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Old July 16 2008, 08:39 PM   #16
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

I was thinking more Alien Nation with the saucers, but that wasn't stealthy in the least.

Me likey.

More please.
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Old July 16 2008, 08:43 PM   #17
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

Thanks guys. Nope, it's not War of the Worlds or Alien Nation...

I'll give ya'll a hint--the other "stealth" crossover had really catchy theme music. I've also dropped some hints all through the story...
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Old July 16 2008, 08:48 PM   #18
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

I'm getting a notion were all this might be heading.

You are very good at doing multi-persepctive stories and giving us insights into all the different factions. You also avoid the easy pitfalls of making one side look 'evil' and instead provide fascinating history and motivations for the way characters think and act.

This is building up to a fascinatingly epic story-line with potential the future of two entire people at stake.

The Halenoi are quite clearly a substiute for the paranoid humans of the 50s and 60s. Except that in this case their paranoia is completely justified. Nice touch. Great story.
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Old July 27 2008, 01:01 PM   #19
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Lexington: Aliens Part 3

Once again awakening, Flying Officer Freman moved slowly and deliberately. Sighing with relief as he saw Myra out of the corner of his eye also coming to consciousness, the pilot turned his gaze to the left where he saw a blue shirted male standing next to a woman wearing a short pale blue dress, her red hair styled in a wave that would not have been out of place on Halen. Another woman stood nearby, lithe and petite, with bronze skin and slanted eyes wearing a dress very similar to the other woman, except hers was red, and she wore her jet-black hair in a very short, almost masculine hair-style that would have been scandalous back home.

“They’re awake, Sir.” The blue-shirted, balding man declared as he glanced up at what Freman assumed was some sort of instrument panel above his and Lieutenant Alys’s beds. “Their vitals are holding steady. It just took them some time to get used to our atmosphere and gravity—his homeworld appears to have a slightly richer oxygen content and lower gravity than Earth normal.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Lieutenant Myra Alys heard as she turned her head towards the sound of the voice. The Halenoi flight controller saw a tall man wearing a gold shirt standing at the foot of near a doorway next to a dark-skinned man with short, wiry hair, a read shirt, and black pants and boots. The way the man in the gold shirt carried himself, as well as his craggy world weary face, graying brown hair and the gold embroidery on his sleeve at once told Myra that he was someone of authority.

Glancing down at the rescued Halenoi, Commodore Wesley flashed a friendly smile. “Welcome aboard…”

“Freman.” The young pilot crisply interrupted as he lay in his bed, “Merric R. Flying Officer. Identification Signet 256349-Anyaata.”

Following her friend’s lead, Myra responded in a weak voice, “Alys, Myra L. Lieutenant. Identification Signet 43803-Kmirya.”

“Name, rank, and serial number.” Wesley remarked approvingly. “That’s the exact sort of response I’d give if I were in your situation.” Maintaining his smile, Robert continued to try to put the young man and woman at ease, “Well, since you two were kind enough to tell us who you are, I think it’s only fair that we return the favor. “I’m Commodore Robert Wesley, commanding officer of this ship you’re on, the USS Lexington. The man and woman standing next to you are Doctor Charles Vincent, the Lexington’s chief medical officer and Nurse Zoe Papadopoulos; the woman standing on the other side of you is Ensign Mai Tanaka and the man standing beside me is my chief of security, Lieutenant Nealo Mtolo.”

“Our shuttle…” Merric began only to be interrupted by Wesley’s calm voice.

“Your ship had taken catastrophic damage.” The commodore explained, “So we rescued you.”

“How?” Freman asked, “I didn’t see any tugs or grapples. Our systems had failed. How did you get us off the ship?”

“That…” Wesley grinned, “…is rather difficult to explain. You’re both obviously military.” Taking the young man’s single nod of the head as confirmation, Wesley continued, “So, let’s just say for now that it’s a military secret of ours and leave it at that.” Moving to the side of the Ensign Tanaka, Commodore Wesley sat down in a chair provided for him by one of the medtechs, its back facing the couple resting in their beds. Resting his arms casually on the back of the chair, Robert gently inquired, “Can you tell me something about that Shlavka ship you and your friends were fighting?”

“Freman. Merric R., Flying Officer, Identification Signet 256349-Anyaata.” The young man promptly replied.

“Relax, young man.” Wesley grinned, “This isn’t an interrogation and I’m not asking for any classified information.” Seeing the disbelieving look on the rescued pilot’s face, Robert chuckled, “That’s ok—you can tell us when you’re ready.” Addressing the doctor, the commodore asked, “Can our guests be discharged now?”

“I’d rather wait another twenty-four hours…” The Massachusetts born physician demurred, “…to give them a little more time to adjust to our gravity and oxygen and also to monitor them in case of other reaction.”

“All right, Doctor.” Getting up out of his chair, the commodore smiled down at the two Halenoi lying in their beds. “I’m sorry you’re going to have to stay in bed a little while longer…doctor’s orders. But…once you’re released, if you’d like, I’ll be happy to give you a brief tour of the ship on the way to your quarters.”

