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Old January 14 2011, 09:40 PM   #1
goofy
Lieutenant
 
[Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"




"Star Trek: Bastille"
"Something This Way Comes"

(Part 1)

JANUARY CHALLENGE
"DOWN, BUT NOT OUT"

Old
Calendar Date:
11:59 AM
12 May 2380

Stardate:
57968.38

Location:
Two and a half days at warp six from Idran In The Gamma Quadrant.

Assignment:
Convoy Escort & Planetary Survey

The Bastille, a refurbished (museum fleet) Oberth-Class with some Nova-Class level upgrades glid quietly alongside the task force watching for signs of life-sustaining worlds or detection by potential hostiles. The rest of the task force were half a sector off to the Bastille's starboard, incrementally creeping along as (Hec'tar Syndicate) Klingons, Orions, Nausicaan Mercs, two Ferengii vessels, and others had emerged from hiding and begun testing Starfleet's readiness.

Lieutenant Sa'reil almost missed the Jem Hadar. The 42 year old Andorian desperately needed shore leave. Her Acting Executive Officer made her uncomfortable. He was a sweet kid but what the hell was Starfleet Command thinking?

Lieutenant (junior grade) Sam Clemmens - ambitious, attractive, and intelligent. But, the signals she wasn't entirely sure he was consciously aware he was projecting (or that she was picking-up on,) made her squirm. Human, 35 years old, transfer from Starfleet Diplomatic Corps to Command, Light Brown Hair, Blue-Green Eyes, 130 lbs., Average to lean build, tight ass, and wearing a Bajoran earring.

Ensign Maray, the Bastille's 28 year old Cardassian exchange officer at helm gave her an uncertain kind of look. The rest of the time, Maray kept her sights set on their X.O. like a housecat stalking a robin.

Their Chief Medical Officer, a rubanesque redhead with a mischevious twinkle in her eye just smiled, traded a look with the Captain to her left, kept her mouth shut and went back to concentrating on the game she was playing on her PADD. Doctor Madeline Crow - 43 years old, never married, two children (Jacob and Emma, both now 15 years old), 5'11", 145 lbs., Strawberry Blond, voluptuous with blue-ish green eyes with gold flecks.

Their Tactical Officer, Sub-Commander Berant, a Klingon/Romulan from Chal. He's (approximately) 80 years old, 6 feet tall, dark black hair tied back in a ponytail with just-beginning to-be-visible silver highlights, no family and prefers it that way. A former V'Shar Security Advisor to the late Ambassador Spock's office, now the Bastille's Security Chief/Tactical Officer.

The Task Force had almost lost one of the two Defiants, stowed/launched from the Tripoli's specially-reconfigured aft shuttlebays: the Kenya and the Geneva. The Kenya had been attacked by a wall of heavily-armed drones tracking its warp signature. The Kenya's proximity to a formerly Dominion-held area set-off a Founder booby-trap in case anyone in that sector tried to leave, broadcast an S.O.S. or otherwise interfere.

The Tripoli was a mammoth Excalibur-Class 'walking starbase' with a Nebula-type module on its back. A quadruplet set of Pandora-Class freighters stuck close to its' Java-Class container ship partners and didn't make any unnecessary noise.

The Task Force had lucked out and met a few traders willing to initiate talks between the Federation's own merchant scouts and Gamma Quadrant "townies". There were several candidate-planets on the order of business for resettlement, or, possible (in-future) trading base construction. Most of these worlds were inhabited, some even warp-capable. Often the traders were suspicious and hesitated to come anywhere near the Tripoli, so the Bastille often became the convoy's liaison ship.

The Bastille's bridge was a slightly bastardization of the Enterprise-D and Defiant. A copy of the Enterprise-A's Captain's Chair for the C.O. and each of his main officers, with over-ride access consoles for all three. Split consoles, one for Engineering and the other for Tactical situated as standing positions located immediately behind the Captain. Auxiliary over-ride access stations (including Science and Environmental) located all around the edge of the cozy bridge approaching the head, ready room, conference room, and turbolifts.

Another request by the Bastille's re-designers was a multi-purpose "pool-table" located in the conference room in place of the old-school standard cramped table and chairs surrounding it.


Last edited by goofy; January 14 2011 at 11:20 PM.
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Old January 16 2011, 04:25 AM   #2
goofy
Lieutenant
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

"Commander Berant - anything?"

His fingers played over the console, which made an elongated warble as the digital arc of the ship's sensors reached toward its' limit and stopped with a brief blip.

"Nothing."

