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Old October 2 2007, 02:09 PM   #76
DavidFalkayn
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 7 (part 2)

I am curious as to what and how did Rexar get on that Borg vessel--assuming the Master Chief is Rexar. The interplay between Tara and T'Noor was fun to watch as well.

Looking forward to more answers--and questions--in the next part.
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Old October 2 2007, 05:08 PM   #77
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 7 (part 2)

Dulak is rapidly becoming my favorite character here. Quite obviously he is yours as well.

I like the interchange between him and Ridgway a lot, especially the comedic touches I thought were very well done.

And of course you give us a headscratching cliffhanger to finish things off. This oughta be good ... but no pressure.
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Old October 5 2007, 05:21 AM   #78
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 7 (part 2)

Gah! Could we have some more tension please?! For anyone in Starfleet, a boarding mission onboard a Borg ship has to be the ultimate nightmare scenario. For a crew without a ship (aside from the ancient tug that’s ferrying them) this must be hell incarnate. But, they’re handling this with style…

Great conversation between Ridgway and Dulak, and a nice drawing of where the ‘line that shall not be crossed’ is at for the ambitious young ensign. Keep this kid away from Australian engineers, or the universe is doomed.
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Old October 14 2007, 10:28 AM   #79
Dulak
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard

Taking a three week or so break from writing Shepard to see if I can finish up my novel. Got a fire lit under my a.. and am going to see if I can use that motivation to my benefit. Rest assured, I will be back to the story as soon as I can..it's way to much fun for me, and I really enjoy all of your comments.

See you when I get back... I may have a chance to read a little, but no guarantees.

Thanks for all your support.

Wish me luck..
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Old October 15 2007, 03:41 AM   #80
DarKush
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard

Been behind. Just finished Chapter 5. Wow, you've done a great job making the Borg interesting again. I'm really looking forward to seeing where you're going with this. I also like your crew, particularly Prak. I know he's not a regular but I hope he returns. As for the regulars, they are very down to Earth and you find yourself rooting for them, even the hapless Marconi.

BTW, good luck on finishing you novel. What genre is it? Sci-fi? Horror? Mystery? Something else?
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Old October 16 2007, 05:14 PM   #81
Dulak
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard

Thanks once again for all the kind comments, and sorry for leaving everyone hanging, if temporarily.

DarKush, at least you have a couple of chapters yet to read... BTW my novel is an action/adventure, sort of along the lines of Clive Cussler, but with more historical crossover. Gibralter has read part of it.
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Old October 16 2007, 11:39 PM   #82
DavidFalkayn
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard

Best of luck on your novel and don't worry, we'll be here when you get back!
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Old October 28 2007, 03:13 PM   #83
DarKush
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard

I've never read any Clive Cussler, but I've seen the books almost everywhere. I too wish you good luck with the novel.

As for "Recovery", I've finally caught up. Good character work/backstory with Dulak. I think he, Rexar, and Prak make the most impressions on me. Also, I like the friendship between Tara and T'Noor. That's a nice contrast. It's good they are friends instead of antagonists.
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Old November 9 2007, 11:44 PM   #84
Dulak
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Coming Soon: Star Trek: Shepard, Recovery, Chapter 8

Hey, I'm back and going to start catching up on the Shepard story. Sorry the three week hiatus turned into more like four. It'll be good to get back to the story.

Thanks to everyone who read, and maybe even voted for my October Challenge...and the nice comments on the Halloween short-short.

Fat Happy and rested
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Old November 9 2007, 11:45 PM   #85
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Re: Coming Soon: Star Trek: Shepard, Recovery, Chapter 8

Sounds good, man. Great to have you back. Did you make some good progress on your book?
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Old November 10 2007, 03:30 AM   #86
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: Coming Soon: Star Trek: Shepard, Recovery, Chapter 8

Glad you're back - I've been waiting for more of the Shepard saga!
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Old November 12 2007, 06:50 AM   #87
DavidFalkayn
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Re: Coming Soon: Star Trek: Shepard, Recovery, Chapter 8

Good to see you back and can't wait from more Shepard stories.
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Old December 23 2007, 02:24 PM   #88
Dulak
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Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 8

USS Persepheron
Bridge

In a matter of seconds following dropping to impulse Chief Prak had his hands full. While he didn’t think there was any way the cybernetic monstrosities could have anticipated the change in speed, they reacted eerily fast anyway.

