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Old August 11 2009, 07:16 PM   #16
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Six

Captain Limis took a sip of raktajino while looking at a padd Logan and Morrison presented her with. She placed the padd on the circular coffee table in front of the sofa on the opposite side of the entrance to the bridge. “My understanding of starship operations is a little out of date,” she said. “You’ll need to explain it in layman’s terms.”

“At 1317 hours,” Morrison replied, “my security sensors detected a subspace transmission not using any of the subspace antennas. It could not have gone far, but long range sensors detect no other ships, cloaked or otherwise.”

“Cloaking technology is always advancing,” Limis offered.

“There is more,” Logan added. “When Ensign Huckaby tried to recover the log, there was no log to recover. The message was sent through the ship’s power grid and encoded in the waste energy from the propulsion system.”

"It’s a Maquis trick to make coded transmissions harder to trace,” Limis recalled. It was how Starfleet was able to receive our distress at Athos Four. So someone on this ship is trying to cover their tracks.”

“Unfortunately,” said Morrison, “because of the illicit nature of this transmission, localizing it will be extremely difficult. This person has already demonstrated he will go to great lengths to destroy the evidence.”

“Also at 1317, the warp field was amplified by 300 percent.”

“So our warp signature was detected across a larger radius,” Limis finished. “To repeat your metaphor, Mister Logan, we were lit up like a Christmas tree.”

“That’s hardly a coincidence,” Morrison bluntly stated. “We could have a mole on board.”

“What’s the procedure for flushing out shapeshifters?” the captain inquired.
“Phaser sweeps, blood screenings,” answered Morrison. “Of course they aren’t entirely reliable."

“Get on it, though,” Limis commanded. “Logan, work with Tarlazzi and Sullivan to redouble your efforts to mask our warp trail. Dismissed.”

Both men walked towards the door to the bridge. Logan stepped through when the doors parted, but Morrison stayed. “If I may ask,” he said, “why did you and Arnit divorce?”

Limis had raised her coffee mug off the table, but then set it back down. “That’s a very personal question, Lieutenant.”

“Your intelligence file said you and Arnit had personality clashes,” the security chief explained. “It could be a matter of ship’s security.”

Limis stood up and walked towards Morrison. “Are you suggesting Arnit is a Changeling?” she snapped. “Or worse, he’s collaborating with those monsters?!”

“We can’t rule it out. Many of the Maquis felt the Federation abandoned them. Some of them may feel the Federation doesn’t deserve their help.”
“The alternative is to sit back and watch the Dominion conquer the Alpha Quadrant or help the thugs who wiped out the closest thing he and I had to family.

“Our marriage may have been a hell worse than the one the spoonheads inflicted on us, but I can tell you he is no collaborator.”

“Understood,” Morrison demurely replied, and walked out.

Limis walked back to the sofa. A thought crossed her mind as she sat back down. Was she still in love with her former spouse? She dismissed the thought as quickly as it entered her conscious thinking. But everything else was true even if their feelings during youth had fizzled out.

Outside the briefing room, Morrison stepped onto the bridge with a blush. That woman had a certain exuberance he found attractive. Of course, such a thought was not appropriate regarding his captain. He quickly composed himself and tapped his combadge.

“Morrison to Major Davis,” he said, contacting the Military Assault Command Officer commander, “prepare your teams to conduct phaser sweeps and blood screenings. We may have a Changeling on board.”

Kozar handed a padd he was reviewing back to Ensign Huckaby. “Changeling?” he asked Morrison.

“We have a mole on board,” the security chief replied. “The sender of that mysterious transmission.”

“The captain is showing her lack experience,” Kozar mused. “There have been no reports of Changeling infiltration in the past five months. The Dominion probably feels it can win this war without spies and saboteurs. The Klingon war set us back, as did the Borg’s attempt to change our history.”

“We can’t rule it out,” Morrison insisted.

“We’re about to take the ship into battle with a skeleton crew,” Kozar replied, tapping his combadge. “Kozar to Major Davis, disregard Mister Morrison’s orders.”

“I’m following the captain’s orders, Ronnie.”

“And I’m countermanding them. We can’t send our people chasing after a wild goose that may or may not exist.”

The rest of the bridge crew looked away from their stations. The last thing this shorthanded crew needed was a mutiny, especially in the midst of a war.

After two days traveling at warp eight, the Lambda Paz reached the nebula. It was a large red cloud that appeared to span nearly a light year. It was the gaseous remains of a million year old supernova which enveloped planets in various adjacent star systems.”

Morrison had been pleasantly surprised to see no enemy patrol ships, even within one light-year of the Tong-Beak Nebula. “Maybe they’re all hiding inside the nebula,” he commented, watching his tactical sensors.

“Were you expecting a big welcoming committee?” Limis asked sarcastically. “I though Starfleet officers prefer to avoid bloodshed.”

“Just something we’re not used to seeing in the vicinity of a strategically important outpost,” Morrison explained.

The comm chimed and Logan signaled. “We’re ready to begin shutting systems down,” he announced.

“Set warp and impulse engine power output at ten percent of normal,” Kozar commanded. “We want to be able to get out of here at a moment’s notice.”


Assault probes began closing in on the starship. Two of them rammed into the shields. “Quantum torpedoes, full spread,” Kozar ordered.

A wave of quantum torpedoes exploded near the twelve other assault probes destroying them effortlessly. That was almost too easy to the bridge crew.

“Conn,” said Limis, “take us to one quarter, and then let the inertia carry us in.”

“Aye, sir,” Sara Carson answered from the helm. “We’ll enter the nebula in approximately two minutes.”

“Huckaby,” Limis continued looking over to Operations, “shut down all non-essential systems.”

Huckaby complied and the lights dimmed.

From the edge of the Lambda Paz’s sensor range, a Jem’Hadar battle cruiser was tracking their course. A Starfleet delta representing the Federation ship on Ulin’talag’s status board began fading off and on. First Teron’tokal and the Vorta Yelgrun stood in the center of the bridge observing activity in the immediate vicinity through their headsets.

“The Federation ship is getting closer to the nebula,” Ulin’talag reported. “We won’t be able to detect them once they’re in.”

Teron’tokal walked towards the pilot, Third Otan’irix. “Extrapolate its course,” he commanded, “then lay in a parallel trajectory.”

“Make sure we remain on the edge of their sensor range,” Yelgrun added.

“We’ve reached the nebula’s perimeter,” Lieutenant Carson reported.

“Kozar, get Arnit up here,” said Limis. “Let’s see what’s in there.”

Last edited by Enterprise1981; August 11 2009 at 08:26 PM.
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Old August 12 2009, 07:34 PM   #17
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Seven

Captain’s log, stardate…
Captain’s log…

Limis sat in the command chair attempting to record a log entry. Each time she started, the recorder shorted out. She rolled her eyes after the second attempt and turned off the recorder on the control panel on her right. “Like this ship was put together by monkeys,” she mumbled.

“What’s that, Vira,” Arnit asked from behind her. He had just stepped off the turbolift after having received Kozar’s text message.

Limis rapidly stood up and turned around. All her years in the trenches gave her those kinds of reflexes. “If we were still in the Resistance,” she scowled, “I’d kick your ass for scaring me like that.”

“Just making sure you still have those survival instincts,” Arnit replied, pacing towards the center of the bridge. Looking at the viewscreen, he said, “I see we’re in the nebula. Set a course bearing one-three-seven mark two-six.”

Carson looked up from her console in confusion. “Captain?” she said.
“What he said, Lieutenant,” said Limis.

Kozar looked away from the mission operations station behind tactical. “There’s magnetic turbulence on that heading,” he reported. “You copy, Carson?”

“I see it,” said Carson, entering a course correction.

The ship still caught a piece of that magnetic turbulence and the bridge shook. “We went through worse in the Badlands,” Arnit complained.

“We still should play it safe whenever possible,” said Limis. “We still need to have a ship to get there.”

“Approaching the planetoid,” Carson reported.

“Anything on sensors?” Kozar asked Morrison at tactical.

“If there’s a base down there,” Morrison answered, “we wouldn’t know it. The nebular gases are still playing hell with the sensors.”

“I would suggest going into a high orbit outside transporter range,” said Arnit taking a seat in Kozar’s empty chair upon seeing the first officer making a beeline to it.

