomachs twisted at how she described the loss of the Narcissus, but Tan was trying to be as diplomatic as possible and to project as much empathy into her voice as she could muster.

As she waited, likely in vain, for a reply, Tan took stock of her crew. All had determined looks on their faces, though she knew them well enough to know how fragile those masks were.

“Ariane is hailing,” Aarti said. “Commander Rhizzo.” Tan sighed.

“Put the commander onscreen,” the captain ordered.

“Captain I think we’ve gotten our answer,” the Zakdorn said. “I suggest we send our first wave of warp vehicles to hammer home our resolve.”

Erasia glanced at Sheppard. The dark-skinned human nodded in agreement. The captain sighed again.

“All right,” she relented and gave the fateful order. “Commander Rhizzo, prepare the first wave. I only want them to shoot off the bows of the rear Kothlis’Ka vessels; phasers at low-yield.”

“Aye sir,” Rhizzo’s grin was smug. The Zakdorn was going to get the war she wanted; Gods help them all.

“Captain!” Quim nearly shouted, drawing everyone’s attention, even Rhizzo’s.

“What is it Lieutenant?” Tan asked, her stomachs knotting with fear of Kothlis’Ka incoming.

“Long-range sensors are detecting new vessels, lots of them,” the Arkanian said, a mix of confusion and relief on his face, “and they are heading on an attack vector toward the Kothlis’Ka armada!”
************************************************** ************
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Old November 11 2013, 06:00 AM   #29
Gibraltar
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Geez, someone else wants to crash this horrific party?
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Old November 12 2013, 02:55 AM   #30
DarKush
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Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

Gibraltar,

You'll find out who in this passage.

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Main Bridge
USS Shuttlesworth

“My gods,” Captain Ottah muttered, his body trembling as ship’s sensors brought the attacking ships into view. A flotilla of venomous green dagger-like ships cut through space toward the Kothlis’Ka.

“What is it Captain?” Lt. Commander M’Reah asked, perched on the edge of her seat. The perceptive Caitian next asked, “You know whose ships those are?”

“It’s something that I could never forget,” Ottah replied, more to himself than his first officer.

“Who are they?” M’Reah asked after a respectful few moments. The question finally pried the Edoan’s eyes from the screen.

“The Chakuun,” Ottah coldly answered. “The shock troops of the Tholian Assembly,” he added.

“I thought they were a myth,” Lt. Zaiden interjected.

“No, they are very real,” Ottah shook his head and tsked. “What are they teaching at the Academy these days?”

Zaiden was at loss for words. M’Reah threw the man a preserver. “Captain Ottah saw action against the Tholians during their expansionist programs.”

“That was over a century ago,” the Acamarian security officer replied in wonderment.

“My climb up the ladder was a tad slow,” Ottah gave a quick smile before his expression clouded. “I was a yeoman aboard the Carpenter at the time. We were one of the first ships to respond to the Tholian attack on the New Milan colony. We didn’t get there in time,” he paused, and lowered his head, the failure still stinging.

“We couldn’t do much to protect the colony but my captain was determined to make the Tholians pay. She ordered our ship on a pursuit course.”

“Like many aboard the ship, I was livid and wanted payback cloaked in the guise of justice as well,” Ottah admitted. “We thundered after the Tholians, but what we found instead were the Chakuun…and their ghost ships.” He pointed at the main viewer. “It looks like the design hasn’t changed in over a hundred years.”

“What happened sir, when you faced them?” The eager Junior Lieutenant Calder couldn’t help but interject.

Ottah shook his head again and looked sadly at the bright-eyed redhead. “The Carpenter was lost, destroyed by the ghost ships and their fusion casters. Captain Lawton was one of the casualties.” Shocked gasps and deepened, contemplative silence followed Ottah’s revelation.

“My grasp on history might be a little shaky, but I do remember ships, and Carpenter was a Constitution,” Zaiden said. “It would take quite a lot to destroy one of the Connies.”

“You are correct Mr. Zaiden,” Ottah said, “and the Chakuun armaments were more than adequate.”

“I wonder how they will fare against the Kothlis’Ka?” M’Reah asked the question everyone had to be thinking.

“I have no doubt the Chakuun will soon put on a demonstration,” Ottah stated.
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