Star Trek: Republic

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by MasterArminas, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Chapter Twenty-Two (cont.)

    Chris began to step out of the turbolift onto the bridge, but he stopped in mid-step. Every one of the ship’s senior officers were present; all of them standing and wearing their dress uniforms. And the Captain! The Captain was in their midst, and he was wearing a sword! The young man swallowed, wondering if he had missed reading a memo.

    “Mister Roberts,” the Captain said in strict and somber voice. “Why are you standing on my bridge? What are you doing on my ship when you are not in proper uniform?”

    Chris swallowed and he took a step forward, allowing the turbolift doors to whisper shut. “I-I-I was told to report to the bridge, Captain, Sir.”

    “I see. That does not explain why you are out of uniform, Mister Roberts. I believe that, by now, the crew and officers of this ship are well aware of my thoughts on the proper dress code.”

    “No excuse, Sir. I-I will change into my dress uniform at once, if I may be dismissed!”

    The executive officer stepped forward, his pale blue skin and white hair the perfect complement to his dress whites. “Captain Dahlgren, if I may?” he asked.

    “Very well, Mister Shrak. Mister Roberts . . . STAND AT ATTENTION!” Matt barked. “Miss Tsien, open the all-hands channel, please.”

    “All hands is now open, Sir.”

    “This is the Captain speaking. Attention to orders! Let it known, that on Stardate 53753.4, when engaged in action against the Nephkyrie vessel known as Ark Prime, that Ensign Christopher Roberts, did, upon his own initiative reconfigure the main deflector dish of USS Republic, redirecting and expelling energy absorbed from the detonation of a Nephkyrie fusion scuttling charge contained in a transporter matter stream. The backlash of energy throughout USS Republic exceeded the capacity of internal power relays to contain, and it was only through the quick-thinking and independent action of Ensign Roberts that the ship remained intact. Therefore, by the authority of Starfleet Command, as of Stardate 53753.9, let it published that Christopher Roberts is hereby promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade. May God have mercy upon his soul.”

    Chris stared as Chan stepped forward and removed his collar insignia, replacing them with the twin pips of a Lieutenant, j.g. The executive officer then stepped back and saluted; a salute that Chris quickly returned.

    “Lieutenant Roberts,” the Captain said, “you should also be aware that Lt. Commander Biddle, Commander Shrak, Commander Carmichael, Captain Salok, and myself have all written letters of commendation which will be added to your permanent file. I have also recommended to Starfleet Command that you be officially honored for your valor, your initiative, and your courage for those actions in Deflector Control by receiving the Starfleet Medal of Valor. Captain Salok has endorsed that recommendation. Regardless of how Starfleet Command makes its final decision on the Medal of Valor, Mister Roberts, the ship and crew have an award of their own they wish to make. Miss Biddle?”

    The Operations Officer stepped forward, holding a ribbon suspended between her two hands; a round disk hanging from its lower edge. Chris bowed his head and she placed the ribbon around his neck; then she smoothed out the dark purple and grey swath of silk. “Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Christopher Roberts; the officers and crew of USS Republic do hereby present to you the Order of the Ts’kaba. An award made to remind you, young Lieutenant, that prior bad acts and indiscretions, as well as accidents of clumsiness, do not serve as an appropriate judge of an individual’s worth or character. Congratulations, Mister Roberts.”

    Chris blushed fiercely, and then the Captain stepped forward—without a limp!—and he took Chris’s hand and shook it. “Well done, Mister Roberts. Well done indeed.”
     
  2. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    One chapter left, ladies and gentlemen. After that, we will be finished with this book. I am thinking of giving it the book title of "Star Trek: Republic." "Book I: Wounded Warriors." Just in case I decide to write another.

    Master Arminas
     
  3. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Chapter Twenty-Three

    “Captain’s Log; Stardate 53756.7, USS Republic. With the assistance of the crews of Portsmouth, Independence, and Balao, Republic has finally managed to complete all of our needed repairs. Four weeks of near constant work in orbit over New Columbia has managed to restore this ship to her an operational status once again. I must say, however, that both Captain Salok and Captain Terrance (of the Portsmouth) were taken aback by my insistence on installing ablative armor panels on the outer hull, as well as the internal spaces surrounding the warp core and anti-matter pods. Salok was concerned that such an ‘unauthorized’ alteration of the ship might have unforeseen consequences with our sensor coverage; whereas Denise Terrance feared that the additional plating might overstress our hull. Computer simulations—exhaustive simulations—convinced both of them that the installation would not result in either increased strain and stress or decreased sensor resolution. While pleased that they did sign off on the improvements, I was prepared to simply add the plating after their ships depart New Columbia. The added protection is more than worth any discomfort they or others might feel as being ‘overly militaristic' in nature. I can accept that label if it means that my anti-matter pods are not quite as vulnerable.”