“He’s right,” Morrison replied. “I’m reading a warning buoy which turns on and off at random maneuvers. It’s a brilliant maneuver.”

“Kozar,” Limis said, looking up at the commander, “We’ll use the shuttles to conduct reconnaissance. Assemble the designated pilots and have a plan in one hour.”

Chaz Logan provided Erhlich Tarlazzi and Rebecca Sullivan a look at the shuttlebay to introduce them to a unique class of shuttles supplied by Starfleet Intelligence. These shuttles had no markings of any kind that would immediately give them away to an enemy. The locator transponder could be modified to appear to be any ship of their choosing.

“Normally, only Starfleet Intelligence uses these shuttles,” Logan explained. “During wartime, however, these shuttles are important assets to any ship.”

“Just out of curiosity, sir,” said Rebecca, “What is the point of distinct markings on a starship or support vessel? That seems self defeating.”

“In the event a ship is destroyed,” Logan answered, “we can still identify it from a few pieces of debris.”

“Of course, in the Maquis,” said Tarlazzi, “we could just scratch those markings off those old rebuilt fighters.”

“Sorry to rob you of that honor,” Logan quipped.

The comm chimed and Limis called. “Bridge to Commander Logan. Please report to the briefing room. Rebecca, I’d like you there as well.”

“Acknowledged,” Logan replied. “Sh’Aqba,” he called to the Andorian engineer present in the shuttlebay. “Finish giving Tarlazzi the runaround. Make sure he doesn’t break anything.”

Tarlazzi waited until Logan had left the shuttlebay before deciding to mock him. “’Make sure he doesn’t break anything’,” he said to sh’Aqba. “What’s the worst that can happen? I mistake an isolinear processor for an antimatter containment grid and the whole ship blows sky high?”

“Your hypothetical scenario notwithstanding,” said sh’Aqba, “that is possible, but highly unlikely. Technology continues to advance, so you may not be familiar with the latest innovations.”

“Fair enough,” Tarlazzi relented. “But he acts as though I could injure his child by pressing the wrong button.”

“Starfleet engineers can’t help but be proud of their work, Mister Tarlazzi.”

Logan and Sullivan arrived at the briefing room where Limis was waiting for them. Kozar and Morrison were also present, as was Sara Carson. Arnit was by Limis’s side. Why she stuck up for a man she divorced was peculiar. Maybe it was getting used to a new commanding officer. Logan, like the other Starfleet vets, still couldn’t help being suspicious of their guest.

“Now that we’re all here,” said Limis, “we’ll be launching a reconnaissance mission to the planet to verify that there is in fact a Jem’Hadar breeding facility on the surface.”

“Commander,” she continued looking to her right to Kozar.

Kozar walked over to the display screen, which showed a topographical display of the facility’s vicinity. “We’ll be sending two shuttles to conduct massive scans of the surface,” he said to the group. “We’ll stay just outside of visual contact so we’ll appear to be one of their patrol ships.
“I’ll lead one team,” he continued. “Mister Logan, you’ll lead the second team.”

“Rebecca,” said Limis, “I’d like you to accompany Kozar. Consider this on-the-job training. Carson, you’re with Logan.”

“I’d like to accompany one of those teams,” Arnit offered. “I know the terrain.”

“We prefer not to put civilians in danger,” Kozar answered.

“Was I asking you, first officer?” Arnit growled.

Limis raised a hand to quiet the argument. “Gentlemen. This is one protocol I’m going to abide by, despite your knowledge of the planetoid.”

Second Ulin’talag had taken command of one of the smaller Jem’Hadar fighters. Two of those fighters had been dispatched to monitor the activity of the shuttles that had just departed the Lambda Paz. After seeing the shuttles move closer to the atmosphere, he sent a message to Otan’irix, in command of the other fighter. “They’ve reached the atmosphere,” he announced. “I’m setting an intercept course.”

“The First’s orders were to monitor only,” the Third replied.

“I know the First’s orders. They cold take what they learn and bring others to destroy the facility. We normally shouldn’t question our gods. But their plan has no guarantee of success. Lay in an intercept course. Prepare to attack.”

Shinar sh’Aqba supervised modification of the communication system on the bridge. Engineering teams had already made the necessary changes to the communications antennas throughout the ship. Now came bringing the bridge controls online. “Try it now,” she told a technician at the mission operations station on the starboard side of the bridge.

Sh’Aqba then walked over to the operations console. “We now have audio communications with the two shuttles,” she reported.

“Open a channel,” Limis commanded. “Lambda Paz to shuttles one and two. Can you read us, Commanders?”

“We hear you loud and clear, Captain,” Kozar replied.

Logan’s comm channel then piped through. “Getting a clear signal.”

“We’re within sensor range of a large structure,” Kozar reported. “Lifeform readings detect a large number of Jem’Hadar and Vorta. Minimum power levels.”

“What are your scans picking up, Logan?” Limis asked.

“Closer range scans reveal what look like incubation units,” Logan reported.
Static suddenly filled the comm channel before it cut out. “What’s going on?” Limis demanded of sh’Aqba. “Get them back.”

“I can’t,” sh’Aqba responded. “Some kind of communications dampener.”

Morrison’s console then sounded. “Two Jem’Hadar fighters entering the atmosphere from the far side of the planet,” he shouted. “Closing in on the shuttles’ position.”

“Why are we just now detecting them?” Limis asked.

“They emerged from a dense hydrogen pocket.”

“Conn,” said Limis to Huckaby, now manning the helm, “set an intercept course. Red alert.”
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Old August 14 2009, 09:36 PM   #18
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Quite the epic you're building here. Lots of fun with the crew, too. More?
...sf fandom is only a personality disorder if you do it right.-Klaus - archive stories! for honest gaming

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Old August 15 2009, 09:26 PM   #19
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Eight

Logan futilely tapped the comm panel several times after losing contact. “Lambda Paz, do you read?” he shouted.

“Some kind of communications dampening field,” Carson suggested from the starboard co-pilot seat. “We’d better get up to the ship before… “

A perimeter alert sounded from her station. “Two Jem’Hadar ships have entered the atmosphere,” Carson reported. “They’re closing fast.”

“Try to evade them,” Logan replied.

“Evasive pattern delta initiated.”

The nose of the shuttle pointed upward towards the sky. The two enemy fighters were immediately nose-to-nose with the shuttle. The Jem’Hadar ships fired phasers back-and-forth while moving in its single file attack formation.

Both Logan and Carson had to grasp their consoles to keep from falling out of their seats. “Inertial dampers failing,” Carson reported. “I can’t promise anything with these atmospheric thrusters.”

“Switch controls to manual,” said Logan, as the shuttle took two more hits. The ceiling nearly collapsed in on Carson. She covered her head shrapnel fell over her.

“Atmospheric thrusters have failed,” Carson said after another hit. “We won’t be able to escape the atmosphere.”

“Then find a place to set us down,” Logan suggested. “Transferring power to lateral thrusters.”

The Lambda Paz moved into a low orbit. Huckaby kept a firm hand on the helm to maneuver a ship not normally designed for sub-orbital flight. “I have weapons lock,” Morrison reported.

“Fire quantum torpedoes,” Limis commanded.

Four quantum torpedoes erupted from the ship and struck both Jem’Hadar fighters. The two enemy ships then moved upwards and veered away from the planet.

“The Jem’Hadar are moving off,” Morrison reported. “They’re not even putting up a fight.”

“We’ll worry about this atypical maneuver later,” Limis replied. “Raise Commander Logan.”

“I can’t” sh’Aqba answered after entering commands into her console. “I’ve extrapolated the shuttle’s exhaust trail.”

“What about Kozar? Tell him to get up here.”

“No need to tell us, Captain,” Kozar shouted over the comm channel. “We’re on our way. We’ll be in the shuttlebay in five minutes.”


Limis then closed the channel. “Put us in a standard orbit, Mister Huckaby,” she said. “Sh’Aqba, have Doctor Markalis and a team of MACO’s report to Transporter Room One. You have the bridge until Kozar returns. Morrison, you’re with me.”

The captain made a beeline for the starboard turbolift when Morrison stepped in front of her. “Captain,” he said, “Starfleet Code, Section 12, Paragraph 4 states that the second most senior officer should lead this team.”