“Quarters?” Myra snorted, “Confinement cells you mean.”

“You’re not our prisoner, Lieutenant…Flying Officer.” Wesley replied as he kept the warm smile on his face, “You’re our guests. Take it easy for now and I’ll be back tomorrow for your grand tour.”

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

“I know the rooms are a bit on the small side…” a middle-aged Halenoi woman said in an apologetic voice, “…but meals come with the rent and you’re welcome to join us in the sitting room.”

“Thank you, Madame.” Alexei replied, his deep voice sounding surprisingly gentle as he regarded the petite, slightly overweight woman standing before him and the rest of the landing party. “They will do just fine.”

“Here.” Cilla said as she offered currency taken from an ATM earlier. “One week’s rent. Hopefully, by then…” the young Dutch woman lied, “…my friend and I will be able to move into the dorms.”

“Well…” the landlady replied with a smile, “…if there’s a problem, you’re more than welcome to stay as long as you’d like. Matin and I love having students…” her face taking on a somber cast, she added in a whisper, “…our darling Janyt would be your age by now…”

“What happened to your daughter…” Jennifer hesitatingly inquired, “…if I might ask?”

“The Shlavka took her away.” The woman replied, her voice dripping with venom at the mention of the invaders. “They took her two cycles after they arrived…” her head lowered, the woman, now appearing ten years older than she was sighed, “…we never found out what happened to her…and…I don’t…I’m not sure I want to know…but I hate not knowing!.”

“It’s all right, Little Mother…” A surprisingly gentle Alexei consoled; the same deep voice that has terrorized so many junior officers and crewmen on the Lexington now taking on a soothing, calming tone. “There is no evil without good. There is always hope.”

“Thank you.” The forlorn woman replied as she daubed her eyes, “Now…if you’ll excuse me.”

Watching as the landlady departed, Cilla shook her head as she spat out angrily, “These Shlavka are worse than Klingons. We should go over to their homeworld and give them a taste of what they’ve given these people.”

“Careful, Lieutenant…” Alexei admonished, “We don’t know everything about the Shlavka yet. It is not a good thing to condemn an entire race to the fire without at least attempting to understand why they did what they did—and especially without knowing whether the race as a whole is guilty or just a faction within the Shlavka.”

“Doesn’t stop if from sucking though…” Cilla growled as she inserted a key into one of the doors.”

“No Lieutenant, it doesn’t” The Bear conceded as he opened the door across from Cilla and Jennifer’s, “Get yourselves situated in your rooms and we will meet in twenty minutes.”

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

Lying silent in bed, Flying Officer Freman, not believing a single word his captors’ told him and Myra, watched and waited, biding his time until an opening presented itself. Finally, seeing the two what had to be disguised Shlavka wearing blue had stepped into the man’s office, leaving only the one red mini-skirt wearing dark haired woman, a slight smile crossed Freman’s face. Now…all she had to do was turn around momentarily. Smiling in triumph as the alien was momentarily distracted by an instrument falling down; Merric suddenly launched himself out of bed at his intended target.

Unfortunately for the young Halenoi pilot, Ensign Mariko Tanaka was a martial arts expert, holding a black belt in Yoseikan Aikido. Reacting instantaneously to the brief glimpse of motion she picked up out of the corner of her eye, Mariko dodged Merric’s lunge, countering quickly with a foot sweep that knocked the youthful pilot down off his feet. Striking quickly, Ensign Tanaka pinned Freman to the deck, her knee jabbing into the small of the Flying Officer’s back.

Myra, worried about her friend, threw the covers off her bed only to be restrained by a warning glare from the young ensign. “I wouldn’t.”

“What the hell!” Dr. Vincent, alerted by the commotion in his sickbay, exclaimed as he rushed out with Nurse Papadopoulos.

“He attempted to break out, Sir.” Ensign Tanaka maintaining her position as she kept careful watch over the other Halenoi.

“I can see that.” The doctor replied as he looked down at the young ensign. Motioning for one of the medtechs to come over, Charles ordered, “Help the ensign get this man back into his bed.” Watching as the ensign and medic carried out his instructions, Dr. Vincent shook his head, “I guess you’re ready to be discharged now.”

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

“Repeat my instructions.” Altron Assig commanded as he gazed into the faces of the rest of his infiltration team who had gathered around a small table in the tiny hotel room they shared.

“I and Dyssan are to pose as Halenoi students…” One of the Shlavka infiltrators, disguised as an attractive white haired woman recited, “…isolate two of the scientists…kill them…alter their identity cards…and then infiltrate the secondary research facility. From there we are to sabotage the drive and then kill as many of the scientists as possible before escaping.”

“Very good. And if you cannot escape...”

“Then we are to kill ourselves.” The infiltrator replied flatly, knowing that her and her partner’s part in the plan was most likely a suicide mission.

“Right.” Assig nodded his head approvingly. “While you are carrying out your mission, Vylla, Danna…” he declared, motioning with his head towards the other female on the team, this one with raven-black hair, “…and I will locate the drive plans, steal them, and kill Dr. Tyee. You have all done well. Rest now. Tomorrow we will reconnoiter the facility and put our plan into motion.”