    “The evacuation of Ark Prime has been successfully completed as well, with the Nephkyrie children and a selection of adults from Ark Two establishing their colony to the west of New Columbia. We have worked to assist the Nephkyrie in constructing their first city, which they have named Lethtran; their word for ‘New Beginnings’. The transfer of their colony supplies and equipment from Ark Prime impressed all of us Starfleet officers; the sheer magnitude of the equipment and stores which they managed to outfit this colonial expedition with boggles most belief. We should have expected it, for the Nephkyrie never developed replication technology; an oversight which should be corrected before long given the closeness with which we are working with them.”

    “With full access to the Nephkyrie medical databanks, rapid progress has been made on finding a treatment for the genetic damage suffered by this race. Even the most pessimistic of the Starfleet medical personnel now believes that we will have a perfected treatment within a matter of months at the most. Our own engineers and scientists have finally had the opportunity to examine in detail the Nephkyrie transporter technology, a technology that has the potential to revolutionize modern Federation life. Commander Malik was discussing this issue with Captain Salok only last night, at my farewell dinner for my fellow Captain, debating on how far this technology will change us. The Nephkyrie transporters are capable, if we understand the system correctly, of beaming an individual at distances of up to 25 light-years—provided that they have target beacon at the intended destination. Imagine living on Earth and beaming to work on Vulcan, or Andor, or Denobula each day, returning home in the evening. With the proper placement of beacons and strategically placed long-range transporter units, it might be possible to beam from the two most distant points in the entire Federation in just a few hours time.”

    “There remains one final task to accomplish before Captain Salok departs the New Columbia system with Independence. Inderi. Commander Philips promised that she would go free—a promise that he made on my behalf. I must support him, and yet I am keenly aware that without her willing assistance, the Nephkyrie would not have abducted the colonists in the first place. I believe that my officers and I have come up with an equitable solution in the matter, however.”

    “Typhias has vanished into the depths of space. Probes and patrols conducted by Balao and Independence have revealed no clue of his current whereabouts. Admiral Hansen, in light of this villain remaining at large, has ordered that Sam Carmichael and her Balao remain here in the New Columbia system—at least until the Nephkyrie defenses begin to come on line later this year. Portsmouth is also overhauling and strengthening the shields and weaponry for our own New Columbia colonists. Combined with the eleven Nephkyrie shuttles in orbit, this should be more than adequate if Typhias comes calling.”

    “The fast transport Vancouver will be arriving tomorrow as well, with the delegation from the Federation council. After speaking with them, perhaps Republic can depart from here and continue on the Cygnus Sector. We shall see.”

    “Computer, save log.”

    Log saved.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  4. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Chapter Twenty-Three (cont.)

    Inderi was escorted into Matt’s ready room by two of Beck’ Marines. Matt looked up from the monitor on his desk and glowered over the reading glasses at the Antaran woman—the criminal—standing there before him.

    “Commander Philips made a deal with you, Miss Delon,” he said sourly. “It is a deal that I am loath to keep, but he made it in my name. You are free to go.”

    “Just like that? I’m free to go? Go where?” the smuggler spat. “You destroyed my ship, along with all of my belongings. I have nothing! Starfleet owes me compensation, you owe me . . .”

    “Nothing. We owe you nothing, Feringil Delon. But since your shuttle was destroyed by the Nephkyrie, I am having you transferred about the White Cloud. Baron Jowar owned two Orion shuttles that he stored in his hangers on that ship—pick one and take it. And Miss Delon? Don’t let me catch you in Federation space again,” Matt warned, and he turned back to the monitor screen. “Get her off my ship, Marines.”

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

    “I’ll take this one,” Inderi said sourly. “You people cost me several thousand strips of latinum I had hidden on my old shuttle—and this piece of Orion crap is the best that you can do?”

    Sean Philips pursed his lips. “That Orion Scorpion is only two years old, Inderi. It is faster, more maneuverable, and longer-ranged your Shirak-class. And it doesn’t have inadequate reactor shielding. It is warp capable, it is armed, and it has shields, not to mention a two-person transporter and a replicator. I think you are getting a better deal out of this than you deserve.”

    “Like I care what you think,” the Antaran spat. “I was all set to retire into luxury, and now I have start all over!”

    “Be grateful that you are still alive, Inderi,” Sean answered. “Typhias would have killed you to cover his trail, you know.”

    The woman didn’t answer; she was still frowning at the shuttle. Finally, she turned and looked directly at Sean. “Jowar had a fortune aboard this ship, stored in his vault. The least you can do is replace what I lost—four thousand, three hundred, and eighty-seven strips of latinum. It’s only fair.”

    “Life isn’t fair—and I think the value of this ship is worth the difference.”

    Inderi didn’t argue any further. She walked up the ramp and pressed the control to raise it, buttoning up the small vessel. Sean and the two Marines from Republic walked out of the shuttle bay and entered the hanger control room.