Anyone standing close enough would have noticed two things about the Tellarite that indicated he was getting stressed, both autonomic responses. One, a narrow swath of his close shorn hair running from his forehead back along the top of his head to his neck stood even more on end than usual, making a distinct ridge-like pattern. The other was that miniscule glands in his skin began exuding a pungent, almost sour odor. Fortunately, no one was near enough to the Chief.

While he operated the tractor beam control console with only three digits on each hand, Chief Prak made up for any slight decrease in manual dexterity by uncannily quick and accurate arm movements. He also benefited from a modified LCARs interface screen designed specifically with Tellarite physiology in mind.

The Borg definitely weren’t playing dead in the water, and as Prak struggled to maintain a solid tractor beam lock on the vessel, the power feedback readings began fluctuating wildly.

Over the still open com circuit to the transporter room, Commander Ridgeway began to ask a question. “T’Noor, wha....”

Prak cut the circuit unceremoniously and called engineering. “Increase tractor beam output fifteen percent, each channel,” he stated without preamble. Not waiting for a reply, he cut that circuit as well.

Then, raising his already resonant voice he said to T’Noor who was manning the sensor station, “Call your Commander in the transporter room, he’s probably wanting updates. I don’t have time.” As if to emphasize his point he switched his com panel to receive-locked-out, so that incoming com traffic would be diverted.

From under the console next to T’Noor, Davis pulled himself to his feet and powered up the station without securing the access panel. Fingers touching a few controls he smiled to himself then looked towards Chief Prak. “Chief, I think the transmitter is up, someone back at depot went above and beyond. This signal splicer was pre-calibrated for our exact model and mod. I’d almost say someone took the specs of our last turn-in, and duplicated them. Either way, automated beacon is up, sending our distress call. Just have to wait for someone to answer.”

Chief Prak just grunted. Coming from the gruff Tellarite, Davis knew that was practically glowing praise. Setting a console alert for any incoming subspace traffic, Davis typed a message to engineering warp control console number 2. ‘Gwen, ETR deflector?’

It was a brief message, but Davis wanted to be on top of engineering status for Chief Prak just in case. The way the Tellarite was working the tractor beam controls didn’t make Davis very comfortable. If they had to beat a hasty retreat, they would need the deflector.

LTJG T’Noor had her own challenge. Tweaking settings to get every ounce of sensor resolution from a system not designed for detailed life sign reading was not something she had spent much time on at the academy. Her last posting as a temporary lab assistant at an obscure science station with highly specialized equipment was also of little help.

So, while making her adjustments, she succeeded in getting solid readings on her three crewmates on the Borg vessel, but failed completely to get any kind of reading from the Borg drones approaching them.

Punching up a com channel to the transporter room, she reported to Ridgeway. “Commander, the away team is onboard the Borg vessel, life signs normal. There is no indication that they have been detected.”

Ridgeway replied, somewhat surprised at being so abruptly cut off by Chief Prak, “Well, that’s good. Is everything else all right up there? Chief Prak cut me off.”

T’Noor maintained her lock on the away team, “Yes sir, the Chief is devoting his attention to maintaining the tractor beam lock on the Borg. The difficulty level of that endeavor seems to have increased. I do not think it prudent to remain at impulse speeds for long as the Borg are taking advantage of the situation.”

For the first time, Ridgeway started to question his decision to send over the away team. “Keep me updated, I don’t think they’ll want to stay over there any longer than they have to, but I want to be able to pull them out at the first sign of trouble.”

“Aye Sir.” T’noor replied, adjusting the sensors to maintain a lock on the landing party.


USS Sutherland
Bridge, 0200

Commander Sam Lavelle, newly appointed first officer onboard the Nebula class starship, stepped out from the Captain’s ready room onto the bridge. Yawning as he stretched his arms up over his head, he almost regretted forgoing his pre-night watch nap in order to share an intimate interlude with Lieutenant Maria Django, Helm Officer. Almost. As the dusky skinned Ensign looked back over her shoulder at him from the helm station and smiled, surprisingly alert and energized, Lavelle flashed back to an image of that same smile, looking down from above him as he lay in ecstasy on his bed not three hours before. He must have blushed slightly because the smile turned to a laugh as she asked, “Tired Commander?”