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

In another room, this one in a boarding house, four other aliens sat gathered around a table making plans. “When I hacked into the Halenoi net I created identities for all of us.” Lieutenant Oudekirk explained, “Lieutenant Collins…you are a visiting scientist temporarily attached to the research facility and Ensign Watley, you are his assistant. I was only able to get you lower-level security clearances…” the Dutch communications officer remarked in an apologetic voice, “I didn’t want to push my luck—I was dodging enough protocols and intruder detection as it was…”

“You did well, Ms. Oudekirk.” Commander Kuznetsov praised, “Now…continue.”

“Yes, Sir.” The willowy Cilla smiled, basking in the rare praise coming from the Lexington’s taciturn first officer. “I will be posing as an administrative assistant newly assigned to the Institute’s security office. Again…it’s lower level…but it’s a foot in the door.”

“And as for myself…” The burly Russian inquired.

“I’ve placed you on to the University’s security police as a patrol officer.” Cilla replied. “I tried to penetrate the U.M.B.R.A. personnel records, but their security is tight! It was all I could do to back out without triggering any alarms…and…” she added, sounding a cautionary note, “…I’m not too sure that I didn’t trigger one…”

“Well…” Alexei sighed, “We’ll just have to chance it. Very well…enjoy your day off everyone because tomorrow we start our new jobs.”

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

“Well…was it an intruder?” Colonel Pal Restof inquired as he looked over the shoulder of the young female sub-lieutenant assigned to cyber-intruder detection.

“I’m not sure, but I think so, Sir.” The young green-haired officer replied, “The tertiary alarm monitoring personnel access was triggered, but whoever tripped it was good…they backed out clean. I couldn’t get a trace on the IP used or a terminal ID.”

“I see…did they break the firewall?” Colonel Restof, known as something of a ladies-man and flirt amongst the women of U.M.B.R.A., asked as he placed a gentle hand on the young woman’s shoulder.

Somewhat flustered at the handsome colonel’s gesture, the young sub-lieutenant gamely replied, “No, Sir. Whoever it was backed off before the primary and secondary alarms could be triggered—they apparently detected them and decided they were too much trouble to try to break.” Shaking her head, the junior officer opined, “It was only by luck that the tertiary alarm was set off.”

“Very well.” The colonel responded, “Set Condition Byeth. Tighten the cyber-security protocols. I want to be informed the moment you detect another hacking attempt.” Not even waiting for the cyber-specialist’s acknowledgement, the amber-skinned colonel picked up a red phone, “Commander Strakan? We’ve had what might be a cyber-intrusion attempt. Yes, Sir. I’ve already done that. Cyber-defenses are at full readiness and I’ve placed security at maximum and Dr. Tyee’s guard has been doubled. If the Shlavka try anything—we’ll be ready for them.”
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Old July 27 2008, 01:06 PM   #20
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Lexington: Aliens Part 3 cont

Walking behind the being calling himself Commodore Wesley and beside his companion, Lieutenant Myra Alys, Merric tried to ignore the petite Halenoi appearing woman walking behind him as he listened to the alien commander speak. Feeling the tug of the heavier than Halen gravity, the young pilot inquired, “How do you do it?”

“Do what?” The commodore replied as he nodded his head in response to a greeting from a blue jumpsuit-clad crewman walking in the opposite direction.

“Maintain gravity.” Lieutenant Alys picked up. “Do you use rotation or steady acceleration?”

“If it’s rotation…” Merric interjected, seeing an opportunity to learn more about his captors, “…then this ship must be very large.”

Picking up on her friend’s motives, Myra chimed in, “And if it’s through acceleration, then your fuel expenditure must be enormous.”

Chuckling as he immediately recognized what the young couple were about, Wesley responded, “None of the above. We have artificial gravity. Although…” the commodore added, “…we are moving at a steady speed.”

Gasping in response, Myra uttered in a low whisper, “Artificial gravity? But that’s…not even the Shlavka are capable…”

“He’s lying.” Merric sneered. “It’s obviously the acceleration.” His senses springing to alert as the party stopped before what appeared to be an elevator, the suspicious young man demanded, “Where are we going?”

“The bridge.” Wesley replied, maintaining his diplomatic demeanor. “I have a feeling once you see that, you’ll soon realize that we’re not Shlavka.” Pausing at the lift, the commodore smiled indulgently at his guests’ seeming reluctance to enter the elevator. “I assure you, it’s completely safe. Here…I’ll go in first. See…” The rough-hewn commodore grinned, “…no tricks or traps.”

Nodding his head at his companion’s questioning glance, Merric stepped into the lift, followed closely behind by the other two women. “All right.” The pilot declared in a disbelieving voice, “Show us.”

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

Myra’s surprise at the smooth ride of the obviously fast-moving car turned to astonishment as the car carrying her, her companion, and their escorts suddenly stopped its horizontal motion, beginning a rapid ascent. “What?” She asked, not even trying to hide her amazement, “We should all be sick on our stomachs right now!”