    “Depressurize bay and open doors; spot the shuttle for launch,” the engineer ordered one of his men. Slowly the twin doors at the stern of the ship slid open and a tractor beam lifted the shuttle from its berth and placed it on the center of the flight deck.

    A blow glow began to appear in the small vessel’s nacelles, and then it lifted up, hovered for a moment, and then exited the bay. Sean pressed a switch on the control panel. “Philips to Republic. She’s free and clear, Sir.”

    Thank you, Mister Philips,” Matt’s voice instantly responded. “Resume your preparations for the return to Earth. Republic out.

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

    Inderi sat back in the pilot’s seat and smiled as the auto-pilot took her smoothly away from the planet. She turned and walked back towards the passenger/cargo section, before coming to a halt before one non-descript panel that repeated the engineer status. Picking up a tool that she had taken from the shuttle’s engineering kit earlier, she pried the panel loose, revealing a small safe buried into the hull. In seconds she had it cracked open, and was gazing with eyes of avarice upon the pile of gold-plated latinum bars Jowar had stored here: his rainy day fund as he had called it.

    Those idiots, she thought. They didn’t even search the shuttle, at least not properly! She made herself ignore the treasure and reached in to extract a small, elegant, and utterly lethal weapon—a Varon-T disruptor; the last original Varon-T still in existence. She buckled the holster and gun-belt around her waist and then returned to her seat.

    She sat and plotted a course to Havalis II, smiling again at her freedom from the inept and utterly clueless Federation. The course plotted, she engaged the Warp engines, and the shuttle shook—just as all of her systems went off-line and the power flow from everything but her batteries died.

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

    “Captain Dahlgren,” Chan spoke up from his console. “The Orion shuttlecraft given to Inderi has lost all power; she’s drifting on emergency reserve batteries with thirty-two minutes of life support remaining.”

    Matt rotated his command and smiled at Chan. “Now how could that have happened? Perhaps she should have conducted a pre-flight inspection?”

    “Indeed, Captain Dahlgren,” his XO answered gamely. “Those Orion ships are veritable death-traps, as poorly maintained as they often are.”

    Matt turned back around and faced the main viewer. “In that case, she is clearly a disabled vessel in distress, ladies and gentlemen. We have no choice but to provide assistance, as we are the closest ship.”

    “Ah, Captain?” spoke up Grace as she turned around to face Matt, her eyes dancing as she tried to maintain a straight face. “Actually we are not the closest ship; Independence is.”

    “Thank you, Miss Biddle. Mister Shrak, would you hail Captain Salok, please?”

    The main viewer blanked and then the Vulcan officer appeared on the screen. “Captain Dahlgren. We were preparing to warp out but our sensors have detected a vessel in distress. An Orion shuttlecraft.”

    “Yes, Captain Salok. We detected it as well. Your ship is the closest, and I believe that regulations require you to go to her assistance.”

    “They do indeed, Captain Dahlgren. Has a customs inspection been given this vessel previously?”

    “It has not, Captain Salok,” Matt answered. Philip’s crew did go over the shuttle with a fine-tooth tricorder, but technically, there had not been an actual ‘customs’ inspection.

    Salok raised an eyebrow, and started to speak . . . but then closed his mouth. He nodded, and then he spoke again. “Is that not the same class of shuttle that you provided to the criminal Feringil Delon?”

    “The same class, the same shuttle, Captain Salok. Perhaps it has a defect that the Orions missed.”

    “A defect. I see,” the Vulcan answered. “You should be aware, Captain Dahlgren, that neither I nor my ship were bound by your promise to Feringil Delon. She does have several outstanding warrants for her arrest.”

    “Captain Salok, I agreed to let her depart—but both Commander Philips and I warned her to avoid future contact with Starfleet vessels. A warning that she has chosen to ignore.”

    “Then we shall render assistance to the vessel in question. And conduct a proper inspection. Independence out.”

    Matt sat back. And he folded his hands together, his fingers tapping against each other, as he smiled. I promised you that I would let you go, Inderi; try talking your way out of your crimes and possession of an illegal Varon-T disruptor with a Vulcan.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  5. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    I've just completed Chapter 14, and the Republic crew's unorthodox 'requisition' of equipment and torpedoes practically had me in tears! Now that’s how you get what you need when logistics and supply won’t pony up like they’re supposed to!

    Captain Dahlgren’s speech to the crew was completely over the top (especially set to the Battle Hymn of the Republic), but it’s precisely the kind of spirit-and-team-building rah-rah pep-talk to get a formerly broken crew to really believe the can dig their way out of a karmic hole. The fact that Dahlgren left the music blaring when the starbase contacted them was the icing on the cake, and I dearly loved watching him put the smack-down on the officious little logistics toady.

    I’m interested to see what kind of trouble Republic can find to get into out there on the frontier. :guffaw:
     
  6. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    I intended for it to be over the top, Gibralter. :lol: At heart, Matt Dahlgren is an old-fashioned romatic. He believes that by inspiring his juniors, he can accomplish great things; and he still believes in all the tropes of honor and glory. He is very much a TOS-style Captain than many later examples in TNG/DS9/VOY.

