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Old May 6 2012, 11:19 PM   #31
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

CeJay,

I'm slowly getting caught up but thoroughly enjoyed the first two chapters. Great writing and an awesome start that hints at ominous things to come.

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Old May 7 2012, 10:00 AM   #32
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Well, Amaya has a lot of personnel issues right out of the starting gate, reminds me of my manager days. Overall, I think she's handling things well, but I can't help to wonder how these issues will evolve. Is this crew going to grow closer or become more dysfunctional?

Oh, umm...I need to go back and read the beginning again. The captain has a large 300 pound pet predator in her ready room?

Wow.

Great as always, CeJay!
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Old May 7 2012, 09:47 PM   #33
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Galen4 wrote: View Post
Oh, umm...I need to go back and read the beginning again. The captain has a large 300 pound pet predator in her ready room?
I'd love to see a Targ as a pet.
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Old May 7 2012, 10:40 PM   #34
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Geez, she is so...anal. Quick, someone get the stick out of her ass.

Hopefully Texx can help out.
Gibraltar wrote: View Post
Yeah, Allenby’s got issues, but she also has a valid point. The regular academy hijinks aren’t going to fly out here in the real Starfleet, and DeSoto’s got to learn to grow up.

Amaya’s hard-earned diplomacy skills are serving her well, though I think Daystrom put too quick a shine on his upward mood swing. The young man’s got legacy issues, and he’s going to have to work through them over time.

Wonderful character building going on here, Cejay… keep it coming!
Kinda makes you wonder if Maya is having second thoughts about not choosing her own crew by now, huh?


TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
CeJay,

I'm slowly getting caught up but thoroughly enjoyed the first two chapters. Great writing and an awesome start that hints at ominous things to come.

Always greatly enjoy your comments so I'm glad you're getting a chance catch up with this story. Certainly looking forward to your insights.

Galen4 wrote: View Post
Well, Amaya has a lot of personnel issues right out of the starting gate, reminds me of my manager days. Overall, I think she's handling things well, but I can't help to wonder how these issues will evolve. Is this crew going to grow closer or become more dysfunctional?

Oh, umm...I need to go back and read the beginning again. The captain has a large 300 pound pet predator in her ready room?

Wow.

Great as always, CeJay!
No to worry, you didn't miss anything. Cosmo was introduced in the short story A Star to Steer Her By, but this was his first appearance in this story.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.
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Old May 8 2012, 12:30 PM   #35
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

There's some great characterisation here. The crew all come across as real people with real issues.

And as pets go, a le-matya sounds more interesting than a beagle. Or a lionfish!
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Old May 9 2012, 06:39 PM   #36
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Lexington, 2267


Bob Wesley possessed the kind of steely, focused gaze that had led some on Lexington to believe that he was somehow able to pierce right through the dark void of space on the view screen and determine what lay ahead for him and his crew long before the ship’s sensors were able to pick up on it. The more rational minded officers on the bridge attributed this seemingly uncanny ability to his long experience as a starship commander instead of on any kind of supernatural senses.

And it was exactly that kind of gaze with which he appraised the viewer at the moment. Leaning slightly forward in his high-backed captain’s chair, his elbow resting on the armrest and his hand holding his chin with his eyes seemingly in total focus.

“Ms. Bathory, lower our speed to warp factor four,” he said with no apparent impetus other than perhaps a captain’s intuition.

The young ensign at the helm reacted quickly. “Slowing down to warp factor four,” she said and manipulated her board to decelerate the six hundred thousand metric ton Constitution-class starship. Not a moment later the deck plates began to hum slightly as the ship slowed.

Ketteract uttered a not so subtle moan at Wesley’s decision to put on the brakes. As far as he was concerned it was yet another unnecessary delay to getting him closer to perhaps one of the most significant scientific discovery of the decade.

Kuznetsov, who had more than earned himself the nickname the Bear over his Starfleet career shot the impatient scientist a stern look, letting him know that his input was neither required nor appreciated. Then he turned towards the science console. “Commander, what do we know about this sector of space?”

Having expected this line of inquiry ever since they had started out on their present course, the Andorian science officer was well prepared. “Beyond Starbase 10, the Gamma Hydra sector is very sparsely populated. There are a limited number of class-M planets in the region and the vicinity to the Romulan Neutral Zone is not exactly a driver for colonization. It is also the home of GRS 2127-341, a former star system containing one of the largest known black holes in the quadrant,” she said and pressed a number of buttons, activating one of her overheard screens to display an angry mass of pitch blackness, perfectly spherical it absorbed every ray of light that came in contact with it. The effect was so complete, it appeared as if somebody had ripped a piece right out of the cosmos. “The Iota Crucis system, our destination, is less than one light year from GRS 2127-341 which means we may soon be exposed to its gravitational effects.”