"Talkative, isn't he?" Lieutenant Sa'reil arched her brow toward Doctor Crow, whom put her PADD down momentarily.

"Don't take it personally. For him, that was him rambling on like a nervous twelve year old on his first date."

"Personal experience you'd care to share, Doctor?"

"I was brought up on a Constellation-Class starship, the U.S.S. Ha'nyrat, and we'd met our share of Klingons. Berant isn't ignoring you. Trust me, you'll know if he's uninterested. They tend to play their cards close to the chest, Matnya. Relax, you're doing fine."

"Thank you, Doctor."

-----------------------------------------

S.S. California
Java-Class Freighter
NFT 21773


The rakish figure of the Freighter's Captain strode back to the replicator for a sandwich and soft drink. He was half way back to his chair when proximity sensors dropped lights to be replaced by red alert status lights and klaxons screaming throughout the vessel. Their inactive dorsal-side nacelle went dim as it was ripped clear of the hull by one of three (previously cloaked) Cardassian ships firing on the convoy, preventing them from running back under the Tripoli's shields.

"F--- me blind! Where the f--- did these guys come from? I thought the Bastille was watching our asses!"

A Tellarite lept up from the Master Situation Display along the port side of the bridge.

"Hull plating down to 42%! Engineers to Habitat Decks A and B, we're venting air! Fighters away Motherf---ing yesturday!!"

Two small craft shot out from the cargobay along the California command module's scalp and began pelting the Keldon-Class vessel's bridge and nacelles, meeting up with two more of its sister-fighters from a maintenance compartment further back. One got in a lucky shot, causing a pinhole of smoldering damage near a docking collar. The Tripoli awoke, banked to port and its impulse exaust flared to life. The rest of the merchant vessels joined the fray, despite repeated demands to get the hell back.
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Old January 16 2011, 09:17 PM   #3
DarKush
Rear Admiral
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

Interesting opening. You have a good grasp of your crew as well as an intriguing set up, though to be honest, I felt there was a bit more telling than showing in the first part of your story. Things started clicking better for me with the second part.
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Old January 17 2011, 06:17 AM   #4
goofy
Lieutenant
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

DarKush:

Yeah, i wanted to begin things off by painting a picture of a uncontemporary science vessel crew that were sent out, less groomed to be explorers but more to give in to the FNS' required hero worship of Starfleet personnel, attempting to re-warm the Federation to TOS-era nostalgia.

The odds are 50-50 they'll end up dead in the Gamma Quadrant, and in the event one or more of them wind-up coming back alive, they'll look good posing for the cover of a holo-arcade / 2380-era newstand equivalent of "Ms." magazine.

Or some other magazine aimed at young women/young adults.

I'm thinking of adding more to the FNS angle later.

You've got the un-apologetically assertive, yet soft-hearted, brassy/sexy Chief Medical Officer, (whom I'm hoping you'll be mentally picturing as Canadian Actress Sara Rue.) That's who i was picturing as I was writing her character.

http://www.sara-rue.com/images/sr/SaraRue00019.jpg

You've got the fish-out-of-water Andorian C.O. that would've otherwise ended-up running around with travel itineraries on PADD's as a Presidential or otherwise politicians' intern on Earth. As far as her superiors are concerned, her position as Acting Captain of the Bastille makes her little better than being in-charge of a Danube-Class runabout.

You've got Berant, the grunting cuestick-up-his-ass Worf-wannabe that's just hoping to surf things out extremely quietly until the next job (hopefully on Quo'nos, Earth, Luna, or Chal).

Ensign Maray, the emotionally-immature Cardassian pilot.

Lieutenant (J.G.) Samuel Clemmens, reliable-but-bland. Competant X.O., well-meaning but a tad under-seasoned. The "good/nice guy" every girl brings home to mom to get her to like him and otherwise get mom off their back about something in their life.

(yes, I just saw "Because I Said So" with Diane Keaton twice in re-runs this weekend on TV.)

Last edited by goofy; January 17 2011 at 06:49 AM.
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Old January 17 2011, 08:16 AM   #5
Gul Re'jal
Commodore
 
Gul Re'jal's Avatar
 
Location: Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space station
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

The narration of the first part for some reason reminded me of a live coverage of a football game--who's on the field, a few words about them and what they are currently doing.

And then we get to the action part
__________________
In a Cardassian library or in a Cardassian gallery?

"Reagan, it appears, is really only an ardent unionist if the unions in question are in Poland" - Stephen King, Skeleton Crew
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Old January 18 2011, 10:25 PM   #6
goofy
Lieutenant
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

Re'jal:

I'm glad I've pleased you with my writing style thus-far.