Fumbling for some degree of witty repartee, he dropped his arms and shook his head as he headed for the command chair. “I think I need to get some more exercise,” was all he came up with.

Turning back to her console, Maria gently bit her lower lip in anticipation as she realized what he meant.

An urgent beeping and flashing indicator on the operations panel brought the night watch officer, Ensign Tori Meriwether, fully awake. Her petite yet deft fingers flew across the panel, bringing up an information screen. “Sir,” she said, voice serious and professional, “we’re receiving a distress call from a USS Persepheron, audio only.”

Lavelle snapped instantly awake, “On speakers Ensign.”

The Ops Officer quickly touched the slick LCARS panel and a slightly distorted voice piped over the bridge speakers, obviously shaken, “Mayday, Mayday we are under attack from a Borg vessel, repeat a Borg vessel, any vessel receiving this signal please reply.”

Lavelle cursed, “Damn! Helm, go to Red Alert. Meriwether, open a hailing frequency.” Pressing a button on the arm of the command chair, Lavelle beat the Red Alert klaxon by a second, “Captain Shelby to the bridge, Captain Shelby to the bri...” then the warbling siren cut him off.

Lavelle took a breath and composed himself, “Persepheron? What kind of ship is that? I don’t remember hearing that name before.”

Meriwether looked at the readout on her console, “She’s a fleet warp tug sir, crew compliment thirty. Commanding Officer is a Chief Prak.”

Already indicators flashed as stations began reporting in. Activity increased as the minimal bridge crew brought consoles online in preparation for the arrival of the full bridge compliment.

Lavelle looked at the science console, hoping the crewman manning it was on the ball enough to realize that the ops officer was too busy receiving manned and ready reports to determine the location of the distress call’s origin. He was not disappointed as an ensign with red hair and freckles looked over at him, “Sir, signal origin bearing two twelve mark twenty six, distance six point four light years. That’s not far from Starbase 214.”

With the Borg seeming to be involved, Starbase nearby or not, Lavelle knew that Captain Elizabeth Shelby would not even think of passing on this one. He ordered, “Helm, lay in a course, maximum warp, and execute.”

The intercom light on the command chair arm blinked and Lavelle activated it, “XO here.” The voice from the other end was Shelby’s, sounding a bit out of breath, “What is it Sam? I was right in the middle of....” Lavelle cut her off, “It’s the Borg. We just received a distress call from a warp tug under attack by the Borg. We’re enroute at maximum warp, and hopefully Starbase 214 has some ships around for backup. I don’t have any other info at this time.”

The circuit merely relayed background noise to the bridge, Lavelle looked at the speaker for a second, wondering if he was going to get an answer. When it became apparent that nothing was forthcoming he said, “I’ll update you when you get here,” to no one in particular, and closed the circuit.

“Sir,” Meriwether announced from the ops console, “I’ve got that channel open to the Persepheron.”

“Put it onscreen.” Lavelle said, impatiently.

The starfield display was replaced by the view of a rather cramped looking bridge. A vulcan female LTJG and a human male crewmember in coveralls were manning the forward control console. There was no central command chair behind, and the presence of a LT surprised Lavelle a bit.

Not knowing whom to address, Lavelle resorted to addressing the ship, figuring that whoever was in charge would answer. “This is Commander Lavelle of the USS Sutherland, Persepheron, what is your status?”

The male crewman looked up and answered, “Are we glad to see you! Here, look at this.” The crewman threw several switched on his console and the viewscreen changed to the image of the Borg vessel fragment displayed on the Persepheron’s central screen.

The crewman continued talking over the audio channel. “We were diagnosing a problem with our deflector system when this locked onto us with a tractor beam. Chief Prak caused an overload of its tractor beam with our own, and we are struggling to keep it under our control. The Borg already boarded us once and the Chief has been just barely able to keep the tractor beam up since we dropped out of warp to beam an away team over to the Borg ship. Starbase 214 hasn’t…”

Lavelle interjected, cutting off Davis, “Wait a minute, you have an away team onboard the Borg vessel?”