The Bear looked at the dark mass on the screen with a concerned look. “What kind of effects are we talking about here exactly?”

“Our ride might become a little bumpy but otherwise we should be fine,” she said.

“Deflectors to full,” Wesley ordered.

“Aye, deflectors to full,” Lawford said. “I am now reading disturbances in subspace directly within our flight path.”

The science officer checked her sensors and her face quickly turned into a frown before she began to shake her head. “Something isn’t right, this doesn’t look like –“

And then Lexington hit a sandbank.

Or at least that was what it felt like for the crew as the bridge suddenly pitched forward without warning. It wasn’t quite as bad as the shockwave hours earlier but it was enough to nearly throw the unprepared Ketteract over the railing and force everyone else to hold on for dear life.

“Bozhe moi!” the first officer swore after the deck had righted itself once more and then shot the science officer a dark look. “A little more bumpy? Are you serious?”

“Somebody … somebody needs to install seatbelts on the bridge,” Ketteract moaned as he picked himself up from the floor, his face looked pale as if he was about to get sick again.

Zha’Thara was back at her station in a flash. “This is not gravitational disturbance caused by the black hole,” she said. “This is …” she didn’t appear to have immediate words for it.

Wesley focused in on his helmswoman and navigator who needed a second longer to get back into their seats. “Status?”

“Whatever we just hit,” said Bathory. “It threw us clean out of warp. If we had hit this thing at full speed and without deflectors ...”

“They’d scrub us off the bulkheads,” finished Lawford for her and gave her a knowing look before he turned to face the commodore, wordlessly thanking him for his foresight.

Wesley toggled the armrest imbedded communicator. “Bridge to engineering. Damage report.”

“What in the name of all the harlots in Orion’s Belt are you people doing up there? If you are so determined to destroy my engines, why don’t you come down here and shred them to pieces with a phaser. It would get ya the same results.”

“I assure you Commander, we’re not trying to destroy your engines on purpose. Now take a deep breath and tell me how things look down there,” said Wesley, having long since gotten used to the unique Tellarite temperament, he had expected this kind of outburst and took it in stride.

The momentarily silence over the channel gave proof that Wesley’s words had been taken to heart. “We got some blown conduits and a minor coolant leak down here from the sudden stress you put on my engines. If you had a complete imbecile as a chief engineer you’d probably look at a warp core breach within the next few minutes. Fortunately for you I know what I’m doing. Jury still out on the rest of my people though,” he said and then followed this up with a few choice shouts directed at an unlucky engineer who apparently wasn’t moving as fast as he would have liked.

“Sounds to me like you’ve got a handle on your people just fine. When can I get engines back?”

“If you stop wasting my time with pointless chitchat, I’d say within forty-five minutes.”

“Consider our chitchat stopped. Wesley out,” he said and closed the channel.

“Sir, even once we get engines back, I don’t think we can risk going any faster than warp factor three. Maybe three point four but any faster and we might see a repeat of what just happened,” the navigator explained.

The commodore nodded. “And I certainly don’t need G’arv to yell at me twice in one day. We’ll take it slow,” he said and swiveled around towards Zha’Thara. “So if this wasn’t gravitational disturbances from the black hole, what exactly did we hit?”

The Andorian took a step towards the railing. “The best I can tell is that the entire area of subspace around us has been severely damaged. The energy readings I’m getting are similar to what we registered when we were hit by that shockwave.”

“You say the shockwave did this?” the Bear asked.

“I can’t tell for certain but we have to assume it is connected.”

This piqued Ketteract’s interest who quickly attended the science station to help himself to the sensor read-outs uninvited. “This is amazing,” he said, mostly to himself as he peered through the sensor hood. “This is truly amazing. The energy levels required to cause such a corruption to subspace would be nearly immeasurable.”

Wesley ignored the scientist and focused on the Andorian instead who appeared at least mildly peeved at the man hijacking her instruments. “Commander, do we still believe that the shockwave originated from the Iota Crucis system?”