    And rest assured: there is plenty of trouble still to come!

    Master Arminas
     
  7. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Finished Chapter 15. Quite the mystery Republic's stumbled upon, with both an Orion raider's crew turned into chunky salsa (wet cleanup, main bridge!) and an abandoned colony.

    The signs uncovered so far don't bode well for the missing colonists, but as for Republic, this kind of mission is why a lot of folks joined up in the first place.
     
  8. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Chapter Twenty-Three (cont.)

    Bridge to Captain Dahlgren,” the speaker announced. Matt frowned and he sat back in his chair in his ready room and tapped his comm badge. “Go ahead, Mister Shrak.”

    Captain, Vancouver has transported the Council Delegation to the surface—with one exception. Ambassador Delena Mar has transported to the ship. She is demanding a private meeting with you.

    Matt sighed, “Escort her to my ready room, Mister Shrak.”

    The Captain stood, and smoothed out the wrinkles in his uniform as the chime sounded.

    “Come.”

    The door slid open and the Ambassador, her aide, and Chan entered Matt’s office. “Captain Dahlgren, may I pre . . .”

    “He knows who I am,” the Ambassador snapped. “You are excused.”

    “Madame Ambassador, welcome aboard Republic. Commander Shrak, would you care to join us—please everyone take a seat.”

    Mar glared at Matt. “I said he was excused; my business is with you.”

    “Unfortunately, Madame Ambassador, you are not in command here,” Matt answered as he took his seat without waiting for the Councilwoman. “I am.”

    Chan’s antennae quivered as the Argellian’s skin flushed red and her aide had a pained look on his face. “Captain Dahlgren, if you would excuse me, I am supervising the transfer of the final load of stores from Portsmouth to our cargo holds.”

    “Of course, Mister Shrak. I will join you shortly on the bridge.”

    The Andorian nodded his head, smartly turned on his heel, and exited the ready room, antennae still twitching.

    Matt took off his reading glasses and set them down on the desk in front of him. He sat back and folded his hands in front of him. “And what may I do for the Federation Council today, Madame Ambassador?”

    Mar took her seat, her aide still standing off to one side behind her. “You can resign,” she hissed.

    “Request denied,” Matt answered with a small twitch of his lips.

    “I’ve read the Lorsham reports, Captain Dahlgren. I am fully aware that despite that charade of a court-martial, you are guilty of breaking the Prime Directive. You do not deserve to wear that uniform and this ship does not deserve to remain on active duty.”

    “And yet, here we both are, Madame Ambassador. I do hope that you did not travel for more than four standard weeks to New Columbia in order simply to ask me to resign; you could have easily have gotten my answer over sub-space radio.”

    “No, Captain, I intend to fully participate in the Council Inquiry into exactly what happened here at New Columbia. You are an anachronism, a throw-back to the bad old times, a myrmidon who relishes in the power at your fingertips in the form of phasers and torpedoes. You are consumed with violence, and it is always your first answer—and that Captain is an abomination to the Federation. And I will uncover the Truth of your activities out here, no matter how deeply your Starfleet buries it.”

    The Ambassador straightened her spine and she sniffed. “I had hoped that some small portion of your intelligence might remain that has not been overcome by your naked aggression; that you would see the sense in what I ask and resign to spare yourself—and others—the shame of what is to come.”

    “Sorry to disappoint you, Madame Ambassador; what precisely is to come?”

    She held up her hand and her aide placed a PADD within her grip; she then handed it over to Matt. Matt took the PADD, placed his glasses back on his face and began to read. He let out a deep breath, scrolled back to the beginning and read through the document a second time. Then he laid the PADD on his desk, took off his glasses once more, and placed them neatly atop the electronic device.

    “As you can see, that is a Federation Council Directive calling for the immediate return of this ship to Earth for decommissioning—and an Inquiry into your activities, Captain. We will depart once my fact-finding mission here is complete.”

    Matt stared at the elegantly attired woman seated across from him. “There are two problems with that, Madame Ambassador; two problems that make that document illegal.”

    Her eyes narrowed, and she drew in a sharp breath of air. “That is a Directive of the Federation Council, you cannot sit there and tell me of its legality!”

    “That document is signed neither by the President of the Federation or the Chief of Starfleet Operations—and as such, as you well know, that means it has not yet been passed by the Council. Only proposed. And therefore, it is not a Directive, Madame Ambassador, but a poorly played bluff. Your second problem is that even were that Directive legitimate and lawful, you are not within my chain of command. So the order for Republic’s recall would have to originate at Starfleet Command and pass through proper channels. This?” Matt said, tapping the PADD with one hand. “This means nothing.”

    “Are you defying the right of an accredited member of the Federation Council from asserting my lawful authority over this vessel? Are you disobeying my direct order to return this ship to Earth orbit?” Mar snapped.