“I’m aware of the regulation,” the captain sternly answered. “Paragraph 5 then states the captain has discretion.”

Without another word, both Morrison and Limis headed for the turbolift. Morrison raised another concern after they left the weapons locker and headed for the transporter room. “Should we bring the doctor with us?” he asked.

“Our people may need immediate medical attention,” said Limis. “If I understand correctly, Starfleet officers are trained in basic combat. Are you suggesting she can’t handle herself?”

After a brief hesitation, Morrison answered. “Not at all.”

The other four members of their team had already arrived in the transporter room. Markalis was fidgeting with her phaser and tricorder holsters. Behind her were three Military Assault Command Officers conducting visual surveys of their phaser rifles. Their uniforms were quite different from standard Starfleet uniforms. They were black jumpsuits made of a heavier fabric with a red or gold stripe across the chest.

Major Jonathan Davis was the MACO leader and so had a red stripe on his uniform. Hew was a tall heavy-set human who dwarfed everyone else in the room. He was as tall as the Brikar in the group, Mik Tannan, who came from a race much taller than the average humanoid. The third person in the group was Dinara Nowitzki, a tall tan-skinned human woman.

“Let’s go,” Limis declared.

The six-person team stepped onto the transporter platform. Markalis was now fidgeting with the strap on her medkit even as they dematerialized. The team materialized in a barren desert region of the planet.

Limis, Morrison, and Markalis pulled out their tricorders and began scanning for human life signs. The captain tapped her combadge with the side of her left hand already holding her tricorder. “Limis to Commander Logan or Lieutenant Carson,” she said, “if one of you can hear me… “

She was interrupted when alarms sounded on the tricorders. “Two life signs,” Markalis reported. “One of them faint.”

“Any idea which one?” Morrison asked even though his tricorder was telling him the same thing.

The away team moved single file towards a ravine to where the life sign readings originated. Upon reaching the ravine, they could see Logan limping and grasping the ravine walls. “Logan!” Morrison shouted. “Where’s Carson?”

“She’s in the shuttle,” Logan answered. “She’s stuck under some debris I can’t lift by myself.”

Markalis immediately stepped in front of Logan to scan him. She was feverishly pushing buttons to diagnose the engineer’s condition. “Third degree plasma burns, broken clavicle, punctured lung,” she said in her usual dispassionate voice.

Before she could signal the ship, a legion of three Jem’Hadar materialized near the edge of the ravine. The three closest armed with kartokins impaled both Markalis and Major Davis in the shoulders. Morrison and Limis lunged towards those Jem’Hadar knocking two of them over. Tannin, who had the strength of five Jem’Hadar, grabbed the third soldier by the neck and threw him down. As that Jem’Hadar got himself back up, the Brikar poked him with a stick that delivered a small electric shock.

Logan and the MACO’s left standing helped up Davis and Markalis up of the ground and led them into the ravine.

Up in orbit, Kozar and Sullivan had just stepped off the starboard turbolift. Kozar was mystified to see a Bolian he recognized as Ensign Jovis Ren at tactical and Lieutenant sh’Aqba seated in the captain’s chair. “Where’s the captain?” he demanded.

“She’s on the planet’s surface looking for the other shuttle’s crew,” sh’Aqba answered, standing up to face Kozar.

“What?” Kozar snapped. “Is she out of her mind?!” For a minute, Ronnie considered that the captain might be killed. But wishing such a fate on a fellow officer for such petty reasons as being passed up for command was a notion no Starfleet officer should think of.

“Get her team back up here now,” he demanded.

Sh’Aqba took back the Ops consoled and attempted to comply. “Nothing doing,” she said. “Targeting scanners are too erratic to bring them all up at once.” She then bolted for the port turbolift to lend a hand in the transporter room.

Down on the surface, Tannin and Nowitzki scrambled to help get their wounded colleagues further out of harm’s way. Nowitzki reached into Markalis’s medkit to find some cloth to use as tourniquets. Markalis talked the MACO’s through the process of applying the tourniquets to sufficiently stop the bleeding in both her shoulder and the major’s wounded shoulder.

Limis and Morrison, meanwhile, were in fierce combat with the two Jem’Hadar using their rifles to deflect their opponents’ swords. With one strike from a kartokin from the side, Limis’s rifle flew out of her hands, and she lost her footing. Just as her opponent was about to go for the kill, Limis pulled her Type-2 hand phaser out of her holster and fired. Without looking to see the life drain from her enemy, Limis turned and shot Morrison’s opponent.

As they retreated towards the ravine to join their colleagues, three more Jem’Hadar materialized. Limis and Morrison brought up the rear behind Tannin and Nowitzki. The Starfleet team quickly prevailed in the ensuing fire fight. Six more then materialized.

“Limis to Lambda Paz!” the captain called. “Get us out of here!”

While awaiting transport, the Starfleet team pulled further back towards the shuttle. Nowitzki took a flurry of Jem’Hadar plasma rifle fire.

Aboard the ship, sh’Aqba worked the transporter controls. “I can get you up a few at a time if you stay in the same place,” she informed the away team. “I wouldn’t recommend taking refuge in the shuttle. I can’t even lock onto the life sign in there at this range.”

“Just get us out before we’re all dead!” Limis shouted over the barrage of phaser fire.

Morrison ran toward the shuttle hoping to get Carson out. “Get back here,” the captain called pointing her phaser at Morrison. “That’s an order!”

“Sorry,” Morrison answered. “I’m disobeying that order.”

Sh’Aqba energized the transporter beam and five figures fizzled in and out. She attempted a narrower confinement beam, and Logan and Markalis materialized. After energizing a second time, Davis and Tannin came aboard, then the charred body Nowitizki. Once they were safely aboard, sh’Aqba beamed them to sickbay.

Limis and Morrison were still under heavy fire while moving towards the shuttle. They slipped through a large crevice in the shuttle’s hull. Carson lay unconscious slumped over the co-pilot seat with a heavy girder over her. Limis felt her neck for a pulse. “She’s alive,” she said. She then looked over at Morrison. “Why were you so determined to save her?”

Morrison sighed. That was enough of an answer for his captain. He was too embarrassed to say it aloud, especially now that he was willing to disobey orders to save the woman’s life.

“I see,” Limis said with a nod.

“Would Arnit have abandoned you under similar circumstances?”

Limis was running on too much adrenaline to recall any such instance while in the Bajoran resistance or the Maquis. The brutal beating of her resistance colleague two decades earlier was one incident that always haunted her to this day. “My people have a saying,” Limis stated. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

“That’s not a Bajoran saying. Those were the words of Spock of Vulcan.”
“If it works, use it.”

Sh’Aqba had tried to bring Limis and Morrison aboard, but she quickly lost the lock altogether. “Bridge,” she said, tapping a comm panel, “recommend moving into a lower orbit f I have any chance regaining the lock.”
“That’ll be difficult with another squadron of Jem’Hadar on the way,” Kozar replied. He then looked at Ren. “How long before they’re in weapons range?”

“Thirty seconds,” Ren answered.

“We can use an old Maquis trick that almost always worked,” Sullivan offered. “Of course, I’ll have to take the helm.”

“Ensign,” Kozar said to Huckaby, “give her your seat.”

Huckaby reluctantly ascended from his chair. He held out his arm to offer the chair to Rebecca. Rebecca sat down shooting a devious grin at the skeptical young man. She tapped a comm panel to hail engineering.

“Sullivan to Tarlazzi,” she said. “Bring warp engines to full power and take us to Warp One.”

“Warp speed?” Kozar asked. “Inside a planetary atmosphere?”

“Think of it as flooring the gas when it’s still in park,” Sullivan replied. “Ops, route as much power as you can to lateral thrusters.”

“At least you know this ship very well already,” Huckaby offered, although he did not fully understand the reference to primitive ground vehicles. “I’ll do my best.”

The ship hurdled down towards the planetoid. The bridge rocked harder and harder as it got closer to the surface. Kozar’s eyes widened contemplating the imminent destruction of what had been his ship prior to its first, and hopefully not its last, voyage. “Watch the structural integrity, Huckaby!” the short-tempered first officer sang out.

Down in the transporter room, sh’Aqba kept the targeting scanners locked on the general vicinity of the crewmembers still on the surface. Almost without warning, a readout indicated she had regained the lock.