“Without doubt, sir. And from what I can tell the subspace damage practically surrounds that system. Whatever caused it, it came from there.”
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Old May 14 2012, 08:46 PM   #37
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Aha! Back to the Lexington. Good, I had been wondering what had happened to them. And angry Tellarites always make for entertaining reading. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops.
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Old May 16 2012, 05:24 PM   #38
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Yeah, Lexington is still around and we will be checking in with them on a regular basis to get a bit of historical context.

Thanks for reading and commenting. *Airline pilot voice* Uh, we appreciate that in today's competitive fan-fic market you always have a choice. Uh, thanks for making The God Particle your fan fic of choice today, uh, and we hope to welcome you aboard again soon.
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Old May 19 2012, 01:58 PM   #39
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Agamemnon, 2372


Master Chief Shane Holladay stepped up to her ready room just as Amaya Donners was leaving.

“You wished to speak with me, Captain?” he said, forgoing addressing her as ‘ma’am’ as would have been customary for a noncom addressing a female commanding officer. However Maya had made it clear to the ship’s senior NCO and quartermaster that she didn’t care for that from of address and the middle-aged Master Chief had quickly adapted.

“Chief Holly,” she said, using his preferred nickname and sounding slightly surprised at seeing him until she recalled the appointment she’d made with him earlier. “Of course, I apologize I did ask to meet with you today but it must have slipped my mind.”

He shot her a good-natured smile. “Understandable. I’m sure you have much on your plate. Shall we re-arrange?”

She quickly shook her head. “You mind if we walk and chat instead?”

“It’s my favorite way to chat, Captain. It’s effective and keeps you in shape.”

She smirked but doubted he needed the exercise, judging by his trim and muscular build which was quite impressive for his age. Maya headed for the turbolift and Holly fell into step beside her.

“Deck two, section eight,” she said and the lift set in motion.

Amaya considered Holladay for a moment. His skin was far darker than hers and his white hair and sharply cut beard were about the only physical hints that he had long since passed his 50th birthday. It also demonstrated to her that vanity was not one of his concerns which she thought to be refreshing. “I know we haven’t had much of a chance to talk,” she said as she faced him inside the lift.

“I didn’t expect you to. I have served with a number of rookie captains and their first few weeks on the job are usually the most hectic.”

“No kidding. How am I doing so far?”

He aimed an almost grandfatherly look at her. “You want my honest opinion?”

“I wouldn’t ask otherwise.”

He nodded. “You’ve been throwing yourself into work, which I think is a good thing for any officer. Most captains I’ve met, even those just starting out, prefer to delegate much of what you’ve been doing. I’m fairly impressed with your attitude but I’m concerned that you might be burning yourself out early on.”

She exhaled. “And here I was thinking you were going to cut me down to size.”

Holly smirked. “Wouldn’t dream of doing that to my captain. Certainly not in her first week.”

The turbolift reached its destination and the doors opened, allowing them both to disembark.

“I appreciate your honesty Holly and that you think I’m doing a good job. And no need to be worried; I have ways to relieve the stress of command. I don’t expect to burn out just yet.”

“If you ever want to take it on the phaser range or need a sparing partner, you just give me a time and a date.”

“I may take you up on that offer someday.”

They reached Donners’ quarters and she stopped in front of the doors to face the Master Chief again.

“My father served his entire life in the Border Service. Started out as a crewman and worked himself all the way up to command his own starship,” she told him. “Do you want to know the first thing he told me when I broke the news to him that I’d been promoted?”

“I would hope that he congratulated you and then cussed you out for accepting what he’d call a cushy fleet assignment instead of doing some real work as a Border Dog.”

The captain gave him an astonished look.

“I’ve done some tours over there myself, so I know how they like to think. And they’re not wrong, you know. They really do some mighty fine work which often goes underappreciated by the rest of the fleet,” he said.

“I need to introduce you to my dad. You two would get along famously. What made you decide to join the Regular Fleet?”

He considered her for a moment before responding. “I’m getting to old to wrestle with Orion thugs on a daily basis. I thought I deserved a cushy assignment myself for my last years of service.”

The twinkle in his eyes gave him away and Maya smiled. “Just for saying that I’m going to make sure you’ll be the busiest man on this ship.”

Holly nodded in response and she quickly understood that he wasn’t unaccustomed to hard work and probably even thrived on it. Maya was convinced that he was a long way off those retirement plans he had been hinting at.

“After my parents cussed me out, as you so well put it,” she continued her earlier train of thought, “they both imparted me with an important lesson about running a starship. ‘Make sure you treat your NCOs right’, they told me, ‘and have them whip your green officers into shape.’”