    Matt shook his head. “No, Madame Ambassador. Under Title 15, Book 19, Section 433, Paragraph 12 of the Federation Regulations you have the authority to declare a Galactic Emergency and assume command of all starships necessary and proper to deal with the situation at hand. Are you declaring a galactic emergency, Madame Ambassador? If so I need to log it and the time in the ship’s protected memory core—and inform the senior member of the Council Delegation on the surface, as well as Admirals Hansen, Hall, and Parker.”

    Mar sneered. “I don’t have to declare an emergency, Captain Dahlgren. You will return this ship to Earth under my command. Unless you want to condemn your family.”

    Matt sat upright, and he coldly stared at Mar. “What was that, Ambassador?”

    “I will be the next President of the Federation, Captain Dahlgren—there are many who owe me favors for my political support. And I will use the power of that office to ensure that your family is black-balled from their chosen careers. I will hound them until the leave Earth—your eldest daughter is a student at Julliard, is she not? Such horrid things can happen to a girl so far away from home at such a tender age; things that will make her never again sing.”

    Matt licked his lips and he forced himself to unclench his hand and sit back in his chair once more. “Madame Ambassador, I cannot quite decide whether you are an idiot or a fool.”

    She jerked and opened her mouth, but Matt drove on. “Computer. Replay Ambassador Mar’s last comments.”

    I will be the next President of the Federation, Captain Dahlgren—there are many who owe me favors for my political support. And I will use the power of that office to ensure that your family is black-balled from their chosen careers. I will hound them until the leave Earth—your eldest daughter is a student at Julliard, is she not? Such horrid things can happen to a girl so far away from home at such a tender age; things that will make her never again sing.”

    Mar went, but Matt calmly continued. “Store this conversation in the ship’s protected memory files—access granted to myself, Admiral Parker, and those I later designate. Authorization Dahlgren Three Four Seven Beta Two.”

    Acknowledged. File saved.”

    “It is illegal to record a member of the Federation Council without prior authorization!” Mar thundered, rising to her feet. “I’ll have you broken, you . . .”

    “SIT. DOWN,” Matt replied in a cold, cold voice. “And no one at all will care that I broke your precious privacy laws, Ambassador; although in truth I did not. This is a Starship. All conversations that a starship Captain has with a Federation representative are automatically recorded—unless they classified beforehand. That is a fact that you would know if you sat on a single one of the Starfleet Oversight Committees.”

    “I have only to release that recording, Madame Ambassador and your career is finished. No politician, not even those who owe you will risk coming to your defense for that statement. None. Now, Ambassador, I want you off my ship before I give in to my aggression and violent tendencies and rip you in half for daring to threaten my family. Know that if I even suspect that you are behind anything that happens to them, I will release this recording. I will ruin you, I will ruin your career, I will hound you back to Argellius II, and then I will kill you. Do you understand me, Madame Ambassador?”

    Mar curtly nodded. “This isn’t finished, Captain Dahlgren,” she said as she rose.

    “Madame Ambassador, you had best pray to God that it is. Or I will finish it.”

    The Ambassador and her aide exited, and the door slid closed behind them, and Matt leaned forward, his mouth tight against one tightly clenched fist. “Computer. Copy the entire conversation with Ambassador Mar, seal it to be opened only in the event of my death, and transmit to the protected memory storage aboard Balao and Portsmouth.”

    Data transmitted.”

    “Record two more copies and transmit to Admiral Parker on Earth and Admiral Shran on Andor; sealed once again to be opened in the event of my demise, storage destination, protected memory core.”

    Data transmitted.”

    Matt stood up, and he opened a small cabinet, taking out a dark green bottle and two crystal glasses. He set the bottle on the desk and tapped his comm badge. “Dahlgren to Talbot.”

    Talbot.”

    “Quincy, join me in my ready room.”

    Is it the leg again?

    “Just get up here.”

    Matt sat down and pulled out the cork from the bottle, and he waited for his friend.
     
  9. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Epilogue

    Quincy blinked once, then twice. Chan just sat as still as rock. Sam’s jaw dropped. And Matt took a sip of his smooth whiskey as he was them process the audio recording in the security of his quarters.

    “Is she insane?” the physician whispered.

    “Irrelevant,” said Chan. “The only question is what do we do now?”

    Matt grimaced. “I should turn this over to the Council immediately,” he said.

    “Agreed,” added Sam. “She can’t become President.”

    “BUT,” the Captain continued with a pained look, “she’s from Argellius II. They never take physical action of this nature themselves—and that means she has people on Earth. People who can get to Cass and Amy and Sarah, and Melody; people that are capable of the physical violence she isn’t. She isn’t dumb—she’s the Councilwoman for her system. She may already have orders in the system for her people to act if she goes down.”

    “Damn,” whispered Sam. “Admiral Parker can put your family in protection, though.”