--------------------------------------------------------------


U.S.S. Tripoli
(Seattle-Class Cruiser)
NCC 81149

Captain L'ret was enjoying lunch in Ten Forward as the call came in about the Cardassian battlegroup decloaking, approaching and firing on the Merchant Scouts. The octogenarian Tellarite slammed down the bacon double cheeseburger, looked irate at the bartender and slipped off his chair.

"F--king spoonheads, I knew this couldn't last."

The bartender, a slight female Twi'lek curled her eyebrow slightly and cleared his lunch. "I'll have your lunch brought to your Ready Room for you to finish later if you'd like, sir."

A nod and slight chagrined smile told her to pack it for transport to the bridge, packing it in a styrofoam container with his fries.

"L'ret to bridge. Launch fighters and med-evac shuttles...prepare sickbay for casualties."

"Commander Mayfield here, sir. I'm all over it, sir. We're holding back the Med-Evac shuttles for now. We're chest-deep in the shit, sir!"

"Where's Fraggit?"

"He's below decks, on his way. Today, he's supposed to visit with the kids in the kindergarten class."

"Right. Okay. Thank you."

---------------------------------



The Bastille had problems of its own. The Cardassians were trying to board them, capture prisoners, beam-off everything in their cargo hold and forcibly download their files. They'd lost five of their crew-persons to cardassian phaser-rifles dissolving them in screaming puffs of ash. These guys didn't want to leave witnesses and they weren't interested in diplomacy.

There were six Hideki-Class fighter-escorts in a circle around the Bastille, in addition to one above at the twelve o'clock position and one below at their six o'clock position.

This reeked of a set-up.

As Sa'Reil was led from the bridge to the Ready Room to negotiate a surrender by sinewy starving-looking young men, Sa'Reil found Dr. Crow in her seat.

"What the fuck's the meaning of this, Doctor? I demand an.."

Doctor Crow lost shape, glistening as a yellowed syrupy consistency, began flowing off the chair, along the floor, beneath the desk, before the gooey mass surged vertically and pulled itself together into a recognizable figure and re-solidified as a Founder.

"Hello, Captain. I do apologize for the inconvenience of our uncontemporary, if not, rather abrupt arrival but I'm inviting you and your crew to avail themselves of the hospitality of The Dominion."

'Emaciated Cardassians, souped-up weapons with no stun settings, no Vorta presence. This was unusual. Possibly an unauthorized action by a rogue faction?' she wondered, studying body language, among other unspoken details. No ketracel white vials or other visible means of discipline or punishment, and no Jem Hadar.

The scarcely recognizable Cardassians moaned the Jem Hadar's motto: Life is victory, victory is life.

Sa'reil loosened her stance, waited for the right moment and elbowed the zombie-like emaciated Cardassian holding her in the solar plexus, slammed her heel into the side of his knee and elbowed him in the face. With an understandable yowl, the footsoldier went down holding his now torn leg puncturing his shin. The same shin now profusely bleeding all over the deck.

She tried to punch the Founder in the face. When that didn't do anything, she grabbed the disruptor from the doubled-over Cardassian's holster and shot three of them, (more or less) missed the Founder whom simply recovered from the disruptor hole in her midriff. The others just looking stupidly at one another, drawing small knives from their sheaths and stumbling over each other trying to get around or over the Captain's desk.

Sa'reil bolted out the door, and across the bridge. The fourth, fifth and sixth in the team managed to get out the door behind her. The firefight took care of the majority of the Cardassian reinforcements pouring off the turbolift from the transporter pad below-decks.

When they smartened-up enough to realize the disruptors were working against them, in midst of hand to hand combat, small creatures crawled out of the bodies of the dead with broken necks and skittered across the floor, concealing themselves behind furniture.

Last edited by goofy; January 19 2011 at 02:01 AM.
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Old January 22 2011, 07:53 AM   #7
goofy
Lieutenant
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

no comments? ideas? anything?

======================



U.S.S. Juneau
NCC 64111
Frontier-Class
Tactical Cruiser

"Frankenstein Fleet, Unit 22"
('Task Force: China')

Stardate:
57966.35

Old
Calendar Date:
1812 Hours
11 May 2380

Location
:
Badlands

Captain Luigi Nagra watched over the shoulder of his youngest, more inexperienced officers at Helm/Flight Control. Starfleet Intelligence had sent them out to keep watch over The Badlands, to observe and discourage anyone from trying to move into the hollowed-out asteroids once occupied by the Maquis. His antagonistic command style made his more unseasoned officers nervous and was more than likely why he'd been shuffled out of the mainstream deck of preferred assignments. Cherry-picked assignments near Risa, Ferenginar, and the home-guard around Luna or the casino stations around the Deltan homeworld.