Effortlessly, sh’Aqba energized and brought Limis, Morrison, and the barely conscious Carson aboard. “Bridge,” she said triumphantly. “I’ve got them.”

Upon hearing this, Sullivan tapped a control on the helm sending the starship back upward. The backwash of the sudden change in direction forced up a large amount of desert sand creating a massive dust storm that could envelope an entire continent. Once the Lambda Paz had cleared the atmosphere, it immediately streaked to warp before the Jem’Hadar battleship got off a single shot.
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Old August 17 2009, 08:52 PM   #20
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Rapid, exciting battle sequence. Now what?
...sf fandom is only a personality disorder if you do it right.-Klaus - archive stories! for honest gaming

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Old August 18 2009, 08:32 PM   #21
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Nine

Yelgrun was furious. Two of his soldiers had disobeyed his and the First’s orders to monitor only. Their defiance could have completely derailed their plan. After all, part of that plan was for the Starfleet vessel to bring the information accumulated back to its home base. The Second and the Third stepped onto the bridge ready to face the music.

“Why were my orders not obeyed?!” the angry Vorta demanded.

“The plan had no guarantee of success,” Ulin’talag calmly stated.

“That is not your decision to make, Second,” Teron’tokal growled, grudgingly reminding the second-in-command of his title.

“With respect, First,” Otan’irix began, “I attempted to remind the Second of your orders.”

“But you still defied those orders,” Yelgrun replied.

“And you are both aware of the consequences of your defiance,” Teron’tokal added. He unholstered his hand phaser and quickly vaporized both soldiers. Now that the biggest liabilities in his unit eliminated, Teron’tokal could continue to the next phase of the Founders’ plan.

The Lambda Paz EMH applied a dermal regenerator to Doctor Markalis’s wounded shoulder. She had removed her uniform jacket and blue tunic to allow easier access to the wound, which left a large stain of blood on the back of her sleeveless tank top.

Markalis had her own patient though, monitoring Lieutenant Carson’s vital signs at the main biobed. She grabbed a hypospray to administer a dose of innoprovaline to stabilize the patient. The holographic doctor rolled his eyes in annoyance of his patient’s refusal to hold still. He grabbed her left arm to finish his treatment.

Limis and Morrison entered to see medical attendees treating the injuries that Davis and Logan had suffered. Both their cases were less urgent, so the two doctors could attend to more critical cases. Markalis had stabilized Nowitzki before she could attend to her own injury. An alarm sounded at the MACO sergeant’s biobed. Markalis raced towards the second biobed in the surgical bay.

“I haven’t finished treating your injury,” the EMH huffed.

“I am in far less danger of dying than she is,” Markalis replied. “Attend to Lieutenant Carson before I decompile your program.”

The EMH gasped in horror. That was a death threat directed at him from a fellow medical practitioner sworn to do no harm. He knew the rules of triage as well as she did, so he complied with the chief medical officer’s order without another word.

Nowitzki’s vitals were failing. Markalis asked the nearest attendee for a cortical stimulator. An electrical pulse from the stimulator traveled into the patient’s cerebral cortex. No change. “Again,” Markalis ordered.

Another pulse shot through Nowitzki’s brain, but nothing happened.
The EKG readouts flat lined, but the doctor pressed on. The cortical stimulator sent one pulse after another to no avail. “Make a note in the log,” Markalis stated. “Death occurred at 1157 hours.”

Everyone else present in sickbay stood silently for almost a minute. Limis then turned her gaze to Morrison. “If it’s convenient,” she said, “I need to see you in private.”

Limis and Morrison stepped off the bridge port turbolift and headed straight for the briefing room. Kozar looked up from a padd he was reviewing. He handed it back to the young female ensign who gave it to him and followed the captain and security chief. “Captain, a moment of your time,” he said.
Limis had already anticipated that Kozar would criticize her decision to lead an away mission to the planetoid. “I’m not in the mood right now,” she said without taking a look at her XO.

“Tough,” Kozar snapped.

“The doors closed behind Kozar after he was the last to enter. Limis then turned around to both subordinates a stern look. She then pointed to Kozar saying, “Before I get a dressing down from my first officer, you should be dressing down your second officer for failing to follow orders.”

“With all due respect, ma’am,” Morrison replied, “your decision to lead an away team was a risky one. Then you were going to let Carson die down there.”

“I decided we had to cut our losses. The Jem’Hadar kept coming at us. We all could have been incinerated.”

“Easy for you to say. You sent a lot of your colleagues to their deaths.”

Limis soon remembered the brutal beating Yanith suffered at the hands of the Cardassians. He died the next day even knowing he made a major sacrifice to set back their oppressors’ ship production efforts.

“You are out of line, mister,” she snarled. “You are on report. Dismissed.”

Morrison exhaled in exasperation, turned, and left the room. Limis sighed as well before sitting down at the head of the meeting table. She had dealt with insolence all her life, especially from Cardassians. But Starfleet officers, she knew, set better standards.

Kozar was still standing on the captain’s left. Seeing him in the corner of her eye, she asked, “Something else, Kozar?” She picked up a padd from her last time there to indicate her disinterest in what the first officer had to say.

“Only that you took a huge risk leading that away mission,” Kozar answered. “You could have been killed yourself. One crewmember died as a result.”

Limis quickly remembered that Kozar had been passed up for command in favor of her. Although humans had overcome wishing ill on those who were obstacles to career advancement, she felt Kozar had to be mildly disappointed with his current position.

She slammed the padd on the table, stood up and glared straight at her second-in-command. “And you would just love that,” she snapped. “I die, and you get the command you feel you’re entitled to.”

“That is not fair,” Kozar calmly replied. “All I’m saying, ma’am, is that you have made a few poor choices already, perhaps to assert your position.”

“I don’t need to assert anything, Commander. I have the rank and the position. And if I remember Starfleet protocol, even female superiors are to be addressed as ‘sir’.”

She picked an interesting time to point that out. But he and Morrison had been calling Limis “ma’am” in protest of Command’s decision. “Yes… sir,” he said. “That is the protocol.” This he didn’t want to fight her on, and without being dismissed, Kozar exited the room.

Mandel Morrison went back to sickbay after his dressing down from the captain. He had expected Doctor Markalis to be off duty following her ordeal planetside. She was frantically entering commands into the diagnostic console overlooking the surgical bay where Carson was asleep on the main biobed.

“How is she, Doc?” Morrison asked.

“She will recover,” Markalis replied without looking up from the console. “I am keeping her for observation overnight in accordance with… “

Morrison raised a hand knowing Markalis’s tendencies to quote regulations and protocols word for word as if she was at least half-Vulcan (although she clearly wasn’t by the shape of her human ears). “You needn’t quote the regulation,“ he said. “Shouldn’t you be off duty as well?”

“The hologram was pissing me off,” she said, “and the captain needs that postmortem report on Sergeant Nowitzki by 0700 tomorrow. I encrypted the program and not even your security authorization can break it.”

Markalis gave Morrison the kind of triumphant sneer children would give when they thought they had outsmarted the adults. The doctor stormed off into her office. Morrison knew from her file that she was socially awkward. Her excellent academic record and credentials as a medical practitioner outweighed her obvious social deficiencies. Her work on Ajilon Prime as a trauma surgeon after the Klingons invaded that world less than a year earlier had nearly a dozen Starfleet captains demanding Markalis as their chief medical officer.

Mandel tiptoed to Sara’s bedside and stroked her forehead. She opened her eyes and smiled at the sight of a familiar face. “I feel like a shuttlepod was dropped on my head,” she groaned.

“The doctor says you’ll make a full recovery,” Morrison whispered. “I wasn’t about to let the captain leave you there.”

Her eyes widened at the implication that Morrison went against orders. “Are you in trouble?” she asked.

“I’ll get a reprimand in my file, meaning I won’t be eligible for promotion for three years. I can live with that.”

Carson exhaled slowly and placed her left hand on her forehead, feeling a rush of pain there. “I could sleep for days,” she sighed, “but I’d like to get out of this sickbay.”

“I can arrange that,” Morrison said with a wink.

He walked over to the diagnostic console to tap into transporter control. He and Carson dematerialized. Markalis heard the transporter beam from her office and raced out to the surgical bay.