While listening for an answer to his question, Lavelle took a second to look over the image on the viewscreen. He was just starting to pick up the familiar square lines of a Borg cube amongst all the damage and mostly missing structure when the bridge doors swished open, admitting Captain Shelby and two other officers.

Shelby wore a cloth wrap, draped hastily around her chest in sarong-style. Her hair was wet and still dripping. Somehow, she managed to exude her command presence, and no one looked twice or said anything about her dress.

In the second it took Shelby to step around the command chair and come alongside her XO she also glanced at the view screen. “Commander, why aren’t you…” Shelby caught herself, noticing an incongruence on the screen. The Sutherland was equipped with one tractor beam, yet the image on the viewscreen showed three distinct beams intersecting on the heavily damaged section of what looked like the corner of a Borg cube. Starting over, she said merely, “What’s going on XO?”

Before Lavelle could answer, Davis’s voice, somewhat distorted from static interference in the subspace signal, piped over the Sutherland’s bridge speakers. “Captain, if you could wait one second, I’ll patch you through to Commander Ridgeway, it’s kind of hectic here.”

Shelby acknowledged, “Very well, I’m waiting.” She looked at Lavelle with a look of expectancy. In a hushed tone, so as not to transmit over the subspace channel she asked again, “What is happening?”

USS Persepheron
Transporter Room

Realizing that he was keeping a channel open unnecessarily, Ridgeway clicked the com circuit to the science station closed. He looked at the female transporter operator; Parker was her name he thought. Deciding to error on the side of caution, he spoke up. “Crewman Parker, do you still have a lock on the landing party?”

Parker brushed her blonde bangs away from the left side of her face without looking up. Nodding she said, in a much less accented standard than he had heard earlier on the mess decks, “Yes Sir, I’ve got the three of them... Wait one, the signals are jumping a bit.”

Ridgeway started to step around the console to see for himself when Parker shook her head, “I’m not sure Sir, but it looks like they’ve got company.”


Borg Vessel, Designation unknown
Central Hub

Tara stared in shock at the lone Borg drone approaching them. In a half a second, her plasma blaster finished charging, and the whine of it’s capacitors quieted, leaving only the sound of their breathing and the micro servos actively spinning and moving various manipulators and feeler probes on the end of the Borg’s outstretched arm as it walked towards them across the deck.

Lieutenant Townsend scanned the Borg with her tricorder and announced. “Relax Tara, that drone does contain Andorian DNA, but it’s....”

Dulak interrupted, “Look there, to the right of that tubule entering near its collar bone. It’s a rank insignia of a Chief Petty Officer. It was Starfleet.”

Tara took a step backwards, away from the approaching Borg. The others did likewise. The resemblance to the Andorian Engineer was uncanny, and although it couldn’t be possible, Tara needed to rule it out completely. “Master Chief Arthrun? Rexar Arthrun?”

Unbelievably, the drone paused, and dropped its hand to its side, looking down to the ground briefly. When it looked up, it nodded almost imperceptibly. “Chief...” It mouthed the words awkwardly, as if from long disuse.

“It seems we have a situation.” Dulak said, whispering. Lieutenant Townsend and Lieutenant, Junior Grade Tara looked at the Cardassian, perplexed by his dry evaluation.

Townsend whispered back, “Ensign, if we survive this, I’m putting you in for the Understatement of the Century award.”

Just then two more Borg Drones, these not so pensive, rounded a corner and started slowly approaching.
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Old December 23 2007, 03:48 PM   #89
DavidFalkayn
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 8

Only nitpick here is that Maria is no longer an Ensign, she finally got her promotion to JG. Otherwise, very well done--you did a good job capturing the Suthy's crew and their actions and you've left us on an interesting note.

Good to see you back posting again!
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Old December 23 2007, 04:12 PM   #90
Dulak
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Re: Star Trek: Shepard; Recovery, Chapter 8

Dang, thought I'd fixed it, but I left the ops officer vague, so easy to confuse. Well went back and clarified. Thanks for the tip.

Dulak
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