“Inertial compensators.” The man called Commodore Wesley explained. “They maintain stability and compensate for any sudden changes or shifts in motion or velocity.”

Turning her head to her pilot friend, Myra whispered, “Merric…maybe he’s telling us the truth after all. We’ve never known the Shlavka to be able to do any of these things.”

“No.” The headstrong youth whispered back. “It’s all an illusion—it has to be. Probably because of all the drugs they’ve pumped into us. Keep your head, Myra.” Merric encouraged, “We’ll find our way out of these mind games somehow.”

The turbolift stopped just as the young officer had finished his words, the double doors sliding open to reveal the bridge of the Lexington to the awe-struck Myra and still-dubious Merric. “Welcome to the bridge.” Commodore Wesley proudly announced as he ushered his guests off the lift and pointed to the large star-filled screen at the front, before which sat two Halenoi-appearing individuals both wearing gold. One was a petite female with short auburn hair and the other a male. Attractive. Myra thought as she took in his close cropped strange-looking, yet oddly alluring, chestnut-brown hair. “That would be our main viewscreen. And these…” he said as he guided the two young officers around the circular complex, “…are our science, communications, and engineering sections.”

Their eyes and ears took in everything on bridge—its many stations, the flashing lights and readouts, the crew in their blue, gold, and red uniforms performing their tasks, leaving Myra and her friend momentarily speechless. Then, the person occupying the high-backed chair in the center stood up. Myra and Merric both gasped in astonishment at the appearance of the blue-skinned, white haired figure with what appeared to be two antennae on her head. Wearing the same blue mini-dress that the Halenoi officers had seen on so many of the ship’s crew, the blue-skinned woman’s dress had one solid gold stripe and one broken gold stripe above on each sleeve. Walking towards Commodore Wesley carrying what appeared to be a notebook of some sort in her hands. The blue-skinned woman stopped before her superior.

Handing the notebook to Wesley, the blue-skinned woman spoke, her voice coming across as somewhat…playful…to Myra. “Commodore.”

“This is Lieutenant Commander Talana Zha’Thara.” Wesley introduced with a grin as the blue-skinned woman gave both Halenoi a friendly smile. Noticing the shocked and curious looks from his two guests, the commodore explained, “She’s from a race called Andorian. Our peoples made contact with each other shortly after we discovered warp travel about a hundred of our years ago.”

“And we’ve been trying to recover from it ever since.” Talana interjected, flashing a teasing grin.

“Talana’s our science officer.” Wesley declared.

“Science officer…” Merric interrupted with a snort. “What sort of warship has a science officer?”

“The Lexington isn’t a warship.” The commodore answered back, “Yes…” the amateur pugilist qualified, “…the Lexington does have weapons and we will use them to defend ourselves if necessary. And yes…it has been in its share of battles…”

“So it is a warship.” Merric declared triumphantly.

“No.” Robert shook his head. “The Lexington is first and foremost a ship of exploration. Our primary mission is one of discovery. We fight only if we have to.” Turning his attention back to his science officer, the commodore inquired, “What’s the latest on the Shlavka ship we’re pursuing?”

“The Shlavka ship has entered an area that’s interfering with our scans.”

“Have we lost them, Commander?” Wesley asked.

“Not yet, Sir.” Talana replied. “But sooner or later we will…unless we get closer to them.”

“Should I increase speed, Sir?” Ensign Bathory asked from the helm.

“No. Ms. Bathory.” Wesley responded with a shake of his head. “If I were our friend and had a feeling that I might be followed, I’d lie doggo in that belt…kill all but essential power so that I couldn’t be detected…and then wait to see if anything turns up. Prepare a sensor probe and launch it. We’ll use that as our eyes and ears until we’re sure he’s through the belt.”

“Aye, Sir.” The pixyish Hungarian acknowledged. “Probe launched.”

“You’re chasing down a Shlavka?” Merric asked, momentarily forgetting his still lingering doubts.

“Yes.” Robert answered back, “In fact, it’s the same one that had destroyed your shuttle.”

“And what are you going to do when you catch up with it?” Merric inquired in a suspicious tone.

“Hopefully…” the commodore replied as he looked thoughtfully at the two young Halenoi before him, “…find a way to put an end to the killing.”

“The only way that’s going to happen.” Merric declared with a scowl, “Is when the last Shlavka butcher is dead.”
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Old July 27 2008, 01:15 PM   #21
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

Talk about trouble.

This is going to get ugly very quickly. I love the way you've got both groups doing similar infiltration techniques, some to cause harm and others for information gathering.

This is getting real good, keep it coming.
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Old July 27 2008, 10:03 PM   #22
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

Yeah, I agree, the juxtapositon of the Lexington and the Shlavka away teams is very interesting indeed. And the paranoid Halenoi won't make any distinction between the two if the Starfleeters are discovered, I'm sure.

You set things up to turn really bad, really fast. I think it is Wesley and the possibly the two Helenoi on the Lexington who might be the wildcards in this.