“Smartest damned thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Good. Because I expect you to help me mold this crew. Officers and crewmen alike. Many of them are young and inexperienced and on their first deep space mission. Some may have come to expect this to be a cushy assignment on their quest for fame and adventure. I’m giving you full authority to readjust those preconceptions. Make them work as hard as Border Dogs. Hell, harder if you can coax it out of them.”

The veteran Master Chief’s lips curled up into a devious little smile. “I think I’m going to like it here,” he said. “There’s nothing like a good challenge to get you out of bed in the morning.”



* * *



“So, first week on the job. How are you settling in?”

Vej, Agamemnon’s Ullian counselor placed a cup of sweet-smelling herbal tea on the coffee table and close to were Amaya Donners had made herself comfortable in one of her plushy lounge chairs, before he sat down in the sofa opposite her.

Vej had been the civilian counselor at Deep Space Five during her entire posting at that station and the two had become close friends over the four years they had known each other. And while a great many Starfleet officers and captains had reservations about opening up to a counselor, Maya had found his advice and support indispensable. It gave her the opportunity to open up to somebody she trusted implicitly with all her thoughts and concerns. Most of the time it wasn’t anything serious and she simply appreciated the sounding board for her own musings. On other occasions his insights helped her to make difficult decisions or overcome troubling thoughts.

Ullians of course were also skilled telepaths but just like physicians, they had a strict code about using their abilities without permission. And Vej took his code very seriously.

“I still have this surreal feeling that this is all just a dream and that I’m about to wake up on DS5 to go back to work as being the station’s first officer,” she said after taking a sip of her drink. “And I don’t mean this in the sense that I cannot believe that I’ve been given my own command. I think it has to do with how things happened and how quickly. How I was Glover’s attaché one morning and the captain of the Agamemnon the next.”

He nodded. “You haven’t had time to catch you breath. To take a step back and let it all sink in.”

“That’s right,” she said. “It’s been nonstop since Glover practically hoaxed me into my captaincy. It’s been like a rollercoaster ride and I’m not complaining. I’m loving it,” she added with a big grin on her face.

Vej responded in kind. “You know the trouble with rollercoaster rides though, right?”

“Wait a minute, they have rollercoasters on Ullius?”

He frowned at that. “How come humans always believe they have a monopoly on having a good time?”

Maya raised her hands defensively. “I guess I’m a human snob.”

“Glad we agree on something.”

“The problem with rollercoaster rides,” she continued, “is that they go up as well as down, I get that. But your analogy doesn’t work. Going down on a rollercoaster is much more fun than going up,” she said and looked at him suspiciously. “Are you sure you’ve been on a rollercoaster before?”

“You got me, alright,” he responded with a sheepish look. “But analogies aside for a moment, there are ups and downs to most things. You are undoubtedly running on a high of excitement at the moment, and that’s good. In fact I’m very happy for you –“

“But you’re worried that once things settle down I’ll crash into some sort of manic depression?” she interrupted.

He scowled. “I’m the counselor here. Leave the psychological buzzwords to me. That’s what I get paid for.”

“Oh boy, if you were hoping for a paycheck did you ever join the wrong ship.”

“What I’m trying to say is that being a starship captain also means carrying a great deal of responsibilities. You have over 500 men and women on this ship looking at you for guidance and leadership and to keep them safe from the doubtlessly numerous dangers we are bound to face out here. I’ve seen how you’ve thrown yourself into work and how you’re attempting to connect with your crew on a very personal level. But you will have to be prepared to make the hard choices down the line even if that means that somebody you care about could get hurt.”

She considered that for a moment, taking another sip of tea and then made eye contact with Vej again. “Did anybody ever tell you that you are a regular downer? I bet you don’t get many party invites.”

“For your information,” he said. “I’m considered to be the enfant terrible at the annual psychologist’s convention.”

“Is that like being the coroner at the morgue?” she said with a smirk.

He aimed a displeased look at her.

“You’re not telling me anything I haven’t already considered,” she said in a more serious tone. “I’ve done my Kobayashi Maru no-win scenario at the Academy and I’ve sent people I knew and respected to their deaths in holographic simulations.”

“Simulation beings the operative word there.”

She sighed. “So what? You want me to keep my distance from my crew because I may have to doom anyone of them at a moment’s notice, is that your advice? You want me to become one of those sourpuss captains that made me want to pull out my own hair while I was on DS5?”