His command was a joke. Left behind with the gear, more or less. Most of his time was spent kissing the ass of the most recently-popular Vedek or Colonel Kira, if not chewing the fat with her apologist Starfleet Intelligence counterpart Elias Vaughn.

Thus far, there had been a few routine attempts by Tzinkethi/Orion/Klingon mercs to use the plasma storms throughout the Badlands to double-back and otherwise confuse Federation border-cutters' sensors.

The utilitarian, few-and-far-between Cardassian participants summarily blew-up privateer ships if they didn't self-destruct upon being detected or hailed. Or, the Juneau didn't get to them first, attempting to mediate an agreement with the Gul of the lead ship to take prisoners (and hopefully interrogate a few.)

Luckily, the latest round of arrests yielded an interesting find. During routine boarding of suspicious vessels, offering crew-persons palatable food and access to doctors or just some clean clothes, (often in exchange for dubious testimony,) the field techs found something interesting.

After unsecuring crates from netting and listing the contents of the ships' holds, looking for further evidence, a young ensign found crates of a strange scorpion-like being.


Last edited by goofy; January 22 2011 at 08:10 AM.
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Old January 22 2011, 07:37 PM   #8
DarKush
Rear Admiral
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

You got a lot of moving parts here. Please don't be offended, but I would suggest that you take just one of these plots and use it for the basis of your challenge. Even with a 7,000 word limit I don't see how you can do justice to all the crews and situations you've presented so far.

You continue to create some interesting personnel and I do like the inclusion of the images. With a little pruning you've got the makings of a kickass story here, perhaps a prequel or prologue to a larger story incorporating all of the elements you've introduced.
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Old January 24 2011, 07:47 PM   #9
goofy
Lieutenant
 
Re: [Jan. '11 Chal.] "Something This Way Comes"

Darkush: Thank you for your input/insights. I was hoping to write a 'complicated, chunky' storyline as I really hate uber-mary-sue stories where the 3 person crew of a runabout can get the best of an entire Borg cube (or three or four,) and get away relatively unscathed. Plus, try to write a story that conveys that the Dominion never really left, they just haven't been as obvious about being here as the last time.

-------------------------------------------------------

S.S. California
Java-Class Freighter
NFT 21773



Darren Mulcahey was watching his ship burn around him. His wife, Miranda - the California's Chief Medical Officer - was crumpled over bawling her eyes out in the Tripoli's sickbay watching their daughter's eyes doing the thousand-yard-stare of death.

Gail and Teresa had been trying to delegate responsibilities: get basic defenses back online, contain the damage enough to get their children and pets to the escape pods, get everyone left alive aboard their one large multipurpose shuttle and try to scream for help.

A Cardassian placed his hand over Teresa's mouth from behind, stabbed her through the back, twisted and withdrew the knife as it pierced her heart, ripping it to to shreds like the blades of a blender.

Gail saw Teresa slump to the floor, a bloody mess, and jumped on her attacker. He rammed back against the wall, winding her enough that she let go. He turned and stabbed Gail in the her six-and-a-half-month pregnant stomach and punched her in the head before continuing on with the objective of his presence. A Starfleet security team found them and beamed them back to the Tripoli.

Gail would survive, but only just survive the attack.

Their sons and their one uncle (Jason, Marc and Doug,) were killed in action trying to annoy the Keldon's enough to buy the other freighters sufficient moments to scoop the California's casualties from the escape pods or right off the transporter pads, if need be.

Darren watched from the remaining shuttle as the California was purposely set adrift. Nudged by the other freighters via their tractor beams, to specifically tumble right into the path of the nearest available Keldon-Class cruisers. Darren and his workers had removed the safeties and set a timer on the mining and construction charges in their hold reserved for a planned colony, nearly blowing himself up in the process. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the about-to-be-destroyed-ship by one of the cargo handlers.



He bellowed until his voice was raw as the California's destruction blew a nacelle fin off one of the three Cardassian ships. The Tripoli followed-through with phasers and torpedos, effectively finishing it off. The other Federation ships were well into a retreat toward Idran by the time Darren awoke in the Tripoli's sickbay, restrained by forcefields.










Last edited by goofy; January 24 2011 at 08:31 PM.
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