Markalis raised her right hand to tap her combadge. She stopped herself thinking that calling in an all-points bulletin on them would also be admitting to disobeying orders to take it easy while recuperating from her injury. Wherever they went, they’d be back if any further problems arose.

Weyoun received a transmission from Yelgrun regarding the reconnaissance of the Starfleet ship Lambda Paz. Once the Lambda Paz crew confirmed that the planetoid deep inside the Tong-Beak Nebula did, in fact, house a Jem’Hadar breeding facility, Yelgrun would then report back to Weyoun.

Dukat’s Dominion advisor spoke to the fellow Vorta through the wall-mounted monitor in the station commander’s office. “The Starfleet vessel got what it came for,” Yelgrun stated. “We offered the kind of resistance they’d expect. As far they’re concerned, the planet has minimal defenses.”

“Excellent,” said Weyoun in his usual self-assured manner. “However many they send back, we’ll mobilize twice that amount.”

“Of course. I will begin redeploying our forces in that sector.”

Weyoun did not turn around to see Dukat come in through the main doorway until Yelgrun signed off. He then smiled upon seeing the Cardassian. “Ah, Dukat,” he said with a wry grin. “I was just about to summon you. I need you to contact the fleet commanders in Sector 21607 and have them re-deploy to the Tong-Beak Nebula.”

Dukat nodded in acknowledgement. He remembered his conversation with Weyoun about a Jem’Hadar breeding facility he knew nothing of. Such a clandestine encroachment on Cardassian territory was a small price to pay for eventually becoming rulers of the Alpha Quadrant. “Is this is any way related to the fleet deployments Damar reported?” he asked innocently, as if he heard none of Weyoun’s communiqué with Yelgrun.

Weyoun chuckled at Dukat’s feigned ignorance. “I told you about the breeding facility there,” he said. “The Federation is willing to do whatever it can to achieve a quick end to this war. We’re taking advantage by evening the odds after Toros Three.”
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Old August 18 2009, 08:47 PM   #22
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

You did have some grammar errors here but the story is fascinating. Your ship is a mess-morale wise. Your crew does not strike me as top-notch. It is a war, though, so more is tolerated I guess. This is a cool story. Looking forward to more.
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Old August 19 2009, 03:02 AM   #23
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Mistral wrote: View Post
Your crew does not strike me as top-notch. It is a war, though, so more is tolerated I guess.
That's fair. The captain is an ex-Maquis, so isn't entirely familiar with Starfleet rules of conduct. The doctor is going to be sort of a Seven of Nine minus the sex appeal. Her attitude towards the EMH is an "I'm not obligated to be courteous to a piece of technology" kind of thing (perhaps mirroring Pulaski's initial attitude about Data).
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Old August 19 2009, 06:36 PM   #24
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Mistral wrote: View Post
Your crew does not strike me as top-notch. It is a war, though, so more is tolerated I guess.
That's fair. The captain is an ex-Maquis, so isn't entirely familiar with Starfleet rules of conduct. The doctor is going to be sort of a Seven of Nine minus the sex appeal. Her attitude towards the EMH is an "I'm not obligated to be courteous to a piece of technology" kind of thing (perhaps mirroring Pulaski's initial attitude about Data).
A not so 'top notch' crew is, I think, the most luring part of this story. Good to see you finally updating it!!! Keep it coming!!!

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Old August 19 2009, 07:58 PM   #25
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Ten

Limis Vircona rarely had the creature comforts this starship had—replicated food, a comfortable bed, and a sonic shower, a chamber that used sonic pulses to rid ones body of all the dirt and grime. She never saw the appeal. It did not have the same sensual feeling as cold water pouring down on her.

While running her hands through her wet hair, she felt two hands touching her bare shoulders. Arnit was standing behind her. He kissed her neck. Limis turned around slowly to kiss him on the lips.

Upon opening her eyes, Limis’s former spouse morphed, as if he was a Changeling, from a Bajoran to a Jem’Hadar. He then pushed her against the wall with one hand grabbed her neck, choking her. She began to feel her own death was imminent before experiencing a sensation of being in two places at once. She felt herself lying in bed. She awoke quickly and sat up slowly, having to absorb that she was partially clothed in a sleeveless tank and upper thigh length underpants.

Limis thought for nearly a minute what this dream meant. That contemplation then gave way to doubts about the next mission. She grabbed the combadge on the nightstand and tapped it. “Rebecca,” she said. “Sorry if I woke you, but can you come to my quarters?”

Vircona and Rebecca had many heart-to-heart discussions during their time in the Maquis. Those long talks got Rebecca through her husband’s death even more than the counselors on Jaros Two. In the absence of a ship’s counselor, Rebecca would be someone Vircona would confide in on many occasions.

Neither was an expert on dreams, but Limis knew from experience that dreams were warnings of possible futures. They would also be subconscious thoughts coming to the surface. She once loved Hasin Arnit, and maybe his presence brought back those passionate memories. His transformation into a Jem’Hadar may have been a warning that planted seeds of doubt in her mind.

Rebecca Sullivan entered Limis’s quarters without ringing the bell. She had that right as one of her closest friends. The captain sat at her desk with her uniform slacks and unzipped red tunic on while staring at the desk monitor. The sensor data gathered while the Lambda Paz was in the nebula. She looked through the numbers almost hoping they would tell her something different.

“This does seem far too convenient, Rebecca,” she mused aloud.

“Federation and Klingon ship captains made a point of avoiding the Tong-Beak Nebula after a few ships disappeared there. We actually go in, and we find next to nothing in terms of resistance.”

Sullivan was not at Arnit’s de-briefing, but Limis told her everything afterwards. “Perhaps that was to keep the Cardassians from getting too curious,” she offered. “Arnit said not sharing some things with them gives the Dominion an ace in the hole.”

“I still would’ve liked to have been under heavy fire,” Limis answered with a grin at the irony of that statement. “The Borg usually wait for an opponent to show their cards. Not the Jem’Hadar. They see something that doesn’t belong, they shoot first and ask questions later.

“Most of all, we’re getting information that tells us what we want to hear. My gut tells me this is too good to be true.”

“Would you prefer doing nothing?”

“Of course not. Admiral Ross is convening a meeting of fleet commanders. I can still voice my concerns.”

Sara Carson’s surgical gown lay on the floor next to the bed in her quarters. Morrison’s uniform and undergarments lay in a pile next to the gown. Sara rested her head on Mandel’s chest. She smiled contently when he opened his eyes.

This was the first time they had consummated their relationship. They met when they were transferred to the Lambda Paz from their previous assignments. Carson had previously served on the Defiant as a relief flight controller, while Morrison served with Kozar on the Horatio Nelson until the Klingon withdrawal from Cardassian space, by which time war was almost inevitable. Their relationship involved a lot of playful flirting in the beginning. As war was on the horizon, their relationship was the only distraction.

“I feel like I could stay here like this for three days,” she purred.

“Too bad I’m on duty in a few hours,” Morrison responded. “I’m already in enough trouble disobeying orders and then sneaking you out of sickbay.”

“The things we do for love,” Sara quipped.

Mandel’s eyes widened. Yes, he cared for this woman. But hearing those words love in reference to their relationship made him nervous. “Are you saying you love me?” he asked.

Sara lifted her head to look Mandel in the eyes. “I guess I am,” she said.
Morrison blinked and looked away as if this was the last thing he wanted to hear. Sara turned her head to her left. “What?” she asked.

“This near death experience suddenly had me wondering if we should be so attached,” he relented. “Who is to say both of us will survive this war?”

Sara gritted her teeth in restrained anger. Starfleet officers faced all kinds of danger, but that never stopped fellow officers from becoming romantically involved. She rolled over and got out of bed. She made sure to cover herself with the bedspread, as Mandel did not now deserve the privilege of seeing her naked. She walked to the other side of the bed and threw his clothes on the bed. “Get dressed and get the hell out,” she snarled.

Carson walked into the side alcove housing the sink and sonic shower. Morrison knew she would stay there until he left her quarters. He quickly dressed wishing he could take back what he said. While was in love with her, he felt saying it would be committing to something he wasn’t sure of.
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Old August 19 2009, 08:23 PM   #26
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Short but to the point.
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Old August 20 2009, 09:01 PM   #27
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Eleven

The ward room at Starbase 375 was filled with high-ranking Starfleet officers meeting with the senior most crewmembers of the Lambda Paz. The purpose of this meeting was to debrief the Lambda Paz captain and first officer and decide what course of action to take next.