He quickly shook his head. “No, not at all. In fact I tend to like your command style and I wouldn’t want you to change anything about it. It is who you are. But I also want to make you aware of the responsibility which now rests solely on your shoulders. I want you to be able to deal with a difficult situation when it sneaks up on you from seemingly out of the blue without it leaving you paralyzed.”

“Jeez, thanks for your vote of confidence in my abilities.”

“You know that’s not what I meant.”

She glanced out of the windows of her quarters and at the white streaks of the stars caused by the distortion of the warp bubble surrounding the ship. “I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t been nagging at me. Intellectually I know that I’m ready for my own command. That I can handle it and that Starfleet was right to trust me with this awesome responsibility,” she said and looked at him. “But there is that tiny little voice in the back of my mind that wants to doubt all the evidence to the contrary and yell at me that I have no business being in that chair.”

“Congratulations,” he said, causing her to give him a somewhat perplexed look. “You are human.”

“Why does that almost sound like an insult coming from your lips?”

He shrugged and gave her a playful grin.
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Old May 19 2012, 07:17 PM   #40
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

You certainly can't say Amaya doesn't have a solid support system aboard the ship. A trusted confidant and a top-notch chief of the boat are nothing to sneeze at.

Excellent character moments here, proving once again that Amaya has a good head on her shoulders and has more than earned this command.
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Old May 20 2012, 11:22 PM   #41
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Well it's good to see the Captain has some people on-board the ship she can rely upon! Everyone has so much emotional baggage It'll take a miracle to get them to work together.

Well written as usual, with a sense of real character and back story. Good stuff.
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Old May 23 2012, 06:26 PM   #42
CeJay
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Agamemnon, 2372


During his sixteen year Starfleet career Arden Texx had come across a great many fellow officers who had cared little for his relaxed outlook on life and duty. In fact many had doubted that his attitude would serve him well and that he would ever achieve much of anything in his career, that he would even make it past lieutenant someday.

What these people failed to realize however was that regardless of his seemingly laid back attitude, Texx took his duty very seriously. What they didn’t know was that while he was out having fun during the day, joking around and seemingly letting nothing bother him on the outside, he worked twice as hard during the night, studying for tests and reading up on much more than the required texts.

It was a work ethic he had inherited from a large Bolian family in which very little was disallowed or off limits as long as you studied hard and brought home good grades.

He had put his doubters in their place when he had made Lieutenant Commander and was assigned as Agememnon’s first officer at just 34, knowing full well that the brass at Starfleet Command tended to look at an officer’s record and accomplishments and care a lot less about their personality.

“So let me get this straight,” said Texx, casually leaning against a bridge aft-station as he watched First Lieutenant Beatiar sh’Fane working at tactical. “In order to get one over on our prickly chief of security you have pulled strings behind his back to switch gamma shift with the duty officer so you can brush up on your tactical operations skills.”

The Andorian shot the man a displeased look. “I am not attempting to ‘get-one-over’ on anybody,” she said sharply. “It is part of my mission on this ship to familiarize myself with all tactical and security systems in case my team or I are required to assist during an emergency.”

“Right,” he said and then stepped up to the tactical station and next to her. “It just so happens that Lure isn’t aware that you are playing at his station tonight.”

She took a deep breath. “Marines don’t play, sir.”

“They just take over somebody else’s station without permission.”

Sh’Fane took a step back from the console and stood at attention. “I wasn’t aware I required permission, sir. If you wish me to cease my efforts I will do so at once.”

“Whoa, easy there, Beat. Didn’t mean to stop your efforts.”

“Lieutenant.”

“Beg your pardon?”

She gave him a sidelong glance. “I would prefer if you addressed me as Lieutenant. Or First Lieutenant if you wish to be precise.”

“I kinda like Be-a-tiar, it’s a really pretty name,” he said with a smirk.

She kept those intense emerald-colored eyes zeroed in him but didn’t move a muscle.

Texx raised his arms in surrender. “Lieutenant it is then. Please,” he said and pointed at the tactical station. “Don’t let me stop you.”

She promptly stepped back up to the console and continued to work on it.

“And I can assume that you know what you’re doing there, right?”

The Marine responded without looking up. “I had rudimentary training in starship tactical operations at Marines Command Academy on Andor. However if you have concerns about my abilities, Ensign Goodfeather is available to take over at a moment’s notice.”