Excellent stuff.
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Old July 28 2008, 12:21 AM   #23
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

You've certainly caught the 'cowboy diplomacy' era rather well.
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Old July 28 2008, 01:20 PM   #24
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

A fantastic story is being set up here. I love the style - the three point view of the story and the TOS feel as commented on by others. Wesley is a sharp tack and knows his stuff. But of course in the way of these things something somewhere is going to go afoul. Oh and of course there are our mystery guests to consider and just when they might show up for dinner.
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Old July 28 2008, 09:04 PM   #25
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

I have a very serious beef with you. You don't post to this story often enough or in long enough segments! Which I guess is the best praise I can give for this excellent story!
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Old August 7 2008, 02:33 PM   #26
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

You're doing a great job balancing the various threads in this story. Wesley's obvious pride in his ship and crew come through clearly as he gives his guided tour to the two Halenoi.

Obviously, you're setting us up for the excrement to hit the oscillator. I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
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Old August 15 2008, 04:58 PM   #27
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Lexington: Aliens Part 4

“The only way that’s going to happen.” Merric declared with a scowl, “Is when the last Shlavka butcher is dead.”

As Wesley pondered the young Halenoi pilot’s words, he sadly shook his head before replying in a grave voice, “What would that accomplish, young man? Will the extermination of an entire race bring back your dead?”


“No.” Merric retorted, “But it would bring them justice.”

“Justice for them?” Robert countered, “Or vengeance for you?”

“Sometimes…” Merric replied intently, “Justice and vengeance are the same thing.”

“The probe has detected the Shlavka ship.” Lieutenant Commander Zha’Thara interrupted, raising her head from the sensor hood over which she had been crouched. “They’re doing just what you thought they’d do. They’ve powered down their systems to minimum hoping the ionic interference would mask their presence.”

“Are you going to attack them?” Flying Officer Merric inquired; his heart racing as he anticipated the destruction of his hated foe.

“No.” Commodore Wesley responded in a low voice as he shook his head. “We’ll wait until the Shlavka captain decides to power up and then we’ll continue following him.”

“But…the Shlavka…” Merric protested, his face reddening with anger, “…you’re just going to let them go…after they destroyed our shuttle…raped our world…stole our people…”

“We are not here to take sides in your war.” The gray-haired commodore declared; his powerful and commanding presence silencing the young Halenoi’s remonstration. Seeing that he had both of his guests’ attention, Robert’s voice took on a much gentler—almost fatherly—tone. “If we can—and if you are willing—we will try to help you make peace—but we cannot and will not participate in your war—nor will we let your conflict spread out into the neighboring systems. Like it or not—this is a big galaxy and there are far more races out here—some of them friendly like us—others far more hostile than the Shlavka could ever hope to be—and others still far more alien than you can possibly imagine. If you’re going to go out into this…” He gestured with his right hand at the starry field on the viewscreen, “…then you had better understand that.” Exhaling deeply as the Andorian science officer’s relief walked on to the bridge, an idea flashed into the commodore’s mind. “Talana? Would you mind continuing our guest’s tour? The next stop I’d planned was engineering.”

Sensing at once her commanding officer’s plan, the lovely blue-skinned woman flashed a conspiratorial grin, “Of course, Sir.” The smile still on her face, the lieutenant commander, turning her attention to the two Halenoi, gestured towards the turbolift, if you’ll accompany me…”

Taking the center seat as his science officer and two guests departed the bridge, the commodore instructed Talana’s relief, “Keep a close eye on those sensors—I want to know the moment that ship powers up.”

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

“Everything seems to be in order Dr. Collins…Ms. Watley.” An UMBRA security guard, clad in a beige suit with gold trim declared as he inspected the forged credentials that Lieutenant Collins and Ensign Watley had presented him. “Long way from home.” The security guard remarked conversationally, smiling flirtatiously at the dark-haired Jennifer as he entered the phony names into his computer. “I remember going to the beaches at Calys as a boy…before the Shlavka came. I heard they did a wonderful job restoring them. Tell me…does the sky still turn that glorious pink color as Danae rises?”

Inwardly giving thanks for the hours of tedious and exacting rehearsal that the Bear had put her and the others through before reporting in, Jennifer shook her head, “You must be thinking of Demi Beach—on the other end of the island. Calys is still undergoing reconstruction—but—if all goes well—it should be opening the start of the new cycle.

“That’s right.” The security guard answered back; nodding his head in satisfaction at the answer he had been given. “I remember now.” Handing Collins and Watley a pair of identification tags, the guard instructed, “You have to wear at all times while you’re in the security compound. Dr. Tyee’s labs are on the third lower level. Take the second lift on the right, and if you have any questions or see something suspicious, just hit the intercom and a security guard will be there at once.”

“Thank you.” Collins replied as he affixed his tag to his coat pocket. “We’ll keep that in mind.”

“See you later.” Jennifer added, giving the guard a playful wink as she walked by. “Maybe we can get together for a cup of jarrok sometime?”