Captain Limis felt more out of place than the two Klingons seated at the opposite side of the circular table. The Klingon wearing a Starfleet uniform was obviously Worf, the service’s only Klingon. She did not recognize the other Klingon dressed in military armor and missing his left eye. The only other Starfleet officer she recognized was Benjamin Sisko, seated amongst four unfamiliar rear admirals.

Admiral Ross entered the meeting room accompanied by a human woman with the rank of captain. He handed the padd he was reviewing to Captain Joanna Bennett and stood at the end of the table nearest the door. “Thank you all for coming,” he said to the rest of the group. “Two days ago, the Starship Lambda Paz conducted a reconnaissance probe into the Tong-Beak Nebula. Her captain is here with us.”

Ross raised his left hand to point out the Bajoran captain. She told all other present about the breeding facility on a planetoid inside the nebula. She then turned the floor over to Kozar. Kozar walked over to the monitor screen to show a set of schematics he had prepared for the briefing. On the left side was a topographical map of the area where the facility was located. The right showed a vertical layout of a standard Jem’Hadar breeding facility.

“If this is such an important facility from which to breed troops,” General Martok, the one-eyed Klingon stated, “It makes very little sense that it would have minimal defenses.

“During my first voyage aboard the Rotarran, I ordered that the nebula be avoided because of reports the Jem’Hadar were using it as a base.”

Martok glanced over at Worf, who was also familiar with that mission. Martok repeatedly ordered that the ship avoid combat situations while in search for a missing Klingon battle cruiser.

“Perhaps the Jem’Hadar altered their patrol routes since the war began,” Worf suggested, “but not if this nebula had strategic importance.”

“A number of strategies seemed uncharacteristic,” said Limis. “Two Jem’Hadar ships were firing at one of our shuttles. We came at them with quantum torpedoes and they retreated without a fight.”

“They’ll do that if they have bigger goals in mind,” Sisko explained. “When I made first contact, the Jem’Hadar passed off their Vorta as one of their prisoners. They wanted us to escape so that she could serve as a spy in the Alpha Quadrant.”

“You’re suggesting that was for our benefit?” Limis asked with a bewildered look. “And that we’re being lured into an ambush?”

“It’s not out of the realm of possibilities,” Sisko grimly suggested.

“So, do we launch this assault or not?” Rear-Admiral Coburn inquired. “Your ship, Captain Limis, did encounter minimal resistance, but that could change by the time our fleets arrive.”

“Weigh that against the consequences of doing nothing,” Admiral Jellico added. “Unless we act, the Dominion will have no problem creating Jem’Hadar in the Alpha Quadrant.”

“We could still end up losing as many ships as we did at Toros Three,” said Vulcan Admiral Sitak.

“It’s worth the risk if we can set the Dominion back even further,” Andorian Admiral ch’Mak insisted.

Soon everyone began talking at once arguing the costs and benefits of a possible offensive. Neither side would relent. Ross tried in vain to quiet the crowd.

“I, myself, went through making these tough decisions enough for an entire lifetime,” Limis interjected, which quieted the crowd. “It’s never easy. I lost many friends on Bajor. And we may take huge losses. We’ve got to keep the momentum on our side.”

Sisko raised an eyebrow at Limis’s last statement, even though she wasn’t intending on using a baseball metaphor. Addressing the admirals, Limis continued. “You made a statement when giving the order to mine the wormhole. I started to have my doubts when too many things seemed to go our way. We are at war. We can’t afford to second guess ourselves.”

“All those in favor of an attack,” Ross said to the lower ranking admirals. All four of the rear admirals approved an offensive.

In the absence of the captain and first officer, Mandel Morrison had command of the Lambda Paz. He had taken this time to oversee repairs and diagnostics of tactical systems. As second officer, he awaited daily reports from all department heads to assure the captain the ship would be in perfect condition to fight a larger battle.

Morrison observed Huckaby running a diagnostic on the structural integrity fields when relief tactical officer Jovis Ren reported from the opposite side of the bridge. “Commander Morrison,” the Bolian called. “I’m getting those readings you told me to look for. Someone is using the EPS taps to send a subspace transmission.

Morrison looked back at Huckaby. “Ensign, call up the power allocation logs,” he said.

Huckaby pushed a few controls to access those logs from the last few minutes. “Confirmed, sir,” the ensign replied.

“Run signal correlation traces, Ensign. We may be able to narrow it now that our mole made a second transmission.”
Morrison headed for the command chair to contact the captain. “Bridge to the captain,” he said after tapping the comm panel.

“I’m just returning to the ship,” Limis answered. “I’m in transporter room one.”

“Good, I need to see you as soon as possible in private.”

Although low on the priority list, engineering crews finally put the finishing touches on the ready room off the starboard side of the bridge. The sofa and coffee tables from the briefing room materialized behind the viewport just as Limis, Kozar, and Morrison entered.

Kozar gave a quick visual survey of the room almost wishing this was his. Luckily, he had no opportunity to personalize this office. Limis also took in the rather Spartan setting, thinking one redeeming quality Cardassians had was greater creativity in terms of interior design.

“Our mole has sent another message,” Morrison reported once the doors closed. “This time Huckaby has traced it to a specific section.”

“As I said before,” Limis stated, “this is an old Maquis trick. The guilty party most definitely covers his or her tracks well.

“Mister Morrison, have your people poke around. Proceed with caution. We don’t want to tip our hand too much.”

“Yes, sir,” Morrison compliantly replied before leaving.

“How will this affect the mission, Captain?” Kozar inquired.

“It shouldn’t,” Limis replied, taking a seat behind the desk. Kozar took two steps towards the two desk chairs. He then decided to stand, feeling he was on the wrong side of the desk.

“We should just be extra careful to code all internal and external communications,” Limis continued. “I’ll mention it to Admiral Jellico and the other fleet commanders. But I want the mole found before we reach the nebula.”

“Very good, sir,” Kozar replied.

Limis smirked at being called “sir.” She saw no point in such a practice, though Bajor had more gender egalitarian society for more than ten millennia, before the rise of the first ancient civilizations on Earth. Maybe the masculine appellation was symbolic of making some kind of headway with a first officer constantly second guessing her.”

Kozar motioned towards the door, but then stopped and turned around to address the captain on one more issue. “If I may make a suggestion,” he said. “We launch several probes ahead of two of the four fleets. If a large fleet is massing and we’re being lured into ambush, we call for backup.”

“I’ll propose it to Admiral Ross and the fleet commanders.”

Kozar nodded in agreement and left the ready room. Limis felt some wave of relief both that the admiralty had approved the offensive and that certain safety precautions would be taken. She still felt apprehension that something would go horribly wrong.
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Old August 21 2009, 09:13 AM   #28
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Loving this series. Keep it up. Do you happen to have a site for this besides on here?
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Old August 21 2009, 07:29 PM   #29
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Twelve

Captain Limis sat in the officer’s lounge sipping raktajino while staring at a desk monitor screen. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for while looking at the sensor data picked up from their last mission. Maybe if she looked at the numbers enough times, she could put her mind at ease. One thing was for sure. She would not be getting any sleep for the next two nights. Perhaps that was because she had trouble falling asleep before a major battle or because she didn’t want her subconscious telling her something she didn’t want to hear.

Arnit then entered the dark and empty lounge. Limis was too focused on the monitor to look away and see who entered. Arnit ordered a glass of Bajoran synthale from the replicator. Once it had materialized, he took a sip, winced, and remembered why he hadn’t drunk the stuff in a while. His time in the Maquis meant not always having the luxury of fully functioning replicators.

He walked over to his ex-wife and sat on the sofa facing her. “You never could get any sleep before a big battle,” he commented.

“Some things never change,” she quipped. “Everything the sensor data tells us is that is a Jem’Hadar breeding facility. But my gut tells me this is a death march.”

“Even if many lives are lost,” Arnit replied, “a greater good will be served, Vira.”

“We kept reminding ourselves of that even after our friend Yanith was beaten to death in that mining facility. “Of course, we don’t put a dent in that planetoid and whole fleet is wiped out, then lives are wasted needlessly.”

“We had our victories and our defeats against the spoonheads. But if the Prophets showed us all of the future, then life would be without challenges.”