Texx looked around to notice the young tactical officer standing close by. Otherwise there were only two other officers on the bridge, manning operations and the helm respectively. Not at all unusual during the graveyard shift.

“I see. And I take it that the fact that you decided to come up here and dabble in Mister Mer’iab’s domain has little to do with your ongoing feud with our security chief.”

At that she did look up. “Marines do not feud, sir.”

“Right. Other than in combat, perhaps?”

“We engage in combat in order to achieve an overall objective as outlined by our commanding officers. It has nothing to do with feuding,” she said before returning her attention to the tactical station in an attempt to discourage further conversation on the subject or any other for that matter.

It was a hopeless effort. “I stand corrected,” he said. “Marines do everything on purpose, properly and without fail. Semper Fi and all that.”

“That is correct, sir.”

He smirked at that. “I find that fascinating.”

Sh’Fane suppressed a sigh but wasn’t quite able to keep a frown off her face.

Texx pretended not to notice. “I’d love to learn more about Marines. I’ve always found the whole concept interesting. Perhaps we could discuss it further at some point. Like, I don’t know, perhaps over dinner?”

“Marines do not –“

“Have dinner? I find that hard to believe,” he interrupted. “You have to eat sometime.”

She looked up at him. “Sir, am I right in assuming that you are attempting to fraternize with me, possibly suggesting some sort of romantic episode?”

Texx grin widened. “I usually start with dinner and then see where it leads.”

“With all due respect, sir, I find this highly inappropriate behavior.”

“No, that comes later.”

The look on the Marine’s face was cold as stone, her eyes practically drilling themselves through the Bolian first officer. Texx had no doubt that this death stare was meant to intimidate those poor souls under her command who had failed to perform to her expectations. It didn’t quite work on him though.

“Cross a line?” he asked innocently.

She nodded in response.

“I apologize, Lieutenant,” Texx said, sounding surprisingly formal this time.

“I’m willing to overlook it, sir, if you do not bring it up again,” she said and went back to her station.

If she had been holding out hope that Texx would finally drop the entire conversation and move on, she was to be disappointed once more.

“I have to say though,” he said, not looking at anyone as he spoke. “You are a little bit stiff, aren’t you? Even for a Marine, I mean,” he added and the turned to look at her again. “I say this because my sister is in the Marines and she can be a real riot if she wants to be. Cuts loose like the best of them.”

Sh’Fane rolled her eyes. “Your sisters’ behavior is her concern.”

“I’m just saying that –“

The tactical board peeped urgently, startling both sh’Fane and Texx.

“What is it?” the first officer asked.

The Andorian looked puzzled herself as she worked the station with little success. “I am not certain, sir. Something just happened and it locked me out of the system. Then this symbol popped up.”

He looked over her shoulder to see the blue character on the tactical board which resembled a broken up O with sharp edges turned outwards. “That’s an old Earth letter, I believe.”

“It’s not just the tactical station, either.”

Texx looked up and realized she was right. The symbol was now showing on a number of stations all over the bridge.

The gamma shift helmsman had turned from his station with puzzlement and looked at the first officer. “Sir, we’ve dropped out of warp. I cannot explain why.”

“What’s happening here?” Sh’Fane asked but not addressing anyone in particular.

“I take it this wasn’t covered at Marines Command School?”

Sh’Fane shook hear head.

“It didn’t come up at the Academy either,” he said. “Unless I was sick that day,” he added and then tried to enter a few commands into the tactical station himself with little success. “ If I had to guess, I’d say the ship is trying to tell us something.”

“Tell us what, sir?”

Texx shrugged. “Helm, can you override?”

The crewmember turned back to his station. “I have access to basic ship systems but not much more. Warp drive and impulse is locked down.”

“Bridge to engineering,” said Texx.

“This is Ensign Saarik, please go ahead bridge,” the voice of a female Vulcan officer responded promptly.

“This is Texx speaking. Ah, we’ve got a little bit of a problem up here with our instruments. Anything out of the ordinary down there with you guys?”

“All systems are operating within required parameters, sir. We have registered an unscheduled warp shut down command from the bridge approximately twenty-two seconds ago.”

Texx aimed a quick look at the helmsman who immediately shook his head, making it clear that he had entered no such command.

“How about your screens?” he asked.

There was a momentary delay in the young woman’s response and Texx had a good idea why.

“Sir, could you be more specific?”

“You seen any out of place lettering of any kind? Odd shapes perhaps?”