“Yeah…sure…” the young guard responded with a grin, “Just say when and where and it’s a date.” Jerking his head towards Collins, the guard whispered, “Better hurry…your boss looks impatient.”

“I’ll get back to you.” Jennifer smiled back as she rushed to join the engineering lieutenant.

Sparing the young science officer a sideways glare, Collins grumbled, “Did you forget the Commander’s orders, Ensign?”

“No, I didn’t.” Jennifer replied defensively, adding, “It pays to get on the good side of the guys with the guns, and if a little flirting makes our jobs a little easier—what’s so wrong about that. Besides…” the raven-haired beauty teased, “…it was fun.”

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

Cilla gritted her teeth, barely concealing her anger as she saw her soon-to-be supervisor leaning over the shoulder of the receptionist she was due to relieve, whispering in her ear as he shamelessly flirted with her. As she watched the scene in front of her play out, the communications officer hearkened back to a conversation she had with one of her few friends on the Lexington, Lieutenant Commander Zha’Thara before she had beamed down to the surface.

“Even though legally there’s equality between the sexes on Halen…” Cilla explained, repeating much of what she’d said at an earlier briefing, “…culturally, economically, and socially it’s still very much a patriarchal society. Very few women hold high positions in politics, business, the government, the military, or academia…”

“And mild to moderate sexual harassment is still very much the rule in the workplace.” Talana completed and then, her antennae leaning forward in a gesture indicating worry and concern, inquired, “Are you going to be able to keep it together down there? I mean…I’m one of the few people who know the full story about why you are the way you are and…well…I’m afraid that…”

“I’ll get pissed off and punch out the first guy who gets fresh with me and end up screwing up the mission as a result?” Cilla finished as she daubed her mouth with her napkin. Sighing, the willowy blonde reluctantly confessed, “I’m worried about that too and I thought seriously about asking the Bear or Commodore Wesley to send someone else…but if I did that…I’d probably never get the opportunity again…”

“You’re probably right.” Talana affirmed her lips momentarily turning up into a slight grin, “While Alexei’s not as big a monster as you junior officers make him out to be—he’s usually not one to give second chances.” Exhaling, the blue-skinned woman nodded her head, “If you want to do more than utter the phrase ‘Hailing frequencies open, Sir,’ for the rest of your career, then you’re going to have to deal with this situation—and the sooner—the better.”

Taking a deep breath as she squared her shoulders and plastered a smile on her face, Cilla stepped towards the receptionist’s desk, “Hello.” Cilla introduced herself as she held out her credentials. “My name is Cilla Oudekirk—I’m the new second shift receptionist reporting for work.”

Quickly standing upright, the attractive man who had just been flirting with woman Cilla was due to relieve flashed a roguish grin as he took the papers from the long-legged Cilla’s hands. “I’m Colonel Pal Restof of UMBRA—head of security.” Examining the papers as the now off-duty receptionist vacated her chair; the Colonel nodded his head in satisfaction. “Everything appears to be in order. Welcome aboard. After winking at the departing secretary, Restof turned his attention back to Cilla, his roguish demeanor suddenly gone, “As you’re probably aware, we’re currently on a heightened state of alert. I’ll be taking a tour of the labs. If Commander Strakan or Colonel Freman calls, you’re to inform me immediately through my pager. Otherwise, take a message and I’ll return the calls when I get back.”

“Understood, Sir.” Cilla replied efficiently as she sat down at the receptionist’s desk.

“Excellent.” Restof exclaimed, the roguish grin returning as he eyed his new secretary appreciatively. “I should be back in about an hour.”

Waiting until her new supervisor had safely departed, Cilla grinned as she accessed the antique desktop computer. Now let’s see if I can find what we’re looking for without tripping any alarms.
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Old August 15 2008, 04:58 PM   #28
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Lexington: Aliens Part 4 cont

Walking down the corridors of the immense starship led by their Andorian tour guide, the two rescued Halenoi were once again amazed at the presence of the different alien races that comprised the Lexington’s crew. While consisting mostly of the Halenoi appearing race called humans, there were those with pointy ears that Talana called Vulcans, one that looked Halenoi, but had spots that appeared to run down his neck and back that their guide called a Trill, and even a few other Andorians amongst the crew of this astonishing vessel.

“How many different races are there?” Lieutenant Alys inquired in a hushed voice, “And how many are in this Federation of yours?”

Chuckling, Talana gladly answered the curious Halenoi’s question, “We’re not exactly sure how many different sentient species there are in the galaxy—that’s one of the reasons why we’re here—to try to make peaceful contact with as many as possible. As for how big the Federation is…” her chuckles now replaced by an impish grin, the Andorian science officer announced to her doubting charges, “…as of now the Federation is spread across an area of approximately a thousand light years and consists of around 59 different species—of course…” she added, the mischievous grin still on her face, “…I could be off by a few species—I haven’t checked the news lately.”

“Impossible…” Merric shook his head in disbelief, “There’s no way you can get so many different races together without them killing each other.”

Sighing dejectedly, Myra chimed in, “Much as I hate to say it, I have to agree with Merric. I can’t see how you can possibly keep such a large group of different species and cultures together for long.”