    “For how long, Sam? Right now, Mar’s got a quandary—she’s threatened my family and we must presume that she has the means of carrying out that threat. But she’s stymied because if this goes public, she can’t survive. For the moment we have detente.”

    “But a balance of terror is not inherently stable,” Chan added. “It will shift, and when it does she might carry through—especially if she finds another way to . . . eliminate you. And the recordings.”

    “True, but we have a little time at least in which I’ve upset her plans. And I’ve made sure that this will get out if I die.”

    “Oh, and that makes it okay?” snarled Quincy, who took a deep slug of the single-malt.

    “No, Quincy,” Sam answered. “But it does give us time to find out who she’s using—and make certain they can’t pull this off. And once we do that, Delena Mar will discover that we don’t always play by her rules.”

    Chan growled. “It is a shame that we Andorians no longer have an assassin caste. Still, crushing her dreams and shattering her political career should prove almost as satisfying; almost.”

    Matt nodded and he took another sip. “For now, my friends, we wait. Until we know that my family is safe.”

    “And when that happens?” asked Quincy.

    “Then she learns why you don’t threaten a man’s family, Quincy.”

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

    “We are clear of Portsmouth, Sir,” Isabella called out from her station. “Course heading Two-Two-Seven Mark Forty.”

    “Increase to half-impulse, Miss Montoya,” Matt said quietly. “When we clear Balao’s perimeter patrol take us to Warp 9. Next stop, the Cygnus Sector.”

    “Aye, aye, Sir,” the helmsman answered sharply. “Accelerating to Warp Factor 9.”

    And Republic surged forward and shot past the light-speed barrier.

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

    Delena Mar watched as the streak of light Republic left in her wake faded. She turned away from the window of her stateroom aboard Vancouver and walked back over to the table her aide was sitting at, along with two others cloaked deep in the shadows of the dimly lit cabin.

    “We still have options—he doesn’t dare use that recording for fear that we will get to his family first,” the aide said. “We can continue to work the Council, discrediting him and his ship—destroying his reputation and claim he forged the recording.”

    “No, Jas,” Delena answered as she took her seat and picked up a cup of tea. “No, we have time. And he has more enemies than just us. Isn’t that correct, Lord Mak’vegh?”

    “That p’tahk cost my House dearly; he destroyed the plans of many years. Yes, Ambassador, he has many enemies, and I shall be the one who drinks of his blood,” the Klingon growled in a low voice. "Thrown from the High Council by Martok, robbed of my worlds. Yes, he will pay, they will all pay. And soon they shall know just how strong the House of Mak'vegh truely is!"

    “Calmly, Lord Mak’vegh,” the fourth figure at the table said, stretching out an arm covered in bright red fur. “Rest assured that Matt Dahlgren and his Republic, his family as well, shall pay the price in full for his blasphemy. He may have destroyed the Relics of Ordan, but while we believe, my brethren, he cannot destroy our faith. Our faith, however, can destroy him.”

    The Lorsham priest leaned forward, and bared his sharp fangs in a smile. “Indeed, our vengeance shall soon arrive. Blessed be Ordan,” he intoned.

    And all those at the table answered, “Blessed be Ordan.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  10. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a blast writing this. It is complete. I may, after a little rest, start work on a Book II. For now, however, this is it.

    I hope you have enjoyed the ride, and that I was able to contribute a small measure to the Star Trek universe.

    Master Arminas
     
  11. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Thru Chapter 16

    I'm glad to see Dahlgren's calling in backup, given the seriousness of the situation and how many civilian lives are at stake. Great idea splitting his forces with the prize crew aboard the White Cloud to investigate Inderi's origins.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I've got a bad feeling about the fate of all those colonists.
     
  12. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Wow, what an ending. Things really got heated and personal there. For a moment it really stretched believability how aggressively the ambassador went after Dahlgren and his family. Then you tagged on the perfect explanation with a terrifically evil conspiracy against our hard-nossed captain. All that was missing was round of maniacal laughter.

    This was truly a epic undertaking and I'm still stunned by how quickly you were able to churn out such a series of compelling stories and if the ending is any indication, there'll be more adventures of the newly redeemed Republic in the future.

    Outstanding job.
     
  13. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Into Chapter 18 now, and Dahlgren's undertaking a dangerous but bold plan to either rescue the colonists or failing that, destroy the aliens' long-range transporter system.

    At some point, I'm thinking the crew's going to stop gawking at him for a few seconds whenever he tells them what crazy, ambitious plan he's going forward with! :lol:

    Here's hoping the aliens don't think Republic's bluffing and try and call... wrong ship, and definitely the wrong captain to underestimate.
     
  14. TrekkieMonster

    TrekkieMonster Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    The Hub of the Universe
    It's been an enjoyable ride for me, too. Thanks! ;)

    I wanted to say that I really like how you wrapped it up,
    bringing everything full circle and back to the Lorsham.