Vircona cringed at hearing the word Prophets. She could never fathom why caring gods would allow such suffering despite Arnit’s statement. Did the fact that the Occupation did not end sooner than it did mean that those who prayed for deliverance were not praying enough?

“You have a point there,” she said. “We’re taking various precautions: coding our transmissions, sending probes out ahead of our fleets.

“We launch in the morning. All we can do is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

The two of them exchanged smirks. For a second, they both wondered if old feelings would be rekindled. That was never the case during their Maquis days. At least they could have a civil conversation. That was a minor victory. If only making peace with the Dominion was a simple.

Vircona yawned saying, “I actually am a little tired now.”
“Walk you to your door?” Arnit jokingly asked.

“That will not be necessary.” She placed her half-full coffee mug back in the replicator and walked out without dematerializing it.

At 0700 hours on the starbase’s clock, the Fifth and Seventh Fleets departed Starbase 375. The Lambda Paz was part of the Seventh Fleet under the general command of Admiral Jellico. The admiral had described Captain Limis as a “loose cannon” to Commander Kozar. He didn’t see that in her at the meeting though. Maybe he based that assertion on certain preconceptions he had about the Maquis.

Commander Logan had similar preconceptions, which were seemingly validated by his interactions with Erhlich Tarlazzi. His seemingly cavalier attitude epitomized the notion that the Maquis were undisciplined. Logan had come to see that Tarlazzi was often pulling his leg, and entrusted him to assisting Lieutenant sh’Aqba in running diagnostics on the probes they would soon be launching. Tarlazzi had experience building makeshift reconnaissance buoys for more covert missions.

“This is one sophisticated piece of machinery,” he commented, while entering commands for running self-diagnostics. “It’s a shame we can’t send a whole bunch of these into Dominion-held territory.”

“They would be shot down in a heartbeat,” sh’Aqba said, looking up from her tricorder scan of the nose of the probe. “Besides spying on the Cardassians would have given the Dominion an excuse to attack anyway.”

Tarlazzi smirked at the Andorian’s statement. A war broke out despite the usual diplomatic platitudes he had heard to no end. “War was going to happen one way or another,” he countered, “even if missiles heading for Cardassia was really code for ‘We’ve reached our primary fallback position.’ The idealistic Federation’s attempt at diplomacy was only delaying the inevitable.”

“My people once believed that about the Vulcans,” sh’Aqba replied, closing her tricorder. “Two-hundred years ago, Vulcan had a puppet government, where the Romulans were pulling the strings.

“Many believed that Andor would not be safe until every Vulcan was dead. But we resolved our differences and became two of the founding members of this ‘idealistic Federation.’ “

“Our current enemy, though, is unlike any other,” Tarlazzi responded. “The Founders will not rest until they’ve achieved complete subjugation of ‘solids.’”

“Believing an enemy to be different from any other has been a justification of atrocities on many worlds.”

She had a point there. Rigel’s history was known for its subjugation of the Neanderthal-like Kaylar. Tarlazzi’s ancestors were ancient Vulcans who colonized what was now Rigel Seven. Generations of crossbreeding with the primitive natives created a whole new species. Two millennia later, the full-blooded Rigel natives maintained rather primitive ways of life. Human anthropologists compared the Kaylar to the prehistoric Neanderthals. Later analysis found the Kaylar to be more accurately compared to Earth’s ancient Nordic tribes.

On the subject of the Dominion, Tarlazzi felt that he and sh’Aqba should agree to disagree, so decided not to push the matter further. The result of the diagnostic he was running appeared on a readout screen. Blinking in red letters were the words Unknown component interfering with normal sensor functioning.

The Rigellian picked up his tricorder and scanned. An alarm sounded indicating this component was in a forward sensor cluster. He opened an access panel. What looked like tentacles were burrowing out of the mechanical wiring. An electrical surge quickly filled the component shorting everything out. It was a bio-synthetic device the Dominion once used to sabotage a Federation starship in order to instigate a war. Something told Tarlazzi that this sabotage was the mole’s handiwork.

Tarlazzi set down the tricorder and tapped his combadge. “Tarlazzi to Commander Logan. We have a problem.”

Captain Limis was still awake well into the gamma shift to read personnel reports from the department heads. She could only muster three hours of sleep the night before, yet a cup raktajino was not allowing her to have full concentration on the reports. In fact, she failed to acknowledge the first door chime. “Come in,” she mumbled after the second chime.

Morrison entered carrying a larger sized padd. “We may have had a breakthrough in our investigation,” he said, setting the padd down on the desk. “A room-by-room search seems to have revealed who our mole might be.”

Limis picked up the padd. Her eyes widened at the name of her likely culprit. She stared at the screen trying to absorb this turn of events when the door chime sounded again.

“Yes, come in?” she snapped.

Logan and Tarlazzi both entered. Tarlazzi showed the now fried bio-synthetic device he found in the probes. “We found this while conducting diagnostics on the probe sensors,” he said. “It may have been in there to create false sensor readings.”

“Acting on a hunch,” Logan added, “we found similar devices in the shuttles dispatched to the planetoid.”

“How could they have eluded the security sensors?” Morrison inquired.

“They were beamed in,” Tarlazzi replied, “and once inside, they latched on like a virus.”

“In all likelihood,” Logan offered, “we saw what we wanted to see. And we know where these devices were beamed from.”

Limis glanced at the padd and then back at the engineers. She knew exactly whom they were referring to before they said another word.
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Old August 22 2009, 09:21 PM   #30
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz

Chapter Thirteen

Hasin Arnit stood before two prayer candles perched on the nightstand. He had both forearms pointed upwards in accordance with the Bajoran prayer ritual. The silent meditation was interrupted by the door chime.

He opened his eyes and inhaled slowly through his nose. He then walked over to the candles to blow them out. “Enter,” he said.

The double doors leading to the main living area of his quarters parted. He grinned at the sight of Limis at the door. She walked in without an invitation accompanied by Kozar, Morrison, and two human security guards, all armed with Type-2 phasers.

“Vira,” Arnit said with a sound of feigned surprise. “Is this a party for me?”

Limis held up a padd containing information Arnit had provided when he first came aboard along with a new set of findings. “That Jem’Hadar breeding facility,” she said, “it’s no breeding facility, is it? It’s just an unmanned monitoring station.”

Arnit looked at the telemetry from the probe launched from one of the other ships in the fleet. His stone-cold expression did not change. If he was misleading the crew, his face didn’t show any sign of guilt. “I’m just as surprised as you,” he offered.

“Then how do you explain the unauthorized transmissions originating from your quarters?” Morrison asked.

“This was not my place,” Arnit began. “I believe Commander Kozar is your mole. He countermanded your order to search this ship for a Changeling infiltrator. You’ll find those bio-synthetic devices were beamed from the replicator in his quarters.”

“Nice try,” Kozar calmly replied. “If I was a spy, I’d cover my tracks a lot better. And we never mentioned any bio-synthetic devices.”

“That’s evidence you undoubtedly planted in case you got caught,” Limis added.

“I defended you despite everyone else’s suspicions,” the captain lamented. “I didn’t want to believe you to be a Dominion collaborator even when the evidence was staring me in the face because you got sloppy.”

Limis then looked behind her to the two junior security officers. “Throw him in the brig,” she ordered.

The two guards walked towards Arnit. Just as they were about to grab him, Arnit threw down his earring. A flash of light momentarily blinded everyone else in the room.

When they all regained their sight, Arnit was gone. Limis tapped her combadge to hail the bridge. “Limis to the bridge: Intruder alert.”

Lieutenant Selek, a middle aged Vulcan male and the night-watch commander sat in the first officer’s chair on the bridge when he acknowledged the order. He then accessed the power consumption logs on the console on his left.

“Captain, he transported away just before you sounded the alert,” he reported in the usual dispassionate tone of a Vulcan.

An alarm sounded from the Ops console, occupied by the Kobliad male Tor Makassa. “Sir,” he shouted, “unauthorized shuttle launch in Bay 3.”

“Can you block it?” Selek asked.

“No such luck,” Makassa replied.

“Rebecca,” Limis called over the comm to Sullivan at conn, “break formation and lay in a pursuit course.”