The grin that had been on her face now replaced by a thoughtful expression, Talana replied honestly, “It’s not easy—and you’re right—there frequently are tensions that crop up. Many of our races didn’t get along with each other prior to joining the Federation—and more than a few still hold a few grudges. For instance, my people and the Vulcans fought both cold and hot wars with each other for hundreds of years and were on the verge of another hot war when we made first contact with the humans. It was the Earthers, acting as mediators, who finally got us to make peace.” As the tiny group approached engineering, the Andorian woman’s teasing grin returned as the door slid open, “And then there are the Tellarites…”

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

“And this is where you’ll be working…” Dr. Tyee, an elegant, middle-aged Halenoi woman with platinum blonde hair, announced as she ushered Lieutenant Collins and Ensign Whatley through a doorway flanked by UMBRA security guards to either side. “It’s a spinoff from our special project.” The project director proudly declared, explaining, “If our theories are correct—and I think they are—then not only will we have broken the light-speed barrier for space travel, but we’ll also have a faster-than-light equivalent to radio.”

Subspace communications. Collins at once deduced. Plastering an enthusiastic smile on his face, the undercover engineering officer replied, answering for the young dark-haired woman standing beside him, “I can’t tell you how much we’re looking forward to working on this project, Dr. Tyee. When do we get started?”

“Excellent.” The Halenoi scientist answered back, pleased at the newcomer’s response. “I’ll introduce you to Dr. Castra—he’s the head of this particular section, and he’ll put the two of you to work. Come with me.”

As the project leader escorted the two undercover Starfleet officers to their assignment, she didn’t notice the covert looks a custodian sweeping the floor gave her as they passed by. As the door closed behind them, the custodian tapped the side of her neck two times, activated a tiny communications device embedded beneath her skin. In another section of the project, the leader of the Shlavka infiltration cell felt the vibrations emanating from a similar device implanted within him. As he tapped out his single tap response, Assig attempted to make the gesture appear to be an unconscious act as he spoke to the two Halenoi security guards opposite him.

“This is my first day on the job…” the Shlavka glibly lied as he regarded the slender red-haired Halenoi and his burly partner, “…and I’m afraid I’m lost. Can you direct me to the Dyska Project?”

After first examining the new employee’s credentials, the slender Halenoi replied as he returned the documents, “Go down this corridor…first door on the left…then third door on the right. Present your docs to the guard at the door.”

“Thank you.” Assig replied as he recovered his papers. “I’ll be on my way.”

Watching as the newcomer departed, the slender Halenoi smiled as he turned to his new partner, “Firsdays are always like this. Come with me, Rookie and I’ll show you where you’ll be assigned. So…” the security officer inquired as the pair made their way down the corridor in the opposite direction from which Assig went, “…that’s an interesting accent you have. Where did you come from again?”

“Dyakan City.” Alexei Kuznetsov, now wearing the uniform of one of the facility civilian security guards responded; keeping to his cover story of coming from one of the more distant, still resource poor continents.

“Yeah…” the other guard replied, his tone a mixture of sympathy and irritation, “…reconstruction efforts are still going on in your part of the world—aren’t they?”

“Right.” The burly Russian replied laconically, hoping that the tone of his voice would induce his partner to change the subject.

Taking the big man’s hint, the other guard sighed, “Can’t say as I blame you for not wanting to talk about it.” Jerking his head at a door, the guard declared, “This is your post. You’re not to let anyone through without the proper authorization. Have a good shift and I’ll be by to relieve you in four hours.” Nodding his head in acknowledgment, Alexei took his post. By now, the Commander figured, his team should be in place. Now, it was just a matter of waiting until Oudekirk and Collins got the information they were looking for. After that—it would simply be a matter of maintaining their covers while conducting a quiet surface investigation of Halenoi society and culture until the Lexingtonreturned…provided nothing went wrong, that is.

On the other side of the facility, the Shlavka leader made ready to strike. After first ensuring that he was in a blind spot where the omnipresent cameras could not spot him, Assig removed the thin fibrous wire that had been sewn into the color of his shirt. Turning it into an instant garrote, the Shlavka infiltrator grinned in satisfaction as he observed his prey. Waiting patiently for the right moment, the Shlavka infiltrator was soon rewarded as the guard turned his back on him. Striking smoothly and quickly, Assig wrapped the garrote around the Halenoi’s throat, twisting it until the body finally went limp. Checking to make sure there was no breath or heartbeat, Assig dragged his victim into a nearby custodial room where he rifled the poor guard’s pocket until he found what he was looking for—a pass card. Tapping the subcutaneous transmitter implanted on the side of his neck three times, Assig gave the ‘go’ signal to the rest of his team. Soon—they would all be either heroes—or dead—or—most likely both. Either way—the only thing that counted was the success of the mission. Assig had yet to fail a mission and had no intention of doing so now.

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

Gasping at the sheer space in the giant starship’s engineering section, Lieutenant Alys remarked, her voice filled with awe. “This section alone is bigger than most of our manned deep space probes.” Her eyes fixed on the thrumming warp core, the flight control officer inquired, “What do you use as fuel? Fusion?”