    I was having some trouble understanding why Ambassador Mar was being such a ... well, to put it bluntly, ... an irrational bitch. :p But, that last scene in her stateroom on the Vancouver made it all clear ... and gave me chills. Well done! Looking forward to your next installment. :bolian:
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  15. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    This has been a really awesome story. The characters and everything have been mind-blowing. I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Keep up the great work, please.

    :bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian::bolian:
     
  16. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    It’s bad enough to be facing a prospective foe whose ‘military’ is made up of overgrown children ( literally) but then to have a subordinate captain who disagrees with your course of action try and undermine your command… yeah, Dahlgren’s having quite the day. :eek:

    True, Captain Myers did try repeatedly to have the conversation in private, but I’m thinking Dahlgren had already guessed as to the topic. Though I agree with Dahlgren putting Myers in his place (a crisis situation is no place to start a territorial pissing match), calling him out for a duel was definitely over the line.

    Granted, I’d pay good money to see Dahlgren shove a couple of feet of steel through Myer’s midsection, but man, you just can’t say that stuff on an open comms channel!

    Again, wonderful dialogue here, and you’ve got a knack for explaining the technical details of their situation without overwhelming the narrative with exposition. I know from experience that’s a tough balance to achieve.

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
     
  17. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    A lot of folks (I mean a lot) didn't care for the ending. So here is an alternate. You guys let me know which one works better and that will be the true ending.

    Chapter Twenty-Three (cont.)

    Bridge to Captain Dahlgren,” the speaker announced. Matt frowned and he sat back in his chair in his ready room and tapped his comm badge. “Go ahead, Mister Shrak.”

    Captain, Vancouver has transported the Council Delegation to the surface—with one exception. Ambassador Delena Mar has transported to the ship. She is demanding a private meeting with you.”

    Matt sighed, “Escort her to my ready room, Mister Shrak.”

    The Captain stood, and smoothed out the wrinkles in his uniform as the chime sounded.

    “Come.”

    The door slid open and the Ambassador, her aide, and Chan entered Matt’s office. “Captain Dahlgren, may I pre . . .”

    “He knows who I am,” the Ambassador snapped. “You are excused.”

    “Madame Ambassador, welcome aboard Republic. Commander Shrak, would you care to join us—please everyone take a seat.”

    Mar glared at Matt. “I said he was excused; my business is with you.”

    “Unfortunately, Madame Ambassador, you are not in command here,” Matt answered as he took his seat without waiting for the Councilwoman. “I am.”

    Chan’s antennae quivered as the Argellian’s skin flushed red and her aide had a pained look on his face. “Captain Dahlgren, if you would excuse me, I am supervising the transfer of the final load of stores from Portsmouth to our cargo holds.”

    “Of course, Mister Shrak. I will join you shortly on the bridge.”

    The Andorian nodded his head, smartly turned on his heel, and exited the ready room, antennae still twitching.

    Matt took off his reading glasses and set them down on the desk in front of him. He sat back and folded his hands in front of him. “And what may I do for the Federation Council today, Madame Ambassador?”

    Mar took her seat, her aide still standing off to one side behind her. “You can resign,” she hissed.

    “Request denied,” Matt answered with a small twitch of his lips.

    “I’ve read the reports on the Lorsham Affair, Captain Dahlgren. I am fully aware that despite that charade of a court-martial, you are guilty of breaking the Prime Directive. You do not deserve to wear that uniform and this ship does not deserve to remain on active duty.”

    “And yet, here we both are, Madame Ambassador. I do hope that you did not travel for more than four standard weeks to New Columbia in order simply to ask me to resign; you could have easily have gotten my answer over sub-space radio.”

    “No, Captain, I intend to fully participate in the Council Inquiry into exactly what happened here at New Columbia. You are an anachronism, a throw-back to the bad old times, a myrmidon who relishes in the power at your fingertips in the form of phasers and torpedoes. You are consumed with violence, and it is always your first answer—and that Captain is an abomination to the Federation. And I will uncover the Truth of your activities out here, no matter how deeply your Starfleet buries it.”

    The Ambassador straightened her spine and she sniffed. “I had hoped that some small portion of your intelligence might remain that has not been overcome by your naked aggression; that you would see the sense in what I ask and resign to spare yourself—and others—the shame of what is to come.”

    “Sorry to disappoint you, Madame Ambassador; what precisely is to come?”

    “Sooner or later, Captain, you will cross the line. This ship will reveal its true dishonor to the entire galaxy. And when that day arrives, I intend to see that you get everything that you so richly deserve.”

    Matt frowned, and he rocked back and forth in his chair for a moment. “Madame Ambassador, I fear that you will have a long wait.”

    “Really? This coming from a Starfleet Captain who threatened a fellow officer with murder. A Captain who condones the theft of weapons of mass destruction. A Captain who ignores the regulations when they do not suit him. No, Captain Dahlgren, your history indicates that you will go too far one day, and on that day, I will be waiting.”

    “But not today, Madame Ambassador,” Matt replied.