“The computer screens appear to be operating normally, sir. If you wish I can carry out a visual inspection of every monitor within main engineering. However a level four diagnostic should be more efficient,” she said, doing a decent job of keeping any irritation out of her carefully modulated voice.

“Go ahead and run that diagnostic, Ensign. Bridge out.”

“Just us then,” said sh’Fane.

He nodded. “It would appear that way.”

The turbolift doors opened to allow Amaya Donners to enter. She clearly had gotten out of bed in a hurry, wearing her uniform pants with only a gray tank top. Her long dark and curly hair had only received the most cursory treatment and her eyes still looked tired.

“Captain on the bridge,” sh’Fane barked and standing at immediate attention, causing both Donners and Texx to flinch noticeably.

Donners immediately shot the Marine an annoyed look. “Way too early for that,” she said. “And let me be clear right out of the gate, Lieutenant. Please, just don’t do that ever again.”

She nodded sharply and relaxed her posture.

Texx turned to Donners with a smirk on his face. “Morning, Cap. As you can see, we’ve got a bit of a mystery here. Didn’t mean to call you up just yet. How did you hear?”

“Computer woke me,” she said and then looked around the bridge, taking note of the same symbols she had seen in her quarters after being urgently woken by an automated message.

“Any idea what this is?” he asked.

“Last letter of the Greek alphabet,” she said. “Omega.”

“Some sort of design flaw?” asked sh’Fane.

She shook her head. “No, something else,” she said and stepped up to the tactical station and entered her command code. The computer immediately released the console again and unlocked all the other bridge stations as well. The Omega symbols disappeared to be replaced once more by the default screen output.

“Well that’s a neat trick,” Texx said. “What’s this about?”

“I honestly haven’t got a clue,” she said just before the tactical board beeped again, this time with the telltale sound of an incoming message.

Sh’Fane quickly attended to it. “Ma’am, we’re being hailed by Deep Space Five on a high priority and secure channel. Admiral Glover. For your eyes only.”

“Looks like you’re about to get some answers,” said Texx.

Donners nodded. “Pipe it through to my ready room.”

Moments latter Agamemnon’s newly appointed captain sat behind her desk, looking at the surprisingly grim visage of her former commanding officer of four years.

Perhaps his mood wasn’t entirely surprising considering that he looked about as tired as she did and Maya was certain that he had been roused as unceremoniously as she had a few minutes earlier.

“Admiral,” she said.

“Maya, I’m sorry to have to kick you out of bed like this but we have a situation that requires your immediate attention,” he said with little preamble.

“I’m going out on a limb here and assume this is related to the Omega symbols popping up all over my bridge,” she said with a little smirk.

It helped lighten the mood and Glover’s serious visage cracked slightly. “Excellent guess, Captain,” he said and then uttered a heavy sigh. “This is not something I would have hoped to happen to you on your first week on the job but sadly we don’t always get to choose our assignments.”

“Comes with the territory.”

He nodded. “Agamemnon’s sensors have detected the Omega Molecule in close proximity to your vessel, automatically initiating the Omega Directive which now supersedes all other orders.”

The blank look on Donners’ face showed that she had little idea what the admiral was talking about.

“I know, I know,” he said. “There hasn’t been enough time yet to fully brief you on this so let me give you the rundown. I’m also transmitting to you everything you need to know about Omega for you to review afterwards. In a nutshell, the Omega Molecule is one of Starfleet’s dirty little secrets that we don’t want anybody else to know about because, quite frankly, the powers that be are too scared of what could happen if its existence would become public knowledge.”

Maya frowned. “We are suppressing scientific knowledge?” she asked. “Does the Council know about this?”

“Every last member? I sincerely doubt that. But the directive itself has been signed off at the highest levels of the administration and Starfleet Command. Maya, I’m not going to discuss with you the social or political implications of this directive because trust me, I have had this conversation more times than I would care for and it usually goes nowhere. Starfleet has zero tolerance when it comes to Omega. They’ll tell you to follow the orders and shut up or kiss your Starfleet career goodbye,” he said. “I’m paraphrasing.”

She took a deep breath, not quite having expected something like this so soon in her captaincy. Maya had never had any illusions that there weren’t a great number of things she had never been privy to before joining the exclusive club of starship command but this sounded radical even to her ears.

“OK, fair enough. I’m going to be a good captain and not challenge the status quo,” she said. “Now, mind telling me what Omega is and what this directive is all about?”