“No.” Talana shook her head, “We use matter—anti-matter.”

“Impossible.” Merric sneered, “There’s no way you could contain that much energy.”

“Then why aren’t your atoms scattered all across space, Pup?” A course, gravelly voice demanded.

Pivoting rapidly towards the voice, the young Halenoi pilot’s eyes widened as they laid eyes on something that he had only imagined seeing in a science fiction movie. All the other aliens he and Myra bore at least a superficial resemblance to Halenoi: the humans, except for slight variations in eye and hair color could pass unnoticed—a thought that had begun to slowly gnaw at the suspicious young pilot. And as for the other races, except for the Andorians with their blue skin and antennae, they were close enough to Halenoi standards where they wouldn’t look too much out of place. But the individual standing before him now defied such simple categorizing. He was a portly—really stout would be a better description—individual about a head shorter than the Halenoi pilot and much hairier. But what truly set him apart were his facial features. His broad snout and sharp canines gave him an almost feral cast. Stunned speechless by the alien, Merric almost missed his next words.

“What’s with these two, Talana?” The porcine alien demanded in a belligerent voice, thrusting his finger at the Andorian woman who was at that moment valiantly trying to restrain her laughter. “Are they brain damaged or something? And why the hells did you bring them into my section? I have more important things to do than wet-nurse a pair of striplings.”

“Calm down, G’arv.” Talana replied in a voice half teasing—half conciliatory. “Commodore Wesley’s orders. These are the two Halenoi we rescued from that shuttle.” Turning her attention back to her guests, Talana introduced the two of them to the acerbic being wearing a red shirt and rank designations similar to the Andorian’s on his sleeves, “This is Lieutenant Commander G’arv, our chief engineer. He comes from another planet that was a founding member of the Federation, Tellar.”

“And a damned good thing we decided to join too.” The Tellarite declared in a gruff voice, “Otherwise you’d all be lost.”

“Modesty is not a Tellarite virtue.” Talana jibed back. “That goes for good manners as well.” Her smile vanishing, the Andorian patiently explained to the gruff engineer, “The Commodore was hoping that you’d show Flying Officer Freman and Lieutenant Alys your section and maybe answer any questions they might have.”

“Four years of Starfleet Academy…post-graduate degrees in warp mechanics and plasma physics…and fifteen years as an engineer on everything from Kestrels to Connies and I get stuck playing tour-guide.” The stocky engineer huffed, “All right, pups…follow me and try not to get lost and if you have any questions I’ll try to answer them in words you can understand.”

As the little group began to make their way deeper into G’arv’s domain, Myra whispered into Talana’s ear, “Is he always like this.”

Snickering, Talana whispered back, “To tell the truth…we’ve caught him on a good day.”

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

“Commodore…the Shlavka ship has resumed course.” Lieutenant Terrence Lawford, the Lexington’s chief navigator, announced.

“Follow his course and heading, Ms. Bathory.” Commodore Wesley instructed, “And remember…keep our distance…we don’t want to spook him.”

“Aye, Sir.” The youthful Hungarian acknowledged.

Cupping his chin, Robert gazed intently at the viewscreen, his eyes trying to pick out the dim Shlavka vessel moving amongst the other points of light. In an almost inaudible voice, the commodore muttered to himself, “It’s a wild gamble—but I don’t see any other choice. Otherwise, an awful lot of people are going to get killed and I’ll probably end up sharing a spot in Hell with Colonel Green.”

“Sir! A B’rel class scoutship has appeared on our scanners.”

Snapped out of his reverie by Aliz’s thickly accented Hungarian voice, Robert at once ordered, “Magnify.” As the wavy, fuzzy image slowly defined itself into the shape of one of the relatively new raptor-shaped Klingon pursuit craft, the commodore barked out, “Course and heading!”

“They’re on an intercept course for the Shlavka vessel.” Lieutenant Terrence Lawford reported back in his usual posh English accent. “Estimated time until they reach weapons range—two minutes…thirty seconds.”

Coming to a quick decision, Wesley inquired, “Can we get to that ship before the Klingons?”

“If we go to maximum warp now…” Terrence promptly replied, “We should get there at nearly the same time.”

“Do it.” The commodore ordered as he punched the intercom button on his chair arm, “Red Alert…all hands to General Quarters.”
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Last edited by DavidFalkayn; August 15 2008 at 08:53 PM.
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Old August 15 2008, 06:05 PM   #29
mirandafave
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

And now the enter the fray but what exactly is their purpose? ... mmm ... - Means trouble any which way.

Great to have Aliens back. This is a really interesting story with again great parallels and differences between the different incursion teams. it gets even better as the federation crew is likely to get hit by all sides.
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Old August 15 2008, 07:42 PM   #30
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Re: Lexington: Aliens

Looks like we're heading into the breach.

Great work on the infiltration teams. I'm looking forward to see how the Shlavka get their asses whooped by Starfleet.
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