    Delena Mar smiled cruelly. “No, not today, Captain Dahlgren. Today, you are a hero of the Federation, a brave Captain whose actions resulted in the loss of an entire starship and her crew, but you did save the colonists of New Columbia and establish peaceful contact with the Nephkyrie. Of course, you did abduct a being in neutral space, you lied to our Romulan allies, you took it upon yourself to decide Federation policy in lieu of the Council—so I thought that you might appreciate reading our preliminary report.”

    She extended her hand and her aide placed a PADD in it. She set the PADD on the desk and slid it across to Matt. Matt picked up his reading glasses and placed them on his head, and he scrolled through the document; he read it again and then he sat the PADD down and removed the eyewear, folding its legs and placing them atop of the electronic device.

    “I see that the art of fiction writing is still alive and well, Madame Ambassador. It was kind of you to at least mention Republic in that dispatch where you give credit to Captains Myers and Salok, as well as Commanders Carmichael and Philips for resolving the situation. Although, your mention implies that were it not for Republic there would not have been a situation to resolve in the first place.”

    “That part is true, Captain Dahlgren. Without your ship arriving here unscheduled, it would have been another Starfleet vessel—a more reputable and honored Starfleet vessel—that would have dealt with the Nephkyrie. And with your penchant for issuing threats—threats that could be considered conduct unbecoming a Starfleet officer—it is for the best that your role here be . . . understated.”

    “Madame Ambassador, whatever your problems with me,” Matt said, “this crew deserves their valor be acknowledged.”

    “Captain Dahlgren, I don’t give a damn about this crew. Or this ship. Or you, for that matter. All of you are guilty of crimes against the Federation—and you should suffer for that. Today, you get yet another chance to postpone the reckoning. But I will be watching, Captain Dahlgren—and I will be counting the votes in the Council very carefully. So step lightly.”

    Delena Mar stood, followed by her aide and Matt. “Do us both a favor, Captain,” she said with a beaming smile on her face; a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Do try and get yourself killed on the frontier. It would make my job so much easier.”

    Without waiting for an answer, the Ambassador and her aide turned and left the ready room.


    Epilogue

    “We are clear of Portsmouth, Sir,” Isabella called out from her station. “Course heading Two-Two-Seven Mark Forty.”

    “Increase to half-impulse, Miss Montoya,” Matt said quietly. “When we clear Balao’s perimeter patrol take us to Warp 9. Next stop, the Cygnus Sector.”

    “Aye, aye, Sir,” the helmsman answered sharply. “Accelerating to Warp Factor 9.”

    And Republic surged forward and shot past the light-speed barrier.

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

    Delena Mar watched as the streak of light Republic left in her wake faded. She turned away from her window aboard the Vancouver and walked back over to the table her aide and another man hidden by the shadows was sitting at.

    “We can try to convince the rest of the delegation that he is a loose cannon,” her aide said. “We have his threats to Myers and his actions on McKinley Station and against the Lorsham; surely that will be enough . . .”

    “No, Jas,” Delena answered as she took her seat and picked up a cup of tea. “I cannot afford to expend the political capital over this matter just now, not if I intend to become President in two years. But then, perhaps we do not have deal with Dahlgren and his ship ourselves. Isn’t that correct, Lord Mak’vegh?”

    “That p’tahk cost my House dearly; he destroyed the plans of many years. Yes, Ambassador, he has many enemies, and I shall be the one who drinks of his blood.”

    “Chancellor Martok has declared you a renegade, Lord Mak’vegh; you understand I cannot and will not come to your defense?”

    “Martok’s end draws nigh. And I may be in exile, but I retain more than enough strength to pay Dahlgren fully for what he cost me. What a pair shall we make, Ambassador—Chancellor and President, ushering in a new era for the Federation and Empire.”

    Mar smiled. “After you remove Dahlgren and his ship from play, Mak’vegh, we can discuss how our future realm shall be arranged. For now, pay attention to the present. I believe that Jas here has those schematics you requested—complete plans for Republic, including her command codes.”

    The Klingon barked out a laugh and he took the data-card Jas held out to him. “Your thorn will soon be no more, Madame President.”

    She lifted her cup of tea in a salute, and Mak’vegh drank deep of his blood-wine.
     
  18. theonering

    theonering Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    I prefer the original ending. I think it sets up the story going forward better, and there's a lot more potentially at stake than just captain dahlgren and the republic's reputation and future.
    I'd be interested in hearing what the prevailing criticism was against the original ending that made you feel like it needed a rewrite?
     
  19. MasterArminas

    MasterArminas Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
  20. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Another vote here for the original ending which I liked a lot better. Mar's personal and irrational feud with Dahlgren and Republic is much more believable, I thought, if it is driven by twisted fanaticism and/or mind wash of an alien race. I also liked how it linked into the earlier story-line.

    I don't really see how Dahlgren should be a concern to the ambassador's ambitions in the alternate ending.