Limis, Kozar, and Morrison entered the bridge from the port turbolift. Selek quickly vacated the center seat and stepped onto the open turbolift. “Message from Admiral Jellico,” Ensign Makassa reported from Ops. “He wants to know why we’ve broken formation.”

“Tell him to piss off,” Limis replied. “We’re just one ship.”

Makassa knew not to respond to the hail in those exact words and immediately cut the transmission. Limis seated herself in the captain’s chair and looked to Morrison. “Hail the shuttle,” she commanded.

“Captain,” Kozar whispered, leaning over from his chair, “you probably should have informed the admiral before ordering the course change.”

“If you have a problem with my orders,” Limis stated calmly,
“you can file a formal protest… and shove it up your ass!”

“Channel open,” Morrison reported, completely oblivious to the exchange between captain and first officer. “He’s not answering though.”

“Arnit,” Limis called over the comm. “It’s Vira. Why are you doing this?”

“Why is obvious,” Arnit replied from the one-seat cockpit of compact shuttle pod. “These people signed a treaty with the spoonheads leaving us at their mercy. Their spineless desire for peace blinded them to our suffering. And they our colleagues be slaughtered by the Jem’Hadar.”

“You are ware that you are helping these murderers.”

“You don’t think I know that?!” he shouted, his voice breaking. “They killed our friends and destroyed everything we cared about. But the Federation stood by and allowed it to happen. I want them to see what being mercilessly slaughtered is like!”

“I understand your hostility towards the Federation, Arnit. "This is not the answer, though. We can talk this out… “

The comm channel suddenly shorted out. Alarms sounded throughout the bridge. “Perimeter alert,” Morrison called. “Looks like the Jem’Hadar are coming to us.”

“Message from fleet command,” Makassa added. “Sixteen hundred twenty-three Dominion ships closing fast.”

“Battle stations!” the captain called.

“How many ships?” Yelgrun asked Fourth Romat’ison, who was manning the primary tactical and communications monitor on the Dominion flagship’s bridge. Romat’ison was now second-in-command, although Yelgrun had chosen not to elevate the young and inexperienced soldier to the title of Second. The Vorta decided he would have to earn that title once this battle was won.

“Six-hundred fifty,” the Fourth answered. “In weapons range in one minute.”

Teron’tokal addressed the rest of the Jem’Hadar. “Our motto, ‘Victory is life’ has literal meaning,” he announced. “Today we fight to protect our unborn brethren. Victory is life!”

“Victory is life!” the other Jem’Hadar on the bridge echoed.

Romat’ison’s console blinked, indicating the large armada had reached weapons range. “In weapons range,” he reported.

“Attack wings one through five,” Yelgrun stated over the comm channel, “break formation and cut try to cut off the enemy fleet from aft. Remaining ships, attack all lead ships.”

Jem’Hadar fighters laid down cover fire with a methodical spread of disruptor fire. The larger battleships fired plasma torpedoes, taking out a large number of Federation frigates and Klingon Birds-of-Prey. The Federation-Klingon fleet returned fire quickly to counteract the Dominion strategy of cutting off an enemy’s possible escape routes.

The Lambda Paz had fallen behind the rest of the two fleets, and so was the last of the ships to be hit by enemy weapons fire. The Starfleet vessel laid down phaser fire. The shields absorbed disruptor fire. A swath of torpedo fire had a larger impact.

The bridge rocked hard. An auxiliary engineering station exploded, and a wall panel fell on the technician manning the station. Another torpedo hit inflicted heavy damage to the starboard nacelle.

“We’re venting plasma from the starboard nacelle,” Makassa reported.

“Divert repair crews to that area,” Limis shouted over all the commotion. “Route power to the good one.”

“Shields at sixty-four percent!” Morrison called out after another hit.

Both Limis and Kozar monitored the battle from the tactical display on their side consoles. “Fire aft torpedoes at the battleship’s ventral,” Limis commanded.

Silver bolts erupted from the aft of the ship, inflicting damage to the unprotected ventral of a Jem’Hadar battleship. The battleship got off a shot that barely grazed the Lambda Paz’s unprotected hull.

“Two fighters closing from port and starboard,” Sullivan reported. The ship took two hits from the two enemy ships firing in a single file attack pattern.

“Forward torpedoes,” Kozar commanded. “Dispersal pattern echo.”

A swarm of quantum torpedoes zeroed in on the two attacking fighters. One erupted in a fireball while the other quickly moved out of the line of fire.

The Lambda Paz arched to starboard, but a larger battle cruiser had just finished off two Vorcha-class Klingon attack cruisers and moved in for its next kill. Two plasma torpedoes struck the forward saucer.

Explosions were all over the engineering section. “Two anti-matter tanks just ruptured,” Logan shouted over the sound of falling girders. No response came from the bridge. “Bridge! Bridge!” he called out futilely.

“Internal communications are offline,” Makassa reported.
The situation was grim. For each Dominion ship taken out, they took out three alliance ships according to Morrison’s displays. “We’re losing ships at a faster rate,” he said reluctantly.

A ceiling fixture came loose and landed hard over the helm station. Sullivan dove out of the way in the nick of time.

“Rebecca!” Limis cried out.

Rebecca quickly stood up and raised a hand. “I’m okay,” she said lunging toward the end of her station not covered by the fallen fixture. “Inertial dampeners are losing power,” she noted grimly.

“Any chance of getting out while we still have minimal warp power?” Limis asked.


“Well, we can’t take too much more of this,” Morrison responded.

Aboard the Dominion flagship, the bridge rocked from numerous torpedo impacts. But the acting-Second’s attention was on another matter. Romat’ison kept a close eye on his tactical display to see that no enemy ships slipped by and headed for the nebula. That had not happened yet. He kept a comm-channel open just in case that did happen. “First” he whispered to Teron’tokal. “I’ve lost contact with the facility on the planet.”

“Can you reestablish contact?” the First inquired.

“There is nothing to reestablish contact with.”

Yelgrun was equally perturbed. He began thinking of a lie that would not get himself killed by his own troops. But he had gotten obedience out of these soldiers. And once he was dead, his clone would come to life anyway. “Since we are winning the battle,” he relented, “I can probably tell you.”

“Tell us what?” Teron’tokal growled.

“There was no breeding facility on the planetoid. It was a ruse to lure the Federation into an ambush.”

Both Teron’tokal and Romat’ison looked at the deceitful Vorta straight in the eyes. Yelgrun backed up slowly until he was up against a wall. He was almost hoping the two Jem’Hadar would strangle him to death right here and right now. “You had us believing we were protecting unborn Jem’Hadar!” the First growled. “I executed two of my subordinates over something that never existed.”

Teron’tokal and Romat’ison pointed their rifles at the Vorta. The other Jem’Hadar on the bridge also aimed their rifles. They fired a flurry of plasma charges at the defenseless Vorta until his charred body fell to the deck.

Romat’ison then returned to his console to notice another Starfleet delta enter the display. “I can’t identify it,” he said. “It’s throwing up a scattering field. Plus, our communications dampening field is also interfering with our sensors.”

“No matter,” Teron’tokal replied. “One ship will not turn the battle in their favor.”

The same blip appeared on Morrison’s display. “Sir, Arnit’s shuttle,” he called to the captain.

“Can you raise him?” Limis asked with an equally bewildered look. What was he hoping to accomplish with this defenseless shuttle pod. Maybe he had come to his senses. Either way, he’d be facing certain death.

“No, sir,” Morrison growled in frustration.

The pod was on a fast collision course for the lead battleship at the center of the battle. All the other ships were too focused on the larger Federation and Klingon ships to notice it. The pod exploded taking the battleship and at least six surrounding support ships.

“No!” Limis screamed, seeing the large explosion on the viewscreen. She had denied being in love with him after the divorce. Whatever positive feelings she still had for him rushed to Vircona’s conscious mind. She stood in shock with Rebecca, who had also lost a spouse, holding her back. All Vircona could do was watch the viewscreen in horror. All she had left of him was the memories of each other even though they had long before ceased to be husband and wife.

“Can you get us the hell out of here, Miss Sullivan?” Kozar asked.

Rebecca gently let go of her friend’s shoulders and slowly walked to the helm. “Getting the hell out of here maneuver confirmed,” she said.
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Join the hunt to stop "Omega".
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dominion war, star trek: lambda paz

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