“In short, the Omega Molecule is the most powerful substance known to exist. I’m not going to bore you with the details, you can read up on it in your own time. Sufficient to say that it is also extremely unstable and in all likelihood will trigger a catastrophe of galactic proportions if not immediately contained,” he said grimly.

“The end of the universe as we know it?” she said with a smirk.

Glover was not amused and she quickly wiped that grin off her face.

“That bad, huh?”

“Worse,” he said. “The Omega Molecule could wipe-out subspace over the entire quadrant and beyond and do untold damage to regular space just as a side-effect. Every attempt to synthesize the molecule and contain it have failed. Needless to say, if anyone is trying to do so again, we need to shut them down now.”

Amaya didn’t look entirely convinced even as she still tried to grasp the awesome destructive power of this molecule which hitherto she had never even heard of before.

“I appreciate that this is a lot for you to take in but as you may have realized, time is not something we have in great abundance. Starfleet Command has already been made aware of this situation and the Volta, – a specialist vessel crewed with a team trained to handle an Omega Molecule detection – is being sent out as we speak to deal with this,” he said and looked at a padd which he kept next to his computer. “But judging from Agamemnon’s sensor reports, you are the closest ship to the source of these readings. I’ve already diverted Cuffe to assist you but Terrence won’t get there for another forty-eight hours or so. I need you to set course to the Iota Crucis system at maximum warp and contain the situation to the best of your abilities until reinforcements arrive.”

“And what exactly does contain the situation mean?”

“It means that you are authorized to use whatever means necessary to locate and destroy anything that resembles the Omega Molecule or could be used to synthesize it. Let me be absolutely clear on this, Maya. During the course of this mission, the Omega Directive supersedes every other directive in the book. Without exception.”

“Jesus Christ, Sam.”

He nodded, letting her verbal faux pas slide. “As I said, Starfleet is not kidding around with this. And again, I’m sorry it had to be you.”

Maya took another deep breath, trying to process everything she had learned so far. “Alright,” she finally said. “I take it the information you’re sending me contains everything my crew and I need to know on how to destroy these molecules.”

“Yes,” he said. “But you cannot share any of this with anyone else including members of your crew. This is strictly captains-only. No one below your position is authorized to be briefed on Omega.”

“You cannot be serious,” she said. “How do you expect me to handle this if I cannot bring my crew on board?”

Samson Glover’s facial expression was clearly pained. “I know this isn’t going to be easy but all I can tell you is that the Omega Directive is very clear on this. Whatever you do, you cannot talk to your crew about any of this. I’m sorry. You will have to find a way to handle this by yourself and have your people support you without knowing the why or the what. I’d be lying if I said that this was going to be easy, especially with a crew you haven’t even had a chance to get to know properly as of yet but there isn’t any other choice.”

She was speechless.

“Just do what you can until Terrence gets there. Then you can team up and tackle this together. Please be careful and good luck. Glover out.”

And with that his face disappeared from the screen, leaving Amaya Donners to stare at a blank computer monitor.

She let her glance wander around the still mostly empty and undecorated ready room, realizing that she had never felt this alone in her entire life.
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Old May 24 2012, 11:06 PM   #43
Gibraltar
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Oh, yes... absolutely nothing could go wrong with this plan! Welcome to your first week in command of a starship. By the way, here's an enormous crisis the likes of which we'd hoped you'd never have to face in your entire career. Try not to screw the pooch on this while you're attempting to save the galaxy from a veritable apocalypse.
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Old May 25 2012, 03:49 AM   #44
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
Oh, yes... absolutely nothing could go wrong with this plan! Welcome to your first week in command of a starship. By the way, here's an enormous crisis the likes of which we'd hoped you'd never have to face in your entire career. Try not to screw the pooch on this while you're attempting to save the galaxy from a veritable apocalypse.
You make it sound so easy

Seriously, I enjoyed that particular episode of Voyager, and hoped that someone would tackle that demon again. Of course it would have to be Donners in her first week on the job, with an untested crew.
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Old May 27 2012, 12:17 AM   #45
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Up until now what we've been getting is mostly scene setting, albeit interesting, very well written scene setting. But now things are beginning to set off and I don't think it's going to be the smoothest of rides for our new captain and her somewhat divisive crew.

One quibble (sorry). The Agamemnon is apparently the first ship to detect the Omega particle, is certainly the closest to it. But within a matter of minutes, and before contacting Maya, Admiral Glover has diverted another ship to help out. It's possible, it just feels a bit rushed to me.

That aside, the usual high quality prose and characterisation.
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